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Metagame Analysis

The Aftermath of LAIC

Wanna know what decks did the best at LAIC? Check out this FREE article.

11/21/2018 by Metagame Analysis

Looking Forward to Roanoke

What’s up 60 Cards readers? Did you attend the LAIC? Well, regardless of your answer, Metagame Analysis has you covered! LAIC saw some of our 60 Cards writers do extremely well, Daniel Altavilla winning the entire event and Zach Lesage making Top Eight!

There were many interesting decks featured at this event and the goal of this article is to cover those decks to keep you in the loop for this weekend. We are sure that there is definitely going to be some crossover of archetypes played from the LAIC heading into Roanoke so let’s check out the best decks!

The Top Decks from LAIC

This past weekend saw players from all over the world play for the chance to be crowned the LAIC champion and there were no secrets kept when players were choosing decks! We have looked over the metagame, picked out the best decks to review, and we will cover those today.

Here are the decks that we believe will make the biggest impact at Roanoke this weekend (and League Cups if you aren’t going to a Roanoke). We are going to link the decks to allow you to easily access whichever deck you want, but feel free to check out all of the following decks to get a full idea on the metagame:

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  /  Magcargo (CLS; 24)

Granbull (LT; 138)  /  Magcargo (CLS; 24)

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  /  Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)

Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  /  Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)

Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  /  Naganadel (LT; 108)

All of the following decks were featured in the Top Eight of the recent Latin America International Championships in São Paulo, Brazil.

Zoroark-GX / Magcargo

60 Cards’ own Daniel Altavilla was able to be crowned LAIC Champion after expertly piloting his Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  ‘control’ deck to an impressive undefeated finish. The goal of his deck is to utilize cards over and over again by using Oranguru (UPR; 114) ’s Resource Management, Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) ’s Trade Ability, and disruption cards. You can use Counter Catcher (CIN; 91)  to bring up Pokémon with a large Retreat Cost, Crushing Hammer (SUM; 115)  to take away their extra Energy Cards, and Team Skull Grunt (SUM; 133)  to keep their options limited. The deck has a lot of different play styles so I would recommend looking back on the streamed games from LAIC and learning more about this deck. If you are considering this deck, which you should, we advise you to be prepared for the amount of thinking you will have to do to see success.

A cool addition that we liked in this deck was Articuno GX (CLS; 31)  because it adds multiple layers of strategy to this deck. It offers a way to switch a Pokémon out of the Active Position, it can offer more HP in a pinch (to become a shield), and it can take away all of your opponents Energy from their Active Pokémon with its GX attack. Articuno GX (CLS; 31)  is especially strong against Pokémon that require large amounts of Energy, such as Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  or Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) , so keep your eyes open for those Pokémon.

Granbull / Magcargo

Nicolas Galaz seems to be on a tear after having a fantastic run at Worlds and having an even better run at LAIC. His deck, Granbull (LT; 138)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24) , was not a deck that we expected to see perform so well, but I guess we were wrong. Granbull (LT; 138) l utilizes Cards to make sure that its hand is always at zero. It is quite weird to bring your hand down to zero, but it does allow All In to hit for a massive 160 damage. When you add in damage modifiers like Choice Band (GRI; 121)  and Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) , this deck truly can pack a whopping punch! Each turn you should be able to use Smooth Over to grab what you want, Oranguru (SUM; 113)  to draw that card, and find inventive ways to bring your hand to zero cards with Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) . This deck requires quite a bit of planning and it can sometimes get a clunky hand, but it is certainly a great choice (obviously!) based on the results from LAIC.

Galaz included some cool cards in his deck, like Diantha (FLI; 105)  and Fiery Flint (DM; 60) , to make sure that he would always be able to use All In effectively. Diantha is great because you can continuously grab the cards you need back from your Discard Pile after a Granbull (LT; 138)  is Knocked Out. While Fiery Flint (DM; 60)  is a card that seldom sees play, it works great in this deck as a fifth Ultra Ball (SLG; 68)  when it comes to getting clunky cards out of your hand. Whichever way you decide to play this deck, make sure that you are always able to get cards out of your hand!

Zoroark-GX / Decidueye-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

Clifton Goh has a dominating run with his Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  deck that allowed him to finish within the Top Four of LAIC. The goal of his deck is to abuse Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188)  to grab out Rowlet (SUM; 9) , Alolan Vulpix (GRI; 21) , Zorua (SLG; 52) , and Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154)  to start the game off. After that, the deck sets up like an absolute rocket! You can use Mysterious Guidance to grab Rare Candy (CLS; 142)  for Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) , snag a Counter Gain (LT; 170)  to use Sublimation GX, or use Enhanced Hammer (GRI; 124)  to take away a pesky Special Energy. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  is used as a strong attacker and it double down as consistency crutch with Trade as an asset. This deck has a lot of moving parts, but it can command the board when it gets going!

We that that Goh’s inclusion of Magcargo (CLS; 24)  is cute because you can layer what you need with the potential strategy of not using Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) . This allows you to gather any card you want on top of you deck and it is not a double Prize Card Pokémon. The other cool thing about this deck is that it focuses on using Counter Gain (LT; 170)  to its fullest by playing around Prize Cards with Decidueye GX (SUM; 12) ’s Feather Arrow Ability. The only issue that we have with this list is when we tested it, it sometimes failed to get consistent starts. Perhaps our testing was not as conclusive as Goh’s so we will go back and test it some more!

Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

Alex Schemanske has an incredibly run with Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  and quickly dominated many of his opponents during the series he played. His deck focused on spreading damage with Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) , grabbing important Item Cards with Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132) , and bringing up Pokémon with Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  whenever he wanted. The deck is self accelerated with Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  and Multi Switch (GRI; 129)  which allows for whopping attacks to come out of seemingly nowhere! With all of the different tech cards at your disposal, this deck seems to have the options to succeed at Roanoke!

One card that we were surprised that didn’t make Schemanske’s list is Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154) ! The deck already has a few Stage One Pokémon that it can Evolve into, but  Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154)  could allow you to take your techs to a whole other level. You can include a Magcargo (CLS; 24) , a Weavile (UPR; 74) , or maybe even an Alolan Ninetales GX (GRI; 22) . With all of the possibilities of the deck, you can definitely make this list your own by swapping a few cards around. The only other cards that we have been considering are Counter Gain (LT; 170)  and Energy Loto (GRI; 122)  to have extra outs to attacking when we want.

Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel

60 Cards’ own Zach Lesage was able to have a solid Top Eight performance at LAIC with his creative Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  deck. This deck is all about consistency, taking quick Prize Cards, and overwhelming your opponent as soon as possible. He goal is to quickly use Burst GX, get Naganadel (LT; 108) l set up, and start using Mind Blown with Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) ! If your opposing is able to draw two or three Prize Cards, you can use Beast Ring (FLI; 102)  to quickly attach Fire Energy (GEN; 76)  to your Ultra Beast Pokémon to have more Mind Blown fodder available. This deck has solid match ups across the board, is easy to play, so we think its going to have a solid performance at Roanoke.

One card that Lesage piloted that we haven’t seen before is C Choice Helmet (LT; 169) , which is a great card when you are playing against a mirror match or any Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  variant. While we would not play this card going forward, we would want to cut both copies for two Energy Switch (CLS; 129)  to have a better Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  ‘control’ match up. This would swing the match up to favourable for Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  which sounds great heading into this weekend.

Good Luck This Weekend

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 looking over the aftermath of Roanoke Regionals 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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