Hello SixPrizes readers! I’m Bradley Curcio, and I’m happy to be writing here for you all again! Previously, I discussed what I expected to see most at London and how I expected Fort Wayne to pan out. Today I’ll be going over a brief Dallas Regionals report, an updated mini tier list, and projections for a Standard metagame with the release of the new Giratina Promo!
To start things off, we’ll go with how my personal tournament experience went at my home state of Texas’ Regionals! Now, going into Dallas, Yveltal/Garbodor was undeniably the best deck in the format. When I usually consider deck choices myself, I tend to gravitate towards the best deck. By doing so, I rely on the deck’s sheer strength, alongside my playing ability, to have the best chance for tournament success.
For Dallas, however, this was the first time I wasn’t as confident in the best deck, Yveltal/Garbodor. The deck had a huge target on its back, and unlike other decks that were clearly on top during their formats, I didn’t feel like Yveltal/Garbodor could overcome its apparent weaknesses. Specific decks built around Jolteon-EX or Zebstrika, multiple copies of Fairy Drop in both Mega Gardevoir and Mega Mewtwo variants, and even Greninja lists teched for Yveltal became extremely popular, making Yveltal have a much harder time winning the event.
While the deck can obviously still overcome these weaknesses, I think it struggles more than other BDIFs did in their prime. In Expanded, the Yveltal/Maxie’s deck is able to abuse broken cards like Dark Patch, Archeops, and Gallade, and do so very consistently. Even decks like Raikou/Eels or Rainbow Road/Ho-Oh, which are built and teched to beat Yveltal/Archeops, can still just lose to Yveltal/Maxie’s’ raw strength. The same thing can be said for Night March at both Nationals and Worlds. Trevenant, Greninja, and Vileplume all boasted positive Night March matchups, but could still fold to the deck’s ability to consistently explode.
. . .
Since for once I wasn’t confident in Yveltal for the tournament, I was easily swayed into playing a different deck. After talking things over with fellow SixPrizes writer and my ARG teammate Ryan Sabelhaus, we both decided on the same 60-card Mega Mewtwo deck list. In theory, we would have the same favorable matchups against Volcanion and Greninja that Yveltal has — but without the worry of specific counters such as the aforementioned Jolteon-EX or Zebstrika.
This is the list we ended up playing in Dallas, and my matchups for the day:
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 35
Energy – 11
Dallas Regionals // 518 Masters // Day 1
R1 vs Volcanion (WW)
R2 vs Yveltal/Garbodor (LL)
R3 vs Mega Mewtwo [Psychic] (WW)
R4 vs Yveltal/Garbodor (LWL)
R5 vs Yveltal/Garbodor (WW)
R6 vs Greninja (WW)
R7 vs Xerneas/Snorlax-GX (WW)
R8 vs Zygarde/Carbink (LWT)
R9 vs Yveltal/Garbodor (LWL)
Final: 5-3-1, Top 128
Even though in theory we should have a good Yveltal/Garbodor matchup, I ended up going 1-3 (4-6 in the actual games) against it. If both players are able to set up, Mewtwo will definitely be favored, but that just isn’t the case most of the games. As the Mewtwo player, you need to find Spirit Links, Energy, or Mega Turbo, and the Mega, whereas the Yveltal player just needs the Energy. If you’re forced to start anything but Mewtwo-EX as well, the Yveltal player can punish you with the Fright Night Yveltal, forcing you to find a Garbodor as well to retreat.
Since the Yveltal matchup is much closer than originally anticipated and Mega Gardevoir was so prominent at the event, our Mega Mewtwo variant ended up not being as great of a meta call as we had hoped. Mega Mewtwo is, however, able to handle Yveltal on its own, so Igor Costa’s more consistent list was a much better call to handle the meta (he was even able to take down a Mega Gardevoir in Top 4!).
As far as the list itself, I believe the list was almost perfect for what we wanted it to do. Cards that I felt were unnecessary were the 2nd Garbodor and the Fairy Garden. I would likely cut the 2nd Garbodor for an additional consistency card (4th N, 2nd Trainers’ Mail) and potentially the Fairy Garden for a Delinquent. A turn 1 Parallel City can set us back tremendously, so having some out to it is needed, whether that be a Stadium of our own or a Delinquent to get rid of theirs.
Going forward, I still think the deck can be a great play, but only if you don’t expect to see very much Mega Gardevoir. As specific call at something like a League Cup, this deck can dominate.
That’s enough about my tournament. Let’s get on with the tier list!
Tier List — Post-Dallas/Pre-Athens Edition
Normally I would be updating my tier list based on current results, but since the format hasn’t really changed, I’d rather focus on the new card we’re getting, Giratina XY184. While the card itself may not be included in every deck, its mere existence will change the way some decks are built and allow other decks to have a chance to shine.
This time around there are far too many decks to accurately cover, so I’ll be strictly covering S Tier decks and a few other decks I feel are close to breaking into that same level. The A and B Tier will still be listed, and I fully expect to see several of these decks in Day Two at Athens Regionals (or take down some League Cups), but I don’t feel these decks are as strong in our current metagame.
If you have any specific questions as to why a deck is in any tier, feel free to ask in the comments section and I’ll happily reply!
- Mega Gardevoir
- Mega Mewtwo
- Vileplume Toolbox
- Mega Rayquaza-EX
The decks in the A Tier are very close to being S Tier, but are generally weak to one or more S Tier decks which prevents them from being in the specific tier themselves, such as Mega Mewtwo being very unfavored against Mega Gardevoir.
In the B Tier, most of these decks face one or more unfavorable matchups, but they trade that for very good matchups against some of the top decks. Since they have shaky matchups, their ability to win a tournament is much less likely, as one or two matchups can prevent them from making it past Day One. Other decks, like Gyarados, can be heavily teched against, making them a very risky play if people are prepared. Because of these reasons, these decks are in the B Tier.
Up first for the S Tier, we yet again have Yveltal/Garbodor. Although the deck had one of its worst showings in a long time, without a single copy of the deck making Top 8 in Dallas, it’s still very clearly one of the best decks we have available to us. Jimmy Pendarvis was the highest placing Yveltal player in the room, finishing in 19th and showing that even though everybody is prepared and teched for the deck, it can still do well. Jimmy ended up using the exact same 60 cards that we used at the London Intercontinental Championships where he barely missed Top 32.
Pokémon – 11
Trainers – 36
Energy – 13
Yveltal/Garbodor lists haven’t changed very much since breaking out at Orlando Regionals, but I’m pretty confident this exact list is one of the most optimal ways to play the deck.
Yveltal-EX has been an amazing card since the first day it was released, and it is easily one of the best attackers in our current Standard format, so playing 4 copies of the card seems like a must. The one downside of Yveltal-EX is the EX tag. Giving up 2 Prizes when it’s knocked out can be troublesome, so playing an attacker worth only 1 Prize can help disrupt your opponent’s game plan.
Yveltal BKT is generally the best option as a 1-Prize attacker, as it has many different uses in most matchups. Stopping Spirit Links in Mega decks (and Float Stones in almost every deck) while weakening any threats that may be building up can be the difference between a win and a loss in some games.
Other options for 1-Prize attackers are Yveltal STS — which does well against Greninja or any deck that is able to remove your Energy (Houndoom/Raticate or Scizor/Raticate for instance) — and Jirachi XY67 since it can work alongside Team Flare Grunt and Enhanced Hammer to slow down your opponent drastically.
Trainers’ Mail vs. Techs
Another controversial topic on lists right now is whether or not to play Trainers’ Mail or other specific tech cards. Michael Pramawat opted to drop Trainers’ Mail altogether in London for cards like Delinquent and an Escape Rope, but the consistency provided by Trainers’ Mail shines round after round at large events like Regionals. If you’re finding yourself needing specific tech cards such as Delinquent, Escape Rope, Pokémon Ranger, or something else, and are willing to sacrifice some consistency, then you can opt to also play without the Trainers’ Mails to try and improve certain matchups.
Next up we’ve got Mega Gardevoir. It should come as no surprise to see this deck up in S Tier again, as it just took three of the top four spots at Dallas Regionals — and the entire tournament. The deck has some good matchups across the board and is very consistent, so it has easily earned itself a spot in the S Tier.
This is the list that Connor Finton piloted to a Top 4 finish in Dallas:
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 37
Energy – 7
The deck functions very similarly to Mega Rayquaza, but has some very distinct advantages that place it (and not Rayquaza) in the S Tier. Both decks abuse Sky Field and large Benches to dish out damage, but Mega Gardevoir is able to remove potential liabilities from its Bench. You can use your Hoopas, Shaymins, and Dragonites without worry of them being Lysandre’d up and stranded or KO’d. You can also use tech cards with come-into-play Abilities, such as Hawlucha or Rattata or Absol, since you can discard them for extra damage and then reuse them later if needed thanks to Dragonite-EX or Brock’s Grit.
Another advantage Mega Gardevoir has over Mega Rayquaza is the 110 base damage. This allows you to still deal decent damage if Parallel City is out, and it’s the perfect number to knock out a Shaymin-EX without having any additional Pokémon in play. Gardevoir’s Fairy and Psychic typing also allow it to take very easy knockouts on Pokémon like Mega Mewtwo or Giratina-EX, both of which Mega Rayquaza can struggle against.
What may be the biggest advantage the deck has is its much better matchup against Yveltal/Garbodor. Gardevoir-EX resists Dark, dampening Yveltal’s damage output. Yveltal-EX can never reliably take a one-hit knockout on Mega Gardevoir (needing 9 Energy and a Fury Belt to do so), and thanks to Fairy Drops and Resistance, you can make it difficult for the Yveltal player to even get a two-hit knockout on your Megas. With the ability to discard your own Pokémon as well, you completely mitigate their damage output while still dishing out damage of your own.
The biggest downside the deck has is its reliance on Abilities, so an early Garbodor can hinder you in setting up multiple Mega Gardevoirs. If you’re able to stream attackers against Yveltal, they will struggle to take enough Prizes to win the game.
Finally for the S Tier, we have Volcanion. Volcanion is the only deck that has consistently kept itself in the S Tier even though the deck itself hasn’t been able to take down a large event as of yet. Much like Yveltal, the deck hasn’t changed very much since Orlando and abuses the fact that it can dish out a ton of damage very quickly while building up additional attackers on the Bench.
The deck struggles a lot if a Garbodor is able to stick on the field, so being able to knock out Trubbish before it evolves is vital to the deck’s success. This is a list that’s able to execute that game plan frequently:
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