Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Roaring Skies"- A Look at 5 New Decks

I discuss 5 new decks with Roaring Skies.

05/11/2015 by Jose Marrero




Hello again fellow 60cards readers! Now that all the Roaring Skies prereleases are finally over and the set has officially been released, we can now discuss and go more in depth on new decks that should be coming out. So for this next article I will be talking about 5 new decks that I think will see play come week 3 of Spring Regionals and also events after that, which of course are Nationals and Worlds. If your one of those players that has trouble dealing with new sets when it comes to deck building, then this article should help you understand what you can prepare to see coming in the new set. Whether it's how to make a competitive deck or how to counter them. Hopefully with this article you feel more comfortable with some of the decks I'm going to be talking about. And hopefully by the end you get a better feel on how to make a list to your liking. Before Roaring Skies is legal for tournament play there is still a few more Regionals that will be played with the BCR-PRC sets, which are weeks 1 and 2 of Spring Regionals.

Unfortunately, that means only 1 weekend of Spring Regionals will have Roaring Skies for legal play. It also means that our Nationals and Worlds format will be with Roaring Skies as well. This means people will basically be going into the Roaring Skies Regionals format blind with not much experience with new decks unless they have tested extensively. Theorymoning is always an option, but actual testing is always the smarter thing to do. Even though League Challenges will have Roaring Skies legal for play that still isn't enough to warrant if a deck is truly as good as it seems. Each deck I talk about I'll give a pro and con since I feel those give people a sense of how a certain deck should look coming into the meta-game. I'll also add a deck analysis on each deck so that you can see how the decks work.

With that being said, I'm going to start off with a deck that counters both of the most talked about decks in the format (M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) and Seismitoad-EX) that gets better with the help of Roaring Skies. Because I think a lot of people will play either one of these 2 decks or a deck that counters both. So I feel like this first deck is a good answer to both of them.

Above is a list that I think is a good starting point. Changes can be made through testing and I'm sure it can be better with improvements.



1. Has an effective counter against M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless)/Seismitoad-EX/Yveltal-EX and even Groudon-EX decks.                                                                                                    

2. You get to play the 1 for 2 prize game.                                                       

3. Energy efficient attackers.

4. Has stage 1 attackers.


1. Landorus-EX can be a problem with it's fast pressure, and Raichu being weak to Fighting types.                   

2. Altaria negates a lot of Raichus damage against M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) decks.

3. Only meant for a certain meta, ie M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) and Seismitoad-EX.

4. Raichu caps at 190 damage, meaning Mega Pokemon not weak to it or Leafeon can be tough.

                    Deck Analysis


Let's talk about this deck for a few as I wasn't too sure exactly on how to assemble the most efficient list for this deck. This deck is somewhat of a new rogue deck meant to be used only in a meta that's heavily reliant on M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) and of course Seismitoad-EX. This list is also meant to be a starting point although I think it's a pretty decent start, but improvements can easily be fixed with testing. Of course I went with a thick line of Raichu and Leafeon because they are the main attackers of the deck. If you think 1 of the decks I mentioned before will be more played than the other then maybe adding a 4th copy of the stage 1 that corresponds to it is better. Raichu is in here to help against the all mighty M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless), since it's weak to Lightning types. This gives Raichu a huge edge in the match-up. Raichu also being a non EX means your trading 1 for 2 in prizes which is what you want to accomplish when your running a non EX dependent deck. I have also added in a few Skyfields to help give Raichu that incredible damage boost. With Skyfield on the board, Raichu can do a massive 160 base damage and if we add Muscle Band to that then Raichu is now hitting for a whopping 180 damage or 190 with Silver Bangle. You can easily see how fast and hard Raichu can be hitting when you combo it with Skyfield.

Like I said this deck is only meant for a certain meta so against decks such as Landorus-EX or basically anything that can survive a 1 hit KO is a threat and should be taken into account. This deck is basically a hit or miss when it comes to thinking about the meta. Now our second attacker, Leafeon, is basically meant for Seismitoad-EX. Which is why I went with the Energy Evolution Eevees and Grass Energy. Having the option to immediately get a Leafeon going even the turn your Eevee was dropped means it can keep it's ground against those annoying Toads. We know how effective Leafeon is in Flareon decks so dedicating this deck to a heavier line seems even better against the pesky Toads. You can also see I added a heavy Shaymin-EX line which I'm not 100% sure about even though the draw power they bring to the table is incredible. But since this deck relys on non EX attackers then maybe having multiple Shaymin-EXs may not be such a great idea. But again that's what testing is for. The Mr. Mime is of course meant to negate Landorus-EXs snipe damage because we want to keep our little Pokemon on the bench safe including Shaymin-EX. One Wally was added just in case your in a tough spot and some how was unable to get a Pikachu drop going when you really need to get Raichu out.

