Table of Contents
The first three regional events have just been completed, and it is the perfect time to take a step back and see what is doing well as we head into a swell of Store Championships, Evolution Cups, and Grand Prix events. Early on LordKnightmon dominated the meta, eventually taking up 18 of the total possible 48 top cut spots, but as more events actualized several other decks have proven they can compete and potentially dethrone the Royal Knight. I will cover all the major archetypes that reached the top cut, and then review what changes to the meta should affect your deck selection moving forward!
LordKnightmon (18/48 or 37.50%)
When building a list the most important decisions are what Lvl. 3s to run, what Lvl. 6s to pair with BT5-045 LordKnightmon, and how many copies of BT5-099 Spiral Masquerade to run. Chung Man had the best placements with the deck, finishing 1st in Carta Magica & 7th in TAK, so their choices are the most important to review. Four ST3-04 Patamon is interesting, several lists forego the card completely, but extra memory for more explosive plays is excellent when the deck already outvalues the rest of the meta. BT5-044 Sakuyamon and BT5-033 Cutemon are great techs against OTK Green, Imperialdramon, and Shoutmon DX. The only change made between the two events was cutting a copy of BT4-046 WarGrowlmon for a second copy of BT5-099 Spiral Masquerade. The Option is a nasty Security check that can swing the tide of games in a long regional run.
Rookie Rush (8/48 or 16.67%)
Rookie Rush received a fresh coat of yellow paint, and some new Options, to help keep it relevant in the new format. With a new color comes some new tricks, and of course with Yellow that trick is DP reducing destruction in the form of BT5-035 Starmons & BT5-099 Spiral Masquerade. BT4-104 Blinding Ray offers the same bonuses as ST2-13 Hammer Spark with more big-play potential in hand at the cost of losing the Security effect. BT4-038 BushiAgumon provides some sneaky opportunities to win games with Rush, while BT2-034 Salamon offers Recovery as a way to stay in the game a bit longer. The biggest question facing any potential pilot is whether or not BT2-049 Puppetmon is still worth playing.
Imperialdramon (2/48 or 4.16%)
This tried-and-true Blue deck has gained some more tools with the new set. The main being BT5-086 Omnimon with Blitz, giving the deck another attack to threaten lethal. The secondary effect provides a nice way to protect your stack. BT5-026 Coelamon is another 1-cost to digivolve Lvl. 4 that also has Blocker to give the deck more defensive options without hurting consistency. A few BT5-021 Syakomon to help against Green and the mirror, and a spicy BT4-062 Nidhoggmon tech to help steal games from overaggressive opponents. The one change Dan made between events was cutting the BT5-088 Sora Takenouchi & Joe Kido for a second copy of BT4-062 Nidhoggmon, likely for the expected increase of Rookie Rush. The biggest question this deck has is can it actually succeed in the North American meta without being piloted by Dan Vang?
Green OTK/Green Control (8/48 or 16.67%)
Combining these two Green variants as the main difference comes from the top end Lvl. 6s being used, while the bottom end is similar across both archetypes. BT5-050 Weedmon gains the user a memory when it is trashed for a Digi-Durst effect, giving Green even more ways to cheat out explosive tempo plays. The new BT5-047 Palmon pairs with the old P-032 Palmon in order to reuse its ever-valuable Jamming inheritable ability. Erik Edhlund topped with both variants, and both lists are strikingly similar. The main differences being a copy of BT4-095 Yoshino Fujieda in the most recent iteration and the count of BT5-056 Rafflesimon. The former providing more Memory manipulation for the Digi-Burst package, while the ladder provides a strong counter to LordKnightmon.
Security Control (6/48 or 12.50%)
I piloted a slightly different variation of Security Control during these events, finishing 14th at Carta Magica and 11th at TAK. A total of only eight Option cards, four ST1-16 Gaia Force and four BT5-105 Ultimate Flare, as the new BT5-112 Omnimon Zwart Defeat acts in essence as another Option. This new Lvl. 7 summons itself off a Security check while becoming a 13k DP beat-stick with Gaia Force as an On Deletion effect. Fewer Options left space for more Lvl. 3s to help fuel a BT1-006 Cupimon engine to increase the deck’s consistency and early pressure. BT3-090 Mastemon can help sneak some wins if an opponent is not expecting to see the card, while also providing an easy way to digivolve into Zwart Defeat when a few inevitably gets stuck in the hand instead of the Security stack. Overall, this variant can apply more early pressure, resulting in fewer ties, in lieu of grinding out the opponent with removal.
