Hey everyone! I’m incredibly excited (as usual) to be writing today’s article. It’s a very exciting time in Pokémon as Championship Point and Regionals information have just been revealed. In fact, I was so pumped to start the grind for a World Championship invite that I spontaneously booked a trip to Philadelphia for Regionals in November!
Although I’m excited to go back to the Expanded format for Philly in a month and a half, Orlando will be my next event so I’ve been working hard at figuring out the new Standard format. This article will analyze some of the decks and lists I’ve been testing out and should paint a pretty good picture of the format when combined with Russell’s article from earlier in the week.
Before we jump in, I do want to applaud Pokémon for the changes they’ve made to the tournament season. There are a lot of parallels to be drawn between Magic’s Grand Prix, Pro Tours, and the Pro Tour invitation structure and Pokémon’s new Regionals, Internationals, and International invitations for top performing players in rating zones. Magic has been incredibly popular and successful for years so it’s no surprise that Pokémon is following their lead. If we can expect things to continue to parallel Magic, though, expect Regionals to grow exponentially. 700+ will probably become the norm very quickly. Get ready for some long days of Pokémon!
Format Origins: Yanmega/Vespiquen
The first deck that I started working on in this format was Vespiquen/Yanmega, modeled after the Jesper Eriksen’s Worlds-winning deck. Even with the loss of Battle Compressor, there are plenty of ways to get Pokémon into the discard pile and fuel Bee Revenge. Unown and Klefki can quickly be discarded and each Yanmega BREAK that gets knocked out adds 3 more Pokémon to the total. The deck also plays very fluidly and elegantly addresses the consistency problems that plague other decks in the format. Here’s the list I settled on:
Pokémon – 30
Trainers – 26
Energy – 4
Unfortunately, the deck is very weak to Garbodor, and with the release of Karen, I don’t think it’ll be too competitive in the coming months. However, if you have any Standard LCs to play in before Karen is legal, this is a great deck to pick up. Christopher Schemanske and his brother piloted the above list to a combined record of 15-1-4 in 2 LCs (with all but 1 draw being intentional) for a total of 48 CP.
While the deck isn’t a great play for the upcoming Regionals, it could be in the future. If we get a Tool-removal card in the next few sets, and Karen is underplayed, this could be a surprise deck that preys on the EX-heavy decks of the format. Feel free to ask me in the forums if you have any questions on the deck or the list!
Breaking Time: M Rayquaza
Rayquaza was the first deck I and many other players thought of when the Standard format rotation was announced. It has a significant amount of raw power and speed typically unmatched by other EX decks. Night March was the only thing that really kept it from taking off in the 2015-2016 format. Players such as Connor Finton were able to capitalize on metagames with an absence of Night March to blow the rest of the competition out of the water. Very few things effectively counter Rayquaza and also do well against the rest of the format which makes it a very strong play in almost any metagame. Here’s a good list to get us started:
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