Hello SixPrizes readers! A new season has started and that means a new format. I am very excited about the amount of support the game is getting this upcoming season. Today I will be going over both Standard and Expanded format decks. I will be focusing more heavily on the less explored Standard format since the changes in Expanded are much more subtle with 25+ sets to pool from. With that said, let’s jump right in.
Upcoming Standard Events
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 38
Energy – 12
I saw this deck being played by many of the Japanese players — such as Masataka Hirano — at the World Championships. It even managed to take two spots in top 16. This is my take on the deck. This deck’s strategy is very simple. You discard Energy with Volcanion-EX for added damage and then accelerate them with Volcanion STS to your other attackers. This deck is one of the fastest decks in the format in my opinion. It can do 120 damage turn 1 very consistently for a single Energy which is absurd.
I chose to go with Volcanion as our only attacker to keep the deck as consistent as possible without clogging up Bench space. I also want to start Volcanion STS as much as possible, and other attackers are more difficult to power up without Blacksmith. Entei AOR 15 is great against Rayquaza but I think it can be too easily played around, especially since it cannot be powered up in a single turn. I considered running Flareon-EX because there are points where you may be forced to attach a Fire Energy to one of your Benched Pokémon that you do not want to. Flareon-EX can take all of your unwanted attachments and steamroll the opponent if it is not dealt with quickly.
This deck is very Ability-reliant which means Garbodor BKP can be a huge threat if not dealt with. However, most of this deck’s crucial uses of Abilities is early on, in the first few turns, which gives us time to prepare for Garbodor. The deck runs 3 Escape Rope not only to move your 3-Retreat Cost Volcanion-EX from the Active Spot but to try and force your opponent’s Bench-sitters out such as Trubbish. The heavy count of Lysandre is to ensure that Garbodor does not get set up.
This card may seem a bit out of place since both of its effects hinder the deck. The main reason it is in here though is to give us a chance versus Mega Rayquaza. Limiting Mega Rayquaza to 3 Benched Pokémon is definitely worth the tradeoff of us doing 20 less damage. It can also be used to get rid of your Shaymin-EX from the Bench. This is one of the few ways to do that now that AZ has rotated.
Overall I consider this deck to be a very strong contender in Standard. This deck does not need much in its opening hand to have an explosive start. I would not be surprised to see Volcanion do well at Orlando Regionals.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 36
Energy – 9
Here is a deck that I have not seen mentioned yet that I feel has huge potential. Mega Scizor’s attack lets you choose to discard a Stadium card in play or a Special Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. This is great against decks like Mega Rayquaza that rely on Stadiums or decks that focus on Giratina-EX (and Special Energies). Even though Scizor is a Mega it does well versus Giratina-EX because of Energy denial. Mega Scizor has great typing at the moment due to the hype of Xerneas BREAK and Gardevoir-EX-based decks. It also has great Resistance since Mega Mewtwo is seeing a bit of hype as well.
Now that we know a little about why the deck could be strong, let’s go over some of the card choices.
This card is for the Mega Mewtwo matchup since that matchup can become a struggle without it. It prevents Mewtwo-EX from placing damage counters through Damage Swap. You do not need to set up Garbodor in that matchup which makes Magearna usable. You should be able to discard all of their Stadiums eventually which makes the matchup winnable.
We want our Mega Scizor to be as tanky and last as long as possible. There is only 1 copy of Reverse Valley since you will rather have out Parallel City. We need our Scizor to last multiple turns since you will most likely be 2-shotting many things.
There is not much of an explanation for this card other than it’s included to do more damage. This deck’s damage output is not very high. This allows us to take KOs where we would not be able to otherwise.
I think this deck may be the best out of all the decks I will discuss. I see it having strong matchups against most things that are not Volcanion. I think this is currently one of the strongest decks in the format and I would suggest testing it.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 35
Energy – 10
More Garbodor! I do think Garbodor decks do have an innate advantage over the other current decks since there is no convenient form of Tool removal. Mega Mewtwo is the strongest attacker we have in the format. It has the potential to 1HKO anything quickly. I think this is the deck to beat in Standard. There are very few counters to this deck since there are not many good Psychic attackers outside of M Gardevoir-EX STS.
This Mewtwo-EX is run for the mirror match. Psychic Infinity does not hit for Weakness. This can make for weird situations of where and when to attach Energy. Mewtwo #61 however does 120 damage and hits for Weakness. This allows you to 1HKO opposing Mewtwo with no Energy on them. The first attack on this Mewtwo can also make it difficult for your opponent to 1HKO you in certain situations. I think it is worth running at least one of these for the mirror.
