Market Watch Top 10: Phantasm Spirals And Regional Responses

Jason Grabher-Meyer

5/26/2017 11:02:00 AM
 Comments

Some surprising resurgences of previous trends in today's Market Watch.

A week and a half ago we saw a peculiar rush for cards from the Phantasm Spiral theme, seemingly spurred on by a sudden price spike in Heat Wave – a hyped-but-questionable control card that's theoretically good in every major matchup today, but that only works in Phantasm Spirals. It's a questionable strategy at best, and it's never topped any premier-level tournaments we know of.

But this week we saw a big comeback for Phantasm Spiral cards from Monday to Friday, and there was still really no competitive reason to justify that. More on that in a bit.

We also saw some big trends that made a lot more sense, as players saw what worked in Regionals this past weekend, and what's likely to work over the next few weeks with upcoming releases and the new June 12th Advanced Format. We saw some big trends, with cards like Enemy Controller, My Body as a Shield, and Forbidden Chalice helping set insightful duelists apart from the pack in a Zoodiac-packed field. At last one such trend broke into the Top 10, selling a ton of cards by sheer volume.

It was a mixed bag of Youtube-driven hype, real Regional results, and smart speculation on future prospects, this week in our Market Watch Top 10. Let's get to the countdown!

#10: Phantasm Spiral Power

Yes, Phantasms were back in the Top 10 this week, taking no fewer than a insane FIVE of the Top 10 spots once again. The reason? While there was still no big Regional performance to point to, we did see some prominent Youtube coverage of the deck, including a build that reportedly Top 8'd a case tournament. Beyond that, a couple Yugitubers who veer more to the casual side of play discussed the theme in videos as well, which could've generated more interest amongst a less competitively minded audience.

In addition, we saw a successful build on the local level in the OCG back on May 15th, logged by our friends over at The Organization. Definitely check that out if you want to see what a Phantasm Spiral deck would look like. But at the same time it feels like the hype might be cresting. With no real competitive results we saw the Heat Wave bubble burst this week, tumbling from 12+ dollars to a current price point of $8.50 and an average Market price of about seven bucks. It could be The Beginning of the End for this trend.

Of course, one strong Top Cut appearance is all Phantasm Spirals would need to head into the next format with some real heat. With five Regional Qualifiers in North America this weekend, there's still some potential for this outwardly bad idea to gain just enough of a footing to survive. But for now it feels like someone probably engineered the Heat Wave trend, and if that's the case they clearly made their money and got out days ago.

As for Phantasm Spiral Power it's one of the deck's more attractive cards, acting as a potential Effect Veiler with a stat reduction thrown in, plus a strong recursive effect in the graveyard.

 Phantasm Spiral Power
$1.12
$0.16
$0.03
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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#9: Phantasm Spiral Grip

The second easiest of the Phantasm Spiral spells to activate, Spiral Grip is a searchable one-of that every Phantasm Spiral deck would want to run. It's the strength of these Special Summon spells that really make the deck work. If it did work.

Which it doesn't.

Awkward.

 Phantasm Spiral Grip
$1.13
$0.15
$0.05
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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#8: True King Lithosagym, the Disaster

The June 12th Advanced Format may make it easier for True King Dinosaurs to compete, but demand for True Kings got another boost coming off the weekend when none other than Bohdan Temnyk took a Regional Top 8 in Australia with this off-the-wall PSY-Frame True King Draco Zoodiac deck.

Clocking in at 55 cards and packing every engine we might see with Zoodiacs next format, including a Predaplant engine, Temnyk's strategy was all about big set-ups with True King of All Calamities. And while Australian Regionals are generally small and often feel like another episode of a long-running but non-existent Aussie TV show called “What Can Bohdan Get Away With In A Regional This Week,” the level of interest in the deck can't be denied.

It was cool, and it worked. And I feel better about that than I do Phantasm Spirals.

 True King Lithosagym, the Disaster
$5.93
$2.41
$0.50
True King Lithosagym, the Disaster127273
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN019
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2500 / 2300
Rarity Super 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 an EARTH monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, and both destroyed monsters were EARTH, you can also look at your opponent's Extra Deck and banish up to 3 monsters from it with different names. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can Special Summon 1 non-EARTH Wyrm-Type monster from your Graveyard. You can only use each effect of "True King Lithosagym, the Disaster" once per turn.


