This is the first Tier List for your new Top Player Council.
We have a very interesting format. Thanks to the introduction of the latest box “Sign of Harpies” we have a little shakeup in the meta. There is a new deck/variant in the format which is F.A. Star Seraph Darklords (as some in the community like to call it: Carlords). That deck plays F.A. Hang on Mach which with the help of Level Augmentation becomes a big boss monster which is hard to out for a lot of decks. Especially if we put into consideration that Forbidden Lance is being played to make it uneffected by Spells and Traps making it even harder to out. Thanks to that, people started to find cards / decks which can deal with it, effectively leading us away from our 2-deck format, at least for the time being. Who would have guessed that a 4200 monster which is unaffected by activated monster effects which also banishes all opponent’s cards wouldn’t be healthy? Definitely not me. Thankfully, Star Seraph Darklords was never the most consistent deck and by introducing the three Hang On Mach and three Forbidden Lance, people needed to cut Darklord engine pieces, making the deck even more bricky. With that, the deck will probably not be dominant in the format but needs to be respected in some form to not auto-lose to. As such, the meta is going to be similar to the last one moving forward but with some new faces as well a shift in techs to be able to deal with F.A. Hang On Mech.
With the release of F.A. Hang On Mach with the latest Mini Box and fast recent success, the competitive community was shocked for a moment. At the beginning, people thought the combination with Level Augmentation and cards like Forbidden Lance to protect Mach was super unfair and would be immediately nerfed. During the MCS, we saw a lot of creativity and meta decks adapting to Mach with cards like Book of Moon and Fiendish Chain as well as rouge decks like Amazoness or Ritual Beasts coming out again.
Even though F.A. Hang On Mach is obviously a strong floodgate, but the overall meta shifted into a more control-oriented meta that is still main;y dominated by Blue-Eyes and Darklords, but not on the same level as before. Additionally, this MCS was using the no side KC Cup format with no side deck, even though the KC Cup Stage 2 is still two weeks away.
Looking back, it will be interesting to see if the KC Cup results will reflect the MCS Top Cut representation or if other /n ewer decks will get developed to counter the meta.
As seen in the MCS, Blue-Eyes quickly adapted to the Level Augmentation F.A. Darklord builds focused on turboing F.A. Hang On Mach by changing their discard Traps to more efficient backrow to out it such as Book of Moon and Fiendish Chain. With that, Blue-Eyes remains one of the strongest decks (along with Darklords), without having a big weakness against anything.
There is not a lot to say about Blue-Eyes. The deck remains as the main, or at least one of the two main threats of the format alongside Darklords. The prevalence of turbo builds focusing on summoning Blue-eyes Spirit dDagon as fast as possible has dropped for the re-appearance of more Trap heavy builds (affectionally referred to as Brick-Eyes) to deal with the introduction of Darklord builds using F.A. Hang On Mach, which can single-handedly kill the whole Blue-eyes deck if you don’t draw any answers to deal with it. A new opponent has also appeared in the form of Harpies. The build using Swallow’s Nest is tailored to deal with Blue-Eyes decks, however, it is not a hard counter and the matchup can go either way depending on the draws. Overall, the deck retains its spot on the list and is unlikely to go anywhere unless it gets hit by the ban list or another direct counter deck gets introduced.
Blue-Eyes struggle against F.A. Hang On Mach, but I don’t think Mach isn’t going to stay at large, and even if it does, Blue-Eyes would continue to play a more control-oriented build in order to out it quickly. Blue-Eyes hold their ground at Tier 1 because they still pose a massive threat to the rest of the game.
Unironically, the F.A. build made people realize how strong Destiny Draw is, when paired with 4 to 5 techs. The “Stick and Chair” combo is as strong as ever, and despite the annoying matchups in Shiranui and Amazoness that the presence of F.A. Hang On Mach revived, the deck is still in a really healthy spot, as it also picked up the MCS win. However, the more the meta evolves, the less Darklord cards are being ran, which essentially makes it awkward to name this deck. Darklord Desire isn’t seeing play in most of the F.A. builds, and some people are going as far as to cut Darklord Tezcatlipoca as well to fit in more tech slots. Overall, both the F.A. build and Destiny Draws build are likely to see play until the deck gets inevitably hit on the banlist, and it’ll be a force to be reckoned with in KC Cup too, with Detiny Draw having the edge.
Darklords have mortgaged consistency, techs and skill in an attempt to destroy their only rivals: Blue-Eyes and themselves. The problem of this is that, to adapt, Blue-Eyes have been starting to stray away from its “Turbo” style and has allowed many backrow decks to have the opportunity to finally come back to decimate Darklords. This experience reveals the symbiotic relationship Darklords have with Blue-Eyes, and should teach them that adaptation is required if they want to continue to cohabit with thier rival on the Tier List.
Star Seraph Darklords remain Tier 1. The F.A. Hang On Mach / Level Augmentation combo is so powerful that is caused the format to shift into one that has less aggression and more control. However, now that most decks are prepared for it, I think we will start to see more of the Destiny Draw builds due to it being the much better build for consistency.
Destiny Draw, Level Tuning or Level Augmentation with F.A. Hang On Mach: there are many ways to play this deck, but it’s the same annoying core we have to deal with every time. It’s incredibly powerful to combine the “Stick and Chair” combo into rank 4s with the Darklord negate and resummon loop which we know can be easily set up. Due to the surprising consistency of establishing strong boards going first or second, letting you deal with every kind of opponent, this deck will stay Tier 1.
There are no Tier 2 Decks
Two new decks were introduced to the Tier List in Harpies and Onomat, the latter being a deck already in the game which received slightly more positive matchups for the time being since it has an in-engine out to F.A. Hang on Mach. Despite this, we still think that there is quite the difference between those decks and the Tier 1 decks, therefore the Tier 2 will remain empty.
