Flash Flood

Four Revelations for NAIC, Two Main Contenders, PikaRom v6.16, and ZapBeasts Reloaded
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The amperage is way up. (Lightning decks ahead…)

Hello again readers, I’m back with my final words before NAIC. I’ve played in a few events recently, and I feel that I have a good grasp on the meta right now. Throughout the events, I’ve come to realize many things about a few decks. This has drastically changed my opinions on a few decks and if NAIC was tomorrow, I could probably make a choice that I am comfortable with.

Revelations, Four…

  1. Blacephalon UNB is a terrible idea and should not be played by anyone who doesn’t want to rely on pure luck to make it through an event.
  2. and Silvally seem like a great combination, but in reality the deck falls short of expectations.
  3. ReshiZard is seeing way too much hate to be a strong play for NAIC.
  4. Weezing has the potential to be a threat because of how good of a meta call it can be.

What does this mean for us going forward? It means that inconsistent decks are seemingly falling out of the meta and old decks—such as , Blacephalon-GX, and Zapdos—are reemerging as the powerful decks of the format.

Going forward, I have two main contenders for my top pick going into NAIC.

PikaRom

Pokémon (14)

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

2 Zapdos TEU

1 Zeraora-GX

1 Tapu Koko-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Tapu Lele-GX

2 Marshadow SLG

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Absol TEU

Trainer (34)

4 Lillie

3 Guzma

2 Red’s Challenge

 

4 Electropower

4 Energy Switch

4 Ultra Ball

3 Nest Ball

2 Electromagnetic Radar

2 Escape Rope

2 Field Blower

1 Rescue Stretcher

2 Choice Band

 

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (12)

12 Lightning

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 14

* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 2 Zapdos TEU 40
* 1 Zeraora-GX LOT 86
* 1 Tapu Koko-GX GRI 47
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 2 Marshadow SLG 45
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Absol TEU 88

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Lillie SUM 122
* 3 Guzma BUS 115
* 2 Red’s Challenge UNB 213
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Energy Switch SUM 117
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 2 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 2 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 2 Escape Rope BUS 114
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 12

* 12 Lightning Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73666 ******

There are a few differences in this list when compared to Rahul’s list. I built this list solely to hit a Turn 1 Full Blitz almost every game, and it achieves that fairly well. I’ve put a lot of time into testing recently, and this is one of my frontrunners for NAIC.

Card Choices

2 Red’s Challenge

This is a card that I feel we have slept on this entire format. It has a few major uses in this deck, but its best use is to find Thunder Mountain p on Turn 1 to hit Full Blitz. After using a Dedenne, it is somewhat likely that you’ll have seen the Red’s Challenge, so it is very likely that you’ll manage to hit the Full Blitz. The reason I want to play Red’s Challenge over Lisia is because it can also search out that vital Electropower when needed. Red’s Challenge is basically a combination of Volkner and Lisia.

3 Nest Ball

Rahul’s list played 2 Nest Ball, but he did not choose to build around Turn 1 Full Blitz. Because it is equally important to find Tapu Koko p, I decided to add an extra search card in order to find it more often.

2 Escape Rope

I still dislike playing 2 Zeraora-GX, so I cut one for another switch card. I’ve decided on Escape Rope for the time being, but I could easily be convinced to play a Switch instead.

Potential Inclusions

Rotom Dex

This is a card that I have been super interested in testing in PikaRom because of how it can reset your Prize cards in case you prize one of your Prism Star cards. I have yet to actually test it, but in theory it could be good.

Multi Switch

Since I am focusing on the idea of a Turn 1 Full Blitz every game, it is only logical that I would consider adding extra Energy-switching cards. I have yet to feel that need to play more, but I could see that changing in the future if I play a long string of games where I’m missing the Energy Switch.

Stealthy Hood

I ended up cutting the Stealthy Hood because I believe there will be almost no Vileplume BUS in the room, but if it starts to see hype again, I would definitely be trying to find a slot for Stealthy Hood.

Volkner

Red’s Challenge is good and all, but there are times where you’ll want to find an Energy and Item card at the same time. If I run into enough situations where I want Volkner, then I’ll have to cut one of the Red’s Challenges for it.

The Matchup Spread

ReshiZard (Green’s): Favorable

This matchup is weird, but you can easily outspeed your opponent because of how easy it is to Full Blitz on Turn 1. If you manage to take an 1HKO on their ReshiZard early in the game, then the rest of the match goes fairly well because PikaRom can steamroll your opponent. The game plan here is fairly simple: attack as early as possible, maybe poke a ReshiZard with Zapdos, and then go to town using PikaRom.

