Saturday - February 26th, 2011 @ 3 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Our last Blaine’s Quiz asked, “The following Pokemon, excluding one, are in a very specific order. Which one is out of place?” The order of the Pokemon comes from the Johto PokeRap. Out of the quiz options, Skiploom was the only Pokemon out of order – it’s the very last Pokemon in the PokeRap. That’s the most attention poor Skiploom will ever get; talk about a dramatic rendition – “SkippppLoooooommm!” This was a question you either knew immediately or would not know if your life depended on it. :p

  • Feraligatr (44.0%, 9,244 Votes)
  • Shuckle (12.0%, 2,505 Votes)
  • Misdreavus (9.0%, 1,861 Votes)
  • Skiploom (8.0%, 1,726 Votes)
  • Chinchou (8.0%, 1,722 Votes)
  • Togetic (8.0%, 1,643 Votes)
  • Xatu (6.0%, 1,207 Votes)
  • Quagsire (4.0%, 871 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 20,785
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Tuesday - February 15th, 2011 @ 12 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The Call of Legends Redshark release is now available for download! Redshark allows you to practice the Pokemon TCG on your computer and against friends online. It is the only fan-made program created specifically for the Pokemon TCG. You can download your installer by clicking one of the links below; make sure to uninstall any previous versions of Redshark before attempting to install the new one!

[Windows | Macintosh]

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Thursday - November 18th, 2010 @ 4 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The answer to the last Blaine’s Quiz is the Brain Pokemon, Rigray – a Pokemon that clearly resembles an alien. The evidence for this comes from its Pokemon White PokeDex entry, which states, “It suddenly happened, 50 years ago, across the desert. No one has seen this Pokemon since then.” In real life, the famous Roswell UFO incident occurred in a New Mexico desert in 1947, which was 63 years ago, and the aliens from that incident apparently disappeared like Rigray. Since Isshu is based on America and there are many American-inspired Pokemon in this generation, this lends further credence to the comparison. Deoxys was the number one answer for the quiz, but Deoxys’ story sounds nothing like the incident: a virus was exposed to a laser beam in space, mutated into Deoxys, and then crash-landed on Earth in a meteorite.

A new Blaine’s Quiz is up – try it out! We’ve had a hard time coming up with interesting questions, which is why they are not posted as often anymore. If you have any suggestions for a quiz question, feel free to post it on our forums. The idea for this week’s question is from Alvin and the Minezumis.

Which of the following Pokemon is a reference to a certain event that took place in New Mexico?


  • Deoxys (32.0%, 5,133 Votes)
  • Rigray (17.0%, 2,781 Votes)
  • Genosect (14.0%, 2,311 Votes)
  • Wargle (10.0%, 1,593 Votes)
  • Terrakion (9.0%, 1,484 Votes)
  • Regirock (9.0%, 1,483 Votes)
  • Hippowdon (9.0%, 1,433 Votes)

Total Voters: 16,221

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Wednesday - November 17th, 2010 @ 1 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

After a bit of a delay due to some Weedles, the HS – Triumphant version of Redshark is now available for download! Redshark allows you to practice the Pokemon TCG on your computer and against friends online. It is the only fan-made program created specifically for the Pokemon TCG. You can download your installer by clicking one of the links below. Make sure to uninstall any previous versions of Redshark before attempting to install the new one!

[Windows | Macintosh]

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Friday - October 8th, 2010 @ 5 PM PST -  By: Kevin Garrett

Update: We have more than enough now. Congratulations and good luck if you got in!

The greatest video game tournament to ever be held on PokéBeach is finally here! It has been speculated about within the community for almost a year now. Registration for the PokéBeach Master Cup is open with the posting of this message. Don’t miss out on all of the fun that will be had in this competition. Devoted players have played through a series of four circuit tournaments to be ranked for the main tournament. If you didn’t play in them, it’s no problem – there is still time to join! All you have to do is familiar yourself with the rules and register in this forum thread.

