Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Virizion/Genesect: A Sleeper Pick for Worlds?

Jose goes over the ins and outs on Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX and why it may be a solid pick for Worlds.

07/24/2015 by Jose Marrero


Hello, 60cards readers! I have one quick question for you all. Is it finally time to use all those gold Energy Switch you keep pulling? With Worlds getting closer and closer, and looking at the results from U.S. Nationals earlier this month, I wanted to dedicate this next article specifically to Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, because I think that the deck is probably the best sleeper pick going into Worlds. After all, it did come out of nowhere to not only win Worlds last year, but also to take three more Top 8 spots (including Second Place), especially surprising following the dominance of Pyroar at Nationals last year.  

So, I'll be giving a fifty-card starting list for the deck as well as other card options so that you can pick the last ten spots based on a meta call. I'll also talk about some of the deck's matchups against the decks which have been successful recently, since that should help you decide if the deck is really the right call for Worlds. The U.S. National Championships saw successful performances from Seismitoad-EX, Primal Groudon-EX, Primal Kyogre-EX, Blastoise, Metal, and of course, Wailord—all of which are vulnerable to Genesect-EX.

Now the question is, will these decks continue to see play come Worlds? I personally believe so (aside from maybe Wailord-EX with all the Bunnelby hype to deter it). With their recent success at U.S. Nationals, these decks will likely be popular choices for Worlds, especially for Day 1. If that's the case, the field is wide open for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX.  

Below is a recent video by Josh "Squeaky" Marking on the deck. There he goes over his list and the reasoning behind his card choices. Josh has videos every week, so be sure to check them out and subscribe to his YouTube channel, TeamFishKnuckles, for more great videos. He puts a lot of work into his videos, so give the man some credit. Josh also recently partnered with 60cards, so it should be interesting to see what new videos and contests they come up with together.

With that said, down below is a starting list of fifty cards, all of which I think are staples in a good Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX deck. I'll go over potential options so you can choose what you feel is neccecary to fill in those last ten spots. Whether it's more attackers or more answers to decks that give Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX trouble, the deck has the flexibility to adapt to the metagame.

You can see I maximized the Virizion-EX count. "Why?" you may ask. Well, it's simple, we want to open with Virizion-EX in every matchup so we can get Energy on it on turn one to prepare for the turn-two Emerald Slash. The deck's main gameplan is powering up multiple Genesect-EX so you can clean up whatever is putting pressure on you or otherwise can put you in a tough spot. I know a lot of people hate running too many Virizion-EX since you may just use one or two in a game, but like I said, maxing out on it lets you open with it more often than not. You can always just toss away excess Virizion. That brings me to the three Genesect-EX, the deck's main attacker and the one which takes most of your KOs. Of course, there are other viable attackers which I'll discuss below, but for now, let's just talk about the big, bad bug, Genesect-EX. The decks I mentoned above have a hard time dealing with a swarm of Genesect-EX, giving this deck a huge edge.

There is a Jirachi-EX in the list at the moment because even with cards like Shaymin-EX, sometimes you just need to get one clutch Supporter. As for the Supporter count, I believe it's pretty standard for this deck. Professor Juniper and N have been staples for years. Skyla is big not only to grab the missing piece to get your turn-two Emerald Slash, but also to grab G Booster to get a key Knock Out. Shadow Triad lets you get back G Booster and Plasma Energy for a big Red Signal. Of course, VS Seeker lets you use any of these Supporters over and over.

Let's move onto Energy Switch. It's a card that can help you move Energy from a damaged Genesect onto a clean one, power up back-to-back G Booster attacks, and get the turn-two Emerald Slash even if your turn-one Energy drop isn't onto a Virizion. I went with three for now, but I can see running two if you really need the extra space for various techs for other matchups. I think three is ideal, but I can see you getting away with just two.

The rest of the starting list is pretty standard since it's not too difficult to figure out the Trainer line, so let's move on to more card options for the deck.

