User blog

Jay Lesage

"Final Countdown" - My Top 10 Picks for Worlds!

Need a list? Well here's 10 of them.

08/23/2018 by Jay Lesage

Good morning 60Cards readers! I hope everybody is doing well going into Worlds — it’s right around the corner from us, and I’ve been grinding out game after game in order to prepare for this big event. I’ve done really well at most Worlds that I’ve attended, but for this specific Worlds I’ve felt even more prepared than usual because I’m well rounded with multiple top decks, as opposed to a single deck. It’s super important to be well versed with tons of options, because if you make it into Day 2, you may need to adapt in order to give yourself the best chance of winning! If you have already made it into Day 2, and have an advancement from making enough CP this season, you may want to study Day 1 instead of turning up in Nashville. 

I’ve been doing an awful lot of coaching lately, and I’ve come to learn that you can’t possibly beat every single matchup. I’ve tested hybrids of all sorts of decks, and even anti-meta decks, and even those decks aren’t beating everything. When looking at a deck, we need to be looking at three evident factors that’ll impact how a deck will perform at a tournament:


• Consistency – how often a deck can set up 

• Meta Position – how well a deck is positioned for a tournament against other decks

• Skill Factor – how hard this deck is to play


Today, I’m going to be going over a bunch of decks that’ll surely be apt to do well at the World Championships, and I’ll post them from my least favourite to favourite. When we get closer to the #1 position, that’s when you know we’re getting close to the fire! At this event specifically, precision is key, so I’ll be rating each deck on what it does best. Without further adieu, let’s dive into what will be my Top 10 decks going into the World Championships!

#10 - Gardevoir

Gardevoir has been around since the beginning of time (at least it’s how it seems). Gardevoir has always been a good deck, but died down because of the resurgence of Buzzwole-GX! Now, modern Buzzwole lists are less focused around the GX, and are more prioritized around the Baby Buzzwole and hitting that Sledgehammer off at some point. Because of this, it makes it harder for our opponent to take out hefty 1-Prizers in the form of Gallade, and allows us to trade positively. We also can hit Rayquaza and Zoroark for weakness, which means that we have the entire Tier 1 in our hands; it’s just the Tier 2 we have to worry about. We gain a significant consistency boost from Mysterious Treasure, and Diantha offers a unique resilience factor, so why not try it out? This cracks #10 on my list.

#9 – Yveltal BREAK/Hoopa


Coming off of a fresh Top 8 at the North American International Championships, the deck was piloted by Aaron Tarbell to excellence. Initially coming to life by Travis Nunslist and Dustin Zimmerman, this was labelled the “secret deck” going into NAIC. In the end, it fell to Tord’s Control Zoroark variant that left Aaron with little to no energy, and no damage on the board. Fortunately, this deck fares well against almost everything that isn’t going to be playing healing cards — all you need to do is spread, spread, and spread. Having resistance to Fighting-type is a blessing, because Buzzwole can’t cause infinite harm to you (it’s nice seeing a Dark-type have such a solid resistance instead of a weakness). The inclusion of Shrine of Punishment was huge for this deck, as it is now able to expedite its natural spread process, as well as have even further synergy with Yveltal BREAK. 

#8 - Malamar


For anybody who knows me, they’ll know I have very short patience for a deck like Malamar — however, the deck itself has been putting up consistent numbers across the board, so what can I say? The squid must be at least a LITTLE good (let’s not push it though). This is Adam Hawkins’ list that he used to ace the NAIC, however I cut the Giratina Promo because Greninja seems to be at a very awkward spot in the metagame, even moreso than before NAIC. I expect it to see little to no play at the World Championships, and will be surprised if it sees success. Malamar should be able to succeed over Buzzwole variants to some degree, and handle Zoroark variants to some success with an inclusion of Marshadow-GX. I’m not saying this deck is bad, it’s just not positioned to beat the top tier of decks, which are namely Zoroark-based. Malamar, however, will feast on most of the rest of the metagame based on its consistent ability to stream energy into play over and over again. 

