As the weekend soon approaches, so does the first YCS of the format, YCS Toronto. It also kicks off the new September format although I'm sure everyone has already started playing it at least to some extent. All of my locals have shifted over to the new format with much eagerness. While I do believe a larger variety of decks will be more viable this format, I don't believe everything under the sun will be, as much as people had hoped. I'm looking at you, Zombies and Blackwings. Naturally over time, the best decks of the format will become established and as those strategies become more refined, then side deck strategies can become more honed to deal with the other top decks and other rogue match-ups. I believe the format has already been shaping up, with the upper tier decks being: Fire Fist, Mermail, Spellbook, Dragons, Infernity, and Evilswarm. There are a lot of other potent decks though that can't be taken lightly; the line between the top tier and "the rest" is much smaller than it was last format.
I'd consider Evilswarm to be the low guy on the totem pole, but regardless of what anyone says, Ophion is one helluva card that can single-handedly render some deck strategies completely invalid. With the expectation that this format will see a higher trap count in peoples' main decks, Pandemic actually becomes a very viable card this format (as opposed to the last with much less backrow). Master Key Beetle + Vanity's Emptiness has also been receiving a lot of hype, I think this is definitely something that will factor in this weekend. However, I believe XYZ Encore will be the bane of Evilswarm, with any deck that churns out high-level monsters siding multiple copies of this card so it is hard to say exactly how Evilswarm will fare this weekend. Personally I always have 2 copies of this card handy with me to any tourney I go to after being completely shut down by a lone Rabbit into Ophion play a few weeks ago.
I believe Infernity is the "dark horse" deck going into the weekend, the one deck that nobody wants to play against, but also the deck that is probably the hardest to master. They have really great new additions in Archfiend Empress and Transmodify. You also have to consider that Canada is "Infernity country", as we saw in the X-Saber/Infernity format where Infernity didn't see a whole lot of play in the US but saw a lot in Canada. I am curious to see if this is currently the same story.
Regardless of all of these decks, I believe there will be that "one deck" that takes the tourney completely by surprise. Whether it be a new variation to an old theme, or a completely new deck altogether, I just have this feeling something "wacky" and under-the-radar will make its way into at least the top 32. Naturally this will be exciting to see and the secondary market will go bonkers.
Good luck to all participating at the YCS, I will be thoroughly checking out the coverage. On DGz of course, lol. Cuz f' Konami coverage :/