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Jose Marrero

"Breaking in the Dragons" - Speed Rayquaza-GX VS Rayquaza-GX/Eelektrik for Portland

Jose examines two variants of Rayquaza-GX for you that could be strong options going into Portland Regionals with the Expanded format.

10/23/2018 by Jose Marrero

 

Introduction

Hey there 60cards readers! I'm back yet again with a whole new article, though this time I discuss two variants of Rayquaza-GX that can potentially be strong plays come Portland Regionals this weekend. If you've known me for quite some time, then you know I've been a Rayquaza fan for many years. Most Rayquaza cards in past years have been very playable, and Rayquaza-GX, as we all know in Standard, is no slouch. However, in Expanded, I feel it is no slouch either, because the options are endless when it comes to Expanded. Now, Portland Regionals is this weekend, and I'm sure players are scrambling and testing like crazy for the very first Expanded Regionals of the season with the new Celestial Storm set. The first variant of Rayquaza-GX I'll be dissecting is Speed Rayquaza-GX. This variant is meant to explode on the first turn and follow with a strong turn two, which hopefully the opponent can't handle right away.

Next, I'll transition into one of my personal favorite plays going into Portland Regionals — though this time we'll see Rayquaza-GX paired with Eelektrik. I'm chasing that Day 2 Worlds dream again this year, and being 17th last season by just 16 points was truly heartbreaking. However, I'm going to work even harder to achieve that prestigious goal. Right now, I am sitting at 10th in NA/Canada rankings with 240 Championship Points. Getting points at Portland Regionals and Brazil Internationals will be huge towards netting the Australia stipend, as well. Hopefully, I can keep up with the other top players and keep getting points as I go as I already was able to get the Brazil stipend, which I'm super proud of because hard work pays off.

With that said, let's take a look at the first of two decks which implement Rayquaza-GX as the main attacker.

Speed Rayquaza-GX

4 Rayquaza-GX

Dragon Break is the bread and butter in this deck, and it's the reason Rayquaza-GX can do lethal damage. The card as a whole is quite impressive, to say the least. Its ability and both attacks have merit. Combing Max Elixir and Latias Prism Star to help build energy on board will eventually make Dragon Break hit for big numbers.

4 Shaymin-EX

This is the deck's main way to draw cards and build up a scary turn-one board state. The deck plays Sky Field for this reason. If you feel you need to go ham and use Shaymin-EX after Shaymin-EX, then go for it. Once Sky Field is bumped, you can just discard those liabilities anyway (as well as Marshadow) to reuse.

1 Tapu Lele-GX

One Tapu Lele-GX is there just to make sure we have the means to grab a supporter, if needed, with Ultra Ball or Mysterious Treasure. 

1 Latias Prism Star

This card is absolutely needed in this version of Rayquaza-GX because Latias can accelerate energy onto multiple Rayquaza-GX, making your next turn quite scary. Dreamy Mist also does a base 30 damage, which can set up KO's alone.

1 Marshadow SLG 45

This variant of Rayquaza-GX does not play N, so Marshadow is the only means of hand disruption to your opponent, so make sure you use it wisely. An early Marshadow can cripple the opponent into a dead hand.

1 Oricorio GRI 56

This card is a great answer to Night March decks, as they will have to discard a large number of Night Marchers to take down Rayquaza-GX. If you can use Oricorio back to back, then you should be able to set up multiple KO's on the same turn, and hopefully be favored to win from there.

1 Sudowoodo GRI 66

Of course, in Expanded one of the best decks out is Zoroark-GX, which uses Sky Field to take one-hit KO's. Sudowoodo will limit their bench to four, making them unable to one-hit KO Rayquaza-GX unless they have Garbotoxin out, to shut off Sudowoodo.

3 Professor Sycamore/4 Guzma

I decided to not play VS Seeker in the deck. This is because this version of Rayquaza-GX is meant to blow up on the first turn of the game and try to put pressure on the opponent as fast as possible. That's why I went with four Guzma; because there also isn't Pal Pad to recover them. There is plenty of draw power in the deck, thanks to Shaymin-EX, so three Professor Sycamore should be fine.

4 Ultra Ball/3 Mysterious Treasure

Four Ultra Ball is a staple in the Expanded meta. I can see maybe going down to two Mysterious Treasure if you are wanting to add another card. However, Mysterious Treasure can grab every Pokémon in the deck, aside from Shaymin-EX and Sudowoodo.

