02/20/2020 by Mark Dizon
Good morning players!
The dawn of OCIC is on us. It’s 2:25 Eastern Standard Time over here as I write this as we wait for the sun to rise in Melbourne and begin the eagerly awaited second International of the season. Last year’s OCIC was a continuation of the World’s Format with no new set but focused on the consistency of the metagame. Zoroark, Pikarom, Zapdos, and Malamar were the big decks that were seen. Last year’s final had America’s Isaiah Williams take down future international winner Stephane Ivanoff. This year Isaiah will not be there to defend his trophy and Stephane Ivanoff is looking to finish one spot higher.
Here are some things to watch for as we go into day one of the tournament
Is Zacian V the Truth
From the time it was spoilt to as we are testing for both standard and expended events on the horizon. Zacian V has been on the fore front of everyone’s mind. This card joins the list of cards like Pikarom, MewMew and Zoroark that have been pushed from their specific sets. There are many ways to build this deck and this will be the first tournament that we see this in action. Will a version with energy switch take down the competition or will a deck using Zacian V as a utility card such as mill be able to take the top honors?
I’ll be Milling you Mate
The Japanese meta is generally close to ours, but with one big significance is the relevance of mill/stall in our game. Throughout the end of worlds, we have seen decks such as Pudgy Stall, Doll Stall, and even most recently in Brazil Gustavo Wada waded through the tournament with Meowth Control. As Zacian has been the defector BDIF in Japan, we saw Arlo Neel tear through an unsanctioned tournament recently splashing Zacian into a deck with Cinccino and control and Mill cards. The deck has changed the aspect of locking them to two and stamping mars loop, to the get them to six and double Bellbella and Brycenman them from doll stall. The new Cinccino Mill deck focuses on getting them to eleven and being able to use Mewmew’s Perfection ability to copy Magcargo’s GX attack and mill them for five after milling them for six with Two Bellbella and Brycen-Man after a Lt. Surge. The deck also has aspects reminiscent of a best deck of olde – Zoroark Control. Cinccino is already an upgrade over Pidgeotto, allowing you more raw card advantage and not being susceptible to Perfection copying Cross Divide GX. Is this the perfect mill deck now?
What will it be? -The King is Dead or Return of the King
There have been many different decks to be known as King of the Hill. Zoroark, Pikarom, BuzzWole GX have all held this distinction in the past. However, none have really done it like Zoroark. A menace in both formats, Mewtwo has been doing it’s best to take the king mantle from Zoroark. With a new challenger in Zacian, only time will tell us if Mewtwo’s time is up. With the new turn one supporter rule in effect, many Mewtwo pilots have talked about the strength and viability of combining Malamar with Mewtwo. Malamar Mewtwo finished second at a 500-person regional in the UPR – CEC format in brazil and mostly recently took down the Costa Rica special event in the hands of Daniel Altavilla. Is this the new way to build Mewtwo or are we missing the truth of a perfection-oriented build will welder. This is one I am eagerly awaiting to see
New IC , New Rules, New Me
Other than the cards the biggest changes we will see going into this OCIC are the new Sword and Shield Rule Changes. With the return of Professor Research and Marnie – as Sycamore/Juniper reprint and Judge/N Disruptive Supporter replacement in Marnie, we will see if this allows decks to be more consistent. How players handle whether they should go first or second as they no longer can play a supporter on turn one is something eagerly awaited in the format. Players will also need to be careful when a Marnie is played to avoid game losses due to shuffling the cards in. If you are watching the IC this weekend, pay close attention to how decks are constructed with Quick ball and Old Rod as my two big items of the weekend. Quickball is a cross of nest ball and ultra ball, allowing you a discard outlet and to find any basic, while old rod provides players with recovery much better than energy recycler, energy recycle system and lana’s fishing rod. The way these new trainers allow the best deckbuilders to build will spark the metagame for the rest of this format.
Can the Aussies Bring it Home
Henry Brand won worlds. Brent Tonison has been on a tear and players like Kaiwen Crabbe, Christian Hasbani, Jordan Palmer, Jack Millar , Matthew Burris, Angus Johnson, and many others fly the flag strong for their area. Will an Australian take it down for the country? Will the flag be on the arms of a player during a trophy presentation once again? Though a smaller player base, they have such a strong community that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was time to see it happen.
Stay tuned with me 60 cards reader as we recap the whole weekend as it unfolds.
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