pokebeach.comHello again 6P community, it’s me Rahul with my second article. First things first, as you might know, this year Regionals are happening over a span of two days, with the first day being allotted for the TCG and the second day reserved for VGC (and some Regionals will hold TCG Masters top cut on the second day). I will be playing at the Virginia Regionals, so I want to help you guys out by talking about some popular decks and how they play out against each other. The first of these decks that I would like to talk about is MegaZone.
MegaZone saw large play at Worlds and at is seeing a pretty good turnout at Battle Roads. The deck itself, for those who don’t know, is composed primarily of Yanmega Prime and Magnezone Prime. Some variants tech things like Kingdra Prime, Pachirisu CL, and Jirachi UL. The deck is aimed at getting quick prizes with Yanmega while Magnezone is being built up on the bench ready to take some 1HKOs on some high HP Pokémon.
Kingdra Prime is used for Spray Splashing things like Yanmegas and Candied Magnezones, so with a Linear Attack both these Pokémon would have 50 damage on them, which then allows Jirachi to Time Hollow up these Pokémon, leaving the 50 HP basics to be Knocked Out. The deck primarily runs Lightning, Rainbow, and Rescue Energy for the attacks and recovery.
Now that you guys know the basics of the deck (if you already did, thanks for bearing with me!), it’s time to share my personal list I play and how it fares against other decks:
Pokémon – 22
4 Yanma TM
Trainers – 25
3 Junk Arm
Energy – 13
Now onto explaining my decklist. I run Kingdra in my build because the extra damage helps late game, and brings uneven damage numbers like 110 HP that Yanmega has to 100, making it so you only have to Lost Burn one Energy to 1HKO it. It also makes for a great Donphan counter and helps out with getting KOs on things like Typhlosion Prime and Reshiram. Plus the extra damage is always great, except when you’re playing against Ross.dec.
pokebeach.comI chose to run Pachirisu CL instead of Jirachi UL, because I prefer the extra Energy drops over devolving a Pokémon, especially with high HP Pokémon like Zekrom and Reshiram in the format. I run two Rescue Energy to bring back either a Magnezone or a Yanmega and hopefully keep the stream of attackers going. I choose to run two Rainbow to possibly attack with Kingdrato take those Donphan 1HKOs.
Regarding 3-3-3-3 Junk Arm, Catcher, Judge, and Copycat; I feel that I am never going to need more than three Junk Arm, and four Catcher is overkill but three should do the trick. I opted to play three Judge and three Copycat, because I also wanted to run PONT, in case they have low hand sizes or I needed to get more cards.
But because I chose to run PONT, I was forced to limit my Judge and Copycat down to three, which still worked very well in testing. Now I will do my best to try to explain how the matchups work, and how you should play them out.
VS TyRam 50/50
This matchup is slightly in MegaZone’s favor, because Magnezone can 1HKO the opponent’s Reshirams, and they can’t 1HKO your Magnezone without two PlusPowers. The way to play this matchup is to use Yanmega in the early game, and to get Kingdra out as fast as possible. The key would be to Catcher up the opponents Cyndaquils and Quilavas before they become Typhlosions. Without the Typhlosions the opponent will have trouble setting up their Reshirams, and dealing consistent damage to your Magnezones.
The Kingdra will help with bringing things like Reshiram and Typhlosion down to 100 HP when they’re already taking damage from Afterburner, and that way Magnezone only needs to Lost Burn two Energy, therefore saving resources for later in the game. Using the early Yanmega to your advantage is what will turn the game in your favor. If the opponent gets an early Ninetales out and you do not see a Cyndaquil in play, aim for the Ninetales to get rid of the opponent’s draw power.
VS Stage 1s 40/60
pokebeach.comThis matchup is simple: get the early Yanmega and take out their Phanpys. If you keep the Donphan threat away the Yanmega battle becomes much easier. With a Kingdra on the field, 1HKOing a Yanmega only takes one Spray Splash and one Energy Lost Burned. The only problem would be the Donphan, but if you can take care of them before they get set up, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Even if they set up their Donphan, two Spray Splashes and a Dragon Stream from Kingdra 1HKOs the Donphan, and the opponent is left with nothing that can return the KO. Remember not to ever forget about the opponents Zoroark because they can bring it out and use your Sonicboom and Linear Attack against you.
