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Jose Marrero

"Winter is Coming" - My Top 3 Deck Choices for Winter Regionals

Jose goes over his top three deck choices for Winter Regionals this weekend.

02/08/2016 by Jose Marrero

Introduction

Hello again, 60cards readers! Winter Regionals is around the corner and as promised in my last article I’m dedicating this next one strictly to discussing Winter Regionals, which start this weekend. I'll be at Virginia Regionals for Week 1, so I'm hoping to see many of you guys there. This article will be on my top three deck choices for Winter Regionals. I'll go over each deck I discuss with an analysis on each as well as give other card options so you can choose and debate on which cards you may need depending on what you think the meta will be. After that's all said and done I'll then go over some of each of the decks matchups with some of the top decks I expect to see. Hopefully with all this information it should give you a better feel on each of the three decks I'll be discussing as my top three. And who knows, maybe by the time you are done reading everything I'd have convinced you to play one of the decks at your own Regionals.

With that said, let's start with a deck that's no stranger to anyone, Yveltal-EX/Archeops/Gallade.

Analysis

I talked about this deck two articles ago when Ryan Moorhouse won back to back City Championships in Florida with it. I don't normally copy and paste a list from others. However, this list is Andrew Wamboldt's which in my opinion is near perfect so shout out to him. I can't really see changing a single card that's how much I love this list. I can easily see myself playing the list at an upcoming event. I actually have played the list at a City or two and I know how lethal it can be with the combination of Archeops and techs like Ghetsis which is why it's easily in my top three Winter Regionals picks. Now I know a lot of people may expect Andrew's list because it's been public for some time now which makes me a little hesitant to play it. However, Yveltal can hold its own against most decks in the format which makes it a strong week one play nonetheless. Let's go over the deck once more starting with the Pokémon counts. Two baby Yveltal helps with putting pressure on heavy HP Pokémon while at the same time powering up a big Yveltal-EX. They are also a non EX which is perfect for trying to buy some time in case you need to stall a turn or two. Then of course there's three Yveltal-EX as I mentioned which is the decks biggest and hardest hitting attacker. Most if not all your KO's will be from Yveltal-EX unless your facing up against decks such as, Night March. Following that we also have one Jirachi-EX and one Shaymin-EX to help with consistency and to be able to get Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick or even Ghetsis more efficiently. I can even see maybe upping the Shaymin count if you’re hesitant on just running one.

As a backup attacker we also have one copy of Seismitoad-EX because why not? The deck already runs Double Colorless Energy and its favorite counterpart (LaserBank) so why not add the big bad Toad in. A surprise Item lock can easily win games should your opponent not expect it. As support Pokémon we also have one Keldeo-EX and one Darkrai-EX. The Keldeo is to insure that we are able to go in and out of the Active spot at a moment’s notice. Also getting out of status effects is important which makes Keldeo-EX heavily needed. As for the Darkrai-EX, it's used for two things. The first being the obvious where it gives all your Pokémon with a Darkness Energy attached to them free Retreat and the other having Darkrai as a hard hitting backup attacker. Night Spear has always been a force to be reckoned with ever since Darkrai's release. Lastly, for the Pokémon we have Archeops and Gallade both of which have their merits and both of which can only be summoned through the power of Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick. Archeops helps against decks that rely on Evolution Pokémon such as, Vespiquen/Flareon and Donphan or even Mega Pokémon reliant decks. Now the Gallade helps against everything in general because of how versatile its attack and ability is. But is mainly in the deck for one of Yveltal's worst matchups, M Manectric-EX. Gallade gives you the power to one-hit KO them even with an Assault Vest attached.

Let's not forget about Gallade's ability, Premonition, which lets you rearrange your top five cards every turn. Any deck can benefit well off of Gallade should you get it out. Moving out of the Pokémon we have a number of one of Supporters other than Professor Sycamore because running just one of them is too risky in case it's prized. Obviously one Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick to makes sure the deck has the option to get out Archeops or Gallade. Then there's one N and one Colress to insure the deck still has shuffle and draw Supporters. We all know the power of late game N's and huge Colress hands. One Ghetsis which is a very powerful card should you use it on your first turn assuming you went first. Ghetsis can easily cripple can opponent in the early game and especially against Blastoise decks which can ultimately stop them from getting a turn one Archie's Ace in the Hole. One Lysandre because the deck does so much damage that you most likely won't have to rely on Lysandre too many times. Also running more than one Lysandre can ultimately stop you from getting out a turn one Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick which is the same reasoning as the other one of Supporters. Four VS Seeker keeps decks consistent and because this type of deck runs many one-of Supporters means the VS Seekers will be even more crucial. Four Ultra Ball makes it so you are able to put Darkness Energy into the discard pile while at the same time search out for any Pokémon of your choosing. The rest of the list is pretty straight forward. I'm sure most of you have already seen this list so let's move on.

Other card options

Dedenne FFI 34:

A great attacker in the Yveltal mirror match because Yveltal is in fact weak to Lightning-types. Yveltal players tend to use big Yveltal-EX's which can make a surprise Dedenne come out of nowhere and give you a huge lead given that it's only a non EX.

Mewtwo-EX NXD/LTR:

Running a one of Mewtwo-EX can be helpful against decks like Blastoise that may have a big Keldeo-EX. It's also helpful against opposing Mewtwo.

Hex Maniac:

I wish there was room to fit both Hex Maniac and Ghetsis, but the list is really tight as is. I personally prefer Ghetsis over Hex Maniac because against Blastoise Ghetsis can stop a turn one Blastoise almost every time. On the other hand, Hex Maniac can also potentially stop Blastoise from coming out for a turn, but then they will most likely eventually get Blastoise out unless you Hex Maniac repeatedly. I much rather not let Blastoise come out instead of slowing it down a couple turns because once you turn-one Ghetsis then you turn two Item lock which is another reason Seismitoad is in the deck in my opinion. It's just a personal preference on which of the two to run. I know Ryan Moorhouse ran Hex Maniac over Ghetsis if that helps anyone.

Assault Vest:

These are great against Special Energy reliant decks such as, Vespiquen/Flareon. Stopping a one hit KO for a turn can make all the difference between a win and a loss.

2nd Archeops/Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick:

If you don't think a 1-1 is enough then by all means add a second of each if you want. If anything a second Maxie's over the second Archeops. This way if Archeops goes down then you may not need to waste a VS Seeker on Maxie's and instead just grab the second one should it not be prized.

4th Battle Compressor:

Like I said before Ryan ran four and he was able to smoothly win back to back City Championships. Upping your Maxie's percentage rate can't ever go wrong.

Matchups

Favorable 

Vespiquen/Flareon

No surprise here being that Archeops alone can stop this deck in its tracks. However, if Archeops does not make its way onto the field then Vespiquen will have a field day with Yveltal.

Landorus-EX/Crobat

Again Archeops does wonders here. Being able to shut off Bats is huge in this matchup and even without shutting off the Bats you are still in favor because of how fast and hard Yveltal-EX hits as well as the combination of LaserBank.

Sableye/Garbodor

This matchup is tricky because you can get drained out of Energy. However if you manage to use baby Yveltal efficiently as well as Seismitoad then you should be able to take the game with the help of Lasers and Dark Patch.

Blastoise

This matchup is actually better than what people think if you play it correctly. Swarming a bunch of Yveltal-EX while at the same time using Hex Maniac (assuming Blastoise is out) to revenge KO Keldeo-EX's is the way to go. Without Hex Maniac then you have to pray you go first with a turn one Ghetsis and turn two Item lock to be able to have a chance.

Unfavorable

Seismitoad-EX/Crobat

A quick Seismitoad lock can cripple this deck because as you can see it's heavily reliant of Items. With Bats to help dish out even more damage it can be tough to take down Toads especially if they run Super Scoop Up which most if not all do.

Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX

Now I know some people may be quick to spite me on me saying this isn't that bad of a matchup, but this is from my personal experience. As I said a quick Toad is just too good against Yveltal and with disruption cards like Crushing Hammer, Head Ringers, and Team Flare Grunt then it would make Yveltal have an even tougher time.

Night March/Archeops

Probably Yveltal's worst matchup simply because Yveltal-EX gets slaughtered by Joltik making the rest of the decks attackers seem like an ant compared to Night March. Two baby Yveltal won't be enough to take down Night March and because Archeops does nothing to Night March then that's a dead card in the deck against it but then again so is vice versa.

