Europe VS North American meta

I wanted to ask y’all something. It’s been almost a year since DTR was released and we’ve had a decent amount of tourneys around the world to get a good idea where the game and the factions stand. Generally I see a lot of shifting as expansions are coming out with a meta-preference moving from Law Dogs (in core) to The Fourth Ring in SB1-3, back to Sloane after F&F and who knows what’s beyond.

My question is, how does the individual scenes look around each larger area? Is the top-decks of Europe similar to those in NA (I’m using those two as the largest scenes, I know there’s others outside those two) and/or is each continent significantly similar within itself to act as a single meta? Or is the success of and OCTGN enough where metas have “cross-pollinated” enough, so to speak, where the top decklists of each area are similar?

From what I hear, the L5R scene is isolated between continents like this, but on the other hand, the Netrunner scene isn’t, with a few exceptions, the tier 1 decks of which are similar among the world.


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I get the feeling that you should count UK separately from the rest of Europe, and maybe straight up add it to America?

L5R is odd.

The US guys play to win - the EU guys play to “not lose” it’s an anology that’s been around for a long time.

However there is no major online play option for L5R like there is with Netrunner and now DT:R.

As such, L5R has no cross pollination bar the very small number of EU guys that go to the US and vice versa. Netrunner is HUUUUUGE online. Fire up OCTGN and have a look, there’s always a load of games, netrunnerdb / stimhack is a global reaching social hub for the game and there really is very little difference between continental metas.

We occupy a kind of middle ground. At the VA deputy one of my slide opponents seemd full on stunned that my first actions were boot my way clean across town square and take all his deeds turn 1. “Errr, I’m not sure what to do, nobody here has ever been that aggressive”… and it showed. I’d seen him playing earlier and in the games I saw he was sat on 20 or 30 GR. The US guys seem to run a lot less targeted kill. Granted my experience was limited to a single event while I was there, however there were very few kidnaps and election day slaughters around.

So we have our meta differences but they are no way as disparate as the L5R ones.


I am of the opinion that the UK has a different meta to the rest of the world right now due to our much higher frequency of tournaments, I could be wrong and maybe we are just not hearing about these tournaments from elsewhere, but in the UK I would say we average at least 3 tournaments a month that anyone can travel to given the inclination, and I have known some months to be as much as 5.

I apologise in advance if I am wrong on this and am not stating that this makes us UK players better than everywhere else, just that we may have a more refined meta due to having played more tournaments against the varying decks.


Can any NA players verify this? Do you tend to let opponents build the first few turns?

Let me disagree. US meta is too much consistent (aka boring). So does UK tourneys. But continental EU Netrunner differs. Belgium, German and Russian decklists are always intresting to look at. And US/UK are all ±3 card alterations of same deck. Also online meta differs from offline one.

(That’s my perception - I 've played a lot in online and watch for competitve decklist pretty regulary).

My wife and I both play slower decks, so we tend to build up more…though I’ve played against a couple of fairly aggressive decks (in tournament and casual), so…I would say it’s been a mix here.

Otomo said that Desolation Row is all over the US as well. We’ll have a clearer picture of what’s going on after GenCon, I suppose.

(US Player) Most of what we are talking about here in my experience is more player comfort zones than an actual strategy or meta. When you teach someone how to play Doomtown they get destroyed early on because they throw everything in and you say “no no don’t do that”.

So you end up with a lot of early tournament players who are more comfortable setting up than they are going out. And to be honest it isn’t a “Bad” strategy. It just sometimes results in an auto loss if you don’t act in the windows you are given.

Most newer tournament players that i have played against in the US create basic offensive and defensive plans which make sense to them. Instead of attempting to read the opponents deck and make plays according to what their opponent is doing/wants to do.

At least in my meta 6 out of our 8 regular player are straight aggro player first action go to town square w some one I and Alex are probably the most controlling players in the meta @alex might chime in we are in the NA

I play in two related metas - Sacramento, California (Includes Davis) and Bay area, California.
I see relatively few D&D/Slide decks, and a lot of LD/Bounty-Wanted tech, and Sloane Aggro (base and DR).

I tend to run a lot of Jank - that either hits big or whiffs big. I’d say most of what I see is aggro-leaning, followed by control, followed by some sort of tech.

As a team member, I am an odd-ball, in that I’m free to try out johnny-jank versus ‘gotta build a winning deck’.

Current fave - Oddities of Nature using Gina and featuring lots of mobility and a DMH structure.

Hi dudes , im from Paris , we play every weeks , for 1 big event per Month.
i would say That one deck rules , the control 4 rings.
Some others decks are played often, gadgetorium, law dog bounty. The désolation has been played but after The first months ,Its known and dont make The cut anymore.


Very interesting to see just how diverse the meta is between geographical areas.

(Danmark (thats Europe for you tinhorns)) We are very experimenting - due to having a relative small player base (about 9 in all - 4-5 of which shows up regularly). I normally tend to drift towards control decks or lightly packed shooters that makes up for it with shootout actions (Q-man deck). I am trying to learn how to play Aggro Sloane, but I am not being very succesfull. Neither are the rest of my group even though some of them have been playing it since the start of the game - they still end up second/third place.

Right now I would say that control clowns are very consistent and good - but as said above you need to be able to pilot them well (which imo you need with all the decks to be succesfull, which is the sign of a great game :smile:) - horse decks have shown their worth but they still need something to actually shine (perhaps rope and ride will make them) - Law Dogs are fun but very dependent on pulling their wanted punishment (thank you for not making it easier for them!) and Aggro Sloane is good at beating everything but control clowns and some deedslide decks.

Lotsa aggro. Bit of Midrange though, depending on Brendan’s mood. I play a middle game with Sloane and a Long Control game with 4R.

Coming from that exact Meta (Northern VA), I think this has changed a little since the event but it still feels like people err to Morgan or 4R Control over any sort of Aggro Dogs or Sloane (with a few exceptions, including myself since I’ve only really played LD in tournaments).

I think lumping NA into one meta is a really rough idea. The US is huge, and only part of NA. I’ve played with people from my area, but for all I know 150 miles away is another group with a completely different play-style. 150 miles from that could be another, and so forth, for hundreds of different metas across the continent. Most online groups for DT:R seem very international right now so there’s not really a US or NA specific heartbeat yet.

And yet, I believe every parisian tournament we had were won by Sloane, with the exception of the two I won with 4R, which were smaller ones.