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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 5, Episode 11 · 1 month ago

5-11. Yup, another Lugia title

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Lugia DOMINATED the Latin America International Championship, and the boys are ready to analyze the HECK out of this shindig. Come listen into thoughts about Tord's GOATED status, the metagame for Toronto, and much more!

Tag Team is brought to you by Manscaped! Use code TAGTEAM at checkout for 20% off and free shipping!

Yo, what is up guys? Welcome back to tag Team Pokemon, trading card games for me or podcasting do oh. My name is Riley Holbert, joined as always by my good good friend Mr J W. Cree Wall. GW. How's it going today? Pretty good? Riley? Looking forward to Toronto this weekend. I know Toronto is always a lot of fun. It's cool. It's just a cool city to visit. Yeah, I really like Toronto. And the coolest thing about Toronto I think is that if I don't do well day one, I'll at least have the city to you know, hang out in. And then also um mushi heer to Rita is going to be there to sign cards. So I have a few chars are that I'm packing away that if I don't do well day one, I'll just say a couple of hours to get a siggy. That's awesome. That's awesome. Yeah, I guess a putin while you're there and things like that. Yeah, probably some poutine, probably some bacon, Timmy Horton's you gotta get the Tims. Yeah, excellent stuff. Yeah. I always enjoy Toronto. And one thing I think is really interesting as well, And we'll talk about like the meta for Toronto and the O don't half of the cast. Well, I think I think it's really cool as well, is Toronto is shaping up to be the biggest Pokemon tournament of all time. That's so crazy, especially like when you think historically about like the Toronto Regional it's always one of the smaller ones. You know. Yeah, it's bizarre too because it's not in the United States. Yeah it's passport, yeah exactly. So you're thinking about, you know, the majority of the player base might still be from Canada, but like there are a lot of internationals coming in for this, and yeah, it's crazy to think that Toronto of all places like not I don't know St. Louis or some centralized UM city in the United States. I would think like Peoria, you know, something like that, where it's like, okay, you can get there from Chicago, you can get there from some central hub. Nah, Toronto. And then of course it's going to be eclipsed or is projected to be eclipsed by Arlington. And that's the next craziest thing is that it's going to immediately be followed up by what looks to be a bigger tournament UM in Arlington, and to some extent, Arlington is a little more central because it's right you know, it's right by the Dallas International Airport, which is such a large hub. It's pretty cheap to fly there. Um, so a lot of exciting stuff in the Pokemon Training Car game. People are really just amped up about the game this season. It's really cool to see, you know. I love the enthusiasm surrounding the game right now. Makes it a lot harder, yeah, I would say so. Yeah, so many people are really shying their hardest. And you know it's interesting as well, Like in this post online era, you get people with like get these regionals and every single person is common with a good deck list. Yeah right right. The net decking is you know, by all meats like net deck to your heart's content. I think that's a really good way, especially for a new player or an inexperienced player. Two. I feel like they aren't just getting blown out of the water before they even flip over their first card. So you know, but yeah, it's it's crazy, right because when I first started playing, you'd have a couple of rounds kind of warm up a bit. You know, you had the theme decks, you had just like the random meme decks, and that's becoming less and less the case. I feel like I definitely agree. So this would be a really interesting set of tournaments. And it's also really interesting because this is certainly a a best deck in a tier zero kind of deck format that we're working in right now, just one deck that kind of like is eclipsing all of them, Spoilert It's it's Luk. Yeah. So yeah, I'm excited to have the shape stuff. I'm excited to see what people do to respond to...

...l A I see is Lusia dominance, And I mean, I think that's a great segue to just kind of rolling with the punches here. So first things first, the Latin America Regional Championship colloquially named the Lusia Archaeofs International Championship has wrapped up as of this past Sunday, and toward wreck Leab emerged victorious yet again as now assembled the affinity gauntlet of all four international championships, getting a win and all of them. He actually hadn't really had a placement of a particular note in l A I see A prior to this, so being able to get that win, I'm sure it was huge for him, and Finals was Lukia Mirror. So, and I think first things first, before we go too deep into this toward wreck Leab emerging with the four I sees. Conversation that's been had for a while has been is toward the greatest of all time, And really there's only one other that you're you're talking about when you're talking about greatest of all time in Pokemon, and that's Jason Klezinski. So, Jason Klozinski with three time World Championship champion, plenty of other accomplishments on there's a belt, he won nationals, he won nationals, he won multiple regionals. Yeah, when I think about the greatest players of all time, I mean it's certainly between those two. You look at the modern era and I think a lot of people want to discount older players, you know, and a lot of this, you know, towards the goat, towards the goat. There's certainly that discussion. But the I really dislike the you know, modern era versus the older era because I think in a lot of ways, the formats that Jason was playing through we're much more skill intensive than the current formats. And that's not to take anything away from towards because obviously we're only having this discussion because his accomplishments are insane, sane and unbelievable and possibly never duplicated, although you know, you look at someone like Stefan who has a couple of icy winds himself. But I really just dislike the old verses new because I think the newer game is a lot more streamlined. It's a lot more straightforward, um. Whereas if you look at the decks that Jason one with, you know, there was a lot of teching. There was a lot of one of us generally speaking in his lists, Whereas now I think the game has geared more towards you know, consistency four or four or four or four or four of Again, not to take anything away, but I do feel like certainly the deck building aspect um and the intricacy of the matchups was was much higher in the past. Yeah, I mean, ultimately, I think there's a couple of factors that you're really weighing here, right, Like, first off, Jason does have the three World championships, of course, and you know, just by you know, raw accolade alone, that is hard to touch, right with the three World championships. I mean ask the crown and to crown. Achievement in Pokemon is to win the World Championship. Towards not won the World Championship, though he has gotten pretty close. Um on the flip side, towards one much larger modern tournaments that will have you know, like we've talked about a higher percentage of the players are maybe coming more prepared for these tournaments than maybe they did in the past. One thing I don't like when you compare those like outright though, is yeah, maybe the average players improved over time, But I don't think like when you compare like great players in the past, I don't think like it was harder. I think it was easier or harder for Jason to close the tournaments, you know, like maybe he was more likely to get there, which in of itself made him more likely to win the tournament. But like, I don't think his you know, his finals, his semifinals matches or just like cake walks or everybody was craft right, right, Yeah, yeah,...

