With the KCGT Qualifiers coming up this weekend, this Tier List is moreso focused on a Best-of-1 Ladder environment.
This week’s Tier List is based on the KC Cup Grand Tournament scheduled to occur this weekend. Tiers have been assembled based on the TPC’s predictions of what will perform well in the 3-day event. When it comes to KC Cup environments, some decks are noticeably stronger than they would be in tournaments - whether it be due to the ability to accumulate fast wins at a high winrate, or being more weak to popular side deck choices.
Crystrons remain as the sole Tier 1 option for the upcoming KC GT, simply by being a well-rounded deck with very few bad matchups. Additionally, in the KC GT, they do not have to deal with popular side deck cards such as System Down and Necrovalley. This deck is not the fastest, so players who play this will not have the most games played but can have a particularly good win percentage if piloted well.
Many different variations of Crystron should be able to do well. The Mythic Depths version with Sea Stealth Attack should give players a particularly good advantage against other Crystron decks or against decks such as Elementsabers. However, if the meta is filled with decks such as Shiranui and Dark Magician, then Crystron players should be able to find a lot of success with more aggressive versions (more Forbidden Lances or Ballista Squads) and playing skills such as The Tie that Binds and See You Later! instead. Many high-ranking players during the KC GT will probably play this deck at one point and it will be interesting to see how it performs.
Elementsabers are expected to be a very strong deck heading into the KCGT. Due to its ability to shut down the Big 3 OTK decks being Cyber Dragons, HEROs, and Blackwings through Elementsaber Molehu and Invoked Caliga, while also having a good Crystron matchup (the non-Sea Stealth Attack variants, at least) through Molehu + Backrow. It’s a very slow deck though so they’re going to be similar to Crystrons, with a high winrate and low amount of games played.
Blackwings appropriately remain at Tier 2 for the upcoming KC GT. They can explode very easily and end games quickly. Through playing Peak Performance or Harpies’ Hunting Ground as their skills, they have easy access to the very powerful floodgate, Necrovalley, with Ancient Fairy Dragon’s effect. Additionally, Ancient Pixie Dragon continues to provide Blackwings with a very solid turn one play, something they lacked before.
This kind of deck, however, will likely not be able to maintain a win rate as good as something like Crystron can provide. This is because decks like Elementsabers, Ritual Beasts, Shiranui (with certain techs), etc. can give it a lot of trouble. Additionally, sometimes your matchups against decks like Crystrons can come to a situation where it depends if they have the out or not for your Necrovalley. As a result, there is a luck component and you really cannot control a good amount of your losses.
Regardless, Blackwings have flexibility with their tech cards, and can run cards like Blackbird Close, Cosmic Cyclone, or even something like Ballista Squad based on the meta. It will be interesting to see how this deck performs and it should not be surprising to see some high-ranking players play this at some point in their climb.
As the Grand KC Cup comes, Cyber Dragons are getting more and more attention. The deck is ideal to climb fast on the first day of the KCC, when the meta is not yet settled. They can win games quickly and easily, which makes them one of the best climbers on the first days. However, as you reach higher points, you’re expected to face more and more Crystrons, which is one of the worst matchups for the deck. Playing only Cyber Dragons trough the whole KCC weekend might be not the best choice, but they can give you a really good start, which is also really important.
Dark Magician has been consistently performing worse over the last couple of weeks as we intergrated the KCGT format. Dark Magician’s consistency issues and an unfavorable matchup to Blackwings, HEROs, and Cyber Dragon have made it difficult to perform well in a ladder environment, as well as the overwhelming prevalence of backrow removal such as Cosmic Cyclone, Forbidden Lance, Typhoon and Twister preventing Dark Magician from effectively disrupting their opponent’s field.
Popularly being built as a control deck, Gouki has had promising performances last week in the competitive scene. Most top-performing builds are built to be simple beatdown decks, capitalising on how the deck can replenish its resources as the game state progresses, simultaneously assembling strong boards with Gouki Twistcobra. Much like Shiranui, the deck’s monster engine is best to be played small - leaving the opportunity to play lots of different strong tech cards that suit the players’ preferences. For example, Gouki is able to take advantage of cards like Ballista Squad and Necrovalley. The deck remains in High Potential for now so that it’s performances over the upcoming week can be an indication of where the deck should fall on the tier list, but if the deck keeps up the good showings a promotion to Tier List-status for Gouki is certainly foreseeable.
The primary strength of Gouki as a control strategy is in their ability to maintain card economy. Most control decks fall behind against combo decks because they don’t have enough cards to deal with the intense pace of combo decks. Gouki perpetually has monsters at their disposal so they can trade cards while still having followup, so in a war of trades Gouki will almost always be up in the exchange. This results in a deck that is quite difficult to grind through and may perform well in the KC Grand Tournament.
Off The Tier List
Mayakashi wasn’t seeing much if any play in recent events. Despite receiving powerful archetype cards in Mayakashi Return and Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi, the general consensus appears to be that the power level of the deck is disproportionately low considering how easy it is to disrupt. Coupling that with the decent amount of non-destruction removal from Dark Magical Circle and Crystron Quariongandrax they have to deal with, Mayakashi are not suited terribly well this meta. However, players like Skillshot have been seeing some success through slight innovations to the deck, so hope is not lost just yet. The deck might see some tops here and there but without further support demotion seems appropriate.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.