A Metagame: Regional Championships, Prague Cup and beyond!

Before I begin this expected very long article (Note: read this only if you have about ten-twenty mins spare, as this much will allow you to fully understand not trying to sound like a bad person) I have to give my thanks to the YouTube user PokeRemixStudio, as his music allowed me to write this article without being too bored, here’s the link to his channel: www.youtube.com/user/PokeRemixStudio now then without any further delays allow me to begin.

At the time of writing it is under 1 week until the Prague Cup for us European players, and less than 2 for Regionals. In between all this a new set is released to stores and leagues near you, (how I wish I could have a local league) this will all affect the meta hugely. So today I will give a full analysis on the metagame and what decks I predict will either win in the Prague Cup or in the regionals in the US.

[Editor note: Sorry for the lateness ;) ]

The meta is divided into about seven different decks at around the tier one mark, what’s cool about this is that all the seven have strong matchups against some but fall to another. It allows any one person to stand above the rest with just the right amount of skill and luck; as such I will discuss all of the seven decks I feel are around the tier one mark.

My first deck will start with my most played as shown from my other two articles on this site. Reshiram/Typhlosion, here is my testing list:

Reshiram/Typhlosion

Pokemon – 14 T/S/S – 34 Energy – 12
3 Reshiram BW
4-2-4 Typhlosion Prime
1 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Professor Juniper
4 Sage’s Training
4 Pokemon Collector
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Plus Power
3 Pokemon Catcher
3 Junk Arm
3 Pokemon Communication
2 Pokegear 3.0
1 Switch
1 Revive
10 Fire Energy
2 Rescue Energy

I have already brought up the Pros and Cons of this deck in a past article of mine, if you want to see them look there as it would be a waste of mine and your time re-showing them.

  1. I believe this deck will do extremely well in the Prague Cup and many Regionals for many reasons, which I will now state:
  2. This deck had the most Top 4 places at Battle Roads in the US this season therefore it will see high numbers of play
  3. It is a very easy deck to buy and use requiring only tin promos for the main Pokémon lines to build, due to Reshiram and Typhlosion both being tin cards
  4. It has very few weaknesses faltering near enough only to a Trainer Lock such as Vileplume or Gothitelle, when played with Reuniclus to deny knockouts on their Pokémon

The second deck I think will do well is The Truth otherwise known as Reuniclus/Vileplume. This is a deck I’ve seen around recently online and I’ve tried a testing list being:

The Truth

Pokemon – 29 T/S/S – 20 Energy – 11
3-2-2 Vileplume UD
3-2-2 Reuniclus BW
2-2 Donphan Prime
1-1 Blissey Prime
1-1 Suicune/Entei Legend
1-1 Kyogre/Groudon Legend
2 Zekrom BW
2 Pichu HS
1 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Twins
4 Pokemon Collector
4 Sage’s Training
3 Rare Candy
3 Pokemon Communication
2 Seeker
4 Double Colourless
4 Rainbow Energy
2 Fighting Energy
1 Fire Energy

Before I go into the pros and cons of the deck I would like to explain the Kyogre/Groudon Legend tech. To most people this would be a ridiculous tech in a Vileplume/Reuniclus deck, mostly because of the fact that it needs four energies to attack. But this card is very powerful in the right hands, it has 150hp which means it is an amazing damage sponge for Reuniclus and secondly its attack “Mega Tidal Wave” is a game ender. For two Water and two other energy cards you can discard the top five cards off of your opponents deck and for each energy you discard, every Pokémon on the opposing bench takes 30 damage.

This means you can deck your opponent out if they have a little deck size and you want to win. It’s a very nice tech and I would implore you on trying it to see for yourself.

The pros of this deck are:

  1. It has a trainer lock on the opponent denying them resources for knockouts throughout the game
  2. It can use Reuniclus to deny any prizes being taken
  3. It’s a very hard deck to stop once set up

But the cons are:

  1. It has one of the worst games on time possibly due to a lack of attackers until you drop Twins
  2. It’s a hard deck to play as a beginner due to needing the knowledge of where it’s suitable to drop damage counters
  3. It has a hard time in Top Cut situations due to having to win game three without going to time

I believe this deck will do well is because it has favourable matchups against the Big Three decks of Gothitelle, Zekrom and Reshiram due to the Trainer lock and prize denial.

My third deck is one of the decks I just mentioned, Gothitelle/Reuniclus. This deck is very powerful due to the fact it has a one sided Trainer lock on the opponent as well as Reuniclus to heal any damage off it. The deck could also possibly Serperior as well to heal from 10-20 damage each and every turn.

Gothitelle/Reuniclus

Pokemon – 23 T/S/S – 26 Energy – 11
4-1-3 Gothitelle EP
3-1-2 Reuniclus BW
2-1-2 Serperior BW
2 Zekrom BW
1 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Pokemon Communication
4 Pokemon Collector
4 Rare Candy
4 Twins
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Junk Arm
2 Copycat
2 Pokemon Catcher
7 Psychic Energy
2 Rainbow Energy
2 Double Colourless Energy

Gothitelle is your best play in a format full of Reshiram and Zekrom due to you near enough auto win vs. those two, as you deny them even killing Gothitelle while you can deal constant one shots.

The pros for the deck are:

  1. It’s a one sided Trainer lock meaning you have 100% advantage usually during a game and let’s face it, who doesn’t play Trainer cards?
  2. It almost auto wins vs. Reshiram and Zekrom which is very helpful as they are the two most winning decks in the game (not the best though)

The cons for the deck are:

  1. It has a ridiculously terrible game vs. anything with Mew Prime in there as normally they have Cinccino or Jumpluff which can destroy your Gothitelles every single time
  2. Like The Truth/Ross deck, it has a really terrible sudden death game due to it needing a Twins engine
  3. It’s susceptible to donks as it runs multiple low HP Pokémon like Cleffa and Solosis

This deck will be played in high numbers for its good Dragon matchup, but I doubt there would be much else to it if I’m honest.

My fourth deck will be the last that runs 4 Twins at a high tier level, and it is Mew Toolbox/Lock. This deck is seeing new hype recently with the heavy amount of Gothitelle and Reshiram being played due to it having good matchups vs. both.

Mew Toolbox/Lock

Pokemon – 28 T/S/S – 20 Energy – 12
4 Mew Prime
4-4 Yanmega Prime
3-2-2 Vileplume UD
2-2 Sunflora HS
2 Muk UD
2 Cinccino BW
1 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Twins
4 Pokemon Collector
3 Judge
3 Copycat
3 Rare Candy
3 Pokemon Communication
8 Psychic Energy
2 Rescue Energy
2 Double Colourless Energy

Mew Toolbox is a very good play in a format filled with Reshiram/Typhlosion and Gothitelle, due to you pulling up the high retreaters and then knocking them out, but it has its disadvantages due to its possibly low output and low HP attackers.

The pros of playing Mew Toolbox are:

  1. It has a trainer lock strategy
  2. It has good matchups against two of the three best decks in the format
  3. Its main attackers mostly have free retreat

The cons of playing Mew Toolbox however are:

  1. It has a really long set up making games go to time often
  2. It has the worst sudden death game I can possibly think of
  3. It needs several turns to get its attackers going

My fifth deck will be Zekrom/Tornadus. This deck is amazing due to you only playing Basics meaning you can attack turn 1 if you are lucky enough that is. Here’s a list:

Zekrom/Tornadus

Pokemon – 12 T/S/S – 33 Energy – 15
4 Tornadus EP
3 Zekrom BW
2 Pachirisu CL
2 Shaymin UL
1 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Professor Juniper
4 Pokemon Collector
4 Sage’s Training
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
PokeGear 3.0
4 Pokemon Catcher
4 Junk Arm
3 Plus Power
2 Defender
11 Lightning Energy
4 Double Colourless Energy

Zekrom, being the fastest deck in the format, usually loses to the slower decks if they set up like Gothitelle or Reshiram/Typhlosion delivering constant OHKO’s, but otherwise it has good matchups against everything else.

