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T64 Toronto Report, PikaRom’s Revenge, and Contemplating Yveltal BREAK for Greensboro

Hello again readers, I’m back again with another piece on Expanded. Toronto Regionals has just ended and we’ve seen what I would call the healthiest version of the Expanded format in years. Yes, the tournament was essentially dominated by Trevenant BREAK, but there were only 16 in the field! Those players made a great meta call, but by no means is Trevenant going to dominate future events. We saw Jimmy Pendarvis take down two Trevenant players in Top 8 alone with Night March, a deck that’s supposed to have a fairly negative matchup against Trevenant. I personally cannot wait to see what Greensboro brings next weekend, and I think I finally have something that could shake up the event.

My expected meta for Greensboro looks like this (in order of most played to least played):

Toronto Report w/ Buzz

shelgon.tumblr.com
Buzz buzz.

Toronto went decently well for me, netting me another 50 Championship Points with a 48th place finish. I played an adaption of Pablo’s Buzzwole/Jirachi/Garbodor list that he wrote about in his last article. Based on the most popular decks (, Archie, ZoroGarb, and Lucario), I should have had a free walk into Day 2 at least. However, TOM (Tournament Operating Manager) had other plans for me. Instead of the heavy counts of meta decks I hoped to play against, I managed to hit a whopping two total.

Match Summary

R1: BuzzGarbShrine WW (1-0-0)
R2: Mimigar/Omastar LWT (1-0-1)
R3: Zorogarb WLT (1-0-2)
R4: Fighting Box WW (2-0-2)
R5: Trev WLL (2-1-2)
R6: BuzzGarbShrine WW (3-1-2)
R7: Hitmonchan LWL (3-2-2)
R8: Celebi & Venusaur-GX/ LWW (4-2-2)
R9: ZoroGarb WW (5-2-2)

Final: 48th at 5-2-2

Decklist

Pokémon (16)

4 Buzzwole FLI

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Trubbish NVI

1 Trubbish BKP

2 Garbodor GRI

1 Diancie p

1 Mr. Mime PLF

1 Nihilego LOT

Trainer (35)

4 Lillie

3 Cynthia

2 Guzma

2 N

1 Teammates

 

3 Nest Ball

3 Ultra Ball

3 VS Seeker

2 Switch

1 Enhanced Hammer

1 Field Blower

1 Rescue Stretcher

3 Choice Band

2 Escape Board

1 Computer Search

 

3 Shrine of Punishment

Energy (9)

4 Strong

3 Rainbow

1 Beast p

1 Psychic

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Buzzwole FLI 77
* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Trubbish NVI 48
* 1 Trubbish BKP 56
* 2 Garbodor GRI 51
* 1 Diancie p FLI 74
* 1 Mr. Mime PLF 47
* 1 Nihilego LOT 106

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 4 Lillie UPR 151
* 3 Cynthia UPR 148
* 2 Guzma BUS 115
* 2 N FCO 105
* 1 Teammates PRC 141
* 3 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 3 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 2 Switch SUM 160
* 1 Enhanced Hammer GRI 162
* 1 Field Blower GRI 163
* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 3 Choice Band BUS 162
* 2 Escape Board UPR 167
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 3 Shrine of Punishment CES 143

##Energy - 9

* 3 Rainbow Energy CES 151
* 4 Strong Energy FCO 115
* 1 Psychic Energy SUM 162
* 1 Beast Energy p FLI 117

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72744 ******

I’m not going to go deep into this like I was hoping to before I saw the results of the event, but I firmly believe that I made a great call for Toronto; I just managed to avoid the three most played decks all day. Instead, I was barraged with rogue and unexpected decks such as Trevenant, which in hindsight was a really good play. Oops.

Unfortunately, with Trevenant likely being a prominent part of Expanded once again, I don’t believe it to be prudent to bring this deck to another event anytime soon. My biggest takeaway from this weekend is that Nihilego LOT is a ridiculously strong card in Expanded. I have no doubt that I would have lost at least one of the mirror matches I played without it.

The Fall of PikaRom? (Not if I have a say in it!)

latiox.tumblr.com
What it was like for PikaRom over the weekend.

