“Espe-en Garde:” An Introduction To The BKT-on Standard Format

Hey guys, I’m fresh off my plane from Fort Wayne Regionals and ready to start the new Standard format! One of the biggest changes we are going to see is an adjustment to the way our Supporter and overall draw counts look like. In this piece, I am going to cover how the Standard decks should be built, in a way that will keep the decks almost as consistent as they were in our previous formats, while staying hard-hitting with strong options.

To understand this new format, we can take a good amount of information from the 2013/2014 format. In this past format we did not have VS Seeker in the format, but we did have Jirachi EX. This is extremely comparable because in the current format we do not have VS Seeker, but we do have Tapu Lele GX. In this past format, people made due without these cards by playing Bicycle, Colress, and Random Receiver. In the current format we are forced to find our new version of these cards. Which I will cover shortly.

I believe there is a strong base formula for most decks in this format. I will cover this base, and then show how this base can be applied to popular decks like Garbodor and Gardevoir. This piece will have lists for Espeon Garbodor, Gardevoir, and Drampa Garbodor. In my coming articles I will definitely focus on other archetypes in this format, but for this piece I am only covering these three choices in order to give them a little more focus. For the new format, I want to give each deck a little more attention just because I (well, none of us) have built decks in this format yet. This is why I will not have six deck lists in one article like I have in the past. Never fear – I will have lists for decks such as Turtonator, and Golisopod in the near future!

Lastly, there are some cards in this new format that I have identified to be extremely powerful, that may not have been as strong in the past. The shift has turned some cards that I was very much against in the past, into great additions in many decks. Towards the end of this piece, I will talk about which cards I am referring to, and which techs have gained strength with rotation.

Consistency Base

The most major change to all decks in this format is that every deck needs four N and four Sycamore. This was extremely common in 2013; even repeated as a sort of mantra when building decks. Now that Seeker is gone, we absolutely need to max out these counts. This is by far the most important change we need to make to our lists. Many decks are already following this guideline, however all decks needs to be doing so in this format.

Four N, four Sycamore is a little more obvious, but what is more ambiguous is the number of draw cards in a deck, and what cards can be considered draw cards. How many draw cards does a deck with Octillery need? How much can we rely on Tapu Lele for draw support in this format? What is the correct count of Guzma for this format?

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