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Metagame Analysis

Expanding Your Knowledge For Portland

This article goes over the current top decks heading into Portland Regionals.

10/17/2018 by Metagame Analysis

Expanded Time!

Hey 60 Cards readers, we are back with another Metagame Analysis article written by a secretive professional player. This week’s instalment will be going over the Expanded metagame and if you want to read about Standard, you can always check out last week’s metagame analysis.

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 Metagame

Expanded is a format that dates cards back as far as 2011 and the metagame is often a mystery to everyone. The last major event that we have had in this format was Roanoke, VA in May and we have since had the release of Celestial Storm, Dragon Majesty, and a handful of Promo Cards along the way. With Roanoke seeing spikes of Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) , Wailord EX (PRC; 38) , Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Exeggcute (PF; 4) , and Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66)  decks, you might be wondering where does that leave us for Portland? Well, over the past week or so, there was a poll on a high profile Facebook group that seemed to answer that question for the most part. Here is the result of that poll as of a few days ago.

The results are eerily similar to the result of Roanoke, but it does give you a list of decks to expect at Portland Regionals. We will be going over a few of the lists that are closer to the top of the poll above in order to give you the highest quality information heading into this event. All of this information should be used by you to help pick a deck for any upcoming Expanded event and each deck will be linked so that you can easily find specific information whenever you like.

Expanded Decks

Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Drampa-GX / Garbodor

Trevenant BREAK

Archie’s Blastoise

Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment

Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX

Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  is the deck that won Roanoke Regionals and is likely the first stop on many players journey as they explore Expanded heading into Portland Regionals. This deck functions primarily similar to the Standard version of Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  /  Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) that we played in the 2017-2018 season, but it does expand on the available Supporter Card pool to make the deck more consistent. These strong Supporter Cards include Korrina (FRF; 95) , Colress (PS; 118) , and Professor Juniper (BLW; 101)  which all help the deck in terms of consistency. The strategy of the deck is to spread damage by using Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) , use Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  when your opponent has four Prize Cards remaining, and use Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  for bigger threats. Once your opponent has drawn two or three Prize Cards, you can use Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  to power up your Ultra Beast Pokemon quickly to take those remaining Prize Cards. With the strength of the deck, readily available polished lists, and ease of play, this deck will see large amounts of play at Portland Regionals.

This deck features the use of a lesser played ACE SPEC, Scramble Switch (PS; 129) , to allow you to move your Energy as you please during the latter half of the game. Maybe you just used a Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  on a Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  and want to attack with Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)Scramble Switch (PS; 129) will definitely help you out in a pinch.

Drampa-GX / Garbodor

Drampa GX (GRI; 115)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Garbodor (BKP; 57)  is a deck that was lightly played in Roanoke, but was able to make Top 16 with 60 Cards own Daniel Altavilla expertly piloting the deck. The deck is built on the premise of disrupting your opponent until it finally sticks and its neutral matchups across the board. It uses Drampa GX (GRI; 115)  to remove Special Energy, locks Abilities with Garbodor (GRI; 51) , lowers your opponents Bench with Parallel City (BKT; 145) , and disrupts your hand with N (FCO; 105) . With decent matchups against Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  decks, Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  decks, and other decks, this deck is sure to see some success.

This list has a copy of Dimension Valley (PHF; 93)  to allow Trubbish (PS; 65)  to use Tool Drop more frequently which helps with the speed of other decks in the metagame. There is also a copy of Marshadow (SLG; 45)  and Delinquent (BKP; 98)  to seemingly wipe your opponents hand away whenever you feel it is necessary.

Trevenant BREAK

Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66)  was thought to be dead by many players when Pokemon announced the recent ban list and listed Wally (ROS; 94)  as one of the cards. This deck focuses on locking your opponent out of Item Cards with Trevenant (XY; 55) , spreading damage with Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66) , and using Rescue Scarf (DR; 115)  to keep your Pokemon in a consistent cycle. Tapu Lele (BW; 45)  allows you to move all of your accumulated damage around your opponents board and Espeon EX (BKP; 52)  can put all of your opponents Evolved Pokemon back into their hand. This deck is a sneaky spread deck that will surely see some play in Portland.

If you are ever stuck in a tough position, you must realize that this deck is able to put your opponent in a world of hate with the amount of disruption cards available in the deck. Counter Catcher (CIN; 91)  can bring up Pokemon with a large Retreat Cost while your spread, Xerosic (PHF; 110) can take away an Energy, and Enhanced Hammer (GRI; 124)  can take away even more Energy. The best advice we can give, make sure you keep track of what your opponent plays because they can easily play an Item Card by accident if you don’t keep a vigilant eye on the game.

Archie’s Blastoise

Based on the 2015 World Championships winning list, this deck focuses on using Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  to get Blastoise (BC; 31)  in play to attach Energy to different attackers. You can lower your hand to a single Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) , VS Seeker (UR; 100) , or Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  by using a slew of Item Cards such as Battle Compressor (PHF; 92) , Order Pad (UPR; 131) , and Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) . The attacker that you choose will depend on the scenario that you are in, but Keldeo EX (BC; 49)  and Articuno (ROS; 17)  are both efficient attackers that usually take precedent. Sometimes you need to take a big Knock Out so you will use Wishiwashi GX (GRI; 38)  and other times you will want to shuffle your opponents Active Pokemon away with Tapu Fini GX (BUS; 39) . Regardless of how you play this deck, you have plenty of options in your arsenal.

