The Mass Formula

My Top 2 Picks for Worlds, A Few Final Tips, and Old Dogs, New Tricks

Hey 6P, I’m back again this month with the last Underground article before the 2015 World Championships. I’m very excited to be playing in Worlds for my third time, and I’m feeling more prepared than ever before.

In today’s article, I’ll extensively discuss my top two deck choices for the main event. The format is rapidly evolving and wide open. However, after a good amount of testing and consideration I feel I have come to two solid picks for Day 1. Next, I’ll go over three tips for success at Worlds. Finally, I’ll walk you through a few interesting lists for the 2016 Expanded format.

My Top 2 Picks for Worlds

groudon-ex xy42 16-9
Groudon is ready for the prime time.

After a lot of testing and thought, I’ve settled down these two following decks. I preface this with my belief that the metagame will consist mostly of Seismitoad, Manectric, and Metal decks. I don’t expect to see very many speedy non-EX decks at the event either.

Primal Groudon

Pokémon – 14

3 Primal Groudon-EX
3 Groudon-EX PRC
2 Wobbuffet PHF
2 Trubbish LTR
2 Garbodor LTR
1 Landorus-EX
1 Bunnelby PRC 121

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Sycamore
4 Korrina
2 N
2 Lysandre
1 Pokémon Center Lady

 

4 VS Seeker
3 Ultra Ball
3 Robo Substitute
3 Float Stone
2 Hard Charm
2 Mega Turbo
1 Professor’s Letter
1 Computer Search

 

3 Silent Lab

Energy – 11

7 F
4 Strong

3-3 Primal Groudon-EX, 1 Landorus-EX

The 3 copies of both the Primal and normal Groudon-EX are pretty standard. Occasionally we see a 2-2 line, but I believe 3-of each is a necessity, as prizing even 1-of either card could be crippling. Landorus-EX is a nice way to handle Raichu XY. Since Raichu is a non-EX, it trades quite favorably with the slow Primal Groudon-EX. Groudon has problems with unfavorable Prize trades, but Landorus helps this by offering the ability to deal Bench damage. KOing a Raichu and a Pikachu in the same turn can be game changing. Landorus also offers some hope for the deck’s Night March matchup. Landorus is overall a great way to deal with predominantly non-EX decks.

2-2 Garbodor LTR, 2 Wobbuffet PHF

garbodor-plasma-freeze-plf-119-ptcgo-1
Klinklang can now be beat!

This is where the list diverges from most standard lists. The idea behind including Garbodor to the list is to fix the deck’s abysmal Klinklang matchup. With Garbotoxin shutting off Plasma Steel, Groudon can 1HKO anything in the opponent’s deck with ease. Additionally, it can help in the Metal Rayquaza matchup, as it turns off Bronzong’s Metal Links and Keldeo’s Rush In.

Wobbuffet is a pretty common inclusion in most Groudon decks. However, we only play 2 because Garbodor already shuts off Abilities. Additionally, we have 3 Silent Lab to help mitigate quick starts from Shaymin-EX’s Set Up Ability.

1 Bunnelby PRC 121

Bunnelby is included most obviously as a counter to Wailord, but it also has other helpful uses. The first is the ability to recycle Strong Energy as well as Silent Lab. Additionally, if your opponent is running low on cards, you can use Burrow in an attempt to deck them out.

4 Professor Sycamore, 4 Korrina, 2 N, 2 Lysandre, 1 Pokémon Center Lady, 4 VS Seeker, 1 Computer Search

4 copies of Sycamore are pretty standard and self explanatory. Maxing out Korrina is a good idea so you can find your Groudons and Trubbishes as quickly as possible. However, it is perfectly acceptable to switch out a Korrina for a 3rd N if you prefer. 2 N seems a little bit low, but is fine since the list plays 4 VS Seeker. 2 Lysandre is relatively standard, however it’s reasonable to cut to one if you need space, for the same reason 2 N is acceptable. Finally, Pokémon Center Lady is an interesting inclusion that can really swing games into your favor. Between Hard Charm reducing damage and Pokémon Center Lady healing it, Primal Groudon has the potential to live for multiple turns, allowing it to run through your opponent’s board.

pokemon center lady 105 16-9
PCL makes it especially tough for opponents to land KOs.

