The biggest news this week was kind of no news at all.
The new Forbidden & Limited List sparked confusion amongst many in the player base, restricting nothing, as competitors in the online scene already grow tired of Crystron Halqifibrax, Eldlich the Golden Lord and Adamancipator Researcher. If you're in the thick of unsanctioned competition these last ten weeks the decision was baffling, but drawing back the move makes total sense: Konami can't screw over customers who bought the newest cards expecting to play them in real life tournaments.
They can't sabotage local game stores either, as stores struggle to begin reopening; many locals are relying on Duel Overload, Secret Slayers and Eternity Code to make it through, and Forbidding the format's biggest cards would've killed demand for those sets. Even removing support that compliment those newer cards could've been a disaster. Jet Synchron and Block Dragon are arguably just as important as the newer cards they're played with.
Instead, the new F&L List seems to exist to assure duelists that their cards will remain playable until at least September 1st. The market heard that message and reacted accordingly, with players not just investing in Altergeist Multifaker, Nekroz of Unicore and Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk, but many of the cards cautious buyers were wary of before. Let's look at how it turned out, counting down the best-selling cards from Monday to Friday this week.
#10 - Archnemeses Eschatos
Archnemeses Eschatos has generated conversation in a few different contexts; I've seen people talk about running it in Fur Hire, which is pretty hilarious. But the bulk of the hype here is for Thunder Dragons, where it fits into a wealth of combos and can be searched with The Melody of Awakening Dragon. Multi-time Championship winner and three-time Worlds competitor Jesse Kotton dropped a video on the Duel Academy Patreon with a build a few weeks ago, and it's really helped popularize Eschatos.
And there's a lot to love. The summoning condition's significant, but achievable; the protection effect is great; it's got 3000 ATK; and it's basically Tribe-Infecting Virus with an ability that floodgates your opponent's biggest threats, whatever they are. It's really good, and at three bucks it's really cheap, too. At least for now; Eschatos bottomed out at $2.25 last Friday, but it may be starting to rebound.
#9 - Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon
Auroradon's one of the cards players suspected might get hit on a new banlist. Now, with the knowledge that it's safe at least until September it's selling in droves and on an upward price trend: last week this thing was just under three dollars and now it's more than four. I've said this a lot over the last three months, but everything playable that's exclusive to Duel Overload is likely to rise in price over time, because we don't expect to see those cards reprinted any time soon.
Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon's a crazy-powerful combo card that generates tons of fodder for Synchro Summons, and it's spent time in variants of Eldlich, Adamancipators, and plenty of rogue stuff like Water combo and dedicated turbo strategies. The sheer value it offers in terms of flexibility and combo potential is huge, and now that it's safe for the Summer it's a big get.
#8 - Accesscode Talker
Extremely easy to summon and incredibly good at ending the game, Accesscode Talker's almost singlehandedly pushing Salamangreats back up the food chain. You'll also see it in, well, almost everything else that cares to support it, providing an instant board-breaking threat that's cost efficient and high-impact. This one hasn't seen any big shifts of demand or price since the F&L List dropped; it's been pricy since late May, reaching preorder high of almost $80, and Eternity Code's official launch dropped it to $65 for the time being.
You only have to look at similar Link 4s like Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos, Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess and Borrelsword Dragon before its reprint to see that $65 is the base value for a Secret Rare Link Monster of this power level. It's tough to predict what price Accesscode Talker could reach in a couple of months, but it doesn't seem destined to slip below its current price.
#7 - Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk
The first of the three cards unlimited by the latest F&L List, Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk was once the basis for a mean FTK strategy that was, for a time, allowed to be competitive. Ritual Beasts probably won't cut it in modern competition, but Ritual Beast fans and curious players who missed the chance to run the deck in its first outing picked up Cannahawks by the bushel all week long.
Will Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk make an impact? Will it be as annoying as some predict, stretching rounds to their time limit? I think outside of a little online trolling we won't really see it around in competition. But it's nice that it's back, and a lot of Ritual Beast fans are going to have a lot of fun with it. That said there's probably some competitive anticipation here, as Cannahawk went from 50 cents to more than $3.50 overnight, settling at its current $3 price point.
#6 - Animadorned Archosaur
Dinosaurs are a major, major threat now because of this card, and as Hanko showed you yesterday, players are still figuring out what Dino decks can do in the current format. As the post-ETCO era continues to grow, expect to see Dinosaur players sampling more and more engines to compliment the core strategy. There's a ton of potential here, and with Animadorned Archosaur still between $25 and $30, the card's still reasonably accessible. If you had a Dinosaur build before Eternity Code, you'll probably want to snag your Archosaurs sooner rather than later.
