With a ton of Top Cut deck lists arriving in the deck archive this weeka lot of things became clear about the current format: first up, theSalamangreat threat is very real. Salamangreat decks appeared in a fewdifferent flavors over the past week; some builds ran Salamangreat VioletChimera and Fusion of Fire, others ran Artifact Sanctum and ArtifactScythe, and some just chose a glut of hand traps over either option.
All three approaches took Salamangreat players to Top Cut finishes from
The deck shattered all expectations.
…And that wasn't even the coolest story of the week.Blue-Eyes took top honorsin Montreal,Synchros made a comebackin Atlanta,Impcantations carried Nekroz to the Top 8in Portland,and Kozmos crushed itin Omaha. Orcusts, Trickstars, Pendulums, Thunder Dragons, Sky Strikers,and ABCs all had their moment, leading to a wide open field full ofinnovation and room for further mastery. A ton of different decks held somedegree of sway over the secondary market this week, and it led to anexplosive series of price spikes on everything ranging from Artifact Scytheto Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon.
It was a crazy week, and now that it's all said and done we finally havethe numbers on which cards sold the most copies in the TCGplayerMarketplace. Hold onto your hats, because the Top 10 countdown this weekmay make it very clear where competition's heading this season.
#10: Time Thief Redoer
While Dark Combo is definitely still part of competition, a lot ofdifferent decks are starting to get in on the action of Outer EntityAzathot.Jorge Garcia MorenoandNicholas Mapesboth played builds of Orcust Danger, inspired by Ed Acepcion's performanceat YCS Chicago, and both had the option of playing Time Thief Redoer intoAzathot with The Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Launch and an accompanyingcopy of The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche.
More surprising was the clutch of successful Pendulum Magician decks, someof which adopted the technique as well. Douglas Brown demonstrated thattechniquein the Top 8 of the Omaha Regional as one example. Using the Phantom Knight suite to leverage The Phantom Knights of ShadeBrigandine into a buffed Redoer is extremely powerful, and while many wereskeptical of Azathot's role taking over from Topologic Gumblar Dragon andNumber 86: Heroic Champion – Rhongomyniad, Redoer's that extra bit of oomphthe concept needed to thrive.
#9: Transcode Talker
Brandon Romos made Top 16andFrancisco Alvaraz won 1st Placeat the ARG in Las Vegas, both running Transcode Talker. Romos played itwith Update Jammer too, a small suite that presents 8100 ATK off just asingle Lady Debug. While that wasn't a common sight in last weekend'sSalamangreat decks, I'd expect that trick to see more play moving forward,especially since we saw so many players picking up Transcodes.
#8: Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring: still eight bucks, and still selling likehotcakes. How long will Ash Blossom hold onto a spot in the Top 10? Noidea. But the fact that it's already sold so many copies despite arelatively high price point for our regular Top 10 countdown is impressive.
#7: Called by the Grave
With more Ash Blossoms running around in competition, Called by the Grave'sstock has never been higher. A lot of decks are back to running 9+ handtraps, and that makes Called an incredibly high utility pick. As always,the real wonder is that there are still so many new players piling into thegame or converting from casual dueling to tournament competition thatdemand for Called by the Grave can remain so high.
#6: Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze
Hiita might be a bit of a mystery right now, since after strong sales lastweek, it failed to material in notable Top Cuts entirely. Are peoplepicking this up to run it in Salamangreats? Are they hoping to use it tosomehow counter something? Regardless, it doesn't seem to be seeing muchsuccess. Drop your thoughts down in the comments and let me know what youthink is up.
#5: Dinowrestler Pankratops
As we've noted before in previous weeks, Dinowrestler Pankratops is still aubiquitous Side Deck card but also continues to transition into Main Deckplay. This week that meant a spike of showings from "Go Second" Sky Strikerbuilds, which use the Sky Striker deck's Foolish Burial Goods – once runjust for Metalfoes Fusion – to power out World Dino Wrestling instead.Hucking it into the graveyard means a free Pankratops Special Summonstraight from your deck, making both Pankratops and Goods into better, moreimpactful cards.
…And then from here on out it's all just Salamangreats.
#4: Salamangreat Violet Chimera
While Violet Chimera's clearly an optional pick for the moment, it's anaffordable one at about a buck-fifty, and it's definitely an option mostprospective Salamangreat players want to have. Adding another win conditionlevel threat to the Salamangreat arsenal's certainly never bad, but we'llhave to wait and see if it becomes a consensus choice or a fringe tactic.
#3: Lady Debug
It's Elemental Hero Stratos for Salamangreats, AND it leads straight intoimmediate OTK's if your opponent doesn't have any field presence. LadyDebug just keeps getting better,and while not all Top Cut Salamangreat duelists played itthis week, I think it's shocking any time someone decides against runningit.
Lady Debug is holding strong at around the eight dollar mark, making itanother relatively expensive pick for such a high position in the Top 10. Alot of players are
#2: Fusion of Fire
Fusion of Fire: only played for Salamangreat Violet Chimera, but cheaperthan Salamangreat Violet Chimera, and therefore it sold slightly morecopies.
#1: Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf
And finally, Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf. We've spoken before about how itlooked as if Konami made Sunlight Wolf a regular rare card just to ensureit was easy to get and that players wouldn't be discouraged from buyingStructure Deck: Soulburner. But if that was the intent it may nothave been enough – a mix of players and speculators have driven up theprice of Sunlight Wolf to nearly ten dollars, and it really shows no signof dropping any time soon.
Sunlight Wolf was almost this expensive before Salamangreats were a provencontender. Now that it's winning everywhere? The sky's the limit. IfSalamangreats win at YCS Dusseldorf this weekend we could see this card goeven higher.
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Also big this week: Salamangreat Gazelle almost made the Top 10 at Number11, a three-of in every Salamangreat deck we've seen so far; Update Jammerclocked in at Number 12 to keep Transcode Talker company; and SalamangreatCircle took Number 13. That left two more Salamangreat staples to finishout the Top 15: Salamangreat Spinny and Salamangreat Balelynx.
Will Salamangreats become the new deck-to-beat? We'll know by the end ofthe weekend, and we'll have an update for you as of Monday.
Until then, thanks for reading! It's an exciting time in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG,and we're glad you decided to spend some of it here with us.