2019 Madison Regionals Recap and Matchup Data

June 3, 2019 // Tate Whitesell and Rukan Shao

"ReshiZard" had more than double the
Day 2 appearances of its next closest
This past weekend, the final Regional Championship in North America for the 2018-19 season took place in Madison, Wisconsin (see our event data page). Now that the PokéStats team has collected all of the Day 2 decks (with help from ARG Europe's Jack Old--much appreciated!), we can bring you the complete Day 2 metagame breakdown and some preliminary matchup data. 

Day 2 deck breakdown
23 Reshiram & Charizard-GX
11 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
5 Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel
5 Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking
4 Blacephalon UNB
3 Quagsire/Naganadel
3 Weezing
3 Zapdos/Ultra Beasts
2 Granbull
1 Blissey/Welder
1 Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
1 Vikavolt
1 Zoroark-GX/Glaceon-GX
1 Zoroark-GX/Gyarados
1 Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
1 Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Silvally-GX/Lycanroc-GX

Top 8 breakdown and meta analysis
When Day 2 Swiss concluded, four different archetypes advanced to Top 8: four Reshiram & Charizard-GX, two Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking, one Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel, and one Pikachu & Zekrom-GX. In the finals, Ian Robb's Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel defeated Azul Garcia Griego's Reshiram & Charizard-GX in a close three-game series.

We can compare this to the Top 8 from last month's Santa Clara Regionals, the first (and currently only other) NA event in SUM-TEU. That top cut had two Reshiram & Charizard-GX, two Shedinja Stall, two Zapdos, one Lucario & Melmetal-GX/Vileplume stall, and one Pikachu & Zekrom-GX.

Thus, Reshiram & Charizard-GX, Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, and Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking apparently increased in strength from Santa Clara, and Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel proved to be able to come back into the meta and hold its own against those three archetypes. Meanwhile, stall decks and Zapdos variants decreased in strength between Santa Clara and Madison. With stall performing very well in Santa Clara, more players were prepared to counter it in Madison; notably, according to RK9 Labs data, only a single Master in Madison played the Shedinja Stall deck that had two Top 8 appearances in Santa Clara.

While Kian Amini's winning Reshiram & Charizard-GX list from Santa Clara featured a Green's Expedition engine and four Volcanion UNB, only one of the four Reshiram & Charizard-GX lists in Madison's Top 8--Cody Walinski's--used this build. The other three used a Jirachi/Dedenne-GX engine. 

Day 2 AMPS
Here are the decks sorted by average match points per series (AMPS). Remember that lots of players by definition means lots of losers. That's why Reshiram & Charizard-GX ranks so low in terms of this metric, even if it's clearly very good.

Let me give some examples. You should interpret Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking as having an impressive performance, due to its high ranking and high player count. Meanwhile, Zapdos shouldn't seem as impressive, because while its AMPS is similar to those of Pikachu & Zekrom-GX and Reshiram & Charizard-GX, Zapdos had a much smaller player count.

AMPS | Deck | Overall Day 2 record
2.000 | Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX | 3-1-1
1.844 | Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking | 19-11-2
1.786 | Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel | 15-8-5
1.544 | Pikachu & Zekrom-GX | 28-25-4
1.533 | Zapdos/Ultra Beasts | 7-6-2
1.426 | Reshiram & Charizard-GX | 51-50-21
1.400 | Zoroark-GX/Gyarados | 2-2-1
1.267 | Quagsire/Naganadel | 6-8-1
1.200 | Blissey/Welder | 2-3-0
1.200 | Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX | 2-3-0
1.100 | Blacephalon UNB | 6-10-4
1.100 | Granbull | 3-5-2
0.800 | Vikavolt UNB | 1-3-1
0.733 | Weezing | 2-8-5
0.200 | Zoroark-GX/Glaceon-GX | 0-4-1

Matchup details
I wouldn't read too far into exact matchup details due to sample size, but we do have decent sample sizes for both Reshiram & Charizard-GX and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX:

R&C Favored vs P&Z (11-4-2)
R&C Favored vs Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking (6-4-0)
R&C Neutral vs Zapdos (2-2-1)
R&C Unfavored vs Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel (3-8-1)
R&C Unfavored vs Blacephalon UNB (0-5-3)
R&C Unfavored vs Quagsire/Naganadel (2-5-0)
R&C Neutral vs Weezing (2-1-3)

P&Z Favored vs Weezing (3-0-1)
P&Z Favored vs Quagsire/Naganadel (3-0-0)
P&Z Unfavored vs Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX/Slowking (2-4-0)
P&Z Unfavored vs Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel (1-2-1)
P&Z Favored vs Blacephalon UNB (4-0-0)
P&Z Favored vs Zapdos (2-0-0)

Some conclusions
  • Weezing did very poorly in Day 2. Healing cards such as Acerola and Max Potion were seen in many decks including Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, Reshiram & Charizard-GX, and Zoroark-GX variants; all of these make things difficult for Weezing. The copy of Miltank in Team DDG's Reshiram & Charizard-GX list would also have crippled Weezing. Many decks on stream over the weekend were also running one or two Field Blower, which removes Weezing's Shrine of Punishment and Spell Tag (and also helped limit the success of Shedinja Stall). 
  • Zapdos wasn't that impressive in Day 2 either, falling from two Top 8 placements in Santa Clara to zero in Madison. The same healing techs that stopped Weezing also probably curbed Zapdos. 
  • Reshiram & Charizard ran into a lot of counter decks. Most notably, there were three Quagsire/Naganadel players in Day 2 as well as one Zoroark-GX/Gyarados; these decks could hit Reshiram & Charizard-GX's fire attackers for Weakness. 
    • In an interesting deck-building choice, Team DDG's Reshiram & Charizard-GX list did not run Choice Band; this meant it could only OHKO a Pikachu & Zekrom-GX once, by using Double Blaze GX (and this required attaching six Energy to one Pokémon). Rahul Reddy, who got 15th with Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, said he felt his deck had a favorable matchup against DDG's. 
    • Although not all of the Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel decks in Day 2 performed well, it seems the deck served adequately as another counter to Reshiram & Charizard-GX, with Ian Robb taking out three Reshiram & Charizard-GX in a row in Top 8.