Hey Everyone! The Oceania Internationals just concluded and no surprise, Tord Reklev won his third consecutive International with a new innovative deck. Tord is on a crazy streak and it’s insane to see someone win three Internationals in a row. I found it crazy to see how well he does and how innovative he is. It inspires me to be more creative in the future.

Now we are jumping into a new format with Ultra Prism. I think this set is very good and will definitely shift the format. In this article, I will discuss my thoughts through my testing. I think Greninja is very good in both Standard and Expanded. It is my top pick for both Saint Louis and Costa Mesa.

My thoughts on the new Standard format

 

Cynthia is great for the format. Most decks, if not all will include multiple copies of this card.

I’ve always thought more consistency is good for this game. Having another strong draw Supporter in Standard aside from Sycamore is very nice to have. I expect aggressive decks such as Buzzwole, Vika Bulu, etc to lower their counts of N and run more copies of Cynthia. Throughout my testing, Cynthia has been making a huge impact in terms of both consistency and resource conservation. One of the problems of Professor Sycamore is you may have to discard resources. Cynthia gives you the option to avoid those dreadful Sycamore hands.

Buzzwole Lycanroc is still a Tier 1 deck.

This deck dominated Oceania Internationals by taking half the spots. I think this deck only gets better because Cynthia gives it a new form of consistency. I also think more stage two decks will be played which is a good thing for BuzzRoc because Jet Punch is very strong against those decks. I am thinking of evolving the previous format BuzzRoc list by switching from 4 N/4 Professor Sycamore up to a 3 N 3 Professor 2 N Count. I think Cynthia improves this deck by a little bit because this deck is very aggressive and N does not really help this deck late game.

Zoroark decks will have to adapt.

In my testing, Glaceon GX decks beat the Zoroark variants such as Golisopod, Zoroark, and Gardevoir. Zoroark decks previously played six draw Supporters and rely on Trade as their engine. I think Zoroark decks will to run more draw Supporters to combat Glaceon GX

Metal is very solid and it will be a Tier 2 to Tier 1 deck for the foreseeable future.

I like this deck a lot because it reminds me of the old Blastoise Keldeo Deck. This deck has a strong Stadium in Mount Coronet and great attackers in Dusk Mane Necrozma GX, Dialga GX, and Solgaleo Prism

Empoleon was surprisingly solid in my testing.

I didn't even know about this card until a week before the set came out but when I saw it, I found it very intriguing. This deck has incredible Water support in the form of Brooklet Hill, Aqua Patch and Splash Energy. Total Command is a very strong attack that is very easy to power up. A one prize attacker that can one-shot has the potential to very good in this format.

I think Garbodor will make an impact in the new format.

If you have not read Brad’s article yet, you definitely should. I think Espeon/Garbodor with heavy Parallel City is very strong in the upcoming format. Espeon/Garbodor has an extremely favorable matchup against one of the best decks in Buzzwole. Also stage two decks such as Metal, Empoleon, and Garchomp will see some play. I think Garbotoxin + Parallel puts in work versus those decks. If I was going to Saint Louis, this deck would be in my top four choices.

That concludes my thoughts on Standard. A lot has shaken up and I think the new format is going to be very exciting. The previous format went through so many shifts which makes me think it will happen in this format also. Last format went from Golisopod/Zoroark to Lycanroc/Zoroark to Gardevoir/Zoroark. I can see this happening in the next three months. We’ll see new decks pop up and dominate.

Now onto to my top pick for Saint Louis and Costa Mesa, Greninja! I think the deck gained a huge boost from Ultra Prism and is being slept on in Expanded.

 

Why Greninja is a good play.

The deck has a lot of great matchups! Even with players trying new stuff, decks such as Metal, Glaceon, and Garchomp are really good matchups barring Giratina Promo. With four Cynthia, this deck does not brick as often as before. In the past format, I felt very uneasy with four N and four Sycamore. I would dread those hands where I would Sycamore multiple Supporters and just lose the game because I ran out of draw cards.

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