Market Watch Top 10: The First Winners From COTD

Jason Grabher-Meyer

8/8/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

We're back, and today we're getting the lay of the land in the wake of the full Code of the Duelist release.

COTD's an incredibly important set with a lot to talk about. On one hand it's the first full release with Link Monsters, and it'll contribute greatly to player impressions of the new mechanic – as of yet, many competitive players haven't really decided just how deep down the Link Summoning rabbit hole they'll go. Are all those “broken” Link Summoning combos on Youtube as good as people feared? Is it worth it to play a deck that relies heavily on Link Monsters? Or will players focus on strategies that dance around the new Extra Deck restrictions instead.

And how will a new Advanced Format impact those questions? Whenever we get one.

On the other hand Code of the Duelist also introduces a wealth of new themes, all of which largely sit on the competitive fringes in the OCG. Of the Trickstar, Gouki, World Chalice, and World Legacy archetypes, Trickstar's the one that's currently making the biggest impact overseas. But the World Premiere Vendreads have sparked massive player interest by leveraging classic Zombie support – powerful cards we've already seen played in many different ways. Where do they fall once Regionals start up again?

Then on some mutant third hand, there's all the legacy support. And an even weirder, more slimy little fourth hand is clutching new splashable cards like Spellbook of Knowledge, Back to the Front, and Heavy Storm Duster, all of which have seen considerable interest over the past weeks here on TCGplayer; Back to the Front and Heavy Storm Duster both made the Top 10 last week on Code of the Duelist presales alone, while Spellbook Magician of Prophecy and Spellbook of Secrets – cards played to get Spellbook of Knowledge and fulfill its activation – have been selling like hotcakes ever since they were reprinted in Battles of Legend.

So we've got a ton of questions. And this weekend we got the first few answers, as we logged sales from Friday to Monday in the TCGplayer Marketplace.

Over a thousand active Yu-Gi-Oh! sellers; one new Yu-Gi-Oh! set.

Let's talk about the biggest cards from Code of the Duelist.

#10: Vendread Revenants

Right off the bat, four of the five Vendread cards made the Top 10 this week, starting with Vendread Revenants. Doug's done some great work lately dropping articles to help you explore the new theme, and we've talked about them a couple times on facebook too, in featured discussions. The community as a whole has really embraced Vendreads for both their immediate strength, and their future potential; many are saying they're looking like the best World Premiere theme since Burning Abyss.

A strong beatstick with 1800 ATK and the ability to wall against your opponent's aggression with its revival ability, Vendread Revenants is hampered by the fact that on its own, it's a Normal Summon in a deck that has better ways to use Normal Summons. That said, its ability to grant a Quick Effect Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning type banishing power when it's used as Tribute for a Vendread Ritual Monster is insane, making it at least a one-of.

And that was enough to clinch the Number 10 spot over the weekend.

 Vendread Revenants
$0.79
$0.18
$0.05
Vendread Revenants139256
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN083
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1800 / 200
Rarity Common
Card Text

If this card in your possession is destroyed by an opponent's card (by battle or card effect) and sent to your GY: You can Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. A "Vendread" monster Ritual Summoned using this card on the field gains this effect. You can only use the preceding effect of "Vendread Revenants" once per turn.
• Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Special Summoned monster your opponent controls; banish it.


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#9: Vendread Houndhorde

While Vendread Houndhorde's Ritual Tribute ability isn't as impressive as Revenants', the effect is still really good, and the card's revival effect from the graveyard gives it much higher utility. You really don't mind discarding Revendread Slayer anyways, and pitching other Vendreads is often painless too, so the discard is usually nominal to helpful depending on your situation. Worst case scenario, it's fixing an awkward hand that wasn't working properly anyways, giving you a quick 1-for-1 trade that can lead into more options. Best case, it's a straight plus of card economy by the time you finish making your plays.

And while that Ritual Tribute effect isn't as good as banishing a Special Summoned monster every turn, shredding your opponent's backrow is still pretty amazing. If you've ever considered Cosmic Cyclone over Twin Twisters you're likely well aware of the huge advantages to banishing a spell or trap instead of destroying it, giving you a big edge over True Dracos, Pendulums, Kozmos, and graveyard-live trap cards like Lost Wind and Breakthrough Skill.

Banishing spells and traps for free? Really good. Banishing them every turn at Spell Speed 2? Downright scary. Doing it as part of a series of plays that would be worth making anyways? What is even happening.

