Let's not bury the lede: Gallant Granite was the best-selling card in the TCGplayer Marketplace this week!
It's been a big week for news and new releases!Legendary Duelists: Magical Herodrops today, and pre-sales were strong: one of the set's biggest fan-pleasers already snuck into the Number10 spot off pre-orders alone. On the other hand, Konami held anIgnition AssaultCommunity Day – the first-ever of its type – to promote the end-of-month release, and that brought with it the reveal ofthe World Premiere Plunder Patrolls.
We also got our first look at one of the new themes from the Secret Slayers release arriving in April. Details had been scarce on that set's three new archetypes, but we got a complete look at abouta dozen cards from the Adamatia themeand what we saw was immediately impressive. Not only could the Adamatia be competitive, the design work that went into them created a promising alternative to a lot of what defines Yu-Gi-Oh! today, and the result's an exciting theme that looks super fun.
The Adamatia literally DIG FOR BURIED TREASURE every turn, and combined with a pretty high power level they captured the hearts and minds of manyDuelists this week. It also shot Gallant Granite to the top of the charts, which we'll talk about in a bit.
Of course, the biggest news just arrived, as the January F&L List was finally revealed. We won't see the secondary market impact of the new format until Monday – the numbers for this Market Watch are based solely on sales from Monday to Friday morning, predating the F&L List reveal by twelve hours.
For now, let's dive right into the Top 10 and kick it all off with a look at one of the coolest Fusion Monsters of all time.
#10 – The Dark Magicians
2016's The Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Packis still one of the biggest Yu-Gi-Oh! releases of all time, with two follow-ups that are basically just rarity swaps of the entire set. When that set first released it didn't even hit shelves in a lot of areas; the combination of old school fan service, movie tie-ins and tournament-level powerhouses made the cards so valuable that many stores were just opening their own product, knowing that whatever was inside would sell for more than the sealed packs.
Demand was incredible; the Movie Packmanaged to have something for everybody, and with an audience as diverse as Yu-Gi-Oh's that doesn't happen very often. The powers that be clearly learned from that success and borrowed some of the design decisions for later products, but nowhere is that philosophy more obvious than today's Magical Herorelease.Tapping the fandom of both the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX,Magical Herohas a ton of fun old school cards that are really pretty powerful, a few that are clearly tournament quality, and some nice reprints that play into the set's themes. Several might even take off once the Master Rule update hits.
The Dark Magicians has good positioning across the board: on the fan side it's the first ever monster card to unite Dark Magician and Dark MagicianGirl. That's a really cool concept that would've made it a classic right off the bat. The fact that it's easy to summon, resilient, and has a card economy driven effect that leverages control over the field just makes it that much better.
It's unclear where this card is heading, reaching the $21 mark during the pre-sale period. Will we see a big push of supply today? Will vendors compete on price? Or does the incredible demand mean we'll just see sellers kick back and wait for copies to move? If it's the latter – and this card never dips below twenty dollars – I wouldn't be surprised.
#9 - Solemn Strike
Back on the competitive side, the majority of big deck lists this week came from YCS Sydney, where Solemn Strike receded into the background. Two weeks ago it played a bigger role in Regional Qualifiers here in North America, but attentions were focused on a different meta game over the last few days and that had a bit of an impact on Strike's placing, dropping it from Number 4 to Number9.
The future of Solemn Strike is definitely up in the air as we wait to seewhat happens in the new format, but it's always a high potential card witha unique niche, so I'm eager to see what happens. How will it hold up against Solemn Warning at three? That's the big question we're left to wonder.
#8 - Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
Number 8 last week and Number 8 again today, Gameciel's currently the top problem-solver when you absolutely have to break through your opponent's set-up. Dark Ruler No More's trended down lately in favor of the one-shot wonder Gameciel; the big difference is that while Dark Ruler can break an entire board, it needs a working follow-up to do so. Gameciel's different; it's more precise and more limited in its range, sure, but it outs a single threat with no help needed.
In an era where hand traps are still all over the place and a wasted DarkRuler is a game-losing gaff, it's easy to understand why Gameciel's become so popular.
#7 - There Can Be Only One
Sky Strikers were still a house right up until the very end, and True Dracowas trending toward meme status as one of the most hated-on decks inRegional and local level competition today. Where that deck stands withCard of Demise and Dragonic Diagram Limited remains to be seen, but both strategies made stellar use of There Can Be Only One, and the success of each in big tournaments this month spiked it into the Top 10 again. Will it be a factor after next week? If there's a deck that can support it, there's certainly a lot of players who still own copies, so I wouldn't count it out.
