"Disruption Dystopia" - Three Great Disruptive Decks for Worlds
In this article, Grant addresses Night March's dominance and goes over three of his top picks for Worlds.
07/30/2016 by Grant Manley
Hello everyone! This is Grant Manley here with my second article for 60cards. Night March has just won US Nationals, and Steam Siege is going to be legal for Worlds. Not only did Night March win Nationals, but it also took up 25 of the top 64 spots in the largest tournament of all time. This is concerning to a lot of players going into Worlds, because Steam Siege makes this dominant deck even stronger than before.
Pokémon Ranger and Special Charge are two cards from Steam Siege that seem to benefit Night March exclusively. Now that we know that Karen is not coming out anytime soon, Night March is looking to be even more powerful that it already was. No matter what you think the best play for Worlds is, Night March is going to be extremely popular and you have to be ready for it.
In this article I'm going to look at some of my top plays for Worlds, and more importantly, how they can beat Night March. I'll also be analyzing card counts and other matchups. I am expecting four main decks to be popular at Worlds. Besides Night March being the most played, I also think that there will be generous amounts of Trevenant, Vileplume/Vespiquen, and Water Box decks. I am going to analyze some of my top picks and look at their matchups against the perceived top meta decks.
- 4x Trevenant
- 3x Trevenant BREAK
- 4x Phantump
- 2x Wobbuffet
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 1x Xerosic
- 2x Lysandre
- 3x Wally
- 4x N-supporter
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 3x Burst Balloon
- 3x Crushing Hammer
- 2x Float Stone
- 1x Super Rod
- 1x Red Card
- 4x Dimension Valley
- 5x Psychic Energy
- 4x Mystery Energy
While Night March is looking like it will be the most popular deck right now, Trevenant seems like the best deck. I've been playing a lot with this list and it works surprisingly well given that I don't run any VS Seeker. Other than that, this list is fairly conventional. With 8 draw Supporters, 4 Trainers' Mail, 4 Ultra Ball, and 2 Shaymin, the deck runs smoothly and is a blast to play.
The strategy should be familiar by now if you've been playing at all recently. Trevenant has had a lot of success with its linear strategy and crippling Item lock. Streaming Trevenant and spamming its attacks are pretty much all you do with the deck. You also limit your opponent's options with various disruptive cards. This list runs a plethora of disruption cards to complement Trevenant's Item lock. Crushing Hammer, Bursting Balloon, Lysandre, Xerosic, Red Card, and N all aid in locking your opponent while whittling away with Silent Fear and Tree Slam.
2 Wobbuffet PHF
A lot of Trevenant lists have been dropping Wobbuffet entirely, and that just doesn't make sense to me. Wobbuffet is a fantastic addition to this deck for many reasons. First off, it provides Ability lock. Item lock is usually superior, but Ability lock is a great option to use as well. Additionally, if you are going second, you can start Wobbuffet to limit your opponent's options of using Shaymin-EX. Phantump can't hurt your opponent from the get go if you are playing second.
Wobbuffet is a great attacker that can deal some serious damage. A strong attacker is something that Trevenant decks otherwise lack, so Wobbuffet fulfills that niche role in the deck. Of course, if your opponent is locked out of doing anything in a game, you don't need Wobbuffet and you can just use Silent Fear. However, that is not often the case. If your opponent is attacking constantly and threatening Trevenant, Wobbuffet can come in and apply serious pressure. Psychic Assault does 10 damage plus 10 more damage for each damage counter already on the Defending Pokémon. It combines perfectly with Trevenant BREAK, who uses Silent Fear to spread damage on all of your opponent's Pokémon.
Wobbuffet's attack is relevant in a lot of common scenarios. Psychic Assault can KO an EX that already has 80 or 90 damage on it. It can KO a Yveltal BKT or Yveltal XY that has 60 damage on it. It is also great in the mirror matchup for KO'ing Trevenant BREAK if it already has 80 or more damage on it. The best part about Wobbuffet is that its attack only costs one Energy as long as you have Dimension Valley in play. It's easy to attack with and is also easy to Retreat with Mystery Energy.
0 VS Seeker
So apparently you don't actually need VS Seeker in Trevenant. This discovery confounded me too, but the deck actually works great without it. I'm not going to add any for the time being, but I won't criticize anyone who wants to run it. I could easily cut a Xerosic and/or a Red Card for VS Seeker. Past that, I'm not sure what I'd cut. I realize that this decision in the list is very odd to say the least, but from my experience playing this list, the deck runs better without it. Traditional Trevenant decks sometime struggle with bad draws and a lack of explosiveness in the early game. This is because VS Seeker can clog up the deck before it can be useful. Almost all of the time, especially early on, I'd rather have N than VS Seeker.
1 Xerosic and 1 Red Card
These are disruptive cards that go well with Trevenant. Red Card plus Item lock can easily stick your opponent with an unplayable hand. Xerosic is not as good without VS Seeker, but it still is useful. Its ability to remove Tools is helpful for decks that play down something like Fighting Fury Belt before Item lock comes into play. It can also remove Special Energy against decks like VV, Night March, and Seismitoad/Giratina. Running only one of each of these cards is not terribly consistent, but there's no need for more of them. They aren't overly important but they are incredibly useful. The 4 Trainers' Mails can help find these cards when you want them.
4 N is an unusually high count for Trevenant decks, but after playing the deck I love having 4 N. Trevenant is notorious for frequently getting bad draws, bad hands, and having consistency issues. N mitigates all of those. Running 4 N gives you plenty of safe draw options throughout the game. N is especially powerful early game. Hand refresh for 6 is amazing. N is also great later in the game because it can force your opponent's hand to low amounts of cards. This is good for the same reason as Red Card. It can easily create unplayable hands for your opponent. Hand disruption + Item lock is already a crazy combo, and also having a built in shuffle-draw option is absurdly good.
3 Bursting Balloon
Many Trevenant list nowadays run Crushing Hammer instead of Bursting Balloon. Why not both? Bursting Balloon is amazing in Trevenant. I cannot see myself running Trevenant without Bursting Balloon. As long as you are intelligent with Bursting Balloon uses, you can always force uncomfortable situations for your opponent. When you are contemplating using Bursting Balloon, put yourself in your opponent's shoes and ask: "How badly would Bursting Balloon hurt me?" Since you only have 3 Balloons, make sure to use them wisely. Bursting Balloon also adds sorely needed damage output for the deck. Trevenant just doesn't hit very hard and Bursting Balloon helps with that.
Bursting Balloon is critical in certain matchups. Against low-HP Pokémon like Night Marchers and Vespiquen, it can OHKO them or severely damage them. It goes well with Silent Fear, especially against Vespiquen. 30 from Silent Fear + 60 from Bursting Balloon is a perfect 90 to KO Vespiquen. Bursting Balloon is also great against Yveltal. If they are attacking with Yveltal BKT or Yveltal XY, you can have an Active Wobbuffet with Bursting Balloon. Bide Barricade turns off Fright Night, so Bursting Balloon does 60 damage. You can follow that up with a Psychic Assault for 70, and that's a clean KO on the bacon birds.
Bursting Balloon is also great against Pokémon with high HP. Since Trevenant takes quite some time to whittle them down, Bursting Balloon adds significant damage to help bring them down faster. This is good against things like Seismitoad-EX, Yveltal-EX, and Genesect-EX. Wobbuffet can follow up Bursting Balloon plays against just about everything. In fact, Silent Fear + Bursting Balloon + Psychic Assault is 190 damage, enough to KO most Pokémon-EX!
