Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

My Top Picks for Knoxville

Zach shares his top three picks for Knoxville Regionals this weekend.

10/08/2019 by Zach Lesage

Knoxville is Almost Here

Yooooo, it’s ya boy Zach Lesage here and I am back with another article. If you are attending Knoxville Regionals later this week, you are in for a treat, I am sharing my top three picks for the event. If you aren’t attending a major event this weekend, both of the lists featured in this article are great choices for Cups. I do want to make it clear that both of the lists below are my personal lists, not ripped from Limitless, and I am confident in  I don’t want to make this too lengthy so let’s jump into it. Enjoy. 

Deck 1 - Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX

I honestly feel bad for dismissing this deck shortly after Worlds, but at least I can laugh at myself now. That being said, I have quickly changed my view on the deck, I think it is a brilliant choice to play for many future events because it fundamentally changes the way you play Pokémon. With the inclusion of Fairy Charm L (UBO; 172) , Fairy Charm (Psychic) (LT; 175) , and Fairy Charm UB (RG; 142) , you have answers to many of the top decks in the current format. That’s right! You have great matchups against Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) , Mewtwo & Mew GX (UB; 71) , and Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108) ! On top of that, the heavy counts of Reset Stamp (UB; 206) , Power Plant (UBO; 183) , and access to Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (UBO; 205) ’s Magical Miracle GX can steal games. It feels like you don’t really play Pokémon with this deck - it is more like “matchup lottery”, but that is a cool thing to do. You will often walk away with easier wins with this deck, but it comes to the expense of your deck having a rough matchup against Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20)  based decks. Let’s peep this list that has a handful of changes from Stephane Ivanoff’s recent Top Eight finish in Cologne.

As you can see, this deck has more of a streamlined approach to how the Supporters ended up in Ivanoff’s list. Specifically, I wasn’t a huge fan of Erika's Hospitality (TM; 140)  because it didn’t seem necessary. In testing I would always have a large hand or my opening would have a low amount of Pokémon on their Bench. After seeing the results of Atlantic City and Cologne, I decided that a second copy of Fairy Charm (Psychic) (LT; 175)  seemed necessary. With Mewtwo & Mew GX (UB; 71)  rapidly growing in popularity, it seems like this deck is well positioned heading into Knoxville.

Deck 2 - Welder & Friends

After I experienced a gut-wrenching drop in Atlantic City, I wrote about my thoughts on the format here. My opinion on the metagame remains similar, but I am going to change my mind on Welder & Friends. While the concept of AbilityZard without Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20)  isn’t necessarily a unique concept, I was one of the first to publicly post about it. I pioneered the deck, have created some solid content on the deck, and have won three League Cups with it too. This past Saturday, I wanted to play Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (UBO; 130) , couldn’t find the necessary cards in time, and settled on Green's Exploration (UBO; 175)  / Reshiram and Charizard GX (UBO; 20) . I proceeded to bomb the event and was upset. It seemed that my choices were between the decks that I knew were correct, the decks in this article, so I went back to the drawing board. For my Sunday Cup, I frantically was figuring out which decks I wanted to play. I still didn’t have the cards for Michele Babin and I to both play Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (UBO; 205)  and I knew I wasn’t going to play GreenZard again. I knew there were going to be other GardEon decks, so I knew Mewtwo & Mew GX (UB; 71)  was off the table. That left me with the options of Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  or Welder & Friends. With Blowns having a rough matchup to GardEon and Tapu Fini (UB; 53)  being popular in my area, I decided to play Welder & Friends. Luckily for me, I was able to win the Cup with this list.

While I am undecided on the spot of Tapu Fini (UB; 53) , I feel like this list is close to perfect. I never really wanted it in my list, but the metagame I am used to actually contains about 25% Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  decks. Going forward, I would cut it for a Giant Hearth (UB; 197) , Fiery Flint (DM; 60) , or Fire Energy (TM; null)  - not sure on which one yet. If I come to the conclusion that Ultra Beast decks are rising in popularity before Knoxville, the spot might be warranted. So while Atlantic City was a disappointing finish, I’m gonna consider it an outlier based on my in tournament results with Welder & Friends. While I’m undecided if I want to play this deck for Knoxville, I have earned 230CP with the deck so far this season. I guess I need to continue to test to find out!

Deck 3 - Mewtwo & Mew-GX / Shedinja

With Mewtwo & Mew GX (UB; 71)  winning Atlantic City and Cologne Regionals, it is poised to be the most played (and countered deck) heading into Knoxville. I have already written about Tord Reklev’s deck in my last article (linked in the last section), but I have added a few changes to his to enhance it heading forward. I think I literally only changed two cards and I will mention them after we check out the list.

Charizard-GX [Sun & Moon Promo SM211] and Hapu [Unified Minds 200] are linked incorrectly in the system. Add the following counts into the deck list above:

1x Charizard-GX [Sun & Moon Promo SM211]

2x Hapu [Unified Minds 200]

Sorry about that.

Beyond the concept of Shedinja (LT; 95)  to prolong games further, I wanted to add in a card to get around the Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108)  matchup. That card is answered in the form of Muk & Alolan Muk GX (UBO; 61) . I was originally introduced to this concept a few months ago by my friend Jason Stuteville and it never really seemed necessary until now. You can use Nasty Goo Mix GX to hit a Blowns for 150, that deck doesn’t play Switch (CLS; 147) , so they get Knocked Out going back into your turn. You can then follow it up with a Venom Shot to snipe a Dedenne GX (UBO; 57)  to get around Beast Ring (FLI; 102) . I’m sure there are other Reset Stamp based uses, but those are strictly situational. Lastly, I decided to add in another Switch because I found myself getting stuck more often than not. It is something that I like right now, but I might put in another Lysandre Labs (FLI; 111) . Make sure you are prepared for counters to this deck or this deck in general heading forward.

See Ya in Knoxville

Well that’s a wrap for today. I will be writing more articles this week, heading into Knoxville, to help all of you succeed. We have big plans here at 60Cards and I hope you can absorb as much information from some upcoming exciting news. As for me, I finished registering and booking flights for every major event in North America (and Latin American Internationals) all the way up until San Diego! I’m excited to play Pokémon, prove to myself that I am one of the best players in the game, and see all of my friends who play this game. After going 3-1-1 at Worlds Day Two to 3-3-1, it took me a couple of days to come down from the level of disappointment that I felt. While I can’t be certain that I will have a fulfilling finish at Worlds this year, or any tournament for that season, I will use my hope as a fuel to push myself as far ahead as I can. I have already earned 335CP and I don’t plan on stopping soon. Anyways, as I continue on my Pokemon adventure, feel free to follow me on all of my social media. 

Facebook: Zach Lesage

Twitch: zlesagepokemon

Twitter: zlesagepokemon

Youtube: Rare Candy TCG

I also have open slots for coaching so if you are interested, please reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook.


Zach Lesage

[+26] okko


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