3 Acro Bike

You can technically get away with not running these at all. The deck will still function pretty well, so if you want to play other cards in place of Acro Bikes you can. But they do add a little more consistency but at the same time deck you out faster if you don't set up properly. There also may be times where the top two cards off of Acro Bike are important resources so you can see how this type of Rayquaza-GX variant is hit or miss. 

4 Max Elixir

This is definitely one of the best cards in the deck, and the best road to being able to attack with Rayquaza-GX on the first turn (should you go second of course). However, Max Elixir is also the most crucial card you can discard off of Stormy Winds. Max Elixir and recovery cards are the two cards you don't want to have to mill — so hope you don't.

2 Rescue Stretcher/1 Super Rod

Stormy Winds and Acro Bikes will drain the deck of potential resources, some of which could be Pokémon and Energy, so having recovery cards for both is definitely needed. Also, having manual attachments in this deck is pretty crucial every turn for added damage to keep up with consistent one-hit KO's.

3 Choice Band/3 Float Stone

I felt Choice Band was the better option for the added damage boost, as it'll make taking lethal KO's on Zoroark-GX easier — or any GX or EX Pokémon with over 180 hit points. This variant of Rayquaza-GX has the potential to attack on the first turn with Dragon Break. Because of this, having a good amount of Float Stones will come in handy once you find one for the active Pokémon.

1 Dowsing Machine

I went with Dowsing Machine over Computer Search simply because Dowsing Machine can be a fifth Max Elixir — or anything else really. The deck is already very consistent, so Computer Search doesn't seem that much better than Dowsing Machine at least in this variant.

2 Sky Field

Your turn one will want to be crazy, so having Sky Field so that you can draw more and more with Shaymin-EX is the way to go. You want to make your second turn of the game progress to a state where the opponent can't handle the pressure of staring down at a couple Rayquaza-GX ready to take KO's. Sky Field also helps get rid of Parallel City.

7 Grass Energy/7 Lightning Energy

This variant doesn't have built-in acceleration like Eelektrik, so having the same amount of energy of each type is the way to go.

Other card options

Jolteon-EX

This is great against Night March decks if they don't play Pokémon Ranger. You could even play Ninja Boy to combo with Jolteon-EX. It's also solid against Seismitoad-EX.

Xurkitree-GX

I really want to play this card for decks like Night March and Zoroark-GX because of it's ability, Flashing Head, which blocks damage done to Xurkitree-GX by Pokémon with Special Energy on them. However, if those decks play Silent Lab, Garbotoxin, or Alolan Muk then Xurkitree-GX is basically useless. Still, its GX attack is quite nice, since it makes the opponent play a seven-prize game and you could potentially put a crucial card into their prizes thanks to Lighting GX.

Tapu Koko-GX

This is a great attacker which can surprise the opponent with a lethal KO. I'm just not sure if it's needed yet. You can potentially attack with this card on the first turn of the game, assuming you go second of course. Its ability, Aero Trail, lets you attach any amount of Lightning Energy from your board onto Tapu Koko-GX, and if you do, you can put Tapu Koko-GX into the active spot. Its attack, Sky-High Claws, does a solid 130 damage, which can take down plenty of small-hit-point attackers — namely Buzzwole. Now, its GX attack, Tapu Thunder-GX is the bread and butter of this card. It does 50 damage for each energy on your opponent's board.

VS Seeker

After the first turn of the game, all this deck wants is energy every turn. Manual attachments and Max Elixirs are key for setting up big KOs. VS Seeker is basically useless on the first turn of the game. You want to have an explosive start turn one and then hope it's too much for the opponent to handle.

N/Colress/Cynthia

The deck plays Marshadow to try and disrupt the opponent. It is likely that you will be taking quick KO's, so having N may not be the best supporter for the turn. Colress can net you a huge hand — however, you will be going through your deck so fast that Colress may not be as great since you may deck out faster. Cynthia is a little safer, I would say, if I were to play one of them.

Fighting Fury Belt

I felt Choice Bands were more necessary, especially against Zoroark-GX variants. Plus we already have Sudowoodo to deny one-hit KO's if they don't have Garbotoxin ready.

Escape Rope

Forcing the opponent to bring up an EX or GX can be crucial in keeping up in the prize lead. If you are forced to KO a non-GX/EX then that sometimes means you will likely lose the game.

Pal Pad

The deck plays very few supporters, so getting two back can be helpful in the long run.

Recycler

I'm not too sure if these are needed or not. If you mill them or flip tails then they feel useless anyway, so I'd rather play other cards to make the deck more consistent. However, getting back Max Elixirs and other resources is nice should you flip heads. It's up to you on how you want to run the deck, to be honest.

