Experts' corner

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Ryan Sabelhaus

"All Cells Burn" - An in-depth look at Zygarde-EX/Regirock-EX/Carbink BREAK

Ryan takes a look at the under-discussed new attacker out of Fates Collide, Zygarde-EX, which is paired together with Regirock-EX and Carbink BREAK.

06/07/2016 by Ryan Sabelhaus

Introduction

Hey, 60Cards readers! I’m back again with another short article to focus on a card that hasn’t gotten much attention yet. With the new set, Fates Collide, coming out and plenty of options for Standard format decks being available, I’m actually surprised by the complete lack of players discussing Zygarde-EX. With Regirock-EX becoming available to add damage and become the Fighting version of Deoxys-EX, this new Fighting Pokémon can hit for huge amounts of damage while also never getting one-hit KO’d thanks to Focus Sash. I’m not saying that this is a completely broken strategy that will dominate the Standard format or anything, but it seems really strong and could make a huge impact if played correctly.

Remember, in the Standard format, one of the strongest decks at the time is Night March. With small attackers that can hit for huge amounts of damage in Night March, a Zygarde-EX deck that can abuse Focus Sash and take KO’s easily would be a great counter. For any decks that are focusing on heavy amounts of Pokémon-EX, the new Carbink has a Safeguard ability that prevents damage and effects from opposing Pokémon-EX. There are plenty of possibilities with Zygarde-EX decks that make it very interesting to experiment with, which is why I decided to focus my article on the new Fighting attacker. At the very least, it could be a fun deck to test out when you are tired of playing the more boring matchups that have come from this current Standard format.

In this article, I’ll go over my version of the Zygarde-EX/Regirock-EX deck that hasn’t been discussed very much yet. I’ll also talk about what makes this deck so powerful, some of the greater combinations to utilize while playing that may be overlooked or not used as much, and possible changes to make if the format were Expanded. Let’s get into the article!

Zygarde-EX/Regirock-EX

WHAT MAKES THIS DECK SO POWERFUL?

For this version of the deck, I’ve decided to use Carbink BREAK to help refuel attackers and build up big threats on the Bench. The main attacker of the deck has three different attacks to choose from, while also having a larger than normal 190 HP. Zygarde-EX makes for an extremely flexible threat that also has the potential to heal himself when damaged, which can actually come in handy during gameplay. The addition of Regirock-EX into the game has allowed for this combination to come alive and work fantastically together in the Standard format. To realize why this deck has so much potential, let’s talk about some of the strengths and fantastic combinations that can be utilized.

Focus Sash + Max Potion:

With the ability to live through being one-hit KO’d, most opponents are just going to hit for a decent amount of damage and not activate the Focus Sash. With this deck, you can just retreat/Escape Rope into the Carbink BREAK, Max Potion off all of the damage and Energy cards from the Zygarde-EX, and then just start re-attaching Energy through Max Elixir and Carbink BREAK attacking. From doing this, the Focus Sash will re-activate and work again. Through surviving and not giving up Prize cards very easily, this deck can outlast opponents and completely re-build attackers to eventually win.

Focus Sash + Power Memory:

Another flexibility of this build would be the two different Tool cards being played. Since there are two options to choose from for different matchups, two Zygarde-EX can be used to progress the game state and survive with Focus Sash while taking Prize cards, while the final Zygarde-EX can be the clean-up hitter to take the last Prize cards by using a Power Memory. Even Mega Pokémon-EX can’t survive the damage output from “All Cells Burn” with multiple Regirock-EX and Strong Energy. A big strength of this deck is the ease at grabbing these Tools through just playing a Korrina. In previous decks of the past, specific Tool cards like G Booster did the same effect but required the use of a Skyla, which limited plays during that turn. For Fighting decks that already use Korrina, there isn’t a need to add in other Supporter cards to find the needed Tools.

Carbink BREAK + Power Memory:

With the side effect of discarding 3 Energy cards attached to Zygarde-EX, Power Memory usually comes with quite the cost. Since Carbink BREAK can re-attach Energy cards and re-fuel possible attackers, all it takes is an Escape Rope or an AZ to bring him into the active position. There is so much synergy between these two Pokémon of Carbink BREAK and Zygarde-EX, which makes the combinations very powerful when they are pulled off.

Hawlucha + Regirock-EX + Focus Sash:

With Hawlucha being a great attacker in Fighting type decks, it only makes since to play multiple copies in this build. Hawlucha can now survive through multiple attacks with a Focus Sash attached, while also hitting for huge amounts of damage with a Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, and multiple Regirock-EX in play. Just one Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, and Regirock-EX in play would be enough for a knockout on a Shaymin-EX, which can just be repeated again on the following turn to grab FOUR Prize cards! Hawlucha has never had so much opportunity to flourish with the help from added damage to Fighting type attackers from a basic Pokémon-EX.

Zygarde-EX using “Cell Storm” + Focus Sash:

During previous seasons, the way of getting around Focus Sash would be to attack with a Shaymin-EX and hit for 30 damage. This would break the Focus Sash and allow for big knockouts to happen on the following attack. Zygarde-EX has an added counter to that strategy in the form of his second attack, which heals for 30 damage while also hitting for 60. Thanks to this attack, opponents must use more resources to hit for more damage to assure the Focus Sash can’t be easily re-activated.

