Constructing a Deck for Worlds and a Look at XY-On!
Hello PokeBeach readers! I am back again with another article, this time focusing on the World Championships, and the new Standard and Expanded formats! For a quick Nationals recap, Kolton Day (my good friend and fellow PokeBeach writer) and I ran the exact same Seismitoad-EX / Crobat list. We had been working with Crobat variations for a while, as we learned that having lots of control over where your damage is dealt is quite powerful. Originally, I was working on Landorus-EX / Crobat, but found out after testing that the Seismitoad-EX / Crobat version worked better against the meta, and I will talk more about that in this article. What I want to do for this article is take that 60 card list we used from Nationals, and what we have learned about what works and what does not, and show you what we can do to make it ready for the World Championships. To do this, I will be looking over some of the deck building guidelines I set for myself when looking at a deck to ensure that the deck will perform well, at least in theory. After that, since I know some people are already looking forward to the next season, I will also look at some Ancient Origins card options for the deck.
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Nationals Deck List
Like I said, we are going to start off with the Seismitoad-EX / Crobat list I played for Nationals. The difference between analyzing the Nationals meta and the Worlds meta is that we have more information from results of U.S. Nationals. Below is the list that Kolton Day and I used for Nationals:
4x N (NVI #92)
3x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)
1x AZ (PHF #91)
4x Hypnotoxic Laser (PLS #123)
2x Virbank City Gym (PLS #126)
4x Double Colorless Energy (NXD #92)
Kolton Day is writing a Nationals report featuring this deck list, going over all 15 rounds he played at Nationals to bring him to his top 16 finish and explaining some of the card choices and matchups, so be on the lookout for that! Now, let’s talk about what we can do to make this list World Championship ready.
Editing the List
All of the card choices for this list were based on my predictions for U.S. Nationals. Honestly, it was impossible to guess exactly what would happen at Nationals. Due to Lysandre's Trump Card being banned, we had a very limited pool of results to look at. Now that we have results from U.S. Nationals, we can predict the meta for Worlds, and know what we need to beat. There are other articles on PokeBeach that go really in-depth on the meta for Worlds, so I will just quickly give my thoughts on it so I can guide you through how I edited my list. Below are some of the decks that I feel will be popular at Worlds, and explain what we can do for each matchup.
Manectric-EX and M Manectric-EX are very strong cards, as they can be used in many ways. First off, you don’t always need a M Manectric-EX in the deck. Manectric-EX already deals quite a bit of damage with Assault Laser, and can be paired with Head Ringer and Jamming Net to do additional damage. Most Manectric-EX decks, though, do run the Mega Evolution for the Energy acceleration. This really helps these decks deal consistent amounts of damage for entire matches. Many of the Manectric decks I saw in Swiss were running Empoleon, Suicune, and sometimes Leafeon to cover as many bases as possible. Empoleon is a great draw engine as well as a Water attacker when needed against Landorus-EX, and Suicune’s Safeguard is also great against many decks in the format, as Pokemon-EX are so heavily used. Finally, Leafeon is for all of the Grass-weak Pokemon like Primal Groudon-EX and Seismitoad-EX.
Manectric-EX decks are probably the hardest deck to beat that is popular in the meta and consistently played at tournaments. If the deck plays Leafeons, more than likely you would not win this matchup. There are no great Fighting-type Pokemon that can easily be put in the deck. The most important cards for this matchup are Stadium cards. Manectric-EX decks typically play three or four copies of Rough Seas to heal damage, which hard counters your Sneaky Bite and Surprise Bite damage from your Crobat line. As long as you are constantly replacing their Rough Seas, you can start building up damage and possibly muster up a couple Knock Outs on Manectrics with Grenade Hammers later in the game.