There’s no denying that PikaRom was the most hyped deck going into Toronto, and that hype bore fruit. However, only one actually made it through to Day 2, and that was only because of superb tiebreakers at 6-3-0 to squeak in at 32nd. Why did PikaRom fail so badly even though it was the most played deck? I believe that people over-countered it to the point that it was impossible for it to avoid bad matchups enough to make Day 2 in large numbers.

So, with PikaRom falling off most peoples’ radars, what better time to take an event by surprise? PikaRom boasts good matchups against Archie, ZoroGarb, and Trevenant. But it will inevitably struggle against Night March. also poses a major problem because it completely shuts down current PikaRom lists. However, I believe I can fix both of these problems with relative ease.

Pokémon (13)

2 Eevee SUM

2 Shaymin-EX ROS

1 Jolteon-EX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Zeraora-GX

2 Jolteon-GX

1 Mr. Mime PLF

1 Tapu Lele-GX

Trainer (34)

2 Lillie

2 Professor Sycamore

1 AZ

1 Colress

1 Guzma

1 N

 

4 Electropower

4 Max Elixir

4 Ultra Ball

4 VS Seeker

3 Trainers’ Mail

2 Energy Switch

2 Fighting Fury Belt

1 Computer Search

 

1 Silent Lab

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (13)

11 Lightning

2 Flash

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 13

* 2 Eevee SUM 101
* 2 Shaymin-EX ROS 106
* 1 Jolteon-EX GEN 28
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 184
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Zeraora-GX LOT 221
* 2 Jolteon-GX PR-SM 173
* 1 Mr. Mime PLF 47
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 155

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 2 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191
* 2 Energy Switch ROS 109
* 3 Trainers’ Mail ROS 92
* 2 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 2 Lillie UPR 151
* 1 N FCO 105
* 1 Colress PLS 135
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 1 AZ PHF 91
* 4 Max Elixir BKP 102
* 4 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 1 Guzma BUS 143
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 1 Silent Lab PRC 140

##Energy - 13

* 11 Lightning Energy Energy 4
* 2 Flash Energy AOR 83

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72744 ******

This is a PikaRom list that is more focused on a longer game rather than a full-on Turbo playstyle. It should be able to stand up to what I believe the meta will look like this weekend. However, the list will likely struggle with Archie a bit more than it has in the past due to its slightly slower nature.

Card Choices

2-2 Jolteon-GX
Pyroar poses a major problem for PikaRom, so I took a page out of Standard’s book and added Jolteon-GX to my list. This, combined with the Energy acceleration that we already have, should make it nearly impossible to lose to Trevenant, with or without Pyroar. Jolteon-GX also has a great attack in Electrobullet, which allows us to potentially take multiple KOs in a single turn against decks such as Night March. Combined with Electropower, Electrobullet makes Shaymin-EX look like two free Prize cards.

1 Jolteon-EX
Hitmonchan lists were prepared for Pyroar with their Prism Energy + Wobbuffet PHF schemes, but are they prepared to deal with a Jolteon-EX as well? Is Night March prepared? If not, then I’ve effectively just solved two of our biggest problems with a single tech.

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
This is the lowest count of PikaRom I’ve seen from any Expanded list yet, but it’s enough for this list because Jolteon-GX provides an excellent alternate attacker.

4 VS Seeker
Most lists didn’t play VS Seeker, instead favoring a Turbo engine. This list plays a longer game, which consequently results in a need for more outs to Supporters. Being able to play Guzma or AZ more than once is vital to our strategy as well, so VS Seeker becomes a necessity.

1 AZ
There’s always a potential for Jolteon-EX to win games, but sometimes we’re forced to bench too many Pokémon first. AZ fixes this by allowing us to pick up one of our Pokémon to prevent it from being Guzma KO’d. It also provides a form of healing in a deck that I’ve always thought sorely needed it.

Potential Inclusions

Zapdos TEU
Zapdos provides an excellent alternate attacker that doesn’t give up multiple Prize cards at once, but space in this list is very tight, which caused it fall out of my final list.

