Girls Meet Worlds

Q&A’s with Our Female Qualifiers, My Top 3 for Day 1, and a Bonus Ban List
girl meets world
Yes, there will girls at Worlds.

Hey there SixPrizes readership! It’s me again. With more people playing in the World Championship this year than in any year past, anticipation for the Pokémon Trading Card Game’s most prestigious event is at an all-time high. Whether you’re playing, spectating, or planning to follow the tournament on stream, August 23 is sure to be an exciting day.

Everyone is busy plotting, planning, and scheming their plays for Day 1 — or Day 2 for the Chosen Ones in our community. Online forums are saturated with opinions on or requests for the ideal play. I am definitely planning to add my voice to the cacophony with this article, but first I have a topic that’s close to my heart to discuss, and that’s this year’s female Worlds players.

On Encouraging Female Involvement

dawn piplup positiveBulbapedia
Girls like to play Pokémon too!

My first article for Underground in the Fall featured women who performed well at Autumn Regionals in the US. In that same vein, I’d like to take a moment to spotlight all of the girls who earned invites to Worlds this year. I’ll apologize in advance for the inevitable incompleteness of this list. It was slightly difficult for me to ascertain the sex of players solely based upon their name, which was the only information I had to go on other than asking around the community, which I also attempted to do. So, if I forgot someone or made a similar error I ask for your forgiveness now. Feel free to comment in the forums or message me on Facebook and I can amend the list. I was also unable to reach everyone, so the conducted interviews are not based on personal bias or anything like that, just solely determined on who I was able to contact.

You may be thinking something along the lines of, “Why does this matter? Why are females with Worlds invites deserving of their own special article on” The answer is simply that they are few and far between! I did a very sketchy count, I say sketchy for the same reasons I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and the number of women playing in Worlds is extremely low even compared to what I had expected to see. I should probably note that this list and article is focused on Masters players alone, and the numbers are significantly higher in the younger divisions. I’m very happy about the popularity of the game among younger girls, but the lack of Masters is still frustrating. I went through the tournament results from last year’s Worlds, and estimate that there were around 8-12 female players from names alone (which I recognize again is unreliable). Looking at the list of invites from this year and using the same method, I estimate that around 12-16 female Masters will be playing in Worlds. These numbers are fairly close and show little growth, as the variance between the two years can easily be attributed to randomness.

The US/Canada area is easier to gauge numbers for, since I am from this region and am familiar with the majority of player names. Out of 205 total invitations, women comprised exactly five of them: Kristy Britton, myself, Sorina Radu, Natalie Shampay, and Mia Violet. 5/205 is a pretty abysmal ratio.

Denise van Wijk, a European player, recently wrote an article speculating about why this uneven ratio exists in the Pokémon TCG and other games. Check it out — it’s an interesting read. Personally, I think it has to do with the vestiges of more “traditional” expectations of young girls’ behavior and interests. For the longest time, gaming just wasn’t “for girls,” and this is the world that most Masters have been raised in. It naturally makes more sense for younger girls to be exploring more traditionally male hobbies as social norms concerning femininity continue to fade away.

At the same time, some male “nerds” (not all — don’t think I’m saying that by any means!) have shown resistance to what they see as an invasion of femininity, seemingly invalidating their beloved hobbies and communities. There has been a lot of discussion on the internet recently about women being harassed at cons, online, you name it. I think that the Pokémon community overall is pretty good about not doing things like that, so we can give ourselves a bit of a pat on the back there!

I’d like to continue to positively promote the image of female Masters players in this game, and I thank everyone who contributes toward making our community a safe place for girls to express themselves and play the game they love!

Interviews with the Women of Worlds

Without further ado, here are some of the women playing in this year’s Worlds. I asked them a few questions about themselves and their expectations to hopefully allow everyone to get to know them better. Hopefully this will help bring them and their accomplishments into the public eye!

Also qualified but unable to be reached for interview: Ellis Longhurst (Australia), Kayla Sadien (South Africa), Kristy Britton (USA), Martina Canto (Italy), and Nathalia Godinho (Latin America).

Amy K Wilson: Australia

amy k

Age: Unknown
Location: Brisbane, Australia
CP: 210/200
Accomplishments: won Perth regionals, mastered the art of the Pokémon glamor selfie

How was your season?

My season was pretty smooth, did a fair bit of traveling, got most of points early on the season so didn’t compete in Nationals and later events. Just rode the Toad train all season.

Are you ready for Worlds?

