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Eye on Japan

Rayquaza Mega Battle

This is my fourth article and I'm glad to know that the information on the Japanese PTCG metagame attracts a lot of attention.

06/11/2015 by Eye on Japan

Hello again, 60cards.net readers!

 

This is my fourth article and I'm glad to know that the information on the Japanese PTCG metagame attracts a lot of attention. 

During this May, we had a series of Japanese official tournaments called "Rayquaza Mega Battle." If you may not know, we have a series of big official tournaments every spring in Japan. I want to say in advance that it is very, very, very annoying and troublesome to explain the Japanese official tournament system to foreign players, because Swiss rounds has not (ever) been adopted, and the system even changes a little every year. 

 

Simply explaining the system: 

Held in Nagoya(May 5th), Tokyo(May 9th and 10th), Sapporo(May 22nd) and Osaka(May 31st) – every match is BO1 

format:BW1~XY6 

the number of the players making cut (to the single elimination) :64 

in order to make cut, win 3 matches or 5 matches in a row. 

win 3 in a row: those who had won a shop tournament called "Rayquaza Gym Battle" 

win 5 in a row: everyone else 

in the "win-in-a-row round," even though you lose, you can challenge again with 0 win count. 

I feel the system may look a bit embarrassing and complex to foreign players accustomed to Swiss round system. At Japanese big unofficial tournaments, such as "Future Champions Cup" (see my previous article), however, they adopt Swiss round/Single elimination system. I am sometimes asked why Swiss system is not used in the Japanese official tournaments, and the reason I think is that the Japanese official tournaments welcome beginners, casual players, and father-and-son players. I know Swiss system is a great tournament one, but it often binds players to tables and chairs quite long time, sometimes from the morning to the night. I guess it is very hard for beginners or father-and-son players, especially small Junior players to stay defeated in a lot of rounds. When it comes to the Japanese official tournament system, the first registration starts at 9:00 am, but for example, even if casual players come to the event at 10:30 am, they can join and play the tournament from 0 wins. In addition, the Japanese official tournaments hold plenty of side events every time. This time it even  had a "shogi" (Japanese chess) tables. 

To be honest, I was planning to write a deep analysis on the "Rayquaza Mega Battle" metagame, including my thoughts and tournament report. As you all know, however, Lysandre's Trump Card was banned last week, forcing almost all the decks played in the tournaments to be fixed somehow. The results are not useless of course, but I feel most of the players both in Japan and in the foreign countries already have turned their eyes to the new metagame. So in this article, I will at first have a quick recap of the "Rayquaza Mega Battle"results, then place my thoughts on the new metagame. 

 Mega Battle Recap 

 

***Week 1 : Nagoya*** 

TOP 8 decks 

Gengar/Raichu/Wobbuffett/Garbodor 

Latios/First Ticket 

Primal Groudon/Wobbuffett 

Mega Manectric/Garbodor/Wobuffett 

Raichu/Leafeon 

Mega Rayquaza(Colorless)/Shaymin 

Seismitoad  

Most of the players thought the tier 1 decks were Rayquaza, Seismitoad and Raichu. The biggest topic of this tournament was, however, no doubt the finalist's Latios/First Ticket deck. The only strategy of the deck was of course to OHKO the opponent's active at the very first turn, utlilizing almost all items of the deck such as Plus Power and Recycle. The late Trump Card enabled Latios to deal more than 180 damage. You may think "well, how could he win when the opponent placed a benched Pokemon before starting the game?" The answer is ridiculous in a sense. The deck inevitably costs great amount of time playing a lot of item cards and shuffling the deck, so even if you play normally not intending stalling, the deck costs you 20 or more minutes! The tournament is 30 minutes/BO1, so even though the opponent placed a benched Pokemon before the 

game, the opponents didn't have enough time after his active being OHKOed. Soon the time is up, and the Latios player wins by prizes. The deck occured a lot of arguments among Japanese players. Some said that it was a breach of sportsmanship to play such a deck, but most thought that was a predicable result of XY6 metagame, blaming the TPC for releasing the draw items and Trump Card. Most believes this deck was one of the biggest reasons Trump Card was banned immediately. Anyway, the most influencing card of this tournament was Wobbufett. the three decks of top 4 play Wobbuffet to negate Shaymin EX.

