The second core booster of 2018 releases on May 4th, two weeksafter YCS Memphis and one week after YCS Santiago. Goukki and Altergeistshave both made a tournament-level impact in the OCG, but the F.A. theme isa total wildcard; OCG players still waiting to get the F.A. cards from ourversion of Extreme Force, so the theme's completely untestedoverseas. In addition, we have no idea what FLOD will bring for the F.A.theme anyways; while new cards like F.A. Motorhome Transport and F.A. AutoNavigator made the deck a hot prospect, there's no way to tell whatFlames of Destruction could bring to the strategy.
Those cards could be equally strong, or stronger than what we've alreadyseen. Or, they could wind up being totally irrelevant.
Personally I'd bet on the former; there's no reason to think that R&Dwould decide to abandon the theme now that it's standing on the cusp ofviability. And a lot of other people seem to be placing the same bet: lastweek we saw the F.A. theme place three cards into the Top 10. This timearound that number doubled, with six of the weekend's bestselling cardsserving the F.A. strategy.
What does that look like across the full Top 10 countdown? Let's dive inand find out.
#10: F.A. City Grand Prix
New to the Top 10, F.A. City Grand Prix's the best of the three F.A. FieldSpells, offering a Level boost in both the Main Phase and Battle Phase.That means it contributes to your combos and field spamming plays, as wellas building the effectiveness of your F.A. monsters in battle; the otherField Spells can only do one or the other. It also gives you moreredundancy with your replacement effects, ensuring that you're alwaysputting your best foot forward.
City Grand Prix's almost assuredly a staple at three-per-deck, and asdemand for F.A. cards heated up, it made a fitting entry at Number 10.
#9: Underclock Taker
Down from Number 3 last week, Underclock Taker continues to outpace ProxyDragon as the highest selling Link Monster in the game, but gave a ton ofground to F.A. cards over the weekend. There's not much left to say: as acommon, Underclock Taker's massively accessible; and as a splashableLink-2, there's only one card that can rival it in the role it plays -Proxy Dragon. Since you'll want to run both of those cards in most decksanyways, demand is always strong for both of them.
#8: F.A. Whip Crosser
If you're not familiar with the F.A. cards yet, they can be a lot to takein at first glance. But to shorthand this one, the most important part ofF.A. Whip Crosser's effect is the last line: it basically reads, "stop mostof your opponent's hand traps from working." While hand traps aren't quiteas ubiquitous as they were in the era of SPYRALs, they're still a huge partof competition, and the ability to play through them on Turn 1 could be abig win for F.A.'s once FLOD arrives.
If you have any doubt about that, just look at the impact of Amano-Iwato inTrue Dracos. F.A. Whip Crosser plays in a lot of the same ways, securingyour Turn 1 combos and ensuring you can go off to build big fields. Again,this one didn't make the Top 10 last week, but seeing more demand over theweekend makes a ton of sense. You're definitely going to run it if you'replaying F.A.'s.
#7: Qliphort Genius
Qliphort Genius was the Number 10 bestselling card last week, and its riseto the Number 7 spot helps to illustrate the rising interest in F.A. cards.People are already playing Qliphort Genius in Machine strategies likeABC-Dragon Buster, but with ABC's still only topping tournaments on rareoccasion, you've gotta believe that the spike in demand for Qliphort Geniusis owed almost entirely to incoming F.A. cards fromFlames of Destruction.
#6: F.A. Auto Navigator
Up from Number 8 last week, F.A. Auto Navigator's emerged as the heart andsoul of the F.A. strategy, creating nutsy combos that reap massive cardadvantage and unleash big boss monsters for almost no investment. Doug dida fantastic video demonstrating the power of Auto Navigator with somespecific plays,
#5: PSY-Framegear Gamma
Demand for PSY-Framegear Gamma fell over the weekend, sending it tumblingfrom Number 2 to Number 5. It's not so much that sales of Gamma dipped, somuch as demand for F.A. cards outstripped it. Gamma's become a frontlinedefender against many of the same cards that have driven Amano-Iwato intothe tournament spotlight, and its $4 price point thanks to its reprint inLegendary Collection Kaiba's made it vastly more accessible. It'llprobably Rebound by the end of the week, but as far as the weekend wasconcerned, the F.A. fervor just couldn't be stopped.
#4: F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix
The second of two F.A. Field Spells that can bolster the Levels of yourF.A. monsters in the Main Phase, Off-Road Grand Prix is important becausewithout that Main Phase Level boost, you can't really make any of thedeck's crazy Synchro combos. Off-Road gives redundancy in the face ofremoval and poor draws, and gives you a secondary option to bounce betweenwhen another differently-named F.A. Field Spell is destroyed.
#3: F.A. Pit Stop
WAY up from Number 9 last week, F.A. Pit Stop was the bestselling card forF.A.'s this weekend, with an effect that combines a free Monster Rebornwith Upstart Goblin… and sometimes replaces the Upstart Goblin bit with Potof Greed. That's about as crazy as it sounds, and it's easy to see why F.A.Pit Stop sold like hotcakes all weekend long. It's a definite three-of inany F.A. build.
#2: Pot of Desires
Despite the incredible demand for F.A. cards, Pot of Desires still outsoldthem all, and once again it was only bested by…
#1: Called by the Grave
With a bunch of graveyard-centric cards on the horizon, and incrediblyutility and impact in current competition, Called by the Grave was onceagain the highest selling card in the TCGplayer Marketplace. As more andmore examples of Top Cut use continue to come to light, the demand forCalled only gets higher and higher. And with supply ofExtreme Force Special Edition drying up, the imperative to getyour copies now before a possible price spike is very real.
For now it's on a downward Price Trend at about five bucks, but with fewerthan 80 Special Editions left in the TCGplayer Marketplace as of thiswriting, some going for as much as $15, that downward trend might not last.
Looking beyond the Top 10 revealed even more demand for F.A. cards, withF.A. Test Run, F.A. Hang On Mach, and the big boss F.A. Motorhome Transportcoming in at Number 11, Number 13, and Number 14 respectively. F.A. CityGrand Prix only sold a handful of copies more than F.A. Test Run, whichmakes sense since Test Run's basically a free Mystical Space Typhoon thatdestroys any card, including monsters, and then comes with a free EmergencyTeleport effect for later.
That left Proxy Dragon at Number 12 and Link Spider at Number 15, two ofthe most important splashable Link Monsters in the game today. Aside fromthe tremendous spike of interest in F.A.'s there weren't any big upsets inthe Marketplace this weekend.
Join us again on Friday when we'll see if F.A. fever goes cold, or heats upeven more! Keep an eye on the deck archive for Top 8 Regional lists fromTulsa Oklahoma, Spartanburg South Carolina, Madison Wisconsin, andPhiladelphia, then check back to see what impact those lists have on themarketplace this week.
See you then!