Fulop’s Korner: Emerging POWERS

BulbapediaHey everyone! Has anyone else noticed that the post-worlds transition is a lot less fun without any sort of real “rotation”? It seems that the format for the upcoming Battle Roads, and then Fall Regionals will not differ that greatly from that which we all played for Nationals and Worlds. I guess that leads me into the first thing I wanted to talk about then: Fall Regionals!

So from what I understand, the first major change to this years tournament structure is the “splitting up” of Regionals. Half of them will be run in the fall, the other half at their standard time during the spring. While P!P hasn’t really come out and given the player base the full amount of information regarding the upcoming season yet, its assumed that players will be able to play in 2 Regionals this year now.

Seeing how Regionals is a huge source of points and prizes, this is a good thing. This will also mean that the size of these (now announced as two day!) events will be even larger since only half the events normally running will occur at either time, so travelers should boost attendance.

I think this is an overall great idea, as it makes the fall season a bit more important, as I know a lot of players who didn’t really “put in the effort” until States, when the prizes mattered. Even those who tried to do the point grind like myself didn’t really “care” until Cities start up, so mixing up the schedule of big events is a really nice change of pace.

New Invite Structure

I’ve been saying it all along… WINNING

One of the other rumors that has yet to been officially commented on regards the potential change in how invites are given out each year. I’ve heard rumblings of an increased importance on “winning” events opposed to a mere win/loss record, which I fully support.

No one has really given any sort of definitive suggestion as to how this will be done, but the concept of scoring points for winning, t2ing, t4ing, t8ing, etc events with X number of points earning you an invite to Worlds seems the most likely type of approach. I think this would be a huge improvement.

The rating system was an improvement over the old Gym Challenge/Regionals/Nats structure where you basically had to win one of these tournaments to qualify. That system was outdated, and the rating system was a welcome reward to consistent players who were fed up with the agony of taking a bad matchup in the finals of a Gym Challenge they X-0ed and missing Worlds for it.

Unfortunately, the rating system is flawed too. It rewards strategic dropping, and encouraged players NOT to play in events. As probably the biggest proponent of such tactics over the past few years, I’d like to say that the system really promoted doing such an approach.

Hello ELO

Lets address the ELO system as a whole. Originally used as a way to rate and rank chess players, the concept doesn’t exactly carry over as well to TCGs. The structure was designed for a game completely devoid of variance and luck factors. Therefore, if you lost to a lower ranked player, it is because they played well, and you played worse.


With Pokémon (or Magic, who also use the same system) you have a great deal of luck involved. Taking a random loss in Swiss is very, very easy. More easily lately due to the way the format plays out, and due to the increased number of strong players.

Due to the skewed nature of wins/losses point yields, it becomes statistically unprofitable past a certain rating to play when you don’t have to. If your primary goal is to qualify for Worlds each year, as it had been for me, your best chance to do so was to work within the rating system we are given. It becomes an even bigger issue because there are SO MANY players now, and a greatly increased percentage of them are now very good.

The number of invites given out are not appropriate for the number of deserving players (capping Worlds at 128 per age group is stupid. There is no reason to keep it that small, especially now that trips aren’t paid for: It’d barely cost anything to just increase the invite range and make things a lot less cutthroat.) so in order to try and make it into that top 40 reliably, you have to really go all out. It was unnecessary, and unfair on the players.

Ideally, with a change to winning events, it will encourage players to have to play. It doesn’t do a whole ton to alleviate the pressure on needing to win a ton of events (it seems like we revert back to a system closer to the old Gym Challenge one, where players need to go very deep very often in tournaments) but it does put the pressure on in match play.

Previously, one game matches in Swiss could make or break your fate, as one Swiss loss often undid 3-4 wins, which is just crippling. It became very hard to recover from even a top cut making 5-2 finish at Regionals. At least now, your fate rides in matchplay, allowing a few rough beats in Swiss, and that is a very good thing.

