Market Watch: D/Ds and Paleozoics

Jason Grabher-Meyer

9/26/2016 11:04:00 AM
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Last Friday we saw the new Frog and Paleozoic Frog decks currently seeing play in Japan push two cards into the Top 10 on our bestseller list: Barrier Statue of the Torrent clocked in at Number 8, and Number 45: Crumble Logos the Prophet of Demolition finished the week at Number 3. One week before that, the Rank 2 Xyz Paleozoic Anomalocaris exploded into the Number 1 spot, as the first indicator of the soon-to-be-heavy interest in everything that can abuse Treatoad.

That interest spiked for a lot of reasons. While the Paleozoics were launched in the Korean printings of Clash of Rebellions and Dimension of Chaos in Korea, it took until the September release of Extra Pack 2016 for Paleozoics to reach Japan. Meanwhile we're still waiting for several of those monsters ourselves; expectations are mounting that we'll see the rest of them in Invasion: Vengeance.

The recent tournament success of those decks in Japan you can see some tournament-topping examples for yourself over at The Organization and the long-awaited release of Treatoad in Invasion: Vengeance, which is effectively the reason Paleozoics win, combined to create that sudden demand for Frogs and Paleozoics as well as the off-theme cards that work with them here in stateside markets. And that trend seems to be gaining momentum; five cards made the Top 10 over the weekend thanks entirely to those themes.

Amidst the Frog and Paleozoic hype we saw sustained interest in Different Dimension Demons, as well as a backrow removal classic and a couple under-the-radar picks fuelling engines you should watch out for at your locals. It's all really interesting information, so let's get to it.

#10: Paleozoic Anomalocaris

Previously in the Number 1 spot, Paleozoic Anomalocaris nearly made the Top 10 on Friday and just barely snuck into the bottom-rung spot in the countdown over the weekend. While Treatoad locks your opponent off the table Anomalocaris mops up after the fact, clearing away pesky backrow and blocking monsters whatever's keeping you from ravaging your opponent's face at the time. Note that its destruction effect is reactive; it works on your opponent's turn as well as your own, and that really sets the pace for the negate-and-destroy strategy. Meanwhile its first ability adds longevity and card economy to the Paleozoic mix.

While Anomalocaris is currently a 20-cent card, expect it to ramp up at least a bit on the way to Invasion: Vengeance.

 Paleozoic Anomalocaris
$2.00
$0.45
$0.12
Paleozoic Anomalocaris121355
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN099
Level 2
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Aqua
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2400 / 0
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

3 or more Level 2 monsters
Unaffected by other monsters' effects. Once per turn, if a Trap Card(s) is sent from your Spell & Trap Zone to the Graveyard (except during the Damage Step): You can excavate the top card of your Deck, and if it is a Trap Card, add it to your hand. Otherwise, send it to the Graveyard. Once per turn, during either player's turn, if this card has a Trap Card as Xyz Material: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 card on the field; destroy it.


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#9: Fluffal Bear

The Fluffal engine, which typically consists of Fluffal Wing, Toy Vendor, and Fluffal Bear to search and set it, saw some competitive play last format and and is now seeing some further experimentation in this one. Allure of Darkness moving to three-per-deck combined with Pot of Desires' arrival has spurred on a new need for speed, and the Fluffal cards have always been an underrated albeit very niche method of achieving acceleration.

And that's all well and good, but the biggest push factor this week is the new Fluffal stuff from Booster SP: Fusion Enforcers, coming to the OCG on November 12th. Fluffal Octo and Frightfur Kraken are stellar new additions to the Fluffal deck, with the latter being a double-attacking 2200 beatstick that can give up its attacks to send an opposing monsters straight to the graveyard. That effect is once-per-turn, but with stuff like Fusion Recovery, Polymerization, and Frightfur Sabre-Tooth, you can Summon multiple Krakens and reuse the same copies repeatedly from your graveyard to clear big fields and make game-winning pushes.

With some minimal potential in the TCG today, and a ton of promise moving forward into next year with Fusion Enforcers, a lot of people were clearly getting ahead of the game to snap up Fluffal Bear.

 Fluffal Bear
$2.03
$0.88
$0.65
Fluffal Bear94532
Set The New Challengers
Number NECH-EN016
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1600 / 1200
Rarity Common
Card Text

You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard; Set 1 "Toy Vendor" directly from your Deck to your Spell & Trap Zone. You can Tribute this card, then target 1 "Polymerization" in your Graveyard; add it to your hand. You can only use 1 "Fluffal Bear" effect per turn, and only once that turn.


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#8: D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok

Different Dimension Demons made a splash at the beginning of the new format with David Gonzalez's surprising Top 8 at the Colorado Springs Regional, but we haven't really seen much from the deck since. Michael Tamez managed to Top 16 the ARGCS in Oklahoma City a week ago, but the deck didn't produce a logged Top 8 in the second week of Regional Qualifiers, didn't Top 32 at YCS Mexico City, and appeared to do about as well at the Ultimate Duelist Series Invitational in Chicago.