3 Crushing Hammer
Crushing Hammer is incredible combined with Item lock, as we saw from Seismitoad's reign in 2015. Opponents already struggle to find Energy amidst all of your other disruption cards, and Crushing Hammer can potentially set your opponent back a few turns. While it does require a flip, Crushing Hammer is still one of the most powerful and devastating Items that a lock deck can use. It's especially effective against Water Box. Item lock prevents Water Box from using Max Elixir and Energy Switch, and Crushing Hammer can slow down their offense even more. Crushing Hammer is useful against everything though, as every popular deck right now runs Energy. Not only is Crushing Hammer extremely powerful, it's also versatile.
2 Float Stone
Float Stone is great for when you don't start with Phantump. It simply allows you to retreat into Phantump and use Ascension or Wally for the first turn Item lock. While you start with something other than Phantump almost 50% of the time and want Float Stone when that happens, I still don't think more than 2 Float Stone is needed. Four Trainers' Mail helps to find Float Stone, and both Wobbuffet and Shaymin-EX can easily retreat for one Energy.
4 Mystery Energy
Once again, this is a card that seems to get dropped from Trevenant lists even though it is a phenomenal card. It allows Trevenant to retreat with ease and allows Wobbuffet to retreat for free. Mystery Energy is definitely mandatory for any Trevenant decks that run Wobbuffet. While the argument can be made for a pure Basic Psychic line in Trevenant decks without Wobbuffet, you should be running Wobbuffet in the first place. Mystery adds mobility to this deck, which is greatly appreciated because all of the attackers have hefty Retreat Costs.
Night March - Favorable
Night March is the main reason why Trevenant is played. Night March is the king of the format, and Trevenant is one of the few decks with a strong matchup against Night March. Night March is favorable for so many reasons. First and foremost is Item lock. If you go first and get the Wally, you win. Even if you don't, you can still cripple Night March for the entire game with Item lock. Sure, they have one turn to play Items, but it has to be one amazing turn for Night March to have a chance in the long game.
Bursting Balloon is another reason why this matchup is so great. Even if Night March somehow musters up enough power to KO a Trevenant, Bursting Balloon will straight up KO the Night Marcher. Against the Vespiquen variant, Bursting Balloon will KO a Vespiquen that's already been hit with Silent Fear, or else it will put it in range of an easy Silent Fear KO. If you think there's a decent chance of Night March using Lysandre next turn, don't play down Bursting Balloon! Balloon is one of the best cards to use so you definitely want to use it efficiently.
Trevenant's attacks are also devastating against Night March. Tree Slam can KO all of their attackers besides Vespiquen, which it will put in Silent Fear KO range. Silent Fear KO's Joltik and pressures every Shaymin on the board simultaneously. It also 2HKO's Pumpkaboo, Mew, and Combee. Another great thing is that you won't have to worry about Dimension Valley being bumped from play. While Night March uses Dimension Valley too, it is nice to not worry about a Stadium war.
Wobbuffet is a fantastic opener if you go second. It cripples Night March because they cannot use Shaymin on their one turn where they are supposed to explode with Items. Wobbuffet is not useful in this matchup besides that though.
Trevenant Mirror - Even to Slightly Favorable
I wrote about this matchup in more detail in my last article, so feel free to check that out. Basically, the matchup is luck-based and Item lock is not a huge deal. However, I feel that my version of Trevenant will have a slight advantage in the mirror match. I run more Supporters instead of VS Seeker, and that is huge against the mirror's Item lock. I also run Wobbuffet which can take KO's a turn sooner than Trevenant can against opposing Trevenant BREAKs.
VV - Favorable
Vileplume/Vespiquen is another deck that completely folds if you get the T1 Wally going first. Just like against Night March, Wobbuffet is a great opener if you go second. Since VV is reliant on Shaymin, Wobbuffet can halt their setup. Wobbuffet is great for the rest of the game too, since it shuts of Vileplume's Ability. When Wobbuffet is Active, you can use Items even when the opponent has Vileplume out. Just be aware that you can't really Lysandre stall Vileplume with Wobbuffet Active, because your opponent can use Items too. They might just attach Float Stone! Overall the fact that you can choose when Item lock is on and when it's off is incredibly advantageous in this matchup.
Crushing Hammer and Xerosic are particularly helpful in this matchup because VV plays low amounts of Energy. You can typically remove most of their Energy between a few KO's and Crushing Hammer. Bursting Balloon is also useful because it puts Vespiquen in KO range of Silent Fear, and it outright KO's if Vespiquen has previously been hit with Silent Fear. There goes another precious DCE.
Another reason why this matchup is favorable is because VV typically plays down many Pokémon at once. They may alter their play a little bit to adapt to the matchup, but Silent Fear is still devastating. I already mentioned its math with Bursting Balloon. Silent Fear 2HKO's Combee, Oddish, and Bunnelby. It also 3HKO's Vespiquen and Gloom. You may think that your opponent will be able to evolve everything, but that is not always the case when Item lock is in effect. You will often take cheap Prizes against low-HP Pokémon in this matchup.
Water Box - Unfavorable
You can cheese Water Box out of wins with hand disruption and Hammers, but on the whole this matchup is at best slightly unfavorable. If they can stick Rough Seas then you will have a hard time actually taking knockouts. You need to win the Stadium war in this matchup. Manaphy-EX's Ability and attack are also quite difficult to deal with.
It's difficult to take six Prizes against Water types, so you want to try and damage Hoopa and Shaymin whenever possible. Lysandre on Hoopa is pretty good but Manaphy's Ability counters it somewhat. Crushing Hammer and Bursting Balloon are both going to be very helpful. Try to take KO's with Wobbuffet whenever you can, because with all of the healing in Water Box, you don't know when an opportunity to take a KO will disappear. It's an uphill battle for sure, but this matchup is definitely winnable.
- 3x Wailord EX
- 3x Aegislash EX
- 2x Lugia EX
- 2x Durant
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 2x Skyla
- 2x Pokémon Fan Club
- 2x Xerosic
- 4x Professor Birch's Observations
- 3x Lysandre
- 4x Team Flare Grunt
- 4x N-supporter
- 3x Cassius
- 4x AZ
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Max Potion
- 2x Heavy Ball
- 2x Enhanced Hammer
- 2x Weakness Policy
- 4x Rough Seas
- 3x Double Colorless Energy
Wailord can once again be a surprise contender. It hasn't been talked about all that much but with such a defined format it is poised to make a splash. Wailord has the tools to stall out almost any deck. It wins by passive deckout. Opponents will eventually run out of the resources needed to deal with Wailord-EX, and they will end up decking out. The various disruptive and healing cards prolong Wailord's survivability so that it is as difficult as possible for opponents to knock out just one Wailord, let alone three.
I only run 3 Wailord because you don't really need the fourth. You have other walls to use if needed. Wailord is your go-to wall against most decks because not many other decks are equipped to deal with it. The strategy revolves around Wailord. Make it tank attacks. You don't need to attack. You don't need to retreat. You don't need its Ability. Wailord is used solely for its absurd 250 HP and its ability to take attacks until your opponent decks out.
Aegislash is useful primarily against VV. It can wall the deck to oblivion. VV lists are not equipped to deal with multiple Aegislash. Aegislash is also useful against other decks that use Special Energy such as Yveltal and Fighting. You can mix up your defense between Aegislash and Wailord to make things even more difficult for your opponent. Aegislash isn't actually that great against Night March though, as they can use Hex and OHKO it with ease.
Lugia is primarily used as a Bunnelby PRC 121 counter. For just a DCE, it can OHKO Bunnelby if it has an Energy attached. Bunnelby is a huge obstacle to Wailord, so having an easy way to dispose of it is handy. Lugia can also be used as a sweeper if your opponent is unprepared to deal with it, especially later on when they are low on resources.
