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David Hochmann

A Fates Collide Nationals Recap

David Hochmann recaps the Danish and Italian National Championships in the XY-FCO format and shares his thoughts on Greninja with Hard Charm, Darkrai/Giratina, and Genesect/Bronzong.

06/20/2016 by David Hochmann

Introduction

Fates Collide has been legal for 2 weeks now and we've already had a few Nationals taking place in that format. I was at the Danish and Italian National Championships and want to talk about the impact Fates Collide had on the metagame. Being part of the coverage team at both events gave me a lot of insight to all players’ deck choices and a good overview about the metagame. Since Denmark was the first event, I would like to start with that tournament and then move on to Italy.

I am going to focus on the two new decks, Darkrai/Giratina and Genesect/Bronzong and changes in Greninja decks for this article, rather than the winning decks, which will be covered by my friend Marc Lutz in his article.

Popular Fates Collide Cards

There are a bunch of “Top 10 Best Fates Collide Cards," but I will introduce you to the five most played cards during Nationals, which is a cool way to get an overview of the new set. I saw every single single deck list from both tournaments and can make a good list with that information, together with my opinion about the cards, so let’s get started:

1. N

The obvious best card of the set was also the most played card during the tournament. With the ability to provide a solid fresh hand of six cards in the beginning of the game, N is one of the best cards to draw into the stuff you need, but without discarding important resources. However in the midgame, N is a great way to slow the opponent down while setting yourself up in the slower decks. And the reason why even rush decks are playing N is that it provides extreme disruption power in the late game, with the option to leave your opponent with only 1 card left in their hand.

This versatility makes it a must for every deck, especially with VS Seeker you can decide how important the card is your deck. For reference, N was almost always a one-of in every Night March deck, a two-of in every other deck, but a four-of in most Greninja decks. Just trade off how fast you are able to draw Prize cards and how important resource management is in your deck.

2. Mew

Another card that looks great at first glance is Mew. It copies attacks from your Basic Pokémon and is a Psychic Pokémon, which allows him to abuse Dimension Valley thus is able to use attacks with a lower Energy cost than the original attack. For example, Mew is able to use Night March for a Basic Energy card as long as Joltik is on your Bench, while having 20 more HP. However this was not the main reason Mew was played. As cruel as it sounds, Mew isn’t actually that great. There aren’t really a lot of strategies that make a good use out of the card and Mew's vulnerability to Shadow Stitching, Hex Maniac, and it’s 50 HP make it too risky building your strategy on top of Mew. However, Mew is a cool one off in Night March decks.

If you are afraid of Stardust Jirachi, you can play one Mew and one Basic Energy card to outplay Stardust, and in a few other matchups you can bypass Xerosic and have one extra Energy, which might help you attacking without the need to use Puzzle of time. I personally like a single Mew, without a Basic Energy for the following reasons:

  • It raises your Basic Pokemon count, so it’s less likely to start with Pumpkaboo or Shaymin-EX
  • It has free Retreat, and you can always Bench it with little risk (the only downside is that it takes potential space from a Shaymin-EX)
  • If Mew is Knocked Out, you don’t loose a Night March Pokémon, but if your opponent knocks out your Benched Night March Pokémon, you still have the Double Colorless Energy attached, so no matter what, you lose one resource less.

The last reason is the biggest one in my opinion and in Italy and Denmark, about 40% of all Night March decks decided to incorporate one Mew. However, it seemed like the Mew was kind of unrelated to how well Night March did.

3. Glaceon-EX

Glaceon-EX surely is a card with huge potential in the right metagame. With two great attacks and support from Manaphy-EX it makes for a nice situational one-of in the Water Toolbox deck. Crystal Ray protects it from cards like Vespiquen, Greninja and Mega Pokémon, while Second Bite can help you to deal with Fighting Fury Belt and other difficult Pokémon to get rid of. I also like Glaceon for being a 170 HP Pokémon-EX, which is not weak to Grass, but Metal.

