As fans ofthe TCGplayer deck archivecan attest, the run-up to the YCS was filled with awesome Regionals wherelots of rogue decks scored Top 8 finishes. We've seen stuff like SPYRAL,Subterrors, Dinosaurs, Madolches and plenty of others make repeat Top Cuts.We saw Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher surge early in its runhere in Market Watch, then deliver the goods taking 2nd Place atYCS Portland alongside Gren Maju. Cyber Dragons became a top prospect overthe last three weeks, played to Top 8s by some of the most well-lovedDuelists in the game. Even Altergeists kicked off the format with a hugeshowing that continued through Portland and numerous Regionals. There wasso much to be excited about going into YCS Niagara and everybody washolding their breaths.
Let's be honest: this isn't the first time a new format's started offawesome, and in the past we've often seen stuff settle down as the biggeststrategies of the previous format adapt and return to dominance. It happensmore often than not: the new hotness cools down, competition becomes moreof a grind and while one-deck or three-deck formats are often favored byhardcore competitives, it's easy for players of any stripe to lose interestwhen their favorite strategy fades from tournaments and they can't playwhat they want.
But that's not what happened at YCS Niagara! Not all of the format's roguedecks were there, but you can't fit everything into one event. And evenwith that in mind we saw big results from Altergeists, Subterrors andothers. Cyber Dragons were a huge factor, not just in the Top Cut but Day 1as well, where lots of players were teching Chimeratech Megafleet Dragonjust to try and beat the strategy. Sky Strikers and Orcust variants werestill huge, but Thunder Dragons and Salamangreats took a bit of a dive asmore innovative decks captured more table share, and in the end we came toa Finals whereOrcust LunalightstackledDanger Gren Majufor the Championship. It ended with Gren Maju getting the win that almosteveryone was hoping to see last month at YCS Portland.
And the best part? That's subjective, but to me it's that we've now seentwo Gren Maju decks in the Finals of the last two YCS events, and those twodecks are entirely different. How cool is that?
Being on the floor as part of the coverage team for YCS Niagara was anabsolute blast, and every round I was reminded of how great this game iswhen it's at its best.
Now we get to see the immediate fallout, as we look at the market trends onTCGplayer over the weekend. Our latest Market Watch Top 10 pulls data fromFriday morning to Monday morning – we're really only seeing 12 to 16 hoursof YCS reaction – but we're already seeing obvious responses to the YCS.Let's dive in and look at the biggest sellers right now, and then we'llcheck back on Friday to see the fallout through the week.
#10 - Dimension Shifter
This card debuted as the red-headed stepchild of the new World Premierecards in the Gold Sarcophagus Tins, largely just getting ignoredin favor of Nibiru, the Primal Being and Dark Ruler No More. And that'sunderstandable – Dimension Shifter's the most restrictive of the three newcards, really only useful in the earliest of early games and chieflyfitting into Thunder Dragons. It didn't help that while we saw playerstopping with it in recent Regionals, the post-event comments about it weremixed; some players swore by it while others felt it was a Mistake to runit.
But Dimension Shifter saw more play at YCS Niagara, and even appeared in aFeature Match
#9 - Knightmare Cerberus
While the Guardragon package almost disappeared from
#8 - Danger! Bigfoot!
Welcome to the party, Bigfoot! If you haven't seen it yet,David Mendoza's Danger Gren Maju deck that won YCS Niagararevolved around big turns with big Danger monsters, maxing out on Danger!Ogopogo!, Danger! Thunderbird!, and of course Danger! Bigfoot!. The deckwould put together giant kill-turns with multiple Danger monsters, GrenMaju Da Eiza, Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher and could finishthings out with chip damage from smaller threats like Danger!? Tsuchinoko?or a big surprise Super Polymerization.
In the first weeks of the Gold Sarcophagus Tin release we sawplayers flocking to Danger!? Tsuchinoko?, Danger!? Jackalope? and Danger!Nessie! because those three cards anchor the Danger engine in combo deckslike Orcusts and Crusadias. But the uptick in demand for Danger! Bigfoot!is a clear response to Mendoza's success, and suggests players are going totry and emulate his success in the coming weeks. The price of the SecretRare Bigfoot has actually fallen a buck or two since the YCS ended,probably because lots of players are seeing a chance to unload theircopies. But the Ultra Rare from MP19 is already starting to climb, up about50 cents overnight as of this writing.
Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher's up a couple bucks as well, andit's going to be interesting to see if a buyout happens there in the wakeof Mendoza's win. On one hand there's a solid number of copies listed onTCGplayer and the price point might fend off speculators. On the otherhand, a competitive three-of Secret Rare can fetch a lot more than fifteenbucks, so it's definitely one to keep an eye on.
#7 - Knightmare Phoenix
Knightmare Phoenix is even more of a competitive staple than KnightmareCerberus, since it serves as not just a combo piece in Link climbs but alsoa general utility card played for its removal. There's no real surprisehere: the Knightmare engine's hot, Knightmare Phoenix has seen huge demandever since it was reprinted, and not much is set to change that.
