05/01/2018 by Caleb Gedemer
As I begin to write this article, it’s worth noting that I have spent nearly forty-eight hours of the past four days traveling to Germany for an Expanded format Regionals. Generally speaking, I like Expanded, I think it’s a fun and witty format, but I’m afraid it has taken a turn for the worse. Some games feel like pulling teeth, and I’ll tell you why. Nonetheless, I do like this format significantly more than some of those in the past like Seismitoad EX (FRF; 20) or Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66) dominated metagames. The problem begins with Hex Maniac, and while Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) is a good card for the game, it creates an uncomfortable situation where you can Trade to your heart’s content to get access to Hex Maniac over and over. I haven’t run into many games where I was completely locked out before, but I had a run-in where my opponent literally played Hex Maniac every turn of the game at this German event.
Going into it, I planned on playing a deck that either beat Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) , or to just play Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) myself. As was somewhat expected, nothing really seemed to beat Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) consistently, even the likes of Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93) and Glaceon GX (UPR; 39) , things that were supposed to. This said, I worked with Isaiah Williams on his Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) / Exeggcute deck and ironed some things out. We played a lot of games in the days leading up to the event, and again, nothing seemed to consistently beat Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) .
I committed to playing the deck the day before, telling myself there was nothing better and the best plan of action was to just play the best deck in what was sure to be an unknown metagame. As an aside, I think it’s worthy of note that going into the event I did feel like I had an advantage over many of the European players since I was much more experienced in the Expanded format. Many of the native players attending the event told me that they had simply picked decks that had been successful at American Regionals and rolled with them. While their lists may have been polished in this way, I would say with certainty that only a few of them had extensive play time in the format leading up to the tournament to make sure that they knew how to handle in-game situations.
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