4. Genesect-EX

While no one played Genesect in Denmark, and only a hand full of players used it in Italy, Genesect still was one of the most played cards from Fates Collide. I have to admit that I did not see its potential when the set was fresh. You can one-hit KO every Pokémon in the format (as long as you discard enough Energy cards) and you can swap between Muscle Band, Fighting Fury Belt, and Assault Vest. Relying on Metal Links to consistently attack, and the need of 4 Energy cards to deal 180 damage seemed cool, but not like it could work, considering the presence of Hex Maniac. However Simone Zucchelli and Michele Zucchelli found a way to make this cool deck work. I will talk about their list later in this article.

5. Bronzong

A card with a lot of potential as a Trevenant counter. Metal Fortress prevents all effects of attacks done to your Benched Pokémon. This means that your Benched Pokémon are not getting damage from Silent Fear. If you use this in a Metal deck, most Pokémon will have a Psychic resistance too, preventing Tree Slam from putting in a lot of work too. Bronzong is quite versatile too, because it also prevents all damage done to your Benched Pokémon. Against Greninja Bronzong is also a very nice card, because it helps against Shadow Stitching, which would cause an issue otherwise.

There is no official ruling on the interaction between Metal Fortress and Shadow Stitching yet, however a similar effect already exists and there is an official Ruling on that one:

"Q. If I have Suicune with the "Wind Charm" Ability Active and my opponent attacks with Greninja's "Shadow Stitching", are all my Abilities turned off including "Wind Charm", or does "Wind Charm" prevent "Shadow Stitching" from disabling my Pokemon's Abilities?

A. Wind Charm prevents Shadow Stitching from disabling your Pokemon's Abilities. However, if Suicune goes to the Bench, Wind Charm's effect goes away and your Pokemon will no longer have Abilities that turn. Suicune also does not protect any Pokemon not already in play."

Using the same logic, this would mean that Metal Fortress would prevent Shadow Stiching to all of your Benched Pokemon that were in play during that turn. And if Bronzong becomes your Active Pokemon, all Benched Pokemon will lose their Ability. There is no information about what happens, if the Active Pokemon retreats into a Pokemon with an Ability, I would guess it loses the Ability too.
Again, this is not an official ruling, but I am pretty sure judges will use the same ruling as a reference and decide according to it.

Danish National Championships

Here is what the Danish Championships’ meta looked like:


As you can see the majority of people are still sticking to what worked before Fates Collide, which is always the case after a new set releases. The reason why there is such a high number of Manectric is that it has a great matchup against Trevenant, thanks to four Rough Seas and free Retreat on a lot of Pokémon. It is also very solid against Greninja if they whiff once, and most players dropped the Gallade from Zoroark/Yveltal decks. Against NM, you can always win if they whiff the 210 damage, or draw dead after an N, so you can sweep up two Shaymin with Jolteon-EX, however the NM matchup is still not in their favor.

Final Standings:
1. Stephan N. (Night March)
2. Peter H. (Vespiquen/Raichu/Yveltal)
3. Nicklas D. (Greninja)
4. Jens K. (Mega Manectric)
5. Martin L. (Toad/Giratina)
6. Soren N. (Yveltal/Zoroark)
7. Lars A. (Straight Toad)
8. Tobias A. (Vespiquen/Vileplume)

Interesting to note, is that Night March and Mega Manecric are not represented in the Top 8 like they are in the metagame. However Night March, the most played deck, took the win.

Greninja (Hard Charm)

The highest-placing deck which was somewhat new happened to be Greninja with 3 Hard Charm. Here is a deck list similar to the one used by Nicklas Danielsen:

I hope by now you have already a knowledge about Greninja decks, since they have been a big thing for almost 3 month now, so I will only explain which matchups the Hard Charm is affecting and how.

Water Toolbox (+20%)

The major reason why Nicklas Danielsen used Hard Charm was to get a better Water Toolbox matchup. After winning the German National Championships, player expected a lot Water Toolbox, because the deck was fairly simple and new, so you can expect people to pick it up.

Hard Charm mainly prevents Water Toolbox getting knock outs. The damage output from the deck is just enough to knock out Greninja’s Pokémon. Articuno deals 70 damage with one heads and a Fighting Fury Belt, which is enough for Froakie and Frogadier, however if you add a Harm charm, they require two heads. The next stage are Greninja with 130 HP, which are knocked out by Seismitoad-EX’ Grenade Hammer usually, another attack dealing either 130 or 140, which whiffs the knock out because of Hard Charm. The last tech is Aurorus-EX, dealing 170 damage with a Fighting Fury Belt and the late game option used to knock out two Greninja BREAKs, again the Hard Charm works perfectly.

