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Jose Marrero

Worlds Talk and a Look at Steam Siege Favorites

Jose goes over three decks for Worlds next month and talks about his Steam Siege favorites.

07/28/2016 by Jose Marrero

Introduction

Hello again, 60cards readers! Now that US Nationals is over and accounted for players will now look towards the World Championships next month. The biggest trend going around at the moment is that Karen is not going to be printed in the new set, Steam Siege. Many people waited anxiously for the final say and were very disappointed especially given that Steam Siege will be legal for Worlds. Now that we know Karen isn't going to be coming out for Worlds means the deck that won US Nationals and many other tournaments may continue to dominate. That deck is in fact Night March. Who knew right? Not only isn't Karen coming out to which would have hopefully gave many other decks a chance against Night March, but now Night March gets Pokémon Ranger which makes it's tough matchups more winnable such as Seismitoad-EX, Giratina-EX and even Jolteon-EX.

So for this next article I'll be talking about three decks going into Worlds and give an analysis on each deck as well as more card options. I'll also go over some of my Steam Siege favorites that I think will be impactful come Worlds. I'm extremely excited to play in Worlds next month and because of this I'm going to be preparing a lot more than previous years because Worlds is the most prestigious event of the year. Who doesn't want to be the World Champion of any given sport or game? Prereleases were this past weekend as well as this weekend so be sure to stack up on what you need before Worlds since you won't have much break time in between Prereleases and Worlds to scramble for cards last minute. To be honest I hate that Pokémon decided to have Steam Siege legal for Worlds because we don't have a lot of time to practice with the new set and also getting cards last minute as I said will be troublesome unless you go to Prereleases.

With that said, let's go over my top 3 favorites from the new set, Steam Siege.

Steam Siege Favorites

Pokemon Ranger

Pokémon Ranger – Trainer
Supporter
Remove all effects of attacks from both players and all Pokémon.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

One of the best cards to come out of Steam Siege. This card is ridiculous in Night March decks. For Pokémon to just give Night March a card that gives them a better matchup against Seismitoad-EX, Giratina-EX, and Jolteon-EX right before Worlds means they basically want it to win again. Like really? Now Worlds is basically going to be a crap shoot on who can run hotter in the Night March mirror or if you aren't running Night March then you’re running some kind of Item lock deck whether it's Seismitoad-EX, Trevenant, or Vileplume because those are the decks that have a chance against Night March. Is Worlds really going to be nothing but Night March and Item lock? Honestly that doesn't sound fun at all. I hope next year Pokémon decides not to let the new set be legal for Worlds especially since it only gives us about three weeks to prepare with the new set given that Prereleases are the next two weekends and Worlds three weekends after that. Still Pokémon Ranger is a great card that will see play in almost every deck.

Ninja Boy

I think this card has a lot of potential. It can be clutch in basically any deck. In Night March if you open Shaymin-EX you can change it into a Night Marcher while shuffling Shaymin-EX back in to reuse later. Or in M Rayquaza-EX decks for when you open Hoopa-EX. Simply turn it into a Rayquaza-EX if you want. Even in Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX decks. You can surprise drop Giratina-EX and power it up on a single turn which if Pokémon Ranger wasn't a thing would be extremely powerful. I'm sure there are other creative ways to make Ninja Boy effective. These are just to name a few.

Captivating Poké Puff

Everyone's first thought when reading this card was probably that it combos well with Zoroark and you would be correct my friend. It only makes sense because Zoroark's Mind Jack attack does more damage depending on how many Pokémon your opponent has on the Bench. Not only that but Captivating Poke ' Puff denies the effects of each Pokémon that go into play due to its effect. Meaning every Shaymin-EX you put on your opponent's Bench due to Captivating Poké Puff gets no effect making their Shaymin-EX's useless. Which is one of the main reasons one of the decks I'll be discussing revolves around Captivating Poké Puff.

