And Now for Something Completely Different–Expanded Discussion

With three Regionals and two Special Events already gone, the SUM-UNB format is in full swing. SPE Singapore had some surprises in store, with Greninja and Zoroark-GX / Naganadel and Nidoqueen / Swampert / Meganium (a deck that I touched upon here) both reaching the Top 4. This means that it’s the perfect time to…talk about Expanded. Wait, what?

I know that there’s no major event coming up in the Expanded format, and readers attending Madison Regionals might be especially concerned with Standard this week. I’ll alleviate the latter concern by giving my thoughts about the Standard situation and my picks for this weekend. That said, I have several reasons I don’t want to neglect Expanded. Even if the format is not of huge importance to the top level of competition right now, it’s still being played at local events and online, as Expanded tournaments are the best way to farm boosters on PTCGO. It should also be mentioned that when players start training for Expanded events next season, it will be harder to do so if nobody has given a thought about the format in five months and they have to suddenly take into account both Unbroken Bonds and our August set, Unified Minds. Finally, part of my motivation is also ideological: as someone with a background in pure mathematics, I’m interested in knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and if players ever go back to reflect on past formats, I think it would be a shame to have the BLW-UNB format be missing because no one stopped to write about it.
Obviously, I can’t claim to have a perfect understanding of the format. As much as I would love to spend time pitting the various decks of Expanded, old and new, against each other, I can’t afford it. Still, I hope that this summary can help other Expanded enthusiasts explore the format, and act as a strong starting point when time comes to prepare for next season’s Expanded events. I just hope some of them are in Europe this time!

But first, let’s talk about Standard.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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