Note: In order to participate in the PokéBeach Master Cup, you must have access to Shoddy Battle. If you don’t currently have it, go to our Shoddy Battle page to download it and find information about our server.

PokeBeach Master Cup
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Monday - October 4th, 2010 @ 10 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

I’m getting ready to apply to UCLA for film grad school so my time is a little limited. There really isn’t much Pokemon news in the wake of Black and White anyway so it’s the perfect time to go off and do things! ;)

Beta Latias and Blaziken Combo

Last… time’s Blaine’s Quiz asked about early Pokemon designs. The answer is quite interesting, as you can see to the right. Of course, the “Pokemon” you see was obviously split into Blaziken and Latias. I wonder if any other Pokemon were ever originally a single entity or even split into two? We know many Pokemon originally looked different: Torchic originally had floppy ears.

In terms of early Pokemon designs, which of the following was originally a single Pokemon but was later split into the Pokemon they are today?

  • Lunatone and Solrock (29.0%, 13,458 Votes)
  • Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf (23.0%, 10,543 Votes)
  • Blaziken and Latias (21.0%, 9,613 Votes)
  • Flygon and Salamence (12.0%, 5,624 Votes)
  • Heracross and Gligar (6.0%, 2,713 Votes)
  • Vulpix and Ponyta (6.0%, 2,649 Votes)
  • Scizor and Ampharos (3.0%, 1,300 Votes)

Total Voters: 45,904

This poll was first posted a year ago today and removed in July. Totally pathetic, but it’s so hard to come up with good quiz questions! The correct answer was Family Guy. If I waited any longer they might have done a Pokemon spoof, but alas, still nothing. Come on Seth!

Which of the following has NOT parodied or referenced Pokemon?

  • Heroes (NBC) (42.0%, 19,883 Votes)
  • Family Guy (Fox) (13.0%, 6,388 Votes)
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) (13.0%, 6,331 Votes)
  • Malcolm in the Middle (Fox) (12.0%, 5,558 Votes)
  • Milk Chan (Adult Swim) (10.0%, 4,836 Votes)
  • The Simpsons (Fox) (6.0%, 2,719 Votes)
  • Robot Chicken (Adult Swim) (4.0%, 2,082 Votes)

Total Voters: 47,797

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Tuesday - September 21st, 2010 @ 10 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

I would like to address the various game blogs that have reported on this whole PokeBeach / Nintendo situation. At first supporting us, many of these blogs have recently updated their news stories to state that we posted images from roms of the games, which, according to their theorizing, is why Nintendo reacted so strongly to our news coverage. This is absolutely not true, and a number of these blogs have not responded to our e-mail requests to correct this information or have completely misinterpreted our comments. Furthermore, most of these blogs have never even spoken with us, relying rather unprofessionally on their website’s user comments, posts from even more uninformed forum users, and news stories posted on other misinformed blogs. So let me give it to you straight: at no time were images from roms posted on this website. All in-game photos from this news story and this news story (both posted Thursday), as stated in their opening paragraphs, came from 2ch’s Japanese players who had legitimate copies of the games. These were the posts that the Nintendo lawyer targeted for image eradication over the phone. If you look at this front page, no images we have posted over this past week were scanned or photographed by us. We merely collected photos from across the Internet and posted them, as did many other fan websites. The lawyer specifically told us over the phone that Nintendo did not want these photo collections to be posted on larger Pokemon websites and seen by fans – and still does not want us to have any images of the games up – despite the release of the games. This is the egregious heart of the issue.