Worlds Talk

Analysis

This deck recently won the US National Championships piloted by Nick Robinson who actually didn't even have his invite before Nationals. Nick made a great meta call adding in the Vespiquen lines for Seismitoad-EX decks which were a huge factor on him taking home the title of National Champion. This deck is still a strong play come Worlds because the format won't change much with the new set since Karen wasn't printed in Steam Siege as I said. As you can see the list I presented is quite different than Nick's list. I went with a smaller line of Vespiquen because I wanted to fit a couple Trainer's Mails and realistically you only really need one Vespiquen against Seismitoad-EX since they can't one hit KO it with Quaking Punch and if they use Grenade Hammer to one shot Vespiquen then you are now able to use Items thus making Night March do lethal damage. And because Night March gains Pokémon Ranger means you can get away with running less Vespiquen lines. I myself would still run a 2-2 line for Worlds just in case Water Box still sees a good amount of play. Even though Pokémon Ranger blocks Quaking Punch for a turn doesn't mean it's an autowin by any means because if you’re under Item lock then it's not going to be easy finding Pokémon Ranger. Of course when running a Night March deck you have to keep all the Night Marchers maxed out for max damage. To make the deck more consistent we have three Shaymin-EX and three Unown. The Shaymin are staples in almost every deck, however Unown isn't. But since the deck runs Vespiquen as a backup attacker you then need a decent amount of Pokémon in the discard to make Vespiquen relevant and Unown is the perfect answer since they not only let you draw a card but they go straight in the discard pile when used making Vespiquen do more damage at the same time. I know Nick played four Unown in his Nationals list, but I went down to three to fit other things in.

Moving into the Supporters we have a handful of one-ofs. The non-one-ofs are Professor Sycamore and Lysandre because those are needed for Trevenant decks. I’ve seen most lists running only one Lysandre but for Worlds I believe two Lysandre is needed. Maybe even two Hex Maniac, but I've never been a fan of running more than one Hex Maniac not even in M Rayquaza-EX decks. The one of Supporters are N, AZ, Teammates, Xerosic, Hex Maniac and lastly Pokémon Ranger. N is used for disrupting your opponent's hand if you think they have game next turn or simply to reduce their hand size for greater odds of making them dead draw. AZ is great for picking up Shaymin-EX's especially against the mirror match. Not playing Shaymin-EX against the mirror match as long as possible is the way to go unless you absolutely have to. Teammates is great because once you get enough Night Marchers in the discard then all you need from there on out is Double Colorless Energy and Teammates being able to grab two Puzzle of Time is too good to pass up. Xerosic is still needed for those dreaded Tools such as Fighting Fury Belt so it's easier to one hit KO things and Focus Sash so you’re keeping up on Prize trades. Even being able to discard Special Energy can come in handy for example, stopping Chaos Wheel for a turn can turn the matchup back into your favor. Hex Maniac is needed for those random situations against Pokémon such as Aegislash-EX or simply to slow decks down that rely heavily on Abilities such as Bronzong or Greninja.

Finally we get into Pokémon Ranger a new card from Steam Siege. This card makes Night March even better come Worlds, but at the same time it will have the biggest target on its back after its US Nationals win. As I said, Pokémon Ranger makes some of Night March's matchups even better because Pokémon Ranger remove all effects of attacks from both players and all Pokémon. Meaning effects such as Quaking Punch, Chaos Wheel, and Flash Ray to name a few. Imagine going up against a Giratina-EX or Jolteon-EX knowing you have a card that goes through those lock effects. This now means Giratina-EX and Jolteon-EX should see less play come Worlds making Night March an even bigger threat. Of course when running tons of one of supporters you need to be running four copies of VS Seeker and to make the deck even more consistent you also should be running four Ultra Ball. The deck also runs four Puzzle of Time as I mentioned when discussing Teammates. This card is ridiculous in Night March decks. Being able to get back any two cards from your discard is extremely powerful and much needed whether it's getting back two Double Colorless or VS Seekers. To get Night Marchers in the discard pile easier the deck also runs four Battle Compressors. This card is also great for putting all those one of supporters in the discard so you can VS Seeker them when needed. As I said I wanted to fit a couple Trainer's Mail because they help boost consistency even more so I added two of them in. From Nick's list you can see I dropped a 1-1 Vespiquen line and one Unown making three spots open. Next up are the one of Items that are great in certain situations. Startling Megaphone is needed to get rid of Tools such as Fighting Fury Belt and Focus sash as I said when I discussed Xerosic. Startling Megaphone still gives you a supporter for turn unlike Xerosic.

Also great in the mirror match if the opponent has a Fighting Fury Belted Joltik and you have the option of Sky Returning it and saving your Shaymin-EX from getting KO’d and potentially losing the game. I've added in Target Whistle which Nick didn't run in his Nationals list. I added it in because I expect tons of mirror matches come Worlds and if so then Target Whistle can win games by putting a Shaymin-EX on your opponent's Bench to keep ahead on the Prize trade. Escape Rope I still want to keep even though Pokémon Ranger goes through Jolteon-EX. Escape Rope can come in clutch for when your opponent's Bench is nothing but EX Pokémon and they promoted a non EX to stall for a turn. Town Map I also like because being able to manipulate your Prize Cards is important especially in Night March decks where you need a certain amount of Night Marchers in the discard to do lethal damage and if you Prize a couple Double Colorless Energy then you can simply pick them out of the Prizes one by one if needed. I dropped down to one Dimension Valley because the way I see it if I face the mirror match then they will most likely play it down for you and because the deck plays Vespiquen means you don't necessarily need Dimension Valley at times. Even against Trevenant they will for sure play Dimension Valley down for you.  Then of course four Double Colorless Energy.

