Regional Bias – Preparing For Regional Championships by Local Metas

2015_winter_regional_championshipsWe are quickly approaching one of the biggest weekends of the Pokemon TCG season, where four Regional Championships will be played in the United States.  With so many big tournaments happening in one weekend, a lot of players will see their Championship Point count change, and quite a few players should finish up their invites to the World Championship this weekend.

For a look at the National Meta game, here is a link to the comprehensive City Championship Results Page, which breaks down the data by each week, as well as lists the individual tournament results, so you can see who was winning with what decks. 231 tournaments were reported for the results you will see on that page.

I put together a nifty MS Paint style map of what the most dominant decks were in each state for the tournament series. The decks represented for each state were the decks that received the highest Championship Points during City Championships based on the results that were reported.

A quick color code: Black is Yveltal EX, Brown is Donphan PLS, Green is Virizion EX/Genesect EX, Blue is Seismitoad EX, Gold is M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX, Silver is Bronzong PHF, Pink is Aromatisse XY, and Turquoise is Manectric EX/Seismitoad EX. White represents states where no results were reported, or in which there were no sanctioned City Championships.  States where there are lines through it represent states in which there was a tie for first place.

Pokemon City Championship Map

As would be expected Yveltal EX leads the way, followed by Donphan PLS, with a small splatter of other decks on the map. While Yveltal EX was by far the most successful deck of the tournament series, he wasn’t successful in carrying the electoral college.

Here is a quick synopsis of the national meta game, which is based on Championship Points earned, weighted by recency.

Tier S

  • Yveltal EX

Tier 1

  • Donphan PLS
  • Seismitoad EX
  • Aromatisse XY
  • Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Tier 2

  • Bronzong PHF
  • Night March
  • M Manectric EX/Fighting
  • Flareon PLF

Tier 3

  • Pyroar
  • M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX
  • Manectric EX/Seismitoad EX

Tier 4

  • Fighting
  • M Manectric EX/Water
  • Crobat/Fighting
  • M Manectric EX/Zapdos LTR
  • Big Basics
  • TDK
  • Gengar EX
  • Dark with Dusknoir
  • Fighting with Dusknoir

While it is neat to look at the national meta game to have a representation of how strong decks are in general, this data is less useful for helping us determine the correct play for Regional Championships, which could have very different meta games between them.

In the next sections, I will list the most successful decks based on the geographic region in which the Regional Championship will occur, from that data I will discern a regional tier list, and then I will also offer a deck I think could be a good play based on the meta game in that area.

In determining the geographic regions, I tried to include all the states in which players were likely to attend that Regional. Therefore, some states that could be split between tournaments (Tennessee and Ohio for example) were left out, as well as states that were far enough away that it wouldn’t be certain that most players from the area would travel. I tried my best based on what I know about players past preference for traveling in making the groupings, but surely these are not perfect.

California

First up is California Regional Championships, which I included results from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah in compiling results.

Deck: 1st 2nd Top 4 CP
Yveltal EX 8 9 12 1120
Aromatisse XY 10 2 9 850
Donphan PLS 6 6 8 780
Virizion EX/Genesect EX 1 2 5 280
Seismitoad EX 2 1 4 260
Bronzong PHF 1 2 4 250
Pyroar FLF 2 1 2 200
Night March 0 1 4 160
M Manectric EX/Zapdos LTR 1 0 3 140
M Manectric EX/Water 1 2 0 130
M Manectric EX/Black Kyurem EX 1 1 1 120
M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX 0 0 3 90
Fighting 0 0 3 90
Flareon PHF 0 2 0 80
Gengar EX 0 1 1 70
TDK 0 1 1 70
M Manectric EX/Fighting 0 0 2 60
Tool Drop 0 1 0 40
Crobat PHF/Wobuffet PHF 0 1 0 40
Mew EX 0 0 1 30
M Manectric EX/Dragonite EX 0 0 1 30
Fairies with Garbodor 0 0 1 30

Tier 1

  • Yveltal EX
  • Aromatisse XY
  • Donphan PLS

Tier 2

  • Virizion EX/Genesect EX
  • Seismitoad EX
  • Bronzong PHF
  • Pyroar FLF

Tier 3

  • Night March
  • M Manectric EX/Zapdos LTR
  • M Manectric EX/Water
  • M Manectric EX/Black Kyurem EX

This is by far the most centralized meta game that we have in the United States. When going to this Regional Championship, it is safe to assume that you will most likely be playing one of the Tier 1 decks nearly every round of the tournament.

seismitoad-ex-furious-fists-frf-20-ptcgo-1-312x441Charizard Lounge’s Play: 

Seismitoad EX/Garbodor DRX – This deck can be built to have positive matchups against all of the Tier 1 decks that players can expect to play. Hammers, Head Ringers, and Ability denial will be good against both Yveltal EX and Aromatisse XY decks. Players should be sure to include a consistent means of healing into the deck to avoid Donphan decks from getting ahead in the prize by scoring 2HKO’s setup by Hawlucha FFI.

