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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 4, Episode 44 · 3 months ago

4-44. The Cure for Post-NAIC Depression (is this podcast)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys are back, fresh off the NAIC grind and ready to bring you the scoop on what's new! Come check out the meta developments and a preview of what is to come.

Tag Team is presented by MANSCAPED! Use code TAGTEAM at checkout for 20% off and free shipping.

Yo, what is up, guys? Welcome back to tag team, the POKEMON trading card games premier podcasting deal. My name is Riley Holbert, joined as always by my good, good friend Mr J W creewall. G W. How's it going today? A man, going pretty well. I feeling good. I was in like a little bit of a slump yesterday. Just I felt like I was simply existing. Do you ever do have those days where you just you're like, I'm just making it to the next breath? I do. Yeah, and yesterday, honestly, it was probably one of them for me. Yeah, I don't know, I like just didn't do anything. It was just kind of bad. I don't know. It wasn't necessarily like a mental like. I wasn't in a bad mental headspace, but I was just like I really motivated to do anything, like it's just one of those days, you know, where I was like, Oh, you know, I should probably clean this up. I feel that I should probably do this administrative things, send this email, ah, you know, even leisure stuff. I was really just like not even doing leisure fun stuff. So I feel it, man, I was in the same boat yesterday. I also I got really bodied coming back from Columbus and my flights were canceled for a whole you obviously know this, but for the listeners, my flights were canceled, so I had to stay in Columbus an extra night and then I missed the whole day of work. And then I come back and I just have like emails and a million things to do and five days of work now and four day a week, and it was super stressful and I just couldn't even think about doing it all. Um, so I just didn't do it all yesterday. Um, it's going to continue to bite me over the course of the week. It's gonna like compound on Stulf but Um, yeah, I feel it, man. It's just one of those days. Yeah, absolutely, I feel like I am making some pretty good headway at work, but just like after I got off work, I was like and once I got home, I straight up just like went to bed. It was awesome. Well, Hey, the good news is that you know, you you took that one day off too because you had to stay in Columbus because you got bodied by the airline. But most of us will have fourth of July off and you can just work that day to catch up. Yeah, yeah, that sounds fun. For sure, I'm not above doing that, but I think, I think I still will not do that. We'll figure it out as we go. You know, take a lot of step at the time. There you go. If I catch up like a little bit every day, then eventually it will be gone. If you put more effort in every day, then by the end of the week you will have covered what you had lost. Right. So that so instead I'm gonna do maybe like ten percent and do two weeks. Got It. That's huge brain play. Yeah, I could do one weeks or whatever. Twenty weeks or one or five weeks, I guess. Yeah, it's definitely possible. There's where there's a will, there's a way. Right. I do always say that. But you know, I came back from Columbus because the North American international championship was this last weekend in Columbus, Ohio, and it was an awesome event to be at, but not an awesome event to play. Man. It was like it was tough, it was it was rough out there, but yeah, it was certainly the production value. If you've never been to Um an international championship, they just go over the top. It really does feel like a special. Um, I don't know. It's like ceremonial in a way, right. They have the they have the huge music, the big stage, they have a lot of just different places take photos. Um, it just feels very epic and it feels very um just like in a like a big event, like you want to be there and like you want...

...to, you know, share it with your friends and stuff. It was really really fun and just something that that was my second ever international Um so I'm just excited to play in more of them. I mean they were really just a really fun atmosphere. Yeah, it was. It was a ton of fun and I know people rag on Columbus actually like Columbus. You know, I also went to school in Ohio states, so I got to see some of my old friends who were still local to the area. Um, it was it was a good time. You know, I really appreciate the spectacle of the the I C S that is not really emulated at the regional level. You know, they just have that like next level of production to them. Um, in everything that happens. You know, you're even down to like the stage is amazing. They have like pokemon strobe lights going across the walls. Um, and we got to be right next door to the plexus convention, which was so high. You know, finally getting my feet on the ground as a as a partner in the plexus experience. Oh, that sounds great, man. Yeah. Well, I was really disappointed because so plexus is a it's like a it's an Mlm, you know, in the in the kind of in the vein of like a Mary Kay Right, where they or a vector where you buy a bunch of product and then you're trying to convince other people to buy into that product, and it's a pyramid scheme in essence. Reverse, reverse funnel. There we go. Um, I was really kind of disappointed that I never got sold to the entire time I was there. I honestly I was hoping they would try to sell to us in a way. Yeah, I wanted to be I wanted that to be a part of my experience. For sure. Somebody made the tweet, it might have been you, Riley, where we both thought each party like the Plexus, the plexus and the TCG players both thought that the other was the weird one. Yeah, I interacted with a high amount of the flexus people over the course of the weekend and they all thought we were like insantly stupid and weird, which is so funny because we also thought that they were insanely stupid. And what were some of the I'm just curious, what were some of the interactions like? Um, well, probably the most Um overt one was we were taking pictures in front of one of the plexus signs. They had like little crops you could take pictures with or whatever. Um, you know, we're clearly having fun with it. Like clearly we were not sincerely taking pictures for plexus, which is maybe the first mistake. was being a little too obvious there, and a couple of flexus ladies just like they're they're seeing this and they're not happy about it. They're like hey, you know, if you're gonna be making fun of us, at least buy our stuff, like that's facts. You want to sell something, and that we didn't, unfortunately, get an offer. But Um, I also just like I would hear that I would be at the North Bar get like getting launched and I would be in line. I went to like the SMOOTHIE and bubble tea place, so of course that was a hot spot for plexus people. The demographics is like a circle of the venn diagram there, who would buy the SMOOTHIE and who would be into plexus, Um, and like all the people they were talking about like the goofy little pokemon tournament and like how everyone there is this weird it was just really funny. Um, I'm just like I was thinking the whole time and I'm really sorry if anyone or anyone's significant other is like very deep into plexus this. It's just it's a funny thing to us. So Um, but I was just thinking, like, man, you know a Zool gets Tenth K for winning. Like, I wonder how many of the plexus sellers have made that amount. Don't look it up, man, it's not good. I'd be curious to get out there for them. I'd be curious to know the probably the single best part though,...

