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Daniel lynch

Questions to Ask When Approaching a New Set

Phinnegan Lynch gives you his guide to approaching a new expansion and walks you through his thoughts on Fates Collide.

05/17/2016 by Daniel lynch

Hey guys, Phinnegan again.

Now that "Fates Collide" has been released, we have about 120 new cards to try out. This set is not going to change everything, but certainly will shake things up temporarily. A couple questions come up for me every time a new set is released. In my opinion, these are the questions we need to ask ourselves, in order to play the best choice for this new meta:

"How can I use these new cards in my current decks?"

"Are there any new decks that can be created because of these new cards?"

"Do any of these new cards counter any of my decks?"

This article is going to address each of these questions, to give you a grasp on Black & White through Fates Collide. But before we address these questions, I want to cover the cards that actually make a difference. Below is a list of all cards from Fates Collide that could potentially see play in the competitive scene.

Playable cards list

* Servine

* Delphox Break

* Omastar

* Omastar Break

* Glaceon-EX

* Barbaracle

* Alakazam-EX

* Mega Alakazam-EX

* Mew

* Marowak

* Regirock-EX

* Carbink (49)

* Carbink (50)

* Carbink Break

* Zygarde-EX

* Umbreon-EX

* Bronzong

* Bronzong Break

* Genesect-EX

* Mega Altaria-EX

* Lugia

* Lugia BREAK

* Mega Audino-EX

* Chaos Tower

* Energy Pouch

* Mega Catcher

* N

* Power Memory

* Random Receiver

* Team Rocket's Handiwork

This list does not include Pokémon that evolve into other Pokémon on this list, meaning you may see someone playing a card not on this list from Fates Collide because it evolves into something that is on the list. It seemed unnecessary to put these cards in. Any reprint that is already available in BOTH formats also is not listed.

Now that we have this list, we can ignore the other 95 cards that probably do not matter. Out of the remaining thirty cards, there are about 10 that I expect to see a noticeable amount of play for the upcoming Regionals.

Cards that will see play at Regionals

* Glaceon-EX

* Barbaracle

* Alakazam-EX

* Mega Alakazam-EX

* Mew

* Marowak

* Regirock-EX

* Zygarde-EX

* Umbreon-EX

* Energy Pouch

* Power Memory

Because Regionals will be in Expanded where N already exists, I did not include N. Now that we are down to 11 cards, the set becomes much more manageable. This list will be important because the three questions will be focusing on these cards rather than the entire set. Now we can tackle the first question.

How can I use these cards in my current decks?

The short answer to this question is, you will not be able to use most of these cards in most current decks. The bulk of the strong cards in this set will end up creating their own archetype rather than help I current archetypes. For example, Mega Alakazam could create a great deck but most likely will not be put into a current archetype because it requires too much space.

However, there are a couple cards that could see play in multiple decks, including: Barbaracle, Marowak, and Mew. These three do not require a specific type of Energy, or a sort of play style. These cards can be easily splashed into many decks with little commitment. Barbaracle and Marowak also have the option between being played with their Basic forms, or through a Maxie's/Archie's engine. At the moment, Vespiquen, Night March, Yveltal, Blastoise, and Mega Rayquaza can use this sort of engine effectively. Because these cards are so playable, they are what will make the most significant impact on the meta-game.

I want to note quickly that this all just my opinion, my predictions are not facts. Although, I do have a strong track record of knowing what will see play when a new set comes out.

Mew can also be played in multiple decks; essentially anything that focuses on a basic attacker. Some people have the misconception that Mew needs to be played with Dimension Valley. While Dimension Valley does make Mew stronger, it does not need to be played. For me personally, I want to put it into my Standard Seismitoad deck because my list lacks a non-EX attacker. In expanded, Mew could see play in a deck like speed Darkrai. Attaching a double colorless to Mew instead of Darkrai can keep your other attackers and Energy in play, using Mew as fodder for the damage. Some people have gone as far as to create decks completely modeled around Mew.

