Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Water You Waiting For?"

5 Effective Ways to Run Archie's Empoleon Post Roaring-Skies

05/25/2015 by Jose Marrero





Hello again, 60cards readers! In my last article I talked about 5 decks that I think will see play come week three of Spring Regionals, which is, of course, right around the corner. So seeing as I didn’t talk about any decks that utilize Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon in my last article, I felt like dedicating this new article specifically to that. Some decks I’ll talk about are nothing new aside from the fact that they’ve been updated for Roaring Skies, but of course, I’ve added a few other decks that can utilize Archie’s Ace in the Hole just as effectively as the others. All these decks and lists are post-Roaring Skies, so since Roaring Skies is legal for play for week three of Spring Regionals, which I talked about in my last article, I wanted to discuss more potential plays to give people more options for testing.

Now, I know that Archie's Ace in the Hole with Empoleon is not a new mechanic, but I’m pretty sure some people will still be surprised and excited to see the decks that I’m using it in. My goal in writing this article is to hopefully give you a sense of how Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon can be effective in many different decks and to show you how these five decks should play out against certain matchups that I think will be popular. I apologize if I don't discuss a matchup you wanted to see, but I'll also do a deck analysis on each deck as I did in my last article. I wanted you to see how strong this combination is when you are able to get it going. I chose to specifically go with these five decks because I felt like these were the strongest decks that can sustain Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon without giving up too much consistency but at the same time keeping it. This combination already gives you a ton of consistency so there shouldn't be any worries with that area of the field.

Who would have thought adding three simple cards (two Empoleon and one Archie's Ace in the Hole) with the help of Battle Compressor would give decks a well-rounded non-EX attacker and essentially a free two-card draw every turn? It did take some time for people to realize how crazy good it was. It wasn’t until 60cards’ own Orion Craig managed to take down Florida Regionals with his own Flareon deck that ran Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon that the Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon hype started. If you want to see a more in-deph article specifically on Flareon, check out Orion's article, where he goes over the ins and outs on the deck as a whole.

With that being said, let's get right into the first deck, Night March.

                        Deck Analysis


This deck still has a lot of potential post-Roaring Skies. It actually gained more effective cards that make it faster and more consistent, namely Shaymin-EX and Trainer's Mail. Shaymin-EX helps you dig for that turn-one attack and overall is just consistent draw support. Since Shaymin-EX does not take up your Supporter for the turn, you can play multiple to keep digging for those Battle Compressors or whatever you need to get an attack off. Trainer's Mail is also useful in trying to find those Battle Compressors. Obviously finding those is key in a deck like this to fuel this deck’s damage. You need to get your Night Marchers in your discard pile as fast as possible so you can put pressure on quickly. Because of space issues, I was only able to fit in two Trainer's Mail and two Shaymin-EX. I think two Shaymin-EX is fine since you don't want to clog your Bench with too many Pokémon-EX. I also had to drop the Mew-EX count to 2 since I believe running 3 at this point is overkill when we want to try to use non-EX Pokémon as often as possible. Running two Trainer's Mail may seem a little odd since it's not maxed out and, yeah, you’re probably right, but they are cards that can be used right away so they’re rarely dead.

I kept the Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon engine because it's crazy good in this deck and Empoleon can be used as a solid backup attacker. Once Empoleon is out you can ditch Night Marchers to give you bigger attacks and two free cards every turn. I also kept the Mr. Mime for now just because you never know if your opponent is going to play snipe decks such as Landorus-EX or new decks such as M Gallade-EX and M Latios-EX. You may notice the list doesn't run any Silver Bangle since the deck also has EX attackers that can't even use them, but I can see maybe dropping the two Trainer's Mail for two Silver Bangle to help KO Mega Pokémon or any EX in general more easily. I went with two Muscle Bands because I wanted Mew-EX and Shaymin-EX to be able to use them if necessary. A couple other Pokémon options we can add in this deck are Leafeon PLF and Cobalion-EX to help against Seismitoad-EX decks, but adding these pretty much takes away from attacking with Empoleon. You can also add in a single copy of Town Map to help fish out your Prized Night Marchers easier. Adding a Teammates can be clutch also since this deck doesn't need much to answer back. You can even add a Lysandre's Trump Card, but personally I just think it's not worth a spot because most of the time people will use it on you anyway. With that said, let's see how some of Night March's matchups should look.



