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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 4, Episode 29 · 6 months ago

4-29. Tag Team's Terrific Tips

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys are back and they are HYPED for Salt Lake City, the first North American regionals since the onset of the pandemic. Come listen in for top decks, tips on how to be more successful, and a snapshot of what is to come. A must listen for anyone looking to play in a Brilliant Stars event! 

This episode is brought to you by MANSCAPED! Here at Tag Team we oh-so-love our Manscaped products, and they're offering an awesome new Ultra Premium Collection. No, not the Celebrations one, this is Manscaped! Use code TAGTEAM at checkout for 20% off and free shipping, wowza!

Boo Yo. What is up, guys? Welcome back to tag team, the POKEMON trading card games for mere podcasting duo, even if you count the new guys. My name is Riley Hulbert, joined as always by my good, good friend Mr JW Crew Wall Gw. How's it going today? Hey, it's going okay. Actually, I finished up a big project, that work. It was like a personal project, so I'm like feeling pretty good about that. Heyst thing is I could take like the next day or two to write the documentation. Like the whole project is done right, but I just now I get to kind of, you know, chill out and write all the details of how I did it. There you go. Fun. And then I had a little tummy ache today, so that's why it's just an okay day. Yeah, that is unfortunate. I hate having a little tummy a yeah, really hurts and you know, it's just it's been an unpleasant experience. So maybe take a Tom's. You take a Tomu's. Yet I'm not a Tom Sky, so it's not like it's not like do you take Toms when your tummy hurts, or is that more for like heartburn or what? I don't really know I had a face right. I just kind of have them. I just eat them like candy. They're good, man. That's just like the gummy vitamins. They are, but pop a few extra. The problem with eating too many toms is they're very high and calcium, Soh and calcium leads to kidney stones. So I didn't really want to have to to propulse a kidney stone. It's a consequence for eating my tongues, so I got kind of chilled on the tongues. I have always thought about getting a kidney stone as being like one of the worst experiences possible. I would agree. Yeah, it's definitely. It's something I've been like irrationally afraid of happening to me for my entire life, you know. Yeah, ever since you first year about them as like a child, you know, watching some family sitcom or someone gets a kidney stone, you just scarred for life. So for sure. Well, I just imagine what it does. Yeah, can't ahead math. Can't be good. Can't be good. But how are you, Riley? Well, I don't get a kidney stone. So that's about. That's, as I would say, Nice. I've been good stuff. I've been good. It's been a very tough week at work and I've kind of been kind of making it worse, exacerbating the problem by getting very little sleep over the last few days in the interest of playing pokemon cards. So my bad. They're yeah, you know, overall I think spirits are high. Feeling good, dealing good, I don't have a tummy ache, so that's a plus for me as well. Kind of winning all around there. But it feels good to be back in the saddle, doesn't it? Like this is meaningful testing for a meaningful tournament. Yeah, it does feel good to be back in the saddle and you know, of the the folks I was testing it with, we're kind of musing like because we had basically a year where I left Ohio but tournaments were still happening, because I moved where Wisconsin in January of two thousand and nineteen and we basically had through February of two thousand and twenty one tournaments were still happening and we never really did as intense like online testing through that entire time frame and we're just looking back and like that that was stupid. Yeah, I was straight up dumb. It was so stupid. I guess it would have been like the last big hardcore testing session that I did would have been for worlds, I think. Yeah, for world's, possibly even for Virginia regionals, I guess. Yeah, I was right, but that was part. That was in person. I did that in person. Yeah, that's what I'm saying. It's like all the time we've done it online was for worlds and we did test pretty extensively online for worlds, but I was like the only time and it just feels embarrassing in hindsight. But so it goes. Well, now there's a system set up. I know the council has been the council summoned established. We got our our Jedi council arm chairs or Holograms or plugged in ready to go. That's right. That's a real operation. I know, I know. I always thought it was really cool with the Jedi Council like projected their Hologram into a share yeah, that's so epic. For sure, they definitely didn't need the chair. They definitely either didn't need the chair or didn't need the Hologram to go into the chair, at least like maybe the chairs for when they're there in person. But it's just so extra out of the game. They're so true. But yeah, so that's been fun and I've been kind of, I mean kind of loving it. We kind of love and just playing cards, playing polke. Who would have thought? And speaking of Polke, there's plenty both in the rearview mirror and on the horizon for us here. So in the interest of getting to it all, let's...

...dive right in. So today we'll be largely focused on the brilliant stars Regional Championship metagame. Last weekend we had the Brisbane metagame. That regional wrapped up down in Australia. Got Some great insight into kind of like the brilliant stars Meta is looking like and defining what that is moving forward. And this weekend we have the first North American regional since the start of the pandemic in Salt Lake City, Utah, and folks are excited. I mean, if you didn't get the VIBE, that is why I've been testing so much. I am personally not going to Salt Lake City, but many of our friends are. So we've been grinding our gears trying to figure out, you know, what the best decks are, what the text for those decks, how to play the matchups optimally. So we're really excited to talk to you today about kind of what's come out of Brisbane and what that means for Salt Lake moving forward. Absolutely. Yeah, there were some really interesting developments in Brisbane with the kind of new mew variance. Obviously we got archais and the various partners that could go with it. So, while there's not a very diverse Meta to talk about, I think there's going to be a lot of development between now and the Salt Lake City Regional Championships. Yeah, I would a hundred percent agree. So let's just dive right in then, by kind of recapping the events over in Brisbane. We're not going to spend too much time talking about all the nitty gritty, but we do want to kind of digest what the outcome was here. So winning the Brisbane regional is Natalie Miller. Awesome player. She won with a mew genesec deck, very powerful list as well, opting to not play any basic energy, going exclusively for the fuse and strike and double turbo energy. I like that build a lot and we'll definitely be talking about it more. But just it makes you deck snappier, it makes it quicker, more reliable on the whole as well. The double turboat is so much for the deck. Natalie realize that and took that to full effect. I actually saw some interesting stats today to where, in one of the larger online tournaments prior to Brisbane it was like ninety percent of the Muse for playing basic energy and then afterwards it was something like twenty five percent of us play basic energy now. So immediate, snappy impact of brace right there. That list was also piloted by a variety of other players, Kiwen in fourth place and Brent thoughison in eleven place, all piling the MU v emacs with no basic energy list. And, you know, huge Congrassinale as well. Very accomplished player, players, Cup champion taking it home in Brisbane. Yeah, it was really quite the performance. Obviously we didn't get to see any of it, but just hearing, you know, the round updates from various players or how things progressed throughout the day, it seemed like a very dominant performance by mew in general and obviously Natalie coming away with a win. Congratulations to her. And you know, the the really interesting thing about the specifically the special energy list winning is the finals matchup was against an archist realt on deck throughout and obviously having the ability to block damage from special energy. But view has this wonderful little attack called Max miracle which goes straight through that, throughalot on. So you're you're not taking those gigantic one hit chaos like you might against other decks where you can leverage your you know, your genes sect attacks where you can leverage the melodious echo on the MELOETTA. But you still got that Max miracle to reliably to hit Koll your folks. Yeah, absolutely, and the cool thing there too is you have you're not just relying on the power tablets, right, obviously to boost the damage. So you can Max Miracle for and and get the to hit Ko with only two damage modifiers, one being the choice man getting that down on the first time. You Max miracle and then a power tablet the second time and you're doing, you know, three hundred and what, three hundred and fifty damage right, which would be enough to knock out, yeah, three hundred thirty HP dirlut on. So very cool, just kind of interesting to see that play out. You were talking to me before the cast. You like I was on that. You know, just before the night before Brisbane. Yeah, well, our first like big session of testing was the Friday. I was off work, so little more APP just immediately jump in and play some pokmon and I immediately flip over all of our view lists to be like no basic energy and like this is the wave, we have to play no basic energy.

