Hello again readers, I’m back with you for the second time this month. First, I am going to go over Sheffield’s results and what I think will change in the meta because of those results. Then, I’ll go over my current favorite play for Atlantic City.
Sheffield Results Analysis
At Sheffield we saw GardEon take the win, which, based on the reactions I have seen across the internet, was rather unexpected. I am not overly surprised that the deck won an event because all it takes is one of in the field them avoiding Ability ReshiZard enough times to make it into Top 8. According to David Ferreira, he hit Ability ReshiZard four times during the event and finished with a record of 0-2-2 against it. This means that he beat literally every other deck he played against. That’s pretty scary.
Another interesting fact is that Mewtwo Box managed to secure exactly 0 of the Top 8 slots. And this is after it got a major buff in Charizard-GX HIF. Yes, the deck got 9th, bubbling out on resistance, but we’ll never know how far it would have gone had it made Top 8. While I believe the deck is still very much a threat to win events, I don’t think it deserves the “potential BDIF” talk that I’ve seen it receiving.
Ability ReshiZard was easily the most hyped deck going into the event, and it put up the results to live up to that hype. We saw Robin Shulz bring a new style of list, opting to cut down to 12 Fire Energy and add 4 Fire Crystal. While this build certainly caters to Blacephalon UNB, I think that the 17 Fire Energy/2 Fire Crystal list that I have been testing is far superior to that build. Unfortunately, Gustavo Wada likely doesn’t plan on posting his ReshiZard list, but Jose mentioned what we know about Gustavo’s list in his article. Jose actually posted a list that is almost exactly what I have been playing around with, so go check that out.
Poipole Control. We all heard the hype. I know many people thought it would do well. To be frank, it flopped. None made it into Day 2, and we don’t have information on how many were played in the event, but I think it is fair to say that the deck did not live up to the hype. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore it for Atlantic City though. A Control deck that is ignored is a dangerous Control deck indeed.
In that same vein, Pidgeotto Control did see success in Sheffield, where it made it through a Top 8 match and into Top 4. While personally I believe the deck is not great, it will remain a threat going into Atlantic City, Köln, and São Paulo. I will be making sure that whatever I play has a favorable matchup against it.
My final note on Sheffield is that Malamar was actually able to make Day 2. This is a step above what we saw at Worlds and shows that there is potential for the deck to do well at a Regional.
My Top Play (Mewtwo Box)
Earlier I said that I don’t think this deck deserved every bit of the hype that it has been receiving. That doesn’t mean that I think the deck is bad, and it’s actually what I am most likely to end up on for Atlantic City. “Why?” you may ask. Well, I cannot think of a deck beyond Keldeo-GX Stall, GardEon, and Quagsire/Naganadel that can consistently beat Mewtwo Box.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 16
* 4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Magcargo-GX LOT 44
* 1 Charizard-GX HIF 9
* 1 Solgaleo-GX PR-SM SM104
* 1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX UNM 72
* 1 Latios-GX UNM 78
* 1 Jirachi-GX UNM 79
* 1 Naganadel-GX UNM 160
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Wobbuffet LOT 93
##Trainer Cards - 33
* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 2 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 2 Acro Bike PRC 122
* 2 Switch SUM 132
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Energy Recycle System CES 128
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 1 Viridian Forest TEU 156
##Energy - 11
* 8 Fire Energy Energy 2
* 3 Psychic Energy Energy 5
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=74903 ******
This list is incredibly close to the one that got 9th in Sheffield. The only differences between the two lists are that I play only 2 Acro Bike and 0 Pal Pad. Instead, I play a 2nd Bill’s Analysis and a 2nd Energy Recycle System.
This is the biggest addition to Standard from Hidden Fates if we’re being honest. Jessie & James didn’t pan out to be all that great, which is something that we should all be thankful for. Charizard-GX is the fastest Pokémon that is capable of hitting 300 damage, which is needed to 1HKO almost any TAG TEAM Pokémon. Flamethrower is also a useable attack because it is the only attack that we have that is capable of 1HKOing Giratina LOT without requiring some form of Energy discard.
