The meta after the first regional weekend: September 2016

So when all the deck lists from this weekend came in, I was surprised how many Blue-Eyes decks there were. I was more surprised at the suboptimal choices, though. And by that, I don’t mean in gameplay, because I didn’t see anyone play, and I don’t mean broad deck choices like playing D/D/D. I mean playing less than 15 cards in your Extra Deck and playing more than 40 cards with Upstart Goblin. Regardless, let’s look at what I learned about the meta from this weekend.

I get a lot of questions about specific things. Asking is fine but I’ve written over 100 posts now. Use the search feature to try to find what you’re looking for. I also have navigation tabs at the top of every page. Don’t forget that the database and wikia have tons of information too.

This part of the season is extremely easy to top. In the U.S., September often brings schedule changes and many people are just less focused on Yugioh, especially those in college. Not to discredit those that did top this past weekend, but I couldn’t find participation numbers from any of the events. So, what does the meta look like right now?



I’m starting with Herald. Herald is one of my pet decks that I’ve enjoyed for years. I’ve enjoyed it less and less as time passed. My favorite build was summer 2012 before Chaos Sorcerer was limited with Tour Guides and Djinn Releaser. Djinn is rightly forbidden, but we have Cyber Angel Benten and Ritual Sanctuary now. The deck loses to Blue-Eyes and Burning Abyss but beats a lot of other things. I have no idea why the Extra Deck is only 13 cards. Never play with less than 15 Extra Deck and 15 Side Deck unless you have a good reason, like Domain of the True Monarchs. Herald is fine, but not top tier.



This is a deck. I don’t think it’s good enough to compete at the top tables once people start taking the game seriously again. The deck is helped a lot by Flame King Genghis. You can take the deck to a local tournament and do well if you play correctly. I don’t like the lack of 15 cards in the Extra Deck, a trend I noticed this weekend. Seriously, just throw in a Castel or Heliopolis. Even a third copy of Flame King Genghis would be better than nothing in the fifteenth slot. If you’re not playing something meta, I suggest you play with and against the deck several times. The deck can do some weird things, but just remember to stop either the Dark Contracts completely, or keep any monster that prevents the damage off of the field.



Most of the Burning Abyss lists are the same with the same Phantom Knight engine. Maybe Pot of Desire here or Astral Force there, but they’re the same. Denny Vu managed to top 8 a regional in Arlington with a 60 card Burning Abyss deck. It reminds me of the 60 card Artifact Shaddoll Burning Abyss decks from 2014. Can’t decide what to cut to get down to 40? Run all of the cards until you get to 60. Bottomless Trap Hole isn’t a card I’ve seen be relevant in a long time. It cleanly deals with most monsters in the Blue-Eyes deck as well as Beatrice without triggering her. With a full 60 cards in the deck, it’s less consistent, but that doesn’t make it worse. You’re going to be drawing more monsters to make Dante than you are your other cards and all of the monsters do something. Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler are the only ones that rely on your opponent to be doing something. Karma Cut is something I touched on in a budget build because it’s a good card. Banishing all Dantes or Blue-Eyes is great. I don’t believe 60 cards is correct moving forward but it’s certainly one option.



Pure Phantom Knights is still an option. The deck is solid. It’s less floaty than Burning Abyss but more rugged. None of the monsters in the deck destroy themselves outside of Break Sword if you want it to. Radian is a DARK for Allure of Darkness. The 2800 ATK doesn’t matter due to Gloves, BLS and Dark Rebellion. Burning Abyss with a smaller Phantom Knight engine still seems to be the better route, but if you’re a Johnny, I’m not going to stop you.



This deck isn’t dead. Atlanteans made a big /splash/ when BOSH released but the /seas were calm/ after that. Now they’re /making waves/ again. Jonnathon made some interesting choices that seem like the future of Mermail if they’re to compete. Aqua Spirit to make more Dweller, which I correctly identified as crucial. He also completely cut Abysspike because it isn’t needed to make Rank 4s. He also mentioned that he never summoned the second Abyss Dweller and would replace it with any other Level 4 Fusion Monster.



