08/13/2016 by Jose Marrero
Table of contents
Hello again 60cards readers! With the Pokemon World Championships just one week away, I wanted to talk about two more decks that can potentially perform well come Worlds. In my last article I talked about three decks for Worlds already, but now I want to go over some more to give you guys more deck options in case you are stumped on what you may see or are having a hard time deciding on what to play. Hopefully with my last and this article you should get a feel on what you are going to be playing whether or not it's one of the five decks I've discussed or a deck that counters most of them. So for this next article I'll also be giving an analysis, other deck options, as well as talk about some of each of the decks matchups I go over.
It all depends on your own playstyle on how you want the decks to function which is why I'll be adding more card options for each deck as I said so you can change each list to your personal liking. I've actually never been to San Francisco California and to be honest I'm extremely excited for Worlds. Not only to compete, but more importantly to have fun with friends I don't get to see often. I know Pokémon GO is crazy up there so I'm definitely looking forward to playing with friends when there is time outside of the main event. Of course the main event is more important, but again just have fun and make the most of it since Worlds is the most prestigious event of the year.
With that said, let's talk about the first deck of the article, Vespiquen/Vileplume.
- 4x Combee
- 4x Vespiquen
- 3x Oddish
- 2x Gloom
- 2x Vileplume
- 3x Unown
- 1x Bunnelby
- 4x Shaymin EX
- 1x Jolteon EX
- 1x Aegislash EX
- 3x Professor Sycamore
- 1x N-supporter
- 2x Lysandre
- 2x AZ
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Revitalizer
- 4x Forest of Giant Plants
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
- 3x Lightning Energy
This deck has potential at Worlds because it can compete with most if not all the top decks of the format at the moment such as, Night March, Water Toolbox, and even Trevenant which I'll get into the decks matchups later. The core strategy with this deck is to get a turn 1 Vileplume with a Float Stone attached to it so that it's not vulnerable to Lysandre stalling. Doing so put's the opponent on tilt knowing they can't use Items anymore unless they play Hex Maniac or KO the Vileplume. After this your main attacker is Vespiquen which pairs perfectly with Vileplume because you will be able to discard excess Pokémon such as, the rest of the Vileplume lines in order to achieve a higher damage output with Vespiquen and because the opponent is under Item lock means they will have a hard time answering a swarm of Vespiquen. A turn 1 Vileplume can essentially beat any deck which is the main reason this deck is so strong for Worlds. Let's go over the Pokémon counts more specifically. A 4-4 Vespiquen is standard because as I said it's the decks main attacker. I went with a 3-2-2 Vileplume, however it's just a personal opinion. You can bump the count even higher if you think you may not be able to get a turn 1 lock with a 3-2-2 line. But in my opinion that should be enough because even if you have to discard both Vileplume early on then there's Revitalizer to get them back. I also went with three Unown which act as two things. The first and the obvious one is that you get to draw a free card for discarding it and the second is that once discarded or used it now fuels Bee Revenge even more. Of course running four would be better, however I wanted to make room for other tech cards. Which brings me to the one of Bunnelby, Aegislash-EX and Jolteon-EX.
Bunnelby comes in clutch for when you have to get back important resources such as Double Colorless Energy or Supporters such as, AZ and Lysandre or even to just deck your opponent out with a surprise drop if they have two cards left in deck. With the deck also running Basic Energies means Bunnelby is even more worth it since you don't necessarily have to attach a Double Colorless Energy to attack with it. As a backup attacker which is solely for the Night March matchup we have the one Jolteon-EX as I mentioned. Jolteon-EX is also great against Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX and Water Toolbox because their attackers are all Basic Pokémon. I know a lot of you are probably asking why Jolteon-EX when Pokémon Ranger is a thing and that indeed is a great question. However because of Vileplume keeping the opponent under Item lock means they most likely will only get to use Pokémon Ranger once and they have to make it count and being under Item lock means they won't find it easy and if they had to discard Pokémon Ranger early also means they can't VS Seeker for it. That's just my two cents on the matter. Then of course four Shaymin-EX so you can run through the deck to get that turn one Vileplume lock. The deck runs through itself on the first turn since you want to hopefully keep usable cards in the deck after the first turn and get rid of all the Items since you won't likely be using them and will likely be dead cards after the first turn so going through half the deck or more on the first turn is ideal and what you want the deck to accomplish. Just make sure you keep all the Energies and Supporters unless you desperately have to discard them.
