Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Aero Punch"-Top 4 and 8 City Championship Report

Jose goes over two more of his City finishes with Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX and Mienshao/Hawlucha ...

01/22/2016 by Jose Marrero


Hello again, 60cards readers! City Championships are finally over and players will now start to look towards Winter Regionals. But first I want to do a couple more City Championship reports before getting into Winter Regionals talk in my next article. I'll also go over my Top 5 cards from BREAKpoint in the end. I hope many of you were able to snag tons of Cities points because like I said before, City Championships play a huge part in one’s invite. I myself was able to get decent enough points from Cities and with that, I'm hoping to get the rest of the points I need for the invite from Regionals and States, but hopefully before Nationals because you really don't want to have to rely on getting your invite from Nationals. This season has been crazy with many new and upcoming players that quite frankly have been making this season more difficult than previous ones. I'm all for having more and more competition at events because that's what makes you a better player. The more great players you play the more you learn and thus the more you achieve what you’re trying to achieve.

With that said, let's get into the Mienshao deck I decided to pilot at the last Standard City Championship in Florida.


You may be thinking that I'm crazy to run Mienshao when Bat decks and Judge is everywhere and yeah maybe you are right. However, if I don't go up against Bat decks then I think I beat the other decks. At least that was my theory behind choosing the deck. Starting with the Pokémon lines, I went with a 4-3 Mienshao line. I used to play four Mienshao, but the more I played the deck, the more I realized that three was fine because they go back into your hand after Aero Turn anyway. Mienshao is your main attacker, similar to Donphan except Mienshao goes to the hand instead of the Bench. Still, it makes you able to put up Pokémon that your opponent can't take Prize cards off such as a Pokémon with Focus Sash or Robo Substitute. As a backup attacker, we also have three Hawlucha. I used to run four, but again, four seemed like overkill. Plus I needed room for other Pokémon techs which I'll get to next. Hawlucha is great for KOing Pokémon-EX like Shaymin-EX. With a Muscle Band, Fighting Stadium, and Strong Energy Hawlucha is hitting Shaymin-EX for 120 damage.

Sure it seems like a lot to have all that in hand but you have to remember that hands in this deck will or should be big most if not all the time. Unless your opponent plays Judge on you, which is where the 1-1 Octillery comes in. Because most if not all Standard decks run Judge, Octillery is definitely needed. And with Level Ball being able to search it out, it’s even more viable in the deck. The next tech I added was a 2-1-1 Jolteon and Vaporeon line. The Jolteon was for Yveltal decks and to get cheap KOs on Shaymin-EX because all you needed is either a Strong Energy or Muscle Band on Mienshao to one-hit KO a Shaymin-EX. The Vaporeon, however, was mainly for Entei decks because those were becoming more and more popular. I did have Flareon in the deck before Vaporeon specifically for Vespiquen and Sceptile decks, but I felt that you beat Vespiquen anyway and that I would see more Entei than Sceptile. I also didn't want to run all three Eeveelutions because of consistency issues. Two was already somewhat inconsistent to run so I didn't even both with a third. The fact that they are searchable with Level Ball makes them easier to get out which is nice. In fact every Pokémon in the deck is searchable with Level Ball. It can't get any better than that, to be honest.

As for my Supporters of choice I went with four Professor Sycamore, three Korrina, two Tierno, two Lysandre, and one Xerosic. Capping out on Professor Sycamore is needed in this deck because some hands can just get clumped up. I used to run four Korrina, but I think three was just fine. Being able to search out your attackers and a Level Ball or Focus Sash is extremely nice in this deck. The Tiernos are for when you have huge hands which you just can't afford to Professor Sycamore away. Two Lysandre speak for themselves. The one Xerosic was mainly for random Seismitoad-EX, but also for Giratina-EX. Moving out of the Supporters we have of course four VS Seeker which you should know by now are staples in most decks aside from Vileplume. As I said we also have four Level Ball to search out any of the decks Pokémon. Being able to Korrina for a Mienfoo and Level Ball means you can get two Mienfoo which is what you want the deck to achieve. You don't want to be left with a single Mienfoo especially if it's not Focus Sashed because if your opponent KO's it then you are down a whole turn of not attacking assuming your opponent's active isn't a Pokémon EX and if so you go aggro Hawlucha, but at the same time get Mienfoo on the field.

