Closing It Out

My Top 5 Plays for São Paulo Regionals, the Last Major Event of UPR–CEC
pokemon-paradijs.com
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break to regain composure. (Up next for me: São Paulo!)

Hello SixPrizes readers! I’m back after a few weeks of Pokémon TCG holidays. After my trip to Daytona Beach and San Diego, I decided to take a break from the game to relax. I played at a very intense pace since LAIC 2019, with a lot of traveling, and I felt this was hurting me during the tournaments. Although I still felt good about deckbuilding and metagame reading, I couldn’t concentrate during my games, so no matter how hard I tested, I couldn’t perform how I wanted.

But I feel better now and I hope 2020 will be wonderful. I had the opportunity to learn a lot in 2019, so I just wish I could keep evolving. The good part is that the format hasn’t changed (it’s still UPR–CEC for me), so it was straightforward to resume my tournament preparation and get back into competitive gaming.

Today’s subject is São Paulo Regionals, which is next weekend and which will be the largest Regional of the season in Brazil. I’ve decided to list the five decks I like most today; they are all very good, capable of winning, and I could easily choose to play any of them.

My Top 5 for São Paulo

  1. Malamar/Giratina/GXs
  2. GardEon
  3. PikaRom
  4. RoxieChomp
  5. Mewtwo Box

Interestingly, four of the five decks that I like most for São Paulo are focused on TAG TEAMs. (And even Malamar/Giratina plays TAG TEAMs!) These decks just need a few cards in their opening hands to start developing their strategy, which makes them consistent and avoid silly losses due to bad starting hands or early pressure from the opponent. Also, I believe these decks are versatile and can adapt to many different game situations.

Malamar/Giratina/GXs

Pokémon (18)

4 Inkay FLI

4 Malamar FLI

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Giratina LOT

1 Blacephalon CEC

1 Mew UNB

1 Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX

1 Garchomp & Giratina-GX

Trainer (32)

4 Cynthia

4 Lillie

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

 

4 Mysterious Treasure

3 Acro Bike

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Great Catcher

2 Switch

1 Reset Stamp

3 Spell Tag

2 Escape Board

 

3 Viridian Forest

Energy (8)

6 P

2 F

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 18

* 4 Inkay FLI 50
* 4 Malamar FLI 51
* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Giratina LOT 97
* 1 Blacephalon CEC 104
* 1 Mew UNB 76
* 1 Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX PR-SM 217
* 1 Garchomp & Giratina-GX UNM 146

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 4 Lillie UPR 125
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 3 Acro Bike CEC 123
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Switch CES 147
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 3 Spell Tag LOT 190
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 3 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 8

* 6 P Energy Energy 5
* 2 F Energy Energy 6

Total Cards - 58

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79093 ******

My favorite Malamar/Giratina variant at the moment is a version similar to the one used by Team DDG at San Diego Regionals. I believe the deck has gained a lot with the additions of Garchomp & Giratina-GX and Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX, which bring different attacks that may surprise opponents who are used to the normal Giratina Looping and a constant 130 damage, which can be easily controlled by Mallow & Lana. Each of these TAG TEAMs serves a different role to deal with different strategies used to beat Giratina Looping.

Garchomp & Giratina-GX gives the deck the chance to 1HKO TAG TEAMs. This is needed mainly because of Mallow & Lana’s popularity in the format, which is practically a counter to Giratina LOT because it can heal almost all of the damage dealt by it.

Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX brings two more interesting attacks. Night Watch is much better than it sounds, as it has the ability to shuffle away important cards from your opponent’s hand. This attack along with Reset Stamp can leave the opponent with no cards in hand. Pale Moon-GX is normally used when your opponent has a TAG TEAM Active with a lot of Energies attached. This attack is also more effective with the Reset Stamp.

Spicy Techs

Sableye LOT

I’ve always liked this Sableye because its Quick Hunt attack can be used even if you go first and it is able to fetch any card from your deck. Cursed Drop spreads 3 damage counters, which is good on T1 and useful against Malamar/Giratina, Pidgeotto Control, and to set up TinaChomp.

On top of that, Sableye can be found with Mysterious Treasure, which further enhances the deck’s consistency, especially when opening with a bad hand that doesn’t have or can’t search out Jirachi. Being a good starter, I would even consider playing just 3 Jirachi with 1 Sableye.

Morty

This is another strong but forgotten card for Malamar decks. It’s not easy to find a quiet turn to use Morty, but this Supporter along with Reset Stamp + Night Watch can really disrupt your opponent’s hand. Against matchups like ADP, it is critical to leave your opponent with few cards in hand so that they cannot repeatedly use Mallow & Lana.

