Reflecting on Standard and Explaining Night March's Success
Phinnegan analyzes exactly what has made Night March so dominant and discusses what can be done to counter it.
04/13/2016 by Daniel lynch
Table of contents
Hello, Phinnegan again. About two weeks ago I posted a piece on my top three choices for States. Now that States has come to an end, I would like to reflect on what created the format we experienced. In this article I cover what makes a deck good. For many people, Night March's success is unlikely considering how many counters there are to it. This article will explain exactly why Night March continues to do well and how you can counter it effectively. Much of its continued success is rooted in the lack of a consistent counter deck. Which I will also explain.
This piece will not be focused on lists, but more focused on helping players with deck choice. Many players simply look at the meta and pick something that seems to have good matchups across the board. I am here to explain that even if on paper you have all positive matchups, that you may end up with worse results than expected. The first step to beating a powerhouse like Night March is creating a deck that has the credentials bellow. This brings me to my first point.
* Theory and stats are deceiving
For most of my time in this game, the way I would choose decks is by writing out what I think will be popular and then finding counters. I have come to realize that this is not the best way to choose a deck. While this method can be helpful, it leaves out very important information about how the deck may perform. In other words, do not just play a deck because you think it has a good matchup against Night March. Make sure the deck is consistent and has the attributes explained bellow.
* Time needed to finish a game
One of the big reasons for Night March's success is because it finishes games quickly. Ties have been plaguing this format for a while. Anything that can avoid that, will have an easier time picking up wins that they deserve. With a fast deck, you will not be hindered as much by a slow opponent. This is a problem that I found with Greninja. In my experience, no matter how quickly I played, my opponent could often stall out a game. At Idaho States, this was a problem multiple times. With slower decks, it is crucial to know when to scoop. Night March rarely has to make this decision and can finish a game even under poor circumstances. A game that you may have had to scoop with a slower deck, could result in a win on occasion.
* The deck's consistency
Night March has more draw/consistency cards than any other top deck. By structuring the deck this way, you can eliminate some undeserving loses. While you essentially give up a game about 5% to 10% of the time due to dead-drawing with other decks, Night March almost never dead-draws. This gives you a winning percentage boost against anything. I would estimate that on average Night March has a 5% lower chance of dead drawing which also means it has about a 5% higher chance of playing a real game.
* Amount of setup needed
This topic sort of meshes with the deck's speed, but not always. For example, you can have a deck with a high amount of set up needed, which does so in a very short amount of time. Night March has a medium amount of setup. A very low setup deck would be Straight Seismitoad, where you only need a Double Colorless and a Seismitoad to get running. An example of heavy setup needed would be Greninja because you need to evolve multiple Pokémon three times and need several Water Energy. Night March is somewhere in the middle because it does need several Pokémon discarded to one-shot, as well as a Double Colorless and potentially a Dimension Valley. Although, the deck has the ability to counteract this setup with the incredibly amount of setup and search cards. This unrivaled consistency is because of the high amount of open spots in a list, which is my next deck trait.
* Amount of open space
Certain decks like Virizion/Genesect and Yveltal have been notorious for having several open slots. Both decks have seen a variety of different variants, all seeing success. Night March decides to instead use this open space for consistency. In general these decks with several open slots tend to do well. They usually tend to do well for a longer period of time than other decks. Although, depending on the deck, low open spots will not always be an issue. Emboar was very successful last season for a period of time, even though there were very few spots to work with. Still, Emboar did have a short lifespan and something more versatile probably would have stayed around for a longer amount of time.
* No autolosses/extremely bad matchups
Night March debatably does not have an autoloss. Decks like Seismitoad/Giratina and Greninja may counter Night March, although they do not always win. They only have positive matchups. An autoloss would be something like Greninja versus Mega Sceptile. Greninja has almost no chance, other than to hope the Sceptile player dead-draws.
Having no autoloss gives you a chance at beating anything out there. It means that you may be able to outplay a newer player. If you have an autoloss, even against a lower level player, you will still lose oftentimes.
Throughout this season I have taken losses to many players with far less experience than me, simply because my deck had an autoloss against their deck. This is a big reason for why Seismitoad and Yveltal have done well for such a long time. I remember when Seismitoad/Slurpuff was around, it was almost impossible make a deck that beat it more than 65% of the time. Decks that can provide these sort of numbers are usually very rare and tend to do very well for long time. Night March is essentially this format's equivalent.
