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Jose Marrero

BREAKing Through the New Cities Format

Jose goes over his Top 5 cards from the new set, BREAKthrough, and discusses two decks in Standard that also implement BREAKthrough.

11/03/2015 by Jose Marrero

Introduction

Hello again, 60cards readers! Now that Autumn Regionals are all done and accounted for, it's time to finally get into the new Cities format (assuming it's Standard in your area). So for this next article, I'll be going over my Top 5 cards from the new set, BREAKthrough as well as talking about two decks that have already seen play, except now they have BREAKthrough implemented into them. When Cities come around, it's usually my favorite time of the season because not only does Cities reward you with a good amount of CP and prizes for your $10, but they are really important for trying to go for a Worlds invite. Cities can easily make or break your season, so I recommend that you try and do as many as you can and get your four best finish limits out of the way. Another thing I like about Cities is that they are basically every weekend for the next month or so, meaning you get to hang out with friends for a whole month.

Cities is always an exciting time of the year because some states even have City marathons, which is awesome. Something I do dislike about Cities this year if the rumors are true is that there are no more trophies for First Place, but a playmat instead. I personally loved the idea of fighting for a Cities trophy and will miss that aspect. Still, only Championship Points really matter when going for an invite to Worlds. Unfortunatey we do not yet know what the invite structure is for Worlds this year, but you should still take Cities seriously. It's known by now that Cities formats can be in either Standard or Expanded, depending on what your TO wants to do. This article will be on Standard decks for the time being as I feel most Cities if not all will be in the Standard format. If you want to see a few other deck ideas for Standard with BREAKthrough then check out fellow 60cards writer, Franco Takahashi's latest article. More articles with the new set should start to pop up in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned for those.

With that said, let's now get into my Top 5 cards from BREAKthrough, starting with Parallel City, a new Stadium.

   My Top 5 cards from BREAKthrough

Number 5

Parallel City - Stadium
The effect of this Stadium depends on which side is facing the player.
Top side: The player who is facing this side can only have 3 Benched Pokémon. (When this card comes into play, the player this side is facing discards Benched Pokémon until he or she has 3 Pokémon on the Bench.)
Bottom side: Attacks by Fire, Water, and Grass Pokémon belonging to the player facing this side do 20 less damage to the Defending Pokémon.

I believe this is the first time Pokemon decided to do a two-way split Stadium that has two effects depending on which side the Stadium is facing. It's a pretty interesting game mechanic and I hope they do more of these. The top side, as you can see, makes that player discard down to three Benched Pokémon. Right off the bat, the deck that I can see making this side of the Stadium effective is Vespiquen because you want to discard those Shaymin or basically anything clogging your Bench or Pokemon that are almost KO'd. Now the bottom side of the Stadium makes that player's Fire, Water, and Grass Pokémon's attacks do 20 less damage to the Defending Pokémon.

The first thing I thought about when reading this effect is Seismitoad-EX. I'm pretty sure most, if not all players, thought the same thing. Making a Seismitoad-EX hit for 10 damage in Standard is pathetic, to say the least. I guess a Grass-type that's been seeing some play is Sceptile-EX, but with Sceptile-EX getting a 20 damage reduction, it could still do lethal damage. Now, as far as a Fire-types go, reducing 20 damage against, let's say, Camerupt-EX isn't too effectice well since it's most likely going to still one-shot you. Although against M Houndoon-EX, you can stop it from one-hit KO-ing Pokémon-EX since it caps at 180 damage with a Muscle Band, so Parallel City will bring it down to 160.                                      

Number 4

Raikou – Lightning – 120 HP
Basic Pokémon

Ability: Shining Body
If there are any L Energy attached to this Pokémon, any damage done to this Pokémon is reduced by 20.

CCC – Thunder Lance: 50+ damage.
This attack does 20 more damage for each L Energy attached to this Pokémon.

