04/15/2016 by Daniel Altavilla
Table of contents
Hey, 60cards readers, I'm back with another article, and this time it'll be on decks that are actually meta! I tried sharing my own creations in my last article, and while a couple people ended up actually trying the decks out, some people were almost offended that I wasn't bringing up a deck they've heard of before. While I plan to share some crazy ideas of mine in the future, I think I'll hold off on sharing them until they yield results, so it looks like I'm not just trolling everyone. This time around I'll be sharing the three sides of the Standard format - the consistent, strong, and fast Night March, the answer to Night March and lock decks, Greninja, and what is, in my opinion, the strongest lock deck, Giratina/Bronzong.
I feel very strongly about all of these decks being the top plays for Standard and they will all probably see play throughout the rest of the year even as the meta shifts. In this article, I will go over the notion of a rock/paper/scissors meta and whether it can be handled as well as explain my lists for the three top decks and the ins and outs of playing them. First off, I'll go into the Standard Format.
So as we all know, Standard isn't in the best of places right now. Everybody is freaking out about how Night March was given Compressor, Trainers' Mail, Acro Bike, etc. and how the entire format is TOO consistent now. I don't think it's possible for a format to be TOO consistent, but I see the issues this format has with balance. Basic decks are the easiest to work with because the Pokémon lines are usually naturally thinner than those of a Stage 2 deck. This means that if you have a Greninja deck, you're stuck running a 14-Pokémon line of Greninja at the least, and then eight Waters just for the deck to work at it's basic level. That's 22 slots, and they are all pretty necessary to have available in your hand at any given time. That's now 22 untouchable slots. In Night March, you have 15 Pokemon usually. 11 of these are safe being discarded by any means, and with your 3 Shaymin you have flexibility. This means you're capable of tossing out any of these guys with Acro Bike or Ultra Ball and not worrying about the consequences. Now that Puzzle of Time was printed, we're in an even deeper hole, as only the decks that don't care about what they discard have room for four Puzzles. This makes for a format where some decks wish they had room, but don't, so they have to struggle, while other decks have so much room for consistency that it feels as if your opponent is just always hitting what they need and lucksacking you when really that's just a normal game for them.
What does this mean for the Standard format, having tons of decks that rely on only four Double Colorless energy and then a ridiculous engine of consistency while having a plan B in the form of Puzzle of Time? It means that the only possible way to beat these decks is by countering them. And sadly, when you counter one deck, you'll lose to another one because you can't be FULLY invested in every matchup at once. This creates the Rock/Paper/Scissors format.
Greninja > Giratina > decks that play only 4 Double Colorless > most of the format = Greninja.
This means that every tournament is usually going to come down to matchups, and that's not even including the factors within game, such as draw and misplays. Tournaments are impossible to predict in Standard, so most of the time you are just praying that you'll hit all of your autowins and avoid the decks that you can't touch. That is pretty much the impasse we have hit with Standard.
Digging deeper, it looks like the greatest players in this game are stuck between all three of the top decks. Daniel Lynch, Austin Baggs, Bob Zhang, and Mike Fouchet all have had moderate success with Greninja. Christian Ortiz, Brandon Salazar, Ryan Grant, and Kevin Murphy all destroyed states with Night March. Jose Marrero, Ryan Sinnott, and a few lesser-known players are sitting on plenty of CP provided to them by Toad/Tina. This split among skill made for a very interesting month of States, and many innovative lists were created. I think even in such an "unhealthy" format, seeing some innovation was a nice change of pace.
Getting back to the task at hand, I'll first go over my Night March list. It's pretty standard and there isn't too much crazy stuff going on, but I'll go ahead and explain it anyways.
- 4x Lampent
- 4x Joltik
- 4x Pumpkaboo
- 3x Shaymin EX
- 3x Professor Sycamore
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x Xerosic
- 1x Teammates
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Puzzle of Time
- 3x Trainer's Mail
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Target Whistle
- 1x Escape Rope
- 1x Enhanced Hammer
- 1x Town Map
- 2x Pokemon Catcher
- 1x Buddy-Buddy Rescue
- 3x Dimension Valley
- 1x Parallel City
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
This list is pretty much as cut and dry as it gets. You have the bare minimum for Pokemon and Energy and then as many Trainers as needed to get by. So we have some awesome techs in here that are meant for Jolteon-EX, Giratina-EX, and the mirror. If need be, I'll explain the counts thoroughly below.
4-4-4 Night March
This is necessary in any Night March deck. You obviously need to maximize chances of reaching the damage you want, so without 12 Marchers you will pretty much lose every game.
Three Shaymin isn't 100% necessary, you can go down to two, but I think three is the magic number. If you've played one and one is Prized, you'll need another late game and you may not find it because you haven't Town Mapped yet. Two is definitely not a bad play either, though.
3 Professor Sycamore
Professor Sycamore can be played at a two-of in this deck, but with there being so much Trevenant in Week 3 I was worried that we wouldn't get a chance to Sycamore often. If you went down to 2, you should add an AZ.
There are two big reasons for this card. One, Giratina-EX can't Chaos Wheel two turns in a row if hit by this and an Enhanced Hammer in one turn, and two, you can remove your opponent's Fighting Fury Belts so that they're actually susceptible to a KO.
Not sure if this card is absolutely incredible in this deck, but it can sure be nifty in the right situation. You can grab any two cards, which is never bad in a deck like Night March. An idea with this card is to grab both pieces of Puzzle of Time and getting any two cards out of your discard. It's crazy how a combo like that can exist.
1 Hex Maniac
Hex is a decent card for the Greninja matchup and for Trev, but it really isn't strong enough to warrant two copies as other lists have been attempting. I feel that Hex Maniac is becoming a less and less used card because it is just so easy to get around most of the time if you just play smart. But it definitely needs to be in here for any random Bats and for Greninja.
4 Puzzle of Time
I could see you getting away with three in YZG or something, but a deck this consistent can easily hit two copies no problem, even after burning two. Four is a necessity in this sort of deck. Different things you can do with this card show up in each game, which proves how much of a broken card it can be. When you play enough games with it, you'll see just what I mean.
3 Trainer's Mail/0 Acro Bike
I wanted Acro Bike in this deck, but I could not find the space. I think you need the techs I have in place, or else there's not much you can do versus the specific matchups mentioned. If your meta is devoid of these decks, by all means go for even more consistency, but so far this has been good enough for me in my testing.
2 Float Stone/2 Fighting Fury Belt
Many people debate a 1/2 or 2/1 split of the tools. I think 2/2 is necessary because if they get Prized you can lose. You don't ALWAYS have Town Map, you know!
1 Target Whistle
This card is absolutely nuts. It's been a decent tech in the deck for awhile, but the threat of Jolteon-EX caused the card to become necessary instead of an edgy tech. Now you can even use it with more freedom, as if you start with it and have to discard it right away, you can still dig it out with Puzzle of Time. It is mostly a tech for Jolteon but it can be used to overcome the YZG matchup and the mirror, too. I reccomend this card wholeheartedly and if you don't run it, don't expect any easy buckets.
1 Enhanced Hammer
As mentioned before, this card is to be paired with Xerosic to take two Energy off of Giratina-EX in one turn, so they can't Chaos Wheel for a turn and they allow you a turn of Double Colorless Energy. This card is obviously going to be good in many other matchups too, but it's main purpose is to give you a fighting chance versus Chaos Wheel.
1 Town Map
With all of these necessary one-ofs and the fact that you need eleven Night Marchers in discard to OHKO a Pokemon with Fighting Fury Belt attached, Town Map has become very important. Without it, you can still win, but your Prizes will be way more luck-based and you WILL lose games solely on that fact.
