Juniors Meta Game -- Question for Roanoke Regional (5/6/2017)


Hey there. I’m the father of a pretty good juniors player, my son Jack (7 years old). He’s won several league challenges and won a League Cup two weekends ago (playing Darkrai/Dragons). Since he’s done well playing in smaller tournaments, I plan to take him to Roanoke for the Regional tournament on May 6, 2017. I’d like to get a little advice about deck choice and about the Juniors meta game more generally. My son and I play each other and test decks on PTCGO, but we don’t interact with many other competitive Juniors players. I’ve found some solid YouTube channels and even a podcast or two discussing the Pokemon TCG, but none of them seem to focus on the Juniors circuit.

Here’s a quick list of the potential decks we’re considered for Jack (I don’t include all playable decks; these are the ones I believe he’d be most comfortable with):

1. Darkrai/Dragons – he’s had success with it. Tried and true. But no GXes and he may be getting a bit bored with it.
2. Turbo Darkrai – adding in Tauros GX, Ninja Boy, and just trying to out-speed opponents. Good, but weak to fighting decks and not as interesting for Jack.
3. Decidueye GX / Tauros GX / Lugia EX – Jack doesn’t like playing Vileplume (which I know is the best way to play Decidueye), but this is a deck we’ve been playing and which we love. We play 2 Tauros & 1 Lugia, setting up behind a Tauros and using float stones for mobility of attackers. It takes some skill to pilot this deck, but I believe Jack could be very good with it by May 6th.
4. Umbreon GX / Espeon GX / Eeveelutions – Jack hasn’t played this deck much, but I know he likes these cards and has the ability to set up the right attackers and support to exploit weakness. I just don’t know how this deck fits in the Juniors meta game.
5. Mega Mewtwo EX / Espeon GX / Garbodor – I’ve always loved playing Mega Mewtwo, so Jack has had some experience both playing with and against variants of this deck. The Garbodor line and Espeon inclusion give this version some versatility.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have. My first choice out of the above would be Decidueye, though I have no idea how well-represented Volcanion is at big Juniors events. My second favorite would be Mega Mewtwo, but again, that depends on the kinds of decks I’m thinking we’ll see.



I think your list is a great start for Virginia regionals. Since there is too much variation in the junior meta, I suggest picking 2-3 of these decks and have Jack test them against the top 5-6 decks you would expect to face (including mirror matches). There are still a couple major standard events prior to Virginia so it’s probably too soon to make a final call. Based upon your testing, the deck you should pick will be the one Jack is most comfortable with and knows how to pilot properly versus the expected metagame. From there, go with consistency more vs teching too much for a specific matchup that he may not even play against. I would add Volcanion, Mega Ray and Decidueye Vileplume to the decks you want to at least test against and maybe eliminate Umbreon at this point since that deck hasn’t seen much success recently in juniors. Another deck that has seen recent success is Gardevoir Xerneas Dragons, which won Anaheim regionals (see decklist on Pokemon.com). There was a recent article on sixprizes written by Alex Hill on the junior and senior metagame that you may also find helpful. Hope this helps.


Hey, if you guys are in Arlington, I would be happy to bring my juniors (11 and 9) down to Northside Social one day and play a few games for fun and talk shop generally.

All of these decks, except for Umbreon (probably), are good decks that can compete with anything in the meta so they will generally be strong plays. I don’t think my sons have played the same deck twice at a tournament this year and I don’t think it is because the meta is shifting so rapidly.


I’d suggest having him stick to a deck he knows. Ask him if he is getting bored of Darkrai Dragons, and if so let him try out Mewtwo. I’d stick away from Tauros Decidueye and Eeveelutions.

Also, testing matchups (especially mirror) are extremely important. I believe it’s important to be skilled with a deck (even if it’s not the BDIF) and know all of its matchups in an out. This is a better strategy to winning a tournament than picking up the BDIF and playing it with little experience.


Sorry for the delay in my response. Work’s been killer lately. I’d love to get together before the regional. We’re in Florida for Spring Break next week, so perhaps we could do something the weekend after Easter (April 22-23)? Let me know.


I have heard Juniors don’t like playing decidueye plume from some juniors parents, thats basically all I know of the meta but if thats any help - I wouldn’t expect too much of it in Juniors


That is true I have tried to show a few juniors how to play decidueye plume and the main factor is they dont like itemlocking themselves. And with some juniors they dont like that the decidueyes only do 20 dmg


Since I’m a pokeparent, I’ll drop my two cents on Deciplume for juniors. For younger juniors, yes it’s not the best deck for them as they have a hard time with item locking themselves and damage output. For older juniors, this isn’t much of an issue, it’s more of oops forgot to feather arrow that turn. If you expect any deciplume at all expect it from any of top 16 juniors.


I’m fresh out of juniors and I can tell you, they hate playing plume as they often are playing for the fun of it, and DV Is not fun to play, as it has almost the same strategy every game and locks both of you out of items.


Pokeparent here, with one kid that has now aged up to Seniors (and does Youtubing for Pokemon kids at Pokekid) and another still in Juniors, plenty of Worlds and Nats and Regionals in our history.

If this is really his first big regionals then a HUGE consideration is how long the day is going to be. My best advice is keep it simple, keep it consistent, and keep to something you know. Also set expectations accordingly – for my son when it was his first Regionals five years ago even though he had already won a lot locally I set a goal with him of trying to get 3 wins. He scoffed at the time, but after a couple of rounds it turned out to be very helpful for him to have that mark. We set a goal the next Regionals of four wins, and so on.

Darkrai Dragons is my recommendation, mostly because its solid and your kid knows it. Keeping your kid on the same deck the first season is so helpful to getting real success. WAY more than the edge from metagaming.

If bored, which happens, then T Dark or M Mewtwo, given the choices should match up fine. Oh, and make sure you play some with Brent he’ll do you right.


Your son’s Pokekid? I’ve watched his videos before. They’re great, and I respect him as another Senior/Junior age player also making YT videos.


Yes that deck is very well rounded. And I have seen your sons videos.


Shoot me an email and we will try to lock it down. We have soccer and basketball tournament this coming weekend so tricky. bhalliburton at gmail.


Have him play a deck he is comfortable with.

Also have him play test the heck out of it. Make sure there are choices he makes himself. Tech cards he likes. Have him make the decision.

With my son we often talk through a couple decks and cards he likes in them. We look through some lists and talk about which cards he likes and which he doesn’t

Most of all have him play something he will have fun with.


Really play something that’s fun, as you can always adapt for a certain meta. Play something consistent that has a similar strat for every MU, as you need that easy-to-play factor so if he sees a deck that was unexpected (you see a lot of those in juniors with all the random decks they play) he can adapt. It really depends on a) expierience like how good is he, or b) how well does he know the meta there and how he will play around that.


Awesome, yeah he really enjoys it. Thanks for watching! :slight_smile:


Should we try to practice tomorrow? Email or FB message me.