Chaos Impact singles were available for preorder through most of the week, but thefallout from Duel Devastator was still inescapable; we saw theusual presale demand for CHIM, no weirdness there, but the sheer volume ofDUDE cards that were sold totally overshadowed the new set. With RegionalQualifiers returning in North America the demand for tournament staples wasstill exceptionally strong, so we'll need to wait for a Market Update onMonday to see the first big winners from Chaos Impact.
In the meantime we saw a couple of last minute trends emerge that swervedthe Top 10 a bit. Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood's budget reprint saw itfirmly planted in the Top 10 the last two weeks running, but it fell toNumber 13 this week as other cards pushed into bestseller status. There CanBe Only One took a tumble as well, despite the strong showing from SkyStrikers at UDS Panama. Are players starting to doubt the Striker strategy?It's a little too early to make that call, but There Can Be Only One didfall to Number 14.
Which cards stole those slots ascending into the Top 10? We can show youthe first one right now.
#10 - Solemn Strike
Solemn Strike was big at UDS Panama, appearing in at least three of the Top8 lists (we have seven of those decks in the Archive, but Jesse Kotton'swinning list is still a mystery).Manav DawarandAndres Torresboth played Solemn Strike in their Sky Striker builds, andRolando Gordon ran it in Salamangreatsin the Top 4. Both decks may come to rely on bigger backrows movingforward, so watch for Solemn Strike as a defining trend once we see theresults from YCS London.
#9 - Cosmic Cyclone
Up from Number 10, Cosmic Cyclone's popularity still represents a hedgedbet against Sky Strikers and Orcusts, outplaying signature cards like SkyStriker Mecha Modules – Multirole and Dingirsu, the Orcust of the EveningStar in their respective decks. It also takes on new value in a formatwhere back rows may be getting bigger, and spell and trap removal is almostalways stronger in early unsettled formats. There are lots of reasons forthis to be a big pick right now, and if even just one strategy vulnerableto it wins the weekend at the YCS you can expect to see it all over theplace through the end of the year.
#8 - Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion
Sticking the Number 8 spot from last week, Ghost Belle & HauntedMansion is still newly accessible thanks to its reprint inDuel Devastator, and still an obvious must-own for any seriousduelist's toolbox. While Ghost Belle overlaps some of the territory coveredby D.D. Crow and Called by the Grave, it also offers unique coverageneither card replicates. Note that Different Dimension Ground and D.D. Crowboth saw Top 8 success at UDS Panama, so players are clearly exploringtheir options in that tech space.
#7 - Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
Also retaining the same spot it held last week, Ghost Ogre & SnowRabbit is one of the most reprinted utility cards in the game and yet stillin high demand. While other hand traps are more specific, Ghost Ogre offerswide coverage against a vast range of threats. And perhaps moreimportantly, while it doesn't offer conventional negation it does give youthe security of a guaranteed 1-for-1 trade in card economy, sometimesbetter. It's a very safe card to play as a result, and that's kept itperennially hot since it first appeared in Crossed Soulsalmostfour and a half years ago.
#6 - Effect Veiler
The other new entry into the Top 10, Effect Veiler saw a massive spike indemand for reasons that seem a little unclear. Often outclassed by moreexchange-driven hand traps, and sometimes maneuvered around a little tooeasily due to its Main Phase restriction, Effect Veiler still managed tobecome one of the biggest cards of the week despite appearing in none ofthe logged Top 8 decks from the UDS. It's definitely a card to keep an eyeon at the YCS, and in Regional results as they emerge in the next few days.
#5 - Mind Control
Up from Number 6 to Number 5, Mind Control continues to see play in almostall of the top strategies both mained and sided, gaining steam as SkyStrikers and Orcusts look to replace the cards they lost to the latestF&L List. And while there are lots of ways to get value out of MindControl – one of its biggest selling points, in fact – swiping youropponent's Orcust Link to make a Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Staris becoming increasingly popular.
That trend started appearing in earnest at YCS Niagara, and the UDS Panamalists really hammer it home; five of the seven Top 8 lists are runningDingirsu, but only two of them are actually Orcust decks. Unless Orcustshit a very unlikely wall at YCS London there's no reason to think that'sgoing to change moving forward. Mind Control's wildly flexible, and at thesame time tightly positioned to beat what could be the best deck of theformat.
#4 - Called by the Grave
Number 4 last week, Number 4 this week, and still probably the most popularcard of 2019; Called by the Grave is even more flexible than Mind Control,and though combo decks took a bit of a knocking around from the latestround of restrictions Called by the Grave is still one of the best ways forthat playstyle to survive and force through their biggest plays.
Called by the Grave is one of the closest things we have to a true staplein 2019, and that's unlikely to change before the year is out.
#3 - Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
On a fun sidenote, the entire Top 4 in this week's bestsellers list isexactly the same as last week. That means Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring,Saryuja Skull Dread, and Super Polymerization are once again rounding outthe Top 3, demonstrating consistent priorities amongst the playerbase. Andwhile demand for more narrow hand traps like Ghost Belle & HauntedMansion or Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood may come and go, Ash Blossom'sstill one of the biggest blue chips in the game today.
With new art and lots of match-ups to crush, it's no surprise that AshBlossom's still the forehead-queen of the handtrap world.
#2 - Saryuja Skull Dread
This one's a little more surprising, as players continue to bet hard onSaryuja Skull Dread; a card that saw a big decline in play last format.Will the newly Forbidden status of Knightmare Mermaid and GuardragonAgarpain leave a gap that Saryuja can fill? Is this the defining Link 4 ofthe new format? It certainly wasn't at UDS Panama, where it's appeared innone of the top decks so far. If the card fails to make a big showing atYCS London we could see Saryuja plunge from the Number 2 spot it's beencomfortably occupying.
#1 - Super Polymerization
And finally, Super Polymerization's still amazing and it's still incrediblethat you can play three copies. Rising interest in Salamangreats andThunder Dragons only makes this card even better, andDuel Devastator made it much more accessible to budget duelistswho didn't have their copies. Super Polymerization isn't a must-run by anymeans, but it's a tremendous leg up for nearly any strategy that has roomto accommodate Fusions for it in the Extra Deck or at least Side Deck.
If you're wondering about the biggest movers from Chaos Impact presales, we've got that info too! Dream Mirrors were massive: Oneiros, theDream Mirror Erlking was the fifth biggest seller from CHIM; Phantasos, theDream Mirror Friend was the fourth; Dream Mirror Oneiromancy was the third;and Phantasos, the Dream Mirror Foe was the second biggestChaos Impact card from the presale period.
Dream Mirrors were only beaten out by Gizmek Yata, the Gleaming Vanguard, aflexible Special Summon that works wonders in many decks that run a riskynumber of Normal Summons. It's especially hyped in Cyber Dragons, where itlets you breeze through Cyber Dragon Core and into another Normal Summon,and ABC-Dragon Buster where it can leverage your 'A', 'B' or 'C' pieces tohelp make your combos. It's a really good card, and the strong presalescould suggest a rising interest in those strategies.
We'll be back on Monday, but keep an eye on the Deck Archiveas we add lists from YCS London and Regional Qualifiers, as they becomeavailable!