Experts' corner

Caleb Gedemer

Unfrogettable — Greninja BREAK in Standard

You won't be forgetting about Greninja BREAK anytime soon, even after the rotation of Dive Ball in Standard. Find out why!

27. 09. 2017 by Caleb Gedemer


Hi all, the season is back to full swing, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been playing as much as ever. I’ve been hitting League Cups each and every weekend, and brought home a trove of Top Eight finishes thus far. Approaching fast are another month of Regional Championships; October being the big month, and I plan on attending at least two of the three in the United States. The first of the three is going to be held in the Standard format, and for that, I’d like to go over one of the less-talked about decks circulating around out there: Greninja BREAK.

Dive Ball, Level Ball, and Repeat Ball’s rotation was said to be the death of Greninja, but contrary to that, I’ve been seeing the deck have a lot of success at League Cup events, and I think it’s something everyone should at least be aware of, if not playing themselves. With so many players writing it off, more decks than ever are taking losses to it, so when Greninja BREAK decks do pop their head out, things can get tricky for many of the top decks in the format.

Greninja BREAK figures to be a surprise play for many reasons, and it’s definitely on my radar as a potential deck choice for upcoming Standard format events. Going forward, it’s essential to have a strongly functioning deck list that can set up consistently, and from there, you’ll be in good shape to churn out wins. Let’s get going so I can share my deck list and prove to you that this deck’s got what it takes!


Set up, Giant Water Shuriken, Moonlight Slash, and so on… You know the drill, Greninja BREAK as a concept is nothing new, since the deck has literally been around for a couple years now. However, without some of its old “Ball” tools, the deck needs to be re-invented a bit, structure-wise. Brooklet Hill, Evosoda, Nest Ball, Timer Ball, and Ultra Ball are the only remaining realistic options for play in the deck, so weeding out the inferior cards and finding a balance between those that are solid is the next task on your platter.

For starters, four Ultra Ball should be an instant inclusion in any deck list. While it does come with the unfortunate repercussion of discarding two cards, Ultra Ball is the absolute best bang for your buck in this deck, and is a must. Now let’s begin to sift through some of the inferior options that need to be played because they’re all you’ve got…

Brooklet Hill is the first on the list, and it’s by far the best option aside from Ultra Ball. In fact, it was sometimes included in old lists, even when Dive Ball was around! It serves as an instant search for a Froakie, or other Water type Pokemon you might be playing, which accomplishes one of the first steps you’re looking to check off in the opening turns of the game.

Now let’s talk about Evosoda. I’ve used the card in the Expanded format before, way back when Archeops was still legal, and it was a means to maneuver around the Evolution lock. Aside from that, it was generally a worse version of Level Ball, but it did its job. In the Standard format, though, you don’t have access to Level Ball anymore, so you need to make due with what you’ve got, and Evosoda can get you the Evolution Pokemon you want into play. The only downside is that it can’t get a Froakie, but that’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

I also mentioned Nest Ball, which is likely the worst card option for this deck. Instead of it, if you were considering it, I would just run another Brooklet Hill, or two. Nest Ball’s use is limited just to Basic Pokemon, so that it doesn’t make it as useful as other options like Evosoda or Timer Ball, which I’ll cover next.

Timer Ball is the sketchiest option that you can play in this deck, but if you were to flip heads, it can be quite good. Again, I think Evosoda is just strictly better, and that said, we can begin to build a consistency skeleton composed of Brooklet Hill, Evosoda, and Ultra Ball. Maximizing counts of each of those cards is a good place to start, since focus on consistency will pay off when trying to set up your already (sometimes) inconsistent deck.

Now, with the loss of VS Seeker, there’s a debate about which consistency, or draw Supporter cards to use in this deck. Lillie, Skyla, and Sophocles are some of which are talked about alongside the more obvious max counts of N and Professor Sycamore. I really like Lillie and Skyla in this deck, equally, and recommend playing at least a single copy of each, for starters!

Before doing anything else, I recommend starting with a skeleton deck list like this:

Above I have included everything that I would for sure play in a Greninja BREAK deck, and for the final slots, I would either focus on adding cards to improve consistency, or focus on techs that could improve the deck in certain matchups. In the next few sections, I’ll cover my current favorite (complete) deck list, explain the cards, and talk about matchups. Let’s get right to it!

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