Hello everyone! I am excited once again to be back writing. For the NAIC, I tested more than I have tested in recent memory and I am happy to report that my preparations have been similarly intense for this year’s World Championships. There was a time before when I was very active in the game where I do remember testing quite a bit and not enjoying it a single bit but in this instance, I have been enjoying my testings and explorations of the Burning Shadows format. Perhaps that is in some part do to the fact that many, including myself, are greatly struggling to discern what is worth spending time on and what is merely an overhyped card.
There are so many ideas for decks—both new and old—and at times, I cannot help but wonder if I am spreading myself too thin. Is the proper testing regime one that involves an incredible amount of time spent on 1-2 decks or one that considers 6+ different decks in any given session? I am not sure if there is a correct answer to such a question, and undoubtedly different players will have different preferences. For me, I think I am somewhere in the middle (as I tend to be with almost everything), and I am excited to share with everyone today the multiple decks that I have been testing.
I shot myself in the foot by building most of my initial concepts around decks that heavily relied on the Tapu Lele Promo, which as we now know, will not be legal for Worlds. So, my initial findings for the format were completely devoid of value! I included the card in my Metagross-GX list last article, and I believe that any Metagross-GX deck is simply not worth investigating at the moment without Tapu Lele. Additionally, I became very fond of a spread-heavy Garbodor deck featuring Necrozma GX and multiple copies of both Tapu Lele and Tapu Koko promos. Perhaps these concepts will be worth coming back to after the World Championships, should we acquire this card before Fort Wayne Regionals (I suspect that the card is incredible in a Trevenant BREAK deck as Dimension Valley will make its attack all the more accessible).
As a result of this blunder on my part, a lot of my testing has forced me to play catch-up to every other player and so some of my findings were notably behind the curve. I began my investigations with Travis Nunlist’s Gardevoir-GX list from his article last month and was quickly won over by the card. It has been years since I have played a deck with Rare Candy and so I have always been hesitant towards Evolution decks in any recent format but it does appear clear to me now that their time to shine has come once again. As we’ll see in some of my lists below, I think that (with the exception of Greninja last year) that most of the top decks do evolve and will likely feature Rare Candy!
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