03/07/2019 by Mark Dizon
Hey, 60 Cards Readers!
Can you believe Blowns won Collinsville? Did no one see that coming? If you had been subscribed to our premium section, you would have had access to the list the night before! I personally had an okay event in Collinsville earning my second day two of the season out of three regionals I played. I fell back onto my old faithful Zoroark Lycanroc. It was interesting because, before the tournament, I had some players call to tell me, that I would be enjoying Standard due to the strength of the deck. I spent a lot of time going back and forth on how to build the deck however we will save that for before Denver Regionals. standard is taking a big back seat to expanded for the next two regionals. Our last two regionals be Collinsville were both expanded. We had back to back regionals in Anaheim and Dallas that showcased the expanded format and even led to bans that are affecting the next set of expanded regionals with Lusamine and Delinquent both removed from the format. Toronto and Greensboro look to shake up the expanded meta. We will then have a standard regional in Denver followed by another back to back set of expanded regionals in Daytona and Hartford. Expanded is going to take up four of the next six regionals and if you’re like me unlike standard there isn’t much of a place to start looking. In this article, I will go with you on what areas you can look for expanded decks and ideas as you try to navigate this non-rotating format.
I generally start by looking at the best database online for decklists which is limitless. The work done by limitless is insane and thorough due to the help they get from rk9labs. It’s harder to navigate and get all the Japanese lists because a lot of the time we are waiting for them to share those lists. Limitless allows you to filter through multiple different tournaments and through multiple formats. You can filter between Standard, Expanded and the Japanese format. With the new release schedule and the last rotation, limitless is a great tool because the Japanese are playing the same format as us but with just a few new sets in the format. With them being so close, we can use their decks as a starting point for when new standard decks come out. If we look at the latest standard tournament, we saw that Japan already had the Jirachi – Zapdos deck and the Pikarom decks. Using these lists as a starting point with the added benefit of the deckbuilding focus of consistency, we have been able to accelerate when the first tournament of the format comes.
With Limitless adding Japan’s expanded format on the website. It was my starting point with Dallas when it came time to prepare for Toronto Regionals. We took the Hitmonchan list from the Champions League Chiba and the Rayquaza decks with Ho-oh from Champions League Nigaata and focused on those to play. When I looked at Dallas Regionals, I saw that Sceptile Vileplume put a few copies into day 2 but the deck wasn’t talked about highly. I contacted a lot of the pilots who made day 2 and they were able to talk to me about the deck and their tournaments. Sometimes it just helps to ask the players who played the deck about how the deck worked. Shout out to Rudy Vargas and Matthew Tims for talking to me about the deck. Matthew told me the way to play the deck without Lusamine was to try Celestial Storm Delcatty and more AZ. The deck had potential but without Lusamine I feel that it just cannot work right now. The other deck from Dallas that I attempted to play was Primal Groudon and I used the lists from Anaheim and Dallas to try to build a hybrid list. Alex Schemanske was onto something with the Plasma Snorlax that would block retreat. However, without Lusamine I have also written Groudon off. I have used Limitless however to create the Archie’s Blastoise and the Zoro Garb lists that I have been testing against. For the newer decks, I had to look somewhere else.
When it comes to looking for new deck lists sometimes the best place to find them are on the article sites. I personally subscribe as of today to 60cards.net, SixPrizes.com, Cut or Tap and Some1spc.com. I have subscribed to Pokebeach in the past and I definitely jump between sites cutting subscriptions at times. There is a lot of good information to learn and paywalls are worth it. If I spend $30 on subscription a month and they allow me to win a league cup in that month, then it is like I am breaking even on my subscription. Recently this week Alex Schemanske posted a Pikarom list that I have used as a starting point to play against. He also recently brought about the idea that Lucario might be good and Some1spc.com has a Lucario Primer there that I was able to read to understand matchups. This is extremely important when you do not have a ton of time to test. I can actually credit some of my success to articles that Xander Pero has written, that Israel Sosa has written, even last year Ryan Allred, because the articles had how to approach and what cards are the most important in Matchups. It is amazing to see players like Zach Lesage and Xander Pero win with decklists they posted the week of the event. A lot of players may think this takes away the surprise factor, however, the players might know your list, but they still must beat you. If you feel that subscribing to multiple sites might be too costly, it might be correct to pool together as a playgroup and have one member subscribe to each site. Not everyone has a full-time job or wants to pay for paywalled articles, however, they might be some of the best sources for getting better. If you can win 3 packs during league a week from what you are learning from your subscription, then either the subscription isn’t worth, or you need to understand the information just a little bit more.
The next two places to look for lists are both on social media. This is a secret that I don’t share with most people, but a lot of people are lazy so even if they do know this, they won’t do it. I look up Japanese hashtags on Twitter to find decklists that they are playing. The biggest deck list I found doing this was the Jolteon – Jirachi – Zapdos – deck that splashed fighting energy to run a baby buzzwole and maybe a lycanroc Gx. We eventually saw this list come up in OCIC with something very similar ran by Karl Peters, whose list at this moment still isn’t on limitless. If you are looking for list, they are generally somewhere. I generally look at the #PlayPokemon hashtag and see what is hiding there. Another amazing thing on twitter is being able to check out PokeStats. Tate Whitesell does an amazing job creating infographics for what is in top 8 and trying to gather day 2 decklists at regionals. I am always refreshing his day 2 lists while I am playing in day 2 to try to figure out what decks my opponent is playing. Twitter will also have winning lists or top 8 lists posted before they make onto limitless. Peter Kica immediately posted his Fighting list from Collinsville and it was amazing to see on twitter in real time.
I think the biggest place to find decklists other than these avenues are Heyfonte. Nothing provides more information on weekends than the Facebook Group. We don’t only get big decks from there, but we also see the decks that are doing well in League Cups. Going into Toronto, Social media spoiled the Hitmonchan list and made it well known. With 12,000 people in the group, there are a lot of eyes eying the decks. Heyfonte also connects everything together by posting the paywall sites article links so you can see in real time the new articles coming out. I would say I refresh Heyfonte about 12 times a day. I really miss when Russell Laparre used to do Thursday Q&A for the community. It allowed the community to ask and answer questions and those are questions that you probably had. If you can utilize all these avenues together, it will really help you on your journey to become a better Pokémon Player.
I hope you can use these avenues to try to help you find a deck for your upcoming event. Though you can find lists easy, you still need to test them and understand them to play the game. Make sure you practice, get rest and understand your matchups as you head into regionals. I hope to see you in Toronto or Greensboro.
Until Next Time,
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