I think mew will see play anything. Night March is the only deck that I can think of where is stands out as an obvious additions, however I'm sure there are plenty of other decks that people will put it in.

Which decks will you use these card in?

Mew

You can play Mew in Night March, and maybe some Toad variants that play a low count of Silent Lab. Without changing the archetypes dramatically, these are the only decks where I see Mew being useful. The problem with Mew is that it can only use Basic Pokémon’s attacks. If that limitation was not there, the card would see far more play. Barbaracle and Marowak have far more options.

Marowak

For Marowak, I think this card fits very well as a one-of in Yveltal now. Marowak also works very well with a Maxie's engine in Night March. With Seismitoad being Night March's worst matchup, the two spots for a Maxie's and a Marowak are not hard to find. I could also see Marowak with Maxie's in Mega Rayquaza, although I'm not sure it is worth the space. It would help against Toad Manectric Bats, but I think the problem in that matchup is more the Manectric than Seismitoad.

Marowak could be included into Groudon deck, but I am not sure it is worth the space. Because Groudon plays four Korrina, a 1-1 line of Marowak could work well. On the other hand, Cubone might be Lysandre'd and knocked out before it evolves to Marowak. Even when Marowak does come into play, it will have a big target on it since it can be brought active by Lysandre. Who knows though, the toad player has to use resources to knock it out. Maybe it is worth it.

Lastly, I could see playing a Marowak line in Donphan. Korrina makes the Marowak line very easy to search out. Seismitoad Bats is Donphan's worst matchup; Marowak could change that. As I said with Groudon, Marowak could be Lysandre'd into the active and knocked out. It is important to note that Marowak is not weak to psychic or water; it is weak to grass. This means nothing in Seismitoad/Bats is going to hit it for weakness. I think for this tech to work, it would have to be a 2-2 line.

Barbaracle

Many of the decks that Marowak fits into, Barbaracle can fit just as easily into. In fact, Barbaracle is even better than Marowak in certain decks. I should note that it is almost needed to play Barbaracle with Ninetales, because of the way his ability reads. The ability states "If you have a Stadium card in play, your opponent can't attach any Special Energy cards from his or her hand to his or her Pokémon." This means you will need to lock the Stadium of your choosing in play to get this effect. The smallest line for this tech would include 1 Archie's, 1 Barbaracle, and a 1-1 Ninetales line, meaning you will need at least four spots. Four also does not including extra Stadiums that you may have to put in to make the strategy consistent. Still, the pros of this strategy make it worth the room. Before I get into which decks it fits into, I want to explain the strategy and its huge strength.

The idea is that you can usually pull off the Barbaracle by the first or second turn to apply early pressure. With a high Stadium count, the turn 1 Barbaracle, will hinder many decks heavily. For example, this is how the strategy works again Seismitoad decks.

Against Seismitoad, this strategy stops them from ever playing DCE (or Double Dragon), unless they can also play Hex Maniac AND a Stadium all in that same turn. This means after the first knock out on a Seismitoad, your opponent will probably miss a beat. They will usually whiff something they need, or have to discard something crucial for the combo. Depending on your deck, you can also attack with Seismitoad. Cutting off their access to VS Seeker makes it very difficult for them to have Hex, a Stadium and a DCE in hand all at the same time. Getting turn 1 Barbaracle will make it very hard for your opponent to get a turn 1 Quacking Punch because they need one of their 2 or 3 Stadiums and a DCE on their first turn. They will also need a way to switch out their active Pokémon in some cases. On top of that, if they play Silent Lab down as a counter-Stadium, they will not be able to use Set Up to dig for Double Colorless Energy.