2 Pokemon Catcher
You don't need to run two, but I think Catcher is broken in this deck. You can Catcher anyone up after playing a Sycamore or a Teammates and from there you can just win the game. Catcher has been crazy in this deck in Standard and I think it's versatility with Puzzle of Time is amazing.
1 Buddy-Buddy Rescue
Buddy-Buddy is a card like Revive that can also get back a Shaymin. It's not fully necessary anymore because people are running Puzzle of Time and can just grab out a Night Marcher but I feel this card is fine taking up a slot. If you want to be ballsy and try out a different card instead of Buddy-Buddy be my guest, but I think it's important to have the option of NOT needing two copies of something to get back a Pokemon.
3 Dimension Valley/ 1 Parallel City
The 3/1 split on Stadiums is just to help out the mirror. I think if you stick the first Valley your opponent will Compressor or Ultra away the rest of their Valleys. So if the last card you stick is Parallel discarding your own Shaymin-EX, they can't Target Whistle you but you can get them. Also, you're slowing down Rayquaza to a crawl. He can't even OHKO a Belted Pumpkaboo when you Parallel City him! Three Valley is the lowest I would go with only four DCE as my Energy, but four Stadiums seems very important recently to hit a quick attack.
There you have it for Night March. It's not a crazy list but it has the techs I found the most necessary and the rest of the list is cut and dry. You can edit it freely but try not to exclude the cards I deemed needed. Now that you're done reading multiple paragraphs on why Puzzle of Time is a broken card, let's move on to the second deck that is seeing some crazy success:
- 2x Greninja BREAK
- 3x Greninja
- 1x Greninja
- 4x Frogadier
- 4x Froakie
- 1x Remoraid
- 1x Octillery
- 1x Jirachi
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 3x Brigette
- 2x Ace Trainer
- 1x Teammates
- 1x Fisherman
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x AZ
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Rare Candy
- 2x Ultra Ball
- 1x Level Ball
- 3x Dive Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 1x Sacred Ash
- 3x Burst Balloon
- 8x Water Energy
This deck has seen some success throughout the U.S. in varying metas. It's a crazy deck which can be built so many different ways to achieve the same goal. Greninja got good because of Frogadier and Greninja out of BREAKpoint. The BREAK is obviously incredible as well, but the two regular Pokémon really add much of the flair. There's something incredible about a potential four Stage 2s on turn two. That's something that hasn't been easy to accomplish by any deck since 2010 Jumpluff, and even then it was only possible for two Stage 2s and two Stage 1s by turn two.
This deck is very different than any other in Standard right now for the sole reason of Octillery being the draw of choice over Shaymin. This is what makes the deck so attractive, being able to kill an EX a turn, lock Abilities, AND only give one Prize up for doing so. Sadly, the downfall of the frogs is how hard the deck can brick. Some hands you get are plain unplayable. Others are playable until the first Supporter you play and then they become unplayable. The reason for this has been the reliance on only one plan - Frogadier's Water Duplicates. The deck is much different now that Water Duplicates is one of two strategies, along with four Rare Candy to still get some turn-two Greninjas out. This has been the regular strategy of the deck recently and I will go over the crazy list below, one inspired by Daniel Lynch's Week 4 States list.
4-4-3/1-2 Greninja BREAK
I went with a 3/1 Greninja split and only two BREAK because Water Shuriken is a great ability but it's not really the entire point of the deck. The idea is mostly to use Shadow Stitching with Water Shuriken and Giant Water Shuriken as damage modifiers to get you closer to the KO. If you can do 180 in a turn, do it, but otherwise if you can't get the Moonlight Slash KO, it's best to Shadow Stitching. The other reason I went with 3/1 is that it's much better for the mirror. We Shadow Stitching every turn and then our opponent cannot use Water Shuriken. If they run a 2/2, they simply lose because our damage output becomes greater than theirs late-game due to our extra Shadow Stitching and their limited Shadow Stitching. Daniel helped explain this to me and convinced me that 3/1 is the best play.
