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Metagame Analysis

The Aftermath of Memphis

This article looks at the results of Memphis as we approach another weekend of Standard League Cups.

10/10/2018 by Metagame Analysis

A New Type of Article

This is a weird hello to start with, but I guess I should say, “hi”. This is part of a new ongoing series of articles for 60 Cards that will be going over the weekly changes in the metagame. While the authorship of this article will remain unknown, it is being written by a professional player who is remaining anonymous for now, meaning that you are in good hands.

The goal of this series is to showcase the strength of available content on 60 Cards as we enter a new era of professionalism and content creation. The best part, this series will be absolutely FREE which means that you will always have quality information available to you on a weekly basis. These articles will range in including deck lists, strategies, promo card releases, and other important information as it comes along. That being said, 60 Cards is hoping to win you over with our new strategic plan going forward so feel free to give feedback to help us improve.

Looking at the Decks From Memphis

Memphis was a tournament filled with fun times, tough competition, and a handful of assorted techs. There were players using Chimecho (CIN; 43) , Shaymin (SLG; 7) , Passimian (SUM; 73) , and Lunala Prism Star (UPR; 62)  to great success. While those techs may have appeared in small increments at Philadelphia Regionals, they were played on a much bigger scale in Memphis.

In this section do the article, each top deck will be given a grade such as, trending up, trending down, or out there. All of this information should be used by you to help pick a deck for this upcoming weekend of League Cups / League Challenges. Each deck in this section will be placed into a category and linked so that you can easily find specific information whenever you like. 

Trending Up

Malamar / Deoxys / Marshadow-GX 

Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Passimian / Tapu Koko

Trending Down

Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment

Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Zoroark-GX / Magcargo

Sylveon-GX

Out There

Vikavolt / Rayquaza-GX

Golisopod-GX / Magcargo

Quagsire / Lapras

Trending Up

These decks have seen recent success or they are in a prime position for the current metagame.

Malamar / Deoxys / Marshadow-GX

This deck originally appeared at Philadelphia Regionals where it was piloted by Rukan Shao to a 2nd place finish. The deck focuses on single Prize Card attackers for prize trading and GX Pokemon to deal with other GX Pokemon. It is a fluid deck because you can use Escape Board (UPR; 122)  to gain free Retreat on most of your Pokemon which allows you to use Malamar (FLI; 51) ’s Psychic Recharge to power up another attacker. There are a handful of techs that have seen play in this deck, but Deoxys (CLS; 69)  is the most common attacker in this deck. This deck recently saw a mirror match finals in Memphis with 60 Cards own Daniel Altavilla taking down Gustavo Wada. With Day 2 of Memphis being flooded with Malamar (FLI; 51) , this deck is going to be the most played deck at League Cups this weekend. 

Altavilla’s deck, an update to Shao’s original “GasKan” deck, did include a few techs in the mix to counter the metagame. Notably, Chimecho (CIN; 43)  is used as an answer to Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  decks because they often can only play down Zorua (SLG; 52) and Rockruff (FLI; 75)  after Chimecho (CIN; 43)  uses Bell of Silence. This creates a scenario where the Malamar (FLI; 51)  player can buy time to get their board state ready. Oricorio (GRI; 55)  is used as a way to grab Energy to discard with Ultra Ball (SLG; 68)  and Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113)  to assist in the deck getting ready. 

Wada took Shao’s shell of “GasKan” and included a Lunala Prism Star (UPR; 62)  to deal plenty of damage for a single Prize Card attacker. This card is helpful against Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  and opposing Malamar (FLI; 51) decks because it can get an easy Knock Out if you are able to power it up quickly. It can also be used in a pinch to power up your Pokemon if you are unable to get out enough Malamar (FLI; 51)  on your field.

Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX 

This deck has some solid showings at the previous Offenbach Regionals, but it really turned up the heat in Memphis. This deck took four out of the eight slots of Memphis amongst a field of Malamar (FLI; 51)  decks. The deck focuses on having a solid arsenal of attackers available between using Sledgehammer with Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  or using Jet Punch with Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) . After the deck has setup, it often goes all in with a Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  to deal with bigger threats or to stand up to an opposing board state for a few turns. There is also the period in a game where Sledgehammer is boosted and where Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  can allow for some bigger attacks to come into play. Some lists include Magcargo (CLS; 24)  to control their deck and there are some lists that use that extra space for more consistency cards. The debate of Magcargo (CLS; 24)  can be seen with the differences between Kyle Lesniewicz list and Michael Bergerac who both made Top 4 at Memphis.