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#7: Set Rotation

We saw plenty of enthusiasm for Set Rotation coming off YCS Pittsburgh despite the deck's irrelevance at that event, and as we see more players topping Regionals with True Draco Zoodiacs, interest in Set Rotation is Rebounding. While Dragonic Diagram wasn't the be-all end-all at Pittsburgh, there's a strong chance True Draco Zoodiacs and True King Dinosaurs may capture more tableshare in the June 12th Format.

If that happens then Set Rotation will suddenly become as ubiquitous as many of us predicted in the run-up to Maximum Crisis, and that strong possibility kept demand high throughout the week.

 Set Rotation
$3.95
$1.91
$0.01
Set Rotation131181
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN064
Type Quick-Play Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Short Print
Card Text

Set 2 Field Spell Cards with different names from your Deck on the field (1 on your field, and 1 on your opponent's field). While either of those cards remain Set on the field, neither player can activate or Set other Field Spell Cards.


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#6: Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio

A staple of our Market Watch Top 10 columns since its MACR release, Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio hit the ground running and has only gotten hotter with the revelation that Speedroid Terrortop will be Limited. The Speedroid engine's been a hallmark of competition this year, and with Predaplants the heir apparent to that role, Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio has been one of then hottest cards on the secondary market.

Add the fact that it's a tremendous combo starter for some of the deadliest combos of the upcoming Link Summoning era, and there are many reasons past, present, and future for Scorpio to sell in droves.

 Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio
$2.66
$1.49
$0.60
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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#5: Wiseman's Chalice

That Other Chalice Spell popped up last week in Market Watch, nearly breaking into the Top 10 but Stumbling at the Number 11 mark. That changed this week, with Regional Top 8 finishers like Drew Carter Main Decking it in Zoodiac variants to get an edge in the mirror match. It's a very narrow, very effective card that we could easily see more of in the next format.

 Wiseman's Chalice
$4.75
$2.60
$1.96
Wiseman's Chalice35813
Set Duelist Revolution
Number DREV-EN060
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If you control no monsters, select 1 monster in your opponent's Graveyard. Special Summon it. It cannot be Tributed, or used as a Synchro Material Monster. During the End Phase of this turn, give control of that Special Summoned monster to your opponent.


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#4: Phantasm Spiral Dragon

Phantasm Spiral Dragon, still necessary for Phantasm Spiral decks!

 Phantasm Spiral Dragon
$1.30
$0.30
$0.17
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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#3: Pacifis, the Phantasm City

Pacifis, the Phantasm City is equally important, and saw similar demand and price point. Note that Pacifis is actually on an upward Price Trend now, sitting at 30 cents average Market Price, though the durability of that trend is difficult to pin down. Regardless, as a Rare it could easily go to a buck if Phantasm Spirals somehow had a tournament breakthrough.

 Pacifis, the Phantasm City
$1.40
$0.44
$0.20
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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#2: Phantasm Spiral Battle

The best of the Phantasm Spiral trap cards, Phantasm Spiral Battle remains one of the few reasons to actually want to play the deck, offering 1-for-1 spot removal against any target on either player's turn, provided you control Pacifis. While it's on a flat Price Trend, it's also up to about a quarter in value thanks to it being a Rare.

 Phantasm Spiral Battle
$1.34
$0.38
$0.10
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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#1: Fairy Tail - Luna

Once again, Fairy Tail – Luna managed to outpace every other card in the TCGplayer Marketplace, for reasons that remain unclear. The big standout push factor that I'm aware of was the prominent use of three copies in an Anti-Meta deck logged by The Organization, ironically from the same posting as that Phantasm Spiral deck.

But that was a nine person tournament played in a custom format with god-knows-what rules, so I'm assuming that if anyone cared it was more just because they'd never considered Luna before and upon careful consideration and perhaps their own testing, decided it had merit moving forward. Or that it was worth speculating on since it's affordable right now, but could go up a few bucks since it's a Super Rare.

Something like that.

 Fairy Tail - Luna
$1.51
$0.47
$0.23
Fairy Tail - Luna131155
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN038
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1850 / 1000
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can add 1 Spellcaster-Type monster with 1850 ATK from your Deck to your hand. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; your opponent can send 1 card with that monster's name from their Deck or Extra Deck to the Graveyard to negate this effect, otherwise return both this card and that monster to the hand.


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That's it for the week! Check back on Monday for another Market Watch, where we'll see the fallout of another weekend of Regionals, and we'll see if the Phantasm Spiral craziness continues.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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