Taking the Electro Wheel — The Morpeko V Enigma

Welcome back, readers! Last time I wrote, I was preparing for the first Qualifier in the PTCGO tournament . Today, I’m still preparing for the first Qualifier in the series. So that first attempt at a gigantic international online tournament didn’t go as smoothly as we hoped! That said, I’m still excited about the prospect of such a huge event, and on the bright side, that means that my advice today can be used for the first qualifier!

As I mentioned in my last article, I want to talk about Morpeko V today. While it’s true that the deck has accomplished basically nothing in our format, it was pretty successful in Japan. Takuya Yoneda pioneered his version of the deck to a solid 8-2 record at the Aichi Champions League in December. While that wasn’t to make top cut, it was still a very strong performance. The deck then went on to do very well at City Leagues in January. It performed on the same level as Mill decks (only surpassed by Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V, Pikachu and Zekrom-GX, Mewtwo and Mew-GX / Malamar, and Blacephalon. Most people agree that Mill is a strong archetype, and Morpeko V was just as good in Japan: even if you think that the Japanese metagame differs from ours and that Morpeko V wouldn’t work for us, I think it makes no sense that Morpeko V has seen almost no attention. It’s likely that the sudden stop to official competitive events has stifled many players’ creativity (since without Leagues and local tournaments, people have fewer ways to playtest their ideas), making them rely on already established decklists more than usual, instead of trying out their own ideas. I believe that more people would have experimented, and found success, with that archetype if the competitive season hadn’t been cancelled. Of course, there’s no way to prove it.

There are two other reasons I can think of why Morpeko V hasn’t seen success. The first is many players may not have played the right decklist. The most effective way to build the deck, which I’ll detail in the next section, is not intuitive at all and actually requires the player to not use Morpeko V at all in some matchups! The first Morpeko V lists I saw didn’t do that at all, and I think that’s why they weren’t successful enough.
The other issue with the deck is that it is very dependant on the metagame. There are some cards which can give it issues, while others don’t matter as much. Play Morpeko V in the wrong environment and you’ll regret it! To give one example, Morpeko V doesn’t care about Great Catcher at all, so if it plays against decks that only use that as a way to target the Bench (such as Mewtwo and Mew-GX / Malamar, or Blacephalon), it will do well. On the other hand, flipping heads on a Pokémon Catcher can be devastating, so if Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V are playing Pokémon Catcher, it might not be the right time to play the deck. Some of its weaknesses can be patched through techs, although it doesn’t have that much space for it.

There’s one last reason to play Morpeko V now: it’s your last chance! With Boss’s Orders coming out in Rebel Clash, Morpeko V will probably become unusable. A reliable gust effect that will find its way in every deck is a nightmare for a Pokémon who tries to hide on the Bench after every attack, especially with Eldegoss V or Mewtwo (combined with Scoop Up Net) to reuse Supporters. Of course, just because you won’t get the opportunity later doesn’t mean you need to play the deck now. However, this policy worked out very well for me when I played Zoroark-GX for the last time before it rotated at the 2019 North American International Championship, or Blacephalon / Green's Exploration this year at Bochum Regionals before the new first turn rule made Green’s Exploration (almost) obsolete. So don’t be surprised if I end up bringing Morpeko V at a Qualifier before Rebel Clash!

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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