This seems to be the story with Barbaracle against every deck that is reliant on special Energy. Turn 1 Barbaracle will essentially win you the game against Vespiquen. If you have a Barbaracle and a Ninetales in play by turn two against Night March, it's going to be very hard to lose. Against Groudon, Ninetales present a huge problem because it forces them to play Hex just to put down a Stadium. Yveltal has a tougher time doing damage and will whiff Energy attachments without access to their four Double colorless. Locking a Stadium against Trevenant will be incredibly helpful, because too much of their strategy is rooted in using Dimension Valley. Locking a Silent Lab in play will certainly cause them to whiff attacks.

Now that we understand the combo, which decks is Barbaracle useful in?

First and foremost, Yveltal. Yveltal can play 3 different Stadiums and already has the Maxie's engine, making it a perfect candidate. This is my current list:

With this list I have the option to pick between three different Stadiums. While I only have one copy of each, I figure that in most matchups two Stadiums will be helpful. For example, against Seismitoad I want to lock Parallel City in play but can settle for Reverse Valley. In essentially every matchup, locking Reverse Valley will be somewhat helpful. The extra ten is just nice. I could see cutting something from this list in favor of a fourth Stadium, just to increase consistency with hitting it.

This deck is not viable until week two because it requires cards from Fates Collide, but will be at the top of my testing list after week one. I see good matchups against everything when this strategy works. I suspect the main problem will be getting the lock set up.

The second deck that I could see Barbaracle being played in is Mega Rayquaza. This is a list I came up with that fits the new cards well. Shout out to Caleb Gedemer for giving me the list I based this it off of.

This deck actually works very well with these additions, due to the heavy speed engine and a good amount of open room in the list. Ninetales is nice because it fixes the problem of needing to get Pokémon back onto your Bench to one-shot. Barbaracle is nice for obvious reasons, but really doesn't seem to solve any of Rayquaza's problems the way that Ninetales does.... Or does it?

I would argue that Barbaracle also helps matchups that previously were poor. Night March for example is now winnable. Vespiquen and Seismitoad variants are also closer matchups that get far better because of Barbaracle and Ninetales.

Groudon is another matchup that was feared by many Mega Ray players. I think with Ninetales, late game gets a lot better. In a situation where you are trading knockouts back and forth, forcing them to get a Stadium and a Hex to knock out is huge. After an N to two cards, I doubt they will be able to get what they need to return the knock out.

While I do like the Yveltal version better, this variant is also strong and could work better for someone who has a play style that is more adapted to decks like Mega Rayquaza.

There are other decks that work well with Barbaracle as well, however I feel that these two take advantage of the engine better than the others. Night March could also be played but I do not like Night March in expanded much, outside of playing it with Marowak.

This is a list of every current upper tier deck that can take advantage of any new cards.

Mew can be included in:

* Night March

* Certain Seismitoad variants

* Speed Darkrai

Marowak can be included in:

* Groudon (through evolution)

* Donphan (through evolution)

* Yveltal (with Maxie's)

* Mega Rayquaza (with Maxie's)

* Mega Manectric (either route could work)

* Archie's Blastoise (with Maxie's)

* Night March (with Maxie's)

* Vespiquen

Barbaracle can be played with Archie's and Ninetales in:

* Mega Rayquaza

* Mega Manectric

* Archie's Blastoise

* Night March

* Vespiquen

* Yveltal

While these three cards will see the most play out of the other cards in the list, there are a couple other cards that I want to mention that most likely will be played in other decks. First of which is Umbreon-EX.

Umbreon only really will see play in Yveltal variants. Endgame is an amazing attack that will almost certainly cause it to see play in Yveltal lists. Mega Manectric and Primal Groudon were both bad matchups previously. Using Umbreon properly will change them both into very positive ones. I love this card as a one-of in Yveltal.

Archie's Blastoise is a deck that has not seen much play lately. I still consider it an option even though it can be heavily countered by some specific cards. This deck will benefit from Glaceon-EX. Vespiquen, Donphan, Trevenant, Groudon, Mega Manectric, and Mega Rayquaza all rely on evolved Pokémon for their attackers. While some of these matchups are already positive for Blastoise, Glaceon helps to seal them up.

