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Marc Lutz

Seismitoad-EX, the Enemy of Fun and Battle Compressor!

Marc Lutz talks about Seismitoad-EX and his favorite card, Battle Compressor!

04/08/2016 by Marc Lutz

Hello, fellow 60cards readers, it's your favorite boy Marc Lutz again! If you haven't heard from me in a while it's because I took a short break from the TCG after the European Challenge Cup and haven't played many tournaments after that. However, I still followed the scene and especially the Arena Cups and European Regionals and have a strong opinion on those. In this article I'll be featuring the two most impactful decks in the current format in my opinion. First we have our good friend and enemy of fun Seismitoad-EX. This time it's not a combination of Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX, but rather a straightforward version of the deck. Other than that, we have some decks which run an engine based of Battle Compressor which I think are very strong and I'll explain you why later in the article. So without further ado let's get started!

Straight Seismitoad EX

The first deck we take a look at is this straight Seismitoad-EX deck. As you can see the only attacker in this deck is Seismitoad-EX and since the deck is largely based off of Quaking Punch, the damage output is quite limited. However that's not much of an issue as the deck relies on disrupting your opponent with Quaking Punch and a large variety of Items and Supporters. This deck features a ton of Energy removal in Crushing Hammers, Enhanced Hammers, Head Ringers (which is generally something like an Energy removal effect) and also multiple Team Flare Grunts which can be used again with VS Seeker. You're not looking to close out games very fast with this deck and some people also refer to this deck as “Deckout Seismitoad” because some games are only decided by that.

Another cool feature in this deck is Rough Seas. Being able to heal your 180-220 HP Seismitoad-EX by 30 each turn is really impactful, especially against decks that don't deal much damage themselves such as Trevenant and of course also in the mirror match. The mirror match especially is really weird with this deck as you don't really want to play down many cards because of the eventual deckout, but you still want to get your Fighting Fury Belt attached on the first turn and get the Quaking Punch hit on your opponent. Shauna is really key in that matchup because you get to shuffle a 25-card hand back into your deck to prevent yourself from decking out.

 

 

But why is this deck so good? Most decks nowadays run a really heavy Item lineup with multiples of Trainers’ Mail, Ultra Ball, Battle Compressor, and VS Seeker. People cut down Supporters because they want to recycle them with VS Seeker later in the game to gain more versatility, especially Night March decks which are really strong at the moment and run even more of those fast Item cards. Therefore it's really easy to lock your opponent out of the game with Seismitoad-EX if you can get an early Quaking Punch. Sometimes even if you don't get the first-turn Quaking Punch, you can still win some games because they can't continue drawing prizes against Quaking Punch if they don't have access to their crucial Supporter cards. Also, in combination with late-game Lysandres and Energy disruption there are some ways you can get a hold of the board again from pretty much any situation.

With cards such as AZ and Super Scoop Up in the deck, it's almost impossible for your opponent to get a knockout on Seismitoad-EX if they can't either OHKO it or attack with a Grass-type such as Vespiquen. Another neat tool in this deck is Absol. Absol can be used to either prevent your opponent's Active Pokémon from being Knocked Out with Quaking Punch so you can get an extra turn of disruption which might matter in the end. Also, it can be used to Knock Out something on your opponent's Bench which has been damaged earlier or simply has only 30 HP, such as Joltik.

Another tech card which these straight Seismitoad-EX decks run sometimes is the new Slowking from BREAKpoint. It has an effect which is quite similar to the one of Crushing Hammer. As long as it is in play you can flip a coin once each turn. If you flip heads, you can move an Energy card attached to your opponent's Active Pokémon to one on their Bench. If you move Energy to Pokémon that don't really want to attack, it has almost the same effect on your opponent as Crushing Hammer which is insane as you get the effect basically for free each turn. This also gives you a good enough reason to justify running some Dive Balls in your deck, which adds some consistency. Other than that, it's notable that if you move a Double Dragon Energy from, let's say, a Giratina-EX to any non-Dragon-type Pokémon, the Energy card is discarded immediately. It's somewhat of a downside in the mirror match though, because they can just Lysandre it and lock it in the Active spot with Quaking Punch most of the time. Also, in the mirror match you usually don't Bench many Pokémon that don't require those Energy from your Active Pokémon except for Absol, but even that can be returned to your hand with Super Scoop Up if you get a turn of Items.

