Market Watch: True Kings and Destiny Soldiers

Jason Grabher-Meyer

11/21/2016 11:02:00 AM
 Comments

Big shakeups arrived this weekend in the TCGplayer marketplace, as the arrival of the Destiny Soldiers set brought with it new Darklord monsters, landing immediate Regional Top 8 showings that are still trickling out into the public after a huge Regional weekend. At the same time, the recent lowkey hype for True King monsters boiled over into tournament showings, and the immediate result was a giant spike in demand for those two monsters.

More on that in a bit, but first the usual recap: the TCGplayer marketplace is a gateway to over a thousand active Yu-Gi-Oh! sellers, from independent vendors to some of the biggest stores in North America, all presented for your comparison shopping convenience. Every four days here in Market Watch, we count down the Top 10 bestselling cards to get a snapshot of the secondary market, framed by sheer sales volumes. No rarities or pricing information are considered in the rankings: just pure copies sold.

It's a great way to get a look at what people are buying, and what they might wind up playing. And when a card becomes popular due to upcoming release news, it becomes information that's valuable further down the line. With the right info you can work to predict the immediate future of the game, and possibilities that might be way off in the distance.

After a fairly consistent period where Metalfoes and Paleozoics were the constants of the marketplace, Destiny Soldiers shook everything up, with HALF of the Top 10 from Friday to Monday being Darklords alone. See for yourself: here's the weekend's countdown.

#10: Darklord Contact

Depending on your perspective, Darklord Contact's either a three-of Monster Reborn with attack restrictions, or a much faster Oasis of Dragon Souls. Either way you slice it, it's a powerful recursion effect in a deck that often thrives on its ability to make powerful Xyz Summons at Rank 8 and the elusive Rank 10, and that makes 1-for-1 Xyz fodder bolstered by card advantage building effects tremendously powerful.

Top 8 decks have only begun to arrive from this weekend's massive list of Regional events, but here are two examples of Darklord builds that took Top Cut finishes this weekend. Surprising no one, Darklord Contact was a three-of in both builds, and I'd expect to see it played that way in all future deck lists. The Darklord strategy loads the graveyard for free with cards like Darklor Ixchel and Darklord Tezcatlipoca, and makes worthwhile trades with Darklord Nasten and Darklord Amdusc, so Contact's practically never dead. Factor in Darklord Superbia and you've got a card that's usually an instant +1 of card economy, often leading to an instant 1-for-1 Rank 8.

Brutal, and a worthy Number 10.

 Darklord Contact
$3.08
$0.97
$0.38
Darklord Contact125291
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN035
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Special Summon 1 "Darklord" monster from your Graveyard in Defense Position. You can only activate 1 "Darklord Contact" per turn.


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#9: Banishment of the Darklords

If there's any question about Darklord Contact's sustained future as a three-of staple, there's no such doubt about Banishment of the Dark Lords – effectively a Reinforcement of the Army for Darklords that ignores Level, and can seek out spell and trap cards. Banishment might be the best search card printed since Elemental Hero Stratos, getting you to literally anything you want in a combo-driven deck where access is everything.

Frankly I'm surprised it's only Number 9 on this countdown. Normally we'd look to pricing to explain that, with more expensive cards moving fewer copies than more affordable ones. But this week we actually saw that trend reversed, perhaps for the first time ever.

Case in point: Darklord Nasten.

 Banishment of the Darklords
$4.99
$1.96
$1.36
Banishment of the Darklords125290
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN034
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Add 1 "Darklord" card from your Deck to your hand, except "Banishment of the Darklords". You can only activate 1 "Banishment of the Darklords" per turn.


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Duelist Academy 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.59
MTGFirst 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $1.60

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#8: Darklord Nasten

Clocking in at a whopping $23 right now at its lowest offered price in the TCGplayer marketplace, Darklord Nasten's sitting on an upward Price Trend at a Market Price average of over $15. And that number's sure to rise as supply dwindles.

An instant graveyard set-up, hand-fixer, beatstick, Rank 7 Material and a free effect from your graveyard all on a killer set of 2800 ATK legs, Nasten seems like a two-of at least for all Darklord builds, but will very likely settle at three copies per deck. Demand exploded for Nasten almost overnight, skyrocketing it from $6 on pre-order to its current price point after its first weekend out.