GardEon

Pokémon (6)

4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

1 Xerneas-GX

Trainer (43)

4 Green’s Exploration

3 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Guzma & Hala

2 Mallow & Lana

1 Faba

1 Lusamine

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Pokégear 3.0

4 Tag Call

3 Reset Stamp

3 Switch

2 Tag Switch

1 Cherish Ball

1 Energy Spinner

1 Great Catcher

1 Choice Helmet

1 Fairy Charm Ability

1 Fairy Charm P

 

2 Power Plant

1 Chaotic Swell

1 Wondrous Labyrinth p

Energy (11)

9 Y

1 Unit FDY

1 Weakness Guard

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 6

* 4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX UNB 130
* 1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX CEC 165
* 1 Xerneas-GX FLI 90

##Trainer Cards - 43

* 4 Green’s Exploration UNB 175
* 3 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 2 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 1 Lusamine CIN 96
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 4 Tag Call CEC 206
* 1 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 3 Switch CES 147
* 2 Tag Switch UNM 209
* 1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 1 Fairy Charm Ability UNB 171
* 1 Fairy Charm P LOT 175
* 1 Choice Helmet LOT 169
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 3 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Power Plant UNB 183
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
* 1 Wondrous Labyrinth p TEU 158

##Energy - 11

* 9 Y Energy Energy 9
* 1 Unit FDY FLI 118
* 1 Weakness Guard Energy UNM 213

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79093 ******

GardEon is a deck that relies heavily on the metagame. If you can catch its good matchups, there is a high chance of winning, but if you catch a bad matchup like Fire Box, or some matchup in which you do not have the proper Fairy Charm, there is a high chance of defeat. In the current metagame I see GardEon as being well positioned, having type advantage vs. TinaChomp and ADP, and an even match against Mewtwo Box.

Spicy Techs

Fairy Charms: L, N, UB

Fairy Charms are the best techs possible when thinking about the Fairy type, but I’ve also noticed that players forget about them. PikaRom is returning to the metagame, so Fairy Charm L may again be an option. Although Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX is Fairy type, and hits Dragons for ×2 damage, I see some sense in playing Fairy Charm N because I think RoxieChomp is a much harder match than it appears. Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX and GuzzNag are somewhat popular decks that can be countered by both Fairy Charm N and Fairy Charm UB, but the difference is that GardEon has a chance to beat Blacephalon-GX with Fairy Charm UB.

Anyway, everything is a bet. You may not face any of these matchups, and so the Fairy Charm will be useless, but the reverse may happen as well.

Togepi & Cleffa & Igglybuff-GX + Mina

The idea of ​​these two cards together is to give yourself a good chance to attack on your first turn with Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX. If you go first and use Mina on one of your first two turns, then you will be able to attack with Kaleidostorm without having to use Fairy Song.

But if the opponent goes first, there’s no way you can use Kaleidostorm before they attack, unless you use Togepi & Cleffa & Igglybuff’s Supreme Puff-GX attack to take another turn and attack before your opponent.

The advantage of attacking a turn early is interesting against decks that need a little more elaborate setup, like Malamar/Giratina and Pidgeotto Control (although that matchup is still bad), but I also see this feature being generally good, even in a mirror match.

PikaRom

Pokémon (13)

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Zapdos TEU

1 Eelektross UNM

1 Tapu Koko p

3 Dedenne-GX

Trainer (36)

4 Volkner

3 Cynthia

1 Guzma & Hala

1 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Electromagnetic Radar

4 Electropower

3 Switch

2 Energy Switch

2 Great Catcher

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Reset Stamp

2 Tag Call

2 Escape Board

1 Choice Helmet

 

2 Lysandre Labs

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (11)

10 L

1 Unit LPM

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 13

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54
* 1 Zapdos TEU 40
* 1 Eelektross UNM 66
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57

##Trainer Cards - 36

* 4 Volkner UPR 135
* 3 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 4 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Tag Call CEC 206
* 3 Switch CES 147
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Energy Switch CES 129
* 1 Choice Helmet LOT 169
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Lysandre Labs FLI 111
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 11

* 10 L Energy Energy 4
* 1 Unit Energy LPM UPR 138

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79093 ******

I’m really enjoying this list because I have balanced matches against metagame, I still have a pretty consistent deck, and I can even Full Blitz on turn 1 in some games. The advantage of PikaRom, oddly enough, is that it is no longer such a scary deck, so players have stopped worrying about PikaRom a bit. The scariest decks are currently Mewtwo Box and RoxieChomp, which have taken players’ attention with them.