...for me at the plexus experience was they had that like roped off area for like their diamond executive partners and above, and it was just like this little gated community almost where they could watch over the rest of the places. It was so cool. Um. So yeah, shout out to plexus, I guess. But Um, that was not the only thing that happened this weekend of course, like any I see, it was an event and of itself and, like he referenced, Jw Azul did take it home with his archais flying Pikachu deck, running it back after his top sixteen finish at Milwaukee and ultimately taking home the DUB spreadsheet show that it was the deck to play and they trusted the numbers and ran it back and clearly it worked out super well for them. I mean, J W are, are your thoughts on the archaeas flying Pikachu deck? Just diving right in here. Yeah, it's it's good. It's a solid deck. I mean, whenever you pair Marni and path of the peak, Um, you're gonna have, I think, relatively favorable results. Right. I think that deck is probably the one deck in the format that can really Um, lean into that strategy and come out relatively unscathed. They played the Pumpkaboo, so you can have your starbirth even if you get a turn one path down Um, and so yeah, I mean it's a strategy that has been played, you know, many, many times before, many formats before, where you're just disrupting your opponent on this kind of base level right from the start of the game and I think it's just, you know, and you're hitting for weakness. Like it's not really like I'm not like Woud, I'm not like surprised necessarily. Um, you know, there's nothing in there that's like, oh my gosh, I like never would have seen this coming. But yeah, I mean it was certainly something that that was a good call for the event. Obviously Palky is going to be a relatively good matchup, although it was interesting because I hadn't faced a lightning deck or I faced like one lightning deck. Um, maybe two, I guess, if you count the the player who didn't. He played Archais, but he like didn't play his lightning attacker down against me. But Um, in Milwaukee I played against, you know, a lightning deck and then I beat it, and then you played against many lightning decks. So I was kind of like going, yeah, right, seven. I was kind of going, based on your results, of Hey, I played against all these lightnings decks, I beat them all. It's not really a big deal for Palky. I was kind of like, okay, sure, you know says it, Riley says it, so I I'll believe it. So I wasn't really factoring in that. Oh yeah, Pikachu is going to be a major player at this event. But it's kind of funny because I got smoked by a couple of Pikachu. That's funny. I have yet to lose to a lightning get hacker at invested three, but I'm just built different, I guess. So true. Yeah, I think it's funny because, you know, if you think about Zul's deck, it's almost one of the first like natural things you would think of coming into this format. Like if all you knew was that Palkia was being introduced to the format and it was going to be a good deck, you'd be like, Oh, so I'm gonna play an argus deck that has crow bat from you and Pikachu, Palkia then, yeah, and then path of the peak, four the mirror, presumably right, and I just hope I get it down right, like it's it's funny because that's like literally that was the first concept I actually built into this format and I was super underwhelmed by it. And granted, my list was not nearly as good as the Zuls, but I was super underwhelmed by that concept and kind of just dropped it all together. But they stuck the course and I think they found a really solid list and you know, ultimately it's a it's a powerful deck. I think the main flaw of any ARQ SP bar all deck, you or sorry, Pikachu or Crowbat aside, when you start...

...to rely on b barrel and your archais deck, it just inherently becomes the worst archais deck in the mirror, especially, you know, the archaeus Italian decks. In my opinion, and in talking with Caleb, who also played the deck, is that you just don't really function as well in the mirror as these other archius decks that can more reliably get their boss orders of the turn they need them, can more reliably hit their one shots on the Arcius in the front on turn two. Um, they can more rel that was getting there, bro Uh, and that ultimately just makes the matchup very favorable for the Italian decks. Um. Now it's not impossible, of course, like you still have archaeas, which is one of the strongest cards ever printed, so you can, you can find your way through a lot of matchups just off that alone. Um, but I think that is an interesting element, which is perhaps why we didn't see as many of the flying Pikachu archaeus sort of congregate towards the top, in the same way that we saw Archie's Italian and Paukia congregate towards the top, because argue and Talon did make a big comeback at this regional it was a huge force. Actually in day two, something like I don't know, I'm just I'm just scrolling through, not counting, but it looks like a third, maybe, of the top thirty two is archis and hellion in of itself, which is a really impressive showing from a deck that barely got any attention in Milwaukee. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it was certainly the resurgence of archias Um after Paulkia had, you know, made its mark in Milwaukee, and it was really interesting. Like you said, I think if the cards felt a little bit different, like there's no real way that a rule, should have won the top four match Um with other than time. Yeah, unlimited time. And just you know, it went exactly as way in Game One, which was pretty unfortunate because you know usually as a stall deck, like if you win that first game, you can usually draw it out long enough, because there was no way for a zul to go through three mill tank. So as long as Um, you know, as long as sander could have gotten out his third mill tank in any game like that, that would have just been it right. Um. So it's just kind of a interesting top four matchup. If you didn't get a chance to watch it, as we'll, played it great and obviously had just enough tech cards to take down the mill tank Mewtwo v Union deck with his phoebe being able to attack with the flying Pikachu v Max into a mill tank and then do it again the next turn with the PAL pad. But, you know, I think this is a this is a tournament that I think. I don't want to say like like the deck was like lucky to win that. That's not what I mean to say, but just like you know, any deck has to be lucky to win, and I do feel like the matchup was pretty unfavorable for him in top four, um, but you know, that's just how it goes. You know, you gotta win those kind of bad matchups, or maybe coin flip matchups that uh, to to be a champion. So certainly shout outs to his owl. Great run, great deck and it'll be something that a lot of people will be testing, I think, going into worlds. Yeah, so let's let's talk then, about some of the other decks that made appearances, especially in the top eight. Um, we actually really didn't see too much diversity outside of the top to be honest. There are a lot of repeats. Um. So we had Isaiah Bradner rocking his Palkia deck in second place, and Isaiah actually put up a really impressive fight versus Zol and, honestly, it felt like he came down to if Isaiah's cards just panned out a little bit better in game three, that he could have been the champion instead of his zoull Um and the maybe the funny thing that you may take away from that is Isaiah switched to the four arita build after slamming it very publicly on social media. You know, he's very much a research stand and swapped over to...