I didn't have quite the quite the magnificence or elegance of Natalie's list, I don't think, namely the inclusion of the roadom phone knows, and something I was as woke to at the time. But yeah, I think the Double Tur runners just so, so good and one of those niche things for the double turbo energy that's really important for them. You Deck, in my opinion, is retreating your your fat get sex when the addictive. Yeah, low key, the double turbo retreating those genes sex. It's a really valuable part of that card. Oh for sure. Yeah, you just think about all the times, you know, a jolty on bosses up your your Jena Sec and you just have no way to switch it in hand and you have to, you know, just attach one of your energy and hope you can get a second one on on the next turn. I mean that double turbo is just so funny how it has that utility. Yeah, also being able to retreat super, super good. Is there a way, Riley, to you know, kind of talking ahead, but just before I forget this thread and while we're talking about the special energy only Mulus, is there a way for decks moving forward to capitalize on me? You only playing special energy, or is it the kind of thing that it doesn't really matter, but there's only, yeah, fusion and Double Turbo? It's a fair question. I think decks that can play their own double turbos or twins can leverage the veltall from celebrations, the one that discards three special energy from play. But that isn't always like you know, it's not like your Antimu Button, as is the vel tall, in my opinion, is like a panic button for when the fusion strike energies are getting overwhelming, for example, if you would just get otherwise checkmated, if me, you got the for fusion strikes on board, you can use the Vltall to panic button in remove two or three of them from play without needing to take a knockout. However, you know if you're just losing to techno blast over and over or Max Miracle. I don't think the veltawe really has that same effect because the double turbo energies only need to hit the board when they're being used. So you can't just like proactively remove them all. Certainly could play like multiply beltall, but at that point you're kind of cheeseing up your deck. So I think the Velt all is good. It's good in arcis variance. who kind of can struggle if you manages to build up vast array of the view strike energies, but otherwise I think you're better off just like if you're jolty on deck or something. You know, the one of Fan can help, but it's not going to it's not going to make or break them getting those energies on the board at the end of the day either. Yeah, so it's like pretty much strictly just an upgrade. Yeah, there's not really no downs, I would say. So yeah, so you know kind of saying this if you're thinking about playing mew I add Salt Lake City and you're listening to the cast right now, Riley, sounds like from you. I would also agree. Been grunting a lot of you this last week. I just don't think that there's any reason to kind of go back to the old way. You know, I the old me is dead and now it's new me or new mew, I would agree. I would agree special energy is definitely the wave. Some other decks as well that I want to give attention to from Brisbane is archaius is really the other dominant force. Archaius and view together come made the totality of the top eight in Brisbane, which is pretty insane. I don't think we've ever seen anything quite like that. Even in this Ar Arkham buzz whole days, right, there's usually like one other rogue fellow that would sneak in there at any given tournament. At least of my memory, there may have been tournaments, or was only as Ar Arkhan buzz will. Archias does have variants within it, of course. We saw like speak an archias and Tellian archias and like archias with dark attacker. But overall, I think, you know, Archius and you are definitely poising themselves as kind of being the champions of this metagame. In Brisbane was was truly kind of the epitome of that. Absolutely it was really interesting to see just how good archias could be, I mean going toe to toe in terms of the dominance that you has. But I think just from the list of players are playing, mew in this tournament had the slight edge just being a little bit more consistent, explosive, more higher end potential, and so for you know, again, the list that these players played in this tournament, you had the edge. Now was not going to be the same going forward? I don't know. We'll talk about that in the second half of the cast, but a certainly archis proved that it can hold its own and that there's a lot of innovation that can happen in terms of the lists. So mew, we're kind of saying it here, should be pretty standardized. I mean there's maybe, you know, between one and...

