“A Tale of Two Cities” — Parallel City With a Look at the New Yveltal / Zoroark

Hello everyone, I’m here again with my second article for the ‘Beach, and today I’m going to be continuing my musings on the PRC-on format with a talk about a card that will be extremely popular next year: Parallel City, followed by a look at a new arrangement of a popular deck this season, Yveltal/Zoroark.

1. Parallel City

i. Why do I need to talk about it?

Well, all I can say is…invest in this. The two-sided Stadium is set to shake up the metagame in a way it fell just short of this past season. So why is that? The answer is that, in a format set to be full of M Rayquaza-EX/Raichu [as a counter to Rayquaza], limiting your Opponent’s Bench size to just three is very good. It limits these decks to dealing less than 100 damage, and forces them to dig for Sky Field to get their output back to respectable levels. Even as a 1-of or 2-of, the effect Parallel City has on these decks is devastating. Another deck Parallel City does moderately well against is Rainbow Road, as it can reduce their damage to more manageable levels [however, with the advent of Dual Types again, Rainbow Road can still hit for 180+].

The opposite side of Parallel City can help against upcoming FireBox/WaterBox decks (FireBox is the subject of talks later), as well as M Sceptile-EX, in helping stop them hit for the numbers they need to hit.

ii. Where should I deploy this?

Decks such as Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX/Garbodor, which already used Parallel City, can afford to keep using this with no cost, and in Expanded, the Vespiquen/Flareon deck has often  been run with  it as a 1-of. I believe Parallel City is quite a splash able card, and if you cannot find a Stadium for your deck, you should run Parallel City.

2. A Look At Yveltal/Zoroark v2.0

So, why is this deck having to be re-modelled? The answer is, like I covered in my previous article, is that Battle Compressor is rotating. This is a situation that a lot of decks in the current format have had to deal with, and this deck is no different. The way this deck has to adjust is that you can no longer utilise Gallade effectively.  This means the deck doesn’t need to run the whole Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick engine to set up Gallade, as it just requires too many cards and is too inconsistent to be effective. Besides, the card Gallade was in here to counter, M Manectric-EX, is rotating, so we don’t really require it as much as we used to.

What we can run instead, in a very Quad Zoroark vein, is Zoroark BREAK. This card is useful because we can give our Zoroark more HP. We can also use its attack, Foul Play, for [D], to copy our opponent’s Active Pokemon’s attacks. This means that we can copy M Rayquaza-EX‘s Emerald Break to follow up from previous attacks. We can also copy other attacks, notably Giratina’s Chaos Wheel or the like. This is actually very good, as blocking Dragon decks from playing their Double Dragon Energy or Fighting Fury Belt is very disruptive to the deck.

The main con with Zoroark BREAK is that it is an un Candy-able Stage 2. This means that you have to run Wally just so you can get it out before Turn 3, which is certainly not ideal. Despite this, I really like how Zoroark BREAK works in this deck, so I am planning to run it. As mentioned before, Zoroark BREAK helps the deck’s Dragons matchup by locking your opponent’s Special Energy. In tandem with Enhanced Hammer/Lysandre, this can create a game-long lock that your opponent cannot get out of unless they play Pokemon Ranger.

A card from Steam Siege that really helps this deck is Captivating Pokepuff. The Ability to drag Basics from our opponent’s hand, and use them to boost our damage output, as well as stopping cards such as Shaymin-EX and Hoopa-EX from functioning properly is unquestionably a very good option to have. Seeing as there are no scooping up effects similar to this year, if you can drag a Shaymin out, then it is likely to be useless the rest of the game. This adds a disruptive element to the card. In Expanded, this card can form a wombo combo with Target Whistle and Lysandre to allow you to KO the same Shaymin 3 times for the game. We can also use Delinquent in combination with Pokepuff to get now useless Shaymin and Hoopa out of the opponent’s hand and use Delinquent to give them little to nothing in hand. Although I wouldn’t run it in a Zoroark deck, Pokepuff works nicely with Parallel City, as you can drag Basics from the hand and place them on the Bench, stopping the opponent from setting up another attacker.

I’ve talked a lot about how good I believe Zoroark BREAK to be in the next format, but have yet to really discuss what makes Zoroark as a whole so good in the next year. The answer, in two short words: Mega Rayquaza. The Delta Dragon is tipped as the BDIF come PRC-on due to its brute strength and speed in a format that’s set to slow down. The fact that it can swing for 240 damage on Turn 1, a point when other decks are still setting up, is what makes Rayquaza such a good deck to play. It can even tech in Zebstrika BKP to give itself an advantage in the mirror.

But what does this have to do with our foxy friend Zoroark? The answer is Mind Jack. This attack is the perfect counter to a Rayquaza-filled meta, being able to deal up to 250 damage to the green dragon, taking 2 Prizes while only surrendering one once KO’d. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that Rayquaza needs to bench only 4 Pokemon to KO your Zoroarks, while you need them to have seven to achieve the OHKO. But with the help of Yveltal BKT, we can spread damage around the board to pick off the multitude of Shaymin they will doubtless play, which makes the whole matchup a bit more manageable.

Seeing as this deck has a bit of a reliance on the 4 Double Colorless Energy that we are limited to running, Puzzle of Time is a very nice utility card to include. We can also run Special Charge from the coming set, although I feel this is more of a luxury card, and have changed my opinion on it somewhat since my last article. The main issue with it is that you have to shuffle the Special Energy back into the deck instead of getting it back immediately like with Puzzle of Time. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that you will generally be shuffling back in at a time where your deck is thinner, however I am not as satisfied with Special Charge as I was previously.

ii. The Engine, as well as Other Stuff

So, we have our revamped beast, now how do we make it work? I feel like decks going into next year will run 3-4 Professor Sycamore and 2-3 N as their only Draw Supporters, instead opting for more Item and Pokemon-based engines. Cards such as Unown, Acro Bike, Trainers' Mail, the infamous Shaymin-EX; all of these are set to be the basis of decks that, in my opinion, will prefer playing tech Supporters such as Lysandre, Hex Maniac, Pokemon Ranger or Ninja Boy during their turns as opposed to drawing. My personal engine for the deck looks like this:

  • 3 Unown AOR
  • 3 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 N
  • 4 Trainers’ Mail
  • 3 Acro Bike

I personally like this engine: it has my staple 3 Sycamore/2 N, as well as Trainers’ Mail to search out my Trainers, as well as Acro Bike for straight draw. If I had any Shaymin-EX, I still wouldn’t run them in this list. Why? Because I love this deck for the sole reason it forces the opponent to take 6 Knock Outs in order to win. Add Shaymin-EX, and your opponent will immediately target them for the easy KO. I know I’m not the best player out there, so my opinions won’t necessarily be seriously considered, but I believe Shaymin belongs in Turbo decks, or EX-heavy decks that already give up 2 Prizes when defeated. The reason for only 3 Acro Bike is because I believe that, in combination with Unown, I have enough ways to draw off the top of my deck. I feel this is a nice engine, but am always open to suggestions.

Tech Supporters

Right. I’ve been waiting for this one. Yveltal/Zoroark, similar to my Raichu/Garbodor/Zygarde-EX deck I profiled in my other article, loves tech Supporters, so let’s dive in!

  • Wally is a nice Supporter to include because we can get Zoroark BREAK out earlier than normal. This is very useful in the Rayquaza matchup as we can start copying Emerald Break early on, as well as hitting them with Mind Jack for respectable damage.
  • Brigette is also a good Supporter as I play all non-EX Pokemon. This allows me to swarm Zorua/Yveltal/Unown early on, and just kickstarts the deck a little more.
  • Hex Maniac is a good tech in any deck, as we’ve seen this season. Denying your opponent access to Shaymin/Hoopa early game and Octillery/Unown later on is very powerful, and not something you want to miss.
  • Lysandre has been popular throughout its lifespan, and it is included here because we can trap something in the Active slot while we build up our board state, or we can gust up a Shaymin (I know, I love finding ways to kill this guy), and take a cheap 2 Prizes with Mind Jack.
  • Ninja Boy serves less of a purpose in this deck than in other decks, but the ability to completely remove bad starts from the game is not to be passed up.
  • Likewise, Pokemon Ranger can be added simply because it is good at denying effects of attacks that would otherwise harm you (Glaceon-EX springs to mind). However, I don’t find it all that amazing. Sure, you remove the effect of the attack, but you wasted your Supporter for the turn. This is a card I would think a little bit about before including.

The Yveltals

I love the Yveltal cards we have in the current format. While one can recycle your Darkness Energy, the other can spread 60/60, which softens up Pokemon for an easier Mind Jack KO. While I love the BREAKThrough Yveltal, I feel a 2/1 split in favour of the XY Yveltal, simply because it is so crucial to the deck. After a Zoroark has been KO’d, I’ll Super Rod the whole line back into the deck, get Zorua out again, and use Oblivion Wing + DCE to get a fully powered Zoroark set up again the next turn.

A Note on Unown

In all the times I’ve seen Unown run, people will mindlessly play it down and draw the card, not necessarily thinking ahead. In this deck, Unown should only be used when you require something to progress the board state. If you have a Sycamore in hand and an Unown on the Bench, always Sycamore first. No point in wasting an Unown to draw a useless card you are forced to get rid of. Wait until you have drawn your 7, then, if you haven’t hit what you need, Farewell Letter.

Well, that’s all from me. I hope you enjoyed the article, and I will see you next time!