Preorders were open all week long both the Sarcophagus Tin promos and the2019 Gold Sarcophagus Tin Mega Pack cards, and the result wastremendous demand for competitive picks from both sides of the release.While Mega Tin launches are often dominated by more casual and fan-drivenpack-in promos right out of the gates, it's a different story this timearound: a lot of sellers did move tons of copies of Obelisk the Tormentor,Slifer the Sky Dragon and The Winged Dragon of Ra, but those cards werelargely just targets for speculation from long term investors. They wereoutsold in all metrics by a ton of tournament cards.
While two cards from Fists of the Gadgetsmanaged to remain in theTop 10 bestseller list this week, one is unequivocally competitive, andonly one other card in the Top 10 is arguably non-competitive… and it's thenew printing of Raigeki. Not exactly a useless card in tournament play,just unpopular given the shape of current competition.
Everything else that made the cut this week saw play in Top Cut decks fromRegionals and YCS Portland this past weekend, and that's a pretty big deal,especially since it was almost all preorders. Competitors are chomping atthe bit to get back into the fray now that the 2019-2020 tournamentseason's begun, and we have your look at some of the cards they were buyingin mass numbers. Take these individual trends with a grain of salt: on onehand they come in the wake of the results from the YCS, and do seem to beinformed by those deck lists. On the other, there's only so much room forexpression with a finite card set.
With that caveat given the data here seems useful on several levels: weknow which competitive cards people were buying this week, and we also knowthey were buying competitive cards in unforeseen quantities. The newtournament season's going to be a jumping off point for a lot of newcontenders and many people appear to be knuckling down for seriouscompetition.
#10 - Danger!? Tsuchinoko?
The three leading Danger! reprints were all big this week despite notableprice tags: Danger! Nessie!, Danger!? Jackalope!? and Danger!? Tsuchinokoare all sitting around seven to eight dollars right now and that didnothing to slow demand: Jackalope nearly made the Top 10 at Number 11 andTsuchinoko kicks off our countdown at Number 10.
That's probably because Dangers are still everywhere in the new format,despite the Semi-Limited status of the tribe's best members. We saw allsorts of Crusadia, Orcust, and Dragon Link combo decks running Dangerengines in Top Cuts this past weekend, and Joe Alvarez even relied onDangers to take his Salamangreat strategy to the Top 4 of YCS Portland.
Dangers are hot, the new rarities look awesome, and now that the theme'smore affordable you can expect to see them on even more tournament tablesmoving forward.
#9 - Knightmare Unicorn
Speaking of cards that are more affordable, the original printing ofKnightmare Unicorn in Flames of Destructiondropped from its lofty$20 price tag to $12 this week, while the new Ultra Rare can be had forjust three to four dollars. A perennial powerhouse in combo decks,Unicorn's effectively a must-own for any competitive player since itappears in so many different strategies and solves so many problems withits spin effect. A lot of duelists jumped on the bandwagon this week, soexpect to see Knightmares even more often in your games.
#8 – Shootingcode Talker
One of the two surviving cards from Fists of the Gadgets in thisweek's Top 10, Shootingcode's still a hugely affordable card that lots ofVRAINS fans and Cyberse enthusiasts waited a very long time to seestateside. While it's almost guaranteed to be a little too complicated anda little too low in ATK to ever be truly competitive, it's the kind ofcasual card that begs to be built around and the Code Talker theme abides;there are several combos to beef this thing up and get it going.
None of them are very good as far as I'm aware, but there's a fandom hereand that was enough to keep demand high so soon after the card's release.
#7 - Knightmare Phoenix
Would anyone argue if I said Knightmare Phoenix is one of the best cards inthe game today? A former $5 Super Rare, Phoenix returns in the Tins as aswanky Ultra currently commanding half the price of the original, stillwielding a killer effect that's changed the way we look at backrow andbackrow removal. This card's awesome; it's a worthy rarity upgrade and it'sno surprise to see so much enthusiasm for it.
#6 - Raigeki
Once the absolute king of monster removal, Raigeki's one of the single mosticonic cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! and while it hasn't seen much play in recentyears, the new Prismatic Secret Rare version is just gorgeous and any duelfan would want to own a copy. It's really attractive to collectors as wellas fans of the original TV series and manga, and you've gotta believe thateven the most hardened competitive veteran could find a soft spot in theirheart for such an incredible printing of a card that defined ourchildhoods.
