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Jay Lesage

"Silvally Lining" - A London Internationals Summary

Take a look at Jay's analysis of the top performing decks at the European International Championships!

11/29/2017 by Jay Lesage

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Rise and shine, all of you jet-lagged travellers! It's only been a few days since the European International Championships has concluded, and I watched every bit of it from back at home with a nice bowl of popcorn. If there's anything better for me than playing Pokémon, it's watching Pokémon -- and analyzing each player's decisions. It's interesting to note specific player's tells, their play styles, and ultimately their deck choice: it can surely explain a lot about a player's background and history! Since the release of the two most recent expansions, Shining Legends and Crimson Invasion, the metagame was shaken up with cards such as Buzzwole-GX, Silvally-GX, and most importantly, Zoroark-GX. Tord Reklev, the newly crowned 2017 European International Champion (and now two-time International Champion) piloted his Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX deck to a 1st place finish over Zakary Krekeler's Silvally-GX Toolbox deck.

That was a shocker of a sentence -- how did two new concepts just cycle through to the finals? Why didn't Gardevoir-GX triumph like it usually does? Where was Greninja in the end? Where was Volcanion? These are all questions that we're going to answer in today's article! Let's start off with the first question...

Question #1: "How did two brand new decks make the finals?"

In order to answer this, let's take a peek at the two finalist's lists individually, and see how they match up against the metagame. Below is Tord's 1st place Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX list:

As you can see, Tord's list is well equipped to take down the entire metagame with an endless loop of beatdown attacks from either Zoroark or Golisopod. His main attackers are mainly towering over other Pokemon with their high HP - without their high HP, this deck wouldn't be nearly as good. Tord based his list entirely off of Zoroark's Trade ability in order to draw mass amounts of cards, all the while recycling those precious resources with his four copies of Puzzle of Time. Tord plays an insanely high amount of utility cards such as Brigette and Field Blower - we're not used to seeing these played in high amounts. This reasoning is multi-fold:

• Field Blower is important for removing Po Town and any Tools on Garbodor -- if Trade is cut off, the deck will completely shut down

• Brigette is key in setting up Tord's draw power by searching out all of his precious Zorua -- he doesn't want to play heavy copies of Professor Sycamore and discard all of these precious resources

• Any extra copies of cards he doesn't want, he can just discard with Trade

With this in mind, the list was thoroughly thought out. He even includes a light amount of Grass Energy because he knows he can rifle through his deck quick enough, and Acerola will help him keep those Grass Energy on a consistent rotation. Oh wait - we haven't even talked about Acerola yet! Acerola is the bread and butter of this deck, since both of his Stage 1 attackers have crazy high HP. With Acerola consistently being accessible via Trade, it's so easy for Tord to find one of his three Acerola. Followed up by that, he can then recycle the with his Puzzles in order to spam off a maximum of 7 Acerola! That's absolutely incredible! During his streamed games, it wasn't uncommon to see Tord play upwards of four Acerolas against his opponent, and watching them struggle to dish out damage put Tord in a very advantageous spot. It's no wonder why he was able to be crowned the 2018 European International Champion!

Now that we've had a brief synopsis as to how Tord's deck ran so well, let's have a peak over at Zakary Krekeler's Silvally-GX list, shall we?

This deck was an absolute shocker -- we all knew Zoroark-GX was going to be wildly popular, but Silvally? This was something that nobody saw coming! Zakary piloted an ingenious list against all odds in order to place 2nd at the European Internationals, with a deck that had a unique premise: extreme energy acceleration, as well as supreme type advantages. With the way Zak built his deck, he was able to corner most of the metagame, or at least square off against it evenly. Zak's deck's strengths mostly stem from being able to attach crazy amounts of energy via Silvally, Max Elixir, and Registeel. This will eventually build up an entire onslaught of attackers that can handle most decks, or out-bulk them in terms of HP. I mean, check out that newly released promo Celesteela-GX -- that thing sure can pack a punch, and take a hit with 200HP!

Celesteela also adds a unique dimension to the deck by resisting Fighting-type; this'll aid you in facing off against Fighting-type Pokémon such as Buzzwole-GX, and Lycanroc-GX. This little fraction of the deck helps so much, especially since our main attacker Silvally is weak to Fighting! Also, Celesteela's retreat cost is insanely high at 4(C), but never fear -- Silvally's Gyro Unit allows for a smooth transition, and free retreat for all basic Pokemon! Not only does this give a great mobility to an otherwise heavy deck, but it also means you can almost always guarantee an easy turn two attack from Silvally. All of these Metal-type attackers should destroy Fairy-decks like Gardevoir, while also supplying bulk against random archetypes. Will facing off against Volcanion, it's often hard for them to OHKO a 210HP Pokémon (let alone a high HP basic like Type:Null), so you can trade relatively even against them.

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