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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 1, Episode 3 · 2 years ago

2b. Expanding Our Horizons

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Right, everybody. What is up? Welcome back to tag team with our first bonus episode. This is onlygoing to be on audio platforms, that being spotify, stitcher, itunes.Is there another one? I'm for getting to W Google? Google. Ohyes, fresh on Google as well, and so JW is obviously out thispast week. Did Aaron did a wonderful job, but we figured we'd alsotalk some more about some other things and also incentivize you to listen in toour audio platforms. So as part of our first bonus episode we thought we'dFocus in on the expanded format. So I see no reason not to jumpright into it. Expanded is coming up in the next couple weeks. Wehave Richmond and Portland and short succession, both in the unified minds expanded format. A lot of different decks and different strategies are poised to do well,depending on who you ask. I think we have lots of people in theMEWTO camp, lots of people in the archies camp, lots of people indark camp, some people in the control camp and expanded seems to have birtha wide array of strategies that could all seem to do well, depending onwho picks it up and how the list look Gw you've tested a lot ofexpanded so far, haven't you? I have. Yeah, so what whatpushed you to delve so deep into the expanded format so early on? Well, there's just so much that you can do. I made a list ofjust every possible deck that I thought could see play now. That could belike a tier one archetype, something like blast toys or mew two, allthe way down to those kind of counter deck or rogue decks like, youknow, maybe hit Mon Shan Or, you know, even like a Malamaror something, and I counted over twenty different variants, you know, differentdecks that you could play and expanded and that have some type of merit inthe expanded format. So obviously, when you're talking about twenty plus decks,that's just a ton of information, a ton of different cards, a tonof different interactions, and I wanted to get really deep into that to notbe, you know, fooled when the time came, to not look atsomething and not know what it was going to do to me when I gotto the tournament. So that is why I've dealt so deeply into expanded andit's really been a fun time, I gotta say. So. I knowthat you, more than maybe any of my friends is, are someone wholikes to jump really deep into a deck and figure out all the intricacies ofit, all of its matchups, really in depth, as opposed to testinga wide array of decks, at least in my experience. So I knowyou test a lot of guard of our and with the Mewtwo Mega Guard ofour variant, that is, and that seems to be your top deck inthe moment. It so what kind of brought you to that stage? Imean, in the standard format, it feels like all the decks, Idon't want to say saying are saying, but they're like a similar power level. You can kind of pick any of them up and they all feel decent. I mean too obviously stands out compared to the rest of them. Expanded, though, there's so many different combos and so many different things you haveto account for. How did you reframe your mindset to get to the pointwhere you're testing a deck like this? Well, that's kind of it.There are so many choices that I almost feel like it's best to make adecision in the expanded format on a deck that you know is like near thetop and just run with that, find out it's weaknesses, find out itsstrengths and just dig, dig, dig into that deck. You just haveto make that choice. That initial choice, I think is so important because,you know, I have testing groups that say, you know, turbodark is really good. I've testing groups that say, you know, ofcourse blast choice is the number one deck and like how do you decide?You know, how do you decide?...

