Heading into Worlds, I expected the event to be filled with decks like Groudon, Manectric, Seismitoad variants, and Metal decks. This is what lead me to test Groudon/Garbodor and Virizion/Genesect the most. However, upon arriving at my team’s testing session the Monday before Worlds, we discussed the potential rise of and hype surrounding decks like Night March and Hippowdon. We decided if this was to be the case, our best chances for success would be to play a Night March list with an edge in the mirror match.
We spent the rest of the week playtesting, and by Thursday night, this is what we came up with. Nicholena already did an excellent job of analyzing the deck in her article, so I won’t go into all of the details.
Day 1 List
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 35
Energy – 7
Round 1 vs. Christopher S. (US) w/ Trevenant/Gengar
I sit down at the table to find I am paired with a fellow SixPrizes Underground writer, so I know I’m in for a challenge. Once he flips over Phantump and pulls off a Turn 1 Wally for Trevenant, I feel my heart sink a little bit. This is almost impossible for Night March to deal with — they stop our ability to play crucial Item cards like Battle Compressor and Ultra Ball. However, I am able to fight back by Lysandre-ing around the Trevenant and slowly accruing Night Marchers in the discard. Despite my valiant attempt to push through, Christopher is able to shut me down and take the first game.
In Game 2, I’m able to get a decent amount of Night Marchers in the discard on my first turn. In the following turns, I was able to grab some easy Prizes on Shaymin and Gengar, and Christopher conceded not long after. In Game 3, Christopher does get his Turn 1 Wally for Trevenant, but has to use a Jirachi to do it. This allowed me to Lysandre around and break the lock. Unfortunately, I was only able to get 3 or 4 Night Marchers in the discard, and Christopher locked me out of the game.
Round 2 vs. Eric P. (FR) w/ Landorus/Leafeon
I started off Game 1 with a pretty standard 7 or 8 Night Marchers in the discard. The game went pretty smoothly because his board was filled with Leafeons and Hawluchas. All I had to do was make sure I didn’t overextend on my Energy and I knew he wouldn’t be able to do much. Game 2 ends up going very similarly, and I take the series.
Round 3 vs. John K. (US) w/ Night March
I believe John won the coin flip, but because neither of us knew what the other was playing, John chose to go first. This gave me a huge advantage in the matchup. Additionally, John was given a Prize penalty for taking an extra Prize card for Knocking Out a Pumpkaboo. Both of these factors really put me in a commanding lead, and I take Game 1.
John gets to play second for Game 2. We have a really close game for the most part. Teammates was helpful for me to return KOs, and Shaymin’s Sky Return helped conserve Energies and KO a Joltik at the same time. However, a timely N at the end of the game shut me out and allowed John to take it.
I started off the third game with an abysmal hand. I wasn’t even able to start attacking until around Turn 4. This gave John way too much of a lead and I wasn’t able to come back.
At this point, I was feeling pretty disappointed. My chances of making Day 2 were looking grim. I would have to win all four of the remaining rounds. Nevertheless, I marched on!
Round 4 vs. Vance K. (US) w/ Seismitoad/Manectric/Crobat
This is a matchup that my team and I found to be close. However, all that needs to happen is for the Night March player to get 8 or 9 Night Marchers in the discard and the matchup generally goes fine. Luckily, I got two insanely fast starts and was able to 2-0 my opponent.
Round 5 vs. Jake C. (AU) w/ Groudon
This is typically one of Night March’s best matchups. However, my opponent was running some interesting cards that made the games pretty close. In the first game, I got off to a pretty quick start, taking 3 Prizes in the first few turns. However, my opponent dropped a Regirock XY49, attached a Focus Sash and then began powering it up. The game came pretty close, but I had just enough time to finish him off.
In Game 2, I prized 2 DCE’s, so I had to be very careful with my Energies. Additionally, my opponent got off to a much better than in the previous game, managing to power up both Regirocks with Focus Sashes by the end of the game. Due to my poor Prizes, I was forced to use Mew to copy Bunnelby’s Rototiller to recover a DCE, which set me pretty far behind. In the end, Jake was able to use his own Bunnelby to Burrow my last two cards in deck for the win, making for a very strange ending to an intense game.
Luckily, I got off to a blazing start in Game 3 and Jake had a subpar start, and I quickly benched him out.
Round 6 vs. Shaun L. (NZ) w/ Seismitoad/Jellicent
Shaun was piloting an interesting deck. It utilized Energy disruption paired with Jellicent BCR’s Stickiness Ability to trap unfavorable Pokémon in the Active. However, this strategy doesn’t work particularly well against a deck like Night March that is able to attack for a single Energy card. I remember my Turn 1’s here being perhaps the most ridiculous starts of the event, getting 1HKOs playing second on Seismitoads both games. And with his deck’s only attacker being Seismitoad, there wasn’t much Shaun could do to retaliate. Very interesting deck, though!
Round 7 vs. ??? (GB) w/ Landorus/Crobat
This matchup has always thought to have been a rough one for Night March. Additionally, more modern lists are starting to include Focus Sash, making it an even more uphill battle. My start was slower than usual, but he wasn’t able to find a Landorus for the first few turns of the game, so not a whole lot happened in the first few turns. When he finally found a Landorus, he got a Focus Sash on it immediately.
My usual strategy to deal with Focus Sash was to use Shaymin’s Sky Return to deal an initial 30 damage to render the Sash useless, then finish it off with Night March. However, with more decks including Pokémon Center Lady these days, I figured it would be safest to just Night March to discard the Sash. I hit into his Landorus for 170 damage after the Sash, and he played an AZ to pick it up. He then replaced its Focus Sash and continued to put on pressure. I repeated my last turn, only to be punished once again by a Scoop Up Cyclone and a third Focus Sash.
The game was coming down to the wire, but after a well-timed N, I was able to seal the first game. Game 2 came to an unfortunately quick end for my opponent, as I was able to bench him out on the third or fourth turn.
After four nerve-racking rounds, I qualified for Day 2 alongside my teammates Jimmy Pendarvis and Henry Ross-Clunis, who piloted the same 60-card list. We went back to the room to get ourselves ready for another long day.
We discussed whether or not we wanted to make any changes to our list. We all decided that the Water Energies were mostly useless, so we changed those to Lightning. This allowed us to copy Manectric’s attacks for just one Energy with Mew and Dimension Valley. Additionally, it opened up the option to use Joltik’s Gnaw attack. This was useful in the mirror match to KO opposing Joltiks without using a DCE.
The other change we made was swapping out the Bunnelby for a Xerosic. We wanted a way to deal with Focus Sash, as decks like Landorus/Bats and Hippowdon were seeing some play. It also doubled over as an a pseudo-Enhanced Hammer, which would end up being pretty useful.
Saturday morning comes around and we head over to the venue. We learn that there would be another 7 rounds with a Top 8. Shortly after, we were paired for the first round.
Round 1 vs. Sean F. (US) w/ Trevenant/Gengar
I wasn’t exactly pleased to be paired with another Trevenant deck, particularly in Round 1 again. This series would end up playing out a lot like my match with Christopher. The first game went pretty poorly for me. Sean was able to get his Turn 1 Trevenant, and I was locked out of the game. I was able to take Game 2 by going off on Turn 1 and KO-ing EX’s with ease.
In Game 3 however, Sean missed his Turn 1 Trevenant, giving me a glimmer of hope. I have a pretty promising opening hand. I opened with Mew and a DCE and was able to get some Night Marchers in the discard before a Shaymin for 5 with a Sycamore in my hand. However, off my 5 cards I drew 3 DCE’s and 2 Lightnings, meaning playing my Sycamore would just about run me out of Energies. Reluctantly, I was forced to pass.
Giving Sean this extra turn allowed him to Dark Corridor my Mew for a KO and establish his Trevenant, and that was enough to do me in. I was pretty disappointed to come even closer to winning this matchup but still to no avail.
Round 2 vs. Manuel R. (BE) w/ Seismitoad/Manectric/Crobat
I recall not having a great start in Game 1. Because I wasn’t able to get 9 Night Marchers in the discard before his Quaking Punch, I was forced into using Mew to copy Manectric’s Assault Laser and Quaking Punch. Unfortunately, between his Crobat damage and Rock Guard, he was able to take me over pretty quickly. My start in Game 2 was much more reasonable, and the matchup went as expected. Game 3 went similarly to Game 2, and I was able to pull the series out.
Round 3 vs. Long B. (US) w/ Virizion/Manectric
This is a matchup that Night March thoroughly enjoys, mainly because of how favorably it trades with all of their Pokémon-EX. In Game 1, I’m able to get a Turn 1 KO on his Manectric that he had just attached to, and he concedes shortly thereafter. Game 2 I start with Shaymin, and after benching another one and a Mew, Long is able to target them down and pick up some easy Prizes. I attempt to fight back by using Mew to copy Turbo Bolt, but Long ends up taking the game due to my suboptimal start. Game 3 plays out much like game one, with me overwhelming his EX’s with Night March.
