Market Watch Top 10: F.A. Cards Destroy Everything

Jason Grabher-Meyer

1/15/2018 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Pendulum Magicians dominated the TCgplayer Marketplace for weeks, but players are looking ahead to Extreme Force, and a new wave of champions demolished the marketplace.

Last week saw the reveal of four new cards for the F.A. theme, arriving next month in Extreme Force as World Premieres. Those cards were a new, self-reviving tuner called F.A. Auto Navigator ; a boss-level Synchro Monster, F.A. Motorhome Transport ; a Field Spell that vastly outclasses the two previous Fields for the theme ; and a Quick-Play Spell that's basically a faster Raigeki Break combined with Emergency Teleport. If you're not familiar with those cards, go ahead and click through to give them a read. And if you really want to get a detailed look at the entire theme, check out Doug's featured video this week for a quick and thorough crash course .

In short, the F.A. theme revolves around monsters that gain Attack Points and unlock powerful effects when they gain Levels. The support cards all boost the Levels of those monsters to make them stronger, or decrease their Levels to cash in on big abilities. While that might sound like the kind of cheap gimmick that you'd expect to see in a more casual theme, the F.A. effects generate a ton of cheap card advantage and have a knack for locking your opponent out of their plays, even going so far as to easily shut off opposing hand traps.

There's a ton of potential, and the new cards are ridiculously good, drawing everything together into a cohesive strategy.

All that potential may or may not pay off by the time EXFO releases on February 2nd, but for now the result was a tremendous number of sales as players and speculators alike looked to stock up on Formula Athletes before the cards rise in price. All the F.A. cards from Code of the Duelist and Circuit Break are Commons, and up until last week they were all about 2 cents. Now, after stealing the spotlight in the Friday to Saturday sales period, they're all sitting on rising Price Trends with average Market Prices of 10 to 15 cents, and that upwards swing could continue – F.A. cards took nine slots in the Top 10, and there are only eight F.A. cards in the game so far.

How was that even possible? Check out the Number 10 bestselling card of the weekend to find out.

#10: Marshalling Field

Printed in World Superstars almost two years ago, Marshalling Field wasn't designed to support the F.A. theme… But you wouldn't know if you just looked at it. Getting your F.A. monsters to Level 5 is as easy as playing a Field Spell, and once you do, Marshalling Field launches them as high as Level 9.

That's high enough to flip the switch on all the effects of everything in the theme minus the upcoming Synchro boss. It also bumps all the Main Deck monsters to 2700 ATK, which is awesome because they're so easy to Summon. Add in some potential for combo craziness with Rank-Up-Magic Argent Chaos Force and a protection effect for Machine Xyz, and you've got a really interesting set of opportunities.

As a Junk Secret Rare Marshalling Field jumped from about a buck to about two bucks overnight, but with so few copies left on TCGplayer we could easily see a buyout that drives the price higher.

 Marshalling Field
$4.00
$2.78
$1.50
Marshalling Field97867
Set World Superstars
Number WSUP-EN025
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

You cannot Special Summon monsters, except Machine-Type monsters. Once per turn: You can declare a Level from 5 to 9; all Level 5 or higher Machine-Type monsters you control become that Level. If a Machine-Type Xyz Monster(s) you control would be destroyed, you can send this card to the Graveyard instead. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can add 1 "Rank-Up-Magic Argent Chaos Force" from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand.


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#9: F.A. Sonic Meister

From there the eight actual name-stamped F.A. cards dominated the Top 10, in about the order of importance for the strategy. F.A. Sonic Meister is the weakest of the three Level 4's, solely because its effects are centered around just itself: out of the gate, it protects itself from destruction by battle with monsters of lower Level, and once it hits Level 7 it can attack two monsters per turn.

That's not bad, but those are very specific effects that border on the situational, and the other Level 4 F.A. cards are just better.

 F.A. Sonic Meister
$0.79
$0.19
$0.04
F.A. Sonic Meister139259
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN086
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 0 / 1000
Rarity Common
Card Text

Gains ATK equal to its Level x 300. Cannot be destroyed by battle with an opponent's monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level. Each time a "F.A." Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can increase this card's Level by 1. If this card is Level 7 or higher, it can make up to 2 attacks on monsters during each Battle Phase.