...five cards so that you could probably change off of the Natalie's list to get pretty much the wide swath of what you'll see in Salt Lake City. But for Archias it's far different. You could play it with der Lud on, you could play it with moletrace, you could play it as kind of a counterbox deck, you could play it with Sin Chino and telly on. None of those, you know. You could play it with be drill there's just so many different things and so many different ways to play archias that there's no one conclusive best archias build at the moment. Yeah, it definitely there's a lot of flowing ideas right now and a constantly evolving space for what archias decks are looking like. Right now. It's say in Italian is probably the premiere engine for Archaius, but even then you're see variants and like the attackers our and the supporter of the lineups and and all these different things. It's it's a wild west out here at these archais decks. Yeah, truth. So. I mean Brisbane really set the stage. We have our mew and our archaeus as our premier kind of attackers in the metagame. Are there any other big developments or notable decks from from Brisbane in particular that you want to call out? JW? Well, I think. I mean we really only have, you know, most of our information coming from the top sixteen. But one of the decks that we are kind of talking about heading into the event and just in this metagame in general is one of my favorites, and gang are and so it was good to see that there were a couple of gang our list that did crack the top sixteen. Gangre is the kind of deck that does seem to be kind of able to counter both mew and Archaius. has a very, very strong mew matchup. In fact, I would put that as a very favorable matchup for gang are, and then has the opportunity to one hit Ko even with a evil with a big charm, the Archaius, and that is really problematic because most archias decks are hoping that they can at least get one or two charonce cares off here over the course of a game. So gangars that deck that she looked to as being able to potentially counter both archetypes. Absolutely. Gang are having that huge damage output as well. Just is it's kind of threatening to anything that's put in front of it, particularly if it offers up multiple prizes. So gangar is definitely one of the premier at acts that we've talked in the second half as well. So Brisbane, huge congratsontalie again. He's from grass to all the players in the top sixteen and thank you in a way for for setting the stage for what's to come, for the future the brilliant stars Meta game. You know you're kind of the groundbreakers here. So that's really it's a stressful and exciting time to play in a regional championship, I think. Do you feel a little let down, though, because, you know, again, they may have, I don't know, you know, perfected them, you deck, but like we we cut. It does definitely feel like with this iteration, that we've kind of reached like final kind of final form is approaching at least. Yeah, you know, it just feels like as optimized as possible. Again, there's a few cards you could change and like, okay, maybe you play more stadiums if there's more path dex in the metagame or something like that. But it feels kind of optimized. Do you do you? I always get that kind of not not frustration, but it's like, Dang it, if it had only been a week later and I was playing in the tournament, like I yeah, I mean that it's Salt Lake and and ver's been reversed. Like certainly our testing group would have shown up the special energy. View have been very happy with what happened, most likely. Yeah, but WHO's to say? I mean maybe maybe there were more North American players that were on special energy. You and it turned out like path was really the very that was going around. Like path x. The Meta game seemed to fluctuate so rapidly right now, especially with online tournaments, because when last time we had real life play, you know, there wasn't really this online space in the at least not in like nearly the same way. You know, online tournaments weren't really happening. There wasn't the limitless, you know, platform for online tournaments, so it didn't exist in really the same way. And because of like the constant influx of like in formation and lists and events, it feels like Meta Gamester, sir, so snappy now, like there's constantly things that are changing. Meta Games gets solved very quickly compared to what they used to, it feels like, or at least if not solved, like the decks advance very rapidly. Yeah, and I think, I think maybe what you're saying is like a list comes out and then all of a sudden all the players that are planning on playing that deck, that archetype, kind of gravitate towards that list that did well, whereas maybe in the past it...

...would have been a lot slower. But change kind of see those players shift. Yeah, the direction of the would gout. Yeah, I would say something along those lines. Yeah, where you have, you know, a convergence towards the decks that are doing well over these repeated events, and then convergence happens much quicker because there's constantly events being reported out on M that's a broader philosophical discussion. They had the effect of online tournaments on the Meta game. Let's take a quick break and thank our sponsor before we jump into Salt Lake City and JW here a tag team. We are sponsored by the ever lovely manscaped. And for those of you who failed to get the ultra premium collection from the celebrations expansion, have I got news for you, because ultra premium collections are in stock at NSCAPED. That's right, for leave it or not, for you're not so private parts, manscaped has leveled up your hygiene routine with a freshly fresh manly scent pack a skin and hair kit that will literally cover you from head to toe. This thing is awesome, full of great products, and manscaped will treat you right. Jw and I are huge fans of their products. Use My manscape products every single day from the ear nose hair trimmer to the lawnmower for no to trim my private parts and I love it. It's awesome. It's comfortable and they're underwears the best in town, and you can actually get twenty percent off and free shipping. JW, do you know how you can do that? You can go to Manscapecom, enter in the code TAG team and that I'll get you the great discount, twenty percent off plus free shipping. Again, Riley, use of the products. I use the products. We love the products. I got a little manscape lip bamb here that I use like every day because it's you know, we're kind of ending the winter time and it's super dry over my area, so I'm always applying that, you know, always wearing the shirt, always wearing the underwear, like it's just they're good products, always using the shampoo and the shower. It's really good stuff. If you haven't checked it out, I would at least encourage you to head on over to the website check it out for yourself see if it seems like something you'd be interested in. I have a feeling you might be. Check it out manscapecom. Code Tag team for twenty percent off plus free ship. Thank you so much to manscaped for sponsoring and presenting the TAG team podcast. So I got a card of the day. Riley, lay it on me, brother. Okay, this is actually a card and I'll let you guess it. This is a card that has changed names. Are Ex going to me? Has Some maintained the same name? Has Changed Text? Okay, and a Raza. That should be a pretty big hint. Quick Ball. Yeah, right, you can already name. Okay, here's the original. Flip a coin. Yep, if adds, okay, do you know it yet? Flip a coin at Pokemon catcher. Nope. Put a evolution card from your discard. Pile, oh, into your hand. Wait, an evolution card specifically? Yeah, and there's there's more. Okay, if tails, but a basic pokemon card for me to discard. Pile, if any, into your hand. Is this a is this like Super Rod? Is that? Yes? Yeah, okay, it's Super Rod, very good, from one of the NEO sets, Super Rod, of course, having the newer text of shuffling up to three of any not up to pokem on. Oh, yes, you're right, you have the shuffle. If you have it three pokemon or three energy or some combination of both. But the original super od one just a weird card. is like never was played because it's just so that's a bizarre effect. Yeah, heads, you put an evolution card, tails, you put a basic. So I guess you get in a pokemon either way, but you kind of just don't get like, you know, it an see over. Yeah, that's anyway. I felt like that. That kind of fit in with our manscaped. No, really, why is that? Could you explain? Oh, because you know make your odd Super Gosh with manscaped that you play that super od in your glc Dec don't then one I and I never got called out for it. I needed to have a reference and I...

...didn't. Never punished. Never punished. Yeah, for sure, probably could have gotten a penalty or something, but provoke your championship retractively. Yeah, I put an asterisk. That's definitely an Asterisk chipship. That's funny. I don't think you can actually use that like expanded, though, can you? No, I'm pretty sure you can't, but it's just because of the way that GLC is structured, being able to play all the more flexibles like that. Yeah, yeah, it's Super Oad. Is Super Funny. I love the they're honestly, back in the day there are some really Janky cars like that, you know, I they just had the most. This is like what were they thinking with this type of fact? Yeah, what use case did that have? Well, but then at the same time, right, you think about the era and they were printy cards that, you know, for to energy did twenty damage, you know, or like for energy did sixty damage, and I was like sick. Yeah, right, exactly. It's true. It's sue is a different, different, bygone era. Now you can do if you do it to energy, you better be doing a hundred and fifty at least. Power Group. Who Knew? Who Knew? And you know, for talking about to energy and swinging for high damage. And it's perfect theme for the billion stars Meta game is using two attachments for high damage. So that's crazy, man. Talk about them. So Jw and I have compiled are top five by popularity decks in our opinion, what will be the Salt Lake City metagame. So we're going to go through those decks from bottom to top and talk through, you know, not only the deck themselves, why we think it's going to be good or popular, also talk about, you know, what would we specifically do if we were bringing one of these decks that would make it more successful? So that might mean like how you play it in a game it might be and how you build it if it has variance, or you just like individual tech cards that we would include. Yeah, it's kind of a cool Meta. I think like it. I mean MEA is like the most broken card, you know, most broken deck ever printed in totality, and archeus is just extremely strong. But it's kind of cool in the sense that there are a few different decks that can all compete, but it's a largely centralized Meta game, I would say. I would say, yeah, you got me and you got archais and then you got like, you know, three or four other decks that you could maybe think about, you know, putting top for and like potentially winning, but like you got me and Archaeus. Those are the decks that are just gonna probably win the event, right, it is you just put your money on them. Those are suretting the betting. If you're betting guy, then you would put your money on those decks. But then you kind of have this like Submeta within the archaeus deck, right, because you can play it just anyway and there's not really a consistent yeah devised to play it. So that's kind of the the thing that I think players will really develop and the person that comes up with the best archias list I think has a really good shot in Salt Lake City. To that just seems like the x factor to be right. We kind of know what to expect with me. You gotta know what to expect with, you know, another top deck jolty on. We know what to expect with another top deck gang are, but we don't quite know where the Archeus deck will go. I would I would agree. The direction seems up in the air right now. It hasn't quite been defined yet. So our top five will go? I'll just rattle them off. I think yeah, go you mew at number one, Urchius variance, but probably leaning more towards intellion at number two, Gangar and number three. Think probably fourth most popular will be Jeweltian. And then we were up in the air a little bit about number five. But something, something rapid strike Malamar most likely something, something rapids right down. So let's talk about rapistake Malamar then as our number five by popularity deck heading into Salt Lake City. Now I think we both agree this is a deck that we would not play ourselves going into Salt Lake City. For Myself, there are two reasons why I believe that to be the case. First, the deck is kind of a pile. It's a little inconsistent it, you know, you get these weird ricky starts. And then, perhaps an even bigger factor for me is, especially when combined with the fact it's kind of a pile, the deck tends to be kind of slow in its games. There's a lot of game actions you have to take for a turn with Malamar, especially if you're playing the INTELLIAN variant. A lot of deck searches, a lot of shuffling,...

...it's a lot going on and it's really easy with a Malamar deck, especially with these one prize decks, where you feel like you have a chance until like the game is basically over right. So you'll tend to like play yourself into situations where, like you might, you'll probably lose the game. But if you hit like this gigantic one, hit knock out and draw everything perfectly, then you're back in it and you're probably going to win. And it's super easy to get bait into that with Malamar. So I think the deck will have a big tie problem at best of fifty minutes, and you have to be really polished with a deck to like actually succeed with it in that time frame. Yeah, I think that's a good point and I feel like the players that would generally tend to gravitate towards the deck like Rabbit Strike Malamar are not the players that are the most technically proficient. I don't mean that in like you know, only, only, only, you know noubs are going to play rabbits strike Malamar. That's not what I'm trying to say, but just I feel like it's more of a deck that a newer player would gravitate towards as opposed to maybe a more experienced player. I think the generally speaking, the more experienced players are going to go with the higher HP basics that you know aren't going to lose to like donks or less likely to lose to just awkward hands, because they want to just have games that they can try to figure out strategies to win, and Malamar is very much kind of a one trick pony. You know you're you're just smacking into the active as hard as you can every single turn. There's no real nuance. I mean there is, there's with every deck, but you see, what I'm saying is just there's not a lot of cute plays that you can make with the Malamar deck. I would agree with that. So do w what is the certified tag team tip, the TTT for the Rapid Strike Malamar Deck? I think it's the only thing that I could really say in terms of what you can do with the Malamar deck. Would just be trying to give the definitive kind of way to play it. So there's Sin Chino and there's intellion. We're talking before the cast. I think tag team would put their stamp of approval on the intellion variant of Rabbit Strike Malamar. If we're talking about cute plays that you can make with Malamar, in telling on gives you a little bit more of that, being able to snipe and being able to pick up, you know, pokemon with the with the scoop up nets and get, you know, maybe for extra pokemon or five or six, just scooping up all your intalians at once and and having this massive hand. So I kind of like that, yeah, as being something that maybe separates different Alamar players being able to build up that damage with Italian, and I think one other like unsung hero of the Atalian variant, or maybe technically too, is it sets up its board more reliably in the early game. And what I mean by that is actually like the Cinchino variant a lot and I preferred it up until relatively recently. But what the Italian variant has is it has keep calling, which is obviously good, and you have the call for family on the Minchino, which is roughly comparable, though, but you also play the for Brawley, so you have all of your sobbls and your for Brawy, which are all outs, to basically set up your entire board, and that's something that Chin Chino variant, I think, can sometimes lack, and also the Chinchino vary. It can end up if you have bad starts that the Chino variant it kind of snowballs because you end up make doing all your good cards right. I've had get I've played a lot of Malamar in like the Eight pod tcgeo tournaments to like get packs, because there was just like it was cheap to get and it it kind of what it was fun to play and I had this one particular heartbreaker game where I really should have one. But what I got to the last tournament the game and drew my whole deck like there weren't rapids strict cards left because I had to trade them all to set up. That felt really bad, so sad. It was very sad. So tag team tip is to play the intellion variant of Rapid Strike Malamar. Very cool. Let's move on to deck number four. That is Joelty on. That feels a little bit like a sleeper choice, but it did win a very large tournament last weekend in the online sphere. So talk to us a little bit about jolty on and why you would consider playing it for Salt Lake City. Yeah, up until yesterday actually, Joel Te on was maybe the number one deck on my radar heading into Salt Lake City that I would play, and the reason that is is jolte on is very low maintenance. You really just need the one energy in the tool and you're able to swing, which means that you're not as reliant on that turn one energy drop, which is something that really I don't know if it like inhibits the archeus decks, but it feels really bad, and the archeus decks that you need to get that term on energy drop to feel like you're in the game to...

