Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Three Potential Plays for Collinsville and Malmo Regionals

Jose analyzes three potential plays for Collinsville and Malmo Regionals this weekend.

02/16/2018 by Jose Marrero



Hola 60cards readers! I'm back again with another article. This time I discuss three potential plays for this weekend's Collinsville and Malmo Regionals. It is always a hassle trying to transition from one format to another, let alone one format to a format that just released a new set, especially when they are three weeks apart. This means players will have to test quickly and theorymon like crazy. To be fair, most players may just end up playing old decks just with a few new cards splashed into them. Decks like Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX and Gardevoir-GX aren't going anywhere because they are still extremely strong right now. However, Gardevoir-GX players will have to hope to dodge metal variants namely the new released Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone deck. Because of this, I'll first start things off with the deck in question. Following that, I'll move into Empoleon/Zoroark-GX/Puzzles, a deck I worked on with my buddy Justin Kulas. This deck hasn't been getting much hype, though I think Empoleon, in general, has more potential then Garchomp. Finally, I'll get into Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/techs, a deck created by Michael Catron, though a couple cards different from his initial list so shout out to him. So far in testing, this deck is the one I have been liking the most. Each deck I discuss I'll give a deck breakdown, as well as other card options you can switch up depending on your playstyle or what you think will see play.

With that said, let's start with one of if not the most hyped deck to be released from Ultra Prism.

The Merger and the Mechanical Magnet

Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone

3-1-3 Magnezone

Magnezone is similar to that of Blastoise and the Lightning Magnezone, though for Metal Energy instead of Water Energy or Lightning Energy. Ultra Prism was recently released, giving us a different energy acceleration type ability to abuse. This deck has gotten so much hype leading up to Ultra Prism's official release and for good reason. Not only is it another deck that can cripple Gardevoir-GX, but, in general, the deck can basically OHKO anything thanks to Magnezone's ability, Magnetic Circuit, which lets you attach as many Metal Energies from your hand to any of your Pokémon. The one Magneton I like for now, because even more than Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt, you need Magnezone out in order for this deck to function properly. Tapu Bulu-GX can usually hold its own if you have to attach the old fashioned way. Four Energy compared to three is a big difference in this scenario.

1-1 Octillery

Having extra draw is needed especially in the late game when you get Nd into a low hand size.

3 Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX

This card has two great attacks, one of which will be the main attack of the deck called Meteor Tempest. This attack dishes out a whopping 220 damage, though you have to discard three energy from it. This is okay, because Magnezone lets you attach as many energy from your hand as often as you like, meaning you can spam Meteor Tempest as you see fit. It also has a great GX attack called Sun's Eclipse GX that does 250 damage if you are behind in prizes. This attack takes just three energy. If you take a KO with it then next turn all you need is one more energy to threaten Meteor Tempest.

1 Dialga-GX

Mainly in the deck to take advantage of its GX attack, Timeless GX. Skipping your opponent's next turn is ridiculously strong and why the attack takes five energy. Make sure to only really use it if you are taking a KO, because this way you can switch the game back into your favor and you Meteor Tempest on something next turn for another KO.

1 Solgaleo Prism Star

Great one prize attacker, though mainly used for its first attack, Radiant Star, to refresh energy back onto the board and threaten with multiple attackers. Radiant Star is clutch against Garbotoxin because they shut off Magnezone.

1 Professor Sycamore

I went with just one, because you really don't want to discard resources in this deck. I can even see dropping it for a third Skyla.

4 N

Consistency and to make sure you manipulate your opponent's hand when needed most.

4 Cynthia

Again consistency, though this card always nets you six cards as opposed to N.

3 Guzma

I don't think four Guzma is necessary for a deck like this, because it can potentially one hit KO anything anyway, and you are likely wanting to KO the active over a bench sitter anyway.

2 Brigette

Nothing too special here. You want to have a turn one Brigette in this deck for sure, because it is a setup deck that needs multiple pieces to get going.

2 Skyla

As I said, you can up the Skya count to three, though two should be fine. Skyla helps you find Rare Candy or Mt. Coronet easier.

