We're back! And as the market continues to devour anything and everything King's Court, players are once again looking ahead to new releases to try and stay ahead of the market.
Before we get to this week's biggest singles, it feels like it has to be said: sealed product is huge right now. If we included sealed in our Top 10 this week, booster boxes of King's Court would still be the Number 1 most-purchased item. Dawn of Majesty preorder boxes would be Number 4, and the 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles, which doesn't even come out until mid-September, would be Number 17.
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King's Court is a massive hit, with some of the set's top singles still topping the sales charts in sheer volume of cards sold, despite the fact that none of them are cheap. And at the same time, opening a box has a sort of double lottery effect: you could crack a prime Collector's Rare like Reinforcement of the Army (Collector's Rare), Lightning Storm (Collector's Rare), or Number F0: Utopic Draco Future (Collector's Rare), all worth about a hundred bucks.
You might even score a coveted The Winged Dragon of Ra (Secret Pharaoh's Rare), worth as much as Obelisk the Tormentor (Secret Pharaoh's Rare) to Slifer the Sky Dragon (Secret Pharaoh's Rare). It's a pretty crazy set, and the sheer number of hits makes it a great box opening experience.
At the same time, Dawn of Majesty's just around the corner, and today's reveal of the World Premiere cards has definitely upped the anticipation surrounding the release. DAMA preorders were getting pretty hefty already; with a bunch of good cards added to the core set, we'll probably see a burst of demand over the weekend.
In the meantime, our first entry at Number 10 spiked before we saw the Beetrooper reveals, and it might get even bigger now that we've seen the cards…
No joke: there's a pretty good chance you've never seen this card before. And if you did, you may have totally passed it by. Worm Bait was an Ultra Rare promo card Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4, the PSP game from 2009. It got a reprint nine years later in 2018's Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millennium, but it was a jank common tagged onto the end of the set, so it was easy to miss. It got another common printing one year later in Ultimate Predators, but that was probably the least popular Speed Duel Starter of all time, and Worm Bait not good in that format.
So why did this card - specifically the Ultra Rare version - spike all the way to Number 10 this week? The average buy price was $3.62, and the card got totally bought out - as I'm writing this, there's one copy on TCGplayer for $4.43 plus $4+ in shipping, and then a handful of copies at $20. This was not just a couple people engineering a supply shortage: this entire Top 10 is always ranked by number of unique purchasers, not strictly copies sold, so a ton of people hopped on this bandwagon.
The reason? It's almost certainly because Dawn of Majesty is two weeks away, and players, collectors, and investors were keen on Beetroopers, the Insect-type World Premiere theme. We'd already seen the Premiere event promo card Beetrooper Scout Buggy for a couple weeks and it's pretty good, so lots of players were picking up stuff that might wind up being important to the theme. It's not just Worm Bait, either: Near Mint 1st ed copies of Inzektor Sword - Zektkaliber (UTR) are selling for $30, and Inzektor Exa-Beetle selling like hotcakes.
Now that we've seen all the Beetrooper cards from DAMA? The internet is buzzing.
Yeah, I'll show myself out.
There are several upcoming releases that throw more of a spotlight on Synchros, from new Synchro support in Dawn of Majesty, to Burst of Destiny introducing the new Synchro Wyrm Xiangjian archetype, all the way to Legendary Duelists Synchro Storm in January. That might be a big part of the reason demand spiked for Ruddy Rose Dragon this week, which continues to be a pretty cheap Secret Rare with solid play potential, despite the internet's disappointment in its localized name.
Down a spot from Number 7 last week, the Poker Knight's take on Ties of the Brethren is still hugely popular, even while it clings to the $10 mark. Weeks after the set's release everything from King's Court is still surprisingly hot, even the support for the largely casual Poker Knight Deck. Konami dug into the deep cuts to find a Yugi theme they hadn't done to death already, and the fans are STILL showing they're here for it.
