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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 4, Episode 30 · 6 months ago

4-30. Salty Lake City (if you're a Mew player)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys are back and fresh off the results of Salt Lake City! We got all sorts of exciting results to review so it's time to dive headfirst. What happened to Mew? What happened to our pals? Only one way to find out, and it's listening to this episode.

This episode is brought to you by Manscaped! Use code TAGTEAM for 20% off and free shipping.

Yo, what's up, guys, welcome back to tag team Pokemon, Trading Card Games from your podcasting duo. My name is Riley Holbert, joined as always by my good, good friend Mr JW crew. All Je you. That's a go to day. It's going really well, Riley. Just another day in Paradise, another day in Paradise. Yes, yes, how are you? I'm doing well, man. I last night I decided to join the early sleep gang, so I went to bed it like eight hundred and eight thirty, and I've been kind of high energy all day because I actually had time to sleep, which who know? That was the thing. It's crazy when you get seven, eight nine hours of sleep. I've been going to bed as well, at like thirty eleven, which is a little earlier than I normally do. I'm normally like a midnight kind of guy, but she making a concerted effort to go to bed earlier, and also I've just been feeling more tired earlier and I've just been caving. Normally I just kind of pushed through that and try to get a second wind, but I've been caving to it and just fallen asleep. So you gotta get your rest now, because you know, two months from now you will ever get to have rest again. Yeah, I keep hearing that and I'm like really worried about what that could mean, because I am a pretty heavy sleeper. So, on the one hand, I'm like, you know, very defiant about it, right, I'm like, Oh, yeah, I'll be able to sleep through my child screaming in the middle of the night. And then and then, on the other hand, I'm like, Oh man, yeah, I am going to have to wake up every two, two and a half hours in the middle of the night. You know, really, it's just going to be mom who has to do all the work. Right there for emotional support, but yeah, for little reasons. That's a joke. Yeah, right, exactly. If she's listening, I think. I hope. I mean, there's certainly things that you have to do, but it's like, you know, in terms of feeding, that's that's mom. That's true. That's true. So well, I also got exciting stuff on the plate for the future. That's gotten me in a good mood. So let it be known that, unless something tragic happens, it's registration. Half of TAG team is headed to EU. I see. Yes, it's very exciting. I know so made kind of a last minute ish called that we'd be going to Frankfurt. So me and some friends or our had and no over. It'll be awesome. You caught the bug. Caught the bug. Yeah, I was watching Salt Lake and it's like, I can't wait until May to play Pokemon, for indeed I need to play pokemon now. So I decided Germany was the next place too, I could do it effectively. Yeah, I'm Super Jealous. I wish I could go. I haven't been to an international championship outside of the United States and I think I've only been to think I've only been to one, I see. You know, quote unquote. Yeah, I see, since they've been in Columbus. So it's it's something that I want to do at some point and I was really excited, pretty Covid, you know, to go over there for London, but I'll be I'll be stoked to get over there for the world championships. Yeah, I've done one other non American, I see. I went to the Latin America one in two thousand and eighteen and that was amazing. And now that I'm a little more financially stable than I was in two thousand and two thousand and nineteen. I would kind of like to do at least one of the ICES that are not in America going forward. Probably won't be able to swing like the full grind every single year. That's just a lot to ask for in terms of like Pto and and even just like scheduling my life around that. But, you know, getting one fun experience a year, that sounds pretty dope. Yeah, and then also hitting up the regionals that are a little bit more reasonable to attend. Yeah, Salt Lake was certainly not that free. Is actually significantly cheaper for me to book a flight to. It's a frank furth, and too Salt Lake City. Isn't it funny how it works out like that? It's insane as actually insane in my opinion, unacceptable. But but that's that's neither here nor there, I guess. So fun stuff ahead. But that all said, Salt Lake has happened and concluded and we've got lost to talk about. JW. Yes, so Salt Lake City regional championship wrapped up last weekend. If you listen to us last week, you heard kind of our predictions for what the metagame would look like, and largely it seems like that did shake out. But the biggest surprise was ultimately how the tournament ended up. You know, I think a lot of people were expecting me to make it all the way that top a and even maybe even when the tournament, and that was not the case. The the finals was drew...

Kennett versus Finnegan Lynch with the Archias Gangar and so we can leave Holo deck respectively with drew taken home the whole tournament. Congratulation is to drew Kennett for his second regional win and I don't think that's what people were looking at as being the main tournament contenders when it came now. Now, absolutely not. I mean, you know, drew joins a very illustrious club of a specifically if you were to regional winners. Yeah, so congratulations him. But yeah, if you look at the top two decks, that kind of represent, you know, they might not be the biggest picture of the tournament, but they kind of represent what happened at the tournament. Absolutely they were two curveballs. I think if you had told anyone before the tournament that Sui coon would be in the top two or even the final four, I think you might have gotten some odd looks or, you know, maybe people would have said you're crazy, or you, you know, don't know what you're talking about, but very hard shooting, sweet coon. Yeah, or you know, please quit pokemon forever, don't ever speak to me again. But if you know it, looking back on it, it's a perfect example, and we talked about this a lot, of play testing a deck that you know inside and out and then adjusting it to fit the the metagame and then playing a deck that you're just super comfortable with in a big tournament. And Finnegan had a fantastic result doing just that. He absolutely did. Of course, wasn't able to take home the gold, but still push super far with the deck that not a lot of people are expecting. And then, on the flip side, for drew, coming up with this crazy just you I don't know. You look at the list and when I first saw it I was just it was just so far from something that I think I would ever think of. But at the same time it just happens to work, and that's like kind of the cool thing about Pokemon is that there's always going to be new ideas, new innovators, new combinations being thrown around one of the things that I really liked from his deck was obviously the hyperpotion. I mean that to me is a card that you know, moving forward, is you really have to consider whether or not to put it in your archeus list. Like I think it's going to be a pretty solid card for lists. You know, a lot of people were thinking, Oh yeah, charance cares is good, but obviously that takes your supporter. So if you can get that similar effect from an item card, save your supporter for something else. I mean that's a huge benefit. So drew kind of found that that magic there was able to harness that and ride that to a finals win, which is really, really cool. Props to him for finding that. Props to him for cutting out the Itali online from an Archaeus deck just playing the Biberel. Props to him for finding, you know, possibly maybe, in my opinion, like the best attacker in this metagame in Gangar, and just slamming it into an archeus deck and kind of fusing them together and making this new creation. I mean there's a lot of things about the deck that kind of make you go huh, but then in hindsight it just all works. It's really a beautiful thing, amazing deck by a tree of any kinnet. It is clear to see how that was able to kind of pull ahead and take home the wind. So let's take a look then at kind of what the what the structure this episode is going to look like. We got a lot of stuff talk about from Salt Lake Liver Pool obviously coming up this weekend as well. So in front half of the episode we're going to talk about some of the going ons from Salt Lake. We'll talk about how our friends and testing group for formed and and what they brought and why it was or was not successful. We'll talk about the infamous DQ from the top eight of this regional championship and then, after our card of the day and reads, will go into some of the more interesting happenstances from Salt Lake, particularly what Mus performance looked like and kind of bridge that into what that means for Liverpool. Let's do it. Let's freaking do it. So let's start off with kind of talking about how the homies did down in Salt Lake. So for the uninitiated and your Mahone and Kevin Baxter and I really went in the lab for about a week leading up to Salt Lake. I kind of wish that we had started more rigorously testing earlier. Hindsights, of course, two thousand and twenty, but we ended up bringing a very straightforward archius and tellion variant with, you know,...

...just standard like double charans care for draw supporters. You had a POW pad to get your bosses in, charrance cares back, you know, nothing like really too shocking. There was really no no special sauce in the deck, the the logic being that you know, if you play and Arcis and telly on deck and you play it well year likely to outplay many of your opponents. You have an okay matchup versus mew and that should be enough to at least get you points. If not, when the tournament Kevin Baxter took that idea and somewhat modified it. He took out two cards for a one single strike mustard and beatral combination, which ended up working very well for him. He also swapped the Energy and stadium counts to better accommodate the beat Rol, you know, obviously swapping like the water energies for grass energies, and he slept in a training court like pull off Egil combos and more reliably in the end. Andrew had a rough showing after his third loss. You dropped from the tournament. Hit some some tough matchups. Didn't draw what he needed against me. You had some misplays that can be very punishing, and these arcius decks. So he was not super satisfied with his outcome. Kevin took the deck to day too and struggled in day two. He ended up in the what I'll call them use zone. That the bottom half of day too. You're basically guaranteed to play him. You every single round here there. It was crazy. So he played like five views and day two or something ridiculous. Maybe four Mus and day two, which is absolutely insane, and I think he went too and two against those music something like that. Yeah, I don't know if the beatule pushed his matchups too far one way or the other, but we're happy to see Kevin and day two and he's managed to squeeze in the top sixty four. You know these large day too is. You know, it's easy to forget after years of not playing Pokemon, but you can have these large day twos and still whipped top sixty for so kevin manage to avoid that with some some nice dubs overview over the course of the day. Yeah, absolutely. So it's a little bit of a disappointing finish. I was for the group. I mean it was it was just Kevin and just Andrews. So I think, you know, if I had gone or if Riley had gone, yeah, we would have seen much better. We probably would have, you know, at least dated. But that's neither here nor there. We didn't go. We only have Kevin and Andrews finishes. And so was it. I think, you know, we were talking a little bit before the cast, you know, kind of where we on the right path? I think yes, I think archeus was the card to play for this tournament. I mean obviously mew was like very, very good, still very strong and we'll continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. But I think Archeus is that card that I think you would gravitate towards, that I would gravitate towards, and just trying to figure out the best list. Did we come up with the best list? I think maybe for straight Archias, you could make that argument, but the problem was there wasn't enough, in my opinion, spice. Looking back on the deck that that was brought so right. It was not a secondary attacker that had really any usefulness. Obviously Kevin had the be drill, which again, okay, you're a hater if you don't think the Betel has useful that, but that there was no Zaftos, there's no glarian Multris, no gang are, no stone journal, no no spice to kind of pushing over the edge and give it that secondary attacker that I think archias really wants. I mean you're never going to one hit ko any of your opponents pokemon. For the most part. You can sort of get there at times with different damage modifiers, but for the most part you're not going to get there on archias alone in terms of doing the one hit Ko damage. So I think moving forward it's just finding the optimal archius partner for whatever tournament you happen to go to. You know, for this one it was Ganger, but maybe a future that could shift just depending on what you perceive the metagame to look like. Yeah, and I think you know part of that erupted where we got into almost like a circular effect with our testing where we found like against many of these variants, you know in Archius mirrors like Arki's Italian was just the most consistent variant, right. So we wanted we wanted to have that consistency in the mirror. I think what we may have lacked the foresight on most especially was the prevalence of gang are in the later stages of the tournament. You know what, we had factored in gang are pretty heavily. It was actually one of our top choices in the days leading up to the tournament and you know, especially like looking at the Sunday in the Monday, gang are was one of, if not our very top choice for the tournament and we were kind of repelled by gangars lack lack of consistency it least the hound new version, and I...

