07/31/2019 by Jimmy Pendarvis
Hey everyone! It has been a while since I have written an article, so I am, excited to be back! We are at one of my favorite points in the season, the World Championships! On top of that, we have a new set and a rotation to figure out! That is a lot going on at once, and it requires a bunch of testing, but I have been having fun with Unified Minds so far. I definitely prefer the new format to the old one, and I am hoping nothing emerges that tilts me as much as Marshadow (SLG; 45) did. I definitely don't miss that card whatsoever. Anyways, I'll be talking all about the new format today. From what cards are rotating out to what is coming out in Unified Minds, along with some deck analysis to go wrap things up. Let's kick things off with a look at the rotation.
This is the simplest part of the article, where I will go over popular cards that won't be legal for use in the Standard format anymore. Some of these cards will be missed dearly, while others I for one am happy to see go.
This has actually not made as big of a difference as I expected it too when the rotation was first announced. I was expecting to miss having this powerful energy card around, but I really don't. Their are not a lot of great attackers that require simply two colorless energy, certainly not ones that are being used in post rotation regardless of the lack of Double Colorless Energy (EVO; 90) . On top of that, Tripple Acceleration Energy (UBO; 190) has taken it's place as an energy card that covers a more expensive attack cost. The card does not feel as unbalanced as Double Colorless Energy (EVO; 90) did because it can't be used on basics, meaning you are not getting rushed down by a quick attacker sporting a Tripple Acceleration Energy (UBO; 190) . Additionally, this energy discards itself at the end of your turn. Meaning you can't put it down preemptively and you can't attack with the same energy card multiple turns in a row.
Now these are some cards I miss. These cards were great for attitudinal consistency and allowed for universal consistency. Unlike the search cards we are working with in post rotation, such as Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) , these cards are not type specific, leaving all decks on a relatively even playing field. A lot has changed in the new format due to the lack of search cards, decks like Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) and Malamar (FLI; 51) have gained an advantage because they still have plenty of search cards.
It is a relief to see this card gone. It was always played when it was legal, we will continue to see it played in expanded, and it would still be played if it was legal in the standard format. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) was a decent attacker and had incredibly draw power built in, all in one card. Attacking for colorless energy allowed it have access to a large partner pool, thus letting it remain dominant for almost the entirety of its standard legality.
These cards only have one thing in common, that I hate both of them. These two cards took a lot of skill out of the format, allowing aggressive strategies to take over the format. Guzma (BUS; 115) made playing support Pokemon a much more difficult task, and created many situations where the player who got ahead would just stay ahead and win the game. The card was too powerful and gave the player using it too much freedom to take easy prizes or make a big play. Marshadow (SLG; 45) has some similar qualities, often giving the player lucky enough to win the coin flip an incredible advantage. Not only would said player go first and get to start setting up first, they didn't have to worry an opposing Marshadow (SLG; 45) and could even use their own for full effect.
Surprise! Maybe. For me, missing this card was definitely not something I expected. Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147) was a strong tech card in past formats, and that would have remained true in the new format. Many decks, such as dark box, Pikarom, and Reshizard all flood the board with energy in order to perform their strategy and win the game. Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147) would help to punish aggressive play, and provide lightning decks with another option in the mid to late game.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the rotation of this card. It would be nice to have a more stable utility Pokemon that offers immediate assistance, especially on turn one, that can be easily searched via Pokemon Communication. Some decks don't mind using Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) , but Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) would be another viable option, especially for decks that don't want to use Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) . Having Custom Catcher (LT; 171) in the opening hand and having to Dedenne it away is a painful experience that Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) would prevent if it was still legal. My biggest concern is Tapu Lele-GX's typing, Psychic. Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) has already given Psychic and Dragon Pokemon a noticeable boost in playability due to the removal of most other search options. It is already seen how much of an advantage a deck can gain through something like this, with Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) being an incredible inclusion in Pikarom. It grabs an attacker and a draw support Pokemon in one go, and I said I missed Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) !
