“Fording the Standard River:” Options for Portland Regionals

Portland is coming up pretty soon…Tomorrow in fact!

Deck lists for the following archetypes are in this piece:

  • Buzzwole Lycanroc
  • Buzzwole Garbodor (Trashalanche)
  • Zoroark Lycanroc
  • Lucario Lycanroc Zoroark
  • Lucario Zoroark

Can Lycanroc Zoroark keep up with Lucario Zoroark?

We discussed this a little bit in a discussion on Seagrove’s channel. If you’re interested in that video, you can watch it here. Rukan and Caleb believe that the Lucario variant beats the Lycanroc variant and with the way it is commonly built, I would agree. However, there is a route that Lycanroc can take to win, which is largely dependent on getting attachments when it needs them. Here’s how it works:

The Lycanroc player needs a turn-one attachment to Rockruff in order to get a turn-two Lycanroc. On the second turn, they get another attachment and use Dangerous Rogue on a Lucario for a one hit KO. The Lucario player cannot take a knock out on Lycanroc because they have not had enough time to set up and do enough damage for the KO. Then the Lycanroc player follows up with another oneshot by using Claw Slash on a Zoroark, going down to two prizes. The Lucario player almost certainly does knock out the Lycanroc. To take the last two prizes you have to either two-shot Lucario or take a OHKO on a Lele with the Kukui + Choice Band + Full bench Riotous Beating combo to win the game.

What is the issue with this route? The Lycanroc player cannot miss the turn-one attachment because if this whole line of play is done one turn slower, they end up losing the trade instead. The other issue is that the Lycanroc player has to knock out Lele in the end, meaning you need to set up yourself for that combo. The other problem is that if the Lucario player somehow has not benched a Lele, Lycanroc runs into trouble. The point is, the Lycanroc player can certainly win if it runs hot, but if it does not, then it cannot keep up in the trade (most likely). But this may not be running hot if Lycanroc is built differently. Maybe we change the Lycanroc list to have more access to energy on T1 in order to get a better shot at getting attachments every turn. Maybe we add in Evo Soda for more consistency with Trade. Maybe we up the Kukui count to two in order to more easily achieve the combo later on; the same could be said for Choice Band.

Updating the deck for a Lucario meta

At Charlotte, I played the fourth Basic Fighting and it was helpful, but I felt like I needed to take a step further and play Energy Loto as well. For that event it was more debatable whether or not it was a good idea, considering Zoroark was not as prominent as it previously was. For Portland, the Energy Loto is a better idea for reasons I just explained. Here’s my updated list for Portland:

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