【FFTCG】Analyze the metagame of Beyond Destiny and prepare for the new enviroment!

Hello, everyone! 

I’m Taruho, an official article writer for FFTCG.

Did you watch the recent ‘World Championship 2023’ It was a tournament of the highest caliber with top players representing various countries and regions, and featuring many nail-biting matches. The victor was Alexander Hancox, also known in the community “MrCool,” representing the United Kingdom. He became the first player to win the World Championship twice, and I would like to extend my heartfelt applause to this incredible FFTCG player.

At the ‘World Championship 2023’, cards from the newly released ‘Beyond Destiny’ made a significant impact. Many players must have been inspired by the fresh decks in this new environment. In this article, I will analyze the early metagame of the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment, starting with the ‘World Championship 2023’, and share my insights with all of you. With the upcoming ‘5th-Meijinsen Season’ tournament starting this weekend in Japan, it’ll be interesting to see the metagame and if this article/The World Championship decks have significant influence.


◆Post ‘World Championship 2023’ Reflections. 

After the first official tournament in the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment, ‘World Championship 2023’, my initial impression of the metagame was:

“A new era of unprecedented aggressive play has arrived.”

This was particularly marked by the presence of two forwards: 21-121LWarrior of Light and 21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen .

Let’s first look at the decks in which each of these cards were used. The two lists we’ll refer to both belong to Kakka-san, who represented Japan at ‘World Championship 2023’ and achieved an impressive record of 8 wins and 0 losses in the preliminary Swiss rounds. 

Deck List:’Fire/Ice/Water  Warrior of Light’ 

Card Number Card Name Quantity
Forward (34 cards) 
【21-004L】 Cyan 3
【12-004R】 Alphinaud 3
【18-012L】 Faris 2
【14-023L】 Gilgamesh [FFBE] 3
【21-129S】 Terra 1
【15-126R】 Lenna 2
【15-124H】 Relm 1
【16-115H】 Sarah (MOBIU) 1
【20-044L】 Edge 2
【18-107L】 Akstar 3
【13-125R】 Yuzuki 1
【14-124H】 Zeromus 3
【18-125H】 Onion Knight 3
【19-128L】 Warrior of Light 3
【21-121L】 Warrior of Light 3
Backup (16 cards) 
【18-014R】 Meeth 1
【21-006C】 Samurai 3
【21-111C】 Knight 3
【21-024C】 Scholar 3
【5-123H】 Aria(III) 3
【12-099R】 Sarah (FFL) 3

The ‘Fire/Ice/Water Warrior of Light‘ deck leverages the auto-ability of 21-121LWarrior of Light, aiming aiming to play cost 3 characters directly from the top of the deck to the field.

Kakka-san’s deck combines three gimmicks: the Freeze/Dull combo with 14-124HZeromus and 14-023LGilgamesh [FFBE], the Job (Warrior of Light) package with cards like 21-121LWarrior of Light, 18-012LFaris, and 15-126RLenna, and the crystal gimmick utilizing 21-004LCyan and various cost 3 backups. The synergy among these gimmicks results in a very powerful deck.

Moreover, the key card, 21-121LWarrior of Light, not only plays a pivotal role in deployment but also protects its characters with the special ability ‘Ultimate Shield’. Against mass removal, a second 21-121LWarrior of Light can be played for recovery. Although having two key cards is not always easy, 21-121LWarrior of Light, holding the Job (Warrior of Light), can be searched simultaneously in pairs through 12-099RSara [FFL], making such a setup more ​easily achievable. 

Deck List:Water/Ice Skyserpent General Rughadjeen‘ 

Card Number Card Name Quantity
Forward (40 cards) 
【21-027L】 Griever 3
【21-023L】 Ultimecia 3
【20-040L】 Rufus 3
【21-036H】 Y’shtola 3
【16-042R】 Lasswell 3
【13-023R】 Charlotte 3
【19-024L】 Sarah (MOBIUS) 3
【17-138S】 Rosa 3
【21-104C】 Sage 3
【14-111R】 Lakshmi, Lady of Bliss 2
【8-115L】 Zidane 3
【15-119L】 Porom 2
【13-128L】 Celestia 3
【21-122H】 Skyserpent General Rughadjeen 3
Backup (2 cards) 
【21-115C】 Larsa 2
Summon (8 cards) 
【9-114C】 Cuchulainn, the Impure 2
【20-118H】 Unicorn 3
【14-113R】 Leviathan 3

The deck, features forwards such as 20-040LRufus and 8-115LZidane which have auto abilities triggered by attacking or dealing damage, and others like 21-027LGriever with action abilities that include dulling in their costs, uses 21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen  to grant haste and quickly ​make use of abilities while initiating a damage race.

