Resurgence of Sealed Product
- Sherif Lewis
Konami has recently started wooing the player base by offering sought-after rarities to the core sets and some side sets, causing an increase in the appeal of purchasing sealed product that contains either new rarities or old rarities that are making a comeback. Let us take a look at them.
Starlight rare debuted in Rising Rampage booster set at the end of July 2019. The set had four cards printed in starlight rare in addition to their original rarity such as Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess. There was one corresponding to each rarity (secret, ultra, super, and rare). Starting with Eternity Code in April 2020, starlight rares were increased by one to include an iconic card — so far, they are hand traps — which have been introduced to the game a long time ago. However, they are quite playable cards in today's metagame such as Effect Veiler.
Starlight rares appear with an average of one per two cases, making one very difficult — and expensive — to pull. But because of their rarity and collectability, they command an expensive price that can only go up. A similar reprint for such cards is highly unlikely. Konami even stopped unlimited reprints of main core sets and while they existed, starlight rares were not included in the unlimited runs.
Players who like to collect or trade for expensive cards will find starlight rares to be a very appealing rarity, either for the sake of collectability or as a way to store value in order to sell or exchange for other cards later on. So the appeal is there to purchase sealed main sets or even some booster packs now due to the possibility to pull such expensive and rare cards.
Collector's rare is a new rarity introduced in Toon Chaos on the 18th of June this year. Fifteen cards were printed in collector's rare. The pull rate is between three and four per case, leaning more toward three per case. This makes them much more accessible than starlight rares. However, at the same time, it is difficult to pull the ones you want since there are fifteen of them.
As a new rarity with Toon Chaos being the first — and maybe the only, who knows? — set to use this rarity, they are a good store of value, especially for some iconic cards such as Stardust Dragon, Pot of Extravagance, Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, and Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End.
These cards will have long-term value, making it worthwhile to buy cases in order to get one's hands on them. Also, players like to open packs for the chance of getting the cards they want. It would be amazing of course to find an expensive card in a booster pack you open. I also expect sealed Toon Chaos boxes to increase in value going forward, so if you want to get your collector's rares, maybe you should buy sooner rather than later!
Ghost rares have always been the most sought-after rarity in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Introduced in August 2007 to the TCG with the Tactical Evolution set, ghost rares have become the rarity that everyone wants to have. The odds of pulling one were about one per case. Breakers of Shadow in January 2016 marked the end of ghost rares in main sets as Konami decided not to include them anymore. Fast forward to September 2020 and ghost rares are finally making a comeback … in a side set. Legendary Duelists: Rage of Ra is re-introducing this rarity by printing an old iconic card, The Winged Dragon of Ra in its original artwork.
Players who have been around the game longer and have deep pockets had been trying to hunt down ghost rares since the day they got discontinued, despite how expensive they are, to the point of possibly being overinflated. Their re-introduction has ignited players' passion to open packs and hunt down the elusive cards. At the moment of writing this article, the best-selling item on Cardmarket is Boxes of Rage of Ra.
2020 seems to be the year where Konami pushes products —-and our wallets — to the limit. Battles of Legend: Armageddon introduces us to two very special cards. The first is Ten Thousand Dragon and the other Number 39: Utopia in Astral language from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal anime. Both cards are incredibly unique and are unlikely to have reprints in the near future — and if so, they will probably be a lot easier to pull.
Sets of Armageddon have been flying off the shelves because players wanted to get their hands on these two cards specifically. Of course there are other great cards in the set in addition.
So What is Konami Doing?
In my opinion, Konami is trying to encourage players to buy sealed product more as opposed to relying on buying single cards from the secondary market. Granted, not everyone can afford buying boxes and cases, but when you stare at a booster pack in a store and think, "What if….?" — then that is exactly what Konami is trying to achieve. You yourself will be ecstatic if you pull any of the rarities mentioned above.
I think that because of the Covid-19 situation and the lack of physical play (which to some extent hinders some players' drive to purchase cards) Konami is incentivizing us players to keep purchasing Yu-Gi-oh! cards by offering us more bang for our buck through sealed product. So far it seems to be an effective strategy and collectors especially will be delighted to add new rarities and expensive cards to their collections.
Spend wisely, but if you have a chance to indulge yourself every now and then … why not?
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.