Market Watch Top 10: Theseus Memes

Jason Grabher-Meyer

1/5/2018 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Our second Market Watch of the New Year looked a lot like the end of 2017, except for one notable difference…

Sea Monster of Theseus was the topic of discussion the past week, in part because players are hoping to see the much-anticipated Crystron Needlefiber in the upcoming Extreme Force release, and because the hype surrounding the card's original reveal became a point of merrymaking toward the end of the year.

It was kind of tough to tell where the competitive speculation ended and the memes began. On one hand, Sea Monster of Theseus is a pretty cool card that fills some unique roles. On the other hand, it didn't really do anything in 2017, factoring into some niche Dark Synchro builds and not much else. And then, on a third hideous mutant hand of some sort, people are insanely hyped for Needlefiber and anything that might help them play it.

But spoiler: those conflicting dialogues wound up generating so much interest in the card that it rocketed into the Top 10 this week, as sales surged from Monday to Friday morning. We'll show you the exact placement of the card in a bit, but for now let's start at the top of the countdown and go from there.

…What's that? You want to scroll down and skip ahead to see just how crazy the Sea Monster of Theseus sales were, without waiting? Well then picture my eyes narrowing with disgust at your impatience as I say the following to YOU, sir or ma'am.

Maybe YOU'RE the monster. (Fistshake.)

#10: Astrograph Sorcerer

Just kidding! Scroll wherever you want! You're probably tired of hearing about Astrograph Sorcerer anyways, since it's been such a consistent Top 10 card this year.

While Astrograph Sorcerer's not always played in Pendulum Magicians, it still outsold every other card in the Magician theme last year, to come in at Number 7 for the final year-long tally for 2017.

A mix of high utility, flashy effects, cool art design, and general boss monster curb appeal made it happen, and it's not slowing down much now that we're in 2018. If SPYRALs get nailed on our next F&L List, we can expect an utter legion of Pendulum Magician players to be ready to rush in and fill the gap.

 Astrograph Sorcerer
$4.99
$4.12
$3.11
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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#9: Solemn Strike

One of the most splashable power cards in the game today, Solemn Strike's become more and more important for decks that want to go first, as an increasing number of players have looked to crack Turn 1 setups with Go-Second strategies.

Still hovering around the six dollar mark from its latest reprinting, Solemn Strike's become one of the most popular Special Edition promos of all time. It represents one of the greatest boons to budget players in all of 2017, and its sheer value still drives Code of the Duelist: Special Edition displays into sold out territory on a regular basis here on TCGplayer.

 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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#8: Duelist Alliance

Long missing from the Top 10, Duelist Alliance was another hot riches-to-rags reprint, dropping from over $25 at its peak to less than two bucks thanks to the Legendary Dragon Decks release. Pendulum Magicians were massive this year thanks in large part to the price collapse of Duelist Alliance; taking five slots in the Top 20 for 2017 , they were insanely popular because they were so accessible. That wouldn't have been the case without this reprint.

 Duelist Alliance
$2.24
$1.33
$0.96
Duelist Alliance147080
Set Legendary Dragon Decks
Number LEDD-ENC17
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

If there is a card in the Pendulum Zone: Add 1 "Pendulum" Pendulum Monster or "Pendulum" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Duelist Alliance" per turn.


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#7: Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir

Returning to the Top 10, Bagooska's come to be defined as the most important Rank 4 in the game, with an effect that can swerve duels into sudden wins or losses at the drop of a hat. It doesn't see as much actual table time as one might have expected, but it's the go-to Xyz anybody who can make Rank 4 Summons, and it's omnipresent in the Extra Decks of numerous top strategies this format.

 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
$4.19
$3.00
$1.75
Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir148403
Set Circuit Break
Number CIBR-EN097
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2100 / 2000
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, during your Standby Phase, detach 1 material from this card. If you cannot, destroy it. This Attack Position card cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects. Your opponent cannot target this Attack Position card with card effects. While this card is in face-up Defense Position, change all face-up monsters on the field to Defense Position, also negate the activated effects of monsters that were in Defense Position when that effect was activated.


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#6: Sea Monster of Theseus

Aaaaaaaand here we are. For better or worse, the mixed dialogue of competitive discussion and “most powerful monster of the year” jokes drove huge awareness for Sea Monster of Theseus this week, and the result was an upward Price Trend for the Mega Pack reprint and an absolute ton of sales – enough to take Theseus to Number 6 in the TCGplayer Marketplace.

