Help What's Expanded Like Right Now?

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by AngryBokoblin, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. AngryBokoblin Guzzlord is fun


    I want to go to Portland later in the year, and various league cups are expanded in my area, so I want an expanded deck. I was thinking archie blastoise but I don't have a list.

    Does anyone have a solid archie list and maybe a few pointers on how to play it correctly?
    Matchups would be nice, too.

    Also, what's good in expanded right now?
    What are the top decks?
    What should I look out for?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. AngryBokoblin Guzzlord is fun


    Is expanded just so unpopular right now that no one can even tell me what's popular?
  3. Expert_Occultist Magic card player


    I feel your pain bud. From what little I can gather Pikarom, shock lock, zorogarb, trev, and hitmonchan seem to be the most popular decks.

    ^Here's the last major tournament results with decklists. Mind you these are from 2 sets ago...
  4. AngryBokoblin Guzzlord is fun


    I know, I've looked there, too.
  5. Merovingian Expanded Extraordinaire

    Articles Staff Member

    Dallas is Expanded again this season, so I'm at least invested enough to keep up with whats going on competitively this year (otherwise, I'd bring a troll deck to Dallas if it was Standard).

    Factoring in Unified Minds, here's where I think the meta sits, no particular order:

    Turbo Dark
    Archie's Blastoise
    Shock Lock

    I think Hitmonchan/Wobb isn't ever going to be a tier-1 deck. It's only good because a lot of the top decks have Weakness to Fighting and the fact that it can guarantee a Sledgehammer turn against most of them. It's really an 'anti-meta' deck with a lot of good matchups. But I see it sliding back when Cosmic Eclipse releases and Reshiram & Zekrom-GX waltz into the format.

    Trevenant. It has shown great results since Tag Team was released, but that's honestly because Trevenant was like the perfect meta call for Toronto. The other factor is that, Expanded events near the end of the season, the results get weird because not nearly as many players are chasing for points (either they have invite or have given up) and you have a lot more players running weird stuff they might not play if they were making a serious run. So yes, Trevenant DID make top 8 in the last stretch of Regionals, I don't think the meta was stong enough to push it back.
    That said, with Greninja & Zoroark-GX (Turbo Dark) threatening virtually everything (it's basically what Rayquaza-GX decks want to be) in the tier-1 slot--and the fact that it holds weakness over Trevevant, I think it's enough to push Trevenant far down the ladder.
    Also consider that TWO of it's matchups are HEAVILLY dependent on who wins the coin flip (Archies and Zoro Garb). If Trev wins the coin flip, it'll usually win. It CAN naturally beat Shock Lock, as we saw at 2 Regionals, but there's not enough Shock Lock to warrant using Trevevant. And it has favorable matchups against PikaRom.
    Unless you truly believe you are a super skilled Trevevant player and can run hotter than the sun, it seems like it can donk anything tier-2/rogue and below, but manage to lose to most of the tier-1. Which makes it a terrible pick in a regional setting once Turbo Dark startsmaking more Top 8 Cup appearances.

    As far as Archies goes. It doesn't gain much. IT's biggest boon is Mewtwo & Mew-GX, to which it can copy a discarded Kingdra-GX's Hydro Pump and tackle Tag Teams effectively, something that has been holding Archies back since Tag Team.

    Does this make Archie's an even better tier-1 deck? I don't think it makes it better, but I don't think Archie's is in any danger of losing it's footing in the tiers. At least, for now. I'd honestly pay attention to Cup results for the next month (UNM legal Expanded Cups) and see what starts doing good.

    The only deck I'm not 100% on is ZoroGarb. It's the most competent and viable Zoroark deck going into an unknown meta like a Regional, but it's damage output isn't where it should be. That said, if any of the top 5 decks I mentioned are in any danger of losing tier-1 status. At the risk of sounding controversial, it's Zoro Garb. At least, where I'm currently sitting.

    I did see a Zoroark-GX deck make top 8 that utilized the Electric Aura Jolteon and Electropowers (allowing a Zoroark-GX to be Lightning type and use Electropowers to OHKO Tag Teams. Brilliant stuff).
  6. AngryBokoblin Guzzlord is fun


    Thanks for the insight!
    I'll find an archie list somehow.
    Merovingian likes this.
  7. Kalnhobbs Aspiring Trainer


    Thank you for the detailed explanations here... I too am thinking of going to Portland and expanded is a hard format to tackle with all the options there are out there. You mentioned ZoroGarb as the most competent and viable Zoroark deck choice for a regional, and I agree. I think a natural partner for the deck to help deal with tag teams is the Raticate that can drop HP to 10, as it solves the damage output problem efficiently. I've seen others experimenting with Zoro-Chess variants, which are also very good though they suffer from inconsistency (currently), and the "Captain Planet" variant you described that used e-powers (which I plan to play around with myself). The draw engine Zoroark offers in combination with being a decent attacker means it won't be going anywhere from the top of the meta.

    As an Archie player, start with one of the recent expanded regional lists and remove the EeveeLax and put in MewMew. Also tech in a stealthy hood (can be searched off an order pad) as it can help with the HitmonWobb MU and against Garbodor variants. I'm still trying to figure to what the deck will look like with what Unified Minds brings to the table and my testing has been limited, but those two things seem like a given. I will say I have found it hard to find space in the deck to fit everything I would want, so try to utilize the tech attacker spots to counter whatever meta you expect - this will be easier at the challenge and cup level, and much harder to do for a Regional. Portland has the benefit of the weekend prior being another expanded regional, so making a meta read will be easier.

    A couple more things I'd like to add in relation to expanded format in general is that with tag teams helping the format return to a focus on big basics and GXs, watch out for control decks. They are one of the few things that is stoping Spiritomb ultra beasts (a la Alex Schemanske’s Origins list) from being BDIF.
    Merovingian and AngryBokoblin like this.
  8. Merovingian Expanded Extraordinaire

    Articles Staff Member

    No problem!

    ZoroChess seems like it'd be a bit slow. But it also relied on Standard's meta on being super Tag Team saturated, to which I'm not sure if you can rely on that. At least, if you're shooting for Day 2. You'd have to run hot and hit Tag Team decks all day for it to work.

    As much as I stress the importance of Zoroark decks needing a control-ish element to it to stay on top, whether it be Garb or Seismitoad-EX, I REALLY like the "Captain Planet" variant as a straight-attacking Zoroark variant. It's totally doable as a day 2 deck; some attacking zoroark decks did make day 2 late last season. There just want't that many.

    Agreed. Control-anything absolutely tanks Spiritomb Box. The deck seems really good if you know your locals meta is super duper aggressive and can flank them with it. It's biggest downfall that any deck can utilize is that if it gets hit with N, or any hand disruption, mid-late game, the deck seizes up. Which makes sense that it's built to just damage rush as fast as it does.

    It's a good deck with a lot of promise, but the meta HAS to be just right for a deep run.

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