In the wake of huge changes imposed by the recent Forbidden/Limited List updates, we have correspondingly huge changes to the Tier List. And as we continue to test the side-deck vs 2-deck formats, this will again be an update with side-decks in mind.
Winning both [Meta Weekly 42](/tournaments/meta-weekly/42/report/) and DLPT 19, Masked Heroes have come through the banlist updates largely unscathed. Two of their biggest counters (Fur Hires and Amazoness) were hit hard, and losing Vision HERO Vyon simply forced players away from Fusion variants back to the previously-inferior Balance builds with heavy backrow. Being able to sit on strong protection like Paleozoic Canadia, Mirror Wall, Wall of Disruption, and Widespread Ruin (among others) is a great advantage against aggressive decks like Vampires and Blue-Eyes. And because Mask Change allows you to spit out a huge offensive threat in Masked HERO Anki that can poke for damage through other players' defenses, the deck has a combination of strong defense and consistent offense that is very difficult for most decks to deal with.
Meanwhile, Vampires have not changed much in the post-banlist meta and are still a fast, consistent, versatile deck. Losing Cyber Style was a big nerf for many reasons, however, in particular making it harder to go into Vampire Vamp at will in more simplified game states. Vampire Grimson is becoming more popular for the mirror match, Skull Meister remains a common side-deck counter, and Hey, Trunade! is now competing with Enemy Controller for spots in the main deck. Trunade has the benefit of clearing away the backrow abused by Heroes and Gladiators, but Enemy Controller can single-handedly win the mirror. Most, if not all, top Vampire decks have both of these cards accessible through side-decking. Sealed Tombs is still quite prevalent as well, used both by and against Vampire decks, having the benefit of also being great against Blue-Eyes and Spellbooks.
Vampires remain prevalent after taking very minor hits from the banlist. Despite the popularity of Sealed Tombs, the deck has decent matchups across the board and remains the flexible deck that it was before the huge meta shift.
Heroes now use Balance as their primary skill, guaranteeing them playable hands every game. The deck is no longer an agressive deck with the potential to control the gamestate; it is now the opposite - a control deck with the capability to make aggressive pushes.
Despite the Hero nerf, they were easily able to adapt and through testing with SkillShot (before the previous Meta Weekly) I definitely did expect the deck to perform pretty well. It deals with every deck we currently have and is very agile with its side deck. I do think this deck is the best we have at the moment. As for Vampires, they have dodged the banlist and only lost a few cards + Cyber Style which makes almost no difference compared to the other decks (which became close to unplayable since their consistency has dropped a ton as well as their power).
Heroes: The use of good backrow and Mask Change makes this deck very powerful in the current meta. You are able to be protected against decks like Vampires and Blue-Eyes or at least stall with all of these backrow cards to eventually draw into your Mask Changes. (Lately Blue-Eyes players have been teching more cards like Paleozoic Canadia, Burst Breath, and ECon to deal with Decider stall, however.) Although it is harder to draw 2 now without Destiny HERO - Dangerous you are still able to get your Celestial draws off, just not as often.
Vampires: Since Vampires were not hit at all from the recent banlist (besides cards used in the build such as ECon and Trunade), this deck still remains very powerful. Most of the Vampire players have adjusted to 1 Trunade plus more defensive backrow (such as Drowning Mirror Force, Mirror Wall, and Wall of Disruption). I would argue the deck was stronger with 2 Trunade and ECons but this deck is still very powerful in the new meta.
With heavy tournament representation and success since the release of [The White Dragon of Legend](/structure-deck-reviews/the-white-dragon-of-legend/) was released, Blue-Eyes has been moved into Tier 2. In competitive settings, Blue-Eyes decks have universally trended towards A Trick up the Sleeve to ensure a turn 1 Cosmo Brain play. This is followed up with potential Synchro plays into Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon or even Stardust Dragon, and continual offensive pressure from Dragon Spirit of White's banishing effect and the deck's huge monsters. Blue-Eyes decks can be held back by common counters, however, being walled off by Destiny HERO - Decider (although you can side in Burst Stream of Destruction alongside Enemy Controller to help deal with Decider) and getting locked out of many plays by Sealed Tombs.
After a 7 month absence from the Tier List, Gladiators are back! A very versatile deck that relies on extremely heavy backrow, Gladiators can toolbox into answers for almost any situation. A new addition to the team is Gladiator Beast Retiari who is great for banishing a Vampire, Blue-Eyes, or Destiny HERO - Celestial from the grave. Gladiators are very much a “slow-roll” deck who excel at slowly gaining advantage through their destruction effects and defensive traps, so explosive plays (facilitated by Hey, Trunade!) that destroy large parts of their field are quite difficult to recover from.
Blue-Eyes is a new deck that has been freshly introduced to the tournament scene. Though there is not a completely polished and agreeably-optimal build of it as of yet, it is evident that the ideal skill to play with it is A Trick Up the Sleeve. The deck can stick down multiple aggressive beaters in lightning fashion and tear away at opposing backrow.
Being a fan favourite for many, the return of Gladiator Beasts made multiple people rejoice. Most commonly being equipped with Sealed Tombs, Gladiator Beasts have good matchups across the board, making them a good tournament pick. However, their Blue-Eyes matchup is not so great due to the threat of re-occurring 2500-3000 ATK monsters, with Spirit ripping away a face-down when it comes out.