Seismitoad-EX -30/70- This is one of your worst matchups for a number of reasons. First off, your opponent can negate all your Items with Quaking punch, which shuts off more than half of your deck. Another thing is that they can spam Lysandre's Trump Card against you, and when they combine that with Item-lock, you are pretty much done for. Although Mew-EX can come in handy because you can use Versatile to copy Quaking Punch and Item-lock your opponent right back, it's usually only a matter of time until your lock breaks while theirs is still going.

M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) -70/30- You should have an advantage just because of the fact that Rayquaza-EX is weak to Lightning. This makes Joltik a huge threat for your opponent and the fact that you’re using non-EX attackers against their EX attackers gives you an advantage in the Prize race. If your opponent is running Altaria, be sure to get rid of it as soon as possible or else you’re most likely two-shotting their Rayquaza-EX, which you don't want. If they run multiple Altaria, then this matchup is probably more in Rayquaza’s favor, sadly, but I've been seeing people dropping their Altaria for more consistency.

M Rayquaza-EX(Dragon) -60/40- Against this matchup, I think the edge goes to Night March because, again, non-EX attackers overcome EX attackers when it comes to the Prize trade, although trying to one-shot a 230 HP Mega with Night Marchers is not an easy task to do. You would need ten out of twelve Night Marchers in your discard pile along with a Silver Bangle to one-hit KO a M Rayquaza-EX (Dragon) and if they have a Hard Charm attached…well, then now you need eleven, leaving you with only one Night Marcher left. The more I think about this matchup the more I think that it might actually not be in favor of Night March after all. Then again, you can always Lysandre around the Megas and get cheap KOs on Benchsitters like Shaymin-EX or Hydreigon-EX. If you can swarm non-EX attackers and hold Mew-EX back, then you should be able to pull out the win. I think I'll still give the edge to Night March for now.

M Manectric-EX -60/40- I give the edge to Night March just because you do have the potential to one-hit KO a M Manectric-EX. The list I posted does not run any Silver Bangle, but you can add it in to give yourself easier one-hit KOs, although you still need nine Night Marchers in the discard on top of Silver Bangle to pull it off.

Primal Groudon-EX -60/40- Night March always had a good matchup versus Groudon-EX decks mainly because the opponent just can't swarm Primal Groudon-EX as fast as a simple non EX attacker that can dish out tons of damage for a single Energy. This matchup should almost always be in favor of Night March even if Groudon-EX has a Focus Sash. You’re going to be two-shotting the Primal Groudon-EX anyway, so Focus Sash is largely irrelevant in this matchup. However, the Focus Sash can come in handy on Baby Landorus, which is why the matchup is still only 60/40 in Night March’s favor. You never know what could happen.

Trevenant XY -20/80- This matchup is slightly worse than Seismitoad-EX because of the fact that Trevenant can get turn-one Item-lock with the help of Wally. This would be extremely scary for the Night March player. You basically would just look at your hand and pass unless you have a Supporter which probably won't help much until you are able to Lysandre around the lock and then Battle Compressor away your Night Marchers. Then you can hope to comeback and pray your opponent can't keep the Trevenant swarm going along with Lysandre's Trump Card.

Flareon -60/40- Against Flareon, Night March has the slight edge mainly because Flareon needs Stage 1 attackers to take KOs while Night March can simply use Basics to OHKO their Pokémon. This reason alone is enough to give Night March the edge. The Flareon player needs to keep digging for that Double Colorless Energy each turn to return a KO. However, if they manage to get Empoleon out, then they can make the matchup slightly better.

This next deck is no stranger to one but it's still a force to be reckoned with.

