BREAKing Even – The Last of BREAKthrough and Revamping Decks for Cities

Hey PokeBeach! Regionals are over for the U.S. and BREAKthrough Prereleases are upon us, while over in the U.K. our first Regional circuit begins in a week. Due to our formats being out of alignment, we have a strange, new situation where there’s very little information on the Standard metagame which we will be playing in, with results being limited to small League Challenges around the globe. Usually I would have been preparing my choices for Regionals based off the results from U.S. Regionals, choosing a deck that had been proven by boasting multiple placements; however, this year the Expanded format has had very little effect on Standard and being able to see accumulative results hasn’t affected my deck choice at all. It will be interesting to see how people’s deck choices change due to the little influence from global tournaments, which seldom happens on our little island.

Even though I will be playing in the less explored XY-AOR Standard format for half the Regionals, we do gain BREAKthrough for the next half, and finally have some similarities with the States as Cities can be played in XY-BT Standard. Today I’m going to look over some other cards from Red Flash / Blue Impact and the two BREAK theme decks that I couldn’t fit in my last article, and then piece some of these cards together into updated builds. If you haven’t already yet, make sure give that article a read through. Getting a good look on how the formats will change with the inclusion of BREAKthrough is important, so having some idea about what new decks are created, such as the M Mewtwo-EX Y build that Steve Guthrie looked over, or updating old-format decks certainly won’t hurt.

The Stragglers of Red Flash / Blue Impact

Glalie EX / M Glalie EX

Glalie-EX – Water – HP170
Basic Pokemon

[W] Ice Breath: Flip a coin. If heads, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed.

[W][C][C] Instant Cooling: 50+ damage. If you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent, this attack does 100 more damage.

When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Metal (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 3

M Glalie-EX – Water – HP220
Mega Evolution – Evolves from Glalie-EX

When 1 of your Pokemon becomes a Mega Evolution, your turn ends.

[W][C][C] Cryomouth: 100+ damage. If there are 10 or more damage counters on this Pokemon, this attack does 150 more damage.

When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Metal (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 3

Looking over the final EX and Mega EX pair from Blue Impact, Glalie-EX does a mediocre 50 for a Water and two Colorless, but deals out an extra 100 damage if you can match your opponent’s hand size, which alongside a Muscle Band hits for 170. M Glalie-EX gains 50 HP when it goes Mega, gaining an interesting attack. Cryomouth has the same Water and two Colorless attack cost to do 100, but if M Glalie-EX was able to survive an opponent’s attack that put 10 or more damage counters on it, Cryomouth goes above and beyond to hit 250, which OHKOs every Pokemon in both formats.

Standard

Glalie-EX and its Mega Evolution might be able to form some sort of new deck. The reprint of Judge makes it easier to get consistent boosts with Glalie-EX’s Instant Cooling attack, hitting for 170 with a Muscle Band, and then if Glalie EX is able to survive with 70 or less HP it can Mega Evolve with a Spirit Link and go for the massive 250 damage with Cryomouth. The attack cost is reasonable to use, for just a Water and Double Colorless Energy for both, but doesn’t have any acceleration at the moment, bar Mega Turbo, so using the Basic Glalie would require it to be powered up manually. Getting all these combos working together might just be too hard compared to other decks however, needing to get consistent setups and hope your opponent cannot counteract any of your big plays, such as only doing 90 damage to Glalie-EX, lowering Cryomouth’s damage output. If your opponent is able to take OHKO’s, consistently finding other energized Glalie is also going to be a problem.

Expanded

M Glalie-EX isn’t good enough to make a splash compared to better Megas like M Rayquaza-EX or the new M Mewtwo-EX Y. Glalie-EX could find a spot in Water-based decks like Archie’s Blastoise as a Pokemon with an alternative Weakness, but only getting out 150 damage as long as you match hand sizes is too much effort just for a different Weakness at the moment.

Gengar

Gengar – Psychic – HP130
Stage 2 – Evolves from Haunter

[P] Ominous Fog: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned. Place 1 damage counter on each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon.

[P][C] Creep Show: If your opponent’s Active Pokemon has at least 3 damage counters on it, that Pokemon is Knocked Out.

Weakness: Darkness (x2)
Resistance: Fighting (-20)
Retreat: 0

It’s always interesting to see what Gengar cards are released as they usually have interesting effects, such as Gengar from Stormfront, which made waves alongside Vileplume in 2011. Ominous Fog for a single Psychic Energy Poisons your opponent’s Active Pokemon and then puts a single damage counter on their Benched Pokemon, setting up for its next attack, Creep Show. Creep Show KO’s your opponent’s Active as long as it has three damage counters on it, be it a 50 HP Spritzee or a 240 HP Primal Groudon-EX.