One week after their demotion, the Forbidden/Limited List changes have helped bring Spellbooks back onto the Tier List as well. Although Spellbooks can struggle in backrow-heavy metas like this one, they can also thrive against decks like Vampires and Blue-Eyes who have few ways to deal with a Silent Magician LV8 (especially with Vampire Vamp being less accessible thanks to the Cyber Style change).
Silent Magician is still a massive threat to most decks and Spellbook of Fate’s non-targeting banish effect is still as powerful as ever. However, the rise in the amount of backrow being used and the popularity of Sealed Tombs may force people away from playing this deck. But despite their low representation, the deck still manages to perform well under in the side-deck format.
Climbing back up from the grave, Spellbooks make a reappearance on the Tier List after being demoted the previous week. The deck has too many “just okay” matchups right now and can be countered too easily with side deck cards to be placed too high on the Tier List, but with some help from the banlist the deck still maintains its past potential as being a solid rogue contender that might give its opponents some trouble here and there in tournaments.
With the release of [Power of Bravery](/box-reviews/power-of-bravery/), both Buster Blader and Morphtronics have been placed in High Potential.
Buster Blader decks are receiving a great new starter card in Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman, being able to search Destruction Swordsman Fusion which can remove an oppnent’s Blue-Eyes to make Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman. The key to this deck’s performance in the meta as a whole will be how it does against non-Dragon decks, perhaps using DNA Surgery or relying on Red-Eyes Slash Dragon as an alternate win condition.
Morphtronics can swarm the field with ease thanks to Morphtronic Celfon but can struggle to make real pushes after that. Power Tool Dragon is not the strongest turn 1 play (but is certainly accessible with Celfon into Morphtronic Scopen or Morphtronic Remoten and Level Duplication with a level 4 Morphtronic in hand), and Paleozoic Canadia’s presence in the meta makes any strategy relying on equip spells an uphill battle from the start.
Buster Blader is the obvious counter for a tiered deck, it would be foolish not to have it be at least at High Potential. Let’s see if it can hang with the rest of the meta and deal with the bigger issue of not going against Dragons every duel.
Morphs are no Tier 0 “Fur Hire 2.0” minibox deck, but they do have a few interesting strengths in being able to turbo into several different Synchros with relative ease compared to any other deck right now. They also have a handful of monsters with +1 effects and decent card economy so I’m curious as to what kind builds people can come up with and how they’ll fare against the rest of the meta. Buster Blader got a few powerful cards added to its archetype and may see some potential viability in the current meta. The make-or-break thing for Buster Blader will likely be how consistent of a build it can achieve, which currently remains up in the air.
Amazoness, Fur Hires, and U.A. have all been removed from the Tier List. Hieratics were removed from High Potential due to no competitive success and struggling seriously with going first.
Amazoness with Amazoness Onslaught at 1x is nearly unplayable, losing their main win condition to a single Cosmic Cyclone or Dragon Spirit. Their secondary win condition of Amazoness Queen + Amazoness Swords Woman is technically untouched, but the main facilitator of that lock, Amazoness Princess, has been put to 2x, reducing its consistency considerably. Few people have even tried experimenting with Amazoness post-banlist, and the deck has seen no competitive play in the new meta.
Fur Hires have also been hit quite hard. Every power card in the deck is now either Limited or Semi-Limited, forcing the deck to make far too many compromises to remain top-tier. To see just how hard this deck has been hit, ShinySopheon‘s King of Games deck from July would have to remove 11 cards to be legal under the new banlist. If the bans weren’t enough, the ease with which Blue-Eyes decks can produce monsters capable of swinging over Wiz, Sage Fur Hire is enough to force the deck off the Tier List.
Finally, U.A., which relied so heavily on the tribute fodder provided by Cyber Style, has been removed from the Tier List due to its overall inconsistency.
Ultra Athletes. As a fan of this deck myself I hate to see it be dropped from the Tier List but this deck clearly took a hit from the Cyber Style nerf. If you want to play the deck now you need cards that allow you to special summon for tributes such as Mithra the Thunder Vassal and Dynatherium or cards like Snowman Eater which allows you to stall for tribute summons sometimes due to its high 1900 defense. In general though this deck is way too inconsistent and bricky without Cyber Style, which led to my decision to remove it. Even if you happen to open U.A. Midfielder and a bunch of monsters that is not good enough. The deck really needs Midfielder + U.A. Stadium to be top tier and win vs other top decks.
Fur Hires: With the new banlist limits I can not see this deck being good anymore. The Wiz and Donpa, Marksman Fur Hire limit of arguably the most powerful cards in the Fur Hire deck (other than Beat, Bladesman Fur Hire) will completely shatter this deck’s consistency and power.
Amazon: For now since this deck hasn’t seen much play in the anytimes and other big tournaments I think it should be removed. With 1 Onslaught and a Semi-Limit to Princess being the most ideal amazon monster to open with, this deck will suffer heavily.
This week we have the Meta Weekly on 10/23 at 2:30pm EST and other community events throughout the week. Expect the results of these events to have a strong influence on the Tier List.
Tier List update written by superforms.