Regionals, Decks for Standard, and the Most Interesting Tech in Format

Welcome back PokeBeach readers! I’m happy you’re here once again taking time out of your day to read my article. I’ve been unbelievably busy with school work as of late, yet still am managing to fit in Pokemon. I just do not understand it — whenever I feel like I have graduate school figured out, I get blindsided by a new project or another concert. So it goes.

Pokemon Breakthrough1
If only there was a way to see these cards in action before Cities…

Fall Regionals have recently concluded, the latest expansion, BREAKthrough, has just been released, and the City Championship season is about to begin later this month. With these tournaments so closely approaching, what better time to look at some of my favorite decks? In this article I will be looking at four of the strongest decks in Standard, as the majority of Cites this time around are in the Standard format. All of them are well tested and great choices for the first week of tournaments, so make sure to stick around to see them all! I will also be discussing a serious issue I have noticed with our recent Regional Championships that have really made me think twice about attending them. And lastly, I want to show you guys one of the most interesting tech cards I’ve found in my testing of the Standard format. This single card has so many uses and crazy tricks that I had to talk about it in this article.

But first, I want to share with you a new idea that I’ve had. In the near future, we will be hosting a small PokeBeach tournament specifically for our writers and editors. While this may expand in the future to include our readers, it is my hope that this tournament will provide a sneak peak at the Cities metagame and the new cards from BREAKthrough to help with your testing. This eight-man tournament will pit our top tier writers against each other as we attempt to claim the #1 spot. We will be playing in the Standard format and also publishing all lists with the hope that you can use or modify these lists to win your own City Championships. It is my hope that we can also include a rundown of the matchups from the players themselves. I’m quite excited about this project and can’t wait to see if it comes to fruition like I envision. Keep your eyes peeled — we are planning to host the tournament later this month!


Regionals have ballooned in size this season. We thought Lancaster was a large Regionals, but then came Ft. Wayne with almost 500 people. That’s insane! Those are the highest numbers for Regional tournaments that we’ve ever seen. One has to see the correlation between the rise of official Pokemon streams and the increase in tournament attendance. It’s great to have the game grow like this, but it does lead to its own issues, namely Championship Point and prize distribution.

It’s amazing to me that a person can attend a tournament of 490+, finish in the top 3% of players, and walk away with only one box of cards and 45 Championship Points. These prizes seem like scraps with the amount of work one has to do to make it that far — two separate days of competition with 14 total rounds. Consider still that we have no idea what the CP requirement for invitation to the World Championships are. It could be 300, but it could also be significantly more as many people have speculated. Blindly attending the largest Regional Championship tournament in the games’ history and walking away with the equivalent of ~$75 and CP that means absolutely nothing without the context of the number of points needed to attend Worlds seems insane to me.

The prize makes me wonder if attending Regional Championships are worth the effort. They are the biggest tournaments with the lowest adjusted payouts. Consider the prizes for winning a States which could have anywhere from 100-250 people on average in my area. If we assume maximum attendance, winning earns you 100 CP for beating out 249 other people whereas winning Regionals earns you 150 CP for beating out 489 people. Thus, the CP earned per player in attendance is much more positive during States which would lead me to argue that attending Regional Championships just isn’t worth it. If we assume that you are playing a good list, and are making minimal misplays, the best tournaments to try to attend if you’re looking to get CP to attend Worlds this year are States. Because of the growing attendance at Regionals, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. You can make the top 64 of a 490 person tournament and receive a similar amount of CP to the guy that won his eight-person League Challenge. How do these equate?

Did Team Rocket take off with all the prize support?

Would it hurt the Pokemon Company to give away more product? If we assume product costs so little for the Pokemon Company to produce, then why can’t they give the players more? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to finish in the top 10% of players at a Regional tournament and not walk away with $150 or more in product — enough to subsidize most of your weekend expenses. If we consider the average for me to attend a Regional tournament:

  • Gas – $15
  • Food – $40
  • Hotel – $70
  • Entrance fee – $20

And this is not even counting the cards, sleeves, and other auxiliary materials needed to play. If we total my conservative pricing estimates, we’re $145 in the hole with no guarantee of making money back unless we finish in the top 1% of players at the event. Sure, we can say that the true reason to play is the love of the game, but in reality, dropping $150 (or more) per large tournament is unsustainable for a majority of the player base.

I don’t feel like I’m asking for too much. I’m only suggesting that Pokemon helps the players out a little more. Release the CP requirements for Worlds this year. Consider upping the CP total for Regionals. At least give the best performing players enough product to walk away from the event not having lost $150 to play. Right now, I feel the players are being treated unfairly, and while Pokemon will still see an increase in tournament attendance, the community as a whole should seriously question how they are being treated right now.


Pokemon (16)

3x Camerupt-EX (PRC #146)

4x Team Magma's Camerupt (DOC #2)

4x Team Magma's Numel (DOC #1)

4x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)

1x Entei (AOR #14)

Trainers (32)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)

2x Blacksmith (FLF #88)

1x Lysandre (FLF #104)

1x Judge (UL #78)

1x AZ (PHF #117)


4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)

4x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)

4x Ultra Ball (PLB #90)

4x Energy Switch (FFI #89)

2x Muscle Band (XY #121)

1x Escape Rope (PLS #120)

1x Float Stone (PLF #99)


3x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (12)

8x Fire Energy (CL #89)

4x Double Colorless Energy (PHF #111)


I absolutely love playing this deck. Blowing up Pokemon-EX and Megas with Camerupt-EX is quite satisfying. The deck throws caution to the wind in favor of hitting as hard as possible as quickly as possible. Camerupt-EX is the Pokemon you will usually attack with, but Team Magma's Camerupt is also a decent secondary attacker, especially in the Vespiquen matchup.

