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Eye on Japan

The Survivors of the Clash

Hello again, 60cards readers! I'm Yuki Fujimori and very glad to bring you my third article. . .

05/01/2015 by Eye on Japan

Introduction

Hello again, 60cards readers! I'm Yuki Fujimori and very glad to bring you my third article. In my last article, I broke down the Japanese metagame and explained that Yveltal EX and Seismitoad EX were also very powerful in Japan. However, their good times have passed. As you know, XY6 Emerald Break (English name "Roaring Skies") was released on March 14th in Japan, and EVERYTHING has changed. Completely.

In this article I will try to summarize and conclude the BW1-XY5 (Primal Clash) format. Then, I will analyse the XY6 format with some sample lists while taking a look at the results of two unofficial Japanese tournaments, held in March and April.

I guess the WCS2015 format will be BW1/BW6-XY6, so this can be the earliest article on WCS 2015 metagame. 

 

The Survivors of the Clash

As I mentioned before, Yveltal EX was (Yes, it WAS) a very powerful deck in the previous format, but the format itself was very complex, meaning a lot of decks could dominate the field. 


The Japanese metagame (BW1-XY5) was as follows:

Tier1

Yveltal EX/Darkrai EX/Seismitoad EX variants

Seismitoad EX/Musharna/Hammers


Tier2

Mega Gardevoir EX/Xerneas/Aromatisse

Mega Manectric EX/Eelectrik variants

Huntail/Ho-Oh EX

Donphan

Fighting/Crobat variants

Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Bronzong variants

Tier3

other decks....


it may be difficult to summerize the exact format, however, the obvious winner of this format was Seismitoad EX. Especially, Seismitoad EX/Musharna/Hammers gained extreme popularity from the middle of the XY5 format and finally became the most popular deck in it.

This is the list.

The main strategy is almost identical to Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff. In the Japanese format, Musharna is still legal so it plays the roll of drawing power instead of Slurpuff. The Munna/Keldeo EX combo is also a great addition to this deck. Munna's Ability "Long-Distance Hypnosis" and Lasers put your opponent's active Pokémon asleep almost every turn, preventing it from attacking under item-lock if it stays asleep.

What brought Yvental EX decks and Seismitoad EX decks to the tier 1 position was that they actually didn't have any "auto-loss" match-ups. It was a very important factor in an complex metagame, meaning skill became a bigger factor. Many Japanese players will agree that this was a great format to play.

Newcomers from the Skies

A new set always changes the metagame. The same counts for Emerald Break, but it has changed the metagame drastically. The peacefully complex metagame left the scene forever, and the new set brought us to an extremely high-speed combo era.

Let's see some important new cards from Emerald Break.

Shaymin EX

Uxie has come back. Different from Uxie, Shaymin's Ability ‘Setup’ allows you to draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand, instead of 7. But don't get disappointed about that. We now have a variety of useful Items such as Ultra Ball and Super Scoop Up, so it's quite easy to reduce the cards in your hand and make full use of its Setup Ability. 

Mega Rayquaza EX

Mega Rayquqza's Δ Evolution allows you to evolve your Rayquaza EX at the turn you play it down. If you choose to play second, and with the help of Rayquaza’s Spirit Link and Mega Turbo, you can even start attacking with Emerald Break from your first turn!

Its Emerald Break attack is just amazing: it deals 30 damages times the number of your Benched Pokémon. There's no need to explain more. Additionally see Sky Field.

Sky Field

Its text is simple. Your bench size becomes eight. Eight! That means, yes, Emerald Break can deal 240 damage, which is enough to OHKO any Pokémon in the format including Mega Pokémon.

In addition, three more bench places enables you to play four Shaymin EXs and Jirachi EX in one turn. With four Shaymin EXs, Sky Field and a great amount of useful Items, you can even draw almost your whole deck in a turn!

Winona

You can search for three Colorless Pokemon from your deck. Needless to say, you've got a best partner from the same set: Shaymin EX. You can even get 3 Shaymin EX and draw a lot of cards with only one Winona!

Mega Turbo

I mentioned this earlier on when speaking about Mega Rayquaza EX. Its text is similar to our beloved Dark Patch: ‘Attach one Basic Energy from your discard pile to one of your Mega Evolution Pokemon in play’. Different from Dark Patch, you can put the Energy to a Mega Pokemon even when it's Active. 

You will immediately realize that these cards will compose the Rayquaza/Shaymin deck.

Here's the list.

Extremely fast. Incredibly powerful. The main strategy is quite simple: to set up a feared Mega Rayquaza EX on the first turn.

In this deck, there are two new cards I didn't mention yet.

Altaria's Ability "Clear Hamming" disregards your Colorless Pokemon’s weakness, so it protects your Mega Rayquaza EX from Lightning Pokemon.

Trainer's Post is also an amazing addition to decks playing a lot of Items.

As I mentioned in the description of Shaymin EX and Sky Field, using every Item card you have in your hand and playing Shaymin EXs, you are often able to draw almost whole your deck on your first turn.

Some say it seems like a puzzle game, and I agree with that. It actually is a fun deck to play, but the biggest problem is, that it costs more and more time every turn in comparision with the previous metagame.

