pojo.comAt Adam’s request, and because I was already in the process of playtesting the format, I’ve decided I would write up some in depth analysis of the format being used for the Professor Cup this year. Long before P!P decided to offer up the potential for a HGSS On Nationals, they announced they would be running the Professor Cup under such limitations…with a catch!
First and foremost, we are stuck with two major restrictions. Well, I guess one is a restriction, and the other is a perk. We are stuck with two major “alterations” may be a bit more fitting then. The first of these is that our entire deck is limited by one type.
The second alteration is that we get to choose our starting Pokémon every game, taking the variance of what we open with out of the format. Let’s address these two changes right off the bat before we go into what cards and decks look to be front runners in this format.
By restricting deck construction to all Pokémon of one type, we take away the ability to hand craft fun interactions between many of the different Pokémon. No more Magnezone Emboar, or a diversified Stage 1 deck featuring the likes of Donphan Prime, Cinccino, and Zoroark. The real deck choices are pretty much hand picked for us as the creative options are restricted quite a bit.
One of the criticisms that Pokémon faces is the rock paper scissors nature provided by the use of different “types” and their respective weakness/resistances. This has always been less of a real issue in the past because decks could diversify and end up covering their weaknesses, and thus a complex and enjoyable checks and balances since was in place.
The new format removes a good deal of that, and it actually winds up playing a key factor in what decks are going to be most viable.
pokemon-paradijs.comA number of evolution lines are not going to be legal at all. Let’s address a few of them:
- Tyranitar Prime: Larvitar and Pupitar are Fighting
- Eeveelutions: Eevee is Colorless
- Steelix Prime: Onix is Fighting
- Scizor Prime: Scyther is Grass
- Slowking Prime: No legal psychic type Slowpokes
Now, not all of these “matter” that much, but some of them are otherwise interesting options. Scizor Prime is a really good card in this format, as is Steelix. Tyranitar is clearly a good card as well. The two most interesting facts to take out of this observation though, are that Metal and Dark types are extremely restricted in terms of what they are able to use.
As a result, it is safe to say that Pokémon with a Metal or Dark weakness are pretty good choices, as they don’t have anything to really try and answer them that can also hope up against anything else in the format.
Slowking Prime is an awful card. Yet it is reliable draw power in a format where types can’t run their Cleffas, or other supplement draw/back up Pokémon, so in a Psychic deck, it might have actually gotten some use. Well, if it could be used, that is.
Let’s actually break the types down one by one and look at what the initial standout cards appear to be.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe most obvious card to look at in Water is Ferligatr Prime. It is fantastic energy manipulation, and has a fairly respectable attack as well. Built into the line is also the other Ferligatr whose Spinning Tail attack is respectable and makes a pretty nice addition to the deck.
Any time I can get two good Pokémon out of one line, I’m pretty content. Gatr is the engine of a deck, and a good secondary attacker, but it does need to get paired with something else to really carry the weight of the decks offense.
Samurott is a great choice because not only is it really beefy, packing 140 Hit Points and a built in two M Energy, but it also comes packing an unlimited damage output. Now, admittedly, tanking the guy with 7 W Energy to do 140 damage isn’t exactly “efficient” but with Gatr Prime, it isn’t unrealistic either.
This is a trend I’m going to continue to address, but Samurott is also weak to Lightning. Feraligatr is weak to Grass. By mixing and matching weaknesses, the deck is able to avoid being completely hosed by facing a deck of the type it has issues with.
This is one of the good things about playing Water: There is a good mix of Water and Grass weaknesses, which give it an inherent edge over types such as Fire, who are forced to pretty much bear the brunt of their monotonous Water weakness.
pokegym.netWailord is another good attacker in the vein of Samurott. It has a lot of Hit Points, and can do a ton of damage. It too has a diversified Weakness from Feraligatr. Now, admittedly, Wailord is a weaker card than both Samurott and the next guy on the list, but deserves inclusion because of one thing: It is a Stage 1.