Rita Build. It seemed to work very well for him. Um also racking a heavy Battle v I P pass, which is not always something that you see alongside arena. Usually you might see one too. Isaiah racking the full four four cross Cher for Areta. I'm going to turbo out my pokemon and be as consistent as possible, and it took him all the way to his second place finish, as well as some of his friends into the day two. Yeah, it was a really interesting build, not one that I had seen heading into the event, and it was just very much getting those first few turns right, getting your pokemon out on that first turn and then gusting whatever your opponents trying to set up on your second turn. Um, and so worked out really well for him. Um, it made me really rethink my thoughts on Areta. Obviously, like you said, Isaiah was one of those players that was a big research guy. Wasn't playing the aretas opted instead to fill those spots with other tech cards, but then realized hey, this card might just be what Pulkian needs in combination with Battle v I P pass, to get those really explosive turn ones. Yeah, I think, I think I agree with that wholeheartedly. The the upside to research is if you don't have as an explosive turn one, you can draw into a more explosive second turn than Areta can usually allow for. But on the flip side, like it's why don't you just build your deck to explode turn one more often, and that's what the battle gas comes in right. Yeah, and the other thing about the research that I was thinking about a lot too is that we're playing with our deck, which I don't think is bad or but the one that we played in Milwaukee and also played subsequently with minor tweaks, in Columbus, was that we had to play. We played research and then we had to play a bunch of these like recovery cards to get back things that we research. So we're kind of like playing against each other right, where the areta decks could just play all these one of techs and fish them out whenever they needed them. As a research based deck, we were always okay, I'm gonna be discarding my rocks an, so I need to make sure I play a pal pad because that card is just super crucial, Um, against certain matchups. Or I need to make sure that I'm playing an ordinary rod because I know I'm going to discard too many pokemon early or whatever it is right. So, Um, it's just interesting. I think the space in the arena build. It seems kind of weird to say, but maybe it's a little more optimally used. Yeah, because you're not playing all these kind of recovery cards to like save you from bad researches. So No, I I totally agree. Um, you know, I think the areta seems to be kind of just the premier way to play Palkia. You know, in hindsight we maybe should have given it more of a shake on our side, but, you know, or the research bill did work well for us, at least in Milwaukee, so I can't complain too much about the end game they're Um, I think areta is ultimately where Palkis is headed, though, absolutely. Now let's talk about the biggest newcomer on the scene, the dark horse. The first time I think that I know of, that a v Union has topped any sort of tournament that is online, you know, online, in person, whatever it may be. But Sandra rogick comes up with another cracked in half stall deck featuring MEW Two v Union. So Riley walk us through kind of the main cards to the deck and what this whole thing is trying to accomplish? Yeah, so when we talk main cards, the first thing we have to hit on, of course, is U Two v Union. For the unfamiliar, because these cards have not really had a Meta presence. A view union is a four piece card. Think up Pokemon, legend of days yonder. And if you get them all into the discard pile then you can summon the v Union and put them all four onto the benches. A one collective card you can only at once and they get up...

...three prizes. So if your Mewtwo v Union gets knocked out, you can't just like immediately revive it. It's a one time deal. Um. All the union cards have the same first attack for one colorless energy called Union gain, where they can attach some energies from the discard. A double check. I think it's too two energies they discard onto the mew two. Um, and the premier attack that you're thinking of for the stall strategy is mw two's super generation attacks. And MEWTWO has three HP. It has a fairly irrelevant weakness and dark in that you know in the matchups where you're going to get it out. It doesn't matter. Um and super generation for two psychic and one colorless energy. You heal two hundred damage from you two. So if you aren't able to deal more than two hundred damage consistently then you just can't even care what ever. Um, and even if you can, there are cards like Cook to heal it even further and also you have to you know, you have to do enough damage past two hundred that you're still threatening the Ko right. Um. So it just gets really rough really fast, and it's not like you get a chance to swing into it early because you summon it an immediately union game. So you're ready to super rejuvenation the next turn. Um, the other kind of endgame strategy, because obviously just healing in of itself doesn't win you a game. You know you'll eventually deck out. The deck plays to Silene, a teammails cheer and two PAL pad. So the idea there is that you can constantly flip for sylene, get your pal pads back and then put more silenes in your deck. Um. And worst case scenario, you can always temails cheer to put some more silenes in the deck as well. Um, it's just the content, like recursion and loop, of these powerful cards. You know, you prevent yourself from decking out. And you also have milk tank, and he felt tall has alternate strategies to deal with me, for example by using cry of destruction or just by sticking up a mill tank. Um. I remember distinctly that our friend Sean Lydon was talking with some some other top tier pokemon players leading up to the event because he wanted to play the Blissy Mil tank deck. He really likes those wall pokemon and he had asked people, can you deal with one mill tank and they said Yeah. He asked poll okay, can you deal with two mill tank? They said Yeah. He said can you deal with three mill tank? They said no, and uh so sean was like, I'm gonna play three mill tank if by Blissy deck. He I don't think he ended up doing that, but it was something that he commented on. This deck has up has basically infinite mill tanks because you have the two in the deck list and can always team meils cheer to shuffle more back into the deck. So you know it achieves that strategy as well. And once you have the mill tank active, you can put on image pressure with your twin energies or you can just go for the Cy Lein like pop hat loot. Yeah, absolutely, it's a really interesting deck. The mew two obviously very good against Paul Kia because you're going to try to deplete your bench and then Paulk is gonna do a maximum of one sixty, maybe one nine if they have a choice belt, maybe even to ten if they are able to get out the quick shooting in Italian. But at that point you're healing two und damage every single turn. It's almost impossible to beat the mew two. As a polky player, you have the mill tanks, like you said. We're talking earlier about Zuls deck list. Azul played the Phoebe so he could attack, he played the pal pad he could attack twice with the Pikachu v Max, but, like you mentioned, the third mill tank was the killer and if you go back and watch the vode you'll see his sander desperately trying to find a way to recover the mill tank just so he can have a third one in play. And just wasn't able to do it and ended up losing that first game and ultimately the match. But really, really inventive stall strategy,...

