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Caleb Gedemer

"Dark takes Orlando by Surprise"

Caleb Gedemer delves into the Standard format one last time before the release of Evolutions, check it out!

10/25/2016 by Caleb Gedemer

Caleb Gedemer delves into the Standard format one last time before the release of Evolutions — Florida Regional Championship Breakdown and More.


Hey, Caleb Gedemer back at it again with more content. This year's Florida Regional Championship has come and gone now, but what became of it? How did an under-the-radar deck have such great success? Why was Greninja BREAK such a non-factor? What happens next in the Standard format?

While I was unfortunately unable to attend this great event, but in this article, I will try my best to address all of these topics and go as in depth as possible.


The Results

Thanks to the Charizard Lounge, we have the following results:

1. Azul Garcia Greigo with Yveltal-EX/Garbodor

2. Alex Schemanske with Vileplume Toolbox

3. Brad Curcio with Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor

4. Ryan Sabelhaus with Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor

5. Rahul Reddy with Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor

6. Igor Costa with M Mewtwo-EX (Y)/Garbodor

7. Daniel Lopez with Volcanion-EX

8. John Orgel with M Mewtwo-EX (Y)/Garbodor

Azul with his Yveltal deck with Garbodor was able to take home the first place title. This deck came somewhat out of the blue (ha, ha, azul). Going into this tournament, I personally believed that Greninja BREAK was extremely well positioned and would likely be the best deck and take multiple Top Eight finishes. I turned out to be horribly wrong on this sentiment, in fact, only three ‘ninja BREAK decks even made the second day in Orlando!

I expected Yveltal decks to be played, but not with Garbodor. Mainly, I expected Yveltal decks with Mew and things like Faded Town to counter M Pokemon-EX decks. This Darkness type builds had been garnering lots of hype in the weeks leading up to the event, so I had assumed this sentiment I held would hold true.

Another deck I expected to be big was that of M Mewtwo-EX (Y). I was, however, correct on this one, at least. Two of these powerhouses were able to find themselves in the Top Eight of this tournament. Based upon the other decks that did well, it is somewhat surprising that ‘two did not do even better than it did.

Some other decks that I originally thought were top contenders, but eventually strayed away from, made a showing, too. The Vileplume toolbox deck that took the World Championships by surprise, as well as Volcanion, found their path to big finishes, too.

Darkrai-EX with Giratina-EX was another deck that blew through the competition by some big name players. This deck, I too, had written off a little bit because of its lackluster matchup with M Mewtwo-EX. In my area, at local tournaments, the deck had waned significantly in popularity since it was repeatedly getting trounced by the aforementioned Mewtwo decks.

What This All Means

Greninja BREAK did not show up as predominantly as it could have, because of the dominance and overwhelming play of Garbodor decks. Darkness type decks with Garbodor were in absolute prime in this event and obviously preyed on the ‘ninja decks. The Giratina-EX version of this build is generally better against Greninja decks because Giratina-EX can lock in a Parallel City and reduce damage from Water type Pokemon. This makes it incredibly difficult to take knockouts on the beefy Giratina-EX, especially when Giant Water Shuriken is restricted by Garbodor.

Darkness type decks showed up in big numbers by some of the best players in the game because even in the Standard format, it is such a great deck. Max Elixir gives it an uncanny knack to blow up on the first turn of the game and generate offense.

There were some surprise decks that made a showing, like Gyarados from Ancient Origins. This mighty card is part of a complicated, but unique, strategy that revolves around using Team Magma's Secret Base and dropping Magikarp on the Bench and damaging them to beef up ‘dos’s Full Retialition deck. I think this deck is extremely dependant on draws and is not a reliable strategy to take to big events. A few players did make it to the second day of play with it, but were subsequently stifled after much success on the first day.

Another new deck, M Gardevoir-EX with Despair Ray, found some success with the release of Karen. The list that was played played a limited array of Pokemon, but included ways to continually recycle Hoopa-EXs and Shaymin-EXs, time and time again. I am a little skeptical of this concept, but it seemed to work, so I cannot question it too much.

Finally, Raichu made an unexpected showing as well. Just a single player with a version of the deck continued with play on the second day, but their build was pretty interesting. I am displeased with myself in that I did not think of the idea to play Banette with Tool Concealment. That Ability is very clever when trying to counter Fighting Fury Belt. Belt was a major hurdle for this deck to climb and the Banette solves just that. M Pokemon-EX can still remain a problem, but for the most part, I think this deck is much better with the release of Karen and should be poised to make some other showings down the road in competitive play.

The Future

This really seems like a trend, but Darkness type decks seem to really have a strong grip over both the Expanded and Standard formats now. I would say going forward that the big bad Darkrai-EXs, Yveltals and Giratina-EXs of the world are the main decks to beat. However, with a new set coming out in time for the next Regional Championship, that could be up to change.

For the purposes of this article, however, we will be discussing the format currently. League Challenges and smaller tournaments like that are still relevant and continually happening in the coming weeks and months. Who knows, maybe League Cups will start up finally, too!

As previously stated, Darkness type decks are definitely the decks to beat heading into Standard format tournaments. A few new decks have been uncovered by the Florida Regional Championship and all that in one bundle makes for a very exciting and vibrant format of play.

The Top Decks (Primal Clash through Steam Siege, including Karen)



When this deck popped up just before the United States National Championship last year, it definitely was interesting. The concept was a little offsetting to me originally, with the idea of playing Double Dragon Energy, an Energy exclusive to Dragon Pokemon types. Being forced to pitch some of these Energy was frightening and in testing, it seemed to happen a lot.

Luckily, members of the community have figured out how to get this deck to run smoothly and have proved it with great results at the biggest Regional Championship ever.

Darkrai-EX with Dark Pulse clocks in as a super heavy hitter when combined with Max Elixir. Elixirs are able to get a beefy Dark Pulse attack in no time. Double Dragon Energy even further speeds up the process by counting as two Darkness Energy at once. This being said, the damage stacks up fast and is sure to pressure any deck.

Fighting Fury Belt makes it even worse for the competition because there is currently no way to deal with Pokemon Tool cards. 220 HP on a Basic Pokemon is something to gawk at and with powerful attacks behind a wad of HP, nothing is safe.

Giratina-EX rounds up the deck by covering other bases and addressing M Pokemon-EX and Special Energy reliant decks. It also provides a way to deal with decks that revolve around playing Sky Field to increase damage output like M Rayquaza-EX and Raichu. Chaos Wheel can lock Parallel City in play, capping damage output by restricting the opponent’s field to only three Benched Pokemon at once.

Deck List

This deck list found its way to three Top Eight places at the end of play in Florida, so there is no reason to argue with anything in this deck.


2 Shaymin-EX; not too little, not too much. Two copies of Shaymin-EX is becoming a very standard count for modern decks, especially when Garbodor is involved.

3 Darkrai-EX; sometimes using Giratina-EX as an attacker is not the correct play and should not be acceptable. Using three Darkrai-EX insures that we will always have a dark friend that is able to attack. This count also means that we will likely always have a Darkrai-EX on the Bench that is ready to take a Max Elixir attachment whenever applicable.

2 Giratina-EX; as mentioned above, Giratina-EX is in some matchups unnecessary and should be advised against. However, with two, the decks that ‘tina is good against will still feel the burn of its Chaos Wheel attack.

1 Hoopa-EX; the glue for this deck’s early setup. Finding the attacking Pokemon and Shaymin-EX to draw more cards and get the ball rolling is a must-have.

2 Trubbish; the perfect count to find a spot on the Bench and get Garbodor going.

2 Garbodor; just enough to find the field and Evolve a bag of garbage into a huge lump of trash, stopping Abilities in the process.