The addition of Aegislash-EX is a personal opinion as well because my reasoning on adding it is for the mirror match. I expect to see quite a few Vespiquen/Vileplume variants at Worlds so if they don't run Basic Energies they you can potentially force a free win. Also great against decks in general that rely heavily on Special Energy such as, Giratina-EX decks and Night March decks as I said and because they are under Item lock also means they will have a difficult time dealing with Aegislash-EX. Because this deck doesn't run VS Seekers means it needs to run a good amount of Supporters. Which as you can see I went with three Professor Sycamore because you’re most likely using one on the first turn. As I said before you are going to want to and need to go through as much of the deck as you can on the first turn because once Vileplume hits the field most of the deck will be useless other than Energy and Supporters. I'm still unsure if the one of N is even needed but it's another draw Supporter so I don't think you can go wrong with keeping it in. You never know when a late game N plus Item lock can cripple the opponent. Two AZ and two Lysandre is ideal since the deck doesn't run VS Seekers as I mentioned. AZ is great for when you have no Float Stone on your Vileplume. Or to simply reuse your Shaymin-EXs while under Item lock yourself. Even if the opponent plays Aegislash-EX to try and stall you out for a cheap win you can just Lysandre around it which is why two Lysandre is great.
If you see that both AZ and Lysandre are in the discard already then that's what Bunnelby is for. As you can see that's it as far as the Supporters go. Then there's the standard four Ultra Ball, Battle Compressor and Trainers' Mail. These are all consistency cards in digging through as much of the deck as possible. The Tool of choice is two Float Stones as I said to insure that Vileplume has free Retreat since its Retreat cost is troublesome. Then there's two Revitalizers as I mentioned earlier to get back any two Grass Pokémon in your discard whether it's a Vespiquen line or part of the Vileplume line. A nice combo you can do to basically insure you get a turn one Vileplume lock or Vespiquen attacking is to purposely discard the lines early on with Battle Compressor and once you find Revitalizer you then can snag them out of the discard. Just make sure to wait on Vileplume before doing so since it's can Item of course. The Stadium of choice is of course four Forest of Giant Plants which is the bread and butter of the deck because without it this deck wouldn't be possible seeing how it's the only way to get a turn one Vileplume. Finally the Energy count is the standard four Double Colorless and because of Jolteon-EX three Lightning.
This card is great since it not only has free Retreat, but its Ability lets you put it as your Active starter Pokémon. However, its attack Aero Blitz is the main reason it can potential deserve a spot in the deck. For just a single Colorless Energy Aero Blitz lets you search your deck for ANY TWO cards and put them into your hand. Aero Blitz also has a base of 40 damage which makes it even better since this attack can one hit KO Joltik at the same time. And if for some reason you don't open with any of the Talonflame then you can simply discard them with Battle Compressor to fuel Bee Revenge even more. Personally I wouldn't run Talonflame if your running only Double Colorless Energy.
This card is great against Giratina-EX, however Jirachi gets countered by Pokémon Ranger now so I'm unsure if it's even worth playing Jirachi anymore. Don't get me wrong Jirachi can still be clutch especially if you’re running Basic Energy as well. Jirachi can also come in handy versus Night March since Item-lock plus Energy removal usually cripples Night March.
Great card for the times where you may have to discard too many Double Colorless Energy, however with Bunnelby being in the deck then Special Charge isn't really needed. It's still a nice option to consider though.
Water Toolbox - Highly Favorable
This matchup should be straight forward and should be one of the decks best matchups. Seismitoad-EX is weak to Vespiquen which can easily one hit KO Seismitoad-EX and every other Pokémon in the Water Toolbox deck. Regice doesn't effect Vespiquen since it's an evolution, however Articuno can potentially steal two prizes, but it still won't be enough to take down Vespiquen/Vileplume especially while under Item lock. Just make sure Vileplume has a Float Stone attached to it before evolving into it and if not then make sure you have AZ left.
Trevenant - Even
Basically whoever goes first in this matchup wins the game since whoever gets the Item lock down first has the huge advantage. This is why this matchup is even at best. With Trevenant decks not running Wobbuffet anymore due to not having room because of all the disruption cards and wanting to always open Phantump means Vespiquen/Vileplume has an even matchup against Trevenant now. Still this matchup can go either way.
