Analysis of Four Popular Decks

pokemon-paradijs.comWith National Championships already over, the next tournament in line will be Grinders (the Last Chance Qualifier, for those without Worlds invites), and finally the World Championship itself.

Judging by the deck usage in the recent United States National Championships’s Master Division Top 128 cut, Luxchomp again showed it was a deck that always be played in very large numbers. Next in line for popularity would be Sablock, Plox, and Jumpluff. Other decks made a great showing including Cursegar, Dialgachomp, Donphan, variants, Garchomp SV, C, Gengar Queen, Gyarados, , Machamp, Palkia Lock, Shuppet Donk, and Tyranitar. A single Glistomb, Regigigas, Gechamp, Manectric/ERL, and the most original one out of all Top 128 cut, Sableye Lock with a Blaziken FB LV.X twist – dubbed as Chenlock (or if you like, Blaze Sablock).

For those who wanting to know the all Top 128 decks and who played them, here is a visual bracket: http://x.warnabrother.net/tc/tc.html

For those who wanting to know more about Chenlock (Blaze Sablock), here are two links to Jason Chen’s 2010 National Championships report.
Day 1: https://sixprizes.com/tournament-reports/jasons-nationals-2010-report-day-1/
Day 2: https://sixprizes.com/tournament-reports/jasons-nationals-2010-report-day-2/

A majority of the Luxchomp decks used a number of different techs for different reasons, mainly strong anti-SP counters, a Mewtwo counter or a quick win tech. A quick rundown of techs used were – Entei & Raikou LEGEND, Donphan Prime, Honchkrow SV, Mismagius SF, and Banette PT were the main techs seen in the tournament.

pokemon-paradijs.comSablock was seen in two main varieties – some ran as their main Mewtwo counter, and some ran the good old Giratina/SSU version. You may ask what’s the difference between the two variants? The truth is, Honchkrow SV can turn a number of bad matchups into favourable ones, especially against Mewtwo techs, Dialga G, Machamp, and anything that known to be tough to take down – all thanks to a damage output range from 30 at the lowest to 150 at the highest – depending on both yours and your opponent’s playing field.

Jumpluff on the other hand remained the same as always – reliant on consistency and speed, yet its low 90HP always feels fragile against certain decks.

Lastly, a number of Plox deck were ran with the standard tech options such as Dusknoir, , Mewtwo LV.X, Mespirit, Giratina, and Azelf LV.X – but a few of them have managed to fit in all 3 Level X forms of Azelf, Mespirit and Uxie in the same deck as well as itself. With a wide variety of techs to choose from, Plox is one strong candidate to think about.

Now time for decks and their deck lists!

~Luxchomp~

Ever since Battle Roads, Luxchomp has become a very powerful and popular deck with few bad matchups. This deck focuses heavily on Luxray GL LV.X, a very powerful and effective card which allows you to gust up a weak Pokémon for a quick kill, or allow its secondary partner Garchomp C LV.X to snipe around the gusted Pokémon causing your opponent to waste resources trying to switched out the trapped active.

pokemon-paradijs.comGarchomp C LV.X doesn’t only have an amazing 80 damage snipe, but also has an impressive healing power. Whenever your field is heavily damaged, a single Healing Breath could turn the tides, crippling your opponent’s odds of winning.

Luxray GL LV.X and Garchomp C LV.X are not the only core cards in the deck. There are a number of techs and options which the deck needs to manage well, especially against mirror matches, or bad matchups.

Keep in mind when testing the matchup, that not all Luxchomp lists are the same; some run different techs, slightly different trainer lineups, some do not run Entei & Raikou LEGEND, and some run only one Luxray GL LV.X – that player was probably only able to get ahold of one.

Here is a standard Luxchomp deck list:

Pokémon: 21
Luxray GL
Luxray GL LV.X
Garchomp C
Garchomp C LV.X
Ambipom G
Bronzong G
Lucario GL
1× Toxicroak G
Crobat G
2× Uxie
Uxie LV.X
1× Azelf
1× Entei&Raikou (Top)
1× Entei&Raikou (Bottom)
1× Unown Q
Trainers: 27
Cyrus’s Conspiracy
Poké Turn
Power Spray
Energy Gain
SP Radar
Roseanne’s Research
Pokémon Collector
Bebe’s Search
Aaron’s Collection
Night Maintenance
Luxury Ball
Pokémon Communication
Energy: 12
Call
Double Colorless
Lightning
Psychic

~Sablock~

pokemon-paradijs.comEver since States and Regionals, this new surprising deck made popular amongst many trainers all around the world created quite a stir at Nationals. The main concept of the deck is to donk with Sableye. If the deck can’t donk, its secondary strategy is hand disruption with Cyrus’s Initiative, Judge and Giratina’s Let Loose PokéPower.

There are two distinct deck lists that you could use, depending if you like to keep Giratina and flippy cards or instead a tech that turns a lot more matchups favorable. Some lists might opt to run Chatot G, less Crobats, omit Ambipom G, or even use a slightly different trainer lineup. Once again, like Luxchomp – the deck lists are often varied, a good portion of the cards being the player’s preference in how they would like to run the deck.

Here is a standard Sablock decklist with Giratina & Super Scoop Ups:

Pokémon: 20
4× Sableye
Garchomp C
Garchomp C LV.X
Honchkrow G
Ambipom G
1× Toxicroak G Promo
Crobat G
2× Uxie
Uxie LV.X
1× Giratina PT
1× Unown Q
Trainers: 29
Cyrus’s Conspiracy
Pokémon Collector
Cyrus’s Initiative
Judge
Aaron’s Collection
4× Pokéturn
Energy Gain
Power Spray
SP Radar
Super Scoop Up
Expert Belt
Energy: 11
4 Double Colorless
4 Special Darkness
2 Basic Dark Energy
1 Psychic

And here’s a list with Honchkrow SV tech:

Pokémon: 21
4× Sableye
Garchomp C
Garchomp C LV.X
Honchkrow G
Ambipom G
1× Toxicroak G Promo
Crobat G
2× Uxie
Uxie LV.X
1× Azelf
Murkrow SW
Honchkrow SV
1× Unown Q
Trainers: 28
Cyrus’s Conspiracy
Pokémon Collector
Cyrus’s Initiative
Judge
Aaron’s Collection
4× Pokéturn
Energy Gain
Power Spray
SP Radar
Bebe’s Search
Pokémon Communication
Energy: 11
4 Double Colorless
4 Special Darkness
2 Basic Dark Energy
1 Psychic

~Jumpluff~

Still as fast and as consistent as it ever was, but like every deck, it has some flaws. The main strategy for Jumpluff decks is to set up a Jumpluff on the very first turn and try to take six prizes in 6 turns by keeping a steady swarm of Jumpluff. Some lists run Mespirit LA and Azelf MT to deal with matchup issues, and some just run classic tech choices such as Chatot MD and Regice LA.

Here is a really no-frills Jumpluff list. In case you may want to know what’s the best to take out for Mespirit LA and Azelf MT tech, switch out Chatot MD for Azelf MT and/or Regice LA for Mespirit LA.

Pokémon: 26
Hoppip HS
2× Skiploom SW
Jumpluff HS
Baltoy GE
Claydol GE
Luxray GL LV.X
Luxray GL
Crobat G
Uxie LA
Azelf LA
1× Unown Q
Chatot MD
Regice LA
Trainers: 28
Roseanne’s Research
Pokémon Collector
Bebe’s Search
Pokémon Communication
Broken Time-Space
Rare Candy
4× PokéTurn
Luxury Ball
Night Maintenance
Expert Belt
Warp Point
Energies: 6
Grass
Multi

~Plox~

pokemon-paradijs.comNow in its third season, Plox is still going strong. Once an overpowering deck when Double Rainbow Energy and Scramble Energy were legal, Power Lock is not quite as deadly but is still difficult for most decks to deal with in this format. With the aid of Gardevoir’s Telepass, it can set up, disrupt and lock down your opponent from as early as Turn two.

Sometimes a Psychic Lock may not be fast or strong enough but hey – there’s always techs to make it better, such as Mespirit LA and Giratina PT. Stage two techs including Dusknoir DP and Nidoqueen RR may be used to give the deck power mid to late game. As I stated earlier in the article, AMU have been became more popular amongst Plox just to handle matchups better – with the aid of all three Level X’s of Azelf, Mespirit and Uxie!

Right now, here’s a list of Plox AMU (at this time of writing, untested).

Pokémon: 21
4× Ralts PT
Kirlia SW
Gardevoir SW
Gardevoir LV.X
Gallade SW
2× Mespirit LA
1× Mespirit LV.X
Azelf LA
Azelf MT
Azelf LV.X
Uxie LA
Uxie LV.X
1× Unown Q
Trainers: 28
Pokémon Communication
Roseanne’s Research
Pokémon Collector
Judge
Rare Candy
Warp Point
Moonlight Stadium
Expert Belt
Bebe’s Search
Night Maintenance
Super Scoop Up
Energies: 11
7 Psychic
4 Double Colorless

Or if you prefer a more classic Plox feel, that’s the decklist:

Pokémon: 27
Spiritomb AR
4× Ralts PT
Kirlia SW
Gardevoir SW
Gardevoir LV.X
Gallade SW
Baltoy GE
Claydol GE
1× Duskull SH2
Dusknoir DP
Mewtwo MD
Mewtwo LV.X
Azelf LA
Azelf LV.X
1× Mespirit LA
Uxie LA
1× Unown Q
Trainers: 20
Pokémon Communication
Roseanne’s Research
Pokémon Collector
Judge
Rare Candy
Warp Point
Moonlight Stadium
Expert Belt
Bebe’s Search
Night Maintenance
Luxury Ball
Energies: 13
5 Psychic
4 Call
4 Double Colorless

~Conclusion~

With Grinders and Worlds coming around the corner (less than 7 weeks away), playtesting and choosing the right deck will be very important as well as knowing all of your matchups – especially against the top decks as well as a number of expected decks, such as Cursegar, Donphan, Gyarados, Kingdra, Shuppet, Tyranitar, etc.

Stay tuned for another article soon about more decks!

Reader Interactions

39 replies

  1. Tweed Moore

    quick correction: Sable-lock abuses Cyrus Initiative not Cyrus Conspiracy.

  2. Adam Capriola

    I got it for you, no worries. I missed that mistake too. :P Once an
    article is published it can't be edited by anyone except me.

    Seriously real nice job with this article though, this should be a very
    informative read for a lot of people.

    Lists seem good except I think you need to play some VS Seekers in Luxchomp
    and Sablelock.

    But again, great article Jason. :)

  3. Karol Nowak

    OK, I have to admit, this has to be one of the best articles to appear on Six Prizes to date. Very well-written and detailed article! You managed to show what is really good right now. You even managed to give some very good lists for some of the most popular decks right now. This article will help many people on what decks they should watch out for. This article will also help people give the proper lists for those that want to run a popular deck, and an article like this will be a humongous help for people who will be going to worlds.

    Yep, this was an incredibly well written article! Very good job writing it! I really did enjoy reading this article very much.

  4. Jason Windham

    *sigh* Why I can't edit it… Hmmm, you might need to fix the permissions in the WP-admin for the usergroups…

  5. Jason Chen

    Haha thanks for the mention. Though I think the Regigigas/Abomasnow deck that beat Ian was more original ;)

  6. Kenny Phan

    Great article indeed. Gave good insight on the decks to watch out for the time being. Gave a solid decklist and insight on the strategies behind it. I've been wanting to ask this question for awhile, but no one has answered it yet;but here goes. I understand why people run Cyrus's Initiative, but it's so flippy. Is it really necessary to run it?? I know it's really golden when it hits twice, prty good if it hits once, but a total drag if you whiff. I come from using cards that have 100% effects, but since I'm new to this game, I wonder if chances is really everything??

  7. Adam Capriola

    Yeah it's necessary for Sablelock. If you can get rid of someone's key
    supporter in hand (Cyrus's Conspiracy for example) then they will be
    severely hindered in terms of set up and you can capitalize big time.

    Missing those flips can swing the game in the other direction, but it's
    something that deck needs to go for. It's too good when you get 1 or 2
    heads.

