This week we saw the release of Rising Rampage Special Edition,and we're counting down the days to YCS Niagara Falls.

While several of the season's biggest cards made the Top 10 bestseller listonce again, we saw some interesting trends this week as players hunker downto see what happens at the YCS. Danger monsters were massively popular inthe wake of the Gold Sarcophagus Tinreprints, but the marketcooled on them a little this week; values on Danger! Nessie! and Danger!?Jackalope? slid a bit as they disappeared from the Top 10.

Meanwhile we saw more rising interest in Knightmares and Thunder Dragons asthe conversation around pure Thunders grew in the dueling zeitgeist.Dimension Shifter was a hot pick once again as an affordable pick-up thatmight be underrated in competition, and demand for Borrelsword Dragonclimbed again despite that card's notable price tag.

Let's get right into the week's Top 10, and let's start with a card wehaven't seen here in a while.

#10 - Knightmare Cerberus

Of the tournament-friendly Knightmare monsters, Cerberus has often been theodd Link out, often ignored in favor of Knightmare Phoenix when Extra Deckspace is tight. It's not quite Knightmare Gryphon, but it's a popularchoice to skimp on if you're looking for more space in your Extra Deck. Butthat's not the case right now, as Cerberus is reaching more top tables andappearing in more Top Cut listsin the TCGplayer deck archivealong with Knightmare Unicorn.

More on that card in a bit.


#9 - Thunder Dragon Colossus

While Thunder Dragons kicked off this format with a big winat the UDS Invitational, the deck quickly fell into a lower position in most metagames as SkyStrikers and Orcust decks captured widespread success. That's left thestatus of Thunder Dragons – pure and otherwise – up for debate, and itseems like many players decided the deck was still worthwhile this week;demand for key Thunders Rebounded.

In addition to the deck's key boss monster popping back into the Top 10,Thunder Dragonroar clocked the Number 15 spot and Thunder Dragondark tookNumber 17. That might not sound like much, but it was a big change fromprevious weeks. Watch for a Thunder Dragon resurgence at YCS Niagara andpotentially in your tournaments.


#8 - Monster Reborn

Still a fantastic looking printing and still wildly popular, theGold Sarcophagus Tinversion of Monster Reborn was a hot ticket yetagain. Two parts nostalgia and one part actual tournament trend, Reborn'sbeen back in Top Cuts supporting all manner of combo strategies, fromOrcusts and Crusadias to more obscure rogue decks. If it plays World LegacySuccession it might wind up playing Monster Reborn too, and we've even seenit appearing in decks that don't play Succession at all.


#7 - Danger! Nessie!

The only Danger monster to make the Top 10 this week, Danger! Nessie!continues to reign as the centerpiece of the Danger engine. Prices onDanger monsters fell over the course of the week, though it was interestingto see demand for Danger! Bigfoot! actually on the rise. That card almostmade the countdown at Number 11.

Danger!? Tsuchinoko? fell to Number 12 and Danger!? Jackalope? was way outof the picture, not even making the Top 20. In the case of Jackalope thatmight still be a product of its higher price, since theGold Sarcophagus Tinreprint was a slick vanity reprint inAlternative Secret Rare Or Whatever We're Calling Those Right Now SinceThey Don't Have An Official Name Yet. But regardless, demand was downacross the board this week, even if just a little.


#6 - Raigeki

Raigeki saw no logged Top Cut play I could find last weekend, but thatdidn't stop it from sticking the Number 6 spot three weeks in a row. That'sa surprising level of precision, especially for a card that wreaks masshavoc without picking a single target.


#5 - Dimension Shifter

Up from Number 11 last Friday, Dimension Shifter entered the week strong atNumber 2 for the weekend and ended at Number 5, seeing far more demand thanit did earlier in its release.

The jury's still out on how or when Dimension Shifter may become useful,but there seems to be a growing consensus that at two bucks a pop it'sprobably worth grabbing a playset. With Dark Ruler No More a firm $5 andNibiru, the Primal Being at $7, we have a clear indication of where Shiftercould go if it was to ever find a place in tournament play. For six bucksyou're probably better safe than sorry.


#4 - Knightmare Unicorn

Still pushing $15 in its original printing, Knightmare Unicorn can now behad for about three bucks, and that's pushed it into the Top 10 as well asinto more tournament deck lists. Thunder Dragons, Altergeists, Infernoids,Salamangreats, Sky Strikers, and of course Orcust combo decks are allrunning this thing at least some percentage of the time; it's lowkey one ofthe most played cards of the format, and the new price tag means everyoneand their grandmother's picking up their copy.


#3 - Dark Ruler No More

Slowly seeing more and more play, Dark Ruler No More was down from Number 2to Number 3 this week, still seeing exceptional demand. But what's moreinteresting is the card it lost ground to.


#2 - Borrelsword Dragon

Yes, Borrelsword Dragon is up from Number 4 last week to Number 2 now,still holding a Market Price of about $12.50. Like Knightmare Unicorn it'sa big finisher in a huge number of Top Cut strategies, and considering itsformer price of 50 dollars and higher, nabbing the new Ultra Rare fortwelve bucks is a really good deal. I think a lot of players are lookingahead to Duel Devastatorand suddenly seeing a very clear path intotop tier competition, and that's probably got more players picking up theother cards they may need to enter the tournament fray when October 11tharrives.


#1 - Nibiru, the Primal Being

And finally, nothing is slowing down the world-demolishing meteor! Nibiruhasn't delivered a knockout punch to combo decks yet, and it probably neverwill due to the cyclical nature of that exchange – if it chases combo decksout of tournaments it won't be worth running anymore, so people will stopusing it, so combo decks will return to begin the cycle again. But it'sdefinitely keeping those decks from overwhelming the field, and the resultis a situation where the "sunrise phase" of the format seems to be lastinga lot longer than we're used to; we're well into the format now with a UDSand a YCS in the record books, but competitive metagames still seem wideopen.

Nibiru's definitely a big part of that, and it'll be intriguing to see whathappens at YCS Niagara, AND what happens in the aftermath. Will the formatbecome more consolidated? It has to happen eventually, but for now thetimeframe is really up in the air. Side Decking can be a bit tough rightnow, but if you're a fan of just playing whatever you want and not gettingtotally blown out it's a pretty good time to be playing Yu-Gi-Oh.

For a very long time, Yu-Gi-Oh's balance issues have been solved withF&L List changes. It's awesome to see purpose-designed card releasescorrecting the course of competition instead; it's a much healthier, moreorganic way to troubleshoot the game's problems.


That's it for this week, but we'll have one last update for you next Fridayin the final hours before YCS Niagara. If you're heading to the YCSyourself be sure to say hi if I'm not moving too fast to catch – I'll bewriting coverage for the event, live from the tournament floor at theScotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

See you there!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer