Hello SixPrizes readers! National Championships have just recently ended. This leaves many of us playing Pokémon GO — I mean preparing for Worlds! Some recent English scans of cards from Steam Siege suggest that we will not be getting Karen for Worlds. If this is the case, then I see Night March being the best deck in the format by far. Night March comprised nearly 40% of the Day Two field at US Nationals. Night March being so dominant puts us in a precarious situation; every deck will need to have an answer for it.
Today I will be talking about Night March and — wait for it — decks that can beat Night March. No Karen for Worlds is not the best news in my opinion, but at least we now know where to begin our testing. Before I dive into decks though, I want to talk about Pokémon Ranger and how it will change things.
All That Power
Pokémon Ranger will be the most meta-impacting card from the new set since we are not getting Karen. This card makes Night March even better than it already was. Pokémon Ranger deals with four of Night March’s biggest threats: Seismitoad-EX, Giratina-EX, Jolteon-EX, and Jirachi XY67. I feel these cards are nearly unplayable now because of Pokémon Ranger.
Pokémon Ranger also nullifies a few decks that performed very well at US Nationals. Waterbox takes the biggest hit from Pokémon Ranger since many of the deck’s win conditions are met by effects of attacks that lock opponents out of the game. Another deck that takes a hit is the surprise runner-up, Seismitoad/Giratina. It also gets shut down before we get to see it in more action.
Since Pokémon Ranger nerfs all these cards, it’s no wonder why Night March is looking so strong. Let’s take a look at an updated list for Worlds.
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 36
Energy – 5
In my three years of playing, a deck has never been this dominant. This is my version of Night March with the new set. I chose to omit Jirachi because of Pokémon Ranger. Jirachi seems to do very little now since Pokémon Ranger gets through immunity effects. I also opted not to include Vespiquen. Vespiquen makes the deck a little less consistent and it loses a little of its usefulness since Pokémon Ranger is now out. Vespiquen was very good at dealing with Waterbox and Jolteon-EX. I think Waterbox will now see little to no play because of Pokémon Ranger and the same goes for Jolteon.
One thing I did choose to include that I do not think most current Night March lists are running is 2 Unown. I included these as insurance against late-game N. If you keep 1 Unown on your Bench, it can make an N to 1 much more manageable. After an N to 1 with Unown in play, you can now Ultra Ball for a Shaymin which gives many more outs to draw what you need to end a game.
I do not see Night March having many unfavorable matchups with the release of Pokémon Ranger. Vileplume and Trevenant decks can even be manageable if you are able to get a turn of Items as the Night March player. For more information on how to play Night March, check out Sorina Radu’s most recent article.
All this being said, let’s move onto the decks that can compete with Night March.
Decks That Can Beat Night March
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 39
3 Red Card
2 Head Ringer
Energy – 7
I am using Michael Bergerac’s list for reference since I agree with every card included in his list. The list focuses heavily on Energy removal and hand manipulation. I believe this deck has one of the best — if not the best — Night March matchups going into Worlds. A turn one Trevenant is relatively easy between 3 Shaymin, 3 Wally, and 4 Mail. Trevenant had the second best results behind Night March at US Nationals. It may be an even better play for Worlds since Waterbox should be dying down, and that was one of Trevenant’s typically poor matchups.
With Night March being as strong as it is, I would be very surprised if Trevenant does not take a spot or two in Top 8 of Worlds.
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 34
Energy – 10
This deck does not have a super favorable Night March matchup, but I do think it is at least positive. The deck focuses on using Captivating Poké Puff and Target Whistle to do large amounts of damage with Zoroark. The deck can also trade very well with Night March for a single Energy. Yveltal XY allows you to consistently stream your Energy attachments so all you have to worry about is getting an attacker on your Bench. This allows you to also stream N very easily every turn without worrying about having to set up much yourself. Playing N multiple turns in a row against Night March can force the Night March player to bench a Shaymin-EX which can allow you to get ahead in the Prize race. The matchup is nowhere near an auto-win, but I think it is better than 50/50.
As mentioned above, Trevenant could become popular as a counter to Night March. Zoroark serves as a counter to Trevenant as well due to its typing.
Greninja can be a troublesome matchup if the Greninja player is able to set up before you are able to take enough Prizes to prevent them from catching up. A copy of Hex Maniac is included in the deck to help against Greninja, but if you are truly worried about the matchup a 2nd copy might be warranted.
