How to Sting and Punch in Expanded
As I explore Expanded more and more I realize that there are a very large number of deck that could be considered contenders for any given tournament...
01/12/2016 by Daniel lynch
Table of contents
Hey everyone, Phinnegan again. Last time I gave some insight about Vespiquen in Standard as well as my options for Expanded. This article will serve as a sequel of sorts; focusing on Expanded instead. For the first half I cover my Vespiquen deck. The second half will be about Seismitoad/Giratina. Seismitoad/Giratina is an option that ended up being cut out due to lack of space. I also wanted to cover it in more depth and did not think it would get the proper explanation without being the focus.
As I explore Expanded more and more I realize that there are a very large number of deck that could be considered contenders for any given tournament. Neither Seismitoad/Giratina nor Vespiquen are the best decks in Expanded. Making a claim like that is ridiculous with the current state of the format.
What I can say is that these are two very strong and consistent decks that can make top cut in several metas. I have set up my lists in a way to give an even, or slightly favorable matchup against most things. I find that these type of deck builds lead to strong performances more of the time and reward a player for knowing how to play the deck well.
I did publish an Expanded Vespiquen list in the last article. My current list is similar with a few changes. After talking with Nathian Beck about the deck, we came to the conclusion that certain cards were not needed, and that others could swing matchups favorably. This is my updated list:
Expanded Vespiquen 2.0
- 4x Vespiquen
- 4x Combee
- 4x Flareon
- 2x Eevee
- 2x Eevee
- 4x Unown
- 4x Shaymin EX
- 1x Audino
- 2x Jirachi
- 1x Wobbuffet
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 1x N-supporter
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 1x AZ
- 1x Town Map
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 2x Silver Bangle
- 1x Blacksmith
- 1x Life Dew
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
- 3x Fire Energy
The list is not all that unorthodox but I will explain certain card counts and card choices that may seem confusing or arguable.
Life Dew over Computer Search
I am actually a big fan of Computer Search over all other ace specs in most cases. I have found that once a meta evolves enough to have other Vespiquen players playing Town Map and Life Dew, playing your own Life Dew is needed for these mirrors. I did say that Computer Search would result in a consistency boost that helps just as much in the mirror previously. While I do still think Computer Search is almost as helpful, the small boost you get from Life Dew is needed in an environment of skilled players.
The other benefit in Life Dew is that the Prize trade that normally will fall in Night March's favor, no longer does. Usually they will take a knock out on their first turn, resulting in a back and forth trade where they stay ahead. Ignoring the fact that someone will most likely Lysandre and knock Shaymin-EX, Life Dew will lead to you winning.
I am absolutely in love with this card. I find myself putting it in more and more decks. With this list specifically, it is a necessity for me. There are several one-ofs in this deck, most notably N, Hex Maniac, Lysandre, Wobbuffet, AZ and Blacksmith. There is around a ten percent chance of prizing any of these.
When you do have one of these cards Prized it can be detrimental. In any matchup having Lysandre Prized can be the reason you lose. Against Yveltal/Archeops, having Hex Maniac or Wobbuffet Prized will most likely make a huge difference. And against Seismitoad/Giratina, having Blacksmith Prize will make you lose.
For these reasons, Town Map is a must. The alternative is to play multiple copies of each card; this choice is obviously not going to work. Town Map saves room, promotes consistency and save you time that would have been spent searching your deck. There are other benefits with it, but I feel like I have already covered this card's use extensively in other pieces.
2 Jirachi (XY 67)
Recently Jirachi has seen a huge increase in play. This card can swing auto losses into favorable matchups in many cases. Seismitoad in particular is heavily hindered by Jirachi. After using Stardust, most of the time item lock will be lifted for at least one turn. This can be enough to bring you back into a game. It will give you a chance to recover Supporters with VS Seeker and Ultra Ball for whatever is needed.
With one copy, you may struggle to find Jirachi. With two, you can reliably draw into it even under item lock. If your opponent ends up using Lysandre to knock out a Jirachi, you have another one ready to go. If one is prized, the second one is there. Two just provides needed consistency in a matchup that otherwise can be a problem.
Wobbuffet was added to deal with Archeops. Yveltal/Archeops is about a 60/40 matchup in favor of Yveltal without Wobbuffet. The one card swaps these number, making it so Yveltal is no longer a problem. The card does have some use outside of the Yveltal matchup. I have found it to be helpful in fringe situations against many decks. It can be troublesome as a starter, but with twenty (yes twenty) basics in the deck, it is not likely at all that you will be forced to start with it.
This card also serves as a great way to improve your Archie's Blastoise Matchup. Normally a Blastoise deck with Victini (NV 14) will have around a 60/40 matchup against Vespiquen. With Wobbuffet I consider to be 50/50. In the matchups section bellow I will explain how to make the best use of Wobbuffet.
In theory this card is nice; in practice it has been rarely useful. I have found that it was almost always compressed away and I only actually used stellar guidance maybe one in 6 to 8 games. Much of the time I would have preferred the card to be a fourth Shaymin, which lead the change you now see in the list.
In all of my testing, this card has had literally no use except to be discarded with battle compressor. I remember two days ago I actually pointed out to my opponent that this was the first time I had actually Evolved Eevee into Jolteon.
The card was there to help against Mega Rayquaza decks. It also serves as a nice way to retreat an Eevee out of the active if you have to start with it. In reality, you can one-shot Mega Rayquaza without Jolteon. If you find yourself in a situation where Mega Rayquaza is too much to take, you can always bring up one of the Jirachi and knock off a double colorless for the turn.
I actually never ended up using the Jolteon to retreat an Eevee. The card also has not helped once against Yveltal. I think the only reason people play Jolteon is because Jimmy O’Brien had one in his list. I am not a fan.
There are an innumerable amount of decks in Expanded. I will do my best to cover all of the matchups for the top/most played decks in Expanded. The idea behind this is to give anyone a decent idea of how to play Vespiquen with no experience. I want a new player to be able to come away from this piece having a decent idea of how to play the deck.
To start, I will cover the mirror.
There are a few ways this matchup can go. Many people will tell you that the outcome will be heavily dependent on who draws better. While drawing well is a big part of it, I am a big proponent of the idea that the better player will win far more of the time.
Throughout the game it is very important to remember that Shaymin-EX does have an attack. The game is a Prize race rather than a situation where you want to disrupt your opponent's board state. This is because Vespiquen is extremely consistent and needs very little to take knock outs. Picking Shaymin back up can be very important, so remember, you can Sky Return.
Whenever you see a Shaymin-EX hit the Bench, target it down quickly. There are always exceptions, however most of the time your best bet is to take the cheap knock out. The most common exception to this is when you have taken three Prizes. At this point you actually would rather take one Prize, because of N. Getting N'd into two cards is far better than one. With two cards (plus draw for turn), you have the ability to Ultra Ball for a Shaymin Ex, or Computer Search for something. The other quite obvious benefit is that it is one more card that could be a Supporter that you need.
It is important to note that in that situation if you are on the other side of the game, seeing that your opponent has taking three Prizes, you can feel free to Bench as many Shaymin as you like. It can be difficult to save Shaymin until this point in the game, although when you do it can be very worth it.
If the game goes to a war between Bees and Flareon, someone will run out of double colorless first, or won’t draw it at the right time. You need to make sure you have the ability to Blacksmith at a convenient time. You should have plenty of Battle Compressor to use on Fire and the Blacksmith. Make it a priority to give yourself this option.
Getting other one-of Supporters discarded is going to be more important than compressing Pokémon, considering you only need to have seven Pokémon in the discard to knock out to knock out an opposing Vespiquen with your Vespiquen. The only one-of Supporter I tend to keep in the deck is N. I like to draw it naturally to save VS Seekers.
That should sum up the match. In short, only Bench Shaymin at the right time, make use of Blacksmith and take cheap knock outs.
