The first Pokemon league challenge sanctioned in Brisbane was done and dusted a few weeks ago on the 19th November, and I managed to place 5th during the event and earned championship points. In preparation for the next Pokemon league event coming up in a few days on the 10th December, I felt it would be good to review the previous decks that did well.
We’ll be going through the Top 8 decks, types of decks that appeared on the day, and my experiences and thoughts on the deck that I used. On top of this report, I’ll be featuring new promo cards that will be legal and may have an impact on the upcoming league challenge. I hope this will serve well in guiding both new and veteran players in your deck choices for future events.
Overall, the league challenge had 40 players in the masters division with 6 rounds in total with no top cut.
The Top 8 Deck Standings is as follows:
- Mega Gardevoir STS
- Gyrados AOR
- Volcanion STS
- Yveltal EX/Zoroark BKT
- Vileplume Box
- Mega Gardevoir STS
- Fright Night Yveltal
- Mega Scizor BKT
Only from what I’ve observed in-between rounds of playing and inquiring from other players, I’ve compiled the approximate field of decks that appeared on the day:
- 4 Mega Gardevoir
- 3 Volcanion
- 2 Greninja
- 3 Mega Ray
- 4 Fright Night Yveltal
- 1 Yveltal EX/Zoroark
- 1 Galvantula
- 1 Pigeot EX
- 1 Mega Alakazam
- 1 Mega Sceptile
- 3 Mega Scizor
- 1 Darkrai/Giritina
- 2 Ho Oh EX
- 2 Mega Mewtwo/Garbodor
- 2 Vileplume Box
- 1 Yanmega
- 1 Dragonite/Slowking
- 2 Rainbow Road
- 1 Primal Kyogre
- 1 Gyrados
Although the types of decks were diverse, the end result for Top 8 was far from surprising. These were different decks yet they have been consistent; appearing and doing well in multiple events. To put this into perspective, the coverage on the results of Orlando’s Regional Championship and Fort Wayne by Charizard Lounge show similar trends on a much larger scale.
The Top 4 decks placed well due to a randomised meta. Mega Gardevoir EX covers up most match ups pretty well; apart from being susceptible to Vileplume Box’s item lock and metal weakness from Mega Scizor EX. However, not many of these decks showed up in this event and in an unknown field, Mega Gardevoir EX has the edge, being able to draw cards with Shaymin EX whilst removing them with Despair Ray to deny them from being vulnerable to Lysandre. I feel most decks did not expect Gyrados AOR and did not have an answer to it apart from a select few that chose to run Spinda PRC in their decks to counter the benched Magikarps’.
Both Volcanion and Yveltal EX decks are highly consistent, able to dispatch most decks and having answers to overcome unfavourable match ups. Garbodor is unfavourable for Volcanion as Garbotoxin nullifies Volcanion’s damage output. However, Volcanion can attack and accelerate energy to deal with Garbodor before it comes into play by using Lysander alongside Volcanion EX’s steam up ability.
Yveltal EX decks have a variety of attackers for different match ups and are able to do big consistent damage without relying on abilities. Lightning type decks or a Jolteon EX tech does well against Yveltal EX decks although they have soft counters available to them such as Zoroark BKT to serve as an alternate attacker. Its versatility and consistent damage output is why it was a popular choice for this event.
For the rest of the top 8, both Vileplume Box and Mega Scizor EX fall underneath a tier of decks that has answers to most match ups but have one really unfavourable matchup that is sadly popular. For Vileplume Box this would be Yveltal EX decks as they can operate fine under item lock; having access to a large energy pool and multiple attackers.
Mega Scizor EX is heavily countered by Volcanion which is unfortunately a popular choice for today’s event. It’s important to note this event is the first league challenge premiered in Brisbane and I suspect the next time it won’t be as diverse, keeping in mind the Top 8 results for this league challenge.
