The Play for VA — A Look at the Standard Metagame

Hey PokeBeach readers! It’s Jimmy back at you with an article on the Standard format! My previous two articles were on the Expanded format, which I do not enjoy very much, so I am excited to finally talk about the Standard format again! A lot has changed when it comes to the decks and deck lists that are being played in Standard, which means I have quite a bit to talk about today. Without any further delay, sit back, relax, and read all about Standard! To kick things off, let’s take a look at my League Cup experiences over the past few weekends.

League Cup #1 – Chantilly, VA

Pokemon (13)

3x M Mewtwo-EX (BKT #64)3x Mewtwo-EX (BKT #62)1x Garbodor (BKP #57)2x Trubbish (BKP #56)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)1x Wobbuffet (RC2 #RC11)

Trainers (36)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)4x VS Seeker (SV #140)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x Mewtwo Spirit Link (BKT #144)4x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)4x Float Stone (BKT #137)3x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)2x Shrine of Memories (PRC #139)1x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (11)

7x Psychic Energy (EVO #95)4x Double Colorless Energy (EVO #90)

Card Choices

One Wobbufett

This card gives you something to do on your first turn. Just putting it Active is pretty good in a lot of matchups, especially against Decidueye-GX / Vileplume and Volcanion.

Potential Inclusions

Hex Maniac

I would definitely add a copy of this to the deck. It helps make up for potentially prizing the Garbodor and helps a bunch against Decidueye-GX / Vileplume.

A Second Parallel City

I would remove a Shrine of Memories for this if you expect to play against a lot of M Rayquaza-EX.

1-1 Espeon-GX Line

I would try to include this if Decidueye-GX / Vileplume is not prevalent in the metagame because that would allow for a few spots to open up.

How My Rounds Went

Round 1: Yveltal / Garbodor Win (1-0)

Round 2: Tauros-GX / Giratina-EX / Garbodor / Hammers Win (2-0)

Round 3: Xerneas BREAK / Mega Gardevoir Win (3-0)

Round 4: Mega Gardevoir ID (3-0-1)

Round 5: Espeon-GX / Wobbuffet ID (3-0-2)

Top 8: Turbo Dark Loss (3-1-2)

League Cup #2 – Glen Burnie, MD

Pokemon (16)

3x M Gardevoir-EX (STS #79)3x Gardevoir-EX (STS #78)4x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)2x Hoopa-EX (PRXY #XY71)2x Dragonite-EX (EVO #72)1x Rattata (EVO #66)1x Hawlucha (STS #97)

Trainers (37)

3x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)2x N (NVI #92)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Brock's Grit (EVO #74)4x VS Seeker (SV #140)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)4x Gardevoir Spirit Link (STS #101)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)2x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)2x Fairy Drop (FAC #99)1x Switch (EVO #88)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)3x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (7)

7x Fairy Energy (EVO #99)

How My Rounds Went

Round 1: Yveltal / Garbodor Win (1-0)

Round 2: Tauros-GX / Giratina-EX / Garbodor Win (2-0)

Round 3: Xerneas BREAK / Mega Gardevoir Win (3-0)

Round 4: Mega Gardevoir ID (3-0-1)

Round 5: Espeon-GX ID (3-0-2)

Top 8: Turbo Dark Loss (3-1-2)

League Cup #3 – Reading, PA

Pokemon (11)

3x Darkrai-EX (BKP #74)2x Giratina-EX (AOR #57)2x Yveltal (STS #65)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Salamence-EX (PRXY #XY170)1x Hoopa-EX (PRXY #XY71)

Trainers (35)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x N (PRBW #BW100)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Olympia (GEN #66)4x VS Seeker (SV #140)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Max Elixir (BKP #102)4x Ultra Ball (RSK #93)2x Exp. Share (SM #118)2x Escape Rope (PRC #127)2x Fighting Fury Belt (BKP #99)1x Switch (EVO #88)2x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (14)

10x Darkness Energy (EVO #97)4x Double Dragon Energy (RSK #97)

Card Choices

Four Trainers’ Mail

This deck is extremely aggressive, so I don’t see why anyone ever plays less than four of these. It allows for extra consistency in the early game, in terms of getting a Supporter and Max Elixir. In addition to this, it makes it easier to find Lysandre in the mid to late game.

Potential Inclusions

Hex Maniac

The only reason I did not play this card was because I did not expect anyone to play Volcanion, and I ended up being correct. I would absolutely remove a baby Yveltal for this for future events with this deck.

How My Rounds Went

Round 1: Espeon-GX / Wobbuffet Win (1-0)

Round 2: Gyarados Win (2-0)

Round 3: Mega Gardevoir Win (3-0)

Round 4: Primal Groudon / Carbink BREAK / Wobbuffet Loss (3-1)

Round 5: Mega Scizor Win (4-1)

Round 6: Turbo Dark ID (4-1-1)

Top 8: Lycanroc-GX / Carbink BREAK Win (5-1-1)

Top 4: Darakrai-EX / Giratina-EX Win (6-1-1)

Finals: Mega Gardevoir Win (7-1-1)

League Cup #4 – Abingdon, MD

Pokemon (16)

3x M Gardevoir-EX (STS #79)3x Gardevoir-EX (STS #78)4x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)2x Dragonite-EX (EVO #72)2x Hoopa-EX (PRXY #XY71)1x Rattata (EVO #66)1x Hawlucha (STS #97)

Trainers (37)

3x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)2x N (DEX #96)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Karen (PRXY #XY177)4x VS Seeker (SV #140)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x Gardevoir Spirit Link (STS #101)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)2x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)2x Fairy Drop (FAC #99)1x Switch (EVO #88)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)3x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (7)

7x Fairy Energy (EVO #99)

How My Rounds Went

This tournament was best of three with a 45 minute time limit. As you can imagine, a lot of ties occurred. It allowed for nine points to end up being guaranteed safe heading into the final round of swiss.

Round 1: Decidueye-GX / Vileplume Win (1-0)

Round 2: Decidueye-GX / Vileplume Tie (1-0-1)

Round 3: Turbo Dark Tie (1-0-2)

Round 4: Decidueye-GX / Vileplume Win (2-0-2)

Round 5: Lycanroc-GX / Carbink BREAK ID (2-0-3)

Top 8: Turbo Dark Win (3-0-3)

Top 4: Decidueye-GX / Vileplume Loss (3-1-3)

League Cup #5 – California, MD

Pokemon (16)

3x M Gardevoir-EX (STS #79)3x Gardevoir-EX (STS #78)4x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)2x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)2x Dragonite-EX (EVO #72)1x Rattata (EVO #66)1x Hawlucha (STS #97)

Trainers (37)

3x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)2x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Brock's Grit (EVO #74)4x VS Seeker (SV #140)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)4x Gardevoir Spirit Link (PRC #130)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)2x Fairy Drop (FAC #99)2x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)1x Switch (SM #132)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)1x Super Rod (BKT #149)3x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (7)

7x Fairy Energy (EVO #99)

Card Choices

Three Hex Maniac

This is the best card to end your turn one with in pretty much every matchup. It is also crucial against Decidueye-GX / Vileplume and Volcanion.

Brock’s Grit

This card is kinda clunky sometimes, but I really like the safety net it provides. I essentially can’t run out of Energy or Pokemon with this in my deck due to VS Seeker. However, as long as I don’t end up having to discard my Super Rod, I have found that I rarely use this card.

One Switch, One Escape Rope

A lot of people ask me why I only played two switch cards, and I tell all of these people the same thing. You usually only need a switch effect on turn two, and it is very easy to just dig through the deck to find one of them. After that, all the heavy Retreat Pokemon will never stay on the Bench thanks to Despair Ray.

Two Mega Turbo

This might sound low, but it is just enough. It is easy to dig through the deck and find these if needed, and I usually only find myself needing one of these each game.

Potential Inclusions

A Second Super Rod

How My Rounds Went

Round 1: Yveltal / Garbodor Win (1-0)

Round 2: Volcanion Win (2-0)

Round 3: Mega Mewtwo / Garbodor Win (3-0)

Round 4: Turbo Dark ID (3-0-1)

Round 5: Decidueye-GX / Glaceon-EX / Jolteon-EX / Vileplume ID (3-0-2)

Top 8: Decidueye-GX / Glaceon-EX / Jolteon-EX / Vileplume Win (4-0-2)

Top 4: Volcanion Win

Finals: Mega Rayquaza / Jolteon-EX Win


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