Market Watch Top 10: Magicians Slip + Regional Responses

Jason Grabher-Meyer

10/2/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Welcome back to another Market Watch Monday!

Regional Qualifiers skipped a weekend with OTS Championships held all over North America instead, leaving a vacuum of new information to spur along sales patterns from Friday on forward. Instead, we saw a settling and parsing of tournament trends from last weekend, as more players started to catch wind of success stories beyond the much-trumpeted Pendulum Magician and Paleozoic Frog variants.

The use of heavier backrows and particular Side Deck picks took some priority in the TCGplayer Marketplace this weekend, leading to a few new tech cards in the Top 10. Meanwhile recent favorites that have consistently put forth big numbers due to splashability and high bang-for-your-buck factors continued to dominate, as lots of players continue to try different strategies and others prepare for a consensus-driven “best deck” in the gap time before Regionals and YCS Guadalajara.

Interest in Pendulum Magicians simmered a bit, but no one strategy rushed forward to fill the vacuum – Magicians remain the most talked-about and most successful strategy of the format so far, at least as logged Top Cut decks go, and a weekend with no Regional results wasn't likely to shake that. Still, the seven Magician cards we saw in the Top 10 on Friday dipped to just three over the weekend, as many duelists have filled their need for the core basics.

What did the Top 10 wind up looking like? Let's get down to the numbers.

#10: Heavy Storm Duster

With trap card usage seemingly on the rise, Heavy Storm Duster saw some successful play in North American tournaments last weekend; the heightened availability of Solemn Strike was one driving factor of several, and with some of the most popular defensive cards in the format being non-chainable, while Pendulums dominate competition, Heavy Storm Duster's 2-for-1 trade of card economy is starting to look too good to ignore.

Heavy Storm Duster was popular in Europe right out of the gates, but the combo-focused nature of North American metagames kept it from catching on stateside. We may start to see more of it over the coming weeks, though it's tough to say what impact Circuit Break will have on that trend.

 Heavy Storm Duster
$2.99
$1.05
$0.75
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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#9: Astrograph Sorcerer

While three-ofs like Harmonizing Magician and Purple Poison Magician sold in droves over the last week, Astrograph Sorcerer didn't see as much action, and that might've kept demand for it spread out a little more into the weekend.

 Astrograph Sorcerer
$6.88
$4.00
$2.71
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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#8: Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer

By a similar Token, the must-run Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer didn't even crack the Top 10 this format until the weekend. We saw a massive speculative spike in sales last week, but it was just a tiny number of speculators trying to get ahead of market-wide demand.

Now that the need for the card is more evident, both the Secret Rare and Super Rare printings of Sorcerer are on upward Price Trends: the Secret's risen by about $1.50 over the weekend, while the Super Rare is up to a dollar.

 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer
$6.79
$0.48
$0.20
Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer122291
Set 2016 Mega-Tins
Number CT13-EN007
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1500 / 800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : If a "Performapal" monster(s) is Pendulum Summoned to your side of the field: All "Performapal" monsters you currently control gain 1000 ATK until the end of this turn (even if this card leaves the field).
Monster Effect : If this card is Special Summoned: You can target up to 2 cards you control; destroy them, and if you do, add "Performapal" monsters with different names from your Deck to your hand, except "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer", equal to the number of cards destroyed. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer" once per turn.


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#7: Zaphion, the Timelord

Exploding into Side Decks the first weekend of the format – and even seeing some Main Decked play along with Time MaidenZaphion, the Timelord was officially the seventh most-sold card from Friday to Monday. A self-replacing answer to both Pendulum Spells and True Draco spell and trap cards, Zaphion tackles two of the biggest strategies in the format so far.

That level of matchup utility is gold this early into a new format, and at a buck-fifty a pop the value's tough to beat. Time Maiden offers even more access if you need it, and it's going for a buck. It's certainly not necessary for Side Decked play yet, but we've seen it sided before and it could get there over time.

 Zaphion, the Timelord
$5.00
$1.19
$0.75
Zaphion, the Timelord136821
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN032
Level 10
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute WATER 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Special Summoned from the Deck. If you control no monsters, you can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. You take no battle damage from attacks involving this card. At the end of the Battle Phase, if this card battled: Shuffle all Spells and Traps your opponent controls into the Deck. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can draw 1 card. Once per turn, during your Standby Phase: Shuffle this card into the Deck.


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#6: Proxy Dragon

A consistent top seller since its release, Proxy Dragon stuck at Number 6 from Friday forward.

There's still been no shortage of supply, which has translated to a neutral Price Trend that's kept Proxy Dragon under $1.50. At this point it's kind of surprising that demand has remained so high for a card that's almost never played at more than one-per-deck, but that might speak to continued speculation, or just a long, drawn out acceptance of Link Summoning as an inevitable part of competition.

