With Regional Qualifiers and YCS Milan scheduled for the weekend, thisweek's bestseller list gave immediate insight into player expectations.While a few big competitive picks from recent weeks held onto their spotsin the Top 10, other entries revealed new trends that many had speculatedupon. Now we have real evidence.
Now that we know what people were buying we have a unique opportunity tomake strong predictions and metagame reads. What's going to be big at theYCS? What are players doing to counter the most anticipated strategies inRegionals? And which trends appear to be carrying over from the last formatinto this one? Those are questions we're now better equipped to answer.
As always, our weekly Market Watch Top 10 is ordered by sheer volume ofsales. That means that while Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage! sold in massivenumbers for a high-end Secret Rare – and boy, I'd expect to see SkyStrikers in your tournaments with so many Engages finding new homes – itwas beaten out by less flashy cards in higher circulation.
With no further ado, here were the ten bestselling cards of the week in theTCGplayer Marketplace.
#10: Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands
Back in the Top 10 after its foil reprint in Hidden Summoners,Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands is the only card on this list that doesn'tindicate a big tournament trend or player perspective. It's probably thebyproduct of positioning in the calendar year instead. Ritual cards arestill enjoying a boost right now thanks to White Dragon Abyss, aswell as next month's Sisters of the Rose which brings new supportfor Cyber Angels.
Year in and year out, Ritual support cards see spikes of demand that faroutstrip their competitive potential whenever new Rituals arrive. With theSisters of the Rose hype train just starting to gain steam thismight not be the last time we see Manju top the sales charts this year.
#9: Herald of the Abyss
Herald of the Abyss was an early chart-topper when Soul Fusionreleased, but demand took a tumble when it became readily apparent thatHerald had almost no competitive use in big matchups. The spike of demandthis week is probably due in large part to the removal of Kozmo DarkDestroyer from the F&L List. While Kozmos aren't a top prospect forcompetition in the new format,the deck did top the recent Regional in Iraq, generating a bit more speculation about what it could accomplishelsewhere
Right now you can pick up a playset of Herald for about 30 cents, making itas an easy throw-in on top of bigger orders. Someday in the future you'llwant a playset, so you might as well grab it while it's almost free.
#8: Rivalry of Warlords
A perpetual bestseller since its first foil printing inHidden Summoners, Rivalry of Warlords was a potential target forrestriction on the latest F&L as it falls into the category of "cardsthat keep your opponent from playing Yu-Gi-Oh." But with the F&L Listso laser-focused Firewall Dragon cards like Rivalry have escaped at leastuntil the end of January, and that kept demand strong for what's arguablythe most played floodgate in the game today.
#7: Instant Fusion
What's that? Combo decks lost some cards to the F&L List you say?!There are lots of players looking to fill gaps in Link spam decks rightnow, and while Instant Fusion was starting to decline in its number of toptable appearances, you've gotta believe it's a must-run once again instrategies like Dark Warriors and Goukis. Those decks are still going to becompeting this weekend, and out of all of the options to fill gaps in bigplay sequences, Instant Fusion and perhaps Neo Space Connector are likelythe two most popular.
…And since this Top 10 covers the sales period from Monday to Fridaymorning, and Neo Space Connector wasn't even available on TCGplayer untillate Wednesday, Instant Fusion was the easy winner between the two. Watchout for Connector this weekend though, for reasons we'll get to in amoment.
#6: Pot of Desires
This one's no surprise: Pot of Desires always spikes at the start of a newformat, as returning players gear up to plunge into tournaments. There arevery few cards that are more important to own across the full breadth ofstrategies people play these days, and that ubiquity continues to fueldemand for Desires whenever new players enter the fray, and lapsed playersdecide to make their comebacks.
#5: Gozen Match
Just like Rivalry of Warlords, Gozen Match is a hot ticket thanks to itsfoil reprinting as well as heavy tournament use in both Main and SideDecks. While Gozen Match didn't see as much play last format as Rivalry,they've been neck and neck in sales despite that fact, and has outsoldRivalry a surprising portion of the time.
That could be indicative of player interests in specific themes, but reallyit's probably just a reflection of availability. Rivalry of Warlords wasprinted five times total, including in the original Gold Seriesand the Samurai Warlords Structure Deck, so there are way morecopies of it floating around. Before Hidden Summoners came aroundGozen Match was only ever reprinted in Turbo Pack Booster 8, alimited release product that didn't do a heck of a lot to get more copiesinto circulation.
As a result a lot of players who owned Rivalry of Warlords didn'tnecessarily have Gozen Match, leaving more duelists to play catchup withthe HISU reprint and pushing it further up the charts.
#4: Dinowrestler Pankratops
Easily one of the most played Side Deck cards of the last six weeks,Dinowrestler Pankratops is a beatstick, a free body for Link Summons, aLevel 7 for Xyz Summons, free removal, and a chainable source ofdisruption. It's an incredible problem-solver that's spent a lot of time atNumber 1 and Number 2 since Soul Fusion first dropped, and I'mstill shocked it wasn't foiled up into a money card.
