What’s up Some1pc readers, it’s Israel, and I’m back with another article. Today I will be talking about a couple things. I will discuss my recent tournament runs from the past few weeks, what’s next for the rest of the season, a discussion about the new cards, and what I’m planning to play for Seattle regionals
In my last article, I discussed that I was lost in the last Standard format. I was trying different decks, different ideas, and nothing was working for me. I was even testing with Alakazam that my teammate Johnny Rabus piloted to Top 32 at this event, but nothing was catching my eye. So, I traveled to Roanoke with no final deck choice, I brought everything with me to decide before the tournament. The night before the tourney I was set in stone on Lycanroc, as I felt that I was comfortable with the deck and had a chance against a lot of different decks, provided I draw well enough. After waking up, part of me didn’t like the choice I made and felt I should bring another deck just in case I want to back out from Lycanroc so, I asked Azul to bring his Turbo Dark list, just in case I decided to switch. Before getting in the car, I decided I was going to play Turbo Dark, I was convinced in my head that this would give me a better chance in the Meta then Lycanroc would. I think it was a combination of stress and lack of sleep that I should choose something that’s run and gun, straight to the point, and something that I don’t need to think too hard to win with. I don’t remember the list that I ran, but I think it was the Shultz brothers list minus one card, which was a Hex Maniac for the Deciplume matchup. So, this is how day 1 went:
R1: Deciplume WW
R2: M Mewtwo LWW
R3: MegaRay & Gardy WLW
R4: M Mewtwo WW
R5: Volcanion WW
R6: Dark Dragons LWW
R7: M Ray WW
R8: Quad Lapras (Event Winner) LWW
R9: Quad Wobb/Jolteon/Glaceon LWL
So, I ended up 3rd seed going into Day 2. I had a spectacular run and won so many close games. I was on top of the world and I felt this could be my chance for another regionals win, provided I can just avoid facing Grant Manley and his nonsense list. I knew that I was facing Volcanion in the first round and if I get either a tie or win I would face Grant in the next round. So winning my first round is extremely crucial.
R10 Volcanion WLT
R11 Quad Wobb/Glaceon/Jolteon LL
R12 M Mewtwo WLL
R13 M Mewtwo LWL
R14 Deciplume WLL
This was probably the most frustrating run I had since last year at California States. I couldn’t finish a series to save my life. I personally didn’t feel like I was playing inadequately, and made that I was making the right decisions, but the games were either I dead drew at some point of the game, or got N’d out of my win condition. I went back home that Monday rethinking about how I collapsed on the 2nd day compared to how perfect I ran the first day, and couldn’t explain how it happened. I took the rest of the week off and just stayed focus for Toronto Regionals.
I was more excited about this trip than I was for Virginia, not because it’s a different country, but because it’s the format I was comfortable with. I get my Dark Patch and Sableye back, and I knew with those, then I have a shot against anything. Before leaving for Toronto I anticipated a Volcanion, Night March, and Yveltal Meta, so I brought my list that I won Portland with, but switched Hex Maniac with a Delinquent. I felt that switch would give me the best chance for the meta. Part of me wanted to bring Tauros GX and Hex Maniac, just in case the Meta switches, but I ignored my instinct and brought my 60 cards along for my journey to Toronto. However, the trip started with bad luck. I invited my girlfriend and her sister with me to Toronto so they could experience Canada for the first time, but the bad luck started at the airport. My girlfriend’s sister (Genesis) had to check in her bag because she didn’t want to lose the lotion and perfume they bought that day, they told her that don’t worry and it will be in Toronto. We had a 14-hr. layover in Dallas and stayed in the room then when we got to Toronto her bag wasn’t there. They said her bag was still in Dallas and we should have picked it up there. So they send the bag on the next flight to Toronto and eventually, the bag was returned the next day. Before she got her bag, however, we arrived at the hotel and when I attempted to check-in, they said that I wasn’t in the system. I said that it was impossible, I reserved a room 3 weeks ago and paid for it. After going through my email for 5 minutes I realized that I booked it for the week before and not that weekend. So I had to rebook the room again just so we would have a place to stay. I knew from there that this trip was not going to be my trip. Regardless, on the day of the tourney, I woke up, felt pumped up and ready to play.
