Cat Scratch Fever

ARG Oklahoma City Top 8, Mega Mewtwo, Yveltal/Mew, and Volcanion for Orlando

What’s going on SixPrizes! I am Russell LaParre and I’m writing for you once again, this time in partnership with Alex Hill as we’ve agreed to team up and cover what we feel are the top picks of the Standard format in preparation for Orlando Regionals (Oct. 15–16). To start, I will be analyzing the results and deck lists of the recent ARG Oklahoma City Circuit Series event and detailing how these early top performers and my personal testing have led to my up-to-minute lists and expectations for Orlando. Alex will pick up where I leave off on Thursday.

ARG Oklahoma City — Top 8

arg-circuit-series-16-9argcircuitseries.com
The new kid on the tournament block.

Over the past couple of months, Alter Reality Games, in collaboration with Chris Fulop, has set in motion a series of one-day cash-prize events for the Pokémon TCG. These events haven’t exploded in popularity quite yet but the 6-round tournaments have served as a sneak preview of what players should expect to see at major events. Here is a breakdown of the recent top 8 from Oklahoma City (Sep. 18). The players decided to split the prizes and receive $125 each.

  1. Kevin Murphy … M Mewtwo
  2. Corey Weidner … Volcanion
  3. Gant Conley … Volcanion
  4. Neil Williamson … Yveltal/Mew
  5. Michael White … Volcanion
  6. Andrew Krekeler … M Mewtwo/Garbodor
  7. Sean Hipp … Vespiquen/Zoroark/Garbodor
  8. Austin Baggs … Yveltal/Mew

Credit to Kevin Murphy for posting the results and lists for the day.

To keep this short, I’m going to highlight the unique aspects of each list and detail how I believe each player went about building their deck.

The Eruption: Volcanion

volcanion-ex 107 16-9
Fun Fact: The rotary steam engine was invented by James Watt in 1781.

Corey Weidner’s List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 10

4 Volcanion STS
4 Volcanion-EX
2 Shaymin-EX ROS

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Lysandre
1 Pokémon Ranger
1 Hex Maniac

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Energy Retrieval
3 Trainers’ Mail
3 Acro Bike
3 Fighting Fury Belt
2 Escape Rope
1 Switch

 

2 Scorched Earth

Energy – 13

13 Fire

Takeaways

2 Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth offers an extra bit of consistency for Volcanion decks but I feel like it’s not worth the tradeoff of discarding Fire Energy to draw instead of to Steam Up. It’s a great counter Stadium but I feel like these spots could be used for other cards to help out with consistency.

4 Energy Retrieval

I believe playing 4 Energy Retrieval is essential to seeing success in a big tournament like Regionals. Players seem to be split on whether or not they should play a heavy count of Energy Retrieval alongside a copy of Fisherman, and I think playing both to hedge against variance is the best route.

0 Float Stone, 2 Escape Rope, 1 Switch

This was an incredibly risky decision made by Corey to not include any Float Stone but he made up for with 2 Escape Rope and 1 Switch. I think this deck is vulnerable to Lysandre stall plays and not playing any Float Stone can lead to late-game deck-outs.

Gant Conley’s List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 12

4 Volcanion STS
4 Volcanion-EX
1 Hoopa-EX AOR
1 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Jirachi XY67
1 Klefki STS

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Lysandre
1 Skyla
1 Ninja Boy
1 Fisherman
1 Pokémon Ranger

 

4 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball
4 Professor’s Letter
3 Float Stone

2 Fighting Fury Belt

2 Energy Retrieval

2 Switch

 

2 Scorched Earth

Energy – 12

12 Fire

Takeaways

1 Klefki

Gant played Klefki to help out with the Mega Mewtwo and Mega matchups, which are pretty close depending on when they drop Hex Maniac down. I think this was a solid addition to the deck since it doesn’t take up any Bench space and only stays temporarily attached, meaning you still Float Stone + retreat your attacker the following turn.

1 Ninja Boy

Ninja Boy is a nice way to swap out your Benched Hoopa, Shaymin, or Jirachi into a Volcanion-EX if your list does not play Sky Field. Since Gant’s list had 2 Scorched Earth, playing a copy of Ninja Boy was ideal to ameliorate situations where he could get stalled out or if he needed Bench space for another Volcanion-EX.

4 Professor’s Letter

Gant chose to play Professor’s Letter over an Acro Bike or Trainers’ Mail engine which I believe hurts the consistency of the deck severely. I think he should’ve at least included a few more copies of Scorched Earth in order to balance out the heavy use of Professor’s Letter. The low amount of Energy Retrieval conveys an intention to use the Letters purely to thin out the deck of Energy then use Steam Artillery to attach them to Volcanion-EX.

Michael White’s List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 12

4 Volcanion STS
4 Volcanion-EX
3 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore
2 N
2 Lysandre
1 Pokémon Ranger
1 Delinquent
1 Fisherman

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
3 Trainers’ Mail
3 Fighting Fury Belt
2 Float Stone
2 Professor’s Letter
2 Energy Retrieval
2 Escape Rope
1 Super Rod

 

2 Sky Field
1 Parallel City

Energy – 11

11 Fire

Takeaways

3 Shaymin-EX

Michael played 3 copies of Shaymin-EX complemented with 1 Hoopa-EX and 2 Sky Field. I think 3 Shaymin-EX too much as you increase your odds of opening with one quite a bit by playing the third copy. I wouldn’t want to waste a Float Stone on a Shaymin-EX I plan on discarding later on in the game just to get my engine going with Volcanion. Playing the Ninja Boy over Parallel City here would’ve been the best decision to complement the 3 Shaymin-EX.

1 Delinquent

Delinquent helps close out games against opponents that mismanage their hand or are forced into situations with low hand sizes. I can’t see how this helps too much in Volcanion as you don’t control your opponent besides applying pressure through Steam Up. I’m sure the Delinquent clutched out victories for him here and there but I’d rather play a consistency card or another Energy Retrieval in its place.

Final List

Pokémon – 11

4 Volcanion STS
4 Volcanion-EX
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore
2 N
2 Lysandre
1 Pokémon Ranger
1 Olympia

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Energy Retrieval
3 Trainers’ Mail
3 Acro Bike
3 Fighting Fury Belt
2 Float Stone
1 Switch
1 Escape Rope

 

2 Sky Field

Energy – 12

12 Fire

Takeaways

1 Hoopa-EX, 2 Shaymin-EX, 2 Sky Field

I believe this is the most optimal way to run a deck full of Pokémon-EX. The speed that this combo offers this deck cannot be overlooked. Many times throughout testing I’ve found myself with 4 Volcanion-EX, Hoopa-EX, Shaymin-EX, and a Volcanion on Bench by turn 2 and around 6 Energy either in play, my hand, or the discard pile to manipulate.

1 Olympia

As I’ve mentioned plenty of times throughout this article, having a method to retreat is critical to this deck’s success without Blacksmith. Playing a single copy of Olympia allows you to play a bit recklessly with your attachments if you’re able to get her into your discard pile during the early stages of the game. Olympia also turns VS Seeker into a potential switch to Float Stone + retreat play, allowing you to reset your Volcanion-EX and string attacks.

3 Acro Bike, 3 Trainers’ Mail

Similar to the engine Corey Weidner played, 3 Acro Bike and 3 Trainers’ Mail has felt amazing throughout testing. Acro Bike fuels my discard with Fire Energy or the Lysandre/Olympia that I would like later in the game. It also provides a sufficient amount of deck-thinning when paired with Trainers’ Mail, which further supports the decision to play Hoopa-EX and Sky Field since this combo can help me dig for Ultra Ball ASAP.

Matchups

Mirror (50/50)

Load up a Volcanion-EX ASAP and try to Lysandre your opponent’s Benched Volcanion-EX and take a lead in the Prize trade. I’ve found Fighting Fury Belt more useful attached to Shaymin-EX or Volcanion instead of Volcanion-EX in order to force a Volcanic Heat — rather than a 3×[character] or 4×[character] Steam Up-boosted Power Heater— to be KO’d. Playing Max Elixir would heavily swing this matchup but I don’t believe that’s the optimal way to play this deck against the entire meta.

