An End and a Beginning — NAIC Recap and a First Look at the Worlds Format

Hello! The impossible happened last week at the North American International Championship: I managed to defend my title! I won NAIC with Zoroark-GX / Dewgong, and this means so much to me. Being the one to give Zoroark-GX one last major success before it takes its leave of the Standard format is a dream come true, and being able to finally prove Dewgong’s worth beyond the shadow of a doubt is also gratifying, after all the time I spent praising that version of the deck. In case you think my win is a fluke, I must remind you that Isaiah Bradner won the tournament in the Seniors Division with the same deck; his list differed from mine by two cards, and one of them is the choice of Meowth.

I want to use this article to give a quick recap of the tournament and explain the list I played. My list wasn’t the only surprise of the event, so I’ll also touch on why some decks did well, or faltered despite hype being in their favor. Finally, since most of you are probably looking past the current format, I want to share my early thoughts on the Worlds format.

A Week of Pokemon

In case you haven’t read it, I encourage you to check out last week’s article, which was a guide to Zoroark-GX / Dewgong. The paywall on it has been removed, so even if you’re not a PokéBeach subscriber, you can check it out. In the rest of this section, I’ll assume you’ve read that article, so I won’t explain the basic concept of the deck, but only what changed in a week.

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