5 March 2014

January-March 2014 format analysis

We're already March! Darn, the time just flies by. And this seems to be one of the shortest formats we ever had in the TCG. By the end of this month, a new F&L list will appear. I presume we'll see the spoiler of this list by the end of next week.

So considering this format is about to end in a few weeks time, it's time to look back at what decks were great and what's going to get hit.

The top tier decks and their most probable hits

When you look back at the big events of the past few months (YCS Sydney, YCS Atlanta, a few ARG opens, a few qualifiers and YCS Berlin), it's easy to determine what the top decks of the current format are. Karakuri (with or without Geargia), Mermails and Fire Fist.

Fire Fist

Fire Fists have been the most prominent deck. No matter what tournament you attended, most people were playing with the Fire Bros. People still try to divide them between the 3- and 4-axis, but seriously, it's been such ragtag combination, that I'm just going to call it "Fire Fists".

No matter what version of the deck that was played, the common ground was: 3 Bears, 3 Wolfbarks and 3 Tenki's. And that's where we have our three most likely candidates to get hit on the F&L list.

But we have to keep in mind that Konami will still be trying to promote Bujins (another Beast Warrior style deck). So if you keep in mind that the average Bujin deck plays Tenki's and Bears, that kind of leaves Wolfbark as the Single Elimination target. If they get hit, Bear and/or Tenki will get Semi-Limited at most.

Thus my prediction: Fire Formation Tenki will become semi-limited again (never should've returned to unlimited) and Coach Soldier Wolfbark will become limited.


The deck got out of the loop for a while due to the popularity of Fire Fists, Geargia's and the attempt to make Hieratic DRuler a thing. But Patrick Hoban showed everyone that Mermail is still one of the best decks of the format (and the sheep followed their goblinish shepherd).

And while it's good to see the deck can still succeed with only 1 Dragoon and 2 Diva's, I think we can all agree that the TCG needs to adopt the OCG hits.

In other words, my prediction: Mermail Abyssteus Limited & Abyss-Sphere Limited.

Yes, I realize that these hits will kill the deck; but honestly: do you see any Reason why Konami would keep this deck alive for more than a year?

Karakuri (solo or with Geargia)

Karakuri's were an OTK deck that always kinda flew under the radar. It barely scraped some hits in a top-x. But with DRulers gone this format, it was the moment of the machines to shine. DSummon won YCS Sydney with Karakuri's solo. Many other players topped with either Tele-Karakuri or Geargia Karakuri.

We have to keep in mind that Konami doesn't like that "old" decks win, but rather tries to sell their new stuff. Also keep in mind that in the next few months/year more Geargia support is going to come out. What do you think Konami will do? Yes, they'll cut the strings from the puppets.

So how do you hit this OTK deck? Well, players stated that they only "need" 2 Burei's and 1 Bureido. But if you hit one of the two, you know players will alter the build to focus more on the other one. Solution: hit both synchro's.

My predictions: Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 Burei & Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00x "Bureido" limited and (optionally) Geargiagear Semi-limited.

No more "Hobaning"

If there was one thing that should've bothered Konami to hell, it' the "Hobaning" hype. "Put 3 Upstart Goblins and 3 Reckless Greed in everything!" has truly been thé hype of the past format.

But since not everybody liked Reckless Greed, the sheep followed mostly with Goblins alone. As you know that such deck choices are not welcomed by Konami, guess what might happen at the end of March:

My prediction: Upstart Goblin Limited; Reckless Greed Semi-Limited.

Less likely hits

Hieratic DRulers: The over-hyped deck of the format. Granted, it can steal some tops in several big tournaments. But the most that can happen to this deck is the return of the previous hits to Hieratics: Convocation Semi-Limited & Hieratic Dragun King of Atum semi-limited.

Spellbooks: Fate being hit to 1 hurt the deck. But it can still take a few top spots. It's less likely that they will get hit again, but if they would get hit, it's going to be a semi-limit on Spellbook of Secrets. Hitting Spellbook Magician remains silly (since it's a 500-attack nitwit).

SHARK and "Extinction" Knight: The latest set included some of the most overpowered Xyz to date, Nr. 101: Silent Honor ARK and Evilswarm Exciton Knight. S.H.ARK is an amazing come-back card, able to get rid of annoying XYZ or synchro's. Exciton Knight however, just promotes bad playing... and Infernity players together with it. While it's very likely that these two cards will get hit in the future, I sincerely doubt they'll limit and/or ban (respectively) them two months after they were released.

Any returns?

Magician of Faith will follow the Tsukuyomi path, so she will become semi-limited again.

Reasoning is unlimited in OCG and I don't see any reason why TCG should not follow. Nobody plays the card.

I don't want to see this happening, but with all the Sylvan support, Konami might make Lonefire Blossom Unlimited again. If they really want to push the deck, they will do it. But I know that nobody (safe the plant players) will like it. :-/

The next format

If these changes will be applied, there will be a weird new format coming. Each month, new cards will be released. Heck, even brand-new World Premiere Cards will be released. And that makes it kind of hard to predict how those cards will influence the game (if they have any influence at all).

End of this month will be the new Gold Series, with lots of new cards. End of April will be Dragons of Legends, completely filled with new (unknown) cards. May will have Primal Origins and June will have the unknown GX-themed Structure Deck (HERO or Lightsworn?).

One thing I DO know is that from May onward (Primal Origins), Madolche and Artifacts will be two of the most prominent decks. Anything else is as clear as muddy water.

Those are my thoughts for now. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments.

Until next time, V out.

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