Experts' corner

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Martin Janouš

1st place Austrian open with Mega Rayquaza/Unown

Martin Janouš talks about his unique Mega Rayquaza build that brought him victory at a special event in Austria.

26. 06. 2017 by Martin Janouš

Table of contents

Introduction

Hello everyone, today I will take a closer look at my unique Mega Rayquaza build, which brought me a First placement at Austrian Open tournament, which was played 27.5.2017. I knew that Garbodor decks were very strong in this metagame and I was not familiar with how to play with them. So one night when I couldn't sleep, I was thinking about the metagame and then said to myself: "Wait, there are plenty of basic Pokémon with 60Hp or Psychic weakness." Immediately Latios-EX paired with Mew-EX came to mind, because that can kill Trubbish turn 1 and with possible Professor Kukui you can knock out 60Hp Pokemon like Froakie. I immediately knew that the best way to play Latios and Mew is in Mega Rayquaza because there are 4 Shaymin-EX and that means drawing this combo is much easier than in other decks. So I took my Mega Rayquaza build from Brazil and changed it to this version.

 

Decklist

Card Choices 

Rayquaza-EX/Mega Rayquaza-EX - Same as in my build from Brazil, I played the same line of Mega Rayquaza including 2 colorless and 1 dragon Rayquaza-EX. I had still in mind that there are some lightning decks around, like Raichu/Lycanroc, and still wanted to have the option to survive and evolve this dragon Rayquaza-EX and knock out my opponent's Raichu. 

Latios-EX/Mew-EX - This insane combo won me several games. At first sight it looks like a funny combo, but in reality it works very well. Now the metagame is more about GX Pokémon that have low HP basics or about non-EX/GX attackers with low HP basics as well. You can easily search all the pieces of this combo by 1 Hoopa-EX and 1 Mallow, so the probability of getting it turn 1 is very high. Let's see what Pokémon in the current metagame you can knock out turn 1 without Kukui: Trubbish, Magikarp, Machop, Combee, Unown. With Kukui you can knock out these: Alolan Vulpix, Rowlet, Oddish, Jirachi promo, Eevee, Froakie, Dratini, Fomantis, Pikachu, Rockruff and maybe some more. As you can see, your donk potential is very high because currently decks that do very well at tournaments are Garbodor, Gyarados and Vespiqueen and you have good chance to win against these deck on your first turn.

Personally I added Mew-EX just because I wanted to knock out Trubbish on my first turn and easily win the game. However during tournament I found that it can be used as very strong attacker, again especially against Garbodor. I won 2 games by using Mew-EX to copy Garbodor's attack (including finals in the third game). Playing Psychic energies gives you the opportunity to do that and you can also copy Espeon-GX in some situations to confuse, or use Espeon's GX attack for some interesting damage counts. I also surprisingly used Mew-EX to copy Righteous Edge to discard special energies, so you can use Mew-EX in many ways.

Tapu Lele-GX - Some people said that I don't need Tapu Lele since I have 4 Shaymin-EX and 4 Unown. But Tapu Lele is key for winning. You can easily search all supporters from your deck. That helps for having all the cards needed for the donk when you search out Mallow or Professor Kukui. It also gives you higher probability to have Lysandre, Hex Maniac or Olympia in the right situation, and on top of that it is a really good attacker which will help you against Glaceon-EX or Regice, which was a problem before Guardians Rising release. Again you play Psychic energies and it gives you potential to use Tapu Cure GX. I used it just 1 time, but it was game breaking. It was in a game where I used Lysandre on a Vileplume without Float Stone against Decidueye. He was forced to be active and with a smart Tapu Cure GX, I decked my opponent out. 

Unown - Since I knew that Garbodor is heavily played I decided to replace Trainer's Mails for Unowns. This move reduced my number of item cards and in the end I reduced my items number to 14. Now you play also 4 more basic Pokémon, so having a full bench is much easier. Unowns also help with consistency, and in combination with Mallow you can search everything and directly draw it. It helps you with set up. 

2x Dragonite-EX - I have an opinion (and maybe someone can disagree): "Good Rayquaza lists play no Puzzle of Time and play 2 Dragonite-EX." When I see some decklists on the internet I immediately look if there are Puzzle of Time, if yes, I can definitely say that it is bad list; if there are no Puzzle of Time and 1 Dragonite-EX, it is avarage list; and if there are no Puzzle of Time and 2 Dragonite-EX, it is the best list. I passed many hours playing with Mega Rayquaza in the past format and placed in TOP16 in Brazil and in this format as well. Puzzle of Time gave you so much inconsistency. When you have 1 Puzzle, you don't want to play Professor Sycamore and instead of it, you play N. That slowed you down. You want Puzzles in middle or late game, but if you have it at the start it is useless. I played against many players that just played 1 Puzzle for drawing more cards to Shaymin-EX. Two Dragonite-EX give you an easy way to recover your bench after opponent's stadium, especially after Parallel City. And with Brock's Grit, you can do it multiple times. In this list it is also good to recover your Unowns for drawing more cards if needed. So believe me, 2 Dragonite-EX is the best choice for Mega Rayquaza (in past and now as well) and if you disagree, please test it more. 

