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 from 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. It can also include decks that can potentially beat 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.
Kenny Nguyen placed Top 8 at the December NA Remote Duel YCS with none other than Bystial Spright! This is arguably the second most popular and performing deck of the current metagame, slowly but surely catching up to Bystial Ishizu Tearlaments. The event had over 512 players, which is an impressive number as there hasn't been a big Remote Event for quite some time now.
Bystial Spright is simply a continued take from Spright lists we've seen from past formats, this time a lot more refined and leaning harder towards performing the best that it can vs Ishizu Tearlaments by running a high Bystial count paired with other effective hand traps, while still being solid into the other decks. Board breakers can be hit or miss versus the Tier 0 menace, unlike the reliability of the Bystials. While other hand traps on their own might not be enough, teaming up with these Dragons, they're capable of barely holding off Tear from getting their plays started. It also helps that the likes of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Infinite Impermanence pull their weight in the Floowandereeze matchup, the third most represented deck. Nimble Beaver has become the go to starter of choice due to its synergy with Nimble Angler and Spright Sprind.
Aside from their HT duties, Bystials serve both as powerful extenders thanks to the deck's Link-2 suite and some muscle, allowing the deck to run over annoying threats and help push for damage. Swap Frog, one of the deck's central cards, has a very strong interaction with Bystial Magnamhut. By using Magnamhut on your turn at the measly cost of sacrificing one of your DARK Sprights in the GY (or the opponent's Tears if they play on your turn!), you can summon it and search for a second Bystial in the EP. What makes this so good, however, is the fact that Swap Frog is able to bounce Magna back to your hand for free.
This means alongside your usual board, you'll have 2 Bystials waiting in the wings, with one of them searching for another one later on. Because of this, a few lists are on Wollow, Founder of the Drudge Dragons to convert 2 Bystials into an even scarier endboard piece. Some professional players like Joshua Schmidt value this so much that they're even trying The Bystial Lubellion to have more copies of Magnamhut available.
From there, it's a matter of setting up the tried and true combination of Spright Elf and Toadally Awesome for the threat of double negation alongside another Xyz or a Link monster such as Number 65: Djinn Buster or I:P Masquerena . Even if heavily interrupted, you can still try to sit on Elf paired with Spright Red and Spright Carrot for some safety. The board might seem relatively unassuming, but this is backed up by a boatload of Hand Traps and possibly even one of their archetypal Spell/Trap cards, which can be difficult to play through. Spright Starter lets you access any name when needed, Spright Smashers is an extremely versatile removal tool, and Spright Double Cross has three effects to disrupt your opponent.
Dimension Shifter has become a mainstay in the Spright strategy, usually as a staple in the Side Deck as it changes the gameplan of the deck completely, letting it go for aggressive OTKs against Ishizu Tearlaments. Cards like Spright Gamma Burst and Cat Shark help in fulfilling this goal, while Codebreaker Virus Swordsman gives you an option against decks who try to lock the deck out via Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir.
Frogless Bystial Spright
Din Khang Pham has managed to win one of the biggest regionals in the EU area, the Frankfurt WCQ Regional or more commonly known as the German Open. He has been currently tearing through Tearlaments decks with this unique version of Bystial Spright, having a lot of intricate choices, as well as just being a generally good pilot all around. So what makes this version different from the usual Spright? Before we find out, it's good to know that DKP isn't the first to main Shifter and stem away from frogs, but he is currently popularizing it and finding a significant amount of success.
DKP's list goes all out in hard answering Bystial Ishizu Tearlaments by maining the Dimension Shifter, which can put the Tear player into a position of making Bagooska or lose and also incidentally hits some other strategies like Naturia. The Bystials aren't even bad to pair with it, as you can at least summon one by banishing your own Shifter when attempting the OTK. However, the card isn't well-suited for the mirror, so it's possible that he read the room, and Tear representation was high enough to warrant it. Whether or not you want to emulate this will depend on your competitive environment.
To go along the anti-Tear crusade, we have a special guest star, The End of Anubis! A formidable floodgate that takes advantage of Super Polymerization's relatively low popularity in current Ishizu Tear lists. How do you bring it out? Why via Number 29: Mannequin Cat of course, which has recently become quite the wild card for Spright over these past few months. This gives you a lot of versatile outs to situations the deck normally doesn't have an answer for by using her effect to Special Summon a monster from the hand, deck, or GY if they SS one themselves. Testudo erat Numen is the other option you can use against Tearlaments.
