Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"Looking Ahead Towards Anaheim Regionals" - 3 Potential Plays

Jose brings you 3 potential plays for the upcoming Anaheim Regional Championships in the brand new standard format!

02/07/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello once again, fellow 60cards readers! With Anaheim Regionals just two weeks away, I wanted to talk about some ideas for what do play in the tournament. Of course, the format will be Standard, with the new set, Sun and Moon! This is awesome because it's always exciting to see a new set implemented into the format, especially when it's the first tournament of that format. This will surely give lots of attention to those attending and doing well. For this next article, I'll be going over three decks that I feel can perform well come Anaheim. Two of the three decks are purely new archetypes in general, while one of the decks is nothing new, aside from a couple card changes.


With that said, below is the first deck I'll be discussing, Mew/Passimian. Most people already know about this deck mainly because it was the only real deck that was allowed use on PTCGO because of the starter decks being legal so early. The deck is fast, hits hard, and uses non-EX attackers to dish out quick damage.

This deck is one of the newer concepts that came out of the Sun and Moon set. The general concept of the deck is similar to that of Gyarados if you really think about it. The more Magikarp on the bench, the more damage Gyarados does. However, in Mew/Passimian, the more Passimian you have on the bench, the more damage Passimian does. Basically, Passimian has an attack with a base of 10 damage and then adds an additional 30 damage for each of your benched Passimian. Now Mew is in the deck to do an extra 30 damage because of Mew's ability which allows you to copy one of your Basic Pokémon's attack's as long as you meet the requirements to use whatever attack you're wanting to use.

In this case, you're wanting to use Team Play with Mew to do a solid 130 damage on the first turn of the game. Right away you're putting tons of pressure and threatening KO's for just a single Double Colorless Energy. The deck wants to play four of each--Mew and Passimian--because starting with both is ideal, but more so Mew because it has a free retreat. Just remember to be careful since Mew's ability gets shut down by cards such as Garbodor, Hex Maniac, and even Silent Lab not to mention Alolan Muk as well.

That's it as far as the attackers go in the deck. Now we also have cards like Oranguru and Shaymin-EX to give the deck some added draw power. Oranguru is a new card that also came out of the new set, Sun and Moon along with Passimian. Oranguru is similar to Octillery, however, Oranguru draws up to three cards while Octillery draws up to five. The biggest difference is that Octillery is a Stage 1 while Oranguru is a Basic Pokémon that can just be dropped down at a moment's notice and used. It's great late game for when your opponent tries to N you to one or two. You can run either one in this deck; it's just a personal preference honestly.

I decided to run the exact supporter count as my latest Gyarados build. Because Passimian can attack on the first turn for a single Double Colorless Energy, Lysandre can do wonders. You can turn one KO an opposing Darkrai-EX or Tauros-GX with ease or even a Shaymin-EX if you're attacking with Mew. Two Teammates in this deck are good because both Mew and Passimian are not-EXs with not so high HP. One Pokémon Ranger is needed because of Jolteon-EX: You don't want to take an auto loss to Flash Ray so adding in Pokémon Ranger is ideal. Jirachi is another good reason to run Pokémon Ranger if it comes to that.

Moving out of the supporters and into the Items, you can see the deck plays Nest Ball. The deck runs four of these because they can search out any Basic Pokémon and put it straight onto the bench. However, if you were to grab, let's say, a Shaymin-EX or Hoopa-EX you won't get the ability. This is due to Nest Ball's Pokémon going straight from deck to bench and not hand to bench. As I said, the deck is similar to Gyarados with the use of Puzzle of Time and Revive. You play Revive over Buddy-Buddy Rescue because they essentially do the same thing except you don't want to give your opponent a Pokémon back, which is why the deck doesn't play Buddy-Buddy Rescue. Just be careful since if you Revive Shaymin-EX you don't get the ability just like Nest Ball since Revive is going from discard to bench and not hand to bench. However, a card Gyarados doesn't run is Fighting Fury Belt. This is because Gyarados is an evolution Pokémon while both Mew and Passimian are Basics.

