Hello PokeBeach friends! A few weeks ago, Standard format Post-rotation wasn’t such a big deal because we figured the only major tournaments we’d be participating in for Standard format would be City Championships which would normally be around December – February (giving us another set in November to add to our Standard decks), but after Pokemon released the big news that City Championships (now known as League Cups) and with some Regional Championships now being Standard both of which being spread through out the year evenly.
This means that because we will have to survive a few major Standard format tournaments without Tool removing Trainers. Because of this, Garbodor will be the tech of choice in just about every deck to make sure your opponent can’t play any Abilities or go for a late game Set Up with Shaymin-EX, and the only viable way to get rid of Garbodor’s Ability lock will be Lysandre KOs, but quite frankly in most cases it won’t be worth taking one Prize to regain access to Abilities especially if they have the potential to get another Garbodor set up within the next few turns. And trust me, with cards like Super Rod, and Puzzle of Time they will get back that Garbodor if they want to lock you out of Abilities badly enough. For now we’ll have to accept the loss of Abilities, however that doesn’t mean this format will be lacking in diversity.
There are going to be plenty of viable decks and I’m sure some of you are still struggling with what to build, wondering what has the most potential and what has the most longevity. Fear not friends! I am here to go over four viable decks after rotation that I’ve tested, edited, and marked down the Pros and Cons for you all. There are still sure to be a few other decks that I have not mentioned in this article to make appearances in major tournaments, but I’m only going over what I’ve tested successfully with and what I think has potential.
Due to the loss of so many popular decks such as: Night March (otherwise known as “Cancer”), Trevenant BREAK, Darkrai-EX / Garbodor / Giratina-EX that had stopped many of these decks (which I’m soon going to discuss) from being good in the 2015-2016 Standard format. However, it looks that some of these decks will find their time to shine here in the 2016-2017 format! Decks that I’m about to go over such as M Mewtwo-EX and M Rayquaza-EX have struggled to keep ahead due to top decks such as Night March, hitting M Mewtwo-EX for weakness with Pumpkaboo and hitting M Rayquaza-EX for weakness with Joltik, it seemed like these decks were never going to find their time in the spotlight until now.
Now to start off I’ve been lacking in sleep the past few days so excuse me if I leave something out, and before anyone jumps on me for this, I want to mention that since It’s apparent that none of these lists have seen any play yet so there’s no concrete evidence on what’s going to be best. Due to this, none of these lists are in order, just a compilation of some decks and lists that I’ve found to have potential. So with that being said, let’s get into the decks!
Now of course this is a deck you were probably all expecting to see, but just like Pre-Nationals 2015 I feel this deck has potential, but is being a bit overhyped. Looking further into the list I made, I included Raichu as a backup attacker for the mirror match, as well as a Zoroark to keep your opponent’s bench size in check. Despite the fact that Zoroark has the Ability Stand In, it isn’t all that vital in this deck, and can easily be switched in by simply retreating, or perhaps incorporating a switch or two in this list. As for the Basic Energy, I included Dark Energy because it seems to be the most useful in this current list. Zorua‘s Moonless Madness can help you out in a pinch. However this deck can use just about any Energy because of its Colorless-typing, meaning it is versatile with cards like Fairy Drop, or Manaphy-EX, but it really all depends on your preference.
- Can hit on your first attacking turn for 240
- Can Mega Evolve on First turn
- Able to OHKO big threats (M Mewtwo-EX )
- Turn 1 Ability lock with Hex Maniac
- Its Colorless-Typing offers some versatility
- Easily countered by Parallel City
- Giratina-EX is an annoying counter against this deck
- Can be countered by tech Zebstrika
- No good way of getting Pokemon back on the Bench (Or even out of the Discard pile for that matter) after a Parallel City counter due to the loss of Sacred Ash
I’d highly recommend putting a Pokemon Ranger (Steam Siege 104/114) in this deck as a response to any deck brave enough to run Glaceon-EX , but mainly as a counter to Giratina-EX’s pesky Special Energy, Stadium, and Pokemon Tool lock. Altaria also wouldn’t look bad in this deck to save yourself from opposing Raichu and other Lightning Pokemon until they get Garbodor out. This deck can also greatly benefit off of a couple of Super Rod as a means to shuffling Pokemon back into your deck after suffering the dreaded Parallel City counter. Anything else you are thinking about teching in this deck is pretty much up to you!
What to Take Out
This deck is usually pretty tightly packed due to badly needed tech cards and a thick 4-4 M Rayquaza-EX line, but you could get rid of the Raichu line opening up four slots if you’re looking to add alternative attackers, other than that I wouldn’t touch it.
