The long awaited Phantasmal Steed Restoration here, and boy does it pack a punch. Three powerhouse clans, and one that arguably isn't terrible. Today's meta analysis also goes over what has happened after the banlist, with Bermuda Triangle being the only clan in Standard to get hit. Let's dive right in to what's changed!
Is Fishing Season Over?
Since the banlist hit Japan in early September, they've had a little more time to garner results. And in those results? BT is nowhere to be seen. Even in representation, it's barely being played, typically with three or less showing up. Initially, I chalked it up to people wanting to play the new stuff, and while I still think post-banlist BT is a strong deck, Mordred and Silver Thorns are too good not to play. We'll be on the lookout for if BT makes a comeback after Infinideity Cradle, when we receive a plethora of promos, notably the Grade 2 Melody unit -- a fine replacement for the deceased Liselotte.
New (Updated) Clans on the Block
In my experience, the debate on "strongest deck" after reveals of this set came in waves: first it was Mordred, with its restanding Blaster Darks and Force marker generation, then it was Dark Irregulars, with their Hope on Dump and Variants Hard Leg guard restriction, and finally Pale Moon, with their new Silver Thorn support letting them pump out numbers, suck up their units, and draw a hand for next turn. As for what the actual best deck is... it's a bit of a mix. Tops have been a mix of SP, PM, and, surprisingly, Murakumo!
DIs saw a few tops in two deck format tournaments before the banlist, but not much since then. While the deck can create pressure with Brufas, and has plenty of guard restriction opportunities and ways to set them up, it just doesn't have the oppressive force that new Pale Moon and Shadow Paladins do. While Dark Irregulars is arguably the weakest deck in the set, it still is a vast improvement from what it was before.
Its issues, however, are that it can't keep up with decks from its own set. Shadow Paladin wants to go second, due to Mordred's effect, Pale Moon has far too many attacks for it to handle, as does Murakumo. On top of that, it's very piece reliant. Don't see Emblem Master? You don't see the win either.
Murakumo was a bit of a sleeper in the set, as at first glance it didn't seem too amazing. However, it has proven to be quite a force in the metagame. It's had its shares of singles tops, and while we value teams tops a little less, it means something when in every recent teams tourney, just about every top team had a Murakumo. English format will be waiting a bit for the promo Meomaru, which is a staple in most decks (and considering it gives a 5K to your entire board for a soul blast, for good reason).
When going first, Shirayuki can be incredibly oppressive, either forcing a ton of cards out of the opponent's hand, or forcing them to high damage. As the game progresses, HYU-GA not only allows for your entire board to be buffed by Meomaru, but also to essentially get a board wipe on your opponent for SB 1 G3.
Shadow Paladin looked to be one of the best decks in the format -- and that seemed to hold true. How can you go wrong with a restanding Blaster Dark (or two), and and endless supply of Force markers? Along with what is basically Dragonic Waterfall, but works on rear guard circle as well? Busted. Its only issue would either be not seeing Mordred (but we have searchers for that), or having your Blaster Darks bound, but the deck is still incredibly strong regardless.
SP has seen a bunch of singles tops, as well as being on many topping teams. The deck's consistent power output allows it to maintain a top spot, definitely becoming a contender for one of the best decks in the format.
Even though Shadows, a Force deck is also at the top of the metagame, Pale Moon continues to rise in power and popularity (and I mean, who can blame people, with Luquier out). Calling a board for CB2 that can be sucked back in with Doriane, AND get advantage off of it? Pretty dang good. Plus, you can guarantee yourself another Grade 3 to ride (and therefore a draw from Accel 2) for the next turn.
Pale Moon's ability to push out attackers, and subsequently protect them from decks that retire/bind is one of the reasons why it has been topping just about as frequently as SP, and been on almost as many teams like Murakumo has. Once it gets rolling, it's hard to stop, as if they get Doriane over and over, they can continuously draw.
Phantasmal Steed Restoration brought some powerful decks into Vangaurd, and reminded us how Bushiroad loves their powercreep. Bermuda seems to be a thing of the past, as the purple clans roll into the spotlight. Keep an eye out on the results of BCS Houston, as it'll be the first BCS with BT06 being legal. Until next set!
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