Recapping the 2015-16 Pokemon TCG City Championship Series

taylor_swift_city_championship_alternativeAfter eight weeks of intense battling, the North American leg of Pokemon TCG City Championships has completed. The tournament series spanned from Thanksgiving Day weekend on November 27, 2015 all the way through Martin Luther King Jr. Day, concluding on January 18, 2016.

To check out the full City Championship results, check out this page here, it includes overall results, week by week results, as well as results by state.

In this article I will be giving a closer look at the results. It’s one thing to collect all the data, but once we have all the data it’s important to give it a closer examination so we can learn more about the state of the game and the format as we head into Winter Regional Championships in February. Additionally, it’s very fun to see the extra information that can be extracted from our data set.

Tracking Progress

First, let’s look at how we did as far as collecting the results. Collecting the results is a community effort of self reporting results and collecting results through other available sources. Here is how we did this year:

  • Overall: 94.8% of results reported. (362/383)
  • Week 1: 100% of results reported. (32/32)
  • Week 2: 100% of results reported. (45/45)
  • Week 3: 94.4% of results reported (51/54)
  • Week 4: 93.9% of results reported (46/49)
  • Week 5: 96.6% of results reported (56/58)
  • Week 6: 96.0% of results reported (48/50)
  • Week 7: 87.9% of results reported (51/58)
  • Week 8: 89.2% of results reported (33/37)

Overall, we managed to collect 94.8% of the total results of City Championships, only missing out on 22 of the tournaments we know to exist. The worst week was Week 7, where we only collected 87.9% of the results, which is still pretty good.

For comparisons sake, during the 2014-2015 season we only managed to collect 65.6% of the total results. The worst week last season we only managed to collect 38.9% of the results, so this year clearly we were much more successful at collecting the results.

From the results we have, we can tell that there were 383 North American City Championships during the 2015-2016 season, which is a +31 increase from the 2014-2015 season which had 352 tournaments.

However, in terms of collecting results we did much better. This year we managed to collect 362 results, a +131 improvement from last year’s 231.

The Best Decks of Standard

In this section I will be looking at what the best decks in the Standard format were based on a few different metrics. First, I will look at the decks based on their raw meta share, the percentage of Championship Points each deck earned during the tournament series.

Next, I will look at each deck based on adjusted meta share, the percentage of Championship Points each deck earned during the tournament series, only this time adjusted based on the recency of the tournament where the result was obtained.

Finally, I will finish up by looking at how the deck’s performed week by week in the power rankings and score the decks based on their weekly performances.

Raw Meta Share

Here are the Top 10 decks in the Standard format based on raw meta share.

Deck Raw Meta Share
Yveltal/Zoroark 14.53%
Night March 14.36%
M Manectric EX 9.04%
Manectric EX/Crobat 6.63%
Entei/Charizard EX 5.91%
Lucario EX/Crobat 5.18%
Raichu/Crobat 4.53%
Dragons/Bronzong 4.17%
M Mewtwo EX Y 3.92%
Vespiquen 3.39%

Based on this metric, Yveltal/Zoroark was the best deck in the Standard format, followed closely behind by Night March.

Adjusted Meta Share

However, the results change when we look at them with an adjusted meta share based on the recency of the tournament results.

Deck Adj. Meta Share Change
Night March 14.34%  +1
Yveltal/Zoroark 12.52%  -1
M Manectric EX 8.56%  n/a
Entei AOR/Charizard EX 6.91%  +1
Manectric EX/Crobat 6.57%  -1
Raichu/Crobat 5.59%  +1
Lucario EX/Crobat 4.70%  -1
M Mewtwo EX Y 4.05%  +1
Dragons/Bronzong 3.75%  -1
Seismitoad EX/Crobat 2.98%  NEW

The results have changed a little bit from the raw meta share ranks, but not by much. When looked at through adjusted meta share, Night March is considered the best deck of the Standard Format, with Yveltal/Zoroark coming in second. The Yveltal/Zoroark deck started off very strong, but ended up cooling down a bit later on in City Championships while Night March caught fire.

Week by Week

Another way we can look at the results is how they performed week by week. By looking at the results on a week by week basis we can see trends of a format better, being able to see things such as when a deck entered into the meta game, when other decks left, and how consistently a given deck performed in the format.

