Tier List Update - January 20th

Luke Tyler

A shift in the meta has occurred again. The 30-card That Grass Looks Greener Shiranui strategy has become the centre of attention - with many decks in the meta countering it through raising their deck counts or through other means; such as Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer in Dark Magician. From the selection box, Fiendish Chain has become quite the staple card amongst many decks - useage of this p2w staple is expected to continue.

Tier 1

TPC Comments


30-card Spell Specialist Shiranui shot up in popularity over the past couple weeks. That Grass Looks Greener with Burgeoning Whirlflame and a graveyard full of Shiranui monsters gives you such a high ceiling of plays that are too much for most decks to handle. This has caused some decks to even play more than 20 cards to give smaller Grass mills.

Luke Tyler

The That Grass Looks Greener build of Shiranui has now almost completely replaced the backrow build, with the source of its power resonating from Burgeoning Whirlflame. There are still non-Grass backrow variants in the meta, with a lot of them playing a deck count of around 25 in preparation for playing against its 30-card Grass variant. Using Spell Specialist, Grass Shiranui is able to open the powerful spell card itself in a large amount of games - the community’s calculations believe it to be closer to 70/75% than the previous 60%. In order to fully utilise Spell Specialist, builds play 3 Grass and 4 1-of Spells to maximise the chances of opening Grass. Strong performances from Shiranui are expected to continue.


30-card Shiranui has risen in popularity this past week and was the most played deck in the MCS. Opening That Grass Looks Greener gives you access to a multitude of options, particularly if you mill Burgeoning Whirlflame. The meta has started to mould itself around this deck, with players electing to run over 20 cards to minimise the amount of milling with Grass.


Grass Shiranui takes advantage of both That Grass Looks Greener and the Shiranui monster effects to their fullest. With around a 70% Grass opening, it is difficult for many decks to handle the disruption resulting from Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Spiritmaster as well as the already established power of the Shiranui monsters. Undeniably the most powerful deck, 30-card Grass Shiranui forces every other deck to either adapt or die.


Shiranui is the only Tier 1 deck this format mostly cause of the Skill Spell Specialist providing That Grass Looks Greener close to 70% of your duels which is the core card of the deck. With Grass you can mill your Shiranuis, Gozuki and of course your Burgeoning Whirlflame which can be used to banish Shiranuis giving you the potential of drawing, Special Summoning, and interrupting during both turns. In order for other decks to even compete with 30-card Shiranuis they are forced into running more than 20 cards (for less Grass mills), or main decking side deck cards for it.

Tier 2

TPC Comments

Autumn Leaf

Despite being a deck with one of the strongest OTK potential in the game, relevant meta decks such as Dark Magician and especially Elementsabers, have the ability to easily disrupt Blackwing plays even through Sealed Tombs.


With recent builds now playing Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, Dark Magician has another advantage (the other being Sealed Tombs) over the popular 30-card Shiranui deck.

Elementsabers are still a top contender, being able to utilize the combination of Fiendish Chain and Treacherous Trap Hole, two of the best Trap Cards in the current meta, effectively. Invoked Purgatrio is still also a pertinent threat.


With the latest Selection Box we got a new powerful trap card in Fiendish Chain. Fiendish Chain is a very effective card against Darklords, specially paired up with Turn 1 Sealed Tombs. The rise of the 30-card Shiranui decks combined with the addition of Fiendish Chain push Darklords to Tier 2.

Dark Magicians have the tools to adapt to the meta, the addition of Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer paired up with Sealed Tombs shuts down the win conditions of the Tier 1 Shiranui decks. The disruption during opponent turn with Dark Magical Circle, the Spell / Trap negation with Magician Navigation and the fact they have nice synergy with side decks card like Kycoo keeps Dark Magicians a strong Tier 2 deck.

Luke Tyler

Blackwings remain to be a prevalent force in the meta, but face demotion as a result of an uprise in Dark Magician and Elementsaber - decks which can easily interrupt its plays. It’s demotion comes as a reflection of its recent and expected results.

Boasting an arsenal of strong engine cards, Darklords haven’t fallen out of relevance ever since the introduction of Banishment of the Darklords into Duel Links. However, Darklord faces demotion as a result of an uprise in bad matchups, Fiendish Chain and Sealed Tombs. The deck is still super powerful, just not as prevalent in the competitive scene as it was a couple of weeks ago - hence it’s demotion. Strong results from Darklord are expected to continue.

Dark Magician has established itself as a powerful control deck in the meta. Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer offers extreme usefulness in the meta (mainly against Shiranui) and is super easy to get to. Dark Magical Circle is an incredible boost for Dark Magician. The card is a boost in consistency, offence and defence all at the same time. The removal it provides is superb, and the ability to search / rearrange is fantastic too. When playing uninterrupted, Dark Magician is able to establish setups which are difficult for many decks on the Tier List to effectively deal with.

Coupled with the Elementsaber engine, Invoked with Sorcery Conduit is recognised as being a consistent strategy with menacing backrow. Elementsaber Invoked is able to play a slow-pace game while also having the ability to swiftly hammer down on the opponents Life Points. In regards to recent deck building trends, Fiendish Chain is a fantastic tech option that is seeing a lot of play. Furthermore, many builds are opting to play high deck size counts to reduce the impact of That Grass Looks Greener. The consistency loss is minimal when doing with Sorcery Conduit and more Elementsaber monsters.


We have started to see Elementsaber Invoked builds going over 20 cards in order to reduce the advantage generated by That Grass Looks Greener. In addition, with Fiendish Chain helping this deck with its Darklord matchup it has continued to perform well this past week. This is reinforced by its impressive conversion to Top 32 in the MCS.

With the rise of Shiranui, Dark Magician gained a favourable matchup by adding Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer. With Kycoo and Sealed Tombs, Dark Magician has an easy time keeping Shiranui from accessing their graveyard effects.


Blackwings can be a good answer in this current meta for decks like Shiranui and Darklords for its ability to Sealed Tombs and OTK in the same turn, but results seem that it’s not consistent enough or trustworthy for a big tourney.

Dark Magician is a tier 2 deck at the moment cause of its very strong combo (Dark Magical Circle with Magician Navigation)but mostly of its ability to counter Shiranui bringing Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer from the deck and not letting them banish anything from their grave. Also as I said before it’s very strong opening combo makes it hard for other decks to beat. A problem for the deck is Cosmic Cyclone hitting either the Circle or Navigation in the end phase making it difficult for them to control the board.

Darklords are one of the strongest decks of every meta since its release and that’s mostly of its very strong engine of Banishment of the Darklords and Darklord Ixchel. The problems Darklords have in this current meta is mostly Sealed TombsFiendish Chain (which is rising in popularity), and Blackwings, but it’s for sure a deck you should consider as one of the best.

Elementsabers are a Tier 2 deck because of Sorcery Conduit giving you Aleister the Invoker when you take 1000 Damage. This allows you to run more than 20 cards making That Grass Looks Greener less effective, playing more useful traps like Floodgate Trap Hole, Fiendish Chain, etc. while also making Fusion plays the deck needs whenever you take 1000.


Darklords are going down for multiple reasons:

  1. Fiendish Chain, the new P2W staple, is good vs Darklords
  2. They have a hard time dealing with Shiranui resolving That Grass Looks Greener (like pretty much every other deck)
  3. Sealed Tombs seeing more and more play which forces Darklords to make a Darklord Nasten play.

Darklords are still really strong but not longer the king of the meta.

Tier 3

TPC Comments:


Ritual Beasts are still a strong deck, as the popular meta traps like Fiendish Chain and Floodgate Trap Hole hurts them less than the other meta decks. We see less and less Poisonous Winds in side decks, that helps the deck out a lot. However, the lack of a playerbase means Ritual Beast cant move up on the Tier List for now.

Luke Tyler

Ritual Beasts remain at Tier 3. Their conversion rates are always fantastic, but they are very underrepresented. Despite being a powerful deck with the ability to pop off under most disruption, the side deck continues to be a massive threat for Ritual Beasts. The deck is still expected to perform at a high level.

Off the Tier List

TPC Comments:

Luke Tyler

Cyber Dragon faces demotion. It has severely underperformed in the competitive scene. The deck may very well pick itself back up in the upcoming week, but for now demotion is appropriate. Cybernetic Overflow is a powerful trap card that so happens to be easily accessible through Cyber Dragon Core. The deck is well equipped for decimating decks that commit lots of cards to the field without much follow-up, especially backrow-heavy strategies. It’s weaknesses still lay with slight consistency issues as well as a noticeable struggle to deal with decks that can constantly pump out monsters larger than Chimeratech Rampage Dragon.


After being given another week to try and establish itself in the meta, this deck has dropped off and demotion from the Tier List felt appropriate


While Dragunity Knight - Ascalon certainly can get some highlight moments by banishing the opponent’s field, ultimately it is the susceptibility to basic disruption that makes Dragunities falter. Cosmic Cyclone, The Sanctified Darklord, Paleozoic Canadia, Floodgate Trap Hole, these four elements comprise the list of common cards that stop Dragunities in their tracks. Even if Dragunities can push through and complete their combo they still rely on drawing Treacherous Trap Hole to steal games due to them not being able to really OTK consistently. Now with the prevalence of Dark Magician and Shiranui theres no way Dragunities can keep up. As of right now, in a Bo3 it cannot win at a semi-consistent level. However, support in the upcoming box could help Dragunities depending on what we receive but for now they will take their spot at KOG worthy.

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Tier List update written by Jadehex.

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