Hey everyone! The new season has started and I am already back to the grind. I recently returned from Fort Wayne Regionals, some League Cups, and I’ve already racked up 130 CP. This last month has been pretty hectic. With so many events that I’ve rarely had weekends to myself! I also finished 16th at the World Championships which I was very satisfied with. Overall it was a blast and I'm glad to see the accomplishments of Israel and Mark advancing through to day two.
Recently, I’ve attended three League Cups and did pretty well. I earned a 1st Place finish with Golisopod/Garbodor and a 2nd Place finish with Ho-Oh/Salazzle. The lists I played are very similar to the ones in Kenny’s recent article. I feel like both decks are definitely Tier One and will continue to see success as this format continues.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying Standard a lot. It feels a little bit slow, but that is how I like it. The format does not feel like it is dominated by one deck like how Decidueye/Vileplume did last Spring. There are a lot of viable decks from Gardevoir, Golisopod, Ho-Oh/Salazzle, Volcanion, Drampa/Garb, Ninetales, VikaBulu, Metagross, and some newer/rogue archetypes. There are a lot of options and I am glad to see the format continuing to evolve.
Table of Contents
I.Fort Wayne Recap
II.Updated Garbodor (Expanded)
Fort Wayne Recap
For Fort Wayne, I played the Garbodor list I posted earlier with a couple of card changes. I finished with a 6-3 record (Top 128) netting me a solid 40 CP. Fellow Some1sPC member Bradley Curcio piloted the deck with a two card difference to a top 32 finish. Looking back, I felt like the deck was very good but it has some troubling matchups. There were a huge number of Golisopod variants which was very scary. I played against decks that I expected like Night March and Turbo Dark. I pretty much discounted Golisopod GX and Gardevoir GX variants. Both decks did pretty well at the tournament showing us that they can easily transition from Standard to Expanded. I really wanted to try Golisopod the night before because I did not really have time to do so but I was already set on my deck. Here is how my matchups went.
R1 Night March LWW
R2 Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu WLL
R3 Turbo Dark WW
R4 Turtonator/Volcanion WW
R5 Espeon/Garbodor LWW
R6 Golisopod/Zoroark/Garbodor LL
R7 Gardevoir WLL
R8 Turbo Dark WLW
R9 Golisopod/Garbodor WW
I started pretty well with a 4-1 record but took steep decline to a 4-3 record by losing to Golisopod and losing a very close set to a Gardevoir GX deck. My three loses are suppose be to matchups that are extremely unfavored. I lost to Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu because I prized my Garbotoxin game two and dead drew game three. It was unfortunate but luck is a part of the game and everything won’t always go your way. Night March and Turbo Dark were present and I hit my fair share of them. My matchup for the Garbodor mirror was fine because I played two Muscle Bands so that my Tool Drop Trubbish can attack for knockouts. One thing I did not like about my list is that I teched a Giratina Promo in fear of Trevenant. Once again, Trevenant failed to perform. This is the third tournament this past year that I teched one card to try to beat something, but the one card did not do anything. I included tech cards like Karen in Primal Groudon, Oricorio in Espeon/Garbodor and Giratina for this event. I would rather have that one spot to be a more impactful card or something for more consistency.
The lesson here is that it is not worth adding a tech for one deck. You are better off playing a more impactful card. There is a solid chance that you will not even play the matchup you are scared of. Daytona Regionals is still a month away but I still want to improve the list for any of you interested in it for that tournament
This is how I would play the deck going forward.
- 1 Drampa GX
- 1 Necrozma GX
- 1 Oricorio GRI 56
- 1 Wobbuffet GEN
- 3 Tapu Lele GX
- 4 Trubbish PLS (Tool Drop)
- 3 Garbodor GRI
- 1 Garbodor BKP
- 3 Professor Sycamore
- 3 N
- 2 Guzma
- 1 Brigette
- 1 Acerola
- 1 Colress
- 1 Teammates
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 VS Seeker
- 3 Float Stone
- 2 Muscle Band
- 2 Choice Band
- 2 Rescue Stretcher
- 1 Field BLower
- 1 Computer Search
- 3 Dimension Valley
- 4 Double Colorless Energy
- 5 Psychic Energy
- 2 Mystery Energy
New Additions - Wobbuffet, Mystery Energy
I added Wobbuffet because it synergizes very well with Necrozma GX. I was testing with it before the tournament and it was really good. I decided to cut it last minute for the 2nd Muscle Band and when looking back I would cut a Garbodor. This card improves our Gardevoir GX matchup because it can clean up a Gardevoir after a Black Ray GX attack. It also helps a lot versus Fire variants and Turbo Dark because it knocks out Pokémon without using a Garbodor.
