Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"A Look at 3 Decks for Week 4 of States"-Along with an Analysis of Each Deck

I talk about 3 potential plays for week 4 of States.

04/10/2015 by Jose Marrero

Hello 60cards readers! With just one weekend of States left, people are going to scramble and test like crazy to get ready for the last weekend of States for the 2015 season. Because of this, I'm going to talk about 3 decks that have performed well these pasts few States that are also somewhat rogue and uncommon compared to their original variants. I'm also going to do an analysis on all 3 decks. But first let's talk about what happened during week 3 of States. We saw a variety of decks taking home the victory. With Exeggutor/Dragalge/Empoleon taking Iowa, by Ryan Grant. We can only guess that he opted to play an Exeggutor variant because he might have felt that Seismitoad-EX variants were going to be huge seeing as it's been dominating States thus far. As for Maryland, It was conquered by a good buddy of mine, Russell LaParre. He played his version of Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Crobat, which in fact is his list I'll be talking about later on in the article.


New York on the other hand, was defeated by Night March, piloted by Nick Chimento. He was streamed and from what I saw and heard he played 1 copy of Cobalion-EX to help fight off all the Seismitoad-EXs. Pretty clever if I say so myself. He obviously had to run Metal Energy to fuel Cobalion's attack. Not sure how helpful the Cobalion-EX was, but it doesn't matter since he took home the first place Trophy. Ontario was the 4th and last week 3 States in which David Haussecher managed to bring the first Place Trophy back to the US, with his Aromatisse/Tool Box deck. Now that we know what won week 3 of States let's get into 3 potential plays for week 4 of States.


3 Deck Choices for week 4 of States

2 Swampert/1-1 Slurpuff:

Pairing these two together guarantees that you will have an answer to whatever your opponent ends up drawing since they will most likely be drawing 1 card at a time. They are also helpful so that you don't miss on a Blockade at any time. Two Swamperts were added instead of 1 in case one is prized. If you can't get the Slurpuff going then that's what the Acro Bikes are for. They can be used as a back up Slurpuff for the time being.

1 Virizion-EX:

This card is for protection from status effects, namely Hypnotoxic Laser. Since the decks weak spot is your opponent being able to use Items such as Crushing Hammers and Hypnotoxic Lasers we want to atleast be able to negate one of those so Virizion-EX was the answer.

1 Mr. Mime:

This card is for protection from bench damage. The fact that Exeggute has a measly 30 HP makes you want to make sure Pokemon such as Landorus-EX doesn't take advantage of that. So running a Mr. Mime was the ideal tech against those snipers.

2 Head Ringer:

These are in here to mainly slow down Landorus-EX and Seismitoad-EX. But are just good against any EX in general. Since this deck can't set up until turn 2, running a couple Head Ringers are nice to slow down those big EX's that can put early pressure.

1 Silver Mirror:

This card is the key to beating Flareon. They can't Lysandre out of it which ultimately should win you the game. If your opponent goes aggro Empoleon then simply retreat it or just let it get KOed since at that point the Silver Mirror should have atleast did some of it's job by slowing the Flareon player down.


                  Deck Analysis:


As you can see this version of the deck is no ordinary one. You may notice right off the bat that there is no Genesect-EX or any Plasma Energy for that matter. This list is actually a friend of mine's from Florida, Jorge Feliciano who was 1st seed going into top 8 of Georgia States 2 weeks ago. He ended up losing in top 8 in a nail biting game 3 against Ryan Sabelhaus who was piloting Donphan/Groudon. Something else you may notice are the Swamperts. Recently I've seen Eggs being ran with Empoleon, which has gotten success from Jason Klaczynski and Brit Pybas. Jorge opted against Empoleon and instead went with Swampert. It makes sense since Jorge also ran a 1-1 copy of Slurpuff to help draw the card you put on top with Swampert. Although Acro Bike does that well enough. The fact that Jorge opted against Genesect-EX and Plasma Energies gave him more room for other things such as the Slurpuff line and cards like Silver Mirror and the Swampert/Archie engine.

The Silver Mirror is interesting, because it's great against Plasma Pokemon such as Flareon and Leafeon and since they can't Lysandre around it because of the Egg lock it's even deadlier. Also the fact that Georgia's player base takes up a big portion of Florida players meant that the 1 of Silver Mirror was well worth it. Since we all know Flareon was basically created in Florida. Jorge knew that and played it safe in which came in handy because Jorge beat 2 Flareon decks in swiss. Sometimes 1 of techs can be well worth it in the long run. Another interesting thing about the list is the Dowsing Machine over Computer Search. When I asked his reasoning behind it his response was " Forgot to change it when writing the decklist". Well that makes sense now haha. I'm sure the Dowsing Machine still did wonders for him. Dowsing Machine can be used for that 3rd Virbank City Gym or 5th Crushing Hammer or just anything in general.

Something else you may notice is the lack of switch cards. Since we know your opponent can't Lysandre on the Egg lock, Jorge probably just hoped his opponent didn't Lysandre his Swampert turn 1. Because that's when it's effective. Looking at the list I would recommend adding atleast 1 copy of Float Stone. It's just nice to have your Slurpuff with free retreat or even the Swampert for that matter. Jorge told me in his game 3 against Ryan in top 8 he got a turn 1 Swampert going first. Then Ryan Lysandred it and thus it was stuck active long enough for Ryan to set up. I wouldn't want this to happen to me so a Float Stone is a nice option to have. With all that being said I can see why Jorge managed to get 1st seed with a unique deck like this. Just the overall shear powerfulness of locking your opponent out of supporters every turn is just too devestating. Two changes Jorge said he would do are...

- 1 Crushing Hammer

- Dowsing Machine

+ 1 Enhanced Hammer

+ Computer Search (haha!)

Enhanced Hammer to guarantee the energy denial off a special energy instead of having to flip for it.

4 Manectric-EX:

These attackers are the heart of the deck. Manectric-EX is a great energy efficient attacker whose weakness (LandyBats) has shown a steady decline in play. Combined with 3 Head Ringer this produces 120 damage quickly turn 2, which paired with Bats gives you quick prizes.

2 Seismitoad-EX:

These are needed to help tame decks such as Flareon, Night March, Landorus-EX/Crobat, and Donphan.

2 Pokemon Fan Club:

These cards provide an amazing early game by helping you swarm Zubats. A turn 1 Pokemon Fan Club and energy is the ideal start for this deck.

1 AZ: 

Instead of running 4 Super Scoop Up. Adding 1 of these seemed to fit perfectly in situations where you want to pick up a Bat line or a trapped Pokemon in the Seismitoad-EX matchup.

3 Super Scoop Up:

Fitting a 4th one of these would be nice but I think 3 is a good amount since we have 1 AZ. Although hitting Super Scoop Up on a Rock Guarded Manectric-EX or Seismitoad-EX that took an attack the previous turn can be devestating for your opponent.

3 Head Ringer:

Just like Super Scoop Up a 4th one of these would also be nice. Mainly because a big part of the decks damage output relys on Manectric-EX's 2nd attack, Assault Laser. Also just to help slow down other Seismitoad-EXs is another nice option to have.

2 Rough Seas:

There are a number of reasons why these are in here. They can be used as a counter stadium against Virbank City Gym or even Fighting Stadium. The fact that Manectric-EX is a Lightning type and Seismitoad-EX is a Water type makes this stadium even better. Healing 30 damage at a time causes awkward numbers for your opponent thus making it more difficult for your Pokemon to get KOed.

1 Rock Guard:

Most lists play Computer Search or Scoop Up Cyclone, but Rock Guard would almost always gaurantee you the win against Seismitoad-EX matchups, if you can find it before they lock you of course. 


                  Deck Analysis:


Last but not least, we have the list that actually won Maryland States last weekend. Russell LaParre was kind enough to share his list and so this is it. From what I've seen during the first 2 weekends of States people ran 1 or 2 copies of Manectric-EX in their Seismitoad-EX/Crobat decks. Now seeing this list, which runs 4 copies of Manectric-EX and only 2 copies of Seismitoad-EX. It had me asking questions for sure. We can see how unique this deck is from looking at all the teched cards. There's Rough Seas, Super Scoop Up, and even Head Ringers. But you may also notice that Russell opted not to run any Virbank City Gym or Hypnotoxic Laser, which most Seismitoad-EX/Crobat decks do run. But of course this variant is a lot different than what your probably used to seeing. Maybe that's why he did so well. People probably were caught off guard with all the Head Ringers and Super Scoop Ups. Russell also played 2 Pokemon Fan Clubs, which I do like because it helps you swarm your Zubats.

