Hello again readers, I’m back with you after a pretty good finish in Dallas this past weekend with a deck that was sent to me the day before the event. Today, I’m going to be going over the deck I played (Regirock), what led me to play it, how I think it can be adapted with Sword & Shield for Collinsville , and then finish up with a full set review of Sword & Shield.
- The Play for Dallas: Regirock
- Brief Dallas Report
- Adapting Regirock for BLW–SSH
- Sword & Shield Set Review
- Final Thoughts
The Play for Dallas: Regirock
Michael Catron sent me a list that he had just thought of on Thursday morning, and after talking about it some, I was very intrigued by it and decided that I would put all the time I had before Dallas into testing the deck and optimizing the list. I only made a few changes to the list he sent me because I was unable to even begin testing the deck until Friday at around noon, but the changes I did make likely made the difference between a very good finish and an alright one.
In my testing, we were consistently beating Dark, Mewtwo, and GardEon, which were the decks I was most worried about beating at that point. I didn’t even bother testing the Ultra Necrozma or ZoroGarb matchups, because they both seemed free because you can use Faba four times and usually win the game. I only got to play against 1 Ultra Necrozma and 0 ZoroGarb, but that theory held up in that match.
So, armed with a deck that could beat all of the decks I was worried about, I locked in my choice and helped my friend test something that didn’t involve playing Tropical Beach. Had I done more testing, I’m sure that I could have optimized the list so much more, which may have made the difference between Top 8 and Top 4 for me.
For the record, the leading reasons for me picking this deck were that it (1) plays Tropical Beach and (2) resembles Primal Groudon.
Brief Dallas Report
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 8
##Trainer Cards - 43
* 4 Green’s Exploration UNB 175
* 1 N FCO 105
* 1 Colress PLS 118
* 1 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Team Rocket’s Handiwork FCO 112
* 1 Pokémon Center Lady HIF 64
* 1 Lysandre AOR 78
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 4 Last Chance Potion CES 135
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 3 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 2 Energy Loto GRI 122
* 1 Switch CES 147
* 1 Escape Rope BUS 114
* 1 Potion SUM 127
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Special Charge STS 105
* 1 Robo Substitute PHF 102
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 4 Focus Sash FFI 91
* 3 Tropical Beach PR-BLW 28
* 2 Power Plant UNB 183
##Energy - 9
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79159 ******
There are a few interesting things about this list, but my favorite inclusion was definitely Potion. That card single-handedly won me so many games this weekend. With more testing, this list could have been made much better, but at this point, that is irrelevant because BLW–CEC is dead and gone already.
Here’s how my tournament went. Basically every loss can be attributed to me draw–passing with a lone Pokémon, or hitting a matchup that I physically cannot win.
R1: GardEon … W (1-0-0)
R2: Shock Lock … WW (2-0-0)
R3: ReshiZard … LWL (Double Brick) (2-1-0)
R4: Archie’s … W (3-1-0)
R5: Mewtwo … WW (4-1-0)
R6: ReshiRom … WW (5-1-0)
R7: Turbo Dark … LWW (6-1-0)
R8: Turbo Dark … WW (7-1-0)
R9: Turbo Dark … WW (8-1-0)
R10: DQ … W (9-1-0)
R11: Mewtwo … WLT (9-1-1)
R12: EggLet … LL (9-2-1)
R13: UltraGarb … WLW (10-2-1)
R14: ZoroGarb … ID (10-2-2)
T8: GardEon w/ 3 Silent Lab … LL (10-3-2)
My Day 1 was noticeably better than my Day 2 was, but fortunately for me, I only needed to have a mediocre showing in Day 2 to make Top 8. Unfortunately for me, I hit an auto-loss in Top 8.
To give you better perspective on this deck, I’m going to compare it to EggLet: It beats what it is supposed to, and loses to what it doesn’t beat.
Adapting Regirock for BLW–SSH
I’m not going to be giving an actual list for this, because I have done zero testing with the new set yet, and I feel like giving out a list that I haven’t been able to test whatsoever is a bad practice. Instead, I’ll go over my ideas, give reasons why they might be good, and then talk about what matchups get better or worse with the Sword & Shield release.
Quick Ball over Nest BallIdea #1:
You can play this card only if you discard another card from your hand.