* Resource recovery
Decks that rely heavily on a specific resource and do not have a way to recover that resource, cannot win games consistently. Night March frequently had this problem before Puzzle of Time was printed. If you look at all top-tier decks, they have a way to recover needed resources. It could be Super Rod, Puzzle of Time, or Dark Patch, but a deck needs some way to bring back lost resources easily. With Professor Sycamore being the main draw Supporter of this format, resource recovery becomes even more important. I believe that decks which take advantage of Puzzle of Time well, will for the most part do well in Standard. It gives a deck the ability to set up quickly and recover anything lost.
These benefits are exactly why Night March is the best deck
Night March is many of these areas, which is the reason for its success. In the one area where Night March lacks (Amount of Set Up), the other benefits make up for it. Virizion/Genesect was the most dominant deck during Cities a couple years ago for these same reasons. Throughout the history of this game, having these features tend to create decks that do very well. This is also the reason for why evolution decks for the most part have paled in contrast to other options.
A deck needs some VERY strong benefits to be based around evolution. This is why a deck like Greninja is doing well at times. With the huge amount of damage Greninja can do, and the high HP of Greninja BREAK, there is enough benefit to counteract the huge set up needed. Still, Night March beats it quite often considering Greninja is supposed to counter it.
The most common counter to Night March has been Promo Jirachi. Jirachi is easily splashed in any deck, which lead to it being teched widely. Even against such a strong widespread tech, the speed and recovery has led Night March to wins against the worst odds. The combination of all of these powerful traits has created a deck with very little weakness. However, there are still weaknesses that can be exploited.
This is my favorite, and a more consistently effective way to beat Night March. I remember testing Straight Seismitoad against Night March and winning six games in a row. As long as a quick Seismitoad with a Fighting Fury Belt is around, Night March has a very hard time drawing well. Trevenant and Vileplume have also been effective in shutting the deck down. It seems like any game where these decks can go first, will result in them beating Night March. In fact, it seems like every counter to Night March does so by Item-locking. The only deck that I can see as an exception to this is Greninja. The reason for Greninja's success is because of Night March's second weakness.
Frail attackers/Ability damage
Greninja can easily take three Prizes in one turn when facing Night March. With Joltik at 30 HP and Pumpkaboo at 60 HP, Greninja can take two or three knockouts before attacking through using Giant Water Shuriken twice and Water Shuriken once. Although unlikely, the potential is huge, especially after using Ace Trainer on the previous turn.
Fighting Fury Belt can occasionally make this math harder to achieve; however at times, the Greninja player can use this to their advantage. For example, if Night March has 60 damage on a Pumpkaboo and 30 on a Joltik, you can simply use Starling Megaphone to take two Prizes before using any Abilities. Additionally, this combo gives Greninja the ability to take advantage of Ace Trainer for an extended period of time. When you combine this with Stardust, it is not hard to see why Greninja has been beating Night March.
Greninja is not the only way to abuse this low HP. Other Pokémon like Crobat can take easy KOs on these low-HP Pokémon. Even something like Forretress could be used to counter Night March. The innate problem with these counters is Hex Maniac. Any Ability-based damage can be stopped temporarily with Hex. This is why I suggest using these Abilities in combination with Jirachi. It forces them to either use Hex more often than they would like, or Lysandre around Jirachi. In the first situation, eventually they will run out of Hex Maniac and you will be able to use these Abilities after turns and turns of set up. In the second situation, you can simply use your Abilities and then use Jirachi's Stardust again.
Special Energy denial/prevention
Giratina has been played frequently as a counter to Night March. I actually think this is the best way to tech for Night March, specifically because it stops them from doing any sort of damage. Anything that can shut down a deck's only Energy source, will beat it consistently.
Other forms of Special Energy denial are also strong, except not without the use of another sort of tech. For example, if someone were to tech a Xerosic, Enhanced Hammer and a Jirachi, they probably would not do very well against Night March, even with all of that denial. On the other hand, if they played an Enhanced Hammer, Silent Lab and Seismitoad, they have a far better chance of doing well.
In general this is actually my least favorite way to tech for Night March. Energy denial that gets rid of the Energy after it is attached is far weaker than Energy denial that prevents it from being played at all. I think Special Energy removal is only strong with other techs, but that Special Energy prevention is the best way to beat Night March.
As we have seen throughout States, these are the ways that have effectively beaten Night March. Many people have called this format "not fun" or "stale" because the only successful decks are Night March and its counters. While I do agree, complaining does not do much about improving the format. Instead we can use this information to understand how to counter the format.
