This is the first Tier List for your new Top Player Council.
The newest box “Future Horizon” brought about some strong legacy support - most noticeably Dark Magical Circle and a handful of Cyber Dragon cards. Both Dark Magician and Cyber Dragon along with Thunder Dragon have a lot of potential, and it will be interesting to see how they perform in competitive tournament environments over the coming week, especially the MCS on Saturday. Artifact Lancea is also a very strong side deck card, and it has been influencing the performance of certain decks.
Darklords have been the deck to benefit the most with the addition of Artifact Lancea, with the most relevance against Elementsabers, Ritual Beasts and Shiranui as well as protecting a set The Sanctified Darklord from a Cosmic Cyclone on the opponent’s turn. Though Darklords have always faced a problem in terms of consistency - sometimes drawing hands that are not even playable.
Darklords are stronger than every other deck (thanks to the new box) however they aren’t oppresive and everyone should know how to beat them by now. Don’t worry though, even if you don’t, Konami-sama will obliterate the deck in the next banlist so don’t invest in it.
Darklords are clearly the winners of the new box. Artifact Lancea can be used against Elementsabers, Ritual Beasts and Shiranui at the same time, so Darklords can afford to side it against every Tiered deck.
Darklords have the highest ceiling of the meta. With the addition of Artifact Lancea, they now have a tech that can shut down other decks for 1 turn, with the dual use of stopping Cosmic Cyclone from hitting The Sanctified Darklord. There only downside is their consistency, which has a kept them from always being Tier 0, but when your deck does the best things who needs consistency?
Darklord remains in a prevalent position in the metagame, with the popular skill being Compensastion. The deck boasts an arsenal of strong engine cards and hasn’t fallen out of relevance ever since the introduction of Banishment of the Darklords into Duel Links. In regards to recent deckbuilding trends, the deck recently received the addition of Artifact Lancea to its tech pool - a card from the most recent box “Future Horizon”. Lancea holds a lot of value in matchups across the board; with Darklord in particular the card sees play in most side decks, with many main decking a single copy. In addition, Darklord Superbia is able to recur Artifact Lancea to re-use it’s effect. Strong results from Darklord are expected to continue. Cyber Dragons greatly struggle with beating Darklord, so with that deck on the rise Darklord have an additional source of favoured matchups.
Darklords return to being the strongest deck in the format once again. With the addition of Artifact Lancea from the latest box, which can shut down a number of decks for a turn and protect your backrow from a Cosmic Cyclone. Particularly useful for Darklords if you want to set The Sanctified Darklord.
Darklords seems like the best deck for the meta right now with Darklord Ixchel giving you easier access to huge side deck cards like Artifact Lancea which not only stops cards like Invocation but also protects your cards from Cosmic Cyclone
Darklords seems to be the king of the meta right now. Artifact Lancea allows you to set The Sanctified Darklord safely and disrupt enemy plays. I expect Blackwings with Sealed Tombs to go up again since it seems to be the best Darklord counter.
I feel that the drop in Elementsabers has been entirely due to Artifact Lancea. Though the card itself is a counter to the deck, it has also indirectly impacted the placement of Elementsabers in the meta as it incentivises people to play Darklords (an already tough match up and the main beneficiary of Lancea). Ironically, two new decks that have arrived onto the Tier List in Dark Magician and Cyner Dragon, actually cannot deal with Invoked Cocytus easily.
The addition of Artifact Lancea hurts Elementsabers the most. Lancea can shut down the win condition of the deck by itself. Elementsabers are gonna lose their popularity and they won’t be the most represented deck anymore.
Blackwing returns to Tier 2 status due to an increase in popularity from its favoured matchups, and a decrease in popularity from its unfavourable matchups. Darklord is seeing more representation in tournament environments, whereas Elementsaber Invoked usage is trending downwards. Such is an indication of Blackwing’s uprise in relevancy. Due to Sealed Tombs and cards like Blackbird Close, Darklord is recognised as being a favoured matchup for Blackwing. With all the harsh interruption from Elementsaber Invoked, Blackwing is notoriously weak against the deck. Blackwing can have awkward times with handling the new meta contenders though (Cyber Dragon and Dark Magician), so this may be something that it needs to adapt towards in the coming weeks. More backrow removal being played in Blackwing decks is to be expected.