As for the ACE SPEC, Computer Search seems like the obvious choice. The main reason for this is so that you can search it out with Korrina, giving yourself the option to find another Supporter on the following turn. Another reasonable option is Scramble Switch. Scramble Switch allows for sneaky plays where you bounce from a damaged Groudon to a fresh one, preserving your Energies. However, I believe that the benefits Computer Search offers far outweigh those of Scramble Switch.

3 Float Stone, 2 Hard Charm, 0 Focus Sash

3 Float Stone is higher than usual for Groudon decks, but is necessary because of Garbodor. Most lists seem to agree now that Hard Charm is the most useful tool for Primal Groudon. While Focus Sash still sees some play, Hard Charm is usually a better choice because it blocks damage over time. Two hits with Hard Charm attached reduces 40 damage, whereas Focus Sash doesn’t prevent any. Additionally, Focus Sash’s usefulness can be ruined by one hit from snipe damage from cards like Landorus-EX and Kyurem PLF. One matchup where Focus Sash was thought to be useful was in the Colorless M Rayquaza-EX matchup. However, both Hard Charm and Focus Sash save Primal Groudon from being 1HKO’d, as Rayquaza caps out at 240 damage.

3 Ultra Ball, 3 Robo Substitute, 2 Mega Turbo

Usually, Groudon decks will run one or two Ultra Ball, but this version plays more so that it’s easier to get out Garbodor. 3 Robo Substitutes are great walls to protect your Groudon while you’re setting up. I’ve seen lists go as high as 4 and as low as 1, but I feel 3 is a good number. In a pinch, you also have Bunnelby to use Rototiller to recover 2 Robos. 2 Mega Turbo may seem a little low, but since we’re not worried about being slow to set up, Mega Turbo goes from being a speed card to a resource management card.

Matchups

Vs. Seismitoad Variants

hard-charm-xy-119
Adds at least one extra turn to Groudon’s shelf life.

Seismitoad can’t really do a whole lot to a Primal Groudon thanks to its Ancient Trait. Toss a Hard Charm on Groudon and Seismitoad will have a really tough time scoring KOs. Crobat variants can cause more of a problem, but Pokémon Center Lady can keep things in check. Basically all Groudon needs to do is set up and it will almost certainly win the matchup. This is a matchup that Groudon players hope to encounter.

Vs. Manectric Variants

Because of its type advantage, Groudon has an incredibly favorable Manectric matchup. Once you finally send Groudon in, there isn’t much Manectric can do about it. This is another matchup where Pokémon Center Lady comes in handy, making Manectrics work extra hard to grab KOs. This matchup is undeniably in Groudon’s favor.

Vs. Metal Rayquaza

I’ve found this matchup to be difficult in the past, but now with Garbodor the matchup is much more reasonable. Shutting off Bronzongs and Shaymins can really slow the opponent to a grinding halt. Hard Charm really puts in work, saving Groudon from getting 1HKO’d by Emerald Break. And the Silent Labs are great for disrupting our opponent’s Shaymins. I consider this to be one of Groudon’s closer matchups but it’s certainly not unfavorable.

Vs. Klinklang

What was previously Groudon’s dead auto-loss is now a reasonable matchup all thanks to Garbodor. Once you establish Garbodor, you can easily take over the game, as Klinklang decks tend to set up a little slower than other Metal decks. The nice thing about Bunnelby in this deck is it can use its Rototiller to recover KO’d Garbodors and Trubbishes. Overall I’d say this matchup is favorable.


With these strong matchups it’s hard to deny that Groudon looks like a solid play. However, it has two downfalls:

  1. The first is its inability to keep up with speedy non-EX decks like Night March and Flareon. While Landorus can help in these matchups, the Groudon player usually finds themself outsped.
  2. The other problem Groudon encounters is Hippowdon, as Garbodor does not shut off Hippowdon’s form of Safeguard. While I don’t see Night March, Flareon, or Hippowdon being too popular, it’s something to keep in mind.

Overall I think Groudon is looking like a really well-positioned play with its newfound partner Garbodor, and that is why it’s one of my two choices for Worlds.

Virizion/Genesect

Pokémon – 10

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

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
4 Skyla
1 Colress
1 Lysandre
1 Xerosic
1 Shadow Triad

 

4 Ultra Ball
3 Muscle Band
3 Energy Switch
2 VS Seeker
2 Switch
2 Escape Rope
1 Professor’s Letter
1 Target Whistle
1 G Booster

 

1 Plasma Frigate

Energy – 14

10 G
4 Plasma

4 Virizion-EX, 3 Genesect-EX, 2 Deoxys-EX

deoxys-ex-plasma-freeze-plf-53
Double Deoxys is a unique twist.

It’s so important to be consistent, particularly at the World Championships. 4 Virizion gives you the best chance of opening with it, which is crucial when attempting to pull off a turn two Emerald Slash every game. The second copy of Deoxys is interesting. It offers the ability to 1HKO a M Rayquaza with G Booster, which swings the matchup heavily into V/G’s favor. They also provide the extra 10 damage Genesect needs to 1HKO Shaymin-EX without the need for Muscle Band.

1 Jirachi-EX

Jirachi is interchangeable with Shaymin; it’s just a matter of preference. I prefer Jirachi because it guarantees a Supporter card. Additionally, I usually don’t like playing Shaymin in decks that don’t play Double Colorless Energy, as there’s no efficient way to use Sky Return.

1 Lysandre, 1 Xerosic

The majority of the Supporters are pretty straightforward. The Lysandre is important for times when you can’t Red Signal (i.e. when Garbodor, Silent Lab, or Wobbuffet are in effect). Xerosic is needed for the Seismitoad/Garbodor matchup to take off Garbodor’s Tool. It can also be useful to knock off opposing Special Energies as well as Head Ringers off of your own Pokémon.

1 Target Whistle

Target Whistle is used to bring Pokémon back into play that Genesect can take easy Prizes on. A few that come to mind are Seismitoad, Shaymin, Jirachi, and Groudon.

1 Plasma Frigate

The main purpose of this card is simply to provide a counter Stadium to Silent Lab. The greatest part about it is it’s recyclable with Shadow Triad (which can be recycled with VS Seeker). It can also save you if you run into a random Fire deck like Pyroar or Camerupt.

plasma frigate 16-9
We need a counter to Silent Lab. Shadow Triad can throw Frigate a lifesaver. (Ship it!)

Matchups

Vs. Seismitoad Variants

V/G has always been favored versus the big bad Toad because of type advantage. Sure, Toad’s partner Manectric can cause some slight issues, but a Genesect with G Booster can easily retaliate. With Xerosic in the deck, we eliminate any hope the opposing Toad/Garbodor player has of winning via Sleep flips. This is by far one of V/G’s best matchups.

Vs. Manectric Variants

This matchup can be a little tricky. The Garbodor version shuts off our Deoxys, stripping us of our option to 1HKO a M Manectric with G Booster. However, with Lysandre and Xerosic to deal with Garbodor, the matchup is generally fine. And the Manectric/Water variants are even more reasonable to deal with thanks to type advantage.

Vs. Metal Rayquaza

The 2 copies of Deoxys really make this matchup favorable. The ability to blow a M Rayquaza away with G Booster is undeniably good. Additionally, Genesect is great at picking off weak Pokémon off the Bench like Bronzong and Shaymin to take cheap Prizes. Things can get a little out of hand if the opponent is able to deal with one of the Deoxys, but luckily Shadow Triad gives you the option to recycle it.

