02/27/2020 by Mark Dizon
It’s been almost just five weeks since the last expanded regionals in Dallas Texas which concluded the Black and White to Cosmic Eclipse format. The top 8 had five different archetypes. Three months before that there were two expanded regionals which were won by EggRow and ZoroGarb respectively. Both decks showed up in the five archetypes. Let's go through are five takeaways coming from the event.
Deckbuilders get rewarded
Cut or Taps Hunter Butler is always a threat to make cut with a deck that no one is ready for. It’s just in his DNA for you to be like what is he playing. Frank Percic a former writer for 60 cards is always ready to try something new. Alex Schemanske is the type of person, that can do both. He can with Meta Decks he can win with Rogue Decks, and for Dallas is was with a rogue deck. Pablo Meza like Alex can also do both. Along with tried and true decks of Zoro Garb and Grass Lock and Gardeon, we had Roxie Chomp, Trevnoir Hand Lock, Regirock Control join the fray. When extrapolating into the top 16, we saw even more archetypes with Ultra Necrozma, Ultra Necrozma Garb, Walls, Dark Box, Mew 3, ADP Birds, along with the oldest deck in Expanded Archie’s Stoise. Expanded is a brewer’s paradise with nine years worth of sets. Even going from Tina-Chomp we have Sesmitoad Tina Chomp combining the old with the new. Expanded awards creativity and deck knowledge. Either you are surprising your opponent, or you know how to navigate your deck throughout a field of land mines.
Be Ready to Play Anything Day One – Archetypes Close Day 2
While the day one metagame involved multiple different decks, those Archetypes closed down into day 2 with the cream rising to the top.
Mewtwo had 11 Pilots in day 2
Turbo Dark had 9 Pilots in day 2
Reshirom had 8 pilots in day 2
Chomp Variants had 10 pilots in day 2
Gardeon had 5 Pilots in day 2
IF you look at how the metagame transitioned it really bottlenecked into day 2. Whatever deck you choose in the format, it has to be able to compete with the “real decks” in day 2 and slog it through day 1 with the rogue decks running around. It’s actually conceivable that at an expanded regional you could play against 9 different decks.
Tropical Beach in waves
This tournament had multiple decks in day 2 playing the most expensive card in competitive pokemon. Tropical beach used to be reserved for wall stall decks only. Shock lock used to be seen as a rogue archetype and it was played by multiple pilots in this tournament. Most players don’t choose to test heavily for these strategies in tournaments. These players generally have a leg up on the competition as they are not prepared for these stall and lock strategies. If you are going to an expanded regional you need to be prepared to play against these decks and it seems incorrect to even attempt to just take the auto loss to them because there are so many players now playing these decks.
The Two Towers Remain
I have always discussed Garbotoxin and Trashalanche as the Two Towers. Like the towers of Isengard and Mordor these two towers provide a foundation for the format. Garbotoxin punishes the ability of heavy decks, along with N, it can create tough game states. Trashalanche punishes players that try to churn through their deck so quickly with the items and consistency cards that we have in expanded. Along with Zoroark, it has put a foothold in the format and has become one of the defining decks in the format. The two towers added another angle of attack with Ultra Necrozma variants at this event. Ultra Necrozma provided another one prize attacker that could focus on taking big knockouts and slowing down the other decks. No longer needing two prizers the deck
The End of an Era
We had a lot of bans at the end of this format but also a lot of innovation. Expanded has always rewarded those who are looking to surprise the field. With the new turn-one supporter rule showing off this weekend in Collinsville, we must now see what the new format has in store for us. After OCIC, we need to see if standard archetypes will make their way into expanded as well. I would not be surprised to see Turbo Zacian in the top 8 this weekend because it has all the tools to be powerful in the format. We talked about Mewtwo being the King of Standard and retaining it's title at the OCIC. With the turn one supporter rule is it really the end of Zoroark? We have said it so many times for the card but it has always found a way to return. I for one am excited for this event as we have Charlotte Regionals just weeks away.
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