Table of Contents
- Greensboro Regionals Recap
- Hitmonchan Wobbuffet
- Building for Standard Format
- Zoroark Lucario Weavile
Greensboro, North Carolina Regionals took place this past weekend. I did not quite get there this weekend, but I will take you through my deck selection process as I believe that I chose a deck that was poised to perform well and a list that had the potential to Top 8 had I played perfectly. I will also cover a Standard deck that I am working on for League Cups and for Denver Regionals meta.
GREENSBORO REGIONALS RECAP
Traveling to Greensboro, I had three decks sleeved up that I decided were my final options to choose between for the tournament. These 3 decks were PikaRom, Archie’s, and Hitmonchan/Wobb. PikaRom was my last choice, as players were including Eevee&Snorlax Tag Team and Onix LOT in Archie’s and 2 Trashalanche Garbodor in Zoro Garb as ways to counter PikaRom, along with not enjoying the level of consistency I was experiencing with PikaRom. I still thought that PikaRom was a good deck and a fine play for the tournament, but its consistency, lack of options, and predictability made it a less than desirable choice in my opinion.
With PikaRom likely eliminated from my options, I was left with Archie’s and Hitmonchan as my options to choose from. I decided that games, when I could not establish a turn 1 or turn 2 Blastoise with Archie’s, felt too far out of my control and I did not want to ruin my regionals day with funky Archie’s hands. I felt that the Hitmonchan/Wobb list I arrived to was favored versus PikaRom and Zoro Garb, somewhere around slightly favored to even versus Archie’s, Bees, and Night March, and out of the top decks only took a hard loss to Trevenant. I still agree with this post hoc.
I promised myself that I would get a good night’s sleep for the tournament and not stay up trying to break the meta at the last minute, so I locked myself into Hitmonchan and played it in the 5 round League Challenge Friday night to confirm that I understood the deck and did not make any obvious mistakes with my list. Reflective of my one night of preparation with the deck, I only lost to Trevenant and I was fine with taking this loss. I gave the deck to two friends to play in the challenge and between the three of us we went 5-0, 4-1, and 3-2. Obviously a League Challenge is hardly indicative of how a regionals performance will go, but at the very least I knew that the deck was setting up and performing adequately.
Unfortunately, I tied 4 matches and also had 1 loss which was to Rahul Reddy’s Celebi & Venusaur Tag Team deckwhich is a terrible matchup for me. Two of my ties were versus Archie’s, a matchup which I would settle with calling somewhere between slightly favorable and even for my specific list. I misplayed once in each Archie’s match: one would have likely resulted in the match being a win rather than a draw, and in the other game, I could not accurately assess what would have happened in the game had I not misplayed. I cannot really be upset with my deck choice, deck list, or variance that I experienced. I would have obviously preferred to have earned Championship Points and a better placement, but my playing left more to be desired and I will hopefully make up for that at the next major event I attend.
As for the list I piloted, I must thank Isaiah Bradner for sharing with me the base list that I worked off of. I did not regret any of the inclusions in the deck, and cards that were close to making the cut include Kartana-GX, Counter Catcher, Focus Sash, and a second Fighting Energy. Focus Sash would have likely helped once or twice throughout the day, but it is hard to say as my opponent could have had Field Bower or Faba to remove it or just Guzma around it for a few turns. As I beat a PikaRom deck with two Xurkitree-GX in it with only one fighting energy, I would now say I’m glad I did not include the second fighting energy as it is doable with just one. Moving forward, I think this deck is still a great choice for Daytona and Hartford.
BUILDING FOR STANDARD FORMAT
The next major tournament I am attending is Hartford, CT Regionals which is expanded format, but I am playing Standard with friends to prepare them for Denver Regionals and I have to go tryhard for Q3 Standard cups to get CP.
In response to Alolan Muk and Acerola loops in Zoroark-GX decks shutting down Zapdos Jirachi’s linear strategy, players are switching to Lightning Toolboxes much like Gustavo Wada’s Cannes Special Event winning list with Pikachu Zekrom Tag Team, Zapdos, and Jolteon-GX. These decks will usually be some amalgamation of the aforementioned Pokemon with the addition of 2-3 Jirachi TEU and single copy inclusions of cards like Absol TEU, Wobbuffet TEU, Tapu Koko Prism, and Tapu Koko-GX to make the deck diverse and plentiful of cohesive options.
The local format of NJ, PA, NY, and DE before Team Up was heavy on Psychic Malamar and single prize attacker variants. Post-Team Up, we have had mostly Zororoc, Zapdos variants, PikaBox, and Blacephalon doing well with rogue creations and beginner decks in the field as well as you will find at just about any League Cup. Since our area is abundant with world’s level competitors and we will seldom have 50-60+ masters for Northern New Jersey cups, I have been inclined to believe that our meta develops a little faster than some other areas. Regardless of that, every League Cup meta will be at least slightly different from the next as these are smaller tournaments with lower stakes and can have meta shares taken up by specific decks due to hard meta reads, groups or teams taking up a large share of the player base, or due to availability of the cards.
I decided that I need to put more effort into League Cups again since I need CP, so I will go through my thought processes on how I am building and metagaming with this fully competitive mindset.
ZOROARK LUCARIO WEAVILE
All of the League Cups within 2 hours of me are best of 1, so I want to focus on consistency in whatever deck I choose. Because of this, I decided to start with 4-4 Zoroark-GX, 3 Tapu Lele-GX, and the ball search (Ultra Ball, Nest Ball, Pokemon Communication) / Lillie engine. With 3 Lillie and 1 Cynthia and 4 Ultra Ball, 4 Nest Ball, and 3 Pokemon Communication, this is a 26-card engine that is dedicated to setting up your board and establishing Zoroark-GX as a game-long draw engine, but it is not beating any other decks just yet as it is only the engine.
Since fighting weak Pokemon like PikaRom and Zoroark-GX are both popular, Lucario-GX and Lycanroc-GX are both valuable attackers to have at your disposal since they are fighting type and can deal moderate to large amounts of damage. I am deciding to favor Lucario-GX as its main attack requires only one fighting energy whereas Lycanroc-GX needs multiple energy for any of its attacks. Choosing Lucario-GX over Lycanroc-GX means that I will not have the powerful “gust” ability Bloodthirsty Eyes as an option, so I have included a Counter Catcher in order to have a non-Supporter gust effect in my deck.
To cover random stuff, overlap PikaRom and Zoroark decks, and have an extra attacker vs most meta decks, I have decided that Weavile UPR is a very strong single prize attacker right now. Notably, it has been very good versus Malamar and Blacephalon, but its potential is fairly high in most matchups due to so many decks wanting to use multiple Pokemon with abilities whether it is a one time use like Tapu Lele-GX and Marshadow or Pokemon whose abilities help over time like Oranguru SUM and Zebstrika LOT.
The last concern of my matchup spread is Blacephalon-GX, which can overrun my deck if they hit Beast Rings. The inclusion of Professor Kukui, Choice Band, and Devoured Field makes it so that Zoroark-GX’s Riotous Beating can hit 180 damage (full bench 120 + Choice Band 150 + Kukui 170 + Devoured Field 180) and Weavile’s Evil Admonition can hit 180 damage (with either Choice Band or Kukui + Devoured Field) as long as my opponent has at least 3 abilities on the board.
My short term goal is to win two League Cups for the quarter, so I will be searching for the deck with the best consistency and matchup spread to pilot for the next few weekends of cups. My Zoroark Lucario Weavile is a bit different than most of the Standard Zoroark decks I have seen, but I’ll see if I can come up with something more fresh in time for Denver Regionals.