Market Watch: Calamities, Chakanine, And…A Ton Of Phantasm Spirals?

Jason Grabher-Meyer

5/15/2017 11:02:00 AM
 Comments

Sometimes weird things happen in the secondary market.

So the big news of the weekend was, naturally, the utter dominance of Zoodiacs at YCS Pittsburgh. At this point, if I were to make a crack about Dinosaurs “being extinct” you'd roll your eyes because you've probably heard that exact joke dozens of times since Sunday morning. If it wasn't running Zoodiacs it wasn't making the Top 32 in Pittsburgh. And while there was a ton of variety in the Zoodiac rainbow, Dinosaurs, Metalfoes, SPYRALS, and other exciting variants failed to make the Top Cut.

But oddly enough, the biggest push-factor in the TCGplayer Marketplace this weekend had practically nothing to do with the YCS. A ton of hype over the past few days drove the obscure spell card Heat Wave to nearly triple in price, under some sort of belief that a deck built around Phantasm Spiral Dragon could be the silver bullet to Zoodiacs, True Dracos, Dinosaurs, and well… everything else in the format.

The number of people driving Heat Wave toward an attempted buyout is unclear, but the fallout swept up a huge group of buyers, as players saw the enthusiasm for Heat Wave and proceeded to buy up tremendous numbers of Phantasm Spiral cards.

The timing here's up in the air; were players hoping to get ahead of an underdog showing for Phantasm Spiral at YCS Pittsburgh, gambling that the deck might somehow succeed? Did someone create a buyout to try and create that impression? Or was this a Sunday night response to the Zoodiac-heavy YCS results? We don't really know, but we do know that there was a perfect storm that pushed seven – yes, seven – Phantasm Spiral cards into the Top 10.

And there only are eight Phantasm Spiral cards. So…

#10: Zoodiac Chakanine

Zoodiac Chakanine saw even more success over the weekend than most would've assumed, as all of the Top 32 decks at YCS Pittsburgh played some form of Zoodiac engine. While Zoodiac Chakanine was largely seen as a one-of in most Extra Decks leading into the event, several Top 32 finishers found value in running a second copy, and the overall landslide success pushed even more players to pick up Chakanine.

 Zoodiac Chakanine
$8.50
$3.33
$1.50
Zoodiac Chakanine131165
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN048
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 or more Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Zoodiac Chakanine" by using 1 "Zoodiac" monster you control with a different name as Xyz Material. (If you used an Xyz Monster, any Xyz Materials attached to it also become Xyz Materials on this card.) This card gains ATK and DEF equal to the ATK and DEF of all "Zoodiac" monsters attached to it as Materials. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 "Zoodiac" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it, but for the rest of this turn, it has its effects negated, also it cannot be used as an Xyz Material for a Summon.


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#9: True King of All Calamities

On the flipside, True King of All Calamities was a flop at YCS Pittsburgh with no True King Dinosaur decks to place it in a starring role. As of right now, none of the deck lists that have emerged from the YCS played it. That said, True King Dinosaurs did well in the previous Regional weekend, and it might've been those successes combined with residual Dinosaur enthusiasm – or simply an expectation that mass Side Decking will drive Zoodiacs down in upcoming tournaments – that kept demand so high for Calamities.

 True King of All Calamities
$5.74
$0.82
$0.39
True King of All Calamities131163
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN046
Level 9
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute DARK 
A / D 3000 / 3000
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

2 or more Level 9 monsters
Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card and declare 1 Attribute; this turn, all face-up monsters on the field become that Attribute, also all monsters in your opponent's possession with that Attribute cannot activate their effects or attack. Monsters that "True Draco" and "True King" monsters in your hand would destroy with their effects can be chosen from your opponent's field.


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#8: Phantasm Spiral Crash

I think I made a “here come the pretzels” joke a couple months ago and I really wish I'd kept that one for today.

So yeah. Somebody – or several somebody(s) – drove up the price on Heat Wave, riding some moderate buzz that it could be useful in a deck built around Phantasm Spiral Dragon. That deck revolves around a series of spell cards that equip to Normal Monsters, then Special Summon Phantasm Spiral Dragon from your hand, deck, or graveyard under varying battle conditions. Each equip spell then equips to the Spiral Dragon itself, and cashes in a bonus effect when it does.

