The new format has pretty much been defined, at least until Cosmo Blazer. (although I think it’ll barely make any impact) We’ve got Wind-Ups, Genex Atlantean Mermails (GAM), Agents, and Macro Rabbit running the show. To a lesser extent we’ve got some decks you’ll likely be seeing like Gadgets, Inzektors, Dark Worlds, Prophecy, Six Samurai and Chaos Dragons. Just for fun though I thought we could look into some possibilities of other decks that could be strong in the current meta and why.
Your deck has to be able to play a lot of different games in order to be successful now. You’ve got to be able to whether the storm that is Wind-Ups, who seems to be the uncontested champion of the format. (in my opinion of course)You’ve got to be able to work around GAM’s evasive destruction plays and OTKs. You’ve got to be able to stand-up under the card Macro Cosmos and not be completely shut out be either the Evolzars. And of course Agents, who slap down boss monster after boss monster with seemingly no end.
A lot of the past strong deck s are starting to fall through under the pressure and maybe some other decks might rise to the occasion. There’s a couple of decks, 3 in specific, that I’ve been looking at contently as strong rouge decks that could be used this format.
Before that though, more on the meta. Some of the older familiar decks are starting to fall off the map due to the formation of the new “meta”. Decks that used to be highly feared, like Darkworlds are become less and less viable as their match-ups with the big decks become worse and siding becomes more difficult for them with Macro Cosmos flying around. Some decks, like Chaos Dragons are losing out to very similar decks like Agents since Agents more appropriately addresses the major decks of the format and is less vulnerable to common side decked cards. Six Samurai is starting to lose out to the over abundance of monster based decks which are extremely difficult to beat with that deck. Some decks are just completely forgotten like HEROs or even further forgotten like Blackwings. There’s a whole slough of very potent decks waiting to be adapted and dug up for the new meta.
The first thing I want to excavate is Gladiator Beasts or GBs. Most people know this deck very well, and I’m not really going to take the time to explain it in detail, but I believe it’s a deck that has a lot of very good things going for it to give it a strong edge as a rouge deck in this format. I’ll just go down the list of things that help the deck in this meta. Initially, like any deck needs to be successful it needs a proven and solid core, we all know this is true of GBs. They’ve been around for a long time and randomly pop up now and then but are generally unpopular. One of the decks greatest weaknesses is extremely heavy back-row, which other than Macro Rabbit isn’t really present in this meta, so lets count that as a good thing The next highest trap count probably belongs to Wind-Ups, and they’re really only running an amount that’s quite easy to deal with using the current GB toolbox and will likely be one major adaption point for running the deck right now.
Another important quality to just about any deck right now is to be able to transition between speed and control. This pretty much rules out the stun variant of GBs since it’s probably going to be too slow to keep up with the current game speed, which is extremely fast. We’re going to need some powerful 2 card combos, of which GBs have plenty. This can allow a GB player to turn the tide of the game using appropriate timing of cards with explosive Gyzarus plays and seal duels in a similar fashion to Shock Master with Herkalinos. (nothing really new there) Obviously, to make this speed I’m thinking more on the lines of A Hero Lives variant. The deck also runs standardly a very powerful anti-meta tool: Gladiator Beast’s War Chariot, a card that has always been simply amazing, and with the meta shift to heavy reliance on monster effects it’s only natural that this card would be helpful. For the most part this is old news, but it’s relevant to the decks success. Qualities that naturally defined the deck are qualities that I thought would allow a deck to thrive in this meta, making it first on my list of decks to check out.
The deck also has the ability to adapt to stop OTKs to fend off decks like Agents, GAM and Wind-Ups without losing a whole lot of advantage through the card Waboku. I really think this will be an important factor to anyone wishing to adapt this deck to the current game. Similar to the decklist of the winning Inzektor deck at Seatac, running 3 Threatening Roar, this will even out the deck’s defense without running cards that make the deck run lopsided like Tragoedia, although a tech Gorz wouldn’t be out of place in this deck. As with just about any deck out there right now, originality in design I think is crucial. It’s unlikely that you’ll be topping with a deck that isn’t one of the major threat decks unless the build is running differently than normal and change specifically to cater this new meta. (that’s just something to learn about playing competitively in Yugioh in general) Waboku in specific allows you to stop the huge explosive plays of opposing deck with a single card and even gain advantage from it in some cases.
