Welcome to another Friday Market Watch!

 

The release of Speed Duel: Arena of Lost Souls is today, but withour Top 10 for the week encompassing sales numbers from Monday to thismorning we won't know the biggest hits from SBLS until next week. Instead,the last five days gave us a snapshot of player reactions toThe Infinity Chasers.

And those reactions were all over the place. As you probably know, The Infinity Chasers introduced three new themes that won't makean immediate impact on competition, none of which carry fan service ties tooldschool Yu-Gi-Oh – a factor that can often carry a non-competitiverelease to popularity with casuals and nostalgia-types. The set also hasrelatively few competitive reprints, though there are highlights likeSecret Village of the Spellcasters and Mythical Beast Jackal King.

That puts Infinity Chasers in a weird spot: it dropped just two weeks before one of the biggest releases of the year in next Friday'sDuel Power, a set with tons of new competitive cards, substantial fan hits, and lots of killer reprints. It's no secret: a lot of players are holding their dueling dollars for next week. But all that said, interest inInfinity Chasers was still high in a few categories: namely speculation on those key reprints, and anticipation for future Witchcrafters.

All that added up to an intriguing Top 10 where popular Side Deck cards and key Salamangreats still sold like hotcakes, and whereInfinity Chasers still took the Number 1 spot. Let's get right into it so you can see what I mean.

#10: Fusion of Fire

Dropping a few slots from last week's Number 5 finish, Fusion of Firec ontinues its transition from an optional Main Deck pick when Salamangreats first debuted, to a singleton staple, to a strong Side Deck choice for both Salamangreat players looking to win the mirror and other strategies just looking to beat Salamangreats.

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#9: Salamangreat Violet Chimera

Demand for Fusion of Fire and of course Salamangreat Violet Chimera was sohigh that both cards managed to stick another landing on the Top 10bestsellers list despite the release of Infinity Chasers, and despite having been available for weeks.

That's pretty crazy, especially since the only other cards outside ofInfinity Chasers to make the countdown were Salamangreat SunlightWolf and the game's two biggest splashable tech cards. If you're going up against Salamangreats you can definitely expect to see Fusion and Chimeramained; your opponent will probably bring in more copies against you in the mirror; and now you need to worry about other decks that might side it inas well.

But even as table share and Top Cut success stories build forSalamangreats, it's getting tougher and tougher to play the deck. Thefield's adapting, and despite the winning record of Sky Strikersestablishing it as public enemy Number 1 in the minds of most competitors,players are working harder to boost their Salamangreat matchups too.

And while on one hand that might cost Salamangreat players someopportunities moving forward – a factor that could deter players fromrunning any strategy in a vacuum – Salamangreats are still just soaffordable compared to the other big decks that it's very likely manyplayers will stick with it longer than they might otherwise. Salamangreatsis the only top tournament deck many players can get their hands on, andthat's going to give the deck long legs barring an unlikely massacre on thenext F&L List.

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#8: Dinowrestler Pankratops

Moving on, it's no real surprise to see what might be the single most played Side Deck card of 2019 continue its run on the bestseller list. Dinowrestler Pankratops offers a ton of power for almost no concessions, it's an incredible answer to loads of problem cards, and its high matchup utility makes it an easy choice when you're trying to cover a wide range ofdecks.

It's one of the most affordable tournament cards in the game today and it'san obvious must-own. Numbers on this one will probably remain high as moreplayers return to the game for WCQs.

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#7: Witchcrafter Potterie

And now we get to the more interesting stuff. Witchcrafter Madame Verre andWitchcrafter Creation turned out to be two of the biggest money pulls fromInfinity Chasers, currently clocking in at Market Pricesof $16 and a whopping $34 respectively. Witchcrafters became the biggestdraw for most players weeks before Infinity Chasers hit shelves,but the announcement of more Witchcrafter support inRising Rampage– which is goodfrom what we've seen so far– created a buzz that locked Witchcrafters as the biggest attraction.

Fast forward to now and the result is a ton of trickledown enthusiasm forthe rest of the Witchcrafter theme, starting with Witchcrafter Potterie.Which, if you've read it, you probably know is a pretty crazy card.Searching a monster is one thing, but Special Summoning it straight to thefield is another level of power entirely, and Potterie's graveyard effectcan go a long way toward compensating for your discard costs. It may proveto be one of the only Witchcrafter monsters played in threes movingforward, and that got it to Number 7 on this week's charts.