Weakness: Fighting (×2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat Cost: C

Raikou is similar to Keldeo-EX in that its attack, Thunder Lance, mimicks Keldeo's Secret Sword attack. However, Raikou and Keldeo-EX have different Abilities. Raikou's Shining Body reduces 20 damage done to it next turn if you have a Lightning Energy attached to it, making it basically go up to 140 HP, which seems low, but might matter in the long run. The last different they both have is that Raikou is a not a Pokémon-EX while Keldeo is. This makes Raikou actually better in a way, because you're now threatening one-shots with a non-EX, giving up a single Prize instead of two. Let's not forget I'm only talking about Standard so Keldeo-EX can't even be used unless you're playing Expanded. Not much else to say other than that Raikou is a pretty solid card that I can see being played quite often in Standard. It would definitely make Rayquaza-EX players think twice on whether or not they should play a Lightning-Weak deck. It would also be interesting to see if other different Energy-type Abilities like Blastoise and Magezone have will be printed.

Number 3

Magnezone – Lightning – 140 HP
Stage 2 Pokémon – Evolves from Magneton

Ability: Magnetic Circuit
As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may attach a L Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon.

LLC - Thunder Blast: 100 damage.
Discard a L Energy attached to this Pokemon

Weakness: Fighting (×2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat Cost: CCC

Now we get to a Pokémon with an Ability similar to Blastoise's Deluge, except Magnezone attaches Lightning Energy instead of Water. You can clearly see why Raikou would be a great partner with Magnezone. The biggest difference between Blastoise and Magnezone is that Magnezone doesn't have a Supporter that can just put it into play like Blastoise does with Archie's Ace in the Hole. If Magnezone had a Supporter similar to Archie's, then it would be that much better. Not to say it won't see play in the Standard format because of it. You can still just Evolve into it the old-fashioned way, and with Wally, you can get Magnezone out faster. With Float Stone being reprinted in the set, it makes Magnezone even more viable and less prone to Lysandre stalling. Magnezone's attack, Thunder Blast, isn't too bad since it can do 100 damage for just discarding a single Lightning Energy. Wth a Muscle Band, it can one-hit KO M Rayquaza-EX assuming Raikou isn't the first option. With that said, Magnezone/Raikou is most likely going to be a deck that's going to be a force to be reckoned with if you're not prepared for it in the Standard format.

Number 2

M-Mewtwo-EX – Psychic – 210 HP
Mega Evolution – Evolves from Mewtwo-EX

When 1 of your Pokémon become a Mega Evolution, your turn ends.

CC – Psychic Infinity: 10+ damage.
This attack does 10 damage plus 30 more damage for each Energy attached to both player’s Active Pokémon. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness.

When a Pokémon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Psychic (×2)
Resistance: none
Retreat Cost: CC

I personally love this card because not only does it do more damage than Mewtwo-EX, but it has a whopping 210 HP and the artwok looks awesome. I know a lot of people probably dislike all the new Mewtwo in the new set and think they are bad, but this one I believe has potential. Maybe in a Bronzong or Aromatisse-like deck, since it can abuse any Energy type. I'll probably start messing around this this guy to see if it's actually better than I think it is in the Standard format. M Mewtwo-EX can easily one-hit KO a lot of things that may see play such as Giratina-EX. You just have to make sure you Hex Maniac first. M Mewtwo-EX's attack, Psychic Infinity has a base damage of 70 for a single Double Colorless Energy because it has that 10 base damage on top of how many Energy cards you have on it and on your opponent's active Pokemon. It's similar to X Ball except it does more damage.

Number 1

Zoroark – Darkness – 100 HP
Stage 1 Pokémon – Evolves from Zorua

Ability: Stand In
Once during your turn (before your attack), if this Pokémon is on your Bench, you may switch this Pokémon with your Active Pokémon.

CC - Mind Jack: 10+ damage.
This attack does 30 more damage for each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon.