Other Card Options

Jirachi XY67:

This card was great before Pokémon Ranger, but now it may not be needed since Chaos Wheel was the deck's biggest issue.

Mew FCO/Basic Energy:

You would have to get rid of the Vespiquen lines to go this route. Mew is great in the mirror match because you have more Energy to do Prize trades and Mew's free Retreat is great in any situation.

Fighting Fury Belt:

Again, going this route means no Vespiquen and with more people playing Startling Megaphone and Xerosic, Fighting Fury Belt probably won't get much use.

Enhanced Hammer:

I dropped this card from Nick's list because now Giratina-EX is no longer a threat due to Pokemon Ranger negating Chaos Wheel.

Special Charge:

This card could be great in a deck like Night March, however is it really?  Maybe in a more straightforward version without Vespiquen since then you have more room to fit it.

Captivating Poké Puff:

This card can be very powerful but at the same time, hit-or-miss. Then again, looking at your opponent's hand in itself is a huge advantage.

Ninja Boy:

This card can turn a Shaymin-EX, Combee, or even Unown into a Night Marcher. Which is very clutch if you happen to open with any of those.

Analysis

The list above is actually one of the Trevenant lists that took Top 8 at US Nationals. The reason I haven't changed a single card is frankly because I think that's how I would run the deck if I were to play it at Worlds. It has a little of everything going for it aside from Bursting Balloons. The Pokémon line is pretty straight forward and consistently should be able to get turn one Trevenant while going first. The deck only has two different starters, Phantump and Shaymin-EX. A 4-4-3 line of Trevenant BREAK is pretty standard. You want the best odds of opening Phantump especially when playing first. You can see this type of Trevenant variant is the one that has all the disruption in it such as Crushing Hammers, Team Flare Grunt, Xerosic, Delinquent, Red Card, and Head Ringers. The core strategy with this build of Trevenant is to simply deny your opponent from attacking thus allowing you to spam Silent Fear until victory. Because of all those disruption cards and having to make room for them all meant that the deck had to dismiss Bursting Balloon altogether which is fine because if your opponent isn't attacking then you will have a field day. There is a handful of supporters in this deck and for good reason. After you have Trevenant's setup all you should be doing from here on out is getting rid of Energy nonstop and making your opponent go through hell and eventually get them into the draw pass chain.

Between Item lock, hand manipulation, and Energy discarding it shouldn't be too hard to take quick games. Maxing out on Professor Sycamore is ideal in a deck like this because you never want to have a dead hand given that the deck does have a lot of dead cards if you really think about it. Three Wally should be enough to get turn one Trevenant's which is the decks bread and butter. A turn one Trevenant should always be your main focus when running any type of Trevenant deck no matter the matchup because then your opponent's turn one will be very limited. Because we don't want to have to discard Trevenant's early on means N is needed and also for late game situations for when N is very useful in forcing low hand dead draws. Lysandre is also needed for situations where you can afford to drag something up and stall for a few turns since they will have a hard time getting that Pokémon out of the active spot while under Item lock. Two Team Flare Grunts because the decks biggest fear is Dark types namely Darkrai-EX. Most times your opponent will want to keep putting Energy on the active Darkrai-EX or else if something that has a huge retreat cost like Giratina-EX gets stuck active then they are done for. Which makes Team Flare Grunt very good versus Darkrai-EX. Xerosic is another Energy disruption card except it only works on Special Energy and can work on the Bench unlike Team Flare Grunt. Also being able to get rid of Fighting Fury Belts can make KO's happen faster. Delinquent is the only card I'm hesitant on. I know it can do wonders for when your opponent's hand is three or less cards and with Red Card it makes sense, but honestly is it really needed? I guess for now it will stay. Four VS Seekers is a no brainer a long with four Ultra Balls.