As with any major situation, scandal, or UFO sighting, there is always something “fishy” that people will pick out and explode into something that is nothing (human nature). It seems in attempting to understand why Nintendo would issue what appeared to be such an unreasonable cease and desist, many fans looked to our limited rom use as the source of their ridiculous actions. To go over this past week, an unstable rom of the game was released Friday afternoon (Saturday in Japan) after many Japanese and foreigners had already received their games in the mail and after the aforementioned photos had already been posted. For convenience, and because our physical copies had not yet arrived, we played the rom for a while to report on the game’s storyline. However, the developers made it so that Pokemon would not level-up if the game was played as a rom, so we didn’t even get 15 minutes into the story. One of us received our Pokemon White in the mail almost immediately after and we caught up and continued our coverage with the real copy, using webcams and Skype to watch, describe, translate, and post the contents of this news story as a team. Again, no images from a rom were ever posted. Furthermore, and most importantly, the Nintendo lawyer never mentioned, insinuated, or discussed the reason for their demands as related to rom use even though the news story posted on that day, which he reviewed over the phone, stated “We just received copies of Pokemon Black and White (the roms, that is – our real copies are still being shipped).” His only concern was for our images – he stated this multiple times. To further prove this, two other sites that were targeted by Nintendo never even said a word about using a rom, so this obviously was not the reason for these cease and desist orders, not to mention that his original letter specifically targeted the images. Bottom line: this whole rom stuff has nothing to do with anything that has happened. It was always about the images. The cease and desist order was probably a few days in the making as well, especially since the lawyer stated he was working on this issue with the Nintendo folks in Washington and their brothers back in Japan.

And as for the people saying this is all fake, please stop. You don’t know everything we know. You haven’t seen the documents we’ve seen. You haven’t talked to the lawyer we have. You don’t have the capacity to look into anything – you don’t even have the lawyer’s name or other information we’ve been sent. You don’t have the right to claim this is fake when you don’t have access to the most basic information. The lawyer is real and so is the cease and desist order – we have confirmed it through various indisputable means as I have said until I’m blue in the face on various message boards. So please accept it and stop derailing the issue with “lol its fake grammer errors.”

After I replaced all of our Black and White images with Ditto and made fun of Nintendo’s ridiculous actions toward myself and other fan websites by using the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, the lawyer sent me this:

…We note that you have removed the infringing content from your website so that it is no longer publicly accessible. We have accordingly contacted your domain registrar to rescind the copyright takedown notice issued earlier this weekend. [WPM Note: This made my blood boil. They actually were going to take away my .com over images of games that so many people already had in their hands? Guess we would have to register

This matter accordingly appears to be concluded, provided that you refrain from posting any content that infringes Nintendo’s copyright and otherwise avoid violating Nintendo’s intellectual property rights. [Yeah that’s not conveniently ambiguous.] We trust that, going forward, you will post only authorized images from Nintendo’s games, follow the applicable guidelines governing the use of such images, and otherwise limit your use of Nintendo’s copyrighted material to fair use. The volume of unauthorized material posted on your site previously far exceeded the limits of fair use, which necessitated this action. [Guess you didn’t see our HGSS coverage. :D]

We appreciate your responsiveness in addressing this serious legal matter. This letter is without prejudice to any and all rights or remedies available to Nintendo of America Inc., its parent or affiliated companies, all of which are expressly reserved. [I wuv you too Mr. Lawyer.]

So it seems this really is just about them being paranoid about Black and White images being posted for the general public to see (as the lawyer stated in our phone conversation and as his original e-mail stated). They probably do not want the games to be spoiled, but I guess they don’t realize that you can’t keep us from knowing about new games in this day and age (after all, what’s known in Japan is known here almost instantly). This is the new age – an age of networking, information spread, and instant access. You can’t force us to avoid spoilers when there’s this little thing called the Internet that connects us all together, especially when there’s such a huge gap between the release of the games in Japan and their release worldwide. Maybe you could try to do a simultaneous release… did you ever think of that, Nintendo? Once the games are released in Japan EVERYONE knows EVERYTHING about them EVERYWHERE anyway. Why not try to do a simultaneous release? People like Bangiras have the skills to translate the whole game in a day or two. Why can’t you?

While Nintendo apparently thinks it can stop people from being spoiled, we obviously have to comply with them (for now). Since the same content we posted is still available on a multitude of fan sites, I wanted to know why we can’t post such content too. So are we not allowed to post images of the Pokemon anymore? Did this cease and desist only apply to the actual images we posted this past week? Are we allowed to post Pokemon sprites like so many other fan sites? I e-mailed him back and asked, “… Also, when will I be able to post Pokemon sprites? All other Pokemon websites have them up. I don’t think it’s fair that myself and the other sites you targeted won’t be able to post them now.”

