Update June 28, 2019: Updated matchup guides to include Amano-Stun, Triamids, and Magnet Warriors Update June 14, 2019: Added 2019 Regional Representative Qualifiers example decks
With the release of the Blazing Rose main box came the first Wyrm-based archetype in Duel Links: Metaphys. As their name suggests, Metaphys monsters thrive off of being banished before shuffling themselves back into the deck to gain momentum. The deck’s strength lies in its ability to banish your opponent’s cards during either player’s turn, primarily through the use of Metaphys Dimension. Secondly, its reactive nature to what the opponent commits is also a strength, if used in the optimal manner.
When played in conjunction with Asymmetaphys, you can establish a banishing loop between Metaphys Daedalus and Metaphys Nephthys to banish an opponent’s card every Standby Phase. While the effects can lead to powerful disruption, Metaphys decks require prior setup to really get rolling. Aggressive decks built to overwhelm the opponent quickly, such as Neos Koa’ki are the bane of Metaphys. Players can choose whether to invest fully in starter consistency or leave some room for defensive backrow to facilitate setting up.
Note: Due to the multiple activations that take place during the Standby Phase, it will be referenced as ‘SP’ in the guide for convenience from this point on.
The first of two consistency-boosting skills. Contrary to the wording of the skill, it guarantees at least one Level 5 or higher monster in your opening hand when conditions are met. This allows you to run a lower monster count, leaving more room for starters and techs of your choice. It also secures an opening play with Aloof Lupine or Asymmetaphys if you start with either.
The second consistency-boosting skill. Guarantees having a Metaphys monter in hand with Asymetaphys or another spell-based starter, such as Gold Sarcophagus or Metaphys Factor. However, you cannot run extra monsters such as Aloof Lupine or Sphere Kuriboh as they disrupt the Balance ratios. Because the skill guarantees at least one monster, spell and trap in hand with a minimum of six of each in the deck, you may struggle to pull enough protection to last you during your crucial set-up period. No Lupine also leaves your field open more frequently and without the easy double banish.
Intended for increased survivability during the essential period of setting up. It does the job well enough, but sacrifices consistency. The skill goes to waste if you take damage and survive the turn while still lacking components to make plays, or if your opponent has the ability to put 4001 points of damage on-board during one turn. To clarify, a board of Koa’ki Meiru Maximus and Koa’ki Meiru Ice attacking you directly will not break past Grit and leaves you with 1 LP. Any third monster to attack on that turn would win them the game.
Though not the most optimal skill, it’s worth noting for the ability to put Metaphys Tyrant Dragon at 3200 ATK: enough to attack over Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Cosmo Brain, Koa’ki Meiru Maximus and Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon without Ancient Gear Castle. More often than not, you’ll only have one Metaphys monster on the field at a time so Daedalus and Nepthys won’t capitalize on Beatdown. Special summoning Metaphys Daedalus will clear all of these high ATK monsters just fine, leaving room to choose another skill instead.
Sow - May 2019 Regional Representative Qualifiers - Rank 6 Europe
Koizumi - May 2019 Regional Representative Qualifiers - Rank 7 Europe
Steelback - Forbidden Memories Series - Top 4
Ive_gone_mad - Meta Championship Series #19 - Top 32
Metaphys Daedalus (2-3x)Asymmetaphys to thin the deck if you don’t have another target. When summoned off of Tyrant’s effect, Daedalus becomes very efficient at clearing opponents’ boards of special summoned monsters.
Metaphys Nephthys (2-3x)
Metaphys Tyrant Dragon (2-3x)Aloof Lupine or special summoned off of Metaphys Dimension, however.
Asymmetaphys (3x)Metaphys Daedalus, will instead change all of their battle positions. If you aren’t careful, a stray Aloof Lupine or summoned Paleozoic Canadia on the field that’s been weakened can be shifted into attack position during your opponent’s turn and potentially open yourself to taking lethal damage.
Metaphys Dimension (1-2x)
Aloof Lupine (0-3x)Balance. A card that you’ll always want to see in your opening hand, especially in a Heavy Starter build. A true +1 in terms of card advantage, setting up your plays and searches for the following turns with its ability to banish any Metaphys of your choice from the hand and deck. It provides a body on the field to protect your LP and, when destroyed, potentially adds back a banished Metaphys to the hand such as any “whiffed” Tyrants. Lupine plus any Metaphys monster on-board will also put lethal pressure on your opponent.
