Stitches, Slashes, and Shurikens – Your Complete Guide to Greninja

Hey Beachgoers! Treynor here with another article. I know most of you guys are gearing up for States and I’ve got a couple of cool decks I’ve been testing extensively in preparation. When BREAKPoint first released, I was very excited to try out the cards, and I came across some decks that really met my standards as far as playability goes. I’m gonna visit a new deck archetype here that I created my own unique list for the new Standard format.

It’s always weird when new sets come out, since it changes the format so much. We’ve been testing Expanded so much lately, we haven’t touched Standard since Cities! Since we are preparing for week one of State Championships, we have no metagame to base our testing on, so we ultimately have to guess and try to predict what will be popular and test against that. I’ll discuss this more later.

Of course, I have been testing stuff from other writers on our staff as well. So be sure to pay attention to articles by Andrew Mahone, Steve Guthrie, and Chris Collins. They’ve got some pretty sick deck lists that I’ve been playing a lot as well!

We have a Beachcast coming up soon covering States! Make sure to check it out! I’m going to start with a short opinion blurb and then dive into Greninja!

The Importance of Deck Building

I won’t delve too far in to this topic, since another writer will be covering this extensively, but it’s an issue that I take very seriously.

When we have a new format, I find that a lot of players are usually at a loss with to build competitive decks. They have these cool ideas with the new cards, but they don’t know how to implement them, or their implementation isn’t good, so they dismiss the deck. Sometimes these weird rogue decks that only work in their own way do incredibly well at an event. Our own Steve Guthrie’s Archie's Ace in the Hole / Blastoise (Archie’s Stoise) deck did incredible at Nationals, netting him a Top 16 finish, and in addition to that, made an archetype that won Worlds. Another player that I find makes incredibly well built rogue decks is Andrew Wamboldt. I played his Donphan / Primal Groudon-EX deck at States last year and did well. His Vespiquen / Vileplume deck was also incredibly unique and powerful.

So what am I getting at with this? A good majority of players usually don’t know how to make decks with new cards, or how to implement new cards into their existing decks. This isn’t a knock on new players, but I know players that have been playing for years that just don’t get it still. The worst part is that a lot of these players don’t really even try.

I’m not saying the first draft of a deck has to be perfect, but if you’re a good deck builder, you can usually use intuition and instinct in knowing what cards to add to boost consistency or improve matchups. So how do you get better at deck building?

Instead of following a list you find on the internet, make your own implementation of the deck, and test the crap out of it! Eventually you will instinctively learn how to better any deck, not just the one you’re testing. I’ve been deck building since the Majestic DawnHGSS Triumphant format. We didn’t have net decking really back then. I found that players that build and implement their own decks tend to be the strongest players. All of our writers include our own lists in each of our articles that we created.

Another note I want to make, is that even if you net deck, changing a card or two for the sake of calling it your own won’t better you as a player. Most of the time, if you slightly tweak a list it ends up getting worse since you may not be sure what exactly to tweak or how the deck runs in real life.

So in weird week one formats, the players that are smart deck builders usually come out on top. This States format will be no different. deck lists from good players are being guarded for the most part right now, so they won’t be available to be copied. In most situations, the better built deck wins. For example, we saw a Trevenant deck do well at the last Regionals series, so we need to know how to convert it to Standard if we want to play it at States.

Poor deck builders may try to build the deck, and have it be a clumpy and inconsistent deck and dismiss it. If they don’t dismiss it, it won’t be as consistent as it can be when it comes time for the tournament. If I saw two different deck lists for Trevenant, I will know right off the bat which one is more likely to succeed. That’s where you should strive to be as a competitive Pokemon player. So use your time wisely in future tournaments. Try building your own decks before referring to deck lists on the internet. You will become a better player for it.

Also, keep in mind, posting your list on our Subscriber’s Secret Hideout is a great way to get feedback on your implementation. We normally give you reasons for why we suggest tweaks. We also like seeing people try! The tweaks we suggest and the feedback you get will help you build different decks in the future. You will remember how to implement different engines for decks and use them for different Pokemon.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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