How’s it going Some1spc family! It’s me Mark and I’m here for my second article and I am excited to share my thoughts on the current Standard Metagame. At the same time, I’ll be going over my analysis of the recent successes of the “Tier 1” decks, decks/tech cards I would consider for the Vancouver Regional Championships, and a reveal of what my number one deck choice would be. I have my eyes set on two Standard tournaments (one Standard League Cup this weekend and Vancouver Regionals next weekend) so I am with you all trying to discover what the play is for the Standard format! Let’s take a look!

Before I begin, I would like to point out that a lot of my resources and understanding of the game comes not only from results of my actual gameplay and testing but the resources available to us from Pokémon-related websites and results posted on Pokémon online groups. This helps players like me get a feel of what the Metagame is in other areas and how consistent the top decks/players perform. Even though Pokémon related websites do have a “paywall”, I would highly consider doing a trial to see the amount of knowledge you can gain from other people’s insights and analysis. I noticed that a lot of the more consistent players in this game are doing so well because of the number of resources (close player intel, affiliation in multiple Pokémon groups, exposure to multiple Pokémon related websites, etc.) they have available to them.

Metagame

For veteran players or card freaks, this terminology may be instinctual. For the newer players, I define Metagame as the state of which there are different Tier levels of decks populated from a recognized pool of decks. In layman terms, this is what you consider the top decks to be in a field of other popular decks. It is a good practice to approach a big tournament and define for yourself what the Tier 1 decks are (decks that have shown previous successes or hype in the community) and what the consistent players in the tournament would play.

For example, at this past World Championships, the Metagame would be considered as Gardevoir GX, Grass Decks (Decidueye GX & Golisopod GX) and Garbodor variant decks (Espeon Garbodor & Drampa Garbodor). As a recent participant of the 2017 World Championships, I can say that my team and I dedicated time to figure out how to approach the Metagame. As previously said before, I like to figure out 1) what the Tier 1 decks are and 2) what decks the consistent players will most likely lean on.

Today’s Standard Format Metagame

How do you want me to describe our current standard format? Let me just bust out a quick throwback real quick.

“Day and night…I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind…I look for peace but see I don’t attain…What I need for keeps this silly game we play, play…Now look at this”

Who knew Kid Cudi was talking about the standard Metagame. It is indeed day and night because this format has seen it all. The World Championship, the Anaheim Open, the Bremen Regionals in Germany, countless weekends of League Cups and now Hartford Regional Championships, this format has had its time. Because of the many tournaments, this format has been a part of the Metagame can very well be determined based upon these results.

Analysis on the Hartford Regional Championships

This weekend was a great indicator to see what the Metagame is for this particular tournament. There were 9 different decks that made it in the Top 32. However, the most played decks in the Top 32 were:

1) Gardevoir GX with 8 showings
2) Golisipod GX with 6 showings
3) Fire Decks (Volcanion or Ho-Oh Salazzle) with 5 showings
4) Drampa Garbodor with 5 showings

As expected a lot of these decks have had recent success in the League Cups and prior high-level tournaments. It was no surprise that these were the top decks.

Here are my key takeaways about this tournament:

● There were two Greninja decks that made the Top 32 with one of them being a finalist. This was one of the better calls this day because no one really played a counter to this deck aka Giratina Promo.
● The winning Volcanion deck did not play Kiawe or Brigette! It almost seemed like this deck went full circle from the US Intercontinental Championships.
● Of the Fire decks, the only Ho-Oh Salazzle deck made it into the top 8 (Analysis in the later portion of the article).
● Parallel City came to play with most of the Gardevoir decks.
● Most of the Drampa Garbodor decks included a 1-1 Espeon GX.
● Two Decideuye decks made the Top 32!

This tournament was a treat to all the deck builders who thought that this format became stale.

So how does this affect the Metagame moving forward, especially for those competing in Standard Cups this weekend and Vancouver next weekend?

Without further ado here are the decks that I consider to be in Tier 1 of this format so far:
Gardevoir GX
Golisopod GX
Ho-Oh Salazzle

Because this article is to describe the current Metagame and the Tier 1 decks for Vancouver, I will not go in depth with matchups. However, I will explain some matchups that I feel that you should be prepared for with certain decks. If you have any questions about how to approach a matchup, please feel free to comment or send me or the team a message.

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