Vs. Klinklang

This matchup can be difficult, as all of your attackers are EXs. However, you have a decent shot if you’re able to pull off a G Booster KO on Klinklang, as G Booster ignores all effects of the Defending Pokémon. Once Klinklang is out of the way, Genesect can easily tear through the rest of the opponent’s deck.

Vs. Groudon

This is another matchup where V/G shines due to type advantage. Escape Rope can be a crucial card in this matchup to move Wobbuffet, allowing you to Red Signal Groudon. They can give you some trouble if they have a Focus Sash, but placing the 20 damage from Megalo Cannon renders their Focus Sash useless. This is definitely a matchup that V/G is hoping to encounter.


Overall I really like V/G’s chances heading into the World Championships. The decks that V/G tends to struggle with such as Night March, Flareon, and Landorus/Crobat are seeing less and less play, and thus is why I have V/G in my top two choices for the main event in Boston.

A Few Final Tips

With the World Championship right around the corner, I figured I would take some time to briefly go over some important things I’ve learned as I’ve grown as a player. These tips are all things I’ve come to learn from playing in Worlds in years past, and I advise everyone to keep them in mind for the big weekend.

1. Avoid Last-Minute Changes

baseball-player-pokemonfilb.de
Me every time I make a last-second substitution.

You hear this all the time from experienced competitive Pokémon TCG players, but it’s so important to understand. Often when players change cards in their list (or their deck altogether) at the last second, they end up not performing as well as they’d hoped. This is most often because of lack of confidence or preparation with said changes. I myself have fallen victim to this many times in the past, and each time is a reminder of this lesson. I’ve since been a huge believer of sticking with what you’re comfortable with. Most players tend to perform best with a deck they know in and out, even if it’s not the best deck in the room.

2. Keep Your List Consistent

By this point, you’ve most likely already fine-tuned your deck for Worlds. However, one of the most important things to keep in mind is consistency. Oftentimes players will try to get crafty and tech for too many matchups, thus slowing their deck down and becoming inconsistent.

A perfect example of this is my Worlds list from last year. I played Virizion/Genesect with 3 Enhanced Hammers and 2 Max Potions. While Enhanced Hammer was a fine inclusion for the event, Max Potion proved to be almost useless. I added them with Flygon in mind, but Flygon didn’t make much of an appearance at Worlds. To make room for these techs, I unfortunately cut consistency cards like Colress and Jirachi-EX. I finished the event with a 4-4-1 record, with 3 losses being due to dead-draws. Had I just not included the Max Potions and maybe cut one of the Enhanced Hammers for more Supporters and a Jirachi, those dead-draws may not have occurred and I would have had better results.

3. Stay Focused

Worlds is both an exciting and daunting experience. Personally, this is something I hope to work on at the event this year. In years past I found myself getting distracted by other games going on or from the spectacle of Worlds experience itself. At the end of the day however, it is the largest and most prestigious tournament of the year and you need to give it your all to succeed.

Old Dogs, New Tricks

hoopa heheheh laughh0ppip.tumblr.com
You know Hoopa is up to some tricks …

It’s been announced that all Regionals next season will be played exclusively in the Expanded format. Additionally, with the inclusion of Ancient Origins, some decks will be getting quite an overhaul. Let’s take a look at a few familiar decks changed to fit in the upcoming Expanded format.

Rayquaza Unbound

Pokémon – 21

3 Rayquaza-EX ROS 75
2 M Rayquaza-EX ROS 76
3 Bronzor PHF
3 Bronzong PHF
3 Shaymin-EX ROS
2 Heatran PHF
2 Hoopa-EX
2 Aegislash-EX
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 30

3 Professor Sycamore
3 Colress
2 Lysandre
1 N
1 AZ

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
2 Rayquaza Spirit Link
2 Float Stone
2 Pokémon Communication
1 Sacred Ash
1 Computer Search

 

4 Sky Field

Energy – 9

5 M
4 Double Colorless

There isn’t much new with this list. The two new additions are Hoopa-EX and Pokémon Communication, which really work well together. Hoopa is great because it not only secures a Pokémon to play on the Bench to fuel Emerald Break, it also searches out Shaymin-EXs to help you set up as well as get your Rayquazas out. Pokémon Communication synergizes with Hoopa because you can throw back one of the EXs you got to grab a Bronzor or a Bronzong. This deck is already a serious threat in the metagame, and I can’t see this being any different as we move forward.

