Experts' corner

Igor Costa

Last minute thoughts on the format and meta for Worlds

Igor shares his thoughts about format and meta for Worlds

08/17/2016 by Igor Costa

Hello again 60cards readers! Today I’ll be talking about what I think about the meta for worlds will be. I'll also talk about my favorite decks and give some lists so you guys can try them out.


As all of you know, Night March is one of the best decks in the format. In my opinion, it's actually the best deck, just because it's so consistent. This deck's main goal is to take prizes and finish the game with 3 attacks only. Since you can set up an OhKo on turn one if you’re going second, other decks need to do something about it. So people played many things just to beat it, making their deck more inconsistent, and Night March still has answers for every counter. So let's take a look at a list of cards that people add in their decks to counter Night March:

Fighting Fury Belt
Extra Stadiums
Hex Maniac
Baby Yveltal
Maximize the amount of these cards for any deck to have better odds against night march, but it might not make a difference if they draw well.

So here is my list for Night March: 

So with this list, you’ll have counters for every deck, and it's more consistent than most decks. It could be more consistent if we would cut Ranger and Hex and also Xerosic, but we keep those cards because we need answers against Trevenant, Toad, Mirror and Fury Belt.

The only real way to counter Night March is to have a deck that beats it. This means that your entire deck needs to be your counter and even that might not be enough, if the Night March player runs hot theres not really a way to stop the deck.


Favorable: Manectric, Metal, Greninja, Reg Dark, DarkTina

Unfavorable: Water Box, Trevenant

This deck's bad matchups are WaterBox and Trevenant. The issue with these matchups is getting trainer locked and not being able to one shot like the deck is supposed to, but there are still some outs. 2 hit ko on a toad is not that bad because Quaking Punch only deals 40 damage max, and if they miss a knockout you’re still trading non ex for an ex over time.

The Trevenant matchup gets a lot worse as they can go Trev T1 and that's basically game. And even if they don’t they don’t run enough ex’s to make it easy for Night March, and they can take multiple prizes a turn so that matchup is basically a loss for Night March no matter what.

Now let's take a look at Trevenant:

This is my list after testing the deck for a while. I like Bursting Balloon, but in this meta I think Crushing Hammers are better. I would switch in between these 8 cards: 2 Team Flare Grunt for 2 Red Card, 4 Crushing Hammers for 4 bursting ballon, and 2 Head Ringer for 1 level ball and 1 weakness policy. This second list would do better against Dark, since it’s easier to knockout a Baby Yveltal playing Bursting Ballon. But also, Weakness Policy would help a lot, since they can discard it by only playing Megaphone. They need Xerosic and against trainer lock, only playing a Xerosic is a pretty weak turn.

So lets take a look at this deck's matchups:

Favorable: Night March, Metal, Night March/Vesp

Even: Water Box, Greninja, DarkTina

Unfavorable: Zoroark, Reg Dark 

I personally hate Dark in this format and I don’t think it’s good and reliable, since there's a lot of dead draws and not a lot of good matchups for the deck. I don’t think it will be that popular. If theres a lot of Dark it's because they’re trying to counter Trevenant, and that's just not a good plan unless you can beat Trev and Night March both very consistently.

Trevenant has so many good matchups and also it's a trainer lock deck. And this is huge since you can shut down 50% or usually more of your opponent deck, so even if they have a good matchup you can just win because of them drawing items most of the time and not being able to do their strategy, so Trevenant's worst matchup don’t get below 30-70. There is still a chance to win against a bad matchup when other decks usually have an autoloss to something or other.

Its not a easy deck to play with or against, and sometimes players don’t know how the matchup is supposed to go. They misplay on one of the sides and the results will be inconclusive, which can also be the same thing with Greninja and Water Box, two other hard to play decks.

Speaking of Water decks, lets take a look at Water Box. There's multiple ways to build this deck and multiple ways to play it.

A list can fit anything to beat any matchup but some cards always have to stay in so I’m gonna give you a list and some cards that I would consider putting in.

