Regionals, Recaps, Rambles and Reliance: Looking at What Is, and What Will Be

Metagame Check and Card Commentary

After a long wait, tournaments are starting up in Australia! Multiple City Championships have been announced and it seems like the TCG will be back in action. This article will likely be a replica of my past articles as it will be very short and sweet! I’m going to discuss the ever changing metagame and how it has developed through U.S Regoinals, and then I’m going to do some card commentary about 5 of my favourite cards from our upcoming X and Y expansion.

Click the following links to quickly jump to that section:

Our Current Diverse Metagame

Following trends in recent years, the City Championship season poses a variety of different decks which are viable in the current state of the game. Pokemon has really stepped up in their game design and since the errata or Pokemon Catcher, many non-EX based decks have been popping up and dominating events throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Now that the US is in the midst of their winter Regionals, results can show which decks out of the many diverse ones really stand out and can compete is a large tournament environment. Here is a compiled list of all the Regional results over the past two weekends in the US, and a mini discussion of the main decks that made it to the top 4 at each one. (credit goes to thetopcut.net)

Week One
Doswell, WA
  1. Michael Pramawat (Darkrai EX/Garbodor)
  2. Santiago Rodriguez (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
  3. Dylan Bryan (Dragonite/Reuniclus/Garbodor/Virizion EX/Mewtwo EX)
  4. Ross Cawthon (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  5. Angel Miranda (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Snorlax)
  6. Ray Cipoletti (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
  7. Jimmy Pendarvis (Virizion EX/Genesect EX)
  8. Kevin Nance (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
Week Two
Long Beach, CA
  1. Chris Silver (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
  2. Kian Amini (Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Drifblim)
  3. Mark Garcia (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
  4. Ivan Pavlovic (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Snorlax)
  5. Dallan Fell (Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX/Bouffalant/Garbodor)
  6. Sammy Sosa (Darkrai EX/Garbodor)
  7. Jeremy Jallen (Virizion EX/Genesect EX)
  8. Lorelei Duncan (Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Drifblim)
Salem, OR
  1. Jacob Van Wagner (Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Ho-Oh EX/Terrakion)
  2. Bidier Jing (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  3. Brandon Jones (Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Mewtwo EX)
  4. Kabir Virji (Virizion EX/Genesect EX)
  5. Joey Gaffney (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  6. Ricky Gao (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  7. Trevore Read (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  8. Mia Violet (Darkrai EX/Dusknoir)
St. Charles, MO
  1. Aaron Tarbell (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  2. Evan Baker (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Kyurem)
  3. Stephen Clark (Darkrai EX/Garbodor)
  4. Andrew Mahone (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
  5. Henry Prior (Rayquaza EX/Emboar)
  6. Chris Derocher (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Snorlax)
  7. Brandon Smiley (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Snorlax)
  8. Nicholas Bailey (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Snorlax)
Week Three
Orlando, FL
  1. Ryan Sabelhaus (Dragonite/Garbodor/Victini EX)
  2. Jose Marrero (Virizion EX/Genesect EX)
  3. Mike Canaves (Ninetales/Munna)
  4. David Lopez (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Cofagrigus)
  5. Harrison Leven (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  6. Daniel Altavilla (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX)
  7. Rudy Paras (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Snorlax)
  8. Daniel Lopez (Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Cofagrigus)

Main Decks

Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX

31-blastoise142-keldeo-ex
I think Blastoise will be the next Eelektrik. It will always be a viable deck no matter what happens in the format until it rotates. The deck is very strong and when it draws well, there is no stopping the power of consistent Black Ballistas. The deck won in Saint Charles, took top in Virginia and in Australia, Blastoise seems to be one of the most popular deck archetypes to play, so keep that in mind when you’re making your deck choice for any upcoming City Championships.

Rayquaza EX/Emboar

123-rayquaza-ex20-emboar
Rayquaza EX/Emboar is the fire counterpart of the Blastoise deck. It has many pros and cons in comparison to Blastoise. Rayboar doesn’t have a strong Pokemon that can retain energy after an attack. Unlike Blastoise which can utilise Keldeo EX, Rayboar relies on the arguably worse Mewtwo EX as an energy efficient attacker. That being said, the deck has many more pros than cons. Firstly, it can run more attackers which make it easier for a Rayboar player to tech for a specific metagame. Secondly, Rayquaza EX and its non-EX counterpart require less energy to attack in comparison to Black Kyurem EX and its non-EX counterpart. Lastly, Rayboar has better matchups all around the metagame than Blastoise. Blastoise and Rayboar have equal matchuips across the board, but Blastoise struggles against Virizion/Genesect while that matchup is an autowin for Rayboar. I definitely consider players to think about their metagame before picking either of the two energy spamming decks, but both are very strong and will maintain its strength until a significant shift in the metagame occurs.