...certainly, I mean, yeah, you look at some of these great players that he played in all of his you know, World's rounds, and yeah, certainly, maybe to get there, But I mean, it's like any tournament that I that we've ever talked about where you're not really competing against the masses for the most part, you're competing against the best hundred two hundred players in any given tournament, right that that have a realistic shot at winning the entire thing. So when you look at the World Championships, though, I mean, think of how many hours and how skilled his opponents were back then. I think for him to win three is equal, if not greater than, you know, winning the I C s of today. I I really I am a stand for Jason and I grew up with him as kind of the gold standard of Pokemon prowess. Yeah, but there there is. I mean, the more that toward wins, the more we keep having this debate, because is it is really incredible the track record that he has in the modern era. Yeah, I mean I think there's a lot to be said for that. And you know, I think that maybe the counterpoint that that I would give as a sort of the Devil's advocate there is towards playing And I also sometimes I wonder like if there's too much weight on the fact it is the World Championship, Like to some extent, are some of the ICs of today just as competitive as a World Championship, And I think you could make that argument. Um. I think the other like counterpoint people give is, you know, maybe, like exactly what I said, earlier people didn't have access to all the same resources and two six and two especially sure that they do now maybe two thousand and thirteen, that approaches sort of the modern era. UM. I think what Jason really demonstrated, though, is that sort of longevity of success where you know, he his first World to win was two six, which is so much beloved format. I'll add as well, very skill intensive format, and that he won three World champions is over very different formats in different time periods, whereas towards kind of I feel like his calling card is the very streamlined deck strategy that's almost taken over the card game. UM. The counter argument for toward I think though, is these tournaments are so large, so massive, he's playing more rounds to win that. Yeah, you just think, I mean it's curious, like you're just running the numbers. Uh, just him at random winning these tournaments, right, because some degree there is a randomness about it, and it's just astronomically high or low, I should likely the probability of him, you know, winning for these right much less um, you know, even one right, It's it's quite impressive. And I think you also have to factor in the things that Toward maybe didn't win the whole tournament, but he's gone super bar not only does he have a slew of like you know, regionals and special events where he's either one or made top eight or finals or what have you, um, but also has just so many, so many tournaments in the modern era under his belt right where he's he's made it far. He got that top four the World Championship a couple of years back, prior to the pandemic. So I feel like Towards does have the accolades to to really give a solid fight to Jason. And I actually do think like with the with his top four worlds and the fourth I see, I think you can make a pretty solid case for Toward actually being the best. I'd be really excited to like have them play a best of best of A think that'd be pretty funny. In any case, let us know, who do you think toward Jason? Someone else? I don't. I don't I think anyone else...

...can come close. But I guess that's a debate for another time. Yeah, there's there's there's some people that are kind of floating in contention up there. Yeah yeah, I mean, you know, I don't want to. I don't want to to my own horn. You I've only ever been to one international, so you know, if maybe if I went to a few more, I probably would have. How did you How did you do with that international? Yeah? Like one three drop? Okay, well that's the starting point though. Yeah, well it's hard to get much worse. And you did pick up a win on the way I did. Yes, So I mean, let's not let's not discount let's not discount the wind exactly. Was pretty I was pretty close. Really, So that's not all we have to talk about today. We're going to cover what happened at the Latin American International Championships, and then the second half the cast, we're gonna talk a little bit about everyone's favorite deck, Lugia and the Toronto meta predictions. So let's get right into it. L A, I see, was his last weekend, obviously one by toward wreck Cliff and the big story. I mean, we knew Luggia was going to be good. But the big story from the weekend was just how dominant Lugia was. We all kind of thought, Okay, Lugia is gonna be good. It's a Tier one deck without a doubt. It's kind of everyone's either top pick or they need to be prepared for it. And I think everyone not to say they defaulted to it, because it has just kind of proven to be the best deck in the format, a Tier S deck that the likes of which we haven't seen in quite a bit of time. Yeah, I mean, I think the only deck that's really come close to this was MEW in Um. I forget the regional championship from way back earlier this year, but when MEW was really dominating over in Australia at the start of this past season, that's like the only thing that's maybe comparable. I think the difference though, is Mew was much more straightforward to counter it. Between Path to the Peak and the dark type of ackers, you had a lot of options to kind of offset that, whereas Lugia it's much less straightforward to just immediately outright trade with because it has access to the don spars, because it's a two prize pokemons of a three pious Pokemon. Things like that that, you know, cupulatively add up to Lujia being a much harder deck to deal with. So, I mean, Lucia occupied. It was six I believe of the top eight, and thirteen of the top sixteen and twenty two of the top thirty two. I mean, it was a demolition by Lujia just absolutely ran through the entire event. I don't think we we all knew it was good, but I don't think we thought it was this good and just absolutely dominating. And I mean it's, you know, in retrospect again, it's like not really that hard to see why we were all hype on the Aurora build and that version just has so many answers to anything your opponent could throw up. And in fact, I would go so far as to say Lugia is the best single prize deck in the format, which is definitely up there. Yeah, And what I think is interesting as well is Lucia wasn't sent of the meta game at large. It was seventy of the top eight, uh, and it was like se of the top sixteen, So Lucia was congreg you know, we talked about how Reggie's at Salt Lake City kind of congregated at the top tables, it was very overrepresented. Lukia was the most popular deck, but even then it was severely overrepresented at the top tables of this tournament. So not only is Lukia the most popular deck, it is defining itself as the best deck because it's winning consistently in those circumstances, right like, it is climbing to those top tables, getting those top placements. Beyond how popular it was at the tournament. Yeah, pretty crazy, Pretty crazy. So we also saw a...

