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Jose Marrero

"XY-BKP" - A Look at Three Decks for Upcoming States

Jose goes over three decks that may see play come States.

03/18/2016 by Jose Marrero

 

Introduction

Hello once again, 60cards readers! With State Championships starting this weekend and as promised in my last article, I wanted to do a quick article on three deck choices for States. Some of you have been asking when I would be putting up a Standard States article so now here it is. I'll be at Georgia States for week one so if you see me come say hello. I'm sure I'll be playing lots of Love Letter or some other non-Pokémon related games at Georgia at some point. I'm going to try and go to all four weekends of States because having four weekends of States is rare and should be taken advantage of, especially if you’re fighting for a spot in Day 2 of Worlds or if you simply just want a bigger Nationals stipend (assuming they are doing them again this year). Hopefully that information is announced soon because I'm sure lots of people are wondering what the cutoff may be like myself for the Top 100. The cutoff last year for US/Canada for Masters Top 100 Nationals stipends was 347 Championship Points, so I would think if you’re sitting at 350+ Championship Points before US/Canadian Nationals then you should be safe to at least get the minimum amount one can receive, which last year was a nice $500. I believe stipends are great for the game because they motivate people to play even more.

With that said let's go over the first deck that's no stranger to anyone, Yveltal-EX/Zoroark/Gallade.

Analysis

This deck has seen play for quite some time now in the Standard format. However, it gained a few new cards from the new set, BREAKpoint. First let's first go over the Pokémon lines starting with the 2-1 split of baby Yveltal's. Of course you need to have a couple baby Yveltal from XY because they help accelerate Basic Darkness Energy onto your Benched Pokémon. They are also helpful against Night March decks because Yveltal YX can one-hit KO both Joltik and Pumpkaboo being as Joltik only has 30 HP while Pumpkaboo has 60, but is weak to Darkness types. However, Night March gained a Tool called Fighting Fury Belt in which gives Basic Pokémon 40 extra HP and 10 more damage for its attacks making Joltik jump to 70 HP and Pumpkaboo up to 100, meaning Yveltal XY can no longer one-hit KO them for a single Energy. This is somewhat troublesome for the Yveltal player because what once was an easy matchup is not so easy anymore and might actually be in Night March’s favor now, depending on how many Fighting Fury Belt they play. Now let's talk about the BREAKthrough Yveltal that I've included. Standard Yveltal-EX/Zoroark/Gallade lists ran at least three XY Yveltal so now that we have the BREAKpoint one I think you can get away with running the 2-1 split. The BKT Yveltal does have its uses even against Night March. Let's say a Joltik has a Fighting Fury Belt on it then you can Sky Return into it then promote the BREAKpoint Yveltal to shutoff Fighting Fury Belt thus taking the KO on the Joltik. Just something to keep in mind with.

Even against Trevenant which is already a great matchup the Yveltal BREAKpoint can easily clean up their field because Bursting Balloon does not affect the BREAKpoint Yveltal which is clutch. It's attack Pitch-Black Spear does a solid 60 damage and also snipes an EX for 60 damage meaning it one-hit KO's non BREAK Trevenant and can do a nice 60 damage to a Benched Shaymin-EX at the same time. We saw players like Israel Sosa and Brad Curcio do well with the BREAKpoint Yveltal during Regionals and I would say for States it shouldn't be any different. Next up we have the decks biggest and hardest hitter, Yveltal-EX in which I went down to two. Before BREAKpoint lists ran three Yveltal-EX, but as we saw during Regionals a lot of the top Yveltal decks ran just two so you can get away with running just the two even in Standard. I also kept the 2-2 Zoroark line because they are just great overall attackers and gives you free retreat once you find a Float Stone. Zoroark can one-hit KO Trevenant and depending on how much Bench Pokémon your opponent has it can one-hit KO big EX's such as, M Rayquaza-EX. Zoroark being a non EX attacker makes it even more clutch and since it's attack, Mind Jack only takes a single Double Colorless Energy then it makes it even more splashable in decks. You can see I went with both Zorua which is a personal preference. I just wanted the option of having both of their attacks should one present itself to be better in a certain situation. Two Shaymin-EX of course since digging through the dig to get Gallade going is a big part of the decks strategy against certain decks. Which now brings me to Gallade. I only have one at the moment because odds are it won't be Prized too often, and if it is, then oh well.