Going through my own thoughts on the day, I did not expect to do well with a Vileplume deck since I’ve had limited time to practice my match ups. Before I wrote my decklist I decided to exchange Glaceon EX for another Regice AOR expecting Mega decks to be popular. Overall, this is what I’ve faced during the event:
- Greninja BKP
- Mega Mewtwo/Garbador
- Mega Gardevoir STS
- Mega Ray
- Yveltal EX/Zoroark BKT
I won’t go through details of all my rounds but I’m sure the first thought running through your heads seeing my first match up is, “this is why Glaceon EX is in Vileplume” and I admit it wasn’t a well calculated risk. Not only did I have no answers to Greninja BREAK, I didn’t have any way to deal with Zoroark BKT, Raichu, Yanmega and Vespiquen. Thankfully, my only other bad match up was towards the end when I had a score of 4 wins and 1 loss so we both decided to ID. I felt having an extra Regice did pay off in my matches against the Mega decks I’ve faced. Although I could’ve kept Glaceon EX in, I don’t regret removing the card for an extra Regice. A few of the wins I’ve achieved on the day were due to my opponents’ missteps rather than Vileplume Box itself, such as not expecting a turn 1 Vileplume set up. Overall, I was happy with the performance of Vileplume Box and its consistency to play a turn 1 Vileplume despite some bad match ups.
For the next league challenge, there are three promo cards that have recently become legal for play and have the potential to do well. These promos are:
Salamence EX XY170
I feel Salamence EX is a powerful addition to Darkrai/Giritina and Vileplume Box as a tech card and as a deck on its own. Its attack isn’t too costly in energies and does a large amount of damage based on each EX on the opponent’s side of the board. This is relevant to the present meta game as most, if not all, decks rely on Shaymin EX for draw support and other Pokemon EXs’ integral to a deck’s success. After seeing the Top 8 results, one would have a field day if they have a deck with a Salamence EX. If not for Salamence EX only being available in a Mega Salamence EX Premium Collection Box retailing at $100 AUD, we would see more players gravitating towards playing it in their decks. However, players should keep an eye out as its still a huge contender; preying on a deck pool heavily favoured in EXs’.
Unlike Salamence EX’s attack being able to cover a variety of match ups, this card is made specifically to counter one type of deck- Rainbow Road. This deck capitalises on the attack of Xerneas BKT that does 30 more damage based on the different types of Pokemon on a player’s bench. Stacking damage by having access to a large variety of Pokemon is vital in Rainbow Road which Magearna takes advantage of with an attack of its own. Magearna’s Prismatic Wave attack for a metal energy deals 20 damage times the different types on an opponents bench. Making quick use of Rainbow Road’s own strategy, Magearna boasts a huge burst of damage which can be crucial in taking the final prize cards of the game. The metal energy requirement is specific; only decks with Rainbow Energy can accommodate for Magearna. A single metal energy can be run for Magearna but it might be committing too much for a match up that may or may not appear. This card is only available in the Autumn 2016 Collector’s Chest retailing for $60 AUD making it a cheaper buy yet it’s harder to commit to acquiring since its deck reliant. Overall, this card has good potential under the right settings but otherwise may be a tech addition to Vileplume Box and Rainbow Road for the mirror match.
A promo could propel Greninja out of deep waters against its toughest match up- Garbodor’s ability lock. At first glance, the card seems ordinary and yet doing the math, it works out well to knock out Garbodor efficiently in two turns. Greninja’s Aqua Shower attack deals 20 damage to each Pokemon on an opponent’s bench which sets up a perfect knock out by Lysandre and Moonlight Slash attack from Greninja BKP. This card also acts as a quick Gyrados AOR counter by knocking out damaged Magikarps’ yet the card isn’t necessary because of Greninja BREAK’s ability. A cheap addition compared to the other promos, retailing at $9 AUD in an Evolutions Single Blister Pack. The inclusion of this card is dependent on the prevalence of Garbodor in an event. In the case of the first league challenge, a fair few appeared and might be a good indication of the need of adding one or two in a Greninja deck.
I hope this report and brief overview of the potential of these promo cards for the next league challenge serve you readers well! What are your thoughts and deck predictions for the next Brisbane league challenge? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below! Have a good one and all the best for those attending the upcoming league challenge!