Like probably most of you, I've learned to play in the Smash CS Break Meta and the Revolver Meta that followed the CS/BRK nerfs, both of which were in a way very similar. My analysis will focus on how various balance updates changed the status quo and shaped the Meta into what it is now, then I will complain a bunch, and finally I'll make some suggestions that no one cares about based on my analysis. Keep in mind that I have very little experience with premium stats tournaments, and I don't think there have been many anyway, so my analysis only concerns random matches. If somebody has more experience than me on that front, I'd really like to hear what they have to say.
1: The Smash CS Break Meta
In that Meta, it was important to understand the balance between mobility, firepower and defense. To give you an example, sets such as CS / Smash / Revolver excelled at firepower and defense while sets like HG / CS / Smash gave up some fire power and defensiveness in favor of more mobility.
The result was a soft rock-paper-scissors Meta, where teams that focused mainly on Defensiveness would have a disadvantage against teams that focused mainly on firepower (because the latter had an easier time gaining control of the middle area and didn't have to clash with the enemy team's defense as long as they could wipe them out), who in turn had a disadvantage facing teams that focused on mobility and scoring (because they didn't have all that many defensive options), and of course they had a hard time getting through a team with good defense.
But ultimately, teams would often end up balanced enough and there were ways to deal with a minor matchup disadvantage on execution alone. In fact, execution was what mattered the most.
Of course, there were already strategies that were considered cheap (such as anchor or healing + rush), but I would argue that for the most part they were only working due to how people were only used to fighting against typical stuff, and in the end they still had to compromise on some fronts (for instance anchor was a strong tool for scoring, but you needed your team to control the middle area most of the time if you wanted to score with it, and not having HP+30 didn't help with that), making it possible for your average team to figure out a strategy to beat them.
The main criticism concerning that meta was that there were too many Smash rifles, CS and Breakers around, and they were said to be OP. However, while it is true that playing against the same weapons all the time can be repetitive, players were not restricted to having to play those weapons in order to win. Rifles like assault rifles and SMG were more powerful than smash in certain builds, and I personally was finding some success with Sigma Blade (although I wouldn't have taken it to a tournament) and other under-used swords.
2: The Revolver Meta
The CS, break and scythe nerfs (and arguably the smash nerfs too) gave way to the revolver being dominant. This meant generally speaking much more emphasis on the firepower aspect (because of course you can't really play revolver without also playing a rifle). It also meant not as much knockback to stop rushers, so builds such as HG/SMG/PS also found a lot of success during that time. It became extremely important to have good revolver aim, and anchor gained a lot more viability due to the release of the FP version and the nerfs to the CS which used to be able to defend against it (you could intercept them mid-air, although often to the cost of your own life, and defend against their dashes with revenge).
Overall, though I like playing revolver, it was a pretty frustrating Meta, in which missing a revolver shot could cost your team the game and anchor lead to unsatisfying games. Most Melee weapons were also put aside due to their inability to defend anchor, meaning that the diversity of melee weapons in unlimited was actually hit significantly, and people started to complain about MKII healing, partly because they didn't have the tools to deal with it anymore (aka strong melee weapons).
That said, execution still played an important role, perhaps more than ever before, and the same principle of assessing the enemy's mobility, firepower and defensive capability still applied.
3: What has changed since then
New tools for fraggers:
-Rail gun is pretty strong now. It enables extremely defensive strategies as users can support their team at all stages of the game (beginning of a round, ramp attempt, stairs attempt, anchor attempt, and ofc defense) while staying safe from any for of harm. Power shield is also a powerful tool to support that archetype, as it allows them to defend stairs and ramp attempts without having to deal with cover fire, and makes it so they're never an easy target for invaders.
-Bombs have an unparalleled ability to consistently deny space to the enemy team, and are extremely versatile. There are many ways they can be used offensively, defensively and for the purpose of gaining control of the Fumbi spawn area. Their only bad matchup is against flying / anchor fraggers, but those are rare. Flying and anchor are more often used for the purpose of scoring, and good bomb users will use their bombs to deny the enemy team control of the Fumbi in the first place.
Those two weapons are at the core of the most successful fragging playstyles right now, along with mine guns and bind, that I'm keeping for later.
New tools for scorers:
-The new chips have resulted in a general increase in tankiness (even the red chips give you +13 HP at LV5) and stamina. This benefits rushers for obvious reasons. For instance, it has become harder to kill anchor users mid-air without using sniper or bind now that they can use the blue set, which gives them more defense, and the bonus stamina makes it easier for them to initiate attempts even if the ball didn't drop close to a good anchor spot. In addition, the green chips F skill is an interesting new tool for rushers, though II don't know to what extent they are effective (don't have them)
-The boots are pretty self explanatory, but I cannot tell you the effects they should have on the meta for the simple reason that people don't play them as much as they should if their objective is to win. There are almost no good reasons to run any other light weapon over them (aside from moral reasons), yet I never see games where more than two people use them on the same side. Nonetheless, when people to play them, they are absurdly effective at getting through the enemies' defense.
-The server lag is higher than it used to be, and it makes defending more awkward. I see many players score and then get pushed out of the goal, as if it made any sense. Lag can make an extreme difference when it comes to pushbacks, it's the difference between flying out of the map and safely sliding against a wall. And when it is combined with plasma sword's dash, very often it leads to situations where the user only receives the blow at the end of the dash (aka when it's too late) from a blow that was issued before the dash even started.
-The plasma sword's dash, like many melee attacks, has gained a certain property. How it used to work is that when you were hit by a dash, you could immediately dodge, cancel the dodge using space and counter-attack with for instance a dagger stab. This meant that rushers could get punished heavily for dashing into someone that was in the way. It got changed (I can't tell you exactly when it happened, I probably wasn't playing the game) and now you cannot cancel that dodge anymore. It means that in a 1v1 defender VS rusher situation, the Plasma sword rusher is near unstoppable when he gets to about a dash's distance away from the goal. You need somebody to tank the dash, and somebody to kill the rusher. This, in addition to CS not being as strong as it used to be anymore, have lead to the Plasma sword being most rushers' weapon of choice.
New defensive measures (mostly for fraggers):
-Bind seems to have gotten more popular among good aimers as a counter-measure to everything I've just said about scorers and it happens to work well with the general increase to tankiness and stamina that is the result of the availability of chips.
-Mine gun is also a strong defensive option that is growing more popular, and versatile as it can also be used to cover the carrier and frag (to a lesser extent, since the Mine gun benefits a lot from the enemy moving towards you rather than freely). Like the bomb, it has the property to be able to deal damage without exposing the user to retaliatory fire.
And with that, we have the two core components of the current meta: extremely specialized rushers who are hard to stop using conventional means, and extremely versatile fraggers, who can easily create opportunities for the rushers by killing several enemies at once or in quick succession, and kill coordinated pushes with a single well-placed bomb.