Search your deck for a Basic Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
BulbapediaThere were multiple times during the event where I wished I could discard cards from my hand to find Regirock. Sometimes, I used Computer Search solely for that purpose. Ultra Ball is too costly, and Nest Ball doesn’t discard anything. With the introduction of Quick Ball to the game, there’s a happy medium between the two choices that I believe is going to optimal for the deck. I would likely make it a 2-2 split, finding a cut for another Ball card because finding a 2nd Basic Pokémon when going first is about to be much more important.
Idea #2: More Healing
This isn’t necessarily related to Sword & Shield, but one problem I ran into during the event was that once I used my single Potion, I was extremely vulnerable to Sky Return or Night Spear. Pokémon Center Lady theoretically helps with this issue, but is often too difficult to find and play on the same turn. Some cards I have considered are:
While this card would have the same issue as PCL, you have the added bonus of playing another switching card that can be reused over and over again. I certainly wish I had played this in Dallas, because it makes the GardEon matchup (without 3 Silent Lab) much easier to maneuver.
Sometimes healing 30 damage isn’t enough, and you have the Energy to spare. Super Potion is a good card, but probably lowest on my list of healing cards to play.
I said earlier that Potion won me multiple games. This is still true. There were multiple times during the event that I wanted more copies, because some of the games I won were because I was ridiculously lucky and drew into PCL off of N multiple turns in a row against Dark. Playing more Potion would allow me to draw into Green’s Exploration instead to recover, which is whole lot more likely.
The main reason I played Computer Search was to have a way to discard cards whenever I wanted. With Quick Ball around, that’s much less relevant. Gold Potion is a great healing card in this deck, but might ultimately be worse than many other ACE SPECs.
Idea #3 Counter Attackers
This requires a nearly complete rework of the deck, but that might be worth it in the long run. Having access to a way to 1HKO GardEon (e.g., Cobalion STS) makes the stall aspect of the matchup much less relevant. However, this strategy strays from what the deck was intended to do and it basically becomes an entirely new deck.
First, I’ll list off the previous favorable and unfavorable matchups that the deck had, and then I’ll go over which ones become more relevant or change.
Previously Favorable Matchups
- Mewtwo Box
- Turbo Dark
- GardEon (w/o 3+ Silent Lab)
- TinaChomp (Hunter’s List)
- ZoroGarb (?)
- ReshiZard/Fire Stuff
- Shock Lock
- Ultra Necrozma
Previously Unfavorable Matchups
With the new Supporter rule coming into effect with Sword & Shield being released, Item lock decks are going to see a massive rise in play because of how oppressive they are when you go second and establish Item lock before your opponent even gets to play a Supporter card down. This means that EggLet will likely become a lot more popular, as will decks that play Seismitoad-EX.
I think that Turbo Dark will likely remain one of the titans of the format, but will be seen as less oppressive than it was going into Dallas. On the flip side of that, when Dark goes second and attacks for 210+ damage and you haven’t even played a Supporter, I’m sure that it will seem plenty oppressive at the time.
GardEon is going to see another rise in play because of how well the deck already functions when going second. GardEon is already a decent deck apparently, and can deal with EggLet relatively well. I am perfectly okay with GardEon getting bigger, because I always seem to choose decks that can beat it well.
Cards That Get Better
Oh, so you won the coin flip and went second? Your opponent drew and passed without a 2nd Basic? Horror House-GX literally ends the game right there. Whismur is similar, but slightly less oppressive in exchange for been splashable in any deck.
Now you get to evolve to a Stage 2 on your first turn and your opponent likely didn’t do much? Sounds pretty good. I would not be surprised to see EggLet get banned in Expanded at some point because of this.
Turn 1 Quaking Punch just got even better. Item lock is likely going to be incredibly oppressive in Expanded, which is something I am definitely not looking forward to.
Sword & Shield Set Review
It’s decent at best. Unfortunately, it is a Stage 2, and thus difficult to chain attackers very well. However, if it ever becomes more viable for a Stage 2 attacker to see play, this card is something to watch out for.
This card will be good at some point in its lifespan. With what is currently in the game, it might be a bit too difficult to make good enough for play. It has obvious synergy with Frosmoth, but I don’t think that it’s enough to be top tier. On top of that, Weakness to Lightning is quite unfortunate, because PikaRom is going to be very strong.
