Hey guys, Kenny Wisdom here again with another strategy article. This time I wanted to focus this weekend’s Portland Regional Championship. Portland is the only remaining Regional Championship in the Pacific Northwest, is one of my favorite places in the world, and is only two hours from my house, so I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I know Portland can be expensive and time consuming to get to depending on where you’re located in the US, but I’d urge everyone reading this to visit the PNW, whether for a tournament or not, at least once. Truly a beautiful place.
The tournament is also the Expanded format, which is personally my favorite way to play constructed Pokémon. I know that’s a somewhat controversial statement and I’ll be the first to admit there have been times where Expanded has been a complete mess. Still, I think the fact that the format only grows a little bit with each new set release and that there are a variety of options at all time is really interesting. It’s also beneficial for someone like me to be able to fall back on more or less known strategies and have a clearer direction in testing, since that’s not something I have a whole lot of time to do.
Speaking of testing, I knew that between a few personal trips and moving, I wouldn’t have all the time in the world to prepare for this event. However, I also knew I wanted to try as hard as I could, as it being the only Regional in the northwest means I’ll have to be particularly inspired to attend too many more. With all of this in mind, I decided that I would focus on picking a deck I would like to play early on. I figured that if I could lock down a deck a few weeks in advance I would be spending what little testing time I had in the most efficient way. Instead of testing ten decks for one hour each, I could test this deck for ten hours and learn a lot more. It’s still an imperfect system in that you should be preparing optimally for every tournament you care about, but given the constraints I’m happy with my decision.
I picked a small handful of decks to play online and discuss with people whose opinions I respect. These decks were Gardevoir (I can’t legally test with Travis Nunlist and not respect Gardevoir), Trevenant, and Drampa-GX/Garbodor.
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