People seem to have this idea that Seismitoad is favored. I cannot see why. Vespiquen acting as the main attacker is a grass type that easily one shots their main attacker with little set up. On top of that you have two Jirachi to stop the item lock onslaught.
There is the problem of Silent Lab. In my testing, if the Seismitoad player can get a Silent Lab down, there may be a shot at them winning simply because it can cause the Vespiquen player to dead draw. Even when this does happen, much of the times I would get out of the Supporter drought by using Intelligence gathering to fill up my hand.
Another way Seismitoad can win is by getting rid of all the Energy in the Vespiquen deck. Unfortunately sometimes you will have no control over the conservation of your Energy. You may end up with a hand full of Energy and Sycamore, forcing you to ditch your DCEs. There is not a whole lot you can do to conserve Energy, except to keep the mindset of conservation rather than aggression. Do not play Sycamore when you do not have to.
This matchup is not as difficult as many seem to think. Take advantage of Jirachi, one-shot when you can and try to hold onto Energy.
The strategy is fairly similar to the strategy against Seismitoad Crobat. The difference being the importance in using Blacksmith well. This matchup is far more difficult because of Giratina, although you still have access to Jirachi. Whichever lock they choose to use will be lifted at some point (most likely). Your Fire Energy are more valuable in this matchup in particular because you can use them to Blacksmith or to use Stardust.
Time Blacksmith well, take advantage of your Fire Energy and use both Jirachi.
This matchup is near impossible to lose if you play correctly. Inexperienced Vespiquen players may end up going to aggressive and discarding too many attackers, or discarding too much Energy. What you really need to do is conserve Energy and play far more passively. It is more important to conserve VS Seeker and Double colorless than it is to take a turn two knock out.
VS Seekers are very important because Blacksmith will be your best friend. A route that Groudon players tend to take is; try to discard all double colorless Energy on your side, making it so they can set up two Groudon and sweep all of your Pokémon later in the game. Knowing this, you can take your time setting up an attacker with two basic fire and save DCEs for later in the game.
It is important to not Bench any Shaymin-EX. This will hinder your drawing power, however it is necessary to make sure the Groudon player cannot take-EX knock outs. Wobbuffet will stop you from using set up for most of the game, so you aren't missing out on much. They usually play Tropical Beach, make sure to take advantage of that.
As long as you conserve resources and never go too aggressive, you will win 99% of the time.
Once upon a time, this matchup was considered an auto win for Vespiquen. Once Victini (NV 14) became an inclusion in most list, it became more of the opposite. With this list, I think it is more of a 50/50.
Starting with Wobbuffet is obviously a huge advantage, although starting with it is not easy when you only play one copy. When going first, you can attach to whatever you started with, Ultra Ball for Wobbuffet and retreat to it. Discarding a Double Colorless to pull this off will be troublesome but overall will be worth it. Try to retreat with a fire if possible. Doing this will slow the game down enough to make sure you can set up your board and hand before you start swinging.
You also want to make sure you can use Hex Maniac as often as possible. Every time you attack with Vespiquen it should be done to take an-EX knock out, or should be done after playing Hex Maniac. Otherwise you should probably just leave Wobbuffet in the active and keep setting things up.
Flareon will not help you out much in this matchup. You can set up one for insurance if you feel the need to. The water weakness causes Articuno to take Prizes even more easily and the lack of free retreat can be hindering.
I do want to play a Float Stone in this deck, and am currently trying to find a way to fit it. If you somehow find a way to do so, Sky Returning into Wobbuffet turn after turn can be very helpful. As it is I cannot fit the Float Stone; if played, it would increase your chances of winning slightly.
Finally it is important to remember that Articuno can one-shot Shaymin-EX, which means you have to think about what is going on with your opponent's hand before playing Shaymin. If you already have one or two Benched then a third probably will not make a difference. If you have not dropped any yet, be very mindful about what you are signing yourself up for.
This is a very poor matchup. With only one Lysandre this list is at even more of a disadvantage than other Vespiquen lists. My advice is to try your best to conserve Lysandre and VS Seeker. This is as close to an auto loss as a deck can get. Do not beat yourself up about taking a loss to it.
Honestly I have not tested this matchup much just because I know how it will end.
Initially this matchup was thought be slightly unfavorable. Night March essentially does what Vespiquen does, but faster. For this reason it can seem to be tough. Life Dew helps to nullify this speed, swinging the trade back into your favor. The Night March player is also forced to start with Mew-EX some of the time which will provide a couple of easy Prizes at some point in the game.
The Night March player is more dependent on Shaymin-EX, meaning they will end up Benching more of them than you. Play this match similarly to how you would play the Vespiquen mirror. Take easy Prizes when possible and never become reckless with Energy. It's actually fairly easy to win if you play well.
This matchup comes down to timing of Hex Maniac and Lysandre. From both sides, the goal is to use Hex as much as possible to try to stop the opponent from one-shotting. From the Vespiquen side you have to be wary of the fact that the Mega Rayquaza player does have two Hex Maniac and a flock of draw cards ready to search them out.
Knowing that, it is important to use Set Up as much as you can while you still can. I try to Lysandre up easy knock outs early game instead of trying to one shot Mega Rayquaza. By the time you do have to take down a Mega Ray, you should have enough Pokémon in the discard pile to do so.
Using Jirachi is an attractive option although it usually is not as strong as going for the one-shot on something else. Use Jirachi if you have to, but otherwise just use it at fodder for Battle Compressor.
There are two versions of Yveltal at the moment. The version of Yveltal without Archeops is far easier to beat; so I will mostly focus on the version that does play Archeops.
Your mindset early game should be to get three Eevee or Combee down on the first turn and then evolving them on the second turn. This may seem very obvious, although in most matchups you only really need one attacker set up by your second turn. Knowing that Archeops will be an obstacle as soon as it hits the board, you need as much board set up as quickly as possible.
When your opponent pulls off a turn one Archeops, you will be forced to resort to either the Wobbuffet or Hex Maniac. Hex has the down side of needing to be VS Seeker’d for (in most cases). This means that you should Ultra Ball for Wobbuffet quickly to give yourself another option.
If you do decide to use Wobbuffet make sure you can make it count. When you do decide to send up the Wobb, you want to Evolve two or three of your Pokémon. If you find that you will only be able to Evolve one, it is not worth your time. As always, do not forget that Set Up cannot be used while Wobbuffet is active.
Most of the struggle in the matchup is getting your attackers going, so once that's done you should win the Prize trade.
That should sum up all of the big decks in Expanded. As you can see, most of them are positive, with the exception of Donphan. Vespiquen is currently my top choice over anything else...except possibly Seismitoad/Giratina. Vespiquen has options, it is consistent, and has plenty of good matchups.
Now that we have the Queen covered, I will go over the King
This deck actually can take down the queen bee if built and played correctly. There is one card in particular that can swing the matchup, that I will cover bellow.
This is the list that my teammates have come up with.
Seismitoad Giratina Espeon
- 3x Seismitoad EX
- 2x Giratina EX
- 1x Keldeo EX
- 1x Hoopa EX
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 1x Eevee
- 1x Espeon
- 1x Jirachi EX
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 2x N-supporter
- 1x Colress
- 3x VS Seeker
- 2x Lysandre
- 1x Ghetsis
- 1x Xerosic
- 1x Team Flare Grunt
- 4x Super Scoop Up
- 4x Hypnotoxic Laser
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 2x Head Ringer
- 2x Muscle Band
- 3x Crushing Hammer
- 1x Enhanced Hammer
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Virbank City Gym
- 1x Silent Lab
- 1x Computer Search
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
- 3x Double Dragon Energy
As you can probably tell, the card that helps against Vespiquen is Espeon. I have to give credit to Michael Perez on this one, it was his idea. This list is pretty teched out with several one-ofs. I decided not to include some cards that many would consider staples in the deck. The section bellow will explain these changes.
