All I Snow

The Coolest Decks for the First Round of Winter Regionals

Hello SixPrizes readers! The last time I wrote was right before Cities were about to start. The past couple of months have been a long and grueling grind. Nearly every weekend there have been two City Championships back to back — some weeks even more thanks to the marathons. This Cities season took me on many adventures, both with the metagame and traveling. I managed to come out of Cities with my Best Finish Limits being 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and 3rd which adds up to 160 total Championship Points from Cities. This puts me at 232 CP total with only 27 coming from League Challenges.

Today I want to share with you my experiences throughout Cities and what I learned from them which will apply to your upcoming Winter Regionals, unless you are going to Florida. Unfortunately, since I am not attending Florida Regionals, I have not practiced in the next format at all. I am solely focused on the current format (BCR–PHF) since my goal is to get my Worlds invite at Virginia Regionals. I have tested extensively for Virginia and have an abundance of experience in the format thanks to attending so many City Championships. I have prepared for this Regional far more than normal thanks to streaming as well.

Recently, I have been streaming PTCGO in between my Hearthstone streams at Streaming has made testing a fun experience for me that I look forward to doing whereas normally testing feels more like a chore that must be done. If you ever want to watch me play Pokémon or Hearthstone at the highest level I would love for you to check out my stream.

In this article I will be talking about the decks I played at Cities and how I have updated them to be my potential plays for Winter Regionals, and perhaps they will be your potential plays as well. After discussing my Standard decks I want to touch on Expanded since that will play a huge factor in determining who will do well at Regionals and I feel people have not been talking much about Expanded.

Table of Contents


virizion turn 2 emerald
Based off the hit movie!

Leading up to the first weekend of Cities I knew what deck I was going to play. Usually it is rare for me to have decided on a deck prior to the day before a tournament. With the hours of testing that the New England crew, mainly Chris Murray and myself, put into Virizion/Genesect we knew it was going to be a strong play the first weekend of Cities. It was a safe deck which had good matchups for what we predicted the metagame to be.

Generally when a format changes people tend to find comfort in past archetypes they know well while they wait for the format to develop. For this reason we expected decks like Donphan and Yveltal to be very popular Week 1-of Cities. Fire-based decks like Pyroar proved to be inconsistent in testing and were not incredibly popular in our area before the first weekend of Cities, making Virizion/Genesect the play.

Following the first round of the first City Championship we found our foresight was on point. The metagame turned out to be exactly what we had predicted, barring a few Manectric-EX-based decks. At the City Championship in Waterville, New York I managed to get 2nd place with Virizion/Genesect, losing only to mirror played by Tristan Macek, who was in our testing group. Our lists were within 4-5 cards of each other with the only changes being preference-based techs. Here was the list I ran to finish 2nd that day:

Pokémon – 10

4 Virizion-EX
3 Genesect-EX
1 Jirachi-EX
1 Deoxys-EX
1 Mr. Mime PLF

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Juniper
3 N
1 Colress

3 Skyla

1 Lysandre

1 Shadow Triad


3 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball

3 Muscle Band
3 Energy Switch

2 Enhanced Hammer

2 Switch

2 Escape Rope
1 Colress Machine
1 Professor’s Letter
1 Tool Retriever

1 G Booster

Energy – 14

10 G

4 Plasma

I know that in other parts of the country Virizion/Genesect is not very popular. In Florida and southeastern parts of the country there are a ton of Flareon and Night March decks running around which makes Virizion significantly worse. However, here in New England Virizion/Genesect was arguably the most popular deck throughout Cities. It did better than any other deck.

Generally all the lists that found success had the same skeleton and varied with different techs from tournament to tournament. I piloted a list within 5 cards of the one I just posted to another 2nd place finish, a 1st place finish, and a 3rd place finish. The deck is fast, consistent, and has few weaknesses outside of Crushing Hammer, Head Ringer, Crobat, and Fire. Crobat didn’t become popular until the tail end of Cities in our area. Even the Donphan matchup seemed to favor Virizion/Genesect thanks to the overwhelming amount of gust effects. The only time the matchup seemed to be in Donphan’s favor was when they played more than one Wobbuffet PHF.

