It feels like just yesterday that the World Championship were taking place, Andrew Estrada was bringing home the gold for Canada, and we were all getting pumped about Furious Fists. But, just as every major Pokémon tournament seems to do, Autumn Regionals has snuck up on a lot of people. I for one can’t believe that they’re coming up in just a little over two weeks to kick off the first major events of the brand new season.
Man, a whole lot has happened in just one season of playing; it’s truly incredible. As I’ve mentioned before, the 2013-2014 season was my first season playing again since 2006 as a Junior.
All in all, I was able to rack up 309 Championship Points this year and make the top 100 players list to get a travel stipend to the US National Championships, which was already way more than I had ever hoped to accomplish in my first year back on the competitive scene. I was seriously all over the place this year as far as deck choices go, and I’ve got to say, I loved it! I went from playing Virizion/Genesect at Arizona Regionals to make top 8 to playing a crazy Landorus/Cobalion/Zekrom/Garbodor list to win Arizona States, and then back to something as bland as Blastoise to get top 8 at Nevada States. I wish I would have played a bit more during Cities because I honestly think that I could had a shot at my invite had I been able to attend more of those events (I was only able to go to two).
In addition to that, I’m also very happy to have been able to create A Roll of the Dice and see it be so successful today with so many amazing writers. Anyway though, I guess I wanted to touch over this really quick just to emphasize how excited and motivated I am to get started with the new season! Not only are Autumn Regionals just around the corner, but we also have an awesome new set coming out in November that I feel will really add a lot more skill to the game which is something I’m happy to see after comparing this format to something like the 2006 one. Additionally, I’m super pumped to see what kind of things Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will bring to the TCG world. I know that even just the possibility of Delta Pokémon making a return is enough to keep me excited.
But I digress! I guess I just wanted to touch on the past a bit to get everyone excited for this upcoming season.
In this article, I’ll be discussing some of the decks that I have seriously testing as my options for the upcoming Autumn Regionals. Some are considered fun decks, but I still believe that they hold competitive value and can do fairly well in a tournament or two. Then, I’ll talk about some of the more mainstream decks that I’ve been testing and how they can fit into the current format.
Table of Contents
- The Rogue Side of Furious Fists
- My Top Plays for Autumn Regionals
The Rogue Side of Furious Fists
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 33
Energy – 11
Ah yes, we first come to the Eeveelutions deck that everyone knows and loves. Maybe you’re not familiar with this particular version, but Eevee’s Evolutions have been seeing play since as far as I can remember with their most memorable time in the spotlight being Jimmy Ballard’s incredible run at Worlds with an Eeveelution-based deck. This deck may be different, but the name remains the same. The concept is also similar in that this deck wants to use the many varying types of Stage 1 Pokémon to hit for Weakness on the opponent and overwhelm them with fast, 1-Prize attackers that are dealing out huge chunks of damage.
The only reason that this deck can really work and be as fast as it is is because of the release of the new Eevee in Furious Fists, and yes, it can evolve through its Ability on turn 1. Its Plasma Evolutions can take advantage of Deoxys-EX and Colress Machine and can hit for lots of damage starting on the first turn.
Silver Bangle is my Pokémon Tool of choice in this deck since it helps out the numbers so much, but I still play 1 Muscle Band for Deoxys and Genesect to take advantage of. Also, if you’re able to stick a Training Center in play, your Eevee Evolutions’ HP now ranges from 120-140, which is a pretty great number to have if you’re only giving up 1 Prize.
This guy is mainly used as a hard counter to Seismitoad, potentially able to get a 1HKO on a ‘Toad turn 1 if you’re going second. If the opponent has even just a Double Colorless attached to their Seismitoad, Leafeon can do 40 base damage + 50 damage (from a combination of Silver Bangle/Muscle Band and 2-3 Deoxys-EX) x 2 to get that big 1HKO. Leafeon is also a good attacker in general who gets even stronger from the boosts of Deoxys-EX and the damage-increasing Pokémon Tools.
This is going to be our obvious Virizion/Genesect counter. I would suggest only really playing it down in the late game since that where it can really shine, although when you’re hitting Grass-types for Weakness, even only having a measly 2 Pokémon in the discard can lead to some big 1HKOs.
Vaporeon is the hard counter to Landorus-EX. Landorus can be a huge pain for this deck since Eevee is Weak to Fighting, so it’s nice to have a relatively reliable way to get an easy 2 Prizes whenever your opponent sends one up. Gold Breaker hits for 80 base damage against any Pokémon-EX, so even having just 1 Deoxys-EX in play will score a 1HKO on any Water-Weak Pokémon-EX and do a decent chunk of damage to anything else. The only downside is that it does need a Colress Machine to really get going in one turn.
I never thought that I would ever end up actually using this card, but it has proven to have its uses in testing. The number one use that it has is sniping Trubbish on the Bench before they can evolve since Shadow Ball counts for Weakness, even when the Pokémon is not in the Active Spot. When you think about it, 80 snipe damage to anything Weak to Psychic for just 1 Energy is crazy good. I’ll probably end up bumping this to two copies, but with Deoxys-EX also countering any Psychic-Weak Pokémon, I think the 1-of is just right.
This started off as a fun deck for the new format, but honestly, it can be a real threat if you can call the metagame right. This deck has fairly decent matchups against Seismitoad, Virizion, and Pyroar, all of which will be huge forces come Autumn Regionals, so this is definitely something to keep in the back of your mind.
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 32
Energy – 9
Donphan PLS is a card that has been getting a lot more attention in the recent weeks, mainly because it is a Fighting-type that can take advantage of both Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium. I can admit that, probably like a couple of people, I’ve been trying to get a Donphan deck to work, and as such, I’ve been playtesting it quite a bit.
Donphan has always been able to hit for 40 and switch to the Bench for just a single F Energy, but now with all of the Fighting support, that honestly is incredibly good, especially with all of the Pokémon that we have in format right now that benefit from being in the Active Spot.
One of the biggest things that I have found wrong with this deck in testing is that it just cannot do enough damage to matter in the long run. Donphan’s damage modifiers are Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, and a Muscle Band or Silver Bangle. Usually, you can get at least two of the three onto Donphan at once, and as the game progresses, you’re able to maybe get another Stadium or Tool out into play or attach another Strong Energy.
Anyway, Donphan usually hits for about 80 with a combination of two of the modifiers I mentioned above. This is where I like to include a Silver Bangle in my list. It makes Donphan’s damage output much more relevant, hitting for 90 which can effectively 2HKO a Pokémon-EX. However, because we’re 2HKOing Pokémon, it gives the opponent a chance to retreat and attack with something fresh, making all of our hard work all for naught. So instead of including a higher count of Lysandre for the deck, I decided to go a step further and add a line of Dusknoir BCR.
Dusknoir is such a good Pokémon that it isn’t even funny, and I believe that it really does deserve a place in this deck. Donphan can hit for a decent chunk of damage while switching into a Trevenant to get the Item lock down, but sometimes the damage just isn’t enough. By adding our line of Dusknoir, we can keep dishing out damage and keep up the lock without having to play around with our opponent switching their Pokémon around.
Something else that I’ve noticed about the format so far is that there is going to be a high reliability on cards with switching effects. With the release of Muscle Band, Float Stone is seeing less play mainly because it is not the primary Tool that you want to have on your attacking Pokémon. Because of this, Virizion/Genesect is using Switch and Escape Rope in place of Skyarrow Bridge, and Big Basics/Seismitoad/Garbodor type lists are running less Float Stone and more Switch in favor of being able to have a Muscle Band attached to the Active to dish out more damage.
This gets back to my point of another one of Dusknoir’s uses. It would be entirely possible that you could effectively stick a Landorus-EX, for example, in the Active Spot while you constantly hit it for 80-100 damage, while locking any potential Switch or Escape Rope, and move all of the damage off to another Pokémon that your opponent may be building up on the Bench. This kind of play would force the opponent to either retreat their bulky Landorus, Lysandre around Trevenant, or continue using Hammerhead for an unhealthy 10 damage.
One other notable thing about the list is the reliance on Korrina. There are some other Evolution decks that are so much harder to play nowadays just because of the loss of Level Ball and Heavy Ball. Donphan variants have more utility now by taking full advantage of the card being able to grab a Phanpy along with an Ultra Ball or an Evosoda. This is also why Dusknoir can fit nicely in here. Korrina can act as a Skyla for a Rare Candy and also grab another Fighting-type Pokémon that you might need.
Donphan/Trevenant or Donphan/Sigilyph/Snorlax/Stuff is definitely an archetype that I would like to see be successful just because of how much I have been liking the deck so far and how aggressive it can be while maintaining a steady defense at the same time. Ultimately, the deck’s biggest hurdles are having to deal with Lysandre and Red Signal, but I’m sure that we’ll be seeing plenty of this variety of deck come Regionals.