To recap, Octo is our draw of choice. He gives up one Prize and he draws us up to five, which ain't bad at all. Remoraid has a nifty attack that discards a Stadium if that ever becomes necessary.
1 Jirachi XY67
I've seen people play up to three Jirachi, but I just can't see how that works at all. It's nice to let it die while you set up some Greninjas, but I feel Greninja already beats all of the decks that Jirachi is useful against, such as Toad/Tina and Giratina/Bronzong. Jirachi versus Night March isn't too scary because of Escape Rope/Catcher/Lysandre combos.
This card is strong because it grabs out anything you need to finish up your setup. If you started Froakie, you can now grab two more and a Remoraid and blow up. If you started Jirachi, you can grab three Froakie. The options are endless and Brigette/Rare Candy is way more consistent and forgiving than Wally/Water Duplicates. I'd much rather get faster basics than BREAKs.
2 Ace Trainer
Not sure whose idea it was to run Ace Trainer in this deck, but I know I saw it first in a list sent to me by Austin Baggs. The card is nuts because turns one and two, you will most likely suffer a KO so you can take your opponent out of the game this way. I could see a one Ace/one Delinquent split, but you don't play Stadiums.
This can easily be a second Fisherman. I think Teammates is a good card in the same way Ace Trainer is but it helps yourself instead of just hindering your opponent. Definitely worth testing a bit more.
This count is pretty brave. Fisherman is necessary to have at some point in each game to obtain a win, so playing one makes it harder to find. It's still safe running one, but much safer with a second copy.
This card is pretty good for picking up Octillery if it gets Lysandre'd Active, and it can also act as a Max Potion whenever you want and even under Toad lock. If you don't run an Octillery line, this card also comes out.
4 Rare Candy
Remember, this deck has two different strats for hitting fast Stage 2s. Number one is Water Duplicates and number two is to just do the old-fashioned thing and Rare Candy into whatever you need. I think I used to play this card as a one-of in the first draft of Greninja I was running, but four is definitely much better and way more consistent.
2/1/3 Ultra/Level/Dive Ball
Two Ultra is to thin your Candies and Ace Trainers when you don't need them. One Level is just a safe card if you can't discard. It can easily become a fourth Dive, but Level grabs Jirachi too, so I wasn't sure how to go about it.
4 Trainers' Mail
Trainers' Mail wasn't run until the second half of States and I really can't rationalize why. The card is absolutely perfect when paired with Greninja. You have few ways of really thinning your deck so Mail makes up for that in every way possible.
1 Sacred Ash
Ash is in here to get back a bunch of Pokémon, which is something Super Rod doesn't do enough of. We have Fisherman so we rarely need the Basic Energy from Rod, thus making Ash the play in here.
3 Bursting Balloon
Bursting Balloon is in here as a counter to Night March and to make up for turns you have to whiff Giant Water Shuriken. It's been a nutty card in testing and I think it's perfect for this sorta deck. Definitely worth trying out. If it ends up being bad, I'd throw in a Jirachi, a Battle Compressor, and a second Fisherman.
That's essentially Greninja. It's a pretty busted deck and I think the reason it hasn't been just winning every single tournament is because of the lack of Bursting Balloon. The card is nuts in here and it has so much synergy that Balloon alone sold me on playing Greninja for Florida States (though I ended up not entering.)
This deck is my favorite among the three because it's been a while since we've had a competitively viable Stage 2 deck. The last time Stage 2's were truly anything special was Blastoise and Flygon in 2014. Klinklang was a thing last year but it didn't really count because the deck wasn't crazy hard to set up or anything. I hope that Greninja can get pushed to the forefront and become one of the better decks out there, because it truly has some crazy potential.
