Experts' corner

Alex Wilson

Last Minute Techs for Nats + Sylveon

Alex goes over some last minute tech cards you may be looking to fit into your decks this weekend for Internationals. As well as a perfected Sylveon list he's considering playing.

06/28/2017 by Alex Wilson

Hey 60cards readers, this is it, the North American International Championships is just hours away! This is due to be the largest event in Pokémon history, possibly reaching 2,000 players in the Masters Division alone! $10,000 is up for grabs, the prestige of being a National Champion is deep in all of our hearts, and many players only need a few more championship points to secure their invitation to the World Championships in August! While we’re sure to all have a great time at this tournament, to many, like myself, will be taking it as seriously as possible. I mean, who wouldn’t take $10,000 seriously?

By now, I’m sure most of you are on your way to Indianapolis, if not already there partying it up! And whether you know what you’re playing for Nats or not, I’m here to shed some light on a handful of helpful techs to consider throwing into your deck. While I’m a firm believer in playing an all-out consistent list for a 9 round, two-thousand player tournament, some cards just might be worth teching if you’re expecting to run into certain matchups. So here we go!

EVO Mewtwo

This is a hard tech made to counter Espeon-GX. As we all know, Garbodor/Espeon will be one of the most played decks this weekend. If you can’t beat Espeon-GX, you have no business competing. Mewtwo, for a two Colorless Energy, does 20 damage times 20 more for each energy attached to the defending Pokémon. If Espeon-GX has a Psychic Energy and a Double Colorless Energy attached to it, Mewtwo is OHKOing Espeon for 220 damage with a Choice Band. While Mewtwo can’t easily fit in every deck, it comfortably syncs well with any deck that play Double Colorless Energies or energy acceleration. Unfortunately, Mewtwo isn’t useful for any other reasons, unless you somehow wind up against a rogue M Mewtwo-EX deck… With a Choice Band, it can deal 90 damage to a Tapu Bulu-GX, setting up for a KO the following turn, while only giving up a one prize attacker. The same goes for a Volcanion-EX and M Rayquaza-EX, it can be useful, but is only needed for the Garbodor/Espeon matchup.


This Pokémon is useful in quite a few matchups, and can swing matchups quite heavily. Vespiquen is obviously a good reason to run Oricorio. Though it doesn’t auto win the matchup like many inconceivably believe, it massively helps. If Vespiquen has discarded fifteen Pokémon, Oricorio can spread 150 damage counters, taking a KO, and setting up two KO’s for when you can Rescue Stretcher Oricorio back into play. Then spread 170 + damage counters, closing up the game, or coming really close to it at the very least. Gyarados is another matchup Oricorio is useful in. Though Gyarados might not see a whole lot of play, just two Pokémon in your opponent’s discard pile means that Oricorio is knocking out two Magikarp! Revive Oricorio with a Rescue Stretcher later on, and the game is as good as yours. And in literally every matchup, if an opponent’s benched Pokémon is close to getting knocked out, Oricorio can snipe it, all the while placing additional damage counters on other for easier knock outs. The fact that Oricorio only requires one Colorless Energy means that it can easily be teched in every deck!

Field Blower

I’m sure everyone has figured this out by now, and though it’s more of a staple over a tech, it’s a card that is useful no matter the matchup. Discarding tools from your opponent’s Pokémon can set them back a turn or two in knocking out your Pokémon. Your essentially making cards in your opponent’s deck more or less worthless. And if you’re playing Garbodor, then you just added two items into your opponent’s discard pile, adding 40 damage to Garbodor’s damage output. Just the knowledge alone of playing a Field Blower scares your opponent from playing a tool until they absolutely need to. Which means an N or two can keep the tool hidden in their deck, never to be used.


Giratina’s ability prevents all BREAK evolutions from using their abilities. This can be useful against Greninja, Zoroark, Carbink, and even Trevenant. Greninja is hurt by Giratina the most, and there are sure to be plenty of ninja’s roaming about even though it’s fairly inconsistent. Without Greninja BREAK’s Giant Water Shuriken ability, the deck is dead. Carbink is also a useless Pokémon after its ability has been shut off, though don’t expect to see any considering the decline in EX decks. Zoroark is only mildly effected by Giratina, preventing it from using Stand In. Don’t be fooled though, Daniel Altavilla’s Foxy Drampa can easily do without its ability.


Many players see Sudowoodo as a pointless card, as they believe that while you’re limiting your opponent’s bench space, you too are only able to bench four Pokémon. While that’s partially true, if you’re playing a deck that can afford the bench space like Darkrai, Volcanion, or Rayquaza, why not limit your opponent’s bench? In many games, I’ve found that my opponent has benched four Pokémon after their first turn, sometimes saving a Tapu Lele-GX or Shaymin-EX in their hand for the following turn. Preventing them from doing so is exactly what Sudowoodo’s meant for. One deck I’ve tested Sudowoodo in a lot is Rayquaza, which tremendously helps in the Zoroark matchup. In this matchup, Rayquaza doesn’t need any more than four or five Pokemon on the bench to knock out either a Zoroark or its BREAK evolution. If you bench seven Pokemon, Zoroark’s Mind Jack attack OHKOs a M Rayquaza-EX for 220-damage even! So, while you may limit your bench so that they can’t use Mind Jack effectively, you bench your Sudowoodo so that they can’t bench eight Pokemon equaling a OHKO with Zoroark BREAK’s Foul Play for Emerald Break!

Chaos Tower

Chaos Tower is a nice tech to combat confusion from both Espeon-GX and Zorua. While this Stadium doesn’t fit too well into many decks, it’s the perfect fit if you’re playing Sylveon this weekend. Flipping tails, whiffing a Magical Ribbon, is a tragic way to lose what should be an advantageous matchup. Even a smart Zoroark player will confuse your Sylveon-GX before evolving it.


Like Chaos Tower above, this new adorable little Pokemon has essentially what was Virizion-EX’s ability. Its Flower Shield ability prevents all special conditions from affecting your Pokemon with Fairy type Energies, while also removing special conditions when either Comfey or a Fairy Energy are played. While Chaos Tower is a better fit for Sylveon, Comfey is much better played in Fairy type decks like Xerneas and Gardevoir.


This is a Supporter that I shrugged off to the side when the set was first released, but now, I see its versatility. This card is best played in Gallade/Octillery, Rayquaza, and Vespiquen. In Gallade, you have access to Octillery’s Abyssal Hand every turn you’re not hexed, so naturally with Mallow, you can search for the two cards that you need for either an early lead or the win. In Vespiquen, searching for the cards you need with Mallow, followed by a Farewell Letter using Unown is a busted combination. And in Rayquaza, I only see the usefulness in Mallow if you’re running a couple copies of Unown. Though, you can always play Mallow for a Trainer card, followed by a Trainers’ Mail… Seems like a little too much though doesn’t it? You can even argue Mallow for an Energy, followed by a Max Elixir… but please don’t.


If you’re looking for another Pokemon to fill in a gap in your list, why not? It’s a great asset in the late game, in that you’ll never have fewer than three cards to work with each turn. Its attack isn’t all that bad either. For three colorless energy, which is a lot honestly, it can attack for 60 plus damage, putting a dent in your opponent’s lead attacker.

Pokemon Ranger

Not a card I really recommend, but it can come in handy. With evolution decks dominating the format; ex. Garbodor, Zoroark, Vespiquen, Gyarados, Rayquaza, Vikavolt, Metagross, Gardevoir, Decidueye, “phew I’m out of breath” … Glaceon-EX is honestly a scary attacker with Crystal Ray. A Pokemon Ranger just might come in handy if you find yourself paired against a waterbox deck. Shoot, Oranguru even helps against Glaceon-EX, attacking it for 120-damage. Pokemon Ranger is also helpful if you’re facing a Giratina-EX, Jolteon-EX, or the least likely of all Regice. Volcanion and Oblivion Wing Yveltal both benefit from playing a copy of Pokemon Ranger, all though a switching option is by far the better course to take in my opinion.


Now hear me out, if a Garbodor or Zoroark deck takes damage to a benched Pokemon with Team Magma’s Secret Base, then their Drampa-GX is attacking for 150-damage. With Absol’s ability, you can move the damage counters from a benched Pokemon to Drampa, to either more easily KO Drampa, or at least stop the additional 70-damage Drampa was dealing. Just a tiny thought.


Turtonator can easily squeeze itself into any deck that plays Double Colorless Energy or energy acceleration. With Shell Trap, you can deal minimal damage while forcing your opponent to either play around Turtonator, avoiding the 80-damage recoil effect, or falling for Turtonator’s trap. It’s a solid way of having an attacker, essentially dealing 100-damage per turn, while building up your bench. Paired with Decidueye-GX, this combo really helps in both the Garbodor and Zoroark matchups. Against a Zoroark BREAK, Shell Trap can deal 20-damage, followed by the 80-damage recoil, two Feather Arrows rids an attacker from your opponent’s field. Though, with a Choice Band, Zoroark BREAK can copy Turtonator’s Bright Flame attacker for the OHKO.


I’m sure you’re all familiar with this Pokemon, and though it has seen a decline in usefulness, it’s not that bad. Currently, there aren’t too many decks that can deal 180-damage in the early game, so the threat of a Mad Bull-GX staring your opponent in the eye may force them to play differently than they’re usually comfortable with.

The Perfect Sylveon List

Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite decks at the moment, and I can see myself squeezing my way into day two this weekend with this annoying, mill deck. Wailord made it, why not Sylveon? Anyways, I’ve played this deck a ton and feel that I’ve for the most part perfected the list for the expected meta. Here’s the juice:


Yup, Bunnelby helps in speeding up the painful process of decking out your opponent for the win. And with Rototiller, you can shuffle important cards like Max Potion or even Puzzles of Time back into your deck. Think about it, after discarding nearly all of your opponent’s energies, why not begin applying pressure with a double Burrow attack? Playing two additional Pokemon also helps in decreasing your total amount of mulligans and more importantly, getting hex donked.

Level Ball

This is my way of more effectively filling up our bench just in case your opponent starts their first turn with a disgusting Hex Maniac. While Nest Ball has the same effect, you may not want to immediately bench the Pokemon you searched for in the Zoroark matchup. The less damage Mind Jack is dealing, the better.

Team Flare Grunt

This is the Supporter you want to play every single turn. Typically, if you’re using any other Supporter while your opponent’s active Pokemon has an energy attached, you’re playing the matchup wrong. Occasionally, you may have the opportunity to Delinquent away their entire hand, which is the better play since you can Max Potion the damage off Sylveon, followed by a Team Flare Grant the following turn.

Team Rocket’s Handiwork

This card is the perfect punishment for anyone who plays a Mallow, Puzzle of Time, or uses Gallade’s Premonition. But don’t overdo it, focus on discarding all visible energies in play before going after their deck. After all, there’s always the possibility of flipping two tails.

Team Skull Grunt

If you know for a fact that your opponent is holding onto an energy(s) card in their hand, Skull Grunt it/them away. It’s the perfect supporter if you go first in a game, or simply have no reason to play a Team Flare Grunt.

It can happen again... This time in the form of Sylveon!

Chaos Tower

Like I mentioned earlier on, Chaos Tower helps in both the Espeon/Garb and Zoroark matchups. There’s nothing more annoying than having a confused Sylveon when you’re just one Magical Ribbon away from an important card. If you’re up against either one of these matchups, grab Chaos Tower asap.

Double Colorless Energy

Playing two of these allows the deck to be slightly aggressive. If you go first, and your opponent passes with a lone 110 HP Pokemon, you can steal a quick 60 second game! Plea GX is also a great attack to slow your opponent down even further.

Closing Thoughts

Sylveon may not be your cup of tea for a nine plus round tournament, but it has strong matchups in Garbodor, Zoroark, Decidueye/Ninetales, Rayquaza, Vespiquen, and Darkari. Its tougher matchups lie within a smaller pool of decks like Metagross, Groudon, Volcanion, and Tapu Bulu. So, I definitely see this deck, especially solid lists such as this, being played in Indianapolis. Maybe I’ll even play it…

Anyways, that wraps it up for this one guys! The techs I mentioned are worth the consideration if you’re scared of certain matchups, and Sylveon isn’t all that bad of a play. Hopefully I helped some of you in your last-minute deck building. I’ll be back with more articles after Internationals, leading into what will be a fun format for the 2017 World Championships! If you see me in Indianapolis, come say hey!

Good luck everyone!

[+13] okko


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