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#8: F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix

F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix is also the weakest of the three Field Spells we'll have once Extreme Force launches. Again, it's not bad, but it just has the weakest positioning of the three options: F.A. Circuit Grand Prix boosts your F.A. monsters by 2 Levels during the Battle Phase, when it counts most; the new F.A. City Grand Prix boosts them by 2 Levels in the Battle Phase and Main Phases; and Off-Road boosts them by 2 Levels in the Main Phases only.

In addition, while Circuit Grand Prix gets you a free draw when one of your F.A.'s destroys a monster in battle, and City Grand Prix protects your F.A.'s from targeting, F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix just forces your opponent to discard when they destroy one of your F.A.'s. It's effectively a contingency card – it's largely only useful when you're losing. And while the design intent seems to be that you'd want to play Circuit Grand Prix on your turn and then play Off-Road in Main Phase 2 for your opponent's turn, that's a ton of effort for relatively little payoff, and it's all kind of moot with City Grand Prix in the mix.

And it still sold like hotcakes.

 F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix
$0.61
$0.16
$0.01
F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix148394
Set Circuit Break
Number CIBR-EN088
Type Field Spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Increase the Levels of all "F.A." monsters on the field by 2 during the Main Phase only. You can only use each of the following effects of "F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix" once per turn.
• When a "F.A." monster you control is destroyed by battle: You can discard 1 random card from your opponent's hand.
• If this face-up card on the field is destroyed by a card effect: You can add 1 "F.A." card from your Deck to your hand, except "F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix".


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#7: F.A. Turbo Charger

The only Main Decked F.A. monster over Level 4, Turbo Charger's limited utility may be Salvageable thanks to the Special Summon effects of F.A. Pit Stop, F.A. Test Run, and F.A. Motorhome Transport . Some of its effects are doubled over by other cards in the theme, so I'd be surprised if it winds up being more than just a singleton. I wouldn't be surprised if it's ignored entirely.

 F.A. Turbo Charger
$0.60
$0.15
$0.01
F.A. Turbo Charger148393
Set Circuit Break
Number CIBR-EN087
Level 6
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 0 / 1500
Rarity Common
Card Text

Gains ATK equal to its Level x 300. Your opponent's monsters whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level cannot target monsters for attacks, except this one. Your opponent cannot target monsters, except this one, with the effects of monsters whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level. Each time a "F.A." Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can increase this card's Level by 1. If your "F.A." monster battles while you control this Level 7 or higher card, your opponent's monsters cannot activate their effects until the end of the Damage Step.


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#6: F.A. Circuit Grand Prix

The better of the two Field Spells that are currently available, F.A. Circuit Grand Prix ensures that your F.A. monsters are boosted with extra Levels in the Battle Phase, and once per turn it rewards you with a free card for running down a monster in battle. It's really good, and while F.A. City Grand Prix's likely better, you'll probably want to run both. All the Grand Prix cards search F.A. cards when they're destroyed, including each other, so running at least two different ones will probably be important.

 F.A. Circuit Grand Prix
$0.82
$0.20
$0.02
F.A. Circuit Grand Prix139261
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN088
Type Field Spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Increase the Levels of all "F.A." monsters on the field by 2 during the Battle Phase only. Once per turn, when your "F.A." monster destroys an opponent's monster by battle: You can draw 1 card. If this face-up card on the field is destroyed by a card effect: You can add 1 "F.A." card from your Deck to your hand, except "F.A. Circuit Grand Prix". You can only use this effect of "F.A. Circuit Grand Prix" once per turn.


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#5: F.A. Downforce

A two-shot Level boost at Spell Speed 2, F.A. Downforce is pretty low impact as the F.A. power thresholds are measured, but it's pretty solid if it's free, and it can help unlock some powerful effects (especially in the early game). Doubling as both a battle trick and an enabler for strong monster abilities, its importance is debatable.

But at 2 cents a pop, it was a no-brainer get anyways.

 F.A. Downforce
$1.00
$0.20
$0.01
F.A. Downforce139262
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN089
Type Quick-Play Spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Target 1 "F.A." monster you control; increase its Level by 2 until the end of this turn. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "F.A." monster you control; increase its Level by 2 until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of "F.A. Downforce" once per turn.


