Four big factors shaped the Top 10 this week. The first was another surgein popularity for previous F.A. cards, as powerful new cards for the themearrive this weekend at the Extreme Force Sneak Peeks. While theinitial announcement of stuff like F.A. City Grand Prix and F.A. Test Runsent players scrabbling to gather up the previous cards for the themeearlier on, that demand subsided for a bit, then reemerged this week in therun-up to the Sneak.
Floodgate Trap Hole and Bottomless Trap Hole were two of the biggest techpicks to emerge from YCS Melbourne two weeks ago, and both cards saw a tonof play in tournaments last weekend. That created a demand for both cards,as well as a renewed interest in other powerful "go first" trap cards. Aconvergent reprint surged to the top of the charts as a result, too,serving as our third push-factor in sales patterns.
Finally, while those trends largely pushed Pendulum Magicians out of theTop 10, interest in some of the deck's tech options pushed big sales asplayers prepared for the arrival of Heavymetalfoes Electrumite. A previoussleeper hit this month moved in massive numbers, as players and speculatorsboth rushed to grab their copies.
So what'd all that add up to? Here's what the Top 10 bestseller list lookedlike this week.
#10: Floodgate Trap Hole
Ryan Levine, Jake Quinsee, Brandon Eldridge, and Bohdan Temneck took 1st Place, Top 8, Top 16, and Top 32 at YCS Melbournerespectively, all siding Bottomless Trap Hole and triple Floodgate TrapHole. The idea was simple: with so many big themes having easy ways ofcoping with graveyard-centric destruction effects, banishing monsters orjust locking them in place face-down are better alternatives.
It's entirely true, and even just as a sided technique it dominated the YCSand won it all for Levine. Frankly, those four players probably would'vedone even better if they hadn't had to smash on eachother in the playoffrounds. That technique was adopted by players who toppedRegionals in North DakotaandNew Jersey,and itappeared alloverthe ARGCSinRichmondthefollowingweek. We even saw those cards working their way into Main Deck play as well –Aaron Chase Furman went particularly hard, maining a full set of Bottomless and Floodgate as well as theLevine/Quinsee/Eldridge/Temneck pick, Ghostrick Jackfrost.
The result was tremendous interest in Floodgate Trap Hole, pushing it intothe Number 10 position.
#9: F.A. Sonic Meister
Meanwhile, half the Top 10 was occupied by F.A. cards. F.A. Sonic Meisteris one of the theme's three Level 4 monsters, all of which are must-owns asplayers come to a consensus as to which ones should be played in whichnumbers. Sonic Meister's likely the weakest of the three, but with suchlimited monster choices and such low price points, you might as well stockup on a playset of everything.
#8: F.A. Downforce
F.A. Downforce may not be the theme's most powerful card either, offeringnothing but a double Level boost compared to more impressive effects likeSpecial Summons and free draws. But your options are limited, and the cardsare incredibly affordable, so a lot of players seemed to be filling gaps intheir F.A. arsenal before the weekend.
#7: F.A. Whip Crosser
A more competitive pick, F.A. Whip Crosser stumps a wealth of powerful handtraps – basically everything from the top shelf of the hand trap worldminus Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. It's extremely easy to get WhipCrosser up to Level 7 whereupon it hits 2100 ATK and secures the rest ofyour plays on Turn 1. We haven't really seen themes with built-inprotection from hand traps before, and while there are lots of flashyreasons to want to pick up F.A.'s right now, this one's a more subtle,extremely strong selling point.
Oddly enough, the apex predator of the F.A. monster lineup – F.A. Hang OnMach – didn't make the Top 10 this week. Why that was the case is anybody'sguess, but it might just be a function of the over-the-top sales that cardsaw off the last surge for F.A.'s.
#6: Proxy Dragon
Proxy Dragon's still a strong contender for most important Link Monster inthe game, thanks to its staple status in virtually every Link Summoningdeck going. Eminently splashable, and offering a range of utility thatnothing else doubles over, it's a perennial top seller in the TCGplayerMarketplace even if most decks only run one copy. It's no surprise to seeit here in the Top 10 once again.
#5: F.A. Pit Stop
F.A. Pit Stop is either a free Upstart Goblin that turns into Pot of Greedand then double Pot of Greed over time, or a free Upstart Goblin that turnsinto a free Monster Reborn on your following turn.
It's crazy, and it's one of the best reasons to play F.A.'s onceExtreme Force goes legal. We've seen a lot of similar mechanicsrepackaged into theme support over the years – search cards and backrowremoval are the two most common – but a retrained version of Upstart Goblinis rare. Especially one that just straight up outclasses the original.
#4: F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix
The last F.A. card in the Top 10 this week, Off-Road Grand Prix againsmacks of players filling in the holes in their F.A. collections.Effectively the "defensive" of the three F.A. Field Spells, it exists topunish your opponent for destroying your monsters, something you don't wanthappening; by discarding cards from their hand, something the big decksright now can often play around or benefit from anyways; and it costs youyour Battle Phase boosts from the other two F.A. Field Spells.
At this point I have major doubts that Off-Road Grand Prix will even seeplay. But regardless, hedging your bets that it might is super cheap, andlots of players clearly wanted to round out their options just in case.
#3: Chronograph Sorcerer
Chronograph Sorcerer was the only Pendulum Magician card to make the Top 10this week, and the demand for it this week was largely the product ofspeculation. It's played in the OCG and may become a staple pick forMagicians post-EXFO, largely for the sheer power level it represents.Previously available for a song due to its unplayed status in the OCG, it'snow on an upward Price Trend at an average Market Price of about 60 centsas of this writing.
Even if it only draws even with cards like Purple Poison Magician andDouble Iris Magician, there will likely still be some winners from thisweek who picked up their copies on the cheap.
#2: Pot of Desires
The highest selling card of 2017 is still one of the highest selling cardsof 2018, with really no signs of slowing down. It'll be interesting to seewhere Pot of Desires winds up next week as we start to seeExtreme Force singles filtering into the Marketplace off the backof the Sneak Peek, but we've yet to see a Big Core release that knocked itout of a relevant position.
And it's been a few of those by this point.
#1: Solemn Warning
And finally, the push for trap-driven strategies reclaiming the Turn 1advantage converged with the reprinting of Solemn Warning inStructure Deck: Wave of Light, ushering in huge sales for Warning.Even as we see Bottomless Trap Hole and Floodgate Trap Hole benefiting froma perspective that avoids sending opposing cards to the graveyard, Warningremains a powerful card in a class reserved for very few trap cards, andthe chance to pick up dozens of copies for pennies sent speculatorsscrabbling.
What else was big this week? F.A. Circuit Grand Prix and F.A. Turbo Chargertook the Number 11 and Number 14 spots, while Duelist Alliance at Number 13was one of the last remnants of interest in Pendulum Magicians.
Meanwhile Vendread Chimera took Number 12, showing that there's stilldemand for Vendreads in the wake of the new EXFO releases, and SubterrorFiendess clocked in at Number 15.
Extreme Forcecards are available for presale this week in the TCGplayer Marketplace, sotune in Monday to see if there are any early hits, and check back on Fridayto see the first impact of the full tournament-legal release.
We'll see you then!