Hey guys!

At the time of writing, North American Internationals has finished day one and is soon to start day two. I’ve been keeping myself up to date through the stream (pokemon.com/live is the easiest link to remember it by) and Facebook, but I thought I’d give everyone else at home a quick recap of what’s been visibly doing well. I don’t have a complete impression of the field since I’m not there and Pokémon’s official coverage is only listing deck types instead of showing decklists. This is fair for the players using those decks since it makes their exact counts harder to ascertain for their fellow competitors, but it does make it harder to recreate their builds and try them out.

Here’s a couple of players decks that were shown on stream that I thought were worth noting.


Philip Schulz with Drampa/Garbodor


This deck archetype isn’t any kind of a surprise and there’s obviously many talented players choosing to run this deck even though everyone is expecting it. Although Espeon GX has seen a rise in play as a star alongside Garbodor, the Drampa variant still holds traction. Choosing an established deck type and making his own creative spin is just what Philip has been doing all season. It’s worked for him this time, as he’s made his way into Day 2 at third seed.

Philip usually played a Town Map in his Yveltal and Darkrai lists in the past, and it’s found its way into his decklist once again. He also runs Rainbow Energy instead of Team Magma’s Hidden Base to activate Berserk, and this also allows him to power up the Zygarde EX tech that can help him to get a cheeky OHKO on opposing Drampa and other Fighting-weak Pokémon. With a Choice Band, Zygarde’s Cell Storm does 60 + 30 damage, enough for the magic 180 after weakness. He also chose to play 2 Garbotoxin Garbodor instead of the usual one, giving him a bigger edge against ability-based decks at the cost of having 1 less Trashalanche Garbodor to attack with. This is probably a good call in a metagame where people are trying to conserve their Item use, as the Garbodor would only come in handy late in the game. So far it seems to be working, as he’s made his way into Day 2 at third seed.


Guy Benett and Jesper Eriksen with Passimian variants


Just like Philip with Zygarde, these two players were hoping to take advantage of the many Fighting weak Pokémon in format with Passimian. They ended up facing each other in the final round of Swiss when they needed a win instead of the tie that came to them though. While Jesper was playing a pretty regular version of Passimian with just Mew as the other attacker, and Octillery for Tapu Lele as draw support, Guy went off the beaten path by simply using the 4 Passimian as a tech addition to what was basically an Espeon GX/Garbodor deck, complete with a Garbotoxin Garbodor.


Ahmed Ali with Zoroark/Lycanroc GX


Ahmed showed up with an interesting mix of two decks we have covered already: he merged the Zoroark BREAK deck that was predicted by many as the most popular deck for this metagame with the less popular but still dangerous Lycanroc GX/Raichu deck that Alex covered in this week’s premium article. This is another case of trying to put Fighting coverage into an existing archetype. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like he made it into Day 2, even after the hard fight he put up against…


Israel Sosa with Waterbox


Israel Sosa is most known for having five Regional Championships to his name and for playing Dark decks, especially with Dark Patch. His success with that is a likely reason he picked Waterbox with Max Elixir and Aqua Patch (presumably 4 of each) for arguably the most important tournament of the season. He floods the board with energy quicker than most decks can keep up with, and if there isn’t a Trashalanche Garbodor to punish him he has a good time. His attacker of choice is Lapras GX, aided by the free retreat of Manaphy EX and the occasional use of Glaceon EX to block the many evolved Pokémon from hurting him. It didn’t get him to day 2, but he sure made the deck look dangerous by getting 3 energy on turn 1 in two of his games on stream.


Joe Bernard with Xerneas BREAK


Few players in the playerbase expected the Pulverizing Pancakes deck with Xerneas and Snorlax GX to show up when it did, and even once it was out there even less of them expected any kind of variant to return for the International Championships. But Joe made a leap of faith and piloted Xerneas BREAK, this time with no Snorlax GX but with the Regirock. It seems like yet another one of those decks that is able to bring the pain to Trashalanche decks, as it’s very capable of setting up a ton of energy through Geomancy without relying on Item cards. Whether it can keep up with some of the other big players remains to be seen though as Joe will not return for day 2, but he’s got me excited about the prospect of playing this for a couple of rounds on PTCGO.

You can find the Top 32 of both flights below. Pokémon has (thankfully) announced that during the Anaheim Open at Worlds, there will be no bubble for the Day 2. But unfortunately the bubble is still there for this International Championship.

More standings and pairings of all divisions can be found here.


Orange Flight Top 32 Standings (courtesy of pictures posted on Facebook)


Ryan Sabelhaus (8-0-1)

Sam Chen (8-1-0)

Alex Krekeler (7-0-2)

Samuel Hough (7-1-1)

Attar Ricco (7-1-1)

Andrew Mahone (7-1-1)

Caleb Gedemer (6-0-3)

Ciaran Farah (6-0-3)

Michael Natto (6-0-3)

Daniel “Phinnegan” Lynch (6-0-3)

Tord Reklev (6-0-3)

Treynor Wolfe (7-2-0)

Michael Catron (7-2-0)

Zack Taylor (7-2-0)

Philipp Leciejewski (6-0-3)

Jay Young (7-2-0)

Tony Jimenez (7-2-0)

Jackie Moc (7-2-0)

Stéphane Ivanoff (7-2-0)

Benjamin Behrens (7-2-0)

Xander Pero (6-1-2)

Nick Robinson (6-1-2)

Carson Goins (6-1-2)

Ethan Hamer (6-1-2)

Brent Tonisson (6-1-2)

Mitchell Anderson (6-1-2)

Daniel Altavilla (6-1-2)

James Horvath (6-1-2)

William McReynolds (6-1-2)

Louis Chi (6-1-2)

Michael Del Rosario (6-1-2)

Cédric Gouin (6-1-2)


Blue Flight Top 32 Standings


John Kettler (8-0-1)

Gustavo Wada (8-1-0)

Philip Schulz (8-1-0)

Tyler Turner (7-1-1)

John Roberts II (7-1-1)

Reno Bernardo (7-1-1)

Colter Decker (6-0-3)

Grafton Roll (7-2-0)

Kian Amini (6-0-3)

Main Ahmed (7-2-0)

Mees Brenninkmeijer (6-0-3)

Iogan Fleming (7-2-0)

John Turner (7-2-0)

Patrick Brodesser (7-2-0)

Tristan Macek (6-0-3)

Richard Navarro (7-2-0)

Elijah Covitz (7-2-0)

Panajot Kica (7-2-0)

Chris Abernathy (7-2-0)

Jimmy McClure (7-2-0)

Martin Roman (6-1-2)

Jimmy Pendarvis (6-1-2)

Michael Canaves (6-1-2)

Chris Derocher (6-1-2)

Igor Costa (6-1-2)

David Cooper (6-1-2)

Jeremy Gibson (6-1-2)

Robert Price (6-1-2)

Simon Narode (6-1-2)

Kylie Chua (6-1-2)

Hunter Harless (6-1-2)

Kolton Day (6-1-2)