21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen, with a robust 9000 power, Brave, and First Strike, is hard to remove early in the game and difficult to block due to its overwhelming strength. The deck becomes challenging to counter once it gets going, with adjacent forwards being enhanced by 21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen and taking your resources.

Kakka-san’s deck is a ‘​Water/Ice‘ build, supporting 21-027LGriever with Water attributes like 17-138SRosa and 21-104CSage. However, Hunter Nance from the USA, who was the runner-up at ‘World Championship 2023’, used an ‘Mono Ice’ deck with 21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen, focusing on resource denial with cards like 13-028L】Physalis. This shows that an Ice deck with 21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen holds significant potential in the current environment.

Both decks, despite their different approaches, can deploy forwards and initiate attacks from the very first turn, indicating that the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment’s baseline is indeed aggressive decks.

In addition to these, other powerful aggressive decks like ‘​Fire/Lightning XIII‘ and the significantly enhanced ‘ono Fire Magissa‘ from ‘Beyond Destiny’ are also prevalent.

The widespread recognition of these decks at the ‘World Championship 2023’ will undoubtedly influence tournaments around the world in the future. 


◆What to Expect in the ‘5th Meijinsen Season’! 

Let’s consider the impact these decks will have on the ‘5th Meijinsen Season’.

The rise of powerful aggressive decks means a challenging environment for slower control decks. Against aggro decks that start attacking from turn one and can often conclude the game within three turns, decks that rely on setting up backups and playing valuable cards appear too leisurely and often lose before they’re ​afforded a chance to fully set up.

I suspect that backup-focused decks like ‘​4 Color Warrior of Light‘, ‘Mono  Wind’, and ‘Ice/Earth/Water Monsters’ from the previous meta may see a decline in the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment.

Of course, it’s not that they can’t win at all, and countermeasures are possible. In fact, the ‘Mono Wind’ deck won the ‘World Championship 2023’ ​in the hands of Alexander Hancox. However, since the ‘5th Meijinsen Season’ is not a two-deck format tournament, it might be quite challenging to maintain a stable win rate against decks that ​the above decks struggle with.

Furthermore, ‘Ice/Lightning’, which was a counter to aggro decks in the previous meta, also seems to face significant challenges in the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment. The representative aggro deck ‘Fire/Lightning XIII’ from the previous meta had a structure that deployed forwards on the first turn and started attacking on the second, allowing a slight delay before attacking. ‘Ice/Lightning’ used to exploit this gap to dismantle ‘Fire/Lightning XIII’, but against decks like ‘Fire/Ice/Water Warrior of Light’, which gains massive advantage with just one 21-121LWarrior of Light, or ‘Water/Ice Skyserpent General Rughadjeen’ that can use forward abilities without delay, there’s little room for interference.

Moreover, forwards like 21-121LWarrior of Light and 21-122HSkyserpent General Rughadjeen, with their tough 9000 power, are particularly challenging for ‘Ice/Lightning’ to handle, making them almost natural enemies. It’s expected that midrange decks, which previously had an advantage over aggro, will find fewer opportunities to shine in the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment.

Based on these predictions, it’s conceivable that decks central to the ‘Dawn of Heroes’ environment may be overshadowed in the ‘5th Meijinsen Season’. So, what strategies could be considered to counter these new aggressive decks centered around ‘Beyond Destiny’ cards? 


・Countering with EX Burst 

Firstly, countering aggressive strategies with EX Bursts is a viable strategy. Due to their nature, aggressive decks focus on dealing 7 points of damage as quickly as possible. It goes without saying that EX Bursts, which activate when damage is taken, are effective against this. Particularly, 14-113RLeviathan stands out among poweaful EX Burst cards.

Both ‘Fire/Ice/Water Warrior of Light’ and ‘Water/Ice Skyserpent General Rughadjeen’ decks align Light element forwards alongside others, so flipping 14-113RLeviathan as an EX Burst can handle two forwards at once. This makes Water, which can use Leviathan, a valuable element. Fire and Lightning, which easily include direct removal EX Bursts, will also be notable in this environment.


