My Top Three Plays for States
With Expanded becoming less relevant, Standard is the new focus. States are about halfway over which puts us in an interesting position...
04/04/2016 by Daniel lynch
Hello, Phinnegan again. With Expanded becoming less relevant, Standard is the new focus. States are about halfway over which puts us in an interesting position. It means that we will have a solid idea of what will be played, but also leaves us with a less open meta. We can take advantage of this by capitalizing on the weaknesses of the most popular decks. This article will cover what I think is the best way to beat down the most popular choices.
The meta from region to region will vary but it seems like for the most part, the same decks are topping States. This piece goes over my top three options and when you should use them.
My top choices at the moment include Straight Seismitoad, Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade Garbodor, and Greninja. With the correct lists, these deck can give you great chances against most (or all) of the top decks. Because it is what I am most known for, first I will cover Seismitoad. This is a list I have been working on for about a month. I really like the way it looks now.
- 4x Seismitoad EX
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 2x Silent Lab
- 1x Rough Seas
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x VS Seeker
- 2x Team Flare Grunt
- 1x Xerosic
- 2x Lysandre
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 1x AZ
- 1x Judge
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 4x Crushing Hammer
- 4x Super Scoop Up
- 2x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Muscle Band
- 2x Red Card
- 4x Puzzle of Time
- 2x Head Ringer
- 4x Water Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
This deck has not seen much play during States. This means, most people haven't seen a competent, updated list in a while. The last time I saw a list for this deck posted was after the ECC. Although this list was before the most recent set was released, meaning it was prepared for completely different meta. For example, I doubt that Assault Vest would have been included in the list, if Fighting Fury Belt existed.
In all honestly the list is mostly just consistency and does not have many odd cards that need to be explained. I think most people that test this deck will come to most of the same conclusions that I have with this list. For the few odd techs, here is a brief explanation.
Brief card explanation
The one Hex maniac is entirely a tech for Greninja. Greninja is the only rough matchup for Seismitoad, thus the easy tech is very worth it. I am actively trying to find a spot for a second Greninja counter. The second Silent Lab could potentially be I would prefer not to.
Four water Energy is incredibly helpful. If it wasn't for the four water, this deck would not have nearly as strong of a matchup against decks with Promo Jirachi. Grenade Hammer is also frequently used. I would estimate about 60% of games I use Grenade Hammer and about 100% of games I am extremely happy that I am playing four water.
The two Silent Lab are great for stunting your opponent in the early game. However, some games they might stunt your own Set Up. Be careful with the Labs, do not be afraid to discard them at times. The one Rough Seas is nice because it gives you a second Stadium option as well as a way to counter your own Silent Lab. You can also use Puzzle of Time to retrieve the Rough Seas, when needed.
Below I explain how your matchup against every top tier deck should go.
I start here because it is the easiest matchup to explain. You simply set up a Seismitoad and Quaking punch. Getting a Fighting Fury Belt down can be important depending on how well the Night March player can set up on their first turn. That is really all there is to it. With Silent Lab and Red Card the matchup becomes even easier. You simply Quaking Punch until you take six Prizes. The matchup is incredibly favorable, I estimate 80/20.
Yveltal Gallade Zoroark/ Yveltal Gallade Garbodor
This matchup is very dependent on the list your opponent is using. If you end up facing someone with only one Yveltal (Oblivion Wing), you most likely will not have much trouble taking the series. If they tech cards like extra baby Yveltal, or Promo Jirachi, you might have a little more trouble. Even with these techs you can still win a good amount of the time.
With Red Card, Silent Lab and Item lock, anything can lose. Yveltal is no exception, and can be hurt even more by this combo considering the high amount of Items needed in the deck. Promo Jirachi can provide some trouble but usually will only disrupt the lock for a single turn. If you can follow up Star Dust with a Red Card and a Quaking Punch, it seems like you usually still will win. I notice that a good chunk of the time I already have a water on the Seismitoad when my opponent uses Star Dust. This means I can just attach a second water and keep using Quaking Punch. I might not do any damage for one turn but the important thing is keeping the lock up.
