Hello SixPrizes readers! World Championships are this week. I am very excited to be representing the United States for the third straight year. Worlds is not only about playing well but also making the correct deck choice since the field is comprised of the very best players.
The XY-on Standard format has been dominated by fast-hitting decks that rely on an explosive first turn. The big three decks that demonstrate this strategy are Night March, Trevenant BREAK, and Vespiquen/Vileplume. Russell LaParre gave a great summary on each of these decks in his latest article. However today I am going to go over some slower, more control-based decks that I believe have a chance to shine against these fast-paced tyrants.
I will also be discussing a few decks that could thrive after the rotation for those of you who will not be attending Worlds.
Lock Decks for Worlds
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 46
Energy – 4
I have not discussed this deck since State Championships but I do think it has potential to make a deep run at Worlds. My friend Max Armitage played a similar list at Nationals and netted a record of 5-3-1. His only losses were to 2 Metal decks and 1 Night March/Vespiquen deck. Those are not the best of matchups for Wailord but Max told me he still had potential to win against them and even managed to take a game off the Night March/Vespiquen deck.
Some of the card choices might not be clear so I will take a moment to go over them.
4 Double Colorless
The 4 Double Colorless Energy may seem a tad strange since we won’t be attacking very often. There are four in the deck mainly to make them accessible when needed since there is no good way to search them out. A possible alternative could be dropping a Skyla and Double Colorless Energy for a Steven and basic Energy. This could give you a way to search out an Energy if need be for Durant or Bunnelby. I do think having the 4th Double Colorless Energy is more consistent overall however.
I play 2 Durant not necessarily because two are needed but because I do not think you can win your close matchups if you only play one and it happens to be prized.
There is 1 Ultra Ball in the deck for searching out Shaymin-EX (through Skyla) and also thinning your hand a little to allow you to draw some cards when playing said Shaymin. This is a deck-out deck so you do not play many cards very quickly. Therefore you will have a sizable hand most of the time.
Shaymin-EX’s primary purpose is not to draw cards but to do damage. It will put pressure on your opponent to bench more Pokémon. It can also help get a surprise KO with Lugia-EX if the opponent chooses not to bench anything as you whittle away at their Active.
3 Birch, 1 N
The shuffle-draw in here is 3 Professor Birch’s Observations and 1 N. You do not want to N your opponent too often because you want to set up a big play with Durant’s Chip Off. 1 N is in the deck however because there are points in the game where you may want to disrupt your opponent to recover or you may want to play it early for draw.
The deck runs 3 Float Stone and no Hard Charm or Assault Vest like many other Wailord decks. This is because you can effectively heal more off a Wailord by retreating into another one and rotating them through Rough Seas. Hard Charm or Assault Vest may stop 20-40 damage but once you rotate two damaged Wailord you are effectively nullifying 60 damage or 90 if you can get a third Wailord.
Even if you can only Float one Wailord, it can be like a Max Potion. Say a Wailord takes 100 damage, you retreat it into a fresh Wailord with no damage and heal 30. The one you promoted now gets attacked for 100. You now AZ your Active into a third different Wailord while your other Wailord is still getting healed on the Bench. This is the power of Float Stone over Hard Charm and Assault Vest.
I like this deck for Worlds because it has a strong Trevenant matchup, a strong Vespiquen/Vileplume matchup (if they do not play basic Energy), and a very strong Night March matchup (if they do not play Vespiquen).
Pokémon Ranger may persuade Night March players to drop the Bees from their lists. Even if Night March does play Vespiquen the matchup is still manageable depending if they start or bench too many Night Marchers that can be Lysandre’d up and stalled. Lugia can also come in for a surprise donk against an unsuspecting opponent. A well-timed N with Lugia can steal a game as well.
Vespiquen/Vileplume does not play basic Energy most of the time and therefore can be beaten by a single copy of Aegislash-EX. Aegislash can still be searched out relatively easily under Item lock due to the 4 copies of Pokémon Fan Club. If they play no basic Energy this is an auto-win. This strategy could also be used against Night March if you are able to figure out that their Hex Maniac is prized. This is risky though as they could play a 2nd copy. However if you find yourself up against Night March/Vespiquen and see that their Hex Maniac is prized from a Town Map, then it might be worth the risk of playing to the win condition of them not being able to Knock Out Aegislash-EX.
