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An Anti-Meta Deck is any Deck that is built to counteract the most popular Decks being played.
There are many different Anti-Meta Decks, such as, "Monarch," Yosenju," "Evilswarm," "Little City" "Gravekeeper's", "Gadget Oppression", "Meklord" and "Stun". The usual theme of Anti-Meta Decks is to prevent the opponent's Special Summon, as many current Decks in the metagame focus on Special Summon. Some Anti-Meta decks focus on banishing your opponent's monsters, since most meta Decks require the Graveyard to work, or else can't function while certain components are banished. Likewise, some decks revolve around banishing their own cards to reach their goals, with cards like "Imperial Iron Wall" being prevalent in formats. The types of Anti-Meta decks used changes occasionally every format.
- "Psi-Blocker" is a very powerful card in the Anti-Meta. After you call a card, it effectively becomes useless for the turn. It cannot attack, use its effects nor be used for a Tribute, Synchro, Xyz or Fusion Summon. This card is great against "Tragoedia", "Maiden with Eyes of Blue", "Neo-Spacian Grand Mole", "Miracle Fusion", "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness", "Battle Fader", "Royal Decree", etc.
- "Thunder King Rai-Oh" is arguably one of the best Anti-Meta monsters. It has 1900 ATK and it can jam "Gadgets", "Reinforcement of the Army", "Sangan", "Charge of the Light Brigade", "Gladiator Proving Ground", "E - Emergency Call", "Black Whirlwind", "Prophecy", and other cards that add cards from your Deck to your hand other than drawing. It can also be sent to the Graveyard to negate a Special Summon, which can usually be game-ending.
- "Doomcaliber Knight" is a great beatstick with 1900 ATK and a solid 1800 DEF, and Tributes itself to negate a monster's effect. This can be really annoying for your opponent to work around; if they Summon a big monster such as "Dark Armed Dragon" or "Judgment Dragon", they'll have to use up extra cards to destroy it before they can use their effects. This card can also negate monster effects that activate from the hand, such as "Honest" and "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness". Just make sure not to use your own monster effects while this card is on the field.
- "Justice Bringer" Is also a decent anti-meta card. It has 1700 ATK and its effect can be used to negate a Special Summoned monster's effect once per turn. This can be useful for negating cards such as "Black Rose Dragon", "Stardust Dragon", "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" etc. This card is also useful for negating an Xyz Monster's effects, since all Xyz Monsters have to detach their Xyz Material to activate their effects. This can be useful for negating the effects of "Number 39: Utopia", to prevent it from negating attacks. Another example would be to negate the effect of "Number 17: Leviathan Dragon" to prevent it from gaining any attack while it still detaches its Xyz Material for the cost, or you can negate the effect of "Wind-Up Zenmaines" so that it doesn't destroy any card with it's effect.
- "Book of Moon" flips a monster into face-down Defense Position, which has many useful purposes such as negating attacks, stopping certain effects and preventing your opponent from Synchro Summoning by flipping the Tuner face-down. Great against "Yubel", "Mecha Phantom Beast", "Relinquished".
- "Skill Drain" is a great Anti-Meta card. It takes away all of the power from the Decks in the current Metagame. If they Summon low-stat monsters such as "Gladiator Beast Murmillo" and you use "Skill Drain", you now have a free attack target.
- "Koa'ki Meiru Guardian" was used in many Rock Stun builds because its effect is similar to "Doomcaliber Knight's" except that you can choose when to use it.
- "Maxx "C" is a card that can give an opponent the choice of going for a One Turn Kill or not making a play unless they don't want you to draw.
- "Black Ray Lancer" is a new option for Anti-Meta Decks, with a powerful 2100 ATK, the ability to negate effects and being rather easy to Summon with only two Level 3 WATER Monsters.
- "Alector, Sovereign of Birds" is a great card, because it can negate any card's effect for 1 turn. This means you can run "Goblin Attack Force" or "Mask of Restrict" and you'll be able to negate their downside for a turn to execute a play and put your opponent back under their restrictions during theirs. It's also a great Anti-Meta card because it can Special Summon itself when your opponent controls at least 2 monsters of the same Attribute, which a lot of Meta Decks have.
- "By Order of the Emperor" is a good shutdown against "Dragunity" Decks and even better for negating your own "King Tiger Wanghu" while drawing a card for no cost.
- "Divine Wrath" negates the activation of a monster effect and destroys that monster with the cost of discarding 1 card.
- "Breakthrough Skill" negates one of your opponents monster effects until the end of the turn as well as letting you banish it from your graveyard your next turn to do it once again.
- "Effect Veiler" can be chained from the hand to negate a monster's effect until the end of the turn.
- "Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare" negates a Special Summoned monster's effect if it activated the turn it was summoned and destroys it.
- "Debunk" stops hand traps as well as effects that activate in the Graveyard and banishes them.
- "Pulling the Rug" negates any Normal Summoned monster that activates its effect and destroys it.
- "Forbidden Chalice" negates a monster's effect until the end of the turn.
- "Vanity's Fiend" and "Angel 07" prevent monster effect activation.
- "Holding Arms" targets one face up monster on your opponent's side of the field and negates its effect as well as preventing it from attacking. As long as the targeted monster is on the field, this card also can't be destroyed by battle or card effects.
Preventing Special Summons
- "Thunder King Rai-Oh" again for its repeated success against the Metagame.
- "Royal Oppression" can negate Special Summons which can usually win the game and almost all meta Decks Special Summon often. However, it is banned from the Advanced Format.
- "Royal Prison" acts as an alternative to "Royal Oppression", though it can only negate Special Summons from the Graveyard.
- "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" holds back any powerful monsters that can be Special Summoned, including all Synchro Monsters, "Gorz", "DAD", "Judgment Dragon", and most other key finishers in Meta Decks. Can also destroy Special Summoned monsters rather than just negating them in the first place.
- "Vanity's Fiend", "Vanity's Ruler", and "Archlord Kristya" can completely block Special Summons.
- "Vanity's Emptiness" prevents both players from Special Summoning. However if any of its controller's cards are sent to the Graveyard, this card is destroyed.
- "Jowgen the Spiritualist" can also prevent Special Summons, but it's far weaker than "Fossil Dyna" and requires a cost.
- With the debut of "Solemn Warning" in Duelist Revolution, preventing Special Summons becomes much easier. For a cost of 2000 LP not only can it negate the Summon of a monster, but also a card effect that Special Summons a monster.
- "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" is able to jam the Summon of LIGHT and DARK monsters, such as "Dark Armed Dragon" or "Judgment Dragon". It can be used with "Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8" or "Tyrant Dragon" for maximum effectiveness.
- "Steelswarm Roach" can negate the Special Summon of a Level 5 or higher monster by simply detaching one of its two Xyz Materials.
- "Mirror of Oaths" is a good Trap to negate the Special Summon of an opponent's monster(s) from their Deck, such as "Gladiator Beasts", destroy them and draw 1 card.
- "Grave of the Super Ancient Organism" is a great card to make Level 6 or higher Special Summoned monsters (particularly Synchro Monsters) useless.
- With the massive influx of swarming and Xyz Summons that are now prevalent, "Summon Limit" is an excellent card to include, as well as "Summon Breaker", both of which limit both players to two Summons per turn, unless they wish to incur a penalty in the case of the latter.
- "Kaiser Colosseum" prevents your opponent from summon more monsters than you as long as you have at least one monster on the field your opponent can only have one monster on their side of the field.
- "The Selection" can negate the Summon of a monster that has the same Type as a monster on the field for a cost of 1000 LP. (e.g. It could prevent a Dragon Ruler player from Summoning another dragon.)
- "Black Horn of Heaven" can negate the Special Summon of 1 of your opponent's monsters and destroy it.
- "Horn of Heaven" can prevent the Special Summon, Normal Summon, or Flip Summon of a monster at the cost of Tributing 1 monster.
- "Grand Horn of Heaven" works only during your opponent's Main Phase. When your opponent Special Summons a monster(s), this card negates the Summon, destroys that monster, and then ends the Main Phase. (at the cost of letting your opponent draw 1 card)
- "Summoning Curse": Whenever a player Special Summons a monster they must choose 1 card in their hand and remove it from play. This is a good card in Anti-Meta decks, especially if the Deck does not rely on Special Summoning, as well as working as Anti-Meta against decks such as "Gladiator Beasts", "Blackwings", Zombie, and Plant. The only drawback of this card is that during each of your End Phases, you must pay 500 Life Points or destroy it.
- "Solemn Strike" negates the Special Summon of a monster(s) or the activation of a monster effect and destroys it with a cost of 1500 LP. This card is basically a combination of Divine Wrath and Black Horn of Heaven. Just as potent as Solemn Warning.
- "Power Filter" prevents both players from Special Summoning monsters with 1000 or less attack.
- "Discord" prevents both players from Synchro Summoning. Note that it is destroyed after your third end phase.
- "Non-Fusion Area" prevents both players from Fusion summoning.
Almost all Meta Decks use the Graveyard, so banishing cards can be the ultimate negation. Cards such as "Banisher of the Radiance" also prevent the activation of cards that send a card to the Graveyard as a Cost, such as "Honest". Also, cards like "Dimensional Prison" are handy because they cannot be negated by "Stardust Dragon" or "My Body as a Shield".
- "Banisher of the Radiance" is one of the most Anti-Meta defining cards. This card can be quite annoying if you can keep it on the field long enough to banish vital cards; as an example, you can demolish their Deck by milling, and against "Gladiator Beasts", you'll end up destroying cards they can't get back.
- "Banisher of the Light" works exactly like "Banisher of the Radiance". Both cards work also work exacly the same as "Macro Cosmos."
- "Bottomless Trap Hole" is a nice Anti-Meta card that can be used to banish any powerful monster that is Summoned. Many monsters, such as the Dragon Rulers, can Special Summon themselves from the Graveyard with their effects. This card can banish them to keep them from Summoning themselves back.
- "Deep Dark Trap Hole" is similar to "Bottomless Trap Hole". They both banish the monster. It's also similar to "Steelswarm Roach" because they were both meant for Level 5 or higher Special Summoned monsters. Unlike "Bottomless Trap Hole", "Deep Dark Trap Hole" only banishes the monster, so it cannot be negated by cards like "Stardust Dragon".
- "D.D. Crow" can be chained to cards such as a "Gladiator Beast Darius", "Debris Dragon", "Junk Synchron", and "Call of the Haunted" and disrupt their plays.
- "D.D. Warrior Lady" and "D.D. Assailant" can be used to banish monsters such as "Stardust Dragon", and "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning" to make the Duel easier for you.
- "Macro Cosmos" banishes every card that would go to the Graveyard. Most Meta Decks these days send a lot of cards to the Graveyard or can get harmed when their cards are banished.
- "Dimensional Fissure" banishes every monster that would go from the field to the Graveyard. Most of the Meta Decks these days send a lot of cards to the Graveyard or can get harmed when their cards are banished. Unlike "Macro Cosmos", it can be activated the turn it is drawn but only banishes cards sent from the field to the Graveyard.
- "Crevice Into the Different Dimension" banishes two monsters, but is generally outclassed by "D.D. Crow" due to having to Set it on the field, as well as the fact that there has to be two monsters of the same Attribute in the Graveyards to banish.
- "Gravekeeper's Servant" will prevent your opponent from attacking as long as you have something to continually banish your opponent's cards. "Banisher of the Radiance", "Macro Cosmos" ,and "Dimensional Fissure" are examples of this.
- "Masked HERO Dark Law" banishes all cards that would otherwise be sent to your opponent's Graveyard, without banishing yours unlike other popular Anti-Meta cards, which banish all cards. In addition, his second effect banishes cards that your opponent would add to their hand (other than the Draw Phase) and many Meta Decks rely on searching. "Mask Change II" allows him to be Summoned in any Deck with DARK monsters.
- "Safe Zone" is a newer addition to the Anti-Meta family that can protect your most potent monsters. It can cripple an opponent's Deck if you use it to protect a "Psi-Blocker", "Thunder King Rai-Oh" or "Banisher of the Radiance".
- "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness" is useful for stopping One Turn Kills, and is a good last-minute save.
- "King Tiger Wanghu" can destroy weak monsters before your opponent even gets to used them. Common ones include "Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner", most Tuner monsters, and "Test Tiger". You can also use it with "Burden of the Mighty" to increase the targets for this card.
- "Neo-Spacian Grand Mole" can be a very annoying card since you can return your opponent's monsters to the hand easily like "Stardust Dragon".
- "Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind" is great against high-DEF monsters, "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning", "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", and is useful to bring out "Black Rose Dragon", and "Ancient Fairy Dragon".
- "Lavalval Chain" can detach its Xyz Material to search any monster you need in order to assist you in your Anti-Meta strategies, such as "Thunder King Rai-Oh".
- "Nobleman of Crossout" can take out any cards that the opponent Sets, such as "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter", and "Super-Nimble Mega Hamster".
- "Nobleman of Extermination" removes a face-down Spell/Trap card which acts as a "Mystical Space Typhoon" and if it was an important Trap you chose, then you won't have to deal with it for the rest of the Duel.
- "Compulsory Evacuation Device" can perform the same role, except it goes to the hand which is good for getting rid of "Stardust Dragon" or high-Level monsters.
- "Enemy Controller" can switch the Battle Position of a monster when it's about to attack or your can Tribute a monster and take control of a monster for the turn.
- "Cold Wave" keeps the opponent from using any Spells and Traps during your Anti-Meta strategy. However, it is banned from the Advanced Format.
- "Burden of the Mighty" neutralizes the opponent's monsters ATK as they already have their effects negated by cards such as "Skill Drain", thus granting an edge for the Anti-Meta.
- "Breaker the Magical Warrior" makes a 1900 beatstick while it has a Spell Counter which can also be removed to destroy a Spell or Trap Card.
- "Absolute Crusader" acts as a "Thunder King Rai-Oh" or "Doomcaliber Knight" as it Tributes itself to negate the Special Summon of a high-Level monster, effectively preventing Synchro Summons. However, as it does not negate the Summon, its effect can be stopped by cards such as "Stardust Dragon".
- "Starlight Road" not only protects your monsters from the commonly used mass-destruction cards but it also gives you a "Stardust Dragon", which is both a 2500 monster and can be used one more time to negate a destruction effect.
- "The Huge Revolution is Over" protects your monsters from the commonly used mass-destruction cards with the advantage of banishing the opponent's cards.
- "Chivalry" can negate any Monster Effect that activates during the Battle Phase, such as "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter", "Necro Gardna", "Honest" or "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow".
- "Zombie World" or "Closed Forest" are both great cards to include. "Zombie World" nullifies the strategies that rely on a single Type, and prevents Tribute Summons of non-Zombies (great choice against "Monarchs") "Closed Forest" is also a great choice against "Gravekeeper's" Decks due to blocking "Necrovalley", even if your opponent destroys it at the same turn. Has synergy with "King Tiger Wanghu" and "Burden of the Mighty" in order to impose severe Anti-Meta strategy.
- "Fiendish Chain" targets one Effect Monster on the field and negates its effects while also preventing it from attacking. This card is quite useful as almost all Meta Decks use Effect Monsters.
- "Dimensional Prison" banishes a monster when it attacks. Due to its banishing effect, this card can stop Monsters that Summon themselves from the Graveyard. Since it does not destroy a monster, the effects of cards like "Stardust Dragon", "Clear Vice Dragon", and "Prime Material Dragon" are completely useless against this card.
- "Soul Drain" stops monster effects that are already in banished or in the Graveyard. This card is very useful against "Dark World", "Sylvan", "Laval", "Artifact" and "Madolche" Decks. Besides that, this card can stop "Stardust Dragon" from being able to Special Summon itself from the Graveyard after negating an effect.
- "Mind Drain" stop hands Traps.
- "The Emperor's Holiday" negates all Equip Card effects on the field. This card is very effective against Union, "Dragunity", "Inzektor", "Vylon", "ZW -", "Noble Knight" and "Morphtronic" Decks. Since Equip Cards aren't encountered too often, you could add this card to your Side Deck instead of your Main Deck and use it just in case you encounter any of the above Decks.
- "The End of Anubis" can counter many strategies that revolve around Graveyard manipulation in any way. Zombie, "Destiny HERO", Fiend, "Lightsworn", "Dark World" and "Laval" Decks will be particularly hamstrung by this card.
- "Necrovalley" prevents cards in Graveyards from being banished and negates any effect that would move a card in the Graveyard to another place. It is also searchable by "Terraforming" and "Gravekeeper's Commandant."
