Top plays for Worlds 2019

In this article we are going to take a look at: match ups between the commonly accepted top five decks, my lists for everything even remotely viable, and my tier tist. This piece includes updates on much of the information discussed in the last piece, especially in relation to card changes in the lists. A section at the end has updated lists for every deck not covered in the rest of the article. One of the intentions with this article was to make sure any competitive player could find a deck list here for the decks they are considering for Worlds regardless of my opinion on how strong of a deck it is. There are only a few archetypes I never got around to testing, which include Mewtwo Mew Box, Gardeon, and there might be one or two others that I am unaware of. Unfortunately this means that if you are considering those archetypes, there will be no lists for them in this post.

This will be the last full length article for Worlds. Before Day 1 of the event I will post my final lists for my top choices. I’ll make sure to post the updates earlier in the day so you don’t have to scramble to change cards if you want to make adjustments. There are still some questions I have not found the answers for as I am posting this and I believe by the time I post the final lists those questions should all be answered….Hopefully!

Table of Contents

  • My tier list/community tier list
  • Blacephalon (Green’s Engine)
  • ReshiZard 
  • PikaRom
  • Dark Box
  • Giratina Malamar
  • Deck lists for every other deck on the Tier List

My tier list is in order from best to worst overall, meaning the order of the decks in each tier is relevant. Overall my tier list is fairly similar to the community list, but the reason I felt it was important to make my own, is because that order of the decks is significant. We have a big top tier and saying all the decks are all equally as good as each other is not what most of us want to hear.

My tier list

     Tier 1

  • Giratina Malamar
  • PikaRom
  • ReshiZard
  • Dark Box
  • Blacephalon (Green’s)

     Tier 2

  • Malamar (Ultra Necrozma focus)
  • Oranguru Shedinja
  • Blacephalon GX Naganadel

     Tier 3

  • Baby Blacephalon (with Abilities)
  • Beheeyem Shedinja
  • Nidoqueen Meganium Swampert

     Unsure where to categorize

  • Mewtwo Mew Box Variants
  • Gardevoir Sylveon Mismagius
  • Necrozma (Special Laser) Malamar
  • Whimsicott GX Variants

Although the order does matter, it is worth noting that the order can change depending on a pick for Day 1 as opposed to Day 2. In fact all five of those decks are in my considerations for Day 2, while Malamar variants are my only options for Day 1. Many players think the idea of switching decks from Day 1 to Day 2 is silly, but I completely disagree.

I did not put Persian on this list because for the most part nobody else is talking about the deck and I have decided to not pursue the deck further for Worlds. I certainly will revisit the concept going forward, but for now I just want a deck that is consistent and easier on my brain than Persian.

My tier list actually started out quite different. I wrote it for the first time maybe five days ago and since then there have been many adjustments. The irony of it is that as I kept revising the list, it became more and more similar to how the community views the meta. Normally I feel like my opinions on decks and the format are fairly unique, but I suppose that is not the case this time around.

It is very hard to understand what the competitive community as a whole regards as the top decks going into any tournament (especially Worlds). I have done my best to keep up with our Facebook groups and articles on other sites in an attempt to understand the aggregate opinion on different archetypes. Unlike my tier list, this one is not in any order within the tiers. Being too specific about what players think will be played can result in over-preparing for too few decks while neglecting others.

Community Tier List

Tier 1

  • PikaRom
  • Malamar Variants
  • Dark Box
  • Blacephalon GX
  • ReshiZard (Green’s)

Tier 2

  • Shedinja Oranguru
  • Mewtwo Mew Box
  • Whimsicott GX

Tier 3

  • Meganium Stage 2’s
  • Beheeyem variants
  • Baby Blowns

The reason why this tier list is important is because we can use it to judge which match ups are most important to test and which decks are most important to tech against. This list can also be roughly interpreted as my predictions for popularity at Worlds. The match ups in this article were covered with this community tier list in mind. I do not cover all the match ups for all the decks, because frankly there is no way I have enough time or energy to get through 25 match up descriptions, but I do cover a good number of the match ups in varying detail. Decks more towards the end of the article have more information because I have tested them more. The decks are in order from least likely, to most likely for me to use at Worlds. Alrighty, let’s get into the meat!