I will not pretend that this is consistent in the slightest. It is not. I feel that now with the huge amount of play Jirachi is getting, some way of dealing with it is needed. In case this whole thing is not making any sense to you, Espeon makes it so Stardust no longer discards any Special Energy. On top of that, Jirachi will not have immunity to damage after using Stardust because the card says "If you do (discard the Energy), prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon".
There are a couple problems involved with this strategy. First of which being that if they play Hex Maniac, they can still stardust and it retains all effects. The other problem is that there is only a 1-1 line. This means that if you draw the Espeon first, it may have to be discarded.
My argument (to counter my own argument) is that in the matchups where you need Espeon, Eevee will be one of the first cards you Ultra Ball for, meaning you will not have to discard Espeon as often. Prizing part of it is a problem, although you should only Prize part of the line about one in five games. These aren't great chances but they work.
An alternative route to go would be through Milotic. I really like Milotic because you can rationalize cutting another card for a thicker line, considering it can retrieve cards. Still, Espeon stops Jirachi entirely which is a better use of the space in my opinion. If you use Milotic, you can retrieve the Double Colorless, but Jirachi might take away anywhere from one to three of your Energy.
It is more important to counter Jirachi as hard as possible. Espeon is the best way I can find to do that at the moment. I have tested Espeon and it definitely is consistent enough. It may look weird but it works.
I was previously against this card. Jeffery Cheng recently convinced me that it is worth the space. When playing only one Keldeo and two Float Stone, it is important to make sure you can get Keldeo out whenever you need it. Hoopa is also nice just for fetching Shaymin or Jirachi. I really am not a fan of having a completely dead card on the Bench, nevertheless the consistency makes it worth the slot.
3 Crushing Hammer 1 Enhanced Hammer
I am not a fan of three crushing whatsoever, but when you fit Espeon in, something needs to be cut. There was absolutely no room anywhere else. I figure, the one Enhanced Hammer can somewhat make up for the lack of a forth Crushing. One could make the argument that a forth Crushing would be more consistent, and it would. Yet with the huge popularity of Special Energy, I think the one Enhanced is more important.
3 VS Seeker
Some people hate to see this count. I personally have no problem with it. After playing at a Cities with this deck and testing it for hours upon hours, I can confirm that three is enough if you understand how to conserve them properly. I can see it being a little bit more of a problem now that there are not as many Xerosic in the deck. Nothing that cannot be handled by strong play.
People have a habit of using VS Seeker any time they can. Just think to yourself, "Do I need to use VS Seeker right now"? Much of the time you can do without it, the deck is designed to be ok without it.
This card has been consistently helpful. I feel like people forget how strong Colress actually is. This is especially true in decks that play Hoopa. The problem of not getting enough cards is not present as much of the time now that you can fill up your Bench on your first turn with very little trouble.
Colress has also been nice for conserving resources. In a deck where there are several situational resources that you need all of, shuffling in to get high numbers is crucial. I really have no idea why I played this deck without a Colress, the card is godly. I am actually considering cutting a Sycamore for a second copy, but that just seems...wonky, I suppose.
2 Muscle Band/2 Float Stone
I am not a big fan of two Float Stone, but as I said earlier Hoopa helps to make it less of a problem. A third copy is nice but not needed. With four Super Scoop Ups and the packed tight list, I cannot rationalize a third.
Two Muscle Band is not a problem. People think that Toad always need three Band but in reality the two is all you need in most cases. Just like the Float Stones, I cannot rationalize a third. It just is not important enough.
2 Virbank, 1 Silent Lab
Two Virbank is somewhat obvious. My current Seismitoad Bats list actually only plays one (and two Silent Lab). The reason I did not swap the stadium counts in this list is because Vespiquen is less of a threat. I actually very much do like playing two Silent Lab, and the counts could be swapped in the future. As it is, I like the added damage from the second Virbank.
