Market Watch: Abyss Actors, Darkness, and… Denglong?!

Jason Grabher-Meyer

11/28/2016 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

We're back! With another Monday Market Watch.

Last week we saw the rise of Abyss Actors in the TCGplayer marketplace, as short supply and skyrocketing prices slowed sales for new Darklord cards despite the theme's success in Regional Qualifiers. Abyss Actors and their support cards took six of the Top 10 spots on the bestsellers list, while Allure of Darkness and Destiny HERO – Malicious once again traded off for that Number 1 spot.

Flash forward through the weekend, and the Top 10 is similar in a lot of ways, and a bit different in others. Almost surprisingly, the enthusiasm for Abyss Actors proved to be quite long-lived, as Abyss Actors held onto five of the Top 10 spots from Friday to today. At the same time the Top 10 did see one notable newcomer, and the top spots saw a bit of a shakeup.

Without further ado, let's get right into it!

#10: Abyss Actor – Evil Heel

Down from Number 4 on Friday, the biggest of the two Abyss Actor boss monsters slipped all the way to Number 10. Generally just a two-of instead of a three-of, and sometimes skipped altogether, Abyss Actor – Evil Heel's slide is probably predictable, with a more limited demand based on how the card itself is played.

Evil Heel's the toughest of the Abyss Actors to Pendulum Summon due to its level, currently Pendulum Summoned with Abyss Actor – Wild Hope almost exclusively. Upcoming support will bring more ways to do that, but for now, it's a bit of a narrow card that's probably still a must-run, but not nearly as attractive as other monsters in the tribe.

 Abyss Actor - Evil Heel
$2.00
$0.51
$0.25
Abyss Actor - Evil Heel125272
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN016
Level 8
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 3000 / 2000
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 "Abyss Actor" monster, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; it loses ATK equal to the original ATK of the Tributed monster, until the end of this turn (even if this card leaves the field).
Monster Effect : If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; it loses 1000 ATK for each "Abyss Actor" monster you currently control, until the end of this turn. When this card destroys an opponent's monster by battle: You can target 1 "Abyss Script" Spell Card in your Graveyard; Set that card


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#9: Abyss Actor - Superstar

Right behind Evil Heel in the downward slide, Abyss Actor – Superstar was Number 5 on Friday, and plunged to Number 9 over the weekend. This one's a definitive three-of for Abyss Actor decks, recycling Abyss Script – Rise of the Abyss King as a Pendulum Spell and searching it straight from your deck as a monster. With 2500 ATK, it's a strong pillar card for every build I've personally seen.

 Abyss Actor - Superstar
$2.99
$0.61
$0.43
Abyss Actor - Superstar125274
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN018
Level 7
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2500 / 1800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 "Abyss Actor" monster, then target 1 "Abyss Script" Spell Card in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.
Monster Effect : When Normal or Special Summoned, your opponent's Spell/Trap Cards and effects cannot be activated. Once per turn: You can Set 1 "Abyss Script" Spell Card directly from your Deck, but it is sent to the Graveyard during the End Phase.


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#8: Abyss Script – Rise of the Abyss King

Speaking of, Rise of the Abyss King dropped a couple spots from Number 6 to Number 8, offering searchable AND flexible mass removal once your strategy gets going. The slight downward movement in this card suggests the level of decline in interest for the theme – not a tremendous fall, but notable nonetheless.

 Abyss Script - Rise of the Abyss King
$2.50
$0.66
$0.28
Abyss Script - Rise of the Abyss King125283
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN027
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Target face-up cards on the field, up to the number of Attack Position "Abyss Actor" monsters with different names you control; destroy them. If you control a Level 7 or higher "Abyss Actor" monster, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this card's activation. If this Set card in its owner's control is destroyed by an opponent's card effect, and you have a face-up "Abyss Actor" Pendulum Monster in your Extra Deck: You can add up to 2 "Abyss Actor" cards and/or "Abyss Script" Spell Cards with different names from your Deck to your hand.