Because the Water Toolbox deck cannot handle multiple BREAK Pokémon, it is really relying on early knock outs. Once you denied these, the matchup is very easy to win.

Yveltal/Zoroark (+10%)

Yveltal/Zoroark struggles dealing with Greninja no matter what. 170HP is way too huge if it is not rewarded with 2 Prize cards, and the matchup lacks the option to knock out a Shaymin-EX. With Muscle Band and Reverse Valley Yveltal becomes a solid hitter, which deals 60 for one Energy and 130 for three Energy cards, usually key HP amounts for Greninja. Zoroark is not putting in a lot of work too against the deck, because Greninja does not rely on a lot of Benched Pokémon in this matchup and can just play with 3 spots taken. Yveltal/Zoroark are then really depending on Target Whistle, Puzzle of Time or Gallade.

The combination of free retreat, Rough Seas and Hard Charm makes it a real pain for every Yveltal/Zoroark deck to knock out a Greninja BREAK, which makes the matchup very unfavorable. In addition to that, the deck is not able to apply pressure with multiple Hex Maniacs and knock outs at the same time, like other decks can.

Mega Manectric (+5%)

Having 210 HP is very nice against Greninja, and Mega Manectric does not have any special Energy cards, which allows it to rush Greninja decks. However the matchup is not in Mega Manectric’s favor no matter how the Greninja list really looks like, because capping at 130 damage (with Giovanni) is not good when you are up against Greninja BREAKs, so the Hard Charms are just a bit on top, but not very important.

Night March (±0%)

To be quite honest, I don’t believe the Hard Charms do too much against Night March. They can help Greninja BREAKs in the late game to stand a hit, or force the opponent to use Puzzle of Time for Mega Phone, which gives them a DCE less or they have to play Xerosic, which denies a Hex Maniac. However you have to keep in mind that you put something out of the deck to fit 3 Hard Charm, and I think no matter what you decide to go for, being either more Ball cards, Muscle Bands, More Supporter or Energy cards, will all help the Night March matchup in a similar way, so I did not want to say that the Charm Charms will help more than other of these cards.

Trevenant (-5% or -10%)

Including cards never lowers your chance of winning a Matchup, what I am taking into consideration here is (similar to the Night March Matchup) which cards had to leave the deck in order to fit 3 Hard Charms. I personally would play 4 Rough Seas and 4 Professor Sycamore in Greninja at the moment, because I just like having 4 N and 4 Professor Sycamore for the chance on your starting hand and I would be kind of afraid of Trevenant, because it is a typical deck that wins more on chance then on skill, which makes it a big factor in huge tournaments, and I don’t want to lose against these kind of strategies.

Darkrai Giratina (Skyfield)

Another interesting deck that popped up in Denmark was Darkrai Giratina. While not being successful, I enjoyed the idea and spend some time trying the deck as well. The strategy is fairly simple, you use Max Elixir to get a lot of Energy cards into play, and attack with Darkrai-EX. However the double Dragon Energy counts as 2 Darkness Energy attached to your Pokémon, which gives your Darkrai a 40 damage boost instead of 20. In addition to that, Darkrai decks struggle to win against Night March, and Giratina always gives you a nice additional out.

Here is my own list, since I did not like the Danish one too much:

 

Giratina EX

Including 3 Giratina is not mandatory, I just like having one extra for the following reasons:

  • Starting with Giratina still allows you to put 2 Giratina on your Bench
  • When two Giratina get Knocked Out, you can still have a comeback with the last one
  • Prizing a single Giratina is not punishing at all

However when everything works out fine, 2 are enough, so just consider if you expect more Nigh March or other decks.

The card itself is really powerful, Chaos Wheel is a problem for not just Night March, but also for Water Toolbox. Rough Seas and Manaphy make it really annoying to two hit knocking out anything, where the Sky Field play is important. Additionally you block Fighting Fury Belts, which is not the most important fact, since you deal 110 damage twice anyways, but it denies the option to attach one to Shaymin-EX or Manaphy-EX.
Giratina’s Ability is also quite nice, when you come across a Mega Manectric deck.