VS ZPST 60/40
This matchup is very scary early game because your opponent can take easy KOs on your weak basics, but Twins is the card that brings you back into the game. The late game is where your deck can excel against ZPST. Your opponent will be using Tornadus, and Tornadus conveniently has a X2 weakness to Lightning.
The opponent relies on Tornadus late game to keep their resources flowing, but by eliminating their Tornaduses (I think that’s the plural) your opponent will be have to use Bolt Strike with their Zekrom, which leaves it at 90 HP left and Magnezone only has to Lost Burn two Energy to Knock it Out.
The only part of the game that will ever go in your opponents favor is early game, but if you can weather the storm, the game can be easily taken back with Twins.
VS Gothitelle/Reuniclus 65/35
This matchup should be greatly in your favor, because the deck relies on using Reuniclus to move damage around, but with Magnezone giving you 1HKOs gives the opponent no damage to move around. Never, I repeat never, focus on getting Kingdra out. Spray Splashing only gives your opponent an opportunity to work with the damage and that could turn very bad, very fast.
The early Yanmega helps with killing their Solosis and Gothita, but I advise you not to take a prize until you feel confident enough be able to get 1HKOs on Gothitelles every turn, because chances are, the opponent probably runs Twins and taking that first prize will set off his Twins engine, locking you out of your Trainers.
If you come into this situation completely set up, Trainers won’t be needed as much and with your Magnezone dropping their Gothitelles turn after turn, Trainer Lock won’t be a big issue.
VS The Truth 60/40
This is the deck that Ross took to a 2nd place finish at the World Championships. The way to beat this deck is to keep Catchering up their Oddishes and killing them before they can become Vileplume. Keep taking the easy prizes and again remember that you shouldn’t use Kingdra in this game, as the opponent plays Reuniclus.
Donphan can pose a major threat, but the key is that you should take control early game and secure as many prizes as possible early game and keep the Energy attachments going every turn, so you can take 1HKOs on your opponent’s Donphans when you need to.
Late game poses a serious threat, but hopefully you can take a large enough lead early game that the Magnezone is enough to keep you going late game.
VS MagneBoar 45/55
This matchup can go very, very badly if you don’t get early knockouts on Tepigs. Your Yanmegas have a Lightning weakness and Magneboar has the Energy acceleration that unfortunately, you don’t. Chances are, their deck plays Twins, so make sure that they don’t have two Tepigs on the field when you get ready to Knock one Out, and if they do, go for it if you have a Catcher in hand or a means of getting a Catcher.
Simple rules: aim for their Emboar, drag it up to active, and kill it as soon as possible. You want to leave them high and dry. Without the Emboar, they have the same Energy acceleration that you do, but you have Yanmega and Kindgra to keep spreading the damage and lowering the amount of resources needed to get the knockouts that you need.
VS Mew Box 50/50
This should go in your favor because of Mew’s low health. Get the early knockouts on Oddish if they play Vileplume and if they don’t, just go for the Mews. The low HP on Mew and the high HP on Magnezone work in your favor. The only time that things could go wrong, is if they Sludge Drag up a benched Magnezone, which is why I advise you to only have one Magnezone out at a time.
I know you are probably thinking: “What if they Knock Out my Magnezone?” In that case, you would use Judge and Copycat and attempt a handsize match with Yanmega and Knock Out the weak Mews. The matchup shouldn’t be too hard if you can get set up before you see a Vileplume.
Now that you guys have read all that, hopefully you’ve learned a little bit about MegaZone and my take on how it works. If none of this helped you, tutorials on table flipping will be next week. Now, if you are bored, or feel tired, go grab a snack, a drink, and sit back down and prepare for some more Pokémon.
The next deck I am going to talk about is ZPST. This deck was powered up with the release of Emerging Powers, with a Pokémon that can help out in late game situations, known as Tornadus. For a simple DCE and L Energy, Tornadus deals 80 damage and forces the user to move an Energy onto their bench. This is helpful in late-game situations, as attaching to Tornadus means that you are actually attaching into to something on your bench.
That way, even if Tornadus gets Knocked Out, you have a back-up attacker like a Zekrom, or even a second Tornadus. The Pachirisu and Shaymin engine remains the same but the number used differs. This is my personal list, and I will explain at the end why I chose to run the things I did.
Pokémon – 13
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
Trainers – 32
3 PokéGear 3.0
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 15
Onto the explanations: the thing that may stick out to you is that I run 4/4 Tornadus/Zekrom. I chose to run these lines because depending on the matchup the usage of Tornadus or Zekrom is higher. For example, in a matchup against Donphan you would use a higher amount of Tornadus than Zekrom. In a matchup against Magnezone, you would use more Zekrom than Tornadus because of Tornadus’ weakness.
I chose to run Collector instead of Dual Ball for the guaranteed donk. I would rather have the guaranteed three basics than flipping for them and possibly failing the flips, just my personal preference. The Energy Exchanger may stick out to you guys a little bit; I find it useful in situations where you have an active Tornadus with a DCE attached and only a DCE in hand, you would use the Energy Exchanger to bring a Lightning out from the deck in order to move an energy back instead of loading 2 DCEs on a Tornadus to use Hurricane.
Let’s move onto the matchups shall we?
VS TyRam 65/35
pokebeach.comThis game goes in your favor because of Afterburner’s recoil damage. Afterburner makes it easy for the deck to take 1HKOs when needed without wasting PlusPowers. The high damage that you do makes it an easy early game and using the early game to your advantage is your biggest weapon. Taking the early prizes and holding onto the lead is very important.
Another big tip is to use your Catchers and Tornadus early game, while powering up a Zekrom on the bench. Tornadus will not be very useful late game, as Flare Destroy gets rid of your DCE and Blue Flare 1HKOs you. Early game though, you can abuse Catcher to take easy 1HKOs on Cyndaquil, Quilava and even Ninetales while moving the energy back to Zekrom, powering up your Zekrom for late game scuffles with Reshiram. All in all, the matchup is in your favor and you should use that to your advantage.
VS Stage 1s 60/40
I came to the number I did through the fact that you play Tornadus. The game should go in your favor from the start, taking easy prizes on their basics. If Donphan emerges as a threat toward your Zekroms, you should have a Tornadus or two on your bench ready to go up against them. You have Zekrom to take on those Yanmegas, with only one Bolt Strike, Zekrom can Outrage knockouts on Yanmegas turn after turn and only have the Donphan threat, which can be taken care of by Tornadus. Zoroark is something that you should be watching for while playing against Stage 1s.
If you put too much attention onto Knocking Out Donphans and Yanmegas, eventually the damage you are taking will add up, making almost everything on your field an easy Zoroark knockout. For just a DCE, Zoroark can copy anything that your active pokemon has, such as Bolt Strike, Hurricane and even Outrage. This can hurt you a lot, so just don’t write Zoroark as a free prize, because it can turn the tide of the game in your opponent’s favor with one Foul Play.
VS MegaZone 40/60
pokebeach.comThis battle is an uphill one because the moment you take the first prize, they can Twins into everything they need and take the time they need to set up and take out your Tornaduses. Once you lose your Tornaduses, the opponent can freely use things like Pachirisu and Yanmega to chip away at your health, while doing things like Catchering up Zekroms with no Energy attached to take the game to a victory.
The Kingdra is something to be worried about. My rule of thumb is, see Kingdra, kill Kingdra. That way they are forced to Lost Burn two energy to Knock Out your Tornadus and three to Knock Out a full-HP Zekrom. Finishing this game early would be wise; don’t drag it out too long or you will discover that you are low on resources and have your back up against the wall.
VS GothClus 20/80
The only way you can pull a win off in this situation is if you continuously catcher up the opponents Gothitas and Knock them Out, without giving them a chance to evolve into Gothitelle. The Reuniclus won’t be a problem if there isn’t a Gothitelle down. If the opponent has two Gothitas down on his bench, pray that they don’t have a Twins in hand. That is possibly the only way you can win this game.
The other option, which will put you down on prizes and will only work if you have a big enough lead to drop these prizes, is damage overload. If you keep hitting the active for 120 and 80, and the Reuniclus doesn’t have anywhere to put it, the deck will lose on the fact that it will be forced to either knock some of its own Pokémon out, or allow you to take knockouts turn after turn. The matchup is uphill and through extreme luck can the game be won.
VS MexBox 75/25
There is only one reason that this matchup shouldn’t be won with ease, and that is known as Vileplume. If the opponent gets out a Vileplume before you are set up, you might have some problems getting fast knockouts, but it won’t stop you too much. The Mews have low HP, making Outrage an easy option after just one Bolt Strike. The Yanmegas should be taken care of in the same fashion.
