Hello SixPrizes readers! I have been playing a lot of Pokémon lately, and I am excited to be back so that I can share what I have learned. First off, I was very disappointed to find out that Espeon-GX/Garbodor is truly just a skeleton of what is was last season. This made me take a look at the slower, but more sturdy decks of the format, and I was very pleased with the consistency of the decks. I was finally able to attend my first League Cup after my last two were canceled due to Hurricane Irma, and I chose to play Metagross-GX due to the blatant lack of Fire decks. While Metagross is not the most exciting deck in the world, I do have a decent amount to talk about, so let’s hop into the swing of things by talking about deckbuilding.
So far, I have been a huge fan of the new Standard format! I feel as if the format rewards building your decks to be as consistent as possible, and almost forces you to do so. I quickly discovered that turn one Brigette is more important than ever, which is why I have been playing four Tapu Lele-GX and two Brigette in almost every deck. That being said, my favorite decks to play with have been Metagross-GX and Gardevoir-GX. While Gardevoir-GX is a pretty obvious pick for the current “BDIF”, Metagross-GX has been underestimated due to its relatively poor Fire matchup. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the decks I have been playing with.
This is the Metagross list that I piloted to the finals of a 101 person League Cup in Orlando, FL. I definitely think that Metagross was a smart call for the event because of how unlikely it was that I would face two or more Fire decks in Swiss. On a similar note, I feel the same way about this deck heading into Hartford Regionals. While the deck struggles against Fire decks, it has great matchups against pretty much everything else, which can allow for an easy advancement to day two.
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 32
Energy – 10
When I was deciding on the final spots in this list, I really did want a third Metang. However, I ended up settling for two due to the inclusion of four Rare Candy and two Rescue Stretcher. During the tournament, the only time I really only wanted a third Metang was when I prized one. This makes me feel as if I probably don’t need the third copy, but I have it in the back of my mind as an option.
This is literally my favorite card in the game right now by far! The consistency Tapu Lele-GX brings to the table is absolutely insane. With the importance of a turn one Brigette being higher than ever, Tapu Lele-GX already becomes more useful. In addition to this, VS Seeker has been removed from the format, which causes for some pretty extreme resource management decisions. While I do believe that pretty much everyone immediately recognized that they could not just burn through their Ns all willy nilly, it takes some actual gameplay to realize that it is significantly harder to find the supporters you need throughout the game. While you usually do not use four Tapu Lele-GX in a game, just using two or three can ensure that you never whiff on the optimal supporter for the turn. Another bonus of the inclusion of all these Tapu Lele-GX is that it is actually a very strong attacker in this deck, especially against Fire decks.
This card is insanely versatile! I used it in a bunch of different ways throughout the tournament, especially when Vulpix was prized. I used Filch to draw cards against slower decks, and it allowed me to setup quite a bit and maintain a strong board state. I have used Mimikyu’s Copycat attack to knockout an Espeon-GX, to copy “Beacon” at the beginning of a few games, and act as a one prize attacker in a few situations.
I do not use this card a ton during most games, but Necrozma-GX can make some pretty important plays. Not only can Black Ray be an insane GX attack in certain spots, but Prismatic Burst with a Choice Band and three Psychic Energies does 220 damage—a significant number in this format.
This card is so important in this deck in the current metagame that I would not play the deck if this card was not legal. Mr. Mime prevents your opponents from spreading damage to all of your Metagross-GX using some combination of Tapu Koko and Necrozma-GX, and then simply devolving your whole field using Espeon-EX. This strategy has seemingly become quite popular, and I was able to beat two of these decks at my League Cup solely due to Mime.
I am a huge fan of consistency, and the second copy of this card has really impressed me. At first, I actually had a Lillie in my deck instead of the second Brigette because I was worried about not having enough draw Supporters for the end of the game. After playing quite a bit with the deck, I realized that the games I lost were almost always just due to slow starts. Once the deck sets up, it basically does not need to do anything but retreat and attack.
I started with four Choice Band in the deck, and while I was skeptical at first, I am now very confident that four is just correct. While attackers such as Darkrai-EX and Tapu Bulu-GX are no longer as popular, Choice Band is still very useful for knocking out popular Pokémon such as Drampa-GX and Tapu Lele-GX. In addition to this, Choice Band is very good when used on a Mimikyu against Fire decks. On a similar note, Choice Band can allow Necrozma-GX to knockout a Golisiopod-GX in one hit.
7 Metal, 3 Psychic
I am pretty sure this is the correct energy count, but I am still open for change on this. I know that I will never go lower than three Psychic because this count makes them easy to find and gives me the option to abuse Necrozma-GX’s “Prismatic Blast.”
This addition would help to make up for when one is prized, and can also allow for a stronger second turn of the game as it is easier to evolve into your Metangs. One downside to this inclusion is the space it takes up in the decklist—and in the actual deck, as it is another dead card once you have setup.
This would replace Mr. Mime as they are included for the same purpose but function in two different ways. I honestly think that solid arguments exist for both cards, but I currently prefer Mr. Mime. My favorite thing about Mr. Mime is that it is a non-EX/GX, which makes it much less painful when I start it in matchups where it is not needed. The upside to Magearna-EX is that it helps with the Greninja matchup, but I would not consider Greninja a very popular deck at the moment—at least not in my area.
