Pokemon Deck and Card Analysis Feb 17 through Apr 14

I published a previous analysis here on the composition of the best decks in the meta, and I’m continuing that analysis in this posting.  That analysis looked at the first month of the meta post Ultra Prism.  This analysis includes all of that data and also brings in data from all of the major events after March 17th as well.

Let’s go over ground rules again just so that we’re all on the same page and you know what you’re looking at:

  • All data herein comes from the limitless website here.  I go to the completed tournaments, pull up all of the decklists from those tournaments, and copy and paste the data over into an Excel spreadsheet where I use a variety of formulas and macros to manipulate it into usable data.  I’m more than happy to provide you with this raw data if you’d like to work it yourself.  Just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you a copy.
  • Limitless doesn’t have every decklist from every tournament.  They have the majority of top finishers but not all, but I think what we have here is probably very representative of the current meta.
  • There were a LOT more tournaments in the first month post UP than the second.  I had 171 decklists last time, this time I have a total of 222, only about 50 more.  There were eleven events in the first analysis; there have been only five additional events since then.
  • This analysis does not contain any sort of weighting for the amount of players at a particular tournament.  For example, 1st place at Collinsville with more than a thousand players is given an equal representation as the 1st place finisher at Bogota which had only thirty players.  The smaller tournaments could potentially skew the data, but I’m just not sure exactly how to adjust for this.

Alright now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the number crunching!

Here are the most common cards played overall:

And here are the total cards played for decks finishing 8th or better:

Here is the frequency of which you’ll find a card in a decklist overall:

And for just the top 8:

Here are the total number of cards by type:

So here you go: if anyone ever asks you how many Pokemon I should run in a deck, how many Supporters, how many Items, here’s your answer…. Ok clearly there’s going to be some variability to this, but it is pretty amazing how consistent this is between top 64 and top 8.  I know the initial, gut reaction is to say that these are just broad numbers, but maybe there’s something to these counts.  Maybe if you’re deck is struggling, maybe you should compare the numbers of cards in your deck to these counts.

At any rate here’s the most important part of this analysis: at least now we can have this conversation!  Have you ever seen this published anywhere before?  Can you find this type of in depth analysis produced anywhere?  Before this, how would you answer the question, “I wonder what how many Basic energy cards the most successful decks carry?”  “I wonder how many Item cards the average top performing decks run?”  Never before have we been able to quantify the answers to these questions.  Agree or disagree, like them or not, at least now we have some numbers to look at for these questions.  At least now we can have the discussion!

Here are the most common Pokemon:

Here are the most common Supporters:

The most common Items:

The most common Tools:

Special energy:

And Basic energy too:

Finally Stadiums:

So there’s all of the data.  Like I said, if you want to go swimming through all of the raw, unadulterated numbers, I’d be more than happy to provide you with the raw documents I used.  That way you can come up with the key points you want to take away from this.  Here are the top level, big picture things I’m taking away from this study:

  • Top 8 decks run Lele just a little bit less than the overall decks.
  • There’s a little bit off a drop off with Zoroark GX from overall to top 8.
  • Buzzwole, Lycanroc, Octillery, Sudowoodo, and Regirock are all more prevalent in the top 8 than in the overall universe.
  • Garbodor BKP has a huge drop off between overall and top 8.
  • Almost 90% of the Supporters played in all decks consist of six unique cards … three of which are rotating out at the end of August.
  • Almost 90% of the Supporters played in all decks consist of six unique cards… and there are thirteen Standard legal expansion sets at the time of this writing.
  • Top 8 decks run more Sycamore and less Cynthia.
  • Top 8 decks run more Guzma and N.  Yes, I am aware that the only card run in every top 8 decklist was N.  My gut tells me that the meta is wrong about N, but the numbers are what the numbers are.  I keep thinking about Mark Twain’s (or Benjamin Disraeli’s) famous quote, “There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics,”  but unfortunately, I think I might have to start admitting to myself that I need to play N more.
  • A little bit more than 90% of all Item cards played consist of eleven unique cards.
  • Three different Tool cards make up over 99% of the top 8 Tool card population.
  • I did a one off analysis from this and came up with a total of 192 out of the total 222 decklists ran SPE.  That’s a whopping 86% of meta decks ran some sort of SPE.
  • Fighting types were more prevalent in the top 8 than overall.   Grass, Fire, Lightning, and Water as well but to a lesser extent.
  • Metal, Dark, and Psychic were all less likely to make the top 8.