Hello SixPrizes readers! The last time I wrote was right before Cities were about to start. The past couple of months have been a long and grueling grind. Nearly every weekend there have been two City Championships back to back — some weeks even more thanks to the marathons. This Cities season took me on many adventures, both with the metagame and traveling. I managed to come out of Cities with my Best Finish Limits being 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and 3rd which adds up to 160 total Championship Points from Cities. This puts me at 232 CP total with only 27 coming from League Challenges.
Today I want to share with you my experiences throughout Cities and what I learned from them which will apply to your upcoming Winter Regionals, unless you are going to Florida. Unfortunately, since I am not attending Florida Regionals, I have not practiced in the next format at all. I am solely focused on the current format (BCR-PHF) since my goal is to get my Worlds invite at Virginia Regionals. I have tested extensively for Virginia and have an abundance of experience in the format thanks to attending so many City Championships. I have prepared for this Regional far more than normal thanks to streaming as well.
Recently, I have been streaming PTCGO in between my Hearthstone streams at twitch.tv/rayc591. Streaming has made testing a fun experience for me that I look forward to doing whereas normally testing feels more like a chore that must be done. If you ever want to watch me play Pokémon or Hearthstone at the highest level I would love for you to check out my stream.
In this article I will be talking about the decks I played at Cities and how I have updated them to be my potential plays for Winter Regionals, and perhaps they will be your potential plays as well. After discussing my Standard decks I want to touch on Expanded since that will play a huge factor in determining who will do well at Regionals and I feel people have not been talking much about Expanded.
Table of Contents
Leading up to the first weekend of Cities I knew what deck I was going to play. Usually it is rare for me to have decided on a deck prior to the day before a tournament. With the hours of testing that the New England crew, mainly Chris Murray and myself, put into Virizion/Genesect we knew it was going to be a strong play the first weekend of Cities. It was a safe deck which had good matchups for what we predicted the metagame to be.
Generally when a format changes people tend to find comfort in past archetypes they know well while they wait for the format to develop. For this reason we expected decks like Donphan and Yveltal to be very popular Week 1 of Cities. Fire-based decks like Pyroar proved to be inconsistent in testing and were not incredibly popular in our area before the first weekend of Cities, making Virizion/Genesect the play.
Following the first round of the first City Championship we found our foresight was on point. The metagame turned out to be exactly what we had predicted, barring a few Manectric-EX-based decks. At the City Championship in Waterville, New York I managed to get 2nd place with Virizion/Genesect, losing only to mirror played by Tristan Macek, who was in our testing group. Our lists were within 4-5 cards of each other with the only changes being preference-based techs. Here was the list I ran to finish 2nd that day:
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 36
Energy – 14
I know that in other parts of the country Virizion/Genesect is not very popular. In Florida and southeastern parts of the country there are a ton of Flareon and Night March decks running around which makes Virizion significantly worse. However, here in New England Virizion/Genesect was arguably the most popular deck throughout Cities. It did better than any other deck.
Generally all the lists that found success had the same skeleton and varied with different techs from tournament to tournament. I piloted a list within 5 cards of the one I just posted to another 2nd place finish, a 1st place finish, and a 3rd place finish. The deck is fast, consistent, and has few weaknesses outside of Crushing Hammer, Head Ringer, Crobat, and Fire. Crobat didn’t become popular until the tail end of Cities in our area. Even the Donphan matchup seemed to favor Virizion/Genesect thanks to the overwhelming amount of gust effects. The only time the matchup seemed to be in Donphan’s favor was when they played more than one Wobbuffet PHF.
Here is the skeleton that nearly every Virizion/Genesect deck that did well in our area was based off of. I will explain card choices and what you could fill the open spots with and why. At each tournament I played a slightly different list based off of what I predicted the metagame to be, and I believe you should do the same going into Regionals if you choose to pilot this deck.
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