Our first Pokémon league challenge last Sunday has come to a close, and with it marks the introduction of the new set, Guardians Rising, to Standard Play here in Brisbane. I’ll be featuring the Top 4 tournament results, deck spotlight and a Q/A session with first place player- Alex Jemison who went undefeated with a final record of 4 wins and 1 tie. Standings for the league challenge are as follows:
First Place- Espeon GX/Decidueye/ Flareon
Second Place- Greninja
Third Place- Decidueye/ Vileplume/ Ninetales
Fourth Place- Mega Mewtwo/ Wobbufett
3 Rowlet, 3 Dartrix, 3 Decidueye, 2 Tapu Lele GX, 2 Shaymin EX, 1 Trubbish, 1 Garbodor, 3 Eevee, 2 Espeon GX, 1 Espeon EX, 1 Flareon
2 Professor Sycamore, 2 N, 1 Lysandre, 1 Hex Maniac, 1 Skyla, 1 Olympia, 4 Ultra Ball, 3 Level Ball, 3 VS Seeker, 2 Float Stone, 2 Choice Band, 1 Field Blower, 1 Super Rod, 1 Rescue Stretcher, 3 Forest of Giant Plants
6 Psychic Energy, 4 Double Colourless
Q/A with Alex Jemison
Q1) What were the matchups you found the hardest?
“I was expecting the hardest matchups to be Decidueyes’ /Lurantis and Sylveon due to their easy set up and high hp. My primary psychic attack is in my opponents’ control, which makes both Sylveon and Lurantis a problem. On the tournament day, Vikavolt GX was a hard match up. This is because of my unfamiliarity with the deck and its ability to change gears and promote new charged up attackers.”
Q2) How do you feel about your low supporter count?
” Low supporter count was a compromise for spaces in different places. It is mitigated by two Tapu Lele GX. For me, it hurts as I have played two Lysander in every deck for the past year. In 2 out of the 10 games I played over the weekend I had very poor starts after being N’d out of a playable hand.”
Q3) If you could change any cards, what would they be?
“If I had access to more Garbodors I would play a 2-2 or 3-3 and sacrifice a 1-1-1 line of Decidueye.”
Q4) Was your deck building informed by media coverage on meta decks or completely forged by yourself? Or a bit of both?
“I felt it was a bit of both. I was mostly looking for flexibility and control. Having control over your opponent from either of these two circumstances is amazing. This includes Lysandre on a non attacking supporter Pokémon and using Decidueye’s Feather Arrow Ability and Divide GX is strong. Using Espeon GX’s first attack for confusion on primary attackers is satisfying; seeing the mental anguish of your opponent having to flip a coin to attack.”
Q5) How do you think this deck would fare in a bigger tournament (Regionals, Nationals etc)
“I think it would do average not great. During the weekend, I wanted flexibility and for larger events you would need consistency by having higher supporter counts and a clear game plan would be the go which would make this deck quite different.”
As we are nearing regionals in Sydney, Perth and Auckland on these respective dates, deck choice is crucial to success in large scale events. From Seattle Regionals, we can see that the deck majority resides with Garbodor/Drampa which deals consistent damage based around decks that require items to function- essentially all meta decks including itself. Although Garbodor/Drampa has a proven track record, there were none during Toowoomba’s League Challenge.
This could be attributed to the recent release of the set and inefficient sourcing of cards; which Alex makes note of in Question 3. Not only that, low level tournaments encourage experimentation with new deck ideas and the reinvention of known archetypes. I believe his deck would perform in a large scale tournament by following his response to Question 3: adding consistency through his Garbodor line. This would focus on getting a main attacker out rather than trying to counter opponents with situational cards.
However, with the small pool of decks in this League Challenge, he made a good call to add those situational cards. This is because the types of decks he expects are deck archetypes susceptible to fire weakness such as Decidueye/Vileplume. Against other decks, he relies on the consistent damage output from Espeon GX’s attack, Psychic which does more damage based on the energy attached to the opponent’s active Pokémon. Overall, an innovative and smart deck build that plays around existing archetypes.
Hope that you all enjoyed this tournament report! Let us know your thoughts on the best deck for the upcoming regional tournaments down in the comments below! If you liked this article and would like more, support us on our Patreon and follow our Facebook Page for our latest updates!