Virizion EX/Genesect EX

PB_Virizion-exPB_Genesect-ex
If your metagame is filled with Blastoise, Virizion/Genesect is probably the best deck to pick. It is difficult for the Blastoise deck to win when Virizion EX has accelerated energy to multiple attackers over many turns. Even a constant stream of Black Ballistas won’t guarantee you the win. The focal point that drives people to play this deck is Red Signal being a Pokemon Catcher when you attach a Plasma Energy to Genesect EX. This gives a huge advantage to the deck as having access to four or even more automatic Gust of Wind effects (more due to Shadow Triad) is game breaking. Furthermore, G Booster is extremely powerful when it comes down to difficult Pokemon to knock out such as Sigilyph and Suicune or even taking the last couple prizes on a fat EX Pokemon. Overall, this deck has a lot going for it, however I personally think it is more of a metagame pick than an overall deck to fall back on as some matchups are very difficult to win, especially the Emboar matchup.

Darkrai EX/Garbodor

107-darkrai-ex119-garbodor
Darkrai has been dominating the format for a long, long time now. It seems as if the deck changes to suit the metagame every time a new set is released. Darkrai EX/Garbodor has been a good deck for a while now, but it has turned from a hammer-heavy control deck, to an aggressive control deck. Michael Pramawat piloted this deck to win the Virginia Regional Championships mainly because he saw that Emboar and Blastoise were dominant and Garbodor shuts both those decks down. Furthermore, the deck has many 50/50 matchups in the field and usually, a good player can just win a game strictly by coasting on how favourable a matchup is. Personally, I love this deck and is my favourite Darkrai variant, but I think it is best piloted when people least expect it. Once the deck becomes prevalent, players start to add multiple Tool Scrappers to their decks, taking away the control aspect of Darkrai EX/Garbodor which hinders the deck immensely.

Snorlax/Lugia EX (The Yeti)

101-snorlax
Team Plasma is also one of those decks that is ever changing. After Kevin Baxter created Snorlax/Lugia EX, Kevin Kobayashi popularised the deck and since, it has been a dominant force throughout the City Championships and throughout Regionals. While it didn’t make any top 4 appearances in any Regional Championship, it took the most top 32 spots, making it one of the most consistently performing decks in out current metagame. However, since the deck is becoming more and more popular, Silver Mirror naturally becomes more and more popular and it can be a headache when a Plasma player sees multiple Silver Mirrors hit the board. That being said, I think The Yeti is a very solid play for any upcoming tournaments as most of its matchups are 50/50 or better.

Dragonite

83-dragonite

The surprise deck of the format. Honestly, I was expecting this deck to rise up sometime, but I was very surprised to see it do well during this Regional season. Dylan Bryan was the man who took Dragonite to a top 4 finish at Virginia Regionals, but it was Ryan Sabelhaus who took a victory with it. Both lists were very different despite running a very similar core. Dylan went with a more complete control and teched deck for everything in the format. He ran Reuniclus, Garbodor, Dragonite, Mewtwo EX, Virizion EX, Cresselia EX and Champions Festival in his deck so that he can choose which way he wants his deck to set up depending on which matchup he is facing. Ryan, on the other hand, didn’t run Reuniclus, didn’t run Cresselia EX, didn’t run Virizion EX, and instead went with a less clunky version of the deck and ran Victini EX. The positive with Ryan’s deck is that it is more consistent on paper than Dylan’s deck as your setup against every matchup will be the same. However, Ryan’s deck doesn’t have anything to deal with Darkrai very well, while Dylan can manipulate the damage Darkrai EX does on the field with Reuniclus.

All in all, Dragonite is quite a dominant force this format, however, it is quite clunky and doesn’t always set up as fast or as well as you’d like the deck to.

