“What’s Changed, Jesse?” – Breaking (a) Bad Format

Hey there, Cut or Tap readers! Daniel here, to silence all talk of Standard PRC-SM. I feel that it will take plenty of innovation to actually change this format. We’re in a good place right now, with the gist of it all being:

  • Ability-heavy decks
  • Garbodor decks to counter the Ability decks
  • Third-party decks with no affinity towards Abilities (Spare Shaymin or Hoopa-EX) or Anti-Abilities

So what we have here is a rock-paper-scissors. That’s all Pokemon ever is, anyways, but this one is a bit more complex. It’s not just Darkrai>Yveltal/Garb>M Rayquaza>Darkrai – you have to throw in the outliers of M Mewtwo, M Gardevoir, Volcanion, Vespiquen variants, Rainbow Road, etc.

This allows for a healthy meta of sorts. If the vast majority of players decide to play our “Top 3”, then we will more than likely complain more over our meta, due to these decks consistently taking up all of the top spots. This sort of issue was one we were faced with during the reign of Yveltal/Garb. Now, our format is only complained over when we draw poorly, because different things are doing well at League Cups, and new competitive decks are still being brought to the forefront. This makes for an interesting variety of decks in our meta. In a place of such strong variety, what does this mean for us with the release of Sun & Moon?

Complete, utter chaos. That is what we have received.

“Lurantis-GX sure looks amazing! I would love to base a deck around it! But what about Volcanion, I really don’t want to lose to that. Maybe I’ll run Lapras-GX! But he’s too slow, and has Mega Ray/Rainbow Road issues. I’ll stick with Garbodor because of the influx of strong Abilities! But I really don’t think Yveltal BKT works anymore, and Darkrai/Dragons is dead, too. Do I even need a GX Pokemon in my deck? I guess so, it’s sort of like running an Ace Spec. Every deck needs one! But which one…?”

I am 99.9% positive that every player ran some of these thoughts through their head when sitting back and trying to find synergy and new strategies with the new cards. Japan has only really given us good Expanded ideas, and they’ve left us in the dark as far as Standard, due to the differences in our formats. We have to wait for League Cups and Anaheim Regionals to see our players’ hard work and elbow grease flourish into a new, well-developed meta.

….at least we would, if Sun & Moon actually changed anything.

This bold statement is completely biased, but let me throw in a metaphor to explain my reasoning.

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