MegaMan and Me: A Better Love Story than Twilight

The year was 2015. Early May, 2015, to be exact. In a tiny dorm room cornered in northwest Ohio, a college student in the middle of finals week sat at his desk, unable to focus on the immunology notes in front of him. “Tumor necrosis factor…interleukins…” he muttered under his breath, attempting to concentrate. Twirling a Ticonderoga pencil in one hand and drumming on the binder with the other, it was clear that any effort to absorb any new information on the body’s methods of controlling inflammation were going to be futile. In just a couple of short, summer break months, the U.S. Pokémon National Championships would be held, and he was transfixed in contemplation of what he was going to play for this pivotal event – his first Nationals in over six years from competing in the game.

Flipping aimlessly through page after page…boom. A moment of genius.

Yours truly might have barely scraped by with a B in that class, but the spark of an infatuation oh-so-strong had been born during that fateful finals week.

Sup guys! I’m John, but on PokéBeach I’m better known as Serperior! …or EspeonROX…or Dudeman1993 if you’ve been around for a really long time. This October will mark my tenth year on PokéBeach, and I’m super excited to start writing again.

As mentioned before, I had to take an almost-seven-year hiatus from the game due to commitments with varsity tennis on both the high school and college level teamed with the rigor of pharmacy school. Nonetheless, I’m back in the competitive scene and it feels very good to be playing Pokémon again!


The First Date (Nationals 2015)

Last year marked my first season returning from that PokéSabbatical as well as my first Nationals in a very long time. Due to the high stakes of the tournament, of course I wanted to do well. Metagaming for hours and testing for days…I knew what to expect. During the 2014-2015 season, I knew decks featuring cards such as Raichu XY and M Rayquaza-EX ROS were going to be huge. Thanks to the newly released draw support found in Shaymin-EX ROS and Bench-stuffing Stadium in Sky Field ROS, players could draw all the cards they wanted with Shaymin-EX’s Set Up Ability without having to worry about Bench space with the new Stadium. To fend off all the Raichu decks, Landorus-EX BCR might see play to one-shot Pikachu XY and then do more damage to the Bench. To counter this strategy, I discerned that my least favorite card at the time, Seismitoad-EX FUF, would be paired with either Crobat PHF or Garbodor LTR to pick off defenseless Benched Pokémon or shut down their Abilities entirely, respectively, while hitting Landorus-EX for Weakness. The latter strategy would go on to win this particular Nationals by none other than Jason Klaczynski.

With all of these decks (and even more) to consider, I stumbled upon what would end up being my “play” for months to come: M Manectric-EX PHF. Affectionately named “MegaMan” in the Pokémon community, it doesn’t take long to realize what makes this monster a powerhouse. At the time, the only Mega deemed viable was M Rayquaza-EX. With both Sky Field and Shaymin-EX at its disposal to abuse, the player could drop eight Pokémon on the Bench simply by drawing everything he or she needed with four copies of Shaymin-EX and a whole lot of Acro Bike PRC and Ultra Ball PLB for consistency. Wonderfully, MegaMan’s Turbo Bolt not only hits for Weakness, but Knocks Out M Rayquaza-EX in one hit! All the while, MegaMan can attach two Basic Energy from the Discard Pile to a Benched Pokémon – potentially another MegaMan to haunt the likes of M Rayquaza-EX players everywhere! Of course, we have that ugly Seismitoad-EX to deal with…no matter! As long as MegaMan can fire at least one Turbo Bolt off, we can catch up on the nasty Energy discarding from the likes of Crushing Hammer LTR and Team Flare Grunt XY. We don’t even need Energy to Retreat! Furthermore, MegaMan’s synergy with Rough Seas PRC bumps out any other Stadium card in play while wiping off 30 damage from all Water- and Lightning-type Pokémon you have in play! Quaking Punch hits for 30…meaning, with Rough Seas, we’re not taking any damage at all! With a Muscle Band XY attached, Seismitoad-EX is only hitting for a measly 20 damage after Rough Seas does its Healing magic. Remember discussing Crobat? Any damage it tries to spread gets Healed off too! Raichu’s Circle Circuit attack only hits for 20 times the number of Benched Pokémon the player has in play. With Sky Field, this means it can cap off at 160. Muscle Band? 180. The only way we’re getting one-shotted by Circle Circuit is with having eight Benched Pokémon, a Muscle Band attached to the Active Raichu, and finally a Crobat’s Sneaky Bite. This requires a lot for the opponent to throw together, so this was yet another seemingly favorable matchup. Yveltal XY and Yveltal-EX XY variants were also around, but hitting for Weakness made these matchups very easy.

Now…the biggest concern? Landorus-EX. With all of the Fighting-type support released in Furious Fists, any player that committed their decks to Fighting would give MegaMan a run for its money. Seeing that Rough Seas supported Water-type Pokémon as well, I immediately found solace in a few options: Empoleon DEX (that was reprinted in Plasma Freeze as a Secret Rare), and Suicune PLB were the first two that popped into my mind because of their respective powerful Abilities, but in the end…I went the unorthodox route.

Pokemon (12)

3x M Manectric-EX (PHF #24)4x Manectric-EX (PHF #23)2x Primal Kyogre-EX (PRC #55)1x Keldeo-EX (BCR #49)1x Articuno (RSK #17)1x Jirachi-EX (PLB #60)

Trainers (38)

4x Professor Juniper (PLB #84)2x Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC #124)1x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x N (NVI #92)4x Acro Bike (PRC #122)4x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (PLB #90)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)2x Float Stone (PLF #99)3x Manectric Spirit Link (PHF #100)2x Rough Seas (PRC #137)1x Silent Lab (PRC #140)

Energy (10)

5x Lightning Energy (EM #104)5x Water Energy (EM #103)
I know what you’re thinking…”John…what in the world is this?!” I know I know. That’s the look I got all weekend when telling people what I was playing. Everything about this deck was me. Tech options, idea. Me. Having not played in an event this big in a long time and simply watching the game gave me a new perspective on how to approach it…and this is what I came up with.

Primal Kyogre-EX PRC is a beast to say the least. 240 HP with a monstrous attack? Yo. Let’s be real here. Not only can I Turbo Bolt to it and have a potentially Turn 3 (or T3) Tidal Storm, (by taking advantage of its α Growth Ancient Trait), it can set up four-Prize pickups because of its ability to spread 30 damage to opposing Benched Pokémon-EX! Now, listen to this: if Manectric-EX PHF used Overrun sometime earlier in the game, the math is perfect to Knock Out a 170 HP Pokémon-EX. Running it back on the 240 HP real fast, this guy is an absolute tank. With Rough Seas, Primal Kyogre-EX can take whatever damage it wants and wash it away turn after turn. I never intended on using him as a stall tactic, but his sponginess was handy every once in a while. I’ll go on to talk about how we Bench the behemoth when we talk about my good friend, Archie.

Sometimes Primal Kyogre-EX can be hard to energize, depending on the hand. If that’s the case, boom. Keldeo-EX BCR. With its renown utility when attached with Float Stone PLF, Keldeo-EX gives me movement around the field. In some cases, we can Turbo Bolt two Water Energy to this bad boy and attach whatever we want the next turn to guarantee a one-hit-Knock-Out (OHKO) on Landorus-EX for 180 (or 220 with three Water Energy) damage. This helps our Landorus-EX matchup immensely. As long as Manectric-EX can survive a hit and we land the T2 Turbo Bolt, more often than not we’re gonna have a good day. Don’t forget that the whole Keldeo-EX / Float Stone swag goes a long way when getting out of Special Conditions! Hypnotoxic Laser PLS and Virbank City Gym PLS mean nasty business together, so just Rush In, Retreat, and enjoy saying, “See ya!” to that Poison damage.

