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Mew Box and the New ‘Zard, Malamar for Cups, Tiers, and Worlds Recap w/ PikaRom
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Hello 6P! Welcome back to another article by yours truly! Worlds has come and gone in what seemed like a flash to me, and as usual, it was a great time! I decided to play in the end, as felt unreliable and Fire M&M’s didn’t seem quite stable enough, even though when it set up it was extremely powerful. As seen by the results, Fire M&M’s was a good call in the end, although the myriad of Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX decks that made it through from Day 1 ensured I stayed away from the deck, due to the prevalence of Power Plant.

Worlds Recap w/ PikaRom

PikaRom to me felt like the most reliable deck with a chance to beat anything, and I was pretty settled on 58 cards of my list before Day 1, which were the following:

Pokémon (11)

3 Dedenne-GX

2 Zeraora-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Zapdos TEU

1 Hoopa UNM

Trainer (35)

4 Cynthia

4 Volkner

1 Erika’s Hospitality

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Electromagnetic Radar

4 Electropower

3 Energy Switch

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Reset Stamp

2 Switch

1 Stadium Nav

1 Tag Switch

 

2 Lysandre Labs

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (12)

12 Lightning

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 11

* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 195
* 2 Zeraora-GX LOT 201
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 162
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 220
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Zapdos TEU 40
* 1 Hoopa UNM 140

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191
* 1 Tag Switch UNM 254
* 3 Energy Switch ROS 109
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 231
* 4 Volkner UPR 156
* 2 Switch SUM 160
* 2 Lysandre Labs FLI 111
* 4 Electropower LOT 232
* 1 Erika’s Hospitality TEU 174
* 4 Cynthia UPR 148
* 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 196
* 4 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 230
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 253

##Energy - 12

* 12 Lightning Energy GRI 168

Total Cards - 58

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Before seeing Day 1’s results, the 2 remaining spots were occupied by 1 Tapu Fini UNM (as an answer to Blacephalon-GX) and 1 Great Potion (which is key vs. Malamar decks). However, the advantage that my 1500+ CP got me this season was competing directly in Day 2, and thus I was able to witness Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX power through Day 1, with very little Malamar or to be seen at the top tables.

With that information, I ended up taking out those 2 cards and adding in a 2nd Zapdos and a 3rd Lysandre Labs to help with the matchup in particular. Zapdos allows me to bypass Fairy Charm L and Lysandre Labs deactivates it altogether, and is great in the Malamar matchup, too.

This is how my tournament went:

R1 Blowns WLW (1-0-0)
R2 Ultra Malamar LWT (1-0-1)
R3 PikaRom LWL (1-1-1)
R4 GardEon LL (1-2-1)
R5 Psychic Malamar WW (2-2-2)
R6 PikaRom LWL (2-3-2)
R7 Ultra Malamar WW (3-3-2)

I still lost to GardEon, but I will argue that I got extremely unlucky in both games, dead-drawing off of a Stamp to 6 and then prizing Tapu Koko {} in Game 2, while whiffing Energy for the first two turns as well. My two losses to the mirror were similar, with one dead-draw and three games where I prized Tapu Koko {}. That seemed to be the theme of my day, along with an iffy tie vs. a Malamar that I felt I was extremely favored against.

It left a sour taste for me at the end, to have all my work during the season become undone by continually prizing that one card in crucial games in which I otherwise stood a good chance, especially the GardEon match. Alas, I cannot go back in time to replay Worlds 2019 to find a better result, and thus we must now prepare for Worlds 2020 in London!

Moving Forward and Malamar for Cups

With Worlds being held in the new Standard format, it makes sense that the next big tournament, Sheffield Regionals, will likely feature a metagame and deck spread similar to Worlds. Hidden Fates just released and will be legal for that tournament, but other than Jessie & James being included in the Pidgeotto Control deck that was played by the DDG group, I don’t foresee anything too impactful coming out of that set.

