OCG 2018.01 Metagame (1 Jan – 31 Mar 2018)

The OCG 2018.01 Limit Regulation had heavy hits to SPYRAL, effectively ending their dominance and opening up to a relatively diverse format.

Compiled from a total of 513 top-placing decks from 76 competitive tournaments held in Japan, China and Asia, here is the final metagame breakdown of the OCG 2018.01 format.

Results from the Duelist Cup 2018 Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore that were not in the Weekly Reports are added to this Quarterly Report.

Metagame Breakdown

  • 114 Magician (39 Supreme King Magician, 38 Performapal Magician, 36 Magician, 1 Performapal Supreme King Magician)
  • 76 Zefra (64 Zefra, 7 Metalfoes Zefra, 2 Astrograph Chronograph Zefra, 1 Astrograph Zefra, 1 Genex Zefra, 1 Invoked Dinosaur Zefra)
  • 72 Plant Link
  • 45 Trickstar (40 Trickstar, 2 Invoked Trickstar, 1 Artifact Trickstar, 1 Kaiju Mekk-Knight Trickstar, 1 Mekk-Knight Trickstar)
  • 44 Burning Abyss
  • 36 Altergeist
  • 22 Sky Striker (11 Sky Striker, 7 Diabolos Sky Striker, 3 Invoked Sky Striker, 1 Plant Sky Striker)
  • 19 ABC (14 ABC, 2 Invoked ABC, 1 ABC FTK, 1 Grinder ABC, 1 Invoked ABC FTK)
  • 15 Dinosaur (12 Yang Zing Dinosaur, 2 Shaddoll Dinosaur, 1 Grass Brilliant Plant Dinosaur)
  • 13 Gouki (9 Gouki, 4 Sky Striker Gouki)
  • 12 Subterror (10 Subterror, 1 Grinder Subterror, 1 Invoked Subterror)
  • 10 Atlantean Mermail (7 Sekka Genex Frog Atlantean Mermail, 2 Frog Atlantean Mermail, 1 Sekka Genex Atlantean Mermail)
  • 5 Infernoid (2 Grass Plant Infernoid, 1 Grinder Infernoid, 1 Grass Grinder Kaiju Infernoid, 1 Infernoid)
  • 5 SPYRAL (3 SPYRAL, 2 Sky Striker SPYRAL)
  • 4 Blue-Eyes
  • 3 Infernity
  • 2 D/D
  • 2 Grinder Kaiju Luna Mekk-Knight
  • 2 HERO
  • 1 Blackwing
  • 1 D/D Dinosaur Union
  • 1 D/D Dinosaur Union FTK
  • 1 Fluffal
  • 1 Gemknight FTK
  • 1 Grass Grinder Kaiju Luna Shiranui
  • 1 Grinder Plant Sky Striker
  • 1 Kaiju Luna
  • 1 Magical Musket
  • 1 Phantom Knights
  • 1 Shiranui
  • 1 Zoodiac


Magician took the top position from the start of the OCG 2018.01 format and has mostly remained at the top. Magician relies on the synergy between Heavymetalfoes Electrumite and Astrograph Sorcerer to generate card advantage while developing a strong opening board at the same time.

A typical opening would end with Crystron Halqifibrax and Time Pendulumgraph. The effect of Crystron Halqifibrax would be used to Special Summon Crystron Quandax, whose effect will be used to Synchro Summon Supreme King Dragon Clear Wing to destroy all of the opponent’s monsters during the opponent’s turn.

Norito the Moral Leader or Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon are also possible openings for a more control playstyle.

OCG 2017.10 → OCG 2018.01 Limit Regulation changes:

  • Double Iris Magician – 3 → 1
  • Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm – 3 → 1

The limitation of Double Iris Magician in the OCG 2018.04 Limit Regulation brings down the consistency of Magician by a notch, but Magician is still a respectable contender in the new format. Running 3 copies of Duelist Alliance is a quick and easy solution to fetch for Double Iris Magician.

However, with Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm limited, the Supreme King variant is essentially dead. The current trend is to run Odd-Eyes monsters instead to continue using Odd-Eyes Revolution Dragon.


Zefra, together with Magician, has defined the early OCG 2018.01 competitive scene as the Pendulum format.

Zefra opening board consists of Nine Pillars of the Yang Zing and Zefra Divine Strike for disruption, and using Crystron Halqifibrax to bring out T.G. Wonder Magician and then Accel Synchro Summoning Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing during the opponent’s turn.

The limitation of Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm does not affect Zefra since they were running only 1 copy of Darkwurm. Though recent Zefra in OCG 2018.04 have dropped Dragon Shrine, Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm and Destrudo the Lost Dragon’s Frisson for Metalfoes instead.


The release of Flames of Destruction propelled Plant to the forefront of the competitive scene. The Knightmare Link Monsters made the combo much more resilient, while Called by the Grave and Red Reboot stop disruptions from the opponent.

Plant is a combo deck whose main strategy to First-Turn-Kill (FTK) the opponent by looping Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis with Topologic Bomber Dragon on the field while having 10 other Plant-Type monsters in the graveyard.

OCG 2017.10 → OCG 2018.01 Limit Regulation changes:

  • Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis – 3 → 0
  • Lonefire Blossom – 2 → 1
  • Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio – 3 → 1

The OCG 2018.04 Limit Regulation has directly cut off the FTK combo by banning Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis. Meanwhile, a different Plant FTK combo using Samsara Lotus and Trickstar Black Catbat has been discovered, but a consistent build has yet to see success in the competitive scene.


Out of all 513 decks, 486 deck were running Crystron Halqifibrax. Only 27 decks were not running Crystron Halqifibrax.

Among these 27 decks, most of them were Gouki and Invoked Sky Striker. They do not require Crystron Halqifibrax in their setup plays and do not include Crystron Halqifibrax due to space constraint in the Extra Deck.

Even decks such as Trickstar that do not require Crystron Halqifibrax in their strategy, are running 1 Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow and 1 Glow-up Bulb in the Main Deck to take advantage of its ability to make a powerful play. Using just Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow itself to Link Summon Crystron Halqifibrax is 1-card combo to bring out a Link-4 monster.

Control decks such as Altergeist and Subterror are obligated to run Crystron Halqifibrax for Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries.

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5 Responses

  1. Ryan Orwig says:

    Cool article. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Qwe asd says:

    An FTK requiring Topologic Bomber Dragon, Trickstar Black Catbat, Knightmare Cerberus (This is required as well because otherwise Topologic Bomber will just destroy Black Catbat), and Samsara Lotus doesn’t sound very consistent to me (Requiring a non-generic monster that has no place in Plant Links, and making a co-link chain with Topologic Bomber Dragon is an absolute pain in the ass, and to top it off you have to end the field with no Spell or Traps on your field)

    • Qwe asd says:

      I honestly don’t see how an FTK that requires Topologic Bomber Dragon, Knightmare Cerberus (It pretty much has to be used otherwise Topologic Bomber will just destroy Black Catbat), Trickstar Black Catbat, and Samsara Lotus can really be consistent at all (Requires you to use a non-generic Link Monster in a deck that doesn’t already have those monsters put in naturally and requires you to end your turn with no Spells or Traps). Maybe some Trickstar builds can pull it off, but I just don’t see Plant Link pulling it off, and they are probably going to stay dead this season.

    • Akira says:

      I may have worded my sentences poorly. I am of the same opinion that Plant is unlikely to return to the top of the competitive scene. I was trying to express in an objective manner the current development by players trying to re-innovate the deck. Cheers.

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