Table of Contents
- Toronto Statistics
- Predicting the Greensboro Meta
- Tier 1 and Tier 2 contenders
As I stated last week in the my expanded article, the format was likely to experience some drastic changes from Dallas regionals to Toronto regionals with the release of Team Up and the banning of Lusamine and Delinquent. The top 32 of Toronto was made up of 14 different archetypes, none of which being Zoro Toad / Zoro Control which is largely the combined result of Lusamine being banned and PikaRom being an aggressive deck that can overwhelm control variants. The meta shifts brought by Night March no longer being kept in check by Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant having a field of favorable matchups against fighting type variants definitely has players frazzled for Greensboro this weekend. In this article I unfortunately do not have the one definitive play for you, but I do have statistics, explanation of the meta shift and predictions for the next shift, and reasoning to help you choose from a pool of solid choices that should all see some range of success at the tournament.
First I have some interesting numbers for anyone who did not read into the Toronto decks and lists on their own.
- 10/32 decks in day 2 had at least 1 Wobbuffet (Bide Barricade) in their lists. This card can be devastating to any opponent that wanted to use a card like Shaymin-EX to start drawing cards, but is especially powerful versus turbo decks like PikaRom, Archie’s Blastoise, and Rayquaza-GX.
- Only 3/32 decks in day 2 included Oricorio GRI 56 in their lists. This is a direct Night March counter and was omitted in every Zoroark-GX variant in day 2.
- 16/358 decks entered into Day 1 were Trevenant, 10 of those 16 Trevenant players made Day 2, and 4 of those 10 made Top 8.
- Out of 43 PikaRom and 38 Archie’s Blastoise that entered day 1, only one of each made day 2.
PREDICTING THE GREENSBORO META
I fully expect a diverse meta similar to Toronto’s day 1 meta except less Fighting decks to counter PikaRom. Looking at the Day 1 meta share provided by RK9labs.com, I count 76 Fighting Type decks made up of Lucario-GX variants, Hitmonchan Wobbuffet, Buzzwole FLI Garbodor GRI, Buzzwole/Lycanroc, and misc. Buzzwole decks. So although Trevenant has a poor matchup to Pikarom which was the most popular deck, there were an abundance of favorable matchups against the fighting type variants and also against the Night Marches that showed up. Because of PikaRom’s underwhelming performance and Trevenant’s overwhelming performance, I fully expect this to influence players to look away from fighting variants.
I expect the three most popular decks at Greensboro Regionals to be Zoroark Garbodor, Archie’s Blastoise, and PikaRom. If I am putting these three decks individually in the neighborhood of 10%-15% each, I would predict that Trevenant, Hitmontop Wobbuffet, Night March, Drampa Garbodor, and Lucario-GX/Buzzwole take up around 3%-8% of the day 1 meta each.
I have to come to terms with this being a volatile meta, and I believe the best plan is to choose the deck you feel has the potential to beat most things and take one or two losses along the way. I would not be surprised if I play against 7-9 different decks day 1, so I want to play a consistent deck that has a nice spread of 50/50s and favorables with as few unfavorable matchups as possible. I currently do not see a way to avoid having unfavorable matchups, there are just too many decks.
THE TIER 1 AND TIER 2 CONTENDERS
This is the deck that I would personally love to say is the best choice for the tournament, but I currently cannot say that with confidence. Although Zoro Garb is a versatile deck both when building it and when playing it, the power creep of Tag Team Pokemon are forcing Zoro Garb to either take additional bad matchups or cut consistency cards to tech out the list. In the Dallas Regionals meta I evaluated Zoroark Garbodor as a deck with several 50/50 matchups and several 60/40 or better matchups with little to no poor matchups that a tech could not fix. In our current meta, I would bump all of that down by about 10 percent: several 40/60 – 45/55 matchups that are winnable but unfavored, a few 50/50 – slightly favored matchups, and some very unfavored matchups that 1 to 2 techs can bring to the 45/55 – 50/50 range.
Do I think Zoro Garb will be popular? Yes. Do I think Zoro Garb will be successful in making day 2 and likely even top 8? Yes. But I think it will get there with skill, dodging bad matchups, and a bit of luck in-game. I do not think that it is THE play for the tournament but will likely be the most played or one of the most played decks.
PikaRom is fairly consistent and has the damage output to finish games quickly and also deal with most decks it comes across. It had a terrible conversion rate into day 2 at Toronto because of the massive amount of fighting type decks and Night March that are all large threats to PikaRom. I expect the number of fighting decks to decrease since Trevenant had such a good showing juxtaposed with Pikarom’s poor showing. Pyroar FLF has become the talk of the internet as the tech to beat PikaRom, so I highly suggest playing a 1-1 Jolteon-GX line as a Pyroar answer and in addition a help vs Night March.
I personally believe PikaRom to be one of the best choices for this event since it will likely not tie much, it has a good matchup spread, and fighting decks are likely to diminish in popularity at least a bit.
Russell Laparre Top 8’d Toronto with Archie’s and was my pick to win the tournament. Archie’s power level is insane and in testing I feel like I have at least an even shot of winning any game where I get Archie’s for Blastoise turn 1. Archie’s can suffer from opponent’s that start Wobbuffet and also just from awkward hands. I think that its undeniable potential and its recent placement will lead to it being one of the most popular decks at Greensboro and it is also my current default deck choice.
To my surprise, this was played to Day 2 finishes by notable players like Jon Eng and Stephane Ivanoff who played a very good list for the deck. In addition to having multiple fighting type attackers to hit Zoroark-GX and Pikachu & Zekrom Tag Team for weakness, this deck plays 4 Wobbuffet, so you’re already off to a good start since starting Wobb can mess up so many decks. I think it is very tempting to play this deck since you would have favorable matchups all around you like Zoro Garb, PikaRom, and Night March… the gamble is whether you will play against them all or not.
Looking at my predicted popular decks, Lucario-GX Buzzwole-GX has a favorable Zoro Garb matchup, a favorable PikaRom matchup, a favorable Hitmonchan matchup, and a favorable Night March matchup if you tech Oricorio. The problems for this archetype are Trevenant and Archie’s. Trevenant is an issue due to it hitting Lucario and Buzzwole for weakness while also being resistant to fighting. The Archie’s matchup is seemingly impossible to fix especially if everyone starts running 1 Acerola in their lists like they should. Like I previously said, I expect this archetype to see less play than it did in Toronto. I would not be surprised to see a few of these make day 2, but I do not evaluate it as a safe pick.
Trevenant is completely off the table for me as a choice, but just like the other decks I am covering in this section I expect Trevenant to see some success. I do not think it is a safe pick as people are preparing for it by playing more supporters, adding Zygarde-EX to their fighting decks, or teching Alolan Raticate-GX which handedly KOs Trevenants without needing energy.
Obviously this deck is nuts as it just won Toronto Regionals. It has been around for so long now and it continues to pop up every now and then. As Night March expert Michael Pramawat recently said while appearing as a guest on the Seagrove Youtube channel, Night March needs a cool-off period due to techs like Karen and Oricorio being easy includes if people are expecting the deck.
I believe that the most popular decks will be PikaRom, Archies, and Zoro Garb, but those are not the only matchups that matter. We will have a diverse field and you should pick a deck that you are comfortable with that can handle a variety of different decks. Here is a link to the top 32 decklists from Toronto which should be a good reference point in addition to techs that I talked about throughout the article. Thanks for reading and good luck!