Slipping from Number 5, Knightmare Unicorn still an affordable must-own for tournament players; the kind of card you might not play all the time, but will appear in lots of decks you'll run given enough time. Prank-Kids and Drytron are two of the biggest decks in competition right now, and both of them run Knightmare Unicorn.
There's not much to say here. This thing used to be expensive, and then Toon Chaos stomped its price tag into the ground late last year. It's been a big seller ever since, especially as the return to cardboard Yu-Gi-Oh continues.
Speaking of competitive staples that got cheaper thanks to Toon Chaos, PSY-Framegear Gamma popped back into the Top 10, after it was all over the Top Cut at the SDCC@Home Yu-Gi-Oh Extravaganza last weekend. Right now we've only seen six of the Top 8 decks from that event, but five of them ran PSY-Framegear Gamma, with Jose Lopez Zambrano maining three copies in his 1st Place Tri-Brigades, Daniel Palchik maining three in his 2nd Place Prank-Kids, and Benjamin Groysman also maining three in his Top 4 Zoo Brigade build.
PSY-Framegear Gamma hugely powerful, and it's no surprise to see it spike in response to the weekend's biggest tournament. Remember when TOCH was fresh off the printing line and these were going for a buck a pop? Now they're $6.50 and slowly climbing. Get yours if you don't have them, because they're certainly not getting any cheaper with time.
Yes, Destined Rivals! The World Premiere trap card for Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician - released in last year's 2020 Tin of Lost Memories, and then largely ignored to become a lost memory itself - spiked like crazy this week. Buyers were largely picking up one or two copies, so again, this isn't a couple of speculators buying them out, this is real people.
If I had to guess why this happened my theory would be a response to the upcoming support for Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician in the upcoming 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles. But that release is still a long ways off in September.
Did… Did a Youtuber put you up to this?
Joker's Knight was the Number 1 best-selling card last week, and the Number 2 best-seller the week before. Demand was still high this time around, with Joker's Knight continuing to be around $14, which seems high until you look at where Magicians' Souls is these days. I still think this card is majorly underrated at its current price, especially since it probably won't be reprinted for years.
Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion
Hanko's written some great stuff lately on hand traps in general, as well as an entire article focusing on Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion, explaining where it fits in Yu-Gi-Oh's tech card landscape. It's a great pick against Tri-Brigade to stop Tri-Brigade Revolt, it's huge against Prank-Kids to stop Prank-Kids Dodo-Doodle-Doo or Prank-Kids Bow-Wow-Bark, and it's got lots of uses against Sky Strikers. It's even useful in the Drytron matchup, so it really covers a lot of relevant ground.
At least half of the Top Cut at the SDCC@Home Extravaganza played Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion, with four of the six known Top 8 decks running it.
Meanwhile, we continue to see a grand total of zero decks winning with Number F0: Utopic Draco Future. But that hasn't slowed demand, nor has it brought Number F0: Utopic Draco Future off its $20 pedestal. This may be one of those cards where demand just won't be subject to the card's success in its first few weeks of existence: Number F0: Utopic Draco Future clearly powerful, and it probably won't be reprinted any time soon, so lots of players are still grabbing their copies.
And finally, after falling to Number 11 last week,Arcana Triumph Joker back in the Number 1 spot. People are clearly connecting with the Poker Knight cards, and at less than four bucks a pop it's pretty easy to invest in a playset of Arcana Triumph Joker.
What else was big, but didn't quite make the cut? Adamancipator Risen - Dragite occupied the Number 11 spot. From there we saw a slew of staple spell cards, with Dark Ruler No More, Lightning Storm, and Pot of Desires at Number 12, Number 13, and Nummber 14 respectively. Finally there was a little more Poker Knight love, with Imperial Bower at Number 15.
That's it for this week, but join us tomorrow for another Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode Deck, and check back Sunday for a look at the most expensive printings of Blue-Eyes White Dragon, ever.
See you then!