Spice Jr.’s List Parade

Tiers 1 thru 3, Melmetal/Magnezone, Passimian/Zapdos, Spread, Zororoc Deconstructed, Walls, Lightning Box, and Traditional Zororoc
A little spice is nice! (But not too much!)

Hello again readers, I’m back today with another article on the Standard format. I’m going to diverge from the typical today, simply because there are already so many articles that cover decks such as /Zapdos and /Lycanroc. Of course, I’ll still leave my current lists for them near the end of this article because of how good both those decks actually are.

I’m going to treat today as a list bonanza for more interesting decks because I have another article directly before Denver for me to go into great detail on my top two plays. This doesn’t mean that these decks aren’t good; it just means that I haven’t invested as much time into testing them as I would like.

Current Meta

Before I do anything else, I need to define what the meta currently looks like based on recent League Cup results.

Tier 1

  • Zapdos Variants
  • PikaRom/Jirachi/Zapdos
  • Zoroark/Lycanroc

Tier 2

Tier 3

Going forward, I will always be most worried about PikaRom, Zapdos, and Zororoc. These are the decks that everyone seems to be defaulting to right now simply because of how blatantly strong they are compared to everything else. Zoroark has consistency, and Zapdos and PikaRom have the ability to hit high numbers quite easily with Electropower.

The Interesting Ones

Melmetal/Magnezone

Pokémon (16)

3 Magnemite UPR 80

3 Magnezone UPR

2 Meltan SM177

2 Melmetal-GX

1 Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX

1 Onix LOT

1 Absol TEU

2 Jirachi SM161

1 Tapu Lele-GX

Trainer (35)

4 Cynthia

4 Lillie

3 Guzma

1 Lady

 

4 Nest Ball

4 Ultra Ball

3 Order Pad

3 Rare Candy

2 Switch

1 Rescue Stretcher

2 Escape Board

2 Metal Frying Pan

 

2 Mt. Coronet

Energy (9)

9 Metal

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 3 Magnemite UPR 80
* 3 Magnezone UPR 83
* 2 Meltan PR-SM 177
* 2 Melmetal-GX PR-SM 178
* 1 Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX UPR 90
* 1 Onix LOT 109
* 1 Absol TEU 88
* 2 Jirachi PR-SM 161
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 1 Lady FLI 109
* 4 Lillie SUM 147
* 2 Metal Frying Pan FLI 112
* 2 Switch PRC 163
* 2 Mt. Coronet UPR 130
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 3 Rare Candy GRI 165
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 3 Guzma BUS 143
* 3 Order Pad UPR 131

##Energy - 9

* 9 Metal Energy BLW 112

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

I haven’t seen many people talking about Melmetal or Magnezone at all, so I figured I’d raise awareness of the deck. Jirachi seems to have added the consistency that the deck used to lack. Melmetal-GX provides a very beefy attacker that can usually tank a Full Blitz or a few Thunderous Assaults. In fact, the biggest draw that this deck has is that it can easily beat both Zapdos and Zororoc, and not auto-lose to PikaRom.

Going forward with this deck I want to try a more healing-focused version where we spam Max Potion to never give up Prize cards. There are a few major drawbacks to this deck as a whole:

  1. It cannot beat Blacephalon.
  2. It suffers greatly if our opponent hits the Guzma–KO on our only Magnezone.
  3. PikaRom can Tag Bolt GX and remove all of our outs to Magnezone at once.

Is this something I would play in a Regional? Probably not. Would I play it at a Cup? Sure, why not? Barring a meta full of Blacephalon, it’s an extremely solid play.

