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 than the one used on Pojo. 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 locals level, but cannot top an event.
Tri-Brigade exists as a consistent and competitive force in the metagame, albeit to a lesser degree compared to previous formats. Their unique mechanic of summoning out Beast, Beast-Warrior, and Winged-Beast monsters from the Extra Deck at the cost of banishing monsters from the GY allows them to perform powerful plays no other deck can boast. Revolt remains as a key win button in their grasp as well.
Not only that, the deck still has several successful variants that can all contend with the game's heaviest hitters due to how compact their engine is. We'll be going over a couple of them, such as Pure, Enforcer Tri-Brigade, and Melffy Tri-Brigade.
Zoodiac Tri-Brigade is also a variant but its playrate has been too volatile to track as of recent. Tri-Brigade Lyrilusc plays radically different and is more of a LL deck than it is a Tri-Brigade deck. Still, it's been seeing success over the first 2 weeks of the TCG BODE events.
Tiering is currently uncertain due to how fast events are moving and picking back up Post Burst of Destiny, but it wouldn't be wrong to assume that Tri-Brigade is in a solid spot. It's been receiving a fair amount of representation and top-cut success within sanctioned regionals. It's a bit rockier in terms of the unsanctioned ones (mostly due to Swordsoul popularity) but receives solid usage overall. Depending on how you look at it and the data you're basing it off on, it falls either under Tier 1 or 2.
Pure Tri-Brigade has been getting slightly fewer results compared to its other variants, but it is not to be underestimated! Yuhao Ye managed to snag a decent Top 8 (5th place) spot in Game Keeper's NA WCQ Regional the past weekend.
The list is fairly standard with its Tri-Brigade ratios and the amount of Rescue Cats. Pure Tri-Brigade is also notorious for being able to run several Hand Traps to gain an edge in going second and to help shut down opposing players due to how compact the deck tends to be. Revolt is an absolute bomb of a card whether hard-drawn or search, allowing the strategy to keep up or even overwhelm its opposition thanks to the recursion, the search and the sheer power of Shuraig's banishing effect.
Pot of Desires is the go option to for Pure, whereas the other variants opt to play Prosperity as they have pieces that cannot afford to be banished. The Fabled Cerburrel is a tech that's easily searchable by Shuraig and enables a particular synchro play.
Apollousa continues to be a staple endboard piece in Pure Tri-Brigade, as its synergy with Revolt is one of the strongest things out there. However since more and more people have been adapting and utilizing power cards, it can often feel vulnerable. Enter Herald of the Arc Light!
Arc Light represents a must-answer threat with its omni-negate and crippling floodgate effect. It conveniently protects Apollousa and Revolt too, and vice-versa. Being able to stop some of the powerful blowout cards lets this version of Tri have an edge that others don't.
Next up we have JR Steenkamer aka Quantal Think's impressive 2nd Place finish over in the Netherlands Regional WCQ with Enforcer Tri-Brigade! A lot of hype was surrounding this unexplored variant for quite some time, and it has finally bore fruit with this showing. Quantal made it all the way to the finals only to lose to Worlds contender Raphael Neven, which is no joke.
With that being said, Enforcer Tri-Brigade incorporates the Fusion Destiny engine into the mix with Celestial, Dasher and of course, non other than Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer! DPE is an absolute menace to play against and it's been raking up results across multiple decks in the regional scene. Tri-Brigade at first was thought to have some issues including into the deck thanks to the conflict with Bearbrumm. However, players quickly discovered a workaround this problem, all thanks to DPE's effect!
Players would simply need to make Bearbrumm then Verte and use DPE's effect to destroy the Bearbrumm instead of linking it away, letting you have both DPE and Tri-Brigade Revolt! You get to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Ferrijit can also simply tuck back the "bricks" back into the deck, being Dasher and Celestial which is such a good deal.
DPE's benefits apply to all decks that are able to splash it, but for Tri-Brigade specifically it gives the deck even more grind and a surprisingly difficult to out endboard piece that also disrupts the opponent quite heavily. The Destiny HEROes in the GY let the deck refuel too when needed! Dasher summoning a Tri-Brigade off the top can make or break games, especially as it gives the deck an extra summon of a Tri when it normally only has 2 to work with. Celestial also gives you nearly uncontested Pot of Greed after jumping through some admittedly small hoops.
Melffy Tri-Brigade is the third variant to talk about and has some unique tricks up its sleeve compared to the others. Carlos Padilla was able to pilot this in The Side Deck's NA WCQ Regional to an impressive 1st place finish! This version of Tri-Brigade in particular has been getting a solid number of tops within the initial weeks.
Their main claim to fame is the power card Obedience Schooled! This funky spell card allows you to setup Joyous Melffys while also getting you to your Tri-Brigade engine with the help of Kitt. The Beast lock isn't too bad when the benefits you reap are immense,
Assuming Obedience Schooled resolves, you get to have Joyous Melffys + Revolt in your grasp. The Xyz can then summon back Kalantosa and Puppy, which are two pops. One on Kalantosa's summon, and the other from Puppy when your opponent decides to play. Since Kitt will be detached, you're also getting an add off Nervall without even having to use Revolt! For the cherry on top, Puppy returns to hand when using its effect so it's a free discard off Kerass for later. One last thing to note is that Joyous can easily ladder into AA-Zeus with its other effect.
