Blazing Vortex is finally here, and today we get our first look at the biggest, best-selling cards from BLVO presales.
January was a surprisingly big month for the secondary market, as demand rose for Genesis Impact singles and Legendary Duelists: Season 2 became a surprise hit. Now we're seeing big speculation on cards from Blazing Vortex, as well as rising demand for some of the set's tournament-level cards.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 best-selling cards from Blazing Vortex presales!
For me, one of the biggest surprises of the presale period was the Armed Dragon Thunder theme: as you're about to see, three of the Top 10 presellers were Armed Dragon Thunder cards. In addition, if you could look further down the charts you'd see more cards from the retrained archetype at Numbers 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18; basically every new card for the deck.
But yeah, Armed Dragon LV10 White was one of the most popular, clocking in at Number 10. Its summoning condition's unique for the theme, and effectively makes it an extender that adds 3000 ATK to your field. Armed Dragon LV10 White can be a dead draw, which keeps it out of streamlined competitive builds - those decks would rather run supporting engines from other themes to strive for consistency, making a big controlling board. But if you're going for a pure build, this is a searchable card that you can run one copy of, helping you close out a win. That destruction effect's not too shabby either.
Meanwhile Armed Dragon Thunder LV5 is a staple for any build of the theme, casual or competitive, and it's a perfect example of why the Armed Dragon Thunder family is so much better than the OG Armed Dragon strategy: while the original Armed Dragon LV5 required you to win a battle and wait for Main Phase 2 to level up, the new version works any time by having you send a card from your hand to the graveyard; like many of its retrained fam, it also offers an effect if it's sent to the graveyard for that type of ability.
It's faster, more proactive, and leads to cards that are also improved in the same way. And presale buyers responded to that in a big way.
Tri-Brigade was another big theme in Blazing Vortex presales: the set has two new cards for the theme and both of them made the Top 10. Tri-Brigade Rendezvous a simple ATK buff that rewards you for making the kinds of boards Tri-Brigades already want to make, and its graveyard effect helps give it more value when the battle boost alone might not be enough in modern Yu-Gi-Oh.
That said, Tri-Brigade Rendezvous actually not that easy to search or reuse, and that makes it pretty awkward in a deck that hasn't managed to be competitive yet. Still, Tri-Brigade fans are clearly just as excited for the theme now, as they were when it first arrived in Phantom Rage. The fandom here is stronger than some may've expected.
The last of Chazz's retrains to make the Top 10, Armed Dragon Thunder LV3 finished at Number 7. Not only is it the deck's primary starter card thanks to its ability to place Armed Dragon Thunder LV5 on the field, its draw effect is fundamental to evening out the card costs that deplete the your hand when you're repeatedly leveling up. Searchable straight to the field with Armed Dragon Flash, and easily recycled with Armed Dragon Lightning, it's easy to use and to reuse, and the strategy just wouldn't work without it.
Virtual World is already one of the two big decks to beat in the current format, but Blazing Vortex debuts two playable support cards to make the theme even stronger. The first is Virtual World Gate - Xuanwu. It's searchable with Virtual World Mai-Hime - Lulu and Virtual World City - Kauwloon, and while its main effect isn't quite as high impact as Virtual World Gate - Chuche, it's got a great graveyard effect and it's another name. Expect to see it at 1 per deck in future Virtual World builds.
Maaaan… so this thing. Where do we start. Psychic Eraser Laser was a big hit in presales, with numbers that suggested much of the interest was driven by speculation. At an average price of about $1.50, it was an attractive pickup both for players who are willing to gamble a few bucks that it might become relevant, and dealers who were willing to bet significantly more on the investment opportunity.
But overall, I don't think Psychic Eraser Laser very good. It's effectively a fast and easy problem-solving card that can eliminate a range of threats, provided whatever you want to eliminate isn't protected by negation. It doesn't have any provisional text keeping it from being negated, so the number one thing you'd probably want to use it for - pressing through big, established boards - may not be possible. It draws comparisons to cards like Dark Ruler No More, offering more independent payoff in return for a more narrow range.
I think at the end of the day, this card isn't necessarily meant to be groundbreaking for high competition. It's competing for valuable flex spots in your deck list, and it's up against cards like Lightning Storm, Forbidden Droplet, and Triple Tactics Talent, all of which are probably better options.
But I'm not sure that's the point. If you're building on a budget and you don't have the luxury of dropping hundreds of dollars on big power spells, maybe this is a decent alternative. In addition, Psychic Eraser Laser follows the thread of similar cards in this set, like Heavenly Zephyr - Miradora; cards that collectively place more pressure on strategies that leverage the Extra Deck for huge set-ups. If someone in R&D's looking to sort of nudge the needle a bit, and make life a little tougher for big Turn 1 combo decks, releasing multiple cards like this and making some of them budget-friendly can do that. Even if only a little.
