Event Recap: Malaysian League Challenge Weekend #1 & BKT-BUS Initial Thoughts

Hello, everyone! It’s been a good two weeks since our first double League Challenge weekend. As much as I wanted to post this article out earlier, work got in the way and thus the delay. So instead of just putting up a results overview, I’ll combo it up with some thoughts on the new format and addressing a few infamous issues ever since rotation began.

Let’s dive in!

League Challenge Weekend #1 2017/2018

2nd – 3rd September

The new season kicks off right on the first weekend of post-rotation, with back-to-back League Challenges at both Toysbar and Cards & Hobbies.

Results

Toysbar (2/9/2017)

Total Attendance – 58
Masters – 51
Seniors – 6
Juniors – 1

1st – Wayne Chun – Gardevoir GX
2nd – Ariff Erzanie – Gardevoir GX
3rd – Nicholas Yong – Gardevoir GX
4th – Derek Wan – Metagross GX/Necrozma GX
5th – Syahmi Razak – Garbodor/Drampa GX/Espeon GX
6th – Kennedy Leon – Metagross GX/Necrozma GX
7th – Jaymon Lum – Golisopod GX
8th – Isaac Chen – Gardevoir GX

The new Gardevoir GX from Burning Shadows lit up the Top 8 at the first Premier Event of the new season with 4 placings, including the entire top 3. Metagross GX naturally saw some success due to its decent Gardy matchup. On-ground reports suggested that Gardevoir was one of the most represented archetype, unsurprisingly as the deck has been touted as the early-season BDIF.

Cards & Hobbies (3/9/2017)

Total Attendance – 64
Masters – 56
Seniors – 7
Juniors – 1

1st – Izmir Armani – Volcanion
2nd – Nicholas Yong – Gardevoir GX
3rd – Nasseruddean Fadhil – Gardevoir GX
4th – Keith Yong – Garbodor/Golisopod GX
5th – Chun Yee Wei – Garbodor/Golisopod GX
6th – Hairul Hafiy – Solgaleo GX/Rayquaza
7th – Malik Zaihan – Greninja BREAK
8th – Tyle Ooi – Volcanion

There was definitely more variety at C&H with Volcanion making an appearance and taking 2 spots in Top 8, one of which going 6-0 to clinch the LC win. Old favourite Greninja did have some minor presence at the event and managed to convert decent matchups against setup decks into Points. The oddball of the weekend has to be Solgaleo GX, showing that some fringe cards can still perform well in a developing meta.

Decklists

Toysbar League Challenge #1 – Winner

Chun Yee Wei’s Gardevoir GX

Pokemon – 19
4 Ralts
2 Kirlia
3 Gardevoir GX
1 Gallade
2 Eevee
2 Sylveon GX
2 Remoraid
1 Octillery
2 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 29
4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
4 Guzma
1 Acerola
1 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
3 Rare Candy
3 Choice Band
2 Field Blower
1 Rescue Stretcher
1 Super Rod

1 Parallel City

Energy – 12
8 Fairy
4 Double Colorless

C&H League Challenge #1 – Winner

Izmir Armani’s Volcanion

Pokemon – 12
3 Volcanion EX
3 Volcanion
2 Turtonator GX
1 Ho-oh GX
2 Tapu Lele GX
1 Oranguru

Trainers – 35
4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
4 Guzma
2 Kiawe

4 Ultra Ball
3 Max Elixir
3 Choice Band
2 Float Stone
2 Field Blower
2 Energy Retrieval
1 Professor’s Letter
1 Super Rod
1 Escape Rope

2 Brooklet Hill

Energy – 13
13 Fire

 


 

Approaching the BKT-BUS Format

Thoughts on the meta and key financial matters

vs-seeker-phantom-forces-phf-109

The BREAKPoint-Burning Shadows Standard Format was announced not too long ago and took effect on the 1st of September 2017. The key lost was clearly VS Seeker, ensuring crazy stuff such as playing SIX Professor Sycamore won’t happen as often anymore – not that it happened all the time, but you get what I’m saying.

Of course we also lost cards such as Shaymin EX, Lysandre, Vileplume, and the Eeveelutions, yet at least so far we haven’t missed them as much, with the new format bringing a breath of fresh air to the game.

Apart from the somewhat expected initial dominance of Gardevoir GX, the meta seems rather healthy, with many decks seeing play at our local leagues and appearing across the world at the first batch of Premier Events for the 2017/2018 season.

One key topic I’d like to touch on is the recent surge in price for Tapu Lele GX. From a competitive standpoint, let us all agree that the card is the #1 staple in our format right now – it supplanted Shaymin EX since the release of Guardians Rising, as it not only acts as a consistency card, but doubles as a decent attacker just as well, a role which Shaymin was never able to play.

tapu-lele-gx-guardians-rising-60-312x441

At launch, circa May 2017, a copy of Tapu Lele GX in its Normal Art rarity – the lowest available – was going for RM170. Fast forward some months, and we are in September – with each Lele now going for approximately RM250 –  a whopping 47% increase in a matter of four months. Similarly, both the Full Art and Hyper Rare versions of Lele have seen the same price trend. For players that were around during the astronomical values of Shaymin EX, this felt very familiar – where a simple meta deck would easily reach anywhere between RM600 to RM800.

Where does that leave players who either a) don’t have Lele, or b) don’t have adequate Lele for their preferred decks? Unfortunately there aren’t many options to consider: almost every meta deck right now runs between two to four copies of our little pink friend. One deck that doesn’t is Greninja – most budget-savvy players from the days of Shaymin EX would have invested in Greninja BREAK back then, and if they were careful to hang on to them till the post-rotation, that’s one cost-effective way to ride out the current Lele price-hype.xerneas-breakthrough-bkt-107

One deck that doesn’t seem to run more than one Tapu Lele GX is Rainbow Force Xerneas BKT. The idea of the deck has been around for quite some time, yet it has seen a resurgence lately and from a budget perspective does seem light on the wallet, with most cards being quite cheap and accessible to players who were familiar with the 2017 season. Perhaps give that  shot?

There are possibly only two instances where Lele would tank in price (downtrend): if it receives a reprint – either as a promo or in a second batch of Guardians Rising, or if something better becomes available that replaces Lele’s roll in the meta. I wouldn’t count on either of those to happen, though…

Will Tapu Lele GX continue to rise in price? The available data we have since May 2017 suggests it will. Learnings from the Shaymin EX era indicates the same. However, with demand already at an all-time high, there aren’t many other factors to cause a further induced price upswing. As Guardians Rising reaches the end of its print lifespan, perhaps only then would be the right time to say “BUY THEM BEFORE THEY COST A KIDNEY”. Until that point, though, it would be fair to assume the RM250 price tag is a decent one – unless you score a good deal from a friend or an awesome seller.

 


Closing Thoughts

With the first weekends of the new format out of the way, the meta should be settling into a period of stability and comfort. The Bremen Regional Championship had just ended as well, with some very unique outcomes; I am certain Bilbao would bring some interesting results too. Until then, do drop us a comment and send us your feedback on how we can make The Rainbow Wing better. We’re currently in an interim period of finding what works best to grow this site and community, thus we are always open to hear from you.

Aaron, signing off.

 


Special thanks to both Chun Yee Wei and Izmir Armani for sharing their decklists with TRW. Please reach us at rainbowwingtcg@gmail.com if you would like to reference any decklist on our site.

Card scans sourced from pkmncards.com.

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