#5 – Monster Reborn
Monster Reborn also gets the Prismatic Secret Rare treatment in the2019 Gold Sarcophagus Tins, clocking in at about $1.50 forarguably the nicest printing of the card ever. And while it boasts a levelof iconic reputation similar to Raigeki, it's also pretty competitive inthe current format: we saw it in all the different combo decks in Top Cutsthis past weekend, and Yishan McNabb ran it inhis 2ndPlace Golden Gizmek Gren Maju strategy. It's cheap, it's competitive, and it's really cool, giving it anintersectional appeal that landed it at Number 5 for the week.
#4 - Starving Venom Fusion Dragon
The last card from Fists of the Gadgetsto make the list, StarvingVenom Fusion Dragon has taken center stage in Side and Extra Decks thisformat thanks to the heavy use of Super Polymerization. There's almost nobetter way to eliminate two Dark monsters from the field at once, and whenso many of the format's biggest and best monsters are Dark, SuperPolymerization is worth its weight in gold. Starving Venom's so good thatwe saw players running Trishula, the Dragon of Icy Imprisonment in largepart just to rip Starving Venom out of opposing Extra Decks at the UDS andYCS Portland.
You need to come prepared for Starving Venom and Super Poly, because withmore and more players picking them up you're going to be even more likelyto have them played against you. As the sales numbers stack up week to weekthat just gets cemented as a fact of competitive play.
#3 - Dimension Shifter
Finally the Top 3 bestselling cards of the week were all three of the newWorld Premiere promo cards from the Gold Sarcophagus Tins, starting withDimension Shifter. These cards are all engineered to rein in combo decks indifferent ways, and in the case of Dimension Shifter that means an almostfree Macro Cosmos effect that's exceptionally hard to counter. DimensionShifter suffers from that Gnomaterial syndrome that renders it almostuseless any time after Turn 1, but there are clearly enough players thatbelieve it's worthwhile since so many people invested in their copies. Ifyou thought that competitors were on the fence about this thing, restassured that the sales numbers alone demonstrate that it's going to seeplay. Expect it, and don't get caught off guard.
#2 - Dark Ruler No More
Dark Ruler No More has generated similar pro-and-con type debate since itwas revealed at the World Championships in Berlin, with most of the doubtrevolving around the comparison between this card and Super Polymerization.Neither can be responded to and in theory, both cards address a lot of thesame threats. But the details swerve in wildly different directions fromthere, with one card having more limited range and a discard cost, whilethe other keeps you from winning the game that turn.
Again, the sheer sales figures here demonstrate that Dark Ruler No More isgoing to see play. At five bucks a pop it's no joke to pick up a playset –15 bucks isn't a ton of money, but when it comes time to decide where tospend your dueling dollars there's always competition. Players are buyinginto this card despite the midrange price tag, and it's going to see a lotof table time moving forward thanks to its simplicity, and the sheerdifficulty of outplaying it.
Can Super Poly be the superior card in a number of common situations?Absolutely. But you can't beat the sheer coverage of Dark Ruler No More,and certain decks that just need a chance to set up are likely to favor it.
#1 - Nibiru, the Primal Being
From there the bestselling card of the week is no surprise: Nibiru, thePrimal Being is the one card seemingly everyone can agree on, agame-shaping threat that's waiting in the wings to punish the unwary andreward the careful duelist who plans well (or who plays for Apollousa, Bowof the Goddess). This is a tin promo that's a relatively easy pull, andit's still commanding an average Market Price of seven dollars. Everybodywants three copies, anyone who has more than one deck and hates rotatingcards in and out of sleeves wants more, and the demand was just incredibleto see in the preorder period.
Nibiru's one of the best cards of the year and players respondedaccordingly in the TCGplayer Marketplace. From this point forward you haveto assume that every opponent might have a copy in their hand, and that'sgoing to change the way a lot of decks function. We've seen Konami try tocontrol big combo decks time and time again in the past, but they mighthave finally nailed it with this thing.
What else was big this week? As noted earlier, Danger!? Jackalope!? almostmade the Top 10 at Number 11. That Prismatic Secret Rare printing really isstellar. Code Talker and Blue-Eyes Alternative Ultimate Dragon came in atNumbers 12 and 13 respectively to represent the fan contingent, while IgnisHeat, the True Dracowarrior finished at Number 14 and Thunder Dragondarkwound up at Number 15. It's a really competitive crop of cards ruling thesales charts right now.
Will these trends hold through the release weekend now that the2019 Gold Sarcophagus Tinsare out in wide release? That'sanybody's guess, but by Monday we'll have some new numbers over onthe official Yugioh.TCGplayer.com Facebookand Twitter pages, so staytuned for that. We'll also havenew Regional Top Cut lists in the Deck Archive too, so don't miss it.