The last thing that is different in this deck compared to other Seismitoad-EX variants is rather simple but somewhat effective. This deck also plays some Basic Water Energy. Those are really good in the mirror match. You can attach them one by one to your Seismitoad-EX after the first Quaking Punch to get some immunity to Team Flare Grunts and Xerosic while also threatening a Grenade Hammer in the late game. Also you can use the Water Energy to Retreat either Shaymin-EX or Absol if they're stuck in the Active spot for whatever reason without wasting Double Colorless Energy cards. In other matchups those aren't really that important because you usually get away with just attaching Double Colorless Energy all the time as they generally can't do much once they're locked down.

This deck's matchups are really one-sided most of the time. If you are playing against fast decks like Night March, the games are decided in the first couple turns almost every time. If you can get a Quaking Punch going before they've gone through most of their deck, the game is pretty much won. If you're going first, a Hex Maniac really helps there because their deck runs off of Shaymin-EX to a large extent. However sometimes they can get through most of their deck before you get to attack with Quaking Punch and then they just start Knocking Out your Seismitoad-EX pretty easily if they can setup a situation where they have multiple attackers in play and some backup Double Colorless Energy in their hand. Also some Night March decks run a thin line of Vespiquen, which makes it easier for them to get knockouts on Seismitoad-EX, but that's easy to play around with Lysandre because they have to evolve their Combee first. Key in those matchups is also getting a Fighting Fury Belt attached to your Seismitoad-EX so they require more Night Marchers in the discard pile to get the knockout.

By far the worst matchup for this deck are Mega Manectric-EX variants. Those run some Rough Seas of their own and don't really require that many Item cards to function well. With Rough Seas in play the damage output of Seismitoad-EX's Quaking Punch attack against Lightning-types is quickly reduced to almost nothing. Also Mega Manectric-EX has an attack which brings back two Energy cards from their discard pile every turn so you don't get that far with your Energy-disruption plan. At the end of the day, this is just an awful matchup and pretty much unwinnable unless they get a bad hand against Quaking Punch or you can somehow lock them out of the game.

Overall this deck is just really solid for any tournament as it does have a very solid win rate across the field. If you manage to not run into too many Manectric-EX deck and if you can handle the sheer boredom the deck provides, it will most likely end up in some very good tournament results. In all seriousness, this is a really good deck.

Vespiquen/Yveltal/Zoroark

Next up we have the first deck that relies on the Battle Compressor engine. First I will explain to you briefly how this 'engine' works as it pretty much applies to all of the upcoming decks in this article the same way. Battle Compressor is an insanely strong card if you're playing a deck that can use it to its full potential. If you have played Yu-Gi-Oh! for a while you might know that there's a card called 'Foolish Burial' which is only like a 33% Battle Compressor and has been limited to one per deck for the longest time, that's how powerful of a card Battle Compressor is and how balanced most Pokémon cards are! So the card lets you discard 3 cards from your deck, this isn't restricted to only Pokémon, Items or whatever – you get to choose any cards from your deck. In almost any deck this can be used to discard cards that you don't need in a specific match up like tech cards such as Dedenne or Jirachi. Also you get to discard Supporter cards which can then be used with VS Seeker in any given situation.

 

So in general this card can apply some sort of consistency in draws for any deck, however there are some decks that get a huge additional benefit from playing Battle Compressor. The most common ones and also the ones with the biggest success at tournaments are Night March decks and deck with Vespiquen. Both Night March and Vespiquen decks require you to have a large amount of Pokémon in your discard pile for their attacks to do more damage. Also you never want to draw those cards when playing these decks so some early Battle Compressors really help you getting through your deck more reliably. What's good about Battle Compressor is that it is never really a dead card in your hand. In the early game you can obviously use it for deck thinning so you get higher chances of drawing into the cards you actually need and you can also play it at any time so you can draw more cards with Shaymin-EX if your hand isn't the best in the beginning. If it's in the later stages of the game you can use Battle Compressor to discard cards you don't want to draw to win the game before playing a game winning Shaymin-EX or Professor Sycamore when you're searching for something like a Double Colorless Energy to close out the game. Worst case you can use it to discard your remaining Battle Compressors or Ultra Balls if you already got all the Pokémon cards you need so you don't draw them when they're useless.

Something that's good to keep in mind is that if you have Trainers’ Mail and Battle Compressor in hand it's better to play the Battle Compressor first most of the time so you can discard cards from your deck that you don't want to reveal with Trainers’ Mail and thus increase your chances of getting something useful from it. This engine is either really good or really terrible against Seismitoad-EX decks. Some games you get to burn through your deck before they can use Quaking Punch which puts you in a favorable position, however in some other games you might get a bad turn 1 and they can use Quaking Punch on you and then you're stuck with your deck consisting of something like 50% Items which can't be used. However it is a gamble I'd be willing to take because most of the time those decks work which is why they're so successful at tournaments. So this is some general information on how the Battle Compressor engine works for all of these decks and it can be applied to pretty much all of them. 

Enough theory, let's talk about the first deck that makes use of this fantastic Item card! Yveltal/Vespiquen/Zoroark is a deck that had gained some popularity in recent events. The deck's main attacker is the Vespiquen from Ancient Origins. Its Bee Revenge attack does 20 damage plus an additional 10 damage for each Pokémon card in your discard pile. So in theory this attack can OHKO any Pokémon in the game regardless of its HP amount if you simply get enough fuel into your discard pile. Therefore the Battle Compressor engine is perfect for this deck. You also play some Unown from Ancient Origins which let you draw a card if you discard it from your bench. This adds some consistency to the deck as it draws through your deck while also providing additional damage for your Vespiquen. Something notable is that Vespiquen is a grass type which makes it easier for it to get knock outs on Seismitoad-EX and also Wailord-EX which is great as those are otherwise somewhat of a problem.

 

What's really cool about this deck is that you can run pretty much any tech cards in it and it doesn't matter that much if it can't be used in certain matchups because then you can just discard it and get some additional damage done with Vespiquen. That's why you see cards like Dedenne, Jirachi and even the otherwise underwhelming Zoroark BREAK in these decks sometimes.

The other attacker in this deck is the regular Yveltal from XY Base Set. It really fits the deck perfectly as it provides another attacker that doesn't require Double Colorless Energy to attack. While it's perfect in the Night March matchup as it OHKOs any Night Marcher for a single Darkness Energy while setting up more attackers on your bench. It also helps against decks that have the ability to discard a lot of special Energy as you can get basic Energy back and attack again with Vespiquen without the use of Double Colorless Energy. This is really useful if your opponent gets to attack with Giratina-EX as it gives you some chances of getting back into the game. Yveltal also benefits from Battle Compressor because you can discard some Darkness Energy cards with it to get them back with Yveltal in the early game.

The last attacker in this deck is the Zoroark from BREAKthrough. Most of the time it acts as fuel for Vespiquen in the discard pile, however it can also deal some decent amount of damage against decks that put a lot of stuff on their bench such as Crobat decks and also Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX. Other than that it acts as a free retreat for your entire board if you can get a Float Stone attached to it. Something that's cool in this deck is that you can easily tech in a Zoroark BREAK due to Vespiquen's attack. Zoroark BREAK lets you copy any of the defending Pokémon’s attacks for a single Darkness Energy. This is really good against cards with high damage output attacks such as Giratina-EX. This attack is really good against those Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX decks as the only type of Energy cards they run are special Energy.

 

Another neat trick this deck has is Parallel City. After you used your Shaymin-EX s to burn through your deck you should have a full bench with something like 2 Combee / Vespiquen, a Zoroark, Yveltal and 2 Shaymin-EX in play. Then you can play Parallel City to discard your Shaymin from your bench which not only gets them out of the way from something like a Lysandre, but it also adds 2 additional Pokémon to your discard pile for your Vespiquen to deal even more damage. Also the other half of Parallel City is really good against Seismitoad-EX as it reduces their already rather low damage output by another 20 which can make a difference sometimes.

Some tech cards you might see in this deck are Dedenne from Furious Fists and the promo Jirachi. Dedenne can be used against either Yveltal-EX with some Energy attached to it to get an easy knock out there. Also it can knock out a Joltik with Double Colorless Energy attached if they don't have a Fighting Fury Belt as well. The Jirachi on the other hand is more of a defensive tool against straight Seismitoad-EX or Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX, but I don't think it does fit in this type of deck very well because it is generally a very aggressive deck and you don't really want to go on the defensive with it. Druddigon might come in handy as well as it is a card that can attack with Double Colorless Energy and score some return-knockouts in the Night March match up.

