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Karl Peters

Turbo Bolting your way to victory!

Karl talks about Manectric/Regice in detail and other Manectric variants.

11/12/2015 by Karl Peters

Hey guys, its's Karl. This time I want to talk about one of my favourite decks in the Standard format – Manectric/Regice. I feel like this deck has a lot of good matchups overall and just a few slightly worse ones. I want to take a look at it and examine its matchups in detail. After that, I will also talk about some techs and other Manectric variants that you might try out if you want to play Manetric, but don't like the Regice version. Before we talk about the matchups in detail, let's take a look at its strategy and a decklist.

The deck itself is pretty consistent and you'll get your Manectric set up almost every time on your second turn to hit with Turbo Bolt. Speaking of Turbo Bolt, this is the main strategy in any kind of Manectric deck; you want to get your Turbo Bolts set up as fast as possible, to power up any other attackers. In this deck, our main attackers aside from M Manectric-EX and the regular Manectric-EX are Regice, Articuno, and Lugia. You don't necissarily have to run all of them, but I'd suggest you run at least three to four in any combination of those three cards. As you can already see, I decided to run two Regice and one Lugia and Articuno each. Regice is by far the best attacker aside from Manectric as its attack, Resitance Blizzard, prevents any effects by attacks done to it by your opponent's Pokémon-EX, even damage. You will see more of when and why you use any of these attackers when I talk about the matchups in detail. But for now, lets move on with the card choices.

The next Pokémon that's included is a pretty obvious one – Shaymin-EX. As in any other deck, Shaymin-EX is used to get your setup as quickly as possible. Some people might wonder why we only use two copies of Shaymin-EX and not three or even four. Manectric is one of the few decks that can set up pretty quickly even without using any Shaymin at all, but since we want to get our setup very fast, there's nothing wrong with running two copies. 

Let's move on to the Supporter cards. We're running the regular amount of four Professor Sycamore and two Lysandre; I don't think I have to explain these choices. After that, we've got two copies of Professor Birch's Observations because I'd rather play a Supporter where I get to at least try to draw seven cards instead of playing Shauna for a safe five cards every time. You might even run just one Birch/Shauna, or none at all, but if you want to do so, you'd have to include more copies of cards like Trainers' Mail, or include some Roller Skates. I'm not really a fan of Roller Skates, so I would definitely suggest to stick with Professor Birch's Observations.

Next up is one copy of Hex Maniac, in my opinion of of the best cards from Ancient Origins. Since we don't really have to use any Abilities after we used our early Set Up Shaymin, we don't really suffer from Hex Maniac and it's a pretty easy way to shut down a lot of decks that rely on Abilities pretty heavily. It's also the saviour in games against Giratina-EX if you want to attack with your M Manectric-EX and also deal damage. All of these Supporters are must-haves in almost any kind of deck, so now let's get to some choices that aren't necessarily essential, but are still very strong in general.

First of all, Xerosic, a card that's pretty useful against a lot of decks. The card is very versatile , especially in this deck. You could use Xerosic for the obvious plays like discarding Double Colorless Energy, or any kind of Special Energy, really, as well as discarding annoying Tools like Focus Sash. But you can also use Xerosic for some sneakier plays like discarding any Tools attached to your opponent's Pokémon-EX, to attach a Head Ringer to them, or simply discard your own Spirit Link to attach a Muscle Band to your M Manectric-EX. The last Supporter I want to talk about is AZ. AZ is basically Scoop Up Cyclone as a Supporter, with one significant downside: you have to dicard any cards attached to the Pokémon you want to pick up. But this is exactly what makes AZ so strong in any kind of Manectric decks, as you can simply reattach the Basic Energy you discard back to your Bench when using Turbo Bolt with a new Manectric. And this gets us to the most common play when using AZ in a Manectric deck: You simply pick up a heavily damaged Manectric-EX and send up a new one that immediatly reattaches the Energy.