Am I ready for Worlds? Not really, there are a few decks I am thinking about but choosing between playing with my head or heart. I am expecting to see heaps of Mega Man, colourless Ray variants, steel and Toad.

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

Day 2 changes — not sure really depends on what the meta is like for Day 1. If I kept the same deck there might be a few card changes.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

This is my first Worlds and my second year of Pokémon so I don’t really know what to expect. Just looking forward to meeting a bunch of people having some great games and having lots of fun.

Lisa Degroote: Belgium


Age: 22
Location: Veurne, Belgium
CP: 302/300
Accomplishments: Don’t know all my accomplishments, I went 7th on Belgium Nationals, Top 8 Regionals and won a City.

How was your season?

I had a good season and had luck. My boyfriend always helps me to train for championships.

Are you ready for Worlds?

I expect a lot of Toad and Wailord cause people are looking a lot to US Nats.

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

I hate it that I need two decks :P But I guess it’s also good because there will be a lot of variation.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

It’s my first Worlds, so I’m so excited! I hope to make new friends and I think it will be really great because Pokémon in Belgium is quite small :P

Mia Violet: USA


Age: 26
Location: Portland, OR
CP: 472/300
Accomplishments: Top 16 Worlds 2014; Top 4 Seattle Regionals; Top 8 Seattle States; Top 8 OR States; Top 4 BC Regionals

How was your season?

My season was pretty laid-back, honestly! Due to other events this year, I was only able to make it to half of the Regionals and States, and also missed the US National Championship. So, I feel very comfortable with my season ranking and point totals for how much I have missed, especially with my deck choices not focusing around the ever-so-lovely Dusknoir!

[Author’s note: Mia is especially known for her love of the Sinister Hand.]

Are you ready for Worlds?

Worlds is an entirely different beast to deal with. I’m semi-confident in my current deck choice that I’ve tinkered with for a bit, however, there are still doubts, as I’m sure everyone can relate to. It’s hard to prepare for a tournament that takes the metas from everywhere in the world and smashes them together. Japan has some really scary rogue decks, and the US East Coast players have a much different metagame than the West Coast. I’m expecting to see a lot of safe plays, such as Toad/Garb, Vir/Gen (hah!), and Lando/Bats. As for the play, something that doesn’t auto-lose to Toad and isn’t shut down by Bats sounds like an ideal play.

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

The ability to swap decks on Day 2 is really interesting, and honestly, I like it. The format will stay Standard, but has the optional meta-adjustment that players were welcome to consider during bigger States and Regional events that had a Day 2. This allows players to have a consistent deck to plow through Day 1 with the option to switch to a more teched-out deck for Day 2’s games.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

This will not be my first Worlds experience, but I expect much of the same fun that we had last year! Lots of friends, trading, and late-night playtesting (aka drinks and Fat Princess with no Pokémon cards).

Thanks for your continued support of the community! Please keep writing amazing articles :) [Author’s Note: Aww, thanks gril.]

Natalie Shampay: USA

natalie shampay nick

Age: 19
Location: Northeast Ohio
CP: 340/300
Accomplishments: 2 City Championship Wins; Top 16 Philadelphia Regionals ‘15; Top 8 States ‘14

How was your season?

Although this is only my second season playing competitively, it was kind of mediocre overall. I had a good Cities run ending with 160 CP from them, and I started the year with a Top 16 at Regionals. I didn’t go far in a large event and that was really disappointing to me. I played Virizion/Genesect at two State Championships this year ended up missing cut both times and falling in the Top 16 instead because I was paired with a Night March the round to make cut both times, which is an absolutely terrible matchup. It was disappointing missing cut at Ohio States especially after starting off 5-0, but maybe I should have made a better deck choice. Either way, I still ended up with a Day 1 invite, and I’m happy enough with that.

Are you ready for Worlds?

Not entirely. I haven’t played much since Nationals and I don’t really know what to expect. I think most people will be prepared for Wailord and that will keep a lot of people from playing it. Considering how large the attendance will be, I’m sure it’ll be harder to predict the meta than previous years. I will probably just play something that seems relatively safe and has solid matchups everywhere.

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

I think it’s cool. I really like the structure of the tournament this year. I’m also glad it’s not a split to Expanded. I thought the Day 2 Expanded change for Regionals was silly, especially the Regionals that didn’t have a Day 2. I don’t have a problem with Expanded, and it’ll be a little more relevant as a different format now.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m excited! I went to Worlds 2013 in Vancouver as a spectator because I had family nearby, and also as a spectator in D.C. last year. Watching my boyfriend Nick’s experience was awesome and I can’t wait to experience it this year.