The 1 of AZ is also nice in case your trainer locked or just to help pick up your Bats to reuse them again. Two Rough Seas is also nice to have because of the fact that both of the decks main attackers can benefit from it. From what Russell told me he likes the Rock Guard, which is a personal preference. Sure Rock Guard can be clutch sometimes but overall Computer Search in my opinion is just too good not to play. I personally much rather have the added consistency over the extra damage. Russell's energy line had me a little confused until I saw the 4 Manectric-EX in the list. Then I realized that makes sense now because Manectric-EX combos well with Head Ringers for that extra damage. So running a heavy count of Lightning energy is needed. The 3 Double Colorless also makes sense since there are only 2 Seismitoad-EX in the deck. With that being said I feel like this variant of Seismitoad-EX/Crobat will see more success come week 4 of States if people decide to play it. Russell said he wanted to add these in...

+ 2nd AZ

+ Ghetsis

+ Xerosic

+ Skyla

Everything to help against opposing Seismitoad-EXs and the Skyla to help find the Rock Guard easier. 

3-3 Donphan:

Having a thinner line as opposed to 4-4 is all you need since there are other alternate attackers. Donphan as one of your main attackers is great because of his Spinning Turn attack, allowing Donphan to flee back to the bench. It puts your opponent on tilt when they have to KO something as little as a Robo Substitute that doesn't even net them a single prize card.

3-2 Raichu:

A 3-3 line would be nice but space issues were a problem and running a 2-2 line probably is not enough to beat Yveltal-EX based decks. Raichu is also helpful as a backup attacker against decks such as Flareon and Night March because of it's 1 energy cost.

2 Hawlucha:

Your best starter because not only does he have free retreat so you can move around easily, but overall he's just a great attacker against Seismitoad-EX and Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX decks. A single energy with Hawlucha can dish out tons of damage putting pressure on your opponent quickly.

1 Suicune:

This card was added instead of Sigilyph mainly because he's not weak to Bats making it able to live longer against Landorus-EX/Crobat or basically anything that plays Crobats.

1 Kyurem (Outrage):

Running a 1 of Kyurem helps against Pokemon such as, Landorus-EX, Seismitoad-EX, and even Baby Yveltal.

2 Fighting Stadium/2 Silent Lab:

Four stadiums were added to help win stadium wars. Although the Silent Labs are really good against a lot of decks such as, Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, Night March, Flareon, Exeggutor, and Metal.

1 Repeat Ball:

Great card for when you want to get multiple Pikachu or Phanpy going in fear of Lysandre.

                  Deck Analysis:


The final deck I'll be talking about is Brandon Cantu's States winning list of Donphan/Raichu. This deck is definitely classified as a rogue deck. We all know how strong Donphan was when Dylan Bryan created it. Only this time Brandon added Raichu into the mix. Brandon's meta was probably heavily dependant on Yveltal-EX based decks. Which is why Brandon decided on adding Raichu in the list instead of cards like Groudon which has been getting a good amount of success with the help of Andrew Wamboldt. Looking at the list I can see that Brandon ran 1 copy of Suicune which I believe was mainly used to wall things like Primals and just any EX really. He also ran 1 copy of Kyurem with the Outrage attack. This card is easily helpful against the Donphan mirror and against Landorus-EX based decks. Brandon also ran a 2/2 split of Fighting Stadium and Silent Lab.

The Silent Labs I would guess were mainly for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX decks so they can't Red Signal your attackers. I can also see 1 copy of Repeat Ball in the list which is nice for when you want to get two Pikachus out or two Phanpys with Korrina. If you want to make your Flareon match even better you can even add a Silver Mirror. Although with Donphan and Raichu being great attackers against Flareon you don't really need the Silver Mirror. But it's something to keep in mind if you think Flareon is going to be popular in your area. Everything else in the list is pretty standard. Brandon said if Landorus-EX/Crobat gets popular again he would add...

-1 Fighting energy

+1 Water Energy


Adding the Water energy helps you able to attack with Suicune. 



For the last weekend of states these 3 decks are some of my personal options, but I will also be testing other decks. Exeggutor/Swampert is definitely a deck to look out for given it's fragileness. Donphan/Raichu is a great play if you expect a lot of Yveltal-EX and Virizion-EX based decks. As for Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Crobat the decks mentioned above are also great matchups because of all the techs in the deck. I hope this article gave you a feel on a few more options for your next States and I hope you do well should you decide to use one of these lists or not. With that being said, that will conclude this article. Please be sure to give a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading this article and as always; keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time.



[+7] okko


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