Hello SixPrizes readers! Regionals are this weekend. Instead of going over lists, like I’ve done in my previous articles, today I want to teach you how to optimize lists with techs. Teching is putting cards into your deck that could potentially swing even or bad matchups into your favor.
In this article I will be going over what it means for a card to be a useful tech, how to properly make space in your deck for techs, and when a matchup is even worth teching for.
Step 1: Evaluate Essentials
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 35
1 Town Map
Energy – 7
This is a basic version of the Night March list I posted in my previous article. I’ll go through the steps on how I got to the final product.
The first thing I do when deciding when to add techs is to look at what cards are nonessential for the deck to function.
Essential: Pokémon & Energy
All Pokémon in this deck are essential for it to function. Jirachi Promo — unlike the other Pokémon — will not be used every game, but I would not consider it a tech card due to how much weaker this deck is without it. Jirachi can be used in any matchup that uses Special Energy, and it give you outs in games that would otherwise be unwinnable.
7 Energy is the optimal number of Energy in Night March, especially when there is no way to recycle them. That leaves us with finding Trainers to cut for techs.
- Town Map is mainly used to mitigate the effects of bad Prizes. A lot of times you will not Prize cards that will affect the outcome of the game.
- Teammates allows you to manage your resources much easier by drawing exactly what you need from your deck when you need to without discarding cards. You can still usually get what you need off of a Professor Sycamore but at higher risk of discarding resources or whiffing.
- Hex Maniac gives you more outs to beating cards like Aegislash-EX or impeding your opponent’s setup. Both of these are “win more” conditions since you already have an answer to Aegislash-EX with Mew-EX and you could still win without Hex Maniac.
Cards that are more important to how the deck functions but can still be cut are Acro Bike and Buddy-Buddy Rescue. Acro Bike is a more of a “search for a way to draw more cards” card than an actual way to draw more cards. Seeing two cards is usually not a very reliable way to find what you need. It can also make for awkward choices on what to discard.
When building a deck I like to have at least 13-15 consistency cards. These consistency cards are ways to either draw cards or find ways to draw cards. This deck has 2 Professor Sycamore, 2 N, 4 VS Seeker, 4 Ultra Ball, 4 Battle Compressor, 4 Trainers’ Mail, 3 Acro Bike, 1 Computer Search, 2 Shaymin-EX, and 1 Jirachi-EX as the consistency cards.
I count Trainers’ Mail as a 0.5 consistency since it does not guarantee a way to draw cards. I clump VS Seeker and Battle Compressor together as 0.25 since VS Seeker is not a consistency card at the beginning of the game but it can be if you also have a VS Seeker. I am not counting Teammates as a consistency card for the same reason as VS Seeker. Acro Bike I count as 0.5 consistency. That puts us at 16.5 consistency cards — so Acro Bike can be dropped from the deck without hurting the consistency, but this will slow down the deck very slightly.
Buddy-Buddy Rescue is a card that lets you be more aggressive early game. It allows you to recover many of the attackers that were needed to fuel quick knockouts. This card can possibly be cut if you are able to manage your attackers very well.
Step 2: List Out Tech Options
Now that we have decided what can be cut, let’s move on to what can be put into those spots. When what deciding what techs we should be using, we need to think about what other decks are popular at the moment. Without techs this deck is not so great. We can use techs to alleviate some of the awful matchups. Night March can run a wide variety of techs. Here are some of the techs that can be run:
There are quite a few low-HP Pokémon in this deck that can be sniped off from attacks that target the Bench. The Psychic Mr. Mime is preferable here because you are already running Psychic Energy. If we were not running Psychic Energy the Fairy one would be better due to its Resistance to Darkness, a much more popular type in the metagame. It’s also Weak to Metal instead of Psychic which prevents it from being as easily Knocked Out by Bats.
Archeops is pretty simple: it can shut down decks that rely on Evolutions to either attack or set up.
Gallade has three main purposes in the deck. First is the consistency booster Premonition provides, making it easier to draw into the cards you need as soon as it is out. Second is it serves as a hard counter to Mega Manectric. It turns a favorable matchup into a near auto-win. Lastly is its usefulness to survive multiple turns due to its high HP, a trait no other Pokémon in the deck shares.
I personally use Gallade to complement the Maxie’s engine when I’m already running Archeops. I don’t believe I would ever play Gallade by itself in this deck. Gallade doesn’t add enough usefulness to warrant playing it alone.
This card is really good under Item lock. Like Gallade it can take a hit without being Knocked Out. This card is a little dated though, and we have better options.
Vanilluxe is very good against attacks that instill some form of a lock. It can allow you to get a turn of Items or Special Energy if one of the flips on Double Freeze is heads and your opponent is unable to get rid of Paralysis. It is not as strong as it could be in the current meta because of how popular Keldeo-EX is.
These serve as switching methods. If you are running a high-Retreat Cost Pokémon such as Gallade or Empoleon a switching method is almost mandatory. I would not run AZ in a Maxie’s or Archie’s engine since it takes your Evolution out of play. AZ does serve as a great way to take your Pokémon-EX off the field or to reuse their Abilities.
This can give you an edge in any matchup that runs Special Energy. It can cause your opponent to possibly miss a turn of attacking or even run them out of Energy, both of which could win you the game.
Many decks, including this one, are very reliant on Item cards. A turn 1 Ghetsis could cripple your opponent’s setup. The card can also be very disruptive throughout the game. Definitely worth considering in almost any deck.
Can be used to reach that last bit of damage to get a knockout. However I do not think this card is very strong in Night March and another Muscle Band will almost always be better.
This card was seen as a counter to Fighting decks such as Donphan and Landorus. This is one of the bad techs in my opinion. Neither of those decks will likely see much play, and the matchups are also already so bad that it is not worth teching for them.
This card can be played to swing the mirror match or even the Vespiquen/Flareon matchup. Computer Search is better if you are playing a Maxie’s or Archie’s engine. I do favor Computer Search in this deck just because of the consistency it adds.
I played Pokémon Catcher in my Standard Night March list for Cities and it worked out great. It allows you to bring up easy targets from the Bench such as Shaymin-EX which can swing the Prize trade heavily in your favor.
This deck can go very fast turn 1. You are sometimes able to go through more than half of your deck on the first turn. Red Card just offers a little added disruption to the mix since it will likely be seen very quickly.
This card is great at picking off Shaymin-EX to swing the Prize trade in your favor. It pairs very well with Pokémon Catcher in that aspect.
This card is what you run if you want both Tool Scrapper and Enhanced Hammer but only have room for one. A benefit of this card is that it can be reused with VS Seeker and be Battle Compressor’d. It works under Item lock which is very strong and one of the biggest benefits over its Item counterparts.
Step 3: Run Down Matchups
Now that we have gone over many of the popular techs that can be run in this deck, let’s look at which ones we should run to improve our matchups.
Best Techs: Ghetsis
This is already a very good matchup so you do not need to tech for it. The deck is very reliant on Items thus Ghetsis is a good option against it.
Vs. Mega Manectric Variants
I do not think this matchup needs much help, but Archeops and Gallade are available if needed. You would most likely be running the Maxie targets for another matchup. Improving this matchup would just be a bonus.
The reason this matchup is even is because Vespiquen/Flareon usually plays Life Dew to even out the Prize trade even though you will most likely get the first attack off. Life Dew can be used to balance that out on your side as well.
The number one counter to this deck though would be Archeops. The entire deck is based around attacking with Evolutions. Vespiquen/Flareon does usually run a way to get around Archeops, but Archeops will slow them down enough to possibly swing the matchup in your favor. If you were to choose to run Archeops that would take away your option of running Life Dew because Computer Search would be needed for the Maxie’s engine.
Target Whistle and Pokémon Catcher can be used to to pick off Shaymin-EX whether they are on the Bench or in the discard. Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic force Vespiquen/Flareon to have to Blacksmith (consequently preventing Lysandre).
Mr. Mime and Gallade are your best techs for this matchup. Mr. Mime prevents Darkrai-EX from taking multiple Prizes on low-HP Night Marchers. Gallade is a non-EX that can possibly survive a turn while being able to 1HKO a Darkrai.
Vs. Night March/Maxie’s
This deck is very Item-based so Ghetsis is very strong against it. It is also very reliant on Double Colorless Energy so Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic do help a little. Taking out Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX on the Bench (via Target Whistle plus Pokémon Catcher) and Ghetsis are best for winning the mirror.
Vs. Archie’s Blastoise
Ghetsis can singlehandedly win you this matchup. A Ghetsis can make it almost impossible for the Archie’s player to get out a Blastoise. Blastoise is also very reliant on Jirachi-EX and Shaymin-EX in order to get out their Blastoise turn 1. Pokémon Catcher and Target Whistle are great at exploiting that. With these added techs the matchup could become favorable.
This is a very poor matchup. You will have a really hard time taking all 6 Prizes before you run out of Energy. Tool Scrapper and Xerosic are for removing Life Dew so you can take as many Prizes as possible. Ghetsis and Red Card are just there to hinder them as much as possible while you try to pull ahead.