  8. Theman

    About us should say about you. where are the life achievements like school jobs family your wasting your life doing shit for nothing trying to make money off pokemon some one else's achievement, HA HA WHA HA HA.
    Fake Achievements:

    •3 Time World Championship Qualifier (2004-2006)
    •Top 32 Worlds 2004
    •Top 40 Worlds 2005, 2006
    •Integral part in developing “Queendom” deck which placed 1st and 3rd at Worlds 2005
    •Top 16 U.S.A. Nationals 2007
    •Top 32 U.S.A. Nationals 2008
    •4th Place Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship 2006, 2007
    •4th Place East Coast Stadium Challenge 2004
    •1st Place DE Gym Challenge 2005
    •1st Place PA Gym Challenge 2006
    •1st Place DE State Championship 2005
    •2nd Place DE State Championship 2008
    •Multiple 1st Place City Championships
    •Multiple 1st Place Battle Roads
    •1st Place Super Battle Zone 2003
    •Created and helped develop numerous decks and strategies (Fossil/Great Ball engine, MeTro, Queendom, etc…)

    This is soume sorry scores ha ha WHA ha ha.

  9. Robert1

    Why dont you all focus on new format worlds is already won we all know who is gonna take the 6prizes. SABLEYE, KINGDRA, LUXRAY. Dont hate………..

  10. Robert1

    VS Seeker is not need it just takes up space, knowing that sp decks that relies on supporters but if you play your cards rite you wont need to gain a supporter. “SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE CHAMPION” But pokemon is all personal opinion.

  11. Adam Capriola

    VS Seeker is essentially an extra Cyrus's Conspiracy…if you get Judged after playing your first Cyrus and don't have VS Seeker, you only have 3 left in the deck and will have unfavorable odds to draw into one of them.

  12. Anthony Desiata

    you needed mewtwo and you had nats my friend i tried to tell you.

  13. Robert1

    so how would you tech that take out a SSU and add vs seeker?

  14. Chris Barrieau

    Seriously what's the point of posting shit like this?

  15. Garrett Williamson

    I actually dont like using procroak in my luxchomp. In my last battle roads started with it once and just used its power to pick it up. I like using weavile g instead

  16. Anthony Vyse Smith

    Jason's Ambipom is amazing.

    lol ;9

    EDIT: No but seriously, this was a cool read. Good work Jason :)
    This guy has each of these decks made and ready to play at a moment's notice.

  17. Jason Windham

    Haha thanks man. It does take some bit of skill how to make sure a Garchomp C won't be ami-raped. xD

    Btw also thanks for great games at league yesterday man!

  18. Jason Windham

    It is a Promocroak. Anyone who have the common sense knows it's the promocroak. Whoever thinks of running a Purplecroak in Luxchomp without stadiums is retarded.

  19. Jason Chen

    Whoa chill out, I love Promocroak and use it all the time, but I know a lot of good players who don't run it, and they have their reasons for that too.

  20. Karol Nowak

    Your welcome, and I can't wait to see your article for next week.

  21. Collan Baker

    I think if most people had the choice they would play a 5th Cyrus…which is exactly what vs seeker lets you do.

  22. Ed Mandy

    Very nice article, and nice lists! It's great to see posts like this. Unfortunately for most, this info is late. For those going to worlds, the info should be known. For those that aren't, the rotation already looms. The main use here is for those that will attend the grinders (LCQs) and maybe for anyone that may be playing in small local tourneys or leagues, but it's good info nonetheless. Thanks!

  23. Karol Nowak

    Yeah, I agree with what most people are saying about VS Seeker. I run one in Luxchomp, and it often helps whenever I want to continue using a Cyrus chain.

    Well, I'm not sure if you can fit one in here, but VS Seeker, in my opinion, is still a nice card. If there was room, I'd put one at the very least least.

  24. Tommy Le

    I know this is pretty late, but it kept bothering me since i play sablelock, but on your sablelock (giratina/ssu) variation, the t/s/s has 30 cards not 29 which means you have 61 cards in there.

  25. mewuk85

    WINDHAM………….. ok 1st the way you talk is very inappropriate especially for a site that children are present…………..and your “RETRADED” word for people that have no common sense. some people don’t know how to play yet, and might get mixed up…..Your in put was lack of better knowledge…………MY PEACE SAID.

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