Unlike other pairings, it doesn’t force us into filling a ton of deck spots into an attacker line. By running this guy, I do suggest going with a 2-2 split on Feraligatr, as you get extra mileage out of Spinning Tail being able to load the bench with enough damage to really milk KOs out of the giant Wail.
Blastoise is another good pairing. It gives you a bit of flexibility with your energy attachments, and gives you some pretty good reach with your damage because it can hit the bench for 100 damage. Due to the new rule with Rare Candy, it lets you get some great positions where you set up before an opponent (or establish a lead where you kill their main attacker and they do not have a replacement) and you can just snipe their basics and lock them out of the game effectively.
100 damage doesn’t kill many primary attackers, so it has the same issue Wailord does to a degree, and is a bit more demanding on your deck, but it is a pretty nice pairing none the less. The alternate weakness is present here as well.
In closing, I feel that Water is in a great position to be able to perform at the Professor Cup. Plenty of great attackers, and a fantastic energy manipulator in Feraligatr Prime, coupled with a variety of weaknesses leaves it in great shape.
pokegym.netEmboar looks to dominate Nationals itself, and I see no reason why it isn’t an immediate front runner for the Professor Cup as well. The biggest “issues” facing Emboar are the loss of Magnezone Prime and Rayquaza Deoxys Legend due to different typings, but it’s important to remember that all of the other decks get hurt as well, so comparatively, Emboar is still in a pretty good position.
I don’t feel like I need to go in depth too much as to why this line is insane, but I’ll touch on it anyway. Inferno Fandango is entirely abusive and will fuel your entire deck, along the same lines as Feraligatr Prime, only with fewer restrictions.
The other Emboar offers a 150 damage swing, which becomes even more important now that we lose Magnezone and RDL, as it’ll be the primary cannon of choice now. Just like how Gatr benefits from having 2 playable Stage 2s stemming from the same line, Emboar does it as well, only with even better copies.
Reshiram becomes a much more important role player with the absence of other key attackers. It still isn’t “that” impressive in my eyes because most big attackers wind up with 130+ Hit Points, but it’s too efficient not to run a few copies of.
It has a high damage output and a really high hit point total all on a basic, so it’ll be a great attacker while you set up the rest of the deck.
I don’t like Ninetales in standard HGSS on where there are better draw sources amongst the types, but when restricted to only running Fire, I think Ninetales deserves a go as either a 2-2 line or even a 3-3 line. He’ll keep you fueled with more R Energy and help you get your deck fully developed.
If you don’t want to try Emboar, Typhlosion Prime offers a secondary engine. It has a bit better synergy with Ninetales, but I don’t necessarily like it that much. It damages your Pokémon, and still limits you to the number of energy per turn you can attach, unlike Emboar.
The other, and in my opinion, biggest downside to this card is the lack of Bad Emboar. Its 150 damage attack is likely to be your primary weapon, and by swapping Emboar for Typhlosion you lose that, and I think it hurts far more than it would in a traditional HGSS on deck.
Fire winds up as being one of the best types to initially look at. It has a pretty simple port over deck (Emboar) from HGSS On, and it also has one of the few draw Pokémon in the format, with Ninetales. It has all of the tools Water does, and they are all almost direct upgrades.
The downside? Everything is weak to Water, and unfortunately, Water seems to be a pretty decently positioned type as well, so being an underdog in the “heads up” match may be enough to hamper its push at being the best type to use.
pokemon-paradijs.comMeganium Prime is one of the better cards grass has at its disposal…which more or less sums up the fact that grass is pretty much an entirely gimped type. Grass isn’t good in HGSS On, and it doesn’t get much better when its restricted to just its type either.
Meganium offers a lot of Hit Points, but a pretty worthless attack, and its Pokémon Power really only was “good” when paired with Blissey Prime. Perhaps it can be used to abuse Seeker at some point, but the card seems suspect.
The other Meganium heals itself, so the deck could be a decent stalling/tank effort, but with Fire looking to be a great type to use, I see very little reason to want to try and use these cards.
Yanmega is one of the more popular grass cards in HGSS on, but mainly because it is so splashable. In a card pool where it is forced into the role of primary attacker, it is a bit weaker. Its obscure weakness to Lightning may be its saving grace as it lets you add a Stage 1 line to your Grass deck to help you offset the otherwise monotonous fire weakness.