 Vendread Houndhorde
$0.49
$0.24
$0.10
Vendread Houndhorde139163
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN000
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 0 / 2100
Rarity Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your GY: You can discard 1 "Vendread" card; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. A "Vendread" monster Ritual Summoned using this card on the field gains the following effect. You can only use each of the preceding effects of "Vendread Houndhorde" once per turn.
• Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; banish it.


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#8: Lee the World Chalice Fairy

Only two of the new themes from Code of the Duelist made the Top 10 over the weekend: Vendreads and World Chalice. And after an early lead for Spellbook of Knowledge last week, Lee the World Chalice Fairy is suddenly the highest value Ultra Rare in the set.

In a strategy that gathers different monsters to assemble its plays, Lee the World Chalice Fairy searches them all. In fact, it potentially searches them again and again, thanks to its recursive effect. Lee might not be a powerhouse attacker, but it's a surprisingly generous wall, and its search ability is almost unparalleled. It's the core of the deck's consistency and if World Chalice is going to be competitive, it's largely on the back of this card.

While the soaring Price Trend we saw over the weekend may temper buyer enthusiasm, Lee is currently the Number 8 bestselling card in the TCGplayer Marketplace.

 Lee the World Chalice Fairy
$16.98
$3.98
$1.67
Lee the World Chalice Fairy139186
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN022
Level 2
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 100 / 2000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "World Chalice" monster from your Deck to your hand. If this card is in your GY: You can send 1 monster from your hand or field to the GY; add this card to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Lee the World Challice Fairy" once per turn.


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JonathanHTX Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $1.98

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#7: Link Spider

It's extremely rare for an older card to break through into the Top 10 when a new core release hits, so seeing Link Spider standing strong at Number 7 over the weekend is pretty amazing. It definitely shows that players are buying into the Link Summoning mechanic, potentially shifting the dialogue from a question of “if” players are getting onboard, to a question of “how much.”

Link Spider remains the easiest and most fundamental Link Monster available, essentially a number one must-have unless you're trying to ignore Links entirely. With some decks playing multiple copies, and Link Spider still about two bucks, the sustained demand makes a lot of sense.

 Link Spider
$2.77
$1.74
$1.13
Link Spider138067
Set Starter Deck: Link Strike
Number YS17-EN043
Type Link/Effect Monster
Monster Cyberse
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1000 /
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

1 Normal Monster
Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Normal Monster from your hand to your zone this card points to.


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Top Cut Chicago 1st Edition - Near Mint 9 $1.25

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#6: World Chalice Guardragon

Not only is World Chalice Guardragon effectively a free hand trap that can secure your board and score you free card economy, it also works really well with a couple of splashed engines: you can use its graveyard ability to revive non-World Chalice monsters – stuff like Gem-Knight Garnet and Flamvell Guard.

It's another likely three-of in any competitive World Chalice deck, and that drove it to an average Market Price of almost $14 over the course of the weekend.

 World Chalice Guardragon
$13.15
$2.25
$1.00
World Chalice Guardragon139185
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN021
Level 1
Type Effect Monster
Monster Dragon
Attribute WIND 
A / D 400 / 400
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

When a card or effect is activated that targets your linked monster (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand or field to the GY; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 Normal Monster in your GY; Special Summon it in Defense Position to your zone a Link Monster points to. You can only use this effect of "World Chalice Guardragon" once per turn.


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#5: Revendread Slayer

Essentially the point of the Vendread strategy, Revendread Slayer's the recipient of those hugely powerful Ritual Tribute effects gifted by Vendread Houndhorde and Vendread Revenants. Its effects basically read, “If this card battles an opposing monster, abuse a Shiranui card in your graveyard” and “if this card dies just make another one.” Which is the kind of power level that grabs peoples' attention even in today's environment.

 Revendread Slayer
$1.09
$0.37
$0.10
Revendread Slayer139255
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN082
Level 6
Type Ritual/Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2400 / 0
Rarity Rare
Card Text

You can Ritual Summon this card with any "Vendread" Ritual Spell. Once per battle, if this card battles an opponent's monster, during damage calculation (Quick Effect): You can banish 1 Zombie monster from your GY; this card gains 300 ATK. If this Ritual Summoned card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 Ritual Spell from your Deck to your hand, and if you do, send 1 "Vendread" monster from your Deck to the GY. You can only use this effect of "Revendread Slayer" once per turn.


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#4: Revendread Origin

Granted, it helps that Revendread Origin's amazing too. Packing effect text that brings Pre-Preparation of Rites into the strategy, Revendread Origin recurs fallen Slayers, encourages you to play them aggressively and discard them when needed, and pays for them by using cards that are either free, or give beneficial effects (repeat: “abuse a Shiranui card in your graveyard”). Shiranui Solitaire's gone from five dollars to fourteen almost overnight.

