The Pokémon World Championships starts in San Francisco today, and I’m here to give a very brief preview of what to expect to see today, tomorrow, and Sunday across the entire venue. Unluckily for all of us, they closed the event to the public (and I imagine got a ton of people asking for refunds on purchased flights) so we are relegated to watching on live streams. (You can watch it live here!) No matter though, at least there are FOUR streams, so we can channel flip more than my dad does while watching the Olympics. Let’s see what is up…
Times to Watch
Here are the times for each of the four streams (all times in PDT [Pacific Daylight Time], the event’s local time):
|TCG||09:00-21:00||09:00-21:00||09:00 – (Finals)|
|VGC||09:00-22:00||09:00-22:00||Following TCG Finals|
And here are those times in several other timezones. The + next to the time indicates that it is the following day, i.e. Saturday’s coverage starts at 04:00 Sunday in Sydney.
*Does not include Portugal, Greece, or anything east of Poland.
Night March. Also, more Night March. As fun as it sounds to have a deck where the primary attacker is a Joltik be one of the top tier decks, NM is just not fun to play against. I mean, sure, N re-entering the format may have slowed it down a little, but not nearly enough. Night March is a deck archetype that revolves around using Joltik (PF 27)’s (and also a couple others) Night March attack to deal tons of damage very quickly. With a lucky draw, you can start KOing EXes on your first turn. Ouch. Thankfully the deck wont be tournament legal as of Monday (given Joltik rotates out), but we still have 3 days of this chaos. Ugh.
The big TCG news before Worlds was that the latest set, Steam Siege, would be legal for use at the event. This gave Night March a number of ways to beat its counters, but it also opened a few new deck concepts. The one I most look forward to watching is a Yanmega (SS 7) deck. Players from the HGSS era may remember a certain Yanmega Prime that could attack for 0 energy if you had the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent completely dominating the format. Well, guess who’s back.
Steam Siege Yanmega’s ability allows it to attack for 0 energy if your hand has exactly 4 cards in it. Combine that with Yanmega BREAK and Forest of Giant Plants and you again could hypothetically start doing 100 damage on your first turn as well (and your attacker has more than 30 HP, which is a plus). And before you say anything else, there are plenty of ways to get to 4 cards in your hand, including Bicycle and Judge. The downside (there’s always a downside) is that Yanmega has a weakness to Lightning and therefore Night March. But hey, that’s what techs are for, right?
The other Nationals decks are still around as well, including Trevenant, Quagsire EX, and Vileplume for itemlock (which ruins Night March), Greninja BREAK because Nintendo loves to spoil that frog, and Giratina EX because it is cute.
Groudon. That is all. Oh, also Bronzong.
I kid you not, this tournament will be “who are the best partners for Groudon?” Xerneas seems to be the popular option, having dominated every Nationals ever thanks to the Geomancy and Power Herb combination, but you never know.
For those not familiar with the format, this year two of the stronger Legendaries can be used in each team. Only the Event-only Pokémon (e.g. Mew, Celebi, etc) can’t be used. Groudon and Kyogre have Primal Evolution forms which do not count as a Mega Evolution. Hence they are on most teams due to their sheer power and Abilities. Groudon has tended to be the most popular of the Hoenn Legendary trio to be used in this year’s VGC.
Smeargle is going to feature heavily again as well, with Dark Void remaining unbanned. It also has useful support moves. The likes of Taunt will appear on other Pokémon (e.g. Crobat, Whimsicott) trying to counter Xerneas.
So that’s my two cents on Worlds this year. Discuss the action in the new Pokémon World Championships forum section we have set up, and in this comment thread!
Edited by bobandbill.