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Metagame Analysis

Secrets at Portland

There are some decks popping up at Portland that you will want to read about!

10/24/2018 by Metagame Analysis

Right Before Portland

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 some different Expanded lists, 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.

Murmurs of Decks

If you have been active on Facebook in the past week, you may have read about some underplayed concepts popping up at Portland. Rumours such as these pop up on various Facebook groups such as Heyfonte, Virbank City, PTCG Hell, and within the Twitter-sphere. The biggest claims that we have heard about are the amount of play that Vespiquen (ANO; 10)  decks will see, that Night March decks will see, and a few different Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  decks rising in popularity. Namely, Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Garbodor (DR; 54)  is supposed to see a huge swing in players playing it, but there is also plenty suggesting that Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Alolan Muk (SUM; 58)  is infinitely better.

If you are attending Portland, you need to take these concepts seriously, but understand that it might be a scheme coming from players who are looking to alter the metagame. Why would they do this? Well, it isn’t against the rules and it could eventually allow them to have an improved chance to win the 5000$ first place prize. So should you take this seriously? That is completely up to you and only you. The biggest reason why we are sharing this information is for you to make an informed decision heading into Portland.

The next question that we have been privately asked a few times, should Oricorio (GRI; 56)  be considered as a tech into your deck? Well, that is a potential easy fix, but your deck might already have a favourable matchup against Night March and Vespiquen (ANO; 10) . All of this can come down testing, metagame knowledge, and theory. Additionally, before you decide to do any drastic changes to your deck choice or your deck list, look at some basic math. There are going to be nine rounds at Portland Regionals and there are an expected 400 players. In order for you to have decent odds of facing a Vespiquen (ANO; 10)  or Night March deck, there will need to be approximately 40 players piloting one of those decks.

Those numbers work out to a rough one in nine chance, which can be loosely translated into most players playing against one of those decks in one of their nine rounds. While different records can drastically change those odds, we can agree that it could be difficult for players to actually face one of those decks. To put all of this into perspective, Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51) / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  was roughly 25% of the metagame at Philadelphia Regionals, I hope you can see where we are headed with this. The specific hype of a deck will struggle to persuade the majority of a room to play a certain deck and that should be accounted for in your deck decision. Maybe the hype will bring those decks to a combined 20% of the room or they might be a combined 10% of the field. Regardless, their hype should be noted and at least thought upon before picking a deck heading into Portland.

Two Additional Decks

Continuing from above, we wanted to touch upon two more archetypes that you might face against at Portland. This is a continued list from our last article, so feel free to check it out to find insight on other decks in the Expanded format. It should be noted that Vespiquen (ANO; 10)  isn’t included on this list because we have not been able to source a list that we can trust the quality of.

Additionally, Vespiquen (ANO; 10)  decks can greatly vary between builds, techs, etc. to the point where two decks can look totally different. We have also opted to only include Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Garbodor (DR; 54)  over the Alolan Muk (SUM; 58)  version due to perceived popularity. That being said, the following are lists that are I luded within this article. 

Zoroark-GX / Garbodor

Night March

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.

Zoroark-GX / Garbodor

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Garbodor (DR; 54)  is a remake of the Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Exeggcute (PF; 4)  deck that tore up the Expanded format all of last season. The reason for the changes in this deck are due to the ban list adding Ghetsis (PF; 101) , Hex Maniac (ANO; 75) , and Puzzle of Time (BKP; 109) . While some players thought that those card bans would see this deck due off, others have reworked this deck into a similar monster. This deck focuses on using Klefki (STS; 80)  / Burst Balloon (BKP; 97)  to shut Abilities off with Garbodor (DR; 54)  while you do massive amounts of damage with Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) . Both Klefki (STS; 80)  and Burst Balloon (BKP; 97)  only work for a turn which means that you can use your Abilities the next turn while your opponent struggles without them. Beyond that, Exeggcute (PF; 4)  allows you to use Trade, Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) , and Computer Search (BC; 137)  for free. For FREE?!?! Yeah, you can use Propagation to bounce an Exeggcute (PF; 4)  back to your hand whenever you want and continuously discard it to do game actions easily.

Sometimes it is the small details that make a deck successful and that is something that we pride ourselves on at 60 Cards. This deck has opted into using Exeggutor (PF; 5)  to help against Wailord EX (PRC; 38) , Sudowoodo (GRI; null)  for opposing Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , and Trubbish (DR; 53)  to survive against Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66)  for another turn. Whenever you find yourself in a tough position, you might find that one card to win the game, just think about it.

Night March

Night March ( Pumpkaboo (PHF; 44) / Lampent (PHF; 42)  / Joltik (PHF; 26) ) is a classic Expanded deck that has seen multiple Regional Championship wins over its lifetime of play and it somehow found itself lost in the mix of decks. It is hard to pin point it, but there have been a few direct counter cards printed, Karen (BW; 177)  and Oricorio (GRI; 56) , that give this deck a tough time. With both of those cards seeing less play lately and the ban list taking away Hex Maniac (ANO; 75) , Portland might see the return of Night March in full force. The strategy behind this deck is to discard ‘Night March’ Pokémon to power up the Lost March attack seen on Pumpkaboo (PHF; 44)  and Joltik (PHF; 26) . Between using a Double Colorless Energy (SLG; 69)  and a Dimension Valley (PHF; 93) , all of the Pokémon in this deck can attack for a single attachment. There are plenty of cards to accelerate the damage of Night March and those cards include Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , Battle Compressor (PHF; 92) , and Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) . This deck is quite fiery so be prepared to do plenty of damage early in the game.

A lesser played card, Sableye (CLS; 88) , sees its outing in this deck as a way to help discard Night March cards and as a way to help make decisions when playing. Maybe you want to keep that card on top, discard it, or use it as a way to determine if you should play a Trainer's Mail (ROS; 92) . Other cards such as Target Whistle (PHF; 106)  can slap a weak double Prize Card Pokemon, such as Shaymin EX (ROS; 77) , down for some easy pickings. This deck has quite a few tricks up its sleeves so give it a try. 

Portland is Here!

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, we will be making an effort to have a recap of Portland with 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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