I really think that when you're testinga format as wide open as expanded, you just want to take that onedeck that you feel very confident in after your, you know, initial playthroughso the of the supposed Meta and just dig really, really deep. SoI just I just think it comes down to there's so much to choose from. You can get lost in the choice. You know, you go to theGrocery Store and there's twenty five different brands of peanut butter. How doyou make a choice? Well, for me, I'll pick the one thatthis one is on sale. Seems like a good choice. I'll take ithome and then maybe next week, you know, I'll go out to theother one that's on sale. I think what I'm trying to say is likeyou can get paralyzed by choice, hmm, and so you want to try toavoid having kind of a flavor of the week where you say, Oh, this week I love this deck and then your friend is like, ohwell, this deck plays really good, and then you try that and thenyou're like, Oh yeah, this is the best deck, and then yougo to this other deck and you're like, oh well, maybe this is thechoice, and then you go maybe this is and you start running incircles. Yeah, I know, I was actually that's something actually specifically wantedto talk about today. Is, I know, at least in our personaltesting groups, we get caught in traps a lot, and I think thisaffects a lot of different people where, even if you're deep diving into adeck, you can get caught in these weird logical loops. Good example ofthat is, you know, we're maybe we're playing am Youtwo deck of somesort and expanded, and all the sudden on the latter you hit one crazydeck, maybe like you hit that Hanch Ko Greens deck or something, andyou're it's like Whoa, holy wait a sec is this even a viable deck? Like I just got destroyed by this horrible haunch crew deck or you knowwhatever, and I think that's another aspect of it. Like, besides gettingparalyzed by choice, it's also recognize that there's so many things going on thatyou can't account for every single thing in in the choice that you're making.Would you agree? Yeah, that's a really good point. That's a reallygood point, and that that's why I like, you know, to takeit from a general philosophy back to the singular deck. That's really why Ilike the me you too deck because it has all these kind of different options. You have ways to play just about every single matchup and might not alwayswork and you you know, there are certainly some weaknesses, some very strongweaknesses, to the deck, but you have a way to play every matchupand and I like that a lot. Totally, totally so we've been testingthem to deck a lot. But for a player's coming into expanded how wouldyou recommend that they choose a deck to delve deep into? You recommended thatas a strategy, but there's obviously a huge ray of differences that come betweenthese formats. Whether you're a new player or season veteran, it can behard to make that transition from event to event. So you personally seem tohave made that transition fairly smoothly. You're playing and standard events consistently. Willalso plugging away it expanded. Are there differences you have to account for inyour mindset and you're testing in your general framework that you approached decks when youlook at expanded sure. Well, the expanded format, I will say,you know, it does favor the experience. So, you know, the oldestcards in the expanded format are cards that were, you know, beingplayed in the in the decks when I was getting into the game. SoI know them on a very intimate level. Most of the cards in the expandedformat that date, you know, before our current standard, and so, you know, I think it does help to just be acquainted, youknow. So so the expanded format is going to favor the the experienced player. And that said, if you're a new player, I just kind ofalmost think of it as two different games. So you have your standard format,it has its set of guidelines and...

...outcomes and decks, and then youhave the expanded format, whole different thing. It's like a whole different game tome and that has its own you know, archetypes and decks and cardsand Combos that are just better in that format, and so I think identify, being able to identify those is clutch, a very key to to figuring itout, you know. And so how do you figure out the formatif you're not used to it? Well, I think the first place that youwould go to try to figure out what deck you want to play isjust to go to past results. Now, that's not the best when we're talkingabout a kind of a blind expanded format, and all I mean byblind is that there have been, I think, too sets released since thelast expanded tournament. Right. That's what I was thinking. Just, yeah, just go back to what has done well in the past and then tryto adapt those strategies for the current Meta. So a great example of that isarchies. You know, that was a deck that's been around for along time. There are lists that you know day back to two thousand andfifteen. So you can go back and look at that one archetype and youknow, if you have any semblance of social media presence, you'll know thatpeople are talking about archies blast choice is being a good deck, and soyou can kind of see how the list of evolved, kind of see whatstrategies people have used in the past and see how you can update those liststo handle the you know, handle the future. I guess I would liketo flip that back on you because obviously, Riley, you also have had goodsuccess and expanded. How do you go about how do you go aboutchoosing decks and how do you go about thinking about the expanded format? Yeah, I think. I think more than standard even I like to grind andexpanded because there is so much going on and I like to get a agood familiarity with how the formats feeling at the time, because expanded can shiftpretty dramatically as sets come out. But it's also interesting as well how muchit stays the same, I guess. Yeah, good points being archies,trevenant, night, March, seismetoad variance. They've existed and expanded forever and it'smore about like kind of tailoring those base fundamental strategies of doing lots ofdamage, of getting out the blast voice and using a variety of attackers tomap out your prizes or lock strategies. Those seem to be like the bigkind of staples of the expanded format. Right and so me personally, whatI like is I kind of like a more tempo, focus strategy, Iguess you could say, without that kind of keeps up and consistently will dosomething over and over again. So that's what drew me a lot to theZORARC early on, and it will not early on, but in previous yearsand expanded. I was really drawn to the Zark because you know, youdo a very consistent strategy and you just do it really well and you canrespond what your opponent's doing and not so much have to have to worry aboutbeing countered because you have a variety of tools to deal with a variety ofsituations. And in a modern day I think the up, the equivalent ofthat is just a straightforward like guarding me two deck that you know it doesconsistent damage it it has like that healing aspect to it. If you wantthat it. And so that's that's something I like, is that tempo strategy. Other players are really drawn to an aggressive strategy, you know, beingsomeone who is asking the questions of these other players. So for those playersI think strategies like night March and Archie's are really good fit and those arestrategy that somehow have survived all these different updates and changes to cards and strategiesand expanded. So that's kind of if you're into that. That's why Iwould recommend picking up and, of course, an expanded there's a huge variety aswell control strategies. So if you're a player who likes to play somethinglike sylvion in past years or someone who...

...likes to play more like Keldeo staaldecks, there's plenty of of wall or like a Rangarou type decks as wellthat can lock your opponent out of the game and I think all of themhave their have their own merit and it's a matter of I think you ifyou can narrow down to like which archetype fits you the best and then slapthe deck that the best deck for that archetype for the tournament, you'll findthe most success. HMM, because I think every single expanded tournament we seena variety of decks do well. Right, I don't think there's been expanded tournamentprobably since like The Dallas days, where we've seen complete domination one deck, you know, even it. We've seen stuff like night march, Trevand archies all make top eight of a of a regional in one regional andthat was like those are three completely different ways or perch of the game.So, Yep, I think I echo what you're saying. I guess.Is what I'm getting at is there's a lot of things going on. Youshould find the one that fits you best and then and just master that andbecome really good at that. Also an expand. I think there's just there'sa lot of people who aren't willing to take that time and won't be asfamiliar with their decks, and so even to match up where you might otherwisestruggle, if you have a really good grasp on it and have the rightlist, you can wiggle out of a lot of situations with any deck,especially absolutely, I couldn't I couldn't agree more there. Yeah, especially withcards, like you know, adding the format, which I is of coursemore reliable, disruptive aspect to reset stamp also serving as a draw card.I mean, I've tested so many games in the ladder at this point whereI and even just in the past couple day, is where I've been ableto end people and Mount in saying comebacks, and that's one of the that's actuallypretty satisfying. I think, you know, is as much as peoplelike to hate on end, I kind of like it and it's it feelsless dgm than reset stamp sometimes. Sure, yeah, absolutely, I totally getwhere you're coming from with them. All right, so if you're theyou know, if this is your first regionals, you're going to regionals forthe first time. It's an expanded regionals, it's Virginia. You know, whatwould be your advice to that player that they've never played a regionals beforeand their first regionals is going to be expanded? What would you say tothem? One thing that I would be sure that they're aware of is that, even though games might end quicker, turns are longer. So we harpa lot on this podcast of being aware of went to scoop and like beingaware of the situations that you're in, and I think that's more important andexpanded, because time is such a valuable resource. I mean first turns cantake ten minutes easily. Yep, mostly the fault of battle compressor and shameand as opposeded to anything else, but still, you know, the turnstake a while. Another thing I would keep in mind is there's just goingto be a huge variety of decks. So you might you might hit goodmatchups, you might hit bad matchups. There's only so much you can doabout it, as long as you made the best call that you felt likewas for the tournament. Any we talked. We talked as well before about howit's very easy to have completely different days depending on, you know,just the person and how they enter the tournament, even at the same recordevery round, and expanded is way more guilty of that just because there's moredecks. So you might make a great call for that tournament and it mightjust not be your tournament, but you should enjoy it for what it isand take that as a learning experience too, because there's all sorts of cool playsthat have to expand. I think it expanded the best players when,more often we saw a pretty much complete domination by DDG last year, becausethey kept making the correct calls and picking really awesome lists and nobody was reallyprepared for that. I guess that due...

...diligence that DG had put in.Yep. Is there anything else that you would you would look to to sayto a new player and expand it? Well, I would just say interms of deck choice, just choose. I mean, of course, choosea deck you're comfortable with, because there's so many decks out there to choosefrom, you know, but I would say secondly is choose a deck that'sconsistent. Choose a deck that's consistent. We come to expand it, andyou know I'm certainly guilty of doing this, but I try to like tech foreverything and in a in a lot of cases I end up going alittle bit too far and I end up making a list that's taking out consistencycards in favor of cards that are specifically useful and very niche matchups. Andso I would just say if you're going to, you know, your firstregionals in Virginia or Portland, just choose a deck that's going to do whatit does you know, almost all the time. Don't go in there witha deck and a list that is overtecht or, you know, has lessconsistency. Just go in there with the most consistent list that you can buildthat you feel very comfortable with, and I think you're going to see alot of success, because I do think a lot of people are very guilty, as am I, of kind of overteching or just adding unnecessary cards,kind of having a lot of fluff. Just keep it really tight, keepit really consistent, and you should do pretty well. And I I definitelyagree that consistency is what you should aim for first, especially because it's soeasy to make a really, really consistent deck and expand it if you don'tmess with your engine by trying to slot in text. But of course textare so valuable and expanded as well. I mean, pokemon probably has thestrongest tech cars out of any card game, if I had to just say so, off the top, at least amongst the big ones. So sure, how much value do you put upon text? Are there certain text thatyou're valuing more than others right now, or do you think it's better justto only apply to consistency approach and going kind of with as vanilla as possibleat the moment? Well, I can only recommend text if in expanded,particularly if they can help you in a variety of matchups. So, ifyou have a tech card and you're thinking about playing it, but it onlyhelps in that one matchup and like it, it only helps in that one matchup, you really need to take a step back and ask yourself is thiscard really worth it? Because again, you know, you could just gothrough that nine rounds and never play that one deck that you decided to techfor and all of a sudden that card is is, you know, awasted slot or wasted two slots or however many slots you dedicated to teching.And just because the format so wide open, you just never know. You cannever guarantee you're going to hit something. Now I've if you're teching against likea tier one archetype and and that's the only way your deck can beatit, then you know, maybe you're have a different discussion. But Isay make sure that your text that you choose to play actually have value inother matchups. So I know I have my own opinions on this. Whatare text that you find personally valuable in your current understanding of the metagame?That's not saying necessarily that those are the text to play for Portland or Virginia, but JAS based on what you're seeing right now, the vibes you're gettingfor the format, what are the things that you like to slide and decks? Well, one thing I've been thinking of particularly today is we've seen alot of or at least. I have a lot of turbo dark both onthe ladder and from the expanded Cups, particularly in Florida. So one cardthat I'm just kind of thinking of is like a pseudo Woodo. I feellike Sudo Woudo is just a general,...

...generally good card. Yeah, nokidding it, you know, because we think about the expanded format. Asyou know, you can go through your entire deck if you want to,if you want to. Now, what what you end up doing with thatvaries depending on the archetype that you're playing. But you know, you could playyour for shame in play Todenna for your turn. Battlet compressor, obviously, is huge. You can run through your entire deck, but that's onlyhelped if you have the bench slots to play your for shame and you yourDedenna and all your backup attackers and thing things like that. So I reallylike Suito Woodo as just a general tech against that can kind of help againstarchies and obviously helps against ZORC based decks. Yeah, I think Turbo DARC isthe one that will be most impacted by Sudo, and I'm sure youwould agree with ZARC maybe being a second place of those arc seems to bekind of a lower key deck right now. Not necessarily a lower tier deck,but it kind of less favored by players at the moment. Yeah,I've been kind of seeing like a shift towards blast toys as kind of thefavored like I feel like a lot of people think, okay, now Ihave the turn one cross divide via s beyond the OX's in my blast ysdeck and I can just decimate the board in a way that mad whale Lordcouldn't do because of things like Mr Mime or mew with bench barrier right.And so we're kind of we're kind of seeing the blast ye players come outof the woodwork and say hey, this this might actually be a very,very viable deck now that I can counter the biggest threat that I had moreeasily. You know, I obviously that's that's Garboedor, and so you know, we're kind of seeing a retreat, I feel like, from people givingZorc it's it's due diligence and testing. Yeah, I mean that s beyondthe oxys. If you're actually able to get that off consistently. It's basicallya archaeops in the with it in the form of an attack. You knowyou just can't evolve because you're all your evolution pokemon are going to go wipedfirst turn. That's that's obviously a pretty rough for these evolution decks. Doyou think evolution decks or are still viable in a metagame where that is possible, or do you think that it's not consistent enough or you can dodge itenough where you can still play decks that rely on evolution? Personally, personally, and I again, if you're having different results then I'm more power toyou. But personally I do feel the format is it's so extremely fast thatZork may not be able to hold up. You know, I that's not tosay that if you've been testing ZORC and you know you're very confident init. Like I'm not saying don't play it. I'm just saying for myexperience, I really think that the format has sped up to a point where, yeah, an evolution deck such as or garbodor really doesn't hold a lotof weight. The other thing we look at too, is that with justthe high hp of tag teams now, Zork isn't as threatening of an attacker, garbodor isn't as threatening of an attacker just because you think of a somethinglike turbo dark a garbodor has to take you know, they need just somany items to hit into a tag team, nine ZORC tag. So that's that'svery tough on the deck. Just kind of those little shifts just makeit that much more unfavorable, to the point where I I personally wouldn't recommendsomebody play an evolution deck in you know it for this regional yeah, that'sthe vibe I've kind of getting too. I'm trying to test out some ZARCbased decks, but if I don't feel they have the same mooth they usedto shift in the conversation. Back to text, though, we've called outSudo Whudo, which spurred that discussion on...

...the Zarar. I like the Sudowhudo. Another tech that I'm personally liking, and I'm curious what you're input onthis is is I'm liking Giraffe for egg a lot from lost under.It's a really great answer to mew two attacks for free underdimension valley and youcan get rid of some attackers. Even if it's not the even if itdoesn't completely shut them down, you can limit their options significantly and for somedecks. It doesn't even matter to give up that single prize. You knowright. Another tech I'm liking or sorry, another reason that I like the giraffeegg is you can just randomly stunt on some decks by getting rid ofsome valuable resources. Like, you know, let's say a Guzma ends up inthe discard pile. They only play the one. You might be ableto remove that from play and all of a sudden you have complete control overthe pokemon they're knocking out of return. That's for sure not entirely in common. You know that is not an uncommon scenario for that to happen, andyou know there's a hug variety of situations. Or draft is useful one of vssecretased format. Basically, even stuff like nightmarch, you could stunt awaytune barshers and that might be critical to some of their knockouts later in thegame. So really, absolutely, I'm liking the draft a lot. Isthere have you tested the draft or do you like the draft, or doyou think it's maybe a waste slot? I mean, I guess it justkind of depends on the deck. Like I was I've been thinking about itin mew two just because generally speaking, your opponent's going to try to knockout to mew two and then, if they have to go through a solike the the fourth and fifth prizes don't really matter. So I've been tryingto think of various one prize attackers that could kind of slot into the deck. And so draft rig is, you know, definitely an option. hassome niche use generally speaking, and I was also pretty good in the mirror. But yet no, draft Rigg could be interesting. I mean you definitelyneed to figure out how to play with it and you definitely should also figurehow to play against it. One thing that I would yeah, one thingthat I would recommend to players is, and this is just kind of ageneral overview, format look is like know all the different cards and that's so, like, you know JW. What kind of Ad Bifes is that?Yeah, knockingna lie, that's not that's not a gold one. Draft RIGis one of those cards that you definitely should should be aware of and specificallyhow it can affect you and just being able to play around it. SoI think like a deck like Mewtwo has enough attackers in the deck that itcan overcome even even too of draft Riggs attacks. But what it can't overcomeis, you know, them using draft Rigg at, you know, exactlythe right time when you've overextended your resources into the discard or you've, youknow, made some silly mistake. You know. Yeah, you can reallyavoid being punished by Giraffe rig if you play your cards right. Yeah,that's something I've been trying to practice recently, as well as whenever I'm playing themetwo deck, just trying to be cognizant of if draft is possible,how does that affect me? So more recently I have gotten the habit of, even though it feels good to battle compressor away certain things like, forexample, both getting both Guardi's in the discard pile. I'm trying to avoidthat right now and trying to save one off to the side because it wouldreally be unfortunate as my opponent whips out random giraffe and all of a suddenI don't have a solid attack to use for the rest of the game.Well, it's certainly in game one right. Certainly in game one you do that, play a little bit more on the conscious side, and then,you know, you play that first game one and and you see, okay, they don't play giraffe. I can be a little bit more liberal,but yeah, they're that first game it really make sure that you're you're playingyour outs and you're not giving your opponent a layup with, you know,stupid cards like that. Yeah, exactly. So that's another card. That's anothertech that I've really liked, alongside that suit of Whudo, some otherthings that exist, but I'm not a huge fan of name I think,namely when I think of this, I'm thinking of Pokemon Ranger. I wasjust going to say that. Yep,...

