Win Conditions…

The Evolution of Wall Stall (from Hoopa/Gigas to Counter Attackers + Metal for NAIC), Blacephalon-GX, and Beyond—To the Lurking Tier 2
chasekip.tumblr.com
Deck-out, HAND, …what’s that other one? (The evolution of Wall Stall, below…)

Hello readers! I’m back with an article just in time for the biggest tournament of the year, NAIC! This time I’ll be dropping all of my top contending lists in preparation for NAIC. My top two choices going into the tournament are Wall Stall and Blacephalon-GX.

Top Pick #1: Wall Stall

pokemonkorea.co.kr

Throughout the last month or so dating, back to the release of Unbroken Bonds, I’ve fallen in love with this archetype. I’ve taken it to a Regional, League Cups, and even League Challenges. I have been having a time playing the deck. Controlling your opponent’s resources and ultimately decking them out has always appealed to me, and I’m glad I picked up the deck when I did. All this testing has led me to an assortment of different variations of Wall Stall, and today I’ll be sharing them all with you, going over their pros and cons, talking a little bit about why you’d play each, and so on. I’ll be sharing the development of the lists chronologically as I had been testing them.

Version #1: Hoopa/Gigas

I played this version at Santa Clara Regionals last month and at the time I thought it was the best variant. Here’s the list I piloted to a Top 16 finish at Santa Clara:

Pokémon (12)

4 Hoopa SLG

2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX

1 Lugia-GX

1 Solgaleo p

1 Girafarig LOT

2 Regigigas CIN

1 Unown LOT 91

Trainer (45)

4 Steven’s Resolve

3 Acerola

3 Bill’s Analysis

3 Lusamine

2 Plumeria

1 Faba

1 Gladion

1 Guzma

1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

1 Tate & Liza

1 Team Skull Grunt

 

4 Max Potion

4 Nest Ball

4 Pokégear 3.0

2 Counter Catcher

1 Enhanced Hammer

1 Rescue Stretcher

3 Metal Frying Pan

2 Ancient Crystal

1 Counter Gain

 

1 Mount Lanakila

1 Power Plant

Energy (3)

2 Double Colorless

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 12

* 4 Hoopa SLG 55
* 2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
* 1 Lugia-GX LOT 159
* 1 Solgaleo p UPR 89
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 2 Regigigas CIN 84
* 1 Unown LOT 91

##Trainer Cards - 45

* 3 Lusamine CIN 96
* 1 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 4 Max Potion EPO 94
* 1 Mount Lanakila BUS 118
* 3 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 1 Team Skull Grunt SUM 133
* 3 Metal Frying Pan FLI 112
* 1 Gladion CIN 95
* 3 Acerola BUS 112
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy UNB 178
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Enhanced Hammer GRI 124
* 4 Steven’s Resolve CES 145
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 2 Plumeria BUS 120
* 2 Ancient Crystal UPR 118
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 230

##Energy - 3

* 2 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
* 1 Rainbow Energy XYEnergy 131

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

Pros

  • Consistent setup
  • Highly Favored vs. Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX, Weezing, and
  • Slightly Favored matchups generally, outside of Fire variants

Cons

I thought that for Santa Clara this deck was pretty good, but had I tested a ton more I’d’ve had a much better variant, as you’ll see in the coming versions below.

Version #2: Hoopa + Metal Energy

Prior to Santa Clara, I had been toying with the idea of Metal Energies so that I could efficiently use Plumeria and have the option to attack with Lucario & Melmetal-GX and Girafarig without committing a Double Colorless Energy to them. I realized that the Regigigas package wasn’t spectacular versus anything in particular, so I opted to cut it in favor of Metal Energies + Mt. Coronet. Here’s the list:

Pokémon (11)

4 Hoopa SLG

2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX

1 Lugia-GX

1 Solgaleo p

1 Girafarig LOT

1 Genesect UNB

1 Unown LOT 91

Trainer (43)

4 Steven’s Resolve

3 Acerola

3 Bill’s Analysis

3 Lusamine

1 Faba

1 Gladion

1 Guzma

1 Plumeria

1 Tate & Liza

1 Team Skull Grunt

 