Its 30 damage anywhere attack was better before with the heavy use of baby Pokémon like Cleffa, but without decks being able to splash for it, its use seems hindered.
pokegym.netSerperior is a great card. Its Ability is an unrestrictive version of Nidoqueen’s (RR) so it works in swarms, which means that unless they are scoring one hit kills, it’s not going down easily at all. Its attack is a bit underwhelming, but efficient none the less at 60 damage for 2 energy.
This card SCREAMS Support Pokémon, both for its utility Ability and promising looking secondary attack. Unfortunately, on a Stage 2, with no “primary attacker” stepping up and demanding attention, it seems like it may go unplayed.
Jumpluff may be the best card to try and run in this format for Grass, but Jumpluff really hasn’t been the same since losing Expert Belt, Poké Turn, and Crobat G. Its damage cap is too easy to restrict, and Hit Points keep rising.
Without the absurd speed and efficient damage output it used to represent, its frail 90 Hit Points on a Stage 2 become more and more of a glaring weakness. Without Uxie or Claydol, it’s harder to swarm with as well.
Sunflora’s Pokémon Power lets you get a Grass Pokémon every turn, so it plays the role of Grass’ “Ninetales” in helping you set up. Unfortunately there just aren’t that many good targets for it! Having such a powerful engine wasted on a type with simply no good targets is a bit frustrating (especially since I’ll admit, my favorite type IS Grass…unfortunately it rarely seems to offer good competitive Pokémon )
This is a last minute mention, because it offers up a pretty nice Poké-Body. It makes it so your Grass Pokémon gave no weakness! This is huge in this format, but unfortunately, your issues vs Fire aren’t really taken care of because Emboar’s 150 damage still 1HKOs every Grass type in this format regardless of weakness.
Grass is a pretty terrible type and I really don’t suggest trying to use it if you are serious about playing and winning in this format. Unlike Water and Fire, the type really doesn’t offer enough tools for any tier 1 deck to immediately jump out, and in a format where there are a bunch of pretty obvious “best deck” contenders already jumping to the fore front, I doubt the potential is even there.
pokegym.netMachamp Prime is going to be a true beast of a card in this format. 150 HP with the potential to do 150 damage with its attack is good in its own right. Couple it with the ability to really abuse Seeker, and it becomes one of the most prominent threats in this fledgling format.
A lot of types are going to struggle to get to one shot a Machamp, which means its going to do a lot of damage without giving up any prizes. It offers a pretty well established port over from standard HGSS On, in Machamp Prime Donphan Prime, so let’s try and address that next.
The card is fast, and offers a Water weakness for Fighting, which is great for diversity. It’s attacks are potent, and with 120 Hit Points and a built in two M Energy for a Body, it is really hard to kill, especially early in the game. Odds are, the card will be your opener, as you want to use it early to apply pressure while you build up something better, such as Machamp Prime.
Oddly, its biggest “attribute” is actually its intended weakness. It’s attack does 60 damage, but also does 10 damage to all of your bench…perfect for setting up Machamp to do its maximum 150 damage. The synergy there cannot be overlooked.
I don’t really see a lot of other really viable Fighting types in the current format, but I don’t really feel like they are needed. Like Fire and to a degree Water, we are left with a fairly obvious pairing that is clearly strong enough to be immediately put into the “tier 1” category.
pokegym.netAfter months of trying to make this card live up to its hype, I think this may be the format where it FINALLY gets to shine. Let’s look at all of the tools it still has. Seeker is still legal, as is the new Spiritomb. We still have Lost World, and Mew Prime. All of the major role players are still around.
What have we lost? Fossils. Mesprit, Power Spray, and other disruption. Deafen. And most importantly? We’ve pretty much had Dark types banned. Unless you want to try and build a Weavile deck, you’d be hard pressed to really even use Dark type Pokémon because they all evolve from other types.
This benefits Gengar quite a bit as all of its biggest issues are now gone. Plus, decks are universally slower, and previous problem cards (such as Rayquaza Deoxys Legend which made racing way too easy for Emboar) so LostGar seems absolutely fantastic.