The best case would even be to have a fresh Manectric with a Spirit Link on your Bench, so you can even play down the M Manectric-EX you just picked up. AZ is also a very common alternative to switching cards like Switch and Escape Rope, but you have to run at least AZ or one of them, otherwise you could get in a lot of trouble if you happen to start with Regice or Articuno. AZ as well as Xerosic are both very strong cards, and you might even consider running more than one copy of them if it's a decent play against the matchups in your area, but we'll get to this later. Next up are our Item choices, most of which are pretty obvious. Cards like VS Seeker, Ultra Ball, and Muscle Band don't really have to be explained as they're included in almost every deck.

The first card I want to talk about is Trainers' Mail, as a lot of players seem to underestimate its strength. Since the loss of cards like N and Colress, Item or Ability-based draw has become even more important than it has been before, and Trainers' Mail is one of the strongest Item cards to boost your consistency. I even saw some players using Acro Bike in Manectric decks, but I think the card is very bad in Manectric decks because you don't really want to discard anything aside from Basic Energy. Speaking of discarding, let's get to the next card: Battle Compressor. Battle Compressor is only useful in the first few turns; after that, it loses some of its strength. You usually want to use it to get two or three Basic Energy into your discard pile, as well as one copy of Lysandre to access it with VS Seeker. You could also discard any other Supporter to get access to it with VS Seeker, but Lysandre is the most obvious one. You could also use Battle Compressor to get rid of useless cards like Rough Seas in the mirror match or attackers that you wont need, like Regice against decks that don't use any EX attackers.

The next card I want to talk about is Manectric Spirit Link. I don't really want to talk about why I'm running the card, because its pretty simple, but I want to talk about why I'm running four copies of it, even though we're only running three M Manectric-EX. There are basically two main reasons why I chose to run four copies, with consistency being the first one. It's a lot easier to get your cards if you run a high amount of them, and combined with Trainers' Mail, you're usually able to get your Spirit Links when you need them. The next one is AZ, or discarding in general. Cards like Ultra Ball and Professor Sycamore often force us to discard cards we need, and so does AZ in this case. That's why we want to run as many copies as possible to not be out of Spirit Links and have to wait a turn later in the game.

Up next is Head Ringer, just because it synerizes very well with the regular Manectric's Assault Laser and is also a very strong card againt any kind of Pokémon-EX. For our Basic Energy, we're going with seven Lighting Energy and five Water Energy so we have enough Energy to power up our attackers. You usually want to attach two Lighting Energy to Manectric, so you get to save your Water Energy for Regice or Articuno. We also run two copies of Double Colorless Energy to be able to set up both Lugia and Regice manually if necessary. You might consider running even more Double Colorless Energy if you decide to run more Lugia-EX or Regice, but for this list, two copies are enough.

Let's get to the most interesting part, the matchups:

Regice/Vileplume

This matchup depends a lot on how fast you can get your attackers going without being crippled too much by your opponents Item-lock. If you manage to drop some early Hex Maniacs to get your setup going, you should be pretty much fine since it's a lot easier for you to set up Regice or Articuno than it is for your opponent to keep Regice going. Your Articuno has to be attacked twice to be Knocked Out, so if you manage to make the first hit, you can pretty easily get the KO without having to flip a lot of heads with Articuno. It's also very helpful if you manage to get a Muscle Band onto your Articuno because if you manage to do this, you don't have to flip any heads at all. Another important card in this matchup is Xerosic to get rid of your opponent's Double Colorless Energy so that they can possibly whiff having an attacker the next turn. Overall, I feel like this matchup is pretty close and will depend on how well each player uses their resources.

Mienshao

This matchup is by far the worst matchup for Manectric/Regice since Manectric is weak to Fighting and Regice only blocks effects and damage from Pokémon-EX. You can not even hope for some sneaky Shaymin-EX KOs, because Mienshao usually doesn't play cards like that. On top of that, you don't really have any out against Focus Sash aside from Xerosic or maybe Startling Megaphone, which you might include as well if you expect a lot of Mienshao. Overall, this matchup is pretty much unwinnable for Manectric/Regice, as long as your opponent doesn't draw only dead cards.