Weakness: Fighting (×2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat Cost: CC

Finally, we get into my number one pick and favorite card of the new set, Zoroark. Similar to Keldeo-EX, Zoroark also has a Rush-In Ability except Zoroark is a Stage 1 while Keldeo-EX is a Basic Pokémon. Not surprised Pokémon would give us Rush In back that easily. There's always a catch with Pokémon. However, Pokemon did bless us with Zoroark having an attack similar to that of Plasma Absol called Mind Jack, which has a base damage of 10 and does 30 more damage for each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. So Zoroark has two uses now, which makes it even more viable even though it's a Stage 1, and with Float Stone being reprinted, it makes moving in and out of Active that much easier. If it gets dragged up before or if you can't find a Float Stone or a way to get it back to the Bench, then worst case, you do lethal damage with it. So it's basically, a win-win if you think about it, since its attack's cost is Colorless. Zoroark does have a BREAK Evolution, but it's not necessary, especially in the two decks I'll be discussing.

Bonus

Pikachu-EX - Lightning - 130 HP
Basic Pokémon

C - Iron Tail: 30× damage.
Flip a coin until you get tails. This attack does 30 damage times the number of heads.

LCC -  Over Spark: 50× damage.
Discard all Lightning Energy cards attached to this Pokémon. This attack does 50 damage times the number of Lightning Energy discarded.

When a Pokémon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Fighting (×2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat Cost: C

Although Pikachu-EX is not actually in the BREAKthrough set, it's still worth mentioning since it does come out a few weeks after BREAKthrough's release. Right off the bat, you can see how Pikachu-EX can easily combo well with Magnezone and Raikou. Pikachu's second attack, Over Spark, is reminiscent of Magnezone Prime back in the day. The only difference now is that Magnezone's Energy had to be removed from play whereas Pikachu's does not, meaning you can get them back with cards such as Superior Energy Retrieval or Energy Retrieval. I guess another difference could be that Pikachu-EX gives up two Prize cards while Magnezone Prime only gave up one. Still Pikachu-EX is a force to be reckoned with and should be taken into account when deckbuilding for Standard. It's scary to think even against a Rayquaza-EX deck that runs Altaria, you are still able to one-hit KO them, not caring about the Weakness-negating. Pikachu-EX does have only 130 HP though, but still that doesn't matter when you're potentially one-shotting everything.

A BREAKthrough in the Jurassic World

This deck saw a good amount of play Weeks 2 and 3 of Autumn Regionals where it eventually took a win at Vancouver Regionals. The biggest change in the deck compared to it's Expanded version is the addition of Zoroark. Let's start with the Pokémon lines. Zoroark is a big part of the deck's strategy and can also be used as a backup attacker if necessary. Abusing Zoroark's Ability, Stand In, makes it so that Tyrantrum-EX can keep going in and out of attacks and potentially one-hit KO everything. This deck is a big part of why Zoroark is my top pick of the set. Of course, we have Giratina-EX as a backup attacker because it also uses Double Dragon Energy like Tyrantrum-EX and effective attacker, especially if your opponent doesn't see it coming. A clutch Chaos Wheel can be extremely effective. Two Tyrantrum-EX as well since it's the deck's hardest hitter and potentially what wins you most if not all games. Its attack, Dragon Impact, does a whopping 190 damage. Of course, you need the necessary Energy requirements, but with both Double Dragon Energy and Bronzong's Metal Links, you can see how efficient attacking with Tyrantrum-EX can be.

Moving on, we also have a 3-3 line of Bronzong to make sure we can get at least two going, if not three, to accelerate Metal Energy as often as possible. However, this deck only really needs two Bronzong out to get going efficiently. Another attacker which also functions as a wall is Aegislash-EX. Aegislash-EX is great against decks that rely heavily on Special Energy such as Vespiquen and Night March. Slowing thier attacks down and denying Prizes can be well worth it in the long run. Aegislash-EX is also just a really solid attacker and since the deck runs six Metal Energy, Aegislash-EX can potentially one-hit or two-hit KO Pokémon. One Hoopa-EX and two Shaymin-EX make sure the deck stays consistent with finding the attackers and drawpower. I could see a third Shaymin-EX in here if you feel another is needed since there isn't Jirachi-EX anymore in Standard. I thought about adding Heatran as another attacker, but the deck doesn't run Double Colorless Energy, so attacking with it isn't as effective. That's basically it as far as the Pokémon go. Another great attacker you can add is Lugia-EX, which is great against opposing Giratina-EX because it can abuse Metal Links.

