Breaking Down the Japanese Meta: SM1-SM9



Find below statistics for deck lists played in Japan for SM1-SM9 format (up until the 12th of January 2019), compiled by Corey Munro. This will be very similar to the format for the OCIC (note, however, we do not seem to be receiving Energy Spinner in Team Up).

The following data comes from the (available) top 8 decks from the following City Leagues [Note: the places for 5-8 are not in order]:


City League Results

Hiroshima December
Osaka December
Tokyo December
Aichi December
Hiroshima January
1st
Rayquaza
Passimian Spread
Pikachu & Zekrom
Jirachi Zapdos
2nd
Magikarp & Wailord
Ultra Necrozma
Pikachu & Zekrom
Blacephalon
Lost March
3rd
Lost March
Zoroark Gardevoir
Pikachu & Zekrom
Pikachu & Zekrom
4th
Zoroark Lycanroc
Aerodactyl Malamar 
Venusaur & Celebi
Zoroark Ninetales
Lucario Lycanroc
5th
Pikachu & Zekrom
Decidueye Ninetales
Rayquaza
Pikachu & Zekrom
6th
Zapdos Jolteon
Ultra Necrozma
Pikachu & Zekrom
7th
Jirachi Zapdos
Rayquaza
8th
Sceptile Lurantis
Gardevoir



Which, when compiled, gives us this list of decks: 
Top 8 City Leagues

Pikachu & Zekrom
7
Rayquaza
3
Jirachi Zapdos
2
Lost March
2
Ultra Necrozma
2
Aerodactyl Malamar
1
Blacephalon
1
Decidueye Ninetales
1
Gardevoir
1
Jolteon Zapdos
1
Lucario Lycanroc
1
Passimian Spread
1
Sceptile Lurantis
1
Venusaur &  Celebi
1
Magikarp & Wailord 
1
Zoroark Gardevoir
1
Zoroark Ninetales
1
Zoroark Lycanroc
1
Total
29


City Leagues are essentially the Japanese equivalent of Cups. However, players can only compete in one per quarter, which leads to them being important events and often reaching over 100 players. 

In addition, an Invitational Event was hosted by PokémonCardMemo (a Pokémon information site), similar to ARG events. This event, however, was a team event, and required players to group up into teams of three. Team Torchic also played in the event, making Day 2. The information below is from the 16 teams that made Day 2 (out of 86 teams).

Day 2 PokémonCardMemo Invitational

Pikachu and Zekrom
11
Zoroark Lycanroc
11
Ultra Necrozma
7
Spread
4
Malamar
4
Blacephalon
3
Charizard
2
Decidueye Ninetales
1
Meganium Toolbox
1
Electric Ninetales
1
Zapdos
1
Total
48

In addition, Corey compiled 115 winning lists from Gym Leagues (which are tournaments that do not give out any CP). 

Key Observations 
  • Pikachu & Zekrom dominated City Leagues. 
  • The PokémonCardMemo tournament showed a resurgence of Zoroark Lycanroc, and, to a lesser extent, Ultra Necrozma.
  • It seems these two decks join Pikachu & Zekrom to make up a clear Tier 1. Rayquaza, Blacephelon and 1 prize variants will likely round out Tier 2. 
  • The Jirachi engine seems incredibly popular and successful in 1, 2 and 3 Prize decks. In these decks, draw Supporter counts have decreased, focusing instead on search cards, such as Volkner and Viridian Forest.
  • There doesn't seem to be an established draw Supporter engine count yet, as there are large variations both within and between deck archetypes. Cynthia counts, in general have decreased to make room for Erika's Hospitality.
  • Electric decks seem incredibly strong: 1 Prize Zapdos versions, the more toolbox deck including low Pikachu & Zekrom counts, and decks that aim for a turn one Pikachu & Zekrom attack have all been very successful. 
  • Specific techs have been popular. Absol has been used to counter Jirachi reliant decks. Muk has been included to counter Jirachi and Electric decks. Wobbufet has been played to counter Ditto, and by extension, Muk. 
  • Viridian Forest seems like a massive consistency booster for not only Ultra Necrozma and other Malamar variants, but for any deck in need of a neutral Stadium. 
  • Prism Stadiums like Wonder Labyrinth and Thunder Mountain mean that almost every deck needs to include some form of counter Stadium.
  • For whatever reason, Japan seems highly insistent on using the Lillie/Nest Ball engine in Zoroark builds. Out of the 11 played at the PokémonCardMemo tournament, all of them ran 4 Nest Balls. It is interesting to note that a few of them ran a single copy of Professor Elm's Lecture. 
  • Even in decks not running Mysterious Treasure, Marshadow remains very popular in most archetypes that can afford the bench space. Similarly, Judge counts are much higher than what you'd expect to see outside of Japan.
  • Charizard is starting to see some fringe results, although all the lists vary quite significantly. 
The following lists are the averages of all 192 decks that were compiled. The purpose of the averages are to give people an idea of what a skeleton of each archetype should look like, as well as to see what kinds of techs players are using in Japan.

If you are interested in seeing specific deck lists there is an Excel file here and at the bottom of the page with further detail.  

Some decks do not have a total of 60 cards due to glare/cards being hidden in pictures.

Average deck lists for each archetype 

Wailord & Magikarp

File:PikachuZekromGXTagBolt101.jpg



Jirachi Zapdos dominated the most recent Champions League in Japan (their Regional equivalent event). Since their most recent set was released, its popularity has declined, but the engine remains incredibly powerful, enabling extended turns with multiple Wishing Stars and Volkner. Depending on the matchup, you can either stream 2HKOs, or expend multiple Electropowers for a 1HKO. The deck can run cards like Mr Mime and Wobbuffet as techs to help improve the matchups against decks that run Acerola and Muk respectively.