...couple other decks do I don't even know if you like, they did well, but like in comparison, like, I don't know, you know, as a whole um, not not as exciting of placement since Lugia, but obviously Grant mainly with his Kyogert Lostzone box getting third, and then Sandra Rochic again in the conversation with his control deck coming in at fifth, which felt a little disappointing. Yeah, um, given that he probably faced you know, seven eight Lugias throughout the day and and probably beat everyone until facing off against towards Sander was the top seed heading into top eight, fortunately losing to Lugia and you know, he did win game one, Game two, Game two, I think I think it was a game one. It was game one, Okayum. Regardless, though, it's the classic story of of Stall in time where you know, Sander had a flood game that he lost, he had the one long game that he won, and then the time rules really favor the attacking decks and not in the Stall decks, so towards able to take an advantage on prizes before Sander could really do enough, and you know, ultimately went on to win the match because in top cut there has to be a winner, there's no tie, yeah exactly, And I think that's standard like consistently kind of runs into that problem in top cut. You know, he plays a lot of these even amongst Stall, I would say he has like grindier Stall strategies. You know, it's not like an aggressive for of Stall. It's like million year upon its deck. It's you know, I'm going to you know, remove all your resources and I'm gonna like effectively pass until someone wins. Yeah exactly exactly. So just really I was disappointed because I think, you know, Sander gets very close with these decks and they always seemed so strong for the meta and just comes up a little bit short at the end, which it's just you know, you're you're really pulling for him for sure. We also saw Ryan Antonucci at twelfth place with the mew Jena sect deck, and then Azoula Garcia greg Go, another familiar face playing the same list as Grant got fifteenth, but other than that top sixteen entirely Luvia. Yeah, to all out of those sixteen or lujias, it's just complete. I mean, that's a slaughter, it really is. I mean I think back to like the trash Lanch days to try to think back to a meta game. Yeah, I mean the most comparable modern event at least was trash Lanch at at Seattle, I believe that year, and even then trash Lanch to some extent was a little overinflated because people were not respecting the strategy. Yeah, right, so people were playing like crazy with their idem car is in a way that they didn't at the closing of that format, Josh line was still good. It was probably still the best DAG, but you know, it had kind of that meta game benefit where people just didn't know how to play around it. Lugia, I don't think has that quite same situation. It's just such a overtly strong deck. You know, you're not relying on your opponent to do anything for you. You're just blasted them and they either got it or they don't. Yeah, yeah, it's pretty crazy. Um what what are we looking at here with with the International? Are we just thinking that a lot of players went with the safe route of Lugia? Um? How do you think players were approaching their decks heading into the tournament? I mean, we didn't really see a lot of variants, um, And even amongst the Lugia decks, there wasn't a ton of varia, Like there were maybe three to four cards difference. But you...

...weren't seeing Lugia decks that were, you know, kind of completely antithetical to other Lugia decks. They were all largely Aurora based. They all had pretty similar counts of attackers, most of them included a lot of the same texts. So I'm curious asking me Riley, like, how do you think players approached building their Lugia DECKX for l A. I see, I mean to answer your first question, like whether they like just played it safe or or if they like really just reached the conclusion that Lugia was was the absolute best player for the tournament. I think I think it's honestly more of the ladder. I think when you look at at I Sas in particular, that's where you almost want to take the risk to try and win it all. You know, those are the largest stake tournaments besides Worlds any given year, and so I think if people had some sauce that they were cooking and they believed in, they would bring it. You know, if people have there's no reason to hide it, right, Like, what are you gonna do this Toronto? Instead? Like no play to l A, I see, I hope. Um So, I don't think at least the testing groups who are present at l A, I see, we're confident enough in any of their other strategies if they had them. Um And, I think ultimately, when you look at Lucia, you sort of reached the conclusions that we did in the podcast last week where Aurora Lukia just has the most options and it has really effective single prize attackers, which sets it a step above any other deck in the Lucia sort of archetype. Um So, that's kind of the logical starting point and then you start to branch out with the text from there. We talked about a lot of the texts even last week, you know, things like the zek rom or the amazing Raikup, things like that. I think when you test those texts you ultimately find that they're not very effective. If you play a combination of of Don Spars and Manifee, see you start to slop those in and then at that point you realize, Okay, I might as well just attack with the Valt Chars are the whole game. And then if everybody's gonna be on this same page, so everybody ends up at like that structure is my assumption for for why it is. Yeah. Yeah, I mean those are two of the if not the two best single prize attackers in the game, an Evlton and chars Hard. So it's no wonder that you know, you're seeing all these roar base builds include both. And then of course we had the text of man Ifee Dune Spars making their way into most of these decks. Um staland I think was Stalin was very very popular, very very popular. So well, we'll talk a little bit more about kind of the optimal lug list kind of what we might play heading into Toronto in the second half of the cast. But you know, other than that, you know you're looking at viable decks. Lost Zoned Boxes made a pretty decent showing Kyoga was interesting, and it's just unfortunate that the Lucia players kind of recognized. Okay, man, I Fee's good. Okay, Done Sparse is good. Okay, Also Stotland is good. And those are kind of three really gate keeping cards for Lost Box and then in combination can be really hard to deal with. Yeah, and the combination of at least man Ifee and Dune Spars is also really annoying for Reggie's for example, It's just it's a dangerous combo. I'm kind of the opiniate dun Spars should have never been printed personally, but um, that's either here nor there. Well, but then how would how would Archias have done so well? I wouldn't have minded if it didn't. How would how would Lukia just be destroying if Done Spars was nothing? I don't know, man, maybe it's a question we don't need to dance. Like, maybe it's fine if they they are the...

...best tacks or they're like counterable, awesome, I think it's time to go ahead and jump with a card of the Day. Yeah. Absolutely so. Um, we've been getting a lot of leaks from the v Star universe, which I I said before I saw the cards, I'm like, you know what, this is gonna be the first set that I try to get a master set of, and I think I'm regretting my choice after seeing some of this view. I mean, it's gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but these Secret Ars they're super gold and very detailed and really unlike a lot of cards that we've ever seen before. I mean, they're just very unique and original, and my wallet hurts, but preemptively preemptively hurts. But it reminds me of back in the this you know, Phantom Forces set came out and they it had this one really cool card and it was again unlike anything that I had ever seen before because it was all one color and that was it was a full art, but it was all one color. And I was like, wow, that's so crazy, Like I didn't even know that a Pokemon card could look like this, Like it looks like a piece of metal. It's like your credit card. Just swipe that at the target, will you buy your Gummy Bears. And that card, of course is Dialga e X. It reminded me of seeing the new Dialga, the gold one. I was like, man, this silver Dialga e X, How fun is that? That was such a fun, interesting, cool card back and it was kind of like a trailblazer for that, whereas now I feel like you're kind of to the the solid gold cards. Yeah, I mean, and certainly you had you had some other things. I mean you had like rush a Ram and zach Ram that got there kind of full white or full black treatment or um, you know there there were a few others either. Yeah. No, this dialogue was so cool. I remember just like being, Wow, this is so and it's so plain too. That's kind of the funny. Exactly, No, no, exactly exactly. It's monochrome, very boring, no real background to it. It's just this the sheet of silver. I got a couple of attacks alog X. I feel like I may have played it in a deck once but I can't remember why. But the first attack chrono wind if the defending Pokemon is a Pokemon e X, it can't attack during your opponent's ex turn. And then full metal impact one fifty is a second attack for two metal and two colorless discard two energy attached to this Pokemon. I probably played it in some league look at Bronzong deck exactly. But yeah, it never got the chance to snag any again. It's one of those cards that I really wish I had picked up back in the day because it was probably twenty bucks. It was really yeah, yeah, because now it's about a hundred dollars. Yeah, that was like a fourteen card. Uh, definitely solidly a hundred dollars. So that's funny, was there. I feel like there weren't even any other cards quite like that for like all of X and Y either. It was just it was just like a one off thing that they did well. And that was the weird thing too, is like we were all kind of expecting a Polka as well. Pokemon does this weird thing where they don't always print kind of a mirror of the partner Pokemon, so we never saw Paulkia get this monochrome treatment, and that was unusual. But there were Zakron. I think Zakrom also got like...

...a monochrome as well. Really, I think so, I'll look it up here. But okay, well, that's that's a really good choice. Yet the golds, the golds, remember the golds, the gold guys, they don't remember what that crime and restu am in legendary Treasures. They got the straight gold. Oh I do remember those? Yeah? Yeah, so that was the same art as the black and white ones, right like that once that were pure like pure. Yeah it could have been. I don't remember exactly, but it certainly could have been. Okay, So there you go, very nice. I like the choice. They'll get X from fan of forces who doesn't love it secret rare? And that was before A wasn't the before times when like there weren't a million of secret ayres every yep yep to get one of those chef's kiss yeah well' w Before we jump into the Toronto meta, I think it's only fair that we thank our sponsor for this episode, which of course is going to be manscaped. So if you haven't already gotten your Black Friday deals, your Cyber Monday deals, I can't think of a better gift for your significant others, your friends than some Manscape roachan dies j W and I have both used very liberally are Manscape products. I personally love their boxers and their shavers. Jen is a huge fan of the your Nose hair trimmers, and everything is really top of the line, be it you know, body washes, clothing items, you know, shavers. All of its super super good. And the really cool thing is you can get a discount if you use our code at checkout. J want you tell them a little bit more about Manscape, Lily. Manscape great great products. They make you feel good and they look amazing. As a gift, I don't want to downplay that the packaging that come in is really sleek. Makes a really nice gift for yourself for someone you love. So this Christmas time rolling in, you probably listen to this in December, so it's time to start thinking about what you're gonna get your significant other or your dad or you know again, maybe treat yourself. So this Christmas, deck the halls and trim those balls with manscaped. Head on over to manscape dot com. Use code tag team at checkout that I get off plus free shipping. Code tag team and checkout for off and free shipping. Get a nice package to take care of your package with. Thank you so much for response to the cast. All right, Toronto, just a few short days away from j W and I playing in Toronto as of recording this podcast. So we're gonna talk about Lucia, We're gonna talk about Lukya Counters, and then we're gonna talk about what other decks kind of can hang in the mix here. So let's just start with what everyone is here for, and that's going to be Lucia itself. J W. Lukia completely dominated l A I See. Like, we're talking about how do we optimize Lucia in a post l A I C world heading into Toronto? What are the cuts, what are the what are the additions? Do you just rock the same sixty? What? What is the feeling right now? Yeah, a lot of a lot of aspects of towards list and and his uh you know testing team. I know Henry played the same list, Henry Brand played the same list UM and a few other players at l A I See. But one of the aspects of that list that I really like is the for capture energy UM. And it just makes a ton of sense in that deck. Right you're not playing battle v I P. Pass Um, You're you're you're looking for the ball cards, not only to get out your Pokemon, but also to discard the Archaeops. So it...

...just makes way more sense instead of playing Battle v I p pass to be playing four quick Ball and four Ultra Ball, and in a supplementation of that, playing the Capture Energy to get out your Pokemon. I really really appreciate that about the list, and I think it's it's very important. One thing, well too deep, is the cash Energy is also kind of like a playmaking card. So you know, for example, Luja gets knocked out and you want to pivot into one of your single prize attackers. You know, you promote the Archaeops Capture energy it, you put the chars on the bench, you powered up with the Archaeops, and now you can treat with the wine Org just attached. So it's just like it's just an obvious, like good card in the Yeah, yeah totally. And there are certain scenarios where you maybe don't want to bench things too early. Um, you know, if you're you really need the vlto to pop off on something the opponent has and you don't want that Pokemon to come out until the turn that it needs to come out, then yeah, that's like a fantastic play and Captured just helps to make that happen. Um one deficiency from in my eyes, if I were to play Lugia heading forward, would be only playing the two choice belts. A two choice spelt from towards list. I think I try to bump that up to three. I do feel like three, especially in the mirror match, is going to be a big difference maker because it allows you to chase that to a d a little bit easier with both the chars Aard and also your own Lugia. And then it gets a little bit dicey if they happen to play things like V guard energy. Um. But still the choice belts help you reach those higher numbers in the mirror match especially. Yeah, and you reference the V guard energy. We're talking a little bit before the cast about where V guard energy fits in the grand scheme of things. How about you reference that a little bit too. Yeah, So the V guard energy, I think players are thinking, well, I just play one V guard Energy and that way I can slap it on a Lugia and maybe my opponent doesn't get the knockout, you know, in the mirror maybe they just have to swing into Lugia and then I can take the advantage and knock them out and you know, get ahead on prizes and just win the game that way. I have not been the biggest fan of v guard energy in my testing um first of all, because i've you know, I found that well, it's really hard to justify any cuts to any other special energy other than capture energy. And again going back to what I was talking about at the beginning of the segment, I really would not advise cutting capture energies. But the v guard energy I find in the mirror is not as impactful as I would imagine it to be on paper, because first of all, your opponent could just bust right through it with a chars Ard already veltl right. If they attack with either of those pokemon, then the v guard energy doesn't do the minus thirty damage production. They could go around it with one of the four gusts in the deck. You have obviously to Serena to Boss. You know that your your mileage may vary on those counts there, but you know one to excuse me, three to four gusting cards, and then you maybe also play a Luminion to fetch that when you would need it, so you get around it. If you have a Lugia that you're trying to attack with, and then you know, maybe you take out the the V guarded lugia of their own with then e vel Toll charges ard later um. Or you could just blast right through it if you commit your powerful energies to the lugia Luga does based to twenty. You commit enough powerful energies plus a choice belt of your own, you can just smack right through that, like it wasn't even there. So with all the different options to get around the V guard energy, it just hasn't felt as impactful. You could make an argument that it's decent in the MEU matchup. I think there's a case to be...

