The Flames of Destruction booster arrives on May 4th,but with no big Championships this weekend and the Advanced Format stillwide open, the biggest push-factor creating new trends this week wasspeculation and preparation for the new set.

If you haven't had a chance to look through Flames of Destruction just yet,now's a good time to get familiar with the original OCG release. While the new Elementsaber and Knightmare monsters have generated lots ofdiscussion, new support for Goukis and Altergeists elevated those twothemes into tournament competition in the OCG, and that's translated intointerest in those themes this week here in the TCG.Looking at logged OCG decksfrom ourfriends over in The Organization, we can see that Altergeists in particular have broken the glass ceilingand become seriously relevant. The market responded accordingly this week.

Meanwhile the F.A. theme is largely exclusive to the TCG; theCode of the Duelist F.A. cards were printed in Japan inExtra Pack 2017, but the Circuit Break cards and theall-important Extreme Force stuff – fundamentals like F.A. AutoNavigator and F.A. Motorhome Transport – have yet to be released in theOCG. That means the theme is unproven overseas, but the sheer power levelof those EXFO cards was a major talking point when they released here, andwith more F.A. support expected in our version ofFlames of Destruction, players started stocking up on F.A. cardsto get ready.

Dinosaurs and ABC-Dragon Buster cards remained popular this week as well,placing two or three cards into the Top 10 on our latest bestseller list.And from there it was all competitive standbys all the time, as splashablegeneric cards continue to rule demand in this wide-open competitiveenvironment.

With all that established, let's dive into the Top 10 and check out thebestselling cards this week, from Monday to Friday.

#10: Qliphort Genius

With decent stats, solid effects, and two downward-pointing Link Markers,Qliphort Genius is the go-to Link Monster for Machines. We've seen it popup in ABC's several times before, the most recent instance beingKalileo Yang's build from last week's Fargo Regional, but it's also a hot prospect for F.A.'s. The spike in demand that we sawfor it this week was likely a function of both factors: recent success forABC's, and the anticipation for new F.A. cards.

#####CARDID= 22966#####

#9: F.A. Pitstop

Speaking of, F.A. Pitstop's widely recognized as an incredible card justwaiting for a competitive breakthrough, and the potential forFlames of Destruction to finally elevate F.A.'s to contenderstatus spiked demand for it this week. A single Pitstop is effectivelyUpstart Goblin with a free Monster Reborn effect. Successive copies canoffer free draws as well, upgrading that Upstart Goblin effect to astraight Pot of Greed if you don't mind waiting on the revival effect.

Repeat: free Monster Reborn that turns into a Pot of Greed. Yeah, that'sworth Number 9.

#####CARDID= 22641#####

#8: F.A. Auto Navigator

Another busted revival effect for the F.A. theme, F.A. Auto Navigator hascome to be seen as the lynchpin for the F.A. strategy, kicking off massiveTurn 1 combos that lead into impressive Synchro plays and more. The realityis that Auto Navigator would probably be playable even if it just reviveditself as a Tuner.

Instead, we have a card with a built-in Field searching ability too,offering instant +2's that leverage big combos and are effectivelyrepeatable off multiple copies. The F.A. theme has a lot of great cards,but if you had to single out one that's going to wind up Semi-Limited orLimited sometime in the future, the one with the bullseye on it is prettyeasy to spot.

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#7: Overtex Qoatlus

Dinosaurs continue to do well this format in all of their forms: Shaddoll,True King, and 60-Card Zombie builds all top tournaments on the reg, andwhile all three strategies have different strengths and weaknesses, thebiggest common denominator amongst them all is Overtex Qoatlus.

One part control-oriented boss monster and one part search combo, OvertexQoatlus made Double Evolution Pill a stunningly flexible and competitivecard, finally delivering the consistency and raw power Dinosaurs needed tolive up to the hype we saw in early 2017. It's continually proven to be oneof the most popular cards from Extreme Force, rivalled only by splashablecommons that are more commonly played and moreaccessible.

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#6: Proxy Dragon

Still a must-own as one of the only good Link-2's in the game, Proxy Dragonis still in big demand despite having been around for almost eight months.Still available for under a buck, every competitive player needs one,arguably multiple copies. The fact that it's still in the Top 10 justsuggests how big the WCQ season is going to be this summer, as more andmore players return to competition and new ones enter the tournament arena.

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#5: Effect Veiler

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring has slid about ten dollars over the pastweek or two, but it's still largely inaccessible to budget duelists, andthat's made Effect Veiler a common sight here in our Top 10's. In addition,Effect Veiler's continued to see an upswing in play alongside Ash Blossom;a trend we first mentioned weeks ago, but that's gained traction bit by bitas the weeks have passed.

#####CARDID= 21954#####

#4: Pot of Desires

Stabilizing at about $4.50 after a slight rise in price over the last sixweeks, the best-selling card of 2017 seems on track to become the biggestcard of 2018 as well. That said, three cards outsold Pot of Desires thisweek, all of them splashable and covering a variety of strategies.

#####CARDID= 22118#####

#3: Underclock Taker

The first is no surprise; Underclock Taker's been outpacing Proxy Dragonfor weeks, because while both Link-2's are effectively staples for acompetitive collection, Proxy Dragon's simply been around a lot longer. Notas many players need Proxy Dragon since many players got them last year.But even observing that, we need to recognize the recent trend in somestrategies; several decks are now often running more than one UnderclockTaker, creating even more demand in the TCGplayer Marketplace.

#####CARDID= 22914#####

#2: PSY-Framegear Gamma

And finally, the Top 2 cards of the week were both promos fromExtreme Force Special Edition. With individual EXFO SE boxes stillcommanding $13+ on the open market, PSY-Framegear Gamma is still a $4 pull.That makes it a $17 investment for a playset plus one PSY-Frame Driver toplay them, but that still makes Gamma way more affordable than Ghost Ogre& Snow Rabbit, Droll & Lock Bird, or Ash Blossom & JoyousSpring.

Add to that the unique utility of PSY-Framegear Gamma, and you've got acard that's effectively a must for both competitive and budget players.Combined with the rationale that Gamma was previously $15 a pop before itsreprint, you've got a recipe for massive demand.

#####CARDID= 23175#####

#1: Called by the Grave

The only card to outsell PSY-Framegear Gamma this week was Called by theGrave. While Called only appeared in two decks form the first round oflogged Top Cut lists from YCS Salt Lake City, it emerged as a more popularpick once more decks from that event were documented, and it was popular inRegionals last weekend too. Combining Effect Veiler and D.D. Crow into onecard, the attraction is obvious, and with supply of Special Editionsdwindling there's lots of reason for players to jump at $5 copies of Calledby the Grave.

#####CARDID= 23177#####

We saw even more speculation outside the Top 10, with a limited number ofbuyers heavily targeting Goukis, Altergeists, and F.A.'s. In the Goukicorner it was Gouki Re-Match, Gouki Twistcobra, and Gouki Headbatt leadingthe pack. Altergeists were again led by Altergeist Hexstia and AltergeistManifestation. And while the demand for F.A. Pitstop, F.A. Auto Navigator,and Qliphort Genius were more widespread trends, we also saw big nicheinvestment in F.A. Motorhome Transport and F.A. Test Run.

YCS Memphis is two weeks away, and in the mean time we'll be looking at theARG Circuit Series next weekend in San Jose, too. Stay tuned to the deckarchive to see new advancements in these last weeks of the pre-FLOD format,and check in with us here on Monday for our next Market Watch.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer