In today's Market Watch we're going to do something a little different. We're still going to rank the biggest cards by purchase to see what people are buying, but instead of looking at everything on TCGplayer we're going to zero in on Eternity Code.
Eternity Code doesn't release in the Americas for another two weeks – it arrives on Friday June 5, delayed due to COVID-19. But it's already out in Konami Europe's territories, and that's led to a much longer presale period stateside. The delay's also fostered player awareness, giving us more time to study the cards and playtest with them.
The result's a ton of action via pre-orders here on TCGplayer, and a lot of interesting data that we can learn from as we wait for the official release. Looking at the set's most popular cards so far we see a mix of confirmation on some of the most hyped picks, as well as some surprises that suggest what tournaments might look like when they're back.
With that in mind, let's get into the numbers and see what's up!
#10 - Archnemeses Eschatos
It's unclear if the Nemeses theme will have real legs once Eternity Code arrives, but Archnemeses Eschatos and Archnemeses Protos are both big cards with lots of potential, and they're seeing some serious testing from big names – Jesse Kotton's already talked about playing them on the Duelist Academy Patreon . Eschatos and Protos have big bodies and big control effects that can clear the table and then keep your opponent off their combos for the following turn, which is huge, but they're also really accessible as a splashed engine: Nemeses Flag searches them from the deck, Nemeses Umbrella gets them back from the graveyard and Nemeses Corridor can even retrieve one that was banished.
The Melody of Awakening Dragon can grab Eschatos too, giving it instant synergy with some Dragon decks. Cards that banish your stuff, like Thunder Dragon Titan, Black Dragon Collapserpent and White Dragon Wyverburster all help set up the Special Summons of the smaller Nemeses, and the result's a really consistent, splash-friendly group of cards that could wind up in a variety of decks once ETCO drops.
#9 - Accesscode Talker
Accesscode Talker's huge. This is a game-ending Link-4 on the level of Borrelsword Dragon or better, and it's been stable overseas at a 40 Euro price point since the beginning of May. It's a little more expensive in presales here in North America, currently costing $55 and up. Presale prices of high-profile cards are hit or miss: if a card's underrated and hits it big later, the presale price can be a steal; but if a card's clearly a smash, and vendors don't feel confident knowing how many copies they may pull, prices can be a bit higher in presales than what they settle at a month or two later.
In this case I don't think Accesscode Talker has anywhere to go but up. Right now we may be seeing a lower presale supply than usual, since some vendors might be holding back expected stock. But the reason they'd do that is because of an expectation that once locals open up again, demand will spike and prices will rise across the board. I wouldn't gamble that everything under the sun's going to get more expensive, but for big, rare cards like Accesscode, it's a bet I'd make 100% of the time.
That kind of demand's led to big presales, landing Accesscode Talker at the Number 9 spot for the set.
#8 - Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys
Want to draw a bunch of cards? Make a big attacker? Blow some stuff up? Crocodragon's got you covered. Need a Level 9 with some free card economy for True King of All Calamities? Crocodragon's the perfect gateway; decks that only have one native Level 9 and need another love this thing, and decks that are already good at making Calamities get better at it.
Want to load your graveyard for Water combos? Crocodragon gets it done. Combined with Linkross and Saryuja Skull Dread there's a tremendous opportunity to rifle through your deck, so expect to see that happen at least somewhere on at least the competitive fringe. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if Saryuja was finally Limited as a result.
Right now Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys is pushing the $9 mark and selling tons of copies. Take note: ten bucks may be the new normal for playable Ultra Rares under the new rarity scheme Eternity Code introduces.
#7 - Malice, Lady of Lament
Malice saw pretty big hype as one of the first cards revealed from Eternity Code months ago, showing immediate combo potential with Lair of Darkness. That enthusiasm bled out over time, but the core potential combined with a price tag of about 50 cents has kept demand respectably high. I'm not sure if Malice winds up actually seeing play when ETCO hits, but Lair of Darkness has a tendency to resurface pretty regularly. Malice makes it's even better, so I'm not counting it out.
This card will definitely put in some work at some point, it's just not clear when it'll happen.
#6 - Machina Metalcruncher
Machina Metalcruncher saw play last weekend at the latest PPG tournament online, featured as part of a Machina suite in Orcusts. Manos Kavousakis took the concept to a Top 4 finish and it appeared in the Top 8 as well, with Metalcruncher, Machina Fortress, Machina Irradiator and Machina Megaform all played as singletons, searched with triple Machina Redeployment. The trick here is to play Redeployment for Irradiator and Megaform, pitch Megaform to Special Summon Irradiator, pop it to revive Megaform, then Tribute Megaform to bring out Metalcruncher.
