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Denise van Wijk

Florida Regionals - Standard Breakdown

For my first article on 60Cards I was asked to have a look at the changes in the metagame after the introduction of Primal Clash.

03/15/2015 by Denise van Wijk

For my first article on 60Cards I was asked to have a look at the changes in the metagame after the introduction of Primal Clash. I will use Florida Regionals as my reference point to establish which decks would gain from the new set and which ones were the net losers. I was asked in specific to have a look at some of the Primal Groudon EX and Kyogre EX decks. However, as you may know already, these decks were not able to dominate the field and none of the Kyogre EX decks were able to make day two. My colleague Bradley has recently written a deck report on the extended format. Therefore, I decided to focus on elaborating on which decks were successful in the standard format. Below you can find a list of the players (and their decks) who made top 32 and were allowed to advance to day 2. I will structure the article in the following manner: First, we will have a general overview of Florida Regionals, followed by an in-depth comparison of the most successful decks, namely Landorus EX/Crobat; Seismitoad EX variants; Primal Groudon EX decks and Night march. In my conclusion I give a brief summary of the changed metagame.

General overview Florida Regionals

Post Top 32 Florida Regional Decks: Standard (source: Virbank City Gym)

1. Dylan Dreyer - Yveltal/Toad/Garbodor
2. Jordan Parrish - Yveltal/Toad/Garbodor
3. Justin Sanchez - Yveltal/Toad
4. Orion Craig - Flareon/Empoleon (Archie's)
5. Kevin Baxter - Primal Groudon/Focus Sash
6. Santiago Rodriguez - Night March/Empoleon (Archie's)
7. Drew Guritzky - Night March
8. Jose Marrero - Landorus EX/Crobat
9. David Lopez - Seismitoad/Mewtwo/Crobat
10. Daniel Shiekh - Seismitoad EX/Charizard EX/Garbodor
11. Zach Fisher - Seismitoad EX/Garbodor
12. Brent Siebenkittel - Landorus EX/Hawlucha
13. Daniel Altavilla - Landorus EX/Crobat
14. Carter Copeland - Landorus EX/Crobat
15. Harrison Leven - Landorus EX/Crobat
16. Noel Totomuch - Empoleon/Miltank/Dusknoir
17. Collin Schaetzke - Seismitoad/Manectric/Crobat/Rock Guard
18. Josh Marking - Primal Groudon/Focus Sash
19. Adrian Rodriguez - Night March
20. Rudy Paras - Landorus EX/Crobat
21. Andre Bortoni - Primal Groudon/Masquerain
22. Jason Klaczynski - Seismitoad EX/Garbodor
23. Diane Schemanske - Seismitoad EX/Garbodor
24. Ryan Sabelhaus - Landorus EX /Crobat
25. Gabe Cherniske - Landorus EX/Crobat
26. Shawn Bernaky - Landorus EX/Crobat
27. Simon Narode - Yveltal/Toad/Garbodor
28. Mike Canaves - Flareon/Empoleon(Archie's)
29. Kyle Warden - Landorus EX/Crobat
30. Jim Roll - Flareon/Empoleon(Archie's)
31. Kyle Sabelhaus - Night March/Empoleon(Archie's)
32. Vincente Maya - Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff PHF

 

As you can see, Top 32 was dominated by Landorus EX/Crobat and Seismitoad EX variants making up over 50% of Top 32. There were a few Night March, Flareon and Yveltal EX decks that did well, but as a surprise an Empoleon deck was able to secure a place for day 2. In the following article I will have a look at two different versions of the popular Landorus EX/Crobat deck while also looking into the different Seismitoad EX variants. We will analyse the Primal Groudon EX decks and have a closer look at the night Night March deck which gained a lot from the new set.

Given that Orion has already written an excellent report on Flareon, we can omit that from our observation. Similarly, you can expect an in depth report regarding the highest placing Yveltal ex deck (Justin Sanchez), which leaves us with an in depth look at the following: Landorus EX/Crobat; Seismitoad EX, Primal Groudon EX and Night March decks. When looking into the specific deck lists I’ll discuss why players  opted for certain cards while also suggesting some other options that could be viable. Where possible I present you with the list of a similar deck, allowing you to understand the importance of specific cards when preparing for certain match-ups.

