Manhandling the Metagame with Yanmega/Magnezone

wayfaring.infoHey everybody, this is Aziz Al-Yami from New York City! This is my first article for 6P, so I figured I’d introduce myself.

I’ve been playing the Pokémon TCG (and formerly, video game) competitively for nearly a decade. Through the game, I’ve met lifelong friends, developed numerous life skills, and had fantastic experiences. If it wasn’t for the first-class community that this game has, I would not still be playing today.

As a writer, I intend to give back to this community to the fullest extent that I can. I believe that as Underground members, you are all entitled to all of the knowledge possessed by 6P writers. Hence, I’m not going to hold anything back in any of my articles.

I plan on revealing every tech I ever happen to test or consider, as well as every decklist I experience success with, even if doing so decreases my chances of winning tournaments.

To establish some credibility for myself, here are some of my accomplishments at Nationals/Worlds:

  • 2004-2005 (Senior Division): Worlds Competitor
  • 2007-2008 (Senior Division): 3rd at US Nationals, 5th at Worlds
  • 2008-2009 (Senior Division): 22nd at US Nationals, LCQ Survivor, Worlds Competitor
  • 2009-2010 (Masters Division): LCQ Survivor, 18th at Worlds

I started off strong during the 2010-2011 (Masters Division) season, winning 3 City Championships and going into States with a ~1790 Play! Pokémon rating. Unfortunately, subpar luck at larger events such as Regionals and Nationals limited my rating to 1802; short of a Worlds invite.

I’m beginning with an article about Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime because I feel that there are many common errors being made in most decklists. There also seems to be an enigma surrounding the I ran at US Nationals that I plan on unmasking. Without further ado…

My US Nationals testing began during the Battle Roads/Sabledonk era that I rightfully chose not to participate in. I simply assumed a midseason rotation would occur as it would be the only way to have a healthy metagame for Nationals, and so all games that I played were HS-on.

Initially, I was given the choice of either MagneBoar, the supposed BDIF, and DonChamp, the supposed runner-up. I despised both of these decks for various reasons, and figured it would be a rough Nationals if I had to choose between them.

While both decks had powerful late games, they were extremely vulnerable to Judge, as well as Pokémon Reversal/Junk Arm, which I correctly predicted would all be prevalent cards in the format. I knew from the get-go that Stage 1 decks would be superior to their Stage 2 counterparts this time around.

Weeks go by, and I along with many others have long since acknowledged Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime as the best deck in the format. My testing group had been pushing the deck to its limits, coming up with techs such as Kingdra Prime long before they were common knowledge.

Needless to say, we were extremely disappointed when we saw a Yanmega variant 7-0 Canada Nationals’ Swiss rounds. We weren’t surprised in the least bit; we knew how potent the deck was. We were just disappointed to see all of our hard work slip away.

With only one week to turn the tide back in our favor, we made several final tweaks that managed to remain unique to our lists come US Nationals. We tried our hardest to formulate a list different from any other Yanmega/Magnezone, as we did not want Nationals to be a series of 50-50 mirror matches entirely dependent on luck.

We tested and considered all of the following cards in an attempt to have positive matchups versus the entire format, without sacrificing consistency.

List of Potential Techs

Absol Prime

pokegym.netTyphlosion/Reshiram is Yanmega/Magnezone’s closest matchup. Not only does it have a stage 1 draw engine in Ninetales (far more difficult to disrupt than Magnezone, a stage 2), it is able to consistently produce Reshirams by recycling its discarded Fire energies.

Absol Prime is a powerful response to this deck. By placing 20 damage on beefy, 60 HP Cyndaquils, Absol Prime allows you to Linear Attack the heart of Typhlosion/Reshiram by turn 2. This is much better than relying on Reversal flips to eliminate Typhlosions.

Similarly, Absol Prime makes Emboar/Magnezone’s Tepigs vulnerable to a turn 2 Linear Attack. In general, Absol Prime is a fantastic option to have versus any deck. Its flaw is its uselessness if you go second; by then, your opponent is likely to have already benched most of the basics he/she will be needing throughout the game.

Jirachi UL (instead of Pachirisu CL)

Jirachi is essentially a Pachirisu that comes with two benefits. It has Time Hollow, which is great for scoring KOs on evolved Pokémon (especially Vileplume, which has a 40 HP basic – perfect for Linear Attack) without placing a Yanmega Prime or Magnezone Prime active.

It also minimizes the side effects of cards like Junk Arm and Sage’s Training by making Psychic energies good to discard. It then replicates Pachirisu by attaching these energies with Stardust Song; this is arguably easier than finding the right moment to attach 2 Lightning energies to Pachirisu. Discarding Psychic energies over the course of the game is much more realistic.

Of course, Jirachi requires a complete revamp of the deck’s energy line. Rather than running 9 Lightning/2 Rainbow (Rainbows are for Kingdra) or 11 Lightning, a mixture of Lightning and Psychic energy is necessary.

Luckily, this revamp does not clunk things up in the least bit. After hundreds of games, not once was I unable to Lost Burn with Magnezone Prime because I did not have the Lightning energy necessary.

Kingdra Prime

pokegym.netYanmega/Kingdra is not a good deck. It folds to Magnezone Prime, which was present in 50% of the Top 128 decks at US Nationals. Kingdra Prime is best ran as a 1-0-1, or 2-1-2 line in Yanmega/Magnezone. By adding 10 damage to Yanmega Prime’s Linear Attack, Spray Splash makes for 1HKOs on Magnemite TM without the use of Pokémon Reversal.

This allows the deck to achieve its goal of disruption by denying the opponent’s Magnezone Prime from coming into play. This prevents decks such as Emboar/Magnezone from ever reaching their late game phase, during which they are superior to Yanmega/Magnezone.

Similarly, Kingdra snipes Magnemite TM in the Yanmega/Magnezone mirror. It allows for 1HKOs on Yanma TM as well, essentially putting your opponent’s entire bench at your mercy. If a Yanmega/Magnezone player running Kingdra Prime gets a good start in the mirror match, it is likely to be an insurmountable comeback for the opponent.

Versus Donphan Prime variants, Kingdra Prime pseudo-1HKOs Donphan Prime by Spray Splashing for 10, Dragon Steaming for 100, then Spray Splashing the following turn for a KO. This offers a great alternative attacker to Yanmega Prime, who only trades KOs with opposing Donphan Primes.

Versus any deck that benches a 30 HP Baby Pokémon such as Cleffa or Tyrogue, Kingdra Prime allows you to either tilt the prize exchange in your favor if you were losing, or extend your lead if you were already winning. By Spray Splashing a benched Baby Pokémon for three consecutive turns, Kingdra Prime gives you a free prize without the use of an attack.

Manaphy UL

pokemon-paradijs.comSwapping either 1 Cleffa for 1 Manaphy or 2 Cleffa for 1 Manaphy/1 Cleffa is one of the simplest, yet most effective changes that can be made to a Yanmega/Magnezone list. While Deep Sea Swirl, Manaphy’s attack that shuffles your hand into your deck and draw 5 cards, costs an energy, there are no downsides to it in the long run as this energy can simply be used to fuel Lost Burn later in the game.

Meanwhile, there are numerous upsides to Manaphy. It does not get donked by Tyrogue, which nobody wants to lose to at the LCQ/Worlds, nor does it give up a free prize via Yanmega Prime’s Linear Attack.

Whereas Cleffa is a sitting duck late game, Manaphy is able to survive a Linear Attack, making it illogical for your opponent to waste a turn attacking it. It also adds to this deck’s plethora of free retreat, superb starting Pokémon.


PlusPower’s main purpose is to allow Yanmega Prime to 2HKO Donphan Prime (as opposed to 3HKO). The issue with PP is that running 1 is too little, while 2 is simply too many. It is often a dead-draw, and serves no purpose in numerous matchups.

Sage’s Training

The first priority in a game is to get a Magnezone Prime in play; from there, everything is smooth sailing. Back when my list had 3-4 Copycat, I constantly found myself Copycatting into only one of the two cards necessary to get Magnezone in play: Rare Candy and Pokémon Communication/Magnezone itself.

I would then proceed to Eek/Deep Sea Swirl my fresh hand away, as either of the two pieces cannot be played on its own. Rather than running Copycat and attempting to hit Rare Candy + Magnezone out of two moderately sized hands, Sage’s Training allows you to access 10-11 cards at once, giving you far better odds.

While having to discard 3 cards is often painful, this can be alleviated by running Jirachi UL (instead of Pachirisu CL), who turns discarded Psychic energies into fuel for Lost Burn/Time Hollow.

Super Scoop Up

pokemon-paradijs.comSuper Scoop Up is Yanmega/Magnezone’s premier healing card because it serves as a pseudo-Switch, and allows for Weavile to be re-used. Because 1HKOs are uncommon in Yanmega Prime mirror matches, SSU can give you the edge by negating a turn of the opponent’s work each time you flip heads.

Versus Donphan Prime/Yanmega Prime/Zoroark, a major archetype, SSU is absolutely devastating as the deck does not threaten to 1HKO your Yanmega Primes whatsoever.

2nd Switch*

If you choose to run some Super Scoop Ups then 1 Switch is fine, otherwise, I consider 2 mandatory. Simply put, Switch makes your Magnezone Primes much better. It allows you to send in the Magnezone Primes you’ve been charging up to take a prize, and then safely retreat back to your bench the turn after.

Versus decks that run bulky Stage 2’s such as Emboar, Typhlosion Prime, or Magnezone Prime, Switch allows you to Reversal them up, Lost Burn 3 energies for a KO, then immediately move Magnezone Prime back to the bench.

*See Round 9-of my US Nationals report!

Weavile UD*
Claw snag, good game.

Perhaps my greatest find, Weavile UD capitalizes on the flaw present in every deck geared to beat Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime: entirely Supporter-based draw engines. Donphan Prime/Yanmega Prime/Zoroark variants and Zekrom variants alike run entirely on cards such as Professor Juniper and Professor Oak’s New Theory.

By having a Sneasel benched at all times, a Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime player threatens to Judge, then Magnetic Draw into a hand that will likely contain a Pokémon Communication/Junk Arm (for Pokémon Communication)/Weavile itself.

Claw Snag, good game” became a common phrase during our testing, as we witnessed the aforementioned decks folding to a simple Judge + Weavile to get rid of the lone Supporter in their 4 card hand.

Another benefit of running Weavile is its free retreat basic, Sneasel. Unlike other 1-1 or 1-0-1 techs, Weavile does not harm consistency in the least bit as it provides a fantastic starting Pokémon in the form of Sneasel.

*See Round 5-of my US Nationals report!

Matchup Summaries

Emboar/Magnezone Prime

Techs: Absol Prime

Up the count of: Pokémon Reversal, Junk Arm
Target the Tepigs

Yanmega/Magnezone’s classic rival, Emboar/Magnezone is the deck ours was built to beat. This matchup ultimately comes down to flips, however the odds are in your favor. Your main goal is to use Pokémon Reversal to bring your opponent’s Tepigs, Pignites, and Emboars active and 1HKO them with either Sonicboom or Lost Burn.

Typical Emboar lists run either 2 or 3 Tepigs, while Yanmega/Magnezone runs a combined 7-8 Pokémon Reversals/Junk Arms. Due to cards such as Sage’s Training, and the best draw engine in the game in Magnezone Prime, it is not difficult to draw into all 7-8 Pokémon Reversals/Junk Arms per game.

Over the course of 7-8 coin flips, you average 3.5-4 heads on Pokémon Reversal; hence, the odds are in your favor to knockout all of your opponent’s Tepigs. Upon doing this, Emboar/Magnezone ceases to function as it will take multiple turns for it to set up an attacker – no competition for your Yanmega Primes, which attack for free.

Absol Prime is a fantastic tech that puts Tepigs in KO range of a Linear Attack, allowing you to save your Pokémon Reversals for later and giving you even better odds.


Typhlosion Prime/Reshiram/Ninetales

Techs: Absol Prime, Weavile UD

Up the count of: Pokémon Reversal, Junk Arm, Judge
Knock Out the Quils

This deck functions similarly to Emboar/Magnezone, except its engine is almost entirely dependent on its discard pile. This means that once it has Typhlosions online and two Fire energy in the discard pile, it doesn’t need any specific cards to continue attacking.

Treat this matchup just like Emboar/Magnezone; Pokémon Reversal the heart of the deck, Typhlosion [and Cyndaquil/Quilava] and KO it whenever possible. Absol once again proves its worth as a tech card, this time putting Cyndaquils in range of a KO via Linear Attack, allowing you to save Reversals for Typhlosions.

Unlike Emboar/Magnezone, this deck runs Ninetales, which can be made null and void without even KOing it. After a Judge, a Typhlosion/Reshiram/Ninetales deck has a good chance of only having one R Energy that can power Ninetales’ Roast Reveal. Weavile does what he does best in this matchup: leaving opponents with completely unplayable hands.

Generally, this matchup is tougher than its counterpart, Emboar/Magnezone. It is easier for it to get its draw engine into play because it is a Stage 1 (though it is also easier to disrupt), so you can be sure you’ll actually have to KO about 2 Reshirams in order to win the match. Whereas Emboar/Magnezone can often struggle against early Judges, Typhlosion/Ninetales/Reshiram sets up with ease.


Stage Ones (Donphan Prime, Yanmega Prime, Zoroark, Bouffalant)

Techs: Weavile UD, Kingdra Prime, Super Scoop Up, PlusPower
Deny the Donphans

Donphan/Yanmega/Zoroark was built to beat Yanmega/Magnezone, however, Weavile UD allows you to capitalize on the deck’s biggest flaw: its entirely Supporter-based draw engine. After a Judge, a Donphan/Yanmega/Zoroark deck is likely to only have one Supporter in its hand; optimal for Weavile.

Another flaw lies in the deck’s inability to 1HKO your Yanmega Primes with any of its attackers. This makes a healing card ideal; I strongly recommend Super Scoop Up as it comes with other benefits, such as reusing your invaluable Weavile.

Deny this deck prizes whenever you can. Other than running SSU, be sure to retreat damaged Yanmega Primes for fresh ones on your bench, forcing them to Pokémon Reversal the damaged ones if they want prizes.

Generally, target their Donphan Primes. Once they’re out of the picture, your Magnezone Primes are in the clear. Pokémon Reversal Phanpys as soon as they’re benched, and don’t be afraid to Claw Snag a Donphan Prime – it’s virtually the same thing as KOing one.

Kingdra Prime is great in this matchup; putting 10 damage on Donphan Prime and Yanmega Prime reduces the amount of energy necessary to Knock them Out with Lost Burn, plus it lets you 1HKO Yanmas with Linear Attack when you’re mopping up.

It can even “1HKO” Donphan Prime; I use quotation marks because it does 110 to it with Spray Splash + Dragon Steam on one turn, then actually Knocks it Out the turn afterward with a second Spray Splash. A large misconception is that it is good to get Kingdra Prime out before a second Magnezone Prime if you only have one in play; never make this mistake.

Your benched Magnezone Primes are vulnerable to being 1HKO’d at all times via Pokémon Reversal + PlusPower + Earthquake, so always have two in play.