Oh boy, the deck that everyone is expecting to see play. It hits hard but just a turn later than M Rayquaza-EX can hit. With the help of Parallel City it can really hurt M Rayquaza-EX, but you’re probably wondering “Why is M Mewtwo-EX so great?” well last month’s July community blog contest winner PMJ can explain further in-depth in his article: “To Infinity And Beyond: The Rise Of Mega Mewtwo” however, going off of my own take on the list I feel I should elaborate on why I picked some of the cards I did, such as Zebstrika, who can OHKO Yveltal-EX, M Rayquaza-EX, and Shaymin-EX while only giving up one Prize! A 2-2 Garbodor line makes sure your opponent has limited options as you Psychic Infinity your way to victory! But one of the most important cards of this deck has to be Shrine of Memories, because of the fact that if they aren’t going OHKO your M Mewtwo-EX you can easily Damage Change to place all damage counters on the opposing Pokemon, making M Mewtwo-EX almost unbeatable. There are only so many cards in the Standard format of 2016-2017 that are going to be able to OHKO M Mewtwo-EX that require little setup.
- Mega Turbo allows for multiple Energy attachments per turn
- Can OHKO anything, but requires a bit of set up
- Zebstrika is a great one Prize backup attacker
- Shrine of Memories forces your opponent to OHKO you or face the terror of Damage Change (Seriously, it’s scary when you’re playing a deck like Sceptile that has no way of being able to OHKO Mewtwo)
- Can’t hit for weakness
- Takes a few turns before you are able to OHKO Pokemon-EX
This deck is very versatile and because of it, it allows for different backup attackers and techs such as Zoroark to keep your opponent’s Bench lookin’ small, Raichu to reward you for keepin’ your Bench lookin’ big, Hoopa-EX to get out the Pokemon-EX you need, and of course, a Pokemon Ranger. I would also suggest four Puzzle of Time to retrieve cards such as Shrine of Memories, Double Colorless Energy, or Mega Turbos allowing you to go absolutely bananas if there are any Psychic Energy in the discard. Super Rod is also recommended for obvious reasons.
What to Take Out
Like I previously stated, this deck is very versatile, you’d most likely be safe taking out the Zebstrika and Garbodor line and focusing more on trainer based Energy acceleration. This list is packed pretty tight with cards other than that. All in all this is a pretty solid deck with a small list of cons. That leads us to our next list.
So now at this point you probably can’t take me seriously, because I’m over here thinking M Gardevoir-EX stands a chance, but wait! Remember how before I said M Mewtwo-EX is almost unbeatable? Keyword: Almost. The reason why I’m mentioning this is because of the inclusion of a very important card from Steam Siege. That card of course is the new Dual-Type M Gardevoir-EX. Even with just this one card, it swings the match-up highly in your favor. Why? Because of M Gardevoir-EX’s Dual-Typing it can OHKO M Mewtwo-EX for weakness without discarding any Benched Pokemon. But as an added bonus, it gets rid of Shaymin-EX and Hoopa-EX on your Bench, so no easy two Prize knockouts for the opponent! And because of its low Energy cost it forces M Mewtwo-EX to attach five Energies to OHKO it (that’s a lot of set up for M Mewtwo-EX). So normally the match up for M Rayquaza-EX would look negative, and normally I’d agree, but with the inclusion of Parallel City limiting their Bench, it can really hurt their damage output putting the match-up in your favor. And thanks to Max Elixir‘s shenanigans, if you start with Gardevoir-EX / Shaymin-EX, you can search for Xerneas, attach Energy to Gardevoir-EX, Max Elixir to Xerneas, retreat with Fairy Garden, and Geomancy all in one turn, and also because of Max Elixir, you can end up hitting for 180+ by turn two at earliest.
- Max Elixir makes for much quicker and earlier OHKOs with Brilliant Arrow
- Despair Ray can rid of your benched Shaymin-EX to avoid giving up two Prizes
- Gardevoir-EX can OHKO Giratina-EX with weakness.
- Free retreat with Fairy Garden
- Loses badly to M Scizor-EX
- If you don’t take KOs quickly enough you become overwhelmed
This deck offers a fair amount of versatility due to cards like Giratina-EX, which makes for a great and unexpected tech in this deck. You will have to make room for three to four Double Dragon Energy which count as two Fairy Energy a piece! This deck also benefits from cards from Steam Siege such as Xerneas BREAK (aka M Gardevoir Jr.) which makes Xerneas less of a support Pokemon and more of a backup attacker. Another card that could find its way into this deck is Fairy Drop which provides some form of healing. If M Mewtwo-EX is especially prevalent where you are I’d recommend teching in an extra Despair Ray M Gardevoir-EX, and if that seems to be the case with M Rayquaza-EX you could tech in another Parallel City. You’d imagine this deck loses a lot without Max Potion and Aromatisse, but it seems to run just fine without them!
