The Other Guys — Night March and Seismitoad-EX in Expanded

Hey there PokeBeach readers, it’s good to be back writing for you all again after my hiatus. While I enjoyed my foray into the VGC and still plan to play in some VGC events going forward, I’m back focusing on the TCG for the rest of the year. I recently attended the Dallas Regional Championships, where I had a poor showing placing 4-3-2.

In this article, we’ll be going over my top two choices heading into Dallas, Night March and Seismitoad-EX / Zoroark-GX. While I did not do so well myself, I’m still confident in both of these decks going forward, as the lists I’ll be discussing were made in conjunction with many of the best players in the world. Without further ado, let’s get into the meat of the article.

Night March

The first deck we’re going to be talking about is the deck I ended up playing at Dallas Regionals, Night March. After dominating San Jose Regionals back in November, Night March was by no means a sleeper pick headed into this Regional: it was the best deck in the format, and everyone knew that. However, the list that was so successful at San Jose ended up being far different than the list that many people, including myself, played at Dallas. Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant BREAK were essentially dead decks at San Jose, which let people build their decks to be much more item reliant. However, going into Dallas, Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant BREAK were decks that were on everyone’s radar, which meant that Night March lists had to adapt in order to keep up with all of the item lock decks in the format. To do this, players such as myself, Connor Finton, and Michael Pramawat all cut the Trainers' Mail from our lists for a heavier line of Zoroark-GX, as well as adding cards such as Pokémon Ranger and Tauros-GX. Here’s the list I ended up playing at Dallas, which had 57/60 same cards as the others mentioned above.

Pokemon (23)

4x Joltik (PHF #26)4x Pumpkaboo (PHF #44)4x Lampent (PHF #42)3x Zoroark-GX (SHL #53)3x Zorua (DEX #70)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)1x Tauros-GX (SM #100)1x Marshadow-GX (BUS #80)

Trainers (33)

3x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)1x N (FAC #105)1x Teammates (PRC #141)1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)1x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Pokémon Ranger (STS #104)1x Ghetsis (PLF #101)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Puzzle of Time (BKP #109)4x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)4x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)1x Choice Band (GUR #121)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Float Stone (PLF #99)1x Target Whistle (PHF #106)1x Special Charge (STS #105)1x Dowsing Machine (PLS #128)1x Dimension Valley (PHF #93)

Energy (4)

4x Double Colorless Energy (GEN #74)

I’m sure most, if not everyone reading this has seen a Night March list at some point in their time playing Pokemon, so I won’t go into detail explaining the generic card choices. Instead, I’ll talk about the cards that made this list different from the San Jose list, the cards I played that many of the others I created this list with played that I didn’t, and cards that I wished I played. Let’s get started.

Three Zorua and Three Zoroark-GX

The first thing that probably jumps out at you about this list is the heavy Zoroark-GX line. This was done to give Night March a stronger matchup versus the Item lock decks in the format. A thicker line of Zoroark-GX means you won’t struggle to get your Night Marchers in the discard pile without Battle Compressor and Ultra Ball, as well as letting you dump items and still have draw power under Item lock. Zoroark-GX was also a strong secondary attacker in matchups such as Trevenant BREAK, Seismitoad-EX, non-Sky Field Zoroark-GX decks, and in the mirror combined with Hex Maniac so you can’t get return KO’d by Marshadow-GX. I played three Paralyzing Gaze Zorua, as I felt they were the strongest Zorua in every matchup besides the mirror, some players chose to play one Lunge Zorua, as it can KO a Joltik if you flip heads in the mirror match. I didn’t expect to play much mirror and felt I had a skill advantage versus many players in the mirror regardless, so that’s why I opted for three Paralyzing Gaze Zorua.

One Tauros-GX

Tauros-GX is another tech for Item lock and boy does it put in work against Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant BREAK. As long as Tauros-GX does not remain Asleep from the effect of Hypnotoxic Laser, it is guaranteed to take a Knock Out against a Seismitoad-EX with Mad Bull GX, which can potentially break the Item lock as well as keeping you up on Prizes. Besides that, Tauros-GX should set you up for a potential two shot with Horn Attack, as most Seismitoad-EX decks are running Choice Band over Fighting Fury Belt, and 120 is a pretty easy number to hit with Night March, even under item lock. Tauros-GX is also very strong in conjunction with Marshadow-GX against Zoroark-GX. If your Marshadow-GX is not one-shotted and you have Tauros-GX in the discard, you can usually one shot a Zoroark GX with Rage, either normally or with a Choice Band. Finally, while this didn’t come up once during the tournament and only a few times during testing, Tauros-EX can potentially donk 60 HP or less Pokemon such as Zorua, Joltik, Pumpkaboo, Exeggcute, and Rockruff to name some of the more common  small HP Basics in the format.

One Pokemon Ranger

Yet another tech for Seismitoad-EX decks, Pokémon Ranger ended up being the most useless card for me throughout testing and at Dallas. While I don’t regret playing Pokemon Ranger, as I expected there to be a significant amount of Seismitoad-EX, neither myself nor most of my friends ended up playing a Seismitoad-EX deck at Dallas. If we had known better and had a better read on the meta, I definitely would have cut this card for something like Red Card, because unlike the rest of the item lock techs, Pokemon Ranger doesn’t have much, if any, use is nearly every other matchup.

One Target Whistle

Target Whistle was a card Michael Pramawat suggested about a week before Dallas and it was something that tested very well leading up to the event. You can use it in the mirror match to make a bunch of cute plays. For instance, you can Target Whistle a Shaymin-EX and KO it for two easy Prize cards. Another cool play you can do in the mirror is to Target Whistle a Joltik, and then KO that Joltik with Sky Return, allowing you to clear your own Shaymin-EX. Target Whistle was also useful against Zoroark-GX decks that play Exeggcute, allowing you to disrupt their infinite draw and force them to discard resources while filling up one of their Bench spots. While Target Whistle was useful for me throughout the day, most of the other players who played Night March ended up dropping Target Whistle for Red Card. I chose to stick with Target Whistle, as I had practiced with it all week and felt most comfortable with it. However, if I had time to prepare with Red Card (I found out about the tech the night before), I definitely would have included it over Target Whistle, as it’s much more effective in conjunction with Hex Maniac against Zoroark-GX decks (which includes the mirror).

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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