I once had a manager tell me that his boss just asked him to invent a machine that would predict the future (well, I did work for GE, after all, so trying to invent crazy wild things is part of the SOP). I’ve been watching videos, reading forum posts, and talking to people in an attempt to get a feel for what’s going to be the meta at Collinsville. I’ve come up with a couple of tenets that I think will serve as solid foundations for predicting what the most common decks will be, and I’ve identified their common weaknesses as well. So you can use this as a guide to maybe give you some idea of what the ideal play might be for the next Regionals that is now only ten days away.
So these are the majority of the decks / Pokemon I think will see action at Collinsville. It’s my guess that these 17 Pokemon will make up well over 90% of the meta. However, we hold this truth to be self-evident, that NOT all Pokemon are created equally. So which ones will be more prevalent than others?
So here are where my tenets come into play:
- Zoroark will be the most common feature Pokemon played and will rival only Tapu Lele GX (guess I need to specify GX now I can’t just say Lele any more) for the most common Pokemon.
- As long as Zoroark permeates the meta, Buzzwole and Lycanroc are sure to be close by. Especially since there really aren’t any good Psychic Pokemon out there right now, Buzzwole (who is approaching top nemesis status with Mike) will run roughshod through the meta.
- Somebody is going to find a list that makes Metalcrozma minimally inconsistent. Somebody out there has the secret formula, I’m sure of it. If you don’t have the secret formula, don’t be surprised if it bricks on you as much – if not more than – Greninja. I’ve watched a ton of videos on this deck, I’m not the only one having trouble with its inconsistency.
- I think we’ll see a larger than expected amount of Volcanion. There are going to be Metal and Grass decks at Collinsville. No Pokemon (well except for Buzzwole and Lycanroc) has the potential for as many favorable matchups as Volcanion. I could see somebody playing Volc getting lucky and having a straight shot to day 2 via a bunch of Metal and Grass matchups. I’m not saying that Volcanion is the best play – Glaceon and Greninja destroy it – I’m just saying that somebody is going to get lucky and ride easy matchups through the first nine rounds with it.
- Speaking of Glaceon, it seems to be very popular and is seeing play with a number of different variants, although its ability does seem to fall a little short of what many of us thought it might be. When I used it, it seemed to have very little impact as far as disrupting my opponent, but the couple of times I’ve been on the wrong side of Freezing Gaze it’s been very disruptive to me.
- Stealing attacks could help steal you a game – consider Sudowoodo (BKP 67), Mimikyu (GRI 58), or Zoroark GX’s Trickster GX attack.
- Cyrus and Parallel City can devastate certain decks. If you’re having matchup difficulties with some of the above decks that are susceptible to bench clearers, consider teching in Parallel City or Cyrus. My best potential Cyrus tech ins are Octillery (BKT 33), Staryu (BKP 25) and Magearna (UP 91).
- Ability lock might see a lot of action in Collinsville. If you’re running a deck that is ability dependent, you’ll probably want to run four Field Blowers. If you’re really afraid of Greninja, you can tech in Giratina (XY 184). If you’re worried about Glaceon, you can tech in a couple of Counter Catchers.
- I am 0 W 3 L against Garchomp without ability lock decks. With ability lock decks (Greninja and Golisodor, I am 4 W 0 L).
So I get told frequently that I overanalyze things. I would guess that this falls into that category. I would say that I just have one thing to add: I’ve seen a number of people respond to the question, “What should I play at Collinsville?” with the response, “Whatever you like the most” or “Whatever you feel most comfortable with.” I would definitely say that that’s what I did at NAIC last June, and I ended up going 4 W 5 L. And I did enjoy the event and had a good time (even though I got caught in that pouring rainstorm in the late afternoon when I went to grab a bite to eat). However, if you want to really do well, you may need to step out of your comfort zone and think differently. You may need to try something unusual or something that you might not normally choose. I’m not saying to go out there and play the deck you’re least comfortable with, but I am saying that you might need to open your mind to different options. Whatever deck you choose, good luck and I hope you do well … as long as you’re not playing against me, in which case I hope you dead draw and have all your Leles and feature Pokemon prized in each game 🙂