Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pre-season rankings for 181 Yugioh Archetypes

We are on the eve of a New Year and playas and pundits alike are making their predictions.  Traditionally, the Yugiverse has done the same in response to the F & L list.  Alas, that vaunted list has little influence on the meta.  The modern game is dominated by the release of evermore powerful archetypes. 

Over the next three fortnights, Konami will disgorge themselves of Secrets of Eternity, Hero Strike, and Secret Forces.  While SECE will cause only minor ripples, Hero Strike and Secret Forces will cause seismic shifts in the game.  Heroes return with a searchable Macro Cosmos and the Secret Forces will establish the primacy of Nekroz with their reincarnate Trishula.  Furthermore, these latter sets will be readily accessible.  While I decry the haste of their release, I am grateful that these cards will be affordable to most doolists.  All of the investors in Burning Abyss should be prepared to get burned by a bargain deck.

My quarterly lists remain popular posts and seem to garner the most comments.  Commenting on eBlogger is cumbersome and not reader friendly.  I suspect more try than succeed.  Nevertheless, I will try to post any comment that is not vulgar as quickly as possible.  That said, one should realize this list is a somewhat ironic statement about the nature of prediction in general.   Preseason polls are little more than fodder for barroom conversation. My list is also intended for such conversations whether they take place in bars or elsewhere.

This list was made with the following observations:
  1.  I am including Secrets of Eternity and Hero Strike but not Secret Forces.  In other words, this list is a prediction of the meta until February 12th.  This choice is somewhat random but it reflects my desire to prepare for YCS South Carolina on February 1st.
  2. Graveyard dependent decks will get hit.   Dark Law will be the new law in town.
  3. Light themed decks will trend up slightly with Honest at two.
  4.  Several lower tiered decks will get a small boost from SECE.  Unfortunately, none of this additional support will move these decks into competitive contention.  However, they should inject a little bit of fun into some beloved archetypes. This list includes X Sabers, Zombies, Symphonic Warriors, Dragunities, and winged beast themed decks.
  5.  Be wary of two rogue strategies!  Monarch support has been slowly increasing over the past year.  The less dependent monarchs are on the little froggy, the better they will be.  I also think Koa’ki Meiru Overdose will add greatly to the Rock Stun strategy.
A few notes on this list:
  • The larger numbers on the left are my predictions for the first 4 - 6 weeks of the meta. 
  • The smaller numbers on the right were my predictions following the last F&L list.
  •  I update this list with the institution of each new F&L list.  I do not delete my older posts.  
  • I have dropped my tongue and cheek tier ratings since this seems to be a point of contention among the Yugioh faithful.
  • ... and yes, please tell me why Gimmick Puppets should leap above Galaxy.


  1. Being an interested reader of your blog, I was hit with a bit of disappointment by this list. I understand tier rankings are slightly opinion based, but certain decks are displaced beyond their usual range.
    Just a few observations of the list:
    Dark World at 57? There are great Dark World decks which can compete with even qliphoths when they draw decently well. Ranking them below constellar, watt, infernity, deskbot, superheavy samurais and so many inferior decks seems slightly degrading. After all, this is still the same rogue deck that shook the meta in 2011-12.
    HERO decks are good but i think a slightly lower place in the top tier would be appropriate. Anti-Dark Law strategies aren't too far away.
    Necloths/Nekroz should be on the list! Don't forget that it was the only deck hit by the OCG ban list!
    UA isn't tier 1. Not yet at least. More support will tell. A new release, but not the strongest release.
    Sorry if the comment is a little abrupt but those were the thoughts that hit me when I read the list. If you could, please update the list a bit.
    Once again the list showed me a large number of archetypes that I could refer to when deck building. Just a few anomalies in my opinion.

    1. Thanks for your interest and I very much appreciate your polite and articulate comments. A couple of thoughts:

      1. This is a TCG list - since I play in in the USA. I agree that Nekroz will be a very strong deck; however, most of their cards won't be available until Secret Forces is released. This list reflects the meta BEFORE that set. Nekroz will move up quickly.

      2. I agree that DW is a strong deck. Most of my defeats to doolists under the age of 12 have been to DW decks. Part of the problem in making meta predictions is that the meta is a combination of the strength of the deck PLUS the popularity of the deck. If the DW archetype was introduced 6 months ago it would be more played and higher in the rankings. UA is ranked as high as it is simply because it is new. I suspect that I am more likely to run into a UA deck than a DW deck in a major tournament.

      This is the reason that Heroes are ranked so high. Tournament results are disproportionally influenced by the release of a new structure deck. This happened after the release of Chaos Dragons and Lightsworns. Within weeks, these decks dropped. YCS South Carolina occurs the weekend after Hero Strike is available. It will be a very popular choice because it's cheap and Hero players have been drooling for this set for months.

      Truth is you can't prepare for every random deck out there. One of the reasons Konami introduced their "Bye" system for big tournaments so the top players would not get knocked out by a random deck. When it comes to side decking, most simply prepare for the top 4 decks. It is reasonable to have an understanding about the first 20 decks. While you can certainly get beat by many of the decks on this list, I wouldn't lay awake at night worrying about that Yubel matchup.

      That said, I found your comment about the DW match up against Qliphorts rather compelling. Hence, I updated the list to put DW at 25th. If given the choice, I would play DW over Fluffals - in fact, I would love to see that match.

      Thanks for reading - Hank

  2. Sorry, just noticed that nekroz is ranked.
    Being part of the OCG circuit, i learnt that Nekroz is tier 0. One of the fastest decks around.
    Your choice on that one doc, but 62 is killing it. I predict a meta that will result in semi-dominance by necloths. They won the last OCG local I played in, ahead of qliphoths with their new support in secrets of eternity.
    Also, just as a little reminder, remember that Secrets of Eternity is when Qli Assembler releases, along with another apoqliphoth monster. More Qli success there. This pack released back in november in the OCG, and severely strengthened qliphoths, which depended on the far less searchable performarmpal traptolynx to do the pendulum work with scout. Assembler is the perfect complement to scout.
    Happy duelling.

  3. Thanks for the change though, whenever you incorporate it.
    What is the 'bye' system?
    And if you are interested I could give you a good anti-qliphoth dark world deck list
    Thanks, Sid

  4. The bye system is officially called the "YCS VIP Qualifier Program". These are special tournaments held at local shops that allow winners to skip the up to 2 rounds of a YCS tournament. The idea is to let good players avoid the chance of getting eliminated from a YCS in the first two rounds.

    It's a fine idea. My major problem with the program is that the tournaments are in a small number of shops. Jason Grabher Meyer post on the program can be found here: http://blog.coretcg.com/how-earned-byes-could-win-you-championships/

    As far as DW goes ... hmmmm ... I may ask some of my friends about it. I'll try to get someone with a lot of DW experience to write about it.