Lucario/Crobat

This matchup is not as bad as you might think it is, since it's very easy to outplay the deck's whole strategy by using Regice and Hex Maniac to prevent your opponent from Knocking Out your Pokémon. If you've got Lugia-EX included, you've got another very good attacker against Lucario/Crobat since it resists Fighting attacks. Double Colorless Energy is very important in this matchup because it's pretty easy to build up Regice in two turn or Lugia-EX right away if you have access to it. One very important note for this matchup is that you don't want to bench your Manectric because your opponent would be able to get easy Prizes by using Lysandre to get them into the Active spot to knock them out with Lucario-EX. Overall, I feel like this matchup is pretty even as long as you don't have to rely on Manectric too much, and are able to use Hex Maniac to prevent your opponent from getting some easy Prizes. If you don't manage to get of the Hex Maniac strategy or have to use a lot of Manectric, this matchup is pretty bad, so if you want higher chances of winning, you should include a higher count of Lugia.

Vespiquen

Vespiquen is a pretty good matchup for Manectric for multiple reasons, the first being its HP, which makes it very hard for Vespiquen to kill any M Manectric-EX in one hit. Even with a Muscle Band attached, your opponent would need seventeen Pokémon in the discard pile to one-shot a M Manectric-EX. A lot of people tried out Faded Town when they first build their Vespiquen decks, but most players switched to Forest of Giant Plants, or just stopped playing Stadiums altogether. It's also pretty good for any kind of Manectric decks that Vespiquen variants rely heavily on Shaymin-EX, which is always a free Knock Out if you have a Lysandre in hand. Articuno can come in handy when you condider that its base damage is already 40 plus another 20 with Muscle Band, which allows you to knock out any Flareon or Basics, aside from Shaymin EX, without even worrying about flips.

Hex Maniac is also a very good card for this matchup because it prevents the opponent from doing a lot, especially if you manage to get a chain of Hex Maniacs going in the first few turns. Hex Maniac prevents the opponent from using Shaymin or Unown for the setup, as well as Flareon's Ability, which would allow your opponent to attach Fire Energy to Vespiquen with Blacksmith. Other possible tech cards in Vespiquen are cards like Ariados from Ancient Origins, which is used to counter cards like Focus Sash, or just to deal an extra amount of damage. Ariados won't affect you that much, because you can simply switch out your Active Manectric for a new one. Switching out is a very good play against Vespiquen in general, to prevent two-hit Knock Outs by using AZ to pick up a damaged M Manectric-EX. If you don't have to bench too many Shaymin-EX or Lugia-EX it should be pretty easy to beat Vespiquen.

Night March

The usual gameplan against Night March is pretty much the same as against Vespiquen, but it's a lot harder to win because Night March can actually one-hit KO your M Manectric-EX without spending too many resources. When playing against Night March, the most important thing is to deny their setup as long as possible, so if you get access to an early Hex Maniac, you could shift the game into your favor pretty quickly. But you have to be careful to not forget your own setup too much, as the Hex Maniac to deny your opponents Shaymin won't help you to setup any attackers. The best approach to win the matchup, if you don't get that early lead, is probably to Lysandre your opponent's Shaymin-EX and knock them out with Turbo Bolt, while powering up an Articuno on your Bench to get an easy two-Prize KO on your opponent's Joltik or Pumkaboo.

If you opponent uses Joltik to attack, you can also attach a Muscle Band to a regular Manectric-EX and knock it out with Overrun while dealing either 20 damage to a Joltik to put it in danger of a second snipe with Overrun, or a knockout by a Manectric-EX that doesn't have a Muscle Band attached to it. You can also attack the Benched Pumkaboo, to put them in danger to get Knocked Out by Overrun from a Muscle Banded Manectric-EX. The advantage of this strategy is that you save Energy because you need only one to attack with Overrun, and also have the chance to get two knockouts in one turn. The disadvantage is that the regular Manectric-EX only has 170 HP, which makes it a lot easier to Knock Out than M Manectric-EX. Overall, I feel like this matchup depends a lot on how well the Manectric player can deny Night March's setup, or how well Night March can set up overall.

