What a Monday!

On one hand,we just watched YCS London play outwith eerie similarity to YCS Dallas – lots of SPYRAL decks in the Top 32 aswell as a few rogue successes,Invoked again, sure, but alsonew(ish) stuff like Burning Abyss.

On the other hand,NEW F&L LIST UPDATE!I think everyone was eyeing the statement, "The next update after this willbe no sooner than November 2017" that accompanied the last F&L drophoping we'd see a new list announced some time in early November, but Idon't know as anyone expected to see it the Monday morning right after YCSLondon. Somebody at KDE – scratch that, severalsomebodies – clearly worked long hours to make this happen, and afterseeing early responses there's a strong positive consensus.

SPYRAL is clearly down, as was the intent of the update, but it's clearlynot out.

What does that mean for us here in Market Watch today? Well, in somerespects nothing: the sales data we'll be discussing was all harvested fromFriday morning to early Monday morning, falling in the time period rightbefore the new F&L List was revealed. The numbers aren't reflective ofthose changes or the player response to them.

But at the same time, the revelation of the impending changes next weekneed to be weighed against the data presented here, and used to interpretit and keep it useful. At least as far as the competitive stuff goes.Which… wasn't everything we saw in the Top 10 the past few days. I'm gonnabe honest, guys…

A lot of this weekend was Altergeists.

#10: Altergeist Camouflage

In fact, no less than half of the ten bestselling cards in the TCGplayerMarketplace this week were Altergeist cards, starting with AltergeistCamouflage. Reusable with Altergeist Silquitous and searchable withAltergeist Marionetter, Camouflage works to secure your big infrastructurelike Altergeist Primebanshee when it's on the field, and or pretty muchanything once it's in the Graveyard. What it gives up in range it seems tomake up in sheer mileage.


#9: Altergeist Primebanshee

Speaking of Primebanshee, it came in at Number 9 this week, the lynchpinfor the current Altergeist lineup. Primebanshee's a bit costly compared tosimilar anchor-position Link Monsters in other themes, but its ability totrigger your other Altergeists one by one while toolboxing for theAltergeist you need is really pretty solid, though the number of situationsthose effects can handle are still a bit narrow. The theme still begs to beplayed with another strategy to really be playable, with Invoked perhapsbeing the best candidate.


#8: Altergeist Silquitous

One of the best and only ways for the Altergeist theme to deal with bigopposing threats, Altergeist Silquitous serves as a costly CompulsoryEvacuation Device on legs. Bouncing more vulnerable cards, or even just theContinuous Trap Altergeist Protocol, can help cushion the requirements forits ability, though its recursive effect is a bit at odds with that playpatterns you'd probably prefer to leverage.

Regardless, it's a necessity for the deck as a go-to answer to control thefield, making its recursion ability sort of just an added bonus.


#7: Artifact Lancea

On the more competitive side of things,the brothers Khan took 1st and 2nd at YCS Dallaswith a tight, consistent SPYRAL buildusing a Side Deck suite that proved popular at that event, and YCS Londonafter it; it consisted of triple Artifact Sanctum, a single ArtifactScythe, and our Number 7 pick for the week Artifact Lancea.

Kelly's article tomorrow discusses those techniques in greater depth. Youshould definitely check it out, but the quick-hits version is that ArtifactLancea stops Evenly Matched, and stopping Evenly Matched can win games.

Artifact Lancea hasn't been relevant in tournament play for months, so it'sreally no surprise to see lots of players scrabbling to pick up theircopies. With three printings so far it's still available in deep supply andhugely affordable. Even the foil-only Artifact Sanctum is still widelyavailable for less than $2.50.


#6: Altergeist Marionetter

Back on the Altergeist side, Altergeist Marionetter is the best kind ofStratos for Altergeist trap cards, searching them from your deck andsetting them straight to your field when it's Normal Summoned. Its statsare really solid by Altergeist standards, and its ability lets you reversetoolbox Altergeists from your graveyard – a great way to get more actionout of Silquitous amongst others.


#5: Altergeist Meluseek

Finally, Altergeist Meluseek is your other big answer to opposing problemcards; a sort of Inaba White Rabbit from hell that sneaks past defenders tomake sneak attacks and then sends anything you want to the graveyard (solong as your mark can be targeted).

With a removal ability that doesn't require any sort of combo in the theme,and a self-replacing effect that keeps things flowing once your opponentpresses back, it's a nice aggressive card that solves problems even if itmight wind up pushing a tempo the strategy can't really keep up with.


#4: Pot of Desires

Pot of Desires, still one of the Top 10 bestselling cards of all time.

#3: Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson

The continued demand for Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson is a reflectionof its performance at both YCS Dallas and YCS London, but the future of thecard in the new format is really where the interesting discussion is.Destrudo works wonders for both SPYRALS and ABC-Dragon Buster, but thelatter was almost missing from the two recent YCS tournaments. With SetRotation going to one, Destrudo may become a bit tougher to play, but itmay also become more valuable in the grand scheme of things, with feweralternative search options for Field Spells.

Will the weakening of SPYRALS allow ABC-Dragon Buster to take more spots atthe top tables? I think right now, that's one of the bigger questionsheading toward November 6, and Destrudo's going to be a big factor indetermining the answer.


#2: Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir

Instead of talking about how awesome Bagooska is again, and rehashing howit was Number 1 in our bestseller list on Friday, can we just talk abouthow adorable the card design is here?

The framework of a Trading Card Game is in some ways very rigid. But when adesigner can use a defined set of rules and systems to express a uniqueidea and express character, or a story, that's always really cool to me. Inthis case, that story is about a Tapir who is so Terribly Tired that whenhe goes to sleep, he makes everyone else on the field go to sleep too.

How cute is that?

And while Bagooska's recent tournament ubiquity at YCS Dallas and YCSLondon are definitely responsible for the strong demand backing it in theTCGplayer Marketplace, I like that we can appreciate Bagooska on anentirely different level as well.

He's so tired, you guys. He's so tired.


#1: Proxy Dragon

After being nowhere in the Top 10 for a week and a half, Proxy Dragon cameroaring back straight to the Number 1 position over the weekend. Nosurprise there – we know it was a staple of SPYRAL decks at YCS Dallasthanks to the deep deck archiving from that event, and early resultssuggest that didn't change after YCS Dallas, either.

With the market having cooled on Proxy Dragon for a minute, new demand wasbuilding, and it erupted in the TCGplayer Marketplace this week. ProxyDragon remains at a price point of about a dollar, making it easy to pickup whatever copies you need, or an extra dozen if you think it's a smartinvestment.


That's it for Market Watch today, but stay with us this week as we examinethe impact of YCS Dallas, YCS London, and of course the new Forbidden &Limited List. Then check back Friday to see the first market responses tothe new Advanced Format.

We'll see you on Friday!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer