This is more of a brainstorming post rather than anything conclusive.
It is fairly obvious judging from the OCG meta, as well as regional results subsequent to the release of LTGY, that Elemental Rulers / Elemental Dragons / Incarnate Dragons are the deck to beat, and stand far above most other decks.
Nobody can really dispute their power, though what I presume is stopping most people from playing the deck (or at least for me it is), is the huge financial cost for 3x Number 11 Big Eye ( henceforth referred to simply as "Big Eye", but not to be confused with the common from Metal Raiders (!!!) ) and 3x Huge Robotic Plane Dracossack.
Ygo doesn't have much to offer for prize support, so it would likely be difficult to make your money back on this investment (upwards of $600) before the deck gets neutered come the September F&L list.
Furthermore, the likelihood that Big Eye sees a reprint in the near future is fairly high, given how in demand it is at the moment, as well as the fact that the 1-year reprint rule, which isn't even really valid anymore, has already been eclipsed, making it risky to pick up. Unless you plan on attending an upcoming WCQ, or other similarly large tournament where it would make the most sense to play the best deck, I would not recommend picking these up unless it's at a bargain price.
Dracossack though, will retain value for quite some time, though it'd be more financially feasible to pick them up after the WCQ season is over, when the price of the card would likely drop correspondingly.
So where am I going with this? blah blah blah
Below are some random thoughts that I have had (but you probably have too):
- A lot of commonly played cards (MST, Torrential Tribute, Solemn Judgment, Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, etc) are no longer main deck worthy in this new meta outside of Evilswarms, which have to protect the Ophion or lose.
- Trap lineups are now fairly minimal, consisting of stuff like Breakthrough Skills, Return from the Different Dimension, Eradicator Epidemic Virus, and so forth. Hand traps have returned after some duration of absence, in contrast to early on in this March 2013 format where they were mostly absent from most main decks.
- Card advantage isn't as important as it was before. I am severely concerned for my dwindling life points as opposed to minor variances in card advantage.
- It's clear that for more backrow-intensive decks, Evilswarm aside, adjustments have to be made. Chainable traps, such as the suddenly expensive Breakthrough Skill, are likely to be the norm.
- I think something like Compulsory Evacuation Device seems "ok" in theory, as it can out any XYZ at any time. That being said though, it'll likely be dead in the Prophecy matchup outside of attempting to bounce something like Jowgen so that you can proceed to special summon.
- Threatening Roar seems worth mentioning, but it's probably not "good". I mean yea I am certainly concerned for my life points, but at the same time, Prophecy and Elemental Dragons can't really OTK very consistently. Additionally, the dragons are essentially floaters, while High Priestess can be easily revived, so even if you were to Roar to protect your monster, and successfully punish them for committing to the board on your following turn, it's not like they've really lost much, if at all.
- I'm not sure what to make of Fiendish Chain. Unlike Breakthrough Skill, you obviously only get 1 negation, but at the same time, MST should be seeing a huge decrease in main deck play, making it unlikely that your Fiendish Chain will get outed.
- I have yet to test this notion, but I theorize that decks that can sustain advantage in the long run while being able to hold their own vs the continuous stream of resources that prophecy / e dragons can amass, could end up being playable. Perhaps something like Tin Gadgets or Hunders, though unfortunately, neither can consistently, if at all, take advantage of Eradicator Epidemic Virus. Certainly, every game will be a grind, but if the wallet does not agree with acquiring 6 expensive XYZ monsters, it could be a possibility should you still desire to play this game that is pretty much "yugioh" in name only at this point.
- An alternative to the above would be to play the damage game and pick up a fast OTK or 1st turn set up deck like Bubble Beat or Unfairnities respectively, where you would try to kill your opponent as fast as you can before they can get set up, or build an unbreakable board. I'm probably not going to advocate this route given that hand traps are everywhere, like if you get tased during a crucial step of your combo, you probably lose. Or, you might get lucky and catch your opponent with a weak hand slurp.
- I've tried Monarchs for a bit, but haven't really felt confident in the results. LADD, Vanity's Fiend, and Obelisk can all be disposed of with varying degrees of ease by the top decks (Obelisk for one is more difficult to out barring Dark Hole), and you can draw some slow hands sometimes that lead you to stall with Slacker Magician / Gachi Gachi while your opponent continues to build resources in preparation for a push. Veiler on a crucial monarch drop can also be devastating.
- The general rule seems to be that anti meta never beats meta, excluding situations where anti-meta becomes meta that is (such as with Dino Rabbit, which is essentially anti meta by nature). It's entirely possible that the big 2 decks in Dragons and Prophecy will end up outlasting any of the decks that attempt to counter it, much like how a few years back, Tele-DAD was indisputably the best deck and made sure it stayed that way. Granted, this isn't exactly a 1 deck meta, but the point remains.
- A couple people have entertained the thought of playing something like a gravekeeper variant to cheese dragon and mermail players with Necrovalley + Royal Tribute, but RT shouldn't be very effective vs prophecy unless you get lucky and catch your opponent with 2 priestess and 2 of the blue guy or something in hand, and should you fail to access Necrovalley, things may end up looking bleak
It's entirely likely that nothing substantial will amount from this collective of thoughts, and I may elect to "hibernate" from the advanced format until the September list drops, instead allotting my time towards goat control and other older formats.