Experts' corner

Rowan Stavenow

Hitmonchan In Depth

Hey, 60 cards readers! I’m back with another article on the expanded format. This time focusing Hitmonchan/Wobbufet at Toronto regionals, and the tech cards I've Included.

03/14/2019 by Rowan Stavenow

Table of contents

Why Hitmonchan?

The List

General Matchups and Strategy

My Matchups


Why Hitmonchan?
During my preparation for the event, I seriously underestimated the power of this deck. After testing many games with Trevenant, Archie's, Pikachu Zekrom and Zoroark GX variants I was lost for a play. So I decided to put together a Hitmonchan deck, after testing only a few games with the deck I realized it had the tools to beat all of the top decks (except for Trevenant). Since I figured Trevenant would have a low play rate because of Pikachu Zekrom's release I played the deck.

The List 

3 Teammates
Teammates is typically the ideal supporter from turn 2 up until the end of the game. It is also always a good card to draw off of a Late game N, which was one of my biggest concerns with the deck. Being able to teammates for all of the different one-of cards in the deck can be extremely pivotal in a match. Searching for energy, pokemon and damage modifiers every turn removes a lot of variance from games.

1 Shaymin/Counter Energy
This card was included for it's ability to KO a Wailord/Magikarp GX in one hit, to recover from a towering splash GX. However, it also found use as a simple 120 damage attacker against Garbodor and Banette GX. Counter energy can also be used to attack with Wobbuffet which can be quite useful.

1 Focus Sash
Focus sash won me multiple games this weekend. The main function of this card is to attach it to Buzzwole when your opponent is at four prize cards. Combo this with an N or a Marshadow and you can typically score 2 knockouts. This is especially useful for gaining an edge in one prize matchups such as; Buzzwole/Garbodor, Hitmonchan mirror, and Drampa/Garbodor.

1 Enhanced Hammer/1 Counter Catcher
Enhanced Hammer is included to discard Flash Energy off of Pikachu/Zekrom GX. It also found use discarding rainbow energy off Garbodors and Double Colorless energy off of Zoroark GX. Counter catcher is included as a way to play Teammates and a gust effect in the same turn. This card helps cover up the weakness of only playing one Guzma which should probably be increased

1 Hitmonlee
The thought process behind this card was that in the mirror it can simply ko a Hitmonchan without using any strong energy or Guzma. However, almost every deck plays Mr. Mime which made this card useless in most of my matches. I would recommend not playing this card.

General Matchups and Strategy

Archie's Wailord/Magikarp GX 80-20
By starting Wobbufet and blocking deluge this matchup can be fairly linear. However, if they draw into their one copy of silent lab and pull off a big Towering Splash GX you can be in trouble. This is where Teammates for Shaymin + Counter energy comes in and swings the game back into your favor. An unorthodox strategy Archie's players should consider is getting out Kingdra instead of Blastoise first, attach two energy to it and you can start shredding through Wobbuffets.

Zoroark Garbodor 80-20
By keeping a Wobbuffet in the active position for the entire game you block Zoroark GX's Trade, making their deck extremely slow. This combined with Hitmonchan+Choice Band+Strong Energy+Diance+Shrine taking OHKO's can overwhelm them very fast. Building up energy on board to have resistance to N over the course of the game is very important because N is their primary win condition.

Pikachu/Zekrom GX 70-30
Pikachu/Zekrom GX being weak to fighting is a huge reason this matchup swings in our favor. This deck can put a lot of pressure in the early turns of the game, so it's important to start dealing chip damage right off the bat. By attaching a focus sash to a Buzzwole in the early turns you can force them to not take a KO for a turn, which allows you more time to set up. Mr.Mime can block Tag Bolt GX, forcing the opponent to go down one prize at a time and allowing Buzzwole and Nihlego to both get off their powerful attacks.

Trevenant 5-95
Almost every pokemon in the deck is weak to psychic, with less than 130hp. Trevenant resists fighting and locks items, making our deck helpless to an endless stream of Silent fear. Enhanced Hammer will remove all our energy and counter catcher will stall a Diance in the active position if you ever manage to draw a prize. The only hope is to play down Marshadow on the first turn of the game and hope they draw four useless cards.

My Matchups 

Round One - Zoroark Lucario - WW
Very similar to the Zoroark Garbodor match up, Wobbufet is very oppressive in this matchup. Game One my opponent sets up a Muk and starts to Trade, However, Zoroark GX's Fighting weakness gets them KO'd quickly and efficiently by an army of Hitmonchan. Game two he prizes Muk and can't get any momentum going.