                    Other card options


                               Attacking Pokémon 

Raichu XY 43:

Raichu is a great card to KO M Rayquaza-EX, which can be trouble for the deck, while only giving up a single Prize. Raichu is also great against Safeguard Pokémon, getting you the Knock Out without needing to G Booster. Overall, Raichu is a strong card against most, if not all matchups, especially combined with Sky Field. And if you run Double Colorless Energy, then you can power it up in one turn, potentially catching your opponent off-guard. If you're worried about Aegislash-EX, then simply attach two Basic Energy onto it. After all, that's what you have all those Energy Switch for.

Dedenne FFI 34:

This little Pokémon was mainly used against Yveltal-EX and Lugia-EX back when they were dominant decks, and now that we also have M Rayquaza-EX decks to deal with, Dedenne just might be worth a spot. However, Dedenne can't one-hit KO M Rayquaza-EX, so maybe not. 

Tropius PLB 5:

This Pokémon can be great against Hippowdon, which made Top 8 at U.S. Nationals. Hippowdon's attack, Resistance Desert, makes it immune to Pokémon-EX. This is where Tropius comes in, one-shotting Hippowdon for two Energy and only giving up one Prize. Tropius' first attack, Return, can also get you out of dead hands since it's essentially the attack version of Shaymin-EX's Set Up.

M Manectric-EX:

Mega Manectric is a great secondary attacker that can one-hit KO M Rayquaza-EX, one of the most troublesome Pokémon for Genesect to handle. M Manectric-EX can also accelerate Energy, much like Virizion-EX, except it does more base damage and is harder to KO. Then once it attacks, it can freely Retreat to the Bench so Genesect can come back out. It can also one-hit KO Yveltal-EX, but I'm not sure if Yveltal-EX will see much play. M Manectric-EX can also pick off Shaymin-EX on the Bench; all you need is to keep finding Plasma Energy or Lysandre. Of course, running M Manectric-EX means you have to make room for Lightning Energy, so take that into account.


This Pokémon is nice if you want to try and get a turn-one Emerald Slash off. Of course, that means you need to have Dimension Valley in play, but it's definitely possible. Mew-EX can also use the attacks of the two Pokémon I'm going to discuss next for a single Energy with the help of Dimension Valley.


With Mew-EX, this Pokémon gives you the potential of a turn-one Quaking Punch. How is that not a great option to have, especially when your opponent does not see it coming?

Shaymin-EX RC21:

This Pokémon is mainly used as a surprise late-game finisher, and it can often give you a huge advantage. Shaymin-EX can help clean up that last Pokémon-EX you had trouble dealing with, and if your opponent has taken five Prizes, it's almost like a second G Booster. You can Energy Switch onto it or just go the Dimension Valley route, much like with Seismitoad-EX.


                             Supporting Pokémon

Ninetales PRC 21:

This Pokémon is used to lock up your own Stadium, but it can also just stop Stadiums from coming into play altogether. One Stadium you'll probably want off the board is Sky Field, primarily in decks that run Rayquaza-EX or Raichu, both of which can easily OHKO any of your Pokémon. Ninetales, however, greatly lowers their damage threshold and makes them much easier to deal with. (Of course, if you're running Raichu yourself, then you may want to run your own Sky Field.) Another annoying Stadium you don't want in play is Silent Lab, since it shuts off Verdant Wind and Red Signal—two of the biggest reasons Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX is so strong. Obviously if you run Ninetales, you'll also need to run a couple Stadiums.

Mr. Mime:

This Pokémon is, of course, used to prevent damage done to your Bench, most notably by Landorus-EX and opposing Genesect-EX.

Munna BCR 68:

Since the deck runs Virizion-EX, which prevents you from being affected by Special Conditions, you now have a free option to put your opponent's Pokémon to Sleep, assuming you flip heads. You can use Munna's Ability once per turn, so eventually you will stick Sleep on them, which can matter if you're trying to buy some time to power up an attacker.


These two Pokémon help with damage manipulation, helping you hit the magic numbers needed for big KOs. If necessary, they can also be used as attackers, although they're obviously primarily support Pokémon.


