“Winter is Coming:” The Decks to Beat in the Coming Months

Hello Cut Or Tap readers! The 2017 winter season is in full swing, and information is still absent regarding the League Cups that were supposed to have begun by now. This means a digression from my planned article topic, and instead a look into a few decks that I like for the next major tournaments: the Standard European Intercontinentals and the Expanded San Jose, CA Regional Championships.

Mega Gardevoir (Standard)

I’m only going to talk about one Standard deck, because I feel it is much stronger than the rest of the Standard metagame. I say very confidently that M-Gardevoir EX STS is the deck to beat in London, as the deck hits fast, is bulky, and has the unique ability to remove liabilities from the board. It also has late-game staying power, provided by the new Dragonite EX EVO. This is my M-Gardevoir list:

Pokémon – 17 Trainers – 35 Energy – 8
3 Gardevoir EX STS 2 Professor Sycamore 4 VS Seeker 8 Fairy
3 M Gardevoir EX STS 2 Hex Maniac 4 Ultra Ball
4 Shaymin EX ROS 2 N 4 Trainers’ Mail
3 Hoopa EX 1 Lysandre 3 Gardevoir Spirit Link
2 Dragonite EX EVO 1 Karen 2 Escape Rope
1 Rattata EVO 1 Olympia 2 Super Rod
1 Raticate EVO 2 Mega Turbo
1 Fairy Drop
4 Sky Field

While still playing fairly similarly to the lists from Orlando regionals, Gardevoir got a lot of help from Evolutions – probably more help than any other deck. Dragonite EX, in combination with Hoopa EX and Super Rod, makes hitting for 170 or 180 attainable even multiple times a game. It also provides additional outs to Shaymin EX to rebuild after a late game N. I would say that this deck’s main weakness, besides M-Scizor EX, is its reliance on Ultra Ball to set up; while it isn’t particularly hard to get an Ultra Ball, the deck is certainly prone to occasionally dealing hands that struggle to do anything – a reality of playing any deck, but probably a more prominent one with this deck. This deck is still very far from inconsistent, and the base of four Shaymin EX and three Hoopa EX means that you will often have an easy time setting up completely.

When playing this deck, it is imperative to track how many of each kind of Pokemon are left at your disposal, and how many are ready for you to retrieve with Dragonite from the discard pile. Sequencing your plays to maximize your options with this deck is also very important. Always remember that you can use Dragonite EX for Hoopa EX, and then play a Super Rod to shuffle an EX you want to search for with Scoundrel Ring back into your deck. Failing to notice which Pokemon are prized can be a game-losing mistake, more so with this deck than perhaps any other. While an attacking Gardevoir requires very little upkeep, this deck will really reward playing with an eye towards your resources.

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