Happy holidays SixPrizes! It’s really incredible to think that this year is almost over! What a great year it has been for competitive players. With the introduction of XY, the game is certainly on the right path. While I still have my gripes with N and Hypnotoxic Laser, the scans for Primal Clash give me high hopes for the future of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, along with the lowered Championship Point requirement for Worlds. Pokémon is really outdoing themselves, and I sure am impressed.
With this article I look to outline my Cities run and break down my thoughts on the inevitable Cities metagame shift. These past three weeks have given us a hefty amount of information.
Popular Plays: Donphan, Yveltal, Plasma
The Donphan hype was at an all-time high leading up to the 2014-15 City Championships. After all, the deck dominated Regionals and with the latest set, Phantom Forces, it became much more of a threat than it already was. Any good player knew that if your deck wasn’t beating Donphan, you probably weren’t winning week 1. The deck I tested heavily was Seismitoad-EX/Manectric-EX/Drifblim BW64. In theory, you were able to beat all of the top decks and throughout testing things were looking good. Seismitoad and Manectric abused the same card pool, and Drifblim allowed for a late-game sweep after N.
Fast-forward to the event, 60 players and a top 8. My first loss was at 3-0. I did not draw a single Supporter and my opponent was able to bench me. My next loss was the round after, where I had the game sealed after N’ing my opponent’s Lysandre and last Energy card out of his hand for game. We both had 2 Prizes remaining. He drew his 2 cards… Lysandre and Energy. It was quite tough to swallow after that but I just equated it to bad luck and got over it.
For the second event, I played the same deck card for card. I didn’t consider my losses legitimate the day before, and the metagame was still full of Donphan, Plasma, and Yveltal. All three are good matchups for Seismitoad/Manectric. Unfortunately, I suffered a loss to a Donphan deck that played 3 Sigilyph and then lost a Toad war to Yveltal/Seismitoad (although I may have made a few mistakes along the way). Overall it was a very disappointing week 1, especially for the amount of testing that I had done.
Popular Plays: Pyroar, Metal, Crobat
Week 2 was my favorite week by far. I was able to X-0 the first City thanks to a spark of intuition less than 8 hours before the tournament. I was up extremely late and suffering from mental exhaustion. Luckily, my brain decided on playing Pyroar. I built the deck in my car outside of the venue and walked into the tournament with my list ready to go. Half of the decks at the tournament were Metal and the other half varied, but all failed to acknowledge Pyroar, and of course I capitalized on this. I easily X-0’d the tournament and did not lose a single game. It was very satisfying.
The second day, I decided to play the same deck. The metagame was very different from the day before. While Donphan and Yveltal still were the most popular decks, there were many players playing lists similar to the deck that I won with the previous day, along with counter cards against Pyroar such as Crobat PHF included in Yveltal. My first round, I only had a chance to Colress for 4 before I lost the game. The 4 cards I drew gave me a loss within 5 turns of draw-passing. Once again, I couldn’t consider this a legitimate loss. I won my next game and lost the next round to a deck that had 61 cards in it. I don’t really know how much of an impact the last card made, but the illegal decklist made top cut and eventually was disqualified. It was quite unfortunate.
Popular Plays: Donphan, Yveltal, and Fairy
Issues in real life distracted me from testing effectively for week 3. I played Pyroar once again for the first tournament. I decided to make a few changes (which ultimately led me to losses) and without those changes I could imagine a very different tournament. I had teched for decks that didn’t even show up, anticipating a slight metagame shift. The majority of the field was once again Donphan, and I was caught off guard by this. I lost some very close games and couldn’t complain. I did very poorly both days, switching to Seismitoad-EX/Hammers for the second day. The amount of Fairy decks on day 2 was absurd, making my deck choice suboptimal. This was the worst week of Cities for me by far.
It’s no surprise that Donphan holds the most City Championship victories. The deck is very easy to play and somewhat cheap to build. However, I don’t expect Donphan to win as often as it has been going into week 4. Yveltal/Hard Charm is becoming very popular due to the Donphan surge and has a strong matchup against not only the elephant but majority of the metagame as well. Manectric is still being held hostage by Donphan, which makes Yveltal even better than it should be.
I want to say that Virizion/Genesect is the best deck in the game… but I just can’t say it seriously. Night March is still a thing, and once the deck catches on, it’s going to make Virizion/Genesect suboptimal. Night March also has a strong Donphan matchup (if built right). I feel that the format is shifting away from Seismitoad with the surge of Fairy. Florges-EX doesn’t mind Item lock with AZ and a consistent 120 damage attack. Florges will trade with Seismitoad all day long. I expect this slight shift in popularity to open up the format, pushing Metal into a favorable position, which will only create an even stronger metagame for Pyroar as it beats both decks with ease. It almost seems too clear to me.
I would like to thank Andrew Wamboldt for compiling City Championship results on The Charizard Lounge.
Thank you for reading. Happy holidays!