Alex Fields

Gardevoir GX Burning Shadows Deck

“Hype Factor” – Is Gardevoir GX The Best Play For Anaheim?

With both Worlds and the Anaheim Open only a few days away, I thought it would be beneficial to devote an entire article to the most hyped deck to come from Burning Shadows, Gardevoir GX. I think that Anaheim is going to be filled with a lot of different decks, not just a sea of pink, and I don’t think Gardevoir GX is necessarily the best deck or the perfect play (although it may well be!). The format is too open and undefined, host to too many good decks with a diverse set of strengths and weaknesses...

“Burning Up” – The Best Plays for Anaheim with Burning Shadows

I think that the very first thing to do once a new set drops is assess all of the top decks from the recent past and see which of them remain relevant. Part of this assessment involves figuring out what new cards fit into these old decks, and part of it involves measuring new powerful cards versus the old decks – you ask whether a new hyped archetype, like Gardevoir GX for a current example, is going to be too much for Old Deck A or Old Deck B to handle.
Dusknoir Burning Shadows

“Rising From The Shadows” – A First Look At Burning Shadows

In this article, I take a first look at the new set, Burning Shadows, and identify the cards that I think have the most competitive potential. I am not going to bother trying to rank these cards (really a pointless exercise especially without any results to go by), so don’t read anything into the order that the cards appear. You can see English translations for each of these cards on Bulbapedia here.
Vileplume Decidueye

“Back to the Finals” – The Two Best Decks from the North American Intercontinental Championships!

In this article, I take a close look at the top 2 decks from the recently-concluded epic North American Intercontinental Championship (NAIC): Vileplume/Decidueye GX and Drampa GX/Garbodor. I actually had the pleasure of rooming with Kettler during the weekend of the event. That means I’ve got stories, right? Wild tales of late-night Pokemon mayhem? Gossip? Scandal? Well, no...

“Another Two Decks Coming Your Way” – Raichu/Lycanroc GX and Slow Volcanion!

In this article, I examine two more solid Standard options (it feels like these options are never-ending!), both of which use Guardians Rising cards in prominent roles to inject new relevancy into old archetypes: Raichu/Lycanroc GX and “Slow Volcanion”. Below is a list that Pablo Meza shared on his Tablemon YouTube channel which a friend of his used at Seattle Regionals.
Sun Moon

“Standard’s Rising Star” – Partnering Tapu Bulu GX with Vikavolt GX or Lurantis GX!

In this article I take a look at Tapu Bulu GX, a rising star in the Standard format, with two different partners: Vikavolt SM and Lurantis GX. This deck has a very linear strategy from which you will rarely deviate: get out as many Vikavolt as you can as quickly as you can and then use Strong Charge to allow a string of OHKOs with Tapu Bulu GX’s Nature’s Judgment.

“Number One in Japan” – Quad Sylveon GX and Revisiting Greninja!

In this article I take a look at perhaps the single most hyped deck to come from Guardians Rising, Quad Sylveon GX, as well as an old contender which seems to have been given new life: Greninja. A few weekends ago, there was a Regional Championship in Japan in the unique XY-on format (which Japan uses for all or most of its tournaments, from what I understand) which was taken down by reigning World Champion Shintaro Ito’s version of Quad Sylveon GX.

“Best of the Rest” – Guardians Rising Set Review!

In this article I take a look at the new Guardians Rising expansion and highlight the cards that I like the most, both for their immediate relevance and for future potential. I am not going to say anything about the cards Mark mentioned in his most recent article – Phantump, Trevenant, Tapu Lele GX, Garbodor, Field Blower and Sylveon GX – because, well, they have already been analyzed a bit!
Brock's Grit

The Importance of Techs, and the Importance of Truly Understanding a Deck

The Standard card pool is of course much smaller than the Expanded card pool, but there are still an impressive number of cards available in this format that fulfill specific niche roles, allowing almost any deck you could name to do something toward addressing a bad/close matchup. These cards, commonly referred to as techs, are often key at separating the winning players from all of the rest.

What happened between Illinois and Portland?

Well, it sure did not take long for Yveltal EX and his trusty companions Gallade, Archeops, Darkrai EX and the rest to reclaim the Expanded throne. The Top 32 field of the Portland Regional event in general reminded me more of last season than anything I have seen in a while – Dark and Groudon and Night March everywhere, with barely any newer cards in sight as deck centers, as if the participants of the event were told to ignore every set after Breakthrough.

“What Just Happened?” – Expanded Regionals in Illinois!

The Collinsville, Illinois Regional Championship featured a Top 8 with 8 different decks, several of which seemed to come out of nowhere: I’m thinking of Volcanion EX, Decidueye GX/Vileplume and Lurantis GX/Vileplume here. Even the eventual winner, M Rayquaza EX, was considered to be a part of the tier 2/fringe club by a lot of people. I feel a bit guilty, to be honest, that I was unable to see the power of these unique decks beforehand because if I had, I certainly would have written about them for you.

Yveltal EX/Maxie’s versus the Expanded Format

Time and again, Yveltal EX/Maxie’s rises to the top in Expanded. I see no reason for the clear best deck in the format to suddenly fade away, either. Sun and Moon doesn’t bring anything explicitly harmful to the archetype, yet it does give the deck a few new options (Oranguru and Tauros GX) as well as additional Pokemon to stifle (the various playable Evolutions in the set such as Lurantis GX and Solgaleo GX are hurt by Archeops; opposing Tauros GXes are hurt by Gallade).