Experts' corner

Caleb Gedemer

"Devolving?" — The Standard Format with Evolutions

Get Caleb Gedemer's opinion on the Standard format with the Indiana Regional Championship approaching fast!

15. 11. 2016 by Caleb Gedemer


Hey Trainers, ready to get some cool critter content for any upcoming Standard format tournaments, specifically for the Indiana Regional Championship? Well ready or not, I have a lot to share with you all.

The new set of Evolutions brings a lot of new things to the table and cranks up the potential a lot of already established decks held in the format. These decks specifically being Greninja BREAK, M Gardevoir-EX (Despair Ray) and Volcanion decks.

Anyways, let us get right into it. I hope you all enjoy!

Table of Contents


The Standard Format (Primal Clash through Evolutions)

The Decks


Greninja BREAK

M Gardevoir-EX (79)

M Mewtwo-EX (64)

M Rayquaza-EX (76)

Vileplume Toolbox


The Word of Warning


The Standard Format (Primal Clash through Evolutions)

The last time we discussed the Standard format we were all eying up the results of Florida Regionals in the United States. Darkness decks with Garbodor and Giratina-EX were all the rage. The big question is, will that change for the Indiana Regional Championship this time around? I would say no, if asked that question.

So, if anything, what will change? There will be a few changes, yes. Firstly, we have the addition of Dragonite-EX with Pull Up in M Gardevoir-EX (79) decks. This is going to be incredibly good to reuse the effects of Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX time and time again after Discarding the aforementioned Pokemon with Despair Ray.

Starmie in Greninja BREAK decks is pretty sick too. Getting Energy back from the Discard almost “breaks” the deck, but Garbodor still remains a problem. That is where the new Greninja Promo card with Aqua Shower comes in. This new card deals 20 damage to each of the opponent’s Pokemon, which is just enough to set up a Lysandre knockout on a Garbodor with the Greninja toting Moonlight Slash.

One last deck, or rather, lots of decks, obtain a special card in the form of Mewtwo from Evolutions. Psychic for two Colorless Energy can be a real pain for M Mewtwo-EX decks. With a Weakness to its very own Psychic type, M M2 can get hit hard when it has a lot of Energy cards on it.

Lastly before we start to delve into all the decks, I would like to call to mind that many winning lists have been made public and there are few, if any, surprises at this point when it comes to decks. Additionally, most decks have a standardized core list of cards that should always be played now, which is great for players to have to make sure they have a consistent and powerful deck.

The Decks

I will be covering my favorite decks for the upcoming Indiana Regional Championship in this section. An overview of the deck will be discussed; deck lists will be provided and matchups will be all laid out.



We have been over this deck plenty of times now; it has been around for a while now. Not much changes in Darkrai-EX’s world, at least not for now. Garbodor is still a monster of a card and Darkrai and Giratina-EX are some of the best Pokemon to pair together with everyone’s least favorite pile of trash.

Darkrai-EX along with Max Elixir can get the numbers churning early and attaching Double Dragon Energy (which count as two Darkness Energy if we would like) to Giratina-EX even further promote the cause. Dark Pulse will be hitting massively in no time.

On the defensive front, Giratina-EX can lock in Stadium cards and win matchups in which Darkrai-EX and its powerful offensive capabilities are not enough to pull out games. Most lists now include Olympia, for various reasons, but namely, it is great to switch between attackers that would otherwise be a pain to Retreat.

Deck List


Darkness/Garbodor: 50/50
The mirror match; this one is incredibly dependent on whomever starts attacking hardest with Darkrai-EX first. Giratina-EX is a subpar attacker in this matchup, and Darkrai-EX really just takes the cake. Using Enhanced Hammer at a nice time will stop the opponent from achieving one-hit knockouts, which is ultimately the goal and endgame of this match.

Greninja BREAK: 60/40
A quick Chaos Wheel with Giratina-EX is sure to spell defeat for the opponent. Not only will a Parallel City locked in play limit the opponent’s damage output, or Bench space, whichever is best in the given situation, but it will put on the pressure with some massive damage straight away. If Garbodor is to hit the field before Greninja BREAKs go online, this game is a complete and total wrap. Dark Pulse can finish the opponent’s field off and take the win to the books.

M Gardevoir-EX (79): 35/65
This matchup is a very bad one. Garbodor can stop the opponent from using Dragonite-EXs, Hoopa-EXs and Shaymin-EXs time and time again, but, it will not stop the deadly Resistance that Garde totes against opposing Darkness Pokemon. Giratina-EX may seem like a logical choice with its Renegade Pulse Ability stopping damage from M Pokemon-EX, but Garde decks play multiple Hex Maniac to counter it. ‘tina’s Fairy type Weakness will be disastrous as well. This can be won with some quick hard hitting attack shenanigans with Dark Pulse, but do not count on that as a winning strategy.

M Mewtwo-EX (64): 40/60
Another mediocre matchup. While Darkrai-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt will be hard for a M Mewtwo-EX to knock out with Resistance and all, once a M2 deck starts rolling, the ball just never stops. Giratina-EX is an easy knockout for Psychic Infinity, as with four Energy on a ‘tina and just two Energy on Mewtwo being a one-hit knockout (without Fighting Fury Belt).

M Rayquaza-EX (76): 65/35
A good matchup where M Rayquaza-EX gets its back up against a wall when Giratina-EX starts attacking early. ‘tina’s Ability will render Ray useless unless the player has a readily available Hex Maniac, and that cannot be counted on when Enhanced Hammer plays a role in stopping attacks all together from the big Colorless type dragons. Chaos Wheel will prevent reattachment of Double Colorless Energy and is sure to stop a steady stream of attacks from the opponent.

Vileplume Toolbox: 40/60
In ideal situations for the Vileplume player, this is not the best of matchups. Jolteon-EX will have an absolute field day against a Darkrai-EX and Giratina-EX deck. They both are Basic Pokemon, obviously, and their imminent Weakness to Jolt is deadly. Now it is of note to remember that ‘plume decks can be a bit inconsistent, hence the reason that I accredited this matchup with that of a bit closer to an even one.

Volcanion: 65/35
Volcanion decks are sure to struggle with anything/Garbodor. Our deck in this case is even better equipped because it can start hitting quickly, and for a lot, with a beefy Basic Pokemon when having a Fighting Fury Belt. Not only that, but Giratina-EX attacking can make things even worse by reducing Fire type damage output or limiting the opponent’s Bench. The volcanoes can still stand a chance when they can rocket off to a good start from the beginning, however unlucky that may be with Garb in play.

Xerneas: 35/65
Seeing this matchup number may be a little confusing at first, considering that we play Giratina-EX to stop Double Colorless Energy attachments, as well as Parallel City to limit the opponent’s Bench. The thing is, though, that Xerneas decks do not need Double Colorless Energy to win. They can just stack three Fairy Energy down and accomplish the same goal. The still can attach Doubles in the early turns before Chaos Wheel starts, too. This being said, Giratina-EX is super easy prey with its glaring Weakness to Fairy Pokemon, and Darkrai-EX finds it hard to hit for a lot when Xerneas resists the Darkness type. Parallel City is basically offset by the combination of Xerneas’ Resistance and Giratina-EX’s Weakness.

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