Hi there, Some1sPC readers! It’s been a while since my last article, as I’ve been hard-pressed to find time to write thanks to med school. Now that I’m on vacation, I will be able to practice a lot for the upcoming 2019 World Championships. My first Worlds was back in 2013, and this will be the sixth incarnation in which I’ve participated. I’m hoping that I can at least make Day 2, just as I did last year playing Rayquaza-GX. Who knows? I might even end up as one of the Top 32 players… that would be super cool!
The Lack of Guzma
About two days ago, I started training for post-rotation and really felt the absence of Guzma in the format. I started out with Green’s ReshiZard, PikaRom with Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX (RaikRom) and Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX. With the first deck, I didn’t miss Guzma so much for it was easy to find Custom Catchers with Green’s Exploration, but while playing with RaikRom and Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX, I found it very hard to find double Custom Catchers. RaikRom can increase the odds of doing so by running four copies of Volkner, but Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX doesn’t have access to anything similar.
I soon realized that several other decks on the format are also going to face this very same issue. You can either use four Custom Catchers to get an utterly inferior result than you would with Guzma, or you play with no Gust effects at all, which would give you a large disadvantage, as several opportunities to cause damage and interact with your opponent’s Benched Pokémon would be totally impossible.
Bringing problems to all Pokémon in play
With this in mind, I started to think about decks that wouldn’t lose so much with the absence of Guzma and ended up with two really good options. The first is old Blacephalon-GX combined with Ninetales’s Gust effect Ability. The second is Malamar/Giratina with no Gust effect at all, but with a few cards that can cause damage to Benched Pokémon, such as Spell Tag, Espurr and Espeon & Deoxys-GX.
Both decks are naturally strong and allow players to interact with their opponent’s Benched Pokémon, which was something I was really looking into. Maybe in the future, Gust effects won’t be necessary at all, but for now, I believe it’s a very strong and impactful effect.
Blacephalon-GX / Ninetales
Blacephalon-GX decks won’t lose much with the rotation, as Ninetales can replace Guzma. In a nutshell, the deck will still be as strong and consistent as ever and won’t lose the ability of gusting an opponent’s Benched card. Blacephalon-GX/Ninetales might as well be the deck that struggles the least with the rotation, maybe even less than Green’s ReshiZard.
Some changes had to be made in order to fit in Ninetales without losing some consistency. Although Ultra Space will be even more important post-rotation, a new card, Giant Hearth, will be just as important, since we will still need Energy to use with Welder, Ninetales, and Heat Factory.
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