This Pokémon helps Genesect-EX get those magic numbers a little more easily. For instance, against Colorless M Rayquaza-EX, two Deoxys-EX on the Bench allows G Booster to get a one-hit KO. It might sound like a lot, but it's not that hard to do as long as you don't Prize a Deoxys-EX. Also, against M Manectric-EX, all you need is one Deoxys-EX and G Booster for the one-shot. With a Muscle Banded Genesect-EX, you can do a perfect 130 damage to one-shot non-EX Pokémon such as Donphan, Heatran, and even Plasma Kyurem.

Shaymin-EX ROS:

This Pokémon is great for consistency for when you're trying to get that turn-one Virizion-EX with Energy. You can run one or two Shaymin-EX, but I can't see playing more than that unless you're going for more of a first-turn Emerald Slash route with Mew-EX and Dimension Valley or Plasma Badge and Colress Machine.



Team Plasma Ball:

This card is used to grab a Genesect-EX (or maybe a Deoxys-EX) without discarding any cards. The downside is that you can't grab a Virizion-EX or any other non-Plasma Pokémon.

Escape Rope:

Similar to Switch, except your opponent has to switch into a new Active as well. If your opponent is trying to power up a lone Benched Pokémon, this card can get you a surprise KO, putting you in a great position.

Colress Machine:

This card has two uses. The first is powering up Genesect-EX more quickly, letting you get a turn-two Megalo Cannon or G Booster if necessary. The other is enabling you to retreat an Active Genesect-EX in case you don't have a Switch or Escape Rope in hand.

Enhanced Hammer:

This is great for discarding Special Energy such as Double Colorless Energy and Strong Energy. However, lately decks have been playing Energy acceleration cards, making Enhanced Hammer less effective.

Startling Megaphone:

This card helps get rid of those pesky Tools such as Float Stone on a Garbodor or simply a Spirit Link on a Pokémon getting ready to Mega Evolve on the following turn.

Tool Retriever:

This card is basically for getting rid of Team Flare Tools that otherwise are troublesome against your Pokémon-EX. For instance, a Head Ringer on Virizion-EX can deny the turn-two Emerald Slash, and on Genesect, it prevents you from attaching G Booster. Tool Retriever counters that play and is also nice just to switch Muscle Bands and G Booster around if neccesary.

Head Ringer:

As I said above, Head Ringer can slow your opponent's setup and disrupt their big plays, so adding a couple to your own deck could be a nice edge in an EX-heavy metagame.

Trainers' Mail:

This card is great if you're focusing on the turn-one Emerald Slash variant. Trainers' Mail helps you dig for those specific cards you need to make it happen.

Town Map:

Of course, Town Map is extremely useful for finding your prized G Booster early on, because if you need it and don't have it, you could be in for a rough game. Town Map is generally good because it can be nice to know where your Prized cards are, but it can also backfire by showing your opponent which cards you don't have in your deck.

Hypnotoxic Laser:

If you want extra damage, then adding in Lasers can come in handy. Lasers also reduce the reliance on G Booster since they help you hit magic numbers with Genesect-EX and Muscle Band.

Energy Retrieval:

Since Trump Card is banned, it could be nice to have a way to get back a couple Basic Energy. In pure Genesect-EX lists, this spot could also be filled with an extra Grass Energy, but in the M Manectric-EX version, this card lets you get back either Grass or Lightning, giving you a bit more versatility.

Sacred Ash:

I'm not sure how useful this card is in a deck like Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, but if you're running other attackers such as Raichu or support Pokémon like Crobat, then Sacred Ash can come in handy. It could also help you get back important Pokémon like Mr. Mime to protect you against Landorus-EX/Crobat.


Adding this card gives you a great way to drag something up when you don't have a Plasma Energy to Red Signal. Jirachi-EX lets you search it when you need it and with VS Seekers, you can freely use it multiple times without having to worry about Energy attachments.


Overall, this is just a decent card that can help get Tools off of Pokémon. In effect, this card fills the roles of both Startling Megaphone and Tool Retriever, but it has the downside of being a Supporter.