Lesniewicz included Magcargo (CLS; 24)  in his deck to grab cards as needed any using Smooth Over in combination with Oranguru (SUM; 113) , Lillie (UPR; 125) , and Professor Kukui (SUM; 128) . He also included a copy of Lycanroc (FLI; 76)  to help swing the trade of single Prize Card attackers in this current format. While Lycanroc (FLI; 76)  might not stay in the finalized versions of this archetype, it was interesting to see the card come out and play at Memphis. 

Bergerac ran a more streamlined list than Lesniewicz and had the space to include two copies of Acerola (BUS; 112)  to help swing the prize trade. While I would personally like to see Magcargo (CLS; 24)  in this list, Bergerac did have a stellar performance that showcased that it isn’t always necessary. 

Passimian / Tapu Koko

This deck has popped up here and there since the release of Passimian (SUM; 73) , but it has never seen the amount of players play it like it did in Memphis. Who played it you might ask? Rahul? Yup. Pramawat? Uh, huh. Kica? Sure. Azul? Yes. Pendarvis? Of course! This deck was the talk of the weekend as some of the best players in the game all piloted it out of nowhere. It was played with Tapu Koko (BW; 31) , Tapu Lele (UPR; 94) , and Shrine of Punishments (CLS; 143) to add a spreading aspect to the deck. The goal of this deck is to hit hard with Passimian (SUM; 73)  or to spread damage everywhere for an alternate win condition. 

Kica got a bunch of the top players to play Passimian (SUM; 73) , the deck that his original crew had a decent run with in Philadelphia, to a decent showing in Memphis. While Kica was the one out of the group to get the highest placement with a Top 32 finish, it is undeniable that Passimian (SUM; 73)  will see play this weekend.

Trending Down

These decks previously saw success and are not performing to that same level of hype. The decks in this category are still powerful, but they aren’t going to see the same amount of hype heading into this weekend.

Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment

The deck that took Santa Catarina by storm, won Philadelphia, and dominated League Cups is seemingly taking a break in our current Standard format. This is due to the deck being discovered, countered by many players, and the exposure level of this deck is too much right now. Out of the 788 players in Memphis, only three players were able to make Day 2 with Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Shrine of Punishments (CLS; 143)  and that should be a sign that there are better decks to play right now. The goal of this deck is to apply pressure by using Sledgehammer, grabbing what you need with Magcargo (CLS; 24) , and attacking with Garbodor (GRI; 51)  when necessary. This deck hasn’t died, it just needs to lurk in the shadows as the metagame changes around it.

60 Cards very own Lesage was able to pilot this deck to a Top 32 finish with the inclusion of Shaymin (SLG; 7)  in his deck. Shaymin (SLG; 7)  is used as a solid Single Prize Card attacker to retaliate if one of your Pokemon were Knocked Out last turn with the aid of Counter Energy (CIN; 100) . While the Shaymin (SLG; 7)  seems like a great inclusion in the deck, it doesn’t seem to be enough to stop Malamar (FLI; 51)  from having a favourable matchup against Buzzwole (FLI; 77) .

Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  has been a threat since it was first released in Shining Legends and it has found a slew of powerful partners along the way, Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  being a popular choice. This version of the deck has been popular since Jimmy Pendarvis introduced the world to Great Ball (SLG; 60)  with his amazing 9th place finish in Philadelphia. The goal of this deck is to get a board of Zorua (SLG; 52)  setup and to play Judge (FLI; 108)  early in the game to disrupt your opponent. With the consistency of Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  because of Trade and the power of Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) , this deck has been a solid choice for a while. The thing that changes all of this is that Chimecho (CIN; 43)  can slow this deck to a halt which can be difficult to deal with. Perhaps creative versions of Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  will grow to include Deoxys (CLS; 69)  to combat Chimecho (CIN; 43) .

Mark Sparks' deck seems like a slight improvement over Pendarvis’ Philadelphia list, but there are a fews notable cards that have not been included in this deck. Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  is one of the few Pokemon that would have been able to creep past a Chimecho (CIN; 43)  and I am also a fan of Magcargo (CLS; 24)  in this deck because of the synergy with Trade. It might not matter at all because this deck will seemingly struggle against Chimecho (CIN; 43)  heading into this weekend. The one hope that this deck has is that Malamar (FLI; 51)  players may cut the Chimecho (CIN; 43)  out of their list because Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  decks should see less play anyways. If you are a huge Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  fan, it might be a gamble, but it might not pay off as much as you like it to. 