Jirachi

Basic Pokémon

C -Stardust:  You may discard a Special Energy attached to your opponent's Active Pokémon. If you do, prevent all effects of your opponent's attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon during your opponent's next turn.

MC - Dream Dance: 20 Both Active Pokémon are now Asleep. 

 

***Week 2 Tokyo Day 1 and Day2*** 

 

TOP 8 decks(Day1) 

Yveltal/Darkrai/Archeops 

Primal Groudon/Wobbufett 

Donphan/Zoruark 

Mega Rayquaza(Colorless)/Shaymin 

Latios/First Ticket 

Seismitoad/Zoroark 

Seismitoad/Musharna 

Seismitoad/Shaymin 

TOP 8 decks(Day2) 

Eelektrik/Zekrom/Manectric 

Yveltal/Darkrai/Archeops 

Mega Rayquaza(Colorless)/Shaymin 

Manectric/Garbodor/Wobbuffett 

Mega Gardevoir/Aromatisse/Ninetales(XY5) 

Raichu 

Accelgor/Trevenant 

Book of Sanctuary 

Item

When you play this card, your turn ends. Draw three cards.

 

 

 

 

 

Takuya Yoneda, one of the best players in Japan, played Groudon to be the finalist of Day 1. He drew a poor opening hand at the final game to be defeated, but proved Groudon/Wobuffett was much more a powerful deck than we thought. 

 

Also, Manectric/Garbodor/Wobbufett performed fairly well. It has a good match-up agaist Seismitoad, Raichu and Rayquaza. 

***Week 3 Sapporo*** 

TOP 8 decks 

Seismitoad/Zoroark 

Primal Groudon/Wobuffett 

Seismitoad/Crobat 

Mega Rayquaza(Colorless)/Shaymin 

Primal Groudon/Wobuffett 

Rayquaza/Eelektrik 

Mega Manectric/Garbodor/Wobuffett 

Seismitoad/Musharna 

 

As the strength of Groudon became known, players start building decks which can deal with its strategy. One of them is to play Zoroark.

 

***Week 4 : Osaka***  

TOP 8 decks 

Primal Groudon/Wobuffett 

Yveltal/Darkrai/Archeops 

Seismitoad/Musharna 

Seismitoad/Crobat 

Primal Groudon/Wobuffett 

Raichu/Crobat 

Yveltal/Darkrai 

Raichu/Crobat 

Raichu/Crobat is also one of the ways to deal with Groudon, nevertheless Groudon got the top at last. 

When most of the players started admitting Groudon is one of the present tier 1 decks, Trump Card was banned. 

The world without Trump Card 

 

Lysandre's Trump Card was one of the most important cards in almost all the Shaymin-based decks such as Raichu/Leafeon. Such the deck includes DCE, and recycling DCE is one of the biggest role of Trump Card, for the players not being afraid of running out of DCE. So called "Resource Management" will become a great deal more important, and at the same time, decks relying too much on DCEs will be getting harder to play correctly. 

On last Sunday(June 7th), a tournament gathering about 30 participants was held in Tokyo, whose format was BW-on without Trump Card. The winning deck was Yveltal/Archeops followed by Seismitoad/Mewtwo/Eelektrik, and the third and the 

fourth place were Accelgor/Trevenant and Kyogre/Robo. Except for Kyogre, the result looks like a very old-fashoned metagame. The most popular decks were, however, Groudon/Wobuffett and Yveltal. As we know enough, each of those decks doesn't necessarily need Trump Card, and I guess most players chose their decks under that thought. In addition, it was only a week after the announcement. Most of them, thus, didn't have enough time to playtest and no one still couldn't estimate correctly the risk of running DCE-based builds without Trump Card in the present metagame. 

Then, the new set "Bandit Ring" is coming. It is scheduled to be released on June 20th in Japan, so we Japanese players are now on a short break before the arrival of the new set and the metagame is also at a standstill. The Nationals, only the winners and the finalists of each "Mega Battle"s permitted to take part in, will be held on June 27th, meaning just one week after the release of "Bandit Ring." We are looking forward to the next format with "Bandit Ring", without Trump Card. 

The conclusion of the Japanese XY6 metagame was Groudon/Wobbuffet. In the next article, I will write about the metagame after the new set coming. See you in the next article! 

written and translated by Yuki Fujimori (Ukinin)

[+10] okko


 

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