Market Watch: Pendulum Evolution And WCQ Tech

Jason Grabher-Meyer

6/30/2017 11:02:00 AM
 Comments

Results from the first two WCQ's are in, but they didn't do much to shake the strong position of Pendulum Evolution.

The Central American and European WCQ's had a lot in common this past weekend: both tournaments were dominated by Pure Zoodiacs; both saw True Draco Zoo in Top Cut action, albeit largely nowhere near the Top 16; and both saw Zoo players innovate with Pot of Desires and Shuffle Reborn to stay a step ahead of their opponents.

While the winning build from Central America didn't run either of those two cards, Marcello Barberi's 17-0 Pure Zoo from Euros ran two copies of each: Desires let him see his best cards more frequently and in greater numbers, while Shuffle Reborn let him press his Zoodiac Combos through everything from Solemn Warning to Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, reviving a Zoodiac to let him continue his plays. It was impressive to see how ubiquitous Shuffle Reborn was, seeing widespread play in two events on opposite sides of the world.

Meanwhile there was one more big tech pick from the Central American WCQ: the Quick-Play Spell Pianissimo. When you're going off with combos it protects one of your monsters from hand traps. When you're playing around a Drident it can stop that too, and it even protects monsters from battle. It's a cool idea, but with deck lists from the Central American WCQ only hitting the Deck Archive yesterday, most players aren't aware that it saw play and there's no real conversation about it.

Meanwhile on the Pendulum Evolution front, we spoke on Monday of Tobias Altin's Top 64 build from the European WCQ, but we didn't have Marvin Schmidt's version, also from the Top 64. Surprisingly the two decks actually work in some very different ways, with Altin's looking for fast OTK's courtesy of Performage Trapeze Magician, while Schmidt's makes bigger controlling set-ups. To that end, he played an extra Timestar Magician and three copies of Astrograph Sorcerer for , while Altin played none. I'm eager to write on the two decks and compare them, but for now let's get to the Top 10.

These were the bestselling cards on the TCGplayer Marketplace this week, from Monday to Friday morning.

#10: Time Pendulumgraph

Down from Number 8 on Monday but still in the Top 10, Time Pendulumgraph was a one-of for both of the Top Cut Pendulum Magician duelists at Euros. Altin remarked that he found it to be a disappointing card, and would consider dropping it in the future; Schmidt gave no context.

Easy to get to, Time Pendulumgraph is searchable with Duelist Alliance and Double Iris Magician. It's just a question of whether the added utility Time Pendulumgraph lends to those cards is actually worth a card slot. We'll have to see how that pans out over the coming weeks.

 Time Pendulumgraph
$1.95
$0.52
$0.40
Time Pendulumgraph134955
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN008
Type Continuous Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Your opponent cannot target Spellcaster-Type monsters you control with Trap Cards or effects. You can only use the following effect of "Time Pendulumgraph" once per turn. You can target 1 "Magician" Pendulum Monster Card in your Monster Zone or Pendulum Zone, and 1 card your opponent controls; destroy them. Then, if this effect did not destroy 2 cards, you can send 1 card on the field to the Graveyard.


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#9: Timestar Magician

Speaking of Timestar Magician, it's a 2400 ATK double Stratos that can shield your Pendulum Monsters from destruction once per turn, while thinning your deck and building your Graveyard. In Altin's build it seemed a little slow, and it was understandable that he only felt he needed one copy. It plays differently in Marvin Schmidt's version of the deck, where he uses the free search power to make bigger plays with Astrograph Sorcerers into Odd-Eyes Absolute Dragon.

Regardless, it's a must-run even if you're only playing one copy. It's easy to justify the Number 9 placement on the sales charts.

 Timestar Magician
$3.90
$0.74
$0.41
Timestar Magician134956
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN009
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2400 / 1200
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 "Magician" Pendulum Monsters
Must first be Xyz Summoned with the above Xyz Materials. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; add to your hand, 1 DARK Spellcaster-Type monster from your Deck, Graveyard, or face-up from your Extra Deck. Once per turn, if a Pendulum Monster Card(s) in your Monster Zone or Pendulum Zone would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can send 1 Spellcaster-Type monster from your Deck to the Graveyard instead.


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#8: Chronograph Sorcerer

Up from Number 11 on Monday, Chronograph Sorcerer doesn't really fit either of the Pendulum Magician decks we've seen so far, instead serving the Supreme King Z-ARC strategy. Sales of Supreme King were down over the week, but it was big last weekend, so it's clearly capture some casual level interest.