I used to run four Robo Substitute, but if you run there you just have to make use of them more reliably. Aero Turning into a Robo Substitute is nice because you get to save a Focus Sash for one more turn and at the same time not give up a Prize card. The Tools I ran were of course four Focus Sash to stop KO's, two Muscle Band to do extra damage, and two Float Stone to make sure Octillery and Vaporeon have free retreat. It's crucial that Octillery has a Float Stone because it has two retreat and the deck only plays three basic Fighting Energy. The two Eco Arms are to get back any of the Tools, but more importantly to get back Focus Sash's. Between four Focus Sash, three Robo Substitute, and two Eco Arms you have the potential to block thirteen attacks thus denying thirteen Prizes which is the main strategy in this deck.

I used to run three Enhanced Hammers, but I felt that Giratina-EX decks would die down due to Jirachi being printed so I just kept one in because it's searchable with Korrina should you need it. I also went with Super Rod over Sacred Ash because it can get back basic Energy and since the deck only runs three as I said then it's important to be able to get them back especially should you go up against Giratina-EX or anyway that blocks your Special Energies from doing damage. Finishing it up we have two Fighting Stadium which seems low, but two was fine because as long as you keep doing damage you will eventually take Prizes. I did run there before, but as you can see this isn't your normal Mienshao build. I had to adapt to the meta that I expected.

Tournament Report

Round 1 - Tyrantrum-EX/Giratina-EX: W (1-0-0)

I wasn't sure what my opponent was playing until he flipped over a Giratina-EX and immediately I was somewhat scared because I know a single Giratina-EX can wipe the floor with Mienshao given that a lot of cards in Mienshao decks get negated by Giratina's Chaos Wheel. Going into this matchup I knew I first had to drain all four Double Dragon Energy before making a comeback which is exactly what I did. The very first Double Dragon Energy was Enhanced Hammered off, but that didn't stop my opponent from find the others one by one. I was fortunate enough to find my Xerosic early enough so I basically sat back and waited until my opponent attached his Double Dragon Energy one by one. Eventually I was able to get rid of all four. However, my opponent was down to his last Prize as I still had all six of mine. I notice all his VS Seekers and two Lysandre were in the discard so I knew right away it was comeback time. Slowly but surely I was able to get all six of my Prizes without giving my opponent his last Prize. It was a really good game to say the least. I knew the matchup would be tough because I dropped Jirachi from the list and also only ran one Enhanced Hammer this time. Still I was able to play smart and eventually take a great game.

Round 2 - Carson Roll - Night March/Bronzong: W (2-0-0)

This round I'm up against my good friend Carson, Grafton Roll’s brother. Carson was piloting Night March which I knew and I was very excited to be playing up against a great matchup. However, my opening hand isn't all that great. All I have is a Remoraid on the Bench and Octillery in hand as my only draw option for the following turn. Carson takes his turn and is debating on if he should Lysandre the Remoraid and go for the KO since I think I had about three cards in hand and my active Mienfoo had a Focus Sash on it so it was safe for a turn. Carson decides to risk the Lysandre play and sure enough he is able to find a Dimension Valley as well as a Double Colorless Energy and enough Night Marchers in the discard for his active Pumpkaboo to take the one hit KO on my poor Remoraid. I knew if Carson was able to succeed in KOing the Remoraid then I most likely lost since my hand was literally dead.

