Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

A Closer Look at the Arizona Regional Finalist Decks

Jose goes over the two decks that made the Finals at the Arizona Regional Championship.

10/05/2016 by Jose Marrero


Hello once again, 60cards readers! This next article will be a short one covering the finals of the Arizona Regional Championship that took place last weekend. I'm going to give a brief analysis of both of the Finalists' decks as well as give more options for both decks. The two finalists of Arizona Regionals were Drew Kennett who ended up in first and William Hermann who took second. Drew was piloting Greninja and William was piloting Trevenant. These games were streamed, and I will be posting a Twitch link to the finals match at the end so you can see how the games played out. I'll also be posting William's Second Place interview with The Chaos Gym. In my opinion, after watching the series live both players played to the best of their ability with Drew coming out on top on a very clutch comeback in game three.

Wth that said. let's briefly go over Drew's Greninja list.


Many people didn't expect Greninja to go so far, let alone three in Top 8 and two in Top 4. Drew went with three Froakie, which has become the new standard wit four Talonflame. Going down to three Froakie means that there are now better odds of opening with Talonflame, which is what the deck wants to achieve. Talonflame's Ability, Gale Wings, let's you have the option of starting Talonflame as your Active Pokémon should you have it in hand when setting up. Talonflame has free Retreat which is already awesome, but on top of that, its attack, Aero Blitz is what makes it fit perfectly in the deck. For a single Colorless Energy, Talonflame searches your deck for any 2 cards and puts them into your hand. Aero Blitz is ridiculously good versus Trevenant decks because you can search for whatever you need at the time to counter Trevenant. Aero Blitz also has a base damage of 40 which can be relevant most of the time. Its 130 HP is no slouch either, making Talonflame a great addition to Greninja builds in both Expanded and Standard.

You may also notice Drew didn't run any XY Greninja. My guess is that Drew loved the free Retreat too much, along with always having the option for Shadow Stitching at a moment's notice. And in Expanded, there are tons of things you can use Shadow Stitching against such as the Greninja mirror match, Bats, and even Mew. The rest of the Pokémon line is pretty standard so let's jump into some of the Supporter inclusions.

Drew ran not one but two Ace Trainer. Drew really valued the sheer power Ace Trainer provides because Greninja decks take a few turns to set up so it almost always gives up a Prize or two before it gets going and bringing your opponent's hand size to three can really cripple them. Teammates is another great Supporter in the deck for similar reasons. Being able to search for any two cards can matter between a win or a loss in the long run. Drew didn't play any Energy Retrievals but instead went with a single copy of Fisherman which I like because once you find Fisherman, you have it to your disposal whenever you need to use it. Fisherman also works through Item-lock, which is another reason why it's great in this deck. Moving out of the Supporters, Drew went with three Bursting Balloons. This card is great for adding extra damage and forcing the opponent to either take the 60 damage or Lysandre around it, and if that's the case, then that Greninja is out of harm's way. It's basically a win-win situation for Greninja. Between Giant Water Shurikens and Bursting Balloons, you will be taking Prizes in no time. Two Muscle Bands were also in Drew's list which adds even more damage, but more importantly, a Muscle Banded Greninja can one-hit KO things such as Garbodor, which is actually relevant. I also like Sacred Ash over Super Rod in this deck because you want to keep swarming Greninja as often as you can, and getting five Pokémon instead of three in a deck like this is ideal.

Drew played Startling Megaphone over Tool Scrapper which makes sense because if your opponent has more than two Tools, you want to be able to get rid of them all at once whether they are Float Stones or Fighting Fury Belts. You can see there's one random Ultra Ball in Drew's list which is probably to get rid of excess Talonflame because after the first turn, they are useless. Drew also played two copies of Rare Candy, which can make for easier swarming of Greninja. Last but not least, Drew played just two Rough Seas, which I personally don't like because those are how you win the Trevenant matchup and Trevenant decks usually always play four Stadiums, so if they win the Stadium war, you can be in serious trouble. However, Drew still beat Trevenant in the Finals with two Rough Seas so maybe two is enough. Lastly, there is a single copy of Splash Energy which puts back the whole Pokémon line it's attached to back into your hand once KO'd. Splash Energy can be very helpful, however, you can't use it to Giant Water Shuriken, which is okay since Drew ran nine Basic Waters. The other downside is that Splash Energy can't be used on Talonflame, which, again, Drew was fine with. The rest of Drew's list is pretty standard as far as I see it.

Other card options

Greninja XY:

As I mentioned above Drew opted not to run one of the XY Greninja simply because he wanted to have free Retreat on all of his Greninja as well as always having the option to Shadow Stitching when necessary. Even though the XY Greninja gives you an extra Water Shuriken for 30 damage Drew felt that it was better to stop your opponent from using Abilities every turn.

Jirachi XY67:

Great card against Night March decks, however this is another Pokemon that isn't needed to win games. Also, since Drew plays four Talonflame, he wanted fewer Basic Pokémon, hence only running three Froakie instead of four. Opening Talonflame is ideal in this deck so having other Basics can potentially hinder this strategy.