Computer Search

If you want a little more consistency, then go with Computer Search over Dowsing Machine. However, the deck is already very consistent ,making Dowsing Machine more effective in my opinion, since it can make your four-of cards into five-of in a sense.

Devoured Field

Hitting 190 with Rayquaza-GX can go a long way against Buzzwole-GX decks. Having a counter to other stadiums like Parallel City is a nice option to have, as well.

Parallel City

This would be a great card against Zoroark-GX, and just having Parallel City down first will be huge against other decks that play them as well.

Silent Lab

This is mainly an option to counter Hoopa, as Silent Lab will shut off its ability allowing Rayquaza-GX to take them out with ease. However, be wary with this card because it can cripple this deck if not used correctly.

With that said, let's now take a look at another Rayquaza-GX variant, though this time one that utilizes a partner.

Rayquaza-GX/Eelektrik

4-4 Eelektrik

Its ability, Dynamotor, is what makes Rayquaza-GX so good in Expanded. Having energy acceleration that brings back Lightning Energy is great for Rayquaza-GX. Dragon Break will start doing lethal damage in no time thanks to Eelektrik. I also went with all "Paralyze" Tynamos because paralysis can be crucial in a dire need situation.

1 Eelektross

I've added Eelektross as a means to counter Hoopa, while also being a solid non-GX/EX attacker that can potentially one-hit KO most Pokémon, forcing an uneven prize trade. Crush and Burn attacks for 30 damage for each energy you discard on your board, which is nice and can catch the opponent off guard at times. Thunder Tempest is an attack you will likely not use since the first attack is strictly better.

4 Rayquaza-GX

This is the main attacker of the deck and why this deck is very powerful in Expanded. Stormy Winds is its ability, which lets you discard the top three cards of your deck and then put a Basic Energy onto Rayquaza-GX. Now, its attack, Dragon Break, does 30 damage for each Basic Grass and Lightning Energy on your board. Its GX attack, Tempest GX is quite useful as well as it lets you discard your hand and draw a whopping 10 cards. Dragon Break can do a ton of damage when combined with Eelektrik as you can see why they pair well together. When using Stormy Winds, remember to get back Grass Energy most of the time, as you won't be able to get them back once in the discard other than by using Stormy Winds.

2 Tapu Lele-GX

This card can be used as an attacker if needed, but mainly used for its ability, of course, to grab a supporter for the turn.

1 Oricorio GRI 56

This is mainly used for the Night March matchup, but it's also great against Vespiquen and Flareon, should they pop up. 

Sudowoodo GRI 66

This card is mainly to help against Zoroark-GX variants that utilize Sky Field to take lethal KO's. Sudowoodo, in general, can just be annoying for any deck since it limits them to four bench Pokémon. Technically it limits you down to four as well, since Sudowoodo isn't an attacker, but usually that is okay and still worth it.

3 Professor Sycamore

In Standard, this card is no more, so now that we have Expanded we can play them. They help get Lightning Energy into the discard, which is nice, and at the same time net seven fresh cards.

2 Colress

Colress is definitely a better option in Expanded than supporters like Lillie and Cynthia, as Colress has the potential to net you even more cards. If the opponent is playing a Sky Field deck then you can see how Colress is the way to go.

2 Guzma

Two Guzma seems like it's good enough along with four VS Seekers. You could argue that going Lysandre over one Guzma is better, but for now I think two Guzma is the way to go as Rayquaza-GX, Sudowoodo, and Eelektrik have two or more retreat costs.

1 N

Limiting the opponent's hand size can be crucial at times because it could potentially set them back a few turns should they draw dead off of N. The deck doesn't play Marshadow, like in Standard, so having N will be important at times.

1 Xerosic

This is a great card to get rid of Tools on Garbodor, and to get rid of Parallel City, as both of those cards are annoying for this deck to handle if not tamed.

4 VS Seeker

The many wonders of Expanded! You get to use VS Seeker to get back supporters. This eases the anxiety over discarding them most of the time, as well. 

4 Ultra Ball/2 Level Ball

Ultra Ball can grab any Pokémon in the deck, while Level Ball can grab Tynamo, Eelektrik, and even Oricorio if needed. I'd like to fit another Level Ball, but space is really tight, as you can see.

2 Rescue Stretcher

It's likely that once you use Stormy Winds you will discard Pokémon, so having a couple Rescue Stretcher can go a long way. You can get back Rayquaza-GX, or even lines of Eelektrik if needed. If you are against Night March, then reusing Oricorio can make the difference of a win or lose.

