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Metagame Analysis

The Aftermath of Roanoke

Wanna know how Roanoke shook up the metagame? Check it out in this week's FREE metagame analysis.

11/28/2018 by Metagame Analysis

Looking Forward to League Cups

What’s up 60 Cards readers? Did you attend Roanoke? Well, regardless of your answer, Metagame Analysis has you covered! Roanoke saw some of our 60 Cards writers do extremely well, Zach Lesage making Top 16 and others earning CP! 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 Roanoke heading into League Cups so let’s check out the best decks!

The Top Decks from Roanoke

Late last week, we looked over the results from LAIC and one of our writers, Zach Lesage, wrote his thoughts about the metagame heading into the event. Here were his thoughts heading into the metagame, let’s see if he got it right:

“After the results of São Paulo, we can come to a few conclusions about what we can expect for this weekend. With Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  winning the event, there will be some players who decide to play that deck purely from the hype. While I don’t personally condone this idea, if you are comfortable with Magcargo (CLS; 24)  deck, it is better to play something that you are comfortable with than not. There seems to be a mutual agreement that Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Decidueye GX (SUM; 12)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  is going to be a neutral pick from now on. Don’t take that negatively! It is a great pick, but it doesn’t have all auto wins in front of it. You will likely grind out most of your match ups, but you will likely always have a fighting chance. Most players are all Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  fans so it is assumed that  Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  will see heavier play than normal. It is an especially good play because it goes toe-to-toe with Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  and it has a favourable match up against most Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  variants. Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  is the ‘brainless’ play of the weekend, but that’s the biggest compliment the deck can have. It has a slew of solid match ups and the deck has a lower barrier for entry than other skilled decks in the format. There will be some Granbull (LT; 138)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  decks floating around because players are huge fans of Tord Reklev, but it is still a great pick due to its raw power. With all of these decks floating around, the metagame is likely set, but you might run into some other decks that still have some juice left into them.

Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  seems to be the deck, that no matter, players will still pilot that deck until it finally rotated put of the format. I don’t necessarily think that it is a bad deck, but it is surrounded by a field of even / unfavourable match ups. There are also Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109)  decks (with or without Vikavolt (SUM; 52) ), and those decks are in the same boat. They are strong due to their raw power, but there is a lacking quality about them. I have talked to a few players and we have all come to an agreement that Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  is a more consistent deck overall! The main goal on this format is to find a deck that your are COMFORTABLE with and make sure that you have plenty of testing to back your deck choice up with!”

After talking with Lesage, he did mention that he forgot to list Robin SchulzGardevoir GX (BUS; 93)  deck that did well at São Paulo; people love to follow what top players do. He was surprised with the amount of Lost March decks and Unown (LT; 91)  decks that did well, but obviously you can’t get the metagame down to a science all of the time. Regardless, 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:

Gardevoir-GX / Swampert / Solgaleo-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX Deck

Lost March Deck

Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel Deck

Unown HAND / Regigigas / Hoopa Deck

All of the following decks were featured in Day 2 of the recent Regional Championship in Roanoke, Virginia.

Gardevoir-GX / Swampert / Solgaleo-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX 

Jimmy Pendarvis from Dead Draw Gaming took back to back Regional Championships wins by expertly piloting Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)  / Swampert (CLS; 35)  / Solgaleo GX (BW; 104)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  to victory. The deck works like a weird concoction of attackers, but it is fairly easy to isolate strategies within the deck. Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)  is a Pokémon with lots of HP, it can accelerate Energy, and it can grab resources back in a pinch with its GX attack. Swampert (CLS; 35)  is half draw support and half an attacker which makes it versatile against Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) . Solgaleo GX (BW; 104)  is a great way to remove Weakness, power up Energy, and to be a bulky tank. Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  takes on the role of father Rare Candy (CLS; 142) , getting other loose Item Cards, and being an Ultra Beast slayer. With all of these unique Pokémon in his deck, Pendarvis was definitely riding the wave all the way to the top!

