Alright, so the banlist dropped yesterday, and we have a brand new format. So what's everybody buying?
Here's what to pick up, and what to get ready for if you're heading into tournaments.
Accesscode Talker becoming an increasingly important card, seeing play in more decks in this wide open sunrise period. It's also getting increasingly expensive to match, but that's a different discussion. For now, Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians remains one of the better paths into Accesscode Talker, and that may be one of the factors that drove her to the Number 10 spot.
We learned this week that in-person Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments will be returning in the United States later this month, at least where regulations allow, and where stores want to bring them back. I say it a lot in this column, but generic, splashable cards like Knightmare Unicorn always spike in demand when players are either entering the game, or getting back into it after lull periods; stuff like the end of the WCQ season. Or say, a 16-month long global pandemic.
Knightmare Unicorn a staple in Prank-Kids and Drytron, but it could see play in lots of different strategies this format; it was an expensive card pre-pandemic, before the Toon Chaos reprint. We've seen people playing catch-up getting their copies for months now, and at this point it might be one of the top cards of 2021 in terms of sheer sales.
Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion
A lot of different decks seem viable right now, and Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion works pretty well against many of them. It's useful against everything from Sky Strikers, Prank-Kids, and Tri-Brigades, to Salamangreat, Dryrton, Shadolls and more.
When a format's this wide open you really want to be running hand traps that are live in as many match-ups as possible, and Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion a really good mix of high utility and affordable price.
Dark Ruler No More operates on pretty much the same market forces as Knightmare Unicorn; this is a staple card everybody should own, though in this case, it's probably even more important, and you need three copies. I don't want to think about what this card would cost if it hadn't been reprinted in product-hover id="220334". But for now, at six bucks, it's a no-brainer for anybody who wants to compete.
Also? The price of product-hover id="183523"and product-hover id="194714".
Decks like Sky Strikers and Eldlich often main this classic Counter Trap, and we've recently seen it sided in top finishing builds of Invoked Shaddolls and @Ignister. Old school players may have owned their copies for close to two decades, but the fact that a premium printing of Solemn Judgment happens to be the cheapest option right now makes it a great time to pick up a playset if you still need yours. Maximum Gold really was a loaded set.
I'll be honest, I have serious doubts about Sky strikers in the new format. The deck just needs to a lot of work before it can actually go for game, and I'm not sure it's a top choice right now. That said, a ton of people are planning to play the deck, and since Sky Striker Ace - Zeke released months after the Sky Striker heyday, even well-heeled Striker players who ran the deck in 2019 may not have their copies yet. It was a hot pick this week at Number 5.
I'm not sure where interest in the Amazement theme stands right now: it was looking pretty hot just before the new banlist dropped, but now that we've seen the new format and gotten into it, the discussion's really seemed to die down.
But that said, the demand for Amazement Administrator Arlekino is still roaring! The price tag on this thing has slowly wound down from $30 to $20 as more people keep opening more Lightning Overdrive, and lots of players who weren't willing to buy in at a higher price three weeks ago seem fully willing to do so now. Whether you're feeling the full Amazement theme or not, the sheer utility of a 2600 ATK Level 7 you can Special Summon anytime anybody activates a trap card is pretty high, and it's going to get even better if the new format's hits to combo decks wind up making traps a bit more popular.
Year in and year out, Pot of Desires is always the card that acts as a barometer for new players getting into tournaments. And with a new format plus in-person competition on the horizon, it's no surprise to see demand so strong this week, even if this card's kind of rare in the current top decks.
In a lot of cases, Dimension Shifter acts like a higher risk, much higher reward version of Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion or D.D. Crow. While both of those cards have the potential to do major damage if you play them at just the right time, Dimension Shifter has a far higher chance to stop your opponent's entire turn if they need their graveyard. The tradeoff is that Dimension Shifter often useless after Turn 1, while other hand traps still have utility later in the game. That value proposition is often subject to the speed of the format - the ability to use a hand trap beyond Turn 1 loses value if games are decided on Turn 1 exclusively anyways.
We're definitely not at a point where we can judge the speed of the format, but players are still eager to pick up Dimension Shifter anyways. It's impossible to really tell if people are making metagame predictions, or if a lot of players just skipped this card when it first came out and are now looking to correct course. But if you're playing in a tournament in the coming weeks, definitely expect to see Dimension Shifter.
And finally, as cool as Code Talkers are, Cynet Mining spiked this week due to the surging interest in Salamangreats and @Ignisters. Anthony covered both decks in his latest article, and both will definitely play a factor in competition this month.
What else was big this week? Harpie's Feather Duster came in at Number 11, as players scramble to grab cheap copies from the Egyptian God Deck reprints. Lyna the Light Charmer, Lustrous was still popular at Number 12. Splash Mage was back in the mix at Number 13, a cult favorite tech pick in Salamangreat, and a popular choice in @Ignisters; Toadally Awesome came in at Number 14; and Cyber Emergency finished Number 15 for the week.
That's it for now, but join us again over the weekend for more finance, when we look at the most expensive cards from one of the biggest fan-favorite themes of all time!
'Til then, thanks for reading and enjoy the holiday weekend!