Richmond Recap: EggRow’s Super Growth in Popularity
What’s up guys! Alec here back at it again and today, I am bringing you a recap of the Richmond regional championships. I’m going to be going over what the meta share looked like in day 2, go over the finalists lists and explain how this will transition over to Portland Regionals next weekend. Let’s jump right in and get started!
This past weekend at Richmond regionals we saw 405 masters registered for Day 1. This is a major decline from Atlantic City at 800 masters and Knoxville at 814 masters. People tend to favor Standard over Expanded because of all the broken combos available and can be unfun. Thankfully bans are going into effect soon but until then, we are still in this format. There are decks that are very successful in Expanded that don’t even come close to contention in standard such as EggRowlet, Turbo Dark and many more. The number of tools that both of those decks gain from Expanded to Standard makes them essentially different decks almost. Turbo Dark gains Max Elixir, Dark Patch, Hypnotoxic Laser, Darkrai GX and so much more. EggRow gains Vileplume AOR, Vileplume BUS, AZ, Computer Search and so much more. Now with the rotation the way it has shaped up, we don’t really see many concepts transferring over from standard and share the same popularity in their respected formats such at Zoroark-GX/Garbodor in 2018-2019.
Egg Rowlet was a big surprise coming into this tournament with how many players played it. I knew of 2 personally who were going to play it and I thought they were going to go far into the tourney. I woke up Saturday morning and heard Andrew Mahone and his crew brought it; I was very surprised anyone else had tested it. I am going to be going over the Egg deck because I played the old version of it (Sceptile-GX Vileplume) to multiple cups and did well. I regret not playing it for Hartford Regionals because I helped Charlie Lockyer with his list, and he brought it to a day 2 finish. I do think JW Kriewall’s list was good and different. I respect how they built it because it is nowhere near what I would’ve imagined building. Let’s go ahead and analyze their list and all the inclusions they made.
This is the Richmond regional winning list. I really like the way this list was built because it gives you so much versatility in your supporters. The Steven’s Resolve combo off Let Loose Power Plant is so strong since it’s such a low chance they draw raw N off 4-5 cards. Since you are a Vileplume deck, you want to play as few items as possible to not clog yourself up in the middle to late game. JW’s list playing a total of 5 items shows restraint best by only playing 4 Pokégear 3.0 and a Computer Search. Pokégear being able to basically find you any supporter in your deck is such a good card because you can burn as many as you want before getting Plume up and find all your supporters without Steven’s Resolving for them.
You hopefully start Alolan Exeggutor & Rowlet-GX because of the Super Growth “empty” cost attack. Super Growth reads that you may evolve a basic grass Pokémon into a stage 1. If you do evolve into a stage 1, you may evolve into a stage 2 Pokémon. So essentially, if you go second, on your first turn you can access Vileplume AOR that turns on item lock for both players. Having access to turn 1 item lock cripples so many decks to the point where they can’t play the game. While you setup item lock, you try and set up Rowlet Exeggutor’s second attack (Calming Hurricane) that deals 150 and heals 30 damage from Rowlet Exeggutor. The combo of Calming Hurricane and item lock is so hard to deal with considering the attack is on a 270 HP Pokémon.
The different side to the deck is being able to sit behind Vileplume BUS and decking them out/attacking using Downer Shock to take six prizes. Vileplume from BUS locks down opposing basics from attacking while active. A lot of decks don’t run any outs to this ability such as Turbo Dark, typically except for the 2nd place list at Richmond. That list played Weavile-GX to be able to beat the control decks and luckily had the out to Rowlet Exeggutor. EggRow was the main rogue deck for this event and came as a shock to most people. I didn’t think the Dark deck had the potential to make it as far as it did to be honest. I thought it was a run hot deck that was going to get shut down by the control decks. Kris adapted his deck and decided that he wasn’t willing to lose to the control decks by playing Weavile-GX to spread energy around to make the Articuno-GX Cold Crush GX move less effective. I really like the way this list is built so let’s go ahead and take a dive on into it!
My first questions with this deck revolve around Weavile-GX. When I think of Turbo Dark, I usually think of flooding the field of energy and just keeping it on the attackers I would need. Weavile-GX brings a whole new aspect to the deck we haven’t had access to with the Shadow Connection ability giving untold flexibility against controlling strategies. Greninja & Zoroark-GX is basically our old Darkrai-EX with Dark Pulse but better damage scaling. We see Kyle include 2 Mew from Fates Collide to help the BuzzGarbPlant matchup. Trading one prizers efficiently in that matchup is very key and Mew helps do that.