This card is very powerful now since so many decks rely on a full Bench. Parallel City solidifies these matchups which may have been shaky beforehand. It also allows you to discard unwanted Shaymin as I mentioned earlier.
This deck has the potential to beat almost everything. I mentioned that Mega Scizor could give it trouble since it has Resistance and doesn’t need many Energy to attack. I could see Yanmega decks being a little troublesome as well since they do not require Energy to attack. Garbodor should keep them at bay though. I would be very surprised if this deck did not perform well at the upcoming Standard Regionals.
Pokémon – 28
Trainers – 28
Energy – 4
Vespiquen is not dead because Battle Compressor rotated. We just have to be a little more creative with the ways we get Pokémon in the discard. This deck is similar to the Flareon PLF decks that existed before the release of Phantom Forces. The deck runs single-Prize attackers with Colorless attacks that do well against the meta. Vespiquen is used more as a late-game sweeper once you have gotten enough Pokémon in the discard. You can get Pokémon in the discard pile through Professor Sycamore, Acro Bike, Parallel City, Ultra Ball, Abilities, or even getting Knocked Out.
Let’s go over all the tech choices in here:
3-3 Zoroark BKT
Zoroark is great against all of the decks that rely on a full Bench. It also a good early-game attacker before you are able to do large amounts of damage with Vespiquen.
2-2 Zebstrika BKP
This card is great against anything with Fighting Resistance. It 1HKOs Yveltal-EX, Mega Rayquaza, and Yanmega.
4 Unown AOR, 3 Kleki STS
Both of these Pokémon are in here mainly to power up Vespiquen. If you are able to activate Kleki multiple turns against a Mega-based deck then you will have likely won. They will not be able to win the Prize trade if they are missing turns of knockouts.
I have had Parallel City in all of my decks so far but its role in this one is a bit different. In the early turns of the game with this deck you want to extend with Shaymin and set up quickly. You also want Pokémon in your discard so Parallel helps in both saving you from having Shaymin on your Bench and getting extra Pokémon in your discard.
A card to consider running that I did not mention is Bisharp STS. It does very well against all of the Fairy decks for a single Energy. I do think this deck is good but it would do better in an established meta. This deck is meant to counter the meta but that can be difficult with no previous tournament results. This will be a deck to look out for in the future.
There is a plethora of decks to choose from in Standard at the moment. Here is a list of other decks that I did not cover:
- Zoroark BREAK
- Rainbow Road
- Mega Audino
- Mega Rayquaza
- Mega Alakazam
- Mega Sceptile
- Xerneas BREAK
- Primal Groudon
- Primal Kyogre
Upcoming Expanded Events
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 33
Energy – 10
This is very similar to the deck I ran at Worlds and talked about in my previous article with a few changes for the Expanded meta. I will not go over all the card choices since I did so in my previous article but I will go over a few additions.
I added a 2nd copy of N because I found myself always close to decking out once I had the lock in place. The Latias-EX takes no damage from Trevenant whatsoever and it also does very well against Archiestoise. Latias’ attack allows you to get through effects such as Aegislash’s Mighty Shield which would otherwise prove troublesome.
I do not see this deck losing if it goes first. It has an answer for almost all of the popular decks. A Wobbuffet PHF can be added to help deal with Archeops NVI but I think Wobb may cause more trouble in the long run. Starting with Wobb hinders your own setup greatly so it may not be worth the inclusion, especially considering the few instances you may actually need it. This deck is one of my top choices for Phoenix Regionals.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 35
Energy – 13
Yveltal has always been a dominant force in the Expanded format. The deck does gain one card from Steam Siege: Yveltal BREAK. This card does have a pretty hefty attack cost of 3 Darkness Energy but I do think it is good enough to play. Baleful Night is very close to Night Spear and it’s on a non-EX. It also has synergy Yveltal BKT. Yveltal is still very good in Expanded and it will probably continue to be very good for some time.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 36
Energy – 12
This is more of a sample list idea for the concept of Ho-Oh-EX and Ninja Boy. I do not think this is the best way of running it. Christopher Schemanske posted a great way to utilize the combo in his latest article. I am not sure if that is the best way to run the combo either. I do not think the best combo for the two has been found yet but I do consider Ninja Boy to have the most untapped potential in the Expanded format. A toolbox-type variant is the best way to run the deck in my opinion. We will have to wait and see if anyone can break the format with these two cards.
That about wraps up what I have for you guys. Writing this article got me excited for Regionals and what decks other players will come up with. I hope this will help you guys prepare for Regionals and give you some ideas. The decks I shared with you are definitely my top choices for the upcoming Regionals and I feel they have the potential to do well. If you have any questions please leave me a comment down below or let me know what you thought of the piece.
Until next time,
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