The presence of Pokemon tool cards, outside of Spell Tag (LT; 190) , has dropped significantly since the rotation of this handy tool. Choice Band (GRI; 121) was included in a majority of decks when it was legal, allowing higher HP GX Pokemon to be more susceptible to attacks. In combination with Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) , Choice Band (GRI; 121) made single prize Pokemon so efficient that their was pretty much always a single prize deck running around in the meta. Now that their damage output and search engine has been nerfed, we will see a lot less of them. Choice Band (GRI; 121) was even used in most GX decks for opposing GX decks, it was just an all around solid card. It was not overpowered or unbalanced, just a strong card, and I would not mind having it back. I also don't miss it a ton thus far, so I could really take it or leave it.
Brock's Grit (EVO; 74) just does not compare to this fallen recovery card. Rescue Stretcher (GRI; 130) was much easier to use because it was a trainer, not a supporter, and you could snag a Pokemon out of the discard for immediate gratification. This made it a decent card earlier in the game, where Brock's Grit (EVO; 74) struggles even harder, and can allow a player to pull off a big play if the Pokemon has an immediate effect on the board. Some decks definitely miss this card more than others. Malamar (FLI; 51) misses it a lot, while decks like Pikarom prefer this to be out of the meta.
Unified Minds is an absolutely massive set, which is pretty disappointing because I feel it is a relatively low quality one. A ton of cards in the set are just unplayable, and not a lot of stuff really stands out at me. I was able to assemble this list of cards that are receiving hype and have some potential, but nothing here is too earth shattering. Maybe it is because the set is following in the footsteps of Unbroken Bonds, a set that ended up being quite powerful. Anyways, lets take a look at the cards that do make a difference!
Froslass reminds me a lot of Slowking (LT; 55) , which ended up being a relatively unuseful card once decks became more refined. Froslass is an incredible answer to Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20) as a card, but the simple fact of the matter is that it doesn't do enough against other attackers. Even against Reshizard, Froslass will have a hard time dealing with cards like Eevee & Snorlax GX (TM; 120) and Mew & Mewtwo-GX. Most Reshizard lists will have one of these included, so I suspect Froslass will phase out of the picture quite quickly.
This card has potential simply because of how the rest of the format is shaping up. Currently, a lot of decks are focused on GX Pokemon, probably because they are a lot more consistent than single prize decks. Power Plant (UBO; 183) is a nice answer for this card, but again, I don't see many decks including that card either. This gives Keldeo an opening to take advantage of an unprepared meta, so it should be interesting to see how decks are built heading into worlds. I haven't messed around with this pony myself, but Michael Catron has been putting out a list that he thinks fits nicely into the meta. It is a slower, defensive build, which is how I think Keldeo-GX will be played if it ever sees success.
This card has one use right now and one use only. That use would be to substantially improve any given decks Blacephalon matchups, as it will be KOing either Blacephalon for just one colorless energy. This is a pretty brutal swing, especially if the Tapu Fini can be recovered for further use. However, Blacephalon would need to be highly anticipated for me to ever consider including this card in a deck at a Regional Championships. This definitely seems like a strong tech for local tournaments if you know Blacephalon is popular in your area, so don't forget about this beast come game day!
One of the stronger cards to come out of Unified Minds! Every Pikarom list I have seen since the rotation was announced has at least one of these included. In my testing, one of these is definitely worth the spot! The GX attack packs a pretty massive punch, doing 250 damage is a great way to end the game if Tag Bolt can't get the job done. That is not all that Raichu brings to the table though, leaving your opponent's active paralyzed can cripple some decks and completely flip the game around.
This is a really powerful attacker on it's own, when your opponent is at three prizes at least. It has the same attack as baby Buzzwole, which has been ruining dreams with Sledgehammer for over a year now. This card absolutely would have added to ZapBeast's dominance prior to the oration, but just doesn't really have as good of a home now that Zapdos and most single prize decks have fallen off. Losing Guzma (BUS; 115) was a huge hit for them, but if a consistent and strong gust effect gets printed, I would expect Zapdos and the Ultra Beasts to be back on top.