 Darklord Nasten
$14.95
$7.43
$4.78
Darklord Nasten125288
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN032
Level 7
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2800 / 2600
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

You can discard 2 other "Darklord" cards; Special Summon this card from your hand. During either player's turn: You can pay 1000 LP, then target 1 "Darklord" Spell/Trap Card in your Graveyard; apply that target's effect, then shuffle that target into the Deck. You can only use this effect of "Darklord Nasten" once per turn. You can only Special Summon "Darklord Nasten(s)" once per turn.


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Yugioh Black Market 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $5.95
EvolutionGaming Inc 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $5.97
SKYAThatOneGuy 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $5.97
Mixtape collectibles 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $5.98

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#7: Darklord Zerato

A searchable singleton in both of those Darklord builds highlighted earlier, Darklord Zerato's got a powerful destruction effect that made it a staple years ago in the era of Dark Armed Dragon Return. Now it's back, bolstered by Darklord Contract and Darklord Superbia, clearing the field and then instantly overlaying into a Rank 8 to avoid its own destruction drawback… if it doesn't just attack for game instead.

 Darklord Zerato
$0.62
$0.25
$0.08
Darklord Zerato125297
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN041
Level 8
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2800 / 2300
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If you have 4 or more DARK monsters with different names in your Graveyard, you can Tribute Summon this card by Tributing 1 DARK monster. You can send 1 DARK monster from your hand to the Graveyard; destroy all monsters your opponent controls. Once per turn, during the End Phase, if this effect was activated this turn: Destroy this card.


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ChardarYuGiOh 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $0.08
Epik Cards & Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $0.09
JC Collectables 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $0.09
XtremeGames 1st Edition - Near Mint 4 $0.09
Davis Cards & Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 4 $0.10
Davis Cards & Games 1st Edition - Moderately Played 3 $0.10

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#6: Darklord Ixchel

And the biggest surprise of the weekend… Darklord Ixchel's a suspected short print in Destiny Soldiers, and now sits at at market price of over $40. Anything with “Draw 2” written on it is bound to get attention, but Ixchel's role as a Level 10 Xyz Material, a powerful attacker, an incredible early game enabler, and that “pay 1000 Life Points for a free card, basically” effect made it a three-of in Darklord decks and an immediate focus for both players and speculators.

No mystery here: the card's awesome, the deck's successful, the character's quickly become popular, and Ixchel might be artificially scarce to boot. It's practically a PTSD flashback to Nekroz.

 Darklord Ixchel
$26.67
$21.63
$19.98
Darklord Ixchel125286
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN030
Level 10
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2500 / 2900
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

You can discard this card and 1 "Darklord" card; draw 2 cards. During either player's turn: You can pay 1000 LP, then target 1 "Darklord" Spell/Trap Card in your Graveyard; apply that target's effect, then shuffle that target into the Deck. You can only use each effect of "Darklord Ixchel" once per turn. You can only Special Summon "Darklord Ixchel(s)" once per turn.


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Mystic Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $19.98
Hideaway Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $19.99
lumina 1st Edition - Near Mint 5 $19.99
Neverland Games 1st Edition - Lightly Played 3 $20.45
Dabbers 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $20.67
BadMonsterGames 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $20.79

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#5: True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher

Moving on, Yang Zings have indeed started to appear in Regional Top 8's, and the result was an instant spike of demand for True Kings. True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher has flirted with the Top 10 a couple times over the past few weeks, but now it's actually seeing Top 8 Regional play in decks like Isaac Lim's Fire King True King Yang Zings.

On top of that immediate push-factor, we also saw three new True King support cards previewed from 2017's Maximum Crisis release, arriving mid-January in the OCG and likely somewhere in April here stateside. Those cards were True King V.F.D. The Beast, Dragonic Diagram, and True Draco Succession. True Kings have drawn comparisons to Dragon Rulers before, and these cards bring more of those Dragon Ruler-esque interactions to the theme, with the most obvious being Succession: effectively a Super Rejuvenation for True Draco and True King cards.

 True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher
$20.00
$2.39
$0.98
True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher121282
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN025
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 2900 / 1900
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your hand: You can destroy 2 other monsters in your hand and/or face-up on your field, including a FIRE monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, you can banish 1 monster from your opponent's field or Graveyard, if both the destroyed monsters were FIRE. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can add 1 non-FIRE Wyrm-Type monster from your Graveyard to your hand. You can only use each effect of "True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher" once per turn.


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YGOAnimeGames 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $0.99
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#4: Trade-In

Conveniently reprinted in Destiny Soldiers, Trade-In's been an invaluable draw card for decks like Blue-Eyes White Dragon for months, and now it's a must-run for Darklords as well. That background demand generated by previous decks combined with immediate use in Darklord builds made it a really hot pick the last four days..

