Hello everyone! This is Grant here and for once I am actually excited about the Standard format, thanks to two particular decks. While the next Regional is Expanded in Costa Mesa, I won’t be there and I haven’t touched Expanded since Dallas. I feel like any opinions I have on that format would be useless and uninformed. I did recently attend Collinsville and am preparing for the upcoming Charlotte Regionals, which is the first Regional in my home state in around a decade or so (since before I was playing). Both of these events are Standard, so that is the format that I have been playing recently.
The two decks I am hyped on at the moment are actually Spread (Tapu Koko / Necrozma-GX / Espeon-EX / Meowstic / Garbodor) and Xerneas BREAK. These are two severely underplayed decks but I think they are better than anything else out there. I’ll briefly go over the tournaments that I played Spread at, then we will look more closely at the list. I won’t go into Xerneas BREAK today because I have only played like five games of it, whereas I’ve probably played over 100 games of this spread deck. If the testing for Xerneas BREAK goes well, be on the lookout for it in my next article.
This is the list that I ran at Collinsville Regionals. The basic idea of the deck is to use Tapu Koko and/or Necrozma-GX to set up a win condition, where Espeon-EX or Meowstic wipe your opponent’s board. Garbodor and N supplement this strategy by slowing down your opponent in order to let you pull off this combo. However, each matchup calls for a different game plan, which we will discuss more a bit later. Here’s how my rounds went.
- Round 1 vs. Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX WW
- Round 2 vs. Buzzwole-GX / Mew LWL (Oops)
- Round 3 vs. Ho-Oh-GX WW
- Round 4 vs. Espeon-GX / Garbodor /Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX / Max Elixir WW
- Round 5 vs. Ho-Oh-GX WLW
- Round 6 vs. Espeon-GX / Garbodor LW (I scooped instead of tie)
- Round 7 vs. Magnezone LWW
- Round 8 vs. Greninja BREAK WLL
- Round 9 vs. Magnezone ID
5-3-1 Top 256
So my record was quite poor in the end. However, if all the games had run their natural course, it would have put me at 6-2-1, which sounds a bit better. I would have tied round six and would have most likely won round nine because Magnezone is an auto-win. As you can see, my losses came from Buzzwole-GX and Greninja BREAK, which are two matchups that I should normally win. My opponents simply drew very well and I did not.
I also suffered from bad Prizes in round two, and I made a minor misplay in game two of round eight that may have cost me the match. I got a second Garbotoxin Garbodor out because I was concerned with a potential Counter Catcher play (which my opponent did not run in their list). I have seen a lot of Greninja BREAK lists run Counter Catcher and if he used that on my Garbotoxin Garbodor with 30 Po Town damage, I would have lost. I should have surmised from his mulligans that he did not run Counter Catcher, as he already revealed Max Potion and Enhanced Hammer, and Greninja BREAK only has so much space. I ended up needing that second Trubbish to evolve into a Trashalanche Garbodor instead of a Garbotoxin Garbodor. Since I won game one in two turns, I did not have much information on my opponent’s list. Games two and three were extremely close but I had atrocious hands near the end of Game 3 which cost me the match. He also ran two Field Blower and found both of them at crucial points in games two and three.
I decided to play the same deck in ARG Charlotte, but I cut a Psychic Energy for a Mewtwo to help against Buzzwole and Espeon. I expected a lot of Garb variants, and Mewtwo helps against most of them.
- Round 1 vs. Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX W
- Round 2 vs. Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX W
- Round 3 vs. Zoroark-GX / Gardevoir-GX W
- Round 4 vs. Buzzwole-GX / Lycanroc-GX L (I only got one turn and one Basic, essentially donked)
- Round 5 vs. Fighting / Garbodor W
- Round 6 vs. Passimian W
- Round 7 vs. Fighting / Garbodor ID
- Top 8 vs. Zoroark-GX / Lycanroc-GX WLW
- Top 4 vs. Zoroark-GX / Garbodor WLW
- Finals vs. Fighting / Garbodor ID / Split Prizing
Interestingly, eight of my ten rounds were against some sort of Fighting variant. In Top 8 and Top 4, I had very favorable matchups but my opponents managed to cheese me out of game two which was quite annoying. In game three of Top 8, my last two Prizes were both Trubbish, which made the game extremely difficult. My math may be off, but I believe the odds of that happening are around one in a 1000.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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