I think this matchup is 50/50 at worst but in most cases is favorable. For them to have a chance they need to get a turn one Maxie's/Gallade. Without Gallade, Red Card and Silent Lab will keep them dead drawing too frequently to mount any kind of board state. With the added time these cards give you, you can get Water on Seismitoad to avoid the Jirachi problem.
A problem that most people are not aware of, is Zorua. If you are one of these people, Zorua's attack confuses the defending Pokémon. With sixty HP you actually have to two shot it with Quaking Punch. Using Moonless Madness puts Seismitoad in a position where he either has to be Super Scooped Up or AZ'd. The alternative option is to just hope you hit heads on your confusion flip, although I do not recommend this strategy. Make sure you're ready for Zorua.
Over all this matchup can be a range on different percentages depending on the lists. Assuming it is a standard Yveltal Gallade Zoroark list with one Jirachi, I would consider it 60/40 in favor of Seismitoad.
This is a very easy matchup. While Item locked, Trevenant has a tough time setting up any kind of board state. The one Rough Seas will be very helpful in this matchup because you can essentially heal all of the damage that Trevenant Break does. Even with their second attack option, they will three shot you. Trevenant basically just does not do enough damage. The one problem you may run into is Head Ringer. I know some lists are playing Head Ringer now and in some cases it could delay your Quaking Punch. I have not lost to Trevenant yet, I'll say it's about 70/30.
With two Team Flare Grunt and one Xerosic, you are favored against this Seismitoad variant. However, some Seismitoad Giratina lists may decide to include heavy counts of Energy denial as well. When you do face a Toad Tina list that has a combination of three Flare Grunt and Xerosic, you do risk a loss. I think even with this risk, you are still favored, but not to the same degree. Any Seismitoad variant is essentially why Bunnelby was in the list. Now that it is gone, your matchup gets slightly worse but is still very winnable.
Giratina may seem like a threat. This is not the case. Once you have access to Crushing Hammers and VS Seekers, two Special Energy are not hard to get rid of. With no Basic Energy and no way to accelerate Energy, Giratina will rarely work well.
While it is a positive matchup, playing it incorrectly can cause you to lose quickly. These are a couple things you should watch out for. The biggest reason why I win any Seismitoad mirror is because I understand the value of Lysandre and when to use it. I think many people focus on trying to play Team Flare Grunt or Xerosic to discard opposing Energy. Lysandre will result in just as many Energy discarded much of the time. Unless your opponent has Zoroark (with Float Stone) in play, they will have to discard an Energy to retreat. In the case of Shaymin, they could chose to use Sky Return, but rarely will.
This means, you should almost always target down Shaymin when playing Lysandre. If you can successfully Lysandre Shaymin once, Play two Team Flare Grunt and one Xerosic, you will have gotten rid of all four of your opponent's DCE. They will have AZ at some times, although it is hard for them to come by the one copy at the right time. If I suspect that they do have AZ, I will simply wait to use Lysandre.
There actually is a great amount of skill in Seismitoad mirror. I could write the rest of this piece about it! For now I'll just leave you with that. The matchup is about 60/40 in straight Seismitoad's favor.
Greninja is probably the most difficult to beat out of all the top tier decks. With Water Duplicates, Their set up is not hindered my Quaking Punch. Usually once they set up, it's a slow loss. They frequently will be behind on Prizes and then will end up taking all of their Prizes just before you can take your last one or two.
The strategy to implement in this matchup is to play Red Card or Judge quickly and frequently. I notice that if I can make them dead draw at a good time, it can cause me to win in some cases. If they cannot get set up quickly enough, you might be able to take some easier Prizes one the Basics. Usually the way to win is by applying heavy early pressure and going first.
