The final days of Yu-Gi-Oh! in 2019 were filled with a lot of discussion and positivity, with players greeting the news of April's Master Rule update with open arms. There was lots of talk about what strategies could return, which cards might benefit most, and we saw some big hits in the secondary market.
…So, what now?
The impact of "Master Rule 5" started to slow down in the TCGplayer Marketplace this week, as buyers got their fill of trending tech picks.Regionals are back this weekend, bringing current tournament play back to the forefront. Legendary Duelists: Magical Hero releases on January17two weeks from today, and the new F&L List could drop at any moment.
The secondary market result? A mix of current tournament staples and a dwindling list of Master Rule speculations dominated the charts, while interest in Hero cards picked up just a little. Why not take a look for yourself: these were the Top 10 cards by number of orders in the TCGplayer Marketplace from Monday to Friday.
#10 - Mudragon of the Swamp
Mudragon was one of the mid-tier hits of the Master Rule update announcement, and while it was never topping the list it's proven to have legs. Super Polymerization's a pretty amazing card, and we'll be talkingabout it later on further down the list.
#9 - Dark Ruler No More
"How do I get through that field" is one of the biggest questions Yu-Gi-Oh!players have to face day-to-day, and Dark Ruler No More's been a popular answer for the last many weeks. Once Synchros, Xyz and Fusions become easier to play again we're going to see even more crazy fields across a variety of strategies, and Dark Ruler No More will probably become even more important.
Holding steady around the $5 mark, Dark Ruler No More feels pretty approachable. But it's worth being aware: Nibiru, the Primal Being has similar positioning and is already double the price.
#8 - Saryuja Skull Dread
Looking ahead to April there are definitely some Link Monsters that make the leap into the era of the revised Master Rule update: stuff likeKnightmare Phoenix, Knightmare Unicorn, and Borrelsword Dragon are going tobe competitive until the end of time, barring some sort of major change tothe F&L List or the actual game system. But will Saryuja Skull Dreadprove to be in the same category?
I'm not actually sure. Saryuja doesn't see much play today, let alone in a tomorrow where Link Monsters aren't as important. Saryuja Skull Dread wasone of the most popular cards of 2019 once it started seeing reprints, and that general popularity has carried over into 2020. But its future remains murky.
#7 - Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
Number 97: Draglubion fell to Number 20 in this week's countdown, but the companion card it unleashes was still a Top 10 pick. Number 38: HopeHarbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy is still one of the crowning boss monsters of the Dragon pantheon, and while you can gimmick it onto the field with Draglubion the sheer number of options to get it into play reaches far beyond that option.
Hope Harbinger's still one of the best controlling boss monsters available, and it's still wildly affordable as well. It's probably not be an investment piece on the verge of a price spike, but it's a great card to own if you're at all interested in combo play styles for 2020. A lot of players didn't pick it up when it was reprinted, so it makes sense that so many people are just catching up now.
#6 - Abyss Dweller
Arguably the most game-breaking Rank 4 today, Abyss Dweller was a defining card that singlehandedly made strategies viable in the latter half of 2019.Now with Master Rule 5 on the horizon it's even hotter, and while it didn't have the flash and flair of bigger picks like Junk Speeder, its status in the secondary market has skyrocketed.
#5 - Effect Veiler
Effect Veiler was one of the game's first tournament level hand traps, and though it was once considered outclassed by stuff like Ghost Ogre &Snow Rabbit, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and especially InfiniteImpermanence, it continues to carve a niche for itself in competition. 2019saw a lot of deep think about the nature of hand traps, with plenty of under-appreciated options – think Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion, D.D.Crow and Skull Meister – all getting some time in the spotlight. The player base started to appreciate the nuances separating hand traps a lot more, and that's vaulted demand for some of the less appreciated options.
Demand for Veiler might also be tied to the renewed interest generated by the reveal ofEvening Crescent & Autumn Shower, a more dangerous but much more conditional negation option arriving inEternity Code.
#4 - Nibiru, the Primal Being
Nibiru was an awesome card the moment it dropped, instantly dividing the competitive landscape into decks that could beat it, decks that didn't need to, and decks that lost to it. Now, looking ahead three months to an era of competition where more strategies can spam Special Summons from the ExtraDeck, it seems even more important.
Locked at 7 dollars for months, Nibiru's now up to ten bucks and may continue to gain value over time. The fact that such a relatively pricy card ranked so highly this week demonstrates just how important players think it'll be moving forward.
#3 - Super Polymerization
Is Super Polymerization even better under the new Master Rule update?Probably, since the gloves are off with when and where you can summonFusion Monsters. I want to say that I'd be surprised if SuperPolymerization remained at 3-per-deck through the next F&L List, but I actually wouldn't be. I feel like Konami's R&D staff knew what would happen putting it to three, and at the same time there are some upcoming releases that would benefit from Super Polymerization remaining unrestricted.
But maybe the incoming changes make Super Polymerization more powerful thanR&D planned at the time? We don't really know their intent, nor do we know how long the Master Rule update was in the works, so it's impossible to say. Regardless, a lot of players seemed to place their bets this week, and many of them seem to betting that Super Polymerization will stay at three.
#1 – TIE – Called by the Grave
Yes, the best-selling card this week in the TCGplayer Marketplace was actually a dead-heat tie! This is a first for a Market Watch column, mirroring a similar situation on our socials earlier this week. In that case, Junk Speeder and Number 97: Draglubion were tied due to massive Master Rule 5 hype. This time around the cards were entirely different, as players turned their attention back to the present.
I don't know if you've had a chance to look at the latest Regional Top Cutlists from late December, but hand traps were up across the board, including a much higher interest in D.D. Crow and Skull Meister. Two handtraps made the Top 10 this week, Effect Veiler and our Number 1best-seller, and Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit narrowly missed the Top 10 atNumber 11.
Combined with a lot of speculation that Sky Strikers could survive the nextF&L List, there were lots of reasons to buy into Called by the Gravethis week. While Called by the Grave can be an on-and-off meta call depending on what you expect at any given event, it's just one of those cards you want the option to play whether you take some time off from it or not. It's an absolute must-own.
#1 – TIE – Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
And speaking of must-owns, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring was back on top to kick off 2020! All five reprints of Ash Blossom are around 6 to 7dollars now, and while there are still lots of copies in the secondary market, that supply could get hit hard if demand continues to be this high.If you're holding some Ash Blossoms yourself you might make a few dollars in the coming weeks.
Will we see another reprint sometime soon? Given the 2019 Ash BlossomReprint-palooza, it seems like a sketchy proposition. If you don't have your copies yet, consider grabbing them now; I don't think they'll see a price drop any time soon, and similar staples like Nibiru, the Primal Beingjust keep climbing inch by inch.
Looking beyond the top 10, Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit clocked in atNumber 11 to continue the tournament focus. But we did see some Master Rule revision remnants with Tornado Dragon and Elemental Hero Stratos at Numbers12 and 13, two cards that players were markedly more interested in after the MR5 reveal. Stratos may also be getting a boost from the incomingLegendary Duelists: Magical Hero release arriving in two weeks.
From there it was Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju at Number 14 and MonsterReborn at Number 15; Reborn's seen more discussion and a little Regional success over the last few weekends.
That's it for this Market Watch, but we'll be back in another week to see what's leading the secondary market! We'll see you then.