The rest of the list is pretty standard other than the 4 copies of Trainer's Mail since those are new. They are in here for that added consistency to help find Ultra Balls or your Tools faster or basically anything that's a Trainer. Let's look at some other card options that can be effective in here. I thought about adding Acro Bikes for more consistency but in the end they were having to discard too many key cards. You don't want to have to discard your Raichus or energy cards early on. So for now I opted against running Acro Bikes. Virizion-EX can also be a nice addition to help negate status effects such as, Hypnotoxic Laser. Another card I wasn't sure about was Teammates but then again you don't need much for this deck to work. So adding a single copy of Teammates might actually be worth it. Exeggutes and Battle Compressors can also be great to help fill the bench more easier. Repeat Ball can also be nice to get multiple Eevee and Pikachu out without having to discard anything. With a good amount of testing one can find the best build with all these other options and ideas.

Now let's get to a deck that can be disruptive and can Item lock on the first turn.

This list is probably pretty standard. You basically just run it like a speed Seismitoad-EX deck with a lot of disruption cards.


1. Turn 1 Item lock even going first.

2. Hit and run into Item lock much like Donphan.

3. Fast and consistent.

4. Has a lot of Disruption much like Seismitoad-EX decks.


1. Low damage output.

2. Yveltal-EX can be a problem with Trevenant being weak to Dark types.

3. Lysandre can get opponent out of lock and thus targeting Shaymin-EX.

4. Garbodor and Silent Lab can be a problem.

                    Deck Analysis


This is another interesting deck that's new with the release of Roaring Skies. The main two cards that make this deck playable are Shaymin-EX and of course Wally. The key to this deck is to basically try and get a turn 1 Trevenant no matter if you go first or second. You may be asking "Jose but you can't evolve turn 1" and I would say that you are in fact correct, but with the release of Roaring Skies we now have a supporter that let's you evolve on the first turn or the turn that you just benched your Basic Pokemon. And that supporter is Wally! Imagine the look on your opponent's face when they are staring down a turn 1 Trevenant going second. It would quickly put them on the ropes knowing they can't even use Items when they haven't even taken a single turn yet. Of course that means you have to get Trevenant into the active spot and be able to find a Wally turn 1. Which is where Shaymin-EX comes in handy. This card helps dig for those specific combination of cards you need to pull off the turn 1 lock. With a heavy count of Shaymin-EXs, a turn 1 Item lock shouldn't be too hard. The best scenario you can have with this deck is to have 2 Trevenant out while at the same time attacking with single Shaymin-EXs at a time, so that you are left with double Trevenant after attacking with Shaymin-EX. Doing so insures that even if your opponent uses Lysandre to try and break the Item lock then they have no choice but to Lysandre up another Trevenant. This strategy is possible, but it may take some time to do since you may have too many Shaymin-EX on the bench at one point if you were trying to dig for something you needed before.

A turn 1 Item lock is the main strategy of the deck, then you can chain attacks with Shaymin-EXs while going into Trevenant to immediately keep your opponent Item locked again. You basically rinse repeat this strategy until victory. Since Shaymin-EX is only doing a measly 30 damage per attack, that's why we added cards such as, Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic Laser to help KO things faster. If your in a good enough spot you can even power up and attack with Trevenant with the help of Mystery Energy, which is why I added a few of those in. We also have disruption cards such as, Crushing Hammer, Xerosic, Team Flare Grunt, and Head Ringer to keep things in check for when your trying to set up. Float stones of course were also added to help retreat Trevenants when they hit the active spot. This deck is basically concepted around a Seismitoad-EX deck only with this deck you can get a faster Item lock than Seismitoad-EX. A few other card options you can add are cards such as, Gengar-EX as a backup attacker against the mirror or against Seismitoad-EX, Battle Compressor to help discard supporters faster so you can VS Seeker them quicker. Or even other cards that can wall such as, Robo Substitute or Safe Guarders or Dragons with Outrage attacks. You can even play Wobbuffet to shut off abilities, but be careful with this one because you are shutting off your own abilities as well. Let's not forget that going with these options means you will be breaking the Item lock, which in the long run might not be worth the risk but can still be impactful against certain decks.

With that being said, this next deck is no stranger to one other than a few new cards.

I think this is a pretty solid list. I see people running it without Dragalge, but I personally think Dragalge is just too good when you are able to get it out. Also with people now running Keldeo-EX, we now have an answer to it.


1. Fast and consistent.

2. Has healing.

3. Has a lot of disruption.

4. Great M Rayquaza-EX matchup.


1. Virizion-EX and Primal Groudon-EX can be a problem.

2. An early Silent Lab can be troublesome.

3. Opponent can predict your plays.

                    Deck Analysis


Another Seismitoad-EX deck? Don't we have enough of those already? Indeed we do, but this time we have some new cards (thanks to Roaring Skies) that makes this deck even faster and more consistent than it was before. You can see I opted not to run cards like Slurpuff or Gardodor, because Roaring Skies gave us new cards such as Shaymin-EX and Trainer's Mail. That's not to say that Slurpuff and Garbodor are no longer viable because they definitely still are, but this is just another version you can try out since it's new and all and people like to see new variants of past decks that are still competitive. At this point into the article Shaymin-EX is no stranger and we can clearly see why it's added in here. Trainer's Mail however has been added to help dig through your deck even more for those specific things you need to get going. Whether it's for that Ultra Ball or Crushing Hammer or whatever Trainer you need. You should be able to find what you need a good amount of the time, especially since there is 4 in the deck. Since Trainer's Mail can get supporters and even stadiums that makes them even better. I've seen many lists for this deck and most if not all have dropped their Dragalge, which I personally disagree here. Dragalge can make nice plays to where your opponent may not see coming. Also the fact that people are running Keldeo-EX makes running Dragalge that much more useful. Having the option to stick a Keldeo-EX active and let it be KOed by poison damage seems too good to give up.

This variant is basically still your old school variant only we now have faster and more consistent draw. Cards such as, Slurpuff you have to wait a turn to even get that extra draw card, but now with Shaymin-EX you can draw even more efficiently and effectively. You can see standard cards like Head Ringer, Hypnotoxic Laser, and of course Crushing Hammer still in here because we still want those disruption cards to keep our opponent on the ropes at all times. Before not every Seismitoad-EX ran Super Scoop Up because it was only meant to heal off your Seismitoad-EXs. But now with Shaymin-EX in the deck, Super Scoop Up is even more viable now and can be much more useful when you look at your options. Team Flare Grunt and Xerosic are meant to disrupt your opponent in the mirror match. The AZ can come in handy against anything. Whether if you need to heal one of your Seismitoad-EXs or if you simply just want to pick up one of your Shaymin-EXs to reuse again. You can see how AZ can give you some nice options. I believe this variant of Seismitoad-EX will overcome all other variants and be the most popular come week 3 of Spring Regionals because of it's quick and consistent approach. Like I said before, a few other card options are of course Slurpuff if you just want a guaranteed draw every turn or Garbodor to shut off your opponent's abilities. Crawdaunt can be another nice addition if you want to focus more on disrupting your opponent's energies.

Finally, we get to 1 of 2 new M Rayquaza-EX decks that you can expect to see.

This list is quite similar to Chris Fulop's take on the deck except I went with a few different counts that I personally like.


1. Potential to 1 hit KO anything that's not a Safe Guarder.

2. M Rayquaza-EX reduces 4 different Pokemon types, namely water, meaning Seismitoad-EX.

3. Has energy acceleration.

4. Takes advantage of Double Dragon Energy.


1. Fairy types can be a problem because of M Rayquaza-EXs weakness.

2. Unlike the Colorless M Rayquaza-EX, the Dragon one has to discard 2 energy after it's attack while the other one doesn't.

3. The Dragon M Rayquaza-EX does not have the built in evolution trait like the other one does.

4. Garbodor and Silent Lab can be a problem, as they shut off all your abilities.

                    Deck Analysis


Last but not least, we get to one of the M Rayquaza-EX decks of Roaring Skies. I wanted to start off with the Dragon one because I wanted to save the best for last. Reason I say "best" is because the Colorless one is better and more efficient than the Dragon one, as it needs less things to set up and continuously get going. That's not to say that this variant isn't effective as well. But for now let's talk about the Dragon variant. This variant is quite different than the Colorless M Rayquaza-EX variant because in this one we have cards such as, Reshiram, Hydreigon-EX and Double Dragon Energy that only really helps fuel this variant. We run Shaymin-EX in here for the same reason as any other deck (for it's consistency). Reshiram on the other hand, is in here to help fuel M Rayquaza-EXs crazy 300 attack, Dragon Ascent. Since using Dragon Ascent has the negative effect of having to discard 2 energy, we use Reshiram and Mega Turbo with conjunction with Switch and Hydreigon-EX(because Reshiram has to be active to use it's effect) to power up M Rayquaza-EX faster and more efficiently. Which is why I maxed out the Switch count and went with 2 Hydreigon-EX in case 1 gets prized.

