Hello 6P! Welcome back to another article of mine in which I must say, I have a lot to talk about.
First off, the 2019–2020 Regionals schedule for North America is finally out and seeing all the cool new locations got me excited about the upcoming season! I’m definitely going to be attending the first two Regionals of the season—Atlantic City and Knoxville—which are Standard. The next two Regionals are Expanded and still up in the air for me, but if I’m going to work for a Travel Award to the Oceania IC, it might be necessary for me to go to those as well. The first IC of the season is also all but confirmed to be Latin America again, presumably in São Paulo in November.
Anyway, it’s been a nice break post-NAIC so far. I’ve been doing a lot of testing for the new format and refining lists, and there will still be a decent break between Worlds and the new season’s first Regional.
What’s Good in UPR-on?
Back to Worlds testing and the big, humongous question mark that is the UPR-on metagame. I’ve been playing quite a bit, making and unmaking lists over and over trying to find the right balance in things. I’m not sure anything is perfect because there are so many options and directions each deck can go, and it’s hard to test absolutely everything. It has been surprising to me to find myself building decks so differently in what is a heavily-reduced card pool compared to SUM-on.
Claiming to know what the BDIF is as of right now is impossible and whoever says they do is utilizing hyperbole. No matter how good your deck is, there are so many different people, playstyles, and personal choices that can go into this new format that it’s impossible to ascertain something as bold as that. Having said this, in my own experience, there are three decks that stand out more than others. These are:
- Malamar w/ Garchomp & Giratina-GX,
- Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, and
- Fire-based Mewtwo & Mew-GX.
There are two other contenders which I like: Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel and Dark Box, based on Weavile-GX and assorted Dark-type TAG TEAMs. These two decks, however, are either (A) easily countered by a cute tech card, Tapu Fini UNM, which essentially reads “1HKO a Blacephalon-GX for C,” or (B) they simply require too much setup of their Stage 1 lines, which is incredibly difficult to do now given our limited choices for non-GX search.
There are still ideas I want to explore, like Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX with Leavanny UNM as a tanky deck. I also had high hopes for Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX, but it doesn’t seem as powerful as I thought it’d be, and it’s hard to fit consistency with enough Fairy Charms to fully cover an unknown metagame.
So for now, I will move on to showcasing the latest list of my favorite deck of this new Standard format so far—Fire M&M’s—which is what I’ve been liking and working on the most.
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 35
2 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 12
Once again, I have to mention I’m focusing mostly on getting the deck to perform the same thing over and over, and there’s a big card missing from this list: Reset Stamp. I haven’t quite figured out what to cut for at least 1, or hopefully 2, just yet, but I will eventually.
Having said that, this deck abuses Mewtwo & Mew-GX’s Perfection Ability to become an all-in-one cannon that can adapt to any situation. Each GX being included serves specific purposes, and here they are:
Mewtwo & Mew-GX4
The deck’s ideal starter and an incredible card. The GX attack, Miraculous Duo-GX, deals just enough damage for it to be useful, but the + effect of healing your whole board can be game-changing if used at the right time.
Not only is Dedechange extremely useful as draw power, but it also synergizes well with Mewtwo & Mew-GX by discarding the various Evolution GXs so their attacks can be copied by Perfection.
Reshiram & Charizard-GX1
If you’re using Welder, you gotta have this guy. Outrage punishes not 1HKOing Mewtwo & Mew-GX, while Flare Strike 1HKOs any non-TAG TEAM Pokémon, and Double Blaze-GX is as powerful as ever when the + bonus is activated. Using Double Blaze-GX and following up with Sky Judgement from Dragonite-GX is not hard to pull off with this deck.
Speaking of Sky Judgement, 270 is the new magic number to be hitting in order to score 1HKOs, and being able to access this attack through Perfection means even a 2-Energy Mewtwo & Mew-GX can get a 1HKO on anything thanks to a Welder + attachment for turn.
