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 ones 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 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.
Table of Contents
Altergeists are a control-based deck featuring a much higher trap count than most other decks in today’s meta. This makes Altergeists more disruptive than control decks that focus on negation. Altergeists feature threats in the form of bouncing cards, sending them to the GY, and stopping attacks. Upon development of the board, Altergeists can shift focus to negation as well as floating effects to maintain card advantage. In this way, they morph into more conventional control tactics, which makes the entire archetype more flexible. This is a big reason why the deck has seen a fair amount of play and positioned higher on the tier list.
Altergeists right now seem to be stuck in the lower levels of Tier 1. Much of this is due to the current meta being rather Spell-heavy. As such, Altergeists have to main deck Anti-Spell Fragrance, Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries, and Rivalry of the Warlords to stay afloat. Considering Altergeists are already one of the slower decks in the meta, it requires drawing into Altergeist Multifaker early to pick up steam. Unfortunately, this can be an issue with the recent End of Match Procedure changes. We can even argue that without those cards, Altergeists might not even be Tier 1 at all.
Enzo Vincent Top 16 Dutch Nationals
Our first decklist is Enzo Vincent’s build that made Top 16 at the Dutch National Championship.
Enzo chose triple Droll and Ash for his hand trap lineup. This deck is rather focused on cards that help break boards. This can be a hard thing to do with a trap heavy deck. Regarding the Solemn Package, Enzo justifies not using Warning because a set Strike will be able to remove a threat while Warning only prevents the threat from initially hitting the field.
The Trap lineup is fairly standard for the deck. Considering what Altergeists have to pack, Enzo opted for Anti-Spell and Imperial Order as his main Spell Hate cards. This allows the deck to keep up with the other, faster decks prevalent in the meta right now.
His Extra Deck included some interesting choices along with the standard Cherries targets like Black Rose Dragon. He could clear a board by tuning Marionetter with any Level 3 hand trap, for instance, giving the deck a lot of flexibility.
His Side Deck included an additional copy of Anti-Spell to side in going 1st in game two/three. Typhoon is also listed here, mostly for the True Draco and Pendulum Magician matchups, which almost guarantees early Multifaker setups.
Gabriel Franc YCS Secaucus Top 32
Our next list is a Top 32 list from YCS Secaucus and this is the build that has had the largest amount of results based on rounds in the NA region.
|YCS Secaucus Top 32|
|Monsters (18)||Altergeist Multifaker x3
Altergeist Meluseek x3
Altergeist Marionetter x3
Altergeist Silquitous x2
Altergeist Kunquery x1
Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries x3
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring x3
|Spells (4)||Pot of Desires x2
Pot of Duality x2
|Traps (19)||Altergeist Protocol x2
Altergeist Manifestation x2
Personal Spoofing x3
Solemn Judgment x1
Solemn Warning x1
Solemn Strike x3
Mind Crush x3
Anti-Spell Fragrance x3
Imperial Order x1
|Extra (15)||Altergeist Hexstia x2
Altergeist Kidolga x1
Altergeist Primebanshee x1
Akashic Magician x1
Knightmare Phoenix x1
Knightmare Cerberus x1
Firewall Dragon x1 Firewall Dragon x
Sky Striker Ace – Kagari x1
Sky Striker Ace – Shizuku x1
Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights x1
SPYRAL Double Helix x1
Heavymetalfoes Electrumite x1
ABC-Dragon Buster x1
|Side (15)||Wiretap x3
Heavy Storm Duster x3
Shared Ride x3
Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju x1
Inspector Boarder x2
The Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode x3
Altergeists players looking to attend the upcoming North American Championship might want to examine this list closely. Gabriel includes playsets of Ghost Reaper and Ash Blossom for his hand traps. These are the only hand traps within the entire lineup (none sided) which is interesting given the lack of Droll & Lock Bird. He remarks on this point as he wanted to have “higher impact” hand traps which could be traded 1 for 1.
Similar to Enzo, Gabriel opted for Anti-Spell and Imperial Order for Spell hate and played the entire Solemn brigade. He says that the Solemns would have to be sided out in the later games. The notable tech card here is Mind Crush which has great synergy with Silquitous as you have a specific target to call upon resolution of the bounce effect. The current meta decks also search a lot allowing for safe activations. It’s also very effective in the mirror match to snipe out a Multifaker or counter Evenly Matched. Franc is also not playing Impermanence, demonstrating that more budget builds of the deck can succeed.
Deck Tech Choices
Altergeist lists seem to be adding in a copy of Kunquery and cutting a third Protocol. Overall, there seem to be even more decisions for tech options as we’re seeing more Trickstar variants . Due to the new End of Match Procedures, it has become even more controversial to play cards with LP costs such as the Solemn Brigade. Solemn Judgment is too flexible of a choice for duelists to cut from their lists. Both lists featured have decided to run 3 Strikes, but this is largely player preference. There are many other tech cards suitable to combat the meta that won’t cost Life Points.
