With the release of INOV, many decks re-emerged to compete for a spot at the top tables. While none has been significant enough to be labelled as a [Dark Horse] of the tournament yet, there are decks that can topple the Tier 1 giants and pose a threat to meta players.
To me, when building and/or choosing a deck, one should question their deck's specialty, be it archetype or deck builds:
- What do your deck have that others doesn't?
- What can your deck offer?
- Does those unique traits of the deck help you in the current meta?
- Pros VS Cons of the archetype/deck
(I don't really know how to determine what is Tier 1.5, so the tier list is just Tier 1 and Tier 2 to me.)
Their own new S/T destruction, which can't be negated by Starlight Road since it destroys upon resolution, is kind of like a Twin Twister, minus the discard and can that fact that it can possibly destroy more than two backrows. It has its own set of advanatages and shortcomings, so I would just leave it to your player preferences to decide which you want to run in your deck.
Vatlamyus gives Tellar a new 2-card xyz ever since Ptolemaeus' demise, making it easier to summon Diamond to combat some meta decks such as D/D/D and PK FIRE. Vatlamyus + Diamond also suffices as a lockdown, although you practically make every monster Dark Law summonable. The standard play to gain significant field and hand advantage goes like this:
- Attempt to summon out up to two Tellar monsters, with the help of Skybridge or Vega.
- Xyz summon Vatlamyus.
- Using its effect, discard a card to summon a Tellar xyz monster. Go for Triver to clear their field AND discard their hand (don't forget to use that effect) or Delteros should you not want your own cards to be returned to the hand as well.
- Detach Valamyus (THIS IS IMPORTANT~!) as cost to use the effects.
- Rank-up your Tellar xyz to summon Constellar Diamond. (Note: You are unable to go into your Main Phase 2 during turn 1, and hence you are unable to summon Diamond via an inherent rank-up summon during your first turn.)
- Next turn, when your opponent attempts to activate an effect, or during your opponent's standby phase, summon Vatlamyus back using cards such as Call of the Haunted or Oasis of Dragon Souls.
Despite losing their milling engine, Infernoids still have much to offer in this meta. There are just so many decks which are graveyard reliant.
- Blue-Eyes, more so than you think.
- ABC, yes indeed very much.
- PK FIRE, you will strip them of their resources.
- D/D/D , target their D/D Lamia and you can avoid their synchro spams.
Infernoid's tribute and banish is probably the significant action-reaction ability this deck has to break the threshold and enter Tier 1. Let's pitch it up against the most popular deck now - ABC. Infernoids only have to focus on one letter (e.g. A - Assault), and remove those copies. The ABC deck would hence slow down as you have to retrieve those banished copies of A before you can summon Dragon Buster. Yes indeed, you still have Infinity to worry about. But Infernoid boss monsters, Devyaty and Onuncu. And with Pot of Avidity being released, Infernoid has one more problem to worry about, and also one more card to abuse.
The good news though, is that with the reduced milling done by Infernoid decks, you can now run more spells and traps in the deck. Being a deck where the effect monsters does most of the work of brute force attacking, Infernoids can utilise Dimension Barrier with little to no drawback, which is another plus for the deck, since their extra deck is more of a luxury than necessity.
I have seen many innovative builds, one of which belongs to with Flash Fusion and Chain Material to fuse ALL your Infernoid monsters from deck. Now you can finally use Tierra's 10-Material effect! Quick Fusion is even searchable by Left Arm Offering.
I have seen players tech in other options such as Booby Trap - E to increase their chances of accessing their milled traps, such as floodgates Gozen Match and Vanity's Emptiness. Spiritual Swords of Revealing Light is perhaps another interesting addition to the deck as it serves purpose even when milled.
Their biggest weakness still remains though, and that is their inability to play, or capitalise on hand traps. Infernoids also face the harsh challenge of the current side deck, where players would include cards similar to Imperial Iron Wall that are meant for ABC, but Infernoids suffer the blow too.
DAM SON's favourite archetype.
Ongoing [Intro to Nekroz] series by DAM SON, so we shall leave it to him to explain. Short and brief: Nekroz's greatest challenge is the existence of Mirror of Ice Barrier in many decks as a side. Trishula, their main ace in the hole, will DIE to this card.
Nekroz's relevance in the game never wavered, even though it may have been weakened. This is because this deck relies little on summoning extra deck monsters, yet counter them via Unicore, Nekroz & Brionic, while Trishula + Decisive Armor do the heavy lifting. Clausolas provide negation and helps with the damage dealt, contributing to board control.