Round 4 vs. Jordan N. (US) w/ Night March
I was able to take Game 1 off of Jordan because he was forced into playing down multiple Joltik. This allowed me to take most of my KOs using Shaymin’s Sky Return. This was important because I never gave up a DCE to take a KO, whereas each of his KOs cost him a DCE. This allowed me to N him at the end of the game and make him miss a crucial KO. Jordan didn’t put down as many Joltiks in Game 2, but he missed a beat or two off of N’s and I was able to capitalize and take the game.
Round 5 vs. Michikazu T. (JP) w/ Raichu/Crobat
I hadn’t tested this matchup coming into Worlds at all, as my team and I didn’t really expect it to show up. Michikazu gets off to a great start, benching multiple Zubats Turn 1. My start is reasonable as well, but in the following turns, Michikazu is able to clear my board with Bat damage along with Raichu.
Game 2 is a bit closer. I was able to use Escape Rope to get a cheap Zubat KO, which is more crucial than one might think. Eliminating a Zubat can stop as much as 50 damage, which is a really big deal. Teammates was also detrimental in this matchup, ensuring I always had a return KO on his Raichus. A well-timed N at the end of the game was enough for me to seal up the second game.
Luck was on my side in Game 3, as Michikazu opened with a lone Pikachu and was forced to Colress for 1 and pass and I was able to donk him.
Round 6 vs. Frank D. (US) w/ Raichu/Crobat
Frank and I always have good series, and I expected this one to be no different. The first game went very similarly to my first game with Michikazu. Frank was able to swarm with multiple Bats and take me over. Game 2 went much better for me. Even though he was still able to get out a fair amount of Zubats, I was able to deal with them with Lysandre and Muscle Banded Shaymins, allowing me to take the game. And just like in the third game with Michikazu, I was able to take a quick victory over Frank by benching him out. Frank only had a Leafeon and a Pikachu with no Supporter, and I’m able to take the series.
Round 7 vs. Martin J. (CZ) w/ Night March
It all came down to this. I had sat next to Martin earlier in the day, so I knew what I was in for. Our lists were very similar, so this was certain to be a close series! Game 1 was extremely close. However, like most Night March mirrors, N was the deciding factor, and Martin missed his KO, allowing me to take the game. Game 2 was also extremely close, with neither of us missing a beat. However, since Martin played second, he had the edge and pulled the game out.
One game was all that stood between me and the Top 8 of Worlds. I shuffle up for the third game and look at my opening hand. It’s atrocious. Martin plays first, and all I can hope for is that he plays an N. Unfortunately for me, he gets off to a great start, playing a Juniper and getting all of his Pumpkaboos on the board and ready. I draw my card … DCE. My board consists simply of 2 Pumpkaboos. I’m forced to pass.
Martin begins plowing through my board. It would be Turn 4 before I finally topdeck a Professor Sycamore and make my way into the game. I’m able to snag some easy Prizes on a Shaymin to make the game somewhat close. Time gets called and the Prize count is 2-4 in his favor, with me being Turn 0. I know my only hope of Top 8 is to bring this game to a tie, so I have to hope to N him on my last turn and pray that he whiffs the KO. On Turn 2, Martin has 1 Prize remaining, a Joltik in the Active with 2 Lightning, and a Pumpkaboo on the Bench with a DCE.
I count Martin’s DCE’s in the discard and I find 2. I realize that N would do me no good at this point, as Martin already has a DCE on Pumpkaboo ready to attack. So instead I VS Seeker for Xerosic and KO the Joltik. Martin’s hand consists of one card, which I know is a Juniper (he played Town Map and I saw him take it). He plays down his Juniper, draws his cards one by one, and on the 6th card slams the DCE on the table, and I’m eliminated. Frustrating to say the least.
And thus ended my tournament. While I was disappointed about coming just short of Top 8, I quickly started to get over it once I received my prizes and congratulations from all my friends. I spent the rest of the day going out to dinner and chilling with friends. It truly was my best experience at a Pokémon event, and I’m very grateful to all my friends who not only helped me prepare for the event, but for making it one of the best weeks of my life. I’m ecstatic for next season, and I’m already testing for the upcoming Regionals in October.
Thanks for reading this long winded report! Just a couple of things I’d like to bring your attention to before I leave you:
- Don’t forget that SixPrizes offers coaching! Coaching is a great way to improve your skills and learn matchups. Check it out if you’re looking for some help as we head into the new season!
- I’m planning on starting my stream back up soon! You can find my channel at: twitch.tv/dylandreyer5. Be sure to follow to get notified when I go live!
I’ll be back in September with an article to help prepare you for Regionals!