Round Two - Trevenant - WLT

Sitting down for this match I was anticipating an almost certain loss, however, my opponent got a game loss in the first game for a gameplay error. During the second game, my opponent was off to a slow start and didn't attack for a few turns. But since Trevenants has resistance and 160hp it proved too much for my Hitmonchans to take down. Once my opponent was down to two prize cards I played down Nihilego and an N. I was able to confuse her Trevenant and then copy Silent Fear for two turns without opposition until my opponent drew an energy card and won the game. Game three I let loose on the first turn of the game giving my opponent yet another slow start, resulting in a tie.


Round Three - Turbo Dark - WW

This match was not very exciting. I started Wobbufet game one and two and my opponent never attacked. About 9 Hit and Runs later the series was over.

Round Four - Archie's Wailord/Magikarp GX - WW

Game one I opened Wobbufet and got off to a very strong lead. My opponent drew quite poorly and I won the game quickly. In the second game, I did not start Wobbuffet, which my opponent was able to capitalize on. He got a turn one Blastoise and five energy on a Wailord/Magikarp GX, but he discarded silent lab in the process allowing Mr.Mime to block Towering splash all game. One Wailord/Magikarp GX took out multiple pokemon and I was unable to use Shaymin. Once the first Wailord went down I used Hitmonchan to kill an Exeggcute and won the game by killing Shaymin EX with Hitmonlee. This was the only time I used Hitmonlee the entire event.


Round Five - Drampa Garbodor/Banette GX - WLT
Going into the match I was pretty confident I would be able to win. Then my opponent took 3 prize cards with one Bannette GX and I was scared. I was able to win the first game with a lucky N, leading into Shaymin+Counter Energy taking a crucial KO. Game two Bannette came out again, and I was given a double prize penalty for playing down a 4th pokemon, while a Parallel City was in play.


Round Six - Zoroark Lucario WW
Game one my opponent got Muk into play and was in a leading position. When my opponent went to four prizes I put down Buzzwole+Focus sash, He was unable to KO it and I took back the lead with two big attacks for four prizes. I drew Teammates off N to two in order to finish off a Zoroark GX with Hit and Run. Game two my I started Wobbufet and my opponent was unable to set up.


Round Seven - Buzzwole Garbodor WW

This was a pretty standard one prize back and forth for both games. Hit and Run into Wobbuffet blocked Diance's extra damage, allowing me to take the first prize in both games. This combined with a Buzzwole+Focus sash play gave me a very strong lead in both games. Game two my opponent used Oranguru's Instruct Under Wobbuffet and got a double prize penalty, giving me an insurmountable lead.

1st Seed into top 8

Top 8 - Zoroark Lucario - WLW

Game one my opponent started Grimer and was able to set up through Wobbuffet, but he prized Guzma allowing a three energy Hitmonchan to return to the bench every turn and eventually Magnum Punch for the game. Game two I opened very slowly, without a Wobbuffet and was run over by Riotous Beating, an N to four after taking a ko with Sledgehammer sealed out the game for my opponent. Game three I opened Wobbuffet and played Marshadow, giving my opponent a dead hand. A few Hit and Runs later I ran away from the series with a win.

Top 4 - Turbo Dark - WW

Similar to Swiss I opened Wobbufet game one and won a pretty one-sided game in a few turns. Game two I do not start Wobbuffet and my opponent has an explosive turn one. After giving up a few prizes to Darkrai EX I draw into Teammates and return KOs very effectively.

Finals - Pikachu/Zekrom GX - LWL

Game one I lost a very convincing game because I prized my Mr.Mime. My opponent was then able to Tag Bolt GX with two flash energy attached giving him much to big of a lead for me to come back. I tried to use Nihilego to copy Tag bolt for the game but didn't realize I was missing the three extra lightning energy for the secondary effect. Game two I opened with a dead hand and had to sacrifice a pokemon to Teammates for a supporter. I got Tag bolted, but made a crazy comeback by attaching a focus sash to Buzzwole and using swing around with counter energy to draw 3 prizes. After that, I used Nihilego to KO another Pikachu/Zekrom GX for the game. In the third game, my opponent started Shaymin EX and passed, my only supporter in hand was an N so I decided to pass as well. He then topdecked an ultra ball and got a full blitz off. I played N but was just unable to put together enough pressure to win the game. I made a crucial misplay on the second last turn of the game by attaching basic energy instead of looking for strong energy with a Professor Sycamore and was then 20 damage off of attacking for the game. 


I really enjoyed playing this deck this weekend, having access to my whole deck every turn via Teammates removed variance from a lot of my games and allowed me to outplay my opponents. However moving forward, with the success of Trevenant in the masters division this weekend I am unsure of its viability. Pikachu Zekrom saw the highest amount of play this weekend as well so maybe it could be well positioned for North Carolina Regionals, only time will tell...




[+22] okko


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