Missouri

Next up is Missouri, which had the largest Regional Championship in the country last season. Results from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin were included in compiling the results.

Deck: 1st 2nd Top 4 CP
Yveltal EX 14 9 14 1480
Seismitoad EX 7 5 10 850
M Manectric EX/Fighting 6 8 7 830
Donphan PLS 4 4 12 720
Aromatisse XY 2 4 14 680
Virizion EX/Genesect EX 5 3 8 610
Bronzong PHF 1 3 4 290
M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX 3 0 2 210
Manectric EX/Seismitoad EX 1 1 4 210
Pyroar FLF 0 4 1 190
Big Basics 1 1 1 120
Night March 0 0 4 120
Fighting 0 0 4 120
Flareon PHF 2 0 0 100
Gengar EX 0 1 1 70
M Manectric EX/Water 0 1 1 70
TDK 0 0 2 60
Fighting Dusknoir 0 1 0 40
Dark Dusknoir 0 0 1 30
Venusaur EX/Virizion EX 0 0 1 30
Crobat PHF/Mewtwo EX 0 0 1 30

Tier S

  • Yveltal EX

Tier 1

  • Seismitoad EX
  • M Manectric EX/Fighting
  • Donphan PLS
  • Aromatisse XY
  • Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Tier 2

  • Bronzong PHF
  • M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX
  • Manectric EX/Seismitoad EX
  • Pyroar FLF

Tier 3

  • Big Basics
  • Night March
  • Fighting
  • Flareon PHF

In contrast to California, Missouri Regional Championships will have a very diverse meta game, and so you really have to prepare to play against a wide range of decks, as you never know what you might get paired against. Yveltal EX is the most dominant deck by far, so you should expect to see at least a few of those in the Swiss rounds. One regional quirk worth noting, is that M Manectric EX/Fighting is a significant deck in this area, which separates it from the rest of the country. In talking with other players in other areas, most had no idea that this is a legitimate deck, but here in the Midwest, it’s been our 3rd most successful deck during City Championships.

Charizard Lounge’s Play:

m-manectric-ex-phantom-forces-phf-24-312x441M Manectric EX/Fighting – There is a reason this deck exists here, and not really anywhere else, and that’s because it’s a deck meant for a diverse meta game. The deck has roughly 50/50 matchups against most of the format, meaning that you will rarely be looking at bad auto losses. The deck also has a great Yveltal EX matchup, as you hit it for weakness, and you play counter stadiums to get rid of their Shadow Circle.

I should note that I will be attending this Regional, and I will not be playing this deck, in favor of something rogue, but I do think it is a good play and will serve players well, just as it has done during City Championships.

Oregon

Next up is the Pacific Northwest region, with Oregon Regional Championships. For this tournament, I used results from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to compile results.

Deck: 1st 2nd Top 4 CP
Donphan PLS 8 5 12 960
Yveltal EX 9 3 5 720
Virizion EX/Genesect EX 3 4 12 670
Pyroar FLF 1 3 4 290
Aromatisse XY 1 0 5 200
Bronzong PHF 0 3 2 180
M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX 2 0 2 160
Dark Dusknoir 0 1 4 160
Seismitoad EX 0 2 1 110
M Manectric EX/Virizion EX/Genesect EX 1 0 1 80
M Manectric EX/Zapdos LTR 0 1 1 70
Manectric EX/Seismitoad EX 0 1 1 70
Big Basics 0 1 0 40
Gengar EX 0 0 1 30

Tier S

  • Donphan PLS

Tier 1

  • Yveltal EX
  • Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Tier 2

  • Pyroar FLF
  • Aromatisse XY

Tier 3

  • Bronzong PHF
  • M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX
  • Dark Pokemon with Dusknoir BCR
  • Seismitoad EX

This is a weird meta game to see, and some of that might just be because there are less states involved, and less results reported for those states, so that may skew this some. Based on the results we do have, the area seems to have centralized between Donphan PLS, Yveltal EX, and Virizion EX/Genesect EX. These three decks were pretty separated from the rest of the decks in the area in terms of success.

