Last week saw the reveal of four new cards for the F.A. theme, arrivingnext month in Extreme Force as World Premieres. Those cards were anew,self-reviving tuner called F.A. Auto Navigator;a boss-level Synchro Monster, F.A. Motorhome Transport; a Field Spellthat vastly outclasses the two previous Fields for the theme; and a Quick-Play Spellthat's basically a faster Raigeki Break combined with EmergencyTeleport.If you're not familiar with those cards, go ahead and click through to givethem a read. And if you really want to get a detailed look at the entiretheme,
In short, the F.A. theme revolves around monsters that gain Attack Pointsand unlock powerful effects when they gain Levels. The support cards allboost the Levels of those monsters to make them stronger, or decrease theirLevels to cash in on big abilities. While that might sound like the kind ofcheap gimmick that you'd expect to see in a more casual theme, the F.A.effects generate a ton of cheap card advantage and have a knack for lockingyour opponent out of their plays, even going so far as to easily shut offopposing hand traps.
There's a ton of potential, and the new cards are ridiculously good,drawing everything together into a cohesive strategy.
All that potential may or may not pay off by the time EXFO releases onFebruary 2nd, but for now the result was a tremendous number ofsales as players and speculators alike looked to stock up on FormulaAthletes before the cards rise in price. All the F.A. cards fromCode of the Duelist and Circuit Break are Commons, and upuntil last week they were all about 2 cents. Now, after stealing thespotlight in the Friday to Saturday sales period, they're all sitting onrising Price Trends with average Market Prices of 10 to 15 cents, and thatupwards swing could continue – F.A. cards took nine slots in the Top 10,and there are only eight F.A. cards in the game so far.
How was that even possible? Check out the Number 10 bestselling card of theweekend to find out.
#10: Marshalling Field
Printed in World Superstars almost two years ago, MarshallingField wasn't designed to support the F.A. theme… But you wouldn't know ifyou just looked at it. Getting your F.A. monsters to Level 5 is as easy asplaying a Field Spell, and once you do, Marshalling Field launches them ashigh as Level 9.
That's high enough to flip the switch on all the effects of everything inthe theme minus the upcoming Synchro boss. It also bumps all the Main Deckmonsters to 2700 ATK, which is awesome because they're so easy to Summon.Add in some potential for combo craziness with Rank-Up-Magic Argent ChaosForce and a protection effect for Machine Xyz, and you've got a reallyinteresting set of opportunities.
As a Junk Secret Rare Marshalling Field jumped from about a buck to abouttwo bucks overnight, but with so few copies left on TCGplayer we couldeasily see a buyout that drives the price higher.
#9: F.A. Sonic Meister
From there the eight actual name-stamped F.A. cards dominated the Top 10,in about the order of importance for the strategy. F.A. Sonic Meister isthe weakest of the three Level 4's, solely because its effects are centeredaround just itself: out of the gate, it protects itself from destruction bybattle with monsters of lower Level, and once it hits Level 7 it can attacktwo monsters per turn.
That's not bad, but those are very specific effects that border on thesituational, and the other Level 4 F.A. cards are just better.
#8: F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix
F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix is also the weakest of the three Field Spellswe'll have once Extreme Force launches. Again, it's not bad, butit just has the weakest positioning of the three options: F.A. CircuitGrand Prix boosts your F.A. monsters by 2 Levels during the Battle Phase,when it counts most; the newF.A. City Grand Prixboosts them by 2 Levels in the Battle Phase and Main Phases; and Off-Roadboosts them by 2 Levels in the Main Phases only.
In addition, while Circuit Grand Prix gets you a free draw when one of yourF.A.'s destroys a monster in battle, and City Grand Prix protects yourF.A.'s from targeting, F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix just forces your opponentto discard when they destroy one of your F.A.'s. It's effectively acontingency card – it's largely only useful when you're losing. And whilethe design intent seems to be that you'd want to play Circuit Grand Prix onyour turn and then play Off-Road in Main Phase 2 for your opponent's turn,that's a ton of effort for relatively little payoff, and it's all kind ofmoot with City Grand Prix in the mix.
