Experts' corner

Caleb Gedemer

"Grandma Got Run Over by a Rain(bow)deer" — Rainbow Road for Texas Regionals

Learn just about all there is to know about the Rainbow Road Xerneas deck...

20. 12. 2016 by Caleb Gedemer

Learn just about all there is to know about the Rainbow Road Xerneas deck: card explanations, deck lists, matchups and more! Catch it all in Caleb Gedemer's latest article, this time focusing on the Standard format versions of this colorful deck.


Hello all, and welcome to my latest piece. With the Expanded format having no major tournaments for some time, it is important for us to focus on the devious Standard format. Now, much of this format has already been made crystal clear for us, with three major tournaments having been conducted in what was virtually the same format (Florida and Indiana Regionals, as well as London Internationals).

Today, I will be discussing my personal favorite deck for standard, Rainbow Road, in context of what we know about the format. 


The Summary

This deck is definitely my forte when it comes to the Standard format. I recently played it to a Top 4 finish at the IndianaRegional Championship, which had 635 players - the largest standard tournament this year. I feel extremely qualified to spill the beans on everything about this pretty deck.

Rainbow Road's strength is its ability to knock out every opposing Pokemon in one-hit. If it is not hitting for big knockouts, Xerneas is much too fragile to withstand more than one hit in most cases, which ruins the other main advantage of the deck, 2 for 1 trading with EX-centric decks thanks to Xerneas' non-EX status. In the Standard format, the main tools to help stream Xerneas are Max Elixir and EXP. Share. They enable Xerneas to attack early and often, allowing the deck to maximize the non-EX status of Xerneas to trade 2 for 1 from Turn 1 or 2.

Max Elixir helps to increase the speed of the deck, which is vital in a format where Yveltal can deal mass amounts of damage on turn 1 or 2 extremely easily, and Volcanion can easily KO Xerneas on the first attack. In such a fast format, it is vital to set-up as many Xerneas as quickly as possible. EXP. Share helps this goal - by preserving energy on the board after a KO, it helps to transition you from your first Xerneas into additional Xerneas without having to hit another Max Elixir, since Xerneas' attack cost is FCC - two turns of energy attachements.

There are a few ways to play this deck. Today I will explore the two most popular variants - the EX centric variant that priotizes ease of set-up by utilizing mostly basic Pokemon, and the Stage 1 variants, which utilizes dual-type pokemon to create more flexibility and increase damage numbers extremely rapidly.

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