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Bradley Curcio

Day One of Worlds 2016

I'm Bradley Curcio and I'm here to talk to you about what's going on at the first day of the Pokemon World Championships.

08/20/2016 by Bradley Curcio

Introduction

Hello, 60cards readers! I'm Bradley Curcio and I'm here to talk to you about what's going on at the first day of the Pokémon World Championships. I was lucky enough throughout the season to amass enough championship points to secure my Day Two invite, sitting close at 16th seed. Because of this, I've been able to scout the field and report what I've seen back to all of you! In this article, I'll talk a little bit about the more well known decks going into the tournament and then talk some about the "surprise" or "rogue" decks people have brought to the Day One event!

Day One Recap

First things first, there was a significant amount of Night March, which should come as no surprise to anybody. After Karen was officially not going to be in Steam Siege, Night March was easily the favorite to continue being the deck to beat. More people have been playing it with the Vespiquen line, opting to use the secondary attacker to help certain match-ups.

Because of the heavy anticipation of Night March, Item-lock decks have been fairly prevalent as well. More people seemed to lean towards Trevenant, not having to worry about Pokémon Ranger, which is yet another tool Night March was given to combat Item-lock. Trevenant was the most played Item-lock variant, especially after it took two spots in the Top 8 of U.S. Nationals, splitting between the Energy-disruption variant, as well as the Bursting Balloon variants. Following Trevenant was Waterbox for Item-lock, which is still a powerhouse, even with Pokemon Ranger putting a damper in part of it's gameplan. Vileplume variants haven't been very heavily played, Vespiquen/Vileplume, as well as Jolteon/Glaceon/Vileplume and even Yveltal/Vileplume weren't represented as much as the previous Item-lock decks.

Darkness variants have been seeing quite a bit of play as well; from heavy baby Yveltal/Fright Night Yveltal with Max Elixirs and Mew to Quad Zoroark and even a couple of Darkrai/Giratina decks. Quad Zoroark has been the most played variant, as it was an already established deck, which was given a few new tools to play with, such as Captivating Poké Puff which can force your opponent to bench unwanted Pokemon, making it much more difficult for them to play around Zoroark's damage output. The deck has a fairly close Night March matchup but is able to handle Item-lock decks fairly well. Heavy Yveltal/Max Elixir decks have been popping up occasionally, abusing beefier HP Basics that only give up one Prize, in an attempt to force your opponent to play inefficiently while you slowly pick away at higher HP Pokémon-EX or taking easier knockouts on lower-HP Pokémon, like most of the Night Marchers! Darkrai/Giratina has had a very little showing. Giratina can still put a huge lock on certain decks, however, with Pokémon Ranger now coming out, people have been much wearier to rely on a strategy like that.

Vespiquen was played in abundance as well, because of it's ability to somewhat tech for any match-up you expected. Played with Zoroark lines, Druddigon, Swellow, Vileplume, Zebstrika, and several other options, you're able to be prepared for everything you wanted. With multiple stage one Pokemon, it can be somewhat inconsistent, but the ability to run counters for specific decks can far outweigh that weakness.

Greninja is yet another deck that's been all around the field today. Most have been playing a fairly standard build, while others have played some other techs such as Seismitoad with Double Colorless Energy. While most have been playing that list, some have opted for a very cool build, choosing to use the new Talonflame to help with their setup!  This is a basic list that Brandon Cantu and I had been testing prior to Worlds.

Metal has been a very underrepresented deck thus far. It's generally a very consistent deck, but it always seems to struggle against most other decks in the format. While it's still being played here at Worlds, it's definitely one of the lesser played decks at the tournament.

One of the "cooler" decks being played this tournament is Volcanion. A lot of Japanese players have been bringing this new Fire-type Pokémon that we got in Steam Siege, pairing it up with its EX counterpart. While I haven't been able to see any exact decklists played or been able to actually sit down and watch any of their games, my good friend Ryan Sabelhaus built his own take on a Volcanion deck here.

Final Thoughts

If I had to play Day One, I'm fairly confident I would have ended up playing Night March. I would likely have chosen to go without the Vespiquen route, as I personally feel like having a couple extra tech cards such as Pokémon Catcher, Target Whistle, Captivating Poké Puff or even Greedy Die to help out in the mirror match, because I feel it would be more beneficial than having a secondary attacker. After watching a lot of Day One, as well as what I already expected to see Day Two, I don't think my decision will be changing for Day Two.

Conclusion

Even with Steam Seige being introduced, our format hasn't changed too much from Nationals. Night March was still the biggest deck, as well has other decks being around to counter it. There were a couple interesting takes on current decks, such as Talonflame with Greninja. But outside of Volcanion, there weren't very many "surprise" decks for the first day. However, that can all change for the second day! With many players still not having to compete yet, as well as several people who will be making it through Day One, Day Two is looking to be very exciting!

-Brad

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