Now let's get into the Supporters. I'm running four Sycamore at the moment, but I can see dropping one for something else if you really need the space. Two Professor Birch's Observation are here as shuffle-draw Supporters to replace N and Colress. Shauna is another decent draw Supporter that was included. If you dislike Shauna you can always drop it for a third Professor Birch's Observation. You can also add in Ace Trainer or even Judge, but I feel that Birch and Shauna are good enough on their own.

Next up, we have one Hex Maniac. You may be thinking, "But, Jose, wouldn't you shut off Metal Links and Giratina-EX's Ability?" You would be correct, but you obviously use it after you have used Metal Links and Shaymin and against Mega Pokémon you simply don't use it. You never know when you can afford to use Hex Maniac and who knows it might be one of the most clutch ones you ever did which can ultimately cripple your opponent. There is also one AZ just for those wierd spots in which you may have to pick up a Pokémon to Retreat or simply deny the Prize. And of course, two Lysandre for dragging things up.

Now let's get in the decks Items. Four VS Seeker and Ultra Ball are staples, so let's move onto the three Float Stones. I'm glad they reprinted Float Stone because it was annoying having to find Switch when needed. Now Zoroark and Float Stone makes life easier, which is why I went with three. I want to make sure I have it when needed. The two Muscle Bands are highly necessary, specifically for Tyrantrum-EX because it brings its attack from 190 to 210, which is just enough to one-hit KO 210 HP Megas such as M Manectric-EX, M Gardevoir-EX, and M Mewtwo-EX Y. I've also included one Level Ball just in case you're able to find it early enough to search out a Bronzor or a Zorua. Level Ball can also grab a Bronzong, which can be clutch later on. Unfortunately, Level Ball cannot grab Zoroark because it has 100 HP.

Then there's a one-of Battle Compressor for when you need to get Energy or Supporters in the discard for Metal Links or VS Seeker. Now we get to Super Rod which was reprinted. However, I'm still unsure if the decks needs Super Rod or Sacred Ash. Super Rod does get back Basic Energy, though, and the deck does play Fighting Energy, which can't be recycled with Metal Links. For now, I'll keep messing with Super Rod; otherwise, I recommend going with Sacred Ash, especially if Parallel City starts seeing more play. For my Stadium of choice, I decided on keeping Sky Field because the deck needs big Benches for Shaymin and to be able to find Bronzor as well as the attackers. All these Pokémon can quickly clog the Bench, so Sky Field is the perfect Stadium for the deck. The Energy count is pretty straightforward with six Metal, two Fighting, and of course, four Double Dragon. You can drop down to one Fighting Energy if you feel two isn't necessary.

Other card options

Pokémon

Jirachi XY Promo 67:

Great against decks that rely heavily on Special Energy such as, Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX because Jirachi's first attack, Stardust discards a Special Energy attached to your opponent's Active Pokémon. If you do, prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon during your opponent's next turn. So Jirachi can sit there and discard all Special Energy without being touched.

Smeargle BRT:

Can turn Metal Energy into Fighting Energy from you're discard which is helpful for Tyrantrum-EX.

Lugia-EX:

A great backup attacker which can abuse Metal Links and can do lethal damage to opposing Giratina-EX.

Bunnelby PRC:

Great for getting back resources such as Double Dragon Energy and potentially catching your opponent off guard with a clutch mill win.

Registeel AOR:

Solid attacker whose Forbidden Iron Hammer attack let's you discard an Energy attached to your opponet's Active Pokémon-EX for a Metal and two Colorless Energy. Great against Pokémon that rely on Special Energy such as Giratina-EX and Seismitoad-EX.

Heatran PHF:

Another great attack; however, the only thing about this version of Bronzong that makes Heatran less viable is not having Double Colorless Energy, which is why it's in the M Rayquaza-EX deck instead.