Carbink BREAK + Max Elixir:

With two forms of Energy acceleration, this deck can build up attackers with ease and present multiple different threats to deal with. Since these threats can’t be easily knocked out with Focus Sash attached, the Energy usually stick on the board for a good amount of time and big damage attacks occur often from Zygarde-EX’s. With multiple Max Elixir in this deck, the opportunity to take knockouts on the first turn from a Benched Zygarde-EX getting Energy also becomes a realistic option. When knockouts are occurring from the very first turn of the game, opponents can easily get overwhelmed and have no chance of coming back.

Carbink BREAK + Carbink:

With one of our main forms of Energy acceleration being in the form of an attacker, it comes in handy that the pre-BREAK form has a fantastic Ability that prevents Pokémon-EX from attacking them. This can help to stall for a little more time and get some needed Energy cards onto attackers, since an opponent with a heavy amount of Pokémon-EX attackers won’t be able to get through it right away. Just one turn of added Energy attachments and damage coming down can be the difference between winning and losing a game, especially in a deck that focuses on two-hitting opposing Pokémon-EX with Carbink BREAK and Hawlucha attacking.

POSSIBLE CHANGES FOR EXPANDED FORMAT?

With the Expanded format in mind, there are many different changes that could happen for playing Zygarde-EX. The option to add Crobat PHF, Landorus-EX, Scoop Up Cyclone, and Colress could allow for an extremely speed-based deck that focuses on spreading damage, instead of the slower Energy acceleration-based deck for the Standard format. It seems weird that the Energy acceleration deck would be considered slow for this comparison, but the Standard build is more focused on creating multiple different attackers and requires a little more time to perform effectively.

I haven’t built a deck list for this quite yet, but I assume it wouldn’t exactly revolve around Zygarde-EX, since Landorus-EX is such a powerful attacker. Zygarde-EX would play more of the sidekick role, as Lucario-EX had been playing in the past version of Landorus-EX/Crobat. With a massive damage boost from now having Regirock-EX, Landorus-EX could swing for huge amounts of damage with just one Energy card attached, while also hitting a Benched Pokémon. It seems that the main problem would come with the large amount of Archeops that is found in the Expanded format currently, along with the popularity of Yveltal-EX (which has resistance to Fighting type attackers). Maybe in a future format that doesn’t revolve around shutting down evolution lines, Landorus-EX/Crobat/Zygarde-EX could succeed and flourish, but the new Fighting type attacker seems to be a better fit in the Standard format.

If the Crobat line wasn’t included and the deck was just revolving around big basic Pokémon-EX attacking with damage boosts from Regirock-EX, there may be enough of an edge stand a chance against Yveltal/Archeops. Focus Sash wouldn’t be nearly as effective since Hypnotoxic Laser is still a card, so those would probably be changed to Fighting Fury Belt (which would actually help in a version that is playing Super Scoop Ups). Zygarde-EX would still probably be a sidekick to the more powerful Landorus-EX, but would certainly find a place in the deck with his flexibility and damage output. It seems like the addition of Regirock-EX into the game gives a great opportunity to experiment with these Fighting type Pokémon that haven’t been used for a long time. They’ve been waiting for an opportunity to compete with some added damage or effective strategy to incorporate, which has now been found in the form of Regirock-EX.

Conclusion

This article is by no means implying that Fighting type Pokémon are going to take over the format and dominate every tournament in the near future. I just decided to write this article to discuss a great new attacker and strategy which hasn’t been covered nearly as much as they deserve to be, which comes in the form of Carbink BREAK, Zygarde-EX, and Regirock-EX. This somewhat reminds me of the first time that I saw scans from the set which had Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX come into play. Everyone was freaking out and talking about possible strategies to incorporate, which mainly revolved around using Virizion-EX to power up Genesect-EX and hit for 200 damage with a G Booster attack. This deck revolves around the same type of strategy that involves charging up a big attacker on the Bench that can hit for 200 damage with a Tool card attached, but also doesn’t have the added incentive that comes from Genesect-EX’s amazing ability. Regardless, it’s exciting to imagine that something great could come from this deck, as did with Virizion/Genesect which won the World Championships.

Even if this deck doesn’t turn out to be the best way of running Zygarde-EX, I’m sure that some new deck will come about from Regirock-EX becoming an option. The added damage output that occurs from just a basic Pokémon-EX being on the Bench has worked wonders in the past with the Plasma Deoxys-EX, so there will probably be no difference for this version of the card. Fighting type Pokémon have slowly been gaining key cards and combinations which should eventually lead up to a great deck that can win big tournaments. Maybe Regirock-EX is all they needed to finally flourish!

With Spring Regionals coming up in the near future, along with National Championships beginning in Europe, I’m wishing good luck to everybody that has any big tournaments coming up. These major events are usually extremely important towards getting an invite to the World Championships or pushing farther into the rankings to get a top placing. Hopefully everyone does well and can make it to San Francisco this year. If you have any questions about the deck list or some of my thought processes, never be afraid to try and pick my brain for answers. I’ll gladly comment or message back to answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading, everybody!

-Ryan Sabelhaus <3

[+11] okko


 

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