We have no tournaments in the post-rotation format to look at for ideas, influences, or meta predictions before Worlds. Because of the rotation happening before worlds this year, the deck lists will be very fresh and I imagine we will get to see many new archetypes find success. I have been testing a fair amount these past weeks, and with 8 decks built so far I can safely say I feel as if I have barely scratched the surface of the format. I have gotten my hands dirty with most of the obvious new decks and formerly popular decks that are transitioning over smoothly, but there are a lot of new and rogue ideas to try as well.
There are 5 indicators I am looking at to gauge what the worlds meta might be like. I am taking into account the following: 1) online content such as YouTube videos, Twitch streams, and articles 2) discussion, polls, and questions in forums such as Heyfonte and Virbank City 3) information given to me by friends on what they’re testing, what they like, what their friends like 4) my own testing results and assuming that at least some players are finding similar results and 5) which popular decks from NAIC format are still viable post-rotation.
My current observations are that the meta looks to be Tag Team centric with a splash of GX decks and very few single prize attacker decks. Just to give you guys an idea, here is a list of decks that I have on my radar due to the 5 indicators I listed above:
Tag Team Decks
- Green’s Reshizard
- Darkrai Umbreon Dark Box
- Zoro Ninja Dark Box
- Giratina & Garchomp Malamar
- Mewtwo Mew Fairy/Psychic Box
- Mewtwo Mew Welder Box
- Aerodactyl-GX variants
- Ultra Necrozma Malamar
Single Prize Decks
- Spell Tag Malamar
- Zapdos ???
So as you can see, Tag Team Decks are currently plentiful and have lots of hype surrounding them over the other decks if you categorize decks by how many prize cards their main attackers award. This list I have made is not all inclusive, I just wanted to show an example of the major decks I see being worked on and talked about. Note: Zapdoshas question marks next to it because I do not have a ton of faith in it at the moment but I know people are trying to make it work.
So what am I doing with this speculatory information I’ve gathered? I’m glad you asked. While testing all of the decks I’ve built and looking for weaknesses and strengths, I am also trying to find weaknesses that the meta has as a whole. Currently, there is an over abundance of Tag Team and GX decks and a clear underrepresentation of single prize attackers.
This is my current train of thought: GX decks will try to trade favorably with Tag Team GX decks. Tag Team decks will try to overwhelm GX decks with their extra HP and overpowered attacks. Single Prize decks should then have the opportunity to take advantage of these one-shot fest decks that will be overextending to knock out smaller Pokémon. I think that single prize attackers can safely secure their GX matchups, but the Tag Team matchups can be dicey due to healing options with such high HP. In the recent metas that we have become accustomed to, there would be a 4th category which is stall decks. Aside from Shedinja which is low tier ⅔ and not a worry of mine right now, stall is looking like it might be gone for a while. Usually that’s just when it comes back, but with Acerola, Max Potion, and Counter Catcher gone in addition to this meta having so much energy acceleration, I do not see stall popping up at worlds.
AN OVERVIEW OF SEVERAL DECKS I HAVE BEEN TESTING
Green’s Reshizard is an archetype that transfers over to post rotation quite nicely as it already made great use cards that are now more important like Custom Catcher and Power Plant. Green’s Reshizard is built without any ability Pokemon, so it wasn’t hurt by the rotation of Marshadow SHL and Tapu Lele-GX like many other archetypes were.
My list from my deck profile for Green’s Reshizard with three Power Plant has been testing very well versus decks that rely heavily on GX abilities throughout the game like Mewtwo Mew Tag Team decks, Dark Box decks using the new Weavile-GX, and Pikarom that uses Zeraora-GX sporadically for free retreat and multiple Dedenne-GX for aggressive drawing. With Great Potions and Mixed Herbs as healing options, Green’s Reshizard can also sufficiently handle decks that plan to two-shot your large Pokémon. The ability lock of Power Plant is not full-proof, since the opponent can go back to using abilities once they find a stadium of their own, a Faba to remove power plant, or Marshadow UNB to remove power plant. While I acknowledge that the opponent just needs to have an out to power plant prepared to come back into the game, Reshizard is an aggressive attacker and can steal a game away if the opponent falters for just a turn or two under the Power Plant lock.
My current evaluation for Green’s Reshizard is that it is versatile, has reactive and proactive options, and can be aggressive with Reshi or passive with Volcanion. While it has a lot going for it, it feels pretty fair whereas some other decks I’m testing have a lot of potential to be overwhelming. I don’t think it will be one of the very best decks going into the worlds format, but it has great potential and is definitely on the long list of viable decks for worlds and post rotation.