Darkrai-EX

Here I had to sacrifice my 3rd one in order to make space for other cards. I like Darkrai for having 180 HP and Psychic resistance, which sometimes makes it take two hits from Night March when it has a Fighting Fury Belt attached, or forces them to waste resources. When everything runs well, you can deal 90 damage in the first turn, which is enough for a single knock out against decks like Vespiquen, Greninja and Night March. When your Darkrai stands a hit, you can escalate that to 130 to knock out Yveltal and Greninja.

Hydreigon-EX

Despite the fact that Hydreigon allows you to retreat Giratina-EX for only a single Darkness Energy, it serves the main purpose as a Jolteon and Regice counter. For a Double Dragon Energy and a Darkness Energy it deals 80 damage, while bypassing opponent’s effects. This is the easiest out against Jolteon and Regice, because Zoroark is hard to use anyways and can be outplayed easier. I’d love to use a 2nd Hydreigon, for the free retreat option and just to have it more frequently.

Sky Field

In my opinion a quite important card in decks that use Hoopa-EX and Max Elixir, because it allows you to just Bench Pokémon you draw into, and gives your extra space for Shaymin-EX.

Enhanced Hammer

When you play against Night March, their game plan is trying not to attack too early but get 2 DCE into play before attacking, when they realize you have no disruption in your deck. So when you go first and get a turn-two Chaos Wheel, but your opponent has a DCE in play and knocks your Giratina out, you might have a lot of problems. With this list you can either get an Enhanced Hammer or Lysandre on turn 2 and Knock Out the only DCE your opponent has in play. You can see from the 3 Giratina and the Enhanced Hammer, that I tried to focus against Night March in this build and want to mention that Enhanced Hammer is not mandatory for the deck, it just helps you in this matchup.

Hex Maniac

Despite being the generic Supporter that you play on your first turn against Night March in order to protect your Giratina, it is very important against Greninja decks. However there are always certain situations where a well-timed Hex Maniac wins you the game.

Italian National Championship

One week after Denmark, we had the Italian National Championship, which also had quite some surprises. Here is the meta game analysis:

That Trevenant and Night March were going to be the most played deck was expected. That Water Box and Greninja would have a high meta share was not surprising either, however the fact that a bunch of people were using Genesect/Bronzong and Darkrai/Giratina was very interesting. The Darkrai/Giratina list that was played by a lot of Italian players is quite different from mine and the Genesect list has a lot of Interesting cards in it too.

Final standings:
1. Kevin P. (Trevenant)
2. Simone Z. (Genesect-EX/Bronzong BREAK)
3. Nicolo C (Greninja)
4. Simone S. (Greninja)
5. Riccardo M. (Greninja)
6. Simone C. (Vespiquen)
7. Vincenzo (Seismitoad/Manaphy)
8. Gianluca C. (Night March)
9. Vincenzo Seva (Darkrai/Giratina)

I included the 9th place, because he was technically top 8, but then we got a re-pair for the Top 8 which put Gianluca above Vincenzo (both were 4-0-3) because of a 0.28% tiebreaker difference.

Genesect/Bronzong

Let’s start with the biggest surprise of the weekend first: Simone Zuchelli’s 2nd place Metal deck, which had some interesting, but very good card choices in it. Here is the list:

Genesect-EX

The main attacker of the deck. Genesect is one of the most versatile “One hit KO cards” we have had. Usually these effects read as “discard 3 Energy cards and deal 200 damage”, but the new Genesect-EX allows you to choose the amount of Energy to discard, which means you to either discard only one Energy, if you are up against a non-EX Pokémon, or discard 6 Energy cards, if you feel the need to knock out a Mega Pokémon. This makes it easy to adjust to certain situations, and not “over-discard” stuff, when you just need to knock out a Froakie.

The other important part of Genesect-EX is its unique Ability, with which you can swap tool cards attached to it, allowing it to use a Float Stone and then attach a Fighting Fury Belt to it. This makes you able to retreat Genesect for free, but still have the 40 HP boost later.

