While the official Konami Strategy Site gave an early look at the new Ninjaand Valkyrie cards in the SHVA release last week, competitors at the WorldChampionship over in Japan were given a number of gifts for participating,one of which was a sealed box of Shadows in Valhalla two weeksbefore its official release. Thanks to that, we've seen notable tournamentreprints like Gem-Knight Seraphinite, Invocation, and Ash Blossom &Joyous Spring, all of which are bound to have an immediate impact on thevalue of those cards.
Did any of those push factors have an impact on the secondary market herein TCG territories? Not really! The Top 10 bestsellers list in theTCGplayer Marketplace saw some shifts, but most of the cards from lastweek's Top 10 remained, with one notable exception. Once again, Crusadiastook six spots in the countdown, though one Crusadia card fell from the Top10 and was replaced by another that hadn't broken through before. Meanwhileenthusiasm for new Link Monsters fell a bit, while Impcantations ruled theroost in a surprise spike.
With no further ado let's get to our Top 10, starting with a new entry.
#10: Crusadia Leonis
For the last week I lamented the lack of regard the secondary market wasshowing for Crusadia Leonis. Played with Rescue Cat it makes Link climbingeven easier, but perhaps more important it opens up Naturia Beast if youthrow Elephun into the mix.
Most Crusadia decks want to go second to try for an OTK, but if they can'tthey need a backup plan. Leonis can make that happen while helping you withyour core strategy on Turn 2 as well, and its ascension to Number 10suggests growing interest in a more well-rounded approach to the theme.
#9: Crusadia Magius
The first step in the climb to Crusadia Equimax, Crusadia Magius is aneasy-to-summon Link-1 you usually make off a Normal Summon, allowing you toimmediately Special Summon another Crusadia so you can trigger Magius'search. That sets you up for Crusadia Regulex at Link-2, which combineswith Crusadia Draco to net you two free cards. That sets you up withEquimax and whatever support card works best for your situation.
Magius was down from Number 4 to Number 9 this weekend, with Impcantationsrising in the ranks and early adopters likely already having their copies.Any time fundamentals of a new strategy trade places it's good to take itwith a grain of salt, as there's probably not a lot of meaning in theshift. Nobody's going to be playing Crusadias without Crusadia Magius.
#8: World Legacy – "World Crown"
People might play Crusadias without World Legacy – "World Crown", but thestrong numbers this card's shown since its release suggest otherwise.Adding a layer of negation power to your set-up, World Crown also buffsCrusadia Equimax by a noteworthy 2000 ATK, so like the Rescue Cat combo itworks as both a control element and an OTK enabler.
Remember, all Crusadias usually need to OTK is Crusadia Equimax, CrusadiaRevival, and Crusadia Maximus to double Equimax's battle damage attackingthe right mark. But when you're trying to hold that combo together, anextra 2000 damage can certainly help, and World Legacy – "World Crown"provides that and more in a pretty painless package.
#7: Crusadia Arboria
Another staple of the strategy, Crusadia Arboria combines another defensiveeffect with OTK potential, serving as another name to allow your string ofLink climbing Special Summons before sitting in your graveyard to keepCrusadia Equimax safe. It's not spectacular, but it's a workhorse that getsthe job done. Continued demand just shows the continued interest inCrusadias as we count the hours to Regionals this weekend.
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#6: Crusadia Draco
Another popular rung on the Link climb ladder, Crusadia Draco's commonlyplayed to retrieve whatever Crusadia you Normal Summoned to start your LinkSummoning, so you can then reuse whatever that card was with its built-inSpecial Summon effect. If you started with Crusadia Maximus, for instance,Draco gets it back to your hand so you can drop it for the biggest Equimaxbuff possible and double its battle damage.
#5: Hip Hoshiningen
And here's where the shakeup starts. While Hip Hoshiningen was rock solidat Number 2 in the first week's worth of Market Watch Top 10's post-CYHO,it slipped all the way to Number 5. It's ironic that it got ousted byImpcantations, because Ritual decks like Shinobirds are one of the fewstrategies that are going to pick this up and run with it anyways… andthose decks will play Impcantations. Stay tuned for more on that later thisweek.
Aside from that we can expect to see Hip Hoshiningen in Cyber Dragons andABC-Dragon Buster decks, though the competitive future of both strategiesseems to be up in the air. On one hand few duelists are expecting bigcompetitive things from Cyber Dragons. On the other, Hip Hoshiningen andthe upcoming Outer Entity Nyarla and Outer Entity Azzathot all give ABCs abit of a boost, and the deck already saw success in the WCQ season.Regional performances this weekend will likely dictate demand for HipHoshiningen moving forward.
#4: Crusadia Maximus
Sliding a spot from Number 3 last week, Crusadia Maximus took the Number 4spot over the weekend, still the reigning champion of the Crusadiasalescharts as a must-run at three-per-deck. Since you want to SpecialSummon this card to power up Crusadia Equimax and finish out your combo,you really want to Normal Summon Maximus to start your Link climb sequence.That makes it a three-of you want to see in virtually every opening hand,and that's made it the bestselling Crusadia card in the Marketplace a weekand a half running.
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#3: Wee Witch's Apprentice
The former Number 1 bestseller in both Market Watches last week, WeeWitch's Apprentice has an immediate place in Altergeists and PendulumMagicians. Why was it overtaken by Impcantations this weekend? That'sanybody's guess, but if it shows up in Regional Top 8's in a few days wecan expect it back at Number 1 next week. For now, the useful little LinkMonster's fallen from $1.50 to about a buck, making it even easier to snaga playset.
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#2: Impcantation Talismandra
And then this happened. While the tremendous demand and big sales of WeeWitch's Apprentice and Hoshiningen slowed this weekend, ImpcantationTalismandra and Impcantation Candoll sold in about the same numbers,suggesting more players have come around to the slightly moredifficult-to-sell notion that Impcantations are worth owning.
Why did that happen? No idea, save for the fact that if Ritual Monsters aregoing to have an unlikely successful Regional season, Impcantations willdefinitely be a factor.
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#1: Impcantation Candoll
With abilities that offer elements of hand fixing, deck thinning, and bigpluses of card economy, the Impcantations effectively work to solve theproblems that have plagued Ritual Monsters for the better part of a decadeand a half. The problem is that in order to use their effects, you need theright Impcantation and the right combo card – either a Ritual Spell orRitual Monster. That brings some more risk to Ritual strategies, which arealready prone to brick hands and dead draws.
But the payoff's clearly worth it in the eyes of buyers, promising arepeatable stream of Ritual Summons. That element of longevity was missingfrom Ritual Summoning strategies in the past, and now players seem to bereevaluating the viability of the mechanic in both old and new forms.
Regionals could get really interesting, really fast this weekend.
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Crusadia Reclusia clocked in at Number 11 for the weekend, and Sky StrikerAce – Hayate rose to Number 12, once again nearly making the Top 10. Calledby the Grave was back in the mix too at Number 13, while Crusadia Power andCrusadia Regulex took Numbers 14 and 15.
Crusadia Revival was the card from last week's Top 10 that disappeared tomake room for Crusadia Leonis; a bit baffling since it's a must-run OTKenabler. We'll have to see where it ends up by Friday.
If you're headed to Regionals yourself, watch out for Crusadias and maybeeven Rituals. With so many players picking up those cards, both strategiescould appear in your tournaments.
We'll check back with another Market Watch on Friday. See you then.