Disclaimer from Jadehex, TPC Manager
This is the LAST Tier List for this iteration of the Top Player Council. January 2020 marks the beginning of Season 9 and a new Top Player Council, I would personally like to thank this iteration of TPC for their comments, they've been a big help in writing these articles every week - Cheers!
Darklord will stay at Tier 1 for now or and most likely until they get hit again on the banlist. With the upcoming main box other meta decks will be facing problems and cards like Loading... and Loading... can be easily teched into Darklords. If the new decks are not able to counter Darklords, a good performance in the upcoming tournaments is expected. Don't get confused by the average win % in formats like Clan Wars due to Darklords being a deck with a higher skill cap than other more linear meta decks.
Elementsaber Invoked is still Tier 1 but the upcoming main box could change that. Cards like Loading... can block the Fusion summon for one turn (and waste the Loading... ) and a successful Loading... can decide the outcome of a whole duel. I expect that the Invoked engine will stay present on the Tier List in some way but it could drop with these new counter cards.
Darklord stays at Tier 1 as it has multiple good matchups accross the board and its one unfavorable match up is seeing less and less play due to the Loading... meta. I expect that Loading... will put them in an even better spot.
Elementsaber Invoked remains Tier 1 for now but with the addition of Loading... and Loading... in the next box it is questionable if it'll stay here for long. Lancea chained to Loading... not only stops their plays, but also makes them lose a valuable resource. Loading... basically auto-wins if resolved successfully, but it's more risky and can be reliant on going first.
Ritual Beasts are the next Deck that will most likely struggle with the new main box. An early used Loading... can shut down all Ritual Beast plays for the turn and can even prevent their combo if they go first. I expect this deck to drop off the Tier List in the longterm even though individual top performances are still possible in the competitive scene.
Shiranui hold a sweet spot in the meta and could stay at Tier 2 even after the new main box. In contrast to Ritual Beast, the new releasing cards won't hurt Shiranui that much and even an Loading... will only stall you for one turn, which is ok for Shiranui given that they have a lot of backrow to survive the following turn.