Monday, December 31, 2012

The top10 decks of the current format: Part 2!


Will Landorus EX live up to its hype
on my list?

Hi everyone!


It’s New Year’s Eve, so there is nothing better to do, but to list the remaining top5 decks of the current format. If the top10-top6 wasn’t surprising for you, I’m sure that the top5 will include some big surprises for everyone. The only thing that I think you won’t be surprised of is the number one (or who knows, maybe you are?!).

My Japan’s trip will be closing in, but I’ll hopefully be able to make at least one entry before going to Japan and then bring some really great information from Japan when I get back from the trip. I hope everyone has a great New Year – I’m sure I’ll have a blast as soon as I get this entry released!

Enjoy and remember to have good time!


5. Klinklang/EXs


Well, I guess you didn’t see this one coming. I wasn’t too keen on Klinklang in the past format thanks to Hammertime autowinning against it and, because I thought that it didn’t have that good match-ups against any players that knew what they were doing against it. However, in the current format Klinklang’s story is very different. Thanks to Landorus EX, the metagame has shifted a lot from the Darkrai/Mewtwo –dominating format and this has given Klinklang a new opening.

The main factors in Klinklang’s new found success are Landorus EX (to be exact, its weakness) and Blend Energy WMFL, which makes Keldeo EX a very strong attacker. And thanks to Blend WMFL, you can use Terrakion as well. With Keldeo EX and Terrakion, you’re able to OHKO the most difficult EXs to OHKO in the format – Landorus EX and Darkrai EX. Not only can Keldeo EX OHKO Landorus EX, but it also gives the deck a lot needed every turn Switch ,which makes the deck even more awesome.

For a moment time Hydreigon was better than Klinklang, because it could abuse one of the best EX-Pokémon in the format (Darkrai EX) and could energy accelerate via Dark Patch. However, as the metagame has become more and more hostile towards Hydreigon/Darkrai EX, it has made Hydreigon/Darkrai EX weaker while at the same time making Pokémon that work with Klinklang a lot stronger. Nowadays, Klinklang doesn’t even lose in speed against decks like Eelektrik, because it can attack e.g. T1 Hammerhead just like any other Landorus EX variant.

Nonetheless, it’s still good to face the truth. Klinklang can’t energy accelerate and Hammertime still autowins it. And while Hammertime is even more popular than it was in the past format, it stops Klinklang’s advancing on this list. 5th Place isn’t bad, but without Hammertime, Klinklang could fight for the top spots of the tier1.

4. Quad Sigilyph


Wait what, am I serious? Yes I am and to be honest, I love the concept of this deck. It wouldn’t be this high on the list, if it weren’t a “new” deck, but as it’s fairly new for most players, it makes all the way to the 4th spot of this list. There are many variations of Quad Sigilyph roaming around the field since the deck is so new and the definitive list hasn’t been found yet. However, this makes the deck pretty much only better than it would be if the definitive list would’ve been found at this point of the season. Whenever you’re facing this deck, you can never know what’s going happen next and which tech they pull out of their sleeve.

The concept is brilliant since the tier1 is full of decks that main attackers are almost all EXs and maybe one or two none-EX Pokémon. Even though Sigilpyh is a horrendous attackers, it becomes quite deadly when you have 4 Sigilyphs and a bunch of Trainers to throw at your opponent’s two - for example - Terrakions.

So, here’s a hint that I can’t take an advantage of since I will be going to Japan in early January: if your metagame and area’s players are still lagging behind in the metagame and aren’t familiar with this deck, play it! Not only it’s super fun to play, it’s a very competitive deck especially in the less-developed metagame. I would love to play it in the Cities in January, but can’t. I sure hope someone does!



3. Blastoise/Keldeo EX


It was a personal surprise for me that Blastoise/Keldeo EX got this high on my list. I was VERY skeptic about the deck as soon as Boundaries Crossed was released, but thanks to Landorus EX being competitive, Blastoise/Keldeo EX became one of the best decks in the format. Landorus EX is the only reason why Blastoise/Keldeo EX is so high on this list.

Blastoise/Keldeo EX is just real anti-metagame deck even though it can be considered as a metagame deck. It has no real weaknesses in the metagame and there isn’t a direct counter against Keldeo EX. Shaymin EX is the only one that can even dream of OHKOing Keldeo EX with a low energy cost. And as the deck is prepared to use their own Mewtwo EX against possible high-energy Mewtwo EX from the opponent’s side, it has no weaknesses. However, as said, Landorus EX is two free prizes for Keldeo EX and even for Blastoise! Not to mention that Squirtle’s Ability only makes Landorus EX even more of an autowin. It almost seems like the card makers wanted to do something that wins Landorus EX even when blindfolded.

It’s also worth noting that even though Blastoise/Keldeo EX is a stage2 deck, it’s one of the most consistent decks out there when correctly built. In my opinion, this is one of the only decks in the whole format, which you can build “in a wrong way”. And it’s all about consistency. If you get the build consistent, you have a shot at winning any deck in the format, but if your build fails in consistency, you can lose to a theme deck.

The reason why this deck isn’t any higher on this list is pretty simple – the deck is a stage2 deck! No matter how consistent you make the deck, you’ll once in a while be donked by a Tornadus EX, be run by T2 Darkrai EX or lose to a late game N when you only need one energy to win the game. This format isn’t stage2 decks’ format and there is nothing that Blastoise/Keldeo EX can do to it. You can win a tournament with a stage2 deck, but in a long run, Basic decks will always win over 50% of the tournaments - at least in the current format.



2. Hammertime


And with Hammertime I mean any deck that combines Sableye, Hammers and Darkrai EX. I believe that the old school Hammertime, which I won Nationals with and the new school Landorus EX/Darkrai EX Hammertime are equally popular at the moment. I may be a bit biased when putting Hammertime to the top2 spot, but hey – it’s my list!

The reasoning behind putting Hammertime to the second place of the list are all the assets that Hammertime has and has always had. Thanks to Landorus EX, decks like Quad Sigilyph and Klinklang/EX have become more popular. And the more the format has anti-metagame decks, the better Hammertime gets. The reason why I decided to play Hammertime in Finnish Nationals was, because I knew someone was going to try to break the metagame and the common feature in rogue decks is the lack of energy acceleration. It has been this way forever in Pokémon TCG. The reason? Energy acceleration combos are the easiest to figure out thus being the most popular decks especially in the young format.

The format has evolved and as more and more rogue-like decks pop up, Hammertime gets stronger by each rogue deck. It’s also good to remember that Hammertime never went away! No, it has always been a viable deck as long as it has been public knowledge. There are so many Darkrai EX variants in the current format that many people sometimes forget about Hammertime, but whenever most players forget about Hammertime, wise Hammertime players can take an advantage of that and depress their opponents once again with unlimited Hammerspam. 

If I were to choose between Landorus/Darkrai Hammertime and Darkrai/techs/Hammertime, I would go with the latter. The reason for this is that if you keep the deck as a monotype deck, it becomes more consistent, which makes it stronger. It’s true that Landorus EX is very strong especially against Eelektrik and Hydreigon decks, but as they see decrease in play due Keldeo EX having decks, it’s time for Hammertime to adjust to the changing format as well. This is managed the best via going back to origin of Hammertime and getting it consistent, fast and endurable against possible Terrakions. Not to mention that when built and played perfectly, Hammertime could be the number 1 deck of this list. However, now it has to settle with the second place.






1. Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX


To be honest, this isn’t only my opinion, this is a fact. Landorus/Mewtwo has the most 1st and 2nd places in the City Championships and has all the qualities that a competitive deck can have (except for the energy acceleration). In my opinion, the lack of energy acceleration makes it surprising that the deck is the current BDIF. As you can see from the list, there are only 2 decks in this list that has no decent way of manipulating their energy and Landorus/Mewtwo is one of them.

In fact, Landorus/Mewtwo is so good that I made an article about it to the SixPrizes UG. Here are the reasons why Landorus/Mewtwo is – in my opinion and based on the facts – the current BDIF.

