Royal Blades — Discovering Garchomp and Prepping for League Cups By: Zachary Lesage Posted 4 months ago to Premium Article 2 comments ROYAL BLADES! Hey PokeBeach readers! While my focus this past weekend was on Collinsville Regionals, I am now thinking ahead to League Cups which will mostly be in the Standard format. I have been going back and forth deciding if I wanted to discuss another Buzzwole-GX deck instead of diving into Ultra Prism decks, so I decided to get the metagame moving forward by writing about Garchomp / Lucario. In this article, I will go through our current metagame, share my thoughts on the current format, and showcase my new Ultra Prism deck. Without wasting time, let’s peer into my thoughts as we look towards League Cups: ContentsThe New MetagameAsk QuestionsExperience is KeyGarchomp / LucarioConclusion The New Metagame We are entering a new format with Ultra Prism being released and it seems both extremely different and much the same as before. Some players may want to put their best foot forward and try out as many of these new decks as possible, while other players may be scared to try out some newer concepts. Needless to say, decks that are new concepts will have to co-exist with older decks for reasons such as comfort, monetary reasons, creativity, and staleness. I am sure every player has a reason why they picked their deck over another deck as they head into an event — this trend has been present since the beginning of the game. I am sure you are curious to see what decks exist right now, so here are the decks that you will see floating around your Cups: New Ultra Prism Decks Garchomp / Lucario Glaceon-GX / Zoroark-GX Leafeon-GX / Lurantis Alolan Dugtrio / Starmie Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX / Magnezone Empoleon / Octillery Updated Concepts Gardevoir-GX / Zoroark-GX Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX Buzzwole-GX / Garbodor Volcanion-EX Golisopod-GX / Garbodor Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX Greninja BREAK Espeon-GX / Garbodor Vikavolt / Tapu Bulu-GX Sylveon-GX While there may be other decks floating around, we are in a format where older decks and newer decks can exist together — at least for the moment. It should also be stated that most players are left in the dark right now and will only add Cynthia and Pal Pad into previous lists because those are the main consistency cards coming out of Ultra Prism. While some players may press forward and think of wacky new decks, I think the majority of the player base is lost right now. Collinsville Regionals and League Cups will help shape up this format to a more concise list of decks that either swim or sink after the general player base can make improvements to each deck. Since the knowledge of these decks will only grow over time, I want to quickly discuss a couple of factors that can improve your game regardless of your deck choice: Ask Questions In the Pokemon TCG, you can often wonder why some of the best players are fantastic at this game: if you were to write the words, “I will be great at Pokemon” on your wall, you will have the intention of inspiring yourself to be great at Pokemon. These are called affirmations. Although they may seem empowering, they’re usually superficial and sometimes unrealistic or unattainable. A more realistic approach to this matter would rather be to ask yourself, “why am I great at Pokemon?” in order to supply your mind with an answer. These are called afformations. With the way our brains are genetically engineered, we ask ourselves hundreds of questions a day, so why not apply this to other areas of brainstorming? In this case, I’ll take a recent statement and ask myself why they came to be, in order to identify sustainable solutions: Statement: Tord Reklev’s Gardevoir-GX / Zoroark-GX deck won the 2018 Oceania International Championships, giving a lesser known deck more publicity. Ask a question: What made this deck successful? I always sneak back into the metagame! Gardevoir-GX became successful because people countered it out of the metagame long enough for most people to disregard it as the best deck. Reklev took this concept, added in Zoroark-GX, and built a deck that punishes several elements present within the current metagame. Here is a list of game-breaking tactics possible with Reklev’s list: Discarding any player’s Benched Pokemon with Parallel City Discarding opponent’s Special Energy with Enhanced Hammer Removing damage counters from your Pokemon with Max Potion Shuffling discarded cards back into your deck with Gardevoir-GX’s Twilight GX attack Taking back discarded cards from your discard pile with Puzzle of Time Searching your deck for any two cards and adding them into your hand by combining Mallow and Zoroark-GX’s Trade Ability Drawing many extra cards per turn with Zoroark-GX’s Trade Ability Stacking your deck with Gallade’s Premonition Ability Attaching multiple Energy per turn with Gardevoir-GX’s Secret Spring Ability All of these game-breaking elements in Reklev’s Gardevoir-GX / Zoroark-GX deck can be seen as the answer to the afformation that I asked earlier. In the game of Pokemon, it is wise to ask questions to yourself and your testing network to find answers. 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