Alright, let me begin this article with a pledge: I will not be writing about LuxChomp again. While I still believe LuxChomp to be the best deck in the format, I feel like writing more about it would really just be like pummeling a dead horse at this point.

If I opt to play in Regionals, I see no reason for me not to simply play it again. The same skeleton for the deck works, and then you just plug in whatever tech options you feel most comfortable with based on your play style and what you expect your metagame to be.

So what am I going to write about? Vilegar? Nope. Gyarados? Not the traditional one, no. LostGar? Nope. Anything SP? Nope.

Instead I’m going to touch on a sampling of various “rogue” decks. Some are in the merely theoretical state, where as others I’ve tested quite a bit. I’ll be sure to touch on that for each specific deck, of course.

On deck, we have the following decks:

1. Magnezone Donphan
2. Gyarados Lock
3. Magnezone Vileplume
4. Palkia Lucario
5. Mamoswine

1. Magnezone Donphan

Pokémon – 23

4 Spiritomb AR
4 Magnemite SF 66
3 Magneton SF 42
3 Magnezone Prime
1 Magnezone SF 6
2 Phanpy HS
2 Donphan Prime
1 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Unown Q MD
1 Regirock SF

Trainers – 19

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Bebe’s Search
2 Twins
2 Judge
2 Stark Mountain
1 Broken Time-Space
1 Rare Candy
2 Expert Belt
1 Warp Point
1 Pokémon Rescue

Energy – 18

8 F
6 L
4 Warp

donphan-prime-heartgold-soulsilver-hs-107-ptcgo-1This is a variation of the old Magnezone Prime Regirock deck. I found 2 Regirock to be a bit unnecessary, especially with the SF Magnezone. If you really feel the need to run 2 Regirock, then make a cut somewhere, but I found it really cluttered the bench and gave way to a lot of targets. Donphan is used to help offset your Machamp game, and your LuxChomp game.

It gives the deck a bit of speed to it. Either a player focuses on stopping Donphan (this applies mainly to LuxChomp) or they focus on dealing with the Magnezone set up. LuxChomp in particular has a serious issue trying to deal with both.

A Belted Donphan can really chew through their deck. It makes it so much tougher for them to pick apart your set up. Of course, it clunks the deck up a little bit, but having access to a secondary attack is never bad when you take into account that you will sometimes have “off turns” where you don’t have energy in play for Magnezone to really be a profitable attacker.

If you liked the Magnezone Prime deck for States, this is an interesting variation that helps improve your LuxChomp game, and gives you a bit of an edge against Machamp. The Warp Point/Rescue/Rare Candy “splash” is mainly intended as a toolbox to Twins into.

Normally you’d prefer Palmer’s Contribution, but I like having Rescue as a Twins target so you can get the Pokémon back immediately rather than having to potentially wait 3 turns to get it back (3 uses of Supporters).

2. Gyarados Lock

Pokémon – 21

4 Sableye SF
4 Magikarp SF
3 Gyarados SF
2 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X
1 Azelf LA
1 Mesprit LA
1 Unown Q MD
1 Regice LA
1 Crobat G
1 Chatot G
1 Giratina PL 9

Trainers – 35

4 Pokémon Collector
2 Bebe’s Search
2 Cyrus’s Initiative
1 Judge
2 Seeker
1 VS Seeker
4 Junk Arm
2 Luxury Ball
2 Pokémon Communication
4 Broken Time-Space
4 Super Scoop Up
2 Black Belt
2 Expert Belt
1 Warp Point
2 Pokémon Rescue

Energy – 4

2 Rescue
2 Warp

cyruss-initiative-supreme-victors-sv-137pokemon-paradijs.comThis is my attempt at the deck that I narrowly beat round 7-of Ohio States. It plays differently from a standard Gyarados deck because it isn’t trying to necessarily be the fastest deck at the table. You see plenty of Gyarados decks aiming to come out of the gates with a turn one Gyarados every game.