                        Deck Analysis:


Flareon isn't going anywhere anytime soon and for good reason. It's still a great deck, and even more so now since you can add Shaymin-EX into it to help with more consistency. For now I only went with one Shaymin-EX but I can see more than one in here. Of course, Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon are included since we all know how successful it's been in Flareon. This deck doesn't change all that much post-Roaring Skies since it’s already super consistent and doesn't need much tweaking. This deck has room to mess around with many ideas to see which ones you like best. A lot of this list is pretty standard, I would say, although I'm not sure if people are keeping their Training Centers. I still think the card is worth a spot in here just to get rid of a key Virbank City Gym or Silent Lab that otherwise can be troublesome. I still kept two Ditto just because they can come in handy by acting as a substitute for Eevee. This allows us to Transform into Eevee next turn and immediately evolve it into Flareon. Audino is still necessary in this deck mainly for Special Conditions such as Hypnotoxic Laser that otherwise can give this deck a beating.

Deoxys-EX was added to help get that one-shot on Seismitoad-EX more easily with Leafeon's Leaf Blade, assuming you weren't able to find Silver Bangles before the Item-lock. Leaf Blade does a base of 60 damage and if you flip heads, you do an extra 20 damage, just 20 shy of the OHKO on a Seismitoad-EX. That's where Deoxys-EX comes in to help boost that damage to 180. Speaking of Leafeon, I went with 3 Grass Energy because we want to be able to immediately evolve our Eevee into Leafeon as fast as possible when facing Seismitoad-EX decks. There is also 1 Water Energy so we can potentially attack with Empoleon if needed. It's a great attacker against things that are weak to it, for instance, Landorus-EX. If your opponent is playing Sky Field, then you can even take advantage of that and pump out more damage with Empoleon if need be. A few other card options you can add in here are Slurpuff PHF so you can draw more every turn, Raichu XY as a backup attacker to help against M Rayquaza-EX (Colorless), Cofagrigus PLF to help KO Mega high-HP Pokémon and to get around a Focus Sashed Primal Groudon-EX, or even Trainer's Mail to help find those Battle Compressors or Silver Bangles faster. With that said, let's see what some of Flareon's matchups should look like.



Seismitoad-EX -45/55- I've seen this debate plenty of times on which has the advantage and quite frankly it's a tough one but for now I give Seismitoad-EX a small advantage. Either one can be favorable to the point where it can be 50/50. Of course the matchup can be favorable for either side depending on how both sides set up. I can easily see it in favor of Flareon because of Leafeon and Silver Bangle and I can easily see it in favor of Seismitoad-EX because of Item lock and Lysandre's Trump Card, so for now I think I will keep it as is since you’re not really sure how the matchup will play out until it happens.

M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) -40/60- From my testing with Brandon Salazar, I had been beating him with M Rayquaza-EX (Colorless) against his Flareon, which is why I give the edge to Rayquaza-EX. Sure Flareon can potentially get that 220-damage OHKO but it's no easy task by any means. You would need 17 Pokémon in your discard pile along with a Silver Bangle to 1 hit KO their Mega and if the Flareon player manages to whiff Energy then they’re in for an even tougher one.

M Rayquaza-EX(Dragon) -60/40- I would say this matchup for Flareon is better than the Colorless Rayquaza-EX matchup because the Dragon Rayquaza-EX has to constantly discard two Energy to KO a non-EX while the Colorless one does not.

M Manectric-EX -60/40- I would have to say this matchup for Flareon is similar to Night March just because they both can get that one-hit KO on M Manectric-EX. It’s probably easier for Flareon to get it without the risk of discarding too many attackers.

Primal Groudon-EX -70/30- The edge goes to Flareon, hands down. This matchup has already been seen plenty of times before with Flareon coming out on top in the end. A swarm of non-EX attackers versus a slow EX-based deck is definitely not a fun game to watch. It's basically like the Night March matchup, with Groudon-EX on the losing end.

Trevenant XY -20/80- Much like the Night March matchup, a turn-one Item lock will hurt Flareon a ton. You can only imagine how few playable cards you’ll have on your first turn of the game. You can see what I'm getting at: Flareon has trouble against Item-lock decks, which is no surprise since there are so many Items in the deck.