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#4: Chronograph Sorcerer

The only card to make the Top 10 this weekend without a direct relationship to the F.A. theme, Chronograph Sorcerer's become a three-of staple in all variants of Pendulum Magicians in the OCG. While it's yet to see play here in the TCG, anticipation for upcoming formats has been driving demand for it over the past couple weeks, and now it's spiked all the way to the Number 4 position in our countdown.

 Chronograph Sorcerer
$2.50
$1.00
$0.25
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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#3: F.A. Whip Crosser

Back on the F.A. side of things, F.A. Whip Crosser is deceptively strong. Its starting effect is subpar, forcing your opponent to pay 300 LP to activate a limited range of monster effects, sure. But its Level 7 effect is amazing, keeping your opponent from playing hand traps. Basically ever. It stops pretty much everything outside of PSY-Framegears and the lesser used Maxx "C" spinoffs.

Seriously, that's what it does. It just says no to hand traps. That's uhh… that's REALLY good right now.

 F.A. Whip Crosser
$100.00
$0.18
$0.01
F.A. Whip Crosser148392
Set Circuit Break
Number CIBR-EN086
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 0 / 1000
Rarity Common
Card Text

Gains ATK equal to its Level x 300. Your opponent must pay 300 LP to activate the effect of a monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level. Each time a "F.A." Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can increase this card's Level by 1. If this card is Level 7 or higher, your opponent cannot discard or send cards from their hand to the GY to activate a card effect.


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#2: F.A. Hang On Mach

F.A. Hang On Mach is largely regarded as being even better, protecting itself from activated monster effects from anything with a lower Level. Then when Hang On Mach hits Level 7 it banishes any cards that are sent to your opponent's graveyard, blocking almost as many hand traps from being activated as Whip Crosser.

Essentially, we can expect Hang on Mach and Whip Crosser to be guaranteed three-ofs, which is why they took the Number 3 and Number 2 spots.

 F.A. Hang On Mach
$0.79
$0.20
$0.02
F.A. Hang On Mach139260
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN087
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 0 / 1800
Rarity Common
Card Text

Gains ATK equal to its Level x 300. Unaffected by activated effects from an opponent's monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level. Each time a "F.A." Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can increase this card's Level by 1. If this card is Level 7 or higher, any card sent to your opponent's GY is banished instead.


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#1: F.A. Pit Stop

The only card that could beat them was F.A. Pit Stop, which is understandable, because this card's crazy. Doug called it a combination of Upstart Goblin and Monster Reborn, but it can also become a Pot of Greed or double Pot of Greed if you manage to get more copies into your graveyard. You can banish it from your yard to revive any F.A. monster too, which is generally how you'll play it: use it to dig a card deeper into your deck, and then next turn banish it for a Special Summon.

That's a free +1 of card economy anyways, and it works at Spell Speed 2 since it's a Quick-Play. SPYRAL MISSION – Rescue is a staple right now and it effectively does the same thing, without getting you a free card in the process and without an activation option that places it directly in the graveyard.

Think about that.

 F.A. Pit Stop
$0.60
$0.15
$0.01
F.A. Pit Stop148395
Set Circuit Break
Number CIBR-EN089
Type Quick-Play Spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Target 1 "F.A." monster you control; reduce its Level by 2, and if you do, draw cards equal to the number of "F.A. Pit Stop" in your GY+1. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "F.A." monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can only use each effect of "F.A. Pit Stop" once per turn.


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Beyond the Top 10, the mighty Pot of Desires fell to Number 12, while standard Pendulum Magician Cards took the number 11 spot with Purple Poison Magician, as well as the rest of the Top 20. Magicians are still going super-strong right now, just no as strong as F.A. cards.

We also saw heavy speculative interest in Skull Meister and Guiding Ariadne. Skull Meister saw some Regional success this past weekend, while Guiding Ariadne is seeing a lot of talk in the run-up to the Wave of Light Structure Deck next week.

That's it for now, but we'll be back on Friday with another look at all the action in the TCGplayer Marketplace. We'll see you then!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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