...yeah, it's like the card isokay, but it just it feels that's a car that's literally useless and matchupsthat aren't tailored for it. So we're thinking stuff like sholte on and stufflike like seism toad and noivern is the only real situations. Will you're everranger. Do you put any value on ranger right now or do you thinkit's better off staying in the binder? I think ranger wasn't really that goodlast format when we had seismic toad. You know, when seize oftoad wasa huge presence and expanded. I don't see it coming back. I don'tsee it being a good tech this format either. Yeah, that's certainly thevibe I'm getting as well. So that's a is there any other text ratherbefore we move on, that you want to hit on, or does that? Is that kind of the main ones you'd be looking at right now?Nothing I can particularly think of in a general in a general way. Certainlythere's always going to be kind of deck specific text that you can play,but even then nothing is really jumping out to me as something that I haven'tseen content created about. Sure. Sure. So, moving away from text,I think the last thing we might want to hit on before we wrapup for today is just getting a general sense of opinions on the Meta.So, JW, you have Richmond coming up. I am going to Portlandas well. What are the top five decks that you expect to see inthe room at that tournament? Not necessarily your top five picks, but thetop five decks you expect to see. Yeah, wow, I I don'twant to sound like very I don't want to sound stupid, but I didn't, you know, exactly prepare. This is like off the top of myhead, but you know, I have a decent idea here. That's okay. I would say I would say turbo dark for me would be one blastchoice. That's too I would say mew two in some variety either. Imean probably the guard of or variant, because I'm a little bit biased tothat. But there's also, you know, there's also definitely going to be somethingrevolving around me two and welder and expanded. And then I would saypeople are still really clinging to peek arom from what I have seen. Andthen I would also say some type of like weird one prize fighting deck,so be that buzz guarb shrine or hit Mo on Chan him on Chand waspretty popular in the last expanded format for whatever. But people are yeah,people always like to people little things fighting guys. I because I think thatis a good counter the the buzzwill shrine garb deck and hit my chand thoseare good like foils to turbo dark and to some extent good foils to Archiese. So I expect some like one prize fighting deck to to be pretty popular. Yeah, that makes sense. On the flip side, I think myanswer probably Echo Yours. I think Turbo Darker archies. If I had tosay one. I think Artie's will probably be the most popular deck had agiven expanded tournament right now, and then turbo dark probably taking up the rear. there. I would look at me two decks being the third unless unlessyou clump them all together. But I think people are shifting pretty heavily towardskind of Youtube Guard of our toolbox kind of decks. Seems to be,at least on the ladder, where I'm seeing things shift, even outside ofmy personal friend groups and testing groups. That's the VIBE I'm getting. Sothat would be a solid third place. In four I think stuff like stableeye is ringing true with a lot of players or some kind of like degenerateitem recycling control that. So either a...