This card has a variety of uses, not only can it be used as an entirely new archetype, but it is also being seen as a tech in decks such as Pikarom and Reshizard. It gives these decks an alternative attacker to help with weakness situations and open up their options. As an archetype, it can take advantage of pretty much any attacker you want. The most popular option seems to be Altaria GX (DM; 41) thus far, and while a lot of players are hyping this online, a version like that seems to have the same path to success as a Keldeo-GX build. It can take advantage of an unprepared meta, but can also get phased out of the meta if everything is prepared for it. It will be interesting to see how Mewbox shapes up.
This is definitely just a tech option, as I think their are better defensive strategies for dealing with Tag Team GX Pokemon. This card would be used strictly for GX attacks, probably by more defensive decks or decks that don't plan on using their own GX attack. The issue with it is that giving up two prizes and giving up using a different attack is often not worth the cost. Mewbox is the only deck I have seen playing this card so far, but I wouldn't be shocked to see it have success in another deck down the line.
I was pretty excited about this card when I first read the Unified Minds setlist. To my disappointment, it was not anything like what I pictured in my head. A lot of good wall Pokemon are very difficult to search out and continuously move from the active position. Additionally, setting up well and fast enough was a problem a lot of the time, simply because of how limited search options are at the moment. I tried pairing Behyeeyem with Zebstrika (LT; 82) and a slew of different partners to round things out, but couldn't find a build that worked. This is a card that I will continue to be interested in as long as it is legal, and I can only hope it will get some support in upcoming sets.
I lumped these three cards together, because when they join up, they form the archetype known as Dark Box! From the beginning, Dark Box was receiving a lot of hype because it seemed like it was going to be one of the best decks to come out of the new set. While I don't consider Dark Box to be the undisputed best deck or anything, I do consider it to be a strong deck heading into the World Championships. These two beefy Tag Team Pokemon are incredible attackers that have good synergy with each other. They can allow you to maneuver a majority of situations, where as some decks are linear and can't deviate from a particular gameplan. Weavile-GX is like Aromatisse except for Dark Energy, which is a good type at the moment. The lack of Guzma (BUS; 115) makes bench sitters like this one a much more viable option.
This is a very costly attacker, but it does do a ton of damage in exchange, assuming you can sprinkle some damage counters on your opponent's Pokemon to get things going. This beats hits for 240 damage on any opposing Pokemon that is already damaged. Since you need a bunch of energy too, this makes Malamar (FLI; 51) the perfect partner. You can meet the attack requirements using Psychic Recharge, allowing you to attack faster and more frequently. On top of that, you can use Spell Tag (LT; 190) and Giratina's Distortion Door ability to damage all of your opponent's Pokemon.
All of you already know that I tried a Naganadel-GX control deck already, with Naganadel being a replacement for Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , but I found myself struggling in multiple areas. For starters, without Jesse & James being printed, I struggled by identifying a win condition when I first started building the deck. I ended up going with a really defensive list that essentially aimed to win via Reset Stamp and Mars (UPR; 128) . I never felt like pulling off the combo was consistent, you also needed to combine it with some sort of board disruption, because removing your opponent's hand doesn't stop them from attacking with their loaded up Tag Team Pokemon. All of this was ultimately too much to achieve while being rushed down by faster decks, so I have shelfed that idea for now. This lead me to look into splashing this into decks already running Naganadel for energy support, and the only one that felt strong enough was Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) .
This card is obviously incredible. It is really as simple as that. If your deck has GX Pokemon, it should probably contain some amount of Cherish Ball. This might have not been the case in the past, but search options right now are extremely limited, leaving this card with minimal competition.
Looking back on it, this card probably should have just been lumped into the Dark Box section. In terms of what it offers the deck, it lets you pull off bigger plays when switching between Tag Teams by helping to preserve energy, which I heard Tyranitar can sometimes need a lot of. People are split on this, with some people option to use it while others run Viridian Forest (TM; 156) . I have been going with a small count of both thus far, just to get a feel for both of the options.
Sorry Dark City, you might be playable, but Giant Hearth has got you beat by a long shot. I hereby declare Giant Hearth stadium of the month. It is incredible in any deck that plays Fire Energy and aims to use Welder (UBO; 189) on many turns of the game. Essentially that just means Reshizard variants at the moment, but we could see other decks abusing the Welder engine in the future.
This card was super hyped and for good reason. N was a very good card when legal, granted it was also a consistency card. Using Marshadow (SLG; 45) to try to prevent an opponent from beating you often felt futile because it still left them with quite a bit of cards. Reset Stamp is not the same way at all, and can be a real eye opener when you start playing the new format. If you don't play around it, it can really punish you and turn the game around.
I think this card is not going to be played in the current format. Tag Team decks often spend the first couple turns getting ready for war by powering up said Tag Team Pokemon. Very rarely will you want to pretty much abandon a Team Team Pokemon by moving two energies off of it. If you do want to move energy off of it, Energy Switch (LTR; 112) can still do a great job of doing so, and is much less of a situational card.
This is a competitor to the beloved Escape Board (UPR; 122) . However, U Turn Board operates differently than Escape Board (UPR; 122) because it does not allow Jirachi (TM; 99) to maneuver around the board and run the show. In decks that run Jirachi (TM; 99) , this means Escape Board (UPR; 122) is still the board to play. I haven't seen a deck do this yet, but if for some reason a deck chooses to play a board card but not Jirachi (TM; 99) , U turn Board will be the better one to pick. It gains the advantage of returning to your hand whenever it is removed from the board, so it is pretty much strictly better than Escape Board (UPR; 122) when not paired with Jirachi (TM; 99) .
The cards I am about to talk about cards that I think will make a splash at this year's World Championships, most of which will see a highly increased usage rate when compared to last format.
This is pretty much the only universal search card left. By universal, I mean it can be used in any deck, just like Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) was during its legality. Pretty much every single deck in the new format is running four Pokemon Communication (TM; 152) , even decks that don't actually play that many Pokemon. Over time, I don't expect Pokemon Communication (TM; 152) to fall off because it has little competition, but I expect Pokemon counts to rise in decks to make it useable more often.
This is an example of a deck specific card, in this case a supporter that can only be used in Lightning type decks. Being able to search out powerful consistency cards such as Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) and a Lightning Energy makes it very strong early. In the late game, you can search out Custom Catcher (LT; 171) to help take your last couple prizes or eliminate a big threat. This is an example of a card that in my opinion was average at best before, that turns into a staple post rotation. I expect every Pikarom list to be playing some amount of Volkner (UPR; 135) at this year's World Championship.
This card was previously only played in Green's Charizard, but it has become the dominant gust effect now that Guzma (BUS; 115) has rotated out. This trainer card and Ninetales (TM; 16) are the only gust effect options left, so you can see why almost every deck has made Custom Catcher (LT; 171) the gust effect of choice. Since you have to use them in pairs to get the gust effect, this means you have a maximum of two gusts per game, so you need to make sure you are getting maximum value out of these instances. In my testing, these are mostly used early as a way of crippling an opponent, or in the final turns as a way of taking multiple prize cards at once to end the game quicker.
There are actually a ton of reasons why Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) is even more playable now than before. Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) was previously its main competition, but that card is now rotated. Pikarom was already using Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) as a way of drawing a ton of cards and getting Lightning Energy into the discard, Pikarom is one of the best decks in the format now. Last but not least, Cherish Ball is going to be in a ton of decks, and including Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) means you can grab a utility Pokemon or your main attacker with any given Cherish Ball.
These are both type specific cards, which is why they are lumped together, but these cards are the strongest two search cards available at the moment. So strong that one could argue that these cards are the reason why Pikarom and Malamar (FLI; 51) are two of the best decks in the format. Not only are these cards incredible on their own, other types have nothing like it, meaning Psychic and Lightning decks simply have an advantage when it comes to consistency.