M Manectric-EX

This matchup comes down to if you’re able to get Gallade out or not. If not you are going to get destroyed. Gallade is your only hope of having a chance in this matchup which is why the edge still goes to Manectric.

Last but not least, let's now get into one of my favorite decks, Landorus-EX/Crobat.

Analysis

This is a deck that I can see being really strong come Winter Regionals. However, decks with Seismitoad-EX usually scare one from playing Landorus based decks. On the other hand, its other matchups are actually pretty good which I'll go over with more down below. The list above is actually Brandon Cantu's list except Brandon played two N over the Ghetsis. I think Ghetsis right now is extremely powerful as I've said and that's why I want to play it almost every deck especially decks that play Jirachi-EX. Let's go over the Pokémon counts starting with the 4-3-2 Crobat line. I believe this amount of Bats is fine in a deck like this that runs ways to reuse them such as, Super Scoop Up, AZ, and Scoop Up Cyclone. Meaning you can afford to play just two Crobat. The three Hawlucha are of course for the decks worst matchup, Seismitoad-EX. Having multiple one Energy attackers that can potentially two hit KO an opposing Seismitoad is too good not to play. The fact that Hawlucha is a non EX makes them even better. Not to mention it's free Retreat which allows you to go in and out of multiple Hawlucha should one be Poisoned. Then we have two Landorus-EX which are used to take quick and fast KO's with the combination of Bat drops. Landorus is especially nice for setting up big KO's with Hawlucha late game.

To also help against Seismitoad-EX there is also one Lucario-EX which I love because of its attack, Corkscrew Smash which fills your hand up to six cards when used while at the same time dishing out a decent amount of damage. If you aren't a fan of Lucario-EX then adding in a third Landorus-EX is the way to go. Lucario-EX is actually really good in the mirror because it can potentially one hit KO opposing Hawlucha's on the first turn with its first attack, Missile Jab and a Muscle Band. For the support and draw Pokémon we have one Shaymin-EX and one Jirachi-EX. I can see adding in a second Shaymin-EX for consistency issues. But the Jirachi-EX is very much needed because the deck runs Level Balls which is essentially a free Supporter when searching out Jirachi-EX. Another Pokémon to help against the annoying Toads is Jirachi which can Stardust away Special Energy if need be. That's basically it as far as the Pokémon go. It's pretty straight forward nothing too crazy. Moving into the Supporters I like running four Professor Juniper in a deck like this because there are times where you are digging for that one specific card that's crucial to your play for the turn. Whether it be a Golbat or even a Strong Energy. For more draw Supporters we have two Colress, one N, and one Ghetsis. The two Colress make the consistency in this deck a lot better because you normally should have a decent sized Bench to make Colress effective 9/10 times. As I mentioned before Brandon runs two N in his list, but I dropped one for Ghetsis for the time being. Turn one Ghetsis can hands down win games if lucky enough.

Then we have one AZ which is a guaranteed Super Scoop Up in a sense except that AZ only picks up the Pokémon as opposed to Super Scoop Up including Energy and Tools. However, AZ isn't a flip effect like Super Scoop Up and can be reused with VS Seeker making it a perfect fit in this deck. So many options to use AZ on in this deck that no matter what you chose to pick up it should make a difference. Lastly one Lysandre because even if you run out of  VS Seekers you can always fall back on Landorus-EX to help pick off the Bench. Which is why VS Seeker should always be maxed out in most if not all decks that don't rely on Vileplume. Moving out of the Supporters we have three Super Scoop Up as I discussed already. I can see adding in the fourth, but between AZ and the ACE SPEC being Scoop Up Cyclone then I think you can get away with running just three. To search out Pokémon we have a combination of three Level Ball, two Ultra Ball, and even two Pokémon Communication. All three of which have their merits because Level Ball can search out anything besides Shaymin, Landorus, Lucario, and Crobat, but has no draw back and Ultra Ball can search out any Pokémon but you have to discard two cards in hand. Pokémon Communication only has the drawback of needing another Pokémon in hand to search out any Pokémon which is extremely nice for saving resources for when you are going to Professor Juniper the same turn potentially saving a Crobat from being discarded.

