Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Three Strong Plays Going into Fort Wayne Regionals.

Jose analyzes three strong plays going into the Fort Wayne Regional Championships this weekend and gives you the inside scoop on his favorite.

01. 09. 2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello once again, 60cards readers! It's crazy that the first Regionals of the 2017-2018 season is this weekend. It feels like Worlds was just yesterday. Just two weeks after Worlds sparks the first Expanded Regionals of many to come. This season, almost half of the Regionals are Expanded.

As you probably know, Fort Wayne Regionals is this weekend, and it is Expanded. Players are trying to scramble for last minute cards and seeing an increase in cards such as Computer Search and Dowsing Machine. For your sake, I hope you were able to pick them up before they rose so heavily in price.

For this next article, I analyze three very strong decks that most will call the "top three" of Expanded. I know many players have discussed some of these decks, whether in their own articles or simply on YouTube videos, but I still want to give you guys my take on each of these lists and how I would play them.

Of course, everyone has their last-minute changes, so take into account that these lists can change at a moment's notice, especially in a format where we have the biggest card pool waiting for us to take advantage of. Everyone by now should know that both Archeops and Forest of Giant Plants have been banned for play in the Expanded format (and Forest has since rotated out of Standard). Because of this, decks that require evolutions may rise again, and decks such as Decidueye-GX should die off in agony (sorry John Kettler) making decks that were otherwise weak to Grass types pop up again as well.

First, I start with Night March, which will be before the paywall just to give you guys a feel on what you expect to see for the rest of the article. Most Night March lists are probably three to five cards different from each other, simply because Night March is one of the easiest decks to build. Piloting it to a strong finish is another story. Sure the deck seems pretty straightforward, but you have to take into account a number of possibilities when playing the deck. You have to judge how many Night Marchers you need to discard to hit the right numbers, but also you don't want to discard too many, so you don't run out of attackers. It's easier said than done when it comes to a deck like Night March. 

Next, I transition to Trevenant BREAK paired with Necrozma-GX, which is the talk of the town and for good reason. Why Pokémon, why? A card like Necrozma-GX in conjunction with Trevenant BREAK can break the game (pun intended). Of course, there are ways to get around Trevenant's item lock; however, it's only a matter of time until you're locked again and put into a troublesome situation once more. With the addition of Necrozma-GX, it saddens me to say that the Turbo Darkrai-EX/Darkrai-GX matchup may be better than before unless you tech for it, which I discuss more in depth later on.

Lastly, I analyze my favorite of the three decks and the list I'd likely play this weekend. With the release of Burning Shadows, Turbo Darkrai-EX found it's long lost brother Darkrai-GX. It too gained a number of cards making it one of the strongest threats this weekend. In a perfect world, each of these three decks counters one another, much how the first generation starters do. You have Night March (Charmander) beating Turbo Darkrai-EX/Darkrai-GX (Bulbasaur); you have Turbo Darkrai-EX/Darkrai-GX (Bulbasaur) beating Trevenant BREAK/Necrozma-GX (Squirtle), and you have Trevenant BREAK/Necrozma-GX (Squirtle) beating Night March (Charmander). Now, as I said, those are strictly the matchups on paper. You can tech each of these decks to beat one another, which I'll discuss later on.

With that said, let's get right into Night March and what a new list should look like.

Marching Through Summit City

Night March/Marshadow-GX

I know players are tired of hearing about Night March. However, Marshadow-GX gives the deck a little bit of a twist. For those who aren't familiar with this deck, the general concept is to get enough Night Marchers (Joltik, Pumpkaboo, and Lampent) in the discard pile, so that you can fuel their attack, Night March, which does 20 damage for each Pokémon in your discard pile that has the Night March attack. Before the release of Marshadow-GX, this deck used to max out at 220 damage without other damage modifiers, because you had to make sure you had at least one Night Marcher on the field. However, if you add Marshadow-GX into the mix, your damage output goes up by 20 for a total for 240 damage, which should be enough to one-hit KO anything relevant, since Marshadow-GX's ability works only for Basic Pokémon in your discard pile. Of course, that's without adding damage modifiers such as Fighting Fury Belt, Muscle Band, or Choice Band. You don't have to attack with Marshadow-GX, but it's an option, since you still have Joltik and Pumpkaboo, although the latter relies on Dimension Valley to attack, since it takes three energy. Now that you know what the deck wants to achieve, let's dive deeper into the other Pokémon inclusions.

Two Shaymin-EX is a no-brainer in this deck. Night March used to play three; however, Tapu Lele-GX took one of the spots. Night March is a deck that thrives on drawing through the deck as quickly as possible to get those lethal Night March attacks.

You want to be applying pressure by turn two at the latest. I like the one Tapu Lele-GX over the third Shaymin-EX because it grants you a supporter of choice no matter what. Shaymin-EX is more a draw-and-pray type of card. Marshadow-GX, as I mentioned, also can make for easier one-hit KOs on Pokémon that are weak to Fighting types, namely Darkrai-EX and GX. Just try not to open it in the mirror match, because if you do, you're likely going to lose that game. The inclusion of Tauros-GX is strictly for Seismitoad-EX because once they Karen you and combo it with Quaking Punch, you need to have an answer to that. Tauros-GX is the perfect answer. The threat of Mad Bull GX puts them in an awkward spot. Mew, on the other hand, I love as a one-of in this deck, because it has free retreat and can act as a Night Marcher. Two Lysandre I like even though a third one or a Guzma would be nice. Guzma can help break the lock of Trevenant and use your items. The one-of supporters are N, AZ, Teammates, Pokémon Ranger, and Hex Maniac. I think each of these supporters has merit. N, of course, you need, so you can trim down your opponent's hand size. 