Mew is great in this format. I’ll address the topic of “choosing starting Pokémon” in the next section, but Mew gains a huge amount of strength off of this. Being able to open with it every game nearly guarantees you’ll start Lost Zoning Pokémon as of the 2nd turn, which is as fast, if not faster, than literally any deck in the format.
Well, here’s just a bit of icing on the cake for Gengar Prime. With a huge amount of Hit Points, and a non-existent weakness, Gengar is going to be very hard to one shot. Let’s make it even harder to kill by giving us Damage Swap in a deck that already is going to run 4 Seeker.
If you can’t one shot Gengar, good luck even taking a prize here. It should wind up being a 1-0-1 line, and a tech at best, because the deck functions fine without it, but I think its inclusion is more than just a “win more condition”.
Sadly, most other Psychic types seem to be pretty poor. They haven’t really made much of a splash in normal HGSS on, and I think it’ll stay that way for this too. None the less, my immediate reaction to seeing this format announced was to try LostGar, and I stand by my feelings that it is one of the most threatening decks in the format.
pokegym.netClearly one of the strongest cards legal in HGSS On. Its Magnetic Draw Poké Power is the best draw available, and its Lost Burn attack does near unlimited damage. Did I mention it has a hefty 140 Hit Points? In normal HGSS On, it gets paired with Emboar, or even Gatr Prime, but now we have to be a bit more creative…
Pachi was originally used to accelerate Zekrom alongside Shaymin, but I think its purpose is served just as well with Magnezone. Between your attachment for the turn, and the two off of Pachirisu, you can “attach” 150 damage worth of energy each turn. Seeker and Super Scoop Up allow Pachi to really get re-used which helps provide its own little engine for Magnezone.
Zekrom is still a good attacker, but without Shaymin, it is a bit harder to really power up. None the less, it has a lot of Hit Points and a high damage output, so adding one or two copies to a deck doesn’t seem that unreasonable.
This card is actually pretty good with Pachirisu! It’s Poké Power performs the role of Shaymin, and lets you power out 120 damage every turn. It has a lot less Hit Points than Magnezone, and doesn’t offer the draw power, but it is only a Stage 1, and can either be used to replace Magnezone as it should be pretty easy to get attacking turn two, as a secondary attacker alongside Magnezone.
Lightning actually winds up in pretty good shape due to Pachirisu pulling a clutch role in energy manipulation. Both Raichu and Magnezone feed off of it, and while it isn’t quite as easy to work with as Emboar or Magnezone, it still allows you to dump a lot of energy in play to fuel your big damage attacks.
pokegym.netColorless really gets hammered here because traditionally Colorless Pokémon have always been a bit underpowered to offset their ability to go into any deck. Cinccino is strong, but it still doesn’t really one shot too much. It caps at 100 damage before PlusPowers, but it admittedly starts swinging pretty early.
Ursaring has some pretty high damage output, and is, sadly, one of the better Colorless attackers. This says more to the fact that Colorless is really devoid of much meat at all, than it says about Ursaring’s strengths sadly. Its attacks are all really costly barring any sort of acceleration, even with access to Double Colorless Energy.
Blissey is an absolutely amazing support Pokémon…unfortunately, it doesn’t really have anything to support. If there was a better primary attacker for Colorless, I have no doubt this card would be seeing so play here because of the strength of its Poké Power, but alas, I don’t see too much.
Its 90 damage attack after a kill is great, but is better used in a deck that wants an off type attacker that it can splash than in a dedicated colorless deck.
Colorless is pretty much an unplayable type, but hey, this format doesn’t really leave a lot of room for innovation as they pretty much hand pick out deck choices for us on this one.
Ok, I’m not even going to pretend like there are enough options to build a deck with here. Dark doesn’t get the ” I’ll humor you” approach I took with Colorless. Houndoom, Mandibuzz, Weavile, Absol Prime, etc, are nowhere near good enough to actually form a cohesive deck in the face of the other types we’ve discussed so far, and I’ll be blunt with it.