...was still stand by like yeah, that can be a kind of a troubling thing to have with your deck heading into the tournament. Although I I do think anger with how doom, and we said this last week as well, has a phenomenally good archaius and you match up if it manages to set up, which that's really the the sticker though it is, doesn't do that. But I don't think we factored that in especially enough into our testing and it led to us being probably like one or two steps behind. I was really interested in testing the these aptos. In particular, I wanted to play Archius and Tellian with ZAP dose because we're testing a variant was SAPTOS and Multraus, just just the V's, not the basic, and this Aptos was doing really, really well. The the step behind I think we were, which Ian, Robin and and Nick managed to solve, was the Cape, was really, really smart. Is a great addition to this AP dose. It lets it survived the hit with a choice belt, even with a three basic energy Archaius, and that was just so, so solid. If you're able to set up as aptose like that, you really put a lot of pressure on your Arcius opponents, many of whom we're not playing guns bars. So it's a free like for prize attacker, which I mean that's pretty smart, right. I don't think necessarily that you should slap in these these texts like no bars. So and, of course, I think to a blind metagame. I think there was, you know, general understanding amongst the entire player race that like nobody would actually be playing on spars at the start. Right. That's run to be like the prevailing thought that everyone that I knew was kind of rolling with, which I would agree with, like yeah, why would you? You don't know if that's what fighting attackers are going to be. Plus there's views like why would they be fighting attackers? Right? The Santa Cona deck also kind of preyed on that same thing, right, because Anna Connor really is not like that could of a card. Right. Well, it's just a huge guy who arcis can't respond to. But multras or Zaptos of the Cape is also a huge guy that archias can't respond to and it's a basier to set up and it has, you know, a little bit more utility in the early game. So yeah, there's certainly something to be said and congratulations and Nick Moffett and Ian Rob for coming up with that combination and the unfortunately couldn't quite get it to the top, but coming in at fourth and Fifth Really Really Good Showings for their deck. Absolutely. So, overall our testing, your result was kind of underwhelming. We started, we clocked in the testing a little bit late. You know, I think if there's one thing that we've been consistent in in recommending and tag team is be thorough in your testing it. Yeah, and if you test a lot, you will get that success. One thing that I think going forward, and I didn't do as much testing is as you guys did, but just kind of perceived from, you know, a little bit on the sidelines, was just I don't think that there was enough experimentation with the lists really at any point. I mean Archias deck was certainly one where you could just go crazy with it, you know, because our keys, I think, brings a very unique element that we haven't really seen before in the starbirth ability, where you know, if you're dead drawing early, you can get out of it or you can play these weird one of texts like the race apt those in the Cape toughness. You could just pull it out of nowhere kind of whenever you need it. So I think there could have been a little bit more room to just go a little bit crazier, you know, kind of try more things out. I actually I would agreel do an Arcius. I think the the other kind of side element within that is like not every deck, that every archais deck even needs to play like a three Archias, and we saw that with, you know, drew Kennets list played like for to the the Ian Robin Nick muffitlast played to to and like those slots are super valuable and archis deck. Those like two to three, two four slots completely change like what your deck looks like right just in themselves and you know, getting too caught up in like yeah, Urchius is the fattest, biggest two prize attacker, which it is, but it also kind of like selfcaps in a way. Sure, absolutely so. I'm really looking forward to kind of like how Liverpool continues to innovate on that. I'm sure the limitless folks will cook up something spicy for us. But we before we jump too deep into that, we have to talk about the DQ. We absolutely do. It seems like we're back to normal, like officially. Now we have our first big scandal, scandal event that happened at a major event, and so this one pretty unfortunate because it has to deal with marked sleeves, marked cards, and so for those that maybe our newer to the game, one of the ways that you can cheat is that you can, you know, scuff certain sleeves...