...and what I really like about this is that it was creative, it was unique, but it wasn't a crazy deck list like it's a very straightforward kind of stall strategy that doesn't really involve, Um, you know a ton of one of us that are vital to the deck. Um, it doesn't involve you know, these kind of like ten turn combos where you're like really trying to like calculate out how you can get to an end game. It's pretty straightforward. There's a couple of main strategies. You know exactly what you need to go for in any particular matchup and then you just kind of play the cards that are in your hand. So, in terms of the complexity, if you're thinking like man, I could never play this stall deck, I think it's very doable. You know, if I were to tell a newer player that's looking to play kind of something that is an alternate wind condition right that's not taking six prises, I would definitely point him to a like this because it's very much one of those decks that sure takes a lot of thinking to perform optimally with the list, but for the most part you're throwing a mill tank, you're, you know, flipping coins with crushing hammer and you're covering all that stuff with silene and then you get out the Met v. You know, it's like very, very straightforward in that sense. So really interesting deck list and Um, you know, I'm I'm really sad for Sander because he has been very close to like kind of a major win. I believe he's been second at a couple of regionals. Um, I'm trying to remember if he's gotten first. I'm sure he has. I'm sure he has, and I feel like bad for not knowing that off the top of my head because he's a great deck builder and player. But Um, you know, this would have been certainly kind of the feather in his cap for all the interesting list that he plays. Yeah, especially, you know, stall infamously has difficulty closing out large turn elements because the top cut rules are not favorable for stall decks. And to get so close, it's got to feel a little bit bad, but it's also got to feel amazing to take it that far and represent those kind of archetypes. Standard has really been, you know, a pioneer, I would say, in the stall mill, you know, strategies in the POKEMON trading card game. So huge props to him. Stall is a strategy that I've always really enjoyed and been interested in. J W and I actually tried to make a stall deck for any I C O. We couldn't quite come up with it. And you know, Sander always takes to that next level. He's the one who's finding the v Union. It's like this is the strap uh and takes it that next level. So huge props to him. Awesome deck and yeah, I totally agree with you, W if you're looking to get into these kinds of strategies, this is just like exactly what you want. It's very straightforward, but it it works and what else can you ask for? It really with the wall deck, no doubt. And really the last big winner, which we kind of touched on from this tournament, was archeus and Italian. Arkis Italian taking up three of the top eight spots at the North American national championship, another two more in the top six team, three more if you count a flying Pikachu in Italian variant, and then in the top thirty two and additional like three or four more. So arcias was everywhere. I think we all know what Archias Italian really does at this point. Um, the biggest selling point for archias Italian over, say, Palkia, in my opinion, is that you can restrict your bench quite a bit and potentially get a like up in the Palkia matchup by just out healing them and trading them that way, whereas they're trying to one shot you and maybe struggling to do so. You're just always like looping and healing and getting your archias going. So, in addition to all the wonderful things that Arkis and Tellian has already been capable of doing over the course of the last two formats, yeah, it's really amazing how well...

...the Archais deck and function with just that one sobble on the bench and maybe another arks V if they're going for the power up. But yeah, like you said, main strategy here now is keep a low bench, low profile, going with the charance cares turn after turn and just heal off as much damage as you can against Paul Kia until you you know, need to start wide scaling for the late game if, if you know you need to hit those combo pieces boss and scoop up ned and things like that. But yeah, congratulations with every player that brought Um archias and Italian not really a deck that I was considering heading into the event, not that it was necessarily bad. I just felt like Paul Kia was better and you know, certainly again will be kind of the the standard bear, the torch bearer as we head into worlds, as kind of like the benchmark for whether or not you can play a deck right because it just has like it does very few things, but it does that very well. Um, and so if your deck is going to struggle against archaeas and Italian, it's probably not a great play to take to, you know, a local tournament or or the World Championships. Yeah, I think especially you'll see a lot of these top players gravitate towards decks like archias and Tellian because they it gives them a large amount of agency over their games. Right, like you, you can always just power up your next archaeas and chairs care to it, Um, whereas other decks that are more combo heavy maybe don't have that same level of agency. So archiellian. You know, I really don't think we have to hit on it too much. I think the main development for Argus and Italian, that's that already has kind of been, uh, something people have been thinking about coming out of Milwaukee is people tend to be leaning towards the two chairs care now as opposed to just the one, because it's really just a key component of the strategy now, whereas before it was something nice that you could do to kind of offset the prizes for a turn now it's just like yeah, I'm going to be chairs and multiple times the game, three or four times, and there's nothing you can do about it. Exactly. So, Arcstelia. Who who doesn't love it? Probably the person sitting across from it. Yeah, me JF. Do there any like other key takeaways from any I see? I think for me the other big one is that Um you continues to be a powerhouse and it's a good deck, but it just doesn't seem like it has the steam at this moment in time to take home a tournament. You know, it's it's struggling versus the stall decks, it's struggling versus the Archie's and Italian decks, it's struggling versus Pakia and yeah, if you hire all with you you can beat anything. But it feels really reliant on hitting the high end of your dex variance in a way that other decks are not. Yeah, it's just really tough right because you have these opening turns where you're trying to get out POKEMON, but you're also you have these resources that booster damage that you absolutely need in the late game and there's so many of those cards in me that are late game damage boosters and you even think about the energy to write like your your tablets are huge. You really can't discard those in the V star matchups. Your choice belts are, you know, big and like. You just need to have targets to play them down early. Um, you know, if you play like a Leon or a cyline, like, you're gonna need that in the light game. And then, on top of it all, you're trying to conserve your Um, your fusion strike energy to make sure that you can hit for, you know, the two ten to eighty at the in the end of the game. So there's just so many pieces that you need exactly at the right moment. You're only drawing with the genes sex, which means that hands can get pretty clogged or you have to make really difficult decisions. And I would agree with you, Riley, where it just doesn't feel like it has the Um has the opportunity really to win a tournament. Unless things go like perfectly, it just is going to get slaughtered by all these paths of the peak decks. I mean, you think about how easy it is for a polky a deck to tech from you right like in with our Palkya decks. With pretty much any Paul key...