{deck 2177}

Toad hasn’t left the format yet, and the reason is because of having trainer lock and having the option to be fast or to slow the game down.

Cards we might include in this list depending in what matchup we’re trying to beat:

Parallel City: A great card against mirror since you get to discard your useless pokemons after using them like Shaymin and Hoopa. But it's even better against Zoroark since they might play Poke Puff to fill your bench. Against Metal you can also Lysandre a useless pokemon like Shaymin and play Parallel City and make your opponent discard his bench, making them have only 2 Bronzong and one Genesect for that turn. Quaking Punching while doing this makes it so they struggle to get a Stadium back and it's a good way to disrupt their set up.

Shaymin EX Promo: Healing 20 won’t help that much against Trevenant since the way you lose is to dead draw most of the game. It still buys you some turns but it's not that useful since you can win without it. Shaymin is actually pretty good against mirror because denies them from Quaking Punching unless they want to do 0 damage just to try to lock your trainers.

1 water energy: having 12 might be a good plan since missing one with Max Elixir might lose you some games, and also every energy counts against Trevenant so depending on how you’re doing playing that matchup you might wanna switch some cards in your deck to make it easier.

There's more cards that the deck can fit but most of them will be useless like Glaceon EX, Regice, and Aegislash. Ranger can just deny all of them and they weren’t even that good before. Also Palkia EX and Aurorus EX are okay but there's priorities in this deck that don't allow us to play them.

Slightly odd card choices:

Enhanced Hammer: I like to play one Enhanced Hammer so I don’t guaranteed lose to Vespiquen but you can take the auto loss if you want to and cut that one spot.

Hex Maniac: helps you disrupt your opponent's turn, if you play it turn one and have a decent set up by using items and Shaymin EX before you use it, it's one of the best Supporters. But some other times it goes unplayed the entire game.

Here's the list of cards I would be willing to take out of this list: Enhanced Hammer, Hex Maniac, 1 Energy Switch


Favorable: Trevenant, Night March

Even: Zoroark, Greninja, Metal

Unfavorable: Vespiquen, Night March/Vespiquen

Let's now take a look at another Version of Night March that is actually a different deck since it plays Vespiquen. This deck won US Nats, and for a good reason: this deck is just as Night March but better against Water Box.

This deck is actually a pretty good call for Worlds since it has a lot of good matchups because the list has ways to deal with almost every deck in the format, but having so many ways to play the deck can make it inconsistent sometimes. The more consistent the deck can be the better, that's why i like to play 4 shaymin. You can discard them without any worries, they’ll either be an extra 10 damage for your Vespiquen or they’re gonna let you set up. Your opponent can’t waste time targeting Shaymins when he’s being overwhelmed by Night Marchers and Vespiquen taking KO after KO on your attackers.

I wouldn’t try to go fancy on this type of deck but the problem might be mirror and other Night Marchers since it's gonna be a 50-50 matchup. The more consistent your deck is at Worlds, the better. At a tournament like worlds with so many rounds of swiss and Day 1 to get through, if you dead draw you might be out of the tournament. Even against good matchups, the deck can’t afford to dead draw. The reason of so many 1 offs is because Battle Compressor lets you use your supporter by just having a VS Seeker.

1 Forest of Giant Plants is really helpful if you get in a situation where you need Vespiquen out in one turn and you don’t have any Combee. Also you actually need to set up a Vespiquen against every matchup since its gonna be your free retreater.


Favorable: Greninja, Water Box, Metal

Even: Night March, Zoroark

Unfavorable: Trevenant


I don’t really want to write about this deck, since i played it at US Nats and had a horrible experience with it. During play testing the deck was going so great, almost undefeated, but during a tournament theres so much that can happen, and time is a huge factor. Also playing a stage 2 deck at a tournament is risky as you need to find a basic or more than one, and expect that one of them is getting knocked out, after that you need to find the stage one and and energy and after that all the Greninjas. So if you prize at least two stage 1, you're one step closer to losing the game. It's actually really hard to come back if you prize your stuff because takes forever til you take a prize and most decks are super fast, or they’ll deny you from setting up, so during a Bo3 its likely that you’re gonna prize something. And if you lose one game they might stall you since this deck is super slow. After all that, it just doesn’t fit my play style at all.

I still think the deck is awesome but not in tournaments. Here's a similar list to the one I played at US Nats:

The reason I played this deck at US Nationals was because I kept winning in playtesting against Water Box, Trevenant, and Night March, and I thought those would be the most popular decks in the format so I was pretty confident in this choice.

Rare Candy lets you come back against Night March and have some crazy turns. You usually bench more than one Froakie on the first turn and then evolve one and search for the Froagadiers and this will leave you with Froakies that can’t ever evolve without Rare Candy. It can help you evolving that last Greninja without having to play Super Rod or Sacred Ash.


Favorable: Water Box, Trevenant

Even: Night March, Zoroark

Unfavorable: Vespiqueen, Dark Tina 

This is how a Greninja game usually goes in the first couple of turns:

If you go 1ST:

Turn one you search for 2 Froakies, attach to the bench if you can.
Turn two you try to evolve the Froakie thats going to be able to attack this turn and attack with Frogadier to get all the other Frogadier. At this point you can assume that you lost 2 Prizes already and it still won’t matter. That's why this deck plays a maximum amount of N, because your opponent will usually take very early Prizes before you do.
Turn 3 you try to evolve all the Frogadier and Wally the Active so you can have a Greninja Break that most likely won’t die. If you don’t get all this done this turn it's still fine, you probably have a little bit more time to do so. 
As long as you take the right KO (this means any threats) they’ll run out of steam to KO the rest of your Greninja. While this is happening, you can N and disrupt them even more.

If you go 2ND:

Going second sometimes is even better than going first. You attach an Energy to the Active and try to Paralyze most of the time, but the ideal turn would be to Wally a Froakie and attack on your first turn with Frogadier, and that way you barely give up any Prizes and you get all of the set up that you need during your first turn. It's really important to get Frogadiers out so you can thin your deck, besides the fact that it's your goal to build multiple Greninja.

I don’t like Jirachi in this deck since i want to be doing something with either Froakies or Frogadier. The way I beat Night March is either I paralyze or I don’t. If I don’t, then I get to play Teammates the next turn and that will give me a good enough set up to catch up.

Against Trevenant you will need to buy time till you set up. In order for that to happen, you either get lucky or you can paralyze them and buy some time, because there's a lot of turns against them before they will do any damage, but they can sweep your board at some point in the game if you miss some crucial cards like Frogadier, Stadium or Greninja. Greninja's second attack against them is really good: 80 and getting the energy back so they can’t discard it and you two shot a Trevenant. They have a hard time building multiple Trevenant since they need multiple energies to attack.

Against Water, basically they’re gonna take 3 Prizes before you even start doing something but that's not a reason to worry since you can N. It's so easy to take a KO on Seismitoad if they’re using Grenade Hammer, and they’re gonna struggle to knockout a BREAK Greninja without doing that, so what I do is aim for the Energy and after two KOs they’ll run out of attackers.

Against mirror it's gonna be a fatigue matchup if no one plays Ranger, since both players are gonna try to use Shadow Stitching to deny Abilities and with Rough Seas in play, both are gonna be dealing 10 damage per turn only. You can always retreat and use a new Greninja so just play it slow. 2 Greninjas is enough, there's no need for water duplicate for all of them. 

These are my thoughts on the format as it currently stands heading into Worlds. I'm excited to see all of my friends from around the world this weekend and to see if anyone has come up with a new and exciting deck or any new creative techs for existing decks. I hope to continue my hot streak at Worlds even though I have to play in Day 1. Follow me on Twitter at @TDG_IgorCosta for updates on my journey!

-Igor Costa

[+18] okko


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