The product-hover id="241346" is finally here, and we've got your look at the set's first hits.
Today we'll look at presale numbers from MP21 singles, to find out which cards are the biggest movers from the set so far. With 258 cards, the Tin of Ancient Battles is massive - even bigger than last year's Tin of Lost Memories - but we saw some definite trends in presales so far.
Right now on Friday morning, prices on sealed Tins are HIGH, at $32 apiece. That's more than 50% above Konami's MSRP. The product-hover id="241346" is the first product Konami's been forced to release to distributors and stores in waves, meaning that due to product shortages and huge demand, some of the total print run was shipped as usual, but more will be arriving in the coming weeks.
This is new in Yu-Gi-Oh, but it's old hat in Pokémon where virtually every major release is now waved, and we can look at how those products perform to get some idea of what we may see in our game. In a nutshell? Product usually gets cheaper. There are buyers who will pay a premium to get their hands on the product as soon as possible, but if you're willing to wait a few weeks, it's very likely that prices will come down. Right now, a lot of sellers are dealing with this release model for the first time, so it's going to take stores and vendors some time to learn how to navigate it.
If the sealed prices are too high for your tastes right now, a lot of singles may be strong purchases for launch weekend. And keep in mind, TCGplayer's doing a massive 15% Bonus Bucks deal tonight between 6pm ET and 11:59pm ET, so that could be a lot of help if you want to pick up some key cards.
As always, our Top 10's based off the number of total unique purchases, so if one person buys out hundreds of one card in a single order, they won't make much of a dent. Pricing doesn't matter either: big or small, these were the Top 10 most popular cards from the Tins this week.
Despite an average price of $111 since it dropped, enough players bought in on Crossout Designator to land it at Number 10 for MP21 presales. That's huge, and based off the number of copies sold versus the number of buyers, most people were picking up a full three copies. This card's a must-own for serious tournament competitors, and many were going the singles route from day one.
MP21 is loaded with reprints of major competitive themes, like Dogmatika, Ignisters, and Tri-Brigade. But the big winner in presales was Virtual World, fresh off the buff of Emergency Teleport's move to 2-per-deck. Virtual world took a total of five spots in the presale Top 10, starting with the Ultra Rare upgrade of Virtual World Xiezhi - Jiji.
Speaking of upgrades, Virtual World Mai-Hime - Lulu looks awesome as a Prismatic Secret Rare, and the MP21 version's still a couple bucks cheaper than the Phantom Rage Ultra. That might not last for long, especially with all the demand over the last few days, but for now it was a hot pick as some competitors appear to be moving over to Virtual World, while others upgrade their existing decks.
Also making the leap to Prismatic Secret Rare, Virtual World Hime - Nyannyan came in at Number 7 for the week. Noticing a pattern? Every Virtual World card that made the Top 10 this week was a foil upgrade. RICH.
So yeah, no love for Virtual World Phoenix - Fanfan or Virtual World City - Kauwloon. Moving on…
Two of the three ace monster World Premiere cards made the presale Top 10, including Magician's Salvation. I think a lot of veteran tournament players are pretty quick to ignore new Dark Magician support, but wow, this card does a lot of work. As a Field Spell and a card that specifically names "Dark Magician" in its text, it's searchable with everything from Terraforming and Metaverse to Magician's Rod and Dark Magic Inheritance. From there it gets you a free Eternal Soul and sets you up to Special Summon Dark Magician or Dark Magician Girl, also for free.
Sure, Eternal Soul might blow up your field and Dark Magician Girl has historically been tough to include in a Dark Magician deck built for real competition, but when everything's free, who cares? This card opens up a lot of possibilities.
The next Virtual World card in the presale Top 10, Virtual World Kirin - Lili makes the leap from Common to Ultra Rare in MP21. Players were here for it, and the number of copies sold actually divides perfectly by the number of buyers: it's possible every single person who bought Virtual World Kirin - Lili picked up three of them. That wouldn't be surprising, since it's just over a dollar as of this writing.
Back on the pricy side of things, players were in no way scared off of Triple Tactics Talent at an average price of $38.51 a copy. This card's gotten bigger and bigger in recent tournaments, offering the chance to mount a comeback in the face of hand traps and big controlling fields alike. It's likely that a lot of competitive players will replace their Triple Tactics Talent with Crossout Designator, but Crossout Designator currently almost three times the price of the Triple Tactics Talent reprint, and they're very different cards at the end of the day, so there's a big audience for it.
A lot of players couldn't justify dropping $120 to $130 on Triple Tactics Talent over the past few months, but now that you can get a playset for that price, it's way more doable.
The final Prismatic Secret Rare in the Virtual World arsenal, Virtual World Roshi - Laolaowas the theme's biggest hit in presale week, coming in at Number 3. Virtual World players have had almost an entire year to get tired of their Super Rares, and lots of them went in for the upgrade.
Are we going to see a surge of Virtual World decks in competition? It's tough to take the preorder numbers as an indicator of tournament trends, since most players buy their cards after a new set officially releases. But if the trend continues through to next week, then yeah, you'd better start taking Virtual World a little more seriously when it's time to build your Side Deck.
Meanwhile, if you were hoping the restrictions on Zoodiac Barrage and Fire Formation - Tenki were going to slow down Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder, prepare to be disappointed, because a ton of players are getting ready to sling more copies of the field-wrecking Xyz than ever before. At an average of $20 a copy, players were buying the new Ultra Rare two at a time to push Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder into the Number 2 spot for the week.
The reality is that even with Tri-Brigade taking some hits, the deck's still likely to lead the format. Zoo variants are still viable, pure builds will see play, Lyrilusc will make a comeback when Synchro Storm launches, and you can even run Melffy. Zeus is going to feature in all of them, and at 20 bucks it was an easy buy. Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder was $50 to $55 at the beginning of the month.
And finally, the single most popular card from MP21 presales was Piercing the Darkness! This is definitely positioned as support for Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon decks, but it could also work in Magikey, Suships, or any other Normal Monster strategies that might come out in the future. We're really seeing Konami do a lot of work creating new decks that revolve around vanillas right now, so this card's a big draw from several different perspectives. A lot of semi-casual cards with ties to old school Duel Monsters move at the $10 range, so this is right in a spot buyers probably want to see it at.
That said, last year's Dark Magician and and Blue-Eyes White Dragon support from the 2020 Tins - Successor Soul, Strength in Unity, and Destined Rivals - currently run about $2 each. It's difficult to tell where these may wind up, with distribution this year being waved, and these specific cards being pretty different from last year's.
By next week, with the 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles in full release, we could see an entirely new crop of hits. But for now, Virtual World upgrades and Duel Monsters legacy support are leading the pack, alongside Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder, Triple Tactics Talent, and Crossout Designator. Join us next week: Tin singles are often a solid indicator of competitive trends, and if you want to stay a few steps ahead, knowing what people are buying is a great way to do it!
See you then.