With regard to your below questions, be advised that Nintendo respects the right of others to make fair use of publicly-available copyrighted materials as permitted by law. However, the use of Nintendo’s unpublished copyrighted materials or other proprietary information that Nintendo has not authorized for public release is not permitted, which necessitated the actions over the weekend to protect the company’s intellectual property rights. I trust this sufficiently addresses your concerns.

Wha? Stop using lawyer speak on me! Does that mean I can or can’t post them?

I’ve outlined Nintendo’s position and provided guidance as to what is, and is not, acceptable to Nintendo. Beyond that, I cannot provide you with legal advice.

Like heck you outlined anything! So I guess I can decide whether or not I can post the sprites? And then you can send me a threatening letter if I’m wrong since you won’t answer such a basic question? Doesn’t sound like you’re saying no… So is that a yes? Too much ambiguity for me. I’m trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong / why / how to avoid it in the future and this guy sure isn’t helping! Does he even really know what’s going on?

Honestly, this entire situation has left me deeply, deeply disappointed and angry with Nintendo. I didn’t know that when Junichi Masuda signed my laptop last year that I would be dealing with this now. This is NOT how you treat your dedicated fans. Why don’t you people go after the companies that are mass-producing fake cards (that I get e-mails about like… every day) or the websites that let you download roms? I mean don’t you have anything better to do, Nintendo? I’ve dedicated myself to the Pokemon fandom for seven years and this is what I get from you people? I’ve never asked for anything in return and I don’t expect anything in return, but I never thought I would get attacked by you for promoting your own games. Do you honestly think that any of your fan sites have caused you “substantial damage?” That would be PRETTY hard to prove in court. If anything they’re the people helping keep your franchise successful – that’s just logical. And I doubt anyone would argue against that. Or is that what you’re telling us, Nintendo?

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Tuesday - September 7th, 2010 @ 9 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Redshark 3.71 is now available for both Windows and Mac users. If you downloaded 3.70 for Windows, this new release contains a few minor improvements. Redshark allows you to practice the Pokemon TCG on your computer and against friends online. It is the only fan-made program created specifically for the Pokemon TCG. You can download your installer by clicking one of the links below; make sure to uninstall any previous versions of Redshark before attempting to install the new one!

Once you download Redshark, you should check out our TCG Activities forum to participate in user tournaments. You can also go into our new Battle Chat Room to find someone to battle now.

[Windows | Macintosh]

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Saturday - August 21st, 2010 @ 9 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The Undaunted Redshark release is now available for download! Redshark allows you to practice the Pokemon TCG on your computer and against friends online. It is the only fan-made program created specifically for the Pokemon TCG. You can download the Windows installer below; unfortunately, the Mac installer is not ready due to technical difficulties and may not be available for a few weeks. Sorry Maccies! Just another reason to switch to Windows. :D

[Windows Download (3.70)]

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Friday - June 25th, 2010 @ 2 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Sorry for the lack of updates this week! You guys (hopefully) know I never miss news stories unless something major comes up. I’ve been packing for my trip to Japan (going today!) and there was a major emergency in the middle of this week with my 90-year old aunt that delayed a lot of what I had to do before going (took her to the emergency room, got thrown up on there… smelled minty, stayed there until 4 AM in the same room my nana was in before she died… very nice memories :/, took her to our house to watch over her for a few days, sleep schedule was completely wrecked, emotionally and physically drained, etc.). Needless to say, I had more important things to worry about this week, so I hope you all understand! :)