ReshiZard (Kiawe): Even

This matchup is less straightforward because of how easy it is for ReshiZard to draw enough cards to attack early on. Without having to use Green’s Exploration on the first turn, they have more access to a Turn 1 Welder. The game plan here revolves around using Tapu Koko-GX and Zapdos + PikaRom to take enough Prizes to win the game. Let Loose and Miltank CIN make it harder to build hands with enough Electropowers to take KOs or deal enough damage to negate their healing. I would avoid using PikaRom in the early game because of how easy it is to 1HKO for ReshiZard.

ZapBeasts: Unfavored

This matchup is difficult because of Buzzwole FLI and Tapu Koko-GX. It is best to lead Zapdos for as long as possible and hope you can pass by the Sledgehammer turn without losing a GX Pokémon. If you can manage that, then the matchup becomes somewhat manageable. The game plan past that is to use Tag Bolt GX to go from 3 to 1 Prize cards so you can skip the Nihilego turn and hope that they cannot beat you before you beat them.

Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX: Favored

This matchup is going to be fairly important for NAIC because of how many people will default to Zoroark-GX. They only have one way to 1HKO you and that involves using Vengeance for 240 damage, which is unreliable. Mew UNB can cause us problems, so it is best to not invest all of your Energy into a single PikaRom but instead spread out your Energy and then set up Tag Bolt GX for your next turn if you still do not see a Mew. Our game plan is to hit the Full Blitz as soon as possible, or use Zapdos to steal a Prize card or two in the early game. The PikaRom strategy is a little riskier, but pays off much better in the end if you do not manage to take 2 KOs with Zapdos. In the late game, Persian-GX should be your target if possible because of how it can swing the game by using Catwalk and taking an 1HKO.

Blacephalon-GX: Favored

This matchup is heavily dependent on the coin flip and if you take a KO on your first attacking turn. The game plan is to take an early KO on a or Ditto p with Full Blitz, and then, if possible, use Tag Bolt GX to skip the Beast Ring turn. Barring this, I would avoid using PikaRom to go down to 4 Prizes because of how easy it can be KOed in return by Blacephalon-GX. This matchup can certainly go badly, but it should be favorable as long as you play it correctly. Target down the Persian-GX if possible.

ZapBeasts

Pokémon (14)

3 Zapdos TEU

1 Tapu Koko-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Buzzwole FLI

1 Nihilego LOT

1 Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX UNB

4 Jirachi TEU

1 Marshadow SLG

1 Mew UNB

Trainer (37)

4 Guzma

4 Lillie

2 Volkner

1 Acerola

1 Red’s Challenge

 

4 Electropower

4 Nest Ball

3 Switch

2 Escape Rope

2 Rescue Stretcher

2 Ultra Ball

1 Energy Loto

2 Choice Band

2 Escape Board

 

2 Shrine of Punishment

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (9)

4 Lightning

4 Rainbow

1 Beast Prism Star

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 14

* 3 Zapdos TEU 40
* 1 Tapu Koko-GX GRI 47
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Buzzwole FLI 77
* 1 Nihilego LOT 106
* 1 Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX UNB 1
* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 1 Marshadow SLG 45
* 1 Mew UNB 76

##Trainer Cards - 37

* 4 Lillie SUM 122
* 4 Guzma BUS 115
* 2 Volkner UPR 135
* 1 Red’s Challenge UNB 213
* 1 Acerola BUS 112
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 3 Switch SUM 132
* 2 Escape Rope BUS 114
* 2 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Energy Loto GRI 122
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Choice Band GRI 121
* 2 Shrine of Punishment CES 143
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 9

* 4 Lightning Energy Energy 4
* 4 Rainbow Energy SUM 137
* 1 Beast Energy p FLI 117

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73666 ******

Zapdos had sort of fallen off my radar before Origins SPE, but with it taking both 1st and 2nd, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. This led me to test the deck, and I have liked what I’ve seen so far. I’ve gotten pretty far with this list and think it has hope of beating most of the relevant decks.

Card Choices

1 Pheramosa & Buzzwole-GX

I’ve jumped between this and Marshadow & Machamp-GX, and have finally decided that adds the most to the deck. Against the other 1-Prize decks, BuzzMosa has the potential to swing the matchup back into your favor if you do not take the first KO.

1 Red’s Challenge

See earlier in the article. I’m playing it for almost the exact same reason here, but for Beast Energy and BuzzMosa.

1 Energy Loto

In Zapdos decks, the reason for losing almost always seems to be missing an Energy at a critical time. Energy Loto helps to fix this because you can Stellar Wish for an Energy card.