Finally we get to Unown which has been in this deck since the beginning. I went with two just because they are clutch once you combo it with Gallade. Being able to manipulate your top five cards and putting one to your hand is too good to pass up. Moving into the Trainers we have just two Professor Sycamore because you don't want to open with too many Supporters or else you won't be able to get Gallade out. Two Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick because since I'm just running one Gallade running two Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick is just overall better assuming you don't want to play two of each of course because let's say Gallade gets KO’d; then you have the second Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick in the deck so you don't have to use a VS Seeker on it, whereas if you had two Gallade and one Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick then you would have to use VS Seeker on it and then you also have one less Supporter in a sense. Then the one of Supporters are Judge, AZ, Lysandre, and Hex Maniac. Judge is needed because there isn't N anymore in the Standard format. However, we will be getting a reprint soon. The AZ is not needed for sure, but is it nice to be able to heal off a damaged Yveltal-EX or to simply reuse Shaymin-EX or deny the two Prizes on it. One Lysandre is so you don't draw too many early on so you can get Gallade out easier as I said. But I mean you can add a second one because two Lysandre in Yveltal decks can just KO smaller HP EX's such as Shaymin-EX easily especially if you get Gallade out. The Hex Maniac is definitely needed for Greninja decks. Being able to shut off their Water Shurikens for a turn can be huge. However, I'm afraid it's still a tough matchup because it's going to be difficult to one-hit KO Greninja without having Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym. And because Greninja attacks for a single Energy means Evil Ball won't be as lethal since they can also bounce the Energy back into their hand. Then of course four VS Seeker for consistency issues. Four Ultra Ball's to make sure you can search for Shaymin-EX and thin your hand down to be able to Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick.

Four Trainers' Mail for again consistency on finding exactly what you need early on. Three Battle Compressor, and Acro Bike to also help with consistency. I can see going up to four Battle Compressor just to be able to toss away Gallade and Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick more reliably. The Acro Bikes are similar to Unown's reasoning in the deck except you get to discard a useless card assuming there's one in the top five cards of your deck at the time. Because the deck runs multiple non Basic attackers I went with two Muscle Band and one Fighting Fury Belt, but it's a personal preference once again. Having access to Muscle Band for Zoroark and Gallade can be worth it in the long run. They are irrelevant on the BREAKpoint Yveltal but not for everything else so they are still needed. The two Float Stones are mainly for Zoroark's Stand In Ability giving you free Retreat. Super Rod is nice to get back a Zoroark line or Unown to be able to reuse them if need be. One Startling Megaphone because so many decks rely on Tools so being able to discard them all on a single turn can be extremely clutch and well worth it in the long run especially to get rid of Fighting Fury Belts against Night March. Aside from the BREAKpoint Yveltal and Fighting Fury Belt, there's one more new inclusion, and that is Reverse Valley. They can give your Darkness Pokémon 10 more damage which can give you perfect numbers in certain situations when going for KOs. For example a Muscle Banded XY Yveltal with Reverse Valley in play can one-shot a non-BREAK Trevenant for a single Energy.

Other card options

Zoroark BREAK:

The deck already runs multiple Zoroark so adding in a BREAK can give you even more options. For example, against M Rayquaza-EX, you can fill your Bench and one-hit KO them even when they don't have enough Bench of their own for Mind Jack to one-hit KO them. Or against Seismitoad-EX you can Quaking Punch or even against Giratina-EX you can Chaos Wheel for a single Darkness Energy so you can see how useful the BREAK can be. Its only downside is that it basically turns Zoroark into a Stage 2 which makes people shy away from it.

Darkrai-EX BREAKpoint:

Another new addition you can add as a secondary attacker. However, the deck does not run Max Elixir so I'm not sure if it's worth going for when you can just attack with Yveltal-EX.

Malamar-EX:

Being able to freely put your opponent's active Pokémon asleep can be clutch at times but aside from that Malamar-EX isn't too useful in this build. I can see Malamar-EX being more useful in a Darkness deck that is built around Darkrai-EX BREAKpoint because Darkrai-EX doesn't care if all the Energy are on Malamar-EX as long as Darkrai-EX has its two Energy for its attack.

Giovanni's Scheme:

If you want to be able to do some extra damage with adding this Supporter can do that for you. However, I don't think it's entirely needed. But it can have some use to one-hit KO a Fighting Fury Belted Joltik or Pumpkaboo with a Muscle Banded XY Yveltal.

Max Elixir:

To fit these in you would have to change the deck a lot and maybe focus it more around the new Darkrai-EX as I mentioned above. Max Elixir can still be nice with Yveltal-EX because a turn one Evil Ball or Y Cyclone can do some big damage and put quick pressure on your opponent.

Next up, we have a new deck rising from the ashes because of its new friend Greninja BREAK.

Analysis

Greninja has been getting quite some hype lately and for good reason. This deck can do ridiculous amounts of damage just by discarding Energy from the hand. Let's go over the Pokémon starting with the 4-4-4-3 Greninja BREAK line. The Froakie I used are the new ones because they have the Paralysis attack which can be clutch at times. Then of course we have four Frogadier because its attack, Water Duplicates lets you search out three more Frogadier and out them onto your Bench. This attack is why Greninja is a viable deck in the standard format. You can also get it off turn one if you’re going second because of Wally. Meaning by turn two you can have a swarm of Greninja. As you can see, I opted to go with a 2-2 split of Greninja both from XY and BREAKpoint. The XY Greninja has an Ability called Water Shuriken in which does 30 damage to any on your opponent's Pokémon should you discard a Water Energy from your hand. Its attack, Mist Slash doesn't do too much damage. However, for a single Energy, it's good enough because 50 damage that is always going to be 50 no matter what is solid. Now the BREAKpoint Greninja has a number of things going for it. The first is its two attacks which both are very much viable. Its first attack, Shadow Stitching is very nice because for a single Water Energy it does 40 damage and its effect is exactly like Hex Maniac except it's for your opponent only. So you can see how shutting off things like Bats or Bronzong can be clutch at times. Then we have its second attack, Moonlight Slash, which has a base of 60 damage for a single Water Energy and can do an extra 20 damage if you return the Water Energy back into your hand.

With a Muscle Band it can do a whopping 100 damage for a single Water Energy and with the combination of Water Shurikens, you can see how fast damage starts to build up. To make Greninja even more powerful, Pokémon decided to give it its own BREAK Evolution. Greninja BREAK is ridiculous because it gains an extra 40 HP and now its Ability is now called Giant Water Shuriken in which does 60 damage to one of your opponent's Pokémon should Greninja BREAK be active and you discard a Water Energy from your hand. This now means you can do 90 free damage should you have two Water Energy in your hand just by Greninja Abilities. Moving on we have a 2-2 Octillery line. I went with both Remoraid just to give myself the option of both of their attacks just like with Zorua. Octillery in this deck is a must because a lot of times you’re wanting to just keep on finding Water Energy once you’re all set up with Greninja. Octillery is the perfect answer because it allows you to not play Shaymin-EX because they can be a liability. The one Miltank is a great backup attacker because it only takes one Energy and with Muscle Band it can do 100 damage. However, don't forget that if you have only a Greninja BREAK on the field the Miltank doesn't get the extra 70 damage because once Greninja turns into the BREAK it's no longer a Stage 2 Pokémon. But I mean, odds are you will have another Greninja on the Bench anyway so not being able to get the extra damage from Miltank will be rare. Now the Dedenne is to serve against Yveltal based decks.

