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“The Moonfall Triumvirate” – The Story of Three Types and Their Effort to Fend off the Night

pokemon world championships 2016 pikachu@Pokémon
Worlds is around the corner. Three more weeks!

Hey SixPrizes! I’m ecstatic to give you all more content! This time last month, most of us were doing our last-minute preparations for the US National Championships. Although it wasn’t my best Nationals to date (5-2-2, top 150), I had an amazing time seeing everyone there while watching my friends go far in the tournament. It’s crazy to think that I have been to six National Championships now. I would give you all a tournament report but I want to dive right into the current state of the game going into this year’s World Championships in San Francisco.

We are three weeks away from Worlds and with the release of Steam Siege, there are many Decks and new ideas to sort through in such short amount of time. There is no question that the frontrunner heading into Worlds is Night March due to its recent success at US Nationals, Karen not being printed in Steam Siege, and Pokémon Ranger being released. Even though Night March has so much going for it, everyone has their eyes on the deck and will be heading to Worlds prepared to combat it.

On that note, I want to discuss three types, consisting of multiple decks, that have the potential to be big contenders at the World Championships.

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

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Choose wisely!

Fire, Water, and Grass. We all recognize these types from the three starter Pokémon we choose from at the beginning of every video game. In the past, one or two of the three types has usually dominated competitive Pokémon TCG. I believe now that all three have almost an equal chance of performing well at this year’s World Championships.

For each starter type I have two different decks based around that type. On top of that, I will be going in depth on each deck’s matchup against Night March, giving you somewhat of a guide on how to play against it. I have also made sure that most of the decks here are different from what you would normally see on a tier 1 list to help expand your perspective on the format.

Making a Splash: Water

canoe kayak water boat 3-2pokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
Night March can’t walk on Water … or can it?

The two decks that I picked for this section are ones that acquired a good amount of hype before US Nationals: Water Toolbox and Greninja BREAK. Between the two, Water Toolbox performed the best, making it all the way to Top 4. As for Greninja BREAK, two managed to make it to the second day of the tournament.

Although both of these deck are strong against almost all of the popular decks of the format, they both have a hard time dealing with Night March variants. Since Karen was not printed, Water Toolbox suffers a great deal considering Quaking Punch was the key to beating Night March. Greninja, being a deck revolving around Stage 2s, usually is outsped by Night March right from the start. I’m going to show you how to gear these these two decks for the Night March matchup while sustaining their consistency.

Water Toolbox

Pokémon – 10

3 Seismitoad-EX

2 Manaphy-EX

2 Articuno ROS 17

2 Shaymin-EX ROS

1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers – 39

4 Professor Sycamore

2 N

2 Lysandre

1 Hex Maniac

1 Xerosic

1 AZ

1 Ninja Boy

4 VS Seeker

4 Ultra Ball

4 Max Elixir

3 Trainers’ Mail

3 Energy Switch

3 Fighting Fury Belt

1 Startling Megaphone

1 Super Rod

1 Enhanced Hammer

3 Rough Seas

Energy – 11

11 Water

Key Cards

2 Articuno ROS 17

After piloting this deck at Nationals and taking two losses to Night March variants, I’m inclined to play 2 copies of Articuno in my lists. With the release of Pokémon Ranger, the Quaking Punch strategy is not always the best route to take against Night March anymore. A more aggressive route with Ninja Boy/Articuno and Energy removal now seems to be the best way to beat Night March.

1 Ninja Boy

Ever since I read this card’s Japanese translation I have been in love with it. Although it may be a bit situational, this card opens up for a nasty combo in Water Toolbox decks: one or two Quaking Punches followed by a Ninja Boy into an Articuno can be an easy 2-3 Prizes. If you play a Glaceon-EX, Aurorus-EX, or Regice in your list, it makes the card even stronger as you have more options to switch into.

1 Xerosic, 1 Enhanced Hammer

It took me a while to try Energy removal in this deck because on paper it didn’t seem to have much synergy with the rest of the deck. After a few games against Night March and other Special Energy decks, I noticed that if your opponent plays down a Double Colorless without attacking, one of these two cards can be game changing. I highly recommend these cards if you want to have a winnable matchup against Night March.

Other Options

1 Glaceon-EX, Aurorus-EX, or Regice AOR

I have all three of these grouped together because there is great justification for each of them. The Glaceon-EX is great against Evolution-based decks, the Aurorus-EX is great against Greninja decks (and for hitting for a lot of damage), and the Regice is great against EX-based decks like Darkrai-EX/Giratina-EX. I’m not sure if there is a better of the three; it all comes down to preference.

1 AZ

AZ was a card I had included in my Nationals list and I really want to find room to squeeze it back in. Especially in decks that play Hoopa-EX, AZ can be crucial in scooping up a useless, 2-Prize Pokémon and putting it back into your hand. If you end up adding one of the Pokémon I listed above into your list, I highly recommend including AZ as well because they are not the ideal Pokémon to start either.