One of the most important things about this deck though is its side deck. The deck pretty much is unaffected by the mass of graveyard hate floating around and can even side deck copies of Dimensional Fissure themselves. One of the strongest things a deck can have this format is an immunity to the majority of the hate cards, this allows the deck to have a lot easier game 2 and 3 than most decks out there.
In theory, the deck should have a very strong GAM match-up since it can easily negate effects and forces the GAM player to invest into the field when a GB player starts pushing for OTKs and when the GAM player strikes back a well timed Waboku can lock them out. GAM usually has very little back-up when they’ve started dropping Megalos and if you just use Waboku they lose momentum very fast. Similarly, the Wind-Up match-up is pretty fair, GBs can break apart strong fields pretty quick and cards like Trap Stun can rip Wind-Ups to shreds if they invest into a field because they’re confident in traps. Waboku works the same in that it can cause a massive Wind-Up investment to be worth very little. The Agent match-up is kind of odd, Chariot is good here but when isn’t it really? Keeping Hyperion off the board may be tough, but similar to GAM if you prevent them from OTKing when they make an attempt GBs are very good at breaking up invested fields, it’d be wise to side quite a bit for Agents. If the Agent player isn’t very good it’ll be pretty easy to take advantage of there bad plays with GBs. Probably the most difficult match is with Macro Rabbit. If the GB player can keep the Evolzars off the field though, they can more easily manage that match-up. On the other hand the big beaters and heavy back row is an issue, and has always been a weakness of sorts for Glads. Trap Stun and Forbidden Lance in tandem with Gyzarus will be really important, if you get out a good Herkalinos it could be gg too.
Another deck that I think has very high rouge potential is HEROs. Maybe I’m a little biased since I play the deck myself, but in my testing the deck isn’t superbly weak against any deck and once it goes into game 2 and 3 is has one of the most strong side decks in the game. This is one of the greatest strengths of HERO decks, the side deck. Since the deck is very basic it’s able to run a very large card pool of anti-meta cards in the side with little to no negative effects on the deck’s performance. The deck is able to run Skill Drain, Macro Cosmos and even stranger cards like Royal Decree if you know what you’re doing. That of course is the major downside, you have to really know what you’re doing if you want to take HEROs to an event since the deck itself is incredibly reliant on the current meta when it comes to creating the correct deck choices. At this moment I’ve been using a Chaos HERO variant and it works very well and can be equated in play style similar to Chaos Agents. It has a very slow early game that tries to break the opponent’s plays up using as little as possible while also setting up for extremely explosive OTKs at the drop of a hat. This meets some of the same criteria I mentioned for GBs, the ability to transition from control to explosiveness is key in this format since pure control can’t keep up.
The deck has a pretty even match-up against Wind-Ups game 1 and can side in some of Wind-Ups most feared sides with ease. Skill Drain and Gozen Match can really just wreck Wind-Ups and that coupled with other traps will give them a hard time, this makes that a good match-up in the end. The deck also is pretty even against Mermails, but it’s a very strange match-up that requires experience. The goal is to get the Mermail players to make their big push in fear of losing by using your big beaters as pressure since they beat over everything that isn’t Megalo and Moulin Glacia. After they drop there big guns you’re free to drop yours back on top of them and usually all they can do is watch as they lose. Agents is probably the worst match-up of the big 4 for HEROs. 2000 ATK Venus is really annoying to deal with and your both playing a similar styled game, (at least for Chaos HEROs, the deck to which I’m referring) and there boss monsters essentially trump yours. Kristya essentially wins the game against you too. It really becomes a game of who strikes successfully first or who’s got a better hand to deal with the other’s big push. Side a lot for this. Macro Rabbit is kind of strange, normally HEROs are very strong here, but in order to strengthen other match-ups when making the Chaos HERO deck it really lost some of its strong points against Dino Rabbit. This doesn’t mean the deck can’t easily side right into those things it normally ran though. Game 1 will be a little rough, but relying on the Alius, Gemini Spark and Hero Blast core will probably be your best bet since it’s really strong against Dinos. Game 2 and 3 siding into a more stun variant with Skill Drain will make the duel very highly in your favor. As always with HERO decks, watch out for Snowman Eater.