...a player. If you ask them like how's the mew matchup? I think no one would say worse than fifty fifty right, because you just get your one of path and you're one of Roxanne and then you hit those at the right time and for the most part you're trading with the mew deck and like you just slamm those down and then they either have the answer or they don't, and they don't have the answer, you win pretty easily. So it's like a two card Combo in the best deck in the format that just shuts down mew Um, or at least gives you a you know, a winnable matchup there. It's just hard for me seeing that this deck like is viable heading into Um, heading into the world's format, which is just very interesting to say, because we've been kind of hyping up me for the longest time Um, for good reason to be sure, but just path is so good against it, rock sand so good against it and it just kind of falls there in the late game against Pauky especially. Yeah, I mean I feel like new is the deck that maybe has the highest high end of any deck in the format, but it's peaks and valleys are just so far apart from one each other, from one another, as opposed to other decks like mew and Archaeus, which maybe have a slightly lower peak but a much higher valley in terms of what they're going to achieve in the average game, and that just leads to a better average performance at these tournaments. And you know, we've seen it, at least in this format. I think Palkia and Roxanne being added to the format is really the final nail and Mus coffin to take it out of that like top deck status. It's still a great deck, but it's probably one that won't take any major tournaments without in the same amount of head flips taking you there. Yeah, I mean, I am not, you know, full disclosure. I know we're going to get to that in the second half the cast here, but I'm just not even going to consider it for for worlds. You know, at this point I have seen enough of mew versus Palkia in this format to just not even really you know, I'll run games against it for sure and at least have a strategy against it no matter what deck I play, but it just doesn't feel like a deck that is going to take it down. And that's really interesting to say because I've played decks like night march two worlds in the past where I'm just like, okay, I'm gonna play like the quote unquote most consistent deck, which I do feel like in many respects mew is, but it has a hard time with These v Star decks that you have to go through three or more, you know, high hp Pokemon and you know you just don't have that many damage modifiers to do it. Agreed. Any other takeaways from any I C for U J W takeaways? Um, I think I think we'll we'll kind of talk a little bit more about that in the second half of the cast. But yeah, Meu is kind of on a downtrend for me, although heading into an a, I see I said it was my second choice. Like I think we are all the night before kind of like, you know, had it in our back pocket. Um, and then blames on the testing tale the night before. Yeah, yeah, right. It can be deceptive, I would say. It can be deceptive for sure. Um, and then I just yeah, more credit to archias. I've only played in three tournaments this year, Um, and none of them have involved archaeas. So I'M gonna be putting in my time with that deck, heading into worlds for sure. All right. Well, let's take a look, then, before the second half, at our card of the day. Absolutely so, in honor of the new set that's going to be released and in honor of the stall deck that got top four at an a I C, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite mw two's of the past. Now, there was a mewtwo um back back in probably when you were still living in Columbus. I'd hazard to guess where you actually needed a tool in order to evolve it most effectively. Yes, that's right, the mega mutwo with the psychic infinity attack. These mega mutwos on the cards. If you ever get a chance to look at the Mega Mutwo, like its head is just...

...so large and the neck is very, very tiny and it just doesn't look good. He's like what he's like the leader, like the Hulk Villain, you know what I'm talking about? Yeah, I do, antic head like. Yeah, absolutely, he looks just like that, or like any cartoon character that has a giant head. Um has a psychic confinity attack on the mega and for a couple of colorless energy does tend damage plus thirty more damage times the amount of energy attached to both active pokemon. So I could get really out of control. There was a card called Mega Turbo, which would allow players to attach an energy from the discard pile to a mega pokemon. So these two cards in combination, obviously you're you're getting the picture here, where you're attaching a bunch of energy with the with the mega turbo, and then you have your mega mutwo e x and the active and you're just swinging for a ton of damage turn after turn. Mega MEWTWO E X, my card of the day, Super Fun one. I think I played with it a couple of tournaments. I don't remember that I did particular tournament. That was actually right around the time that I was starting. was to give you two is at its peak, Um, but you left out the best part about that card, which is when you would play the shrine of memories down and damage. So true that was. That was insane, like that was insane. So the mega mewtwo has HP, which back to time was insanely high. was a lot of HP. And yes, it had a basic the mew two e x, which for I believe, two psychic and a colorless had this damage swap attack. So what you would be able to do is you'd be able to take a hit or two and then, if your opponent had, you know, less damage than you, you would be able to exchange the damage on your pokemon for the damage on their pokemon. So, yeah, you're absolutely right. Being able to access the underneath attack of the mew two E X was a really popular strategy. Can during that the mega mutwo e x had such high HP. Yeah, you're just boss up. The Shaman e x swap over the hundred damage. That the hundred ten damage. Heeled a full take two prices. So gas, so, sofid. I hated that card. I remember playing, I think they were I'm like a little bit fuzzy on this time period, but I remember, at least I think, playing a lot of vest with Quinn at this time. So I can put those I could hit those numbers. I was really into turbo dark towards the end of that format, but I also played like a lot of dark dragons. Oh yeah, with the Guarantina to try and deal with cards like that. Yeah, for sure, because it also played double colorless, I believe. So it did yeah, so, yeah, you could shut it down and also Guarantina was immune to the to megas. Oh yeah, that also shuts it down for sure. The hecks, the UN attack. UH, Miss Heeck, no, insane card. That's a good card of the day. I appreciate that. So let's then talk about our friends over at manscaped. Folks, if you're looking to link your spirit to your manly wonders down there, there's no better way to do it than with manscaped. That's right, tag team is presented by manscaped and we're here to bring you some awesome deals. MANSCAPED is the premier brand in men's grooming and, let me tell you, Jim and I can both vouch for the quality of their products as well as the efficacy. You all know, week after week I'll always plugged boxers. They're super comfy. If you all haven't got nice boxers for yourself, please do yourself as a favor and get the manscape boxers. They are a blessing. I love wearing them. seriously. Um,...

