|Virizion EX is the new "I'm good at every deck"-card|
I was going to make another PTCGO giveaway contest today, but then changed my mind. After all, I haven't discussed the upcoming rotation at all in my blog yet!
If you didn't yet know, it’s official now and it has been for a while, but due to my hectic life in the summer I am bit late to analyze the changes. The next format will be Next Destinies-on! And what will that mean for the game and for the upcoming format? That’s what I am here today to discuss. What is even more interesting is the fact that they released the possible “alternative format” alongside the “modified” format starting late 2014. What kind of impact that will have to the game? That will be very interesting to see. If you haven’t yet seen the official announcement, check it out here: http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/op_2014_format_rotation-2013-07-16/
Anyways, today I’ll be discussing, which cards will be out of the game in the next format and what it means for some decks. I’ll also take a look at the cards that are more viable now that certain cards have been rotated out. I might have missed the rotation of some cards, so feel free to comment if you notice anything lacking in my analysis!
Remember that the rotation takes place AFTER Worlds, so Worlds’ will be still played with the BW-on format.
Oh and one more thing. The Top Cut Invitational that I had last year priviledge to attend to is organized this year again. This time, The Top Cut needs your vote in order to decide the remaining contestant of the tournament! I voted for Sami Sekkoum, who is your vote? If you haven't yet voted, you can vote here: http://thetopcut.net/2013/07/20/vote-for-the-last-member-of-the-top-cut-invitational/ The tournament is just something very special and I encourage everyone to follow it!
Anyways, Let's get going.
What will be rotated out
Gothitelle (Emerging Powers)
If we are looking at the current metagame, the rotation of Gothitelle must be THE biggest thing. Gothitelle is a tier1 deck that you have to counter if you want to do well in the current format. We will see a lot of Gothitelles and Gothitelle counters in the Worlds Championships of 2013, but to be honest I believe that the rotation of Gothitelle is only a good thing. If you build Gothitelle correctly in the current format, you will get almost every time a T2 Gothitelle up. After that you can very quickly get the lock going with Accelgor and your opponent can’t do anything, The deck is not fun and there is no point of having a deck in the format, which you have to counter if you don’t want to do well in a tournament.
The loss of Gothitelle may also open up new opportunities for decks that concentrate even more on Items. I don’t know if it’s a good thing (the decks that abuse Items are often speed decks), but at least it brings more versatility to the deck building. Overall, I think that no one will miss Gothitelle, because it's almost unfairly good at the moment and very very boring to play against.
Eelektrik (Noble Victories)
Eelektrik decks have wandered between tier1 and tier2 as long as they have existed. It’s finally time for them to be rotated out. I’m sure that other energy accelerators will be released in the future and that a substitute for Eelektrik will be quickly found. It may not be a Lighting type energy accelerator, but nevertheless energy acceleration Abilites will never leave the game completely. At the moment, Eelektrik is overpowered by Accelgor/Gothitelle, so it’s a shame that they will be rotated out at the same time, but oh well… I was never an Eelektrik fan!
Energy Switch is a nice tech card in many decks, but there is one deck that will suffer the most from the rotation of Energy Switch - Darkrai EX variants. After the rotation of Energy Switch they must completely rely on Dark Patch and Scramble Switch. Is that enough? I doubt it. The format won’t be any slower next season and since Darkrai EX will lose an important piece of its speed, it may very well end up being a tier2 deck. However, even without Energy Switch, Darkrai EX is still tier2 deck at worst. It has great HP, great attack and superb synergy with Sableye, so don’t go selling your Darkrai EXs just yet. It may very well surprise us in the next format. In the end, I believe Energy Switch will be reprinted soon, so I wouldn’t worry about losing Energy Switch that much for the time being.
As I won Nationals with Hammertime and got to top8 of Worlds with Energy Removal 2, I have always had a soft spot for Crushing Hammer in my heart. I think it’s sad to lose one crucial part of Hammerspam, but to be honest I also believe that they will reprint Crushing Hammer (with the same or different name) in the very close in the future. It’s good to remember that before Crushing Hammer was released, its name was Energy Removal 2 and it has been in our format almost 10-years almost in a row. There are just some cards that Pokémon doesn’t want to get rid of for good and I believe Crushing Hammer is one of them as it’s crucial part of all the disruption decks that have ever existed.
Most cards that have been rotated out have the same thing in common – they are usually viable in only one certain deck. As for Energy Retrieval, it was the most popular in Blastoise variants. However, thanks to Superior Energy Retrieval, Blastoise doesn’t really miss Energy Retrieval anymore. Sure, one Energy Retrieval would be a nice tech in Blastoise variants, but it’s nothing that would make Blastoise that much better that it's irreplaceable. Energy Retrieval is one of those cards that will be silently rotated out while most people don’t even realize that it is rotated out!
