Experts' corner

Mees Brenninkmeijer

Two Surprises in Standard!

Hey 60card readers, I’m here to talk about the recent results of Florida Regionals and the SPIEL Special Premier Event I attended myself. 

02. 11. 2016 by Mees Brenninkmeijer

When I first started testing I was mainly focussed on the mainstream decks, because of their familiarity (Greninja) or raw power (Volcanion). Going into my first event I was planning on simply playing Volcanion, especially because of it’s power in gameplay (the Special Event ran with the old 30 minutes gameplay Swiss) since it doesn’t matter too much if you go first or second. The week before the tournament I started working on the Mega Gardevoir deck I built for a fun League Challenge and was pretty quickly sold on it’s power. I think I played over a hundred games with the deck before it reached it’s final version, after discussing it a lot with the other Sheep (Curtis Lyon, Brit Pybas, Kevin Kobayashi and Dean Nezam) we agreed on basically 59 cards. The list I ended up playing was only one card different to his, being a Fairy Drop, which I completely agreed on after my tournament concluded. 

Mega Gardevoir

The list I played was exactly how I liked it, simple but strong in concept, while keeping your options open with mainly trainer “tech”. This manifested itself into a Mega Gardevoir list that didn’t really focus much on one hit knock outs as one might expect, but more on the fast and consistent damage it can deal while having the absolute best stats in the game. It’s weakness is just slightly worse than no weakness with Mega Scizor seeing next to no play, dark resistance for the always popular dark decks and dual typing of psychic to counter Mega Mewtwo decks and fairy to deal with Giratina EX, which is normally a big nuisance for Mega decks. In effect, this means the card is good with just a vanilla attack that deals 110 for 2 energy. What makes it even better is that it’s attack helps you deny prizes by cleaning up your bench, while also making it easy to reuse your aggressive Shaymin engine for the mid- and late-game and is able to score crucial one hit knock outs on non EX Pokemon and EX pokemon not equipped with Fighting Fury Belt. This is also the reason we ended up including Giovanni’s Scheme, as a way of extending our reach and sometimes scoring crucial final one hit knock outs to seal the game. Another card used to make Mega Gardevoir trade better versus a multitude of decks is Fairy Drop, which is a fairy “exclusive” and goes perfectly into this deck. It’s basically a heal without any downside, which makes it awesome to include and I was sad that I didn’t choose to run more of these. 

Because of how Mega Gardevoir operates, some more unconventional choices are made for the deck. The extremely high recovery, three Super Rod and Karen, is there to deal with the discards of Mega Gardevoir while not running out of steam. We opted for Escape Rope over Float Stone because there is usually not a card that is safe for your own discards except Gardevoir EX, which you want to attach Gardevoir Spirit Link to so you can quickly Mega Evolve. This means we have no reliable target for Float Stone and rather play something with more utility. Additionally, Escape Rope can help you draw easy prizes of your opponent’s Shaymin EX and Hoopa EX (Hoopa EX has weakness, making it an easy one hit knock out without even discarding anything) or deal with Yveltal’s Fright Night ability. Repeat Ball is a card that functions very well in a deck that will open Hoopa EX or Shaymin EX more than 50% of the time, since searching out either is fine to start up your set up. I essentially ran this as the 5th Ultra Ball in my list, and I liked it’s function for that. In the end, it’s sadly not comparable because it doesn’t have the discard that makes your Shaymin EX’s Set Up ability stronger. We run Mega Turbo in case we fall behind on attachments and need to catch up, one issue I have with them is that they are sometimes hard to hit when you are forced to shuffle energy back into your deck with Super Rod. This requires some interesting planning of your turns. It also helps getting a turn two Mega Gardevoir attack by allowing you to retreat Shaymin EX and still have the energy necessary to attack. Overall, all the cards help you get a quick Mega Gardevoir that’s ready to attack on the second turn. 

The Supporter’s shouldn’t look too unfamiliar to anyone who has played a deck with a high Shaymin EX engine. We run a lot of different strong non draw Supporters and VS Seekers to recycle them whenever we need. It’s too bad we don’t have Battle Compressor anymore, but just the aggressive nature of this deck makes up for a lot of it. As explained earlier, we run Giovanni’s Scheme as an additional damage source and potential out on N. Double Hex Maniac is mostly for the Volcanion and Greninja matchup, but Hex Maniac coupled with some quick attacks can easily dismantle any deck. With our Shaymin Engine we’re often able to play this at the end of the turn, without running out of cards ourself. N is in there for comebacks, which is a lot more fruitful than you would expect from such an aggressive deck. This is mainly because Mega Gardevoir can manage it’s bench so easy and because we have access to Fairy Drop, which makes it hard to effectively deal with Mega Gardevoir. Professor Sycamore is mainly to deal with “brick” hands, when you can’t draw extra cards with Shaymin EX’s Set Up because of a bunch of (currently) unplayable cards. It’s also your strongest out for N to a low amount when facing Garbordor’s Garbotoxin. 

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