A copy of Pokémon Ranger could be included as well to deal with Glaceon-EX. I do not think adding Pokémon Ranger is needed since the only deck that really plays Glaceon is Waterbox, and as I mentioned earlier, I do not think Waterbox will be prevalent at Worlds because of Pokémon Ranger.
Other than Greninja, I think this deck has pretty solid matchups across the board. It’s definitely worth testing.
Pokémon – 27
Trainers – 29
Energy – 4
Even though this deck has been covered numerous times, I feel as though it’s necessary to mention. It can get turn one Item lock more consistently than Trevenant and put out a ton of pressure on that first turn. This deck does have a fatal weakness to Aegislash-EX though. V/V has no reliable way to deal with Mighty Shield. A Silent Lab or Hex Maniac could be teched in, but that does not seem very reliable or consistent.
Fred Hoban managed to pilot this deck to a Top 8 finish at US Nationals. If anyone ever figures out a way to deal with the deck’s glaring weakness to Aegislash-EX, it may become unstoppable. Glaceon-EX and Giratina-EX do both give the deck trouble too, but they may see less play due to Pokémon Ranger, making this deck a potentially very strong option.
Pokémon – 7
Trainers – 46
Energy – 7
Even though I said that Pokémon Ranger is detrimental to Seismitoad, I do not think Toad is completely unplayable. This deck works by grinding the opponent out of their Energy and controlling their hand. You will get to a point in the game where you can get your opponent down to 0 cards from a Delinquent. You are then able to sweep whatever they have on the field with a few Grenade Hammers.
The reason I think this deck can fair well against Night March is because of the heavy Energy removal. I think Night March will have trouble consistently attacking every turn with all the Energy disruption — even if they get a turn or two of Items from Pokémon Ranger. I think it will still be hard for Night March to overcome a 220-HP Seismitoad that is Quaking Punching and discarding Energy.
A single Aegislash-EX is thrown in to try and steal wins against Vespiquen/Vileplume decks. This matchup would be nearly unwinnable without it.
Toad/Hammers is very slow and its damage output is very low. This deck requires you to be very patient and conservative with your resources and to get full value out of them. You cannot afford to discard multiple VS Seekers most of the time. This deck is not very forgiving of misplays, so I recommend practicing a lot if you intend on playing it. The deck can be very rewarding if played to its full potential, so I do suggest giving it a try.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 37
Energy – 8
I do not think this deck has been covered anywhere before, but it did take two Day 2 spots at US Nationals. Shoutout to Xander Pero, Jeffrey Cheng, Colter Decker, and whoever else I’m missing that piloted this deck. This is my take on the list.
The goal of the deck is to get a turn two Diamond Gift and start powering up Medicham. It fares especially well against EX-based decks such as Mega Rayquaza that do not have an answer to Carbink’s Safeguard Ability other than Hex Maniac. Normally a Safeguarder or two or even three would not be problematic for them because Hex Maniac is a thing, but Safeguard does become a true obstacle when Focus Sash is added to the mix. All the opponent would normally have to do is just play Hex and conserve their VS Seekers for more. When Focus Sash is in play, they have to Hex Maniac five or six times, which is very difficult for a deck like Mega Rayquaza.
Medicham’s Ancient Trait, which allows it to attack twice per turn, is very strong versus low-HP Basic Pokémon such as Joltik or Pumpkaboo. Focus Sash can also put Night March in odd situations where they are forced to either Xerosic or Lysandre instead of N or play another Supporter of their choice.
The 1 Exp. Share is for matchups such as Night March or anything that can possibly rush you.
I have not had much time to test this deck, but I do see quite a bit of potential in it. Damage can add up pretty quickly with Regirock-EX, Fighting Stadium, and Strong Energy. Giovanni’s Scheme and Muscle Band could also be added for even more damage!
If you are looking for something new and fun, then this is the deck for you.
If Worlds were tomorrow, I would play Night March solely because I feel it is the best deck in the format and I have not tested with Steam Siege extensively thus far. Medicham and Zoroark intrigue me the most of the Night March counters, and I will be looking to log a bunch of test games with them soon.
That’s all I have for now. See you guys in San Francisco and good luck at Worlds!
Until next time,
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