Schooling the Competition – Dark Horses

Going into Cities, many players weren’t sure exactly what the format would be like. Some thought old power houses like TyRam and MegaZone would keep their grasp on the format while others were expecting new threats like Cobalion NVI and Kyurem NVI to take over.

A month later, having been over three weeks of City events, the format has been well-defined. The new BDIF, EelZone, has been claiming Cities across the country. The other dominant forces in the competitive scene include ZPST, Chandelure, The Truth, TyRam, CoKE, 6 Corners, and more. In a format as diverse as this, there’s a lot of room for improvisation in both deck selection and how you construct your list.

The main focus of this article will be decks. There were a lot of new concepts that did well at Cities this year, but aren’t really mainstream. I plan to go over a few of these decks as well as discuss some new ideas of my own invention. I’ve also got some decklists for you guys and other good stuff. I don’t want to waste any more time on introductions, so let’s jump right into the article.

Machamp Prime

Since its release, Machamp has been one of those cards that everyone knows is strong, but for one reason or another, just doesn’t work in the format. However, I think things have changed to the point that Machamp is a viable deck choice. The biggest attribute of this format that makes Machamp a good choice is the popularity of Lightning Pokémon. The BDIF, EelZone, is comprised solely of Pokémon that are weak to Fighting, which is something ‘Champ can take advantage of.

So far this season, Machamp has breached the top 4 at Cities six times, even managing to take home two of these events. I think this is solid evidence that the 150 HP boxer is indeed a good deck choice in this Lightning-filled environment.

A few weeks ago, I submitted an article examining how far theory can take you when it comes to deck building. The deck that I used as the guinea pig in this experiment was MaPhan with Vileplume. As I was working with MaPhan, I quickly fell in love with it and have continued developing my list. Below is my most recent MaPhanPlume list.

Pokémon – 24

4 Phanpy HS
3 Donphan Prime
3 Machop TM
3 Machoke TM
3 Machamp Prime
3 Oddish UD
1 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
1 Terrakion NVI
1 Pichu HS

Trainers – 24

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Twins
3 Sage’s Training

2 N


4 Rare Candy

3 Pokémon Communication

Energy – 12

7 F

3 Double Colorless
2 Rainbow

pokemon-paradijs.comAs you can see, the list is extremely similar to the one in my MaPhanLock article. Overall, I’m pretty happy with this list and believe it has a lot of potential. Instead of going over the entire list again, I’ll just discuss the changes I’ve made from the original.

Firstly, I upped the Phanpy count. The main idea behind this change was to increase the odds of getting that turn 2 Donphan and between four Phanpy, four Pokémon Collector and the Pichu, I’m able to do this on a very consistent basis. Besides setting up “Champ Buster,” the Turn 2 Donphan Prime goes a long way in a lot of match ups, applying a ton of early-game pressure that really punishes your opponent’s slow starts.

The second copy of Gloom is more of a luxury than a necessity, so I took it out to make room for other things. Since I’ve got the maxed out Rare Candy count, I think it’s beneficial to remove any extra cards that are usually dead-draws later in the game.

Another change I made was switching out an N for another PONT. N is an extremely powerful card during the late game, especially with Trainer lock. However, when you play it early game before many prizes are taken, you basically just give your opponent a free PONT. Increasing the PONT count helps me recover from an opponent’s N as well.

I reduced the Pichu count because it’s kind of counter-productive. Getting an early Donphan is a huge step in a lot of match ups, especially when your opponent gets a slow start. “Playground” makes this difficult because it alleviates any bad start your opponent may have had. I’m keeping one in the deck, though, to act as a fifth Pokémon Collector that can be searched out by Communication.

You can also run into problems if Pichu stays asleep too long. Ultimately, Pichu functions better here as a consistency tech instead of relying on Playground to set up each game.

pokemon-paradijs.comMaPhan has a lot of things going for it. Its amazing EelZone match up, which definitely approaches auto-win territory, is a huge part of why MaPhan is playable. In addition, unlike a lot of Trainer-locking decks, since we run Donphan, we can kind of live in both worlds, able to apply early game pressure via Donphan and outgun our opponents in the late game thanks to Machamp.

The other day, I was discussing MaPhan with a good friend of mine and he said, “Just because a deck has a good match up against the BDIF doesn’t mean it’s playable. Remember the SP killer Machamp from last format? Having a strong match up against the two biggest decks still made it a bad play.”

My friend does make some valid points, but I think things are a bit different here. MaPhanLock not only has that key auto-win against EelZone, but it also has 50/50 or better match ups most of the other top decks in the format. Unfortunately, it still has “Psychic Syndrome”, that is, suffers from having a terrible match up against the biggest Psychic deck. But, instead of loosing to VileGar, MaPhan has a nasty match up against Chandelure variants.

One tech I’m currently testing out is Absol Prime. The idea is to use Absol Prime + a Rainbow Energy, both of which are easily searched out by a single Twins, to 1HKO Chandelure. Absol’s 80 HP puts it just outside the range of a double “Cursed Shadow,” even when you attach a Rainbow Energy. The following turn, just attach another Energy to Absol and kill a Chandelure.

I didn’t include it in the list above because I haven’t thoroughly tested it enough to confidently recommend you play it, but I will say it’s performing positively in testing. In other match ups, Absol is less useful, but still serves as a solid starter as it helps put my opponent’s Pokémon in one or 2HKO range.

Lucario CL

pokemon-paradijs.comNext, I’d like to talk about Lucario. It was mildly hyped at its release for its ability to potentially hit for huge amounts of damage. You would use cards like Mew Prime or Relicanth to get Pokémon into the Lost Zone so Lucario can hit for massive damage. Lucario, being a Stage 1 that could use its best attack for CC, made it seem like it would be a strong contender in the format.

There were a number of things in the format over the past few years that prevented Lucario from being playable, one of the most prominent being LostGar’s popularity. However, I was thinking Lucario might not be a terrible play now for a few reasons. Firstly, Lucario’s Fighting type means it can hit Zekrom, Thundurus, Lanturn and Magnezone Prime for weakness. If you can get just two Pokémon into the Lost Zone, you can 1HKO just about any Pokémon in those deck.

My plan was to construct a Lost Zone deck. Use Absol, which I expected to swing the Chandelure match up in my favor, to get Pokémon into the Lost Zone and use Lucario as the main attacker. I was also going to run a few Relicanth to help ensure I start getting Pokémon into the Lost Zone asap. I included a few copies of Mew Prime as well to win the Gothitelle match up and act as a secondary attacker. I planned to include the usual “See Off” targets: Muk/Bellsprout, Cinccino, and Zoroark.

I spent a couple of days testing out this deck and experienced lukewarm results. I had positive Eel and Chandelure match ups, but they weren’t quite as strong as I was hoping. This deck also had a terrible TyRam match up and it wasn’t great against ZPST either. And too often I found myself whiffing on something important, like a Pokémon in hand or a DCE, causing me to lose games against even my most positive match ups.

I also played a game or two against my friend’s Gengar Prime variant, just to see if there was any way to have a chance against it. Simply put, not really. I had the crazy idea to use Absol Prime to try and run them out of Gengar Prime before my Lost Zone was filled. However, all it took was for them to be running a single Flower Shop Lady/Super Rod/Rescue Energy for this strategy to backfire way more often than it worked.

Revenge Kill FTW

pokemon-paradijs.comThis next deck type I’d like to discuss is one I find particularly interesting. A member of my team took this deck to a City Championship and went 3-2. He and one (I think) other player went 3-2, but only one of them would make it into the Cut. Because of his bad resistance, he didn’t make top cut. However, I decided I still wanted to learn more about the deck.

The deck’s main attackers are Terrakion NVI and Bouffalant BLW 91. When you’re playing against most decks, the prize race stays pretty close. The idea is to keep trading knock outs until your opponent eventually runs out of steam.

He asked that I not publish his list, so I won’t have a list of this deck for you guys today. However, he did tell me quite a bit about the deck and gave me the OK to tell you guys what he told me.

Essentially every card he included was there to do one of two things: score those revenge 1HKOs or contribute to disrupting your opponent’s resources, helping to ensure there comes a time when they run out of resources to continue the game.

He ran high counts of Black Belt, PlusPower and Rocky Helmet, which bring just about every Pokémon in the format within 1HKO range of “Retaliate” and “Revenge”. He ran four Pokégear 3.0 to search out those Black Belts and ensure he got decent starts each game. I believe two Twins were included as well. They’re pretty effective since you’re behind in prizes for 3/4 of the game.

pokemon-paradijs.comHe also experimented with Lost Remover/Crushing Hammer. In the later stages of the game, when Energy starts getting precious, the strength of these cards go way up. I know N was included, too. When your opponent plays an N late-game followed by a Lost Remover and a revenge KO on your main attacker, it can mean game over for you.

I threw together a Revenge Kill deck shortly after my teammate’s 3-2 Cities showing. Out of 45 games against the top-tier decks, it won 20 games. Keeping in mind my inexperience with the deck and the fact the list was extremely rough, it performed pretty well.

It has a great EelZone match up and its TyRam game was roughly 50/50. It held its own against most The Truth builds. Unfortunately, the Chandelure match up was god-awful. Since Chandelure decks can easily go entire games without attacking, Terrakion and Bouffalant were stuck hitting for extremely small amounts of damage.

Eventually, I got Terrakion’s second attack charged up, but since Terra doesn’t have “Outrage”, my opponent just patiently kept stacking damage on any Terrakion I tried to attach Energy to until it was KO’d. I could usually get off one or two attacks with it, but so long as they could get set up before turn 5 or 6, there wasn’t much I could do (whether they ran Vileplume or not didn’t make much of a difference).


pokemon-paradijs.comWell, by this point, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not to creative when it comes to naming decks. Whenever I come up with a new deck, I generally just try to cram the names together and hope it doesn’t sound too awful. Last format, I built an experimental deck consisting of Honchkrow SV, Ambipom TM, and some other stuff. Don’t knock the deck, it was actually pretty decent, but the name I ended up going with was Watermelon. Don’t even ask how I came up with it.

Assuming you can get past the clunky name, KyuremGatrLock is actually a very strong deck. It’s a strong, fast and disruptive deck that has a lot of flexibility to tweak the deck to suit your meta. About two months ago, I wrote an article on this deck, so if you want an in-depth analysis on this concept, check it out here.

But since compiling the information that went into that article, I’ve further tested out the deck. I’ve gotten to know the deck a bit better and would like to share some new techs that I have found work well in the deck.

Below is the skeleton list that I’ve been basing most of my testing on. Well, I’ve actually developed it quite a bit, to the point that it’s nothing like a skeleton list at all, so think of it as a modified skeleton. I’ve shed blood, sweat and tears ensuring that every single count and card in the list is exactly right, so I’m pretty confident that everything below is correct.

Pokémon – 20

3 Totodile HS
2 Croconaw CL
3 Feraligatr Prime
3 Oddish UD
1 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
3 Pichu HS
3 Kyurem NVI

Trainers – 24

4 Sage’s Training

3 Pokémon Collector

3 Twins

2 Fisherman
2 N


3 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Communication

Energy – 10

10 W

Free Slots – 6

Now, this list only has 54 cards in it. What I determined was there’s no “perfect” list, one that you can take to any City Championship in the country and do well. I think it has a fair chance of doing well anywhere, given the current environment, but if you want a shot of winning, it definitely needs to be teched according to your metagame and play-style.

Below, I’ve included a list of what I feel are some of the best options to tech for your meta. I know every single possibility isn’t listed, but these are what I feel are some of the best ones.

Victini NVI 15 + R Energy

pokemon-paradijs.comI’m so in love with this tech and at the same time, I’m pissed I didn’t come up with it myself. It was actually suggested to me by a friend of mine, Jimmy M. He’s only been playing the game for about a year, but has already taken home a second place at a Fall BR and a City Championship. He read my article on Kyurem and said after trying out the list, added in two Victini and two R Energy. Jimmy said he tested it out online in 50 timed games against his friends (who he said “aren’t noobs”) and he won 43 of those games.

After trying it out, I realized he was right. I took out SEL and a W Energy to fit the second Fire and the two Victini. Immediately, I wanted to see how it affected the Cobalion match up, as it was in theory the one match up for sure that should be aided by Victini’s presence. It was huge against both CoKE and The Truth; being able to 1HKO Cobalion really helped swing these match ups into my favor.

Losing SEL changed the Ross.deck match as instead of being able to snipe Reuniclus, I had to focus on trying to overwhelm my opponent’s field with damage. Overall, though, the match was still in my favor.

As for in other match ups, things just kept getting better. “Glaciate” puts just about everything within 1HKO range of “V-Create” and having the ability to hit big for such little investment was awesome. Being able to 1HKO Zekroms and Kyurems was certainly helpful, letting me get around “Outrage”.

It was killer against Chandelure as Glaciate makes it a very easy target. Even if they devote their “Shadow Curse” damage to taking out Victini before its ready to go, its 70 HP puts it just outside their range, meaning they can’t stop me from using it at least once, assuming I immediately start charging it and bring it active the following turn.

Basically, Victini just added another element to the deck that it didn’t have before: the ability to do big damage fast to a single target. It’s easily searched out by Twins, too, so if you choose to tech in Victini, I recommend you include a 4th copy in your list.

Suicune & Entei LEGEND

I removed this card from the list above because it’s not a staple that’s needed in every single meta. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great card. It’s amazing against other Kyurem/Gatr variants as well as The Truth, Gothitelle and a hoard of other random match ups. When you’re running Fire or Rainbow Energy, it also greatly aids against Cobalion and other Metal-type Pokémon.

SEL isn’t as strong as it was even a month or two ago. For this, you can blame Eelektrik, which gave Lightning types the push they needed to become the BDIF, as well as fostering a hand full of tier 2 decks that are Lightning-based as well. But if your meta is light on EelZone and heavy on some of the other decks I mentioned that SEL is strong against, this card is a great play. I personally think this card is stronger in most cases than Jirachi as well, but that’s just me.

Black Belt

One card that I’ve been experimenting with to pretty positive results. Whenever people bring up Black Belt as a solution to things, most players just seem to write it off, saying that good players are prepared for it. However, because of this, I’ve found that people are less and less prepared for Black Belt.

We all know how good PlusPower is, BB is the equivalent of four PPs. Yeah, it’s unfortunate that it uses up your Supporter for the turn, but still, it’s a strong option that can turn games around when your opponent isn’t prepared for it. Even in a spread deck like this, being able to score the 1HKO on their active Pokémon when they were expecting to have 1-2 more turns before it was KO’d can be huge.

Upping The Counts

pokemon-paradijs.comThis category covers a wide array of cards, including Twins, Kyurem, W Energies and Rare Candy. All of these are cards that I’d like to be running more copies of, but I ended up cutting them to make room for other things. Since you can run a various combination of techs in this list, you may find yourself with an extra slot or two, in which I urge you to devote that slot to one of these cards.

Whatever cards you decide to include, you definitely don’t want to be running less than 12 Energy, so be sure to include more Waters if you’re only running 10 or 11. After you’ve balanced the Energy, I’d probably up the Twins count. It adds a lot more consistency and increases the odds that you can come back from slower starts, as well as ensuring you can get those one- or 2-of techs out when you need them.

Tropical Beach

After I raved about how strong Tropical Beach was in my Kyurem article, even if you only run one copy, you may be surprised I don’t deem it “essential to the deck’s success”. I’ll start by saying it is a very strong card that I loved including in the deck. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times it’s saved by butt, netting me those extra cards when my resources ran dry. It was also amazing in helping me recover from a late-game N.

Now, I’d like to explain why I don’t think it’s essential. Part of this deck’s strength is its ability to start spreading damage as early as turn two or three, so more and more I found myself not wanting to give up a turn of attacking. Also, with this deck’s limited space, I had trouble getting it when I needed it. I used to use Twins to fish it out, but with these new techs, I usually wanted to devote my resources to other things.

Finally, I hated making my N useless. While one could argue it helps me recover from N as well, since this deck isn’t taking a ton of prizes until the mid or late game, N usually hurts my opponent more than it hurts me.

Lilligant EPO/Yanmega Prime/Vileplume UD/FlipTini/Sunflora HS
I hope you're proud, baby_mario. <3

This deck actually took my area by storm. Well, it took fifth and sixth place at a City Championship in my area, if you consider that “storming an area.” Anyway, the idea behind this deck is basic, yet effective. Your main attackers are Lilligant and Yanmega. Yanmega is a great cheap attacker that can snipe off your opponent’s Basics.

Lilligant’s attack, for a single Grass, does 20 and lets you flip a coin. If its heads, the Defending Pokémon is Paralyzed and Poisoned. If its Tails, it’s Confused instead. Combine this attack with FlipTini and you’ve got a very high chance of preventing the defending Pokémon from attacking the following turn. Vileplume makes it even more effective by not allowing your opponent to use Switch to erase the Special Conditions you inflict.

To keep this deck fast and consistent, they ran Sunflora, which can search out any Grass Pokémon from their deck each turn. “Sunshine Grace” has a lot of versatility in this deck since nearly all of the Pokémon lines are composed of Grass types.

A deck that I think is extremely similar to this is VVV (Vileplume/Vanilluxe/Victini). Both decks run Vileplume to lock Trainers and rely on a Special Condition attacker to lock your opponent’s active Pokémon. They both rely on FlipTini to be a more effective attacker as well.

However, Vanilluxe and Lilligant, while they serve a very similar function in a deck, they each have a number of advantages over the other. Vanilluxe’s most prominent merits are its higher HP and damage output. “Bemusing Aroma” maxes out at a pitiful 20 damage whereas “Double Freeze” hits for a consistent 40 damage and offers the possibility to be doing 80 damage.

pokemon-paradijs.comIn addition, Vanilluxe’s HP is above the 130 HP barrier, meaning most Pokémon won’t be able to KO it in a single shot while you maintain a Trainer lock.

On the other hand, there is one big advantage to running Lilligant in your deck. Because it’s a Stage 1 requiring only a single G Energy to attack, it’s incredibly easy to get set up and start attacking, especially with the aid of Sunflora.

Overall, I’d still say that Vanilluxe is the better way to go. It’s durability and high damage output make up for its slow recovery and since you’ll be locking your opponent’s Pokémon from attacking, you’ll have plenty of time to get another set up. Also, its lock is more reliable. If you do hit double Tails on Bemusing Aroma, even though the Defending Pokémon is Confused, they now have the option to Retreat out of it and score the KO.


If you’ve been paying attention to the metagame or have at least been paying attention to this article, then you know EelZone is far from a Dark Horse. I don’t have a ton to add to the EelZone discussion. Most lists I’ve seen, both in real life and online, are pretty solid. Sure, some are better than others, but for the most part, most lists are pretty strong with just a couple differences between them.

Here is the EelZone List that I’ve been working on:

Pokémon – 19

4 Magnemite TM
2 Magneton TM
3 Magnezone Prime
3 Tynamo NVI 38
1 Tynamo NVI 39

3 Eelektrik NVI
3 Zekrom BLW

Trainers – 28

4 Pokémon Collector

3 N

2 Sage’s Training

2 Engineer’s Adjustments

1 Twins
4 Junk Arm
4 Pokémon Communication
3 Rare Candy

2 PlusPower
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Switch

Energy – 13

12 L
1 Rescue

pokemon-paradijs.comImmediately, you’ll notice a lot of differences between it and most of the EelZone lists that are floating around online. Lower Energy count, only one Switch, three Zekrom, Twins, etc.

I know some people will point some things out that every list is doing and say I’m wrong for not following suit. But the logic I take when building decks is this: At every tournament season, there are many different players playing the same deck, but using different lists. Most of them will just do okay, maybe go 3-2 or even hit the top 8, but then get Knocked Out in the mirror match.

When you’re playing a popular deck, there needs to be something that separates you from the rest of them, your deck needs to have some edge that all the other lists don’t have.

Sometimes, you try to do something too crazy and it backfires. Whenever you look at tournament winning lists, you’ll see they all have one thing in common: they all did something different that made them better. Whether it was a small tweak of a Pokémon line or an entire Energy revamp, it gave them some advantage somewhere down the line that other decks of the same arch type didn’t have.

Okay, didn’t mean for my mini-rant to go on that long, but I believe I’ve reeled myself back in now. So, before I started putting together my EelZone list, I had to first decide what advantage I wanted to have. At first, I was going to try and find a way to win against Fighting-based decks, but it wasn’t long before I concluded it’s pretty much an auto-loss. Plus the way the meta is, there aren’t enough Fighting decks out there to justify any drastic counter measures.

After a while, I decided I would just go for power and consistency. I figured the best way to gain an edge in most of my match ups was being able to set up more consistently and having more fire power at my disposal. Having established this goal, Zekrom was a shoe in over Thundurus. It’s ability to 1HKO other Thundurus and Dragons (with a PlusPower) made it an easy choice. Since I run no Eviolite, Zekrom’s were more vulnerable, which is why I run a 3rd copy. It also helps in getting one set up early game.

pokemon-paradijs.comSome players say PlusPower isn’t needed since Magnezone can 1HKO anything anyway. I completely disagree. There have been so many times where I could have saved an Energy from the Lost Zone if I had a PlusPower. There’s nothing more frustrating than throwing away two Energy to Knock Out a Cyndaquil. PP also gives Zekrom a lot more strength as “Bolt Strike” can then break the 130 HP barrier as well, letting it 1HKO Kyurem, Zekrom, Terrakion and Reshiram.

The 40-HP Tynamo is necessary if I want a shot against decks running Kyurem, but I like having a Pokémon in the deck with a free Retreat Cost. Since “Dynamotor” only lets you attach Lighting Energies to Pokémon on your bench, I like being able to use Tynamo as a place holder whenever my active Pokémon was KO’d. The following turn, I Dynamotor to my attacker, Retreat Tynamo and attack.

I like having a Twins in there as well. I only run a single copy, so it’s obviously not a set up crutch. Instead, it’s more of an “out”. If it’s in my opening hand along with an otherwise crappy hand, it can get me the cards I need to save the game. Later, if I find myself down a prize or two and need a key PlusPower or Lighting Energy, Twins can fish it out for me. It’s just a really useful card to have that, like N, can win you games.

There’s still a few tweaks that need to be made to the list, but overall, I’m very happy with it. It has strong match ups across the board and an edge in the mirror. How can I complain?

The Little Guys Need Love Too!

In Pokémon, I feel like players in the Junior and Senior Division don’t get a lot of respect. In general, most people seem to just write off players in these divisions. For this last part, I’d like to briefly go over a few of the decks that have done well in the Junior and Senior divisions at Cities this year.

I’m sure when you read some of these, you’ll be saying “How the heck did THAT win Cities?”, and I acknowledge that not all of these “would fly” in the Master’s division, but I thought it could be interesting to take a look at what some of the younger groups of players are up to in terms of new decks.

Gengar Prime/Mew Prime/Lost World – 2nd Place Seniors

pokemon-paradijs.comThe idea behind this deck is pretty simple. Get a Gengar into the Lost Zone via “See Off” and then try to fill up your opponent’s Zone as quickly as possible so you can win via Lost World. The merits of this deck over the standard Gengar/Lost World decks is instead of having to keep setting up Stage 2’s, you can just keep recycling Basics.

This deck does have a few problems. Since it doesn’t take prizes, it’s very difficult to win in Swiss as you’ll almost always lose on time. In addition, it applies virtually no pressure to your opponent’s field, meaning once they get set up, they can just sit there and keep taking prizes without worrying their Zekrom will be KO’d.

Haxorus NVI/Eelektrik NVI – 1st Place Juniors

The main attacker of this deck is Haxorus NVI, who is quite strong. 140 HP is very solid and having no Weakness is something I think people are really underestimating. “Giga Impact” does 120 damage for CCC, but Haxorus cannot attack the following turn. To get around this, you’ll either need to Retreat into another Haxorus or Switch into a Pokémon with a free Retreat Cost.

The other main Pokémon in this deck was Eelektrik, which I feel is an amazing idea. Not only does it allow you to power up Haxorus, which requires C Energy to attack, for free, but since it grabs the Energy from the discard pile, you can keep Retreating and immediately reattaching the Energy to a Haxorus.

I think this deck has potential in any age division. Once this deck gets going, it’s one of the most powerful and hard to beat decks out their. I’m not convinced it’s the new BDIF, but it’s a solid deck that has virtually no auto-losses.

Tornadus EPO/Metagross UL/Mismagius UL – 1st place Juniors

pokemon-paradijs.comOn Pokégym, it actually didn’t say which Mismagius this deck used, but after some inspection of the deck, I think it’s safe to assume they’re using Mismagius from Unleashed.

So, the main feature of this deck is Metagross, which is actually a fairly strong card. Between its Poké-Body that gives all Pokémon with P Energy on them free Retreat to “Double Leg Hammer”, which lets you do 40 damage to two of your opponent’s benched Pokémon.

Alongside Metagross is Mismagius, whose Poké-Power “Magical Trans” lets you move a P Energy from one Pokémon to another. Its attack isn’t half-bad either. For P, “Psychic Pulse” does 30 damage plus 10 more damage to each of your opponent’s benched Pokémon with any damage counters on them.

To shore up the deck and to act as a more reliable main attacker, they ran Tornadus, whose Colorless attack costs fit perfecting in this deck. Also, each time you move an Energy to a benched Pokémon via “Hurricane”, you can just use Psychic Pulse to move it right back.

I don’t know if I’d recommend that you play this deck if you have other options, but if you’re looking for a low-cost deck that’s somewhat playable and can’t even afford something like TyRam, you could do a lot worse than this deck.

Leafeon UD/Roserade UL – First Place Juniors

Lastly, we have the deck consisting of Leafeon UD and Roserade UL. The intended combo here is apparent. Use Roserade’s “Energy Signal” Poké-Power to repeatedly afflict the Defending Pokémon with Special Conditions, then attack with Leafeon for 50-100 damage. This is a relatively fast deck that has a solid disruptive side to it as well, which is why I think it managed to take home a City Championship.

Well, I don’t have much else to say about this deck. I think everyone knows Leafeon/Roserade isn’t the next PLOX or LuxChomp, but it has proven it can do well in the younger age divisions (I believe it took second place in Seniors at a Battle Roads earlier this year as well). Most Masters won’t even think about touching this deck, but if you’re a Junior Division player who wants to play something fast, fun, cheap and different, this could be the deck for you.


In a format as wide open as this, there’s always a lot of room for decks that are different and new to make surprise showings. I highly recommend that everyone tries to build an exciting, new deck. You’ll have a blast testing out some crazy fun ideas and, with a little skill and a lot of luck, you might just find the next Sablelock or Ross.dec!

This will probably be my last article for the next month or so. January is always a busy time for me, mostly because of school. The first semester ends in a few weeks, which means mid-terms, so Pokémon and SixPrizes will have to be put on hold for a while.

There’s only one last stretch of Cities left, so go out, have a ball, and maybe even take home the whole event!
Like always, I want to read your questions, comments, complaints, suggestions and any other kind of feedback you have, so be sure to leave a comment below! If you liked this article, make sure to give it a thumbs up. If you didn’t, I’d love to know why so I can continue to improve my skills as a writer.

Until next time,
Dakota Streck

Reader Interactions

17 replies

  1. beyblade1410

    Good article! I wish I had an SEL I really want one for the truth deck I have. Nice job on writing another success!

  2. Mike v

    got a question were you thinking only 2 absols or only teching one?

      • Dakota Streck  → Anonymous

        I’ve been working with both 1 and 2 and I’m not sure which is the correct number. Running two is 100 times strong against Chandelure and is helpful in other match ups to an extent, I’m just having trouble figuring out what’s best to take out for them.

        • Mike v  → Dakota

          i was thinking of getting rid of terrakion and something else terrakion is a bad start

  3. Willy Doehring

    Loving Haxorus/Eelektrik, sounds like my cup of tea. I really like Haxorus and have been wanting to use him… Why didn’t I think of Eel? Now that you mention it, that should have been what I thought of first…
    Anyway, awesome article. Keep it up man!

  4. Amanda Kovs

    I took my Lucario/Absol/Relicanth deck to a Cities (Master) and got clobbered. I was excited for an electric match-up, but as you said, it is terrible against TyRam (first match), and takes too long to setup effective damage early on. I didn’t get to go against any ZPTS or EelZone, which makes me baw, but I don’t know if it would be fast enough either.

    I still love the deck, it’s fun to play, and can do a pretty good job of getting itself out of a pickle. But it’s just not fast enough, unfortunately. :( Then again, it just might be the way I have it built currently. shrugs Happy to see it displayed on this list, though!

  5. wolverinexchamp

    My son ran both the Roserade/Leafeon deck and the Haxorus/Eelektrik deck mentioned in this article. He is very excited to see an article mention the decks he won with, and makes his father rather proud. Thank you.

    • Aaron Minjoot  → wolverinexchamp

      Nice job, Hax/Eel looks very interesting, especially if it starts off with either Zekrom or Thundurus for early game. Simple yet innovative. :)

  6. Aaron Minjoot

    A great read, to me one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in awhile. :)

  7. Ross Gilbert

    Love this article! A site full of these would make me a really happy bunny!

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