This is generally for the Ability ReshiZard matchup, but there have been so many times where I have either started it, prized it, or had it KOed too early for it to matter. That said, I’m still playing it, but I am on the fence about it. I’ll go into what I believe the game plan for Ability ReshiZard should look like in a bit.
The 9th place list cut down to 1 copy while I have remained at 2. My argument is that it is better to have another possible hit off of Pokégear 3.0 than have an extra Acro Bike. Bill’s is also strong in the late game when you might not need the Energy attachment that Welder requires. Bill’s gives you the highest odds of finding a Custom Catcher when you need it, which has made it worth the 2 slots.
The 9th place list played a copy of Pal Pad, but I cannot justify playing one. I have found that rather than needing 5 or 6 Welder, I have needed Energy to go with the Welder I already have. Yes, Pal Pad is a good safety net against Dedenne-GX discards, but Pal Pad is just as likely to be the card you discard instead of actually being able to play it. I haven’t seen enough impact on my matches for it to be worth playing.
I’m playing two of these because of how often I am missing Energy in the late game. It is very possible for this deck to fizzle out if you’re not careful, and a bad Dedechange could easily end your game. I am currently undecided on whether or not this should be a 1-1 split with Fire Crystal instead of a 2-of. Obviously, Energy Recycle System is capable of retrieving Psychic Energy, and can be played to increase deck size, but adding 3 Fire Energy straight to your hand is incredibly powerful. I need to do more testing with both options to see how often it matters.
In a deck that plays Bill’s Analysis, it seems a bit odd to not play at least 1 copy of Reset Stamp. One of my biggest issues with Mewtwo Box was that I was unable to mess with my opponent’s hand in any way.
This was my cut for Charizard-GX, and I am still uncertain how much I actually miss ReshiZard. Yes, it can do 230 damage the easiest, but where does that actually matter? The one matchup where I see an argument for ReshiZard is GardEon. And even then, you can only Double Blaze-GX a single time. I have to wonder whether or not it even matters. This is a matchup that bears further testing, but I suspect I won’t be changing this opinion anytime soon.
I have found myself wanting Bench Barrier on occasion, but not often enough to where I actually care enough to play it. If your area has a large number of PikaRom or other decks that can do snipe damage, consider adding Mew.
If Blacephalon-GX ever becomes an issue then this is something that should probably make its way into your deck because of how easy the matchup becomes.
The Matchup Spread
Ability ReshiZard: 45/55
Taking the slightly unfavored matchup here feels bad, but it is what it is. This matchup comes down to who draws better. For instance, if you manage to Custom Catcher up a ReshiZard that has 3 Energy on it on turn 2, and then 1HKO it, you’ll probably win. That doesn’t happen all that often, but it does happen. You’re almost always going to have the same general plan in every game: KO a ReshiZard, KO a 1-Prize Pokémon, and snipe a Dedenne-GX with Venom Shot to close out the game. This strategy deviates if your opponent can manage to not bench a ReshiZard the entire game.
Your opponent will almost always have to bench 2 TAG TEAMs during the match and have difficulty taking more than 1 easy KO on a Mewtwo & Mew-GX. This means that while they’re unable to take a KO on a Mewtwo & Mew-GX, you’re able to take a TAG TEAM KO relatively easily against them. Your first KO will likely be done through Flare Blitz-GX, but it is possible that they lead with a 1-Prize Pokémon, which means your new game plan is to Turbo Strike to KO it, then Flare Blitz-GX a TAG TEAM, and finally use Venom Shot to deal with a Dedenne-GX for your last 2 Prize cards. If they decided to go the double TAG TEAM route, then it is simple enough to KO the first one with Flare Blitz-GX and the second one with Magcargo-GX. Of course, if you’re playing against the Judge version of the deck, then it is possible that you will have your hand disrupted to the point that you cannot set up.
