Decks to Expect at Nationals, Worlds and Beyond

There are many decks that could be played at Nationals and Worlds this year and I’d like to explain a little about what each deck does, why it’s good, if you should expect to see it and possible ways to tech against it. This will be an in-depth article into a number of decks, so stick with me.

pokemon-paradijs.comFirst off, there’s Beedrill and it’s variants, which include Speedrill and Luxdrill. This deck was made very popular when Florida native Stephen Silvestro competed and won in the Masters Division of Worlds last year. Speedrill focuses on swarming Beedrill into play, then using Beedrill GE’s “Band Attack”, which for one grass energy, does 30 damage for every Beedrill you have in play.

Typically, you will be doing 90 for 1 grass energy, and at max 120 if you have all 4 Beedrill in play. This is a very powerful deck that, once it gets set up, is very hard to stop because it’s fast, very powerful and can swarm into play. Beedrill GE will usually be played with Beedrill RR because of “Flutter Wings”, which allows you to search your deck for 1 grass Pokémon each turn and add it to your hand. This adds a lot of speed to the deck and makes it much easier to swarm Beedrill into play once you get set up.

The other variant of Beedrill is called Luxdrill, which uses the same power and swarm tactics as Speedrill, but also uses Luxray GL LV.X.

There are a couple of ways to either beat, or greatly slow down Beedrill. If you would like to defeat them with just regular attacks, adding in a fire Pokémon such as Infernape 4 LV.X or Blaziken FB LV.X. Another great tactic to use against Beedrill variants is to stop them from setting up. In order to do this, you want to take out their Claydol GE as soon as possible, because nearly every Beedrill deck uses a 2-2 line or more of Claydol because it’s essential for them to set up.

You can expect to see a few Beedrill decks and Nationals and Worlds, but I don’t think it will be to popular this year.

The next decks I’m going to talk about is Flygon variants.

pokemon-paradijs.comThe two most popular versions of Flygon are decks that use Flygon LV.X to run your opponent out of cards and FlyChamp, which uses Machamp SF.

Flygon RR is a powerful stage two Pokémon that has two very useful effects. The first is “Sand Wall”, which for two colorless, does 40 damage. However, if your opponent has a stadium in play, it is discarded and all effects, including damage, done to Flygon next turn are negated. This attack not only gets rid of stadiums that your opponent may need to make their deck run smoothly, but also protects him for a turn.

Flygon’s second attack is “Power Swing”, which for 3 C energies does 60 damage plus 10 more damage for each evolved Pokémon on your bench. Machamp SF also has three very useful attacks. The first, and perhaps most important attack, “Take Out”, does 40 damage for 1 fighting, but if the defending Pokémon is a non-evolved Pokémon, it’s Knocked Out instead.

pokemon-paradijs.comThis deck is a very powerful counter to SP decks, because of Machamp’s “Take Out” attack and the fact that Flygon can 1HKO Garchomp C LV.X, as well as having a resistance to Luxray GL LV.X.

FlyChamp’s first focus is, if possible, the donk. This deck’s biggest way to get the donk is to get a Machop into the Active Spot, play Rare Candy to turn it into Machamp SF, attach a fighting energy and know out their Pokémon. If you aren’t able to get the donk, this deck is still a very powerful deck type that is still viable in this environment.

If you choose to run a straight Flygon deck, the usual strategy is to get Flygon LV.X into the Active Spot, lock a card such as Claydol or another high Retreat Cost Pokémon and destroy your opponent’s deck via it’s Poké-Body “Wind Erosion”, which discards 1 card from the top of your opponent’s deck between turns.

The deck that would need to tech in the most counters for Flygon and FlyChamp are SP decks. Some cards that work as great techs include Uxie LV.X along with Lucario GL, Toxicroak G along with Lucario GL and Skuntank G . Other techs that can be used include Unown G against Machamp and Ditto against Flygon.

I expect this deck to make a good showing a Nationals and a fair showing at worlds as well.

The next deck is Jumpluff and Luxpluff.

Jumpluff HGSS is 90 HP stage 2 grass Pokémon. It has a very powerful attack in the form of “Mass Attack”, which does 10 damage times the number of Pokémon in play. This deck is very similar to Speedrill, in the fact that it swarms Pokémon into play and uses a cheap, but powerful attack. In addition, due to Jumpluff’s cheap attacks, it usually allows this deck to play a low energy count, which adds speed to the deck.

In order for this deck to be successful, you must be able to ensure that you have a full bench, along with at least 1 Jumpluff in play very quickly during each game, which usually means that the deck will run a minimum of a 2-2 Claydol line. This deck also has the possibility of a donk factor as well due to Jumpluff’s speed.

Some decks will also add in Luxray GL LV.X, due to it’s “Bright Look” Poké-Power.

In order to counter this deck, you will want to try to take out their Claydol GE, keep an eye on how much Pokémon are on your bench and/or tech in Pokémon such as Infernape 4 LV.X or Blaziken FB LV.X.

I expect this deck to have a big showing for worlds, with an even larger showing for Nationals.

pokemon-paradijs.comDecks based around Gengar SF are very powerful decks that if you’re not prepared for, will have you running for cover. Gengar SF is a stage 2, 110 HP psychic Pokémon with a very powerful Poké-Power, as well as two great attacks.

The first is “Shadow Room”, which allows you to easily snipe popular cards such as Uxie, Azelf, Mesprit and Claydol with the help of Crobat G. The second is “Poltergeist”, which for 1 psychic and 1 C energy does 30 damage times the number of Trainers, Supporters and Stadiums your opponent has in their hand.

Gengar SF is very powerful against decks that use powerful Stage 2 Pokémon that have a hard time setting up because of it’s “Fainting Spell” Poké-Power, which states that when he’s Knocked Out due to damage by an opponent’s attack, flip a coin. If heads, Knock Out the attacking Pokémon. In addition, it is good against Flygon and Garchomp C LV.X because of it’s -20 resistance to Colorless Pokémon.

Gengar is often put together with Nidoqueen RR due to it’s “Maternal Comfort” Poké-Body, which removes 1 damage counter from each of your Pokémon between turns. This made it very difficult to counter Gengar with cards such as Crobat G, as well as keeping your Pokémon healthy.

The most common way to counter Gengar is to use Unown G, which will make the Pokémon immune to “Fainting Spell”. Another way is to use Uxie SF to beat Gengar.

I believe that Gengar will see a good amount of play during Worlds and Nationals.

The next deck type will be SP and it’s many variants.

There are many variants of SP. However, most of them use Luxray, Garchomp, Infernape, and/or Palkia G.

pokemon-paradijs.comLuxray GL LV.X is perhaps the most powerful of all SP LV.X’s because it has a powerful attack that does 60 damage with 1 L Energy and an Energy Gain. The other reason is it’s “Bright Look” Poké-Power, which allows you to switch the defending Pokémon with one on your opponent’s bench of your choosing.

Garchomp C LV.X is a colorless, 100 HP Pokémon with a powerful attack and Poké-Power. It’s Poké-Power, “Healing Breath” allows you to remove all damage counters from all of your Pokémon SP. This is very useful late in the game, when you have many damaged Pokémon SP in play. It’s attack, “Dragon Rush”, for 2 colorless and an Energy Gain allows you to discard two energy attached to it to do 80 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon. However, you cannot use this attack next turn.

Infernape 4 LV.X is a fire type Pokémon with an attack and a Poké-Power. It’s attack does 100 damage for 2 fire energy and an Energy Gain, but you must discard 2 energy attached to it. It’s Poké-Power allows you to, once during your turn, force your opponent to switch their active Pokémon with a bench Pokémon of their choosing.

Lastly, Palkia G LV.X is mostly used in a deck type known as Palkia Lock because due to it’s Poké-Power, “Lost Cyclone”, you can remove all unnecessary Mesprit, Uxie and Azelf on your bench from the game while at the same time being a great counter to Jumpluff and perhaps even Speedrill.

Most SP decks are run with the Team Galactic’s Invention Cards. TGI Energy Gain is attached to an Pokémon SP of your choosing, which causes all of it’s attacks to cost 1 colorless less. TGI SP Radar forces you to shuffle 1 card in from your hand into your deck, but then you can search your deck for any Pokémon SP and add it to your hand. TGI Power Spray can be played during your opponent’s turn to negate a Poké-Power if you have 3 or more Pokémon SP in play and TGI Poké’ Turn allows you to return 1 in play Pokémon SP and all cards attached to it to your hand. They are usually run with Cyprus’s Conspiracy.

There are a number of cards that counter Pokémon SP. Some of these include Mewtwo LV.X, Mankey SF, Relicanth SV, Toxicroak G Promo, Ambipom G and Machamp SF.

I believe that SP decks will have another strong showing this year at both Nationals and Worlds.

pokemon-paradijs.comDonphan(Prime) HGSS is a very powerful Pokémon that has is very fast.

Donphan is a stage 1 Pokémon with an staggering 120 HP. It’s first attack, “Earthquake”, does a remarkable 60 damage for 1 fighting energy, with the side effect of doing 10 damage to each Pokémon on your bench. It’s second attack, “Heavy Impact” does 90 damage for 3 fighting energies. Donphan also has the Poké-Body “Exoskeleton” which reduces all damage done to him by 20.

Many people have tried to run him with things such as Mesprit and Flygon, but probably the two best ways to run him are alone or with Machamp SF. If you run him alone, with very few support techs, such as Unown G and Azelf, you will have a much greater chance to get a Phanpy start, and also the donk.

If you run it with a Machamp SF line, you will still have a good chance for the donk and you won’t have to run multiple energy types. This deck is very good against most SP decks, especially ones with Luxray GL LV.X because Donphan is fast, powerful, Luxray GL LV.X’s weakness and has a resistance to lightning and it’s Poké-Body makes it a very hard to beat for Garchomp C LV.X. However, straight Donphan has a tough time against Gyarados and Kingdra if they manage to set up.

I think this deck will see a lot of play at Nationals and Worlds as a straight Donphan, MaPhan and as a tech in many decks such as SP.

Other Decks

A few other decks that I think we’ll see at Nationals and Worlds.

Gyarados is a very good and fast choice for worlds. I am sure it will see a fair amount of play.

Kingdra has always been a good deck, but with the release of Kingdra(Prime), I think this deck will do very well and see a huge amount of play in both Nationals and Worlds.

Secret Florida Deck is perhaps the most talked about deck and I think it’ll see a huge amount of play due to the fact that Stephen Silvestro was seen playing it at Florida States, but only about 10% of them will make it very far due to many players just trying to play copycat decks, without really knowing how to use it.

I’m sure that there are many other decks out there, but I just wanted to give you a rundown of what I think will be the majority of decks played at Nationals and Worlds. Feel Free to discuss my picks.

Reader Interactions

32 replies

  1. Sledd

    The Secret Florida deck is a deck that was used by Curry and Silvestro. It took two of the top 4 spots at Florida States, and topped other States as well. They never released an official deck list, but people suspect it plays like Sablock, but uses Cyrus's Initative along with Giratina for massive disruption.

  2. Versilaryan

    I was under the impression that the Secret Florida Deck /was/ Sablelock. >.>

  3. Sledd

    Part of the reason it's called the Secret Florida deck is because very few people actually know exactly what it is. From information of the people who have played against the SFD, they see some of the cards that are played in the deck, so people believe that it something like a Sablock deck.

  4. Thomas Djerf

    unown g wont save you from fainting spell as it is a pokepower. Also a tech I think you should have mentioned for beedrill as well as other low energy decks is mr. mime

  5. Thanos Prokopidis

    Well, I'm not from the US so I don't know your metagame that well, but I'd expect to see a lot more G&G and CurseGar than Speedrill or FlyChamp. Plus, I believe Sableye-Honchkrow-Garchomp/Super-Secret-Deck-Made-In-Florida's-Laboratories/whatever you call it will be one of the top 3 decks along with LuxChomp and Jumpluff. But that's just me.

    Also, I don't really see how Infernape 4 X and especially Blaziken FB X are Jumpluff counters. Yes, they OHKO Jumpluff but Jumpluff OHKOs back. Jumpluff can recover in one turn via BTS/Rare Candy while the SPs needs two turns, being Lv.X's. In the long run, a battle between Jumpluff and those X's will end in Jumpluff's favor. Imo, even if it's a pain to set and won't see a lot of play, Entei-Raikou Legend is by far the closest card to a 100% Jumpluff counter. Not only does it kill any Claydol, Uxie, Azelf and Crobat G in the field ruining Jumpluff's recovery, but it also reduces its damage output by KOing multiple Pokémon in one hit. And even more importantly, a fully charged, Expert Belt'd Mass Attack fails to OHKO it. Too bad it's a Legend…

  6. Andrew Wieman

    Beedrill? Flychamp? For a moment I thought this article was posted a year too late. Beedrill hasn't shown up since Fall BR's and Flygon has lost a step due to the emergence of Garchomp.

