Terraforming — Ting-Lu Lands a Place in Standard

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here and I am happy to be writing another article for you. Last time, I talked about one of my favorite decks in the Standard format, Lugia VSTAR / Archeops with Tyranitar V, and how I believe that the deck is one of the best possible plays for the upcoming World Championships at Yokohama, Japan in August. While there have been no major tournaments since that last article, people’s mindsets on what decks are good and which ones aren’t have shifted a bit, largely thanks to both online tournaments as well as experimenting with new ideas for the upcoming World Championships.

One of the most popular decks right now is the Lost Zone Giratina VSTAR archetype, which I wrote about shortly before the North America International Championships (NAIC). Henry Brand chose to play the archetype for NAIC and his finish, while not good enough to put him into the second day of the tournament, got people thinking about the deck again. This new wave of support for Lost Zone Giratina VSTAR resulted in the deck winning two 300+ person online tournaments in the same day, further cementing the deck on the map. It’s difficult to pin why exactly it took so long for this version of Giratina VSTAR to finally catch on, but after months of having one of the highest win rates of any deck in online tournaments, it is good to see it gets the acknowledgement that it deserves.

Another part of why Giratina VSTAR has been getting so much hype around it, is because of a massive surge in the popularity of Arceus VSTAR in the weeks following the latter’s success at the NAIC. Both Ian Robb and Michael Catron were able to pilot their respective Arceus VSTAR decks to high level finishes, begging the question if the deck was back as a more permanent fixture in the metagame, as it had been dismissed as being tier 2 at best for quite some time. However, thanks to the deck’s newfound success, Arceus VSTAR has started to stake its claim for being one of the best decks in the current Standard format, largely thanks to its strong matchups against Gardevoir ex and Lost Zone decks. As of right now, I would say that Arceus VSTAR decks are one of the most if not the most hyped up decks for the World Championships happening in a few weeks, as well as being one of my own top picks for the event.

One other deck that I have seen a lot of talk about online lately has, surprisingly, been Ting-Lu ex, which happens to be the focus of today’s article. With Ting-Lu being one of my favorite Pokemon from the 9th generation of games, I was a bit disappointed by the underwhelming performance of the card during the first few weeks of the format. But in the last few weeks, I have started to see more Ting-Lu ex decks popping up and doing well. This past weekend I went to two League Cups, and there were multiple Ting-Lu ex decks that put up good results at each event, even if they did not quite make it into the top cut. Considering the unfavorable metagames that each of these events had for Ting-Lu ex, I can only question what could have been if the deck had found a better suited metagame for itself at these events. Before I continue, we must first examine what are the contributing factors to Ting-Lu ex’s place in the current metagame, including the decks pros and its cons.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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