Hope on the Horizon
Hi everyone! My name is Gustavo Wada from Brazil, this is my first article for 60cards.net and I will write about the International Championships in London. Enjoy!
12/07/2016 by Gustavo Wada
Let me briefly introduce myself. My name is Gustavo Wada and I am from Brazil, I have been playing for quite some time. My most notable accomplishmentsare: Top 16 World Championships 2010, World Champion 2011, Top 32 World Championships 2012, Top 32 World Championships 2014, Top 8 World Championships 2016 and 3 times national champion.
In this is my first article for 60cards.net and I will write about the International Championships in London. Enjoy!
Everybody knows that this weekend is one of the most important and also biggest tournaments in the season! Of course I’m talking about the International Championships in London, and surely players from all regions are training really hard to get a good result in it.
There are some decks that are expected by all the players, maybe because they are too powerful, fast, versatile, high damage, hard to beat, or even all this together, decks that made top cut over this season, decks like: Volcanion, M Gardevoir, Rainbow Road, Yveltal/variants, Darkrai/Salamance and many others. Based on my research and expectations, my opinion is that four decks will dominate in London:
It’s a strong, consistent, extremely fast deck, with a really simple mechanic. Volcanion EX's Steam Up is one of the best abilities in the game, and with it a huge variety of attacks are possible, from 20 (baby Volcanion) to 250 (Volcanion-EX plus 3 Steam Up). This ability also makes hand control possible for drawing extra cards with Shaymin or Octillery, or even for thinning your deck in preparation for 1 card Ns. The little Volcanion combined with Max Elixirs make the 3-energy attack from Volcanion-EX look as simple as Joltik's Night March, but the biggest weakness for this deck is cards that lock abilities like Silent Lab, Hex Maniac and Garbodor.
We have already seen a lot of Rainbow Road decks, with Galvantula/Bisharp, Dragonite-EX, EXs, Exp Shares, Xerneas Break; but all versions have similarities--they are fast (really fast), and have a huge attack power. These qualities combined provide damage enough to knock out an EX Pokémon in the second turn or even on the first turn if Max Elixirs work like they should. This deck can also use a lot auxiliary Pokémon to help Xerneas--some examples are Jolteon-EX that provides a 0 cost retreat and a situational attacker if you use lighting energies, Dragonite-EX that ensures a full bench every time you replace your Sky Field, Flygon-EX that puts in game a possible “Escape Rope”, and many other cards. The combination of damage, speed and high variety of side Pokémon makes Rainbow Road one of the most strong and annoying decks in this format. As there aren’t perfect decks in Pokémon, Rainbow Road naturally has a problem--to prepare a lot of Xerneas to attack. If the first two Xerneas are knocked out too fast, it’s difficult to charge a third one, even with Exp Share, Double Colorless energy or Max Elixir.
Yveltal/Garbodor became popular in the last few tournaments, like Dortmund and Fort Wayne, but what makes this deck so strong?
Yveltal-Ex can deal a considerable amount of damage with Y cyclone, 90, and at the same time recycle energies to the bench. This Pokémon can also deal a high damage with Evil Ball--many times the damage needed to knock out the active Pokémon in one attack or almost that. Some decks use Yveltal with the Fright Night ability that can be really annoying against decks like Volcanion and Darkrai/Salamence making their float stones useless and causing damage on the attackers on the bench.
Another card that is being used by this deck is Jolteon-EX, that can decide the game in some matches with your attack Flash Ray stopping your opponent's entire deck or at least stalling him and give you some time. And in the end, but not less important, Garbodor with his ability Garbotoxin can minimize the power of a lot of Pokemon or even whole decks that depend on abilities. So that pokemon is decisive against Volcanion and Greninja but it can also mean a big problem if used in the beginning of the game against almost any deck, denying Shaymin-EX, Hoopa-EX or Dragonite-EX from your opponent. Because of your versatility this deck doesn’t have a specific weakness, but there are some cards that are really good against this deck: Jolteon-EX, or fairy Pokemon because of the difficulty to do damage to these Pokemon.
Never used before in official championships, Salamence-EX has probably the biggest expectations for London. This promo card is undoubtedly the most hyped card of the moment--its attack Beast Fang is so overpowered, hitting easily high damages like 160 or 210 with only one fire and 2 colorless energies. Combined with another big attacker, Darkrai-EX, this deck has a giant attack power coming from a lot of different Pokemon, and if your opponent uses a lot of Special energies or is dependent on Stadium Cards, you can use Giratina-EX with powerful stall effects that can give you time or in some cases win the match.
This deck can also use a lot of tech or auxiliary cards like Hydreigon-EX that give Salamance-EX free retreat and can also penetrate opponent Jolteon-EX's Flash Ray or Jirachi´s Stardust. Team flare grunt can also reduce damage from Yveltal decks or even remove crucial energies disturbing your opponent's strategy. Hex Maniac helps a lot against Greninja and Volcanions and if used in the right time can decide the game. The weakness from this deck is that it uses only EX pokemon and it can be dependent upon your opponents putting EX Pokemon into play, otherwise it’s hard to hit with Salamence-EX and Darkrai-EX isn't enough to deal with some decks. Another weakness of this deck is Rainbow Road that destroys all attackers from this deck.
