Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

A Closer Look at the Fort Wayne Regionals Finalist Decks

Jose examines the two decks that made the finals of the Fort Wayne Regional Championships not too long ago.

09/15/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello again 60cards readers! With the threat of Hurricane Irma out of the picture, I can finally get to writing for you guys again. I know this article is some what late but like I said real life got in the way and if you were affected by the Hurricane then I wish the best for you and if your reading this then that should mean you have access to the internet so that's dope. With the recent conclusion of the first Expanded Regional of many to come this season the one and only and fellow ARG teammate, Michael Pramawat ended up winning his sixth Regional to date upping Israel Sosa who also had five at the time. Not only did Michael win Fort Wayne Regionals with Night March but he won the biggest Regional to date which is ridiculous to think about. Fun fact, Alex Wilson held the biggest Regional win prior to Michael.

Sam Chen took second with Turbo Turtonator-GX which I'm not too sure where the idea originated from but I know Rahul Reddy and a few others had a part in it. Ryan Sabelhaus played the same 60 as Sam and Rahul but unfortunately tied his win and in into Top 8 putting him in Top 16 which is still a great accomplishment given that it was the biggest Regionals so far. A couple other players played the same 60 such as Rahul who finished 6-3-0 and Michael Slutsky who finished 6-2-1. So overall no one really scrubbed out with the deck meaning the deck is that good in Expanded especially since Golisopod-GX is one of the best decks. Be sure to keep an eye out for these two decks at your upcoming Expanded League Cups because they surely will see play.

With that said, let's first take a look at Michael's winning Night March list.

Night March/Marshadow-GX

Michael's list as you can see is very consistent and it's no wonder he ended up winning Fort Wayne Regionals. Consistency is key when deck building no matter how simple it looks. Just look at Tord's US International list with four Tapu Lele-GX and that should tell you. In my previous article, I talked about Night March for Fort Wayne which the list I posted was about 5-6 cards different than Michael's. Right off the bat, I can see Michael played more of a consistent build than what I made because he played three copies of Shaymin-EX, an Oranguru as well as four copies of Trainers' Mail. Looking back it makes total sense because Night March early on wants to dig and dig for those Battle Compressors while late game you need to not dead draw off low N hands making Oranguru the perfect solution. Michael also decided to play Marshadow-GX as a one of since I don't think you need any more than that because in the mirror you don't want to open it. At least if you open Shaymin-EX you can still Sky Return a Joltik while going to the hand at the same time. Tauros-GX I can only imagine was for Seismitoad-EX since the threat of Mad Bull GX can be your opponent in an odd situation.

I like that Michael played a split on Guzma and Lysandre which is what I did in Gyarados. You never know when Guzma will come in handy more so over Lysandre so having both options in a deck like Night March I can respect. I did notice Michael played Ghetsis which may seem weird in a deck like Night March where it can't item lock at the same time. However, a turn one Ghetsis against Turbo Darkrai-EX or Blastoise can be crucial. Or even mid to late game where your opponent know's you can't item lock them and they are sitting on VS Seekers. Well, Ghetsis can come in handy at random times while potentially catching your opponent off guard. Even in the mirror Ghetsis can be game changing because it can force your opponent into using Shaymin-EX or Tapu Lele-GX early if you were to get rid of their Battle Compressors. Pokémon Ranger, of course, is needed for Giratina-EX and Jolteon-EX, however, it's also useful against Turtonator-GX's attack Shell Trap since it negates it making it so you don't get KOed at the same time.

Other card options

Mew FCO 29:

The free retreat on Mew puts less pressure on you for what to bring up after one of your Pokémon were KOed. Its ability can help copy Night March which is nice since it allows you to use one less Night Marcher as the attacker.


Micahel played three copies of Shaymin-EX making them very vulnerable. AZ can help pick them back into your hand so they aren't targeted down for two easy prizes. Especially in the mirror match since it's key not to play down two prize givers unless you absolutely have no choice.

Dowsing Machine:

Players are back and forth on which Ace Spec to run. Personally, I think Computer Search is the way to go simply because he can search out Double Colorless Energy. That alone should warrant why Computer Search trumps Dowsing Machine every time as far as Night March goes. Of course, Dowsing Machine can be phenomenal in this deck too if you don't open with it or are forced to discard it early. Making all your counts essentially +1 seems like it's too good to pass up and yeah you may be right but like I said it can't just search out your main source of energy.

Fighting Fury Belt:

Michael decided to just play a single copy of Choice Band as his added damage modifier. I can see he just went with more consistency which is hard to argue with. However Fighting Fury Belt can help your attackers potentially survive a KO then again Joltik and Pumpkaboo have such low hit points where Fighting Fury Belt may not even matter. Also, it can just get Field Blowered away while Choice Band you at least get the guaranteed 30 extra damage before it get's Field Blowered away. Smart thinking from Michael and it's no wonder he won the event.

