Contrasting Playstyle Philosophies in Pokémon: Analyzing a Difficult Turn in Blacephalon vs Combo Zacian

✎ Tate Whitesell (@twhitesell42)

Recently, Kevin Clemente posted a tweet with a seemingly simple, yet surprisingly difficult, puzzle. As the Blacephalon player, faced with this board state, what do you do?


After looking at it for about a minute, I was pretty confident in the play I would make in Kevin's shoes: simply attach an Energy to my Active Zacian V and KO the Defending Blacephalon. Michael Catron, somewhat reassuringly, agreed, using basically the same logic I had. Scrolling through the thread, however, I saw several differing opinions on the optimal play in this scenario, some of which made sense to me, and some of which seemed completely wrong. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this very specific in-game scenario actually posed a very interesting question on how you approach the Pokémon TCG. I found at least four different lines of play all suggested by players who I believe are very good and whose opinions I value highly, which was surprising because there is quite often a "correct play"--or at most two solid plays--in situations like this, and top players will usually identify that play and agree on it--but not in this case.

My own Twitter poll yielded these results:


As promised, I wanted to write about Kevin's scenario, both to show the logic behind my own approach, and to elaborate on some of the other approaches shared by top players and what their logic might be. I think the fact that multiple high-level players disagree on the best line of play here illustrates just how complex of a game PTCG is, and I think the discussion I present here, even if you disagree with my conclusion, is valuable information on the journey to becoming a better player.

Approach #1 (Tate Whitesell): KO Active
Other players who agreed with me on this approach include Michael Catron (as I mentioned), my teammate Kenny Wisdom, and actually Kevin Clemente himself, although in the actual game, Kevin had taken Approach #2 (see below) but later decided that Approach #1 would have been correct.

I have played a pretty large sample of games against Blacephalon with a variety of decks, and a strategy that I often adhere to is to chase the Energy on board. Obviously there are scenarios where you would not do this, such as a) you have a limited amount of time to take all your Prizes and need to prioritize two-Prize Pokémon, or b) you feel KOing a support Pokémon (Jirachi or Oricorio-GX) will provide more disruption than chasing the Energy.

However, in Kevin's scenario, I feel that the most disruptive route you can take is simply KOing the Active Blacephalon and removing those Energy from the board. You know that the opponent's topdeck is Welder but you do not know the remainder of their hand. Thus, by KOing any Pokémon besides the Blacephalon, you give your opponent a chance to have two attackers fully set up with Energy on their next turn. This means that any disruption (Reset Stamp or Marnie) you play on the following turn would not be as successful, because the opponent would not need to find the Welder and Energy necessary to set up an additional attacker.

Also critical to my analysis of this turn was the observation that Heat Factory is in play. Kevin's deck plays Chaotic Swell, but there is no guaranteed way to find it on this turn. Thus it is very likely that Heat Factory "sticks" in play through the opponent's next turn, and that means, again, that any disruption card you play here will be much less effective. If you are unable to disrupt Heat Factory on a particular turn, I don't think it's worth it to burn a valuable Reset Stamp or Marnie on that turn, because the probability that the opponent will draw out of it is quite high.

If you KO the Blacephalon without making any other actions, your opponent has a guaranteed Stellar Wish plus Welder, but they need to find another Blacephalon plus six Energy to take the KO on your Zacian V. It is likely that they find this, of course, but the point is that you force them to expend resources that they would not have to if you had left the Blacephalon alive (for example, if you went for Boss's Orders on the opposing Zacian V). Thus, I think this is the correct route.

If you play Boss's Orders and KO any of the opponent's other Pokémon, the opponent still has a Blacephalon with Energy ready to attack, plus the opportunity to develop a second attacker with Energy. Thus, even if you KO with Tapu Fini on your next turn in combination with a Reset Stamp, the opponent would still have an attacker ready to go to respond to the Tapu Fini, regardless of what they draw off Reset Stamp.

If you play Reset Stamp and then KO the Active, your opponent has Stellar Wish plus Heat Factory to draw out of the disruption, and you no longer have your Reset Stamp for the following turn, when it could be more effective (you would stamp to a lower hand size and you could find Chaotic Swell to bump Heat Factory).

In the words of Catron: "playing anything other than the Boss for [Supporter] is fairly bad because you need the Stamp [later] and playing Marnie lets them get a "better" hand in theory... the Prize lost by not killing Zacian can be made up for with combo but you're already in an odd position so I think forcing them into having more in the oncoming turns is better."