...made there, but I don't think it swings the matchup more um towards Lugia because MEW is again probably gusting around you and um you know, trying to echoing horn up your things, and they're certainly targeting down your lugia is on the bench or your luminions that you played down early to get rolling. So I just don't find that it's that impactful of a card. Yeah, I think the one, in my opinion, the one truly impactful and guaranteed, I guess situation for the v guard energy is in the in the Lusia mirror. If you can get it on an EVL toll Um, it makes us so they can't awker return it for a knockout. They have to use some other attacker which could maybe burn the resources or force them to keep a luminion and play for an extra turn. It's like the one use case. But even then that means you're attaching five individual energy to the EVLT hall, which can be a really big hurt on your resources. Right, you really want to you really want to get the double turbo on the Evil Tow instead of having five individual energies on it totally, especially because other Pokemon would rather not have to attach the double turbo and reduce their damage, whereas Elton has no consequence for it um. So that's like the one I think real play that you can get out of it Um, which is a valid one, but I don't think it's like game changing either. Let's talk a little bit about the single prizers. There's a bevy of single prizers, both attackers and support pokemon that you can play in the list. Let's talk about the support pokemon first. A lot of lists we saw from l A I see played at least one of, if not both, the combination of Manafee and Dune Sparse. Do you feel like that's going to be the case moving forward? I think you my opinion on those cards as you might as well, almost just because the match where they show up, they show up so hard, right, and having both of them together was almost what makes them work. Like all the decks that are going to hit you for weakness, almost all of them are just gonna hit the bench as well. So having the dunce parts protection plan is really good. And it also shields you against like gimmickey counters in a mirror match, or against other random decks you know what. It prevents the ry Coup from being nearly as threatening the right could v prevents like goofy single prizers like the Amazing Raiku or the Zerora from taking knockouts. It just seems really good to me. I don't know, especially now that Lukya is want It feels like people will be thirsty to try counter cards, so why not be like a step ahead of them and continue to counter the counters? Yeah? For sure. Um, And then I think when we talk about support Pokemon, we can't overlook our typical like V draw support Pokemon. We have two main offenders in crow Bat and Luminion. We saw Luminion showed up big. You know, the the finalist list had two Luminions in it, which was really nice. I think that's cool. I think that's really cool. Yeah. And then and then crow Bat's obviously a great draw card, and what are we feeling on the counts on those? I'm actually really enjoying the two Luminion. Well, it's a decent attacker in the mirror and also against lost Box. You think about in the mirror where they promote the chars ared and that's just the prime opportunity for Lugia. But excuse me for a Luminion, but you can also take knockouts on the opponent's done spars if they happen to start at the opponent's man of fee, if they happen. Uh any right, yeah, do U do one twenty there? So it has a lot of versatility there in the mirror, I think two is not terrible. You know, that would be something that I would consider. I think you probably at least have um a Luminion and a crow Bat to try...

...to draw those extra cards, But yeah, I like it a lot. Yeah, I'm I'm a huge fan of the second copy as I've been playing with it more because it just opens up a lot of cool plays. First, I think, like your referenced Luminion is a great pseudo one prize attacker where you can get the benefit of its ability and then get rid of it to promote a one prizer. So that's awesome and of itself. It also preserves your energy, which is super valuable in the Lugia deck because you can burn through them if you're not careful, and when you do that, it opens you up to continue to use that ability, right you can you can use Luminions search to get the Boss on Attorney you need it, followed up by Serena on the next turn, or a Marnie followed up by a Boss. Like those plays open up of repeated guaranteed supporter search. When you chain those Luminions together on having to like opens up that door that much wider to open doing those plays. Totally, Totally, I think that's really really underrated point about Luminion because other than Luminion and your prizes and your top deck for the turn, you know there's not a lot of ways to uh, you know, dig through your deck, right, so you want to be always able to have the supporter that you want at any given point. Yeah. I mean, I don't know if you had the same experience, but I have this all the time where some games with Lugia, you you get the archaeops out, you get everything going, and then you end up kind of stunlocked where you just like you can't really dig any farther. You're just not drawing them Barny or the research or whatever. You maybe have some ball cards, but you can't go any farther and having access to to Luminion to continue to make the plays happen while attacking with Oka return just just kiss. It's awesome, so good, so good. Um any other any other cards you think about for for Lucia, I know that they're has been uh well, some players at l A I see play a Raiku. Would you consider playing rak Wu amazing? Yeah, amazing ray Raku at Toronto? Honestly, I probably wouldn't because I think a lot of Lukas are gonna play done spars, and I think the other decks are Raku gets value, They're just gonna get a manifee down if they smell that you play it at all, so you kind of have to surprise them. So it's like a one game per match type of card if that, and I don't know if it's worth the deck spot. The last attacker that I want to talk about is Stoutland. We were pretty big on Stoutland heading into the event, and most of the top lists did play stout Land, so I think that was a big win for us there. Um, going forward, do you see Stoutland's play ever decrease? I think it's a great answer too. Lost Box. Well, I think Lost Box continues to be like a fan favorite deck and it's sort of the the I don't I don't want to say poor me, because that's not what it is. But like the person who doesn't want to play Luis, Yeah, they're probably gravitating towards Lost Box. It's like there their next deck. So it feels like Stoutland is a worthy inclusion. I wouldn't necessarily fault someone, I guess if they if they opted out of it, but I would probably play it myself. Yeah, yeah, for sure. My last question Lucia before he moved on to counters Lost vacuum versus collapse stadium counts. Where do you land on that spectrum? I think I'd rather have more lost stadium or excuse me, I'd rather playing both sides here, that's my answer. I'd rather have more lost stadium. Um, I'd rather have more lost vacuum than lost stadium. And so essentially, if we're assuming that again, what lost vacuum than collapse stadium, Oh my gosh, all right, we...