Nathália Fernandes: Brazil


Age: 20
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
CP: 245/200
Accomplishments: Top 8 Brazil Nationals 2012; 2 Top 4 Cities, Top 4 Regional, Top 2 Regional, Top 64 Worlds 2013; 1st Regional, 2 Top 8 Regional, Top 64 Worlds 2014; 2 Top 8 Regional 2015

How was your season?

In my season I just played to get the invite for Day 1. I was studying very hard to pass in a medicine university (yesterday I was approved!), so I didn’t have time to play much tournaments. To get my invite this year I made 2× Top 8 Regionals (150), 1× Top 16 Regional (45), and Top 64 Worlds 2014 (50).

Are you ready for Worlds?

Not yet. I was very busy and nervous about my exams for university and I’m working on weekends, but now that I’m already approved, I will focus for Worlds. The metagame is a bit similar to the Brazilian Nationals in June (before LTC ban), but I keep watching/reading streams and good contents in Internet and talking with friends about the game, these things is a good and a fast way (worse than testing) to keep updated when you don’t have much time.

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

I think it’s good. Players that have Day 2 invite have the “advantage” to see/study calmly (because they don’t have to play) the decks from Day 1 and then make a good meta call for Day 2. The “prize” for Day 1 winners is the chance to improve/fix the deck for Day 2, like players did in Last Chance Qualifier. It seems fair about Day 2 being a new tournaments, with new decklists for everyone.

Another fair solution could be everyone from Day 1 and Day 2 give the decklists on Friday.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

It’s not my first Worlds! Hahah :) But I expect a lot of fun with my friends and good results :)

Nicholena Moon: USA

nicholena moon

Age: 24
Location: Baltimore, MD
CP: 361/300
Accomplishments: Top 64 US Nationals 2013; Top 8 Ontario Regionals, 2nd Last Chance Qualifier Nationals 2014; Top 8 Virginia Regionals, Top 8 PA States 2015

How was your season?

This season has been crazy. I have been extremely busy for most of the year completing my Masters degree, but I still went to a lot of events. I was able to grab my invite at States, which was awesome because it took the pressure off of the last part of the season.

Are you ready for Worlds?

I actually feel a lot more prepared for Worlds than I did for Nats. I have a lot more free time now, and I’ve been playtesting a lot! However, is one ever truly ready?

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

I have mixed feelings about the concept. I think that it might be less messy if everyone were to keep the same deck, turning in lists on Friday, similar to Nationals. I think people with an automatic Day 2 already have enough of an advantage with the guaranteed placement and entire extra day of rest and preparation. The overall impact also depends on how closely the judges police spectating.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

Well, last year, I came out of Nationals with 482/500 CP, so I decided that since I had made it so close I ought to give myself one more shot and play in the Grinder. Worlds was also in D.C., which is only an hour away from where I live, which was amazing! So I went and ended up losing Round 1 in the LCQ to a Japanese player. I still had a ton of fun that weekend hanging out with friends, so I’m looking forward to Boston chilling no matter how I do! This will be my first time participating in the main event since I started playing three years ago, so that’s exciting!

Sorina Radu: USA


Age: 26
Location: Seattle, WA
CP: 516/300
Accomplishments: Top 8 Arizona Regionals, Top 8 Utah Regionals, Top 4 MO States, Top 128 US Nats

How was your season?

My season had its ups and downs, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. There were some tournaments that I completely bombed, but others that I did quite well at — so if anything I wish I had been more consistent. Overall I’m really happy with my performance because it’s been my best so far, and I’ve learned a ton by competing at a higher level. I’m really excited to do even better next season.

Are you ready for Worlds?

I’m somewhat ready, but I’ll need to do a bit more testing just to ease myself back into the swing of things (to be honest I haven’t played a game since Nationals). I’m worried about what kinds of decks international players will bring in — so I think the play for Day 1 should be something safe that you can cover a lot of bases with, such as Seismitoad or M Manectric. I think my choice is mostly going to depend on how I’m feeling the night before. As for Day 2 — no idea!

What do you think about changing your deck for Day 2?

If there’s one big deck that ends up sweeping Day 1, then I’m sure I’ll have to take that into consideration when choosing what to play for Day 2. That might not end up being the case, but even so I think it would be a good idea to switch things up (keep ‘em guessing!). I figure that the Day 2 meta is going to be easier to read, too, since we’ll have a better idea from Day 1 as to what the international competitors are playing.

