I currently classify ABC, Invoked-True Draco, Yang Zing Dino as the more common decks you will meet. Note that I consider neither to be Top tier, as CIBR just got released and there will probably be a shift in the metagame. Nevertheless, let's start the talk:
The July metagame started with Dinos surviving the previous list, Souleating Oviraptor was not affected in the slightest. True Draco took a big hit with the Limitation of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King and Dragonic Diagram.
ABC returns to being playable once more. It was totally outclassed by Zoodiacs and then faced a Limitation of Union Hangar. Another contributing factor to its return, apart from the presumed death of Zoodiacs and the Semi-Limited Union Hangar is the mechanics of Link Summoning.
Link Summoning gives ABC decks a slight advantage. You can send your Union monsters to the graveyard for Link Summoning in order to trigger their effects. While better Link Monsters for the deck have yet to be released, Proxy Dragon and Decode Talker can suffice as they provide appropriate Link Markers in addition to protection effects.
The current trend is to play Chicken Game and Dragon Ravine in order to enable the Destrudo, the Dead Drake of Dread engine. Some players play Armegeddon Knight too.
With only one copy of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King and Dragonic Diagram, it is hence tougher to pull off plays using Demise True Draco. Card of Demise also took a semi-limitation.
The burden hence falls onto the Invoked archetype coupled with an optional (depending on player's preference) Spellbook engine. Spellbook of Rudra can send Aleister the Invoker to the graveyard to let you gain maximum utility out of it. Of course, it also increases your chances of drawing into the now limited Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King.
Banishing your opponent's Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King is a crucial game-winning play now, as they will be forced to facilitate plays solely on the Invoked engine. For this reason, Demise True Draco took a dip in popularity as losing their Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King could leave them aimless without a win condition except struggling with constantly reusing True Draco Apocalypse and attacking with Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter.
But even Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter's threat diminishes with time, as the Traps in the deck gets used up and the S/T slots are filled.
Yang Zing Dino
True King Dino players are divided between the option of continued usage of the True King engine or discard it in favour of the Yang Zing engine.
The Yang Zing engine is capable of a double negation with a single card and is hence more popular. Staple traps like the 'Solemn' Counter Traps are also used to augment the control aspect of the deck. Yang Zino Dino is looking to be the most aggresive deck of the July 2017 OCG Format. Let's see if it will change with time.
CardWatchWe will be tweaking out CardWatch series a little bit. In this section, CardWatch shall refer to the cards getting hyped and that you should be prepared for. It will also account for trends, be it temporary or consistent that players use in their decks.
Pot of Acquisitiveness
Pot of Acquisitiveness is a trend originated from decklists in Japan. Against Invoked variants, you get to deny them of their recurring Fusion Engine and send Aleister the Invoker back to the deck.
Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries is also becoming more popular with the prevelance of Denglong, First of the Yang Zing and ABC-Dragon Buster. Pot of Acquisitiveness serves as your method to retrieve your lost copies.
Of course there is also an option to chain Pot of Acquisitiveness in response to ABC-Dragon Buster's 'dismantling'. The occasional loss of Union Monsters by Cosmic Cyclone can also be salvaged by Pot of Acquisitiveness.
Both Giant Rex and Photon Thrasher share the same paragraph due to the similarities it provides to a Yang Zing Dino deck. By running two copies of Jurrac Aeolo instead of the previous lone copy, there is now a higher chance of players drawing into that Level 1 Tuner, which is something undesired. Giant Rex and Photon Thrasher thus enables a special-summoned Level 4 on the field to interact with Jurrac Aeolo. Giant Rex synergises with the 'banishing' aspect of a Dino deck, where Miscellaneousaurus and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno banishes Dino monsters too.
Gold Sarcophagus with Giant Rex is another trend that is catching on.
Artifact Lancea returns to the competitive scene. Players are currently playing it in the Main Deck rather that Side Deck. For Invoked-True Draco decks, it fuels the LIGHT component to summon Invoked Mechaba.
With Artifact Lancea in the Main Deck, there is lesser reason to run Cosmic Cyclone over Mystical Space Typhoon. While just my personal opinion, I believe the current state of the metagame does not strongly require a banishing of cards rather than destruction.
Artifact Lancea in the Main Deck allows a player to have a better Game 1 against ABC and Yang Zing Dino decks. It prevents ABC-Dragon Buster from being summoned out or using its effect if it is already on the field. As for Yang Zing Dino, you will get to escape the cruel play involving Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and Phantom Fortress Enterblathnir with Artifact Lancea in hand. The occasional PSY-Framelord Omega will also be rendered useless.
An added bonus is the usage of Artifact Lancea to prevent your Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing from being banished during your opponent's turn. Currently, placing Artifact Lancea in the Main Deck looks to be a good option.
Over the next few days we will have a look at some decklists, some proposed by me, others I took from tournament winners.