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The Rocky Road to First Place

Gabriel Semedo discusses his recent São Paulo Regional Championship victory and the unique Yveltal variant that got him there.

11/20/2015 by Pikachu's Hideout

Hello, everyone! I’m Gabriel Semedo, a Brazilian Pokémon TCG player and proud member of “Esquadrão Monstro” (Monster Squad) – my Pokémon TCG team. A few weeks ago I was crowned the champion for a Regional Championship here in São Paulo, Brazil where we had 90+ players in Masters. I played with a little out-of-the-box Yveltal deck I made with the help of a friend, Douglas “Snake” Borges. The main thing that stands out is the Regirock AOR that we play, so we have a real chance to beat M Manectric-EX based decks, which are a really poor matchup for a straight Yveltal deck.

Deck Choice

About a month ago, my teammates and I were playtesting a handful of “weird” decks, from M Latios-EX with Target Whistle to Bronzong/Registeel/Hammers. Some of my teammates were so into Regirock AOR that they threw it in some decks like Fairies and Metal. Soon we realized that Regirock had a lot of potential and could be very scary to Manectric decks. Overall, it’s a good Pokémon since it hits for 120 with FCC, hitting 240 when the opponent is Weak to Fighting. It doesn’t really need anything too fancy like a Tool or Stadium to do damage. Regirock by itself can be a pain, and it’s usable as long as a deck can afford its Energy cost.

The metagame in Brazil had tons of Night March decks and M Manectric decks. Hence, Lucario/Bats started to see some play since it deals well with both decks. Giratina decks were not in the spotlight. They had some appearances but nothing major since it can be teched against with ease (Hammers, Hex Maniac, etc).

I was looking through the sets to see what what the play was at Regionals. Luckily, I had to check a single collection to make my decision. I went through XY Base Set and there was Baby Yveltal. I saw it and realized how strong it was against Night March decks and also very hard to deal with if you’re playing Lucario/Bats. Automatically, I added Yveltal-EX since they have some synergy. Okay, I had two matchups covered, but M Manectric was still a problem. And then I remembered how good Regirock is against M Manectric. Then the deck idea came altogether.

I talked to my friend Douglas Borges (AKA Snake), and found out he was playtesting Yveltal as well. Coincidentally, he thought of Regirock too, but he scrapped that and tried to roll with Raichu instead. Despite that, we tried to work together in order to build the ultimate Yveltal/Regirock deck.


My path to win this Regional:

Round 1 – Lucario/Bats  -  WW
Round 2 – Fairies/Seismitoad/Giratina/Lugia – WW
Round 3 – Lucario/Bats – WW
Round 4 – M-Manectric/Regice/Articuno – WLW
Round 5 – M-Manectric/Regice/Articuno – WW
Round 6 – Fairies/Seismitoad/Giratina/Lugia – WW
Round 7 – Lucario/Bats – ID 

Swiss results: 6-0-1 

Top 8 – M-Manectric/Articuno/Regice – WW
Top 4 – Lucario/Bats – WW
Top 2 – Raichu/Bats – WLW

Card Choices

4 Yveltal XY

Best starter for this deck since it provides Energy-acceleration early game. It does fantastically well against Night Marchers, being able to OHKO Joltik and Pumpkaboo. When there’s a Muscle Band attached, it OHKOs other Pokémon like Combee and Zubat.

2 Yveltal-EX

I ran two copies only since I have a lot of attackers, one of them being Lugia-EX, whose first attack is very similar to Yveltal’s Evil Ball.

1 Lugia-EX

As I said, it is pretty much an Yveltal-EX. Although Evil Ball hits for 20+ instead of Lugia-EX’s 20×, Aero Ball can be done with a DCE and can be much more powerful in the early stages of the game, especially on the first turn. Lugia-EX also has a massive second attack called Deep Hurricane that can OHKO some Pokémon-EX as long as it meets the attack condition. It deals well with some non-Pokémon-EX that are hard to deal with damage-wise, like Crobat and opposing Baby Yveltal.

1 Druddigon FLF

I really love this guy in decks that play DCE. When I first thought of using him, I did not imagine how good it would eventually become. Now that Hypnotoxic Laser is gone from Standard format, Revenge gets much more powerful. At first, he would mainly be a tech against Raichu, Vespiquen, and Night Marchers, but with a damage that ranges from 90 to 110, it can hunt down Shaymin-EX as well.

2 Regirock

The main guy against M Manectric. The deck was built in order to do a turn-two Unyielding Rock to Knock Out Manectric as soon as possible. Still, the matchup is quite tough, but Regirock makes the matchup winnable. As you can see above, I was able to win against three M Manectric decks. Even though Regirock was included to counter M Manectric, it is also a good attacker against Lucario/Bats, since its damage can be boosted by Fighting Stadium.

2 Shaymin-EX

Two are enough for me. My friend Snake disagrees, especially when it comes to going through the deck for a turn-two Unyielding Rock. He likes three Shaymin-EX and a third Trainers’ Mail.

4 Professor Sycamore, 2 Professor Birch

Initially I thought it was a low count, but in the end it worked quite well.

1 Ace Trainer

When it works, it works very well. Though I know it never puts my opponent in a bad spot, it is still good to slow them down. Overall, it did not please me much, though it was very useful in some spots.

1 AZ

Since Shaymin-EX got released, I’ve found myself throwing a single copy of AZ into most of my decks. It works in different ways, where it can be just like I played a Switch, Max Potion, Super Scoop Up, or even Bianca (bring Shaymin back up and draw with Set Up). The card is easily used with four VS Seeker in the deck.

2 Lysandre

It is a valuable resource and two copies will make sure I can use it whenever needed.

4 VS Seeker

Even though Vileplume and Seismitoad-EX see some play, four copies of the card is a must. I guess I could do three, but Yveltal plays well under Item-lock, so I kept the full count of VS Seekers.

2 Battle Compressor

It is a key card to discard Darkness Energy and abuse Baby Yveltal’s first attack. Moreover, I can throw some Supporters in the discard to use later with VS Seeker and discard some useless Pokémon in certain matchups (i.e. Lugia-EX and Yveltal-EX against Night March).

2 Trainers’ Mail

I’d like to play a third copy of it, though I did not have enough space. The card is awesome to speed up the game.

4 Ultra Ball


4 Muscle Band

Although it seems like a lot, it is needed to compensate for the lack of Hypnotoxic Laser in our format. Muscle Band helps the deck to hit some magic numbers.

Baby Yveltal hitting for 50: Knocks Out Zubat and Combee;
Druddigon hitting for 110: Knocks Out Shaymin-EX;
Yveltal-EX hitting for 110: Knocks Out Shaymin-EX;
Lugia-EX htting for 60 (Aero Ball) turn 1: Knocks Out Pikachu and some other 60 HP Basic Pokémon;
Lugia EX hitting for 170 (Deep Hurricane): Knocks Out 170 HP Pokémon-EX like Giratina-EX.
Regirock hitting for 60: Knocks Out Raichu, Dedenne, and Miltank.

4 Switch

Also looks like a lot, but that’s what happens when Darkrai-EX is no longer playable. I tested three copies of Switch but eventually I realized my deck had no mobility. Four Switch gives the mobility to constantly swap attackers at each moment.

1 Professor’s Letter

Hopefully during the game I can get it via Trainers’ Mail and get the Energy needed at the time.

2 Faded Town, 1 Silent Lab

Faded Town doesn’t really help against M Manectric, although it helps against the other Megas. But to be honest, the Stadium did not help too much. In the future I’d play three Shadow Circle instead, to help against M Manetric and Raichu.

7 Darkness Energy, 3 Fighting Energy, 4 Double Colorless Energy

I know it is a lot. Most Yveltal decks would play eleven or twelve Energy. But 7 Darkness Energy was the lowest I could go with to make Baby Yveltal shine in the early game. Three Fighting Energy were a good count to make Regirock do its work. The four DCE are key to Lugia, Druddigon, and Regirock.

During my playtesting, I realized the deck was not doing badly with all these Energy. I actually like to have a lot of Energy so I would never whiff Energy attachments. Yveltal-EX never gets bothered when it gets some onto it and I also could abuse Battle Compressor without the fear of running out of Energy. Extra Energy also comes in handy against disruption.


Night March: 65-35

Tip: Always let them go first if you can.

The matchup is based on Baby Yveltal. It can OHKO any Night Marcher that actually attacks (Joltik and Pumpkaboo). Regirock and Druddigon can come mid-to-end game to finish off. As long as you don’t Bench Pokémon-EX this matchup goes well. Night March will only win if you Bench too many Pokémon-EX.

Lucario/Bats: 70-30

Tip: When they put down Fighting Stadium, just let it hang in there. Do not counter it with your Stadiums.

This matchup also goes with Baby Yveltal softening up your opponent’s Pokémon and accelerating Energy onto the Bench. After dealing 50 with Yveltal, Regirock can finish the job, dealing 140 with its second attack. Hawlucha is useless if you don’t Bench too many Pokémon-EX and Zubat is an easy target for Baby Yveltal.

M Manectric/Regice/Articuno: 45-55

It all depends on how fast you can attack with Regirock and how fast the opponent can attach to their Manectric. It gets better for us if we go first. Regirock is pretty much the only attacker you want in the matchup. The good thing for us is that M Manectric will hit for 110 and Regirock has 120 HP. Manectric-EX will never OHKO us because we won’t bother attaching Muscle Band to Regirock. Regice and Articuno are not really challenging Regirock, so they don’t worry us too much.

Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX 60-40

Although the deck is very disruptive, Yveltal-EX is a very hard Pokémon for them to deal with. Don’t rush with Yveltal-EX and roll with Baby Yveltal in the early game instead and you should be good. Regirock can also do some work in this matchup.

Evolution of Yveltal/Regirock

As soon as I won this event, my decklist became wanted by many players. Initially, respecting my friend Snake and my teammates, I shied away from showing it to the public. But now with 60cards inviting me to write this report, Snake and my team accepted the invite as well and now everyone will be able to know what I played.

The week that followed my Regional win, my teammate Cassiano AKA Chuck was able to Top 4 in a field of around 100 Masters. Snake also made Top 8 in the same event. I really think that Yveltal/Regirock is a good metagame call. 

I believe the concept of Yveltal/Regirock can be used in the following format. The idea is to play the new Gallade from BREAKthrough along with the Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick mechanic.

This seems like a consistent list and a very strong pick going forward in the Standard format. Give it a try and see how you like it.

Finally, I want to thanks some people who have always helped me:

Douglas “Snake” Borges – thanks for the help in the creation of this deck

Esquadrao Monstro (Monster Squad) – thanks for all the support, friendship and training

Nathalia Fernandes –  thanks for the support, training and love <3

Robson Elias – thanks for friendship, training, and translating/reviewing this article for me

Thanks for everyone for reading!


[+12] okko


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