I personally feel like you should aim straight for the Oddish as soon as it is played down, just to prevent the Vileplume, because Pokémon Catcher can be your greatest ally in this game. To sum it up, Zekrom beats the deck because of weakness and flimsy attackers.
VS The Truth 35/65
This matchup, you are faced with the same problem you faced against GothClus. Most likely, the opponent will have two Oddish and two Solosis on their bench and as soon as you knock on of these things out, you trigger their Twins chain. This gives them a Vileplume and a Reuniclus paired with a Donphan, making it virtually impossible to win this match. I say virtually because of Tornadus.
Tornadus can force your opponent to Earthquake over and over, helping with damage overload. With Donphan 3-shotting your Tornadus, you can get set up and prepare to keep the cycle of Tornaduses going until, hopefully they have nowhere else to put the damage.
Another way to win this match is to hope they get a bad start. Speaking from personal experience, after a bad start with The Truth, it’s very hard to bounce back into the game. Other than that, your match up against this deck is virtually an auto-loss.
VS MagneBoar 60/40
This matchup should be slightly in ZPST’s favor because of the speed it can take knockouts at. The way to play the matchup is to take the early prizes on the Tepigs, not the Magnemites. Once the Tepig are gone, the Magnezones cannot get enough energy to keep 1-shotting your Zekroms. You can take advantage of that fact and continue strong to a brilliant finish.
Simple matchup, very simply played, just remember to use the Tornadus early game, and attempt not to use it during the late game, as it gives your opponent a prize to take with Magnezone.
Can you believe you just read through all of that? “I can’t even believe I wrote all of that.” Oh, was I thinking aloud again? Go take a break, grab another snack, stretch, get up, do something. If you don’t want to do any of the above, just keep reading.
The third deck that I would like to take about is GothClus. GothClus is a newer deck that has made a name for itself through its large showings at Battle Roads. The deck revolves around Gothitelle and Reuniclus, as the name suggests. Gothitelle provides a one-sided Trainer lock and Reuniclus provides tanking ability so that the Trainer lock and Gothitelle never gets Knocked Out.
The deck focuses on moving the damage to high-HP Pokémon like Zekrom and Reshiram and uses them in later game to attack if needed. Gothitelle’s attack, Madkinesis, does 30 damage plus 20 for every P Energy attached to Gothitelle, and it requires a minimum of three C Energy to attack.
What does this mean? Well this means that while attaching energy to Gothitelle, it continues to do more and more damage every turn without being Knocked Out thanks to Reuniclus. Now you guys get your third decklist of the day.
Pokémon – 21
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Pichu HS
Trainers – 25
Energy – 14
Time for a brief explanation: the things that may stick out to you as odd are the dragons and the number I choose to run of each, and the Catcher and Rare Candy count. I chose to run two Zekrom because I might have to Outrage for a prize, and also because of the monstrous HP it has. Reshiram serves the same purpose, while also countering Kingdra Prime.
The Catcher count is four because it worked consistently and guaranteed that I would get knockouts turn after turn while loading up energies onto Gothitelle. The Rare Candy count is four, which is usually three in most decks, but four seemed consistent and it worked quite well. Four Candy make it easy to get Gothitelle and Reuniclus out fast when needed and a Gothitelle can also be set up on the bench to soak up damage.
The rest of the list is pretty standard and should be self-explanatory. Now I know this is long and is very time consuming, but let’s move onto how this stacks up against the rest, shall we?
VS ZPST 80/20
pokebeach.comThe matchup against ZPST shouldn’t be too difficult. When they knock one thing out you start your Twins chain and get a Gothitelle out first and put it active, even if you can’t attack with it. They can’t use Trainers and that means no PlusPower knockout. The next turn you would Twins again for Rare Candy and Reuniclus, or if you already have Duosion on the field, go for Reuniclus and something like Zekrom so you can start spreading out the damage.
The highest you will ever have to do is 110, assuming that they used Bolt Strike, so you can keep attaching and keep attacking. The one mistake you should never commit is attacking for 110 on a fresh Zekrom. The 110 damage will just give it enough damage to Outrage for a knockout and that can leave you without energy and in a bad spot.
Pichu is aimed to be your starter; Cleffa is for when you have a bad hand or need to refresh later in the game. Unless you make the mistake stated above or get a horrendous start, this game should go smoothly for you.
VS Mew Box 50/50
The reason this matchup is 50/50 is because the opponent runs Vileplume. Without Trainers, you are left at a loss to getting knockouts every turn and the Mew doesn’t make it easy. One thing to watch out for in this matchup is Mass Attack. Mew can See Off a Jumpluff, which they can take one of its attacks; in this case it would be Mass Attack to hit Gothitelle for weakness, which can be devastating.
The dragons in your deck can be a vital asset during this matchup; they provide high HP and cannot be Knocked Out in one hit, as neither side can play PlusPowers. Plus, with Reuniclus moving damage onto them, they can hit Yanmega for weakness and Knock Out Mew Primes with Outrage. The matchup depends on the starts mainly, and how fast you can get your Reuniclus and dragons set up.
VS Stage 1’s 65/35
This matchup is very similar to the ZPST one, where you would let one of your Pokémon get Knocked Out and you can get a Twins engine going while locking your opponent. The only problem that this matchup poses is Yanmega. With the opponent using Yanmega, you have to be very careful as to where you move the damage and how you move it.
Leaving any of your Pokémon at 40 HP or less just provides an easy target for Yanmega and that can hurt you. Other than that, the matchup should be easy and you shouldn’t be too worried.
VS TyRam 65/35
This should also be very easy because the opponent damages themselves when they use Afterburner and you have Reuniclus to back you up. This can get very scary once they realize that Flare Destroy can hurt you very much, and it will hurt you, but not too a great length. Just don’t make the Outrage mistake and you will be fine.
Catchering up their Cyndaquils is how you should play this one, but don’t hesitate to take a Ninetales prize if you can. Eliminating their draw power can hurt them, as they can’t use Trainers throughout the course of the game when you get Gothitelle active. Take advantage of how TyRam plays without Trainers and just take knockouts on benched Cyndaquils if possible.
VS MegaZone 35/65
This matchup can get very bad, very fast. They will most likely take their first prize after setting up a little bit and by this time; you should be set up as well. Once they take their first prize you can explode with your Twins engine, but Magnezone can just 1-shot your Gothitelles, which will potentially get rid of Trainer lock.
Without getting any damage to move around, your dragons are left useless as well. The way to win the matchup is to get an early Gothitelle and limit their access to things like Magnezones and get easy knockouts with Gothitelle before they can get a Magnezone set up.
VS The Truth 50/50
This matchup is very similar to the one played against Mew Box. The early game matters a lot as both decks are reliant on Twins to get set up and whoever takes the first prize will potentially be the one who loses. The easiest way to win this matchup is to get enough energy onto your Gothitelle to take knockouts every turn without giving your opponent damage to work with. Without any damage to work with, the opponent cannot manipulate the damage to his advantage.
The only thing to be worried about is Suicune & Entei LEGEND. The reason this poses a threat is that it can snipe one of your benched Pokémon for 100 and that can get rid of your Reuniclus and that can potentially leave you in a bad spot. The main attackers of the deck are reliant on their high HP and inability to be Knocked Out in one shot, and you can do exactly that with Gothitelle.
VS MagneBoar 60/40
This matchup is also a standstill until one set takes the first prize. Both decks rely on Twins and the first prize taken puts the other deck at an advantage. This matchup can get horrible if the opponent sets up an Emboar.
Do your best to keep killing their Tepigs and Pignites and leaving a Gothitelle active. With Trainer lock in place the opponent cannot Rare Candy into an Emboar, but has to manually evolve through a Pignite.
If you can get set up before the opponent and ensure that they have no way of getting an Emboar out, you have the game in the bag. If they do however get an Emboar out, Catcher it up and attempt to kill it before they can use Magnezone to knockout your Gothitelle.
That’s the third deck for you guys, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the article so far. But because there is so much a 10th grade kid can write about Pokémon in one day, look out for a part two and I hope you guys learned something or hopefully want to use my decklists from this article. I will be at the Virginia Regionals as I had stated earlier in the article, and feel free to approach me if you see me there.
Thanks a lot for reading and I hope you guys all do amazing at your Regionals and hopefully you guys don’t feel too tired after reading this. Have fun, keep playing Pokémon and enjoy your life. Rahul out.