Last week we had our first few games under the new rotation from the Sun & Moon block and it sure made for some interesting games. While I was on holiday in Japan, I had been testing a few different lists to get myself ready for the new format, mainly testing with Zygarde/Lycanroc, Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu, Ultra Necrozma/Malamar, Metagross and a few friends, Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone, Solgaleo-GX and Greninja GX. Yup, no Zoroark testing from me so far, more interested in those for now.
Also something new is happening around the local scene here, we now have a Singapore Pro-Circuit league going on with Project EXT, Metagame and Brick’s Play all hosting events where you can score points to possibly be invited for the top 32 invitational and win big prizes (yay our own points chase just like the pros).
For this season (July-September), it’s a top 32 invitational event. The top 8 players get two byes for the event, 9th to 16th gets one bye and the rest has to fight it out the whole way. It gives us some incentive to get the first 8 spots, and yup I’m going to try and keep my spot there. It used to be just EXT’s own leagues but now there’s two more places to go. I expected a major drop in the standings for me having missed 3 weeks but looking at the standings on August 31st, I didn’t lose out that much.
The way our pro circuit points work is as such, everyone who enters get 1 point, and for every win you get is an additional point (for example if you got a 2-1 record, 3 points for you). A tie is as bad as a loss.
This week the 3 leagues I went to was EXT on Friday and Saturday (Joey was away so Metagame was closed) and Bricks Play on Sunday. Here’s a short recap of who did well and how my matches were like for all 3 days.
31st August – Project EXT (15 players)
1) Anselm (Solgaleo-GX)
2) Rauf (Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
3) Eugene (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
4) Mason (Zoroark-GX/Gardevoir-GX)
5) Kash (Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt)
R1 vs Greninja-GX/Spread WW (Greninja has weakness to Tapu Bulu so it was a poor matchup for my friend)
R2 vs Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX LWL (A winnable match but I misplayed a number of times. Seems like game rust is a thing too)
R3 vs Zoroark-GX/Ninetales-GX WW (Perfect set-up both times to kill off both his main threats)
From the first game and testing online, I could tell that Rayquaza/Vikavolt is the deck to beat in this format right now. It’s incriedbly quick and most of the time you will get your idea set-up, if not the first try, most certainty the second try. Of the 15 of us, there were at least 10 different decks. And interestingly enough, Solgaleo-GX came out on top, one of the few I tested while on holiday and for some reason one of the more consistent decks I tested too, which is strange for a stage 2 deck and I’ve played Metagross countless of times.
1st September – Project EXT (9 players)
1) Titally (Naganadel-GX/Stakataka-GX)
2) Kash (Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar)
3) Kian Chong (Zoroark-GX/Magcargo)
4) Rizduan (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone)
5) Rauf (Buzzwole/Weavile)
R1 vs Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt WLW (Close games in the first two, third game my opponent couldn’t set up at all, I kept attack all of his Grubbins)
R2 vs Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX WW (Dawn Wings Necrozma was my MVP in both games)
R3 vs Garchomp/Lucario WW (Opponent had a hard time dealing with Ultra Necrozma in both games)
No Rayquaza or Gardevoir this time around so out came the Ultra Beasts, all but one in the top 5 had an Ultra Beast pokemon as the main attacker. So still no real answer as to how the meta is shaping up from our games here but on the day itself, Melbourne SPE was ongoing so we kept up with what was going on. No surprised that Rayquaza won but Dusk Mane Necrozma finished 2nd (with Ribombee, something I had tested with too but wasn’t too convinced about it at first). Zoroarks were still doing good and Malamar decks had strong showings too, which was good news for me.
2nd September – Bricks Play (13 players)
1) Lynn (Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX)
2) Kash (Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
3) Andy (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
4) Eujun (Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
5) Bertrand (Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
R1 vs Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt LWW (Last two games my opponent only had one Grubbin and I went after it and he couldn’t set up after that)
R2 vs Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt LWL (Same story, I went after the Grubbins but my friend had two up in the final game and I couldn’t keep up with the speed of VikaRay this time around)
R3 vs Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX WW (Very close games, went after the Rockruffs this time and it worked out well. Lycanroc my MVP in both games. Had to GX in my second turn in the second game and by turn 4 it got me 4 prizes).
So with Rayquaza running around, of course Gardevoir would make a comeback and take the win this time. I had the unfortunate honour of having to play 2 of the 3 VikaRay players back to back and at least I got one win out of it. It was mainly Vikavolt, Lycanroc and Metagross decks that day.
Three days with three different decks, mostly all good but at least I know now that I have to make my decks counter both Rayquaza and Gardevoir, both are easily the deck to beat at the moment. I also managed to keep up the Pro-Circuit points by updating my own standings and if I got it all correct, this is how everything shapes up after the first week of September.
Titally (catch me outside) extends his lead at the top by 4 points. 2nd to 6th are still really close but those of us in there should be safe for the top 8 spots for now. 8th place is still up for grabs, now my dude Rizduan is holding on to that spot. It’s even close for the 1 bye spots, 16th to 18th are all tied on points! Another 3 more weeks to go and sadly I’ll miss next Wednesday’s event at Metagame so if I do make a points update, it won’t be accurate. Next week will be interesting, we’ve got a win-a-box tourney hosted by EXT at the GGXP event at SGTCC in MBS. Yup lots of initials there. Hopefully I’ll do one better this time around and get two wins unlike last year’s event also at SGTCC (hosted by Qisahn then).