Hello everyone! Recently, two absolutely massive Pokemon tournaments took place on the same weekend. I was at Pittsburgh Regionals, which was the largest Regional Championships ever. Additionally, the Worlds venue hosted yet another massive tournament: the Champions League Yokohama. This Japanese tournament had over 3,000 players, which has become the norm for their large events. Today, I will quickly recap these events, with a focus on Pittsburgh because I experienced it firsthand. Then I will go more in-depth on Mew VMAX in the current format, which is the deck that my group and I played at the tournament.
Two decks showed up huge in Pittsburgh that I was not expecting much of: Lugia VSTAR and Miraidon ex. Both of these decks occupied a respectable meta share, and their popularity was sustained throughout the top tables and Day 2 play. Each deck secured two Top 8 spots despite a diverse meta. For Lugia, this makes some sense. Lugia is a notoriously inconsistent deck, but it is quite broken when it works. It is more or less favored in every matchup — on paper, at least. Lugia players will be the first to admit that their deck can brick a lot, though this is basically its only downside. With so many players picking Lugia for the tournament, some of them will inevitably find themselves on the favorable end of the variance bell curve. It is a good feeling knowing that you’ve won the game if your hand has a way to discard two Archeops. It’s just that finding yourself with four Energy and no Supporter is a disaster that occurs all too often.
Miraidon, on the other hand, is a fairly consistent deck with a respectable power level. However, it has not achieved many results until now, and most top players (myself included) would not be caught dead playing the deck. Despite this, Miraidon had a fantastic weekend and many Day 2 spots. I admittedly do not have enough experience with the deck to justify my poor opinion of it, so I am not sure how to explain its successes. Miraidon is a fast, brain-dead beatstick deck that does the same simple thing every single game. Sometimes this is enough to win, and sometimes it isn’t. I don’t expect to see much from Miraidon in the future, but you never know. Regardless, during this current stint of popularity, you should surely be prepared to face it.
My group considered playing Lugia due to its fantastic matchups, but ultimately decided that the deck was too inconsistent and miserable to play. We did not give Miraidon its due diligence, but would probably not have played it anyway. I do find it interesting that the successful Miraidon lists were more mid-range than anything. They did not lean too heavily in either the Path to the Peak or the turbo direction. To me, this seems to result in a very average deck in every sense, but the cards are clearly good enough to have success at the highest level.
Kyogre ended up winning its first event, which warrants some salt from my group and me, as we were unable to do so despite numerous Top 8 placements with the archetype. Kyogre has always been an incredibly strong deck that is chronically underplayed. This is due to its requiring a nuclear physics degree to pilot at a competent level. Kyogre has always been on my group’s radar, but we deemed its matchups too contentious against Gardevoir ex, Lugia, and Charizard ex. However, Andrew Estrada was able to blow through several Gardevoir and Lugia on his way to the top, and was rewarded with a Top 8 bracket full of auto-win matchups. I am not a huge fan of the list itself, but Estrada was still able to take advantage of how broken Kyogre is due to his incredible skill as a player.
Kyogre ended up being particularly good at Pittsburgh because it absolutely destroys Miraidon, and Estrada faced five of them during his Day 2 run.
Lost Box overall was the star of Pittsburgh. Between Kyogre and the more popular turbo variant, it was the most popular archetype in Day 2. Aside from Kyogre winning and placing Top 16, non-Kyogre Lost Box decks had three more Top 16 spots and also bubbled at 17th. Miraidon matches up poorly into Lost Box, so the ones that did well had to avoid them throughout Day 2. While most were filtered out, some inevitably made it to Top 8, destined to eventually fall to Kyogre.
Now we come to Mew. I ended up placing 33rd in the tournament with Fusion Mew. This was a very disappointing bubble after fighting through the most stacked bracket player-wise that I have ever faced. I started 7-2 in Day 1, with one loss due to a bad misplay that I did not realize until later. However, that loss in Round 7 would have only turned into a tie without the misplay, and would have changed the course of the tournament for me, so I am not too down about it. My loss against Double Turbo Energy Mew in Round 3 was entirely outside of my control, as I just bricked twice. In Day 2, I went 3-1-2, which is not an amazing score.
My one loss in Day 2 was against Isaiah Bradner with Giratina VSTAR and Drapion V, which is a true auto-loss matchup for me. I was not expecting the Drapion in Game 1, and if I was up against a less skilled player, perhaps I could have pulled off a win or a tie. My ties were against Tord and Haru, both playing Gardevoir. Both were extremely close matches against very skilled players. My Cram-o-matic flips were very streaky in Day 2. I flipped all relevant tails against Isaiah and Tord, and an absurd number of heads against Haru and Ian Robb’s Lugia. My other wins were uneventful beatdowns against DTE Mew and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX.
There was one Mew in Top 4, and Caleb Gedemer from my group made Top 16. We correctly predicted that Charizard ex would be a non-issue, so it followed that Mew would be a good play. The deck is still broken and always will be. However, its matchup against Kyogre is very bad. It is rare for skilled players to bring Kyogre to major tournaments, so we did not consider it a threat. We had several cards to deal with the more popular Lost Box variants, such as Lost City, Crystal Cave, and Switch Cart . In games where we could use these cards at opportune times, we were favored against Lost Box, but didn’t end up facing many of them anyway. We also did not face many Miraidon, but that matchup is about 50-50, so I don’t feel one way or the other about it.
Here is the list I played at the tournament:
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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