Experts' corner

Alec Geissler

Heading into Daytona Beach: The Fireball Circus of a Meta

New writer Alec Geissler is going to be taking a look at how league cups went this past weekend after the influence of LAIC and how the results will influence Daytona's metagame.

11/26/2019 by Alec Geissler

Heading into Daytona Beach: The Fireball Circus of a Meta

Hello 60cards readers! My name is Alec Geissler and I am very excited to be brought on as a new writer for the site.

A quick introduction of myself for everyone who may not know who I am; I am a player from the Chicago/Wisconsin area. I have been playing competitively for about 1 and a ½ years. I am currently sponsored by Nerd Rage Gaming which is one of the best organizations I could ever work with. I currently have 368CP while earning my invite last year closing out at 635CP. I am very excited to be sharing my thoughts with all you readers and I hope you guys enjoy my content!

Today, I am going to be going over what cup metas looked like this past weekend with the influence of LAIC lists and how I think these results will influence the Daytona Beach regional meta. I would love to give a quick shout-out to for being a huge help in me making this article since I will be using data from the site, in addition to allowing me to work on their site with them. I’m very excited to write this article so let’s jump right on in!

Quick LAIC Recap

In the Latin American International Championships, we saw Ability Zard run away with the whole tournament beating MewBox in the finals. While there was a questionable ruling by the judges on the MewBox side, Ability Zard was able to capitalize on the advantage and close it out.

Overall in top 8, we saw: 2 MewBox, 2 ADP (1 Greens, 1 Ability), 1 Ability Zard, 1 Doll Stall, 1 Blacephalon-GX and 1 TinaChomp Mismagius. 

The fact that 6 different deck concepts made top 8 defines that we are in a good spot with how healthy the format it. At least it’s not like expanded last year where Zoroark-GX dominated the format and would take 6 out of the 8 top 8 spots.

Going into LAIC, I expected to see MewBox, Ability Zard and ADP perform the best since the decks have a ton of raw power while two of them being able to abuse one of the best supporter cards of the standard format in Welder. While ADP can’t take advantage of Welder, it can use Altered Creation GX and win games a lot faster than other decks can due to the damage boost and extra prize inclusion. ADP and Mewtwo were the two most popular decks with Ability Zard only having 21 pilots.

That was a shock to me because in a blind meta, Ability Zard usually feasts on everything because there isn’t much change from the original lists, and most people when choosing their decks don’t think about having a gust effect every turn. In top 16/the rest of day 2 competitors, we saw some unique decks like Gardeon, NagLord, Baby Blowns Pidgey and Pidgeotto Control making a good run even when they had a decent number of scary matchups in day 2 such as Baby Blowns vs MewMew, Gardeon vs Ability Zard, NagLord vs Gardeon, etc.

It’s very cool, however, to see these decks do well because it makes a more diverse meta and keeps people on their toes about what to prepare for. Let’s go ahead and see how Brazil’s meta game affected cups this weekend and what people are liking going into this weekend at Daytona.

Cups: Weekend of 11/23-11/24

I was very interested to watch for the cup results this weekend since we just came off LAIC. I was more eager to see how it would translate over to the U.S. considering we only had 30 or so competitors go. I went on and added up each deck’s archetypes regardless of placement. Sorted in popularity, here is the order of what was most popular at cups this weekend and how many people played each:

1. Baby Blacephalon & Ability Zard – Each archetype had 10

2. Mewtwo & Mew-GX Toolbox – 7

3. Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX – 6

4. Malamar – 5

5. Charizard TEU/Cleffa – 2 (same person topped 2 cups)

6. Fossils – 2

7. Reshiram & Zekrom-GX – 2

8. Alolan Persian-GX – 1

9. Bird Trio-GX – 1

10. Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel – 1

11. Braixzard – 1

12. Buzzmosa – 1

13. Doll Stall – 1

14. Naganadel/Guzzlord-GX – 1

15. NagQuag – 1

16. Nuzzle Box – 1

17. Pidgey Control – 1

18. PikaRom – 1

19. Whimsicott – 1

I found this data to be as expected but at the same time I found it very surprising. The fact that we had 20 different concepts make cuts is very exciting to see. I love a very diverse meta when something nobody would expect does well and surprises everyone. I did not think Baby Blacephalon was going to have as much of a showing as it did. There was a cup in New Hampshire where ½ of the cut was Baby Blacephalon. That makes me think that either nobody in the area played Mewtwo or they drew bad considering Mewtwo is usually a hard matchup for Baby Blowns. Ability Zard netting 10 spots didn’t shock me at all since people love to play Welder and play very linear decks that don’t require that much thinking to win the game. As soon as Ability Zard did well at worlds, we saw a ton of it pop up at cups because it’s a very easy deck to win with which is what people like.

Mewtwo at #3 shocked me that there weren’t more. I personally think Mewtwo is the undisputed best deck in the format. You have so many tools to so many matchups that your matchup spread is very good. We also see it do very well at most tournaments as it won every standard U.S. regional so far this year and I think it may have the potential to win yet another one.

ADP coming in at #4 doesn’t shock me. The deck has a ton of raw power, but nobody knows just quite how to build it which is why I will not be touching the deck for Daytona/why more people don’t touch it for cups. N’s Resolve is one of the worst cards ever printed for the reward that it gives, and Green’s is too slow to keep up in the format we have. I personally like Pedro Eugenio Torres’s list from LAIC and would start there as a base. Malamar coming in at number 5 did kind of shock me. People tend to love or hate Malamar and with the printing of Mallow and Lana, I did not think as many people would play the deck still. The cards are easily affordable so that is a factor as to why people would play it, but I was just surprised we saw it top this weekend.

The rest of the archetypes I’m not going to go over individually simply because I don’t know much about what they are, how they work, if they are just cup shockers, etc. The only one I would like to go over is Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel and why I was surprised there wasn’t more of it. I think Blacephalon-GX (Blowns) is a very good deck for the meta we are forming into. The Stinger-GX/Blacephalon COE combo is very strong against decks such as Pidgey, Dolls, Baby Blacephalon (which was tied for #1 at cups this weekend). It’s another Welder deck that doesn’t fully rely on Welder and has a very linear plan to win the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more Blowns popping up in the Day 1 meta share of Daytona. Speaking of Daytona, let’s go ahead and talk about what I think will do well, what won’t do so well and how many of each you can expect to hit.

Daytona Beach Predictions

This weekend in Daytona, I would expect the most popular decks to be Baby Blacephalon/Pidgeotto, Ability Zard and MewBox. These decks have been the most popular in cups and I would expect that to translate over into the bigger event style as well. As for the three decks I expect to do well, I would have to choose MewBox, Ability Zard and Blacephalon-GX. I think these three decks are the decks that have the widest/best matchup spread and can handle the rogue decks the best.

These decks can also deal with the stall type decks with combos such as Stinger-GX/Blacephalon COE, Espeon & Deoxys-GX with Cross Division and Ninetales’s “Nine Temptations” ability. Personally, I will probably be playing Mewtwo. I think Mewtwo is the best deck in the format due to the amount of answers you have to every matchup. Whether you go welder double fire energy attach or simply attach pass, you have a big amount of pressure on your opponent to deal with that Mewtwo because the next turn it has potential to hit 300 the following turn. I like Jirachi/Mewtwo over straight Mewtwo because being able to Stellar Wish for Welder feels like a godsend instead of whiffing Welder off Dedechange. This is close to the 60 I will be playing if I decide on Mewtwo:

{deck 4662}

Although this is just the 2nd place list from LAIC, but this is the list or close to what I would play. The only tech options I am considering are Naganadel-GX FLI with the Stinger-GX attack, Blacephalon COE and a Lysandre Labs. I was testing on November 25th the Gardevoir & Sylveon matchup without Lysandre Labs and I was 3-3 in the matchup. I feel like the matchup could be favored with the Lysandre Labs but not worth it if you’re willing to go into an event even in a matchup. The Ability Zard matchup is perfectly fine because of Stealthy Hood onto the big Mewtwo.

Once you power it up, you’re running like a truck with it. Mewtwo mirror is uncomfortable to play because it’s whoever can get stamp t2 Flare Blitz GX after their opponent Flare Blitz GX’s them. The matchup is very grindy and gross to talk about. ADP is not a terrible matchup because of the Greninja GX from Detective Pikachu allowing you to hit through Keldeo-GX. It also allows you to hit through fairy charms and Alolan Ninetales TEU if that ever comes up. Flare Blitz GX is a good GX attack to smash an ADP early. Blacephalon-GX is typically a bad matchup but I think it is winnable at times due to Venom Shotting twice onto two GX’s 180+ HP, stamping your opponent to a low hand and then using Cross Division GX to skip over their beast ring turn. Otherwise, the rest of the matchups are very even to favored. I don’t think I am worried about a single matchup with this deck going into Daytona.



In conclusion, I can’t wait to see what this regional brings for us. I am very excited to be playing in the event as this will be my first regional of the season. I look forward to any spicy ideas/decks that come out especially after LAIC where we saw a good chunk of that already. I have put a ton of time into testing and really feel comfortable with how this format is shaping up to be. If you are going to focus on three matchups, based on the cup results, be prepared for Baby Blacephalon, Ability Zard and Mewtwo. I would not be surprised to see these three decks take over the top 3 most played decks.

I would love to give a shoutout to the owners of 60cards for bringing me on as a writer for the site. I am very grateful for you guys and can’t wait to run on this path with you guys! I would love to shoutout my sponsor Nerd Rage Gaming for everything the owner, store and my teammates do for me. You guys are amazing. For all of you who made it this far, I appreciate you guys reading. I love doing it for the community and sharing my insight to all of you guys. If you see me at Daytona, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! If you want to follow me on Twitter, @geisslertcg, I try and post there as much as I can even though I have been slacking recently. You guys are amazing, thanks for reading.


Until next time, I’m Alec, you’re awesome and I’ll catch y’all later. 


[+0] okko


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