4 Rare Candy

Four copies of Rare Candy is definitely ideal, because this deck doesn't do much without Magnezone in play. Just like with Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt without Vikavolt, you aren't doing much.

2 Field Blower

Garbotoxin and Parallel City can cripple this deck, so having a couple Field Blowers is needed. I can even see upping the count to three if you expect more Garbodor than usual.

1 Rescue Stretcher

Recovering Pokémon can be needed, so having at least one Rescue Stretcher is wise, though you can't get back Solgale,o because it goes to the Lost Zone once discarded.

1 Float Stone

Having a Pokémon with free retreat can go a long way to giving you more options instead of having to forcefully guess an attacker next turn.

1 Choice Band

I know the deck can do 220 damage, though the extra damage from Choice Band can help against opposing Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX's with Fighting Fury Belts. Or if you have to do 180 with Timeless GX. Solgaleo can even do 190, which can KO Buzzwole-GX. Meteor Tempest goes up to 250 damage, so if you go up against Metagross-GX, then now you can OHKO it as well.

4 Mt. Coronet

The newly released stadium from Ultra Prism. Mt. Coronet lets you put back two Metal Energies from your discard into your hand. Great for getting energy back to use Meteor Tempest again, though everytime you do, you need to already have another energy in hand, so be weary of how many Metal Energies you discard.

10 Metal Energy

I felt 10 energy is enough. You may see lists playing 12, but if you manage your energy well enough then 10 should be fine.

Other card options


Espeon-EX and Shadow Stitching can be annoying at times, so shutting off Miraculous Shine to protect Magnezone can be game-changing. Against Greninja, you have to make sure to have a Metal Energy on both Magnezone and Magearna-EX to be effective.

Mew FCO 29

Great in the mirror, because Mew is a non GX/EX-attacker that can copy Meteor Tempest and Timeless GX. Mew can switch the prize trade back into your favor.

Clefairy EVO 63

Also useful in the mirror, since it can copy an opposing Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX's attack for a KO just like Mew, though Mew copies your own. One prize attacker taking two prizes is always nice. You can even copy their Timeless GX for the KO and take another turn at the same time.

Dhelmise GUR 59

The extra 10 damage given to Metal types can be clutch. Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX can do 230 damage not needing Field Blower to KO an opposing one with a Fighting Fury Belt. Or with Solgaleo it can do 170 and KO a Tapu Lele-GX or 200 with a Choice Band.

Starmie EVO 31

Once per turn, you can get back two Metal Energies, though bench space is tight in this deck and having both Octillery and Starmie out at once doesn't seem optimal, especially if its two Stage 1 Pokémon with 1-1 counts.

Mr. Mime BKT 97

Buzzwole-GX is very popular in Standard, so preventing its bench damage can go a long way. Meteor Tempest can easily take out Buzzwole-GX, so maybe Mr. Mime is not needed, especially since bench space will be very tight in this deck, because it needs Octillery and stuff on the bench.

Magnemite ULP 81

Preventing bench damage done to Magnemite from Buzzwole-GX can be something to keep in mind, though having free retreat if you open Magnemite is always great. It really is just a personal preference on which Magnemite to play.


Getting back four Metal Energies can be game-changing, but if you use your energies wisely you only really need three attacks to win. Plus you have Solgaleo to recover energy onto the field if need be.

Cyrus Prism Star

Limiting your opponent's bench size to just two Pokémon while taking a KO at the same time will put them down to just two Pokémon. Cyrus is specifically good against decks that bench four or five non-Tapu Lele-GX Pokémon.

Professor's Letter

Searching out two Metal Energies is always great, though I couldn't really find room for it and playing just one didn't seem right.

Energy Retrieval

Getting back two Metal Energy can be nice, though with Mt. Coronet and resource management you shouldn't have trouble streaming KO after KO with Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX. Like I said, Solgaleo can help get back energy as well.