2 Battle Compressor

This is a useful card in this deck as it helps put Lightning Energy into the discard so that Eelektrik can be used more effectively. At the same time, you can discard supporters so you can have access to VS Seeker.

3 Float Stone

Having free retreat is great, and what's better than Float Stone to help assist with that? Eelektrik and Sudowoodo have two retreat, making Float Stones very effective.

3 Field Blower

Both Garbotoxin and Parallel City can give this deck trouble. Because of this, I've added three copies of Field Blower to help combat against those cards. Not to mention Field Blower also get's rid of Focus Sash and Life Dew and whatever other Tools and Stadiums are worth discarding.

1 Computer Search

This is one of the best Ace Specs in the game, as this card boosts consistency quite a bit. Not to mention, getting any card in your deck is very good — and in this deck, you can discard energy to make Eelektrik useful.

8 Lightning Energy/5 Grass Energy

I can see going up to 9 Lightning Energy, though 8 should still be fine, since you basically accelerate infinite energy in a sense. Five Grass is definitely enough because you will just Stormy Winds for the Grass Energy every time.

Other card options

Raikou BKT 55

This card is a solid counter to Hoopa, and an overall solid non-GX/EX attacker against basically anything. Its attack, Thunder Lance, does 50 damage, and an extra 20 for each Lightning Energy attached to Raikou, so really it's up to you on how much damage you want Raikou to do. Its ability, Shining Body, reduces 20 damage if Raikou has a Lightning Energy attached, which is nice.

Shining Lugia Promo

This card is another easy way to counter to Hoopa if you are worried about that card. However, Shining Lugia can be great against other non-GX/EX based decks just to try and keep up with them.

Tapu Koko Promo

This card is a great non-GX/EX attacker which can help set up KO's. Its free retreat is nice as well to be able to go into another attacker more easily.

Tate and Liza

This card can be great against stall decks, especially Sylveon-GX or Wailord-EX, if they have just a lone Pokémon. Still, I'm unsure if Tate and Liza is worth the inclusion at the moment. The draw effect is always nice as well, especially against item lock decks.

Lysandre

I'm unsure if I want to do a 1/1 split of Lysandre and Guzma or just go double Guzma. I kinda prefer double Guzma in case the opponent tries to stall an Eelektrik in the active spot. Plus, the deck plays a good amount of Float Stone, so you shouldn't have trouble having some kind of free retreater on the bench once you use Guzma. You can always Guzma into a Rayquaza-GX as well. Item lock decks can be a thing, as well, making Guzma more effective than Lysandre in a way.

Choice Band

An extra 30 damage can make hitting 180 and 210 much easier. These numbers are great against Pokémon such as Zoroark-GX, Drampa-GX, Buzzwole-GX, and many more.

Fighting Fury Belt

Giving Rayquaza-GX an extra 40 hit points and 10 extra damage can go along way. However, the list is super tight right now. I'll have to see if I can fit them in somehow because they can deny one hit KO's and potentially let Rayquaza-GX survive a big hit.

Devoured Field

The extra 10 damage Devoured Field provides can help hit better numbers more effectively. For example against Buzzwole-GX and Ultra Necrozma-GX where they have 190 hit points. Having a stadium, in general, is good to bump other stadiums namely Parallel City which can give this deck trouble.

Parallel City

This is a great card for disrupting the opponent's bench. Limiting the opponent down to three bench Pokémon is really effective against decks like Zoroark-GX, who utilizes Sky Field to take big knockouts. Parallel City can just be good against essentially any deck making it quite versatile. Not to mention, having your own Parallel City out means the opponent can't play theirs down.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on two variants of Rayquaz-GX that could potentially do well come Portland Regionals this weekend. At the moment, Rayquaza-GX/Eelektrik is one of my top choices for Portland, as I've always been a fan of Rayquaza cards. I feel it has solid matchups all around if you draw well enough. If you see me at Portland Regionals be sure to stop by and say hi. If you are playing in the main event then I hope the best for you. It'll be interesting to see who and what deck ends up winning the first Expanded Regionals of the season.

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, don't forget to check out tcevolutions.com to pick up some awesome dice and GX markers. They recently restocked on all dice and GX markers, so get them now while they are hot. They are by far my favorite dice and markers to use, and I recommend getting yourself at least two sets of any given color.

Not to mention, I recently started coaching on https://www.thedarkpatch.com/coaching/ so if you are interested in a coaching session with me, then check them out, to schedule an appointment or just pm me directly. Don't forget my Twitter handle is down below if you want to follow me for when I post lists and other exciting news.

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 below, and I'll consider them. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

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