Triple Threat: Mikey’s 3 Top Decks for Regionals

It’s been a long timeeeee

pokegym.netIn case you guys didn’t see my message on the board, my area in Pennsylvania got rocked hard by the snowstorm and my whole campus has been out of power since last Saturday. We just got it back on Wednesday night, so I apologize for the delay of this article. With that said, I don’t like to waste time and space soooo:

I was thinking about doing a Mike on the Metagame thing for this, but as I sat down to start writing about it, I realized a couple of things: First, Battle Roads are not extremely informative. Even with the added importance of them, there are so many of them all over the country that there is bound to be lots of information lost in translation, considering the split of Regionals and only having a handful.

Second, also because of this last fact, Kettler mentioned it as well, each Regional will likely more resemble the national or “internet” metagame, rather than any local metagame. Definitely there will be some taste of local metagames, but it won’t be nearly as extreme as in the past.

Lastly, with Regionals in the fall for the first time and with this split, who actually knows how our predictions will turn out! They could be completely wrong, or right, who knows yet, because we have never experienced these tournaments before.

With that said, I am going to offer some of my thoughts on the metagame and other random thoughts about decks and gameplay in this format, and then go into my top two decks for Regionals, and my third choice which is a bit more of a fun deck and more untested than the first two. Okay so random thoughts!

Every Regional will have Typhlosion and Zekrom

pokemon-paradijs.comAnd not just because they are the cheapest/easiest to build/easiest to play/[insert cliché about these decks]. No, it is mostly because they are actually really, really good! Zekrom has a legitimate shot to win every single game it plays if it gets going on the first turn, which is often.

Similarly, Typhlosion is extremely fast (many people underestimate its speed with a nice list) and can win a lot of games from sheer early pressure. The benefit, obviously, is that you can maintain your strategy the entire game and rarely lose steam, like Zekrom does.

Both decks suffer from the same weakness, though, and that is lack of versatility. Neither deck packs any “surprise” or backup strategy you can fall back on in certain matchups. Okay, I guess Typhlosion has Flare Destroy (Typhlosion’s attack). But…that’s about it. Some people, as many of the other writers have said, have tried putting in cards like Magby TM (I did see this used pretty effectively, actually, in Typhlosion), Bellsprout TM, Black Belt, etc. but they are only “soft counters” to each of these decks handicap.

More extreme options would be things like Kingdra Prime, Venomoth TM, or Mew Prime, for example. I don’t have much experience with most of these techs, soft or more extreme, so I can’t really comment on the effectiveness of any one of them in particular. I think collectively as a whole they are not so efficient and your space is better off just making what you do, better.

My favorite Typhlosion and Zekrom lists revolve around just getting their game plan off and hoping you can beat your losses before they can get set up. As someone who has been trying a lot of different ideas to combat the format, I can definitely say that it is the hardest thing in the world to come back from a T1 or T2 kill (especially going 2nd) against Zekrom or Typhlosion, as they can just steamroll you from the get-go.

Not every Regional will have good Gothitelle/Truth players!

I personally think that it’s a misconception that Gothitelle and, to a lesser extent, Truth will be played widespread and people will run it well. I tend to agree with the party that says not running 3-4 Tropical Beach in either of these decks is a fairly significant disadvantage.

The fact is, most players do not have access to this many Beaches, so while I think people will play these decks without the high Beach count, it will make their decks generally weaker and therefore less will do well. I could be wrong with this prediction, but it is one that I personally believe.

Watch out for Mew. Especially if you’re running Gothitelle.

A few of the other writers have touched a little bit on Mew and the power it brings and how some people have been running it. One deck that I looked at for a while, but didn’t really like the way it played, was Mew/Yanmega/Weavile. It was fast, pretty consistent, and disruptive, and could pose some problems to anyone not expecting it.

In Zekrom, 4 Tornadus and 4 Zekrom is 100% the best play, no questions about it.

You gain so much by starting with one of them, and your odds go up by like 4-6% depending on how many other basics you run, which is statistically significant IMO. Also, having those extra Pokémon to throw around and not worry about Junipering/Junk Arming them away is huge.

People also seem to forget that Zekrom does not lose if the game goes late, especially if they force their opponent to KO 4-6 Tornadus/Zekrom. If you’re only running seven total, you can only get rid of 1-2 if you want your opponent to have a hell of time drawing prizes.

Donphan is stronger than it was.

pokemon-paradijs.comAt least I think so. Maybe it’s just because that any counter I have for the format loses to it haha. But it is strong vs Zekrom, which will be one of the most popular decks, and it’s good vs Magnezone and Zoroark which will obviously be in high numbers. Tornadus unfortunately handles it pretty well, but I think Donphan will surprise some people.

Expect the unexpected.

I have a feeling for some reason that at this round Regionals, more so than other recent big tournaments, people will come out of the woodwork with some weird stuff. Random cards will pop up in decks that you wouldn’t expect them in, like Lost Remover or random Potions and stuff like that.

Players are getting more creative and confident in weird plays like this, so you have to be able to adjust your game plan when this kind of stuff happens. Being able to be flexible and transition into a new strategy or approach on the game is a key skill in becoming a great player, and it is one of those things that separates good players from great ones. I can’t stress this enough.

For a bunch of random tips that very much apply still:

Check out my articles from last year, the Beginner and Advanced Pro Tips. I read them the night before every tournament just so all that information is fresh in my head and I know what to do.

Okay, now on to the good stuff: some decks. Pretty much every deck has been beaten to death on here, so I think I’m fortunate in that the three decks that I’ve been testing and consider my top choices for Regionals haven’t been talked about too much!

Fulop talked a bit about the first two in his last article, but I hope I can offer different perspectives on each, and reintroduce one of my favorite decks in the format that is never ever talked about. Let’s get into ‘em then:


The most mainstream of my three choices, there has been less coverage of this guy than the rest of the top decks on SixPrizes so far, with all but Kettler mentioning it, but my view on the deck is a bit different, and has always been a bit different than others. First off I would like to share the list I used at one of the Battle Roads I attended:

Pokémon – 20

4 Magnemite TM

2 Magneton TM

3 Magnezone Prime

4 Yanma TM

4 Yanmega Prime

1 Tyrogue HS

1 Cleffa HS

1 Jirachi UL

Trainers – 30

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Judge

2 Copycat

2 Sage’s Training

1 Twins


4 Junk Arm

4 Pokémon Communication

3 Pokémon Catcher

3 Rare Candy

2 PlusPower

1 Switch

Energy – 10

6 L
4 P

Some of the things you’ll notice:

4-2-3 Magnezone: I think 4-1-3 is the best play, but I witnessed a decent amount of Trainer Lock at the Battle Road the day before, so I put in the 2nd Magneton. I think now with Gothitelle becoming such a prominent deck, two Magneton is necessary, as it will almost always give you the win over Goth.

Goth absolutely cannot keep up if you have two Magnezone up and can 1HKO two of their Gothitelles. Also, the 4th Magnemite is mandatory in my opinion because of the likelihood of these guys being Catchered up, with Zekrom and other fast decks being so prominent.

Jirachi > Pachi: This was more of a test run to see how it went, and I was never disappointed in Jirachi. It gave me weird outs in games.

Tyrogue: I think he is an all-star in this deck, but could probably be cut for more room.

PlusPowers: I like this strictly better than Kingdra, as I think Kingdra is sort of redundant now with Catcher, and I have not had any experience where I really want it. The PlusPowers are really nice to have, but the 10 every turn has not been missed by me.

Here was roughly how my games went, by the way:

R1 vs Donphan/Lanturn/Tornadus

Went first and just ran over him with a T2 Yanmega + Magnezone.

R2 vs Zekrom

He went first, got T1ed. Had Collector/Twins in hand too. ;(

R3 vs Typhlosion

Got a pretty good start and he misplayed early game in setting up, and an early Judge/Catcher on Vulpix put him in a really bad position. I just kinda ran over him.

R4 vs Truth

I go first and Tyrogue his lone Pichu.

R5 vs Mirror

pokegym.netHe goes first and is always just one step ahead of me, though it came down to 1-1 and he burned more resources. Late game, he had 3 Prizes to my 3 and time was called on his turn and he took a KO. He used all his Junk Arms, Catchers, 1 Switch, and had 9 Energy on the field/discard/Lost Zone already, so I Catcher an Energy-less Magnezone up and take a KO with Linear Attack. 2-2.

