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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
Mark has done a good job of talking about some of the ways in which Sun and Moon has shaken up Standard, so I decided to turn my eye to Expanded post-Sun and Moon. We do have this other format to consider, neglected as it may sometimes seem! I take a look here at two of my favorite new decks in Expanded, Lurantis GX/Ariados and the much-hyped Seismitoad EX/Decidueye GX
The first prereleases for Sun and Moon have just taken place which marks this as a great time to take a look at the most interesting cards in a transformative set that signals the start of a new era. As a heads up, I am not limiting the analysis to just 10 cards and there is no assigned “order of goodness”. Some of these cards are likely to have a competitive impact right away in one or both formats; others strike me as being future contenders; all are at least worth a look.
Dallas Regionals ended up feeling a lot like a throwback to the first Standard Regional of the new season, with many of the biggest decks from that event showing up and doing well at this one: M Mewtwo EX, M Gardevoir EX, Darkrai EX/Giratina EX (albeit now with a new friend in Salamence EX), Greninja, and Volcanion. Yveltal/Garbodor, on the other hand, was conspicuously absent from the Top 8 and barely had a presence in the Top 32. What happened?
In this article, I look at the two decks that stand out the most amongst the Top 8 of the recently-concluded San Jose Regional Championship: Alex Koch’s first-seed Sableye/Garbodor, and Sam Chen’s Top 4 Zygarde EX/Landorus EX/Carbink BREAK rogue. Below is Koch’s exact list, which he posted online in the HeyFonte Facebook group and which will soon be available on Pokemon.com
In this article, I take a look at some of the top 8 decks from the recent Philadelphia Regional Championship, which was an Expanded event. Jonathan Crespo won the event with a slightly unorthodox Trevenant build with Rescue Scarf, no backup attackers and no Bursting Balloon. I played against Crespo during round 13 and was able to see his deck in action first hand.