Market Watch Top 10: Extreme Force Pre-Sale Week
Jason Grabher-Meyer

Welcome back! This morning we were all surprised with the rollout of the new F&L List for next week, but for now we have one more Monday-to-Friday sales period to examine.

These sales predate the reveal of the new Advanced Format by a few hours, as well as the official retail release of Extreme Force. With that in mind, it serves as a snapshot of player expectations for the new set, as they existed before the F&L List slanted community consensuses: it shows us how big the final-hour hype was for Pendulum Magicians, with Heavymetalfoes Electrumite hours away; the strong enthusiasm for F.A.'s, which will likely become even stronger under the new F&L List; and a resurgence of interest in key cards from Structure Deck: Wave of Light.

By Monday we'll definitely see an entirely different Top 10, packed with EXFO cards and twisted in new directions by the Format changes. But for now, here are the Top 10 bestselling cards of the week – the final week of the current format, and the last Top 10 of the Circuit Break era.

#10: Sacred Arch-Airknight Parshath

Two cards that underperformed off the release of Wave of Light made the Top 10 this time around, starting with the new boss monster. Easy to Special Summon with both its effect and new support cards, the latest member of the Parshath family packs a strong 2800 ATK and a search effect that can grab more Parshath cards, or better yet, a specific Counter Trap from your deck.

With Solemn Judgment back in the game, there's one more reason to play Counter Fairies. Can they be competitive? That still seems like a long shot, but there's certainly more reason to try and make the deck work in the new format.

#####CARDID= 22807 #####

#9: Norito the Moral Leader

Hot off its massive price spike over the weekend, Norito the Moral Leader is one of the leading cards that players were planning to work into post-EXFO Pendulum Magicians. Now, with Double Iris Magician and Performapal Skullcrobat Joker both Forbidden, those ambitious new additions may take a backseat to basic adaptation and a scramble for survival.

While Pendulum Magicians were heading into Extreme Force with more hype than any other deck going, its position in upcoming tournaments is now a bit more up in the air. SPYRALs only took one hit on the new List, though it was a big one, and Trickstars took no direct shots.

Speculators that bought into Norito the past week may have reason to wince.

#####CARDID= 12710 #####

#8: F.A. Pit Stop

Even with Monster Reborn back and Limited in tournament play, F.A. Pit Stop is arguably a superior alternative; effectively a mashup of the classic revival spell and Upstart Goblin. F.A. Pit Stop's an Upstart with a free Monster Reborn built in at worst, and a massively powerful Pot of Greed alternative at best.

Since players are now finding that F.A.'s have easy Turn 1 combos for PSY-Framelord Omega, F.A. Pit Stop is reusable too, making it even deadlier than some expected.

#####CARDID= 22641 #####

#7: Pot of Desires

Demonstrating the fevered pitch of last minute sales before the arrival of Extreme Force, Pot of Desires was knocked all the way down to Number 7 this week. While that might not surprise newcomers, regular readers know that Pot of Desires rarely leaves the Number 1 or Number 2 spots in our Top 10, and that's been consistent since it was reprinted in the 2017 Mega Packs.

A lot of people were placing a lot of bets this week as the hours ticked down to EXFO.

#####CARDID= 22118 #####

#6: F.A. Turbo Charger

Back on the F.A. side of things, F.A. Turbo Charger spiked in demand once again. Despite being a Level 6 that's tougher to Normal Summon, it's easily Special Summoned with the new F.A. Test Run. Whether those types of more costly shenanigans will be supportable in what's emerging as a mega-efficient strategy is up in the air, but with the low price point, lots of players were playing catchup to cover their bases moving forward.

#####CARDID= 22639 #####

#5: Eva

A deeply dedicated card due to the narrow nature of both the stuff it searches and the cards it banishes, Eva can search a surprisingly wide range of monsters: some of the best include Consecrated Light, Fluffal Wings, The Agent of Mystery – Earth, and all three of the main deck negation Herald cards (like Herald of Orange Light). The latter being what it was likely designed for.

Why it jumped all the way to Number 5 this week, I'm not sure. It's not easy to use, and I haven't seen anyone discussing any killer apps for it the past while. If you have theories yourself, shout ‘em out down in the Comments.

#####CARDID= 22806 #####

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

Back at the same Number 4 spot it occupied a week ago, F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix once again outpaced F.A. Circuit Grand Prix, likely due to the discovery and discussion of Level-boosted combos that take place in the Main Phase (where Off-Road's Level manipulation happens). While those combos are fantastic, the necessity of Off-Road Grand Prix remains a question, since F.A. City Grand Prix boosts your F.A. monsters in both the Main and Battle Phases.

What's interesting is that the difference in demand between F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix and F.A. Circuit Grand Prix may be an indicator of just how combo-centric players are expecting the F.A. deck to be. We could very well see a version of the deck that just cares about combos, and disregards Level boosts in the Battle Phase entirely.

…Or, everybody already bought all their Circuit Grand Prix cards. Tough to tell.

#####CARDID= 22640 #####

#3: F.A. Whip Crosser

Leading the heat, F.A. Whip Crosser has emerged week to week as the bestselling F.A. monster of the bunch, cutting off a bunch of the game's best hand traps from the Graveyard and in doing so, keeping them from being used whatsoever.

Will the Forbidden status of Maxx "C" have a notable impact on Whip Crosser's popularity? Probably not, as other hand traps are still worth shutting down and there are still very few F.A. monsters to play anyways. For now, like Off-Road Grand Prix, the demand for Whip Crosser demonstrates player impressions of the F.A. theme.

#####CARDID= 22638 #####

#2: PSY-Frame Driver

With PSY-Framegear Gamma and PSY-Framegear Epsilon slowly getting even more popular in competition, PSY-Frame Driver saw a ton of sales and was nearly bought out entirely. That set it on a massive price spike and kicked it to an average Market Price of nearly $5. That's settled down a bit since, as Near Mint copies are still available for $3. But with Trickstars getting off nearly scot-free on the new F&L List, demand may remain exceedingly high, even as a card you only play a single copy of.

Supply in the TCGplayer Marketplace has recovered somewhat, but most copies are still at that $5 price point – rough for a non-foil Rare. But with no reprinted version, there's really only one way to get your PSY-Frame Driver if you didn't have it yet, and it may go from an attractive option to a competitive must by the time YCS Atlanta arrives.

#####CARDID= 19004 #####

#1: Chronograph Sorcerer

Finally, the hype for Heavymetalfoes Electrumite drove hundreds upon hundreds of sales for Chronograph Sorcerer this week, as competitors looked to grab their playsets and speculators looked to make a fast few bucks, betting hard on Pendulum Magicians. Right now, on Friday afternoon, it's impossible to tell what impact the Forbiddings of Double Iris Magician and Performapal Skullcrobat Joker will have on Chronograph, but it certainly can't be good.

#####CARDID= 21794 #####

That's it for this week, but we'll be back on Monday to see the early frontrunners from Extreme Force, and the impact of the new F&L List on the TCGplayer Marketplace. There's lots of healthy debate going on now in both player circles and collector communities, so it's bound to be an interesting few days.

We'll see you next week!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer