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Bradley Curcio

Roaring Skies Predictions

Toady I'll be going over some of the cards I like the most, and that I think will have the biggest impact on our curretn format.

04/24/2015 by Bradley Curcio

Introduction

 

Hello again 60cards.net subscribers! With a new set on the horizon, I want to talk with you about the decks I've been starting to test for our next format, as well as some of the cards I feel are going to impact our already vast meta-game the most. With most sets, I feel like there is one obvious combination of cards, as well as a couple of other decent cards that we're able to use, however, this set seems to have a ton of very good cards that should be able to drastically change the metagame we have right now.  First off, I want to talk about my top 5 favorite cards from Roaring Skies. 

Top 5 From Roaring Skies

 

5. Mega Turbo

Almost any card that's been able to reliably excel how quickly you're able to attach energy to your Pokemon has been very good, such as Dynamotor with Eelektrik, Deluge with Blastoise, and even just Dark Patch for any Dark type Pokemon, and every one of those cards have been able to help dominate the meta they were in. Mega Turbo does have some drawbacks, with the restriction of having to be a Mega Pokemon, but allowing any energy, and not forcing the Mega to be on the bench should be able to outweigh the drawbacks, especially since most of the Mega Pokemon have such powerful attacks.

4. Mega Rayquaza EX (Colorless)

If built correctly, you're able to burn through almost your entire deck on the first turn, and with it's insanely good ability, along with Rayquaza's Spirit Link, you are able to Mega Evolve on the first turn of the game! Even with all of that, it still as even more support, such as Sky Field and Mega Turbo, it is able to even attack on the first turn, and fill up your bench with up to 8 Pokemon, doing as much as 240 damage on the very first turn of the game. With such insane damage output, and insane speed, this cards is definitely going to be a huge part of the new metagame.

3. Wally

After the Rare Candy change, and the introduction of big EX Pokemon, evolutions have been pretty lackluster, with a select few being the exception. Since Evolving took more time to set up, and most basic non-EX pokemon being very fragile, having that as your main game plan in the most recent formats was fairly risky. However, Wally has the potential to change all of that. Even though it's your supporter for the turn, being able to Search your deck for a Pokemon, AND involve it, bypassing the Turn 1 Evolution rule, is an extremely powerful effect. I'm not quite sure what Pokemon, or decks will benefit from this the most, but I'm pretty confident there is something it can be abused with. It only gets better as more and more evolutions get released too!

2. Trainer's Post

Cards that are able to thin your deck out, and help you hit specific cards when you need them are always a good thing, since they're able to help you boost the consistency of your deck, leaving losses due to 'bad draws' must less frequent. Cards that are able to do that as a trainer are even better. Trainer's Post allows you to search the top 4 cards of your deck, and putting any 1 trainer you find, including Stadiums and Supporters, directly into your hand. Being able to dig for an Ultra Ball to go an search out a Pokemon you need, a VS Seeker, and/or a Supporter to help draw you more cards, a Muscle Band or Hypnotoxic Laser to help get that little extra damage you need to score a KO on your opponents Pokemon, or even just to thin your deck out even more so you can find anything else you may need, and many more options, is very, very good.

1. Shaymin EX

Drawing cards is how you win games. Being able to always have an Energy to attach, have the right Pokemon you need to attack, have the right Supporters or Items you need for any given circumstance, being able to do all of these things throughout the course of the game is how you're able to win. Unfortunately, drawing cards as of lately has been limited mainly to Supporters, with the rare Pokemon/Items being able to draw you very few cards, aka Acro Bike and Slurpuff, or Empoleon if you're able to either evolve into it, or Archies it onto your bench. However, with Shaymin EX, you're able to draw up to 6(!) cards. If you're able to burn down your entire hand, this card almost functions as a Professor Juniper/Sycamore, without costing your Supporter for the turn, or just drawing you a few cards to help you plan out the rest of your turn with more options. Even better, if your opponent is able to N you down to a low card count, hitting a Shaymin EX, or an Ultra Ball to be able to search one out, can be even better than getting lucky and just getting a Supporter (or Jirachi). With the ability to fill up your entire hand after your opponent gets rid of it, can help you close out games you otherwise might not have been able to.

Probably the most relevant thing this card is able to do, is let you draw through insane numbers of cards on the very first turn of the game, if you build your deck to do so. With so many great options for Trainers, running through your deck is already possible, and even much easier now with Shaymin.