Pokémon Ranger:

This card hands down can win the mirror match because it shuts off the opponent's Shadow Stitch effect.


I think having the option to Lysandre is a big deal because as I said, Garbodor can cripple this deck, and with Lysandre and Muscle Band, a Greninja can one-shot Garbodor.


I noticed Drew's list literally has no answer to Archeops, which could have been a problem. Obviously it wasn't since Drew won, but maybe that's because he dodged many of them. I know he did tie against an Archeops deck. In Expanded Yveltal-EX/Archeops decks are everywhere and I think at least having a Wally to use more than once is ideal.

Buddy-Buddy Rescue:

This card can act as a fourth Froakie in a sense. On top of that, it can also get back Greninja, whether the BREAK or non-BREAK so adding in a Buddy-Buddy Rescue can be clutch when used at the right moment.


I'm not surprised to see a Trevenant deck make it all the way to the Finals after it won Florida and Georgia Regionals, to be honest. I'm actually a fan of William's list. I like that it has lots of things going for it between Enhanced Hammers, and Team Flare Grunts. The Pokémon line looks to be quite standard and I personally wouldn't change it. Mewtwo-EX is great in the deck because it's the perfect answer to Shaymin loops, not with X-Ball, but Psydrive. Two energy attachments with Dimension Valley equals a KO'd Shaymin-EX. Sure, N can stop the loops as well but Mewtwo-EX basically says "play something else down or lose next turn". Having the Mewtwo threat makes games go faster. Jirachi-EX is definitely needed in this deck because it can search for that turn-one Wally, making life easier. Wobbuffet as a backup attacker I like to clean up lategame. Wobbuffet is also a great attacker versus Yveltal-EX because it's attack, Psychic Assault can do lethal damage once they have enough damage on them to one-hit KO while at the same time denying Abilities.

If you can't Item-lock then Ability-lock is the next option. Even opening Wobbuffet when going second can cripple the opponent with a dead hand since they can't use Shaymin. The deck runs both Float Stone and Mystery Energy so you should be able to still get Wobbuffet out of the Active for a turn-one Trevenant lock. Two Team Flare Grunts are great against Yveltal decks since they are Trevenant's Kryptonite. Everytime the Yveltal player attaches to the Active, then Team Flare Grunt will do wonders. The two Enhanced Hammers are also great because imagine using Team Flare Grunt in conjunction with Enhanced Hammer on the Active Pokémon. This combo can truly be game changing. The rest of the list looks pretty standard.

Other card options

Absol ROS:

Sometimes Trevenant can have excess damage on the field so adding in Absol can make some of that damage be useful elsewhere and take surprise KOs.


Great against Garbodor since if they get a turn one Float Stone there isn't much you can do unless you Lysandre and Tree Slam it. So having Xerosic can make Trevenant's Item-lock active again. William said he wanted Xerosic in the deck.


William had this card in his list at first, but when he dropped it he forgot to add the second Lysandre, so he was forced to add a ninth Energy instead, which was his decklist error.


Because Trevenant BREAK can use Silent Fear for a single Psychic Energy with Dimension Valley means the deck can afford to AZ up and get rid of that one Energy while healing off the damage from Trevenant BREAK and going into a fresh one. AZ can also be great to pick up Shaymin off the Bench and to reuse Absol if you play it.

Trainers' Mail:

Great for consistency, however William didn't have any room for them because of all the techs like Enhanced Hammers, and Team Flare Grunts.

Crushing Hammer:

Between Enhanced Hammers and multiple Team Flare Grunts meant that Crushing Hammers weren't needed in William's eyes and if you think about it, it's true because both Enhanced Hammer and Team Flare Grunt can guarantee an Energy-removal while Crushing Hammers are flip effects which aren't always reliable.

Head Ringer:

In Expanded there are more Item-lock based decks such as Trevenant, Vileplume and Seismitoad-EX and having Head Ringers can be dead cards against these decks, but Team Flare Grunt can still be active against the decks I mentioned. Head Ringers are great against Seismitoad-EX and Yveltal-EX, however Trevenant has a great matchup against Seismitoad-EX based decks anyway and against Yveltal-EX based decks a Head Ringer probably won't do too much unless you also play Crushing Hammers to combo them with. Head Ringers are also great against Shaymin loops, but I've never been a fan for that reason since N stops the loops too.

Eco Arm:

Great card for getting back Bursting Balloons and even Float Stones. Sure it's a dead card early on, but lategame when you put back two or more Bursting Balloons it can matter.

Down below is William's interview thanks to The Chaos Gym.

Feel free to check out the finals match down below which is on the Twitch platform. 

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this short article on the finalist decks of Arizona Regionals. I'll have another article before Florida Regionals next weekend so be sure to look out for that. That article will be on three under-the-radar decks for Florida Regionals which you don't want to miss. Don't forget to check out The Chaos Gym on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch for updates. More and more content should be coming as usual. I hope to see many of you next weekend. With that said, if you have any questions about these lists or deck in general 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!


[+7] okko


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