Pokémon
3.75 Jirachi
3.5 Zapdos
0.75 Tapu Koko GX
0.75 Slugma
0.75 Magcargo
0.50   Tapu Koko Prism
0.50   Mr Mime
0.25 Marshadow
0.25 Zeraora GX
0.25 Tapu Lele GX
Items
4.00   Electropower
3.75 Nest ball
3.25 Escape Board
2.50   Rescue Stretcher
2.25 Switch
2.25 Choice Band
2.00   Ultra Ball
1.75 Escape rope
0.75 Adventure bag
0.50   Energy Spinner
0.50   Field Blower
0.25 Pal Pad
0.25 Energy Lotto
Supporters
4.00 Guzma
3.25 Volkner
2.50 Cynthia
2.25 Lillie
1.00 Professor Kukui
0.25 Brock's Grit
0.25 Tate and Liza
Stadiums
1.75 Shrine of Punishment
0.50 Thunder Mountain Prism
0.50 Aether Paradise
Energy
7.75 Lightning
0.50 LPM
Total: 59.75 


Some Jirachi Zapdos variants include a range of other efficient 1 energy attackers, like Buzzwole, Nihelgo, and Kartana GX, along with Rainbow energies. In theory this attempts to shore up a shaky matchup against Zoroark variants, without relying on Mr Mime or Wobbuffet. The Shrine of Punishments also help to hit key numbers. 

Pokémon
4.00 Jirachi
3.50 Zapdos
2.00 Buzzwole
0.50 Nihelgo
1.00 Magcargo
1.00   Slugma
0.50   Kartana GX
0.50 Ditto Prism
0.50 Diance Prism
0.50   Oranguru
Items
4.00 Nest ball
4.00 Electropower
3.00 Escape Board
2.50 Ultra Ball
2.50 Escape rope
2.50 Choice Band
2.00 Switch
1.00 Energy Lotto
0.50 Rescue Stretcher
0.50   Adventure bag
Supporters
4.00 Guzma
2.50 Lillie
2.50 Erika's Hospitality
1.50 Cynthia
1.00 Professor Kukui
Stadiums
3.00 Shrine of Punishment
Energy
4.00 Rainbow Energy
4.00 LPM Unit Energy
1.00 Beast Energy
Total: 60


Another Jirachi Zapdos variant includes a Jolteon GX line. Jolteon is an amazingly efficient attacker, and has an easier time dealing with Pokémon that counter Zapdos like Raikou. Its GX attack can also swing SPAS Mirrors.

Pokémon
3.00 Jirachi
3.00 Zapdos
2.20 Eevee
2.00 Jolteon GX
1.00 Tapu Koko Prism
0.80 Tapu Koko GX
0.60 Buzzwole
0.60 Zeraora GX
0.40 Tapu Lele GX
0.20 Marshadow
0.20 Nihelgo
Items
4.00 Nest ball
4.00 Electropower
2.80 Escape Board
2.40 Ultra Ball
2.20 Switch
2.20 Choice Band
1.60 Escape rope
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
0.80 Custom Catcher
0.40 Field Blower
0.20 Energy Spinner
0.20 Pal Pad
0.20 Adventure bag
Supporters
4.00 Guzma
3.60 Volkner
2.40 Lillie
1.80 Cynthia
0.60 Erika's Hospitality
0.40 Professor Kukui
Stadiums
1.00 Viridian Forest
1.00 Thunder Mountain Prism
0.60 Aether Paradise
Energy
7.60 Lightning
0.60 Fighting
0.40 LPM Unit Energy
Total: 59.60

  
Since the release of Tag Bolt, Pikachu & Zekrom has completely swept the country, being the most popular deck, although the engine it runs on remains unsettled. The deck is essentially an Electric toolbox, running a multitude of heavy hitting attackers, like Pikachu & Zekrom GX, Zeraora GX and Tapu Koko GX, that can consistently one shot other GX Pokémon, as well as Zapdos and Raikou that can help even up Prize trades in a variety of matchups. It similarly can run techs like Wobbuffet and Absol to help against Alolan Muk and Jirachi respectively. 

Some variants actually go one step further and attempt to maximise the chances of a Turn 1 Full Blitz, with high counts of Energy Switch, Acro Bike, Judges Whistle, and Lisia. However, this means they sacrifice the matchup against non GX decks. 

Pokémon
2.42 Pikachu and Zekrom  GX
1.95 Zeraora GX
1.95 Tapu Lele GX
1.37 Zapdos
1.16 Tapu Koko GX
1.00 Tapu Koko Prism
1.00 Raikou
0.89 Marshadow
0.21 Jolteon GX
0.16 Snorlax and Eevee GX
0.16 Rayquaza GX
0.11 Eevee
0.11 Absol
0.05 Xurkitree GX
0.05 Wobbuffet
Items
4.00 Electropower
3.84 Ultra Ball
2.63 Energy Switch
2.47 Nest Ball
2.42 Choice Band
1.16 Acro Bike
0.42 Mysterious Treasure
0.37 Rescue Stretcher
0.26 Field Blower
0.21 Escape Rope
0.21 Max Potion
0.16 Switch
0.11 Weakness Policy
0.05 Energy Spinner
0.05 Enhanced Hammer
Supporters
3.53 Guzma
2.79 Lillie
2.74 Cynthia
2.68 Volkner
1.00 Erika's Hospitality
0.79 Acerola
0.42 Lisia
0.16 Bill's Analysis 
0.11 Judge
0.05 Sightseer
0.05 Gladion
Stadiums
1.11 Aether Paradise
1.00 Thunder Mountain Prism
0.16 Viridian Forest
0.11 Lysandre Labs
0.05 Wonder Labyrinth Prism
Energy
12.21 Lightning
0.05 Grass
Total: 59.95 

  
The slower toolbox variant also is popular running the Jirachi engine over high draw Supporter counts. These variants generally run lower counts of Energy Switch and Acro Bike. 

Pokémon
3.00 Jirachi
2.21 Zapdos
2.00 Pikachu and Zekrom  GX
1.04 Zeraora GX
1.00 Tapu Koko Prism
0.89 Tapu Koko GX
0.86 Marshadow
0.79 Tapu Lele GX
0.29 Raikou
0.14 Eevee
0.14 Jolteon GX
0.11 Wobbuffet
0.07 Mr Mime
0.07 Absol
0.07 Buzzwole
0.04 Rayquaza GX
Items
4.00 Electropower
3.50 Ultra Ball
3.39 Nest Ball
2.43 Escape Board
1.79 Choice Band
1.54 Energy Switch
1.43 Switch
1.29 Escape Rope
0.89 Acro Bike
0.54 Rescue Stretcher
0.32 Energy Spinner
0.21 Field Blower
0.14 Adventure Bag
0.11 Weakness Policy
0.07 Max Potion
0.07 Mysterious Treasure
0.04 Secret Book
0.04 Pal Pad
0.04 Wishful Baton
0.04 Enhanced Hammer
0.04 Rainbow Brush
Supporters
3.57 Guzma
3.46 Volkner
2.54 Lillie
0.96 Cynthia
0.57 Erika's Hospitality
0.43 Acerola
0.25 Professor Kukui
0.21 Lisia
0.11 Judge
0.07 Steven's Resolve
0.04 Team Rocket's Harrassment
0.04 Tate and Liza
Stadiums
1.00 Thunder Mountain Prism
0.71 Aether Paradise
0.29 Viridian Forest
0.04 Po Town
Energy
10.93 Lightning
0.14 Fighting
Total: 59.96 


This deck replaces the Jirachi engine with Ninetales, and also has a higher Zeraora count. Ninetales can search out for crucial Electropowers when needed. Running Mina helps to search out one of the two Fairy Energy in the deck when Ninetales is needed to attack.

Pokémon
3.00 Zeraora GX
3.00 Vulpix
2.00 Alolan Ninetales GX (Fairy)
2.00 Tapu Lele GX
2.00 Zapdos
1.00 Tapu Koko GX
1.00 Tapu Koko Prism
1.00 Wobbuffet
Items
4.00 Ultra Ball
4.00 Electropower
3.00 Nest Ball
1.00 Choice Band
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
1.00 Field Blower
1.00 Energy Spinner
1.00 Countergain
1.00 MultiSwitch
Supporters
3.00 Lillie
3.00 Guzma
2.00 Cynthia
2.00 Erika's Hospitality
2.00 Tate and Liza
1.00 Volkner
1.00 Acerola
1.00 Mina
Stadiums
1.00 Thunder Mountain Prism
Energy
9.00 Lightning
2.00 Fairy
1.00 Rainbow
Total: 60.00 
  

Gardevoir GX remains popular since Infinite Force fares very well against all the high Energy requirements that most Tag Team Pokémon require. Wonder Labyrinth Prism Stadium is also an amazingly powerful card that hinders most other decks, and once again plays into Infinite Force’s damage.

Pokémon
4.00 Ralts
3.40 Vulpix
3.00 Gardevoir GX
2.20 Ninetales GX (Fairy)
2.00 Tapu Lele GX
0.80 Kirlia
0.60 Xerneas Prism
0.40 Oranguru
0.20 Ninetales (Fairy)
Items
3.80 Ultra Ball
3.00 Rare Candy
1.80 Choice Band
1.60 Nest Ball
1.00 Field Blower
0.80 Pokémon Communication
0.80 Rescue Stretcher
0.60 Energy Spinner
0.60 Energy Retrieval
0.40 Switch
0.20 Wishful Baton
0.20 Adventure Bag
0.20 Timer Ball
0.20 Dashing Pouch
0.20 Fairy Charm UB
0.20 Pal Pad
Supporters
3.00 Guzma
2.40 Cynthia
2.00 Lillie
1.80 Erika's Hospitality
1.20 Acerola
1.00 Professor Elm's Lecture
0.60 Judge
0.20 Diantha
0.20 Bill's Analysis
0.20 Lady
Stadiums
1.00 Wonder Labyrinth Prism
0.60 Viridian Forest
0.20 Mount Lanika
0.20 Brooklet Hill
Energy
9.00 Fairy Energy
4.00 Double Colourless
Total: 59.80 
  
  
Similarly to the more streamlined Gardevoir list above, except these decks run a lower Supporter count in favour of Swampert. It is also interesting to note that some lists ran a Meganium line in order to help get out Stage 2s more quickly. Dragonite also helps with its consistency, allowing the player to search for a Supporter card each turn, which could also be clutch for grabbing the final Guzma for game. 

Pokémon
3.33 Ralts
3.00 Vulpix
3.00 Gardevoir GX
2.00 Alolan Vulpix GX (Fairy)
2.00 Mudkip
2.00 Swampert
1.67 Tapu Lele GX
0.67 Chikorita
0.67 Meganium
0.67 Kirlia
0.33 Marshadow
0.33 Marshtomp
0.33 Dratini
0.33 Dragonite
Items
4.00 Rare Candy
4.00 Ultra Ball
1.00 Field Blower
0.67 Timer Ball
0.67 Looker's Whistle
0.33 Pokémon Communication
0.33 Max Potion
0.33 Counter Catcher
0.33 Energy Spinner
0.33 Rescue Stretcher
0.33 Switch
0.33 Countergain
Supporters
3.67 Professor Elm's Lecture
2.67 Guzma
1.33 Cynthia
1.33 Erika's Hospitality
1.00 Lillie
1.00 Acerola
1.00 Looker
0.33 Diantha
0.33 Lisia
Stadiums
1.00 Wonder Labyrinth Prism
0.33 Brooklet Hill
0.33 Lysander Labs
Energy
7.33 Fairy
4.00 Double Colourless
1.00 Super Boost Prism
Total: 59.67 


 This deck seems to have been inspired by the engine of Ito Shintaro's Frog Loop deck, however running Gardevoir and Nidoqueen. Nidoqueen helps with getting Pokémon from your deck and into your hand, as well as dealing out a lot of damage if you have multiple Evolution Pokémon on your bench (which is quite likely, given the premise of the deck). Nidoqueen's attack can hit up to 260 damage before modifiers. You could potentially set this up in one turn, using Meganium and Super Boost Energy.

Pokémon
2.00 Ralts
2.00 Vulpix
2.00 Gardevoir GX
2.00 Swampert
2.00 Mudkip
2.00 Chikorita
2.00 Meganium
1.00 Ninetales GX (Fairy)
1.00 Nidoran
1.00 Nidoqueen
Items
4.00 Rare Candy
2.00 Pokémon Communication
2.00 Timer Ball
2.00 Rescue Stretcher
2.00 Switch
2.00 Nest Ball
1.00 Field Blower
1.00 Choice Band
Supporters
4.00 Lillie
3.00 Professor Elm's Lecture
2.00 Guzma
2.00 Cynthia
2.00 Acerola
2.00 Bill's Analysis
1.00 Gladion
Stadiums
1.00 Viridian Forest
Energy
5.00 Fairy
4.00 Double Colourless
1.00 Super Boost Prism
Total: 60.00 


 This deck focuses on setting up multiple Stage 2 Pokémon by using Ninetales to search for Rare Candies and then spreading damage around your opponent's board. Larvitar has great synergy with Decidueye, and more often than not you should be able to Second Strike to its full potential. Mr Mime also prevents your opponent from removing damage that you have dealt to them.

Pokémon
3.50 Vulpix
3.00 Decidueye GX
3.00 Rowlet
2.00 Alolan Ninetales GX (Fairy)
2.00 Swampert
2.00 Mudkip
1.50 Tapu Lele GX
1.00 Ninetales GX (Water)
1.00 Larvitar
1.00 Mr Mime
Items
4.00 Rare Candy
4.00 Ultra Ball
2.00 Timer Ball
1.00 Nest Ball
1.00 Energy Spinner
1.00 Choice Band
1.00 Countergain
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
1.00 Switch
1.00 Field Blower
1.00 Counter Catcher
1.00 Net Ball
1.00 Max Potion
1.00 Enhanced Hammer
Supporters
3.00 Cynthia
3.00 Professor Elm's Lecture
2.00 Erika's Hospitality
2.00 Lillie
2.00 Guzma
1.50 Acerola
1.00 Team Rocket's Harrassment
Stadiums
1.00 Wonder Labyrinth Prism
Energy
3.00 Fairy
3.00 Double Colourless
1.00 Super Boost
1.00 Grass
Total: 60.00 
  

Despite Venusaur being initially overlooked by many people, lists have emerged blending aggression and durability. Using Venusaur’s high HP, boosted by cards like Potion, Big Masalda, damage reducing tools, and Shaymin, combined with agro cards to go through your deck like Judge’s Whistle, Acro Bike, and non-shuffle draw Supporters, many archetypes are unable to knock out two Venusaurs. It’s GX attack only adds to the power of the deck, likely taking a knock out, healing itself, and putting all the healing and draw cards, back into your deck so you can repeat the cycle over again. This deck being played to success is notable, as stall decks have generally never had success in Japan due to their best of one format.

Pokémon
4.00 Venusaur and Celebi GX
3.11 Shaymin
0.33 Fromantis
0.22 Lurantis
0.11 Shaymin Prism
0.11 Absol
0.11 Tapu Lele GX
Items
3.89 Crushing Hammer
3.78 Nest ball
3.67 Net ball
3.22 Judge's Whistle
2.33 Acrobike
1.11 Field Blower
1.00 Potion
0.89 Choice Band
0.89 Energy Lotto
0.67 Choice Helmet
0.67 Muscle Pads
0.56 Enhanced Hammer
0.56 Big Masalda
0.44 Custom Catcher
0.44 Weakness Policy
0.22 Ultra Ball
0.22 Counter Catcher
0.11 Rescue Stretcher
0.11 Switch
Supporters
3.78 Lillie
1.89 Guzma
1.56 Sophocles
1.33 Judge 
1.11 Erika's Hospitality
0.78 Cynthia
0.56 Bill's Analysis 
0.44 Professor Kukui
0.44 Gardenia
0.44 Acerola
0.33 Plumeria
Stadiums
2.56 Aether Paradise
1.00 Life Forest Prism
Energy
7.00 Grass
4.00 Double Colourless
Total: 60.00 


 This deck combines Malamar with Pokémon who can attack for colourless Energy. Onix is great for one-shotting opposing Zoroark GXs, and even one-shots a Pikachu & Zekrom GX. Snorlax and Eevee GX can one-shot almost any Evolution Pokémon, and its GX attack can be used to take a knock out while refilling your hand. Having Malamars on the bench allows you to set up large attack cost requirements with ease.

Pokémon
4.00 Inkay
4.00 Malamar
2.00 Jirachi
2.00 Onix
2.00 Giratina
1.00 Tapu Lele GX
1.00 Snorlax and Eevee GX
1.00 Necrozma GX
Items
4.00 Ultra ball
4.00 Nest Ball
4.00 Mysterious Treasure
3.00 Switch
2.00 Escape Board
2.00 Rescue Stretcher
Supporters
4.00 Lillie
3.00 Guzma
2.00 Cynthia
2.00 Erika's Hospitality
Stadiums
3.00 Viridian Forest
Energy
7.00 Psychic
3.00 Double Colourless
Total: 60.00 
  

The new Aerodactyl, although being awkward to set up due to evolving from a Fossil, has shown some success. It has the ability to hit 210 consistently as a one Prize Pokémon with the aid of Choice Band. Using a Malamar + Jirachi engine, combined with Ditto Prism and Fossil Excavation Maps, the deck is able to get out multiple Aerodactyl and set them up quickly using Psychic Recharge.

