Hello SixPrizes! It feels like forever since I last wrote for you guys. The first week of Spring Regional Championships are next weekend! I want to go over how the meta has possibly changed with the addition of Generations since our last set of Regional Championships, my favorite decks for the first two weeks as well as counters for them, and some possible Week 3 decks. I have quite a bit to cover, so let’s get started.
Weeks 1 & 2 (BLW–GEN) Decks
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 35
Energy – 8
This was one of the new decks that BREAKpoint gave us. The deck has been making strong showings in Standard ever since its win in Florida. This deck is no longer under the radar and I expect it to be even more popular in Expanded. This is a good deck to keep in your playtesting circles as I would expect to play against it at least one or two times at Regionals.
This is the Aaron Tarbell’s list that won Florida for reference. Many people advocate adding Head Ringer to deal with Sky Return looping. I actually do not support this. It would solve the problem, yes, but it might not even be necessary. Shuffling your opponent’s hand with N might already be enough to deal with this since one whiffed Sky Return will result in a KO.
Also, not only do they need to get a Double Colorless Energy to continue their loop, but a Benched Shaymin as well. This can be very difficult to do under Item lock.
Yet another way to counter Shaymin looping is to run a copy of Giovanni’s Scheme. You might be wondering how this counters Shaymin looping since the extra 20 damage does not allow for a 1HKO on a Shaymin. The strategy you are able to do with the card is to first use Trevenant BREAK’s attack, placing 3 damage counters on all of your opponent’s Pokémon. Next they are left with two 80-HP Shaymin that can now be KO’d by a Tree Slam + Giovanni’s Scheme. I would rather run this over Head Ringer as well since it is playable in every matchup not only as a damage booster but more importantly a possible way to draw cards if needed.
A much bigger problem for this deck is Rough Seas. Rough Seas cuts this deck’s damage output to almost nothing. A decent opening from an Yveltal deck can also mean bad news for this deck because of Weakness. Yveltal decks are what I think will keep this from ever exploding in the meta.
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 34
Energy – 6
I feel like Night March is one of the more under-talked-about decks in Expanded. Night March dominated the Standard format all throughout States. It gained a couple of great cards from BREAKpoint that gave it a huge power boost. Fighting Fury Belt made its low-HP Basics able to survive a hit and also made the damage from Golbats and Crobats much weaker. Puzzle of Time now makes resource management much easier, allowing you to dig deeper through your deck more quickly and without remorse.
Sableye/Garbodor was non-existent in Day 2 of Regionals for Florida, which is one of Night March’s worst matchups. A lot of the Pokémon community was concerned that Puzzle of Time would make Sableye/Garbodor too strong but I believe it actually did the opposite. Puzzle of Time makes it so that you are able to get back too many resources for Sableye to deal with. Imagine a Seismitoad that is able to have 8 Double Colorless Energy. Eventually Sableye will run out of ways to discard Energy and get locked out of the game.
A plus of Night March is that it finishes games quickly and you will probably have very few ties. The biggest downside of this deck is that is completely folds to turn one Item lock. I think this deck has pretty solid matchups over everything else in the format though that is not Item lock, making it a potentially very good play. I would keep this deck in mind for upcoming Regionals.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 38
Energy – 7
Well, Toad/Bats is as good as ever. Toad/Bats is actually my favorite deck at the moment in Expanded. The Stadium choice might seem a bit odd at first but I will explain. Rough Seas, the strangest inclusion, is for the Trevenant matchup. As I mentioned earlier, Trevenant has quite a bit of trouble with Rough Seas since its damage output is reduced to almost zero. This matchup can be a bit troublesome without any tech for it. I am also considering dropping 1 Super Scoop Up for a 2nd Lysandre to help the matchup a little bit more.
Next is the 2 Silent Lab and 0 Virbank City Gym choice. My logic is that even though you get +20 with Virbank, you can potentially even get more by shutting off Keldeo-EX. This prevents Rush In to remove Poison and also allows the potential for the Sleep flips. Half of the time your Stadium is getting replaced it will be with a Virbank anyway, so I see even less reason to run it. Silent Lab is one of the strongest Stadiums you can play turn one as well.
This deck has pretty even matchups across the board which is why it is my top pick. Vespiquen/Flareon is kind of an iffy matchup but is starting to see less play which is promising for this deck. If Regionals were tomorrow I would play this deck.
Week 3 (BLW–FCO) Decks
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 36
Energy – 11
This deck is an old favorite of mine that I could see making a comeback with some help from the new set. This deck previously struggled greatly with Vespiquen/Flareon and it could even lose to Night March if they got a strong enough start. Fighting Fury Belt now makes it difficult for Night March to 1HKO you. Jolteon-EX is also a strong answer to Night March, especially in Expanded. I think that Night March decks will run less ways to get around Jolteon-EX in Expanded and instead aim to be more consistent against the general field.
