EB08: My Glorious Justice brought with it support for three previously underrepresented decks -- Granblue, Dimension Police, and Aqua Force. The question on everyone's mind though has to be: Where do they stand? Or the better question: How do they fare against Bermuda Triangle?
As in the graph above, Bermuda Triangle, Nova Grappler, and Link Joker make up the majority of the meta. Their consistency and overall power is still as strong as it was before, and this set brought no real "counters" to anything in the top three. However, it did bring new contenders into the spotlight. Be aware that as sets come out, the new cards get played more since they're, well, new. But aside from that bias, GB, AqF, and DP are seeing far more tops, as the decks themselves have become more powerful and consistent. Let's break them down individually.
Granblue found itself both a new finisher in Scaredick, and a new ride target through Cocytus. Instead of being "Ride Basskirk or Die", now the deck has become "Ride Cocytus and Smack". Granblue can take advantage of BT's typically low early shield count, especially going first, as Cocytus can call a field and gain big numbers quickly. Link Joker faces the same issue of having a weak early game, which GB can capitalize on.
While it's still problematic if you don't ride Cocytus, Granblue now has more ways to grab it from the drop zone if you happen to mill it -- Romario and Greed Shade being the big names. The issue becomes the late game: if you don't run Basskirk or Nightmist, you have no way to continue calling things from the drop zone other than Cocytus, and late game you can't afford to keep milling 4. If you can't kill them early, it becomes harder to kill them as the game goes on. Twelve criticals help in this, but you'll still mill a large amount of them unless you're an absolute god. In a way, you're against yourself and on a timer: can you end the game before you deck yourself out? But hey, if you're going to lose anyway, you can mill yourself out and go out on your own terms. Big brain plays.
Granblue can create big numbers early, giving it an advantage about slow-building decks such as Messiah and the Fish Overlords. However, if it can't kill early, it suffers, succumbing to its self-induced deckout. Thus, it sits in a safe Tier 2 position in the meta, far better than where it was before.
Our good 'ol justice robos differ from the other decks in that it has slid into a clean Tier 1 position! The deck gained a lot of consistency with Dailiner, and a lot of early pressure for a cheap cost as well.
DP can employ a similar strategy to BT: if you go first, put a Force 1/2 marker on Vanguard and swing for huge numbers. If they don't have a perfect guard, they're most likely going to have to eat it, with another critical or two stacked on top to begin with.
Much like Granblue, these numbers can overwhelm the weaker early games of decks such as Link Joker and Bermuda Triangle. However, not seeing Dailiner is a huge crutch, and riding Great Daiyusha can be a death sentence. A few spicy tech cards make the meta matchups a little easier, such as Sludge Monster, Drohedd, which blocks boosters, and Dailander, which blocks intercepts if your vanguard is at 30K or greater. Searching out your grade 3s, which most of the time become 10K shields in your hand, helps even more against the decks that create huge numbers. Therefore, it sits in Tier 1, along with decks such as Novas and Link Joker. (BT sits in the unreachable Tier 0 for now)
Aqua Force is arguably the biggest sleeper deck out of the three in the set. While Glory Maelstrom was hyped, it hasn't seen a huge amount of tops. Its single card restriction is scary to BT, who doesn't have many cards to drop early on, and the 10K buff on second ride makes it even worse. Arguably, the intercept blocker is the worst part, as Fina is one of the main sources of shield for Bermuda players.
AqF also gained new ways to gain advantage -- not only does Accel 2 help them gain their pieces, but cards such as Coral Assault, getting a draw when you shove it to soul, and Nikoloz, searching top seven for an Algos, aid in their early pushes even more. While they'll find their bane in Narukami (hopefully) when Aerial Steed drops, they're a scary sight to see for now. Their main issue however, is the same old defensive triggers, as well as not seeing a second Glory ride. They haven't seen more than a few tops, so I place them in Tier 2, along with Granblue.
EB08 brought with it three new decks into the metagame as actual contenders, something Vanguard desperately needed. New, actually playable decks, although only slightly, made the meta a little more diverse, and we're finally working away from the fish and alien meta we found ourselves in before.
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