Passimian/Zapdos

Pokémon (15)

2 Passimian UPR

2 Passimian SUM

2 Zapdos TEU

2 Tapu Koko SM31

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko-GX

3 Jirachi SM161

1 Blitzle LOT

1 Zebstrika LOT

Trainer (37)

4 Cynthia

4 Lillie

3 Guzma

 

4 Electropower

4 Nest Ball

4 Ultra Ball

3 Switch

2 Energy Loto

2 Rescue Stretcher

1 Escape Rope

2 Choice Band

2 Escape Board

 

2 Shrine of Punishment

Energy (8)

4 Double Colorless

4 Lightning

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 15

* 2 Passimian UPR 70
* 2 Passimian SUM 73
* 2 Zapdos TEU 40
* 2 Tapu Koko PR-SM 31
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko-GX GRI 135
* 3 Jirachi PR-SM 161
* 1 Blitzle LOT 81
* 1 Zebstrika LOT 82

##Trainer Cards - 37

* 2 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 2 Energy Loto GRI 122
* 4 Lillie SUM 147
* 3 Switch PRC 163
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Escape Rope PLS 120
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 3 Guzma BUS 143
* 2 Choice Band BUS 162
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 2 Shrine of Punishment CES 143

##Energy - 8

* 4 Double Colorless Energy GRI 166
* 4 Lightning Energy BLW 108

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

This is my take on Zapdos that has a solid way of handling the negative Zororoc matchup. Passimian has the potential to swing for 200 total damage on a Lycanroc-GX when you factor in Shrine of Punishment damage. Fighting typing is incredibly strong right now because of how many things are extremely vulnerable to it. PikaRom, Jolteon-GX, and Zoroark-GX all suffer against Fighting Pokémon.

I definitely want to experiment more with this deck because it was already proven to be somewhat decent at a League Cup or two. The thing that I want to add the most would be a 1-1 Jolteon-GX line to help deal with the Zapdos matchup.

This deck has more viability at local-level events, but I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see a skilled pilot of the deck succeed in a Regional at some point.

Spread

Pokémon (16)

4 Tapu Koko SM31

2 Larvitar LOT 115

1 Tapu Lele UPR

1 Tapu Lele SM45

1 Buzzwole FLI

1 Nihilego LOT

2 Slugma CES

2 Magcargo CES

1 Oranguru SUM

1 Mr. Mime TEU

Trainer (33)

4 Lillie

3 Cynthia

2 Guzma

2 Professor Kukui

 

4 Electropower

4 Nest Ball

4 Ultra Ball

2 Counter Catcher

2 Judge Whistle

2 Switch

1 Escape Rope

 

3 Shrine of Punishment

Energy (11)

4 Counter

4 Double Colorless

1 Beast p

1 Unit Energy FDY

1 Unit LPM

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Tapu Koko PR-SM 31
* 2 Larvitar LOT 115
* 1 Tapu Lele UPR 94
* 1 Tapu Lele PR-SM 45
* 1 Buzzwole FLI 77
* 1 Nihilego LOT 106
* 2 Slugma CES 23
* 2 Magcargo CES 24
* 1 Oranguru SUM 113
* 1 Mr. Mime TEU 66

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 4 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 3 Shrine of Punishment CES 143
* 4 Lillie UPR 151
* 2 Professor Kukui SUM 128
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 3 Cynthia UPR 148
* 2 Guzma BUS 143
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 1 Escape Rope BUS 163
* 2 Switch SUM 160
* 2 Judge Whistle TEU 146

##Energy - 11

* 1 Beast Energy p FLI 117
* 4 Counter Energy CIN 100
* 4 Double Colorless Energy GRI 166
* 1 Unit Energy FDY FLI 118
* 1 Unit Energy LPM UPR 138

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

This is a deck that has stood out to me as a potential answer to the current meta. Tapu Koko can efficiently KO Zapdos after 1 or 2 Flying Flips. It can easily stack damage onto decks such as PikaRom because of the large Bench size it is forced to play with. Malamar, Zoroark, and Blacephalon also cannot handle the spread very well. Maybe I’m very wrong about this, but Spread seems to be in one of the strongest positions that it has been in since the early portion of the season.

Tapu Koko can finally deal quite a bit of damage with a single Flying Flip because of Electropower. Magcargo got much stronger in this deck because of the addition of Judge Whistle. Unlike other decks, there are very few cards that we actually want to discard, so Acro Bike is inferior to Judge Whistle. The greatest threat that we will face is a PikaRom player that can manage to keep a tiny Bench while still attacking. This is still possible to handle with a well-timed Sledgehammer or even a Psywave or two from Tapu Lele.