...when I got the package with the boxers two point Oh, which is their new product, Um, I literally wore them. We've got three pairs. I wore them sequentially three days in a row, uh, and then wore my previous pair of boxers the next day. So you can tell that I love this stuff. They also have awesome stuff like the lot more four point Oh, as well as the weed whacker ear nose hair trimmer, and we're just huge fans over at the tag team podcast of their stuff. And the great news is, if any of this sounded appealing to you, you can get a deal by using our code at check out. J W Wann't you tell them about how they can save some money? Yeah, absolutely, that is code tag team over at Manscape DOT COM, plus free shipping. I just used their ultrasmooth package the other day. They sent one to us very, very graciously, and lathered up myself, used the crop shaver and got very nice and smooth and, uh, you know, I really appreciated that. So you can check out all the products over at Manscape DOT com. Use Code Tag team for twenty percent off, plus free shipping. I hate paying for shipping. You don't have to worry about that. Just check it out, put some things in your car, see how cheap it's gonna be with our discount code. And Yeah, ultimately I think you're going to be very happy with the products. So manscape dot com code tag team off plus free shipping. That's man escape Dot Com code tag team at checkout for off plus free shipping. Thank you so much to man escaped for sponsoring the podcast. We didn't mention our records at an a I C and I would like to say, I am proud to say, that Riley earned his world's invite over the weekend. I did, and you know what, I climbed from the pits to do that. You were you were angry the whole time. I were really angry. I almost dropped it. One and one, Riley is you're one of the saltiest dudes when it comes to playing that I've ever met, where it's like if one thing goes wrong, he's like no, why? Why was I even born? I bounced back from a pretty past. It's just funny. It's funny, man, it's just really funny. So Riley had to get top two fifty six at this tournament. I had already secured my world's invite the that we prior so that was like a load off my shoulders, right like I had. You know, I wanted to do well for the cloud, obviously, and we can talk about how my tournament went, but Riley needed to do well for the cloud and talk us through your finish. It wasn't particularly inspiring, but talk us through your rounds just very briefly before we head on to kind of where we're thinking for for world's testing. Yeah, nothing too exciting, honestly. So I won't go into too much detail. Um, but I finished a solid five, three and one to get two hundred and fifty second or so. Uh, it came down to like one per cent of resistance kept me in the top two fifty six. So thank goodness for my opponents. You like dropped at like three and three, as opposed to like continued losing, because that would have been a heartbreaker. If I was like resistances at fifty and just I think I would have jumped out my hotel window, because they have to. It would have been fine if I like dropped, just stopped, but to play through all that rounds and did that and then on resistance would have been really frustrating. So it was a really rough day. You started one and one. Yes, so you started one oh, which was well, I was feeling great and then I hit an archie's and Italian and the prizes just...

...didn't quite work out and I uh have like a really awkward draw for rock sand and so I went to one and one. Um. By the way, we were playing essentially our same list from Milwaukee, with a one one ice rider. We thought that the ice rider gave us a little bit of an edge in the mirror because we could hit those two eighty numbers a little bit easier with a with a low bench. And then it also, you know, potentially gives us an out to the flying Pikachu where we could Leon and troy's belt do three ten, and then it also gives us, Um, you know, an out to archaeas right where we can hit two eighty number with the ice rider. Yeah, so in the first game against Archaeas, I like smashed them with the the ice rider, and then in the second game I like draw horribly and scoop pretty early, and the third game, Um, I dropped out off rocksand he draws very well off rocksand so it happens. Stuff happens. I was still feeling okay, although I did claim that I wanted to drop at the time. And then round three I completely dead drew in the mirror and it felt horrible and at that point I'm ready to drop. I play another mirror against someone who's like brand new to the game. Super Friendly Guy. Really enjoyed playing with him, Um, but he his pace of play wasn't all the way there and we ended up tying. I was one turn away from winning, Um, and maybe I was a little bit greedy and not scooping game one earlier, but I still scooped it, so I don't know. Uh, the ice rider was super clutch in that series. It would have wanted to be that series too. Um. And then I played like a mix of mirrors and Archaeus and Italians for the next four rounds. Um. That was pretty solid, I would say. Across the board, or next three, I guess. So I got all the way up to an ice rider, was essential, and all of those I really enjoyed actually having the ice rider. I got up to four, two and one. So at this point I am in contention still actually for day two after my horrible start. Um. And then I hit the Archais Malamar jolty on deck, UM, which is not a good matchup, believe it or not, when you have all water pokemon I did beat that deck in Milwaukee, so I'm thinking maybe I have a chance. Game One, he gets jolt before I'm able to really do anything and I scooped on like the fourth turn, third or fourth turn. Game Two, I my brain like short circuits in that game and I like went for a play thinking I could scoop up net the active gas ile and evolved the benched sabble. But actually I saw it would come down that turn. Uh. So I ended up like really spurging out and like missing a knockout. And I don't think it wouldn't have. I don't think it really would have mattered, but definitely, like I definitely did lose me that game. I probably would have lost anyway, but that action definitely lost me the game. So like it went from like maybe a seventy panced to lose to a right. So I felt really bad after that. Um I I almost getting guarantee I would have lost that series, but I hate making mistakes. Um, and I was just like really out of it at that point, you know, like how can I been playing this? How can I not only am I like tilted from round two of the whole tournament, but how the heck did. I hit the Archie's Malmark shalty on like my on my second to last round, like playing into to win an in situation like how. So, but it's fine. My opponent was also Super Nice and Gracious. All my opponents all day are awesome. Um. And in the last round I play against another really cool guy, but he was rocking Archie's cards hard. So, regardless of how cool he was, I felt like I was pretty solid there...