AZ can come in clutch for saving Shaymin-EX from being picked off for two easy prizes. Teammates is too good in this deck, because you're likely attacking with itty-bitty, low-HP Pokémon (Joltik, Pumpkaboo, and Mew) making Teammates useful almost every turn since this deck doesn't ask for much once enough Night Marchers are in the discard pile.

Usually, you're just looking for Double Colorless Energy at that point and Teammates can search it out plus one more card. Pokémon Ranger is a card that can be very useful or completely useless since it's very situational. However, I think it's risky to not play a copy because Giratina-EX, Jolteon-EX, and even Seismitoad-EX can be troublesome. You would definitely auto lose to Giratina-EX and your best bet against Jolteon-EX is to use Escape Rope and Lysandre/Guzma it back up. You still have a chance against Seismitoad-EX because of Tauros-GX, but against the other two, not so much. Lastly, Hex Maniac I feel is randomly great in this deck, because a lot of times Night March can afford to just use any supporter it wants after you have enough Night Marchers in the discard pile. Hex Maniac obviously is great against Greninja and Trevenant decks as well. The rest of the list is pretty standard when it comes to Night March. Field Blower replaced Startling Megaphone since it can discard stadiums too making it an easy replacement. There are only two Dimension Valley since most times you're attacking with Joltik anyway. You still have the option to attack with Pumpkaboo at the same time, and it's always nice to have your own stadiums to bump your opponent's such as Parallel City.

Other card options

Oranguru SUM 113:

This card makes you less prone to late game Ns because we all know how aggressive Night March is and odds are you're starting to take prizes by turn two if not turn one. Having Oranguru as an insurance policy can make Night March not cripple late game.


As you can see, the list above has no way to disrupt energy and Night March used to run Xerosic or at the very least Enhanced Hammer. This was due to Giratina-EX being a huge threat as well as Seismitoad-EX. However now with the release of Plumeria not only can you discard any energy on your opponent's field whether it's a basic or special but you get to also discard two cards from your hand which is perfect for discard two Night Marchers to fuel your damage output.


Personally, I would go with double Lysandre just because your mainly attacking with non EX/GX attackers meaning if you were to try and get Lysandre or Guzma stalled then you can just attack with whatever Pokémon was brought up or simply just manually retreat if you can afford to although Tauros-GX has a three retreat cost which is okay because you then threaten Mad Bull GX.

Choice Band:

I think with the inclusion of Marshadow-GX you don't need Choice Band to hit those huge numbers. If your attackers can survive a hit with Fighting Fury Belt then you should be in a great spot nonetheless.

Target Whistle:

This is a card that is very situational to the point where it may be a dead card in your deck or one of the best cards in your deck. Most players when knowing they are facing up against Night March know better not to bench EX or GX Pokémon unless they absolutely have no choice. The simple fact is that your then trading two prizes for a potential one. This means said player may just opt to discard whatever EX or GX they don't want on the board making Target Whistle clutch in this situation, especially in the mirror match. I can easily see adding Target Whistle back into the list since you can use it multiple times thanks to Puzzle of Time.

Float Stone:

Some Pokémon may be less of an ideal starter than others which can make Float Stone come in handy in this situation. However, every Pokémon can attack in the first turn meaning you don't necessary need Float Stone. There is an Escape Rope if this situation does come up though.

Town Map:

Much like Gyarados in a sense where you do less damage per prized Magikarp you can say the same thing for prizing Night Marchers. Town Map can help get those last few Night Marchers out of the prizes to make your damage out put even stronger. At the same time, Town Map is overall a solid card just to manipulate your prizes whether it's grabbing that second Puzzle of Time or whatever was important that was prized at the time.

Dowsing Machine:

One of three Ace Specs that work well with a deck like Night March. Dowsing Machine gives this deck so many possibilities. Everyone's fear when they see Dowsing Machine is, of course, opening it and having a dead hand. While opening Computer Search or playing it anytime during a game makes your hand superb which is strictly why I choose Computer Search every time since you have Puzzle of Time to get stuff back anyway.

Life Dew:

I know Night March lists used to play this Ace Spec because denying a prize while taking 1-2 prizes at the same time was definitely good back then. However, I think nowadays you just want to stay as consistent as possible so players rather play Computer Search or Dowsing Machine which is hard to argue.

Parallel City:

Playing a single copy of this card can come in handy randomly which can do two things. It can help you in discarding your Shaymin-EX or Tapu Lele-GX, and it also can cripple your opponent's board state when they don't see it coming. A card like Parallel City is hit or miss, but a lot of times it'll be decent when played down. Sometimes it may not have been the very best time to play it down but most times it's good enough to.

With that said, let's now examine what probably is the scariest deck to face off against in the Expanded format.

Fort Wayne Trees

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