Phantasm Spiral Crash is one of those equips, giving the monster it's attached to piercing damage and then Special Summoning a Phantasm Spiral Dragon when the monster deals damage to your opponent. It's a one-of in the few successful builds I've seen, since it's searchable.

 Phantasm Spiral Crash
$1.10
$0.14
$0.05
Phantasm Spiral Crash131174
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN057
Type Equip Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Equip only to a Normal Monster. If the equipped monster attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent. When the equipped monster inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can Special Summon 1 "Phantasm Spiral Dragon" from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and equip it with this card, then you can change 1 Attack Position monster your opponent controls to Defense Position. You can only use this effect of "Phantasm Spiral Crash" once per turn.


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#7: Phantasm Spiral Grip

Another one-of Equip Spell, Spiral Grip gives the equipped Normal Monster +500 ATK and Special Summons a Phantasm Spiral Dragon when the equipped monster destroys another in battle. When it re-equips to Spiral Dragon, it burns your opponent for an extra 1000 damage.

 Phantasm Spiral Grip
$1.12
$0.15
$0.08
Phantasm Spiral Grip131175
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN058
Type Equip Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Equip only to a Normal Monster. It gains 500 ATK. When the equipped monster destroys an opponent's monster by battle: You can Special Summon 1 "Phantasm Spiral Dragon" from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and equip it with this card, then inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. You can only use this effect of "Phantasm Spiral Grip" once per turn.


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#6: Phantasm Spiral Power

The Phantasm Spiral trap cards come in two flavors, one being an alternate win condition that seems entirely unnecessary – that's Phantasm Spiral Assault, which actually came in at Number 11 this weekend – and a second variety that you can activate when you control at least one Normal Monster and no effect monsters. You can activate them from your hand if you control Umi, and the Phantasm Spiral Field Spell counts as Umi by way of its card text.

Spiral Power is generally seen as the weaker of the two useful traps, often run in multiples. It's sort of an Effect Veiler that also reduces opposing ATK and DEF, with the unfortunate opportunity cost of only working from hand if you control at least one Normal Monster and Pacifis, the Phantasm City. The benefit to it is that it's often free to search, and when it's in the graveyard it lets you reuse an on-theme equip from your graveyard.

 Phantasm Spiral Power
$1.12
$0.15
$0.08
Phantasm Spiral Power131190
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN073
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

If all monsters you control are Normal Monsters (min. 1): Target 1 Effect Monster your opponent controls; until the end of this turn, it loses 1000 ATK and DEF, also it has its effects negated. If "Umi" is on the field, you can activate this card from your hand. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Normal Monster you control; equip 1 "Phantasm Spiral" Equip Spell Card from your hand or Graveyard to that Normal Monster.


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#5: Pacifis, the Phantasm City

Speaking of, the Field Spell itself came in at Number 5 this week. Pretty much a must-run, Pacifis is so important that Phantasm Spiral players in Japan are known to run both Terraforming and Planet Pathfinder to see it reliably. The card economy makes it worthwhile, since it gets you a free Phantasm Spiral card from your deck once per turn, every time you Normal Summon or Special Summon a Normal Monster.

It also keeps your field stocked with a 2000 ATK / 2000 DEF Phantasm Spiral Token at all times, giving you an alternate way to field a Normal Monster for free to power all of your effects. Its restriction is one of the biggest reasons why the Phantasm Spiral deck opts to play few or no Effect Monsters, since it effectively bans you from Summoning them.

 Pacifis, the Phantasm City
$1.28
$0.28
$0.15
Pacifis, the Phantasm City131173
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN056
Type Field Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

(This card's name is always treated as "Umi".)
You cannot Normal or Special Summon Effect Monsters the turn you activate either of this card's effects (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn, if you Normal or Special Summon exactly 1 Normal Monster (and no other cards): Add 1 "Phantasm Spiral" card from your Deck to your hand. If your opponent activates a card or effect (except during the Damage Step), and you control no Tokens: You can Special Summon 1 "Phantasm Spiral Token" (Wyrm-Type/WATER/Level 8/ATK 2000/DEF 2000).


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#4: Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio

Back on the more believable side of things, Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio made a notable impact in the last two weekends of Regional competition, and it showed up in the Top 32 at YCS Pittsburgh. We've talked about it before, but the gist is that for an extra card, Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio is effectively a Tour Guide From the Underworld searching Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra, which then gets you Fusion Substitute, Instant Fusion, or Brilliant Fusion straight from your deck.

