While the return of demand for Phantasm Spiral cards that we saw on Monday was a bit of a mystery in our last Market Watch, a 15th Place finish for the strategy at the Seattle Regional made big waves this week, even amongst rumors and allegations that cast some doubt on the deck's performance. Is a 15th Place finish at a Regional with fewer than 200 competitors reason enough to buy into an otherwise unproven deck? That's certainly debatable, but the Phantasm Spiral strategy is largely so affordable that players may be hedging their bets anyways.
Meanwhile the trending status of True Draco Zoodiacs and Demise True Kings continued to be the guiding competitive force in the secondary market, with key cards for both strategies making repeat performances in this week's Top 10. And beyond that, one of the week's biggest surprises from the OCG placed a new card onto the sales charts that we've never in Top 10 action.
As always, a quick recap: here in our Market Watch columns we use sales data from over 1,000 active Yu-Gi-Oh! sellers in the TCGplayer Marketplace to create a list of the bestselling cards by sheer volume of cards sold. We ignore price spikes and card rarities, giving us a chance to see trends across the board that might not create immediate pricing differences: if a Common or a Rare sells thousands of copies but doesn't move much in value, we can still see it and use that information to make theories about how players are reacting to new releases and overseas news; which tech cards you might see more of soon; and the decks that are going to see more tournament play.
Let's get to it! Here were the ten bestselling cards of the week here on TCGplayer, from Monday to Friday morning.
#10: True King's Return
While it was the Number 4 bestselling card last week, True King's Return disappeared from Market Watch over the weekend. Now it's back at Number 10, which is understandable given the increasing popularity of True Draco Zoodiacs and Demise True Dracos.
A must-play one-of in Draco Zoo that's been played in multiples before, it's also a three-of in the Demise variant, it's still available at an average Market Price of less than two bucks. That may not last for long since it is an in-demand Ultra Rare.
#9: Phantasm Spiral Wave
Perhaps the easiest of the Phantasm Spiral Equip Spells to trigger, Phantasm Spiral Wave is only played as a singleton in most Phantasm Spiral decks, including the 15th Place Seattle build. It's just a common, and available for less than seven cents, exemplifying the theme's budget appeal.
#8: True Draco Heritage
Meanwhile True Draco Heritage outsold it, again as a one-of in most True Draco Zoo builds and a three-of in Demise Draco.
At this point Heritage is a common sight in competition, commonly popping backrow and sometimes netting free draws and valuable hand fixing along the way. Like True King's Return it's an Ultra Rare that seems to have the potential to rise in value, though the release of the Maximum Crisis Special Edition has briefly injected a ton of new copies into the secondary market, staving off inflation for at least a while.
#7: Phantasm Spiral Power
Back on the Phantasm side of things, Phantasm Spiral Power is like an Effect Veiler that stunts the targeted monster by 1000 ATK and DEF, and works on either player's turn in any phase of play… provided you control at least one Normal Monster, no Effect Monsters, and have Pacifis, the Phantasm City in play.
That's not always easy, but the trap cards in this theme are really good if you can get them to work.
#6: Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter
Meanwhile Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter continues to sell like hotcakes despite usually seeing play only in Demise True Dracos. We pointed out last week that it was played in decks like Eder Alonso Vinagre's True Draco Zoo, which won the Spanish National Championship two weeks ago, but it's difficult to tell if its trending status is owed to a rising interest in Demise True Dracos, or if it indicates a shift in build decisions for the more common True Draco Zoo variants.
The demand might even be purely speculative. As another MACR Ultra Rare, Dinomight Knight's lower in current price than True Draco Heritage and True King's Return, which could just be making it an attractive investment for a lot of collectors and prospective sellers. Time will tell.
#5: Shien's Smoke Signal
The biggest surprise of the week was the reveal of new Six Samurai support in the upcoming Deck Build Pack: Spirit Warriors release, arriving in Japan on August 11th. As of this writing the only reveals for the set have been Six Samurai cards, but there are five of them and they're a promising group of cards; they seem to revolve around banishing and searching eachother to generate card advantage and field presence.