0 AZ 0 Hex Maniac
I have not found these cards to be needed, that is why they were cut.
In reality, Seismitoad/Giratina has better matchups overall when compared to Vespiquen. The problem is that it is also less consistent. I prefer Vespiquen for Cities just because of best of one matches. For Regionals I would suggest Seismitoad/Giratina instead.
The rest of this piece will go over how to play matchups with this Seismitoad/Giratina list. I will cover the same matchups as discussed in the Vespiquen half.
If your opponent is inexperienced this matchup will be a walk in the park. Assuming they are not, you are slightly favored. The strategy is to simply power up two Giratina and an Espeon; then start rolling with Chaos Wheel. You do not want to use Chaos Wheel unless you have another Energy attached to a Benched Giratina.
It's also nice to get rid of Energy attached to Benched attackers because it will lessen the chance of your Giratina going down once you start swinging. Getting out Espeon fairly quickly is important, although it isn't the end of the world if you get Stardusted once. You should have an Eevee down by your second turn. Be wary of Bench space because it will fill up quickly.
Ghetsis turn one can be helpful if you have the ability to get an Energy on Giratina as well. You should win about 60% of the time.
I hate playing this matchup. Unfortunately with the addition of Espeon, the second Xerosic is no longer in the list, meaning you no longer have an advantage. It is about 50/50 and most of it is just drawing what you need at the correct time.
It is important to remember that you can use Giratina in this matchup. Giving your opponent items is never fun, but a well-timed Chaos Wheel can pack up a game quickly. This strategy can be hard to pull off, but when a situation arises, make sure you take advantage.
Same idea as with Seismitoad bats. Try to set up Giratina at a good time. Time Xerosic and Flare Grunt well. Try to explode as much as possible on your first turn.
This matchup was tough for me at first, until I realized one thing: They cannot Lysandre and Hex Maniac in the same turn. This is quite obvious but it took me a while to figure out why it matters. This is the reason why you should use Seismitoad-EX for most of the game. Like I said it is obvious that they cannot Lysandre and Hex in the same turn but it is not so obvious that you should use Seismitoad.
You have a ton of time to set up Giratina, so do not worry too much about not getting Giratina set up quickly. Try to get Seismitoad Punching by turn two and if you can pull off a Lysandre on Groudon before they primal Evolve, then go for it. Wait for them to knock out Seismitoad before you attack with Giratina. If you go aggressive with Giratina then it will result in them using Xerosic multiple times on you Double Dragon Energy. Slow and steady wins this race.
This matchup is easy if you can go first. Search out Ghetsis and use it. Then follow up with Quaking Punch and shut them down. If they go first and do not get Archie's, try your best to quaking Punch and play N because that will stop them from manipulating their hand into a turn two Archie's.
In the scary situation when you go second and they get Archie's, things get a lot more complicated. Do not try to use Giratina, Quake over and over. If you can N them into a poor hand with Quaking Punch you might be able to make a comeback. Silent Lab is going to be your best friend, be sure to get that out quickly.
This sort of applies for every deck, if they do play Jirachi then set up Espeon. Do not get over confident and assume that they do not play it. Be safe about it.
Articuno's Chilling Sigh can be problematic without a Keldeo set up; do not rely on Super Scoop Ups to wake your Seismitoad up.
The matchup is a bit difficult if they get Archie's early game. You can definitely still win if you think everything out. Your resources are precious, do not waste them and you will win.
A great matchup, unbelievably easy in fact. Just set up a Giratina and start using Chaos Wheel. You have Xerosic to get rid of any Special Energy they put down early in the game and Crushing hammer to get rid of the four or five Fighting Energy they have left. If you cannot Crushing Hammer off Energy then Lysandre up the Donphan and knock it out. Not difficult at all, just do not use Seismitoad and you will win consistently.
Same strategy as when playing against Vespiquen. Just set up a quick Giratina and another one with an Energy and start swinging. Night March actually does play stadiums which means if you can play Silent Lab down on the same turn as when you are using Chaos Wheel, you are going to get a lot more use out of it.
