This is the last Tier List for this Top Player Council. Next week’s Tier List will be written by our new TPC.
Darklords are unquestionably the best deck in Side Deck tournaments with a consistent search and draw engine in Darklord Ixchel and Banishment of the Darklords as well as a staple Side Deck Skill in Destiny Draw. With the majority of Darklord having the ability to pay 1000 LP for their effects, Darklords are given easy access to tech cards such as Cosmic Cyclone, Enemy Controller, Jinzo and Hey, Trunade! through Destiny Draw – often leading to OTKs without giving their opponent the chance to respond.
The counter-trap build of Desperado provides the deck with a very strong turn one play against many decks in the current meta. Counter-traps including Rebirth of Parshath, Divine Wrath, and Ultimate Providence are excellent against the Darklord and Spellbook match-ups. Other cards such as Debunk are tech’d in for Darklords and the mirror match along with Necrovalley (which more players now have access to since its Main Box release).
Competitive events continue to prove that Darklord is a prevalent force amongst the meta. The deck boasts immense power alongside a relatively flexible engine that allow it to prevail in a competitive environment. Despite the deck having a target on its back, a good pilot is able to pioneer the Darklord strategy through various counters. Strong performances from Darklord at a high level are expected to continue.
Since the Rebirth of Parshath variant of Desperado emerged from the KC Cup, Desperado has continually performed well in competitive events on a large scale. Counter Trap Desperado is a menace to be reckoned with, most especially when it takes the first move. Darklord found this matchup to be a challenging adversary.
The only argument for Darklords not being Tier 1 is that it should be Tier 0. Darklords continue to force the meta to revolve around them, and consistently top despite every deck teching/siding heavily against them.
Desperado is arguably the best counter to Darklords, Master of Destiny is a very solid choice in this meta. Being able to plus for free with Cup of Ace to set up your Desperado Barrel Dragon plays and fuel your myriad of Counter Traps is extremely strong, making this the only other Tier 1 deck.
It’ll be interesting to see how Desperado adapts to this upcoming meta. They don’t want the Invoked engine to rise in popularity as they have almost no way to deal with their board once it’s been set up. They’ll be reliant on techs such as Forbidden Chalice or Windstorm of Etaqua in addtion to having negates set up to have a chance
The release of Aleister the Invoker and Invocation have quickly cemented itself as the new way to play Spellbooks in the current meta. With the synergy of the skill Light and Dark, Spellbooks has easy access to Aleister the Invoker and thus Invoked Cocytus, turning what was one of worst matchups in Desperado into an auto win in most circumstances.
A powerful enough hand from a Six Samurai deck is able to annihilate even the strongest of meta contenders. Upholding a good showing in the competitive scene despite its consistency issues, the deck remains at tier 2 for now. In regards to deck building trends, most Six Samurai players are using Beatdown as their skill of choice. In doing so, Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En is then able to meet relevant thresholds.
Despite some consistency issues, Six Samurais are still topping tournaments and have decent matchups across the board. While Beatdown is typically the skill of choice, the deck has flexibility in side deck skills (mainly Sealed Tombs), as well as the sometimes overwhelming board of just Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En + Six Style - Dual Wield.
Spellbooks have a new toy in the form of the Invoked engine. In addition to the already scary Silent Magician + Spellbook of Fate, Invoked Cocytus makes it even harder to out. SM + Cocytus stops Six Style - Dual Wield, and Cocytus alone practically auto-wins the Desperado matchup. Spellbooks will only continue to get better as the meta advances.
Spellbooks got a new engine to play with: Thanks to the synergy with Light and Dark they added Aleister the Invoker to their decks, giving them a better grind game as well as improving their Desperado match-up a lot, thanks to Invoked Cocytus.
Spellbooks have greatly benefited from the new Invoked engine giving them stronger pushes as well as a much better grind game, as of now my opinion on ratios is 2 Aleister the Invoker and one Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer.
Fortune Lady continues to prove its relevance in the competitive scene, though not the same extent that it had in previous events. The deck has been lacking in multiple strong results recently. Thus, demotion seems appropriate. This may be a case of the deck needing to adapt more to handle the current popular decks in tournaments. Fortune Lady Every is a titan of a Synchro - equipped with devastating non-removal and self-recursive abilities. When paired with strong backrow the deck is a terrifying force to be reckoned with.
A solid deck in the meta, Triamid is able to perform well in competitive environments. Most commonly paired with Balance, it’s able to change the traps to appropriately adjust to the format. With Desperado moving away from Canadia, Floodgate Trap Hole and Cosmic Cyclone the matchup is very much so in the favour of Triamid. When adapting appropriately, Triamid is able to withstand Darklord opponents too - though still to an extent of difficulty.