All in all, I think Psychic Eraser Laser going to see play in smaller tournaments: Remote Duel locals for now, as well as Extravaganza public events; and perhaps later on, locals and Regionals once they return. This is a fine budget alternative at a time when expensive staples are a mounting barrier to entry. But I don't think it's going to take a spot next to the high-impact money spells that are so common in top cuts today.
That said, keep an eye on it! Knowing just how popular this card is, and whether you should care about it, could keep you from being blindsided and dropping games.
Speaking of cards that are similar to better cards… Sacred Tree Beast, Hyperyton is a Rank 9 with solid stats and a flexible negation ability. It's a pretty good card, and it's probably irrelevant in the era of True King of All Calamities. Right now, this could go into any deck that makes Calamities… you just probably wouldn't want it there.
But let's be clear, this is the writing on the wall. We all know True King of All Calamities won't be around forever, and Sacred Tree Beast, Hyperyton clearly positioned as the replacement that keeps those Rank 9 decks alive once True King of All Calamities is gone. This card saw HUGE speculation in presales, and the sheer number sold to each buyer is impressive since there's basically no deck that would run three. A lot of people buying this thing were doing it to get in cheap with the hopes that an upcoming F&L List drives it up in price for an easy flip, and that's probably a smart bet.
I don't think True King of All Calamities is gonna be around much longer, and at the same time I don't see Virtual World getting wiped out of competitive play. Knocking the deck down a peg by eliminating True King of All Calamities is an obvious move, and that makes Sacred Tree Beast, Hyperyton the heir apparent.
I don't think anybody expects Tri-Brigades to win tournaments moving forward, but Tri-Brigade Kitt a new female Tri-Brigade monster, and that alone would've been enough to make it a hit. While the Tri-Brigade theme isn't good at searching non-monster cards, it's got tons of monster search, and Tri-Brigade Kitt works with a wealth of Beast support as well. It does exactly what a Tri-Brigade player would want, and for 2 bucks it was an easy snag if you're into Tri-Brigades.
Virtual World Oto-Hime - Toutou is almost certainly a must run at 1-per-deck in competitive Virtual World builds. Virtual World Oto-Hime - Toutou rolls straight into existing lines of play in the Virtual World deck, effectively adding more reach and more ways to get where you want to go.
Virtual World players have been anticipating this card for months; it's a wonder it didn't end up at a more expensive rarity, and since it's less than a dollar a copy right now, it's not surprising to see buyers picking up full playsets (even if they'll probably never run three full copies). Virtual World Oto-Hime - Toutou great, and it's stunning that the Virtual World roster is still so affordable. Letting players in the door on a new, powerful theme for relatively cheap, then making cards in future sets more difficult to pull, is something we're pretty used to. And yet, here we are. The gods have been merciful.
Speaking of gods, or in this case goddesses…
Yeah, the word got around on Underworld Goddess of the Closed World pretty fast. Even though this card averaged almost $40 in presales, it's clearly so flexible and so good that it may have the potential to scale to a higher price in the near future. This card's floated between $35 and $40 since preorders opened, and for something that draws comparison to cards like Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder, it seems pretty undervalued.
Underworld Goddess of the Closed World first effect makes it easier to summon than you might expect, though it may place it firmly on Turn 2 instead of Turn 1. (Again, hence the comparison to Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder.) From there its negation effect is brutal, its protection ability makes it tough to out, and the graveyard suppression makes opposing combos that much tougher to pull together. It's really good, and while I think it's a good deal at $35, it's incredibly rare to see a card at that price in the Number 1 position for a given week. Underworld Goddess of the Closed World outsold every other Yu-Gi-Oh card on TCGplayer in the last week and a half.
Calling it now: you're gonna see this card in tournaments, and it's probably gonna cost more than $35 by the time you do.
Other hits from Blazing Vortex presales? A lot of people placed their bets on Angel Statue - Azurune, bringing it to the Number 11 spot. Live Twin Lil-la Treat was big too, the first in what seems to be a series of "seasonal" Live☆Twin monsters, clocking the Number 12 spot. From there we saw Springans Ship - Exblowrer at Number 13, and then, yeah, it was Armed Dragon Thunders all the way down, starting with Armed Dragon Thunder LV10 at Number 14 and Armed Dragon Lightning at Number 15.
Those are the hottest cards from Blazing Vortex so far. Catch up with Market Watch next week to see how it all pans out, now that the set's officially released.