I think by nature Greninja can be a little bit inconsistent, especially under Item lock. Remembering that, I think the matchup is about 60/40 in favor of Greninja.
This matchup is rarely difficult. With Rayquaza relying heavily on Shaymin-EX, Red Card and Silent Lab can do heavy damage at any point in the game. The deck also has a low 7 or 8 Energy. With the high amount of Energy denial in this Seismitoad list, it is likely that you will be able to discard all of their Energy.
Occasionally, they may get a very aggressive start, threatening a turn two knock out. In this situation, you may have to rely on Crushing Hammer flips to keep you in the game. Although this is rarely a problem, and usually a simple Flare Grunt or Xerosic will be enough.
If Jolteon is of concern, remember that you can handily get rid of both Energy as well as throw a Head Ringer down in one turn. This may sound like a tall order, but in reality it is not hard to do with this list.
This list does not have an Enhanced Hammer simply because it does not seem needed. However if you find that you're struggling with this matchup, the addition of one can increase your chances of winning significantly. As the list is, I consider the matchup to be 65/35 in Seismitoad's favor.
When to play this deck
This option is great for maximum control and the highest amount of denial. I love that Seismitoad has such great matchups across the board, but dislike that Greninja can run it over. This is a major concern for me, because I expect to see a good amount of Greninja in top cut.
This deck does require some skill in terms of understand how to use your Supporters effectively and knowing when to play Silent Lab. Out of the three options in this article, I would suggest this one if are not very confident in your ability. As long as you keep a defensive, controlling mindset instead of an aggressive one, misplays shouldn't hurt you too much. This deck is the ideal option if Greninja is not a concern.
Speaking of Greninja, this next deck has an excellent matchup against it! My second option is Yveltal Zoroark Gallade Garbodor.
Yveltal Zoarark Gallade Garbodor
- 1x Garbodor
- 2x Trubbish
- 1x Zoroark
- 2x Zorua
- 2x Yveltal
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 1x Gallade
- 1x Jirachi
- 1x Seismitoad EX
- 1x Yveltal EX
- 3x Professor Sycamore
- 2x Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick
- 4x VS Seeker
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x Ace Trainer
- 1x Reverse Valley
- 4x Puzzle of Time
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 3x Float Stone
- 2x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Muscle Band
- 1x Xerosic
- 1x Super Rod
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
- 6x Darkness Energy
This list came about because I noticed that both Yveltal with Garbodor and Yveltal with Zoroark both had flaws. The Garbodor version lacked enough attackers, only having Gallade as a hard hitter. The Zoroark version has a terrible matchup against Greninja. With both Garbodor and Zoroark in the list, you solve both problems.
You may be thinking that this variant is inconsistent, or that 2-1 lines will not work. I think at times in the past, it may not have worked. In this format, 2-1 lines can flourish. This format has Puzzle of Time, and Super Rod. These two cards together make it so 2-1 evolution lines work beautifully. This deck makes several strange cuts and has even more odd counts. Bellow I will explain my teched out list.
Detailed List Explanation
2-1 Garbodor, 2-1 Zoroark
In terms of the Garbodor, a 2-1 line is completely fine. Even if I did not have Puzzle of Time, I would not be against a 2-1 line at all. In the occasion where you Prize the 1 Garbodor, you may struggle a bit against Greninja. Even then, if you can get it out of the Prizes quickly enough, you can still win. When you are forced to discard the one Garbodor, you have the option to Puzzle of Time for it, or Super Rod it back into the deck. The 2-1 line is completely fine in this case.
With Zoroark, the 2-1 line is not as strong. Puzzle of Time can bring back the Zoroark as soon as it is knocked out. This is how it works: you Bench two Zorua, then evolve one of them, then attack with Zoroark. On your next turn, once the Zoroark is knocked out, you can play Puzzle of Time and evolve the other Zorua that you Benched last turn. You can also play Super Rod and then Ultra Ball for Zoroark. In both situations, you can attack with two Zoroark while only playing a 2-1 line.
