Welcome to another Market Watch, the first in the wake of YCS Chicago.

Last week we saw the first big hits from Savage Strike as that set took over the TCGplayer Marketplace in its pre-sale weekalone. Flash forward seven days and a lot of the top cards from SAST arestill popular, though the YCS results –which you can find over in our deck archive– made a clear impact.

While Aloof Lupine was the Number 2 bestseller last week, it didn't see asmuch play in Chicago as many predicted and it dropped from the Top 10entirely. Meanwhile Time Thiefs persevered as an incredible draw, and acouple new cards snuck into the Top 10 after strong rogue showings at theYCS. Salamangreats were still a hot ticket as we await the approachingrelease of Structure Deck Soulburner, and Impcantations managed tostay hyped through the week despite remaining non-competitive.

The Ritual Summoning enthusiasm landed Impcantations right at the top ofour countdown for the week, so let's jump right in.

#10: Impcantation Inception

It might be hard to even imagine a better card for Impcantations thanImpcantation Inception. Summoning any Ritual Monster you want, allowing youto exceed the Levels of whatever you want to Ritual Summon, and kicking offa string of effects that lead to several free pluses of card economy itreally does everything you could ask. There was no competitive showing fromRituals at the YCS, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody managed tosecure a Regional Top 8 with Rituals over the coming weeks.

The card's really good, and at this point it's surrounded by otherImpcantation cards that aren't too shabby either.

#####CARDID= 24878 #####

#9: Subterror Guru

Clifton Land's Top 16 Subterror deckwas one of the most talked-about builds from YCS Chicago, andLoukas wrote on the deck as a whole earlier this week. Subterror Guru is the lynchpin that's now making Subterrors viable,offering a renewable, incredible search effect as well as a free Book ofMoon type set-up that keeps your free searches coming. It blocks opposingmoves, it re-sets your other monsters to make bigger plays, and it evenpacks solid stats as a 1600 ATK Level 4.

With Subterrors now proven once a lot of players are grabbing their copiesof Guru to give the deck a try. Don't be surprised if it appears in yourtournaments some time soon.

#####CARDID= 24907 #####

#8: Orcust Knightmare

Ed Acepcion's success with a Danger-heavy deckthat splashed Orcrusts at the YCS did similar things for Orcust Knightmare,another theme-defining card that's suddenly made Orcusts look viable monthsbefore the release of further support in Dark Neostorm. Combiningwith Knightmare Mermaid to take the Knightmare Extra Deck engine in anentirely new direction, Orcust Knightmare opens up a wealth of plays thatstart with a familiar source, but end up in very different places.

Again, the player interest here suggests that we could see more Orcustvariants…Or at least more splashed Orcust engines… in tournamentcompetition soon. Definitely check out Acepcion's deck and get familiarwith those cards.

#####CARDID= 24833 #####

#7: Time Thief Hack

And then, the Time Thiefs. R&D's doing a lot of sculpting lately,releasing key cards for unproven themes in low rarities to generate playerinterest. We've seen them purposefully assign rarities to make upcomingproducts and strategies affordable many times before, but Time Thiefs areone of the biggest examples: six cards, playable immediately splashed intoother decks, all printed as commons.

And while a dedicated Time Thief deck doesn't seem competitive just yet,we're sure to see more Time Thief cards in future releases. For now,throwing them out there in wildly accessible rarities and making themplayable right off the bat – even if they need other themes to work with –seems like a great way to deliver value to players now, and then buildsomething bigger over time.

Future Time Thief cards will almost certainly be Ultra Rares and SecretRares, but for now, anyone who wants to give them a shot can do so. That'spretty cool, and it once again landed all six Time Thief cards on the Top10, starting with their protecting and enabling Continuous Spell.

#####CARDID= 24899 #####

#6: Time Thief Flyback

Also hot, Time Thief Flyback. A weird combination of deck search powereventually loading cards to your graveyard, and aggressive graveyarddisruption that also powers your own effects, it's difficult to tell ifit'll see play in what eventually becomes a competitive Time Thief deck.Could this be the kind of card that sees combo-driven abuse with FoolishBurial Goods? It might, but it depends on what we see in future releases.

For now that hazy future hardly seems to matter, as Flyback's so affordablethat curious players are picking it up anyways. Why not.

#####CARDID= 24900 #####

#5: Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf

Breaking from Time Thiefs for a moment but operating on a similar plane,Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf is another mercifully budget-minded card that'sirreplaceable for one of 2019's biggest themes.Structure Deck Soulburner is just a few days away, and theStructure's way more attractive to players of all levels with Sunlight Wolf– an almost guaranteed must-run at three per deck – as a regular Rare.

That said just look at the numbers: Sunlight Wolf is selling like hotcakesand is pushing the $3 mark, which is huge for any regular Rare in a corebooster. A horde of players seem genuinely interested inSoulburner and what it might mean for Salamangreats movingforward, so definitely be ready to see those cards in competition nextweekend.

#####CARDID= 24861 #####

#4: Time Thief Bezel Ship

Back on Time Thiefs, Bezel Ship offers graveyard disruption and an effectthat lets you effectively cash in Xyz Materials on an Xyz Monster foranother piece of field presence that likely becomes a Material for adifferent Xyz Monster you're about to make. The "banish it when it leavesthe field" clause puts this card solely in the wheelhouse of Xyz Summoningcombo strings, and that's definitely going to become more relevant as wesee more Time Thief cards.

For now it's the least useful of the Time Thief monsters, which means it"only" sold to the Number 4 position this week. Yeesh.

#####CARDID= 24896 #####

#3: Time Thief Winder

Know who's cooler than Bezel Ship? Time Thief Hero Stratos.

Time Thief Winder has that familiar type of search effect strapped to afamiliar Level 4 frame with 1800 ATK, but note the Special Summon abilitytoo. There's so much going on in just the first six cards of the Time Thieftheme to help you make big fields of Link and Xyz Monsters, hooking you upwith free cards and free Special Summons to ensure that Time Thiefs end upbeing just as fast, consistent, and competitive as some of the game's mostsuccessful themes.

This is one of the best search cards we've seen in a while, and the factthat it was only Number 3 for the week just communicates how crazy theremaining two cards are.

#####CARDID= 24895 #####

#2: Time Thief Regulator

We said it last week, but Time Thief Regulator is just Rescue Cat for TimeThiefs. It's pretty insane now just Summoning Time Thief Winder and TimeThief Bezel Ship, but imagine how much crazier it could get with more TimeThief monsters in upcoming sets. Notice that there's no Level restriction:no matter how big your Time Thief might be, it's going to be a valid playwith Regulator. There's a very good chance this card's just going to getbetter and better until it's a problem.

#####CARDID= 24897 #####

#1: Time Thief Redoer

And finally, not only is Time Thief Redoer the core of a future Time Thiefdeck, it was already seeing play at YCS Chicago in the Top 32. Ed Acepcionplayed it to a Top 8 finishwhile Raphael Neven won playing it in Lunalights, using it as a ramp into Outer Entity Azathot via The Phantom Knights'Rank-Up-Magic Launch. Azathot delivered at YCS Chicago in a coupledifferent forms, and Redoer's a great way to get there with its generic XyzMaterials and potentially useful effects.

#####CARDID= 24898 #####

That was the Top 10 countdown this week, but join us again in another sevendays as we see what the market looks like in the run-up toStructure Deck Soulburner. February's a huge month in theYu-Gi-Oh! TCG and all paths lead to YCS Atlanta in five weeks, so staytuned for more market insight!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer

-Jason Grabher-Meyer