Given the recent Balance Update Announcement and its sweeping changes to the meta as we knew it, the Tier List is more-or-less in a volatile state. What you see here was by no means unnanimous and is an aggregation of the speculation going into the new meta. Expect drastic and refined changes in the upcoming week as the meta gets more and more solidified.
After a few days post-banlist I can say that Darklords might’ve actually gotten stronger. The Beatdown nerf hit other decks a lot harder while Darklords are just going to The Tie that Binds and still get over 3000 ATK. While the World Legacy Clash semi-limitation was a good decision at first glace, it made Darklords a lot stronger. A lot of other decks used Clash against darklords and them losing it is a lot worse then Darklords losing it, with cards like Concentrating Current attempting to replacing it. With only one The Sanctified Darklord you need to be careful of opponent’s Cosmic Cyclones and interesting tech cards like The Regulation of Tribe and Reverse Trap. Overall Darklords are still very strong and might become even more dominant next week. More tournament wins are definitely expected.
Darklords are the winners of this banlist. Their consistency is almost the same and the Beatdown nerf affected other decks more than Darklords themselves as there are many ways to play to play them - with The Tie that Binds being prefered for mirror matches. The deck is still very oppresive even with The Sanctified Darklord at 1 as it can be looped every turn. They also have great recursion and Draw Power and can even stall out other decks to deck out if needed. The rest of the meta relies heavily on tech cards to be able to combat their strategy vith dwidling degrees of success making it the deck to beat.
While Darklord players may feel more vulnerable with 4 hits (Darklord Contact, The Sanctified Darklord,World Legacy Clash, Beatdown) from the latest list, the deck’s prowess has not been observed to be damaged enough for other decks to overshadow it yet. The Tie that Binds, Destiny Draw, Posthumous Army, Compensation, and many other Skills line up to take Beatdown’s place in the Darklord deck. Meanwhile, other decks that relied on Beatdown to break through Darklord are scrambling to look for new ways to get around them, at the risk of falling out of relevance if they don’t. On the bright side, a niche that has opened up is the summoning of 3000+ Atk monsters (breakpoint for Darklord Ixchel’s 2900 Def) to challenge Darklords. With the aid of backrow for the likes of Darklord Desire, strong monsters such as Red Dragon Archfiend with the threatening effect of wiping a Darklord player’s field (with Contact leaving Darklord monsters in DEF position) can find a favorable matchup. Only time will tell if players can take advantage of this, or if the Darklord players can easily adapt back in kind.
Unequivocally the best deck. Despite the nerfs, Darklords still dominate the metagame because Beatdown was also nerfed. Even though Beatdown was the prefered skill for Darklords, it was also the main skill used to counter Darklords. Without Beatdown in the meta, many of the decks that could establish multiple large monsters no longer have the added benefit of swinging over Darklord monsters. The result is that non-Darklord decks need to run heavy backrow or in some form of floodgate to compete because no other deck can consistently match Darklords’ aggression.
Darklords were finally hit by the ban list and hit heavily with Darklord Contact to 2 and The Sanctified Darklord to 1. But reminiscent of Koa’ki Meiru after the addition of Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru, Banishment of the Darklords being at 3 seems to be the key to “truly” nerf the deck. Being able to search your limited cards has resulted in the banlist doing very little to slow the deck down. Not being able to fully abuse Beatdown might have been the bigger nerf, but with their Life Point manipulation, Darklords continue to have access to any Skill they wish to abuse - solidifying the deck as the lone Tier 1.
Due to having a decent matchup against Darklords and Red Dragon Archfiend being introduced as a new tech card they are getting promoted. The biggest problem is still their own bricks and Posthumous Army shutting down Fortune Lady Every. Aside from that the matchup against Six Samurais is not that great due to Six Style - Dual Wield and Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi. The banlist didn’t change anything about the deck, and less World Legacy Clash in the meta doesn’t harm this deck either.
After the hit to World Legacy Clash Six Samurais are struggeling hard against Darklords unless they have cards like Necrovalley turn 1. Since there is no real counter to Darklord Desire anymore cards like Forbidden Chalice might see a comeback. Due to good matchups against other tiered decks we will still see a lot of Six Sam decks in tourneys and Top Cuts. The post-banlist build hasnt been made yet, but so far several builds with Power of the Guardians / Battleguard Rage using Balance or Sealed Tombs have performed well (even the nerfed Beatdown is possible). If Darklords continue to top everything I can see Six Sams moving down the Tier List next week.
Fortune Ladies can be seen as the only reliable “counter” to Darklords at the moment. Fortune Lady Every is great boss monster which can slowly deal with Darklord boards as they cant get rid off it easily while it’s protected with backrow. It can also re-summon itself from the graveyard during their end phase by banishing a Spellcaster from the GY. However, the deck still suffers from its consistency - and Darklords being able to side into Posthumous Army is a whole problem on its own.