1) Landorus EX destroys single-handedly the set-up of the ex-tier1 decks – Tynamo and Deino

2) Mewtwo EX is still the hands down best card in the format

3) Just like with Darkrai/Mewtwo in the Worlds 2012 format, you get the best result by combining the two most powerful Pokémon EXs in the format

4) The deck has a lot of space and is very versatile when it comes to teching

5) It’s the most consistent deck in the format due the low amount of resources the attackers need

6) There just isn’t a straight-enough counter against this deck in the current format – Blastoise/Keldeo EX does a wonderful job due Landorus EXs resistance, but since it’s a stage2 deck, it isn’t nearly as consistent as the Basic decks of the format

Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX is the BDIF by the metagame’s will. In the perfect and equal world, it probably wouldn’t be the BDIF as its only asset would be that it’s fast. The biggest reason why Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX is so good is that it counters the most ex-tier1 decks – now tier2 decks. Landorus EX single-handedly shifted the metagame to a new direction thus making Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX the most natural pick for the number one spot.




 
Conclusion

And that’s the end of the top1 best decks of the current format as seen by me! I hope you enjoyed the both parts of these entries and that they gave you new point of views towards the metagame and these decks. I would like to make these kind of entries in the future as well and I hope you can gave me some ideas what kind of top10 lists you would like to see. They are fun to make and if I put enough effort to them, I can make them entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time. So let me hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

24 comments:

  1. I must say I'm surprised Landorus/Mewtwo placed so well but I'm even more surprised that Keldeo/Blastoise isn't 2nd, Hammertime 1st and Landorus/Mewtwo 4th with quad Sigilyph 3rd. Keldeo should overtake Landorus/Mewtwo because as you explained up above Landorus vs Keldeo is auto-win and Keldeo has it's own Mewtwo counters which aren't used for much else. Sigilyph should also overtake it because the center piece of the deck are Exs and sure you run 2 Terrakion in that deck but nothing is built to counter 4 except for rogue decks and Hammertime which I'll get to later. Hammertime should take first because it pretty much counters every deck except for zekeels and rayeels and I played it before Keldeo/Blastoise came out ever since it came out, not changing much except for 2 tech Sigilyph and I came 1st most of the time and 2nd sometimes. I'm in Perth so the only tournaments I can play are unofficial but still everyone plays BW-on along with the latest decks. In summary I think people just couldn't afford Keldeo/Blastoise because Landorus/Mewtwo would of lost horribly

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  2. I tested a bit and tbh I think Hammertime is the best Darkrai deck there is. Maybe teching a bit of fighint, but imo makes it worse at least from my testing. Hammertime is great and stuff.

    Nice list though I disagree with quad sigilyph as it is so easy to counter. Just like a couple non-EX attackers and super rod gg.Granted if people don't know about it then ok.

    Nice list though. Imo Hammertime is better than Lando/m2, but Lando/m2 has won more so it has to be BDIF at least by performance.

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  3. Where was Garbodor-variants?? :(

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    Replies
    1. Garbodor died about half way through DEX

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    2. LOL, you mean DRX.

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  4. Replies
    1. Garchomp died slowly after BC

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  5. Replies
    1. Empoleon died half way through DEX

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    2. But it made a comeback in this format full of EX's. You only take 1 prize each time you KO a Pokémon, that point is underestimated by many people.

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    3. Empoleon/Landorus definitely has a good enough matchup chart against these 10 to be here. Its bad matchup (straight eel) is a lot less prevalent, and it has great game against Hammertime and Mewtwo/Landorus. It can have some bad starts against Landorus (which is why it's not tier 1) but Emolga and Ditto can mitigate this, and the likelihood of actually starting nothing but Piplups is very low. It even has a great time running RayEels out of gas, especially if you tech a Psyduck; early Landorus pressure followed by making them KO 3-4 Empoleons is not something they can easily do.

      I'll admit its Blastoise/Keldeo matchup is not stellar, but it's not bad either. I think the only reason this deck hasn't taken a few cities is because it's not getting played, for whatever reason.

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  6. Replies
    1. by Charizard you mean what? Keldeo's meal?