Battle Compressor
Battle Compressor makes VS Seeker even better and allows us to thin out our deck at the same time. I definitely want to find space for a copy or two, but I don’t know where the slots come from yet.

The Matchup Spread

Trevenant (with or without Pyroar): Favored
PikaRom was already favored against normal Trevenant lists, and Jolteon-GX and a heavier Supporter line made it even better. If you’re not careful, Pyroar can certainly throw a few crimps into your plans, but if you play correctly, there should be no problems from it. Basically, load up a single PikaRom, find Zeraora, and go to town on Trevenant BREAKs. If Pyroar ever becomes an issue, you’ll have Items back and it won’t be terribly difficult to find an Eevee.

ZoroGarb: Even–Favored
Nothing has changed in this matchup since the last time I talked about it. AZ probably makes it better for us because removing a damaged PikaRom from play is great, and Fighting Fury Belts make it hard for them to ever 1HKO a PikaRom.

Archie’s : Even–Favored
Again, not much has changed for this matchup, but it’s potentially gotten a bit harder to win because of our slower engine.

Hitmonchan/Wobbuffet (without Pokémon Ranger): Even–Heavily Favored
If the Hitmonchan player doesn’t play Pokémon Ranger, the matchup becomes very easy, as long as you don’t bench too many Pokémon. Jolteon-EX has the potential to completely sweep a Hitmonchan player. If there is a Pokémon Ranger, the matchup becomes very bad unless you opt to play multiple Zapdos TEU.

Night March (without Pokémon Ranger): Even–Favored
This is basically the same this as Hitmonchan, except Pokémon Ranger doesn’t even make the matchup horrible. Joleton-GX allows us the opportunity to trade Prizes evenly or even favorably at times depending on benched Shaymin-EX. An N + Swift Run GX can completely swing the matchup in our favor as well.

Into the Dark: Yveltal BREAK

So, I was thinking. (Very profound, right?) And this thinking led me to look at what decks have been used in the past to deal with Fighting-heavy metas. And then it hit me. Yveltal BREAK! In theory it can deal with Trevenant because, you know, Dark typing. It tanks its way through Hitmonchan decks, and Garbotoxin locks Archie and Zoroark. What’s not to like?

Pokémon (15)

3 Yveltal XY

1 Yveltal BKT

2 Yveltal BREAK

3 Trubbish NVI

2 Garbodor BKP

1 Garbodor GRI

2 Tapu Koko SM31

1 Tapu Lele-GX

Trainer (33)

3 Professor Sycamore

2 N

1 Brigette

1 Colress

1 Cynthia

1 Guzma

 

4 Dark Patch

4 Ultra Ball

4 VS Seeker

2 Captivating Poké Puff

1 Battle Compressor

1 Rescue Stretcher

4 Float Stone

1 Computer Search

 

2 Team Magma’s Secret Base

1 Black Market p

Energy (12)

6 Darkness

3 Double Colorless

2 Blend G R P D

1 Counter

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 15

* 3 Yveltal XY 78
* 1 Yveltal BKT 94
* 2 Yveltal BREAK STS 66
* 3 Trubbish NVI 48
* 2 Garbodor BKP 57
* 1 Garbodor GRI 51
* 2 Tapu Koko PR-SM 31
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 155

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 3 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 2 N FCO 105
* 1 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 2 Captivating Poké Puff STS 99
* 1 Colress PLS 135
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 1 Black Market p TEU 134
* 1 Cynthia UPR 148
* 2 Team Magma’s Secret Base DCR 32
* 4 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 1 Guzma BUS 143
* 1 Brigette BKT 161
* 4 Dark Patch DEX 93
* 4 Float Stone PLF 99

##Energy - 12

* 1 Counter Energy CIN 100
* 6 Darkness Energy Energy 7
* 3 Double Colorless Energy HS 103
* 2 Blend Energy G R P D DRX 117

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72744 ******

Card Choices

1 Yveltal BKT
This Yveltal can singlehandedly deal with Night March if the deck struggles against it for some reason. Guzma up an or something similar, and snipe a Shaymin-EX. They’ll likely have to Guzma around it to get the Oranguru out of the Active position, which means your Yveltal remains completely unharmed.