Now it’s time to get into a deck that's been in and out of the meta for a while now, but for the first time, we’re incorporating Archie’s Ace in the Hole.

                         Deck Analysis:


Tool Drop is back, baby, and with new friends: Archie and Empoleon. Have you ever seen this combination in a Tool Drop deck before? If not, then now you have! I was quite suprised how well this engine fit into the deck. I tested this list against Brandon Salazar's M Rayquaza-EX (Colorless) deck and I never missed a beat when trying to KO a M Rayquaza-EX. I was always able to hit 230 damage for the one-hit KO, even on a turn where I had to use Lysandre's Trump Card. I mean, I did get 2 Empoleon out at once, so I was able to draw through my deck in no time. As you can see, the deck also runs a couple Shaymin-EX because why not? In a deck like this, Shaymin-EX is the perfect card for trying to dig for all your Tools and such. To help get Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon going more efficiently, I added in a single copy of Exeggcute.

Sometimes you’re left with a lone Ultra Ball or Computer Search that you couldn’t otherwise use. Exeggcute makes it easier for you to dump your hand down in those scenarios, which is why it's in here. There are three Head Ringers in here to basically help slow down Pokémon-EX, mainly the dreaded Seismitoad-EX, the biggest threat against this deck. As a bonus, Head Ringer counts toward Tool Drop’s damage output. Silver Bangle helps you KO things faster without needing as many Tools in play. With just seven Tools in play, including Silver Bangle, Tool Drop does 170 damage. If you’re going for a heavier EX such as M Rayquaza-EX then you would need ten total Tools in play with one of them being Silver Bangle on your Trubbish, for a total of 230 damage. I added one Silver Mirror just to help against Flareon decks. If you think Flareon will see more play than usual you can add additional copies of Silver Mirror.

The Hard Charms can be clutch in certain situations, for instance, against Seismitoad-EX they would now be hitting your Trubbish for 10 damage assuming they don't have a Muscle Band attached. The Float Stones are needed to make sure we have the potential to get turn-one attacks off assuming we don't open with Trubbish. There is also an Escape Rope to help you get out of the active spot and, if necessary, it can be used to force the opponent to switch. For instance, if your opponent's active is a Wobbuffet Escape Rope can force it onto the Bench and allow you to use Set Up and Diving Draw. I added a few Water Energy because we want to be able to attack with Empoleon since it's a great attacker and yet another efficient one-Energy attacker. A few other card options we can add are Electrode PLF so we can constantly draw every turn or Mr. Mime so we can deny snipe damage onto the Bench. With that said, let's see how some of Tool Drop's matchups look.



Seismitoad-EX -30/70- Tool Drop has always had trouble dealing with Item lock because the deck relies on getting as many Tools out as possible in order to deal damage. Take that away and you basically have a dead deck, draw-passing. You would need to at least get nine Tools turn one or eight Tools including a Silver Bangle on Trubbish to have a chance against them. If not, you’re done for. By far, one of Tool Drop’s worst matchups to this day.

M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) -70/30- Tool Drop has a great matchup against this deck because not only are you attacking with non EXs that can 1 hit KO everything in the deck but you also have cards that slow them down, such as Head Ringer. This forces your opponent to find their Spirit Links as fast as possible or else they would need 4 Energy to attack with their Rayquaza-EX. This is a win-win for Tool Drop since their Rayquaza will have Tools either way, giving you your damage boost.

M Rayquaza-EX(Dragon) -70/30- This matchup should go just like the other Rayquaza-EX matchup because of the same scenarios. You’re going to be doing 230 damage to KO the Colorless Mega which is already enough to KO the Dragon one as well. So you can see how these matchups should play out identically. But the Dragon version has to discard 2 Energy every turn just to KO a non-EX Pokémon. This makes the Dragon version an even better matchup than the Colorless one. They would need 5 Energy to attack as opposed to just 3 and with Head Ringer they would need 6. I wouldn't want to be the Rayquaza-EX player in this matchup.

