One of the biggest stories of the weekend started on Friday, when JesseKotton captured his third ticket to the World Championships by winning theWorld Qualifying Points Playoffwith a surprising Sky Striker build. A certain three-card suite of secret weapons rocketed Kotton into thespotlight Friday afternoon, and he was far from the only competitor toprove the idea over the course of the weekend. Two of those three cardsbecame the Number 1 and Number 2 bestsellers for the week; more on that inthe Top 10 Countdown.
We also saw players hedging their bets against a possible July 1st Forbidden List, largely picking up cards deemed "safe" fortheir wide and flexible appeal, their recent release dates, or both. Andwhile Salamangreats emerged as a fittingly hot ticket after victories atthe first three World Championship Qualifiers of the season, the demand forSalamangreat Sunlight Wolf and Cynet Mining slowed this week asSalamangreats stumbled, shut out of a Finals that sawKoty Angeloff take Thunder DragonsagainstRaymond Dai's Sky Strikers.
So what did the Top 10 look like this week in the TCGplayer Marketplace?Let's dive right in and show you.
#10: Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax
Back again at Number 10, Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax kept its spot fromlast week as more and more players come to realize its worth. While Avramaxwas tremendously popular in Salamangreats previously, the WCQ saw it breakinto Sky Strikers in a big way, keeping demand strong even as many playerslook to drop their cards in the run-up to the July F&L List.
Despite the possibility of a competition-crushing List in the coming weeks,Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax has the advantage of some safety due to itsrecent release: we probably won't see it reprinted any time soon, and at arelatively low price of about thirteen bucks you don't really stand to losemuch even if Sky Strikers and Salamangreats take a hit moving forward.Compounding that is the fact that other Link-4s are likely up on thechopping block first, with Saryuja Skull Dread, Borreload Dragon andBorrelsword Dragon likely to see action before Mekk-Knight CrusadiaAvramax… if any of them are hit at all.
The result was a lot of confident buyers picking up Avramax the last fourdays.
Linkuriboh's still wildly affordable, likely due to its multiple printingsand dwindling use in competition. While it's largely faded from the topechelons of tournament play in the TCG, it sees play in the OCG ineverything from Orcusts and Thunder Dragons to Infernoids, Buster Bladerand beyond. It's still really easy to pick up, and the right shifts in anupcoming F&L List could make it much more valuable on the table, so thepersistent demand makes sense.
#8: Dinowrestler Pankratops
Down from Number 4 last week, demand for Dinowrestler Pankratops isactually pretty steady – it just so happened that demand for other cardspicked up and pushed it further down in our Top 10. Pankratops isn't thebe-all end-all it once was, but it's still one of the most popular SideDeck cards in the game thanks to its mix of flexibility and sheer power.With its tremendously low cost and wide availability it's a must-own forany serious competitor, and there's a good chance you're already SideDecking at least two copies.
#7: Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Up a spot from Number 8 last week, not much happened at the WCQ to rattleAsh Blossom & Joyous Spring's position as the most powerful and mostpopular Main Deck hand trap going. While PSY-Framegear Gamma did see anotable spike in play and lots of success, Ash Blossom's still a massivepowerhouse with unparalleled match-up coverage; the kind of thing you canMain Deck and feel comfortable with in a varied field.
As long as Konami keeps reprinting it, players are going to keep snappingup Ash Blossoms.
#6: Mystic Mine
Down from Number 2, Mystic Mine was all over the Top Cut at the NorthAmerican WCQ as competitors found new ways to leverage it in strategiesthat haven't played it much here in the TCG. A Top Cut showing from MineBurn didn't hurt either; Mystic Mine's one of the most overpowered cards inthe game, asking very little of its controller and delivering game-shapingpower in return. That's kept it a hot pick ever since it was released.
Back at Number 5 for the second week in a row, Beatraptor captured thehearts of numerous competitives and casuals when it debuted inDark Neostorm Special Edition and the fervor's yet to die down. Asfar as I'm aware it made no real impact on the North Am WCQdespite a little bit of Dino action in the Top 16, courtesy of TCGplayer alum Robert Kenny. For now it exists entirely inthe realm of Theor-Y-Oh.
It's a great card, but we may need to see some big format changes beforeDinosaurs are ready to stand on their own two hind legs.
#4: Called by the Grave
It's really hard to keep writing about Called by the Grave every week,since the steady demand means it rarely slips from the Top 10.
Do you like combos? Do you like PLAYING combos instead of having youropponent hand trap all your stuff? Then you probably want this!
There. We did it, fam.
If it wasn't for one particularly impressive bit of innovation from theWorld Championship Qualifier weekend Crackdown would be Number 1 on thebestseller list again! It played a starring role in several keySalamangreat decks in earlier World Championship Qualifiers, and here inNorth America it helped themes like Subterrors and Trickstars climb intothe Top Cut. It's finally starting to see some real competitive use, but itjust didn't have the hype of…
…Well, the two biggest cards of the weekend.
#2: Double or Nothing!
Jesse Kotton completed another epic journey to the World Championship lastFriday, when he won the World Qualifying Points Playoff to punch his ticketto Berlin. And while Kotton made a career this year out of Thunder Dragons,he switched up his strategy to play Sky Strikers instead, adding a newfocus on Double or Nothing, Number 39: Utopia and Number 39: Utopia Doubleto beat out his opponents.
#1: Number 39: Utopia Double
Making Utopia Double with two Level 4's lets you search Double or Nothing!and then use Utopia Double as Xyz Material for a regular Number 39: Utopia.When you do that you double its ATK to 5000 Attack Points, and you can nolonger use it for direct attacks. From there you want to attack withUtopia, negate its attack with its own ability and activate Double orNothing! That lets Utopia attack again,this time with 10,000 ATK – often enough to swingfor game.
The best part is that Utopia Double's ability is a Quick Effect, so you canmake your first Xyz Summon and then do everything else in the Battle Phasewhere you're safe from Effect Veiler. Kotton had a very well definedgameplan that few of his opponents would've been ready for, and the samestrategy carried duelists like Marcus Carisse, Manav Dawar and DylanFricker to the Top Cut of the WCQ main event two days later. The impact ofall of that collective success was massive demand for Double or Nothing!and Utopia Double, which is sure to see continued use in Sky Strikers andother decks.
What else was big this week? Guardragons continued to see big speculationas a select few investors Gamble that Guardragon Pisty, Guardragon Elpy andGuardragon Agarpain will dodge the F&L List come July. Shooting RiserDragon saw a big surge in demand too, perhaps a response in partto Garrett Befera's success with it in his Zombie Danger Orcust variant(which is really worth a look if you didn't see it yet). Retaliating "C"was big as well, and Flame Bufferlo attracted some attention after somesuccess in the WCQ Top Cut.
That's it for this week, but next time around we'll look at the secondarymarket reaction to the European World Championship Qualifier. Stay tunedfor that, and be sure to visit us on Facebook and Twitter on Monday for asneak peek at the immediate market impact.