Hopefully these rumors turn out to be somewhat true, because I think they would offer a favorable change for the upcoming year.

Pokémon TCG Online

Ignoring the Regionals change and the potential shift in the way invites are to be given out this year, the biggest changes to the Pokémon TCG world are the release of Emerging Powers, and the widespread use of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. I know a lot of players have started to snatch up codes to play online now that the codes are in every booster of Emerging Powers.

I’ve personally collected about 130 of them, and cannot wait to start playing when the codes go live on the 31st. I think I’ll be wasting a few days in a row building decks and playing. I know I am not alone in these feelings, as many of the games top players have been extremely enthusiastic about the game.

Hopefully it’ll be just as big a success for the casual player as well. I’ve talked about how great Magic Online is, and if Pokémon Online is even half as good, it’ll be a huge benefit for the game. I don’t expect all the same features and options right off the bat, but I do hope to have them integrated as the game matures.

I’m a bit concerned by the things the game can do being limited by a Flash engine, but I hope it doesn’t restrict the success the game can have.

Emerging Powers

Next on the agenda is addressing the new set, Emerging Powers. The set has, by far, the best looking reverse foil cards we’ve seen released by Pokémon. Prior to this set, I’ve always thought regularly foil cards had looked vastly superior to their reverse counter parts, but now, this has changed.

I’m not a huge critic of cosmetic changes to cards (they usually mean nothing to me) but these are so cool that I figured I had to at least address them. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a notable gap between the value of a RH card and its standard H counterpart with this set, even though usually the value was close to even in past sets.

Cool card design aside, this set has been a bit of a let down so far. Let’s get into the major cards from the set, and see which ones look to be the real deal, and which ones turned out to be a bust.

Pokémon Catcher: Ok, this is the obvious one. I’m not sure it was necessarily wise to reprint Gust of Wind, a card that was left out of any Modified format since the first step away from the “Unlimited” format back in 2001. GOW was one of the main cards which helped to unbalance Unlimited, so it is immediately on the “questionable” list of reprints.

We got Double Colorless Energy back too, so I guess a lot of the cards previously viewed as “gone for good” are not quite as exiled after all.

Now, Catcher is clearly going to be a huge card. It may even wind up in a vast majority of decks. Any deck that previously ran Reversal now gets to “upgrade” to the flip-less version. Aggressive decks become much more stable and unforgiving with this card. Some people have discussed that this will result in a much faster, more aggro based format, but I’m not so sure I agree.

The “shift” required to meet that change in how aggressive decks function has already happened, to a degree. The format started out as a slugfest, seeing Emboar Magnezone, Donchamp, and other heavy hitters really steal the show right off the bat.

Stage 1 decks, ZPS, and Megazone decks, armed with a heavy Reversal threat, forced players to adapt their decks toward threats which would be able to pick apart their set up. While Catcher is NOT a flip and Reversal is, players have already started to build their decks around beating decks which would pick their field apart.

So while the flip is now removed, many players had already adapted to the concept that their field is not safe. Some fringe strategies which were already weak to Reversal are going to take bit of a hit and may need to be re-designed, but I think Catcher will mainly increase the consistency of current decks, without really adding a whole new dynamic to the format. It is more just removing the luck from a dynamic that had already been adapted to.

I think that Catcher offers a good change to the game. Catcher is much STRONGER, and will change decks a bit, but at least games won’t come down to one player hitting all their Reversals while the other whiffs. That was always an awful skewing, and very aggravating.

At least now players will play their games with the knowledge Reversals will always work, and this allows for a more reliable game plan for both players, which increases a dependence on skill while luck gets removed from that equation.

While people may initially get fed up with the fact that faster decks have gotten so good, I think people will welcome the change as being a stabilizer to the format more than anything. Now, I could be dead wrong and the card could just augment the issue of whoever goes first just having this unreal advantage, but I actually don’t think that will be the case. I could certainly be wrong though.