So as you can see, in both situations, the 2-1 lines work. They require a little more effort, but still can do what you need. I think there is a chance that I increase the Zoroark line to a 2-2, but I very much doubt the Garbodor line will ever get any thicker.
1 Gallade, 2 Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick
This count is very rare. In most lists you will see two Maxie's and two Gallade. In other lists you might see just one of each. My deck plays this strange count simply because of space. I cannot find room at the moment for more than one Gallade. You may be wondering why I don't just go down to a 1-1 line. One extra Maxie's, is simply one more Supporter for me to hit earlier in the game.
This deck can have somewhat inconsistent starts, which leads me to want another Supporter rather than another Gallade. Think about it like this, you cannot Trainer's mail for a second Gallade, but you can Trainer's Mail for the second Maxie's. The second Maxie's also saves me from having to use another VS Seeker in some cases. I find that I rarely need another Gallade most games. In certain matchups I may want the second, but in the majority, the one copy is fine.
I am concerned about losing Gallade to poor Prizes, still compromises had to be made somewhere. The one extra Maxie's boosts your chances of not having it Prized just enough. Remember, one Copy of Gallade only has a 10% chance of being in your Prize cards.
0 Judge, 1 Ace Trainer
People rarely play Ace Trainer, aside from in Greninja lists. I find that it is actually very helpful in a variety of decks. With Night March being very aggressive, Ace Trainer can be used quickly in that specific matchup. Ace Trainer works extremely well when used in combination with Quaking Punch. Together, you can put your opponent down to three cards while Item locking them on your second turn! Against Night March this combination is frequently game breaking. I have beaten Night March over and over using this strategy. Ace Trainer is also extremely useful in any other tough matchup.
I love this card because it helps when you are losing. This kind of card is nice because you only are going to need strong effects like this when you're losing. This is what I mean:
When you are winning you do not need to do as much because you're winning. However when you're losing, you will need to do more work to get back into the game. Ace Trainer helps to give you a shot at winning a game that you might have otherwise lost.
Think about how powerful putting your opponent down to three cards can be. If you can do this in consecutive turns, that alone may be enough to bring you back into a game. The power of this hand denial is strengthened even further when you have Garbodor in play. Once Garbodor is ready, they can no longer Set Up to get out of the bad hand. Not to mention getting a consistent six cards off of a shuffle draw Supporter is amazing.
This might be the greatest original addition of the deck. I would highly consider going up to two copies. Cutting this card can potentially make your Night March matchup go down about 15 to 20 %.
On the other hand, not having Judge is a bit of a pain at times. I decided to cut it because I noticed that most of the time when I played it, I was already losing. If I am losing, I might as well just play Ace Trainer. There is the arguments are that Judge is powerful at times early game, and that it can be useful when you are not losing on Prizes. To these arguments I say, you're right. I decided to give up these benefits, to fit a card that I believe has far better benefits. Still, I do not often like to use Judge early game because I do not want it to her my set up. I also rarely play judge when I am ahead on Prizes. It seems like I usually stick to playing Lysandre or Sycamore when I am either ahead or tied. The cut is foreign for most but very worth it.
1 Lysandre, 0 Hex Maniac, 1 Xerosic
The Hex Maniac is the easiest part to explain. This may be obvious but it was cut because Garbodor is in the list. I do like the card as an option to give Gallade the extra damage, though I couldn't really rationalize keeping it.
Xerosic was cut for Startling Megaphone for a short period of time. Once I realized that Megaphone doesn't really help with getting out Gallade (as I thought it would), I decided to put Xerosic back in. Xerosic is nice for situations where you don't want to play a draw Supporter or Lysandre, but also need the extra damage with Sensitive Blade. It can also be nice for getting rid of Fighting Fury Belts and the occasional Double Colorless. It helps very slightly in the Seismitoad and Night March matchups. Finally it gives you the ability to get rid of Flash Energy so that you can continue to hit Mega Manectric for weakness.
