Hello SixPrizes readers! City Championships have come to a close and Winter Regionals are almost upon us. Many of us now have to make the shift from Standard to Expanded. There are well over 20 legal sets to choose from now. This makes it near impossible to test against every deck and not have at least one auto-loss.
I am a strong advocate of playing a deck with very few even matchups. I would rather play a deck that has strong matchups against many of the top tier decks with one to two poor matchups. My logic behind this is that I will not tie as often.
A tie nets you one point, a win nets you three points, and a loss nets you zero points. So if you play against several even matchups, you have a strong chance of tying some of those rounds. Two ties net you less points than one loss and one win. This is why I would rather lose half of my matchups that I tie and win the other half.
Today I will go over some of the decks that fit into this profile of possessing several strong matchups while also having a few bad ones.
Also, a new set is also on the horizon! The last week of Winter Regionals will include BREAKpoint. It will be exciting to see what decks pop up and what old decks will gain. I won’t go over decks with cards from the new set, but I will go over which cards I think have potential.
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 34
Energy – 8
I covered this deck in my last article so I won’t go into too much detail here. I do feel this deck is still very strong and it fits perfectly into the type of decks I want to cover. It has near auto-wins against Vespiquen/Flareon, Manectric-EX decks, and Night March. Its really bad matchups include Blastoise, Seismitoad/Crobat, and Mega Rayquaza. Yveltal is an even to slightly unfavorable matchup. Vespiquen/Flareon was the most popular deck throughout City Championships and should remain quite popular at Winter Regionals, making Landy/Bats a solid play.
I also expect Sableye/Gabodor to see much more play at Regionals than Cities due to the increase of round time. It was difficult to finish a game in 30 minutes — especially if your opponent did not want to — with Sableye/Garbodor. Landy/Bats does really well against Sableye/Garbodor since it can attack for little Energy and easily 1-shot Sableye as soon as turn 1. Head Ringer does not heavily affect Landorus since it can be removed by Super Scoop Up, Scoop Up Cyclone, and AZ. Sableye/Garbodor may also have trouble setting up a Garbodor from all the pressure of Hammerhead and Bats.
The changes I made from the previous list I posted are:
I added a Lucario-EX as a way to do a decent amount of damage against an Yveltal XY. It also serves as a much better attacker against Seismitoad-EX. Silent Lab is just a great card that slows down a lot of decks. This deck is not heavily reliant on Basic Abilities so it can be abused easily. Overall I think this deck is a solid choice for upcoming Regionals.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 38
Energy – 7
This deck made its first appearance at Arizona Regionals, piloted by Zander Bennett. The deck had some decent performances at the the following Regionals after that. The basic strategy is to get a Mega Rayquaza set up as quickly as possible and play Hex Maniac the same turn you have Rayquaza ready. Playing a Hex Maniac turn 1 can potentially cripple almost any deck.
This deck does have a glaring weakness to Night March. Its type disadvantage to Joltik and Joltik being a non-EX are too much to overcome. Even so, the fact that Hex Maniac is so strong still gives you a chance to win just because you could stop your opponent from being able to Set Up with Shaymin.
This deck has very strong matchups against Yveltal and Blastoise. It also has pretty even matchups against the rest of the top tier decks. Its speed and disruption make it very hard to deal with. This deck can also struggle with disruption if it doesn’t take its Prizes quickly enough. Item lock and Energy removal are very hard on the deck. The fact that this deck has a chance to beat almost anything (aside from a few bad matchups) is a good enough reason to play it!
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 39
Energy – 11
I feel like this deck is too strong not to mention. A lot of decks didn’t gain much from BREAKthrough but Yveltal sure did. Gallade synergizes so well with the deck and covers Yveltal’s Lightning Weakness to Manectric. It smooths the deck out making it the best deck in the format in my opinion. Assault Vest also gives the deck some much needed help against Vespiquen/Flareon.
This deck has pretty solid matchups across the board with Mega Rayquaza being its only truly bad one. Night March can be tough if you are forced to bench to many Pokémon-EX or are unable to Assault Vest a Darkrai-EX quick enough. If Regionals were tomorrow this is the deck I would take to the tournament.
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 33
Energy – 7
The greatest addition to Night March since last Regionals is Jirachi XY67. This card pairs very well with Mew-EX. Mew now has a great tool against Seismitoad-EX and Giratina-EX. (If you wanted an even better matchup against them, I would suggest including a copy of Shuppet ROS.) Quaking Punch, Stardust, Sky Return, and Night March combined give you a fighting chance against Seismitoad.
I chose to include Psychic Energy because I want to use Ram with Pumpkaboo. I would rather be attacking with Pumpkaboo in the mirror than any other attacker. It prevents my opponent from using Sky Return to KO a Joltik and scooping up their Shaymin-EX.
Ghetsis is in the deck to deal with Blastoise. The matchup is usually very poor for Night March but a turn 1 Ghetsis can devastate Blastoise. Using Ghetsis against Blastoise makes it nearly impossible for them to get out their Blastoise that turn.
Night March does struggle against anything that plays Crobat. Bat variants are very hard for Night March to deal with, whether it be Toad/Bats, Landy/Bats, or even something else. Sableye/Garbodor can give this deck trouble because of the limited amount of Energy it runs. Other than that this deck has really great matchups against the rest of the field.