Standard

I’m not helping you any more

The obvious pairing would be with either a Crobat line to get the three damage counters needed for a OHKO or multiple Forretress to spread damage on all of your opponent’s Pokemon. Gengar is a Stage 2, so it would need Rare Candy alongside its Basic Gastly to get into play, which could also help get a quick 30 damage from evolving a Zubat straight into Crobat. Dimension Valley really helps out with Creep Show’s attack cost, letting you use it for just a single Psychic Energy as long as Dimension Valley is in play. Since Gengar uses Psychic Energy, Wobbuffet is another good pairing to put in the deck.

Due to the relatively low 130 HP Gengar has, problems will arise with decks that can OHKO. In an ironic contrast, Gengar certainly wouldn’t want to see its old pal Vileplume stopping it from evolving with Rare Candy either. Wobbuffet might be able to help against both of these problems, slowing down speedier decks that can OHKO like M Rayquaza-EX or re-activating the use of Items. Needing all these cards to get constant streams of both Gengar and Crobat seems unjustifiable compared to other decks which are more consistent in their damage output and need less.

Expanded

Being only a mediocre Stage 2 really seals Gengar’s fate right now, and only having 130 HP in a fast format doesn’t help either. Just to make it worse, Yveltal-EX builds are popular right now, which can rip apart any Gengar builds through it’s Weakness.

Florges / Florges BREAK

Florges – Fairy – HP110
Stage 2 – Evolves from Floette

Ability: Relaxing Scent
The attacks of each of your Pokemon is [Y] less.

[Y][Y][Y] Wonder Shine: 70 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Confused.

Weakness: Metal (x2)
Resistance: Darkness (-20)
Retreat: 1

Florges BREAK – Fairy – HP140
BREAK Evolution

Florges BREAK retains the attacks, Abilities, Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost of its previous Evolution.

Ability: Flower Breeze
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may heal 30 damage from your Active Pokemon and remove 1 Special Condition from it.

Florges lowers the attack cost of every Pokemon by one Fairy Energy (this doesn’t count towards reducing Colorless Energy costs however), meaning Pokemon like Xerneas-EX could use Break Through for one Double Colorless Energy, or Florges-EX could use Bright Garden with any Energy attached. Relaxing Scent stacks as well. When Florges BREAK Evolves, it gains 30 HP and a new Ability, making it the first dual-Ability Pokemon we have ever had.

Standard / Expanded

In Standard Florges and its BREAK Evolution are unfortunately very weak, needing so much to get into play to reduce a single, specific Energy cost and heal 30 damage. There’s a small use in Fairy decks to reduce costs by one to use attacks like Xerneas’ Geomancy for zero, but attaching an Energy is much, much easier than getting Florges into play. Florges BREAK could fit in a M Manectric-EX build alongside Rough Seas to constantly heal 60 damage and a Special Condition, but getting a technical Stage 3 Florges BREAK into play just for that isn’t likely. In Expanded the same problems echo through, but with the added problem of increased speed and Item lock.

Xerneas

Xerneas – Fairy – HP120
Basic Pokemon

[Y][C][C] Rainbow Force: 10+ damage. This attack does 30 more damage for each type of your Benched Pokemon.

[Y][Y][C][C] Power Creation: 80+ damage. If this Pokemon recovered any HP during your turn, this attack does 80 more damage.

Weakness: Metal (x2)
Resistance: Darkness (-20)
Retreat: 2

Rainbow Force for a Fairy and two Colorless does a base of 10 damage and 30 more for each differently-typed Pokemon on your Bench, meaning if you had five Pokemon on your Bench with different types, Rainbow Force would be hitting for 160, or 180 with a Muscle Band attached. Power Creation does a weak 80, and can double to 160 if you were able to heal Xerneas on that turn using cards like Max Potion.

Standard / Expanded

In both Standard and Expanded Fairy Box decks have gone out of fashion at the moment, but Xerneas could give it a chance at coming back. Since these decks try to cover multiple Weaknesses using Pokemon with different typing, filling your Bench up with all these different Pokemon, even increasing the amount of Pokemon you can Bench with Sky Field, leads to Xerneas being able to hit for a massive amount of damage. For example, having seven different typed Pokemon on the Bench nets you 220 damage for just a Fairy and two Colorless, Knocking Out the majority of Mega EX’s. Getting out these different Pokemon might seem hard, but a single Ultra Ball can get you a Hoopa-EX, and then search out three Pokemon EX with different types, instantly getting you an extra 120 damage with Rainbow Force. The difference between Standard compared to Expanded is the amount of Pokemon you have at your disposal in Expanded, such as Darkrai-EX and Keldeo-EX, making it easier to fill your Bench up with different types.

Float Stone

Float Stone – Trainer
Item

The Pokemon this card is attached to has no Retreat Cost.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

Standard

At the moment Standard is really just limited to Switch and Escape Rope, so bringing back a card that’s had a massive impact on formats since it was released in Plasma Freeze is nice to see. Float Stone replaces the need for switching cards that don’t stick, and pairs well with the recently released Zoroark that has Keldeo-EX’s Rush In Ability, giving decks such as M Rayquaza-EX and Metal builds a better option for consistent switching. Gengar-EX / Trevenant builds cannot function without the use of Float Stone to retreat from Trevenant into Gengar-EX, meaning this deck might be able to show up again with the reprint. So many decks can use Float Stone’s effect to good use, so expect to see this reprint being one of the biggest out of BREAKthrough.