Metal pretty much suffers the same fate seeing how every good Metal card evolves from a different type and is thus illegal. Klinklang and Aggron aren’t exactly all-stars. Their strength comes from their ability to “tank” Metal energy…which doesn’t really work too well in a format where Emboar and friends are one shotting you, and Magnezone Prime does as well.
Gengar Prime doesn’t care about KOing you either. As a result, none of these cards will be able to get by on the prospect of tanking alone, and their otherwise subpar attacks aren’t going to overcompensate for that.
In closing, the “real decks” that seem to stand out from these types are Fire, Water, Lightning, Fighting, and Psychic. Emboar, Feraligatr, Magnezone, Machamp, and Gengar respectively. So I’ll go through and give lists for all of these decks, but first, I want to delve a bit deeper regarding the option to “choose” your starting Pokémon.
Gone are the days of running 4 Dunsparce (or Sableye!) in hopes of maximizing the odds of drawing it in your opening hand in order to start with it. Now, we get to choose who we open with. This “concept” to reduce bad hands and initial variance has been discussed on and off for years (I think Dana Lynch was the first to really fight for it on the PokéGym years ago, but I may be wrong) and I’m curious if this is their “test run” to see if there is any validity to it being an adopted change somewhere down the line.
Pokémon has done similar “trials” with rules changes (more to floor rules than actual game mechanics admittedly) before, but I do think this is a pretty huge change if it does ever happen. This will make players rethink the way the entire game is played.
This allows us to run 1 single copy of our ideal starter (or in the case of LostGar, we still run 4 Mew, we just get to open with it ever game) and save deck space. It also lets us run “multiple” starters. For example, Water has access to Relicanth, which lets us Lost Zone a card to draw 3.
Now hypothetically we may not want to do that vs a LostGar deck, so if we knew we were up against LostGar, we could run a “back up” starter, and open with that, as you can choose from game to game. Knowledge of what an opponent is using thus becomes very important. Having 1-2 different openers isn’t a particularly bad idea.
In some matchups, you know you’ll be the aggressor, in others that you just play to set up, so having a different opener for each role doesn’t seem like a bad play. It is less of an issue in this format because there aren’t as many choices as I’d like, but if this rule was ever applied with less restrictions or a bigger card pool, I’d be curious to see where it goes.
Let’s look at some of the good options for the above decks.
Reshiram or Magby appear to be the two best openers here. Reshiram soaks up hits, and guarantees you can set up around it. Since Emboar has a really strong late game, it matters less that you start as the aggressor, and more that you set up with giving up the least # of prizes possible. It also helps that you’d run Reshiram anyway.
pokegym.netMagby is a bit more interesting, but it packs a free retreat, and it burns for 0 energy. This lets you be a bit aggressive, while also keeping defensive by trying to hit behind its Body. If you do wind up the aggressor, free retreat works well, and couples well with its free attack so you can theoretically swing turn 2 for some good damage.
It comes down to knowing your role as aggressor or the reactive deck, so I think adding 1 Magby is a pretty safe play.
The best card for this is likely Relicanth. Prehistoric Wisdom nets you a lot of cards which is important there. Unfortunate, the dumb fish has a 2 Retreat Cost which could backfire. Manaphy from Unleashed has an attack for a colorless that shuffles your hand into your deck and draws 5 cards. The more important part is it also has a free Retreat Cost.
I’m not as big a fan of drawing 5 cards at random than I am of drawing 3 in this deck, but I think running 1-of each is probably correct. Even if you open Relicanth, having a free retreater to promote between kills midgame gives Manaphy some value.
I’ve heard Pichu tossed around for this type, but I really don’t like giving both players and equal edge, especially not in a format where all the decks look to be set up decks and thus benefit equally from its attack. Plusle has an attack for a colorless which draws you 2 cards, and sadly, may be one of our better options.
pokegym.netElekid has an interesting attack, doing 20 damage to the bench, but I’m also less than thrilled by it. This is actually a deck that DOES want to hoard its energy drops, so the free attack and free Retreat Cost may really be your best bet.