Four Trainers' Mail is also a must in this deck because they can get basically anything in the deck whether it's a Red Card or Crushing Hammer. Which brings me to the four Crushing Hammers. There's only four of them so make them count. If you can Crushing Hammer and Team Flare Grunt at the same time or Crushing Hammer and Head Ringer at the same time then that's where they shine best. Three Red Cards are great for the ultimate disruption. A turn one Wally along with Red Card can be devastating for the opponent no matter what deck they are playing. Head Ringers are to make EX Pokémon such as Darkrai-EX and M Manectric-EX need an extra Energy to attack and with all of the decks Energy disruption means they won't likely be able to attack for some time if played right. Super Rod is needed to get back Trevenant lines and Basic Energy. Maxing out on Dimension Valley is a must in Trevenant decks because they strive on it to make Silent Fear cost a single Energy. Which brings me to the Energy count which is 7 Basic Psychics because the deck doesn't run Wobbuffet so Mystery Energy isn't needed.

Other Card Options

Wobbuffet/Mystery Energy:

This combo works well against Vileplume decks. Shutting off Vileplume for a turn can give you time to setup. If you open Wobbuffet then Mystery Energy gives it free retreat, which is why you need to run both Mystery Energy and Wobbuffet if you do decide to run Wobbuffet because a stuck Wobbuffet in the active spot is no good if you can't Silent Fear and deny Items.

Absol ROS 40/AZ:

This card was actually played in one of the Trevenant decks that made Top 8 at US Nationals except it didn't run AZ which I think is nice to abuse Absol even more. However, I'm unsure how reliable it is assuming you don't open with it that is.

Weakness Policy:

This card makes it so that Dark types namely Darkrai-EX can't easily one shot Trevenant so that you can get at least one more Silent Fear off before it goes down. Trevenant being alive for an extra turn can make the difference between a win and a loss.

Bursting Balloon:

Great for doing extra damage for when the Pokémon attached to it takes damage. A free 60 damage can matter in the long run, but since the deck focuses more on disruption means Bursting Balloon isn't really needed especially if you are denying your opponent from attacking anyway. Eventually Silent Fear will stack up and take KO's.

Float Stone:

This card isn't needed because even if you open Shaymin-EX all you have to do is retreat for one Energy and if a different Trevenant gets dragged up then you can simply attack with that one and because there's Super Rod, you can get away with discarding some Energy.

Battle Compressor:

Great for putting Wally in the discard turn one if you’re holding a VS Seeker since a turn one Trevenant should be the main focus of the deck as I mentioned before.

Analysis

A buddy of mine, Justin Kulas actually sent me this list and to be honest I like it. It looks super consistent and has a lot of things going for it. I can't really see changing a single card. I believe this deck has a lot of potential going into Worlds next month and for good reasons. If you are like me and predict that Night March and Trevenant will be the most played decks then maybe this is the deck for you. In general this deck has good matchups all around because its core strategy revolves around three cards. Captivating Poké Puff to hopefully put easy EX KO's onto your opponent's Bench namely Shaymin-EX, Target Whistle to put them back onto the Bench when KO’d and finally Lysandre so you can drag them up. Streaming back to back KO's on Shaymin-EX's is a big goal in the deck but at the same time Zoroark's can do big damage against anything especially if Captivating Poké Puff hits more than one Pokémon from hand. Let's go over the Pokémon some more. Because the decks main attacker is Zoroark then running a 4-4-2 line is ideal. You can see I'm running two of each Zorua just to give the deck more options. You never know when Whiny Voice will come in handy more over Moonless Madness. Then of course four Zoroark non BREAK to maximize your odds of finding them.

Two BREAKs should be good enough since most of the time you are going to want to use Mind Jack anyway since that's the big hitter attack which is why Captivating Poké Puff and Target Whistle work well with Mind Jack. Because Night March will see tons of play then what's a better answer than Yveltal. This card one hit KO's both Pumpkaboo and Joltik for a single Dark Energy and at the same time powers up something on the Bench ideally another Yveltal so you can rinse and repeat them to keep the Prize trade going. Even if you miss a turn of attacks and go down on the Prize trade the deck can easily snipe off a Shaymin-EX to bring the Prize trade back into your favor which is something the deck has over most other decks. The decks running just one Fright Night Yveltal even though the deck doesn't run Max Elixir. This Yveltal can come in handy just to set up KO's and the fact that it's a non EX attacker that negates Tools when active can put the opponent in odd situations especially if you drag something up with a big retreat cost. Then of course a couple Shaymin-EX for good measure. Moving on we have a number of Supporters. To max consistency we have four Professor Sycamore. Then two N for even more consistency and so that you don't have to discard too many resources namely Zoroark.