Now, sometimes you feel like taking three Prize Cards at once…or sometimes you need a back-up attacker that isn’t an EX. This is when Articuno ROS swoops in to save the day. And let me tell you…it definitely did. The Freeze Pokémon also has an Ancient Trait: Δ Plus. When Articuno Knocks Out a Pokémon, you’re taking an extra Prize Card. This. Is. INSANE. Now, I understand that Tri Edge is flippy and can be inconsistent at times. But this is more than likely going to be a “Plan Z” if you don’t have Silent Lab PRC accessible to shut down a Safeguard Ability. Without flipping any heads, you’re dealing only 20 damage. But with just one heads you can Knock Out Pikachu and other Basics, picking up two Prize Cards against Pokémon you don’t need to stress out about flipping on. Articuno is also fun to have in the Active spot when your opponent is attacking with Fighting-types because of that nice -20 Resistance to ’em.

Jirachi-EX PLB is in here because…well. It’s really good. His Ability, Stellar Guidance, searches your deck for any Supporter card and allows you to add it to your hand. This is big news. You grab an Ultra Ball, discard two cards, (hopefully Energy you can Turbo Bolt or Supporters you can grab back with VS Seeker PHF later), and get this guy. I’ll talk about the importance of the Wish Pokémon in literally a paragraph.

Monster Reborn
Archie’s reminds me of…

How this deck really comes together is by the beauty that is the Archie's Ace in the Hole PRC engine. By playing a bunch of cards to narrow down your hand to this one card, you can essentially “Monster Reborn” a Water-type Pokémon from your Discard Pile and slap it on the Bench. Now, we don’t play Kyogre-EX PRC for this reason: we can Battle Compressor PHF the Primal and Archie’s it to life without wasting a turn or attaching a Spirit Link. In the meantime, we can Acro Bike other Supporters or Energy away, looking for that right combination of cards to get our hands to only the Archie’s to grab Primal Kyogre-EX. Ultra Ball and Jirachi-EX help do just that; if we have three cards in our hand and Ultra Ball is one, we play the Ultra Ball, discard the other two, search for Jirachi-EX, play that to search for Archie’s…and boom. Get Primal Kyogre-EX. And then draw five cards. No one likes seeing a 240 HP Pokémon on their opponent’s Bench on T1.

The rest of the deck is relatively self-explanatory and is meant to optimize consistency. Draw or discard cards as needed, get your hand down to the Archie’s, Monster Reborn Primal Kyogre-EX. The deck definitely performed well – even though it meant missing Top 64 by just a couple points. Rather than droning on and on about a tournament nearly six months old, here’s a summary of what happened:

Round 1: Win VS M Rayquaza-EX ROS / Darkrai-EX LTR
Round 2: Tie VS Seismitoad-EX / Crobat PHF
Round 3: Tie VS Mewtwo-EX LTR / Seismitoad-EX / Garbodor LTR
Round 4: Win VS Landorus-EX BCR / Raichu XY / Lots of other weird things holy cow
Round 5: Tie VS M Rayquaza-EX ROS / Bronzong PHF / Heatran PHF
Round 6: Win VS Raichu XY / Leafeon PLF / Crobat PHF
Round 7: Win VS Trevenant XY / Shaymin-EX ROS
Round 8: Loss VS M Manectric-EX PHF / Suicune PLB / Ryan Sabelhaus’s long locks
Round 9: Win VS M Latios-EX ROS / Druddigon FLF / Ninetales BWP / Yoshi cards

Yup. Went 5-1-3, 55th in my pod, and it was a blast. During Round 5, the MetalRay player offered to give the win to whoever had fewer Prize Cards remaining. I accepted, and ended up being in a winning position when time was called. He went back on his word, forcing the tie. I will forever be salty about that tie. On the other hand, I made an awesome friend from Round 6 I might not have met had I not tied, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. I got to take three Prizes off of a Landorus-EX with Articuno which was fun as well as pull a Full Art Shaymin-EX out of my eighteen packs for making Top 128. Furthermore, my friends and I were able to make a late-night run to Arby’s. They messed up my order and tripled my food for no charge and I got to dance with the cashier when they started playing some OG music over the speakers. Real talk, a very good time.


Facebook Official (The Beginning of a New Format: XY-AOR)

Now, I know we eventually want to move on from an older format and talk about something more relevant, so I’ll stop reminiscing on joyful times past and start discussing the current meta.