Some iterations of the deck are able to include funkier options such as Ronin Racoon Sandayu and Naturia Beast, but the topping lists appear to be fairly standard for now.
More and more people have been slotting in powerful defensive cards such as Forbidden Chalice. The ability to flexibly trade 1 for 1 with your opponent's threat going second while remaining a strong disruption tool going first is invaluable! Twin Twisters stays as the premier side deck choice for most if not all Trib lists as the deck can even benefit from it too, with the help of Kitt and Nervall.
The Pot choice remains mostly based on user preference and the type of variant ran. The hand trap ratios are fairly standard with the ones relegated in the Main and Side being set in stone. Token Collector can be seen in more Swordsoul populated events, however. Not many hand traps can boast what TC does vs Swordsoul, so it helps patch up a really rough matchup.
3 Shuraig seems to be the new standard now as more people are moving into plays / variants that make use of its amazing search ability turn 1. Not only that, having the extra copy really helps out in drawn-out duels as you are able to consistently banish your opponent's threats. Duelists have also been adapting to Apollousa's presence, which may be why the other variants are seeing greater play rate and success over pure Tri.
That's also partly the reason why the Arc Light line with Cerburrel is starting to shine, as a countermeasure to protect the Bow of the Goddess. Some players are also trying out Daruma Doll, but the limit to Tenki hurts its viability by a significant amount.
We have also seen the non Pure variants opt for less copies of the Trap to fit in space for more utility cards, which is an interesting development in its own right. Hard drawn Revolt definitely has its upsides as a way to come back even after being harassed with hand traps.
While not featured yet, some people are also experimenting with the prospect of DPE + Mystic Mine, or the re-introduction of the Zoodiac package with Kataroost into the mix. Only time will tell to see if these are going to be effective moving forward, but the theory is sound.
The Phantom Knight matchup definitely revolves around the diceroll, as going second it's extremely hard for all Tri variants to power through with just their engine. Hand traps and Forbidden Droplets will be your best friend here going second. However going first, you're usually able to put up a fight to keep them at bay. Timing the interruption with Shuraig or Joyous Melffys will be key here.
Herald of the Arc Light is notable for snuffing out a lot of their plays in terms of Pure Tri. Twin Twisters can also help power through the Fog Blades in a pinch. Rusty Bardiche is also a good target to stop before it gets to fire off its effects.
The deck is notable for being quite effective against Tri-Brigade thanks to Chixiao and Blackout, which can shut down most if not all your plays. The dynamic tends to shift depending on the variant of Swordsoul (Blind second, Tenyi, DPE) as there are different threats to worry about.
Apollousa + Revolt can still leverage their strengths here but the matchup is definitely unfavorable for Tri-Brigade. Aside from that, hand traps (shoutouts Token Collector) really shine here. Make sure to exercise caution when playing against Vishuda, as the removal can prove to be quite nasty. Cutting the deck out of its token access is usually the way to go. This makes sure the Tenyis aren't live while denying Synchro access.
Tri-Brigade Lyrilusc is a beast and a half when it comes to its resilience vs hand traps. Even Nibiru tends to falter from time to time as the deck is able to perform a lot of key plays while keeping their Normal Summon and access the Tri engine regardless of the Primal Being. Gamma can definitely put in some work though! With that being said, you can always leverage on powerful generics to take control of the game going second. Evenly Matched, Lightning Storm, Forbidden Droplets, Infinite Impermanence can go a long way vs the deck.
Crossout Designator can especially come up here in shutting down the Tri-Brigade part of the deck. This also applies to mirror matches, regardless of the variant you're on.
Going first, you want to make sure to prevent getting blown out by an Assembled Nightingale into Zeus setup, which most if not all variants have at least decent chances of stopping.
Tri-Brigade edges out a little bit in terms of the Floowander matchup, thanks to their higher consistency and ability to bombard the deck with hand traps. Eaglen is a critical choke point in the strategy to interrupt. Even in engine, all variants are able to threaten the bird deck's setup quite well. Defense Position DPE and Kalantosa can easily stifle Empen, while Apollousa and Revolt power through the deck like a hot knife through butter. It also helps that Wind Barrier doesn't sting too hard.
Going second Empen + Dreaming Town is definitely an issue, but for the most part it is favored towards Tri. Just make sure to stop Empen from hitting the field and you'll be safe,
Tri-Brigade has consistently been on the top tiers for several months now, but Post-BODE puts it in an odd position. New adaptations still allow it to compete and face off against a considerably harsher metagame than before, considering how Swordsoul preys on it hard and PK is also a tough contender. Not only that, Lyrilusc's popularity is a thorn on its side too as the matchup is shaky.
I believe it's correct to respect the deck regardless, just that it isn't as overwhelming compared to the past formats. To sum it up, it's in a decent spot that borders around Tier 1 and 2.
That's all for now, Renren out! Let us know if you enjoy the return of the Snapshots!