It's been a weird few days in Yu-Gi-Oh! with the full ramifications of the tournament shutdown sinking in, but this week also marks the long-awaited release of Duel Overload.
With numbers drifting in from semi-credible sources about drop rates in DUOV, the biggest influence in the TCGplayer Marketplace this week was the talk of short prints and the player reactions to it! A bit of skepticism's always healthy, especially when sources may have their own interests, that's fine. But as the week played out, we started to get a clearer look at what to expect from 2020's hottest release.
How'd it all play out, and which cards were the final winners from the last week of Duel Overload preorders? Our Top 10 best-sellers list, calculated from Monday to Friday, tells the tale.
#10 - Sky Striker Ace - Zeke
Sky Strikers bucked critical predictions coming out of the gates this format, with two big Regional Top 8s from James Woodward and Junior Dorcin. Both decks relied on Sky Striker Ace – Roze to break new ground for thee theme, and for a moment it looked like we might have been wrong about Sky Strikers taking a dive to the new F&L List!
…But we weren't wrong. Sky Strikers haven't topped since that first week, and the deck now looks like a charming old relic of a past era.
That's why it's so surprising to see Sky Striker Ace - Zeke coming in at Number 10 for the week! Many of the cards that topped the sales charts this time around were the heavy-hitters; cards that have been selling by the barrelful since Duel Overload preorders opened. But Zeke's seen very little interest so far, and for it to spring into the Top 10 now is a surprise. Early reports of large scale case breaks had Zeke as a short print, so some of the push these last few days could be investors and collectors trying to get ahead of demand.
#9 - Daigusto Emeral
Emeral's not at all short printed according to early reports, but it rocketed into the Top 10 anyways after being a non-factor in prior weeks. Is there something here driving demand for Emeral specifically? Or is it just a high utility Xyz that's now one tenth of its former price? It could be more the latter than the former; if you don't own an Emeral yourself you may want one real soon, and now's the best time to get it. It's just NEVER been this cheap before!
#8 - The Last Warrior from Another Planet
A valuable summon with Waking the Dragon, The Last Warrior From Another Planet has some competitive uses and it hasn't been reprinted since Dark Beginnings 2; that was almost 15 years ago! Now The Last Warrior's available for as low as 30 cents, but we're seeing reports that it's heavily short printed in Duel Overload, so that price could rise due to the short supply. I doubt everybody who bought a copy this week is looking to play it; some may be hedging their bets against a future scenario where it's more important.
#7 - Lib the World Key Blademaster
Lib feels like another trip to the well for the World Chalice and World Legacy cards, which so often feature as splashables to bolster bigger strategies. Lib's another card that didn't see much demand in the preorder period, but it exploded in demand when stores started reporting it as a possible short print. With a search effect that can dig for awesome cards like World Legacy Guardragon and World Legacy Succession, as well as a removal ability that rolls into Link climbing, doesn't target, and eliminates any card in what's often the most permanent way possible, there's clear potential for Lib to serve as a utility monster in combo-driven Link spam decks.
Lib's already climbed to about two dollars, so it'll be interesting to see where it winds up over time. Cards exclusive to Duel Overload are hot prospects right now, and Lib's suddenly taken a prominent place on that list.
#6 - Raidraptor – Wise Strix
The rest of the best-sellers this week are far less surprising, beginning with the new Raidraptor Link. There's some flexibility for how you use Wise Strix, but the number one application's going to be in that Lunalight deck we've spoken of before; Raidraptor – Wise Strix will most often summon Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite, and will search Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force a few moves later. With a Raidraptor – Force Strix in the graveyard, Soul Shave Force makes Cyber Dragon Infinity and your plays continue into Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty for more combos.
It's being reported that Raidraptor – Wise Strix is actually a pretty easy pull in Duel Overload, as are Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty and Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite, so get ready to see Lunalight decks more often just due to the sheer accessibility. Watch for that trend and weigh your choices accordingly, because once tournaments are back it could be decisive factor in competition.