One Float Stone is included just in case you need it for Oranguru since it does have a two retreat cost. One Escape Rope can be clutch to bring up an EX or to go around Jolteon-EX, this way you can then Lysandre it up for the KO on the same turn. I feel the deck should run Special Charge, especially if you are going up against a non-EX based deck such as Vespiquen since you have to be able to have the revenge KO every turn. I like not having to rely on using Puzzle of Time to get a Double Colorless and instead can be searched out with Teammates, saving Puzzle of Time until you really need them. Town Map is without a doubt needed in this deck for obvious reasons: Just like if you were to prize a Magikarp, the same goes for when you prize a Passimian.

The stadium could be a number of different ones: I chose to go with two Sky Field, but it can be pretty much anything since most stadiums are useful and don't have too many negative effects for this deck. One of the biggest fears for this deck is probably Decidueye-GX because it can set up multiple KOs on a single turn. Item lock decks will also likely have a field day with this deck, such as Vileplume. Giratina-EX can also be troublesome, however, the deck does play Pokémon Ranger.

Other card options


Giving Passimian an extra 10 damage isn't the worst thing because you never know when that extra 10 damage or however many Regirock-EX you decide to run can make a difference between a one shot or two shot. However, the biggest downside is that Regirock-EX's ability only works on Fighting Pokemon, meaning Mew does not get the added bonus, so keep that in mind.


As I said adding Octillery over Oranguru is a personal preference. If you fear Silent Lab, then maybe Octillery is the way to go for you.


This card is awesome if you open it. However, outside of turn 1, the card is not so great. It's always tough deciding on how many Brigette to play because you don't really want to play just one since you may never open with it and running three or four means most of them are dead cards after the first turn so it's honestly another one of those personal preferences, but not needed to make the deck work.

Professor Kukui:

A new card from Sun and Moon which allows you to draw two cards and adds 20 damage to your attacks. The way I see it is that because Passimian maxes out at 110 damage with three benched Passimian and a Fighting Fury Belt, you're most likely two-hitting most things. With Mew doing 140 with a Fighting Fury Belt, then you're for sure two-hitting everything relevant. Professor Kukui is one of the cards that's not needed but would be clutch for when you do need it. The math can make a difference in certain situations; it's just a matter of what situations you see more, and if Professor Kukui makes a big difference or not. For example against Volcanion, Passimian does 110 with a Fighting Fury Belt, but with Professor Kukui you now do 130 which is just enough to one-hit KO a non-EX Volcanion. However, Mew can one-hit KO a Volcanion assuming you have four benched Passimian, so you see it all really is up to you.

Hex Maniac:

Being able to shut off Giant Water Shuriken or Decidueye-GX is strong, but how long can you keep it up? That's the question to where it makes a huge difference. You would have had to test the matchups more to see if Hex Maniac is needed or not.

Enhanced Hammer:

This card can be searched out by Teammates and reused by Puzzle of Time. Because of this, Enhanced Hammer might just be enough to beat Giratina-EX or Jolteon-EX while at the same time just being clutch at a moment's notice against any deck that relies on special energy.

Pokemon Catcher:

I prefer Lysandre, but if you're good at flipping heads then, by all means, go with Pokemon Catcher. This way you can still use a supporter for the turn which can ultimately win games.

Bursting Balloon + Eco Arm:

Because Passimian can't really one-hit KO big threats, Bursting Balloon can put the opponent in odd situations which force them to hit into Bursting Balloon to take the 60 damage or use resources to go around it. Eco Arm is used to get back any three Tools whether it's Bursting Balloon, Fighting Fury Belt, or even Float Stone. I still prefer Fighting Fury Belt in case the opponent can't one-hit KO a 150 hp non-EX, and if that's the case you should be in a great spot.

Super Rod:

This card is mainly to counter Parallel City because you're being forced to go down to three benched Pokemon, meaning Mew and Passimian are likely discarded candidates in certain situations.

