Hello, readers! I’m back from the Latin America International Championship, which despite some controversy, was overall a very enjoyable event. From a competitive standpoint, it gave us a great look at the new Standard metagame: now that we know what decks are expected, we can start the cycle of meta-calls, improvements on existing decks and invention of rogue ones!
Speaking of rogue decks, I made Top 32 at the event (a respectable finish) with Quagsire / Silvally-GX, a deck that I didn’t expect to play until the day before the tournament. I know a good number of you have been curious about it, so consider this article a guide to this new archetype. I want to make clear that Quagsire / Silvally-GX is not the best deck in the format, and it suffers from consistency issues, but it also has some great matchups so it’s definitely worth keeping in mind, especially for local events. In other words, it’s the new Quagsire / Naganadel.
The credit for the deck goes to Jonathan Croxton. If you don’t know of him as the guy who Top 8’d three Expanded Regionals in a row with Shock Lock, you may have heard of him when he revitalised the Quagsire / Naganadel archetype at the DC Open, reaching Top 16 with it. No surprise, then, that I found myself trusting in his deckbuilding ability when it came to choosing a deck for LAIC.
How It All Happened
I was planning on playing Gardevoir and Sylveon-GX, as it was both a comfort pick and, in theory, a strong meta-call. My list even had answers to some of the most popular counters to it, such as Weakness Guard Energy to beat Lucario and Melmetal-GX. However, on Thursday, the day before the tournament, I was losing games left and right. Sure, Weakness Guard Energy beat an Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX player who tried to go all-in on Lucario and Melmetal-GX, but they could still win by using Keldeo-GX and Chaotic Swell. The Omastar improved the matchup against Pidgeotto Control but, even discounting the (non-negligible) probability that one part of Unidentified Fossil, Rare Candy, or Omastar would be Prized, I was still uncomfortable with the matchup because so many things could go wrong—Mars randomly discarding one part of the combo, for example. And I also found myself losing deck to Jonathan’s Quagsire / Silvally-GX deck, again because of the Keldeo-GX and Chaotic Swell combination that made it so hard to take KOs.
As I watched Jonathan play more games, against both myself and other players, I found that he was beating seemingly comfortably top decks such as Mewtwo and Mew-GX and Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX. Add to that an easy Pidgeotto Control matchup, and the deck was looking like more and more of a great play for the event. (In retrospect, the Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX matchup is not as good as I believed (more on that later), but apart from that, this early analysis stands). So when on Thursday evening I found myself disillusioned with Gardevoir and Sylveon-GX, I decided to take the risk, and pick up Quagsire / Silvally-GX (I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a new deck at the last minute for something bigger than a League Challenge, so this was a change for me). I scrambled to find the cards I was missing but, in the end, I locked in my choice.
I won’t do a detailed report of the tournament, partly because I don’t remember all my games, and partly because I’ll mention those I remember when I talk about the deck’s matchups anyway. However, here is a quick summary of my tournament run. I ended up 28th place with a 9-3-2 record. Not counting the ID at the last round, here is how my matchups went:
- vs Malamar: 3-0
- vs Green’s Reshiram and Charizard-GX: 1-0-1
- vs Mewtwo and Mew-GX: 1-0
- vs Pidgeotto Control: 1-0
- vs Baby Blacephalon: 1-0
- vs Pikachu and Zekrom-GX: 1-0
- vs Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Keldeo-GX: 1-2
- vs Ability Reshiram and Charizard: 0-1
Obviously, this is only a small sample of matches, in a situation where the deck was new, both to my opponents and to myself, so you shouldn’t infer too much from this data. It’s still a starting point to look at the deck!
This list has some unnatural choices, which I’ll do my best to explain.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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