Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

The Final Hour - My Play For LAIC

Zach goes over his play for the LAIC tomorrow, check it out!

11/15/2018 by Zach Lesage

Time is Tickin’

What’s up 60 Cards readers? I have landed in São Paulo for the 2018 / 2019 Latin America International Championships to compete for some big prizes and I think I am ready for the tournament.

I don’t want to ramble on because I certainly could use every moment for play testing, but I do want to share my play for the event. In this article, I will explain how I got to my deck choice, some tech cards that I am still deciding on for the event, and the list that I am likely playing in the event! For every major event this season I have shared my exact list before the event so treat this information as a competitive advantage to you. That being said, let’s jump into it.

My Play For LAIC

After testing this format for weeks, I have decided that I want to play a deck that plenty of people have been testing this whole time. That deck is Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) / Naganadel (LT; 108) and the list I have created below is super consistent. I know that sounds like a lame choice, believe me, I know it is a lie at deck, but I am trying to win the event. The below list has been inspired through various talks with my teammate Rukan Shao and one of my really good friends, Phinnegan Lynch. I hope with all of this deck building star power that the deck will perform exactly how I want, I will let you be the judge of the list right now.


Update: As of 11:35PM in São Paulo, I have changes to the following list:

Pokemon - 14
4 Blacephalon-GX LOT 52
4 Naganadel LOT 108
4 Poipole FLI 55
1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
1 Marshadow PR-SM 85

Trainer - 29
2 Ultra Space
1 Heat Factory PRISM STAR
4 Cynthia
3 Sophocles
3 Guzma
2 Lillie
4 Mysterious Treasure
4 Beast Ring
4 Ultra Ball
2 Choice Helmet

Energy - 17
16 Fire Energy
1 Beast Energy PRISM STAR


The Choice Helmet is strong against the expected GX based metagame, I have decided to take a lesser Malamar / Giratina match up for a more consistent deck, and I am generally fine with these changes. I am super tired, heading to bed, but I wanted to make sure I stayed true to my word to get you my tournament list. 

That’s the list! It is super consistent, it has a decent field of match ups, and Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) can just straight up dominate games. For those who are looking for a quick brush up on this deck, where is a quick strategy for the deck. Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) , finds synergy with Naganadel (LT; 108) in this new archetype, Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) / Naganadel (LT; 108) . The simplicity in the archetypes name follows through in its linear strategy. The goal of this deck is to use Mind Blown on Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) over and over again with your stockpile of Energy getting refuelled by using Charging Up on Naganadel (LT; 108) . Beyond that simple two step strategy, the other cards in the deck are used to help expedite that process my making the deck more consistent. If you have ever found yourself short of enough Energy to use Mind Blown for a bunch of damage, you can always use Burst GX on Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) . Additionally, if you find yourself playing against Pokemon with a low amount of HP, such as Jumpluff (LT; 14) , or Pokemon that suffer from a Psychic-type Weakness, such as Buzzwole (FLI; 77) , you can always use Turning Point on Naganadel (LT; 108) . The idea of this deck is to be as simple as possible to make sure that the deck runs optionally and that has stayed true during my testing.

I have a similar feeling about Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) as I did for Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57) right before the 2017 / 2018 European International Championships so I am following my gut. For those of you who are wondering why Sophocles (SLG; 65) over Sightseer (LT; 189) , it is simply to keep resources in my hand. Sightseer (LT; 189) has forced me to discard resources like Beast Ring (FLI; 102) out of my hand which is ultimately the reason why I have made the switch. I am heavility considering TV Reporter (CLS; 149) over this spot, but that will come from my testing all day tomorrow! The other card that I have been considering is Lusamine Prism Star (LT; 182) , but I feel like it puts my deck in an awkward position. Part of me thinks that I can easily use Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) to nab it from the deck, but then my opponent can easily use Guzma (BUS; 115) to Knock Out that same Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) . I don’t know how else I would draw it beyond pure luck, but there is also the idea that I will add in Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154) and Lisia (CLS; 137) into this deck to further help my decision. Obviously, I don’t have infinite space, but I will have to either decide to include these cards or not tomorrow after testing. My biggest gripe heading into this tournament? Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) / Naganadel (LT; 108) has a poor mirror match up, but I can’t really change that too much. Maybe the Lusamine Prism Star (LT; 182) can help, but I do think that Marshadow (SLG; 45)  can hurt my opponent long enough to give me an edge. I almost forgot! Lysandre Labs (FLI; 111)  is a way to get around Giratina (LT; 97)  / Spell Tag (LT; 190)  being played in Malamar (FLI; 51) which is an obvious combination that we might see at the LAIC.

So basically I don’t see why I wouldn’t play this deck, I still need to test more, but that above list has been testing the best out of everything that I have been testing. I have likely sunk in over 100 hours play testing Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) / Naganadel (LT; 108) and I feel like it gives me a shot at taking the title. Call me basic all I want, I really need CP at this event and my player intuition is screaming that deck above. If anything changes, expect an update, but I think everything here is along the realms of what will change. 

Let’s See How it Goes!

I will be testing all day today, which is Thursday in São Paulo, before I start playing the tournament on Friday. I really hope that I am able to earn any amount of CP to receive a stipend for the 2018 /2019 Oceania International Championships in Melbourne, Australia. Wish me luck and I will do the best I possibly can! I will also 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: Team DDG


Twitch: TBA


Until next time,

Zach Lesage


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

[+21] okko


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