M Mewtwo (45/55)

Target down whenever the opportunity arises — this one is pretty obvious. During the early stages of the game you’ll want to use Steam Up + Power Heater to chip damage onto M Mewtwo but only enough so that they will not be able to take a KO on Volcanion or a Benched Shaymin-EX with Damage Change. By regulating your damage output early with Volcanion and Steam Up you’ll be able to attach Fighting Fury Belt to the appropriate Volcanion-EX, forcing M Mewtwo to have 4 Energy attached to take a KO on you.

If you see your opponent is playing Hex Maniac instead of Garbodor, then switch to a game plan where your Volcanion get the Fighting Fury Belt attachments and the chip damage onto M Mewtwo-EX creates a game state where a Hex Maniac won’t save their Active M Mewtwo-EX from being KO’d by Volcanic Heat. This should help swing the late game into your favor since your opponent would be burning most of their VS Seeker looping by their Hex Maniac.

Yveltal/Mew (45/55)

The key to this matchup is Bench discipline and attaching your Energy off of Power Heater to the appropriate targets. Yveltal can capitalize during all stages of the game if you over-bench your Volcanion-EX and allow yourself to be put in a game state where only Olympia, Escape Rope, or Switch can save you from getting 4-Prized by Pitch-Black Spear. I try to Lysandre up my opponent’s Benched Yveltal-EX, 0-Energy Yveltal BKT, or Shaymin-EX in order to force a retreat from them and stall until I can get a string of Volcanic Heat online.

You should not need all 4 Volcanion-EX on your Bench in order win the game and you should only need 3 once they have a Fighting Fury Belted Yveltal-EX/Darkrai-EX online ready to sweep your attackers. I tend to have a field of 2 Volcanion, 2 Volcanion-EX, and extra spots to drop down my Shaymin-EX or next Volcanion-EX once I’m sure I can handle Yveltal BKT going into the mid to late game.

Playing a copy of Mr. Mime GEN can throw this matchup heavily in your favor as it allows you time to attach to your Volcanion-EX.

M Rayquaza (40/60)

This matchup is an all-out race which I believe Mega Rayquaza should win most of the time if they’re able to string Hex Maniac against you. My most successful way of winning this matchup has been stringing Steam Up and Power Heater on the first Rayquaza then using 2 Volcanic Heat against a pair of Benched Shaymin-EX to close the game. Players have been using Entei AOR 14 to keep up with the speed of Mega Rayquaza but I’m not entirely sure it’s better than just playing a copy of Parallel City. Entei has its merits in punishing players who overextend their Bench but Parallel City can provide the control you need against Mega Rayquaza while also clearing your Bench of extra Pokémon-EX against the entire field.

Rainbow Road (60/40)

I believe Volcanion has the edge in this matchup due to its quick and consistent setup and the inconsistencies that Rainbow Road decks face since they play a heavy line of non-attacking Pokémon. Volcanion-EX’s Volcanic Heat hitting for 130 is critical here since a Fighting Fury Belted Volcanion-EX could give the opponent issues keeping up Xerneas during the mid to late stages of the game. Volcanion’s Power Heater backed behind 3 Steam Ups is a huge issue for Rainbow Road to overcome as this setup is easy for Volcanion to meet with low resources spent while Rainbow Road needs to hit their Max Elixir, Exp. Share, and Double Colorless just to keep up the trades.

Cool Cat: M Mewtwo

m mewtwo-ex bkt 64 16-9
“Meow.”