M Manectric-EX -80/20- You can see what I'm getting at. Tool drop just has a big edge against EX decks because of its ability to one-shot anything. This matchup is slightly better for Tool Drop just because M Manectric-EX has 210 hit points which means you need only need nine Tools to OHKO as opposed to the ten required against both M Rayquaza-EX variants.

Primal Groudon-EX -70/30- Again Tool Drop prevails significantly against another Mega based deck. The fact that Groudon-EX decks are much slower than most other Mega decks makes this matchup that much easier. You can literally one-shot everything every turn assuming they don't get Focus Sash off. If they do, then simply two-shot the Primals.

Trevenant XY -25/75- This has to be Tool Drop's worst matchup, even worse than Seismitoad-EX because if they go first with a turn-one Trevenant, then you are most likely done for unless you can pull a miracle off and Lysandre up something that's not Trevenant to break the lock and make a comeback. It's definitely possible. This matchup can quickly go in favor of Tool Drop if they do get a turn of Items.

Flareon -60/40- I give the slight edge to Tool Drop only for the fact that Tool Drop can attack with Basics with a single Energy and turn one, which is similar to Night March. It doesn't matter if you go first or second against Flareon because you’re most likely going to get the first KO. So as long as you can KO something every turn then you should be the victor in the end.

Next up is a deck that's been doing pretty well lately at Spring Regionals.

                        Deck Analysis:


Recently 60cards’ own, Chase Moloney and a great friend of mine, Harrison Leven was able to pilot this deck pre Roaring Skies to a 7-0-1 day one finish at Seattle, Washington Regionals and 6-0-2 day one finish at Overland Park, Kansas Regionals respectively. I would say this deck only gets better now since you can add Trainer's Mail to help find a specific Trainer you need faster, which is why I maxed out on it. Of course, I went with a heavy line of M Manectric-EX because it's our main attacker in the deck. We want to be able to get it attacking as fast as possible. There are also two Keldeo-EX and three Float Stone to help get out of status conditions. Keldeo-EX is actually a decent attacker in this deck. For some reason, a lot of people don't like Black Kyurem-EX in this deck and quite frankly, I have to disagree with them. We already run Lightning and Water Energy so what's wrong with adding one Black Kyurem-EX? If anything, it can come in handy when you want to try and KO a non-Mega EX such as Seismitoad-EX or Mewtwo-EX. I'm not sure if the Plasma Kyurem is needed in here since we have Empoleon to deal with Safeguard Pokémon anyway, but I think running just one can still be useful in the long run if you aren't able to get Empoleon going.

The Exeggcute is in here for the same reason as it's in the Tool Drop deck as I mentioned above. When playing a deck that runs Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon it's best to run three or four Battle Compressors so you can get Archie and Empoleon into the discard as quickly and efficiently as possible, which is why I maxed those out. Battle Compressor also helps put Energy into the discard so you can power up things on the Bench with M Manectric-EXs attack, Turbo Bolt. You can also see there are healing cards such as Rough Seas and a single copy of Max Potion. With many decks playing Stadiums these days, running three or four Rough Seas can be nice. It not only bumps other Stadiums but it also heals your Water and Lightning Pokémon. The one-of Max Potion is useful for when one of your Pokémon is one attack from being KO’d. Just Max Potion to heal all that damage off and then power that Pokémon right back up with M Manectric-EX. I just went with an even split of the energies to make sure all of our attackers can attack without worrying about Energy counts. A few other card options you can add are, Spiritomb LTR if you expect to see Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX decks so you can stop them from playing down their G-Booster, or Acro Bikes if you want to replace the Trainer's Mails and guarantee yourself a card. You can even toss in a single copy of Mega Turbo just to give you the option to power up a naked M Manectric-EX. With that said, let’s check out some matchups.



Seismitoad-EX -60/40- This matchup is actually favorable for M Manectric-EX for a number of reasons. The first is that M Manectric-EX can attack for two Energy and can accelerate Energy which makes it less vulnerable to Crushing Hammer. Another reason is that you can heal 30 damage off your Pokémon with Rough Seas which negates a lot of Seismitoad-EX’s damage. Sure Seismitoad-EX can also heal but M Manectric-EX is still two-shotting them. The third thing is Keldeo-EX. If you are able to get it out with a Float Stone then that's devastating for the Seismitoad-EX player mainly because sleep flips are what gives Seismitoad-EX a chance in the matchup. So you can clearly see why M Manectric-EX has an advantage.

