Toads and Dragons — Seismitoad-EX / Giratina-EX for Dallas Regionals

Hey PokeBeach readers, I hope you have enjoyed all of your holidays and that you had some time to playtest some Pokemon! The next major tournament will be in Dallas, Texas and it is an Expanded tournament; luckily for us, we can quickly look at the San Jose, California results from November.

In this article, I will briefly go over the best decks from all age divisions from San Jose, provide a deeper look into two of the Expanded front runners, and fully detail Seismitoad-EX / Giratina-EX — a deck that has lurked in the shadows since Toronto, Ontario Regionals last season. Sometimes in the Expanded metagame, some decks will lay low for months, or even a year, until it becomes viable again. The factors that cause this are the current card pool being accepting of an idea, certain metagame trends, and how talked about a deck is heading into a tournament. With all of this being said, let’s check out the top decks from San Jose.

San Jose Results

I’m running this game now!

In Expanded, players have many options for cards that they can use to construct their decks. This allows for many decks to become successful. All of the decks in this list made Top 8 or better in either the Juniors, Seniors, or Masters age division. While other decks may still hold viability, these decks are proven to see success within our current Expanded metagame:

This gives us a solid snapshot on where the Expanded metagame is right now. I would expect most of these decks to see play at Dallas, some more so than others. The biggest two decks overall right now are LonZoroark and Night March. Let’s have a look at these two decks briefly:

Azul Garcia Griego’s Night March Deck

Pokemon (21)

4x Joltik (PHF #26)4x Pumpkaboo (PHF #44)4x Lampent (PHF #42)2x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)2x Zorua (DEX #70)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Marshadow-GX (BUS #80)

Trainers (35)

3x Professor Juniper (PLB #84)1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)1x Teammates (PRC #141)1x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x Ghetsis (PLF #101)1x Guzma (BUS #115)1x N (NVI #92)4x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)4x Puzzle of Time (BKP #109)4x VS Seeker (RG #100)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)3x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)1x Special Charge (STS #105)1x Choice Band (GUR #121)1x Float Stone (BKT #137)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Dowsing Machine (PLS #128)2x Dimension Valley (PHF #93)

Energy (4)

4x Double Colorless Energy (SHL #69)

Looking over this deck, Azul Garcia Griego took the tried and true tactics of Night March and added Zoroark-GX into the mix. For those of you who don’t know how Night March works, the goal is to promptly discard Lampent, Joltik, and Pumpkaboo with Professor Juniper, Ultra Ball, Dowsing Machine, Battle Compressor, and Zoroark-GX to power up the Night March attack. The deck has many different attacking Pokemon and can become versatile in type advantages due to Marshadow-GX, Pumpkaboo, Joltik, and Zoroark-GX all having different types. Night March may be the most successful Expanded deck of all time due to its quickness and ability to adapt to any metagame.

Bodhi Tracy’s “LonZoroark” Deck

Pokemon (20)

3x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)1x Zoroark (BKT #91)1x Zoroark (BLW #71)4x Zorua (SHL #52)1x Alolan Muk (SM #58)1x Alolan Grimer (BUS #83)3x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)2x Exeggcute (PLF #4)1x Seismitoad-EX (FFI #20)1x Sudowoodo (GUR #66)

Trainers (36)

2x Brigette (BKT #134)2x Colress (PLS #118)2x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)1x Ghetsis (PLF #101)1x Acerola (BUS #112)1x Karen (PRXY #XY177)1x N (NVI #92)4x Puzzle of Time (BKP #109)4x VS Seeker (RG #100)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)2x Choice Band (GUR #121)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)2x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)1x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Special Charge (STS #105)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)3x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (4)

4x Double Colorless Energy (SHL #69)

This is the new deck on the block and it takes the resemblance of a consistent M Rayquaza-EX deck mixed with some crazy techs! Zoroark-GX’s Riotous Beating creates waves in combination with Sky Field to do massive amounts of damage! With Sky Field, the deck can do 180 damage, or 210 damage if you have a Choice Band attached.

At this point, we also need to recognize that Zoroark-GX can use its Trade Ability over and over to draw important cards from the deck. Furthermore, between having Zoroark from BREAKthrough and Zoroark from Black & White, you have many different attacking options that you can use at will throughout the game. Did I mention Alolan Muk yet? The Alolan Muk in his deck allows you to block all Abilities from Basic Pokemon — something that is recommended only after you have a few Zoroark-GX on your board.

Overall, this deck is powerful, has locking capabilities, and is extremely versatile.

Toads and Dragons in the Shadows

I am a very important card in Expanded!

If you looked closely at these above two deck lists, you may have noticed something… both decks only play Double Colorless Energy. With that being said, I have looked at the pool of Expanded cards and have found an old concept that seems likely to creep into the metagame at Dallas. I took inspiration from the list that Igor Costa used to make Top 4 at Toronto Regionals last season and updated it with some new cards. Here are the reasons why I think the deck is good again:

  • You can block Special Energy cards
  • You can block Pokemon Tool cards
  • You can block Stadium cards
  • You can block Item cards
  • Two of the best decks in Expanded only play Double Colourless Energy
  • You can deny your opponent Energy attachments
  • You can loop your Supporters with VS Seeker and Lusamine
  • Mega Pokemon, while not often played, are still blocked

All of these reasons add up to a strong control factor that can lead the deck to success. While the deck hasn’t been played to success since Toronto, the biggest factor for that is the metagame that surrounds us right now. Most of the best decks in the metagame utilize Special Energy cards and explosive engines that play many Item cards.

You may be wondering how this actually plays out, so let’s go slightly more in depth.

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