...ranger is sure sable eye, becausepeople are really using to use those cars that are about to get banned,which we will talk about. Yeah, our PODCAST is coming Wednesday. Andthen in fifth place, I would client to agree it's going to be somekind at one prize deck. I don't know if that's going to take theform of aggressive one prize deck like like nightmarcher e Spequin, or in theform of a more tempo we won like buzz garb or him on shan,but I think something that trades really well if the tag teams will probably operateon that fifth slote. And then peak ram is also kind of like Annhm honorable mentioned kind of thing I would throw in there. People really likePek Ram. It's also a really easy deck to build if you have thestandard deck, because it's very similar. Right, just throwing some elixers andhonestly can just plays is if you really want to. Yeah, yeah,one thing. One thing I don't expect to see is a lot of welderdecks. I kind of mentioned that. I think probably the only viable archetypiccould even possibly be in is when paired with Mewtwo and and a toolbox styledeck. But I don't foresee welder being a an archetyper or a supporter thatis played in, you know, in a in a deck that performs wellat regionals. I don't see that card as being as degenerate and expanded andthe main reason why is that the synergy of welder doesn't match up with thesynergy of Shaman, and so Shaman is the premier draw card in the expandedformat and so you want to be able to utilize that and as best theway as possible. And obviously welder is just it's a very basic draw card. It's a very average draw card. Now it does obviously have the bonuseffect of energy acceleration, but there's already so much energy acceleration or energy manipulationin the expanded format that I don't really feel like you need that extra energyfrom welder. So I don't expect a lot of fire only welder decks toperform well at all in Richmond, and that's just I guess that's my hottake. I I don't know, maybe it's not even that hot, butI'm going to go with that. I would ask you, Riley, youmentioned that there will be some type of lock deck that you predict or youknow, you you kind of named a few different lock decks. I wouldthink of sable I, I would think of haunch crow, I would thinkof, you know, seisman, toad Zorark, obviously using a rang ruticsto recycle all your broken, filthy support items. What do you think wouldbe the top lock choice heading into the regionals? I think it's hard tosay because it's really hard to build a lock deck that kind of effectively willdeal with everything. So what I mean by that is a deck like Archie. I think archies is actually the biggest wild card when building a lock deck, because you really want to be able to lock their abilities so and trapsomething actives. That way they can't it just accelerate whatever they want and dowhatever they want. And that's obviously you need garbodor to shut off a blastnoise. That's the only card that can shut off a blast toise in theformat right now, besides Wapp a fette. So sure, that kind of lendsitself to stable eye, but then save Bley gets wrecked by cross divisionpotentially, and it also add the sable eye lock. Just in terms ofjunk hunt isn't as effective as a resource management just flat out. So thenSark rang guru feels like a more powerful lock in general, but then itreally falters to energy acceleration. So I've been testing out some Zark lock deckxand it's felt pretty good actually, except for stuff like archies, where it'sgets really sketchy. But yeah, I just think stuff like recent stamp andchip chip are incredibly strong and will lend...

...themselves to a degenerate combos somewhere alongthe way. Maybe not a regional winning Combo, but something that people wouldbe interested in playing. For sure. Absolutely so. I guess the wayto build that depends on your perspective on the Meta and what you expect tohit and how effective that, that's Fagi, will be in the matchups you expectto hit. Yeah, no doubt. Do you have a favorite lock deck? JW. I don't know if you test it to any of themnow I put my due diligence into sable eye. I do like it asan archetype, but it does have its very glaring weaknesses. I would saythat ar cheese is generally felt like a pretty tough matchup. If they particularlyif they play well, particularly if they play Fab, I feel like theyare. If they play even one like, if they play a one feel blowor one FABA combination, I've found that that is just almost unbeatable.Will Stabley, they just can get things rolling too fast where they are ableto yeah, if they get that turn one, turn to even turn three, cross divide, it just can almost obliterate your board. Yeah, anyboard presence, any board presence that you had at all, cross of I'dseems to be warping the so matt a little bit? Yeah, I thinkso. I think so. I don't want to lean into that too much, like I don't want to say on this podcast like Oh, cross ofbide is so good, like everybody should play it. Like I don't wantto lean into that and give people the wrong impression. But I do feellike it is changing the format because it is so broken like that turn oneplacing twenty damage counters is just very, very oppressive to these lower hp pretag team basics. It's just it's kind of unreal. So that has beena really tough matchup, but I think it has pretty decent matchups across theboard in terms of everything else. I like sable against almost every other deckexcept, I will say I don't love it against Turbo Dark. Those decksthat can just get a lot of energy on the board like first turn,second turn are really tough for or sable ie to deal with. Of courseyou do have articuno. You can kind of make comeback plays with N andGarbo Toxin, but in that first turn, if they're able to get one ortwo attackers and limit their bench, they're in a really good spot.So a deck like turbo dark can also just simply overrun sable live. Yeah, yeah, and I think that's something that any kind of lock strategy willhave to be looking at right now. Is How do you deal with thesekind of overrun type decks like archies and turbo dark that'll just get so muchinto play on the first turn before you even get a chance to establish anything, let alone a lie. So that, yeah, yeah, so the benefitof playing sable, I would be, you know, you're sitting at homeand you're thinking, okay, what do I play for Virginia? Andand why you would play Sablie is if you think that the turbo darks andthe blast choices of the world are just too linear for the big names,for the better players to play those decks that instead people opt for kind of, I don't know, either slower decks or less less just, I guess, straightforward decks like those. And then those are the decks that you reallyprey upon because they don't get all their energy outturn one. You can usuallymanipulate them a little bit easier than those turbo style decks. And so ifyou're thinking, okay, the format's not going to have much turbo dark theformats not going to have one blast ys, then that's when I would look atstabilize being like my number one choice. Yeah, yeah, I think there'sa lot of interesting stuff to think about going into this coming set ofregionals. So, just to summarize kind of the thoughts we presented, thereseems to be a couple schools of thought when it comes to building decks rightnow, these more Agaro decks, these more tempo dex and these control orlock decks, and currently JW and I...

