Always two there are; no more, no less. A master and an apprentice. Is Mew the Master, and Mewtwo the apprentice? I didn’t expect Mewtwo and Mew-GX to win the World Championship in the Masters Division. Going into the event I poured days worth of testing in with my teammates and we came up with something we thought was very special: Pidgeotto Control. I did terrible, continuing my tenure of poor Worlds performances. Isaiah Williams made Top Eight with the deck and I’m incredibly happy for all his hard work this season to pay off the way it did for him. His finish proves the deck had, and still has, merit and I’m excited to share the concept with you. First, let’s start with the results of the event of the year. All percentages are generalizations of similar variants that were played, differing lists are not noted here.
- 23 Pikachu and Zekrom-GX @ 19.5%
- 22 Malamar @ 18.6%
- 18 Reshiram and Charizard-GX @ 15.2%
- 11 Gardevoir and Sylveon-GX @ 9.3%
- 10 Mewtwo and Mew-GX @ 8.5%
- 8 Blacephalon-GX @ 6.8%
- 6 Pidgeotto Control @ 5.1%
- 3 Spiritomb @ 2.5%
- 2 Shedinja Control @ 1.7%
- 2 Restored Pokemon Toolbox @ 1.7%
- 2 Keldeo-GX Control @ 1.7%
- 2 Gengar and Mimikyu-GX / Omastar @ 1.7%
- 2 Darkness Toolbox @ 1.7%
- 2 Beheeyem @ 1.7%
- 1 Whimsicott-GX @ 0.1%
- 1 Slowpoke and Psyduck-GX @ 0.1%
- 1 Rowlet and Alolan Exeggutor-GX @ 0.1%
- 1 Magnezone @ 0.1%
- 1 Chandelure @ 0.1%
Pikachu and Zekrom-GX was the most popular deck. This is no surprise as I’ve talked about it from the beginning of this format as the most consistent deck available to players. With Electromagnetic Radar, it sets up quick and consistently each game and still has the tools needed to close out games, plus a nearly unlimited damage output thanks to Electropower. Malamar followed closely behind which was expected, but the deck did not perform well at all. It’s inconsistent and topped out with a 24th place in the hands of Keito Uchida from Japan. Ultra Necrozma-GX variants were the most successful, mainly because of their prowess in the mirror match thanks to Sky-Scorching Light and an unlimited damage cap with Photon Geyser. The last big deck worth mentioning was Reshiram and Charizard-GX, clocking in with eighteen slots and proving it still has what it takes even without Nest Ball. The lists for it varied quite a bit, but the Green's Exploration version placed better overall. The Jirachi version did well for Tord Reklev and a few other players, though, showing it has merit as well.
One of the less obvious decks for the event was Gardevoir and Sylveon-GX, taking many players to Day 2, fighting through Day 1. It was dubbed one of the “secret” Japanese player decks and many could be seen playing it. A few top-level Americans took it too, like Poet Larsen and Riley Hulbert; our own Stéphane Ivanoff played it himself! My testing group ruled out Mewtwo and Mew-GX decks pretty early on, but I was impressed by a Welder variant of the deck a few days before the event. While the list I was using had Rainbow Energy, the eventual winning deck played Psychic Energy instead. This just goes to show that not everything was, or even has been figured out in this format, and there’s still a lot to discover and try out!
Blacephalon-GX is still alive, as it got second at the event. Aside from all the aforementioned decks and the Pidgeotto Control deck, there was a scattering of other decks, including a few crazy ones like Gengar and Mimikyu-GX / Omastar, Slowpoke and Psyduck-GX, and even Magnezone. None of these obscure decks did well, so I think it’s safe to say you can disregard them moving forward.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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