X and Y Card Commentary

As we are in the infant stage of testing the cards in the Pokemon X and Y set, I’d like to shed some light on what I think are the five best and most metagame-changing cards that will be released in the set.

Yveltal EX
79-yveltal-ex

I think the moment people read this card, they knew it was good. It is essentially a dark-type Mewtwo EX which can utilise Dark Patch, and to top it all off, it does 20 more damage. This card is an obvious inclusion to any Darkrai deck. The issue that Darkrai has is not having the ability to easily power up a hard-hitting and potentially one-shotting attack, but Yveltal EX introduces the ability to one-shot troublesome EX cards such as Keldeo EX, Genesect EX and Virizion EX, which would otherwise give Darkrai EX issues. For two energy you do 60 damage, with a Dark Claw or Muscle Band and LaserBank you do 110 for two energy, three more energy and you can one shot a fresh 170 HP EX in one hit without having energy attached to your opponents active. This card can also be splashed into random decks that play Rainbow Energy and can be used as a hard hitter.

In general, Yveltal EX is an excellent card.

26-delphox
Delphox

I don’t really have to explain why this card is good either. It is a Magnezone Prime with Keldeo EX’s attack. Having the ability to draw until you have six cards in your hand can be game breaking. The best use for the card that I can think of is splashing it in Blastoise and Emboar in place of Electrode. Not only are you no longer susceptible to a late game N to one, but if you’re playing Emboar, it can retain its energy and act as a Keldeo EX, forcing your opponent to have a response to a one prize Pokemon.

Muscle Band
121-muscle-band

I really dislike cards that make past cards obsolete. This is one of those instances. Muscle Band is a universal Dark Claw which will make Dark Claw completely obsolete in all dark-based decks. Nevertheless, Muscle Band will shake this format quite a bit. Having the ability to do 20 more damage for free on a Pokemon EX is insane. Just imagine Lugia EX only having the ability to one shot EX’s only after they have damage on them. Now with Muscle Band, Lugia can one shot a 170 HP Pokemon EX for three prizes with three Deoxys EX and a Muscle Band attached. It also serves as good math in general for most decks in the format. For example, Virizion EX with a Muscle Band attacked does 70 damage which knocks out Sableye without having to use a two card combo of Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym.

Once again, this is one of those generally good cards.

Trevenant
55-trevenant

I actually love this card a lot! As much as I hate playing against Gothitelle, I love to play it which is why I am extremely excited to see a much more consistent version of Gothitelle and Item Lock in general hit the format. The only issue I see with this card, is finding the best partner for it. You can run it with Accelgor, but it has an autoloss against Virizion EX and Slurpluff. You can run it with Palkia EX, but it isn’t as good since it isn’t a complete lock and against decks like Virizion, they can just red signal your bench and pick apart weaker things. Personally, I can see this card being more of just a tech in decks. It is a stage one which is easy to set up and you can sit behind it and set up while your opponent is locked out of most things they are able to do. Then, once you are completely set up, you can retreat the Trevenant and start attacking while your opponent is very far behind.

At the moment, this is the only way I see Trevenant being worth its weight, but there is no denying that it is an incredible card and it will definitely see lots of play come States and Regionals.

131-rainbow-energyRainbow Energy

This card opens up a wide variety of new possibilities inaccessible to us previously. Now, you can run techs in your deck for specific matchups by playing Rainbow Energy which could turn a bad matchup to a 50/50. Furthermore, now decks that move energy such as Aromatisse and Hydreigon can run Rainbow and they don’t have to rely on Prism or BLEND energy which have their obvious drawbacks. Many more Pokemon can be splashed into these decks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an old fashion Klinklang EX deck with a bunch of EX attackers this format with Aromatisse. There are countless possibilities with Rainbow Energy and I am looking forward to seeing how the format shifts and how players incoprporate Rainbow Energy into different decks.

Thanks for reading my article! Be sure to leave a comment and suggestions for what I can do next. Draw a Card will be starting back up very soon so please leave suggestions in the comments about what you guys want to see me analyse for Draw a Card.

Cheers,

Kaiwen Cabbabe

About pikaheart1

2 comments

  1. Kaiwen Kuan .. Welcome back ! Good to read you again .
    Gong Xia fa cai ( happy lunar new year) & all the best for 2014

    Your loyal fan 🙂

  2. Great article, helpful insight on x and y cards too!

%d bloggers like this: