The biggest news this week hit Tuesday morning, when the remaining set contents from Duel Overload were revealed by Konami-sponsored creators! A full set list was available pretty quick, and everything's now live for pre-order right here on TCGplayer. But those pre-orders weren'tthe only action on secondary this week. With some big cards from the OCG's LINK VRAINS Pack 3 revealed for import, players scrabbled to find out which ones were the best, and which existing cards they'd want to get ahead of.

 

Meanwhile current interest for Salamangreats and Invoked Shaddolls remained high, coming off winning finishes at YCS Utrecht and Team YCS Las Vegas. If you thought either strategy might be slowing down, think again, because we saw strong indicators that Salads and Shaddolls are trending just as hard in tournament metagames.

Let's dive right in, and talk about what you should keep in mind over the next two weeks.

 

 

 

#10 - Mist Valley Thunderbird

 

The Duel Overload reveals confirmed a lot of powerful cards for TCG release, several of which can work together for a strategy that may actually appear in a few different decks moving forward. The relevant cards are Union Carrier, Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty and Raidraptor – Wise Strix, and when you put them all together with the right support they do some terrifying stuff. In the OCG, these cards are most competitive in a new Lunalight variant; you can see an example of a build at this link over on YGOrganization to get an idea what it looks like. I've also seen dedicated Raidraptor and Blackwing decks using the same engine.

Whatever way you run it, the goal is to set up a controlling board with multiple negations. One of the ways to do that starts with Union Carrier and Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty: you use Union Carrier's effect to search your deck for Mist Valley Thunderbird and stick it onto Simorgh. Simorgh's effect goes off in your End Phase to Special Summon Mist Valley Apex Avian, and on your next turn you can use the Thunderbird to fuel Apex Avian's negation ability, bouncing Thunderbird back to your hand. That triggers Thunderbird's effect and Special Summons it, placing it back on the field for another negation with Apex Avian. And that just keeps going as long as Thunderbird and Apex Avian survive.

Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty has another effect that stops your opponent from targeting it or a Winged Beast it points to with card effects. So if you point it at Apex Avian your negation engine can't be targeted. And with Thunderbird looping to keep Apex Avian supplied with feathery fodder, you can stop almost anything. That's why players flocked to Mist Valley Thunderbird this week, bird pun intended.

The best part is that the infinite negation loop combo actually gets worse; it's really just the cherry on top of a bigger, more flexible play. We haven't even talked about Raidraptor – Wise Strix yet.

 

 

 

#9 - Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force

 

The Number 9 slot this week is occupied by Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force because you can set it straight from your deck with Raidraptor – Wise Strix. The string of plays you use to arrive at that Simorgh + Mist Valley Apex Avian combo run straight through Raidraptor – Force Strix and Wise Strix, setting Soul Shave and placing Force Strix in your graveyard. If you Soul Shave back the Rank 4 Force Strix you can Special Summon a Rank 6 from your Extra Deck, attaching Force Strix as material.

You'll probably choose Cyber Dragon Infinity, because that's a pretty great monster to summon for free, right?

So you've got this core combo that delivers Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty and Cyber Dragon Infinity, plus a bunch of extra material for Xyz and Link Summons. From there you can go into the Apex Avian combo for the negation loop, or you can make different plays for stuff like Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds, or a Dark Rank 4 to Union Carrier into Dragon Buster Destruction Sword. We'll be seeing Dragon Buster later on in the countdown, but for now the overall takeaway is that players are clearly keen on thiscombo, and that means you might see more Lunalights in tournaments once Duel Overload drops.

 

 

 

#8 - Knightmare Unicorn

 

Meanwhile after the mindbending combo trees I only started to allude to in the last two segments, I get to say that Knightmare Unicorn took the Number 8 best-seller spot because it's good.

And basically everything plays it.

Some things in life are still simple.

 

 

 

#7 - Dark Ruler No More

 

Want to break a board? Even one that say, uses a ton of BIRDS to negate everything? Dark Ruler No More's your friend. Looking forward there's a ton of reason to believe that lots of Big Turn 1 decks could be a brief problem in the wake of Master Rule 5; I think Konami's going to take swift action to keep competition healthy, but there may be a window there where it's a bit of a free-for-all. Dark Ruler No More's going to be huge in that time period.