Giratina/Seismitoad

This is probably the best possible matchup for Manectric/Regice, because you have so many cards that help against Giratina/Seismitoad. First of all you're basically resilient to most kinds of Energy-removal, because you can attach them back by using Turbo Bolt. Using the strategy of switching out your Manectric and healing them with Rough Seas is the way you usually want to go. If your opponents starts attacking with Giratina-EX, you want to have a Regice ready for action to wall out the Giratina-EX. Head Ringer, Xerosic, and Enhanced Hammer are very strong against Giratina/Seismitoad because they usually play four Double Colorless as well as four Double Dragon Energy and no Basic Energy at all. You can also use multiple Hex Manicas to keep attacking with M Manectric-EX once Giratina hits the field.

One of the few ways for Giratina/Seismitoad to win the game is to deny your setup by using Crushing Hammer and Head Ringer to prevent you from using your M Manectric-EX as fast as possible. That's why you usually don't want to Bench any Manectric EX without having a Tool ready, so unless you need the Manectric immediately, keep it until you've got a Manectric Spirit Link or Muscle Band. Your opponent will most likely statrt attacking with a Seismitoad-EX before powering up a Giratina on the Bench, which will prevent you from using Enhanced Hammer, VS Seeker for Xerosic, or Head Ringer, so try to get these cards out before they're able to lock you.

If you have the chance to get a Xerosic into your hand in your first turn, definitely try it, so you have the option to discard either the Double Colorless from Seismitoad-EX, or save it to discard Energy from your opponent's Benched Giratina. But don't just blindly discard any of them; which Energy you discard depends a lot on your field. If you have a powered up Manectric (M Manectric-EX or a regular one), you want to discard the Energy from Giratina and attack the Seismitoad. If your setup is in danger, you definitely want to discard the Double Colorless Energy from Seismitoad-EX, and hope that your opponent doesn't get one next turn to keep the lock up.

The main reason why you'd rather be attacked by Seismitoad is the Faded Town in combination with Giratina-EX. Giratina/Seismitoad usually plays between two or three Faded Towns, where Manectric plays up to four Rough Seas, which will almost ensure you a win in any Stadium war. But that's the problem with Giratina: if it gets to attack, you won't be able to play your Stadiums at all. However, even if this happens, you can still use Regice, which would put your opponent into a rough position where they would need Lysandre to get knockouts. If using Regice, keep a few things in mind. First of all, don't attach Double Colorless Energy unless necessary. If you attach one, your opponent has four different options to discard it once you start attacking. They could either use Crushing Hammer or Enhanced Hammer to get rid of it using Item cards, but they also have two Supporters that are able to discard it: Team Flare Grunt and Xerosic. Usually you want to attack with Turbo Bolt and attach Energy to Regice. After that, you want to attach some Energy manually to your active Regice to not get destroyed by Crushing Hammer and Team Flare Grunt. Overall, this matchup is very good for Manectric and you should beat Seismitoad/Giratina pretty easily.

M Rayquaza-EX

As you can probably already tell, this matchup is very easy for the Manectric deck as it's able to Knock Out M Rayquaza-EX in one hit, unless your opponent has Altaria in play, but even if they do, you can just use Regice because speed Rayquaza-EX decks usually don't run any kind of non-EX attackers to deal with Regice. If you're playing against slower Rayquaza decks like Metal Ray, you obviously don't want to use Regice because they can just knock you out with Heatran, or even Bronzong itself. On top of that, you have cards like Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic to prevent your opponent from swarming attackers, as well as Hex Maniac to deny Abilities like Shaymin-EX's Set Up, or Hoopa-EX's Scoundrel Ring. Head Ringer is also very good if your opponent doesn't manage to get Spirit Links on his Rayquaza-EX, forcing them to attach four Energy to his Rayquaza-EX. Overall, this matchup is pretty easy as long as you don't need too long to set up your first M Manectric-EX. The best way to prevent any early knockouts on your M Manectric-EX is to power it up on your Bench, instead of just placing it in the Active spot and hoping that your opponent doesn't get the first-turn kill, because they often will get it, as it's the deck's strategy.