Turbo Strike is a great first attack to lead with, as 120 damage is a solid number to set up 2HKOs and it also can power up a Benched Mewtwo & Mew-GX. This attack’s potential over the course of the game is so great that my original list included 2 copies. However, cuts had to be made to accommodate everything, but this is a prime candidate for having a 2nd copy included in the deck.
Psychic Zone is great to prevent the mirror and any Malamar variants from becoming terrible matchups. Star Search is a pretty usable attack on turn 1 to get Energy acceleration, if pulling off a Turbo Strike from Solgaleo-GX isn’t possible. The GX attack is too costly to be used, as we only have 4 copies of Rainbow Energy and Star Shield-GX requires 3 of them.
BulbapediaThe free retreat already makes this card nice, as it’s not a bad starter at all. The attacks are what makes it shine though. Tag Purge is powerful as the metagame will certainly be dominated by various TAG TEAM Pokémon, so preventing damage from them will be great. It is guaranteed to make for some weird scenarios between two players that are using the attack at the same time, but there are ways around it such as Double Blaze-GX or perhaps playing Channeler. Clear Vision-GX is also good in a few weird situations, as not allowing PikaRom decks to use their Tag Bolt-GX or Lightning Ride-GX might be worth it.
Venom Shock is a great attack to snipe previously damaged TAG TEAMs, in order to finish them off no matter where they are. The discard of 2 Energy is not a big deal for the deck, and this attack combined with Custom Catcher can be lethal in order to stall something Active and then snipe a Benched threat or two. Injection-GX can be situationally good as well, though in all of my testing I’ve only ever used it once.
The only reason why we have Rainbow Energy over P Energy is Mist Slash. 130 damage is a great number to hit for only 2 Energy, and the effect of bypassing any effects and always dealing damage can be great against opposing threats such as Latios-GX’s Tag Purge or a potential Fairy Charm P-holding Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX.
As you can see, this deck has a plethora of options in terms of attacks, and it is insanely good that all of them can come from the same Pokémon thanks to Perfection.
limitlesstcg.comIn the Trainers aspect of the list, I tried to go for the most consistency possible, hence the max counts of Welder and Coach Trainer. Coach Trainer is used in order to help build up resources in hand, such as Energy for Welder or a pair of Custom Catchers.
Lillie and Hapu were tested as well, but even though Lillie might be better overall on the first turn, as the game progresses hands do tend to be bigger, so a guaranteed 4 cards from Coach Trainer is usually better. Hapu has synergy with Perfection, but the randomness of it made me cringe too many times during testing to justify playing it. 2 Bill’s Analysis provides that “depth” of search that Hapu does, while being more conservative of resources.
2 Pokégear 3.0 round out the “Supporters” of the deck, to give you that extra room to push to find that much need Welder in clutch situations. I originally had 4 of these and 0 Bill’s Analysis, but only 8 Supporters didn’t provide great odds to hit one for every Pokégear, hence the middle-ground play of 2-of each.
4 Cherish Ball as its the best way to search for our GX attackers, and 4 Mysterious Treasure can find almost all of our GXs and it provides a much needed discard to be able to access our Evolutions’ attacks.
4 Custom Catcher in order to be able to target down the right threats, while providing a small consistency boost thanks to the primary draw effect of only playing one at a time.
3 Switch for those pesky spots where we don’t start Mewtwo & Mew-GX. It also helps cover our bases when going up against PikaRom and having to deal with Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX’s Paralysis from Tandem Shock.
2 Great Potion are great to turn 2HKOs into 3HKOs, especially versus Giratina LOT in Malamar decks. Healing 50 damage is such a clutch number that I originally had 4 of these in my list and I am convinced the deck would benefit from a 3rd one greatly.
2 Fire Crystal are there for late-game Energy recovery and also to combo with Welder. They let you be more careless with your Energy at any point in the game, since recovering 3 afterward is extremely good.
3 Giant Hearth as it’s arguably the best Stadium for this deck as it is basically Welder’s best friend. It provides a discard option for Perfection while helping you accelerate Energy for Welder. It is one of the best cards in the deck.
