NAIC Metagame Preview & Last Minute Updates

Luke Morsa
June 20, 2019
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We’re days (or maybe day when you are reading this) away from Day 1 of NAIC 2019. I have been testing and theorying nonstop for the past week and this format has proven over and over to be matchup dependent with a generous helping of Let Loose luck. My opinions on the top decks haven’t changed much, but I will cover the decks that I have new thoughts on and drop my lists that I believe are tournament ready.

 

Zoroark-GX is the high-risk high-reward deck. I believe that Zoroark Dewgong can win the tournament but it will require some luck and perfect sequencing by the pilot of the deck. Dewgong is versatile and allows skillful play to overcome the brute force that is taking up most of tier 1. My choice for last year’s NAIC was Zororoc and I have come up with a last minute Zororoc list for this year’s format. If I were to play a Zoroark-GX deck, it would be the following list or something very similar to it as I’ve been tweaking it hourly.


ZororocLuke Morsa Ditto Prism Star Meowth (101) Persian-GX Alolan Grimer (83) Zorua (52) Zoroark-GX Rockruff (73) Rockruff (6) Lycanroc-GX (74) Dedenne-GX Mew (76) Tapu Lele-GX Alolan Muk (58) Slowpoke (54) Slowking (55) Professor Kukui Professor Elm’s Lecture Mallow Acerola Pal Pad Rescue Stretcher Choice Band Cynthia Guzma Counter Gain Ultra Ball Judge Pokémon Communication Lillie Martial Arts Dojo Fighting Energy Double Colorless Energy Triple Acceleration Energy

I went with the Professor Elm’s build for this because there is a lot of room needed for the Pokemon lines and specific trainers so the Lillie engine would not have worked since it typically entails 4 Lillie, 4 Nest Ball, 4 Ultra Ball, and 3 Pokemon Communication. The double Counter Gain has been crucial in testing since it can be used for Lycanroc-GX with a fighting energy to use Dangerous Rogue-GX, Slowking with a DCE to use Psychic, or Zoroark-GX with a Fighting Energy to buff Riotous Beating with Martial Arts Dojo. I built this Wednesday 6/20, so I have not had as much time to test it as I would have liked. In limited testing,  my records were 3-1 versus Zapdos Beasts, 3-3 versus Reshi/Jirachi, 3-0 versus Pikarom, and 2-0 versus Blacephalon-GX. I assume that it is very favored versus Weezing and Zoroark Silvally so I did not test those as I have limited time with NAIC just two days away.


I think that this deck and Stephane Ivanoff’s Zoro Dewgong list have the potential to win the entire event if piloted well, but these Zoroark variants also have to make it past the hurdle of setting up and not missing a beat the rest of the game in this aggressive metagame. Of course the perfect goal is to win the event, but my ideal situation is that I finish day 1 with a record of 6-2-1 or 19 match points or better to get the necessary Championship Points to earn an invitation to World’s 2019. So with this in mind, I am more inclined to play a deck that I feel is conservative and consistent instead of one that can have volatile results.


   

My top 3 choices in order are currently Reshizard/Jirachi, Weezing, and ZoroRoc Slowking. I cannot share the Reshizard list as I have worked on it with others, but I assure you that there is nothing too spicy going on in it. My Weezing list has not changed for close to a month now and it is below and running as well as ever.

WeezingLuke Morsa Ditto Prism Star Oranguru (113) Larvitar (115) Tapu Koko (30) Zebstrika (82) Koffing (73) Marshadow (45) Tapu Lele (45) Weezing (74) Frost Rotom (41) Spell Tag Mysterious Treasure Rescue Stretcher Nest Ball Cynthia Guzma Counter Catcher Ultra Ball Pokégear 3.0 Lillie Shrine of Punishment Energy Loto Escape Rope Counter Energy (100) Double Colorless Energy

 

I have piloted this list to a 1st and 2nd place at League Cups of which the Masters in attendance were 42 and 32 respectfully. I am confident that I can beat any PikaRom and Reshizard in which there is a favorable skill gap between myself and the opponent, and beat any Zapdos, Blacephalon-GX, and Blacephalon UNB as they are very favorable matchups for Weezing. This list is the most consistent and equally powerful Weezing list that I have used. I have made many changes and keep coming back to this exact list. I estimate I have put 30+ hours into Weezing alone in the past 4 weeks. If you like Weezing or you are unsure of what to play but expect to play against Zapdos, Blacephalon-GX, Blacephalon UNB, and Pikarom I believe this list is a good choice for you.

   

I expect that PikaRom, Reshizard Jirachi, and Zapdos Beasts will be the 3 most played decks at NAIC.


Lastly, these are the results of a survey I posted in Facebook group Heyfonte earlier this week. 25 players responded with their predicted metashares and this is the average of each deck's perceived popularity. 25 is a small sample of players, but players who took the time to answer had fairly small standard deviations across the board on responses which leads me to assume that players of a certain level of awareness took this survey. Do with this information what you will, but I actually think this survey showed results that will be a fairly accurate indicator of this weekends meta.


Reshi Jirachi - 15%

PikaRom - 12%

Zapdos Beasts - 10%

Blacephalon-GX - 10%

Green Zard - 9%

Single Prize Focused Reshi - 5%

Weezing - 5%

Baby Blowns - 4%

Zoro Silvally - 4%

Zoro Persian King - 4%

Stall - 3%

Malamar - 3%

Zoro Gong - 3%

Nag Quag - 2%

Shedinja - 1%

Other - 10%


Good luck everyone!

 

You can check out more of Luke Morsa's work on his youtube channel Celio's Network

 

 

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