The TCG Meta Snapshot is a project by some of the writers at YGOPRODeck that aims to encapsulate the state of the meta for a given 1-2 week period.
The TCG Meta Snapshot also aims to rank decks in a somewhat looser tier system. The tiers that we will use are as follows:
Tier 1: Highly Competitive Meta Decks. 10% or more of tops, as ranked by Pojo. This will roughly correspond to Pojo’s Tier 1, with some overlap into Pojo’s Tier 2.
Tier 2: Semi-Competitive Meta Decks. Less than 10% of tops, as ranked by Pojo. Corresponds to the rest of Pojo’s Tier 2, Pojo’s Tier 3, and Rogue.
Tier 3: Semi-Competitive non-Meta/Rogue decks. 1-2 tops. Specifically includes decks that only top small events or get lower rankings at medium events. Can also include decks that can potentially top but have not yet in a given format.
Tier 4: Casually Competitive non-Meta decks. Decks that can compete at the local level, but cannot top an event.
Eldlich endures as a resilient control strategy in today's fast-paced metagame. The deck focuses on its titular monster, Eldlich the Golden Lord backed up by Golden Lands and Eldlixirs. Because all of your key resources replace themselves, this deck is often able to out grind the competition. Due to the compactness of the engine, the deck is fairly splashable and customizable, having several effective variants to choose from. All of them have their unique upsides over each other, which we'll go over later down the line.
Special thanks to OzoneTCG and the r/Yugioh Discord for assisting in this Snapshot.
Eldlich is doing fairly well for itself in the current format. The deck has racked up results in the regional scene from NA, EU, OCE, and LATAM respectively. Having the ability to shrug off Artifact Scythe's turn-ending lock is not something many decks can boast. That being said, its usage and representation fall a bit short compared to the top contenders such as Adventurer Phantom Knights, Adventurer Prank-Kids, and Halqifibrax Tenyi Swordsoul.
All in all, Eldlich and its many variants currently enjoy its status as a Tier 2 contender in the metagame! Now then, let's take a look at what the Golden Lord has been up to Post-GRCR.
Eduardo Souza finished Top 8 at the Industrial Illusions WCQ Regional over in Latin America with Pure Eldlich. This version of the deck is possibly the most straightforward, aiming to control the game with its powerful trap cards and out-resource the opponent.
Most, if not all games will revolve around setting multiple pieces of backrow. With the help of cards like Solemn Judgment and Lord of the Heavenly Prison, you're not as threatened by mass Spell and Trap removal. From there, you want to time disruptions to maximize your Trap cards then establish the Eldlich engine to snowball!
Conquistador and Huaquero are powerful tools that can hinder your opponent's plays. After they've been used, you want to get them in the GY so that they can be banished to retrieve Eldlixirs. Link Spider and Imduk are popular choices. Alternatively, you can overlay 2 of these Lands to go into Constellar Pleiades, a great form of interaction and removal in one package.
For Eldlixirs, the recommended count is 4-5. 3 Scarlet Sanguine, 1 Black Awakening, and 0-1 White Destiny. Scarlet is the strongest out of the three and therefore should be maxed out. Black allows you to get a Golden Lord on your turn without question, helping boost consistency. White is a bit more specialized, but it's a good option to have as it can help you dodge removal should the opponent have a way to banish Eldlich from the GY.
Cursed Eldland is an option that can get to the engine, but some Pure lists opt not to run it in favor of other techs such as Trap Trick. You'll see this card more in the other variants, but it's fine to run either way. Pot of Extravagance is a staple here, essentially being a free +1 for the deck. Being able to draw out the opponent's Ash Blossom which eases the strain on Eldlixirs.
While the deck of course is excellent going first, you may wonder how it holds up going second without any Hand Traps. The answer lies in interactive Trap Cards! Floodgates such as Gozen Match and Rivalry of the Warlords normally prevent the opponent from setting up, but they can also be used to deal with an established board if supported by Skill Drain or Solemn Strike to help them stick. There Can Be Only One can be considered, hurting the opponent more than it hurts you.
Mass wipes in the form of Torrential Tribute and Dogmatika Punishment work in a similar fashion when paired with the two as well. Eldlich the Golden Lord is no slouch either, as it can break through unsuspecting setups if both of its effects are used in tandem. The first effect picks off a threat on the field, and the second effect revives him as a beefy 3500/3800 monster that can run over nearly anything.
Zohair Khan placed 1st at the Alien Games WCQ Regional with Cyberse Enforcer Eldlich. This was post GRCR but pre-banlist, albeit the deck isn't that hurt by the loss of 1 Fusion Destiny. You can check out his Deck Profile here!
This version of Eldlich places a strong emphasis on the Extra Deck and its lack of Normal Summon, providing it an extremely potent 1-card combo engine. These are none other than Cyberse Gadget and its friends, Dotscaper and Firewall Guardian. Seeing any one of them grants access to both DPE and Dagda/Scythe.