Here is the skeleton that nearly every Virizion/Genesect deck that did well in our area was based off of. I will explain card choices and what you could fill the open spots with and why. At each tournament I played a slightly different list based off of what I predicted the metagame to be, and I believe you should do the same going into Regionals if you choose to pilot this deck.

Pokémon – 9

4 Virizion-EX
3 Genesect-EX
1 Jirachi-EX
1 Deoxys-EX

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Juniper

3 N
1 Colress

3 Skyla

1 Lysandre

1 Shadow Triad


3 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball

3 Muscle Band

3 Energy Switch
2 Switch

2 Escape Rope
1 Professor’s Letter

1 G Booster

Energy – 14

10 G

4 Plasma

Open Spots – 5


This Pokémon line is pretty much the standard in every single Virizion/Genesect deck. Some people opt not to play Jirachi-EX but I find it too good not to play. Being able to Ultra Ball for a Supporter and find a specific Supporter whenever you need it is too good in my opinion.

Deoxys-EX is a must-have in Virizion/Genesect in this format thanks to Donphan. Being able to 1-shot Donphan with a Muscle Band and Deoxys-EX in play is crucial to winning the matchup.
Some of the free spaces in the deck are often dedicated to a tech Pokémon or two. The best Pokémon to add in the deck are Dedenne FFI, Drifblim BW64, and Mr. Mime PLF.

Dedenne is a 1-Prize attacker that can be good in niche situations where you need to put on pressure without attacking with an EX, and it is strong against Yveltal decks. At some point in the format we decided to start teching Hypnotoxic Laser into our Virizion/Genesect decks which made Dedenne even stronger because it was able to hit better math across the board.

1-1 Drifblim was a common inclusion in the deck as long as it was complemented with at least 2 Enhanced Hammer. Tristan Macek played the 1-1 Drifblim when he beat me in the finals in a mirror match. The Drifblim was irrelevant in our match as I was able to play around it, but he said it was clutch at points throughout the day and he won games solely off the back balloon of Drifblim.

Throughout Cities I never felt compelled to play Drifblim and never felt I needed it. I also thought Dedenne was more useful in our metagame at points thus I never played Drifblim. You can only choose a single 1-Prize Pokémon to play in your deck, and I favored Dedenne every tournament I played in after the first one. Mr. Mime was lackluster; I never played him again. I would have though if Landorus-EX became big in our area.


After playing with this setup of Trainers so many times I think it is probably the strongest for Virizion/Genesect. 3 VS Seeker is amazing thanks to the 1-of Supporters and the versatility it offers. There were times where I even upped the VS Seeker count to four since it was so good, but three is optimal. I would never play less than three VS Seeker in Virizion/Genesect.

Lysandre helps make the Donphan matchup better and can help everywhere. I would not cut the 1-of Lysandre. The reason Lysandre got so much better in this deck is thanks in part to the high VS Seeker count. It is now realistic to hit a gust effect each turn against decks like Donphan and it gets around Wobbuffet. Metal is also another matchup where being able to gust every turn is important. You can’t let Metal decks roll over you by doing 170 damage with Dialga-EX every turn. You need to target down Bronzong as soon as you can to put a halt to their strategy. Lysandre will help you do this by allowing you to gust up their Bronzor or Bronzong while Emerald Slashing to set up KOs on them.

The high amount of gusting capability is also one route you can take to defeat a Fairy deck. Targeting down their Aromatisse has proven to be one of the best strategies against that matchup so they can’t Max Potion without sacrificing Energy.

If you are able to hit your Lysandre early game against Crobat/Wobbuffet-based decks, the matchup becomes somewhat winnable. You have to target down their bats before they can evolve them to win this matchup. Crobat decks are far less consistent than you as well so you may be able to steal a game off them by going first and rushing them down before they can set up. If they are able to set up and execute their deck’s strategy properly, the matchup is poor.

2 Switch and 2 Escape Rope was the perfect amount of switching effects mixed with a bit of disruption. If you were forced to Escape Rope in a position where you needed to switch and still hit the Active, hitting a Plasma Energy will remedy that issue. Escape Ropes helped far more often than hurt me throughout Cities. I would not play less than four switching effects in the deck because you absolutely need to hit turn two Emerald Slash every game and this will help you do it more consistently.

The rest of the cards are self-explanatory and necessary in Virizion/Genesect. As for the free spaces left in the deck there are numerous techs you can play. Besides upping numbers on counts of cards such as Muscle Band here is a list of potential techs you could add to the deck:

Tool Retriever
Head Ringer
Enhanced Hammer
Hypnotoxic Laser
Startling Megaphone
Colress Machine
Pokémon Center Lady
And I have even seen people playing Crushing Hammer

Tool Retriever is a tech that would only be played if you expect your Pokémon to get Head Ringered. Head Ringer can be troublesome for Virizion/Genesect, but it is possible to play around Head Ringer. If you think your opponent might be playing Head Ringer you need to drop Tools on your Pokémon and make sure not to put yourself in a position to get blown out by Head Ringer. If you can’t play around Head Ringer or they have the Megaphone/Head Ringer combo Tool Retriever can bail you out of a rough spot.

A Crushing Hammer heads is generally a much more effective counter to Virizion/Genesect since there is no way to play around that at all. Obviously the Hammer flip is a 50/50 making it less consistent, so generally people tend to lean toward Head Ringer or even Spiritomb LTR if they only have a few spots to dedicate to the Virizion matchup.

Going into Regionals, Virizion/Genesect is one of my top two plays, the other being Fairies which I will get to later. In a large tournament such as Regionals consistency is key, and Virizion/Genesect is probably the most consistent deck in the format. As I said earlier its matchups are even to favorable across the board against everything excluding Fire-based decks, Crobat, and Crushing Hammer/Head Ringer.

I’ve heard many people say that the deck’s strategy is linear, which is 100% true. Your damage output will be predictable as will most of your turns, but that doesn’t make the deck worse. As long as you play well and manage to avoid Fire and Crobat at Regionals you will be successful. Seismitoad-EX-based decks being on the rise also makes Virizion/Genesect an enticing play since that matchup is a near auto-win no matter what iteration of Toad your opponent is playing.

Deciding which techs I include in my deck will be a decision I save for the night before the tournament or maybe even the day of.

If I get the sense that Crobat and various Fire decks will be big in the Regionals I attend I will not play Virizion/Genesect. I am fine with having auto-losses to decks that are not popular in the field because even if I face one I can afford one loss, maybe even two. If I expect to play against an extremely poor matchup multiple times throughout the tournament I can’t afford to take that many losses. I know matchups like Crobat are winnable, but I don’t want to risk it when I could just play another deck with potentially better matchups for the given metagame. Unfortunately, I can’t predict your metagame for you; that is something you will have to do on your own with some research.

At this moment even I am unsure of the metagame Virginia will have and it is probably something I will figure out a day or so before the event, which is when I generally decide on what I want to play. Last year in Virginia I decided to audible to an Emboar deck I had seldom tested because I predicted the metagame to be abundant with Virizion/Genesect. This was something I had not anticipated before the tournament, but learned once I got there. My foresight was keen and I was rewarded with a Top 8. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself in a similar situation this year so I urge you to always be aware of the metagame and choose your deck based off of what you predict it to be.

If you would like to see this deck in action, a good friend of mine, Adam Vernola, played a list based off of the skeleton which was very similar to my Week 1 list. He plays in the Chicago and Illinois area and found huge success with the deck winning multiple Cities. He was recorded multiple times and the videos were uploaded to YouTube. Unfortunately, there is no commentary but the board is visible and you are able to see the matches play out. (Adam is the player with the Pikachu playmat.)