Fortune Lady’s recipe for success is making threatening Synchro monsters backed by threatening backrow. While its consistency is still in question, the power of what it can do is something that other decks should look up to and take inspiration from if they wish to survive in a Darklord-led meta. Fortune Lady Every isn’t the only one joining the fight, as Red Dragon Archfiend, sees an advantage in play in this post-list meta, and can easily be summoned with Fortune Lady Calling in combination with Time Passage on either Fortune Lady Past or Fortune Lady Water.
The new list has caused Six Samurai to resume the search for the right tech cards. With World Legacy Clash and Beatdown gone, Concentrating Current and Necrovalley among other options try to find a home in the deck, but are still guests at this point. Setting up Six Style - Dual Wield is still the power play that Six Samurai has, with unabated Six Samurai United helping the deck draw into it. Backed by Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, other decks still have a hard time putting up a fight against strong openings. On the other side of things, Six Samurai faces vulnerabilities to Darklord through Posthumous Army obstructing Shi En’s summon and Darklord Nasten slipping through the cracks, to Fortune Lady through cards such as Floodgate Trap Hole, and to Invoked through a successfully summoned Invoked Cocytus.
Fortune Ladies is the only deck that can consistently compete with Darklords and will likely be the only Tier 2 deck after more people test the meta. The deck has a small enough engine that it can commit a large portion of space to defense. Fortune Lady Water and Fortune Lady Every both yield 0 LP gained when negated by The Sanctified Darklord; Darklords have a difficult time managing their limited negations and Life Points against a deck that can activate multiple monster effects that demand negation. On top of all of this, Red Dragon Archfiend is very easy to access which can effectively threaten Darklords as most Darklords get summoned in Defense Position.
Boasting solid Darklord and Invoked matchups, Fortune Ladies continue to rise due to the power of Fortune Lady Every. With the top meta decks of the format being hit in the consistency department it brings them closer to “top” since they have always boasted powerful combos while lacking in the consistency department.
Six Samurais continue to be arguably the most versatile Synchro deck as well as having access to the ever-oppressive Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En. They may struggle until they are able to find a replacement for World Legacy Clash. But may have a place in the meta due to the consistency and oppressive nature of their boss monster.
Triamids benefit from the Darklord nerf as they are not strictly dominating the tournament scene. Although they still struggle with the deck when it can get its engine running it has a much better opportunity of competing with The Sanctified Darklord at 1.
After the Light and Dark nerf Invoked have found a new “home” in the Magician Girls, which help turbo out Invoked Fusions with thier attributes while also slowing down the game to ’til they get their combo pieces and backrow cards. With cards like Concentrating Current and World Legacy Clash Invoked can easily push for OTKs. The prefered skill is Sealed Tombs as it helps to slow down the Darklord onslaught.
Neos is the deck that suffered the most from the banlist in my opinion. The deck has lost acces to World Legacy Clash, Enemy Controller and Treacherous Trap Hole which allowed ’em to dodge targeting effects, disrupt opponents and/or push for game (Beatdown is another huge loss as well). Now they need to rely on skills like Neo Space! which gives them a nice boost but that can be dealt with. The deck also has unfavorable match ups against Darklords and Fortune Ladies which are Tiers 1 and 2 respectively. It will be interesting to see how Neos decks develop in the upcoming weeks but right now they are having a hard time adapting to the meta.
With the introduction of more backrow the ever-looming Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon is waiting to feast. Any time there is a resurgence of backrow Ancient Gears become a more viable option. Whether this deck truly compete depends on the way the meta shapes up after the banlist.
Desperado is an interesting option as nothing was hit by the ban list except Master of Destiny. The deck was already falling down the Tier List with it struggling to out the ever-popular Invoked Cocytus. With being forced to run more cards you don’t want to make the Skill work, you may be better off running one of the other decks on the list for competitive formats. The deck continues to be a formidable opponent for many decks.
“Pure” Invoked is an interesting deck and will most likely rise on the Tier List as it pursues a backrow-heavy Magician Girl engine. With deck filtering, heavy backrow, and draw power allowing for easy access to Invoked cards expect to see this deck heavily played in the format.
Neos losing some consistency with Neos Fusion going to 2 losing access to formerly core cards in the form of Enemy Controller, Treacherous Trap Hole and now the heavily spammed World Legacy Clash. Expect this deck to rise as players continue to adapt and replace former staples with a still consistent and powerful Neos Fusion. With the recent addition of Keeper of Dragon Magic the deck will still see a large amount of play.
Spellbooks continue to be a powerful and oppressive deck but can struggle to early disruption due to be reliant on the normal summon of Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. They also lose some consistency with the Light and Dark nerf, from a hyper consistent Turn 1 Silent Magician they now lose a huge part of what made the deck viable in the meta.
With Beatdown being hit Blue-Eyes large and easily summonable monsters could produce a problem for meta decks as they can easily swing over a naked Invoked Cocytus and the ever-present Darklord Ixchel in Defense mode. If Blue-Eyes players can produce a versatile and consistent deck it may find a place in the new meta.
Tier List update written by Jadehex.