Night March (with or without Vespiquen) - Highly Favorable
Either which way Vespiquen/Vileplume has a great matchup versus any Night March variant whether it's with Vespiquen or not. Especially even more so now that Jolteon-EX and Aegislash-EX are in the deck as WIN MORE cards. A turn one Vileplume against Night March slows them down tremendously. They will have to rely on Hex Maniac and Pokémon Ranger to have a chance in the matchup. Even if they do manage to find those needed Supporters then only get to use them once each unless it's Hex Maniac then they can VS Seeker for them back, but still it's not going to be an easy task.
Yveltal/Zoroark - Even
This matchup is tricky because a swarm of Zoroark can handle a swarm of Vespiquen. Both are stage 1 Pokémon and one hit KO each other for a single Double Colorless Energy which is why I say the matchup is even. However, if the Vespiquen/Vileplume player goes first with a turn one Vileplume well then it's obviously in Vespiquen's favor at that point. I talk about this deck in my last article so feel free to check it out and see what you think of the matchup.
Volcanion/Flareon-EX - Highly Unfavorable
This matchup is easily in Volcanion's favor because Volcanion only needs a single Fire Energy on it to do a base of 20 damage and with weakness it does 40. However, all you need is one Volcanion-EX ability and now Volcanion is doing a base of 50 damage times two is 100 enough to one hit KO Vespiquen. Not only that but Volcanion's attack, Power Heater powers up two Benched Pokémon which is great even under Item lock. Volcanion also has 130 HP and with Fighting Fury Belt assuming you went first puts it at 170 HP which Vespiquen can have a hard time dealing with and makes it more troublesome since Volcanion is a non EX that can potentially stream one shot for a single Fire Energy as I said.
Vespiquen/Vileplume Mirror Match - Even to Highly Favorable
I say even because whoever gets the first Vileplume up wins the matchup hands down. And highly favorable because of Aegislash-EX and them hopefully not running Basic Energies can win you the game by stalling and only attacking with Aegislash-EX.
With that said, let's now go over a deck that made it to the Top 4 at US Nationals last month, Water Toolbox.
- 2x Manaphy EX
- 3x Seismitoad EX
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 1x Glaceon EX
- 1x Hoopa EX
- 1x Articuno
- 1x Regice
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 2x N-supporter
- 2x Lysandre
- 1x AZ
- 1x Xerosic
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 1x Ninja Boy
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Max Elixir
- 3x Trainer's Mail
- 3x Energy Switch
- 3x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Super Rod
- 4x Rough Seas
- 11x Water Energy
This deck recently took third place at the 2016 US National Championships piloted by Paul Johnston who was stopped by the eventual winner, Nick Robinson playing Night March with a 3-3 Vespiquen line. The strategy with this deck is to hopefully get a turn one Quaking punch going thanks to cards such as, Manaphy-EX to give whatever is active that's not Seismitoad-EX free retreat, Energy Switch so that you can put the active Pokemon's Water Energy onto a benched Seismitoad-EX, and Max Elixir so that you can power up Seismitoad-EX on the bench and any other Basic attackers of choice. While the deck can easily get a turn one Quaking Punch, but it also can stream back to back Grenade Hammers if need be which is another reason the deck is so powerful. A turn one Quaking Punch followed by a turn two Grenade Hammer is hard to compete with. But you only Grenade Hammer if you absolutely have to since you don't really want to break the Item lock unless necessary. Let's talk about the Pokemon some more. The main attacker is obviously Seismitoad-EX which is why there's three of them. Four is probably overkill because you want to have Seismitoad-EX on the bench so that Max Elixir can target them seeing as the deck only runs Water Energy. Two Manaphy-EX because again giving your Pokemon free retreat should they have a Water Energy attached to them is extremely good. Going back and forth from attackers is a nice option to have for basically no draw back. Manaphy-EX's attack, Mineral Pump is actually really good versus Trevenant decks because it basically keeps Silent Fear in check.
