The recent Meta Weekly and MCS saw a variety of tiered and non-tiered decks in Top 32, which exemplifies the diversity of the current meta. While multiple decks have been introduced onto the Tier List, it won’t be surprising to see a non-tiered deck top or even win a competitive event.
Thanks to the new banlist and box the metagame is very diverse due to oppressive decks and skills getting nerfed, giving room for other strategies to thrive. Elementsabers, even though they have been nerfed, are still Tier 1, showing that the gap between decks has closed significantly. In the coming weeks the meta is expected to become more defined but as of now plenty of decks have a chance to top.
Crystrons are the biggest winner of the banlist, all of their competition was nerfed along with Sealed Tombs, which stunned them for a turn, allowing for other control decks to capitalize. But now without that it’s very hard to outgrind Crystrons if you play control but also really hard to OTK through a Crystron Ametrix summon in Battle Phase. The deck needs practice but it’s expected to perform extremely well in upcoming tournaments.
Elementsabers lost all copies of Cosmic Cyclone and the preferable skill now is Destiny Draw cause for just 500LP more you get to pick any card. Even though the decks need Aleister the Invoker to close the game (which you see less often) the deck has even more control now that you don’t need to play CC and you replace it with more real traps meaning that you can stall easier for Aleister and also stun your opponent easier without having the awkward hands of CC plus the Invoked engine. The Dark Magician matchup became even harder but DM will be less represented now and that’s a plus for the deck as well.
Crystrons are a very strong choice for this meta. Elementsabers are the only real difficult match up due to all the Book of Moon-like cards it plays. If this deck combos Turn 1 it is really difficult to outgrind and outresource them
Although Elementsabers seem to have taken a hit from the banlist, they have been doing well in recent tournaments. Losing Cosmic Cyclone just gave them more tech choice. Some lists have been playing Mirror Wall or even Unending Nightmare to help meet the new Sorcery Conduit requirement.
Elementsabers still have the strongest and most versatile engine in the game, able to control the pace of the match while having Invoked Purgatrio as a reliable OTK threat.
Blue-Eyes got a big boost in the latest box with the addition of Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon, Sage with Eyes of Blue and Maiden with Eyes of Blue, enough to be Tiered. Even though the community is still trying to figure out the best way of running them, being able to effectively run powerful traps like Raigeki Break and Divine Wrath backed by powerful dragons is enough to beat most strategies this meta. Also, Cards of Consonance, a very strong card for the deck, became more consistent thanks to Sage, allowing you to dig into your deck for defenses while also summoning your dragons.Spirit Dragon is arguably the best synchro we have atm: not only does it cripple your opponrnt but also summons Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon which can revive dragons snowballing the game really fast.
Blue-Eyes is a deck that can Synchro into Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon which is annoying for a lot of decks to deal with due to its effects and stats. Players have been playing strong tech cards like Raigeki Break and Divine Wrath which go perfectly with The White Stone of Ancients. And Cards of Consonance is also a very strong draw engine for the deck.
Darklords took a big hit with the semi limit of Darklord Ixchel. Most Darklord builds totally cut Darklord Ixchel, and use 2 Darklord Contact. This means Darklords lost their draw power, that helped them getting their game deciding tech cards early. However, the nerf of Sealed Tombs, and the addition of Charge of the Light Brigade still keeps Darklords in the meta. The Lightsworn engine helps put resources to the grave, also it allows you to use Synchro monsters as additional boss monsters. Darklord is the best deck in abusing a very powerful skill, No Mortal Can Resist, which makes them very effective against every deck that rely on their graveyard effects.
Blue-Eyes is a strong deck with a number of good matchups, especially against the Tier 1 decks. The issue with them is their consistency as they need to run multiple high level bricks, and their weakness to decks capable of swinging over their 3K walls.
Dark Magician has been demoted because of the introduction of multiple bad matchups into the meta. DM has strong matchups against any backrow heavy strategy and Darklords, but with the new box and without Sealed Tombs DM struggles against all the combo decks: Crystrons, Blackwings, Blue-Eyes, Cyber Dragons, Thunder Dragons, and especially Lunalights.
Lunalight was underestimated by everyone on release. However, it’s a strong deck with 2 very strong fusions in Lunalight Cat Dancer and Lunalight Sabre Dancer. The deck has a searchable Fusion Spell, draw power, recovery and the ability to play through backrow thanks to Lunalight White Rabbit. I think Lunalight to be a solid Tier 3 deck that will have decent results in upcoming tournaments.
Before the changes, Thunder Dragons were borderline Tier 3. Now that the overall power level decreased along with the Sealed Tombs nerf the deck is easily Tier 3 with 30 Cards and Baggy Sleeves becoming the way to go.
Gladiator Beasts have shown good success in Team Wars and some tournaments. More of an anti-meta deck do to cards like Gladiator Beast War Chariot and main deck Necrovalleys. It’s a good toolbox deck.
Lunalight is a straightforward strategy. You can OTK on your first turn if your opponent isn’t prepared. Leaving a monster in Attack Position against Lunalight will usually end the game due to the effect of Lunalight Crimson Fox and having multiple ways to send it to grave by card effect.
Thunder Dragons are more of a synchro tool box deck. They have access to powerful synchros due to cards like Plaguespreader Zombie and Glow-Up Bulb, great tuners that synergize well with the floating effects of Thunder Dragons. Additionally, Baggy Sleeves is an amazing skill in this deck. The deck is also hard to kill because of hand traps like Sphere Kuriboh and Artifact Vajra.
Important to note, that the Spell Specialist was banned during the last MCS and Meta Weekly. Possibly even the nerfed version of the skill would be the best choice for the 30-card mill Shiranui decks, with the addition of the Lightsworn engine. The 20-card control version of the deck lost its popularity and high representation in Top Cuts. The semi-limit of Shiranui Spectralsword means that the deck cant run powerful techs like Treacherous Trap Hole or Enemy Controller anymore, also their most used skill, Sealed Tombs got nerfed too. After a week it seems that Level Augmentation is the best choice for the deck, which helps to turbo out a good defence in Shiranui Sunsaga on Turn 1, or go aggressive on Turn 2 with Shiranui Shogunsaga. The popular skill, No Mortal Can Resist really hurts Shranui, turning the Shiranui Spectralswords into Skull Servants cuts the followup plays of the deck.
Off the Tier List
Lightsworn’s biggest problem is No Mortal Can Resist, which turns your names for Judgment Dragon into Skull Servants. We also still don’t know the best way to build them which could potentially be Spell Specialist, but we have to wait for that change to go through. Additionally, their Turn 1 is only set-up; you can’t really swarm big monsters or have a negation to disrupt your opponent.
Lightsworn as an engine saw a lot of competitive play during the past week, but for now, as a pure deck, it hasn’t shown enough to get in to the Tier List. Same as in case of 30-card shiranui, the best consistency skill that could help out the deck is Spell Specialist, but we have to wait until the skill changes go live, to see how it performs. The biggest weakness of the deck is No Mortal Can Resist, that can shut down all the plays of the deck. Lightsworns can provide explosive turn 2 plays, and fast OTKs, but for now they lack consistency, and a reliable Turn 1 setup that wont lose one No Mortal Can Resist activation.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.