Nine (crazy) months later, the 2017/2018 North American Regionals slate is a wrap. With Madison over, we’ve had 15 events come and go, and with them, a year’s worth of chaos, fun, heartbreak, and everything in between. Of course, the season is far from over, with 3 more weekends of Special Events and Regionals around the world, one final “Cup weekend,” and then the North American International Championships to round it all off.
All of the events for the remainder of the season will be in the Standard format, which is a blessing to essentially everyone, but especially those of us who write about it. Keeping multiple formats straight is a challenge for all of us, and while we’re eagerly awaiting TPCi’s word on how next season will work, I really hope there’s something to replace the craziness of things like the Standard/Expanded/New Set Standard/New Set Expanded we played over the last few weeks. If that sort of thing is back on the schedule next year, we’ll see what we can do to better accommodate it in terms of content, as I felt this year might’ve been a bit slow.
I’m not entirely sure what order all of this will be released in, but now that we’re headed into the final stretch of the season, I have some analysis to drop on Regionals attendances, the idea of best finish limits, and probably some other stuff as well—including a fantasy competition for NAIC. Stay tuned over the next few days and weeks.
For now, though, we have a format to recap. Madison saw Malamar largely underperform, a 3 Buzzwole FLI Buzzwole/Lycanroc list do super well, and Greninja reemerge from the shadows. I would guess the former is a result of the latter two, and the general target that was on its back, but nonetheless its relative non-showing in Top 32 after largely dominating the first few weekends of international events is telling.
I definitely don’t like the Ultra Necrozma build, and I believe Madison’s results agree with me to that effect, but the so-called Psychic Malamar is a deck I like significantly more. Unfortunately, neither can do very much against most Zoroark variants, which is probably why we didn’t see them do much this weekend. Zoroark/Lycanroc was particular present on the weekend, and that’s no surprise given its overall consistency, draw, and potency of options.
Personally, going in, I felt this weekend was a fairly weird dynamic: pick a deck, and hope to find 7 good matchups via TOM’s good graces. In hindsight, this was an overestimation of many players’ experience with the format on my part, as I saw many “bad” matchups go the better player’s way in the end. But, this was my mindset going in. So, then there was this other idea…
What if instead of hoping for 7/9 good matchups, I took TOM out of the equation and said “My deck pretty much beats everything unless it’s hard-countered, but the problem is setting up. Instead of needing TOM, what if I merely (‘merely’) needed my deck to set up 2/3 games in 7/9 matches?”
Does that sound like anything to you? Greninja, perhaps?
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