Hey fellow PokeBeachers! We’ve got an awesome new set ahead of us in BREAKpoint! This set is sure to shake up our game and make things much more interesting. I’ve had a great Cities season, earning 148 Championship Points with a variety of decks, which you can read about in my previous article, so I won’t get too far into that.
I do believe that the clear winner in this past Cities format is my old favorite deck Night March, and man does it benefit from the new set of cards. Since playing Night March for most of last season, I have expanded the type of decks that I play from aggressive decks to more passive decks. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for not playing Night March all Cities season! Now, this article isn’t about Night March, I’ll leave that to my good friend Andrew Mahone and his latest article. In his article you’ll see why Night March and Battle Compressor decks are just phenomenal in this upcoming format. I’ll even venture so far as to say that they will make up half the State Championship metagame.
I’m going to go over why Night March is amazing then we will discuss who we’re gonna call to contain it and beat it soundly. I will then introduce two new decks that I’ve been testing extensively that I am sure will shake up the metagame.
Night March was already pretty spooky after we saw cards that limited it, such as N, rotate out of format. Night Marchers can run rampant now, with no way to punish their aggression. This allows Night March decks to do consistent amounts of big damage quickly with almost no downside, which is why they were so successful at Cities. It has a small learning curve so all sorts of players were able to pick up the deck.
Weaknesses that Night March has always had is its limited number of Double Colorless Energy and the fact that its attackers have extremely low HP. What if I told you BREAKpoint fixes both issues for Night March players? Puzzle of Time and Fighting Fury Belt turn Night March into a monster of a deck. Puzzle of Time allows Night March decks to grab up to two of the Double Colorless Energy in their discard, and Fighting Fury Belt turns each Night Marcher into little Stay Puft Marshmallow Men of destruction, with Joltik and Pumpkaboo reaching 70 and 100 HP. This makes these Pokemon no longer trivial to Knock Out. A Shaymin-EX Sky Return and an Yveltal Oblivion Wing are no match for these super powered Night Marchers anymore.
These boosts will help Night March tread all over the format come time for State Championships. Puzzle of Time will even allow Startling Megaphone to be played multiple times to get rid of your opponent’s Fighting Fury Belt.
Let’s look at our options prior to BREAKpoint’s release. There were some decks that had a solid Night March matchup at Cities. I will discuss the techs these decks had that made them ghost-resistant.
Assault Vest was an interesting card that stood out to me when I first saw the translations of BREAKthrough. This card allowed some Pokemon to avoid getting OHKO’d by Night Marchers. Night March decks generally attack with a Double Colorless Energy. This allows them to get that speed burst and attack immediately without having to manually attach two Energy. When Assault Vest is on a Pokemon-EX it really makes Night March decks have to stretch really hard to achieve a OHKO.
If you look at a Night March list, you will see that it runs almost entirely on Item cards. Locking them out of playing Items slows them down immensely, even causing them to dead draw at times. A good turn one from a Night March player could cause them to easily run through your Toads, but Seismitoad-EX has always been solid against Night March decks, due to the disruption caused by repeated Quaking Punches. Couple this with the ability to OHKO Joltik and you have a solid attacker to use against Night March.
Silent Lab is one of those overlooked cards that doesn’t always find its way into lists. It shuts off Shaymin-EX’s Ability, which is important for a Night March deck to get going quickly. A turn one Silent Lab can set back a Night March player, especially if you combine it with a Quaking Punch from a Seismitoad-EX.
Jirachi is interesting since it causes Night March decks to burn resources to keep up their assault on your Pokemon. Stripping a Double Colorless Energy has always really hurt Night March, but Puzzle of Time should alleviate the pain that Jirachi used to put on these Night March decks. After pulling a Double Colorless Energy back from the discard, they can Lysandre around your Jirachi to KO your precious Bench sitters to secure Prizes and ensure a quick game.
I saved the most cumbersome and arguably the most effective for last. Crobat is by far the most widely accepted Night March counter. Crobat and Golbat take advantage of the low HP of Night March attackers and really makes them pay for it. Taking Prizes without attacking is one of the most powerful ways of winning in a game. A couple of Golbat evolving in one turn KOs a Feebas or Joltik, while allowing you to still attack another Pokemon. Dimension Valley is a card that Night March players need in order to attack with Pumpkaboo, but this also allows our Crobat and Golbat to attack for free, letting us prepare other attackers.
Crobat / Manectric-EX decks rely on the Crobat evolution line to help get the math right for attacks. This also gave it an incredible Night March matchup. Crobat being worth only one Prize gives it an edge versus Night March decks, who want to win by taking six Prizes off Pokemon-EX.
Fighting Fury Belt gives Night Marchers more HP which counteracts Crobat, but some Startling Megaphone plays at key moments will really swing that advantage. Startling Megaphone is also a card that will see play in just about every deck now, due to so many powerful Tools coming out in the new set.
The main issue with the Crobat line is that it is very bulky. A 4-3-2 line is the bare minimum in a deck, taking up nine spots. Although this card is somewhat splashable since it only requires a Colorless Energy to attack.
Our Own PKE Meter
Balloons for Days
Bursting Balloon is by far the best Night March counter. This card literally KO’s a Night Marcher when it attacks. It allows you to take a KO on your opponent’s turn, in addition to your own turn. Without a Fighting Spirit Belt, this card Knocks Out a Pumpkaboo or Joltik. It does have its drawbacks since it gets discarded at the end of the turn regardless of if they attack or not, but we can always reuse our Balloons with Eco Arm.
Sure, the Night March player can always just pass and let the Balloons float away, but a Night March deck is based almost entirely on momentum. Night March wins its games by Knocking Out Pokemon every turn. Its strategy is based on destroying everything that you try to build on the field. If you evolve a Pokemon, chances are, a Lysandre and Night March play will immediately destroy it. If you attach an Energy somewhere, a Night March player will try to take it out.
This card combines really well with Crobat, since it allows us to do damage without attacking. This also makes the math better for any Crobat deck, six free damage counters can really stack up with the damage coming from the Bats. We can use these two combinations of cards in a single deck alongside a very cheap attacker.
Night March decks win games almost entirely because they are fast and can Knock Out just about anything that you invest resources into. They will leave you on your back foot trying to stay in the game. If they pass, they give you time. If you attach a Bursting Balloon to an asset that you want to keep alive, whether it be a Pokemon that you just evolved, or a Shaymin-EX that gives up two Prize Cards, you are punishing the Night March player for their aggression. That’s huge!
This card isn’t that splashable. For it to be worth it, you would need a full playset of them in your deck with ways to recycle them such as Eco Arm. Alas, we are without our classic Night March counter in Lysandre's Trump Card. This forces us to be creative in ways to utilize these cards.
Startling Megaphone and Xerosic are obvious counters to our Balloon strategy, but we will talk about ways to avoid these two cards in the next couple of sections. Now, let’s look at the less volatile deck that can very easily utilize a set of Balloons, then we will take a look at my own secret weapon.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
If you'd like to continue reading, consider purchasing a PokeBeach premium membership! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days.
Each week we post high-quality content from some of the game's top players. Our article program isn't a corporate operation, advertising front, or for-profit business. We set our prices so that we can pay the game's top players to write the best content for our subscribers. Each article topic is carefully selected, goes through multiple drafts, and is touched up by our editors. We take great pride in our program!