Super Scoop Up
Is this card really even played anymore? Max Potion does the job of Super Scoop Up in almost every deck – except Max Potion does it even better. Super Scoop Up is a card that we would seldom see in Blastoise variants, but thanks to Gothitelle, it is just one dead card more in Blastoise nowadays. I’m sure that if they don’t reprint Super Scoop Up, people will soon start to miss it, if coming-into-play Abilities (which are good for the skill-level of the game by the way) will increase. However, at the moment, Super Scoop Up isn’t really a card that makes any difference in the current metagame.
Most decks in the current format run 12-15 Pokémon. This way, it really isn’t prudent to play Pokémon Communication in the metagame decks. Pokémon Communication is the best in Acclegor/Gothitelle, because it often runs the biggest amount of Pokémon from the current metagame’s decks and as you know Gothitelle will be rotated out. So, where does it leave Pokémon Communication? It leaves Pokémon Communication into a situation, where no one really misses it. I also believe that they won’t reprint Pokémon Communication as long as they like to keep the game Basic EX-based as Basic EX decks don’t really need It due to their low Pokémon counts. Pokémon Communication has been in our format for a long time and it has been one of the best cards in the metagame for a long time, but now it’s just ancient history.
What can we expect the tier 1 to look like in the Battle Roads?
I don’t usually do things like this, but now I feel like predicting the metagame tiers for Battle Roads. Last year the results of western Battle Roads were very similar to Japanese tournaments results (excluding Garchomp/Altaria's failure) and I believe it’s good to look for advice from Japan once again. Anyways, here is what I believe the tiers of Autumn Battle Roads and Regionals will look like.
1. Genesect EX/Virizion EX variants
I believe Genesect EX will be the BDIF in the upcoming format just like Hydreigon/Darkrai EX was arguably the brief period last autumn. With the help of G-Booster, Genesect EX is the perfect attacker. It OHKOS anything and everything. No questions asked. Never has such a card existed in this game and it’s only natural that it’s the BDIF thanks to solid energy acceleration help from Virizion EX. Virizion Ex's Ability also plays a huge role in making the deck the probable BDIF. The lack of Energy Switch is the only thing that can keep this deck from being the undisputed BDIF, because even though the deck can energy accelerate, the lack of Energy Switch causes a bit of immobility for the deck, which is a big weakness.
2. Team Plasma variants
More and more Plasma counter cards will be released in the upcoming sets and that is the biggest reason why I think Genesect variants will do better than the current Plasma variants. However, these normal Plasma variants aren’t going anywhere. They still hit hard, fast and are super consistent. Not to mention that they will probably be the most popular deck to play in the Battle Roads due to the accessibility of the cards in the deck thanks to cheap Deoxys and Thundurus EXs, which will be released as Promos in early autumn. Plasma variants will probably win more Battle Roads than Genesect EX variants, just because the standard Plasma is now much cheaper.
3. Blastoise variants
The only expensive card in Blastoise variants is Tropical Beach and that’s the only thing that keeps Blastoise from conquering the whole metagame. Ok, of course Genesect EX and Virizion EX can easily keep up with Blastoise now as well due to their natural type advantage, but most other decks just lose when Blastoise gets a good set-up. Blastoise is the most autopilot deck in the upcoming format and I don’t think it will do great in Masters, but in Juniors it will probably wreak havoc in the autumn tournaments. Also, if Tropical Beach will be released as the Worlds Promo once again, it makes Blastoise a bit more playable again since Tropical Beach is more and more common.
All these tier2 decks have something in common – they have bad match-up against Genesect EX/Virizion EX. Trubbishes damage output isn’t enough against Genesect. Klinklang’s Ability won’t have any effect against G-Booster. Hydreigon variants will lose, because their attackers will be OHKOed, the same goes with Darkrai EX/Absol and Quad Snorlax can’t do anything, because Virizion EX negates all the special conditions!
I often say that even though I don’t want to pour fuel to the hype flames, it’s still good to wake up to the realities of the next season. Virizion EX gives already good Genesect EX energy acceleration and a counter against Hypnotoxic Laser. You have to somehow find a way to stop a Pokémon that hits 200 through everything and can’t be disrupted by Special Conditions. There is one thing I can tell you – that won’t be too easy. If you won’t be playing in the Worlds, I suggest you start testing with Genesect EX right now and see how powerful it is (or is it that powerful at all?).
The current time of the season is difficult for a blogger like me, because I haven’t been testing the new format much and can’t really show you any decklists. At the same time, there is no point of doing articles from the current format’s decks, because only a handful of players will go to Worlds and I am sure that they can do their own testing, and don’t need my help. After all they have qualified for Worlds Championships!
Anyways, whether you are going to Worlds or are already testing for the current format, I hope you enjoyed the article today and found it useful. As always, feel free to comment on anything, I’m more than glad to discuss anything and it may very well be that I missed some crucial card that will be rotated out.
Thanks for reading!