 Chronograph Sorcerer
$1.90
$0.30
$0.15
Chronograph Sorcerer134949
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN002
Level 6
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2000 / 1700
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : During your Main Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, take 1 "Timegazer Magician" from your hand or Deck, and either place it in your Pendulum Zone or Special Summon it. You can only use this effect of "Chronograph Sorcerer" once per turn.
Monster Effect : If a card(s) you control is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, then you can Special Summon 1 monster from your hand. You can banish this card you control, plus 4 monsters from your hand, field, and/or Graveyard (1 each with "Pendulum Dragon", "Xyz Dragon", "Synchro Dragon", and "Fusion Dragon" in their names); Special Summon 1 "Supreme King Z-ARC" from your Extra Deck. (This is treated as a Fusion Summon.)


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#7: Astrograph Sorcerer

Down from the top spot over the weekend, Astrograph Sorcerer was integral to Marvin Schmidt's build of Pendulum Magicians as a beatstick that can keep field control, and more importantly a Rank 7 Xyz Material that's searchable and easily Special Summoned with its effect, or typical Pendulum Summons. He used it for Odd-Eyes Absolute Dragon exclusively, controlling opposing attacks and leveraging Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon when Absolute hit the graveyard.

Whether future successful builds play Astrograph or not is up in the air. Both Pendulum Magician duelists hit the Top 64 at Euros before tapping out, so there's no clean metric to measure them against each other. Astrograph seems like the riskier path since it requires certain conditions to field, but its from-the-hand Special Summon effect is also a valuable insurance policy against a lot of popular cards in Zoodiac variants today. It's too early for most players including me to have a real grasp of whether it's a liability or not.

That said, anyone who can answer that question confidently is going to be ahead of the curve playing Pendulum Magicians, and in the mean time you just have to expect that your opponent might be running it in that matchup, and act accordingly.

 Astrograph Sorcerer
$3.09
$1.35
$0.94
Astrograph Sorcerer134948
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN001
Level 7
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2500 / 2000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : During your Main Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, take 1 "Stargazer Magician" from your hand or Deck, and either place it in your Pendulum Zone or Special Summon it. You can only use this effect of "Astrograph Sorcerer" once per turn.
Monster Effect : If a card(s) you control is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, then you can choose 1 monster in the Graveyard, Extra Deck, or that is banished, and that was destroyed this turn, and add 1 monster with the same name from your Deck to your hand. You can banish this card you control, plus 4 monsters from your hand, field, and/or Graveyard (1 each with "Pendulum Dragon", "Xyz Dragon", "Synchro Dragon", and "Fusion Dragon" in their names); Special Summon 1 "Supreme King Z-ARC" from your Extra Deck. (This is treated as a Fusion Summon.)


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#6: Harmonizing Magician

A three-of for Altin and a two-of for Schmidt, Harmonizing Magician is the deck's gateway to Synchro Monsters and what a gateway! It's a really efficient Synchro enabler, leading Altin to play four Synchros - Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons, Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer, Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend, and Stardust Dragon. Schmidt played only two: Ignister Prominence and Enlightment Paladin.

In my mind, Harmonizing Magician is one of the best reasons to play this deck. It's really efficient, it's fast, and it lets you adapt to different situations to make the deck smarter and tougher to outplay. It's good stuff, and while Schmidt put less emphasis on it, I really like his use of Enlightenment Paladin.

 Harmonizing Magician
$2.47
$1.48
$1.00
Harmonizing Magician134957
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN010
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : All monsters you control gain 100 ATK and DEF for each face-up "Magician" Pendulum Monster with different names in your Extra Deck.
Monster Effect : Cannot be Special Summoned from the Extra Deck. Cannot be used as Material for a Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Summon, unless all other Materials are "Magician" Pendulum Monsters. When this card is Pendulum Summoned from the hand: You can Special Summon 1 "Magician" Pendulum Monster from your Deck in Defense Position, except "Harmonizing Magician", but it has its effects negated, also banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of "Harmonizing Magician" once per turn.


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#5: Star Pendulumgraph

Schmidt played TWO copies of Star Pendulumgraph in his build, up from Altin's single copy. That might be a bit of overkill, but at the same time the sheer advantage it can give you in a grind game makes keeping it on the field really worthwhile, and with Twin Twisters and Cosmic Cyclone seeing such heavy Main Deck and Side Deck play, it's easy to see why a second copy could be attractive.