And all chuckles aside, Theseus makes sense as a target for investment and speculation. We don't know if we'll see Crystron Needlefiber in Extreme Force, and every passing day where it's not promoted for that set makes its release there less likely. But it's coming some time, and if players end up running Sea Monster of Theseus and Instant Fusion to play it, Theseus will go up in value.

As it stands it's a scarce Secret Rare with only one also-Secret-Rare reprint, and you can still find lots of copies for less than a buck. Given Needlefiber's potential to become a must-play when it does arrive, we could easily see Theseus jump to $5 or $10 if it becomes competitive. While the payoff might be a long ways off, the point of entry to Gamble on that opportunity is about as low as it gets, so now's not a bad time to go in on a few dozen copies.

 Sea Monster of Theseus
$5.00
$0.63
$0.35
Sea Monster of Theseus141727
Set 2017 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP17-EN231
Level 5
Type Fusion/Tuner Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2200 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Tuners


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#5: Link Spider

The Number 25 bestselling card of 2017 continues to gain steam, as Scapegoat continues to see more and more play in different decks. I look at Link Spider the way I look at ads for milk from your state's Dairy Board.

Like, what. Are you gonna try to bake a cake without it?

 Link Spider
$3.83
$1.80
$1.10
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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#4: Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser

It's surprising to see Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser with this level of lasting demand.

A breakout tech choice in the OCG's latest Pendulum Magician variants, it's the kind of card that usually gets attention for a week and then drops off the map. But anything to do with Magicians sets off a firestorm of demand right now, and like most of those cards, Curtain Raiser's wildly affordable.

I'm not sure if anyone's actually trying to play it right now, or if they're just getting their copies in anticipation of a new F&L List and Odd-Eyes Revolution Dragon, but the market's clearly got an almost shocking level of awareness about it right now.

 Abyss Actor - Curtain Raiser
$1.10
$0.24
$0.04
Abyss Actor - Curtain Raiser136801
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN012
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1100 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect : If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone. You can only use this effect of "Abyss Actor - Curtain Raiser" once per Duel.
Monster Effect : Gains 1100 ATK if you control no other monsters. Once per turn: You can send 1 "Abyss Script" Spell from your Deck to the GY; add 1 face-up "Abyss Actor" Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck to your hand.


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#3: Proxy Dragon

Proxy Dragon is currently the bestselling Link Monster of all time, filling a fundamental role that no other card can, in a wide array of strategies. And it's doing it for less than a buck. The only head scratcher here is that there's still demand when so many players already have their copies.

 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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IDeal808 Limited - Near Mint 24 $0.75
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#2: Harmonizing Magician

No stranger to the Number 2 spot, Harmonizing Magician's done especially well the past few weeks and has proven to be a standout amongst standouts. With some of the smartest card economy of 2017, a huge toolbox of generic Synchros, and access to some cool themed ones like Enlightenment Paladin and Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons, it's a fantastic card for what could be the dominant strategy of the next format, whenever it arrives.

 Harmonizing Magician
$3.02
$1.92
$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.


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#1: Pot of Desires

And yes, Pot of Desires has once again claimed its throne as the most in-demand card in the game. Players who chose to be early adopters and invested into Secret Rares in 2016 got a full year of use out of their Pots before they were reprinted, and now that everybody can draw two cards for free, everybody wants to. Even stuff like SPYRALs – decks that really, really don't want to banish key combo cards they only run one copy of – are getting in on the action on a slowly increasing basis.

We saw the same thing happen with Zoodiacs in their sunset phase; time and time again, we've seen players try to jam Pot of Desires into everything they can. And with good reason: it's insanely powerful and as long as it isn't losing you the game, it's probably winning you the game.

 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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Beyond that there were few really big standouts in the TCGplayer Marketplace this week: Black Fang Magician and Lonefire Blossom narrowly missed the Top 10, the latter being kind of interesting, and the former being axiomatic. Players are clearly gearing up for Magicians, suggesting that a preemptive hit may be required if SPYRALs take a tumble under the new F&L List.

I'd say “keep that risk in mind,” but Magicians are so affordable, you might as well pick up your playsets if you don't have them already. Worst case scenario, you put together a viable budget deck for tournament competition.

Stick with us this weekend, because we'll be wrapping up our retrospective of the year with a two-part look at the Top 10 cards from every booster released in 2017.

See you then!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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