Tyrantrum

Tyrantrum is a pretty interesting matchup, because a lot of people might rule it in its favour because Tyrantrum can easily knock M Manectric-EX out in one hit with the use of either Muscle Band or Faded Town. Tyrantrum also ignores the effect of Regice's Resistance Blizzard thanks to its Ability Despotic Fang, which allows it to ignore any effects on the Defending Pokémon. But if you take a closer look at this matchup, you will realize that Manectric has the upper hand thanks to a lot of factors that work into its favour, with the first being its speed. M Manectric can usually start hitting with Turbo Bolt or Assault Laser on the second turn whereas Tyrantrum needs four Energy to use its attack. That's the reason why Tyrantrum has to use Double Dragon Energy and Bronzong, to make the setup a lot easier.

But we're playing a lot of cards to prevent them from being useful. The most important card is Hex Maniac, which shuts down the Tyrantrum deck completely, as there is no option for them to attack two turns in a row without using at least Bronzong and Double Dragon Energy, depending on how they want to power up Tyrantrum-EX. Another thing that is very important is that Bronzong can't attach to the Active Pokémon, which is why most players switched their Faded Towns to Sky Field to be able to fit Hydreigon-EX onto their Bench without having to worry about the space. But as you might have already guessed, Hydreigon-EX's Ability is also blocked by Hex Maniac, which prevents the Tyrantrum deck from attacking at all. If your opponent has to attach Double Dragon Energy in a turn where they aren't going to attack, you can simply discard them by using Enhanced Hammer or Xerosic, but that's not going to happen very often, because Tyrantrum usually wants to attach a Double Dragon Energy and discard it right away. The last  strong card in this deck is Head Ringer, since Tyrantrum would need five Energy to attack, which is already a lot, but he also has to discard three of them. So as you can see, this matchup is very good for M Manectzric-EX, especially thaks to all these Item and Supporter cards which come in handy against decks that are very reliant on Special Energy and Abilities.

Giratina/Aromatisse

I haven't tested this matchup too much because it just got some popularity recently, so this is pretty much all theoretical. I feel like this matchup is just going to be an easier version of the Seismitoad/Giratina matchup. Xerosic, Enhanced Hammer, and Head Ringer are very good cards against Giratina-EX in general, and this deck makes no exeption. You can pretty much deny their whole setup by using Hex Maniac and Xerosic or Enhanced Hammer to prevent them from attacking, because they either have to attach two Double Dragon Energy or use Aromatisse's Ability to move the Energy to Giratina. Both ways take at least two turns, which allows us to get our setup going and apply some pressure early on.

Like in the Seismitoad/Giratina matchup, Regice is very good against this deck, because the only option to knock out Regice attacking with Xerneas, which has to have a Muscle Band attached to it, or with Aromatisse, which is just so bad, that they would probably only do it as a last resort. Overall, I feel like this matchup should be heavily in Manectric/Regice's favour, as long as you don't get too greedy and find yourself out of cards like Regice and Hex Maniac.

Now that I've discussed these matchups, I want to take a look at some cards that you might include in your lists, which I haven't really discussed. Let's start with some possible attackers that some of you might not have thought about.

Zapdos ROS

Zapdos fullfills the same role as Articuno and Regice: it's a decent non-EX attacker. The advantage of Zapdos is that you won't need any kind of other Basic Energy to power it up, as you already have Lighting Energy in any deck with Manectric-EX. The reason why I don't run it is just the simple fact that it's usually played in decks that don't want to run any other Basic Energy at all, so it's a lot more useful in a straight M Manectric deck with cards like Lugia-EX, where you're not relying on different-type attackers like Regice or Articuno. But if you want to run a more straight version, you should definitely include it into your list.