Normal Summon one of them and proceed to make Link Disciple. Gadget will produce a token, while the other two summon themselves back. Regardless of which one you used, turn it into a Link Devotee! Proceed to use Disciple's effect to tribute the other Link-1, drawing 1 and possibly returning a brick back to the deck such as Dasher or Celestial. Devotee triggers to summon two tokens. Link off a token and Disciple into Dagda, and then link away the other token into a second Devotee.
Devotee's mandatory effect activates, which lets you chain Dagda to directly set either Scythe or Lancea directly from your Deck. Last but not the least, turn both into Verte and use the effect to get DPE.
Cursed Eldland comfortably finds its home in this build, giving you on-demand access to Golden Lord or a Golden Land when needed. The former is especially useful going second when you need to start chipping away at the opponent's boards. DPE synergizes well with this searcher, destroying Eldland afterward to dump Conquistador or Huaquero to the GY. This nets you the best of both worlds, having both an Eldlixir and a Land at your grasp.
Seeing as there's less incentive to run non-Eldlich backrow, the deck often works better by running a bevy of Hand Traps to harass the opponent. All in all, Eldlich adds a sturdy backbone to Cyberse DPE Hand Trap control, resulting in a formidable mix that can go toe to toe with the metagame fairly well. It helps that the Eldlich part isn't shut down by opposing Artifact Scythe.
Sean Washington placed Top 8 at a massive Case Tournament over at Tournament City Games post-GRCR. Once again this was pre-list, but 1 FD is realistically the only major change. If you want more insight, his profile is available here.
Adventurer Cyberse Enforcer Eldlich is the newest iteration of the deck, and it's slowly racking up results within the regional scene. If you want a more in-depth analysis of what the Adventurer cards do, feel free to check out this article!
The Adventurer package adds a horrifying layer of strength to the deck by exerting a lot of pressure on the opponent. Wandering Gryphon Rider is a repeatable threat that insulates interaction vs the Cyberse engine, making sure they can get to DPE and Scythe safely. Enchantress and Rite of Aramesir are must-answer cards for them as well.
Fateful Adventure holds everything together, bringing a lot of benefits to the table. Not only does it get key monsters like Gryphon and Enchantress in rotation, but it also gives two key plays to boot. This Continuous Spell is able to set up the GY by pitching Eldlich cards, speeding up that engine's pace considerably.
We all know that Adventurer is quite the threat going first, but how does it hold up going second? The answer is surprisingly well, as all of its tools go a long way in helping crack the opponent's setup.
Dracoback, the Rideable Dragon is a ridiculous Equip card that helps with this. It acts as a strong form of removal by returning any card the opponent controls to the hand when equipped to a Non-Effect monster, which is usually the Token.
Dracoback's effect when it gets sent to the GY is what really makes it shine, making for an incredible pairing with the Golden Lord himself. Use Eldlich's effect to send itself and the Dracoback to send an opponent's card to the GY. Dracoback will then equip itself to the Adventurer Token. Bounce a card they control, and you can freely use the second effect of Eldlich to revive itself and beat over a card. The Token is no slouch either, having a beefy 2000 ATK. If you manage to stick Gryphon Rider onto the field, it also complicates the opponent's plays. In short, even when fighting a resolved Artifact Scythe, you have two competent engines that can still brawl with the opposition.
This is without mentioning that the deck can easily get to Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer when needed. The high ceiling and density of power cards make this the definitive version of Eldlich by a long shot.
Trap Trick is a recent development for the Pure lists, able to pivot into Sanguine or disruption when necessary. Lava Golem and Skill Drain have also resurfaced as legitimate options for all variants.
Some of the Adventurer lists are trying out the Souls + Illusion of Chaos package. Magicians' Souls is a potent card that helps you get to Verte or Dagda all while providing incredible value.
You can send the likes of Eldland, Dracoback, Golden Lands for massive draws and GY setup! The new ritual from BACH can put bricks back too. Souls into Relinquished Anima to absorb the Lava Golem you gave them is a funny play that's worth mentioning.
Winter Cherries is not a horrible choice and a couple of Eldlich players have been giving it some thought. The Extra Deck is surprisingly on the loose side.
As powerful as Eldlich is, there's a clear factor on why the deck isn't Tier 1 at the moment. The deck suffers heavily from Side Deck threats and thus players should account for them.
Mass backrow removal will always be the bane of Eldlich, getting rid of its key pieces. While Prison helps with some of them, cards like Evenly Matched and Cosmic Cyclone can bypass it, so be wary.
Halqifibrax Tenyi Swordsoul and Tenyi GS can make LIGHT-attribute Chaofeng and/or Herald of Arc Light, both of which can prove to be problematic.
Floowandeereze is a favorable matchup, but Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds can spell trouble for all variants should you not see Eldland, the Golden Lord himself. Skill Drain can clutch out in this scenario.
Last but not the least, GY hate such as Ice Dragon's Prison and Ruddy Rose Dragon can be tricky to deal with as they can put your Eldlich engine out of commission.
And that about covers our look into one of the more prolific control options in our combo-filled metagame. From the looks of it, Eldlich is here to stay. Join us next month as we observe how the Remote YCS will shake things up! Maybe Eldlich will make a big appearance? Only time will tell. Until next time, Renren out!