Market Watch Top 10: Minerva Rings In The New Year

Jason Grabher-Meyer

1/1/2018 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Welcome to the first Market Watch of 2018!

Later this week we'll be bringing you some year-end special installments of Market Watch looking at the bestselling cards of the year, as well as the top cards from each booster set released in 2017. But for today it's business as usual, quite literally, as we count down the Top 10 biggest cards in the TCGplayer Marketplace from Friday to Monday morning.

As always, our Top 10 countdown's based off sheer sales volume here in the TCGplayer Marketplace; that means the number of cards sold, regardless of price or rarity. While eagle-eyed readers can spot price spikes and buyouts on your own, some of the biggest tournament trends and player responses are demonstrated by big sales of little cards – those three-of commons for core themes or key rares for Side Decks.

Those cards can sell thousands of copies before they even nudge the dial on their average Market Price, and that's why we look at pure sales numbers instead of just zeroing in on the big fish. The goal here is to get you ahead of the trends by a week or two to keep you a step or two ahead of tournament developments, secondary market opportunities, and stateside ripples from announcements overseas.

So what was big in the last weekend of the year? With Regionals on hiatus the only notable on-theme winners the past couple weeks have been Magicians, with recent TCG success coming off YCS Buenos Aires, and no fewer than three variants doing exceedingly well over in Asia's OCG.

That popularity continued, but we also saw a big showing from Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn, as well as a spread of splashable cards – always more popular when competitive fields are more open, like they are now. However, even amongst those well-worn generic standbys we saw at least one surprise.

Let's get into the Top 10 and see how we closed out the year in the TCGplayer Marketplace.

#10: Black Fang Magician

Back in the Top 10, Black Fang Magician's accessible price point often sees it pop into the Top 10 outselling more staple cards in the Pendulum Magician deck; at 50 cents a pop most weeks, it's a really easy card to pick up. And while it's not always played in threes, it's definitely a must-run at two that continues to fill an essential role in different versions of the strategy.

 Black Fang Magician
$549.00
$0.82
$0.15
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.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
RangerCards 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.15
Shipwreck Cards 1st Edition - Near Mint 5 $0.25
Nerd Clips 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.25
realgoodeal 1st Edition - Near Mint 229 $0.28
Infinite TCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 4 $0.61
Pastimes 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $0.63

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#9: Harmonizing Magician

Down from last week's massive spike to Number 1, Harmonizing Magician fell back to a range we're more used to seeing it in, settling at Number 9. One of the best Tuners in the game today, Harmonizing Magician's drawbacks are usually a non-factor, while its typing and attribute get you to a wealth of specialized Synchros like Enlightenment Paladin and Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons.

 Harmonizing Magician
$3.02
$1.83
$0.91
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.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
CardEyes Shop Dragon 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $0.90
YGO Game Corner 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.91
ZF Cards 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $0.98
CampStrongTCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.99
IvannLand 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.00
Davis Cards & Games 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $1.25

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#8: Decode Talker

In the absence of Regional Qualifiers, the regular demand for top splashable cards has grown even stronger, and that's brought Decode Talker comfortably into Top 10 territory.

Decode Talker debuted to some slight disappointment in the fragility of its control effect, but over time that's come to be replaced with enthusiasm for its sheer beatstick power. Over the past month we've seen that blossom into the use of multiple copies in decks like SPYRALs, and that expanded appreciation coincides with the spike in demand.

 Decode Talker
$6.49
$4.75
$3.34
Decode Talker138065
Set Starter Deck: Link Strike
Number YS17-EN041
Type Link/Effect Monster
Monster Cyberse
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2300 /
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2+ Effect Monsters
Gains 500 ATK for each monster it points to. When your opponent activates a card or effect that targets a card(s) you control (Quick Effect): You can Tribute 1 monster this card points to; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Manny Trading 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $3.34
Momentum Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.34
TheYugiCollector 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.87
GameHavenSTL 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $3.99
GameGridLogan 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $4.00
MeggaXP Zone 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $4.19

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#7: Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn

As far as I'm aware, it's difficult to say what precipitated the spike of demand this weekend for the former prize card, Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn. The Lightsworn theme has seen some recent competitive success supporting both Infernoids and Zombies, and March of the Dark Brigade has sold in notable numbers at varying points over the last few weeks.

Meanwhile the new Lightsworn Link Monster, Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion has been confirmed for the TCG release of Extreme Force for a few weeks, but it hasn't generated as much discussion as other cards from the LINK VRAINS Pack . So what were the leading factors contributing to Minerva's rise over the weekend? I don't know if there's a decisive answer, but it's rare to see a $6 skyrocket in demand across so many buyers. This wasn't just niche speculation.

 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn
$15.00
$7.70
$6.00
Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn136833
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN044
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2000 / 800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 monsters
You can detach 1 material from this card; send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then draw cards equal to the number of "Lightsworn" cards sent to the GY by this effect. If this card is destroyed by battle, or if this card in its owner's possession is destroyed by an opponent's card effect: You can send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then you can destroy cards on the field up to the number of "Lightsworn" cards sent to the GY by this effect. You can only use each effect of "Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn" once per turn.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Collector's Cache 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $5.07
Buds Place 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $5.20
Cards of Chris 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.00
MiscellaneousTCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.00
Game Cafe 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.13
GameHavenSTL 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $6.21

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#6: Compulsory Evacuation Device

Speaking of out-of-nowhere, Compulsory Evacuation Device did even better, appearing from dueling's murky past to vault to Number 6 in our Top 10.