Other matchups that were harder, like Groudon, Mega Rayquaza, and Trevenant become far better. Groudon becomes almost an auto-win. They are forced to not evolve because of Glaceon, which means not only will their damage be limited, but Groudon can be brought active by Lysandre. Mega Rayquaza is forced to do the same. If they play the Dragon type Basic Rayquaza (as many lists now do), they will be limited to 30 damage per turn. Trevenant is a bit of an exception because Silent Fear places damage counters rather than doing damage. Still, Glaceon will stop them from doing damage with Tree Slam and the damage from Silent Fear can be countered by a high Rough Seas count.

Another new card that can be included in Archie's Blastoise is Energy Pouch. Energy Pouch allows you to get all of the Energy back when your Pokémon is knocked out, instead of having them discarded. This is much stronger than Superior Energy Retrieval because oftentimes your attacker will have more than four Energy attached. It also does not force you to discard cards from your hand the way SER does.

Energy Pouch can be played on your first turn and then give back Energy later on in the game. Against Trevenant and Seismitoad this part is really big because normally you wouldn't be able to get back Energy with Superior Energy Retrieval.

The next new card is Regirock-EX, which can honestly see play in any Fighting type deck. Groudon might not make a whole lot of use out of it considering it already does tons of damage. Donphan does not play Pokémon-EX, which could put a big target on Regirock, but also lacks damage, which could make it good. I actually think a Donphan list with three or four Regirock could be very strong. Fighting bats is not a popular deck anymore, but could benefit from one or two Regirock. Any more than that would not help because the Bench space is needed for bats. Alternatively, one could cut the Fighting Stadiums for Sky Fields, which would make it possible to Fit Regirock.

One or two copies of Team Rocket's Handiwork could be played in Sableye Garbodor, but I doubt Sableye will see much play. I think Sableye is too lack luster and luck reliant now. Still, if someone brings it back, they might put Rocket's Handiwork in it.

Chaos Tower could be played in any deck really. It is a great way to counter Hypnotoxic Laser. I do not see any decks where it is glaringly useful at the moment.

Lastly, Genesect-EX will almost certainly see play in any Metal deck. The usual variant for metal is with Tyrantrum and Giratina. I would expect to see one or two copies of Genesect in these lists.

Fair warning, I may be leaving out a couple possibilities because there are so many options. For me, these are all the options I can see for cards from Fates Collide. I'm going to move onto the next question, but please tell me if you think of another deck that could benefit from these cards.

Are there any new decks that can be created because of these new cards?

There most certainly are new deck that can be created with these card. I have several ideas! A couple of these ideas I hinted at above and will start with those. First on my list is an old favorite with some new friends.

Blastoise/Eeveelutions

There are many new cards that Blastoise benefits from. Specifically Blastoise benefits from Jolteon-EX, Glaceon-EX, and Energy Pouch. In theory, this deck can beat anything. Even hard matchups, or auto-losses can be won with Jolteon or Glaceon. Above I covered bad matchups that have been solved, so I won't waste your time explaining it again. This is what I expect the matchups to look like; the first number is Blastoise chance of winning.

Blastoise/Eeveelutions’ matchups:

65/35 Yveltal

65/35 Groudon

45/55 Trevenant

70/30 Night March

60/40 Seismitoad Bats

60/40 Mega Rayquaza

60/40 Seismitoad Giratina

As you can see, these are some strong matchups. This is because basically every deck is reliant on an evolution attacker or a basic attacker. With Jolteon and Glaceon, all of these decks become good matchups. Seismitoad is an example of something that could be tough, however we do have a one Promo Jirachi to help with that.

Trevenant is the one rough matchup, I am not sure how I can fix that. If the Trevenant player goes first, there is a very slim chance that you will be able to win. I figure that the Trevenant player will miss the turn 1 Trevenant slightly less than I will miss the turn one Blastoise. This means that the Trevenant player will get what they need to win slightly more than the Blastoise player will. This is why it is 45/55 instead of 50/50. Either way things simply comes down to luck when these decks face off.