Mallow - Key card of the deck. In combination with Shaymin-EX and Unowns, you can search and draw everything you need. It helps you with a turn 1 attack (with Latios or even with Mega Rayquaza), in late game you can search Double colorless energy and Mega Turbo to easily load your backup Mega Rayquaza, or you can prepare yourself for next turn with search for Lysandres, Olympia etc. I usually search turn 1 some of these cards: Sky Field, Ultra Ball, Psychic energy, Spirit Link, Mega turbo, Float Stone. These 6 cards are target for first Mallow in 90% of time. Specially having Sky Field and Ultra Ball turn 1 is blast and you have than high chance to attack with Mega Rayquaza with full bench turn 1. 

Professor Kukui -Primary for potential 60 damage turn 1 for Latios ex. However you can use it against opponent's Tapu Lele as well. If you don't have Sky Field you can have 5 pokemons on bench, than play Professor Kukui and do magic 170 damage to knock out Tapu Lele-GX. 

2x Rayquaza Spirit Link - You need just 2 Spirit Links now. You usually Mega evolve your 1 Rayquaza turn 1 when you can't attack anyway and then you can search Spirit Links in right situation with Mallow. Third Spirit Link is possible, but you again add more items to your deck. Don't worry about consistency, Mallow will help you.

 

Match-ups 

Garbodor variants - very favorable - You have the chance to donk Trubbish with Mew-EX turn 1. You also play a very low number of items, so it is difficult for your opponent to do enough damage. Basically your only problem is Drampa, but if you are able to knock it out fast, you can comfortably win the game. You have to watch out for Garbotoxin Garbodor. With some smart N + Garbodor you can be in trouble because this deck relies on abilities. Don't forget also that Mew-EX can copy Garbodor's Trashalanche and it can be a surprise for your opponent when you take a knockout from nowhere with Mew-EX and Psychic energy. Garbodor players usually don't care about the number of items in their discard pile, so surprise Mew is really good there. 

Volcanion - very favorable - Volcanion can't deal with the speed of Rayquaza. Their only chance to win is to have the perfect hand with like 3 steam ups + charged Volcanion-EX 2 or 3 times in a row. If he misses something, you win because you can Lysandre everything and get your lead. 

Decidueye variants - even or very favorable - it depends on the build of Decidueye. If it is paired with Vileplume, than it is all about how crucial items are for you. However with Tapu Lele you can find Lysandre easily and you can knock out Vileplume and then swing the game, but sometimes you can't deal with turn 1 Vileplume. If Decidueye is played without Vileplume, like Decidueye/Ninetales, then it is a very favorable match-up since they are not enough fast and you knock out all of their Pokémon just with a full bench, which is easy to fill without Vileplume in play. 

Vespiquen/Zoroark - Even or unfavorable - It depends on the build of Vespiqueen. If there are some techs like Jolteon AOR, you have a problem. Also a big issue is Klefki there. You have to play Pokémon on your bench carefully and don't put down 8 Pokémon. You don't want to load Zoroark's attack. If you play smart with a low bench, you can just care about Vespiquens. Mew-EX is interesting in this match-up since you can copy Vespiquen's attack and again make some unexpected knock out. 

Ninetales-GX - even or favorable - Ninetales-GX should be easy match-up on paper. However if they draw well and have enough Aqua patches and professor Kukuis in right times, they can out speed you. They are still 10 damage of 1 shot Mega Rayquaza, but if they are able to use promo Tapu Koko turn 1, than you have to set up at least 2 Mega Rayquazas fast. If not, Ninetales will take advantage from it since he has easier set-up. 

Gyarados - very unfavorable - you can't win this match-up in a "real" game. Gyarados, thanks to Choice Band, knocks out your Mega Rayquaza for 1 hit. However you have a very high chance to knock out Magikarp turn 1 if you go first. Gyarados usually plays 4x Magikarp, 1x Machop, 1x Shaymin, 1x Tapu Lele and sometimes 1x Remoraid as basic Pokémon. It is a really low number, so they probably start with just 1 basic Pokémon and if it is Magikarp or Machop, you have a high chance to win, but if you miss the donk, you will probably lose. 

Raichu/Lycanroc - Autoloss - you can't win this match-up. You have lightning weakness and Lycanroc's GX attack knocks out everything you have. If your opponent flips over Pikachu, you can shake his hand. 

Techs to Consider 

Field Blower - it is interesting choice to deal with Garbotoxin Garbotor if you are really worry about. It can helps you with some Choice bands what can be key to survive in some match-ups. 

Pokémon Ranger -It can help against Glaceon ex, possible Regice, Jirachi promo or it can make your match-up against Darkrai/Dragonair autowin, since you can off opponent's Dragon Wish attack every time since Pokémon Ranger is easily found able with Tapu Lele-GX. 

Oricorio - Maybe this card can swing match-up against Vespiqueen to very good one. Vespiqueen needs many pokemons in discard pile to knock out you and Oricorio can punish your opponent for it.

Closing Thoughts 

I think Mega Rayquaza has still place in metagame. If you see some results from big tournaments, you can see that my list of Mega Rayquaza made TOP16 at Chile regionals or TOP8 at Sydney regionals played after Austrian Open. I am really happy that Mega Rayquaza is still a thing in this meta and hope it will stay much longer. 

I wish everyone good luck and lot of fun playing with my list! 

Martin "Onix" Janouš

 

[+7] okko


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