Hope on the Horizon
Based on these decks, I think that one of the best options for a deck is Yveltal without Garbodor, focusing on Yveltal BKT. Here I will explain all four match-ups, Volcanion, Rainbow Road, Darkrai/Salamence and Yveltal/Garbodor, and I post my decklist with explanation.
- 1x Yveltal
- 3x Yveltal EX
- 2x Yveltal
- 1x Spiritomb
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 1x Lugia
- 2x Mew
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 2x N-supporter
- 2x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Ninja Boy
- 2x Parallel City
- 2x Switch
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 2x Lysandre
- 1x Escape Rope
- 1x Super Rod
- 4x Max Elixir
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 10x Darkness Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
The deck is based on using the baby Yveltals to deal some damage to different Pokemon from your opponent, so it's easier to knock them out with Yveltal-EX and Lugia, or in certain cases transferring damage with Spiritomb. But the principal advantage of this deck is it versatility and possibilities of different plays that are made by Ninja Boy and Mew's ability.
This is one of the most important cards in deck and also the main attacker in many matches. The ability Fright Night can be used in a lot of different cases, for example when a Pokémon has only 40 hp or less with Fighting Fury Belt and it is knocked out just by having Yveltal active without the necessity of another attack. But the principal function of this ability is to cancel the opponent's Float Stone, giving you time and chance to attack with Pitch-Black Spear, and making easier one-hit KOs with Yveltal-EX or Lugia. Yveltal BKT is crucial against some decks like Volcanion, Rainbow Road, Darkrai/Salamence and is situational against another Yveltal deck.
Not the principal option to attack, but in some occasions this Yveltal can help knock out a damaged Pokémon from your opponent and accelerate your energies at the same time. It can also be used against decks with hard energy removal, and when you are out of energies, but this card only works in some cases or in desperate moments.
An important attacker in almost all matches, Lugia is used to complete the damage of baby Yveltals on Pokémon EXs and can be put in game with a surprise Ninja Boy. That way your opponent doesn’t expect the damage. For a non-EX card it’s really hard to knock out and even harder if it has a Fighting Fury Belt, 160 HP plus the ability that prevents 20 damage. This can also give your opponent odd prizes, forcing him or her to knock out one more non-EX Pokémon.
Copying every attack from your deck, this Pokémon can give big problems to your opponent! A Mew with one energy + one DCE can copy every attack from your deck so it can deal high damage, spread damage or even recycle your energies with Yveltal´s Y-Cyclone. It´s a non-EX Pokémon and is the only 0 retreat cost in deck, making it a perfect Pokémon for this deck.
Not my principal attacker, but he is fast, strong and can give my energies more value. It’s a very strong attacker and essential in my strategy to complete the baby Yveltal´s damage with Evil Ball, and also an important attacker in mirror matches.
I don´t have Pokémon Ranger in my deck, so this is my only option against Jolteon-EX. I can hit Nightmare 10 and sleep, and on the next turn attack with Yveltal-EX, or even better, I can put damage with baby Yveltal and Yveltal-EX in the beginning of the game, so after an attack from Jolteon-EX I transfer 160 damage to knock it out. Spiritomb can also give me a win condition if I do 3 or 4 attacks with Yveltal BKT and then transfer to knock out 2 or 3 EXs at the same time. Knocking out Pokémon with Spiritomb denies cards like Teammates and Exp. Shares and gives the advantage of knocking out the right Pokémon at the right time. This card is essential in matches against rainbow road, because he can knock out 2 Xerneas at the same time if you attack two times with Pitch-Black spear. Another replacement for this Pokémon is Yveltal BREAK to attack Jolteon-EX, but in my opinion Spiritomb is a lot better.
This is a particular choice, I prefer to use switches instead of Olympia or Float Stone, in some cases Olympia can be better but for me it is important to use your VS seeker for a Ninja Boy, a Lysandre, an N or a Hex Maniac and not Olympia. Switch is an item so you can use it any time and it also allows you to reduce your hand size to draw extra cards with Shaymin-EX. Float Stones don´t fit in this deck because of Yveltal BKT, if you were to use Float Stones instead of Switches you can only retreat Yveltal BKT with DCE.
My favorite card in this deck, Ninja Boy allows you to make huge plays substituting your Pokémon to make different attacks, replacing your Shaymin-EX to prevent your opponent to get prizes from it, or trading a active Pokémon without energies into a Mew with 0 retreat cost. This card can be used in many cases for different types of play and it´s really important to give versatility to the deck.
Fighting Fury Belt
This card is completely situational and you must analyze the game and decide if this 40 bonus HP or the 10 bonus attack damage is useful in this moment or not. It isn´t needed in all matches but in others it can be decisive. The matchups that prove Fighting Fury Belt to be powerful are Volcanion and other Yveltal decks.
A good Hex Maniac in the right turn can change the game. This card is essential in this deck mainly against Greninja and Volcanion, and if you set up a Lugia with FFB or a big Yveltal-EX and then a Hex Maniac it can be impossible to deal with if your opponent is playing Volcanion, and a sequence of Hex Maniacs can possibly deal with Greninja decks.
Lastly but not less important, this card can be annoying at the beginning of the game, even more if your opponent uses Hoopa-EX. Some decks are dependent on Sky Field and a Parallel City can stall them and maybe be your chance to finish the game or change the game.
Well that’s it! I’m very excited for London, and hopefully I will see lots of friends there and feel the sensation of World Championships once more in the year. I can't wait for this amazing tournament in this wonderful city.
See you all in London, bye!
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