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 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
Cubics are an archetype that were originally featured in the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions movie and released in the subsequent Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Pack in July of 2016. The archetype was more or less ignored, however, until the release of the Movie Pack Gold Edition in January of 2017. This pack came with the import of Duza the Meteoric Cubic Vessel. Duza gave the deck a significant consistency boost and made it much more playable.
The successful variants of the deck all hinge on getting out Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord as fast as possible. When summoned going second, Crimson Nova proves extremely difficult to kill and can easily facilitate an OTK without too much additional help through a combination of massive ATK and massive burn damage.
Although Cubics have made occasional showings at events since the release of Duza in early 2017, the only events it has topped have been smaller regionals in less competitive formats. With the likely recession of SPYRAL from its dominance of the meta, Cubics has some chance to make minor showings in the upcoming format.
However, the deck is relatively fragile when disrupted properly and is prone to consistency issues. This gives it a solid spot in Tier 4 for the current format as the deck can, if played properly, take a top at a 4-5 round local tournament.
Due to the general lack of topping lists for Cubics, we will be looking at one topping list from last format and one non-topping list from YCS Dallas.
This first list is the 6th Place Cubic decklist from a Costa Rica Regional that took place the weekend after the September 2017 Forbidden List went into effect. For the most part, I would consider this list to be relatively standard for Cubics outside of a few tech choices. The main focus of the deck, as stated above, is to get out Crimson Nova, the Dark Cubic Lord as fast as possible and OTK with it. To facilitate this, it is important to both shut off the opponent’s back row and get out Duza.To facilitate getting Duza out, the deck runs 2 copies of Summoner Monk, although with it now Unlimited the card could easily be ran at 3 copies. Summoner Monk also gives the added benefit of more easily getting the various Cubic Spells into the Graveyard where their Graveyard effects can be used to help get closer to summoning Crimson Nova.
To shut out the opponent’s backrow both Denko Sekka and Twin Twisters are ran at relatively high quantities. Together, these cards can help to break open an opponent’s backrow and make the OTK much safer.
As for the interesting choices in this list, we mainly see Black Luster Soldier, Scapegoat, and Recurring Nightmare. Black Luster Soldier is a sensible choice as Crimson Nova, Vijam, and Summoner Monk are all Dark while Duza is Light, making his summoning cost easy to satisfy. Scapegoat, while an increasingly popular choice in many decks, may seem strange in an OTK focused deck. However, it makes sense as a card to help both stall out while the pieces for the OTK are getting gathered and to make Link monsters to help facilitate bigger boards.
The final tech choice in this list is Recurring Nightmare, a card that can recycle DARK monsters with 0 DEF. This is relevant as it can effectively recycle Vijams that have been sent to the Graveyard, making the much more usable as discard fodder than they otherwise would be.
This next list went X-3 at YCS Dallas 2017 and is very similar to the first list we covered.
An interesting thing to note is that in the profile the player stated that he would prefer to omit Denko Sekka. While this has been a staple in Cubic builds up to this point, its omission is sensible in that its Normal Summon conflicts with that of Duza or Summoner Monk. Unless Crimson Nova is already summonable otherwise, these other choices are almost always superior.
Another interesting card found in this build’s Side Deck is Eater of Millions. Eater of Millions has already seen some use in Trickstar decks due to their non-reliance on the Extra Deck. The card is good for the same reason in Cubics as it is essentially a free form of removal that can bypass floating or protection from destruction by battle. This can be especially relevant for getting past a SPYRAL Sleeper that is equipped with a SPYRAL Gear Last Resort.
The final card of interest in this deck is Forbidden Lance which was specifically included for a SPYRAL based meta as it gives Crimson Nova protection against Spell and Trap removal, the main way to get past Crimson Nova. While this is somewhat less relevant given the likely decline of SPYRAL after the November Forbidden List, the card is still very potent against Pendulum Magicians as it can bypass Time Pendulumgraph, the deck’s main form of removal.
As the deck focuses on going second, many of the traditional Side Deck choices for going second can work well in the main deck for Cubics. Some examples of this include the common choices of Denko Sekka, Twin Twisters, and various board wipes. Another card that might be worth considering in the current format is Evenly Matched, however the danger of running it in Cubics is that the deck focuses entirely on getting an OTK and the loss of the Battle Phase is a relatively high price for the deck.