Kevin Murphy’s List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 11

4 Mewtwo-EX BKT 62
3 M Mewtwo-EX BKT 64

2 Shaymin-EX ROS
2 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Lysandre
2 Hex Maniac
1 Misty’s Determination

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Trainers’ Mail
3 Mega Turbo
3 Mewtwo Spirit Link
2 Float Stone
1 Super Rod

 

3 Shrine of Memories
1 Parallel City

Energy – 12

8 Psychic
4 Double Colorless

Takeaways

2 Hoopa-EX, 1 Parallel City

There’s not much to discuss here but it is noteworthy to say that Kevin clearly wanted his list to be consistent and for Hoopa-EX to fuel his early-turn setup. Playing two allows you not to prize one and instantly lose your quickness. Playing the extra Hoopa-EX and intending to use one no matter what probably influenced his decision to play a copy of Parallel City. Seeing as he only played two copies of Float Stone, if he opened one Hoopa-EX and Ultra Ball’d away the other, then he’d be looking to Float Stone the Active away then Parallel away the double Hoopa-EX on the Bench.

0 Garbodor

I would consider playing 0 Garbodor a risky play for this 6-round tournament but clearly Kevin made the 2 Hex Maniac work. This freed up an extra 5 spots in his list if we consider the norm being 2 Trubbish, 2 Garbodor, and 3 Float Stone (he only played 2).

1 Misty’s Determination

I’ll be honest here: I don’t think this card is that good. I’m trying to dive into Kevin’s mind and come up with a few scenarios where the Misty’s Determination would have been clutch. If he had a few awkward hands where he couldn’t afford to play Professor Sycamore and using an N would only put him at 3 or 4 cards after using 1-2 Shaymin-EX, then Misty’s Determination could’ve fished out that final piece he needed for the turn. Playing the 1 copy must have put a lot of relief on his hands where he had multiple Double Colorless Energy but was missing either the M Mewtwo-EX or the Mewtwo Spirit Link he needed to get going. Considering he might need M Mewtwo-EX or Psychic Energy at critical moments in the game, Misty’s Determination would be the better Supporter than Skyla in those particular scenarios. It’s a cute tech but I don’t believe I’ll fit it into my list.

Andrew Krekeler’s List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 14

4 Mewtwo-EX BKT 62
3 M Mewtwo-EX BKT 64
2 Trubbish BKP
2 Garbodor BKP
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Sycamore
2 N
2 Lysandre

 

4 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball
4 Trainers’ Mail
4 Mega Turbo
3 Mewtwo Spirit Link
3 Float Stone

 

2 Parallel City
2 Shrine of Memories

Energy – 12

8 Psychic
4 Double Colorless

Takeaways

4 Mega Turbo

This list is fairly straightforward but the high count of Mega Turbo stands out as I typically don’t see any more than three in any lists. Considering the deck only had 8 Psychic Energy in it, I think the extra counts were overkill and could’ve been other resource cards to help the deck function through awkward hands.

2 Parallel City, 2 Shrine of Memories

I believe the low count of Shrine of Memories here contradicts the efforts the deck made to keep Psychic Energy on board with 4 Mega Turbo. However, since M Mewtwo-EX is a deck that get enough wins through Psychic Infinity alone, I see the merits in playing just 2 Shrine of Memories and opting for the 4th copy of Trainers’ Mail and Mega Turbo to close out games. 2 Parallel City is a perfect way to ensure your opponent’s Benched Shaymin-EX will stick as well as have a nice counter Stadium for this diverse meta.

Current List

Pokémon – 13

4 Mewtwo-EX BKT 62
3 M Mewtwo-EX BKT 64
2 Trubbish BKP
1 Garbodor BKP
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Sycamore
2 N
2 Lysandre

 

4 Ultra Ball
4 Trainers’ Mail
4 VS Seeker
4 Mewtwo Spirit Link
3 Mega Turbo
3 Float Stone
1 Super Rod

 

1 Parallel City
3 Shrine of Memories

Energy – 12

8 Psychic
4 Double Colorless

Takeaways

2-1 Garbodor

I don’t see many players trying this line out but I think the best commitment to Garbodor in Mega decks is a 2-1 count and using the extra spot for consistency. This allows me to prize a Trubbish but still have the setup online, and since most Mega decks hit incredibly hard on turn 2, you’ll have a chance to fish out any missing pieces from your initial Prizes in the matchups where Garbodor will matter.