2 Tapu Koko SM31
Yveltal BREAK requires there to be damage counters already on Pokémon for its attack to reach its full potential. Tapu Koko is the easiest way to do some early spread damage to unlock this potential. It also provides us with a great pivot Pokémon for Guzma because of its free retreat.

1 Garbodor GRI
Trashalanche is a great attack and can force our opponents to play suboptimally. The huge 1HKO potential is too good to pass up in a deck that already abuses Garbodor.

2 Team Magma’s Secret Base & 2 Captivating Poké Puff
I have zero idea on whether or not this is the optimal way to get damage on our opponent’s field, but it seems good. Captivating Poké Puff is already a strong disruption card, but combined with Team Magma’s Secret Base, I believe it has quite a bit of potential.

1 Black Market p
Denying our opponent even a single Prize can be absolutely game changing. Black Market p seems like a perfect inclusion in this instance. This is actually the only real deck I’ve seen that can abuse Black Market p.

2 Counter Energy
Late game, it can be difficult to chain Yveltal BREAKs, which is where Counter Energy shines. Attacking for two attachments is strong enough as it is, but consider that we can use it on Garbodor and even Tapu Koko for attacks.

Potential Inclusions

Tapu Lele SM45
We already play Counter Energy and do spread damage. Playing a Tapu Lele feels like the next step here. However, I haven’t done enough testing with the deck to decide whether or not if this would be a win-more card or not.

Yveltal-EX
If Trevenant is still giving you trouble, then I’d recommend playing one of these to deal with it. Trevenant will fall easily to Evil Ball and Y Cyclone.

Frozen City
If the Team Magma’s Secret Base strategy isn’t your cup of tea, then try playing Frozen City instead. This is certainly better against Archie, but I think it would be worse against most other decks.

The Matchup Spread

Trevenant: Favored
Generally, decks that are centered around Dark types smack Trevenant. This one is no different. However, I’m sure that with a well-timed Counter Catcher, it is quite possible to lose the game. Get those Float Stones down early and don’t bench unnecessary Pokémon.

ZoroGarb: Even
This one feels difficult to me. I’m sure that an early Garbotoxin + Flying Flip could easily swing the matchup in our favor, but if we start slow, it will be difficult to come back. Captivating Poké Puff can also entirely cripple our opponent in the early game, so that is also an out to the win.

Archie: Even–Slightly Favored
If you’ve opted for the Frozen City version, then this matchup is quite a bit easier. If you did not, then you need to be able to get Garbotoxin up early and start dealing damage early as well. Towering Splash GX likely won’t be able to cripple us because Yveltal BREAK has 150 HP, but it can still steal quite a few Prize cards.

Hitmonchan: Heavily Favored
Imagine trading 1 Prize for 3. Congrats, you’ve now fathomed this matchup. They have no way to realistically KO Yveltal BREAKs, and we’re taking at least one KO every turn. This matchup cannot be any easier.

Night March: Favored
Garbodor shuts off any Mr. Mime that might slow us down, and after a single Flying Flip, we can easily take KOs every turn.

Final Thoughts

Healing Field (Neo Revelation)

Expanded finally seems healthy! I think I can say that I genuinely enjoyed playing the format, if I ignore that I managed to get sick this weekend. I think we’re in for another major resurfacing of the old archetypes and it’s going to be quite a show to watch.

Without further testing I cannot determine if Yveltal BREAK is actually as good as I think it is, but I can say that the PikaRom list has a great chance to shake things up this coming weekend. I’ll definitely be putting some time in with both decks before this weekend, and I urge you to as well. I think you’ll be surprised with how good these decks can be.

Anyway, that’s all I have for you today. I’m still in amazement that Expanded was genuinely , and I hope that it stays that way. As always, good luck in your upcoming events, feel free to message me or come up to me at events with any questions you may have. I also now offer coaching! Either email me (alex.schemanske@gmail.com) or PM me if interested. I’ll see some of you in Greensboro. Until the next one.


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