The following table, embeded in pdf form looks at the format on a week by week basis. You can also download it here.

* and ** are used in the table to signify when two decks tied with each other in rank.

With these results, I am going to rank the decks based on how they performed on the 10 deck, week by week rankings based on their raw meta share. When a deck is in first, it will receive 10 points, in second 9, and down to 1 point for 10th. When a deck ties with another deck, all decks will receive the point total for their highest possible ranking.

When we look at the decks in this regard, here is the new rankings:

Rank Deck Total Points Average High Low Weeks in Top 10
1 Night March 76 9.50 1 2 8
2 Yveltal EX/Zoroark 67 8.38 1 9 8
3 M Manectric EX 57 7.13 1 10 8
4 Manectric EX/Crobat 45 5.63 4 Out 7
5 Entei/Charizard EX 43 5.38 2 Out 6
6 Lucario EX/Crobat 38 4.75 4 Out 7
7 Dragons/Bronzong 28 3.50 4 Out 6
8 Raichu/Crobat 27 3.38 3 Out 7
9 Vespiquen 21 2.63 6 Out 6
10 M Mewtwo EX Y 17 2.13 6 Out 5
11 Seismitoad EX/Crobat 9 1.13 5 Out 2
12 Gengar EX 7 0.88 7 Out 2
13 Fighting 6 0.75 8 Out 3
14 SeismitoadEX/Giratina EX 5 0.63 8 Out 2
15 M Rayquaza EX 4 0.50 8 Out 1
16 Yveltal (Other) 1 0.13 9 Out 1
17 Gallade 1 0.13 10 Out 1

Looking at the format in this regard, Night March once again is our best deck in the format, followed by Yveltal/Zoroark.

pumpkaboo-phantom-forces-phf-44-312x441Night March, Yveltal/Zoroark, and M Manectric EX were the only three decks that managed to finish a week ranked as the top deck, and M Manectric EX only did it in a tie with Night March.

Entei/Charizard EX was the only deck that wasn’t one of those three to be able to finish in 2nd for a week. Going down to third, Raichu/Crobat is the only deck we can add.

If we extend it to fourth place however, we can add Manectric EX/Crobat, Lucario EX/Crobat, and Dragons/Bronzong, which all managed a fourth place finish.

Unsurprisingly, Night March, Yveltal/Zoroark, and M Manectric EX were the only three decks to finish as a top 10 deck in all eight weeks of City Championships. Yveltal/Zoroark and M Manectric EX both almost missed during Week 6, when they finished 9th and 10th. Outside of the oddity that was Week 6, Yveltal/Zoroark’s lowest finish was 3rd and M Manectric EX’s was 5th. Night March never finished below 2nd place during City Championships.

Once Manectric EX/Crobat (in week 2) and Entei/Charizard EX (in week 3) became part of the meta game they never missed a top 10.

The Best Decks of Expanded

In this section I will be looking at what the best decks in the Expanded format were based on a few different metrics. First, I will look at the decks based on their raw meta share, the percentage of Championship Points each deck earned during the tournament series.

Next, I will look at each deck based on adjusted meta share, the percentage of Championship Points each deck earned during the tournament series, only this time adjusted based on the recency of the tournament where the result was obtained.

Finally, I will finish up by looking at how the deck’s performed week by week in the power rankings and score the decks based on their weekly performances.

Raw Meta Share

Here are the Top 10 decks in the Standard format based on raw meta share.

Deck Raw Meta Share
Vespiquen 18.86%
Yveltal EX 15.43%
Seismitoad EX/Crobat 10.27%
Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX 9.03%
Blastoise 8.87%
Sableye/Garbodor 4.38%
Night March 3.70%
M Manectric EX 3.48%
M Rayquaza EX 3.48%
Donphan 3.42%

Based on this metric Vespiquen was the best deck of the Expanded format followed by Yveltal EX in second place.

Adjusted Meta Share

When the decks are looked at by adjusted meta share, with weighting based on recency there is no change up at the top, but some of the lower decks in the top 10 are shuffled around to make room for decks such as Vileplume/Vespiquen that emerged late in City Championships and finished strong.

