Welcome back to Market Watch! With the Flames of Destruction SneakPeek weekend now in the record books,pre-sales have begun here on TCGplayer. But with the retail release still a few days away, we have one last lookat a pre-FLOD market.

…And once again, that meant domination from theLair of Darkness Structure Deck. Darkest Diabolos, Lord of theLair, Ahrima, the Wicked Warden, and other highlights from the latest hitStructure have been commanding more than half of the slots in our Top 10Countdown since the Lair of Darkness dropped, though the actualcards involved – especially those in the Number 1 spot – have varied.

Back to the Front was the first top seller, fueled by the Diabolos combowith Lilith, Lady of Lament. Then it was Allure of Darkness, fresh off itsreprint and rarely so affordable. This weekend another reprinted spell tookNumber 1, continuing the churn of high demand cards from SR06. The responseto the Lair of Darkness Structure Deck continues to outpace manyexpectations, including my own.

On the back end of the Top 10 we saw a few shifts too, as the bestsellingcard of the year returned to a prestige position for the first time sincethe Structure Deck released, and a somewhat controversial hand trap clockedbroke into the Top 10 once again. Which card was it? It was none otherthan…

#10: Effect Veiler

In an era where the status of hand traps as a whole draws a great deal oftalk, Effect Veiler's the most dynamic and discussed. What started thisformat as a budget alternative to Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring hasturned into a fully legitimate option depending on strategy and matchup,and the words "Effect Veiler" are getting tossed around even morefrequently this week as it draws comparisons to the new InfiniteImpermanence – currently the leading single in FLOD presales at a MarketPrice of $85+.

#####CARDID= 21954#####

#9: Proxy Dragon

Meanwhile Proxy Dragon was back ontop in the splashable Link Monster heap,beating out Underclock Taker and Link Spider from recent weeks. ProxyDragon remains a constant presence in everything from World Chalice andTrickstars, to Mekk-Knights, ABC's, SPYRALs, and beyond, even as itdisappears from more mainstream Pendulum builds.

#####CARDID= 22117#####

#8: Back to the Front

Down from the Number 1 spot a week ago, Back to the Front's still a popularpick for its use with Lilith, Lady of Lament and Darkest Diabolos, Lord ofthe Lair. Combined, these three cards create a rip-roaring assault on youropponent's hand, cycling through your Back to the Fronts card by card andshredding your opponent's options. Now at a Market Price of just under twodollars, it's still riding an upward Price Trend.

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#7: Pot of Desires

Back in the Top 10 after a week-long hiatus, Pot of Desires is one of thedefining cards of the format, often drawing a firm line between the decksthat can run it, and the decks that can't. Most duelists have a love-haterelationship with Desires at this point, knowing they've won countlessgames with the simple +1 while also racking up the occasional loss due toits banishing penalty.

The slow climb past the $4 mark continues, but as of this writing it'sstill possible to find Pot of Desires for as little as $2.50 with somepatience. Constantly in demand since its first printing, Desires remains ablue chip by which the popularity of other cards are measured.

#####CARDID= 22118#####

#6: Darkest Diabolos, Lord of the Lair

Lair of Darknesshas dominated the Top 6 spots in our countdown since its debut, and theweekend was no exception. Darkest Diabolos, Lord of the Lair is ahigh-powered boss monster that's easy to Special Summon, easy to revive,and protects itself from both targeted effects and Kaiju monsters. Add in avicious hand manipulation effect and you've the makings of a temptingstrategy, even if it's yet to be proven in competition here in the TCG.

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#5: Lilith, Lady of Lament

Going hand in hand with Diabolos, Lilith, Lady of Lament's an incrediblecard for its ability to combo with Lair of Darkness powerhouses, as well asits simple potential to search Normal Trap Cards in other strategiesentirely. Even if the Lair of Darkness strategy proper never takes off,Lilith will live out her years as an immortal staple in combo-driven decks,at least something to consider if your deck relies on specific trap cards.

While Lilith's a bit cumbersome outside of the Lair strategy, her effectreally is too good to ignore. Historically speaking, searching out trapcards has always been one of the toughest consistency-driven feats inYu-Gi-Oh, and for the first time it's now become an easy business acrossthe board.

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#4: Ahrima, the Wicked Warden

The search card that makes it all happen, Ahrima's a Terraforming on legsthat can also cycle from play to draw, or seek out one of over 300different Dark monsters with 2000+ DEF. At 1700 ATK it's packed withutility, and it's one of the main reasons we can even take the possibilityof a competitive Lair deck seriously.

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#3: Lair of Darkness

Offering an almost unprecedented level of baggery over your opponent'sfield, Lair of Darkness turns basic combos into free card advantage andmakes a ton of big cards and plays far easier – and damaging – than theywould be otherwise. Lair's a must-run at three-per-deck for a dedicatedLair strategy, obviously, but it's still hovering at around a dollar a popon a downward price trend.

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#2: Allure of Darkness

Down from Number 1 last week, Allure of Darkness remains one of the best"Draw 2" spells of all time, and the strength of its effect is born out inits popularity ten years after its release. Straight up, virtually everyDark deck runs this card, and in a game that usually skews toward Dark andLight monsters for the sake of pure theming and adherence to the characterof the anime, that's huge.

Dark monsters are never going to be anything less than one card away fromgreatness, which is why Allure of Darkness is, across its run, one of themost played support cards of all time. For anyone who didn't have theirplayset yet – and there were lots of you – the affordable reprint inLair of Darkness is an obvious opportunity that's too good to passup.

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#1: Foolish Burial Goods

And finally, Foolish Burial Goods exploded out of almost nowhere to takethe Number 1 spot. While Goods debuted in the background of theLair of Darkness release, it came in at Number 11 last week, justshy of the Top 10. It skyrocketed to Number 1 over the weekend, and it'sreally one of the more notable reprints from the Structure.

At a current Market Price under $1.50, it's really worth picking up aplayset – flexible combo cards at this kind of power level don't comearound often, and picking them up for a few dollars is always going to be aworthwhile investment across the long term.

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What else was big this week? Altergeist Meluseek came in at Number 11 asAltergeist hype builds in the run-up to Flames of Destruction.Underclock Taker took Number 12, now seeing more play across morestrategies than Proxy Dragon. Called by the Grave remained popular atNumber 13, Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm took Number 14, and TorrentialTribute rounded things out at Number 15, as decks like Trickstars continueto standardize a full playset mained.

That's it for our weekend recap, but we'll be back on Friday for one morelook at the pre-FLOD market, on the launch day ofFlames of Destruction. See you then!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer