The Curitiba Report! Charizard Did What?

Hello everyone! Recently the Barcelona Special Event and Curitiba Regionals took place over two consecutive weekends, following North America’s Pittsburgh Regionals and Japan’s Champions League. It is cool to see tournaments pick up all over the world, and the regional metas have noticeable differences. Today I will be focusing primarily on Curitiba Regionals, which took place in Brazil and had almost 400 players. This was a fairly small tournament, even for South American Regionals, but what stands out about it is its results. While most tournaments in this diverse format feature a variety of decks, Curitiba was completely dominated by Charizard ex. Charizard ex did absolutely nothing at the massive Pittsburgh Regionals, yet took five of the Top 8 spots in Curitiba, as well as a dozen total Top 32 spots. This level of dominance would have been unexpected from any deck in this format, let alone one that was relegated to the bottom of Tier 2 in most players’ minds.

So What Happened?

Part of this can be attributed to many of Brazil’s top players choosing to play Charizard ex. If the same players chose to play a different meta deck, we would likely see similar results for that deck, however, there is a reason why they chose to play Charizard ex in the first place, and more importantly, how they were able to convert Charizard ex into good results. You see, Charizard ex actually has really good matchups. The reason why it hasn’t seen as much success and popularity until now is because Giratina VSTAR has been an omnipresent menace in the standard format. Giratina VSTAR has usually occupied the number one or two spot in terms of popularity, which has kept Charizard ex down. Furthermore, most top US players have not even bothered playing Charizard ex — this means that if you manage to find a meta with relatively low amounts of Giratina VSTAR, or simply avoid playing against too many of them, Charizard ex can shine.

Charizard ex has a ridiculously lopsided matchup against Mew VMAX and Lugia VSTAR — Mew VMAX is always a somewhat popular deck, and Lugia VSTAR has gained rapid popularity as of late. Charizard ex destroys both of them. It’s also fairly strong against Gardevoir ex and Miraidon ex, and it is okay (but not great) against Lost Box.

Aside from Charizard ex, the Top 8 of the tournament also featured Giratina VSTAR, Gardevoir ex, and most surprisingly, Arceus VSTAR. It’s also worth noting that Charizard ex actually beat Giratina VSTAR in the finals, but that matchup is still bad for Charizard ex on average. Gardevoir ex was always going to struggle in that Top 8 bracket, and Arceus VSTAR can’t consistently beat Charizard ex either. The Arceus VSTAR list isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, and I still don’t think Arceus VSTAR is good right now, so perhaps it was simply a good run and a solid meta-call for the tournament. Gardevoir ex had three total top 16 spots, and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX placed ninth and tenth.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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