I like this deck a lot but fear bad starts and prizing too many crucial cards. When I was playing this deck it seemed like there were just too many things that could go wrong. Too often I would end up not having enough resources to win, or end up not getting Blastoise out fast enough. Even with my poor experience using this deck, I still want to give it a shot.

The next option on my list takes advantage of a card that I think most people skimmed over: Servine.

Seismitoad/Servine

Now we are getting into a deck that is different from any other decks at the moment. Blastoise has already been a played deck for a while; maybe I should not have included it as a new Archetype.

This list is a new deck entirely, with a new strategy. I do not like that it is inherently luck-based due to the flip with Servine, however, the effect in incredible when it works. This list is very similar to the way I would run Seismitoad Giratina, because it essentially has the same strategy.

This list is packed to the brim. Trying to fit all of these cards was a bit of a nightmare. The four Puzzle of Time, are nice but could be cut to fit in other cards if you want. I really like playing basic Energy in most cases, but could not find the room this time. I will say though that this deck locks extremely hard. The last time Poison, Paralysis, and Item-lock were available together was with Trevenant Accelgor, which won Worlds (in Seniors). This combination has proven to be deadly together. In our current format, there is not room for Dusknoir. Instead we can play Absol which will help with making Pokémon get knocked out coming into our turn instead of the other way around. In fact, I would argue that doing this is the goal for this list.

This list is made in a way to try to make it possible to get a knock out coming into your turn, every turn. With Muscle Band and Fighting Fury belt we can choose between the extra damage, and no extra damage. The Virbank can be played or not, depending on when it would cause a Pokémon to get knocked out. Then finally, when we cannot make the math work, we can use Absol. On a side note Absol will also provide a free Prize or two against Night March.

I think this deck has a ton of potential. It reminds me of the Toad Shaymin deck that dominated before Lysandre's Trump Card was banned.

There could be a version of this list that does include Dusknoir. I am not sure how effective it would be, but I could see cutting the Absol, and maybe the four Puzzle of Time for it.

In theory this deck should beat basically anything that Laser can be played against. Decks like Trevenant and Groudon could be rough. On the other hand, the mirror is amazing. Usually the way someone gets ahead in Seismitoad is by stopping the opponent from using Quacking Punch for a turn or two. This deck can stream Paralysis turn after turn, stopping Seismitoad from punching for multiple turns.

Yveltal is also positive. Think about how the matchup between Toad Tina and Yveltal was before. It was close but Toad Tina usually comes out on top. Now we have basically the same deck, but without all of the cards that were useless against Yveltal; i.e. Giratina and Double Dragon Energy.

Against Vespiquen and Night March, simply set the math up to take knock outs coming into your turn and you should be set. Vespiquen may be a little more difficult because of the Grass weakness.

In all honestly I am considering taking out the Crushing Hammers to devote more space to a bigger Servine line and more Devolution Spray. Give this deck a shot, I think it is amazing!

In addition to this list, I have a second Seismitoad variant, which takes a different approach to locking. This list takes an approach similar to the Blastoise list from earlier.

Seismitoad/Eeveelutions

This deck derives its strength from Crystal Ray and Flash Ray, in the same way that Archie's does. It is actually a bit misleading to call this a Seismitoad deck. In reality, it is more of an Eeveelutions deck that happens to also play Seismitoad. I would go as far as to say that Seismitoad could be cut from the deck in favor of something else if more cards are needed.

The thing that I like about this list is that it is a little more consistent than Archie's Blastoise. I feel like with Blastoise, there is a lot that can go wrong at any time. This deck also has less of a reliance on Items which will help more against Trevenant. Seismitoad variants are a better matchup because this list has more of a focus on Jolteon than Blastoise does.

I want to explain this list because it plays a lot of weird counts and even weirder cards.