Pokémon
3.57 Aerodactyl
3.14 Inkay
2.86 Malamar
2.00 Jirachi
0.86 Ditto Prism
0.57 Tapu Koko
0.43 Giratina
0.43 Nihelgo
0.29 Tapu Lele (Psychic)
0.29 Pheromosa
0.29 Onix
0.14 Kangaskhan
0.14 Lunala Prism
0.14 Oranguru
Items
3.71 Unidentified Fossil
3.43 Ultra ball
2.29 Choice Band
2.00 Escape Board
1.57 Nest Ball
1.43 Fossil Excavation Map
1.29 Rescue Stretcher
1.00 Mysterious Treasure
1.00 Acro Bike
0.57 Switch
0.57 Judges Whistle
0.43 Escape Rope
0.29 Pokémon Communication
0.14 Energy Spinner
Supporters
3.71 Cynthia
3.00 Lillie
2.00 Guzma
0.86 Professor Kukui
0.43 Tate and Liza
0.29 Tv Reporter
0.29 Sightseer
0.29 Erika's Hospitality
0.14 Judge
0.14 Copycat
Stadiums
2.00 Shrine of Punishment
0.71 Viridian Forest
Energy
7.14 Psychic
3.86 Double Colourless
Total: 59.71 
  
  
Necrozma GX variants remain less popular than its golden brother. They remain more like toolboxes, although their counts vary significantly  to what the rest of the world is used to in Gaskan. Viridian Forest becomes a massive consistency booster.

Pokémon
4.00 Malamar
4.00 Inkay
1.67 Giratina
1.50 Jirachi
1.25 Marshadow GX
1.00  Necrozma GX
1.00 Gengar and Mimikyu  GX
1.00 Tapu Lele GX
0.75 Marshadow
0.25 Dawn-Wings Necrozma GX
0.25 Tapu Lele (Psychic)
0.25 Chimecho
0.25 Deoxys
0.25 Wobbuffet
Items
4.00 Mysterious Treasure
3.00 Ultra Ball
2.75 Nest ball
2.00 Acro Bike
2.00 Escape Board
1.50 Rescue Stretcher
1.50 Switch
1.00 Spell Tag
0.50 Choice Band
0.25 Energy Spinner
0.25 Escape Rope
Supporters
3.75 Lillie
3.00 Guzma
2.25 Cynthia
0.75 Erika's Hospitality
0.50 Acerola
0.25 Tate and Liza
0.25 Judge
0.25 Cyrus
0.25 Team Rocket's Harrassment
Stadiums
1.75 Viridian Forest
0.25 Shrine of Punishment
Energy
10.25 Psychic
Total: 60.00 


Malamar variants with the introduction of Viridian Forest and Jirachi have cemented themselves as one of the top decks in the standard format.  Ultra Necrozma variants have an easy time hitting the high HP numbers Stage 2s and Tag Teams possess. Viridian Forest, and to a lesser extent Energy Spinner (whether this card will be released in Team Up is uncertain) means that Ultra variants hit their energies so reliably that the deck can comfortably run less energies and little to no Beast Rings.  A significant portion run Gengar and Mimikyu GX for its efficient attack, and game swinging GX move. It is interesting to note very few of these run it in combination with Marshadow GX.

Pokémon
4.00 Inkay
3.88 Malamar
2.08 Ultra Necrozma GX
1.88 Jirachi
1.83 Giratina
1.08 Tapu Lele GX
0.50 Dawn-Wings Necrozma GX
0.46 Gengar and Mimikyu  GX
0.29 Marshadow GX
0.13 Ditto Prism
0.08 Marshadow
0.08 Sigyliph GX
0.08 Lunala Prism
0.04 Oricorio
Items
4.00 Mysterious Treasure
3.50 Ultra Ball
3.29 Nest ball
2.25 Escape Board
2.00 Switch
1.25 Choice Band
0.96 Rescue Stretcher
0.79 Acro Bike
0.71 Beast ring
0.42 Energy Spinner
0.13 Field Blower
0.08 Escape Rope
0.08 Spell Tag
0.04 Energy Switch
0.04 Adventure Bag
0.04 Judge's Whistle
0.04 Max Potion
Supporters
3.67 Lillie
3.08 Guzma
2.17 Cynthia
1.00 Erika's Hospitality
0.29 Judge
0.17 Team Rocket's harrassment
0.13 Acerola
0.08 Tate and Liza
0.08 Tv Reporter
Stadiums
2.17 Viridian Forest
0.21 Altar of the Moon
0.08 Shrine of Punishment
0.04 Wonder Labyrinth
Energy
7.21 Psychic
2.79 Metal
0.58 Beast Energy Prism
0.13 LPM Unit
Total: 59.92 


Similar to Gardevoir and Ultra Necrozma, Lost March’s success come from its limitless damage cap, and that it can comfortably ramp up to the numbers required to one shot Tag Team Pokémon. The introduction of Pokémon Communication, and a favourable prize trade against most decks cements its position as a deck of note.