This matchup is one that comes down to a few things, namely whether or not (1) your opponent finds multiple Welder in the first few turns and (2) you can skip Beast Ring. If you’re able to Turbo Strike a Poipole in the early game, it becomes exponentially easier to win the game. Not only do you have more Energy in play, but you’ve gone down to 5 Prize cards. Assuming your opponent didn’t manage to KO you, your next turn will likely be used to Turbo Strike a Blacephalon-GX, hopefully adding even more Energy to your board. The next turn is what the matchup comes down to. Presumably, your opponent KOed the Active TAG TEAM, but that means they have minimal Energy in play and are not yet on the Beast Ring turns. It is at this point that you need to use Cross Division-GX with 6 Energy to KO the Active Blacephalon-GX as well as a Poipole or Naganadel. This puts you down to 2 Prize cards, which means you’ve successfully skipped Beast Ring and your opponent likely has very few or even 0 Energy in play.
One thing that is important to note in this situation is that your opponent is at 3 Prize cards. This means that Turning Point will do 160 base damage. Which means that if they play Power Plant, or you don’t have Jirachi-GX in play, you’ve probably just lost the game. Jirachi-GX is vital to winning the game and should not be overlooked in this matchup.
This number is of course assuming that their deck actually functions as intended, which, if we’re being honest, isn’t exactly the most common occurrence. In this matchup, it is vital that we plan out each and every Prize card that we take. Prize card #1: Your opponent started a Poipole or Wooper and it didn’t retreat. Turbo Strike KOs it easily. As this point, your opponent likely has a Keldeo-GX in the Active position. There’s two ways this can go. You either (A) go around it with Custom Catchers or (B) snipe something with Venom Shot or Cross Division-GX. If you can get the turn 2 Cross Division-GX, you’re likely taking 2 more Prize cards. In this situation, you’ll have to choose between Naganadel and Quagsire. Take whichever one is going to be more important. If they have Energy in play, but not where they want it, KO the Wooper/Quagsire. In a perfect world, they benched a Dedenne-GX, which means 2 more easy Prize cards. Between Cross Division-GX, Custom Catchers, and Venom Shot, it is entirely possible for you to take 6 Prize cards before you lose. Remember, Marshadow can 1HKO a Naganadel for a single Energy and offsets the Prize trade.
Green’s ReshiZard: 60/40
Green’s ReshiZard has seen a bit of a comeback recently, and that is because it is one of the more consistent decks in the format. I don’t know whether its popularity in League Cups will translate into popularity at a Regional, but it’s certainly worth talking about. In this matchup, you’re going to be using Tag Purge a lot, and if you manage to Clear Vision-GX on your first turn, I personally believe it is hard to lose the game. Of course, you can also go the aggro route, which involves Magcargo-GX and Charizard-GX, but that route can go badly very easily if you’re not careful. It is important to keep Marshadow UNB on your Bench for when your opponent tries to Power Plant + Reset Stamp you.
So, this matchup is almost going to end in a tie unless (A) your opponent doesn’t play a Fairy Charm that harms you, (B) they play Lusamine, or (C) you prize Latios-GX. If none of these things happen, it is best to lead with a Clear Vision-GX and then announce Tag Purge until the end of the game. Conserve your Stadiums and try to avoid playing into Power Plant, and you’ll be playing until time is called or until one of you decks out.
If Atlantic City was tomorrow, I would almost certainly be playing Ability ReshiZard or Mewtwo Box, but thankfully, it is not. I believe that there is either a deck or perhaps techs out there that can be played to do incredibly well in Atlantic City, but we have yet to find them.
Well, that’s all I have for today. I’m in school again, but my free time has yet to evaporate (as I anticipated it would). I’m probably going to start grinding more games this week in an effort to bring you the best possible play for Atlantic City, Köln, and São Paulo in next week’s article.
As always, feel free to message me with any questions that you might have about anything related to Pokémon. I also now offer coaching! Either email me (email@example.com) or PM me if interested.
Until the next one.
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