NXD-XY Season Analysis by Miner 751
At Gametownsite user Miner 751’s request, here’s a brief read on decks heading into the XY Metagame. Please bear in mind that this post was made a while ago here so some shifts in the Metagame may not be evidenced in the post, but still a general read and some ideas towards incorporating what’s new with XY.
NXD-XY Season Analysis
So what’s the best deck to play at Melbourne Cities? Who knows? Here’s my thoughts about the current format’s best decks, as well as some rogue decks.
Aka Hammertime, speed Darkrai, Darkrai/Hydreigon, Darkrai/Garbodor, etc
Darkrai is a solid all-rounder that also has access to various support cards, such as everyone’s favourite little gremlin, Sableye. Depending on the build, these Darkrai decks can be defensive, offensive, disruptive or a combination of the above.
What do Darkrai decks get from XY?
• Muscle band will generally replace Dark Claw because, this way, Darkrai’s compainions (e.g. Hydriegon or Trubbish!) can have an attack boost too, if need be.
• Hammertime may use Team Flare Grunt whilst speed Darkrai may adopt roller skates.
• Shadow Circle is an interesting card, but I don’t think many Darkrai decks will run it simply because ground type is mostly non-existent in our format. Furthermore, LaserBank helps Darkrai to hit the perfect numbers to KO 140HP and 170HP pokemon – which is most Stage 2s and EXs respectively. Darkrai/Hydriegon will probably be the only Darkrai deck to adopt this stadium as they have pokemon of various types.
• Prism energy will find a home in Darkrai/Hydriegon as it allows a greater variety of pokemon to be used.
• What Darkrai is really looking forward to is Yveltal and Yveltal EX. Yveltal is high HP non-EX basic which offers a generally undonkable alternative to Sableye. Chuck in a dark patch effect and another attack which can OHKO Sigilyth and Suicune and it is easy to see how it fits so well into Darkrai decks. Yveltal EX will become Darkrai’s Mewtwo or Keldeo – a pokemon that can hit for seemingly infinite damage. In addition, it can help to cycle energy around the field, which can be quite handy at times (such as when it is about to be knocked out).
• Interfering with Darkrai’s supplementary damage. Playing a different stadium, having Mr Mime on the bench, playing tool scrapper to discard Muscle Bands and/or Virizion EX to remove/prevent status conditions are some ways to reduce Darkrai’s additional damage.
• Repeatedly OHKOing Darkrai’s. Like most decks, Darkrai cannot usually be set up in one turn.
• Item locking. This is Darkrai’s kryptonite. Darkrai does pretty much everything through its item cards – energy attaching, disruption and additional damage.
How many people will play Darkrai?
I’m guessing about 20-25% of decks will be Darkrai with the most popular variant being Darkrai/Garbodor. Garbodor can cover most of Darkrai’s weak spots and, having just won Dandenong Cities, it will give its users confidence as they go into Melbourne’s Cities.
Aka VirGen, Horse and Buggy
Virizion EX provides protection from status condition and is the main source of attaching additional energy. Genesect EX provides a catcher-like ability and sports powerful attacks. Mewtwo EX and Buoffolant are usually included as supplementary attackers. There is usually a lot of shuffling around of energy and pokemon (e.g. retreating).
What does VirGen gain from XY?
• Muscle Band. The extra damage from this, combined with LaserBank and/or snipe damage, makes it easier to knock out pretty much all pokemon.
• Some people may try running Mega Venusaur in the deck. As far as I’m aware, this does not work very well.
• Shadow Circle. By switching some grass energies to Blend, Rainbow and/or prism, VirGen will have little fear of fire types.
• Victini EX and Victory piece (and maybe catcher). Whilst Victini is easy to knock out, an early one could give your opponent enough of a head start in the prize wars to win the game.
• 170HP is a lot easier to hit than 180HP. Darkrai/Garbodor, Yeti and other VirGen can hit 170 damage easier than it is to hit 180 damage.
• Spiritomb. G-Booster is a game changer and not being able to play it can have devastating results.
How many people will play VirGen?
10-15%. Virizion EX, Genesect EX and G-booster can only be found in Plasma Blast – a set which had bad pull rates. Whilst VirGen is one of the best decks in the format, it is hard and costly to get hands on a full playset (though not as costly as Tropical Beach) and, hence, this will limit the number that is played.
I have no idea how this name came about, but the deck focuses on Snolax (rare) or Lugia EX as the main attacker with support from Thunderus EX, Deoxys EX and, occasionaly, Genesect EX. The snorlax variant aims to quickly set up two Snorlaxes and sweep the opponent with them. The Lugia EX variant aims to get quick OHKO and take additional prizes via Lugia’s ability. Personally, this variant resembles Machamp from Stormfront…
What does Yeti gain from XY?
• Muscle Band. This makes it possible for Lugia to OHKO EXes.
• Greninja. Whilst technically a different deck, I have seen decks use Greninja with Lugia.
• Roller Skates. May help to speed up the deck.