While this deck can certainly get its explosive and fast starts, it isn’t forcing itself to. It, in turn, is also more forgiving in the long run in games where it gets off to a slow start. It has a much better game against decks which Power Lock it, and against trainer lock. Since it is built to have a more methodical approach, it isn’t full of dead cards later in the game.

It plays like a hybrid of Sablelock and Gyarados. You have the Judge and Initiative play (or Giratina) and you also get Mesprit. You also run Chatot G to not only get the maximum value out of your locks, but to also help you set up.

Black Belt has seen some play in Gyarados before, but in this build, where it often falls behind, its strength is increased drastically. LuxChomp can no longer simply rely on an Expert Belted Luxray to beat Gyarados, and mirror match, and Gengar become easier to beat because you have a 150 damage output.

That coupled with the fact that you slow them down really gives you an edge.

I’m told it has a good Vilegar game, and from what I’ve seen, it is far better than the standard Gyarados deck vs it. I can’t vouch HOW good it is though. If you like Gyarados, give it a try. This list isn’t flawless but it is a good start, and remember, players are inherently bad vs disruptive decks.

It should be really good against SP decks, especially Sablelock and DialgaChomp. LuxChomp is favorable as well. You have the standard good matchup against Machamp and Regigigas, and hopefully your Vilegar and LostGar games are pretty good.

3. Magnezone Vileplume

Pokémon – 25

4 Spiritomb AR
4 Magnemite SF 66
3 Magneton SF 42
2 Magnezone SF 6
1 Magnezone Prime
1 Magnezone LV.X
2 Oddish LA 112
2 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
1 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
2 Unown Q MD

Trainers – 19

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Bebe’s Search
3 Twins
3 Judge
3 Seeker
2 Broken Time-Space
1 Palmer’s Contribution

Energy – 14

6 L
4 M
2 Warp
2 Double Colorless

Note from Adam: The list appears to be missing 2 cards, waiting to hear back from Chris on what to add.

pokemon-paradijs.comReplace Gengar in Vilegar, and add in the inevitability of having a tanked Magnezone LV.X. Good against SP and Gyarados, and has a pretty solid Machamp game too. You get the joy of Seeker looping your Pokémon as well. Your Gengar game is pretty good too.

The biggest issue is winning on time, so know exactly what you are doing before picking this up as you don’t have a ton of time to think things through. You can tweak the deck by adding cards like Giratina, or Crobat G, or Mesprit to key off of with Seeker as well. Even a card like Expert Belt can be added because, with the high Seeker count, you can bounce Vileplume to enable midgame trainers, allowing it to be put onto your Magnezone.

Clearly the biggest draw to this deck is how abusive Magnezone LV.X is when they can’t play trainers. Doing 80 damage and Paralyzing every turn gets degenerate. The standard play is to smash them for 80, then hit for 60 and hide on the bench to avoid being smashed, until you get all 4 Metal in play. A 1-1 Blissey Prime line also works pretty well, and can be tried to get squeezed in there.

4. Palkia Lucario

Pokémon – 24

2 Palkia G
1 Palkia G LV.X
3 Riolu LA
3 Lucario CL
2 Murkrow SV
2 Honchkrow SV
3 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X
3 Mesprit LA
1 Azelf LA
2 Unown Q MD
1 Spiritomb AR

Trainers – 27

4 Pokémon Collector
1 Bebe’s Search
3 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
1 Energy Gain
1 SP Radar
2 Pokémon Communication
1 Palmer’s Contribution
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Seeker
3 Junk Arm
1 VS Seeker
2 Warp Point

Energy – 9

4 Double Colorless
2 W
2 D
1 Warp

Unown-Q-Majestic-Dawn-MDpokemon-paradijs.comHere is my most recent build of Palkia Lucario. I’ve seen a lot of people really try to make the deck into a build focused on an SP engine. I’ve found less success with that than treating it as a different deck entirely. Spiritomb has been a fantastic addition to the deck, as it gives you a means of forcing your evolutions into play.

