It took almost two and a half years for Crystron Halqifibrax to make the leap from the OCG to the TCG.
By the time it got here it had changed from the dream-crushing overpowered combo king it once was into something that's still incredibly powerful, but no longer entirely unfair. Now, as of this week, we know that the next big game-defining card is headed our way. And this time it's arriving in a matter of months, not years.
In a week where we saw lots of big news about upcoming support for stuff like Winged Dragon Ra, Jinzo, Fossils, Rikka, and some really notable new material for the Adamancipators, the biggest news upended all of that to steal the spotlight: on Wednesday afternoon we learned that Red-Eyes Dragoon is coming to the TCG in August, as part of the 2020 Tin release. And the internet went crazy.
See that header graphic at the top of this article? Scroll up if you missed it, but there's a graph line there that's actually real data: it charts the buying activity for Tuesday through Thursday in the TCGplayer Marketplace. That massive spike on Wednesday shows how Marketplace activity exploded pretty much the moment Red-Eyes Dragoon was announced, and surprise!, the release news instantly shaped our Top 10 for the week.
If you're not familiar with Dragoon, no worries; we'll talk about what it is and why it's so important later on. For now, let's start our countdown of the Top 10 best-selling cards on TCGplayer this week.
#10 - Crystron Halqifibrax
Halqifibrax is certainly not the card we feared back. when its partners in crime were running free. Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow, Ib the World Chalice Justiciar, Blackwing – Steam the Cloak, Glow-Up Bulb and others are now Forbidden, rendering Halqifibrax a much more reasonable card. That said, it's still incredibly powerful and it pops up in plenty of strategies; it's a must-run for lots of decks, it's just not the broken world-crushing monolith to questionable card design it was for much of its run in the OCG.
Seemingly settled around the $25 mark, Crystron Halqifibrax will probably still see growth over time. But for now the price is pretty approachable for a massive power card that you can play in so many decks, and that's kept it near the top of the best-seller list. Again, this is a Duel Overload exclusive that probably won't see a reprint until well into 2021. It's certainly not getting any cheaper anytime soon.
#9 - Adamancipator Analyzer
Adamancipators were the hands-down fan favorite going into the release of Secret Slayers, and that translated to big sales of all of the theme's cards. While Eldlich the Golden Lord remains the set's biggest money pull and players all over online communities are beginning to discover that the Eldlich deck is stronger than most had guessed, the charming game mechanics, more approachable price point, upcoming support news and sheer power level of Adamancipators pushed four cards into the Top 10 this week, starting with the first of their Tuners.
Two of the three Adamancipator Tuners are about a buck a pop, while the shortprinted Adamancipator Researcher is hovering around 50. Researcher isn't selling nearly as many copies as the cheaper Tuners, but everything else is moving in big numbers, and to a player audience (not just speculators picking up cards on the cheap). It seems like lots of players are betting against Adamancipator Researcher in the long term, assuming the card's price will drop over time.
#8 - Trap Trick
A highly flexible trap card for both Main and Side Deck play, Trap Trick was $5 to $10 in its cheapest printings before the release of Secret Slayers, and the reprint's now available for about a buck. That's a great opportunity for anyone who didn't have their playset yet; Trap Trick makes a lot of powerful cards that much better, including popular side picks like Eradicator Epidemic Virus and Artifact Sanctum, and if you care about tournament competition week to week you should definitely own three.
While tournaments are on hiatus for now they're definitely coming back sometime, and grabbing a card like Trap Trick at a rock bottom price is just too good to pass up.
#7 - Adamancipator Seeker
The second must-run Tuner in Adamancipators, Seeker's a mandatory three-of just like Adamancipator Analyzer and Adamancipator Researcher. There's not much to say here – that excavating effect is what makes the strategy work, Special Summoning not just your Adamancipator Crystals but also stuff like Doki Doki and Koa'ki Meiru Guardian, both of which have also seen substantial demand. Sentry Soldier of Stone's never looked so good.
#6 - Gogogo Gigas
Another companion card for Adamancipators, Gogogo Gigas is a regular rare that was never reprinted since its debut in Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, giving it the menacing look of a price spike waiting to happen. It's played in conjunction with Dodododwarf Gogogoglove, which came in at Number 12 for the week, as well as Gogogo Giant at Number 22.
Not every Adamancipator deck is running the Gogogo engine, but the entire Gogogo lineup has generated plenty of curiosity ever since Michael Campos topped the UDS Invitational in Oklahoma with Zubaba Lunalights back in February. Since Gigas, Dwarf and Giant are all Rock-types, the synergy's pretty easy to understand.
#5 - Upstart Goblin
Upstart Goblin's an icon of efficiency-driven play, renowned for its ability to tilt the odds ever so slightly in your favor by reducing your deck to 39 cards. Despite the fact that it was printed seven times before Secret Slayers, only two of those printings were foils; one was a $35 turbo Pack Super Rare, while the other was a $15 Ultra from Legendary Collection 3. Now you can get a Super Rare copy for under $2 thanks to SESL, and that's suddenly made Upstart Goblin a big vanity card.
Stylin' foil upgrades for mere pennies? The Goblin of Greed himself would approve.
#4 - Solemn Judgment
The best Counter Trap in the game is back in Secret Slayers, taking what would normally be an $8 card minimum and offering a $2 alternative. What else can you say about Solemn Judgment? It stops summons and it shuts your opponent out of their best spell or trap card; the reason it costs half your Life Points to activate is simply the fact that it's so useful in so many different match-ups and formats. It's an incredibly flexible card, and for many newer players this may be their first chance to get a playset: Solemn Judgment was printed three times between now and 2018, but two of those reprints were in scarce promotional releases (The Lost Art Promotion and OTS Tournament Pack 12).
