My time in Madison this year once again proved that I absolutely love spending time in the city. I am not sure whether the tournament itself just occurs at a perfect time but there is something about the cool, temperate weather combining the air from the lake and the sites of being on the capital that have always made this tournament somewhat special to me and one that I would recommend you try out at least once. Between all the cheese curds, Wisconsin breakfast specialties and an overall well-run tournament from Jimmy Ballard and his crew, I had a blast at our last Regional Championship of the year and will do everything within my power to attend once again next year.
Unfortunately for me, the tournament itself proved to be somewhat of a disaster. Beyond one sordid mistake on my own part, there was nothing huge that went wrong, but really the culmination of many small things that made my performance a small percentage worse each time which compounded into something totally lackluster. I settled on playing Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX because I thought it seemed like the safest play. I had just come off winning a League Cup with a very similar list and was confident in my ability to play it well and in general, most of the matchups seemed either favored or even. I did not anticipate the sheer power or success of the Buzzwole deck that took the event by storm and I’m confident that matchup would have been considerably dismal.
From my previous two articles, you know that I was very into Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar, but after several testing sessions the week before against different Zoroark-GX variants, I concluded that my list was not in the right position for the event. Zoroark-GX proved almost impossible to beat consistently and while I think there is a list that is capable of doing this (likely going back on my thoughts on Beast Ring and including them in the deck instead of my many tech Pokémon) but I did not have it for the event and wanted to play something I was comfortable with.
Another issue that bothered me was that the deck had some considerable trouble with Greninja even with Giratina and I had a gut feeling that Greninja would be more popular than what was anticipated. Many of the attackers in an Ultra Necrozma-GX build struggle to do more than 120 damage without consistent help from Psychic Recharge which makes trading over and over again into non-EX Pokémon a difficult task. If they Shadow Stitch you out of your abilities, then Photon Geyser is fairly useless as well and so you are thusly stuck with few options even if Giratina is preventing the break from threatening you in any capacity. Here is the list I settled on for my Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX deck:
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 32
Energy – 9
Round 1: Mega Gardevoir-EX WW
Round 2: Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt SUM LWW
Round 3: Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX LWT
Round 4: Buzzwole-GX/Garbodor WW
Round 5: Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt LWT*
Round 6: Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX GRI LL
Round 7: Ho-Oh-GX/Garbodor WW
Round 8: Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX LWT
Round 9: Greninja BREAK LWL
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