Tier List Update - January 7

Top Player Council Thoughts

Konami kicked 2019 off with a bang, introducing two very powerful new decks in Revolution Beginning. Correspondingly, we have an all-new Top Player Council and a big change to the Tier List, starting the year off with a brand-new Tier 1 deck that is warping the meta around its presence: Koa’ki Meiru.

Tier 1

Koa'ki Meiru has been moved directly from High Potential to Tier 1. Koa'ki Meiru Maximus is one of the strongest cards in the game and Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru is a stellar support card for Maximus. In addition to sporting large 4-star monsters with excellent effects, Koa'ki Meiru decks can abuse the best backrow traps (currently Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia) alongside strong skills like Balance and Sealed Tombs. With few consistent counters, strong and versatile offensive plays, and a great array of support cards, Koa'ki Meiru has made an immediate impact on the meta and has an argument for the title of "best deck in the game".

Vampires remain in Tier 1, being one of the few decks fast and consistent enough to keep up with Koa’ki Meiru. Sphere Kuriboh is becoming a staple in top-level Vampire decks to ruin all-in Maximus plays, and the ability to choose between game-sealing skills like Bandit, Sealed Tombs, and Destiny Draw continues to be a strength for the deck.

TPC Comments:


Koa’ki Mieru has proven to be an extremely powerful deck, showing great performance only a day after the deck was released in Meta Weekly 53. Even through they were seemingly un-optimized builds, Koa’ki Mieru was able to completely destroy the competition.

Vampires haven’t suffered any hits and have decent matchups versus the new decks, Koa’ki Mieru and Karakuri.


Koa’ki Meiru appears to be above the rest of the decks. The deck’s ability to use Diamond Core to search anything in its arsenal along with an incredible boss monster in Maximus facilitates easy OTKs and versatility in plays. This deck will continue to be optimized, and as such continue to dominate tournaments.


Diamond Core and Core Reinforcement are some insanely good new cards for Koa’ki Meiru. Maximus is one of the best boss monsters in the game at the moment! With the new cards you can abuse the effect from Maximus consistently and often. (Diamond Core is insane.)


Koa’ki Meiru already made a big impact on the meta being the most played deck in the Meta Weekly 53 and winning it because it’s relatively cheap, strong and fast. The meta will evolve around it because it’s very consistent thanks to Balance and Diamond Core, it has an explosive turn 2 and strong OTK potential because of Maximus, and it has access to strong and searchable side deck cards like Koa’ki Meiru Rooklord or Koa’ki Meiru Wall.

Vampires struggled a bit in the last week because Control decks heavily sided against it and Heroes were more popular again in tournaments. But they are still one of the most versatile decks in Duel Links and having the Big Succ is still insane in this meta, even against the new decks like Koa’ki Meiru and Karakuri. Also Ko’aki Meiru being the main deck to beat in this new meta might be good for Vampires because people might not heavily side against it anymore.


I feel these two decks are more well-rounded than the rest of the tiered decks, having outs to pretty much anything. They will have clear dominance in the new meta.


All other decks now definitely need a consistent way to somehow stop Koa’ki Meiru from OTKing you. (Canadia, Floodgate, Enemy Controller, Sphere Kuriboh, etc.)

wayne kenoff:

Koa’ki Meiru has exploded on the scene with huge OTK potential and searchability thanks to Diamond Core. A card that can search your missing combo pieces is huge and the ability to keep your monsters from dying at no cost other than searching is a massive boost to what one would assume is a glass cannon deck. The deck boasts a little of whatever you want; versatile destruction, spell/trap negation, and even monster effect negation.


Koa’ki Meiru have presented themselves as a relentlessly powerful new deck. This deck can certainly be countered more as time goes on, however its ability to consistently blow out an opponent’s board commands enough of an affect on the rest of the meta and popular tech choices that it gets fast-tracked straight to Tier 1 for the time being.

Tier 2

Control has been demoted to Tier 2, largely due to the rise of Koa'ki Meiru. It is very difficult for a slow deck like Control to deal with multiple Maximus pops and Koa'ki Meiru Sandman negations.

Masked Heroes remain in Tier 2. With highly flexible backrow, Heroes can adjust to more disruptive traps (moving away from cards like Wall of Disruption and Widespread Ruin) that help stop Koa’ki Meiru and Vampire decks from setting up a board. This move away from battle traps also benefits Heroes; Masked HERO Anki can feel safer swinging into backrow knowing that most players are sitting on Floodgate and Canadia to stop Maximus, not Widespread or Mirror Wall.

TPC Comments:


Control has a hard time against the explosive plays and swarming ability of Koa’ki Meiru paired with backrow removal like Hey, Trunade! or Reckoned Power, but it can still adapt and does well against other decks like Heroes or Spellbooks.

