If you haven't seen the results yet, be sure to check them out over in thedeck archive; there's a lot of really fantastic stuff there that couldserve you well in your next tournaments. But as a topdown view, the bigdecks in the Top Cut were SPYRALs, Altergeists, Trickstars, and the winningstrategy Goukis. There was some variation in each theme, but Goukis stoodout with the most variety.
Despite the wealth of information from that tournament, the market seemedslow to react: SPYRALs saw a big spike over the weekend, and Goukiscontinued to be popular, but perhaps not as popular as they should be giventhe promise they demonstrated at Hartford. Instead, we largely sawcontinuations of trends from the past week and a half: Knightmares are onlygetting bigger, answers to the new Sky Striker Ace theme were hot, andgeneric splashables heading into the open tournament field remained choicepicks.
With the stage set, here's what the Top 10 bestseller list looked like thisweek, from Monday to Friday.
#10: Knightmare Mermaid
Knightmare Corruptor Iblee's still on an upward Price Trend, climbing tothe $45 mark this week. And while seven copies of Iblee were played in theTop 16 at ARGCS Hartford, eleven players ran a Knightmare Mermaid,demonstrating that players are running it for more than just its ability tothrow Iblee onto the field. While Knightmare engines were varied in thefirst weeks of Flames of Destruction, and minimal suites werecommon, we're starting to see Knightmares taking up more and more ExtraDeck space in an increasing number of decks.
#9: Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
On the eve of the release of Dark Saviors and the arrival of theSky Striker Ace cards, it's no wonder that demand has risen for GhostReaper & Winter Cherries. Combined with the popularity of other threatslike Knightmares and SPYRAL Double Helix, we saw two of the three printingsof Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries hit upward Price Trends this week,with the Legendary Collection Kaiba Ultra Rare currently availableat $7.75 up from about $5, and the Mega Pack Secret Rare up to$8.50.
#8: Underclock Taker
Underclock Taker's seeing some play in Altergeists and Goukis right now?But it's not being played in the majority if top cut builds we've beenseeing. Still, when you're a strong option in arguably the two best decksof the new format, you move units.
#7: Knightmare Cerberus
This was the first week where we saw a significant gap in sales betweenKnightmare Cerberus and Knightmare Phoenix, two cards that were previouslyjoined at the hip. The difference in demand probably reflects an importantdifference between the two cards: while Knightmare Cerberus is relegatedentirely to Knightmare suites, Knightmare Phoenix's effect is actually sogood that it may be worth running on its own in strategies that don't wantto commit to other Knightmare cards. More on that momentarily.
#6: F.A. Dawn Dragster
But first, F.A. Dawn Dragster was back in the Top 10 yet again, offering apowerful generic negation option. Dawn Dragster's been a bestselling cardalmost every week since it was introduced, and the fact that it's yet tomaterialize in a Top Cut hasn't seemed to slow player enthusiasm for it.Will it wind up seeing play this format? The jury's still out.
#5: Shared Ride
Shared Ride returned to the Top 10 over the weekend in response to theimpending release of the Sky Striker Ace theme, and demand remained strongthroughout the week. The brief dip of the Mega Pack Secret Rare to75 cents last week Rebounded to $7, needless to say on an Upward PriceTrend that puts it into the same range as theLegacy of the Valiant Secret. The Gold Rare is on an upward PriceTrend as well, landing at $4 for the week.
It's very possible that the impact of Sky Strikers will fail to meetexpectations this weekend, but regardless, the Sky Striker cards have atendency to pop up in a variety of strategies in the OCG. They'lldefinitely be a factor in competition, and if you can get the copies youwant for a good value, it's worth it to future proof yourself.
#4: Knightmare Phoenix
Speaking of upward Price Trends, Knightmare Phoenix is on one as well, asplayers come to appreciate the power of its splashable Mystical SpaceTyphoon ability. It's still less than a buck, but if it comes to be viewedas a generic Extra Deck out and transcends its use in full Knightmaresuites, it could easily gain a bit of value moving forward.
#3: Waking the Dragon
With True Dracos seemingly gone from competition, only one player in theTop 16 at ARGCS Hartford played Waking the Dragon. The card's utility iscertainly in question with SPYRALs, Altergeists, Trickstars, and Gokisemerging as the big winners heading into the new format, though it's worthnoting that the more localized metagames of ARGCS events are known foroften representing just a slice of the viable tournament field. It may besurprising to see Waking the Dragon in the Number 3 spot his week, but itdoes seem as if a lot of players are still considering True Dracos athreat, despite the loss of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King.
#2: Reboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot
Meanwhile ten players in the Top 16 ran Reboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot, helping to solidify itsubiquity on the level of Twin Twisters and Cosmic Cyclone. There'scertainly a lot of discussion about using it in the early game to stoptrap-heavy strategies like Altergeists, or sided strategies that may onlyhave limited trap lineups such as a playset of Evenly Matched. I'm not sureReboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot's worthwhile in those types of situations. But Reboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot'svalue is beyond dispute when you're playing it to lock in an unexpected winturn, and for that reason alone it's worth playing.
Nuance and ingenuity will determine Reboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot's full range over the comingweeks, but it's really a question of "Is this a powerful card," or "Is thisone of the most powerful cards in years." Everyone should have a playset.
#1: Called by the Grave
And finally, played by a total of ten Top Cut finishers in ARGCS Hartfordand Main Decked by seven of those players, Called by the Grave may havefinally come into its own. With hand traps becoming more and more powerfuleach week, as the important of Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit and GhostReaper & Winter Cherries rises and Ash Blossom & Joyous Springcontinues to be excellent, Called by the Grave just gets better and better.Available for 75 cents, the value of the Flames of Destructioncommon is going nowhere, and that's great news for competitors who want tooutplay opposing disruption.
I think as this format is explored and refined, we're going to see more andmore Main Decked copies topping events. Like Reboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot, it's an affordablepick that everyone should have three copies of. Called by the Grave solvesso many problems that it's just too good to ignore.
What else was big? Once again, Goukis represented just outside the Top 10,with Gouki Octostretch at Number 11 and Gouki Headbatt at Number 15.Played to victory at ARGCS Hartford by Aaron Chase Furman,appearing inthreedistinct variants, and taking five seats total in the Top 16, Goukis have finally begun tolive up to their potential in North American competition.
Iron Dragon Tiamaton and Sekka's Light are strong darkhorse picks fromFlames of Destruction, ranking Number 12 and Number 14respectively this week, and Wiretap took Number 13 to finish out the list.With Reboot' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Red Reboot">Red Reboot becoming more and more popular, Wiretap's a solid answerthat leaves your opponent hurting for the cost of activation. While it's aspecialized form of disruption, the wealth of trap cards being played inAltergeists and Trickstars makes it a safer bet, and it's probably going tobecome a more common Side Deck choice.
Speculators went after a few different cards this week, but the two bigpicks were Summon Limit and Axe of Fools. The Axe is played as a secondfiddle Equip Spell in Goukis, backing of Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade andoffering a Fiendish Chain type effect, but there's still quite a bit ofdebate as to whether it's better than Moon Mirror Shield.
That's it for this week, but join us on Monday when we'll see the overnightmarket reactions to the first Regional Weekend of the new format!