"After hearing many opinions," Kevin agreed with myself, Kenny, and Catron that KOing the Blacephalon is correct because "that at least forces [the opponent] to have a response every turn since I'm already behind."

Approach #2 (Luke Morsa): Boss's Orders on Zacian V
My teammate Luke Morsa and friend/"Stats Chat" member Bart Musser went for a different line of play, which was actually the line used by Kevin in the actual game (which he later decided was wrong). This line involves attaching Energy to your Zacian V and playing Boss's Orders to take the KO on the opponent's Zacian V.

The logic behind this play is to prioritize finding a faster route to your win condition (take six Prizes), over disrupting the opponent's board. By taking two Prizes on the Zacian V, you can win in two turns by pulling off the combo twice after KOing two single-Prizers, or once if you KO one single-Prizer and one two-Prizer.

With Approach #1, you need to take one more turn to win the game, but that gets balanced out by the increased disruption you place on your opponent's board (by removing the Energy in play). Approach #2 basically turns the game into an arms race where you try to win faster and simply hope the Blacephalon player whiffs a crucial piece at some point--but you are also allowing them to maintain a crucial piece by leaving the Blacephalon with Energy in play alive, which is why I think the logic behind this route is flawed.

Even assuming something does go wrong somewhere for the Blacephalon player, it is by no means a guarantee that you actually will win in two turns. The most likely scenario is that you would need to execute the combo twice. There's no guarantee of that happening. The other scenario would be to KO a one-Prizer, likely another Blacephalon, and KO a two-Prizer (Oricorio-GX or Dedenne-GX), and execute the combo on one of those KOs. This requires two things to happen:

  1. The opponent actually plays down one of those two-Prizers. This is actually less likely to happen because of the fact that you did not KO the Blacephalon! They already have an attacker with Energy, so they do not need to dig nearly as hard for the return KO on your Zacian V. With Heat Factory and Stellar Wish, they likely will not need to Bench Oricorio-GX or Dedenne-GX. 
  2. You have a gust effect to use on that two-Prizer. Looking at your hand, the most likely course of action after your Zacian V dies is to attach to Tapu Fini, play Stamp, then play Research. That means you lose the Great Catcher, which is one fewer out to gusting up that two-Prizer. And if you need to play a draw Supporter to dig for pieces for the combo, you cannot play Boss's Orders. Thus, the likely scenario is that you will end up needing to execute the combo twice on two one-Prizers--but as I said, the odds that you can draw that before you lose the game are not high. 


Approach #3 (Jay Lesage): Boss's Orders on Jirachi
Jay is a very good player, but I don't see any way that this line of play is correct. It is worth analyzing how Jay got here, though, because there is logic behind this idea. Jay states that the Jirachi "will add so much value going forward." KOing the

Approach #4 (Henry Brand): Stamp, Marnie, KO Active

Other approaches

FOLLOW LIVE: PokeX Online Series Invitational

The first PokeX Online Series Invitational takes place today, Saturday, June 27, 2020, via PTCGO and the PokeX Discord server. The top 32 players in terms of points earned from the PokeX Qualifiers were invited to the event; some qualifiers to watch include Azul Garcia Griego, Stéphane Ivanoff, Isaiah Williams, and PokéStats's own PokeX LCQ winner Tate Whitesell. This post has information on the metagame, players' decks, and will be updated with Swiss pairings each round. You can watch the livestream at https://www.twitch.tv/pokexop.

Metagame

Decks
  • Sanjeev Agarwal - Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  • Juan Andree - Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  • José Avalos - Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  • Justin Brown - Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  • Gas | Le Bui - Blacephalon UNB
  • Hanzell Caballero - Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  • Alex Cervantes - Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  • Juan Espinola - Dragapult VMAX
  • Patrick Fenne - Cinccino Control
  • Hayden Frew - Blacephalon UNB
  • Nico Fullente - Dragapult VMAX
  • Azul Garcia Griego - Blacephalon UNB
  • Taylor Greenstreet - Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  • David Hendrickson - Galarian Obstagoon
  • Stéphane Ivanoff - Dragapult VMAX
  • Liam Kidd - Zacian V/Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  • Wilmer Kolberg Johansson - Cinccino Control
  • Walter Lee - Zacian V/Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  • Kashvinder Singh Mann - Dragapult VMAX
  • Logan McKay - Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  • Loc Nguyen - Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  • Vaughn O'Brien - Galarian Obstagoon
  • Marcelo Pacaje - Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  • Rob Singer - Zacian V/Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  • Eder Jarillo Soto - Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  • Victor de Velasco - Dragapult VMAX
  • Gas | Tate Whitesell - Dragapult VMAX
  • DDG | Isaiah Williams - Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  • Matthew Wright - Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  • Ethan Yi - Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  • David Younan - Dragapult VMAX