I take my second turn of the game and am forced to pass with the active Mienfoo with Focus Sash still attached. Again Carson Lysandre's around the Focus Sash and KO's my Eevee. I draw and Bench my second Eevee and pass. Carson yet again Lysandre KO's the other Eevee and is now up three Prizes. When all hope felt lost I finally top decked a Professor Sycamore. Eventually Carson used up all four VS Seeker as well as two Lysandre just like in my round one. However, he too was still at one Prize and so I knew it was yet another comeback time and sure enough I was able to slowly achieve victory. That's the thing I noticed about Mienshao. Even if you’re down you can still go back up. You just have to make sure you are Aero Turning into negative Prizes for the opponent. Also the fact that Carson forgot to add Judge into his deck meant my hands were always big and had exactly what I needed each time.

Round 3 - Nathaniel McDonald - Night March/Bronzong: W (3-0-0)

This round I was fortunate enough to hit yet another Night March. This game was actually very similar to my game with Carson. Because I started really slow with Nathaniel leading on Prizes. There was a turn where Nathaniel Lysandre’d up the wrong Pokémon thus letting my Mienfoo survive. Nathaniel instead goes for my Jolteon over the lone Mienfoo which is where he made a crucial mistake. I knew I had the game after that play. After the game Nathaniel said he thought the Mienfoo was a Hawlucha which can be understandable since they are both basic Fighting types. 

Round 4 - Owen Loveless - Entei (Trait)/Charizard-EX: ID (3-0-1)

Because I was 3-0-0 and there was only five rounds meant I can just ID my last two rounds so my opponent and I agreed on the ID. I think I may have had this game should we have played because I played a Vaporeon specifically for the Entei matchup.

Round 5 - Mike Canaves - Raichu/Bats: W (4-0-1)

This round Mike and I were 3-0-1, but we wanted to try and calculate who both of us my play in Top 8 because we were locked in no matter what we did. So instead of ID’ing Mike made the decision to actually give me the game to try and dodge Steven Bates in Top 8 because he was running Reshiram/Giratina-EX the only deck Mike didn't want to face. Standings are posted and well you can see we both messed up by not ID’ing the last round because Mike is now up against Steven Bates in Top 8 and me against Vespiquen/Vileplume which neither of us did not want to face.

Top 8 - Hunter Butler - Vespiquen/Vileplume: LL (4-1-1)

This matchup went exactly how I expected it to go with Hunter finding a quick Vileplume lock game one and me just drawing into tons of Items. I was Benched very quickly game one. Game two is very similar to game one as Hunter finds a turn-one Vileplume. Again I couldn't do much and eventually lose two of the most lopsided games I've ever played. Very unfortunate to hit Hunter in Top 8, but that's the risk of playing Mienshao. Item-lock decks and Bat decks are its kryptonite and then comes Giratina-EX (except Giratina-EX is beatable).

This is what Top 8 looked like.

Final Standings

1. Mienshao/Eeveelutions/Hawlucha (Top 8)

2. Entei(Trait)/Charizard-EX (Top 4)

3. Night March/Bronzong (Top 8)

4. Raichu/Bats (Top 8)

5. Reshiram/Giratina-EX (Winner)

6. Yveltal/Vespiquen/Bats (Runner Up)

7. M Sceptile-EX/Ariados (Top 8)

8. Vespiquen/Vileplume (Top 4)


The list above is only two cards different than my Texas Regionals list at the beginning of the season. Feel free to check that article out if you want to see how I did there and what changes I made. Even though Jirachi is a card, that didn't stop me from playing this deck. It's still extremely strong and with Hypnotoxic Laser it makes going up against Jirachi somewhat easier. The Pokémon line is pretty standard aside from maybe Latios-EX which is a personal inclusion. Because the deck runs Double Dragon Energy already, Latios-EX fits perfectly in the deck. Having the option to win on the first turn is well worth it in the long run, even if it's one in six to eight games. That one game can make the difference between making top cut or not. You just never know when Latios-EX can be useful. Still it's not that bad of an attacker anyway. Its second attack Light Pulse negates Accelgor's attack, Deck and Cover only making you take the damage. The three Seismitoad are, of course, the decks main attacker in the early game until you’re able to power up a Giratina-EX. Two Giratina-EX gives you the advantage against decks that specifically rely on Special Energy such as Vespiquen/Flareon and Night March. Two Shaymin-EX and one Jirachi-EX are for consistency. The Jirachi-EX is really nice for your one of Supporters. The Hoopa-EX is extremely nice in this type of deck because every Pokémon is an EX. So what better way to freely search out three of your Pokémon-EX? Being able to grab an attacker, a Shaymin-EX and Keldeo-EX is all you need to get going.