Since its attack Energy Short takes a single Colorless Energy just like Miltank, it makes it even more versatile in decks and in this deck it's perfect for one-hit KO’ing Yveltal or Lugia-EX with the help of Water Shurikens. Even against M Rayquaza-EX you can one shot them with a Muscle Banded Dedenne and one Giant Water Shuriken for a perfect 220 damage. Moving out of the Pokémon we have four Professor Sycamore for draw support as well as one Judge and two Professor Birch's Observation. Against Trevenant which can be a very difficult matchup means having a lot of draw Supporters is needed. Then there's three Wally to help get a turn one Frogadier going or just simply to get Greninja out faster. You can even get a turn one Octillery if you really wanted. Now the one of Supporters aside from Judge are Xerosic, AZ, and Fisherman. The Xerosic is mainly for Garbodor because Garbodor can really cripple this deck so all you really need is that one turn to be able to hopefully Water Shuriken down the Garbodor in one sweep. The AZ is nice to heal off a Greninja BREAK or to use Giant Water Shuriken twice on the same turn with the same Greninja BREAK because you just promote a non-BREAK Greninja after you AZ the active one and boom you have a fresh Greninja BREAK and a free 120 damage just enough to KO a Shaymin-EX for two quick and easy Prizes should you have two Water Energy in your hand of course. Fisherman is nice while being under Item lock because you can still get four Basic Energy from your discard pile which in this case are Waters and if you have enough Ability Greninja in play then you see how Fisherman is quite useful which is one of the reasons on running four VS Seeker.

The deck does not run Ultra Ball because most of the Pokémon are searchable with Dive Ball and has no drawback which is why I maxed those out. However, I can see adding in a couple Ultra Ball so you can search out both Miltank and Dedenne and even Shaymin-EX of you do play them. Two Battle Compressor because they help with finding Wally early on easier or to simply have your one of Supporters in the discard to be able to use them more consistently. One Sacred Ash because sometimes you may have to discard Frogs early on or when they get KO’d you want to be able to get them back. One Energy Retrieval just to be able to get back two Water Energy without having to rely on a Supporter to find them. Two Muscle Band as I said before to give your attackers more damage so you can get bigger numbers when going for KO's. Two Float Stone as well because Octillery has two retreat so you want to make sure you have a way to get them out of the active without having to rely on AZ or discarding two Energy to retreat it. I know some people opt to play Stadiums in the deck but I noticed against Trevenant that Rough Seas can be very helpful even if it's just to use it once because an extra turn of surviving from a Silent Fear can be crucial. Lastly I went with eight Water Energy because I feel like anymore and you can clog your hand too much early on.

Other card options

Bridgette:

This card is nice for searching out three Basic Pokémon such as, Remoraid and two Froakie or any combination of your choice.

Trainers’ Mail:

Running these can help with finding a turn one Wally similar to that of Trevenant. However, a turn one Wally in Greninja isn't as crucially needed as a turn one Trevenant.

Puzzle of Time:

I can see these being quite effect if you were to run a maxed count of Battle Compressor because if you open with two Puzzle of Time and a Battle Compressor that means you can manipulate your discard into any two cards of your choice and put them into your hand. This combo is too good to be true when it presents itself.

Rare Candy:

I'm not a fan of Rare Candy in Greninja because you want to just Frogadier swarm by turn one or two anyway. But they can be helpful for when you Sacred Ash Greninja back when you already have Froakie on deck.

Startling Megaphone:

This card can be clutch against Garbodor since instead of Xerosic’ing the Tool off and hoping to have three Water Shurikens ready then you can Startling Megaphone then Lysandre the Garbodor for an easier KO.