I will also take this opportunity to talk about all of the Tool cards in this deck at once. On the one hand you have the obvious Float Stone, which are mandatory since Metal Links only attaches Energy cards to Benched Pokémon. Fighting Fury Belt is the best Tool in my opinion, because most Pokémon in the Metagame have an uneven amount of HP anyways (the biggest being the 170 HP Greninja BREAK) and the most Pokémon with even HP counts like Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant BREAK are either blocking your Tools or you profit from the HP more than you would do from the extra 10 damage.

The Assault Vest is great in my opinion, it allows my favorite move, which is Assault Vest Aegislash and when your Assault Vest Genesect doesn’t get knocked out, you can take the Assault Vest and put it into your hand and re use it later.

Attaching an Assault Vest to Aegislash might seem weird, but this way you put Night March in a very weird Situation where they need either Megaphone and Hex Maniac in the same turn or Hex Maniac and 10 Pokémon in the Discard Pile. Both apply pressure, which is important for-EX decks against Night March, to put them into situations in which they need a lot of cards at once, so they are forced to waste other resources on them. And at the end, you can use the finishing move, Megaphone, N, Metal Rain, which discards all of your opponent’s Fighting Fury Belt and the Float Stone, then you knock out all of the opponent’s Night March Pokémon and he is left with 2 or 3 hand cards. This is quite unlikely, so I would still say the matchup is in Night March’s favor, but Metal has its outs against the deck.
Lysandre Shaymin is still very annoying, but you can over-Bench with Sky Field and then discard them if your opponent kicks the stadium.

Aegislash-EX

A staple card to be used against Night March, even though that it almost never works because of Hex Maniac. If your opponent whiffs or is forced to discard a lot of stuff in order to get the attack off, Aegislash-EX served its purpose already. However despite its great Ability you can attack with it quite well. The attack works similar to the one-of Genesect, the more Metal Energy, the more damage. You do not have to discard any Energy cards, but the base damage is 60 less, so you need 3 Energy cards more in order to deal the same amount of damage. Against decks like Greninja it is still a solid early game attacker, dealing 100 damage first, when you are up against Froakie, when the Greninja come across, you are at 140 already and the next turn, with a Fighting Fury Belt you deal 170.

The second selling point of the one-of Aegislash-EX is the Matchup Seismitoad and Giratina focused decks, who need multiple Hex Maniacs in order to knock out Aegislash-EX. All in all a great one-of.

Max Elixir

I have already wrote about the Bronzong and Bronzong BREAK in the opening paragraphs, but here is the card that makes the deck work at all.
That the format we have at the moment is very fast paced (when you play a Pokémon-EX deck) is nothing new, setting up a Genesect-EX with 3 manual attachments is just not fast enough and with Hex Maniac in the format you can’t be relying on Metal Links too hard as well. With Elixir you can charge a 4 Energy Genesect-EX in two turns, and start applying pressure from there, which will end up denying the opponent’s Hex Maniacs. I personally would play 4 Elixir, the list is quite slim already, but I think the cards you can consider cutting are Super Rod, one AZ or Battle Compressor.

Greninja (Bursting Balloon)

This is the Greninja list, which brought Nicolo Castignoli into Top 4, where he got defeated by Trevenant. I already talked about Greninja in the article, and I do not want to stretch that, so again I will give you my thoughts on Bursting Balloon in certain Matchups.

Water Toolbox (+10%)

Nicolo’s list was a little more aggressive than the other lists we have seen throughout the weekend. With only 2 N and 2 Rough Seas, it was clear that he mainly tried to deal damage and set up fast, rather than disrupting the opponent while setting up. With Bursting Balloon attached to the active Greninja your opponent has to either play Lysandre, which lets the Greninja stay in the game, play Xerosic which is a “wasted” supporter and he cannot use Sycamore or Hex Maniac the same turn, or he gets 60 damage. With 60 damage on a Seismitoad-EX, you now need two Giant Water Shuriken and Shadow Stitching to deal the missing 160 damage and you also disable the opponent’s Abilities. Or you get a Startling Megaphone and just use one Giant Water Shuriken and Moonlight Slash, which gives you the knock out too. When your opponent is able to keep up with an Aurorus, you can still continue attaching Bursting Balloons and knock out the Aurorus. Afterward the Water Toolbox usually lost its steam and you have the upper hand and win the game.

