Welcome back Mysidians! Since Opus IX came out, I have been tracking tournaments on FF Decks and the official Japanese tournament reports in order to gather information about the meta. At first, I was looking at all tournaments, regardless of size, just to get some information. You can find a video I made based on that information here. However, for this article I only used tournaments with 17+ players, or 5 rounds of swiss play. I do not have too much scientific thinking behind that decision; besides 5 rounds are a larger sample size than 4. Because of that player cut-off, I was mainly looking at Local Qualifiers, Grand Opens, and Crystal Cups.
I think that looking at those tournaments can be more relevant than including all Local tournaments. For example. my local tournament at Magic Stronghold is usually 4 rounds, but some weeks we all show up with meta decks and others we play more fun builds. At an event like a Local Qualifier or larger, you are more likely to see safer and stronger choices of decks.
For this analysis I looked at 19 tournaments. It should be noted that Gen Con is not included in this list (except for 1st place), as I don’t have the results available to me. Below I have posted a video recap from my YouTube channel, please feel free to check it out and subscribe if you enjoy it! I will also post all the tournaments that I looked at for this report at the bottom of the article.
As you can see, people are playing Wind quite a bit, whether it is in Mono Wind or Wind/Water. Mono Ice rounds out the decks with double digit tournament appearances. In the tier below we see Ice/Fire FFVI, Mono Lightning, and many different Rogue decks. I am surprised that we are seeing a lot less Mono Lightning this set, compared to when it was abundant at the beginning of Opus VIII. It arguably received a lot more ammunition this set in the form of many ways to dull and remove Forwards. More rogue decks have also been an interesting addition to the meta. These decks are typically 3 or more colours and don’t follow any standard build that we have seen before. An example of a rogue list is Earth/Lightning/Ice Warriors of Darkness.
In terms of which decks have been taken home first place at these tournaments, Water/Wind is clearly ahead of the rest with 5 tournament wins. Mono Ice has taken 4 tournaments. One interesting addition to the meta is Earth/Water. The deck received more FFXV support as well as the new Cecil Hero. Mono Wind only has one tournament win despite it being played only 1 less time than Wind/Water, although 4 of those came from the Spain CC which was won by Jamie Faulkner and his Mono Ice.
Decks That Are New/Uncommon
Water/Earth FFIV & FFXV
Wind/Lightning w/ Chocobo
I think that this meta is by no means solved, but players are definitely spooked about facing certain decks, leading to the numbers we see above. Mono Ice does well against Wind/Water, and Mono Wind can combat Mono Ice fairly well. I believe that a lot of players are playing it safe as there are fewer chances in the season to get their Nats/Worlds spots.
I have also noticed that less people are posting on FF Decks than I used to see. This may be due to players wanting to hide their tournament lists. I am partially to blame as well, as I haven't posted Magic Stronghold's lists in months. There was a brief period when players wanted to hide their lists at Magic Stronghold, and we just haven't gotten back to tracking lists since then.
That's going to be it from me today folks. I will continue to track tournament results as the weeks go on, and if there are noteworthy or significant changes, you can be sure that I will share them here as well as on my Youtube channel. Until next time!
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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.