But since it wasn't it continues to remain affordable, and that meansmassive sales. The fact that it "only" came in at Number 4 this weekdemonstrates just how influential the biggest tournament trends of the weekwere, starting with our Number 3 performer.
#3: Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin
Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin started its most recent tournament run as the mostentertaining tech pick at the North American WCQ this summer. "AquaDolphin! That's hilarious," people like me said.
And it was. For like, a good hour or two, before it started demolishinghands and shattering WCQ dreams.
We all sort of came to terms with Dolphin over time, as we just acceptedthat if Topologic Gumblar Dragon was going to get you, the Dolphin wasprobably going to finish the job. That kind of "new normal" isn't reallythe kind of thing we should have to get used to, and as combo playersstarted doing even more broken things the memory of the Dolphin's utterhand-baggery faded into a chittering squeak off in the distance.
But it never really went away, and if you thought it did, boy, are you notgoing to like the next few weeks. Neo Space Connector's one of the singlemost feared cards in competition right now for duelists-in-the-know, andit's solely because Dolphin exists.
If you're not familiar, the play here can be as simple as opening with NeoSpace Connector and Normal Summoning it to Special Summon Dolphin. That'seasy because Connector's a Warrior and there are lots of ways to search it.Once the Dolphin hits the field you'll pitch your worst or most opportunecard to look at your opponent's hand, figure out precisely how to ruintheir life, and then destroy one of their monsters – usually a hand trapthanks to the bit about ATK in Dolphin's effect.
And that's pretty good. But it gets even better when you pitch Neo-SpacianAqua Dolphin to the graveyard for [whatever you want to do with it] andthen bring it back by Tributing Neo Space Connector to discard another ofyour opponent's cards. While Link spam decks lost copies of ArmageddonKnight and Destiny Hero – Malicious along with Firewall Dragon, gainingthis thing makes it almost look like an even trade.
Get ready to see Neo Space Connector, since we now know a ton of peoplewere buying their copies of Dolphin for just that reason.
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#2: Called by the Grave
Called by the Grave: still one of the most popular cards in the game, andstill wildly affordable. Like Pot of Desires the demand here indicates alot of fresh blood entering the competitive fold because most currentplayers already own their copies. There's absolutely nothing that's goingto make this card any less important than it is now.
That said, it was outsold by…
#1: Xyz Encore
That's put a lot of pressure on competitive players to find an answer toRhongo, and that answer is Xyz Encore. Much to the confusion of themajority of the player base.
The effects of Number 86: Heroic Champion - Rhongomyniad keep it from beingdestroyed by battle, boost it to 3000 ATK and 3000 DEF, stop your opponentfrom Normal or Special Summoning monsters, and let you destroy all youropponent's cards on the field. Those effects are predicated on Rhongohaving 1, 2, 4, and 5 Xyz Materials respectively and they're all prettystraightforward.
But what's more complicated is its 3-material effect: Rhongo's "unaffectedby other cards' effects." A lot of people look at Xyz Encore which needs totarget Rhongo, and believe it's protected. But it isn't.
It's perfectly legal to target Number 86: Heroic Champion – Rhongomyniadwith Xyz Encore, because none of Rhongo's effects keep it from beingtargeted. And according to an OCG ruling that was published by Konami'sJapanese arm, as well as rulings in every TCG event we're aware of,cards that affect Xyz Materials aren't considered to affect the monsterthose materials are attached to.
That means you can target a 5-material Rhongo with Xyz Encore, and when itresolves the first thing that happens is that you detach all the XyzMaterials from it. That strips away the "unaffected by other cards" effect,and when Xyz Encore looks to punt that sucka back to the Extra Deck ittotally will. Your opponent gets to revive as many of those Xyz Materialsas possible, but they come back at a lower Level and cleaning house isn'tdifficult for most of the big decks of today. And since the last line ofXyz Encore says your opponent can't respond to its activation, there'svirtually no way to stop it.
That's why there were points this week where Xyz Encore was almost doubleits usual price approaching the seven dollar mark. That's come down toabout four dollars since lots of sellers rushed to unload their copies, butremember that a ton of duelists don't even know that this thing'simportant, or why. They're going to figure it out this weekend and demand'sgoing to remain high through next week.
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Looking beyond the Top 10 proper, the hype surroundingPlatinum Gadgetand the return of the ABC deck seemed to combine to place Gold Gadget atNumber 11 on the sales charts. The Danger! theme stayed relevant withDanger! Mothman! At Number 12, and sure enough Number 86: Heroic Champion –Rhongomyniad came in at a portentous Number 13. That left Prank-KidsLampsies and Pandemonium' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Prank-Kids Pandemonium">Prank-Kids Pandemonium at Number 14 and 15 to finish thingsout.
Will these trends hold through the weekend? We'll be back next Friday tofind out, but if you want a sneak peek keep an eye on our Facebook Page onMonday
For now, good luck at your tournaments this weekend and enjoy the newformat, Firewall-free!