Days Before Philadelphia — What You Should Know By: Zachary Lesage Posted 2 weeks ago to Premium Article 5 comments What’s up PokeBeach readers? I’m sure you’ve all been busy lately with League Challenges, League Cups, and playtesting as we rapidly approach Philadelphia Regionals this weekend. I myself have been busy playing in League Cups; so far I’ve accumulated 72 Championship Points to start the new season. In this article, I will be going over the results of Santa Catarina Regionals, sharing my personal lists for the new Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment decks that emerged at that tournament, and discussing some important matchups. I will also provide my list for the Rayquaza-GX / Vikavolt deck that I have been fine-tuning for a while now. There’s quite a bit to cover here, so let’s get started. ContentsResults From Santa Catarina RegionalsBuzzwole / Weavile / Magcargo / Shrine of PunishmentBuzzwole / Garbodor / Magcargo / Shrine of PunishmentDeck Strategy Potential TechsMatchups Final Choices for PhillyFlying High Results From Santa Catarina Regionals This past weekend, our Pokémon-playing friends in South America assembled in Santa Catarina, Brazil for the second major tournament of the 2018-19 season. Most of us North American players were expecting Rayquaza-GX / Vikavolt, Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX, and Ultra Necrozma-GX / Malamar to perform the best, but those decks’ success was limited. Instead, Santa Catarina was overrun by Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment decks, with partners including Garbodor, Weavile, Magcargo, and more. Below are the results from the Top 8. I dominated! Breno Santos with Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Samuel Jacques with Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Bruno Eduardo Benetti with Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Nicolaz Galaz with Buzzwole / Weavile / Shrine of Punishment Damian Ezequiel Anile with Buzzwole / Weavile / Shrine of Punishment Alexandre Braga with Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Rafael Yuiti with Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Felipe Reyes with Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX The metagame has been shaken up considerably after this tournament, and these Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment decks are receiving the bulk of the attention from players testing for Philadelphia. These Shrine of Punishment decks are so successful because they focus entirely on non-GX attackers that can do a large amount of damage quickly but only give up a single Prize when Knocked Out. Given the presence of Zoroark-GX in this format, most players considered Buzzwole the best partner for Shrine of Punishment (although some of the lists in Santa Catarina focused on Malamar instead). As I write this, no reliable counters to Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment have yet been revealed, unless you count minor hype for Magnezone / Celesteela-GX / Dialga-GX. The argument for that deck is that it has Fighting-type Resistance, few Pokemon with Abilities, and Mt. Coronet as a counter Stadium. If you are not a fan of Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment, here are the other decks that made Top 32 at Santa Catarina Regionals: Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX Rayquaza-GX / Vikavolt Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX Tapu Koko / Shining Lugia / Tapu Lele / Malamar Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX / Malamar Buzzwole / Dusk Mane Necrozma / Shrine of Punishment Tapu Koko / Buzzwole / Weavile / Shrine of Punishment Zoroark-GX / Magcargo Hoopa / Weavile / Garbodor Zoroark-GX / Magnezone / Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX Buzzwole / Buzzwole-GX / Silvally-GX What’s surprising about this list is how little each of these decks were played in comparison to the Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment decks, especially since most of these concepts were well-established before Santa Catarina. These decks will likely see even less play in Philadelphia. If the metagame undergoes a last-minute shift to decks that hard-counter Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment, some of the above decks may have a chance to jump back into the metagame, because they themselves won’t be countered anymore. Personally, I can’t take the risk of running anything other than Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment. I’ll share my list that I played to a Top 4 finish at the Milton, Ontario League Cup this past Sunday, as well as a similar list that plays Garbodor instead of Weavile. If you'd like to continue reading PokeBeach's premium articles, consider purchasing a premium membership! It grants you full access to PokeBeach's premium articles, doubles your prize earnings in our monthly tournaments, and allows you to submit your deck lists and questions to our writers for advice! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days! Simply cancel it in Paypal and then PM Water Pokemon Master for a full refund. 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