Tier 0 TCG Meta Finally Ends!?

Snake-Eye Flamberge Dragon artwork
Credit: Konami

Snake-Eye Flamberge Dragon artwork
Credit: Konami

Snake-Eye decks have been dominating Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments to an unhealthy degree for quite some time. Until the recent release of Legacy of Destruction, bringing anything but Snake-Eye to an event, unless you believe you’ve found the secret counter to the archetype, was heavily questionable. While this wasn’t dominating 100% of the top cut, it was an unhealthy portion of it. The metagame was unquestionably tier 0, and Snake-Eye were the kings.

While Snake-Eye is likely still the best deck in the meta, there is a new challenger that seems to be keeping up with it. Snake-Eye isn’t going anywhere, but if you really do not want to play the archetype, Tenpai Dragons may be a very realistic second choice.

Tenpai Dragons

If you’ve been keeping up with our Yu-Gi-Oh content, you’ll know that a lot of players have been anticipating Tenpai Dragons for some time now. The archetype is a strange one as far as Yu-Gi-Oh is concerned, maximizing the combat phase. This is traditionally not a good plan historically since Omni-Negates and a resistance to destruction have proven themselves as lethal options, but Tenpai Dragon decks have found a way to do it right. Offering a 33,000 damage combo thanks to Trident Dragion, Tenpai Dragon can even OTK through Pot of Prosperity’s downside. This is accomplished by Quick Effect Synchro summoning, allowing you to summon multiple Monsters during the Battle Phase.

This archetype saw a lot of success in Japan and was the favorite to win the largest card game tournament in history. This was mainly because the format was best-of-one, which is rather unusual, but the point stands. Tenpai are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

According to results from major tournaments this past weekend, the Tenpai Dragons put up a pretty impressive performance. Having multiple top-eight finishes in multiple large events, this deck seems to be here to stay. That said, Tenpai Dragons were unable to wrestle many tournament wins in larger events this weekend, with only one win in the 104-player Queensland State Championship. Tenpai Dragons did saw four top-eight finishes in this event, one in Rio de Jeneiro’s 378-player event, three in Seattle’s 222-player event, two in Karlsruhe’s 150-player event, and three in Italy’s 494-player event.

This is a rather strong opening week for Tenpai Dragons. While last week did have the archetype as legal for tournament play, the biggest event of the weekend, the record-shattering Japanese event, was difficult to extrapolate results from, thanks to the format. Some other archetypes also performed well in various events, but Snake-Eye and Tenpai Dragons appear to be a bit ahead of the rest. Both of these archetypes are fantastic choices for future events.

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