As if that wasn't enough, this card even has a decent attack, with a very reasonable retreat cost. With just 1 energy, you're able to retreat back to any Pokemon you have as the main focus of your deck, and with 2 energy, or 1 Double Colorless energy, you can chip away at your opponents Pokemon, and put the Shaymin, and the energy/any tools you may have attached, right back into your hand, letting you play it down to draw even more cards over and over again. This card is absolutely insane, and you should expect to see quite a bit of it as long as it's around. 

With all that said, next, I'd like to talk about some of the decks that can utilize some of these cards. I've been able to use Proxies to try out some of these decks, but still have a lot of testing to go through once the set actually comes out, since this set has brought so many different great cards, and since this will be our format for Nationals and Worlds, I want to make sure I can really prepare for it.  For now, though, this is what I've been trying out.

Primal Groudon (Mega Turbo) 

I originally played Primal Groudon for week one of States, but with a heavier focus on moving tools around with Masquerian, and slowly setting up the Groudon, hoping to sweep once I was finally able to. However, since this set has potential to speed up the game quite a bit, Groudon will have to speed up as well to make up for it. Since it's still a very big Pokemon, with a giant 240 HP, it's still tough to take down, and a huge problem for decks like Seismitoad, therefore I feel it still has a lot of potential in the right meta-game. This is the list I've been testing out for Post Roaring Skies.

 

3 Mega Turbo

This deck is able to discard energy very quickly, through the use of Scorched Earth and Ultra Ball, so being able to re-attach those energy onto the Primal Groudon helps power it up much quicker. With insanely good draws, you can have one attacking as early as Turn 2, but more realistically, having one powered up on Turn 3 is very plausible. Being able to hide behind Landorus, who is able to also power up your Groudon, or a Landorus EX, who is able to chip away at Pokemon who may be harder to deal with with just one Gaia Volcano, while still being able to attach multiple energy per turn to your Primal Groudon can be too much for your opponent to deal with. Especially since none of their items/supporters will be able to effect your Groudon.

 

6 Stadiums, 4 Scorched Earth, 2 Silent Lab

With 6 Stadiums, you're able to make sure you not only win the Stadium war, but also to make it much more difficult to miss a Stadium when you need one to deal a massive 200 damage with Gaia Volcano.

Scorched Earth will help you draw through your deck and hit the cards you need, when you need them, while simultaneously putting Fighting energy in the Discard pile, ready to be re-used with either Mega Turbo, or Landorus' Shout of Power.

Silent Lab should hopefully be able to slow down some of the decks that can just put out too much pressure too quickly, such as Night March, or Colorless Mega Rayquaza EX based decks, by shutting off a lot of their draw power. If you're able to have a Silent Lab in play early on, and your opponent isn't able to get rid of it, it should give you plenty of time to set up your Groudon before they're able to overwhelm you with sheer power.
1 Focus Sash, 1 Hard Charm, 1 Muscle Band

Since you're forced to attach so many energy to your Primal Groudon already, having to skip a turn to Primal Evolve isn't always as bad as it may seem. Having one powered up with a Focus Sash, or a Hard Charm, is even more intimidating vs almost any deck, and can help you win games that would otherwise prove difficult. Although Muscle Band can be used on Groudon, you already so much damage with Gaia Volcano, so it's mainly here for both Landorus' attacks. With the help of Strong Energy and Muscle Band, both Landorus are able to put out respectable amounts of damage that you're opponent shouldn't be able to ignore, giving you the time you need to set up your Groudon. Best of all, all these tools are searchable to Korrina, making them easy to find when you need them for specific match-ups.

1 Scramble Switch, 1 Max Potion

Even with Mega Turbo, powering up a Groudon still takes quite a bit of time. However, a lot of decks are unable to deal with a Primal Groudon in just one hit, and with it's heavy HP and survivability, it's usually able to stick around. Being able to Scramble Switch onto another full HP Primal Groudon can almost seal your victory over your Opponent. Since your Landorus are able to attack with just one energy, being able to hide behind them and let them take the damage for your, and then eventually healing it all off with Max Potion to deny the Prizes to your opponent, you're then able to force them to deal with your Groudons.

Mega Rayquaza EX (Colorless) 

Like I said in the synopsis in my top 5 cards, a deck built with just speed can overwhelm your opponent before they're even able to build anything up, which is exactly what this build aims to do. With tons of Draw Power, and cards that can thin out your deck, with a decent hand, you're able to burn through almost your whole deck on just the first turn of the game, and hit for tons of damage. This is the list I've been testing out with the new set.

 

4-3 Rayquaza EX

As your main attacker, and ideal starter, maxing out on the basic EX is necessary. Running 3 Mega Rayquaza helps you to draw into it when you need it, leaving your Pokemon Search cards to be used mainly for Shaymin EX's to draw through your deck. 