These are also lumped together because they serve similar purposes. These cards were already played before, as were Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) and Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) , but they have gained a lot of value. Due to the rotation of a majority of Pokemon search cards, along with Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) which was the go to consistency Pokemon, decks have to figure out new ways to consistently setup. Acro Bike (CLS; 123) provides extra reach whenever you draw it, which can help you find basics or a supporter in the early game, and cards like Custom Catcher (LT; 171) in the late game. Pokégear 3.0 (UBO; 182) has less versatility most of the time, but it does a good job at what it offers. As long as you playing a reasonable supporter count, Pokégear 3.0 (UBO; 182) will provide you with at least one supporter option when you play it. I would say this card is especially strong for decks that aim to use a certain supporter card repeatedly, such as Welder in Fire Type decks. The difference between these cards and Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) and Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) is that these can be played in every deck, just like Pokemon Communication (TM; 152) .
These are decks that saw success towards the end of last season, most of which had a strong showing at the 2019 North American International Championships less than a month ago. That being said, the rotation always shakes things up a ton. This section is where I will go over recently successful decks and offer my opinion on them post rotation. I have talked about decks briefly throughout the article, so also take a look through the other sections if you are interested in more info about a certain deck!
There are really only two ways to play this tank of a Pokemon, and that is with Greens Exploration or Jirachi (TM; 99) . The end goal is the same, simply overpowering the opponent with the high HP and damage output that Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20) offers. The Green's Exploration version takes a bit of a slower of a route, and uses healing to even things out. I consider this version to have more options and a higher ability to handle a more open meta. The Jirachi (TM; 99) version really has no surprises or tricks, and tries to win games through raw power and speed. Previously, this was the better version by far because of how incredible Kiawe (BUS; 116) was in the deck. The Kiawe (BUS; 116) also meant having a positive matchup against Charizard decks that did not have Kiawe (BUS; 116) , which really hurt the Greens version. However, know that Jirachi (TM; 99) has lost some of it's better targets and Green's has gained some additional healing cards, the race between the two versions is much closer. It does feel meta dependent, but players will have a decision to make heading into worlds. Overall, I would consider myself a fan of Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20) at the moment.
I have shown this deck some love throughout the article, but if you didn't know by now, I consider Pikarom to be a top contender heading into this year's World Championships. In the past, there have really only been two ways to play this deck, using Jirachi (TM; 99) or a more turbo version that plays powerful draw trainers. These two engines have established themselves as the best options and I don't see that changing with the rotation. In fact, I think that the rotation actually allows both of these variants to play to their strengths. Both of these decks are consistent, especially when packed with a high count of Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) and Volkner (UPR; 135) . This already gives the archetype a leg up on some of the meta, simply because of how versatile and strong the search cards are for this deck. Whether it be Jirachi (TM; 99) or Order Pad and Acro Bike (CLS; 123) teaming up with Volkner (UPR; 135) , you will be able to search out powerful trainer cards, such as Electropower (LT; 232) and Customer Catcher, with ease! A lot of decks simply include Custom Catcher (LT; 171) because they can't forgo it altogether, but actually pulling off a pair of Custom Catchers can be difficult for some decks. In the past, I always preferred the Jirachi (TM; 99) version because it had an easier time dealing with single prize attackers, and I considered it to be slightly more consistent. With the rotation and release of Unified Minds, some of this changes. Single prize attackers are starting to fall out of the format, the lack of Guzma (BUS; 115) and reliable search cards have really hurt them. Additionally, Jirachi (TM; 99) has lost a little bit of value because it doesn't have as many consistency trainers to find in the early game. Previously, you had potential to find any of four Nest Ball (SUM; 123) or four Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) in your top five on that first Stellar Wish, but those outs have been trimmed down to a high count of Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) . However, the Jirachi (TM; 99) version does gain some points back by being more resilient to Reset Stamp, and avoids flipping those rage inducing Order Pads. Overall, I consider the archetype to have a lot going for it, and the race between the variants is closer than ever.