Yveltal-EX

Like Zapdos, this one is also a card that you don't include into Manectric/Regice because you would have to base your whole deck around it to make it useful. The point of playing Yveltal is that it's a very good EX attacker which also covers the Weakness of Manectric with its Fighting Resistance. You can also include the non-EX Yveltal as an cheap attacker against cards like Regice, but I would probably suggest sticking to Zapdos as your non-EX attacker.

Ariados AOR

The idea behind playing Ariados is to counter Mienshao, as this is by far Manectric's worst matchup, aside from decks like Lucario/Machamp, which probably won't be seen in competitive play. I don't think that you should include Ariados unless you feel like a lot of Mienshao is being played in your area and you still want to stick with Manectric

Zubat/Golbat/Crobat PHF

Manectric/Crobat, in most cases with Seismitoad-EX, has been around for a while, but it could see a lot of play in the future. The reason behind it is that Crobat counters a lot of decks like Mienshao, Night March, and Vespiquen, just to name a few. I feel like it could also be very good to play this deck with Articuno, as it opens a lot of possibilities to get three Prize knockouts on Shaymin-EX or even on other Pokémon-EX if you can spread enough damage with your Bats and Manectric-EX.

Energy Switch

Energy Switch is a pretty nice card in Manectric decks because it makes it possible to sneak in an attacker, or switch out a damaged one for a fresh M Manectric-EX or regular Manectric that you might have just played down from your hand, because you can easily switch one or even more Energy to it, depending on how many Energy Switches you have in your hand. Energy Switch is also very good if you want to save an attacker in your hand to not show it to your opponent. When using Energy Switch, you could simply play the card and attach the Energy that you had in play to it.

Tool Retriever

Tool Retriever is a very nice card in Manectric decks, because it's very versatile. You can use it to get back your Spirit Links for new M Manectric-EX and attach a Muscle Band to the one that had the Spirit Link attached to it before. This is an option to shift the mirror into your favour because it makes it much easier to Knock Out opposing M Manectric-EX in two hits. This wouldn't be possible without Muscle Band thanks to Rough Seas, which would heal M Manectric-EX back to 80 damage after you attacked it with Turbo Bolt, but with Muscle Band they would still have 100 damage left, which would be enough to be Knocked Out by a new Manectric without Muscle Band, or just the Muscle Banded on that attacked the turn before.

Jamming Net

Jamming Net has the same purpose as Head Ringer: it's used to weaken your opponent's Pokémon without even attacking. In my opinion, Head Ringer is a lot better because an additional Energy sets your opponent back more than -20 damage. Jamming Net was mostly used last season when playing the Tool Drop Trubbish, but without it, I feel like Jamming Net lost a lot of its strength.

Mega Turbo

Like Energy Switch, Mega Turbo is a card that can open up for some unexpected situations for your opponent, like when they Knock Out your M Manectric-EX with the last few Energy in play. They would probably feel safe because you won't be able to get a new one into play next turn. However, with Mega Turbo, you can easily get a Manectric next turn as long as you had a Manectric-EX on your Bench to Mega Evolve. You shouldn't play too many of them because it's just a tech, not your main stretegy. I would suggest a count of one or two, just for some sneaky plays.

Acro Bike

As I already mentioned in the first part of the article, Acro Bike is a card that could be included to boost the consistency without running more Supporters than usual, but as I also said, I don't like the choice because you often have to discard very important parts of your strategy if you hit two Spirit Links or a M Manectric-EX and a Double Colorless Energy, just to name some possibilities.

Sacred Ash

Sacred Ash doesn't need a lot of explaining. I just wanted to include it because it's a card that's generally very useful, but a lot of players don't like to include it in their decks. It's decent in Manectric decks because you often have to discard some M Manectric early on, and that's one quick way to get them back.

As you can see, this deck has a lot of good matchups and I feel like it's one of the best deck choices in the current format. I also hope that the tech cards i mentioned gave you some ideas for new decks to try out, because I would really like to see some new M Manectric variants make an appearance and do well. We will have to see how the metagame develops once XY BREAKthrough is released, and how these cards are going to affect certain decks, or even create completely new ones.

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