Disclaimer from Jadehex, TPC Manager
This is the LAST Tier List for this iteration of the Top Player Council. July 2021 marks the beginning of Season 16 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
"Oh no. Loading... is gone, the dawn of a new era is coming. "Set three decks are here and they are Top Tier", and similar comments have floated around in the past week. One thing thing is sure, the best decks in the format are not doing that.
One rule which pretty much every backrow deck follow is the following one: Backrow is used to slow down the opponent's deck, therefore backrow decks are inferior. If they weren't inferior, there would be no reason to slow down the opponent's deck because one would focus on their own engine instead, since the engine is very strong. Then, by definition, backrow decks cannot be the centralizing force of the format.
Another thing to note is that there were really only two decks in the history of Duel Links which were truly able to "set three pass", those being Invoked and Shiranui variants. There are other decks which could accomplish similar things like Blue-Eyes with Loading... and set three. Those 3 backrow would usually be a combination of Loading... and Loading... meaning that most would be completely useless. Invoked is not consistent enough to be part of the meta and as a result cannot compete. Shira very much can as seen in the last MCS. In order to get the ideal first turn setup one needs to open up 1 engine piece and three Trap Cards while going first, since going second with traps does a lot less, on top of having to topdeck into another engine piece. Because let us be real: Normal Summon Loading... mill Loading... without any other engine pieces or just setting three is not intimidating. As such, the scary part about those decks is if everything goes in there favour, which is less than likely. Of course, it can happen multiple times in succession, we play within variance.
Aside from that, there are a ton of other backrow removal which we have access to that are mostly ignored. Last but not least why not instead of relying on an unsearchable two-of, play a deck that can naturally deal with backrow, where every hand can play through backrow and not just the ones with Loading... . If people are afraid of backrow, they can build their decks around them and clap them hard. We got and are still receiving a lot of new decks which are able to deal with backrow easily that are also budget-friendly. In 2019 we had Ancient Gear, in 2020 Ritual Beast, in 2021 Harpies. Depending on which deck one plays, they can easily play through backrow and win without even relying on backrow removal. It comes down to the understanding of the game at that point and rewards people for playing optimally compared to something like Trunade. With that, the decks which just do more no matter if it is searching, Special Summoning, floating and so on will always be the driving force of the format and not the backrow decks.
As such there is no reason to be afraid of a "backrow meta" and we can finally be happy that one of the most toxic cards in the game is finally gone.
Resonator remains the strongest force in the meta. The deck is able to beat almost every deck with its strong hands while its only real hard counter struggles a lot with opening playable hands. On top of that, there‘s many good Side Deck options available to deal with almost every opposing threat.
Harpies are in a healthy spot in the meta. Not immediately losing to Trunade helps it against sack decks, and the return of backrow doesn't really bother this deck too much. Thunder Dragons can be an issue, but the deck is flexible enough to side Loading... amongst other cards that target Thunder Dragons specifically. Resonator is beatable (outside of godhands), and every rogue deck normally loses to Harpies' Hunting Ground . Cyber Dragon is obviously a hard matchup, but not really to Harpies' fault as Cyber Dragons more-or-less exist outside of matchups and decide the outcome of the game by themselves.
Not much has changed for Onomat. It lost the one copy of Loading... from the Side Deck, which is for the best for everyone, but it's still a strong deck in the format. If the leaks are to believed, Loading... will be a big inclusion for the deck (due to being a generic way to access Loading... ) which will be worth talking about. With that, Onomat remains Tier 2