I’ll be getting on the plane in 10 hours and the flight lasts for 12 hours, so I’ll arrive in Japan on Saturday afternoon their time. I have a lot of news I need to post, but I obviously haven’t had the time to write it, so I’ll try to post on Saturday night or Sunday. Hopefully I’ll be able to get free Internet in the hotel; I ain’t payin’ 2000 yen a night for Internet! As for what I plan to accomplish, while I’m not expecting to replicate the success of last year’s trip with the early game footage and early movie screening, I’m going to actively be on the hunt for Pokemon news opportunities (that’s the main reason I’m going on the trip, after all – I’m not even getting credit for the classes I’m taking since they’re the same as last year’s). I’m doin’ it all for you guys!! Hopefully I’ll get some cool Black and White news. If I can’t find any I’ll go punch it out of someone. I know where you’re located, Gamefreak. :D

Oh, and I don’t have time to write down a will and all my passwords like I was able to do last year for my first trip there, so if I die for some reason (plane crash, Godzilla attack, Third Impact, angry Pokemon officials, etc.), the site goes to Bangiras, Shakepeare, and Shining Raikou. My mom’s got my (outdated) passwords in a vault somewhere (as well as Firefox profile backups on external hard drives with all the passwords), so hit her up if something happens you guys! Sell the site and I’ll kill you, merge the site with another and I’ll kill you, let it die and I’ll kill you. >:D But I myself don’t plan to die since I have too much to live for, so no worries anyway! /just-in-case-paragraph

Ja matta ya fuels!

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Thursday - May 13th, 2010 @ 11 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The HS – Unleashed Redshark release is now available for download! Redshark allows you to practice the Pokemon TCG on your computer and against friends online. It is the only fan-made program created specifically for the Pokemon TCG. You can download your installer by clicking one of the links below; make sure to uninstall any previous versions of Redshark before attempting to install the new one!

[Windows | Macintosh]

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Monday - May 10th, 2010 @ 1 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Update (6:00 PM) – Added seven more pieces of fan art.

As with Zoroark’s silhouette, the members of PokeBeach forums have been creating their own fan art of what they think the new Black and White starter Pokemon will look like. Some of them are serious attempts, some are drawn on the fly, and some are just jokes. Click the thumbnails below for larger images and use your left and right arrow keys to scroll through them like a slideshow. If any of the artwork below has the wrong artist’s name, please e-mail me and I will correct it immediately. If you would like your fan art showcased, feel free to post it here. The artists who come closest to the real Pokemon gets a mention on the front page (if you have a Devianart I’ll link to it too).

As of now, the real starter Pokemon have not been revealed yet: everything you see posted across the web is fan art, including the authentic-looking magazine scans that our old site artist CascadeGonPory drew as a hoax. The starter Pokemon will only be revealed through CoroCoro magazine scans and there is a very good chance we’ll get them early in the morning (which means I have to stay up super late again!). Be sure to keep checking back – we’ll be on the constant lookout as usual! CoroCoro should also be revealing the name of the new region and how to evolve Zorua.

Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Shadowken42 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Lunchbox Starter Pokemon Fan Art by sarydactl Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Plateman Starter Pokemon Fan Art by BlazeGryph Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Guardian of Aura Starter Pokemon Fan Art by lambo_chu Starter Pokemon Fan Art by lambo_chu Starter Pokemon Fan Art by burningcharizard Starter Pokemon Fan Art by 7YearsinTibet Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Pokémaniac Starter Pokemon Fan Art by ArceusTrainer Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Nidd15 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by HikaruAyame Starter Pokemon Fan Art by HikaruAyame Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Gamebeast101 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Prinplush Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Elfteiroh Starter Pokemon Fan Art by StiX Starter Pokemon Fan Art by kevin1988 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Solar-Sceptile Starter Pokemon Fan Art by _Furret Starter Pokemon Fan Art by _Furret Starter Pokemon Fan Art by ~Rukario~ Starter Pokemon Fan Art by dwarfstar123 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Krow Starter Pokemon Fan Art by sax87ton Starter Pokemon Fan Art by MrMadMan Starter Pokemon Fan Art by BlazeGryph Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Rayquaza808 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by peterrab Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Limpa Starter Pokemon Fan Art by howelllawson Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Xous Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Film Visionary Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Skoopa Starter Pokemon Fan Art by 42 Chocolate Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Lord Muha Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Benny Starter Pokemon Fan Art by sketchfox7 Starter Pokemon Fan Art by Shiny Scyther
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Tuesday - May 4th, 2010 @ 12 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Our forum supermod PMJ has spent the past two or so months writing an extremely comprehensive HeartGold and SoulSilver walkthrough / guide. It details almost everything there is to the two remakes and is a great resource for anyone who owns them. Be sure to check it out if you need any sort of help! The guide has been added to the left menu under “Games” for future accessing.