Pokémon
4.00 Jumpluff
4.00 Skiploom
4.00 Hoppip
3.75 Trumbeak
3.38 Natu
1.50 Tapu Lele GX
1.13 Marshadow
0.88 Oranguru
0.88 Emolga
0.25 Shedninja
0.25 Nincada
0.25 Magcargo
0.25 Vulpix
0.25 Marshadow GX
0.13 Slugma
0.13 Ditto Prism
0.13 Machop
0.13 Machoke
0.13 Lapras
Items
3.25 Lost Blender
2.88 Pokémon Communication
1.88 Net Ball
1.38 Ultra Ball
1.13 Nest ball
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
0.75 Mysterious Treasure
0.50 Choice Band
0.50 Pokenav
0.50 Great Ball
0.50 Judges Whistle
0.50 Acro Bike
0.13 Counter Catcher
0.13 Field Blower
0.13 Energy Recycle System
Supporters
2.63 Cynthia
2.25 Professor Elm's Lecture
2.25 Guzma
2.00 Lillie
0.63 Erika's Hospitality
0.38 Judge
0.25 Bill's Analysis
Stadiums
0.50 Shrine of Punishment
0.50 Lysandre Labs
0.25 Sky Pillar
0.13 Brooklet Hill
Energy
4.13 Grass
3.63 Double Colourless
Total: 60.00 
  

Despite the rest of the world disagreeing, Japan has a fascination with using the Lillie/Nest Ball engine in Zoroark builds. Although the deck, in theory, has a higher upside as well as a much stronger turn two, it remains inconsistent, and reliant on drawing into two to three of the 10-12 search cards turn one. These balls also are generally deadweight afterwards, meaning the deck has less space for all the techs Zoroark generally prefers. An underrated benefit to this build is that the deck can very easily play around opposing Wobbuffets, by having many more outs to a turn one Grimer, rather than Elm variants which generally will rely on Ditto.

Weavile and Magcargo lines remain popular in all Zoroark variants. Multiswitch is notably absent from almost all lists, with Countergain being the new staple and a much more reliable way to handle all the Electric decks if you fall an attachment behind. Very few Zoroark lists seem to tech for the mirror at all. Majority of variants, regardless of the inclusion of Weavile or not, usually choose to run Unit Energies over basic Fighting Energies, preferring the option of Trickster GX over an increased weakness to Enhanced Hammer and Faba. The newly released Lycanroc Gx has seen almost no play.

Pokémon
4.00 Zoroark GX
4.00 Zorua
2.06 Tapu Lele GX
2.00 Lycanroc GX
2.00 Rockruff
1.00 Ditto Prism
0.71 Weavile
0.59 Sneasel
0.59 Marshadow
0.53 Muk
0.47 Grimer
0.47 Slugma
0.47 Magcargo
0.35 Vulpix
0.35 Ninetales GX
0.12 Absol
0.06 Deoxys
0.06 Tapu Koko
0.06 Buzzwole
Items
4.00 Ultra Ball
3.94 Nest ball
2.24 Pokémon Communication
2.24 Choice Band
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
0.82 Great ball
0.82 Countergain
0.82 Timer Ball
0.71 Pal Pad
0.29 Field Blower
0.18 Max Potion
0.12 Body-Building Dumbbells
0.12 Switch
0.06 Lookers whistle
0.06 Energy Lotto
0.06 Choice Helmet
Supporters
3.35 Lillie
2.53 Guzma
1.76 Judge
1.47 Acerola
1.24 Cynthia
1.18 Professor Kukui
0.41 Erika's Hospitality
0.35 Nanu
0.24 Professor Elm's Lecture
0.06 Apricorn Maker
0.06 Gladion
0.06 Mallow
Stadiums
2.00 Devoured Field
Energy
4.00 Double Colourless
3.41 FDY Unit
0.53 Fighting
Total: 60.00 

  
Pokémon
4.00 Zorua
3.88 Zoroark GX
2.25 Rockruff
1.88 Lycanroc GX
1.88 Tapu Lele GX
0.88 Ditto Prism
0.88 Slugma
0.88 Magcargo
0.63 Muk
0.63 Marshadow
0.63 Buzzwole
0.38 Lycanroc GX (Shiny)
0.38 Weavile
0.38 Sneasel
0.25 Grimer
0.25 Piople
0.25 Nagadanel
0.13 Absol
Items
3.88 Ultra Ball
2.13 Choice Band
1.50 Nest ball
1.13 Pokémon Communication
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
0.88 Field Blower
0.75 Pal Pad
0.75 Timer Ball
0.63 Countergain
0.38 Body-Building Dumbbells
0.38 Enhanced Hammer
0.25 Switch
0.25 Crushing Hammer
0.13 Counter Catcher
0.13 MultiSwitch
Supporters
3.25 Cynthia
2.75 Guzma
1.75 Acerola
1.75 Professor Elm's Lecture
1.50 Lillie
1.38 Professor Kukui
1.00 Judge
0.38 Erika's Hospitality
0.38 Mallow
0.25 Nanu
0.25 Plumeria
0.13 Apricorn Maker
Stadiums
2.00 Devoured Field
Energy
4.00 Double Colourless
3.63 FDY Unit
0.75 Fighting
0.13 Rainbow Energy
Total: 59.63 

  
This is similar to the Swampert variant, however running Zoroark is more reliable as it is easier to get out and can also serve as a backup attacker. 

Pokémon
3.60 Ralts
3.40 Gardevoir GX
2.80 Zoroark GX
2.60 Zorua
2.20 Vulpix
2.20 Tapu Lele GX
2.00 Ninetales GX (Fairy)
0.80 Ditto Prism
0.40 Alolan Muk
0.20 Kirlia
0.20 Xerneas Prism
0.20 Ninetales (Fairy)
Items
3.40 Ultra Ball
3.40 Rare Candy
1.80 Choice Band
1.20 Field Blower
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
0.60 Pokémon Communication
0.40 Nest Ball
0.40 Energy Lotto
0.20 Fairy Charm UB
0.20 Escape Rope
0.20 Switch
0.20 Timer Ball
0.20 Wishful Baton
0.20 Energy Retrieval 
Supporters
3.00 Guzma
2.00 Cynthia
1.80 Professor Elm's Lecture
1.60 Acerola
1.40 Erika's Hospitality
1.40 Lillie
0.60 Judge
0.20 Team Rocket's Harassment
Stadiums
1.20 Viridian Forest
0.80 Wonder Labyrinth Prism
Energy
8.00 Fairy
4.00 Double Colourless
Total: 60.00 
  

 Spread has gained Jirachi, allowing it to find Electropowers and search cards more easily. Jirachi also makes it easier to find searching cards, allowing more Passimian to be put in play more quickly. 

