Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

Hit and Run to Victory!

Zach goes over his updated HitmonWobb / P Groudon list heading into Dallas!

01/08/2020 by Zach Lesage

What’s up 60 Cards readers? It is me, Zach Lesage, and I am back with another helpful article for you as we approach another weekend of Expanded events. In this article, I want to explain my thought process on Hitmonchan (TM; 74)  / Wobbuffet (GEN; RC11)  and why it is still a force to be reckoned with in the Expanded format. I recently took this deck to a T128 finish at Richmond, Virginia Regionals and a T16 finish at Portland, Oregon Regionals and I have plenty of experience playing this deck. While my finishes haven’t been as strong as I would have liked, it is one of those events where the events were not destined to be mine, but it might go your way at the Dallas, Texas Regionals. I hope you enjoy reading this article and that you learn something new by the end of it. Enjoy!

Thought Process

The week of Richmond Regionals, I had almost finalized my spreadsheet of Expanded matchups to determine the best play. The spreadsheet is based on an evolving metagame, the expected percentage of play per deck, and my personal experience in individual matchups. That is when my friend Bryan Hunter brought Hitmonchan / Wobbuffet to my attention. Looking over the metagame, the decks that appeared to the top of my list were Greninja & Zoroark GX (UBO; 207) , Mewtwo & Mew GX (UB; 71)  Box, and Hitmonchan / Wobbuffet. I was partially worried about Mewtwo getting countered at the event and I decided that most players were going to default to Turbo Dark. With that knowledge in mind, I wanted to pick a deck that could stand up to a large portion of the metagame and have some solid matchups across the board. It does help that I have previously piloted this deck to a win-and-in to a Top Eight at Toronto, Ontario Regionals and a 7-1-1 finish at Hartford, Connecticut Regionals. I chose my comfort pick because I understand this deck inside and out, I like it’s matchups, and it is a fun deck to play! 

I took all of my testing and took it back to the drawing board for Portland Regionals. I was seriously considering Turbo Dark, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. With Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (UBO; 205)  and Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor GX (UB; 1)  dominating Richmond, I needed to have an answer. My answer was brought up when my friend Connor Finton told me he was playing Primal Groudon EX (PRC; 86)  in Portland. It hit me really hard! Why don’t I play that card in Hitmonchan? I played Donphan (PS; 72)  / Primal Groudon to a few State Championship Top placements in 2015 and this deck was virtually the same deck! I added tech cards to beat RowEggs, GardEon, and I felt ready for Portland! Portland was a bittersweet success, but that is mainly because I lost my win-and-in to a Top Eight to Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) . After that, I was sold on the deck and felt it could be a viable choice going forward. With the ban list taking care of a bunch of toxic combos in a Expanded, HitmonWobb seems like it might just be a sleeper pick for Dallas.

The Deck

I’ll showcase the list that I have updated since Portland, I’ll explain the key strategy of the deck afterwards, and go over  some of the popular matchups in the metagame. 

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