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 lifepoints. Despite its capabilities, Elementsaber Invoked faces demotion as a result of the introduction to Artifact Lancea to side decks as well as an uprise in popularity from Darklord (an unfavourable matchup for Elementsaber Invoked).
Shiranui maintains its relevancy as a decent control deck, equipped with an extremely large amount of backrow cards due to its small engine. Commonly used with Sealed Tombs, the deck is able to pose a threat to many meta contenders through generating advantage with a strong synchro-summoning package. More aggressive That Grass Looks Greener variants with Spell Specialist and Burgeoning Whirlflame also see play and success, but in smaller numbers. It will be interesting to see if Shiranui can still uphold its Tier 2 status as Cyber Dragon and Dark Magician continue to weave their ways into the metagame.
Blackwings have been promoted to Tier 2 for two reasons. The first being that Darklords are the most defining deck in the meta and Blackwings are the best Darklord counter presently, thanks to Sealed Tombs and Blackbird Close. With Elementsabers seeing less play due to the release of Artifact Lancea, this also benefits Blackwings as their toughest matchup is seeing less usage.
Elementsabers are one of the decks that can be shut down for a turn by Artifact Lancea. Invoked Cocytus has become more relevant once again now that Dark Magician and Cyber Dragon have entered the meta, with both these decks having limited ways to get over this monster.
The impact of Artifact Lancea hasn’t been as devastating to Shiranui players as previously predicted and if Shiranui players are able to survive Lancea their boards tend to get explosive rather quickly. The Elementsaber matchup is proving to be favorable and Sealed Tombs is able to hold off Darklords. Dark Magician can struggle to get over the bigger Synchros if Dark Magical Circle is Cosmic Cyclone’d and Cyber Dragon has trouble destroying Shiranui Sunsaga. Overall, it’s a very balanced deck that has a solid place in the meta.
Cyber Dragon has balanced matchups across the meta , except Darklords which is impossible if they don’t brick. It’s not a deck that’s gonna overwhelm you with card advantage and a variety of plays , but it’s gonna use Cybernetic Overflow to clear your board and then OTK you consistently
Dark Magician has the potential to move even further up on the Tier List. They have a really strong Turn 1 setup with Dark Magical Circle and Magician Navigation. They have everything that a strong tiered deck needs: consistency, disruption during opponent turn, and Spell / Trap negation. However, they have a hard time dealing with high DEF monsters, like Invoked Cocytus and Darklord Ixchel.
Ritual Beasts are a strong deck when uncontested but has major flaws: the bricking potential and not being able to choose who goes first. With cards like Poisonous Winds, it makes it impossible to go 2nd without having an answer to it. The release of Artifact Lancea now gives decks, that go second against Ritual Beasts, a chance to stop their plays. On top of these flaws, the deck struggles with multiple monsters stronger than Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio, ultimately even having to run niche outs to Invoked Cocytus.
The Cyber Dragon archetype recieved quite the handful of decent support from the newest box. Cybernetic Overflow is an incredibly strong trap card that so happens to be searchable through Cyber Dragon Core. Also evident from Chimeratech Rampage Dragon, the deck is well equipped for decimating decks that commit lots of cards to the field without much follow-up, especially backrow-heavy strategies. In regards to its weaknesses, the deck has issues when dealing with decks that can constantly spit out monsters larger than Chimeratech Rampage Dragon - making Darklord the worst matchup, especially since Darklord Tezcatlipoca can deal with Cybernetic Overflow. Cyber Dragon builds are still undergoing optimisation and it will be intriguing to see how this archetype further welds itself in the metagame.
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. Dark Magician has definitely become a meta contender. In regards to weaknesses, the deck’s standard opening of Dark Magic Circle + Magician Navigation is rendered a lot weaker with Cosmic Cyclone, and unfortunately for Dark Magician decks Cosmic Cyclone is one of the most commonly used cards in the game at the moment. Dark Magician can be a massive threat as a powerful control deck, especially since it has a decent amount of room for tech cards. A higher position for it on the tier list is definitely possible, and that will become more clear if it should be the case as more tournaments happen.