Just expect certain decks to adapt to this cards inclusion. (Decks with Magnezone or any high Retreat Cost supporting Pokémon will need Switches to negate stall tactics with the card.)

Max Potion: This card looks to be amazing. As someone who loved Pokémon Nurse back in the day, seeing a non-Supporter version of this card, in a format with Junk Arm, is just astounding to me. I actually see this card as a bit of a counter measure to the aggressive decks being played. It helps to offset the damage the rush decks do without really eating up a lot of resources.

The card will greatly impact the way certain matchups are played. If Reshiphlosion runs this, I think it skews the Megazone matchup into its favor because it heals all of the damage off of benched Typhlosions which makes the prior Jirachi plan very difficult to accomplish.

It is also great with Yanmega, or 1 energy attackers, because the card effectively just heals them to full. This looks to potentially hurt Yanmega quite a bit, as its snipe game plan, and lower max damage output, can be offset pretty easily by some decks.

On the other hand, it is really strong WITH Yanmega, so how this interaction plays out in the long run is a bit of an unknown.

This card also seems to be really strong along Gothitelle, a card I think is one of the best Pokémon out of the set. The deck would run Reuniclus to make Gothitelle very hard to kill, and it would abuse Max Potion alongside this. If Gothitelle becomes tier 1 (and I think it will) then this card looks to be a major factor in this.

Max Potion is also going to make any sort of spread deck weaker. While it hasn’t been a huge deck type yet, we have seen Kingdra Yanmega decks and Tyranitar decks see fringe play. This card may be the nail in the coffin for those decks sadly.

It also looks to really put a hurt on Kyurem, which is set to be released in the next set. It has an attack for WWC that does 30 to their whole field as a basic, and looked to be format changing, but Max Potion could really decrease its impact. This is definitely a card to hold on to.

Bianca: Sadly this card, Professor Birch, isn’t that good. It never saw play in its first incarnation and I don’t see it getting used now either. In most cases it is weaker than PONT, a card I hate, admittedly. The upside is that you can use this card to help complete your evolution pieces without shuffling parts in.

In a deck maxing out on Junk Arms and being able to empty its hand easily, it could find some obscure niche play. Often times, when trying to dig for pieces, it’ll be worse than just a raw draw card so it should probably be shied away from.

When N comes out, it could change things a bit, because it can act as “raw draw” (drawing 3 on average I bet) early game, but then drawing far more late in the game if you catch it off of N, but it seems like that wouldn’t happen enough to warrant it. Not an utterly useless card, but not really an all-star either.

Cheren: This card is a bit better, but I’m not sure I like it over Sage or Engineer’s Adjustments. It draws less cards, and in a format with Juniper and PONT I’m not sure it has a place. Evolutionary decks likely prefer Sage, and rush decks Juniper, so we’ll see what decks end up adding this one, if any. The card reads fine, but I’m not sure if there is a place for it though.

Crush Hammer: It’s Energy Removal 2, which has already seen play in many formats, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a good card is really going to make much of an impact every time. I actually see this card seeing play eventually, but not so much at the moment. The card is just bad vs too many decks.

It is bad vs Trainer lock, such as Plume and Gothitelle. It is weak vs Typhlosion and Emboar. It’s bad vs Yanmega and 1 energy attackers. If the format shifts down the line to requiring a focus on “real” energy attachments then this card becomes an all-star. As it is, it is a weak card vs too high a percentage of the metagame, so it likely won’t have much impact.

Great Ball: This is an interesting card, but cards like this, in the past, have not really made a major impact either. Non-Supporter draw is always good, but we have Pokémon Communication now. I’m not sure that its unreliable nature will let it see play in already crammed 60 card decks. Perhaps in a speed focused deck like ZPS it could see play but besides that I don’t think the speed it offers outweighs its unreliability in most decks.