It lets you set up past trainer lock as well. I’d really like a 2nd copy, actually. It is your primary means of “slowing down” an SP deck enough to allow you to get going on an even footing. It also lets you force through Set Up, Lost Cyclone, and Psychic Bind.

The extra Unown Q (I honestly wouldn’t mind a third!) helps because it lets you get going faster. It allows you to attach itself to a Pokémon before using Lost Cyclone to net extra Pokémon in for Lucario per turn. This speeds the deck up quite a bit.

I’m still not entirely sure that I want all of those Cyrus’s Conspiracy even. The cards been fine, but it takes up a lot of space. By cutting them I may be able to add in more Bebe, and cut the SP Radar and Energy Gain for other cards which are more universal in purpose. That is playing fine as it is, but has some room for improvement still I’m sure.

Your DialgaChomp game is phenomenal. LuxChomp has proven to be pretty good, but sometimes they can just run away with a game if they get really good start to your average one. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t that great. Probably 50-50, although you have far more comeback ability than them. This deck gives you a lot of ability to outplay people, which is good.

Your Gengar matchup (both variants) hinge on the inclusion of the 2-2 Honchkrow. The rest of the deck is hardly “bad” against the decks, so such a thick devotion to beating them really does tip the scale. Honchkrow is also key against Gyarados, where you are hard pressed to ever outrace them in a “fair” exchange.

Your game plan instead is to hurt them with the lock, and midgame, you get to use Honchkrows to load their bench with Magikarp faster than they can try to bounce and discard them. You actually get to a point where you prevent them from killing Lucarios and they eventually start one shotting Gyarados, so you can feel ok going down a few prizes in this matchup.

5. Mamoswine

Pokémon – 22

4 Spiritomb AR
4 Swinub LA
4 Piloswine SF
3 Mamoswine SF
1 Mamoswine LA
1 Regirock LA
2 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Unown Q MD
1 Crobat G

Trainers – 23

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Bebe’s Search
3 Copycat
3 Twins
1 Palmer’s Contribution
2 Broken Time-Space
1 Stark Mountain
2 Switch
1 PlusPower
3 Memory Berry

Energy – 15

6 F
3 W
4 Double Colorless
2 Warp

wm_normal_021_mamoswine-stormfront-sfpokegym.netOk, this one is far more about just having fun than likely actually being that great of a deck, but man is it fun. Every now and then I’ll stumble upon decks that are far more inventive or creative than they are truly viable, and this is one of those.

The main thing holding it back fundamentally is that it will always just be too slow. Theres no way it’ll ever win on time, at least not in matchplay. It actually has the potential to be pretty good in an untimed game against a lot of decks though.

The basic idea is to use Memory Berry with Mamoswine. We run a 3 to 1 split of the fighting Parade Mamoswine to the water one, because it is the better card, and fighting is more beneficial. The real core of the deck stems from Piloswine’s attack Rouse though.

It does 20 damage plus has a Rage effect, and then heals 40 off the pig. Needless to say, with 140 Hit Points, you see where this is going. Memory Berry lets you copy the attack, allowing it to do outrageous amounts of damage while being extremely difficult to kill. All for a measly fighting energy and a double colorless energy.

This deck actually destroys LuxChomp, which is enough of a reason to promote it on its own. Mamoswine is resistant to Luxray, capping it at 50 damage at the best. With Rouse, you then undo the entire damage done, and then return a KO.

Against Garchomp, if they hit you for 80 damage, they discard their energy, and you do 100 back to them, and net them a total of 40 damage done to you, still leaving you with 100 left to chew through. With the PlusPower, or a Crobat G, Rouse 1HKOs Garchomp C.

