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Jose Marrero

A Closer Look at the Wisconsin Regional Finalist Decks

With Wisconsin Regionals done and accounted for I now want to examine the two decks that made it all the way to the finals by Michael Pramawat and Christopher Schemanske.

09. 06. 2017 by Jose Marrero

Introduction

Hello, again 60cards readers! With Wisconsin Regionals done and accounted for I now want to examine the two decks that made it all the way to the finals. Michael Pramawat who is now a fellow member of Team ARG with over 1300 CP, won his 5th Regional Championship this past weekend with Vespiquen/Zoroark brewed up by the help of former ARG members Rahul Reddy and Jimmy Pendarvis who now ties Some1sPC's Israel Sosa on 5 Regional wins. Which of these phenomenal players will be the first to hit their 6th Regional win? Only time will tell however Michael has a chance to one up Israel this weekend in Mexico City. Let's not forget about Christopher Schemanske's second place Wisconsin finish with a deck that was under the radar, Metagross-GX. If you saw the finals both Michael and Christopher had some very interesting games which could have gone either way but in the end, Michael's Flareon was able to help best Christopher and take the sole title of Regional Champion for the 5th time. Christopher has had two finals appearances this season now at Regionals with decks that tend to take a more slower approach which is hard to ignore. For each deck, I'll also discuss some other inclusions you can potentially add if you're attending Mexico Regionals this weekend and are wanting to play one of the two aforementioned decks. If you want to see the finals match of Wisconsin between Michael and Christopher then click this link.

With that said, let's go over ARG Michael Pramawat's 1st place winning Vespiquen/Zoroark Wisconsin list.

Vespiquen/Zoroark

As I said Michael won his 5th Regional to date with this deck. It's likely more players will want to try and counter this deck at upcoming events especially Mexico City this weekend. The basic concept of this deck is to get Pokémon in the discard to help fuel Vespiquen's Bee Revenge which does 20 base damage and 10 more for each Pokémon in your discard. So with cards such as Unown to help draw more and Klefki to block Mega Pokémon-EX, you are able to quickly stack Pokémon in the discard if you attach Klefki to Unown then draw with it. As a backup attacker, the deck plays Zoroark which can do lethal damage depending on how many benched Pokémon your opponent has because its Mind Jack attack has a base of 10 damage but also adds 30 more for each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. Zoroark's Stand In, helps the deck be a little more mobile when going in and out of attackers which is why Michael ran two copies of Float Stone. To make both Vespiquen and Zoroark hit even harder Michael decided to add both Flareon and Vaporeon which give stage 1 Pokémon Fire and Water typing. This means against decks such as Volcanion, Metagross-GX, Lurantis-GX and Decidueye-GX you can now one hit KO them much easier not having to need as many Pokémon in the discard or benched. Choice Band is another card that can help hit easier numbers more efficiently which is why Michael ran two instead of 1 like Jeffrey Cheng did in his 2nd place Seattle list.

On top of Unown, Michael ran two copies of Tapu Lele-GX, two Shaymin-EX and an Oranguru to help keep the deck consistent and less fragile when drawing. I like that Michael's list was quite different than that of Jeffrey's since this means Vespiquen can be good in different ways. Michael knew how important retrieving Double Colorless is with this deck so he ran two copies of Special Charge. It's likely one will be discarded but having at least access to one should almost always be enough energy to take all your prizes especially if some KO's are on EX or GX Pokémon. Michael went with a split Pokémon recovery with 1 Revitalizer and 1 Rescue Stretcher. Usually, you see just two Revitalizer, however, because Michael ran Eveelutions it's better to play a Rescue Stretcher over the second Revitalizer because you may need to get back Flareon or Vaporeon should they be discarded early or KOed. Michael's stadium of choice is two copies of Forest of Giant Plants which makes you able to attack with Vespiquen on the first turn which is nice and helps bump other annoying stadiums such as Team Magma's Secret Base.

Other card options

Milotic PRC:

Jeffrey Cheng ran a copy in his 2nd place Seattle list. This card lets you put any 1 card from your discard into your hand once evolved which is perfect if your running Parallel City since you can discard it to put 2 more Pokémon in the discard. However, Michael didn't run Milotic but instead opted to go with Eeveelutions.

Absol ROS:

Being able to manipulate 3 of your opponent's damage counters can make for easier one hit KO's with Bee Revenge. Absol is also great against Gyarados since it not only heals a Magikarp but you can also KO one in the process.

Hex Maniac:

This is one of those cards where it randomly comes in the clutch but in a deck like Vespiquen where if your running Eeveelutions it's not as useful.

Parallel City:

This card helps fuel Bee Revenge even more because if you have 5 benched Pokémon then you can discard 2 of them which is perfect if you're wanting to discard both Tapu Lele-GX and Shaymin-EX.

Field Blower:

An early Garbotoxin shuts this deck down drastically so playing Field Blower can help in this situation since you can then Tapu Lele-GX for the Lysandre to KO it if need be.

With that said, let's now take a look at Christopher's 2nd place Metagross-GX list from Wisconsin.