And if your opponent would destroy that Revendread Slayer you're going to get back for free anyways, you can just banish Revendread Origin to shut them down and keep your buffed monster on the field. It really helps you keep that “banish all your opponent's cards at Spell Speed 2 every turn” schtick going.

It's crazy stuff, and well worth the Number 4 position Origin secured this weekend.

 Revendread Origin
$0.79
$0.20
$0.05
Revendread Origin139257
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN084
Type Ritual Spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

This card can be used to Ritual Summon any "Vendread" Ritual Monster from your hand or GY. You must also Tribute monsters from your hand or field, and/or banish Zombie monsters from your GY, whose total Levels equal or exceed the Level of the Ritual Monster you Ritual Summon. If "Revendread Slayer(s)" you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish this card from your GY instead.


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#3: Missus Radiant

I think Doug and I have both referred to Missus Radiant as the best Link Monster in the game over the past week, and while that might be a bit of a tricky statement, there's clearly huge demand for the card. It's not as easy to Summon as Link Spider, but it's still VERY easy to play, and it immediately opens up your Main Monster Zones for multiple Extra Deck Summons.

Radiant's obviously going to be a huge part of competition unless a new Advanced List shuts it down, and given the card's positioning that seems unlikely. Still available for under two bucks, the demand is really easy to grasp.

 Missus Radiant
$3.96
$1.43
$0.86
Missus Radiant139218
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN052
Type Link/Effect Monster
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1400 /
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

2 EARTH monsters
All EARTH monsters on the field gain 500 ATK and DEF, also all WIND monsters on the field lose 400 ATK and DEF. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can target 1 EARTH monster in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Missus Radiant" once per turn.


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#2: Back to the Front

Finally, the two biggest winners from Code of the Duelist last week have continued to sell in incredible numbers. Back to the Front is Just A Better Oasis of Dragon Souls in almost every situation, and it may even be a Better Call Of The Haunted. Since it doesn't attach to the monster you revive with it, it's almost impossible to disrupt with spell and trap removal, and suddenly every monster in your graveyard is Sangan or Card Trooper circa 2007, except better, because you're getting actual field presence instead of just chaining for sheer card advantage.

The attention Back to the Front's getting raises questions about the expected pace of play in upcoming competition. It's a great card, sure, but it also represents a commitment to a slightly slower pacing that may not end up working out. Again, it all hinges on the next F&L List.

 Back to the Front
$2.50
$1.75
$0.41
Back to the Front139250
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN077
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Target 1 monster in your GY; Special Summon it in Defense Position.


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#1: Heavy Storm Duster

And finally, Heavy Storm Duster has exploded from Number 4 last week, straight to Number 1 over the weekend. Like Backto the Front it effectively reinvents a tournament-level staple – in this case Twin Twisters – and offers a better effect in return for a slower pace of play.

Does the popularity of Back to the Front and Heavy Storm Duster suggest a trend in how players will approach tournaments moving forward? That might be a dangerous assumption: duelists could simply be stocking up on the two traps preemptively, since they're so affordable right now and could see play moving forward. Regardless, if either card's successful in early Regional Qualifiers before YCS Toronto, it's very possible that enough supply will be in the hands of players for one spark to set off an explosion.

It's definitely worth owning both cards so you can adapt to potential trends. And it's very possible that experimenting with them now could bring you huge payoffs, keeping you ahead of your opponents in the early days of the new season.

 Heavy Storm Duster
$2.99
$1.35
$0.50
Heavy Storm Duster139249
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN076
Type Normal Trap
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Target up to 2 Spells/Traps on the field; destroy them. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this card.


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Looking further down the sales charts, World Chalice was popular even beyond the Top 10 with Ib the World Chalice Priestess clocking in at Number 11; Imduk the World Chalice Dragon at Number 12; and World Legacy – “World Chalice” at Number 14. It's a big push that suggests a lot of players are getting ready to try and play World Chalice.

Meanwhile Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow sold strongly yet again, coming in at Number 13. And as for Twilightsworn? While cards like Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn; Felis, Lightsworn Archer; and Solar Recharge all moved huge numbers the past month, the only real trace of the strategy over the weekend was Ryko, Twilightsworn Fighter as the 15th highest-selling card in the Marketplace. Not bad, but not indicative of a competitive trend.

That's it for now, but join us again Friday for another look at the top-selling cards here on TCGplayer! We often see dramatic shifts in the early days of a new core release, and Code of the Duelist is one of the most volatile sets we've seen in years. I'm really eager to see where the market goes, and you can find out with me on Friday. See you then,

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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