Yesterday we saw the long-awaited release of a new F&L List, and it wasdefinitely more of the hatchet-wielding variety than a series of surgicaltweaks.
The new Advanced Format sets the pace for the WCQ season – which wasalready underway with a completed weekend of National Championships inLatin America – by delivering a big blow to True Dracos, as well asremoving the FTK and Zexal suites from Pendulum Magicians… along withAstrograph Sorcerer, removing the deck's most complained-about power card.
60-Card decks, Gem-Knights, and anything relying on Ancient Fairy Dragonvia Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson took hits as well; in short, a lotof big strategies got softened up. Meanwhile decks that benefited fromFlames of Destruction appear to have lost very little; Altergeistsare effectively untouched, Goukis will benefit from the elimination of someof their worst matchups, and while some of the strategies runningKnightmares were lightly affected, a number of them are free and clear.Trickstars, Invoked, Mekk-Knights, and arguably even SPYRALs are basicallyuntouched, while more strategies are picking up some version of theKnightmare engine every day.
The biggest winners from the new F&L List are still to be determined,and the question of which strategies will get the most mainstreamacceptance is even murkier. But today we get a chance to look at thebestselling cards from the past weekend, from the Friday to Monday morningperiod just before the new List was revealed. If we can look at what peoplewere buying up before the new format hit, we can make better educatedguesses about what will see play in the new format.
With that in mind, let's count down the Top 10.
#10: Iron Dragon Tiamaton
Iron Dragon Tiamaton was praised as a potential sleeper pick before therelease of Flames of Destruction, but as far as we're aware, ithasn't seen any Top Cut play yet. Its effect and its ATK both make it lookpretty powerful, but that power comes at a cost: not only is it effectivelyuseless on Turn 1 – something that's making more and more players abandoncertain cards these days – it's extremely specific to a narrow list ofsituations… some of which may never even present themselves in certainmatchups.
And while Tiamaton's effect has some flexibility to it, it's certainly atits best when it's chiefly destroying opposing cards; that can meanrestricted utility and problematic situations where it limits your ownplay. It's definitely a powerful card, but time will tell if the difficultyin playing it keeps it off the competitive radar.
#####CARDID= 23398 #####
#9: F.A. Dawn Dragster
Still hanging tight in the Top 10, F.A. Dawn Dragster remained a popularbuy as both a generic powerhouse Synchro and an obvious themed pick for theF.A. theme. With the F&L List throwing some major curveballs at some ofthe game's best decks, the door's definitely more open to F.A.'s in seriouscompetition, so expect to see more players trying to run the deck inupcoming tournaments.
#####CARDID= 23454 #####
#8: Knightmare Goblin
With Top 8 finishes already stacking up in decks like Altergeists, SPYRALs,Trickstars, Mekk-Knight Invoked, and reportedly Goukis, Knightmares wentinto the weekend hot, and started off this week even hotter thanks to theF&L List. There was a grand total of four Knightmare Link Monsters inthe Top 10 this weekend, as players start to try and run them anywhere theycan fit, but you can expect that trend to strengthen moving forward.
#####CARDID= 23410 #####
#7: Knightmare Mermaid
Knightmare Mermaid's an excellent tool for unleashing Knightmare CorruptorIblee, and while it's a bit surprising to see it outpacing the more popularand more flexible Knightmare Goblin, just take it as a warning shot:whether you respect Iblee or not – and you definitely should in my opinion– it's clearly going to see more play. You need a plan for what to do whenIblee hits your field, and you might not want to rely on Kaijus quite asmuch as you might have otherwise.
#####CARDID= 23409 #####
#6: World Legacy Succession
A high-potential card that's already seeing play in Knightmare Gouki decks,World Legacy Succession's a combo-enabling recovery card that lets youreuse key monsters and extend plays in ways that are going to remainimportant for years to come. Currently at $2.25 on a downward Price Trend,it's a great chance to pick up what could easily become an $8-$10 UltraRare that benefits from the new F&L List.
#####CARDID= 23424 #####
#5: Knightmare Cerberus
Last week Knightmare Cerberus took the Number 6 spot, and after a weekendof heavy use in Regionals, it climbed to Number 5. Anybody want to placebets on how high it'll go this Friday?
#####CARDID= 23411 #####
#4: Knightmare Phoenix
Like Cerberus, Knightmare Phoenix was up a spot this weekend over itsfinish last week. Both cards go hand-in-hand in most cases, and both arecurrently on a downward Price Trend and sitting way below their averageMarket Price for the past little while. If you don't have your set yet,this is clearly the time to pick them up. Must-own Super Rares never reallyget much more affordable than the 50 cent mark, and even if they did, you'dbe biding your time to save pennies.
It's very possible we'll see Knightmares in almost a Pot of Desires typerole this Summer, where decks are judged in part by whether or not they canplay the Link tribe. Knightmares are already starting to gate access tosome big decks, and both Knightmare Unicorn and Knightmare Gryphon appearto have levelled off at $25 each.
#####CARDID= 23412 #####
#3: Red Reboot
All over the place in Side Decks this weekend, Red Reboot nullifies youropponent's trap-based defenses on a wholesale basis, winning games thatwould make Royal Decree blush. Virtually useless until you're going forgame, it's a brutal card that earns you totally unfair wins, and with theamount of play it's getting we can expect it to shape player attitudestoward Trap Cards moving forward.
#####CARDID= 23434 #####
#2: Called by the Grave
Even with Infinite Impermanence taking over from Effect Veiler, hand trapsare a big part of competition. They were unaffected by the F&L List,and that means we're unlikely to see demand slow any time soon.
#####CARDID= 23177 #####
#1: Waking the Dragon
Finally, the meme that became a niche reality became an out and outmovement over the weekend.
Waking the Dragon saw big play both as a Side Deck pick against True Dracosand a hilarious Main Deck gambitin Alfred Danklefsen's Top 8 Altergeists from the Lenexa Regional. Danklefsen mained Lilith, Lady of Lament, and would would use her effectto offer his opponents two traps he wanted and one copy of Waking theDragon. It left his opponents constantly wondering if the card he set wassafe to destroy, or if they'd lose the game instantly for doing so.
Waking the Dragon definitely loses some viability if True Dracos disappearfrom competition due to the F&L List. But if it remains viable, expectit to see a ton of play as so many competitors picked up their copies thispast week.
#####CARDID= 23446 #####
Aside from those ten big sellers we saw a lot of speculation, perhaps inanticipation of the new F&L List. Trickstars were big, with a smallminority of buyers hoarding tons of Trickstar Nightshade and TrickstarMandrake. Goukis saw similar action, with Gouki Suprex leading the pack.
Beyond that, Crystal Master and Crystal Keeper sold in droves to limitedbuyers; perhaps more of a hedged bet against collectors than an attempt toget ahead of tournament tends, as there isn't much that could make thosecards competitive.
That's it for now, but join us Friday when we get our first look at playerresponses to the new Advanced Format! You won't want to miss it.