Experts' corner

Daniel Altavilla

On Spatial Squids and Special Friends + Team Up Top 5

Danny discusses a Malamar build with cards from Team Up and reveals his Top 5 cards out of the new set!

01/29/2019 by Daniel Altavilla

Hey there, 60Cards readers! I left off discussing a Hitmontop (LT; 113) / Wobbuffet (PHF; 36) deck that had some incredible matchups in Expanded, but now we don’t have to worry about Expanded for a little while and we can focus on the new Standard format with Team Up! The Team Up set adds plenty of new concepts to the game, like Tag Team Pokemon-GX, which are going to be amazing cards with all their HP and heavy-hitting attacks. I’m almost positive the Tag Team cards will be the first cards heavily explored for Australia in the form of Malamar/Gengar and Mimikyu-GX, Zapdos/Pikachu and Zekrom-GX, and Snorlax and Eevee-GX popping up in plenty of decks, or standalone with Kiawe. People will most likely use Marshadow-GX to counter Tag Teams that are weak to Fighting and to copy their Attacks while costing one less Prize.

The Team Up set offers more than just the Tag Teams though, giving new options to  Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) like the baby Zoroark, Alolan Muk, and Erika’s Hospitality. Erika is a huge boon for the deck and gives you the opportunity to instantly fill your hand to start Trading away and finding combo pieces, and is good  Marshadow (SLG; 45) protection. With Zoroark-GX getting stronger, it also has to find a way to deal with Tag Team Pokémon, like baby  Buzzwole (FLI; 77) Sledgehammer and maybe  Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138) with the new Lycanroc-GX teched in. Zoroark-GX will always find a way to be a relevant deck, but this may come later on in the format and not in time for Australia.

My goal out of the format will be to have a soft answer to Zoroark-GX in case it shows up, while focusing on beating Tag Team decks and hitting one-prize decks that combat the Tag Team decks. I think one-prize decks gain the most options from the new set, allowing them to run things like Jirachi, some of the new Supporter options, the Mr. Mime that shuts off Acerola, and the new baby Yveltal to finally give one-prize decks a Basic Dark-type Counter Energy option. One-prize decks controlled the last format and I expect decks like  Granbull (LT; 138) and other strong one-prize options to see wide play because of their insane ability to trade with Tag Team Pokémon-GX. You can give up three Granbulls to KO one Tag Team Pokémon and still win a game because they offer you two extra Prizes, so that deck is still going to be huge, and I can see Jirachi making Items a hot topic now, which will cause something with Alolan Muk and  Garbodor (GRI; 51) to pop up for sure. You can’t go wrong with a deck that wins prize trades in new formats because they allow you to slip up for a couple turns and still pull out a win, even more so now with Tag Team. 

I think the deck with the most obvious gains, and the one I’d like to focus this article around, is Marshadow-GX/Malamar. 


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