Brigette

Brigette – Trainer
Supporter

Search your deck for 1 Basic Pokemon-EX or up to 3 Basic Pokemon (excluding Pokemon-EX) and put them onto your Bench. Shuffle your deck afterwards.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

Brigette is another choice-based Supporter like Giovanni’s Scheme. Brigette lets you pick either a single Pokemon-EX or three non-EX Basic Pokemon and put them on the Bench, an effect similar to Pokémon Collector from the HGSS era, except this time the Pokemon have to be Benched.

Standard

Even though Brigette has two options, and searching for a single EX might be handy under Item lock, the main use would be to search out the three Basic Pokemon you want, most likely support Pokemon like Bronzong or the new Zoroark. The first deck that seems to benefit would be Metal builds, getting two Bronzor and another supporting non-EX like Zorua. Metal M Rayquaza-EX builds could also gain the same effect, with the option of grabbing a Rayquaza-EX if you’ve already found enough supporting Pokemon. Vespiquen could set up their first turn by searching for two Combee and an Eevee, but that would mean you would have a lower amount of draw on that turn to get off quick Battle Compressors. The new Magnezone being released in BREAKthrough could use Brigette for setting up, getting out two Magnemite (which would give your Magnemite in play free retreat due to its Sparkling Induction Ability) and another supporting Pokemon. Since Brigette cannot get EX’s, and has to bench the Pokemon straight away, the effect may be outclassed by Pokémon Fan Club in Standard, where EXs can also be chosen and Pokemon don’t have to be benched, so effects like Shaymin-EX’s Set Up can be triggered.

Expanded

The first few decks that comes to mind would also be Metal builds, and with the inclusion of Expanded, Eelektrik decks can search for three Tynamo to get a strong setup on turn one. Like in Standard, Vespiquen builds paired with Flareon could opt to use Brigette to get a good setup turn one, but would still sacrifice the amount of draw the deck would usually have on early turns. Again, Pokémon Fan Club may still be favored due to Brigette’s limiting factors.

Parallel City

Parallel City – Trainer
Stadium

Top Effect (Text Upside Down): The player this side of the card is facing can only have 3 Benched Pokemon.

Bottom Effect (Text Right-Side Up): The player this side of the card is facing’s Fire, Water, and Grass Pokemon’s attacks do 20 less damage.

This card stays in play when you play it. Discard this card if another Stadium card comes into play. If another card with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.

Parallel City is the final “choice card” released in BREAKthrough, and is possibly the strongest of the three. Since Parallel City is a Stadium, it can be played in two ways, depending on which effect you would like. Unlike other Stadium cards that have the same effect for both players, playing down a Parallel City means that while one player would be forced to only have three Benched Pokemon, the other player would have its elemental attacks reduced by 20 without having to adhere to the other effect on the opponent. A final thing to note is that another Parallel City cannot be played down to change the effect of an existing one.

Standard

Parallel City’s obvious use would be forcing M Rayquaza-EX builds to go down to three Benched Pokemon, making Emerald Break do a weak 90 damage and forcing the deck find another Stadium and an extra three-five Pokemon to start hitting big OHKOs. Limiting Energy acceleration decks like Metal builds to a Bench of three would really limit the amount of attackers an opponent could play down. They need to keep at least one-two Bronzong, leaving little space for other Pokemon. Parallel City’s problem in Standard is what to play it in. M Sceptile-EX builds that haven’t had too much hype could play a couple copies to have a better chance against M Rayquaza-EX builds, but unfortunately would really limit the deck’s damage output due to most of the attacks being reduced by 20 damage. Maybe Yveltal-EX builds could see a new resurgence alongside Parallel City and Ninetales to improve its M Rayquaza-EX matchup and limit opponent’s Bench sizes without negative effects, since the deck doesn’t play any elemental types.

Expanded

Parallel City could again be used against M Rayquaza-EX builds for the same effect as Standard, but would have a lesser impact if the opponent could find another Stadium, since many M Rayquaza-EX decks include one or two copies of Exeggcute as a backup for big discards after a Stadium has been replaced. Archie’s Blastoise could get some use out of Parallel City to either limit their Bench to three, discarding the needed setup Pokemon like Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX to get Blastoise into play, or try and help their M Rayquaza-EX matchup slightly, although this does lower the deck’s damage output by 20. A chunk of viable decks in Expanded right now like Yveltal-EX or Vespiquen can survive off a low three Bench, opting to discard any unneeded or support Pokemon that these decks play, which will probably limit the amount of use Parallel City will see right now.


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