The opponent would have to Tree Slam Manaphy-EX twice to KO it and with Rough Seas I doubt Manaphy is getting two shotted because your now healing 60 damage at a time. Two Shaymin-EX to help with consistency issues. One Glaceon-EX because it can potential lock up decks that rely on evolutions such as Vespiquen or Zoroark. Crystal Ray can come in clutch at times, however now with Pokemon Ranger maybe Glaceon-EX isn't worth it. But I mean it's only one spot in the deck so it shouldn't effect the consistency much. One Hoopa-EX is great in this deck because it let's you get your main attacker (Seismitoad-EX), free retreater (Manaphy-EX), and draw engine (Shaymin-EX) all at once making Hoopa-EX very much needed. Then for the non EX Pokemon we have one Articuno and one Regice. Articuno is great against Night March decks because it's attack, Tri Edge can take two prizes at once on both Joltik and Pumpkaboo. Even it's first attack, Chilling Sigh can come in handy. For example against Jolteon-EX, since it can take effects of attacks just not damage so if they stay asleep then you can now do damage to it. Regice can come in handy against Jolteon-EX as well to force a stalemate in which both players try and force the other to deck out first. Regice's, Resistence Blizzard can steal games against decks that rely heavily on EX Pokemon such as, M Rayquaza-EX or Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX. Even it's first attack, Ice Beam can again be useful against Jolteon-EX to potentially paralyze it for a turn. Moving into the Supporters we have quite a few. To max consistency we have four Professor Sycamore which is also great while being under Item-lock.
Two N as well since Item Lock plus a late game N can cripple the opponent into a dead hand. Two Lysandre because the combination of Lysandre and Quaking Punch is very strong and being able to take back to back KO's on benched Pokémon with Grenade Hammer can win games. One AZ in case you need to heal off a Seismitoad-EX or simply put a Shaymin-EX back into your hand so that it doesn't get picked off by Lysandre. One Xerosic is great especially against Night March since sometimes they want to keep as many energy on board as possible due to Item Locking making it more difficult to find Double Colorless Energy. Xerosic is also great for getting rid of Fighting Fury Belts or even Focus Sashes for easier one hit KO's. Hex Maniac is always that card that you probably don't use much, however when the time presents itself to be very useful then your glad you kept it in which is why there is a one of. Next up we have a new Supporter from the new set, Steam Siege. That Supporter is Ninja Boy. In this deck I believe Ninja Boy deserves a spot which is one of the main reasons I'm keeping Glaceon-EX. You can basically surprise drop any attacker of choice with the right amount of energies for example, against Night March a surprise Articuno into Seismitoad-EX thanks to Ninja Boy can win games and vice versa. Having the option to drop down a fully powered Glaceon-EX out of nowhere can come in handy. It's going to be exciting to see what combos people come up with to make Ninja Boy have a place in decks. Some staple non Supporters are of course the usual four VS Seekers, and Ultra Balls.
Then there's four Max Elixirs as I said to help fuel Benched Basic Pokémon namely Seismitoad-EX. I wanted to fit four Trainers' Mail but space was so tight as is. Paul ran three as well so I guess you don't necessarily need the fourth one. But Trainers Mails are great for searching out key cards such as, Max Elixir and Energy Switch to make getting a turn one Quaking Punch for efficiently. Which brings me to the three Energy Switch. I think running four may be a bit too much since you only really need to Energy Switch once or twice in a game. One being turn one and the other being for a surprise Articuno hit or Regice lock. The Tools of choice are just three Fighting Fury Belts since every Pokémon in the deck is a Basic Pokémon. Giving a Seismitoad-EX 40 more HP makes it even more troublesome to take down. Both Regice and Articuno jump up to 160 HP respectively as well. For non EX's 160 HP is nothing to slack against. There isn't any Float Stones since Manaphy-EX is essentially the decks unlimited Float Stones in a sense. Super Rod is great since there's just one of each tech attacker, Glaceon-EX, Regice, and Articuno so having the option to get them back is ideal. Also getting back three Water Energies in case you have too many in the discard is awesome as well. The Stadium of choice is Rough Seas since most of the decks Pokémon are in fact Water types other than Shaymin-EX. I kept it at four since I expect a handful of Trevenant decks which you have to win the Stadium war against in order to win and negate Silent Fear's damage output every turn. Finally there's a whopping eleven Water Energy to give the deck better odds of Max Elixir being successful.