If this is your first Worlds experience, what do you expect?

This is my first time playing in Worlds, but my second time attending. I’m honestly just hoping to have a ton of fun with my friends throughout the week that I’ll be there. I’d like to meet new people from around the world and enjoy myself playing a game that I love. My ultimate goal is to win, but making Day 2 would also make me happy. I can’t wait to see everyone there!

Congratulations to all these women, and all the men too! I can’t wait to see everyone at Worlds, and we should all be proud of ourselves for achieving this goal.

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks.

My Top 3 for Day 1

The way I see it, the best thing to do for Day 1 of Worlds is to not beat around the bush. I plan to pick a deck that I enjoy playing that has solid matchups against the field, play a lot of games with it, and go from there. I normally honestly decide what to play in the last second, but for this tournament I am pretty much only focusing on one list, which I will choose in a week or so, maybe two. It seems extremely difficult to predict what other countries will bring to the table, so I feel that this is a decent approach to take.

Of course, it’s not like we are really in the complete darkness in the format right now. US Nationals showed us a lot, and we can expect much of the same for Worlds, along with a few sleeper decks. I know this kind of thing has been discussed, but I would be remiss if I did not volunteer my thoughts.

Wabbit Season

So, I’ll admit it: On the way back from Nationals, I bought 4 Wailord-EX on Amazon. I was caught up in the hype! What can I say? I regretted it pretty quickly, because although I think the deck is genius, it has a few extremely exploitable weaknesses. One Bunnelby can really be a game-ender for the deck because it can just begin using Rototiller at any point and stall the game out to a tie. Last night on my stream, I played a bit versus random opponents on PTCGO with Wailord. I lost to a Bunnelby tech and a Camerupt-EX deck! Camerupt’s unlimited damage output is a real whale-killer if you’re not ready. At any rate, here’s my current decklist, and I’ll discuss a few options to deal with those pesky Bunnelby techs.

Pokémon – 7

4 Wailord-EX
2 Suicune PLB
1 Bunnelby PRC 121

Trainers – 47

4 AZ
4 Cassius

4 Team Flare Grunt

4 Pokémon Fan Club

3 N
3 Skyla

2 Hugh
2 Lysandre

1 Xerosic


4 VS Seeker

4 Max Potion
3 Hard Charm
2 Hypnotoxic Laser

2 Enhanced Hammer
2 Trick Shovel

1 Computer Search


3 Rough Seas

2 Virbank City Gym
1 Silent Lab

Energy – 2

1 Double Colorless
1 W

I realize this list isn’t that standard. I took Enrique Avila’s list from Nationals and changed it to suit me. Now that the deck is out and about, it either needs a way to deal with tech Bunnelby or accept the loss. Here, I’ve included THREE options for hunting the wabbit:

1. Bunnelby

“What’s up, Doc?”

Let’s fight Bunnelby with Bunnelby! I know this seems counterintuitive, as Wailord typically doesn’t play any Energy. However, if you are going about your business playing a lovely game of Pokémon TCG and your opponent suddenly drops a Bunnelby thinking they’ve got you, you can just Fan Club and bust out your own Bunnelby! You’ll have to wait a turn to use it, as the only retreat options the deck plays exist in Supporter form, but you don’t mind. You’re playing the long game anyway. Simply wait until they have a low deck, then start Burrowing.

Another reason I like Bunnelby in the deck is to get back clutch cards. There’s no Trump Card anymore (did you know???) and I’ve removed Dowsing Machine, so VS Seeker is the only option for retrieving cards from the discard. This helps if you have some unfortunate Prizes as well.

2. Suicune + Energy

Another option that including Energy in the deck opens up is attacking with Suicune. The legendary water dog conveniently KOs Bunnelby if you can get both Energies attached. This is obviously a bit of a long shot, which is why I’ve changed the ACE SPEC to Computer Search, as it helps significantly in getting both Energies in one hand. For example, if you have one Energy and a Skyla, you can Skyla for the Computer Search. This makes it much easier to pull off an attack with only two Energy in the deck.

3. Virbank + Laser

This is the inclusion I’m most unsure about. I haven’t actually tried this, and it may not be necessary with the other two options. I think that Laser in general is a pesky card that will annoy any deck you play it against (with the exception of Virizion, of course). It can deal with Bunnelby, Knocking it Out between turns. Additionally, putting your opponent to Sleep for a turn is never a bad thing in any scenario.