4 Max Potion

4 Nest Ball

4 Pokégear 3.0

2 Counter Catcher

2 Rescue Stretcher

1 Switch

3 Metal Frying Pan

1 Counter Gain

 

1 Mount Lanakila

1 Mt. Coronet

1 Power Plant

Energy (6)

3 Metal

2 Double Colorless

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 11

* 4 Hoopa SLG 55
* 2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
* 1 Lugia-GX LOT 159
* 1 Solgaleo p UPR 89
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Genesect UNB 127
* 1 Unown LOT 91

##Trainer Cards - 43

* 3 Lusamine CIN 96
* 4 Max Potion EPO 94
* 1 Mount Lanakila BUS 118
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 3 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 1 Team Skull Grunt SUM 133
* 3 Metal Frying Pan FLI 112
* 1 Mt. Coronet UPR 130
* 1 Gladion CIN 95
* 3 Acerola BUS 112
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Switch SUM 132
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 Steven’s Resolve CES 145
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 1 Plumeria BUS 120
* 1 Faba LOT 173

##Energy - 6

* 2 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
* 3 Metal Energy Energy 8
* 1 Rainbow Energy XYEnergy 131

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

Pros

Cons

  • Still Unfavorable vs. Fire decks

With the changes made by adding Metal Energies, the deck became more well rounded; however, the glaring Weakness to Fire decks makes it a questionable call in a Fire-dominated metagame, like the current one. This is when I proceeded to experiment with tech cards against Fire decks.

Version #3: Counter Attackers

With ReshiZard variants getting a ton of hype, Blacephalon-GX being a good meta call, and Fire decks generally running rampant, I decided I had to tech for them. Here come the Counter Energy attackers:

Pokémon (13)

4 Hoopa SLG

2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX

1 Lugia-GX

1 Solgaleo p

1 Girafarig LOT

1 Genesect UNB

1 Stakataka UNB

1 White Kyurem LOT

1 Unown LOT 91

Trainer (42)

4 Steven’s Resolve

3 Acerola

3 Bill’s Analysis

3 Lusamine

1 Faba

1 Gladion

1 Guzma

1 Plumeria

1 Tate & Liza

1 Team Skull Grunt

 

4 Max Potion

4 Nest Ball

4 Pokégear 3.0

2 Counter Catcher

2 Rescue Stretcher

1 Enhanced Hammer

2 Counter Gain

2 Metal Frying Pan

 

1 Mount Lanakila

1 Power Plant

Energy (5)

2 Counter

2 Double Colorless

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 13

* 4 Hoopa SLG 55
* 2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
* 1 Lugia-GX LOT 159
* 1 Solgaleo p UPR 89
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Genesect UNB 127
* 1 Stakataka UNB 106
* 1 White Kyurem LOT 63
* 1 Unown LOT 91

##Trainer Cards - 42

* 3 Lusamine CIN 96
* 4 Max Potion EPO 94
* 1 Mount Lanakila BUS 118
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 3 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 1 Team Skull Grunt SUM 133
* 2 Metal Frying Pan FLI 112
* 1 Gladion CIN 95
* 3 Acerola BUS 112
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Enhanced Hammer GRI 124
* 4 Steven’s Resolve CES 145
* 2 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 1 Plumeria BUS 120
* 1 Faba LOT 173

##Energy - 5

* 2 Counter Energy CIN 100
* 2 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
* 1 Rainbow Energy XYEnergy 131

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

Pros

  • Improved vs. ReshiZard to 50/50
  • Improved vs. Malamar to Highly Favorable (Hoopa attacking is too much for them)
  • Improved vs. Blacephalon UNB from Auto-Loss to Winnable

Cons

  • Adding attackers makes the deck more clunky and prone to dead draws
  • Matchups vs. ReshiZard and Blacephalon-GX are 50/50 or worse

As with most random off-the-wall ideas, it didn’t pan out. But as you’ll see next, sometimes combining multiple ideas into one can go a long way.

Version #4: Counter Attackers + Metal

Yup, you guessed it! I combined Versions #2 and #3 into one. I liked what each of them did individually, so combining them was the logical next step in progression.