Metalcruncher's effect lets you reveal three Scrap Recyclers to get one guaranteed; since you haven't used your Normal Summon it's live and ready to go. With Megaform in the graveyard you can use it with Machina Fortress as well, and all the random discard opportunities fit really nicely with Orcusts. There's lots of flexibility here, and I could see this becoming the standard build of Orcusts moving forward. As an Ultra Rare Metalcruncher may be undervalued at five dollars, but that's a tough call since it's a one-of for now.
#5 -Invoked Augoeides
Invoked has continued to play a big role in tournaments despite the decline of interest in Shaddolls this format, largely for the engine's use in Eldlich. Invoked Augoeides is the latest Invoked Fusion, layering into existing plays by way of its "Aleister + a Fusion" material requirements, and it's not tough to see that it's pretty dang good. It hits the field with big stats, it gets even bigger with its effect, and it wipes an opposing monster the moment it arrives. The fact that it then punishes your opponent for later Special Summons is utterly nasty, and obvious curb appeal plus a Top 8 showing last weekend at PPG's Weekend Championship's given it instant credibility.
The low price point's almost sort of stunning, and the upside potential's pretty big in a set with so many more Super Rares than we're used to. We're definitely going to see more of this card in the future; it just makes the Invoked engine better, opening up more options and a higher power ceiling.
#4 - Madolche Salon
Madolches have done pretty well popping up in online tournaments lately, and combined with recent and upcoming reprints the theme may be ready for a comeback. Madolche Magilieine and Madolche Puddingcess Chocolat-a-la-Mode cost $20+ each before Duel Overload, and now both are available for a couple of bucks each. With a reprint of Madolche Anjelly headed our way in Battles of Legend: Armageddon the deck's getting more and more accessible; even Pot of Extravagance will drop like a rock once the reprint arrives in Toon Chaos.
All that's led to big demand for Madolche Salon, even though it's a pretty pricy Ultra Rare at $10+ a copy. Years ago Doug remarked that Madolches needed a theme-stamped Double Summon, and now they suddenly have it as a Continuous Spell that works every turn, and it lets you cheat other Madolche spell and trap cards into play, straight from your deck.
It's really good, and Konami clearly took steps to make the strategy easier for players to pick up. The market responded accordingly.
#3 - Fusion Deployment
This is why we can't have nice things, and by "nice things" I mean "ABC-Dragon Buster at 2-per-deck."
There's no real killer app for Fusion Deployment right now, but it's chock full of potential and Dragmas are gonnna love it once they hit the scene in Rise of the Duelist. Playing Fusion Deployment to reveal the card currently fanlated as " Incineration Dragon Bastard " to Special Summon Nullius Filius of Albus and go straight into a Super Polymerization play is pretty great, and it's already pushed Deployment to $7.
#2 - Madolche Promenade
Enabling a legion of plays and coming out of the deck for free off Madolche Salon, Madolche Promenade's an obviously good card for an obviously playable deck that costs less than the new Ultra Rare and thus outsold it in presales so far. Effectively a weaker Orcust Crescendo that helps fuel plays and buffs your Xyz, it's not a surprise to see Madolche Promenade in the Top 10. It IS a bit surprising to see it outselling everything but Parallel eXceed.
#1 - Parallel eXceed
Yes, Parallel eXceed, a card that makes me want to use phrases like "slaps hard" and "would you please ban this next format along with all those cards making tokens." We've talked about Parallel eXceed before in recent Market Watches, as it was the first ETCO card to break into the weekly Top 10 and quickly outsold everything here on TCGplayer. It's a common, it's amazing, and it's going to singlehandedly bring Salamangreats back into Top Cuts when tournaments return.
The rarity shuffle in Eternity Code that eliminated regular Rares in favor of making specific Supers, Ultras and Secrets tougher to pull is likely part of an effort to get players buying more sealed product. But the sheer volume of Parallel eXceeds being moved on secondary shows that players aren't giving up their singles just yet.
So there you have it: the most popular cards from Eternity Code so far, as we count down the remaining days to the set's full launch. With so many competitive picks in this release we could still see some big shifts, but these ten cards are all definitely strong and players have clearly noticed. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday for our next Market Update, and until then have a great long weekend!