Charizard Lounge Play:

yveltal-ex-xy-144-pokegymYveltal EX/Hard Charm – This deck should give you strong matchups against Donphan, which had been the most successful deck in the area, and a solid matchup against Virizion EX/Genesect EX. I would make sure to include Spiritomb LTR to prevent your opponent from being able to play G Booster in the Genesect matchup, as it appears you would be more likely to play against Virgen decks in this area than in some of the other areas. Pyroar FLF was the 4th most successful deck here, but I would hedge against playing it and not bother teching for it to improve your other matchups. It has two good matchups against the top 3 decks, and one bad one, but it also has questionable matchups against most of the rest of the format. I think it was just an anomaly for it to show up at the top of the next set of decks after the big 3.

Virginia

Last up is Virginia, which I should say is the area I am least sure about in terms of who will show up. I used my own knowledge of who generally shows up for St. Louis tournaments and who doesn’t, and used that to predict who would go to Virginia for Regional Championships. States used in compiling results were: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Deck: 1st 2nd Top 4 CP
Donphan PLS 19 12 23 2120
Yveltal EX 15 13 21 1900
Seismitoad EX 7 7 12 990
Virizion EX/Genesect EX 7 5 13 940
Aromatisse XY 2 5 7 510
Bronzong PHF 5 3 3 460
Night March 3 1 7 400
Flareon PHF 2 4 4 380
Pyroar FLF 1 3 4 290
M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX 0 1 7 250
TDK 0 0 8 240
Fighting 0 3 3 210
M Manectric EX/Water 1 2 2 190
Gengar EX 0 2 3 170
M Manectric EX/Zapdos LTR 1 2 1 160
Fighting/Crobat 1 0 2 110
M Manectric EX/Fighting 0 0 3 90
Manectric EX/Seismitoad EX 1 1 0 90
M Manectric EX/Black Kyurem EX 1 0 1 80
Charizard EX 0 1 1 70
Crobat PHF/Mewtwo EX 0 0 2 60
Exeggcutor 1 0 0 50
Fighting Dusknoir 0 1 0 40
M Manectric EX/Mew EX 0 1 0 40
Hydreigon LTR 0 0 1 30
Crobat PHF 0 0 1 30
Tool Drop 0 0 1 30
Crobat PHF/Wobuffet PHF 0 0 1 30
Reshiram LTR 0 0 1 30
Zoroark 0 0 1 30
M Manectric EX/Shiftry FLF 0 0 1 30

Tier S

  • Donphan PLS
  • Yveltal EX

Tier 1

  • Seismitoad EX
  • Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Tier 2

  • Aromatisse XY
  • Bronzong PHF
  • Night March
  • Flareon PLF

Tier 3

  • Pyroar FLF
  • M Manectric EX/Yveltal EX
  • Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Kyurem PLF
  • Fighting
  • M Manectric EX/Water

Yveltal EX and Donphan PLS were by far more successful than any other archetypes in this area, with Seismitoad EX and Virizion EX/Genesect EX being the only other decks to see significant success. The Tier 2 in this area has both Night March and Flareon decks in it, so you might want to include Lysandre’s Trump Card more so in this meta game than in others.

Charizard Lounge Play:

xerneas-ex-xy-146-pokegymFlorges EX/Xerneas EX/Aromatisse XY with Hard Charm and Jamming Net – This is the deck that recently took second place at the European Challenge Cup. The deck would give you positive matchups against both Donphan PLS and Yveltal EX decks, while giving you manageable matchups against Seismitoad EX and Virizion EX/Genesect EX decks. You would take near auto losses to Bronzong PHF and Night March, but you are more likely to not play one of those decks than you are to play against them.

Conclusion

Hopefully this breakdown of results has helped you some as you make your last preparations for Regional Championships this weekend. The decks I listed as my plays for these tournaments are just decks that I like, and that I think could do well in the meta games based on the results for these areas from City Championships, and I would recommend just playing whatever you like and are comfortable with.

This format especially, is very diverse, and I think in game skill plays a large factor in match outcomes in this format. I’ve seen two players playing the same decks have opposite experiences, with one player being confident in what another player considers a bad matchup. Knowledge of matchups, and ability to execute can be the difference between winning and losing certain matchups. The best thing you can do to put yourself in a position for success is to just avoid playing decks with a bad matchup against the top stuff you would expect to play, and then also play a deck that you’re comfortable playing and know how to approach the matchups you expect to play against with.

Related Posts