Tyrantrum and Giratina are heavily reliant on Double Dragon Energy. This makes Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic very good techs against them. Bronzong likes to fill its Bench with Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX making Pokémon Catcher and Target Whistle great techs.
The final and probably hardest counter to this deck is Archeops. You will likely be able to KO the first Giratina-EX but not the second. If you set up Archeops though it will make it very hard for your opponent to set up another Giratina quickly.
If all these tech cards are included the matchup is easily even to possibly slightly favorable.
Vs. Vileplume Variants
Your best option versus Vileplume decks is just to go first and set up Archeops. Ghetsis and Red Card can potentially hurt your opponent’s setup immensely, causing them to miss the turn 1 Vileplume. This deck is not very popular however and probably should not be teched for. Whoever goes first should win if Archeops is played.
This is by far one of the deck’s worst matchups. I do not believe it is worth teching in Mr. Mime because if you opponent is able to set up Bats then you have likely already lost. Xerosic can take away a DCE but isn’t enough to ever swing the matchup. You can get lucky with Red Card and make your opponent draw into nothing. Vanilluxe can stall a turn to allow you to get you Night Marchers in the discard if you are unable to discard any on turn 1 — but Archeops seems like a better target than Vanilluxe.
Archeops does give you a very good chance of winning. If you are able to get Archeops out turn 1 with a Float Stone you maybe be able to take the game. Seismitoad-EX can never 1-shot a Mew-EX or a Shaymin-EX so you can continually loop Sky Return. Your opponent may still be able to take out Archeops with a Tool Scrapper + Lysandre or even a Xerosic and then Lysandre. I do think this matchup is very winnable with Archeops included.
One of the more unfavorable matchups. Even if you manage to get out Archeops you still have to deal with Focus Sash. Empoleon can 1-shot Landorus-EX but then they will still have access to Bats. Hard Charm can make a Pumpkaboo survive for a couple of turns with Resistance. Overall I would not worry about teching for a matchup like this as it will see little play and it will still be unfavorable if you do.
Step 4: Identify Most Useful Techs
Now we look back at what tech cards would help us the most in the matchups we expect to see:
- Ghetsis is very good against a wide variety of decks and can win games outright.
- Archeops turns a lot of unwinnable (or unfavorable) matchups to suddenly winnable.
- Pokémon Catcher, Target Whistle, and Red Card also seem to show some promise. They do not however make the same swings in matchups as the other techs.
So for now, we will try to fit in an Archeops and a Ghetsis. When trying to make room for these cards we need to see what can be best substituted rather than just taken out as to not compromise how the deck functions or flows. We need to find 5 spots for 1 Archeops, 2 Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, 1 Ghetsis, and 1 Float Stone. (If we run Archeops we have to run Float Stone in order to retreat it.)
Here is a look again at the list we started with:
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 35
1 Town Map
Energy – 7
As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, we can probably take out Acro Bike since we have enough consistency cards. So that gives us 3 spots. That is enough room for our Maxie’s and Archeops. Ghetsis can count as a consistency card and a disruptive card similar to N, so we can cut an N for a Ghetsis without changing the deck much.
Our next cuttable card is Town Map, and suddenly we have all our spots filled! But we can still change the list around a little more. Since we are already running a Maxie’s engine, it would makes sense to include a Gallade BKT for matchups that do not use Evolutions (i.e., matchups that are not affected by Archeops) such as Yveltal/Darkrai.
Teammates is a consistency card, but not an early-game consistency card. Gallade adds some consistency to the deck so it makes sense to cut Teammates for Gallade. Now that we do not have Teammates though, running a split of Silver Bangle and Muscle Band is a little bit more risky. Without the guaranteed search of Teammates for the specific Tool that is needed, it is wise to make them both Muscle Bands so that they will always be useful.
Step 5: Finalize List
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 33
Energy – 7
After all these techs, additions, and tweaks, this is the final product. With these new changes many of your matchups are much better:
- Vespiquen/Flareon was Even … now Slightly Favorable!
- Archie’s Blastoise was Slightly Unfavorable … now Even/Slightly Favorable!
- Tyrantrum/Giratina/Bronzong was Unfavorable … now Even!
- Vileplume was Unfavorable … now Even!
- Seismitoad/Crobat was Very Unfavorable … now just Unfavorable!
You should modify a deck slowly once you get it to a point that you like it. If you are going to any upcoming Regionals I suggest that you think about what you are teching for and if it is worth teching for. Do not devote too much space for one bad matchup if it weakens all your other ones.
Well, that is about all I have for you guys today! I hope this article will be helpful for any upcoming Regionals and you found these deck-building ideas useful. I will be at St. Louis Regionals next week. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to post them down below. Good luck at Regionals!
Until next time,
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