Fire M&M’s ended up winning, which was awesome to see, and even though I gave up on it a few days before Worlds, I was aware of its amazing potential. The one deck that severely underperformed was Malamar, though I think that’s more due to the best-of-three, 50-minute format than anything else. The deck is solid and more consistent than people make it out to be. It genuinely might be better for League Cups, assuming they’re best-of-one, and this is the list that I had for Worlds after watching Day 1:

Pokémon (20)

4 Jirachi TEU

4 Inkay FLI

1 Ditto p

4 Malamar FLI

2 Giratina LOT

1 Garchomp & Giratina-GX

1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX

1 Espurr UNB

1 Mimikyu GRI

1 Mew UNB

Trainer (32)

4 Cynthia

4 Lillie

1 Erika’s Hospitality

 

4 Mysterious Treasure

4 Pokémon Communication

3 Switch

2 Reset Stamp

4 Spell Tag

2 Escape Board

 

4 Viridian Forest

Energy (8)

6 Psychic

2 Fighting

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 20

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 4 Inkay FLI 50
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 4 Malamar FLI 51
* 2 Giratina LOT 97
* 1 Garchomp & Giratina-GX UNM 228
* 1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX UNM 72
* 1 Espurr UNB 79
* 1 Mimikyu GRI 58
* 1 Mew UNB 76

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 2 Escape Board UPR 167
* 4 Lillie SUM 147
* 4 Spell Tag LOT 235
* 3 Switch SUM 160
* 1 Erika’s Hospitality TEU 174
* 4 Cynthia UPR 148
* 4 Viridian Forest UNM 256
* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 196
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 145
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 253

##Energy - 8

* 6 Psychic Energy SUM 162
* 2 Fighting Energy GRI 169

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=74619 ******

It tries to focus on consistency as much as possible, especially with the 4 Jirachi in the list. Not only are they your best starter, but the extra copies can be used for Pokémon Communication or as late-game discard fodder for Viridian Forest or Mysterious Treasure. The lack of Custom Catchers is made up for by having both Espurr UNB and Espeon & Deoxys-GX, allowing you to finish off Pokémon on the Bench quite easily.

The biggest issue for this deck ends up being the Ability ReshiZard deck piloted by Tord Reklev and others, as the ability to constantly snipe Malamars through Ninetales TEU and bypass Spell Tag is a big deal. I’ve found the best thing to do in that matchup is actually attach Spell Tags to Malamars mostly, in order to try and set up the 2HKO for with that extra 1 damage counter after hitting with Shadow Impact twice.

There’s definitely merit to playing Custom Catcher, and you could possibly cut Ditto p, Erika’s Hospitality, 1 Spell Tag, and 1 Jirachi for them, but I’m not so sure they’d be worth it compared to the loss in consistency. I’ve had decent results both ways, but with the Bench attacking options available, I haven’t found the need for the Catchers personally.

The 1 Garchomp & Giratina-GX is useful for when you need to dish out big damage in a pinch. It can also be used as your last attacker combined with a Reset Stamp when you’ve made your opponent go down to 1 Prize by only having non-Pokémon-GX in play.


I have the Malamar itch and ~4 Cups in the next few weeks, so I’ll probably end up playing it at one of them at some point. Not too many people have access to Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks at my Cups, so I can bypass the hugely unfavorable matchup to that deck due to Espeon & Deoxys-GX, with having a solid matchup overall versus other decks. However, the deck that I decided to use last week at a Cup was Fire M&M’s. The Worlds triumph motivated me to play the deck, and I had already picked up 4 FA Mewtwo & Mew-GX, so I figured why not?

Mew Box Gets Wet

pokemonkorea.co.kr

From my testing, I was painfully aware of the bad Blacephalon-GX/ matchup for , and the finals of Worlds only confirmed that for me, despite the result. With that in mind, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: take out Cobalion-GX and 1 Cherish Ball for 1 Tapu Fini UNM and 1 Pokémon Communication.

Two simple changes, but two that completely turn a bad matchup into a good one, while keeping the consistency of the deck relatively intact. Pokémon Communication is not as good as Cherish Ball, but with the high-ish amount of Pokémon in the deck, I felt confident that the benefit of the Tapu Fini would greatly outweigh the slight chance of having Pokémon Communication in hand without a Pokémon to switch out for a Dedenne-GX in a dead-draw situation.

The Cup ended up being best-of-3, and I went 4-0-2 during Swiss, only dropping a single game to the mirror match and facing off against 1 Blacephalon-GX deck. I convincingly beat the deck 2-0 in what felt like an otherwise hopeless matchup in my previous testing. This is in part why I never considered Blacephalon-GX as a real option going into Worlds. I knew that any deck that had trouble with it could just splash a Tapu Fini in there and call it a day. That’s exactly what I did and it worked out, despite not having “tested” the matchup at all.

