Options for Brazil: Dark Box, Malamar, Oranguru Pidgeotto, Persian Box, Gardeon, and PikaRom

Brazil Intercontinentals is this coming weekend and there is plenty to unpack with the introduction of Cosmic Eclipse to Standard. This piece covers information on several decks and how they can adapt to the new format. I start by going over information about the format in a general sense. The new Tag Engine is interesting and powerful, the impact of Pidgeotto is very real, and the top tier looks like it will change dramatically. This article has the more standard archetypes including PikaRom, Gardeon, Pidgeotto Control, and Malamar. There are multiple rogue/under-played decks in this piece as well, including Dark Box, Oranguru Pidgeotto Mill, and Persian Box. New sets being released creates a wide open meta, so starting off this quarter with a broad look at what could be played is the best way I have found to navigate the chaos.

It’s common knowledge that Pidgeotto becomes far stronger with Bellelba & Brycen-Man being printed. It is also well known that Malamar gains a lot from the set through Mimikyu and Blacephalon. What is less talked about is the engine that was created through the Trainers printed in this set.

Tag Engine

This engine is centered around Tag Call, which grabs two of any Tag Team cards; clearly an incredible card. All of the Tag Team Supporters in this set have secondary effects that discard cards from hand, which lends itself very well to the new Silvally GX. Disk Reload with these Supporters make it possible for you to cycle new cards in and out of your hand every turn. This is a unique engine in this format because it gives you access to many strong options that are all searchable, whereas most other decks can only attempt finding the Supporter they went with Pokegear or Jirachi. Silvally being a big part of the engine also makes it possible more of the time to be using ‘effect’ Supporters that do not draw cards.

Tag Engine Package

Pokémon – 5 Trainers – 13 Energy – 1
 2 Type: Null  2 Cynthia & Caitlin  3 Tag Whistle  1 Unit
 2 Silvally GX  1 Mallow & Lana  1 Stealthy Hood
 1 Mega Lopunny Jigglypuff GX  1 Guzma & Hala  1 Lana’s Fishing Rod
 1 Bellelba & Bycen-Man
 1 Red & Blue  2 Chaotic Swell

This package includes all of the new Tag Team Supporters other than Misty Lorelei, which is a Supporter that only works in very specific archetypes. On a side note, it seems like they printed Lorelei with Blastoise Piplup GX in mind. We have a Unit Energy, with could also be a Weak Guard, Draw Energy, or any other Special Energy. One Special should be present in some of the Tag Engine decks because Guzma Hala can be used to search it out at the right time. We also include two Chaotic Swell and one Stealthy Hood because getting around Power Plant and Mimikyu’s Shadow Box is needed to continue using Disk Reload or any other GX Ability. Guzma Hala can search out either Hood or Chaotic Swell. This means you can end up using Disk Reload when Mimikyu or Power Plant is out, if you have a Tag Call in hand. We have the one Tag Team Pokemon because remember that Tag Call does not only grab Supporters, and Mega Lopunny is the most splash-able Tag Team printed so far. Lastly I want to mention that Cynthia Caitlin is a very strong aspect of this engine because it can recycle any of the one-of Supporters in the list and it is the only Tag Team card in the deck that actually draws cards. Remember that this is not a skeleton for this package, it is only an example. Depending on the deck, this package can change a lot.

A great example of a deck that can use this package well is Dark Box. Red Blue in particular was a huge buff given to Dark Box as it accelerates energy, can discard Darks from hand, and adds consistency with searching out Weavile GX. There were various other cards outside of the Tag Package that the deck gains as well. Dark Box has answers to all the popular decks and is quite consistent with the new additions. If I were going to Brazil, I probably would play this list:

Dark Box

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