Market Watch Top 10: Extreme Force And The F&L List
Welcome to the first Market Watch countdown in the wake of Extreme Force, and the new F&L List.
With last week's Market Watch data rolling in on the same day as the tourney legal release of EXFO, and just hours before the surprising reveal of the new Advanced Format, it was a pretty subdued Friday . But today the gloves are off: we're looking at sales from Friday morning to Monday, and both the new set and the Forbidden & Limited List made a massive impact.
Usually when a new core booster releases, it takes over the Top 10 entirely – that's doubly true for an anticipated set like Extreme Force. But this time around some of the F&L List changes made such an immediate impression on tournament players that three older cards actually made the Top 10.
And spoiler: they were all defensive traps.
For months now we've seen a declining interest in defensive traps, a trend that only started to reverse after YCS Melbourne. Bottomless Trap Hole and Floodgate Trap Hole made a comeback at that event, putting four duelists into the Top 32 and contributing to Ryan Levine's eventual win . The result was a big uptick in sales for both cards. But with Bottomless and Torrential Tribute at three-per-deck in the new format, and Solemn Judgment now off the Forbidden List, a second wave of demand for trap cards emerged over the weekend.
Beyond that, the biggest sellers from EXFO were all rogue hits from Qliphorts, Dinosaurs, and the F.A. theme. The one exception – and the biggest card of the weekend overall – was a new splashable Link Monster that's almost certainly slated for tournament play based on the sheer volume of copies it moved this weekend.
We'll get to that Number 1 spot in a bit, but let's start with a look at Number 10 and work our way down.
#10: Torrential Tribute
Yup! If you had any doubt that Torrential Tribute was going to be tournament relevant now that it's off the List, you can probably put those doubts to rest. At the very least, a lot of players are going to be trying to make Torrential work this week and beyond, as various printings of the once-staple sold like hotcakes all weekend long.
Four of the Top 10 picks over the last few days belonged to the F.A.'s, easily the biggest winner from Extreme Force save Pendulum Magicians. F.A. Motorhome Transport's easy to summon off a number of minimal combos, and demands an answer with big stats, protection, and a Special Summon effect that creates mounting pressure over time.
The F.A. theme's effectively designed to make Motorhome as efficiently as possible, and with F.A.'s already putting in work in the final weekend of the last format, they're definitely a hot prospect moving into the next one.
#8: F.A. Test Run
There's not much to say about that – Test Run would be awesome if it didn't have the Special Summon trick, but it does, so it's a pretty incredible card. Flexible removal's really powerful, and when it's coupled with free card advantage, tempo, and hand-fixing combo fodder, well… There's a reason why people are buying into F.A.'s.
#7: Solemn Judgment
The most iconic Counter Trap of all time is back! Sure, it might've happened in large part to boost Structure Deck: Wave of Light, but as a viable answer to Evenly Matched and… well, everything else under the sun… Solemn Judgment's suddenly a hot prospect that's helping to revive big backrows.
While it took competitors a shocking number of years to realize how good Solemn Judgment was, it's been a deciding factor in any format where it was legal ever since the reign of Dark Armed Dragon. Now that it's back, we can expect to see it anchoring decks that want to go first, answering problem cards, and shutting down combo plays all over the place. Judgment's effectively a Solemn Scolding that you can play when you have other cards set – including Scolding, which is kinda nuts.
The market responded appropriately, pushing Solemn Judgment straight to Number 7. It's going to be interesting to see if Judgment has lasting momentum comparable to Proxy Dragon and Pot of Desires over the coming weeks.
The best of the F.A. Field Spells is one of the most talked about cards from Extreme Force, and for good reason. While F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix boosts Levels so you can make big combos in your Main Phase, its boost fades out in the Battle Phase. Meanwhile F.A. Circuit Grand Prix is great in battle, but won't help you launch big plays for higher Level summons.
And while you COULD bounce between those two cards by destroying and replacing your Field Spells with stuff like F.A. Test Run – and you will, at least some of the time – F.A. City Grand Prix means you don't have to, since it works in Main Phases and the Battle Phase.
It also protects your F.A. monsters from targeting, and it still replaces itself with a different Field Spell when it's destroyed.
It's a crazypants card and it's no surprise to see it at Number 6.
