Anti-meta Rises to the Top: A foreshadowing?

The NA Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel Invitational concluded last February 14th, 2021. So was the victor Virtual World? Nope. Drytron? Nope. Zoo Eldlich? Still, nope – it was an anti-meta Dragoon Subterror deck. Is this a one-time fluke or a vision of what’s to come?

Terrorizing the Meta

Anti-meta deck profile
Credit to Tombox from MST.TV

This is the deck that triumphed over several Virtual World and Drytron decks (among others). At first glance, it looks like your typical, run of the mill anti-meta cards sprinkled with a Subterror engine, topped with a strong boss monster in Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. Well, actually, that is correct but the key component here is the draw cards.

Subterror has always been a good rogue option. When it gets going, it can put some damage in and has insanely recursive searching off of a combination of Subterror Guru, Hidden City, and Subterror Final Battle. In addition to that, it even has an in-archetype negate in Subterror Fiendess! It really does pack a punch in terms of what you can do with a control deck. The problem that it always had was consistency.

Pot of Prosperity

Subterror really only had Hidden City, Guru, and Terraforming as starters. If they didn’t open one of these, they’d be hoping they drew one from Pot of Extravagance, or that they can hold on for dear life with their interactive traps or floodgates. Well, that was before – this problem has been alleviated heavily with the release of Pot of Prosperity. Being able to dig 6 cards-deep into your deck essentially allows you to peek around 1/4th of the entirety of your deck if you play around 40. Oh, and did I mention that you get to pick what you banish so that you’re guaranteed to always still have Dragoon in the Extra Deck?

Protecting the “Anti” in Anti-meta

Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon

I think most of us know that Subterror thrives in anti-meta, floodgate-y environments. There Can Be Only One, Summon Limit – you name it, they probably have it. It has always been a line of play for the deck to flip floodgates, sit on them with their Fiendess protection, and poke repeatedly until lethal. Well goodness me, they can do that more consistently now with the new pot. And in addition to that, they have an extra layer of protection with the help of Dragoon. Thinking of using Lightning Storm on the back row? Nah, get that outta here. You had Harpie’s Feather Duster too? Too bad they still have another negate! What was that? You had Knightmare Phoenix in your Extra Deck? Well, it would be a shame if they just flipped Summon Limit on your second summon!

Rising from the Dead

Necrovalley for Anti-meta Decks

In online simulators, Anti-meta Gravekeeper decks have started to pop-up, and with good merit, too! Most of the decks in this format rely on either summoning or banishing from the grave to make their decks function. Necrovalley helps tremendously against that. Not only does Prosperity help make it consistent, Necrovalley itself pretty much is on NINE copies. Necrovalley Throne can search out Gravekeeper’s Commandant which in turn can discard itself to get to this nasty field spell. And that’s not even including Terraforming, Metaverse, and Set Rotation. Several engines are being splashed onto this to either protect the field spell, or beef up the board to not only restrict the opponent’s plays but also apply pressure whenever possible. This is definitely something to keep an eye on as it might become the next “Buster Blader” of the previous format.

Anti-meta / Dragoon Subterror in the future?

It very well could be out there. The result that the Dragoon Subterror had in this event could be attributed a little bit to luck. He did draw a combination of City-Dragoon-Floodgate and Dimension Shifter going second a few times, leading to some fans feeling some salt in their veins. A few of them even accused Cesar Gonzalez of cheating! However, we need to realize that he plays three cards (Prosperity) that allow him to choose his 6th opening card viewing 1/4th of his entire deck, and another two (Duality) that allow him to dig three more cards deeper. Luck was definitely on his side that day, but it most definitely isn’t impossible.

As for whether or not anti-meta itself is going to pick up in popularity? You know what? It just might. Anti-meta did just win an official event, and there’s a lot of other variations that could be made that can definitely stop combo decks right on their tracks. It would be best to be on your toes, ladies and gents.

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Yugi Papi

Orcustrated Duelist. Dark Magician collector that ventured into the competitive scene using Orcusts prior to it being meta! Currently using several other decks and consistently exploring as the meta develops.


9 thoughts on “Anti-meta Rises to the Top: A foreshadowing?


  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 1:53 pm

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    Oh god I hope not

  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 1:56 pm

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    anti anti meta

  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 1:56 pm

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    Any deck that can play dimension shifter has a massive advantage rn

  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 1:56 pm

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    Dm is Anti-Anti meta

  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 1:57 pm

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    cue the Qliport

  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 8:07 pm

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    guru is just really really good because for so many reasons.

  • Avatar
    March 3, 2021 at 8:08 pm

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    no, because wow I wish I could edit that

  • Avatar
    March 9, 2021 at 5:08 pm

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    YES I TOLD YOU ALL SUBTERROR BEST DECK LET’S GOOOOOOOOO!

  • Avatar
    March 10, 2021 at 1:13 am

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    *me playing ancient gear in this meta*

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