1 Team Flare Grunt

This was a card that Russell LaParre used in his 10th place Water Toolbox list at US Nationals. With Team Flare Grunt alongside Xerosic and Enhanced Hammer, any time your opponent plays a Special Energy onto the field, there is little chance it isn’t getting discarded. All I can say is the more Energy removal, the better your Night March matchup.

Matchups

Good

  • Trevenant BREAK — Favorable
  • Zoroark — Favorable
  • Bronzong BREAK — Slightly Favorable
  • Greninja BREAK — Slightly Favorable

Bad

  • Night March — Slightly Unfavorable
  • Vespiquen/Night March — Unfavorable
  • Vespiquen/Vileplume — Unfavorable

Even with all of the cards teched for Night March in the deck, I still think the matchup is slightly unfavorable. Also, Vespiquen/Night March decks with give Water Toolbox a hard time due to the Grass Weakness and addition of Pokémon Ranger. I think the matchup is still winnable if your opponent misses a Pokémon Ranger in the early turns of the game, giving you control with a Seismitoad-EX then finishing with Articuno.

Greninja

Pokémon – 17

4 Froakie BKP

4 Frogadier BKP

3 Greninja BKP

1 Greninja XY

3 Greninja BREAK

2 Jirachi XY67

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Sycamore

3 N

1 Fisherman

1 Wally

4 VS Seeker

4 Trainers’ Mail

4 Dive Ball

4 Bursting Balloon

3 Level Ball

1 Sacred Ash

1 Energy Retrieval

1 Rare Candy

1 Startling Megaphone

3 Rough Seas

Energy – 8

8 Water

Key Cards

2 Jirachi XY67

Even though Pokémon Ranger turns off Stardust, I don’t think it affects the inclusion of this card in the deck. This card is still a great starter pretty much against anything considering our only other starters are the Froakies. Also, Pokémon Ranger does not prevent Jirachi from discarding Double Colorless, making it still a great attacker against Night March or anything else with Special Energy.

4 Bursting Balloon

Inspired by Michael Slutsky’s top 32 list at US Nationals, this card is a great counter to Night March. If your opponent can’t find a way to get rid of the Balloon or get a Lysandre, they are in a very difficult spot. I have seen a few lists that play Assault Vest or Hard Charm but I would most definitely recommend this annoying Tool over both of them.

1 Wally

One of the biggest struggles this deck has is speed since it is a Stage 2 deck. Especially against decks like Night March, having a card that can get your attackers going a turn earlier is incredible. Not only can you potentially have a field of 4 Frogadiers on the first turn, going second, but also create tricky plays where you evolve a Frogadier and then Wally into the BREAK during the same turn.

Other Options

1 Super Rod

I can’t decide if Super Rod or Energy Retrieval is better in this build of the deck. Half of me doesn’t want the Super Rod since there is already a Sacred Ash and Fisherman, while the other half of me wants to put it in since it is an extra recovery card that can get back important Energy and frogs. I think Super Rod is a great fit in the deck but for now I like having the more direct effect of Energy Retrieval.

2-2 Octillery BKT

When Greninja BREAK decks made their debut in the format, Octillery was nearly a staple in most lists. Now it has worked its way out of lists to help compensate for the decks lack of speed through cards like Trainers’ Mail. When I tested the deck with this card I was in love with it. It had great synergy with N and I never felt as if I had a dead had. However, beating Night March is a priority and Octillery takes up 4 slots that can devoted to making the deck faster.

1 Lysandre

Another card that has seen play in a lot of successful lists. The main premise of the deck is to use Greninja BREAK’s Ability to knock out your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. Greninja BREAK is a Stage 3 Pokémon and can be hard to get out, making getting rid of those Benched targets a problem. Lysandre helps with that assuring that you have another out in case you can’t get the Greninja BREAK with Energy.

Matchups

Good

  • Bronzong BREAK — Favorable
  • Zoroark — Favorable
  • Trevenant BREAK — Favorable
  • Night March — Slightly Favorable

Bad

  • Water Toolbox — Slightly Unfavorable
  • Vespiquen/Night March — Unfavorable
  • Vespiquen/Vileplume — Unfavorable

I have yet to test the Night March matchup, but on paper it seems as if Greninja is slightly favorable against regular Night March. As for Vespiquen/Night March, it falls into the “Unfavorable” category. I think as long as you set up and keep a consistent pace throughout the game you can usually overpower Night March and win the Prize trade. Remember to be conscious about when you place down your Bursting Balloons and when you’re setting up big knockout turns.

This article — “The Moonfall Triumvirate” – The Story of Three Types and Their Effort to Fend off the Night — was originally published on SixPrizes.



This post first appeared on Sixprizes.com - Pokemon Cards Explained By The Mas, please read the originial post: here

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“The Moonfall Triumvirate” – The Story of Three Types and Their Effort to Fend off the Night

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