Big Blowns is a solid deck, but I do not have it higher on my list because of problems with Reset Stamp and missing Welder when you use Pokegear. Reshi Green’s and Blowns Green’s each have their ups and down, but for the most part I consider them equally. The new Tapu Fini being printed does make me think twice about Blowns though.

Big Blacephalon Green’s

Pokémon – 9 Trainers – 34 Energy – 17
 4 Blacephalon GX  4 Green’s Exploration  4 Cherish Ball  16 Fire
 2 Meowth  4 Welder  4 Custom Catcher  1 Beast
 1 Persian GX  1 Cynthia  4 Beast Ring
 1 Reshiram Charizard GX  4 Pokegear 3.0
 1 Dedenne GX  1 Heat Factory  2 Fire Crystal
 2 Giant Hearth  1 Pokemon Communication
 1 Switch
 1 Reset Stamp
 1 Fiery Flint

The Dedenne

Since I started testing this Green’s build of Blacephalon I came to realize it runs far more smooth than the versions with Naganadel GX and/or Naganadel. The problem with any Green’s deck will be the late-game where your opponent can Reset Stamp you into a dead hand. That is exactly the reason I included a Dedenne GX; as a way to turn extra Cherish Balls into outs to draw. I know many of you are going to see that Dedenne and HATE it because starting with the card means you cannot use any of your Green’s for the whole game. The reason why I think of that situation as acceptable is because this deck plays games very quickly, meaning you can consistently go through three games in 50 minutes. Think about how frequently Reset Stamp can lose you games. If you have a way to fix the biggest flaw of the deck, then you can afford to auto-lose a some games by starting with your one Dedenne. In those best of three sets you can afford one game where you start Dedenne and lose because of it. However, if you lose to Stamp too often, you can face a deck with one or two copies of the card (which is most decks by the way) and lose 0-2. In my estimation, starting with Dedenne will be game-losing less of the time than Stamp will be. Anything else that can be fit in this deck which could help with this Stamp issue is a high consideration for me. If we can jump that hurdle with Big Blowns, then the deck is even higher within the top tier.

If you do not include the Dedenne, my suggestion would be to play another Cynthia.

Other list comments

Big shout out to Peter Kica because I believe he created the initial list. It did not feel right to me including this deck behind a paywall because the concept for this deck is his idea. I love playing the deck. It is probably the most enjoyable archetype for me at the moment. If I play in the Open, I suspect this is the deck I will use.

I am still unsure of the value in playing a ReshiZard here. In testing so far I have used it rarely, but there is a good chance I am not using it at times where I should be. At the very least it is another Basic to make mulligans and Dedenne starts less frequent. Super Potion is another consideration for this deck because I notice problems against Malamar decks at times that could be lessened by a healing option that Green’s Exploration can search for. Beast Bringer is a REALLY spicy tech I thought about including because Green’s can search it out turn one. The only reason it is not in the list is because you want to Burst on turn one somewhat often and there is the stipulation on the card which says you need to knock out a GX to get the effect. On a side note, saving the Burst for the late game is a good way to lessen problems with Reset Stamp. If you have one prize left and they send you to a one card hand, you don’t care what you draw because you can just Burst for the game.

The other items I added in the list just make sense to me in any deck that plays Green’s. I prefer the Flint to the third Hearth because it cleans out more Energy and does not interfere with Heat Factory. I found scenarios where I needed Fire, but also needed to Factory early game. Flint fixes that problem and thins your deck more than Hearth. Honestly Flint is just a broken card in any Fire deck; searching out four cards in your deck is a ton of thinning for playing one card. That thinning is crucial in this sort of a deck for making Pokgears more effective and the draws off Welder more potent. A second Flint is certainly an addition I am considering. Communication is just so you can get Meowth out because this deck has no way to search for it otherwise and Persian is an incredibly important part of this deck. Might just cut the Communication and the ReshiZard in favor of a third Meowth and second Persian. Stamp is just a broken card, especially in decks that can Green’s for it at the right time. Your mirror and Green ReshiZard match ups become far better with the inclusion. I also cut Erika, which I am not thrilled about, but I figure Cynthia is more consistent in it’s draw power while working as another strong turn one out off of Gears. Think about how terrible Erika is against Green’s decks; Erika for three as opposed to Cynthia for six? Yeah I’ll take the Cynthia.