Max Elixir + Fighting Energy + Strong Energy:

If you were to play the deck like this you would have to change a number of cards. Passimian would do even more damage thanks to Strong Energy, and you're likely playing Regirock-EX if this is the case. However, Max Elixir isn't guaranteed, meaning that whiffing a turn one attack becomes more likely than if you were to run Double Colorless Energy, so again this is a personal preference.

Faded Town:

It's great against Mega based decks such as M Rayquaza-EX, M Gardevoir-EX, or M Mewtwo-EX. Getting that extra 20 damage a tick can make a difference.

Parallel City:

Putting your opponent down to three benched Pokemon is always good especially since the other side of Parallel City doesn't affect you.

M Rayquaza-EX/Metal

If you saw one of my more recent builds from London, you can see I decided to run all Colorless Rayquaza-EX instead of any Dragon ones in this new build. This is because the Dragon Rayquaza-EX's aren't really needed anymore and Intensifying Burn can actually set up KOs if need be. One of the newest additions to the deck is Oranguru. This is because there are times where an N to one or two can cripple M Rayquaza-EX. Now you don't have to fear N as much as before. Oranguru's attack, Psychic, can actually one-hit KO a Regice which is something to keep in mind since it has a base of 60 damage and adds 20 more damage for each energy on your opponent's active Pokémon. Psychic does, however, need three energy so essentially two attachments, which isn't the worst thing in the world. I think I still prefer the Metal variant come Anaheim just to give the deck more options. I feel Jolteon-EX doesn't win you games simply because the decks that you may think Jolteon-EX auto wins against actually doesn't. For example, against Volcanion and Yveltal, they either play Pokemon Ranger or multiple Enhanced Hammers or even Team Flare Grunt meaning powering up Jolteon-EX just slows you down.

While both Magearna and Magearna-EX have their merits, Magearna-EX makes it so that you are immune to status effects or effects such as Jirachi to remove your energy. Magearna-EX can also one-hit KO a Glaceon-EX which stops M Rayquaza-EX from attacking it. Now Magearna is great against Regice, Glaceon-EX, and even Rainbow Road since Xerneas is weak to Metal. For just a single Metal Energy Magearna's attack, Prismatic Wave does 20 damage for each of your opponent's benched Pokémon with a different typing. Meaning Magearna can threaten one-hit KOs against the Pokémon I mentioned namely Regice. I see some lists running more than one Dragonite-EX and to be honest you don't need two. For one, it's a horrible opener and two, you don't use Dragonite-EX until late game usually. There are times where it's attack, Hyper Beam, has actually come in handy: A solid 130 damage and you can discard one of your opponent's active Pokémon's energy. But its ability is what makes Dragonite-EX deserve a spot in the deck. Being able to get back two Basic Pokémon from the discard and into your hand is ridiculous. You can even get back non-EX Pokémon, which makes Pull Up that much better. I kept the supporter count the same as my previous builds because I feel like it's the perfect count for M Rayquaza-EX.

Although there are times where I wished I had two N. This is because when you're playing just one it's tough to find, plus there are also times where you would rather use N and not Professor Sycamore, this way you don't discard resources that are needed later on in the game such as Puzzle of Time. If anything, I'll add a second N if I can find the room. I still want to keep Skyla because it's clutch in almost any situation, especially for when you have one Puzzle of Time in hand already. You can then use Skyla for a second one to keep your resources to a minimum. Opening Skyla is all you really need since it can essentially net you whatever you need namely an Ultra Ball or Sky Field. The switching options I decided to play in this deck are two Float Stone and one Escape Rope. This is mainly due to Hoopa-EX, Dragonite-EX and now Oranguru having two or more retreat cost. Escape Rope, on the other hand, can be used for much more. You can Escape Rope up an EX for the KO for when your opponents active is a non-EX or if your trying to get around Regice and Glaceon-EX you can then Lysandre them back up for the KO.