Pokémon (11)

3 Hoopa SLG

2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX

1 Lugia-GX

1 Solgaleo p

1 Girafarig LOT

1 Genesect UNB

1 Stakataka UNB

1 White Kyurem LOT

Trainer (42)

4 Steven’s Resolve

3 Bill’s Analysis

3 Lusamine

2 Acerola

1 Faba

1 Gladion

1 Guzma

1 Plumeria

1 Tate & Liza

1 Team Skull Grunt

 

4 Max Potion

4 Nest Ball

4 Pokégear 3.0

2 Counter Catcher

2 Rescue Stretcher

3 Metal Frying Pan

2 Counter Gain

 

1 Mount Lanakila

1 Mt. Coronet

1 Power Plant

Energy (7)

3 Metal

2 Counter

2 Double Colorless

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 11

* 3 Hoopa SLG 55
* 2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
* 1 Lugia-GX LOT 159
* 1 Solgaleo p UPR 89
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Genesect UNB 127
* 1 Stakataka UNB 106
* 1 White Kyurem LOT 63

##Trainer Cards - 42

* 3 Lusamine CIN 96
* 4 Max Potion EPO 94
* 1 Mount Lanakila BUS 118
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 3 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 1 Team Skull Grunt SUM 133
* 3 Metal Frying Pan FLI 112
* 1 Mt. Coronet UPR 130
* 1 Gladion CIN 95
* 2 Acerola BUS 112
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 Steven’s Resolve CES 145
* 2 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 1 Plumeria BUS 120
* 1 Faba LOT 173

##Energy - 7

* 2 Counter Energy CIN 100
* 2 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
* 3 Metal Energy Energy 8

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

For this version, I don’t think a pros/cons list is necessary, as you can take the pros and cons from each prior version and combine them. However, I’ll note one con that surfaced: The loss of Rainbow Energy leaves you with less versatility in certain instances. It’s not a game-breaking loss, but I personally love that added flexibility.

Stall Moving Forward

Going forward with Stall, I think the logical approach is to find stronger inclusions to counter Fire decks. One great idea which I hadn’t gotten around to trying because I could not find room for it is a 2-1 Bronzong TEU line. Sander Wojcik placed in the Top 4 this past weekend in Jonkoping with a list kinda similar to mine but which included 2-1 Bronzong. The inclusion gives you a hard lock versus decks that do not run alternate attackers. While I think this is strong because it makes all of the Fire matchups favorable, it can be countered. Now that Sander has had a high placing with it, Fire decks can adjust by playing cards such as Shining Lugia, which already gave Stall problems before. Other than this, I don’t think much innovation can be made with Stall at the current time.

Top Pick #2: Blacephalon-GX

I never thought the day would come, but it has. I think Blacephalon-GX is currently well positioned to make a huge run at NAIC. The deck offers pretty good matchups across the board, but its ability to take wins from the hugely popular TAG TEAM decks in and ReshiZard is what gives it an edge in the upcoming tournament. The inclusion of Persian-GX makes the deck more dependable in those crucial Beast Ring turns. The deck also sports a good matchup to Zoroark-GX and is not too shabby versus non-GX decks such as Weezing and Zapdos. Here’s the list I’ve been testing:

Pokémon (16)

4 Blacephalon-GX

3 Poipole LOT

3 Naganadel LOT

1 Persian-GX

1 Alolan Muk SUM

1 Ditto p

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Marshadow SLG

1 Mew UNB

Trainer (28)

4 Cynthia

3 Guzma

3 Lillie

2 Erika’s Hospitality

2 Welder

 

4 Beast Ring

4 Ultra Ball

3 Mysterious Treasure

 

2 Ultra Space

1 Heat Factory p

Energy (16)

15 Fire

1 Beast p

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Blacephalon-GX LOT 52
* 3 Poipole LOT 107
* 3 Naganadel LOT 108
* 1 Persian-GX UNB 149
* 1 Alolan Muk SUM 58
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Marshadow SLG 45
* 1 Mew UNB 76

##Trainer Cards - 28

* 1 Heat Factory p LOT 178
* 3 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 3 Lillie SUM 122
* 4 Ultra Ball PLB 90
* 2 Welder UNB 189
* 2 Erika’s Hospitality TEU 140
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 3 Guzma BUS 115
* 2 Ultra Space FLI 115
* 4 Beast Ring FLI 102

