Top Player Council Thoughts
Geargias and Masked HEROs stole the show at MCS VII, each bringing ten representatives to the Top 32. These new decks were clear Tier 1 candidates, although they certainly benefitted from many side-decks focused on defeating Sylvans. Geargias with Ties of the Brethren can swarm and wipe your opponent’s board, sitting behind the incredible defense of Pulse Mines, while Masked HEROs with the Fusion Destiny HERO deck-thinning engine (Vyon + Dangerous + Celestial) can draw through their deck until they’re ready to OTK off Masked HERO Anki. However both archetypes have available counters in Lava Golem, Tragedy, Acid Rain, Invader of Darkness, Anti-Magic Prism and Warrior Elimination. It will be very interesting to see how the counters to these decks make their way into side-decks, especially as Sylvans continue to be relevant.
TPC comments on Geargias
If the deck sets up with Ties of the Brethren and Pulse Mines it can be incredibly hard to deal with. Moreover, decks that don’t even play Ties and instead use Balance have also been successful. The deck has solid matchups against most of the format and has access to arguably the best defensive trap in the game in Pulse Mines. One future issue for the deck is that if it remains popular, side-deck cards such as System Down and Acid Rain may start to see use.”
TPC comment on Masked HEROs
One of the most explosive decks ever since 3SD Ninjas, being able to OTK and end games quickly while keeping consistency, definitely one of the best decks.
Sylvans proved their Tier 1 status convincingly in MCS VII, with six representatives in the Top 32 despite almost everyone building their decks to beat them. They remain one of the decks best able to use effect negation counter traps and have centralized the meta around the question “How well can your deck deal with a turn 1 set Komushroomo?”
Sylvans doing so well despite the mass hate directed towards them shows that they’re still Tier 1.
Sea Stealth Attack has been demoted to Tier 2 and may risk falling further to Tier 3. With all three Tier 1 decks able to put tremendous pressure on this deck (Sylvans by blowing things up, swarming, and using Rose Lover’s immunity to punch through Sea Stealth Attack; Geargias by blowing things up and bypassing Citadel Whale’s target negation; and Masked HEROs by using Celestial to target Umi and OTK off a single Mask Change), SSA is no longer the oppressive force it was a few weeks ago. However Abyss Soldier is still a very dangerous card and can easily steal games on its own.
Seeing less and less play, this deck has to adapt to compete with the speed of Masked HEROs and the power of Geargias. Abyss Soldier is still extremely strong against practically every match up and this deck benefits hugely from the fact that people are playing less Cosmic Cyclones and replacing their Divine Wrath with Forbidden Chalice. Established Whale boards are still incredibly hard to deal with. Geargias are a problem when they open with Ties but this can be addressed easily in a side-deck format.
Aliens have remained a strong Tier 2 deck, benefitting from multiple changes across the meta (mainly the slight fall of SSA). Aliens can also side well against other decks but are difficult to side against themselves, especially with all the focus on the Tier 1 decks. That being said, many decks can deal easily with “A”-counters, with Geargias flipping themselves down, Masked HEROs hopping out with Mask Change, and Carrotweight replacing any affected monster by jumping out of the grave.
Recombination is still a busted engine card and people main-decking Chalices makes this deck better than it is. However, it’s poor match ups with Geargias and Sylvans prevent this deck from being placed any higher.”
Red-Eyes Zombies are right on the fringe between Tier 2 and Tier 3, but have remained in Tier 2 this week. Always adaptable and with one of the best one-card combos in the game, Red-Eyes Zombies continues to be a relevant part of the meta. That being said, Red-Eyes Zombies’ signature ability to spit out big monsters while running whatever backrow they need is becoming easier to deal with, and a poor Sylvan match-up continues to hold them back.
Unfortunately REZ is in a tough place now. The old strategy of backrow removal and REZ just beating over everything isn’t something which works anymore and as such the deck has been spread extremely thin to cover these new match ups.”
Cyber Angels have been demoted to Tier 3. A supposed hard-counter to the previous Tier 1 decks, Sylvans and SSA, Cyber Angels have been unable to reliably deal with Sylvans (thanks to Enemy Controller and effect negation from Sylvans) and SSA has fallen from Tier 1 (making Cyber Angels less valuable as a counter).
Cyber Angels are in a dangerous spot. Weak against Masked HEROs and not that favorable against Geargias. Was a lot more relevant when SSA was popular, but that deck is falling off.”
Gaia Plate Magnets stay in place in Tier 3 this week, having performed as expected for a Tier 3 deck in MCS VII.
Magnets stay in Tier 3 for me due to the deck’s speed and the power of their boss monsters. I think it’s very similar to the position of Red-Eyes Zombies at the moment, but since they rely less on backrow removal for their boss monsters to be effective they might even be stronger and deserve the Tier 3 spot.”
Archfiends have also stayed in place. Although an explosive and versatile deck with many good match-ups throughout the meta, Archfiends still struggle with consistency issues and as such have a hard time pushing into Tier 2 with other more reliable decks. However, Archfiends feel like a deck that is more likely to move up in the future than down as the deck is continually refined and improved.
With Sylvans still being a big contender, Archfiends are very viable in the meta. Though the deck can possibly be Tier 2, Archfiends struggle to keep their consistency, even using the most consistent version of the deck with Needlebug Nest and/or Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress.
Fishes has been removed from the tier list. In the same way that Golden Flying Fish pushed Snipe Hunter off the tier list, Geargias have usurped Flying Fish’s role as Duel Links’ best control deck.
With Geargias being the #1 control deck at the moment, Fishes cannot compete with them as they are highly outclassed. Unfortunately, Fishes gets the same treatment as Snipe Hunter control.
This week we have the Meta Weekly on 4/10 and the DLP Weekly on 4/12. Because these are both single-elimination events, and the KC cup is taking the place of any major tournament, there are not many competitive side-deck events that will influence the tier list this week.