4th Max Potion
Max Potion and Acerola are absolutely insane in the current format! Most games end up going into the late game, and the player who best managed their resources normally has the advantage. Max Potion completely wastes one or more of the opponent’s attacks, and really lets you out value them in the late game. The fourth copy would not only allow you to heal your Pokémon more times in a game, but it would make Max Potion a little easier to draw into to begin with.
3rd Field Blower
I don’t think this card is needed most of the time, but it would be a very strong inclusion in the right metagame. If I expected to play against a lot of decks that have Garbodor BKP in them, I would definitely add in the third copy of this card. Other than Garbodor, Field Blower is super underwhelming, which is why I do not already have three in the deck.
4th Psychic Energy
This is honestly a very tricky decision and I think I might need to put some more time into figuring out if this is correct. I know that 10 Energy is the maximum I am willing to play, but I am not sure if six Metal is enough. The fourth Psychic energy would be nice to have though, as it would make Prismatic Burst easier to use and would allow easier access to Psychic Energy in the early game.
I talked about this deck a bit in my last article, and I am back with my new and improved decklist! I had mentioned that I had not played much with the last Gardevoir list I shared with you guys, but that is certainly not the case this time. After playing quite a few games of the new format, I currently like this list the best.
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 30
Energy – 11
Pokemon.comThis is something new about my list, as my previous list had Oranguru instead. While I don’t think that Octillery is absolutely the better option due to space constraints and potential prize issues, I have been liking it a lot so far. Octillery’s Ability is clearly stronger than Oranguru’s, but a time may come where the extra spot is a luxury the deck can’t afford.
While I did thin down the line to just a 1-1, I still think that Sylveon-GX is a very strong inclusion in Gardevoir right now. As I stated in my last article, Sylveon brings an incredible amount of consistency to the table, and basically wins the mirror match. One thing I absolutely underestimated was Plea GX! Plea is very strong against opposing slower decks, and is the key to beating Greninja. Even just having the threat of Plea is a very strong mechanic, as it can cause your opponent to play differently to avoid getting wrecked by it.
Four Tapu Lele in this deck is just as insane as they are in Metagross. Turn one Brigette is equally important with this deck, and Tapu Lele can be used to find crucial supporters in the mid to late game such as Acerola or Guzma.
This is also an inclusion that I made in Metagross, and it is in both decks for the exact same reason. Gardevoir is also pretty vulnerable to the devolve strategy, but Mr. Mime completely prevents that from being an issue.
I have two copies of this card in literally all of my stage two decks, always accompanied by four Tapu Lele-GX. This is because a turn one Brigette is the strongest play in the game right now, so of course it is a good idea to maximize the odds of doing so.
Acerola and Max Potion are extremely strong cards right now, and both serve similar purposes. The reason why I chose to include the Acerola instead of a Max Potion is because of my low energy count in the deck. Unlike Metagross, Gardevoir has to reattach the discarded energies from the hand, which makes Max Potion a lot harder to use. Acerola has the bonus feature of being searchable via Tapu Lele-GX, but Max Potion can be used in conjunction with another Supporter.
This card was in my previous list, and while it was not bad by any means, but I do think that Octillery is a better inclusion if you have enough space for one extra card. The only reason I consider this card to be an option is because it would free up a slot if I really needed to make space for a new addition. While Oranguru clearly has an inferior ability to Octillery, it is a lot easier to maintain because it is a Basic. This makes it easier to get into play, and prizing it is much less of an issue than the risk of prizing either piece of the Octillery line
I am not a huge fan of Gallade most of the time, but I see why a lot of people have it in their deck. It does have its upsides, such as being an easy to include utility Pokémon that adds consistency to the deck. In addition to this, it is very strong against Drampa-GX, but I feel like that is already a favored matchup as is. Gallade has always been a weird inclusion in my mind because it usually feels like a “win-more” card. This means that Gallade generally is not the difference between a win and a loss.
It honestly feels weird not having Vulpix in the deck after playing so much with it before the World Championships, but I have only found it to be exceptionally strong now when going second and not having access to the turn one Magical Ribbon. Even then, it feels a lot like I am just forcing my opponent to have an N for one turn. The difference between Sylveon and Vulpix when it comes to setting up is that Sylveon forces the opponent to have N multiple turns in a row, but Vulpix gets knockedout after the first Beacon. I think that Vulpix does have potential though, as I think it is a very strong card in Metagross, but maybe the current field of deck just isn’t right for it.
1-2 Max Potion
I talked about why I think Acerola is better in my current list, but Max Potion could make its way into the deck if I were to add another Fairy Energy. Another Fairy Energy, combined with the fact that I play a Super Rod would ease my worry of not being able to use Max Potion as freely as I can use Acerola. Unlike Acerola, Max Potion can be used in the same turn as a crucial supporter such as N or Guzma, which is why I think it has so much potential.
That is all for today guys, but I hope that I was able to help get everyone on track for Hartford Regionals! I will be practicing a ton for the event, as I am determined to get ahead in the point race for top sixteen. Between now and then, I do have a couple of League Cups in my area, where I hope to obtain another finals placement at the very least.
As always, if you happen to see me at an event, feel free to come up and say hi! Otherwise, I will be coming back with another article next month discussing my experience at Hartford.
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