Greninja (+10%)

When your opponent has no Mirror techs, this list definitely has an advantage. Most people do not play Lysandre so a Bursting Balloon attached to an active Greninja is at least two times free 60 damage, even when your opponent uses Shadow Stitching. This way you can try to rush the opponent, not play your Rough Seas down, and use Moonlight Slash. With Lysandre you can get multiple damage on one Greninja BREAK and knock it out this way. Since you play a bunch of Sycamore; Ace Trainer and N are a bit easier to deal with. Applying early game pressure forces your opponent to dig for their resources too, they have to play balls and supporters to keep up with the speed, and they have to draw Energy cards in order to use Giant Water Shuriken. This means, once you realized that your opponent burned through their resources to deal with the Balloons, you can switch into Rough Seas/Shadow Stitching mode and deck them out.

Like already mentioned, if your opponent plays mirror techs themselves the matchup is very different, even just a one-of Shauna (which is very uncommon since the N reprint) will make your matchup significantly worse, because you lose the deck out option.

Night March (+10%)

Bursting Balloons is one of the cards that just do not help against Night March in most scenarios. Trevenant has the item lock, but all the other decks, lose to multiple Lysandre on Shaymin-EX anyways, where a Bursting Balloon would not change the outcome anyways. However for Greninja it works a bit different, because in this Matchup Night March has to apply early game pressure, while retaining its resources. The latter one is important here, because Greninja is happy with every VS Seeker used to get a Xerosic and every Puzzle of Time used to get a Megaphone. If your opponent plays a Lysandre, while you have Greninja BREAK active, this means he cannot use Hex Maniac, and you are able to draw two Prize cards.

This is the beauty of Bursting Balloon in this matchup, because it puts Night March in unfavorable position, and forces them to use extra resources.

Trevenant (-15%)

Every tech brings its problems, and as you might have thought for yourself, cutting rough Seas and adding more Items will not help against Trevenant. There is not much more to say about it, I just wanted to highlight that this Matchup becomes terrible, if you play less Supporters and less Rough Seas.

Darkrai/Giratina (Parallel City)

And now to the last deck, another Darkrai Giratina list. I included both versions, because they work in a quite different way and the deck is relatively new. The strategy is still about the same, however Vincenzo focused more on the Darkrai, which I am perfectly fine with. Night March is still a dominating deck, but it has the psychological problem, that no one wants to lose against it, so the meta is full of decks with a good Night March Matchup. This allows you play a deck with a worse Matchup, which still has options once you come across one (Vincenzo won a streamed match against Night March, because the opponent run out of Puzzle of Time and Night March Pokémon, to knock out a Darkrai-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt and dead drew one game)

Since I explained a lot already I, will focus on the counts of cards that are included in the list above and go into detail for the cards that are not included.

The biggest difference with the swapped Giratina and Darkrai count shows that Vincenzo focused more on Darkrai then on Giratina, which might cause problems against Night March, but is better for most other Matchups. He also runs twice the amount of Float Stone and Escape Rope, which is quite important for him, because without Sky Field, you cannot draw that many cards to get one out of two outs when you need them.

He has also no outs against Regice, so he needs two Escape Ropes to outplay Regice, but he also always needs a Float Stone to retreat back into the same active Pokémon again.

His Supporter counts are a bit lower than mine too, one Professor Sycamore and one Shaymin-EX less. I agree with the Professor Sycamore, because you don’t need so many of them when you have Trainer Mail, Ultra Ball and VS Seeker anyways, however I do not like decks that only run 2 Shaymin-EX, especially with Max Elixir, where you need a lot of cards turn 1.

9 Energy cards is also something I personally do not like in decks with Max Elixir, I would like to go for 11 or 12, but since you need double Dragon Energy cards, 11 would make a total of 15 Energy cards, which is overkill, but I find 10 to be a great count.

Xerosic

The first difference, is a card I would have like in my list too, which turned out into an Enhanced Hammer. Enhanced Hammer is way better against Night March in the early game, because you want either Lysandre or Enhanced Hammer to get rid of the Energy card, so you don’t have the option to draw into Enhanced Hammer after playing a Supporter which draws cards. 
But like already mentioned, this list is not focused around Night March so much, and again Xerosic is one of the cards that are better in more scenarios.