• Gourgeist. Spreads damage at a very cheap cost which will bring more pokemon into KOing range. It also has the benefit of bypassing Mr Mime.
• Skarmory EX. Yes, it has a use! Skarmory is a non-plasma pokemon which can discard silver mirrors and is compatible with DCE.
• Enhanced Hammer. Discard all their plasma energies or DCEs and keep up the pressure with your own attackers.
• Shedinja. Not really a weakness, but Lugia EX cannot take any prize cards when it knocks this pokemon out.
• Losing Lugia or Snorlax. Depending on how much resources were spent in setting up the main attacker will dictate how quickly it is to set up another attacker.
• Catcher. Having Lugia or Snorlax KOed before they can attack will, obviously, not be good for you.
• Garbodor. If this M ’n’ M cookie is set up in time, it can defeat the purpose of attacking with Lugia.
• Silver Mirror. 4 silver Mirrors or Silver Mirror and an item lock can spell the end of this deck
How many people will play Yeti?
~10%. Whilst most of the EXes have been released in tins, not many people may feel game enough to play such a fast paced deck that can lose just as quickly as it can win.
Thunderus EX/Deoxys EX/Kyurem (plasma)
Aka TDK, Plasma Basics
Plasma support + solid low energy attacks + deoxys = heavy damage very quickly
What does TDK gain from XY?
• Muscle band (again). The potential to hit one for 90 (30 + 20 + 40) should not be underestimated.
• Rainbow Energy. Just like Prism, just slightly worse.
• Shadow Circle and Fairy Garden. For a deck with heavy/max counts of Prism and Rainbow energies, these stadiums could come in handy. I’m not sure whether TDK will opt for this style though as they already have the Frozen City, Virbank City Gym and Plasma Frigate (not that anyone seems to use this).
• Roller Skates. Obviously, to speed up the deck and potentially allow for more to happen on the first turn.
• Skarmory EX. A non-plasma pokemon who can discard silver mirrors (provided it is not attached to sigilyth or suicune).
• Due to the high special energy count, enhanced hammer, Cobalion EX, Drifblim and Garchomp cause problems for this deck – especially if they discard the blends or prisms.
• Multiple silver mirrors are a pain for this deck.
• Whilst fast, it cannot handle the long run as well as most other top tier decks.
How many people will play TDK?
~10%. Those who want to play plasma, but not Yeti, will probably opt for this deck. It also comes with the bonus of having a colourful field.
Get Blastoise out as early as possible and deluge. Attack with Keldeo EX or Black Kyurem EX depending on the scenario and recover energies with Superior Energy Retrieval. The non-EX Black Kyurem is often included for mirror matches. Most Keldeo/Blastoise decks play Tropical beach and some run other support like Exeggcute or Electrode.
What does Keldeo/Blastoise gain from XY?
• Voltorb. It’s not game changing, but the ability on Voltorb may deter your opponent from knocking out Voltorb.
• Professor’s Letter. Being able to grab two energies from the deck will be a useful ability for the deck.
• Whilst Mega Blastoise and Greninja seem to fit, they don’t offer anything major to support the deck (Greninja’s ability = another energy on Keldeo, Mega Blastoise is much like Keldeo). I could maybe see Mega Blastoise appear in Keldeo/Blastoise decks that don’t run Tropical Beach, otherwise I don’t see it being used.
• Delphox. It offers better draw power than Electrode… it’s just harder to get out. Nevertheless, expect it to be used. Would Keldeo/Blastoise start running rainbow or fire energies so to deal more damage with Delphox? Probably not, but the look on an opposing VirGen user’s face would be priceless.
• It can take a few turns to set up and most Keldeo/Blastoise decks are heavily dependent on Tropical Beach to set up. Failing to get Tropical Beach T1 or losing it in a stadium war can be devastating for the deck. Furthermore, if your opponent is playing a faster deck, they may be able to get enough of a lead on you that you cannot catch up.
• Grass weakness. Genesect can steamroll through Keldeos without the aid of G-Booster and can also Red Signal your Squirtles and Blastoises and OHKO them.
• Garbodor is a problem if it gets out before your can charge up some attackers.
• Lone Exeggcute starts are never a good thing… especially against LaserBank.
• An early item lock can prevent Blastoise from being played which, depending on whether there is a Wartortle or not, can usually decide the game. Not being able to play energy retrievals, etc is, obviously, also a bad thing for this deck.
How many people will play Keldeo/Blastoise?
~10%. I don’t think many people will be game enough to play it without Tropical Beach. Additionally, the small “reserves” of Tropical Beach will be spread out between this deck and a few other Stage 2 based decks.
Aka Rayboar, also similar to ReshiBoar
It is basically the fire equivalent of Blastoise/Keldeo. Rayquaza EX has the potential to OHKO anything in the format (that doesn’t block its damage) whilst Reshiram and the non-EX Rayquaza are powerful secondary attackers.
What does Rayboar gain from XY?
• Like Keldeo/Blastoise, Voltorb and Professor’s Letter may find their way into this deck.