The last deck I wanted to mention was Dragunity’s. One thing I’ve noticed about shifts in the meta-game is that Stardust Dragon is getting progressively stronger and stronger, to the point now where it’s incredibly strong, but no deck can really legitimately summon it that’s on the competitive scene. So I got to thinking, what’s the best deck that can summon Stardust Dragon? Dragunity of course! GAM in particular has a real problem with Stardust. I can name every out the deck has to it: first, there’s attacking over it with Moulin Glacia. Second is a Gachi boosted Megalo/Synchro monster. Third is very obscure and unlikely to pull of XYZ plays like flipping Stardust face-down with Maestroke and then destroying it with Marksman’s discard effect. All of which require successfully attacking over it. A majority of other decks as well aren’t running Dimensional Prison either and are opting for Mirror Force instead. The only trap people are really running that threatens Stardust is Compulsory Evacuation Device which can easily be remedied by running cards like Forbidden Lance and Dark Bribe, which fit very well in Dragunity’s main deck.
The main issue with this deck though is that it’s hurt really bad by the side deck, but the thing is it’s really easy to know what cards people will be using against you. Not to say that this makes it easy, but game 2 and 3 you’re looking at a pretty narrow pool of cards consisting mostly of the following: Maxx “C”, Veiler, Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure. A lot of Wind-Up players are running cards like Level Limit Area B and Messenger of Peace, which are rather annoying, but these cards are solved by some main decked cards and some easy sides. MSTs and Bribes can deal with the annoying continuous cards that people run and additional Breaker the Magical Warrior or even Dust Tornado if you need some extra removal. It doesn’t work against Macro, but Dragunity Aklys and Legionnaire combo-ed together like the classic build really easily deals with that stuff so siding or even maining a more classic build like that might even be a smart option. Cards like Veiler and Maxx “C” are dealt with fairly easily. Dragunity Arma Mystletainn dodges Veiler along with main decked Compulsory to re-use dead Dux. Maxx “C” is really only a matter of knowing how to play around it.
Match-ups wise, GAM should be the easiest, siding in a couple cards could easily tip the game over the top in your favor. Stardust Dragon in this match-up allows you to sit on traps that would normally not work effectively in this match-up, like Mirror Force and punish GAM players by trying to attack over Stardust, since it’s there only legitimate out. Against Wind-Ups it’s fairly important who gets to go first, if a Wind-Up player tries to sit on a T-King, it’s tough to break that with Dragunity’s unless you do plays with Legionnaire and Aklys, if you’re running those. On the other hand, if you get out a Stardust on them, they have very little outs either, especially if you back the Stardust with Compulsory or Veiler. The Wind-Up player will have to get fancy to deal with you effectively. Siding in anti T-King cards is wise. Agents is a fairly good match-up in theory since, like GAM they don’t have a lot of outs to Stardust aside from attacking it. It’s possible for them to stop you from getting out big Synchros though due to the main decked hand traps and Kristya, and beware of them stealing your big monsters with Creature Swap or Enemy Controller. Other than that the game plan is the same, but siding a considerable amount for this match-up would be smart. Macro Rabbit is tough, as it seems to be with most rouge decks, mostly because of the card Macro Cosmos, which really shuts you down. I considered running Royal Decree in the side deck just for this match-up since it makes you huge Synchros really hard for Dino players to deal with especially if you max out on Lance like I would and Veiler is really good behind a Stardust as well. Decree and Stardust is very annoying to deal with when you have very little ways to break over 2400 attack n Macro Rabbit either.
I had a couple other decks in mind, but I’m going to keep it at three for now. Deck’s like Frog Monarchs with a huge emphasis on Light and Darkness Dragon, Zombies concentric around Spirit Reaper rather than Synchroing and even maybe a Psychic Deck based around Ultimate Axon Kicker because that card literally tears this format apart, but maybe another time for those. For now that’s all I’ve got! If you want to know anything else or have any comments please say something, I’m always waiting to respond. (of course not immediately, I work and stuff, but you know what I mean) Keep in mind, that this is theory I’ve been thinking about for a while now and it’s not actual fact or been tested, just 3 decks I really thought would excel in this meta, at least on paper. Hope you enjoyed, see you all next week!