Pairings

Round 5

Round 4

Round 3

Round 2

Round 1

Limitless Online Series Qualifier #4 Day 2: Players and Decks

Below are the players who achieved at least 9 wins in the 13 Day 1 rounds to advance to Day 2 of the fourth Limitless Online Series qualifier.

*Players real names will be updated as we receive them

Pool 1
  1. Rune H (11-2), Dragapult VMAX
  2. Ilya Kornilov (11-2), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  3. Thomas Young (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  4. Finn Looft (11-2), Dragapult VMAX
  5. Shaun Feenan (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  6. Takumi Igarashi (10-3), Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  7. Augusto Lespier (10-3), Reshiram & Charizard-GX/Green's Exploration
  8. Caleb R (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  9. Justin Lambert (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  10. Klein Houmani (10-3), Spiritomb/Ultra Beasts
  11. Kaneko Shinya (10-3), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  12. Yoshiyuki Arai (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  13. Emery Taylor (10-3), Toxtricitiy VMAX/Garbodor with Poke Ball
  14. Jeremy Riviere (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  15. Noah A (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  16. Joshua Huggard (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo 
  17. James Hill (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  18. Ayato Shimizu (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  19. Murilo M (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  20. Jordan Palmer (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  21. Yamato Kan (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  22. Lucas Gusso (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  23. Michael Fouchet (9-4), Spiritomb/Ultra Beasts
  24. Peter Nicholas Latina (9-4), Fire Box
  25. Mario Barbera (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  26. Dominik Schuchardt (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  27. Takahiko Kurashima (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  28. Steve Zhang (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  29. Jon Eng (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  30. Liam Kidd (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  31. Renato Zamporri (9-4), Spiritomb/Ultra Beasts
  32. Avarin Villareal (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  33. Cole Haugaard (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  34. Marco Garcia (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  35. Ole Stognief (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  36. Kayan Oladi (9-4), Cinccino Mill
  37. Aaron McGlynn (9-4), Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  38. Kenny Britton (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  39. Michael Lehotsky (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  40. Nicholas Flores (9-4), Dragapult VMAX

Pool 2
  1. Taketo Seki (12-1), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  2. Kim Pobega (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  3. Kaito Suzuki  (11-2), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  4. Thomas F (10-3), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  5. Bryan De Vries(10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Green's Exploration
  6. Hiroki Miki (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  7. Paulo Anderson Lopes (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  8. Patton Courie (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  9. Patrick Landis (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  10. Lewis Gehami (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  11. Azul Garcia Griego (10-3), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  12. Tatsuya Hirai (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  13. Tyson White (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  14. Benjamin McEachen (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  15. Noel Bolte (10-3), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  16. Jack Moore (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon with Training Court
  17. Axel Alvarez (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  18. Chris Siakala  (9-4), Dragapult VMAX/Malamar
  19. Jayden Agarwal (9-4), Blacephalon UNB with Centiskorch SSH
  20. Goncalo Pereira (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  21. Herve Guillemet (9-4), Spiritomb UNB/Nanu
  22. Shio Tanimoto (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  23. Jackie Tran (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  24. Guilherme Cazzonato (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  25. Mark Hostrup (9-4) Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Tapu Koko V
  26. Eddie Bulmer (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  27. Tomopon (9-4), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  28. James Taylor (9-4), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  29. Jake Beeston (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  30. Kai Bowen (9-4), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  31. Patrick Birleffi (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  32. Shun Matsumura (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  33. Michael Dikeman (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder with Solgaleo GX SUM
  34. Aldo Castillo (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  35. Shima Hiromasa(9-4), Zacian/Jirachi Prism Star
  36. Tim Bartels (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  37. James Neria (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  38. Noel Pagan (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  39. Jacob E (9-4), Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  40. Leonardo Martins (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon
  41. Pietro Old (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  42. Alessandro Cremascoli (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  43. Chip Richey (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon

Pool 3
  1. Michael Catron (11-2), Dragapult VMAX
  2. Andrew Wamboldt (11-2), Spiritomb/Ultra Beasts
  3. Adam Reinhardt (11-2), Dragapult VMAX
  4. Chieh Li (11-2), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  5. Alexandre Caporali Braga (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  6. Benjamin Gavin (10-3), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  7. Cory Dobson (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  8. Chao Chi She (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  9. Mateusz L (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  10. Koji Morimoto (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  11. Jon Viveros (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  12. Gerardo A (10-3), Cinccino Control
  13. Julius Brunfeldt (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  14. Aaron Friedman (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  15. Wataru Asada (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  16. Chi Duong (9-4), Cinccino Control
  17. Jake Silberman (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  18. Filippo Mirci (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  19. Stephen Kent (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  20. Gabor Van Meenen (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  21. Matheus Brito (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  22. Terrence Miller (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  23. Angel Aranibar (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  24. Nicholas Franco (9-4), Spiritomb/Ultra Beasts
  25. Yusuke Saeki (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  26. Philipp Hombach (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  27. Renato Christian (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon
  28. Brandon Salazar (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  29. Matias Martini (9-4), Spiritomb/Ultra Beasts
  30. Rodrigo Ferreira (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  31. Ryosuke Furukawa (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  32. Ryusei Matubayashi (9-4), Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  33. Ippo Kito (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  34. Masamichi Hattori (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  35. Franco Llamas (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  36. Raymond Long (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox
  37. Taro Nishikawa (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  38. Fernando C (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  39. Alex LeBlanc (9-4), Fire Box
  40. Spence Vanderpoel (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  41. Nicolas Lion (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  42. Joseph H (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  43. Joel Nguyen (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

Pool 4
  1. Daichi Shimada (11-2), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  2. Justin Bokhari (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  3. Jonathan Merchan (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  4. Erik Bladh (11-2), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  5. Draydon Davis (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  6. Pere Arbos Parets (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  7. Ryo Yamasaki (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  8. Scotty Chesser (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  9. Richard Yannow (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  10. Gage Swift (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  11. Kosei Saito (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  12. Audityo Pramudya Mulyo (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  13. Yuto Ko (10-3), Cinccino Control
  14. Jack Old (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  15. Riccardo Maganza (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  16. Joe Ruettiger (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  17. Youngbin Yim (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  18. Rochelle Fortier (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  19. Seth Stillman (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  20. Nicola Zappulla (9-4), Excadrill CEC
  21. Kazuki Kumegawa (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  22. Cody Graham (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  23. Shota Nose (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  24. Kevin Murphy (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  25. Makani T (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Articuno & Zapdos & Moltres-GX
  26. Dominik Malicki (9-4), Boltund V/Green's Exploration
  27. Raphael Bouthillon (9-4), Zacian V/Jirachi Prism Combo
  28. Sean C (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  29. Andrew Hedrick (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  30. Joshua Vanoverschelde (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  31. Stefan Weber (9-4), Cinccino Mill
  32. Joshua Sanchez Vargas (9-4), Rillaboom Toolbox
  33. Nathan Hargreaves (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  34. Dan Onderko (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  35. Kosuke Hibino (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  36. Owyn Kamerman (9-4), Magcargo-GX with Alolan Persian-GX
  37. David Frans Daritan (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  38. Victor Freitas (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  39. James K (9-4), Blacephalon UNB


Limitless Online Series Qualifier #3: Day 2 Players & Decks

Below are the players who achieved at least 9 wins in the 13 Day 1 rounds to advance to Day 2 of the second Limitless Online Series qualifier.