What to Take Out
Not starting with Xerneas isn’t such a big deal anymore. Thanks to Max Elixir, you could probably cut down the count to two to three Xerneas and getting rid of one to two Fairy Garden is also an option if you don’t need the free retreat so badly. If you are to include Double Dragon Energy as previously recommended, you could drop your Fairy Energy count by one or two (not too much, you still want to be able to hit Fairy Energies off of Max Elixirs).
Probably didn’t see this one coming did ya? Well I have some reasoning behind this. With the inclusion of Pokemon Ranger, it seems like Trainer lock is almost non-existent. Well I have great news! You’re right, however energy removal is still very viable. This deck hits for 2HKOs, locks out of Abilities, and focuses primarily on Energy removal. It might not be able to OHKO M Mewtwo-EX, but it’s resistant to Psychic, it can discard Stadiums forcing the M Mewtwo-EX player to get back their Shrine of Memories by other means, it can force the M Gardevoir-EX player to pay a Retreat Cost, and force the M Rayquaza-EX player to discard three Pokemon (or possibly more if they have Sky Field out) on their Bench. Stadiums have never looked so good untill now. M Scizor-EX also has an alternative option to its attack, allowing you to discard a Special Energy attached to the opponent’s active Pokemon. Let’s say you’re facing M Mewtwo-EX, he only needs one more energy to OHKO you (meaning he has five Energies on himself already, and two on yourself. Goodness.) He would normally be hitting you for 210 at this point, but because of resistance he’s 20 damage counters short. Thus giving you an opportunity to put those Crushing Hammers, Time Puzzles, and M Scizor-EX’s Iron Crusher attack to use. Delinquent is also a very disruptive and unexpected card that can win you games on its own if played at the right time (I try to play one in all of my decks). If it weren’t for Volcanion-EX, this may as well be the BDIF.
- Energy removal and Stadium disruption
- Resistance to M Mewtwo-EX and Dual Type M Gardevoir-EX
- Scizor-EX is a decent backup attacker
- Hits Gardevoir-EX and M Gardevoir-EX for weakness
- Loses badly to Volcanion-EX
- Does mediocre against decks that don’t play Special Energy or don’t rely on Stadiums
- Inability to OHKO bulky attackers
Some cards I’ve had some success with in here is definitely Team Flare Grunt. It is a surefire Energy removal card that can be reused with VS Seeker. If you’re looking for another backup attacker, I’d suggest Registeel. For a Metal Energy and two colorless it can remove an Energy off of an active Pokemon-EX while hitting for 70 damage. Not bad for a one Prize attacker. I’d also suggest a Giovanni's Scheme to hit things like Yveltal and Garchomp for the right numbers, especially if you are going to include Registeel.
What to Take Out
Perhaps getting rid of one Parallel City wouldn’t hurt. If you want to make it a straight M Scizor-EX list, I’d recommend getting rid of all four Hammers, and the four Time Puzzles. What you want to add after that is up to you!
Probably one of the best decks to come out of Steam Siege, this deck can take care of M Scizor-EX with no problems. With the loss of Blacksmith from the Standard format, this deck is very slow, even with Volcanion-EX adding 30 damage (With a maximum of 120 extra damage via Volcanion-EX’s Ability) for each Fire Energy you discard from your hand, it still isn’t enough to keep up with big hitters like M Rayquaza-EX. You also have to consistently discard a lot of Fire Energy in this way to make it work. Not to mention Garbodor will fiercely shut this deck down. Sure you can use Max Elixir to try to speed this deck up, but even a Hex Maniac played at the right time can send this deck’s game downhill. We most likely won’t be seeing this deck top at any major tournaments anytime soon.
If by chance Volcanion-EX ever got big, this would be the deck to counter it. Hitting for 150 and spreading 30 damage to all Pokemon-EX on the bench really isn’t bad. Especially considering the Alpha Growth ancient trait allows you to attach two Energy per turn. It is a very flexible deck when it comes to attackers. Such as Articuno, Glaceon-EX, Regice, and Manaphy-EX. Although Glaceon-EX and Regice are shut down quickly due to Pokemon Ranger (Darn him) rendering their effects of their attacks useless. The current M Mewtwo-EX hype and this card’s inability to OHKO it doesn’t seem like this card will be seeing any major play anytime soon.