We have been testing this deck since Roanoke and there are more Pokemon that you can include in this deck beyond the Pokemon that are already listed. You can tech in a Kingdra GX (DM; 18)  to use with Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  or you can even tech a Palkia GX (UPR; 101)  to take away all of your opponents Energy in play. We invite you to look at the whole card list of the Expanded format to see if there are any unique Pokemon that you can put in your list.

Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment

Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  / Garbodor (BKP; 57)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  is a deck that saw heavy play at this past World Championships and it instantly transitioned into being the best deck in Standard. This deck functions like a toolbox of Pokemon that all do plenty of damage for being single Prize Card attackers. Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  is happy by being reunited with Strong Energy (FRF; 104) , Garbodor (GRI; 51)  is ecstatic with the amount of Item Cards played in Expanded, and Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  will punish all of the EX / GX Pokemon in the format. All of these cards work together to take Prize Cards each turn and playing a carefully crafted game of chess at the top tables.

The biggest card that we are debating in this list is the inclusion of Octillery (BKT; 33) , but it is present due to the overwhelming amount of positivity towards Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  heading into Portland. If you are wondering why, that deck plays a few copies of Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  and we will be able to utilize that Brooklet Hill (GRI; 120)  to search out Remoraid (CIN; 22)  in a pinch. Beyond that, this is a straightforward list based on the success of the deck from Worlds.

What Does it All Mean?

The Expanded metagame is too vast to have a true metagame because of the available card pool, but this does give insight into the popular decks heading into this particular Regional Championships.

You can easily face four Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  decks or maybe you will face three Rotom (FLI; 40) / Mow Rotom (UPR; 14)  decks that have been taking PTCGO by storm. If you are worried about what to play, the best advice that we can give you is to run a deck that you are comfortable with and keep your head up high.

New Card Releases

Prerelease tournaments will be starting this weekend for the new set Sun & Moon - Lost Thunder. This set has plenty of cards available for competitive play so we recommend that you attend some of these tournaments to pick up your cards early. Here is the description the set from,

“Ancient power and high-voltage sparks fill the air in the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder expansion! This massive expansion fuses the new with the traditional, featuring Celebi PRISM STAR and Ditto PRISM STAR, plus incredible Pokémon-GX like Blacephalon-GX, Lugia-GX, and Tyranitar-GX. Plus, discover the energetic might of the newest Mythical Pokémon, Zeraora-GX, in its Pokémon TCG debut. Call down the thunder and charge up your deck with scores of high-powered Pokémon in the Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder expansion!”

  • Over 210 cards
  • 7 powerful Prism Star cards, including 3 Stadium cards
  • 13 Pokémon-GX and 4 Ultra Beasts
  • More than 20 Trainer cards

If you are wondering which cards stand out from the set, here is a list that has been compiled by our team to help ease the stress away from you.

Lost Thunder Buy List

Must Have Cards

4x Jumpluff

4x Skiploom

4x Hoppip ‘Tackle’

4x Sceptile-GX

4x Grovyle

4x Treecko

4x Magcargo-GX

4x Blacephalon-GX

4x Lapras

4x Zebstrika

4x Blitzle

4x Zeraora-GX

4x Natu

4x Giratina

4x Nihilego

4x Naganadel

4x Poipole

4x Onix

4x Sudowoodo

4x Alolan Ninetales-GX

4x Alolan Vulpix


4x Lugia-GX

4x Trumbeak

Item / Supporter / Stadium / Energy Cards

4x Adventure Bag

4x Aether Fourndation Employee

4x Choice Helmet

4x Counter Gain 

4x Custom Catcher

4x Electripower

4x Faba

4x Fairy Charm Grass

4x Fairy Charm Psychic

4x Fairy Charm Fighting

4x Fairy Charm Dragon

1x Heat Factory PRISM STAR

4x Kahili 

1x Life Forest PRISM STAR

4x Lost Mixer

1x Lusamine PRISM STAR

4x Mina

4x Mix Herb

4x Moomoo Milk

4x Morty

4x Net Ball

4x Professor Elm’s Lecture

4x Sightseer

4x Spell Tag

1x Thunder Mountain PRISM STAR

4x Wait-and-See Hammer

4x Whitney

4x Memory Energy

Utility / Fringe Cards

4x Shuckle

4x Shuckle GX

1x Celebi PRISM STAR

4x Vespiquen

4x Combee 

4x Tapu Bulu

4x Victini

4x Suicune-GX

4x Espeon

4x Wobbuffet

4x Girafarig

4x Sableye

4x Chandelure

4x Lampent

4x Litwick

4x Alolan Meowth

4x Umbreon

4x Granbull

4x Snubbull

1x Xerneas PRISM STAR

4x Mimikyu-GX

4x Miltank

4x Kecleon ‘Unit Color 1’

All of these cards seem like worthy of competitive play and should be the best cards in the set. If you think that we missed any cards, feel free to comment on this article with your suggestions.

One More Week Until Portland

Well, that concludes this week’s 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 some more 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. 


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