...or put little indense on the sleeves or in some way mark the sleeves so that you have a better idea. You know, you know what those are right, or you have a better idea of what them what they are. And so there was a controversy in Salt Lake City surrounding a player, Andrew Moonyo's playing a an archaius gang a build kind of ironically, arguably, you know, the best deck for this tournament and had some problems with these marked sleeves. Now there is some debate because it is a technique of, you know, potential cheating. I don't want to say he did cheat but, like you know, the record might show that he did. But, you know, to be diplomatic about it, there is some kind of discrepancy because it comes down to, you know, whether or not a judge believes you to be cheating, as opposed to say stacking right. If they catch you on camera not moving the top card of your shuffle, you're gonna get D C right, but that's not necessarily a little bit more of a gray area because you could say, Oh, I just got that Waear and tear on my cards from shuffling or I, you know, had had it was eating something and some crumbs got on the card or you know, there's there's some ways you could explain away the damage that could potentially happen to sleeves. So you know, Riley, when you hear a story like this, what do you think had to happen for the judges to DQ Andrew Munos? Yeah, and certainly, like you know, people's experiences differ, but generally, when you're looking for a marked card scenario, this will happen like during your deck check for top eight. They'll go through your deck. They all make sure the list matches first and foremost, and then they'll take a look at the backs of the cards and make sure that things are in order and somewhere and tearror is expected, right. You're expecting to see like some amount of variability and how the sleeves are worn and torn, and usually, if that's the case, you'll just ask this for the sleeve to your placed and that'll be that. The problem is when there is a level of consistency and in the way that certain cards are worn and if they notice something like this, what they'll usually do, and I don't want to speak for a specifically happened to Salt Lake, but what they'll usually do is still start to like shuffle those cards up and try and pick the one that they have noticed or the multiple that they have noticed out of a stack, and if they're able to reliably do that, they'll usually pull in a second opinion. Ask them to do the same thing. And if that's corroborated, then that's like definitely a mark card scenario. And so allegedly in it. I don't want to speak a hundred percent of facts, but allegedly in Salt Lake City that was the case with the double turbo energies and another handful of cards. And what makes that a red flag from a judge's perspective is, Hey, you know, these aren't like a random selection of cards that were pulling. These are the double turbo energies, you know, the essential like turn to part of your engine, i. or even turn one part of your engine if you're trying to trinity charge. That's a big deal. If you can draw those in a timely fashion. You actually really need to draw them in a timely fashion. They don't mean a lot if you're drawing them out like the end of the game. You need to get there in the specific portion of the game that they're important. So that's troubling and if that situation is corroborated, that's significant grounds to assume that there is foul play involved. So the judges took the action that they believe was appropriate and disqualify the player in question. And if, and you know, they have no reason to necessarily believe that there wasn't foul play evolved because of the consistency in both being able to draw those cards out of the deck as well as the consistency of, like the way that pattern appeared. You know, if it was specifically targeted at unique combo pieces, that's troubling, right. Right. That that's usually a big thing to is just where you see, like which cards you see. If it's if it's a seemingly random assortment or, like you said, cards that are, you know, maybe better in the light game or better in the early game or you know that mix, like, then there's maybe some more discrepancy that they can have on the part of the judge. Right, because again, it is kind of a value judgment at a certain point for these DQ's. But yeah, I was talking to Riley before the cast as well on this and saying, you know, you hear these things and you hear the player try to defend themselves, but who you know, just be careful who you believe in these situations, right, are you going to believe a player,...

...you know who got the cute who's like, Oh, no, it you know, it was. It was all random and I didn't do anything. But you got to think about their motivation for, first of all, doing the the marking of the sleeves. Right, they want to win the tournament, right. So, like, it's obviously in their rest interest to cheat. Like right, like, right. If if you want to win and your opponent is not cheating like that, you're going to be better off cheating, right, if you know, you know. It's the major league baseball situation. Right. Yeah, do as much as you can without being noticed, and that's going to be better than your opponent who's not doing anything to thank you for that. A door sheeting, right, exactly. And then further it's going to be to their advantage, or like it's going to I don't know. They're going to want to save face afterwards, so of course they're going to try to give their best version of the story. Oh, it was, you know, random cards, you knows, is eight random cards from the deck. I don't know what they saw. You know, the the sleeves were were worn down after, you know, a long day, it's like, okay, that's that's you probably, you know, maybe you didn't cheat, maybe not, like, not intentionally, because that can happen. I'm not saying that, you know, because sleeves can wear down over the course of an event and maybe all four double turbo war down at the exact same spot over the course of the event. And, like, you know, only God knows. But who would you believe? Somebody that has motivation to say face and when the tournament or, you know, a handful of judges that are just trying to keep the integrity of the event in place. Yeah, and I have two kind of tangential thoughts. The first is the judges have literally no incentive. They don't want to Dq the player going into top eight. That looks bad for the event. You know, that is and that's and that's why they do regular deck checks throughout the day, right, but they don't want to get to the final round or the top eight and say, Oh yeah, actually, we missed a guy. You know, we should have caught this rounds before, right, like right. That's why they do these right deck checks and the fact it was a disqualification, like they genuinely believe that that was the best thing for the integrity of the tournament, right. They they didn't think it was a mistake, and you know, that says a lot in of itself. Is like there's actually motivation for the judge to have never found, like not needed to find a DQ, rather because they want the top eight to be good and successful, because that is what they want. They want the event to be successful. And the second tenis was thought I have kind of related, is I don't want to there is a lot of like, you know, swirl and the comment section, of people like outwardly supporting this person and like, if you genuinely believe that, like that is fine, but you know, like JW said, like be care be like thoughtful, and like the way that you place that support, like don't just blindly listen to the person who's talking to you, because they do have the incentive to not only cheat, but to make sure that you think that they're not cheating. And what I really don't want to happen, and I feel like this does happen, is I don't want to create like the players versus the judge mentality. Right, like I don't want people to think the judges are out to get you. They're not. I can personally say that I've had phenomenally positive experiences with the POKEMON judging community. They're a really kind, caring group of people who want to see pokemon play to his highest level in the most competitive fashion possible. So to create the mentality like, Oh, like the judges are out to get us, they're just going to DQ for random, stupid crap like that is not the intent of the judge. That is not the intent of the way these and tournaments are being ran and it's a really unhealthy mindset to carry forward and it's the wrong thing to take away. Even if someone was wrongfully dqed, that is the wrong takeaway from that happening. Yeah, it's really good point. I've had great experiences with judges that have dinged me on certain things, you know, and again I can say with, you know, ten years plus of experience, that they're there to do what they feel like is best for the tournament, best for the core principles of the game, the spirit of the game. Really that's that's very much harped on in any you know, professor seminar or just the way that they think about the game is just upholding integrity, upholding the core values of Pokemon and, like you said, they're not going to be out to get I get this question a lot actually, about people are like, how do I avoid, you know, getting in trouble with judges? And it's I mean, you know, don't cheat, but play honest and play clean, like yeah, exactly, exactly. So they're not out to get you and this was just an unfortunate event because you know, you are kind of dealing with, you know, a...

