The release of the new Ancient Gear structure deck has had an immediate impact on the meta and is already influencing how certain decks will be looked at going into the MCS this weekend.
Karakuri and Koa'ki Meiru have remained in Tier 1, continuing to excel in competitive events. Koa'ki Meiru in particular now has an even stronger position in the meta, thanks to a very good Ancient Gear match-up. Karakuri will have difficulty getting over Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon without side-deck cards, and so that deck may falter in the coming weeks without serious readjustment.
Karakuri remain in Tier 1 with increasingly consistent tournament performances thanks to their ability to access devastating floodgate cards in the side deck quicker than most any other deck we’ve seen to date. Once this deck gets going it’s very hard to stop it.
Koaki Mieru remain in Tier 1 due to generally impressive top cut conversion rates and an ability to OTK through just about anything when they go second and their cards line up.
Buster Blader has been demoted to Tier 2, in large part thanks to a very unfavorable Ancient Gear match-up. Unending Nightmare is very difficult for Buster Blader to play through, losing their DNA Surgery repeatedly and only having Dark Paladin as an out to Reactor Dragon.
Masked Heroes and Vampires have remained in Tier 2 and are expected to adapt well to a meta shaped by the presence of Ancient Gears.
Buster Blader falls to Tier 2. Though Tier 1 in some other team formats due to its oppressive strengths, in tournaments it appears to be a bit too inconsistent against the variety of the meta as a whole to compete at a Tier 1 level.
Vampires are able to maintain their spot at Tier 2 after great performance in Meta Weekly 57. With the introduction of KaibaCorp Bling, Vampires are able to abuse a skill that can practically let them search anything Turn 3-4. With Enemy Controller being as relevant as ever, almost always seeing it after setting up a Vampire Takeover play drastically increases Vampire oppression and simply can end games the moment they see a Vampire Grace combo plus ECon. Vampires remain as versatile as ever, being able to practically play with their entire deck in their hand and search what they need for the specific situation – not to mention being able to play Bandit quite successfully during backrow-heavy metagames.
Heroes stick in Tier 2 simply because Masked HERO Anki is still extremely oppressive. Heroes constantly adapt to the meta, introducing new tech cards every single format. At the end of the day, three attacks with just a monster and a Mask Change can end games single-handedly.
Control has remained in Tier 3, even in the face of the new Ancient Gear deck. Passive removal like Snowman Eater and even D.D. Assailant have less value against Ancient Gears, but more aggressive options like Amazoness Swords Woman may be introduced in the deck. Hitting a Reactor with Floodgate Trap Hole and then swinging in with Swords Woman is an intense amount of pressure on Ancient Gears, so it will be interesting to see how the best Control builds adapt to the changing meta.
Ancient Gears and Mecha Phantom Beasts have been added to High Potential. **Ancient Gears** in particular have very strong competitive potential, being able to pop off very consistently into oppressive boards. A poor Koa'ki Meiru match-up, however, will be a major weak point of the deck and a relative lack of flexibility compared to the versatility of Koa'ki Meiru Maximus and Vampire Kingdom can occasionally make Ancient Gears feel too limited when viewed next to other top decks. **Mecha Phantom Beasts** play very similarly to Control, but have access to huge blowout cards like Needle Ceiling which can be very difficult for your opponent to play around thanks to all the Token generation.
Mecha Phantom Beasts - In retrospect these probably should have been placed into High Potential on release. They have shown to have much more potential as a control deck than initially thought in my opinion. The biggest thing working against them is sheer lack of representation and experimentation (similar to the way that Buster Blader took a long while to catch on for instance), however rest assured that the potential is most certainly there.
Ancient Gears have very favorable matchups against Buster Blader, Vampires, and Control. Their matchup against Heroes is dependent on the popularity of each deck in the meta; a defense position Masked HERO Dian is difficult to deal with if AG doesn’t have methods of removing a 3000 DEF monster, but many HERO builds are running the deck without Dian so it may not even be a necessity.
Gusto has been removed from High Potential after a week of little notable success and a horrible match-up against Ancient Gears.
Gusto is far too slow of a deck to be capable in this meta. If we were still in a format where Control was the best deck then perhaps Caam, Serenity of Gusto consistently plussing along with Daigusto Gulldos’ destruction would be strong enough to compete. Along with a terrible matchup in Ancient Gears, this deck seems to have missed its chance to make any impact.