Experts' corner

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Jose Marrero

A Closer Look at the Malmo Regional Finalist Decks

Jose goes over the two decks that made the Finals at the Malmo Regional Championship.

28. 03. 2017 by Jose Marrero

Introduction

Hello again, fellow 60cards readers! The latest Regionals in Malmo, Sweden recently concluded and with that, I want to go over the two decks that made the finals. It's no surprise that two Decidueye-GX based decks were in the finals of Malmo even after Volcanion winning the International Championship in Australia not too long ago. Goncalo Ferreira ended up winning yet another Regionals after his win at the Sheffield Regional Championships in England with the same archetype in Malmo. The next Standard Regionals will be held in Utah next month which means players will surely look to play or try and counter these two decks. Most League Cups are Standard as well so be sure to watch out for these two decks at your upcoming League Cups. As for myself, my next Regionals will be Virginia which is in May as I'm trying to finish off League Cup best finish limits before my next big event. But before Virginia Regionals I'll be attending the Special Event in Puerto Rico this weekend so be sure to say hello if you are attending.

With that said, let's start with the winning list piloted by Goncalo Ferreira.

Decidueye-GX/Vileplume

It's no surprise that Goncalo won another Regionals with Decidueye-GX because the man knows how to play the deck. This time he decided to change it up a bit and add a few unique tricks that I personally like. The biggest one was the addition of Jolteon-EX. This means Goncalo had to drop all the Grass Energy and add Rainbow Energies. This change was well thought out and ultimately reined Goncalo Champion once again. One of the reason's Goncalo added Jolteon-EX was that he most likely noticed Pedro's winning Volcanion list from Australia didn't play Pokémon Ranger and the fact that Turbo Darkrai-EX is big in Standard meant that Jolteon-EX can win games easier. People would surely copy Pedro's list and them seeing that he won without Pokémon Ranger likely convinced them not to play it as well. Jolteon-EX obviously caught people off guard. The next unique inclusion Goncalo added that is different from his Sheffield winning list is Espeon-EX. Takuya Yoneda's Top 8 list from Australia played one and from watching his games on stream it was very helpful in the mirror match. If you can do enough Feather Arrows you can potentially set up multiple KO's on all your opponent's Decidueye-GX's with Miraculous Shine since it Devolves all your opponent's highest staged Pokémon into their hand.

So you can see how putting all opposing Decidueye-GX's at 80 damage threatens their existence since Dartrix had 80 health. This next inclusion Goncalo played in both his Regional winning lists. I personally think Beedril-EX is a must if you are playing Vileplume with Decidueye-GX because you need to be able to stop Garbodor or else your deck is useless. Beedril-EX's attack, Double Scrapper can remove two tools from your opponent's field for a single Colorless Energy and if you do that while having Vileplume out means Garbodor is now shut down because they can't attach another tool on it because of Vileplume giving you access to Feather Arrow again. The rest of Goncalo's list is pretty straight forward other than the fact that he changed to Rainbow Energies. Sure you have to take 10 damage if you attach them but that 10 damage most likely won't be relevant especially if you are attacking with Jolteon-EX anyway since if you are you should be immune to whatever you are attacking into in most cases. Goncalo did play a Lillie in his Sheffield list. It must not have been too useful since it was cut. Other than finding it turn one it probably isn't too great in a deck that blocks your items. All in all Goncalo's list is very solid and it actually took a Top 4 spot at the last League Cup I attended which ended up losing to M Rayquaza-EX.

Other Card Options

Tauros-GX:

A great Pokémon that can be used to stall the opponent. Mad Bull GX threatens a one hit KO and most times forces a pass from the opponent or to go around it meaning Tauros-GX can potentially get some free hits in before anything threatens a KO on it.

Meowth FAC:

We saw Pablo Meza use this card effectively in the finals of Australia against Volcanion to single handily win game two. Even against a bad matchup, Meowth can do wonders simply by sticking a big retreater active and sniping around it and because your opponent is under item lock they will have a hard time retreating without access to Float Stone or Switch.

Glaceon-EX:

This card helps against evolution based decks such as, Vespiquen and basically any Mega based deck which forces them to change their game plan by using non-Megas.

Regice:

This card is a great answer against EX based decks such as M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor and M Rayquaza-EX as well as M Gardevoir-EX. The deck already plays Rainbow Energies so you could fit Regice if you really think it is needed. With the rise of M Mewtwo-EX maybe it's worth the inclusion.

