Event Report: Malaysia League Challenge September 2018

Our first League Challenges for September are also the first official tournaments for the new rotation – after many years, cards like Professor Sycamore (and Professor Juniper before him), N and Float Stone, as well as popular support cards like Octillery, Garbodor, Parallel City and Puzzle of Time have finally left the format.

In its place, we have decks running the maximum number of Cynthia and Guzma, some Tate & Liza, Judge, and Lillie, plus plenty of experimenting in an unfamiliar new format. Here’s the results for the first local tournaments to play the Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm format:


Date : 1st September 2018
Attendance : 40 Masters
Format : Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm

1. Muhammad Shafiq – Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX
2. Chua Lip Yee – Zoroark GX/Garbodor
3. Tyle Ooi – Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX
4. Athavan Akilan – Tapu Koko/Garbodor/Magcargo/Shrine of Punishment
5. Keith Yong – Zoroark GX/Silvally GX
6. Lee Keng Fai – Zygarde GX
7. Wei Jian – Gardevoir GX
8. Bowie Yeap – Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu GX


Date : 2nd September 2018
Attendance : 39 Masters
Format : Sun & Moon – Celestial Storm

1. Gary Tay – Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX
2. Athavan Akilan – Tapu Koko/Garbodor/Magcargo/Shrine of Punishment
3. Lee Keng Fai – Weavile/Garbodor/Shrine of Punishment
4. Isaac Chen – Vikavolt/Rayquaza GX
5. Ismat Myron Beg – Ultra Necrozma/Malamar
6. Aaron Minjoot – Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu GX
7. Nicholas Yong – Weavile/Garbodor/Shrine of Punishment
8. Hairul Hafiy – Zoroark GX/Solgaleo GX

With no Octillery in the format, Zoroark GX became the firm favourite for most players, doubling as a draw support that can also filter cards away to thin your deck and a decent attacker.

Johor won both League Challenges, with Muhammad Shafiq and Gary Tay from the southern state playing the same Zoroark GX/Lycanroc GX to success. One of their key cards was Bodybuilding Dumbbells (Burning Shadows), an Item card that gives Stage 1 Pokémon an additional 40 HP. A perfect choice, considering most players opted to play less Field Blowers in a format without ability-lock Garbodor (Breakthrough).

An old favourite has also made a resurgence – Tapu Bulu GX. A slower format means the one-time Grass-type attacker has plenty of time to set up Vikavolt and wipe the field with its 180 damage Nature Judgement attack (that’s 210 damage with a Choice Band attached).

A similar engine using Vikavolt, but powering Rayquaza GX instead was played by Isaac Chen in Cards & Hobbies to 4th place. (A dissimilar build was also used to win the Melbourne Special Event on the same weekend, the first major tournament post-rotation in Oceania).

The Shrine of Punishment made an impact as well. Team Rainbow Wing’s own Athavan Akilan placed in both League Challenges with his rendition of Shrine of Punishment using Tapu Koko, Garbodor and Magcargo, while Lee Keng Fai and myself played a variation using Weavile from Burning Shadows and Ultra Prism instead.

With the League Cup two weeks away, expect more deck variations as players figure out the best deck archetypes in a new metagame. See you all at the first Malaysia League Cup for the 2018/19 season, happening on 15 and 16 September 2018 in Cards & Hobbies.

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