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Thursday - April 15th, 2010 @ 11 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The following article was written by Gale from our forums. If you would like to read articles written by PokeBeach forum members, check out our Article Submissions forum. Thanks Gale for your hard work in writing this article!


Double Colorless Energy (#103) from HeartGold & SoulSilver

States are long over and Regionals are this Saturday! This year, there were a heavy variety of decks used at States, with no one deck dominating any one division. Individual cards that were introduced in the new Pokémon Collector, Pokémon Communication, Pokémon Reversal, and possibly the most important of the bunch, Double Colorless Energy.

While the Supporters / Trainers could be used in almost any deck to help with consistency or disruption, Double Colorless Energy was only useful in a handful of decks. It added speed and greatly helped cards such as Garchomp C LV.X. Along with new Trainers and Energies, HeartGold & SoulSilver also brought many new Pokémon to the format, including Jumpluff and Donphan (Prime), who are both recognized for their intense speed and damage output.

SPs have been doing surprisingly well, but only one variation of the deck noticeably swept States. Luxray GL LV.X and Garchomp C LV.X was definitely the deck to beat, placing first in over half of the State Championships and placing second and third in others. I’m not saying other SP variants didn’t also do well, but Luxray GL LV.X and Garchomp C LV.X have the most wins by far. Returning decks such as Gyarados, Gardevoir, and Gengar continued to dominate States after an impressive show at the City Championships. Just how much did HeartGold & SoulSilver change the States metagame, and what does it mean for Regionals? Read on to find out! This article focuses on a few of the top decks in the format. Each deck will include a synopsis and detailed deck list. This article is intended for beginning and casual players of the game.

Luxray GL LV.X / Garchomp C LV.X

Luxray GL LV.X (#109) from Rising Rivals

Luxray GL LV.X and Garchomp C LV.X originally began as a combo during City Championships, along with Blaziken FB LV.X. Players eventually decided to drop Blaziken FB LV.X and this new, highly effective combo was born. The deck revolves around controlling your opponent’s field while dealing massive damage to whatever Pokémon you want. The combination of Luxray GL LV.X’s “Bright Look” Poké-Power make this easy, along with Garchomp C LV.X’s attack “Dragon Rush.” Cards such as Double Colorless Energy help speed up with process. The pure speed combined with the brutal disruption is the appeal of this deck, and many times it’s too much to handle for slow decks or decks with low HP Pokémon. There are few things that can stop the driving force of this deck because it gets set up too quickly, but be sure to watch out for decks like Donphan. As long as you make the right choices, this deck will perform well against almost anything. The deck has many options, and it can adapt to changing situations during a battle.

For example, if your opponent plays Mewtwo LV.X to try and stop you from attacking, you have several options, including just sending it to the Bench and pick off Prizes alternative ways, or using other possible tech cards to shut it down and/or eliminate it. Because it’s an SP deck, Luxray GL LV.X/Garchomp C LV.X (or, “Lady GaGa,” as it is commonly referred to) has many options and is definitely one of the best decks in the format. Expect to see this played quite a bit during Regionals.

This deck has many other options aside from the ones I’ll be showing you in the decklist. You can run it with Blaziken… you can run it without Dialga… you can basically do whatever you want with it. It is a very flexible deck, so don’t be afraid to tweak things.

Pokémon: 17

Trainers: 29

Energy: 14


Gyarados (#19) from Stormfront

After winning numerous City Championships, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Gyarados top cut time and time again at States. Even with its weakness, Luxray GL LV.X/Garchomp C LV.X, seeing a lot of play, Gyarados can hold its own in this difficult format. With its combination of speed and pure power, Gyarados is not only one of the most practical decks to use, but also one of the fastest.