1 Enhanced Hammer; sometimes Special Energy can find the field before Giratina-EX gets to attack. Have no fear, E Hammer will save the day and rid the opponent of those Energy.

4 Max Elixir; how the heck do we attack for any damage at all with Dark Pulse? Chaos Wheel? That takes a ton of Energy! Oh, yes, Max Elixir solves both of those problems and serves as this deck’s source of Energy acceleration. It is a no brainer in a count of four.

1 Super Rod; this card is optimal in a singleton count. It can find a piece of Garbodor that was Discarded with something like a Professor Sycamore or an Ultra Ball or even find another Darkrai-EX or Giratina-EX just in time for a much-needed attack.

3 Trainers’ Mail; a nice filler count to find other important Trainer cards in the deck, aside from Trainers’ Mail, of course. The consistency boost of this card is always great to have.

4 Ultra Ball; finding Hoopa-EX early, getting Shaymin-EXs for clutch Set Ups, getting Garbodor online. This card is easily a count of four and should not be touched.

4 VS Seeker; when Battle Compressor rotated out of the Standard format, I was an early adversary for cutting down on VS Seeker, but I have gone back on that thought because the opportunity to play three copies a game, in the case that we play four, is too big to pass up on. Just figure in most cases we play four to use three or we play three to use two and so on.

2 Lysandre; this deck is able to score cheap knockouts early on with use of Lysandre. It is also nice to target big opposing threats and even take knockouts on Pokemon that have Special Energy attached so that Giratina-EX can prevent those same Energy from ever being an issue again.

2 N; just enough to provide a natural consistent flow and enough to disrupt the opponent in the late game.

1 Olympia; AZ’s predecessor in the Standard format, currently. Olympia was an early favorite of mine and even has use as a healing card in niche situations. Obviously it is a switching card, for the most part, in nearly all respects.

4 Professor Sycamore; do you like drawing cards? Well I do too, what else is there to really be said?

2 Parallel City; limiting the opponent’s Bench in a format with Bench-dependant decks is pretty good. Two is a great number to not clog up a deck too much, but still leave the option available. Additionally, with Greninja BREAK still hanging around, reducing Water type Pokemon’s attacks is neat.

3 Fighting Fury Belt; Tool cards in a format without Tool removal is the nuts. Why not play enough Fury Belts to attach to the three Pokemon-EX that we use in a game?

3 Float Stone; Retreating things like Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX is nice, but Garbodor finding a Float Stone is even better. I hear Garbotoxin is pretty good.

4 Double Dragon Energy; Giratina-EX cannot attack without these baddies, so we have to play them. Adding extra damage to Darkrai-EX’s Dark Pulse is awesome, too.

10 Darkness Energy; playing ten of these is great to help out with Max Elixir odds. Also, having lots of these helps Darkrai-EX’s attacks out as well. There is always a Darkness Energy to go around.

M Mewtwo-EX (Y)/Garbodor


Time and time again we seem to mention this deck. This big HP M Pokemon-EX deck is one heck of a powerhouse. It can compete with everything, even against Yveltal with Fright Night, although some argue that that card alone is a cause for the ultimate demise of M2.

M Mewtwo-EX (Y) is an extremely explosive deck past the point when the M Pokemon-EX show themselves on the field. Damage stacks up quickly with the Energy acceleration of Mega Turbo. Most decks cannot reasonably compete with a huge 210 HP Pokemon and a strong attack to go with it.

I have personally championed this deck from the beginning of testing in the Standard format and continue to do so up to this point. The deck has had high appeal to me since it combines a hard hitting attacker with an almost “defensive” twist in the fact that it is so hard to knock out.

Up to know, we have not even talked about Garbodor yet! Garb is great against things like Volcanion and it provides an out in the early turns to those pesky Vileplume decks before they actually get the ‘plume down. Mewtwo can absolutely dominate these builds with Garbodor out shutting down their Abilities that are so integral to their strategy.