Landorus EX/Crobat

 

Due to its great success at Florida Regionals I decided to start off with two of the lists that were able to make top 32 during day 1. Let’s start with Kyle Warden’s JudgementalBats, followed by Daniel Altavilla’s version of the same deck.


Kyle opted for a list where Hawlucha would be the main attacker accompanied by a thinner line of Landorus EX and Lucario EX. The Crobat line is ideal to add extra damage. Kyle must have anticipated a fair amount of EX-attackers as he relies heavily on Hawlucha to win games, which is perfectly understandable considering the large amount of damage Hawlucha can do for just one energy. However, he can deal perfectly with non-EX attackers by opting for a strategy that involves Landorus EX and Lucario EX.

A Hawlucha with a Strong Energy, Muscle Band and Fighting Stadium in play can easily do 120 damage, which incredible for just one energy. Additionally, Hawlucha has no retreat  cost which makes it easier to deal with Hypnotoxic Laser, considering retreating gets rids of special conditions. Kyle also plays a Jirachi EX to increase consistency and a Mr Mime to ensure the bench will not get damaged by attacks from Pokémon like opposing Landorus ex, but also fringe attackers like Darkrai EX or Plasma Kyurem. Its also pretty useful against Megalo Cannon. 

 With regards to trainers, we can see Kyle decided not to play the maximum amount of each supporter. With the introduction of VS Seeker in the previous set, it is possible to reuse the supporters in your discard pile, meaning you can run lower counts of them. Especially with Jirachi EX he should not have any trouble getting a supporter in each of his hands. Interesting, is his decision to play AZ on top of the large number of Super Scoop ups in his list. I’ve seen variants run one Pokemon Centre Lady - which though lacks synergy with Hawlucha and Crobat, can be gamebreaking vs Yveltal and Seismitoad Laser decks.

Overall, I totally agree with playing AZ, regardless of having to often discard energy - given the efficiency of your attackers. Additionally, he decided not to play any switches or float stones, of course this is mostly not necessary with Hawlucha’s free retreat.

However, this has again, been compensated by a high count of super scoop-ups. The big downside is obviously the coin flip which Kyle had to win to actually pick up his Pokémon. The combination of several item cards which allow him to pick up one of his Pokémon and his decision not to play Pokémon Centre Lady may indicate he was not really prepared for a Seismitoad EX item lock deck which would run lasers, though given this is already a pretty bad matchup, it is possible he was happy to take his chances.

It is good to see Kyle opted for some of the items from the new set, namely Repeat Ball. This card allows you to search a Pokémon from your deck which you already have in play. This allows him to get as many attackers in play as quickly as possible without having to go through the process of making costly discards which is necessary to play Ultra Ball.

It is interesting that Kyle did not play any Muscle Bands for additional damage, and as far as I'm concerned seems incorrect. The lack of Korrina is something I would have to test, as although on first glance it may seem a staple addition - Kyle may be onto something, wanting to draw a substantial amount of cards per turn over tutoring for a couple he has an abundance of.

 

Having looked at Kyle’s Landorus EX/Crobat deck I will now turn to a slightly different version of the same deck. Daniel Altavilla was able to pilot his version of this popular deck to thirteenth place on day 1.

Let’s see which cards he chose and how this alters some of the match-ups. This also allows us to understand which match-ups he predicted. The strategy of this deck is the same as Kyle’s deck. You rely heavily on your main attackers: Hawlucha, Landorus EX and Lucario EX while also benefitting from the extra damage that the Crobat line brings.

Daniel also opted for a Jirachi EX to increase his consistency, however he decided not to play Mr Mime. This may indicate he expected less attackers that affect the bench as mentioned earlier.Perhaps, because of the introduction of the newest set - he expected a higher ratio of new decks (Gardevoir/Groudon), which do not attack the bench.

When looking at the supporter line, we immediately recognise a difference. Daniel opted to play 3 Korrina in addition to the staple Professor Junipers, Ns and Colress’. Korrina has been a must in every fighting deck, however with the introduction of Repeat Ball, one can consider reducing the amount of Korrina, or even decide to play none like Kyle.

However, one very important difference is the freedom that Korrina allows you, as you can search for any fighting Pokémon, and is usually your best first turn supporter. However, it does seem to get much weaker as the game progresses and is usually very weak vs Seismitoad EX netting you a fighting Pokemon and an item you cannot play.

Korrina can be incredibly important to ensure you can attach your Muscle Band before you are Head Ringered or Item locked, though. Daniel also opted for an AZ, and one copy of Lysandre.

Daniel’s deck may be a bit faster in ending games than Kyle’s deck considering he plays 3 Fighting Stadium and no Silent Lab, this indicates he prefers to quickly deal as much damage as possible to take the win. The same logic applied to Muscle Band, or the lack thereof. 

It is interesting to see Daniel plays a Target Whistle. Target Whistle allows your to place a Pokémon from your opponent’s discard pile onto his bench. This in combination with Lysandre allows you to KO the Pokémon with the lowest HP. This can result in Jirachi EX becoming a target for the last two prizes, after it has been knocked out already or discarded at some point.

Daniel only runs 9 energy in comparison to Kyle’s 13. This allowed Daniel to include some cards which increase the speed of the deck, ensuring quicker matches whereby he hopes to outpace his opponent.

Both versions of the deck did incredibly well during the Florida Regionals. Personally, I am not a fan of a high count of super scoop-ups as they slow you down and make you heavily reliant on coin flips.

Additionally, I believe Muscle Band is necessary in the Landorus EX/Crobat deck as this allows you to deal more damage and hopefully ensures you a prize lead. This becomes especially relevant when targeting a Pokémon EX with your Crobat line. By evolving your Zubat you can do 20 damage to a Pokémon EX with 170HP early in the game. Once you evolve your Golbat into a Crobat doing an additional 30 damage to the Pokémon. Now that it only has 120HP left, it can now be knocked out by a Hawlucha with Muscle Band, Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium. Without the Muscle Band you will often be 20HP short of knocking your opponent’s Pokémon out, or aren’t getting full value out of your hammerheads.  

Additionally, Repeat Ball has a lot of potential, however I am not certain whether Repeat Ball has a place in this deck. A list with Ultra Ball, Repeat Ball and Korrina may end up being the way forward - I guess only time and testing will tell.

3. Seismitoad EX

 

Seismitoad EX has been incredibly popular recently and we have seen all kinds of versions of the deck. It started with Seismitoad EX/Garbodor but we soon began seeing versions which ran Slurfpuff and/or Victini EX or Charizard EX. We will now turn to Vicente Maya’s deck, who was able to make day 2 with the following list.  Alongside this will be Andrew Wamboldt’s list, which even though, predates the new set, gives us an interesting view of the deck. I must admit, Seismitoad EX has only gained a few cards from the new set, which means the lists overall have not changed dramatically. 

 

Vincente plays the very popular Slurpuff variant, its Tasting ability allows you to draw an additional card each turn. I am certain enough has been said about Slurpuff in previous articles so I will quickly move on to examining the list in greater detail.

Vincente runs a Keldeo EX, this card has often been useful to get rid of status effects, but considering one cannot play Hypnotoxic Laser when under item lock, this cannot have been the reason for this addition (If you are worried about getting poisoned on turn 1, I would recommend playing Pokémon Centre Lady to get rid of this).

Another potential reason for this inclusion could have been the fear of decks which play Malamar EX, but also just to allow him to promote Slurpuff and draw two extra cards before rushing in and retreating to Seismitoad ex.

By attaching an energy to Malamar EX, your active will be put to sleep. 50% of the time the active remains asleep during your turn, which means you cannot attack and will have to break the item lock for at least a turn. It seems like Vincente wanted to avoid this at any cost and decided to play a Keldeo EX to counter this.

Additionally, Keldeo EX can be used to retreat a heavily damaged Seismitoad EX considering it has 3 retreat cost and float stone is often not an option when you prefer the extra damage that Muscle Band does. Vincente also play Jirachi EX to increase consistency and Mewtwo EX which has fringe uses, but can do a lot of damage for just a DCE.

Vincente plays a whole range of supporters and takes advantage of VS Seeker to use several situational supporters. Besides playing the obvious Professor Juniper, N, Skyla and Lysandre. Vincente opted to included a Shadow Triad, Pokémon Centre Lady, Xerosic, Lysandre’s Trump Card, Cassius and a Team Flare Grunt. All these cards are very versatile and running one copy is now possible with VS Seeker in the format. Once the card is in the discard pile, Vincente can just choose which supporter is most useful for that specific match-up. This does not give us a hint as to what match-ups Vincente expected as he tries to cover all the match-ups with this wide range of situational supporters.

He also plays 2 Virbank and 3 Hypnotoxic Laser, which should probably just be a 4th Laser > Shadow Triad. Especially given that Lysandre’s Trump Card allows him to shuffle his discard pile into his deck when he runs out of the necessary items cards needed to win the match-up.

This deck relies on poisoning your opponent’s active Pokémon while also using Crushing Hammer to get rid of the energies in play, disabling your opponent to attack. Personally I would include a few enhanced hammers considering the popularity of special energies.

He plays two Muscle Band (I personally prefer at least 3 to ensure you can always deal 50 damage with Quaking Punch as 30 damage makes the game incredibly slow) and two float stone, one for Slurpuff and one for Keldeo EX.

It is good to see Vincente uses Dive Ball from the new set as this allows you to search for a water Pokémon without having to discard two cards, however he still needs to play Ultra Ball to ensure he can optimally use Jirachi EX, while this also allows you to set up your Slurpuff line.

A completely different take on this deck is Andrew’s list. The Garbodor version was originally the most popular version, shutting off both your opponent’s abilities and items. Players sometimes opt to include Fire Pokémon to result in a more favourable match-up against Virizion EX based decks, though this usually only results in a clunky un-synergistic addition. 

As you can see, the trainer count in this deck is once again incredibly high. We see the usual supporters and a copy of Team Flare Grunt. This card is incredibly useful in combination with Enhanced and Crushing Hammer in stifling your opponent’s turn.

This deck plays 4 Bicycle as it cannot benefit from the drawing power of Slurpuff and with an already thin draw supporter line, this seems to be a necessity. However, I foresee issues with a high bicycle count given the likeliness your hand is to clump with cards you cannot play: Enhanced Hammer, Virbank, Switch, Max Potion, Bicycle, Head Ringer, etc. Additionally, this card is very bad against an early Quaking Punch.

Some players will opt for Roller Skates (or a combination of both) as this allows you to draw cards when you have more than 4 cards in hand as well. However, it is characterised as being more volatile due to the coin flips.

The deck can probably benefit from playing Dive Ball, however this list predates the new set. I am a fan of running 4 Hypnotoxic Lasers, however I would even increase the number of Virbank played as this is just essential to win quick matches and necessary to counter Steel Shelter and Fairy Garden (otherwise this match-up is rather difficult).

The one Max Potion is very useful when your Seismitoad EX is heavily damaged, and only one copy is played to ensure you won’t run low on energies. Considering you only have 7 energies in total. 3 Muscle Band is good as you always want to deal 50 damages with Quaking Punch as mentioned previously.

As you can see, both Seismitoad EX lists are rather different and rely on different strategies to win the game. Where the Slurpuff version is rather quick and tries to run its opponent low on energies, the Garbodor version also does this (albeit less efficiently) whilst additionally shutting off abilities.

However, it cannot always reach the Hammers and Lasers to prevent attacks or poison its opponent. Both versions are extremely good and it depends on what metagame you expect to make a decision on what version you prefer. The Garbodor version is better against Virizion EX/Genesect EX (however, still VERY unfavourable), while the Slurpuff version allows you to constantly poison your opponent while getting rid of their energies.

I personally advocate Draglage in my Seismitoad decks - and find that without Garbodor, its a must in winning matches that are otherwise un-winnable.  

Primal Groudon EX

 

Primal Groudon EX decks were anticipated to be popular during the Florida Regionals. The inability to use any trainers onto this Pokémon makes this Pokémon exceptionally powerful. However, we only saw 3 variants make day 2. The main question is: is the deck not good enough to do consistently well, or did players prefer to revert to a safe option considering this is the first large tournament after the introduction of the new set? This will remain a question that only time can answer. We will analyse the list that Andre Bortoni played. It will be very interesting to see how he structured this deck as there is no real precedent set so far on which   staples to play in a Primal Groudon EX deck. Therefore, it is incredibly kind of Andre to make this list public. Anyways, let’s look at his list.

Andre plays three regular Landorus, even though this Pokémon does deal damage, this is not the main attacker of the deck. Landorus’ first attack is called ‘Shout of Power’, which allows you to attach one energy from your discard pile to one of your benched Pokémon. This is extremely important considering Primal Groudon EX needs 4 energies to attack, if all of these will have to be attached manually it will take 4 turns at least before Primal Groudon EX can attack, with Landorus in play, one can attack with it only after 2 turns of using Shout of Power, which makes the deck considerably faster.

Now let’s have a look at the main attacker in this deck. Groudon EX has two attacks, the first attack does 30 damage for 2 energies and flips a coin to potentially discard an energy from your opponent's active, while the second attack does 130 for four energies. This attack is not too bad, however the real attacker is created the moment you evolve Groudon EX into Primal Groudon EX. For 4 energies, this Pokémon does 100 damage, however when a stadium card is in play, this Pokémon can do an astonishing 200 damage, however the stadium card will have to be discarded. As you can appreciate, this Pokémon is ridiculously powerful especially considering it cannot be affected by trainer cards, which makes it difficult for a normal attacker to do considerable damage to it or paralyse it for the next turn. Cards like Hammers, Hypnotic Lasers and even Lysandre cannot affect this Pokémon. And with its 240HP your odds of KO’ing this Pokémon are considerably reduced.

If this is not enough yet, in case there is not a stadium in play, this Pokémon can obviously also benefit from Strong Energy and Muscle Band. In an ideal situation this means that a Primal Groudon EX with 3 strong energy and a muscle band could easily do 180 damage.

However, it is interesting to observe this list does not play any Muscle Band/Silver Bangle. Personally, I think this list could benefit from these tools especially considering he did opt for the ‘Tool Reversal’ ability from Masquerain. Though, 200 damage (we’ve seen previously in Black Kyurem ex and G-Booster) is usually enough to get the job done.

To ensure your opponent cannot play any ACE SPECS, Andre opted to play Spiritomb which disables your opponent even further. Andre decided to play a 2-2 line of Masquerain (you may vaguely remember this being played in some Tool Drop decks) to allow him to move his tools around. This is especially beneficial to move the Groudon Spirit link from Primal Groudon EX to a new Groudon EX. 

 With regards to the trainers, we again see the staple supporters for any fighting deck. It is of more interest to have a look at the trainers that Andre decided to play. Andre played quite a range of tools which obviously has great synergy with the Masquerain line. We see 2 Groudon Spirit link, which allow him to evolve his Groudon EX without having to finish his turn.

We see 2 Float Stone, so he can retreat damaged/poisoned/Lysandre’d/… Pokémon. Especially the Exp Share is incredibly useful in this deck. When your opponent finally knocks out your Primal Groudon EX, you are able to transfer one of your fighting energies onto your new Primal Groudon EX which is essential considering the 4 energies this Pokémon needs to attack.

We also see one Hard Charm, which makes it even more difficult to do any damage to this Pokémon. Weakness Policy is extremely useful against Virizion EX/Genesect EX so they cannot OHKO your Primal Groudon.

As his ACE SPEC Andre plays Scramble Switch which allows him to switch his Pokémon while also transferring the energies on the new active. This also speeds up the deck to a great extent.

To fully benefit from Primal Groudon EX’s attack one has to play some stadium cards. Andre opted for Scorched Earth, allowing him to discard a fighting energy to draw two cards. Whilst also playing Silent Lab, which disables all abilities off basic Pokémon (including Safeguard), giving him an additional advantage.

Now let’s have a  look at a slightly different version of the same deck.

This list has a slightly different strategy, besides Groudon EX/Primal Groudon EX line and the Landorus which helps energy acceleration, we can observe this list also opts for the cheap, yet powerful Hawlucha. As explained earlier, Hawlucha is extremely powerful and can do a considerable amount of damage for just one energy. This attacker can be used while powering up a Primal Groudon EX. This list opted to leave Spiritomb out, but like the previous list still decided to run the 2-2 Masquerain line.

