End of Format Innovations: TCG DABL Metagame Report Before the Photon Hypernova format and premier event season begins, let's take a look at the final innovations people have cooked up!


Hello everyone, Renren here back with another TCG Metagame Report! We won't be having a snapshot for this month, but I hope the two Meta Reports more than make up for it. Today we'll be going over some of the wildest decks that have been performing in the Final Regional/Premier Event weeks of the format. 

Featured Products and Events


[AMDE] Amazing Defenders - January 19, 2023

LATAM Remote Duel YCS - January 21-22 2023

The Side Deck Remote Duel WCQ Regional - January 21, 2023
Portsmouth WCQ Regional  - January 28, 2023

Freiburg WCQ Regional - January 28, 2023

La Spieza WCQ Regional - January 29, 2023

Bari WCQ Regional - January 29, 2023

Deck Highlights



Runick Spellbook




Jourdan Devereaux did the unthinkable and managed to give Spellbook a respectable Top 4 finish at The Side Deck Remote Duel WCQ Regional, earning the title of "Master of Prophecy"! There were 54 players in the event which sounds small compared to usual Regionals but is fairly respectable for Remote numbers. A lot of big names also participated and topped such as Cameron "The Man" Neal and Tej Amin as well.
Runick pairs incredibly well with Spellbooks, finally giving the deck almost everything it could ever want out of a supplementary engine. These include a mass of powerful utility and disruptive spells, resource generation, and a way to protect its win condition. Cards like Runick Tip alongside Runick Fountain make sure your Spellbook of Judgment gets an insane amount of value. Runick Flashing Fire and Runick Destruction can help pick apart boards, especially when going second. Lastly, Runick Slumber and Runick Freezing Curses can help protect Jowgen the Spiritualist whenever it's threatened by the opponent.
That's not all the Runick engine has to offer, as Jordan ran an incredible tech in the form of Ghostrick Shot. By pairing Spellbook Magician of Prophecy with Hugin, he's able to go into Ghostrick Socuteboss. Now, why is that important? Because access to any Ghostrick Xyz monster is a direct pipeline to Number F0: Utopic Draco Future! Simply special summon Ghostrick Angel of Mischief on top of Socuteboss and add Shot, which lets you summon a second one by reviving Socute and making another Angel. 
Since the damage output is still on the lower end, the usual game plan is still to amass resources and make use of Runick Smiting Storm to close out the game, decking the opponent out! In conjunction with your disruptive Spellbooks + the Runick cards, you can easily choke the opponent out of playing once you get going. Soul Release is a funky Side deck card that actually comes up nicely in the Ishizu Tearlament matchup. Activating it allows you to threaten nearly all their shufflers and or Tear monsters in the GY in one card by banishing them all, cutting them off disrupting your Runick Fountain either by shuffling the Runick spells or threatening a pop with Primeval Planet Perlereino.

Mathmech Crystal Beast



Luiz Carlos Nascimento brought a pretty new take on Crystal Beast (or Conclave Control) to the table, supplementing it with a small Mathmech Circular package. He managed a respectable Top 8 finish at the LATAM Remote Duel YCS for his efforts, mathematical! So how do the Mathmech cards help out the CB strategy? (Note: Several people have mentioned that he should be on Update Jammer for this list. If you wish to play this Deck, I would advise you to find room for it.)
Thanks to the likes of Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus and Rainbow Bridge of the Heart, the deck is more than able to easily board 2 Level 4 monsters to the field. For example, Sapphire Pegasus placing Crystal Beast Rainbow Dragon is one, as CBRD banishes itself from the S/T zone to summon either a Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle or another Pegasus while adding you a Rainbow Dragon to boot.  From there, you can turn the two Crystal Beasts into Primathmech Alembertian and the fun begins!
Alembertian opens up a couple of key plays here, both for going first and going second. For going first, you have the option of setting up either I:P Masquerena + Abyss Dweller or a Number 60: Dugares the Timeless + IP setup with Link Disciple and Link Devotee. Let's go over the Dweller play.
Summon Alembertian and use its effect to detach 2 and add Circular to your hand. Use Circular and send Mathmech Sigma to the GY as cost. Use Alemb's effect to tribute itself and Special Summon Sigma back to the field. Circular triggers, letting you add Mathmech Equation to your hand. Activate Equation and revive Alembertian back. Overlay the two Level 4s into everyone's favorite, Abyss Dweller! Now, use Dweller's effect to detach Sigma so it hits the GY. Luckily, Dweller only affects the opponent so Sigma is free to be activated here. Lastly, link off Alembertian and Sigma to make I:P Masquerena! Something like this against Ishizu Tearlaments or other GY-reliant decks is a massive headache to deal with. The sequence is a bit specific, as you need to make sure you don't Cyberse lock yourself too early with Sigma's effect.
The line diverges a bit if you go for Dugares, but it gives you enough bodies to go for an Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess setup + more cards in hand. Might be handy against something like Floowandereeze. As for the Rainbow Dragon you added, you can either put it back into the deck with Link Disciple so CBRD is live again next turn or use it as discard fodder for Knightmare Unicorn.