The pros of Zekrom are:

  1. It’s a very linear deck going through two or three attacks the entire game usually being “Outrage” “Bolt Strike” and “Hurricane”
  2. It has good matchups against most of the format
  3. It doesn’t need to evolve

The cons of Zekrom are:

  1. It usually doesn’t win against slow decks such as Gothitelle or Reshiram/Typhlosion
  2. It has no way of taking out Legend Pokémon easily such as Kyogre/Groudon Legend, meaning they can deliver prizes easily (situational as it is)

The sixth deck of this list will be Magnezone/Yanmega, a deck that did very well at the World Championships this year. Here’s my testing list:

Magnezone/Yanmega

Pokemon – 20 T/S/S – 30 Energy – 10
4-2-4 Magnezone Prime
4-4 Yanmega Prime
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Pachirisu CL
4 Pokemon Collector
4 Judge
4 Copycat
4 Pokemon Communication
4 Rare Candy
4 Junk Arm
3 Pokemon Catcher
2 Twins
1 Switch
8 Lightning Energy
2 Rescue Energy

Yanmega/Magnezone is a good deck because it can effectively reach infinite damage with “Lost Burn” which is extremely helpful against Reshiram/Typhlosion, but is a hindrance as well due to Typhlosion Prime discarding energy with “Flare Destroy”. Gothitelle is also tough since it can deny you prizes you may desperately need.

The pros of Yanmega/Magnezone are:

  1. It has good matchups against anything Trainer lock or Reshiram based
  2. It has decent speed with Yanmega Prime
  3. It works very well once set up fully

The cons of Yanmega/Magnezone are:

  1. Magnezone has three retreat cost so Catcher is an issue
  2. Donphan can often OHKO Magnezone with “Earthquake” and Plus Power or “Heavy Impact”
  3. It takes time to set up often needing Twins

Finally my seventh and last deck of this article are the Stage 1 Variants. A list I used is:

Stage 1s

Pokemon – 15 T/S/S – 30 Energy – 12
2-2 Donphan Prime
2-2 Zoroark BW
3-3 Yanmega Prime
1-1 Lanturn Prime
1 Boufallant BW
1 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Pokemon Collector
4 Sage’s Training
4 Judge
4 Copycat
4 Pokemon Communication
4 Junk Arm
3 Plus Power
3 Pokemon Catcher
4 Double Colourless Energy
5 Fighting Energy
3 Rainbow Energy

Stage 1 variants are usually fast decks that attack on turn two; it’s a less consistent Zekrom as you will attack on turn two while Zekrom has the turn 1 option. I still think Stage 1’s will win because consistency is key in the HS-on format.

The pros of Stage 1s are:

  1. It nearly always attacks turn two
  2. Can tech against the big decks e.g: Lanturn Prime
  3. It’s a nice deck to pilot when you don’t feel like playing the top decks

The cons of Stage 1s are:

  1. Zekrom is faster than Stage 1s
  2. They have to evolve meaning the Basics are snipeable targets
  3. It autolosses to Trainer Lock decks

I hope you have enjoyed my almost 2000 word article. (I seriously don’t get how some people on SixPrizes Underground can write over 5000 words) Comment below on what you thought and what will win the most Regionals.

Thanks from Oli!

Posted by at November 10, 2011
Filed in category: TCG Articles,
  • Anonymous

    7 lists?! This was a nice read and should give people some good lists to start testing against.

  • oliver barnett

    Cheers man, to be honest I needed to write this for testing purposes :) so I can go back and see what is good. I’m very fickle, I also thought you lot might like this anyways since there’s not that much on here yet.

  • oliver barnett

    Hope all of you enjoy! comment below on what you think and have a nice day :)

  • Quarter-Turn

    This is a great article. I really enjoyed reading it all the way through, and felt like helped me prepare for the decks to face come Regionals. Thanks so much, and please keep writing articles!

  • oliver barnett

    Trust me man I will, even trying to apply for the front page on SixPrizes as we speak

  • Andrew Carbon

    Great article Oli! Worth the read, you analyzed each of the top decks well.
    It’s great that we have so many top decks to choose from this format. I also think we should get used to seeing these decks, I believe most of them will be around for quite a while, at least until we start to see the new EX cards come out.

  • oliver barnett

    Thanks man, glad you liked it! i’ll be sure to do the same in the future