 Proxy Dragon
Price N/A
Proxy Dragon141276
Set 2017 Mega-Tins
Number CT14-EN003
Type Link/Effect Monster
Monster Cyberse
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1400 /
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 monsters
If a card(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can destroy 1 of your monsters this card points to, instead.


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CardShackLLC Limited - Near Mint 15 $0.75

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#5: Wavering Eyes

Speaking of inevitable parts of competition, Wavering Eyes continued to be a big seller as well. After a couple notable prices spikes early on, the Super Rare is now right around two dollars, while the common is on the rise and is now pushing the $1 mark. Both cards seem likely to remain at those price points for at least a while, but now is definitely the time to get your copies, even as players debate the necessity of running it.

It's just not going to get any cheaper any time soon, and it could easily become a staple depending on how Pendulum Magicians fare in the wake of Circuit Break.

 Wavering Eyes
$2.75
$1.50
$0.77
Wavering Eyes102485
Set Clash of Rebellions
Number CORE-EN066
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Destroy as many cards in each player's Pendulum Zones as possible, then apply these effects, in sequence, depending on the number of cards destroyed by this effect.
- 1 or more: Inflict 500 damage to your opponent.
- 2 or more: You can add 1 Pendulum Monster from your Main Deck to your hand.
- 3 or more: You can banish 1 card on the field.
- 4: You can add 1 "Wavering Eyes" from your Deck to your hand.


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#4: Skull Meister

Benefitting from the price drop that came with its Code of the Duelist: Special Edition reprint, Skull Meister's appeared in a handful of notable Side Decks over the past few weeks extending into the last format. Some players regard it as sort of a poor man's Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and while it's yet to have a killer showing that I'm aware of, it's just so easy to pick it up right now that it's tough to ignore.

The original Secret Rare printing used to price spike to the $30-$40 range almost at random, which made it a tough card to pry away from people. Now that it's everywhere, basically everybody wants three to future-proof their Side Deck.

 Skull Meister
Price N/A
Skull Meister145916
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-ENSE1
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1700 / 400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When a card effect is activated in your opponent's GY (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand to the GY; negate that effect.


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#3: Mistar Boy

Down from Number 1 last week and Number 2 the weekend previous, Mistar Boy continues to pack ‘em in as more players keep discovering just how good Paleozoic Frogs are this format. Making Mistar Boy opens up speedy Xyz Summoning on the level of previous Paleozoic eras, and you can basically do it for free. Roll in the option to reuse cards like Spellbook Magician of Prophecy with the Spellbook of Knowledge engine and you've got a strategy that's flexible, grindy, and wins the resource war in surprisingly short order.

The card's great, and the fact that it was printed as an easy-to-get promo card could really help the diversity of the format in these early stages.

 Mistar Boy
Price N/A
Mistar Boy145918
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-ENSE3
Type Link/Effect Monster
Monster Aqua
Attribute WATER 
A / D 1400 /
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

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


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#2: Pot of Desires

Pot of Desires: still amazing, still selling in huge numbers.

 Pot of Desires
Price N/A
Pot of Desires141277
Set 2017 Mega-Tins
Number CT14-EN004
Type Normal Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Banish 10 cards from the top of your Deck, face-down; draw 2 cards. You can only activate 1 "Pot of Desires" per turn.


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Amazing Discoveries Limited - Near Mint 4 $2.73

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#1: Solemn Strike

Solemn Strike debuted at Number 1 off its Code of the Duelist: Special Edition reprint, then fell to Number 2 last week when Mistar Boy fever briefly overtook it. Now it's back at Number 1, because why wouldn't it be when Solemn Strike only costs five dollars.

It'll be interesting to see where Solemn Strike goes this format if more players start running Heavy Storm Duster, but for now it's starting to crop up in basically anything, overtaking Dimensional Barrier in a lot of different strategies.

 Solemn Strike
Price N/A
Solemn Strike145917
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-ENSE2
Type Counter Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When a monster(s) would be Special Summoned, or a monster effect is activated: Pay 1500 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.


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Looking beyond the Top 10, Purple Poison Magician and Double Iris Magician came in at Number 11 and Number 12, as Pendulum Magician enthusiasm remained despite a slip. Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow took the Number 13 spot as well, demonstrating the growing emphasis on, and acceptance of, Link Summoning.

Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries was the Number 14 bestseller coming off a notable rise in Regional Qualifier success, while Missus Radiant hung on at Number 15. Definitely watch for more Ghost Reaper in your tournaments – it saw an uptick in play last week, especially as numerous strategies had an easy time finding room for matching cards in their Extra Deck.

That's it for today, but we'll be back Friday with another look at the TCGplayer Marketplace, just before Regionals fire up again and YCS action returns to Guadalajara. See you then!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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