Petit Cup Preparation: Tampa – Matt Okimoto

Petit Cup Preparation: Tampa

Hey everyone, Matt Okimoto here and I know it's been quite some time, I've missed you!

I wanted to take some time to highlight the best elements and decks to play against in practice for the upcoming petit cup and or any other event you might be attending.

First thing to do is to figure out what has been successful for people recently.  To do that we can look at the general Meta in any given location, Meta Potion pays the closest attention to US. Luckily thanks to the community we can start by examining the results of the recent Mognet Summoner Series event as a good starting point. You can view the top 8 decklists for that event here, this gives you a good breakdown of the most played elements and decks. From here you can the Top 3 elements played which are Ice, Earth, and Lightning. Look at this elemental breakdown; Ice found its way into 1, Earth into 2, and Lightning into 4 of the top 8 decks. These are the decks we should be the most prepared to see when we attend an upcoming event.

Courtesy of SSG & Mognet, the Top 3 most played elements at that event were;

  • Earth was the most played element at 24% of the entire field. I bet they had an eventful day of being Al-Cid Combod all day,  explaining how  4 Lightning decks made it into the Top 8.
  • Ice was the second most played element at 21% of the entire field. They might have had a rocky time against those dirty earth decks, especially if they played the card Guy, this likely explains why only 1 deck in the Top 8 contained Ice.
  • Lightning,  the most well rounded element in my opinion, sat at 18% of the entire field making it the 3rd most played element. With Water being the second least popular element at the event, lightnings worst element to play against, lightning was a great element of choice for this event. And let’s be honest Al-Cid Combos can just win games.

Now to take a look at top 3 Earth/x Combinations of the Earth Pie Chart for the event;

  • Earth/Ice was at 5 for most played earth/x based deck. With this deck winning the tournament and also being the most played earth element combination its interesting to see only 1 made it through the swiss rounds. This could mean different builds or maybe misplays of users piloting the deck not understanding matchups, or just plain bad luck. I would chalk this up to completely different builds as any ice/earth deck running vanille that day would have had a fun day.
  • Earth/Wind sitting at 4 for most played earth/x based deck, makes sense to be. Everyone knows how much of a beast dadaluma is and comboing that with cards like cactuar and/or Y'shtola make him a threatening forward along with removal tool. One of these made the top 8 and ended up losing to Wind/Lightning in very close games.
  • Earth/Water had 3 decks played for the event but none were able to make it through the swiss rounds to top 8. This leads me to believe these builds are very similar to Samsonite Prime’s list who won the previous Summoner Series and players who attended the event had enough time to play against that deck and find the weakness in the deck.

To conclude my idea of the US Meta based off this starting point here is how I’d rate the elements to prioritize testing against leading into the Petit Cup based off the Summoner Series results Keep in mind that these are just the elements, so Lightning may be prioritized #1 but this can be Mono Lightning, Wind/Lightning, Lightning/X;


  • Lightning - It is obvious, even though this element did not win the event, it had the most decks in the Top 8 & is just an extremely consistent element that most players find comfortable to run in events, plus Al-Cid that guys a card.
  • Ice - FF6 Package is a real threat and Ice dull/discard effects can keep you behind on tempo
  • Earth - Vanille is an annoying card for the Lightning & Fire decks to handle, so you better make sure you can handle it as well. Along with knowing how to play around cards like Shantotto and the Yang/Ursula, Vincent/Yuffie beat downs.
  • Water - This color has been amazing ever since Opus 3 and just because only 1 Top 8 this Summoner Series does not mean you should forget about the tricks and consistency of Water. You better be prepared to handle Minwu, Tonberries, Cagnazzo, and many other tricks Water provides.
  • Fire & Wind - These fall in the same category as these elements are going to be big surprise factors for the upcoming Petit Cup and I think most people will miss testing these and be overshadowed based off the results from the Summoner Series.

If you have stuck with me this long I appreciate it! Now to continue my thought process as I would prepare for the Tampa Petit Cup. Next would be to have a listen to the latest Crystal Tower Podcast full of very skilled players across the world including Top 4 World Championship Competitor Alex Hancox. Their Facebook page can also be found here. This is something you need to listen to in order to have a full understanding of how the Meta is evolving. To pinpoint on some key discussions they talked about how Vanille and the Ice/Earth deck is shaping the meta quickly and how a deck like this will have a big influence on the future events leading into decks such as Mono Fire for 4 drop Bahamut and Wind/Water variants that include cards like Ranger, 5 drop Yuna, and Trey are expected to see an uprise.

This makes me feel warm inside as I previously stated earlier based off the Summoner Series the Fire and Wind Elements are least priority testing but could be possible surprise factors leading into the next event.

After this podcast this is how I would rate element testing priority;

  • Earth - This element now becomes my #1 element I’d prioritize testing against because cards like Shantotto & high powered Earth forwards seem good against the expected surprise factor of Wind/Water & Mono Fire decks.
  • Lightning - This element remains near the top just out of pure consistency, Al-Cid and how comfortable most players find it to play.
  • Wind - Cards like the Opus 1 Rikku backup, Ranger, Trey, and Bartz (3 drop and 5 drop) all seem good right now so these are cards I want to make sure don’t solo me.
  • Water  - To piggyback off wind, combining the above cards with Minwu, Tonberries, Water Summons, and 5 Drop yuna for the “expected” Vanille, Emperor Xande, & Zack seems good.
  • Fire - As much as Fire was hyped to be a good call for this upcoming event. I feel their strategies are very straight forward personally and yes this is an element you need to test against, it is not an element you need many games against to understand their game plan to win game, combat tricks, and power turns based on their curve.
  • Ice - With the expected resurgence of wind/water hype, Fire, and Earth, this elements probably gets put on the lower end of priority testing since most this element has a few problems. These problems are, against wind they can leave an oracle backup open and never die to Rinoa or Zalera, wind can also run cards like Ranger and Trey that can’t be dulled by abilities. Fire has burn that hits the correct threshold of 7k to burn all the ice forwards at ease. Earth has cards like guy & are stated higher than most of the Ice cards being played.That being said you shouldn't just immediately shove Ice aside, but if you are short on time for testing you can prioritize the other elements.

I can dive further into analyzing FFdecks and other resources to continue to best ready for the Petit Cup but let's just proceed into what most people want to see, an example of a gauntlet I’d test against for the event. With limited testing time for players lets focus on 8 decks.

Gauntlet for upcoming Petit Cup

  • Ice/Earth (FF6 version)
  • Wind/Water (Standard unit, ff9 package, and chocobos)
  • Mono Fire (FF7 Version)
  • Mono Water (All Variants, monsters, splash earth and no monsters)
  • Mono Lightning (Opus 4 Lightning version & Exdeath version)
  • Fire/Earth (FF7)
  • Earth/Wind (Yshtola/Dadaluma)
  • Wind/Lightning (Josh’s deck from Winter Cup)

These are the decks I'd strongly consider testing against and make sure whatever deck you play has a game plan against each of these and how you are going to set yourself up to win the game.

What is so amazing about FFTCG is you can name an element or dual element deck and it can have so many variants to it! Through practice and testing, by the time you play in a tournament you will learn by turn 3 (normally) which variant it is and hopefully you can adjust your game plan accordingly.

Hopefully this article has helped you prepare for the upcoming Petit Cup. Be sure to check our Calendar for all upcoming events for FFTCG within the US, we will update as more get announced.

It is not too late to sign up for the Tampa Petit Cup, you can do so here!

Thank you for reading,

- Matt Okimoto

Don't forget to check out FFDECKS for any deck building needs at