##Energy - 16

* 1 Beast Energy p FLI 117
* 15 Fire Energy XYEnergy 4

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

As you can see, I’ve chosen to include Persian-GX (without Meowth) and Alolan Muk. I think Muk is too big of a powerhouse in matchups like Zapdos that I wouldn’t cut it. I’ve chosen to include Dedenne-GX in place of the commonly used Meowth spot. I think that most games come down to hitting Beast Rings; however, your opponents can always seek out the Persian and KO it before it becomes useful. In these cases, I like having a backup plan. Dedenne’s general consistency boost is enough for me to include it in almost every deck. If your deck runs Ultra Ball, you’re running Dedenne-GX. I’ve also chosen to include Mew UNB. The reason for this is because PikaRom is spiking in popularity again. If it spikes at NAIC, I want to be prepared. Mew guarantees you a Beast Ring turn and sometimes that’s all you need to beat PikaRom.

Besides these small techs, remains mostly unchanged. Most lists are only a handful of cards different, which shows that the deck is close to being completely optimized.

Other Options

Some modifications you can make:

  1. Include Meowth. While it is not necessary, it is helpful in some matchups.
  2. If you think Zapdos is going to be big, include Alolan Grimer.

The deck does have room to work with and can be modified to your anticipated metagame.

Beyond My Top Two

Besides my top two of Stall and Blacephalon, I have done testing with other decks. Here are some lists I’ve been testing, which everyone should have on their radar.

PikaRom

pokemonkorea.co.kr

PikaRom has suddenly jumped back into the forefront of the meta with a lot of the game’s top players choosing to run it in the past weekends at Madison and Origins. Generally, PikaRom is being built without Jirachi, but I personally like the Jirachi-centered build because it offers a better matchup versus ReshiZard variants. Being able to dig for Guzma and poking ReshiZard with Zapdos early has proven to be key in taking down ReshiZard.

Pokémon (14)

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

2 Zapdos SM159

1 Zeraora-GX

1 Tapu Koko-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

2 Jirachi SM161

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Marshadow SLG

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Wobbuffet LOT

Trainer (35)

4 Guzma

4 Lillie

1 Cynthia

1 Judge

1 Volkner

 

4 Electropower

3 Energy Switch

3 Nest Ball

3 Ultra Ball

2 Electromagnetic Radar

1 Escape Rope

1 Field Blower

1 Rescue Stretcher

1 Switch

2 Choice Band

2 Escape Board

 

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (11)

11 Lightning

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 14

* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 2 Zapdos PR-SM 159
* 1 Zeraora-GX LOT 86
* 1 Tapu Koko-GX GRI 47
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 2 Jirachi PR-SM 161
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Marshadow SLG 45
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Wobbuffet LOT 93

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 1 Switch SUM 132
* 1 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Volkner UPR 135
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 4 Guzma BUS 115
* 2 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 3 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 1 Judge BKT 143
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 3 Energy Switch BLW 94
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Lillie UPR 125
* 1 Escape Rope BUS 114

##Energy - 11

* 11 Lightning Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

The key techs I’ve been playing with are:

  • Marshadow UNB, which I think is an auto-include in Ability-based decks and especially decks that have Fighting Weakness.
  • Wobbuffet LOT, which makes matchups such as ZapBeasts winnable. Their crucial turn includes using Tapu Koko p to get enough Energy into play to use Tapu Koko-GX for 3 Prizes.

Granbull

I played Granbull back when it first dropped in Lost Thunder at Roanoke Regionals this year. I had a pretty good run, but I was stopped by three Stall decks en route to Day 2. (Granbull has always had a shaky Stall matchup, but inclusions such as Oranguru UPR in combination with Judge help make the matchup winnable for Granbull.)

My take on Granbull is to rely less on a Basic’s Ability (Oranguru SUM’s Instruct) and instead focus on using Red’s Challenge and Zebstrika LOT to draw cards and hit my combos. Red’s Challenge and Viridian Forest are key cards in helping get that hand size to zero, and although you still have some of that original aspect of the deck in Smooth Over and Instruct, the point of this variant is so that you don’t get beat down by decks that run Alolan Muk, such as Zoroark-GX variants. I think Granbull is a decent meta call for NAIC and you should keep your eyes open as a couple could sneak into Day 2.