Needless to say, my relationship with MegaMan has indeed changed since those BCR-ROS format days. League Challenges were fast approaching and I wanted to play Pokémon! With only sets from XY up to Ancient Origins being allowed, I knew I didn’t have much wiggle room. Yet, my heart fell for the MegaMan I remembered from a distant past, and I threw this together:

Pokemon (13)

3x M Manectric-EX (PHF #24)4x Manectric-EX (PHF #23)2x Regice (AOR #24)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)

Trainers (36)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)2x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)2x Professor Birch's Observations (PRC #134)1x AZ (PHF #91)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (RSK #93)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)3x Manectric Spirit Link (PHF #100)2x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)2x Muscle Band (XY #121)1x Escape Rope (PLS #120)1x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)1x Switch (RSK #91)3x Rough Seas (PRC #137)

Energy (11)

6x Lightning Energy (EM #104)5x Water Energy (EM #103)

I’ll touch on the XY-AOR format very briefly because it isn’t as relevant today, of course.

When sets from Boundaries Crossed up to Legendary Treasures got kicked out of the forma, I said bye-bye to our good whale friend. Well, we actually said bye-bye to a lot of friends. Float Stone and Keldeo-EX had been rotated, (which was why I added the extra Switch ROS into the list), N’s still gone, and Jirachi-EX was whisked away back into Expanded. We lost a lot of good draw support, meaning we had to find different options. AZ PHF snuck his way into the list to help reuse a Shaymin-EX’s Set Up. I added a pair of Professor Birch's Observations PRC because we had nothing else and Hoopa-EX AOR brought fun utility to the deck with its Scoundrel Ring Ability, allowing the player to search his or her deck for any three Pokémon-EX. Out of a bad hand, this meant finding Shaymin-EX and other basic Pokémon-EX to begin building up your field. While I kept consistency cards such as all four Trainers' Mail ROS and all four VS Seeker in the list, the deck was not as explosive as its Zappy Whales counterpart. Nonetheless, the goal was to still pull off the T2 Turbo Bolt and begin charging up other Manectric-EX or other Regice AOR – which brings us to our next point of discussion.

Regice was dirty before BREAKthrough was released. There was a good amount of Pokémon-EX running around (such as Lucario-EX FUF) at the time and this anomaly stopped them in their tracks. If your opponent didn’t have a powerful non-EX attacker or couldn’t get around Resistance Blizzard…gg. It was over. I remember multiple times when I would sit and call Resistance Blizzard turn after turn while AZ-ing the rest of my Pokémon, robbing my opponent of Lysandre FLF targets and forcing them to scoop.

Now, the meta just a few months ago mainly consisted of Lucario-EX paired with the Crobat family (our toughest matchup, dependent on if we hit the Resistance Blizzard or not), Fairy-type decks that used Xerneas XY and other random attackers, and MegaMan builds such as this one. Night March decks and Vespiquen AOR decks lost Silver Bangle PLB, meaning they struggled taking OHKOs on beefy Mega Pokémon, meaning they didn’t see as much play. M Rayquaza-EX still suffered from Lightning-type Weakness, and may have been able to remediate that through the means of Altaria ROS. Yet, M Rayquaza-EX still suffered from being stopped from Resistance Blizzard. Thus, Regice was able to run rampant and cool down the competition for a good while. I was able to pick up a couple of LC wins with good ol’ MegaMan and his new icecube friend and it was fun. As time passed, however, it wasn’t before long that this phase of my relationship with MegaMan would end…because just a few short months after Ancient Origins was released came BREAKthrough, and a whole new set of challenges my trusty Discharge Pokémon would have to confront.


It’s…It’s Complicated (Post-BREAKthrough)

That’s right. Another meta shift, the one we’re in right now. City Championships are all wrapped up and we’ve seen a lot of changes, a lot of new decks, and a lot of new strategies over the past eight weeks. Thanks to Andrew Wamboldt and his gathering of Cities results data, we can see what rose and plummeted over the course of the Cities circuit.

Without going into too much data…MegaMan lost a lot of its luster over this two-month period.