1 Super Rod

What both of these lists lacked was an efficient way to recover their Mega Pokémon should they need to discard them early with Professor Sycamore. One of the scariest situations I find myself in when piloting Mega decks is opening 2 Megas without a Spirit Link and only a Professor Sycamore or an Ultra Ball which forces me to discard my Megas or Special Energy. Playing the copy of Super Rod allows me to mitigate this variance and play a bit more recklessly in order to reach my desired setup.

Matchups

Mirror (50/50)

The key to this mirror match is Energy attachment discipline. Psychic Energy are incredibly key here as you’ll want to keep a steady track of your opponent’s potential Mega Turbo into Psychic Infinity for 1HKO plays. Most of my mirror matches were decided by one of us over-committing to a single M Mewtwo or discarding/using Mega Turbo too early to start taking quick KOs against Shaymin-EX. This usually led to the other player to using their own Mega Turbo and N to revenge-KO the loaded attacker and steal momentum.

You’ll want to remember that using Psychic Infinity for over 160 damage puts your Mewtwo-EX, Hoopa-EX, and Shaymin-EX at risk of a Lysandre + Shrine of Memories + Damage Change play. If you find yourself in these situations where you’ll have to Psychic Infinity to keep up with the pressure put on you, you’ll need Parallel City or some sort of counter Stadium to remove that play from your opponent’s arsenal.

Volcanion (55/45)

Garbodor and Hex Maniac are king in this matchup. You usually fall behind in Prizes first so I tend to keep the Mewtwo-EX I want to power up on the Bench while feeding them a Hoopa-EX or Mewtwo-EX in the first turn as the chip damage off Volcanion is problematic going into turn 3 or 4. The optimal game state you want to reach is having having a Garbodor set up on the Bench, a Parallel City in play reducing their damage by 20, and using a Lysandre on a loaded Benched Volcanion-EX for an 1HKO with Psychic Infinity. At this point you’re able to freely over-commit Energy to your M Mewtwo-EX as it’s in no fear of being 1HKO’d. Should you receive 110 or 130 damage from a Volcanion-EX, it can be easily shot back at the opponent if you Lysandre a Benched Shaymin-EX and Damage Change to it before cleaning up the attacking Volcanion-EX.

Yveltal/Mew (45/55)

Yveltal BKT and Mew FCO swing this matchup heavily. The best thing I can say for this matchup is do not bench Hoopa-EX and extra Mewtwo-EX if you do not have a heavy count of Parallel City or one currently in your hand. Your Benched Hoopa-EX or Mewtwo-EX are the keys toward your opponent winning through early-turn Lysandre. I usually rush to make a Garbodor and try to Mega Evolve my Active Mewtwo-EX with at least 1 Psychic Energy attached to it, allowing me to attach Energy for the turn, play Mega Turbo, and Shrine of Memories to Damage Change the early 120 to a Benched Shaymin-EX or Yveltal BKT. If you find a higher number of Yveltal lists popping up in your meta, then add a Mr. Mime to help shut down the early-game Bench damage.

M Rayquaza (50/50)

This matchup comes down to when the Mewtwo player is able to get Garbodor online, play their counter Stadium, and N. This is the setup and point in the game where I feel like I’ll instantly win the game unless my opponent draws insanely well off the N. The early turns should be back and forth with M Rayquaza-EX taking a quick KO on Mewtwo-EX then M Mewtwo-EX getting 4 Energy attached and 1HKO’ing back. I would prioritize reaching for the Garbodor here after using your Hoopa-EX setup to apply pressure with a M Mewtwo-EX.

Rainbow Road (50/50)

Similar to the M Rayquaza-EX matchup, Xerneas is able to take out M Mewtwo-EX fairly quickly but falls at the hands of Parallel City and Garbodor. I would concentrate on taking out the Xerneas as soon as possible and then target down the dual-type Pokémon on their Bench if you get a turn where the Xerneas is unable to resolve an attack. This happens quite often due to the inconsistencies of the deck and its issues with drawing out of mid- and late-game N. Personally, I want to target the Galvantula and Bisharp as they are harder for the deck to recoup quickly into +60 damage. Some lists are teching Mew FCO as a backup attacker but I think your game plan still remains the same of establishing the Garbodor to fend off Rainbow Road’s high damage output. Play extra copies of Parallel City if you expect to play this matchup multiple times in a tournament.