4 Shaymin EX

Being able to use this card as many times are you're able to on the first turn of the game is the reason this deck works. With so many trainer cards, you're frequently able to burn your hand down to very few, or even no cards, and then are immediately able to refill your entire hand thanks to it's ability.  Because of this, the deck is able to set up quickly, being able to even attack for Rayquaza's max damage, 240, on even the first turn of the game.

1-1 Altaria EX

One of Rayquaza's biggest weakness is well, his weakness to lightning. With cards like Raichu who has a similar attack to Rayquazas', or any other Lightning Pokemon are able to deal out a lot of damage back to Rayquaza, some even able to knock it out in just one hit. Altaria is able to remove that weakness, allowing your Rayquaza to dish out even more havoc on your opponents Pokemon before it's able to be Knocked Out.


3 Exeggcute

While this card might seem out of place at first, it's inclusion is very important to the deck. With cards like Battle Compressor, putting them in your discard pile very early on is very easy. You're then able to instantly able to abuse it's ability to use cards like Ultra Ball or Computer Search without having to discard potentially useful cards in your hand! Most importantly though, you're able to bench the Exeggcutes if needed to deal extra damage with Emerald Break. If you've filled your bench up to 8 with Sky Field, you are then forced to discard Pokemon on your bench until you're back to the 'normal' number of 5. If you discard all of your Exeggcute, you're able to Propagate them back into your hand, and put them right back onto the bench as soon as you're able to put down another Sky Field!

3 Sky Field

Speaking of, this is the reason that Mega Rayquaza is able to dish out tons of damage. Being able to deal 30x the number of benched Pokemon you have is already a pretty solid attack, normally maxing out at 150, but bringing the max number of benched Pokemon you're able to have to 8, you're able to max out at an absurd 240 damage! With Exeggcute, you're not even as worried about your stadium being countered, since they can just go right back onto your bench.

1 Winona

Since you're able to just use Shaymin to draw through a lot of cards in your deck, being able to search out Pokemon can sometimes be all you need. Searching out a Rayquaza EX, the Mega Rayquaza EX, and a Shaymin EX with just one card has a lot of potential. Since you don't need this card all the time, playing just one seems to be the best option, especially since you can search it out with Jirachi if needed, or discard it with Battle Compressor and reuse it with Vs Seeker.

4 Trainer's Post

Digging through your deck to find an Ultra Ball to continue the Shaymin Draw chain, a Skyfield to begin filling up your bench, a Spirit Link to Mega Evolve your Rayquaza EX without having to skip your turn, or so many more options, this card is able to help you quickly and consistently run through your deck. With over half your deck being potential targets for Trainer's Post, whiffing one is pretty rare, but since you don't have to reveal the cards you're looking at, whiffing it is always an option if you feel you need to.

3 Mega Turbo

Since Rayquaza needs 3 Energy to attack, using just a Double Colorless energy isn't possible to attack on the first turn of the game. However, with cards like Battle Compressor, Ultra Ball, and Professor Sycamore, getting a basic energy into your discard pile is fairly easy, so using Mega Turbo to put that energy right onto Mega Rayquaza EX makes it very possible to attack with Mega Rayquaza EX as quickly as possible.

Night March

Next up, we have an old deck that I feel has quite a bit of potential with some of the new cards, Night March. This deck is already very quick, and adding even more speed to the deck sounds amazing. Another problem the deck had was running out of Pokemon that you're able to attack with, forcing you to run multiple copies of Mew EX in your deck, potentially messing up with your prize trades.  However, with Revive being reprinted, I don't think Mew is needed nearly as much as before. Without further adieu, this my current list to the newer version of Night March.



1 Empoleon

Since the deck is still able to burn through it's hand, I feel like the combo with Archies and Empoleon is still very good. Even though Shaymin is able to draw you more cards on average, being able to constantly draw extra cards every turn, and even discarding either Night Marchers, or useless cards you don't need, seems too good to pass up.


4 Trainer's Post

Much like the Rayquaza deck, this card is insane in Night March as well, since this deck plays even more potential targets. You want to be able to hit your Battle Compressors and Ultra Balls as soon as possible, your Supporters to be able to draw into everything you need to dish out a lot of damage very quickly, and even your Stadiums, Switches, Silver Bangles, or anything else when you need it. This card helps you do all of that in just one card, what's not to love!