The Limited TCG status of Compulsory has always been a point of some debate, given its long unrestricted history in the OCG. As a Limited card, such a huge spike in demand doesn't make much sense; was there some push factor that suggested this'll finally move to Semi-Limited or off the list completely in the near future? Or was there just a gentle push on a long-building snowball?

If you think you might know, share your thoughts down in the Comments.

 Compulsory Evacuation Device
$1.18
$0.22
$0.09
Compulsory Evacuation Device138062
Set Starter Deck: Link Strike
Number YS17-EN038
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Target 1 monster on the field; return that target to the hand.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Collector's Cache 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $0.09
Davis Cards & Games 1st Edition - Damaged 1 $0.10
JohnnyBCardsComics 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.10
IDeal808 1st Edition - Near Mint 59 $0.12
Geekified Mind 1st Edition - Near Mint 19 $0.12
One Up TCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 28 $0.12

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#5: Link Spider

And now we hit some of the biggest cards of 2017. Link Spider's almost a competitive staple, especially since Linkuriboh continues to be elusive and Spider remains a great tool for Link climbing and converting Tokens into more valuable Link Materials. There's not much to say here, and we've certainly already said it in recent weeks: Link Spider's a must-own for almost any strategy that depends on Link Summons, and you probably want a full playset.

If you don't already own yours? Which you probably do.

 Link Spider
$3.97
$1.75
$1.00
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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Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Gillys Hobbies ETC 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.00
realgoodeal 1st Edition - Near Mint 58 $1.10
Dolly's Toys & Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 6 $1.34
Ruff Life 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.40
Amazing Discoveries 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.47
Amazing Discoveries 1st Edition - Near Mint 15 $1.48

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#4: Solemn Strike

Speaking of stuff you want in threes, Solemn Strike's a perennial power card that's become even more important with the rise of “Go Second” strategies. As the plan to game the coin flip spreads from SPYRALs to decks like Trickstars and True Draco Invoked, it's no surprise that Solemn Strike remains a top seller. For most decks, it's simply the best backrow choice going.

 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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Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Card Escape Limited - Near Mint 1 $6.00
Momentum Games Limited - Near Mint 1 $6.15
Dice Addiction Limited - Lightly Played 4 $7.03
Good Good Deals Limited - Near Mint 4 $7.11
iConic Gaming Limited - Near Mint 1 $7.12
Alter Reality Games Limited - Near Mint 4 $7.15

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#3: Proxy Dragon

One of the most important Link Monsters in the game, Proxy Dragon really has no generic competition as a Left and Right Link Arrow Link 2 monster, offering expansion opportunities and extended combos for minimal investment. Its protection effect is useful at least on occasion, and its massive accessibility has made it crazy popular ever since its release.

 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.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
GameTimeCC Limited - Near Mint 41 $0.74
Shadow Realm Gamess Limited - Near Mint 2 $0.75
Epik Cards & Games Limited - Near Mint 29 $0.75
Buis Card Place Limited - Near Mint 6 $0.75
IDeal808 Limited - Near Mint 36 $0.75
CardShackLLC Limited - Near Mint 2 $0.75

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#2: Astrograph Sorcerer

Yup! Once again, the flashiest of the Pendulum Magicians topped the salescharts, even if it's not the most essential of the bunch. That's always surprising, since it's the second most expensive card from Pendulum Evolution and commands a higher cost than anything in the theme outside of Wisdom-Eye Magician.

Still, as the bossiest Main Deck monster of the bunch and the anchor for some cool combos, Astrograph keeps packing them in, week after week. No spoilers, but it was actually one of the Top 10 bestselling cards of the year. For a monster that most still view as optional in current builds, that's a bit of a shock.

 Astrograph Sorcerer
$6.80
$4.19
$2.34
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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Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Infinite TCG 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $2.34
MeggaXP Zone 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $2.83
Seasonal Secrets 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.00
Cordova Cards 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.46
realgoodeal 1st Edition - Near Mint 99 $3.70
CoreTCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 9 $3.99

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

#1: Pot of Desires

But of course, Astrograph Sorcerer didn't dismantle the death grip Pot of Desires has on the Number 1 spot! Spoilers: this WAS indeed the bestselling card of the year, a fact we'll discuss later this week. As Pot of Desires becomes more common even in holdout decks like SPYRALs, we might as well all start wearing t-shirts with slogans like “If You Can't Draw Two, It Sucks To Be You.”

Or if you're really enthusiastic, “Banish Twenty, Cards Aplenty.”

Or for those of us who still can't count, “Minus Nine, Feelin' Fine.”

 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.


Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Legal Deals Limited - Near Mint 1 $1.98
Buds Place Limited - Lightly Played 1 $2.37
Cids Gaming Corner Limited - Near Mint 1 $2.50
Gorilla Games Limited - Near Mint 1 $2.72
GameTimeCC Limited - Near Mint 33 $2.74
realgoodeal Limited - Near Mint 87 $2.75

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]

Looking beyond the immediate bestsellers, Terraforming, Gold Sarcophagus, and Shiranui Solitaire all narrowly missed the Top 10. Two of those three cards are lynchpins in 60-Card strategies, so make of that what you will.

Meanwhile we saw surprising niche demand for Mystical Space Typhoon and Dark Hole, as well as clear speculation on Skull Meister and Pot of Duality to round out the weekend. Three of those cards are pretty understandable, but Skull Meister's been seeing low key speculative action for a week now. Watch out for that one.

That's it for now, but join us all week long as we recap the year-long trends in the secondary market, right here on TCGplayer.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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