Zekrom could be interesting as well, just as a thicker wall to hide behind, accepting your role as the reactive deck, as it lets you set up your Magnezone walls while also building up your energy drops.
Well, this one is pretty cut and try. You pretty much always want to open with Mew Prime. This is one of the few decks that actively benefits from its game plan being augmented by choosing what to open with, outside of merely running a “set up” advancing Pokémon.
You could run Jynx, whose attack is a Copycat, in mirror match, where you may not want to start off by Lost Zoning a Pokémon to help their cause.
This is another different story, because you likely want to lead with Phanpy. This lets you be aggressive and maximizes your ability to attack with Donphan on the second turn without going down on energy drops. I’d run 1 Tyrogue as well as an opener against Water, or for weird scenarios where a Phanpy opening seems incorrect.
So let’s get down to some decklists shall we?
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 26
Energy – 16
Sage and Engineers work really well with Ninetales and getting a huge hand, which is what you want here. No shuffle draw. Since Bad Boar is a primary attacker, I’ve felt less need to run Reversals or PlusPowers here, although I can see trying a build that runs Reversal to help combat Water decks. You should be fine just slugging it out with other decks though.
For Reversals, try the following fix:
-2 Sage’s training
-1 Pokémon Collector
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 27
3 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 16
pokegym.netAdmittedly, some of those numbers are a bit weird. The solo Supporters are all up in the air, but I am currently testing how they all play, so no decisions have been made. Unlike the Emboar build, or Magneboar in standard HGSS On, we lack any form of true draw power, and are facing a pretty hefty demand on our energy count.
I’m not sure what array of Supporters best accompany the deck, but it’s a start. Relicanth plus Engineer’s Adjustments seems good. Perhaps Sage is good alongside Engineer’s here over the trial Juniper and Interviewer. Manaphy as a midgame recovery Pokémon is actually pretty nice.
As for why I go with Engineer’s Adjustments here over Sage which I prefer in Magneboar, it’s pretty simple. This isn’t the kind of deck where selection is so much more important than raw card quantity.
The normal plan is to just get to Magnezone, and set up and go with it. This isn’t that simple, so digging deeper is a bit less important than merely having more cards.
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 30
Energy – 16
This ones a bit tight on space, but I want for a 2-2-2 Split on Collector, Sage, and Judge. Once you get Magnezone up and running it really doesn’t matter that much. There are always room for changes, but this is a pretty good base list.
Zekrom may not be worth it and could go for another Collector in the end. Reversal may prove not to be worth it, but it seems like the best way to answer Fighting decks, which seem to be the decks biggest problem.
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 30
Energy – 14
Again this is a deck that struggles a bit on draw power, but a mix of Sage, Juniper, and PONT should give it more than enough to keep going. Reversals and PlusPower help allow Donphan to apply pressure while you set up Machamp.
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 28
Energy – 12
pokegym.netThis deck oddly has a ton of room in it now that it doesn’t have to compete with the cards that give it major problems. The only issue is being able to make sure you get 6 Pokémon Lost Zoned once Seekers dry up. Spiritomb and Judge help there, and you can always do it the “hard way” by spreading damage and taking kills with Gengar Prime active.
Those stand to be the basic stock lists for what I feel are the top 5 decks (in no particular order) in the format. I’d need to hear a pretty convincing argument for any other types of decks. Even if you are not playing in the Professor Cup, I’d suggest at least trying the format out.
It’s different, and fairly fun even if there isn’t a lot of variety. Playing with the choice of what you open with is a nice change of pace, and I’m curious how everyone else feels on the issue.
Now, when I was given this topic to write about, I knew fairly well that a majority of the readers here would likely not be playing this format, and probably not care about the content as a result. None the less, this needed to be covered.
It is the problem we face as writters on the staff when there are multiple formats being played around the world for different people. I’d like to close the article by saying a few tidbits on the other going-ons in the Poké-World at the moment.
Attendance here has been disastrously low. What I find funnier is that there have been as many as a dozen players who would normally play these events, instead simply showing up and hanging out, trading, and playing games on the side than playing in the event itself.