Pod 1
  1. Alexis Hormazabal (13-0), Blacephalon UNB
  2. Jakob K. (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  3. Dennis Peroff (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  4. Max Leedy (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  5. Francesco Pasquale Caterino (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  6. Michael Catron (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  7. Adrian Portig (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  8. Melanie Springer (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  9. Kosuke Hibino (10-3), Blacephalon UNB with Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  10. Sam Duchow (10-3), Toxtricity VMAX/Garbodor
  11. Marco Garcia (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  12. Justin MacFarland (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  13. Takahiro Ikeda (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  14. Takumi Kami (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V 
  15. Le Bui (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  16. Jack Old (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  17. Christian Chase (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  18. Gabe Shumway (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  19. Ryusei Matubayashi (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  20. Friedrich Illbruck (9-4), Rillaboom VMAX/Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX
  21. Jens Arne Maekinen (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  22. Justin Farinango (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  23. Shunsuke Kamimura (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  24. Oliver Rochin (9-4), Dragapult VMAX/Malamar with Gengar & Mimikyu-GX
  25. Emery Taylor (9-4), Toxtricity VMAX/Garbodor
  26. Andy Zhang (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  27. Luis Matos (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  28. Kosuke Uogoshi (9-4), Turbo Zacian V with Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  29. Christian S. (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  30. Darin O'Meara (9-4), Blacephalon
  31. Vincent D'Arcy (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  32. Jory Koot (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  33. Haruto Kamanaka (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  34. Dominik Malicki (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  35. Joshua Dockins (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  36. Kazuki Suzuki (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  37. Satoru Nagano (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox

Pod 2
  1. Aaron McGlynn (12-1), Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V
  2. Haruki Satoyama (11-2), Dragapult VMAX
  3. Joshua Vanoverschelde (11-2), Blacephalon UNB
  4. Wannes Struyf (10-3), Turbo Boltund V with Crushing Hammer
  5. Vincenzo Seva (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  6. Renato Christian (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  7. Takashi Yoshida (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  8. Kim Pobega (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  9. Luke Fisher (10-3), Luxray RCL
  10. Christian Fontenot (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  11. Shaun Feenan (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  12. Yuki Higashida (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  13. Regan Retzloff (10-3), Inteleon VMAX/Frosmoth
  14. Ivan Meleshenko (9-4), Fire Toolbox
  15. Roger Ramjit (9-4), Blacephalon UNB with Ninetales V
  16. Grant Manley (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon
  17. Andrew Ariel Dias (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb with Yveltal-GX
  18. Lucas Thiele (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  19. Jaehyuk Kim (9-4), Dragapult VMAX/Malamar with Gengar & Mimikyu-GX and Blacephalon CEC
  20. Kevin Clemente (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  21. Blake Pennington (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  22. Cameron Wolff (9-4), Turbo Zacian V with Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  23. Danny Gavin (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  24. Richard Cherry (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  25. Jon Howes (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox
  26. Lucas Sokolik (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  27. Paulo Oliveira (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  28. Jake B. (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  29. Matthew Rowberry (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  30. Cole Haugaard (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  31. Benjamin Groß (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  32. Youngbin Yim (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  33. Aiden Toler (9-4), Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Zacian V/Galarian Perrserker
  34. Thanat Ratanapsit (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  35. Alex Cole (9-4), Rillaboom VMAX/Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX
  36. Riichiro Ito (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  37. Marlon Rosero (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

Pod 3
  1. James Neria (12-1), Dragapult VMAX
  2. Sota Oji (11-2), Turbo Zacian V
  3. David Chen (11-2), Mareep/Magcargo Mill
  4. Hayden Frew (11-2), Blacephalon UNB
  5. Kevin Krueger (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  6. Masahiro Iwamoto (10-3), Turbo Zacian V with Lucario & Melmetal-GX and Galarian Perrserker
  7. Pedro Pertusi (10-3), Oranguru/Cinccino Control with Alolan Muk
  8. Axel Alvarez (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  9. Alvaro Rios (10-3), Rillaboom VMAX/Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX
  10. Patrick Birleffi (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb with Yveltal-GX
  11. Avarin Villarreal Jr. (10-3), Dragapult VMAX
  12. Junya Uemoto (10-3), Dragapult VMAX/Malamar with Gengar & Mimikyu-GX
  13. Alex LeBlanc (9-4), Fire Toolbox
  14. Nicola Zappulla (9-4), Excadrill/Zebstrika
  15. Erik Bladh (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  16. Gabriel Alves (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  17. Riki Sato (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  18. Mak Wai Pan (9-4), Turbo Zacian V with Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  19. David Keep (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  20. Ryan Antonucci (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  21. Koki Asao (9-4), Turbo Zacian V
  22. Adam Reinhardt (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  23. Chip Richey (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon
  24. Zach Roy (9-4), Dragapult VMAX with Gengar & Mimikyu-GX
  25. James K. (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  26. Keneko Shinya (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V/Alolan Ninetales-GX
  27. Haruto F. (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon
  28. Kenny Britton (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  29. Harvey Scheinman (9-4), Weavile-GX/Naganadel/Silvally-GX/Darkrai ♢
  30. Aren Ashlock (9-4), Fire Toolbox
  31. Hiro Yaoka (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  32. Motoko Wakaoka (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  33. Kayan Oladi (9-4), Cinccino Mill
  34. Sean C. (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  35. Hanzell Cabellero (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  36. Joel Nguyen (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  37. Kosuke Suzuki (9-4), Dragapult VMAX