A more typical variant of Security Control has a heavier dose of Option cards including BT5-095 Transcendent Sword, BT4-100 Trident Revolver, BT2-098 EDEN’s Javelin, and ST3-16 Seven Heavens. These are all very powerful cards, and several people placed in top cut with a variant more in line with what we know to be classic Security Control. With so many different card choices the archetype faces a crossroads on Options vs Digimon when it comes to deck building. Having the ability to win through removing the opponent’s Security is going to be more important as more combo-heavy decks like LordKnightmon, Jesmon, and Gabumon Bond of Friendship are hard to beat with removal alone. Decks like Security Control can be annoying to play against, but there is such great diversity when it comes to deckbuilding. It will be exciting to see how players innovate in order to keep this archetype relevant.
Purple Variants (4/48 or 8.33%)
Purple gained a ton of new tools in BT5-071 Guilmon, BT5-079 BlackWarGrowlmon, BT5-081 ChaosGallantmon, and BT5-087 Omnimon Zwart. Various combos are now possible that start with destroying and/or summoning the new Guilmon to gain a tremendous advantage in memory over the course of a long game. Pair this value with an already advantageous BT3-091 Lilithmon and BT4-111 Jack Raid combo, and very few decks can keep up once Purple gets set up. The biggest issue facing Purple is extending the game long enough to win when Rookie Rush has quickly become one of the most popular decks. Splashing in a few of the new BT5-082 Tactimon could be the answer to that problem. Precise deckbuilding skills will be needed to compose a list that has the right tech cards mixed with enough consistency to get through a newly diverse field at the upcoming events.
Black Variants (2/48 or 4.16%)
Both Turbo Defeat and Diaboromon finished 1st and 5th respectively in the final North American Regional. I have limited experience with either deck, so my comments about both will be brief. I played against a similar Turbo Defeat list in the TAK Regional and all three games were extremely close. The deck is strong, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this deck become a significant share of the meta for the upcoming events. BT5-084 Diaboromon feels like more of a fringe deck, as the significant setup combined with the lack of consistency in the said list will make it hard to replicate such results. The high cost of the P-016 Diaboromon also makes this an unlikely matchup over the next couple of weeks.
Shifts in the Meta
Rookie Rush finished with zero placements in the Top Cut Regionals but ended up with eight finishes in the Top 16 in the final two events. The rise of Rookie Rush has led to the fall of Purple variants as the former is a hard matchup. As mentioned before, Purple has a chance to adapt but it is now facing a much more diverse meta in the second half of this format. Security Control and Green variants have seen a rise in success with positive matchups against Rookie Rush, and rogue variants have started to pop up as LordKnightmon’s grip on the meta has started to slip. BT5 -032 Hexeblaumon placed 1st at the Oceania Regional while BT5-019 Shoutmon DX finished in the Top 8 at the European Regional, adding two more viable threats to the mix.
Green seems poised to stay a strong pick with a consistent base list already worked out while boasting a strong matchup spread against the field. Turbo Defeat and Security Control both boast two new meta-defining Security checks in Ultimate Flare and Omnimon Zwart Defeat. Both should field consistent returns as Ultimate Flare is a strong counter to Rookie Rush, and Zwart Defeat flipping out of Security will swing matches. It would not be surprising to see Purple variants experiment with Zwart Defeat after seeing the success the card had with two other archetypes. Hexeblaumon is my pick to counter a Digi-Burst heavy meta with the additional bonus of a strong matchup against the ever-annoying Security Control. The low cost to build Hexeblaumon makes it a prime contender to see increased play in the second half of the format. It is possible that Imperialdramon also makes room for parts of the Hexeblaumon package to counter some of its bad matchups. It will be exciting to see what innovative ideas people come up with. Good luck to everyone in the upcoming events, and I will talk to you again as BT6 looks to unveil several impressive cards in a month’s time!