Other card options

Giratina XY 184 Promo:

Obviously only really useful against Greninja BREAK in standard. But, to be honest, you can still lose with Giratina: This is because of Ace Trainer combined with Silent Lab. It can be tough to bounce back from this combo unless you draw extremely well.

Jirachi XY 67 Promo:

Great against Giratina-EX if you expect a hefty amount of them. Otherwise, I would most likely not play it since if you're having to use Jirachi then something is wrong in the game already, meaning you prob might lose--unless it's against Giratina-EX where you have no choice.

Rattata EVO:

Solid card for getting rid of Tools on your opponent's active Pokémon such as Fighting Fury Belt or even Bursting Balloon. I can actually see dropping the Magearna Promo for Rattata since I believe Rainbow Road probably won't see any play, to be honest post-Sun and Moon, at least in Standard.

Dark Energy + Zoroark + Zoroark BREAK:

Zoroark's attack can do some big damage depending on how many Pokémon your opponent has benched. Zoroark is extremely helpful in the mirror match as well which can single handily make the matchup in your favor since the opponent is forced to have a full bench in order to KO one of your M Rayquaza-EX which means Zoroark can then do 220 damage for the revenge KO. Zoroark is a non-EX which is what makes it god-like in the mirror because they can't really ignore it, making the prize trade in your favor. Its ability is also quite clutch because if you have a Float Stone on it then you can have free retreat in and out whenever you want to. Now, Zoroark BREAK is mainly used to copy an opposing GX attack if need be since this deck doesn't play a GX Pokémon. So having the option of copying any GX attack, whether it's Decidueye's to get 3 cards back or Espeon and Umbreon to do snipe damage and remove energy, can come in handy and only for a single Dark Energy.


Its attack, Double Scrapper, for a single Colorless Energy lets you discard two of your opponent's Tools. Great for discarding Float Stones on Garbodor and Fighting Fury Belts on big hitters to make for easier KO's.

Jolteon-EX + Lightning Energy:

I did mention how this combo isn't too viable anymore, however, the biggest thing that Jolteon-EX has going for it is its free retreat which is always nice.


Solid counter to both Regice and Glaceon-EX since Tauros-GX is not an EX nor Evolution Pokémon and with the deck already running Double Colorless Energy makes Tauros-GX fit nicely assuming you expect said Pokémon to have an increase in play come Anaheim.

Pokémon Ranger:

This variant of M Rayquaza-EX, meaning the Metal variant, doesn't really have to play Pokémon Ranger unless you want it strictly for Giratina-EX because there are other ways to get around both Regice and Glaceon-EX already.

Buddy-Buddy Rescue:

Some of the better Georgia players played Buddy-Buddy Rescue in their lists. While I don't necessarily dislike the card in this deck I do think it's not needed because you have Super Rod and Puzzle of Time. Plus, I don't like the idea of giving your opponent a Pokémon back unless it's with Gyarados.


Finally, we get into another new deck thanks to Sun and Moon. Now, the concept of this deck is to get a turn one or two Lurantis-GX attacking while at the same time having Garbodor out to shut down abilities namely Volcanion and Greninja while powering up other attackers. At the moment I'm running a 4-4 line of Lurantis-GX to help achieve a turn one Lurantis-GX easier as well as four Forest of Giant Plants which is the stadium of choice which makes it so that each player's Grass Pokémon can evolve on the first turn. Lurantis-GX has an attack called Flower Supply, for just a single Grass Energy does 40 damage and lets you attach two Basic Energy from your discard to your Pokémon in any way you like. It's second attack, Solar Blade does 120 damage and heals 30 damage off Lurantis-GX. This attack doesn't seem all that great given that it takes two Grass and a Colorless Energy requirement. However, healing 30 damage can potentially turn a two shot into a three shot if comboed with other healing cards. Now it's third and final attack is its GX attack, called Chloroscythe GX which does 50 damage times the amount of Grass Energy attached to Lurantis-GX. Don't forget GX attacks are a one time use which is an awesome new mechanic.