Throughout States I have almost exclusively tested top-tier options other than Night March. Since we have already established that the top tier decks are Night March and its counters, top tier options and Night March counters are almost synonymous. Below are the problems I have found with each top tier option.
Out of everything top tier, I have used this more than anything else. I understand more than most people that this deck is inherently inconsistent. Greninja on paper seems to be extremely strong and I have very highly advocated it in the past. The problem with it is the luck needed to do well. It seems like with this deck, things just need to go well more of the time for it to be successful. A Greninja player at California States (Hale) managed to have the highest record both for Day 1 and of Top 32 on the next day. He actually managed to pick up eight wins out of nine rounds on Day 1! This is because Hale didn't dead-draw and he set up his board consistently. He ended up making it to Finals and then losing to Trevenant, which is a terrible matchup. Hale was the only Greninja player in Top 8. I believe there were actually only three Greninja players in Top 32, including myself and Hale.
What I'm getting at is that this deck does very well when it does not run cold. Any game where I could set up, I won. The deck beats everything once it is fully set up. However, too much of time I could not, which lead to far too many losses. I would consider my lists one of the most consistent out there. I opted to cut all stadiums for consistency cards. While you may disagree with cutting the stadiums, it does not change the fact that this deck is still inconsistent, even with all of these spots dedicated to consistency. I also upped my Octillery line to a 2-2. Still, I dead draw and whiffed Energy very frequently. This is not me being salty and ranting about my poor run. What I am trying to explain is that Greninja will not give anyone consistent placings.
I made this same argument about Archie's Blastoise previously. While I do love playing both decks, they only really do well when running hot. These decks need to dodge bad matchups and set up consistently.
Some could make the argument that any deck needs to run hot to win. I actually disagree with that idea. I think certain decks have the ability to do well over and over even when they hit some bad matchups. Last year I could get a bad start with a deck and still win. This almost never happens now. Speaking of amazing starts, the next top-tier deck is Vespiquen/Vileplume
VespiPlume, in my opinion is the worst of the options. It could be simply because every time I play against it, I win. However, I think it is more rooted in the fact that it is VERY easily teched against. Both times when I played against this deck I was using Greninja. One would probably assume that it beats Greninja. My two Jirachi disagree. I was able to take down this "poor" matchup by simply using Stardust repeatedly. The only way these players could have won, is by utilizing Bunnelby to recover the lost Energy. This is easy to counter with either one Giant Water Shuriken, or two Water Shuriken.
VespiPlume also struggles against Trevenant. When going second, it will almost certainly lose. Considering the huge amount of Items in the deck and the extremely low amount of Supporters, there is little hope when going second. For this reason alone, VespiPlume will already lose to Trevenant at least half the time. Unlike its opponent, Trevenant can actually manage to do well when going second. Wobbuffet will stop their Item-lock, allowing the Trevenant player to set up as usual.
Vileplume cannot deal with anything that stops Special Energy hate. Giratina will stop the entire deck from functioning and Aegislash can stop any damage they do.
The deck has far too many weaknesses. I am baffled that this deck has seen any success so far. To me, playing this deck is the equivalent to putting everything up to chance. Run hot and win, or don't and fail miserably.
The main weakness of this deck is in its complete reliance on Special Energy. Even one Jirachi has the potential to turn a great matchup into a 50/50 or even an unfavorable matchup. This reliance on Special Energy is buffered by Puzzle of Time. While night March does an excellent job of making use of Puzzle of Time, Toad Tina often has a harder time doing so because it doesn't use the same amount of consistency cards. Night March often has town Map, four Shaymin and sometimes Acro Bike. These all contribute to a higher rate of playing two Puzzle of Time at once. Toad Tina on the other hand lacks these, which leads to far less recovery. The deck also does not one-shot in many cases which means they will need the Energy for a longer period of time.
With Night March, they can attach a Double Colorless and One-shot almost anything. They may have to deal with Jirachi on the next turn, but they have taken a Prize. Toad Tina on the other hand has to deal with Jirachi on the next turn after not taking any Prizes. I think the only way a reliance on Special Energy can work in this Standard format, is through a heavy amount of aggression and high damage. This is why it works for Night March.