Card Explanation

2-2 Ariados

Hypnotoxic Laser is usually played over Ariados, however in this list I like Ariados because of Keldeo. In fact, I could see Ariados being played in any Seismitoad variant that plays both Keldeo and has Bench space for Ariados. This deck also does not benefit from Hypnotoxic Lasers because the Sleep flip will not matter in most cases. Most decks simply will not be able to do damage to you because of Jolteon or Glaceon. The advantage that Ariados has is that it works against both Groudon and Trevenant.

Regice

Against anything that only has EX attackers, Regice is the way to go. Regice is an easy fit because the deck already has water Energy and Double Colorless Energy. It is a nice one-of for things like Groudon, Mega Rayquaza and some Seismitoad variants.

Lysandre

This list only plays one Lysandre because I figure the strategy is to attack over and over with a specific attacker, meaning it does not really matter what is active. Against most decks, you do not care what you are hitting as long as you can continue to attack.

Pokémon Center Lady

PCL is helpful because if one of your attacker does end up getting hit by something, you can quickly clear damage up. The combination of Pokémon Center Lady with Rough Seas means you can heal 90. You can stream this combo for multiple turns, making Jolteon and Glaceon very tanky.

2 Rough Seas

Like I just said above, this card combos well with PCL to heal heaps of damage turn after turn. It is too convenient to pass up Rough Seas when all of your attacker are either Water or Electric type.

4 Max Elixir

This is simply to power up Jolteon, Regice, or Glaceon quickly. If you give your opponent too much time to do damage, they may end up being able to take too many Prizes. In particular, Elixir is helpful against Night March, because Jolteon will be Lysandre'd up and knocked out if it is Benched before it attacks.

4 Lightning, 4 Water

I wanted to include a decent amount of Energy in this list to get the most out of Max Elixir. It is important to run enough of each Energy type, because I could hit the wrong Energy too often if I didn't play at least four copies of each. Other than for this reason, there is not really a need for this high Energy count.

--

Those three decks should give you some food for thought. How about we try to answer the next question.

Do any of these new cards heavily counter my decks?

Yes! Some of these cards certainly do counter top tier decks. In particular I am talking about Barbaracle and Marowak. As I explained earlier, Barbaracle will really mess with any deck relying on special Energy. My advice is to have some sort of counter that does not require a much commitment. Don't worry too much about these cards though; not a lot of people see how strong they are yet.

I do want to emphasize this; many players will not understand how to use these new cards well for weeks one and two. You may want to prepare for these cards, but at the same time you could do well with absolutely no preparation. With that being said, I will get into exactly what cards could be threats.

Marowak

Marowak will counter Giratina and Seismitoad decks because both cards derive their strength from stopping your opponent from playing cards. Make sure you are ready to Lysandre to knock out Marowak if you play Toad Tina or Metal Dragons.

Other than that, Marowak won't hurt much else. Toad Tina players are basically the only ones who have to be prepared for it, aside from a few Tyrantrum players.

Barbaracle

This card seems to counter everything! Almost every deck in expanded plays special Energy, which makes Barbaracle good against any of these decks. I do think people will catch onto how strong Barbaracle is. I personally would only play it with Ninetales, however others may have different ideas. I think the best way to counter Barbaracle without Ninetales is simply a higher Stadium count.

For decks that do play Ninetales with Barbaracle, I suggest teching more Stadiums and a higher Hex Maniac count. For any deck that does not play Hex Maniac now, I strongly suggest putting it in (if you play special Energy). In certain decks this will be hugely important. This is a list of decks that should prepare for Barbaracle.

* Night March

* Seismitoad variants

* Vespiquen (more than any other deck, this one should be most concerned about Barbaracle)

* Mega Rayquaza

Glaceon-EX

Glaceon will counter almost any evolution deck. If you are playing Vespiquen, make sure you have a counter. For Vespiquen, a counter actually isn't very hard to find, considering all you need is a Basic attacker. If you are one of the very few who is still using Donphan, you may want to tech for Glaceon. Glaceon is also useful against any Mega deck because the ability reads "prevent all damage done to this Pokémon by attacks from evolution Pokémon," which does include Megas.