(For Crobat, try to use Switch, then hide behind Spiritomb to force through Flash Bite.)

pokegym.netThe best part of the deck is that you have the true definition of inevitability. The longer the game goes, the more Swine you get in play, and eventually you take over the game with Parade. Doing upwards of 180 damage, no deck can compete with the damage output. And the Memory Berry + Rouse play makes it very easy for you to get set up into positions like that.

Against Gengar, you aim to empty your hand of trainers with Regirock, then watch them try and crank out enough damage to kill Mamoswine. Sometimes you’ll have to chew through some Fainting Spells but if those go fairly well, you have a good shot.

The addition of Skuntank G could help there. The Poison will sit on Mamoswine until you use a Warp Energy or a Switch, but you don’t use it unless its getting past Feinting Spell so it’s a small price to pay.

I’d like to see a few Seeker or ways to heal Regirock for the Gengar game, but this list is far from perfected and has room for a lot of tweaking. Your Machamp and Magnezone games are, as to be expected, quite good. The same can be said for Regigigas, and any of the metal tanking decks.

Your weakness is actually to grass, an unplayed type, so that bodes well as well. Your worst matchup is likely Gyarados, which is fast, and has the damage output to push clear past your healing. They also are resistant to you, which makes it really hard to even compete.

Fundamentally the deck is such an underdog there that it isn’t even worth trying to fix that matchup as I don’t think it is really feasible.

So if you really want to put the hammer to SP decks, turn some heads, and most of all, field the hairiest deck in the tournament, then take Mamoswine to your next tournament. Expect to take many losses on time, and get Tail Revenged into oblivion, but at least you’ll punish that kid who netdecked the latest LuxChomp list off of SixPrizes.

I want to reiterate my disclaimer here again. These are not finalized decks. These are not necessarily tier 1 decks. They are sound concepts with solid initial lists that are a great starting point to players who want something new. We’ve drilled into the ground all of the same decks for months now because this format is stale.

I figured I’d toss some fresh ideas out there (I did so months ago too with that Kingdra deck, and the fun little Shaymin deck) and see if anyone finds something they’d enjoy playing. This isn’t a list of potential format breakers, but a list of decks I haven’t had time to fully explore since I knew that, even if I go into Regionals to play, I will be using LuxChomp. I do, on the other hand, have some other things I’d like to touch on.

In addition to these decks, I wanted to touch on some of the more recent happenings in the world of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. First and foremost, we have the beta testing of the online Pokémon TCG program.

Pokémon TCG Online

If you haven’t gotten a chance to swing by and give it a try, do so immediately.

Here is the link to it: http://www.pokemontcg.com/

I’d advise you take the grass deck, because, besides being saddled with a pile of do-nothing Caterpie, nothing in the game actually beats the Meganium. It deals 60 damage for 3, and heals 20, which is pretty much about as high as the opponent’s damage output really gets a majority of the time.

I think I had it die once, and that was near the end of a 6 Prize rally to come back after sacrificing those aforementioned Caterpie. Wigglytuff is also pretty busted in there and covers the weakness issue pretty well.

The night the Beta went online, I pretty much sat there until I wound up acheiving the Triple Crown, which consisted of beating all 3 cups with the same deck. It was that addictive. Sure, it is playing with glorified theme decks vs other glorified theme decks, but it is still pretty fun.

The interface is friendly, and looks really good. It is very user friendly, and lets you do pretty much whatever you want in game. I’ll be comparing it rather frequently to Magic Online, which is an absolutely fantastic program that is one of the best things to happen to competitive Magic in years.

On that note, the Pokémon Online Beta is far more user friendly than Magic Online is even years after its been improved upon, so that is a huge step in the correct direction. Now if only Pokémon could say the same about their website…

Beyond that, the AI on the Beta is pretty awful, and I’ve heard tales of opponents Copycatting for 0, and I personally had a player attach a PlusPower to their sleeping active Pokémon, expecting it to signal a prompt evolution, only to watch them pass the turn, and discard their PlusPower.

