Noble Knights are in this awkward position where it’s as close as it’s ever been to the definition of a Tier 2 deck. However, It still maintains a Tier 1 status due to its nature (Go first with combo and most likely you’ll win). This goes to show how the meta is just really weird and how pretty much anything can win against anything, as all you get to do in a game is just see your opening hand and think “yeah, I’ll win this”. If there was ever a Tier 1.5, Noble Knight would definitely be ranked there, but we’ll see where It will place in the next weeks after the upcoming banlist.
Noble Knights continue to be the sole Tier 1 deck of the format, for the time being. However, the actual gap between Noble Knights Tier 1 status and the other Tier 2 decks is actually really small. The deck still has one of the strongest Turn 1 in the meta relatively consitently with Balance, alongside a strong grind game, but its reign over the meta is slowly fading. Staple Cards such as Book of Moon are annoying to deal with and going second with Noble Knight against Abyss Dweller, Photon Strike Bounzer or even backrow are severely lowering the decks’ win-rate. Not to mention, a lot of decks in the current meta are now able to break a Turn 1 Noble Knight board. Another problem the deck faces has always been floodgate cards in the Side Deck. For the time being, Noble Knights are still Tier 1, but dont be surprised if the Tier 2 decks perform just as well or maybe even better.
In the definition of a coinflip meta, It’s no surprise that Desperado can be a good deck. It adapted decently well to its new foes by running different techs (for example, Arcana Force XIV - Temperance against Onomats), and it overall has one of the most balanced matchup spreads in the meta. Ally of Justice Quarantine can completely stop the “Stick and Chair” combo, average Water hands have a hard time dealing with Twin-Barrel Dragon or Machina Fortress + Desperado Barrel Dragon, and you could win against anything if you draw decently. On top of that, Head Judging is still a card for some reason, so that’s gonna steal games you weren’t even supposed to win (or just be a straight -1).
Onomat is in a weird spot thise meta. On the one hand, Noble Knights’ popularity is going down by a lot, which is one of its harder matchups, while also being able to handle Water Xyz (which is rising in popularity) very effectively. As such, some might think that the deck is in a great spot in the meta. However, on the other hand, the Star Seraph Darklord matchup (which is also somewhat popular) is really hard to deal with. If Onomat goes first they have to potentially struggle with the “Stick and Chair” combo which can force out the Photon Strike Bounzer and other potential backrow to make sure the Darklord engine is uninterrupted. If Onomat goes second though, they will very likely only start with 4 cards in hand and will have to deal with big monsters, effect negation and Book of Moons. Hey, Trunade! might deal with Book of Moon and pick up potential bluffs to the hand so the Onomat Player does not have to worry about that. However, if the Darklord Player was smart, they would set up The Sanctified Darklord in the GY to make sure that Trunade cannot interact with it. All these factors make that matchup very much unfavoured. As such, it will be important to see which will be the deck to beat moving forward and if Onomat can adapt to counter it.
The Top Player Council had some varying opinions on the new Darklord deck that has been going around, however, all of the votes have averaged out to Tier 2 status. The reason for the difference in opinion is because the deck truly has games where it looks virtually unbeatable: putting up two negates and a hand rip Turn 1. While this is true, there are also times where the deck doesn’t seem to open anything remotely scary and passes with Star Seraph Scepter or Darklord Nasten in DEF mode. Personally, I lean on the side of TPC that believes this deck is one of the best decks in the game right now. The potential of the deck is through the roof and more often than not the deck has a playable hand if not an outright broken one. The deck doesn’t have many counters and can farm decks like Water Xyz and Thunder Dragons. While results in competitive events haven’t been out of this world because of a lack of representation, I still think this deck is great and should be feared.
Water Xyz jas seen an increase in positive results and representation therefore it has been ba-boosted to Tier 2 status. They continue to be a deck that torments its opponents with its versatility and will likely be around for quite some time. It is also benefitting from a decrease in the amount of Thunder Dragons, which can be a hard matchup if you don’t open Necrovalley. Opening Abyss Dweller + Treacherous Trap Hole is solid against mostly anything and therefore is why the deck is going to continue to see massive amounts of usage.
Blue-Eyes stay at Tier 3. Sure, it’s a good and powerful deck and it has a good matchup against Darklord because spamming multiple 3000 ATK beaters with Azure eyes protection is very hard for them to deal with. Also, nearly every meta deck has trouble dealing with Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon and backrow going second.However, between the rising popularity of Water Xyz spamming Abyss Dweller quickly and Desperado maining Ally of Justice Quarantine and Fiend Comedian (not to mention Desperado Barrel Dragon itself), the matchups for Blue-Eyes aren’t looking too good right now. Also, Onomat can Sack Blue-Eyes with Hey, Trunade! and even deal with Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon if they side Gagagatag.
Blue-Eyes needs to adapt in some shape or form by Side Decking cards like Hallowed Life Barrier to protect from OTKs and maybe main even more backrow to consistently deal with Abyss Dweller and Ally of Justice Quarantine.
If Invoked Neos and Ritual Beast become more popular and/or the new ban list hits Desperado or Water Xyz a bit, then Blue-Eyes will get better and might be promoted to higher tiers.
We have decided to drop Thunder Dragons down a Tier. One reason is their inability to follow up consistently with Chaos Dragon Levianeer, which is more necessary than you think to actually close out games. Another reason might be the rise of Star Seraph Darklords and Water Xyz. While Darklords can play through a negate and build strong pushes themselves, Water relies on Necrovalley to deal with them and a Necrovally deck is always annoying for Thunder Dragons. Overall, it’s a decent deck, but faces strong competition and a potential hit on the upcoming banlist, worsening their position in the meta.
Thunder Dragons have been demoted to Tier 3. The deck itself isn’t terrible at all being the only deck which makes excellent use of Chaos Dragon Levianeer while also being able to trigger the banished Thunder Dragon effects. Just a simple Charge of the Light Brigade or Aloof Lupine and Thunder Dragonroar / Thunder Dragondark with a Chaos Dragon Levianeer in hand is an ‘auto-win’ a lot of time. The deck has one of the highest ceilings in the current meta, however, it has major issues in consistency and against common Side Deck cards like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror and Necrovalley. Thunder Dragons used to also have the benefit of having a decent Turn 1 with a Photon Strike Bounzer and an overwhelming Turn 2 via Chaos Dragon Levianeer (if you dont brick), but with the recent Mini BOX, Thunder Dragons faces tough competition in Onomats, a deck with extremely high consistency with Onomatoplay and access to semi-limited cards like Hey, Trunade! has been taking its role as the OTK deck of the format. While Onomats cannot easily play through backrow without Trunade as Thunder Dragons with Levianeer, the deck itself is somewhat similar to Thunder Dragons. Being able to set up Turn 1 Xyz Monster while also being to OTK with their archetypal draw 2 and consistency Skill, is something Thunder Dragons lack.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.