...gotta I will edit that impost um. I'd rather have more lost vacuum. So, if you're devoting three slots to quote unquote counter stadiums, you have one slot goes to the pump gaboo, and you're deciding should I go one collapse stadium, one lost vacuum, or two lost vacuum or two collapse stadium. I would rather play the two lost vacuum. I think in the mirror, again, we talked about the choice bell being a very big part of the mirror. I think the second lost vacuum gives you the ability to if your opponent has to play one down too early, just get that out of there and uh and potentially save you from you know, from losing that match because they were able to take those two prizes, So that's kind of where I would be. I obviously understand why a collapse stadium would be good. You could bump a Lucia or you know, another support Pokemon off the bench that maybe is damaged, or maybe Aluminion that you don't want your opponent to knock out. But um, I think for me, i'd rather have the two lost vacuum. I feel like that is a little more versatile. Yeah, and I think there's something to be said as well. I agree with everything that you said. I think there's also something to be said where um or a collapse stadium. Let's say you're you draw collapsed and that's your stadium up for a path to the peak on turn too. Now, all of a sudden, you're very oppressed in in your bench space right where if you play another attackers support Pokemon, you're done. That's it. So hopefully you don't need to draw off of crow bad, off of the off your research or whatever, because you're not going to be able to get two arcaps in play, Whereas lots of vacuum like guarantees that you can keep churning to the best of your ability like you would any other game. Again, I there's the obvious value of being able to bump a useless fee with a stadium, but I think lost Vacuum is more consistently add value to your deck. I'm down with it. So let's talk a little bit about how to counter Lugia. It's the big deck heading into Toronto. I think a lot of players are gonna try some really wacky things, um, but I think it's fair to do. So when we look at what I would predict the meta to be, I think it could be as high as the field playing Lugia. That again, that might be a little high, but it certainly is not going to be less than a quarter of the meta game. So when you have a deck that's so good, that's very difficult to counter with kind of any inherent list that we've seen. I mean, there's no real you know, it's hard to get it with weakness because they have the done spars um. You know, it's hard to like spread damage because the man of fee. It's hard to knock out to our chaops just in general because they have so much hp um. You know, the main Pokemon. You know, it's hard to stick them with path because there's enough counters, there's Pumpka Boo, and and obviously Lugia can can take out paths by itself. So there's just a lot of things about the deck that make it really hard to be countered. That said, you've got to think that a lot of players are racking their brains. How do I counter Lugia? And if I can unlock the counter to Lugia, I'm probably going to have a pretty good day over the weekend. So what do you think, Riley, as you look at decks, what do you think people should be playing if they know that they're not going to be playing Lugia. Yeah, I mean, I think if you're looking at pure counters, something like sanders Stall deck is it's probably the best, sort of most straightforward counter deck that there is. It deals really effectively with Lujia's energy attachments. It pressures them in multiple different ways. With the combination of the Sydney and the Flannery and the Eltall and the mill Tank.

There's just so many things that are kind of banging on Luja store that eventually overwhelms them, you know, bar any bad starts. The only thing is, you know, these decks can be somewhat difficult to execute consistently and successfully. So you know, if you're listening to this and you're leading up to Toronto, please get your reps in before you consider stalls as your viable choice. Um. Though, I do think we've seen kind of a like a Stall renaissance. I guess, so you've seen the community kind of open up to Stall as a deck to play for tournaments in a way they haven't before. You know. I think of the World Championships Day one YouTube, Stall was everywhere. It was such a popular deck, um, And that's just like would be unheard of, oh a few years ago. So certainly Stall is like a great straightforward Ullia counter. Sanders a genius with his decks. I would make sure you continue to innovate, innovate on it. I think one thing that Sander does really well is he brings the right Stall deck to every event, right Like, he modifies his decks iteratively for every single event that he goes to. So consider that if you don't probably just net deck Sanders sixty. But Stall seems like a pretty good antibookia option. And I think we have like two main buckets, although you can divide one of the sub buckets of other top tier decks. I think the first one is Mew. You know, Mew is a just so consistent and it's actually the best abuser of Path to the Peak, which is so bizarre. And Path can randomly win you games against Lujia much the same as it could versus Mew. Um. The only difference is you can't really stick Lusia with a path mid game in the same way that you could versus Mew. You kind of have to get it right away, which is also why Mew becomes the best abuser of it, because it's most likely to draw it on the first turn. Yep, yep. Um. So, I think Mew is fairly viable. You know, we look at the online stats and Mew versus Ludias fairly even. Um So, if you're looking to take a decent matchup versus Lugia and maybe I'll be a less considered force in the field at large, you seems like a viable choice. And then I think the other pillar of the meta game is going to be the lost zone, right And really, when I say that, I think of one prize lost zone decks. I think your team has kind of been bullied out. Um of the meta because it doesn't really deal with one prize attackers as efficiently as the one prize Lost Zone decks. So we're really looking at the lost Zone toolboxes with either Amazing re Queza or Kyoger, or we're looking like a more traditional return to form where you have the lost box with the chars are in the stable eye. Yeah. So I list a lot of decks, JW. What are some of your thoughts on those options. Yeah, it's so interesting to think about the remnants of non Lugia, right, Lugia so much of a Yeah, oh dude, Paul Kia, r I, p Guarantina. I mean you look at those just as format a go, you know, yeah, Archias right, like every single set that comes out, like these were all decks that we're like, oh my gosh, this is so broken. Arcia is so broken, Oh my gosh. Pakia is so broken. Oh my gosh, Garantina so broken. Oh my gosh, You're so broken. And then now we have the next biggest thing. So but this is I don't know, the Lugia has just um shift things so much because I think even the decks that try to counter it don't do a great job. You look at loss in Box um in lass in Box, you could play Raiku um, which may or may not do anything because again the dune spurs uh. They could also get a quick stout Land up and if they take two comps out with that Stoutlin before you have an answer, than you're in deep do too.