Needless to say, that needs work. Yet looking back at the old TCG game for the Game Boy, and the opposing Trainers were never much to write home about there either, and that game was still a blast.

The PVE (Player vs Enemy, or CPU) aspect of the game isn’t really the appeal of Pokémon TCG Online though. The player vs player potential, on the other hand, is. Nintendo has already announced the plan for the game to host online tournaments, and to have a full card pool.

Now, I’m not sure what exactly that means, and how far back they plan to introduce cards. I’d be ok with getting backs of Legendary Collection, but I won’t lose sleep if the card pool, at least in the near future, is restricted to currently legal sets. Magic has a huge online tournament player base, and I’d love to see Pokémon accomplish the same thing. All of the potential is there, so I have high hopes.

The main thing that is “up in the air” about the game is just how cards are acquired. In Magic Online, you buy boosters at retail price, and have an alternate collection online. These cards exist only digitally, although they offer a clause that complete sets can be “redeemed” for their physical counterparts.

They have their very own secondary market and online dealers, and this has proven a healthy system. People have always complained that they don’t want to pay for data online when they could be paying for the real cards, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t sound that much more silly than paying for stacks of cardboard either, now does it?

The product only holds as much value as the demand for it dictates, and whether that product is a card or an online item (see: Gold in World of Warcraft, anything on Magic Online) is irrelevant as long as there is a secondary market to support it.

Online TCGs offer a ton of benefits that can’t be met “in real life”. Sometimes, a man just wants to wake up at 3 am, log online, and play in a tournament. And then another tournament. And hey, lets toss a draft on top of that. And I want to play against people 2000 miles away from me. Whenever I want. At home.

If you get a big collection, the days of groaning through Apprentice or Redshark games are through. What Magic Online did for the world of competitive Magic play is unparalleled. Players got better, FAST. Worldwide, really. People were able to play more, against better competition. It is great for the game.

Do you work a full time job? Log in at night and play long after leagues or tournaments are done. As great of a time I have going to events, playing online is simply more efficient. I have every intention of investing heavily into the product, and look forward to playing in as many tournaments as I can.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Pokémon Online follows Magic Online closely, or if they stray from the path. I’ve always liked to say that if a system isn’t broken, then don’t fix it. Now, I’m not saying that the Magic system is flawless, and that Pokémon couldn’t improve upon it.

I am just a bit concerned that they will try something too off the wall that may in turn risk messing it up. Both games have had the criers yelling “I won’t pay for online cards!” and those people have always been vocal. Yet those aren’t the target audience. Magic Online has made a fortune selling cards and I see no reason why Pokémon Online won’t do the same.

Black and White Rules

Alright, moving away from the Pokémon TCG Online Beta, we have the impending release of the next set, Pokémon Black and White. This set will drop after Regionals, so it’s impact won’t really hit until Battle Roads and Nationals, but it is still worth looking at. Lets try and have a look at the major changes.

The first is that trainers can be played on the first players first turn now. This isn’t “really” much of a change. There will always be a difference between playing first and second. Originally you always wanted to go first. Now, more often than not, you want to be going 2nd. This just shifts the desire back to going first.

While before you could make the argument that you could at least be up an energy attachment, or the chance to evolve your Pokémon, as a means to offset the gap between first and second, the switch isn’t huge.

I don’t think it needed to be made, and while I do think the current rule IS superior (because of the reason I mentioned before) the change is hardly game altering in the long run, and does very little to get me to say it is necessarily a “bad” change.

Rare Candy has been “fixed” to require a Pokémon to be in play for at least a turn before it can be used on it. This is a fantastic fix, and needed to be done awhile ago. Cards like Kingdra LA, and Machamp SF pushed the limits of the card, and Jumpluff, Kingdra Prime, and others broke the barrier wide open.

These cards really hurt the balance of the game and enabled decks to reliably get first turn kills. This needed to be “fixed” much sooner than it was. The format as is, is way too fast, and needed slowed down. This is a great step in the right directly.