I think this is a very solid deck because of its decent match up against Seismitoad-EX. It also has great chances of winning against almost anything else across the field because of Vespiquen's very helpful grass type which also hits Greninja for weakness so you get some easy knock outs on those as well. The only deck which might be somewhat of a problem for this deck is Trevenant. If they can get out the trainer lock early in the game you probably can't recover against them as the Trevenant BREAK will spread damage across your board and eventually knock out your entire board.

Night March and Vespiquen

Next up we have two very similar attempts to the Night March deck. I won't go in detail too much about the Night March strategy as most of you already know what it does and there are some articles which have that in detail, but I will explain it briefly. Night March focuses around getting multiple 'Night Marchers' into the discard pile as the attack does 20 damage for each card in your discard pile that has the Night March attack itself. So generally you want to get around 9 of those into the discard pile to start hitting for 180 damage with just a Double Colorless Energy. Technically 8 are enough because then you can add the missing 10 or 20 damage with either Muscle Band or Fighting Fury Belt to get the OHKO on most Pokémon-EX in the game. If they have a Fighting Fury Belt themselves attached and you can't get rid of it for whatever reason things will get a bit difficult because then you need 10 or even 11 Night Marchers in your discard pile to get the OHKO which might not be possible from time to time because some of them might be prized. However you can still use Lysandre to knock out something else in the meantime and pick them up from your prizes which is more likely in this deck because you also have Town Map.

So with the general strategy out of the way now let's talk about the first Night March variant we have. This is just a very basic Night March list with no weird tech cards in it. It is very consistent in what it does and also has some tricks up its sleeves. Due to its crazy consistency it is very likely that you can also activate one of your tech cards very early in the game. For example if you're going first and start burning through your deck while getting around 7 Night Marchers into your discard pile and then follow that up with either a Judge or Hex Maniac which makes your opponent's first turn much more difficult is insane. If you manage to get the first knock out with Night March against any non-Seismitoad-EX you've pretty much already won the game. Keep in mind that you generally don't want to Target Whistle their Shaymin-EX when you can't knock it out during the same turn unless you have to play Professor Sycamore and would discard the Target Whistle otherwise, because sometimes they will just AZ the Shaymin-EX back to their hand.

 

This deck also has Puzzle of Time which is an incredible card in this deck. The first effect isn't all that impressive, but it is somewhat useful if you want to draw additional cards with Shaymin-EX for example. The real power lies within its second effect. Similar to the old Poké Drawer+ you get a bonus effect if you play two copies at the same time. Puzzle of Time lets you add two cards from your discard pile to your hand that way. This is really great in Night March as it allows you to get back Double Colorless Energy which is really important in certain match ups such as the mirror match, any Vespiquen deck and especially Yveltal decks because they can easily knock out your Night March attackers and they also run a lot of non-EX attackers so you have to spend a Double Colorless Energy for each prize in theory. Other than that you can also get back something like a Target Whistle to knock out more Shaymin-EXs against those kind of decks or simply get more Battle Compressors in the early game to burn through your deck faster. Overall this card just fits the deck perfectly and really added some more strength to it.

Before the introduction of Puzzle of Time Night March decks usually had a 2-2 line of Milotic in the deck for the exact same reason. Getting back crucial resources in the late game. However now with Puzzle of Time added to the collection I don't think Milotic is necessary anymore.

This deck doesn't lose against many decks in theory. With the insane damage output Night March provides you can get easy wins against decks like Manectric-EX, Mega Mewtwo-EX and pretty much any other deck that relies on big Pokémon-EX. The only thing that can stop Night March is Item lock in my opinion. Currently there are straight Seismitoad-EX decks, Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX and Trevenant that do that. The Seismitoad-EX matchups are coin flips favored towards the Seismitoad-EX player most of the time in my opinion, because they can recover much easier in the midgame than the Night March player. Trevenant can be really dangerous because they have the possibility to get the trainer lock going even if they're going first with the use of Wally. However against Trevenant you have multiple cards to get out of the trainer lock with Lysandre and Hex Maniac even in the midgame so I think it is a better match up than the Seismitoad-EX decks. Other than that Night March can beat everything, it is definitely a really solid choice. But wait, there's more Night March stuff to come!