Trevenant is a very good matchup since Trevenant has a relatively low damage output. Most of the damage is spread and can be healed off by Rough Seas. If you are able to get a turn of Items through a Lysandre and play 2 Puzzle of Time you are guaranteed the win. This allows you to grab 2 Rough Seas or whatever you may need to put the match out of reach.
Most of Wailord’s matchups can be summarized based on Energy acceleration and recycling. Decks such as Bronzong, Mega Manectric, Garchomp, and Greninja are all poor matchups. These decks are able to pump out consistent damage without playing many cards since they have Energy acceleration or retrieval. Decks that rely on Special Energy or low damage output are generally strong matchups. The top tier decks (NM, Trevenant, V/V) fall into the latter of these two categories which is why I consider Wailord a strong play for Worlds.
Pokémon – 21
2 Mew FCO
Trainers – 29
4 Trainers’ Mail
Energy – 10
This is somewhat of a rogue deck that I have been working on for some time now. When Glaceon-EX was first printed people were first hyping Glaceon/Jolteon/Vileplume as the next best thing. That was in Expanded though where many decks had both strong Evolution and Basic attackers.
I think this deck could have strong showing in the current meta. Pokémon Ranger has made Jolteon-EX, Glaceon-EX, and Regice AOR much less of a perceived threat now, and therefore they may catch everyone by surprise.
Waterbox for example has no great answer to a Jolteon-EX. The best response they have to Jolteon is Articuno attempting to keep it Asleep or Regice to Paralyze.
Night March/Vespiquen has an answer to Jolteon-EX but Vileplume can shut them down before they even get going. Night March without Vespiquen is a free win since not only do you have the Item lock win condition but Jolteon as well.
The Zoroark BREAK deck is seeing some hype leading up to Worlds as it has a strong Item lock matchup and a decent Night March matchup. Glaceon-EX does a great job of keeping Zoroark in check though. Yes, they do have Yveltal XY and Yveltal BKT, but those cards can take multiple turns to set up. Their setup may also be constrained under Item lock.
I can see Trevenant being a rough matchup without teching for it. Some techs to think about are Rotom FCO, Shaymin-EX XY148, or even Magearna-EX. Shaymin-EX pairs well with Glaceon-EX it will greatly mitigate Silent Fear and Crystal Ray protects your attacking Mew. Rotom can put your opponent in awkward positions of not wanting to attack because of the amount of damage that will be sent back at them.
Magearna-EX is my favorite tech of the three. Anything that you attach a Rainbow Energy to will now be immune to Silent Fear. I think all three techs are solid choices and could give you a good chance of winning the matchup if you are able to search to them out. If I were to drop a card to add one of these, it would be Lugia-EX.
A great thing to remember in the matchup is to use their Dimension Valley to your advantage with Mew. A 3rd copy of Mew may be warranted if you want more help with this matchup as it will make it easier to stream attackers.
As for Vespiquen/Vileplume, all you need is a Glaceon to attack at any point. They do not have any Basic attackers, so once you do that you have won.
Some other cute techs you could run if you wanted to get fancy would be Poliwag FFI, Durant BKP, or even a Latios-EX ROS. I would run a Muscle Band if you wanted to run Latios-EX. Poliwag’s Spiral Current has a ridiculously strong effect. It prevents your opponent’s Active Pokémon from retreating and Confuses them. This is even stronger under Item lock. If I were going to run Poliwag I would definitely want to run a 2nd copy of Lysandre so I can lock something Active.
There are probably many more techs you can run that I am forgetting. The possibilities are endless with a toolbox deck like this.