And it still sold like hotcakes.
#7: F.A. Turbo Charger
The only Main Decked F.A. monster over Level 4, Turbo Charger's limitedutility may be Salvageable thanks to the Special Summon effects of F.A. PitStop,F.A. Test Run, andF.A. Motorhome Transport. Some of its effects are doubled over by other cards in the theme, so I'dbe surprised if it winds up being more than just a singleton. I wouldn't besurprised if it's ignored entirely.
#6: F.A. Circuit Grand Prix
The better of the two Field Spells that are currently available, F.A.Circuit Grand Prix ensures that your F.A. monsters are boosted with extraLevels in the Battle Phase, and once per turn it rewards you with a freecard for running down a monster in battle. It's really good, and while F.A.City Grand Prix's likely better, you'll probably want to run both. All theGrand Prix cards search F.A. cards when they're destroyed, including eachother, so running at least two different ones will probably be important.
#5: F.A. Downforce
A two-shot Level boost at Spell Speed 2, F.A. Downforce is pretty lowimpact as the F.A. power thresholds are measured, but it's pretty solid ifit's free, and it can help unlock some powerful effects (especially in theearly game). Doubling as both a battle trick and an enabler for strongmonster abilities, its importance is debatable.
But at 2 cents a pop, it was a no-brainer get anyways.
#4: Chronograph Sorcerer
The only card to make the Top 10 this weekend without a direct relationshipto the F.A. theme, Chronograph Sorcerer's become a three-of staple in allvariants of Pendulum Magicians in the OCG. While it's yet to see play herein the TCG, anticipation for upcoming formats has been driving demand forit over the past couple weeks, and now it's spiked all the way to theNumber 4 position in our countdown.
#3: F.A. Whip Crosser
Back on the F.A. side of things, F.A. Whip Crosser is deceptively strong.Its starting effect is subpar, forcing your opponent to pay 300 LP toactivate a limited range of monster effects, sure. But its Level 7 effectis amazing, keeping your opponent from playing hand traps. Basically ever.It stops pretty much everything outside of PSY-Framegears and the lesserused Maxx "C" spinoffs.
Seriously, that's what it does. It just says no to hand traps. That's uhh…that's REALLY good right now.
#2: F.A. Hang On Mach
F.A. Hang On Mach is largely regarded as being even better, protectingitself from activated monster effects from anything with a lower Level.Then when Hang On Mach hits Level 7 it banishes any cards that are sent toyour opponent's graveyard, blocking almost as many hand traps from beingactivated as Whip Crosser.
Essentially, we can expect Hang on Mach and Whip Crosser to be guaranteedthree-ofs, which is why they took the Number 3 and Number 2 spots.
#1: F.A. Pit Stop
The only card that could beat them was F.A. Pit Stop, which isunderstandable, because this card's crazy. Doug called it a combination ofUpstart Goblin and Monster Reborn, but it can also become a Pot of Greed ordouble Pot of Greed if you manage to get more copies into your graveyard.You can banish it from your yard to revive any F.A. monster too, which isgenerally how you'll play it: use it to dig a card deeper into your deck,and then next turn banish it for a Special Summon.
That's a free +1 of card economy anyways, and it works at Spell Speed 2since it's a Quick-Play. SPYRAL MISSION – Rescue is a staple right now andit effectively does the same thing, without getting you a free card in theprocess and without an activation option that places it directly in thegraveyard.
Think about that.
Beyond the Top 10, the mighty Pot of Desires fell to Number 12, whilestandard Pendulum Magician Cards took the number 11 spot with Purple PoisonMagician, as well as the rest of the Top 20. Magicians are still goingsuper-strong right now, just no as strong as F.A. cards.
We also saw heavy speculative interest in Skull Meister and GuidingAriadne. Skull Meister saw some Regional success this past weekend, whileGuiding Ariadne is seeing a lot of talk in the run-up to theWave of Light Structure Deck next week.
That's it for now, but we'll be back on Friday with another look at all theaction in the TCGplayer Marketplace. We'll see you then!