Old Meta is New Meta — The New Format and Revamping Old Favorites

Hello everyone! Grant Manley here. A lot of people are moaning and groaning about the rotation that is nearly upon us, as we lose tons of consistency options such as Ultra Ball, Nest Ball, and Tapu Lele-GX. What’s most interesting is that no one is sure how to build decks in the post-rotation format, so everyone is doing something different. While there is about a month left of the current Standard format, most competitive players are looking at the post rotation format because there are no major events left of the current format. Personally, I just started testing, but I do have some information to share.

New Options in the Format

Overall, the consistency of decks isn’t that much worse now. Dedenne-GX is an absurdly powerful card and it goes a long way in improving consistency. It isn’t as easily picked off on the Bench with no Guzma in the format. Non-GX decks that leverage the Prize trade can now make use of Dedenne-GX without getting punished. Pokémon Communication is a great card overall and can search out any Pokemon, but if a deck runs low counts of Pokemon then it may be out of luck. Every single deck I’ve built so far runs four Acro Bike. Acro Bike is insane in this format. Most of my decks also run four Pokégear 3.0. While Pokegear is a good card and is necessary for consistency, hands do get congested with multiple Supporters and Pokegears from time to time. Jirachi is more or less as good as it was last format. Cherish Ball, Mysterious Treasure, and Electromagnetic Radar are all major players too, but they are deck-specific.

Custom Catcher is a card that is receiving unreal amounts of hype. I am not a fan of the Custom Catcher. Its effect is undeniably powerful, so some decks should run it, but it’s extremely hard to pull off and will only happen once a game, or twice if you’re lucky. It sucks if it happens to be in your hand early-game, but this will happen a lot because decks that run it will run four. Decks with Green's Exploration can obviously pull it off, and decks that don’t OHKO things will probably be forced to run it. Guzma was great because you could use it basically whenever you wanted to, and it usually could be used three to four times in a game. In decks that take OHKO’s, I think speed and consistency is more important than trying to finesse Custom Catcher into lists. I feel similarly about Reset Stamp, as most of these points apply to that card as well.

As far as decks go, the main survivors of the rotation are Malamar, Blacephalon-GX Pikachu and Zekrom-GX (PikaRom), and Green’s Reshiram and Charizard-GX (ReshiZard). There are lots of fringe decks and new decks that I plan on looking into. Today I’ll go over my current lists for Malamar, Blowns, and PikaRom. I have done most of my testing with these three decks. I have refined the lists but I cannot say if they are fully optimized yet.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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