This deck is no doubt in the Tier 1 decks now.

The reign of Evil Ball has ended. There is no need to use Evil Ball when you can deal 240 damages on turn 1.

Tournament Results and Analysis

Let's take a look at the results of a couple of unofficial Japanese tournaments. The first one is called "Future Champions Cup." This tournament is held in Tokyo every month and over 100 players gather together. The result I'll show you is from the tournament held on March 22.

The top 16 decks were:


6: Seismitoad EX/Musharna/Hammers

3: Mega Rayquaza EX(Colorless)/Shaymin EX

3: Mega Rayquaza EX(Dragon Acent)/Reshiram

1: Virizion EX/Genesect EX

1: Trevenant/Accelgor

1: Primal Groudon EX/Wobbufett

1: Garchomp/Altaria

The winning deck was Virizion EX/Genesect EX, defeating Toads, Groudon and Accelgor. But the winning deck itself is not that important, what we should see here is the number of Seismitoad EX decks and Mega Rayquaza EX decks.

The reason Seismitoad EX/Musharna became this popular is that it has a good match-up against Colorless Mega Rayquaza EX, Item-lock being quite effective against Shaymin EX/Item-based decks, while Hammers and Ringers can keep Rayquaza EX from attacking on turn 1. You may think Colorless Rayquaza EX and Dragon Rayquaza EX is equally popular, but in fact the Colorless Rayquaza EX deck is much more popular than Dragon one, especially since late March because many players have noticed it's diffcult for regular decks, such as Yveltal EX and Gardevoir, to deal with its incredible  speed.

I think the most precise word to express the current metagame is "Speed vs Lock".

The other result is from a tournament called "Kansai Next Generation's Cup." This tournament is being held in Osaka every month, and about 80-100 players gathers. The result I'll show you is from the tournament held on April 12.

These were the top 4 decks:

Seismitoad EX/Shaymin EX

Klinklang/Aegislash EX

Seismitoad EX/Musharna

Mega Rayquaza EX (Colorless)/Shaymin EX

The winning deck is another Seismitoad EX variant. Instead of Musharna (Slurpuff), four copies of Shaymin EX and Super Scoop Up supply you with a great amount of cards every turn, allowing you to play several utility cards such as hammers.

Here's the list:

 

 

Compared to Seismitoad EX/Musharna, this deck focuses on the early game stages. You have more utility items in this deck than in Seismitoad EX/Musharna, so you can use more of them on turn 1. Head Ringer and Tool Scrapper are of key importance against EX-based decks, also being helpful in Seismitoad EX mirror matches. 


Let me rewrite the state of the current metagame.

Tier 1

Mega Rayquaza EX (Colorless)/Shaymin EX

Seismitoad EX Variants(Musharna/Hammers or Shaymin EX/Hammers)

Tier 2~3

Mega Rayquaza EX (Dragon Acent)/Reshiram

Raichu/Leafeon/Shaymin EX

Primal Groudon EX/Wobbufett

Klinklang/Aegislash EX

Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Manectric EX Variants

Trevenant Variants

Garchomp/Altaria

other decks...


If you have a chance to attend a current Japanese tournament, you will see that nearly half of the players use Mega Rayquaza EX (Colorless) or Seismitoad EX. You may look for other popular decks, but it's hard to deal with those two decks at the same time.

Seismitoad EX is strong against Mega Rayquaza EX decks because it heavily depends on Items. In fact, many players admit that Seismitoad EX is so called the best deck in format.

Primal Groudon EX, Klinklang, and Garchomp are the decks which have a good match-up against Seismitoad. They have been getting more play recently, however they  have some problem in beating the faster decks like Mega Ryaquaza EX.


Another new card from Roaring Skies


Lastly, let me explain a deck using another new card from Roaring Skies: Wally.

Wally allows you to evolve one of your Pokemon even if it is your first turn. That means you can set up a stage 1 Pokémon on your first turn.

If you can do so, Abilities of stage 1 Pokemons will become even more important.

Here's a lists which utilize Wally and Ability of stage 1 Pokemon.

Trevenant is one of the best stage 1 Pokemon you can play on turn 1 with Wally. Once you set up Trevenant and attach a Float Stone to it, you can retreat and attack with Shaymin's Sky Return. Item-lock continues and you can draw cards with Set Up ability every turn.

Including this deck, Wally is a great addition to every kind of stage 1 and 2 decks. I estimate there will be a lot of evolution-based decks which have been powered up by Wally, but so far have not been discovered by players yet.

Conclusion

As I mentioned above, the current metagame mostly consists of two types of decks: Speed or Lock. The biggest problem to most of the players is that it's quite hard to build a deck which can defeat both types. Especially, Seismitoad EX still controlls the XY6 metagame. We have a big official tournament "Rayquaza Mega Battle" in May, and we are all sure that the Seismitoad Domination will continue. The players are now facing the decision: Use Seismitoad, or defeat it. 


Thank you so much for reading! See you in the next article.


written and translated by Yuki Fujimori (Ukinin)

[+10] okko


 

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