#5 - Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys
Card Draw Crocodile™ is a wonderful addition to the game at a time when Synchros are making their promised comeback under Master Rule 5. After being as high as $10 in the preorder period, Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys is down to three dollars, which is a steal for a combo powerhouse that filters through your deck, turns cheated field presence into raw card advantage, and then leverages it straight into removal and attack power.
It's such a good card, and it's definitely going to appear in strategies that people are going to take issue with.
#4 - Linkross
After a quick dip down to the $17 mark on Eternity Code's official release date, Linkross is back up to twenty bucks now that we know it's safe until September, along with the cards that abuse it. As Zach pointed out a week ago, Linkross is obviously destined for the Forbidden & Limited List at some point; like Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon, it just generates too many tokens too easily to stick around forever, drawing comparisons to cards like Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow, Blackwing - Steam the Cloak, and other now-Forbidden token cheats.
And as I was preparing to post this article, Linkross was confirmed as Forbidden on the latest F&L List in the OCG. This one may not make it through 2020.
#3 - Parallel eXceed
When free Tokens aren't enough, Parallel eXceed raises the stakes to put two Level 4s on the field as you play out your Link Summons (one of which arrives for free, straight from your deck). It's already proving to be a staple at three for Salamangreats and that doesn't seem likely to change; I think anything Cyberse probably wants to run this, from Mathmechs to Marincess and beyond. Could those decks see more play because of it? Sure, it's possible, and Marincess have been waiting in the wings for a long time now.
An incredibly high power level combined with a rock bottom price tag, Parallel eXceed's been the number one best-selling card from Eternity Code since presales opened here on TCGplayer. But this week it took a backseat to the banlist hype, as the Number 1 and Number 2 spots were captured by newly unlimited cards.
#2 - Nekroz of Unicore
At this time last week, Nekroz of Unicore was 50 cents. Now it's averaging a Market Price of $3.25 between the Ultra and Secret Rare versions, way up thanks to its return to 3-per-deck on the new banlist. Not only are Nekroz a fan-favorite strategy that scored a couple of Regional tops in the past year, Unicore's played in the Nekroz variant of Dragma, which has seen recent discussion as players look ahead to Rise of the Duelist. The deck uses Maximus Dragma to send Herald of the Arc Light to the graveyard for free search power, and it neatly dodges the Dragma drawback – a ban on using your Extra Deck for the rest of the turn – by focusing on Ritual Summons.
It's impossible to tell if that'll be competitive. Personally I think Dragma can do some more interesting stuff, but nobody can really look that far into the future dealing with an all-new archetype, and given the sheer demand for Nekroz of Unicore a lot of people are going to try and make it work.
#1 - Altergeist Multifaker
Finally, Altergeist Multifaker's on top, vaulting from 40 cents to $3. It's no surprise that Multifaker's the most popular of the three newly-unlimited cards, as it's the one that's most likely to have an impact on tournament play – arguably the only one. But seeing it and Nekroz of Unicore outpace all of the new stuff from Eternity Code, include nng Parallel eXceed at 50 cents, shows just how much interest there are in these cards.
Note that we're not seeing massive quantities in these purchases, but there's definitely some speculation going on: the average number of Multifakers per order was 3.1 on Monday as the price spoke, it fell to a more normal 2.3 on Tuesday, and then popped back up to 3.8 copies per order on Wednesday when the price dropped. Yesterday the average order was 2.2 copies. So we're likely seeing a mix of player interest and investment with that Prismatic Secret from the Gold Sarcophagus Tin having long term potential.
Where was Crystron Halqifibrax in all of this? Well, not far behind: Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion took the Number 11 spot for the week, Halqifibrax came in at Number 12, Nekroz of Brionac finished at Number 13, Martial Metal Marcher at Number 14, and Gravedigger's Trap Hole was a sleeper hit at Number 15. The day the new F&L List dropped and Crystron Halqifibrax was confirmed safe til September demand more than doubled. Check out the tale of the tape.
The number of Halqifibrax sold on TCGplayer on Monday was 245% of the number sold Sunday. The graph above shows the sales numbers in orange day by day for May and June, and you can see how dramatic the spike was compared to the last five weeks. There were lots of competitors who took a wait-and-see approach during the pandemic, and now those buyers are coming out of the woodwork. You can see the price starting to rise a few bucks as well. The percentage boost for Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion looked very similar.
How did the new banlist affect you? Let us know over on the official Yu-Gi-Oh! Infinite Facebook Page and Twitter, and have a great weekend.