Target Whistle:

This card was in a lot of Night March decks because it's great in the mirror. However, you can still play around it thus making Target Whistle a nuisance if you draw into early.

Escape Rope:

I was a little surprised not to see Michael playing Escape Rope simply because it gives you some nice options. However, Michael ran a copy of Guzma which lets you target what Pokémon you want your opponent to bring up making Escape Rope seem useless especially since Pokémon Ranger is in Michael's list which can help combat Jolteon-EX much easier.

Town Map:

Prizing Night Marchers diminishes your damage out put so getting them out of the prizes as soon as possible is what you need to do. Town Map helps with this but at the same time can help manipulate your other prize cards which aren't Night Marchers.

Now, it's time to dive in and look at Sam Chen's Turbo Turtonator-GX list.


Turbo Turtonator-GX

Sam's season last year was crazy after winning a Regionals, finishing in Top 4 of the US International Championships on top of finishing in Top 8 at Worlds and now with the new season, he adds a second place Regionals finish to it. What can this man not do? I know Sam decided to play this deck the morning of registration which was given to him by Rahul Reddy. Sam made it all the way to the finals and ultimately faced up against the God himself Michael Pramawat. Most players were surprised to see such as unique take on Volcanion in Expanded otherwise known now as Turbo Turtonator-GX. The main concept and success of the deck rely on Turtonator-GX as the main attacker. It's your best starter since you can take advantage of its GX attack, Nitro Tank GX on the first turn which is likely given that the deck plays 16 Fire Energy and three Scorched Earth on top of two Battle Compressors to help put Fire Energy in the discard. You have Volcanion-EX for its Steam Up ability so you can do more damage.

Ho-Oh-GX is a solid attacker as well since it can do 180 damage without needing Steam Ups which is useful against Garbotoxin decks. Blacksmith is why this deck works in Expanded since you can put two Fire Energy from your discard onto one of your Fire Pokémon so really you can fuel your attackers in a single turn. There is still a single copy of Kiawe just to give the deck the option to power something up with four energies at a moment's notice such as Ho-Oh-GX. Karen, of course, is mainly for Night March and Vespiquen/Flareon. Sam ended up playing Muscle Bands as his added damage modifier over Choice Band and Fighting Fury Belts. By playing Muscle Band over the others you know they will always be useful against any given Pokémon. Also, Muscle Band makes Turtonator-GX do 180 base damage which is a very relevant number to hit. The rest of the list speaks for itself so I'll close it out here.

Other card options

Sudowoodo GUR 66:

If you expect a handful of M Rayquaza-EX then I would recommend adding in Sudowoodo otherwise your going to have a hard time because M Rayquaza-EX can KO your attackers a lot easier than this deck can.

Entei AOR 14:

Another solid counter to M Rayquaza-EX decks because this deck folds to it. If M Rayquaza-EX takes a KO in conjunction with Hex Maniac then your in for a world of hurt. Entei can threaten the revenge KO back onto M Rayquaza-EX while only giving up one prize. 

Max Elixir:

With Blacksmith and Kiawe it's tough to fit Max Elixir. You likely don't need them in Expanded simply because Blacksmith is the bread and butter of the deck as well as Turtonator-GX's GX attack which can fuel your attackers anyway.

Brooklet Hill:

It's tough to want to opt not to play Scorched Earth since the deck plays 16 Fire Energy meaning Scorched Earth will likely be useful every turn. Brooklet Hill, however, can help search out your Fire attackers with no drawback. My guess is that with two Shaymin-EX and Scorched Earth as I mentioned you shouldn't have trouble finding your Fire attackers.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on the finalist decks of the Fort Wayne Regional Championships. With Night March winning it's likely that more players will decide to play Night March even more given that Trevenant decks didn't do too well. Night March just doesn't want to go away and as you can see it's still a force to be reckoned with after Michael winning the first US Regionals of the 2017-2018 season with it. Sam Chen's Turbo Turtonator-GX deck was some what spicy as many players didn't expect that variant of Fire giving him a huge edge going into the newly Expanded meta. I'll have a handful of more articles coming up so be sure to check those out when published. I'll be attending Hartford Connecticut Regionals at the end of the month so if you see me there be sure to come say hi.

Like always, if you haven't already, check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll and Rahul Reddy. If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokémon-TCG for tons of decklists from great players. My Twitter handle is down below if you want to follow me.

If you have any questions, then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook. I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible.

As usual, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas down below, and I'll consider them. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

[+11] okko


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