Experts' corner

Aaron Tarbell

Another Tale of Salt Lake City- But Better Because it has Owls

Welcome 60cards readers to a formal, in depth review for the current standard format! Aaron discusses Decidueye/Vileplume and gives a report of Utah Regionals.

20. 04. 2017 by Aaron Tarbell

Welcome 60cards readers to a formal, in-depth review of the current standard format. This article is aimed at helping people interpret the results of Utah regionals through the perspective of someone who performed well there with Vileplume/ Decidueye-GX. This article will provide my personal experience at Utah followed by my thoughts on the current format in order to offer insight to readers for upcoming events including Brazil and Virginia.

Utah Regionals Recap

Prior to Utah Regionals, I had won three out of five league cups that I had attended while playing pretty similar lists for Vileplume/ Decidueye-GX in both expanded and Standard formats. For the standard league cups, my finishes were two firsts at three league cups with attendees between 24ish and 68 players. Before these league cups, I had no experience with the deck. In each of the league cups, there was a huge turnout for Volcanion, and my final record prior to the Regionals against it was 10-1, so I was fairly convinced of my deck choice, enough that I had chosen my deck before I had purchased my plane tickets to the event. In standard, there was only one spot that I was unsure of with the deck, because in the two events that I had won with it, I had played a Beedrill-EX; however I had never attacked with it and never benched it of my own accord.

The night before the event, I stayed with two of the best players in the game, Travis Nunlist and Kevin Baxter. Kevin was also sold on Decidueye/ Vileplume prior to my arrival, and Travis was devoted to beating it with a M Mewtwo/Garbodor deck with three Shrine of Memories. The concept behind the Shrine of Memories was that, after abilities had been locked, Vileplume /Decidueye-GX had no way to knockout the M Mewtwo-EX in one attack, so they would just heal the large amounts of damage from M Mewtwo with Damage change and be able to load up huge Psychic Infinity attacks to knock out Decidueye-GX in one hit. Kevin’s Vileplume/ Decidueye-GX list, with the baby Mewtwo from Evolutions, a Trevenant-EX, and a Tauros-GX, was more teched out than mine. While I think his list is better suited for the meta, he ran a few less consistency cards, and it ended up that every game I lost before top 4 was due to severe dead draws. Their combined fascination with Mewtwo, the mega for Travis and the baby for Kevin, was what prompted my switch from a bad Beedrill-EX to a bad Mewtwo EVO. The list I played is below. Some of the rounds tended to run together, but this is my recollection to the best of my ability of the tournament. All of the opponents’ records listed are updated to round 12.


Round 1: In this round, I played against Morgen Morin, a player from Iowa, playing M Mewtwo/ Garbodor. I was disappointed with hitting this early on a matchup I was not very confident in, but I was excited that I had put the Mewtwo EVO in minutes prior to turning in my deck-list. Unfortunately, game 1 want fairly poorly. I got out Decidueye-GX early going first I believe, but I missed the Vileplume, and other than having the one Decidueye-GX, I drew fairly badly. Even though I was able to put 20 damage on the Trubbish with the Feather Arrow, I was not able to answer it early enough, and he was able to set up a second Garbodor by the time I knocked it out. Game 2 I locked early and prevented the Garbodor from getting online. Game 3 was pretty stressful since I went second and wasn’t able to get Vileplume out for a while, but he was missing energy drops and having to evolve without spirit links, so I was eventually able to knock out the one Garbodor, and I was able to win the game after from a combination of three Feather Arrows every turn and Lugia-EX applying a ton of pressure with Deep Hurricane. In the matchup, the only time the Mewtwo EVO was used was to get knocked out one turn to attempt to force my opponent to have to take odd prizes. My opponent’s final record was 5-4.

LWW 1-0.

Round 2: This round I played against a relatively new player by the name of Ryan Putnam. I won the coin flip, he flips over a Formantis, and it is off to the races. I open Rowlet and he claims something along the lines of, “I lose to this deck all of the time,” which makes me feel a little more confident, but when he sees that I discarded Vileplume pieces, he claims something along the lines of, “I’ve never seen Decidueye-GX paired with Vileplume before.” I end up getting out a lot of Rowlet and an Oddish, but I miss the Forest and pass. He ends up to have been playing a Lurantis GX Vileplume deck with Tauros-GX, and he hits two Lurantis-GX a Vileplume, and a Tauros-GX on the first turn. After he opts to put three grass energy on his active Lurantis-GX, I’m never able to really establish board position, and he wins shortly after. I misplayed at one point, having forgotten about Chloroscythe-GX, but the extra turn wouldn’t have mattered. Game two, I set up the Vileplume and get out a Decidueye-GX before he gets a turn. He hits a Lurantis GX but could not get energy in the discard, so my board state ends up overwhelming him. Game 3 was crazy good. He got pretty set up, but he missed the Vileplume. I end up getting two Decidueye-GX in play, and he put down the Vileplume. He ends up taking five prizes when I had only taken two, and I then had to Lysandre his Vileplume and only use Feather Arrow on he benched Lurantis-GX. He ends up attaching two grass energy to Vileplume, and he had enough energy on both Lurantis-GX to Lysandre and knock out a damaged Decidueye-GX. From there I took 11 turns to knock out two full HP Lurantis GX, and he had prized his last energy which would have allowed him to retreat to win the game. I was super lucky to have escaped 2-0. His final record was 4-5.

LWW, 2-0



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