My Top Plays for Autumn Regionals
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 33
Energy – 12
Yveltal-EX is not dead yet! I have to admit it’s a fair amount weaker without Dark Patch, but that just means that it’s not completely broken anymore. Evil Ball is still an incredible attack that can dish out tons of damage for a low amount of Energy. Now, does this mean I’m advocating playing the same amount of Raichu in your decks as many players did last format? Of course not. I feel like Raichu was much more necessary last format since Yveltal was the big man on campus. Without Dark Patch, other decks don’t necessarily need to hard counter it since it’s not the same threat level as before.
I will probably keep the discussion surrounding this deck to a minimum since it’s been thoroughly covered in the past, and this list isn’t really all that different. One of the pretty major changes however, is a shift over from Dark Patch to Yveltal XY and Energy Switch.
Yveltal XY was never really a bad card last format, but I don’t think it ever truly had its time to shine. The “Baby” Yveltal is still a monster of a card that has a good amount of HP, hits for hard damage, accelerates Energy, and only gives up 1 Prize. What more could you ask for? Oh that’s right, it also resists Fighting-types.
With the inevitable rise in popularity of the Big Basics/Garbodor decks, it’s nice to have Mr. Mime in there for when you don’t really need Garbodor out since he won’t do squat. I have to say it’s pretty amusing when your opponent only gets to Hammerhead for 10 damage and 0 to the Bench. They are definitely going nowhere and fast if they keep that up. Meanwhile, our Baby Yveltal is swinging for a decent 30 damage and putting more Energy on our field.
Garbodor is now more popular than ever, and mainly because it has just gotten so much better because of Seismitoad. Normally, I would want to probably switch over to a straight Yveltal variant, but with Virizion/Genesect also rising in popularity to fend off the ‘Toad, I think it’s necessary to keep the Garbodor, since it helps so much in that matchup to be able to shut off their Verdant Wind Ability.
Overall, I think this deck can still be a force to be reckoned with. Does it have the same amount of power as last format? No. Will it still have a huge showing at tournaments like it did last format? Probably not. But is it something to always keep in mind? Absolutely. Never underestimate a card that can dish out an X Ball for 20 more damage.
Now, just a couple of days ago, Ryan did a very good job of outlining what a typical Virizion/Genesect/Beartic deck would look like, so to deviate away from the ordinary and save you all from the boredom of reading the same thing twice, I wanted to include some other versions of Virizion that are maybe people haven’t considered yet, but I feel would still be very competitive.
Pokémon – 11
Trainers – 35
Energy – 14
I feel like this is an old version of Virizion/Genesect that was popular during Cities but soon fell to the wayside in favor of the more consistent version with Skyarrow Bridge. Although this deck auto-loses to Pyroar (and the matchup would still be pretty shaky with the addition of Beartic), it has amazing matchups against the rest of the field. Adding Hypnotoxic Laser increases the tremendous damage output that this deck already has, and it allows it to hit so many more magic numbers.
If Virizion-EX is using Emerald Slash with a Muscle Band, that’s an initial 70 damage being put onto your opponent’s field. If Virizion-EX is able to Emerald Slash again with a Muscle Band and you’re able to drop a Hypnotoxic Laser with a Virbank City Gym, then that Virizion is now hitting for a total of 100 damage that turn, making for a clean knockout on any 170 HP Pokémon-EX, all the while you set up your Genesect.
The math works out wonderfully with Genesect-EX as well. If Genesect has a Muscle Band attached along with dropping a Laser and Virbank, Genesect’s Megalo Cannon is hitting for 150 total damage after Poison, and you don’t even have to discard two of your Energies like with G Booster! This math also aligns perfectly with Megalo Cannon’s 20 damage snipe to the Bench and makes it much, much more relevant. So if your opponent brings up a 170 HP Pokémon-EX that was hit by 20 damage snipe, Genesect now has the potential to Knock it Out with perfect math alongside Laser’s Poison damage, and Deoxys-EX just helps this math even more against 180 HP Pokémon.
One of this version’s shakier matchups (not counting Pyroar) would actually be the mirror match. Against an opposing Virizion-EX, all of your Lasers would be virtually useless, barring those couple of times when you can catch your opponent without a Virizion-EX in play or Red Signaling something without any G Energy. The good thing about this however is that your opponent also has dead cards against you in Beartic. Assuming that they play a 2-2 Beartic line, that’s 4 essentially dead cards against our 4 weakened Hypnotoxic Lasers, so the matchup isn’t as one-sided as one might think.
I like having Tropius in this deck so we have a nice 1-Prize attacker as well as have an answer to a Sigilyph or Suicune that isn’t just Hypnotoxic Laser. I used Tropius in my Regionals list last year that made top 8 at Arizona Regionals, and the little guy really put in work. Against an Yveltal or Mewtwo that has 4 Energy on it, he can hit for 150 with a Muscle Band and Laser/Virbank, leading up to a nice setup for Genesect-EX to Megalo Cannon snipe it on the Bench. Tropius also provides some added consistency that can dish out decent damage with modifiers in its Return attack. Overall, I think it’s a pretty solid addition to the deck that is most often overlooked.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 32
Energy – 13
To round off the decks for today, I wanted to talk about a deck that had a ton of success during Regionals last year but seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent competitive play. Virizion/Mewtwo was known for being incredibly consistent while also being able to hit fast and effectively with Mewtwo.
Now, the format has changed a ton since last year, but I don’t believe that this means that this deck is dead by any means; it simply needs a bit of reworking. I think for this deck to really show what it’s got, it needs to be refitted with Beartic and Seismitoad-EX. Without Beartic, this deck would outright lose to Pyroar. This deck has tons of space for stuff unlike the previous list with Genesect and Lasers, so I think the Beartic line is definitely worth the space. Seismitoad-EX is just a broken card in general, and if we’re running Double Colorless already, I feel that that already merits an inclusion in the deck.
Now, something that you may be asking yourself is: “What in the world is the Munna doing in there?” Well, it’s simply because a free flip for Sleep on your opponent every turn is just too good to pass up. Even if you get tails, Verdant Wind will protect you from the detriments of Long-Distance Hypnosis.
Normally, I wouldn’t include Munna in a modern Virizion/Genesect list, since its pretty much useless against the mirror match and usually not much of a game changer against Garbodor variants; however, with Seismitoad in the list, I feel like Munna becomes even better. If you’re attacking with Seismitoad-EX and hit a heads on Long-Distance Hypnosis, your opponent now needs to flip a heads for their Sleep check, otherwise they’ll be stuck unable to retreat, attack, or play any Item cards during their turn. That means no Switch, no Escape Rope, and no way to get out of the Active Spot barring a Pokémon Center Lady, Virizion-EX, or Keldeo-EX.
If you play a Hypnotoxic Laser while attacking with Seismitoad, that is a 50% chance that you will put your opponent’s Pokémon to Sleep. With Munna, you now have a 75% chance of putting them to Sleep. After factoring in the 50% chance that they will flip a tails on Sleep check going into their turn, Munna turns a 25% chance to keep your opponent Asleep under Item lock going into their turn into a 37.5% chance. A 12.5% increase in rendering your opponent’s Pokémon able to do virtually nothing is too good to pass up in my opinion.
Anyway, about the rest of the list, I feel like Mewtwo can overpower and outspeed Virizion/Genesect, Virizion can hit opposing Seismitoad-EX or huge amounts of damage and protect against Hypnotoxic Laser, Seismitoad can take down those Stage 2 decks and hopefully slow down Pyroar enough for Beartic to be able to sweep. So in theory, this deck has very good matchups across the board, and in testing, it has been playing very consistently and hard-hitting against a lot of the field. The Pyroar matchup is still a little iffy, so if you’d want to remedy that a little bit more, I would include another Max Potion in the list, or if you’re really hating on Pyroar, go right ahead and add another line of Beartic.
All in all, I feel like these are some Virizion-EX variants that people tend to overlook. The question isn’t only, “Should I play Pyroar or Virizion/Genesect?” but also, “What variant of the deck can I play and what techs should be included?”
I hope you all enjoyed this article! As always I love writing these articles as they help a lot with being able to fund some of the new things that I have planned for A Roll of the Dice, including the Trainer Central forum, which I am working on getting up as soon as possible! Huge thanks to Adam for continuing to give me the opportunity to write for you guys every other month because it really is one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, I wish you all the best of luck at the upcoming Autumn Regionals! I know it is going to be a crazy series of tournaments considering no one really knows what the format holds.
Thanks so much for reading, have a great rest of your day, and please scroll down just a bit and give this article a big “+1”! It helps me out a ton and lets Adam know that you guys enjoy these articles. Good luck, and if you see me at Arizona Regionals, feel free to come up and give me a high five!
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