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Wheatr @EricHurtDev Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Gym Leader Challenge 1K Rundown

Welcome back Gym Leaders! Today I'll be giving my rundown of the inaugural CardBoard Warriors Gym Leader Challenge 1K Tournament. This event was the largest online GLC tournament in the history of the format with 66 players. We also held the largest ever online prize pool with 1,000 packs up for grabs. But we are just getting started! As the Gym Leader Challenge gains steam, we hope to be the home for the largest and most competitive GLC tournaments.

Leo takes the victory

DT Leonardo took home the victory with his fantastic Amazing Rare Kyogre deck. Congratulations to Leo with a run through 7 swiss rounds, and a best of 3 top 8. Leo has been a long time GLC player with many smaller tournament wins and high placing finishes. He gets his first big CBW tournament win here which I'm sure is the first of many more.

Kyogre mirror

Never seen before in a major GLC tournament, the finals was a Kyogre mirror! The two Kyogre decks had some key differences - Alloutblitzle playing POGO Slowbro, while Leo opted for the bench barrier Manaphy. Manaphy certainly played a major factor in determining the winner, as did turn order. In the 3rd game of the finals, Alloutblitzle opted to go second which allowed Leo to get off the first attack. And in a Kyogre mirror, the first player to Amazing Surge usually wins the game.

Meta breakdown

Water and Grass combined to take up 47% of the metagame this tournament. It is clear that the community places these two types in high regard as Tier 1 types. The only two types with no representation were Dragon and Fairy - much to my dismay as a Dragon trainer.

Trainers Type % Usage Record Win %
17 Water 25.76% 48 - 38 - 3 53.93%
14 Grass 21.21% 43 - 37 - 0 53.75%
9 Psychic 13.64% 14 - 25 - 0 35.90%
9 Darkness 13.64% 20 - 25 - 1 43.48%
5 Lightning 7.58% 15 - 17 - 0 46.88%
5 Metal 7.58% 13 - 10 - 1 54.17%
4 Colorless 6.06% 11 - 11 - 1 47.83%
2 Fire 3.03% 3 - 5 - 0 37.50%
1 Fighting 1.52% 3 - 4 - 0 42.86%

Of interesting note, despite high utilization of Water and Grass, their win percentages were barely above 50, even with occupying 5 of the top 8 spots. The Kyogre variation of the water lists performed exceedingly well, however. It was a bit of a surprise to see some of the previously considered top meta types underperform. Lightning, Dark and Colorless all had sub-50% win rates and considerably less usage than Grass and Water.

Metal top seed

One of the most exciting data points from this tournament was the emergence of Wakingeyes' metal list. Not only did he achieve first place in overall swiss going undefeated, but Wakingeyes nearly made Top 4 until a last second save was made by his opponent in game 3 of the best of 8. Wakingeyes very well could have won the tournament if not for a great play by Urtzuub. The list was reasonably standard, but had several slight changes from common metal lists that made high impacts. The Melmetal made a huge impact in the games streamed in the Top 8 and was possibly an MVP of the swiss rounds, while Magearna gave the deck consistency and stability in the early game. Another interesting include is the Galarian Perrserker line making the math possible to hit certain key breakpoints.

Best Decks

Now for the part of the rundown where I list some of the most interesting, unique and best performing decks.

Maggara's colorless is easily the most creative deck list of the tournament with a myriad of different win conditions. The deck can ruin your game plan with control cards like the Hammers, Bunnelby, and Team Flare Grunt, it can disrupt your hand with Persian and Delinquent, or it can outright stall you with Block Snorlax and Galar Mine at the end of the game just when you thought you'd won. It's possible that this deck has the most win conditions of any deck in the meta at the moment. Maggara's generally pilots his deck based on how his opponent is playing. He makes you waste your resoureces and plays off of your mistakes, looking for openings and holes in your game plan. A joy to watch and difficult to play, it is clearly capable of winning in this meta making the Top 8.

Juancho's Psychic list is another revelation, carrying Juancho to 5 wins in Swiss and missing out on Top 8 based on resistance. Juancho's spread list runs the Beheeyem line to perfection with its Syncrhonoise attack doing 20 damage to each of the opponent's benched Pokémon. The list uses Wobbuffett to ability lock early while getting set up. Pokemon's Breeder's Nurturing, a rarely seen card, enables Juancho to get their Pokemon set up quickly. Once this deck sets up and gets the damage spread, it can use Dusknoir to take crucial knockouts by moving damage counters around. Great list!

The last deck I'd like to mention is Subject0047's exceptional grass list. They piloted the deck to 5 wins and missed out on top 8 on resistance, but whoa, the deck is cool! This list runs a tanky grass core with Leavanny and Kricketune, but uses Cherrim as the energy acceleration engine, the Yanmega line and Ancient Trait Dustox to take 2 prize snipes. Yanmega also enables the Flynium Z: Air Slash tool card which does 180 damage and prevents all effects and damage done to this Pokemon during the opponent's next turn. Very nice!

And more...

In an interesting side note of this tournament, two of the most successful online players in GLC history did not make the top cut. Both JeoshuaObladi and Tankmin missed the top 8 due to resistance. These two players have won many, many tournaments among them, so to see them miss out on the top 8 was surprising. It speaks to exactly how many great players there are in GLC, and it's exciting to see new great players emerge!

Stay tuned for more tournaments. You can find our next big tournament, the CardBoard Warriors Summer Slam! coming August 27th with a Tropical Beach as the grand prize! CardBoard Warriors is your host for the best Gym Leader Challenge deck lists, analysis and tournaments. See you around trainer!