It felt that even if a player wasn’t “actually” first turned, the handicap a player faced getting a stage 2 KOing their active on the first turn of the game often sealed the game effectively.

Now, lets address the DOWNSIDES to these changes. I mentioned how the change in going first is not that big of a deal in the long run? Well, we have a very big issue in the short term. That problem would be our good friend Sableye from Stormfront.


Guaranteeing the option to go first has ALWAYS been an advantage due to Impersonate, but it was offset by the inability to play your trainers. Now, Sableye starts are such an absurd advantage that they can’t be overlooked.

Now, literally every deck will be REQUIRED to run 4 of them. Odds are, they will in turn, also run Cyrus’s Initiative. Imagine an SP deck going first, playing Pokémon Collector, filling their bench and using Set Up, and then Impersonating a Cyrus’s Initiative. Plus holding a Power Spray. Or even just Collectoring for a Giratina, or using a Judge.

These cards were either impossible to use (or in Giratina’s case, hard to get at since it is often a 1-of) but now will be common place, if not the norm. Games will be stolen turn one far more reliably. Sableye presents a HUGE balance issue.

As for Rare Candy being nerfed… we still have Broken Time-Space to “cheat” the system, and it, with the growing in popularity PokéDex/PokéDrawer/Junk Arm engine, still allow some aggressive stage 2 plays. Unfortunately, it is safe to say that evolution decks to an even bigger hit.

In the long run, this doesn’t matter because the “handicap” is imposed on all decks, but we have to remember this is in a format where SP decks thrive already. These changes further drive the nail in the coffin of the opposition.

Lets also go back and realize that this change definitely hurts Vilegar! It used to be that opening Gastly and going 1st OR 2nd meant a trainer lock from the start. Now, opening Gastly no longer establishes a lock if the opponent goes first.

Any start that isn’t a Spiritomb now enables the player to play out all of their Trainers if they go first. The “no trainer rule” no longer gives you a free pass into using a supporter to get Tomb active before they can dump their hand.

Stage 2 decks, and trainer lock decks take a huge hit. This leaves us where SP decks and Gyarados are so far and away better than every other deck that the format becomes a train wreck. Not only does this format become narrow in terms of what is viable deck wise, but those decks gain strength on the back of cards which prompt game theft, being Sableye and the oh so lovely disruption it offers, now on the first turn.

I’m glad I have a pretty good rating going into the release of this set because I do not envy those who are stuck trying to earn their invite on the back of Nationals this year.

The BW rule changes were SPECIFICALLY designed with a format consisting of HGSS onward. Under that pretext, the rules are fantastic. The format is slowed, and balanced, and all of the “problem” cards are out of the equation. Unfortunately, these rules look as if they will be imposed on a format that is completely unable to handle them.

What to do?

This brings us to a crossroads. Either we do nothing, and experience the atrocious format that comes from it, or something gets done. The two most popular decisions I’ve heard have been to either postpone the BW changes (which do little to impact the playability of the BW cards) or make a rotation mid format to HGSS onward.

Coming from someone who has played LuxChomp all format, I support the mid season rotation. When the season was announced (and the rotation “projection” of 4 sets being rotated per year) there was no knowledge of the game altering rules change.

Exceptions need to be made for the health of the game, and I know players are going to complain that the cards they invested in rotate before they expected, but let me tell you, it is certainly better than the alternative. It is a bad position for the game to be in regardless, but something needs to be done.

Whenever cards are banned in a game, people are unhappy, but sometimes it needs to be done for the greater good. This format is already stale and luck based, so there is no real need to “protect” it. I’d be interested in everyone else’s opinion on this matter, so please, light up the forums and get some discussion going.

Fun Deck


Also, here’s a “fun” little deck that I know some have been testing. I haven’t bothered to do a ton of work with it myself, but the concept seems truly degenerate and bad for the game (à la Uxie Donk). It mainly works with three Pokémon, being Forretress, Emboar, and Shuckle.