...the same degree as your opponent. Joel tew doesn't need that, right. It can attach tool swing even if you whip the energy turn one, as long as you get your basic down. The other big boon in the Joel te on deck is it picks off your opponent's engines, be it with the path of the peak to shut off your genes, sex and your starbars, or just the Max Thunder Rumble to tear apart your opponent's boards. And it's pretty rare, I would say, for non single price decks to be playing the man of fee, even though in actuality like the man if, you'd probably be a big boon in that Joel te on matchup. Reducing their damage by half is pretty big deal, right. Yeah, the deck doesn't really do all that much to start with. I mean a hundred and a hundred snipe on its face is decent, but it's going to take you a number of turns to go through, you know v Max Pokemon, for instance. So yeah, hitting that in half, like you said, is just terrible. Absolutely horrific for the back. Yeah, so Joel Te on just a super low maintenance. It has the Cheryl so it kind of plays a similar game to like archaeus with the charance care. It leverages the Intelli on engine incredibly well because because of its low maintenance and you know, it's just a generally powerful, like good abuser of path type deck. The the problem which old teon in my opinion, that I think holds it back is first, I mean it has the one card tech which really hurts it. I don't think man if you will be very popular. But the other thing that hurts it is joltion. Tends to struggle if your opponent gets really aggressively set up on you, particularly from some of the decks above jolte on and his popularity to your list. If gangarrom, you managed to get like a really strong board really early. You know, I'm thinking like a choice belt mew with multiple fusion strike energies on the board. Joel town really can't respond to that at all. So there's not a lot of outside of like boss Geno section. It Shenanigans. You can't do a lot in those situations and that feels really bad to have kind of like your agency removed from you in those cases. Right. But Joel Tiwn, I think, actually has a really good archias matchup, surprisingly, unless they play like a fighting tack to deal if you, because they might, like incidentally, be flying one of the archis mirror. Sure. So a good archis matchup. But one of the great misconceptions, I think, about Joel Tian is that it has a favorable mew matchup. Yeah, I think. I think it might have back in the day, prior to double turbo, but double turbo was a game changer from you, because now you can retreat those genes sex with an additional three outs, and the Muse now our playing or Racorio, which reduces your damage by forty because it affects both the active and the bench Pokemon, and the you know, because they have those choice belts them. You can reach that three hundred multiple times in a game if it wants to, even without the four fusion strike energy in play. So yeah, it's tough out there. I don't think the matchup is outright horrible, but I think any favor that she'l teon had as certainly dissipated and it's fifty at best for Joel Ti on. In my opinion, honestly, I think it's worse right right. So my tag team tip for Joelte on. I thought a lot about jolte on. Over, inuitially, when we were super hot on Joel Te on, we were actually thinking of playing a manifee. manifee is ridiculously good, and the jolte on mirror. So if you think that's going to be a factor, my general rule of thumb is at tech is worth it once you play a deck twice in Swiss. So if you think you'll hit two Joel Tian's and Swiss, then maybe playing en fee. I doubt you will, to be honest. But another tack that we thought was good for the mirror and potentially good for me you as well. As tool scrapper. You know, you get to get rid of the big charms, get rid of the choice belts on the Muse, get rid of the elemental badges in the mirrors, just the way to kind of like disrupt your opponent's strategy. It's very low maintenance. TAC as well like it, incidentally, is useful in a lot of matchups, even if it's not like a phenomenal card. So I would be. My tag team tip is keep the deck straightforward. Maybe play tool scrapper. That's a good one. Moving on to number three, a gang are and the single strike box archetype. Gangar is my personal favorite deck. I mean I played it for the team challenge, the most recent team challenge, and sweeped easily all of my opponents. Okay, can't get through a casbout JW talking about how he's a winter. Well, I only say that with so much vim and vigor because it was actually quite close and all of my...

...favorite and I played. I played, yeah, like two mirror matches, which just suck, but I still really enjoy Ganger, I feel like, like we talked about earlier in the cast, gang are has a lot of benefits. Well, probably the main one being that it has that extremely solid mew match up. I would put it somewhere between sixteen forty and seventy thirty, like there are times where you just bust right through view and they can't do anything to stop it. Obviously, new, being the deck that it is, can take games off of the gang Guar deck but for the most part has that favorable matchup and then also can hold its own in the intellion matchup being able to one hit Ko Arcis, and that is the biggest kind of thing that the Arcis player does not want, because you're relying on getting at least one, maybe two chairs care off in a game. He need those Archias to stay alive. So that is you know, with the gang guard deck can accelerate a bunch of energy, get to that three hundred and ten number with the gang are be vmax and really go to town on those two decks. Now we're it kind of falls off is you know, maybe if you're playing against something like rapid strike Malamar, or maybe if you're playing against something like Jolti on, like it just does not do well with the outside of the top two day actual think a cars okay, versushalty on, but that's a different thing. Well, okay, well, I don't mean to say like, but it's not overly favorable. Right like it like it is verse from you. Ye have it. You can need sneaky like you can just bench nothing and attach the single circuity. That is one shot to jot the out. But does it ever play out like that? No, it doesn't play out. But like, even if you bench stuff and it gets sniped, like all you need is one gang are. You Win that game. Okay, yeah, fair enough, fair enough. So even even so, I just but I got you're like like it's good against you, like very good against you. It's like fifty two, maybe a little bit above, against Archias, and then, like everything else just is kind of sucky. Yeah, I think for Multi Prize decks, Gangers maybe one of your scariest opponents that you can be against, unless you're playing like wrap striker or something, and which case you're you're loving that. My opinion as well. In addition to having horrible one prize matchups, is can are also just has that like inherent unreliability that comes with the single strike engine. I don't know if you feel quite the same as a stud it's definitely outside of maybe the mew deck, like it's one of those decks that just either pops off real hard or is such a light though. Let I would agree. Yeah, gang are. We are also on gang are for a day because we had a whole day or it just popped off like crazy. Yeah, we thought. I was like Oh, this is like super reliable, this deck rocks, and then we had a whole day. The following day didn't work at all, so we put Ganger back from the shelf. But I think it's a really solid pick nevertheless for the event well, and it's certainly one of those decks that can spike a player to a high finish. You know, it's like if enough players play it, which they will, you know, surely someone will spike the tournament with it. And you know if you hit enough from honestly, if you hit enough mew, you're probably going to have a fantastic day. Yeah, you know, if you're hitting for five mew and day one, and it's a nine round tournament, so you know you presumably in best two out of three. You know, win two of those games in every match, so you're already at like five and Oh, and then you just need to scramble together another win and maybe idea a couple times. Right, you make it out a day two and then anything can happen from there. Like it's definitely the kind of deck where I think players can get a big spike and get a really nice finish. I would agree with that as well. It sjw. What's your tag team tip for the ager? My tag team tip for Gangre is don't play auxiliary attackers. So I had for a while in my gang ar deck a rabid strike Orshafoo, thinking like Oh yeah, it's just really good to hit for fighting weakness. You know Joel town is in the format you can hit. You know in the new format you can hit the archias for weakness. But you kind of don't want to do that because Gangar is just strong enough by itself to better than the rather attacker. Yeah, it's a better three energy attacker. You'd rather devote the energy to a pokemon that has more health because you want to get as most as much vi you know usability out of the single strike energy, right, you think about two hundred and twenty and I guess if you're attaching through how doom, you know much less, like one hundred and eighty. Like that's very easy for anything to knock out on the Rapid Strike Orsha Foo. So you just want to get them most mileage as you can out...