The final F.A. card in our Top 10 this week, F.A. Auto Navigator makes everything happen: from F.A. Motorhome Transport, to PSY-Framelord Omega, Cyber Dragon Infinity and more. An incredibly powerful and wickedly flexible Level manipulator, it's a recurring enabler for all of your best plays AND it searches you Field Spells for free.
We're used to seeing this kind of recurring card banishing itself after its first use. And yet, Auto Navigator has no such restriction. It's the lynchpin of the F.A. strategy and while we're bound to find new plays with it in coming weeks, it's already on record doing a boatload of stupid stuff. Doug covered it in depth last week, and if you haven't seen that video yet it's a definite must-watch .
After that stellar showing at YCS Melbourne, Bottomless Trap Hole was already seeing mained and sided play in just about everything over the last few weeks; the ability to remove one or more monsters in a single shot, without sending them to the graveyard where they could trigger effects or return to play, was massive.
Now with Bottomless Trap Hole back at three it was one of the biggest winners of the weekend. You can definitely expect to see Bottomless in tournaments this coming weekend, and the strong demand for it suggests it'll be all over YCS Atlanta in twelve days.
#3: Overtex Qoatlus
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend, Overtex Qoatlus emerged as the third highest selling card from EXFO. Standing apart from other Dinosaur boss monsters, Overtex wields a powerful negation ability that doubles as an activator for stuff like Petiteranodon and Babycerasaurus. While its “shuffle 5” Special Summon might be a bit tough to pull off, Special Summoning it with Double Evolution Pill is almost free, and the fact that Overtex Qoatlus searches you another copy when it hits the graveyard off an effect is insane.
Note that the search works regardless of where Overtex is sent to the graveyard from, making it vastly easier to get to Double Evolution Pill for both Overtex and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. Expect to see Dinosaurs in upcoming tournaments. Dinos were already putting in fringe performances in Regionals the last few weeks, and Overtex Qoatlus may just push them back into the spotlight.
#2: Qliphort Genius
Pretty much everyone has reservations about the viability of Qliphorts with Qliphort Scout Limited. But the return of Apoqliphort Towers to Advanced Format play and the move of Saqlifice to three-per-deck from Limited status emboldened Qliphort fans anyways.
Demand for Qliphort Genius was explosive all weekend long, and even if Qliphorts may wind up struggling with 2017's compression of the backrow for Pendulum strategies, Genius has a ton of first glance curb appeal. A Link-2 with easy materials and a solid 1800 ATK, its protection effect puts it in a good position against newly popularized defense cards, valuable negation, and a search effect that rewards you with a Level 5 or higher Machine every time you do what you were already going to do anyways.
Will the appeal of Qliphort Genius last through the week? That's an interesting question we'll be keeping an eye on.
#1: Underclock Taker
And finally, the biggest card of the weekend and the bestselling new entry from Extreme Force was none other than Underclock Taker. Available for as little as 11 cents as of this writing, Taker's one of the easiest Link-2 Summons of all time and has a valuable downward Link Arrow, plus a left Link Arrow to extend your plays. Combined with a valuable battle trick that can help you beat big boss monsters and beat damage through Blockers, the selling points are pretty clear.
Generic Link Monsters with decent utility always have some merit, and as I mentioned before, it'll be intriguing to see if the demand for Underclock Taker holds up. Will demand keep it at the level of something like Proxy Dragon? For now we definitely know it's going to be popular. But just how popular Taker's going to become is up in the air.
What else was big? Duelittle Chimera's the Fire answer to Missus Radiant and Mistar Boy, and it just missed the countdown at Number 11. Hey, Trunade! took the Number 13 spot with everyone and their mother reconsidering set cards, and Apoqliphort Towers came in at Number 14 fresh off the F&L List.
Altergeist Hexia and Altergeist Manifestation took Number 12 and Number 15 respectively, suggesting either casual enthusiasm or some hedged bets against a competitive push. Do Altergeists stand a chance in tournaments? Probably not, but the deck has a following anyways and the adherents can't wait to prove everybody else wrong.
That was it for the weekend, but we'll be back on Friday to look at shifts in the TCGplayer Marketplace, just in time for the next round of Regional Qualifiers. With Regionals in Indiana, Kansas, Texas, and Pennsylvania, we're bound to see some heavily reported events and a lot of deck lists.
Stick with us through the next week for a few different perspectives on the new Advanced Format.