 Trade-In
$3.25
$2.14
$0.99
Trade-In125307
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN051
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Discard 1 Level 8 monster; draw 2 cards.


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Golden Glow Gaming 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.44
The Next Level Games 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $1.76
Top Caliber 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.78

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#3: Destiny Hero - Malicious

Dark Synchro's put in some major work at recent Regionals and YCS tournaments, and with new Destiny HERO support, the classic Destiny HERO – Malicious hasn't been this hot in years. There are a lot of factors contributing to its renaissance, but once of the biggest might be Pot of Acquisitiveness, letting you reuse banished copies of Malicious to a degree that was never really intended and giving you a free draw for your troubles.

 Destiny HERO - Malicious
$2.00
$0.83
$0.25
Destiny HERO - Malicious125266
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN010
Level 6
Type Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute DARK 
A / D 800 / 800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

You can banish this card from your Graveyard; Special Summon 1 "Destiny HERO - Malicious" from your Deck.


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Magic Citi Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.25
Potts Gaming Store 1st Edition - Near Mint 36 $0.59
adventuresON 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.59
Alternate Universes 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.60
Collector's Cache 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $0.60
Epic Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.64

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#2: True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer

Both True Kings are played as three-ofs in the decks that run them, but True King Bahrastos has a few advantages that likely made it a bit more popular than Agnimazud this weekend. First, it's newer: with Bahrastos fresh off its debut in Invasion: Vengeance, and Agnimazud months older from The Dark Illusion, more people need their copies of Bahrastos. Second, since Bahrastos works with Water monsters it actually has applications in decks beyond Yang Zings, whereas the Fire-themed Agnimazud is basically Yang Zings or bust.

Granted, that synergy with Fire monsters is a big part of the reason Agnimazud works so well in Yang Zings, bringing Fire Kings into the mix and synergizing with their abilities. But in a vacuum, it's easy to see Bahrastos as the better card in the era of Frogs. With all the hype of the three new Maximum Crisis cards, it's easy to see why Bahrastos was so sought-after this weekend.

 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
$14.45
$1.46
$0.55
True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer124719
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN021
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute WATER 
A / D 1800 / 3000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your hand: You can destroy 2 other monsters in your hand and/or face-up on your field, including a WATER monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, you can banish up to 2 Spell/Trap Cards from your opponent's field and/or Graveyard, if both the destroyed monsters were WATER. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can Special Summon 1 non-WATER Wyrm-Type monster from your Deck in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of "True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer" once per turn.


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#1: Allure of Darkness

And finally, Allure of Darkness was the Number 1 bestselling card of the weekend! A must-run for Darklords, Allure was a must-buy for anyone looking to play the hot new it-deck. It's also wildly important for Dark Synchro and any and all Burning Abyss and Phantom Knight decks, and its popularity could suggest more interest in those strategies as well.

Allure of Darkness is a must-own card, appearing in all sorts of strategies ever since its release. With a new foil reprint, and a new deck set to make a huge impression on competition running three, now was clearly the time for a lot of players to finally pick up their copies.

 Allure of Darkness
$8.99
$6.98
$4.14
Allure of Darkness125300
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN044
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Draw 2 cards, then banish 1 DARK monster from your hand, or, if you do not have any in your hand, send your entire hand to the Graveyard.


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Bloodraven 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $4.14
Davis Cards & Games 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $4.75
Thecardguys 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $5.14
Duelist Academy 1st Edition - Near Mint 12 $5.20
lumina 1st Edition - Near Mint 13 $5.20
CardCraze Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $5.24

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We saw a lot of niche interest in Dark Hole and Destiny Draw fresh off their reprinting in Destiny Soldiers too; they didn't make the Top 10, but they sold in huge numbers. Pot of Acquisitiveness was a big niche pick as well, selling in droves to a more limited audience than in past weeks.

Abyss Actor cards occupied much of the bestseller chart below the Top 10, with cards like Abyss Actor – Wild Hope and Abyss Actor – Sassy Rookie leading the pack, and Destiny HERO – Diamond Dude and Destiny HERO – Drilldark rounded out the Top 20. Everything from Destiny Soldiers was hot, despite the relatively low hype surrounding the release.

Will that momentum carry through the week? We'll find out on Friday, where we'll get another look at the sales trends surrounding Darklords. A back-to-back pair of big showings for the theme could indicate a big presence at YCS Anaheim, so definitely tune in Friday night to see how it all pans out.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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