3 Revive

Originally having to discard too many Night Marchers could make you lose the game, however, with the re-introduction of Revive into the format, you're able to play much more risky with what you discard. Having a lone Night Marcher attacking, with 11 others in the discard, can do a whopping 220 damage (or 250 with a Silver Bangle!), and even if your opponent is able to return the Knock Out, you can revive it and do it all over again. Because of that, I feel like you're able to get rid of Mew EX from the deck, since you're no longer worried about losing too many of your Night Marchers. Forcing your opponent to take 6 actual prizes is much better than just letting just 3 Mews get Knocked Out.

1 Town Map

With Primals and Megas being around, prizing just one Night Marcher can mean the difference between a one hit Knock Out, and a two hit Knock Out. Also, with just single copies of a lot of Supporters, and even Empoleon, being able to take them out of your Prizes when you need them is very important. Being able to manipulate what you draw off your Prizes after you're able to take a Knock Out is also great, since you're able to know you'll be getting that Supporter, Item, or Energy card you may need for the upcoming turn.


4 Dimension Valley

Even though you no longer need to use the Stadium for Mew EX to attack, I still think this is the best Stadium for the deck, since attacking with Pumpkaboo is sometimes much better than using Joltik. Most importantly though, you don't want your opponent to be able to dictate what Stadium stays in play, so maxing out on Dimension Valley seemed like the best option.


2 Silver Bangle

Since Mew EX is no longer needed in the deck, Silver Bangle is almost exclusively better than Muscle Band. You don't need the extra damage to be able to Knock Out most non-EX Pokemon, but you definitely need the extra damage to be able to deal with Mega and Primal EXs.


4 Double Colorless Energy, no Basic

Since you're only worried about using Night March, and Joltik and Pumpkaboo both need a Double Colorless in order to be able to attack, playing any other energy didn't seem necessary. With Lysandre's Trump Card to shuffle them back into your deck if you absolutely needed, playing extra energy seemed like a waste. If you're very worried about cards like Aegislash, or want to be able to attack with Empoleon if you had to, playing a couple Basic Water Energy would help, but I don't think it's worth the space currently. 

Turn 1 Trevenant

This was the first thought that came to mind when I, along many others, first ready Wally. This deck plays very similar to the Seismitoad EX decks everybody has been seeing.

Trainer lock in general is already very good, but trainer lock on the first turn, before your opponent even has a chance to play items, can just outright win you the game. With so many great trainers that people abuse to burn through their decks, without them, their decks extremely suffer. Here is the list I've been trying out.


Ironically, this deck is built to quickly prevent your opponent from being able to use Items, yet abuses plenty of items itself.  Because of this, you're able to quickly and effectively dictate the pace of the game.  With so many different ways to prevent your opponent of setting anything up, you're able to just sit back and slowly take the win.

4-3 Trevenant

Phantump is your ideally starter in the deck.  Since you want to have a Trevenant in your active spot starting from the first turn of the game, and for every turn after, running as many copies as possible is ideal.  However, since you can search out Trevenant with Wally, running 4 copies of it aren't as needed, especially since you don't want it clogging your hand while you're abusing Shaymin's ridiculously good ability.

4 Shaymin EX

Since you want to use Wally on the first turn of the game, being able to draw into it without having to use Supporters to do so is a must.  Luckily, Shaymin is able to potentially draw you a ridiculous amount of cards early, and quickly. Best of all, you're doing it all without having to use a single supporter. Also, since you're focused on item locking for as long as possible, you can constantly use Shaymin EX to attack, bouncing it back into your hand for just a Double Colorless Energy, and then promoting Trevenant back to the active spot!  Doing so helps deal damage for little energy, while keeping your opponents from being able to use their items, and then you can draw even more cards with Shaymin!


4 Trainer's Post

Just like the other decks, being able to thin out your deck, and search out specific Trainers is too good to pass up, especially since you can even grab your Wally with it if you want!  You want to be able to burn through your deck as quickly as possible, as giving your opponent even just one turn of using their Items can sometimes be all they need.

4 Hynotoxic Laser/2 Virbank City Gym

Most of the time, you'll be attack with Shaymin EX, so doing a measly 30 Damage, or 50 with Muscle Band isn't going to Knock anything out quickly enough.  Tacking on a lot of poison damage through the Hynotoxic Lasers will help. If you're lucky enough to keep your opponent asleep, and have a Trevenant in your active position, their options are suddenly even more limited for their upcoming turns.

4 Crushing Hammer, 3 Head Ringer

Your opponent being able to just attach energy and power up a Pokemon is still a threat to the deck, so being able to stop them, or at the very least, slow them down, is required to make sure you're able to take the win over your opponent.  Even though Crushing Hammer is a flip, since you can reuse Shaymin EX multiple times throughout the game, you can also keep reusing Lysandre's Trump Card, to try and play a ton of Crushing Hammers turn after turn, usually getting enough heads to nullify what your opponent is trying to set up.

