Shakeups! The big news in competition this week was Ryan Yu's finish at the latest Luxury Championship Series online tournament, taking Sky Strikers to 1st Place and setting off a firestorm in the secondary market.
Yu's deck shuts down Adamancipators with hand traps and floodgates, and it beats Eldlich in the grind game thanks to Kagari and Sky Striker Mecha Modules - Multirole, simplifying the game with trades and then exploding for card advantage to lock victory. The deck looks pretty heavy on hand traps with 14 of them total, but those Tuners are integral to what's becoming a common combo post-ETCO: any Tuner and any non-Tuner makes Crystron Halqifibrax, which gets Effect Veiler so you can Link into Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians. Selene revives Veiler since it's a Spellcaster, and from there you go into Accesscode Talker with 5300 ATK.
With Adamancipator Researcher sitting at $60 bucks and Eldlich the Golden Lord at over $100, the game's two biggest decks are pretty pricy. The Sky Striker deck's much more approachable – even though Roze has nearly doubled in value, the deck's most expensive cards are off-theme generics like Infinite Impermanence and Ghost Mourner & Moonlit Chill, cards you might already own (or could at least carry over to other decks). That made Strikers attractive as a budget alternative, and that made for huge demand this week.
Sky Strikers placed at least four, but arguably as many as eight cards into this week's Top 10. Let's get to the countdown and show you what happened.
#10 - Sky Striker Mecha - Shark Cannon
Ryan Yu's build played triple Sky Striker Mecha - Shark Cannon, fighting against a competitive landscape where graveyard recursion is so often king. While the hand traps stand out as big threats keeping opponents under control, almost the entire build is disruption, and Shark Cannon's another powerful layer of defense that can roll into aggression thanks to its Special Summon bonus.
Combined with cards like Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze and Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians, Yu's build did a lot of work leveraging his opponent's graveyard against them. Shark Cannon was a huge part of that. Graveyard control was so important to Yu that he also Side Decked triple D.D. Crow, but you just can't argue with the searchability and recursion of Shark Cannon as the on-theme option.
#9 - Mystic Mine
Adamancipators hate floodgates, and Mystic Mine's one of the most vicious. Yu only mained one copy, but he sided two more plus Terraforming and Metaverse to seek them out; his Side Deck was geared for the expectation that his opponents would force him to go first, so he came prepared with more Mines, three copies of There Can Be Only One, and triple Solemn Judgment to back them up.
#8 - Upstart Goblin
The Super Rare Upstart from Secret Slayers has been a hit ever since it debuted, and as long as this card stays in the $1.50 to $2.00 range people are going to keep buying it. It's not often a foil Upstart Goblin comes around, and the fact that it can be had for such a low price right now is fantastic. There are newer players who may not have owned Upstart Goblin until now, but the bulk of the buys are probably coming from players who want the vanity upgrade, and investors who know this card won't be two bucks forever.
#7 - Accesscode Talker
Accesscode Talker was $57 before the weekend, and spiked to $75 after. It played a starring role in the Finals of Yu's 1st Place showing, not just in his Sky Striker deck but also in his opponent's Synchro Eldlich build – both players used the Crystron Halqifibrax for Effect Veiler for Selene for Accesscode combo in the first game of the Match. In Game 3 it won the entire tournament for Yu, as he played Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze to swipe his opponent's Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and make Halqifibrax into Veiler. In the graph below you can see the demand for Accesscode Talker in the orange columns, and the price shift in the blue line.
Accesscode's huge. It's easy to summon, it's extremely reliable since its effects can't be chained to, it packs massive ATK and its destruction effect troubleshoots almost any field so you can take the game. It was a steal at 57 dollars, and it's probably going to wind up higher than 75 dollars in the long run.
#6 - Sky Striker Ace - Zeke
Yu played one copy of Sky Striker Ace - Zeke for a variety of utility-driven reasons, and at less than two bucks it's an easy card to pick up. If you're running Sky Strikers you definitely want the option to run this, even if it's just to Link climb with something you stole off Sky Striker Mecha - Widow Anchor. As a Duel Overload exclusive it could prove to be undervalued.
#5 - Nibiru, the Primal Being
Everything runs Nibiru right now, and while it may see a bit more or a bit less play week to week, it's effectively a staple of competition. Nibiru's currently the best hand trap against Eldlich – Yu remarked post-event about how it shuts the deck down in one move, cutting them off from their Synchro plays – and duelists who don't own it yet are starting to feel the pinch. At $14 with no reprint in sight, Nibiru seems destined to maintain it's slow climb. If you don't have yours yet, biting the bullet now will probably save you some money later.
#4 - Sky Striker Ace - Roze
While the prices of Zeke and Selene remained pretty static through the weekend, Sky Striker Ace – Roze jumped dramatically over the last few days, spiking from $5.50 to $10.50. As I write this it's up to $11 with dwindling stock on TCGplayer, but here's what the price trend looked like the last two weeks.
Roze is essential to the modern Sky Striker deck, as the strategy floods the field with presence to outlast and out-grind opponents. The Starlight Rare was selling for $200 to $300 this month, but now you can't find a copy for less than $450.
#3 - Solemn Judgment
If you're going first, and you want to protect yourself or your floodgates, Solemn Judgment's still just the best way to do it. Again, this played a big role in Yu's strategy, coming in from his side when he had to go first against slower, more control-oriented decks, as well as the explsive Adamancipators where it can break up combos. Like that Super Rare Upstart Goblin, it's not often we see an inexpensive foil printing of Solemn Judgment and that's kept it in the Top 10 ever since Secret Slayers arrived.
#2 - Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians
Originally viewed hyped for its potential t keep Pendulums relevant, Selene's quickly shifted to a more generic role in competition, offering that easy path into Accesscode Talker mentioned earlier. Again, that's Halqifibrax, Veiler, Selene and then Accesscode. Selene hasn't seen any dramatic price spikes, but it's consistently been about four bucks since Duel Overload dropped, and now it's more around $5.
It's a slow climb, but that status as a DUOV exclusive that probably won't see a reprint in the next year gives it major long-term potential.
#1 - Parallel eXceed
And finally, the most powerful common in Eternity Code is still the TCGplayer Marketplace's Number 1 best-seller. Parallel eXceed's a nutty card, and the fact that it's so easy to pull is mindblowing.
That's it for this week, but I hope you have a great weekend as the world starts to recover from the pandemic. We'll be back on Monday with our next Market Update, over on the official Yu-Gi-Oh! Infinite Facebook Page and Twitter, so make sure you follow us on your platform of choice!
Thanks for reading,