Picking Matchups for 2007

Hey everybody. Shorter post today – I wanted to give some insight on the year of 2007. The era of Delta Species pokemon is probably my favorite in the history of the TCG, and 2007 is arguably the most diverse metagame that the game has ever seen. I think I have more archetypes for this year than any other year on this page, and deciding which decks to play can be overwhelming, and often a little disappointing if you pick the wrong matchup. I wanted to give a little bit of insight as to how the metagame developed, and which decks play best against each other.

The Regionals format was ex Deoxys – ex Power Keepers

Regionals

In 2007, in the United States, Regional Championships only happened in the Spring – and they only happened across three different weekends. This is very different than what we see today, where regionals happen year round, with each one taking place on a different weekend. Top players today can travel to several different regionals a year – in 2007, you were lucky if you were able to go to 2 – and many different regionals overlapped with each other, happening at the same time. This, combined with the fact that tournament results were not super well-documented, meant that the metagame didn’t really “progress” the same way it would today. If Flygon did well at one regional, you didn’t have to worry (as much) about everybody coming with the perfect counter-deck at the next one.

That being said, in 2007 it’s important to note that Regionals happened BEFORE Diamond/Pearl base was tournament legal. A lot of decks (especially the single prize ones) do not have plans to deal well with Infernape, Empoleon, or Lucario because those decks literally didn’t exist yet. Some of these regional decks still did well after the release of DP Base, but many of them were pushed out by the higher-power single prize attackers.

Diamond & Pearl Base released several new cards that had an immediate impact – most notably Empoleon, Infernape, and Lucario.

Nationals and Worlds

Diamond/Pearl Base released for US Nationals and shook up the metagame pretty hard. To put it lightly, it was an entirely different format. Not only did many of the attackers in DP have very high HP and very high damage output, but they were ALL single-prize attackers. One of the ways the more fragile single-prize decks could work in the Regionals metagame is by using type advantage against some decks, and by getting rewarded for taking extra prize cards against the ex decks. With one (or in many cases, both) of these benefits getting wiped away, many of these decks just couldn’t function well at Nats or Worlds.

A perfect example of this is RaiEggs. RaiEggs absolutely DOMINATED the metagame at regionals. It had several top cut placements, it was easy to set up, and had a good amount of extra space to play tech cards for specific matchups. With special metal energy, you had the potential to take down a 2-prize attacker in exchange for only 1 of your own single prize attackers, and many of the decks that didn’t rely as hard on ex attackers (like R-gon) relied pretty heavily on poke-powers. The ones that didn’t usually didn’t have high HP, and could be taken down by Raichu or Exeggutor (or Arbok!) pretty easily.

When DP Base dropped, the biggest problem for many decks like RaiEggs was Empoleon. 130 HP was pretty huge, and it only gave up a single prize. Empoleon also didn’t rely on poke-powers to set up, so you couldn’t even stunt its setup with something like Cessation Crystal. Even if Empoleon took an early lead, a quick Scramble Energy only netted you 90 damage at most, and you were taking 2 attacks just to get 1 prize card. The lower HP delta-species deck just runs out of resources more quickly. Lucario and Machamp went much the same way, while Infernape threatened legitimate OHKO potential on many EXs that didn’t have this problem before. 150 damage was pretty unheard of, and the few pokemon that could reliably do this had hefty costs (such as Lugia ex, which discarded all energy to use the attack, and needed a separate stage 2 like Meganium ex or Metagross set up in order to actually re-use the attack multiple turns in a row).

Here’s a table of decks within each different format:

Regionals DecksNats/Worlds DecksDecks That Go Well With Both
Delta (RaiEggs)
Destiny
Exeggutor/Quagsire/Ledian
Flareon Delcatty
PoliStall
Shiftry ex
MetaNite (not yet in this library)
Ambush
Dragonite/Electivire
Empoleon DP
InfernCatty
Lucario/Eevees
Machamp
MaRio
Absolutions
Flariados
Flygon ex Legend Maker
FlyVees
MSNBC
Banette ex variants
RobQuaza
R-Gon
Scizor ex
ScizorGross
Scythe

When playing 2007 matches, I think the most important thing is to avoid playing 1 deck from the left column and 1 deck from the center column against each other. Decks in the left just won’t have ways to deal with many of the Diamond/Pearl attackers, and end up getting steamrolled pretty easily in most cases. Decks in the right column play well against anything – they did well at regionals before DP released, and they did well at Nats and Worlds afterwards. Rayquaza EX, Flygon, and Banette ex were exceptionally strong cards, and even the power-crept single prize attackers could not keep them from seeing success.

Quick note – PoliStall looks like it would still be an exceptional deck post DP release, but unfortunately DP Base also changed how fossils worked. In the ex era, fossils didn’t give up prize cards when KO’d, and in the DP era they did, which ruins the whole point of PoliStall as a hit-and-run deck.

My Personal Favorite 2007 Matchups

Absolutions vs Flygon ex Legend Maker

The World Championship finals shouldn’t come as a surprise – it’s a pretty cool matchup. The Flygon player had some pretty rough draws in game 3 of the finals, and was almost able to pull the match back. Absolutions puts out a lot of pressure early, but if Flygon gets set up, the late-game is usually pretty advantageous for it with its high damage output.

Exeggutor/Ledian/Quagsire vs Destiny

The rogue Quagsire deck that took German nationals played against Destiny in the finals. Between all the different pokemon tools, and the ability to re-use them, Exeggutor has a lot that it can do. Destiny, however, doesn’t rely on one ex attacker to do all of its work, so there is a lot of counterplay options available to it.

Destiny vs R-Gon

Kind of the epitome of a “Delta Species Matchup” in my opinion. Both decks play a TON of different attackers that are situationally very useful. There’s a lot of back and forth interaction and trying to set up a winning plan is difficult for both sides. It will definitely push you to your limits.

Lucario/Eevees vs Most Stage 2 Decks

Early game pressure vs late game strength. Lucario/Eevees does a good job of taking early KOs and spreading damage around to set up KOs for later – and it also plays a ton of really cool tech cards that can seal games unexpectedly. That being said, it’s a low-HP deck compared to stuff like Flygon or Empoleon, so they will have the advantage late. This match will be determined a lot by how well the Lucario sets up damage for later, and how well the Stage 2 decks can avoid giving up prize cards.

Conclusion

There are many more matchups to play that are still quite fun and enjoyable; the above 4 are just my personal favorites. I hope that I could help shed some light on the 2007 format, and help you find some matchups that are enjoyable to play. If you have a matchup that you enjoy playing, leave a comment and let me know below! Thanks so much for reading; I’ll catch everybody at the next article!

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