TCG Meta Deck Representation & Breakdown
- 21 Tearlaments (15 Bystial, 1 Shaddoll, 1 60-card Chaos Bystial Combo)
- 4 Spright
- 3 Floowandereeze
- 2 Runick
- 2 Swordsoul (1 Bystial, 1 Tenyi Bystial)
Isaac Lim placed Top 4 at YCS Sydney with his version of Tearlaments.
Tearlaments is a deck that has been especially dominant this past season; filling up the majority of most Regional and YCS Top Cuts. And while most of them feature Bystials as a way of counterplay in the mirror, Isaac chose to play a build that only Main Decks one. Instead of the Bystials, Isaac chose to play a set of Kashtira Fenrir, 2 Diviner of the Herald, 3 Triple Tactics Talent, and 2 copies of Enemy Controller.
Diviner of the Herald is a card that Tearlaments have mostly shifted off of in recent tournaments. While it was a card that saw a lot of play earlier in the format, most players have cut it to make space to play more Bystials while keeping their decks as close to 40 as possible. With that being said, Diviner does have some useful perks that add a bit of consistency and utility to the deck. For example, Diviner is technically a mill 5 on summon as it can mill both Kelbek the Ancient Vanguard and Agido the Ancient Sentinel to trigger their effects. This makes it a decent normal summon or option to revive off Spright Elf. Diviner also provides easier access to Baronne de Fleur and Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal since it'll usually be Level 6. This lets it Synchro with any Level 4 monster that you'd have leftover after your combo or XYZ with Garura, Wings of Resonant Life or Kashtira Fenrir to make a stronger monster.
Enemy Controller is also an interesting card that we've started seeing a bit more of recently. This card is good going 1st and 2nd as it can act as both a form of disruption and a board breaker. With many decks not playing a lot of spell negates, Enemy Controller is a great way to dodge targeting effects while stealing one of the opponent's powerful monsters. For example, in the Tearlaments mirror, you can steal Tearlaments Rulkallos which will not only weaken their field but also provide a way to stop your opponent from Fusion summoning on your turn. You can also use that Rulkallos to help break their board and OTK, or fuse it away by sending it back to the Extra Deck; therefore not triggering its effect to revive itself. Enemy Controller also synergizes with Diviner as it triggers its 2nd effect. This lets you summon Herald of Orange Light which can be used to Link into Spright Elf, Spright Sprind, or Dharc the Dark Charmer, Gloomy (provided you have a Dark monster as the other Link material).
60-card Tearlaments Chaos Bystial Combo
Destyn "The Colossus" Weir also made Top 32 with his 60-card Tearlaments Chaos Bystial Combo deck!
While many Tearlaments decks tend to follow the standard lineup of Tearlaments cards, Ishizu Fairys, and Bystials, Destyn's deck definitely does not. As a matter of fact, Destyn's deck is more of a Chaos Dragon combo deck that simply uses the Tearlaments cards to help load up the GY and extend his combo.
Destyn's deck is a essentially a modern twist of the old Chaos Thunder Dragon Combo deck that was popular back in 2019. The deck uses the same fundamental ideas of building a board but with the new Bystial, Tearlaments and Ishizu Fairy package over the older Danger and Crusadia package. These new engines still provide the necessary extenders needed to combo but also double as forms of disruption on the opponent's turn. This makes the deck more prevalent as it isn't just a glass cannon that has trouble when going second.
The main strength of the deck is the sheer abundance of play the deck has when it can combo. With Bystials running everywhere this format, it may seem dangerous to play a Chaos Combo deck. However, with so many different lines this deck can to play, it's difficult to decide how to use your Bystials optimally against it (especially if this is your 1st encounter with this deck). Although it might seem like Bystials look good at first, you may quickly realize that many of the monsters in this deck that banish for their summon don't start a chain (i.e. Chaos Dragon Levianeer, Black Dragon Collapserpent, The Bystial Lubellion). This makes Bystials much weaker as they can only really banish the Tearlaments monsters, which the deck isn't overly reliant on anyways.
Speaking of Bystials, the Bystial engine in this deck also provides additional utility through the use of The Bystial Lubellion. Lubellion works particularly well here as it can tutor Branded Beast which leads to Branded Regained. This provides additional disruption while also generating advantage through free draws and Bystial monsters. Regained can also trigger off your Chaos monstersb letting you recycle monsters such as White Dragon Wyverburster and Black Dragon Collapserpent and getting multiple uses from them.