Shadow Six Samurai – Hatsume is midrange at 1600 ATK, but packs an effect that lets you banish any two Six Sams from your graveyard or field to revive another Six Samurai. Then, when it's in the graveyard you can banish it to protect one other Six Samurai monster when one of them would be destroyed.
That works well with the Level 2 Tuner Shadow Six Samurai – Genba and the 1900 ATK beater Shadow Six Samurai – Kizaru. When you Normal Summon Genba you can get back a banished Six Samurai monster to your hand, while Kizaru searches a Six Samurai from your deck of an Attribute you don't control when you Special Summon Kizaru. Both have the same "banish from the graveyard to protect a Six Samurai from destruction" ability. Considering the range of previous Six Samurai effects that required you to field Samurais in pairs or groups, those protection effects are going to go a long way toward making the theme relevant again.
Meanwhile Shadow Art of the Six Samurai lets you swap a Six Sam from the field to bring one back from your removed zone, straight to the field at Quick-Play speed; it reeks of the old OTK plays people used to make with Cunning of the Six Samurai. And Shadow Six Samurai – Rihan is a Contact Fusion of three Six Samurai with different Attributes, that once per turn banishes any one card at the cost of a Six Samurai from your hand or field. It's a nice way to leverage the card advantage the new Six Samurais may rake in.
The enthusiasm for the new cards drove Shien's Smoke Signal right to the Number 5 spot, though it remains in big supply on a flat Price Trend.
#4: Phantasm Spiral Grip
Meanwhile the Top 4 bestselling cards this week were all Phantasm Spiral cards. Michael Craig played two copies of Phantasm Spiral Grip in his Seattle build, and that pushed it all the way to Number 4.
#3: Phantasm Spiral Battle
He also played a full three copies of Phantasm Spiral Battle, which isn't surprising since it's a common three-of. We've spoken before of Spiral Battle's powerful removal effect, which like Phantasm Spiral Power, is most notable for its sheer versatility of timing if you can match the conditions for its from-the-hand activation.
#2: Phantasm Spiral Dragon
Meanwhile, the other two must-run-at-three cards for the theme were the bestselling cards of the week, as Phantasm Spiral Dragon was once again narrowly outsold by….
#1: Pacifis, the Phantasm City
…The key field spell, Pacifis, the Phantasm City. Enabling your trap cards from your hand, turning your Normal Monsters into copies of Elemental Hero Stratos, and summoning free Token Monsters, Pacifis is one of the biggest draws for the entire Phantasm Spiral theme.
With all the demand for Phantasm Spirals we finally saw a full buyout of Heat Wave that's lasted all week until now; just a couple copies are left in the TCGplayer Marketplace. Those remaining Heat Waves are currently priced at $16 and above, marking a new record for the under-supplied spell.
Looking beyond the Top 10 there are some more cards that are worth a nod.
Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit's status in the new Advanced Format has drawn some debate, but it was the 11th most-purchased card in the TCGplayer Marketplace this week. Return of the Dragon Lords continued to be popular at Number 12, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber took lucky Number 13 as True Dracos continue to drive demand for answers, and Lost Wind sold strongly to capture the Number 14 position.
That left the perennially popular True King Lithosagym, the Disaster uncharacteristically low at Number 15 this week, even while True King Dinosaurs continues to put in more results thanks to Yang Zing innovations; a topic Doug wrote on not once, but twice in recent articles.
Is the softening of demand for Lithosagym an indicator of flagging interest in Dinosaurs? Or did prospective Dinosaur players simply buy all the copies they needed over the last several weeks? We'll be looking to the final Regional Qualifier of the season this weekend in Rosemont Illinois – AKA Chicago – as well as ARGCS Atlanta for answers to those questions and more.