Pokémon
2.80 Tapu Koko
2.00 Passimian
2.00 Passimian
2.00 Jirachi
0.60 Tapu Lele (Psychic)
0.60 Diancie Prism
0.40 Tapu Lele (Fairy)
0.20 Victini
0.20 Latias and Latios GX
Trainers
4.00 Nest ball
3.60 Rescue Stretcher
3.20 Electropower
3.00 Escape Board
2.60 Ultra Ball
2.60 Choice Band
2.20 Energy Lotto
1.80 Counter Catcher
0.60 Switch
0.40 Adventure Bag
0.40 Field Blower
Supporters
3.60 Lillie 
3.20 Cynthia
2.60 Guzma
1.40 Erika's Hospitality
1.00 Gladion
1.00 Professor Kukui
0.60 Judge
0.40 Team Rocket's Harassment
Stadiums
2.60 Shrine of Punishment
0.20 Brooklet Hill
Energy
4.00 Double Colourless
4.00 Counter
0.20 Rainbow 
60.00 


Similarly, Spread decks gain from having Jirachi and being able to hit key Trainer cards more easily. Absol makes it harder for your opponent to retreat and may be able to buy you multiple turns for spreading damage.

Pokémon
4.00 Tapu Koko
3.00 Jirachi
2.00 Latios
1.00 Tapu Lele (Psychic)
1.00 Absol
1.00 Tapu Lele (Fairy)
0.50 Larvitar
Trainers
4.00 Nest ball
4.00 Electropower
4.00 Energy Lotto
4.00 Counter Catcher
3.00 Escape Board
2.00 Ultra Ball
2.00 Rescue Stretcher
1.00 Enhanced Hammer
Supporters
3.50 Professor Kukui
3.00 Lillie 
2.50 Cynthia
1.00 Guzma
0.50 Erika's Hospitality
Stadiums
4.00 Shrine of Punishment
Energy
4.00 Double Colourless
4.00 Counter
Total: 59.00 
  
  
This deck has access to a multitude of attackers depending on the situation. The addition of Mr Mime means your opponent is unable to heal the spread damage using Acerola.

Pokémon
4.00 Tapu Koko
2.50 Jirachi
1.00 Buzzwole
1.00 Kartana GX
1.00 Nihilego
1.00 Mr Mime
0.50 Tapu Lele (Psychic
0.50 Tapu Lele (Fairy)
0.50 Larvitar
0.50 Shaymin
0.50 Victini
0.50 Dusk mane Necrozma
0.50 Pheromosa
0.50 White Kyurem
Items
4.00 Nest ball
3.00 Energy Lotto
2.50 Escape Board
2.00 Rescue Stretcher
2.00 Counter Catcher
1.50 Counter Gain
1.00 Choice Band
1.00 Acro Bike
1.00 Lookers Whistle
0.50 Ultra Ball
0.50 Field Blower
0.50 Adventure Bag
Supporters
3.00 Bill's Analysis
2.00 Cynthia
2.00 Looker
1.50 Guzma
1.00 Underground Expedition
1.00 Tate and Liza
0.50 Professor Kukui
0.50 Gladion
Stadiums
3.50 Shrine of Punishment
Energy
4.00 Double Colourless
4.00 Counter
2.00 Rainbow Energy
1.00 Beast Energy
Total: 60.00 


Lucario variants appear to be an attempt at countering the meta. Fighting types have a favourable matchup against Electric decks and Zoroark which comprise a large percentage of the meta. Compared to Lycanroc and Buzzwole variants, it isn’t reliant on multiple energy attachments or Beast Ring turns, meaning it can in theory keep up with the aggression of Zoroark and Electric decks. Combined with Diance, Lucario can still one shot Zapdos through resistance. Four Acerola and Pal Pad also means you’re able to recycle Aura Strike while denying Prizes against decks that can’t one shot you.

Pokémon
3.00 Lucario GX
3.00 Riolu
2.00 Tapu Lele GX
2.00 Lycanroc GX
2.00 Rockruff
1.00 Diance Prism
1.00 Hoopa
1.00 Buzzwole
Items
4.00 Ultra Ball
3.00 Choice Band
2.00 Nest Ball
2.00 Super Scoop Up
1.00 Pal Pad
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
1.00 Field Blower
Supporters
4.00 Acerola
3.00 Guzma
3.00 Cynthia
2.00 Professor Kukui
2.00 Lillie
1.00 Judge
1.00 Erika's Hospitality
Stadiums
3.00 Brooklet Hill
Energy
7.00 Fighting 
3.00 Double Colourless 
2.00 FDY Unit Energy
Total: 60.00 


This deck combines Tapu Koko’s Flying Flip with Buzzwole’s more aggressive Jet Punch. Lycanroc and Counter Catcher can be used to bring up a heavy retreater such as Muk and you can spread damage while your opponent struggles to find a way to retreat. You do also have the option of playing more aggressively with Beast Rings.

Pokémon
3.00 Buzzwole GX
3.00 Tapu Koko
2.00 Rockruff
2.00 Lycanroc GX
1.00 Tapu Lele GX
1.00 Diance Prism
Items
4.00 Ultra Ball
4.00 Beast Ring
3.00 Switch
2.00 Counter Catcher
2.00 Choice Band
1.00 Field Blower
Supporters
4.00 Professor Kukui
3.00 Guzma
3.00 Cynthia
2.00 Lillie
1.00 Judge
1.00 Lisia
1.00 Acerola
Stadiums
4.00 Brooklet Hill
Energy
8.00 Fighting
4.00 Double Colourless
1.00 Beast Energy Prism
Total: 60.00 
  

Rayquaza and Blacephalon are both aggressive decks that lack a damage cap. Vikavolt enables Rayquaza to swing for large damage at all turns of the game and means its one of the few non Fairy or control decks that can conceivably use Wonder Labyrinth Prism. New additions to the deck, Shaymin Prism and Tapu Koko Prism, enable both incredible damage ramp ups, and strong one Prize attacking options. 