One aspect of this deck that is often underrated is the option to use Alolan Vulpix (GRI; 21) ’s Beacon attack to search for two Pokémon. Sometimes you are dead drawing and need a Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60)  or maybe you are sitting on a Rare Candy (CLS; 142)  and need a Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) . This deck has many options so we recommend to take your time when play testing this deck and learning it inside and out.

Lost March

Charlie Lockyer took the deck that always could all the way to the Top Eight after many players have doubted its strength. Looking at what Lockyer has said about the deck online, he wanted to have outs to the Unown (LT; 91)  decks that shook the metagame and it looks like he accomplished that. The goal of this deck is to boost the damage of the Lost March attack by sending Pokémon to the Lost Zone by using Skiploom (LT; 13) ’s Floral Path to the Sky, Trumbeak (LT; 165) s Mountain Peak, and Lost Blender (LT; 181) . You want to observe the maximum amount of HP on their Pokemon and aim to send that many Pokemon to the Lost Zone. Another big pull for this deck is that Professor Elm's Lecture (LT; 188)  can grab three Hoppip (LT; 12)  on one turn and grab three Skiploom (LT; 13)  the next turn. With all of the consistency available in this deck, like three copies of Marshadow (SLG; 45) , you should be able to be screaming Lost March for Knock Out turn after turn.

Lockyer included a copy of Super Boost Energy Prism Star (UPR; 136)  to deal with decks that play a single copy of Shuckle GX (LT; 195)  because it doesn’t hurt the decks consistency. That being said, this deck has the option of running it or not running out of the fear of running into Enhanced Hammer (GRI; 124)  or Faba (LT; 173) . While the concept is cool, it is up to you if you want to cut it for a Grass Energy (GEN; 75) . Since Anaheim is coming up quick, stay on the look out for when Lost March adds in Klefki (STS; 80)  to get even more Pokémon in the Lost Zone. You can pop it on a Skiploom (LT; 13)  before using Floral Path to the Sky to net one more Pokémon in your Lost Zone. We don’t know how many other players have thought of this idea, but we thought we would share it here first!

Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel

60 Cards own Zach Lesage was able to tear up the competition for the second week in a row with his Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  deck. For this week, he included Choice Band (GRI; 121)  and Energy Switch (CLS; 129)  in his deck, likely for the metagame curve, and it seemed to give him another solid finish. As stated before, this deck is all about consistency, taking quick Prize Cards, and overwhelming your opponent as soon as possible. The goal is to quickly use Burst GX, get Naganadel (LT; 108)  set up, and start using Mind Blown with Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) ! If your opponent 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 be a solid choice for upcoming League Cups and League Challenges.

One card that Lesage has been telling us about is Big Malasada (SUM; 114) , as a way to get around Bursting Burn in mirror. We are unsure if this is a better card than Switch (CLS; 147) , but it does sound interesting to say the least. Obviously we don’t know where he would fit it in or if he was being serious, but we know Lesage is serious about his craft so we trust him on this one. If you end up trying out the card, send your feedback by commenting on this article.

Unown HAND / Regigigas / Hoopa

Michael Catron placed within the Top 64 players at Roanoke with his unique Unown (LT; 91) / Regigigas (CIN; 84)  / Hoopa (SLG; 55)  deck that confused plenty of players. The concept of this deck is to use Steven's Resolve (CLS; 145)  each turn, disrupt your opponent with Crushing Hammer (SUM; 115)  / Plumeria (BUS; 120) , and declare yourself winner with Unown (LT; 91) . All of the Pokémon in this deck either stop your opposing from attacking or have a high amount of HP which allows you to combo Steven's Resolve (CLS; 145)  with Lusamine (CIN; 96)  over and over again. We expect this deck to evolve going forward to keep your eyes peeled for future iterations of this deck.

If you are ever playing against this deck, a solid strategy is to use Marshadow (SLG; 45)  or Judge (FLI; 108)  to lower their large hand back to a controllable amount. It is difficult to play against stall decks in tournaments, but remember that they are legal decks in the game and shouldn’t be frowned upon for playing them. Keep your head high and remember to always show your Spirit of the Game.

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 Expanded metagame heading into Anaheim 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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