Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

A Closer Look at the Dallas Regional Finalist Decks

Jose goes over the two decks that made the Finals at the Dallas Regional Championship last weekend.

01/09/2017 by Jose Marrero


With Georgia Regionals creeping closer I wanted to briefly talk about the two finalist decks of Dallas Regionals. Georgia will also be played in the Standard format. I'm pretty sure people did not expect these two decks in the finals. Sun and Moon will not be out yet so a lot of players will surely look to what ended up performing well in previous Standard tournaments. Xander Pero ended up taking down the new GOAT, Igor Costa, the 2012 TCG World Champion, with ease seeing as Igor. M Gardevoir is a virtual auto-win against M Mewtwo, and Igor had already beaten one M Gardevoir in Top 4, so his luck simply ran out. It's tough to beat your auto loss twice in a row, and so Xander became this year's Dallas Regional Champion. M Mewtwo-EX struggles against M Gardevoir-EX (Despair Ray) simply because of weakness and the fact that it takes M Mewtwo-EX five energy to revenge KO M Gardevoir-EX back.

With that said, let's go over Xander Pero's winning list, M Gardevoir-EX.

M Gardevoir-EX

Xander Pero just moved up to Masters and to have won a 500+ man Regionals fresh off a new season is an incredible feat to achieve so hats off to Xander. Let's talk about Xander's Pokemon counts. Most players play a 3-3 line of M Gardevoir-EX which is fine. You don't really need any more than that just like in M Rayquaza-EX decks. You play the Luminous Blade Gardevoir-EX because it can one hit KO a Fighting Fury Belted Giratina-EX, unlike the Shining Wind one. M Gardevoir-EX's attack, Despair Ray, is what makes the deck so good. For just two energy it has a base damage of 110 which is just enough to one hit KO M Mewtwo-EX. Not only that but Despair Ray adds an additional 10 damage for each Benched Pokemon you discard which maxes out at 190 damage if you have Sky Field (and eight Benched Pokemon). Similar to that of M Rayquaza-EX, the deck has to run four Shaymin-EX for consistency and max draw power. To help get back Pokemon that were discarded from Despair Ray, there is also two Dragonite-EX which has an ability called Pull Up, which once you play Dragonite-EX from your hand onto your Bench, you may put 2 Basic Pokemon from your discard into your hand, not including Dragonite-EX. Pull Up can either grab two more Pokemon for extra damage or help you to continue to set up your board and continue your onslaught by grabbing previously discarding Shaymin EX or Hoopa EX.

There is also two Hoopa-EX as I mentioned since it allows you to grab 3 EX Pokemon from your deck, not including Hoopa-EX. It's ability, Scoundrel Ring can get multiple Gardevoir-EX, Shaymin-EX, or even Dragonite-EX if need be which fits nicely in this type of deck.The consistency that running 4 Shaymin-EX, 2 Dragonite-EX, and 2 Hoopa-EX provides makes it no wonder M Gardevoir-EX took up half of the Top 8 in Dallas. It was a smart meta call given that M Mewtwo-EX also rose in stature. Some of the smaller techs of the deck that Xander played were both Hawlucha and Rattata. Because Despair Ray maxes out at 190 damage means you can't one hit KO most Pokemon EX with a Fighting Fury Belt attached. Rattata is a nice solution around that. Rattata's ability, Mischievous Fang, lets you discard all Tools attached to your opponent's active Pokemon when Rattata is benched. Hawlucha's Sudden Cyclone ability forces the opponent to switch their active Pokemon with one of their benched Pokemon when Hawlucha is benched. Moving out of the Pokemon, Xander played a standard supporter line with one exception. Xander decided to play three Professor Sycamore instead of the usual four most people run in this deck. This is probably because Xander wanted to try and hold off on having to discard some resources which you can't blame him for. I like his choice of two N because late game they can be dead cards to you, and this deck quickly takes leads in many games. One Hex Maniac helps to mitigate the Volcanion matchup, and Hex Maniac is also clutch against Giratina-EX so that you don't have to manually power up a Gardevoir-EX to be able to damage Giratina EX. Xander played a one of Brock's Grit in addition to Super Rod to ensure access to his discard Pokemon.

In order to max out your chances at a turn two M Gardevoir-EX Xander played four Spirit Links which is ideal in this deck for sure. Streaming M Gardevoir-EX's put's tons of pressure on the opponent. For even more consistency, Xander ran three Trainers' Mail. Now we get into a card players have trouble deciding on whether or not to play two or three copies of, Fairy Drop. This card heals 50 damage from one of your Pokemon that has a Fairy Energy attached to them. This is incredibly good against Yveltal decks because it can potentially turn a two shot into a three shot. Even though Despair Ray often clears bench sitters, this deck utilizes several heavy retreat Pokemon. To help prevent stranding these Pokemon active, Xander played two Escape Rope and one Switch. Escape Ropes can also just force the opponent to bring up a Pokemon they really don't want to be KOed or in the active spot in general. Overall I like Xander's build and it's no surprise he went so far after looking at the list as a whole. If you want to see Xander Pero's 1st place interview by The Chaos Gym, feel free to click the video down below and be sure to subscribe and share if you enjoyed watching the video.