#5 - Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians
Apparently tougher to pull than the bird buddies, Selene's value is holding through launch day and will likely rise now that stores and collectors appear to be agreeing that it's shorted. Again, as a Duel Overload exclusive you just can't find Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians anywhere else, and that means the supply probably won't meet demand over time.
The Endymion Pendulum deck has a big fan following and an established track record in tournaments, and the sheer synergy between Selene and the expected Endymion suite is huge. With a big Spell Counter effect, an awesome Special Summon ability and the Link Arrows to back it all up, Selene's a strong card that's probably a good investment long term.
The secondary market responded accordingly.
#4 - Relinquished Anima
Make no mistake, Relinquished Anima's a game-shaping card. Maybe not on the scale of a big generic finisher like Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess or Borrelsword Dragon, sure, but Anima demands respect; if you don't play around it, your opponent gets the chance to score free removal for next to nothing.
Salamangreat Almiraj and Secure Gardna will still fill unique roles at Link 1 for decks like Invoked Shaddolls, but Relinquished Anima's going to take the place of Linkuriboh and Link Spider in a number of strategies as a new staple. If you can play it you probably should, and if you can't you at least need to know it exists and work around the threat. A lot of players are going to steal a lot of games with this thing, especially in the next few weeks where the lack of Top Cut decks is going to make it that much tougher to judge new cards as viable.
#3 - Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty
One of the biggest Link Monsters from the set, Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty's supposedly not a short print and that makes it a great fit for that Lunalight Winged Beast suite we discussed earlier. The hype is that Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty can Special Summon Mist Valley Apex Avian straight from your deck, opening up the chance to create a negation loop with Mist Valley Thunderbird (searched with Union Carrier and attached to Simorgh itself).
But that's not all it can do! You can Special Summon Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds instead of Apex Avian and lock your opponent into nothing but Wind Special Summons. You can bring out the old school Dark Simorgh and stop your opponent from setting cards. There's an awesome combo that'll definitely make an impact in competitive play, sure, but those extra options make Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty more unpredictable and even better in the long run.
#2 - Salamangreat Almiraj
Decks like Altergeists and Invoked have run Salamangreat Almiraj as a staple in tournament builds, and as more strategies enter the field on April 1st with Master Rule 5, the list of decks that need it could easily expand. Realistically everybody should own this card if they can afford it, and since it's apparently not short printed it's dropped from $20+ for the Battles of Legend: Hero's Revenge original to less than two bucks for the Duel Overload Ultra. A ton of players didn't have this card before, and now that it's dirt cheap everyone's picking it up.
#1 - Union Carrier
Finally Union Carrier's back on top, even as its price slowly climbs. There are strong arguments being made for which is more broken - Crystron Halqifibrax or Union Carrier – and a lot of players are starting to realize that what passed for an obvious answer six weeks ago might not have been correct. Union Carrier plays a starring role in a number of gimmicky, and incredibly competitive combos moving forward, and for now it's half the price of Halqifibrax. Both cards are a must-own and both are reputed to have similar drop rates in packs, but Union Carrier's much more accessible and Halqifibrax already spent weeks in the Numbrer 1 spot.
Whether you're searching Mist Valley Thunderbird for that Apex Avian combo to lock in a loop, or you're locking your opponent out of their Extra Deck with Dragon Buster Destruction Sword, Union Carrier's a high-impact card with demand to match.
Speaking of Crystron Halqifibrax, it fell to Number 11 this week, just a few copies behind Sky Striker Ace - Zeke. Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star chased it at Number 12 as players look toward Orcust support in Eternity Code, and Chaos Dragon Levianeer clocked in at Number 13. That left Predaplant Verte Anaconda at Number 14 and the new variant art Tour Guide from the Underworld finishing strong at Number 15.
The first no-tournament weekend is upon us! Stay safe, stay indoors and hopefully we as a community can all get through this as fast as possible. We'll be back with more Market Updates on Facebook and Twitter Monday, but for now, have a restful weekend and thanks for reading.