M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless) -40/60- I give the edge to Rayquaza-EX just because of the sheer speed that Rayquaza-EX has compared to M Manectric-EX and that M Manectric-EX can easily get one-shotted. Although if the Rayquaza-EX player does not run Altaria, then the matchup is probably switched into Mega Manectric’s favor.

M Rayquaza-EX(Dragon) -35/65- This matchup is slightly less favorable for M Manectric-EX against the Dragon Rayquaza-EX mainly because M Manectric-EX cannot one-shot the Dragon M Rayquaza-EX, so the Dragon Mega can take multiple KOs before it gets taken down.

Primal Groudon-EX -35/65- This matchup has to be scary for M Manectric-EX with Fighting weakness and all. Also you don't have the potential to one-hit KO a Primal Groudon-EX, allowing it to take multiple KOs before going down. Primal Groudon-EX can one-shot anything in the deck. Not much else to say but that it's going to be a tough match.  

Trevenant XY -70/30- Probably one of M Manectric-EXs better matchups. Not only can M Manectric-EX one-hit KO a Trevenant but it also one-shots Shaymin-EX, which are often all that Trevenant decks run as attackers. Rough Seas also hurts Trevenant because they can't dish out that much damage anyway and if you can get Keldeo-EX with a Float Stone attached before the Item lock, then it's good game from there. It's only a matter of time until you get a M Manectric-EX powered up and ready to rumble and when that happens you should be smiling the rest of the game.

Lastly, we get to one of the most talked and hyped decks of the Roaring Skies format which also has Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon in it and I have to say, it's one of my top choices come week three of Spring Regionals.

                      Deck Analysis:


I hope you guys are still with me because this last deck is the one I've been dying to talk about since starting this article. The inclusion of Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon in this deck makes it much sweeter. You now have an answer for those annoying Safeguard Pokémon and you now have a free two-card draw every turn with the help of Exeggcute. This KOs two birds with one stone for the deck. I believe every Colorless M Rayquaza-EX deck should be playing 4 Shaymin-EX anything less is too few. The key to this deck is to get going by turn one or turn two and with Sky Fields you can Bench anything and everything you want without having to deal with Bench space issues. For those that don't know what Sky Field does, it allows both players to have a Bench of 8 instead of the normal 5. So you can see how playing four Shaymin-EX can make you run through your deck fast.

I went with a 3-3 line of M Rayquaza-EX because with Empoleon being a decent secondary attacker, you can get away with running three non-Megas, although running a fourth can still be nice for trying to open with it more often than not. In my last article I talked about playing three Exeggcute in this deck, but the more I tested with it, I found that running two Exeggcute was plenty. We have multiple Exeggcute in here for a number of reasons. First, to help get our Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon going more easily and to help fuel our Bench with the help of Sky Field so we can dish out more damage. Also, if your opponent bumps your Sky Field when you have more than five Benched Pokémon, then you can simply discard the Exeggcutes and reuse them when you find another Sky Field. I went with three Sky Field but you can easily play four in this deck to help bump Stadiums such as Virbank City Gym, Fighting Stadium, and most of all, Silent Lab. This decks biggest threat are Seismitoad-EX decks so I added in a single copy of Keldeo-EX and two Float Stones just to possibly get us out of Special Conditions. Altaria is in here to deny Pokémon such as Manectric-EX, Raichu, and Joltik from one-hit KOing our Rayquaza-EX because they are, in fact, weak to Lightning types.