I’m currently heavily considering this or something very similar to it for a Cup this coming weekend because of how much room it gives me to make insane plays that will win games. If it doesn’t crumble and fall apart right away, I’m likely to consider this for Denver.

Zororoc Deconstructed

Pokémon (21)

2 Zorua SLG

2 Zoroark-GX

1 Rockruff GRI

1 Rockruff FLI

1 Rockruff TK-Lycanroc 29

2 Lycanroc-GX GRI

1 Lycanroc-GX TEU

1 Riolu UPR

1 Lucario-GX

1 Alolan Grimer TEU

1 Alolan Muk SUM

1 Ditto p

1 Diancie p

1 Tapu Koko SM31

1 Tapu Koko p

2 Tapu Lele-GX

1 Oranguru UPR

Trainer (28)

3 Lillie

2 Acerola

2 Guzma

1 Cynthia

1 Erika’s Hospitality

1 Mallow

1 Professor Elm’s Lecture

1 Professor Kukui

 

4 Nest Ball

4 Ultra Ball

1 Multi Switch

1 Pal Pad

1 Rescue Stretcher

2 Choice Band

1 Counter Gain

 

2 Viridian Forest

Energy (11)

4 Double Colorless

3 Fighting

3 Lightning

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 21

* 2 Zorua SLG 52
* 2 Zoroark-GX SLG 77
* 1 Rockruff GRI 73
* 1 Rockruff FLI 75
* 1 Rockruff TK-Lycanroc 29
* 2 Lycanroc-GX GRI 156
* 1 Lycanroc-GX TEU 82
* 1 Riolu UPR 66
* 1 Lucario-GX FLI 135
* 1 Alolan Grimer TEU 83
* 1 Alolan Muk SUM 58
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Diancie p FLI 74
* 1 Tapu Koko PR-SM 31
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 155
* 1 Oranguru UPR 114

##Trainer Cards - 28

* 2 Acerola BUS 142
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 1 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 213
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 1 Erika’s Hospitality TEU 174
* 1 Cynthia UPR 148
* 3 Lillie UPR 151
* 1 Pal Pad FLF 92
* 2 Guzma BUS 143
* 1 Professor Kukui SUM 148
* 1 Mallow GRI 145
* 1 Multi Switch GRI 129
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 230
* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165

##Energy - 11

* 4 Double Colorless Energy GRI 166
* 1 Rainbow Energy CES 151
* 3 Fighting Energy Energy 6
* 3 Lightning Energy GEN 78

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

My greatest issue with tradional Zororoc is that it has no form of Energy acceleration that can help it come back from losing the coin flip or getting a slow start. Sure, Counter Gain has that potential, but it isn’t searchable through any means aside from Mallow. On top of that, Counter Gain only gives us access to our GX attack. I decided to look at every Energy acceleration option in the game (Spoiler: They don’t really exist.), and came away with Tapu Koko p as the best choice by far.

There are many positives that Tapu Koko brings to the table. First and foremost, it doesn’t waste a Bench space in the long run. Second, it doesn’t require any Energy-switching effects to be effective. Finally, it’s a searchable Basic Pokémon.

The theory behind the inclusion of Tapu Koko p is that we can drop a Claw Slash or Accelerock out of nowhere. Between Multi Switch and Counter Gain, it should not be very hard to attack with no Energy previously present on the field.

Zoroark-GX is here as an alternate attacker as well as a form of consistency that the deck sorely needs. I decided on a 2-2 count because in my experience with a normal Zororoc list, Zorua are almost never the target of an early-game Guzma. I also rarely get more than 2 out at once in a game, and if I’m not attacking with them as often, they should remain in play. At least that’s the theory. I might just be horribly incorrect and get trashed as soon as I pick up this deck to play games. Only time, and testing, will tell.