Its attack, Aqua Turbo can help power up attackers on the bench. Palkia-EX actually can combo nicely with Ninja Boy since then it doesn't really matter what you Aqua Turbo onto and if your bench is just a Shaymin-EX or something you don't want to attach to then that's where Ninja Boy shines since now you can turn that Shaymin-EX into whatever Basic Pokémon you want. Its second attack, Pearl Hurricane isn't too bad since it does a solid 120 damage and 30 damage to something on the bench. I can see a scenario where you Grenade Hammer an EX up to 140 with Fighting Fury Belt and then Ninja Boy into Palkia-EX to pick it off from the Bench.
This card was mainly used or its Frozen Charm ability which was helpful against Greninja decks given that Froakie can paralyze. However, its attack, Crystal Breath is no slouch since it has a base damage of 160 and with Fighting Fury Belt it jumps to 170 enough to one hit KO most relevant EX's.
Team Flare Grunt:
Great against decks such as Night March, Giratina-EX and even in the mirror match because against Night March it forces them to have another Double Colorless Energy while still being under Item Lock. Against Giratina-EX you can discard either a Dark or Double Dragon Energy and while under Item Lock may keep them from finding another to attack with.
Similar to that of Team Flare Grunt and Xerosic, Enhanced Hammer can just come in clutch at any time whether it's against Night March or Giratina-EX again as I said. Energy removal cards are always good versus those two decks.
If your opponent manages to get down Tools then a clutch Startling Megaphone can come in handy whether it's to get rid of opposing Fighting Fury Belts to make for easier KO's or removing a Tool off Garbodor so Manaphy-EX's effect stays active.
Adding in this card can help find the one of Supporters such as, AZ, Xerosic, Hex Maniac, and Ninja Boy easier. Even early on a turn one Battle Compressor is extremely powerful given that you also have a VS Seeker to combo it with.
Trevenant - Favorable
This matchup is favorable mainly because of the four Rough Seas and two Manaphy-EX. Being able to negate all the damage that Silent Fear does is huge. Not only that but Grenade Hammer can one hit KO a non BREAK Trevenant which is huge as well. This matchup might even be better than just favorable, but for now I'l keep it at that because that's how I feel the matchup is from what happened at US Nationals.
Night March/Vespiquen - Highly Unfavorable
This matchup is hands down unfavorable because Vespiquen eats up all the Pokemon in this deck especially Seismitoad-EX since it's weak to Grass. At US Nationals top 4 it was Night March/Vespiquen versus Water Toolbox and the Water Toolbox deck got destroyed since the Night March/Vespiquen player by the name of Nick Robinson who is now the 2016 US National Champion ran a 3-3 line of Vespiquen.
Yveltal/Zoroark - Favorable
This matchup should be favorable because Zoroark doesn't really do much damage against a decent Seismitoad-EX player since all they have to do is limit their bench and because of Item Lock the Zoroark player can't fill the bench up from cards such as, Captivating Poke Puff and Target Whistle. Yveltals don't really do much damage because of Rough Seas. Most of that damage from Oblivion Wing will just get healed off. However, Zoroark BREAK can come in handy since it can use Quaking Punch and Grenade Hammer for a single Dark Energy. Then again a Fighting Fury Belted Seismitoad-EX can just one hit KO a Zoroark BREAK for a perfect 140 damage.
Volcanion/Flareon-EX - Highly Favorable
Extremely favorable given that Volcanion and Flareon-EX are weak to Water. A Fighting Fury Belted Seismitoad-EX should have a field day against this deck. And Grenade Hammer one hit KO's everything in the deck as well.
That's all I have for you guys at the moment. I believe both decks can go far come Worlds. I hope this article gave you a better understanding on how both decks function and how to counter them. Now it's up to you on how you want to make the lists to your own personal liking. I think personally for me if Worlds were tomorrow and I had to choose one of these two decks I would go with Vespiquen/Vileplume because it has a better Night March matchup. Sure Trevenant will be a little more troublesome but like I said that matchup basically ends up being whoever goes first and gets the turn one Item Lock winning. As I mentioned in my last article if you see me at Worlds next week than be sure to come say hi or ask to take a picture with me. It's always a blast meeting new people from other countries. I'll have one more article coming out right before Worlds so be sure to keep a look out for when it's published. If you are like me and are participating in the World Championships then good luck to you and I hope you place well.
As I mentioned in the introduction I can't wait to meet up with some buddies to play some Pokémon GO when we have time. There's still a few Pokémon I'm missing I know I can catch in San Francisco. 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!
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