Recycle: Not wasting my time, and neither should you. This card is pretty bad. Now, I’m sure that means it’ll somehow get broken and become a major part of a deck, just out of spite, but I don’t see that as too likely. ;)

Gothitelle: This is probably the best Pokémon in the set. I was unsure whether it would be good enough when I first read the card, as it ran the downside of being stuck having to be active to get any value out of it, thus securing that it was forced to be your attacker.

This left you less versatile, and meant you had to expose your attacker to opposing attacks often before it was fully powered. On the upside, Gothitelle has 130 HP, a hard to abuse weakness, and an unlimited damage cap. Ross’ deck at Worlds really helped show off how to approach this card, which is clearly with Reuniclus, as you can abuse Max Potion alongside it fairly well. Blissey with Seeker is also a good option.

Any deck not running a means by which to 1HKO a Gothitelle is likely going to run into a wall pretty quickly, and the deck requires far less set up than Ross’ Vileplume deck, and also has the option to run powerful Trainers without them being locked out mid-game.

Simply being able to continue to play Rare Candy and Pokémon Communication with reckless abandon mid-game while the opponent is locked is huge. Here is a decklist I’ve built for the deck. I’ve had some pretty good success with it, but I’m not entirely sure it is close to being perfected yet.

With Worlds being in the rearview mirror and no official announcements regarding the next seasons structure, I’ve taken a bit of a reprieve from heavy testing and have more resorted to just playing a few casual pick up games lately, but here is what I’ve come up with so far.

Pokémon – 20

4 Gothita EPO 43
1 Gothorita EPO 45
4 Gothitelle EPO 47
3 Solosis BLW
1 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW
1 Cleffa HS
1 Shaymin UL
1 Jirachi UL
1 Chansey HS
1 Blissey Prime

Trainers – 29

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Twins
4 Copycat
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Rare Candy
1 Switch
2 Max Potion
2 Seeker
2 Junk Arm
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Tropical Beach

Energy – 11

11 P

47gothitelleThe deck pretty well focuses on just tanking a Gothitelle, and then being able to heal it with Reuniclus while it eventually just takes 6 Prizes in 6 turns. Like Ross’ deck, unless an opponent can do 130+ damage in a turn, they cannot one hit kill you.

The advantage this deck has is that it can actually play Catcher as well, thus making it a far more proactive deck. An opponent has to hypothetically power up MULTIPLE threats capable of doing 130+ at a time, or else you will Catcher it, and take it out, and then ideally Catcher anything else that is a threat as they build it.

Perhaps a 2nd Catcher is ideal, but with Twins and Junk Arm, you can set yourself up for turns where you can re-use it.

Blissey, Seeker, and Max Potion are your healing cards to make sure Gothitelle stays in the game and doesn’t die. Often times, you can fall down 3-4 Prizes, get set up, and still win. The challenge is, decks with say, Yanmega, can still snipe the bench, so cheap prizes are always a concern. I haven’t been able to not play around Yanmega yet, but it does require some effort. Seeker helps there as well.

I know everyone is displeased to see Tropical Beach, but the card is really good in any of these style decks. It can be Twins’d for, and gives you a safety net throughout the game for being able to always have access to a full hand.

I didn’t run it at first, but realized quickly that even with Twins and Copycat I would need to Eeeeeeek a lot. Tropical Beach gives me a way to refill my hand the same turn I Twins. I’m still not sold on the overall consistency of the deck yet, and it may need more supporters, or at the least a 2nd Cleffa, but its been winning in spite of being a bit clunky still. It needs work, but this should be a pretty promising start.

One of the things I really wanted to try is to run a 1-0-1 Magnezone Prime in here. The decks biggest “issue” is its inability to really have reliable draw, and adding this tech line fixes that. With Trainer lock in place, Magnemite can be safely benched and Rare Candy’d without fear of Catcher.

pokemon-paradijs.comThis should guarantee you a fresh flow of cards the rest of the game, and is actually a viable attacker at the end of the game if you ran 1 Rainbow Energy.