Without further ado, we reach our last deck:
- 2x Giratina EX
- 1x Tyrantrum EX
- 3x Bronzor
- 3x Bronzong
- 1x Hydreigon EX
- 3x Shaymin EX
- 1x Hoopa EX
- 1x Bunnelby
- 1x Jirachi
- 2x Aegislash EX
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x AZ
- 1x Xerosic
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 2x Battle Compressor
- 2x Fighting Fury Belt
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Level Ball
- 1x Heavy Ball
- 1x Sacred Ash
- 2x Sky Field
- 1x Parallel City
- 4x Double Dragon Energy
- 6x Metal Energy
Giratina-EX/Bronzong hasn't been a very top performing deck at States, but it's my favorite Giratina variant so I felt it would be better to discuss than the other ones. This deck was introduced to me as a decent play by Brit Pybas, and I was on the train but what really convinced me was Hydreigon-EX. Brit explained that the purpose of this build was to hit a turn-two Chaos Wheel so you can beat Night March before they get multiple DCE on the field. His reasoning for Hydrei over Zoroark was simply that it is more consistent to get out, which holds true because the card can be grabbed by Hoopa-EX's Scoundrel Ring. Hydrei makes it so that Tyrantrum can Retreat with his one remaining Energy after attacking, which is pretty solid.
Another cool thing about this list is the Jirachi. The card isn't really necessary considering the deck smashes Special Energy decks as is, but it is a very strong tech at times and can even be used for it's second attack to clutch out a game if the opportunity ever arises. But enough about Jirachi, we have 59 other solid cards to go over in depth below.
Giratina at a 2-of is a bit scary but it's no big deal because you literally only need one for every matchup where he is even relevant. The only time you would maybe want two is for the Greninja matchup, but even then Tyrantrum is a more reliable attacker because he is the only one who can OHKO a Greninja BREAK.
Tyrantrum-EX is great in here and he is pretty necessary for the Greninja and YZG matchups. I think a second one isn't even necessary because most of the game you are locking with Giratina-EX and then retreating to Tyrantrum when you absolutely need him. Keep in mind he goes through Jolteon-EX with his Ability.
Bronzong isn't too thick in here but he isn't too thin either. 3-3 is pretty solid in here because although Bronzong is a necessary piece to the puzzle, you only need 1 or 2 to comfortably pull off your goal, which is to set up your dragons. If you're going aggro Aegislash for the Toadtina matchup or something, you could easily set up a 3-3 Zong if you need to and start smashing, but you don't have to worry about that too much otherwise.
Hydrei was pretty much explained above, but he is also able to Shred through Jirachi, so he actually becomes even more relevant in that sense. I think this card was a very smart addition on Brit's behalf.
Aegislash is in here because we needed Mighty Shield for Vespiquen/Vileplume and for Toad/Tina. Aegis doesn't care too much about either of those matchups and he just slams them up like it's nothing. He could be decent versus Rayquaza as well, if they can't hit their Hex, but I think Giratina is better for that matchup anyways.
1 Bunnelby PRC
Bunny is assurance. He'll grab out those sweet, sweet Double Dragon Energies that you need to finish the game. He also wins Wailord, and that is always a good thing. Keep him in here!
Xerosic is in here to discard Special Energy and Tools. He's literally the perfect partner for Tina, who stops those two things from being played. It's kinda funny how perfect the two cards work together. Xerosic a Double Colorless Energy off of a Benched Night Marcher and then KO an Active one with Chaos Wheel to win any game vs Night March, or your money back.
4 Trainers' Mail
I'm not sure if this card is often included in Giratina-EX/Bronzong decks, but I know Brit's version is moreso a speed version than anything else and that's why he runs it at four.
2 Battle Compressor
Compressor is interesting in this deck. With only six Metal, I could see you getting away with one Compressor, and if you choose to do this I have no idea what you would add. Maybe a seventh Metal, or maybe another Hydreigon?