Ritual Beast faces demotion with the arrival of the new box. 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 Beast. The deck already had its flaws, and Artifact Lancea is able to stop a Ritual Beast turn almost entirely. And because Artifact Lancea is a good side deck card against a variety of decks, it’s quite popular, meaning that Ritual Beast players have to deal with Artifact Lancea more often than they had to deal with Poisonous Winds. Lancea also gives decks going second the ability to stop Ritual Beast. Given the current conditions and flaws it has to face in a side deck environment, a Tier 3 role seems suitable.
It hasn’t been established yet what the optimal way of playing Cyber Dragon is. However, it has already done enough to warrant it’s inclusion at Tier 3. You have the Kiteroid version which has nice synergy with Cybernetic Overflow. One play I particularly like with this variant is to pop a Cybernetic Overflow you have set on a previous turn withMegaroid City and them chain it. This will allow you to destroy your opponents cards and search for a Kiteroid plus another Cyber Spell / Trap from your deck. Depending on gamestate you can then search for Cyberload Fusion and go for lethal. The issue with build is that it struggles getting over 2800 ATK - and you may have seen Dkayed add Power of the Guardians to his list to mitigate this issue. The other build I see doing well scraps Kiteroid in favour of Concentrating Current to deal with this issue. The space in the deck left by the removal of Megaroid City is filled with defensive backrow such as Paleozoic Canadia / Floodgate Trap Hole etc. Darklords are a particularly tough matchup for this deck, due to the monsters being difficult to attack over and the protection of Darklord Tezcatlipoca protecting the monsters from Cybernetic Overflow.
Dark Magician is an oppressive deck going first that can easily end a game Turn 3, if they can set up a field with Dark Magical Circle and an active Magician Navigation. The deck does struggle with dealing with monsters that are bigger than Dark Magician - particularly Darklords which has prompted the usage of Power of Dark and Sealed Tombs. With Yami reducing all the Darklords’ ATK by 200 and boosting your Dark Magician, only Darklord Desire is strong enough to get over. The Eye of Timaeus is also seeing play, giving you access to Amulet Dragon, Dark Cavalry and to a lesser extent Dark Paladin as another way to deal with monsters that are bigger than Dark Magician. As strong as the Circle + Navigation combo is, if the opponent has a Cosmic Cyclone to get rid of the circle it can be hard for this deck to recover.
Ritual Beasts are still a good deck, but with the arrival of Artifact Lancea, they lost strength in side deck format.
Thunder Dragonduo gave the deck a much needed boss monster which is searchable and easy to summon and with the already great synergy Thunder monsters have with the Synchro mechanic it has the potential to land on the Tier List. However, it still has some consistency issues along with a terrible matchup vs Elementsabers(and Artifact Lancea) which is the reason why it’s High Potential (due to the decline of Sabers and new support).
From the newest box, Thunder Dragon recieved a much needed boss monster in Thunder Dragonduo. Symbolic of the iconic chaos monsters, Thunder Dragonduo is easily searchable and upon summoning it you get to trigger more Thunder Dragon effects. Once it gets properly summoned it can be revived with Thunder Dragonhawk, which is incredibly useful given its decent attack stat. Many builds so far are choosing to play Tuners for generating advantage by triggering the Thunder Dragon effects through Synchro Summoning, while some other builds choose to play more backrow cards. The deck is still undergoing plenty of optimisation and it will be interesting to see how the deck performs in the tournament scene in the upcoming week.
Off the Tier List
There’s always a Crystron player in the Top Cut of every tournament and it’s always the same one trick Crystron players and that’s why the deck is off the Tier List cause it’s underepresented and it doesn’t attract new players.
Crystron recieved a couple of new extra deck tools from the newest box in the Superheavy Samurai synchro monsters. Despite regularly appearing in the Top Cut of tournaments, the deck is very underrepresented and has its recognised flaws - especially against commonly used skills like Sealed Tombs. But it’s definitely not impossible to see Crystron return to the Tier List. The deck may very well pick itself back up in the coming weeks, but for now demotion based on its performances within side deck competitions is appropriate.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.