Market Watch: Kaiju, Chain Burn, and Black Sheep Tech

Jason Grabher-Meyer

3/13/2017 10:59:00 AM
 Comments

Welcome back to another installment of our twice-weekly Market Watch!

Veterans of the column will know that every Monday and Friday we count down the Top 10 bestselling cards of the past half week, ranking them by number of copies sold. Instead of looking for price spikes and rarities, we observe pure sales numbers, so we can see trending non-foils that might be impossible to see otherwise. That lets us gauge player reactions to Top Cut decks, upcoming releases, and breaking news from Asia's Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG almost as quickly as they happen.

This week we saw continued fallout from YCS Atlanta, as well as some reactions to smaller scale action as Regional Qualifiers picked up again in North America. Minus the continued popularity of Fluffals, pretty much everything this week can be extrapolated straight into info about tournament competition moving forward.

Without further ado, here were the Top 10 bestselling cards of the weekend, from Friday morning to today.

#10: Absolute King Back Jack

Absolute King Back Jack was recently played by Norddin El Masoudi at the Orebro Regional Qualifier in Sweden, and it popped up again over the weekend, Top 8'ing the Kansas Regional Qualifier in an even crazier Chain Burn build. If you pitch it with Card of Demise you can trigger its effect, rearranging the top cards of your deck. That sets you up with a trap card for Back Jack's banish effect, but it also helps dig you towards power cards like Balance of Judgment, more copies of Card of Demise, and Chain Strike.

At first glance, the idea of trading Back Jack for a single trap card on a 1-for-1 basis doesn't make much sense, even with the benefit of some added deck thinning. But in reality it's the positioning that makes the play so good: if you were just drawing a Normal Trap instead of Absolute King Back Jack, your immediate card economy would remain the same: you're drawing one card and keeping it under your control, moving it from your hand to the field. What Back Jack does is place that card on layaway, taking an immediate -1 by briefly putting the card economy of that draw into your graveyard.

The reason? There are actually several, but the biggest is probably Balance of Judgment. Resolving it before you reclaim that minus by banishing Back Jack gives you an extra draw off Judgment's effect, creating a hard plus – the card economy's in your graveyard, not on the field or in your hand where Balance would account for it.

Since you can activate whatever Back Jack sets you're not losing anything, and by ordering the next two cards in your deck after the set trap, you get three draws deeper towards those power cards you want to see. Those cards then get you even MORE card economy, or they just finish your opponent and win you the game.

That kind of multifaceted value-driven play was what pushed Absolute King Back Jack into the Top 10 this week. Cool stuff, and a possible indicator that we could see a lot more Chain Burn cropping up in tournaments.

 Absolute King Back Jack
$4.44
$0.71
$0.18
Absolute King Back Jack96971
Set Premium Gold: Return of the Bling
Number PGL2-EN002
Level 1
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

During your opponent's turn: You can banish this card from your Graveyard (this is a Quick Effect); excavate the top card of your Deck, and if it is a Normal Trap Card, Set it to your side of the field. Otherwise, send it to the Graveyard. That Set card can be activated during this turn. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can look at 3 cards from the top of your Deck, then place them on the top of the Deck in any order. You can only use each effect of "Absolute King Back Jack" once per turn.


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#9: Fluffal Penguin

It's back! Fluffal Penguin's been the most popular of the new cards from Fusion Enforcers, at least by sheer volume of sales, and while it was outpaced by some other Fluffal-related cards this week it's still sparking a lot of interest. Digging you through your deck, triggering on-Summon effects, and bringing Rank 4 plays into the Fluffal strategy, it gives you the option to play for a controlling opening with Bahamut Shark into Toadally Awesome.

But you probably already knew that, because we've been mentioning it for weeks now as the card's continued to make our Top 10 over and over.

 Fluffal Penguin
$2.24
$0.92
$0.70
Fluffal Penguin127806
Set Fusion Enforcers
Number FUEN-EN015
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute WATER 
A / D 1600 / 1100
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 "Fluffal" monster from your hand, except "Fluffal Penguin". This effect can only be used once while this card is face-up on the field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard as a Fusion Material for a Fusion Summon of a "Frightfur" Fusion Monster: You can draw 2 cards, then discard 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Fluffal Penguin" once per turn.


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#8: Lost Wind

Down from the Number 1 position on Monday, Lost Wind emerged from YCS Atlanta as a new staple for Paleozoic Frogs. It was played in all three of the Frog decks that made it to the Top 32, and two of them ran a full three copies. Defending a set Dupe Frog against an attack means an instant 2000 damage, and since the ATK reduction and effect negation is permanent, it leaves your opponent to further pressure. Combined with synergies with Paleozoics it's a strong pick that's still accessible at just $2.50 a pop, and its low rarity means that upward price trend is likely to bottom out.

 Lost Wind
$2.25
$1.51
$1.11
Lost Wind127323
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN068
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Target 1 face-up Special Summoned monster on the field; it has its effects negated, also its original ATK is halved. If a monster is Special Summoned from your opponent's Extra Deck, while this card is in the Graveyard (except during the Damage Step): You can Set this card, but banish it when it leaves the field.


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#7: Polymerization

Still a fixture of the Top 10, Polymerization remains hugely popular as a three-of in Fluffals. Not much to say here: Fluffals need it, and apparently players still need Fluffals.

 Polymerization
$24.09
$4.12
$2.95
Polymerization78078
Set Retro Pack 1
Number RP01-EN008
Type Spell Card
Monster spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or your side of the field as Fusion Materials.


