Hey all! It’s been awhile. I am back from Portland Regionals and had a fantastic time. Portland is a great city and it was definitely some of the most fun I’ve had at a tournament even though I had a poor performance. Looking back, I was pretty shocked to see how much the Metagame changed from Charlotte to Portland. In this article, I am going to reflect on my tournament, analyzing how Standard keeps shifting and going over some decks I would play for upcoming League Cups.

Portland Report

When I was heading to Portland, I was pretty lost on what to play. I knew Buzzroc was a pretty safe choice, but I really disliked playing Max Elixir decks. I felt like I had to run really hot throughout the tournament do well. My playstyle is normally something consistent and playing with variables I have more control over. I also felt Buzzwole was a pretty targeted deck meaning that there would be counter decks. I saw my roommate Peter Kica rolling with his Bulu deck again convincing Alex Hill and Azul to play it. Personally, I hate playing Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt because I brick everytime I play it. I quickly removed that as an option.

I read Olliver’s article about Lucario/Lycanroc and I was very intrigued. I was testing Lucario GX all day and I found it to be very good while messing around with a lot of different variants. I ended up going with a Zoroark/Lucario deck because I have been playing Zoroark GX for the majority of the season. I was drawn towards the consistency that Zoroark provided which lead me to dismiss the strengths of the other Lucario variants. Here is the list I played alongside my matches:

R1 Buzzwole/Lycanroc WW 1-0
R2 Lucario/Zoroark/Lycanroc LWW 2-0
R3 Lycanroc/Zoroark LWW 3-0
R4 Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt (Alex Hill) LWL 3-1
R5 Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt LWW 4-1
R6 Lucario/Buzzwole/Octillery LWL 4-2
R7 Lucario/Lycanroc LL 4-3

Zoroark GX/Lucario GX

Pokemon (19)

  • 4 Zorua
  • 4 Zorark GX
  • 4 Riolu
  • 2 Lucario gX
  • 1 Mew EX
  • 1 Mewtwo
  • 3 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers (33)

  • 4 Guzma
  • 3 N
  • 3 Brigette
  • 2 Cynthia
  • 1 Mallow
  • 1 Professor Kukui
  • 4 Puzzle Of Time
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 3 Field Blower
  • 2 Choice Band
  • 2 Evosoda
  • 1 Enhanced Hammer
  • 1 Float Stone
  • 1 Rescue Stretcher
  • 1 Parallel City

Energy (8)

  • 4 Double Colorless Energy
  • 4 Strong Energy

I started off my day pretty well, but then started to sputter out midway. I remember making a crucial misplay versus Ben Potter in Round 6 where I thought Sudowoodo can copy Lucario GX's attack for knockout, but I forgot Sudowoodo needs to have damage on it to be able to utilize Cantankerous Beatdown GX. I ended up targeting the Sudowoodo foolishly. I could of used Lucario’s GX attack to knockout his only Buzzwole with Energy in play and win the game the following turn. I could have been 5-1 but dropped to 4-2 because of a dumb mistake. But hey, that’s what happens when you’re not familiar with your deck sometimes. It is also my fault that I did not really test my deck that much. Since I knew Zoroark so well, I did not really master the other part of my deck.

Round 7 I played against Olliver’s deck, Lucario/Lycanroc. I remember just getting dominated. My opponent went after my Zoroark GX’s with Guzma’s and Bloodthirsty Eyes. When my deck does not have Zoroark in play it struggles very hard. Due to my list only running one Mew EX and one Float Stone I had a hard time responding to Lucario’s. I found the matchup to be very hard with the list I had.

I was 4-3 at this point and decided to drop, I just lost faith in my deck because I did not feel like the list was correct. The top 64 Points/Packs did not really matter to me so I just went and relaxed. It felt great just hanging around instead potentially wasting my time playing out the last two rounds with a sub-optimal decklist. Learning from this experience, I should stop going into these tournaments with little practice. I should have practiced my deck more to find the optimal list and to be more familiar with the technical play. In the past, that has always worked for me. I’ll learn from last weekend. I just want you guys to learn from my mistakes. Practicing makes a huge difference in tournament performance,

After looking at the results from Portland, I noticed that Jake Morgan did very well with Lucario/Zoroark. His list is close to perfect if not perfect and shows you how much he practiced to find the correct counts. It is not too surprising to me that Zoroark can still do well in this Meta full of Fighting decks. It’s funny to me that the best performing Lucario deck was a Zoroark variant when most of the Fighting decks that Day 2 were using the Brooklet Hill/Octillery version. It just goes to show you that Zoroark GX is still a great card that can work in any Metagame.

Jake Morgan’s Top 4 list Zoroark GX/Lucario GX

Pokemon (20)

  • 4 Zorua
  • 4 Zorark GX
  • 3 Riolu
  • 2 Lucario GX
  • 2 Mew EX
  • 1 Mewtwo
  • 1 Regirock EX
  • 3 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers (32)

  • 3 Guzma
  • 3 N
  • 3 Brigette
  • 3 Cynthia
  • 1 Mallow
  • 4 Puzzle Of Time
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 2 Field Blower
  • 3 Choice Band
  • 2 Evosoda
  • 2 Float Stone
  • 2 Parallel City

Energy (8)

  • 4 Double Colorless Energy
  • 4 Strong Energy

Analyzing Jake’s list shows that it was very prepared for Fighting decks. Two Mew EX and two Float Stone is super to important in the current Meta. Higher counts of these cards help deal with opposing Buzzwoles and Lucario's. I realized halfway through the tournament that I needed more copies of these cards in my deck to make the Fighting matchups better. I also did not play Regirock EX. This card makes a huge difference in the Bulu matchup because you can set up Knockouts with Choice Band+Strong Energy+Regirock. Double Parallel City is super strong because it just gives you control versus a lot of matchups. Parallel City can also deny an opposing Mew Ex from knocking out your Lucario. Another aspect I like about Jake’s list is the 3rd Cynthia. I always like consistency in decks in general and having three copies is something I wish I added before the tournament.

Now let's look at some possible additions for Lucario/Zoroark. The Meta is constantly evolving and a couple of cards can make a huge difference in some matchups.

Possible Additions

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