Oranguru SUM is for the control matchup, even more respect show to control. Oranguru helps when you get let loose planted turn 1 and you have a semi-dead hand and need to draw cards while also working through potential item lock. It also can help close out late game consistency issues. Only 2 Hypnotoxic Laser kind of shocked me considering laser is such a good card and trying to find one out of two over four is a lot harder for the Dead End GX turn, but the space is needed for the 1-1 Weavile line and I see where the Weavile is more necessary than 2 hypnotoxic lasers. 2 Trainers’ Mail to me seemed a little sketch as well due to the lack of consistency that old Turbo Dark use to have in 4 Trainers’ Mail. I personally would still try and play 4 out of pure comfort, but I can see the reasoning behind playing 2. Turbo Dark’s matchups are not much of favorables or unfavorables because it’s either: “I won, I setup 8 energy on turn 2” or “I lost because I bricked hard and didn’t get anything going”. I do think that the ZoroControl matchup and the BuzzPlant matchups are the two that don’t follow this rule and that they are both unfavored, but for this list I could see the argument in both being favored.
- Egg Rowlet was the best rogue deck and showed up in numbers nobody expected it to
- Most to all turbo dark lists should play Weavile GX
- Archies did not contain a single day 2 spot in the 40 spots that were earned
- ZoroControl losing to the turbo dark in top 4 shows the matchup is not as bad as it once was with Weavile.
- Gardeon Aromatisse lost in top 4 due to bad prizing and should have won the tournament in my opinion.
- Egg Row will show up in close to similar numbers but not convert as many spots due to having the target on its back
- Zoroark-GX will gain more of a presence back into the meta if built to beat Egg Rowlet.
- Gardeon will top 8 again this tournament and redeem itself with a win at Portland
- Turbo Dark will run out of steam in day 2 and won’t convert in top 8 due to bad draws
- Archie’s won’t do well again because of inconsistencies the deck has and the bad matchup to Egg Rowlet
Gardeon for Portland
I have loved Gardeon Aromatisse ever since I had the pleasure of watching Frank Percic play it for the Origins cup. I was lucky to room with him and he taught me how the deck worked, it’s matchups and I really wished I took the time to put more games into the deck because I knew the potential was there, I just didn’t think it was there to win the regional. However, now seeing Drew Cate, a sincere friend of mine, make top 4 in Richmond and lose to some unfortunate prizes, I will be putting a ton of time into this deck and rooting for it to go very far. I do think if piloted by a good player, this deck will win the regional no matter what it is brought against. For anyone who has not seen it, here is the list Drew Cate played to his top 4 finish:
I love what Drew did with the list and would be close to the 60 I would have made. The massive amount of healing in 4 max potions and 2 acerolas make the deck the absolute beast that it is because with a fighting fury belt attached to Gardeon, you’re forcing your opponent to OHKO a 310HP basic Pokémon that is resistant to dark. There is no way Zoroark is touching that beast. This deck has a good matchup spread with favorable ZoroControl and SableGarb matchups due to Wonder Energy. I highly recommend you go watch Drew’s top 8 match vs Rowan on stream to see how to play it out because he played it to perfection. I highly recommend this deck for anyone who is going and to not let it be slept on.
All in all, I would say the top 5 decks to worry about going into Portland are EggRow, Gardeon, ZoroControl, Turbo Dark and ZoroGarb. All 5 of these decks are very strong in their own unique way and are very successful in the meta we are shaping expanded up to be. If I were going to Portland, I would be playing Gardeon Aromatisse because of the deck’s power and versatility in all the matchups I’m preparing facing. I would play Drew Cate’s core with potentially a couple changes depending on how test games went with the deck. If you guys like the content I produce, go ahead and drop a positive comment on this article thread or on the Facebook/Twitter post you saw this shared on. Thank you again to Flipside Gaming for letting me share my writing passion with you guys, thank you Nerd Rage Gaming for all that you guys do for me and thank you to everyone who are reading these words. You guys are the real reason I do this and I’m glad I get to be a resource for you guys. Good luck to all in Portland and I’ll catch you guys on the flipside! Peace.
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