Gold Sarcophagus (0-3x)
Metaphys Factor (0-1x)Metaphys Tyrant Dragon set up, they’ll be missing their powerful effects. Factor’s primary benefit comes from your opponent’s inability to respond whenever a Metaphys monster activates its effects. No backrow can be chained to a Metaphys Nephthys summoned off of Tyrant, for example. Factor also allows for a rare End Phase banish off of Metaphys Dimension, picking off a card after your opponent establishes their board for the turn.
Sphere Kuriboh (0-3x)Cosmic Cyclone. Virtually useless in the already-poor Ancient Gear matchup, but can be set to protect your LP if desperate.
World Legacy Clash (0-2x)Aloof Lupine for the sake of ATK reduction, Clash requires a Metaphys to already be on the field to be useful. Since your Metaphys returns in the End Phase, you lose the opportunity for your monster to banish normally and maintain momentum. The monster will stay on-board from that point on as well. If you haven’t already used Metaphys Dimension for the turn, Clash allows you the flexibility to choose exactly when to banish an opponent’s card.
Treacherous Trap Hole (0-2x)Metaphys Dimension is left in the graveyard. Protection like Canadia, however, can be special summoned from the grave with Dimension’s activation and keep TTH live.
Paleozoic Canadia (0-2x)Treacherous Trap Hole as just mentioned. From flipping opponent’s monsters face-down before they can activate their effects to protecting your LP from attacks, you can even special summon Canadia from the grave by activating Metaphys Dimension to put a body on the field. Just be mindful of Asymmetaphys and its position-shifting and attack-reducing properties if Canadia sticks on the field longer than you’d like.
Drowning Mirror Force (0-3x)Elemental HERO Brave Neos and Red-Eyes Slash Dragon to the extra deck as non-targeting removal can devastate boards.
Wall of Disruption (0-2x)Drowning Mirror Force, but leaves the opponent's monsters on the field weakened. Doesn’t require the condition of attacking directly, allowing their monsters to crash into your own for immediate damage. A reduction of 800 ATK doesn’t mean much if they choose to poke your LP with a single, strong beater though. Can provide for some heavy damage if you have a Metaphys Tyrant Dragon ready to summon a second Tyrant. Be warned that WoD is useless against monsters targeted by Subterror Final Battle’s ATK-boosting effect.
Bad Aim (0-2x)Geartown miss its timing when chained to removal like Double Cyclone. Doesn’t offer much protection on its own and can be useless in some situations, however.
Different Dimension Ground (0-2x)The White Stone of Ancients. Resolving DDG will be very circumstantial, though. Options that serve a similar function of banishing monsters from the graveyard include Big Burn and Soul Release.
Lady Assailant of Flames (0-2x)Gold Sarcophagus with potential for a much higher payoff, but far less flexibility. It must be flipped to resolve its effect, meaning any destruction or removal from the field aside from battle will leave Lady unresolved. This can be circumvented if you banished Metaphys Daedalus prior with Asymmetaphys on the board, flipping Lady face-up during your opponent's SP. A lucky triple-Metaphys banish puts you in a great position moving forward, but you may end up banishing spells and traps that you can't get back. Monsters such as Sphere Kuriboh and Aloof Lupine or even another banished Lady can still be retrieved if another Lupine gets destroyed, however.
Knowing when and how to use your cards is fundamental in any card game, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Is no exception. Though this mentality applies across all decks in the game, misplays with Metaphys are particularly punishing. Understanding the meta and being able to read the situation are essential. You’ll have to think ahead with your plays: something that best comes with practice. This section is meant to give general guidelines of your options with the cards you have, and how they work together. Matchup-specific guidelines are in the section below.
The Banish Loop
As mentioned in the Introduction, one of Metaphys’ greatest strengths lies in its ability to banish one of your opponent’s cards every SP. The loop requires Asymmetaphys and Metaphys Dimension on the field. The first banish can be done with Aloof Lupine or Gold Sarcophagus instead, but Asym is necessary to maintain the loop. You begin by banishing Metaphys Daedalus and use its effect to banish Metaphys Nephthys the following SP. This lets you banish any card on your opponent’s field during their turn. Using Nephthys’ effect to add Daedalus back to your hand, you banish Daed with Asym to trigger Dimension and maintain the cycle.
If necessary, you can always cut off the loop by banishing Metaphys Tyrant Dragon instead of banishing Nephthys with Daed’s effect or special summon the searched Daed off of a Tyrant’s effect instead of using Asym to banish it. The loop is also broken if Assym or Dimension are removed from the field and you don’t have immediate access to your other copies. A potential banish every SP can drain your opponent’s resources very quickly, helping you clean up the duel with a Metaphys monster of your choice (typically Tyrant Dragon).