Pokémon – 24
Trainers – 30
Energy – 6
I have been messing with this deck or a little while now. This is a spin on the Vespiquen/Vileplume deck that Andrew Wambolt posted on the Charizard Lounge. It has been testing well. The 1 Skyla may seem odd but it is in here so you can immediately search out Forest of Giant Plants if needed. The deck flows much better once you get it out.
This list can be improved and is nowhere near perfect but I wanted to show you guys and give you something to think about. The thing I like more about this deck over Vespiquen/Vileplume is that it is much easier to stream attackers. It also has a good answer to Aegislash-EX, which is something that deck was sorely lacking. Let me know what you guys think about it! I do think the deck has promise.
I strongly feel any of these decks that I listed above have the potential to win Regionals. I also do feel that Yveltal is the best out of the ones I listed just because its truly bad matchups see little play, and like I previously stated, if a tournament were tomorrow I would play Yveltal. The other decks I listed are more meta dependent but are still very strong.
I’ll now go over what cards stand out to me in BREAKpoint.
I’m not sure how good this card will be because it is basically a Stage 2 that can’t user Rare Candy. The Ability is great, especially since Max Potion is getting reprinted. The amount of time to set this card up is what will hold it back. Something will need to be printed to make it easier to get out.
Slowking // Spoiler
This card will make some sort of lock deck. It probably won’t have an impact in Expanded because Sableye is better. Sableye can discard the Energy with constant use of Crushing Hammer so it makes Slowking inferior. I think this card has huge potential in Standard though. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few rogue decks pop up with card included.
Palkia-EX // Spoiler
This card has an attack very similar to Virizion-EX. Manaphy can even serve as Skyarrow Bridge. The formats may just be too fast for this deck to thrive though. There aren’t many good attackers to power up that rely on Water Energy.
This is one of the best Pokémon in the set. Its Ability is absolutely incredible. The low HP is worrisome but I think the Ability being so strong makes it worth running still. This could be run in Aromatisse decks, give Primal Kyogre the boost it’s been needing, or even enable new decks.
This is just a buff of the Greninja we have now. What makes it good though is the Frogadier. For 1 Water Energy it allows you to search your deck for up to 3 Frogadier and put them onto your Bench. I think this makes the BREAK playable. The newly printed Greninja may also be a better version of the old one since the BREAK has a Shuriken effect. The attack of the Stage 2 has the same effect as Hex Maniac (but only for your opponent) for 1 C Energy. The second attack does 60 damage + 20 more if you choose to return a Water Energy from Greninja. This pairs very well with the Ability.
All around these cards are great. We will have to wait and see if they are fast to compete in today’s format though.
I do not see this card being good now but I do think it has a lot of the potential in the future. Devolving your opponent’s Pokémon is a strong effect for a Basic Pokémon.
Trevenant BREAK is super good. The only thing holding it back is its terrible Weakness. Dark decks are very popular right now and not going away anytime soon. I do not think the new Stage 1 Trevenant is good only because Item lock is infinitely better. It could see some play when Trevenant XY rotates out but for now I do no think it is playable.
The added HP of the BREAK makes Trevenant much stronger. It also gets a decent attack that can be powered up in one turn in conjunction with Dimension Valley. I do think this card is great but will never see huge play just because of how popular Dark decks are right now.
Garchomp // Spoiler
Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick keeps getting better and better. Garchomp has two great attacks for very low cost. Decks that once struggled by attacking with Double Colorless Energy such as Vespiquen and Night March get a huge boost. It also trades very well with Manectric not only because Manectric is weak it but because Garchomp is not easily KO’d.
I think this card will make Vespiquen very strong in Standard. I could also see this being very strong in Expanded with Silver Bangle. It could almost be used to replace Mew-EX in Night March but it shouldn’t just because of how good Mew is against Seismitoad-EX. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this played alongside Mew. I can see this card being splashed into so many decks. I am big fan of it.
Darkrai-EX // Spoiler
I guess PCL really likes Darkrai because they made another great one. It’s nowhere near as good as the old Darkrai-EX or even Yveltal-EX is now but it is definitely playable. The attack is strong but I do not know if it’s worth running. Yveltal-EX and even Lugia-EX AOR have stronger attacks. Having a different Weakness is nice though.
ebay.comNow on to the truly good cards of the set. I can see this card being played in nearly every deck. Plus 40 HP is already good but adding the additional 10 damage makes it almost too good. It makes Assault Vest nearly worthless. This card will have a huge impact on the meta and it might even revive Aromatisse.
This card will make everything even faster. This is strong enough to be played in many Expanded decks. Being able to power up almost any attacker you want out of nowhere is very potent. Max Elixir also combos very well with Gallade and could make Yveltal in Standard a little more similar to Expanded version. This card will make several new decks and see plenty of play without a doubt.
Max Potion is back! This card is even better now than it was before with cards like Fighting Fury Belt and Max Elixir. This may also revive Aromatisse decks to their former selves. I think this is a very healthy card and am glad to see it back.
Puzzle of Time is the best card in the set in my opinion. It takes things to a whole new level with Sableye in Expanded. Getting back any 2 cards from your discard pile is super strong. For comparison, Item Finder is an ACE SPEC and only gets 1 card back from your discard pile. This will make games a little more interesting.
That’s all I have for you guys today! I hope you enjoyed reading what I had to say. Hopefully I helped you prepare a little more for any upcoming tournaments. I will most likely be going to St. Louis and Florida Regionals so feel free to say hi if you see me there. If you have any questions please feel free to comment and I will gladly get back to you. I always enjoy hearing feedback!
Until next time,
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