I’m not sure if 1-1 Shaymin Jirachi is enough. The premise is pretty simple: Jirachi soaks up P Energy, Shaymin moves them. This gives the deck some energy acceleration, and helps make it both faster, and more resilient against decks that CAN one shot it.

The issue I see is this deck is probably pretty weak to Magnezone Prime. Doing 150 damage is easy for them, and it’s hard for Gothitelle to get up quick enough to one shot them. Magnezone Yanmega may be a fine matchup because Catcher lets you hunt their energy once you do get set up, but I’m not sure how to answer Emboar Magnezone.

If Magnezone remains a big card (and most people I’ve talked to about the upcoming format have gravitated away from Magnezone, but I’m not sure that is correct) then we may need to increase the Catcher/Jirachi/Shaymin lines to help race the KOs.

One good thing about the deck is that Psychic is such a bad type overall at the moment. Looking through all the legal cards, there are no viable “tech” cards that can be splashed to 1HKO a Gothitelle. And certainly no basics, so if a deck did try to run a copy of something, they’d need to devote multiple spots just to prevent it from getting Catchered as the basic hits play before it can evolve.

I’m sure the deck has a suspect “Game 3” and could have some time issues in general, but it seems pretty interesting and has tested really well. I smashes Stage 1s, ZPS, and Typhlosion Reshiram with it, and those are all important matchups for it.

I’d like to test more vs Magnezone based decks, as I fear those will be far less favorable though. A good counter for Gothitelle though, is Mew Prime. It is hard to “splash” though, so I don’t know how relevent that will be. Just take note of it in case the deck gets big, as a Mew deck could come in as a strong counter.

Beartic: This is one of the other “good” cards out of the set, being able to lock attackers down with its first attack. With 130 HP, a reasonable attack cost, and non-existent weakness, Beartic looks to stand a reasonable chance of seeing play.

There are two trains of though regarding this card: Either use it alongside Vileplume in a Trainer lock deck, or use it alongside a more aggressive, toolbox style Stage 1 deck. It serves the same role as Gothitelle and Ross’ various silver bullet attackers: Wall an opponent out of the game, denying them a KO of it, while eventually winning the game.

On one side, it is VERY hard to kill. It reduces pressure on healing due to it being hard to attack, but is also difficult to score kills with.

One deck I had paired it with Vileplume, Reuniclus, and Blissey, and once it got set up, it has a pretty good game against most of the field. It does the same thing Gothitelle does, but it seems clunkier and slower, so I’m not sure its worth the transition.

Another card that pairs really well with the bear is Weavile. It helps gut an opponents hand, thus preventing them from Switching out of its lock, or evolving past it, or even takes energy away to put stress on them retreating. It also helps defeat Beartic’s primary foe: Yanmega.

Yanmega swarms can “cheat” around Beartics lock by retreating and attacking for free. Yet Weavile can attack an opponent’s hand, making it very, very hard for them to match hand sizes every turn, especially if you “chase” cards like Judge and Copycat. By taking their Supporters away, it makes it impossible for them to match hand sizes, and thus attack.

A few friends of mine have had some luck with Vileplume Weavile Beartic, but I haven’t gotten a chance to log a ton of games with it myself, but it does seem fairly viable. The full lock build is just a bit clunkier than I’d like, and I found myself getting my Oddish and/or Solosis Yanmega’d way too often to really get set up reliably.

One of Beartic’s biggest enemies is also Zoroark. For a DCE, it can lock a Beartic in place as well, which is a huge pain, as they attack slightly more efficiently than you do, costing an energy less. Overall, I think Beartic is a good card, but has too many issues to overcome to really stake a claim at being tier 1.

Nonetheless, it is a very fun card, and still good, and at the very least something new to try out. It’s worth keeping an eye on at the least. Here is a fun deck I built for it, complete with a fun little anti Magnezone trap that can be splashed into any Vileplume deck.

