Hello friends! Travis Nunlist here with a piece on our new set fresh off of its first event in the Standard format. Team Up, like Lost Thunder before it, was an absolutely massive set with a load of viable cards poised to shake up the format. Unsurprisingly, we’ve already seen quite the shake-up of the format in the very first major event of Team Up’s legality.
Seeing a deck with Electric-type Pokémon take the OCIC by storm was quite refreshing as it’s not a type we’ve seen have major success in quite some time, and it was fun seeing all the new cards in action! The biggest new cards of the event were Zapdos TEU, Jirachi TEU, and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX with underrated older cards like Ultra Necrozma-GX finding new relevance in the SUM–TEU format. Unsurprisingly, we saw a Zoroark variant figure out how to navigate its way through the new format and ultimately take a second place finish at the event by Stéphane Ivanoff, who now has two IC Finals appearances.
I don’t think the meta development for this event was particularly surprising to most players who were moderately prepared. Zapdos had been showing itself in plenty of Japanese results leading up to our first official event with Team Up, Pikachu & Zekrom-GX was probably the most hyped TAG TEAM out of this set going into the event, and Ultra Necrozma-GX taking over as the preferred Malamar variant was somewhat expected due to the massive HP we’re seeing on all the new TAG TEAM cards. The biggest surprise to me was the inclusion of both Lucario-GX and Lycanroc-GX in Stéphane’s Zoroark deck, but in hindsight it makes a lot of sense to include both given the expected meta.
In the age of information it was interesting to see the expected metagame line up with what a lot of people were initially expecting with nothing crazy coming out of the woodworks. One could argue that even though the meta of this event was somewhat defined going into it, it was still the first event of a new format so most people were apprehensive about getting too crazy with their deck choice. I’m especially excited to see is how the meta shifts in Collinsville, because as of right now it seems like the anticipated meta will include a lot of Alolan Muk SUM and Lightning hate with no additional archetypes being explored out of Team Up.
I have a tendency to get stuck down rabbit holes exploring Tier 2/3 concepts trying to make them Tier 1, but I have a hard time believing that there are zero additional archetypes to be pulled from this massive new set considering how many solid cards are in Team Up. I have been testing a few with varying results, and I’m excited to share with y’all some of the more interesting one’s I’ve been toying with so far.
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