Tier List Update - January 22

Top Player Council Thoughts

A few weeks into the new “Koa’ki meta” has found the competitive scene slowly settling into place. Many strong counters to Koa’ki Meiru exist – the most popular being Buster Blader and Karakuri – but each has its own set of counters. Older decks like Heroes, Vampires, and Control all continue to perform well too, punishing players that overlook them.

Tier 1

Koa'ki Meiru remains in Tier 1. Very few decks can withstand the offensive output available to Koa'ki, and Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru improves every aspect of the deck significantly. However, Karakuri recently surpassed it in terms of tops at a competitive event, so its dominance and sole ownership of Tier 1 might not last much longer. Also, as a deck not overly reliant on any particular skill, KaibaCorp Bling is now an option for anyone lucky enough to own a prismatic Diamond Core.

TPC Comments:


Koa’ki Meiru remains in Tier 1 because it is still the main deck to beat in this meta, even though it struggled in top cut in the latest Meta Weekly. It might not win every tournament, but it will still see a lot of play.

Tier 2

All of Tier 2 remains the same, every one of these decks able to hold their own against Koa'ki Meiru and each other. **Buster Blader** continues to be a thorn in Koa'ki's side, abusing Last Gamble and its lockdown combo against every deck unable to disrupt their set-up. **Karakuri** can draw through their deck with ease and therefore have a solid match-up with everything after siding, although common cards like DNA Surgery and Paleozoic Canadia can disrupt Synchro plays and make it very diffult to get rolling. **Masked Heroes** and **Vampires** remain extremely versatile with various tech options, and both have begun to be explored with KaibaCorp Bling to draw into game-changing cards like Enemy Controller, Hey, Trunade!, and Mask Change.

TPC Comments:

Luke Tyler:

Buster Blader is an incredibly strong deck in the format with the potential to decimate tournament competition even when not constantly feeding off of very favourable Koa’ki Meiru matchups. The deck has an arsenal of large monsters at its disposal and a built-in soft lock.


Karakuri holds strong at Tier 2 as the deck continues to be even further optimized and more competitive players give it a legitimate chance. This deck’s ability to consistently tap into the Synchro toolbox will only make it more and more powerful as we get more Synchro monsters.

Luke Tyler:

Karakuri thrive in a Side Deck environment due to their fast deck-thinning ability. The deck has a fair amount of room for possible tech options, too.

Tier 3

Control remains in place too, sitting comfortably in Tier 3. There is also no standard for "Control", with different players using different techs based on the meta. Control can also take great advantage of its side deck, with different backrow options being much better against different decks. Wall of Disruption, for example, is near useless against Koa'ki Meiru but devastating against Vampires.

TPC Comments:


Control is the hardest to place because the deck lacks a set engine to judge. A core set of cards help determine how two decks will perform against each other without tech cards, but since Control is not tied to any archetype the deck becomes more focused on what backrow and monsters each individual player runs and is therefore harder to analyze.

This week we have the Meta Weekly on January 23rd 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 and Jadehex.

Loading comments…