Hello everyone! Recently I was curious what people were playing so far in Opus VIII, and I decided to look through FF Deck’s tournaments page. I started combing the larger tournaments, i.e. regionals and tournaments with large player counts or top cuts, and I noticed something interesting. There were ZERO Water/Wind decks in the Top 8 lists. Now this certainly is in part to the set just releasing, and players trying out new combinations. However, it is interesting to see how these new decks are doing, and if any are consistently making Top 8 cuts.
Please take any info from this analysis with a grain of salt, as it is based on limited information. For this article I looked at 7 tournaments from FF Decks. There may be some tournaments that have happened but did not record their results on FF Decks. The events I looked at were:
Breaking Down the Results
I have compiled the numbers of each deck across the 7 tournaments I looked at. I also included which decks won the tournaments they were played in. Below I will look at some of the lists ran and talk about what has changed with Opus VIII.
Looking at the chart above you can see that Mono Lightning is doing very well so far. This adds up, since it has always been a consistently powerful deck. Opus VIII brought a lot of different choices to Mono Lightning, but I feel like it still plays the same as it always has, meaning players using this deck are comfortable with it.
Looking at other decks from the Opus VII meta, Earth/Wind has only been seen twice in Top 8’s so far, and one of those builds was FFVII based and did not feature Dadaluma/Cactuar. We have also seen a whopping ZERO Water/Winds in any final cuts. Mono Wind has seen a little more play at 3 appearances but hasn’t been seen as much as you would expect considering the number of great cards Mono Wind received this Opus.
We have seen a resurgence of Mono Water decks, similar to the ones we have seen in the past. Some new additions to the deck from Opus VIII include: Leviathan, Nichol, Lunafreya, Zidane, Freya, and Veritas of the Dark (which combos with Famfrit to remove a lot of stuff).
Note: Only one of the six Mono Water decks used Light Fusoya.
Ice/Fire has been a very popular deck early in the Opus VIII meta. With the inclusion of new FFVI Backups, Setzer and Edgar, it is very easy to get Locke to discard on entry. The deck also has a lot of fire power with the new Duncan and Cloud legends. Some lists have also had great success with the new Lasswell Hero and the Dark Fina Legend. Finally, Coctys and Yotsuyu are very powerful Backups that can help close out games.
Two of the Fire/Ice decks we saw in tournaments so far (including one of two tournament winners) did not even feature the FFVI package. It will be interesting to see how this element combination fares when some of the Opus VII meta decks return.
This new deck has spawned from the new FFVII Starter Deck that brought some Earth cards for Category VII. In particular, the new Tifa and Barrett have seen quite a bit of play early in the set. While Barrett seemed underwhelming at first, anytime he is able to survive and start swinging, he brings a ton of value. Because he is 9K, he is unlikely to be blocked. Tifa, who only costs 2 CP when Cloud is in play, is a very fast tempo Forward to summon. Since she is Brave, she can get in damage while defending your life and as soon as she survives one turn, her Special Ability is always live. In Earth/Fire, she doesn’t even have to survive a turn to be live as you can search and Haste her with Zangan.
Marlene, Cloud 8-006L, and Cloud 4-145H are all powerful EX Bursts featured in the deck.
While there is a lot of speed and value in this deck, I am not sure how it will fair later on in Opus VIII. By the, the tournament winning Fire/Earth deck had 30 EX Bursts!
Note: Only 3 of the 4 Earth/Fire decks were FFVII themed, the final one was FFVI centered.
This is a deck that saw some play last year during the Crystal Cup season, but then took a little hiatus. In Opus VIII we have seen three very interesting variations: Adam Lane’s Standard Unit build featuring the new Warrior of Light, Nathan Perez’s discard-based deck that we saw last year, and a faster Chocobo build featuring Dark Zemus by Cameron Swisher.
This is another deck that saw some play last Crystal Cup season with Mathew Okimoto winning the cup in Boston with this deck. We did see some Ice/Earth throughout the rest of the season, but it was never a widespread meta deck.
Enter Joshua-Freeman Birch and his FlanO’Clock deck. Now playing all 6 Flans has been done before, but JFB’s list has seen a ton of play (from my observations on FF Decks) ever since he made top 4 of the Germany Crystal Cup with it.
However, JFB’s build wasn’t the only Ice/Earth that topped during these events. We also saw a tax version as well as a Summon-heavy Light Yuna deck.
What does this all mean?
Honestly, not a lot. The players topping these events are good players and may have topped if they had played Earth/Wind, Mono Wind, or Water/Wind. If I had to guess, I would say a lot of players are trying out new ideas and testing the waters before the competitive season. At the same time, I am sure the best players test these decks with their friends against the meta, and that some new archetypes will emerge in Opus VIII.
If you are a player attending a Crystal Cup this year (especially the first few), this may give you an idea of some of the new decks you might see (particularly Ice/Fire). This also can prepare you for possible rogue decks and interactions you might not commonly test against.
Thanks for reading! What are your predictions for the Opus VIII meta? Do you think that all our usual suspects from Opus VII will still be viable?
Alex is a FFTCG player from Vancouver, Canada. His favourite Final Fantasy is IV and his favourite Elements are Earth and Ice, although he has a soft spot for fire.