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#6: Witchcrafter Holiday

A free Monster Reborn every two turns that combos with the deck's need todiscard spells all the time? Witchcrafter Holiday makes a convincingargument for the deck's potential moving forward, so it's no surprise thatit become one of the highest selling cards in The Infinity Chasers.

There's not much to say here – it's a great card that's simple to use andpowerful to play, offering lots of different options plus fundamentalsupport for the theme's core mechanic.

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#5: Witchcrafter Schmietta

Moving along, Witchcrafter Schmietta made the cut at Number 5 packing solidATK, that same Special Summon effect, and a graveyard trick that's notquite as good as Potterie's in a vacuum but still has tons of uses. Again,this is one of the most frequently played cards in Witchcrafter decks andusually appears in multiples. That – combined with its friendly price point– drove lots of demand.

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#4: Witchcrafter Pittore

The third of the trio of Witchcrafters that Special Summon directly from your deck, Pittore offers draw filtering with her graveyard ability. That might not seem impressive, but when you factor in all the deck thinning this theme has you can wind up drawing into some really great stuff while loading your graveyard to build future plays.

It's no coincidence that all three Witchcrafters with the Special Summon from deck effect sold in droves. They're all powerful cards, they're all wildly affordable, and that's got people interested in the theme. Even if they aren't viable now,Rising Rampage could mean big things for Witchcrafters.

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#3: Called by the Grave

Hand traps still big? Checkmark. Called by the Grave still incredibly popular as a result? Definitely.

Different week, same pattern. If you don't own Called by the Grave you'rehandicapping yourself in tournaments, and the card's super-low cost makesit one of the smartest places to drop a couple bucks. Trends come and gobut until hand traps are removed from Yu-Gi-Oh! entirely, Called by theGrave will still be relevant.

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#2: Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf

Down from last week's finish at Number 1, Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf's still a staple at three-per-deck in one of the most played strategies ofthe format. And as I mentioned before the number of people playing Salamangreats just continues to grow. The days of $10 and $12 SunlightWolfs have come and gone, leaving it at an approachable $4 – still nuts fora rare, but LESS nuts – and that's kept demand high.

The only thing that could knock Sunlight Wolf down a peg this week was another canine monster.

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#1: Mythical Beast Jackal King

Yes, with Pendulum Magicians still topping tournaments and thePendulum-drivenStructure Deck: Order of the Spellcastersslated for an April 19th release, the prospect of cheap MythicalBeast Jackal Kings was a massive draw in the secondary market this week.Ignoring the stuff spiked by speculation Jackal King was the Number 1bestselling card from The Infinity Chasers, outpacing every other reprint plus all the new cards. It suggests big player interest in the newStructure.

Master Cerberus and Jackal King became a pillar of Pendulum play with the launch of Extreme Force last February. Nothing's really changedthat over the past year. The length of time it takes for Mythical BeastJackal King to fall from the Top 10 is something you may want to keep aneye on, but for now it's king of the Mountain.

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Looking beyond the Top 10 proper it's worth noting what speculators andprospect-driven buyers were snapping up from The Infinity Chasers.Secret Village of the Spellcasters led the pack, which was unsurprising asthe most flexible competitive reprint at the budget level. Secret Villagewas a fairly pricy card until it was reprinted inLegendary Decks II, a release lots of players skipped on orcherrypicked for singles, so a 50 cent reprint was big news. It couldeasily go up in the future if Pendulum Magicians or Altergeists capture abigger table share, so the investment opportunity was clear.

Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack and Juragedo were hot picks as well,formerly competitive cards that remained in demand even after they fellfrom tournament favor. Spellbook of Knowledge is one of the mosttalked-about reprints in the set and one of the biggest sellers as well,though it may not see immediate competition either.

On the flip side Nekroz of Catastor moved a huge number of copies, as didArtifact Lancea – two cards that have quite a few Tops in recent Regionals.I wouldn't be shocked if Nekroz see a little more action moving forward,and given the popularity of the Artifact engine you can almost definitelyexcept to see more Lancea in upcoming tournaments.

That's it for this week, but join us onFacebook andTwitter on Monday for aMarket Update and then hit us up here again next Friday for another fullMarket Watch.

We'll see you then!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer