Experts' corner

Chris Fulop

Memphis and Mor

Chris Covers The Breakout Decks From Memphis Regionals...The Largest Regionals To Date! ...And Shares His New Favorite Pet Deck.

12/25/2017 by Chris Fulop

Hey everyone!

When I first started writing this article, I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to write about. Of course, I got about midway through it, and I saw what was going on in Memphis and realized I was going to have to re-write everything due to the fallout from the event. I GUESS I can blame myself for that, as a Regional Championship usually does change quite a bit.

In order to really understand the state of Standard at the moment, it is important to look at the format's defining card: Zoroark-GX. Zoroark is an incredible attacker, with a lot of HP and a cheap, damaging attack. To make it even better, it comes with an Ability which is a great source of card advantage. (It also works beautifully with Mallow...which in turn makes Puzzle of Time more viable. You'll see this trend in a lot of Standard lists now.) Zoroark previously saw play alongside Golisopod-GX, or alongside Decidueye-GX. While both of these decks are still reasonable choices, Memphis saw the next stage of evolution in Zoroark lists: The addition of Lycanroc-GX.

I won't pretend that this is some secret breakout deck from the event. The deck had been in circulation, seeing success leading up to the tournament. That being said, the deck more or less dominated the event. The pairing is strong for a couple of reasons. First off, Lycanroc takes advantage of Zoroark's weakness to Fighting. The card is a great attacker in the mirror match. It's GX attack also remedies one of the few shortcomings Zoroark-GX faces: A fairly low damage cap. Lycanroc likely gives you one big OHKO a game. Paired with how aggressive and consistent the deck is otherwise, it makes taking a fairly quick 6 prizes easy.

Beyond that, it gives you a nice line of play to pick on Tapu Lele-GX, a card every deck plays and often has to bench as it is intrical to their engine. Zoroark, with a full bench, hits for 120 damage. Toss on a Choice Band and use a Professor Kukui and you cap at 170 damage. Now, don't expect many Tapu Lele attacking against the deck...and normally you can't pick off Tapu Lele-GX because you cap at 150 damage with a Choice Band. You can't Guzma and Kukui in the same turn. With Lycanroc's Ability though, you can still bring up a Tapu Lele and pull off a Kukui. Between this and Lycanroc's GX attack, thats a fairly easy set of "cheap" KOs you can expect in a game. Pairing that with a deck that is already super aggressive doesn't feel fair.

This is not the only major metagame shift to become visible at the event. Gardevoir-GX decks took a massive hit. Two copies made top 32, and one of the decks did place 9th, but that is a huge dropoff in performance compared to the past few months. I actually do not feel that the deck is nearly as poorly positioned as it's performance would suggest, though. Greninja decks also did not really put up any results, and having looked at a lot of the lists from the event, the smattering of Giratina promos in decks could not have helped the deck out much. I was under the impression the deck was actually quite popular overall, so it's lack of conversion into day 2 is unsettling if you are a fan of the deck.

Finally, Zoroark Lycanroc was not the only deck turning to Fighting types to be able to prey on the popularity of Zoroark. Buzzwole Lycanroc decks also saw a good deal of success at the event. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these decks moving forward, though. I am not that impressed by Lycanroc in a vacuum in terms of how strong a card it is, and there is a very real chance that players pull back on how much Zoroark is played, at which point these newly emerging decks lose a bit of strength. Another interesting potential trend is that the metagame may actually be reasonably positioned for Volcanion going forward. With a sharp decline in both Gardevoir and Greninja, the deck loses two of it's bigger enemies. ( Although Volcanion vs Greninja isn't actually super lopsided, nor is the Gardy matchup. ) Dean Nezam actually had a t16 finish with a very streamlined Volcanion list, so I can see that being a strong direction to go from here.

That all being said, I want to go over two different Zoroark/Lycanroc lists. First off, is Michael Pramawat's 1st place winning list. ( His absurd 7th Regionals win. I think it is even safer now to identify him as the best player in the game right now. ) His list is extremely streamlined and to the point, and it clearly served him well. He did mention that he felt his matchup against the Buzzwole decks was a bit sketchy. Rahul Reddy's list, from the top 8 as well, is a little more teched out and has some options I really like, which Pram did not include.

I said Pram went for consistency and I was not exaggerating. His Pokémon count is extremely steamlined, with a 4-4 Zoroark-GX line, a 4-3 Lycanroc line, and 3 Tapu Lele-GX. You won't see any fluff or situational cards here. ( His Trainers do deviate a little bit from that approach, but that should be the case with any deck showcasing Puzzle of Times. ) He also opts for a 4 DCE, 3 Strong Energy and 2 Fighting Energy energy split. I saw most lists running only 8 Energy ( With the 2nd Fighting Energy being trimmed ) which is probably fine due to Puzzle of Time, but I actually like having the thicker count. The deck doesn't have any sort of energy acceleration, so hitting all of your drops is important. Admittedly, Zoroark attacks for "One" Energy, but being able to also leverage Lycanrocs better is important. Enhanced Hammer has gained a lot of popularity, and having extra Basic Energy can really come in handy too. With Zoroark being as popular as it is, and not always being able to pull off OHKOs, grinding Zoroark decks out of DCEs in a long game is a real strategy. This is made easier when you can loop them with Puzzle of Times. Since the deck is trying to use Brigette t1 as often as possible, 8 Energy feels a little low to reliably make a t1 attachment since you don't end up playing a Sycamore or N to see more cards as often.

Looking at the Supporters, the big thing to point out is that the list only runs a pair of Sycamore. Some of this is because you have to make room for cards like Kukui and Brigette and Mallow, but the deck also fundamentally doesn't gel with the card that well either. On one hand, Sycamore and Puzzle of Time is always going to be an awkward pairing. Beyond that, Zoroark leads to some really large hand sizes, so you don't really want to pitch a stockpile of resources a lot of games. Kukui is very strong alongside Zoroark as the damage boost hits important numbers. Mallow works beautifully with Zoroark's Ability to just grab any 2 cards. You do get to trim on Guzma as well, since the 4-3 Lycanroc line gives you an alternative for the same effect.

I am actually a bit surprised by only 1 copy of Acerola. Acerola is great in grindy games at denying prizes, and it lets you loop Zoroarks. On top of that, it lets you reset a Lycanroc to re-use it's Ability if it winds up damaged. I guess with a thicker Lycanroc line this is less necessary, but I feel like 2 Acerola would be normal. You probably don't need more than that because you can loop it with Puzzle of Time, but I worry about struggling to draw into that lone copy to start enabling that.

The really unusual choice to me is a lone copy of Energy Loto, a card I had previously not seen played before. It is really important to be able to see your specific Special Energy cards, namely DCE, but I am still a bit surprised to see this card. Not only am I not sure I how feel about it ( you have Mallow for once you get Zoroark out! ) but it seems even more out of place since Pram already ran the above-average 9th Energy card. ( Although this does in turn increase the hit-rate on the Loto itself. )

Now lets look at Rahul's approach.

Rahul trims a 1-1 line off of his Lycanroc count in favor of adding a Buzzwole-GX and a Mewtwo from Evolutions. I actually love both of these inclusions. Buzzwole is a great attacker, and can spread some damage against various decks that you may not have an advantage against, setting up later KOs. It also is super powerful against other Zoruas. I have to believe it is really strong in the mirror match, as it really can't end up eating a OHKO and it is good against pretty much every attacker the deck can throw at it. This makes leveraging Acerola and Max Potion pretty lucrative. ( You'll see unlike Pram, Rahul runs a 2nd Acerola and a Max Potion, both of which really strengthen the lone Buzzwole.)

Mewtwo is a good counter not only to Buzzwole, which I like, but it can put in work against Gallade in the Gardevoir matchup. I actually am not convinced this archetype is actually that good against Gardevoir if Gardevoir adjusts it's build a bit. Gallade seems rather powerful in the matchup. While even with Kukui a Mewtwo can't OHKO a Gallade, it can if Buzzwole gets a bit of spread damage in first. Max Potion can offset this, but you do apply a lot of pressure and its another card that Gardevoir needs to hit to stabilize.

I mentioned the "standard" 8 Energy count, and Rahul runs that here, alongside a Special Charge. I'm not convinced that is necessary alongside the 4 Puzzles, but I can understand wanting the insurance policy. It is nice not to have to stress your Puzzles on Energy cards. Rahul opts to run a Multi Switch, which I actually love! It makes it a lot easier to power up and attack with a Lycanroc "out of nowhere". Also, if you are using Max Potion and Acerola, you can conserve attachments by moving Energy off of whatever you plan to "heal". It may be more cute than necessary, but it's the kind of cute I love.

Next, I want to go over the deck that got the most love for the whole weekend, which was a Venusaur/Shining Genesect deck piloted by Harrison Grandish!

I am an unabashed lover of Venusaur, and despite numerous printings, I am pretty sure the last time a Venusaur deck saw any level of success was when a Base Set Venusaur/Pokémon Center deck managed to top 8 the Prop 15/3c Super Trainer Showdown in probably 2000. Needless to say, the blossomed beast has not had an easy go of things. While Harrison did not manage to top 8 this 1000 Masters Regional, he did end up in 10th place with this extremely innovative deck!

While this deck is absolute a Venusaur deck, I feel like it has more to do with the strength of Shining Genesect than anything else. Harrison only ran a risky 2-1-2 Venusaur line, but this is okay because Genesect is a decent enough card on it's own. It has the Grass equivalent of Keldeo-EX's attack, doing 50 base damage plus 20 more for each Grass attached to it. With Venusaur in play doubling the amount of Grass Energy each Grass provides, this damage output actually gets pretty absurd. You don't really need a t2 Venusaur ( although that is even better! ) which is why the thinner line is fine. Well, that and because this deck is forced to run the absolute bare minimum amount of every count fathomable more or less. This should easily be a 70 card deck if you wanted to fit the optimal counts on everything. You probably want a 3-2-3 Venusaur line. You want 2-2 Octillery. You want 2-2 Lurantis-GX. You want a 4th Rare Candy. There is a reason the deck has to play Gladion...a card I am not too keen on...and that is because there are a lot of fragile lines.

I don't mind that though. While Genesect is the core of what the deck is trying to do, it has a lot of game plans. Beyond Venusaur, you have Energy acceleration in both Max Elixir and Wishful Baton. While Baton is vulnerable to Field Blower, Blower is seeing less and less play as Garbodor fades from viability ( Ignore the fact that Garbodor /Golisopod did make it to the finals of the event. As a whole, its metagame share has plummeted. ) If someone wants to go out of their way to try and keep the deck off a Venusaur, they are not pressuring your energy presence, so that isn't even that bad.

Lurantis-GX is also a great source of energy acceleration, although a bit unreliable as a 1-1 line. To top things off, Lurantis' GX Attack is absurd alongside Venusaur, as it pretty much just reads as a OHKO. While I am okay with the 2-1-2 Venusaur line, I really do hate having to run a 1-1 Lurantis line.

I've been known over the years to run lists quite similar to this in old 2006 LBS list being the prime example of it. I ran a bunch of 1-ofs and thin lines to the point where prizing cards became a real issue. What is important to realize though is that it isn't fair to view a deck and try and scrutinize it for being unrealible at executing specific game plans...some of these lines are fragile and unreliable, but the important thing to focus on is that you have -a- game plan, not necessarily a specific one. While it is likely frustrating to find certain pieces unavailable or clunky, the deck has a lot of overlapping synergy, and should be able to offer a game plan with most of it's draws. It requires the player to be a bit more on their toes with how to open games, and it feels a bit awkward since decks in general have become very linear now. The deck doesn't fall apart if you don't have access to Lurantis-GX, even if it would be the ideal strategy. You have other options which are still strong.

I do want to go over why Shining Genesect is so strong. First off, it is a fairly low maintenance attacker. While without Venusaur to double the Grass provided it takes 3 Energy cards, that is a tad misleading. Genesect's Ability lets it soak up a Grass from elsewhere on the field. This not only makes it so you can "Max Elixir to your active" more or less, but it also makes alternating between Genesects easy if they do not get OHKOs. Genesect may only have 130 HP, but as a non-EX, that is actually not an easy KO for a lot of decks. Mainly, it is not an easy KO for the Zoroark decks, if they do not run Kukui ( prior to this event, its safe to say the card was not a stock inclusion. ) Genesect often two hit KOs an EX/GX while taking 2 hits to get KOed itself. As the game progresses and your energy presence reaches a critical mass, you eventually end up getting OHKOs so any sense of parity eventually shifts to the decks favor.

I feel like the deck is pretty strong against Zoroark decks, as well as Greninja, which was a popular deck in the day 1 field. Unfortunately, I think it is also atrocious against Gardevoir and Volcanion. I am not at all surprised that the deck thrived in this specific metagame. I think it was a great choice for Memphis. I am not confident in it going forward though. That isn't a knock on the deck at play a deck for what metagame you expect, and Harrison had a pretty good read and got rewarded for it. I am also a bit concerned that Kukui's popularity in Zoroark decks will expand and that will also really ruin Shining Genesect's strength against it.

Alright, now comes to the point in the article I am personally most excited for, as I get to go over my favorite deck in the format! I'm not going to try and argue that this is the best choice for any tournament...I'm sure it is not. BUT it is actually much better than most people give it credit for being, although it is extremely difficult to play. Without further ado: Heatmor! :D

I covered the Heatmor Raichu list awhile ago that t16ed in London, and mentioned how interested in the deck I was. Since then, I paid some exuberent amount to actually pick up a Xurkitree-GX on PTCGO and put in a lot of games with the deck. Right out of the gate, I made some major changes to the list I based things off of. I felt the original list was both clunky, and missing a pretty important game plan.

The "primary" game plan is to get a few Pikachu on your bench, and loop evolving them into Raichu to Paralyze your opponent's Active Pokémon every single turn. Decks can Guzma around it, but only a finite amount of times. Meanwhile, you end up using Heatmor ( and sometimes it's good friend Victini for an insurance policy on the flips ) to recur valuable resources to be able to maintain the lock. Eventually you use enough Team Rocket's Handiworks to deck the opponent. It seems convoluted, and it is, but it actually works, and it is both a challenge to play and very fulfilling.

The secondary game plan is to attack the opponent's Energy cards. The original list didn't run Hammers. You have 4 Puzzles of Time, and Heatmor, you can play a LOT of Hammers over the span of a game. These decks that run only 8 or so Energy just end up so hard pressed to keep anything in play. This aspect of the deck is very important, too, as you actually end up double pressuring an opponent's deck, mainly those which play Puzzles of Time. As you pressure Energy attachments, it forces players to actually burn resources to make more of them. This is important because even with Victini and Heatmor and an abundance of resources, the deck does not offer a "hard lock". You can always theoretically hit a really bad streak of flips and fail to hit a Raichu. It honestly isn't that often and it isn't the end of the world, but it happens. You don't want an opponent to sit there compiling 20 card hands waiting to N and wait for your bad stretch of varience to unlock them. Closing a game out timely does matter.

You end up trying to run them out of Guzma/switching effects, but also energy. As you mill cards, you can kind of see which win condition ends up being the one to go for. You usually end up beating the Zoroark decks through Energy denial, actually. Worth noting on this front is that Xurkitree-GX is a HUGE win condition for the deck, and something you really want to learn how to position for. This is one of the reasons the deck ends up so challenging to play. A lot of games, you want to only remove Basic Energy off of Pokémon while stranding Special Energy on as many Pokémon as you can. When you eventually promote Xurkitree, it ends up basically invulnerable. Hilariously, despite a weakness to Fighting, this card is a NIGHTMARE for the Lycanroc/ Zoroark decks to deal with as they basically cannot attack it. I had a really, really high win rate against Golisopod/Zoroark ( I expected the matchup to be pretty challenging when I first started testing ) and the switch over to these Lycanroc builds is a HUGE benefit to this deck. That being said, dedicated Buzzwole decks are a lot harder, but actually still totally beatable.

I mentioned how I had to add Hammers, but Zoroark-GX is also a must-include in the deck. You really do need some augmenting draw power, and Oranguru and Octillery don't really work. You end up stockpiling too many cards in hand to ever really net cards off of them. While the deck really tries to avoid benching EX/GX Pokémon, Zoroark's 210 HP is pretty difficult to pick off. Even now, as Fighting Pokémon get more and more popular, you can really combat their energy attachments and and make it hard for them to actually pull off the OHKO.

This point does bring up an important mentality when playing the deck. The deck is slow and clunky. It is totally fair to expect to give up an initial prize card ( Especially going 2nd ) and from then on, they need to hit 5 "Outs" to Paralysis. Every Guzma on a GX counts as 2, of course. That is all you really care about over the span of a game. Assume the average deck has 3 Guzma. Zoroark decks have 2-3 Guzma plus 4 Puzzle of Time, so 6-7. Gardevoir has 3, plus a GX "recycling", but that is a bit misleading because if they use all 3 Guzma first, then they just get locked out of attacking ever again before they can use their GX attack, and that regardless, using the GX attack itself is a turn that eats up a Guzma to pull off. So under the most ideal circumstances, they get "5"...using 2 for KOs, using the 3rd to break Paralysis and GX back in 3.

You want to use Team Rocket's Handiwork aggressively...every time you mill a Guzma or a Puzzle it is MASSIVE. Milling the first Puzzle cuts TWO Guzma off an opponent. Hitting N is nice too as it shortens a game. Milling Energy benefits the Hammer plan. It is often correct to recover Handiwork with Heatmor aggressively opposed to playing it super safe and grabbing additional Devolution Sprays or other resources. You really, really just want to be spamming this card aggressively when you can.

The next big part of the deck is Xurkitree-GX. Not only is it's Ability a wall win condition, but it's GX attack is absurd. For one Rainbow Energy, you not only add a 7th prize to what the opponent has to take, but you get to cherry pick what card it is right from there hand! You will often hit a Guzma, or a Puzzle, or a held back Energy card with this if timed correctly. My favorite play is to wait for an opponent to play a Puzzle pair to get back 2 Guzma. They use the first one to break lock and get a KO. You retaliate by using Xurkitree to grab the 2nd Guzma and prize it. Not only do you add a 7th prize, but you remove one of their "outs". You'd be surprised how many losses get turned into wins as a result of Xurkitree. It is absolutely vital to the deck.

Lets go over things a bit more, card by card.

4 Heatmor: Heatmor is going to do 90% of your attacking. Since it ends up active, and you generally only get hit when Guzma'd, Heatmor doesn't die often. That said, it is by far your best attacker, and retreating isn't that easy for the deck early on, so you want the full set to optimize opening with one.

4-3 Raichu line: You absolutely want 4 Pikachu, as you end up wanting 3 on the bench at a given time to be safe. Really, you just "need" 2 available Pikachu in play at a given time so you don't get ruined by a Guzma KOing one. I like 3 in play so I'm not as obligated to hit perfectly with my Devolution Sprays since I do try and be aggressive about my recurrsion of Handiwork if I can. Also very important, with Victini in play, if you are Ability locked or just can't play a Raichu, you can Nuzzle for a 75% chance of Paralysis which does come up. ( Admittedly, its a 50% chance if Ability locked since Victini doesn't work ) You absolutely do not need 4 Raichu and could maybe even get away with 2 due to how it plays with Devolution Spray and Puzzle of Times. Three feels perfect though.

1 Victini: The list from London ran 2, but I end up actually not benching it in every game. The ideal set up is 3 Pikachu, a Zoroark, a Heatmor and a Victini. Unfortunately, you do end up opening with a Xurkitree sometimes. Or you have to bench your Tapu Lele ( Which again is a big problem for prize denial which is why I only run 1. ) If either of those pop up, I opt off of Victini. In general unless I NEED two heads, I never reflip a 1-1 split on Heatmor's attack.

1 Xurkitree-GX: I feel like I already went in depth over this card already and now have very little to add. Oops.

2-2 Zoroark-GX: Zoroark is your draw power. It can actually be a bit of a double edged sword. You can accidently deck first if too aggressive with it. You pitch an actual card which matters when both people start N'ing, and you also accelerate the clock to when you need to N your own hand back in by 2. Don't always use it because you can. That said, it serves other purposes as well. Occasionally you ATTACK with Zoroark. Some Zoroark decks run Stand In Zoroark from Breakthrough and that card is a big problem. On one hand, you can use Counter Catcher to just lock it itself active, at which point the Ability doesn't help them. You can also just OHKO it and be done with it. You do run the risk of it getting brought back, so it isn't always correct. There are other spots where attacking is strong. Greninja is a very tough matchup because it can not only break your ability to play Raichu due to Shadow Stitching but can also evolve into a BREAK to get out of Paralysis. Plus the BREAK's Ability just spews damage even under Paralysis. That said, Greninja doesn't run a lot of Energy and often relies on Starmie to be able to get enough Energy back. If you KO the Starmie with Zoroark and aggressively use Hammers you can actually run them out of Energy. Finally, I'd had spots where an opponent has gotten a lot of Energy on a Pokémon like Buzzwole GX early, to the point where it is just going to be really difficult to actually strip them all off. Bringing up Zoroark and threatening a 2 hit KO under cover of Paralysis is totally reasonable. You have to be careful though because you open yourself up to Acerola. Normally that is irrelevent because you never deal damage.

1 Tapu Lele GX: Too necessary for consistency but a card I absolutely hate having to actually use.

4 Double Colorless and 2 Rainbow Energy: 4 DCE is obviously necessary, and the Rainbows are to power up Xurkitree. They can also be used to attack with Pikachu or retreat. "Why not just run Lightning Energy!?" Rainbow Energy actually works really well with the "Lone" copy of Acerola. I use parenthesis because with Puzzle of Time and Heatmor you have a near limitless access to it. You can use it to "bounce" a Tapu Lele-GX or Xurkitree-GX to avoid giving up 2 prizes. It also can reset a Raichu in a pinch.

3 Brigette: You really, really need to fill your bench. I wouldn't hate a thinner count if I could run more Tapu Lele. Luckily excess copies make great Zoroark fodder.

4 N: Pretty standard, but the card is absurd in this deck. Not only do you never leave 6 prize cards, but it is necessary to prevent your own decking.

2 Mallow: The card is too good with Puzzle of Times and Zoroark. Its one of the best Supporters in the deck and lets you reliably get access to your thinner count cards.

2 Professor Sycamore: In theory this card should be trash in a deck that cares so much about it's resources, but with Heatmor recovering any card you want, it actually plays out fine. I think you just need a couple of extra cards to pad the consistency. ( Don't worry...the starts will still feel awful, you can just win in spite of that though ) One big point for Sycamore is that there will be matchups you simply don't want to play down Zoroark-GX. Against any deck that can OHKO it, its a liability. Fighting decks. Gardevoir has Gallade. Volcanion can OHKO and it is very difficult to actually control the Energy of. You can actually have a Zorua benched and NOT play a Zoroark down until you need it. That is often correct. Also, do not be afraid to Devolution Spray your own Zoroark-GX just to take the liability off the table.

3 Team Rocket's Handiwork: Your win condition, and also an aggressive threat to strip key resources away. I had a 2-1 split with them and a Houndoom EX as another means to mill ( And certain decks just struggle to OHKO it ) but sided with 3 Handiwork. Houndoom is still good and maybe correct though. It forces opponents to N earlier, as once they get down to 6 cards, they are technically in danger of getting milled out. The mere potential presence of the card forces players to compromise themselves.

1 Gladion: I hate this card, but the deck runs a lot of single copies of cards and can't really take prizes so it is a necessary evil to liberate cards.

1 Acerola: Its bench management, resets Raichu at times, and lets you loop Zoroark. For turns you fail to establish Paralysis, you can soak a hit on a Zoroark GX in most matchups and later Acerola it. The card is actually not great in the deck, thus only one copy of it, but I feel like it is mandatory none the less.

4 Ultra Ball: Mandatory in pretty much every deck.

4 Puzzle of Time: One of the reasons the deck even works. It works so well with Heatmor too. You don't have to "commit" to what you recover and can instead pull back wildcards more or less.

1 Counter Catcher: An Item "Gust of Wind" when behind...which the deck basically always is. Actually doesn't come up as often as you'd think since Paralysis works equally well on most targets.

1 Float Stone: Retreating is tough due to the low Energy count. On top of this, on your ideal set up, you only have 1 Heatmor. If it somehow gets KOed, you want to be able to bench and retreat into one even on an Energyless field. It comes in handy more than you'd think despite that not-so-glowing recommendation.

4 Devolution Spray: This is the reason the deck works, as it lets you recycle Raichus.

3 Crushing Hammer/2 Enhanced Hammer: These are the cards you use to attack the opponent's Energy presence. I had tried cards like Plumeria and Team Flare Grunt as a 1 of, as there are times in theory where just taking one energy off each turn is a sort of soft lock. I was convinced it was correct, but it just never came up in games where I wound up using it. It was too important to try to use Handiwork when I could.

1 Field Blower: Necessary to combat Parallel City ( which can be a pain ) and Garbotoxin. With Puzzles and Heatmor you don't need a bunch of them. I believe the list from London ran FOUR, which seems unreasonable to me, as it isn't hard to find the copy of it and recurring it is equally easy.

Finally, an extremely innovative deck which placed t16 by Yehoshua "Yoshi" Tate.

This is a deck that actually attacks the format in a similar way as the Heatmor deck does, so I was excited to see it do so well! Primarily hiding behind Xurkitree ( anti-Special Energy Cards ) Hoopa ( Anti-EX/GX cards ) or Wishiwashi ( just very beefy ) This deck heals it's Pokémon with Max Potion, Acerola and Puzzle of Time. It too plays a hefty amount of Energy Removal cards, and decks the opponent with Team Rocket's Handiwork. Eventually you can use Lusamine to recover all your Supporters to just grind an opponent out entirely.

I can't add too much in-depth critique of the list or it's matchups, since I haven't gotten the opportunity to play with the list yet, but it is extremely alluring. I feel like I'd want to run more Hammers, if possible. My biggest criticism on paper is that the deck doesn't have much of an engine to it. You can't really run Sycamore. You can, but probably shouldn't, run Tapu Lele ( No Ultra Ball weakens that card a lot. ) Octillery faces the same problems, as would Zoroark-GX. I don't actually know how I'd address the issue, especially since you want to be using a Supporter every single turn anyways.

I am really happy to see that what could easily have turned into a very stale format continues to evolve and show major innovations at every event. Until next time!


[+18] okko


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