Experts' corner

Daniel Altavilla

That Blown...Expanded Blacephalon Shenanigans

Danny extensively covers his Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel list for the Expanded format.

12/07/2018 by Daniel Altavilla

Hey there 60cards readers, so we have had a couple of Standard events and a new set release since Portland Regionals, and all things considered, Expanded was left in a really awkward spot. It seemed Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) / Seismitoad EX (FRF; 20) / Lusamine (CIN; 96) , Primal Groudon EX (PRC; 86) / Wobbuffet (PHF; 36) /Lusamine and Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124) / Blastoise (BC; 31) were the best plays for the event. Trevenant (XY; 55) would be a part of this list but I think it mostly gets destroyed by the other tier 1 decks so even though it has insane tier 2 matchups it has to deal with  Giratina (BW; 184) , which is an easy inclusion at League Cups, and it must get around tier 1, which is very unrealistic for the deck. Groudon can spam  Pok√©mon Center Lady (FLF; 93) every two turns, Control uses Plumeria (BUS; 120) every other turn and Quakings you into oblivion, Archie's doesn't need items as much past turn one and uses heavy attackers that require Basic Energy.

Control was the best deck as it beats most decks outright in an unsuspecting format, and Groudon is favored versus Control even if slightly. Archie's has a closer control matchup, but destroys the rest of the format pretty handily, spare Garbodor (BKP; 57) -based decks, because of how ridiculously consistent and fast the deck is. This sets a clear line between the actual meta and the other decks available in Expanded to the point that I'm thinking Archie's, Zoro/Toad or Groudon are the only old decks capable of consistently winning events now. Groudon, requiring Tropical Beaches, cannot be played very heavily, which always leaves it in the fringe deck category; but the deck is so good right now that in the right hands it is very difficult to lose with it.

As for the other decks, players will take their pick on what they are most comfortable with and run it at Cups. I think Stoise is the most likely choice out of these though because it is so fun and so explosive. Hitting the Archie never loses it's flare and the deck wins so convincingly a lot of the time. Losing Hex Maniac and Ghetsis made the deck top tier, and it is very difficult to counter right now so it should be around for a while.



I expect control to be the least played of the bunch because it is such a boring and linear lock deck and people shy away from lock decks in fear of misplaying or excessively tying. I disagree with that because of how strong control is, but other decks pick up wins quicker and with less stress, so I can't blame anybody who doesn't want to play control.

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