3 Float Stone, 1 Muscle Band

Since the focus of the deck is locking your opponents Items, damage is somewhat less important. You need to make sure you can get a Trevenant out as quickly as possible, so retreating anything else in your active is a must. Luckily, Float Stone makes that an easy possibility, giving every Pokemon in your deck free retreat.  Also, since you want to ideally be attacking with Shaymin EX, being able to retreat your Trevenants for free, turn after turn, is a must.

Muscle Band, on the other hand, is very useful for when your able to get your Shaymins to attack over and over again. Since the Muscle Band will go right back into your hand after you attack, you're able to make sure it sticks around.

3 Mystery Energy

Like the float stone, being able to free retreat your Trevenants so you can keep attacking with Shaymin is key. Since you yourself are still susceptible to item lock, playing Mystery energy can help you get around that. Also, this gives you an option to attack with Trevenant, and if you're able to slow your opponent down enough, it will help you close out games even quicker instead of just attacking with Shaymin over and over again. 

Seismitoad/Shaymin

Speaking of trainer lock, last, but definitely not least we have your good old Seismitoad deck. It's been dominating the past format, and there's no reason for that to change now. With so much reliance on trainers, stopping your opponent from using them is fantastic (for you anyways). While Trevenant has the potential to do it quicker, Seismitoad is able to do it more consistently, and behind a tough to deal with 180 HP. While I'm not sure what the best way to run the deck is right now, this version has been proving to be insanely fast and consistent.

 

4 Shaymin EX

Normally Seismitoad decks like to pair something to draw extra cards in a turn, whether it be Archies or Slurpuff, so I think Shaymin is a great fit. Slurpuff will never help you out on the first turn of the game, and even though Archies can, it's not something that will happen every game. Shaymin, on the other hand, can be played with very little set up. Since the deck has so many trainers itself, it can quickly burn through its hand, and quickly find the Double Colorless Energy it needs to start the item lock.

1 Keldeo EX

This is something the Japanese players are extremely fond of, and I can definitely see why. People constantly try to play cards to hopefully force you to break your Item lock for just one turn, as that's usually all an opponent needs to mount a comeback. With cards like Cryognal, Hypnotoxic Laser, or any other effect that could prevent you from attacking, a simple Rush-in and retreating back to a Seismitoad is all you need to continue on preventing them from using their items.

4 Trainer's Post

Since this was my second favorite card of the set, it should be no surprise it keeps showing up in these lists. Again, being able to thin your deck out and get items you need is too good to pass up, even more so in this deck. Having cards like Crushing Hammers, Head Ringers, Hynotoxic Lasers, and even your wide array of Supporters, having Trainer's Post in your arsenal makes getting these items when they're the most relevant much more consistent.


4 Crushing Hammer, 4 Hypnotoxic Laser, 3 Head Ringer

Your core disruption, being able to discard your opponents energy, force them to pay more energy to even attack, and make them take extra damage every turn, while potentially keeping them asleep, all aid you in your path to victory. With Lysandre's Trump Card allowing you to reuse all of these, and Shaymin EX letting you draw back into them, the games can get very frustrating, very quickly, for your opponents.

4 Super Scoop Up

While this card makes appearances in some Seismitoad variants, especially ones that use the Zubat, Golbat, and Crobat lines, it's less common to see in others. However, being able to pick up a Seismitoad, along with any Energy or tools it may have attached, get rid of all of it's damage, and play it right back down to continue the item lock is ridiculously good. On top of that, being able to potentially re-use your Shaymins ability to draw you cards is way too good to pass up. Being able to abuse Shaymins draw power can help this deck out tremendously, to make sure you don't miss an important card when you most need it.

Conclusion 

I'm still not sure what decks are going to be the most dominate coming out of Roaring Skies, nor do I know all the potential combinations of new decks that may appear, but I hope this has given you some insight to some of the potential decks, both new and old, that I'm pretty sure will have be heavily impacted by our new set. I hope you've enjoyed my latest article, and with it I hope you're able to do some testing of your own and find out what you like best with this new, crazy format!  I still intend to do one more Reginoal, Kansas, before Roaring Skies is legal, but I can not wait until other Regionals, Nationals, and most importantly, Worlds, to play with these new cards.  Thank you for taking the time to ready this, and keep checking up on 60cards.net for more fantastic articles written by some of the best players!

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