Monday, December 7, 2015

Understanding the YGO Market 101

Hey there YGO Community,

For my first article back, I decided that I should give you guys/gals a proper explanation as to why the YGO secondary market is so hectic and how to read and hopefully make some money off of the instability. First thing's first: With the exception of a VERY select few people, you WILL NOT get rich off of hustling some cardboard, but it might help you pad your wallets a little or at least make your hobby sustainable with minimal continuous investment. The main things I'm going to talk about here are: hype, buyouts, and impulsive buyers. I know that these three things are very closely related, but they are all different in their own ways. Don't worry though, I'll give you a speculation target at the end, ya know, since that's why 90% of y'all are here.

Webster's defines hype as "extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion" or to "promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits." How is this relevant to the Yugi secondary market? Well, competitive players always want to be on the cutting edge of the game and they want to have the drop on the next big thing. This often causes demand to far surpass supply on any new, sweet tech (Deck Devastation Virus, Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer, Brilliant Fusion, Xiangke Magician, and Storming Mirror Force) or the staples (For their time) that players slept on for too long and have to scramble to get (Upstart Goblin, Vanity's Emptiness, Twister, and Denko Sekka.) All it takes is one weird tech in a Regional/YCS-topping deck to cause a mad rush of players to buy their copies before all the reasonably-priced copies are scooped up and they have to pay the mega juice price.

A buyout is exactly that, either one individual or a group of likeminded people make a run on a certain card with the intent of causing the price to spike. Buyouts tend to be more of a MTG thing because the player-base tends to be older and they tend to have more disposable income, so making a run on a new, hot card in order to artificially inflate the price is more easily done. But that doesn't mean that buyouts don't happen in Yugz. There have been multiple cases of people buying up all the copies of cards only to re-list them for mega juice prices. And while I have never orchestrated a buyout, I have certainly profited from them multiple times throughout my Yugi career, the most recent occasion being Deck Devastation Virus. As I was writing this, and I had written an entire paragraph about the DDV buyout, I became aware of a buyout occurring on TCGPlayer. Every copy of Tatsunoko was bought up and copies were re-listed for $65+ before dropping to $35, and eventually to $20ish. Don't get me wrong, the card is very good and should probably be more than the $9 that it was before the buyout, but it was talk about Chris Leblanc's Synchro Fusionist deck hyping it, followed by a buyout that caused the current price spike.

Impulsive Buyers
There are a large portion of Yugi players who are incredibly impulsive, quickly jumping on the newest thing that any "pro" says is good and buying their playset. This has caused certain less reputable people in the past to say how "broken" a certain card is in a deck in order to get them up to a crazy price and let them cash in on the hype before people realize that the card isn't good after all. The most recent case that comes to mind was Spell Chronicle and how amazing it was in Shaddolls. People hyped the card up, knowing full well that it didn't trigger their effects because it was cost to send them, and when confronted about it, they called it a "social experiment" in order to justify their greed. They cost unfortunate, misinformed, impulsive players so much money for cards that were actual trash and should have been left in the bulk box. I know that I don't do these for no benefit to myself, it's not just keeping the public informed about a card. I make money off of selling cards after they go up, so before I write about a card, I make sure to buy at least a few copies, depending on how many I already have.  I may be wrong about a card, (given my track record, it is unlikely) and I might make money after they go up, but I will NEVER knowingly lead you astray. If I'm writing about a card, I believe it is the genuine article. The card might not break the game, but I genuinely believe in everything I write about as money makers.

Speculation Target
The card I want to talk about this week is XYZ Encore, as suggested by my friend Cameron. Now, it's no secret that Cyber Dragon Infinity is finally being released in BOSH. This is the most talked-about card in a long damn time, and for good reason. It steals your opponent's dudes and uses them as part of its Solemn-on-a-stick effect. I don't need to tell you how to summon it, because everyone knows how at this point. I'd rather tell you how to beat it. We've seen in the past the cards that can't be responded to tend to be worth keeping in mind, I mean, Super Polymerization got banned. We've seen XYZ Encore be played before, believe me, as a long-time Evilswarm player, the Dragon Rulers players ALWAYS had the Encore... The card is currently like $3.00 and has so much room for improvement, so if you can manage to squirrel away a few extra copies in order to deal with the incoming menace, I would advise you to do so. I'm not saying that it'll be $100, but let's not forget that the card has been $10+ in the past and most definitely has the potential to do that again.

Have a card that you think deserves some consideration?
Hit me up via social media to let me know. If I write about it, I'll drop you some credit in the article.

Twitter: @SparkConfidant
Reddit: BigTymeJuice

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Keep the juice flowing,

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