2 Durant FLF
For those of you who looked at the Wailord list that took second at US Nationals back in 2015, you might remember a distinct inclusion. I'm talking about none other than Hugh. Hugh was an unorthodox card, and it is no longer in Standard unfortunately. Hugh negated the draw-pass strategy which could otherwise beat Wailord. Durant is used for a similar purpose.
Whenever your opponent amasses many cards in their hand, you can drop Durant + DCE + AZ or Cassius and use Chip Off. Durant's Chip Off has you randomly discard cards from your opponent's hand until they are down to four. This attack is actually overpowered. If your opponent constantly keeps a small hand, Durant is useless. However, that is still great because it means they are burning resources to do so. Durant is not only necessary, but it is incredibly powerful. It's also a one-prize attacker so your opponent gains absolutely nothing from KO'ing it, as it forces the 7-prize game.
1 Hex Maniac
Hex is an odd inclusion but my friend Eddie Sitavi convinced me that it is really good against Trevenant. This turned out to be true. While you don't always have the one-of Hex under Item lock, it certainly puts in the work when you do have it. It might be a "win more" card since Trevenant is already a favorable matchup, but being able to use Max Potion under Item lock to erase 4+ attacks from Trev is great.
Skyla is nice to have. It is an extra out to Weakness Policy against Vespiquen. It's an extra out to Enhanced Hammer against Night March. It's also a great way to search out a specific Supporter that you need for next turn. It's so versatile and really helps the deck.
2 Pokémon Fan Club
Fan Club helps to find specific Pokémon at specific times, notably Durant. It is a Supporter but it gets more Pokémon than Heavy Ball and can also be used under Item lock.
2 Xerosic, 2 Enhanced Hammer, 3 Lysandre, 4 Team Flare Grunt
These are all disruptive cards made to deplete your opponent's resources. It's hard enough to get through three Wailord when your deck is functioning well, but it's nearly impossible when you are constantly harassed by disruptive cards. These play to your win condition of deck out. After all, when your opponent is stuck, they will eventually deck out.
4 Professor Birch's Observations, 4 N
This deck needs some drawpower in order to keep the disruptive and healing cards flowing, but Professor Sycamore doesn't fit the bill. You don't want to discard cards and you don't want to deck out before your opponent. Birch is far from a good card, but it's a necessary evil as there are no better draw options. Yes, Shauna consistently nabs 5 cards, but Birch is objectively better because it averages more.
3 Cassius, 4 AZ, 4 Max Potion, 4 Rough Seas
These cards are used to heal Wailord when it does take damage. It is important to time Max Potion, AZ and Cassius to heal the maximum amount of damage possible. You want your opponent to hit into Wailord a few times before you heal it. Be careful not to miscalculate though. Losing Wailord to an unexpected KO can be disastrous, especially when you could've healed it. Always play it safe when it comes to healing cards. If there's any realistic chance of Wailord getting knocked out on the following turn, heal it.
2 Weakness Policy
Vespiquen has become somewhat of a big deal recently what with it winning US Nationals. Weakness Policy removes Wailord's treacherous weakness to the nasty insect. While Megaphone is an issue, Policy still helps.
Night March - Favorable
The matchup with Night March depends on what version of Night March is being used. Vespiquen makes the matchup unfavorable, but a version without Vespiquen is much easier to defeat. The strategy is to go with your normal gameplan. Tank with Wailord and remove Energy. You often want to use the combo of Flare Grunt + Max Potion or Enhanced Hammer + AZ/Cassius after each use of Night March. You can run the Night March player out of Energy and they will eventually deck out. If you notice that your opponent is running out of VS Seeker and Puzzles, you can transition to Aegislash-EX.
Trevenant - Favorable
Trevenant is pretty easy. It doesn't deal much damage at all, and you can heal much of it off with Rough Seas. Make sure to not have many Pokémon Benched at once! Otherwise Silent Fear can steal games. I generally like to have only one Wailord in play against Trevenant. When I need to use AZ I will Bench another one. Be careful of Wobbuffet if they play it. After many Tree Slams it can come out of nowhere and take a KO with Psychic Assault. This matchup is very favorable overall because of how hard it is for Trevenant to KO Wailord.