There is one Colress in here just in case you’re able to draw huge amounts of cards on a single turn. In a deck like this, you want to have as many cards in hand as possible. I see some people maxing out their Battle Compressor counts but I just don't like running four of them unless it's a deck like Night March or Flareon that relies on getting Pokémon in the discard to do damage. In a deck like this you might have too many of them that are dead mid to late-game. You may notice I have only two Mega Turbo at the moment but so far in testing, two has been fine. I may eventually add a third one in, in place of a Professor Juniper but I still have to test it more to see if it's needed. It only really matters if you’re really trying to get that turn-one attack off. In this version, of course, there's no Virizion-EX like most variants which is why Keldeo-EX was included along with Water Energy to help fuel Empoleon if need be. I also thought about adding a second Lysandre to find them easier against decks that run Wobbuffet. I think you can drop an Empoleon for it since one Empoleon should be fine. A few other card options I can see in this deck are Acro Bike, but Trainer’s Mail feels safer since you don't have to discard a card. You can also run Ninetales PRC to make sure your Sky Field doesn't get bumped. Startling Megaphone can be a nice addition as well if you expect people to run Hard Charms in their M Rayquaza-EX (Dragon) decks so they can deny the one-shot. An Escape Rope can also be a great tech in this deck for two reasons, the first being that it can be clutch against Wobbuffet's ability which shuts off all your abilities if it's in the active spot namely Shaymin-EX and to drag up a Pimal Groudon-EX assuming it's the only bench sitter. With that said, let's see this deck’s matchups.



Seismitoad-EX -35/65- This matchup is really annoying mainly because of three things: Item-lock, Hammers, and Head Ringers. All these things can easy demolish a M Rayquaza-EX. Early Item lock can mean trouble for Rayquaza-EX decks because you rely on using tons of Items to try and set up. With Items taken away, your options are pretty sad.

M Rayquaza-EX(Dragon) -65/35- No doubt about it: the Colorless Rayquaza-EX has an advantage versus the Dragon one. Simply put, the Colorless version is just much faster than the Dragon one. As I said before, the Dragon versions might play Hard Charms to give them a slight edge which is why you should consider adding a Startling Megaphone if you expect to see more Dragon versions being played, and right now it's getting more and more hype.

Primal Groudon-EX -65/35- This matchup is indeed favorable for Rayquaza-EX because, again, you have that one-shot potential in which you can keep swarming unlike Groudon-EX, which is slower to get multiple Megas going. Although a Focus Sashed Primal Groudon-EX can mean trouble, if you can get Empoleon out or chip it once before going aggro with M Rayquaza-EX, then it shouldn't be that bad. You can try attacking into it with a Shaymin-EX and feed them an Exeggcute to give them one Prize instead of two, then follow up with M Rayquaza-EX to finish it off.

Trevenant XY -30/70- I give this matchup a worse rating than Seismitoad-EX because, like I said before, a turn-one Item-lock slows this deck down drastically. If this happens then you’re in for a long and boring game. You’re just going to have to suck it up and hope to draw into your Lysandre then hopefully get yourself out of the Item lock and start a comeback.


                    Closing Thoughts


There you have it 60cards readers! These five decks should hopefully give you a better understanding on how you can utilize Archie's Ace in the Hole and Empoleon. Who knows, you may even be the one to bring back a deck that has been forgotten about by incorporating this engine. With week three of Spring Regionals this weekend, you have plenty of time to try out any of these lists and hopefully make them to your liking. I'll be at Georgia Regionals, so be sure to say hello if we bump into each other. At the moment, out of these five decks, I'm liking the last option the most because of how fast it is and versatile it is. If you guys have any questions on any of these decks or just in general, feel free to post down below or message me on Facebook. Also be sure to keep a look out for more Information on the 60cards invitational. I'll keep reminding you guys so you don't forget about this awesome event.

We are taking donations for the players so if you would like to donate packs, boxes, merchandise, or whatever you want, then be sure to message our Facebook page. Your donation, of course, will be noticed and appreciated. Please consider giving this article a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading it or if you just learned something from it, since feedback is always appreciated and it also lets me see what people like for future articles. I try to strive to give you readers a variety of decks that can still be competitive because I hate seeing the same decks being played over and over again. With that said, that will conclude this article and if I don't see you at Georgia Regionals this weekend, then definitely be sure to see me at U.S. Nationals or Worlds. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time.


[+9] okko


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