The main change to PikaRom here is the inclusions of Guzma & Hala and Mallow & Lana, which add more consistency and strength to the deck, along with 2 Tag Call. My goal was to keep the classic build of PikaRom, which was always the strong point of the deck (in my opinion), but include new cards. The result was very good and I feel that PikaRom has evolved further.

It should be mentioned that we also now have in the format a version of PikaRom very focused on the Tag Call engine, with a lot of Tag Call, Cynthia & Caitlin, and Guzma & Hala. This version usually does not play Dedenne-GX, Zeraora-GX, or Electromagnetic Radar, resulting in a slower but much “cleaner” setup with no Dedenne-GX vulnerable on the field and without so many discards. I particularly dislike this version of PikaRom because it practically eliminates the chance to do Full Blitz on T1. It also decreases the chance of making strong plays at the end of the game, such as chasing for Great Catcher + Reset Stamp or even playing 3 Electropower at once.

Making the dream Full Blitz T1 is not the goal of my deck, as this play depends on a combination of cards that is almost impossible to consistently draw while balancing the rest of the deck. But keep in mind that Full Blitz T1 is a move that happens more often than it sounds, and every time I can do Full Blitz T1, the game shifts in my favor, even if my opponent made a strong opening turn.

Spicy Techs

Phione CEC

One of the biggest losses for PikaRom was having to remove Custom Catcher to get deck space. Custom Catcher takes up 4 spots and it is not so easy to put 2 Custom Catcher together, even with 4 Volkner. Great Catcher can mostly fulfill the role of Custom Catcher with much more consistency and less space needed.

Phione can also help overcome the lack of Custom Catchers with just 1 spot. It is searchable with Pokémon Communication, and its Ability can be used multiple times. If you choose Phione, I recommend playing a 3rd Pokémon Communication by removing Dedenne-GX, Cynthia, or Choice Helmet.

Cyrus p

Cyrus p has always been an interesting card in theory but not very good in practice; however, I think it’s worth including if you want to have a chance to win bad matchups like Pidgeotto Control and Florges Dolls. Along with Phione, Cyrus p can bring even better and more unusual effects. Blacephalon/Pidgeotto and Malamar/Giratina can also be harmed by Cyrus p.

RoxieChomp

Pokémon (16)

3 Garchomp & Giratina-GX

4 Misdreavus UNB

3 Mismagius UNB

4 Weezing CEC

1 Blacephalon CEC

1 Mimikyu CEC 97

Trainer (34)

4 Green’s Exploration

4 Roxie

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Faba

1 Guzma & Hala

1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

1 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Mysterious Treasure

3 Tag Call

2 Great Catcher

2 Lure Ball

2 Reset Stamp

1 Energy Spinner

1 Switch

1 Counter Gain

1 Dusk Stone

1 Karate Belt

 

2 Power Plant

Energy (10)

4 P

3 Rainbow

2 F

1 Weakness Guard

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 3 Garchomp & Giratina-GX UNM 146
* 4 Misdreavus UNB 77
* 3 Mismagius UNB 78
* 4 Weezing CEC 77
* 1 Blacephalon CEC 104
* 1 Mimikyu CEC 97

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Green’s Exploration UNB 175
* 4 Roxie CEC 205
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy UNB 178
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 2 Lure Ball CES 138
* 1 Dusk Stone UNB 167
* 1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 1 Switch HS 102
* 1 Karate Belt UNM 201
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Power Plant UNB 183

##Energy - 10

* 4 P Energy XYEnergy 136
* 2 F Energy SMEnergy 6
* 3 Rainbow Energy SUM 137
* 1 Weakness Guard Energy UNM 213

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79093 ******

TinaChomp’s popularity has grown rapidly due its success at San Diego Regionals and the amount of players and content creators talking about the deck, with articles and videos all over the internet about it. In addition, the deck continues to have good results and a new version of the deck emerged at Kuala Lumpur Regionals. This new version introduced the Roxie + Weezing CEC combo, enabling the deck to draw cards and deal damage to the opponent’s field at the same time. This is exactly what was missing for TinaChomp to become one of the strongest and most complete decks of UPR–CEC, capable of 1HKOing a TAG TEAM Pokémon on turn 2, as well as hitting the opponent’s Bench with just 1 Energy.

Roxie has also proved to be an amazing Supporter as it allows you to draw up to 6 cards while dealing damage to your opponent. Adding cards to your hand means you’ll have more cards to choose from when discarding with Guzma & Hala, Mysterious Treasure, and Mallow & Lana. The previous version of the deck was sometimes forced into tough discards due to a lack of cards in hand.

But all is not wonders for RoxieChomp. To add 4 Roxie, 4 Weezing, and 2 Lure Ball it had to remove some consistency. The deck is still consistent, but it may happen to open with Mimikyu CEC 97 and not be able to use Green’s Exploration, or open with Roxie but no Pokémon in hand to draw cards.