But the deck still sees plenty of discussion, with shoutouts from a number of players including a nod from repeat Championship winner Chris LeBlanc last week. D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok is one of the deck's biggest powerhouses, reviving monsters from the graveyard and offering a powerful banishing effect to control the field. Despite a very likely reprint in Structure Deck: Pendulum Domination in January, the normal Rare still achieved a Market Price of nearly $4, and demand pushed it back into the Top 10 bestsellers list over the weekend.

 D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok
$3.90
$0.51
$0.06
D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok107736
Set Dimension of Chaos
Number DOCS-EN099
Level 8
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2200 / 3000
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : If you Special Summon a "D/D" monster(s), except during the Damage Step: You can target 1 "D/D" monster in your Graveyard; any battle damage your opponent takes becomes halved for the rest of this turn, also Special Summon that monster, and if you do, take 1000 damage. You can only use this effect of "D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok" once per turn.
Monster Effect : If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can target 1 "D/D/D" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it. You can only use this effect of "D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok" once per turn. Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 other "D/D" monster, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; banish it.


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#7: Mystical Space Typhoon

While Twin Twisters and Cosmic Cyclone have been miles away from the top sales charts for the past several weeks, Mystical Space Typhoon saw very strong niche interest from a handful of players last week, and its appeal broadened over the weekend. The reasons are a bit unclear: Twisters and Cyclone are both seeing more play in Top 8 decks, but at $10 or more a piece, this might just be a function of budget.

With Majespecters, Metalfoes, and mixed Pendulum decks doing quite well this format, and trap cards seeing a bit more use overall, the need for backrow removal's obvious to even the most casual of players. But Mystical Space Typhoon's practically free since it's been printed literally more than 50 times since its release in Magic Ruler 14 years ago. That might be the deciding factor that's seen it move so many copies over the past ten days.

 Mystical Space Typhoon
$5.20
$2.81
$2.06
Mystical Space Typhoon66862
Set Legendary Collection 3: Yugi's World
Number LCYW-EN062
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy that target.


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#6: Puppet Master

Does anyone know why Puppet Master was the sixth highest-selling card over the weekend?

I don't.

EDIT: Hey, now we do! Several readers contacted me to mention that Puppet Master saw play in two logged instances this weekend: Chris LeBlanc's D/D/D deck we mentioned earlier, and a 1st place OTS list piloted by Josh Shaffer in St. Louis. Both decks could use Puppet Master's recursion to make big combos, abusing cards like D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok. It'll be interesting to see if Puppet Master's enough to push Different Dimension Demons back into Regional Top 8's next weekend.

 Puppet Master
$15.40
$2.10
$1.70
Puppet Master81385
Set Duel Terminal 5
Number DT05-EN054
Level 6
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Common
Card Text

When this card is Tribute Summoned, you can pay 2000 Life Points to select 2 Fiend-Type monsters from your Graveyard and Special Summon them. They cannot attack this turn.


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#5: Number 45: Crumble Logos the Prophet of Demolition

Number 45: Crumble Logos the Prophet of Demolition seems to be a near-staple in pure Frog decks over in the OCG, and demand is ramping up here as we count down the days to Treatoad. Kind of like a Rank 2 Number 106: Giant Hand that can affect more than one card at a time, the appeal's easy to see; it adds even more negation power to the Frog strategy alongside Treatoad's effect.

While Demolition's a far less popular choice in Frog Paleozoic decks, the card still has some utility there and I'd guess that demand is being driven by both themes.

 Number 45: Crumble Logos the Prophet of Demolition
$4.93
$1.68
$0.75
Number 45: Crumble Logos the Prophet of Demolition121476
Set Dragons of Legend: Unleashed
Number DRL3-EN023
Level 2
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2200 / 0
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 or more Level 2 monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 other face-up card on the field; while this monster is face-up on the field, that target has its effects negated. While that target is on the field, cards with the same name as that target, and their effects, cannot be activated.


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#4: Paleozoic Canadia

From here on out it's sort of Paleozoics all the way down. The Paleozoic decks we've seen winning tournaments overseas are playing three copies each of four Paleozoic traps: Paleozoic Canadia, Paleozoic Pikaia, and Paleozoic Olenoides, as well as Paleozoic Dinomischus. Those first three cards are all available here in the TCG, while Dinomischus will probably show up in Invasion:Vengeance.

The official North American page for the INOV Sneak Peeks actually posted a graphic of the set's checklist which you can see here, and while that list is far too small to read, examining the lower right corner shows a bunch of trap cards right where the OCG imports are as well as an Xyz Monster. Many are guessing that those are the missing Paleozoics, and that pushed big demand for all three of those staple three-of Paleozoics we have so far.