2 Fighting Fury Belt/0 Muscle Band
People always ask me, "Hey Daniel, why don't you run Muscle Band to OHKO M Manectric-EX?" And I always say, "Oh, I love Muscle Band. That card is great, it's the best Tool. But don't worry, we have a plan for M Manectric-EX. 100% of the time you'll beat M Manectric-EX, because we have a plan." Trump joke aside, M Manectric decks are dropping Hex Maniac now for room constraints. This allows for Giratina-EX to wall them out until Raikou comes up, then for Tyrantrum to KO Raikou, and then for Giratina to wall them again. Two Fighting Fury is better because you will more oft be worried about not getting OHKO'd by Night March than you would be about getting touched by M Manectric-EX.
2 Level/1 Heavy/4 Ultra Ball
Seven Balls makes for a fairly consistent list. Brit runs 3/4 for his balls, but I think 2/1/4 is much better. Heavy can grab out Giratina or Tyrantrum if Hoopa is prized, while still being able to get out Bronzong, while Levels can only grab the Bronzong line. I sure do wish we had the three-retreat Bronzor in Standard! :(
2 Sky Field/1 Parallel City
Sky Field is your Stadium of choice because you need to fill your Bench up with Zongs, Shaymins, and then your actual attackers. We run a Parallel to one, counter Rayquaza and two, discard Lysandre targets for late game. It can also make Greninja hit 20 less damage, but I'm not sure that'll ever be relevant. The Stadium split is pretty solid, but if you would rather 3 Sky Field to gaurantee you hit it early, I wouldn't blame you.
6 Metal Energy
I wanted seven Metal to allow Aegislash to hit 180 damage if he had them all attached, but I think six is fair. It's really all the list allows. I wouldn't reccomend Smeargle and a Fighting either, because you really just seldom use Tyrantrum more than once per game and even then you'll still have enough DDE to get by what with Bunnelby in the deck. Six Metal should definitely be safe, and it has been thus far in testing. Seven and one Compressor is still an acceptable change, so test that out as well!
That's pretty much it for this deck, as well. There is not much needed to accomplish besides a quick Tina, and this deck does just that to a T. You will usually only face good matchups with this deck in tourney, but Trev is one that isn't very easy. I think it's winnable though. Your hardest matchups for this deck seem to be Greninja and Trevenant, with everything else being nearly autowin. This was a solid play for States, and the only reason it never won was because absolutely nobody was playing it. It's probably the most consistent of the speed Tina variants as well, which is nice to consider. I feel the deck doesn't lose anything from the next set's release either, because it stops Fighting from playing down their G Booster thing and their Strong Energy, so you beat one of the supposedly best archetypes already.
That's the Standard Format where we are right now. We know much about it, but we don't know everything we could, because States was definitely misrepresented due to the lack of creativity in deck choice brought on by how easy it is to pilot Night March now. While decks remained techable and very interesting, with most lists being drastically different, many actual archetypes were ignored in favor of the big three, and I think Standard can go deeper than that. With the next set we'll continue to see creativity shine and we'll continue to be incapable of unearthing every possible archetype. We will also be presented with the craziest decks imaginable for Nationals, and we'll have a pretty sick Standard format. As the format gets bigger we get a more promising card pool and I think while we may have had a bumpy road in the beginning that Standard has grown on all of us a bit. Now to just get rid of Night March!
We've all seen the scans of the new set. It looks very promising and it brings Fighting back to the forefront along with Psychic. It introduces a new Genesect to us which will be a support for Metal decks, a new Mew which will likely serve to help us hate Night March out of the format, and it gives us a plethora of new Trainers to fix up our decks with. Quickly, I'd like to sneak in five cards and applications of these cards in current decks. Firstly, I'll start with our new watered down Mew-EX reprint.