...of those single strike energy and so attaching them to a higher hb Pokemon is just going to be better for you. Stick with just the gang are. Don't be playing stone journer. They'll be playing rapid striker's food. Will definitely not be playing rappers. Yeah, no, for sure. Cut The rapid strikers right now. Strike Deck. Definitely get that out. A tip. Yeah, what a tip? Yeah, my tip for single strike gang are is don't play rapid strikers, but don't play single strike arche food in the list either. I just don't think it needs it. And you're kind of like any time I attached three energy to that Pokemon, I maybe get one knockout and it gets knocked out in return and then I just feel like I've wasted all that time because I have to go dig four things to put energy back in the deck and I just should have left it on Ganger as it was. Be Barrel or no B barrel in brilliant stars gang are. I do like the biberl yeah, I do like the Bibber Roll, because that is one of the things that you struggle with with gang are is just in that mid to late game. It's finding those last few pieces. Totally like the you know, the early game like you can, you can piece together a few things and, like we've talked about, Ganger is being just this low maintenance attacker. But then you get into that mid game and you're searching for supporters, you're getting to that lake game and your searcher for boss or the urns and that could just get really difficult. So I would say bibber roll is an include for me in any gang ARD deck. I love it. So then number two on our popularity ranking here is archais. Specifically we call out archaius and tellion. We believe that this is going to be the most prevalent archaius variant. Now, certainly, if if archius variants look different in the top eight or win that the regional championship and Salt Lake, that will likely influence the future of Archaius. But in this snapshot in time, the most popular prevailing variant is by far the Italian version, and intellian offers, you know, a wide array of variance kind of within there. You can play different text and things like that, but the engine itself and Tellian seems to be the winner, and the reason that is is because it just gives you so much control over what you have at any point in the game. You play a lot of pokemon search, so you can either use your drizzles or de Straw your pokemon search over the course of the game. You can. Once you get the too energy on your Archias, the double turbo and the basic, you can accelerate your energy out of your deck and then you can get your supporters pretty much whenever you want with the drizzle and intellion. So you basically have access to all three of your types of cards just by getting archais and Italian on your board. So very consistent, gets your your key cards the moments that you need them as well, which is a difference of Italian versus some of them more draw oriented support Pokemon, think your Chincinos and your bi barrels, where they don't necessarily guarantee that you'll draw your charans carry with the turney needed or your boss's orders. A drizz I'le specifically gets your boss's orders and it may not draw you the extra card, but you got your boss's orders, so I don't draw the prize card instead? Yeah, there you go. That's my take. So OURCI's Italian, super strong. Personally, Arcis and Italian is what I would put as the deck that I would play at this moment in time, very slightly edging out mew is the deck that I would play at this moment in time. I just think it's super good, super consistent, and I would build it for MACs consistency as well. Like play a couple extra supporters, play a couple extra energy. Just make the deck work as consistently as possible and out maneuver your opponents by getting access to what you need the turns down. Need it. Yeah, that's my big tag team tip for the deck is don't skimp out on supporters. As much as you can. You know, even though you're playing a deck that can fish out any two cards from the deck at any time or, you know, search for supporters through the entally online, I do still feel like playing. You know, one count of of research is probably not your best way to go with things. So try as much as you can. If you are looking to play and telling on Arki is coming up for Salt Lake City Dry, as much as you can to look for ways to, you know, not over fill the deck with those supporters, but at least have enough that you know you're not going to get stuck on turn one or in the light game when you're trying to dig four things. You're going to have what you need. The other thing I would say, when you brought it up, is being, you know, being being smart on how many energy you play. I've seen a lot of lists of play. Six feels a little low to me because a lot of times what you're going to be doing is accelerating from the deck with your archaius onto another Archius, and if you don't have energy to accelerate, then you leave yourself very vulnerable on the following turn if your opponent can knock out what you have or,...