Then there's a 2-2 line of Garbodor because it's used to shut down abilities since this deck doesn't rely on them at a certain point. Shutting off Decidueye-GX's ability is strong as well which will surely see play. I think the best way to run Lurantis-GX at the moment is with Garbodor because it doesn't have an ability. Shaymin-EX is the only Pokémon with an ability in the deck which your likely to use early enough to where Garbodor shutting them off isn't relevant. Now we get into some of the backup attackers, Trevenant-EX and Lugia-EX. Trevenant-EX has two useful attacks. The first attack, Dark Forest for a single Grass Energy does 20 damage and the Defending Pokémon can't retreat next turn so if you know your opponent doesn't have retreating cards left or only plays Float Stone then dragging up a big retreater can potentially win you a game by deck out. However, it's second attack, Wood Blast is what makes Trevenant-EX worthwhile in the deck which is meant to be used after you use Chloroscythe GX. You basically power up a huge Trevenant-EX to clean up once the GX attack is used. Wood Blast has a base of 50 damage and does an extra 20 damage for each Grass Energy on Trevenant-EX which is perfect in this deck because Lurantis-GX attaches Basic Energy. Lugia-EX is mainly to help fight off the Fire Decks once Garbodor is live most notably Volcanion.

Lugia-EX's first attack, Aero Ball, does 20 damage times the amount of energy attached to both active Pokémon. So you can see how Lurantis-GX powering up both Trevenant-EX and Lugia-EX makes them stronger and stronger. Lugia-EX's second attack, Deep Hurricane, isn't too bad either since it can do a surprise 150 damage with a couple Double Colorless Energy. The deck plays one Pokémon Center Lady because if you combo healing cards with Solar Blade you can heal a solid 90 damage, which can nullify an opponent's previous attack. I'm unsure if running two Nest Ball is ideal since they can't search out both Garbodor and Lurantis-GX, however being able to freely search out a turn one Trubbish without having to discard cards seems good.

To keep the consistency up, I kept it a max four Trainers' Mail because you're wanting to dig for that turn one stadium. The Tools I chose were three Float Stones strictly for Garbodor and then one Fighting Fury Belt since you're most likely attacking with Lurantis-GX anyway which doesn't get the added bonus from Fighting Fury Belt, unfortunately. Making Trevenant-EX go up to 220 health and Lugia-EX up to 210 health makes it more difficult to take them down while under Garbodor lock. Finishing up, the energy count is 10 Grass and two Double Colorless for now. Double Colorless can be clutch at times since it can make Lugia-EX do even more damage or make a Trevenant-EX attack on turn two assuming you aren't attacking with Lurantis-GX. Or, just Sky Return if you want to deny those Shaymin-EX prizes.

Other card options


Another solid attacker that abuses Colorless Energy which has three Colorless attacks. Its first attack, Rage, has a base of 20 damage and does an additional 10 damage for each damage counter on Tauros-GX. It's second attack, Horn Attack, is pretty straight forward doing a solid 60 damage with no effect. Now it's third and final attack, which is its GX attack is called, Mad Bull GX which does 30 damage times a number of damage counters on Tauros-GX. Mad Bull GX is extremely powerful against anything that doesn't one hit KO it because you can then use Tauros-GX as a wall which does 60 damage at a time which adds up if the opponent ignores Tauros-GX and tries to go around it assuming they don't one hit KO it. You can take two prizes whenever you want really. Even just having 60 damage on Tauros-GX threatens 180 damage so you can see how it can do lethal damage if it needs to.


At the moment the deck only plays three Float Stone as retreating options so maybe having another retreating card is ideal. Olympia being a supporter means it's reusable with VS Seeker which might make it the best option. At the same time, Olympia heals 30 damage which can add to Solar Blade's healing.

Professor Kukui:

This card gives Trevenant-EX and Lugia-EX even more damage. However, does the extra 20 damage make that much of a difference to where Professor Kukui is needed? Lurantis-GX can do 60 damage or 140 damage which Solar Blade can one hit KO a Volcanion if combined with Professor Kukui. Lugia-EX's attack, Deep Hurricane, can do a solid 170 damage with Professor Kukui so maybe it can be good in this deck. The extra two-card draw can't hurt either. With more testing, I think you can see if Professor Kukui is needed or not.