 Star Pendulumgraph
$1.90
$0.75
$0.42
Star Pendulumgraph134954
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN007
Type Continuous Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Your opponent cannot target Spellcaster-Type monsters you control with Spell Cards or effects. If a face-up "Magician" Pendulum Monster Card(s) leaves your Monster Zone or Pendulum Zone: Add 1 "Magician" Pendulum Monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Star Pendulumgraph" once per turn.


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#4: Double Iris Magician

With Time Pendulumgraph and Star Pendulumgraph being played, Double Iris Magician is an obvious must-run with its solid ATK and complimentary attack-doubling Pendulum Effect. There's not much to say here: Double Iris is effectively a one-card combo that then plays a role in a bunch of actual combos and helps build damage for your win conditions. It's one of the best cards in a strong group.

 Double Iris Magician
$1.99
$1.33
$1.00
Double Iris Magician134950
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN003
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1500 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn: You can target 1 DARK Spellcaster-Type monster you control; apply this effect to it, then destroy this card. Once applied, double any battle damage that monster inflicts to your opponent this turn if it battles an opponent's monster.
Monster Effect : (This card is always treated as a "Pendulum Dragon" card.) If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can add 1 "Pendulumgraph" card from your Deck to your hand.


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#3: Purple Poison Magician

Like Double Iris Magician, Purple Poison Magician has a valuable monster effect that combos with its Pendulum Effect, in this case popping a face-up card and buffing a monster by a respectable 1200 ATK along the way. It kicks out less damage on its own, but its 2100 DEF has its uses. All the top Pendulum Magicians from PEVO are pretty much interchangeable on this list; at any given time, any one of them could be leading the pack, so it's more the fact that they're still dominating the marketplace a week after release that's important, than the actual order of placement.

 Purple Poison Magician
$2.00
$1.20
$0.50
Purple Poison Magician134953
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN006
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1200 / 2100
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn, if your DARK Spellcaster-Type monster battles, before damage calculation: You can activate this effect; that monster gains 1200 ATK (until the end of the Damage Step), then destroy this card.
Monster Effect : (This card is always treated as a "Fusion Dragon" card.) If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can target 1 face-up card on the field; destroy it.


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#2: Shuffle Reborn

That said, it's highly significant to see Shuffle Reborn selling so well this week! The darling tech choice of both WCQ's, a ton of Top Cut finishers relied on anywhere between one to three copies of Shuffle Reborn to push through their Zoodiac plays. It's awesome at any stage of the game where your opponent might destroy something to try and interrupt your key combos, but it's especially powerful on Turn 1 when it can help you navigate hand traps in ways that would be almost impossible otherwise.

This and Pot of Desires both seem like go-to tech choices for Pure Zoodiacs moving forward, and it's no surprise to see the affordable and under-acknowledged Shuffle Reborn topping the sales charts as players scramble to get their copies for the North American WCQ. It's clearly going to be a big factor in upcoming tournaments.

 Shuffle Reborn
$1.97
$0.88
$0.25
Shuffle Reborn122441
Set 2016 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP16-EN144
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

If you control no monsters: Target 1 monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it, but its effects are negated, also banish it during the End Phase. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 card you control; shuffle it into the Deck, then draw 1 card, also during the End Phase of this turn, banish 1 card from your hand. You can only use this effect of "Shuffle Reborn" once per turn.


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#1: Black Fang Magician

And finally, the bestselling card of the week was the 1700 ATK high Scale, Black Fang Magician. Armed with a debilitating Pendulum Effect and a killer Special Summon trick that can add longevity and resiliency to the Pendulum Magician strategy, it's a powerful card with some interesting footnotes: chiefly the fact that Marvin Schmidt only ran two copies, prioritizing Double Iris Magician and Purple Poison Magician over both Black Fang.

 Black Fang Magician
$1.98
$1.12
$0.50
Black Fang Magician134951
Set Pendulum Evolution
Number PEVO-EN004
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1700 / 800
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; its ATK becomes half its current ATK (until the end of this turn), then destroy this card.
Monster Effect : (This card is always treated as an "Xyz Dragon" card.) If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can target 1 DARK Spellcaster-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it.


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Meanwhile looking at cards from other sets, Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio rose to Number 12 over the week, Duelist Alliance was Number 15 on account of the demand for Pendulum Magicians, and Fairy Tail Luna rounded out the pack at Number 20, a three-of in Tobias Altin's build.

We'll be back on Monday, with results from the South Am WCQ and more in the run-up to the North American WCQ. Will Pendulum Magicians hold strong? Will we see sustained interest in Shuffle Reborn? We'll have the answers to those questions after the weekend.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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