・Countering with Mass Removal

Next, consider mass removal. However, in the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment, it’s not just any mass removal , but especially those that are self-contained and reusable.

As mentioned, ‘Fire/Ice/Water Warrior of Light’ and ‘Water-Ice [Skyserpent General Rughadjeen]’ decks start taking resources and deploying forwards early, making combo-based mass removals like 17-063RRusso from ‘Mono-Wind’ less effective. Similarly, one-time mass removals like 1-107LShantotto can clear the field once but might struggle against subsequent follow-up aggression.

Therefore, merely adopting mass removal isn’t enough. For instance, in addition to 1-107LShantotto, incorporating 17-076HMatoya [I] and others might be necessary, requiring a greater focus on ​the number of mass removal options than before.

In this context, I’m personally focusing on 16-100LY’shtola.

Her special ability ‘Pulse of Creation‘ may not be self-contained, but it’s relatively easy to use and can be used repeated employed for mass removal. Since her auto ability can also remove forwards, countering the opponent’s first move with your auto-ability while aiming for mass removal matches well with the environment.


・Countering with System Forwards

In fact, ‘Fire/Ice/Water Warrior of Light’ and ‘Water/Ice Skyserpent General Rughadjeen’ have a common weakness: they don’t feature much removals. As these decks become more popular, your forwards also become less likely to be removed. This sets the stage for powerful system forwards.

16-100LY’shtola, mentioned earlier, is one of them. Using her for her strong action and special abilities, leveraging the better board presence of forwards, could be an effective strategy in the ‘Beyond Destiny’ environment. Especially cards like 15-083LRydia and 16-133SBraska that utilize summons, combined with EX Burst counters, seem to have a favorable environment.

These cards are low-cost, so they don’t rely heavily on backup deployment, and potentially can keep pace without falling behind in speed, which could be quite impactful, don’t you think?

Looking for decks with these elements in existing lists, I believe the following could be relevant: 

4 Color Soiree’

‘Water/Lightning Scions of the Seventh Dawn’ 

‘Fire/Earth/Water Rydia’ 

‘Earth/Water Unei’ 

‘Fire/Ice Akster’ 

‘Mono Fire’ 

These decks have proven themselves in past environments and are well-understood by players, potentially coming back into the spotlight. While specific deck lists are yet to be determined, these are worth exploring for the upcoming ‘5th Meijinsen Season’.

Additionally, the ‘Mono Earth Monster’ deck used by Japanese representative Harigai-san, which is rich in mass removals, is also likely to gain more recognition going forward. 



To sum up this analysis:

‘Beyond Destiny’ has significantly strengthened aggro decks, especially with the introduction of 【21-121L】Warrior of Light and 【21-122H】Skyserpent General Rughadjeen. Following their performance at the ‘World Championship 2023’, high usage is expected in the ‘5th Meijinsen Season’.

The rise of aggro decks suggests a challenging environment for decks reliant on backups. Decks like ‘4 Color Warrior of Light’ might decrease in number, and even if used, essential counters like mass removals will be required, reducing the deck’s overall potential compared to the previous environment.

‘Ice/Lightning’, previously a counter to aggro, may struggle against ‘Fire/Ice/Water Warrior of Light’ and ‘Water/Ice Skyserpent General Rughadjeen’, indicating less favorable matchups.

Focus might shift to decks with effective countermeasures like ‘EX Burst’, ‘Mass Removal’, and ‘System Forwards’ against 【21-121L】Warrior of Light and 【21-122H】Skyserpent General Rughadjeen.

These are my current thoughts on the early metagame of the ‘5th Meijinsen Season’. While early environments often favor aggro decks, it will be interesting to see how the metagame evolves from this starting point of aggro dominance at the World Championship.


◆In Conclusion
This time, we’ve explored the early metagame of ‘Beyond Destiny’ for the upcoming ‘5th Meijinsen Season’.

With a clear direction set at the ‘World Championship 2023’, the ‘Beyond Destiny’ metagame is about to kick off in earnest. Will you align with aggro decks, or challenge the environment with new decks that transcend fate? What choices will you make?

Starting next week we’ll be focusing next on players who performed well in the qualifying rounds of 5th Meijinsen Season, bringing interviews and insights, so stay tuned for those!

Looking forward to seeing you in the next article!