60-40 if you run various techs, 40-60 otherwise

Lost World (Gengar Prime, Mew Prime, Vileplume, Muk)

Up the count of: Junk Arm, Switch, Judge

pokemon-paradijs.comThis matchup is strongly favorable for Yanmega/Magnezone due to its ability to easily give itself hands that don’t have any Pokémon that can be Hurl into Darkness’d in them. Judge leaves you with a Pokémon-less hand around half the time, and Junk Arm can be used to discard and permanently protect Pokémon from the Lost Zone.

Also, Yanmega/Magnezone is usually able to 1HKO Mew Primes starting on Turn 2.

2 Switch is great if they run Muk, which can be used to buy time once Magnezone Prime is in play. Super Scoop Up works as well, but only on a flip.

Play Judge/Junk Arm to give yourself Pokémon-less hands, Judge whenever they play Twins, and get a Yanmega Prime up quickly and you should be fine.



Techs: Weavile UD, Absol Prime, Cleffa CL, Tyrogue CL

Up the count of: Judge

pokegym.netThis matchup is all about the first few turns. By Turn 5 or so, it will usually be obvious who is going to win. If Zekrom explodes, it is likely that you’re going to get steamrolled. If it doesn’t, it will be faced with an uphill battle.

That’s why cards like Judge, Cleffa, and Tyrogue are so good in this matchup; Judge reduces the chances that the opponent will be able to land an early Bolt Strike, while Cleffa and Tyrogue give you a 50% chance to buy a turn without sacrificing a prize.

Once you’re set up, treat your Yanmegas like Luxray GL LV.X’s; use them to take cheap prizes off of Shaymins and Pachirisu’s after using Pokémon Reversal, because they’re no match for Zekrom. Take those out with your Magnezones, and eventually land a key knockout on a Zekrom your opponent thought was safe by using Pachirisu or Jirachi to power a quick Lost Burn for 150.

Absol Prime is great to get out on Turn 1 if you go first because it gives your opponent’s first Zekrom 60 damage after it uses Bolt Strike, allowing one of your Yanmegas to Sonicboom it for a KO on Turn 2 (unless they use Defender). It also puts the first Pachirisu in KO range of Linear Attack.

Judge constantly, and drop Weavile at the right time. This deck doesn’t run a Pokémon-based draw engine, either. Capitalize on that.


Yanmega/Magnezone (Mirror)

Techs: Kingdra Prime, Super Scoop Up

Up the count of: Pokémon Reversal, Junk Arm

pokegym.netUnfortunately, the mirror is almost entirely a matter of who sets up first, usually being the person who goes first. Staging a comeback is almost a futile effort when your opponent opens with Yanmega, Magnezone and Judge, but cards such as Kingdra Prime and SSU can make it possible.

SSU buys you time by healing your Yanmegas and turning your opponent’s Sonicbooms into wasted turns, while Kingdra Prime puts both of your opponent’s key basics, Yanma and Magnemite, in range of a Linear Attack 1HKO.

Your opponent’s Magnezone line should be your first priority in this matchup. Once you’ve gotten rid of it, your Magnezones will dominate your opponent’s Yanmegas.

Take the techs I listed with a grain of salt, as going first really does play that big of a factor in this matchup. The second most important thing is Reversal flips, which are out of your control as well. Two uncontrollable, yet dominant factors make it a bad idea to waste slots in your deck teching for this matchup.


US Nationals List

After weeks of playtesting and reviewing the aforementioned techs, Martin and I finally solidified the following list at ~2:00 AM the night before Nationals.

Pokémon – 22

4 Yanma TM
3 Yanmega Prime
3 Magnemite TM
1 Magneton TM
3 Magnezone Prime
1 Horsea UL
1 Kingdra Prime
1 Sneasel UD
1 Weavile UD
1 Jirachi CL
1 Manaphy UL
1 Cleffa CL
1 Tyrogue CL

Trainers – 27

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Judge
2 Sage’s Training
4 Junk Arm
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Reversal
2 Switch

Energy – 11

5 L
4 P
2 Rainbow

Regarding the various 1-1 lines: this deck is ridiculously fast once it sets up a Magnezone Prime. Not a single consistency card was dropped so that we could fit in Kingdra Prime or Weavile, while Sage’s Training was added. If anything, I consider this list more consistent than the typical Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime.

US Nationals Report

Round 1 vs Emboar/Ninetales/Reshiram/Magcargo/RDL (Sidney Brown)

pokemon-paradijs.comI go first, opening with Yanma and a strong hand that includes Yanmega + Judge. I Sonicboom his active by turn 2, and by turn 3-4 I have a Magnezone up. As mentioned earlier, this deck is able to draw into what it needs effortlessly once it’s Magnetic Drawing.

I burn 2 Reversals to bring up his benched Ninetales and Lost Burn it for 100 with a Switch in hand (see why I consider 2 Switch mandatory?). As expected, I slow him down significantly by Knocking Out his Ninetales. I Judge turn after turn so that he cannot craft plans with any of his hands, and repeatedly use Yanmega to Sonicboom the basics he promotes in order to buy time.

Eventually, I have a 2-4 Prize lead, but as everybody knows, Emboar is capable of monstrous comebacks. I take my 5th prize by Lost Burning one of his Pokémon, leaving myself with a ~3 card hand.

I made the mistake of banking on using Magnetic Draw to hit a Junk Arm to use Switch the turn afterward, which I paid for when Sidney promoted Magcargo (a card I had never seen before) and used its first attack to burn my Magnezone Prime.

This prevented me from Magnetic Drawing, and trapped my Magnezone active. A few turns go by, and Sidney has Knocked Out my Magnezone as well as one of my other Pokémon to bring the prize count to 1-2.

I have an 87.5% chance of winning when I promote my benched Yanmega and use a combination of 3 Reversals/Junk Arms in an attempt to KO his benched Slugma for my final prize. I proceed to flip tails, tails, tails.

Unable to KO anything, I Sonicboom his active Magcargo. Sidney then RDL’s for the game.


Round 2 vs Zekrom/Pachirisu/Shaymin (Emmanuel Z.)

I go first and see that he has a lone Cleffa. I Collector for Tyrogue.


Round 3 vs Mew Prime/Gengar Prime/Slowking/Mime Jr.

pokegym.netI go first, which in itself virtually gives me an auto-win versus his deck. Due to him going second, I am able to KO his Mew immediately after it Sees Off a Gengar. In desperation, he uses Slowking + Mime Jr. to Lost Zone Pokémon off the top of my deck, while praying his Mime Jr. remains asleep between turns (so that it can be protected by its Poké-Body, Sweet Sleeping Face).

Unfortunately, this did not make much of a difference as I was simply able to Reversal/Junk Arm constantly, allowing me to draw prizes for 4 consecutive turns. He scooped once my lead became too great.


Round 4 vs Typhlosion Prime/Reshiram

We both open with lone Cleffa, but I go first and Collector for Tyrogue.


Round 5 vs Yanmega Prime/Donphan Prime

He goes first and Collectors for 2 Yanmas and a Phanpy to go with his active Phanpy. I immediately use Cleffa to refresh my gross hand, and draw into a fairly good one. I flip tails going into his turn, and he takes a free prize with Earthquake.

I promote my benched Yanma, evolve it into Yanmega, bench a Magnemite, Judge, and Sonicboom his Donphan for 50. He then plays Ruins of Alph so that he can 2HKO my Yanmegas with Donphan, and Earthquakes me for 60. Next turn I establish control by Rare Candying my Magnemite into Magnezone, drawing a fresh hand, and Rare Candying my benched Horsea into Kingdra.

I retreat to a different Yanmega so that he cannot draw a prize next turn, and Spray Splash + Sonicboom to put his Donphan at 110. He evolves some benched Pokémon and Earthquakes to put the second Yanmega at 60. I will forever be haunted by the next 2 turns of this game: I Judge + Magnetic Draw for a fresh hand, hit a Pokémon Communication, and evolve my benched Sneasel into Weavile.

clipartmojo.comI use Claw Snag, and see a hand of 3 F Energy and a Professor Juniper: perfect. I discard Juniper, and play a Reversal in an attempt to bring up his benched Phanpy (I’m trying to eliminate Phanpys/Donphans so that my Magnezones can roam free).

I flip tails, but I still have control of the game; I Spray Splash his active Donphan for a KO and Sonicboom the Yanmega he promotes for 70.

On his turn, he topdecks a Professor Oak’s New Theory, plays it, and hits Donphan + PlusPower + Pokémon Reversal off of the 6 cards. He flips heads on Reversal to bring up my Magnezone, then PP + Earthquakes it for 140.

Despite this major turn of events, I’m still in a winning position. I Rare Candy a benched Magnemite into Magnezone and continue my assault, this time doing 110 to his active Donphan via Kingdra’s Spray Splash + Dragon Steam.

He proceeds to play another Reversal, flips heads to bring up my second Magnezone, and PP + Earthquake it for 140. Two turns later, he flips another heads on Reversal to promote my benched Weavile and Earthquake it for game.


Round 6 vs Vileplume/Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime/Sunflora/Roserade (James Fontes)

James was a very entertaining opponent.; we spent the majority of our match sharing stories about our equally bad luck throughout the day. In a fashion typical of this format, this game came down to who went first, plus a ton of other coin flips.

I open with 2 Yanma, 2 Yanmega, Magnemite and a Judge. Unfortunately, James goes first which ultimately foils my plans. He begins by benching a few Pokémon and playing Copycat. Because I didn’t go first, I was unable to evolve my Yanmas + Judge to establish a massive advantage.

pokegym.netOn his turn, James evolves his Sunkern/Yanma and plays a dreaded Judge. While James hit a Rare Candy + Magnezone off his 4 cards, I’m looking at a hand that doesn’t have much other than a Pokémon Communication. He takes a prize, and on my turn I topdeck a Sage’s Training to give me a glimmer of hope.

I hit exactly what I need off the Sage: Yanmega and Magneton, which I promptly use to evolve my Yanma/Magnemite. I then Pokémon Communication for Cleffa and Eeeeeeek. James plays Vileplume and Judges, and I am fortunate enough to draw into a Magnezone.

Because Vileplume is in play, I know that I will need to attack primarily with my Yanmegas because I will not be able to get another Magnezone in play this game. Also, a flaw in James’ deck began to grow evident: he’d filled up his bench with so many support Pokémon that his only attackers were a lone Yanmega and Magnezone.

Despite my rough start, I still stand a chance in this game. I take out his Yanmega, and he is forced to put his Magnezone at risk in order to draw a prize (with Lost Burn). I promote my Magnezone and Lost Burn 3 energies to Knock his Out. Eventually, James promotes a second Magnezone and Lost Burns mine for 100.

I respond by Lost Burning his for 100. Unwilling to sacrifice his final Magnezone, he retreats, and continues his assault with more Yanmegas. He gets very unlucky here: for 3 turns, my active Magnezone is Confused due to his benched Roserade’s Poké-Power, yet I am able to flip 3 consecutive heads to Lost Burn for 3 Prizes.

During one of these 3 turns, I benched Jirachi and used Stardust Song in order to attach Psychic energies from the discard pile to power Lost Burn. I flip 1 heads, which only lets me take 1-of 2 Psychic energies that were discarded.

This would later decide the game, as prizes came down to 1-1 and I was unable to Time Hollow his benched Magnezone with 100 on it for a knockout. I didn’t have a Yanmega to Linear Attack it, either. James then lands a final knockout for game.


Round 7 vs Emboar/Reshiram/Ninetales

pokegym.netI’m up against a Pokédad, and it quickly became clear that he was inexperienced with his deck as he misplayed on various occasions. He sealed the game for himself fairly early on when he chose to do 80 damage with his Emboar (Inferno Fandango Emboar).

I quickly capitalized by Lost Burning it for 3 energies, then Reversal + Sonicbooming any Tepigs that came into play. Upon shutting down his Emboar engine, his deck ceased to function and I won fairly easily.


Round 8 vs Yanmega Prime/Magnezone Prime (Brian Turner)

I go first and open with Yanma and Magnemite. My hand is Yanmega, Magnezone, Pokémon Collector and 2 energy. I attach to Magnemite, Collector for a second Yanma, second Magnemite and a Cleffa. I bench the first two and pass. His turn is nearly identical; he does similar stuff and passes back to me.

I topdeck a Rare Candy, evolve to Yanmega/Magnezone and draw a fresh hand. I Pokémon Communication my Cleffa into a Magneton since I don’t need it anymore, Judge, and Sonicboom his active. This Judge cripples him, and I pretty much know I’ve won as early as the second turn.

I let the matchup play itself: Spray Splashing + Linear Attacking Magnemites as soon as he benches them, Claw Snagging a Magnezone from his hand, and Lost Burning the only Magnezone he gets out. Upon preventing him from getting Magnezone into play, my own Magnezones have a field day on his Yanmega-ridden field. Going first is completely broken.


Round 9 vs Mew Prime/Muk/Vileplume/Yanmega Prime (Charlie Gray)

Because I run 2 Switch, this otherwise close matchup is terrible for him. I play 4 Switch throughout this game (via Junk Arm), constantly escaping his desperate attempts to buy time by Sludge Dragging my Magnezone. I Linear Attack his Oddishes as soon as they come into play, and eventually wipe out his field with Magnezones.



pokegym.netI came in 93rd place for my flight and whiffed cut. You have to be both very skilled and very lucky to win US Nationals, and unfortunately I was only able to satisfy one of those conditions. By no means am I dissatisfied with my performance, as I didn’t misplay once throughout the tournament; I simply wasn’t hitting the deck (or the coin, for that matter).

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that the list could have been better. Rather than running Kingdra Prime, I could have ran 2 Super Scoop Ups to re-use Weavile and heal my Yanmega Primes. I also completely underestimated Absol Prime; it is a fantastic option to have if you go first versus nearly any deck.

I’ve also dropped Tyrogue and Cleffa, as I simply refuse to be Tyrogue-donked at a large-scale tournament. So that I can still first-turn donk other people, I’ve switched Jirachi for Pachirisu, which can do 50 damage on turn 1.

I believe that this is an adequate change for anyone going to Worlds, as Nationals proved that Vileplume-based decks are not Tier 1 and it probably isn’t worth running Jirachi just to counter them.

Also, my Magnezone Prime line is now 3-1-4; I believe that this is optimal, as the deck flows very smoothly once you’re able to Magnetic Draw. There’s no need to run 4 Magnemites, as they are easily searchable via Pokémon Collector. I’ve gone back to running 4 Reversals, as well.

New List

Pokémon – 20

4 Yanma TM
3 Yanmega Prime
3 Magnemite TM
1 Magneton TM
4 Magnezone Prime
1 Sneasel UD
1 Weavile UD
1 Absol Prime
1 Manaphy UL
1 Pachirisu CL

Trainers – 30

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Judge
2 Sage’s Training
4 Junk Arm
4 Rare Candy
4 Pokémon Communication
2 Switch
4 Pokémon Reversal
2 Super Scoop Up

Energy – 10

10 L

Due to the new LCQ rules, I will not be attending Worlds this year. Going X-0 in the Grinder is a ridiculous feat, and I applaud anyone that has the courage to attempt it. For those who do, I highly recommend this deck.

Blood, sweat and tears went into perfecting it, and I do feel that it offers the best matchups versus the format. With that being said, I hope all of you enjoyed my first 6P article. Have a safe Worlds ’11 trip, and good luck!


Note from Adam: If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more from Aziz in the future, please rate it below and leave feedback on the forums. Thanks!

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