Virbank City Gym:

As I said, running Lasers can help with increasing your damage output. Who doesn't like a free 30 damage on your opponent's Active, especially with the potential to Sleep them at the same time?

Frozen City:

Playing this Stadium can be clutch to soften up your opponent's Pokémon to put them into KO range. This is especially useful against Mega Evolutions, to enable G Booster to one-shot them. Just be careful not to damage your own Virizion-EX with this card in play.

Sky Field:

This Stadium is only useful if you're running Raichu, otherwise I wouldn't recommend it.

Dimension Valley:

Now this Stadium is only useful if you're running Mew-EX, because that's how you get your one-Energy Emerald Slashes off.

Plasma Frigate:

This Stadium helps get rid of your Pokémon's Weaknesses if they have a Plasma Energy attached to them. It could come in handy sometimes if you're facing a Fire deck or possibly a Fighting deck if you're also running Lightning Pokémon such as Manectric-EX or Raichu.

Don't forget you can lock up any of these Stadiums if you decide to play Ninetales PRC 21. 


Double Colorless Energy:

Adding this Energy card can be useful for two things. The first and the most obvious is attacking with Raichu more efficiently. The second is that you can attach it to a Genesect-EX and discard it to fill the entire cost of G Booster.

Lightning Energy:

Adding a couple of these is only really needed if you're also running Manectric-EX, since you need them to attack with it. 

Now that we've gone over most of the card options you can run in a Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX deck, it's up to you to fill those last ten slots. Now let's get into some of the deck's matchups in todays format.


These statistics are based off the assumption that the Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX player has techs for the matchup in question. Of course, the techs you ultimately choose to run could make these percentages slightly better or worse.

Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor - 60/40
Let's start with the deck that won this year's U.S. Nationals. The fact that this deck focuses on Seismitoad-EX as its main attacker makes Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX easily favorable. However, if the Seismitoad-EX player manages to get Garbodor going and also plays cards like Crushing Hammer and Head Ringer, then the matchup becomes tougher. I gave the edge to Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX because now with Trump Card gone, Seismitoad-EX players can't abuse Hammers as often and are now limited to four. Eventually the Virizion player will get an Emerald Slash and when that happens, the game quickly shifts in their favor. This matchup might even be better than 60/40, but for now I'll keep it as is. Just be careful not to Bench too many Pokémon.

Wailord-EX/Suicune - 70/30
Now we have the deck that took Second Place at this year's U.S. Nationals, piloted by Enrique Avila. Because this deck does not focus on attacking, Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX should make quick work of it, especially since Wailord-EX/Suicune does not run Crushing Hammers, making them reliant solely on Team Flare Grunt to get rid of your Energy. Of course, they play a heavy Suicune count, which can be annoying, but G Booster can go through their Safeguard Ability and if you decide to run non-EX attackers, then you now have even more answers to Safeguard. Anything that can consistently two-shot a Wailord-EX has a good matchup against it and the Genesect-EX's Grass-typing is a big advantage.

M Manectric-EX/Empoleon/Garbodor - 40/60
Grant Manley was able to pilot this deck to a Top 4 finish at this year's U.S. Nationals. I would think this matchup depends on how much healing the M Manectric-EX deck runs, and Grant ran two Max Potions and three Rough Seas, giving his deck a big edge. However, if you're running Deoxys-EX then it gives you a slight chance in the matchup because you now have the option to one-hit KO a M Manectric-EX, making healing cards irrelevant. But if the Manectric-EX player gets out Garbodor, then your Deoxys-EX becomes useless until you can clear the Garbodor off the field. Going first in this matchup is huge because you need to get that first attack off. I would recommend running a Lysandre to make it easier for you to get rid of their Garbodor when your Red Signals become useless. The 40/60 ratio can become a bit better with the right secondary attackers.

