YCS Rio De Janeiro: TCG LEDE Metagame Report Let's take a look at what just happened at YCS Rio De Janeiro and what it means for the LEDE metagame looking forward!

Hello everyone! Renren here, bringing you a TCG Metagame Report off the recently concluded YCS Rio De Janeiro! It's been a while, but we plan to provide these insight articles more frequently. Let's get right into it!

YCS Rio De Janeiro Results



This YCS was a bit on the smaller side, with 378 duelists duking it out in Brazil. Still, a lot of high-profile players participated in the event and managed to get to the Top 32 after 9 rounds of Swiss. 

Rafael Reich won YCS Rio de Janeiro with none other than Diabellstar Kashtira Snake-Eye! The Kashtira engine has been running around for quite some time at the tail end of PHNI format, but here it's cemented itself as a legitimate contender. The power, extension, and utility that Kashtira Unicorn provides is unparalleled. Unicorn and Kashtira Birth can be scary to square off against opposing Snake-Eye. Thanks to Terraforming, Pressured Planet Wraitsoth, and possibly even Set Rotation, you're able to get to Unicorn often. While Kashtira as a deck may be on the decline, the engine lives on.

SE remains the best deck by a huge margin, with Pure continuing to make use of PSY-Framelord Omega and Bystial Dis Pater as their payoff.  Another approach people are taking is to ditch the Synchros in favor of summoning Number 38 instead! This mighty Rank 8 Xyz monster is now easily summonable thanks to Snake-Eyes Diabellstar. Hope Harbinger is a unique form of interruption and excels at protecting crucial Link monster Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess from being compromised by certain board breakers like Snatch Steal, Triple Tactics Talent, and Change of Heart. The increased space in the ED also allows either Kikinagashi Fucho or Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale to be slotted in, giving you a solid silver bullet into Tenpai Dragon.
Melodious gets its first YCS Top and is proving to be a solid contender thanks to the versatility of its LEDE support, enabling its old cards to shine too. Not only that, but the engine is also extremely potent due to Ostinato, which decks like Snake-Eye and Voiceless Voice have been taking advantage of. More on that in a bit.

Fire King has been on the decline but still managed to get a few decent spots in Top Cut. The reduced defensive space compared to Pure is a significant blow to the strategy, and both Kashtira and Melodious SE have been giving it a run for its money as those engines are a lot stronger overall.

Tenpai Dragon's first YCS has given it a decent showing! The deck is extremely solid and having a very potent game 1 gives them a huge advantage. People have grown to respect it a lot more in deckbuilding with mained Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit and sided Dimensional Barrier which is why its numbers are a lot lower than usual. Despite this, the deck is incredibly dangerous to duel against due to its difficult to interact with 1-card OTKs with Tenpai Dragon Paidra and Sangen Summoning.

Voiceless Voice has been able to make great use of its new support card, Blessing of the Voiceless Voice to great effect. This makes Sauravis, the Ancient and Ascended a lot more accessible as a powerful form of interruption that's hard to deal with, often coming down on the field multiple times in a single turn. Being one of the only few decks of the format with straightforward omni-negation is also a huge selling point to playing Voiceless. 

The rest of the Top 32 is somewhat diverse, featuring Stun Horus, Purrely, Labrynth, Floowandereeze, and Dark World managing to sneak in placements. They're fairly sleeper picks that can do well against the best decks in the format.

With that being said, how about we take a look at some of the interesting decklists that topped the event?

Melodious Snake-Eye



Pedro Noguiera managed to take Melodious Snake-Eye to an impressive Top 8 finish at YCS Rio De Janeiro! Ostinato has been receiving a lot of hype as an engine leading to the release of Legacy of Destruction, and here we finally see it in action over at a YCS. Let's talk about just how strong the Melodious package is and what it does for the deck.

Ostinato is one of the strongest Spell cards ever printed thanks to the new Melodious monsters. A wide variety of decks can use it due to not having any restrictions after activating it, nor it is once per turn should it get hit with Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Both it and Refrain the Melodious Songstress act as powerful 1-card starters that are arguably even stronger than Snake-Eye Ash. Let me explain. Use Ostinato to fusion summon Bacha the Melodious Maestra, using two Refrains from the deck. Use Bacha's effect to revive a Refrain, which is then able to search Couplet the Melodious Songstress from the deck. Trigger Couplet's effect to revive a Refrain from the GY. Scale Couplet and use her to add Melodious Concerto to your hand.

From here, use Concerto to fuse away a Refrain and Couplet to summon Schuberta the Melodious Maestra. This will trigger both their effects to place them in the Pendulum Zone as Scales. Link all three monsters into Exceed the Pendulum! Exceed gets to add back a Refrain, you get to draw 1 off Concerto and Bacha revives the second Refrain. From here, Exceed can revive another Refrain to link into a 2-material, Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess! Finish by Pendulum Summoning two Refrains to make Infernal Flame Banshee, letting you add Snake-Eye Ash from your Deck to your hand. Ostinato just gave you an Apollousa, a free draw, pendulum scales, and a free Banshee on the field before you even started your Snake-Eye combos! Normal Summoning Refrain is capable of performing similar feats adding Couplet and then going from there, but Banshee has to add Snake-Eyes Poplar instead due to the NS being used.

