This is the first Tier List post-Infernity Destruction’s release. It is also the Tier List heading into the upcoming MCS this Saturday.
Infernity Destrction is interesting at first glance because we got a lot of different decks (Infernity , Weather Painter , Simorg and Demise Rituals) iin addition to support for older archetypes (Fur Hire , X-Saber). However, while everyone thought Infernities would be instantly Tier 1 thanks to Infernity Archfiend and Infernity Launcher, turns out to not the case due to the deck’s consistency issue, and if you play the Infernity Inferno skill to help resolve these issues, the deck becomes very slow. Weather Painters are a consistent deck that gets a lot of card advantage but it lacks power plays. In my opinion, the biggest winner of this Box is Darklords because of Simorgh of Darkness. Since the nerfs, Darklords were forced to play the Lightsworn engine. which meant they couldn’t use Cosmic Cyclone, thus making them weak to backrow decks, but Simorgh of Darkness helps with this problem by not only being a big resummonable body, but also providing a way to play through backrow. Darklords have the potential to come back to the Tier List since most other decks have also been nerfed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a comeback.
Blackwings have been promoted back to Tier 1. In this meta, there are many decent decks and each of those decks have hard match ups, so determining the Tier 1 and 2 decks is not easy at all and depends a lot based on the week. Blackwings could be very solid against High Tiered decks like Witchcrafters or Blue-Eyes but have been plagued with very difficult matchups against control decks, most specifically Elementsabers. At the moment, Elementsabers are in a weird spot in the meta, as matchups against decks like Witchcrafter can be really difficult. As a result, if less players are playing Elementsabers, then it will only help improve Blackwings’ tournament results.
While not as popular in the west, Level Reduction Blackwings is very popular in Japan and showing to be a very good variant. One of the main benefits of Level Reduction is simply the ability to easily play through cards like Witchcrafter Madame Verre and Fiendish Chain. Normally if a Blackwing player does not have Blackbird Close, then Verre constantly negating an already established Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower can be very annoying. However, with Level Reduction you usually have multiple ways to apply pressure. For example, if you have Raikiri and a Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust (which is level 2) in hand against a Verre or Fiendish Chain, you simply can reduce your Raikiri’s level by 2, summon the Harmattan, and use Raikiri’s effect. When they choose to negate, you simply summon Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe, re-summon the Raikiri, and use its effect again. This is just a basic example and there are ways to summon Raikiri 3 times in a turn, which can be very overwhelming for many decks.
It took a week, but Shiranui has finally adapted to the current meta, and started to build their decks around it. The more stable the meta is, the easier it gets for Shiranui to pick their tech cards, to be able to fight against the other top decks. The current lists are runningg Karma Cuts to get rid of problematic monster monsters such as Witchcrafter Madame Verre and Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower permanently. Some of the lists also swapped Floodgate Trap Holes for Paleozoic Canadias. Canadia is way better in the Witchcrafter matchup, since Witchcrafters have an easy way to dodge Floodgate by tagging out, or by summoning Madame Verre on Chain Link 2. As we go into the week of MCS, Shiranui can be a popular pick, since their only hard losing matchup in Dark Magician has started to fall in popularity. A well-teched Shiranui deck can perform well against any other meta deck.
Despite just coming off of a Meta Weekly win, Elementsabers are not really in a good position in the meta, having some very hard matchups against some of the most popular decks. It still has a really good Blackwing matchup so it will still be seen quite often in tournaments.
Gouki is a super consistent deck with access to the best Traps in the game so it deserves a spot on the Tier List. Additionally, the fact that the Gouki monsters search each other really makes this deck favorable in a mid to late game situation, especially when combined with Endless Trap Hell.
Tier 3 is a perfect fit for Ritual Beasts, this deck has some good match ups all around the Tier List in Gouki, Blackwings, and Crystrons. It can also win against Witchcrafters thanks to the Shadow Game skill and backrow like Karma Cut or Floodgate Trap Hole. The biggest problems for this deck are Invoked Neos and Blue-Eyes, RB’s toughest matchups. They can easily stop their combos with Counter Traps and then push for game with their boss monsters. For example, Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon on field alone is enough to stop every possible Ritual Beast play, therefore you must run backrow and/or copies of Herald of the Abyss / Lava Golem to clear the opponent’s field.
Elementsabers has been demoted to Tier 3 due to the lack of good matchups across the board. If you observe the Tier List you will see that Blackwings are the only clear good matchup currently. Witchcrafters can constantly negate your pushes and Invoked Neos can just Karma Cut you to oblivion. Shiranui is not terrible because they don’t main Artifact Lancea anymore but Games 2 and 3 you will likely get Lancea’d. That being said, the deck’s flexibility will always be a strength. It is recommended to main outs to Witchcrafter Madame Verre like Karma Cut and Bad Aim and maybe tech in some cards for Neos like Wall of Disruption. Your games will not be easy but Elementsabers still have the ability to get it done just like we saw in the last Meta Weekly.