1 Heat Factory p since we are already running R Energy and having that extra draw to find more resources can be crucial at times. I’ve contemplated replacing it for Lysandre Labs though, since Spell Tag and sometimes Choice Helmet can spell trouble for this deck.
Energy-wise, we have 4 Rainbow to provide the Psychic or W Energy needed for our attacks, while the 8 Fire are necessary for Welder.
This is probably the deck I’m most excited to show gameplay of once the new set hits on PTCGO, as it is super versatile and can adapt to any situation. This deck reminds me of Zoroark-GX a bit, not because of how it plays, but because of the sheer amount of options you have every turn and therefore all the decisions that you have to make that can potentially go wrong but are extremely rewarding if you get them right.
As far as matchups goes, each attacker will serve different purposes, so here’s a quick rundown of the most useful attacks for important matchups that I’ve tested. Generally though, I’ve found myself pretty much using every attack possible at one point or another against every single deck.
- Greninja-GX’s Mist Slash to deal with Giratina
- Mewtwo & Mew-GX’s Miraculous Duo+ to heal off damage
- Naganadel-GX’s Venom Shock to pick off Malamar
- Dragonite-GX’s Sky Judgement to 1HKO opposing TAG TEAMs
- Latios-GX’s Tag Purge to 1HKO Volcanion and prevent Reshiram & Charizard-GX from dealing any damage
- Latios-GX’s Clear Vision-GX to prevent Reshiram & Charizard-GX from using Double Blaze-GX+ to bypass Tag Purge
- Latios-GX’s Tag Purge to prevent Pikachu & Zekrom-GX from dealing any damage
- Mewtwo & Mew-GX’s Miraculous Duo-GX+ to heal off damage
- Dragonite-GX’s Sky Judgement to 1HKO opposing TAG TEAMs
vs. Dark Box
- Latios-GX’s Tag Purge to prevent TAG TEAMs from dealing any damage
- Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s Double Blaze-GX+ to 1HKO Psychic-resistant TAG TEAMs
- Naganadel-GX’s Venom Shock to pick off a previously damaged TAG TEAM
- Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s Double Blaze-GX to score a cheap 1HKO
- Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s Flare Strike to get a follow-up 1HKO
- Mewtwo & Mew-GX’s Miraculous Duo-GX as an alternative for a quick 1HKO
Gardevoir & Sylveon-GXvs.
- Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s Double Blaze-GX+ to 1HKO while ignoring Fairy Charm effects
- Greninja-GX’s Mist Slash to deal damage while ignoring Fairy Charm effects
Needless to say, finding different opportunities to use Turbo Strike from Solgaleo-GX is crucial as you need to have a backup plan for when your Active Mewtwo & Mew-GX inevitably goes down. The attack is not specific for any matchup, but rather it’s just overall useful to lead with and establish a stronger board position thanks to the Energy attachment effect.
Flexibility and adaptation are this deck’s best friends. I started out trying the Mina version of the deck, basing it on the 2nd place list from the Japanese Championships last month. Since then though, I can confidently say this is the superior version, as thinning 1 Energy from the deck with Mina is much weaker when compared to attaching 2–3 Energy in one go while also drawing 3 extra cards.
Fire M&M’s is my favorite deck to play so far, though it has been struggling to beat Dark Box as of late, and Blacephalon-GX is also another tough matchup. In order of priority, I’d love to be able to add the following to the deck:
- Reset Stamp (at least 2),
- Tapu Fini UNM (at least 1), and
- Lysandre Labs (at least 1).
Only more testing will determine what gets cut, but I’m happy with the list and how it has been performing so far.
That will be all for my article today. I hope you enjoyed reading and as always I’m happy to answer any questions and receive feedback over on my Tablemon social media! I can’t wait to get back to streaming and content creation once the new set hits on PTCGO, but in the meantime I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the break from PTCGO and practicing through Skype with proxied cards.
Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll see you next month for our final run-up to the 2019 Pokémon TCG World Championships + DC Open!
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