In terms of matchups, Toad/Tina still loses to a lot of what is out there. Night March is expected to be one of the best matchups, but still can beat it. Greninja is not favorable, with or without any count of Jirachi. Vespiquen/Vileplume is favorable, but can still be lost when you go second. Yveltal depends on the list, but can be hurt by either baby Yveltal. There are no real great matchups for the deck. It seem to me like much of it has to do with luck. Although, that may be a problem with the format rather than a problem with Toad/Tina.
How Toad/Tina loses to Night March
For those who think that Seismitoad/Giratina beats Night March every time, this is how Night March can pull off a win against it. Many Toad Tina players will opt to go for a turn-two Chaos Wheel. This means on their first turn, they will attach to Giratina. It's worth noting that I don't think this is the route to take when going second. For the time being, let's assume the Toad/Tina player is going first.
The Night March player can do a couple things in this situation, depending on their list. For a list playing Enhanced Hammer, they can simply dig for the Enhanced Hammer and set the Toad/Tina player back a turn.
If they play one or two Pokémon Catcher, they can dig for their copy to knock out Giratina before it attacks.
If they play Xerosic, they will probably have the easiest time stunting their opponent. With a Battle Compressor, they can give themselves access to Xerosic through either Puzzle of Time or VS Seeker. With the huge amount of speed cards in this deck it isn't ridiculous to think they may get rid of the Special Energy and get a turn one knock out on the active. I personally like this strategy more than the others because it seems to be the most reliable. It also gives the Night March player the ability to VS Seeker for the Xerosic again after it has been used to remove a Fighting Fury Belt for a Seismitoad EX. This option is usually stronger than removing the Double Colorless because the Night March player can knock out the Seismitoad in one hit.
As I said earlier, when going second, I would not implement the Giratina strategy. Instead I would try to use Seismitoad and play Judge. This play has the potential to cause the Night March player to dead draw for a long while, especially if Silent Lab can come into play early on. Still, if Night March can do enough on their first turn, they may have burned the majority of the Items that could be drawn into. There really is no reliable strategy for beating Night March. This matchup largely will come down to the first turn. If the Night March player runs hot enough, it will win. If it doesn't, it will lose.
I know this explanation is a little longer, however I wanted to explain exactly why this deck is not as strong as many hype it to be. Anyway, on to the next deck: Trevenant
I think this is the best option out of the Night March counters. This deck, like Vespiquen/Vileplume, can lock Items when going first. This advantage alone is enough to get anyone thinking about it, and I would argue is the only reason people consider playing Vespiquen/Vileplume. However with this deck, you have no reliance on Special Energy. This means popular counters like Jirachi, Xerosic and Giratina will not hurt you as much. It also has strong matchups against many of the other Night March counters, including Greninja and Vespiquen/Vileplume.
On the other hand, Trevenant tends to struggle with Seismitoad in general. Any Seismitoad variant will have a favorable matchup against it. The good news is that Seismitoad is not very popular at the moment. The only even semi-popular Toad variant is Seismitoad/Giratina and as discussed above, it is not the strongest choice. I should note that Toad Tina may have been strong at previous events, it is simply not the best choice now.
Seismitoad gives Trevenant a hard time because it tends to hinder their set up. When the main attacker of your deck needs to evolve twice, Item-lock will slow you down heavily. In the case of Toad Tina, their Energy denial Supporters usually stop Trevenant from being able to attack much. It may only be 30 or 40 damage every turn from the Toad, but Trevenant can't do any damage for the majority of the time. Any time the Seismitoad player can Lysandre, they can escape Item-lock and play VS Seeker to retrieve Energy denial Supporters to potentially get rid of all Energy.
Aside from Toad, Trevenant struggle with dark variants, due to its weakness. Most lists have tried to counter this weakness in one way or another. A tech I commonly see now is a thin Jolteon line, to hit for weakness. I don't think this is a terrible idea, although I'm not sure if it is worth the space, considering it will make the deck that much more inconsistent. Even with this tech, the matchup is unfavorable. However, many Yveltal lists are based around Items, meaning a turn one Trevenant can make them dead draw in some situations. Overall, I think the matchup is somewhat manageable, but certainly not favorable.
What I like about Trevenant is that it has no glaring issue like Greninja, Vespiquen/Vileplume and Seismitoad/Giratina do. This is my favorite of the Night March counters.
And then there is Yveltal, which really is not a Night March counter deck but can do so very well.