My Supporters of choice were four Professor Juniper because in Expanded it's good to cap out on those because there will be more Seismitoad-EX decks because of Hypnotoxic Laser. One N because you don't need Judge anyway and you still need a way to disrupt your opponent's hand and Item lock plus N is a great combo that can ultimately win you games. One Hex Maniac in case you do go up against decks that rely heavily on abilities such as Blastoise or Bronzong decks which run Aegislash-EX. Two Team Flare Grunt because like I said in Expanded you will see tons of Seismitoad-EX so I wanted to make sure I had the advantage against them. The one Xerosic is also for the same reason except it can also get rid of Tools that were out on before the Item-lock or Chaos Wheel lock. Two Lysandre because they are too good with Item lock and Hypnotoxic Lasers. And finally one Ghetsis because with decks running so many Items and Jirachi-EX being able to search it out makes it well worth the inclusion especially against Blastoise decks because if you go first with a turn-one Ghetsis and turn-two Item lock, then you are surely going to win the game from there.

Four VS Seeker and Ultra Ball are pretty standard in most if not all decks. They keep decks consistent. Four Super Scoop Up to be able to heal and reuse any Pokémon. Four Crushing Hammer to try and drain your opponent from Energy especially basic Energy because Giratina-EX blocks Special Energy from coming into play. Four Hypnotoxic Laser which is no surprise given that the decks main attacker Item locks. I only kept it at two Virbank City Gym because Giratina-EX can lock them in place. For the decks Tools of choice I went with two of each on Muscle Band, Float Stone, and Head Ringer. The Muscle Bands help with damage and I could even see playing three. The Float Stones are to make sure Keldeo-EX can freely Rush-In and out anytime. The Head Ringers were added to try and slow down other Pokémon-EX especially opposing Seismitoad. My ACE SPEC of choice was Computer Search which is basically everyone's ACE SPEC of choice in this deck. Then you have four Double Colorless and Double Dragon Energy. I see lists running only three Double Dragon Energy which makes no sense to me, especially since Jirachi is a thing.

Tournament Report

Round 1 - Evan MacPhaul - Seismitoad-EX/Bats: W (1-0-0)

Well this round was pretty fortunate for me because I went first and Evan only had a lone Zubat so I knew I just needed to get Latios-EX going. So I Hoopa-EX for Latios-EX, Shaymin-EX and one other EX just to thin the deck. I then use Super Scoop Up and get heads to put Latios-EX Active and all I need is the Double Dragon Energy and sure enough, the first card off the top was the Energy to win the game. Unfortunate for Evan, but that's why Latios-EX is in the deck.

Round 2 - Luis Zambrana - Yveltal/Archeops/Gallade: W (2-0-0)

This round I'm up against Luis who I rode with. We each knew what the other was playing. Luis and I are going back and forth with attacks and we both eventually get down to two Prizes each. Just when I thought I had game the following turn, Luis decides to use a very crucial and well timed Ghetsis on me thus shuffling in three Ultra Balls. My hand was dead so I had to rely on getting my Jirachi-EX for a Supporter the next turn. I knew Luis had the game in hand if I don't win this next turn. It all came down to my topdeck and whether or not I can search out the Jirachi-EX or simply draw a Supporter. I do indeed top deck an Ultra Ball to my surprise. Luis just looks at me and sighs... I Ultra Ball for Jirachi-EX for Professor Juniper and am able to hit the Hypnotoxic Laser for the game to KO his active Yveltal-EX that already had fifty damage from a previous Quaking Punch with Giratina-EX.

