Hey everyone! I hope the season has been going well for all of you. We’re finishing up Season 1, and even though we don’t know the point structure yet, I’m sure that being at 100 or more points for the first quarter is a solid spot to be in to get that Worlds invite this year. I ended up going to Memphis and played a variation of the Empoleon/Swampert list that was posted by Kian a week before the tournament. I ran into three ties to positive match-ups that I was going to win on a hypothetical fourth turn of time, which was unfortunate, but it taught me that I need to make sure to play a little faster in this standard format. I also realized that I had just one more League Cup in my state with only one finish so far, which worried me a little bit because I wanted to get to that 100-point threshold before Portland Regionals. My League Cup was last Sunday and it was Standard, so the beginning of this article will be dedicated to Standard, then we’ll switch it over to Expanded where I’ll talk a bit about what deck I’m leaning towards and what I’m expecting the meta to look like for Portland.

At my League Cup I played my variation of Malamar spread, which I picked because I feel it is the best version of Malamar while other people may be getting hung up on different variants out there. Malamar is such a strong card that it will carry you no matter what variant you play, but you cannot simply copy the lists of top players because there are still adaptions that can be made to make the deck better. That is the logic that led me to come up with the list that I used to go undefeated at my Cup, winning by dropping only a single game in Top 8. I played against a variety of decks in the tournament including: two Rayquaza/Vikavolt, three Gaskan, one Zoroark/Garbodor and one Gardevoir/Sylveon. With the last few League Cups coming up and people needing to get some points, it is more important than ever to play powerful decks, and I believe Malamar to be the best card in the format with a tool kit to beat every other deck. I’ve always enjoyed playing both Malamar and spread, so this is something that I was very excited to play. Alright, here is the list that I used for my League Cup and one that I would consider playing again, albeit with a few changes.

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