Decidueye-GX/Espeon-GX

Now, this list is pretty bizarre, to say the least, and honestly, makes sense if you really think about it in the right meta. Right off the bat, we can see that this list is different than what you are probably used to seeing in a Decidueye-GX deck. Mikael ran a 3-3-3 line of Decidueye-GX which is already odd since most lists play a max count of 4-4-4. This is probably due to having space issues so Mikael can fit the 4-3-1 Eeveelution line. Mikael decided to not even play Vileplume but instead go a completely different route by adding in a heavy line Espeon-GX. If you combine Feather Arrow with Divide GX you can set up multiple KO's in the long run. Let's not forget Espeon-GX's second attack, Psychic which has a base of 60 damage and adds an additional 30 damage for each energy attached to your opponent's active Pokémon. This attack is what makes Jolteon worth the inclusion because it can set up lethal KO's on Lightning weak Pokémon such as, Yveltal-EX, Lugia-EX, and even M Rayquaza-EX.

Unfortunately, Decidueye-GX doesn't benefit from Jolteon since it's not a Stage 1 Pokémon. Espeon-GX's first attack, Psybeam can come in handy as well since it auto Confuses which can help stall if needed. For draw power Mikael decided to play just one Shaymin-EX, however, he also played Oranguru. I think it was smart but risky to play just one Shaymin-EX especially with the deck running so many evolution Pokémon which can cause clunky hands. I still like having Lugia-EX as a backup attacker in a Standard Decidueye-GX deck because it combos nicely with Feather Arrow. Moving into Mikael's supporter count you can see it's pretty odd because there's three Professor Sycamore, N, and Lysandre. I can see why Mikael opted not to play four Professor Sycamore. He must have feared to have to discard too many evolution Pokémon because as you can see there isn't any recovery not even Hollow Hunt GX because there aren't any Grass or Rainbow Energies. Playing three N makes sense now and three Lysandre makes it so that you can drag up Pokémon more often although I don't think three Lysandre is necessary.

The one Olympia is interesting since it can he useful to heal 30 damage in the mirror and to get out of the active against Vileplume if need be. Mikael ran three VS Seeker as well which makes me believe that this list was prepared to beat Decidueye-GX/Vileplume. However, I personally would drop the third Lysandre for a fourth VS Seeker. This list still looks pretty consistent, to say the least, because there are four Ultra and Level Ball so you shouldn't have trouble getting Pokémon out. Three Forest of Giant Plants makes sense since the Decidueye-GX line is 3-3-3 and not 4-4-4 and against the mirror, you will likely have less useless stadiums in your deck than your opponent. Mikael only ran Psychic Energy which means he didn't care to use Hollow Hunt GX but that's okay because this variant of Decidueye-GX isn't focused around it but instead around Espeon-GX since you can turn one evolve into Espeon-GX thanks to Eevee's ability, Energy Evolution.

Other Card Options

Espeon-EX:

We saw Goncalo and Takuya Yoneda playing this card which is most likely for the mirror. Putting 80 damage on each Decidueye-GX means they are now in range of being KOed.

Vaporeon ANO:

The deck plays Jolteon already, however, Vaporeon can be helpful against Volcanion which is one of the decks biggest weaknesses.

Flareon ANO:

Now playing Flareon can be helpful against the mirror as well since Decidueye-GX is weak to fire meaning Espeon-GX can one hit KO them.

Revitalizer:

Even though the list plays a 3-3-3 line of Decidueye-GX I still think some form of recovery is needed whether it's Revitalizer or Super Rod.

Closing Thoughts

Once again that will conclude yet another short article on the latest big event in Europe. As you can see after the International Championships in Australia players didn't care that Volcanion won the event because the finalist decks of the Malmo Regional Championships were as you saw two Decidueye-GX based decks. That should tell you that Decidueye-GX isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Both these decks and lists are pretty solid and different in their own way. I personally prefer the winning list just because of Jolteon-EX. It was honestly smart playing it in a meta dominated by Basic Pokémon such as, Turbo Darkrai-EX and Volcanion which is no wonder Goncalo won the whole event in Malmo. The Espeon-GX variant must have caught players off guard especially the M-Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor players because we know Garbodor is a great answer against Decidueye-GX/Vileplume which is seeing more and more play. Good luck at your upcoming tournaments whether it's Standard or Expanded.

With that said, don't forget to check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll and Rahul Reddy. As always, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokemon-TCG for tons of deck lists and interviews from great players. If you have any questions about these lists or decks in general or about Team ARG then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. As usual, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them, or if you have any other deck ideas and want to see an analysis on it, then, by all means, post it and I'll take a look. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Jose

[+16] okko


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