As we prepare for the Region Representative Qualifiers later this week, MCS IX gave an excellent look at the state of competitive Duel Links. Despite the recent addition of a new Main BOX, the meta remained dominated by the same decks as Bujins, Noble Knights, and Six Samurais all saw very little play. Instead it was an older deck — pure Stall — updated for the current meta, that shook things up this week.
Amazoness, Spellbooks, and Sylvans all once again remain in Tier 1. These three decks dominated the top 32 of the MCS and have shown little sign of releasing their hold on the meta.
All of the three Tier 1 decks were highly represented in the MCS and were the majority played in the Top 32. Looks like Tier 1 will remain the same this week.
Masked HEROs have also remained in place, holding steady in Tier 2. Their flexibility is certainly an asset in side-deck formats, but reflects a lack of versatility in the core of the deck. Where Sylvans, Amazoness, and Spellbooks shine with built-in spot removal (through Sylvan Marshalleaf/Sylvan Komushroomo, Amazoness Onslaught, or Spellbook of Fate), HEROs must rely on their tech cards in combination with their draw power and offensive explosiveness. That being said, HEROs are a very good deck against Stall which is seeing an increase in play thanks to Amazoness. Having a new deck in the meta that hurts one of HEROs’ biggest counters while also being weak to HEROs is a nice indirect buff to this deck and something to keep an eye on.
HEROs have the potential to beat every deck thanks to their flexibility but lack the ability to simultaneously beat all of the Tier 1 decks with one build. Unless the meta shifts and one of the Tier 1 deck begins seeing much more play than the others, HEROs will struggle to regain their Tier 1 status.
Stall has been moved to Tier 3 after winning MCS IX. One of the best counters to board-clogging decks like Amazoness and Aliens, Stall emerged in a new form, abusing Extra, Extra along with hand traps like Kuriboh and lingering effect traps like Rainbow Life and Impenetrable Attack to improve its match-ups against the trap-immune, tribute-happy Sylvans and the banish-happy Spellbooks. However, this deck will still in general struggle against Spellbooks and HEROs, and is liable — like every deck — to being sacked by Sylvans. Furthermore, the deck is very weak to side-deck cards like Bad Reaction to Simochi and White Night Dragon. But despite these weaknesses, this deck should not be ignored or forgotten and has clearly demonstrated what happens when it is.
TPC comments on Stall
Stall is a very powerful deck that counters Amazoness very hard. Its ability to completely dominate the Amazoness matchup allows it to thrive in an environment where Amazoness is one of the most played decks. This deck causes great frustration to the players playing against it and misplays can be costly against this deck. The idea of the deck is to deny your opponent’s attacks while stalling so your opponent runs out of cards faster than you, which is especially effective if your opponent has few-to-no ways of tributing their own monsters or does not run many cards that effectively deal with backrow.
Aliens have survived in Tier 3 for another week. Since the meta has been relatively static and Aliens were a consistent rogue presence even in MCS IX (with one Alien deck in the Top 32), their standing remains unchanged.
TPC comments on Aliens
I know people are ready to jump ship on Aliens but they still perform at a Tier 3 level in events. A couple people consistently play them and they can still compete with all the top decks, with a positive match-up against two of the top four decks. Would I play them on the ladder right now? Hell no. But this is for tournaments and I honestly think they’re still a great option as long as the starting LP stays at 4000.
Bujins, Noble Knights, and Six Samurais have all been removed from the tier list. They were barely used in the MCS and have failed to make any real impact on the meta. These decks may move up into Tier 3 in the near future as they continue to be refined but for now are not expected to be relevant parts of major competitive events.
All three removed from High Potential, due to poor tournament representation and being outclassed by other top tier decks.
This week we have the Meta Weekly on 6/5 and the Region Representative Qualifiers starting on 6/8.
Expect the results of these events to have a strong influence on the tier list.
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