The new format kicked off on Monday, but with the Sneak Peek weekend just hours away, Regional Qualifiers won't return until February 1st. That said, the inaugural week was full of speculation and the last round of Regionals gave us some really cool decks! Many of those strategies carry forward into the new format, and several made an impact on the secondary market.
Legendary Duelist: Magical Hero launched a week ago, in tandem with the new F&L List. Meanwhile The Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Pack: Secret Edition just arrived today, and Ignition Assault launches in 7 days. Plenty of the week's biggest cards came from Magical Hero, but a surprising number didn't, and the result is a clear read on some of the most promising decks for the new format.
How'd it all shake out in the TCGplayer Marketplace? Let's find out, by taking a look at the Top 10 most ordered cards from Monday to Friday.
#10 - Junk Converter
This little fella was pretty hot coming into the week, and could be the biggest dark horse pick from Legendary Duelists: Magical Hero, soaring under the radar since it's not a HERO or a Dark Magician card. When Junk Converter was first revealed in the OCG, the bulk of the talk surrounding it revolved around big plays that didn't work because of Master Rule 4. Now, with all that gone on April 1st, Junk Converter has more of a fighting chance.
Setting up pretty solid moves with stuff like Quickdraw Synchron and Jet Synchron, Junk Convertor has obvious utility with Junk Synchron too, and it could wind up being important in a successful Synchro spam deck come Master Rule 5. For now, that's been enough to keep demand strong and to position Junk Converter at around the $2 mark.
#9 - Mythical Beast Bashilisk
If you missed the parade, Steven Trifunoski managed to Top 8 the Regional Qualifier in Toronto last weekend with a Pendulum deck built for the new format, one week early. That meant the Pend God wasn't playing Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, nor copies 2 and 3 of Servant of Endymion. It also meant he WAS playing in a field of full powered Orcusts, Strikers, Thunder Dragons and Salamangreats. You can find that deck list in our deck archive, where you'll see that Trif took several measures to adapt the Pendulum strategy under the new restrictions.
That included an expanded Mythical Beast lineup, running at least one copy of every Pendulum monster in the family save Mythical Beast Medusa. Each one played a different role, and with the search power of Mythical Beast Jackal holding everything together, and Spell Counters flying left and right, the value prop was shockingly high.
Players took notice of Trifunoski's achievement and made it one of the most talked-about pieces of news this week. The result was a huge spike of demand from eager Pendulum players.
#8 – Apprentice Illusion Magician
Apprentice Illusion Magician finally got a budget reprint in Magical Hero, and it's a huge fan-favorite card with obvious character appeal. That said, it also played a starring role in a recent Regional spotlight deck, when Nicholas Petzold played it to a 9th Place finish at the Houston Qualifier at the start of the month.
Petzold played it with Destiny HERO – Malicious to bring Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal into the strategy, using the Magician's discard effect to pitch stuff like Malicious, Dangers and of course SPYRAL MISSION – Rescue. It was a really insightful pick that paid dividends, and that led to both casual and competitive demand for Apprentice Illusion Magician this week.
#7 - Mythical Beast Jackal
Trif's latest build of Pendulums from that Regional Top Cut relied more on summoning Magical Abductor and using its monster effect, giving easy access to this card. Mythical Beast Jackal's a Level 1 Spellcaster, so it's fair game for Abductor's on-field search ability at the cost of three Spell Counters. From there three more spell cards lets you search Mythical Beast Garuda or Mythical Beast Bashilisk with Jackal, creating a rolling momentum of free cards and growing value.
Interestingly enough, Garuda was nowhere near the Top 10 like Jackal and Bashilisk, but one more key card from Trifunoski's build got there. Keep an eye out for Number 2 further down.
#6 - True King of All Calamities
Are Orcusts dead? If you think the deck can survive, it's probably thanks in part to this card, and the questionable return of The Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Launch. The January 20th 2020 F&L List largely made tremendous sense, but Rank-Up-Magic Launch is the one head-scratcher, leaving us to wonder what it was meant to accomplish. If it was meant to throw a bone to Burning Abyss players that seems like an ill-considered idea, to such a degree that it seems unlikely.
Instead, Rank-Up-Magic Launch seems destined to see considerable play in Orcust variants, where it can turn Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star into True King of All Calamities to lock down the game and offer tremendous value. Of all the top strategies that took a beating in the new format, none of them got anything back… except for Orcusts. There's no clear explanation for that, just a general confidence so strong that it caused Calamities to spike to Number 6 for the week.