Pokémon (17)

4 Snubbull LOT

4 Granbull LOT

2 Blitzle LOT

2 Zebstrika LOT

1 Slugma CES

1 Magcargo CES

1 Ditto p

1 Oranguru UPR

1 Oranguru SUM

Trainer (36)

4 Apricorn Maker

4 Red’s Challenge

2 Diantha

2 Guzma

1 Judge

 

4 Nest Ball

4 Ultra Ball

3 Pokégear 3.0

3 Timer Ball

2 Rescue Stretcher

1 Pal Pad

1 Switch

2 Bodybuilding Dumbbells

1 Choice Band

 

2 Viridian Forest

Energy (7)

7 Fairy

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 17

* 4 Snubbull LOT 137
* 4 Granbull LOT 138
* 2 Blitzle LOT 81
* 2 Zebstrika LOT 82
* 1 Slugma CES 23
* 1 Magcargo CES 24
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Oranguru UPR 114
* 1 Oranguru SUM 113

##Trainer Cards - 36

* 4 Apricorn Maker CES 161
* 2 Guzma BUS 115
* 2 Diantha FLI 130
* 1 Judge FLI 108
* 4 Red’s Challenge UNB 184
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 3 Timer Ball SUM 134
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 3 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 2 Rescue Stretcher BUS 165
* 1 Pal Pad UPR 132
* 1 Switch SUM 132
* 1 Choice Band GRI 121
* 2 Bodybuilding Dumbbells BUS 113
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 7

* 7 Fairy Energy Energy 9

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

Malamar

In my home state of New York, Malamar had been running rampant prior to Unbroken Bonds. The majority of players in the area either played Malamar variants or decks that had favorable Malamar matchups. Because of this, I’ve had a ton of practice against Malamar. Throughout recent weeks, Malamar has cropped up again. Its favorable ReshiZard matchup makes it a contender. It also sports one of the most consistent draw engines because the deck is so streamlined.

Pokémon (16)

4 Inkay FLI

4 Malamar FLI

1 Necrozma-GX

1 Marshadow-GX

1 Gengar & Mimikyu-GX

1 Giratina SM151

1 Mewtwo SM77

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Jirachi SM161

1 Marshadow SLG

Trainer (34)

4 Cynthia

4 Guzma

4 Lillie

 

4 Mysterious Treasure

4 Nest Ball

4 Switch

4 Ultra Ball

2 Rescue Stretcher

1 Escape Board

 

3 Viridian Forest

Energy (10)

10 Psychic

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Inkay FLI 50
* 4 Malamar FLI 51
* 1 Necrozma-GX BUS 63
* 1 Marshadow-GX BUS 80
* 1 Gengar & Mimikyu-GX TEU 53
* 1 Giratina PR-SM 151
* 1 Mewtwo PR-SM 77
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Jirachi PR-SM 161
* 1 Marshadow SLG 45

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Lillie UPR 125
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 4 Switch ROS 91
* 1 Escape Board UPR 122
* 3 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 10

* 10 Psychic Energy Energy 5

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73708 ******

In order to address the current state of the meta, Malamar has adapted to include cards like Mewtwo SM77, to deal with Weezing, which is a terrible matchup without this card. Other additions which weren’t all too popular before are cards like Gengar & Mimikyu-GX. The game has sped up the last few sets with the influx of powerful Trainer cards. This leads Gengar & Mimikyu-GX to be a powerful option itself.

The versatility of Malamar shows when you’re able to play the 1-Prize game with Giratina LOT and transition to big knockouts with Necrozma-GX. Overall, I think Malamar is a decent deck and you should be aware of its existence in the meta, but I don’t see it making a huge splash at NAIC.

Conclusion

With NAIC coming up in just a few days, I hope this article has helped you ease into a deck choice. Overall, I think Fire decks are strong in this meta and I expect at least a couple in Top 8 this weekend. Stall and some other decks from Tier 2 can be strong picks but they are more reliant on the metagame.

However, you never truly know what “the play” is until the event takes place, so going with a deck you’re comfortable with and know how to pilot is generally a much safer approach than trying to anticipate the meta.

Good luck to everyone playing this weekend and as always, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @PeterJoltik.


…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 90 days, we open each Underground (UG) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thanks for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.


Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in. Legacy discussion: 1