Anti-Spell Fragrance along with Imperial Order remain consistent inclusions in most Altergeists lists, but it has shifted to now include even more Spell hate. Secret Village of the Spellcasters combined with a card like Metaverse brought out early can be a blowout against most other meta matchups. Since the entire Sky Striker sub-engine consists of Spell cards, it can be very hard for them to out. Other floodgate choices that don’t directly affect Spells include Rivalry of Warlords, Mistake, and Summon Limit.
Waking the Dragon continues to be an effective card to discourage opponents from blind destroying back row. Even if banished by the likes of Cosmic Cyclone, it will still able to resolve bringing out powerhouse cards like Raidraptor – Ultimate Falcon. If an Extra Deck Zone is not available, don’t forget that it can summon any monster from deck including Multifaker. Additionally, don’t worry too much about trying to fit the Falcon into the deck. Since many Cherry targets are normally in an Extra Deck lineup, one could even bring out a Borreload Dragon instead. A card like Evenly Matched is still able to work around Waking the Dragon, however, as it cannot resolve banished face down. This is also why Mind Crush and Wiretap are seeing more play. A recently updated ruling also allows Trickstar Light Stage to not trigger Waking the Dragon.
Most pure Sky Striker builds usually opt to go second. This is because the core archetypal cards like Afterburner and Widow Anchor work best on breaking a board. By going second they get a 6th draw which can be crucial for the 3+ Spell set up and by going second it helps to avoid getting Cherry’d early on. Luckily this works best as Altergeists will want to go 1st anyways and if you happen to open into Spell Hate cards it can be game right there.
Now, while many Sky Striker players will have the proper outs main decked, they normally keep more tucked away in the Side. Pure Sky Striker are, at their core, a control deck. This means they will often win just by getting card advantage over the opponent with Engage and their Link monsters.
Sphere Mode is quite dead here as they normally just sit on the 1 Link each turn, but Kaijus are a great way to not only remove the monster, but disable their Spells for a turn. Also, removing the Link by a tribute will stop it from floating into Raye.
The largest threat Sky Strikers can produce is Diabolos as he cannot be targeted or tributed. Fortunately, a Hexstia pointing to a Marionetter will be able to remove it easily and Diabolos being on board means little interaction from the SS pilot as he cannot activate most of his Spells at this point. Sky Strikers are a top deck right now, but the matchup leans towards Altergeists purely due to the fact that Altergeists are a natural counter.
Sky Striker Trickstars are considered primarily Trickstar since Sky Striker cards are just used as a side engine to complement the Trickstar deck as a whole. Adding Trickstars to the formula makes a mess of it though. Reincarnation chaining to a Multifaker activation can be deadly as it is a hard Once per Turn effect and trying to stall out is inevitable as Trickstar Lightstage forces activations which may be premature. The new ruling that this will not trigger Waking the Dragon pushes Trickstar towards the top even further. Sky Striker variants have additional tools in the form of Afterburner and Jamming Wave that are easily searchable. This can often be too much for Altergeists to overcome.
The game plan is to keep calm in the early stages and eventually regain tempo and control towards the end if you can survive Lilybell attacks and burn. Always stay cautious of Scapegoats into a Firewall Dragon to get OTK’d. Know when to use each of your hard once per turn effects. For instance, I usually don’t mind setting a Multifaker to get run over to revive it back with Manifestation or Marionetter as it safely plays around Reincarnation. We’ll set all of our cards since they are traps and there isn’t a lot of searching outside of Spoofing and Meluseek.
In terms of Sky Striker threats they usually play 1 ofs for their tools and cannot activate them if any Main Monster is on the field. I almost always wait to use Protocol on Lilybell or Candina if I have a follow-up. Slow and steady is the name of this game.
The mirror match can be pretty nasty as they are for most control decks. You’re going to be finding that a lot of your cards will end up dead. Resource management and card advantage are extremely important in this case here. There’s no way of getting OTK’d, so don’t be afraid to take some hits. Be wary of negating any Altergeists effects on the field because if you send a card away as the cost for Protocol and they chain their own then you will have lost that exchange.
Wait to negate Multifaker in hand or Altergeist monster effects in the GY to ensure that it will go through. If you have Typhoons, now is a great time to bring them out. Chain them to Protocol and Personal Spoofing for your open to lose the cost and their continuous trap. This matchup is really more varied due to having so many dead cards which are counters for all the other decks you hope to run into.
The Knightmare variants are really dependent on who wins the coin flip. If you’re going second, you better hope you have a handtrap to mitigate the full Gouki board. Goukis can also, frighteningly enough, fight through a hand trap or two with the right extenders. Because of this, it’s always important to try and stop the Isolde. Unlike other parts of the combo, Isolde can’t be used again that same turn.
This is a large part of why Sphere Mode is a consistent side pick. Going 1st, play smart and try not avoid getting chain blocked. The smart Gouki player will force an Altergeist matchup to exhaust his once per turn threats. They will then turn it around using a power card like Soul Charge of Monster Reborn.