Level Ball:

Unlike Dive Ball, Level Ball can search out Dedenne. However, it can still search out Froakie, Frogadier and the Octillery lines so I can see its usefulness.

Max Potion:

Running Max Potion can be nice in this deck just to heal off a ton of damage and because Greninja only attacks for a single Energy makes Max Potion have less of a negative impact in a sense.

Silent Lab:

If you dislike Rough Seas then the next Stadium of choice can be Silent Lab because this deck doesn't run any Basic Pokémon with Abilities which can fit in perfectly.

Lastly, we get to a new deck once again with the inclusion of BREAKpoint, Trevenant BREAK.

Analysis

This deck will definitely see play come States especially after Aaron Tarbell's Regional win with it except that was in Expanded. A turn one Trevenant lock is what this deck craves to achieve because if so then it shuts and slows down almost every deck. Even against Yveltal decks a turn one Trevenant going first can cripple them and give you the momentum to take over the game. Now that you know the decks main strategy let's go over the Pokémon. This time we have a 4-4-3 line of Trevenant BREAK because Trevenant is a Stage 1 unlike Greninja being a Stage 2. The new set gave Trevenant decks a new Phantump as you can see has the attack, Ascension in which lets you search your deck for its Evolution and Evolve it right away even if you are going first. Then I went with all XY Trevenant's because of their Ability, Forest's Curse in which as long as Trevenant is active your opponent cannot play any Item cards from their hand. The reason I'm not running the BREAKpoint Trevenant is because most of the time you don't want to break the Item lock. Its attack Tree Slam is pretty good as well because it has a base of 60 damage and also does 20 damage to two of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. You can power Tree Slam up with two attachments while having Dimension Valley in play. Then there's three Trevenant BREAK which is your main focus of the deck. You want to Silent Fear as much as possible because it only takes a single Energy to do if you have Dimension Valley in play. The BREAK also gains 50 HP which is a nice plus.

As a secondary attacker we have two Wobbuffet. They are great for a number of reasons. One is that even if you miss a turn one Wally and Item lock then plan B is to have Wobbuffet active and stop your opponent from using Abilities as long as it's active. Wobbuffet's attack, Psychic Assault does a base of 10 damage and an extra 10 damage for each damage counter on your opponent's active Pokémon. Which is perfect when you Silent Fear a bunch of times making Wobbuffet clean up late game KO's. Then of course you need Shaymin-EX to be able to find Wally turn one. That's basically it as far as the Pokémon go. Nothing too crazy. Moving into the Supporters we have four Professor Sycamore to help draw needed cards after the turn one Wally which is why you need to run a heavy amount of Wally and in my case I thought three is enough. Running four Wally just seemed like overkill because there will be times when you can't afford to Wally anymore. Two Judge to be able to limit your opponent's hand down to four and with them being under Item lock you can force them to dead draw. Judge is also a nice counter to Shaymin-EX loops because since Mewtwo-EX with the X Ball attack is no longer playable in Standard, you have to go with plan B to break the loop. AZ can heal off a damaged Trevenant and can pick up Shaymin-EX as I mentioned numerous times. Maxing out on Trainers' Mail in this deck is ideal because they can grab Wally turn one.

Then there's four Bursting Balloon which is another new card from BREAKpoint. Bursting Balloon is similar to that of Rock Guard except you can play four Bursting Balloon and they have to be discarded at the end of your opponent's next turn even if they don't attack into it. Bursting Balloon is a big part on why this deck is viable in Standard because the combination of Silent Fear and Bursting Balloon means you are doing tons of damage which makes Wobbuffet even more deadly. Finding Bursting Balloons against the decks worst matchup, Yveltal is key. You almost always rather have a Bursting Balloon attached to Trevenant which means you need to run a less heavy Float Stone count, which for me I went with just two because you still want to have the option of giving Wobbuffet free retreat. One Level Ball just to be able to search out a Phantump. One Eco Arm also so you can get back Bursting Balloons and even Float Stones. Then one Super Rod in case you have to discard any Trevenant early or if you need to get back Psychic Energy. The Energy count I went with is five Psychic and three Mystery. The Mystery Energy are nice for when you open with Wobbuffet and have an Ultra Ball in hand. You can then free retreat Wobbuffet into Phantump for the turn one Trevenant assuming you have Wally in your hand or if you are going second with Dimension Valley.

