The Boss Toad and Other Writings

On Seismitoad/Garbodor, Bronzong/Mewtwo, and Yveltal/Hard Charm
“No Items for you.”

Hey SixPrizes Underground! It has been a while! For those of you that do not know me, my name is Sam Liggett, and I have been playing the Pokémon TCG competitively for eight years now. I have competed in the World Championships four times, and when it was announced that the Championship Point requirement to qualify for Worlds this year had been lowered to 300, I decided to pursue the invite once more.

My season started with a City Championship just after Thanksgiving. I played a Donphan deck and finished with a disappointing record of 2-1-1, missing the top four cut at fifth place. After this disappointing finish, I decided that Donphan was not going to be the deck to carry me through the rest of City Championships. After playtesting a variety of different decks, I stumbled upon Seismitoad/Garbodor.

Seismitoad/Garbodor was very intriguing to me. Being able to lock your opponent out of using Items and Abilities is incredibly powerful, as proven by Ryan Sablehaus’ first place Regional Championship finish with Dragonite/Garbodor last season. I decided to play Seismitoad/Garbodor for the next City Championship and finished in first place after a 3-1-1 record in Swiss. After this finish, I ended up playing Seismitoad/Garbodor for the next six City Championships that I competed in.

Briefly, here is an overview of my City Championship finishes with Seismitoad/Garbodor:

Conway, AR 12/17

R1: Lucario-EX/Mewtwo-EX – W
R2: Bronzong – W
R3: Gengar-EX – L
R4: Aromatisse – W
R5: ID
T8: Manectric-EX/Mewtwo-EX/Seismitoad-EX – WW
T4: Yveltal-EX – WLW
T2: Bronzong – WW

Franklin, TN 12/26

R1: Donphan – WLW
R2: Yveltal-EX – WW
R3: Bronzong – WL
R4: Gengar-EX – WW
R5: Bronzong/Mewtwo-EX – WL
R6: Crobat/Wobbuffet – WW
T8: Donphan – WLL

Murfreesboro, TN 12/27

R1: Pyroar – WW
R2: Gengar-EX – WL
R3: Donphan – WLW
R4: ??? – W
R5: Seismitoad-EX/Manectric-EX – WW
R6: Bronzong/Mewtwo-EX – WL
T8: Manectric-EX/Mewtwo-EX – LL

Madison, TN 12/28

R1: Yveltal-EX – WW
R2: Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX – WL
R3: Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX – LWL
R4: Aromatisse/Kangaskhan-EX – WL
R5: ??? – L
R6: Lucario-EX/Mewtwo-EX – LWW

Jackson, TN 12/29

R1: Yveltal-EX/Dusknoir – WW
R2: Crobat/Mewtwo-EX – LL
R3: Donphan – WW
R4: Seismitoad-EX/Crobat – WW
R5: Yveltal-EX – WL
T4: Yveltal-EX – WW
T2: Yveltal-EX – LWL

Southaven, MS 12/30

R1: Donphan – WW
R2: Yveltal-EX/Dusknoir – LL
R3: Bronzong/Mewtwo-EX – WW
R4: Donphan – WW
R5: ID
T8: Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX – LL

Sevierville, TN 1/10

R1: Yveltal-EX – W
R2: Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX – L
R3: Bronzong/Mewtwo-EX – W
R4: Bronzong/Mewtwo-EX – W
R5: Seismitoad-EX/Slurpuff – W
R6: ID
T8: Yveltal-EX – WW
T4: Bronzong – LWL

I managed to make it to the top cut of 6/7 City Championships, which I think really goes to show how consistent the deck can be. Also, five of the seven of these City Championships were best-of-three with a 50-minute time limit, similar to Regionals. I think that this adds to the credibility of the deck in a Regionals format.

While my finishes were not quite where I wanted them to be, I was happy with how consistently the deck performed. I love this deck because you have a shot at winning almost any matchup; almost every game could go either way. I really like that the deck has the potential to best any other deck in a best-of-three format.

The combination of shutting down Abilities as well as putting your opponent under an Item lock is enough to shut down quite a few decks on the spot. Against other decks, you have the added help of Hypnotoxic Lasers, Virbank City Gyms, and Muscle Bands to try to give you the upper hand. You also have Xerosic and Pokémon Center Lady to provide a defensive presence as well.

Without further adieu, here is my current list for Seismitoad/Garbodor that I piloted throughout City Championships:

Pokémon – 10

4 Seismitoad-EX

3 Trubbish LTR

2 Garbodor LTR
1 Jirachi-EX

Trainers – 40

4 Professor Juniper
4 N

1 Skyla
3 Lysandre
1 Shadow Triad
1 Xerosic
1 Pokémon Center Lady


4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Hypnotoxic Laser
4 Float Stone
3 Muscle Band
2 Switch
1 Computer Search


3 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 10

6 W

4 Double Colorless

I am extremely confident in this list. I do not think that I have been this confident in a deck since Darkrai/Sableye of State Championships in 2013. This deck has very even matchups across the board and is definitely a contender in this format. Now, I would like to go over my thought process behind playing the counts of the cards that I do.

4 Seismitoad-EX

Seeing as Seismitoad-EX is the only attacker of this deck, I think that it is imperative that you play a full set. I would attack with all four Seismitoad over the course of most games. Obviously, “Quaking Punch” is the attack that this deck is centered around. You want to attack with it as soon as possible and continue attacking with it throughout the game. However, “Grenade Hammer” is a fantastic attack to end a game with and should not be underestimated.

3-2 Garbodor LTR

Don’t forget about “Pound”!

Garbodor is huge in this format. Its Ability, “Garbotoxin,” shuts off the Abilities of all of both players’ Pokémon. I like to pair Garbodor with Seismitoad-EX because shutting off your opponent’s Abilities can swing an entire matchup in your favor. Also, if you are attacking with “Quaking Punch” every turn, your opponent can not remove your Tools with Startling Megaphone, so the only ways of turning their Abilities back on is to use Xerosic to discard the Tool from Garbodor or bring it up with Lysandre and Knock it Out.

Garbodor shuts off Virizion-EX’s Ability so that you can hit it with Hypnotoxic Laser, Pyroar FLF’s Ability so that Seismitoad-EX can damage it, and Bronzong PHF’s Ability, significantly slowing down Bronzong-based decks.

I play 3 Trubbish to make it easier to draw into them and get them on the board early. I also think that the deck works better with 10 Basics. I would not underestimate “Pound” — I took 5 Prize cards with Trubbish over the course of this City Championship season.

1 Jirachi-EX

I have fallen in love with Jirachi-EX. With one Jirachi-EX and four Ultra Ball, you have five more outs to a Supporter turn one. I could not tell you how many games I would have lost over the course of the City Championship season if it would not have been for Jirachi-EX saving me on the first turn of the game.

The second reason that I love Jirachi-EX so much is because you can use it to search out your 1-of Supporters throughout the game (as long as “Garbotoxin” is not in effect). There have been numerous games where I would play an Ultra Ball on my first turn, search out Jirachi-EX, search out Skyla, search out Computer Search, and go get a Double Colorless Energy to attack on my first turn. It is a large five-card commitment, but attacking on the first turn is huge. “Stellar Guidance” for Lysandre late game can be a game-winning play, as well.

4 Professor Juniper

I played around with just three copies for a while, but four is absolutely the best option. This deck does burn through cards a lot faster than you would expect, but you have to dig to set up Garbodor and start attacking as soon as possible.

4 N

I played three N and one Colress for one event, but four N is definitely the better call. Netting you six cards early on and disrupting your opponent late game is far superior to the massive 10-card hand that Colress could potentially provide.

Another point I would like to make is that if you play an N that nets your opponent only one or two cards, chances are that they will not draw into any relevant Item cards that late in the game. You can play an N, putting your opponent at one or two cards, and then start using “Grenade Hammer.” Often this is a very good play.

1 Skyla

I only play one copy because I typically do not want to play Skyla turn one (unless it is to search out Computer Search for Double Colorless to attack turn one) because I usually want a fresh hand of cards. However, being able to search out crucial cards like Hypnotoxic Laser, Float Stone, and Computer Search is phenomenal. Skyla is often a target of VS Seeker.

3 Lysandre

Ever since first playing this deck with three copies of Lysandre, I have wanted to play three in all of my decks. Many, many games are won or lost on whether or not you or your opponent has access to a Lysandre at the right time. With three Lysandre, it is much less scary to have to discard one or worry about prizing one. I am a huge fan of three Lysandre in any deck this format.

1 Shadow Triad

This card is huge. I would almost say that this deck would not be worth playing without this card. Using “Quaking Punch” for 30 base damage a turn, it is very difficult to compete with your opponent’s damage output. Hypnotoxic Lasers are critical for adding damage. Only having four Hypnotoxic Lasers per game is usually not enough. Hypnotoxic Laser is the primary, and only, target of Shadow Triad in this deck.

With one Shadow Triad and a full set of VS Seeker, you have the potential to utilize nine Hypnotoxic Lasers in a game. Typically, I will use between four and six Hypnotoxic Lasers in a given game. Shadow Triad really helps for this deck to put the pressure on your opponent that is needed.

1 Xerosic

I love Xerosic because of what a versatile card it is. You can discard a Special Energy card or a Pokémon Tool attached to one of your opponent’s Pokémon or one of your Pokémon. I have used Xerosic to discard all four of these options at one point or another. While discarding your opponent’s Double Colorless Energy or Flare Tools attached to your Pokémon are the primary targets, I have used Xerosic to discard a Float Stone off of a Seismitoad-EX and attach a Muscle Band to get a knockout. There was also a game where I discarded my own Double Colorless Energy with Xerosic to prevent my Seismitoad-EX from getting Knocked Out by my opponent’s Mewtwo-EX the following turn.

I would love to find room for a second Xerosic. This card is so strong and flexible at the same time. I opted for Xerosic over Enhanced Hammer in the end because you can play Xerosic under Item lock, search it out with “Stellar Guidance,” and get it back with VS Seeker. You definitely need some way to discard your opponent’s Special Energy cards though, or you will most likely lose a game to Donphan’s “Wreck.”

xerosic phf art

1 Pokémon Center Lady

As I stated earlier in the article, dealing only 30 base damage per turn, it is difficult to keep up with your opponent’s damage output. While Muscle Bands and Hypnotoxic Lasers can help to increase your damage output, sometimes your opponent is dealing just enough damage to be a turn or two ahead. Pokémon Center Lady serves to give you that extra turn of attacking with a Seismitoad-EX. For example, if an Yveltal-EX uses “Y Cyclone” for 90 damage, one more attack would normally Knock Out a Seismitoad-EX. With Pokémon Center Lady, you can swing it from a 2-shot to a 3-shot.

Another reason that I like Pokémon Center Lady is that it can be played under Item lock. If you are going head to head with another Seismitoad-EX, and they got off the first attack, normally you would be Knocked Out first seeing as neither player could play Hypnotoxic Lasers or Muscle Bands at that point. With Pokémon Center Lady, you can swing the duel back into your favor.

Lastly, Pokémon Center Lady removes all Special Conditions. This can be critical. If your opponent paralyzes your Seismitoad-EX or puts it to Sleep and you do not have access to a Switch, a lot of times just one turn of playing Items is all that your opponent needs to overtake you in a game. Pokémon Center Lady serves as a third out to answering Special Conditions.

4 VS Seeker

I believe in playing a full set of VS Seeker. This card is amazing; it allows you to play decks with different 1-of Supporters, and as soon as you play your first draw Supporter, every one of your VS Seeker becomes a potential draw Supporter. Late game, VS Seeker can be the most versatile card in your entire deck, giving you an incredibly wide range of options, depending on what Supports you have used. I cannot stress enough how incredible this card is. I do not see a valid reason to play less than four.

4 Ultra Ball

It is imperative to attack with Seismitoad-EX as fast as possible. With four Seismitoad-EX and four Ultra Ball, you maximize your chances of attacking turn one. Ultra Ball is also important for searching out Garbodor as soon as possible. Lastly, with Jirachi-EX, each Ultra Ball serves as another out to a Supporter. With four Ultra Ball, you have four more outs to a Supporter turn one.

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

Hypnotoxic Laser is huge in this deck. Being able to add 30 damage between turns in combination with Virbank City Gym helps to stack up damage against your opponent. Also, “Quaking Punch” prevents Switch or Escape Rope from being played, and “Garbotoxin” prevents Keldeo-EX from using “Rush In.” Because of this, your opponent’s Active Pokémon will be Poisoned unless they retreat, and if they stay Asleep, then your opponent will fall behind a turn. Many games can be won or lost on Hypnotoxic Laser flips.

4 Float Stone, 3 Muscle Band, 2 Switch

Helps get Garbotoxin going.

I have tested with different counts of Float Stone, Muscle Band, and Switch. I am quite confident in these counts. Float Stone is obviously the Pokémon Tool of choice for Garbodor, and while Muscle Band is critical at different points during a game, Float Stone is usually more important. Other than just wanting to retreat a damaged Seismitoad-EX, Float Stone is necessary after a “Chrono Wind” from Dialga-EX or an “Iron Breaker” from Cobalion LTR.

I prefer Float Stone to Switch for two reasons. First of all, having seven Pokémon Tools total makes it a lot easier to have access to one for “Garbotoxin” when you need it. Secondly, once a Float Stone hits the board, it sticks, and you can continue to retreat that Pokémon for a Retreat Cost of zero. Switch is a one-time use type of card.

However, Switch is necessary for a variety of situations. If a Seismitoad-EX that already has a Muscle Band attached is hit with a “Chrono Wind,” you will need a Switch to get out of it. Also, if your active Seismitoad-EX is hit with a Head Ringer or is put to Sleep turn one, a Switch is crucial to getting off that turn one attack. Three Muscle Band has been working fine for me through testing. With a Muscle Band, a Hypnotoxic Laser, and a Virbank City Gym, a Seismitoad-EX can swing for 180 with “Grenade Hammer” to Knock Out an EX. This is how a lot of games typically end, taking the final 2 Prizes off of an EX.

1 Computer Search

Computer Search is one hundred percent the ACE SPEC of choice for this deck. I have playtested with Life Dew, Dowsing Machine, and I even played Victory Piece in a City Championship, but none of these cards have matched the utility of Computer Search. It can search out a Supporter card turn one, act as a fifth Ultra Ball to get a Seismitoad-EX or a Garbodor, and most importantly it can search out Double Colorless Energy.

3 Virbank City Gym

Virbank City Gym is necessary to increase Poison damage from 10 to 30 between turns. I chose to play three because of how imperative it is to keep one in play throughout the game. There are also an increasing number of counter Stadiums being played this format. Fairy Garden, Shadow Circle, Fighting Stadium, and Dimension Valley are all being played in counts of three to four in different decks, and it is important to be able to counter them with Virbank City Gym.

6 W Energy

I have seen Seismitoad-EX lists that run as little as five Energy total, and I personally find that way too low. Aside from being absolutely crucial to attach an Energy turn one, almost every game will end with a “Grenade Hammer,” and that requires at least two W Energy. Six is the number that I feel the most comfortable with; I have playtested with five and it just was not a sufficient amount of Energy. Again, attaching turn one and having enough Energy to attack throughout the game is necessary, and ten Energy cards is the number that I feel is safe.

4 Double Colorless Energy

Quaking Punch” is the main attack of the deck, and it requires two C Energy. It only makes since to run a full set of Double Colorless Energy. However, when going first, I would typically attach a W Energy over a Double Colorless Energy. This is because you cannot attack going first, and if you attach a Double Colorless Energy, it becomes a prime target for an unwanted Enhanced Hammer. This has happened to me quite a few times over the course of the City Championship Season.

Other Options

az 117 art
Prize denial suits our strategy.

Now I would like to go over some cards that I have chosen not to include in my current list. All of these cards are good cards, and I have tested with them at one point or another, but they just did not make the final cut for one reason or another.

Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer

Most lists that I have seen for Seismitoad/Garbodor have played three to four Crushing Hammer and one to two Enhanced Hammer. I am not saying that this is a poor route to take — I just have never been a huge fan of “all-or-nothing” flip cards like Crushing Hammer. In addition to the fact that each Crushing Hammer has a 50% chance of having no effect, these cards cannot be played under Item lock. Also, if you have an Enhanced Hammer in your hand and a Professor Juniper is your only Supporter, if your opponent does not have any Special Energy cards in play at that moment, Enhanced Hammer is a dead card that will just be discarded anyway.

Head Ringer

When I first started playing this deck, I was in love with Head Ringer. I played a set of three and found the card very effective. As I logged more games, the card seemed less and less effective. Head Ringer is very strong against opposing Seismitoad-EX decks and Virizion-EX decks in particular. However, it is only effective if you go first and have access to one in your starting hand. If your opponent has the chance to attach their own Tools before you can stick a Head Ringer, then they become dead cards. Also, Pokémon like Mewtwo-EX and Yveltal-EX will often be attacking with more Energy than the required two in the first place, so Head Ringer provides little effect.

Cassius, AZ

Both of these cards are effective, defensive Supporters. I prefer Cassius because you can preserve Double Colorless Energy and a Pokémon Tool that may be attached to your Seismitoad-EX, but AZ serves the same general purpose. I really like these cards because in addition to being able to deny Prizes, they can serve as a pseudo Switch, pick up a Seismitoad-EX with a Flare Tool attached, and get Jirachi-EX off of the board. Cassius is taking a close second to Pokémon Center Lady for me right now.

Super Scoop Up

I ran three copies of this card, against my better judgment, for a City Championship earlier in the season. My thinking was that Super Scoop Up not only serves the same purpose of Switch, but it can also be used to remove damage from the board. The games where I went 2/3 on Super Scoop Up, it was very effective, but I definitely think that Switch and Cassius are better options.


I played a single copy of Mewtwo-EX for two City Championships. Mewtwo-EX is very useful in this deck for a variety of reasons. First of all, with only four Seismitoad-EX in the deck, if you prize two (it happens), you will need another attacker. Secondly, Mewtwo is amazing for combatting opposing Mewtwo-EX or Yveltal-EX with massive amounts of Energy. I have played multiple matches where I was staring down a Mewtwo-EX dealing 100+ damage turn two, and I have wished that I had a Mewtwo-EX to counter it. Lastly, Mewtwo-EX can act as a great “finisher.” With an unlimited damage cap, Mewtwo-EX can be your go-to Pokémon for taking that last knockout and sealing a game.

Victini-EX, Victory Piece

I played this combo for one City Championship, and let me say that it is not worth it. Granted, I did not run into any Virizion-EX decks throughout the event, but I honestly think that Computer Search and any other card would be better than Victini-EX. If you are worried about Virizion-EX, I would definitely run Head Ringer over Victini-EX.


garbodor plf art
Garbotoxin is unexpectedly helpful in two matchups.

There are definitely other cards that could be included in this deck, but the cards mentioned above are those that I have tossed in and out of my list at one point or another.

Now that I have explained why certain cards are and are not included in the list, I would like to go over different matchups that I encountered over the course of City Championships, and how I would suggest approaching them. Contrary to what some might think, this deck is slightly more complex than just attacking with “Quaking Punch” every turn, although that would serves as a pretty good one-sentence summary of the strategy.

Vs. Donphan

This matchup is honestly more difficult than most people originally think. Donphan plays no Pokémon-EX, thus ensuring that you have to Knock Out six Pokémon to win a game as opposed to four or five. This, in addition to Robo Substitutes, drags the game on long enough for damage to really stack up on your side of the field. Although a “Spinning Turn” into a Robo Substitute is heartbreaking, seeing as you have to “Quaking Punch” without taking a Prize most of the time, “Flying Press” and “Wreck” are the real threats. If you are using “Quaking Punch” from turn two onward, your opponent will not have the chance to set very many Robo Substitutes.

Hawlucha FFI is very threatening, swinging for anywhere from 60 to 130 with a Silver Bangle, Fighting Stadium, and Strong Energy as early as turn one. In order to keep up the Prize trade, it is pretty imperative to have Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser, and Virbank City Gym ready to go every turn to take each Hawlucha out in one hit.

Xerosic is critical in this matchup. Donphan typically plays a full set of Strong Energy and two to three Double Colorless Energy. If your opponent starts stacking a lot of Energy on a Donphan and you cannot Lysandre it up and Knock it Out, playing Xerosic to discard your opponent’s Double Colorless Energy is the next best option for protecting your Seismitoad-EX from a deadly “Wreck.”

Vs. Virizion/Genesect

This matchup is definitely an uphill battle, but it is by no means an auto-loss. If you play Head Ringer, it is critical to attach them to Virizion-EX as soon as possible to make it more difficult for your opponent to attack with “Emerald Slash.” Garbodor is absolutely necessary in this matchup; Hypnotoxic Laser is crucial for adding damage and potentially putting a Virizion-EX Asleep for a turn, but this is only possible if “Garbotoxin” is online. Muscle Band is also very important in this matchup to help compensate for Virizion-EX’s Water Resistance. If you can Knock Out a Virizion-EX before your opponent is able to attack with “Emerald Slash,” the rest of the game is a walk in the park; it becomes very difficult for your opponent to keep Energy in play.

Your best chances of winning this matchup are to set up Garbodor as fast as possible, be daring with your Hypnotoxic Lasers early on to try to put that first Virizion-EX to Sleep, and then be aggressive with “Grenade Hammer” if the opportunity presents itself. Once your opponent gets Energy on their board it is going to be very difficult to keep up with the Prize exchange, but this is by no means a hopeless matchup.