Pod 4
  1. Ross Cawthon (11-2), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  2. Nic Stewart (11-2), Boltund V/Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Green's Exploration
  3. Lyder Iversen (11-2), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  4. Akira Sato (11-2), Galarian Obstagoon
  5. Beppe Gronmark (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  6. Ippo Kito (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  7. Trevor Gref (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  8. Matthew Bertrand (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  9. Stefano Conti (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox
  10. Byun Seongmo (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V with Galarian Perrserker
  11. Shima Hiromasa (10-3), Turbo Zacian V with Jirachi ♢/Mr. Mime
  12. Leandro Fernandes (10-3), Oranguru/Cinccino Control with Alolan Muk
  13. Wilmer Kolberg Johansson (10-3), Oranguru/Cinccino Control
  14. Ruku Saito (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Green's Exploration/Island Challenge Amulet
  15. Carlos Vargas (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  16. Kenta Moriwaki (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox
  17. Kyle Sucevich (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  18. Keisuke Miwa (9-4), Blacephalon UNB with Dubwool V
  19. Koji Morimoto (9-4), Cinccino/Delcatty/Goomy Control
  20. Shota Yabuta (9-4), Galarian Obstagoon with Throh/Rainbow Energy
  21. Aidan K. (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox
  22. Ryan Moorhouse (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  23. Adam Rocca (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  24. Eddie Bulmer (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  25. Lucas Grisanti (9-4), Dragapult VMAX
  26. Gustavo Wada (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  27. Rodolfo Gonçalves (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  28. James Washer (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  29. Jan J. (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  30. Pere Arbós (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  31. Tim Cox (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  32. Ryoshi Sakai (9-4), Dragapult VMAX/Inteleon/Crushing Hammer/Shrine of Punishment
  33. Haruyuki Sakai (9-4), Dragapult VMAX/Malamar
  34. Elmar Rusli (9-4), Cinderace VMAX/Ninetales
  35. Tatsuya Ota (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V
  36. Stefano Bassis (9-4), Blacephalon UNB
  37. Pietro Locci (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX/Quagsire Toolbox
  38. Jonathan Lopez (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX/Boltund V

Limitless Online Series Qualifier #2: Day 2 Players & Decks

Below are the players who achieved at least 9 wins in the 13 Day 1 rounds to advance to Day 2 of the second Limitless Online Series qualifier.

* denotes a player who also reached Day 2 in Qualifier #1

Pool 1
  1. Hugo Schon (12-1), Blacephalon UNB
  2. Avilashan Umashankar (11-2)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  3. Taketo Saki (11-2), Cinccino Mill
  4. Masato Shimada (11-2), Heatran-GX/Ninetales with Blacephalon-GX and Cramorant V
  5. Masahiro Iwamoto (10-3), Rillaboom/Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX
  6. Joshua Vanoverschelde (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  7. Shota Yabuta (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V 
  8. Edgar Monares (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  9. Jacob Lesage (10-3)*, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  10. Luke Fisher (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  11. Liam Delacruz (9-4), Magcargo
  12. Kazuki Kumegawa (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  13. Dominik Malicki (9-4)*, Cinccino Mill
  14. Alvaro Rios (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Lapras VMAX/Green's Exploration/Victini/Omastar
  15. Stefano Conti (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox
  16. Joshua Sanchez (9-4), Magcargo
  17. Draydon Davis (9-4), Salazzle/Cinccino Mill
  18. Magnus Pedersen (9-4), Beheeyem/Silvally-GX/Mr. Mime-GX
  19. Ryan Piechuta (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  20. Daichi Shimada (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  21. Yuki Higashida (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  22. Kenichi Saiki (9-4), Beheeyem/Silvally-GX/Mareep
  23. Matias Martini (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  24. Noel B. (9-4), Cinccino Mill
  25. Oscar Perez (9-4), Magcargo with Centiskorch
  26. Jimmy Marcus Larsen (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  27. Joey Hart (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  28. Jack Eccles (9-4), Granbull

Pool 2
  1. Mike Fouchet (12-1)*, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  2. Shun Ito (11-2)*, Cinccino/Oranguru Control
  3. Pavel Nechaev (11-2), Fire Toolbox
  4. Pedro Eugenio Torres (10-3), Turbo Zacian V 
  5. Haru Nishikawa (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  6. Ryo Yamasaki (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  7. Sean C. (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  8. Stefano Bruschetta (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  9. Junto Kozono (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  10. Matthiew Chmielewski (10-3), Blacephalon UNB
  11. Thanat Ratanapsit (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  12. Callum E. (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  13. Lillie A. (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Welder Toolbox with 4 Lysandre Labs
  14. Benjamin Pham (9-4), Magcargo/Alolan Persian-GX
  15. Kaito Takita (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V with Rayquaza-GX
  16. Jake B. (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  17. Grant S. (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  18. Logan M. (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  19. Vaughn O'Brien (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  20. Luis Arevalo (9-4), Magcargo
  21. Vitor Martinelli (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  22. Nico Alabas (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  23. Gabor Van Meenen (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  24. Beppe G. (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  25. Kevin Clemente (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  26. Caleb Patton (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  27. Rodolfo Goncalves (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  28. Vladimir Larionov (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  29. Finn Looft (9-4), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

Pool 3
  1. Ross Cawthon (11-2)*, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  2. Colin Lockridge (11-2), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  3. Shintaro Ito (10-3)*, Mareep/Magcargo Mill
  4. James K. (10-3), Turbo Zacian V
  5. Rune H. (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  6. Isaiah Cheville (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  7. Jacob Weber (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  8. Andrew Scott (10-3)*, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  9. Taylor Norris (10-3), Rillaboom/Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX
  10. Jacob Howard (10-3), Malamar 
  11. Hervé Guillemet (9-4)*, Oricorio/Magcargo Mill
  12. Landen Kaetler (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  13. Yu Ito (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  14. Julius Brunfeldt (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  15. Kyle Warner (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  16. Jeremy Leong (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  17. Joshua Galys (9-4)*, Blacephalon UNB
  18. Ryan Krats (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  19. Federico Brogi (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  20. Gabriel Pino Semedo (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  21. Zach Lesage (9-4), Fire Toolbox
  22. Noah Shaw (9-4)*, Blacephalon UNB/Green's Exploration
  23. Luca Clavadetscher (9-4)*, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  24. Kaya Lichtleiner (9-4), Cinccino/Mareep/Latios-GX Mill
  25. Axel Alvarez (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  26. Jeremy Gibson (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V with Magcargo
  27. Michael M. (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  28. Felipe Cubillos (9-4)*, Malamar
  29. Aleksandr Getman (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  30. Kosuke Uogishi (9-4), Cinccino Mill

Pool 4
  1. Takahiko Kurashima (12-1), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  2. Brayan Cahuancama (11-2), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  3. Mario Barbera (10-3), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  4. Warat Suksuntornsiri (10-3)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  5. Manuele Tartaglia (10-3), Beheeyem/Roxie/Weezing CEC
  6. Riccardo C. (10-3), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  7. Owyn Kamerman (10-3)*, Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  8. Riccardo Gardin (10-3)*, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  9. Pearce Blend (10-3), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
  10. Brennan P. (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  11. Gianmaria Carelli (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  12. Bert Wolters (9-4)*, Turbo Zacian V
  13. Kayan Oladi (9-4)*, Cinccino Mill
  14. Aaron Friedman (9-4)*, Mareep/Magcargo Mill
  15. Jacob Mallender (9-4), Reshiram & Charizard-GX/Volcanion/Omastar/Green's Exploration
  16. Kevin Krueger (9-4)*, Fire Toolbox
  17. Shu Hosoda (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V with Cobalion-GX
  18. Kyle Vincent Imperial (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  19. Adrian Portig (9-4), Malamar
  20. David Younan (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  21. Cody Graham (9-4)*, Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  22. Shunsuke Kamimura (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Zacian V
  23. Wan K. (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Malamar Toolbox
  24. Ryan K. (9-4), Cinccino Mill
  25. Fawwaz Azhar (9-4), Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Solgaleo-GX Toolbox
  26. Julien Hyra (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb
  27. Christian G. (9-4), Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Spiritomb