    Also, the secret Florida deck is a Sablelock variant. That has been known for a while now.

  7. Sledd

    Beedrill still sees play at Regionals, BR and States, so odds are it will see play at worlds as well. In addition, Flychamp is still popular as well in said events. The secret florida deck does indeed use the usual Sableye, Garchomp, etc. However, it does play differently because it uses a lot more disruption.

  8. Sledd

    IMO, I think that Infernape and Blaziken are good Jumpluff counters because, Yes they can OHKO Jumpluff, but if you can keep your bench below 4, not factoring in Crobat G's, they can't OHKO you, which can let you Poke Turnt he damaged Infernape or Blaziken, and yet you just killed a Jumpluff. Also, I didn't include Enei-Raikou, along with other counters, because my aim wasn't to include every single counter in the Pokemon TCG, just a few.

  9. Sledd

    Yeah, Mr. Mime MT is a good counter to those decks. I forgot about that one.

  10. Marcel Mravec

    “Garchomp C Lv.X is a colorless, 100 HP Pokemon”
    Besides that, it is nice article. Thank you.

  11. Karol Nowak

    Well, certainly this is surprising. We see some older decks having potential in nats, including Speedrill and Flychamp. They aren't bad decks now, as I actually think they still have potential. It is also good to mention how Gengar SF will still be played in nats. After all, Gengar SF is also a good deck still, and of course, Luxchomp will see play. Gyarados, Kingdra, and Sablelock, will also see play. Well, you certainly did mention some decks that will see nats play that's for sure, but the only decks that seemed missing were Luxpluff and Cursegar.

    Regardless, this was a very well written and incredible report. You really did a great job writing it. I hope to see you at nats.

  12. Sledd

    No, I won't be at Nats this year. Anyways, thanks for the comment. Also, isn't Luxpluff under Jumpluff and it's types? Gengar SF is still a good deck, it sees play on it's own, as well as combo'd with Kingdra(Prime). Cursegar, I didn't add because, as far as I know, it didn't have a huge showing at Nats or Worlds last year, so I think it will see little play this year.

  13. Sledd

    Also, another reason they're good counters is because many decks that would tech in Infernape or Blaziken play either Garchomp or Luxray, so you can get rid of their claydol or in some cases Sunkern(I think that's what it's called) early so they can't recover as fast.

  14. Sledd

    What about it? Beedrill, as far as I know, didn't see a huge amount of play at Nats or Worlds last year, but when he won and made Beedrill so popular, it saw a huge amount of play for a very short amount of time. After that time, however, a lot of people gave up on Beedrill in favor of Sablock, etc. I do think that you will see a few Beedrill decks at both events.

  15. Tony

    We are on our way right now to Nationals from Lancaster pa. Thanks for the good analysis.

  16. Sledd

    No problem, glad you liked it. Just wanted to give players a little insight on some of the big decks out there.

  17. Kenny Hood

    Everyone runs Uxie, so if you gotta, Uxie KO a Gengar and send the Uxie to the bottom of your deck.

  18. mewuk85

    Luxray Gl. Lvx who ever invented that card should receive pokemon Nobel Prize. lol……………………… I mean think about it deck strategy is scientific. ha ha

  19. mewuk85

    Luxray Gl. Lvx who ever invented that card should receive pokemon Nobel Prize. lol……………………… I mean think about it deck strategy is scientific. ha ha

  20. Donnell Severtson

    Im not good with computer just learning can someone please tell me which button to press so i can reply back. Long term pot abuse has really played a number on my head. Week 3 has been really hard on me. I havent cried in so long and now i cant stop it and i feel quilty for my behavour. crying is really helping release my stress. The first two weeks was hard with wanting to use but this week is the opposite i dont want to go back to that stuff.

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