One Lysandre is quite annoying. Prizing the one copy could be game losing in some situations. I would really like to go up to two. Just like the other cuts, I had to find room somewhere. If you do not Prize the Lysandre, you do have many outs to retrieving it multiple times through Puzzle of Time and VS Seeker. One Lysandre isn't great but it works.
1 Reverse Valley
I am not committed to this card, or any other Stadium for that matter. This deck does not have a whole lot of great options for Stadiums. You can chose between Reverse Valley, Parallel City and Silent Lab. None of these options are all that strong. Silent Lab is an easy option to cross off because of Garbodor. Parallel City could be helpful against Seismitoad, but at only one copy, it will not help significantly enough. Reverse Valley has closed me a couple games. Sometimes that extra ten damage is just what you need to take a knock out.
I am not a proponent of not having any Stadiums in this deck, otherwise I might just cut the Stadium entirely. As it is, the ten extra damage will help occasionally.
1 Super Rod, 6 Darkness Energy
I put these cards together because it is easier to see their connection. If you do not like six dark, remember that Super Rod will almost always recover at least one dark to bring you up to the more comfortable seven. Super Rod will also help with the Zoroark and Garbodor strategies that I explained earlier. The card is very needed with thin lines of essentially all of the Pokémon in the list.
That will conclude my slightly over explanatory list. I felt like in this case it is important to give this detailed description because the deck looks very odd. Most people will disagree with this list until they understand it. I think this deck has definite flaws but will work well in a best of three format.
When to play this deck
Looking at all of the top decks, you have positive or even matchups across the board. Night March is easy because of Seismitoad and Ace Trainer. Trevenant decks are easy to beat simply because of Gallade and their weakness to dark. Greninja is destroyed by Garbodor. Seismitoad/Giratina can be beaten using Promo Jirachi and Xerosic. This matchup might be close sometimes but overall is favorable. Finally, the mirror is 50/50.
If you are looking at a meta with a heavy amount of Greninja, Night March, and Trevenant, this is the play. When you start seeing some other Yveltal decks popping up, things might get a little more risky. This list is a little bit risky by nature, which leads me to only want to play it when I am absolutely sure that it is the best option.
There is a bit of a learning curve with this sort of list. Doing things like searching out your one-ofs like Lysandre, Zoroark and Garbodor, all become very important. This deck requires you to manage resources very well. If you make one wrong play with Puzzle of Time, you could easily lose because of it. If you do play this deck, make sure you have tested enough to know what you're doing. Currently this is the most skill intensive deck I can make and therefore is my favorite deck to play.
For the last option, we have a new and much hyped Greninja deck.
- 4x Frogadier
- 4x Froakie
- 3x Greninja
- 1x Greninja
- 2x Greninja BREAK
- 2x Remoraid
- 2x Octillery
- 2x Jirachi
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x VS Seeker
- 2x Fisherman
- 2x Ace Trainer
- 3x Brigette
- 3x Dive Ball
- 3x Ultra Ball
- 3x Rare Candy
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 1x Sacred Ash
- 1x Startling Megaphone
- 2x Rough Seas
- 8x Water Energy
As you can see, this list is not very similar to most lists you will see. I think this version does better job of relying less on using Water Duplicates. While using Frogadier is a good plan at times, I find that going the Rare Candy route works out a good chunk of the time. This list gives you a good chance against all top tier decks. Although this deck has the same problem that the Yveltal list has, it is not incredibly consistent.
I find that some games I will start with a hand that is simply unplayable. This deck tries as hard as it can to use Brigette on the first turn. With the help of six other Pokémon search cards, this deck does what it can to set up quickly. Wally is a card that I opted not to include because it simply did not seem that strong. You could just Sycamore into the evolution you're searching for. Brigette is a much better option in my opinion because it almost guarantees that you will have a strong start.
This list is almost entirely dedicated to consistency. Bellow I will explain exactly why.