Other card options

Gengar-EX:

It's a decent attacker, however it's better to run Gengar-EX with Double Colorless Energy in which I don't run. Plus you want to just keep Silent Fearing anyway to set up multiple KO's at once.

Trevenant BKP:

This Trevenant is nice and all, but like I said breaking the Item lock may not be worth it in the long run. Sure you can make Seismitoad-EX and Yveltal-EX need an extra Energy to attack but if they aren't Item locked then they will go crazy with their own Items. Its attack, Energy Press isn't so great either to warrant a spot in the deck in my opinion.

Dedenne FFI:

Obviously great against Yveltal decks but Wobbuffet may just be good enough. I don't think Dedenne is needed because Wobbuffet can clean up Yveltal and at the same time stop their Abilities. Plus Trevenant doesn't run Muscle Band to make Dedenne do more damage at least my list doesn't.

Absol ROS:

This card can be clutch at times for KO’ing something specific faster by putting an extra 30 damage onto it and with AZ you can do an even bigger surprise KO your opponent didn't see coming. However, an Absol start would be bad.

Delinquent:

I had one of these in the list, but I ended up taking it out because it really didn't do that much. Your opponent's hands are usually filled with Items anyway and if you Delinquent when they have a big hand it can help them out for dumping Items so they can Shaymin-EX for more cards. The deck doesn't run Red Card or else Delinquent would be more viable. It's still not a bad card by any means because the times where you do pull off the combo to discard there whole hand is basically game winning from there.

Team Flare Grunt:

This card can be really good against Yveltal decks because a lot of times they may just try attacking with a single Yveltal in the active spot meaning you can potentially drain them of Energy while under Item lock.

Xerosic:

This card however, is to get rid of Tools attached to Garbodor so you can keep the lock going.

Pokémon Center Lady:

Great for healing off some damage on a Trevenant assuming it's not getting one-hit KO’d, which means more Silent Fear.

Crushing Hammer:

These aren't needed except against the Yveltal matchup because that's the matchup you will have the most trouble with. But adding these in will make the deck less consistent which is something you need to take into account.

Enhanced Hammer:

Again less consistency when running Hammers, but they can be clutch at times.

Battle Compressor:

Great for consistency in finding Wally faster.

Red Card:

As I said with Delinquent running Red Card would be viable only when both are played in the same deck.

Silent Lab:

Item lock plus Ability lock is one of the ultimate locks which makes Silent Lab somewhat useful in the deck. However, I'm not sure how much better it can be when you have Dimension Valley giving your Pokémon one less Energy to attack.

Double Colorless Energy:

As I said adding these in would warrant then adding in Gengar-EX because sure you can Psychic then Double Colorless to use Tree Slam by turn two. However, you mainly just want to focus on using Silent Fear as much as possible.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article. I'll have another article coming out at the end of the month which should hopefully be on a couple of my State finishes assuming they are worth talking about that is. I'll be at Georgia States this weekend so I'm hoping to see some of you guys there. The three decks I went over will see some play. Some more than others, but I just wanted to give you a feel on a couple of the decks you should prepare for. I think the safest play of the three would have to be Yveltal then Greninja then Trevenant because I expect tons of Yveltal to pop up for week one. And if so just test the mirror so you can get the hang of it.

With that said, if you have any questions then please 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

[+12] okko


 

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