Metal - 60/40
This matchup should be favorable for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX mainly because of G-Booster, which can get through Aegislash-EX's Ability. Of course, you can also simply not attack with a Pokémon with Plasma Energy too. Metal decks also are starting to run Keldeo-EX and Seimsitoad-EX, which are easy Prizes for the Virizion player. The biggest obstacle the Virizion player will have is Dialga-EX because Chrono Wind can make it really annoying for the Virizion player, forcing them to alternate between attackers every turn and potentially preventing G Booster. You can, however, just attach G Booster to a Benched Genesect-EX and KO the Dialga-EX.

Klinklang/Bronzong - 55/45
This matchup is slightly less favorable than the straight Metal version since Klinklang forces G Booster plays against all Metal-types, meaning you generally have to keep Klinklang out of play to win. Going first is crucial so you can try to take out early Bronzor and Klink before Klinklang hits the board. The fact that the Klinklang version has a heavy Aegislash-EX count makes it a bit more tough as well. You can see how important G Booster is against decks which can lock with Abilities and attacks. I might be giving Virizion a little more credit than it deserves, but you would have to test the matchup more to see how favorable it really is.

Hippowdon - 60/40
A player by the name of Eduardo Gonzalez made Top 8 at U.S. Nationals with this rogue deck. This matchup should indeed be favorable for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX for a number of reasons. The first is that Hippowdon is Weak to Grass. Now, I know its attack, Resistance Desert, prevents it from being hurt by Pokémon-EX, but you can use Red Signal to pick off Hippowdon from the Bench and G Booster to take out the Active one. Hippowdon also plays Seismitoad-EX, which is an easy two Prizes, and they also run Landorus-EX, which isn't all that much of a threat without Golbat and Crobat damage. You can even run non-EX attackers like Raichu or Tropius to bypass Resistance Desert completely and OHKO Hippowdon. Overall, I think Hippowdon will have a hard time against Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX.

Seismitoad-EX/Manectric-EX/Crobat - 40/60
This matchup is interesting because you would think Virizion has the better odds because of Seismitoad-EX, but that's not quite the case in this situation. With Manectric-EX, Head Ringer, Bat Damage, and maybe even Rock Guard, the matchup quickly becomes dangerous for the Virizion player. However, if the opponent is forced to start with Seismitoad-EX or they miss early Bats and Head Ringers, then the matchup quickly becomes more favorable.

M Rayquaza-EX/Bronzong - 30/70
Easily one of Virizion's toughest matchups, simply because M Rayquaza-EX can quickly one-shot anything in the deck. You would need to run Lightning Pokémon such as Raichu or Manectric-EX to have a better shot at winning. However, if the Rayquaza-EX player runs Altaria, then I'm afraid all hope is lost. On the other hand, if you decide to add Ninetales PRC 21, then you might actually have a better shot at taking them down because M Rayquaza-EX can't one-shot you without Sky Field. Virizion may not be able to keep up with a swarm of M Rayquaza-EX in the long run, though, so the Rayquaza player still has the edge.

Flareon - 10/90
I figured I would add this matchup to the list even though it's literally Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX's worst matchup by far, even slightly worse than Night March. The fact that Flareon can one-hit KO everything for a single Double Colorless Energy and with relatively few discarded Pokémon makes it a nightmare of a match unless the Flareon player dead-draws. Not much else to say other than that I hope you don't face up against any Flareon, because it's not gong to be pretty.

Raichu/Crobat - 30/70
Another one of Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX's worst matchups, mainly because Raichu focuses on non-EX attackers that can OHKO your Pokémon for a single Energy attachment. Unless you tech fairly heavily against this matchup with cards like Ninetales and Frozen City, this matchup is very bad for you.

Landorus-EX/Crobat - 30/70
This deck has always had a great matchup against Virizion decks, just because of the early pressure put on by Landorus-EX and Hawlucha. You can run Mr. Mime to negate some of that snipe damage done to the Bench, but I'm afraid it's not enough to take down a swarm of Hawlucha and Bat drops, which gives Landorus-EX/Crobat the huge edge.