Match Ups

Blowns has the shortest match up section because I have tested Blowns less than the other decks and the deck plays out in the same way for each match up (for the most part). You pretty much just Welder Energy out and Cat Walk for Beast Rings. 80% of the skill in this deck is in the ways you prepare for being Reset Stamped.


Assuming you are up against the Green’s variant of ReshiZard, you are looking at a very positive match up. Burst immediately puts you ahead in prize race and forces them into only benching one Volcanion if they want to maintain the prize exchange that the deck tries to achieve. Although using Burst does not necessarily have to be something you do on your first turn. Your opponent might bench two Volcanion without considering the fact that doing so pretty much loses them the game, as in every other match up two Volcanion is what they aim for.

I try to get several Blacephalon in play with Energy so that when they do take a KO on one of them I do not run into the problem of several Energy getting wiped out at once. With Green’s they will be able to Custom Catcher whichever Blacephalon they want, meaning three of them in play with around an equal amount of Energy is the goal. Persian is of course another important piece to set up. Overall the main differentiating factor about this match up as compared to others is that you can play a little more passively just focusing on getting the right Pokemon into play. Once they take that first KO you can Cat Walk and start using Beast Wing which usually means game-over for them. This list has the Stamp as well which is huge because if you combine a good Stamp with a one-shot on their active, they will most likely stumble.

Dark Box

I tend to think this is the worst match up because of the two ways Dark Box can skip Beast Ring. Still, Dark Box is the least consistent Top Tier deck, so it is not that bad of a match up. They can knock out a Meowth, going down to five prizes, followed by a Greedy Crush leaving them at two prizes. The second method involves using Dark Moon going down to four prizes followed with another OHKO on a GX, again leaving them at two (if they Greedy Crush the GX they are left at two). The Dark Moon route is more effective and powerful because that turn in the mid-game where they stop Trainers means not only can you not Beast Ring, but you cannot play a Welder to try to mount a response.

The main thing to focus on when facing Dark Box is trying to force them into not being able to skip Beast Ring or at least prepare your board for when they do. When they take the Greedy Crush route you are in a bit of an easier situation because it means you can still play Reset Stamp leaving them with two cards. You can prepare that Stamp in your hand with a Green’s a turn or two in advance. Dark Box either plays no Custom Catcher or has a hard time finding two at once, meaning you might not need to set up multiple Blacephalon as quickly as you would against something like ReshiZard. Rushing knock outs tends to be an effective way to win a decent number of games because continually knocking out Pokemon like Sneasel and Poipole makes it very hard for them to get enough Energy on the right Pokemon at the right time. So if you go second, you should consider using Welder and knocking out that low HP Basic rather than using Burst GX. That Burst is a very nice option when you cannot play any Trainers. You also might want to use Bursting Burn when an Umbreon Darkrai is active after they used Black Lance because it means they need one more card (and to flip heads with it) to use Dark Moon. Against most decks Bursting Burn is actually quite useful, so do not forget about the third attack on Blacephalon. In short, do whatever you can to slow down or stop the Dark Moon because the majority of the time it will be a huge problem for you.

That’s about it for Blowns. It is a solid pick and by no means would I knock anybody for using it, but I do think there are other picks that are better for Day 1.

Initially it seemed to me that Green’s ReshiZard was simply worse than the variant with Ninetales, Dedenne, and Jirachi. Which is ironic to most people because the common opinion is that Green’s is strictly better. Through more testing I have realized that this is not the case and there certainly is good reason to play either of the two. However, I still prefer the Ability version over Green’s because your match up against PikaRom is a little better and I think all of us are expect PikaRom to be played in big numbers. Bellow you can find my lists for both variants.

ReshiZard (Ninetales/Jirachi)

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