Mew is in this set just to be able to allow any deck to stand up to Night March. A big problem we had with the format was that Toad could Quaking, sure, but then he gave up two Prize cards! Now, you can Quaking for one prize with Mew, and have Bats or Red Card/Delinquent at your disposal as well, making Mew a very strong tech for that matchup in any toad deck. Mew can also even be used WITH Night March to bring back Basic Energy usage. Mew can be paired with Dimension Valley and Jirachi PR to attack Giratina with Stardust, meaning you don't even need to run any Basic energy if you don't want to! I think this card is the most diverse one in the new set, simply for this reason. It's splashable in any Basic deck and it really doesn't care about dying because it only gives up a Prize.
Glaceon makes for an interesting combo with Jolteon-EX. These two together can not be touched by Basic Pokemon OR Evolved Pokemon, meaning when paired with something like Mew, they're a low-risk, high-reward combo. Mew with Eeveelutions is upon us again, and I can't wait to see how this card is utilized. I could even see it paired with Vileplume, who locks every Basic deck out of the game anyways. Glaceon could even see play in an Aromatisse build, where you aren't afraid of M Rayquaza any longer nor are you scared of Night March, but you still have to fear things like bats or Alakazam who can hit through your abilities or just target the bench. Even then, you have countless outs.
Barbaracle's translation reads:
"Ability: Hand Block
You can use this ability if you have a Stadium card in play. As long as this Pokemon is in play, your opponent can’t attach any Special Energy cards from his or her hand."
So does this mean that YOU have to be the owner of the Stadium in play, or that you have to have a Stadium in play period? I'd assume it must mean you because the effect would be too OP otherwise, but you never know until the English scan comes out. Not sure if there are any other attackers besides Giratina who lock Stadiums in play, but I know that Barbaracle makes for a mean counter to Toadtina and Night March.
4. Bronzong BREAK
I picked Zong here because he has an attack I don't think has ever been seen in the game yet. His attack allows you to discard as many energy attached to him as you like, and then for each one discarded you pick one of your Opponent's Pokemon. For each time you picked a Pokemon, they take thirty. So, for example, I'm facing a Mew deck. I want to KO his last two Mew, and I have four Energy on Bronzong BREAK. I can discard all four Energy, pick each Mew twice, and do 60 to both of them. This attack is a late-game sweeper to clean up your opponent's field after they've taken 150/150 on multiple Pokémon-EX, etc. I think Bronzong BREAK will be a decent card, but Metal needs to be able to spread easier. I could see Bronzong being paired with Registeel-EX in Expanded.
5. Twisted Spoon
This card had to be the Item of choice. Twisted Spoon on a Toad means it won't be effected by Jirachi's Stardust anymore, making toad less vulnerable in Standard and making it even better now. Twisted Spoon is just a crazy tech for that reason, and maybe in Expanded as a quick Accelgor counter. Also, the art for this thing is nuts. I love how crazy yet simple Item art can be in this game. I think there are too many items in this set to pick only one on a Top 5 list, so keep in mind I only picked this one to go over the applications and that I feel almost every item being printed in this set is going to be good.
That's all I have on the new set. I could write another four articles on cards I like from the new set alone, but that'll have to wait til next time. For now, we scratched the surface on new ideas and possible techs for almost any archetype popular right now, we figured that Night March took a big hit with the release of this set, and we were able to realize the strength this set may have when combined with lesser-used cards in the current format.
The most important thing to take out of this article is that there is still much you can fix in Standard and much needs to be tested. Is Jolteon actually bad? Is Giratina actually better than Night March? Can Greninja become stronger than we thought? These are all answerable questions and we will figure it out through time if any more thought gets put into Standard.
For now, I leave you all with three more sick lists to go test out and hopefully as always you will all provide me with feedback on the lists, give me your own lists, and give me a [+1] if you enjoyed this article! Don't forget to go check out The Tuff Puff on YouTube, and to like and subscribe! Until next time,
- Daniel Altavilla
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