Yes, you read that right, I’m back already. After my tournament report early in the week, I’m glad to be back to take a look at the next battle we have to fight: Guardians Rising. Astute schedule-watchers will note that Alex Hill was originally scheduled for today, but fear not, he’ll be here Friday instead. I’ve been playing way more TCGO than is probably healthy since I got home from Toronto, and have been excited to test out some of my ideas with the set.
Community perception seems to be that Guardians Rising is the coming of a new order in the game. I don’t really think I can remember any set receiving quite the hype that this one has, and I especially don’t remember my opinion on a set varying from the norm this much. To say the least, I’m not nearly as infatuated with GRI as many of my colleagues or players at large.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s a decent number of cards that have enormous potential. My disagreement with the consensus is more in the quantity of useful cards than the enormity of those that are useful. In that respect, the likes of Tapu Lele, Field Blower, and others certainly have the potential to be transformative in the way that Michael Slutsky‘s been talking about for awhile.
The important part today, though, is the cards that I do think have potential. By no means do I argue the set to be bad, but things like Alolan Ninetales-GX — receiving plenty of discussion — simply don’t strike me as better than anything we already have in the meta. Reinventing the wheel is seriously tempting, and it’s something players deal with every time a new set drops. It may be fair to call me jaded, but over the last several years, I’ve become severely skeptical of new archetypes as they release.
Even with that in mind, I’m here today with two new archetypes that I think could be set to make waves in the early portions of XY-GRI. Additionally, I’d like to take a look back at a deck that — literally — made waves earlier in the year: Gyarados. More often than not, I find that a new set’s impact is in the decks that it improves, rather than the ones that it creates out of thin air. There’re always exceptions, like Boundaries Crossed’s production of Blastoise/Keldeo-EX, but they’re certainly not the norm.
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