Glaceon-EX gives us a much needed answer to Vespiquen/Flareon. I cannot think of a Pokémon that Vespiquen/Flareon can run to deal with Glaceon. The only counter I can think of is running some gimmicky Escape Rope/Lysandre shenanigans.
I could see Yveltal being a troublesome matchup. The matchup could be helped a little with the addition of Manectric-EX or even a 2nd Yveltal-EX. Hex Maniac is super important in this matchup. The game will be decided on the turn where you are able to Hex and Hyper Hypnosis in the same turn. If they stay Asleep that turn, you are heavily favored to win the game.
I did not include Jolteon-EX in this deck because I could not think of a particular matchup that it would help with that the deck is not already favored against.
Some of the cards I would like to include would be a 3rd Spritzee, 2nd Hex Maniac, Enhanced Hammer, 2nd Malamar-EX, Articuno ROS 17, and an AZ. There are plenty more tech cards that could be added depending on the meta but these are at the top of my list.
I think this deck has some serious potential. I will be testing it extensively in the upcoming weeks so feel free to ask me about any updates on it.
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 31
Energy – 10
Metal gets several new additions from the new set. Bronzong BREAK has an amazing attack, Metal Rain: Discard as many M Energy attached to this Pokémon as you like. For each Energy card discarded in this way, choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon and do 30 damage to it. Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance. (You may choose the same Pokémon more than once.) This tears apart any Evolution deck. Being able to split the damage is an insane effect. Metal was lacking Bench damage and I really think this will help round out the deck.
Genesect-EX can do unlimited damage which always nice. After it attacks it leaves as few Energy attached to itself as you would like. This can make it very hard for Yveltal-EX to return-KO you. The added HP on Bronzong from the BREAK also puts it out of Night Spear range, another plus.
This deck only needs Metal Energy to function as opposed to the previous Dragon-based version with Tyrantrum and Giratina which needed DDE. Playing the deck without the Dragons makes it much more consistent which I feel the deck needed. I am not sure if these added tools will make Metal a tier 1 or even tier 2 deck but it is worth looking into.
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 38
Energy – 9
This deck gets a little boost from the card Energy Pouch. This card does not completely solve the problems the deck had though. The deck struggled heavily with Ability lock and it can be hindered by Item lock. Energy Pouch does not solve the Ability lock problem but it can help against Item lock oddly enough. The deck loses almost always if you are unable to get the turn one Blastoise against Item lock. Against Toad you have a chance to use Articuno to put them to Sleep and then hope you are able to get a turn of Items again.
Against a Vileplume or Trevenant deck though, you are in trouble. Energy Pouch would be able to help if you are able to get the turn one Blastoise and an Energy Pouch on an attacker. Then, if your attacker gets Knocked Out by damage, you are able to recycle your Energy under Item lock instead of just folding to not being able to use a Superior Energy Retrieval. This is not much, but it is something. This can also help against a mid-game Ghetsis as well.
I do not think this deck becomes tier 1 or anything, but I do think that it is a solid tier 2 at least.
Fates Collide Standouts
Those are all the deck ideas I have but I would also like to go over my favorite cards from Fates Collide.
I can see these cards forming their own deck. The Abilities of both Carbink are very good and the acceleration from the BREAK is insane. It can be used to power up Zygarde-EX which has a very powerful attack with Power Memory. If the format becomes very EX based, Carbink could even become a deck on its own. Being Fighting type gives it all the great Fighting support out there which includes Focus Sash. Focus Sash makes it able to trade evenly to favorably against most non-Pokémon-EX. Overall these are really solid cards and I cannot wait to see what decks pop up from them.
No. 2 — Mew FCO
Well, this card looks familiar. It was not that long ago that we had a Mew with a very similar Ability. The fact that this new Mew can only copy the attacks of your Basic Pokémon does not hinder it in the slightest. Mew-EX was mainly played in Night March and now the new one will be as well. The new Mew however is a non-EX, and Night March will no longer rely on Special Energy to attack thanks to Mew + Dimension Valley.
Will Night March become out of hand? Eh … maybe? There will be decks that counter Night March still such as Vileplume, Trevenant, and even Giratina. Mew does give Night March a boost that was not really needed though. I just hope the metagame does not turn into Night March vs. Night March counters.
No. 1 — Glaceon-EX
I put this card at number one because I think it will be the most meta changing. Mew and some other cards may be better now, but I think this card has the most potential. If this card is good enough to be played in Expanded then it is definitely a good card. That is how I rate cards a lot of the time. There are so many cards in our 25+ sets but if something new comes along that is worth playing then it has to be really good. This card can shut off Evolution decks like Vespiquen and even Trevenant to an extent. This card will only get better if the format ever slows down to make Evolutions more playable.
That’s all I have for you guys! I hope you enjoyed what I had to say and were able to take something away from it. My advice as always is play a deck you are comfortable with and test against decks that did well at previous Regionals. If you have any questions please feel free to message me on Facebook or leave a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I can. I enjoy hearing what you guys have to say and incorporating your feedback.
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