Trevenant should also watch out for Glaceon when it is paired with Rough Seas. This combo can dismantle Trevenant's strategy pretty easily.

Mew

Mew is not really something to tech against, considering it will only really see popular play in Night March. I do think people will find many decks to fit it into, but I also think that we should not be troubled by them. People forget that 50 HP is incredibly low.

If you feel really strongly about teching for Mew, then a couple Silent Lab should do the trick. Bats do a great job of countering it as well.

Umbreon-EX

Lastly, Umbreon is going to cause a good amount of trouble for any mega deck. I think teching for Umbreon will depend on the deck and the list being used. There is not a blatant and easily splash-able counter that I can see. Pokémon Center Lady could do this because it will make the damage harder to achieve for Umbreon. Depending on the deck, this may or may not work.

--

That will wrap up everything new that we should worry about for weeks two and three. Now, we have answers to all three questions!

I have a little more room here, so I want to talk about another decks that has caught my interest. This list is fit for only week one of Regionals. I will be attending Seattle Regionals this weekend and have this deck at the top of my list for potential plays. The deck is Yveltal, but this list has a twist.

Thank you, Daniel Altavilla, for the list that this deck evolved from.

As I noted earlier, Ariados can be used against Groudon and Trevenant while Lasers cannot. This realization inspired me to create the list above. A list without lasers or Ariados can fit many nice cards, but does not suite me. If you are a long time Yveltal players like myself, you may not want to cut the lasers. I say give Ariados a try instead. There are actually far more benefits to Ariados than I think most people realize.

Ariados versus Hypnotoxic Lasers

As we know, Ariados is not an Item, therefore cannot be stopped by Trevenant or Seismitoad. The flip side of this is that we open ourselves up to being locked out of using Poisonous Nest, by our opponent using Hex Maniac. The downside of poisoning your active Pokémon is solved by Keldeo with a Float Stone attached.

A big problem with Hypnotoxic Laser, that people tend to forget, is the fact that you only have a certain amount of them. Ariados does not have this hindrance; one Ariados can be used every turn for a whole game. This is huge because it eliminates the problem of having to think about when to use a laser. Now, instead of wasting time trying to figure out when is the best time to use the laser, you simply announce Poisonous Nest!

Ariados can also be discard with no harm done, unlike Hypnotoxic Laser. For example if you have an Ariados already in play and then have to Sycamore away the second Ariados and a Spinarak, it is no problem because you can still poison your opponent. With Lasers, this could be game losing. Discarding two Lasers is detrimental almost every time it happens.

While I do like pretending that Ariados is directly better, there are some problems I want to address. As I noted, Hex stops it entirely. The Sleep chance is not there with Ariados either. While Sleep usually is not game deciding, it can be helpful at times. Ariados takes up another Bench space which means you should not play it any deck that tends to fill up the Bench. In the context of it being in Yveltal, this problem is manageable but somewhat annoying.

--

Conclusion

I think I have said everything there is for me to say about Regionals. I am very excited for Seattle this weekend, and even more excited for weeks two and three! I could cover some more options for week one but most of them are already in my article: "Phinn's Deadly Seven Decks". Just to recap quickly, this article covered: Which decks benefit from the new set, decks that are created from the new set, and which decks have a hard time with new cards.

As always, thank you so much for reading! If you liked what you read, or plan on testing any of these idea, please give me an up-vote on this piece. Good luck to you with the next tournament, and happy testing!

-Phinnegan

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Zach Lesage

Atlantic City: What Happened?

10/02/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach goes over his experience at Atlantic City Regionals and explains his view on the metagame going forward (+26)

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Zach Lesage

My Top Picks for Knoxville

10/08/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach shares his top three picks for Knoxville Regionals this weekend. (+26)

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