A week removed from the February KC Cup, the Tier List will resume its focus on the best-of-3, side-deck format.
Koa'ki Meiru and Vampires have remained in Tier 1, although the dominant deck of the format is unquestionably Koa'ki Meiru. Large normal summons with built-in disruption, easy special summons, and the most potent offensive deck since the original Fur Hires, Koa'ki Meiru was by far the most commonly seen deck in the KC Cup. Most of the meta is warped around the presence of Koa'ki and will likely continue to be that way for some time.
Vampires live outside the triangle of Koa’ki > Ancient Gears > Buster Blader > Koa’ki, but in a meta with zero battle traps have been able to exploit KaibaCorp Bling for easy Enemy Controller access in very lightweight and explosive builds. Vampire Grimson is also becoming increasingly popular in Vampire main decks as a way to survive Koa’ki pushes and trigger Bling.
Ancient Gears and Buster Blader sit in Tier 2, rounding out the main parts of the meta. Ancient Gears are a very strong deck that separate the Tier 1 decks from almost every other deck in the game. Either your deck is faster and powerful enough to dismantle Ancient Gears before they get set up (like Koa'ki and Vampire swarms can) or they just run you over with some of the best cards in the game. Almost every draw in an Ancient Gear deck is a fantastic card; Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia for defense, Breaker the Magical Warrior and Galaxy Cyclone as offensive starter cards, and the best Ancient Gear cards in the game to round out the deck. Needing a turn or two to get started is one of the only weaknesses of the deck, and afterwards it becomes a freight train of oppression.
Buster Blader has been demoted to Tier 2 mainly due to the return to a side-deck focused Tier List. A generally poor Ancient Gear match-up offset by generally positive Koa’ki and Vampire match-ups keeps Buster Blader highly relevant in the meta and one of the main four decks to consider when preparing for a competitive event.
Karakuri has been demoted to Tier 3, seeing almost no play during the KC Cup and failing to return to its previous levels of play thanks to a wider meta and an inability to tech well against everything. Spellbooks have been demoted to Tier 3 as well, not performing as well in side-deck events. Finally, Sea Stealth Attack (SSA) decks have been added to Tier 3 after weeks of rogue status culminating in a DLPT win. Larger deck sizes have become the norm for SSA decks as they use their large number of starter cards to cover for the increased defensive lineup while maintaining reasonable levels of consistency.
Lavals have been added to High Potential thanks to a major wave of new support in [Absolute Inferno](/box-reviews/absolute-inferno/). The major power card in the new support is Dustflame Blast, a huge potential board-wipe that's easy to set up by Molten Conduction Field or a simple Synchro summon with Laval Cannon + any of the new Tuners. Skills for this deck range from Reinforcements to draw Cannon to Last Gamble for big Dustflame OTK plays. A poor Koa'ki Meiru match-up holds this deck back, however, so it will be interesting to see how far up the Tier List Lavals can realistically push without the help of a banlist.
Control and Heroes have been removed from Tier 3. The meta has sufficiently outpaced generic control decks, and the combination of Koa'ki and Ancient Gears has been enough to force out Masked Heroes. Stall have been removed from High Potential during the KC cup, expected to be irrelevant in side-deck formats.
Tier List update written by superforms.