Overall, this decks puts together an amazing array of power and tact and is probably the second best deck around, or maybe still the best. It is something to watch out for at every tournament until something is printed that can counter it.

Deck List

I have tested this deck extensively and feel very confident in saying that it is next to absolutely optimal in every way.


2 Shaymin-EX; once again, just enough to get things going and this is a great number when playing Garbodor in the same deck.

1 Hoopa-EX; hey, M Mewtwo-EX and pals are not just going to find their way onto the field without a little help from Scoundrel Ring.

4 Mewtwo-EX; if you look below, I play a tiered line going four then three of the M Pokemon-EX, because we will never use four M Mewtwo-EX (Y) in a game. However, it is amazing to get the regular Mewtwo-EX down into play early on so that it can Evolve when needed. Playing four is useful to ensure that they will be there when needed.

3 M Mewtwo-EX; the masterpiece of the whole deck, three is just enough and if one is Discarded, there just so happens to be a certain card to fix that, below.

2 Trubbish; two tiny garbage bags is great.

2 Garbodor; the heap of trash is nice in a two count. Why would we play three of something we only want one copy of in play?

4 Mega Turbo; a lot of people who are not playing optimal lists decide to use three of these, or even two. Both of those counts are ridicule-worthy. We play four to use three in a game and with so many decks that we need to quickly accelerate against, not having that many in a game would be disastrous. Sometimes, there will even be the chance to use four of these individually in a match and that is absolutely fantastic. Mewtwos love Energy and Mega Turbo provides them with what they want.

1 Super Rod; ah, the card I mentioned a bit ago for fixing the Discarded M Mewtwo-EX problem. This is also nice to get Psychic Energy back and even a Garbodor piece occasionally.

2 Trainers’ Mail; when I started playing this deck, I had four of these to begin with. Slowly, but surely, that number began to drop as there were opportunities to play solid copies of needed cards. For instance I wanted more Psychic Energy than the six that I started with. I added a seventh Energy while cutting a Trainers’ Mail because I found myself in multiple situations where I wanted to use a Mail to find a Shaymin-EX which would hopefully draw me an Energy.

4 Ultra Ball; just right, most decks will be playing a full count and there is no reason not to be.

4 VS Seeker; again, with this deck, I did try three VS Seeker to start off but that was quite abysmal and for that, we are back to a full count of four.

1 Hex Maniac; I started off playing this deck without Hex Maniac and that sure was a large oversight. I totally spaced on the fact that Giratina-EX can either knockout Garbodor and then completely shut M Pokemon-EX decks out of the game, or alternatively, just stop us from playing a Tool card on Garbodor before it can activate Garbotoxin. Both of these ideas in mind, it is a great idea to play a Hex because Giratina-EX is obviously very prominent in the Standard format and present in one of the best decks out there.

1 Lysandre; generally, in a heated Pokemon Trading Card Game match, the biggest threat that the opponent possesses in the form of an attacking Pokemon is in the Active position. Since this is the case, Lysandre is not a huge part of M Mewtwo-EX decks. Psychic Infinity, as the main attack we will be using, has the power to pretty much knock out any Pokemon that is attacking against us. Lysandre is generally a card reserved for the later stages of a game with this deck, where we can find a game winning knockout for the win.

3 N; this deck is a little inconsistent at best and it is a great idea to play a beefy Supporter line to counteract that. N is great early on with this deck and it still has great value towards the end of games because M Mewtwo-EX only needs Energy to attack. That being said, using an N to put our hand to a lower number while doing the same to the opponent is okay. They will have a hard time addressing the attacking Mewtwo.

4 Professor Sycamore; again, Supporters equal consistency and consistency comes in numbers. Having a variety of Supporters is best to ensure that things will go smoothly.