• Delphox. This deck is probably the ideal deck for this pokemon. Not only does it provide additional drawpower, but it can also make a nice backup attacker, if need be. I don’t expect Reshiram to leave the deck, though, because one does not put their support pokemon into the firing range unless they have no other option.
• Muscle Band? It’s useless on Rayquaza EX, but has its uses on Reshiram, Emboar and Rayquaza. Probably won’t make it due to the tightness of the lists.
• Garbodor, item lock and failing to get a T1 Tropical Beach are an issue for Rayboar. (See Keldeo/Blastoise weaknesses for more information)
• I haven’t actually seen a Rayboar which plays Exeggcute, but those that do definitely do not want to start with it.
• Garchomps can steamroll this deck if there are too few non-Raquaza EX pokemon.
How many people will play RayBoar?
~10%. If it weren’t for the scarcity of Tropical Beach, this deck would be quite popular due to the type advantage against VirGen and mostly solid matchups against other decks.
With the new set there are, of course, some new decks too.
This deck is much like GothLock except that it has Trevenant to replace Gothitelle. The main aim is to have Mew EX copy Accelgor’s Deck and Cover attack and, in the process, switch in to Travenant to create an almost inescapable lock. Dusknoir is present on the bench to ensure that the opponent’s active pokemon is never knocked out going into your opponent’s turn, thus maintaining the lock.
• Garbodor. Preventing Dusknoir, Mex EX and Trevenant’s abilities will cripple the deck. Having said that, garbodor is useless if Trevenant comes out first, or a Tool Scrapper is played.
• Virizion EX. Virizion is a real problem for this deck as it prevents all status conditions. This would force Trevenant into attacking. Whilst its attack isn’t too shabby, it is let down by its HP.
• Swellow and Genesect EX and can cause Trevenant to be removed from the active position. A turn(s) without item lock may be all that some decks will need to win.
• Setting up. The deck usually takes a few turns to become fully set up. Furthermore, getting a Mew EX and a DCE each turn may be a big ask. The smaller the deck is, the better the chances are of drawing into these two cards.
How many people will play Trevenant/Accelgor?
~10%. This deck is relatively cheap and easy to build and is almost unbeatable once it is set up. The limiting factors are the number of Trevenants that have been pulled over the past week as well as the fact that some people may prefer to play a different style of deck (e.g. brute force as opposed to setting up an “unbeatable” lock).
Imagine all the fairy pokemon excluding Wigglytuff, Mr Mime and Sylveon all in one deck. The deck offers energy acceleration, energy manipulation, status condition prevention, free retreat and a decent attacker – Xerneas EX may not be able to OHKO many pokemon but alternating its attacks does offer 2HKO opportunities.
• To be honest, I haven’t played this deck, nor have I seen it been played, so I don’t really know of any weaknesses. A friend of mine told me that it doesn’t work, but he didn’t elaborate how though. In any case, here are a few possible problems.
• Late game there can be some energy problems as the only means of energy acceleration is through the non-EX Xerneas.
• Garbodor prevents energy manipulation and status condition prevention, but the deck should still be able to operate well enough.
• Not having Fairy Garden in play may prevent one from being able to repeated use Xerneas’ second attack.
How many people will play the Fairy deck?
<15%. Unless there is a problem with the deck, I think the deck will be fairly popular. As an extra bonus, fairies have dark resistence.
Finally, as always, there will be rogue/uncommon decks. Here’s a few of them…
No items + No abilities = a very tough position for the opponent.
What does Dragonite/Garbodor gain from XY?
• Muscle Band. Unlike silver Bangle and Rocky Helmet, this will always hit for +20 damage. It still takes 3 hits to KO most EXes though.
• Shadow Circle and Yveltal. A dark based Dragonite/Garbodor could take advantage of these cards.
• Blocking items and abilities is a very powerful combination, however, it doesn’t stop your opponent from attacking. If you opponent has a pokemon that is already set up, or a pokemon that is easy to set up, this deck will struggle. A Mewtwo EX or two can prove to be a problem for this deck.
• Setting up is a problem for the deck, in particular, multiple Dragonites.
How many people will play Dragonite/Garbodor?
Empoleon and Garchomp
These two decks are fairly similar in nature. They both aim to get a stage two out as quick as possible and slam the opponent with it. Gabite’s ability makes it easy to get multiple Garchomps out as quickly as possible. Empoleon, on the other hand, has its own ability but this can be hit and miss in terms of setting up another pokemon.
In terms of attack power, Empoleon is generally more powerful and has more bang per energy than Garchomp. As a result, Garchomp decks will usually have silver bangles, muscle band and/or Altaria to boost the damage. Meanwhile, Empoleon decks will have a techs such as Dusknoir, Terrakion and/or eeveelutions.
As strong as these pokemon are, they are hard to repeated “spam” because they are stage 2s. I don’t think there will be more than 1 or two people playing each deck.
Well, that concludes this analysis of the NXD-XY season. If you read through the whole article, give yourself a pat on the back and good luck in any future tournaments.