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#6: Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran

Coming off some much-debated rulings of late, some tournaments are ruling that Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran can be Special Summoned with Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, while others are not. Slumber's already a great card in either situation, but the ability to give your opponent a 0 ATK monster that you swing on for 3300 damage with Thunder King, the Lightningstrike Kaiju or Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju pushes it over the top.

The chance to see that move codified as legal in the TCG probably led to big demand for Anti-Kaiju War Machine this week.

 Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran
$0.99
$0.23
$0.05
Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran117969
Set Shining Victories
Number SHVI-EN088
Level 8
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 0 / 2000
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. If your opponent controls a "Kaiju" monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only control 1 "Kaiju" monster. Once per turn: You can remove 2 Kaiju Counters from anywhere on the field; equip 1 "Kaiju" monster from your hand or Graveyard to this card. This card gains ATK equal to the combined ATK of the "Kaiju" monsters equipped to it by this effect.


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#5: Interrupted Kaiju Slumber

That same rulings kerfuffle was probably the factor that drove Interrupted Kaiju Slumber back into the Top 5 too, after it skirted the Top 10 for the past couple weeks.

 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
$4.99
$2.17
$1.00
Interrupted Kaiju Slumber111188
Set Breakers of Shadow
Number BOSH-EN089
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Destroy as many monsters on the field as possible, then Special Summon in Attack Position, 2 "Kaiju" monsters with different names from your Deck (1 on each side), but they cannot change their battle positions, and must attack, if able. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the Graveyard: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; add 1 "Kaiju" monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Interrupted Kaiju Slumber" per turn.


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#4: Fluffal Dog

People need Fluffals! Apparently.

 Fluffal Dog
$2.24
$0.75
$0.49
Fluffal Dog127807
Set Fusion Enforcers
Number FUEN-EN016
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1700 / 1000
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned from the hand: You can add 1 "Edge Imp Sabres" or 1 "Fluffal" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Fluffal Dog". You can only use this effect of "Fluffal Dog" once per turn.d


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#3: Lunalight Black Sheep

Searchable with Zoodiac Broadbull, Lunalight Black Sheep can fetch Fusion Substitute, making a two-card suite that's suddenly become a staple feature of numerous Zoodiac decks. More on that briefly, but for now the thrust of the statement is that the Broadbull toolbox just keeps getting bigger.

 Lunalight Black Sheep
$1.00
$0.25
$0.10
Lunalight Black Sheep117908
Set Shining Victories
Number SHVI-EN011
Level 2
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute DARK 
A / D 100 / 600
Rarity Common
Card Text

You can discard this card, then activate 1 of these effects;
- Add 1 "Lunalight" monster from your Graveyard to your hand, except "Lunalight Black Sheep".
- Add 1 "Polymerization" from your Deck to your hand.
If this card is sent to the Graveyard as a Fusion Material for a Fusion Summon: You can add to your hand, 1 face-up "Lunalight" Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck or 1 "Lunalight" monster from your Graveyard, except "Lunalight Black Sheep".


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#2: Instant Fusion

Instant Fusion, Rebounding from its plunge from Number 1 for several Top 10's, down to Number 4 on Friday, back up to Number 2 over the weekend. People apparently still need Instant Fusion? And as we've noted in the past few weeks, the Fusion Enforcers reprint halved its price, making it way more accessible.

That's continued to make it a huge seller, despite the advent of…

 Instant Fusion
$5.20
$2.15
$0.99
Instant Fusion127833
Set Fusion Enforcers
Number FUEN-EN042
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Pay 1000 LP; Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, but it cannot attack, also is destroyed during the End Phase. (This Special Summon is treated as a Fusion Summon.) You can only activate 1 "Instant Fusion" per turn.


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#1: Fusion Substitute

Fusion Substitute, now at Number 1 since people realize that the combo with Lunalight Black Sheep is amazing.

If you've missed it, the play here is just an extension of the regular Zoodiac Combo: starting with Zoodiac Ratpier, you go through the motions to end with a field of Zoodiac Drident and Daigusto Emeral, searching Black Sheep with Broadbull along the way and shuffling back two Ratpiers. But you pitch Black Sheep to fetch Fusion Substitute, use your two Rank 4's as Fusion Materials for Elder Entity Norden, go off detaching Norden, and then return it to your Extra Deck to draw with Fusion Substitute.

If that didn't quite make sense Doug did an excellent video covering the steps of the combo and showing you where it was played at YCS Atlanta, and you can check that out for WAY more detail. But for now, the important thing to understand is that Fusion Substitute and Lunalight Black Sheep both sold in droves this weekend, and you're going to be seeing that combo all over the place in Zoodiac variants moving forward.

 Fusion Substitute
$2.24
$0.38
$0.15
Fusion Substitute127832
Set Fusion Enforcers
Number FUEN-EN041
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

(This card's name is always treated as "Polymerization".)
Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters you control as Fusion Materials. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Fusion Monster in your Graveyard; return it to the Extra Deck, then draw 1 card.


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That was it for the weekend! Interest in the Invoked theme dipped notably, but Aleister the Invoker did nearly make the Top 10. Beyond that there were really no notable standouts in the TCGplayer Marketplace this weekend.

Expect to see more Lunalight Black Sheep tech, more Chain Burn, and more Kaiju in tournaments the next week or two. We'll be back Friday to see if those trends persist through the week.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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