Mystery Energy is another inclusion that is very interesting. It gives us an extra pivot if we do not have Float Stone on board. It is also nice if we start Necrozma or Wobbuffet so we do not have to waste a Guzma or Float Stone to switch it out. One play that I do like a lot is attaching a Mystery Energy to our active Psychic Pokémon and switch into a Wobbuffet to start ability locking right from the beginning. The only downside to this is that we cannot attach this card to Drampa GX. I feel like five Psychic Energy is fine to power up Drampa anyways.
Another cool tech option is Life Dew. My friend Isaiah Williams piloted the deck to a Top 32 finish with the same idea but a different list. Life Dew can completely swing any matchup, particularly Night March and the mirror. Most decks I played against in the tournament usually played one form of tool removal. If you can wait out the 1 copy of Field Blower, a Life Dew can stick.
Another card that can potentially be added is Turtonator GX. This is to help bring the Golisopod matchup closer to even. The problem is that Turtonator does not deal enough damage to get knockouts. You can do 100 with a Choice Banded Shell Trap and have them take 80, but it doesn’t get the knockout. They still have Acerola to get around it. I think a card also worth testing is Reshiram from Black and White. This card has A 130 HP so a Golisopod GX would be forced to use their GX to knock it out. The problem I was seeing with this card is that Tapu Koko can be used to soften it up. I feel like both cards are worth testing and if I were to cut a card to make room for a counter, it would be a Trashlanche Garbodor.
As I said before, if the Tapu Lele Promo comes out anytime soon, I would add it in a heartbeat. That card would take this deck to another level. I would just cut the Drampa GX for it. I am not expecting this card to come out until San Jose Regionals or later.
Thoughts on Expanded Going Forward
The format felt healthier with the ban of Archeops and Forest of Giant Plants. Guardians Rising and Burning Shadows definitely shook up the metagame. Tapu Lele GX expectedly made its impact. There were some new archetypes that transitioned from Standard. Looking at the results, there were six different decks. We did not see one deck just dominating and taking most of Top 8 spots like recent Regionals (Ex Yveltal/Garbodor).
Another aspect of the format that felt better was that games didn’t come down to the first turn. There was not nearly as much turn one Ghetsis or turn one item lock as before. I feel like decks were more inclined to use a Brigette turn one or another supporter to build up their board state. Toad focused decks also saw next to no play because of the popularity of Golisopod and Garbodor variants. However, Toad was teched back into Dark decks and added to Golisopod.
Trevenant also flopped pretty hard too. I was sort of surprised that it only took 31st and 33rd Place at the tournament. It was pretty hyped before the event, but everyone had an answer for it. I also feel like the deck is super fragile. If it goes second or fails to get the turn one Wally, its board can crumble and fail to retain item lock. This was common during testing and shifted me away from playing it. There also was a ton of Turbo Dark played which also played a factor in its mediocre performance. This mediocre performance also explains why Night March did so well and won the tournament. With the decline of Seismitoad and Trevenant, Night March did not have to deal with as much item lock which led to its strong showing.
Overall, I’m very content with the Expanded Format. I do not think we’ll see any ban in the foreseeable future. The format seems pretty healthy at the moment and I applaud TCPI for improving the game.
Now it’s time to talk about the Big Steel Machine, Metagross! This deck was first played at Wisconsin Regionals where Chris Schemanske took it to a 2nd Place finish. The deck was played early on because it had a strong matchup against Drampa/Garbodor. It slowly faded out of the Meta towards the North American Internationals because of Decidueye variants, Flareon’s inclusion within Garbodor, and the popularity of Volcanion. With the new rotation, Metagross has lost some enemies. With Forest of Giant Plants rotated, Decidueye will see next to no play. Decidueye variants always gave Metagross some trouble because of how hard they pressured its set up with Tapu Koko/Feather Arrow or item locking you out the game with Vileplume. The loss of Flareon AOR is very good for Metagross because decks cannot tech an Eevee line to take advantage of Metagross’s fire weakness.
The main selling point of playing Metagross is that it can handily beat Gardevoir and Garbodor decks. Both of those two decks have been dominant since their release. As long as those two decks are around, I feel like Metagross will always have a place in the metagame. All three cards were printed within two sets of each other which indicate that they will most likely stay together until they are rotated.
The typical game plan with Metagross is to try to set up with two to three Metagross. It has 250 HP which is extremely difficult to kill without hitting for weakness. Max Potion is what makes this deck very strong and stable. The deck basically tries to rotate between attackers while healing and using Geotech System to get accelerate back energies.
Below is the straight version. I made the list as consistent as possible while adding necessary cards for the metagame.
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