This is the first Tier List for your new Top Player Council. This is also a KaibaCorp Stage 2 Tier List, focusing on best-of-one ladder format as opposed to the usual Side Deck Format.
The meta leading up to the KCC seems to be taking shape in the form of control decks such as Elementsabers and Shiranui coming out as the most popular decks of the format. They boast getting maximum value out of each monster they play and staying strong defensively with a variety of backrow.
Shiranui is a really safe deck choice, the fact that it has a small engine lets you play a lot of tech cards that give you an advantage in certain matchups.Being able to adapt and change those techs during the KC Cup will be really important.
Elementsabers, despite beign a Tier 1 deck like Shiranui have a different role in the current meta. They have really good matchups against some decks but they also have a really hard matchup in Dark Magician, unlike Shiranui who have decent matchups all around,again, because of their versatility.
This deck has struggled against some specific and popular cards like Floodgate Trap Holes and Paleozoic Canadias as they easily stopped their Synchro plays, but the new box brought Ballista Squad, which fit really well in the 20-card lists allowing you to unclog your field and do some plays. While there’s still problematic stuff like Artifact Lancea, No Mortal Can Resist, and Karma Cut that Shiranui players will have to face this KC Cup, it’s still the safest option considering you have enough space to add answers for everything. Considering this is a three-day competition I believe Level Augmentation will be the best option over No Mortal Can Resist, as you can spam Shiranui Sunsaga Turn 1 more often which is a huge problem for most of the decks to deal with, costing them a lot of resources and allowing you to control the game.
Elementsabers, along with Shiranui will be played by a majority this KC Cup. Their ability to run numerous backrow and still have a deadly engine is game-changing.
The Tier 2 decks, namely Thunder Dragons and Crystrons rely on a more aggressive approach with its spell and trap cards but use their inherit floating effects to stave the opposition. Thunder Dragons are capable of extremely explosive plays thanks to the new Chaos Dragon Levianeer along with powerful Synchros. With the explosiveness and floating ability of their engine monsters, Thunder Dragons are a formidable deck for the KC Cup. Crystrons are more of a control strategy than their Thunder Dragon counterpart boasting less explosiveness but more survivability than Thunder Dragons (however they are still capable of explosive plays with Crystron Quariongandrax and Black Rose Dragon).
Thunder Dragons are a really good deck for the KC Cup, their ability to finish games fast, play through backrow, have a good mid/late game and abusethe most devastating card in the current meta, Chaos Dragon Levianeer, makes it a real contender for 1st place in this KC Cup. Despite all of this it still has an inherent counter in Invoked Purgatrio and as we’ve seen in recent results that card not only being used in Elementsabers but some Shiranui variants as well.
The deck has been moved to Tier 2 because the increase in popularity of backrow decks such as Elementasaber and Shiranui and skills like No Mortal Can Resist. As a result, techs like Forbidden Lance and Cosmic Cyclone are a must right now. Another reason about the downgrade of the deck is the lower popularity of Blue Eyes, Cyber Dragon and Lunalight, which are very good match-ups for Crystrons. This deck is still a very good choice for this meta, even more in the KCC no side format thanks to the great consistency and because there wont be cards like System Down to deal with.
Blue Eyes has fallen to Tier 2 due to having many awkward matchups in the current meta. Popular matchups such as Thunder Dragons, Shiranui, and Crystrons are not easy at all and can provide a lot of problems to Blue Eyes through their ability to grind so well. Tier 3 and rogue decks such as Cyber Dragons and Lunalights can also be very difficult for Blue Eyes.
At the same time, Blue Eyes is a very strong deck and can hold its own against several decks. During particular phases of the KC Cup, perhaps at a time where decks like Invoked and Dark Magician are commonly being played, Blue Eyes could be a fine choice. It will be interesting to see how this deck performs in the KC Cup and it may be able to surprise some people.
The shift of the meta really helped out Dark Magician, they have a favourable matchup against Elementsabers and Shiranui, since the deck has a great time dealing with heavy backrow decks. Dark Magicians started to use Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer again, which is a very important card against most of the meta decks. Not letting you opponent banish from their grave is crucial, it stops the summon of Chaos Dragon Levianeer, Thunder Dragonduo, and stops Shiranui from using the effect of Shiranui Spectralsword from the grave.
Crystrons can struggle against two decks, Shiranui and Elementsabers, that we expect to be very popular moving forward. Shiranui can be a difficult matchup because of No Mortal Can Resist depleting graveyard resources and because of the heavy amount of traps the deck usually runs. Elementsabers can also be a difficult matchup, especially going second, because of disruptions they use in the form of Elementsaber Molehu and backrow cards. This is however still a strong deck for tournaments and the KCC because of its consistency and easy access to extra deck monsters. Tech cards such as Artifact Lancea and Forbidden Lance could help in both of these matchups.
Thunder Dragons’ ability to power through backrow and end games quickly will surely make an appearance this KC Cup. I expect to see this deck at the Top with Shiranui and Elementsabers.
Dark Magician’s excellent matchups versus both Elementsabers and Shiranui have pushed them to Tier 2. Dark Magician is known for doing exceptionally well against heavy backrow decks through the power of Magician Navigation‘s Spell / Trap negation effect, as well as having easy banish spot removal through Dark Magical Circle. Returning techs such as Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and Night’s End Sorcerer has helped Dark Magician have an easier time versus Thunder Dragon, Shiranui, and other graveyard-reliant decks.
Tier 3 is a dangerous group of decks boasting Masked HEROs, Cyber Dragon and Blackwings, the mostly offensive “glass cannon” style strategies. Each deck is capable of blowing right through the even most prepared control strategy with the right hand. Their lack of protection and going-first plays keeps them from being a more popular deck.
A deck like Cyber Dragon, which is capable of ending games quickly is expected to potentially do well in the KCC. This deck can struggle against decks such as Thunder Dragons and Crystrons, but it can do well against Dark Magician and backrow heavy control decks like Elementsabers and Shiranui before they are able to set up. These decks still have boss monsters that can be difficult to deal with such as Invoked Cocytus and Shiranui Sunsaga, so it is in your best interest to end games quickly.
Cyber Dragon has been added to Tier 3 for the KC Cup tier list due to its ability to accumulate fast wins at a decent winrate. The deck has quite a few strong matchups across the meta, and can prove to be quite the menace to be reckoned with when dealt a powerful hand. Cyber Dragons boasts quite the arsenal of removal options - giving it an edge in a format with multiple backrow decks.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.