With competition just about ton kick off for the season, we saw a mix ofgeneral competitive trends mixed with what might have been direct responsesto the ARGCS in Indy last weekend. While that event was played under theold F&L List, it served as a smorgasboard of ideas for what we mightsee in Pendulum Magicians moving forward.
With Magicians gaining Heavymetalfoes Electrumite but losing Double IrisMagician and Performapal Skullcrobat Joker, the Main Deck suddenly has alot of free space. In addition, cards like Performapal Pendulum Sorcererand Star Pendulumgraph are impacted by the changes as well, freeing up morecard slots. And even without those changes to the format, every PendulumMagician deck that topped the ARGCS was a departure from the cookie cutterbuilds of the last few months. We saw a number of different approaches tothe strategy as players compromised on old staples to clear the way for newtech.
Astrograph and Chronograph Sorcererwere played withandwithoutAbyss Actor – Curtain Raiser, and weresometimes backed up withStargazer Magician, and Timegazer Magician. Supreme King Dragon Darkwurmand Supreme King Gate Zero mademultiple Top 8 finishes,including Mark Myatt's build with tripleMist Valley Apex Avian. Both decks ran Foolish Burial and Dragon Shrine. Weeven saw Akeem Daviscrack the Top 16 with a buildthat ran Mythical Beast Master Cerberus and Mythical Beast Jackal King.
But even with that showing at the ARGCS, Magicians only took three spots inour Top 10 countdown for the week. What else dominated TCGplayer fromMonday to Friday? Let's find out.
#10: Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm
Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm was only really rivalled by ChronographSorcerer as the next big thing for Magicians the past few months. Playedwith Supreme King Gate Zero it's a one-card Pendulum Scale, and sending itto the graveyard with Foolish Burial or Dragon Shrine means instantMaterial on the field for Heavymetalfoes Electrumite.
While Gate Zero is widely regarded as a "Garnet", in that you want tosearch it, not draw it, the sheer efficiency of the engine is too good toignore. It'll be interesting to see how Darkwurm performs at YCS Atlantanext weekend, after Top 8'ing the ARGCS but falling short of the Top 4.Some are calling it the answer to Performapal Skullcrobat Joker's Forbiddenstatus, while others remain skeptical.
Still, the hype and the early results were enough to drive Supreme KingDragon Darkwurm up the charts to Number 10.
#9: Mythical Beast Jackal King
Slightly more out of left field, Mythical Beast Jackal King works withMythical Beast Master Cerberus as another engine that places a LinkMaterial for Heavymetalfoes Electrumite on the table, without consuming aNormal or Pendulum Summon.
Both cards were underrated heading into the weekend, but repeat buyoutshave driven up the price of Master Cerberus; while its average Market Pricefor the last few days is currently twelve bucks, it can't be found for lessthan $19 as of this writing, and as copies are appearing on TCGplayerthey're being bought in an instant.
There were definitely some efforts to force a price spike earlier on, butit's becoming more of an organic trend off the back of the ARGCS, andplayers are starting to pick up on the engine's potential. We'll have tosee how restocking as of Monday impacts its price, but we could haveanother solid money card on our hands from EXFO by the time YCS Atlanta isover.
#8: F.A. Motorhome Transport
F.A.'s were still huge this week, taking up half of the Top 10. F.A.Motorhome Transport was an obvious part of that, as the end point to manyof the deck's opening combos and the single on-theme boss monster amongst awealth of strong Synchros in the strategy's arsenal. It's unclear just howserious players really are about F.A.'s right now, and YCS Atlanta's goingto be make-or-break. But for now, the whole theme remains dirt cheap, andthat's making all the key cards easy buys for anyone looking to hedge theirbets.
#7: Qliphort Genius
Doug's become one of the biggest experts in F.A.'s lately, and he pointedout weekend that last week's demand for Qliphort Genius was likely due toits status as a go-to Link Monster for F.A.'s. With two downward linkarrows and Link Materials of any two Machine-types, it's a strong pick forthe theme that lets you multiply the impact of your fast, easy SpecialSummons.
#6: Supreme King Gate Zero
Searchable for free with Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm's effect, SupremeKing Gate Zero makes Darkwrum an easy +1, filling out your Pendulum Scaleor finding you more fodder for Heavymetalfoes Electrumite. You don't wantto draw it, but searching it for free is pretty stellar, and I'd bet moneythat it's going to be a big factor in the Top Cut at the YCS.
#5: F.A. Test Run
Remember Raigeki Break? That card was a -1 requiring a discard for flexiblespot removal. F.A. Test Run is effectively the same thing without a discardor any other significant cost, and then when it hits the graveyard it's anEmergency Teleport on your next turn. And while that Special Summon effectdestroys one of your cards, you're just going to use it to blow upsomething like a Field Spell anyways, searching another card in theprocess.
It's pretty bonkers, and it offers a lot of trouble shooting and handfixing to the F.A. strategy all in one package. At the price of a fewpennies a piece, the demand is understandable.
#4: F.A. Auto Navigator
The combo-building freebie Tuner that holds down almost every play thatmatters in the F.A. deck, F.A. Auto Navigator's an incredible, repeatable,flexible starter that launches the F.A. theme into competition. Anear-one-card combo, it doesn't draw comparisons to Zoodiacs yet, but youwouldn't be off base to make that kind of connection.
#3: F.A. City Grand Prix
And finally, F.A. City Grand Prix does everything you could want out of anF.A. Field Spell, replacing itself when destroyed and boosting yourmonsters' Levels in every phase that matters. This is the gold standard forF.A. Fields, and it anchors all of the theme's big Extra Deck plays.
#2: Overtex Qoatlus
And in a surprising move, Overtex Qoatlus is up from its Number 3 finishover the weekend to Number 2! Dinosaur fans have long been known for theirability to hype new, affordable cards for the Dino theme into huge sales –you only have to look as far as True King Lithosagym, the Disaster'smassive run last year to see an example. But Qoatlus is a bit surprising,since a number of players still don't really see eye to eye on its powerlevel.
Still, with a flashy negation effect of a type Dinosaurs have never hadbefore, and a set of stats that make it an easy Special Summon with DoubleEvolution Pill, Overtex's appeal is clear. The fact that it continued tosell throughout the week suggests it's being bought up by both casual andcompetitive demographics, which makes sense, as Dinosaurs have yet to beproven much in tournament play.
#1: Underclock Taker
And finally, the newest enabling Link Monster came in at Number 1 yetagain! Underclock Taker is set to make a big impact at YCS Atlanta,bringing a flexible downward link arrow to any deck that can rub togethertwo effect monsters. Expect to see it in a variety of strategies over thenext few months.
What else was big this week?
Pot of Desires rallied to Number 11, but narrowly missed the Top 10 proper.Bottomless Trap Hole fell from Number 4 on Monday to Number 12, calling toquestion the state of defensive traps moving forward. Curious, theLightsworn Dominion took Number 13, and Mind Control took Number 15.
That left Mythical Beast Master Cerberus at Number 15, fresh off itsmassive price spike to nearly twenty bucks. How many of those purchaseshappened at which price points remains a mystery, but Master Cerberus isdefinitely going to be one of the most-watched cards of the week in therun-up to Atlanta.
That's it for this week, but join us Monday for another look at all theaction in the TCGplayer Marketplace.