Experts' corner

Caleb Gedemer

"Dark, Dark, Goose!" — Two Darkness Decks and My Own Favorite in Expanded

The Expanded format is currently run over with dark decks, but Caleb Gedemer can guide you through it...

03. 05. 2017 by Caleb Gedemer

The Expanded format is currently run over with dark decks, but Caleb Gedemer can guide you through it. He'll be showing you the ins and outs to two of these Darkness type decks, and then showing off his personal favorite deck, something you probably haven't seen in awhile. Check it out!


Hey everybody at 60cards, I’m pleased to be writing about something I haven’t in a while--the Expanded format! While I’ve assuredly had mixed feelings about this card pool throughout the season, I think it’s come around again to something that’s more healthy and open for a variety of decks to do well in, and succeed. Today I’ll be covering what I think is the best deck in the format overall, one deck that’s always under the radar, and my personal favorite deck out there, which I think is primed for some much-deserved success soon. Without further ado, let’s get going already, I hope you like what I’ve got in store for you today!

Portland, Oregon Regional Championship Overview

This tournament was a little while back, now, all the way in March, taking place over the weekend of the 25, and 26. I didn’t attend, but going into the event most players were as clueless as ever when it came to the Expanded format. The last Expanded event before this was in Collinsville, Illinois, and that event was all sorts of crazy when it comes to the norms of the format. M Rayquaza-EX ended up on top, and things like Volcanion saw their first success in Expanded, ever.

With a murky cloud shadowing the event like this, most top players go back to something they’ve been playing for a while, like something they know very well. For most people, this is some kind of Darkness type deck, usually Yveltal, but sometimes Darkrai-EX. Just as it happens, both of those decks took the event by storm, and overall, five of the Top Eight spots were snatched up by these types of decks.

In a true blast to the past, Travis Nunlist took Primal Groudon-EX to a Top Eight birth, and Night March popped up as it has been every so often in the cut, too. Much of this event resembled something out of an Expanded format story book, like a recap of an event back in the 2015-2016 season. A metagame consisting of these types of decks is generally what we as players always seem to fall back on, when Expanded gets weird.

My biggest takeaway for you all from this event is that not much has really changed when it comes to the power decks in the format. Yveltal is still most definitely on top of it all, and that won’t be changing any time soon. Its pure dominance over the format should make it your top choice, or a deck that you’re aiming to beat with a deck you choose instead.

Going forward, I don’t think much will change in terms of other decks popping up. The bizarre decks that we hadn’t seen in a while that did well in the Illinois Regionals do not stack up well against the decks that did well in Oregon. Expect more of the same, with very little deviation from what did well. More than anything else, make sure you’re playing Yveltal, or a deck that can beat it!

“Dark, ...”

Yveltal / Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick


I, and others, have probably talked this deck to death by now, but it’s always nice for a refresher, to see if anything’s changed. Yveltal with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick has been around for ages now. Nothing has really changed, get the Maxie’s target of your choice, Archeops or Gallade, and use the proper attackers in the moment to deal with what your opponent chooses to do on his or her side of the field. With Darkrai-EX, Gallade, Yveltal, Yveltal-EX, and even Sableye in your deck, you have a ton of options to get things done.

Much of your gameplay decisions have a lot of strategic planning to them, like setting up double Knockouts on your opponent’s Pokemon, for more Prizes, while saving resources of your own for later. Careful Energy placement is crucial to being successful with the deck, as well as general resource management. For instance, holding Dark Patches for later can be nice, since it doesn’t tilt your hand to your opponent as to what you’re going to be doing.

Stadium cards are extremely important in this deck, too, and winning the Stadium war with your opponent is important. I try to never lay down a Stadium until my opponent has done so themselves, since locking in a Parallel City, or Silent Lab, is so crucial in many matches you’ll face along the way. A lot of thought is involved with this deck, and a lot of practice needs to be done to have a solid mastery of it all. Be sure to check the deck out on your own time to get things done!

Deck List

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