Last week we saw a shockingly strong reaction to the Freezing Chains Structure Deck, as cards for both casual and competitive builds of the revamped Ice Barrier deck exploded in demand.
Every classic Water card blew up, with players gathering classics like Deep Sea Diva, Atlantean Dragoons, and Toadally Awesome, as well as newer Water staples like Adamancipator Risen - Dragite and Marincess Coral Anemone. We even saw a massive run on Geomancer of the Ice Barrier, with buyouts driving the Hidden Arsenal Super Rare to ten dollars, and the Duel Terminal 2 original to a whopping 25.
But that surge of demand happened in the vacuum of competitive results; while the Latin American Remote Duel Invitational happened nearly two weeks ago, the event didn't do much to sway the secondary market since we didn't see much information about specific builds that topped. Was Freezing Chains just a flash in the pan? Did all of those cards sell well solely because we didn't have decklists or a new banlist?
Turns out, the answer's probably no. At least three cards were still in the Top 10 this week thanks to Freezing Chains, and Geomancer of the Ice Barrier's still sky high. But this time around we saw some other factors: chiefly the top decks from the latest Remote Duel Extravaganza. A lot of different decks topped the Sunday Main Event and the two ATTACK OF THE GIANT CARD!! tournaments, but the strategies that left the biggest mark were Tri-Brigades, piloted once again by Kyle Waterbury, this time to a 1st Place Main Event finish; and Eldlich, in several different forms.
What did all of that translate to in the TCGplayer Marketplace? Let's look at this week's best-selling cards and find out.
Back again, Knightmare Unicorn continues to see play everywhere it can fit, including Drytron, Numeron, Prank-Kids, Eldlich, and Subterror. It bounces pretty steadily between $1 and $2.50, and it's been hugely accessible since its reprint in Genesis Impact. Given that set's timing a lot of more casual duelists and newer players appear to be picking up their copies now, and we're likely to see more competitors playing catchup in the coming weeks and months as COVID lockdowns start to safely subside.
Swap Frog didn't make the Top 10 last week, but lots of players seemed to realize the card's appeal in a post-Freezing Chains environment, especially in a format where Toadally Awesome's unlimited. We'll be showing you a Frog Ice Barrier deck from Hanko on Sunday, so stick with us through the weekend - it's a really cool list!
Lappis Dragon was Number 12 last week, and I think a considerable number of players realized that they still need one for some of those key Ice Barrier combos in the meantime. This card was 40 cents a week ago, but Savage Strike's struck again; Lappis Dragon was only printed in that release, hasn't been reprinted since, and the fresh demand's spiked it to three dollars and counting. Savage Strike released over two years ago, and that's made several underappreciated cards pretty scarce.
PSY-Framegear Gamma always sees play in big tournaments with experienced competitors, and it was big again at the latest Extravaganza: 1st Place finisher in the Main Event Kyle Waterbury played Gamma in Tri-Brigades, 2nd Place Emmanuel Lilly ran it in Numeron, and TCGplayer's own Hanko Chow played it in the Top 4.
Whenever there's a spike of hand traps, PSY-Framegear Gamma sees more play to counter them, especially in the hands of veteran players who are often best equipped to leverage the card to its full value. That in turn spikes demand, which is what we've seen this week as Gamma slowly climbed to $3.50.
The biggest impact of the Extravaganza may have been the continued proof in favor of Lyrilusc Tri-Brigade. Kyle Waterbury's build had a few new tricks this time around, but it was still grounded in the same core cards, including Lyrilusc - Turquoise Warbler. This is a Maximum Crisis common that hasn't been reprinted yet, and it's approaching the $1 mark as more players look to explore Tri-Brigade.
Meanwhile the price increase of Tri-Brigade Fraktall's been much more dramatic. This card was less than four dollars the day Phantom Rage dropped, quickly settling in the six to seven dollar range. Then, as the deck started to see more discussion and significantly more success in mid-January it started to rise in value. And while it peaked at $18 last week, it dipped to $14 before the latest Extravaganza kicked it back up to sixteen bucks.
You're not going to play Tri-Brigade without Tri-Brigade Fraktall, and as a Main Decked three-of its Ultra Rare status makes it much pricier than the rest of the mained Tri-Brigade monsters. Tri-Brigade Airborne Assault, Tri-Brigade Ferrijit the Barren Blossom, Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen, and Tri-Brigade Airborne Assault have all gained value as well, so that relatively cheap Tri-Brigade core's really starting to ramp up now that more players are getting into the strategy.
An increasing number of trap cards at the top tables has rejuvenated the demand for Harpie's Feather Duster, catapulting it back into the Top 5. After hovering between $5 and $6 since it was reprinted in Maximum Gold, Duster started to climb in value in early February, and now it's doubled in price; it's currently $10 a pop. Between Phantom Rage and Maximum Gold, a lot of cards from late releases in 2020 are starting to surge, so watch out for that trend.
Eldlich's seeing more play, Eldlixir of White Destiny's become a much more common singleton, and it's still accessible le at roughly a dollar a copy. Part recursion and part searcher, it's a valuable addition to the deck and while it took a while to get there, it seems to've earned staple status in recent weeks.
Up from Number 4 last week, the quintessential Water control card plops to the field off Bahamut Shark and wards off a single spell, trap, or monster effect once per turn. It's a hyper-efficient addition to a big field setup, and it's often even more effective when you're already tearing apart your opponent's hand with Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord. Toadally Awesome isn't just fierce for its own effect, it's the company it keeps that makes it so good.
And finally out of nowhere, Underworld Goddess of the Closed World is the best-selling card of the week again! As players wait to see what the new banlist will have in store, Yu-Gi-Oh sales stayed strong on TCGplayer, but they were less concentrated in a narrow range of singles than they would be after a new set release, or mid-way through a season. Instead, we're seeing lots of players picking up more casual strategies, and others placing their bets on potential format changes.
The result is a lot of diversity in the secondary market, and that played a big role in allowing Underworld Goddess to reach the Number 1 spot again.
Will we see a new F&L List before the week is out? Will we see one next week? Only a limited number of Konami staff know the answer, but when the list drops we'll be here to investigate what it means for competition. We'll see you then!