Moonlight Madness — An Orlando Regionals Rundown and Zoroark’s Place in Standard

Hello again! With two Regionals in the books, we have a lot of new information about the meta and a lot of surprises popping up out of the results. Even with all these surprises, we now have a more solidified meta to examine. To start, I’ll be taking a look at the Orlando meta as figured from the Top 32 statistics. By examining these results, we can start to plan for the Fort Wayne metagame as well as figure out what decks have made the strongest impact on Standard so far. Then I’d like to give my suggestion for a possible break out deck for Fort Wayne Regionals based on the results I go over from Orlando. Without further adieu, let’s get rolling.

Orlando Regional Championship Results

Orlando overall seemed like a successful event for everyone involved. The Top 32 decks were fairly diverse with a few surprises here and there, but overall the decks I expected to do well did. I’ve put together a quick chart for you all to show off the different decks that did well and will share my thoughts on all of this as we move on to the next batch of Regionals.

Top 32

Deck Total in Top 32 Percentage of Top 32
M Mewtwo-EX / Garbodor 6 15.625%
Darkrai-EX / Giratina-EX / Garbodor 4 12.5%
M Gardevoir-EX 4 12.5%
Greninja BREAK 3 9.375%
Yveltal-EX Variants (Hammers, GarbodorMew, Others) 3 9.375%
Vileplume / Walls 3 9.375%
Gyarados 2 6.25%
Volcanion / Volcanion-EX 2 6.25%
Xerneas 2 6.25%
Raichu / Golbat / Banette 1 3.125%
M Rayquaza-EX 1 3.125%
Darkrai-EX / Giratina-EX 1 3.125%

Top 8

After breaking into Top 8, the diverse number of decks decreases dramatically.

Deck Total in Top 8
Darkrai-EX / Giratina-EX / Garbodor 3
M Mewtwo-EX / Garbodor 2
Yveltal / Garbodor 1
Vileplume / Walls 1
Volcanion / Volcanion-EX 1

The Rise of Garbodor

Everyone knew Garbodor was good in Standard, and Orlando showed us that we were right. Garbodor was a featured player in 75% of the decks in Top 8 and roughly 34% of all the decks in Top 32. To say that Garbodor is good is an understatement. Without a source of Tool removal, Garbodor will remain on top of the format until the format shifts towards some sort of counter to it. Decks that don’t rely on Abilities may see an influx of play, but there aren’t too many decks like that right now. Every deck in format relies on Abilities in one form or another making it unlikely that Garbodor will become obsolete any time soon.

Giratina-EX’s Return to Tier 1

I think that a lot of people wrote off Giratina-EX after the rotation earlier this fall. Pokémon Ranger was an easy way to overcome the effects of Chaos Wheel, it cost a lot of Energy to get him going, and despite Mega Pokemon becoming more relevant in Standard, Garbodor was around to make Giratina-EX‘s Ability from getting any love. So, what has changed? In truth, not a lot. What Giratina-EX was able to do was adapt into the metagame despite the problems that faced it. It had a few things going for it that helped it carve a spot in Standard for it to sit in. Giratina-EX had already been paired with Darkrai-EX to some success back during Nationals, so there was already a solid archetype available to build off of for Standard. Chaos Wheel can OHKO a Garbodor and make it difficult for the opponent to set up another one thanks to its effect. Chaos Wheel is also extremely effective against any deck that runs only Special Energy like Vileplume variants have been doing lately. While Pokémon Ranger can get around this, it’s a lot harder to get to it without Battle Compressor making Chaos Wheel a lot stronger. As long as M Mewtwo-EX and Vileplume remain popular, so will Giratina-EX.

Mewtwo Strikes Back

M Mewtwo-EX came to play at Orlando, much to the surprise of no one. Widely considered to be one of best decks in format, M Mewtwo-EX showed up to be the most consistently high-placing deck of the event. It’s proven itself to be a powerhouse in our current Standard format, and it’s the deck to beat at the moment. There are no signs of M Mewtwo-EX slowing down, especially since there aren’t any great counters to it besides M Mewtwo-EX itself. Mew-EX does an okay job, but is quickly shut down by Garbodor making it a shaky counter. The best counter out there right now is Giratina-EX, but Damage Change can turn the tide on that matchup very quickly. M Mewtwo-EX isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so hold onto your Mewtwo boys and girls.

Fort Wayne Predictions

I expect to see the meta shift a decent amount for Fort Wayne. People are going to want to take advantage of what did well by playing its counter or stick with a deck that’s proven to be good. With the popularity and success of Darkrai-EX / Giratina-EX, I would anticipate a very slight rise in popularity of Rainbow Road (aka Xerneas) since it not only counters Giratina-EX because of Weakness, it also resists Dark, making it more difficult for the deck to OHKO Xerneas. I wouldn’t expect a huge presence, but it’s a deck to watch out for. I would also expect an increase in play from M Rayquaza-EX and Yveltal-EX variants that seek to capitalize on their ability to take quick OHKOs and disrupt your opponent respectively. A bulky Dark deck based on disruption could make waves come Fort Wayne.

The last deck I could see getting more play is Gyarados. Everybody loves an underdog, and everybody loves seeing something wacky do well. As soon as Gyarados peaked into not one but two Top 32 slots, I knew that there was going to be a lot of hype going on for this deck after the event. People love to play the rogue decks, they’re more fun and are more exciting than what’s been established as “the best decks.” To top it all off, Gyarados is extremely cheap to build, making it more widely accessible to newer and more casual players who will be attending the event. Everything else I expect to be relatively the same percentage wise. Depending on how much the meta shifts, we may see an even more diverse meta come Fort Wayne.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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