Experts' corner

Mark Dizon

Take Five - Post Portland

With Portland behind us and the return of Zoroark on top. Mark goes over how you can see the impact of Portland on your local expanded events

11/21/2019 by Mark Dizon

60 Card Readers, we are back with another Recap. Wow, we are at a crazy place in the season with back to back tournaments. We have a crazy pivot again. From Knoxville to Richmond we had a quick pivot of Standard to Expanded. Now we are going from Portland to Sao Paolo and we are pivoting the opposite way, Expanded to Standard. A new standard at that. Cosmic Eclipse is looking to change the face of the game again. Tag Teams, in general, have changed the way we play the game, with more haymakers and less Single Prize Attacker Decks. Team Up brought is Pikarom, Unbroken Bonds brought us Reshizard, Unified Minds brought us MewMew and now Cosmic Eclipse is bringing us ADP and Lopuff. Nico and Jimmy both recently wrote articles about the high impact cards for you to look out for on stream this week and Zach wrote his buylist a few weeks ago. Be sure to check that out and we will be recapping Sao Paolo next week.


Back to the task at hand. Limitless has not updated the website with the info regarding all the decks. We currently have the top 8 decks so we can start from there on trying to understand the data given to use.



It might have taken time off for two regionals but it has returned back to the mountain top. Zoroark has reclaimed the championship. If we have been looking at Expanded since this card has come out, it has always found a way to make itself competitive. Even with these new tag teams being able to take this Pokemon down in one shot, it still has been able to persevere. I can say based on the results of Richmond I wasn’t expecting this deck to do well so soon. Ian Robb took down his third regional win as a master, using Zoro-Garb. Surprisingly, this is Zoro-Garb’s First Regional win as the Zoroark winners have no been this combination. Being able to shut off Abilities was important versus the other decks in the field, and being able to build up your deck correctly and set up afforded Ian a lot of time to sculpt great game scenarios. When a lot of decks are focused on coming out of the gates so fast in Expanded, it is refreshing that the past two tournaments have been won by decks that look to slow things down.


CAW-CAW, Birds of a feather flock together

Pidgey took two of the top four spots. With Winona in the deck, the starts have become way more consistent. The deck is seen as a complex deck that requires a lot of dexterity to navigate away from draws. It makes sense that the two players in top 4 with this deck are two of the arguably strongest players in the modern area. Michael Pramawat and Daniel Altavilla ran the room with the deck. The combination of Faba, Plumeria, Team Flare Grunt, and Team Rocket’s Handiwork with LT.Surge’s Strategy looks to cripple opponents' strategy. Many decks are running minimal energy, so being able to remove those energies brings upon a point where the deck is able to just take away a decks win conditions. Girafig in the deck also stops some of the other avenues of recursions that decks need when they are trying to win by looping or returning cards that were discarded earlier. With the upcoming bans coming into effect by the next Expanded deck what will occur with this deck.


Top 8 Diversity

This top 8 involved One Zoroark Deck, Two Pidgey Decks, Two Gardeon decks, a Pikarom deck, a Mewtwo deck and a Turbo Dark deck. Richmond’s Top 8 had Three Zoroark Control, One Gardeon, 3 Row egg, and one Turbo Dark. These top 8s were quite different. ZoroControl being replaced by Pidgey as the control deck. Rowegg being a winning deck and then not placing any copies into the top 8 of the next event is very peculiar, as maybe players were ready for the deck and the surprise factor was gone. Both Michael Pramawat and Ian Robb were in the Richmond Top 8 and were the finalists in Portland. Both players changed decks for this event and it seems like they had the right meta-call. Gardeon, increased it’s meta-share with this tournament as well. Going from one pilot to two. Preston Ellis continues his run with these archetypes that involving creating a diverse game plan. Undoubtedly, we can expect the next tournament to even change more.


New Decks Again

If you read my last event recap you would have noticed my comment about Mewtwo and Mew Gx not making the elimination rounds and finishing In the last two spots of Richmond. Kiernan Wagner brought Mewtwo to the forefront with a top 8 finish. His deck used the same dimension Valley package, and the aggressive Giratina + Necrozma GX End game plan. I said it was only a matter of time before we saw Mewtwo Content for the title and here it was.

Western Canada Player Zak Turchansky came dangerously close to the top 8 playing Shock Lock. Described as a Win and Miss, Zak piloted an archetype that had made multiple top 8s the season before in the hand Of Jonathan Croxton. With Tropical Beach making the deck hard to complete, it makes it hard as a deck that players should be testing against. You might play it 0-1 times in a 14/15 round tournament. This is a specialist deck for sure and I wouldn’t be surprised that it is a choice that might almost guarantee a day 2 placement, if played correctly and meeting the right matchups in a tournament.

Another Zach, 60cards own Zachary Lesage came 12th with Hitmonchan after earning top 128 points with it in Richmond. His new tech of Primal Groudon added a new dimension into the deck allowing it to be able to take down Gardeons. Zach has talked about the deck's problems, but it will be interesting to see if anyone tries to update this archetype.

Rounding out the top 16 was the crowd favorite, Bird Trio deck. Rub by Spice Master Andrew Kennett, the deck attacked the format from multiple different angles. Other than Zoroark many decks do not run a bench barrier option. The sheer power of the deck to surprise and confuse opponents gave Drew a leg-up on the competition. This is very evident in expanded because of the vast variety in the format players cannot prepare for everything.



With the end of the BLW-UNI Expanded format, our next event will have Cosmic Eclipse. Posting this after watching LAIC has shown us the power of the new dragons cards such as Acrecus/Dialga/Palkia Tag Team and Nagandel/Guzlord Tag Team. I am waiting to see if these new cards will be able to break the Expanded format as Dallas Regionals is generally one of our largest regionals per year. Will these cards start manipulating the Meta through cups and such. Look out next week for our Brazil Take Five as we prepare for Daytona Regionals. I have been trying Pedro Torres Slow ADP deck and you just want to win every opening dice roll! 


Until Next Week,

[+22] okko


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