Outside of this the other main deck choices are generally cards such as Gofu or Scapegoat which allow for both stalling and Link plays, both of which can help to buy time and make the OTK more likely to go through.
Pendulum Magicians can be a particularly difficult matchup for Cubics for several reasons. The first of these is the ease with which they can summon and use Psy-Framelord Omega, a card that can prove relatively dangerous against Cubics due to the deck’s need of several key hand resources to OTK. The other major problem card is Time Pendulumgraph as it can easily destroy Crimson Nova.
The main ways around a good Pendulum Magician board includes a combination of backrow removal or shutdown and potentially the use of Utopia the Lightning or Black Luster to remove an opponent’s monster without destroying it. Finally, a Purple Poison Magician in the Pendulum Scale can be very difficult due to its ability to buff a Dark Spellcaster’s ATK to match or exceed that of Crimson Nova, making the OTK very difficult.
Regardless of whether you think you are going first or second past game 1 against Magicians, Cosmic Cyclone is a very good choice to remove both Time Pendulumgraph and Purple Poison Magician. Anti-Spell Fragrance can also be a good choice if you think you will be made to go first. Aside from these cards, Zaphion the Timelord and Evenly Matched can also prove to be very big blowouts against the deck.
Trickstar can be a relatively dangerous deck against Cubics for a couple of reasons. First off is Trickstar Reincarnation. Even without Droll & Lock Bird to turn it into the FTK, the card can still prove potentially deadly by banishing the various 1-of Cubic monsters that can often turn out to be necessary for summoning Crimson Nova. Unfortunately, the only real way to counter the deck is to use Ash Blossom to negate Trickstar Reincarnation. Chaining Twin Twisters to discard and lower hand size can also potentially be useful, but is less potent if the Trickstar player doesn’t follow their Reincarnation with Droll & Lock Bird and a second Reincarnation.
The other main danger to look out for against Trickstar is Honest, as it can easily turn the tides against you if played at the right time. Because of Honest, it is important to try and get non-battle removal with a board wipe or Black Luster Soldier before attacking into a Trickstar board with unknown cards in hand. Another solution to this problem can be using Utopia the Lightning to get past their Light monster without worrying.
Even before the November Forbidden and Limited List, Cubics had a relatively good matchup versus SPYRAL. This is largely due to the monster effect immunity that Crimson Nova has, making the only standard out to Crimson Nova SPYRAL Gear Utility Wire. Now that both Quik Fix and Drone are Limited, the power potential of the deck has dropped significantly. Most importantly for Cubics is that the searchability of Utility Wire has also dropped given that it is much more difficult to summon Quik Fix multiple times in a turn and other SPYRAL Gear cards will often take precedence.
Because of this, Forbidden Lance might not be quite as necessary in the matchup but is still by no means a bad meta call. Outside of Forbidden Lance, Kaijus or similar cards such as Lava Golem or Ra Sphere Mode are still potent in the matchup to get past Tri-Gate Wizard or SPYRAL Sleeper in order to more safely build out the rest of the board aside from Crimson Nova.
True Draco is one of the worst matchups for the deck due to its high level of consistency and easy ability to out monsters without using Monster Effects. This is compounded by Master Peace which can be a nearly unbeatable obstacle if paired with Dragonic Diagram. This is primarily because the combination of high ATK and once per turn battle immunity makes him nearly impossible for Cubics to defeat in battle.
To counter this, I recommend Kaiju monsters as well as Cosmic Cyclone to dismantle the opponent’s board before trying to OTK them. Outside of these cards, Timelords may also have a place given that the deck doesn’t always absolutely require the Normal Summon.
The ABC matchup can prove to be relatively sticky if not played right. Although ABC Dragon Buster cannot use its banish effect on Crimson Nova, the deck can very easily survive a turn against Crimson Nova by taking advantage of ABC Dragon Buster’s tag out effect. To add insult to injury, ABC can then easily beat Crimson Nova on the next turn using a powered up Decode Talker or Utopia the Lightning.