Night March - 20/80
Another really bad matchup and possibly your worst aside from Flareon, just because Night March can potentially OHKO your Virizion-EX before your first Emerald Slash. Mew-EX, Seismitoad-EX, and Dimension Valley used to be a decent answer against Night March when Trump Card was still legal, but I don't think this combo is viable anymore, just because the Night March player can go off on their turn of Items and put way too much pressure out for you to keep up.

Tool Drop - 20/80
The only reason I mention this matchup is because I actually faced up against it at U.S. Nationals. Granted, it was last round when I was 4-2-2 playing M Rayquaza-EX/Bronzong, but this matchup is really tough for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX. It's similar to the Night March matchup since Tool Drop can one-hit KO on the first turn as well. I doubt Tool Drop will see play at Worlds, though.

Primal Kyogre-EX - 80/20
Okay! Now we can get to some of Virizion-EX's better matchups. The fact that two Kyogre-EX decks made Top 16 at U.S. Nationals makes me want to believe that it will continue to see play come Worlds. Kyogre's Weakness to Grass gives Genesect a huge advantage. A Muscle Band on Genesect lets Megalo Cannon hit for 240 after Weakness, the perfect amount to KO Primal Kyogre-EX. Let's not forget that you can also OHKO Suicune with G Booster, but make sure to focus on the Kyogre-EX first, because Suicune is more of a wall than an attacker. You can also run non-EX attackers like Raichu to have a better answer to Safeguard. Running a Startling Megaphone may be ideal more so now since I see Kyogre-EX decks run multiple Hard Charms which can negate a Muscle Banded Genesect-EX from taking a one shot on a Primal Kyogre-EX.

Primal Groudon-EX/Wobbuffet - 80/20
Yay, another great matchup for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX! This matchup is pretty similar to the Primal Kyogre-EX matchup because you can one-shot everything with Genesect-EX. Should Primal Groudon-EX have a Weakness Policy, or Hard Charm, then that's where G-Booster comes in. Unfortunately G Booster does not go through Focus Sash, but still you can see why this matchup is horrible for the Primal Groudon-EX player. Stefan Taboco actually made Top 16 at U.S. Nationals with this deck, so maybe we will see more of it come Worlds.

Archie's Blastoise - 70/30
What?! Another great matchup for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX? In the past, Blastoise decks have always feared the bugs and that hasn't chanced now, because both Blastoise and Keldeo-EX are Weak to Grass-types. Even a Virizion-EX with Muscle Band can one-shot a Blastoise, and if you run Lysandre, you can potentially OHKO a Benched Blastoise with your turn-two Emerald Slash, setting the Blastoise player back considerably. A player by the name of Steve Guthrie made Top 16 at U.S. Nationals with this deck, so I can see it being played more at Worlds now that Steve proved it to be a force to be reckoned with.

With that said, you can clearly see that you need to hit good matchups to be successful with Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX. It surely is possible, but don't be surprised if you hit a good number of bad matchups too. Success with this deck is entirely dependent on the meta.

                     Closing Thoughts

That will wrap up this article! If you think the Worlds meta will be full of decks that are great matchups for Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, then maybe it's the play for you. One thing I learned about Virizion-EX decks is that you just can never count them out. Just look at last year's Worlds, where nobody expected Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX and it went on to take the whole event by storm. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens this year. If you expect tons of Night March, Raichu/Crobat, or any of the other bad matchups I mentioned before, then, yeah, Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX is not the deck for you. But I wanted to bring up the idea to everyone, just in case they forgot about the powerful bugs.

I'll have another article done the week before Worlds, so be sure to look out for that. If you have any questions, feel free to ask down below in the comments section or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. 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, then feel free to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them.

Also, now that we have our full 60cards Invitational roster, be sure to come hang out after the closing ceremony and watch those great players battle it out to see who becomes the first 60cards Invitational Champion! I'll definitely be there and if you see me there, don't be shy! Come and say hello or take a picture with me since I love making new memories, especially at Worlds. With that said, that will conclude this article. I can't wait to see what Worlds has in store for us all. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!


[+15] okko


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