I’ve Got the Power

North American PTCG Power Rankings (Vol. 2)

Hello again everyone! It’s been a while since the first power rankings. I hope you are as excited to read this as I am to write it. I’ve expressed previously that I think that there is a lot of appeal in these kinds of lists. Not only is it a great and fun way to give some well-deserved attention to some of the best that the game has to offer, but it also gives new players understand what separates the great players from the rest of the pack.

As always, I would like to express that this is my own opinion and what I write about is not necessarily spot on. If you feel that I have made an error in my reasoning or that I am displaying some kind of personal bias over an objective selection process, please let me know. In addition to this, I would also love to see what other people’s lists would look like!

Before we begin this time, I would like to include a bit of patting on the back for myself. The first rankings featured a pretty wide array of players ranging from the most consistent over the years, some up-and-comers, and the best finishers from the recent World Championships and my criteria for selection may have been a bit thin. Despite all this, I am proud to say that I did a pretty good job of compiling a list as some of the players I ranked very well proved me to be dead on and crushed the beginning of the season with victories at the Autumn Regional Championships. In the future, I do not expect to be this accurate, but it is also nice to see my faith in others come to fruition.

This second set of rankings will be heavily focused on the victors from Autumn Regionals, but I have also factored placements at early City Championships. Let’s all take a moment of silence for the unfortunate few who have fallen from the power rankings! I wish them the best of luck and highly expect them to shoot back up on the list given more opportunities to play. Without any more discussion, let’s get into the list!

11. Mia Violet (Change: 0)

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Initially, I had planned on keeping this list to a consistent 10, but I couldn’t help but give Mia and honorary 11th place once again. Recall last time that she held the number 11 spot on my last rankings following her 11th place finish at the World Championship. At the Regional Championship in British Columbia, Mia once again showed her affinity with the number and bubbled at an unfortunate 11th place. What makes this achievement more noteworthy is that she was still piloting the ol’ faithful Darkrai/Dusknoir which everyone had written off as being illegitimate.

Props to Mia for sticking to such an unconventional deck and perhaps in the future, we’ll see you prove past the 1-1. I have heard rumors that she played a deck without Dusknoir recently, but I hope that they prove to be wholly false. Until then, enjoy your continued spot on my power ranks!

10. Kristy Britton (Change: New)

Kristy, like many California players, has an odd mystique to her. For whatever reason, this general community seems to ignore many of the results out of California but they do not go unnoticed here. After winning the Arizona Regional Championship, Kristy’s strong performances have not slowed down. It appears as if she will be able to finish her invite very soon and hopefully continue to dominate the competitive scene. Best of luck to you Kristy earning those last few Championship Points and congratulations on making the list!

9. Jimmy McClure (Change: New)

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Jimmy is a player whose name I have been acquainted with for quite some time, but only recently am I able to place a face with the name. Years ago, Jimmy was one of the most dominant forces in the Seniors Division, earning many great finishes including a 2nd place at the National Championships.

Since then, his transition into the Masters Division has not been as seamless as some, but in DC, he was one of a select few to make it through the LCQ and earn an invite in the World Championships. This season, Jimmy has only racked up more achievements and was able to earn 1st place at the Fort Wayne Regional Championships, which was the biggest Regional in history! As one of few very excellent but young players, I have faith that Jimmy will continue to place well for some time.

8. Ross Cawthon (Change: -5)

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While Ross did not finish incredibly well at Autumn Regionals, I still think it would be foolish to discredit him from this list. After all, he is one of the most consistent players in the game and is still performing very well. Personally, I will add that he recently kicked my butt at two City Championships in a row and I hope I can avenge these losses at some point. Until then, expect some of the best rogue decks out of one the best that the game has to offer.

7. Frank Diaz (Change: New)

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Frank is a player that I think unfairly was not included in my initial rankings. I felt obligated to include some of the top finishers after Worlds and thus needed to cut a few of the more consistent finishers. Frank has a top 4 from Philadelphia Regionals this year, but consistently is one of the best ranked in the game and has a top 4 finish from 2010 Worlds among many, many other accomplishments. He is currently getting very close to finishing his invite and I would be highly surprised if we don’t see him earning a coveted top 16 overall rankings spot this year. Welcome to the list, Frank!

6. Israel Sosa (Change: -1)

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Israel suffers only a minor setback between this ranking and the very first one. While he did not win a Regional, he was able to make top 8 in Arizona, piloting his beloved Dark Pokémon. Since then, he played a part in creating a very interesting Yveltal deck that has quietly begun to dominate the City Championships. He was able to earn a 1st place at the very first weekend of Cities, but many others (myself included) have done the same with his exact list. Israel is quickly beginning to prove that he is much more than a one-hit-wonder and such performances are rewarded with yet another spot on the list.

5. Dylan Bryan (Change: New)

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Like Frank, Dylan is a player who absolutely deserved to be on the first list, but I failed to recognize him. Solely responsible for the creation and popularity of one most winning and dominant archetypes of the year, Dylan has landed himself very highly on this ranking. I have no doubt Donphan will continue to wreck (ha) for the rest of this format. Love it or hate it, Dylan’s deck is here to stay and we must adjust accordingly! Thanks for making this format very different and difficult for many of us!

4. Kian Amini (Change: New)

Kian may be the best player that you have never heard of. He placed in the top 4 in Arizona and ended up placing first in Northern California in the following week, but I believe that he won Regionals in the two previous seasons. California players have an odd knack for keeping to themselves, but certainly Kian is a player not to be taken lightly.

3. Sam Chen (Change: +4)

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After a disappointing finish at Philadelphia Regionals, many may have written off Sam, but doing so was expectedly a big mistake. Sam was able to win yet another Regional Championship down in Houston with Virizion/Genesect which in and of itself sealed up his Worlds invite this year if we count his points from DC. He has joked about playing VGC some, but I’m sure we will see him trying to lock up a spot in the top 16 instead!

2. Chase Maloney (Change: +2)

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There is not a whole lot more I can say about Chase that I didn’t include last time. The kid is just simply too good and cannot be stopped. Making a very interesting deck choice in British Columbia, Chase was able to win his first Regional Championship in Masters, getting him unbelievably close to his invite. Chase makes doing well in the Seniors and Masters Division look like a walk in the park, and I’m sure we’ll only see great things from him throughout the rest of the season. Congrats buddy.

1. Ryan Sabelhaus (Change: +1)

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In recent times, many have referred to Ryan as the best player in the game and I think that is likely deserving of this title. In the four or so years that I have been playing competitively, he has managed to win a Regional Championship every single year which is unprecedented. His deck choice ranges from the expected to the unexpected and it’s only a matter of time before he finally breaks his curse at Worlds. I have no doubt that he will only continue to prove his worth at #1 for the rest of the season.

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