The Penguin and the Fox


3-3 Empoleon

This card was just released in Ultra Prism. Empoeon has a solid 160 hit points and has an attack called Total Command that will be the main source of damage in this deck. Total Command does 20 damage for each benched Pokémon meaning it caps at 200 damage or 230 with a Choice Band. Total Command does take a Water and Colorless attachment, though the deck plays Aqua Patch for this reason. Overall Empoleon can take lethal KOs while being a one-prize attacker that isn't that easy to take down. If for some reason Fire decks start to pop up, then Empoleon should be able to handle them with ease.

4-4 Zoroark-GX

You can use Zoroark-GX as a secondary attacker or a primary until you start setting up Empoleons. Trade will be very useful in this deck, as it can help toss Water Energy in the discard for Aqua Patch uses. I went with a max count of Zoroark-GX for consistency and just to be able to Trade as often as you can to dig for Empoleon pieces.

1 Mew-EX

Mainly for Buzzwole-GX, though can be useful against Gallade as well. Mew-EX can copy both Total Command and Riotous Beating both of which should be enough to one hit KO Buzzwole-GX every time.

1 Tapu Koko Promo

Spreading 20 damage will make Total Command take easier KOs. Tapu Koko's free retreat also helps the use of more reliable Aqua Patch plays.

2 Professor Sycamore/2 N/2 Cynthia

Now, here I went with a two-of split on each of these draw supporters. I wanted to have all the options, though some will be used more than others. You can always use Puzzle of Time to get supporters back if needed.

3 Guzma

Three Guzma should be fine in this deck, because there are Puzzles of Time if you need to get some back. Most of the time the active Pokémon is the threat so you are going to want to target that Pokémon first most likely.

2 Brigette

I can see going up to three Brigette in this deck, because it relies on a turn one Brigette, and the excess ones can be Trade bait.

1 Mallow

This card helps manipulate your top two cards, so if you need Rare Candy and another card then you can Mallow them on the top and Trade for them. This combo is ridiculously good in a deck that plays Stage 2 Pokémon and Rare Candy as we saw at the Australian International Championships.

4 Puzzle of Time

If a deck plays four Zoroark-GX, then I believe it should play Puzzle of Time. Getting back resources is very strong in the current format. Recently Gardevoir-GX/Zoroark-GX/Puzzles won the Australian International Championships so basically, this concept originated from that deck.

3 Aqua Patch

You don't need four Aqua Patch thanks to Puzzles of Time, but they are to help fuel Empoleon.

3 Rare Candy

Again Puzzle of Time lets you play fewer copies of cards. One of the many reasons why Puzzle of Time is so good.

2 Field Blower

I know I've said this a number of times but Garbotoxin shutting off Trades can be crucial in the deck's success as well as getting rid of Parallel City because you need a bench to do more damage with Empoleon.

2 Choice Band

Empoleon can do 230 damage with a Choice Band. This is specifically key against Gardevoir-GX, though the opponent may never bench five Pokémon if they are smart. However, with eight total bench and a Choice Band on Empoleon, Total Command can take out Buzzwole-GX.

1 Float Stone

Similar to Tapu Koko's use in the sense that you have easier access to Aqua Patch plays. You can reuse the Float Stone if it gets discarded early because of Puzzles of Time so that nice.

1 Rescue Stretcher

If you had to discard early Empoloen's or Zoroark-GX's then you can rescue them back. You can always fall back on Puzzle of Time if needed.

Other card options

Giratina Promo

This deck may struggle against Greninja, though Greninja needs somewhat of a big bench to get going making Empoleon a great attacker against them. Giratina will make the matchup a lot more comfortable though.

Professor Kukui

The extra 20 damage this card provides can make Empoleon's numbers even greater and can potentially take a surprise KO. Total Command can go up to 250 damage if needed. Not to mention with Professor Kukui and Choice Band Total Command only needs a total of nine benched Pokémon instead of ten to one hit KO Gardevoir-GX.

Evo Soda

The deck plays four Zoroark-GX, so finding them by turn two is key and Evo Soda can help with that. You want at least three Zoroark-GX out to spam Trade to find everything you need.

Max Potion

Healing both Empoleon and Zoroark-GX can be crucial at times, in case you have to deny a prize. Empoleon can still be powered up in one turn thanks to Aqua Patch, though you would have to manually retreat first or Guzma then Max Potion.


I'm not too sure on Acerola since picking up Empoleon doesn't seem like the best thing. Not only do you need another Rare Candy but you need to have a Piplup ready on the bench. However, picking up Zoroark-GX is always a good ideal once it has taken some damage. You can even get multiple Trades off of the same Zoroark-GX if you have a Zorua on the bench.

Captivating Pokepuff

Your opponent may try to play around Empoeon, however Captivating Pokepuff can force them to bench their Pokémon for bigger damage. You also get the knowledge of knowing your opponent's hand.

Silvally and Friends


3-2 Silvally-GX

Great overall attacker and its ability is pretty clutch in this type of deck. Turbo Drive does a solid 120 damage. This is enough to OHKO Garbodors while attaching Basic Energy from the discard at the same time. Its GX attack is reminiscent of Lycanroc-GX's Dangerous Rogue GX. The deck plays Fire and Psychic Memories for certain Pokémon which I'll get into later. Gyro Unit lets all your Basic Pokémon have free retreat, which is nice, since you can Max Elixir onto an attacker and freely put it active after. Usually, you want to evolve the benched Type: Null so that you can retreat the active one because Gyro Unit only effects your Basic Pokémon, so keep that in mind.

2-2 Zoroark-GX

You can use Zoroark-GX as an attacker but it'll mainly be used for its Trade ability, so it'll be out of harm's way most of the time. Riotous Beating won't hit anything relevant for weakness, and in this deck, you mainly want to try to OHKO Pokémon unless you are attacking with Turbo Drive, since that accelerates Basic Energies and powers up other attackers.

2 Sudowoodo BKP 67

This card we all know is pretty good in Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX. However, it is also great in this deck because it can copy whatever attack your opponent used last turn. For example against Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, you can copy Meteor Tempest for a revenge KO, though the deck plays Fire Memory too. Sudowoodo can also copy Zoroark-GX's Riotous Beating for a KO because of weakness or even in the mirror to copy Turbo Drive. Sudowoodo can also KO Vikavolts if it has to as well as Drampa-GX. Overall Sudowoodo gives the deck more options which are why there are two copies.

1 Celesteela-GX

The Metal Energies are strictly for this card. Celesteela-GX is mainly for Gardevoir-GX and Glaceon-GX because its first attack, Rocket Fall, with a Choice Band can take them both out in one hit. Its GX attack isn't that bad either, since with a Choice Band it can one hit KO 210 hit point Pokémon while letting you chose your prizes at the same time.

1 Mew-EX

This card can copy plenty of attacks that can one hit KO Buzzwole-GX, Espeon-GX, Espeon-EX and Gallade. Whether it is Riotous Beating, Turbo Drive or even Rocket Fall.

1 Shaymin SHL 7

The Grass Energies are strictly for this card. Flippity Flop mimics Cynthia for just a single Grass Energy. Rally Back can take down a Lycanroc-GX or Regirock-EX if one of your Pokémon were KOed by damage last turn thanks to Shaymin being a Grass-type.

3 Guzma

This deck has so many typing advantages over decks that I felt three Guzma is enough because most times you probably will try and KO the active anyway.

3 Professor Sycamore/2 N/2 Cynthia

In testing, these counts felt fine. Trade helps you draw more as well. I like the option to Professor Sycamore Energy away so that you can abuse Turbo Drive. 

4 Max Elixir/3 Energy Switch

Max Elixir in conjunction with Energy Switch lets you have plenty of options on what attacker or attack you are wanting to use. Having the option to accelerate Basic Energy and move them around at a moments notice will surely keep your opponent on their toes. They may not be able to predict your next move.

3 Choice Band

Silvally-GX, Sudowoodo, Celesteela-GX, and Shaymin may need Choice Band to take lethal KOs, so having at least three is ideal. If the opponent has four benched Pokémon then Silvally-GX with a Choice Band can one hit KO Gardevoir-GX.