While not present in this decklist, here are some notable targets you can side in depending on the matchup. Thunder King Rai-Oh is an excellent choice in the mirror, as Mannequin Cat will be Chain Link 2 on the opponent's turn if they decide to go with either Spright Blue or Spright Jet. This is quite handy as you deny the search and all further searches that turn. If they try to make something threatening to your board, you can also sacrifice the Rai-Oh to negate the summon.
Chaos Hunter is a solid card for the Floowandereeze matchup, assuming you get hit with their Dimension Shifter. From there you get to set up your usual Toad board and a walking floodgate that disables their birds from floating, their Pots, Advent, and the Field Spell. It doesn't get much better than that! Lastly, when time is about to run out, you can squeeze out a win or a draw with Mannequin Cat, as she can punish an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring by bringing out Red Resonator from the deck, the same Ash likely used to stop Gigantic. Assuming you didn't get locked by Spright Starter, of course.
Before we move on, Number 2: Ninja Shadow Mosquito is a new toy from BLCR worth talking about and it's been seeing a fair amount of play in Spright. Its first effect lets it act as a sidegrade to Sky Cavalry Centaurea as a Zeus enabler, and some lists have done this. However, the second effect is where Number 2 really shines, as being able to place a Hallucination Counter on a fairly big monster on the opponent's board allows you to burn them out for game by repeatedly attacking into it, allowing you to OTK seemingly out of nowhere.
Adventurer Spright is a variant that's a bit on the lower end of popularity, but still sees just enough amount of success and tops to be considered. Leonardo Sachetti managed to nab a Top 16 placement at the NA Remote Duel YCS earlier this month. Let's check out his unique techs!
Leo chose to give up the Bystials in favor of the Adventurer package, which is still notably at full power. The gist of it is that it provides a powerful on-demand negate in the form of Wandering Gryphon Rider and some going second utility with Dracoback, the Rideable Dragon being useful removal. This comes at the cost of not being able to activate the NS effect of either Swap Frog or Nimble Beaver, but that's a small price to pay. Fateful Adventure also makes use of hard-drawn Angler to great effect. Water Enchantress of the Temple is cute with Swap too, and you can also bounce your own Gryphon Rider to help against Dark Ruler post-side. The added security allows you to setup the Toad board or resolve Sprind more reliably.
Aside from that, there's nothing too outstanding in the main deck aside from the maining of Shifter to help compensate for the loss of Bystials to shore up the Tearlament matchup. Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax is still a semi-popular choice in the Deck to help out chunky walls and generally be a difficult wincon to answer in case OTKs aren't feasible. The real ticket though is what our friend is cooking up in the Side Deck!
It's no surprise that Harpie's Feather Storm is one of the most insane cards in recent times, and Floowandereeze decks have been abusing it for months now. Leo and a few others are making use of a Level 2 WIND Winged Beast target to summon off Gigantic Spright to make sure this floodgate is live to stun out the opponent and secure the win post-side. In this case, he chose Simorgh, Bird of Bringing. There is very little counterplay to Feather Storm, especially as Red Reboot has been banned for a while now. Book of Eclipse is also a card that can help quite a lot in the three main matchups to watch out for while also hampering rogue strategies. Its most useful application is to help power through the Ishizu Tearlament board, flipping down their threats and also disabling Tearlaments Sulliek at the same time. Just make sure you can actually out the monsters, as the drawback of the opponent drawing cards may prove to be your undoing.
Other honorable mentions for Spright variants are one with a small Melffy package which aims to be effective under Shifter and still be good into Tear, and Power Spell Bystial Spright which makes use of cards that take control of monsters ( Change of Heart , Mind Control , Enemy Controller ) to turn the tide of the duel.
All in all, Spright remains a consistent Tier 1 presence in the meta and it's quite unlikely for that to change as 2022 comes to an end. After all, the next OTS is said to help bling out three relevant strategies, Kashtira, Tearlaments, and Spright. The prices of the deck have never been cheaper thanks to the unlimited run of Power of the Elements. If you're looking to pick up the deck now, it's not a bad time! Until next time folks, Renren out!