The lack of Nest Ball (SUM; 123) and Guzma (BUS; 115) kill this deck. It lost a lot of its speed, which is obviously a terrible thing to lose for an aggressive deck. On top of that, having no Guzma (BUS; 115) makes it much harder to close games. You still have Custom Catcher (LT; 171) as a gust option, but it is difficult to access them when your opponent Reset Stamps you and knocks out your attacker. Simply put, it is just very difficult to take cheap six prizes before your opponent takes six by knocking out one of your weak attackers every turn. You just don't have the same tools at your disposal as you used to, which is why I consider Zapdos a dead archetype.
Okay so I lumped Blacephalon together as a whole, but the two decks actually went in a very different direction. To start this off, let's talk about baby Blacephalon. This deck honestly lost a ton to the rotation and I don't think it can keep up with the rest of the format anymore. Wishful Baton (BUS; 128) , Nest Ball (SUM; 123) , and Energy Retrieval (EVO; 77) were all crucial cards for the deck, and they are no longer legal for use. I hate to say it but I think it is as simple as that, I would stay away from baby Blacephalon. However, Blacephalon fans rejoice, I think Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) has a lot of potential! It is one of the more consistent decks, it didn't really lose anything, and its power level is as high as ever. I know Zach and Michele have tested the deck a ton, and Michele put out the list they were working on. I think it is a really strong starting point, and the deck has a decent amount of space to allow you to tech for what you expect to play against. The deck still sets up pretty quickly through the use of Ultra Space (FLI; 115) and Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) . This allows you to trade two prizes for three with the Tag Team decks that are running around, a trade that is obviously in your favor. Now that Guzma (BUS; 115) is gone and gust effects are limited, don't overlook attacking with Naganadel (LT; 108) ! When you are at three prize cards, Turning Point is a very strong attack that can allow you to take a KO without necessarily having a GX in play at all, but at the very least keeping the clown out of harms way. I have seen a few different support Pokemon being played in this deck, and I have yet to decide what I like best. Ninetales (TM; 16) allows you to have a gust effect of your own, Persian GX (UBO; 149) can let you guarantee those Beast Rings to turn the game in your favor, and Naganadel-GX can just draw you some cards throughout the game.
Unfortunately for stall players, stall was probably the archetype hurt most by the rotation outside of decks that rotated completely. Losing Acerola (BUS; 112) and Max Potion (GRI; 128) was a huge hit because it makes it much harder to just tank with a beefy Pokemon and use disruption supporters to run the opponent out of resources. That being said, a defensive deck can always take a tournament by storm if the meta is completely unprepared for it. Currently, I think Shedinja (LT; 95) and the aforementioned Keldeo-GX variant are the only decks that can do so. Both of which have counters available to them, but if players choose not to include those techs, only decks with natural counters will be able to stand up to them. This is why I say that decks like these are so meta dependent, because the contents of the opponent's deck often determines the outcome of any given game.
This is probably the most exciting thing to come out of every rotation, getting to play with different decks. Unfortunately, while I do name a few decks in this section, not many have actually proven to be a solid contender. With that being said, let's take a look at the lineup of decks to come out of Unified Minds.
One of the more promising decks to come out of Unified Minds. The deck sports a ton of options due to having a large variety of attackers. Umbreon & Darkrai-GX is the ideal early game attacker because it can set up multiple knockouts for you by damaging important benched Pokemon. Then you can come in with Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX to finish the job, Greedy Crush can end the game very quickly by allowing you to take an extra prize for every knockout you take with the beast. You can transition through attackers easily because Weavile-GX's Shadow Connection ability lets you move energy around as much as you like. You can switch between attackers using Super Scoop Up (CLS; 146) or Dark City. Super Scoop Up (CLS; 146) also allows you to pull ahead in games by healing your beefy tag team Pokemon. If one of your attackers does go down, Naganadel (LT; 108) can help to recover the energy you lost. Speaking of Naganadel (LT; 108) , this is going to be your energy acceleration. After using Charge Up, you can move the energy wherever you like with Weavile and get attacking. Cherish Ball, Pokemon Communication (TM; 152) , and Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) give this deck a healthy amount of search cards, so you aren't lacking in that department either.