This deck is a counter to the previously mentioned Primal Kyogre-EX, but is easily countered by Volcanion-EX. Ouch. But seriously, M Sceptile-EX‘s healing effect can grant some massive support. Especially because it doubles as Energy acceleration. Imagine this, let’s say M Sceptile-EX is hit for 210 damage because M Mewtwo-EX was an Energy short, or M Rayquaza-EX was missing that one benched Pokemon. No problem, just retreat it to the Bench, promote another M Sceptile-EX, use Jagged Saber, attach Grass Energy from hand, and poof, the damage is gone just like that. This deck can also be paired with Forest of Giant Plants and Mega Turbo for that speedy start. This card also pairs well with Ariados to get that OHKO on Shaymin-EX. This deck may see some play due to its annoying healing effect and ability to 2HKO, so we shouldn’t count it out just yet!
Probably a lesser thought of deck, but consists of cards like Umbreon-EX, Yveltal-EX, Darkrai-EX, Yveltal, and so on to take different approaches to different decks. Just like Water Box, it uses Max Elixir to get Energy out as quickly as possible. Surprisingly, this deck will probably get the most use out of the card Ninja Boy from Steam Siege. For example, you’re using Dark Pulse with Darkrai-EX, you just hit a M Rayquaza-EX for 160 damage. He hits you back for 120 damage because you just dropped a Parallel City, but he just replaces the Stadium and put down a Pokemon from his hand. Then back to you, out of nowhere you pull a Ninja Boy and go into an Umbreon-EX and attach another Darkness Energy from hand then attack with Endgame for four Prizes. It’s much more likely to pull off if they don’t see it coming. Same goes for a few Giratina-EX in this deck. Before the release of Pokemon Ranger, Giratina-EX was much more disruptive, but now that everyone is likely to include at least one of him in each of their decks, Giratina-EX is really just a better means of attaching extra energy to fuel Darkrai-EX’s Dark Pulse attack. However, due to the fact that this deck’s damage output is on the lower side (needing two to three hits to KO Pokemon) means you’re either going to need more techs to deal with big threats, or it’s not going to be too competitive.
A very strong deck especially when paired with Vileplume (aka the only Item lock we’ll have for awhile), but why did I put this list on the Honorable Mentions list? It’s a good deck, but unless you go first and get the Turn one Vileplume along with a good hand for the next few turns, you’re out of luck. (Not to mention the loss of AZ severely hurts Vileplume variants). By now everyone knows that Zygarde-EX runs successfully with Vileplume and because of that the first thing on their minds if they go first will be to get a Trubbish with a Float Stone down and a Garbodor in hand ASAP (If you’re running the variant without Vileplume, then you’re probably running Regirock-EX, along with Hoopa-EX, Fighting Fury Belt, and Strong Energy). All Fighting-type decks suffered a great loss from the rotation losing Fighting Stadium, Korrina, and Focus Sash. But it doesn’t mean you should count them out. With Max Elixir, Carbink, and Carbink BREAK it seems to have some decent Energy acceleration. Looks like Fighting-type decks still have a little fight left in them (I know that was a stupid joke).
One I almost forgot about! It’s a very slow deck, but due to Primal Groudon-EX’s Omega Barrier ancient trait, it disallows your opponent to use cards such as Lysandre, Crushing Hammer, Team Flare Grunt, and so on to affect Primal Groudon-EX (much like the basic Regirock promo that was popular to pair with M Gardevoir-EX). This means that while you leave a wall in the Active position such as Wobbuffet or the previously mention Carbink BREAK, you can power up a Primal Groudon-EX on the Bench loading it up with Strong Energy. Once your Groudon is ready to attack, he is practically unstoppable with his massive HP and extremely high damage output. Due to this deck’s very slow startup, your opponent will likely have a few attackers ready by the time you have one Primal Groudon-EX ready. Because of this, it’s unlikely it will see much play unless we see some support for it in the future, such as a Tropical Beach reprint that we probably won’t be seeing any time soon.
After analyzing post-rotation, it seems the 2016-2017 format has so much to offer as opposed to the beginning of last year’s format where everyone was expecting M Sceptile-EX, Vespiquen / Eeveelutions, and need I say it, M Tyranitar-EX / Golbat to dominate the beginning of last year’s Standard format. So I hope I gave everyone a little insight for after rotation, gave you some new deck ideas and changed your mind if you thought a certain deck or card was unbeatable or unplayable. Quite honestly, I overlooked that Dual-type M Gardevoir-EX until I started looking for counters for M Mewtwo-EX. It looks to be that every deck is going to have its bad match-ups in this format but there isn’t going to be any unbeatable decks. There’s even a lot of room for some rogue decks to make appearances (hint hint)!
Until next time,
Edward (Melancholy Fairy)