Walls

Pokémon (13)

3 Oddish BUS

2 Vileplume BUS

2 Regigigas CIN

2 Hoopa SLG

1 Shuckle-GX

1 Articuno-GX

1 Magikarp & Wailord-GX

1 Unown LOT 91

Trainer (46)

4 Bill’s Analysis

4 Steven’s Resolve

3 Acerola

3 Lusamine

2 Gladion

2 Plumeria

1 Copycat

1 Faba

1 Guzma

1 Mars

1 Tate & Liza

1 Team Skull Grunt

 

4 Max Potion

4 Nest Ball

3 Acro Bike

2 Counter Catcher

2 Enhanced Hammer

2 Rare Candy

2 Rescue Stretcher

 

1 Life Forest p

1 Mount Lanakila

1 Wondrous Labyrinth p

Energy (1)

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 13

* 3 Oddish BUS 4
* 2 Vileplume BUS 6
* 2 Regigigas CIN 84
* 2 Hoopa SLG 55
* 1 Shuckle-GX LOT 17
* 1 Articuno-GX CES 31
* 1 Magikarp & Wailord-GX PR-SM 166
* 1 Unown LOT 91

##Trainer Cards - 46

* 4 Steven’s Resolve CES 165
* 4 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 3 Lusamine CIN 110
* 3 Acerola BUS 142
* 2 Plumeria BUS 145
* 2 Gladion CIN 109
* 1 Faba LOT 208
* 1 Mars UPR 128
* 1 Team Skull Grunt SUM 149
* 1 Copycat CES 127
* 1 Guzma BUS 143
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Max Potion GRI 128
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 3 Acro Bike CES 123
* 2 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 120
* 2 Enhanced Hammer GRI 124
* 2 Rare Candy CES 142
* 1 Mount Lanakila BUS 118
* 1 Wondrous Labyrinth p TEU 158
* 1 Life Forest p LOT 180

##Energy - 1

* 1 Rainbow Energy CES 151

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

I hate the fact that I have to talk about Walls at all. However, it is as much part of our meta as any other deck and deserves to be talked about. This is Riley Hulbert’s Top 4 list from Collinsville. I personally cannot play Stall without slamming my head against the table in frustration, but there is merit for playing it in Cups. I’d wager that many areas play decks that take a horrible Walls matchup, and that they do not feel the need to fix that because not many people play Walls at local-level events.

Some people claim that 30 minutes is not enough time to finish a game with this deck; however, I’d argue that it is very possible to do so against almost every deck. The exception to this being Zoroark with an Oranguru UPR. You may as well not play the match once they bench it, then show two basic Fighting Energy and a Judge. The end result of this is almost always a tie in Swiss and a loss in Top 8. People have argued with me that it is possible for any player to play to a tie against Walls. I would disagree with this. Awhile back, I convinced myself to play an iteration of this nonsense deck, and only once did I go to time, and that was in Top 8 after a 50-minute Game 1 against Meganium Toolbox. My point here is that the deck itself is not actually slow. If I felt I could take Walls into one of my Cups and not get smashed by its bad matchups, you can bet that I will—without fear of going to time.

The Powerful Go-Tos

Bulbapedia

Lightning Box

Pokémon (15)

1 Eevee SUM

1 Jolteon-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

2 Zapdos TEU

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko-GX

1 Zeraora-GX

2 Jirachi TEU

1 Blitzle LOT

1 Zebstrika LOT

1 Marshadow SLG

1 Wobbuffet LOT

Trainer (35)

4 Guzma

4 Lillie

3 Cynthia

2 Volkner

 

4 Electropower

3 Nest Ball

3 Ultra Ball

2 Energy Switch

2 Switch

1 Escape Rope

1 Rescue Stretcher

2 Choice Band

2 Escape Board

 

1 Thunder Mountain p

1 Viridian Forest

Energy (10)

10 Lightning

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 15

* 1 Eevee SUM 101
* 1 Jolteon-GX PR-SM 173
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 184
* 2 Zapdos TEU 40
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko-GX PR-SM 33
* 1 Zeraora-GX LOT 221
* 2 Jirachi TEU 99
* 1 Blitzle LOT 81
* 1 Zebstrika LOT 82
* 1 Marshadow SLG 45
* 1 Wobbuffet LOT 93