Dream Theater: Yveltal/Mew

crow-bird-yveltal-mew-16-9firewhenreadypottery.com
The earliest memories; the dawn of reality.

Neil Williamson’s List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 12

3 Yveltal BKT
2 Yveltal-EX

3 Mew FCO
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Umbreon-EX

1 Yveltal GEN

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Ninja Boy
2 Lysandre
1 Delinquent

 

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball

4 Max Elixir
3 Trainers’ Mail
3 Fighting Fury Belt
1 Escape Rope
1 Super Rod

 

2 Parallel City

Energy – 14

10 Darkness
4 Double Colorless

Takeaways

3 Mew

Neil played a heavy line of Mew FCO to copy the high number of tech attackers he plays. Playing the heavy count increased his odds of opening Mew then using a finite amount of resources to find the appropriate toolbox attacker for the matchup and allow Mew to retreat freely. This led to him playing no Float Stone and allowed his Energy to only be attached when needed. It also helped with any M Mewtwo-EX decks he’d run into throughout the tournament, and judging by the top cut, it seems like there were quite a few there. I think this was a great call and inclusion.

1 Umbreon-EX, 2 Ninja Boy

I mentioned this combo in my Yveltal/Garbodor video for Some1sPC and it is insane. Playing this combo forces your opponent to play in a conservative manner that most Mega decks aren’t used to playing. If you have a Mew on the Bench with a Dark Energy attached and their Mega Pokémon is in range of being KO’d by an End Game, a Ninja Boy on any Benched Pokémon plus a Double Colorless Energy means you’re taking 4 Prizes off their attacker with a non-EX. Whether or not this comes to fruition in your tournament games, the fear instilled in your opponent from the ploy being present impacts their play greatly.

Austin Baggs’ List

Source ↗

Pokémon – 11

2 Yveltal BKT

2 Yveltal-EX

2 Mew FCO
2 Shaymin-EX ROS

2 Darkrai-EX BKP
1 Jirachi XY67

Trainers – 36

4 N
3 Professor Sycamore
2 Lysandre
1 Delinquent
1 Hex Maniac
1 Ninja Boy

 

4 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball
4 Trainers’ Mail
4 Max Elixir
2 Escape Rope
2 Fighting Fury Belt
1 Super Rod
1 Special Charge

 

2 Parallel City

Energy – 13

9 Darkness
4 Double Colorless

Takeaways

2 Darkrai-EX BKP, 2 Yveltal-EX

Playing the heavy count of Pokémon-EX attackers gave Austin the bulk he wanted in the late game after using their attacks in the early game with Mew FCO. I’ve started to like Darkrai-EX less and less as the meta evolves because Rainbow Road, Volcanion, and Mega Rayquaza handle Darkrai-EX with ease and his damage output usually pales in comparison to most others in the format. I think the inclusion of Yveltal-EX is the best call for Yveltal decks as Y Cyclone helps the Double Colorless Energy to stay on board for your Mew FCO or Yveltal BKT.

1 Special Charge

Austin played a single copy of Special Charge which I feel is phenomenal for how the latest Standard format Yveltal lists are built. I’ve run into many situations where I need to play Professor Sycamore, discarding 1 or 2 Double Colorless Energy in my hand, in order to keep tempo with my opponent. Discarding any copies of DCE severely hindered my control with Yveltal BKT and Yveltal-EX.

4 N

This helps complement the concept of not discarding Double Colorless Energy during the early stages of the game through Professor Sycamore. Since the deck runs a hefty number of non-EX attackers, playing the heavy N count allowed Austin to have 3 non-EX attackers KO’d then follow up with 2 Pokémon-EX attackers to end the game, forcing his opponent to take 7 Prizes.

