Typically whenever a new tournament season starts (Autumn BRs, Cities, States, Regionals, Spring BRs, Nationals, Worlds), I do a “Face of the metagame” article. However, with the format for upcoming Spring BRs being completely stale right now, I couldn’t force myself to write an entire article dedicated to it. I’ll go over what I think will win and why, but I’ve been having far too much fun with HS-on to turn back now. Hope none of you mind!
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to make a week one Battle Road. I have obligations on Saturday and I run league on Sunday (BRs aren’t enough to make me cancel a league session typically), however, I think I can still provide some decent input on the matter. Like I said, this isn’t going to be as long as my typical articles on the subject, so bear with me. Just gonna go over some bullet points…
Sableye and Spiritomb are the MVPs of BRs.
pokebeach.comThis is a given. Sableye becomes a ridiculously overpowered card (especially when combined with Uxie and Crobat G) with the BW ruleset, and what happens to counter Sableye? (and more importantly, the Sableye deck?) Spiritomb. If you’re attending any BRs this season, especially opening week ones, expect to be forced to play with and against ridiculous amount of Spiritomb and Sableye-based decks.
Even if there’s not a lot of hype for Sabledonk in your area, Gyarados uses Sableye and that deck get tons better, and there’s probably still a place for Sablelock decks to have some shine too. I expect most of the Spiritomb decks to be VileGar stuff, maybe some VileChamp mixed in there. Magnezone w/ Spiritomb also has a chance of doing well, I guess.
Sableye decks won’t win the majority of BRs.
Before I get into this, note that I’m saying they won’t win the majority. They’ll certainly win some, and I’m willing to bet that percentage will be pretty high. However, with Spiritomb-based decks being such a hard counter to Sabledonk, I don’t see how, in any region with decent players, Sableye is going to dominate.
It’ll win events early, and of course it has the chance of being Sableye-based decks, but I can’t see too many people getting through an entire tournament filled with Spiritomb decks based off of luck, especially considering some of the bigger BRs have 5 rounds and a top 4.
Despite all this, Sableye is still bad for the game.
I went over this in my last article, so I’m not going to repeat myself here too much, but: Sableye warps the metagame around it, forcing players to either play Sableye or Spiritomb (or both) as starters. Even if the deck doesn’t prove to be overpowered, that kind of command of the metagame is unhealthy for the game. That is all.
If you need quick points, play Sableye.
pokebeach.comMost of my friends who are on the verge of Qing for Worlds have decided to play Sableye for BRs, and with good reason. Although I said earlier that not many tournaments (especially those in tough areas) are going to be taken by Sableye, the truth is that you should be able to 2-0 donk your way to an invite if you have a good build.
You can even risk playing through the entire tournament if you have friends willing to scoop to you (and if you aren’t attending Nationals or otherwise can’t qualify through anything except the grinder, you should definitely scoop your friends in. Good friends etc).
It won’t be pretty, but gaining 2-3 points per event times 5 events or so can make the difference between top 40 and top 41.
If you want to win, don’t play HS-on decks.
After being unable to find the will to dismantle HS-on decks and subsequently build MD-BW decks, I thought that maybe just going in with an HS-on deck would be fine. I mean, the format isn’t that different, right? Wrong.
Between MD-BW players having access to Uxie and being able to Flash Bite your Cleffas to death, the HS-on decks have a very hard time winning. Add Spiritombs, Uxie lines, etc. to these decks and they get tons better and can withstand the field, but I wouldn’t recommend going straight HS-on unless you plan on circling a lot of Ls that day.
That’s all I’ve got as far as BR content goes. I’ll be attending a few, so if I do well expect to see some reports from me sometime within the next few weeks. Good luck at your events and let me know how you did!
Pokémon Catcher is bad for the game:Why
I don’t know how many of you have tested HS-on at all, but I have pretty extensively, and it’s a really neat format. There’s a decent variety of different decks and styles you can use, and the format is generally slower and more skill-based than MD-on.
