Post Worlds Conclusions: Final Lists and Lessons for Next Season

Hey reader, Phinn again. We are fresh from Worlds with plenty of information to explore and analyze. This article is going to cover what changes we saw in the meta, as opposed to past Worlds’ metas, and what has stayed consistent through each Worlds. The idea here is to think about what we thought we knew about the meta before Worlds, and then looking at what actually happened. This is necessary to understand how to meta-game with higher-level events and players. Along the way will be my most recent lists for some of the decks that did well.

This piece will build off from my last article where I covered my top picks for Worlds. My lists have stayed fairly similar, but with some important adjustments for the meta. These lists could be especially helpful for people who have any tournaments before September 1st. For the majority of us, these lists will be useful because they display some techs and choices that were not obviously strong before Worlds. This information will be vital in forming the metas and list for our upcoming Standard and Expanded formats.

There are also a couple decks that people either did not have the courage to pilot, or were not thought to be played at all! On the flip side, some decks were played by brave souls with no reward. Rayquaza is the best example that I can see. The deck is amazing if it does not face Garbodor, but unfortunately Garbodor was the biggest deck in the field, making the deck a poor choice.

To start off, this is what the meta looked like for Days 1 and 2 of Worlds:

  • Garbodor variants
  • Gardevoir
  • Decidueye variants
  • Golisopod variants

The following decks saw significantly less play, but were present as well:

  • Ninetales
  • Turtonator variants
  • Rayquaza
  • Greninja
  • Darkrai

Greninja is a bit of an exception, because it did see more play during Day 2, but for the most part the same decks that did well on Day 1 were the ones that did well during Day 2. Garbodor and Gardevoir were clearly the best two decks, however Golisopod showed up with many of the Japanese players and impressed us with making it all the way to Finals. I knew this deck was a top-tier option, but the Garbodor variant was a surprise.

Knowing the meta, there is one deck that I see as a great option, that almost everyone had written off. Vespiquen does beat Gardevoir, and has a slightly favorable Garbodor matchup. Decidueye/Vileplume is a bad matchup, but the Ninetales variant of Decidueye certainly is manageable. My theory is that this deck was lost in fear of Oricorio. The deck is not easy to play by any means either, which turned a lot of players away from it. This is the sort of deck a strong player could have won the event with. One of my biggest regrets from the time leading up to Worlds is not testing this deck more. If I had more time testing with it, there is a good chance I would have used it.

Here is the list I would use now:

Vespiquen Machoke

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