Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

The Final Hour: My Play for Memphis

Zach goes over his deck choice for the Memphis Regional Championships the day before the event.

10/05/2018 by Zach Lesage

Getting Ready to Fly

What’s up 60 Cards readers? I am up early this morning in Toronto waiting for my flight to Memphis to board.

As part of my new exclusive writing contract with 60 Cards, I feel it is fitting for me to release my up to the minute final list heading into this event. I hope that this type of article allows you to peak into my mind and helps you pick a better deck for the event. With that being said, let’s jump into this article.

Offenbach on my Mind

In the third major Standard event of the 2018 / 2019 season, we saw a similar metagame to the recent Philadelphia Regionals, but this event did throw a few curveballs our way. You see, the metagame for any given event is fragile and the juiciest plays are often not found at League Cups. The player base collective decides whether or not to play ‘undiscovered’ archetypes at any given event. This seems to be the case with Offenbach with Sylveon GX (GRI; 92) , an archetype that was thought to be dead, winning the entire event. There were other sprinkles of metagame variations that included a Steelix (CLS; 89)  / Wailord (CLS; 40)  / Hoopa (SLG; 55)  deck making Top 8 and a strong presence of Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  decks (notably including Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) ). Using this information, the goal is to to look from a birds eye view perspective and realize that Memphis will likely see a spike in stall / mill decks.

This is due to decks in that styling taking up 25% of the Top 8 in Offenbach and most players have a sheep mentality. While there may be a slight spike in Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  decks, players are also hesitant to run decks of the nature and there is a higher chance of us seeing counter decks. This is due to a higher skill cap for running non-linear decks and the previous popularity of the Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  deck. My second approach to looking at the results from this event is to look at the broad range of successful decks and predicting potential counters for the metagame that existed for that event. My second approach brings me to the realization that Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  will continue to be a popular archetype, Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  will still be played, Malamar (FLI; 51)  decks will be played in higher numbers to counter Sylveon GX (GRI; 92) , and Metal-type decks might see a slight surge. The rest of the metagame will consist of a similar mix of decks that we have seen have success in Philadelphia, Offenbach, and League Cups. All of this information is important heading into an event because it helps shape the surrounding metagame, allows different deck choices to be considered, and will ultimately be the reason for my success (hopefully). 

My Play for Memphis

With thoughts of Offenbach bouncing around my brain, I have decided that it is best for me to play something that I am comfortable with. The deck that has earned me the most amount of my Championship Points thus far, Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) , was widely considered the best deck in format after the results of Philadelphia Regionals. While the deck might take a poor matchup against Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  or other stall / mill decks, I do have the capabilities to turn those matchups into a forced tie. The trend of Malamar (FLI; 51) seeing a resurgence also doesn’t scare me because even though Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  has a Psychic-type Weakness, most attacking Pokémon in that deck can be dealt swiftly with a Garbodor (GRI; 51) .

If anything, my top reason for playing Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  is due to other players straying away from playing that deck. It should be known that the mirror match can be reliant on the opening coin flip and the possibility of me playing against less mirror matches is appealing to me when picking my deck. I do feel confident against Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  decks due to my inclusion of Shaymin (SLG; 7) , a card that counters Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) . With this new list that I have worked on for the past week, I have confidence in this metagame, a feeling that should not be overlooked. Let’s peep this list over, it looks super cool, I hope you all like it. 

As you can see, there are a few changes to this list from Caleb Gedemer’s winning list from Philadelphia, and I will explain it all below. This list has won me a League Challenge and a League Cup in the past week with a combined record of 11 - 1 which leads me to believe that I should see success in Memphis.

About the Deck

So where do we start? As the reader of this article, you must have some feelings when we can compare this deck to the gold standard of lists, Gedemer’s Philadelphia winning list, and that is completely fine. Why no Weavile (UPR; 74) ? Why no Judge (FLI; 108) ? Why two Counter Energy (CIN; 100) ? Well, all of those questions will be answered below and I hope to get you on the same wave length as myself heading into Memphis.

The Lack of Weavile

I have been a believer of Weavile (UPR; 74)  since the early build of our Standard version of this deck and my thought process on that has since changed. I have found in my testing when you are trading Prize Cards with popular decks, such as Malamar (FLI; 51)  and mirror, that it is difficult to stream Stage 1 Pokémon consistently.

This has brought me into scenarios where my opponent will counter my Sneasel (UPR; 73)  so that I can’t respond with a Knock Out or I have a piece of the line in my Prize Cards. All of these are issues when dealing with a 1 / 1 line of a card or when you have issues dealing with the limitations of your Bench space. How have I solved this issue? Well, I have added a new Pokémon into the deck that seems like it is a better call for the metagame that we are heading into...

Introducing Shaymin

Shaymin (SLG; 7)  is a a strong attacker that shines when you are behind on Prize Cards. Rally Back allows you to do 120 damage after your opponent Knocks Out one of your Pokémon which means you can jump back into the game with a Counter Energy (CIN; 100) . Counter Energy (CIN; 100)  is normally a difficult card to get out of your deck, but you can easily search it out by using Smooth Over on Magcargo (CLS; 24)  to instantly get it. Rally Back can Knock Out an opposing Garbodor (GRI; 51) , Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) , or even a Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  if you use a Professor Kukui (SUM; 128) . Flippity Flap can also come in clutch for a Rainbow Energy (CLS; 151)  if you are ever in a jam; it is a solid consistency crutch.

Improved Consistency

The only other change to the deck is the addition of another Counter Energy (CIN; 100) , to aid you if you are behind on Prize Cards, and some minor changes to the Supporter line. I have cut out Judge (FLI; 108)  for another copy of Cynthia (UPR; 119)  because I have not been able to disrupt my opponent with a Judge (FLI; 108)  during any of my testing games. I have also added another Professor Kukui (SUM; 128)  to help with Smooth Over and to do some extra damage in a pinch. I had one left over spot which is currently being used for a Switch, but that card could easily become an Acro Bike (CLS; 123) , an Energy Loto (GRI; 122) , or a Pal Pad (UPR; 132) .

Heading Off

That’s a wrap y’all! I will be working on producing the highest level of content going forward on a consistent basis as I work on a strategic plan to make 60 Cards a better website. During this time of rejuvenation, I welcome any and all feedback that will help see the site succeed. The immediate goals of the site are to streamline regular content, release it on a continuous basis, and provide more articles for the same value. These are hefty goals, but I will be working long hours to make sure I can keep the value of my word. 

If you are looking to find out what’s going on in the world of Zach Lesage, here is the linking for all of my current Social Media / business projects.

Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Coaching: The Dark Patch

YouTube: Dead Draw Gaming


Thanks for all of the support and let’s have an awesome season,

Zach Lesage

#PlayPokemon #Pokemon #60Cards #PokeAcademy #TheDarkPatch #DeadDrawGaming

[+27] okko


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