...are big fans of the tempo strategy, but we think all of them could be viable. Kind of depends onwhat you hit. That sound fair? I think so. I think you'regoing to see, you know, I think you are going to see alot of these these aggressive style decks because it is so fun and so,I don't want to say brainless to play these turbo decks, but like youcan really yeah, the Ongo, we've been calling it, on a Bungoturbo dark because it just feels like you're a caveman with the cold. Youjust play that. You see the card, you play the card, kind ofthing. That can be pretty fun for a lot of players. Iexpect a lot of particularly new players to gravitate towards that style deck. Yeah, and so. So I would make sure that you have a at leasta game plan to play around that. Yeah, in Virginia. Yeah,I think that's fair. So is there any other last comments that you wantedto make to anybody out there listening to this and thinking about what they shoulddo to prep for expanded you? Yeah, I would just say if it's yourfirst expanded regional or if you're trying to even if it's not your firstexpanded regional, you're trying to prep for expanded, just give yourself a lookat the card pool one more time. I mean, I know it canbe overwhelming, but but seriously, take the time sit down and kind oflook through the cards or write down some, you know, specific cards. I'mthinking of particularly Jiraffe Rigg. These are kind of the cards that canscrew you over if you're not prepared for them. So draft REIG comes tomind, team rockets, hideout comes to mind. I mean silent lab comesto mind. There's not really a counter to that, but but in anycase, you know, seize when toad comes to mind, treven it,I mean just these kind of oppressive cards that, if you're not prepared,can really catch you by surprise. So just make sure you kind of knowwhat you're dealing with. And, yeah, and and refresh yourself, take arefresher course on what possibilities there are. And expanded. Yeah, I wouldlike to echo some of those sentiment sentiments and just say get out thereand play, have some fun with the Games, get some experience with thecards to get them in your hands. I actually think the expanded formats prettyfun, even though I don't know if you get this feeling to you,todevery, or it's just me, but I always read the expanded format butthen have a lot of fun once I'm in the in the weeds of itand playing in it. Yeah, so, yes, well, I find thatexpanded you cannot play your opponent and a lot more than standard, notnot to say that stand standard right now is actually in a good spot whereyou cannot play your opponent, but even more so an expanded you just haveso many more options available to you at any one time and choosing the correctpath is often a lot more difficult because of those choices. Yeah, Ijust know you know so many people like the trash on the on the formatand say, you know, it's this, it's that, it's degenerate, andthat tends to get my head before I start playing in it. Butthen usually once a minute I think I find I'm having a lot of funand I like the format once I'm actually get my hands on the cards.So I would just recomend getting out there, getting a feel for the decks andfinding what works for you. Absolutely cool. So we're hitting about timehere on our bonus episode. We appreciate every single one of you who listenson your itunes, spotify, stitcher, Google platforms. You guys are allawesome and we will continue to try and release high quality content to make surethat you are satiated. Make sure you also check out our social media's.That's at smiles with rials and at Real John Walter on twitter and jws YoutubeChannel, where you can find our vods from our live streams of the podcast, as well as a lot of other really awesome pieces of content. AW's and making expanded content for months now, so feel free to check any ofthat out in his repository. And with that we will see you nexttime piece. Stay busted.

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