Trainers

Ace Trainer:

Since the deck runs a good amount of low-HP Pokémon, maybe Ace Trainer can come in handy early in the game.

Judge:

I'm not sure how viable Judge is anymore with every deck running Shaymin-EX, but it's worth noting that Judge is really effective against Mienshao/Hawlucha decks because they like to have big hands.

Xerosic:

Overall a solid Supporter that can get rid of a Special Energy or Tools on board. Getting rid of opposing Special Energy cards can come in clutch.

Pokémon Fan Club:

This Supporter is actually quite nice in this deck assuming you find it early enough because it can grab either a Bronzor and Hoopa-EX, or Zorua and Hoopa-EX, or two Bronzor, or one Bronzor and Zorua, or just two Bronzor if needed.

With that said. let's get into our next and final deck.

Emerald BREAKing through the field

Again, this next deck is nothing new aside from a few new cards from BREAKthrough. In Standard, this deck didn't see as much play as it has seen in Expanded, and for good reason. The fact that both Keldeo-EX and Float Stone were unable to be used in Standard meant this deck would be slower and less consistent because you were forced to keep finding Switch for when you wanted to Metal Links to the Active Pokémon. Because of this, it made players sway away from playing M Rayquaza-EX in Standard. But now with the new set reprinting Float Stone and having a backup Keldeo-EX type ability (Zoroark), I believe M Rayquaza-EX/Bronzong is more promising, which is why I've added an upgraded version of the deck to this article.

With that said, let's jump right into the Pokemon lines starting with the decks bread and butter, Rayquaza-EX. As you can see I went with a 2/1 split of Rayquaza-EX, with two Colorless and one Dragon-type. The Dragon one could come in clutch for situations where your opponent may want to Lysandre it up or if you simply have to stall a turn with it active against Lightning types. Then, of course, we have three M Rayquaza-EX, but if you think three is too many, then you can drop it down to two and possibly fit another attacker in. Just like in the previous deck, we also have Zoroark, except it's a 1-1 line instead. You can add another 1-1 line or at least a second Zorua if you feel they are necessary. Running two Zorua would feel safer in case one is Prized, but you'd just have to hope Zoroark isn't prized.

Zoroark is also a great attacker in this deck because it can abuse its Colorless attack requirements with Metal Links or even easier, just a Double Colorless Energy. So maybe upping Zoroark to a 2-2 line is best in the long run, just for another backup attacker. With the deck's Stadium being Sky Field, your opponent may Bench a lot of things, making Zoroark that much more effective. I can easily see Zoroark taking cheap KOs. This deck also runs a 3-3 Bronzong line because you want to be able to power up your attackers as efficiently as possible. However, in this version of Bronzong, where it's based on Rayquaza-EX instead of Tyrantrum-EX or Giratina-EX, then you only really need one Bronzong to actually make plays because you can just play Double Colorless and Metal Links one time onto a M Rayquaza-EX to start wreaking havoc.

Usually I personally like running four Shaymin-EX, but with having to fit the Zoroark line and other things, I decdided to drop it down to three. I mean, most lists I've seen run three anyway, so it's probably not that big of a deal. Just like in the Tyrantrum-EX deck, we also run Aegislash-EX and Hoopa-EX, for the same reasons basically. Aegislash-EX is a wall and a decent attacker and Hoopa-EX adds consistency because in this deck, all you really need is a turn-one Hoopa-EX to blow up. Lastly, because this deck runs Double Colorless Energy over Double Dragon, we can afford to add Heatran in as another decent backup attacker who isn't even an EX, which makes it slightly better. If you feel Lightning decks will start to pop up, whether Magnezone or Night March, then maybe adding an Altaria line is the way to go, but room is so tight in this deck, so it might be difficult on deciding what to drop for it.