Zoroark-GX / Magcargo

While Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  hasn’t been heavily talked about since Worlds in August, it does seem like a solid deck after watching Grant Manley pilot this deck to a Top 4 finish in Memphis. The goal of this deck is to use the consistency of Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  to find all of your disruption cards such as Plumeria (BUS; 120)  and Enhanced Hammer (GRI; 124)  to ruin your opponents plans. Magcargo (CLS; 24)  allows you to use Smooth Over in combination with Trade to gather specific cards whenever you need them. When you exhaust plenty of your own resources, you can use Oranguru (UPR; 114)  to get back whatever you need from your Discard Pile for the rest of the game. After your opponent has been disrupted enough, you can attack with Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  to sweep their board state. While this deck seems cool, it isn’t well positioned to do well at League Cups due to time restrictions and best of one.

Interesting enough, Manley included a copy of Shrine of Punishments (CLS; 143)  in his deck to provide chip damage during the late game because he was able to control it. If his Pokemon took too much damage, he could use Shrine of Punishments (CLS; 143)  or Max Potion (GRI; 128)  to quickly remove that built up damage. I think this deck seems cool, but the limitations of League Cups can quickly send you to the bottom tables.

Sylveon-GX

Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  is the deck that won Offenbach and sent the whole world into a period of worry as we prepared for Memphis. This deck focuses on using Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  to gather disruption cards with Magical Ribbon and punishing your opponent for not being prepared for this deck. Common cards included in the deck are Team Skull Grunt (SUM; 133) , Judge (FLI; 108) , and Mars (UPR; 128) . Similar to Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24) , this deck struggles with time and League Cups are often best of one games with only 30 minutes to play. The only player who was able to wiggle through Day 2 to a Top 32 finish was Jay Young so let’s look at his list. 

While Hampus Eriksson decided to keep his Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  list consistent and streamlined, Young seemed to do the opposite. In this deck, there was the inclusion of a tiny Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)  line to assist in attacking threats such as Malamar (FLI; 51) . There was also a single copy of Diantha (FLI; 105)  to help get cards back in tough situations if one of his Pokemon were Knocked Out. While the disruption is all here, this deck is slightly more teched out than usual.

Out There

These decks are either performing to an appropriate amount of success or are decks that have seemingly appeared out of nowhere in our metagame.

Vikavolt / Rayquaza-GX

Vikavolt (SUM; 52)  / Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  is a deck that dominated the early League Cups of the Standard format and has performed at an acceptable level ever since. The strategy of this deck is to use Strong Charge with Vikavolt which allows you to get plenty of Energy in play to attack with Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109) . When you run out of Energy, you can use Energy Recycler (GRI; 123)  to get back your Energy to start attacking again. This deck also commonly runs single Prize Card attacking Pokémon such as Shining Lugia (BW; 82)  and Dhelmise (CLS; 22)  to keep up with other single Prize Card heavy decks.

Justin Kulas ran a streamlined version of Vikavolt (SUM; 52)  / Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  that is similar to the list that 60 Cards own Jose Marrero ran at Philadelphia. Sometimes you don’t need the most fancy list to see success at a Regionals and this is the type of deck that proves that simplicity works. This deck typically does well against Malamar (FLI; 51)  variants which means that it might see a bit more play this weekend than usual. However, there still might be enough Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  decks floating around to keep this deck where it is in the metagame.

Golisopod-GX / Magcargo

If you asked me a week ago if I would be writing about Golisopod GX (BUS; 17) , I would have thought that I fell into some alternate universe. This deck is the brainchild of Zach Zamora, a seemingly crazy deck builder, but the concept did nab him a Top 16 placement in Memphis. He built his deck similar to the Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  decks that have been popular lately by including Magcargo (CLS; 24)  and other similar cards. That consistent core of a deck mixed with the surprise factor of Golisopod GX (BUS; 17) allowed for the deck to see success.

While Zamora did see success at Memphis, there is plenty that can be said about others seeing success with this deck. In a similar trend to other decks that are killing it lately, Zamora included a copy of Golisopod (GRI; 9) to help deal with other single Prize Card attacking Pokemon. This deck seems like it is difficult to pilot, it might fall out of the metagame, and it doesn’t necessarily have plenty of results to back it. This is one of those cases where the deck is too fringe to say anything definitive about it. If you are a Golisopod GX (BUS; 17)  fan, you should give this deck a try. 