Deck Adj. Meta Share Change
Vespiquen 19.38%  n/a
Yveltal EX 14.99%  n.a
Seismitoad EX/Crobat 13.96%  n/a
Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX 8.31%  n/a
Blastoise 6.19%  n/a
M Manectric EX 4.29%  +2
Sableye/Garbodor 2.91%  -1
Donphan 2.81%  +2
M Rayquaza EX 2.50%  n/a
Vileplume/Vespiquen 2.45%  NEW

Once again, Vespiquen is our top deck and Yveltal EX is our second best deck. In fact, the entire Top 5 decks remain unchanged, although their share of the meta game has changed.

Week by Week

Another way we can look at the results is how they performed week by week. By looking at the results on a week by week basis we can see trends of a format better, being able to see things such as when a deck entered into the meta game, when other decks left, and how consistently a given deck performed in the format.

The following table, embeded in pdf form looks at the format on a week by week basis. You can also download it here.

* and ** are used in the table to signify when two decks tied with each other in rank.

With these results, I am going to rank the decks based on how they performed on the 10 deck, week by week rankings based on their raw meta share. When a deck is in first, it will receive 10 points, in second 9, and down to 1 point for 10th. When a deck ties with another deck, all decks will receive the point total for their highest possible ranking.

When we look at the decks in this regard, here is the new rankings:

Rank Deck Total Points Average High Low Weeks in Top 10
1 Vespiquen 76 9.50 1 2 8
2 Yveltal EX 66 8.25 1 6 8
3 Seismitoad EX/Crobat 55 6.88 1 9 8
4 Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX 53 6.63 1 10 8
5 Blastoise 48 6.00 1 8 8
6 Sableye/Garbodor 27 3.38 4 Out 5
7 M Rayquaza EX 23 2.88 3 Out 6
8 Night March 21 2.63 5 Out 5
9 Donphan 19 2.38 6 Out 5
10 M Manectric EX 18 2.25 5 Out 5
11 Dragons/Bronzong 12 1.50 4 Out 3
12 Fighting/Crobat 11 1.38 6 Out 4
13 Vileplume/Vespiquen 8 1.00 6 Out 2
14 Dark/Dusknoir 4 0.50 10 Out 4
15 M Sceptile EX 4 0.50 7 Out 1
16 Manectric EX/Crobat 2 0.25 9 Out 1
17 Raichu/Crobat 2 0.25 9 Out 1
18 Plasma 2 0.25 9 Out 1
19 Seismitoad EX/Genesect EX 1 0.13 10 Out 1
20 Rayquaza EX/Eelektrik 1 0.13 10 Out 1
21 Xerneas BKT 1 0.13 10 Out 1
22 Primal Groudon EX 1 0.13 10 Out 1
23 Eelektrik/Lightning 1 0.13 10 Out 1

Once again, looking at the format in this regard we get a similar picture to the other two ways to look at the format. Vespiquen once again sits at first, followed by Yveltal EX, then Seismitoad EX/Crobat, Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX, and Blastoise.

While the Standard format is often cited as being the more open format, when we look at the format like this the Expanded format begins to look more inclusive.

In total there were 23 different decks that made a Top 10 during one of the weeks of City Championships, compared to the 17 in the Standard format. This number is bolstered somewhat by a lot of ties for 10th place in a given week.

yveltal-ex-xy-144-pokegymIn total 5 different decks were able to finish a week ranked first, once again more than the 3 we saw in the Standard format. These decks were Vespiquen, Yveltal EX, Seismitoad EX/Crobat, Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX, and Blastoise. Blastoise is the only deck that didn’t have sole control of a first place week, being tied with Vespiquen for first the one week it was atop the format.

No deck outside of those decks were able to finish in the top 2. The best finishes for decks outside of those five were #3 for M Rayquaza EX, #4 for Sableye/Garbodor and Dragons/Bronzong, and #5 for Night March and M Manectric EX.

The five decks that managed to finish a week ranked #1 are also the only decks to stay in the Top 10 for all eight weeks of City Championships. The two Seismitoad EX decks were the closest to missing in a week, with Seismitoad decks, with Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX finishing 10th in Week 3, and Seismitoad EX/Crobat finishing 9th in the first week.