For going second, you want to run the aforementioned Update Jammer on this one. Feel free to use Sigma early, as all you need to do is get to I:P + Update Jammer to summon a 4300 ATK Accesscode Talker! You get two uses out of its other effect, and it also can't be destroyed by card effects, neat! Most important of all though is that you can attack twice with it to go for game. This is because Circular restricts you to only being able to attack with 1 monster.   
All in all, it's quite an interesting engine that Rank 4 decks like Crystal Beast are able to make use of, giving the Control deck aggressive tools to further its ceiling for very little cost. One last thing to note is if you don't reveal your Math cards in game 1, the opponent may be more inclined to side out their Bystials, giving you better odds to resolve them in games 2 or 3.

Adventurer Mikanko Libromancer

Gabriel Netz, one of the original pioneers of Adventurer Synchro GS (or B.A.S.E.D.), brought the absolute heat and reigned fire all over the Portsmouth WCQ Regional, finishing Top 4 with Adventurer Mikanko Libromancer! This list is quite intricate and has a lot of moving pieces that tie the deck together, so let's go over it.
The strategy relies on several 2-card combos that get you to Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights. A forgotten menace lost to time, Isolde still proves herself to be a formidable play enabler. Both the Adventurer Engine or the Libromancer part of the deck can get you to her thanks to Ferocious Flame Swordsman being extremely generic. This is also the reason why the list is on Magicore Warrior of the Relics, which is otherwise not used at all. 

Depending on your opener, you'll often have to freestyle your combos, but as long as you can get to the combination of Isolde and Cupid Pitch, you should be in the clear. Something like Baronne de Fleur would replace Borreload Savage Dragon if the opening becomes Adventurer-heavy. Likewise, something like Cherubini, Ebon Angel of the Burning Abyss can get you to Water Enchantress of the Temple. I do have to mention that Libro openers are a lot better, as they give you a lot more than you'd expect. ( Libromancer First Appearance and Libromancer Doombroker )

Back to the example combo, Isolde gives you access to Infernoble Knight - Renaud which has an incredible interaction with Mikanko Water Arabesque. The play goes like this: Isolde adds Libromancer Agent on summon then sends Arabesque to SS out Renaud, which adds it back to your hand. Equip it to your Renaud and then use its effect, special summoning out Ha-Re the Sword Mikanko and returning the equipped monster to your hand. Ha Re's effect activates, letting you add Mikanko Fire Dance to your hand. Special Summon out Renaud again which is now treated as a Tuner, and then synchro summon Cupid Pitch. 

Cupid Pitch's effect modulates her level to 5, which gives you access to Borreload Savage Dragon alongside the Ha-Re. Savage helps insulate from Nibiru and other pesky threats that might pop up mid-combo. From here, use Pitch's effect to burn and search for a key combo piece that ties it all together, Gale Dogra! A Libro opener ( Libromancer Geek Boy / Libromancer Fire  + a Ritual) doesn't need to use its Normal Summon, so you can freely NS the insect and start playing. Otherwise, if you had to use Adventurer cards, link off Isolde and Gale Dogra for Spright Elf in order to revive it.

After that, go for two sends for Gale Dogra to add the two missing Ritual pieces you need in your hand with Herald of the Arc Light . As an example though, you're usually going for Ohime the Manifested Mikanko and Cyber Angel Benten. Use First Appearance's effect to summon out Doombroker by tributing Benten and use Doom's effect to set Libromancer Intervention. Benten searches for Archlord Kristya here, an extremely powerful floodgate win condition on legs. The combo ensures you have 4 fairies in the GY, the two Arc Lights, Cupid Pitch, and Benten). Don't summon her just yet though, we still have some more work to do.
Lastly, we want to beef up this Kristya as much as we can. If you went for Elf, it would already be untargetable. Now use Ohime's effect to get The Great Mikanko Ceremony and use that to summon her out to the field. Banish Ceremony to send Mikanko Reflection Rondo to the GY. Special Summon out Kristya under Elf and add back a Fairy of your choice. Ohime just so happens to be an additional interruption here, as she can equip Rondo to an opponent's monster and take it during their turn. To top it off, we're using Ohime to equip the Water Arabesque from the GY to our Archlord, making her unable to be destroyed by card effects.
All in all, the deck ends on a nearly unbreakable board and often has enough gas to go for going second OTKs thanks to Ohime letting you leverage the opponent's ATK stats against them. It's hard to say whether or not it will be as prominent as the original iterations of Adventurer Synchro GS, but it is definitely a deck with a lot of promise. 