#6 - Raigeki
The alternative Secret Rare version of Raigeki's still packin' 'em indespite the fact that Raigeki's seeing zero play. It's Yu-Gi-Oh:nostalgia's huge, and this card's most recent print is gorgeous.
#5 - Monster Reborn
Monster Reborn's largely followed the same pattern of sales as Raigekisince its TN19 printing, but it ekes out a bit of an edge since it actuallysees play in combo decks. Stuff like Orcust variants and Crusadia deckswere running Reborn about as often as anyone would expect at the YCS, andit saw similar demand as it did in recent weeks.
#4 - Dark Ruler No More
One of the more subtle surprises of the YCS weekend was the lack of DarkRuler No More. It was certainly around, but I don't think we saw it in asingle Feature Match nor any of the Top 4 decks. I haven't had a chance tosee much of the coverage from YCS Ghent yet, but if it put in a similarshowing there we may see it dip in popularity over the coming weeks.
I think as we get deeper into this format we're going to see Big Turn 1style combo decks continue to see substantial play, so there will always bebig boards to break. But if the counterpoint is a group of strategiesdesigned to break those boards going second anyways, there's just not muchuse for Dark Ruler No More: if your deck already breaks those boards andcan win on the spot when it does, you don't really have a reason to run acard that just serves to beat set-ups you can already beat, and then stopsyou from dealing damage.
It's a great card, but it needs a specific set of metagame conditions towork and we might be trending away from those types of situations. It'ssomething to consider moving forward.
#3 - Nibiru, the Primal Being
Meanwhile Nibiru was massive at YCS Niagara, being run in three of the Top4 finishers' decks and proving to be not just a popular Side Deck pick inDay 1, but a not uncommon Main Deck pick for some of the tournament's mostseasoned Duelists. The TN19 promos haven't run combo decks out ofcompetition, but they've worked as a well balanced equalizer that's addeddepth to tournament play and opened the door for a lot of differentstrategies.
Nibiru's stuck at its seven to eight dollar price point and as long as itremains accessible it's likely to be a high demand item. We've seen cardslike this before that just remain on the bestseller list for month aftermonth, stuff like Pot of Desires, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber and Called bythe Grave; cards that you'd think everyone would eventually own, but just.Keep. Selling. Nibiru may fall into that category moving forward; it wasthe number one biggest seller for vendors I spoke to during Day 1 at theYCS, literally flying out of their cases the moment they got new copies in.
A lot of people play Yu-Gi-Oh! and more of them are entering tournamentcompetition every week. Pretty much all of them need Nibiru, so I don'tthink it's going to be falling off the Top 10 any time soon. If there's atakeaway here from the YCS, it's that you should know it's starting to popup in Main Decks.
#2 - Knightmare Unicorn
Previously the most expensive card in the popularized Knightmare engine,Knightmare Unicorn's plunging price tag has proven to be a tremendous drawsince its MP19 reprint. This card was Number 4 in our last Market Watch,but spiked all the way to Number 2 over the weekend. What exactly thatindicates is debatable: it's not appearing consistently in Orcusts anymore,though it does see some use in some of those builds; it pops up in a lot ofrogue decks like SPYRAL and ABC-Dragon Buster, but the actual number ofthose decks seeing play can't be quantified; and the one place it sees themost play is Thunder Dragons.
Does this indicate more interest in Thunder Dragons despite the mixed YCSresults? You could put this data point next to the high demand forDimension Shifter and start to form some context, but it's really tough toform any hard conclusions.
#1 - Borrelsword Dragon
Finally, Borrelsword Dragon's back up to Number 1, surging past Nibiru, thePrimal Being. Borrelsword continues to be one of the flashiest finishers inthe game for a variety of decks and it gets a healthy mix of casual andcompetitive interest. The fact that it's now hugging the $10 mark insteadof $50+ gives it an innate curb appeal to players, collectors andspeculators alike, and that's kept demand consistently high since it wasreprinted. There's no two ways about it: this is how a lot of decks win,from Sky Strikers and Orcusts to a wide range of rogue decks. And whileBorrelsword's not universal in the biggest strategies on that list, it's anoption everyone wants to have in their arsenal.
If we look beyond the Top 10 we see some trends that fall in line with someof the late-in-the-weekend trends we're talking about: other Dangermonsters were strong, with Danger!? Tsuchinoko?, Danger! Nessie! andDanger! Thunderbird! coming in at Numbers 12, 13, and 16 respectively.
Trap Trick nearly made the Top 10 at Number 11, too, which is interestingbecause it's tough to decode. Again, there may be a YCS Ghent push factorthere that I haven't seen yet, but it did pop up twice at YCS Niagara: ittends to go hand in hand with any deck running Lilith, Lady of Lament, andwhile that normally means Lair Infernoids
What impact do you think the double YCS weekend will have on the secondarymarket? Let me known down in the comments, and we'll be back on Friday withanother Market Watch to answer that question.