The Advanced Format doesn't roll over for another few days, and thoughwe'll see a whopping eleven Regional Qualifiers in North America thisweekend, none of them will tell us anything about the direction ofcompetitive trends for the WCQ season. For that, we can look at sales thisweek, taking note of what players bought into in the wake of the F&LList announcement.
And in that context, the big winners of the week were easy to spot: TrueDracos – a relative tossup under the new list that have split discussioneverywhere – were easily the bestsellers of the week. Mermails may also beshowing some early momentum; Goukis built demandafter a highly publicized success in North Dakota; and Knightmares were almost as popular as they were before, taking threespots in the Top 10.
We can also observe the cards niche groups of speculators bought into aswell, to filter the hype from the actual play-driven investment. That lotwas a mixed bag of tech-driven choices and riskier picks, as collectorslooked to hedge their bets against performances at the upcoming YCS NewJersey. More on that after the formal countdown.
It was a big week for buyouts in the TCGplayer Marketplace too, as bigcards like Trickstar Reincarnation and Firewall Dragon saw notableincreases in price. Cards that were previously undervalued due to anexpectation of restrictions on the F&L List saw more action, and theannouncement of new end-of-round procedures sparked interest in bothTrickstars, and generic burn cards like Gagaga Cowboy.
Those trends were all visible through price spikes, but our Market WatchTop 10's are based off sheer volume of cards sold, helping us see widercompetitive trends and migrations from one deck to another when hordes ofplayers pick up cards in threes… even if they're just commons and raresthat are so plentiful, their prices remain static.
So let's get into it. These were the ten bestselling cards this week, fromMonday morning – the day of the F&L List reveal – to today.
#10: Gouki Octostretch
Goukis put in some impressive Top 8 showings at Regionals this weekend,with Zachariah Butler's finish in Fargo, North Dakota garnering lots ofattention, and new lists emerging from other Qualifiers like Knoxville,Tennessee late in the week. Gouki Octostretch is key to the Gouki deck'ssuccess, as a Level 1 played to build combos with Isolde, Two Tales of theNoble Knights' Special Summoning ability. Generally run in twos and notthrees, the high sales of Octostretch demonstrate a significant interest inthe strategy.
#9: Knightmare Mermaid
Knightmare Corruptor Iblee continues to do well in a variety of strategies,clogging fields and keeping Kaijus in check. Knightmare Mermaid is whatgets it into play, and appeared to be seeing more table time in Regionalsthis past weekend.
#8: Knightmare Cerberus
Meanwhile the duo of Knightmare Cerberus and Knightmare Phoenix made theTop 10 once again, even while demand surged for new arrivals in thebestseller charts.
#7: Knightmare Phoenix
The two cornerstore Link-2 Knightmares have been incredibly popular sincetheir launch, though demand fell this week for Knightmare Goblin, whichwound up at Number 13 for the week.
#6: Called by the Grave
A lot of players are expecting hand traps to return to a place ofunquestioned utility in the new format, and that kept demand for Called bythe Grave really high through the week. The Common (re)print inFlames of Destruction has turned a $12 investment of questionedworth into a $2 or less steal, making Called by the Grave a must-own in theminds of even budget competitors.
It's a great card that seems to get more and more accepted with eachpassing week, and it could easily start to see big Main Deck play.
#5: Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter
And now we reach perhaps the most interesting – and useful – part of thecountdown. The departure of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King fromsanctioned play immediately called the future of True Dracos into question,while the return of Dinomight Knight to legal status offered a possiblereprieve.
Combined with the move of Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior to three, itappears that a LOT of players see tremendous potential in the strategy,backed as it is by strong consistency, easy card advantage, and accessiblecontrol effects. Combined with a healthy dose of beatdown, multiple SkillDrain type cards, and recent successes with and without Knightmares, I'dsay you can expect to see True Dracos in tournaments as soon as the newformat kicks off.
#4: Waking the Dragon
Those high expectations for True Dracos also shone through in the form ofcontinued demand for Waking the Dragon, largely played as a Side Deckoption for the True Draco matchup. Punishing the deck's habit of clearingbackrows with blind removal simply because it's free, Waking made animmediate impact the weekend it was released, swiftly moving from "that's afunny idea" to "holy crap that's dangerous and now everybody's running it."
Alfred Danklefsen's use of Waking the Dragon as a hilarious gambit withLilith, Lady of Lament,daring his opponents to destroy a card that might be Waking or mightnot be, was a big highlight last weekend too. And while we discussed it before onMonday, I think it's so sweet I just had to call it out again. I doubtanyone's looking to imitate that technique, but it certainly drew moreattention to the card, and showed that it can be more than just True Dracotech.
#3: Atlantean Dragoons
Newly returned to three-per-deck, Atlantean Dragoons became a hot commodityovernight, instantly returning much-needed consistency and combo potentialto the Mermail strategy. Mermails can run Knightmares to extend combos andfind greater range, and a number of players are interested in exploring abroader Water deck that keys off Sekka's Light. In fact, enough playerswere interested in that concept to nearly drive Sekka's Light back into theTop 10 again, landing it at Number 12.
While the deck's viability is still up in the air, expect to see someplayers try to make some form of Water work in real tournament play comenext weekend.
#2: Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
Capping off the evidence of the True Draco true believers, Ignis Heat soldin almost ridiculous numbers after moving from Limited to unrestrictedstatus. Even without the blanket negation and field-dominating power ofMaster Peace, the return of easy, consistent search power could easilyrestore True Dracos to greatness, and the sheer size of Ignis Heat andDinomight Knight at 2400 ATK and 2500 ATK respectively can't be ignored.
With five Regional Qualifiers in North America to kick off the new format,it's gonna be really interesting to see how True Dracos do. The numbers areclearly going to be there to make or break the deck's prospects headinginto WCQ's.
#1: Red Reboot
And finally, a Counter Trap Royal Decree you can play from your hand wasapparently just as awesome this week as it was last week.
Red Reboot's a ridiculously powerful card that robs your opponent of theirability to defend themselves, and it makes a strong argument for hand traps– the monster ones - even with Infinite Impermanence in the mix. The bigdebate around Red Reboot quickly shifted from a question of "is it worthplaying" to "should it be Main Decked," and mark my words, a lot of playersare going to be winning a lot of games over the next six weeks by mainingit instead of siding it.
What else was big in the fallout of the F&L List? F.A. Dawn Dragsternearly made the Top 10, coming in at Number 11 despite the damage caused bythe Forbidding of Ancient Fairy Dragon. F.A.'s may have been knocked for aloop with Ancient Fairy gone, but Dawn Dragster still remains a powerfulgeneric Level 7 Synchro.
As mentioned earlier, Sekka's Light clocked in at Number 12, whileKnightmare Goblin took Number 13. Altergeist Multifaker took the Number 14spot despite climbing to an average Market Price of over $14, and JunkForward took Number 15; another indicator that players will be picking upGoukis, where Forward's often played in threes.
Speculators went after lots of niche cards when the F&L List dropped,the most popular being Monster Reborn Reborn, Chronograph Sorcerer, Wind-UpZenmaintenance the newly-de-listed Evacuation Device' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Compulsory Evacuation Device">Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Axe ofFools. Some Gouki players are running Axe of Fools as a second Equip Spellfor Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, playing it along with DivineSword – Phoenix Blade, and again, that enthusiasm for Goukis drove demand.
That's it for this week, but join us on Monday when we'll be back withanother Top 10.