In case you haven’t seen the Worlds results and are not familiar with Henry Brand’s list, here’s my list for the Cup with the previously mentioned changes:

Pokémon (16)

4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

3 Dedenne-GX

1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX

1 Jirachi-GX

1 Latios-GX UNM

1 Magcargo-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Naganadel-GX UNM

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX

1 Solgaleo-GX SM104

1 Tapu Fini UNM

Trainer (33)

4 Welder

2 Bill’s Analysis

 

4 Acro Bike

4 Custom Catcher

4 Pokégear 3.0

3 Cherish Ball

3 Mysterious Treasure

2 Switch

1 Electromagnetic Radar

1 Fire Crystal

1 Pokémon Communication

 

3 Giant Hearth

1 Viridian Forest

Energy (11)

8 Fire

3 Psychic

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 222
* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 195
* 1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX UNM 72
* 1 Jirachi-GX UNM 79
* 1 Latios-GX UNM 223
* 1 Magcargo-GX LOT 198
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Naganadel-GX UNM 230
* 1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 194
* 1 Solgaleo-GX PR-SM 104
* 1 Tapu Fini UNM 53

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 231
* 2 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 4 Welder UNB 214
* 2 Switch SUM 160
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 1 Fire Crystal UNB 231
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
* 4 Acro Bike CES 178
* 1 Viridian Forest UNM 256
* 1 Pokémon Communication TEU 196
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 250
* 3 Mysterious Treasure FLI 145
* 1 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 230

##Energy - 11

* 8 Fire Energy BUS 167
* 3 Psychic Energy SUM 162

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=74619 ******

Overall the deck works well, but this list still feels like my previous ones: any time you whiff the Welder, it feels like you’re far behind. Not only that, but the Ability version of ReshiZard can easily bypass the Tag Purge block that this deck tries to establish, and Mew Box also has a tough time dealing with the combination of both Victini p and Turtonator DRM as non-GX threats. It does have a pretty good Green’s ReshiZard matchup, however, which explains the favorable result for the deck in Top 4 at Worlds. As is expected, not only do you have to be a great player, but you do need a little luck to go your way at the World Championships, and had the semi-finals been switched around for the ReshiZard decks, I believe we would’ve had a completely different final than the one featured.

The New ‘Zard

One big change going into Sheffield for this deck (and for Cups of course) will be the new Charizard-GX.

Its regular attack is not terrible, as Flamethrower’s 140 is a good number to hit without the drawback of something like Flare Strike from Reshiram & Charizard-GX. But most importantly, Flare Blitz-GX is just as powerful as Double Blaze-GX with the plus bonus, but it costs two less Energy. That means a 1-Energy Mewtwo & Mew-GX is always 1 Welder away from using Flare Blitz-GX, and it doesn’t even require 4 or even 3 Fire Energy, only 2. The added effect of bypassing effects is really nice from Double Blaze-GX, but the cost-effectiveness of Flare Blitz-GX in a TAG TEAM-dominated metagame is just way too powerful to pass up. This is a must-have for any Mewtwo & Mew-GX deck, though it’s hard to say at the moment what card to take out. If you’re not too worried about Blacephalon-GX, then taking out the Tapu Fini and Pokémon Communication for Charizard-GX and the 4th Cherish Ball makes a lot of sense to me.

Tiers

The general metagame is wide open going into Sheffield next week, but in my own personal ranking, I believe there’s a clear as of right now for most decks that ended up showing up and doing well at Worlds:

Tier 1

  • Ability ReshiZard
  • Mew Box

Tier 1.5

Tier 2

There is a ton of variety though, that’s for sure, and it seems like a healthy format in that there isn’t a clear dominant deck, although Welder is definitely the meta defining card that facilitates a lot of these decks, and the tier list would look extremely different without it.

It’ll be super interesting to see the immediate aftermath of Worlds at Sheffield Regionals, while also the effect that Hidden Fates might have. In my humble opinion, the only noteworthy cards from the set are Jessie & James, Weezing, and the new Charizard-GX. Outside of that, I’m looking forward to getting my shiny Gardevoir-GX line as it was a very important card in my career, but other than that the set is one for collectors. The cards left out from Unified Minds at Worlds weren’t a big deal, and outside of those three I don’t think it’s worth pursuing anything else, and even then you need 1 or 2 copies of those cards at max.

Conclusion

And so there you have it, a nice recap of Worlds plus some thoughts on how the metagame will evolve with Hidden Fates, but the top decks at Sheffield will certainly be a determining factor as to what happens in Köln and Atlantic City. I’m actually getting very hyped about Regionals and competing just by writing this article, and even though there’s still no official word on whether the 8 BFL will stand, I’m thinking I’ll be making it out to Atlantic City to get the season started in a big way!

Thank you so much once again for reading my article, and as always catch me on my daily Twitch stream or on my social media outlets for more Pokémon content! I’ll see you next month as we get the 2020 season rolling!


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