...and I did not take it that home, um in the end. So finishing five, three and one came down to resistance and slid in there. Um. Shout out to all my opponents, who were super awesome. I did not at any point, and I never planned to do this in my career, tell anyone my CP at any I see. Um. That's something I really don't like is when people are like, Hey, I have four hundred and you know our seventy two or CP. Can you please, you know, wrap this? Yeah, I hate that kind of stuff. So I managed to get there completely all my own merit, Um, and it feels good, you know, it feels good to wrap us. To some extent. I was unsure if I wanted to go to worlds Um. You know, with with the injury missing and just like I haven't been super I kind of want to like save my PTA, to be honest. But I'm still going to be excited to go and I'm excited to go with J W, who also scrapped up this invite, as well as some of our other friends who were able to finish it. And I see Andrew Dankis, for example, our friend of the CAST, was able to wrap up his invite with the top two six. So, you know, winds all around. I would say, yeah, it'll be fun. I'm excited for London. We gotta get testing because I need to. I stand by the ice rider. was good, though, like it. My opponents were like really salty that I and all the Games. Yeah, certainly, and now it's just seeing if the ice rider is viable in like an Ara to build, because I do think it gives the deck. You know, obviously that other weakness, Um Paulky, of being lightning a week means that it can really just be eaten up by by Pikachu's very easily or, I don't know, any other Rykus, I guess, but Rak who's like a thing that you kind of want to see on your opponents side of the field, to be honest. Um. But yeah, getting in there against against peak is is certainly a big consideration. But, um, just to give kind of a quick overview of how my tournament went, I went one three drop. Well, technically I went one four drop, but I was just playing the lat I was just playing the last round because my wife had finished her errand and she was gonna pick me up on the way back and then she called me halfway through the rounds. So then I just gave it to my opponent. Okay, so I was one four drop officially, but really one three. And Yeah, like like, like you, Riley, I started one and Oh, beat a Reggie player and then I just hit peek at you, peek at you, right in a row and I just couldn't do anything. There was a second game friend of the cast Um Max. He was super cool. Um, we got a picture afterwards, but I just remember this opening hand. I think I'm pretty sure it was in game one, but I drew like literally every single tech card that wasn't an energy or a usable supporter. So I had, you know, I started Pulkia, no energy, mind you, no energy, Um, and then I proceed to draw like my the rest of the hand is is two choice belt to scoop up net, the pal pad. I don't know. The Leon would have been kind of cool. I think I topped back that on like turn three. Um Pal pad, the ordinary rod and then like an evo in sense or something, or a tool jammer. I remember because I attached the tool jammer. Yeah, I remember there were three tools. So it was you know, it was just one of those days. or it's like the deck just didn't quite work, even though it's slammed over in Milwaukee. Like I felt very confident heading into this tournament based on our performance in Milwaukee, because I felt like I had the whole deck at my disposal. Things are running really well, and then I just didn't I just didn't hear it in Columbus and that's just how it goes. So overall disappointed with how I did at an A. I C was the deck the right call Um? Arguably not, like arguably the Arita version of Paulkia is better, but I'm proud that we,...

...you know, took a deck we believed in, did as well as we could and now we just move on to the next tournament. Um, albeit with much higher stakes. And shout out to Michael Zeally as well, who did make day two with the deck. Ultimately, he lost his final round in day two, which cost in his world's invite, which is a huge heartbreaker. But Um, you know, shout out to one of our group members for at least making it to day two. Yeah, certainly, so much, much higher expectations setting in the world's Um. Yeah, I mean for me, I don't know how you're feeling heading into the tournament, but I do want to really like just make sure I'm not in my tees across my eyes and getting, you know, getting everything lined up to have a have a deep run at world's. Absolutely. So we've all got maybe a few minutes left of this episode, but I do want to make sure that we at least touch on on what we expect to see changing in the coming weeks. You know, we have the pokemon go set coming out. Not An exceptionally large set, but there are some impactful cars that will be coming out of it. J W, what are you some of your preliminary thoughts on Pokemon go and its additions to the Meta game? Yeah, that's a great question. I when I was thinking about pokemon go and the most impactful cards from the set. I was really drawn to radiant chars ARD as being a card that, if it could be figured out, could be extremely strong. And radiant charges ARD has an attack that costs five energy and does two fifty damage and says you can't attack with this card on the next turn. Okay, whatever. That's very similar to many other UM POKEMON that they've been printing recently. But what's interesting is that it has an ability that for every pride card your opponents taken your the cost of your attack goes down by one. So it's a fire and four colorless and if they take four prizes then you can attack for a single fire doing two fifty damage. So I was thinking a lot about like, okay, it is a radiant Pokemon, so you can only play one. But then again, you know maltrace decks, Glarian maltray decks. We're playing, you know, one or two glarian moltrace and recovering it with Clara and doing, you know, to twenty to seventy at the end of the game and saw a lot of success. So maybe you could play a chars ard where you could potentially hit to fifty on. I think probably turn three is the most realistic, or knockout three if your opponent's taken three prizes Um, where you can right Han and then attach a twin and hit for two fifty on that third prize turn, and then from there on maybe it just gets a little bit easier to to attack. So that's kind of where my head was going initially, because two fifty for one energy and you can attack like do that attack twice right with Clara or some other recovery. It seems good. I don't know how to break it, but a strategy like that has been done in the past, so I just kind of feel like it can be done again in the future. There's also some really cool you know all all three of the radiance are pretty good, you know, the radio, Venus, Star and blast, so it's also pretty decent. There's some other, you know, pretty impactful cards as well, though, even outside the chars ared. You know, I think the one that most people's eyes are on right now is that Mewtwo v Star with the Star Raid v Star power, where it does a hundred twenty damage to each of your opponent's Pokemon v, you know, just quick spread damage to make your Ko is easier for the rest of the game and it has the side perge attack for a psychic and colorless just card. Up to three psychic energy from your pokemon and just ninety for each discard. In this way you also have kind of the built in engine, if you're looking for it, with the soul rock and the Luna Tone. So rock can attach a psychic...