Vespiquen was the most consistent deck throughout City Championships, never finishing outside of the top 2. Once Yveltal EX made its first Top 3 in Week 3, it never again would finish below 3rd. Similarly, once Seismitoad EX/Crobat made its first Top 3 in Week 5, it never finished lower than 3rd.

One potential reason for why Expanded ended up being a bit more diverse than Standard in this regard is because there were more Standard tournaments than Expanded tournaments, allowing for more disruption to the meta game and increasing the likelihood that there would be ties for 10th place.

Standard vs. Expanded

With that said, lets take a look at what format got played the most. Tournament Organizers had the option to run their City Championships in either the Standard or Expanded format.

From the results we have collected, in total 241 events were played in the Standard format, while 121 events were played in the Expanded format. This breaks down to 66.6% of events being played in Standard and 33.4% being played in the Expanded format. Basically 2/3 of tournaments were played in Standard and 1/3 in Expanded.

Week by Week

One interesting thing to look at in regards to Standard vs. Expanded is to see how many of each tournament were played in a given week. By looking at what tournaments were played like this we can see if there were any trends in how an organizer chose to schedule a tournament in a given format.

Week Standard Expanded Standard % Expanded %
1 23 9 71.88% 28.13%
2 31 14 68.89% 31.11%
3 37 13 74.00% 26.00%
4 29 17 63.04% 36.96%
5 42 13 76.36% 23.64%
6 31 16 65.96% 34.04%
7 30 21 58.82% 41.18%
8 17 16 51.52% 48.48%

It appears that for the first 6 weeks of City Championships, tournament organizers were scheduling Standard City Championships in favor of Expanded City Championships anywhere from 3:1 to 2:1 ratios. In the last two weeks, the split moved closer towards 50%, although there was never a week where more Expanded tournaments were played than Standard tournaments.

Most likely, tournament organizers became more likely to schedule an Expanded City Championship toward the end of the series with the thought that a few Expanded City Championships would give players good preparation for Regional Championships.

State by State

Another way to look at the Standard vs. Expanded split is by looking at it on a state by state basis. With this, we can see if a certain state’s tournament organizers favored one format over the other.

The following table shows a breakdown of how each state split their tournaments between Standard and Expanded format.

State Standard Expanded Standard % Expanded %
Alabama 4 0 100.00% 0.00%
Arizona 3 5 37.50% 62.50%
Arkansas 0 4 0.00% 100.00%
California 12 16 42.86% 57.14%
Colorado 6 1 85.71% 14.29%
Connecticut 2 0 100.00% 0.00%
Delaware 2 0 100.00% 0.00%
Florida 13 9 59.09% 40.91%
Georgia 13 0 100.00% 0.00%
Hawaii 1 0 100.00% 0.00%
Idaho 3 4 42.86% 57.14%
Illinois 7 1 87.50% 12.50%
Indiana 13 0 100.00% 0.00%
Iowa 2 0 100.00% 0.00%
Kansas 0 2 0.00% 100.00%
Kentucky 4 0 100.00% 0.00%
Lousiana 3 1 75.00% 25.00%
Maine 1 0 100.00% 0.00%
Maryland 2 0 100.00% 0.00%
Massachusetts 7 1 87.50% 12.50%
Michigan 6 0 100.00% 0.00%
Minnesota 3 0 100.00% 0.00%
Mississippi 4 4 50.00% 50.00%
Missouri 3 12 20.00% 80.00%
Nebraska 2 0 100.00% 0.00%
Nevada 2 1 66.67% 33.33%
New Hampshire 4 0 100.00% 0.00%
New Jersey 7 0 100.00% 0.00%
New Mexico 1 1 50.00% 50.00%
New York 8 2 80.00% 20.00%
North Carolina 4 0 100.00% 0.00%
North Dakota 2 0 100.00% 0.00%
Ohio 15 3 83.33% 16.67%
Oklahoma 4 0 100.00% 0.00%
Oregon 1 11 8.33% 91.67%
Pennsylvania 10 3 76.92% 23.08%
Rhode Island 1 0 100.00% 0.00%
South Carolina 5 0 100.00% 0.00%
Tennessee 6 1 85.71% 14.29%
Texas 21 8 72.41% 27.59%
Utah 8 2 80.00% 20.00%
Virginia 12 0 100.00% 0.00%
Washington 4 15 21.05% 78.95%
West Virginia 0 2 0.00% 100.00%
Wisconsin 7 2 77.78% 22.22%

In total, 45 different states participated in Pokemon City Championships this year and reported results. Here is the breakdown of how states divided their tournaments.

  • Exclusively Standard – 21 States (46.7%)
  • Exclusively Expanded – 3 States (6.6%)
  • Mixed – 21 States (46.7%)

As we already knew, Standard was the favored format by a 2:1 ratio, and it’s easy to see why when almost half of the states played exclusively in the Standard format.

In total here are how many states favored each format.

  • Favored Standard – 34 States (75.6%)
  • Favored Expanded – 9 States (20%)
  • Favored Neither – 2 States (4.4%)

By far, more states favored Standard to Expanded.

From the results we have collected we find that 40/45 states (88.9%) were extreme in favoring one format over the other. Only 5/45 states (11.1%) followed a more moderate plan in dividing City Championships between the two formats. Only the following five states had no format get more than 60% of their tournaments:

  • Florida (59%/41%)
  • Mississippi (50%/50%)
  • New Mexico (50%/50%)
  • California (42.9%/57.1%)
  • Idaho (42.9%/57.1%)

It’s unclear how Pokemon intended for the split to go, but if one were to assume that Pokemon intended for there to be a more even split of the tournaments to cater to fans of both tournaments then one can only conclude that tournament organizers did a poor job this year dividing their tournaments between the two formats.

In most areas, fans of the Expanded format would be left out. In a few areas, fans of the Standard format were left out. Only five states, the ones seen above, got a fairly balanced split of tournaments.

Results by State

Another way to look at the results is by looking at how well each deck did in individual states. In this section we will look at what deck won the most Championship Points in each state, and then since we’re in an election year, we will look at how many states each deck carried and whether they would have enough electoral votes needed to be president.

The following table shows the top decks for both the Standard and Expanded formats for each State.

State Standard Expanded
Alabama Yveltal/Zoroark n/a
Arizona M Manectric EX Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX & Blastoise
Arkansas n/a Vespiqen & Blastoise
California Dragons/Bronzong Vespiquen
Colorado Night March Yveltal EX
Connecticut Night March n/a
Delaware M Manectric EX n/a
Florida Yveltal/Zoroark Vespiquen
Georgia Entei/Charizard EX n/a
Hawaii Vespiquen n/a
Idaho Yveltal/Zoroark Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX
Illinois Yveltal/Zoroark Vespiquen
Indiana Yveltal/Zoroark n/a
Iowa Night March n/a
Kansas n/a Yveltal EX
Kentucky Yveltal/Zoroark n/a
Lousiana M Manectric EX Night March
Maine Yveltal/Zoroark n/a
Maryland M Manectric EX n/a
Massachusetts Manectric EX/Crobat & Lucario EX/Crobat Yveltal EX
Michigan Vespiquen n/a
Minnesota Yveltal/Zoroark & Fighting n/a
Mississippi Night March Yveltal EX
Missouri Manectric EX/Crobat Vespiquen
Nebraska Fighting n/a
Nevada Manectric EX/Crobat Seismitoad EX/Genesect EX
New Hampshire Dragons/Bronzong & Lucario EX/Crobat n/a
New Jersey M Manectric EX n/a
New Mexico Manectric EX/Crobat Night March
New York Lucario EX/Crobat & Raichu/Crobat Vespiquen
North Carolina Night March n/a
North Dakota Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX n/a
Ohio Night March Yveltal EX
Oklahoma Night March n/a
Oregon Vespiquen Vespiquen
Pennsylvania Yveltal/Zoroark Vespiquen
Rhode Island Yveltal/Zoroark n/a
South Carolina M Manectric EX n/a
Tennessee Night March Vileplume/Vespiquen
Texas Yveltal/Zoroark Yveltal EX
Utah Yveltal/Zoroark Vespiquen & M Rayquaza EX
Virginia M Manectrc EX & Entei n/a
Washington Yveltal/Zoroark Yveltal EX
West Virginia n/a Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX & M Mewtwo EX Y
Wisconsin Night March Yveltal EX

Standard Format

503 electoral votes available from 42 states, 252 electoral votes needed to become president of the Standard format.