It didn’t take many people long to find that MegaMan was a threat to be dealt with and then to adapt to strategies that had easy matchups. Night March was one of those decks that rose to prominence once again, with its consistent engine of maxxed out Trainers’ Mail, Battle Compressor, and VS Seeker. Night March usually attempts to fire all cylinders on the very first turn, throwing away Lampent PHF and/or Supporters they can retrieve for VS Seeker, drawing cards with a high count of Shaymin-EX, and thinning the deck in the process for turns after turns of heavy damage. To make the deck even more consistent, they paired the three musketeers of Night March with one of two Pokémon: Bronzong PHF or Milotic PRC.

In Bronzong variants, chances are the player found a lot of Giratina-EX AOR or Double Colorless Energy (DCE) hate in their meta. Giratina-EX’s attack, Chaos Wheel, prevents the opponent from playing any Special Energy, Pokémon Tools, or Stadium cards their next turn. In a deck that runs four Double Colorless as their main source of Energy, even one Chaos Wheel could cause a big problem. Bronzong remediates that with its Metal Links Ability, attaching Metal Energy from the Discard Pile to one of your Benched Pokémon. Getting Metal Energy into the Discard Pile isn’t difficult because you already have Battle Compressor in your list! How convenient! Not only does having access to Basic Energy overcome the Giratina-EX matchup, it also bolsters consistency. You can keep a Night Marcher on your Bench as a target for Metal Links while swinging with another in the Active spot and continue the cycle as they get Knocked Out.

Another option that is gaining more and more popularity is the Milotic route. Milotic’s Ability, Sparkling Ripples, grabs any card from your Discard Pile and adds it to your hand when you Evolve your Feebas. This includes a whole other level to versatility, because you aren’t limited to a Supporter like VS Seeker; missing a DCE attachment? Evolve and add it to your hand. Don’t have the VS Seeker? Milotic’s got your back. Night March variants that include Milotic allow room for fun tech options as well, Target Whistle PHF being one of them. When competing against decks that don’t run as many Pokémon-EX, you need to be making sure you’re always up on the Prize trade. After Night Marching a Shaymin-EX for some ungodly amount of damage, how cool would it be to bring that back to life? Lysandre it, and you’re on your way to two more Prize Cards!

Now I diverged for just a moment from the MegaMan spotlight, but as you can see…Night March is hard to keep up with. While the most MegaMan players can do is attach Energy and Overrun (maybe), Night March players are burning through half their deck to go for a T1 180 and OHKO the potentially-dangerous MegaMan. All of a sudden, you’ve wasted an Energy attachment, your opponent’s up two Prizes, and you have an opponent that’s swinging for three digits for the rest of the game. Very. Very. Scary.

But don’t think this deck is the only threat to MegaMan, because just one card discouraged MegaMan hype everywhere…and that card arrived in the form of Gallade BKT.

At first glance, the card is nuts. His Ability gives the player complete control of his or her draws for the next five turns (unless they got hit with a Judge BKT) and redefines consistency. Sensitive Blade has the potential to hit for 130 damage if a Supporter was played during that turn, (which should be, like, every turn), or even 150 with Muscle Band. The scary thought? It only requires a DCE. The even scarier thought? This OHKOs MegaMan and its predecessor without a sweat. With a beefy 150 HP, neither Turbo Bolt nor Assault Laser can one-shot Gallade, meaning Gallade’s taking down two Manectric while he’s on the field.

But, yo, John, this guy’s a Stage-2. Why should I be worried? I’ll just Knock Out the Ralts before they can evolve, right?

Wrong. Enter Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick PRC.

Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve seen Gallade BKT / Octillery BKT decks float around, but no other deck has incorporated the Blade Pokémon into their list like “YZG”, or Yveltal XY / Yveltal-EX XY / Zoroark BKT / Gallade BKT. While Yveltal usually struggles with Manectric decks because of that Lightning-type Weakness, Gallade covers it without a problem. It only takes one of those sneaky ball tricks that Maxie knows so well to bring out the bane of MegaMan’s existence. In a deck that already plays DCE and Float Stone, moving Gallade into the Active spot is no hassle. The YZG player needs only see any yellow on the field to know that he needs to promote a Gallade asap.

So what does this mean to MegaMan players? Sadness. Lots of sadness. I remember trying to adjust to Gallade’s rising prominence by teching in Jirachi XYP into my already-established MegaMan / Regice list, to only see it being Lysandre’d around for other helpless Manectric-EX. It was back to the drawing board…now, meet the most recent and most popular build based on MegaMan: Thundercats.

Pokemon (13)

3x M Manectric-EX (PHF #24)4x Manectric-EX (PHF #23)3x Raikou (BKT #55)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)

Trainers (37)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)2x Professor Birch's Observations (PRC #134)1x AZ (PHF #91)1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)1x Judge (BKT #143)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (FLF #99)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)3x Manectric Spirit Link (PHF #100)2x Assault Vest (BKT #133)2x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)2x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)1x Tool Retriever (FFI #101)3x Rough Seas (PRC #137)

Energy (10)

6x Lightning Energy (EM #104)4x Flash Energy (AOR #83)
I know that the deck idea circulated the community for a while, and I believe 2014 Worlds Champion Andrew Estrada brought a bit of popularity to the idea behind this after winning a Cities, so…yeah. Shouts out to him for that.

This deck is composed of purely Lightning-type Pokémon (other than Shaymin-EX of course) that features a new cat on the block: Raikou BKT. At first glance, Raikou doesn’t seem like much. Its attack, Thunder Lance, is reminiscent of Keldeo-EX’s Secret Sword, in which it deals a base damage of 50 and an addition 20 for each Lightning Energy attached. With an attack cost of three Energy, you would be hitting for 110 if three Lightning Energy were attached. It’s not bad, OHKOing Zoroark and hitting for Weakness against Shaymin-EX, but its Ability is where Raikou really shines…literally. Shining Body says that if Raikou has any Lightning Energy attached, you’re taking 20 less damage from attacks. This is pretty cool, considering Raikou’s already a bulky 120-HP Pokémon, making it a little more difficult to Knock Out the Legendary Beast. Partner this Assault Vest BKT and, all of a sudden, you have a tank against Pokémon that play Special Energy. I’ll chat about this more in a second.

There are many different varieties of Thundercats builds out there – some are more aggressive, opting for Muscle Band in their list and including solely Basic Lightning Energy. My list is definitely not the “one-and-only” Thundercats list. I decided to piece a more defensive list together because of the main threats I found in Night March and Gallade.

To briefly discuss my choices, you want to maintain the 4-3 MegaMan line. That’s standard. The third Raikou may be overzealous, however, but I’d rather force my opponent to Lysandre a Manectric-EX I’m charging on the Bench than let him take two Prize Cards for free and get a not-so-game-breaking Overrun in. The three Shaymin-EX are required for consistency. The number fluctuates for some, but I’ve always found that three is the most optimal number. The Pokémon line altogether isn’t over-the-top, but it works.

In terms of the Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums, this is what usually differentiates Thundercats from each other. Noticeably, I don’t play Giovanni's Scheme BKT. This Supporter permits the player to either draw cards until he or she has five in their hand, or deal an extra 20 damage. In more aggressive lists, you’ll more than likely find Giovanni sneaking into the game with his weird schemes. MegaMan hits the magic 130 mark to Knock Out Pokémon like Entei AOR and, heck, why not donk a Joltik on the first turn with Overrun? Because my list is more on the defensive side, we’ll take and survive the hits and Heal the damage with Rough Seas that we also play. Judge is fun to play in a deck like this one because it doesn’t necessarily require an explosive start. As long as you don’t whiff your Energy attachment per turn, you’re in pretty good shape. But if you do…check out Mega Turbo ROS! When the sun doesn’t always shine in MegaMan’s favor, you find yourself missing that precious T2 Turbo Bolt. If that Manectric-EX didn’t quite make it to the next level, no fear! Attach your Energy for the turn and Mega Turbo the Lightning Energy that was attached to the one just Knocked Out and slap it on the MegaMan! It’s that easy! Now, your opponent has the dismay of slaying a 210-HP Mega…with the potential of facing more if you continue to Turbo Bolt to other MegaMan on the Bench. We play two Mega Turbo because while it’s not all the time you’ll be getting donked, it’s good to have that crutch to lean on in case you do miss the attachment. We play only two Battle Compressor as to not get reckless with what we discard, but it’s enough to fuel the Discard Pile for Mega Turbo and Turbo Bolt as well as Supporter targets for VS Seeker.

