Hello everyone! Travis Nunlist back again and I’m really excited to review a lot of happenings in the game as well as finish up some last minute preparations for the upcoming Portland Regional Championship! Since my last piece I’ve attended three League Cups as well as the Costa Mesa Regional Championship. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped at either event, but I did get some solid results and good testing in with some interesting decks. The two most fun decks were the Rampardos deck Christopher discussed last week I played at a League Cup and the Glaceon/Barbaracle deck piloted by Alex, Christopher, Xander, and myself in Costa Mesa. I did play some more conventional decks like Zoroark/Skyfield and Zoroark/Gardevoir at my other League Cups as well. My events went like this:
League Cup #1 (Expanded) Zoroark/Skyfield/3 Red Card
T8 Zoroark-GX/Skyfield WLL (Sudden Death)
Sudden death is lame, and I got my Zorua KO’d on T2 despite a Red Card/Hex on my first turn of the game after going second. It was after this event I decided I did not want to play Zoroark mirror all day in Costa Mesa, so I spent a few days building hard counters to Zoroark-GX. After brainstorming everything I could think of that could beat Zoroark-GX I eventually crafted the Glaceon/Barbaracle deck we played for the event.
Costa Mesa Regional Championship (Expanded) Glaceon/Barbaracle
Round 1: Zoroark-GX/Skyfield LWT 0-0-1
Round 2: Zoroark-GX/Skyfield WW 1-0-1
Round 3: Noivern-GX/Garbodor WW 2-0-1
Round 4: Zoroark-GX/Skyfield WLL 2-1-1
Round 5: Zoroark-GX/Skyfield WW 3-1-1
Round 6: Primal Groudon-EX WW 4-1-1
Round 7: Primal Groudon-EX LL 4-2-1
Round 8: Noivern-GX/Garbodor WW 5-2-1
Round 9: Zoroark-GX/Skyfield WW 6-2-1
I really stumbled out of the gates in the early rounds of the tournament as I just couldn’t get the deck to setup properly. My game and set loss against Zoroark in R1 and R4 respectively were due entirely to unplayable openings that lead to a swift defeat by the horrifyingly consistent deck that is Zoroark-GX in Expanded. The second Primal Groudon-EX deck I faced ended up as my downfall, as the deck was able to get the best of me the second time around.
I felt like I was in a great spot to pull off a win in Game 2 until my opponent hit Tapu Lele GX/Scramble Switch off an N to 4 that allowed him to move the Psychic Energy off of his Primal Groudon onto the Tapu Lele to heal ~300 damage off of two Primal Groudon, and effectively crush my chances at making Day 2. Overall I was very happy with the deck choice and my only regret was playing Team Flare Grunt over Delinquent and the 3rd Cynthia over the 4th VS Seeker.
League Cup #2 (Standard) Jurassic Park (Talonflame/Rampardos)
Round 1: Raichu-GX/Garbodor W 1-0
Round 2: Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor W 2-0
Round 3: Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX W 3-0
Round 4: Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX W 4-0
T8 Zoroark-GX/Weavile WW
T4 Golisopod-GX/Zoroark-GX LL
This is definitely one of the most fun decks I’ve played in a long time and I’m glad I decided to give it a try at a League Cup. Everything was going incredibly well with an undefeated run up until I hit a wall in T4 with some bad draws and bad Prizes all coming in at once. Being the first person to cut an event with Unidentified Fossil is always fun too. Overall, I still really like the deck and think it has a lot of potential, but there is going to need to be a bit of adjustment now that everyone is onto it and aware of the concept.
T8 vs Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX LWL
Despite moderate success, I think I regret playing this the most. I’m glad I got in a few tournaments games with it to really get a feel for the deck in that kind of an environment, but the entire thing felt a bit fragile to me and very prone to being run-over by a lot of the more aggressive decks in the format if you are unable to evolve into your Stage 2 Pokémon quickly. T8 was brutal to me, as I didn’t open with a Brigette until G3 and horrible prizes coupled with T2/T3 Bloodthirsy Eyes KOs on Ralts proved too much for the deck to handle. I wish I would have just played Rampardos again as I want more experience with the deck to get a feel for its long term viability.
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