Round 3 - Brandon Jones - Yveltal/Archeops/Gallade: W (3-0-0)

This round I'm up against another Yveltal deck which I didn't mind. However, Brandon is tearing me a new one. I'm down four Prizes and just when I thought I was going to lose, I some way find a way to stay alive. I was able to hit some crucial Super Scoop Up and Crushing Hammer flips as well as Team Flare Grunt to eventually drain Brandon out of Energy and thus eventually deck him out with Quaking Punch. I was shocked to have won that game. I believe I still had three Prizes left.

Round 4 - Nathaniel McDonald - Vespiquen/Flareon: W (4-0-0)

I seem to play Nathaniel at most events lately. This time he's playing Vespiquen which I wanted to face because Giratina-EX makes quick work of Vespiquen especially if the Vespiquen player does not run Jirachi and Nathaniel did not which made my decisions slightly easier. Eventually I was able to drain Nathaniel out of Energy and I believe I decked him out. I can't remember all too much if I won that way or not. Either way I would have won with just Chaos Wheeling until I took all my Prizes.

Round 5 - Nicholas Mink - Seismitoad-EX/Bats: ID (4-0-1)

We just ID'd this round because we knew if we won, lost, or ID'd the last round we were in no matter what.

Round 6 - Mike Canaves - Night March/Archeops: ID (4-0-2)

Again, I just ID and prepare for Top 8.

Top 8 - Devon Anderson - Yveltal/Archeops/Gallade: WLW (5-0-2)

Another Yveltal matchup. I actually like the matchup against Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX because the deck runs so many Items. Game one I was able to keep the Item lock the whole game while Devon was forced to pass. Eventually I used Giratina-EX to clean up and take a very convincing game one. However, game two I get demolished because I dead draw and Devon was able to get multiple Yveltal-EX powered up. Game three I play first and contemplate whether or not I should turn one Ghetsis or not. I decide to do it and am able to drain Devon's whole hand but two cards which weren't Supporters. After that I was able to hit Super Scoop Up heads on my active Hoopa-EX and get setup for next turn. Devon draws and is forced to pass and that's when I locked Devon for the next couple turns with a turn two Muscle Banded Seismitoad-EX. There wasn't much Devon could do so I took a quick and convincing game three.

Top 4- Nathaniel McDonald- Vespiquen/Flareon: WLL (5-1-2)

Now I'm up against my round four opponent who I beat in Swiss. Game one gets down to the wire and eventually Nathaniel ran out of resources to Blacksmith onto his Flareon. Game two and three were very unfortunate for me because I started with a Supporter but after the first Supporter I drew dead both games. All I needed was to find one more Energy both games for Giratina-EX, but I kept drawing into Head Ringers. Because of this Nathaniel was able to come back 1-2. I was very disappointed after winning game one only to have me dead draw the next two. Still I was happy to have made Top 4 because that replaced one of my Top 8s from the previous weekend.

This is how Top 8 looked.

Final Standings

1. Seismitoad-EX/Bats (Top 4)

2. Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX (Top 4)

3. Vespiquen/Flareon (Runner Up)

4. Night March/Archeops (Top 8)

5. Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX (Winner)

6. Seismitoad-EX/Bats (Top 8)

7. Yveltal/Archeops/Gallade (Top 8)

8. Yveltal/Archeops/Gallade (Top 8)

My Top 5 cards from BREAKpoint

Puzzle of Time - Trainer

You may play Puzzle of Time at the same time.

  • If you play 1 Puzzle of Time, look at the top 3 cards of your deck and put them back on top of your deck in any order.
  • If you play 2 Puzzle of Time, put 2 cards from your discard pile into your hand.

This card is similar to an old card called Poké Drawer + except Puzzle of Time gets two cards from the discard as opposed to the deck. You can say it's just like Sabelye's Junk Hunt. Even just playing one Puzzle of Time can be nice if you don't have two in hand. Being able to rearrange the top three cards can get you out of dead hands. An overall excellent card that will definitely see play.