#7 – Stakataka


Stakataka is one of the decks gaining a lot of traction recently, and is full of surprises that can dumpster any opponent. It can handle the likes of mostly everything in the format, and can gain an edge early on in a series by starting off with Dusk Mane Necrozma! This deck struggles to OHKO some things, so we include a copy of Dusk Mane GX in order to pop off and OHKO any sort of lock decks. Solgaleo Prism also helps to recover some energy, so this deck can truly handle anything at hand! The damage reduction from Frying Pan as well as Stakataka is huge, and can put a dent in almost any strategy. Be prepared for this Day 1 of Worlds, as it will be played in some variant or another in the earlier rounds. 

#6 – ZoroGardy


Ah, ZoroGardy! This is a surprise entrance on the list, mostly because it has a shaky matchup against some of the field. However, it has a very strong Zoroark mirror matchup, and can handle the likes of Rayquaza due to Ray’s Fairy weakness. All we need is a single Fairy Energy, and then we’re able to pop off and kill a Ray! That sounds like a favourable trade to me. This deck has very good consistency gains with Magcargo, and can survive against Garbodor (both of them) provided you can Smooth Over for Field Blower on most turns. No need to fear Trashalanche — we can Twilight all of our Items in. This makes for a very solid #6 on my list! 

#5 – Greninja

The classic deck brought together by Michael Long — 'nuff said. It's well positioned against the metagame, and can turn up on any deck provided it runs hot.

#4 – Rayquaza 


Everybody meet the new kid on the block — Rayquaza. Ray has the ability to swarm the field with energy, and then combat any HP of a Pokemon and respond with high damage attacks, all the while retaining that momentum in combination with Wishful Baton. Rayquaza, much like Drampa-GX, can use its GX attack for consistency purposes, and dump more energy in the discard pile. This deck really only struggles to Fairy types, like Sylveon-EX or Xerneas BREAK, or against Garbodor’s Trashalance due to a result of discarding an unpredictable amount of Item cards. The pure aggression and consistency of this deck makes it one of my favourite decks for Nashville. 

#3 – ZoroGarb 


If you’ve ever wanted to see a deck massacre somebody hard, go watch how this deck played out in the finals of NAIC against the one and only Tord Reklev. This is 100% Stephane’s list that he played, and I wouldn’t change a single card because everything has a purpose in this list. This deck can handle any mirror match, or any sort of heavy ability deck as long as it can get Garbodor online by turn two. It is also one of the few decks that can be a lock deck, or hold aggression towards the opponent. Most games against this deck are long, so your Trashalanche gets a payoff in the long run, but expect lots of this at Worlds, because it’ll be preying on Rayquaza.

#2 – BuzzRoc


This is the list that I’m loving for this deck heading into Worlds — it packs a few copies of Field Blower in order to ward off any negative matchup to Rayquaza or Zoroark/Garbodor — it’s probably the play? I’ve been going back and forth on it, and that’s why it’s here at my #2 spot. I just love the pure aggression and versatility this deck offers, and I’m not surprised to see it doing so well throughout the entirety of the season. It’s been bonkers ever since it was released, and it’s finally reaching its pinnacle now that it has Diancie, and Beast Energy. Baby Buzzwole, aptly named, was the icing on the cake. This list favours two Buzzwole-GX because the extra damage is much needed against most decks, including Stakataka and Zoroark variants with Weakness Policy.

#1 – ZoroCargo 


This is my #1 play going into the World Championships. It shouldn’t come as a shocker to anybody, as I feel that given the correct pilot, as well as the correct list, it should have zero problems taking down every player in the room. There are very few decks that stand a chance against ZoroCargo, the successor to Tord’s ZoroControl deck that he played at NAIC. Losing to Stephane’s ZoroGarb, I believe that this was due to suboptimal plays made due to exhaustion — while I do think ZoroGarb can beat ZoroCargo, Cargo definitely has the edge! In short, I love this deck’s looping abilities, and sheer drawpower. It positions the deck to #1 in my mind above all of the rest, and reminds me of a Sableye/Garbodor deck in modern standard. 


I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 list for my favourite decks going into the World Championships! Until then, cheers, and remember — get lucky, and run hot!


-Jacob Lesage



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