Many people argue that it’s a bit of a risk to play, because if you have several Magikarp prized, you’re in a difficult position for the rest of the game. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening, and Gyarados has a few tricks up its sleeve anyway. Because of the deck’s charming simplicity, there isn’t a great deal of things to say about it. The strategy is to get a Gyarados out as soon as possible with three Magikarp in your discard pile, an Expert Belt on your Gyarados, and a good backup plan if you need one. A majority of the time though, if you can get your Gyarados set up fast enough, you’ll have taken a prize or two before you lose your first Gyarados. After that, it’s all up to you. Once again, it’s an easy deck to understand on the outside, but once you actually start playing it, you’ll need to be thinking several turns ahead and be sure you can get another Gyarados out if your current active one dies. Gyarados was one of the best choices for States and is still one of the best choices for Regionals.

Gyarados doesn’t have a huge variety of techs to choose from. There are two “main” versions of Gyarados: one that focuses on speed, and one that focuses on disruption. I’ll cover the version that focuses on speed for this article, but know the one that focuses on disruption uses Palkia LV.X, Team Galactic’s Wager, and an increased Luxray GL LV.X line. Both versions are viable, and it all comes down to preference.

Pokémon: 21

Trainers: 32

Energy: 6


Gengar LV.X (#97) from Arceus

After becoming increasingly popular during City Championships, Gengar was having a good year. In most of the previous season, a different Gengar was causing problems for the entire format. For a while, it seemed like the new age version of Gengar would be causing even more problems. At States, Cursegar definitely left a mark, taking home a few first and second places.

The secret lies in the deck’s ability to lock, spread, and survive all equally well. Early game you use cards such as Spiritomb to lock your opponent by preventing them from using Trainers, and give you the ability to evolve your Pokémon quickly; after that you set up your Gengar (Platinum: Arceus) and start getting damage all over the field, while alternating between other forms of stall. Gengar was also used excessively during States because of its positive matchups against almost every deck. It seemed like Gengar was able to put any viable tech into any list and it would take care of a whole deck. This isn’t to say Gengar didn’t have its faults, but it certainly covered its weak spots. After you’ve set up your lock and done your spreading, you can finish your opponent off with a blow from Gengar LV.X, using its Compound Pain attack, or another tech card you might decide to put in. While Gengar isn’t necessarily as fast as Luxchomp, it still is able to pump out significant damage very quickly, while damaging the opponent at the same time.

There are many techs for Gengar, such as Mr. Mime, which can help you against Gyarados and other low energy cost decks, Nidoqueen, which helps greatly against another Gengar deck or other spread decks, and Mewtwo LV.X, which makes the matchup against SP decks in your favor because of its Poké-Body. Once again, play around with them depending on your metagame.

Pokémon: 26

Trainers: 22

Energy: 12


Gardevoir (#7) from Secret Wonders

This deck has won countless events, and it’s little surprise it’s been winning even more now that States have come and gone. For most of its life, Plox has been a solid deck, but with the release of HeartGold & SoulSilver (more specifically, Double Colorless Energy), it became even more viable. Plox’s forte is an easy, early game lock; using DCE, you can get it setup even earlier.

Plox is short for “Psychic Lock,” Gardevoir’s attack. Both Gardevoir and Gallade can utilize Double Colorless Energy, which means you can be locking your opponent early game with Gardevoir’s Psychic Lock as early as turn two, and perform a late game sweep with Gallade’s Psychic Cut. Each attack does a substantial amount of damage for only two energy. Combine this with a simple damage booster such as Expert Belt and you’re dealing even more damage with the same great effect. Combine this with disruptive techs and a strong draw engine, and you have quite the combo going.

Plox’s biggest problem is its matchups against high-tier decks – specifically, Gyarados and Gengar. They’re not auto-losses, but they may cause problems depending on their builds. That said, States has proved that Plox can still hold its own, and Plox continues to remain a great deck to use for Regionals as well.