This is the new Malamar (FLI; 51) variant, and in my opinion the best Malamar (FLI; 51) variant. That being said, Malamar (FLI; 51) feels super hit or miss as an archetype. In some games, you do your thing, set up and take over the game. In other games, you just don't get enough going in a quick enough manner and fall behind. This was very surprising to me because Malamar (FLI; 51) has a ton of consistency available to it, and you can really pack any given Malamar (FLI; 51) list with a bunch of said consistency. Cards like Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) , Pokemon Communication (TM; 152) , and Acro Bike (CLS; 123) allow you to have a solid amount of search/reach on top of the standard maxed Lillie (SLG; 62) and Cynthia (UPR; 119) counts. So all in all, you do have plenty of consistency cards in the grand scheme of things. However, Malamar (FLI; 51) is just a deck that needs a lot of pieces to get going, and one of the decks with the lowest amount of comeback potential in my opinion.
I talked about this earlier in the article, so you already know my opinion on it. I tried a few different variants, from Mareep to a more toolbox build based around Persian GX (UBO; 149) . These variants obviously operate differently, with one being more of a lock deck, while the other was essentially just using Beheeyem to gain a lead before cleaning up with Persian GX (UBO; 149) . The strategies both seem reasonable in theory, and they even worked occasionally in practice, but at the end of the day Beheyeem just seems like a very inconsistent Pokemon to work around. You have Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) to search out the Behyeem line, but it is not super easy to continuously find all of the other pieces you need before getting run over. With even just one turn of items, decks can begin their strategy and apply a ton of pressure in some cases. Like I said before, this is not a card I will be giving up on, but I don't have high hopes for it as of now.
That is all for today everyone! I hope you enjoyed getting to read my initial thoughts on everything Unified Minds and the new format. Rotations and new sets are always my favorite times within the game because I love building decks and toying around with new concepts.The World Championships coming up does make things a bit more stressful than usual, but testing for that is fun its own way. Anyways, I will continue my testing for worlds and come back next week with some updates and decklists! See you guys then.
Energy Switch (LTR; 112)
Brock's Grit (EVO; 74)
Double Colorless Energy (EVO; 90)
Energy Retrieval (EVO; 77)
Choice Band (GRI; 121)
Max Potion (GRI; 128)
Rescue Stretcher (GRI; 130)
Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147)
Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60)
Acerola (BUS; 112)
Guzma (BUS; 115)
Kiawe (BUS; 116)
Wishful Baton (BUS; 128)
Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)
Lillie (SLG; 62)
Marshadow (SLG; 45)
Ultra Ball (SLG; 68)
Cynthia (UPR; 119)
Escape Board (UPR; 122)
Mars (UPR; 128)
Volkner (UPR; 135)
Malamar (FLI; 51)
Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113)
Ultra Space (FLI; 115)
Acro Bike (CLS; 123)
Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)
Super Scoop Up (CLS; 146)
Altaria GX (DM; 41)
Nest Ball (SUM; 123)
Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)
Custom Catcher (LT; 171)
Electropower (LT; 232)
Naganadel (LT; 108)
Slowking (LT; 55)
Spell Tag (LT; 190)
Zebstrika (LT; 82)
Shedinja (LT; 95)
Eevee & Snorlax GX (TM; 120)
Jirachi (TM; 99)
Ninetales (TM; 16)
Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)
Pokemon Communication (TM; 152)
Viridian Forest (TM; 156)
Welder (UBO; 189)
Tripple Acceleration Energy (UBO; 190)
Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20)
Power Plant (UBO; 183)
Pokégear 3.0 (UBO; 182)
Persian GX (UBO; 149)
Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230)
Dedenne GX (UBO; 57)
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