Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

Tips for Your Local Metagame

Wanna be more successful locally? Check this article out!

12/22/2018 by Zach Lesage

Thinking Small

Yo, yo, yo 60 Cards readers, it’s ya boi Zach and we are back with another article to help you step up your game. While it might seem easy to dominate in a local metagame, it can sometimes be difficult, even to the point of getting burned out locally.

The goal of this article is to showcase strategies so that you can see more success on a local level. Hopefully these tips allow you to grow as a player, learn something new, and to have an enjoyable reading experience. Let’s jump into it!

Ideas That Work

During this section of my article, I will be going over some different strategies to make the most out of your next League Cup / League Challenge that you attend. Here are some different strategies that you can utilize for your next event.


When I am looking at my local metagame in Toronto, the first thing that I like to do is look at some of the best players in my area and do some research. Do they play the same deck at every event? Did they just have success at a major event? Maybe they publicly said what deck they are playing somewhere online... Quite often players will either purposely or indirectly lead clues as to what they might play heading into their next event, like even for myself, I post my exact list for every major event BEFORE the event happens. The players in your area don’t necessarily have to be the rockstars that win every Regionals, but I am sure there a group of players that you look up to that always seem to do well. If you have a hunch of what they might play, why would you not use that information to make a more informed choice? I would recommend checking local FaceBook groups, Twitter, and other assorted Pokémon media websites to determine the best play for the event.

Become a Local

One of the best ways to see what is being played at your locals is to be a local yourself. Let me paint you a picture that will make all of the sense, you have a League Cup in Saturday in Toronto, ON and there is the local League night on Thursday for the same location, what are players playing on Saturday? Well, most players like to give their deck a trial run before playing it at any event that offers Championship Points so they will likely try their deck out on Thursday. Makes sense right? YUP!


If it is impossible for you to attend League due to other life necessities, perhaps it is best for you to become friends with someone who regularly attends League. Quite often I will discuss what is being played in my area with my friends who are in the area to make sure we don’t get instantly countered when attending League Cups / League Challenges. 

Don’t Get Too Fancy

One thing that players might forget is that most League Cups / League Challenges are going to be Best of One, 30 minutes, and not Best of Three. This can seriously take a toll on which decks you can actually choose because some ‘control’ decks are too slow / inconsistent to play in Best of One when putting it into a direct comparison to Best of Three. Similar things can be said when you look at quick decks and you should be able to see that they will have more success in Best if One. Sorry if that sounds confusing, but you want to make sure that your deck is direct to the point, quick, and that it can finish games within the allotted amount of time. Similar to deck choice is your choice of techs for the event, something that can easily be summed up as keeping it simple. If your tournament is Best of One, you only have one game per round to showcase your strategy, why would we try and mess that up? Like don’t get me wrong, add as much flavour as you want to in your deck, but don’t be crying when you dead draw into a few losses.

Don’t Sweat It

Even though your local tournaments might offer Championship Points, you do need to realize that you shouldn’t be stressed out of your mind playing in them. Remember that you are likely playing against other players from your area, sometimes you will lose to variance, and at the end of the day we should all have FUN. It is one thing to reflect on your losses and to take your wins as humbly as possible, but it is NOT COOL to take away someone else’s enjoyment. Everyone gets bitter in any competitive game, but just try to hold your composure, it goes a long way!

Be Prepared

Do you know how many times I see my friends show up late to a League Cup only to miss the first round or to be ‘capped’ out of the event entirely? Or sometimes they forget to bring a Standard deck to a Standard event. Or when they rush to fill out their deck list and forget to list some important cards... yeah, it happens all of the time.

My rules for events are to plan the best I can, get to the event early, have my deck all sleeved up, and make sure I fill out my deck list properly. It doesn’t sound like much, but just being prepared is a skill all on its own.


Even though you aren’t playing in the World Championship finals every weekend at your local hobby store, you should treat each tournament with a certain amount of respect. I totally will grind games out on PTCGO or test with my friends at my local League before ANY event that offers Championship Points because I like being prepared as much as possible. It isn’t necessarily for me to out perform anyone at any event, but it is more soothing for my soul to be prepared for anything that comes my way.

Be Comfortable

Even though the worldwide metagame might be shifting on a weekly basis, that doesn’t mean that your tried and true deck won’t see success at your local League Cup. While smaller events can be a great place to experiment with newer concepts, they are also a great place to showcase all of the knowledge you have with your go to deck. Even though I play Pokémon all of the time, there is something comforting about playing a deck that you know inside and out when you are playing at any event.

Best of Luck

That’s it for today 60 Cards readers! I hope that you enjoyed this mini article and that you use this information to expand your game. I know that I have a handful of League Cups / League Challenges in the Toronto / Montreal area coming up and I will personally be taking my own advice to help promote my success. At the end of the day, Pokémon is supposed to be a fun game so don’t sweat the small stuff, just enjoy yourself.

I would like to use this time as an opportunity to wish all of the readers the best for this holiday season on behalf of all of the 60 Cards staff.

Best of luck,

Zach Lesage

[+23] okko


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