What’s Playable for Worlds?

pokebeach.comHello everyone! Today I’m going to be evaluating the top cut of Nationals to help you choose what to play for Worlds. I’ll be talking about playable options and give skeletons lists of each deck.

What’s playable? First things first, here is the list of options you have that are playable (not in any order):

  1. Reshiram variants
  2. Donphan/Zoroark/Yanmega
  3. Magnezone/Yanmega
  4. Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi

(There are more, but I think these are the “big four”.)


That does not mean you should play Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi with Magnezone though. If you look at the top cut progress, you will notice that the Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi with Magnezone decks all died out very quickly. They are just not consistent enough to keep playing at full potential throughout the whole tournament.

They were taken down by the faster Kingdra/Yanmega and Magnezone/Yanmega variants. Another thing you should not play is Magnezone/Emboar. The deck also has consistency problems, sometimes cannot stand up to the speed of Kingdra/Yanmega, and gets screwed over by Pokémon Reversal flips.

Reshiram Variants

pokebeach.comNow, let’s look at my list of playable options. First up is Reshiram variants. This includes Reshiram/Emboar and Typhlosion/Emboar. Typhlosion/Emboar or TyRam did just about as well as Reshiram/Emboar or ReshiBoar. The reason people think TyRam is better is just because more people played it, a lot more.

Through my testing, I have found ReshiBoar to be a lot better in the fire mirror, and it does just about as well against the rest of the decks. The reason people like TyRam better is because it allows you to make room for more Junk Arm, Pokémon Reversals, and PlusPowers by taking out a lot of the energy recovery cards.

I personally think TyRam is better because it’s a little more faster because the Ninetales already discards the Fires and you can put them right on a Pokémon. Whichever one you choose, make sure to use three or four PlusPower to score 1HKOs on Magnezones and Donphans.

ReshiBoar Skeleton – 48 Cards

Pokémon – 16

3 Reshiram BLW
2 Tepig BLW Promo
1 Pignite BLW #17
2 Emboar BLW #20
2 Vulpix HS/CL
2 Ninetales HS/CL
1/1 Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND
1 Shuckle BLW Promo

Trainers – 19

2 Energy Retrieval
2 Fisherman
2 Interviewer’s Questions
3 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Rare Candy
2 Super Scoop Up

Energy – 13

12 R
1 L

TyRam Skeleton – 45 Cards

Pokémon – 14

3 Reshiram BLW
2 Cyndaquil HS
1 Quilava HS
2 Typhlosion Prime
2 Vulpix UL
2 Ninetales HS/CL
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Tyrogue HS/CL

Trainers – 19

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

Energy – 12

10 R
2 Double Colorless


pokebeach.comNext on the list is Donphan/Zoroark/Yanmega, or Stage Ones. The top 32 at Nats saw Donphan/Yanmega with Reshiram and Zekrom, Donphan/Yanmega with Weavile, and Donphan/Yanmega with Zoroark; but the best one of these was Stage Ones.

It was the runner up deck to first place and made a decent amount of top cuts. I don’t like the other Donphan/Yanmegas because they didn’t pack Zoroark to take down Reshiram (which saw a lot of top cuts). If you run this deck, do not run Cleffa; run Manaphy.

You only run about 8 other basics and you do NOT want to open with just a 30 HP basic, which is also why Tyrogue is an awful play in this deck. Another reason not to use Tyrogue is that Phanpy has two Retreat Cost and you can’t just retreat into it for the donk.

Make sure you max Pokémon Reversals and Junk Arms and do not be afraid to run a lot of hand refresh cards. You can try a Reshiram in this deck (which I strongly suggest) to counter KYJ decks because Kingdra is in them and it can KO Donphans easily, but with Reshiram it only does a little bit.

Stage Ones Skeleton – 44 Cards

Pokémon – 15

2 Yanma TM
2 Yanmega Prime
2 Zorua BLW
2 Zoroark BLW
3 Phanpy CL
3 Donphan Prime
1 Manaphy UL

Trainers – 20

3 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
3 Junk Arm
3 PlusPower
2 Pokémon Reversal
3 Judge
2 Switch

Energy – 9

6 F
3 Double Colorless

Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi and Magnezone/Yanmega

I am going to combine the last two decks into one paragraph. They are both decks that performed very well and are just solid choices. I am not against playing either of them, but I do have some advice about these. Prepare your deck for the mirror.

You will see a lot of these decks and you need to be able to win against most of them to do well. A card that I think you need to test in the two decks is Black Belt. It allows you to get a 1HKO on a Yanmega with one of your own, and can get you out of some bad situations. Both decks are very consistent and very fast.

KYJ Skeleton – 43 Cards

Pokémon – 16

3 Yanma TM
3 Yanmega Prime
2 Horsea UL
1 Seadra UL
2 Kingdra Prime
1 Jirachi UL/CL
1 Bouffalant BLW #91
1 Elekid TM
1 Cleffa/Manaphy UL
1 Tyrogue HS/CL

Trainers – 20

3 Judge
3 Copycat
3 Pokémon Collector
3 Junk Arm
4 Pokémon Communication
2 Rare Candy
2 Pokémon Reversal

Energy – 7

3 P
2 W
2 Double Colorless

MegaJudge Skeleton – 45 Cards

Pokémon – 13

2 Magnemite TM
1 Magneton TM
2 Magnezone Prime
3 Yanma TM
3 Yanmega Prime
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
1 Cleffa/Manaphy UL

Trainers – 22

3 Pokémon Collector
3 Judge
3 Copycat
2 Rare Candy
2 Pokémon Reversal
4 Junk Arm
4 Pokémon Communication
1 Switch

Energy – 10

7 L
3 Rescue

Testing for Worlds

pokebeach.comI’ve talked about testing in lots of different articles, but testing for Worlds I’m going to stress the most. Remember, you’re going to be pitted against the number one players in the entire world. There will be people from the other side of the world playing against you. Don’t let this intimidate you though, just try your hardest and don’t let the little things get to you.

Now on to the testing… try to play five games a day. To some people this might seem like a ton, but you’re going to need to know your deck like the back of your hand. Play against every deck you own and even play with the decks you play your Worlds deck against.

It will help to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Play against lots of different players, some people have different playstyles and play a deck differently so be ready for that. Play on PlayTCG, Skype, and Redshark. You can play against foreign players on there so you know if they have a new deck idea or something similar. Happy testing!


I hope this helps you guys. Remember, don’t just stuff these cards I told you to test into your decks. Play a lot of games with various numbers of the cards until they feel exactly right. Good luck at Worlds everyone! Unfortunately I won’t be able to go. Good luck to everyone that’s going anyway!

Reader Interactions

22 replies

  1. Riccardo Maganza

    Pooka played just 1-1 Donphan in his Nats deck and heavier Yanmega lines.. I’d try that, too..

  2. samuel roach

    Man!! Why didn’t I think of this? Good article!! :)

  3. Ed Mandy

    The ReshiBoar Skeleton looks a bit weird to me.  As a “skeleton,” I’d think you’d want just the basics.

    Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND and Shuckle BLW Promo don’t seem to fit, especially without Energy Search or Seeker.  These are more tech cards (or at least personal preference cards) in my opinion.

    TheTyRam Skeleton has a Cleffa and a Tyrogue.  Why wouldn’t the ReshiBoar have them?

    You said, “Whichever one you choose, make sure to use three or four PlusPower to score OHKOs on Magnezones and Donphans.”  Then your ReshiBoar list, which immediately follows that statement, doesn’t include any PlusPowers.

    I’m not trying to be overly critical.  Really, I only looked at the “Reshiram Variants” part of the article so far.  I just focused on that, because I’ve been working with the deck lately.  I think the TyRam has been publicized (and rightly so) lately, so it’s easier to find a good skeleton for that.  ReshiBoar hasn’t had as much press lately.

    If you care, here’s my take on a straightforward (minimal tech) ReshiBoar.

    • tim h  → Ed

      Ninetales isn’t even needed in Emboar; I’ve found you can use shuckle and seeker to great effect if you’re not scared of Judge. But, there is no reason why Shuckle should be in a ‘skeleton’ list. I suggest taking him out.

      • Ed Mandy  → tim

        Yup, that’s what I was saying.  I can’t see Badboar, Shuckle, or RDL in a skeleton list.  I can see putting Ninetales or Cleffa in a skeleton, but if you want it to be a true skeleton, then Reshiram and the ability Emboar line are the only requirements.

  4. David Griggs

    I hate to have to give this one a dislike, but I disagree with a number of things in the article.

    I don’t like the lists given. For example, Shuckle should not be part of a skeleton, nor should RDL be part of ReshiBoar. Why is there only one Jirachi in a KYJ list? And why put Elekid or Bouffalant into a skeleton? Through extensive testing, Manaphy is not as good as Cleffa. I understand giving people options, but why list it on half the lists, but not the rest?

    Also, Zekrom has won two Nationals… Why is it entirely left out? I just think this is wrong information and the lists are not that good. Sorry.

  5. mashedpotato...

    I agree that these (along with T-tar) are the safest plays for Worlds. Well done, you’ve brought information scattered all over into one clear, concise article.

  6. draconash

    Sorry, but I have to give this one a dislike as well. A few of the decklists have some flaws, (ranging from minor to glaring–I’m looking at you ReshiBoar) and not all of your advice is completely sound. For example, while I personally hate the deck, I don’t think telling people that they just shouldn’t play or worry about MagneBoar is a good idea. Also, I feel Zekrom should at least have a mention. I don’t expect it to win or anything, but it is definitely a deck that will at least be seen at worlds. Not trying to bash the article, I just think the points are a little too biased (without a statement/warning of bias) and the decklists could have used more work.

  7. Joshua Pikka

    You forgot to mention that Worlds is the craziest metagame out there.  None of the meta decks will win unless they are changed a lot, like last year with the dialga g and warp energies. 

    Last year Steelix should have won, but it ran into Infernape 4.  Steelix came out of no-where and nobody runs Infernape 4.  You can’t script worlds, its a new metagame.  There will be weird stuff out there, proabably lake Wailord. 

    Worlds is about countering the metagame, its not a big tournament like Nationals, less emphasis is put on consistency.  We will see a lot of wierd decks doing well.

  8. Sergio Ortiz

    IMO reshiboar doesn’t need either ninetales nor shuckle, just keep it simple and it will outcome :)
    It was a good read, ty : )

  9. Emil lumen

    I guess no one read the article, saying that its just a skeleton. He even said to not stuff them all in your decks. 

    This article should not get negative votes, just cause people don’t like the list, there just ideas of making the deck.

    Put your own deck list up if you think yours is better.

  10. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Doesn’t really deserve a negative. Yeah, the lists are not optimal, but does it matter? This isn’t really a deck article, just a rough guide. People need to stop obsessing over lists. Funny how everyone can spot a bad list, but very few can make a good one.

    Zekrom did deserve a mention, and so did that Mew toolbox thing, but Pikkdogs is right about the Worlds meta being really weird. It’s basically fuelled by 5 days of rumours and paranoid gossip about secret decks and new techs.

  11. jordan richards

    nice love the analysis keep it up 
    check out legendpeice.blogspot.com

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