#6 - Elemental Hero Stratos
Heroes put in some solid work over the last few months, andMagical Hero brings some true gems for the time-honored theme.Now, with the Forbidden & Limited List knocking out so many competing strategies you have to think that demand for Hero cards is going to be even higher. For reference, Elemental HERO Liquid Soldier came in at Number 13for the week, despite being a $50 card. The demand was already insanely high and now the gloves are off.
#5 - Saryuja Skull Dread
Saryuja was once a candidate for Limited status, but after doing almost nothing in recent months of competition it dodged the F&L List altogether. It continues to be the one Link-4 players bank on week in and week out, and with so many top decks now hamstrung in the Advanced Format the patience could pay off.
#4 - Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Whatever takes the place of strategies like Orcusts, Sky Strikers andThunder Dragons, it's probably still going to search cards from the deck, and that means Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring will still continue to see play. Other hand traps like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit do tend to see more use in sunrise formats where lots of decks are viable, but that generally doesn't reduce Ash Blossom's table time. When the dust clears in the TCGplayer Marketplace over the next week Ash Blossom will still be a strong bet for the Top 10.
#3 - Called by the Grave
Called by the Grave is even more important when more hand traps are in the mix, and while its utility against Sky Strikers is irrelevant now, those extra copies of Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit and Ghost Belle & HauntedMansion that we may see as the format levels out could make Called even more important. This was the most popular card of 2019, and it's starting off 2020 in a big way.
#2 - Super Polymerization
Remember when I said that Super Polymerization wouldn't get hit if it was doing what Konami R&D wanted it to do? I think that statement might carry more weight now that we know the next format will still allow SuperPoly at three.Predapalant Verte Anacondais on its way in Duel Overloadin March, and Super Polymerizationlets it make some crazy plays. That said, Super Poly gets a big boost under the Master Rule update and that could be a step too far; the new format only lasts until March 30, and that might herald the demise of SuperPolymerization.
#1 - Gallant Granite
Finally, yes, Gallant Granite was the most-sold card on TCGplayer this week.The reveal of the Adamatia cardsin the OCG's Deck Build Pack: Secret Slayerswas a huge hit worldwide, and the result was a ton of enthusiasm for Gallant Granite; as of this writing it's well on its way to doubling its Market Price.
The Adamatia are exciting for a few different reasons. First off, their power level looks pretty healthy. "This deck looks like it could be competitive" isn't necessarily thrilling, but a lot of cool themes are hampered by the fact that when it comes time to throw down, they lose the majority of their games by being overly complicated, overly dependent onNormal Summons, or not having the level of consistency Yu-Gi-Oh! demands. I don't think the Adamatia look overpowered, but they don't look like an immediate write-off either.
The second reason I'm excited about Adamatia – and I mean it, these cards actually made my jaded Little Duelist heart go pitter-patter – is that their design's so unique and so different from what we're used to. Right now, you can draw a dividing line between decks that have lots of search power and decks that don't win tournaments. If a deck can't search its keycards it almost never stands a chance in real competition. That's why somany new themes have significant search power, and why we tend to ignore everything that doesn't. There just haven't been viable alternatives to searching in modern Yu-Gi-Oh.
But that's where the Adamatia come in.Adamatia Analyzer,Adamatia ResearcherandAdamatia Seekerall have effects that stack the bottom of your deck four cards at a time while thinning a fifth via Special Summon. The three Synchro Monsters work the same way, so it's actually possible to sequence your entire deck as an alternative to searching cards individually. It's a tempting big brain prospect, and it gets even more interesting when you factor in stuff likeGallant Granite, Crystron Halqifibrax and Foolish Burial; off-theme cardsthat fit the deck's goals and introduce those non-native search effects…but at the cost of shuffling your deck and un-stacking it.
That's really interesting, because while you have a viable alternative to search effects you can also just go search normally if you need to. How much that wrecks your plans depends on the situation; in the early game before you start setting up, it's pretty meaningless. In the mid and late game when you start bringing everything together and drawing back into your stacked cards, it could be far less desirable. The tug-of-war between stacking your deck versus searching for that one card you need is, at least in theory, really interesting. We haven't really had anything like that inYu-Gi-Oh! before.
Will the Adamatia deliver? No clue; we won't see Secret Slayers stateside until April 3 and even then it may take some time to figure it out. But it's definitely a groundbreaking theme with unique mechanics, and the market leapt on it hard this week to push Gallant Granite to Number 1.
That's it for the Top 10 this time around! We'll post a Market Updateon Facebookand Twitteron Monday examining the fallout from the new F&L List, so keep an eye out for that. In the mean. Time enjoy the theory-crafting! It's gonna be a big weekend of debate and creativity across the globe.
Enjoy your Friday night,