...you know, disrupt the hand. To take a knockout on your active like that just spells a loss, and so I want to exggest as well. Yeah, sorry to interrupt, but the flip side of that, that I would also say. I definitely agree like play seven or more energy. I even think eight is like acceptable, just to guarantee that turn one drop as often as possible. The other component is being mindful of what you're accelerating out of the deck and when you're doing it, and what I mean by that is sometimes it's appropriate to just accelerate to energy out of the deck when you treating overse tre needy charge. Sometimes it's even just one, and the reason that is is if you're trying to charance care loop, especially, then you need to be able to continually use your one attachment per a turn to power up your next Archeus, and so if you get too many energy out of your deck too quickly, then you won't be able to charance care and accelerate to your next archaius. So you have an Archeius with three energy and Archeus with zero energy, and it's a really bad situation of be in because, like thew is saying, if they take that knockout or if you're forced to chair in the next turn, then you don't have an attack on board. So be really mindful of how many energy you have in deck. I've even straight up thought about putting a rang guru in the deck just so I can put the energy back in and just guarantee it. Yeah, exactly, and you get the one extra card. It's kind of cool too. That would be a cute little tech for sure. That is saying I was talking. We're like, well, what if, instead of a right, grew because that's kind of a sucky attack or a stucky starter right. Yeah, you could just play a switching cup. Yeah, switching cups a little Miami, but it similar purpose. I don't know if I would play either personally, but it's something I've used on just because of how important it is to make sure that you have resources in the deck. For sure. For sure. So Wide Varree, a wide variety, I should say, of Archaius lists. Your kind of thing about Archeius and Tellian as maybe being your, you know, potential choice. Do you think that'll be the most popular, and what are some other variants that people should really be prepared for? Yeah, I think that will be the most popular and really I think all the variance will kind of be focused in in telling on the other main variance that I've been seeing. People have been trying, like other draw support Pokemon, but I think it tellian. It's kind of superseded those. So really the other variants that I would expect is, you know, drow it on seems to still be a force. The archies rout on much less quantity than it used to be at the start of the format, but still very much of for us. The archaius box type decks are out there where you play like a lot of v Pokemon, like your luminions and your crow bats stuff like that, and you you have like your glary Moultris and your Galerians aptose and those are your attackers. I don't like that very at all. I think it's too vulnerable to half of the peak and the attackers don't really do enough. Kind of my general philosophy, I share it with with Andrew as well in are testing, is archaius is, nine times out of ten, the best attacker that you could be using. It has the most HP, it does respectable damage, so it's not getting like constantly knocked out, especially like the mew matchup. Like, I don't really think you need dark attackers, at least if you want to take a fighting attacker, I'm for that, but you can do that in the Talian version without playing like a path week box version, basically. Sure. And then the last variant that I've seen is kind of like Quad Archaius, where you save out on the support Pokemon and just for like archias and dunce bars and evel tall and fill your deck with other stuff, either supporters or hammers or what have you. We actually tested that one a fair amount and it was pretty good. I just like the Italian a little bit better. Oh let's get into our number one deck, of course. That is MEW v Max. Now talk a lot earlier in the cast about the way you should play Mew v Max and I think that will be the dominant way that we see it in salt L at. Those basic energy out of there. Get them out. Don't need them, don't want them. And so with this new mew deck there are still some things that I think players need to be aware of if they're deciding to play mew for the first time. You know, I know there are a lot of players going to their first regionals and they're hearing us say, you know, Meu is the best deck and they're hearing other content creators say mew is the best deck. There are still a few things that they need to be aware of with them. You some cute plays, you know, maybe some some board states they need to be aware of. So, Riley, talk us through. You had some interesting things to say about the fusion strike energy...

...before the cast. So walk us through some of the cute plays that me you can do and some of the things you should be thinking about as you're playing the deck for tournaments. Yeah, I think. I think one part of the view discourse that I haven't seen maybe get as much credit as I think it deserves is the late game mellow Atta Melo Atta. I feel like it's a lot of flak for it's melodious echo on the first turn, going second where you can potentially get two hundred and ten if you get three if USIAN strike energy to play with the elisia sparkle and one from hand from the attachment. I've actually found that play it's like, relatively unreliable to even hit in the first place. But outside of that it's not always the optimal route to go for. You know, I think of like the jolte on matchup, for example. If there are multi multiple jolty on V's and play, it might not be the best idea to go for that play, because then they have the opportunity just come up and knock your your Meloetta and all of a sudden you've lost to fusion strike energy, which are resource you know themselves. Same thing if, like, you're knocking out the sabble or something that isn't your Opponents v Pokemon that has an attachment on it, particularly in the archeus matchup, all you're doing is kind of serving up your melow at on a platter and saying knock this out please. So I think players should also be mindful of. What are the routes that I should be going for that set up a for fusion strike board? Like I've noticed a lot in our mute testing, is if you are able to, and some matchups don't even offer the early game pressure to do this, like particular I think of like Jolteon, does not pressure. You're born enough to accomplish this. If you ELSA's two turns in a row yet for energy on board a choice belt, you literally will win that game every time, unless, I think, catastrophic happens. You will win that game because you're doing three hundred and ten damage your pot. It's Active v Pokemon, not big charm. RC is instantly gets koed by that without even a power so I think that's a super relevant factor. Also, another fusion strike tip. Remember the fusure strike energy has text on it right. I know it's insane to think about, but it's a rainbow energy with a bonus positive effect. You know that? That still blows my mind every time I think about it. What in the world have they did not need to make it that good. What the world? And it's like a really good pot. You know you have the wrap the strike one. It's like you can't be paralyzed or confused or something, and this one is you're not affected by abilities. Some useful tips for that. In the jolty on matchup, you can put it on your or Choreo so they can no longer Zigzagoon Ping or in Italian, paying or Choreo and you get that reduced damage to stay on the board for longer. In wheezing matchups, you can put it on your Gena sect to be able to Geno sect under the neutralizing gas and then generally, like it's antellion pain counter. So if you have like a hundred eighty damage Geno sect on the bench that got swung into by an Archeius in the early game, you can Fusu and strike energy that and now they can't Ping it to clean up those suprises. Fusure strike energies are supervaluable. They're a resource. Don't always pigeon hole yourself into making a bad play or burning your resources just to get the turn one knockout if you don't actually route your game from there. You know, I think that's maybe the ultimate tip, is route your game out. Go for the knockout when it means that it gives you the path to win the game, not when it means that you're just taking a knockout and making your opponent feel bad. Well, that's a pretty good tag team tip. That's a tag team tip right there. So go back and re listen to that if any of that went over your head. But that's really important to remember that. Yeah, the fusion strike energy has a lot of utility and just don't don't gloss over that and don't. I think with the mew deck it's so easy to grind games online too, that it's it's you know, we often just play it and just you know, and there's a lot of room to miss play with the deck. There is, there really is. The power level is so high that you might still have a really good win percentage with the deck but be miss playing a lot, like not making the exact optimal play every time. So just keep these things in mind and, you know, there's always something to be working on no matter what deck you play. With me, you with me. Do you think you would play echoing horn? I would play echoing harm. I think it's a really just solid card and there's cool things you can do with it, like if your opponents trying to just like set up one pokemon that you can't Ko, one gigantic pokemon. You counter that strategy because you can echoing horn, something that you can kout that was not and you did Cho probably earlier in the game. The echoing horn is also just it opens up more routes to win, more clever ways to outplay your opponent. I don't think it's a required card in the list, although I do think it makes the list better. Okay, so, yeah,...

