No Damage, No Problem — How I Broke the Format for Virginia Regionals

Hello PokeBeach readers! Recently I attended the Virginia Regional Championships and I placed second, coming up just short of winning the entire thing. The tournament was incredibly fun and exciting for me. There were lots of confused looks and reactions when people tried to figure out what I was playing. I played an unusual rogue deck that contained four Wobbuffet and other anti-meta techs, and this deck is what I am writing about today. Without further ado, let’s take a look.

The List

Pokemon (10)

4x Wobbuffet (RC2 #RC11)2x Jolteon-EX (GEN #28)1x Glaceon-EX (FAC #20)1x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Araquanid (SM #46)1x Dewpider (SM #45)

Trainers (40)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)4x N (FAC #105)3x Team Flare Grunt (GEN #73)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)2x Ninja Boy (STS #103)2x Pokémon Center Lady (GEN #68)2x Team Skull Grunt (SM #133)4x VS Seeker (SV #140)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)3x Enhanced Hammer (PHF #94)3x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)2x Fighting Fury Belt (BKP #99)1x Buddy-Buddy Rescue (BKT #135)2x Rough Seas (PRC #137)

Energy (10)

4x Rainbow Energy (SM #137)4x Double Colorless (SM #136)2x Lightning Energy (XY #135)

The entire premise of this deck is to counter the meta. By “the meta,” I mean the most popular decks. I was expecting six top tier decks to show up to the event: Decidueye-GX / Vileplume, Turbo Darkrai-EX, Volcanion-EX, M Mewtwo-EX, M Rayquaza-EX, and Yveltal-EX / Garbodor, in that order of popularity. I considered every other deck to be bad or not widely played enough to be considered a threat. The one relevant deck that I hoped to avoid all weekend was Quad Lapras-GX, which is essentially an auto-loss. Aside from offbeat Tier 3 decks and other rogues, this anti-meta list can beat everything fairly easily. I was able to defeat all of the main meta decks in testing and in the tournament without any trouble.

The actual game plan of the deck varies, greatly depending on what deck you are playing against. Unfortunately, this means that there are dead cards in every matchup. When constructing the deck, I had to weigh the importance of each card to determine if it was worth using, as each card is crucial in some scenarios and completely useless in others. Overall, I think each card in the list is incredibly important to have. Some of the Supporters could be played in counts of one if Tapu Lele-GX was legal to fish them out, so that is something to consider going forward. Now let me explain each card’s purpose.

Card Choices

Four Wobbuffet

I cannot stress enough how strong of a card Wobbuffet is right now. Its Ability turns off other Abilities if Wobb is Active, and this slows down every other deck tremendously by cutting off the draw-power provided by Shaymin-EX. Running four Wobbuffet maximizes the odds of starting with it, thus instantly slowing other decks down to this deck’s sluggish pace. It is also a useful target to Ninja Boy in and out of, and Psychic Assault is a nice attack in various odd situations. Wobbuffet is more useful in some matchups than others.

Against Decidueye-GX, Wobbuffet is the supreme counter. It turns off Feather Arrow, Irritating Pollen, and Set Up, all of which are important Abilities for the Decidueye player. You absolutely need four Wobbuffet against Decidueye, so that is the main reason why I included four of them. If you don’t open with Wobb, try and find a Ninja Boy as soon as possible. Psychic Assault is also great in this matchup. The damage adds up quickly in the slow-paced game that the matchup usually devolves into.

Against M Rayquaza-EX and Volcanion-EX, Wobbuffet slows them down and prevents them from easily exploding. It is difficult for those decks to find all the pieces needed to KO your threat while under Ability-lock. The same can be said for M Mewtwo-EX and Darkrai-EX but to a much lesser extent. You ideally want to start with Jolteon-EX against Darkrai anyway.

Two Jolteon-EX

Jolteon-EX is included solely to deal with Dark decks. I originally ran Regice in testing, but I found that I lost to Turbo Dark every single time because of their two copies of Yveltal. I had to switch Regice out for Jolteon and change the Energy lineup around, but the dramatic improvement in the Turbo Dark matchup was well worth it. Jolteon is completely invulnerable to all attacks from Turbo Dark and Yveltal-EX decks, so it makes those matchups nearly auto-wins. Flash Ray also hits for 140 (or 160 with Fighting Fury Belt) against M Rayquaza-EX which is surprisingly useful. Flash Ray can also close games against most decks by using Lysandre on Shaymin-EX and taking it out due to Weakness. Jolteon makes a nice starter when you go first because of its free Retreat, but if you go second you usually want to start with Wobbuffet instead.

One Glaceon-EX

Glaceon-EX was included to handle Mega decks and some other miscellaneous things that I could run into. Previously, I could use Regice to handle M Mewtwo-EX and M Rayquaza-EX, but those decks pack answers now. Unlike Regice, Glaceon is not badly affected by Espeon-GX, Gumshoos-GX, or Oranguru. Glaceon is also a great counter to random decks such as M Gardevoir-EX , Vespiquen, Gyarados, Umbreon-GX, and Lurantis-GX, some of which showed up to play in Virginia. While Glaceon is mainly used for Crystal Ray, I used Second Bite a few times to pick up some crucial KOs.

One Shaymin-EX

Shaymin-EX surprisingly came in clutch during the weekend. It is an emergency draw card if you need to dig for something, and Sky Return is useful in so many situations. I wasn’t comfortable with running only Professor Sycamore, N, and Trainers' Mail as draw cards, so I included Shaymin to turn Ultra Ball into a draw card too! Of course, you can’t use Shaymin if Wobbuffet is Active, but if that’s the case then your opponent is probably being slowed down too.

While Shaymin is known for its amazing Ability, its attack is great too. Sky Return looping is a viable way to damage and apply pressure to passive Decidueye-GX players. It also clears a liability (itself) from the board while dealing a small amount of damage and allowing Wobbuffet to replace it in the Active spot.

1-1 Araquanid

Araquanid is the answer to Volcanion-EX. Since some Volcanion decks run Pokémon Ranger, I can’t risk going in with a lone Jolteon-EX. Araquanid is a foolproof counter to Volcanion. If you get Araquanid out, you win the game. It’s that simple. The Volcanion player is reduced to Sky Return looping, a strategy that deals very little damage and can be disrupted in some way by every Supporter in this deck besides Professor Sycamore and Ninja Boy. You can also use Rough Seas to heal what small damage Volcanion can muster by using Shaymin-EX and Salamence-EX. Luckily, Volcanion decks very rarely play both Hex Maniac and Pokémon Ranger, so either Araquanid or Jolteon will work. If they play both of those Supporters and don’t prize them, you will lose. Since every match at a Regional is a best of three, prizing a Spider piece may cost you a single game but will rarely cost a match.

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!