With just two Regional Qualifiers in North America this weekend and a lack of consensus as to which competitive trends will carry through into the coming weeks of competition, it seemed as if many competitively minded players took a step back from the TCGplayer Marketplace over the weekend. Many players have already placed their bets, investing in their decks and cards of choice, and only four cards in the Top 10 this week seemed influenced by competitive trends. The remaining six seemed to be more casually oriented.
On the competitive side of things we saw continued enthusiasm for Set Rotation, Thousand-Eyes Restrict, True King Lithosagym, the Disaster, and a new tech pick we saw played to a Regional Top 8 last weekend. On the casual side we saw the reappearance of a certain Buster Blader support card that's Top 10'd before, and another victory lap for Phantasm Spirals that continues to defy explanation.
If this is your first Market Watch, let's do a recap! Every Monday and Friday we look at the last few days of sales in the TCGplayer Marketplace, your gateway to over a thousand active Yu-Gi-Oh! sellers. Since the Marketplace lets you comparison shop to find the best prices it sees a ton of traffic, and we use that sales data to zero in on the bestselling cards in the game, every Monday and Friday.
We measure sales by copies of cards sold, regardless of price or rarity; that's important, because if you're only examining price spikes you'll virtually never see short term trends of Common and regular Rare cards. Those cards are vital to our analysis, because they're so often three-ofs serving big decks of interest. This form of analysis lets us highlight cards that are seeing notable shifts before price spikes happen; it lets us keep you ahead of tournament trends, responses to overseas reveals, and player reactions to new releases statesie.
So with no further ado, let's kick off today's Top 10 as we look at the bestselling cards from Friday to this morning!
#10: Set Rotation
We haven't seen Set Rotation in the Top 10 for two and a half weeks, but after a recent rally it just squeaked into the countdown this weekend. That makes a ton of sense since True Draco Zoodiacs, Demise True Dracos, and True King Dinosaurs were all trending up in Regionals last weekend, comprising a collective majority of Regional Top 8's.
Since Set Rotation can stick your opponent with an impossible-to-flip Oracle of Zefra or Gateway to Chaos, it can search your Field Spell while preempting your opponent's Dragonic Diagram. That's going to be more relevant in the new format, and the surge of demand for Set Rotation was likely a direct response to that.
#9: Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman
Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman was actually one of the first cards to appear in a Market Watch in the wake of Maximum Crisis' release, owed to an early Regional performance that sparked some interest in the Buster Blader deck. The competitive dream is to lock your opponent down with Dragon Buster Destruction Sword, stopping stuff like Zoodiacs and True King Dinosaurs from using the Extra Deck. But outside of that first week Regional we never saw the deck again.
So why was Prologue in such demand this weekend? No idea. It makes especially little sense with Demise True Dracos being such a point of discussion; a strategy that usually doesn't even run an Extra Deck. Did a new release that I somehow missed make Buster Blader more relevant? If there was, let me know down in the comments.
#8: True King Lithosagym, the Disaster
Back on the competitive side of the Top 10, True King Lithosagym, the Disaster was once again one of the bestselling cards in the game, which shouldn't surprise anyone at this point since it's the most popular card of the year by sheer numbers. True King Dinosaurs are capturing more interest and their big opportunity starts today with the new format. That's kept the Disaster red hot.
#7: Thousand-Eyes Restrict
With Elder Entity Norden gone players are looking for new ways to use Instant Fusion, and Special Summoning Thousand-Eyes Restrict as a fast removal option seems to be the leading idea; it's certainly outsold alternatives like Sea Monster of Theseus, Panzer Dragon, Rare Fish, and Mavelus.
With six printings in different rarities, the sheer volume of Thousand-Eyes Restricts available have kept it at an approachable price across all different versions.
#6: Phantasm Spiral Grip
The last time we saw a big rush of demand for Phantasm Spiral cards, it was a response to another price spike of Heat Wave. The best explanation was that players saw more interest in Heat Wave and rushed to buy up the Phantasm Spiral stuff that would theoretically see play with it.
#5: Phantasm Spiral Power
This weekend Heat Wave was on a flat Price Trend with no upward movement, and the Phantasm Spiral cards sold like hotcakes anyways. It's anybody's guess why that is; there have been no new successes logged in the OCG, and no action in TCG territories. That makes the massive sales of cards like Phantasm Spiral Power even tougher to figure out.
#4: Phantasm Spiral Battle
It's worth reiterating that the sales numbers for Phantasm Spiral cards aren't just the result of one determined individual buying up hundreds of copies of the key cards all on their own. Nor is it a small cabal of speculators. This is a widespread trend where lots of individual buyers are snapping up Phantasm Spirals by the bushel.
#3: Pacifis, the Phantasm City
Literally every single card for the theme is on a flat or downward Price Trend right now, so if their popularity is somehow a coordinated effort to drive up the price of Phantasm Spiral cards, it's clearly not working.
While we've seen Pacifis, the Phantasm City and Phantasm Spiral Dragon rise a bit over the past few weeks, both now hold an average Market Price of 25 cents or less. Spiral Battle is 20 cents, and everything else is less than a dime.
#2: Waterfall of Dragon Souls
Meanwhile Waterfall of Dragon Souls was a niche pick this week for a smaller group of buyers, but still managed to be the Number 2 bestseller of the weekend. It seems as if a lot of players were inspired to pick it up after William Kramer topped the Ft. Worth Regional maining two copies. Kramer played Waterfall to search Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King; Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter; and Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster.
When he wasn't using it to precision search True Dracos he could use it for hand fixing, ditching unneeded True Dracos from his hand to replace them with draws. We haven't seen Waterfall of Dragon Souls in competition much, but it could be creeping up, and could offer a level of consistency that sets some True Draco variants ahead of the pack. Time will tell.
#1: Phantasm Spiral Dragon
And finally: Phantasm Spiral Dragon, more popular than True King Lithosagym, the Disaster. It boggles the mind.
That's it for this week! The Regional Qualifier season is now over, so the only big sanctioned event on our half of the planet this weekend is the Extravaganza at Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. From there we'll see the Central American WCQ a week later, the South American WCQ one week after that, and the North American WCQ rounding everything out.
That means there's going to be a vacuum of competitive information in the early days of the new format, so we can expect players to be paying careful attention to tournaments like the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! Circuit Series in Atlanta this weekend. Since Atlanta's home to some of North America's best players, the info from that event will be held in high regard.
Join us again Friday to see where the secondary market is headed as WCQ's begin, when we'll be back with another Market Watch.