Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

The Final Hour - My Play for Portland

I go over my final deck choice for Portland heading into tomorrow.

10/26/2018 by Zach Lesage

Flying to the West Coast

What’s up 60 Cards readers? I flew into Portland yesterday and I have been enjoying my trip so far. Oh wait, this is a Pokémon article? Cool, cool.

I guess you came here to see what I am going to play tomorrow, hear about my pre tournament stresses, and everything else that falls within that bundle. Sounds good? Let’s jump into my brain the day before a Regionals... 3... 2... 1... ahhhhhhh...

My Play for Portland

So I talked about my potential plays in my last article and I have decided to play Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66) . There is something appealing about the deck, I can’t put my finger on it, but it is calling my name. It is likely a combination of factors; solid matchups across the board, Item-lock capabilities, and the opportunity to shut your opponent out the game (regardless of their skill level!).

I have played Trevenant (XY; 55)  decks in the past and the new addition to the deck, Tapu Lele (BW; 45) , is a sneaky success! I am not gonna lie, I don’t feel super comfortable in Expanded because it has turned into such a vast format, but when I am using Ascension on my Phantump (BKP; 64) , the format doesn’t seem as bad. I don’t know what to expect in terms of my result from this weekend, but I have tested this deck a few hundred games with the insight of my brother and fellow 60 Cards writer, Jay Lesage. Take a peek at my list, the list that I am 99% sold on for tomorrow, and see if there is anything that you might take from it. Enjoy! 


As of 10:15 PM PDT, the below list is the list that I have settled on and that I submitted online. They are minor changes from the list above and I don't forsee myself changing this list haha.

There are a few interesting cards that Jay and I have added within the list, but other than that, it is the same core deck that most other players have been messing around with. My idea heading into this event is to stick to the original strategy of Trevenant (XY; 55) , Item-lock and spreading damage, while carefully adding spice where I have found holes. It isn’t the most inventive deck that I have ever taken to a Regional Championships, but dropping a well timed Team Flare Grunt (XY; 129)  can decide a game (especially in a mirror match). There are a handful of cards that fall under this category of ‘spice’ so I will single them out and go a bit more in depth to why I added them into my deck. 

Silent Lab

Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  is a card that Jay thought would be a great accompaniment in this deck to help put against decks playing a copy of Giratina (BW; 184) . Giratina (BW; 184)  is a weird counter card to Trevenant BREAK (BKP; 66)  because you can somewhat play around the card by not Evolving Trevenant (XY; 55) , but that also takes away the spread aspect of the deck. We have found that a Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  can punish opposing players who play a Giratina (BW; 184) , but it can also stop some other big decks.

Notably, if you drop the Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  against an Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31)  deck, they won’t be able to use Keldeo EX (BC; 49)  to move to the Active position. This can lead to more turns of spreading damage, more turns of our opponent passing, and a generally improved matchup. Because the Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  would be a singleton card in the deck, I have been going back and forth with adding a Lusamine (CIN; 96)  into the deck over a copy of VS Seeker (UR; 100) . The Lusamine (CIN; 96)  is like a half-and-half version of VS Seeker (UR; 100) , but I am leaning towards not including it because it makes the deck slower. We have agreed that adding in a copy of Skyla (BC; 134)  does make the Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  an acceptable tech because we can nab it by using Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) , Wonder Tag, Skyla (BC; 134) , and grab the Silent Lab (PRC; 140) . There is the possibility that we will add in a second copy of Silent Lab (PRC; 140) , but we haven’t fully decided on that yet. 

Team Flare Grunt

The idea of Team Flare Grunt (XY; 129)  came when I was testing against a Buzzwole GX (CIN; 57)  deck that included a Zygarde EX (FCO; 54)  that kept on healing itself against my Trevenant (XY; 55) . I figured that cutting an Enhanced Hammer (GRI; 124)  wouldn’t be the end of the world and that the flexibility of Team Flare Grunt (XY; 129)  and VS Seeker (UR; 100)  would be an appropriate deck fix. I don’t know if it is a realistic approach to add this card into the deck for a single card, but I also foresee other situations where this tech could be used. Between setting up multi-turn strategies with Counter Catcher (CIN; 91)  / Guzma (BUS; 115)  and Enhanced Hammer (GRI; 124)  / Team Flare Grunt (XY; 129) , this card has seemingly found a home for now.

Like I said above, I don’t think Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  and Team Flare Grunt (XY; 129)  are the most innovative cards I have ever included into a deck, but they are working smooth for now. At this point, I am settled into the above list, but I am sure you all understand what it is like to stress out before an event. The generalized thoughts that are running through my mind are keeping myself in range of a stipend for Australia, worried about shifts in the metagame, and general pre-tournament jitters that I assume every player gets sometimes. The best thing that I can do is play test with my friends, try to plan for the expected Metagame, and calm myself down the best I can. If I were to change my deck at all, which I likely won’t, I will be playing something with Buzzwole in it because that is my absolute comfort pick. Whatever I end up playing with, catch me with a grin of confidence, a well constructed deck, and a joyful play style at the table.

Heading Off

I hope to see many of you in Portland and feel free to talk to me if you see me at any event. I am still feeling uneasy about Expanded because this event is important to my position in the Top 16 of North America, but I just need to relax relaxing that I have put in the effort when it comes to testing.

I will be working on producing the highest level of content going forward on a consistent basis as I work on a strategic plan to make 60 Cards a better website. During this time of rejuvenation, I welcome any and all feedback that will help see the site succeed. The immediate goals of the site are to streamline regular content, release it on a continuous basis, and provide more articles for the same value. These are hefty goals, but I will be working long hours to make sure I can keep the value of my word. 

If you are looking to find out what’s going on in the world of Zach Lesage, here is the linking for all of my current Social Media / business projects.


Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Coaching: The Dark Patch

YouTube: Team DDG PTCG


Twitch: TBA (coming soon)


Thanks for all of the support and let’s have an awesome season,

Zach Lesage


#PlayPokemon #Pokemon #60Cards #PokeAcademy #TheDarkPatch #DeadDrawGaming


[+24] okko


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