You Can’t Spell Dialga Without IA — How an Iowan Took Dialga to a Regional Championship

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here and I am happy to be writing another article for you all. Last time, I discussed a Groudon focused version of a Lost Zone box deck. At the time, I was strongly considering it for the Indianapolis Regional Championships, but I ultimately moved away from it at the last minute, instead opting to play a Charizard ex deck list with Maximum Belt for the mirror. I was able to make Day 2 with the deck, but I had an underwhelming Day 2. However, Ian Robb was able to take our list to a Top 8 finish, so the deck was not a complete flop.

One other deck that me and some of my friends were considering was Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR, but I bailed on it for the sake of playing a deck that I felt was more safe. Well, if you do not live under a rock, I am sure that you know by now that Andrew Hedrick was able to take down the Indianapolis Regional Championships with his Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR deck, and of course, he was one of the aforementioned friends that I was working on the deck with. The deck was certainly much better than even I realized, and I expect the deck to have a long standing impact on the format. I ended up correcting my mistake of not playing the deck this past weekend by playing it for a League Cup, which I was able to win with Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR. As I have continued to put more and more time into the deck, I have started to understand how it works and how to beat it, and I wanted to make that the focus of this article. First, how about we start off with what makes the deck good.

How Was Dialga Able To Win a Regional?

When Temporal Forces was about to be released, I distinctly remember telling one of my locals that I thought that Metang was pretty terrible, even worse than Feraligatr at prereleases. While this was more of a joke trying to hype up a pet deck of mine, it still reflected my personal feelings on the card. After the complete failure that Magnezone was, I figured that Metang would be no different. Electric Generator was always the most frustrating card in Miraidon ex and having to set up a Stage1 to do basically the same thing seemed terrible to me, and while Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR and its Star Chronos is a much better payoff than just hitting for 220 damage with Photon Blaster, the deck did not seem good enough to justify the setup required, especially when cards like Radiant Charizard will immediately punish you.

However, I was sorely mistaken.

I was at the airport returning home from the Vancouver Regional Championships when I heard that the deck had done well at a Thailand Regional League. One of my friends who I was waiting with at the airport told me that he thought that the deck could be a bit better than people were giving it credit for. As he started to talk me through how you could approach some of the deck’s matchups, he started to sell me on the fact that the deck could be good. I then spent the entirety of my flight thinking about how to improve the deck list from the tournament in Thailand.

When I finally arrived home, I got to work. For the next two weeks, I spammed telling my friends to join calls to watch me play Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR on Pokemon TCG Live. As I slowly refined my list, I remember discussing the deck with Andrew quite a bit, with the biggest points of our discussion being whether it was better to focus on Professor's Research or Arven. Ultimately, while I liked Arven a lot as a way to setup Metang reliably, I did settle on the opinion that Professor’s Research was better. One of the biggest outcomes of this testing was also, of course, learning about how incredible Star Chronos is when used properly. Oftentimes you will see people use Star Chronos as soon as possible. While this is not necessarily horrible, it is definitely a misuse of one of the most powerful attacks that the game has ever seen.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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