My collection rating was only good enough for me to get to Silver III. I had a regular rating good enough for Silver II, but I was unable to achieve that tier because of my collection.
I didn't want to spend a bunch of money buying packs, because that's just not something I'm interested in working into the budget. There are opportunities everywhere, and one cannot focus too much on just one of them. Diversify your bonds, like Wu Tang Financial suggests.
What did I do?
I got some credits and bought as many cheap legendary and gold cards as I could
Especially the ones with higher DEC values in general. I got about $25 in credits and I increased my collection value by just about 25,000 points. That's not bad! They might not always be the best cards, but a> they'll probably go up in value anyway and b> they're not the worst cards.
I did get a few Beta cards in gold that are pretty useful.
This is what I have now:
I know, it's not a lot. These were all cheap enough, though, and they're both Beta and gold, so they help out both in my quest to get my collection rating up, and then I'll also earn more DEC because of these types of cards.
I am starting to grow a collection of Legendary cards and, yeah, I know... a lot of them aren't that special. But they're legendary, by default, and that means they're worth more DEC. Some of them aren't terribly expensive. Some of them may have more uses in the future or be more valuable when they're no longer because produced.
This what I have for legendary cards now:
I know these aren't super impressive, either, but buying these up got me to the next league, and some of them will actually help me in some battles. I think I got a lot more value out of it than it was likely for me to get out of $25 worth of packs, which is only 12 packs, assuming I bought them that way. Sure, there's a very slight chance I could've pulled a GF legendary or something, but it's highly unlikely. I think this is an okay way to go about it.
There are starting to be quite a variet of Splinterlands cards because of all of the series and if you have enough of them, you can make some pretty powerful teams with a collection that isn't technically worth that much in terms of USD or whatever.