Metagross-GX

I know many players were surprised to see this deck make it all the way to the finals and almost taking home the win. Although I know Christopher is a very strong player so it's no surprise that he was the one to do it. However, ARG teammate Connor Finton, unfortunately, bubbled at 9th which I know the feel (Anaheim <.<) with Metagross-GX which makes me believe that Metagross-GX is a lot better than expected and definitely made me take a step back and rethink deck building to implement Metagross-GX in the circle. The general concept of this deck is to get about two or more Metagross-GX on board this way you spam Giga Hammer to take KO's as they present themselves. If you combine Choice Band with Giga Hammer then Metagross-GX can dish out 180 damage at a time or 200 with Professor Kukui which Christopher did play because many GX Pokémon that are relevant have 200 hit points such as Espeon-GX. To help fuel Giga Hammer Metagross-GX has an ability called Geotech System which lets you attach a Metal or Psychic Energy from your discard to your active Pokémon. Meaning all you need is two Metagross-GX and at least one energy in hand every turn to go in and out of Metagross-GX's. Because Metagross-GX has a whopping 250 hit points makes Max Potion really strong once you have used Giga Hammer and let Metagross-GX soak up some damage. Because Metagross-GX is a stage 2 Pokémon you need to play a handful of Rare Candy and because of Vileplume a handful of Metang as well to manually evolve.

Metagross-GX does have an extremely good GX attack called Algorithm GX which lets you search your deck for any 5 cards and put them into your hand. It's likely that this attack will be Ned away however if it's not then next turn you should have a swarm of Metagross-GX because on the first turn you're likely wanting to Tapu Lele-GX for Brigette into 2-3 Beldums. Metagross-GX having Psychic weakness makes Garbodor a joke which is probably one of the main reasons both Christopher and Connor ran Metagross-GX for Wisconsin after Garbodors success in Seattle. If you can beat the bdif pretty handily then why not play it? Alolan Ninetales-GX was getting some hype as well which is weak to Metal and of course Sylveon-GX as well which made Metagross-GX an even stronger play. An interesting card Connor didn't play that Christopher played was Dhelmise which gives your Metal Pokémon 10 more damage which now makes Giga Hammer cap at 210 damage which is relevant against some Pokémon. However, that's not the only reason Christopher ran Dhelmise because he ran Psychic Energy meaning not only did he want to have access to Tapu Lele-GX's Tapu Cure GX but also for Dhelmise's Anchor Shot which has a base of 70 and doesn't let the Defending Pokémon retreat. Dhelmise helping to hit better numbers and its attack potentially forcing cheap prizes is no wonder Christopher played it.

However, a Pokémon both Christopher and Connor played was Alolan Vulpix which has the attack Beacon which costs zero energy and lets you search your deck for any 2 Pokémon which in this deck is perfect because you don't care if Alolan Vulpix gets's KOed because you can then play the 7 prize game. Moving out of the Pokémon we can see Christopher played Karen to help against Vespiquen however if they play Flareon it's going to be a rough game as you saw if you have seen the finals of Wisconsin. Olympia helps reset Giga Hammer since once used you can't use it next turn so switching in and out of the active will reset it again. Choice Band and Max Potion pretty much speak for themselves, however, I did mention them already although Connor played three Choice Band and two Max Potion. Now the inclusion of two Field Blowers makes sense because Garbotoxin can cripple this deck making Max Potions less viable. Connor actually knew how important stopping Garbotoxin was so he ran three copies of Field Blower as opposed to two. 

Other card options

Teammates:

My teammate Connor Finton (pun intended) played a copy of this card in his 9th place Wisconsin list. Having the option to Teammates for a Rare Candy and Metagross-GX seems pretty good. I know Connor played three Vulpix which means Connor didn't care for those to go down because then Teammates goes off and with Tapu Lele-GX you can search it out easier as long as it's not prized of course.

Pokémon Ranger:

Connor also played this card in his 9th place list which can reset Metagross-GX's attack, Giga Hammer making it so you don't have to retreat or switch out.

Skyla:

Being able to Skyla for a Rare Candy or Max Potion gives the deck more options because once set up the deck doesn't ask for much at that point.

Float Stone:

Christopher ran Olympia which can help reset Giga Hammer, however, Float Stone can help against Hex Maniac making it so you don't have to discard all your energy.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude yet another short article, however this time on the finalist decks of the Wisconsin Regional Championships. With Vespiquen fresh off a win in Wisconsin and a second place back during Seattle don't be surprised to see more and more Oricorio and Karen being implemented into decks especially at Mexico Regionals this weekend. Metagross-GX's second place surprise will surely give hope to stage 2 Pokémon and a rise in the deck as well. However with Metagross-GX being a very strong contender will we see a rise in Volcanion come Mexico this weekend? I honestly wouldn't be surprised because Azul Garcia took a top 8 spot in Wisconsin with the deck. I'll have a handful of more articles this month after Mexico Regionals. I'll be at Mexico Regionals so if you see me be sure to say hello and if you're going then the best of luck to you. As I said, my team, ARG just added a new member, Michael Pramawat which I'm ecstatic to have him on the team because he's a household name and respected by many to be one of the greatest players of all time.

If you haven't already 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. If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokemon-TCG for tons of deck lists from great players. My Twitter is down below if you want to follow me then, by all means, go for it. 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!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

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