With last week's Market Watch data rolling in on the same day as thetourney legal release of EXFO, and just hours before the surprising revealof the new Advanced Format,
Usually when a new core booster releases, it takes over the Top 10 entirely– that's doubly true for an anticipated set like Extreme Force.But this time around some of the F&L List changes made such animmediate impression on tournament players that three older cards actuallymade the Top 10.
And spoiler: they were all defensive traps.
For months now we've seen a declining interest in defensive traps, a trendthat only started to reverse after YCS Melbourne. Bottomless Trap Hole andFloodgate Trap Hole made a comeback at that event, putting four duelistsinto the Top 32and contributing to Ryan Levine's eventual win. The result was a big uptick in sales for both cards. But with Bottomlessand Torrential Tribute at three-per-deck in the new format, and SolemnJudgment now off the Forbidden List, a second wave of demand for trap cardsemerged over the weekend.
Beyond that, the biggest sellers from EXFO were all rogue hits fromQliphorts, Dinosaurs, and the F.A. theme. The one exception – and thebiggest card of the weekend overall – was a new splashable Link Monsterthat's almost certainly slated for tournament play based on the sheervolume of copies it moved this weekend.
We'll get to that Number 1 spot in a bit, but let's start with a look atNumber 10 and work our way down.
#10: Torrential Tribute
Yup! If you had any doubt that Torrential Tribute was going to betournament relevant now that it's off the List, you can probably put thosedoubts to rest. At the very least, a lot of players are going to be tryingto make Torrential work this week and beyond, as various printings of theonce-staple sold like hotcakes all weekend long.
#9: F.A. Motorhome Transport
Four of the Top 10 picks over the last few days belonged to the F.A.'s,easily the biggest winner from Extreme Force save PendulumMagicians. F.A. Motorhome Transport's easy to summon off a number ofminimal combos, and demands an answer with big stats, protection, and aSpecial Summon effect that creates mounting pressure over time.
The F.A. theme's effectively designed to make Motorhome as efficiently aspossible, and with F.A.'s already putting in work in the final weekend ofthe last format, they're definitely a hot prospect moving into the nextone.
#8: F.A. Test Run
F.A. Test Run's a free Raigeki Break tied to a usually-free EmergencyTeleport effect.
There's not much to say about that – Test Run would be awesome if it didn'thave the Special Summon trick, but it does, so it's a pretty incrediblecard. Flexible removal's really powerful, and when it's coupled with freecard advantage, tempo, and hand-fixing combo fodder, well… There's a reasonwhy people are buying into F.A.'s.
#7: Solemn Judgment
The most iconic Counter Trap of all time is back! Sure, it might'vehappened in large part to boost Structure Deck: Wave of Light, butas a viable answer to Evenly Matched and… well, everything else under thesun… Solemn Judgment's suddenly a hot prospect that's helping to revive bigbackrows.
While it took competitors a shocking number of years to realize how goodSolemn Judgment was, it's been a deciding factor in any format where it waslegal ever since the reign of Dark Armed Dragon. Now that it's back, we canexpect to see it anchoring decks that want to go first, answering problemcards, and shutting down combo plays all over the place. Judgment'seffectively a Solemn Scolding that you can play when you have other cardsset – including Scolding, which is kinda nuts.
The market responded appropriately, pushing Solemn Judgment straight toNumber 7. It's going to be interesting to see if Judgment has lastingmomentum comparable to Proxy Dragon and Pot of Desires over the comingweeks.
#6: F.A. City Grand Prix
The best of the F.A. Field Spells is one of the most talked about cardsfrom Extreme Force, and for good reason. While F.A. Off-Road GrandPrix boosts Levels so you can make big combos in your Main Phase, its boostfades out in the Battle Phase. Meanwhile F.A. Circuit Grand Prix is greatin battle, but won't help you launch big plays for higher Level summons.
And while you COULD bounce between those two cards by destroying andreplacing your Field Spells with stuff like F.A. Test Run – and you will,at least some of the time – F.A. City Grand Prix means you don't have to,since it works in Main Phases and the Battle Phase.
It also protects your F.A. monsters from targeting, and it still replacesitself with a different Field Spell when it's destroyed.
It's a crazypants card and it's no surprise to see it at Number 6.