#5 - Secrets of Dark Magic
Back on the side of the angels, Sam "TeamSamuraiX1" Arunnaveesiri let his audience decide what he'd play at the same Scarborough Regional where Trifunoski topped, and Sam managed to finish in the invites with a dedicated Dark Magician deck! If you didn't see it yet you can find that deck list here , and watch Sam's full guide to the strategy as well.
The Dark Magicians is an awesome card that's really resounded with players and collectors; it's sitting at about $30 right now, and Sam's strategy put the spotlight on it, summoning it out with Secrets of Dark Magic. You only need one copy, but even as a singleton in competitive builds the demand was through the roof.
#4 - Soul Servant
A lot of the same notes apply to Soul Servant, which Sam played three copies of to get to many of his on-theme cards. Since Soul Servant can pluck cards from your deck or graveyard, it lets you reuse that one copy of Secrets of Dark Magic along with Dark Magic Inheritance, Dark Burning Magic, and Bond Between Teacher and Student amongst others. Note that Sam ran Dark Magician Girl, letting him get the Special Summon effect of The Dark Magicans as well as an extra draw with Soul Servant.
Whether he'd play the deck the same way again was up in the air post event, but with or without Dark Magician Girl, Soul Servant's search power alone makes it a must-run.
#3 - Performapal Popperup
This one's a bit mindboggling. Performapal Popperup's been making the rounds lately, discussed for non-Pendulum strategies that can benefit from placing cards into the graveyard. The idea is that you'll activate, load as many as three cards into your graveyard that have utility there, then draw that many cards. You're not planning to use the Special Summon effect; the entire goal is to just draw through your deck to see more cards and put useful ones into the graveyard. If you played every other card in your hand you'd probably take a few thousand damage, which is… okay, I guess?
What's not okay is that Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring exists. If you go whole-hog with Popperup and pitch three cards, you can wind up going -3 in the trade which makes the Life Points you would have lost if the effect had worked look like a small penalty. The sheer risk of playing Performapal Popperup in a format where Ash Blossom exists seems crazy to me, but despite that major caveat it still sold like hotcakes this week.
COULD it work? Sure. But it seems like a really bad idea, being brutally countered by one of the most popular cards in the game. I'm not sure we'll see Popperup in the Top 10 next week.
#2 - Crowley, the First Propheseer
The final trending pick from Steven Trifunoski's Pendulum Deck, Crowley, the First Propheseer is an incredible consistency booster. Trif ran it to search cards from an engine of 1 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, 2 Spellbook of Secrets and 1 Spellbook of Knowledge. That meant when he opened up poorly with dead cards and no spells, he could still use two Spellcasters to Link Summon Crowley and score two spell card activations for Spell Counters. That's big in mitigating the deck's worst case scenarios and overall failure rate, turning what would be a wide range of instant losses into live games.
Crowley's doubled in price over the course of the week as a result, outpacing Duel Power hits like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit and Beat Cop from the Underworld. At a time when some of the best decks in competition have taken major hits to consistency thanks to the new format, Crowley keeps everything locked down for Pendulums. It's more impressive than it looks.
#1 - Elemental HERO Sunrise
Finally, the Number 1 best-selling card of the week was the brand-new Hero hallmark, Elemental HERO Sunrise. Loukas wrote yesterday about just how easy the card is to play and the sheer value it offers in simple combos, and it painted a vivid picture of what might be one of the biggest strategies over the coming months. The price of Elemental HERO Sunrise is actually down a couple of dollars as of this writing, as it seems like vendors are starting to compete on price. But with such high demand it doesn't feel like that's going to last long.
The real threat is just the possibility that there may not be enough of the pricier HERO cards to go around. If you can't get Evil HERO Malicious Bane or Evil HERO Adusted Gold, are you even going to try to play Heroes? This one's an interesting trend to follow, but for now we can say that a huge number of players are investing in Elemental HERO Sunrise, telegraphing that lots of people are interested in the deck.
What else was big this week? Satellite Warrior nearly made the Top 10, coming in at Number 11. Dinosaurs are still surging with True King Lithosagym, the Disaster at Number 12. Saryuja Skull Dread fell from the Top 10 but landed at Number 13, playing an important role in the Pendulum deck, while Knightmare Unicorn remains a universal draw at Number 14. Finally, the newly reprinted and now legal Pot of Avarice rounded things out at Number 15.
That's it for today, but if you're heading to a Sneak Peek this weekend good luck with your pulls! We'll be back with another Market Update on Facebook and Twitter on Monday, so stay tuned to see the impact.