VV - Even to Favorable
VV is a volatile matchup and it can go either way. If you are able to get Aegislash-EX out, you will most likely win. However it is possible for VV to get a fast Vileplume and disrupt Items. If Vileplume comes out then you will have to draw into Aegislash with N or Birch, or you could use Fan Club. Whiffing completely can happen and that's why this matchup is very luck-based.
Since VV relies on DCE to attack, Aegislash can potentially sit in the Active slot for the entire game and your opponent will be unable to touch it. They will subsequently deck out. However, some VV decks run Basic Energy, and those allow them to hit Aegislash. This is not really a problem however because of the 4 Team Flare Grunt. VV does not run many Basic Energy, so a Flare Grunt or two will fix that problem. You can then resume walling with Aegislash. The matchup is very simple but it is very possible that you will lose to bad luck.
Water Box - Slightly Favorable
I have not actually played this matchup so I'm not exactly sure how it goes. Xerosic is very important to remove Fury Belt from opposing Seismitoad because Fury Belt allows Grenade Hammer to 2HKO Wailord as opposed to 3HKO. Seismitoad will normally 3HKO Wailord and that is okay. You can use Flare Grunt, Lysandre, and VS Seeker to constantly disrupt the deck and they should eventually deck out. Water Box typically runs a lot of Basic Energy and that is somewhat of an issue. Keep in mind that you do have 8 potential uses of Team Flare Grunt and you want to use as many of them as you can.
Once many Energy are removed, it becomes easier to disrupt Water Box because they won't have as many Energy to retreat Pokémon that you drag Active with Lysandre. Lugia can be a surprise attacker once you have removed lots of Energy. You can load a Lugia on the Bench and then attack into Toad. When Lugia KO's Toad it also discards the three Energy that were attached to Toad. Your opponent might simply not have enough Energy remaining to deal with Lugia.
- 4x Combee
- 4x Vespiquen
- 2x Vileplume
- 2x Gloom
- 2x Oddish
- 1x Jolteon EX
- 1x Aegislash EX
- 1x Bunnelby
- 3x Unown
- 4x Shaymin EX
- 1x Lysandre
- 2x AZ
- 2x N-supporter
- 3x Professor Sycamore
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 2x Revitalizer
- 2x Float Stone
- 4x Forest of Giant Plants
- 4x Lighting Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
VV is another deck that does quite well against Night March. This deck is fast and powerful. Its first turn potential is unparalleled. T1 Vileplume is amazing in this format and it can steal many games. This explosive deck does especially well against Night March and it is one of the most feared decks to play against. No opponent wants to face against VV because of its oppressive Item lock and hard hitting Vespiquen. VV sometimes bricks out and doesn't get its ideal first turn, but overall the deck still works very well and devastates many of the other top decks.
The idea behind playing VV is to take a highly favorable matchup against Night March and Water Box in exchange for a really close matchup against Trevenant and a really stupid mirror match. However, VV's core strategy is powerful and it's got a strong shot at beating everything else in the format. The strategy is to burn through a good portion of your deck on the first turn in order to set up Vileplume and Vespiquen with Forest of Giant Plants. Vespiquen severely limits your opponent for the whole game while Vespiquen takes KO after KO. The deck takes some practice but overall isn't too hard to play. The game usually becomes very linear after the first turn. Sometimes you do not want to go for Vileplume, but those situations are odd and it takes discernment and practice to determine whether or not Vileplume should come into play on a given turn.
Many lists run heavier counts of Vileplume, but you only really need 2 of each. After all, if you play heavier counts, the other pieces only end up getting discarded so you don't actually need a thick line. You do have to run at least two of everything though in case a piece is Prized. One of the risks of the 2-2-2 line is Prizing both copies of one of the Pokémon, but that doesn't happen often and the risk is worth the extra deck space. It is still easy to get a T1 Vileplume with only a 2-2-2 line. The extra space lets me run the Compressor + Revitalizer engine which further increases the consistency with which you can get out Vileplume.