Forretress is the dumb card that people tried to break with Blastoise awhile ago. Every time you attach an energy from your hand to it, flip a coin, if heads, it deals 20 damage to everything in play. Well, now, things just got even more degenerate.

Emboar has Rain Dance for fire energy… only it can be attached to any Pokémon, regardless of type. Let me use this as a moment to say that I really hate that pig, and not just because its card is good. I think its ugly, annoying, and stupid. Stupig, even. So to see it get a degenerate card is aggravating.

So outside of being a fairly good pairing with that Forretress, the “engine” is fueled by Shuckle. Yes, that random, overlooked fighting type promo. Long story short, it lets you draw a card every time you attach an energy from your hand to it. I imagine you see where this is going.

Using a combination of Super Scoop Up, Seeker, and Junk Arm, you repeatedly bounce Shuckle to your hand after attaching a ton of R Energy to it with Emboar. Every time it “bounces” you net progressively more and more cards. The turn ends by you dumping the energy not on Shuckle, but Forretress, blowing up the field.

This “engine” is sadly good for quite awhile due to the fact that Shuckle is a HGSS card, but Forretress will get the axe if a mid season rotation does occur. SO stock up on your Shuckles and Sableye kids, hedge your bets. At least if the format is a disaster, you can profit off of it the old fashioned way.

The Professor Cup

Moving on (Yes, I have topic ADD) we have the announcement of the format we get for the Professor Cup! It will be HGSS ( good idea guys ) onward, but every deck is restricted to playing just one type. Also, every game, you get to choose what Pokémon you open with.

This is an interesting idea, but one that is pretty poorly thought out. I’d like it if they didn’t restrict decks to one type. Unfortunately, we have a few major issues. First, cards like Scizor, Steelix, and Tyranitar, alongside anything evolving from Eevee, are literally illegal.

A number of types have poor options entirely. You also get an innate Rock Paper Scissors problem. By forcing decks to be all one type, the number of games won or lost by time advantage will be extremely high.

Also, last but not least, how are you supposed to beat LostGar? I know the “LostGar Hype” has been done before, but lets break this one down a bit. Decks are inherently slower. No SP decks, no Gyarados, no Rare Candy, or BTS abuse. This slows everything down. LostGar is barely fazed. Also, all decent dark cards aren’t even legal. A “dark deck ” can’t exist, and decks can’t splash it.

Did I mention it gets to start with Mew Prime every game? Clearly there is a huge balance issue here. Nothing stops LostGar from just Seekering and Spiritombing its way to an easy Professor Cup victory. I have every intent of bringing it, and there really isn’t a reason to use anything else.

These Professor Cup formats are always extremely short sighted and poorly designed, which is a real shame. I like the idea of testing out how “choosing your opener” works out, but come on, the flaws are easily noted the second you brainstorm about a deck!

That actually brings me to asking everyone else a question. Two years ago we had an awesome draft format for the Professor Cup. Its execution was a bit flawed, but having actually tested the draft format a lot in preparation for the event, I loved it.

I’ve been meaning to implement it while playing Magic drafts in the near future, but forget the name of it. So if anyone can tell me the name of the Professor Cup format from 2009, I’d appreciate it!


play-luxchomp-without-cyrusAnyway, Regionals is coming up this weekend, so I hope everyone enjoys their events, and does well at them. I gave some interesting deck ideas to toy around with in this article for those who aren’t comfortable with anything they are currently testing, but if you are really serious about winning, I suggest using LuxChomp.

Gyarados is my second choice because with a fast, aggressive build, it should beat anything but Vilegar. Vilegar I don’t like, but if you enjoy it, it is a fine choice. DialgaChomp has done well as well.

Anything besides those are a bit of a gamble, but everyone should know their metagame better than I do, so just be sure to play what you expect will do well against the field you expect.

So in closing, good luck, and happy testing!

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