This week we saw the impact of
Pascal Kihmcaptured the Championship in London with Sky Strikers, cleverly using Card of Demise, Compulsory Evacuation Device, Lost Windand even Get Out! to compensate for the loss of his second and third SkyStriker Mecha - Widow Anchor. But it seems as if the competitive fieldzeroed in on Sky Striker's overall performance instead, with only threedecks getting into the Top 32 and only one of the making it past thatpoint. One week later Sky Strikers were way down in Top Cuts at both YCSLima and Regional Qualifiers, at least as far as we can see for now.
On one hand that could just be the RNG of post event reporting, or it couldbe Strikers seeing lots of play and failing to get there. But it could justbe sheer disinterest; we saw several cards related to that deck falling inpopularity this week: Cosmic Cyclone and Mind Control were still amongstthe Top 10 bestsellers last weekend as YCS Lima played out, and bothdropped from the Top 10 from Monday to Friday. Lost Wind went from Number 1on Monday to Number 4, too, suggesting reduced enthusiasm for the deck… orat least for the new tech that won Kihm his Championship.
All in all, four different cards slipped from the Top 10 this week withCosmic Cyclone, Mind Control, Firewall Dragon Darkfluid and Draco Mastersof the Tenyi making room for four returning competitive hits. With thecasual demand for Chaos Impact winding down, competition's takingover and that means more useful market info heading into tournaments.
Let's look at the Top 10.
#10 - Unchained Abomination
Despite a healthy dose of skepticism aimed toward the Unchained in general,demand has remained strong for Unchained Abomination and it continues toput in some decent Top Cut finishes. Played on its own it's a bit risky,but played with the protection of I:P Masquerena it's an alternative to themore dramatic Topologic Zeroboros. It's more flexible than a lot of playersthink and it's essentially the biggest sleeper hit from CHIM.
The fact that it's still under the $5 mark has kept it accessible and a lotof players are trying it out week to week. It's definitely worth owning atits current price point.
#9 - Knightmare Unicorn
Also up in part because of I:P Masquerena, Knightmare Unicorn's versatileand absolute removal effect is that much better when it's droppingreactively on your opponent's turn. Like Abomination, this once-pricy pickis down to about four bucks thanks to the Gold Sarcophagus Tinandwith the Regional Season picking up before the December down period it's agood investment that's likely to remain relevant past the next F&L Listdrop in January.
#8 - Nibiru, the Primal Being
Back in the Top 10 this week, Nibiru's actually finding more mixed resultsin a format that's less combo-driven in many match-ups, and where playershave had weeks to figure out how to play around it. Answers like Apollousa,Bow of the Goddess and Outer Entity Azathot are becoming ubiquitous in anydeck that can run them, and that fact – combined with natural metagameshifts on bigger levels – have made Nibiru tougher to resolve. It's notseeing the volume of play it did before, but demand picked up this weekanyways as Nibiru re-emerged in a number of Top Cut builds.
#7 - Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Down from Number 6, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is still one of thegrand equalizers of current competition, and a perennial best-seller.There's not much to say: either you own your Ash Blossoms or you just don'town them YET. There are very few cards that are more important to have atyour disposal right now, even if some builds of certain strategies takebreaks from running it.
#6 - Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
Did somebody run Gameciel this week? Pietro Canal Top 16'd London mainingtwo copies in Salamangreats, but aside from that I haven't seen any notableresults. Was there upcoming release hype? A deck that flew under the radar?If you have the answer shout it out in the comments, because demand was bigfor Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju, in a way we haven't seen in a while.
#5 - Borrelsword Dragon
Also back in the Top 10, Borrelsword Dragon saw more play in Orcusts,Thunder Dragons and several other strategies in Regionals. One of thesingle biggest game-closing threats in modern Yu-Gi-Oh, theGold Sarcophagus TinBorrelsword's still barely topping the $10mark. That's a great deal for such a powerful card, but also significantfor a Number 5 best-seller, beating out thousands of less expensive cards.
Be on the lookout for Borrelsword in competition moving forward, becausemore players are going to have their copy and it might crop up in decks youwouldn't normally expect.
#4 - Lost Wind
Lost Wind fell from the Number 1 spot as the hottest tech card of last weekto reach Number 4. That might suggest a lot of things, but the most obviouscall is either limited belief in Lost Wind as a tech pick for Sky Strikers,or flagging interest in Sky Strikers on the whole. Is it time for SkyStriker players to start looking into other strategies? Thunder Dragons,Salamangreats, and Orcusts all appear to be growing in success whileStrikers are Stumbling. We'll have to see how it pans out at YCS Pasadena.
#3 - Saryuja Skull Dread
Like Borrelsword Dragon, Saryuja Skull Dread's starting to pop up in lotsof different strategies, chiefly Thunder Dragon variants and Pendulums(which scored several Top Cut finishes this week).
We've seen Saryuja hop on and off the best-seller list ever since itsDuel Devastator reprint, but the card's actual competitive statusin the current tournament landscape was unclear for quite a while. Now thatit's settling into some big strategies it's not surprising to see demand onthe rise, even if it's only briefly.
#2 - Draco Berserker of the Tenyi
Draco Berserker's popularity is probably the biggest surprise of recentweeks, seemingly harnessing casual enthusiasm for the Tenyi theme as wellas a more general excitement about it as a splashable Synchro Monster. Witheasy Synchro Materials, huge ATK and a pair of great effects the rawexcitement's easy to understand. But right now literally nothing is runningit, so it's still effectively floating in tournament limbo.
#1 - Super Polymerization
What can you say about Super Polymerization at this point? It'sconsistently been the Number 1 best-selling card since its reprint inDuel Devastator, and there's a strong consensus that keeping it at3-per-deck is nuts.
If Super Polymerization was supposed to help suppress the big-board combodecks from reigning supreme I'm not sure that happened; Orcust variants arestill the most successful decks of the format. The combo situation'scertainly better now than it was a year ago, and more go-second strategiesare doing well in tournaments, sure. But how much of that can be attributedto Super Polymerization's up in the air, making Super Poly at 3 a sketchyproposition.
We're at a point where basically everyone thinks this thing should be gone.But is it doing what Konami wanted it to do? At the end of the day theanswer to that question is what will determine the card's future.
That's it for this week! The Mystic Fighters booster is just twoweeks out, bringing some of the year's most anticipated semi-casual themesto the TCG. Stick with us in the meantime, as we examine all the action inthe TCGplayer Marketplace week to week.
Have a great weekend!