The Greninja line
With Greninja being the only attacker the deck offers, a very thick line is needed. It may seem counterintuitive to have four Frogadier when I also have three Rare Candy. I like the four copies because they help to deal with Seismitoad. In all honestly I may cut down to just three, in order to fit a Lysandre. For the moment I keep the four.
My Greninja line up is three of the Shadow Stitch and one of the Water Shuriken. Many opt for two of each. In my experience, the Breakpoint Greninja is the better attacker far more of the time. I actually am still considering going up to four of them and not playing any XY Greninja. With an attack that does 80 damage for a single Energy, Greninja is probably the most efficient single Energy attacker we have in standard. The option to lock your opponent out of abilities for a turn adds versatility that can be game winning in some cases.
The XY Greninja on the other hand, has an annoying one retreat and a terrible attack. One Energy for fifty damage, with no added effect is very lackluster. I find that most of the time I will simply not use Water Shuriken even while I have the ability to. This is because Giant Water Shuriken is far more efficient for the Energy required. I usually can wait a turn and use that Energy with Giant Water Shuriken instead. Still, in some cases it is good for helping to close out a game. The three/one split is nice, but I'm not against changing it to a simply four Breakpoint Greninja.
Many lists like to play three copies of Greninja Break. I do not find that necessary, because of the incredibly high HP it has, and the Sacred Ash. I find that most games, if I can get a Greninja Break in play, I will win.
Four Froakie is needed because this deck does not always go with the Water Duplicates route.
Most decks like to play just the 1-1 line. I found that the games where I Prized part of my line, usually were the game I lost. Octillery is a huge part of this deck's strategy and having it Prizes is too detrimental to risk. Would you play just a 1-1 Garbodor line in Seismtioad/Garbodor? No, because it is a huge part of why the deck works. I think of Octillery in a similar way.
The 2-2 line also helps to get it out more consistently. I find that some games I will start with Remoraid and lose it to a quick know out from my opponent. The second copy helps me to still get Octillery out without having to use Sacred Ash. After testing both a 1-1 and 2-2 line, I can say with a great deal of confidence that the 2-2 line is better.
2 Promo Jirachi
This card is mostly a tech for Night March decks. While Night March may already seem like a positive matchup, if they play two Hex Maniac, things can go downhill. This is where the two Jirachi come in. On those turns where they can stall you, you can use Jirachi to stall them right back. The two Jirachi restore this matchup to being extremely positive, as it should be.
Two Jirachi also completely eliminate Seismitoad/Giratina's chances of winning. Against any other Toad variant they will provide some use. I find that my straight Seismitoad list does a good job of dealing with Jirachi, but in general I think most Toad lists do not. The card also works wonders when used in combination with Ace Trainer. They work well together because Ace Trainer is going to lower your opponent's chances (very significantly) of getting another Energy and an out to Lysandre. This leads me to my next odd count...
2 Ace Trainer
This card is the MVP of this deck. With Greninja being a relatively slow deck, you will almost always fall behind in the early game. Giving up these few Prizes early game gives you the opportunity to take advantage of Ace Trainer multiple times. Even when you have the board state advantage, you may still be losing in terms of Prizes. You can take advantage of this by spreading out damage until you need to take Prizes. It gives you a strategy similar to what Empoleon and Dusknoir did together last season.
As I mentioned earlier, playing Ace Trainer for two or three consecutive turns is devastating to most decks. Not only does Ace Trainer work well with Jirachi, but it also works well with Greninja's Shadow Stitching attack. If you can set them back to three cards AND lock their abilities, there is a solid chance of them dead drawing. Ace Trainer is excellent in this deck and I love playing two.
Another incredibly helpful Supporter. This deck has a knack for taking advantage of underplaying Supporters. This card doesn't need much explanation. When you discard between one and three Energy every turn, Energy recovery is obviously going to be needed. It seems like whenever I use Fisherman, I take at least two Prizes that turn.