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#7: Abyss Actor – Wild Hope

The former leader of the Abyss Actor pack in last week's sales actually fell behind another card for the theme over the weekend; surprising, given how incredibly important Wild Hope is. Converting your opposite Pendulum Spell, it's effectively a one-card Pendulum Scale, making it exceptionally easy to deploy all of your cards. At the same time it's got a solid 1600 ATK, a decent little ATK boosting effect, and a recruiting search effect that lends the deck some longevity and searches just what you need to win.

Awesome card. Wild Hope's a major highlight of the Abyss Actor strategy and it's kind of surprising to see it sell fewer copies than…

 Abyss Actor - Wild Hope
$3.50
$0.92
$0.10
Abyss Actor - Wild Hope125278
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN022
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1600 / 1200
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn: You can target 1 "Abyss Actor" card in your other Pendulum Zone; its Pendulum Scale becomes 9 until the end of this turn, also you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except "Abyss Actor" monsters (even if this card leaves the field).
Monster Effect : Once per turn: You can make this card gain 100 ATK for each "Abyss Actor" monster you currently control with different names, until the end of this turn. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can add 1 "Abyss Actor" card from your Deck to your hand, except "Abyss Actor - Wild Hope". You can only use this effect of "Abyss Actor - Wild Hope" once per turn.


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MTGFirst 1st Edition - Lightly Played 15 $0.70
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#6: Abyss Actor – Leading Lady

Up a bit from the Number 7 position last week, I think more players came to appreciate Abyss Actor – Leading Lady over the weekend. While it's a staple for builds created by experienced Abyss Actor players, it's easy to look at Leading Lady and feel underwhelmed if you're not familiar with the deck.

It's a more proactive card than it may appear. Its ability to reuse two different cards that can both lead to wins is really what locks it: Abyss Actor – Extras, which you'd run multiples of; as well as Abyss Actor – Funky Comedian, which you only want to run one of in the first place. Combined with Leading Lady's repeatable effect to search an Abyss Script straight from your deck – highly abusable when you continually recycle it via Pendulum Summoning – you've got a powerful card that builds infrastructure and momentum.

Potentially underrated over the week, a gathering appreciation for Leading Lady likely led to higher sales.

 Abyss Actor - Leading Lady
$4.50
$0.65
$0.28
Abyss Actor - Leading Lady125277
Set Destiny Soldiers
Number DESO-EN021
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1500 / 1000
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn, when you take battle damage from an opponent's attacking monster: You can activate 1 of these effects;
- That opponent's monster loses ATK equal to the battle damage you took (even if this card leaves the field).
- Add 1 face-up "Abyss Actor" Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck to your hand with ATK less than or equal to the damage you took.
Monster Effect : Once per turn, when battle damage is inflicted: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; it loses ATK equal to that battle damage. When this card is destroyed by battle, or if this card in its owner's Monster Zone is destroyed by an opponent's card effect: You can Set 1 "Abyss Script" Spell Card directly from your Deck.


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#5: Denglong, First of the Yang Zing

A challenger appears! Denglong, First of the Yang Zing was nowhere near the Top 10 last week, but it smashed its way into the Top 5 after a string of Yang Zing Top Cut showings that culminated at YCS Anaheim. Isaac Lim was the first to make a Regional Top 8, at the Regional Qualifier in Victoria. A week later Mikael Westlund topped in Orebro Sweden, drawing more attention in another smaller Regional.

But as much as overseas Regional Qualifiers can raise eyebrows, they're easily dismissed or ignored by lots of players. It was Zach Stone's Top 16 finish at YCS Anaheim that really spiked demand over the weekend, demonstrating a Yang Zing Metalfoes build piloted by an experienced, recognized duelist, to a remarkable finish in one of the biggest Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments of all time. That generated a ton of attention, and a ton of demand for the newest boss monster in the Yang Zing arsenal.