Groudon Hits the Beach

Pokémon – 12

2 Groudon-EX DEX
1 Groudon-EX PRC
3 Primal Groudon-EX
4 Wobbuffet PHF
1 Landorus-EX
1 Bunnelby PRC 121

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore
4 Korrina
3 N
2 Lysandre
1 Pokémon Center Lady

 

4 VS Seeker
3 Robo Substitute
3 Switch
3 Hard Charm
2 Mega Turbo
1 Professor’s Letter
1 Heavy Ball
1 Computer Search

 

3 Tropical Beach

2 Silent Lab

Energy – 11

7 F
4 Strong

groudon-ex-dark-explorers-dex
Water is a better Weakness.

Groudon actually picks up some nice cards in the Expanded format. The first is Groudon-EX DEX. This is crucial because it carries a different Weakness than the Primal Clash Groudon (Water instead of Grass). With Grass Pokémon bound to be on the rise thanks to Forest of Giant Plants, it will be important to play this Groudon so that it doesn’t get KO’d before you establish the Primal.

The deck also cashes in from the addition of Tropical Beach. Beach serves dual purposes for this deck. As we all know, Groudon needs a Stadium card in play for its attack to do 200 damage, which Tropical Beach just so happens to be. Additionally, it serves as an early-game draw engine. Your first few turns are spent trying to set up Groudon, meaning you’re not attacking. So why not draw some cards instead?

Finally, I included 1 copy of Heavy Ball. This is great in conjunction with Korrina, as it allows you to search 2 Groudons at the same time. This is good in situations where your opponent is threatening to 1HKO your only Groudon. Having 2 in play right away ensures you’ll be able to drop the Primal on the subsequent turn.

Groudon is already a great deck, and with these new tools at its disposal in the Expanded format, I can only imagine it will continue to see success.

Klinklang Reloaded

Pokémon – 21

3 Klink PLS
3 Klang PLS
2 Klinklang PLS
1 Klinklang BLW
3 Bronzor PHF
3 Bronzong PHF
2 Aegislash-EX
1 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Heatran PHF
1 Keldeo-EX
1 Jirachi-EX

Trainers – 30

3 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Lysandre
1 Colress
1 AZ
1 Teammates
1 Ace Trainer

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
3 Max Potion
3 Float Stone
1 Rare Candy
1 Computer Search

 

2 Sky Field

Energy – 9

9 M

This list is largely based off of Dylan Bryan’s Top 8 Nationals list. However, there are a few things that the BLW-AOR format has to offer the deck. Firstly, you might have noticed that the “Shift Gear” Klinklang has made a return. This card can be really useful for keeping your Pokémon alive with the help of Max Potion, similar to how Aromatisse XY decks function. Additionally, with Keldeo and Float Stone, you are able to freely move your Pokémon around and bounce the Energies to go with them. I’ve also thrown a copy of Ace Trainer in the deck. Since this deck is quite slow, it will inevitably go down on Prizes, and with Jirachi to search it out, Ace Trainer can prove to be a very useful tool to slow your opponent down to give yourself time to set up.

I think this deck has a lot of potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up at Fall Regionals.

Conclusion

That’s all I have for you all today. Thank you for reading! I hope I’ve helped prepare you for upcoming tournaments, be it the World Championship, the Boston Open, or the Fall Regional Championships. If you have any questions, be sure to send me a message either here on the forums or on Facebook. I’m always pleased to help out.

Also, if you see me at Worlds, come up and say hi! I always enjoy meeting people. I wish you all the best of luck at your upcoming events.

Until next time,

Dylan Dreyer


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