Using Your Searches
Metaphys Nephthys has four primary search targets in your deck, including an optional fifth if you run Metaphys Factor. Between Daedalus, Tyrant, Asym and Dimension, what should you go for? Naturally, the answer depends on multiple variables: the current state of the board, knowledge of your matchup, the cards in your hand and even whose SP it is.
Generally speaking, you’ll want access to your pieces of the loop as soon as possible. This typically starts with Assymetaphys, as it continuously enables draws when you have Metaphys cards in hand to banish. Metaphys Dimension is much weaker without it and should only be searched when you have access to banishing already available. Monsters can then be searched if you can get them banished quickly, using Aloof Lupine or Asym to build momentum.
If going for a double banish with Lupine that will lead to a potential double search (2x neph or 1-2x dae), prioritize using one Metaphys Daedalus and one Metaphys Nephthys. This will allow you to banish Metaphys Tyrant Dragon if you receive some sort of information from your opponent such as Crowler’s Middle Aged Mechs. If you think it’s safe, banish a second Nephthys to get the additional search.
This Daedalus banish will allow you to be the last one to react to the opponent’s plays, as adding early will allow the opponent to set up and thereby react to the card you added or just playing around it. Furthermore, drawing a card on your turn will allow you add something that may compliment what you drew and lessen the chance of any duplicate cards in hand or add the last component for the soft loop setup. Being the last one to react will become a recurring theme for winning or losing the matchups that will be explained in this guide.
A matchup heavily dependant on who has the best and earliest setup. Amano-Iwato shuts down all of your monster effects, even from the hand or Banish pile. Getting Asymmetaphys and Metaphys Dimension face-up and activated before they can be shut down by Dark Bribe or Rebirth of Parsath is crucial, opening the opportunity for Dimension to pick off your opponent's cards one by one. Metaphys Tyrant Dragon summoned off another Tyrant (assuming Amano isn't live or Tyrant doesn't get counter-trapped) works past any of their defensive backrow, but is still vulnerable to a World Legacy Clash.
The earlier you can get out a Tyrant-summoned Metaphys Tyrant Dragon, the better. Immunity to traps such as Triamid Pulse and the 2900 body Tyrant provides are their biggest hurdles in this matchup. Pulse can easily pick off your Asymmetaphys and Metaphys Dimension, and most of their monsters are normal summoned--making them impervious to Metaphys Daedalus. Aside from Pulse, Triamid Kingolem is your primary bane. Giving all of their Triamids properties similar to Armades, Keeper of Boundaries, your opponent ignores defensive options like Sphere Kuriboh or Drowning Mirror Force. Keep an eye out for Triamid Dancer, as its ATK boosts are cumulative and can boost other Triamids to levels that even Tyrant can’t attack over in conjunction with Kingolem.
A pretty straightforward matchup, otherwise complicated by the potential techs your opponent is running. Straight to the Grave puts Delta The Magnet Warrior and Alpha The Electromagnet Warrior over your Aloof Lupine by default, while The Tie that Binds does so only during your opponent's turn. Backrow removal like Storm or Cosmic Cyclone will prevent your loops, while the less-common Triamid Pulse can destroy monsters as well. Surviving a push from Berserkion the Electromagna Warrior may prove difficult, but a follow-up with Metaphys Daedalus turns the tables very quickly. If you manage to set up Metaphys Dimension uninterrupted, using Daedalus to banish during your opponent’s SP and trigger Dimension is an effective way of removing any normal-summoned magnets on the field to prevent them from tagging out into Delta during your turn.
This deck will either: 1.) Take advantage of playing passive by setting The White Stone of Ancients and Dawn Knight when going first or knows it cannot rush even going second. 2.) Use Snipe Hunter and/or Cosmo Brain to rush early.
In the first case, it will largely depend on the opening hand. But, if Metaphys Dimension and Metaphys Daedalus are set up on the opponent’s Standby Phase, definitely banish the set monster as soon as possible. If the loop cannot be established but Lupine is opened with a possible SP Daedalus special summon, force the Stone as soon as possible and do not commit to setting much backrow (if any) and bring out Daedalus on the opponent’s SP to banish the monster they special summoned off of the Stone during your prior End Phase. While the latter play does appear to be a riskier move, given they will have at least 4 cards in hand to your two monsters on the board, leaving the Stone on board with an opposing Snipe Hunter or Cosmo Brain they can commit to will only worsen the situation further.
