Market Watch Top 10: Big Bets On Magicians
Jason Grabher-Meyer

After a month of big demand, it seems like players are doubling down on Pendulum Magicians.

The weekend saw the return of both Regional Qualifier competition and the ARG Circuit Series, with ARGCS action in Las Vegas and Regional results rolling in from both West Allis Wisconsin and Guadalajara Mexico .

SPYRALs were once again the biggest winners, but Trickstars took 1 st Place at the ARGCS, and made a big impact elsewhere. 60-Card strategies and Pendulum Magicians rounded out the bulk of the field; that fact, combined with the impending release of Heavymetalfoes Electrumite in Extreme Force less than a month away seemed to spark a ton of action. Pendulum Magicians captured seven spots in the Top 10, outselling everything but a handful of top splashable .

With no F&L List announced and Electrumite just on the horizon, the demand for Pendulum Magicians is even higher than what we've come to expect; it really wasn't a complicated few days in the TCGplayer Marketplace. Here's the Top 10 countdown of bestselling cards from Friday to Monday morning.

#10: Harmonizing Magician

Recently spiking as high as the Number 1 spot in biweekly sales, Harmonizing Magician's an incredible Tuner Monster that opens up a wealth of Synchro plays, including niche power cards like Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons and Enlightenment Paladin. It's incredibly smart on card economy, fits the flow of the deck to a t, and helps the strategy adapt and outmaneuver opponents hugely important with the Link era ruleset working in part to lower the deck's former power ceiling.


#9: Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer

There was a time when Pendulum Magicians frequently ran just one copy of Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer, but those times are long in the past. Seeking out the all-important Performapal Skullcrobat Joker while triggering some of the best effects in the Pendulum Magician arsenal, Pendulum Sorcerer's now most common at 2-per-deck, and that's created more demand as players return to the strategy after long hiatuses.


#8: Purple Poison Magician

An essential low Scale, Purple Poison Magician won even more respect late last year when a couple of well acknowledged players used it to tech copies of Full Force Virus, wiping out entire strategies in one hail Mary type play. That use has largely fallen by the wayside given the shape of current metagames, but Purple Poison's still an essential three-of in a deck packed with redundancy.


#7: Double Iris Magician

As a monster, Double Iris Magician searches some of the most powerful infrastructural cards in the Pendulum Magician arsenal, and serves as Rank 4 Material to boot. As a high Scale Pendulum Spell its effect can be a win condition in situations where victory is impossible otherwise. It's never been regarded as anything but a must-play at three, and for good reason.


#6: Duelist Alliance

One of the Top 5 bestselling cards from Maximum Crisis last year, the sheer demand for Duelist Alliance in 2017 compensated for its once high price point. Reprinted in the Legendary Dragon Decks release, Duelist Alliance was effectively eliminated as one of the last barricades keeping budget players from building Pendulum Magicians, and it's still a three-of to this day.

Pendulum Magicians are tremendously consistent due to a wealth of search effects, and Duelist Alliance is one of the deck's best.


#5: Black Fang Magician

Often at the top of the Pendulum Magician sales heap, Black Fang Magician is one of the theme's few cards that's often played at two copies instead of three. Why it outsells the three-ofs so frequently is anybody's guess, though the answer could simply be value proposition on speculation; it's regularly half the price of Purple Poison Magician and Double Iris Magician, and a third of the cost of Harmonizing Magician.

There's probably some correlation between the popularity of Pendulum Magicians with both players and speculators, reflected in the week to week demand for Black Fang; some sort of teeter totter balance between the two buyer groups. But if there is, the difference is too subtle for us to really draw conclusions week to week. Regardless, it's an interesting thought and suggests that the actual status of Pendulum Magicians as a played strategy can be more complicated than it looks.


#4: Astrograph Sorcerer

And finally, the highly-popular but sometimes-optional Astrograph Sorcerer finished out the Pendulum Magician rampage this weekend. It's become common to see the flashier, more expensive card outsell more essential three-ofs, but like the situation surrounding Black Fang that's tricky to really logic out.

With Wisdom-Eye Magician being a three-of that usually costs more than Astrograph, the demand for the Sorcerer may truly be rooted in good looks and curb appeal: it's an Ultra Rare instead of a Super Rare, and it's got that boss monster factor that makes it more impressive to certain player demographics.


#3: Chaos Hunter

Back in the Top 10 once again, Chaos Hunter made a big impact at the previous ARGCS in Orlando , where it was played by nine of the Top 16 finishers. It only appeared in five of the Top Cut decks at ARGCS Las Vegas , but its stock continues to remain strong as a countermeasure to Trickstar Reincarnation. Nixing one of the biggest matchups today, its former money card turned budget reprint status has left a lot of demand, and a lot of affordable supply to fill it.

It's a strong Side Deck option in this format, and may continue to be in the next.


#2: Proxy Dragon

The Number 4 bestselling card of 2017 , Proxy Dragon's an absolute must-have for any competitor nowadays, thanks to its ubiquitous status in anything that Link Summons. There are no replacements for it, making it a unique presence in tournaments today.

Big thanks to whoever decided to make Proxy Dragon an affordable Mega Tin promo instead of a core booster Secret Rare.


#1: Pot of Desires

And finally, the highest selling card of 2017 just keeps on dominating in the early days of 2018. Pot of Desires gives Trickstars, Pendulum Magicians, and 60-Card decks a bit of a leg up on SPYRALs, which traditionally doesn't try to play it due to the number of singleton combo cards it relies on.

That said, some SPYRAL players have started to run Pot of Desires anyways, scoring Top Cut finishes in the process. It's yet another must-own card, and while it was for a time one of the biggest money cards in the game, its reprinted version has held steady at about three bucks.

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Looking just beyond the Top 10 we get to see a lot of cards that almost made the cut, and aren't dedicated to Pendulum Magicians. Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir features heavily in that deck, but it's played in virtually everything these days, and it took the Number 11 slot. Solemn Strike came in at Number 12 and Chronograph Sorcerer at Number 13.

The final honorable mentions go to Link Spider and Missus Radiant at Number 14 and 15 in sales over the weekend, both standard enablers for Extra Deck Summons.

Will Pendulum Magician Fever continue? Will we see anew F&L List, and if we do, what impact will it have on the TCGplayer Marketplace? Check back Friday to find out, when we bring you another Market Watch Top 10.

See you then!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer