Hello SixPrizes readers! I am pleased to be writing my second article, this time discussing my Anaheim adventure, and the upcoming Ft. Wayne Regional Championships. I really enjoyed vacationing in Anaheim, along with competing in my fifth World Championships. This time around I was fortunate enough to be a day two qualifier, which I was really excited about. Without further ado, let’s take a look at my time in Anaheim.
Upon arriving in Anaheim a week before the event, I honestly was not sure what to play. I had been practicing quite a bit with different Decidueye-GX lists that were almost identical to what was in my last article, but I was feeling less and less comfortable with the deck. First of all, I was not a fan of the mirror match in the slightest, which was seemingly something I was going to have to play against a lot. In addition to this, not only were Garbodor decks growing in popularity at the time, but they were beating me quite a bit.
For starters, Espeon-GX/Garbodor was not something I had previously tested against due to its decrease in popularity. This matchup was significantly worse for me than the Drampa-GX/Garbodor matchup that I was more familiar with. The issue that arose with Drampa-GX/Garbodor is that players were including Necrozma-GX, Po Town, and Espeon-EX. This combination was very difficult to handle, as it would wipe my board of Decidueyes and force me to play trainers in an attempt to recover.
Discovering just how bad these matchups played out forced me to eliminate the deck as a choice, which led to quite a funny occurrence. Mees wanted to test this Gardevoir list against Espeon-GX/Garbodor, just to confirm the suspicion that Espeon would get stomped and therefore be labeled as a poor choice for the event. I ended up beating him quite a few times with Espeon, and we were impressed with how well the deck was doing. Upon playing a bunch of games vs the decks we expected to face, my testing group decided to play the deck. This is the decklist Igor, Mees, and I played:
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 30
Energy – 12
3 Eevee, 2 Espeon-GX
I have received a lot of questions as to why I played a thinner Espeon-GX line, which I can now go into detail about. While Espeon-GX is an incredible attacker in the early game, it becomes less and less useful as the game progresses. This makes it hard for me to justify including a beefy Espeon-GX line instead of increasing my consistency and/or adding utility cards. I never had a problem finding Eevees in the early game, and only once during the tournament did I wish I had a third Espeon-GX. Overall, I would say that this thin line was the correct call for Worlds.
4 Tapu Lele-GX
The fourth copy of this card was put in my decklist literally minutes before the first round! I am so glad that I included the fourth one too, as my deck felt very consistent during the tournament, and I actually used all four of them in two of my games. In my mind, the main purpose of the fourth copy of this card is to increase the odds of a turn one Brigette, which is the best start for the deck. Tapu Lele is also a great tool against other Garbodor decks, as it allows easy access to Teammates which can create some big plays. In addition to the option of grabbing Teammates, N can also be searched out in order to avoid discarding a bunch of Items.
This card was an absolute superstar for me at worlds, arguably the most important inclusion in my list. I used it literally every single match, multiple times per match. It was a very good tool against opposing Garbodor decks, as it allowed me to find what I needed without playing any items.
I ended up removing the fourth VS Seeker in favor of the fourth Tapu Lele-GX the morning of the tournament, and I am super glad I did it. VS Seeker is obviously a very weak card against opposing Garbodor decks because it is an item. I played vs seven decks that contained Trashlanche Garbodor in my eight rounds of swiss and top eight match, which means that removing the VS Seeker was definitely a good call. VS Seeker is also a bad card to have in the opening hand, which means removing it in favor of a consistency card allows me to have a smooth start more often.
At first, I wasn’t too sure about playing a “random” Parallel City, but I was thoroughly impressed by it in testing. It is at its best when it catches people off guard, which I think it did a majority of the time I used it at worlds. It can deny the opponent value by interrupting a turn one Tapu Lele-GX for Brigette, which can really slow them down. I also used it to remove damaged Pokémon from my bench, which came in clutch a few times when my opponent had two prizes left.
This card was momentarily included in my decklist the morning of worlds, but ended up being promptly removed. I knew I wanted to remove the fourth VS Seeker for either a consistency card or a utility supporter, and it was a super hard choice for me. I knew that Acerola and Plumeria both had the opportunity to give me an edge in the mirror match, but Tapu Lele-GX could also do this by providing me with a smooth start. I ended up choosing the consistency option and added the fourth Tapu Lele-GX.
Round 1: Espinola Ortega Juan Adrian – Drampa-GX/Garbodor LWW
Round 2: Takuya Hasegawa – Gollisipod-GX/Garbotoxin WW
Round 3: Sho Sasaki – Gollisipod-GX/Garbotoxin/Trashlanche WW
Round 4: Naoto Suzuki – Gollisipod-GX/Garbotoxin/Trashlanche WW
Round 5: Tord Reklev – Drampa-GX/Garbodor LWT
Round 6: Xander Pero – Espeon-GX/Garbodor WW
Round 7: Diego Cassiraga – Gardevoir-GX LL
Round 8: Frank Diaz – Drampa-GX/Garbodor WLW
Top 8: Xander Pero – Espeon-GX/Garbodor LL
(6-2-1, 6th place)
Overall it was a fun day of matches, and I definitely faced some tough competition! I played all four of the competitors that made it to the semifinals in swiss, which is honestly never something I have done before. Congratulations to Diego!
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 31
Energy – 12
I talked about a lot of these during the analysis of my Worlds list above, but lets talk about some of the changes.
With the loss of VS Seeker, this is just an absolute must. I feel that these counts will be standard in almost every deck next season. Only having access to four N each game will cause resource management to be incredibly important. It is unlikely that four Guzmas will ever be played in a game, but the inclusion of a high count makes sure that it will be accessible throughout the game as it needs to be.
This is a new concept, as Acerola was very recently released and it was not included in any Espeon/Garbodor decklists that I saw at the World Championships. While utility supporters are likely to see a decrease in play, I think Acerola will be seen in a lot of decks at the beginning of the standard format. Not only does Acerola provide a nice tempo swing when used in the early game, but it allows for a strong late game that decks seem to lack due to not having VS Seeker.
While Lillie does seem relatively unideal as a source of draw power, it is also something that has remained untested in the past because it was outshined by other options. Now that draw engines are looking like four N, four Sycamore, four Lele, the inclusion of Lillie does not seem out of the question. Lillie does serve as a good option after an N in the late game, which is something I predict most decks will struggle with otherwise.
4th Choice Band
This is a card I always wanted in the deck, as it is just such a strong card in a lot of situations. The only thing that held me back is space, and it seems like it would be a lot easier to find room for this now. It would probably involve the removal of the Parallel City, which is no longer as valuable as it once was if the deck is going to be playing Acerola.
With decks looking to abuse the Acerola on Tapu Lele-GX chain, Kukui becomes the problem solver. Previously, the chaining of Acerola was a very strong option against Espeon/Garbodor as the deck has no way to one shot a fresh Tapu Lele-GX unless a bunch of trainers have been discarded. If Kukui were to be included, all of this would change as Psychic with a Choice Band and Kukui OHKOs a Tapu Lele that just attacked. I would definitely recommenced this inclusion of Acerola chaining sees an increase in popularity. With the removal of VS Seeker, it is technically harder to repeatedly use Acerola, but at the same time it becomes a stronger play.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 36
Energy – 9
While this deck is the clear front runner for Ft. Wayne, which is usually something I try to stay away from, Trevenant is currently my favorite deck in Expanded. I do think it has a decent amount of boring games, but I find the games where things go poorly in the beginning to be fun to navigate out of.
More importantly, I am convinced that Trevenant is the best deck in Expanded. I am not a fan of the mirror match, but I almost always dislike them because I feel as if they are usually not very skillful. Other than that, I feel the only popular bad matchup this deck has is Turbo Dark, which is by no means unwinnable.
This card is an absolutely insane addition to this already powerhouse of a deck! In combination with Silent Fear, Black Ray-GX causes damage to add up super quick, and can really end games very quickly. Necrozma improves previously bad matchups, such as TurboDark, to winnable even when going second! Trevenant’s biggest issue in the past was that it would struggle to deal relevant amounts of damage, despite the opponent having limited options.
This would allow decks that could break the trainer lock or survive under it to beat Trevenant with ease, but Necrozma really changes things. Necrozma also helps to prevent the Sky Return loop, which used to be able to deck Trevenant out under the right circumstances. Necrozma can KO Shaymin-EX for just two Psychic Energy, which is not a hard goal to accomplish with Super Rod in the deck.
The standard amount of Wally to play in this deck seems to be one, which does not make a whole lot of sense to me. Wally is the whole point of the deck when going first, as it usually completely shuts down the opponent. If Trevenant goes first and does not end its turn with a Trevenant active, I consider it a poor start. I would also be willing to bet that Trevenant has a significantly higher win percentage when a turn one Trevenant happens.
This is where the second Wally comes in, as it helps increase these odds in two different ways. Not only does having the second copy prevent the prizing issue, but it slightly increases the odds of having it in the opening hand, or finding it off of Shaymin’s Set Up. I must also say that I have been fairly impressed with Wally as a tool in the mirror match, just as a way of finding Trevenant BREAK under trainer lock.
This deck is obviously meant to disrupt the opponent, so I was surprised to see that most people are not liking Plumeria in this deck. So far, I have been a huge fan of this inclusion. Sure, the discard can be awkward sometimes, but discarding any energy your opponent has on the board is an insane payout. It is already hard enough for the opponent to setup under item lock and all of the other energy removal, a Plumeria at the right time can be devastating.
I have seen this card in other decklists, and it is honestly where I got the idea. I originally had one in my build, but I liked it so much that I ended up including a second when I went to refine the decklist. It makes the deck feel more stable in the early game, and can help to find Necrozma-GX later in the game.
This might seem like an odd inclusion at first, but makes a lot of sense after you get some games in with the deck. Its main purpose is being able to attack with Necrozma with no wait time, as DCE in conjunction with Dimension Valley fulfills the requirements of Black Ray-GX. DCE can also provide a method of doing more damage with Tapu Lele’s Energy Drive, and can even help use Trevenant’s Tree Slam if needed.
The main purpose of this inclusion would be to deal with Garbotoxin in an instant, however, both of these cards have additional value. Xerosic can be used as another source of Energy removal, while Field Blower can help to deal with pesky stadiums such as Rough Seas. I would have to say Xerosic is probably the better choice headed into a “blind” meta, but Field Blower should not be ruled out when deciding on the final list.
This card is very linear, but is super strong against its targeted enemy. Karen absolutely demolishes “Compressor decks” such as Vespiquen and Night March. However, I think that this inclusion is currently unnecessary for two reasons. Not only do I think that these matchups are already favorable, but I don’t think either of these decks will be very popular at Ft.Wayne.
This is just for consistency purposes honestly, as I think it is very infrequent that this deck actually runs out of N. Wally is the supporter that Trevenant wants to play going first, which decreases the need for excessive draw support. N is not really a card that Trevenant wants to throw down willy nilly in the mid game, as it can give the opponent a fresh hand and increase their odds of finding useful cards such as Guzma or Hex Maniac.
4th Bursting Balloon
While it is not realistic to expect to get value out of four Bursting Balloons every game, it will happen sometimes. More importantly, the inclusion of a fourth Bursting Balloon would increase the chances of having one when you really need it.
I’m satisfied with how my 2017 season went, but I hope to do even better next year! I will try my best to finish in the top sixteen heading into Worlds next year, which means I will be attending a lot of events and practicing quite a bit. My first tournament of the 2017-2018 season will be Ft. Wayne next weekend, which I am very excited for. While I prefer playing the Standard format, I am itching to compete in any way possible. I know it has just been a week since the World Championships, but I just want to get a nice start for next season. Anyways, I will be back next month with two more articles for you guys, so see you then!
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