Don’t complain about Minerva being expensive. Instead, just don’t play the deck and rejoice that you’re not going to see your opponent mill three Wulf and two Felis off of Minerva + Garoth, draw two cards, destroy your monster with Felis and either hit Trick Clown and Fairy Tail for more Xyz or just draw more cards. The deck has potential. I don’t know if Johnny Nguyen didn’t consider Eclipse Wyvern or decided it wasn’t in his best interest. Chocolate Magician Girl is a neat tech, but I’d cut it and something else for Eclipse Wyverns. This isn’t a Giant Hand scenario where it makes Rank 4 decks slightly better. Minerva makes the deck playable. Don’t play Lightsworn without at least one Minerva.



I tried out many Shiranui Solitaire decks when it was first spoiled. All of them devolved into something like this. Sorry if you’re a Johnny, this is what the most viable build looks like. I didn’t like Rise to Full Height in the deck until I remembered that it creates a loop with Omega that prevents your opponent from attacking ever. The deck is obnoxious but not overtly powerful. I wish Shiranui were better. -sigh-



I have lots of lists. Most have 13-14 cards in the Extra Deck or Upstart Goblin and Pot of Desires with more than 40 cards. Out of all of the lists I’ve seen, I like Joe Bogli’s the best. No Upstart Goblin with more than 40 cards. Glow-Up Bulb is a cool tech but it’s never come up for me. Twin Twisters in the main deck is still important because Vanity’s Emptiness is still played. I also dislike the One For One. His Extra Deck is also lacking Dragluon, which is incredibly important in the mirror match. It’s like Big Eye, but not. It needs to be the only monster you control but either acts like Shock Master or Big Eye. It’s also 3000 over 3000 and can be protected with Return. It’s the type of card you need to run for the mirror. It’s unlikely that it will devolve into Dragluon wars due to needing to control no other monsters. Cipher is just as good as I predicted and Heliopolis is still rocking it as a powerhouse. Giant Grinder is a good card but unnecessary. I’d like to see more Effect Veilers in the deck because of Dragluon. It’s a card to be scared of, now that it’s three years old and Dragon Rulers aren’t kicking around. Master with Eyes of Blue is also important tech that can turn literally any monster in your deck into either Alternative Dragon or Spirit Dragon.


Blue-Eyes and Burning Abyss variants are still expected to be the most played decks. They both play with their Graveyard and rely on Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dante, respectively. Neither deck really has a way to get them back once they’re banished. Karma Cut and Different Dimension Ground are both good options. Maxx “C” is always useful to try to get them to stop making plays. Effect Veiler is really only good against Dragluon. Cycle Reader and D.D. Crow both attack Graveyards. Crow can hit any card, but just one. Cycle Reader gets two monsters. You can even bring in Cycle Reader against Burning Abyss because Dante is LIGHT. Koa’Ki Meiru Drago is a card you need to have answers for if you’re playing LIGHT or DARK monsters. Book of Eclipse, Dark Hole, Raigeki and Kaijus are all good answers. So is Skill Drain. Ghost Reaper still demolishes Burning Abyss. Anti-Spell Fragrance, Typhoon and Ghost Ogre should still be somewhere if you think you’re going to see any Pendulum decks. And, don’t forget to have a full playset of Twin Twisters somewhere in your 55 for Card of Demise decks.

Hopefully, the meta will tighten up and stop playing less than 15 cards in the Extra Deck. Blue-Eyes is a stronger deck than I anticipated. I’m surprised that we haven’t seen any pendulum decks yet. I hope the serious players are just waiting for a YCS, ARG or other serious events before they break out the Pendulum decks. Cyber Angels still suck but Herald is more consistent due to Benten. Last week was light on content because it takes a lot of time to write for you. If you’d like to see consistent content, you can help by clicking ads, buying cards through Amazon, or supporting me directly through Patreon.

Bonus: more blue-eyes decks

carl-manigat-blue-eyes zach-finn-blue-eyes max-reynolds-blue-eyes

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