8-Axis OTK


Corrado Zecca brought an extremely simple yet effective strategy that dominated the La Spezia WCQ Regional, presenting 8-Axis OTK! This list may give you familiar vibes as it's not dissimilar to what we've seen a few years ago with the likes of Gren Maju and Luna. However, his list has mostly trimmed the unhelpful Normal Summons in favor of a shiny new one. The game plan is as simple as you could imagine, break the board and go for the OTK! 

Deep Sea Diva is back for her revenge after being tossed aside by Spright once Halq ate the banhammer. She's an incredible NS that gives you two Level 2 tuners, letting you aggressively synchro Summon powerful Level 10 monsters to start cracking the opponent's setup. Baronne de Fleur and Swordsoul Supreme Sovereign - Chengying are no slouches and can more than take over the game due to the amount of pressure they pose. The usual suspects of Level 8 monsters are here as well, with Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher, Danger! Bigfoot! , and Danger! Thunderbird! leading the charge. 

Zecca opted to run a heavy Kaiju package, even maxing out on Interrupted Kaiju Slumber. The card is still as good as you remember when paired with a hard-drawn Kaiju, making for great cleanup when you deal with the card that would negate it. Dark Hole and you get a free level 8? Sign me up! The fun with Kaijus doesn't stop here either, as Alpha, the Master of Beasts lets you reuse them for even more board-breaking power.

The rest of the deck is fairly standard outside of a few unique techs. Archnemeses Eschatos is an underrated option that Bystial Magnamhut can grab and can absolutely wreck shop if unanswered. I would suggest running a Bystial Druiswurm and/or The Bystial Lubellion if you want to use this list, as the threat of Double Synchro + a Druiswurm send is slightly safer than banking it all on the Archnemeses, but it just boils down to preference. Yakusa, Lord of the Eight Thunders is an extender that helps push for damage and is another enabler of Chengying's double banish effect alongside Orochi. 
There's not much more to talk about, aside from the backup plans if you can't ever go for the OTK. You can still set up a few formidable Rank 8 Xyz monsters after cracking the field or go for a 4-material Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder push. When going first, you usually want to just summon a defensive Rank 8 or a Synchro 10 and sit on a floodgate such as Necrovalley or Dimensional Barrier

Amazing Mentions

Both Mikanko and Rescue-Ace are also making waves in the competitive scene, serving as an engine for Ishizu Tearlaments to further facilitate their plays. The two AMDE engines have received decent regional tops so far, and the two of them appear to be quite promising. Purrely will have to take a cat nap for now, but they'll get their time to shine in a few upcoming months.


Ohime is an incredible card that just so happens to discard for effect, this lets you trigger a plethora of cards such as the millers, the shufflers, and all Tearlaments. Not only that, it's a Level 6 which gives you access to Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal, and the power it brings to the table alongside Mikanko Reflection Rondo letting you perform overwhelming OTKs out of nowhere. Diviner of the Herald becomes even more important here, giving you instant access to Ohime while also enabling Baronne. Here are the two topping lists so far.


Meanwhile, Rescue-Ace is currently being splashed with a small engine of 3 Rescue-ACE Impulse and 1 Rescue-ACE Fire Attacker in Ishizu Tearlaments. Impulse acts similarly to Tearlaments Havnis, working as a Quick Effect if the opponent activates a monster effect on the field. From there, Fire Attacker shows up, and if the opponent added a card from their Deck to their hand, it gets to draw 2 cards, then discard 1 card. Once again, it discards for effect and enables the Ishizu and the Tears. Unfortunately, the topping Rescue Ace Tear list has not been made public yet, but this appears to be the assumption on how the engine is being used.
Spright fans may also be interested in a new variant popping up, Melffy! That's right, this build eschews the Frogs in favor of using Melffy Catty and Melffy Pinny for their unique attributes. The deck is more than comfortable maining Dimension Shifter and has some nasty tricks up its sleeve such as Herald of the Arc Light and Merry Melffys being summoned on the opponent's turn. Lastly, there's even a sided Harpie's Feather Storm package with Baby Roc! Click here to check it out.


That marks the end of this Metagame Report! I hope you enjoyed this read, as it featured a lot of interesting lists for sure. We'll resume with the TCG Metagame Snapshots come February when the Photon Hypernova season officially begins. Until next time friends, Renren out!

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