...player saying, Oh, well, you know, I didn't cheat, it was just these sleeves are kind of shoddy and they they you know, failed me at the wrong time and you know that that's just it. You want to believe them right, like I do. I want to show grace and believe and you'll give them the benefit of the doubt. But you also have the case made by the judges that says, yeah, we're we can't allow this to continue, like we literally cannot have you continue playing in this tournament if we feel like you were cheating, which they clearly did, and I thought as well. It kind of like calfstone. This is, you know, if you really aren't cheating, it prove it, like do all the next event, like don't. You don't need to make a haughty post on facebook about how you're not sorry. Just prove it, like do well without heating, and if you cheat again, you get bad. And if that's Aful, well, possibly, possibly, if you get key again, you're definitely good, for sure. You think so? I don't know. I think so. Yeah, for like a mark. Maybe I don't know it. If your market cars, like you don't know the specifics, right, so we don't know. Like we don't know like how obvious it was, because it's a judgment call, right, so it could have just been just been in the gray zone, right, or could have been. Sure. Well, I can you know. What I'm more so saying is, like, if you continue to cheat, like you'll get banned eventually, yes, like, or you'll continue to get d cut because, like, you'll have eyes on you now as right one who's been dcute. Well, that's definitely, like, definitely a thing for why don't? If you are not sorry it, don't announce that you're not sorry. Just just play in the next event and don't cheat at it. That's what I would do. Well, you're cut from a different cloth, right I've cut from the cloth. That doesn't sheet. That's my thought, so catch me like not saying that. I'm not sorry. If we're cheating, I don't know. Is that a hot tag? Only our viewers, tag teamers, understand. Can can decide the other go well, J be, I think that's a perfect time to hit up our cart of the day. Then absolutely say. Let's get into it. Let's freaking get into it, dude. And today I got a absolute Banger of a card for U JW. Are you ready for this one? Is it? You can guess it now. It's not. You too, Dang it. Okay, I'm gonna give you a polkadect entry and I need you to guess it. So, hiding in people's shadows at night, it absorbs their heat. The chill it causes makes the victims shake, absorbed their heat. Can I get like a type? It's I mean it's Gonnes, probably. Yeah, it's a ghost. It is a Ganger, it's get are. Yeah, let's go. Yeah. So, in conmeoration of Gangar's phenomenal showing at the Salt Lake City Regional Championship, I decided I would choose a gang oar card for this week. And this gang our card has a really sick art. It's just a generally cool card and you'll see the Japanese Promo. No, that is a cool per saw that today. I just like, Oh, it's a it's a stage two gang are. You know, it's good. It's stage two cool gang are and it's the gang are from breakthrough. This gang are has two attacks. First, one sinister fog. You poison the active and put one damage counter all you opponent's bench to kind of just like a spread attack. And the second attack is kind of the meat potatoes this card for one psychic and one colorless creep show. If your opponent's active as three or more damage counters, it's instantly knocked out. MMM, that is it's such a cool card. It was part of, I think it was in the night striker theme deck as well, which is like the thirst first theme deck that I had, at least since I was like a child who collected. Yeah, and the art on it is really really cool and interesting. It's got like a very, I don't know how like very stylistic, like cartoony look to it. I don't know how to describe. Maybe you can help me like describe it. But it's got very like bold lines, very like high end shading, like there's a lot of contract ass in the card. Even with like its individual shades. It looks awesome. It's like I love that kind of art style. The effect on it is really cool. People tried to make this card work and so many different contexts over the time that it was legal. Never got it to quite happen, but it was always really cool. When you got to say creep show for knockout, it's kind of like a like a graffiti artist. Yeah, that's exactly what it's like. It's like a graffiti kind of look to it. Yeah, yeah, with the very bold lines, very tight...