There are several variations of Plox, including ones that focus completely on locking, ones that focus on pure damage, ones that focus on disruption, and ones that focus on other things. For the sake of keeping this article simple, I’ll use the most universally accepted version of the deck, but please know there are others. The most popular alternate choices are a speed-focused version of the deck that does not use Spiritomb, a disruptive version that uses cards such as Dusknior and Palkia LV.X, and a lock-focused version that uses Mesprits to make sure the opponent never uses powers.

Pokémon: 25

Trainers: 22

Energy: 13


Jumpluff (#6) from HeartGold & SoulSilver

Ever since the first translation of Jumpluff appeared on PokéBeach, players have been eagerly awaiting its release and their chance to use it at States. Has it lived up to its expectations? I’d say yes, more or less. Jumpluff did quite well at States, although it didn’t necessarily do any better than what was expected of it.

Jumpluff’s game is simple: swarm as fast as you can while keeping yourself alive. Whether it be by increasing your HP, decreasing the damage you take, or just pulling a full-out offensive maneuver, Jumpluff has many tricks up its sleeve. Jumpluff only has a few threats in the metagame, the largest of which is Luxchomp, Gyarados, and arguably other Jumpluffs, due to each deck being as fast (or faster), harder-hitting, or more disruptive than Jumpluff. Because Jumpluff is so straightforward damage-wise, it has a lot of techs, but you can’t use every tech under the sun and still expect to win consistently.

Like I said before, there are many versions of Jumpluff you can use. For this article, I’ll use a very popular version that has recently been seeing more and more play, and will most likely be the best variant for Regionals. Once again, there are many other variants of this deck. One variant focuses on using the aforementioned Shaymin LV.X and Cherrim to keep Jumpluff alive thanks to the increased HP from Shaymin and the decreased damage from Cherrim, one is a damage-focused version that uses Cherrim (Stormfront), and a straightforward version that only plays Jumpluff, Claydol, Uxie, and Azelf. Try each one out to find which one you like!

Pokémon: 22

Trainers: 31

Energy: 7

Flygon / Donphan

Donphan (#107) from HeartGold & SoulSilver

Much like Jumpluff, Donphan is a card that many have eagerly awaited to be released. Because it can do 60 damage for one Fighting Energy, Donphan is one of the best donking cards in the format. Although it has its pros, players thought Donphan was too risky to run and wasn’t worth trying to set it up on the first or second turn. Donphan also has a very rough time against Gyarados, which was a big problem for players running it.

Flygon, on the other hand, is not such a new card. Flygon has been doing great the past year, but unfortunately was expected to not see much action during States. It was clear to some that Donphan needed a “backup plan” in case it didn’t get the donk on the first few turns. Flygon was the perfect backup plan. The strategy for this deck is pretty simple: try to donk with Donphan using power-increasing cards like Expert Belt, but if you can’t, get a Flygon ready on the bench so you can retreat Donphan for free and start swinging away with Flygon as you build up a swarm of Donphan on your bench. If your Flygon dies, just rinse and repeat. Both Pokémon are heavy hitters and can take out a good chunk of the format. Using techs like Nidoqueen is a good idea if you’re worried about your Flygon dying. At the same time, combine Nidoqueen’s “Maternal Comfort” Poké-Body with Donphan’s “Exoskeleton” Poké-Body, and Donphan becomes a tank that is dealing massive damage at the same time.

This is only one version of this deck, obviously, but you can run Donphan or Flygon by themselves and have good results.

Pokémon: 23

Trainers: 23

Energy: 14


As you can see, the metagame for Regionals is looking to be a good one. A large variety of decks that counter each other is a fair format, and it is definitely balanced. Of course, these aren’t all of the decks that won State Championships. There were other ones that didn’t win as many, or came in second or third, or were played, but weren’t quite ready to win. These decks might be back for Regionals, and if they are, the competition is sure to be interesting. Thanks for reading, and good luck at Regionals!

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