Final List

Pokémon – 10

3 Yveltal BKT
2 Yveltal-EX

2 Mew FCO
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Umbreon-EX

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
2 Lysandre
1 Delinquent
1 Hex Maniac
1 Ninja Boy

 

4 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball
4 Trainers’ Mail
4 Max Elixir

2 Fighting Fury Belt

1 Switch
1 Escape Rope
1 Super Rod
1 Special Charge

 

2 Parallel City
1 Reverse Valley/Silent Lab

Energy – 13

9 Darkness
4 Double Colorless

Takeaways

3 Yveltal BKT

I believe this deck thrives off of playing 3 Yveltal BKT to control an incredibly Float Stone- and Spirit Link-heavy format. Playing three allows me to prize one and still use two to apply pressure during the opening turns of the game before using Mew and Yveltal-EX to finish off the opponent’s remaining HP. When playing three, I often find myself in the perfect starting position of attaching a Dark Energy to my Active Yveltal then using a Max Elixir to attach to the Bench, allowing my damage to start flowing off of a Double Colorless Energy.

1 Escape Rope, 1 Switch

Similar to my explanation for playing this combo in Volcanion, you’ll need to be able to retreat the Pokémon-EX you might open with during the early turns of the game to get your Fright Night Ability online. Often I find myself wanting a Switch in some given scenarios where the opponent’s Active Pokémon is a non-EX and I’ll need to KO it to relieve the pressure it’s applying.

1 Silent Lab, 1 Reverse Valley

Playing the single copy of Silent Lab allows you make game-changing plays against your opponent during the mid to late game. While it shuts off your own Fright Night, the benefit you get in the mirror match and against a Shaymin-EX-dependent deck is well worth its inclusion. Often in the mirror match, I’d hit a Pitch-Black Spear against the opposing Yveltal BKT then the following turn play down a Silent Lab and Fighting Fury Belt on my Yveltal BKT to take a 2HKO instead of 3HKO. This usually catches the opponent by surprise and could mess up their damage output going into the following turn if they attached one of their remaining Double Colorless Energy to an attacker that isn’t ideal to face my Yveltal BKT with a Fighting Fury Belt.

Reverse Valley creates this same scenario but I’m able to keep my Fright Night Ability active and conserve the Fighting Fury Belt for elsewhere. The problem with playing Reverse Valley is you lose the control on decks such as Volcanion, Mega Rayquaza, or Mega Mewtwo and the extra damage may not play a key role in the matchup’s Prize trade. One benefit you do gain from this is the ability to hit with Umbreon-EX’s End Game for a potential 90 damage which could take players by surprise.

Matchups

Mirror (50/50)

This matchup comes down to the amount of Shaymin-EX a player needs to drop down before they’re able to get a steady stream of Energy on board with Yveltal-EX and Yveltal BKT. If you’re forced to drop down your Shaymin-EX, then you’ll want to get a Parallel City online ASAP and prevent your opponent from taking the early Prize trade advantage via Pitch-Black Spear. I tend to go for 1 or 2 Shaymin-EX alongside my Yveltal-EX while holding a Parallel City in hand. That way I can bait an opponent to put 60 on the Shaymin-EX before clearing it. This is a risky tactic as your opponent can put down their own Parallel City to prevent you from doing so, however since most Yveltal lists run Delinquent you should be able to clear their Stadium out and drop your own considering you took the extra cards with your 2 Shaymin-EX.

During the mid to late game you’ll want to save a Max Elixir, Double Colorless Energy, Fighting Fury Belt, and Yveltal-EX in your hand to surprise an opposing Yveltal BKT with an Evil Ball without fear of it being revenge-KO’d by an opposing Yveltal-EX. This is usually the power play that closes out the game depending on how close Prizes are.