When BEWD goes second, they will definitely go for the board commitment plays as soon as possible with Snipe and/or Brain. Be sure to set up into a Metaphys Tyrant Dragon special summon by your next SP to punish a possible play where the opponent will extend. If the opponent commits to Snipe or Brain, use any backrow techs like Paleozoic Canadia or Treacherous Trap Hole on them as soon as possible so their Stones or Silver’s Cry are not enabled. And if absolutely needed to live, use Metaphys Dimension to special summon the banished Tyrant that was originally set up for your turn to block an otherwise lethal move on board.
One of the best matchups for Metaphys due to its vulnerability to the soft loop. However, there are general pointers that should be noted.
If the Sub player has any backrow, make sure to snipe that as soon as possible to ensure Subterror Final Battle boosting any of their Behemoths is not something that deck will lose to. Committing Metaphys Nephthys to out 2 or more backrow on the field is also acceptable. Be wary of when Metaphys Daedalus banishing with Asymmetaphys up is used, as it does trigger the opposing Subterrors that Subterror Nemesis Warrior will set at the end of the Metaphys player’s turn. This is not as much of an issue when Metaphys Dimension is established, but it can matter if any tech backrows like Paleozoic Canadia, Treacherous Trap Hole, or even a face up Aloof Lupine are on board while trying to still set up the loop.
Once you have the set up though, take this into consideration: If the monsters on board with a possible follow up in hand could establish lethal, definitely prioritize the monsters being banished first. Metaphys Tyrant Dragon being special summoned with the double attack and Trap immunity to your side of the field will be your best friend in this matchup alongside Asymm flipping up the special summoned Subterrors for Daed to clear away on their SP if the opponent has 2 more or special summoned Subterrors.
Worst matchup, ABORT! Auto lose!
In seriousness, this is Metaphys’ worst MU due to the backrow hate that also doubles as ways for them to extend their board. Make sure to flip up Metaphys Dimension as soon as possible due to Galaxy Cyclone and hold the tech cards for Ancient Gear Wyvern and Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon. Best move is to rush them as soon as possible if they cannot get Reactor out first and have Metaphys Tyrant Dragon double attack with Aloof Lupine up for lethal. If they do get it out and you live from Reactor, bring out Metaphys Daedalus on your SP or the opponent’s SP when possible.
Still commit to getting the loop pieces out as well and making sure Metaphys Nephthys is banished to trigger by your next SP when their backrow removal inevitably appears. Not having Asymmetaphys or Dimension up means not committing to the best possible options and kneecapping your own plays.
Koa’ki / Neos
This is a matchup that goes smoothly when just facing the Neos components of the deck. However, the Koa’ki parts are where some of the trickery lies. Ideally, the opponent facing this deck will commit their special summon, even if it means a Metaphys Dimension special summon, to get their Koa’ki Meiru Ice or Koa’ki Meiru Maximus off to pop the monster that is summoned. Save your techs for Max and Ice and be sure to start poking early to make their Cosmic Cyclone payments more difficult. Also, set up Metaphys Tyrant Dragon as early as possible to bring out from banished zone so protecting your own life is possible.
If they play passive, they will be punished via the soft loop and, knowing this, will commit as much as possible just like with every other deck. Anticipate they will play plenty of cards so get one of the Tyrants out as soon as possible and have the Metaphys Daedalus cycling in the hand by your SP to punish them for committing mass special summons on board.
Has parallels to the Blue-Eyes matchup, albeit less explosive. If they open a passive hand with Secret Six Samurai - Fuma, try and get the Metaphys Dimension banish off and hit their set monster as soon as possible. Definitely take advantage of the situation and use it to set up a Metaphys Nephthys search on your turn and a Metaphys Tyrant Dragon banish, if possible, in case they commit to their Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En or Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan then.
If they open a hand where Shi En and Six Samurai United draws are possible, commit the least amount possible to get a Metaphys Daedalus banish by their turn off. Aloof Lupine into Tyrant and Nephthys is the easiest way to out it. But, barring Lupine as a starter, other backrow and an extra spell starter will be necessary to get the play started. This will lower the overall number of cards in hand to start a play, but it is essential in the face of a rolling negate. With Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi on board, it can be handled in a very similar manner as it is usually special summoned. Even in a case where it isn’t, use Lupine or backrow techs to handle it if he is being used for an aggro push as returning Lupine or Metaphys monsters to hand is never an issue otherwise.