As for the Supporters I'm running the Standard four Professor Sycamore and two Lysandre count and then the more unique Supporters are the one-of Shauna and Professor Birch's Observation, because the deck runs a heavy Shaymin-EX count, which act as Supporters in a sense. One AZ and one Hex Maniac as well, for the same reasons they are in the Tyrantrum-EX deck. Four VS Seeker and Ultra Ball are standard as well. so we won't go into those. Three Float Stone for Zoroark or if you can't get Zoroark going, then just having Float Stones on Bronzong is great as well. Just make sure not to use them all at once because you don't wanna be vulnerable to Lysandre-stall plays. Of course when running Megas you usually want to run their Spirit Link, which is why I'm running three. If you drop down to two M Rayquaza-EX then you can possibly drop down to two Spirit Links as well, just to make room for other things.

One Battle Compressor is good here, but I can see two in this deck for getting Energy and Supporters into the discard for more consistent Metal Link or VS Seeker plays. Sacred Ash is definitely the way to go in this deck over Super Rod because in this type of Bronzong deck, you rely on your Benched Pokémon to deal extra damage, so you may need to Sacred Ash as many Pokémon as possible back when your opponent bumps your Sky Field. Super Rod only let's you get back three whereas Sacred Ash let's you get back five Pokémon. You can see why Sacred Ash is the more viable option for the deck. My Stadium of choice is the obvious Sky Field. Simply put, Sky Field makes M Rayquaza-EX's damage output max at 240, which basically one-hit KOs everything. If you feel you need room for other things, then you can try going down to five Metal Energy. At the moment I'm running six, but I used to run five during Expanded when I ran the deck, so you can get away with just running five Metal Energy. However, you need to keep Double Colorless maxed in a deck like this.

Other card options

Pokémon

Jirachi XY Promo 67:

Same reasoning as the deck above.

Lugia-EX:

Again, a great, solid attacker only this time you can do even more damage because of Double Colorless Energy.

Bunnelby PRC:

Getting back Double Colorless Energy or even Sky Field is a nice option to have when you're running low on them.

Altaria ROS:

If you expect a rise in Lightning decks, then maybe adding in Altaria is the way to go. However, the new Magnezone/Pikachu-EX deck can still one-hit KO anything in the deck with or without Altaria.

Registeel AOR:

This card is more viable in this deck because it has Double Colorless Energy, making it easier to power up in a single turn.

Trainers

Ace Trainer:

I personally dislike this Supporter because when I find it early, it's almost useless and I hoped that it was another draw Supporter, but it can still be useful in certain situations.

Judge:

I would probably play Ace Trainer over Judge just because giving your opponent four cards instead of three doesn't seem all that bad when there are so many ways to draw cards, whether through a Supporter or an Ability. Ace Trainer also nets you six cards instead of four.

Xerosic:

Using this card against opposing Zoroark with Float Stone attached can actually matter in the long run so I would think about adding Xerosic.

Pokémon Fan Club:

Similar to the other deck in which you want to grab one of your Basic non-EX Pokémon and then Hoopa-EX to have a really nice turn.

Level Ball:

I have Level Ball in the Tyrantrum-EX list, and I think this version of Bronzong can still abuse it, even though there's one less Zorua.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article. I personally think M Rayquaza-EX/Bronzong will be one of the strongest decks in Standard with the reprinting of Float Stone and Zoroark's new addition. It's only Weakness I could see is the Magnezone/Raikou/Pikachu-EX deck, but against basically everything else, it should perform well. I can't wait for Cities to come around. I hope the two decks I discussed and my Top 5 list helped you in some way. I'll have another article coming out later this month, so be sure to stay tuned for that. I'm not sure what it's going to be about, but I'm hoping it's something that can prepare you even more for Cities. Good luck to everyone at their upcoming Cities whether or not you decide to use one of these lists and whether or not it's in the Standard or Expanded format. I hope you're able to rack in tons of CP because that's what I'm hoping to do as well.

It will be exciting to see what new decks people start coming up with in the new Standard format with BREAKthrough. With that said, if you have any questions about these decks or lists, then feel free to leave me a comment down below or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. As usual, 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 don't hesitate to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them. Or if you have any other deck ideas and want to see an analysis on it then by all means post it and I'll take a look. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Jose

[+20] okko


 

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