It's very common for a new release to take over the weekend Top 10, butit's not always clear what those initial hits mean for competitive playmoving forward. Today that's not the case. The majority of the top-sellingcards from Legendary Hero Decks tilt toward three establishedstrategies:Burning Abyss,Dark Heroes, andDark Goukis, all of which have recent Regional Top 8's not to mention strongperformances in YCS tournaments. That could prove to be valuable information forcompetitors attending YCS Niagara this weekend.
While the new Thunder Dragon theme from Soul Fusion is expected tobe the biggest influence on the YCS, the sudden rally for these threestrategies demonstrates a strong competitive interest in three more Deckswith a proven track record. Whether that's a function of competitiveanalysis and players truly believe these decks to be the best shot attournament wins moving forward, or a function of budget with key ThunderDragon Secret Rares at peak cost out of the gates, is a tossup.
But regardless of the Reasoning, there are clearly a lot of playersplanning to pick up at least some of those strategies. Divining which onesthey're most interested in becomes the key deduction we'll try to maketoday, as we look at the biggest cards in the TCGplayer Marketplace fromFriday to Monday.
#10: The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots
Now available as an uber-budget common, The Phantom Knights of Silent Bootskicks off our countdown at Number 10. At a helpful Level 3 it's fodder in apinch for Xyz Summons and Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, andsending it to the graveyard lets you search The Phantom Knights of ShadeBrigandine or Phantom Knights' Fog Blade, both of which have seenconsiderable play in recent tournament Top Cuts.
It's tough to say what if any deck this data point favors, as The PhantomKnights of Silent Boots has played a key role in Burning Abyss before, andnow features in Dark Heroes and Dark Goukis as a tech pick. It's a vote forall three to some degree, but precise deductions are tough to make.
Also, it's crazypants both to help you make, and play with, The PhantomKnights of Rusty Bardiche. But we'll see that guy later.
#9: Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
Phantom Knights have always been inextricably linked to the Burning Abyssfamily, and anything that's good for PK's is probably good for BA's too.Coming off a YCS win, a YCS runner-up finish, and several Regional Top 8s,it's no surprise to see Dante selling like hotcakes in his first-everbudget printing. With the often-hated Gold Rare costing more than fivebucks, and the 2015 Mega Pack Secret Rare starting at elevendollars, the chance to grab a fresh looking nonfoil for less than $2 is awelcome opportunity.
#8: The Phantom Knights of Mist Claws
While it may not have the same flash as some of the other new cards inLegendary Hero Decks, The Phantom Knights of Mist Claws is adefensive powerhouse that lets you shield your face and groin at the sametime, for free, by placing two cards on the field to Block Attacks.Combined with a decent mid-game recycling effect it's really no slouch, andit looks like a lot of players recognized that given the demand.
#7: Xtra HERO Wonder Driver
It's difficult to tell if the high demand for Xtra HERO Wonder Driver isreally due to its play potential, or just owed to the fact that it's sheerfan-fodder. There are a lot of details that have made Wonder Driver acontentious card: its Attribute keeps you from turning it into Masked HERODark Law, its recycling effect likely places it in the mid-game instead ofthe early game, and its Link Arrows aren't fantastic.
On the glass half full side, it's easy to make with Vision HERO Vyon playedinto Destiny Hero – Malicious, which seems to become more and moreimportant every week. The return of Elemental Hero Stratos certainly helpsits viability too, but we'll have to see if this one winds up being worthreal play. For now, we know there will at least be enough people armed withcopies to find out.
#6: Phantom Knights' Fog Blade
Aside from The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, Phantom Knights' FogBlade is the single most-played Phantom Knights trap card in currentcompetition. Effectively just a better Fiendish Chain, it effectivelybecomes a better card every time new Phantom Knight cards arrive to pairwith it. That said, it was narrowly beaten out by…
#5: …The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine
No surprise here, with The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine becoming aneven stronger three-of pick off the release of The Phantom Knights of RustyBardiche. Squint hard enough and the new Link-3 looks a lot like a Link 2,thanks in large part to the ease with which you'll summon it off this card.We've seen The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine power wins in WorldChalice in the past, it's featured in the early Dark Hero decks we've seen,and it's a Gouki staple. It's no surprise to see such demand for it nowthat it's a tenth of the price, and so key to decks on the rise.