It is not uncommon for the deck to get extremely explosive starts. You want to burn through as much of your deck as you can turn one and hit as many of your resources as possible. As such, the deck is low on Supporters, high on Items, and has a maxed Shaymin-EX count. With this engine, it is reasonable to get out a Camerupt-EX with an Energy and two Numel on the Bench — the optimal start. Additionally, I often get starts where I use my Supporter for the turn on a Blacksmith to a Camerupt-EX which puts a ton of pressure on the opponent to find a response to the threat.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The aim of the deck is to end the game as quickly as possible by KO’ing anything your opponent throws at you. In this sense, the strength of the deck is also its weakness. It can KO any Pokemon in format, but if your opponent’s deck plays significant amounts of non-EX attackers, it can be difficult to work around.

The deck shines against decks based around Pokemon-EX. M Manectric-EX and M Rayquaza-EX based decks are favorable as are decks like Seismitoad-EX / Giratina-EX assuming you get a reasonable start. The deck fairs decently against Vespiquen as well, though it is easy to lose the Prize trade due to starting a Pokemon-EX.

Camerupt struggles against decks like Night March and especially Mienshao because of these decks’ reliance on non-EX Pokemon. Mienshao is a particularly difficult matchup because the deck does such a stellar job of denying Prizes through Focus Sash and Robo Substitute.

The deck also has a difficult time against similar decks — that is to say, Camerupt struggles against decks that can set up just as quickly and take KOs on things on the Camerupt player’s side of the board. There are definitely starts where your lone Team Magma's Numel gets Lysandre’d up and KO’d. It has a somewhat shaky early game that doesn’t do what you need it to do 100% of the time, similar to our beloved Energy-accelerating deck from last format, Archie’s Blastoise.

This deck is extremely dependent on the metagame. I would wait to see what decks rise to the top as the Cities season goes on before taking this to a tournament. It can certainly make a splash in the format, but only if EX-based decks become highly prominent.

Card Choices

The deck is extremely streamlined, with few frills, though there are some counts that you may feel are too high. For instance, why did I include four Battle Compressor instead of only playing three and using the extra slot to add something else? Well, I personally love Battle Compressor in just about everything because it thins out the deck as well as allows you better access to tech Supporters. In order for this list to effectively operate in the early game, you want to be sure you’re drawing into the right resources at the right time. I know the game will be a good one for me if I am able to draw into two Battle Compressors and thin my deck out a great deal. First turn targets with one Battle Compressor are usually two Fire Energy and one Blacksmith. If I happen to draw a second Battle Compressor, I usually discard a third Fire Energy as well as Judge and either AZ or Lysandre depending on which I think I will need to use first. If I somehow find the third Battle Compressor, watch out!

Four Energy Switch is crucial. The card is so great in this deck for being able to stream attackers. Please do not change this count! Your results will suffer. It is so devastating if you have to discard one or more Energy Switch early game, but that is why we play the high count. I can’t stress enough how important playing four is.

AZ may seem like a pointless inclusion when you have seemingly better Supporters to play such as Blacksmith, Judge, Lysandre, and Professor Sycamore, but AZ is a card that I appreciate for its late game benefit of scooping Shaymin-EX off the board. Often you can get caught with too many Shaymins on board that all your opponent has to do is play three Lysandre to win the game. Knocking Out a Shaymin-EX is much easier than Knocking Out a Camerupt-EX, and the ability to remove Shaymin-EX from play entirely can change the game state from unfavorable to highly favorable. AZ can also be great for shedding accumulated damage, switching a Pokemon out of the Active position, and picking up Team Magma's Camerupt to reuse its Ability.

I initially played a single copy of Muscle Band, but after testing, I’ve seen how important a second one is. It allows for better math with Camerupt so that you only have to discard the minimum amount of Energy when taking Knock Outs. Keeping Energy on the board is crucial for this deck, and if you have to over-extend to take Prizes, you can find yourself in precarious situations where your board position can be easily disrupted. For instance, by discarding two Fire Energy via Camerupt-EX with a Muscle Band, you can KO a Shaymin-EX. By discarding three, you’re KO’ing Pokemon-EX with 170 HP like Rayquaza-EX and Giratina-EX. By discarding four Energy, you can easily take down the 220 HP Mega Pokemon such as M Manectric-EX and M Rayquaza-EX. I discovered early on that Muscle Band is a huge help to manage resources, thus I’ve included two in this list.

One card that I wish I had room to include would be a single counter Stadium. With Sky Field, you can fill the Bench up easily. It would be a great addition to include a different Stadium to play during the mid-to-late game to clear the Shaymin’s from your Bench, thereby making it much more difficult for your opponent to win via Lysandre’ing those easy targets. I think a good candidate for a counter Stadium might be Scorched Earth because it also serves dual utility as a draw card, though Training Center might be a neat inclusion to bulk up Team Magma’s Camerupt. If I had to make a cut to include a second Stadium, the AZ would be the first to go as both have a similar function in wiping Shaymin from the board. I will be experimenting with this concept a little more before taking this deck to Cities.

If there’s anything I’ve enjoyed more this format than attacking with Camerupt-EX for 300+ damage, I can’t think of it. The deck is a blast to play, and not only that, it has a consistency that is almost unparalleled in the Standard format. While the deck sets up as well as any deck in format, it has some fairly hard counters including Mienshao and Hex Maniac. Even so, the consistency this deck provides as well as the high damage output is enough to keep this deck on my list of viable decks for Cities.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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