A personal favorite of mine — but the meta is unwelcoming.

Heading into the middle of the Cities season a deck dubbed SosaRai spread like wildfire throughout the country. Everyone seemed to be finding success with it, but it was nowhere to be found on the East Coast. My friend Anthony and I decided that we would try Sosarai to see what the hype was all about. The list we used was very similar to one in Brit Pybas’ recent article.

Prior to the event I had only practiced a handful of games with the deck, but the first thing I recognized was just how badly the deck crushes Donphan. The matchup was not even close. The V/G matchup came down to how well you did on your Crushing Hammer flips or if they whiffed Muscle Bands at key points in the game, turning 2-shots into 3-shots thanks to Hard Charm. Sadly the Fairies/Manectric matchup was terrible since Shadow Circle would never stick on the board and Manectric will 1-shot you easily. If the Fairies player is careless with their Energy drops there is a chance you could Hammer out all of their Lightning sources but that is unlikely to happen before you lose the game.

The tournament ended poorly for me as well as my friend. I lost to a Pyroar deck and Virizion/Genesect deck in Swiss while Anthony fell in Top 8 to Virizion/Genesect. I could see the appeal in playing SosaRai in a metagame where Donphan was abundant and Manectric was less popular but that just wasn’t the case here.

Yveltal decks found little to no success in New England. Frank Diaz was the player to have the most success with Yveltal on the East Coast but he is located south of me. I ended up having to face Frank’s Yveltal in the Top 4 of the Jersey Marathon and defeated him with my Virizion/Genesect deck. If I were to play Yveltal at Regionals I would play a version similar to the one I built on the way home from the marathon inspired by Frank’s build:

Pokémon – 11

3 Yveltal XY
3 Yveltal-EX

2 Seismitoad-EX

1 Darkrai-EX DEX
1 Jirachi-EX
1 Spiritomb LTR

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Colress

2 Lysandre


3 VS Seeker

2 Bicycle

4 Ultra Ball

4 Muscle Band

4 Hypnotoxic Laser
2 Enhanced Hammer
2 Escape Rope

1 Computer Search


3 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 12

8 D
4 Double Colorless

All of my lists that have no free spaces include tech spots that are tailored to my liking. You should mess around with the list if you plan on playing a similar deck, but this is a strong base. The majority of the list is standard textbook Straight Yveltal. I want to touch on a few things about the list before I move on.

Even though I don’t play that many Basics I still prefer to play Colress over Shauna or another Supporter. Past the first turn of the game Colress will generally draw you as many if not more cards than Shauna. Playing four Ultra Ball will help you fill your Bench even though you only play 11 Pokémon.

Playing 3 Virbank City Gym is important right now. With Fairies- and Dimension Valley-based decks in the format, winning the Stadium war is more pertinent than ever before. Sure they can be dead cards in other matchups or in the mirror match but with a high count of Ultra Ball you should be able to use the useless copies of Virbank City Gym as fodder.

Another tech Stadium that fits well into the deck is Shadow Circle. Even though your Lasers become worse with Shadow Circle on the board it could make the Manectric matchup winnable if they don’t play counter Stadiums. Manectric decks that don’t play counter Stadiums don’t seem popular at the moment so I don’t think it is worth playing a Shadow Circle right now.

This Cities run I surprised myself by only playing Yveltal once. Everyone expected me to bring Yveltal to Cities since it has been my favorite deck for such a long time, but like I said in my previous article I have recently been turned off to it due to its position in the metagame and the prevalence of Enhanced Hammer. If the metagame shifts leading up to Regionals and for some reason I become uncomfortable with my current top deck choices I have no problem falling back on Yveltal. It is an amazing deck that will no doubt perform well if you can avoid Manectric decks. The deck is so strong that even Enhanced Hammer coming back into the format hasn’t stopped the deck at all from putting up some of the highest numbers at Cities for placing well.

This year was the very first year I was able to attend a marathon. I was lucky enough to go to New Jersey to visit family the day before the marathon. Mike Fouchet picked me up from my aunt’s house and the adventures ensued from there. I will give you an extremely brief description of my marathon experience.

The first day of the marathon I decided to stick with what was working for me and play Virizion/Genesect netting me another 2nd place finish losing to Dylan Bryan’s Fairies list in a close Game 3 during the finals. The next day I stuck with the same deck and ran into Flareon followed by prizing all three of my Genesect-EX and dropped. The third day I started off 3-1 and then had to drop to go home.

I know that wasn’t exciting at all but I don’t want to clog up my article with irrelevant tournament reports on a deck I have already gone over. Instead I want to go over the information I brought home from the marathon and how it drastically effected my local metagame. I was the only one from my area to travel to the first half of the marathon which gave me a huge advantage going into the last two weeks of Cities.

The New Jersey marathon metagame was drastically different from my local metagame. Their meta was filled with almost every deck in the format. At the top tables you could find Fairies, Crobat, Flareon, Virizion/Genesect, Night March, Yveltal, and Metal just to name some decks. Upon returning home I decided to venture outside my comfort zone and give some of these new decks a chance.

Fun fact: Bats are the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight.

Crobat/Wobbuffet existed in our area before the New Jersey marathon, but it was not popular and the lists were not optimal. After working on the list with some of my New England friends, namely Azul, we were able to improve the deck dramatically.

In New Jersey everyone was playing Gengar-EX in their Crobat/Wobbuffet decks which we had never tried before for whatever reason. Gengar-EX makes the deck a lot better and helps in almost every matchup. Besides just adding Gengar we changed some of the counts and techs and ended up with a much better list which performed well in the last few Cities netting people numerous Top 8s and Top 4s.

Pokémon – 18

4 Zubat PLS 53
4 Golbat PHF
3 Crobat PHF
3 Wobbuffet PHF
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

1 Gengar-EX
1 Jirachi-EX

Trainers – 31

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Colress

2 Lysandre


3 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Muscle Band

2 Switch

1 Computer Search


4 Dimension Valley

Energy – 10

7 P

3 Mystery

Open Spots – 1

The free space in this deck could be used for anything but was generally some type of recovery card such as Sacred Ash or Lysandre’s Trump Card or something like an AZ.

This deck has a multitude of ways to approach each matchup. You can use Gengar-EX to attack and switch into Wobbuffet and follow up with an attack from Wobbuffet. You could sit with Wobbuffet Active attacking and spam Crobat lines, but generally going for Gengar into Wobbuffet puts damage on the board quicker and is only worse in the Yveltal matchup. Occasionally you just 1-shot everything with Psydrive combined with a Crobat.

The only matchups where you deviate from the main strategies are the setup decks like Fairies and Metal. In these matchups you can use Gengar-EX’s first attack in combination with bats to target down the Basic and Evolution lines to stop the opposing deck before they can even set up. Against Metal, attacking with Gengar’s second attack once set up and going into a Wobbuffet to shut down Bronzong can be better depending on how the game is panning out.

Overall this deck is incredibly fun to play and can be a huge threat in the meta. I expect to see this deck played at Regionals. The main thing this deck is weak to is itself, Mega Manectric, and Seismitoad/Garbodor. I say the deck is weak to itself because I have witnessed it struggle to set up numerous times as well as just draw absolute dead hands. The Crobat Evolutions can clog your hand with useless cards if you are unable to find Zubats early and you can have some horrific Professor Junipers. If the deck can set up properly it is scary to play against.

Eau de Chien

Looking fabulous!

Fairies is one of my top plays for Regionals at the moment. It would be my favorite deck in the format if not for Virizion/Genesect contesting that title. Before attending the New Jersey marathon I was thinking about playing Fairies in the format, but never pursued the idea. After seeing Fairies be so prevalent in the New Jersey marathon I knew I had to try out the deck.

Not only did it do well in the NJ marathon but Kyle Sabelhaus along with many others found success with versions of the deck. Upon arriving home from the marathon I built my own version of Fairies based off of what I saw Dylan Bryan and Jimmy O’Brien play. I played the deck to a few Top 8s as well as a Top 4 and it quickly became one of my favorite decks.

The deck’s only horrible matchup is probably Seismitoad with Garbodor, but even that is somewhat winnable. Sam Chen managed to beat Seismitoad/Garb in Top 4 of a City Championship with it. He ended up winning that Cities as well as the one the following day. Every time I played Fairies I changed the list slightly and tried out new things. Here is the skeleton that each list was based off of:

Pokémon – 12

3 Spritzee FLF
2 Aromatisse XY
1 Xerneas XY
2 Manectric-EX
2 M Manectric-EX
1 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 30

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

2 Colress

2 Pokémon Fan Club

2 Lysandre


3 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball

4 Max Potion

1 Computer Search


4 Fairy Garden

Energy – 12

7 Y

4 Rainbow
1 L

Open Spots – 6

Throughout the tournaments I played in with this deck I found that as long as I was able to set up and had the optimal techs for the metagame I was in control of every game I played (excluding against decks that played Garbodor). Most games I was able to set up fine with this Supporter lineup and number of consistency cards so I wouldn’t change that going into Regionals.

Some people prefer not to play Fan Club but I found it to be strong. If you are not a fan of Fan Club I would recommend cutting them for other cards that help you set up or add draw. This would include putting in another Aromatisse, Colress, VS Seeker, etc.

The fun part about playing Fairies is that you have a large pool of attackers to choose from and you can tailor the deck to your metagame and preferences. I will list off what I believe to be the best cards to fill up the free spaces.

Spiritomb LTR, Charizard-EX FLF 11

This combo can take down Virizion/Genesect decks with ease as long as you can get out Spiritomb before they put down G Booster and you can set up Charizard. With Spiritomb out V/G is unable to 1-shot Charizard-EX which means it will be able to steamroll them.

I found that Stoke Charizard was infinitely better than Combustion Blast Charizard in Fairies if you don’t include Muscle Band in the deck. The main point of having a Charizard in the deck if you don’t play Muscle Band is to beat Virizion/Genesect. Stoke Charizard’s second attack costs one Fire and three C Energy as opposed to Combustion Blast Charizard needing 2 Fire.

Virizion/Genesect decks are playing Enhanced Hammer which makes getting two Rainbow Energy onto a Charizard somewhat difficult. With Stoke Charizard you can play around Enhanced Hammer by attaching the Rainbow Energy when you want to attack. Both Charizard are one-hitting any Grass Pokémon-EX with their attacks so why not choose the one that is easier to attack with? The 30 extra damage from Combustion Blast is usually irrelevant or only helps in matchups that you already beat like Donphan.

The only time Combustion Blast is impressive is when you have spread damage on the board from Manectric-EX’s first attack, but I’ve rarely found that to be the case.


Aegislash-EX’s place in a Fairies deck is self-explanatory. Its Ability protects it from being attacked by Pokémon with Special Energy on them. This makes Aegislash insanely good in the mirror match and against Donphan. Both of these decks rely on Special Energy and Aegislash is sure to be a nuisance to your opponent.

It could also be useful in fringe scenarios against decks that play Double Colorless Energy like Yveltal and against Crobat decks that play a high Mystery Energy count. Against Seismitoad decks that don’t play Garbodor, Aegislash is a huge threat because they will be forced to attach 2 Water to start dealing damage with Quaking Punch. Most Toad decks nowadays in my area started cutting to just 4 Double Colorless Energy which only makes Aegislash more potent. If the Toad deck does play Garbodor and you are able to Lysandre it up and Knock it Out it can be useful against them as well. This is how Sam Chen ended up beating Toad Garb in Top 4 of a City Championship.


I know this has been said before but Malamar’s Ability is insane in Fairies. Being able to use your Energy attachment to put your opponent’s Active to Sleep sounds so strong, and it is. The reason Malamar is not an auto-include in all Fairies decks is because I don’t think it is necessary. When I played it I found it to be a win-more card in matchups that were already favorable such as Donphan and Yveltal. Against Virizion/Genesect the Ability is negated by Virizion and against mirror the Ability is negated by Keldeo-EX.

The only matchups the Ability can really put work in that are not already easy are the Toad matchup, before they set up Garb, and against Crobat decks. MAXamar being able to 1-shot Gengar-EX with only two heads is also a clutch option to have. I’m sure there are other matchups and less popular decks like Manectric/Zapdos that Malamar’s Ability is amazing against, but I’m unsure how prevalent they will be come Regionals.

With all this said I still loved playing Malamar so I will likely include it in my Regionals deck, but I felt it was important to say it is not absolutely necessary if the meta doesn’t warrant the card.

Suicune PLB

Suicune has always performed well in Fairies since the archetype was formed. Being able to attack with a Safeguard Pokémon after KOing all of your opponent’s non-EX attackers can lock your opponent out of the game. Walling with it while setting up has also proven to be useful. Suicune combined with Keldeo and Aegislash seems to be the trinity of Donphan killers. I have only lost the Donphan matchup one time in tournament play and that was because the Donphan player ran 4 Enhanced Hammer.

The more you play this deck against Donphan the easier the matchup will get as you learn how to play it. Your main strategy is going to be to Lysandre up the Donphan with Energy and then later in the game wall with Aegislash. With such a high Max Potion count Hawlucha with a basic Fighting or Donphan with basic Fighting will struggle to KO Aegislash since you will be healing it so often. As long as you never bench Manectric-EX, denying Prizes will be easy. I played Suicune in every iteration of Fairies that I played during Cities and would never play the deck without it.


I never played Landorus-EX during Cities because I never played Muscle Bands in my list. I think this card is significantly worse without Muscle Band in the deck. I have seen Fairy decks that play a copy of Landorus do well and have seen Landorus pull its weight and be worth the spot. I never felt the need to include it in my deck. That doesn’t mean it is not worth a spot in your Fairy deck though. If you take a liking to Landorus-EX and it is testing well for you can include it in your deck.


Xerneas-EX is an overall strong attacker that can hit hard and set up KOs with its first attack. There isn’t too much to be said about the card other than it is just a generally decent attacker in every matchup excluding Metal. I never found it necessary but others have played it and loved it.

I know there are more Pokémon that you could tech into Manectric Fairies than what I listed. I think these are your best options. Since Fairies is a toolbox-like deck you could literally play any attacker in the deck so it is impossible to list every one.

Moving on from the Pokémon techs, I mentioned before that I didn’t play Muscle Band in my version of Fairies. Instead I played Manectric Spirit Link as a 2-of over Muscle Band. Manectric Spirit link will make getting Mega Manectric smoother since you won’t have to end your turn to Mega Evolve. The turn you Mega Evolve will also be more explosive since you can immediately attack with Mega Manectric and fill your board with Energy. Muscle Bands increase your damage output and allows you to play different techs in the deck. Both cards provide different uses and force the deck to play a bit differently. I have seen both versions be successful, but I prefer to run the deck with Spirit Link. I don’t think Muscle Band is necessary.

I expect Fairies to be played at Regionals both with Mega Manectric and without it. Obviously, I prefer playing the deck with Mega Manectric and I think you should give this deck a chance in your testing for Regionals. As I have said before I won’t choose the techs I play in my deck until a day or so before the event so I can’t provide you with a definitive best Fairies list. I don’t think there even is a definitive best list at the moment since it is so meta dependent. I will be testing this deck a lot leading up to Regionals to improve the list even further if I can.