Max Elixir:

Lurantis-GX already powers things ups, however, Max Elixir makes Trevenant-EX and Lugia-EX even stronger. I just don't think Max Elixir is needed since the deck only runs only one of each backup attacker that can abuse Max Elixir. Maybe in a variant where there are more than one Trevenant-EX and Lugia-EX Max Elixir can shine. Lurantis-GX doesn't get affected by Max Elixir so it's not really needed.

Max Potion:

Another healing card that can be good in this deck because even if you heal a damaged Lurantis-GX you can simply reattach to it and power it back up since it's energy acceleration attack only needs one Grass Energy to use. I can see Max Potion being more useful in a Lurantis-GX variant that relies solely on Lurantis-GX as the main attacker.

Assault Vest:

This card can help Lurantis-GX dodge one hit KO's from a number of big threats such as M Rayquaza-EX, M Mewtwo-EX, Gyarados, and even a big Yveltal-EX. Of course, this is assuming said Pokémon has a Special Energy attached to them.

Escape Rope:

Just another switching card, however, Escape Rope can help drag unwanted Pokémon into the active spot putting the opponent in an odd situation.

Top 5 Sun and Moon favorites


This card will likely see a good amount of play in both Standard and Expanded, however, I can see it more played in Expanded since it has more partners. It's ability, Feather Arrow, lets you put 2 damage counters on 1 of your opponent's Pokémon once per turn. This ability also stacks with more Decidueye-GX. This ability is extremely powerful due to Forest of Giant Plants allowing Decidueye-GX to be evolved on the same turn. It's attack, Razor Leaf, isn't that impressive, however, it's GX attack, Hollow Hunt GX, lets you put any 3 cards from your discard pile into your hand. This attack is probably one of the best GX attacks at the moment. Decidueye-EX can be partnered with basically anything as long as you're running Forest of Giant Plants. Don't be surprised to see Decidueye-GX in decks such as Vileplume, Vespiquen, and of course in Seismitoad-EX in Expanded.


Aside from the deck, I presented above there are other ways to run Lurantis-EX. You can play it with Vileplume or even in a way to where the main attacker is Lurantis-GX making Max Potions even more useful or maybe even with Eeveelutions for weakness variations.


There are a couple ways you can run Umbreon-GX. The most common one is probably with some other form of a Dark attacker, such as Yveltal or Darkrai-EX. Then there's the Eeveelutions variant since Umbreon-GX is an evolution which can abuse Jolteon, Vaporeon, and Flareon's ability. Or you can run it with Espeon-GX to have both GX options. Or even in a way to where you hit and run into a waller such as Pyukumuku, Wobbuffet, or even Robo Substitute.


This card is splashable in basically any deck. All it's attack's costs are Colorless Energy. Mad Bull GX can come in handy against everything that can't one hit KO Tauros-GX making it a nice waller and clean up attacker once damaged. Not to mention Ninja Boy can pair nicely with Tauros-GX as a surprise attacker for big damage once that Pokémon is damaged.


Because Oranguru is a Basic Pokémon is what makes Oranguru viable. You can drop it down anytime and get the effect right off the bat. Although you will most likely never use its attack it's still a great card and overall will see a good amount of play nonetheless.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude yet another article. My favorite deck of the three is obviously M Rayquaza-EX/Metal simply because I've had success with the deck already as many others have as well. I still feel M Rayquaza-EX/Metal is a very strong contender come Anaheim. With Sun and Moon being released soon I can see tweaking cards here and there to make it fit your personal play style. With that said, 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. I'll have four more articles this month so be sure to stay tuned for those.

Also be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook which yields tons of decklists and interviews with some of the best players. If you have any questions about these lists or decks in general then please feel free to leave me a comment 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!


[+17] 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!