Market Watch Top 10: Calm Before The Storm

Jason Grabher-Meyer

6/12/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

The secondary market held its breath over the weekend as competition rolled over into the new Advanced Format, leaving space for a wealth of casual cards to take bestseller positions.

With just two Regional Qualifiers in North America this weekend and a lack of consensus as to which competitive trends will carry through into the coming weeks of competition, it seemed as if many competitively minded players took a step back from the TCGplayer Marketplace over the weekend. Many players have already placed their bets, investing in their decks and cards of choice, and only four cards in the Top 10 this week seemed influenced by competitive trends. The remaining six seemed to be more casually oriented.

On the competitive side of things we saw continued enthusiasm for Set Rotation, Thousand-Eyes Restrict, True King Lithosagym, the Disaster, and a new tech pick we saw played to a Regional Top 8 last weekend. On the casual side we saw the reappearance of a certain Buster Blader support card that's Top 10'd before, and another victory lap for Phantasm Spirals that continues to defy explanation.

If this is your first Market Watch, let's do a recap! Every Monday and Friday we look at the last few days of sales in the TCGplayer Marketplace, your gateway to over a thousand active Yu-Gi-Oh! sellers. Since the Marketplace lets you comparison shop to find the best prices it sees a ton of traffic, and we use that sales data to zero in on the bestselling cards in the game, every Monday and Friday.

We measure sales by copies of cards sold, regardless of price or rarity; that's important, because if you're only examining price spikes you'll virtually never see short term trends of Common and regular Rare cards. Those cards are vital to our analysis, because they're so often three-ofs serving big decks of interest. This form of analysis lets us highlight cards that are seeing notable shifts before price spikes happen; it lets us keep you ahead of tournament trends, responses to overseas reveals, and player reactions to new releases statesie.

So with no further ado, let's kick off today's Top 10 as we look at the bestselling cards from Friday to this morning!

#10: Set Rotation

We haven't seen Set Rotation in the Top 10 for two and a half weeks, but after a recent rally it just squeaked into the countdown this weekend. That makes a ton of sense since True Draco Zoodiacs, Demise True Dracos, and True King Dinosaurs were all trending up in Regionals last weekend, comprising a collective majority of Regional Top 8's.

Since Set Rotation can stick your opponent with an impossible-to-flip Oracle of Zefra or Gateway to Chaos, it can search your Field Spell while preempting your opponent's Dragonic Diagram. That's going to be more relevant in the new format, and the surge of demand for Set Rotation was likely a direct response to that.

 Set Rotation
$3.95
$1.05
$0.51
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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#9: Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman

Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman was actually one of the first cards to appear in a Market Watch in the wake of Maximum Crisis' release, owed to an early Regional performance that sparked some interest in the Buster Blader deck. The competitive dream is to lock your opponent down with Dragon Buster Destruction Sword, stopping stuff like Zoodiacs and True King Dinosaurs from using the Extra Deck. But outside of that first week Regional we never saw the deck again.

So why was Prologue in such demand this weekend? No idea. It makes especially little sense with Demise True Dracos being such a point of discussion; a strategy that usually doesn't even run an Extra Deck. Did a new release that I somehow missed make Buster Blader more relevant? If there was, let me know down in the comments.

 Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman
$1.19
$0.19
$0.08
Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman131192
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN075
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Send 1 "Destruction Sword" card and 1 "Buster Blader" monster from your Deck to the Graveyard, except "Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman"; Special Summon 1 "Buster Dragon" from your Extra Deck or Graveyard, but destroy it during the End Phase of the next turn. You can banish this card from your Graveyard; this turn, "Destruction Sword" cards you control cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. You can only activate 1 "Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman" per turn.


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#8: True King Lithosagym, the Disaster

Back on the competitive side of the Top 10, True King Lithosagym, the Disaster was once again one of the bestselling cards in the game, which shouldn't surprise anyone at this point since it's the most popular card of the year by sheer numbers. True King Dinosaurs are capturing more interest and their big opportunity starts today with the new format. That's kept the Disaster red hot.

 True King Lithosagym, the Disaster
$4.99
$0.65
$0.20
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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OmegaGaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $0.23
Atomic Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.23

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#7: Thousand-Eyes Restrict

With Elder Entity Norden gone players are looking for new ways to use Instant Fusion, and Special Summoning Thousand-Eyes Restrict as a fast removal option seems to be the leading idea; it's certainly outsold alternatives like Sea Monster of Theseus, Panzer Dragon, Rare Fish, and Mavelus.

