That was unexpected.
Presales for new releases always begin a few days before a set's officiallaunch; you can lock in your order for cards from the new set, and thenyour cards ship to you on the actual street date. Sometimes that's a goodway to get ahead of demand and snag some deals. Other times prices can behigher than they wind up being a week later, but you know you'll get yourcards ASAP.
Regardless, presales are usually only a fraction of the action flowingthrough the TCGplayer Marketplace, even before the release of a Big Coreset. The last time we saw presales break into a weekly Top 10, it was wayback in August, when Back to the Front and Heavy Storm Dusterpaved the way for the Marketplace takeover ofCode of the Duelist.
Neither Circuit Break nor Extreme Force managed to moveenough cards in their Presale periods to make a dent on the Top 10, socolor me surprised when the latest package of sales data hit my desk thismorning: Flames of Destruction presales made up half the Top 10bestseller list this week.
What else was hot? Lair of Darkness continued to be a major forcein the secondary market, taking four slots in the Top 10. And with handstraps making a big comeback in the last two YCS tournaments, Called by theGrave was back in the running near the top of the salescharts once again.
Let's get right to it, and show you the ten bestselling cards in theTCGplayer Marketplace this week.
#10: Trickstar Mandrake
Trickstars have certainly slumped from their runner-up position lastformat, but the deck remains a consistent performer in Regionals and bigChampionships, offering a simple gameplan that's often simply impossible toescape. While new additions from Extreme Force largely fell flat,it looks as if Trickstar Mandrake may see some play at least in the earlyweeks of FLOD's release.
#9: Red Reboot
With Typhoon seeing heavy play the last few weeks, Evenly Matched one ofthe most feared cards in the game, and Infinite Impermanence the biggestmoney card from Flames of Destruction, we're definitely seeing ashift in attitudes toward trap cards: the trend of traps that can beactivated straight from your hand seems to be growing, and Red Reboot'sbeen caught up in that discussion. While giving your opponent a free +2 ofcard economy with a search element looks disastrous on the surface,especially when it costs half your Life Points.
But none of that matters if you win before your opponent can leverage thatadvantage, and that's the kind of thought process that drove sales for Red Reboot this week. As a Counter Trap it can stop basically anything youropponent might try to use to shut you down, and then it freezes the rest oftheir traps for the rest of the turn as well. It's an all-or-nothing cardin an all-or-nothing era, and it could prove to be very competitive.
#8: Monster Reborn Reborn
The latest Sneak Peek promo may look like meme fodder on the surface, butit's got some interesting niche uses, especially in 60-Card builds where itfollows in the footsteps of Soul Charge and Monster Reborn classic. Playedwith Fairy Tail - Snow you can manipulate what your opponent chooses foryou to revive, and you can banish useful fare like Giant Rex, ShiranuiSolitaire, and Shiranui Spiritmaster.
Kozmos like it, Metaphys love it, and it's more viable than it looks atfirst glance.
#7: Ahrima, the Wicked Warden
Jumping off the FLOD train for a moment, Ahrima, the Wicked Warden's been apopular pick in the TCGplayer Marketplace ever since its release, offeringa wealth of search and cycling power that keeps the Lair of Darknessstrategy on track. With 1700 ATK and a ton of utility, its popularity goeswhere the rest of the deck goes, and right now it's still a hot prospect.
Whether Lair of Darkness will remain popular through the two massiveRegional weekends we're coming up on – there are 18 Regionals in NorthAmerica this weekend and next – is yet to be seen. But for now, it's stilla huge mover.
#6: Lilith, Lady of Lament
Speaking of, while the jury's still out on dedicated Lair of Darkness decksin tournament competition, YCS Santiago gave us our first taste of Lilith,Lady of Lament in Top Cut competition.Juan Pablo Perez sided three copies in his Top 8 Infernoid BurningAbyss deck, siding it along with triple Dimensional Barrier and triple Mind Crush.There's clearly some real potential for Lilith in a more generic searchrole.
#5: F.A. Dark Dragster
The F.A. theme led the pack this week in Flames of Destructionsales, with the new boss monster F.A. Dark Dragster. With the potential toreach 3000 ATK or more with ease, it wields a stackable destruction effectthat rewards you for controlling multiple copies through recursion, shredding opposing problem cards and offering a lot of game-ending muscleto your F.A. setup. With such enthusiasm for the new tournament-level F.A.cards, we may see them in Top 8 action in this weekend's Regionals.
#4: Lair of Darkness
It's impossible to build a Lair of Darkness deck without the eponymousField Spell, and it's still one of the most affordable new cards from theLair of Darkness Structure Deck, so it was a hot pick yet againthis week. Turning relatively strong effects into outrightly unfairdisruption, Lair of Darkness is a new breed of Field Spell that's a bitriskier than what we've come to expect, but rewards simple combos to create a rolling snowball of momentum.
#3: F.A. Dawn Dragster
The final Flames of Destruction card in our Top 10 this week, F.A.Dawn Dragster climbed all the way to Number 3 on the salescharts. It's aninexpensive normal rare, it works exceptionally well in the F.A. strategy,and as a generic Level 7 Synchro with piercing damage and a powerfulnegation effect. Negation bodies are a proven force in competition withcards like Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King and Overtex Qoatluspowering their respective decks into Top Cut positions, and now that typeof power's been democratized for other themes.
That led to huge sales this week, which will probably continue through theweekend.
#2: Called by the Grave
With hand traps ramping back up in competition and some newgraveyard-driven monsters entering the fray, Called by the Grave Reboundedall the way to Number 2 this week. While it debuted in a very strongposition weeks ago, the relative lack of competitive play that followedknocked it down in the minds of many. But with a continued trickle of toptournament finishes it seems as if player perceptions may be coming around.
#1: Darkest Diabolos, Lord of the Lair
And finally, the bestselling card of the week was Darkest Diabolos, Lord ofthe Lair! That's a bit of a surprise given the Lair of Darkness strategy'sfailure to impress in tournaments so far, but with Diabolos on a downwardPrice Trend and available for as little as $1.50 a pop, it's clearly a goodtime to stock up on a card that could wind up being very strong after a newF&L List.
Lair of Darknessreprints drove Foolish Burial Goods and Allure of Darkness to the Number 11and Number 12 spots; PSY-Framegear Gamma came in at Number 13; UnderclockTaker took Number 14; and Gouki Octostretch finished out our list at Number15.
With some acknowledged success in the OCG, Goukis could wind up being asleeper hit here in TCG territory, though we may have to wait for therelease of the Sky Striker Ace cards in Dark Saviors to see thatcome to fruition. Regardless, there are clearly a lot of people looking toget ahead of that possibility.
That's it for this week, but join us on Monday when we look at the falloutfrom this weekend's seven Regional Qualifiers, and the market response tothe full retal release of Flames of Destruction. We'll see youthen!