...shading, it's it's just a really cool card. If you're ever looking for like some card to build some crazy combo around and expanded that it involves spread, you gotta always consider your creep show Gangar. It's like a finisher, absolutely. So shout out to gang are for being the MVP of the Salt Lake City Regional Championship and shout out to creep show Gangar for just being sick. Absolutely sounds good. Speaking of being sick, that might be possibly the worst transition. Yes, I think that was our one. Okay, speaking of cool, being cool, speaking of having your tongue out, um, yeah, speak for trying. I know we are trying. We're new to this, but we we hear a tag team have a sponsor. We are in fact presented by our sponsor, man scape. Thank you so much, manscaped for sponsoring the TAG team podcast. We use their stuff all the time. Just the other day I was like, Wow, I am so thankful that we get to partner with manscaped because I got a really cool ear and nose hair trimmer that I get to use to make myself look fresh. And if you're trying to look fresh for your next big tournament, you know you're going to be out in public soon, you got to make sure you take care of any stray hairs. Check out our code at manscapecom. That's tag team a Manscapecom for twenty percent off, plus free shipping. Riley, what has been your experience with these products? The manscape products have been sincerely amazing. If you're a longtime listener of the cast, you know I will plug every single time. They're underwear is ridiculously comfortable, but all of their products are so easy to use and leave a nice clean shave without any knicks. You know, on my experience I've yet to have any sort of hack and slashing done with any of my manscape products, and it leaves my special areas feeling nice and clean. Addition, all the awesome stuff they have for your entire body, like their body wash and their shampoo conditioner. I'm imagining you flying to EU, I see, with your manscape boxer, so they will be on for sure. For a flight like that, gotta have them manscape boxers on. I'm not even kidding. And the cool thing is, for fans of celebrations, there is another ultra premium collection that you can acquire, and it is then scape variety. This comes with all source of selfcare products. You don't want to miss out on this, like she'd have you said, you can use code tag team at check out for twenty percent off and free shipping. They have something that every I know. I got my box the other day. It's pretty cool. They have something that every pokemon TCG player needs, and you can also tell your friends if they don't own one of these. It's called Deodorant, and manscape now produces their own deodorant, so highly recommend has a very fresh scent and that comes in the premium collection. That is a pokemon tournament staple. So I'll tell you what closing words here. Definitely check out manscape because, you know, the one thing that's a worse than being dqued from a tournament is being the guy who smells bad at a tournament, and Manscape will be keeping your fresh. Amen. Brother. The speaking of tournaments, we got Liverpool coming up, man, and I think the big question hanging over everyone's mind is what the heck happened to you? It's all yeah, city, Zero Muse in the top eight of this tournament. What is going on? Well, it's a little disingenuous to say you know where is me. You know there were none in the top May. It didn't even bubble. It's a little disingenuous because if you think about okay hater the entirety of day two and you look at the breakdowns, mew was the most well represented deck. And if you look at just the snapshot of Top Eight, and there's a lot of different factors that go into top eight. So you know we're a lot of decks countering me that were in top eight. Absolutely right. Did that play into Hym you did not make top a absolutely, but where there possibly other factors, you know, just random draws or Mus getting paired up against mews and kind of self cannibalizing, you know those there's a lot of just different random things that go into making a top eight, so to say. You know, one extreme would be mus dead, you know, mew sucks, and then the other extreme, you know, would be like Muse, the best de can format. But you know, there is some resistance to that now and I think we're seeing that from from the Americans, you know, performance, as opposed to like the Australian regional whereas just pretty much dominated by me and an archis. We're getting a little bit more experimental. But yet, looking at the entirety...