Two Lysandre because like I said before getting those Shaymin-EX KO's thanks to Target Whistle and Captivating Poké Puff is the way to go. Xerosic is nice for Fighting Fury Belts since that extra 40 health can stop Mind Jack from one hit KO’ing things. Hex Maniac is never bad to play so there's just one since you never know when it will come in handy. One Giovanni’s Scheme to give Zoroark even more damage since sometimes you may be 10 or 20 damage short so having Giovanni's Scheme as an option is nice and can surprise the opponent out of nowhere which can be game changing. One Pokémon Ranger for things such as Glaceon-EX and Seismitoad-EX or even Giratina-EX. The some of the more staple cards are VS Seekers, Ultra Balls, and Trainer's Mail. You can see they are all maxed out because they too help with consistency. Being able to reuse supporters thanks to VS Seeker and search out Zoroark thanks to Ultra Ball and get any Item from your top four cards thanks to Trainers' Mail is too good. The Tools of choice are Float Stones so that Zoroark can free retreat in and out at a moment’s notice, Muscle Band so that Zoroark can do more damage with Giovanni's Scheme.

Adding 20 damage to Zoroark's attack can make all the difference between a KO and not a KO which can be extremely game changing. Moving out of the Tools we have one Startling Megaphone because there will be times when you have to get rid of a Tool and use a different supporter other than Xerosic. One Target Whistle which you should already know why at this point. Super Rod of course to get back Zoroark or whatever you need at the time. Or even Basic Energy since there isn't too many of them. Two Captivating Poké Puffs which you should also already know why at this point. But even if Captivating Poké Puff fails to hit a Pokémon just being able to freely see your opponent's hand with no drawback is powerful in today's format. The Stadium of choice is Reverse Valley to give Zoroark even more damage.

Imagine all the extra damage you can do when you combo Mind Jack with Muscle Band, Giovanni's Scheme and Reverse Valley that's an extra 50 damage. And finally the Energy count if five Darks and four Double Colorless. Because Yveltal can get back Dark Energy means five Dark Energy should be fine. Super Rod can just get some Energy back if need be. That's pretty much what this deck is all about. It only really has one main strategy which is obvious. Ever since Captivating Poké Puff was released now I feel that Zoroark decks can bounce back and be competitive especially in a tournament where you only expect to see a low variety of decks which makes Zoroark easy to counter the meta. Even against Vespiquen and Vileplume Zoroark is great against since you run Basic Energy and they don't unless they run Jolteon-EX which now gets countered by Pokémon Ranger.

Other Card Options

Jirachi XY67:

Because the deck runs Basic Energy means Jirachi can take advantage of them. Stalling for a turn or two can come in handy when trying to set up Zoroark. But since Pokémon Ranger is a thing now means Jirachi won't be as useful if it gets countered so easily now.

Yveltal-EX:

You can add one of these in for a secondary attacker, however if you open with it against Night March then you might be done for. Still Yveltal-EX is an overall solid attacker which can also abuse Muscle Band, Giovanni's Scheme and Reverse Valley for greater damage output.

AZ:

Picking Shaymin-EX back up can be worth it against other decks that abuse Target Whistle and Captivating Poké Puff you just have to make sure Shaymin-EX isn't in your hand anymore when facing opposing Captivating Poké Puffs.

Puzzle of Time:

Overall a great card in a deck like this since it allows you to get back Target Whistle and Captivating Poké Puff. Both these cards put your opponent on tilt because if they have a Shaymin-EX in the discard pile then you can Target Whistle it onto the Bench and if they have it in their hand then you can Captivating Poké Puff it onto the Bench. So it's basically a lose-lose situation if you really think about it.

Battle Compressor:

Because the deck runs a number of unique Supporters, Battle Compressor can come in handy. Battle Compressor is just an overall consistency card as well since if you open with one and a VS Seeker then you're set. Being able to put Darkness Energy in the discard for Oblivion Wing is nice as well.

 

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article. All three decks are pretty good you just have to figure out which one suits your playstyle better. For me I personally like Night March over the others just because it's simpler and has the potential to one hit KO most things. I'm a M Rayquaza player so I love the idea of one shotting things. Trevenant will see lots of play to try and counter Night March decks and Zoroark decks in general will see some play but not too much since the deck isn't as popular as the others. If you see me at Worlds next month be sure to come say hello or take a picture with me. I love meeting knew people and just having a great time. I'll have another article coming out in about a week and then next month I'll have two more so don't miss out on those when they are published. If you’re playing in Worlds next month just be sure to have fun even if you don't do well because there are tons of people that would happily take your spot. 

Honestly I can't wait to play some Pokémon GO at Worlds assuming there is time because I hear there are crazy finds there namely Tauros which I still need. I haven't found one yet and I know a bunch of my buddies are going to be playing as well. So who wants to go Pokémon GO hunting with me?  With that said, if you have any questions about these lists or decks 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

[+6] okko


 

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