Championship Recap – Expanded in Florida and Standard in Berlin By: Caleb Gedemer Posted 6 months ago to Premium Article I’m pleased to report that I am now a three-time Regional Champion, claiming my third trophy with the Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX deck I wrote about the last time I was with you. My testing group and I worked on the deck throughout the week leading up to Florida Regionals and by Wednesday had locked it in as our choice for the event. Hypnotoxic Laser was so amazing in the deck and truly breathed life back into a deck that was written off for quite a while. The ban of Lusamine threw this deck for a loop, but Hypnotoxic Laser really boosted the control aspect of this deck and that handle on the game was apparent in every game I played. I loved being able to take Knock Outs at the conclusion of my opponent’s turn again, it had been a long time. The deck was so great – I think it’s the best deck in Expanded, and certainly still is moving forward. It’ll be interesting to see if Pokémon Ranger finds a place in most lists now, or lists move away from being VS Seeker-based. Some decks are better against it than others too, so time will tell. Deck Discussion Pokemon (17)4x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)4x Zorua (DEX #70)4x Seismitoad-EX (FFI #20)1x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Sudowoodo (GUR #66)1x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Oranguru (ULP #114)1x Exeggcute (PLF #4)Trainers (39)3x Acerola (BUS #112)2x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)1x Plumeria (BUS #120)1x N (FAC #105)1x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Faba (LOT #173)1x Colress (PLS #118)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Ultra Ball (SHL #68)4x Hypnotoxic Laser (PLS #123)3x Nest Ball (SM #123)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)2x Fighting Fury Belt (BKP #99)2x Field Blower (GUR #125)2x Enhanced Hammer (GUR #124)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Dowsing Machine (PLS #128)1x Adventure Bag (LOT #167)3x Virbank City Gym (PLS #126)Energy (4)4x Double Colorless Energy (SHL #69) Changes +1 Seismitoad-EX +2 Professor Sycamore +2 Acerola +1 Plumeria +3 Nest Ball +1 Field Blower +1 Enhanced Hammer +1 Adventure Bag +1 Virbank City Gym -1 Jirachi-EX -2 Lillie -1 N -4 Level Ball -2 Pokémon Communication -1 Special Charge -1 Pal Pad -1 Counter Catcher All in all, thirteen cards were changed from the posted list in my last article. I was mistaken about the strength of Lillie, and ultimately opted for the raw consistency of Professor Sycamore and Nest Ball. Nest Ball doesn’t add additional outs to your opening setup like Level Ball for Jirachi-EX did, but it gets Seismitoad-EX which is extremely nice and boosts your turn one and turn two Quaking Punch odds. The entire focus of this deck is to get a Quaking Punch off as soon as you can and then move into Oranguru with Resource Management if needed. The Lillie engine was nice, but somewhat inconsistent sometimes. Deciding on Professor Sycamore in the end was the better choice and one that was thankfully made. Special Charge was never needed; you have your Resource Management if more Double Colorless Energy are needed. The only time it could have been solid would have been in mirror matches, but those were rare (although I did play three in total), and unexpected. Pal Pad was removed in favor of more Acerola, one of the new defining points of the list. Counter Catcher was just a victim of needing to fit more cards and didn’t fit the mold of the deck when you’re very often leading on Prizes with your punishing control approach to begin games with Quaking Punch. A few other changes were made like the fourth Seismitoad-EX, we figured out that the extra eight-or-so percent chance of starting with it was attributable to roughly seven game wins (not matches) over the course of an event. That’s potentially two whole or more sets that you would otherwise win now and that was significant enough to warrant the addition. A few other consistency additions were made like more copies of Acerola (extremely important to this deck’s goals), Enhanced Hammer, and Virbank City Gym. Adventure Bag was an amazing addition, thinning out the deck and grabbing you what could potentially be two Tool cards that you could want at once. Final Standings 1. Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX 2. Pikachu and Zekrom-GX 3. Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX 4. Zoroark-GX / Control 5. Shock Lock 6. Sableye / Garbodor 7. Celebi and Venusaur-GX 8. Pikachu and Zekrom-GX Day Two Metagame Breakdown 8 Pikachu and Zekrom-GX 7 Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX 5 Blastoise 2 Zoroark-GX / Garbodor 2 Zoroark-GX / Control 2 Rayquaza-GX 2 Hitmonchan 1 Vespiquen / Flareon 1 Trevenant BREAK 1 Shock Lock 1 Seismitoad-EX / Garbodor 1 Sableye / Garbodor 1 Celebi and Venusaur-GX 1 Buzzwole-GX 1 Buzzwole / Garbodor 1 Alolan Exeggutor Pikachu and Zekrom-GX was the most played deck, not a surprise at all. Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX wasn’t the most played deck, but it had one of the best day two showings because it was such a great play for the event. Blastoise was the last “super popular deck” but had a disastrous day two. I think this is mainly because of the presence of Seismitoad-EX decks and the fact that most decks in Expanded have been built around the mold of the most powerful deck, Blastoise. 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