...from your discard to one of your lunatone. Every turn you get a couple of soul rocks and play and your Si perging now for two seventy every single turn. Um. So the damage obviously to seventy is about ten short of you know, Most v Star Pokemon that are relevant. But you slap a choice belt on there, you get a Zigzagon and play. You can really do some really impressive damage. Um Sets a card that people are looking at. The Star rate is also pretty nice because you can set up knockouts and the lunatone can actually clean them up with the Moon canesis. It does thirty plus thirty more for each psychic. Obviously, Sol rock powers it up implicitly, so you can, you know, with a choice belt or even just stuff energy, you can really clean up those vs that have been damaged by mew two. Yeah, that's a really cool Combo. That's a little bit spicy but, you know, makes a lot of sense, right. It's not like you're doing any rocket science over there to come up with that deck. So certainly not unheard of kind of creation, right, absolutely. So, yeah, it could be something to watch for. And then, of course, the other big archetype, in my opinion, that people have their eyes on from pokemon go is the match card Garrotos Ditto Deck Ditto having that, first off, super cool mechanic where you like peel off the sticker and there's the Ditto underneath. That's really clever. Whoever came up with that. They need a race, they need a raise, for sure. That's really clever. Uh. Ditto has the sudden transformation ability and it can use the attacks of any basic in your discard pile if they don't have a rule box. So kind of like a Mars shadow e x but it or G X, but it can't copy rule boxes. And the magic carp does ten damage and thirty more for each match carp and Garrot dose in your discard pile for two colorless energy. So if you're really trying to reach you and get all eight of those in the discard pile, all four match carp and all four garrottos and do two d fifty based damage with the Ditto choice belt onto that. That's to eighty right right there, on a single prize pokemon. So certainly an archetype that people will be thinking about. Is, you know, how do we break this match cart strategy and plow through your opponent's Pokemon v with a silly little Ditto? Yes, that will be very fun. I mean certainly a meme deck at worst, and something potentially viable, and though I do feel like there are probably easier ways of getting to those numbers, but at least it keeps yeah, no, definitely not cooler ways, and it keeps the mind churning, you know, which in my old age I always appreciate. And I think the last Big Star Card from this set is one that would fit extremely well into one of sanders decks, and that's the snore relax, very reminiscent of the plasma snore relax with the blockability. As long as snow lax in the active spot, your opponent's active pokemon cannot retreat. I mean, what more do you need to stay. Yeah, this is gonna be a problem for sure. Now we have seen an increase in the cross switcher being played, whether it's the use turbo dex or Arita Pulkya that opts for that over higher counts of bosses orders, and we are just seeing a lot more um item switch that we have in the past. But yeah, yeah, but you know, certainly there are ways to get around that. You can echoing horns, something undesirable back into play, bring that active, you know, as soon as you run your opponent out of a few resources. Uh, the snorrelax seems like just the perfect kind of end game. Get a couple of those up. The problem with snore relax in a stall deck is that you're gonna cut into your other snor relax line, which is like arguably better and like just one of the best Um draw cards that you can get in that early game. But maybe there's a different way you can draw cards early, or maybe you play a split in some kind of stall deck. But yeah, that would be kind of the one downside. It's like it's a really nice tool to have. The fact that it's...

...also a snore lax means that you're not gonna be able to Gorman dize as much, and we know we love to. Gorban dies, big Gorman dies heads. No super huge stands and Gorman dies for sure. So an awesome lineup of pokemon. Obviously you are sorry. Honestly, for a mini set like this, it's a pretty impressive lineup, in my opinion, of little basic guys or, you know, just pokemon that you could throw into your decks. Yeah, for a mini said, it's really high value in terms of competitive viability. So Um, look forward to this set having some kind of impact the world's whether it's us or another team that plays it. I think there's a lot of cool little wrinkles that you can either sprinkle in pre made archetypes or new archetypes that you could create yourself. Absolutely, and shout out to Dragon v Star for being horrible, sad. Well, J W, I think we've covered the main points for this week. Is there anything else, any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to give to our listeners back at home? Well, we're gonna be covering more in the coming weeks of what we've been testing heading in the world and how we're approaching this world's tournament. So I hope you guys will stick along with us for the ride and kind of go behind the scenes so what we're what we're thinking and cooking up. We're so excited. It's the first world since twenty nine. I know, man, so cool. A four day event. That's kind of crazy. Actually it's very crazy. So we're excited to keep you all in the loop as far as what's going on and we hope that you all will join us on this journey. We appreciate every single one of you as well, who reached out and said hello over the course of any I see. It was awesome to meet so many of you, take pictures, signed stuff. If any of you ever see us, always feel free to say hello. We try and be approachable guys. If we won't butt your head off. I swear, even if I lost the last round, I can put the salty away for a second to say hello. Yeah, absolutely. So you can find us over on twitter. I am at Real John Walter, Riley is at smiles with Ryles and the TAG team podcast is at tag team pokemon. You can also find us on twitch or we stream every single Wednesday night at nine pm eastern time. Twitch dot TV slash mutter hi. Myself also run a twitch channel, twitch dot TV slash flex daddy righteous. Thank you, guys all, so much for listening. If you wouldn't mind leaving a review on your favorite podcasting platform, that goes a long way to helping us rise in those rankings in the algorithm to help more and more people find this great cast, and that's what we all want. It's just more people enjoying the podcast. So if you wouldn't mind leaving a review, that would help us out a great deal. Thank you all so much for listening and we will catch you all next time. Peace, SEP.

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