Hydreigon-EX gives Dragon types 2 less retreat cost, which only makes sense when you combo it with Reshiram, being as Reshiram does in fact have only a 2 retreat cost and is a Dragon type. I know Chris Fulop's list only runs 3 Switch, but I think 4 should be a staple in here. Mega Turbo let's you attach a Basic Energy from your discard to one of your Mega Evolved Pokemon. Then you have Double Dragon Energy that only works on Dragon types, but gives them 2 of any energy type at a time. You can see how fast you can get a M Rayquaza-EX going with all these energy acceleration cards. One interesting thing to note about the Dragon M Rayquaza-EX is that it's weak to Fairies as opposed to the other M Rayquaza-EX that's weak to Lightning. Having Fairy weakness is actually more viable then having Lightning weakness because people will be playing Lightning types such as, Raichu, Manectric-EX and even Joltik since the Colorless M Rayquaza-EX is more of a threat than the Dragon one. Another interesting thing about the Dragon M Rayquaza-EX is that it has a built in trait that reduces 20 damage from 4 different Pokemon types.

One that is in fact Water, which is a huge thing because of Seismitoad-EXs powerfulness. The other 3 Pokemon types are Grass, for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, Lightning for Raichu, Manectric-EX and of course Joltik as I said before, Fire for Flareon and Camerupt-EX. Those are to name a few things, but there is definitely more things that it reduces that can matter in the long run. Of course we have to run Fire Energy if we are running Reshiram since Reshiram only attaches Fire Energy. Which brings me to Scorched Earth, I went with 2 for now but I can see more than 2 to try and counter other stadiums like Silent Lab and Virbank City Gym. They are in here to help with draw power and to help combo with Mega Turbo since it get's those Fire Energy into the discard. A few other card options you can add are Lightning Energy if you don't want to always rely on Double Dragon Energy or Energy Retrieval to get energy into your hand for Scorched Earth. 

Now let's get to what you all have been waiting for. The most hyped and talked about deck in the new set, which is why I saved it for last.

This list I personally think has a lot of potential with all the techs it has and the speediness it brings. Same with all the other lists, but this one I feel is definitely worth noting since it's what most people want to see.


1. Fast and consistent.

2. Has the potential to 1 hit KO anything aside from Wailord-EX.

3. Has energy acceleration.

4. Has an answer against Safe Guarders and Lightning Pokemon.

5. Can negate special conditions. 


1. Garbodor and Wobbuffet can be a problem because they shut off every ability in the deck.

2. An early Item lock can be a problem, namely Seismitoad-EX.

3. An early Silent Lab can be a problem if you don't have Skyfield already in hand because they shut off Shaymin-EXs draw.

                    Deck Analysis


Turn 1, 240 damage? Yes this deck has the potential to do that if you really want to try and go for it, but most of the time you don't need to go crazy going for that because your opponent's active Pokemon will most likely not be a Mega Pokemon on the first turn unless your facing the mirror match. But the fact that this deck can do that much damage on the first turn makes this deck that much more powerful and should be taken seriously when deck building. This is the main reason why this deck is so hyped right now and I don't blame people for being so. You can see I opted to go with the Virizion-EX and Grass Energy combo for the Seismitoad-EX match-up or basically anything that can put special conditions on you. I think having this option is too good to pass up in the long run. I also went with a 1-1 line of Altaria because I'll be honest I don't want to lose to Lightning Pokemon such as, Raichu, Manecric-EX and Joltik that can take advantage of Rayquaza-EXs weakness. Altarias Evolution trait makes it that much better which is what Rayquaza-EX has as well.

That brings me to Raichu, which I also went with a 1-1 of because I much rather be safe than sorry when your staring down a Pokemon with a Safe Guard ability. But you can run a heavier line if you expect to see more Safe Guarders than usual or if you simply just want to have an advantage against the mirror matches that don't run Altaria. Having Raichu can 1 hit KO those pesky Safe Guard Pokemon that otherwise will give you a miserable loss. I maxed Shaymin-EX out in here because they are what makes this deck fast and consistent. I see some lists running only 3 Rayquaza-EX non Mega, which I think is fine but I went with 4 because I want to be able to find them as fast as possible early on. You can also see I went with 3 Exeggute as opposed to 2, which is what I'm seeing most people running. I personally like the idea of just having to discard 3 Exeggute and nothing else when your Skyfield gets bumped. Of course this only really matters when your trying to KO Mega Pokemon. But nonetheless, having 3 Exeggute seems better especially if 1 of your Exeggute are prized and for that is why I run 3 at the moment.