R1 Lurantis/Plume LWL
R2 Yveltal/Garb WW
R3 Lurantis/Plume WW
R4 Rainbow Road LL
R5 Lurantis/Plume WW
R6 Toadbats LWL
R7 Primal Groudon WW
R8 Volcanion WW
R9 Trev LL
So as you may be able to tell, I called the wrong Meta for this tournament. Vileplume and Seismitoad were running the event through Day 1. My initial instinct was correct, and if I would have followed my gut, then I feel I could have done 10x better, given the decks present at the tournament. My bad luck doesn’t end there, as the next day I decided to play in a League Challenge because of a scenario where certain people could make it to top 8, possibly costing me my spot in the top 16 of North America right at the cutoff for the North American Intercontinental. To my relief, before Round 2 of the League Challenge even started, one of the people that needed to make Top 8 ended up losing their first 2 rounds, making it impossible for them to Top 8, guaranteeing my Top 16 going into the Intercontinental. For those of you curious about how I did during this League Challenge:
R1 M Mewtwo W
R2 Turbo Dark L
R3 Mirror W
R4 Toadtina W
R5 Night March W
I got 2nd place in the League Challenge which put me at 849 CP for the season. Even though I was happy that I held on to top 16 for Intercontinental, my bad luck didn’t end there. The day of my departure back home, the girls and I decided to rent a car and go downtown since we wouldn’t make it to Niagara Falls in time for our flight. So, after eating poutine and souvenir shopping, we started to head back. Mind you we left at downtown at 2:45 P.M. and our flight was at 6 P.M. Then the worst thing happens, we hit traffic. Not traffic where we move at 5-15 mph, no, it’s the stand still kind. It literally took us 45 minutes to go one mile and then we ended up back at the rental car at like 4:30. Then the Uber took 10 min because he couldn’t find the location, for some reason. Then he took us to the wrong terminal, which might be my fault, but he told me American was at this terminal. So we get to the airport at 5 pm, asking desperately how to get to the correct terminal. So we had to use a train to get to the correct terminal, which we manage to get to the correct one by 5:10. Then the worst happens once again, we couldn’t check in our flight. The person behind the desk told us that if we could have shown up 15 min sooner he could have got us on that flight. So we spent the next half an hour with them as they try to figure something out. They were nice enough to give my girlfriend a free flight back to make it in time for her final. Unlucky for me and Genesis, we had to pay for another flight, and wouldn’t be able to leave until the next day. So we sat at the airport for 13 hours before our new flight arrived and finally, we were on the way back.
I’m currently in a slump, I cannot find the rhythm I need to win games and it’s kind of frustrating. However, I have been in this situation multiple times, so I know what I need to do to bounce back for the important tournaments. Luckily I stayed in Top 16 for the Intercontinental and will get a stipend no matter what. Due to this slump, I decided to take it easy for the next month. I will be attending Seattle Regionals and a couple League Cups here and there, but I will not attend any Regionals for the month of June. I feel like I need time away from the game, and all this traveling is starting to get overwhelming for me. I feel this is the correct decision and yes, this means I need to make a good run at the Intercontinental to stay in Top 16 to get Day 2, but the break can help me relax and start testing with more time and patience, in order to select the right deck for that event. Seattle will be very important to get some points on the board to make it easier for myself going forward, so testing is going to be key. Luckily for me, because of the layover I had in Toronto, I got a lot of testing done and I like what I have been testing with, so I’m happy to share what I found.
When the scans first came out in February, all I could think about was how Aqua Patch is going to be so good, and how I will be able to utilize a Patch in both formats. I knew exactly where I wanted to start going into this new format. Even though this is not the same as the original Patchcity, I found this variant to be a good call for the Meta we are entering. The difference between the two is that the original Patchcity is more a conservative type of build, it can slow the game down or can just go back and forth with any deck while maintaining the resources it needs to win games. But the new Patchcity, AKA Oceania, is much more of a “run and gun” type of deck, where you’re dropping energies left and right to put as much pressure on your opponent, while also having techs to allow you to annoy your opponent and possibly steal games if they are not prepared. Also, with Tapu Lele and Field Blower in the mix, it makes it very consistent and viable against most things in this new Meta, because of the speed it contains. Enough boring you guys with the introduction, let’s get to the list I been working on for the last couple of days.
- 2 Articuno
- 1 Glaceon EX
- 3 Lapras GX
- 2 Manaphy EX
- 1 Tapu Lele GX
- 2 Shaymin EX
- 4 Professor Sycamore
- 3 N
- 2 Lysandre
- 1 Pokemon Center Lady
- 1 Olympia
- 4 Max Elixir
- 4 VS Seeker
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 Aqua Patch
- 2 Energy Switch
- 2 Fighting Fury Belt
- 1 Field Blower
- 1 Choice Band
- 3 Rough Seas
- 13 Water Energy
2 Manaphy EX: I had it at one when I first started testing, but I felt it was underwhelming and constantly had an issue of not chaining Blizzard Burn because I either over benched or I prized the Manaphy. This card is a must bench in the Sylveon matchup, as it allows you to constantly move around your different attackers. Without it, you will not have the resources to finish the game.
