Experts' corner

Aaron Tarbell

Tres Fun Decks for Origins and Beyond

Many of you, like me, may have been on the grind at these tournaments for a while, and it’s always fun to mix things up and try some new decks....

06/16/2017 by Aaron Tarbell

Tres Fun Decks for Origins and Beyond

Tsup amigos! Que tal! Aaron Tarbell aqui with some fun ideas for you all to try out for Origins Gaming Fair or your next league cup or challenge. Many of you, like me, may have been on the grind at these tournaments for a while, and it’s always fun to mix things up and try some new decks. I’m just back from Mexico City Regionals, where I played Decidueye/Vileplume to advance to Day 2 and then a really disappointing 0-4-1 performance. Ay, ay, ay! Anyway, building new decks every once in a while is always something that sparks my creativity and helps me enjoy the game a little more. Some of the most fun I’ve had in Pokémon has been creating and tweaking super fun decks, especially when they go on to do well at a tournament. Here are tres decks that I’ve spent some time on this summer and think would be muy bueno choices for Origins this weekend.

Greninja BREAK

Pros of this deck: 

• Now, Talonflame BREAK hits for weakness against Decidueye (and can knock out a Dartix), Metagross, and Grubbin
• Greninja hits Señor Volcanion for weakness
• Setting up becomes easier if you are able to abuse your opponent’s Brooklet Hill
• This is a super fun deck to set up
• The end games are always interesting and interactive
• It now plays 3 rare candy; c’mon, you know you want a candy

Señor Greninja has come back and broken into top 32, first in Utah and now with 3 spots in Mexico City’s day 2, and it’s better than ever. Because of the prevalence of Volcanion and Flareon, Greninja could be a really muy bueno play. Here’s the list:

Card Choices 

There are a lot of good reasons for Señor Greninja being muy bueno again, so let’s go over some new cards in this familiar deck. It’s always been a high-risk, high-reward deck to play, and now we are trying to make it as consistent and hard-hitting as possible.

Rescue Stretcher: Rescue stretcher provides some much needed recovery the deck needs for after pieces of the Greninja line have been discarded much like super rod. The option to put pieces directly into the hand can now allow Greninja players to be more aggressive early by discarding Frogadier, since if another Frogadier is missed on the turn where the player wants to Water Duplicates, the Rescue Stretcher can put it directly into hand, and if another Frogadier is found through drawing into it, the Rescue Stretcher can put the ones in the discard back into the deck to allow them to be put onto the bench with the attack.

Choice Band: Choice band allows Greninja access to the damage it needs to be as much of a threat as it was at the 2016 World Championships. While there were many lists that opted not to play muscle band even when it was legal, the additional damage from Choice Band now allows the deck the extra damage it needs to compete with the increased amounts of HP of GX cards. Choice band allows for Talon Flame Break to knock out a Decidueye GX/Metagross GX in two attacks. The additional damage from the choice band is similar to the extra damage provided from Greninja XY that would sometimes be played when it was legal, except now there is no need to discard an extra energy every turn, so the damage is more likely to stack with Giant Water Shiruken.

Kukui: Kukui provides a nice straight-draw card that Greninja has always wanted as well as adding more damage to the frogs attack. One of the main problems with the deck is the necessity for it to hit the exact cards it needs early without discarding resources necessary to survive late game. Straight draw allows for the Greninja to play an effective supporter on the early turns to hit one or two missing pieces such as energy for talon flame, without discarding or shuffling cards like Frogadier that would be strong cards to have on the following turn.

Rare Candies: Rare candy has always been a fringe card in Greninja builds. The chance to evolve benched Froakie into threatening Graninja late game adds so much to the deck, since the deck has historically been able to rely on just getting two Greninja Break into play by the late game in order to win, and having Froakie evolve straight into greninja increases the likelihood for getting more Greninja Break into play. Now this card is much more effective due to being able to grab Greninja that have been discarded or knocked out directly from the discard with Rescue Stretcher, since this ability makes the combination of Rare Candy and an out to getting a Greninja in hand more likely. The card might even be considered necessary due to the format now having easier times hitting for 170, and more than two Graninja Breaks might have to be played in order to win.