Energy Switch

I like the Energy switch, because it allows you to put an Energy card to a Shaymin-EX early, and switch it to Giratina later. It also allows you to switch an Energy card to the active Darkrai-EX, then also attach and Energy card from your hand, and being able to attack the same turn. Energy Switch can become a huge surprise factor in the Night March Matchup, but is a generally good card in a lot of situations.

Parallel City

This card makes the biggest difference between our lists and is actually quite important in a lot of Matchups. Sky Field allows you to go crazy in the first turn, Bench all Yveltal, Shaymin-EX, Hoopa-EX and Giratina-EX. However Parallel City is the more conservative choice, where you play Hoopa-EX for Shaymin-EX and either Giratina-EX or Darkrai-EX. Then you try to draw into Elixirs and still have the option to play Ultra Ball for another Shaymin-EX and draw more cards. This is where your turn ends, you can use the Parallel City in order to get rid of all the useless Pokémon-EX on your Bench.

However the Parallel City has a great synergy with Chaos Wheel, not just because you can permanently force your opponent to play with 3 Benched Pokémon, if you want to, but against Water Toolbox, Seismitoad-EX will be whiffing important knock outs. Without a Fighting Fury Belt, they have a perfect math with Quaking Punch for 40 and then Grenade Hammer for 140. With a Parallel City turned the right way, they lose this Ability completely and you can deny Quacking Punched, which are quite annoying to deal with.

Final thoughts

Greninja

I personally like the version with Hard Charm more, but I think that you should keep the Trevenant Matchup in mind, and not play too few Supporter cards. With N you should combat one of Greninja’s main problems, which is consistency and not just change the name of Supporter cards. 3 Professor Sycamore, 4 N, 1 Shauna, 2 Ace Trainer is a legit option, and will come in handy against Trevenant and the mirror match. Playing fewer than 3 Rough Seas at the moment is very risky. Octillery is not really needed in any Matchup to be honest you should try to play without. If you decide to go for Octillery, play either AZ or Olympia to have a VS Seeker option to Retreat it.

An interesting mirror tech could be Bent Spoon, which would still allow you to use Giant Water Shuriken, and if you play like three of them, you can get them down fast against Trevenant and deny Silent Fear damage. A lot of Trevenant decks also play neither Xerosic nor Megaphone, so once you put the Spoon down, it’s safe. But of course it always depends on your metagame. However Delinquent always worked for me the best, so far I have never lost a mirror match in four Regional Championships where I played Greninja.

A 1-1 or 1-2 Bronzong line would also help against Trevenant, you can then play one Olympia to retreat Bronzong, once it’s stuck active after a Lysandre and Olympia is a funny card anyways, because it heals 30 damage. You would have to play the Phantom Forces Bronzor then too, because it has only one retreat cost. If you pair that with 1 or 2 Wally, you should also be able to set it up against Item-lock, and once the Bronzong is in play you have a lot of time. In the mirror match, Bronzong could help depending on the ruling we get, but at the moment, the only thin it does is allowing you to use Water Shuriken for 30 damage, which I doubt will help in any situation. If you want to try out the Bronzong, you don’t need 3 Rough Seas too.

Darkrai/Giratina

I really like the deck. It has a lot of flaws, but it bears a big potential. Both Sky Field and Parallel City are great Stadium cards in the deck, and putting both in one deck might turn up great too. The deck struggles with Metal, but just because no one really expected the deck so far.

These are my thoughts on the actual format after the Italian National Championships. There might come great new decks or unique lists and I am really looking forward to it. I hope you enjoyed my return as a writer and I hope I will be able to find time for more articles.

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Zach Lesage

Standard Complete Buy List

07/10/2019 by Zach Lesage // Look at Zach's buy list for Ultra Prism - Unified Minds behind the paywall! (+29)

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Zach Lesage

Post Rotation Playables

07/04/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach categorized Ultra Prism - Unbroken Bonds in this post rotation article! (+23)

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Zach Lesage

Enter the Darkness - Dark Toolbox for Worlds

07/17/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach goes over his new Dark Toolbox deck featuring Weavile-GX from Unified Minds! (+22)

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