But looking to the present, Dark Ruler No More's already huge now. Our last upload to the Deck Archive had 31 Regional Top 8 decks from the last weekend of competition, and 15 of those players ran Dark Ruler – 13 of them sided it and 2 more mained it in go-second strategies. Half the Top Cut field we logged was coming prepared to break boards in Games 2 and 3, some of them in Game 1. With sales strong this week, it's very likely that more players will run it.

 

 

 

#6 - Prohibit Snake

 

After a winning role at YCS Utrecht , Prohibit Snake still isn't a consensus in North America – long-time veteran Joe Bogli topped this week in Rhode Island , and remarked that the card underperformed. Still, it's remained popular almost two weeks after Ryhan Jabri's YCS win, though it's begun to slow down in recent days. In my opinion it's at least worth having, though how long it will remain useful with April approaching is up in the air. It's hugging the $2 mark after shipping which can be a deterrent to new adopters, but in the grand scheme of things it's impressive to see a YCS tech card like this one in such a strong position, so many days after the event.

It's very likely that the upcoming reprint of Cynet Mining in Duel Overload is a part of that; you have to imagine that some duelists are going to make the jump to Salamangreats with two of the deck's priciest cards, Mining and Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay, both set to become more budget.

 

 

 

#5 - Super Polymerization

 

Still a staple in Invoked Shaddolls, and still amazing as a generic Side Deck pick, Super Polymerization's one of the most powerful un-themed cards in the game today. With Predaplant Anaconda Verte two weeks away it's about to get even better, and the Shaddoll Showdown reprint is keeping it affordable at around three bucks. It's no surprise to see that demand is so high.

 

 

 

#4 - Nibiru, the Primal Being

 

Up a spot from last week's finish at Number 5, Nibiru just keeps on rolling. It was played in 24 of those 31 decks from our last upload, roughly 77% of the Top Cut field we logged. Last week I wrote, "If you're a combo player yourself, big sales nation-wide are your cue to start being a little more conservative, and to consider those four-summon plays a little more."

I feel like that sentiment's even more true this week, especially if you're heading into an OTS Championship where play can be a little more fast-paced and loose. Don't get Nibiru'd this weekend.

The meteors are out there and they're looking for faces to smash.

You're too pretty for that.

 

 

 

#3 - Gravity Controller

 

Also up a spot, Gravity Controller jumped to Number 3 for the week as demand for Performage Damage Juggler and Performage Hat Tricker plummeted, removing them from the Top 10 entirely. Gravity Controller's continued popularity is a vote of confidence for the strategies that run it: not just Invoked Shaddolls, but also…

Wait, no. Actually, the only Top Cut decks we saw running Gravity Controller this week were Invoked variants - mostly Shaddolls – and an Infernoid build. So yeah, this IS just Shaddolls. And they're getting hotter by the week.

 

 

 

#2 - Dragon Buster Destruction Sword

 

Before the hype engine started rolling for the Mist Valley Thunderbird combo, this was the play that broke the internet when Union Carrier was first revealed in the OCG. Got a Dark monster? Or maybe a Dragon? Slap it down, make Union Carrier, stick this Little Dude on it and suddenly your opponent can't Special Summon from their Extra Deck. At all. Brutal.

Not only did a ton of players pick up their copy this week, but both printings were targeted for buyouts. The result is a $3 common that could become even more expensive as Duel Overload approaches.

 

 

 

#1 - Cross-Sheep

 

And speaking of high-value non-foils, Cross-Sheep continued to sell more copies as supply rushed to fill demand and the price continued to drop. Now hovering around the $8 mark, there are lots of copies entering the market thanks to this week's release of Ignition Assault Special Edition; great news if you're an aspiring Shaddoll player and you didn't have your copy yet. Cross-Sheep's fast becoming a timeless card, and with Master Rule 5 just on the horizon it could get even bigger as Synchros, Xyz and Fusions get easier to play.

What else was big in the TCGplayer Marketplace? Earth Golem @Ignister just missed the Top 10, fast becoming a choice Super Polymerization target. Eater of Millions clocked in at Number 12, recently appearing in decks like Jose Ornelas' Danger Gren Maju from the San Antonio Regional, and George Fukushima's Trickstar Kaiju Gren Maju from Honolulu a month ago. Monster Reborn took Number 13, Raidraptor - Force Strix took Number 14, and Pot of Desires finished at Number 15 after a big targeted buyout of the Ultimate Rare spiked it to $120. It's now available for under $100 once again, but we'll see how long that lasts.

We'll return with another Market Updateon Facebook and Twitter Monday, but for now good luck if you're attending an OTS Championship this weekend! Thanks for reading!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer