Hey everybody! I am officially enjoying my summer vacation now after a very challenging but rewarding semester. Since I don’t have to go to class for another four months, I have even more time for Pokémon!
Between the additional free time and the upcoming Regional Championships this weekend, my teammates and I have been testing extensively. As much as I enjoy testing, the monotony of playing and facing the same set of decks from the established metagame is very tiring at times. Sometimes I just want to try something different.
Well, today I am going to give you guys a few options to try out when you want to play a fun deck. These could just be good decks to use to break up your testing or you could bring them to a League Challenge to collect those last few Play Points for Nationals.
They all have some inherent weaknesses (namely Seismitoad-EX) but the point of these decks isn’t necessarily to bring them to Regionals or another tournament where Championship Points are the main concern. We often, as competitive players (myself included), forget the joy of playing a deck just because we like the cards or we want to have fun. I am reminded of this every time that I visit my local League which has served as my inspiration for this article. Shout-out to you guys at the MSU Pokémon Club!
Without further ado, let’s jump into the first deck.
This deck is not a brand new idea, but more of a modification of the Night March deck that has been around for a while. Instead of utilizing Mew-EX as the main attacker, Chandelure PHF is used. Chandelure has the same ability as Gengar SF, Fainting Spell. Gengar was the first deck I ever won a tournament with, which is why I really want to make this deck work. Fainting Spell is a game-changing ability that gives you a 50/50 chance to take your opponent’s attacking Pokémon down with you. Now that we have Pokémon-EX in the format, a single Chandelure can take 4 Prizes after attacking only once.
Pokémon – 25
Trainers – 26
1 Archie’s Ace in the Hole
1 Lysandre’s Trump Card
Energy – 9
This deck list is very tight and I really struggled to make the necessary cuts. I had to forgo the usual Dimension Valley that is seen in Night March decks, as well as a second switching card.
3-4-3 Chandelure PHF
This line is not something I would usually recommend, but with the goal of having 1-2 Lampent in the discard pile I thought it would be the best way to set up a Chandelure. I would love to include another Litwick and Chandelure but there aren’t any cuts that I could stomach. At one time I did consider dropping to two of both Litwick and Chandelure as I would anticipate having to use Lysandre’s Trump Card in most games with this deck. However, I don’t want to rely on Trump Card too much so I stuck with three of each.
I chose Celebi-EX over Shrine of Memories as my way to give Chandelure access to Lampent’s Night March attack. Stadium wars will become even more relevant with the release of Roaring Skies and Celebi is much more searchable anyway. Since the deck relies on Celebi’s Ability, I included two to alleviate concerns of prizing it.
Sigilyph is used primarily in the first few turns of the game to give you time to set up a Chandelure or two. You can’t use Rare Candy in this deck since you take advantage of Celebi to use Lampent’s attacks so it will take at least three turns before you’re ready to attack. Sigilpyh can also be used to attack and might be the best way for this deck to defeat Mega Rayquaza, especially if they don’t utilize any non-EX attackers.
Instead of the usual Empoleon PLF that other Night March builds play, I have elected to use Swampert instead. I prefer the consistency of Swampert over the speed of Empoleon in this deck. Swampert combos very well with Acro Bike and can search out the pieces to this puzzle exactly when I need them.
1 Lysandre’s Trump Card
I usually am against including this card in my Night March builds even though it is typically one of my first inclusions in any other deck. However, the combo needed to make this deck work relies on several cards that are unable to be played at the maximum count. If a Celebi-EX or Chandelure is prized, Trump Card might be necessary to reset your deck and replenish your resources.
I included these over basic Psychic Energy mostly to provide Sigilyph with a way to retreat for free. They also could be useful to reset Poison on a Chandelure with the help of a Switch to ensure that Fainting Spell can activate.
This deck suffers from being rather slow but if it does set up, Chandelure is a very scary Pokémon to stare down. Other considerations would include a Town Map for any prized Litwick, Chandelure, or Celebi; Robo Substitute instead of Sigilyph; or Muscle Band.
This is a deck that I’ve wanted to make and use at a League Challenge all year. Our competitive team from MSU is named Team Poliswag so playing Politoed has been a running joke ever since Furious Fists scans started to leak. The last few sets have given us Battle Compressor and Archie’s Ace in the Hole which actually provide some competitive potential for the deck.
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 42
2 Archie’s Ace in the Hole
1 Lysandre’s Trump Card
Energy – 0
After seeing such a tight list for the Chandelure deck, this list has a ton of flexibility. This obviously comes from the fact that the deck doesn’t play any Energy cards and can utilize those spots for more speed.
4-4-3 Poliwrath FFI
This line seems odd in any deck with Stage 2 Pokémon and Rare Candy but Poliwhirl is usually a better attacker than Poliwrath. Poliwrath is very important with its snipe damage to boost the damage from Poliwhirl’s attacks though so I didn’t want to cut it down too far.
The deck is completely centered around Politoed’s Ability so I chose to include three of them. It is relatively easy to get the first one into play with an Archie’s Ace in the Hole. However, your opponent will likely focus their efforts on taking it down so you have to have another one ready. Rare Candy definitely helps with that, as well as the full count of Poliwhirl. I play the third one just as insurance against bad Prizes since Lysandre’s Trump Card can help retrieve any that get discarded.
Exeggcute is a nice tech that we have been using in Night March primarily as a way to help with playing the Archie’s Ace in the Hole. It will also help with the Ultra Ball discards as necessary. However, now that Shaymin-EX is in the format, the use of Propogation may have to be more restrained. You might want to be discarding cards from your hand to draw more off of Set Up.
2 Archie’s Ace in the Hole
Archie’s is such a crucial card in the deck and I wanted to have at least two in the deck to ensure that the only copy doesn’t end up in the Prizes. The deck is built around using it with full counts of Ultra Ball and Acro Bike, as well as 3 Battle Compressor and the Exeggcute. In addition to providing an easy way to put a Politoed on the Bench, it can also find a Poliwrath or Poliwhirl if need be.
Rough Seas would likely be the deck’s only way to beat Seismitoad-EX. It not only replaces Virbank City Gym but it can also heal most — if not all — of the damage dealt by Quaking Punch. Poliwhirl and Poliwrath both deal more damage than Seismitoad so you could stack damage up quicker than they could. Hypnotoxic Laser would throw a wrench in that plan but the mighty tadpoles could still come out on top as they only give up 1 Prize.
There are many other cards that could fit themselves into this deck list. Town Map would take care of some of the concerns with prizing key cards once again. A few Water Energy could allow you to finish out the game with a big attack from Poliwrath or even use Politoed to attack in a pinch. Empoleon would fit very well into the deck if draw power ever becomes a problem. You could use Silver Bangle over Muscle Band or Escape Rope over Switch, or even any combination of those cards.
Politoed actually could have some competitive potential in a metagame without any Genesect-EX or Exeggutor decks. Mega Rayquaza could even be taken down with some sniping and a few key Lysandre to take out Shaymin-EX that accumulate on the Bench.
That’s all I have for you guys today. I hope these decks help to spark some creativity inside of you. Writing this article and concocting these deck lists has brought a smile to my face as I remember what Pokémon was like before I was concerned with the competitive side of the game. Maybe I’ll even bring one of these lists to my next local League Challenge.
Also, good luck to everyone playing these next few weekends at Regional Championships! I’ll be in Ontario and Wisconsin in the coming weeks and if you see me there, don’t hesitate to say hello! I always love making new friends — that’s what Pokémon is all about.