These are not players (such as myself) who are concerned about their rating. These are players who find the format so unenjoyable they could be there, with decks built, and just opt NOT to play because it is that un-fun. These aren’t cutthroat players. These are casual to regular players who just don’t want to play.
On another note, Gyarados has pretty much smashed all of the events here, with a built-in Sabledonk engine. I doubt we’ll see much “Sabledonk” as a deck (which, for all intents and purposes, is just Uxie-donk, a previously bad deck, that got a bit better, but still sucks) and if people plan on judging the health of the format based on whether or not “Sabledonk”, a deck no one should have EXPECTED to be a good deck, is doing well, then they never really grasped the problem to begin with.
The strong elements that made Sabledonk a good deck to begin with have been adapted into every deck to begin with. So rather than getting donked by Uxie Donk, they are getting donked by Gyarados, or LuxChomp, or any number of decks.
The donks are still happening, the RIDICULOUS lopsided nature of games (whoever goes first legitimately wins 90% of the time now…even if a donk is not incurred) and the lack of fun are still very much present.
I played in a tournament at League where out of nearly 20 players who showed up, we managed to round up 8 to sanction it. Keep in mind, of those 8, three wanted to play. The others were talked into it so we could sanction it. I played 3 rounds, and played a total of 4 turns.
I was donked 1 game, donked someone the second, and the 3rd, I dropped Mesprit turn 1, and turn 2 I got the Gyarados + Seeker for the benching. Had the game continued, he would have been Mesprit locked and pretty much crippled regardless. It was the least fun I think I’d ever had in an event.
On the other hand, after the Cuyahoga Falls Battle Road, we held a 16 man side event for HGSS on. It looked to be far more balanced, and players seemed far more excited for it. Emboar Magnezone wound up winning it, beating Typhlosion Cinccino Ninetales in the finals.
pokegym.netZekrom was played in pretty decent numbers, but did absolutely terrible. I can officially say I have lost faith in that deck as being a contender and strongly suggest players avoid it at all costs. Decks have gotten smoother, faster, and more stable, so the speed and disruption it previously offered is now simply being outclassed.
My next article (and likely last before Nationals) will be a final, and in-depth analysis of what I consider to be tier 1 and tier 2 of the HGSS format. I’ll offer up great stock lists for people to run their decks into for a gauntlet. As I get to see what more and more people seem to be favoring, I’ll be able to give predictions for what decks I think will both see the most play, and what decks I expect will perform the best.
Also, two last notes. First, pick up Magnezones while you can. They seem to be near 25 dollars and I expect them to only go up. Also, another financial tip: Pick up old EX cards if you can find them. Apparently they are worth a decent amount of money after previously having bottomed out after rotation.
Collector demand has seemingly increased, so old rare, unplayable cards have value again. One of the players at League I go to was desperately searching for a Magnezone Prime that no one had an extra of, and he began to offer a stack of 8 EX cards he owned (Rayquaza, Deoxys, Armaldo, Politoed, Rocket’s Scyther, Rocket’s Hitmonchan, Salamence, and Crawdaunt).
I figured I’d do the trade, figuring I probably got about 40 dollars worth of cards, which isn’t that great of deal even because I’d have to A.) pick up a Magnezone (it came from my deck) and B.) have to find people who wanted EXs, where as Magnezones were the easiest to move ever.
Well, I go home and check eBay and apparently the EXs came out to like 90 dollars! I had no idea the prices had stabilized so high! You can still find a lot of people who undervalue these cards, and if so, pick them up, they should be worth it in the long run!
Also, go check out Kenny Wisdom’s new article. He’s been writing for the site for a while now, and he’s put in a lot of work on this format and I feel the articles a good read. I look forward to seeing as many of you as I can at Nationals this year as well, so feel free to come up to me and say hi!
I’ll be easy to spot at the top tables of the Professor Cup if you can’t find me otherwise. I’ll be paying extra attention to my inbox in the next few weeks if anyone wants to ask direct questions regarding the format and Nationals, so feel free to hit me up!
Good luck at any additional Battle Roads you may be attending, and enjoy putting the final touches on your decks for Nats!
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