Were you getting bored of playing a highroll deck and having to trade highroll games left and right? Thankfully with “Sign of Harpies” we got Harpies which is a strong, consistent and versatile deck. The deck tries to control the board with Cyber Slash Harpie Lady which is a great offensive and defensive tool. There are 2 engine / techs being played which help against Blue-Eyes and Darklords: a Swallow’s Nest version which helps against Blue-Eyes and a Neo Fusion variant which helps against Darklords.
With the introduction of F.A. Hang on Mach the Blue-Eyes decks started playing Book of Moon and Treacherous Trap Hole, which is an issue for Harpies, since once their Normal Summon is interrupted the deck has to pass turn. As such, Swallow’s Nest allows the deck to play around those Spells / Traps while being an option to unbrick the hand if needed.
While Swallow’s Nest is reactive, Neos Fusion is proactive. The card not only summons a 2600 ATK beater that can run over the big Darklord Monsters with The Tie that Binds, it also triggers Cyber Slash Harpie Lady since Neos Fusion is a Spell. Not to mention it puts Harpie Harpist in the GY which gives an End Phase search. Since the Harpies are all level 4, there’s interesting synergy with Daigusto Emeral as both of his effects are useful to the Neos Fusion variant. Since Emeral is able to both revive Elemental HERO Neos to have a big body or shuffle it back for a card draw, it heavily synergize with Elemental HERO Brave Neos’ ability to search the second copy of Neos Fusion.
This all being said, the Swallow’s Nest variant isn’t necessarily bad against Darklord and the Neos Fusion isn’t necessarily bad against Blue-Eyes, as these spells are still individually powerful for Harpies (it’s just one variant is better for one matchup and vice-verse). Nonethelss, Harpies are a strong deck and deserves to be on the Tier List.
Harpies are here and we all have seen them! The deck has a lot of builds that haven’t been fully explored yet but has already had high convertion rates in the last MCS. Unfortunately, while Blue-Eyes is still around, Harpies are stuck with The Tie that Binds to deal with them. In a No-Side format they can mainly go in two directions: A 20-22-card “turbo” version or a 25-30-card Neos Fusion control version. The former fares better against Blue-Eyes and the latter against the various versions of DL.
The deck is very promising and can only get better, especially as builds get focused. Harpies are a breath of fresh air after a 2-deck meta which was expected to be the worst for some time.
Harpies can confidently compete in the meta, despite currently missing a useful archetype piece in Harpie Oracle. The deck has multiple possible variations, each of which has its own strengths. Though across all builds the current most popular skill is The Tie that Binds as it allows the deck to reach 3100 ATK with Cyber Slash Harpie Lady and Harpie Lady 1 - enough to run over a Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon. The Tie That Binds also allows Harpie to push for lethal damage through the attack reduction from Forbidden Lance.
It has been a while since a new deck has been added to the Tier List, but Harpies have a chance to rise up as time progresses. The main thing with this deck that is promising is the fact that it is still being optimized every day. There are so many ways to build the deck and different techs to explore, making the deck incredibly versatile. What will push this deck to higher Tiered status is if players can figure out how to tailor their decks for both Blue-Eyes and Darklords at the same time.
Harpies and Onomats have shown us that they can compete with Darklords (even the F.A. Hang On Mach). I think their immense consistency gives them really “fair” chances to win against almost anything thrown their way, except against Blue-Eyes where they generally struggle, like many other decks, to get over big monster turn after turn. As such, both Harpies and Onomats are decent candidates for Tier 3.
Onomats are back on the Tier List! The deck benefited from Harpies and the F.A. variant of Star Seraph Darklords joining the meta. While a lot of decks struggle to out F.A. Hang On Mach, Onomats have a searchable out through Gagagabolt, as well as playing other outs in the form of Offerings to the Doomed or Book of Moon.
Harpies are another favorable matchup as they don’t have ways to protect themselves after a Hey, Trunade!, and generally aren’t backrow-heavy enough that Onomat can oftentimes play through their disruption unless it’s a Book of Moon. The deck only struggles against the Destiny Draw Darklord build as it runs more backrow than F.A. version and a bigger Darklord engine, which is the biggest problem for Onomats in that matchup.
Blue-Eyes is also favorable for Onomats as Gagagatag allows you to OTK through a Turn 1 Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon + Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and being able to Turn 1 Steelswarm Roach also stops their Turn 2 push with Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon and Spirit Dragon, forcing them to end on a weaker board which is easier to OTK.
Onomat is the only deck that has a searchable engine out to F.A. Hang on Mach and with that version playing less of the Darklord engine you can push through their boards easier. Backrow decks coming to the meta also is an indirect push for this deck, as after a Hey, Trunade! OTKing is pretty much guaranteed. However if people start going back to the Destiny Draw version, this deck will suffer.
Off The Tier List
Thunder Dragons, you posed a minor threat to the metagame due to how strong your optimal plays were, but you have become Tier List benchwarmers until F.A. Hang on Mach / Level Augmentation is dealt with.
Thunder Dragons are now off the Tier List. The deck was already struggling against Star Seraph Darklords due to their relatively high backrow count and their ability to easily negate Chaos Dragon Levianeer with The Sanctified Darklord, and also had a very hard time dealing with Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon without the Aloof Lupine into Fairy Knight Ingunar combo. Now, with the introduction of F.A. Hang On Mach to some Darklord decks, the deck struggles even more, as this card is even more difficult for the deck to deal with than Necrovalley, which already killed the deck on its own. That being said, the deck is not dead and has a favourable match up agains Harpies, which might bring them back in the future should that deck become more prevalent.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.