1 Parallel City; playing one of these is just enough to limit opposing decks that rely on the use of Benched Pokemon, having more can be annoying and it is also sometimes good to Discard our own Pokemon-EX like Hoopa and Shaymin.

3 Shrine of Memories; the Shrine is a card that I originally was not a big fan of, but after using this deck plenty of times, I am confident in saying it is the Stadium of choice with this deck and has lots of uses. Swapping damage counters with the opponent by using Damage Swap is truly amazing and provides an even greater defensive edge by healing Pokemon in many cases.

3 Float Stone; three is a great number to have when using Garbodor as well as Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX.

4 Mewtwo Spirit Link; a lot of players pack three of these cards, but I do not agree with that. Having four is amazing in the early game and helps us find them more readily. Getting a Mewtwo Spirit Link on a Mewtwo-EX means that at any moment it could become a M Mewtwo-EX and just go off. It is a great security measure to ensure that consistency is prioritized above all else in this deck.

4 Double Colorless Energy; when we mainly use an attack that costs two Colorless Energy, why on earth would we play less than four of these?

7 Psychic Energy; as I mentioned earlier, I started with six of these and bumped it up to seven. Some use weirder counts like five or eight, but one of those is too little and the other is too many. Six or seven is just right.



Darkness type Pokemon just never go away. As we mentioned earlier, the Darkrai-EX deck with Giratina-EX and Garbodor has taken the Standard format by the reigns and really shaken things up.

This deck is the alter ego to the aforementioned Darkness type deck and focuses more on the generic Darkness Pokemon like Yveltal. Yveltal comes in three flavors, two being regular Pokemon with Oblivion Wing and Pitch-Black Spear as attacks and then there is a big, bad Pokemon-EX Yveltal with Evil Ball.

All three versions of this card are great in their own regards, but in this deck, it is best to focus on just the Pitch-Black Spear one and the Yveltal-EX. Combining those and Darkrai-EX with Dark Pulse, the baby Yveltal is great to snipe around at Pokemon-EX and set up knockouts for later on. Dealing 60 damage to various Pokemon-EX and then finishing them off with a Dark Pulse or Evil Ball is a great strategy indeed.

Darkrai-EX is generally the go-to after a Pitch-Black Spear. In the early game it is generally a better attacker than Yveltal-EX since Max Elixirs may have just been used and the Pokemon on our field are feeling the love of multiple Darkness Energy being in play.

Yveltal-EX is a better attacker to close out games where the opponent may have enlisted a Pokemon to the Active spot with a hefty attack cost or a buildup of Energy, in contrast. Overall, this deck is a more intricate powerhouse and gradually wins games with proper placement of damage and choosing the right Pokemon for the job in certain situations.

Deck List

This is a deck that has lots of room for personal changes. It depends what plays we make at certain times and things like that. Also, there are changes to be made depending on the decks we expect to see in a given tournament. There is a core to this sort of deck that remains the same no matter what, but other than that, a lot of it is up in the air.


2 Shaymin-EX; man, am I ever getting tired of repeating this one. Two, it is great. Just enough.

2 Darkrai-EX; there is a Super Rod in this deck, too and Darkrai-EX can be thrown back into the deck with use of it if needed. Otherwise, two is just enough for its place in the deck as a main attacker with Dark Pulse.

2 Yveltal; these baddies are the beginnings of the gameplan and two is a great number to begin with. Three, however could be useful to increase starting odds or to save one for later in the game and things like that.

2 Yveltal-EX; just like with Darkrai-EX, this guy is a main attacker and two is a good number to go with. Having these in a pair is just enough to get use through a match. Super Rod is always there to get one back if needed.

1 Mew; this is a nice counter to M Mewtwo-EX decks, abusing their Psychic type Weakness. Additionally, Mew can copy the attacks of any of our Pokemon in this deck (they are all Basic Pokemon) at any point, which is super nifty to diversify our attacking portfolio.