Expanded Expectations

dark patch dex artwork
Patch will see play.

During the last set of Regionals everyone emphasized that doing well in Expanded was crucial if you wanted to win the tournament but not as important as doing well Day 1. This still holds true and will always remain the same. You will never have a chance to play in Expanded if you can’t get past Day 1 which makes investing your time into Standard more important than Expanded. For those of us who aspire to win the tournament we must still pay attention to Expanded. I want to give a list of decks that I believe will be the most prevalent going into Day 2 and explain each deck briefly.


Sam Chen and Ryan Sabelhaus both won Regionals on Day 2 playing Virizion/Genesect in the Fall. The deck will be played in Expanded come Day 2 so you need to be aware of it. The only thing the deck really gains going into Day 2 is Skyarrow Bridge. Besides Skyarrow Bridge and potentially some metagame techs the Day 1 lists and Day 2 lists will look fairly similar.

Yveltal Variants

Yveltal gains Dark Patch. Yveltal will see play on Day 2 because of this. Even if Mega Manectric is popular on Day 2 Yveltal will still see play. Jimmy McClure reminded us just how strong Yveltal with Dark Patch is when he won the biggest Regionals to date with his Yveltal deck. Yveltal will be played with and without Garbodor.

Fairy Variants

Fairies gets Level Ball going into Day 2 so it will become slightly more consistent which leads me to believe it will see play.


This deck was brought into the format by Dylan Bryan last year at Philly Regionals and it will likely be very similar going into this stint of Regionals. I have heard word of this deck performing well at Expanded City Championships (Dylan Dreyer wrote about it) and I expect it to see play Day 2 at Regionals.


Crobat decks gain Level Ball which is exactly what the deck has been yearning for. The main issue I found with Crobat was setting up and Level Ball is the perfect card to help you do that. There is no way Crobat won’t see play in Expanded on Day 2 so keep an eye out for it or even try it yourself.


I think Eels and Metal both have the same problem they did last format. Garbodor and Seismitoad completely cripple the deck. No Eels deck did well last format. I don’t believe Bronzong brings that much more to the table than Eelektrik and it has the same glaring weaknesses. Obviously Bronzong decks get Level Ball making them have a quicker setup but will it be enough to push the deck to tier one status in Expanded? I don’t think it will but we will find out soon enough.


Pyroar gains Level Ball and Tropical Beach (also known as the deck’s consistency). We saw Pyroar do well in the last set of Regionals and I believe we will see the deck rise again so be sure not to let it fall off of your radar.

Seismitoad Variants

Seismitoad decks became extremely popular during Cities. I think the only people happy to play against Toad decks were the people piloting Virizion/Genesect. I can see Toad decks being somewhat popular on Day 2 depending on the metagame. The deck doesn’t gain much from the format being Expanded but that certainly won’t stop it from seeing play.

I know I will have missed some decks, for example potential Ho-Oh variants, but this is what I believe the general metagame will consist of. Going into Day 2 these are the decks I would expect to face. I am sure someone will create some crazy awesome rogue deck and there will be unique decks out there but this should give you a good starting point of what to expect. This list is meant to help remind you what decks are in the format and what you could potentially play if you are lucky enough to make Day 2.


I hope you found my article informative on the current format and that you will be able to use the information in some way. Like I stated at the beginning of the article I have no reason to express my opinions on the next format because they are uninformed and likely to be poor. I will talk about the Primal Clash format in my next article once I have had more time to test it. For now I am focused on the current format since the Regionals I am attending is in this format.

If you are attending Virginia Regionals I will see you there! Feel free to say hello and challenge me to a game if I am free. I plan on bringing SixPrizes dice to the tournament that I will give away to people who defeat me so it should be a fun time. Thank you for reading and good luck at Regionals!

Peace out,
Raymond Cipoletti

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