Pokémon – 24
Trainers – 28
1 Misty’s Determination
4 Trainers’ Mail
Energy – 8
I came up with this idea on the car ride back from Nationals and finally got around to building it. The idea behind it is that with Pokémon Ranger now out, people are even more comfortable relying on Special Energy because they have a way around Giratina-EX. So decks like Night March and Vespiquen/Vileplume only run Double Colorless Energy. They may run a single copy of Hex or even two but they probably will not be able to get through three Aegislash-EX.
Vespiquen is also in the deck since it has synergy with Compressor and FoGP. This synergy is not the sole reason Vespiquen is in the deck though. Many of the decks that do not rely heavily on Special Energy are weak to Grass such as Greninja, Waterbox, and Zygarde/Vileplume.
Trevenant could be a bit of a rough matchup similar to the toolbox deck I just discussed. I’ve chosen not to include Bronzong FCO since it will be hard to consistently set up with such a fast engine. It will often either discarded or not found in time. I think Magearna-EX is our best bet here if we want a better Trevenant matchup. Just put a Metal Energy on anything that you want protected from Silent Fear. If you did manage to get Bronzong FCO out though you could infinitely loop Shaymin-EX since it also prevents Bench damage. A more consistent way of getting the Metal Fortress effect would be playing Magearna-EX and the Mr. Mime GEN together.
I run a copy of Misty’s Determination since there are many things that I want to discard without discarding my whole hand. Your deck will also have less bad cards in it after playing multiple Battle Compressor at the beginning of the game making Misty’s Determination very good. I actually would like to play more.
This deck is still a work in progress but I do think the concept is very solid.
Those are some of the decks I have been testing leading up to Worlds. Now let’s take a look toward the future. I for one am excited about the rotation. Hopefully we will get a slower format where games are sometimes decided outside the first turn.
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 37
4 Trainers’ Mail
Energy – 10
This is an old favorite of mine that could become very viable post rotation. Mega Rayquaza is the most hyped deck in the PRC-on format. Magnezone not only has type advantage but it can also trade very favorably with non-EX attackers. Pikachu-EX has the ability to Knock Out anything with its unlimited damage output.
The scenarios I could see stopping this deck would be if Garbodor decks became popular or if Vileplume variants were running rampant. We will have to wait and see how to meta shapes up but this is definitely one of the decks I expect to do well.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 36
Energy – 9
Ryan Sabelhaus shared his take on Rayquaza last week. Some of the important cards we are going to lose are Sacred Ash, AZ, Xerosic, and Battle Compressor.
To compensate for the loss of Sacred Ash we now play 2 Super Rod. AZ and Xerosic can not really be replaced very easily but losing them does free up some space. Battle Compressor will be a huge loss in terms of the deck’s turn 1 speed. It will now be more difficult to find your 1-of Supporters and — more importantly — discard your Energy for Mega Turbo. I added 1-2 more Energy than usual to help get some in the discard early through Ultra Ball and Professor Sycamore.
Even though this deck is predicted to be one of the top contenders we will have to wait and see how the meta pans out. Parallel City counters it very well and recovery may be difficult without Sacred Ash.
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 37
4 Trainers’ Mail
Energy – 6
pixiv.netThe final deck I have to share with you guys is Greninja. The only things the deck really loses are its Tool removal and Greninja XY. Many Greninja lists were going down to 1 or no copies of Greninja XY so losing it is not that big of an impact. Greninja may have lost a few cards but it also may have gained a better format. The loss of Battle Compressor means that there will be little to no Vespiquen decks. The format will be much slower which benefits Greninja greatly since it is a very slow deck.
I included Talonflame as well as a single copy of Archie’s Ace in the Hole. I did this thinking that if I start Talonflame I can search out the pieces I need to get an Archie’s off, making the deck a little faster.
If Garbodor and Mega Sceptile are not contenders then this will definitely be one of the top-decks to beat.
Well that’s all I have for you guys today. I hope you enjoyed what I had to say. If you have any questions or comments leave a message down below. If you see me at Worlds feel free to say hello. I am very excited for San Francisco and hope to see some of you there. I am also very excited for all the support that Pokémon is putting into the tournament scene. I have a feeling this game is going to grow quite a bit this year.
Until next time,
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