3 Lapras GX/1 Glaceon EX/2 Articuno: I found this Pokémon line good and don’t see myself switching anytime soon. The double Articuno can make a huge difference in some matchups, especially the Tapu Lele/Garb matchup. I will give more detail about that matchup later, but The Glaceon is a huge MVP against Grass decks since they are evolved and the deck is fast enough to possibly hit a turn 1 Crystal Ray, which will just ruin evolution decks. 3 Lapras I found is the correct count for this deck, usually, you never get more than 3 Lapras online and even if you prized one you have other attackers to clean up.
2 Shaymin EX/1 Tapu Lele GX: When I first started, I had it at 2 Tapu Lele and 1 Shaymin and I found that it wasn’t fast enough. I noticed that if I can apply enough pressure by turn 1 or 2 then I’m most likely going to win that game because it puts a time clock on my opponent to respond. Also, it’s rare for Tapu Lele to be my desired attacker, but it’s a must include for those late game N or game-winning Lysandre plays.
4 Aqua Patch/4 Max Elixir/ 2 Energy Switch: I don’t think I need to explain too much on this part. You just want the speed and aggression on the early turns, while keeping recovery options for late game pushes. The two Energy Switch is something I wanted to bring from old school builds, as it makes T1 plays much more likely. Just imagine a T1 Ice Beam GX, or Blizzard Burn, or even Crystal Ray. This also helps against Lysandre stalls, as well as with setting up different attackers on the bench.
2 Fighting Fury Belt/ 1 Choice Band: This is a split I’m still working on at the moment, but because of the high counts of Choice Band in most decks nowadays, I found keeping the Lapras alive is very crucial. The one Choice Band makes it so Lapras can clean up 180 HP Pokémon, especially the dreadful Tauros GX. Like I said, this count is still in the works and will be much more reliable sometime closer to Seattle Regionals.
Cards to consider
I thought about this one as I started writing this article. For 2 Water you can get 2 more Water energy onto another attacker. This could be huge for the Tapu Lele/Garb matchup where you don’t have to use items, making Garbodor a lot weaker. Also, this could help in the Sylveon matchup, allowing you to load up different attackers while they are trying to hammer off your energy. I wouldn’t do more than a 1 of, but it’s something to really consider if the Meta is leading towards those two as being the top decks.
This is specifically for the Plume matchups. If you can break the item lock for one turn and drop everything in your hand onto the board, you can potentially come back. It may also prove useful for the Mega Gardy matchups, where if you can get an early Hex on them they can just lose their early aggression and will be forced to constantly trade off kills with one another. Also, turning off Tapu Lele plays can make a huge difference when it comes to setting up board.
This is only if Plume is the top deck for the Meta, as this would hurt consistency, but would allow you to slow down opponents, including Deciplume. The Float Stones would arguably make the turn 1 hits 10x easier, but you’re more likely to dead draw since you must make cuts to add Wobb and Floats.
Super Rod/Brock’s Grit/Bunnelby
This is an option to retrieve from the discard pile, as it can make a huge difference in the Sylveon matchup. Bunnelby is able to return items back into the deck, which gives you much more breathing room in Garbodor matchups. Also, I found this deck to be extremely aggressive and constantly find myself with too many energies in the discard, so a way to retrieve energy would help solve that problem and minimize chances of decking out.
This matchup is very slow paced and takes a lot of patience, coupled with some well-timed strikes. In this matchup you want to be aggressive, getting as many energies on board as you can. If you can start the pressure on the early turns, and avoid them using their GX attack, then you should be good. In your first search, you want to get Manaphy out so you have the free retreat option, and can try to set up consecutive Blizzard Burns. Just be careful to keep track of how many cards are in your deck, as well as making sure you do not have 3 or less cards in your hand, otherwise you will be punished by Team Rocket’s Handiwork and/or Delinquent. If you add Brock’s Grit you should be very conservative with VS Seekers, and be patient when to drop them so you can avoid decking out. Your ideal board will look something like 2 Lapras, 1 Articuno and 1 Manaphy, because if you can disrupt and knock out Max Potions from their hand via N, then you can essentially set up Articuno to take 3 prizes. This is ideal because knocking out 2 Sylveon is a lot easier than 3 of them.