#5: F.A. Auto Navigator
The final F.A. card in our Top 10 this week, F.A. Auto Navigator makeseverything happen: from F.A. Motorhome Transport, to PSY-Framelord Omega,Cyber Dragon Infinity and more. An incredibly powerful and wickedlyflexible Level manipulator, it's a recurring enabler for all of your bestplays AND it searches you Field Spells for free.
We're used to seeing this kind of recurring card banishing itself after itsfirst use. And yet, Auto Navigator has no such restriction. It's thelynchpin of the F.A. strategy and while we're bound to find new plays withit in coming weeks, it's already on record doing a boatload of stupidstuff.
#4: Bottomless Trap Hole
After that stellar showing at YCS Melbourne, Bottomless Trap Hole wasalready seeing mained and sided play in just about everything over the lastfew weeks; the ability to remove one or more monsters in a single shot,without sending them to the graveyard where they could trigger effects orreturn to play, was massive.
Now with Bottomless Trap Hole back at three it was one of the biggestwinners of the weekend. You can definitely expect to see Bottomless intournaments this coming weekend, and the strong demand for it suggestsit'll be all over YCS Atlanta in twelve days.
#3: Overtex Qoatlus
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend, Overtex Qoatlus emerged as thethird highest selling card from EXFO. Standing apart from other Dinosaurboss monsters, Overtex wields a powerful negation ability that doubles asan activator for stuff like Petiteranodon and Babycerasaurus. While its"shuffle 5" Special Summon might be a bit tough to pull off, SpecialSummoning it with Double Evolution Pill is almost free, and the fact thatOvertex Qoatlus searches you another copy when it hits the graveyard off aneffect is insane.
Note that the search works regardless of where Overtex is sent to thegraveyard from, making it vastly easier to get to Double Evolution Pill forboth Overtex and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. Expect to see Dinosaurs inupcoming tournaments. Dinos were already putting in fringe performances inRegionals the last few weeks, and Overtex Qoatlus may just push them backinto the spotlight.
#2: Qliphort Genius
Pretty much everyone has reservations about the viability of Qliphorts withQliphort Scout Limited. But the return of Apoqliphort Towers to AdvancedFormat play and the move of Saqlifice to three-per-deck from Limited statusemboldened Qliphort fans anyways.
Demand for Qliphort Genius was explosive all weekend long, and even ifQliphorts may wind up struggling with 2017's compression of the backrow forPendulum strategies, Genius has a ton of first glance curb appeal. A Link-2with easy materials and a solid 1800 ATK, its protection effect puts it ina good position against newly popularized defense cards, valuable negation,and a search effect that rewards you with a Level 5 or higher Machine everytime you do what you were already going to do anyways.
Will the appeal of Qliphort Genius last through the week? That's aninteresting question we'll be keeping an eye on.
#1: Underclock Taker
And finally, the biggest card of the weekend and the bestselling new entryfrom Extreme Force was none other than Underclock Taker. Availablefor as little as 11 cents as of this writing, Taker's one of the easiestLink-2 Summons of all time and has a valuable downward Link Arrow, plus aleft Link Arrow to extend your plays. Combined with a valuable battle trickthat can help you beat big boss monsters and beat damage through Blockers,the selling points are pretty clear.
Generic Link Monsters with decent utility always have some merit, and as Imentioned before, it'll be intriguing to see if the demand for UnderclockTaker holds up. Will demand keep it at the level of something like ProxyDragon? For now we definitely know it's going to be popular. But just howpopular Taker's going to become is up in the air.
What else was big? Duelittle Chimera's the Fire answer to Missus Radiantand Mistar Boy, and it just missed the countdown at Number 11. Hey,Trunade! took the Number 13 spot with everyone and their motherreconsidering set cards, and Apoqliphort Towers came in at Number 14 freshoff the F&L List.
Altergeist Hexia and Altergeist Manifestation took Number 12 and Number 15respectively, suggesting either casual enthusiasm or some hedged betsagainst a competitive push. Do Altergeists stand a chance in tournaments?Probably not, but the deck has a following anyways and the adherents can'twait to prove everybody else wrong.
That was it for the weekend, but we'll be back on Friday to look at shiftsin the TCGplayer Marketplace, just in time for the next round of RegionalQualifiers. With Regionals in Indiana, Kansas, Texas, and Pennsylvania,we're bound to see some heavily reported events and a lot of deck lists.
Stick with us through the next week for a few different perspectives on thenew Advanced Format.