Deck States Carried Electoral Votes
Yveltal/Zoroark 12.5 170.5
Night March 9 89
M Manectric EX 6.5 61.5
Dragons/Bronzong 1.5 57
Vespiquen 3 27
Manectric EX/Crobat 3.5 26.5
Entei/Charizard EX 1.5 22.5
Lucario EX/Crobat 1.5 22
Raichu/Crobat 0.5 14.5
Fighting 1.5 10
Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX 1 3

joltik-phantom-forces-phf-26-312x441No Pokemon deck in the Standard format was able to gain the necessary electoral college votes to secure the presidency of the Standard format. As a result, the decision to elect a president of the Standard format was passed onto the House of Virbank to decide where Night March was elected president of the Standard format. Night March is a fan favorite in the House of Virbank where members post the same basic Night March list multiple times a day, for months on end asking for advice on how to make their Night March deck better.

Expanded Format

342 electoral votes available from 24 states, 172 electoral votes needed to become president of the Expanded format.

Deck States Carried Electoral Votes
Vespiquen 8 176
Yveltal EX 8 110
Night March 2 13
Seismitoad EX/Giratina EX 2 12
Vileplume/Vespiquen 1 11
Blastoise 1 8.5
Seismitoad EX/Genesect EX 1 6
M Rayquaza EX 0.5 3
M Mewtwo EX Y 0.5 2.5

vespiquen_aoIn the Expanded format, Vespiquen was able to lock down the presidency winning 176 electoral votes to pass the 172 mark needed to become president. Vespiquen powered its win by winning multiple states rich in electoral votes, such as California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Trends in the Game

Finally, I would like to wrap up this look through the City Championship results by looking at some of the trends with the formats to tell us where the game is at right now. The following tables will show you what percentage of decks have a certain trait to them. These tables will add up to more than 100% since decks can have multiple traits to them.

Once caveat of these tables is that they aren’t 100% accurate because of a player’s personal preference. For example, the majority of Vespiquen decks play Life Dew, so it’s added to the tally of decks playing Life Dew, however some players may opt to play Computer Search in their Vespiquen deck. While it’s impossible to make these numbers completely accurate because of situations like that, they should still be pretty darn close.

Standard Types

The following table shows what percentage of decks used the following types as their main attackers. Decks with more than one main attacker were attributed to multiple categories.

Type Percent
Lightning 35.80%
Psychic 22.42%
Dark 16.85%
Fighting 10.50%
Fire 7.58%
Dragon 7.58%
Water 6.47%
Grass 5.71%
Colorless 1.26%
Metal 1.18%
Fairy 0.76%

The Lightning and Psychic types were bolstered by having the main attackers of Joltik and Pumpkaboo in Night March decks as well as multiple other decks that used the types, such as M Manectric EX, Raichu, M Mewtwo EX, and Gengar EX decks.

All 11 types in the game had some deck take up a share of the meta game with a main attacker of their type as the focal point of the deck. Fairy was the closest to missing out, however a few M Gardevoir EX and Xerneas BKT decks managed to do well during Standard cities to keep it going.

Standard Deck Trends

The following table shows some of the trends with what is being included in decks in the Standard format.

Trait Percent
Battle Compressor 65.24%
Double Colorless 74.78%
Stage 1 34.59%
Stage 2 31.37%
Energy Acceleration 40.08%
Energy Acceleration – Attack 27.57%
Mega Pokemon 19.87%
Crobat 18.53%
Energy Acceleration – Item 9.68%
BREAK 15.39%
Maxie’s 14.72%
Item Lock 8.31%
Strong Energy 9.12%
Energy Acceleration – Ability 6.77%
Double Dragon 7.58%
Energy Denial 6.80%
Energy Acceleration – Supporter 6.41%
Theta Double 6.07%
Seismitoad EX 5.12%
Hit and Run 2.35%
Rare Candy 2.02%
Vileplume 1.32%
Alpha Barrage 1.29%
Mill 1.09%
Energy Trans 0.92%
Archie’s 0.59%
Omega Barrier 0.95%
Alpha Growth 0.81%

battle-compressor-phantom-forces-phf-92-312x441 (1)The most common trait of decks in the Standard format is the inclusion of Double Colorless Energy. This is closely followed by Battle Compressor, which is used to power up attacks, put Energy in the discard to be accelerated, as well as to set up Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick and Archie’s Ace in the Hole.