I believe that for most people, teching for Night March has been difficult for Yveltal players. There are a couple ways to do so, in particular there are two that I am a fan of. The first is Seismitoad and Ace trainer
These two cards can be used to shut down Night March as early as turn two. Simply let the Night March players take a knock out on something unimportant on the first turn and on the second, play Ace Trainer followed by Quacking Punch. With Battle Compressor, it is not hard to get Ace Trainer discarded quickly. If you are not playing an Yveltal variant based around Gallade, this strategy may become slightly less consistent. In a YZG list, this tech works very well.
You should also go up to two copies of Fighting Fury Belt for this strategy, to ensure that Seismitoad will stay alive for more than one turn. I have tested this method repeatedly, to make sure I was not running hot. The results stayed the same. If you are concerned about what to do when your Seismitoad gets knocked out, you are welcome to play a second copy. I think a second copy can also help in both the mirror and against Trevenant. Seismitoad is strong in general because it can slow down your opponent to give you time to set up. A second Seismitoad will give you another strong starter as well. Alternatively, Seismitoad could be recovered with either Super Rod or Puzzle of Time, if you prefer.
The second option is to play Burst Balloon. This card is very strong, I'm actually very surprised that it isn't played in more decks. With these six damage counters, Burst Balloon can knock out either Joltik or Pumpkaboo on your opponent's turn. The count for Burst Balloon is sort of up in the air (get it?). I would play one or two personally. This tech has synergy with Ace Trainer. Ace will make it that much harder for the Night March to play counters like Xerosic or Lysandre.
Puzzle of Time can be used to recover your balloons. Imagine yourself using Burst Balloon twice, then using Puzzle of Time for them, and then using them two more times. I don't think I need to try very hard to convince most of you that you win that game.
Burst Balloon has use against essentially anything. While being a tech for Night March, it can have use against any deck that does not Item-lock. Greninja may be a hard matchup for Yveltal, but Burst Balloon can be used to combat that. Mirrors also become slightly better. It is important to remember that Fighting Fury Belt will stop Bursting Balloon from knocking out Night Marchers in one hit. For that reason, I suggest playing either a Xerosic or a Startling Megaphone.
These two routes are split up, but could be somewhat mixed together. In other words, you could play a single Seismitoad and a single Burst Balloon if you'd like. The one card that I think is important to keep is Ace Trainer. No matter which route you choose, Ace Trainer is important.
Now that you understand how to turn Night March into a good matchup, how do the other matchups go?
The Trevenant matchup was covered earlier from a different perspective. I think when you are looking at it from the Yveltal perspective, there is a different way to think about it. What I mean is, what you need to worry about when playing Yveltal is games when you go second. Largely, this matchup is based around who goes first. From the flip, whoever wins it gets a huge advantage.
The main way to help this matchup is to play more Supporters, or cards that can let you draw when under Item-lock. One way to do this would simply be by playing Professor Birch, or Shauna. I'm not a big fan of going about it this way because these Supporters can hurt in other matchups. Having too many Supporters will make it tougher to pull off Maxie's.
Instead, I like playing a higher count of Hex Maniac. You may be thinking, "Well, that's still going to make it so getting Maxie's is harder to achieve". Frankly, you’re right. The difference here is that Hex helps more against essentially everything. In terms of its use against Trevenant, Hex will allows you to play clunked Items in your hand to fetch draw for the next turn. That dead Ultra Ball turns into a Shaymin Ex, which of course should be played on the next turn (because of Hex). A Battle Compressor and VS Seeker is now a Professor Sycamore and so on.
Hex works against Vespiquen/Vileplume in a similar way.
Against Greninja, the two Hex will be particularly helpful. Greninja relies on abilities more than any other deck in Standard. Playing Hex turn after turn will significantly lower their damage output, potentially cause them to dead draw, and will slow down any set up. I believe that with these two Hexes, the matchup increases from a 40/60 (in Greninja's favor), to a 50/50.
The matchup is still close, except slightly more reliable. Good Yveltal players should be able win semi-consistently. Lists that also get Gallade out frequently will have an easier time in this matchup. If Yveltal can set up two Gallade, they will almost certainly win.
As I have said many times, Yveltal against Seismitoad is largely based around how many copies of baby Yveltal the Yveltal player has. A list playing three of the Oblivion Wing Yveltal will beat Seismitoad much more than a list with one or two. Any game where the Yveltal player does not get Gallade out early will be significantly harder. The Item based draw that YZG has gives it a rough time against Seismitoad in some cases. I like to try to set up a big Yveltal with loads of Energy to one-shot Toads.