The deck also takes advantage of the current format being mostly Tearlaments players; meaning a lot of Ishizu Fairys and not a lot of hand traps. It's pretty common that your opponent will often help mill your deck. This contributes to your strategy as milling cards such as Thunder Dragons or Tearlaments will only help you set up faster and anything you want to keep in your deck can be shuffled back using Mudora the Sword Oracle and Keldo the Sacred Protector. The deck also takes advantage of the lack of hand traps and Dark Ruler No More in the format as both of those can pose problems if the deck doesn't open with the proper tools to deal with them.
As a general note, Combo decks follow the rules of hitting fast, striking hard, and ending the match before your opponent fully realizes what's happening, and this deck exemplifies that very well. While it's easy to forget how strong a Combo deck can be, you definitely won't be forgetting their powerful ending boards if you were to encounter one.
Elton Zhang also made Top 32 at YCS Sydney with his Swordsoul deck!
Swordsoul is a deck we haven't covered in a while due to their lack of presence in the Top Cut scene. With the majority of the meta comprised of Tearlaments, Elton adjusted his deck by replacing the old Tenyi engine with the Bystial package. The Bystial package is pretty good in Swordsoul as it makes it much easier to Synchro into Level 10s. This makes it easier to summon Swordsoul Sinister Sovereign - Qixing Longyuan as your 1st Synchro; letting you net some advantage off of it. Elton also chose to play 3 copies of Effect Veiler and Nibiru, the Primal Being as they're Light monsters to fuel your Bystials and also quite unexpected. With Nibiru being pretty much completely absent from this format, most players have forgotten about it and don't really play around it. This can be quite scary as getting hit by a Nibiru when you don't expect it still hurts. Instant Fusion is also played to summon Magikey Beast - Ansyalabolas; a Level 4 Tuner. This functions as an extender while also enabling Elton to Synchro with a Bystial before he commits any of his Swordsoul cards.
In this Extra Deck, we also see the Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians and Accesscode Talker package along with Wollow, Founder of the Drudge Dragons. Since Elton is playing Bystials, playing Dharc the Dark Charmer, Gloomy and Selene makes it pretty easy to climb into Accesscode with the abundance of Dark Spell-heavy decks in the format. This makes it easy to end games quickly as Swordsoul can easily burn down their opponent's lifepoints to lethal range in the first few turns. Wollow also contributes to this as a way to end the game quickly in certain matchups. It happens to double as a disruption against decks that rely on their GY.
Glen "Coco" Azize also made Top 32 at YCS Sydney with his take on Floowandereeze.
For the better part of the format, Floowandereeze decks have mainly consisted of the standard Floowandereeze engine, a bunch of Pots, Dimension Shifter, and board breaking cards or going 1st cards. However, Glen's Floowandereeze build instead played a bunch of hand traps in the form of Skull Meister, Effect Veiler, and Infinite Impermanence. This is quite unusual as Floowandereeze decks have shifted towards subbing out these cards in favor of "stronger" alternatives such as Evenly Matched, Lightning Storm, or Harpie's Feather Storm. With the inclusion of hand traps, Glen's aim is more to try and make his opponent's play as sub-optimal as possible while he capitalizes off the natural power of the Floowandereeze deck. This also makes his Pots better as if he already has his combo components, he can now search for a disruptive hand trap to cement his board even further. We can also see this point in the Side Deck as Glen also sides another 2 copies of Floowandereeze and the Unexplored Winds. While this can be perceived as inconsistent, Unexplored Winds is great for cycling extra monsters out of the hand in exchange for new cards.
We can also see the Knightmare package and Codebreaker Virus Swordsman in the Extra Deck. With many Tearlaments decks playing Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir and siding into Zombie World, the Knightmare Link monsters and Virus Swordsman are great ways to out these cards. Knightmare Phoenix, Cerberus, and Unicorn are great for providing spot removal as they cannot be negated by Bagooska. If these options are all expended, Virus Swordsman is also a generic Link-2 that can beat over Bagooska with its 2300 ATK points. This makes it easier to play against these cards without having to explicitly over Side for them.
YCS Sydney 2023 sure was a wild event with a lot of interesting decks making it into the Top Cut. While Tearlaments still is the dominant deck, its representation and influence seem to be slowly dwindling as players are either tired of playing it, or have found some decent ways to combat it.
With the format reaching its close; having only 1 month left, it'll be interesting to see how the last few events of the DABL format will go. Will Tearlaments maintain its crown? Will Floowandereeze finally escape from 2nd place? We'll see at last event this season; the Latin America Remote Duel YCS.