It's an amazing combo card that's seeing lots of play with and without Lonefire Blossom to search it, and it's only going to get more powerful if it's left untouched for Link Summoning. Expect to see more and more of it moving forward.

 Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio
$3.62
$2.49
$1.25
Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio131126
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN009
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Plant
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1200 / 800
Rarity Rare
Card Text

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 "Predaplant" monster from your Deck, except "Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio". You can only use this effect of "Predaplant Ophyrs Scorpio" once per turn.


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#3: Phantasm Spiral Battle

Phantasm Spiral Battle is the most played of the Phantasm Spiral trap cards, potentially dropping from your hand to destroy any card at Spell Speed 2. It's arguably one of the biggest reasons to attempt to play Phantasm Spirals in the first place, offering big disruption… provided you can keep Pacifis and a Normal Monster on the table.

Its bonus effect, which throws all your active Phantasm Spiral equips onto one valid target you control, is the thing that gloriously stolen games are made of, but actually putting it to work can be tricky. Luckily it's attached to a fairly good card that's worth playing for its first effect alone.

If you're willing to play Phantasm Spirals in the first place. Which remains highly questionable.

 Phantasm Spiral Battle
$1.22
$0.25
$0.18
Phantasm Spiral Battle131189
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN072
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

If all monsters you control are Normal Monsters (min. 1): Target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy it. If "Umi" is on the field, you can activate this card from your hand. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Normal Monster you control; equip that Normal Monster with all "Phantasm Spiral" Equip Spell Cards you control that can equip to it.


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#2: Phantasm Spiral Dragon

You can't build a Phantasm Spiral deck without three Phantasm Spiral Dragon., and thus, it was one of the most purchased cards of the weekend.

This is a thing. This is happening.

 Phantasm Spiral Dragon
$1.25
$0.28
$0.19
Phantasm Spiral Dragon131145
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN028
Level 8
Type Normal Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2900 / 2900
Rarity Rare
Card Text

A ferocious serpent that was being hunted by Atlanteans. Battle-weary and ragged, it came upon an ancient light, and gained new strength for its battle. With its increased power, it launched an invasion of enemy territory with a renewed assault.


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#1: Phantasm Spiral Wave

And finally, the most powerful of the Phantasm Spiral equips proved to be the biggest mover of the past four days. The easiest of the Special Summon effects to claim, Spiral Wave protects your equipped monster from destruction by battle once per turn, then Special Summons Phantasmal Spiral Dragon at the end of the Battle Phase if the equipped monster battled.

It's got by far the best bonus effect going as well, forcing a discard from your opponent's hand when it gets passed off to a Phantasm Spiral Dragon. You can talk about active graveyard effects all you want, but the possibility of resolving that effect multiple times is undeniably enticing, even if you're like me and see very little merit in the entire strategy.

 Phantasm Spiral Wave
$1.16
$0.19
$0.10
Phantasm Spiral Wave131176
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN059
Type Equip Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Equip only to a Normal Monster. The first time the equipped monster would be destroyed by battle each turn, it is not destroyed. At the end of the Battle Phase, if the equipped monster battled: You can Special Summon 1 "Phantasm Spiral Dragon" from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and equip it with this card, then if they have any, your opponent discards 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Phantasm Spiral Wave" once per turn.


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What else was big in the TCGplayer Marketplace this weekend? As noted before, Phantasm Spiral Assault was the 11th most-purchased card, but from there things returned to normal. Zoodiac Whiptail took Number 12 and True King Lithosagym, the Disaster took Number 13, representing Zoodiacs and True King Dinosaurs. Meanwhile True Draco stuff saw notable demand as well, with True King's Return and True Draco Heritage at Numbers 14 and 15 respectively.

In addition, we saw some noteworthy niche interest in Dinomists Howling, after Grant Williams managed to pilot a Dinomist deck to a 7-3 finish in Day 2 at YCS Pittsburgh. Williams scored a Round 9 Feature Match for his troubles, and though it was unfortunately a loss, it clearly turned some heads.

That's it for the weekend! Will the hype for Phantasm Spirals hold up? Will YCS Pittsburgh have more of an impact during the week? We'll see on Friday in our next Market Watch.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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