The other cards in this list remain unchanged from the popular version, although I have switched around some counts. I prefer higher counts of Trick Shovel, for example. I think being able to control your opponent’s topdeck is an underrated in-game effect.

Although I’ve been getting the impression that Wailord won’t see much play at Worlds, I think it still has the potential to carry players through Day 1 and isn’t a bad play.

Blastoise Boyz

Following the hare, we have the tortoise.

Archie’s Blastoise has been a bit of a pet deck of mine for a little while now. I bombed with it at a States, but I can’t let it go! It’s been getting some buzz lately after Steve Guthrie made Top 16 with it at Nats. My list is pretty different from his. He focused a lot more on a fast Keldeo and didn’t play Suicune at all. That version has so much power, but it’s not really my playstyle, which tends to be a bit more defensive. You can see his list on his YouTube channel, but here’s the list I’ve been messing with:

Pokémon – 113 Seismitoad-EX
2 Blastoise BCR
2 Suicune PLB

2 Keldeo-EX

1 Jirachi-EX

1 Exeggcute PLF

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore

2 Archie’s Ace in the Hole
1 Lysandre
1 N


4 Ultra Ball

4 VS Seeker
4 Trainers’ Mail

4 Battle Compressor

3 Superior Energy Retrieval

3 Acro Bike

2 Float Stone
2 Muscle Band

1 Computer Search


2 Rough Seas

Energy – 12

9 W

3 Double Colorless

This version plays differently than the speed version. It focuses on getting a T1 Archie’s, but is able to stall for a bit by using Seismitoad and DCE should the combo not happen. I feel like I can never pull off those big first turns, so I like the option to simply use Quaking Punch instead.

Some other possible inclusions in this deck:

1. More Exeggcute

You’re walking on eggshells if you play too many.

Some lists run two or more of the little guys. I think that usually only one is needed, but being able to use Superior Energy Retrieval and Ultra Ball for free is really nice and I could see myself adding an Egg in the future. Starting with it is always terrible, however, and there aren’t a large amount of Basics in this deck to begin with. Toad and Suicune are excellent starters, and Keldeo is fine as well.

2. Shaymin-EX ROS

I have seen a lot of people playing a Shaymin in these types of lists, but I find myself wondering whether it’s counterintuitive. I can see certain situations where drawing up to six could potentially help accomplish the T1 Archie’s combo, but I’m just not sure about it. I think its inclusion is much better justified in the more aggressive version, and I would probably play multiple copies.

3. Kyurem PLF

Suicune is great for stalling, but he is rather an underwhelming attacker. This is where Kyurem comes in, dealing out significantly more damage. He can also snipe the Bench if needed, which can come in handy against decks like Primal Groudon. It’s always beneficial to have a solid non-EX attacker.

I could see Archiestoise variations being present at Worlds, and they could take a few people by surprise.

Here’s a short video from my stream where Jacob Van Wagner challenges me using the deck, attempting to donk my Wailord with his Keldeo.

Ground & Pound

primal groudon
“You tryna catch these hands?”

Is it just me, or do most of the current decks all seem like they feature a big dinosaur Pokémon? It’s probably just me.

Anyway, Groudon has been good for a while now, and I think it will continue to be a dominant force at Worlds. It’s just all-around good! It has a decent matchup against every other main deck. It struggles with Leafeon/Raichu/Bats and other non-EX heavy decks, but luckily for our boy, those aren’t a large part of the metagame at the moment. I’ll list two different versions here — the Wobbuffett variant that Stefan Tabaco piloted to the Top 16 of US Nats, and a weird Manectric variant.

Pokémon – 11

3 Groudon-EX PRC
3 Primal Groudon-EX
3 Wobbuffet PHF
1 Landorus-EX
1 Bunnelby PRC 121

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Sycamore
4 Korrina
2 N
2 Lysandre
2 Pokémon Center Lady
1 Teammates


4 VS Seeker
4 Robo Substitute
2 Mega Turbo
2 Hard Charm
2 Switch
1 Escape Rope

1 Focus Sash
1 Ultra Ball
1 Professor’s Letter
1 Computer Search


2 Silent Lab
2 Fighting Stadium

Energy – 11

7 F
4 Strong

I changed very little about this list, to be honest. I took out Shrine of Memories and added another Fighting Stadium. While using Rip Claw can be useful sometimes, I think it’s too situational, and the extra damage from Fighting Stadium is too nice for 1HKOing Mega Rayquaza. I also took out the Float Stone for another Switch, which is largely personal preference.

Pokémon – 104 Manectric-EX
4 M Manectric-EX

2 Primal Groudon-EX

Trainers – 39

4 Professor Sycamore
2 Lysandre

2 Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick

1 N
1 Pokémon Center Lady


4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Acro Bike

4 Trainers’ Mail
4 Battle Compressor
4 Manectric Spirit Link

2 Mega Turbo

1 Computer Search


2 Silent Lab

Energy – 11

6 L
5 F

The goal of this version is to pull off a Turn 2 Turbo Bolt onto a Primal Groudon. The deck actually achieves this quite often. It has a lot of raw power between the two attackers, but it can struggle versus other Megas like Kyogre or a more straightforward Groudon variant. It does well against most other decks due to its speed and brute force.

This list doesn’t run Jirachi or Shaymin because it guarantees starting a Manectric. The focus is more on using Battle Compressor to discard Maxie’s and then following up the combo with a VS Seeker.

Here are two potential inclusions:

1. Max Potion

Max potion would be a natural inclusion, as it has a lot of synergy with Mega Manectric. However, there isn’t that much room because there is a lot going on between the two giants. Adding Max Potion would probably mean cuts to consistency, as it’s another unplayable card early game that can clog up your hand and prevent you from accessing Maxie’s.

2. Focus Sash

Most regular Groudon lists include Focus Sash because it allows Primal Groudon to stay alive an additional turn to dish out another 200+ damage. It would be particularly good in this version, as the Benched Groudon will never need to have a Spirit Link. Again, it’s simply a space issue, and I could easily see myself adding it to the deck.

In my opinion, Groudon is a solid play for Worlds. The Manectric version is fun, but the straightforward list is definitely the one I prefer for the tournament, at least for now.

So there you have it: some of my thoughts on what the play is for Worlds. This will be my first time competing in the main event, and I’m sure it will live up to my expectations. With so many players, the level of competition will be very high, and I’m sure it will be a tough nine rounds on Day 1.

BONUS: Nicholena’s Expanded Ban List

hypnotoxic laser 16-9
Please. Go. Away.

People have been tossing around names of cards that they think should be banned for the upcoming Expanded format next season. Just for fun, I decided to make up a ban list of my own. This is entirely conjecture and has no official connection to the game whatsoever. Who knows what cards will be banned, if any are at all.

1. Exeggutor PLF

The reason I think we need to ban the coconut guy is due to the release of Ariados AOR, Vileplume AOR, and Forest of Giant Plants. Ariados poisons both Active Pokémon when it’s played down (unless the Active is a Grass type), which isn’t an issue for Exeggutor since it is Grass type. The new Vileplume is a near reprint of the one that blocks both players from using Items. Finally, Forest of Giant Plants allows Grass Pokémon to evolve the turn they are played down. This means that an Egg player can block Items and Supporters all in their first turn (going second). This would make for an extremely boring game.

2. Shiftry NXD

Another deck that could potentially take advantage of the new Grass Stadium is Shiftry. This has been a rarely-played fringe type of deck, but in Expanded with the new cards, it can use a combination of Super Scoop Up and Devolution Spray to reuse Shiftry’s Giant Fan Ability, which shuffles an opponent’s Pokémon of your choosing into his or her deck if you flip heads. Shiftry players can use Recycle and Trainer draw cards to run through their deck, gaining many opportunities to flip and re-flip.

3. Hypnotoxic Laser

We’ve always known that HTL is a powerful card, but it will become a real terror in Expanded if left unchecked. It allows for some insane Turn 1 Latios-EX ROS damage, and becomes even better in Toad than it was before, if that can even be possible.

Again, who knows if anything will actually be banned, but it’s fun to think about! Let me know what cards you think should get the hammer in the comments.


As always, thank you for reading my efforts, and I appreciate your feedback. I absolutely can’t wait to see everyone in Boston, and if you see me, please come up and say hi.

A special thanks to all the women who participated in my interview — I look forward to meeting those of you whom I haven’t yet!

If you get a chance, follow my channel on Twitch and subscribe to me on YouTube! I’ll be doing another “Draft Like a Girl” for Worlds sometime soon, featuring myself, Sorina Radu, Natalie Shampay, Mia Violet, and special guest Amy Wilson!

xx Nicholena

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