We also have another attempt to the Night March deck. Both decks are similar to the core, however this deck as a tech line of Vespiquen in it. You can either run a 2-2 or a 1-1 line in this deck, both should work equally well. Vespiquen can be used as an additional attacker. However since this deck runs about 10 less Pokémon compared to the other Vespiquen decks it is much more difficult to get knock outs on 180 HP Pokémon with it. The reason why it is in this deck is because of the type coverage. Vespiquen's grass type really helps in both the Seismitoad-EX and Wailord-EX matchup which are otherwise somewhat of a problem for regular Night March decks. Other than that the Vespiquen doesn't make much of a difference in most match ups, sure it can be used to deal like 130 damage which is enough to get knockouts on Shaymin-EX and the regular Yveltal, but you could do that before as well.

Both decks should work well to the same extend, however if you feel like you want to fix your Seismitoad-EX match up a bit you can decide to play the Night March deck with the additional Vespiquen line in it. Keep in mind that a 1-1 line of Vespiquen might backfire sometimes because the Combee can easily be prized in the match ups where you want it and then the deck's overall consistency suffers a little bit due to that.

Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade

 

The last deck we will be featuring in this article is Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade. This deck has received some positive feedback in the past due to its strong presence and good results in past tournaments. The deck is very consistent, leaves some room for experimentation and has good match ups across the board. This deck also uses the Battle Compressor engine, however here we have a different use for it compared to the decks we had before. Here we want to use Battle Compressor primarily to make Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick work. You can use it to discard your Gallade and then Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick if you don't have it in your hand already. Then you try to play your hand down and get back Gallade. Once you have Gallade in play this deck is really amazing because you can control the cards you draw each turn to a certain extend and it is also a great attacker. It attacks with our favorite card Double Colorless Energy and does 130 damage if you have played a Supporter card prior this turn. This is enough damage to pick up prizes against Shaymin-EX with Lysandre despite its resistance against fighting types and it also deals a fair amount of damage against anything it tries to target such as Vespiquen, other Yveltal if you have the Muscle Band attached and of course Manectric-EX which would otherwise run over you Yveltal deck. Of course Battle Compressor can also be used to get some Darkness Energy cards in your discard pile to make Yveltal's Oblivion Wing attack work in the early game, which is also your general gameplan with this deck. Let's take a look at the deck list!

So we can see that this deck still runs a heavy line of the regular Yveltal while only playing one of the Yveltal-EX. It has become more of a tech card recently against decks like Mega Mewtwo-EX rather than being a main attacker because the regular Yveltal is much more effective in the current metagame due to Night Marchs dominance at most events. Other than that we also have the Zoroark line which still fits in the deck perfectly as it kind of prevents your opponent from going all in on their bench while also providing the free retreat across the board with the Float Stone which is really great because most of your guys have 2 Retreat Cost.

Sometimes you encounter a Zoroark BREAK tech in those decks because it is still a great card against Giratina-EX and might even get a knock out on Vespiquen because you don't need that many Pokémon in your discard pile in theory. Other than that it is still a nice HP buff to your Zoroark which gets it out of range from attacks like Chaos Wheel, Greninja’s Moonlight Slash and provides a steady threat while it is on the board so your opponent has to play around it.

 

 

A new card which has been added to the deck with the introduction of BREAKpoint is Reverse Valley. Not everyone plays it, but it is a card that can be considered in this deck. The 'dark side' of the card adds an additional 10 damage to all attacks done by your dark types which is the majority of your deck. This extra 10 damage can come in handy in some match ups, for example it provides the 100 damage necessary to OHKO a Pumpkaboo with Fighting Fury Belt attached if you have a Fighting Fury Belt yourself. Also Yveltal-EX's Y-Cyclone attack now deals 110 damage to Shaymin-EX if you have the Fighting Fury Belt attached. Other than that it is still a Stadium card which can be used to get of opposing Stadiums such as Rough Seas or Dimensional Valley which is kind of necessary nowadays. It's not a super impressive cards, but definitely one to keep in mind in my opinion.

Other than that the deck hasn't changed much recently, it's still very consistent and very good. It might not be considered one of the tier 1 decks in the current format, but it got its decent position at all tournaments and is definitely a deck you have to expect playing against when going into any tournament

Conclusion

As I have mentioned above these decks should be the top play at upcoming tournaments in my opinion. Of course there are also some other decks such a Greninja BREAK which had some great performances recently and also this Wailord-EX deck which is apparently pretty good. However until the rotation and only if it doesn't get reprinted I think that any Seismitoad-EX deck is still the top favorite to take any tournament in the current metagame.

That's it for the article guys, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments and I will gladly answer them. As always I hope you liked the article and I will see you next time!

- Marc Lutz

[+2] okko


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