1 Escape Rope; we need a way to switch our critters around and Escape Rope can even come in handy with forcing an undesirable Pokemon into the Active for our opponent. Float Stone is not a great inclusion in this deck since Fighting Fury Belt is strictly better on our attacks and everything other than that either has a favorable Retreat cost or a two Energy one, which is on the attackers that want Belts on them.

4 Max Elixir; our Energy acceleration in a nutshell for this deck. It is amazing and can lead to some pretty explosive turns in the opening stages of a game.

1 Special Charge; we use a lot of Double Colorless Energy attackers in this deck and Special Charge can offset some unfavorable Discards of Doubles in a game or provide us with another medium of keeping the powerful attacks coming.

1 Super Rod; finding attackers that would rather hang out in the Discard is pretty cool and Super Rod is also a way to increase Max Elixir odds after some Darkness Energy have been Discarded in a deck that relies on Elixir.

1 Switch; let us switch our Pokemon around, jeez. See Escape Rope for more details.

4 Trainers’ Mail; this deck likes to play as many Max Elixir as possible, as quickly as possible. Trainers’ Mail is a good way to dig through a deck faster and find those precious Energy accelerators or Ultra Balls to get Shaymin-EXs and keep the ball rolling.

4 Ultra Ball; finding Shaymin-EX is neat and getting attackers into play is sick, too. What would we do with a barren field, otherwise?

4 VS Seeker; see the above descriptions for this card if you would like to revisit its strength. It is pretty good!

1 Delinquent; in a deck that can sometimes struggle with damage output, it is nice to have an alternative way to swing games. Having Delinquent at its disposal make this deck have an option to delete an opponent’s hand in a moments notice. If they ever leave their hand at three or less cards, it could be lights out in an instant.

1 Hex Maniac; this card is just too good not to include in pretty much every deck. Being able to stop Abilities for a turn in a format filled with them is extremely strong.

2 Lysandre; this deck is great at punishing various threats around the field and Lysandre gets those threats where we want them. Yveltal’s Fright Night Ability also can hold a big Pokemon like Hoopa-EX in the Active while we snipe away at their Bench with Pitch-Black Spear.

2 N; N is a must in nearly every deck and this one is no different.

4 Professor Sycamore; consistency, consistency, consistency, need I say more?

2 Parallel City; this card has found its place in all of the decks I have mentioned so far, so there must be a reason. It is really good. Two is a nice number in this type of deck. Not too much, not too little.

2 Reverse Valley; without Muscle Band, some numbers get kind of weird. Reverse Valley buffs Fighting Fury Belt and the attack a Darkness type Pokemon itself possess up by another 10 damage which results in a net of plus 20. That can be super clutch and lead to some better math. Two of these is a fantastic choice.

3 Fighting Fury Belt; since regular Yveltals cannot really make use of this since they have Fright Night as an Ability, Darkrai-EX and Yveltal-EX love this card. In a game we usually use one non-Pokemon-EX and three Pokemon-EX or three non-Pokemon-EX. In both of those scenarios, having at least two Fighting Fury Belt Pokemon Tool cards to attach to different Pokemon, usually Pokemon-EX, makes it harder for opponents to actually take knockouts and we can keep attacking for longer.

4 Double Colorless Energy; these are good in a deck with lots and lots of two Colorless Energy attackers.

10 Darkness Energy; playing ten of these, just like with the Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor deck, means that Max Elixir is going to find a Darkness Energy target most of the time. This is great and how we want the deck to operate.

The Outliers (Primal Clash through Steam Siege, including Karen)



This feisty fish found its way into the competitive scene at the Florida Regional Championship. A few people, including a few of our own writers here at, mentioned this deck just before Florida Regionals online. Apparently, however, a few groups of players had been testing this deck for longer, upwards to three months, they said, such that two players reached the second day of play with this off the wall deck.