Possibly the easiest matchup for this deck due to the core having free reign to commit to its offensive plays without the risk of getting punished heavily due to its only defenses remaining in the form of Silent Magician and Spellbook of Fate. Enable Metaphys Daedalus as soon as they commit to SM and set as many of the backrow opened as possible. Even if they do not commit to SM, set up a Metaphys Tyrant Dragon special summon for any Metaphys by your turn.
If only one spell starter is opened, it is safe to hold it and the other cards the deck uses for defense can be used in an attempt to answer SM and also force out Fates early to deal with less banishes hitting the backrow throughout the game. Like other decks, they will attempt to push knowing that they can lose the grind game, but this is less frequent unless they commit to using Spellbook of Power or summon their DARK Spellcasters.
This matchup is a bit more difficult than Neos, but for a different reason. Even when Red-Eyes Slash Dragon are answered, the Black Metal Dragon falling off and enabling a Red-Eyes Fusion follow-up for a 3k beater (after attack declaration) beats over any Metaphys special summon that is possible off Metaphys Tyrant Dragon or Metaphys Dimension for defensive purposes. This means that the Fusion play on their turn must be taken as a direct hit, assuming no Paleozoic Canadia or Treacherous Trap Hole can answer that Slash, so as to allow for another Metaphys Daedalus special summon from the hand on the Metaphys player’s turn. Grinding through all the Fusions is difficult, but it is very much possible. Once this occurs, it is time to start allowing the Tyrant special summon from hand to begin pushing.
Also, never use Dimension to target and banish unless two of them are set up or the one Dimension plus a tech is established to bait the Slash negate as it will destroy Dimension and may not allow for a block from an otherwise lethal attack. Anticipating the safest option from the opponent and reacting accordingly is what this deck thrives on. Keeping the core plays enabled allows for this, even in a matchup where negates must be taken care of.
If they use the Buster Blader package, it can be dealt with much in the same manner as the previous example with Neos Fusion. Make sure to hit their backrow so as to not allow a potential DNA Surgery to ruin any Daed banishes. If it is already face up, do not commit to using any monsters, other than Aloof Lupine banishing for cost from the hand (but only if the attack from Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman can be buffered) to set up for a Dimension snipe on DNA.
The best example of a matchup where grinding for them equals losing. In return, their raw aggression will rush to put you out before you properly set up. They will extend as much as they can while being able to commit to a synchro that can answer the Metaphys monster on board. Be wary of Hyper Psychic Riser in particular, as it will negate on board Metaphys Daedalus banishing and their Stardust Charge Warrior will remain unaffected by their Riser due to its exact 2k ATK. Definitely special summon for the main purpose of blocking in any case where they do commit, as every card in hand will be essential to answer the boards they spit out.
When the stars align and you’re caught in a Metaphys mirror match, be prepared not to lose to the timer while making decisions. Metaphys Dimension and Metaphys Tyrant Dragon are key win conditions. Beatdown makes the matchup much easier, if you happen to be running it. Commit to making a push as soon as possible, and use your own Dimension to banish theirs or their Asymmetaphys if it’s the only backrow they happen to have. Other than that, commit to hitting their set backrow and only hit their monsters if its Aloof Lupine or it means having lethal on board. If their Dimension is left live, they’ll pick off your own backrow and respond to your special summons with free summons of their own from the Banish pile.
When banished subsequently, the game will prioritize monster effects in this order: Daedalus, Nephthys, then Tyrant Dragon.
With all of the banishing taking place and only three Metaphys monsters to keep track of, it can be easy to confuse them for one another and forget what was banished when. You don’t want to make the mistake of retrieving a Metaphys off of Aloof Lupine or Metaphys Dimension that was meant to activate the during upcoming SP. Like the Graveyard, your Banished pile sorts older cards to the left, meaning any “whiffed” monsters like Metaphys Tyrant Dragon can leave your banished cards without worry.
Commit to special summoning Tyrant Dragon off of a second, banished Tyrant Dragon as soon as possible after the opponent is forced into a passive game state (i.e. setting monsters and backrow with one special summon at the most) as more cards can be picked off and simplify the game state in your favor to actually start making secure pushes for damage and not give the opponent time to draw what they may need to re-establish their board.
Special thanks to Dkayed and Gia for creating and upholding this community for so long. You both put in more work behind the scenes than most people would realize.
Would also like to thank ive_gone_mad for offering several important pointers during the earliest stage of this guide, who also secured the first Top 32 Metaphys placement in an MCS.
Lastly, thanks go to the website crew for keeping this platform full of valuable resources!