The Tools of choice are a split between Muscle Band and Focus Sash. You need Muscle Band to do extra damage and you also need Focus Sash to be able to survive for extra turns. Which is another reason Super Scoop Up is nice because if the opponent does not get rid of the Focus Sash then you can potentially use it again. To recover Pokémon and Basic Energy there is one Super Rod which is useful for when you are low on Basic Fighting Energy or if you had to discard a number of Bats early on. The ACE SPEC I already discussed which is Scoop Up Cyclone. A free Super Scoop Up without the flip effect. Too good to be true sometimes. The Stadiums of choice are a split between Fighting Stadium and Silent Lab both of which have their uses. Fighting Stadium is needed to do extra damage on opposing Pokémon EX while Silent Lab is used to shut off abilities on opposing Basic Pokémon namely Shaymin-EX. The Energy count is just a split of four Basic Fighting and Strong Energies. With Super Rod running four Basic Energy should be fine for when having to use Pokémon like Jirachi or going up against Aegislash-EX.

Other card options

Dedenne FFI 34:

This little Pokémon can do wonders against Yveltal based decks. With the combination of Bats and Muscle Band it shouldn't be too hard to one-hit KO an opposing Yveltal-EX and just for a single Energy. Remember that Dedenne is also searchable via Level Ball.

Hex Maniac:

Not sure if Hex Maniac is truly needed in this deck because it seems like a deadish card to be honest. You probably don't have time to Hex Maniac and instead you probably much rather Colress for a number of cards.

Korrina:

I used to run Korrina is my old Landorus/Bats list, but how the meta has shaped it's faster meaning Korrina is a slower card compared to Colress where you can draw multiple needed cards at once.

Xerosic:

This card is great against Seismitoad to get rid of their Double Colorless Energy and just to get rid of Tools in general such as, Head Ringer on Landorus-EX.

Matchups

Favorable

Vespiquen/Flareon

Between Landorus-EX, Bats, Silent Lab, and Focus Sash this matchup should be in Landorus' favor. Especially if the Vespiquen player runs the fifty HP Eevee making a single Golbat drop able to KO them with the help of Hammer Head.

Sableye/Garbodor

Because Landorus-EX/Bats only needs a single Energy to attack with all its attackers means you have a good chance against Sableye/Garbodor. And with cards such as, Super Scoop Up to pick up Head Ringer’d Pokémon makes the matchup less stressful. Not to mention the Super Rod will come in handy as well when the times right. The quick pressure by turn one may be enough to overpower this deck.

Night March (No Archeops)

Without Archeops it makes this matchup a lot easier because you then are free to use Bats and set up multiple KO's with Hammer Head.

Yveltal (No Archeops)

Again if Bats are unstopped then Hawlucha can do quick work on Yveltal.

M Manectric-EX

One of the decks easiest matchups because of Manectric-EX being weak to Fighting types. A single Landorus-EX can overpower this deck. Silent Lab and Hawlucha can also one hit KO an opposing Manectric-EX which is a nice option to have.

Unfavorable

Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX

No surprise that this is one of the decks tougher matchups simply because a quick Toad lock can stop Landorus in its tracks. However, there are cards to help against Toads that I mentioned above. Jirachi and Hawlucha is key in this matchup.

Seismitoad-EX/Crobat

Same reasoning as the deck above except this is an even tougher matchup because now Bats are in it which helps KO things faster and easier.

Night March/Archeops

This matchup is pretty straight forward. Either the Night March player gets out Archeops or they don't which if they don't then you should be able to take a convincing game. But if they do get out Archeops I still think you may have a slim shot at winning, but without Bats to help with KO's it's going to be really difficult.

Blastoise

Finally we get to the decks worst matchup by a long shot. Once Blastoise comes out I'm afraid the games over. Just hope to dodge this matchup is the best I can tell you. You just cannot keep up with a swarm of Keldeo.

Lastly, we get into our third and final deck, Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX.

