Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

A New Beginning: My OIC Experience

Gain some experience in Standard as I share my thoughts from Australia heading into Collinsville / Cannes.

02/22/2019 by Zach Lesage

Flying Home

“Passengers, please use your seatbelts as we experience some turbulence”, those are the words echoing through my mind as I endure my flight from Melbourne to Vancouver. I guess my mind works by drawing lines between parallels to help myself understand Pokémon to a whole other level this season. Between hitting turbulence during my flight and rough patches during my tournament at OIC, I am looking to pivot my quarter three season into positivity. For those of you on the outside, you might be wondering why Zach Lesage, the professional player, thinks that he has hit a road block on his Pokémon world tour. Well, with that person being me, I am here to fully explain my thoughts in an effort to see self growth. In this article, i will be going over my experience in Australia, share my thoughts on the metagame heading into Collinsville, and showcase some tips for self growth within the game. With only a few hours until I land, let me flesh this article out and jump right into it. Enjoy. 

Oceania in a Nutshell

After winning the Mexico City Special Event, my goal was to flesh open the format, figure out the best decks, and ultimately see success at OIC. Well, that kinda happened, but I also had a few setbacks too. I was involved in an accident that left my car totalled, had some family come to my house out of the blue, so I generally stuck to what I knew. That isn’t saying that I didn’t test, but I wish that I had another week or so to test for the event. Oh well, you can’t win them all, and that’s why I went in with Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) . I know the deck inside and out, I know how it works in any given metagame, and it is a simple comfort pick for me. Here is the list that I played:

This is the list that I settled in a few weeks back, wrote about in my FREE article here and went a bit more in depth with my deck choice in my PREMIUM article here.

Going into the tournament, I felt super confident in this deck to be a neutral pick and if I had the opportunity again, I have no complaints about my choice. Let’s look at the matchups that I faced throughout Day 1 of Swiss.

Round 1. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  WLT 0-0-1

Round 2. Charizard (TM; 14)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  WW 1-0-1

Round 3. Ultra Necrozma GX (FLI; 95)  / Malamar (FLI; 51)  WW 2-0-1

Round 4. Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  WW 3-0-1

Round 5. Ultra Necrozma GX (FLI; 95)  / Malamar (FLI; 51)  LL 3-1-1

Round 6. Passimian (SUM; 73)  / Tapu Koko (BW; 31)  WW 4-1-1

Round 7. Ultra Necrozma GX (FLI; 95)  / Malamar (FLI; 51)  WW 5-1-1

Round 8. Zapdos (TM; 40)  / Jirachi (TM; 99)  WW 6-1-1

Round 9. Zapdos (TM; 40)  / Jirachi (TM; 99)  LL 6-2-1

Beyond facing a star filled day including games against Scott Langford, Sameer Sangwan, Alex Silva, Blake Davies, Caleb Gedemer, and Daniel Altavilla, everything went fairly smoothly. I was personally surprised to come out with a positive record considering random decks like Charizard (TM; 14)  turned out to be more powerful than I originally thought, but my perseverance ended up taking me into Day 2. Looking at Day 2, my day didn’t go quite as intended, but what else was I supposed to do? Every tournament isn’t meant to go your way and that’s kinda how my Day 2 went.

Let’s peep it out.

Round 10. Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  LL 6-3-1

Round 11. Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  LL 6-4-1

Round 12. Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  WLL 6-5-1

Round 13. Zapdos (TM; 40)  / Jirachi (TM; 99)  WW 7-5-1

Round 14. Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  ID 7-5-2

Another star filled day had me playing against Pedro Torres and Sam Chen, but the real issue was my poor draws all day. Well, maybe not just poor draws, but Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  seemed to spell my doom. Like I said before, I have no complaints because I earned 160 CP and cemented myself with a stipend to Germany. That being said, I don’t see how I can play Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  in this format comfortably anymore. The next portion of this article fully explains that. 

Bye Bye Blacephalon?

With myself earning over 700 CP out of my 1000+ CP with Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) ,

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