Vs. Yveltal

I really enjoyed playing against Yveltal-EX variants during City Championships. Yveltal-EX decks rely more heavily on having free retreat via “Dark Cloak” than most people assume; if you shut off “Dark Cloak” with Garbodor and take control of your opponent’s board using Lysandre, it is fairly easy to be in control of the game. Yveltal-EX, Yveltal XY, Darkrai-EX, and Keldeo-EX each have a Retreat Cost of two. If you take a knockout early, on whatever Pokémon your opponent has attached Energy to, using Lysandre to pull up any Pokémon without Energy attached will keep your opponent behind in Energy attachments and likely lead to easy Prizes.

Be aware of how many Double Colorless Energy your opponent has played throughout the game, as this is your biggest threat. Also, an Yveltal-EX stacked with Energy can be fairly threatening if you do not have the means to deal with it. Be sparing with Virbank City Gym — you need to counter your opponent’s Shadow Circle whenever it comes into play. Hypnotoxic Laser is also huge in this matchup.

Vs. Bronzong, Aromatisse

I am grouping these two decks together because my game plan for going up against either of them is almost identical. Setting up Garbodor is imperative to keep “Metal Links” and “Fairy Transfer” from being used. Shutting down your opponent’s Abilities in tandem with not allowing them to play Item cards shuts these two decks down almost completely. The one danger that I would suggest being aware of is “Chrono Wind” or “Iron Breaker.”

While these two decks are probably the most handicapped by not being able to use Abilities or Item cards, just one turn of being able to use them can be explosive. If a Seismitoad-EX is stuck Active and is unable to attack for any reason, chances are that a Startling Megaphone will rock your world and then be followed by a plethora of Max Potions and other game-changing Items. Be very careful to keep the lock going against these decks.


bronzong watercolor

Next I would like to move on to two other decks that I think would be excellent plays for the upcoming Regional Championships. The first of these two decks is Bronzong/Mewtwo. Over the course of City Championships I saw a lot of decks revolving around Bronzong, but most of these decks focused on attacking with Dialga-EX or other Metal Pokémon. This deck is based off of a deck piloted by Jacob Hope to quite a few top cut finishes.

For those of you that remember back when Eelektrik NVI was being played, the earlier versions of the deck focused on attacking with Zekrom-EX and other Lightning Pokémon, but lists eventually became centered around Mewtwo-EX and were much stronger. This is what I expect to happen with Bronzong variants.

This deck focuses on setting up Bronzong as quickly as possible to provide early pressure with Mewtwo-EX. With a full set of Ultra Ball, three Battle Compressor, and a Computer Search, this deck runs through cards at a lightning speed. You can have multiple Bronzong and Mewtwo-EX set up by turn two or three, easily. With Mewtwo-EX being seen less and less this format, a Mewtwo-EX-based deck just becomes that much stronger.

Also, Bronzong is one of the few Energy accelerators available in this format, so even if your opponent is able to trade Prizes for the first couple of turns, you should come out on top in the Energy exchange. Here is my current list for the deck:

Pokémon – 14

4 Bronzong PHF
4 Bronzor PHF
3 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Aegislash-EX
1 Cobalion LTR
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
3 Colress
2 Lysandre


4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
3 Muscle Band
3 Float Stone
3 Battle Compressor
2 Switch
1 Sacred Ash

1 Computer Search

Energy – 12

8 M

4 Double Colorless

Most of these card choices should be pretty self-explanatory. The 4-4 line of Bronzong in addition to the full set of Ultra Ball is to maximize chances of setting up at least one or two Bronzong by turn two or three. Mewtwo-EX is obviously the primary attacker of the deck, but Aegislash-EX’s Ability is too good to pass up not playing at least one.

I chose to play a Cobalion as my non-EX attacker for a few reasons. First of all, “Energy Press” can be very effective against other big Mewtwo-EX or Yveltal-EX should they make an appearance. Secondly, “Iron Breaker” is a very strong attack against cards like Seismitoad-EX.

I opted not to play Jirachi-EX in this deck for two reasons. This deck needs more Bench space than most due to the fact that you are trying to set up three or so Bronzong a game. Also, if you open with a Battle Compressor and a VS Seeker in your hand, then that is just as good as opening with a Supporter. You can use Battle Compressor to discard a Supporter and then use VS Seeker to get it back and play it turn one. This is a pretty unique combo, but it only works if you open with a copy of each card.

This deck is very aggressive and tends to take knockouts very quickly, so I opted to play just two Lysandre. To go along with the aggressive attitude of the deck, I play three copies of Muscle Band to apply a lot of pressure early on.

This deck is very fast and very strong; it would be an excellent play for Winter Regional Championships in my opinion.

Yveltal/Hard Charm

hard charm art
Defense wins championships… or something like that.

The last deck that I would like to take a look at is the popular Yveltal/Hard Charm. When I first heard about this deck, I did not expect it to be nearly as successful as it has been. I am an aggressive player, and I tend to favor decks with as many offensive cards as possible. However, after seeing this deck in action and testing it myself, I definitely think that this version of the deck is superior to the Muscle Band/Hypnotoxic Laser version in this format.

It is too difficult to achieve 1HKOs often enough to strive for them on a regular basis. The format has definitely shifted from favoring 1HKOs to favoring two-hit or three-hit knockouts. This deck does an excellent job of denying Prizes while still applying solid pressure with Yveltal-EX. Here is my current list for the deck:

Pokémon – 11

3 Yveltal-EX
3 Yveltal XY
1 Darkrai-EX DEX
1 Seismitoad-EX
1 Keldeo-EX
1 Jirachi-EX
1 Spiritomb LTR

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
3 Colress
3 Lysandre
1 Pokémon Center Lady


4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Hard Charm
3 Max Potion
3 Energy Switch
1 Scoop Up Cyclone


3 Shadow Circle

Energy – 12

8 D

4 Double Colorless

Again, nothing should appear too shocking from this list. Yveltal XY is the Pokémon that you typically want to start a game with, dealing 30 damage a turn and stacking your board with D Energy. Yveltal-EX is the main attacker, swinging with either “Y Cyclone” for 90 or “Evil Ball” for an unlimited damage cap.

Darkrai-EX is primarily in the deck to provide all of your Pokémon with free retreat, but I am a longtime fan of Darkrai-EX. Should the situation present itself, “Night Spear” can be a game-winning attack. Also, Darkrai-EX is a much safer attacker against Manectric-EX, even with Shadow Circle in play.

Seismitoad-EX is a pretty situational attacker in this deck, but can prove to be very useful. “Quaking Punch” can lock a Pokémon with a large Retreat Cost Active for quite a few turns while you set up your board. Also, if you are up against an opposing Seismitoad-EX, fighting frog with frog by hitting them with a “Quaking Punch” of your own is often a really good option.

Spiritomb is really just in the deck to prevent Virizion/Genesect decks from using “G Booster” and rocking your world, but preventing a late-game Computer Search can also be effective. “Hexed Mirror” can also be a really clutch attack to get you back in the game after drawing a dead hand.

The four Hard Charm, three Max Potion, Pokémon Center Lady, and Scoop Up Cyclone provide the deck with quite the defensive arsenal. I really like Scoop Up Cyclone as the ACE SPEC of choice; it can serve to get Pokémon out of the Active Spot when you do not have access to Keldeo-EX. Max Potion and Energy Switch work really well together, and having Yveltal to retrieve D Energy that are discarded is very useful.

I really do feel like this deck would be a very strong play for the upcoming Regional Championships. Manectric-EX-based decks are difficult to deal with, even with three copies of Shadow Circle. That being said, I would expect this deck to be played in pretty high numbers, and I would expect it to perform well. Should you choose to play this deck, let me warn you to be cautious of the clock. A defensive deck such as this is likely to tie more games on time than you want to if you are not careful.


kermit seismitoad croaker swamp
Frog-Toad clan ain’t nothin’ to mess with.

I hope that you all have found my analysis of my top three choices for Winter Regional Championships insightful and enlightening. There is a plethora of good plays for these upcoming events, and I am very excited that we are in a format where so many decks can compete! If I were to walk into a Regional Championship tomorrow, I would play that Seismitoad/Garbodor list without looking back; I am very confident in it.

However, I encourage you all to play whatever you feel comfortable with for the upcoming events. I am still unsure whether or not I will be attending the Regional Championship in Missouri or Virginia yet, but should you be at the same event, please come up and introduce yourself. Best of luck to you all at Regionals, and please “like” the article if you enjoyed the read!

Sam Liggett

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