Pokémon – 24

3 Oddish UD
2 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
1 Yanma TM
1 Yanmega Prime
1 Aipom UL
2 Cubchoo EPO 28
2 Beartic EPO 30
1 Cleffa HS
3 Solosis BLW
2 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW
1 Chansey HS
1 Blissey Prime

Trainers – 25

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Twins
4 Copycat
1 Tropical Beach
2 Seeker
4 Rare Candy
4 Pokémon Communication
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Switch

Energy – 11

7 W
4 Double Colorless

Vileplume Undaunted UDpokegym.netBeartic walls everything but Magnezone Prime. So how do we answer Magnezone Prime? Seeker Vileplume, Catcher up Magnezone, Rare Candy a benched Oddish into Vileplume, and then lock it out with Aipom and Yanmega. This list isn’t exactly the best yet, but the idea is there.

It may need more energy to allow a full lock with Aipom, but it should work. Jason Klaczynski used the Aipom Yanmega Lock with Mew Prime using Muk’s dragging attack, but with Catcher being able to get Twins’d for, it seems like you can reliably set such a trap up mid-game now.

This also explains the one Switch. Besides helping to offset the damage done by disruptive Catchers early, it can be used, alongside Seeker, to break an opposing Bear lock, either from Zoroark or an actual Beartic.

Krookodile: Krookodile is an interesting card. Its Ability is strong, and it has a capable attack, and a pretty good resistance and weakness, but is just falls short of where it needs to be to remain a viable card. Unfortunately, it’s Ability carries less weight than usual, for the same reasons I was critical of Crushing Hammer.

The fact its attack is very average doesn’t help its cause. It would need to be played primarily for its Ability, and right now, that’s not the best option.

Thunderous: Yet another really aggressive basic Pokémon. Going first, it sets itself up to be able to do 80 damage on the 2nd turn almost every turn. It can also be used with Pachirisu and Shaymin to attack on the first turn for 80, very much like Zekrom in the ZPS builds.

Whether due to its built-in consistency, it is better than Zekrom, worse than Zekrom, or useful alongside it is up in the air, but the card clearly has a place alongside a list like ZPS. Whether its value holds up or not is unknown, but it is, at the very least, strong enough to warrant testing.

Tornadus: Now this guy is interesting. He also serves the role of t1 attacker with the Pachi/Shaymin combo, but he is also a natural turn 2 attack with a Double Colorless Energy. He also benches an energy when he attacks, so he can continually “fuel” a benched attacker even if he’s sure to stare down death the next turn. This should make for a pretty fast and durable chain of attackers.

The best part? He is resistant to Fighting. Previously, ZPS builds had turned to Yanmega for a consistent starter, and an answer to Donphan and other Fighting types. Tornadus offers another t1 attacker, and thus is a good opener. It also allows for a great fighting counter, as he doesn’t require a lot of maintenance like Yanmega does (with its hand size needing to be equal) and it actually two shots a Donphan, rather than 3 shotting it.

I think he may be the 2nd best Pokémon in the set, simply because he fits into that deck so well and offers a great back up (or primary!) attacker. Yanmega served its role well, but it was clunky and challenging to make work reliably in the deck. I think in a ZPS style deck, that Tornadus will take over its role.

The rest of the cards in the set seem rather weak, besides, of course, the two Basculin, but those are so blatantly good I really don’t think I need to justify why with words in this article: I am sure you already know.

Now, I have written an article in the past regarding a match I played, offering step by step analysis of how the game went down and what went through my head. While I cannot offer that right now, I can refer readers to two videos posted on The Top Cut.com from their Top Cut Invitational which I played in.

I had addressed the games in my last article but the videos are now up, so I wanted to link you to the one against Jason, and make a few comments about the game. My game against Dylan’s Reshiphlosion is still not yet uploaded, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about that.

Me vs Jason Klaczynski

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Some of the comments made by the announcers were a bit inaccurate, but they were given as the games were occurring. I knew quite well what Jason’s deck was trying to do, and had seen it played a ton prior to the actual Worlds competition. I knew I had to try and play around the Aipom lock, and knew most if not all of the tricks in his deck.