This card is pretty darn good. I fully expect it to make waves in the first few events, but I think that it will fade into the background once the format settles a bit. However, it is entirely possible, and likely, that a better Water-type attacker that can easily abuse Frosmoth gets printed at some point.
Inteleon SSH 58 · ⇢ + Drizzile SSH 56 · ⇢
So, we need to play a Stage 2 to add consistency to decks? Seems less than ideal. This is another card that will linger in the background for a while, and at some point in the future will likely have synergy with a new card.
Seaking SSH · ⇢
Did someone say control? Seriously, who in their right mind thought that this card was a good idea? It has the potential to reset 3 turns worth of Energy attachments with a single attack. This is going to be good and will almost certainly see play in OCIC , but maybe not in Collinsville.
This is easily the best “Strafe” effect that has been printed outside of a GX attack. This card will almost certainly lead to some form of attacking Doll Stall, and is something to watch out for in the coming weeks.
This card could single-handedly spell the end for Shock Lock in Expanded. Not only is it immune to Alolan Muk SUM, it doesn’t even require an Energy to turn off Special Conditions.
Indeedee V · ⇢
Healing is always good. Where will it see play? I don’t know, but I know that it has seen play in Japan. I’m making sure I have my play set of these for OCIC.
Wobbuffet V · ⇢
It is such a good thing that Mewtwo & Mew-GX cannot copy Pokémon V. This card would make Mewtwo Box almost unbeatable. As it is, it’s an alright card that will likely be played at some point.
So we gave Poltergeist for 50× to a non-GX/EX/Pokémon V. Nice. This might be playable, and with my history with MimiGar, I want to try it.
Yay. Buzzwole 2.0 with more HP. And I mean a lot more. This is one of the cards I think has the most promise to be a competitive deck in Standard, and will be something I test heavily for OCIC.
Crobat PHF has been resurrected, and this time, the Basic has an Ability too. On top of that, the attack is pretty cool too. Blocking all Basic Pokémon’s damage is an effect that will always be good in some way.
The obvious synergy with Galarian Obstagoon makes me want to play this card so much. Unfortunately, there’s no great way to accelerate Dark Energy in Standard. On the bright side, Counter Energy and Dark Patch exist in Expanded, so that might be good.
I only misspelt this one 5 different times before I had to look it up. The Ability is pretty good, and allows Zacian V to 1HKO most of the relevant TAG TEAMs when stacked a few times. This will become a staple in Zacian V decks.
Speaking of Zacian V, this card is easily the best Pokémon in the set. That Ability is absolutely broken in so many different ways. Remember Tropical Beach? Yeah, me too. We now have a really good budget option to place Beach in Expanded. On top of that, in both Standard and Expanded, this card is literally its own deck because of how good it is.
So M Rayquaza-EX wasn’t good enough for you in its time? Well here’s an even better card for you. In Expanded, this card is going to be the first thing a lot of people test, and for good reason. It does a lot of damage, and it has a lot of HP.
Yup. This card is as good as it seems. With Professor’s Research now in Standard, you can finally put that one card you didn’t want to discard back on top of your deck. There is also obvious synergy with Magcargo CES here, but that’s a bit much to set up. I’m sure that quite a few decks will be including a copy of this in their lists going forward.
It’s back. Trade has returned to us. Fortunately, the attack on Cinccino is not great, so that is less of an issue. However, this card will definitely become a staple in both formats because it provides an amazing draw Ability and boosts consistency of decks without including a Pokémon-GX.
Instead of going through all the good ones here and saying why I think they’re good, I’ll just list off the commodities we’ve gained with this set.
- Pokémon search
- Discard & draw 7
- Solid recovery
- A better Judge
- Metal Energy acceleration
- Damage booster
- Reset Stamp protection
Yup. That seems pretty good to me.
I’m sorry that this one wasn’t list-heavy, but I haven’t been able to put much time into the new stuff because of school and my catching of the PokéFlu in Dallas. I didn’t want to provide completely untested lists, so this form of article felt like the right answer for today. This format looks really interesting, and I’m curious to see how the rule changes play out.
I’ll be back with another two articles before OCIC and Collinsville, in which I plan to devote time to both Standard and Expanded. As always, good luck in whatever events you’re playing, and maybe you’ll see me around?
Until the next one.
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