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  7. I dont even understand why Landorus/Mewtwo did so well. Are those the only pokemon in the deck?? What makes it so good? Max potion? Energy Switch? Hammers? I just dont get it:/

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    Replies
    1. I think to reason it did so well is because people forgot to use Keldeo/blastoise or couldn't afford it. Anyways just 1 card can be used to screw Landorus which is Eviolite. Plus Quad Sigilyph is auto-win against it and I think people forgot about that deck as well. Landorus/Mewtwo probably won by sheer luck besides when the Keldeo tins come out Landorus will be destroyed! :)

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    2. I don't completely agree with you. Keldeo/Blastoise was used throughout the Cities format and won a lot of tournaments. According to The Top Cut's website, Keldeo/Blastoise has had the most wins, top 2s and top 4s, of any deck for the first two weeks of Cities. Eviolite does not destroy Landorus EX; Tool Scrapper easily gets rid of eviolites, and Landorus still hits for weakness on Darkrai, Deinos, and Tynamos. Hammerhead is not Landorus EX's only attack, Land's Judgement is also a very good attack and continues to hurt Darkrai decks greatly. Quad Sigilyph does not auto win against Landorus/Mewtwo either. Need I remind you that most Sigilyph decks play Mewtwo as well? Or the fact that you can add Bouffalant, Terrakion, or even Garbodor to fight against Sigilyph? Landorus/Mewtwo has more than enough room to counter its weaknesses and still be consistent. Also, any deck can have a bad start rendering itself useless giving the opponent an easy win. Not trying to be offensive, but I think you should do more research before saying one deck is garbage and that it only wins on luck and another deck is the best, but no one plays it.

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  8. Let me ask something (sorry if has no reason here) but all old trainers are now trainers - item cards?
    For example, a old energy removal card, is now a trainer - item card?

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    Replies
    1. It was a change made coming into the BW-era, mainly to make it more comprehensible.

      There now are three categories: Pokémon, Energy and Trainer.

      Trainer has three sub-categories: Stadium, Supporter and Item (everything else).

      I personally think this is a better categorization than before, but some dislike it.

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  9. Yes, all old "trainers" are now "trainer-items". Which means that all old supporters are now "trainer-supporters". This was done for sake of clarity, but the general consensus seems to be Pokemon spells CLARITY: C O N F U S I O N.

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  10. Hey, sorry for the late reply everyone! It’s great to see a lot of discussion and different opinions!

    Anonymous1: It’s good to remember that the number one spot was just awarded to the most well-doing deck of the time when the article was written. The differences in top3 are in my opinion very small and it seems that as Landorus EX was the best doing deck 2 weeks ago (when this entry was written), Marathons turned the whole top3 upside down and made Blastoise/Keldeo EX the most successful deck of the Cities. In the end, as I said in the article, Landorus EX is the reason behind Blastoise/Keldeo EXs huge success and now that Blastoise/Keldeo EX is the BDIF (at least when looking at the standings), there will be counters found against it as well.



    When it comes to the Garbodor, Empoleon and Garchomp/Altaria that were asked, you can just look at the Cities results and find your answer from there. The decks aren’t dead in my opinion (except for Garchomp/Altaria), but they just aren’t played by the right people in the correct metagame. Especially Garbodor has in my opinion a huge potential since Blastoise has been getting more and more popular during the past two weekends.

    I pretty much agree behind the Anonymous argument on the Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX’s well-doing. Blastoise/Keldeo EX has been taking over Cities as most people have gotten their cards for it. The most competitive players will get Keldeo EX’s no matter the price even though it’s printed in a tin, and this has finally lead to Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX to be pushed to the second spot of Cities standings while Blastoise/Keldeo EX finally claimed the first spot. I don’t expect any counter against Blastoise/Keldeo EX in the Cities, but it’s very probable that we’ll see one of them in Regionals and ECC.

    Also, I’m an old school player, so I’m not yet accustomed on saying Items when I mean Items and not Trainers in general. I’ve said “Trainer” for 10 years now and they expect me to say Item just like that! That’s too much to be asked in my opinion, haha.

    Great discussion guys! Hope to see more of them in the future! The Decklist Out will be updated soon as well, so wait for it!

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  11. Esa, have you ever heard of empoleon-dusknoir-landorus ex (empire)? Empoleon lives1

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  12. Came in 4 1st 3 2nd and 2 3rd with darkrai/hydragon -Sam age 9 P.S. nice deck

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