- "Stygian Dirge" reduces all face up monsters' Levels on your opponent's side of the field by 1. This makes it very difficult to Synchro and especially Xyz Summon.
- "Flying C" prevents your opponent from Xyz Summoning.
- "Lose 1 Turn" negates the effects of Special Summoned monsters the turn they are Summoned and switches them to Defense Position. You can activate this card as long as you don't control any Special Summoned monsters.
- "Face-Off" negates any effect activated during the Damage Step.
- "Chivalry" negates any monster effect during the Battle Phase.
- "Memory Loss" negates an Attack Position monster that just activated its effect and switches it to Defense Position.
- "Rivalry of Warlords" makes it so both players can only control monsters of one Type.
- "Gozen Match" makes it so both players can only control monsters of one Attribute.
- "And the Band Played On" makes it so both players can't Special Summon any monsters with the same Level as they the ones they currently control.
- "Imperial Iron Wall" prevents cards from being banished.
- "Chaos Hunter" also prevents cards from being banished.
- "Mask of Restrict" prevents cards from being Tributed.
- "Fog King" also prevents cards from being Tributed.
- "Mistake" prevents cards from being added to the hand.
- "DNA Surgery" changes monsters' Types to whatever the owner chooses.
- "DNA Transplant" changes monsters' Attributes to whatever the owner chooses.
- "Deck Lockdown" prevents cards from being added to the hand and prevents both players from Special Summoning from the Deck. Note that it is destroyed after your second Standby Phase.
- "Prohibition" if declared the right card name can completely ruin plays and strategies.
- If using a Dragon-Type deck, use "Dragon's Bind" to prevent both players from Special Summoning monsters with ATK equal to or less than the selected monster.
- "Hero's Rule 2" negates any effect that targets a card(s) in the Graveyard.
- "Transmigration Break" banishes any card returned from the Graveyard back to the Deck.
- "Degenerate Circuit" banishes any card that would return back to the hand.
- Use "Mind Crush" when your opponent adds cards to their hand and declare the card. Not only do they have to discard all copies of it in their hand but you get to see your opponent's hand at the same time.
- "Anti-Spell Fragrance" stops your opponent from setting up Pendulum Scales since they cannot be set as well as slowing down your opponent's regular Spells.
- "System Down" is great to use against any Machine-Type Deck since it banishes all Machine-Type monsters on your opponent's side of the field and their Graveyard.
- "Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror" prevents the effects of Dark Attribute monsters from activating on the field and in the Graveyard.
- "Light-Imprisoning Mirror" prevents the effects of Light Attribute monsters from activating on the field and in the Graveyard.
- "Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer" prevents your opponent from banishing cards from both Graveyards.
- "Forbidden Scripture" negates all other card effects during damage calculation until the end of the Damage Step.
- "Denko Sekka" prevents both players from activating and setting spells and traps as long as the controller has no current set spells and traps.
- "Lightning Rod Lord" prevents both players from activating Spells during Main Phase 1.
- If you run a Tributing deck without an Extra Deck such as Monarchs, "Domain of the True Monarchs" prevents your opponent from Special Summoning from the Extra Deck
- Banisher of the Radiance
- Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
- Breaker the Magical Warrior
- D.D. Warrior Lady
- Effect Veiler
- Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
- King Tiger Wanghu
- Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
- Thunder King Rai-Oh
- D.D. Crow
- Tribe-Shocking Virus
- Maxx "C"
- Flying "C"
- Book of Moon
- Dimensional Fissure
- Enemy Controller
- Smashing Ground
- Forbidden Lance
- Mystical Space Typhoon
- Mask Change II
- Compulsory Evacuation Device
- Crevice Into the Different Dimension
- Dark Bribe
- Dimensional Prison
- Macro Cosmos
- Mind Crush
- Royal Oppression traditional format
- Skill Drain
- Soul Drain
- Chain Disappearance
- Banisher of the Radiance
- Breaker the Magical Warrior
- Chaos Sorcerer
- Cyber Dragon
- D.D. Warrior Lady
- Doomcaliber Knight
- Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
- Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
- Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
- Thunder King Rai-Oh
See: Anti-Meta Chaos