Hello everybody, Renren here back with another AGOV Metagame Report! YCS Richmond just concluded and had some fairly surprising results! Unchained secured 8 out of 32 spots in Top Cut, solidifying itself as one of the best decks in the emerging metagame.
Rescue-ACE didn't convert as well compared to YCS Indianapolis but is still arguably the best deck due to its power and resiliency. Tearlaments returns to the forefront, with some of them brandishing the new Horus cards! Other decks incorporate the Diabellstar engine such as Mikanko and Infernoble Knight are continuing to thrive, not being too far behind. The former showcases a nasty lock with Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction and Geonator Transverser and can be a potent OTK deck as well, while the latter might just be one of the strongest combo decks in recent memory.
Perhaps the most surprising part is the influx of Rogue strategies managing to sneak their way into the Top Cut! Today we'll be looking at some of these rogue decks who ended up in Top 32!
Elias Tsirogiannis brought an overlooked strategy to YCS Richmond and it paid off incredibly well, netting a Top 32 finish with Kashtira! While Kashtira Arise-Heart may no longer be with us, he notes that the archetype's insane card quality is still more than enough to take games and he was more than happy to remind people of its strengths.
The game plan is pretty simple, go wide and hit hard with the 3 main deck Kashtira monsters, Kashtira Fenrir, Kashtira Unicorn, and the extremely underrated Kashtira Ogre, backed up with their backrow and hand traps, with Dimension Shifter leading the charge. Fenrir and Unicorn are a given, but Ogre is your heaviest hitter in conjunction with Pressured Planet Wraitsoth's ATK boost. Not only that, it can allow you to mess with the opponent's deck, making them topdeck a suboptimal card and possibly remove a key piece of their deck simultaneously. Last but not least, it searches Kashtira Preparations which gives you additional grind while also punishing the likes of Rescue-ACE, Labrynth, and Unchained if they dare activate their Trap cards or effects.
Rank 7 Xyz Monsters are a little bit worse for wear ever since the Arise ban, but there are still good options to go into. A forgotten package that Elias used was the Odd-Eyes suite! This lets any way to 2 Level 7 monsters present 10000 damage or possibly beat over tough boards. This is done by summoning Odd-Eyes Absolute Dragon in the Extra Monster Zone and then linking it off to Gravity Controller. Absolute's GY effect will trigger, bringing out Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon from the Extra Deck. You can then overlay Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon Overlord which can attack three times!
Last but not least, an unexpected Triple Tactics Thrust target overperformed for him in the event, Monster Reborn! The utility of being able to revive any monster to swing the game in your favor has definitely been proven with the power of RESCUE!, Kashtira is in a pretty good spot all things considered, and is a respectable rogue threat.
Evan Hornick surprised the world by bringing Dinomorphia to a Top 32 finish at YCS Richmond! This relatively inexpensive deck managed to get him pretty far and it's only getting cheaper with the release of The Rarity Collection, allowing staples such as Pot of Prosperity to become incredibly affordable.
Back to the deck at hand, this is the first topping list to make use of the Soul of the Supreme King package! It's quite the useful Trap card as it both halves your LP (important to the strategy) and possibly gets you some nice threats for free. If your opponent uses a Spell Card, the list gets some nice free monsters for the trouble, such as Crystal Clear Wing Synchro Dragon for some added answers against Spell and Trap Cards, and Brave-Eyes Pendulum Dragon which surprisingly shuts down Hand Traps with 0 ATK and key monsters like Rescue-ACE Hydrant.
Aside from this, the list was as simple as it gets due to the nature of the deck. Stick a Dinomorphia Rexterm on the board and protect it, all while preventing your opponent's monster effects on the field from activating. Make sure to play fast, as time is an enemy in big competitive events when you're always at incredibly low LP. The addition of Super Starslayer TY-PHON - Sky Crisis benefits this deck even more so than others, as you will rarely be doing explosive plays going second. Sky Crisis can allow you to fight for the board and make sure your Trap cards can more easily resolve when you lose the die roll.
William Johnson brought a fan favorite deck to the tournament, placing a respectable Top 32 finish with Salamangreat! The deck has greately benefitted from the support wave provided by Legendary Duelists: Soulburning Volcano reigniting the archetype. Salamangreat Raging Phoenix finally gives the deck a very resilient endboard piece that also lets you access their powerful Trap cards a lot more easily, being both Roar and Rage. Salamangreat Gazelle and Salamangreat Circle returning to 3 is also a welcome addition. Let's take a look!
Unlike most recent Salamangreat lists, William opted to mitigate the deck's weakness against Droll & Lock Bird as much as possible. He chose to completely forgo Cynet Mining and Pot of Desires as well as slimming down Salamangreat of Fire to 2 copies, all while reintroducing Flame Bufferlo into the Deck. With Circle being able to chain itself to Droll or be used in the Draw Phase, and Bufferlo netting you a huge swing in card advantage before they get to resolve the hand trap, there's more than a few ways to get around it. The deck's natural reslience to low impact hand traps gives it a leg up as many players have returned to multiple HTs in order to combat both combo decks and prevent Rescue-ACE Turbulence from resolving its effect to set 4 Rescue-ACE backrow.
While Nibiru, the Primal Being continues to be a thorn on the deck's side, William opted to try out a hot new card from Age of Overlord, Fire Recovery! He mentions that its ability to revive any FIRE monster such as Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring was quite handy, serving as either free Xyz material for Salamangreat Miragestallio or for Link climbing. Recovery's second effect also provides incredible grind. 3 copies may not be optimal moving forward, but it's definitely worth testing and running at least 1 or 2 copies considering its recent success.
Gozen Match and Rivalry of Warlords can serve to help lock opponents down in combination with Salamangreat Weasel and also help against Nibiru should you get hit with it. Lastly, William opted to forgo the Accesscode + Update package, instead focusing on an OTK line that works with the FIRE lock, Salamangreat Violet Chimera! Proxy F Magician summons the card, and Pitknight Earlie turns an opponent's monster to 0, allowing you to swing for lethal!
Diversity appears to be key takeaway in the current metagame post-AGOV, as there are multiple successful decks in the format. Diabellstar Rescue-ACE, Unchained, and Tearlaments are solidly Tier 1, but that doesn't mean the other decks aren't able to stand up to them. I hope you enjoyed this breakdown. Until next time folks, Renren out!