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191
* 1 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 2 Escape Board UPR 167
* 2 Switch SUM 160
* 2 Energy Switch CES 129
* 4 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Escape Rope BUS 163
* 3 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 3 Cynthia UPR 148
* 4 Lillie UPR 151
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 2 Volkner UPR 135

##Energy - 10

* 10 Lightning Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

Wow!—Another take on the Lightning Box deck. How exciting. This deck has been beat to death so much recently that I don’t feel the need to go into detail on it. It beats literally every meta deck or at least takes a 50/50 against them. I’m interested in trying a thicker Jolteon-GX line after seeing Pedro’s winning list.

This is my fallback plan for when I realize that it’s Friday night and Denver is the next day.

Traditional Zororoc

Pokémon (22)

4 Zorua SLG

4 Zoroark-GX

2 Rockruff GRI

1 Rockruff SM06

2 Lycanroc-GX GRI

1 Lycanroc-GX TEU

2 Alolan Grimer BUS

1 Alolan Muk SUM

1 Ditto p

1 Tapu Koko SM31

2 Tapu Lele-GX

1 Oranguru UPR

Trainer (30)

4 Lillie

2 Acerola

2 Guzma

1 Cynthia

1 Judge

1 Mallow

1 Professor Elm’s Lecture

1 Professor Kukui

 

4 Nest Ball

4 Ultra Ball

3 Pokémon Communication

1 Multi Switch

1 Pal Pad

1 Rescue Stretcher

2 Choice Band

 

1 Viridian Forest

Energy (8)

4 Double Colorless

3 Fighting

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 22

* 4 Zorua SLG 52
* 4 Zoroark-GX SLG 77
* 2 Rockruff GRI 73
* 1 Rockruff PR-SM 06
* 2 Lycanroc-GX GRI 156
* 1 Lycanroc-GX TEU 82
* 2 Alolan Grimer BUS 83
* 1 Alolan Muk SUM 58
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Tapu Koko PR-SM 31
* 2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 155
* 1 Oranguru UPR 114

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 2 Acerola BUS 142
* 1 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 1 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 213
* 1 Pal Pad UPR 132
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 1 Judge UL 78
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 1 Cynthia UPR 148
* 4 Lillie UPR 151
* 2 Guzma BUS 143
* 1 Professor Kukui SUM 148
* 1 Mallow GRI 145
* 1 Multi Switch GRI 129

##Energy - 8

* 4 Double Colorless Energy GRI 166
* 3 Fighting Energy Energy 6
* 1 Rainbow Energy CES 151

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=72892 ******

The only special thing that this particular Zororoc list has to boast of is a Tapu Koko SM31. It can help the Blacephalon matchup if played correctly and your draws are somewhat good. Aside from that, and the obvious lack of Lucario-GX or Weavile UPR, there’s nothing in this list that differs from the standard.

For the sake of clarity, I’m going to talk about why I don’t like to play Lucario-GX in general:

I just cannot accept that a well-timed Guzma targeting a lone Riolu can ruin any and all game plan that I might have had. If I’m not playing 3+ Riolu, I don’t want to play Lucario-GX at all.

I’m fairly certain I could take this exact 60 to Denver and come out with some form of CP, but the number would vary greatly depending on my matchups. Unfortunately, at this point, even Top 64 CP doesn’t help me whatsoever, so I’ll likely have to start playing decks that have a chance to go very far (or flop) rather than “safe” decks.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for today. Remember that I’ll be back next week with what’s likely to be my final choice for Denver. In the meantime, go out and win some Cups and Challenges. I believe that any of the decks I’ve talked about today have the potential to do great things on the local level and potentially at Denver depending on the meta.

Anyway, that’s all. As always, good luck in your upcoming events, and feel free to message me or come up to me at events with any questions you may have. I also now offer ! Either email me (alex.schemanske@gmail.com) or PM me if interested. I’ll see some of you at Cups and Denver in the coming weeks. Until the next one.


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