Silent Lab will also stop them from using Mew's Versatile, meaning they will never be able to take a knock out with one Energy. If the lock is set up well, you cannot lose.
Matchup is a cake walk. They play seven Energy, just get rid of them. Set up Giratina and win quickly. There is VERY little they can do with no Sky Field and no Special Energy.
This is a tougher matchup. There actually is quite a bit to be said about it. I think there is a very large skill gap involved. It also depends heavily on how many items the Yveltal player has in their deck list. If it is the Archeops variant then there is most likely a very high amount.
The count for baby Yveltal also makes a big difference. If they play only one baby Yveltal, it is hard not to win. If they play four, you will end up losing unless they play terribly. This is because Seismitoad/Giratina has a low damage output and a set number of Hypnotoxic Lasers. If even one Laser is wasted, that may be enough to make you lose.
You have to play very meticulously, never wasting any resource. Only play Hypnotoxic Lasers when you can make sure they do not have a way to get out of the poison. This means, when they do not have a Darkrai/Keldeo in play, or while you have Silent Lab down. Hex Maniac would be hugely helpful in this matchup; if you have space, consider putting it in.
When dealing with baby Yveltal it is important to assess the importance of knocking it out. In other words, it may or may not be a good idea to use a Laser to knock it out quickly. If you know they can keep recovering Energy with it, then you may want to go for the laser because it will result in one less Energy being recovered. If you see that they are no longer getting Energy back, you may as well just Quacking Punch it three times. There is no need to take a knock out quickly in most cases.
It is also important to not use Crushing Hammers at a bad time. If they are attacking with baby Yveltal and will be able to use Oblivion Wing next turn, it is probably not a good idea to Crushing Hammer off Energy.
Holding Head Ringer until the right time is just as important. Do not put it on a Pokémon until you see that they are committing Energy to it. There is no rush to putting your Ringers down, seeing as Quacking Punch is going to stop them from playing any tools. Never put Head Ringer on an Yveltal or Darkrai that has no Energy attached to it.
Playing Silent Lab after they have already discarded one or both Virbank is going to get you more use. The key to this matchup is timing. If played perfectly you will win about 60% of the time. If you are considering playing Seismitoad/Giratina I cannot stress enough how important it is to test against Yveltal extensively. It may seem easy when going against an Archeops list. On the other hand, when you face something like Frank Diaz's Regional winning list, things get far more hairy.
The only matchup I did not cover for either deck is when playing against Sableye/Garbodor. For both decks, this is a bad matchup. I hate using Sableye because of how important the flips are at the right time, but it is a strong deck that some will use. To be perfectly honest I do not believe I am experienced enough in the matchup to explain how to play it well.
The little bit I do know is when using Vespiquen you should try to get a board that only has one or two Flareon on it. This makes it so they cannot Lysandre stall your other Pokémon and you can still one-shot enough times to win.
With Seismitoad, your best bet in my opinion is to N them and Quacking Punch. You are forced to hope they cannot get an Energy denial Supporter. If you can leave them with a hand like that, then on the next turn you should stack another DCE on your toad and from there you actually might stand a chance. If you can keep the lock up, they will dead draw eventually.
As I said I am not well versed in the matchup but these are the things I do know.
These two decks seems to be the best options to me. You guys are getting my exact lists with this piece. I know some people do not like to post the decks that they will be using, although I would feel somewhat guilty if I did not give you the best information I have. If you have not given these decks a try, I highly suggest you do.
If you read the whole article, thank you very much! I know many people like to just skim for deck list (which is fine), however if you are one of the people who does read the entire thing, it should be worth your time. I am very proud of these lists and I believe that anyone who uses them well will make top cut. As I said earlier, Vespiquen is better for best of one, so use that list for Cities. Toad/Tina is better for best of three; save that for Regionals.
Thanks again for reading, have a nice day.
- Love, Phinn
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