So Close — Texas Regionals Summary and Thoughts on Expanded Moving Forward

Some days you hate Expanded, on others you love it. I loved Expanded in Dallas. While many games may have felt odd, I had to play my best to get as far as I did and show off mastery of a deck that can be incredibly difficult to play. I never felt like I got particularly lucky or anything like that — the games I won I felt in control, with most of the game handed to me as a player to react to what plays my opponent made. Playing a control deck like I did can have this sort of effect.

Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX was the best play for this event with the last minute addition of Hugh to the deck; thank you Daniel Altavilla for the amazing addition. I got close to winning, but was fell by Dean Nezam in the finals. I’ve had a lot of good games with Nezam throughout the years and this set was no different. Not drawing the greatest, I had to develop a unique route to win the second game after losing a close first, arguably due to a critical mistake; but things came crashing down again in the third one when I overthought a big decision and made the wrong call: choosing not to attach a Fighting Fury Belt. My Seismitoad-EX was blown back by a huge Riotous Beating and the game was Nezam’s for the taking with time running out.

All things considered, while Zoroark-GX does truly dominate Expanded, the format is not as bad as everyone says. It’s incredibly diverse with a lot of options, and once you start playing at the highest level against or with control decks many matches feel as strategic and deep as a game of chess.

I played the traditional Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX deck but switched up some of the Trainer slots to adapt for what I expected. My matchups:

Overall 13-2-3

I played against a large variety of decks and felt like I was in every game with a chance to win.

In the end, Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX took me down. The combination of an attacker hitting Seismitoad-EX for Weakness and another option for one-hit Knock Outs in Zoroark-GX proved to be too much in the end, especially within time constraints in a winner-takes-all game three in the finals.

This all said, while Expanded does have some toxic combinations, I don’t think any of them are overwhelmingly strong to the point where there needs to be a mass exodus of bans. If I had the chance to weigh in, I would vote for Exeggcute and Lusamine. While I’m not a huge fan of degenerate cards, even like Seismitoad-EX “not allowing your opponent to play the game”, it’s not super strong anymore, damage-wise, so that it becomes a strategic counterpart for many decks like Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX. I think the true problem rests with cards that allow you to play “for free”. Zoroark-GX and its Trade were almost certainly designed so that a player would have to make an important decision as to which card to discard and not just have a freebie with Propagation. Lusamine operates in a similar fashion and doesn’t promote thoughtful gameplay when you’re just getting another Lusamine back each turn when you’re abusing the loop.

Enough about that, here’s the list I used:

The Final List

Pokemon (19)

4x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)4x Zorua (DEX #70)3x Seismitoad-EX (FFI #20)3x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Oranguru (ULP #114)1x Sudowoodo (GUR #66)1x Girafarig (LOT #94)1x Exeggcute (PLF #4)1x Articuno-GX (CES #31)

Trainers (35)

2x Lusamine (CRI #96)1x Colress (PLS #118)1x N (FAC #105)1x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)1x Brigette (BKT #134)1x Pokémon Fan Club (ULP #133)1x Team Skull Grunt (SM #133)1x Team Rocket's Handiwork (FAC #112)1x Plumeria (BUS #120)1x Hugh (BCR #130)1x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Gladion (CRI #95)1x Faba (LOT #173)1x Acerola (BUS #112)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Ultra Ball (SHL #68)3x Counter Catcher (CRI #91)2x Fighting Fury Belt (BKP #99)1x Float Stone (BKT #137)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Enhanced Hammer (GUR #124)1x Dowsing Machine (PLS #128)1x Silent Lab (PRC #140)1x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (6)

4x Double Colorless Energy (SHL #69)2x Water Energy (EVO #93)

This concludes the public portion of this article.

If you'd like to continue reading, consider purchasing a PokeBeach premium membership! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days.

Each week we post high-quality content from some of the game's top players. Our article program isn't a corporate operation, advertising front, or for-profit business. We set our prices so that we can pay the game's top players to write the best content for our subscribers. Each article topic is carefully selected, goes through multiple drafts, and is touched up by our editors. We take great pride in our program!