Field Blower: I hardly know her! But this card is what players wanted to see before picking this deck up again. It provides an out to Garbotoxin by removing the tool, and then the ability to knock it out with Giant Water Shirukens.


Pros of this deck: 

• This deck is super straightforward and can pretty easily set up on turno dos if you can use a couple items
• Favorable match-up against Garbodor due to resistance and being able to go as slow or fast as you choose
• You can pretty consistently get the turno dos Sol Burst GX
• You get to play Hala efficiently in this deck and refresh your hand for those candies
• Señor Solgaleo hits anything for 230-250 damage, which even OHKOs a Metagross
• It’s pretty fast and pretty consistent for a stage 2 deck
Lurantis-GX is the perfect partner for Señor Solgaleo-GX, as it eventually gets back all the energy that is discarded with that big Sunsteel Strike. Lurantis also OHKOs a Garbodor with its attack Solar Blade. Que bueno! With a Choice Band, it does 150 for any time that you don’t want to use Sunsteel Strike. Here’s the list:

Card Choices

The plan for this deck is play down basics, attach a metal energy to a Cosmog on the bench, and try to Brigette turno uno for more basics. Your turno dos is Rare Candy, Solgaleo, use Ultra Road to make it active, and then immediately use Sol Burst GX. You can attach any 5 energy in any way you like. Typically you want to put 2 more onto the active Solgaleo, and 3 on a benched Cosmog or maybe one grass to a benched Fomantis. Turn 3, you are knocking out any threat you choose. Here’s how these cards help you do it.

3/2 Lurantis-GX: Lurantis is a necessary recovery card for getting energies back after Sun Steel Strike, and in matchups like Zoroark, it actually becomes the main attacker where a Foul Play Sun Steel Strike can devastate your board state. Tres Fomantis increases the odds of starting with it, since it can typically be the best Pokémon to be knocked out early while waiting to get a Solgaleo GX in play due to Solgaleo being able to Ultra Road into the active as soon as it evolves, and Cosmog want to stay in play long enough to become Solgaleo-GX.

4 Solgaleo, 4 Rare Candy: These cards are maxed out in order to get Solgaleo-GX in play as soon as possible.

2 Tapu Lele-GX: Helps against Glaceon as well as being an all-around great attacker, and can get you a Brigette to start with, or a Skyla for a Rare Candy.

Brigette: This card is insane in this deck due to putting all of the desired basics into play turn one without playing many items. This conserves items such as Ultra Ball to be used for finding later pieces such as Solgaleo GX and Lurantis GX.

Hala: This card is great in any deck that is designed to rush a GX attack, due to its ability to conserve resources while drawing a lot of cards, and this deck is designed to GX on turn two, so Hala becomes solid for the majority of the game.

Skyla: Skyla is a way to allow Rare Candy to be searchable on turn two through either drawing into it or an Ultra Ball for Tapu Lele for Skyla for Rare Candy.

Vulpix: Vulpix would be a possible addition so that you can Beacon for 2 Pokemon.


Pros of this deck: 

• You can snipe everywhere! Que sorpresa! Take your opponent by surprise
• Señor Umbreon-GX has resistance to Garbodor
• Señora Tapu Lele-GX are two excellent attackers that hit Señor Drampa and Señor Decidueye-GX pretty hard
• You still get out tons of Decidueye-GX in a reasonable amount of time even while running less Forest
• Dark Call GX is a fun and unexpected attack, and when paired with Team Flare Grunt can win games
• You have a favorable matchup against V/D

This deck has also snuck into top 32 at Utah and it is muy divertido to play. You aim to Energy Evolve into an Umbreon-GX on turno uno as well as bench as many Rowlet as possible. This deck consistently sets up 2-3 Decidueye-GX per game which typically last the whole game--no one really wants to take the effort to knock them out since they are not attackers here. You can Strafe into Rowlets or Decidueye, attach a float stone, take a hit, and then continue to attack with Umbreon-GX or with Tapu Lele-GX. Here’s the list:

Card Choices

3/2 Umbreon-GX: Umbreon GX is a great attacker, and the Shadow Bullet damage to the bench coupled with Feather Arrows allows for multiple threats to be focused on at the same time. Two Umbreon-GX is pretty light, and another one could definitely be put in, but Rescue Stretcher typically allows two to be put into play throughout the game, and that is enough for most games.

2 Tapu Lele-GX: This card is the primary starting attacker due to requiring just a Double Colorless Energy to start putting pressure on.

4/4/4 Decidueye-GX: The thickest line of Decidueye GX allows for multiple pieces to be discarded regularly while still allowing 2-3 Decidueye GX to be put into play to fix enough damage to win most matchups.

Brigette: With only two Forest of Giant Plants, the deck is accustomed to going a little slower than other Decidueye GX builds, and Brigette allows for the basics to be found without over extending early.

Team Flare Grunt: Team Flare Grunt coupled with Dark Call GX can put opponents back multiple turns and prevent them from attacking on prior turns in order to have an extra turn or two of Feather Arrows to win a game.

Olympia: Olympia allows for a switch card to be accessible by VS Seeker, and it makes it harder for opponents to stick Decidueye-GX in the active position.

Hex: Hex Maniac is to guarantee that this deck is able to get in more Feather Arrows than opposing Decidueye-GX decks, and its solid for preventing Giant Water Shiruken, Vikavolt’s ability, and Steam Up.

Koko: With Rescue Stretcher, Tapu Koko promo can put a ton of pressure on things on the bench, so it allows knockout to be picked up without getting another Umbreon-GX into play while still putting pressure on multiple Pokémon.

2 Forest, 2 Choice Band: Originally we started with 4 Forest but then decided that getting out Decidueye a turn or two later was fine enough, and doing the extra damage with Choice Band resulted in more damage overall.


Muy bien, amigos, those are my thoughts on fun decks to play this weekend. I would really encourage you to give one of these evolution decks a try. I believe these decks are fast and consistent enough to win a tournament. Maybe they are just waiting for their day to shine!

My thoughts on the meta in general are that Decidueye-GX has seen a revival in Madison and in Mexico City. I honestly don’t want to play the Ninetales version anymore after it failed to set up for me so many times on Day 2 in Mexico. Beacon is a great attack, however overall Ninetales is just underwhelming. In my testing, the Umbreon-GX version is favorable in the Decidueye mirror because of the extra snipe damage. Umbreon-GX and Decidueye-GX are able to set up without using too many items, which means it doesn’t struggle against Vileplume, and it’s good against Garbodor as well. I’ve gotten through whole games playing as little as 2-4 items.

Greninja BREAK hasn’t seen much play since London, and I know why! I actually played it and hated it in London (as well as Worlds last year). But Greninja is still around and is still good as ever if it can set up. Playing a few new cards in this deck makes a world of difference. I honestly want to give Greninja another chance at its day in the sun. Kukui and Rare Candy in this deck are just hot.

Solgaleo-GX is a really mighty Pokémon that can just overpower anything it comes against, when it gets set up. If you can run hot like the sol and get that turno dos Sol Burst GX, then this deck is for you. You’re good to take down whatever’s in front of you. You can also take it slow and easy if you choose to play it safe with items, or you’re unable to play items. It tends to stuggle against decks that have strong non-EX/GX attackers and fire Pokémon though.

I really hope you have enjoyed some of my ideas on these lesser-known but super fun decks. Every once in a while I really like to mix it up and play test with fringe decks that I think can be really good. If you just can’t stand to play Volcanion or Vileplume at one more tournament, give something new a try. Let me know what you think as well!
I can’t wait to see some of you at Origins Game Fair. Hit me up and let me know what you think the play is. As always, thanks to everyone for reading my article, and definitely stop and say Hola whenever you see me. Gracias!


[+10] okko


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