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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 only going to be on audio platforms, that being spotify, stitcher, itunes. Is there another one? I'm for getting to W Google? Google. Oh yes, fresh on Google as well, and so JW is obviously out this past week. Did Aaron did a wonderful job, but we figured we'd also talk some more about some other things and also incentivize you to listen in to our audio platforms. So as part of our first bonus episode we thought we'd Focus in on the expanded format. So I see no reason not to jump right into it. Expanded is coming up in the next couple weeks. We have 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 the MEWTO camp, lots of people in the archies camp, lots of people in dark camp, some people in the control camp and expanded seems to have birth a wide array of strategies that could all seem to do well, depending on who picks it up and how the list look Gw you've tested a lot of expanded so far, haven't you? I have. Yeah, so what what pushed 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 of just every possible deck that I thought could see play now. That could be like a tier one archetype, something like blast toys or mew two, all the way down to those kind of counter deck or rogue decks like, you know, maybe hit Mon Shan Or, you know, even like a Malamar or something, and I counted over twenty different variants, you know, different decks that you could play and expanded and that have some type of merit in the 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 ton of different interactions, and I wanted to get really deep into that to not be, you know, fooled when the time came, to not look at something and not know what it was going to do to me when I got to the tournament. So that is why I've dealt so deeply into expanded and it's really been a fun time, I gotta say. So. I know that you, more than maybe any of my friends is, are someone who likes to jump really deep into a deck and figure out all the intricacies of it, all of its matchups, really in depth, as opposed to testing a wide array of decks, at least in my experience. So I know you test a lot of guard of our and with the Mewtwo Mega Guard of our variant, that is, and that seems to be your top deck in the moment. It so what kind of brought you to that stage? I mean, in the standard format, it feels like all the decks, I don'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 have to account for. How did you reframe your mindset to get to the point where 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 a decision in the expanded format on a deck that you know is like near the top and just run with that, find out it's weaknesses, find out its strengths and just dig, dig, dig into that deck. You just have to make that choice. That initial choice, I think is so important because, you know, I have testing groups that say, you know, turbo dark is really good. I've testing groups that say, you know, of course 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 testing a format as wide open as expanded, you just want to take that one deck that you feel very confident in after your, you know, initial playthrough so the of the supposed Meta and just dig really, really deep. So I 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 the Grocery Store and there's twenty five different brands of peanut butter. How do you make a choice? Well, for me, I'll pick the one that this one is on sale. Seems like a good choice. I'll take it home and then maybe next week, you know, I'll go out to the other one that's on sale. I think what I'm trying to say is like you can get paralyzed by choice, hmm, and so you want to try to avoid having kind of a flavor of the week where you say, Oh, this week I love this deck and then your friend is like, oh well, this deck plays really good, and then you try that and then you're like, Oh yeah, this is the best deck, and then you go to this other deck and you're like, oh well, maybe this is the choice, and then you go maybe this is and you start running in circles. Yeah, I know, I was actually that's something actually specifically wanted to talk about today. Is, I know, at least in our personal testing groups, we get caught in traps a lot, and I think this affects a lot of different people where, even if you're deep diving into a deck, you can get caught in these weird logical loops. Good example of that is, you know, we're maybe we're playing am Youtwo deck of some sort and expanded, and all the sudden on the latter you hit one crazy deck, maybe like you hit that Hanch Ko Greens deck or something, and you'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 know whatever, and I think that's another aspect of it. Like, besides getting paralyzed by choice, it's also recognize that there's so many things going on that you 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 really good point, and that that's why I like, you know, to take it from a general philosophy back to the singular deck. That's really why I like 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 always work and you you know, there are certainly some weaknesses, some very strong weaknesses, to the deck, but you have a way to play every matchup and and I like that a lot. Totally, totally so we've been testing them to deck a lot. But for a player's coming into expanded how would you recommend that they choose a deck to delve deep into? You recommended that as a strategy, but there's obviously a huge ray of differences that come between these formats. Whether you're a new player or season veteran, it can be hard to make that transition from event to event. So you personally seem to have made that transition fairly smoothly. You're playing and standard events consistently. Will also plugging away it expanded. Are there differences you have to account for in your mindset and you're testing in your general framework that you approached decks when you look at expanded sure. Well, the expanded format, I will say, you know, it does favor the experience. So, you know, the oldest cards in the expanded format are cards that were, you know, being played in the in the decks when I was getting into the game. So I know them on a very intimate level. Most of the cards in the expanded format that date, you know, before our current standard, and so, you know, I think it does help to just be acquainted, you know. 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 of almost 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 you have the expanded format, whole different thing. It's like a whole different game to me and that has its own you know, archetypes and decks and cards and 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 it out, you know. And so how do you figure out the format if you're not used to it? Well, I think the first place that you would go to try to figure out what deck you want to play is just to go to past results. Now, that's not the best when we're talking about a kind of a blind expanded format, and all I mean by blind is that there have been, I think, too sets released since the last expanded tournament. Right. That's what I was thinking. Just, yeah, just go back to what has done well in the past and then try to adapt those strategies for the current Meta. So a great example of that is archies. You know, that was a deck that's been around for a long time. There are lists that you know day back to two thousand and fifteen. So you can go back and look at that one archetype and you know, if you have any semblance of social media presence, you'll know that people are talking about archies blast choice is being a good deck, and so you can kind of see how the list of evolved, kind of see what strategies people have used in the past and see how you can update those lists to handle the you know, handle the future. I guess I would like to flip that back on you because obviously, Riley, you also have had good success and expanded. How do you go about how do you go about choosing 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 and expanded because there is so much going on and I like to get a a good familiarity with how the formats feeling at the time, because expanded can shift pretty dramatically as sets come out. But it's also interesting as well how much it stays the same, I guess. Yeah, good points being archies, trevenant, night, March, seismetoad variance. They've existed and expanded forever and it's more about like kind of tailoring those base fundamental strategies of doing lots of damage, of getting out the blast voice and using a variety of attackers to map out your prizes or lock strategies. Those seem to be like the big kind of staples of the expanded format. Right and so me personally, what I like is I kind of like a more tempo, focus strategy, I guess you could say, without that kind of keeps up and consistently will do something over and over again. So that's what drew me a lot to the ZORARC early on, and it will not early on, but in previous years and expanded. I was really drawn to the Zark because you know, you do a very consistent strategy and you just do it really well and you can respond what your opponent's doing and not so much have to have to worry about being countered because you have a variety of tools to deal with a variety of situations. And in a modern day I think the up, the equivalent of that is just a straightforward like guarding me two deck that you know it does consistent damage it it has like that healing aspect to it. If you want that 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, being someone who is asking the questions of these other players. So for those players I think strategies like night March and Archie's are really good fit and those are strategy that somehow have survived all these different updates and changes to cards and strategies and expanded. So that's kind of if you're into that. That's why I would recommend picking up and, of course, an expanded there's a huge variety as well control strategies. So if you're a player who likes to play something like sylvion in past years or someone who...

...likes to play more like Keldeo staal decks, there's plenty of of wall or like a Rangarou type decks as well that can lock your opponent out of the game and I think all of them have their have their own merit and it's a matter of I think you if you can narrow down to like which archetype fits you the best and then slap the deck that the best deck for that archetype for the tournament, you'll find the most success. HMM, because I think every single expanded tournament we seen a variety of decks do well. Right, I don't think there's been expanded tournament probably since like The Dallas days, where we've seen complete domination one deck, you know, even it. We've seen stuff like night march, Trev and archies all make top eight of a of a regional in one regional and that 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. You should find the one that fits you best and then and just master that and become really good at that. Also an expand. I think there's just there's a lot of people who aren't willing to take that time and won't be as familiar with their decks, and so even to match up where you might otherwise struggle, if you have a really good grasp on it and have the right list, 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 with cards, like you know, adding the format, which I is of course more 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 where I and even just in the past couple day, is where I've been able to end people and Mount in saying comebacks, and that's one of the that's actually pretty satisfying. I think, you know, is as much as people like to hate on end, I kind of like it and it's it feels less dgm than reset stamp sometimes. Sure, yeah, absolutely, I totally get where you're coming from with them. All right, so if you're the you know, if this is your first regionals, you're going to regionals for the first time. It's an expanded regionals, it's Virginia. You know, what would be your advice to that player that they've never played a regionals before and their first regionals is going to be expanded? What would you say to them? 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 harp a lot on this podcast of being aware of went to scoop and like being aware of the situations that you're in, and I think that's more important and expanded, because time is such a valuable resource. I mean first turns can take ten minutes easily. Yep, mostly the fault of battle compressor and shame and as opposeded to anything else, but still, you know, the turns take a while. Another thing I would keep in mind is there's just going to be a huge variety of decks. So you might you might hit good matchups, you might hit bad matchups. There's only so much you can do about it, as long as you made the best call that you felt like was for the tournament. Any we talked. We talked as well before about how it'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 record every round, and expanded is way more guilty of that just because there's more decks. So you might make a great call for that tournament and it might just not be your tournament, but you should enjoy it for what it is and take that as a learning experience too, because there's all sorts of cool plays that have to expand. I think it expanded the best players when, more often we saw a pretty much complete domination by DDG last year, because they kept making the correct calls and picking really awesome lists and nobody was really prepared 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 say to a new player and expand it? Well, I would just say in terms of deck choice, just choose. I mean, of course, choose a deck you're comfortable with, because there's so many decks out there to choose from, you know, but I would say secondly is choose a deck that's consistent. Choose a deck that's consistent. We come to expand it, and you know I'm certainly guilty of doing this, but I try to like tech for everything and in a in a lot of cases I end up going a little bit too far and I end up making a list that's taking out consistency cards in favor of cards that are specifically useful and very niche matchups. And so I would just say if you're going to, you know, your first regionals in Virginia or Portland, just choose a deck that's going to do what it does you know, almost all the time. Don't go in there with a deck and a list that is overtecht or, you know, has less consistency. Just go in there with the most consistent list that you can build that you feel very comfortable with, and I think you're going to see a lot 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, keep it really consistent, and you should do pretty well. And I I definitely agree that consistency is what you should aim for first, especially because it's so easy to make a really, really consistent deck and expand it if you don't mess with your engine by trying to slot in text. But of course text are so valuable and expanded as well. I mean, pokemon probably has the strongest 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 that you're valuing more than others right now, or do you think it's better just to only apply to consistency approach and going kind of with as vanilla as possible at the moment? Well, I can only recommend text if in expanded, particularly if they can help you in a variety of matchups. So, if you have a tech card and you're thinking about playing it, but it only helps 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 this card really worth it? Because again, you know, you could just go through that nine rounds and never play that one deck that you decided to tech for and all of a sudden that card is is, you know, a wasted 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 can never guarantee you're going to hit something. Now I've if you're teching against like a tier one archetype and and that's the only way your deck can beat it, then you know, maybe you're have a different discussion. But I say make sure that your text that you choose to play actually have value in other matchups. So I know I have my own opinions on this. What are 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 getting for 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 a lot of or at least. I have a lot of turbo dark both on the ladder and from the expanded Cups, particularly in Florida. So one card that I'm just kind of thinking of is like a pseudo Woodo. I feel like Sudo Woudo is just a general,...

...generally good card. Yeah, no kidding it, you know, because we think about the expanded format. As you know, you can go through your entire deck if you want to, if you want to. Now, what what you end up doing with that varies depending on the archetype that you're playing. But you know, you could play your for shame in play Todenna for your turn. Battlet compressor, obviously, is huge. You can run through your entire deck, but that's only helped if you have the bench slots to play your for shame and you your Dedenna and all your backup attackers and thing things like that. So I really like Suito Woodo as just a general tech against that can kind of help against archies and obviously helps against ZORC based decks. Yeah, I think Turbo DARC is the one that will be most impacted by Sudo, and I'm sure you would agree with ZARC maybe being a second place of those arc seems to be kind 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 the favored like I feel like a lot of people think, okay, now I have the turn one cross divide via s beyond the OX's in my blast ys deck and I can just decimate the board in a way that mad whale Lord couldn'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 out of 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 more easily. 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 giving Zorc it's it's due diligence and testing. Yeah, I mean that s beyond the oxys. If you're actually able to get that off consistently. It's basically a archaeops in the with it in the form of an attack. You know you just can't evolve because you're all your evolution pokemon are going to go wiped first turn. That's that's obviously a pretty rough for these evolution decks. Do you 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 it enough 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 to you. But personally I do feel the format is it's so extremely fast that Zork may not be able to hold up. You know, I that's not to say that if you've been testing ZORC and you know you're very confident in it. Like I'm not saying don't play it. I'm just saying for my experience, 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 lot of weight. The other thing we look at too, is that with just the 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 something like turbo dark a garbodor has to take you know, they need just so many items to hit into a tag team, nine ZORC tag. So that's that's very tough on the deck. Just kind of those little shifts just make it that much more unfavorable, to the point where I I personally wouldn't recommend somebody play an evolution deck in you know it for this regional yeah, that's the vibe I've kind of getting too. I'm trying to test out some ZARC based decks, but if I don't feel they have the same mooth they used to shift in the conversation. Back to text, though, we've called out Sudo Whudo, which spurred that discussion on...

...the Zarar. I like the Sudo whudo. Another tech that I'm personally liking, and I'm curious what you're input on this 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 you can get rid of some attackers. Even if it's not the even if it doesn't completely shut them down, you can limit their options significantly and for some decks. It doesn't even matter to give up that single prize. You know right. Another tech I'm liking or sorry, another reason that I like the giraffe egg is you can just randomly stunt on some decks by getting rid of some valuable resources. Like, you know, let's say a Guzma ends up in the discard pile. They only play the one. You might be able to remove that from play and all of a sudden you have complete control over the 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, and you know there's a hug variety of situations. Or draft is useful one of vs secretased format. Basically, even stuff like nightmarch, you could stunt away tune barshers and that might be critical to some of their knockouts later in the game. So really, absolutely, I'm liking the draft a lot. Is there have you tested the draft or do you like the draft, or do you think it's maybe a waste slot? I mean, I guess it just kind of depends on the deck. Like I was I've been thinking about it in mew two just because generally speaking, your opponent's going to try to knock out to mew two and then, if they have to go through a so like the the fourth and fifth prizes don't really matter. So I've been trying to think of various one prize attackers that could kind of slot into the deck. And so draft rig is, you know, definitely an option. has some niche use generally speaking, and I was also pretty good in the mirror. But yet no, draft Rigg could be interesting. I mean you definitely need to figure out how to play with it and you definitely should also figure how to play against it. One thing that I would yeah, one thing that I would recommend to players is, and this is just kind of a general 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 RIG is one of those cards that you definitely should should be aware of and specifically how it can affect you and just being able to play around it. So I think like a deck like Mewtwo has enough attackers in the deck that it can overcome even even too of draft Riggs attacks. But what it can't overcome is, you know, them using draft Rigg at, you know, exactly the right time when you've overextended your resources into the discard or you've, you know, made some silly mistake. You know. Yeah, you can really avoid 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 the metwo 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, for example, both getting both Guardi's in the discard pile. I'm trying to avoid that right now and trying to save one off to the side because it would really be unfortunate as my opponent whips out random giraffe and all of a sudden I 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 playing your 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 another tech that I've really liked, alongside that suit of Whudo, some other things 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 was just going to say that. Yep,...

...yeah, it's like the card is okay, but it just it feels that's a car that's literally useless and matchups that aren't tailored for it. So we're thinking stuff like sholte on and stuff like like seism toad and noivern is the only real situations. Will you're ever ranger. Do you put any value on ranger right now or do you think it's better off staying in the binder? I think ranger wasn't really that good last format when we had seismic toad. You know, when seize oftoad was a huge presence and expanded. I don't see it coming back. I don't see it being a good tech this format either. Yeah, that's certainly the vibe I'm getting as well. So that's a is there any other text rather before 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. Certainly there'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't seen content created about. Sure. Sure. So, moving away from text, I think the last thing we might want to hit on before we wrap up for today is just getting a general sense of opinions on the Meta. So, JW, you have Richmond coming up. I am going to Portland as well. What are the top five decks that you expect to see in the room at that tournament? Not necessarily your top five picks, but the top five decks you expect to see. Yeah, wow, I I don't want 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 my head, 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 blast choice. That's too I would say mew two in some variety either. I mean probably the guard of or variant, because I'm a little bit biased to that. But there's also, you know, there's also definitely going to be something revolving around me two and welder and expanded. And then I would say people are still really clinging to peek arom from what I have seen. And then 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 was pretty 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 that is a good counter the the buzzwill shrine garb deck and hit my chand those are 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 my answer probably Echo Yours. I think Turbo Darker archies. If I had to say one. I think Artie's will probably be the most popular deck had a given 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 unless you clump them all together. But I think people are shifting pretty heavily towards kind 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 of my personal friend groups and testing groups. That's the VIBE I'm getting. So that would be a solid third place. In four I think stuff like stable eye is ringing true with a lot of players or some kind of like degenerate item recycling control that. So either a...

...ranger is sure sable eye, because people are really using to use those cars that are about to get banned, which we will talk about. Yeah, our PODCAST is coming Wednesday. And then in fifth place, I would client to agree it's going to be some kind at one prize deck. I don't know if that's going to take the form of aggressive one prize deck like like nightmarcher e Spequin, or in the form 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 operate on that fifth slote. And then peak ram is also kind of like Ann hm honorable mentioned kind of thing I would throw in there. People really like Pek Ram. It's also a really easy deck to build if you have the standard deck, because it's very similar. Right, just throwing some elixers and honestly 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 welder decks. I kind of mentioned that. I think probably the only viable archetypic could even possibly be in is when paired with Mewtwo and and a toolbox style deck. But I don't foresee welder being a an archetyper or a supporter that is played in, you know, in a in a deck that performs well at regionals. I don't see that card as being as degenerate and expanded and the main reason why is that the synergy of welder doesn't match up with the synergy of Shaman, and so Shaman is the premier draw card in the expanded format and so you want to be able to utilize that and as best the way 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 bonus effect of energy acceleration, but there's already so much energy acceleration or energy manipulation in the expanded format that I don't really feel like you need that extra energy from welder. So I don't expect a lot of fire only welder decks to perform well at all in Richmond, and that's just I guess that's my hot take. I I don't know, maybe it's not even that hot, but I'm going to go with that. I would ask you, Riley, you mentioned that there will be some type of lock deck that you predict or you know, you you kind of named a few different lock decks. I would think of sable I, I would think of haunch crow, I would think of, you know, seisman, toad Zorark, obviously using a rang rutics to recycle all your broken, filthy support items. What do you think would be the top lock choice heading into the regionals? I think it's hard to say because it's really hard to build a lock deck that kind of effectively will deal 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 trap something actives. That way they can't it just accelerate whatever they want and do whatever they want. And that's obviously you need garbodor to shut off a blast noise. That's the only card that can shut off a blast toise in the format right now, besides Wapp a fette. So sure, that kind of lends itself to stable eye, but then save Bley gets wrecked by cross division potentially, and it also add the sable eye lock. Just in terms of junk hunt isn't as effective as a resource management just flat out. So then Sark rang guru feels like a more powerful lock in general, but then it really falters to energy acceleration. So I've been testing out some Zark lock deckx and it's felt pretty good actually, except for stuff like archies, where it's gets really sketchy. But yeah, I just think stuff like recent stamp and chip chip are incredibly strong and will lend...

...themselves to a degenerate combos somewhere along the way. Maybe not a regional winning Combo, but something that people would be interested in playing. For sure. Absolutely so. I guess the way to build that depends on your perspective on the Meta and what you expect to hit and how effective that, that's Fagi, will be in the matchups you expect to hit. Yeah, no doubt. Do you have a favorite lock deck? JW. I don't know if you test it to any of them now I put my due diligence into sable eye. I do like it as an archetype, but it does have its very glaring weaknesses. I would say that ar cheese is generally felt like a pretty tough matchup. If they particularly if they play well, particularly if they play Fab, I feel like they are. If they play even one like, if they play a one feel blow or 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 able to yeah, if they get that turn one, turn to even turn three, cross divide, it just can almost obliterate your board. Yeah, any board presence, any board presence that you had at all, cross of I'd seems to be warping the so matt a little bit? Yeah, I think so. 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 of bide is so good, like everybody should play it. Like I don't want to lean into that and give people the wrong impression. But I do feel like it is changing the format because it is so broken like that turn one placing twenty damage counters is just very, very oppressive to these lower hp pre tag team basics. It's just it's kind of unreal. So that has been a really tough matchup, but I think it has pretty decent matchups across the board in terms of everything else. I like sable against almost every other deck except, I will say I don't love it against Turbo Dark. Those decks that 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 course you do have articuno. You can kind of make comeback plays with N and Garbo Toxin, but in that first turn, if they're able to get one or two 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 will have to be looking at right now. Is How do you deal with these kind of overrun type decks like archies and turbo dark that'll just get so much into play on the first turn before you even get a chance to establish anything, let alone a lie. So that, yeah, yeah, so the benefit of playing sable, I would be, you know, you're sitting at home and you're thinking, okay, what do I play for Virginia? And and why you would play Sablie is if you think that the turbo darks and the 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 really prey upon because they don't get all their energy outturn one. You can usually manipulate them a little bit easier than those turbo style decks. And so if you're thinking, okay, the format's not going to have much turbo dark the formats not going to have one blast ys, then that's when I would look at stabilize being like my number one choice. Yeah, yeah, I think there's a lot of interesting stuff to think about going into this coming set of regionals. So, just to summarize kind of the thoughts we presented, there seems to be a couple schools of thought when it comes to building decks right now, these more Agaro decks, these more tempo dex and these control or lock 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 on what you hit. That sound fair? I think so. I think you're going to see, you know, I think you are going to see a lot 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 you can really yeah, the Ongo, we've been calling it, on a Bungo turbo dark because it just feels like you're a caveman with the cold. You just play that. You see the card, you play the card, kind of thing. That can be pretty fun for a lot of players. I expect 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 least a game plan to play around that. Yeah, in Virginia. Yeah, I think that's fair. So is there any other last comments that you wanted to make to anybody out there listening to this and thinking about what they should do to prep for expanded you? Yeah, I would just say if it's your first expanded regional or if you're trying to even if it's not your first expanded regional, you're trying to prep for expanded, just give yourself a look at the card pool one more time. I mean, I know it can be overwhelming, but but seriously, take the time sit down and kind of look through the cards or write down some, you know, specific cards. I'm thinking of particularly Jiraffe Rigg. These are kind of the cards that can screw you over if you're not prepared for them. So draft REIG comes to mind, team rockets, hideout comes to mind. I mean silent lab comes to mind. There's not really a counter to that, but but in any case, 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 know what you're dealing with. And, yeah, and and refresh yourself, take a refresher course on what possibilities there are. And expanded. Yeah, I would like to echo some of those sentiment sentiments and just say get out there and play, have some fun with the Games, get some experience with the cards to get them in your hands. I actually think the expanded formats pretty fun, 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 but then have a lot of fun once I'm in the in the weeds of it and playing in it. Yeah, so, yes, well, I find that expanded you cannot play your opponent and a lot more than standard, not not to say that stand standard right now is actually in a good spot where you cannot play your opponent, but even more so an expanded you just have so many more options available to you at any one time and choosing the correct path is often a lot more difficult because of those choices. Yeah, I just know you know so many people like the trash on the on the format and say, you know, it's this, it's that, it's degenerate, and that tends to get my head before I start playing in it. But then usually once a minute I think I find I'm having a lot of fun and 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 and finding what works for you. Absolutely cool. So we're hitting about time here on our bonus episode. We appreciate every single one of you who listens on your itunes, spotify, stitcher, Google platforms. You guys are all awesome and we will continue to try and release high quality content to make sure that 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 Youtube Channel, 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. A W's and making expanded content for months now, so feel free to check any of that out in his repository. And with that we will see you next time piece. Stay busted.

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