...of the day to landscaped, thirty two muse out of about seventy players, making up just over forty percent of the day two field. So pretty like still very impressive for arguably still the best deck in format. Yeah, I mean you definitely did show up. It's, like said, disingenuous to say that me, you didn't show up at all. And there's a very funny image of like the bottom half of day two and it's just like me maybe view one other day, you over and over and over again. So me was there and it was showing up in spades and and, like you said, like there was a lot of heavy mew hate in the top eight, especially. You know, you look at you look at like the top sixteen, and there were four ganguar decks, five gangar decks and addition to all the decks that played glarian Multris and all the decks that played Malam RV Max, like, there was definitely some antimemuse sentiments going on towards the top of the bracket. And I also think it is valuable to call it like yeah, the Muse probably self candabize and selves like every time I'm you want a mirror, I'm you lost as well, and that made that mean less likely to make top eight. So there's a lot, a lot of swirl going on. I do think me is still easily a top deck in this metagame, although I'm almost inclined to say that archias might be the best deck in the medical and just because of the versatility it provides and the because of that versatility, it's a little bit harder to counter. Right. I think you as a little straightforward in its build. You know just a couple different ways you can play you, but ultimately they all boil down fundamentally the same and in that lets people come up with strategies against it. For example, like pretty much no me you place hand destructure of any sort, so you can always kind of count on your combos being available throughout the course of the game. You know, it's largely how sweet coon wents against you is you build up these large combos because you know that your hand will continue to build and grow over the course of the game. You also is pretty vulnerable to like hitting for weakness and simple prize matchups. You know that glary Moltris is really tough for me to deal with, especially twice in a game, and it's right, and you know there's a lot of decks that are kind of using that over and over again. I also think new is a I don't know exactly. Maybe I want to say if the new is a high skill floor or low skill floor, high skill seeing deck, ceiling deck. So you can get to like ninety percent efficiency with me you without trying very hard, but you need to be really good to squeeze out that last ten percent, and that last ten percent is what makes you top eight and wins your regional's right. Right. We saw me be piloted to a ten place finish by Caleb Gooddemmer, so it certainly had kind of the chops to be among the best. But yeah, I think what was to come out of this, this tournament was that there were, you know, there was the the best deck from Brisbane, which was, you know, me, you, I mean one the tournament had four placements in the top eight. And then you have everyone playing the counter to the best deck here. So gang are be at drew's deck. That was Archias Gangar or, you know, straight single strike gang are with hound doom, or archais with multrace and baby ultras, baby clarian Moultras and like. Those are all the counter decks to you, and those did really well. It's Salt Lake, because there was no like counter to that counter, right, you know, and there was hope. There's a heck a lot of you for them to feed on, exactly exactly. So I think as we head into another tournament beyond this, I mean it stands to reason that there would be kind of the next evolution would be maybe archius with a bit more fighting and then maybe give me a little bit more of an opportunity to kind of rise back up and take higher placements, because we're certainly seeing you still dominant in online tournaments. Yeah, it's not gone anywhere. I didn't go to top eight, but it was certainly all over the place in Salt Lakes. That begs the question then, JW, what is Liverpool going to look like? You know, kind of a requick recap on our top five in terms of popularity from last week is we predicted you at number one, then archis, then gangard and joltyon than Malimar. Do we think something similar will happen in Liverpool, or will there be a kind of an evolution or shift there? I do feel like your statement earlier is a really good indication that me will see still some very significant play from the general player base. It's really just a strong deck. Just like base. You could misplay a ton and still sneak out wins. You know,...

...it's like it's really just so, so strong. So I think a lot of players will gravitate towards that. But, like you said, that high skill ceiling. I feel like a lot of the better players, and I said this heading into Salt Lake City. Mind you, I said I felt like a lot of the better players would gravitate more towards Archias, you know, and then we saw, you know, a lot of notable players gravitate towards archias and do very well with it. So, you know, I do feel like that'll be the trend, but it'll be a change in what our kids arcis gets paired with. I feel like. We brought up earlier, you know, how much you liked Nick moffits and Ian Rob's just straight counterbox archias deck, and I feel like that will be a little bit more of the trend to have that dark type attacker for the mew matchup, but also try to sprinkle in some more fighting to try to handle the gangars. Yeah of the world. Yeah, I mean I would not be surprised to see that kind of shift or, you know it, at least having some sort of alternate fighting attacker to go with you archy see. If nothing else, you know you're right like play, you know, take out all the dark and fighting and maybe just focus more on the fighting. Now that. I'll be honest, that would have been my choice heading into Salt Lake City. I was really on and my twitch chat nos and my discord. People know that I was I was telling him, like I'd probably choose archias with a fighting type because that's kind of the one step farther. You know, we have the base format in a vacuum. You is probably the best deck, and then you have you know, you have your kind of counter to that, which would be, you know, archias and then, a little bit farther, Archius gang are and then whatever counters Arcius Gangar is kind of the next step in this kind of Meta development. Yeah, and I definitely kind of thinking the same thing. Like an Archais with a focus on a fighting attacker seems like a good choice into Liverpool. You know, I hate to make statements of Deffinity, but that's something I would highly consider at this snapshot in time. You know, I was even thinking like going back to like the like in Rock v Max or the Santacono emacs and pairing that with like an Italian or bidoof engine, seeing how that works out. You know. Right, I actually think the like an Arky Maax is like not a bad card, but well, and I mean you have the groundwork right, like we saw drew can. Yeah, absolutely, just you take archias. You slap it with your favorite vmax, probably not going to do too bad. So now it's just picking the color of emacs that you're going to play. Yeah, absolutely, and the barrel certainly a valuable inclusion in those decks as well. Makes things like turning through your deck for hyproportion much easier. It's just generally a smooth engine to run. So I like that a lot. I mean the intelian variant as well. I like, you know, just slamming a bunch of ball carts and your heck as well. Untell, you parents more space heavy, which I think ultimately played to the drews favor for the the Gangar version, because he could fit things like the multiple hyperpotion more easily. Yeah, and he was also a little bit more able to control the pace of the game by, you know, timely collapse stadiums, right, because the the Italian variants are going to need that real wide bench. You're going to want two, three sobbles down, you know, over the course of the game. So being able to control the benches is obviously very huge against that type of deck as well. Absolutely so. And also, I mean ultimately the Clap Stadium was a huge factor in his finals. Yeah, which is crazy. Yeah, it's so fun when you have because, I don't know, it struck me it was really funny when drew was doing his final run down, his final interview, and he talked about very specifically the very specific play of Collapse Stadium Marty, and he talked about that like it was like the best play, you know, ever, ever conceived in this format, and I'm like wow, that's so interesting, like hey, I invented that play. Yeah, fair enough. No, no, but there's like there's something interesting there where he's kind of recognizing that a lot of these decks want these hyper wide benches. You know, they going to fill it up with sobbles, they want to fill it up with hound owers, they want to fill it up with you know, their the ludicolo lines, they're I don't know, their genes, sex obviously there. You know, whatever you can think of. Like all of these decks really want the five bench spots to go towards something useful and being able to play a deck that doesn't necessarily need those five slots on the bench. was was really big. It's just it's so like the more I think about the list, the...