Analysis

I talked about this deck in my last article where I made Top four at a Cities with. If you notice it's only a one card difference from the list above and that is the ACE SPEC. Recently I decided to try out Rock Guard over Computer search for the time being and I have to save I'm starting to love Rock Guard more and more especially against Jirachi. Because if a Jirachi attacks into Rock Guard then they get one hit KO’d which nets you a free prize. Sure you lose your Special Energy but odds are you have another in hand especially given the fact that you see Jirachi on the Bench and if so you want to save your Special Energy. Rock Guard in general puts a lot of pressure on the opponent and because the deck also runs cards like Super Scoop Up to pick up a damaged Rock Guarded Pokémon means you’re going to do even more free damage. So instead of going over every card again just go back to my last article in the highlighted link above.

Other card options

Enhanced Hammer:

Right now I'm running four Crushing Hammer and zero Enhanced. As you can see there are two Team Flare Grunt and a Xerosic which also get rid of Energy so I felt that Enhanced Hammer wasn't needed. But that doesn't mean it's not good in the deck.

Silent Lab:

Running Silent Lab can come in handy to shut off your opponent's basic Pokémon’s abilities especially if you are attacking with Giratina-EX on the same turn because that means they can't bump the Silent Lab which also means they can't use any Shaymin until Silent Lab is removed.

AZ:

I had AZ in the list before, but I dropped it for the second Team Flare Grunt which I'll still be debating by the time Regionals come. The AZ makes it so that it's easier for you to get a turn one Latios-EX donk because you can search out Jirachi-EX to AZ up the Active assuming you have all the other pieces of the puzzle. AZ also just helps heal off a damaged Pokémon which is always a nice option to have in the long run. So who knows maybe I'll eventually cave and put AZ back in.

Matchups

Favorable

Vespiquen/Flareon

The key in this matchup is to try and get Giratina-EX attacking as fast as possible while at the same time draining your opponent out of Energy until then. To do this you have cards like Crushing Hammer and Xerosic to get rid of Benched Double Colorless Energy. If Jirachi comes out then be sure to Laser/Bank it as fast as possible while still Item Locking with Toad. And if you are able to find Rock Guard early enough then that should help against Jirachi. The matchup is easier than what people think. Just need a little luck and you should be fine.

Night March (With or without Archeops)

In this matchup the way to go is with a quick Item lock into a Giratina-EX, but you have to make sure you bump Dimension Valley before attacking with Giratina-EX this way your opponent can't attack with a one-Energy Mew-EX and because they can't play down Special Energy means for an easy game. Don't forget to hammer off Benched Energy and Head Ringer Mew-EX if possible.

Seismitoad-EX/Crobat

This shouldn't be that bad of a matchup especially if you can get Giratina-EX attacking by turn two or three. To help against opposing Seismitoad there is two Team Flare Grunt and a Xerosic to hopefully give you the edge. Let's not forget about Rock Guard which does wonders against Seismitoad mirrors as well as Head Ringers.

M Manectric-EX

Manectric decks are slow so if you can keep Hammering and Grunting off Energy you should be fine. Once Giratina starts attacking your opponent is forced to go aggro non Mega or find multiple Hex Maniacs, which is fine because Head Ringers slow them down even more. 

Unfavorable

Blastoise

There's hope in this matchup in one way. And that is to go first with a turn one Ghetsis then a turn two Item lock. That way your opponent will struggle to get Blastoise out. From here it should be smooth sailing just try and not let a Keldeo-EX get enough Energy to attack. Which is what Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX is good at doing.

Sableye/Garbodor

This matchup can be really tough depending on how quick the Sableye player can find their Team Flare Grunts and Xerosics because they can keep getting them back with Junk Hunt. You can get drained out of Energy before you know it. However, a quick Item lock can slow the deck down drastically and with the help of Hypnotoxic Lasers means you can KO Sableye faster.

Closing Thoughts

Well, that will conclude this article. As I said before I'll be at week one of Regionals in Virginia so be sure to say hello if you see me. I'll be testing more for Winter Regionals as the days come. I think right now I'm keen on playing Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX for week one because I've played it many times and I know the ins and outs of the deck, and I know it's a really strong play given the fact that Jirachi is a thing, but that doesn't scare me. The two other decks I discussed are very strong as well and I'll definitely be testing them some more to make sure I pick the right deck choice for week one of Winter Regionals. I'll have two more articles coming out this month so be sure to check those out when they are available. Good luck at your upcoming Regionals and I hope you snag tons of Championship Points!

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

[+4] okko


 

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