Garchomp - Fighting - 130 HP
Stage 2 Pokémon - Evolves from Gabite

F - Assault Turbo: 60
Attach an Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Pokémon.

FF - Bite Off: 80+
If your opponent's Active Pokémon is a Pokémon-EX, this attack does 80 more damage.

This card can combo really well with Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick to potentially get a first turn attack off. For a single Energy, Garchomp can do a nice 60 damage and put an Eenergy onto one of your Benched Pokémon at the same time. This attack seems crazy good because it can also be a Special Energy. Its second attack, Bite Off, isn't too bad either because it can one-hit KO Pokémon-EX should you have a Strong Energy or Muscle Band attached.

– Trainer
Look at the top 6 cards of your deck. You may choose a basic Energy card you find there and attach it to 1 of your Basic Benched Pokemon. Shuffle the remaining cards back into your deck
You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

This is an interesting card because it's better than Ether except the energy can only be attached to Basic Benched Pokemon. Still I can see this can played in a number of decks that have EX Pokemon as main attackers such as, Yveltal-EX or even Landorus-EX. Can build up bigger Evil Balls or Land's Judgement.

Fighting Fury Belt

– Trainer
Pokemon Tool: Attach a Pokemon Tool to 1 of your Pokemon that doesn’t already have a Pokemon Tool attached to it.
The Basic Pokemon this card is attached to gets its max HP increased by 40 and its attacks do 10 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

This card can combo well with Landorus-EX giving it a whopping 220 hp and still doing an extra 10 damage. I think having the extra 40 damage outweighs having an extra 10 damage from Muscle Band but that's just me. It can also come in handy on many other Basic Pokemon such as, Yveltal-EX or even Seismitoad-EX and many more. It's an overall great Tool for Basic Pokemon. I wouldn't be surprized if we saw this card in most decks that don't run Evolutions.

M Gyarados-EX

 – Water – HP240

Mega Evolution – Evolves from Gyarados-EX
When 1 of your Pokemon becomes a Mega Evolution, your turn ends.
[C][C][C][C] Blast Geyser: 120+ damage. You may have this attack do 20 more damage times the number of [W] Energy attached to this Pokemon. If you do, discard the top 2 cards from your deck.
When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
Weakness: Lightning (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

I can see this card comboing well with Archie's Ace in the Hole and Blastoise because it can potentially one hit KO anything and it has a ton of health which makes it harder to take down. With four Water Energy attached to M Gyarados-EX it can one hit KO Pokemon easier than Keldeo-EX and for less energy. M Gyarados-EX having it's own Spirit Link makes it even more viable. Although with Archie's Ace in the Hole you don't really need to run Spirit Link. M Gyarados-EX can just be a one of tech or you can make the whole deck revolve around it. Still having Keldeo-EX Rush-In and out of status effects is still worth it.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article. Both decks are very strong in their respective formats. There are more cards that I like in the BREAKpoint set which I may get to another time, but for now those are my Top 5 in which should see the most play. This is my personal opinion so I'm sure other people have their own opinions on whether or not my Top 5 is correct or not. I'll have another article coming out at the end of the month as I said and it should hopefully prepare you a little more for Winter Regionals. I know the Mienshao deck isn't going to matter until States come around, but the Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX will surely be effective and will see play for sure come Regionals next month. I'll be at both Virginia and Missouri Regionals so if you see me be sure to come say hello if you can. I'll be testing for Winter Regionals for sure as I've yet to get my Worlds invite. So be sure to stay tuned for my next article all about Winter Regionals decks and ideas.

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!


[+13] okko


Thank you for your time. Please leave us your feedback to help us to improve the articles for you! 





Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see the latest stories. 


Pokémon and its trademarks are ©1995-2018 Nintendo, Creatures, and GAMEFREAK. English card images appearing on this website are the property of The Pokémon Company International, Inc. 60cards is a fan site. Our goal is to promote the Pokemon TCG and help it grow. We are not official in any shape or form, nor affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK, or TPCi.



Welcome to our Pokemon Community Portal. Have a look around and enjoy your stay!