Considering the meta has recently gone through a massive shake-up with the most recent balance update, 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.
Crystrons are still a powerful deck after the nerf to Transcendent Crystals, but it may take a few steps back as TC allowed you to consistently set up an ideal board on your first turn. The optimal skill has not been decided, but many builds are opting to use Genex Undine along with Scrap Recycler even if they are not using the Sea Stealth Attack engine. Mythic Depths could become the default skill since it was a popular skill even before the nerf to TC. It is worth noting that Crystrons did benefit from the No Mortal Can Resist nerf and that the SSA variant specifically has a much improved matchup against Shiranui decks since they lost Cosmic Cyclone and NMCR. The semi-limit to Crystron Rion does prevent you from playing other cards like Enemy Controller, but this will not greatly impact the overall strength of the deck.
Blackwings and Crystrons are going to be the strongest 2 decks of the upcoming format.
Crystrons may have been hit on the banlist on the form of a hit to Transcendent Crystals and Crystron Rion being semi limited, but the deck is still more than capable of setting up strong defensive plays and summoning Crystron Quariongandrax. Transcendant Crystals’ nerf means that the deck will be slower and slightly less consistent, but the power ceiling is unchanged. The Sea Stealth Attack version of the deck is likely the strongest version of the deck but Crystrons are flexible enough to potentially branch out to different Skills.
Blackwings saw no nerfs on the most recent banlist, and because many decks are either too slow or unable to run Cosmic Cyclone, Blackwings are in a prime position to dominate many matchups. Reliable access to Ancient Fairy Dragon means that Blackwings are able to use Necrovalley consistently to floodgate graveyard-centric strategies such as Crystrons and with the addition to Elementsaber Malo on the limited list Elementsabers are unable to summon Invoked Purgatrio under Necrovalley.
Shiranuis have been demoted from Tier 1 due to the recent banlist limiting Shiranui Squire to 3, which was their best starter. This stops Shiranui from having access to Cosmic Cyclone (another Limited-to-3 card) making matchups like Blackwings and Sea Stealth Attack Crystrons a lot more difficult. Combined with the return of Ritual Beasts(a previously hard matchup) the deck isn’t expected to preform as strong as before with the standard list. Some people have started using Shiranui Spectralsword Shade again to have easy access to Shiranui Squiresaga to out the Necrovalley play from Blackwings but there hasn’t been results yet.
With the recent banlist Shiranui Squire got Limited to 3, which means the deck can’t run Cosmic Cyclone anymore. Cosmic Cyclone as a regular backrow removal can be easily replaced by other cards like Forbidden Lance, but in certain matchups they going to miss the versatility Cosmic Cyclone brings. Against Blackwings it’s going to be harder to remove their Necrovalley from the field, and they going to have a hard time dealing with Sea Stealth Attack Crystrons without being able to banish Umi. The nerf of No Mortal Can Resist helps the deck because your opponents wont be able to turn Shiranui Spectralsword into Skull Servant, but Shiranui also lost their main weapon against Crystrons with this hit. The deck always had space for 10-12 tech cards, this can help them adapt to the meta once again, but for now, due to the rising number of their bad matchups, Shiranui is demoted to Tier 2.
Ritual Beasts were an excellent rogue deck for the last MCS and eventually won the entire event. However, the nerf to No Mortal Can Resist will heavily impact Ritual Beasts’ matchups post-ban list as lowering your life point with Cosmic Cyclone and Herald of the Abyss was a key strategy against Shiranui and Crystrons. On the other hand, Thunder Dragons - orginally one of Ritual Beasts’ worst matchup - has been heavily nerfed, thus Tier 3 appear the most suitable for Ritual Beasts at this stage in the meta.
The initial power level of Blue-Eyes hasn’t changed much, but one of their worst matchup, Thunder Dragons got significantly weaker after the recent banlist. Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon is still one of the best boss monsters in the game, it totally shuts down the plays of the recently popular Ritual Beasts, also it slows down and limits the plays of Crystrons. The problems of the deck are still there, consistency is still an issue. However, the banlist left them untouched while most of the meta decks got weaker, meaning Blue-Eyes might be able to keep up with them once again, so the deck is promoted to Tier 3.
Ritual Beasts return to the Tier List due to the recent decline of Elementsabers which was one of their worse matchups, as well as Thunder Dragons being severly hit by the recent banlist which was another difficult matchup. The deck has al ot of good matchups against the top decks especially Blackwings whose Necrovalley strategy doesn’t affect them as much. Also, due to the recent change to No Mortal Can Resist, Ritual Beasts will likely revert back to using Sealed Tombs to stop Crystrons and Shiranui.
We considered removing Cyber Dragons from the Tier List before the banlist, but it could prove to be a solid deck still since Thunder Dragons, one of their toughest matchups, received heavy nerfs. This deck also has decent/good matchups against decks that could become more popular after the banlist such as Blackwings and Dark Magician.
Off the Tier List
Thunder Dragons took multiple big hits with the recent ban list: Thunder Dragondark, Charge of the Light Brigade and Gold Sarcophagus were Limited to 3. The new ban list means you can play 3 copies of these cards overall in your deck. Gold Sarcophagus was the main starter of the deck, while Charge of the Light Brigade enabled their explosive turns with the consistent mills, and easy access to tuners and Synchro plays. With the recent hits, the deck lost its already not too high consistency, also they lost their explosive turns and fast OTKs. The deck can still survive and do well on the ladder, with the addition of Aloof Lupine they can add some consistency to the deck, but they cant replace the consistent mills and tuner searches of Charge of the Light Brigade. The deck also lost 2 of their main skills, as Baggy Sleeves and Grit also got nerfed. At their current form, none of them supports the play style of Thunder Dragons, so the deck has to look for other opportunities. We dont expect this deck to do well, until either new support or builds prove it t, so Thunder Dragons are removed from the Tier List.
D/D/D faces demotion as a result of not many compelling performances in the competitive scene. The deck is yet to be fully optimised and representation in the Top Cut of tournaments is always low or non-existent. D/D/D functions through assembling large monsters to hammer down on the opponent’s Life Points, often paired with strong backrow such as Dark Contract with the Witch and Treacherous Trap Hole. Dark Contract with the Gate is a great searcher as the longer it sticks on the field the more the player is able to replenish their resources - assuming they don’t perish to the Standby Phase Life Point toll that comes with it. Depending on how the meta adapts after the banlist, it is quite likely that D/D/D is in a better spot than it was prior to the adjustments: a rise in favourable matchups would give it a better chance to perform well consistently. However, it remains to be seen if that is enough to push the deck into meta-relevance. But as builds are further optimised that will become more clear.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.