He plays the second Switch and takes a KO with Yanmega. 1-2. I re-Catcher the Magnezone up and take another KO with Linear Attack. 1-1 turn 3. So he attaches an Energy to Magnezone now and passes. I can’t take a KO on anything now (I had no Magnezone for the last part of the game), so I just Sonicboom and of course he plays the 11th Energy to win.

So after this tournament I thought about the deck a lot, talked to my good old friend Agustin from Argentina, and he has convinced me to play more Energy. That’s about the only significant change I’ve made to the list since then, but it actually is very significant.

No longer do I get run out of Energy or can’t hit drops or worry about not being able to 1HKO the next Gothitelle or Zekrom. Playing more Energy means more 1HKOs, which can only be a good thing, and something that I think is necessary in this format. With that being said, the changes to make my current list look like:

– 1 Jirachi
– 1 Tyrogue
– 4 Psychics
– 1 PlusPower
– 1 Sage/Twins

+ 7 Lightning (so it’s at 13)
+ 1 Pachirisu CL

I’m kind of wary about dropping a Supporter, but I think it should be fine. Also am considering PETM in those last two Supporter slots (I think 4 Collector/4 Judge/2 Copycat is standard and should be kept no matter what) for an easier time getting the evolutions (especially Magnetons) up under Trainer Lock. Pachirisu seems naturally better with more L Energy, as you will statistically have many more times when you can use it.

Some things that I’ve thought about/toyed around with a bit, but not too much:

– Playing either two Pachirisu, 1/1 Pachirisu/Jirachi, or one Seeker: This allows more Energy acceleration, and with more Energy, it is more possible, and surprise KOs from Magnezone become more possible and scary for an opponent.

Zoroark BLW: When Fulop posted this, I really liked the idea, and have thought about it ever since Stephen Silvestro played it at Nationals. I haven’t tried it yet as of writing this article, so if anyone has and wants to let me know how their results have been with it, that would be great!

Bouffalant BLW 91: Basically just for Zekrom, but considering Zekrom is the deck’s toughest matchup, it might be worth looking into.

Lost Remover: See Bouffalant.

– 4th Catcher. This card is so huge that I’ve wanted a 4th so many times. I might even drop the 4th Junk Arm for the 4th one.

Let me now go over how I think Magnezone/Yanmega’s matchups go, as I think they are for the most part, very favorable.


Hardest matchup for this deck. If you go 2nd you can really far behind and lose control of the game quickly. With so many Supporters/PokéGears played now, even Judging them as the game goes on gets less and less efficient. This is about the only matchup where Twins is nice. Like I said, you can run Bouffalant or Lost Remover for techs, but other than that I’m not sure how much you can improve this matchup.

Try to combat Tornadus with Yanmega and save Magnezones to 1HKO Zekroms. Catcher + double PlusPower on their end becomes deadly, so if you can Catcher a Zekrom with even one Energy before that happens, you should probably do it.


pokegym.netAh, the old debate. I still think Megazone has a slight advantage in this matchup, especially with 3-4 Catcher, as I think Catcher benefits Megazone more so than Typhlosion in this matchup. Being able to gust and 1HKO Typhlosions two turns in a row spells doom for them, plus the fact that you should be able to get some easy KOs with Yanmega early Catchering guys.

Of course it can’t be much more than 50/50, as if Typhlosion goes first and gets a T2 Reshiram attacking, it can be quite bad for the Megazone player, but if not, then I’m pretty sure Megazone should win most of the games. Extra Energy/acceleration is great in this matchup too.


Both Magneboar and Reshiboar fall under this category. Reshiboar should be a bit harder, but they are still very similar. You’re faster, Yanmega is strong in this matchup picking off basics when you can, and saving Magnezones to Catcher up and 1HKO Emboar. They should not be able to get out multiple Emboars before you can kill them, so it shouldn’t be that hard of a matchup.

Focus on the basics with Yanmega before moving on to the bigger guys. It’s fine if a Reshiram KOs a Yanmega every turn if you are Catchering up basics like Tepig and Magnemites, as in the end, you’ll win the prize exchange and come out with better board control when Magnezone starts 1HKOing stuff once the basics are gone.


Always been one of, if not the, hardest matchup for Truth. That has not changed. Especially with more Energy. :) DO NOT KO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE TWO MAGNEZONES UP. It’s really simple; I’m not sure why anyone would not follow this. You give access to Twins, and most of those easy prizes will still be around later in the game for Yanmega to snipe.

Unless you can force them into a no-Oddish or no-Solosis game state, don’t risk it; the game can get really out of hand really quickly. It is quite hard for them to win on time, so do not be afraid to use this to your advantage. Obviously don’t cheat, but it takes a long time for the Truth to come back to beat Megazone longer than almost any other deck it might face.


Similar to the Truth matchup, but I think a bit harder. It’s easier for them to get the Trainer Lock early, so you have to try and be fast about getting Candy Magnezones out and savor your Magneton(s). If you can get two Magnezones though ready to charge ahead and run through some Gothitelles, you will usually win.

I feel like being wary of taking prizes early also pertains here, as they run on Twins, so unless you can actually lock them out of Solosis, I wouldn’t bother taking easy KOs until your set up (or until a Gothitelle hits the field, because at that point it generally doesn’t matter as much).

Stage 1s

This deck is obviously the hardest to give a matchup for, as there could be so many different variants and things that any Stage 1 deck is running, but if we’re talking about the typical Donphan/Yanmega/Zoroark, it is probably around 50/50, but slightly in the favor of Stage 1s.

Catcher certainly benefits them more than you, letting them KO Magnezones almost at will, but the upside is with more Energy and stuff, you can revenge KO Donphans with Magnezone easier than you were ever able to before. If they go first it can get tough, but also Judge can hurt them. This is always an interesting game, but it can also turn into a crapshoot.


I personally just call this deck Mew, so that’s what it’ll be called the rest of the article. It’s another matchup where you don’t want to take a prize early unless you can really capitalize on them. Also, Magnetons are boss here again as Muk can really screw you up, but if you keep Magnetons they really can’t drag too much. This is such a weird game because if they get their early Vileplume it is probably harder than both Truth and Goth, but if they don’t it becomes way easier.

Yanmegas just run through Mews, and can also snipe Vileplume. Jirachi helps more in this matchup than any other probably. When I play this matchup I often don’t even go for Magnezone, just get Magnetons up and retreat them if they get dragged up. Don’t fall for the Aipom/Smoochum trick.

Think that covers all of the popular decks, so I think you can see that Megazone has some good matchups across the board. None are really amazing auto-wins, but pretty solid numbers all around. I think that’s one of the reasons I like the deck so much, as I feel like I have a chance in any game I play.


pokemon-paradijs.comOkay, on to my next deck, and one that Fulop has talked about a bit and dubbed his “secret deck”: Tyranitar! I’ve always liked Tyranitar and what it offered, and always met a brick wall. It is such an interesting card, because not only does it not have much synergy with any other card, it doesn’t even have synergy with itself!

No one can deny the sheer power of the card though: 160 HP, a phenomenal spread attack, a decent medium attack, and a good big attack. Decks try to have all these features in a deck as a whole, but Tyranitar has it all in one.

With that said, I tried Weavile in Tyranitar for a couple days and dropped it pretty soon. It just didn’t do enough for me. I constantly found myself just wanting more Tyranitars, more of the time. So a couple days after Fulop released his article and I was messing around with Tyranitar, I decided to go back and try the approach that I had thought of during BRs, which I didn’t get around to trying, but had new motivation with trying the Weavile version.

Here was the first list I tried, and one that I still like for the most part:

Pokémon – 18

4 Larvitar UL 51

2 Pupitar UL 38

4 Tyranitar Prime

2-2 Darkrai & Cresselia LEGEND
2 Cleffa HS
2 Pichu HS

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Twins
3 Pokémon Collector
3 Sage’s Training
2 Professor Juniper


4 Pokémon Communication

4 Rare Candy
4 Junk Arm
3 Max Potion
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Switch

Energy – 10

4 Special D
3 D
3 P

Actually now that I look at it, I like that initial list even more than I thought. Let me explain some things I guess:

DCL: I’ve ran anywhere from 0 to 2-2-of this guy. I’m still not sure what the correct play is, as it seems so hit or miss. I hate that it pretty much takes away from playing more basics. But its attack is unmatched in this deck and provides you an easy out to the last two, sometimes even three, prizes. I’ll give another list in a bit where I don’t run it at all, though.

Babies: After a ton of testing with various variants of Tyranitar, I’m pretty confident 2 Cleffa/2 Pichu is 100% the right play. You need more basics to up your basic count, and the Babies are really phenomenal in here. If you can get a quick Tyranitar out with a baby or two on the bench, you can activate Twins with two Darkness Howls, which is more significant than you might think.

Getting a Pichu out against the decks hardest matchups, Zekrom and Stage 1s, is really good, because you can just fill your bench with all the Larvitars in the deck, and it becomes a race to see how many Tyranitars you can build out of those.

Though it sounds kind of hap hazardous to do this, it is way better than getting two Larvitar out, having one Catchered and KO’d, and getting one Tyranitar out. Then every other Larvitar that hits the field gets Catchered and KO’d and you’re stuck with the one Tyranitar the entire game.

No Jirachi/Shaymin: Plain and simple, I don’t think either of these cards are worth it. Jirachi does not help at all in your hardest matchups (okay I guess possibly it could help a little bit against Stage 1s, maybe), and I never used Shaymin.

Maybe it’s just the way I run the deck, which is heavy on heal and Howl. Adds to the basic count, but it’s a bad basic to start with, so again that doesn’t help the cause.

Trainers: I quite liked Fulop’s Supporter line, so I kept it pretty much. Not much else to say about that. The non-Supporters are pretty different though, at least in the counts. He had 2 Junk Arm/1 Max Potion, while I have 4/3. I think Max Potion is the big card in this deck, and the reason why it beats pretty much everything except Zekrom and Stage 1s.

You get a Tyranitar out and Howl a ton of times, healing every single turn, and eventually you just win. It is actually that simple! The only other exception is Gothitelle and Truth, but we’ll talk about that more in a bit.

So I have this list and was having pretty good results against most decks. Tried a ton of techs to get the Zekrom and Stage 1 matchups at least bearable, to little success. You’d be surprised, though, that just this list here doesn’t have too poor of a matchup against either of them, but it’s certainly not good. Here are some of the ideas I’ve toyed with recently:

Lost Remover: Like I said under the Megazone part, this is just for Zekrom pretty much, but it helps vs Stage 1s a lot more in here, as Zoroark is a beast against you along with Donphan, so you can limit their DCE options there as well.

– Bouffalant: Again, see the Megazone section.

Kingdra Prime: Provides a Donphan counter, but does nothing for your Zekrom matchup. Pooka recently put up a YouTube video of one of his PTCGO games of a Tyranitar/Kingdra deck that he was trying. I talked to him a little bit about after I saw it, he said Kingdra didn’t do enough for the Donphan matchup anyway. It seems decent, but probably not something that I would want to play in here if I were to run this at Regionals.

– DCEs: I dropped them initially, and have played with and without them, but I think it’s correct to play them. They give you that option to hit big, and especially against Goth/Truth, this is extremely important.

– Tornadus: A soft Donphan counter IMO, but it’s about the best we have and the easiest to fit in a deck like Tyranitar. It also ups your basic count, which is another issue for this deck.

Revive: Provides more opportunities to get multiple Tyranitar out if you find your Larvitars getting Catchered a lot and KO’d in the early game, especially against the likes of Zekrom and Stage 1s.

Potion: Helps vs Zekrom and Stage 1s a bit, allowing you not to get 2HKO’d by Tornadus in the former, and if you run Tornadus, it makes it a better attacker vs Stage 1s.

And that about takes me to where I am now with the deck. Currently, FWIW, this is my top choice for Regionals, just because I think it’s really fun to play, and it has really good matchups against everything except Zekrom and Stage 1s. Stage 1s isn’t so popular in the Northeast, though Zekrom is, but hopefully I can dodge them.