1 Jolteon-EX and 4 Lightning Energy
The deck wants to run Basic Energy anyway in order to deal with Aegislash, so you might as well run something that can take advantage of a specific type. I chose Jolteon and Lightning Energy because Jolteon is such a strong card in this format. First of all, it has free Retreat, which makes it a fantastic opener. VV is lacking in decent starting Pokémon so that is a nice bonus.
Jolteon's Flash Ray is strong against all Basic Pokémon. This effect is so far-reaching and versatile because every deck runs Basics, and almost every deck uses Basics to attack. Flash Ray is particularly helpful against Night March and Water Box. Jolteon + Vileplume is such a difficult combo for Night March to deal with. They may have Pokémon Ranger but they also have to get many Night Marchers into the Discard under Item lock and they have to find their Ranger at the right time under Item lock. Jolteon only takes up one space in the deck yet it has so many uses. Worst case scenario, you can simply discard it to fuel Vespiquen's Bee Revenge.
Aegislash is solely used to provide an edge in the mirror match. Some VV variants don't run any Basic Energy at all, and Aegislash is an easy way to win against those versions. It can also be used to buy time against Night March if you find the need to for whatever reason. Otherwise, Aegislash is Compressor fodder.
I will concede that you won't consistently find your one Lysandre, especially under Item lock. However this card is a staple for a reason. Its effect is just too good. Your opponent will have their options limited under Item lock, so the possibility of having Lysandre and taking out one of their only threats is great. Some VV lists run 2 Lysandre and I think that is a good idea. However, there's nothing that I would be comfortable cutting for the second one right now.
2 AZ, 2 Float Stone
Most players are somewhat prepared for the possibility of facing Vileplume, and the most common strategy is to attempt to stall it Active with Lysandre. Ideally, you will be able to equip a Float Stone on Oddish before Vileplume comes into play. However, sometimes you whiff and sometimes the Float Stone will be discarded with Xerosic. In either of those cases, 2 AZ is a somewhat consistent option to remove Vileplume from the Active spot and allow you to use Items before you play it back down.
Many players do not run Revitalizer in VV but it seems the card was made just for this deck. I know that it's an Item that cannot be used when Vileplume is out. However you will still have opportunities to use during the early game or when Vileplume is knocked out. You can also use it when you use AZ on Vileplume to temporarily suspend Item lock.
Revitalizer is used first and foremost to consistently get a T1 Vileplume. With Compressor and Ultra Ball, some Plume pieces will end up getting discarded. Revitalizer gets two Grass Pokémon from the Discard at no cost. Usually you will get two Vileplume pieces in order to evolve them immediately with Forest of Giant Plants and establish the fearsome Item lock. Revitalizer can also be used to restore Vespiquen lines in case you need more of them.
Night March - Highly Favorable
Night March struggles so hard under Item lock. Get Vileplume ASAP and this matchup should be smooth sailing. Night March struggles even more when you take KO after KO with Bee Revenge and Flash Ray. While Night March can use Pokémon Ranger and Hex Maniac, those are 1-of Supporters that are difficult to find under Item lock. Even if they find the Supporter, they have to have the optimal hand in order to effectively capitalize on it. Night March also struggles to fuel its Discard in order to attack when Item lock is in place. Ultra Ball, Battle Compressor, and other important Items are simply not allowed!
If you go first in the matchup, it is just about over. If you go second, Night March gets one turn of Items. If they don't get an explosive turn, you win. Even if they do get an explosive first turn of Items and go first, you still will Item lock them for the rest of the game. You can also take consecutive KO's and Night March will struggle to find a response to each one. Who doesn't love watching Night March squirm?