The only truly accessible copy in that timeframe was Battles of Legend: Relentless Revenge. If you didn't get Solemn Judgment in BLRR, you'd have to go back five years to 2013's Legendary Collection 4 for the Secret Rare, which regularly fetches $10 or more. With a new printing that's clocking in at two bucks a pop, Solemn Judgment's was wildly popular on secondary this week.
#3 - Adamancipator Risen - Dragite
Gotta turn those Tuners into something! Adamancipator Risen - Dragite is another must for the theme, albeit usually one played as a singleton. It stacks your deck, bounces opposing cards en masse and wields a powerful negation that stops spells and traps. Adamancipator Risen – Leonite appears to be a much tougher pull, and negation effects play to a wide crowd, so it's no surprise that Dragite's the more popular card in terms of sheer number of buyers.
#2 - Red-Eyes Fusion
And now we get to the heart of the matter. On Wednesday afternoon the official product page for what's currently only named the "2020 Tin" was posted by Konami, revealing a number of facts. First, the 2020 Mega-Packs are 18 cards each instead of 16, having an additional Super Rare and Ultra Rare in each pack (along with the same 1 Prismatic Secret Rare, 1 Rare, and 12 Commons from 2019's Gold Sarcophagus Tin Mega-Packs). Second, that the Mega-Packs would include cards from Savage Strike, Dark Neostorm, Rising Rampage, Chaos Impact, "and more." And finally, that the mega-set will also include three brand-new World Premieres, as well as the bombshell announcement of the most feared card in Yu-Gi-Oh! today, Red-Eyes Dragoon.
A Fusion of Dark Magician plus one of either Red-Eyes B. Dragon or any 1 Dragon Effect monster, Red-Eyes Dragoon is a 3000 ATK monster that can't be targeted or destroyed with effects. During your Main Phase, you can destroy any one of your opponent's monsters and deal damage to your opponent equal to the destroyed monster's original ATK. That ability isn't a once-per-turn effect; instead, you can use it up to as many times per turn as you used Normal Monsters for the Fusion Summon. It also doesn't target.
If that wasn't crazy enough – and it's pretty freaking crazy – Red-Eyes Dragoon also has a Quick Effect that lets you negate the activation of a card or effect by discarding a card. You destroy whatever you're negating, and if you do, Red-Eyes Dragoon gains 1000 ATK. Because why not.
Red-Eyes Fusion makes this thing, because it lets you unleash Red-Eyes Dragoon with one card just by sending the Fusion Materials from your deck to the graveyard. Your summons are restricted for the turn, but the sheer value and game-ending damage you gain, as well as the control over the field thanks to Dragoon's negation effect, is a more than worthy trade-off in almost every case. The fact that Red-Eyes Fusion exists means you can play Dragoon in almost any deck, at essentially no cost. All you need is the deck space for all the necessary copies of Red-Eyes Fusion, Dark Magician, and Red-Eyes B. Dragon.
Which is where this guy comes in…
#1 - Predaplant Verte Anaconda
If you had to run multiple copies of all the cards needed for Red-Eyes Dragoon, it would still be a great card. People would still play it if you needed to hard draw Red-Eyes Fusion. But you don't, because Predaplant Verte Anaconda can pluck it straight out of the deck and copy its effect. With the right timing, any two Effect Monsters become Anaconda and Red-Eyes Dragoon, for the paltry cost of 2000 Life Points. You thin your deck of up to three cards, and if you drew any of the Fusion Materials the play still works, because Red-Eyes Fusion can use materials from your hand as well as your field and deck.
It's ridiculously consistent, incredibly easy, and all you need is three slots in your Main Deck – one each for Red-Eyes Fusion, Dark Magician and Red-Eyes B. Dragon – and two slots in your Extra Deck for Anaconda and Dragoon. If that doesn't seem ridiculous to you it definitely will the first time you get blown out by it. If it does seem ridiculous, you'll probably be the person pulling the trigger on the guy who doesn't get it yet.
There are going to be some serious "learning tree" moments come August.
All of that pushed Red-Eyes Fusion into a near tie in sales with Adamancipator Risen – Dragite, while Predaplant Verte Anaconda exploded: this week, we saw almost three times the number of players purchasing Anaconda than any other single on TCGplayer, including Red-Eyes Fusion and Dragite, the next most popular cards. That instantly jumped Predaplant Verte Anaconda to $24 from a starting point of about $16 to $18, and the price walls of deep stock sellers listing dozens of copies are disappearing fast.
While Red-Eyes Fusion will probably get a reprint in the 2020 Tins, it's unlikely that Anaconda will be reprinted anywhere this year. The market reacted accordingly, with stunning demand for what will become one of the biggest must-own cards in the game.
What else was big this week? Adamancipator Signs came in at Number 11, and as mentioned before Dodododwarf Gogogoglove was Number 12. In fact the rest of the remaining Top 15 cards were all Adamancipators all the time: Adamancipator Risen – Raptite, Adamancipator Crystal – Dragite, and Doki Doki rounded out the honorable mentions. Adamancipators are hot now, and they're getting hotter as we're seeing more support announced.
That was a big one! Thanks for sticking with us for the complete Market Watch this week. Keep staying safe, keep staying indoors, and join us Monday for more Market Updates on Facebook and Twitter. As much as one can, enjoy the holiday weekend.