Check out the latest metagame trends from our third SJC Freeroll qualifier tournament!
Alt-win continues to be seen as a legitimate and viable strategy, continuing the trend of the previous qualifier with a total of five alt-win decks in qualifier #3. The five consisted of three Burn decks, one Spell Economics FTK deck and one Library FTK. Once again, Burn is the most successful of these alt-win strategies, owing to its greater consistency, and simplicity. Library FTK and Spell Economics FTK depend on a greater degree of technical play and experience in order to use correctly, due to their sequencing requirements, fragility and at times ambiguity regarding when to combo and when to hold on for the seventh card in the hopes to increase the probability of seeing out the combo. Furthermore, the rise in popularity of Spell Canceller as a powerful solution to Library FTK, Economics FTK and the Reasoning/Gate deck makes the already difficult games two and three even worse.
One last thing worth noting is that of the thirty one players in total, only one player sided Neko Mane King. Yu-Gi-Oh! has always been a cyclical game, and when a deck or card falls out of favor, it opens a world of opportunities for the perceptive player to make a meta call…
A whopping nine players piloted Goat Control in this competition, up 33% from the previous qualifier. Of those nine players, Shining Blue-eyes performed the best with a 5-2 record. The Goat Control players amassed a total record of 12-18, with that record being propped up by Shining Blue-eyes’ performance. The greater demands in technical play, coupled with the lower power when compared to Thunder Dragon Chaos and slower early game compared to Anti-Meta Warriors place Goat Control in a difficult position. It lacks the raw power of Chaos deck that can summon Chaos Sorcerer on demand to clear opposing threats, instead relying on Thousand-Eyes Restrict and the singular Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. Combining this with the increase in play of battle traps and Raigeki Break as a solution to an opposing Blade Knight, King Tiger Wanghu and Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer make it particularly difficult to make an Airknight Parshath stick and gain value. The environment is simply hostile to Goat Control right now, and could remain so for some time. It very well may be a case of lacking the quality and quantity of threats boasted by other decks in the meta.
Anti-Meta Warriors hold their place with three players opting for the deck in our third qualifier. As mentioned previously, Yu-Gi-Oh! Is often a cyclical game, and players adapt to the meta. If players begin to stray away from certain strategies due to metagame considerations, the meta can shift wildly. In this case, Thunder Dragon Chaos’s popularity has halved from eight players in qualifier #2 to four in qualifier #3. The deck often takes time to get started; combining this with the strong early game of Anti-Meta Warriors and the Chaos deck’s reliance on flip effects that fall victim to Blade Knight could be considerable reasons for this. Consequently, a decrease in popularity for a deck that Anti-Meta Warriors should theoretically prey on may cause a reduction in the play of Anti-Meta Warriors, as the justification for choosing this deck over others is now weaker.
That’s all for our brief breakdown of our SJC Freeroll Qualifier #3! Tune in again as we wind things up in preparation for an action-packed Top 8!