You can watch my deck profile on Green’s Reshizard here: https://youtu.be/Ku28SGYtVBQ
In reference to the list in the video, take out two Eevee Snorlax Tag Teams for an additional Reshizard and an additional Switch.
Pikarom also transitions into the new format quite well. It loses Tapu Koko GX but gains Alolan Raichu & Raichu Tag Team GX. Pikarom is well-rounded versus other GX based decks and can even put up a fight versus single prize attackers with Zapdos. Raichu Tag Team is really good versus any decks that aren’t running multiple Switch or Escape Boards due to its first attack that paralyzes.
Pikarom feels a lot worse post rotation vs single prize based decks and I believe that this is due to three main factors: 1) Pikaroms own single prize attacker Zapdos is harder to search out with Nest Ball and Ultra Ball out of the format 2) Rescue Stretcher has rotated out which means you can’t extend your Zapdos’ to help you even more and 3) Marshadow SHL is no longer an early disruption option to ruin your opponent’s hand and give you an advantage where you otherwise would not have one.
I believe that Pikarom currently has a place in tier 1 and that will stay true until we have a surplus of single prize based decks come into meta.
Read my recent article on Pikarom here!
There are several ways to build Malamar: Spell Tag Giratina LOT, Giratina Garchomp Tag Team, Aerodactyl-GX, Ultra Necrozma… but Spell Tag Malamar is the way to go in my current opinion. Regardless of the variant you choose, Malamars are no longer threatened by the impending Guzmas and Bloodthirsty Eyes to snipe them down and ruin your setup. When choosing Spell Tag to be part of your Malamar variant, you are again helped by the rotation since Field Blower is no longer in Standard format. Most of the Malamar engine is still intact after rotation: Mysterious Treasure, Acro Bike, Lillie, Cynthia. We lost Ultra Ball and are now using Pokémon Communication which hurts but not bad enough to mind playing this archetype.
Spell Tag Malamar trades favorable with GX based decks and can even trade favorable with opposing single prize based decks due to Spell Tags adding extra damage around the board. Espeon & Deoxys Tag Team is a great choice for the deck’s GX attacker since it can clean up any Pokémon your opponent retreated to the bench or that had gotten pinged with Spell Tag damage. I currently evaluate Malamar as Tier 1 with no hesitation, and spell tag is currently my favorite variant.
I have my list from two weeks ago on YouTube, but I have since updated it. Replace the Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX with Espeon Deoxys Tag Team and you can try replacing the Lunala Prism Star with a Jynx from Team Up.
SPIRITOMB BEASTS (JIRATOMB? SPIRADOS?!?)
This is a rogue deck that I recently started working on but it is showing promise early on. Like I mentioned earlier, I think there is an over abundance of GX and Tag Team oriented decks so I’d like to take advantage of that with hard hitting single prize attackers.
The list below is built to consistently put out a ton of damage with a single energy, single prize attacker every turn. The Spiritombs can become quite unbearable for GX decks to handle and the Ultra Beast Pokemon can come out of nowhere on the turns when their attacks are buffed by the respective amount of prize cards (see Kartana, Buzzwole, and Xurkitree’s attacks). The Zapdos’ are there for yet another layer of damage output since they utilize electropower, but I am going to cut them and try Pokemon Communication and other consistency cards in place of the 2 Zapdos and 3 power and see if I miss the lightning package.
MEWTWO MEW FAIRY PSYCHIC WATER (MEW2 YPW)
To understand exactly what this archetype is, watch this video where I go over my personal list for the deck.
Mew2 YPW offers a myriad of attackers, both with technical applications like Altaria-GX and raw power like Dragonite-GX. The great thing is all of these attacks can be used by Mewtwo Mew, so you don’t have to establish multiple Pokémon on your board. I have been able to take 50/50 or better matchups to all other GX decks I’ve tested against. Spell Tag Malamar is hard to deal with but can be done by healing your Mewtwo Mew and removing psychic weakness with Jirachi-GX.
I hope you have enjoyed the information and the decks that I went over in this article. The decks that I spoke on specifically are the ones I have tested enough to comfortably delve deeper into. I’m quite literally building more decks by the day, so I will do my best to have more fresh content ready again next week as we get closer and closer to Worlds, the DC Open, and the next season of Pokémon TCG!