Most people haven’t been testing against Tyranitar, which makes it easier to outplay people, as they will inevitably misplay, while I won’t (or not nearly as much – I ain’t perfect!). Here is the list I have right now:

Pokémon – 16

4 Larvitar UL 51

2 Pupitar UL 38

4 Tyranitar Prime

2 Tornadus EPO

2 Cleffa HS

2 Pichu HS

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

3 Pokémon Collector

3 Twins

3 Sage’s Training

1 Professor Juniper


4 Pokémon Communication

4 Rare Candy

4 Junk Arm

3 Max Potion

1 Pokémon Catcher

1 Switch

1 Revive

1 Lost Remover

1 Burned Tower

Energy – 10

4 Special D

3 D

3 Double Colorless

So not too much different, though you will notice that I don’t have DCL right now. The Energy was getting kind of weird, and the card just wasn’t helping against the trouble matchups and constant Howls/Heal were enough to win the positive matchups. Many of the things I mentioned above have made it into the list, though I’m not sure what will stay and what will go by next weekend. It is constantly changing with the games I play, but I think that’s good.

pokegym.netOne card I really like that I didn’t mention, though, is Burned Tower. This card allows you to really get the Howl/Heal “lock” going, and just is great to have out so you don’t miss too many Energy drops as the game progresses. The only decks that really run Stadiums are Goth and Truth anyway, which you can’t go for healing anyway, so Burned Tower is generally pretty safe once it hits the field.

I’ll go over matchups again, but these are more simple than Megazone matchups for sure:


Like I said, and it should be obvious, this is the hardest game. I’ve tried different approaches in game to try and combat it, and some work sometimes and others work other times. If they go all out and play down Shaymin, Pachi, and 2-3 Tornadus/Zekrom, then just going Howl/Heal is probably the way to go.

If they try to play conservative and only get 2-3 guys out at once, then it becomes harder and you have to try and build up a Tyranitar. But then they have Catcher to bring it up. I find myself using Power Claw a lot, which means DCEs are very valuable; I almost want a 4th one in here solely for this and the Stage 1s game.

Not too much else to say about this, but I do want to say this matchup is certainly not unwinnable. If they go first and get a FTKO, it is almost impossible, but barring that you can pull out the game about 50% of the time I’d say.

Typhlosion, Emboar

I’m putting these under the same as you play the matchups almost identically: Howl/Heal. They can’t keep up, they can’t 1HKO ever (with exceptions being Magnezone and Reshiram doing Outrage for 140 + double PlusPower). Even if they can 1HKO one Tyranitar, they almost never can go through two, so these matchups are very favorable.

This is one of the reasons I like Tyranitar so much: it is one of the few decks that has a positive, and a very positive one at that, against Typhlosion.

Truth, Goth

pokegym.netSimilarly, these matchups are similar. The goal is pretty much just get out a big Tyranitar with a Special Dark or two (one for Goth, two for Truth) and start swinging away. You’ll go through three Gothitelles before they know what hit them. Truth is a bit harder as they run Donphan, but with two Special Darks, you 1HKO Donphan, so you should still win I think.

Howl can also get funny against both of these decks, as they always have a full bench, so you’re doing 120 for 1, and even though they can move it around, it adds up quickly.


Probably the hardest matchup outside of Zekrom and Stage 1s, as they can 1HKO you, though it takes four Energy (or three + PlusPower/Kingdra). My list above is probably what I would NOT want to face with Tyranitar, as it has a lot of Energy and PlusPower.

Kingdra I think might be easier to deal with, as you can kind of screw around with them a bit bygusting it up and Howling. Plus it’s another thing they have to get up before they start targeting Tyranitar, which gives you time to spread more. This is a weird matchup and can go either way depending on set up and the build.

Stage 1s

Have talked about this a bit, but yeah of course it’s bad. Zoroark and Donphan both hit you for 120 for one Energy, while you don’t hit either of them with Howl. Tornadus helps a ton, but even with it, it’s not positive. I really don’t even know what to say about this matchup, as I have not found the right approach to the game, and may just have to chalk it up as a loss.

Again though, like Zekrom, do not just give up if you see a Donphan and Zoroark; I have won games against Stage 1s, it’s just hard and happens less often than losing. :P


You should just run through them. Don’t get multiple Tyranitar out, just set up some Pupitars so they can’t Muk anything up. Power Claw 1HKOs Mews or you can go the Howl route. Either way usually leads to victory, just depends on the board position. Definitely a positive matchup.

That about covers it. I really like Tyranitar, and like I said, it is my top choice for Regionals right now, with Megazone a close second and my last deck in this article being my third, albeit distant. Make sure you play a decent amount of games with Tyranitar though if you decide to play it, as it runs quite differently from any other deck in the format. It took me awhile to really get the hang of it.


pokegym.netLastly, I want to talk at least a little bit about my actual favorite deck of the format, just because it’s fun and colorful and stuff. Dubbed “Japanese Aggro” by my friends on XF, this is a deck that hasn’t seen too much play or popularization. Maybe it’s for a good reason, but I still quite like the deck and feel it can compete with the best decks.

You can check out the list I had in my last article, and for other variants you can check out Kettler’s article which deals solely with Kingdra/Cincinno though. We’re going to have to make some tweaks, though, as the metagame has changed since Worlds and the needs of the deck have certainly changed as well.


– 4-2-4 Kingdra I still think is necessary. You need to be able to get out multiple Kingdra, ASAP.

– Cincinno needs to stay at least 3-3. You need the 100+ damage as the game goes on.

– Yanmega, on the other hand, looks like it can be cut down. I don’t agree with totally cutting it, but I think going down to a 2-2 line is acceptable.

– Needs a Bouffalant to combat Zekrom. Even if they Defender, with Kingdra and PlusPowers you can get the revenge KO sometimes; and they won’t have Defender every time.


pokegym.netI liked Kettler’s slight change on my Energy, which was adding the 4th Rescue. However, I feel like the 4th Rescue could also be a Revive, which I think could be good with only 11 basics, ensuring that you always have a full bench when you want to Do The Wave. Revive also will make the Buffalo more reusable, as you will almost never have a Rescue on it. So we have this:


– I didn’t really like Judge when I was playing this, and I never really have in decks that don’t have Magnezone. With a bit less of a focus on Yanmega, we can drop them and max Copycats. We can play the 4th PONT and the 3rd Juniper in place of the last two Judge, and keep four Collector for a solid 15 Supporters, which I think is the perfect number for this deck.

– We have a bit of room to add a PlusPower now, and I also think we need to fit the 4th Candy, as it was sometimes tough drawing into them with only three. Junk Arms can be sacrificed, as they are generally weaker in here than many other decks, but I still wouldn’t drop below two. Catcher is also a little less impressive in this deck than others, even though it seems very aggro, as you’re almost always 1HKOing the active anyway.

Putting it all together:

Pokémon – 21

4 Horsea UL
2 Seadra UL
4 Kingdra Prime
3 Mincino EPO
3 Cinccino BLW
2 Yanma TM
2 Yanmega Prime
1 Bouffalant BLW 91

Trainers – 29/28

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Copycat
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Professor Juniper

4 Pokémon Communication
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
2 Junk Arm
1 PlusPower
(1 Revive)

Energy – 10/11

4 Double Colorless
3/4 Rescue
3 W

pokegym.netAnother option that I really like, and if you’re particularly worried about Gothitelle, is running the Sigilyph that does 40+10 for each damage counter on them for CCC. With two Kingdras out, you can 1HKO Gothitelles then. Problem is them being able to Catcher you. Still pretty good though.

I haven’t played this as much I would like, but I still think it’s pretty viable. Maybe dropping Yanmega altogether could be done, but I feel like you lose a lot of versatility if you do that. Space is tight in the deck more than I would like to admit, as well.

There’s little point in doing matchups for this deck, as it is a pretty linear deck, with most of the strategy dealing with what to set up given what cards you’re dealt and what your opponent has at a given time. I think that this deck has pretty even matchups across the board, with no blowout wins, and really no blowout losses. A lot of people aren’t accounting for this deck, so it can catch people by surprise as well.

Either way, build this guy and have fun with it, because you will. For some reason it’s extremely satisfying using three Sea Sprays every single turn, don’t ask me why.

Okay, that’s about it. I once again apologize for the delay on this guy, but hopefully you all can gain some knowledge from it. This is everything I know right now about the game, at least all that I can fit into the article without making it any later! Comments, questions, criticism are, as always, warmly welcomed, and I’ll respond! Peace!


…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.