Going into Ontario Regionals, Pikachu and Zekrom-GX was the deck to beat by all counts. In fact, 43 of them showed up in total for Masters, trailed shortly after by Blastoise with 38 players playing the deck overall. Other big decks were represented well like Lucario-GX with 30 showings, Zoroark-GX / Garbodor at 29, Hitmonchan with 22, and Night March with 21. From there the rest of the field was more scarce, Trevenant BREAK at 16, Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment, Rayquaza-GX / Ho-Oh-EX, and Vespiquen all with 12, Alolan Exeggutor with 10, and Mew / Toolbox and Zapdos with nine slots apiece. From there everything gets pretty muddied, a huge mix of decks in the often overwhelming Expanded format. How did day two go?
- Trevenant BREAK (Four with Pyroar) @ 10
- Zoroark-GX / Garbodor @ 4
- Night March @ 4
- Hitmonchan @ 3
- Lucario-GX @ 2
- Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX @ 1
- Zapdos / Garbodor @ 1
- Vespiquen @ 1
- Shock Lock @ 1
- Pikachu and Zekrom-GX @ 1
- Mew / Toolbox @ 1
- Gallade @ 1
- Blastoise @ 1
- Alolan Exeggutor @ 1
This panned out to a Top 8 of…
- 1. Night March
- 2. Zoroark-GX / Garbodor
- 3. Trevenant BREAK
- 4. Trevenant BREAK
- 5. Mew / Toolbox
- 6. Trevenant BREAK
- 7. Blastoise
- 8. Trevenant BREAK (with Pyroar)
Regionals lately seem to follow a trend: a deck either does well out of nowhere, then is countered profusely, or a deck is hyped up to extremes and then under performs. This almost certainly has to do with the information trail these days — everything is almost instant and can be communicated immediately and spread throughout the masses.
Let me interlude quickly with how I did. I played Night March and my teammates Isaiah Williams and Jimmy Pendarvis joined me in making day two. I entered in with the best record of us at 6/0/3 but got absolutely bodied. I played all three of the Hitmonchan decks that made day two and finished my last round with a loss to Trevenant BREAK — I won my only round against Lucario-GX. My bad matchups aside, Pendarvis was able to fall two Trevenant BREAK decks and a Hitmonchan deck on his way to winning the tournament. Did he get lucky? Most definitely, but it just goes to show how good of a play Night March was nevertheless.
I did not expect to play Night March for this event until my testing team and I filled out our matchup spreadsheet Friday night as a last-ditch effort to figure out what to play. Surprising to us all, Night March was spat out as the best-equipped deck for the event so we threw together a list and went with it. For those curious, the percent-based portion are our takes on the matchups, then the representation piece works like a multiplier, taking weight away from less significant decks and weighting important decks that you want to beat at higher numbers. The end result is a ranking where in this case, Night March was the clear-cut favorite. One thing you can see is that we left out Trevenant BREAK completely. We didn’t expect the deck at all and it really stunk to find out the deck was popular after choosing to play Night March.
I don’t think I’ll be playing Night March this coming weekend in North Carolina. It’s always countered after doing well and I expect this to be the case in Greensboro. You can beat Oricorio frequently, but seeing it in every deck is troublesome and the real problem is Karen these days (no more Puzzle of Time). The uprising of Trevenant BREAK decks makes matters even worse and even Hitmonchan is pretty difficult to beat (we had the matchup percentage very wrong on the spreadsheet).
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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