Pokémon
3.73 Rayquaza GX
3.00 Grubbin
2.93 Vikavolt
1.80 Tapu Lele GX
1.00 Shaymin Prism
0.93 Tapu Koko Prism
0.73 Marshadow
0.60 Zeraora GX
0.20 Dhelmise
0.13 Marshadow GX
0.13 Xurkitree GX
0.07 Venusaur And Celebi GX
Items
3.93 Ultra Ball
3.73 Rare candy
2.33 Mysterious Treasure
2.00 Nest ball
1.67 Energy Recycler
1.40 Rescue Stretcher
0.33 Wishful Baton
0.27 Choice Helmet
0.27 Switch
0.20 Field Blower
0.13 Counter Catcher
0.07 Pal Pad
0.07 Energy Switch
0.07 Energy Recycle System
Supporters
3.13 Guzma
2.47 Volkner
2.40 Cynthia
1.93 Lillie
0.80 Erika's Hospitality
0.67 Judge
0.20 Sightseer
0.13 Steven's Resolve
0.07 Acerola
0.07 Lisia
Stadiums
1.07 Lysandre Labs
0.53 Wonder Labyrinth Prism
0.33 Devoured Field
0.07 Thunder Mountain Prism
Energy
7.27 Lightning
7.13 Grass
Total: 60.00 


Blacephalon retains all it’s characteristics of the Lost Thunder format. Beast Ring is still an incredibly powerful card.

Pokémon
3.80 Blacephalon GX
3.70 Poiple
3.00 Nagadanel
1.70 Tapu Lele GX
0.50 Marshadow
0.30 Ninetales
0.20 Ditto Prism
0.20 Grimer
0.20 Muk
0.20 Vulpix
0.20 Snorlax and Eevee
0.10 Buzzwole
Items
3.90 Beast Ring
2.90 Ultra ball
2.80 Mysterious Treasure
1.80 Acro Bike
1.10 Choice Band
0.60 Rescue Stretcher
0.40 Field Blower
0.30 Fiery Flint
0.20 Choice Helmet
0.20 Energy Switch
Supporters
2.80 Lillie
2.70 Guzma
2.60 Cynthia
0.90 Kiawe
0.80 Erika's Hospitality
0.50 Hala
0.40 Sophocles
0.30 Lisia
0.30 Sightseer
0.20 Tate and Liza
0.10 Plumeria
Stadiums
2.30 Ultra Space
1.00 Heat Factory Prism
Energy
15.70 Fire 
1.00 Beast Energy Prism
0.10 Fighting
Total: 60.00 

  
Charizard provides Energy acceleration onto itself. With one manual attachment per turn, it is possible to hit 180 base damage. This is particularly powerful due to it being a 1 Prize attacker. The inclusion of Flareon also provides another option for Energy acceleration. 

Pokémon
4.00 Charmander
4.00 Charizard
2.00 Jirachi
1.50 Vulpix
1.00 Alolan Ninetales GX (Fairy)
0.50 Eevee
0.50 Flareon GX
0.50 Ninetales GX (Fairy)
0.50 Blacephalon GX
0.50 Slugma
0.50 Magcargo
Items
4.00 Rare Candy
2.00 Nest Ball
3.50 Ultra Ball
1.50 Escape Board
2.50 Choice Band
1.00 Pokémon Communication
1.00 Switch
1.50 Rescue Stretcher
1.50 Energy Recycler
0.50 Timer Ball
Supporters
4.00 Cynthia
2.50 Guzma
1.00 Lillie
2.00 Erika's Hospitality
1.00 Professor Elm's Lecture
1.00 Professor Kukui
0.50 Bill's Analysis
Stadiums
1.00 Heat Factory Prism
Energy
12.50 Fire
Total: 60.00 

  
With a Naganadal/Quagsire engine, you are able to attach two extra Water Energy per turn., allowing you to power up Wailord & Magikarp GX more quickly. Volcanion Prism also helps to get Water Energy into this discard while providing a neat effect. Wailord & Magikarp GX has a huge 300 HP, making it extremely tanky. It is possible to set up its attack in as little as two turns with the help of Nagandal/Quagsire. Max Potion also has great synergy with the deck as the Energy can easily be recovered by Nagandal. 

Pokémon
2.00 Wailord and Magikarp  GX
2.00 Quagsire
2.00 Wooper
2.00 Poiple
2.00 Nagadanel
2.00 Tapu Lele GX
1.00 Snorlax and Eevee  GX
1.00 Articuno
1.00 Ditto Prism
1.00 Volcanion Prism
Items
4.00 Ultra Ball
4.00 Aqua Patch
2.00 Nest Ball
2.00 Mysterious Treasure
2.00 Max Potion
2.00 Choice Band
1.00 Rescue Stretcher
Supporters
4.00 Lillie
3.00 Cynthia
3.00 Guzma
2.00 Erika's Hospitality
Stadiums
3.00 Viridian Forest
Energy
12.00 Water
Total: 60.00 


Find the original Excel file here.


Comments

  1. there are issues with your deck lists. The gardy builds show 2 xerneas Prism, but only one can be run in a deck.

    It would also be nice to be able to associate Tournaments to the lists with dates. The most recent lists would define the more developed meta.


    Overall, great info though!! Thanks so much!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that! The numbers are all fixed now :)

      Will definitely consider adding dates/locations if we do another compilation like this, thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete

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