Potential Inclusions

Kartana UNB

I would like to test this more before I include it in my final list, but in theory Kartana allows us to trade somewhat evenly with decks like Blacephalon UNB without burning all of our Electropowers in the early game.

Viridian Forest + Basic Energy

I would not be playing this if I decided to include Kartana, but I could see playing this build instead to increase consistency.

The Matchup Spread

The game plans for almost every matchup are the same. You basically spam Zapdos while using the Ultra Beasts to do big damage on their specific turns.

PikaRom: Favored

This matchup is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll go through it anyway. Your plan is to use Zapdos in the early game to take easy KOs and deal chip damage to PikaRom. This matchup comes down to how well your opponent can deal with and Nihilego. You need to save your Tapu Koko-GX for when your opponent goes for the Tag Bolt GX, and try to avoid your opponent taking 2 Prize cards that that aren’t from a GX KO.

ReshiZard (Green’s): Unfavored

This matchup is much harder than the Kiawe version because we cannot deal with 5 Volcanion UNB and still do anything to a ReshiZard once they transition into it. The game plan here involves saying the words “Let Loose and hoping that you can sweep your opponent before they draw enough cards.

ReshiZard (Kiawe): Even–Favored

This matchup is much easier than the Green’s version of the deck because you can expect to see only one or two 1-Prize attackers. Your opponent will be forced to bench GX Pokémon, and you need to target them down whenever possible. There are games that you won’t even KO a ReshiZard because you will be using Guzma and Escape Rope to take easy Prize cards. Nihilego is extremely strong here when coupled with Shrine of Punishment and Beast Energy or Choice Band. BuzzMosa can also steal a last-minute double-Prize-card KO off of a Marshadow or Jirachi if you’re getting desperate.

Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX: Even

This matchup used to be nearly unwinnable, but we’ve been seeing Zoroark decks without Alolan Muk popping up more and more recently. If they are not playing Alolan Muk, then the matchup is nearly free because of how easily you can take early Guzma–KOs and then use Sledgehammer to take at least 2 more Prize cards. Nihilego finally has a use in this matchup because it can copy either of Persian-GX’s attacks to take a big KO against almost any Pokémon when paired with Beast Energy and Choice Band. The strategy here differs a bit from other matchups because of the amount of Acerola spam that is possible. It is best to target down any Basics in the early game that could evolve into a threat to your game plan. Alolan Grimer and Ditto p are chief amongst these targets and should never be allowed to evolve if at all possible.

Blacephalon-GX: Even–Favored

Blacephalon-GX is another deck that has decided to cut Alolan Muk recently in favor of Persian-GX. This makes them take a much worse matchup against Zapdos. Our strategy here is to remove as many Poipole from play as possible while still maintaining a board state to where we aren’t going to lose to a well-timed Let Loose. One key thing in this matchup is to be aware of how easily BuzzMosa can take 3 Prize cards off of a with Beast Game GX.

Blacephalon UNB: Unfavored–Even

I’m hesitant to even give Blacephalon UNB the time of day after my experience with it this weekend, but people have been playing it, which makes it a threat to us. They are especially vulnerable to Let Loose in the early game and will likely lose 1 in 3 games to it. Beyond that, the matchup becomes a race to see who can take their 6 Prize cards first. Between taking KOs on Jirachi, using Electropowers, and using Sledgehammer, the matchup is possible to win. Again, BuzzMosa has the potential to turn around the Prize trade at the end of the game and should not be overlooked because of its Fighting-type Weakness.

Final Thoughts Before NAIC

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NAIC is still a few days away, which means a lot of testing for me and my friends. I want to put a lot of time into these two decks because of how strong they both are, but if I had to pick right now, I would be playing PikaRom because of how insane it can draw.

One thing we all appear to have forgotten about is that Vileplume Stall is technically still a threat and likely not the worst play for NAIC if people start cutting the counters like I have finally opted to do. If you’re a Stall player, then I beg of you to reconsider, because I really don’t want to play ReshiZard for this event if I can avoid it. After watching countless people play Stall and having played it in many coaching sessions, the deck seems just a bit too inconsistent for me to play it.

For anyone on ReshiZard, please do yourself a favor and make sure your list is playing Choice Band. I cannot stress enough how important that card is to beating a deck like PikaRom.

Anyway, that’s all I have for you today. Good luck and have in NAIC. This is it for my coverage before the event, and I wish everyone the best. I’ll see you all there and I will cover the event after it has concluded, hopefully with a good .

As always, feel free to message me with any questions that you might have about anything related to Pokémon. I also now offer coaching! Either email me (alex.schemanske@gmail.com) or PM me if interested.

Until the next one.


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