The last thing I can say about M Manectric-EX is that there is one more version that is quite a bit less popular, but could potentially be seen after Grant Manley got top 4 at U.S. Nationals with it. It is the M Manectric-EX / Garbodor build. The main difference for this deck is it will also try to shut off your Abilities, however, with Quaking Punch, the hope is that the Manectric player will not activate Garbotoxin during the match, meaning they will have a dead line of Pokemon in the deck, slowing them down enough to have a slightly greater chance of winning for the Toad / Bats player. Manectric still is a tough matchup, but this version is slightly easier if they cannot get a Tool on their Garbodor before the Item lock comes out. If they do get to their Tools quick enough, you should try to use your Xerosic on it. So, watch out for this version of Manectric at Worlds! To read more about it, check out Grant Manley’s article about it.
Seismitoad-EX / Garbodor
Any Seismitoad-EX vs. Seismitoad-EX matchup will be a very slow game that will usually come down to Energy drops. If either player is able to use enough Xerosic, Team Flare Grunt, or, when a player misses a Quaking Punch, Crushing Hammer and Enhanced Hammer, to get rid of all of the opponent’s Energy in play, they will quickly win the game. Seismitoad-EX decks are going to be popular after Jason Klaczynski used his Seismitoad-EX / Garbodor deck to win U.S. Nationals.
If you want to have a good matchup, you should play more Energy-removing cards, specifically Xerosic and Team Flare Grunt (since you can play them under Item lock). These will be a huge factor in whether or not you win against this deck. If you are able to play more Item cards than your opponent, you are probably going to win. Another card that might also help is Bunnelby, which lets you get your Energy and resources back. Instead of accepting the loss once you run out of Energy, you can give up the Item lock for a turn and give yourself another chance. This card was sometimes used before Nationals as a way of getting resources back since Lysandre's Trump Card was banned. However, it fell out of favor due to people not thinking it was quite good enough, however, after some playtesting, and looking back at my testing before Nationals, it might actually be worth it. It is also good against the next deck that I feel has a chance to do well at Worlds, Wailord-EX.
Wailord-EX was the largest surprise to everyone at Nationals. The deck is meant to deck out your opponent slowly and painfully. I believe that this deck will have a decent chance at Worlds due to it potentially hitting the right matchups in Swiss. Most people have figured out that Bunnelby can really hurt the Wailord decks by using either of its attacks. First, you could use Burrow to quickly start discarding cards from the Wailord’s deck, and then use Rototiller to put cards back into your deck. Wailord-EX does not really have any answer to this due to not running any cards that help do damage or remove Pokemon from play. This means that one Bunnelby can just win the matchup by itself. However, I do not feel everyone will be playing this card at Worlds in their deck. Great players know when to cut corners, and Bunnelby was cut before, and might be cut again due to the fact that Wailord is so easily beat by it, so perhaps no one will play Wailord. It is a cycle that might allow Wailord-EX players to get easy wins by getting paired against the right opponents, or get destroyed because they played against players who played Bunnelby in their lists. I honestly feel that Bunnelby is worth putting in decks due to the utility it brings, but not every player will agree here.
Rayquaza-EX / Metal
This is the last deck I want to talk about because I feel it is the last really hard and popular matchup. This matchup is hard due to the fact that M Rayquaza-EX is a 220 HP Pokemon which is very hard to take down, even with all of the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym and Crobat line damage. Then, the deck can easily survive Energy removal like Xerosic because it plays Bronzong for Energy acceleration.
The best card for this matchup is Water Energy. For damage output, it is imperative to get more than just one Grenade Hammer off in the game to get more than one Knock Out on a M Rayquaza-EX, and for being able to use Quaking Punch against Aegislash-EX and deal damage. I recall trying to find room for a fourth Water Energy, but just could not. Perhaps we can now.
Changing The Deck
Now that we have analyzed the opposition, it is finally time to edit the deck. There are many more matchups than listed above, but those are easier matchups like Landorus-EX / Crobat or Night March. Both of these matchups are easy to beat due to Weakness to Water and low HP Pokemon respectively. We do not need any additional cards to beat them.
So are you ready to step up your game? In this next section, I am going to show you the adjusted list, then talk about my process for creating and changing deck lists (something every player should know how to do well), and how the deck will look when Ancient Origins comes out for those who want a head start on the next season. All you have to do is upgrade your account now to read the rest of this article, as well as all of our other quality Premium Articles, and so much more competitive TCG content!
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