...more I'm like wow, that's a cool idea. Wow, that's a cool idea, like I never would have thought of that. I never would have thought of that. Yeah, and it just again a testament to the to the deck builder for coming up with something so unique that really challenges the way that I think about building decks from now on in this format. And I think one thing of note within that as well is the arcius variance that played dark attackers, namely they had like quick answers to me. You be a gang are or motorist or whatever. They had a little more agency to play stadiums like collapse or training court hours. I felt like other arcius variants for very much pigeon holes. You know, you think of the the Arcius and tell you on bi barrel or the Arcius and telly. On decks that our group was playing, they are much more pigeon holed into a kind of like forcing the path issue because they needed that out against me, whereas if you play a deck that you know has a gang are, you can play the collapse the lot more liberally against you because you not only does that disrupt their strategy by itself, but you know that you're going to have like responses from use that by the decks might not be able to as easily afford. Absolutely. So I thought that was like kind of an interesting dynamic, so to speak. Is that the fact that he played gang are also allowed him to leverage collapsed a little bit more easily. Where do you feel like the metagame is headed? You kind of said, okay, yeah, I think you know fighting but you know, going forward. Like do you do you think that it'll stay kind of static for for Liverpool and beyond, or like, what are your thoughts here in terms of like the next best deck or the next you know, innovation for the format? Yeah, I mean, historically Europe has not been overtly influenced by the American metagame very much. You know, they typically have their own kind of way of playing that they want to execute on. So I expect, I expected on the lean hard into their own archius variance over in the EU and I expect archis to kind of be like the premier deck for the top players in Europe, even more so than it was in the states. You know, I would I would, if I had to wager a guess, I would say the top players in your will will all play archy as variance or they'll have like some crazy me you variant that like nobody could have predicted, real like im you control or something. You know it all right, you got me there type stuff. That's kind of my thought is it'll be very archy as heavy and, you know, as a consequence for that, they'll probably be caught planning for archy's mirrors. By that means that they have like a weakness hitter in fighting type or they have kind of denial for that with dunce bars and Charon's care and going for really heavy draws right, like you know, heavy bi barrel and and Tellian type stuff. That's kind of where I see the metagame evolving. Is, you know, very archy, is centralized and as a consequence for that, I think if fighting hits like just the right sweet spot, then Jul ti on is actually super good. I Guess Archie is deck that don't have an immediate answer to a jolteon. HMM. So I actually think Joel town is like in kind of an okay spot right now. It just depends on how much fighting grows. I think you can deal with a Zaptos because AP those can be path to the peaked, but the you know, if you're playing like Santa Cottas and stuff. Jo'l tea doesn't really want to see that guy. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it is interesting. Joel Ti on seems like it's in a decent spot. I mean Malamar seems fine. Like Malmar continues to be like fine, I just don't think a lot of people will play it. Yeah, I would agree with you on that. So, yeah, it'll be really, really cool to see what happens in Liverpool. Will be very, very cool to see what happens. Eddie U, I see. Or you're going to get started on your testing now, in a week? Yeah, I'm too. Plans to start this week. Yeah, okay, all right. Well, hit me up for sure, man, for sure ready to grind some freaking games and we'll tell you about the going on here on tag team. Absolutely. And you know what, aw if they want to hear updates between listening to this and the next episode, where can they check us out? They can find us on twitter at tag team Pokemon, for the PODCAST, at Real John Walter, for my own personal twitter, and then for Riley's twitter, at smiles with riles. That's right. You can also catch us live. Every single week we record the podcast on my twitch channel, twitchtv slash monner and JW also streams regularly on twitchtv Flex Daddy. Righteous you can also check them out on Youtube at Flex Daddy. We appreciate all your listeners tip so, so much. It means the world. We're only a able to do what we do because of...

...the support that you all provide with. That will wrap up for this week, and good luck to all the tag teamers out there in Liverpool. Absolutely yeah, best of lucky guys, and thanks for listening. Will catch you on the next episode. Peace See.

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