Gouki has officially arrived with a couple Top 4 finishes in recent tournaments and a decent showing in the KCGT first stage. At first, this deck was viewed as a meme, yet, Traps seem to have an immense value in the current format. One well timed Bad Aim or Ballista Squad can truly swing the tide and Gouki have the ability to play these types of cards perfectly. The deck has the power to grind things to a halt while also suddenly OTKing out of nowhere. Gouki Twistcobra not only plays around backrow by tributing for cost but also serves as a killing machine in the Damage Step. This deck is scary and cannot be slept on any longer.
Gouki has finally entered the Tier List. Their main strengths lie in their near-endless monster cycling and in their ability to play some of the most powerful spells/traps in the game (such as Ballista Squad, Enemy Controller, Necrovalley, etc.) without really going minus or being slowed down as a result. They can cripple most of the currently Tiered decks, as long as they manage to set up their plays and interruptions in time.
Infernity has so many ways to be playied like with the Infernity Inferno Skill or the Avenger from the Void Skill and it still needs to be determined if any of them will be consistent enought to make it onto the Tier List. The problem compared to TCG Is that in Duel Links we miss Foolish Burial-esque effects like Dark Grepher so we struggle to set up a Turn 1 combo consistently enough. The deck has a lot of potential since it can do cool combos, search powerful Traps, or just OTK. We will see after MCS if someone will come up with a build that’s consistent enough.
Weather Painters are a new control deck from the latest box that is centered around using Continuous Spells and Traps to give its monsters powerful effects. The Weather Thundery Canvas allows you to bounce monsters back to the hand without targeting and The Weather Snowy Canvas lets you search Weather cards. The Weather Painter Snow also searches cards to give the deck more consistency. Non-targeting monster removal in the form of Thundery Canvas will also allow this deck to be able to deal with problematic monsters like Shiranui Sunsaga and Invoked Cocytus. Because this deck can search on either players turn, it can quickly generate card advantage and discard traps like Raigeki Break, Karma Cut, and Ultimate Providence become very effective in this deck. This could potentially struggle against decks that can easily deal with its spell/traps, but its consistency, searching power, and easy access to Thundery Canvas has convinced us to place this in High Potential.
Soon to be known as the best deck, Infernity is the first deck in Duel Links with actual combo deck capability. Currently, the deck is being held back by the fact that people are still trying to play the Infernity Inferno Skill. The deck can easily set up 2-3 searched Traps with multiple Synchros on Turn 1, which no deck right now can beat with a realistic hand. Access to multiple Infernity Launchers lets the deck easily play trough any hard removal trap going 2nd. Field clogging Traps like Paleozoic Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole are the biggest threat to the deck. Personally, I still have 10+ concept builds that have to be tested and optimized, but I am convinced that Tier 0 potential lies in here somewhere.
With the newest main box comes Weather Painters - a new control deck that generates advantage through its Continuous Spells and Traps. The deck has a lot of potential as a result of its core removal card, The Weather Thundery Canvas, being very easy to access. Weather Painters also pair well with multiple strong tech card choices - such as discard traps because the deck generates so much hand advantage with The Weather Snowy Canvas. The most popular skills with this deck currently are Shadow Game, Balance, Draw Sense: High-Level and Middle Age Mechs (in no particular order), with other variations floating around. Middle Age Mechs is used because it essentially turns The Weather Painter Thunder into more copies of The Weather Painter Snow. Draw Sense: High-Level is generally used to get to Lava Golem. Balance is arguably the most consistent version of the deck, but it’s not able to use Lava Golem, Kiteroid or Psychic Wheeleder as well as the other 3 variants can.
Infernity is one of the new archetypes from new box, and its an OTK deck that has to wait for your second turn to use your Infernity Inferno Skill. It’s kinda similar to Shiranui in the sense that you can make your engine as small as possible. At the moment, your engine is around 9 cards. For the rest of the spots, you need to fill your deck with backrow removal and protection to save you until your second turn. With the Skill, you can send Infernity Archfiend and Infernity Beetle to GY directly and resummon then with Infernity Mirage and Infernity Launcher. Launcher’s second effect can be used multiple times with Archfiend’s search effect and allows you to Synchro Summon so many times in a single turn. This archetype has some potential we will see where it could fit on Tier List, hopefully after the MCS.
Off the Tier List
It’s no secret that HEROs have been struggling for a while now. Similar to Elementsabers the amount of easy matchups has been dwindling while the amount of uphill battles has been rising. HEROs are just not scary anymore and there are not that many Dark Magicians to feed on. While it is possible to top with the deck, the amount of luck required is just too great to justify this deck being Tiered anymore. However, if we receive any future support this deck will be back.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.