All of the Paleozoic traps are Level 2 Aqua trap monsters, which you can Special Summon from your graveyard once per chain when a trap card's activated. There's some confusion there because those abilities were erroneously localized as mandatory effects; they're not, which makes the theme far less dangerous than it looks at first glance. But even played correctly, that mechanic wins tournaments in Japanese metagames, and each Paleozoic has another unique effect when you set it and activate it.

Paleozoic Canadia is effectively a slower Book of Moon. Tat might not sound impressive, but it's actually wonderful when your goal is to control the field with Treatoad and Paleozoic Anomalocaris. It's just an extra layer of defense that lets you hold your negation and destruction effects for bigger threats, helping you secure yourself against would-be attackers.

 Paleozoic Canadia
$1.45
$0.42
$0.15
Paleozoic Canadia121353
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN097
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; change it to face-down Defense Position. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when it leaves the field.


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#3: Paleozoic Pikaia

is different, with an activated effect that ignores the field but packs a powerful Draw 2 effect. While activating a trap and then discarding another card is the traditional 2-for-2, you're cheating that even trade of card economy by then reviving your two Paleozoics moments later anyways. It's a brutal card that helps you draw into whatever you need, while evening out rough hands and filling your graveyard to make more Rank 2's.

 Paleozoic Pikaia
$1.27
$0.25
$0.15
Paleozoic Pikaia121354
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN098
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Discard 1 "Paleozoic" card, then draw 2 cards. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when it leaves the field.


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#2: Paleozoic Olenoides

And finally, Paleozoic Olenoides is just a slower Mystical Space Typhoon on a recurring Level 2 body. Which is pretty awesome. The Paleozoic deck makes a lot of free Special Summons and Rank 2's, and then it wants to simplify the duel by making 1-for-1 trades or using its key Xyz abilities to whittle away your opponent's options. Olenoides is both a 1-for-1 and Level 2 fodder to make that game plan happen, so it's easy to see why it's such an automatic three-of.

 Paleozoic Olenoides
$1.40
$0.40
$0.15
Paleozoic Olenoides121351
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN095
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy it. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when leaves the field.


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#1: D/D/D Flame King Genghis

And finally, D/D/D Flame King Genghis is back on top, hitting the Number 1 spot for the first time! While Flame King stormed the TCGplayer marketplace to take a surprising Number 2 right when it was released in the 2016 Mega-Tins and remained a fixture of nearly every Top 10 countdown since it never actually hit Number 1. Why it did this week is a bit of a mystery, but the surge in popularity was undeniable.

D/D/D Flame King Genghis is half responsible for the new D/D revolution, working in tandem with D/D Savant Thomas to bolster the strategy long before anyone expected it to capture tournament attention. Doubling up your Special Summons and delivering a Dark Contract from your graveyard when it's destroyed, it gave the Different Dimension Demons that extra little bit of longevity and aggression it needed to break through. After a bit of a dip the last week or two, it's back on a rising Price Trend and has a Market Price just over a dollar.

 D/D/D Flame King Genghis
$2.49
$1.00
$0.26
D/D/D Flame King Genghis122289
Set 2016 Mega-Tins
Number CT13-EN005
Level 6
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 2000 / 1500
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

2 "D/D" monsters
If another "D/D" monster(s) is Special Summoned to your field, while you control this face-up card (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 "D/D" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it. You can only use this effect of "D/D/D Flame King Genghis" once per turn. If this card is destroyed by battle, or if this card in its owner's possession is destroyed by an opponent's card effect: You can target 1 "Dark Contract" card in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.


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What else was big? Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth nearly made the Top 10, again a function of Treatoad. A little while ago we saw Bahamut Shark make the Top 10 because it can Special Summon Treatod from your Extra Deck. Coelacanth can Special Summon four Level 4 Water monsters from your Main Deck to make two instant Bahamut Sharks, which then unleash two Treatoads to threaten game and effectively rip two cards out of your opponent's hand next turn, and that was enough to kick the Ultimate Rare version of Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth from two dollars to forty as of this writing.

Metalfoes Goldriver, Metalfoes Counter, and Majespecter Raccoon Bunbuku all had impressive showings in the marketplace, coming off the dual wins for Majespecter Metalfoes at both YCS Mexico City and the UDS Championship. Floodgate Trap Hole and Guiding Ariadne were big sellers too, largely for similar reasons, and while Gadgets took over the TCGplayer marketplace last week in anticipation for Structure Deck: Seto Kaiba, Gold Gadget fell off the radar and Silver Gadget barely made the Number 25 position.

What do you think? Is Treatoad worth all the hype? Let me know what you think of the card and the decks people are building around it down in the comments. Then join us again on Friday to see if this weekend's trends manage to hold through the week!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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