Quagsire / Lapras-GX

One of the freshest decks out of Dragon Majesty, Quagsire (DM; 26)  / Lapras GX (SUM; 139)  was able to snag a Top 32 placement in Memphis. This deck works by using Quagsire (DM; 26)  to collect Energy with Aqua Patch (GRI; 119)  and Exp. Share (SUM; 118)  throughout the game. When you want to use an attacker, such as Lapras GX (SUM; 139) , you can push those Energy to your Active Pokémon to take a Knock Out. This deck plays plenty of different tech cards that allow you to adapt to different scenarios so be sure to brush up on lesser played cards such as Manaphy, Volcanion Prism Star (FLI; 31) , Palkia GX (UPR; 101) , and Kyogre (CLS; 46) . With this many options at your arsenal, it seems like this deck could eventually be a great choice. Michael Catron seemed to be one of the few players who ran this deck to success so let’s look at his list.

All of these water Pokémon seemingly work together well with the help of Quagsire (DM; 26)  by their side. When you are playing this deck, you want to balance the Pokémon that you have in play to make sure that you always have the correct options available for each matchup. For example, you want to have Palkia GX (UPR; 101)  ready to use its GX attack against decks that have many Energy in play. The same can be said to make room on your Bench for your best attacker, Lapras GX (SUM; 139) , if you find yourself in a more normal situation. With decks like Golisopod GX (BUS; 17)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  floating around and Shaymin (SLG; 7)  being etched in decks, be careful if you play this deck this weekend.

What Does That All Mean?

Well, it seems like Malamar (FLI; 51)  / Deoxys (CLS; 69)  / Marshadow GX (BUS; 80)  is taking the throne from Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Shrine of Punishments (CLS; 143)  while this Standard format is coming to and end. There will be sprinkles of Vikavolt (SUM; 52)  / Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  because it can handle Malamar (FLI; 51) , but that might allow Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  to jump back into the format. League Cups will be using the above decks until we receive Lost Thunder in a few more weeks because we don’t have any other tournaments to move the format dramatically. If you aren’t playing one of the archetypes featured in this article, I would recommend that you reconsider your deck choice. Most of the other decks available in this format have not been worked on as much and are likely not going to see the level of success that you would like to see. 

Hot Techs

These cards were featured in the top decks in Memphis and are going to be included in deck lists heading forward.

Some of the techs below are listed as a way to counter some of the threats in the upcoming metagame based on the results of Memphis Regionals.

Chimecho

Chimecho (CIN; 43)  will see play in Malamar (FLI; 51)  because it helps improve the Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  for that deck. If you are playing Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) , you should play either a Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  or Deoxys (CLS; 69)  to help deal with this card. If you are playing Malamar (FLI; 51)  in a metagame that doesn’t feature many Pokémon with an Ability, you can play a different tech card in your list.

Oricorio

Oricorio (GRI; 55)  is a simple tech that allows you to search out Energy to discard with Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113)  and Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) . This card is played in  Malamar (FLI; 51) decks and seems like it is a healthy inclusion in that archetype.

Lunala PRISM STAR

Lunala Prism Star (UPR; 62)  is the card that Wada played to great success at Memphis and the reasoning behind the card is fantastic! It is a strong inclusion against Malamar (FLI; 51)  decks and it can do quite a bit of damage against an opposing Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109) . The best thing is, it is a single Prize Card attacker and it can hit for big numbers like a GX Pokemon. If you are playing Malamar (FLI; 51)  this weekend, I would definitely include a copy of Lunala Prism Star (UPR; 62) .

Deoxys 

Deoxys (CLS; 69)  is one the best attackers in Malamar (FLI; 51) , but it is also a great tech in Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  to try and get around the upcoming wave of Chimecho (CIN; 43) . While it might not be the perfect answer, Deoxys (CLS; 69)  is still a great option to play in that deck.

Shaymin

Shaymin (SLG; 7) , the last of the tech cards on this list, was included in all three of the Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Shrine of Punishments (CLS; 143)  decks that made Day 2 at Memphis. Additionally, I have been enjoying Shaymin (SLG; 7)  in Vikavolt (SUM; 52)  / Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  to attack for two Energy. 

New Card Releases

Over the weekend, the new Solgaleo-GX and Lunala-GX boxes were officially released for everyone to buy. While Lunala-GX could be good, Solgaleo-GX is the talk of the town. Solgaleo-GX draws its strength from its Ability that takes away all of the Weakness on your side of the field and it can power up Pokemon quickly with Turbo Strike.

The cherry on top is that it can use Prominence GX to heal all of your Pokémon in play in a pinch. I would recommend that you pick yourself up a playset of this card before it gets too hyped! 

Another Weekend of League Cups

Well, that concludes this weeks Metagame Analysis! I hope that you have enjoyed this journey and that you look forward to next weeks FREE article. Next week, I will be making an effort to have solid Expanded lists available for your viewing pleasure. It is our hopes that with the content becoming better each week, that you will decide to support our site with a subscription. 

Thanks,

Metagame Analysis

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