At its prime, EVERY SINGLE DAMN CARD in the deck is searchable. Probably just Maxx C not being searchable. DISGUSTING!
As long as the meta has decks relying on their extra deck, be it Synchro, Xyz or Fusion, Nekroz are here to stay.
5) Aqua HEROes / Toad HEROeslink) Sample decklists are there too.
Formats ago you witness Dark Law + Infinity, now you see Treatoad + Dark Law. Which is worse? Now.... definitely now....
The lone trait HEROes have is Dark Law. A Hero Arrive is basically a one-card Dark Law. (link) And in case you haven't been paying attention, meta decks are graveyard-reliant. If not, they search a lot. Dark Law counters both. Even if they don't do a Dark Law on their first turn, they can set their searched Mask Change. That action itself already place pressure on the board. As their opponent, you have to consider your actions more.
- When will they chain mask change?
- Which is the most likely window of opportunity?
- Is there anyway I can not sacrifice a card to be banished?
- 2400ATK, how do I clear it?
RAMPAGE IS AT 2.1K goddamnit.
T_TDark Law can even dodge Solemn Strike & Ghost Ogre (see here #6 for more details), when played cautiously. This threat is not one to be undermined.
With their new support, Apoqliphort , their boss monster series might see more play. It has its own safeguard against monsters lower level than him, and the 500 attack reduction only makes it harder to defeat in battle. Currently, the most common and available options to clear this beast is Honest & S39: Utopia Lightning. Both are only a one-time use, so a second Towers may prove troublesome even to meta decks. Even if you choose not to include Towers, Qliphort Down serves as a trap monster that can be used for a normal tribute summon, and it even offers protection to your Qli Spells and Traps, ensuring that your Scout won't be destroyed and you are free to pendulum and search!
Being able to abuse Skill Drain is perhaps the best asset of a Qli deck, as Skill Drain can hinder meta decks to a large extent. Probably only Blue-Eyes would be able to play around it and compete in battle with the Qli monsters as the dragon's attack points are pretty impressive too.
Like many of the Tier 1 decks on the list, Qli faces the challenge of being a victim of side deck cards not meant for them, but can still be used against them. The popular side deck card System Down would prove to be a problem, but Qli can main Imperial Iron Wall without any drawbacks, which not only counters many deck's plays, but at the same time serve as an anti-side.
7) Cyber Angels
INOV also introduced the latest Cyber Angel to the game - Vishnu, with capabilities of clearing the opponent's field and attack twice, giving the deck OTK possibilities.
Even without Vishnu, Cyber Angel can still with the game by launching into a very unfriendly lockdown that will cause the user to lose his/her friends. Did I mention Archlord Kristya is searchable in this deck? And with their extensive graveyard control, it isn't at all difficult to summon Kristya.
Required in hand:
- Herald of Perfection's Ritual Spell (Dawn of the Herald) and the ritual monster itself.
- Cyber Angel - Benten
- Machine Angel Ritual OR Cyber Ritual - Idaten
- Summon Herald, tributing Benten as cost for the ritual summon.
- Use Dawn of the Herald's effect to add Benten back to hand, while Benten searches for your missing combo piece.
- Should you be missing Machine Angel Ritual, use Benten to search Cyber Petite Angel, and use Angel to search into the ritual spell.
- You can also do this for Cyber Ritual - Idaten, or search it out straight with Benten's effect.
As a lover of Rituals, DAM SON played this deck before. The above play was formulated by him, not me. I merely typed it out. I have also requested a solo article for Cyber Angels, which is coming soon, (I hope).
In that article we will introduce more plays/combos, such as an OTK set-up involving Vishnu.
On an ending note, with the emergence of ABC, PK FIRE seems to be lacking. The meta has not been kind to these fiends who were power-crept. Currently, players exploit their DARK Rank3 monsters with the new RUM: The Phantom Knights of Launch to summon Ophion, in order to give their deck a new distinctive quality of anti-special-summons.
Just like the Avengers roster in the comic books (Sorry, I am a big MARVEL fan), the decks in the tiers will always be shifting, rotating. Some outclassed, some emerge, some break the threshold, and it all starts with something happening - New product, new strategy, new hidden gem in the game. Years ago, Chaos Dragon caused a major upset and kicked Wind-ups out of the top three spot shortly after it was released.
INOV's release is like a ripple in a puddle of water, which I estimate will take about two more weeks to dissipate. After that, we will see some ideas being dismissed and other new ones being considered. What's next? Atlantean Frogs?