2 Fire Memory

Turning Silvally-GX into Fire typing lets you OHKO Golisopod-GX, Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, Lurantis-GX, and even Magnezone. 

1 Psychic Memory

Espeon-GX, Espeon-EX, and Gallade are reasons to play Psychic Memory especially because Espeon-GX/Garbodor has been seeing more talks lately. Turbo Drive does 120 base damage, so with Psychic Memory, it is now doing 240 against those aforementioned Pokémon.

2 Rescue Stretcher

Getting back your one-of attackers may be needed, so having a couple Rescue Stretcher is nice. If you need to get back Mew-EX or Shaymin right away, you can.

Other card options

Giratina Promo

Greninja is most likely a terrible matchup for this deck. Shaymin can take out one Greninja then it may just go down. Giratina will surely turn the Greninja matchup into essentially an auto-win. I'll definitely be debating on its inclusion some more as Collinsville gets closer.

Cobalion STS 74

Mainly useful against Gardevoir-GX, though also great against Glaceon-GX. Between Celeestela-GX and Silvally-GX's GX attack it should be enough to take them down. You can even Watch and Learn to copy Infinite Force if you have to. Unlike the other attackers, Cobalion needs two Metal Energy as opposed to one and a Colorless making it a little more annoying to powerup.

Clefairy EVO 63

Great card to copy an opponent's attack without having to wait for them to use their attack like Sudowoodo has to. You can copy plenty of useful attacks, for example, Gardevoir-GX's Infinite Force and even Dialga-GX's Timeless GX to KO with weakness plus take another turn.

Smeargle BKT 123

This card was in the initial list, though after testing I never used it once. I ended up dropping it altogether, though it lets you switch your actives Basic Energy with another different Basic Energy in your discard. So if you need to change to Fighting Energy for Sudowoodo or Grass for Shaymin you can do that thanks to Smeargle. However, the bench space is critical and with Max Elixir and Energy Switch plus Silvally-GX getting energy back I don't think Smeargle is needed.

Magearna ULP 91

This card was released in Ultra Prism and has an ability that lets you pick up a Tool in play once per turn back into the hand. This could be great for manipulating your Memories and Choice Bands, though they can still get Field Blowered away. Bench space in this deck is limited so maybe Magearna isn't as useful as it seems.


Being able to search out the type of memory you need or Energy Switch can be clutch at times, though the list is tight as is. Grabbing Max Elixir can come in handy as well, because you may need to find a way to accelerate energy right away.

Fighting Memory

The deck plays two copies of Sudowoodo, however with Fighting Memory, you don't have to wait for the opponent to attack first to KO Zoroark-GX. It also can be clutch in the mirror match for the same scenario.

Field Blower

This card is the only card that I am iffy about not playing. Garbotoxin and Parallel City can be annoying, though because Silvally-GX can do 120 damage, it can KO both Garbodor. Psychic Memory helps one hit KO Espeon-GX as well which should be the more played Garbodor variant I believe.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on three potential plays for Collinsville and Malmo Regionals this weekend. At the moment I'm leaning towards Silvally-GX/Zoroark-GX/techs as it has better matchups across the board. Its only real loss is Greninja and that can be fixed with Giratina promo. The other two decks will surely see play especially Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone because players love playing new decks. The Empoleon/Zoroark-GX/Puzzles deck is similar to Tord Reklev's Australia-winning list, though you basically replace Gardevoir-GX with Empoleon. If you see me this weekend in Collinsville, feel free to come say hi. If you are playing in either Collinsville or Malmo, then I wish the best of luck to you, and I hope you get some Championship points especially those still chasing the invite.

If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook: "Team ARG Pokémon-TCG." There you can keep up to date with all the players on the team. Also since many players have asked me where I got my dice you can pick them up at They are by far my favorite dice to use and I recommend getting yourself at least two sets of any given color or you can mix match them. 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 always, 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

[+18] okko


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