My more unique selections include the Assault Vest and Flash Energy AOR. Considering the majority of the Pokémon in the format…they use DCE most if not all of the time: Zoroark, Night Marchers, Gallade, Seismitoad-EX. Attaching Assault Vest when you see any of these Pokémon will immediately dampen their spirits because of how significantly reduced their damage output will become. A decrease of 40 damage is big, and with Raikou’s Shining Body…that’s a whopping 60 damage less your opponent’s going to have to compensate for somehow. Seismitoad-EX is hitting for no damage. Night March decks need to commit more of their attackers to the Discard Pile to leave any sort of dent in your defense. Taking all of this into account and applying the Healing support Rough Seas brings to the table, your opponent is going to get very frustrated very fast.

I maxxed out the Flash Energy count in this deck because of the rising popularity in Gallade, whether that’s in YZG or in Gallade / Octillery, in which both have respectable spots in the meta. Flash Energy, when attached to a Lightning-type Pokémon, grants the Pokémon immunity to its Weakness. With that being said, Gallade is no longer taking OHKOs on our Thundercats – phew! Nonetheless, Gallade is still swinging for 130 (or 150 with a Muscle Band) without Weakness which is a big deal…but let’s go to math class for a moment. Let’s say he’s got a Muscle Band attached. With Flash Energy, Megaman takes 150. Heals 30 with Rough Seas. Now it’s taken to 120. You’re taking 2HKOs…but this is ok! While your opponent struggles to apply pressure on MegaMan, your options are open! You can go for the 2HKO on Gallade, (which wouldn’t end in your favor in terms of the Prize trade, but if it’s the only one your opponent has it might be a decent option in the long run), or Lysandre up a Shaymin-EX and Turbo Bolt to take two Prize Cards and power up another MegaMan or Raikou in the meantime. With Assault Vest…oh…this gets nasty. In the case that Gallade swings with a DCE, (we’ll give him a Muscle Band here too), MegaMan takes 110. Heals 30 with Rough Seas. And now it’s taken only 80. This forces the opponent into a 3HKO situation, giving you plenty of time to power up your field and take the game by storm! Note that the only (optimal) way you get an Assault Vest on MegaMan, however, is with the use of that single copy of Tool Retriever FUF. Once a Manectric-EX has Mega Evolved, play Tool Retriever to conserve a Spirit Link for a different Manectric-EX and attach an Assault Vest for a tank against Pokémon that use Special Energy. You can do the math for Raikou as well. With Shining Body, Flash Energy, and Assault Vest, you’re taking a whole lot less damage from DCE-abusers.


The sad part about my relationship with MegaMan is that…I haven’t taken the deck to any Cities. Heck, I didn’t even go to Cities. Despite the hype that Thundercats instills in my heart, I can’t deny that it simply isn’t the highest-tier deck in the Standard format. With the upcoming release of BREAKpoint as well as its cover boy M Gyarados-EX…could we see the revival of one of my favorite cards? Will we see MegaMan back at the top tables? Will I finally muster the courage to make MegaMan mine, once and for all?

As of right now, I don’t expect to see more than Thundercats bringing MegaMan in the meta. As much as I would love to believe that MegaMan is an S-tier or A-tier deck…I would be kidding myself. Until BREAKpoint drops in February and how extensively the meta shifts, it’s clear that MegaMan and I are going to need to take a BREAK.

…and on that pun, I’ll show myself the door.

Thank you all for bearing through my first article for PokéBeach in years. It was a real pleasure to put together and I hope that you laughed, cringed, chuckled, or any sort of emotional response from my writing. Please please please PM me or comment on any questions about the lists I provided or even selling points I might have missed on M Manectric-EX in the meta.

Thanks again and take it easy,

John / Serperior