You could try to go for a Kyoger Strat, but there's the man of fee. You know, there's just all of these things working against you as a Lost Box player. The ray Quasa strategy, that's interesting. That's probably my favorite way to play the Lost Owned decks. But there's still ways for Lugia to win that matchup because they can throw so many one prizes at you. And that's where it gets really scary because an our cheops into your field for the most part, is very hard to deal with. You know, you could go in with a ray Quaza and you know, you think about what you need to power that. You might need an energy attachment from hand, you might need a Ryhan, you might need a um or you certainly will need a a mirage gate. So it's like so many resources to take a one prize knockout on an archaeops, you know, and That's where it gets kind of funky, because, as I was saying earlier, in a lot of ways, Lucky is the best one prize attacking deck out there because they have these high HP support pokemon that can also in the right matchups attack. So that's where it gets a little bit troublesome for the Lost Prize Box player. You just need all these cards turned off to turn the right hans. The mirage gates, the energy attachments the pokemon themselves that with a good marney from a Lugia player and enough one prizers they can sometimes pull off the wind. I will say it's from my testing it's been a little more favored for the Lost Box player the ray Quaza deck specifically, but I I could be persuaded that, you know, the strategies that my Lucky opponents have used were not the best. So it's it's really really tough out there. Man. I'm trying to think of, like again racking my brain, like what is better than this Lucia deck, and it's so hard to come up with something. Yeah, I think it's also interesting that we're seeing a return to form what the Lost Box Stars are sort of deck. Um, you know, it will need to make some adjustments, namely because Stoutland is such a huge threat. Um. But that's just such a straightforward sort of lost own deck that it's very favorite and sort of the lost son mirrors um, whereas the Lost on toolbox deck just has a lot of stuff going on, which is make it a little bit harder to actually your shaggy reliably game to game. I'm glad to see that you've come to the Red Quasi camp though, yeah I'm there. I mean, I really like Kyoger, I really really do, but it just kind of felt. Um, it's the biggest problem with the Lost Prize Lost Box deck is that they don't have an answer to an early Stoutland and that's the hardest thing. So you see some players play a store lax and a choice belt, and that's just not a good answer because it's not guaranteed that you're going to see the choice belt on the turn that you need it. You can realistically, you know, rely on the snore lax getting you there, but you can't rely on the choice belt. And that's the toughest thing because you know, being thirty damage off, I mean, they're just going to take another two prizes on a com fee or something. So it makes it really tough. It's yeah, it's it's kind of bleak out there. There's also you know, I've seen some talk about Durladon not impressed. If you are even thinking about Durton, you should check out the Dalton versus Lucia stream game from l A I see and promptly reconsider your life choices exactly. Yeah, honestly, I'll make the call to the to the asylum and have you locked up forever, because forever there's no getting...

...out of you even consider. Yeah, so just let me know, let me know if that's you, and uh, we'll get you same care of Yeah, make sure they're on their way. You heard it. But and it's like it's really funny, right because you think of oh man, um a deck that blocks special energy. Oh man, a deck that only plays special energy. Surely I'll have a good matchup. It's just not the case. So that's what makes Lugia so hard. There's so many ways to get around its counters um that. Yeah, again, clearly a tier zero deck. Any decks Riley that you're looking forward to testing in these last couple of days leading up to the Toronto Regional Championship that you think, Okay, maybe this has a decent enough Lugia matchup that I could ship. I mean right now basically between playing a lass On deck and sucking it up and playing yeah. And I don't feel horrible about that. I just i'd us wish that I was like one level deeper in the sauce. Yeah, And I think you can trust l A. I see results to an extent, right, we saw players. I mean, nobody's going to try to hide things. And I think if you're going overseas, you know you better have Yeah, you better have your ducks in a row, right, And so you know, surely there could be somebody that comes up with some crazy deck, some counter deck for Toronto that we haven't seen, or some variant of a stall deck that you know, we haven't seen. And I would welcome that, I really would, and that would be good. But on the most part, you know, on the whole, you probably have nine hundred of the thousand other players working off largely the same information um that players went into l A I see with. So you know, I don't expect too much to change. All that said, I expect Lugia to still dominate at unprecedented levels and really kind of stamp out a lot of its own counters. Let me ask you this, do you think Lugia will win the Toronto Regional Championship. That's an interesting question, right, because if I'm considering not playing Lugia and I say, yes, Lugia will win, Let's say if you're not let's say you're not playing in the tournament yourself. Even Yeah, I mean my money would be on Lugia, right. You gotta think it's gonna be somewhere between a quarter two two fifths of the field. So with that amount of play and just how dominant it was, the money has got to be on Ludia. Yeah, although you you probably wouldn't get a super high pay out for the odds are it's probably super stacked. That's true. That's true. If you want the payout, you gotta put it all on Archie Scuja. Many people are saying this. You know, you put a dollar on Archie s Guja, you're getting ten thousand dollars back. I might take that. Maybe worth it. Yeah, I mean I'm kind of in the same boat. I think, you know, statistically and just based on the power level, Lugia is probably likely to win Toronto, but I would love to see I would be really excited to see if someone had some crazy sauce that could hang with Lugia and the field. I think that's the hardest part with these sort of counter dects hanging with the field at large. Yeah, yeah, absolutely so, only time will tell. Good luck to both of us. If you see us here in Toronto, make sure to say hey. You can also find us on social media over at Twitter. I am at at Real, John Walter, Riley is at Smiles with Ryles. You can also find the podcast at tag team Pokemon. We also stream twitch dot tv slash Mutters, where we stream the podcast every week every Wednesday night, and I have my own which channel which after after our hosting is done, Hey,...

...you know I'm probably gonna probably gonna ramp back up production Twitch dot tv, slash flex Daddy Righteous. Thank you all so much to listen for listening this week, and we will catch you next time. Peace. So you.

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