Other card options

Pokemon Ranger:

Regice can be troublesome for this deck, so if you expect more than one or two Regice decks, tech a Pokemon Ranger into your list.

M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor

I won't bother going over Igor's list since the whole deck is as standard as it gets aside from Igor playing a single copy of Garbodor. M Mewtwo is such a basic deck that there are very few matchups the Garbodor is necessary for. Thus, playing only one helps to reserve space in the deck, as in many matchups, simply attaching a tool to Trubbish will modify the opponents play enough to make a difference.

Other card options

Mewtwo-EX EVO:

A few known players such as Michael Canaves, Ryan Sabelhaus, and Brad Curcio played this Mewtwo in their M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor decks. It's first attack, Energy Absorption lets you attach an Energy Card from your discard to Mewtwo-EX. This includes Double Colorless Energy which is pretty sweet, to say the least.

Pokemon Center Lady:

The extra healing Pokemon Center Lady provides against Yveltal decks turns two shots into three shots, turning the prize trade.

Pokemon Ranger:

Regice single handily can beat this deck. The matchup will stall out until M Mewtwo runs out of Shrine of Memories to Damage Change with. Pokemon Ranger prevents this.

Fairy Garden/Fairy Drop/Fairy Energy:

Some players such as Michael Canaves (9th place), Ryan Sabelhaus (Top 64), and Brad Curcio (Top 128) played this version of the deck with zero Damage Change Mewtwo-EX. Instead, they utilized Fairy Drop as a healing mechanism. Fairy Drop and Pokemon Center Lady on the same turn heals 110 damage, making turns useless, and the addition of Fairy Garden increases the deck's mobility.

Bye Bye Greninja?

The new Giratina Promo became legal on January 6th. Georgia will be the first chance for it to shine. Does this mean Greninja is no more? This past weekend Giratina was legal, however, that did not stop players from playing Greninja. As a matter of fact, the finals at my League Cup last Saturday was a Greninja mirror match. I lost that day in Top 4 to Grafton Roll. I was playing M Rayquaza-EX/Metal and in game 1 and 3 Ace Trainer combined with Silent Lab was enough to take me down. Even at the League Cup, there were still plenty of Greninja being played. Yesterday I played Gyarados/Zebstrika with a Giratina, however, in swiss and in the cut I faced zero Greninja. I ended up losing in the finals to M Gardevoir-EX (Despair Ray) in game 3. I unfortunately misplayed game 2 for the loss then game 3 was incorrectly determined to go to sudden death when it shouldn't have and I lost the coin flip.

Giratina's ability, Devour Light, reads "Each Pokemon BREAK has no Abilities (including its previous Evolution)". Right off the bat, we know that Greninja BREAK's ability, Giant Water Shuriken is nullified. Giratina will be a big hit in expanded to stop Greninja and Trevenant.

Greninja decks thrive on making comebacks strictly from Giant Water Shuriken. Greninja players are now going to be required to play 2-4 Silent Lab to counter Giratina, however with Giratina having 130 health means it takes three Giant Water Shurikens to take down or one and a Moonlight Slash with Lysandre. Greninja did take up two spots in Top 8 of Dallas Regionals which means it may have an even bigger target on its back come Georgia Regionals and League Cups.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude yet another short article. I'll have three more short articles this month as well as a long one. There will be another short one right before Georgia Regionals this weekend.

If I were to choose to play one of these decks for Georgia Regionals I probably would most likely go with M Gardevoir-EX because I feel like it has better matchups overall and it beats M Mewtwo-EX, which is sure to see a resurgence. Giratina-EX based decks now struggle even more seeing those two decks make it to the finals. Make sure to pick up your Giratina Promos before Georgia Regionals. With that said, please don't forget to check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll. Also be sure to check out Team ARG on facebook for decklists from some great players. If you have any questions about these lists or decks 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, 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!


[+10] okko


Thank you for your time. Please leave us your feedback to help us to improve the articles for you! 





Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see the latest stories. 


Pokémon and its trademarks are ©1995-2018 Nintendo, Creatures, and GAMEFREAK. English card images appearing on this website are the property of The Pokémon Company International, Inc. 60cards is a fan site. Our goal is to promote the Pokemon TCG and help it grow. We are not official in any shape or form, nor affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK, or TPCi.



Welcome to our Pokemon Community Portal. Have a look around and enjoy your stay!