This is where Battle Compressor comes in. Having a trainer that can immediately get your Exeggutes in the discard pile is just too good not to run, which is why I run 2 of them at the moment. Although that's the main reason Battle Compressor is in here, they are also in here for other reasons as well. For instance, to get Basic Energy into the discard pile to use Mega Turbo or to get supporters in the discard pile so you can use them with VS Seeker. So you can see how ridiculously good Battle Compressor is in this deck. I can even see more than 2 being played in here but for now I think 2 is good enough because eventually you may have dead ones that are just excess at some point. The fact that I'm running tech cards like Raichu and Altaria means that space issues were a problem so I had to work somethings out. One thing was that I had to go with 2 Trainer's Mail instead of maxing them, which of course running 4 gives you more consistency but again I had to make cuts to fit the techs in. This also meant I had no room for Acro Bikes, which also gives consistency, except they can also hurt you by forcing tough discards.

Overall I think I'm comfortable giving up that small amount of consistency to help out against decks that can easily take this deck down. Mega Turbo is in here for the same reason it's in the Dragon version, to help with energy acceleration to give us that turn 1 attack option. This deck also gained a new stadium called Skyfield, that gives you and your opponent the option to bench 8 Pokemon instead of the normal 5. This means M Rayquaza-EX can max out at a whopping 240 damage, which is a huge threat to most things. Let's not forget that if Skyfield gets bumped when you have 8 benched Pokemon you can simply just discard your Exeggutes like I said before and reuse them when need be. Doing so insures that all you need to do to KO a Pokemon with 180 or more hp is another Skyfield because you should already have enough Pokemon to bench to get that KO. A few other interesting cards in this deck are cards such as, Winona and Teammates. I went with 1 of each just to give us those options and if we need to use more than 1 in a game then we have VS Seekers for that.

Winona let's you search your deck for 3 Colorless Pokemon and put them into your hand. You can easily see how good this card is because your main attacker and Shaymin-EX are in fact Colorless types along with Altaria. I don't think you need more than 1 or 2 Winona since you can just Battle Compressor it into the discard. Teammates on the other hand, was a back and forth thing for me because I wasn't too sure if it's needed. Maybe a 3rd Trainer's Mail is better but for now I think I'll keep messing with it. Although this deck doesn't really need that much for revenge KOs so a Teammates might be all you need for those last 2 combination of cards you need to get that KO. A few other card options I can see being played in this deck are cards such as, Ninetales PRC to make sure your Skyfield stays in play at all times or Exeggutor since we are already running Exeggutes. You can also run Colress if you want to draw a huge amount of cards or Keldeo-EX plus Float Stone if you much rather go this route over the Virizion-EX route. Mr. Mime can also be a nice addition because it keeps our Exeggutes and Shaymin-EXs safe from bench damage. Landorus-EX, M Latios-EX, and M Gallade-EX are a few reasons why Mr. Mime may be worth a spot in the deck. Leafeon can also be great, since we are already running Grass Energy so maybe running a 1-1 line for the Seismitoad-EX match-up might be worth it in the long run. For all these reasons is why I think this deck will see a good amount of play come week 3 of Springs Regionals and why it's going to be more played than the Dragon variant.

                    Closing Thoughts


Well there you have it guys. I hope I was able to give you a few more deck options with the release of Roaring Skies that are tournament worthy. I think these 5 decks will be seen, some more than others but I wanted you to be prepared for when you face one of these decks. The 2 biggest decks I expect to see at Regionals are Seismitoad-EX and Rayquaza-EX decks. I'm excited to see what decks other than the ones I discussed that people have came up with since the release of Roaring Skies. If you guys have any comments or questions please be sure to post them below. With that being said, that will conclude this article. I'll be going to Georgia Regionals and if I don't see you there be sure to see me at Nationals and Worlds and don't be shy to come say hi as I love meeting new people and taking pictures with you all. Also be sure to expect more info on the 60cards Invitational soon. There's still much more to announce and if you want to help with donations for the players be sure to message our facebook page. Please give a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading this article as it definitely is appreciated and it also let's me see what people like for future articles. As always; keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time.


[+12] okko


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