Tapu Lele/Garb 45/55(With Tauros GX); 55/45(With Drampa GX)
Ok, I gave two ratios since I faced a decent amount of both variants. I noticed that early pressure is not necessarily the greatest idea in this matchup, as you must keep count of how many items you use. So let me start out with the Tauros variant, as it comes down to whether or not they play Olympia. If they do, then this matchup is rough because regardless of hitting them with Ice Beam GX, they can just search for Lele and get Olympia, allowing them to retaliate with a Mad Bull GX. After playing 5 games against Kenny Britton, I realized that if you just Blizzard Burn them once, then you can set up an Articuno play if they decided to burn their GX early. As a rule of thumb, once you get down to 2 prizes you’re safe to drop as many items as you’d like. Try to set it up to where you can win with just a Lysandre. The Palkia EX tech can make a difference in this matchup, as you can get chip damage on a Tauros while getting energy on board. This would set up a scenario where you can just hit with Palkia, then one shot with a Blizzard Burn. The Drampa variant I found to be a lot easier to face because Drampa cannot one shot any Pokémon. It can set up board for the Garb player a lot easier, but if you can avoid leaving damage on the bench while keeping items as low as possible then there’s no way they can take down your aggression. Garb is an annoying matchup, and Glaceon could be a nifty attacker for this matchup, but I found that Lapras and Articuno should be the only attackers you need for this matchup.
I found this matchup to be very easy because of how fast this list sets up, and how inconsistent Greninja is in the early game. Glaceon and Lapras should be the only attackers you use in this matchup. If you can set up Glaceon and start attacking, then the only way they can damage you is through Bursting Balloon and their ability. If you can just keep Water Pokémon on your bench, then you should be good because of Rough Seas. Thanks to Field Blower you can set up cute plays and have turns where you can activate Rough Seas twice, by using it, removing it via Field Blower, and then playing a new Rough Seas. If Glaceon is prized then you must be careful of Shadow Stitching. If you have the resources to keep chaining Blizzard Burn then you won’t have to worry about Shadow Stitching.
Tapu Koko GX 55/45
This matchup is probably my most favorite, as it is just two decks going as fast as possible to start pressuring one another. There’s no need for Glaceon and hardly a need for Articuno, I say hardly because if they play Jolteon then you will need Articuno to break their Flash Ray with Chilling Sigh. Chilling Sigh makes and breaks this matchup when it’s down to just a Jolteon. The biggest thing that separates both decks in this fun and fast pace matchup is that our deck recovers a lot better than they do. If they put all their eggs in one basket and have no more resources, then you can just win by knocking them out because they won’t be able to recover quickly enough. Just be careful if you do not one shot a Tapu Koko because they are going to have another one to replace their active, making it a fresh Tapu Koko that’s ready to smack your Lapras train, instead of a damaged one.
This is probably our best matchup since we hit for weakness and we set up a lot faster than they do. Also, because of weakness, we don’t have to overextend to get kills. Fun little thing to keep note of is that an Articuno with a Choice Scarf can one shot a Volcanion ex with only single heads (2 if they have Fighting Fury Belt on them) and just take 3 easy prizes, which can solve the odd prizes you’re at because, odds are, you’ll have to knock out a baby Volcanion at some point during this matchup. The only real way you lose this matchup is if you prize or use up too many resources in the early turns. Just set up like normal and use resources wisely and you should not lose this matchup.
This matchup is probably one of the hardest ones due to weakness coupled with their item lock. This matchup you must start Glaceon, or get a quick Lapras up in order to keep up in this matchup. If you can Ice Beam GX on a Decidueye with energy on it, then you can make it harder on them to knock out your Lapras. Just try to win the stadium war, and have Glaceon on deck, ready to fight. If you want to improve this matchup you would have to switch up the list to include Wobb and Floats, or 2 Hex Maniac, in order to keep up in the prize trade and have full access to items to set up multiple attackers.
This is the worst matchup, even worse than against Deciplume, because you can trade off GX and EXs for their GX and EXs, and it takes at least 2 turns for them to start attacking you. Trevenant, however, is a little harder since all they need is a DCE and they can start one-shotting your Pokémon. Your only way out of this is to get a Glaceon out and hope it has what it takes to get you there. If they play attackers besides Trev, then you would have to start setting up a secondary attacker. Just play Sycamore whenever you get the card and hope you don’t hit a hand full of items. If you’re desperate for turns, just Chilling Sigh with Articuno till you manage to set up another attacker. All I can really say is hope for the best, and get Glaceon out as fast as possible. Even with Wobb, this matchup is pretty rough. If you get it early then maybe, but even then it’s rough.