Trevenant - Even
You may notice that there is a discrepancy what with me calling this matchup even, whereas in the Trevenant section I said it was favorable against VV. This is because my Trevenant list does a bit better against traditional VV lists, but my VV list does a bit better against traditional Trevenant lists.
The reason for this is that most Trevenant lists do not play Wobbuffet. Wobbuffet is such a huge player in this matchup on Trevenant's side. Recently it seems like Trevenant lists have excluded Wobb, and that is great news for VV. However, the matchup is still close because whoever wins the opening flip is at a huge advantage. If Trevenant goes first and gets the Wally, they will win unless you have some sort of miracle hand. You can try Sky Return looping but you will eventually get stuck with a ton if Items in hand and/or an opponent's Head Ringer.
If you go first, you can get the typical explosive first turn and simply roll Trevenant with constant powerful Bee Revenges. When Trevenant cannot play Bursting Balloon or Crushing Hammer, it really cannot deal with a barrage of KO's at the hands of Vespiquen. You want to get enough Pokémon in the Discard for Vespiquen to OHKO Trevenant, you want to get Vileplume out, and you want to get one or two Vespiquen ready to go. You ideally will get all of that on your first turn. That is a tall task, even for VV, but it's very doable. Overall this matchup is very close and it can easily go either way, which is why I decided to call it even.
VV mirror - Even to Highly Favorable
This matchup depends on the version of VV you are going against. If you are playing against the version that does not run Basic Energy, you can simply get Aegislash into play and win. If you are against the version that does run Basic Energy, then this is a classic VV mirror that comes down to the opening flip. Whoever gets the first Vileplume wins. You could perhaps stall even the Basic Energy version with Aegislash, but it really wouldn't be too hard for them to KO it within a turn or two if they went first and had a good turn.
Water Box - Highly Favorable
I'm not really sure how you can lose this matchup. Seismitoad, Manaphy, Hoopa, Shaymin, Regice, Aurorus, Jolteon, and Articuno are all easily destroyed by Vespiquen's powerful Bee Revenge. That leaves only the possible techs of Aegislash-EX and Glaceon-EX to deal with. Aegislash is not really an obstacle because my VV list runs four Basic Energy. You only need to get two of them on a Vespiquen and hit into the Aegislash one or two times before it falls.
Glaceon-EX is slightly more annoying but it shouldn't be a huge detriment. First off, you opponent needs to establish a Glaceon with three Energy, a difficult task under Item lock. If you don't first Lysandre-KO it, the Glaceon will start using Crystal Ray to block attacks from Vespiquen. If the Water Box player doesn't have Rough Seas in play (as it isn't easy to win a Stadium war under Item lock), you can safely Sky Return loop the Glaceon. If they do have Rough Seas and if you cannot get rid of it, Sky Return won't do any damage but you can still stall with it.
You can use either Jolteon or Aegislash to deal with Glaceon. Aegislash will safely KO it in 3 hits as long as you get the first hit in and as long as the Glaceon does not have Fighting Fury Belt. However Aegislash will be left with 140 damage. Jolteon is the safer option but it takes a little longer to KO Glaceon. However, Jolteon becomes invincible against the entire Water Box deck once it starts using Flash Ray. Therefore, it is the more reliable option to whittle away at Glaceon.
That is all that I've got for today. Unfortunately Night March is just so strong right now. The only ways to beat it are Item lock, Bats, and Wailord. There are only two T1 Item lock decks right now: Trevenant and VV. I covered my lists which are what I believe to be the best lists right now for those decks. I hope you guys try out some of my odd ideas and enjoyed the writeups. As for Bats, they do well against Night March. I'm trying to find some Bat rogue that can beat most other things in addition to Night March but I'm not sure exactly what the way to go for that would be. Wailord can beat Night March but it does struggle some against the Vespiquen variant.
Thanks for reading guys! I hope you enjoyed the article. If you've got any questions or comments feel free to let me know.
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