Spicy Techs

Tag Switch + Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX or Gengar & Mimikyu-GX

In the previous version, I was testing Tag Switch and I was really enjoying being able to quickly power up Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX. I believe the same can be done if you opt for a different tech. Xander Pero used Gengar & Mimikyu-GX at Bochum 🇩🇪, but with Tag Switch we can even think about playing Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX.

Martial Arts Dojo

This is a tech seen in the first TinaChomp list created by Marc Lutz. Martial Arts Dojo has the ability to close many games, especially with the extra damage from Weezing CEC. Remember that if you are losing the game, Martial Arts Dojo increases your attack damage by 40. But don’t forget: the Stadium only activates with basic F Energies attached.

Mewtwo Box

Pokémon (18)

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

1 Latios-GX UNM

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

1 Charizard & Braixen-GX

1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX

1 Naganadel-GX UNM

1 Solgaleo-GX SM104

1 Charizard-GX HIF

1 Greninja-GX SM197

1 Marshadow UNB

2 Dedenne-GX

Trainer (29)

4 Welder

2 Mallow & Lana

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Guzma & Hala

 

4 Cherish Ball

3 Tag Call

2 Great Catcher

2 Mysterious Treasure

2 Reset Stamp

2 Switch

2 Escape Board

1 Stealthy Hood

 

3 Giant Hearth

Energy (13)

8 R

2 P

1 Rainbow

1 W

1 Weakness Guard

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 18

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 3 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 1 Latios-GX UNM 78
* 1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX CEC 165
* 1 Charizard & Braixen-GX CEC 22
* 1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX UNM 72
* 1 Naganadel-GX UNM 160
* 1 Solgaleo-GX PR-SM 104
* 1 Charizard-GX HIF 9
* 1 Greninja-GX PR-SM 197
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57

##Trainer Cards - 29

* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 2 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 2 Switch CES 147
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 1 Stealthy Hood UNB 186
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197

##Energy - 13

* 8 R Energy Energy 2
* 2 P Energy Energy 5
* 1 W Energy Energy 3
* 1 Rainbow Energy CES 151
* 1 Weakness Guard Energy UNM 213

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79093 ******

This version of Mewtwo Box is very similar to the list Brent Tonisson used at Kuala Lumpur. In my view, this list is very well constructed and suitable for the current metagame. Curiously, I was never a fan of Stealthy Hood and chose not to use it in my Mewtwo Box that I used at LAIC 2019, but now Stealthy Hood has started to gain relevance. Stealthy Hood will prevent Weezing CEC’s Blow-Away Bomb damage, Mimikyu CEC 97’s Shadow Box, and Ninetales TEU’s Nine Temptations.

Mewtwo Box is a tech deck, so I have nothing very interesting that I would like to add to the list. As I see it, all you need is there.

Final Thoughts

After Daytona Beach, I decided to take a break from Mewtwo Box, but I always find the deck to be one of the best in the Standard format. The deck is not the most consistent and is always expected at every tournament, which makes life hard for Mewtwo Box, so I want to avoid using the deck for São Paulo Regionals. But it’s still probably my first choice.

If I’m not using Mewtwo Box, I have two more decks that I’m enjoying playing, which are PikaRom and RoxieChomp. Both decks are capable of playing against any matchup. I like RoxieChomp a little better because I feel that although it is a well-known deck, it is not a deck that players often train so hard against. PikaRom is very well known and popular.

I am comfortable choosing one of these three decks because I trust their strength and consistency. In the end, I will choose the deck that feels best at the moment and that’s it. I see none of these choices as right or wrong. I think it’s because we’re getting to the end of the format—stabilized metagame, known decks, etc.—so we have a better sense of what works and what doesn’t.

About the Baby Blowns final that took place at Bochum: I believe the metagame was very suitable for Baby Blowns and Malamar/Giratina was not that present. In Brazil, Malamar/Giratina is very popular and Baby Blowns doing well just further encourages the Malamar lovers here to continue using the deck. Another important point to remember is Tapu Fini UNM. If you are not confident against Baby Blowns or Big Blowns, Tapu Fini goes well in decks that use Pokémon Communication, such as ADP, PikaRom, and Fire Box.

For today is only personal, I hope you enjoyed and see you next time!


…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you 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

1 reply

  1. Cafe_do_bom

    Nice one, I’m happy to see Pikarom there on your list! May I have some guidelines on how does it go against malamar?
    I was so used to run Hoopa against it that I can’t think of anything else.
    Thanks!

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in. Legacy discussion: 0