 Denglong, First of the Yang Zing
$15.00
$10.01
$4.79
Denglong, First of the Yang Zing124746
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN048
Level 5
Type Synchro/Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 0 / 2800
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Yang Zing" card from your Deck to your hand. Once per turn: You can send 1 Wyrm-Type monster from your Deck to the Graveyard; this card's Level becomes the sent monster's. If this face-up card leaves the field: You can Special Summon 1 "Yang Zing" monster from your Deck. You can only Special Summon "Denglong, First of the Yang Zing(s)" once per turn.


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#4: Raremetalfoes Bismugear

Metalfoes only put one player into the Top 4 at YCS Anaheim, but that Top 4 locked the decks-to-beat in what's become a certifiable three-deck format: ABC's, Frogs, and Majespecter Metalfoes. Raremetalfoes Bismugear is positioned as a desirable, highly accessible card that's becoming more and more of a staple at three per deck, so with new players gravitating the strategy and others moving from two copies to three, Bismugear was a hot pick.

 Raremetalfoes Bismugear
$1.16
$0.18
$0.05
Raremetalfoes Bismugear124720
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN022
Level 1
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute FIRE 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn: You can target 1 other face-up card you control; destroy it, and if you do, Set 1 "Metalfoes" Spell/Trap Card directly from your Deck.
Monster Effect : If this card on the field is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can add 1 "Metalfoes" monster from your Deck to your hand during the End Phase of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Raremetalfoes Bismugear" once per turn.


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#3: Trade-In

Darklords topped YCS Anaheim as well, in the hands of veteran competitor and former Champion Steve Silverman. Draw power is one of the biggest assets of the Darklord strategy, and combined with a resurgence from decks like Blue-Eyes White Dragon, the newly-reprinted Trade-In was massively popular. Only foil-printed once before as a $5 Ultra Rare in Legendary Collection 4, the chance to nab it as a Super Rare for under a buck likely had something to do with its big sales numbers.

 Trade-In
$9.90
$4.65
$3.00
Trade-In71712
Set Legendary Collection 4: Joey's World
Number LCJW-EN291
Type Spell Card
Monster spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Discard 1 Level 8 monster; draw 2 cards.


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#2: Destiny Hero - Malicious

Trading off once again and just slipping from the Number 1 position, Destiny HERO – Malicious occupied the Number 2 position once again. At this point we've been talking about Malicious every four days: its popularity is the product of its use today, in strategies like Dark Synchro; its newfound synergy with Pot of Acquisitiveness; its accessibility in Destiny Soldiers; its viability in future strategies; and its nostalgia factor.

Dark Synchro continues to pop up in occasional Top 8's and remains a beguiling rogue pick, benefiting from its own fringe status with complicated plays that most competitors aren't ready for. All those factors have made Malicious extremely popular week in and week out since its reprint.

 Destiny HERO - Malicious
$2.50
$0.70
$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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#1: Allure of Darkness

And finally, Allure of Darkness is back on top. While none of the format's current Big Three run it, Allure is played in everything from Dark Synchro, Kozmos, and Burning Phantom Knights, to Abyss Actors, Destiny Heroes, and dedicated PK builds (which have done pretty well lately).

Allure of Darkness is a must-own; it's a flexible “draw 2” with utility in a ton of different strategies, and for anyone that doesn't own it, now's a great time to pick up foil copies. With so many new players coming into the game in 2016, it's no surprise that this fundamental collection staple keeps on topping the charts. While I don't think its Number 1 status says much about any one particular deck, it says good things about the influx of new players, and the future of the game moving into the new year.

 Allure of Darkness
$6.29
$4.61
$3.49
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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The rest of the Top 20 this week was echos of the Top 10: Destiny HERO – Diamodn Dude and Destiny HERO – Drilldark made impressive numbers; Abyss Actor – Sassy Rookie and Abyss Actors Backstage saw notable sales; Paleozoic Opabinia and Paleozoic Dinomischus saw a big jump in the wake of YCS Anaheim; and The Beginning of the End and Archlord Kristya spiked as Darklords continued to top tournaments.

That's it for this week, but join us next Monday for another Market Watch, as we'll be reviewing the impact of a giant Regional Qualifier weekend!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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