This deck has can pressure even the best into bad spots. Basically, using Team Magma’s Secret Base, Magikarps that are placed on the Bench take twenty damage. Gyarados’ attack, Full Retaliation, does 30 damage right away, plus 30 for each damage counter on each Benched Magikarp. So with three Magikarps that have two damage counters on them, Gyarados is swinging for a whopping 210 damage, no strings attached.

Why is this good? Uh, well, does that even need explaining? 210 damage is insane. Meowstic-EX was even included in one of these builds, cleverly, to provide a means of reaching 220 damage after moving a damage counter from a different Pokemon to one of the opponent’s Pokemon. A different Basic Pokemon that was inflicted with damage from Team Magma’s Secret Base can have a damage counter moved off and make all the difference. This even comes in handy in the mirror with knocking out opposing Magikarps that are chilling on the Bench to buff out Gyarados’ attack.

Deck List

This list made the second day of play at Florida Regionals and finished in the Top Sixteen. This is a great accomplishment for such an under the radar deck, the list is awesome.

M Gardevoir-EX (Despair Ray)


I mistakenly thought this deck would be alright when it was released, but without Karen in the format, I was horribly wrong. I even jokingly suggested Foongus might be okay in the deck, too, but yeah, scratch that. Anyways, now with Karen, this deck has some real potential! In fact, it even took multiple places in the second day down in Florida. Another top player placed in a Special Event over in Europe, too, with the deck. Despair Ray is a solid attack that can hit for some heavy damage, all the while removing pesky Pokemon-EX like Hoopa and Shaymin from the Bench. Karen is able to keep cycling those Pokemon back into the deck and create an incredibly consistent engine of damage and draw power.

I like this deck because it has a fail-safe in Discarding Pokemon-EX like I mentioned above. The engine of reusing the also aforementioned Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX is truly amazing, too. It makes for an incredibly consistent engine and continually replenishing damage supply.

Be on the lookout for this deck in coming tournaments because it definitely has some real potential. M Mewtwo-EX (Y) also gets destroyed by it since M Gardevoir-EX has a Psychic and Fairy type typing and Mewtwo has a bothersome Psychic type Weakness. This deck can basically knockout anything at or under 190 HP and that is something to revel at. A Darkness type Resistance is stellar, too.

Deck List

This list made the Top Eight of a Special Event over in Europe and something very similar placed at Florida Regionals, as well. Play it with confidence as some great players mastermined the list!



Ah, one of my personal favorites. In the beginnings of the Standard format I, too, mentioned this deck as a contender. Although, in the way I presented it, it was not. I am slightly annoyed, as I mentioned earlier, with myself that I did not consider Banette as a potential partner with Raichu and the obvious inclusion of Golbat. Banette is able to stop Pokemon Tool cards from working, in particular, Fighting Fury Belt.

Not only does Raichu now have a way to knock just about anything out, Karen has been legalized such that its Pokemon can be continually recycled and the effects of Parallel City are significantly hindered in stature.

This deck is a fan favorite by many, so watch out for it to grow in popularity as word spreads and players catch on to this clever strategy. I like this deck and intend to play with it a little to get the feel of how Banette shifts the epicenter for this deck and improves upon the established concept of Raichu wailing on other Pokemon with Circle Circuit and a load of Benched Pokemon.

Deck List

This list was played to a second day appearance in Florida, as well. Some possible changes include finding space for a fourth Shaymin-EX or a second Special Charge. It is definitely a solid grounds to start playing Raichu, though!


The Standard format of the Pokemon Trading Card game right now is definitely a colorful, fun and inviting place to players of all ages, experience and skill levels. There are lots of entertaining concepts and bright ideas to be made.

Between now and the release of the next set, Evolutions, there will be a waiting period where we will see League Challenges and hopefully, League Cups, take place. These events are still critically important to earning an invitation to the World Championships, so be on the lookout for an event near you!

Thank you all for tuning in and I hope you enjoyed this piece. See you next time and good luck at any future events!

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