I'm just I'm thinking about you know, maybe there's a reduction in Dur ludan based dex yeah, and it's strongest versus draught on, I would say. But I think it's also good for an Archaius, particularly like if you knock out their only archius with an energy, with Melotta term one, for example, but they managed to kind of like claw their way back and now they're doing like path shanigans the echoing horn to get an archius back on their bench. That's just an easy knockout. Means that you only really have to push for one big charm as opposed to to and too is basically like it's not impossible, but it's really, really hard to knock out to big charm archias one, though. That's just doable, for sure, I can do it. Yeah, yeah, no doubt. So I like the echoing horn. I also like including both Cram rant and kind of momatic and wrote on phone. Just to maximize your consistency, I think me you, I I was the guy playing me you a lot and in a testing and and you know it always feels bad to be the guy playing the deck that you're trying to pet. You know. Yes, you like the villain in the testing. So I played against a lot of decks that play path and then yesterday we started testing a deck that didn't play path. If played like training courts and archais variant, and I'm like, oh my gosh, I feel unstoppable right now. So what I'm getting at with that rant is you feels absurd when it doesn't have path in play. So you need to have outs to get the path out of play, and the two best outs to do that are your kramatics and your rootem phones and playing, ideally, a third stadium, I think as well. Right, I don't think for is necessary, but you do feel the difference, at least I feel the difference. Three verses to three verses to yeah, so I would recommend that. And I guess my last tag team tip is and certainly I can if you have more new topics, I would happy to give more. But the last tag team FIF that comes immediately to mind is don't burn your resources past what you need to. With me you like don't burn your power tablets in matchups where you need to keep them. Don't chrammatic just because you have it and a battle pass in your hand and you want to draw more cards. Like think about what your next turn is going to look like and preserve the resources that make that turn the best one possible. Right, absolutely. Yeah, that's really good, really good tip. So for those players going to Salt Lake City, this is my last question. Riley, give me a Meta breakdown of what you would expect in terms of the percentage of players playing mew, the percentage of players playing some type of Archias deck and then kind of on down through the decks of we talked about, and then also maybe some of the other options for players. Yeah, I think. I don't think the online seam will translate one to one with real life, but I do think mew will be far and away the most popular deck. You know, even when we think of like the full grip K mew was something like forty of the decks. I think it was were plant. We're am out of a hundred and fifty. Yeah, it's like a quarter of the field. I think that sounds about right. is like a quarter of the field will probably be playing me and then probably another like fifteen to twenty maybe, but probably closer to fifteen. percent of the field will probably be playing archias and then the other sixty percent will kind of be everything else. I think gang garduolty on it and rapid strike will be the next three. Is My guess. But really you're looking at like almost half the field will be playing. I mean, if you will, if you out of like all five of those decks, like I think that's probably going to be like sixty to seventy percent of the field round. But if you look at just me an archis, that's like forty percent, I would say. Right. Yeah, that's probably about where I put it. So again, in a nine round tournament, expect to play against me at least twice. That would be just my general assumption. Yeah, expect to play against Archias one to two times and then kind of a Schmoorg is board. You know. Sometimes you'll get a buy. That would be kind of cool. Sometimes you'll get, you know, opponent doesn't show up or something. Sometimes you'll get a you know, just a random round one or two deck where you know you just are not expecting that and you know there's no reason for you to expect that deck. Sometimes you'll get, you know, maybe a newer player, first turn meant, and they have very limited card pool, you know, and so you'll play against like a like a everyday watch top that academy and you'll play against an Italian, you know. So what do you say? So that's, you know, that's a little bit of what you can expect. That's kind of how I'm thinking of the Meta when I'm just imagining what it would be. I do think what you that what you're talking about here at I do think if you're going to have a deep run, the later you go in the tournament you'll get a higher concentration of me and Archius in particular. You'll see them...

...more and more often. So if you're starting off like six, you know, my guess is, like the tables around you, or probably like me, archis and then the one gang are that's having the day of the day of their life. Yeah, yeah, for sure, for sure. I mean Arkius is definitely a deck that has a probably the highest skill cap yeah, of the decks. So yeah, it would stand a reason that the later you get in, the higher the concentration of arcis would be. I would I would be a little hesitant to say it's as low as fifteen percent for the archies decks. I would actually has, you know, I would harbor, I guess, is Arcius being just slightly less popular than me. I mean my actual take is more like forty to forty five percent will be mew and archaeus. You know, like half the field will be playing one of them. Yeah, yeah, so, in any case, I'm so excited. I'm so happy that there's going to be a straight Oh dedicad to in addition to the Yes, yes, very excited for that and got a lot of great faces on the commentary team and I'll be sure to be tweeting about it all this weekend because I cannot be there. But Riley, you will be going, so I wish you. I've not got the best not going either. I'm not going either. As I said that. I said that I'm not going. You look for trade, you change your mind. I was closed. There was the flight I was monitoring did go from one hundred dollars to one thousand and eight dollars. That was almost the game changer. Now I can really close actually to booking a flight today, but really I've just been I've been diving in just to help out the okay, the variety of friends that we have there going. So if your fans of the CAST, make sure to say hi to Andrew Mahon, Kevin Baxter, Michael Zelie, who will all be out there, who've been working with us to craft perfection heading into this tournament. And one final tag team tip is to make sure to take a shower and also leave us a rate and review on all your favorite podcasting platforms. has been a great episode, Riley. I look forward to seeing what happens to Salt Lake City. So excited. It should be a great tournament and really just be I hope that there's some innovation. Hard to say if they're you know, if there will be anything crazy to come out, anything Meta changing, but I do think that we're going to see you a lot more development in terms of Archias list. I think that's probably where most of the development will be, so be excited to watch that on the stream with you over the weekend, Riley. Yeah, that's going to do it for us today. Thank you, guys, so much for listening. You can find us on twitter, my handle at real John Walter, Riley's handle at smiles with trials, and the podcast at tag team pokemon. We love you all for support in the cast and good luck if playing in Salt Lake City. Will catch you next time. Peace. Do You.

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