Considering the meta has recently gone through a massive shake-up, with both a balance update and a brand-new main box, the meta is in a very formative and unstable state. As such, this Tier List is speculative; expect it to get more refined as more data comes in.
The most influential factors from the recent meta update has been the removal of Sealed Tombs and the addition of Lightsworns as an engine. Sealed Tombs was gatekeeping many decks that would otherwise utilize the graveyard, but with a life point restriction this floodgate skill is effectively dead. Crystrons and Darklords would struggle going second into Tombs, but without having to worry about the coinflip both of these decks have a greater opportunity to thrive. I predict the Lightsworn engine is going to play a major role in multiple meta strategies until it likely gets nerfed; Lightsworn milling was designed around 40-60 card decks not 20-30 card decks, and it will certainly be put on display by how many decks will utilize Charge of the Light Brigade to mill engine cards.
Even though Sealed Tombs took a nerf that was the only hit to Dark Magician. The deck is still in full power for this upcoming meta.
The only effect the ban list had on Dark Magician was the nerf to Sealed Tombs. Power of Dark seems to be the preferred skill at present as it makes it difficult for Darklords to get over Dark Magician. Add in the fact that Darklords are cutting Cosmic Cyclone to make space for the Lightsworn engine, this can prove very difficult for Darklords to deal with.
Crystrons rose in popularity because of the Sealed Tombs nerf and Darklord “hit”. The deck was really successful in both tournaments and team wars. Crystrons have the ability to float and almost every monster is a starter card. Crystron Ametrix and Crystron Quariongandrax are powerful Synchros.
Darklords probably took the biggest hit but with the addition of the new Lightsworn engine with Charge of the Light Brigade and Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn gives the deck the Compensation-like mill power, utility in Synchros, and backrow removal with Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress. Also the Sealed Tombs nerf helped a lot. This deck has even found a new skill in No Mortal Can Resist which is very powerful against some of the meta
Crystrons have been promoted to Tier 2 after not being hit on the previous banlist and because problematic skills such as Sealed Tombs were nerfed. The skill No Mortal Can Resist may take the place of Sealed Tombs, so it may be a good idea to place more emphasis on the amount of Life Points you have to prevent its activation. This can be done through techs like Cosmic Cyclone. In side deck tournaments System Down is expected to become more popular and techs like Artifact Lancea could become more useful as a result.
Initially it looked like the ban list had finally killed off darklords, with the semi limit of Darklord Ixchel and the nerf to Compensation. The deck has survived by adding a Lightsworn engine to mill cards to the graveyard with Charge of the Light Brigade and Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn helping deal with the consistency lost with losing Ixchel. Compensation has been replaced by No Mortal Can Resist as the deck can easily hit the activation requirement and a lot of decks in the meta at present don’t appreciate their graveyard being turned into Skull Servants.
Shiranui have also experimented with adopting the Lightsworn engine to compensate for the limit to That Grass Looks Greener. In this version the best skill is yet to be established with many thinking it may still end up being Spell Specialist. However, we need to wait for the nerf to be implemented to see how the new Skill works. Putting this skill aside, I’ve also seen Show of Nightmares, Restart & Balance being tested.
Even though the Sorcery Conduit skill was nerfed, this deck still appears to be powerful and will most likely continue to see play. The average deck size is also expected to decrease after the nerf to That Grass Looks Greener and new ways to trigger Sorcery Conduit or search Aleister the Invoker will also be explored. This deck is very flexible and will most likely adapt in order to maintain its place in the meta.
Elementsabers have been heavily affected by the banlist but are still seeing some play. Following the nerf to Sorcery Conduit, players have been moving over to Balance. This can lead to some strong opening hands, especially if your guaranteed spell ends up being Palace of the Elemental Lords. The loss of Cosmic Cyclone and the resulting Aleister the Invoker search has made it more difficult for the deck to go on the offensive.
With the addition of Maiden with Eyes of Blue, Sage with Eyes of Blue, and Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon, Blue-Eyes had an actual Turn 1 play other than set The White Stone of Ancients + Treacherous Trap Hole pass. Maiden can be annoying to get rid of and lets you make Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon Turn 1 when paired with Mausoleum of White. Spirit was a powerful synchro in the TCG having multiple effects that lets you stop Special Summons, Graveyard Effects and tag out into any LIGHT Dragon Synchro.
Charge of the Light Brigade and Solar Recharge makes Lightsworn fast and consistent. Gives you draw and mill power to drop your boss monster Judgment Dragon who can nuke the whole board. Lightsworns can also be splashed as an engine for decks like Darklords and Shiranui or anything that relies on the Graveyard.
Lunalights were a powerful deck in the TCG and we did get some of the cards used but in here the main goal of the deck is to summon your beefy untargetable boss monster. This deck is essentially the new “Towers Deck”, making a fusion monster that cannot be targeted by card effects and usually goes to 3600 ATK in Lunalight Sabre Dancer. Popular meta decks such as Dark Magician and even the new Blue-Eyes deck have a tough time outing this monster.
Lunalight has not been optimized yet and many different builds are still being explored. The Neos Fusion engine is being used to activate the Graveyard effect of Lunalight Yellow Marten and the Master of Fusion Skill is being used with Cosmic Cyclone to have access to the powerful Extra Deck} monsters more consistently.
Off the Tier List
Ritual Beasts took a big hit with the semi-limit of Ritual Beast Tamer Elder and the nerfs to both Sealed Tombs and My Monster Cards. Our initial opinion is to remove them from the Tier List however, some good performances in events this weekend highlighted that the deck maybe able to adapt to the new meta. We have seen a build utilising Transcendent Crystals and Ritual Beast Tamer Lara as another way to get a Tamer and Beast on board. Another Skill that saw play was Draw Sense: High-Level to access cards like Lava Golem and Destiny HERO - Plasma.
Once the Skill changes have been implemented, it is expected that Ritual Beast players will switch to the recently buffed skill Bring it!. The new skill change allows players to shuffle one card from their hand back to the deck in exchange for Destiny HERO - Plasma whenever they lose 1000LP – as opposed to having to draw it the following turn with Draw Sense: High-Level.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.