Experts' corner

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Alex Wilson

Roc'n the Night

Alex goes over Night March and Zoroark Lycanroc, two decks he has tested vigorously ahead of the Dallas Regional Championships!

01/23/2018 by Alex Wilson

Alola, 60cards readers! Long time, no see! It feels so great to be back writing for the best community I’ve come to love. Unfortunately, I’ve been quite busy with my life the last couple of months unable to write as many articles as I’d like to, but now I’m back in the swing of things and wanted to share with you what’s going on in my head looking toward Dallas Regionals this weekend.

Expanded is by far my preferred format over Standard. The variance in decks is far greater; knowing what possible techs any given deck could throw at you is far more important; and just the overall atmosphere of seeing cards like Seismitoad-EX, VS Seeker, Ghetsis, and Hex Maniac is enjoyable to me, disregarding others' opinions on those “toxic” cards. Now I know what you’re thinking, “No, Alex, you like expanded because of Mega Rayquaza-EX.” Well for the most part you’re right. But I’ve finally come to the unfortunate and painful realization that Mega Rayquaza is dead, for now. Maybe in the near or far future, it can make a comeback, but so long as every deck is playing the dreaded Roadblocking Sudowoodo, Mega Rayquaza can’t deal anymore than 120 damage most games. And even Zoroark GX variants are teching in copies of Mind Jack Zoroark, which utterly destroys Mega Rayquaza, dealing up to 250 damage. All the more reason Mega Rayquaza needs to sit out this tournament.

So, without further ado, let’s get into two decks I know are top contenders for Dallas, two decks of which I’ve spent nearly all of my time testing, Night March and Zoroark Lycanroc.

 

 

Night March

While this is currently my favorite deck heading into Dallas, it’s a considerably dangerous play, as it has the largest target on it’s back, thanks to its insane performance in San Jose a little more than a month ago, the last Expanded Regionals. With easily tech-able cards like Oricorio, Karen, Ghetsis, and Seismitoad-EX, an unprepared Night March player will easily find themselves amongst the bottom tables.

Even though nearly every player will be prepared to play against Night March, I still feel that I can overcome any obstacle that I may find in my may with the deck. Night March has every trick up its sleeve and has nearly every tech available to its exposal. My favorite being Marshadow-GX, being able to one shot a Zoroark-GX (which I absolutely expect to play against at least six times out of my nine rounds).

 

So the idea of this deck is ... hehe, as if you didn’t know already. Night March has been recently deemed as one of the most destructive and influential decks in the history of Pokemon. So if you haven’t heard of this deck by now, I’d say it’s about time you climb out from underneath your rock.

Key Cards

Night March (Attack)

As you all know, Night March deals 20 damage for each Pokemon with the Night March attack in your discard pile. With twelve Night Marchers in your deck, having discarded eleven means you’re attacking for 220 damage. With a Choice Band attached, you're dealing 250 damage OHKOing anything in the game!

Marshadow-GX

Marshadow’s ability, Shadow Hunt, is the reason this card sees play at all, allowing it to use the attacks of any Basic Pokemon in your discard pile. So, as long as you have a single Joltik in your discard pile, Marshadow GX can copy the Night March attack, making it easier to discard additional Night Marchers than you would without this Pokemon in the deck. Just like Fates Collide Mew, but as a Fighting Type, meaning that it easily OHKO’s a Zoroark-GX, which again, is in every single deck in expanded. The only two downsides to this Pokemon are that it has a mediocre 150 HP, and for a two-prize attacker, is quite risky. Amd the other being that while it can copy Pumpkaboo’s attack from the discard pile, Marshadow doesn’t gain any aid from Dimension Valley, meaning that you’d have to attach two Double Colorless Energy to Marshadow-GX to copy Pumpkaboo’s Night March attack.

Zoroark GX

Trade ... need I say more? Again, if you’ve emerged from your rock yet, you know how powerful and broken of a card Zoroark-GX is. A 210 HP Darkness type Pokemon, its ability, Trade, allows you to discard a card from your hand and draw two cards from the top of your deck. This conveniently fits into Night March perfectly. It’s another means of discarding your Night Marchers and provides a secondary attacker if needed. Its attack is quite busted, Riotous Beating, dealing 20 damage for each Pokemon you have in play on your side of the field. While you won’t use Zoroark-GX’s attack much in this deck, it has completely flipped one matchup (Trevenant) from an auto loss, to having the upper hand!

Tapu Lele-GX

While most Night March decks take inspiration from lists like Pram’s and Azul Griego’s, item lock is more prevalent than ever now, meaning getting a draw Supporter under item lock is quite important. I’d like to play a second Tapu Lele-GX, specifically to help getting a draw supporter when under item lock. So if I were to cut anything, it would be the third Shaymin-EX, though, I think we’re safe running one Tapu Lele-GX with how things are looking now. And even if you’re not faced against an item lock deck, having a second Tapu Lele-GX may help in getting that turn one Ghetsis or Hex Maniac off on turn one.

Field Blower

While Garbotoxin Garbodor is no longer much of a threat in Expanded, you still may need to get rid of a Fighting Fury Belt to knock out a Pokemon or rid an opponent of their Float Stone and Choice Band. Even ridding of a Stadium that you don’t want in play since you only play the Dimension Valley.

Ghetsis

THE MOST BUSTED CARD IN EXPANDED ... or the worst. With a well-timed Ghetsis, especially on the first turn of the game, you could literally win the game from this card alone. I would know, since I’ve done it countless times leading to my Regional titles. However, play this card at the wrong moment, and you’ll have wasted your Supporter card for your turn. While the typical rule of thumb being play a Hex Maniac over a Ghetsis, if you’re paired up against a Night March deck or Trevenant or Darkrai, play Ghetsis just about every time. If faced against a Zoroark deck, and you see that they’ve started with just a Zorua, I’d usually play a Hex Maniac in that situation, as they’re more prone to bench a Tapu Lele-GX. Whereas if they started with a Tapu Lele-GX as their active Pokemon, playing a Ghetsis is the more optimal play.

Lysandre and Guzma

The one-one split is perfect in this deck, since you only play one Float Stone, and no free retreaters, Guzma isn't always your ideal catcher card. And since you play Battle Compressor, you can easily choose which catcher Supporter you’d like to discard and use later.

Pokemon Ranger

Since Night March relies on Double Colorless Energy alone as its only energy source to attack and items to do everything else, we fear things like Giratina-EX, Quaking Punch, and the new Mismagius, which has the same attack as Giratina-EX, but deals 30 damage while preventing the opposing player from playing special energy, tools, and stadiums. Pokemon Ranger, if in hand usually, or with the help of Tapu Lele-GX’s Wonder Tag ability, can negate the effects preventing you from playing the game, and taking back the lead that’s rightfully yours. At the way the meta is currently standing, you can’t play Night March without the inclusion of Pokemon Ranger, period, the same also goes for mostly all Zoroark-GX variants as well.

Night March Matchup Overview

Ghetsis

I know this isn’t really a matchup, but it’s a card that as a Night March player, you should expect every single game that your opponent is going first. Literally, every good player with a brain will be running a copy of Ghetsis in their deck, so if you don’t like the sound of that, maybe Night March isn’t for you for the time being.


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