#4: The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche
Speaking of Rusty Bardiche, the biggest new card from theLegendary Hero Decks clocked in at Number 4 despite being thesecond priciest single from the release. At this point the accolades heapedon this thing run a mile deep, but let's review.
First up, it's incredibly easy to summon thanks to The Phantom Knights ofShade Brigandine, Armageddon Knight, and Vision HERO Vyon, both of whichget you to Destiny Hero – Malicious for free Link Material. Second, itsability to send a Phantom Knight monster from your deck to your graveyard,and load a matching spell or trap to your backrow, is insanely powerful.Add solid ATK, great Link Arrows, and a decent secondary effect and you'vegot an incredibly flexible card.
And yet, all of that falls by the wayside in light of the numerous combosthis thing enables that end on Topologic Gumblar Dragon. How fast we seethis become an engine that appears in different strategies is up in theair, but regardless, it's a safe bet that The Phantom Knights of RustyBardiche will make an impact this weekend despite the hype surroundingSoul Fusion.
#3: Junk Forward
To me, Junk Forward coming in at Number 3 in the Top 10 is very telling.While this may have some utility in new combos moving forward, this card'salmost exclusively associated with Goukis, and to me it's the biggestindicator this week. Despite Goukis putting in a somewhat underwhelmingperformance at the recent 200th YCS weekend compared to what they were doing for the rest of theyear, and despite the hits from the F&L List, the deck's still doneexceedingly well in the new format and players are still innovating onprevious builds.
With Goukis standing to gain so much from the Legendary Hero Deckcards, the deck looks strong heading into YCS Niagara, and this trend seemsto suggest that a lot of players are going to be taking new Gouki buildsinto tournaments this weekend. The deck's occupying a space that could keepplayers from focusing on it for the next week, but I think letting it slipyour gaze is a huge Mistake. I'd still be on high alert for the matchup.
#2: Twin Twisters
Still arguably the best backrow removal card in competition today, TwinTwisters gets its first Ultra Rare printing inLegendary Hero Decks, and it's currently about half the price ofevery other printing we've seen. Whenever an Ultra Rare reprint of a highlycompetitive generic card arrives at a price that's 50% off the commonversion, we always see big sales from collectors and players looking for anupgrade, and that's exactly what happened this weekend.
#1: Destiny HERO - Malicious
The only card to outsell Twin Twisters is perhaps the only card thatwouldn't be a surprise in that role: Destiny Hero – Malicious is huge rightnow, playing a key role in Goukis and Dark Heroes, and offering tremendoussynergy with both established power-cards and new material fromLegendary Hero Decks. Destiny Hero – Malicious has ruled pastformats in years gone by, and any time it's at three it's a threat incompetition.
Factor in a wealth of relatively new powerhouse cards, from Isolde, TwoTales of the Noble Knights and The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche toTopologic Gumblar Dragon and beyond, and you've got an incredibly efficientgateway to a ton of big combos. And while drawing Malicious is rarelydesirable, there are so many ways to mitigate that risk that it's anincredibly safe card.
Again, with the original Ultra Rare well into the double digits price rangeand the Legendary Collection 2 common still commanding four bucks,the new Ultra Rare's a steal at $1.75 as of this writing and the newcommon's only 75 cents. It just doesn't get any better.
What else was big this week? Elemental HERO Shadow Mist benefited from allthe Hero love, nearly making the Top 10 at Number 11. Called by the Gravewas still a big pick as expected, clocking in at Number 13, while Xtra HERODread Decimator took Number 15. Impcantation Talismandra and ImpcantationCandoll remained popular in the wake of the new Blue-Eyes White DragonRitual enthusiasm, finishing at Number 12 and Number 14 respectively.
That's it for this Market Watch, but we'll be back on Monday after YCSNiagara with our first look at the bestselling cards fromSoul Fusion. If you're heading to the YCS this weekend have a safetrip, and I'll see you there as part of the coverage team.
Thanks for reading!