Local League Pokemon Metagame!

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Knowing that Pokemon Melbourne Nationals is a few days away, it’s in good interest to see what decks players are inclined to. These decks come to reveal themselves through playing at local leagues with friends.

The Pokemon league that I most frequent is Gametraders at the Chermside Shopping Centre located in Brisbane. They hold three round tournaments split into beginner and advanced tiers- Tier 2 and 1 respectively. These tournaments are held every Saturday from 3:30 to 6:30pm with seating provided in the foodcourt. I find playing decks against other opponents in Gametraders is always fun because predicting what’s going to be there is random at best.

The league I will largely be covering is the one held last week. During this day, the number of players in Tier 1 were vastly under the usual turnout- only 7 people showed up on the day. However, having an overview of the meta game despite its size can often give a huge insight on what decks could turn up on the day.

These are the decks that appeared at this league:

  • MegaScpetile EX
  • Night March
  • Trevenant/Alakazam EX/ Wobbuffet
  • Pyroar
  • Serperior/Vespiquen
  • Greninja
  • Genesect EX/Bronzong/Aegislash

1. Metal

The winner of this tournament was won by Genesect EX/Bronzong/Aegislash– a metal deck increasing with popularity since its debut at Italy’s Pokemon National Championship, piloted to second place by Simone Z. This formidable deck has energy acceleration from Bronzong and Max Elixers and the ability to adapt to any situation. This includes  Aegislash EX to stop attacks from decks that run special energy and Bronzong BREAK’s late game surprise attack, “Metal Rain” able to snipe benched Pokemon. Rounding off this deck is Genesect EX’s supporting ability to interchange tools attached to itself, giving the deck the ability to conserve tool resources and to reuse those tools in less favoured situations.  

Genesect EXGenesect EX’s ability also has an interesting interaction where it can deny tools such as HeadRinger placed by opponents which can prove useful against decks that run disruption tools. This deck’s straightforward set up is easy to understand for players, however, its playstyle beyond that is tricky to master. Timing when to remove tools from Genesect EX and using those tools appropriately isn’t easy without hours put into playtesting against other decks.

2. Night March

Coming in second is Night March– a deck everyone seems to loathe and counter. Night March is a strong choice in the current standard metagame, rated as a Tier 1 deck. The strategy of the deck revolves around the attack, “Night March” shared by Joltik, Pumpkaboo and Lampent. Sending these following Pokemon to the discard pile fuels the Night March attack and causes the deck to deal burst damage within a short period of time. This deck plays with a consistent, item based draw engine with the use of Acro Bike, Trainer’s Mail and Battle Compressor to thin the deck and to be able to reach its high damage output. Along with damage, NightMarch has an advantageous prize trade due to its main attackers being Non EX Pokemon; giving up only one prize when knocked out.

The item heavy draw engine allows Night March to run a low count of supporters. PumpkabooThis is because Night March can get to its limited amount of supporters through VS Seeker; a card that lets players take any supporter from their discard pile. Being able to constantly draw and thin the deck, obtaining VS Seeker through the deck becomes consistent. This deck’s strategy and playstyle is easy to understand and execute with precision. However, the deck can be problematic and players who aren’t careful can easily discard too many resources. Knowing when to thin the deck just enough requires a large amount of practice.

3. Final Thoughts

Looking past the results, Pyroar making its appearance was surprising and although being unfavourable for Metal and Nightmarch, both of those decks have access to Hex Maniac going through Pyroar’s ability, rendering this match up winnable for Metal and Night March decks. The majority of decks that appeared in this league were geared towards countering Waterbox and Greninja decks due to their grass weakness. Yet, there was no one playing Waterbox or much item lock in general aside from the player with the Trevenant/Alakazam EX/ Wobbuffet deck.

The lack of Item Lock in this event lead me to believe that something has changed within the couple of weeks making Item Lock an unpopular choice.  The decline in conventional Item Lock decks could be influenced by the recent emergence of Darkrai/Garbador/Giritina having a type advantage to Trevenant. In conclusion, the successful decks in this small league competition have shown what was popular and what people could be inclined to play at Pokemon Melbourne Nationals. To find out more about potential decks to play for Melbourne head to the official Pokemon Trading Card Game Website that offers decklists and advice on a variety of decks.

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