We’re starting to get a good picture of the decks that are being played in the Pokémon TCG World Championships. As expected, many of the same decks that were popular the National Championships continue to be popular. But at the same time, we’re seeing a few older decks make a return, while decks that still showed some interest at the National Championships are mostly absent.
Decks featuring Reshiram (Black & White, 113/114) and either Emboar (Black & White, 20/114) or Typhlosion Prime (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 110/116) represent arguably the majority of decks in the field. And while the balance maybe leaned toward Emboar as the engine to power Reshiram earlier in the season, Typhlosion Prime definitely owns that role now.
Yanmega Prime (HS—Triumphant, 98/103) and Magnezone Prime (HS—Triumphant, 96/103) remain viable in the tournament, too. Perhaps surprisingly, Magnezone Prime is not being quite as much as before. Instead, players are forgoing it in favor of faster, more aggressive cards such as Zoroark (Black & White, 71/114) and Cinccino (Black & White, 89/114). These two cards are particular favorites because both of them need only a Double Colorless Energy card to go to work.
Judge (HS—Unleashed, 78/96) and Copycat (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 90/116) are the typical best partners for Yanmega Prime, but we’ve seen a couple of interesting twists. Using a combination of Noctowl (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 8/116), which lets you draw an extra card per turn, and Weavile (HS—Undaunted, 25/91), which lets you discard a card from your opponent’s hand when Weavile comes into play, players can tweak both player’s hands to have the same number of cards. Now Yanmega Prime can attack without Energy without the player having to discard his or her hand.
We didn’t see much Kingdra Prime (HS—Unleashed, 85/96) played at Nationals, but they’ve had a nice little resurgence here in San Diego. The Spray Splash Poké-Power is definitely the star of feature of the Pokémon. It lets the player put a damage counter on any of the opponent’s Pokémon once per turn.
Kingdra’s Dragon Steam attack is getting decidedly less play given the number of Reshiram decks in the field, as its base damage goes from 60 to 20 when the opponent has any Fire-type Pokémon in play.
Regardless of the deck being played, Pokémon Reversal (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 89/116) has been overwhelmingly popular. It lets the player choose a Pokémon from his or her opponent’s Bench and bring it into the active spot, depending on a coin flip. Getting to choose which Pokémon you’ll attack is a tremendous advantage, and these players are making the most of it. It’s also useful for trapping a Pokémon with a high Retreat Cost in the active position, making it difficult to move a more useful Pokémon into that spot.
Virtually absent from the field are any variations of Lost Zone decks featuring Mew (HS—Triumphant, 97/103) and Gengar (HS—Triumphant, 94/103). It’s not exactly clear why, as several of them performed well at Nationals. The same goes for Tyranitar Prime (HS—Unleashed, 88/96); it wasn’t overly popular at Nationals, but it seemed like a good dark-horse deck here. Evidently the players thought otherwise!
We’ll have more coverage of the popular TCG strategies as the rounds continue here at the Pokémon TCG World Championships!