It’s a lot more focused on consistency and deckbuilding, and is just a radically different format, from what we’ve been testing. I’m quite happy with the way this is turning out so far, however, there is one looming problem…
I won’t go as far as to say that Catcher will ruin the format or take all the fun out of it or anything, but I think it’s going to damage it extensively. In the same way that some decks were completely unplayable last format because it “dies to Dragon Rush”, “gets Power Sprayed”, or “dies to Bright Look”, decks this format will be in a similar boat, becoming nearly completely unplayable because of the power of Catcher.
I spoke about how format warping Sableye was a few paragraphs above, and it’s really the same case here. Luckily Catcher goes into every deck and the inclusion of Catcher, unlike Sableye, doesn’t dictate the style of deck, but the general point is the same: Catcher warps the format around itself.
Take Donphan for instance. In MD-BW2, Donphan Prime decks have the power to KO almost any basic Pokémon (aside from Zekrom/Reshiram, LEGENDs, and other such things) on turn 2. I haven’t tested it extensively, but from goldfishing a few hands, this scenario…
- My Turn 1: Open Phanpy, attach F, passes
- Villian’s Turn 1: Open whatever, Collector for dudes, attach, Eek/Pass/etc.
- My Turn 2: Evolve to Donphan, Catcher most important basic, EQ for KO
Is quite frequent. There are certainly arguments against this, I mean, you can always get double of your most important basic, and just Catchering and KOing basics doesn’t work after a while, so you’ll need some kind of back-up/late game plan, which will hurt your chances of getting Turn 2 Catcher, etc., etc.
While all of these are valid, the point still stands. The example above seems pretty ridiculous, and that’s only one deck. Who knows what other decks other (better) players will come up with to abuse Catcher, particularly now that you can essentially run 8 copes (4 Catcher + 4 Junk Arm), and use cards like Juniper to draw into them at a ridiculous rate.
All in all, I hope that I’m disproven, and that Catcher doesn’t sour what is an otherwise fantastic format. If you think I’m wrong and have testing results or theorymon examples to back it up, I would absolutely love to hear it. Here’s hoping…
Play To Win
– My YouTube Channel, Play To Win, has been updated with 2 best of three matches of Emboar/Reshiram vs. Zekrom/Pachirisu/Shaymin, as well as decklists for both. Check that out and please rate, comment, and subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/playtowinpokemon.
– We’ll be uploading a best of three match (complete with decklists) of MewGar vs. Emboar/Magnezone soon too. We’re also planning on having a bunch of other stuff up soon, including more test matches, metagame analysis, deck techs, trade binders, and give aways. Remember to subscribe if you want to support us and keep up to date with the happenings of PTW.
– Speaking of, we’re in need of someone to help us design a background for your YT page. We wanna swag it out so that new viewers are more likely to take us seriously and subscribe, but neither of us have any experience in doing such things. Is there someone out there who can help? If so, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can trade cards or help with your decklist or whatever you would like. :)
pokebeach.com– We also need suggestions for what YOU want to see. It’s important to us to give the fans what they want, so please leave a comment on our channel or e-mail me directly, or the channel itself (email@example.com) with any suggestions or comments you may have. We’re doing all of this for you guys so we’re really interested to hear what you want from us. :D
– Has anyone seen the new SixPrizes t-shirt design that’s been posted on the Facebook page? If so, what do you think? I personally like the old “I Scoop” design better and still rock it regularly, but the new design is growing on me. Peep the FB page and Like it to see what’s up. :D
– My friends Tyler Ninomura and Isaiah Middleton have also started a YouTube channel that’s pretty dope at http://www.youtube.com/friedchickennrice. Peep game!
– Does anyone have Rayquaza/Deoxys LEGENDs for trade? I’m currently looking for a set of 2. I have cards, money, deck advice, relationship advice, baked goods, etc. Kenny got what you need babeh, just holler.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Join me next week as I teach you how to get digits at Pokémon tournaments. xoxo!