You can think of in the same sort of way that Seismitoad/Bats would use AZ. Although the card does not say it does damage, that is the result. If you one Energy for Moonlight Slash and the other three with Giant Water Shuriken, that Fisherman has effectively provided you with 260 damage! Two copies is very much warranted. This deck does not work nearly as well without Fisherman.
This count works well because four is simply too many. With three you have a good chance at opening with it. Trainer's Mail can also be used to fetch Brigette early game. This count seems perfect to me
3 Dive Ball, 3 Ultra Ball
Most lists have opted to go for Level Ball as their other search card. I instead like Ultra Ball because it not only thins may hand down for Octillery, but it also lets me get Jirachi at crucial times. There is no lack of Ultra Ball fodder in this list, with several card that can become dead quickly. With this ball line, I rarely have trouble setting up. I have never need to change it and I doubt I will.
3 Rare Candy
I like this count because with four Frogadier, you will rarely need more than three. At the same time, when you want to play more aggressively, you will need more than just two. Three gives you the option to play this deck a little more quickly and provides a small consistency boost. Try to think of the Rare Candy as an alternative option rather than a consistency card.
2 Rough Seas, 0 Silent Lab
I never really found use for Silent Lab. I think it is a nice counter Stadium but really it doesn't do a whole lot. I think this deck does not need more than two Stadiums. I could do a split of Rough Seas and Silent Lab, though I do not see a convincing reason to do so.
One possible addition...
The one card I am thinking about adding in is Lysandre. The season for this is because it would help to make Garbodor less of a problem. The one Megaphone is there to help with this threat, but perhaps may not be enough. If one Lysandre and one Megaphone is enough to make Garbodor decks favorable or even just 50/50, I am sure that I will play this deck. I think Greninja is the best deck in the format at the moment and will certainly see many top cut finishes. This deck won at least two states last weekend and I expect it to win at least two more this weekend.
When to play this deck
This deck is strong in a meta where Garbodor is not present. Yveltal Gallade Garbodor, or YGG is the only Garbodor deck that has seen competitive play lately. While this deck has not be super popular, I expect it to become popular quickly.
Another thing to take into consideration is the skill level required to use this deck well. Think deck is interesting because it requires a skill set from two different types of decks. What I mean by this is: players who are just used to playing Seismitoad/Bats may seem to be well equipped to play this deck, because they are used to managing Crobat and Golbat damage. However, they are missing an understanding of how to use a deck where your main attacker is a Stage 2 Pokémon.
Understanding how to use Greninja requires having used a deck like Flygon or Empoleon. It takes a lot of thought with deciding which of Greninja's attacks to use. Things like understanding when to go the Frogadier route, or the Rare Candy route also can make a huge difference. In general evolution decks require a resource conservation mentality that is not as needed with many other decks. If you're up for the challenge, then give Greninja a try. If you want an easier option, try straight toad.
Now that you have an understanding of the advantages of these three decks, net deck me and try it for yourself! I am very confident that, if you do not misplay, you will see heavy success with these lists. I am very against the idea of going into a tournament without any testing, and I think my lists reflect that. There is usually a learning curve to the way I design decks. I don't like to make it easy for someone to play my decks perfectly on their first try.
My meta predictions for both weeks three and four include a heavy amount of Night March, a rise in Greninja's popularity, and a rise in Yveltal Garbodor's popularity. I will most likely play the Greninja list above. I will do my best to fit in the Lysandre, but if I have to cut something crucial in the process, I probably will leave the list as is.
I think Standard is finally getting to a place where we actually have strong, skill based decks again. For a while I felt like we only had luck based aggravating low tier decks. Now I can see that the game has simply changed and needs to be played differently.
I think that wraps up everything I have to say for now. Thanks for reading my piece all the way through! I really appreciate when readers finish the whole piece rather than just skimming and net-decking. As always, good luck at the next event and have a nice day.
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