The supporter line is rather similar again. Rather than Weakness Policy, this list opted to play Focus Sash. This card allows your fighting Pokémon to survive with 10HP when it would have otherwise been OHKO’ed. This card is useful on Landorus and Hawlucha, however I doubt its use on Primal Groudon EX due to its large HP.

In my opinion, Weakness Policy is the better option on Primal Groudon as it will be incredibly difficult to OHKO this Pokémon anyways, so Focus Sash will rarely be of use. However, when getting rid of your weakness, Weakness Policy allows you to improve your match-up against Virizion EX/Genesect EX to a large extent. Imagine Genesect EX (without G-Booster) would normally do 100 damage to your Primal Groudon EX. However, Primal Groudon EX is weak, resulting in 200 damage. When you have Focus Sash attached, this card does nothing in this scenario. If this would have been a Weakness Policy, your Primal Groudon EX does not have any weakness, resulting in only 100 damage on your Primal Groudon EX. I must admit, Focus Sash has a better use on the non-EX attackers in this deck.

It is interesting to see this deck plays one Max Potion. I highly doubt why this card made it in the list. When thinking about it, Primal Groudon EX would obviously benefit from it greatly to get rid of 200 damage, however when doing this you also lose all your energies.

This could be avoided by playing Scramble Switch just before, however I think that this card is not necessary in this deck. Additionally, it is of little use for Hawlucha as it mostly gets OHKO’ed (and you don’t mind too much about giving up one prize).

With regards to stadium cards, we see three copies of the Fighting Stadium (instead of Scorched Earth, which was played by Andre), Fighting Stadium is incredibly useful when attacking with Hawlucha or Landorus, but can also benefit Groudon EX or Primal Groudon EX. I prefer the Fighting Stadium over Scorched Earth, especially considering you need to preserve all your energies to ensure there is always a Primal Groudon EX ready to attack. You don’t need the Fighting Stadium when attacking for 200 damage (at least most of the time), however it is useful for your other attackers. Again, we see Silent Lab in this list as well, which as discussed above is a very good stadium in general. Especially as it also prevents Genesect EX’s Red Signal - an otherwise crippling ability in the matchup. 

To conclude, both lists have their upsides and downsides. I really think the first list could benefit from playing the Fighting Stadium rather than Scorched Earth - though Scorched Earth with Landorus is definitely a sweet combo. I also do prefer the tools played in the first list. In the later list, you commit 4 places to the 2-2 Masquerain line, while I highly doubt how beneficial this is when only playing a limited number of tools. I think a combination of both list would lead to the optimal Primal Groudon EX deck. I also really like the larger count of Landorus as this enables you to set up faster.

Night March

 

This deck is one of the most interesting decks to look at after the introduction of Primal Clash. The deck gained a new tool by playing Archie’s Ace in the Hole, which allows you to play an evolved water Pokémon without having the basic for it (obviously this also works for basic water Pokémon, but thats not as exciting and way too fair). Let’s first have a look at Santiago Rodriguez’ deck before having a look at the deck by themetadeck.com. Santiago asked me to give credit to his good friend Aaron Curry who designed the deck in a joint effort. 

As you may have experienced already, Night March can be an extremely powerful deck. With only a limited number of Night March Pokémon in the discard pile these little Pokémon can do an astonishing amount of damage. I will not go too deeply into the technicalities of this deck as I am certain you are aware of most of this already.

More so, I will use this section to have a deeper look into the new cards which benefitted this deck. This deck relies heavily on several Night March Pokémon which collectively can do an incredible amount of damage. Joltik is a small 30HP Pokémon, which for simply 2 colourless energy can attack. Considering the low HP of this Pokémon, he was often assisted by Mew EX, who copies its attack with its ‘Versatile’ ability but has 4 times the HP that Joltik has.

Pumpkaboo was able to benefit from Dimension Valley as it reduces the cost of its attack from three colourless, to simply two colourless. These attackers where often accompanied by Lampent to increase the number of Pokémon with the Night March attack.

One Mr. Mime is played to prevent the bench from being damaged, while 1 Jirachi EX increases consistency.

Some of you may be surprised to see the 2 Empoleon without the basic or stage 1 being played. This is where the new set benefits this deck. By playing Archie’s Ace in the Hole, the player is able to bench a water Pokémon from his discard pile onto his bench, afterwards he can draw 5 cards. By benching Empoleon one can then also immediately benefit from ‘Diving Draw’. Sadly, this card can only be played when its the last card in your hand (let’s be honest, otherwise it would be way, way too good). 

Let’s have a look at the trainers this deck plays. Acro Bike is also a new addition from Primal Clash which benefits this deck. It allows you to have a look at the top two cards of your deck, you then put one in your hand and discard the other. With the large amount of Night March Pokémon, you are in a good position that at least one of them is a Pokémon and obviously you don’t mind discarding these.

Battle Compressor is obviously of crucial importance to this deck as it allows you to get these Night March Pokémon into the discard pile. The last new addition to this deck is Teammates, this card allows you to search for two cards in your deck and put them in your hand when one of your Pokémon was knocked out. This card is incredibly good, especially in a deck like Night March where you have a lot of non-EX low HP Pokémon. 

When I spoke to Santiago after the tournament he said he was generally quite happy with the list, however would have gotten rid of the second N and replaced it for a second Lysandre. I must admit, this deck sounds incredibly powerful and it is good to see how this deck has been able to make use of some cards from the next set. Personally, I have not tested this deck, but I think it has great potential. However, let’s have a look at another version of the same deck and see which other options we have.

This list utilises a similar strategy as the one discussed above. Again we see the same Pokémon, the only difference is that this list only plays one Empoleon while Santiago’s list opted for two. It is interesting to see that this supporter line comes close to what Santiago indicated to me he would have done differently, namely 1N and 2 Lysandre.

This list also plays one Archie’s Ace in the Hole to ensure you can bench your Empoleon. Interesting is the Lysandre’s Trump card. I fully understand that Night March is incredibly fast and goes through the deck quickly when playing 4 Battle Compressor and using Diving Draw. However, I think that Lysandre’s Trump Card really hampers the deck. By resetting your deck and shuffling your discard pile into your deck you lose all the Night March Pokémon you carefully placed in the discard pile. Which means you effectively start the game all over again, which can lead to a very painful loss after you are being N’ed to a low number and can’t get set up again. It is especially interesting as I mostly use Lysandre’s Trump Card to set my Night March opponent back. It is obviously a trade off between decking and attacking, however I think prudent play will prevent you from decking and I would advise that strategy to everyone who decides to play this deck.

One key difference is that Santiago plays 3 Muscle Band while the later list plays 2 Muscle Band and 1 Silver Bangle. Which combination you opt for depends entirely on the meta-game you expect. In case you expect a lot of EX-based decks, it is worthwhile to play more Silver Bangles and less Muscle Bands, however if you expect a mixture or a higher number of non-EX based decks it is worthwhile to play a higher count of Muscle Bands. This solely depends on your expected match-ups as both have different benefits. 

All in all these decks are rather similar. By playing such a large number of Pokémon and ensuring you have the right amount of energies, this leaves you little room for additional trainers. Especially considering that you need 4 Battle Compressor, draw supporters and Archie’s Ace in the Hole. This only leaves a few spots to differentiate. Here we could clearly see that the lists are near identical and only the actual counts differ from one list to the other. I think both lists show great potential, and if you decide to make your own version of this, I would advise you to not become too ambitious by changing these lists majorly.

Conclusion

 

In this article we had a look at the different decks that did well during the Florida Regionals. After the introduction of Primal Clash, people feared the metagame would change dramatically. After this analysis, we can conclude that indeed some decks have gained considerably (Night March) whereas others may be considered net losers (Seismitoad EX variants). However, the new attackers from Primal Clash have not been able to dominate the meta-game and have under-performed to a certain extent. Whereas Primal Groudon EX decks were able to make cut at least, Kyogre EX decks have disappointed us to a great extent. I am uncertain whether this rather unsuccessful start for both decks will set the tone for the rest of the upcoming regionals or whether a lack of testing time and the uncertainty of the new metagame resulted in this. Only time will tell whether Primal Groudon EX decks will be able to dominate the format or whether the new set mainly benefits the established decks by giving them some new item cards.

 

[+8] okko


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07/17/2018 by Chris Fulop // I Piloted Ultra Necrozma/Malamar In Columbus For The NAIC, Find Out How It Went! (+22)

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