Fortune Ladies struggle from consistency issues, and they don’t really have any matchup that they just counter. This makes it hard to justify playing them over Darklords or something more consistent like Desperdo or Spellbooks.
Triamids find their niche in having a favorable matchup against Desperado. They can struggle against Darklords, however, making Tier 3 a good spot for them.
Fortune Lady just aren’t consistent enough to do well. Sometimes you can have unplayable hands and just setting a few traps isn’t always going to save you.
Gravekeepers are a control strategy that is able to set up some decent fields. With no way outside of Gravekeeper’s Supernaturalist to search Necrovalley, the deck lacks the ability to consistently pull one-sided wins through the use of the powerful field spell - but the deck has other ways of strong Turn 1 set ups nonetheless. One of it’s most notable weaknesses is going second vs Desperado and Darklords, but perhaps optimisation will improve this. It will be interesting to see how Gravekeepers perform in the upcoming week.
Invoked is the fusion archetype from the newest box - Dark Dimension. The deck functions through summoning attribute-devoted fusion monsters with a constantly recyclable engine in Aleister the Invoker. From the 3 Invoked fusions we received, Invoked Cocytus has been deemed the best of the three by far - hence the inclusion of multiple water monsters in Invoked-related strategies to make Cocytus the main focus. Untargetable and undestroyable are incredibly strong traits for a monster that’s not hard to summon to have. Many decks, Desperado especially, have a very hard time dealing with it. Without Magical Meltdown being in the game, Invoked is mainly referred to as a decks core components when Light and Dark is played in order to make it the orientation of the strategy. The exception to this is Spellbook, where Aleister is more so a tech card in a Spellbook deck rather than the other way around. Invoked is mainly reffered to as an engine (instead of a core component) when its being played without a way to get to Aleister other than hard-drawing the initial 2-3 copies in the deck. An example of this would be the Neos Invoked deck, which has been performing incredibly well over the past few days.
Keeper of Dragon Magic is an immensely powerful card that came out in the most recent EX Structure Deck. It ties many Neos variants together with consistency that would otherwise not be as viable. Most notably - the Invoked Neos deck is abusing Keeper of Dragon Magic to facilitate its fusion summon capabilities. Not only does Keeper have a strong recruiting effect upon its summon, but it’s second effect to reccur an Elemental HERO Neos or Aleister the Invoker from the graveyard at no expense is super useful. Despite Magician of Chaos not being terrible, Keeper of Dragon Magic is most certainly the more competitive card from the structure deck until the format warps into something more suitable for Magician of Chaos. Neos variants are expected to be more prevalent on the release of such a strong card as Keeper of Dragon Magic.
The most popular and best performing deck from the new box and EX structure deck is an Invoked Neos hybrid featuring Keeper of Dragon Magic, Flip Flop Frog (as the water monster for Invoked Cocytus) and an arsenal of powerful backrow. It uses Beatdown in order to meet relevant attack thresholds. Furthermore, Beatdown also gives Invoked Cocytus a really nice offensive boost. The deck has already performed well without even a week of legality yet. Strong performances from this deck are expected to continue.
The new Invoked Neos deck has performed the best out of any new deck from the release of the new world, its consistency has risen so much more and theres the Invoked engine to back it up in many matchups where it would be needed, its definitely looking like a Top Tier deck soon enough.
Amano Stun suffers from hands without Amano-Iwato. Without drawing the card it struggles immensely to beat a vast collection of decks. Furthermore, the deck is very prone to commonly used side deck cards - Jinzo in the instance of Darklord. This on top of lack of representation has lead to demotion.
Subterror is held back by its reliance on having to constantly be dealt above average hands to compete against higher-up meta contenders. Ties of the Brethren is the most successful version of the deck, and even then there are elements that the deck is notably vulnerable to - most notably going second against established boards without a power play of its own such as Subterror Final Battle. This in addition to lack of representation has lead to the demotion of Subterror. However, Subterror is far more likely to return to the Tier List than Amano Stun due its better ability to adapt to the meta.
Vendread lacks the power and consistency to rival the decks higher in relevancy. Another constraint with Vendread is its inability to fit in many tech cards. Though not a bad deck, it’s underperformance and underrepresentation in competitive environments is a reflection of its inability to consistently do well.
Amano has one big problem: Not opening Amano-Iwato. Sure you can auto win if you go first with it but if you don’t see it then this deck is very weak. Also it loses to popular Side Deck cards like Jinzo.
The Ties of the Brethren version of Subterror isn’t consistent enough and if you want to run Darklords then pure Darklords are the better option.
Vendreads are neither powerful nor consistent enough to keep up with the Top Decks.
Vendreads and Subterrors cannot keep up well enough vs the meta as they are getting powercrept while also having consistency issues which further removes them from Tier List status
Tier List update written by Jadehex.