This is a huge development for Snake-Eye and the advantage of having 6 new starters with insane payoffs for the cost of a few bricks appears to be quite worth it. Haggard Lizardose is a new Link-2 that can be used to banish Flame Banshee for more extension, or for Link climbing without having to spend I:P Masquerena. Metaltronus is used as a flexible board breaker to deal with troublesome endboard pieces, while Sinful Spoils of Betrayal - Silvera is used as a side card when going first against opposing breakers. Only time will tell if the Melodious engine in SE will continue to perform, but it's in a good spot so far.


Branded Despia



Fabio Guimaraes brought a very interesting list to YCS Rio De Janeiro, getting a solid Top 16 finish in the process. It's worth noting that he's also the only Branded Despia player to make it to Top Cut. What's so different about his list? The fact that it's 40 cards, which is something exceedingly rare for this deck! Let's take a look.


With 40 cards in Branded Despia, Fabio got to trim down a lot of the fluff!  Additional consistency cards or utility Branded cards that may be featured in the lists such as Branded in High Spirits, more copies of Tri-Brigade Mercourier, and a Springans Kitt often pushing 45-50 are not present in his list. Frightfur Patchwork and Nadir Servant are nowhere to be seen either. The advantage of running 40 allows you to open your stronger cards more often while reducing the brickier cards the deck usually runs. Guiding Quem, the Virtuous at 2 helps against the occasional Nibiru, the Primal Being, and helps hands where you can already play without needing your Normal Summon, as you have very high odds to see Branded Opening, Branded Fusion, and/or Fusion Deployment with 40 cards. 

He chose to run Droll & Lock Bird as his only hand trap of choice in the Main Deck (excluding Saronir) due to its relatively high impact against the more Rogue strategies you'd run into at YCS Rio. Both Triple Tactics Talent and Triple Tactics Thrust are the non-engine of choice and are extremely powerful breakers in this list. Coupled with Branded's great matchup against both Snake-Eye and Voiceless Voice, you can get a lot of mileage even with just seeing one of them in those matchups. Forbidden Droplet rounds out the non-engine and has been a staple in Branded Despia for quite a while.

Lastly, Despian Luluwalilith is an underrated target off Granguignol the Dusk Dragon which can provide some much-needed negation to a deck that doesn't normally have access to it. Herald of the Abyss is a good Thrust target to help ease the Purrely matchup, which can otherwise be difficult due to the deck's lack of answers to Expurrely Noir.


Danger Dark World



Bruno Faria topped YCS Rio De Janeiro with none other than Danger Dark World! This fan-favorite strategy is always lurking around and it's quite nice to see it place well! Clorless, Chaos King of Dark World gets its first YCS Top as well, after being discredited for being too difficult or bricky to summon. Gen the Diamond Tiger and Ken the Warrior Dragon aren't present either, which is quite unusual. Let's investigate.

Faria chose to run Tour Guide From the Underworld as his Normal Summon of choice as her talents are quite useful for Dark World. TGU can summon Versago the Destroyer from the hand or Deck, which lets you get to both Grapha, Dragon Overlord of Dark World, and Clorless a lot easier. While its effects may be negated, its effect still applies while it's in the GY similar to Tearlaments using King of the Swamp. Dark World Accession can banish it from the GY and discard your Dark Worlds from the hand to fuse. An early accession into fusion Grapha can even blank Droll entirely! That's not all Accession is good for, as Clorless can act as an unexpected board breaker if the Fusion Spell goes through. Another option is to go into Number 75: Bamboozling Gossip Shadow which can also insulate from hand traps and acts as a solid endboard piece.

Super Polymerization doesn't trigger the Dark World monsters but it's still a useful board breaker that you can get extra mileage out of. Dangers and cards you want in the GY such as Grapha to start bouncing are great examples. Dark World Puppetry saw a top in the previous YCS as a tech card in Runick Plunder Patroll, but DW itself is capable of using the card to cut off important GY pieces from the likes of Snake-Eye and advancing their game plan at the same time. Being able to remove Gimmick Puppet Nightmare without losing to Sanctifire + Mercourier is also a huge boon for Puppetry.

Magical Spring is a perfect tech too, as you can generate a huge amount of advantage with the multiple draws plus discard, while not minding the drawbacks too much. Against both Voiceless and SE, you can potentially gather an insane amount of gas to push through all their interruptions.



I hope you enjoyed this thorough LEDE metagame breakdown of YCS Rio De Janeiro! I'll be seeing you again soon in the next breakdown on the Regionals or the upcoming Nationals season. Until next time folks, Renren out!

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