Volcanion (55/45)

Similar to most matchups you’ll be playing with Yveltal BKT, you want to use Fright Night to control their Float Stones and take 4 Prizes off 2 Volcanion-EX. Your ideal game state would be having 2 Yveltal BKT established and using Hex Maniac to seal off any Steam Up that may arise then taking 4 Prizes off a Pitch-Black Spear. To reach this game state, you’ll want to Lysandre their Volcanion-EX ASAP and have them use their Escape Rope to retreat and attack with their Volcanion and start to trade attacks with you. At this point, you’ll want to use Lysandre again on any Volcanion-EX that have no Energy attached and keep poking down the ones with Energy. Keep in mind that most of the Volcanion lists only play Escape Rope so you can bench extra Mew to feed Prizes to an opposing Volcanion or Volcanion-EX, allowing your Yveltal-EX and Yveltal BKT to remain untouched.

I use Parallel City in this matchup to drop myself down to 3 Bench and limit their damage output against Yveltal-EX with Fighting Fury Belt since the minus 20 damage means they need all 4 Steam Ups to 1HKO you with a Volcanic Heat. This shouldn’t happen if you’re able to Evil Ball the loaded Volcanion-EX the turn before.

M Mewtwo (60/40)

Yveltal BKT devours their matchup. If your opponent benches a Hoopa-EX, try to Lysandre it ASAP then set up a Yveltal BKT in the Active and one on the Bench. If possible, do this without benching any extra Pokémon, forcing your opponent to either attach Double Colorless Energy to retreat or find the 1-2 Hex Maniac in their deck to negate Fright Night. Slowly chip away at the opposing Mewtwo with Energy attached and try to play Lysandre on a separate Benched Mewtwo-EX before you take the final KO on whatever Pokémon-EX you stuck Active. Be mindful of their Psychic Energy and try not to play down Shaymin-EX if they have the option available to Lysandre and Damage Change it after 2 Pitch-Black Spears.

Mew FCO serves as a nice way to threaten and deal really quick damage to an opposing M Mewtwo-EX if they’re able to establish one that pressures you. When playing Mew, I tend to leave it on the Bench with either 0 Energy or just 1 Dark Energy as it will become a critical target for M Mewtwo-EX hunt down. If you need to attack with it, you can simply load it up in one turn off of a Max Elixir and Double Colorless. I’ve found putting one on the Bench as a threat has drawn attention away from the real threats, which are your Yveltal BKT on board.

M Rayquaza (60/40 or 40/60)

This matchup is highly dependent on the secondary attacker M Rayquaza-EX plays. I consider lists without Jolteon-EX to be favored 60-40 for Yveltal but ones with Jolteon to be 40/60 as this deck plays no Pokémon Ranger to hit through Flash Ray. Similar to most Mega matchups, you’ll want to control using Yveltal BKT and race them in Prizes as their deck is comprised of a heavy Pokémon-EX Bench engine. Parallel City and Enhanced Hammer can clutch out wins with this deck, so if you expect to play against M Rayquaza-EX a couple of times, add 1 or 2 Enhanced Hammer in and create turns where you Lysandre a Benched Hoopa-EX and remove the Double Colorless Energy on M Rayquaza-EX or Jolteon-EX.

Rainbow Road (40/60)

Since most Rainbow Road lists are now playing dual-type Pokémon, Parallel City will not completely lock them out of the game as it did in the past. Yveltal BKT is a horrible attacker in this matchup and often gets one-shot by their Xerneas regardless if Parallel City is on the field. Yveltal-EX will be the main attacker you’ll want to trade with. In the early stages of the game, I find myself using Yveltal BKT to control any Volcanion-EX or heavy-retreat Pokémon they put on the Bench with Lysandre. Following this, I try to get a Fighting Fury Belted Yveltal-EX online with enough strength to 1HKO Xerneas with Evil Ball but it’s still tough considering how fast Rainbow Road can go.

Conclusion

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T-minus three weeks and counting …

That’s all I’ve got for this month! Alex Hill will be giving you a detailed look at Mega Rayquaza and Rainbow Road on Thursday to complete our two-part series. I believe these are the top five decks you should expect to run into at Orlando Regionals (Oct. 15–16) and having a steady grasp on how to combat each one with any deck you pilot is critical toward seeing success. I’ll be attending Orlando Regionals and updating my lists in the comments section of this article should I run into any big breakthroughs during my final weeks of testing.

Until next time!

Russell LaParre


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