The Meta Trifecta

pokebeach.comNot so long ago, a new deck was all the buzz. ReshiBoar had hit the scene. The combination of the mighty white dragon and the giant man-bear pig formed together to create a deck that could dish out the damage with the speed of a blue hedgehog. It seemed as if this was our new top meta deck and many people were experiencing different feelings.

Many cried out “Yes, a fast powerful deck!” and began to build it as quickly as they could. Others worried about a counter and looked toward our favorite 4 armed friend Machamp and his elephant buddy Donphan.

Then came a new answer out of the sea, a deck that came from last format but never had the chance to shine until now. Riding on the shell of Blastoise, Floatzel and the giant turtle tank stood their ground and dared the Inferno Fandango duo to come at them.

Many players were quick to jump behind and support the fighters of the sea, including myself. We had a counter for the new meta it seemed.

Sadly, despite that rather… over exaggerated intro, it seems the parade of BlastWeasel is already coming to a quick halt. The Pig King Emboar saw a much more useful partner in the floating steel cyclops that is Magnezone Prime. As you may have seen in my Battle Roads Report where I ran the new water type menace, Magnezone was able to make short work of my deck and even hit my basic for 740 HP to add to the humiliation.

Your probably famaliar with Lost Burn by now but just in case let’s recap. Lost Burn runs for one Electric Energy and one Colorless. What it does is, you send as many Energy cards from your Pokémon as you want to Lost Zone, multiply the number sent by 50, and that’s how much damage you do.

Fill the deck with fire energy and Emboar can easily pile on damage for Magnezone to dish out. Meaning you can easily hit 100 for 2 ENERGY! Not many things could withstand that attack. Oh wait, your Reshiram can? Okay. For one more energy 150 is coming your way. Not fun, right?

Now you take Blastoise and consider his x2 weakness to Electric. An easy 2 energy knockout for 200.

So where does that leave us? Well:

  • Blastoise can beat ReshiBoar.
  • ReshiBoar can beat DonChamp if the set up is right and it can hit first.
  • MagneBoar can easily take out all 3 of the above.


Donphan seems to be the only current answer to the Lost Burn Crisis but even it might not be enough. MagneBoar has the speed advantage in terms of energy set up but running 2 Stage 3 Pokémon slows it down just enough if Donphan can hit quick. Which easily makes SpeedPhan a contender.

The basic list of DonChamp Skeletons usually look a bit like this.

Pokémon – 15 

3 Phanpy HS/CL
3 Donphan Prime
3 Machop TM
1 Machoke TM
3 Machamp Prime
2 Cleffa HS/CL

Trainers – 22 

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Pokémon Communication
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Professor Juniper
2 PlusPower
2 Pokémon Reversal
2 Junk Arm
3 Rare Candy

Energy – 12 

9 F
3 Double Colorless

The basic idea of the deck is a simple set up of 2 attacks that gets ready in a hurry to hit hard. I could go into detail but there’s other articles around here as of late that could explain the details better than I could.


Next up is BlastWeasel. Basically the idea is to set up Blastoise from UL and Floatzel from the same set.

Blastoise can snipe any Pokémon for 100 for WWCC, and the only cost is picking up the 2 Water energy back into your hand. Then next turn you put one back on Blastoise for turn, and use Floatzel’s Water Acceleration to attach an additional energy to him for the turn.

Blastoise then has “Wash Out”, which lets you move the energy to him, and then your all set to attack again! Rinse and repeat every turn. A simple idea that’s easy to set up. My personal decklist is below.

Pokémon – 21 

4 Cleffa HS/CL
4 Buizel UL
3 Floatzel UL
4 Squirtle UL
2 Wartortle UL
4 Blastoise UL

Trainers – 25 

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
3 Prof. Juniper
2 Prof. Elm’s Training Method
2 Prof. Oak’s New Theory
2 Copycat
4 Rare Candy
3 Switch
1 PlusPower

Energy -14 

10 W
4 Double Colorless

As I said before, this deck seemed to be the light facing the shadow that was ReshiBoar until Magnezone decided to rear its ugly head. Now I’m not so confident in running this at Nationals.


Lastly that brings us to ReshiBoar. The duo had seen a lot of fanfare upon its arrival but now seems a bit less than best compared to the power of Magnezone Prime, although in my eyes this deck still has speed over Magnezone.

Again, the idea, if you still don’t know, is to use Emboar to fuel Reshiram up with R Energy for heavy damage. The basic deck idea usually goes as follows:

Pokémon -17 

4 Reshiram BW
2 Tepig BW #15
2 Pignite BW #17
2 Emboar BW #20
2 Vulpix UL
2 Ninetales HS/CL
3 Stantler UL

Trainers -21 

3 Energy Retrieval
2 Flower Shop Lady
2 Rare Candy
2 Interviewer’s Questions
3 Pokémon Collector
2 Revive
3 Fisherman
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Professor Elm’s Training Method

Energy -18 

14 R
4 Double Colorless

You’ve seen the decks. You’ve seen the match ups. One question remains:

Which path will you choose?

I’m interested to hear what you all decide to run this year.

While these seem to be the top decks you’re likely to see in Indiana, don’t forget many players are always experimenting with new and quirky Rogue’s that might just get the jump on you!

Good luck at Nationals everyone. I hope you all do well. Even if we can’t all win, we’re trying our best, learning, and having fun. Feel free to say hello if you recognize me there. I’ll be playing in Masters. Hopefully I’ll see a lot of SixPrizes T-Shirts in the crowd.

Reader Interactions

36 replies

  1. Anonymous

    Blastoise can easily beat them all. Reversal up Emboar and KO it early an you have the game. With DonChamp, go for easy snipes

  2. Anonymous

    you forget what made blastweasel so famous. he can snipe. if you can prevent your opponent from getting out either emboar or magnezone then you have the game. agsint reshiboar keep ninetales/emboar out of scene. and finally against doncahmp prevent machamp form raering his stinky 4 armpits and donphan wont hurt you.

  3. n1ghtmare90

    i liked the article’s style 
    and im totally running magneboar, i got all my magnezones last format before it was expensive and good

  4. Sam Stevens

    “but running 2 Stage 3 Pokemon slows it down” ……. there is no stage 3…… but besides that good article, could have added the MagneBoar list but there is plenty of them floating around anyway

    • Derek Coontz  → Sam

      Uhg I knew something was wrong there. As long as I’ve been playing I still have a bad habit of calling them that due to it being the 3rd form… I’ve been playing the games way too long..

  5. tim h

    I was under the impression that Donchamp had at lease an even matchup with reshiboar?

  6. Steven Nilsen

    Sorry, I didn’t like it.   I guess we’re fishing at different ponds.

    The toughest decks I’ve played are Magneboar with legend, Lostgar and Donphan/Yanmega.

    A single card badly hurts all the decks you listed: lost remover.
    None of the decks I listed rely on special energy.

    • miguelvic23  → Steven

      you can clearly see 4 DCE in reshiboar but i wouldn’t say lost remover affects this deck because almost nobody runs DCE and they don’t help the strategy at all

  7. Mekkah

    Emboar decks using one of the big guns (Attack Emboar or RDL) will generally beat Donphan/Machamp, although Zoroark or Bouffalant can return the favor. But Zoroark in particular makes it worse versus other decks since it usually takes the place of some important TSS.

    The Reshiram list looks a little outdated/clunky. Interviewer’s Questions and Stantler are kind of bad and I would only recommend one Flower Shop Lady at most. Junk Arm, Pokémon Reversal and PlusPower help the deck so much against so many match-ups including Donphan that it seems a little criminal to leave out.

  8. tim h

    I agree with the reshiboar list not being great. You don’t even need 1 interviewers questions normally – use any other draw supporter and you’ll get at least one. You don’t need more than 1 (if 1) flower shop lady, because you can just use fisherman to get the energy back instead of the deck. Lastly, the lack of Juniper and Junk Arm (and RDL) make the list not applicable. Lastly, Stantler is bad (as mekkah said). I think Cleffa is the best starter for reshiboar by a wide margin. Some people will obviously disagree.

     Otherwise, although the article was pretty good…

    Though, I think it’s foolish to assume the three ‘meta’ decks are as you said. You didn’t mention Yanmega, Zekrom, Donphan – which are all major contenders; I doubt that Blastigatr is T1, and I still stand by the opinion that Reshiboar beats Blastigatr. Especially because at nationals and worlds we will see some people run zany decks, and then go ‘why didnt I think of that???’…

  9. AndrewV

    EVERYONE IS FORGETTING THE LAST TOP-TIER DECK!!! I guess it’s time to write another article

  10. Jonah Davids

    This article seemed rather rushed, and had a lot of filler type stuff.

    Maybe next time scrap the: “There once were 3 powerful decks, which will you choose?”

  11. Goodluckevan

    Regarding the Reshiboar list, it is completely beyond me why anyone would build an HGSS-on deck without a single copy of Pokemon Communication.  

  12. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    I don’t think Blastoise has a place in the ‘Meta Trifecta’. I don’t even think it beats Reshiboar.

    Without Reversals, you are 2HKOing Emboar. This, plus Reshiram’s ability to swarm gives Reshiboar plenty of time to KO Blastoises (which you can’t recover as the list has no FSL or Rescue Energy). If you decide to hit the Reshirams you are getting into a Prize exchange which is Basics vs Stage 2s, and that won’t go well.

    Basically all Blastoise decks have the same problems – lack of inherent drawpower and the fact that if you KO 2-3 Blastoise the deck just stalls out.

    • Anonymous  → Jak

      t3 i get a blastoise sniping. i can contiunally refresh hands due to high copycat/PONT counts. i can OHKO embaor with reverasals. i can lock your bench. beleive me. blastoise has a place in the meta trifecta.

  13. Aydan Aires

    How ’bout none of us assume what deck is the best and which decks beat out what. Different players have different styles. One more thing, none of us know which deck will come out on top, until Nationals has ended :)

    • Derek Coontz  → Aydan

      Of course variations are always a factor in any trading card game. But honestly when it comes down to it I do believe match ups play a significant role in the game. I of course was just stating what play testing has shown us is the usual outcome.

  14. David Wiken

    Your style of writing is interesting, but your decklists divulge you as a mediocre player… Keep on practicing though – a new format means a new start for everybody, regardless of earlier experience.

    Yeah, and ZPS is way better than BlastWeasel. Without silly techs like Samurott or Yanmega, ZPS promises to be one of the most consistent decks out there, featuring a t1 Zekrom approximatelyt 50% of the time. Alongside with 4 Reversals and 4 Junk Arm, you’ll be disrupting the opposing setup at an alarming rate. Had it not been for Donphan, this deck would simply have been too powerful. (At least post-catcher-release)

  15. Derek Coontz

    I know there’s a lot of hate on the Reshiboar list but do keep n mind it is only a skeleton… and I didn’t come up with it because I would never be caught dead running that deck lol. It was just the general list I recalled from when I used to look into it. Still no excuse. It was in my article.

  16. Frank Donovan

    Depending on what tops at US Nats, i’ll probably build an Anti-Zone deck. Yes i have a list, but Im not sharing at this time :D

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