Heroes are still a good deck especially with Control and Blue-Eyes struggling in this meta. They also still heavily rely on drawing Mask Change or scoop.

wayne kenoff:

Control needs to adapt to a new meta deck in Koa’ki but the deck should be able to adapt rather easily. Masked Heroes can still steal games with Mask Change and can side cards effectively vs most decks.

Tier 3

Spellbooks have been re-added to Tier 3 where they find only Buster Blader remaining. Both of these decks have strong match-ups against Koa'ki Meiru; Spellbooks sitting on Silent Magician is very strong (being able to negate Diamond Core and float into Silent Magician LV8 if destroyed by Maximus), and Buster Blader loves seeing the Dragon-Type Maximus come onto the field. In compeitive settings Buster Blader already looks like one of the most popular counters to Koa'ki Meiru, and it's a deck that Koa'ki Meiru players should have in mind when preparing for those events.

TPC Comments:


Spellbooks making a comeback as a rogue deck thanks to a good Hero and Koa’ki Meiru match up. Silent Magician is still very annoying especially for those 2 decks; they rely on backrow to deal with it.

Buster Blader still heavily relies on their Exodia combo with DNA Surgery and Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman; if they can pull it off, every deck has a hard time against them. Also Koa’ki Meiru Maximus being a Dragon keeps this deck relevant in this meta.

wayne kenoff:

Two different decks but very similar in how they rely on drawing the needed combos to establish extremely oppressive boards. Less consistent than the top decks, but boast arguably more powerful boards once established. Both Tier 3 decks should have positive matchups vs the new Tier 1 deck Koa’ki Meiru.

High Potential

Karakuri has remained in High Potential as the deck continues to be optimized. The best Synchro spam deck in the game by far, Karakuri is less obvious about its win condition than Koa'ki Meiru. With incredible draw power and search options, the idea is to combo into multiple strong Synchro monsters (mainly Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei" and Armades, Keeper of Boundaries) while thinning the deck for game-ending cards like Hey, Trunade!. Because of this draw power Karakuri can abuse the side deck better than almost any other deck, and they will certainly be a deck to keep an eye on as the meta develops.

TPC Comments:


Karakuri, while still being optimized, shares similar strengths to the Koa’ki Meiru strategy in searchers, easy OTK potential, and the ability to access staples such as Hey, Trunade!, Pulse Mines, Enemy Controller, and Treacherous Trap Hole.

wayne kenoff:

Karakuri have huge potential and can put out formidable Synchro summon based boards and are without a doubt the first viable true Synchro deck we’ve had. Being a new style of deck I do believe it needs more time to be optimized and time in tournaments to see where it truly lies on the Tier List.


Blue-Eyes, Fur Hires, and U.A. have all been removed from the Tier List, mostly thanks to Koa'ki Meiru alone. Blue-Eyes has been entirely outclassed by Koa'ki Meiru, providing less speed, flexibility, consistency, and power. Fur Hires are devastated by the entrance of a monster (Maximus) that can remove Wiz, Sage Fur Hire with ease, and U.A. decks similiarly hate facing such free monster removal when it takes so much work to get a single U.A. Mighty Slugger consistently on the board.

TPC Comments:


Blue-Eyes: Blue-Eyes has been rapidly declining over the last couple of weeks. It is now time to demote Blue-Eyes as it doesn’t have good matchups versus almost any of the top decks and Spellbooks’ comeback would be the final nail in the coffin for them.

Fur Hire: Fur Hire was a relatively good deck during the past couple of weeks. With decent/good matchups versus Vampires, Heroes, and Control, starting Beat, Bladesman Fur Hire still made the deck feel Tier 1, but now with the release of Koa’ki Mieru and Karakuri, and the return of Spellbooks, this deck has been gutted. Fur Hire’s decent matchups don’t matter when three horrible matchups are introduced in the meta. In a meta where Wiz, Sage Fur Hire isn’t an insanely powerful card, Fur Hire can no longer thrive.

Ultra Athletes: U.A. depended on a slow meta for them to thrive, but now that Koa’ki Mieru and Karakuri are rising and Control is falling, there’s no place for U.A. on the Tier List anymore.


Blue-Eyes was already weak before this new meta, and with Koa’ki Meiru it has another top tier deck to deal with, which makes it even more difficult for Blue-Eyes to stay alive in this meta.

U.A. has a very good Control match up, but with Control being weaker this deck loses relevance again. It is also too slow to keep up with Koa’ki Meiru and Vampires.

Fur Hires are still a strong Control deck with Wiz, but they can’t keep up with the speed and aggression of Ko’aki Meiru and Vampires.

This week we have the Meta Weekly on January 9th at 7pm EST and other community events throughout the week. Expect the results of these events to have a strong influence on the Tier List.

Find out more by joining the Duel Links Meta Discord.
Be sure to check out Guides and Reviews and King of Games Decklists.
Learn more about the Top Player Council members.

Tier List update written by superforms.

Loading comments…