Another card that can hurt Toad is the Moonless Madness Zorua. Zorua can cause the Seismitoad player to have to waste Super Scoop Up and sometimes VS Seekers. Zorua cannot be one-shot, meaning even one may be enough to put you back into the game.
The most obvious tech is Jirachi. One Jirachi used at the right time can take out several Energy and get Items into play for at least one turn. A combination of three Oblivion Wing Yveltal, two Zorua, and a Jirachi will be enough to make it a favorable matchup.
In the mirror
Finally, there is the mirror match. I find the mirror to be very interesting. One of my favorite ways to open is with my Seismitoad. A quick Quacking Punch can stop them from setting up Gallade and potentially cause them to dead draw. I rarely like to use Yveltal EX simply because it gives up two Prizes. Instead, I focus on Zoroark and Gallade. Techs really are not needed for the mirror if you play it well. I would suggest testing more before trying to fit in any mirror match cards. Yveltal decks are sort of on the decline at the moment. Focus on other matchups for the time being.
With all of this praise of Yveltal, you may have already guessed that it is my top choice at the moment. I actually did not plan on putting this deck in this article, however it seems to fit as a nice solution to all of the problems discussed thus far. This is my solution to the terrible meta we have been experiencing.
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 2x Gallade
- 1x Seismitoad EX
- 1x Jirachi
- 2x Zorua
- 2x Zoroark
- 1x Yveltal EX
- 3x Yveltal
- 4x Puzzle of Time
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 1x Startling Megaphone
- 1x Muscle Band
- 1x Burst Balloon
- 1x Fighting Fury Belt
- 2x Float Stone
- 1x Ace Trainer
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x Judge
- 2x Hex Maniac
- 2x Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick
- 4x VS Seeker
- 3x Professor Sycamore
- 6x Darkness Energy basic
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
As you can see, this list does not fit everything that I would have liked. I think the cuts made to this list have all been manageable. The main goal with this list was to give myself a shot against everything, while still being able to set up Gallade consistently. Some may not like only six dark, or the lack of a second Lysandre. I understand your concern, but you should also realize that these cuts were made in multiple Regional winning Yveltal lists.
I think the only reason people have been able to fit in the extra Dark Energy and extra Lysandre were due to a lack of techs needed. As long as the pilot of this deck stays aware of their resources, these cuts should rarely be a problem.
The new additions on the other hand will help in a bevy of matchups, as I explained before. These new techs give:
* A hugely improved Night March matchup
* A 50/50 Greninja matchup
* A better Vespiquen/Vileplume matchup
* And finally, a far better Seismitoad/Giratina matchup
This list is fit to beat everything that has done well. Unfortunately, I will not be testing it for a while, seeing as Nationals is the next Standard tournament. Put this list in your back pocket, and give it a shot when Nationals starts to get a little closer. I know for some, Nationals happen as early as a month before the US's. This list is for you guys, especially because some new cards may change the way this deck should be built.
This States format has been a harsh one. I feel as though luck has been rewarded above all else. The most skill intensive decks are dying off and auto pilot win-in-one-turn decks are becoming more prominent. I am really hoping that N will change this once it comes out. For me, this is the most welcomed reprint in a very long time.
For those who are preparing for Nationals, here are a couple tips.
Never play a deck that is inconsistent. Inconsistent decks almost never win tournaments like Nationals. Consistency really is king, and it always will be.
Do not rely on theory for your deck choice. Whatever you decide to play, make sure it is something that you have tested extensively. Bad techs, or glaring weaknesses may not be so obvious when you look at the list on paper. Practice is crucial.
Finally, try something new. With plenty of time to test, try any wacky idea that you think could work. Pyroar was thought to be a terrible deck back in 2014 but ended up making finals. Wailord was unheard of until 2015 Nationals. Who knows, you may have the next new deck.
That should wrap up everything I have to say about Standard. I am very excited to test in Expanded again, with my trusty Seismitoad/Bats deck. My next piece will probably be dedicated to it. Other options like Mega Rayquaza have been hyped by some of my friends as well. I think Expanded is going to get very interesting. Vespiquen is seeing less play now, and Sableye is all but dead at this point. Are we going to see a format dedicated to beating Yveltal? How will Standard meta affect what is played in Expanded?
There are still many questions to be answered about these formats and I expect to find them for you all. On a side note, I want to mention quickly that my site Cutortap.com will be launching in about three or four weeks from now. If you like the sort of content I write about, there will be a lot more of it on Cut or Tap. Anyway, thanks for reading! Good luck to you at your next tournament and have a nice day!
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