With six printings in different rarities, the sheer volume of Thousand-Eyes Restricts available have kept it at an approachable price across all different versions.

 Thousand-Eyes Restrict
$4.00
$1.64
$0.81
Thousand-Eyes Restrict122985
Set Duelist Pack: Rivals of the Pharaoh
Number DPRP-EN046
Level 1
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

"Relinquished" + "Thousand-Eyes Idol"
Other monsters cannot change their battle position or attack. Once per turn, you can equip 1 monster your opponent controls to this card (max 1). This card's ATK and DEF become the same as the equipped monster's. If this card would be destroyed by battle, the equipped monster is destroyed instead.


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#6: Phantasm Spiral Grip

The last time we saw a big rush of demand for Phantasm Spiral cards, it was a response to another price spike of Heat Wave. The best explanation was that players saw more interest in Heat Wave and rushed to buy up the Phantasm Spiral stuff that would theoretically see play with it.

 Phantasm Spiral Grip
$1.13
$0.17
$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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Divine Dragon Gaming Unlimited - Near Mint 3 $0.06
bestsga 1st Edition - Near Mint 13 $0.06

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#5: Phantasm Spiral Power

This weekend Heat Wave was on a flat Price Trend with no upward movement, and the Phantasm Spiral cards sold like hotcakes anyways. It's anybody's guess why that is; there have been no new successes logged in the OCG, and no action in TCG territories. That makes the massive sales of cards like Phantasm Spiral Power even tougher to figure out.

 Phantasm Spiral Power
$1.12
$0.17
$0.02
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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#4: Phantasm Spiral Battle

It's worth reiterating that the sales numbers for Phantasm Spiral cards aren't just the result of one determined individual buying up hundreds of copies of the key cards all on their own. Nor is it a small cabal of speculators. This is a widespread trend where lots of individual buyers are snapping up Phantasm Spirals by the bushel.

 Phantasm Spiral Battle
$1.34
$0.38
$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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Cardmonstergamez 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $0.20
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#3: Pacifis, the Phantasm City

Literally every single card for the theme is on a flat or downward Price Trend right now, so if their popularity is somehow a coordinated effort to drive up the price of Phantasm Spiral cards, it's clearly not working.

While we've seen Pacifis, the Phantasm City and Phantasm Spiral Dragon rise a bit over the past few weeks, both now hold an average Market Price of 25 cents or less. Spiral Battle is 20 cents, and everything else is less than a dime.

 Pacifis, the Phantasm City
$1.40
$0.33
$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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#2: Waterfall of Dragon Souls

Meanwhile Waterfall of Dragon Souls was a niche pick this week for a smaller group of buyers, but still managed to be the Number 2 bestseller of the weekend. It seems as if a lot of players were inspired to pick it up after William Kramer topped the Ft. Worth Regional maining two copies. Kramer played Waterfall to search Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King; Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter; and Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster.

When he wasn't using it to precision search True Dracos he could use it for hand fixing, ditching unneeded True Dracos from his hand to replace them with draws. We haven't seen Waterfall of Dragon Souls in competition much, but it could be creeping up, and could offer a level of consistency that sets some True Draco variants ahead of the pack. Time will tell.

 Waterfall of Dragon Souls
$1.40
$0.28
$0.10
Waterfall of Dragon Souls131195
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN078
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Activate 1 of these effects.
- Add 1 Wyrm-Type monster from your Deck to your hand.
- Send any number of Wyrm-Type monsters from your hand and/or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; draw cards equal to the number of monsters you sent to the Graveyard +1.


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#1: Phantasm Spiral Dragon

And finally: Phantasm Spiral Dragon, more popular than True King Lithosagym, the Disaster. It boggles the mind.

 Phantasm Spiral Dragon
$1.30
$0.28
$0.12
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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That's it for this week! The Regional Qualifier season is now over, so the only big sanctioned event on our half of the planet this weekend is the Extravaganza at Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. From there we'll see the Central American WCQ a week later, the South American WCQ one week after that, and the North American WCQ rounding everything out.

That means there's going to be a vacuum of competitive information in the early days of the new format, so we can expect players to be paying careful attention to tournaments like the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! Circuit Series in Atlanta this weekend. Since Atlanta's home to some of North America's best players, the info from that event will be held in high regard.

Join us again Friday to see where the secondary market is headed as WCQ's begin, when we'll be back with another Market Watch.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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