Energy Acceleration is still a big component of the game, being found in 40% of decks. Attacks that accelerate Energy were the most popular means of Energy Acceleration. The most shocking thing about Energy Acceleration is that the amount of decks that use Abilities to accelerate Energy is about even with decks that use a Supporter, which is pretty big news since Blacksmith is our only Energy Acceleration Supporter right now.

It appears that all stages of Pokemon are being able to see play, with Stage 2’s, Stage 1’s, and Mega Pokemon all being played in healthy numbers. Stage 2’s are typically finding their way into play through manual evolution or a Supporter card, with only 2% of decks opting to play Rare Candy.

Item Lock is a small part of the Standard meta game, with only 8.31% of decks playing some type of Item Lock, with Seismitoad EX still being the most popular form of Item Lock.

Energy Denial is also a smaller part of this format, only being found in 6.80% of decks.

Expanded Types

The following table shows what percentage of decks used the following types as their main attackers. Decks with more than one main attacker were attributed to multiple categories.

Type Percent
Water 29.69%
Dark 22.39%
Grass 20.65%
Fire 19.58%
Lightning 14.76%
Dragon 12.29%
Fighting 7.18%
Psychic 5.84%
Colorless 3.98%
Fairy 0.67%
Metal 0.17%

Water is the most popular type in the Expanded format with there being multiple Seismitoad EX decks as well as Blastoise among the most popular decks. Dark comes in the second spot, made up primarily of Yveltal EX/Darkrai EX decks, but also Dark/Dusknoir decks adding to its total. Grass/Fire coming in the next to slots, primarily made of the BDIF, Vespiquen AOR/Flareon PLF.

Expanded Trends

The following table shows some of the trends with what is being included in decks in the Expanded format.

Trait Percent
Double Colorless 70.20%
Battle Compressor 64.09%
Energy Acceleration 60.38%
Hypnotoxic Laser 39.34%
Stage 1 33.73%
Stage 2 27.10%
Energy Acceleration – Item 24.19%
Life Dew 23.23%
Item Lock 22.95%
Energy Acceleration – Attack 22.62%
Seismitoad EX 20.20%
Energy Acceleration – Supporter 19.42%
Maxie’s 15.43%
Energy Denial 14.48%
Crobat 13.75%
Energy Acceleration – Ability 12.68%
Double Dragon 11.90%
Mega 9.99%
Archie’s 8.87%
Strong Energy 7.01%
Ability Lock 4.71%
Hit and Run 3.42%
Vileplume 2.13%
Omega Barrier 1.23%
Rare Candy 0.45%
Energy Trans 0.39%
Mill 0.34%
Theta Double 0.22%
BREAK 0.17%

Just as it is in Standard, Double Colorless Energy and Battle Compressor are the most popular trends of the Expanded format.

There is significantly more Energy Acceleration in the Expanded format than there is in Standard. Most decks that aren’t based around an Energy denial strategy tend to include some form of Energy Acceleration.

seismitoad-ex-furious-fists-frf-106-ptcgo-1-312x441Item Lock is much more popular in the Expanded format, forming the basis for about 1/5 of the Expanded decks. This number does not take into account random Seismitoad techs in decks such as Yveltal EX.  Once again, Seismitoad EX is the most popular form of Item Lock.

Along with the increase in Seismitoad decks comes an increase in strategies based around Energy Denial. In addition to the Toad decks, there are also decks based around Sableye that add disruption.

Dedicated Ability Lock is actually a very small part of the Expanded format, with very few decks choosing to play Garbodor DRX. This does not mean that Ability Lock is not present in the format, however, as Hex Maniac is a popular tech card that a lot of players play. However, it’s safe to say that in Expanded that you’re unlikely to be locked out of a game from Ability lock.

Once again, all stages of Pokemon are able to see some form of play in Expanded, although Mega Pokemon are less prevalent than they are in Standard. Stage 2 decks are still being played primarily through manual evolution or Supporter cards, with Rare Candy only being found in less than 1 percent of decks.

Conclusion

I hope that everyone has enjoyed this extra look into the results from City Championships. Special thanks to all who helped in the collection of the City Championship results this year!

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