Madison Regionals is coming up this weekend June 1st & 2nd in addition to League Cups and League Challenges. The Origins special event in Columbus and NAIC are both on the horizon as the final events of the season that award Championship Points for Worlds. All of these events are standard format and have a lot of importance for players that still need points for their invite or towards stipend rewards. Today I will be discussing a tier list for Standard, my expectations for the Madison meta, and the decks that I believe to have the best matchup spreads for the expected meta.

 

MADISON TIER LIST

While tier lists can be subjective to the opinions, knowledge, and skill of the person making the list, I will try to label the tiers and explain my thoughts to make the list useful and as objective as I can as usual.

TIER 1:

  

   

Archetypes in this tier are meta defining. These are the decks that are being teched for and countered. Archetypes in this tier are expected to be popular and perform well.

  • Reshizard
  • Zapdos
  • Weezing
  • Stall

TIER 2:

  

  

Archetypes in this tier have inherent strength but are not as oppressive and/or threatening as tier 1 decks. These decks are not expected to be universally teched against. Archetypes in this tier are expected to perform decently well, but are not generally seen as overpowered in a diverse field of decks.

  • Pikarom
  • Zoroark Persian (w/ partners such as Silvally-GX, Slowking, Dewgong, etc)
  • Blacephalon GX
  • Baby Blowns
  • Shedinja Oranguru
  • Zoroark Control

TIER 3:

  

  

Archetypes in this tier have flaws such as lack of consistency, no draw engine, and/or bad matchup spreads. These decks are noticeably in a lower echelon and are expected to be much less popular and successful than decks in Tiers 1 and 2.

  • Nag Quag
  • Granbull
  • Gardeon
  • Buzzmosa
  • Malamar variants

ROGUE:

  

  

These archetypes are either 1) not established as a known archetype or 2) have fallen off since their inception and have become an outlier in the current meta. These decks are usually not prepared for and go under the radar for most players. I only included archetypes that I foresee having at least some play this weekend in Madison.

TIER 1 ARCHETYPES EXPLAINED

RESHIZARD

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As I explained with more detail last week, there are two main Reshizard variants in the current standard meta: Green’s Exploration Reshizard and Turbo Reshizard. Both are Tier 1 and both have different positive reasons to be played. Green’s Reshizard has more trainer options in the list and does not bench weaker Pokemon-GX for the use of their abilities. Turbo Reshizard usually has various attackers and aims to establish an aggressive turn 2 Reshizard which a lot of decks cannot sufficiently handle.

 

ZAPDOS

 

   

Zapdos variants were at the top of the meta pre-Unbroken Bonds and I believe they maintain their prestige due to consistency, aggression, and efficiency. Zapdos variants are usually very consistent due to having a Jirachi (TEU) engine which is occasionally accompanied by Zebstrika (LOT) as a secondary option to draw cards. Because of Jirachi’s ability to look for Trainer cards, Zapdos has become known for its aggression with early Guzmas to snipe weaker Pokemon. Lastly, Zapdos variants are very efficient since the attackers are mostly Basic non-GX Pokemon and will usually need only 1 energy for their desired attack.

 

WEEZING

 

I am sure I will be getting questions and complaints for placing Weezing in Tier 1, so I am prepared to defend this decision.

 

  

If you read forum discussion such as Facebook Group Heyfonte, watch meta forecasts on Youtube, and talk to players metagaming for League Cups and Regionals, I imagine that you will run into players that fear Weezing. Players attempted to tech for Weezing with Mew (UNB) early on, but Mew was discovered to not work especially well versus Weezing unless it was coupled with Field Blower or Lysandre Labs to remove Spell Tag from the mix. The new tech for Weezing is extra Field Blowers, which is not a bad card to have around since it can be used in almost any matchup. Nonetheless, Weezing is being teched for and is actively on players’ minds.

Weezing has a very good matchup spread in our current meta and my expected meta. The worst matchup that Weezing does not want to face is Stall, but there are many very positive matchups for Weezing such as Zapdos variants, Turbo Reshizard, PikaRom, Blacephalon-GX, Baby Blacephalon, and Malamar variants.

It could be argued that Weezing is inconsistent, but I have found that to be false. Going first, your ideal turn 2 is either sitting a Weezing active and passing to apply the first layer of spread or attacking with Tapu Koko’s Flying Flip for the first layer of spread. A Spell Tag on your Weezing makes this even better, but is not necessary. With a 4-4 line of Weezing and the backup option being Tapu Koko which is a basic Pokemon, I have found suboptimal early games to be quite rare when piloting Weezing.

Lastly, I expect Weezing to be popular and to perform well. Weezing had 4 spots in Santa Clara day 2 and 7 spots in Sao Paulo day 2, which were the inaugural weekend of Unbroken Bonds when Weezing lists were new and unpolished. If anything, Weezing has become stronger due to lists being published and placing well at these regionals and then again at League Cups the following weekend.

 

STALL

Stall actually has many Pokemon that it can focus on and feature, but I believe a straightforward all-basic build is the best way to go. Vileplume BUS is absolutely a win condition, but with decks teching Evolution Pokemon and Stealthy Hood I do not think it is an efficient use of deck space for Madison Regionals.

 

Lucario Melmetal Tag Team GX is incredibly tanky against most of the meta and can even tank against Reshizard since Metal Frying Pan removes its fire weakness. A very nice feature of Lucario Melmetal is that it has an attack that does 50 damage for a DCE, so you can actually win a war of attrition by poking 50 damage every turn once you have run your opponent out of resources.

 

While players are finally respecting stall as an archetype, there are still plenty of players who will not tech for it and lose the matchup. Stall deserves to be in tier 1 and I fully expect it to be popular and successful this weekend in Madison.

 

MADISON META

I expect the meta share to look something like this for the Master’s Division day 1 of Madison Regionals

 

Reshizard – 15%

Zapdos – 10%

Weezing – 10%

Pikarom – 8%

Zoroark Persian – 7%

Stall – 5%

Blacephalon GX – 5%

Nag Quag – 5%

Baby Blacephalon – 3%

Malamar – 3%

Shedinja – 2%

Zoroark Control – 2%

Other – 25%

 

MATCHUP SPREADS FOR MY TOP PICKS

WEEZING

Favored:

  • Turbo Reshizard
  • Pikarom
  • Zapdos
  • Blacephalon-GX
  • Baby Blacephalon
  • Malamar
  • Nag Quag
  • Granbull

 

Even:

  • Zoroark variants (list dependent)

 

Unfavored:

  • Green’s Reshizard
  • Zoroark variants (list dependent)
  • Shedinja
  • Zoroark Control
  • Gardeon
  • Buzzmosa

BLACEPHALON-GX

Favored:

  • Reshizard variants
  • Zoroark variants (list dependent)
  • Zoroark Control
  • Gardeon
  • Buzzmosa

 

Even:

  • Pikarom
  • Shedinja
  • Malamar
  • Zoroark variants (list dependent)

 

Unfavored:

  • Zoroark variants (list dependent)
  • Zapdos
  • Baby Blacephalon
  • Nag Quag
  • Weezing
  • Granbull

 

Weezing is one of my top choices for the current and expected meta due to its positive matchups versus popular decks. Weezing is also not simple to tech against, as just 1 Mew or 1 Field Blower will likely not win the matchup. Blacephalon-GX is my other top choice since it is a non Tag Team Pokemon that can one-shot any Pokemon and win the prize trade versus Tag Teams.

 

For more information, please refer to this week’s Top Decks of Standard video and the Meta Discussion I hosted for Madison Regionals. Thanks for reading!

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