The problem was, I couldn’t seem to draw my Switch at all, which I would have “burnt” at any time I drew it because I wanted to turn “on” all my Junk Arms as live Switch copies, because I knew I would be shuffling in a bunch of times with Judge and Copycat.

pokegym.netThe “losing point” in the game was when I got Magnezone lured up and stuck. I knew what I had to do, but I was running low on shuffle draw effects, and knew I’d have a hard time matching hand sizes with Yanmega after I shuffled my hand in if I didn’t get a Magnezone out.

I had 2 energy on Magnezone already, and “worst case scenario” I could retreat it even if I didn’t get the Switch, which would put me at a huge advantage. Unfortunately, I whiffed not only Switch, but any energy at all.

I wind up getting Magnezone stuck, but that isn’t even that bad, as Magnezone eventually dies of poison. I attached the one energy to Magnezone to force him to use Aipom and waste energy, and buy time without him attacking my bench.

Once Magnezone finally died, I set up Yanmega and Vileplume for devo kills, but he used a 2nd Judge to get rid of Jirachi, and I never saw it again, or a way to get it. If I did, I pull off the win anyway. I actually put him on NOT having a 2nd Judge, because Judge is a bit iffy in the deck with no reliable draw power, and I thought he just ran 1 copy to Twins for when needed.

I was clearly wrong there, but despite getting some sour mid to late game luck, it was an amazingly played game by Jason considering the start differences. People have asked me if I would evolve to Magnezone again if I got a chance to replay that and I feel that I would.

It would, more often than not, secure the game in my favor opposed to backfiring, but I got very unlucky in regard to being able to actually get a way to bench Magnezone since he had no Oddish in play even. It was a sick game, and while it is long, I do wish everyone give it a chance and watch it.

While you are at it, watch the rest of the Top Cut Invitational games, as almost every one of them was absolutely stellar. They managed to record some of the best games of the tournament.

The Future

As for the upcoming metagame, we see an interesting development. We have Trainer lock decks (Gothitelle, Vileplume), aggressive decks (ZPS variants, Stage 1 decks, etc.), and set up decks (Emboar Magnezone, Yanmega Magnezone, Typhlosion Reshiram, etc.) and they look to have some fairly interesting interactions.

Cards like Catcher are strong, but the set up decks will counter it by using Twins and planning to fall behind, and the trainer locks fight it by preventing it from being played. The decks fight each other in different ways.

pokegym.netIt’ll be interesting to see what decks pop up on PTCGO in the next few weeks because the decks winning there will likely be the ones that will win at Battle Roads. To finish things off, I’ll list off a few changes I would be making to the popular decks as a result of Emerging Powers.

Typhlosion Reshiram: A Switch to counter Catcher disruption, Catchers in place of Reversals, and a Max Potion or two to heal.

Emboar Magnezone: A 2nd, or 3rd Switch to counter Catcher. Maybe a Catcher to grab with Twins.

Yanmega Magnezone: Catchers in place of Reversals, and a 2nd Switch. I’d definitely go the Twins route in the deck now, and I think Kingdra’s value decreases, so it could end up being cut for more consistency, or a new tech card. I think I’d keep Jirachi though, due to its strength against Vileplume and trainer lock.

Stage 1s: This deck has SO many more options now, and I cannot do justice to its variations without testing it more.

All in all, we will see far more definitive results once we get to test with the cards online, and people have access to them in general. Right now it seems as if a lot of people are burnt out from Worlds still, but hopefully we’ll have some exciting new decks pop up and be successful.

The more games I play in this format, the more I actually enjoy it, a feat which wasn’t quite true heading out of Nationals, so hopefully as the format matures it balances out. In the mean time, have fun preparing for Battle Roads, and I hope to catch you on PTCGO in the near future!

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