Yveltal EX/Drampa GX 55/45
Yveltal has always had an unfavorable matchup against Lapras. This didn’t change with this new set and probably got a little worse because Lapras got the wonderful patches. If you just keep pressuring and hit key field blowers on the attackers with the most energies then you will get this pretty easily. Ice beam on a Yveltal is very important to send up another attacker and if you can set up Articuno plays late game makes this matchup good.
M Gardy ???
I have yet to face one, but they did get Choice Band which lets them do cute plays where they hit off their Spirit Links and switch them to Choice Band. Ice Beam GX only when they get to M Gardy, do not ever do it before they mega evolve. Just Blizzard Burn, and if you can one shot them then even better. Just get energies on board and start swinging, just be careful of Max Potion plays, as well as Choice Bands. Other than that, this matchup can go both ways depending on how many energy you can get on board before they’re able to set up.
Unfortunately, this matchup won’t be as exciting as most mirrors, but I feel this matchup is like the Turbo Dark matchup. The one that can keep the most energies on board is going to win the game. It comes to techs and what other attackers they play. If they play Ninetales GX, then you Ice Beam GX the Ninetales, if it’s just straight up Lapras then, obviously, you Ice Beam GX their Lapras. What’s cool about the list I provided is that our deck is more favorable for the mirror, because we have more heals like Olympia and Pokémon Center Lady. Unfortunately, we won’t one shot as often as they may since we only play one Choice Band, but consistent Blizzard Burns should work just as well. Just remember everyone is an attacker, Glaceon EX is a strong attacker to follow up an Ice Beam GX, or Blizzard Burn, as its first attack, Second Bite, could potentially knock out the opposing Lapras. If you need to slow the game down then use Articuno’s Chilling Sigh, forcing them to have an out to a switch card, to deal with the situation. Just make every attack count, and be careful of Choice Band/Field Blower plays, and you should be fine.
Articuno and Glaceon are the key attackers in this matchup. Lapras would be another good attacker in the last format but since the release of Choice Band, they have a much easier time knocking out a Lapras, even with a Fury Belt. If they don’t play Pokémon Ranger, then you will be fine with just using Glaceon to sweep them. In a Bo3, you should use Game 1 to test the player and try to see what they play in their build. If you lose Game 1, then now you know what to do in the remaining two games. Just use Ultra Balls to search out attackers only. Avoid benching other Pokémon and you will be fine. Articuno can be used to kill Magikarp for two prizes, and Glaceon can keep their Gyarados in check. Brock’s Grit wouldn’t be too bad in this matchup, as it allows you to keep reusing Articuno and Glaceon.
M Ray ???
If they play the Metal variant then this is a pretty hard matchup because now Ice Beam doesn’t work. If it’s any other variant then you will be fine with Ice Beam and set up 2HKOs. In this matchup, I would try to get aggressive and just start knocking out Shaymin to make it easier for yourself instead of trying to deal with the behemoth himself. There’s no real strategy to this matchup, but if you noticed that they don’t play Pokémon Ranger, then hide behind Glaceon for a bit and try to set up a Lapras for late game pushes. Just play smart, really review your opponent’s discard pile constantly and play around their build. I will update this matchup a little more once I get more matches against it.
I’ve never played this matchup, but the same thing as any other evolution-based matchup, you should test their build Game 1 and see if they play Ranger. If they don’t, then you’ll be fine. However, because of Lycanroc, they can play this matchup a lot more differently. They can use Lycanroc’s ability to force something active, then use a Lysandre on the same turn to get out of the lock. Ice Beam only the Lycanroc, and Articuno will be pretty useful to keep up early aggression on their basic Pokémon to take early prizes. Win the stadium war and you’ll be fine. Just make sure to utilize Olympia and Pokémon Center Lady to their full potential.
I’ve been testing nonstop with this list for the last couple days (I usually test new sets if it’s legal for the next tournament) and have been a big fan of this list. It’s fast and stands a chance against most things in this Meta. There’s much more I can do with this build the more I test, but I’m sure this is the deck I will be running for Seattle Regionals. If I must take a wild guess for the Top 3 decks for Seattle it would be Tapu Lele, Sylveon, and either Deciplume or Volcanion. I feel I can beat 3 out of 4 of those decks, with a couple tweaks, but Deciplume is something I will have to work on a lot in my spare time. Even though I feel like it got weaker with the new set, Deciplume is still consistent enough to beat pretty much anything. We can only wait to see how the Meta shapes up. See you next time, Some1pcs readers!