The 2016 US Pokémon TCG National Championships featured one of the most diverse metagames in memory. Check out variations on some of the popular decks that many great players used on the first day. Be sure to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game tournament coverage and analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.
Defending US National Champion Jason Klaczynski went with the popular choice for decks in Night March. He wasn’t able to overcome a field full of tricks to take down this particular deck.
Jack Bowen sliced up the competition with Greninja BREAK and its Giant Water Shuriken Ability, picking up six wins and narrowly missing a chance to play on Day 2. His variation of the deck included Octillery and the rarely-seen Bent Spoon Trainer card.
Jake Morgan lost only one game with his Dark-type Pokémon deck, featuring Darkrai-EX, Yveltal, and Yveltal-EX. The Giratina-EX he included used Double Dragon Energy to ensure that there was plenty of power available for Darkrai-EX’s awesome Dark Pulse attack and gave him a way to restrict the cards his opponent could play.
Trevenant BREAK has been a reliable choice for many players ever since it was released. Bob Zhang nearly reached the second day with his variation on the popular deck, featuring many staples such as Red Card and Crushing Hammer, but excluding Mystery Energy.
Between Vileplume’s Item lock, Jirachi’s Stardust attack, and Carbink BREAK’s Energy acceleration, Christopher Schemanske outlasted many opponents on his way to collecting six wins on Day 1. Zygarde-EX and Lucario-EX gave him steady offense as he wore down his foes.
Dubbed by players as the Water Box deck, this combination of Seismitoad-EX, Manaphy-EX, Regice, Articuno, and Aurorus-EX has recently made waves in the Pokémon TCG metagame. Alex Fields managed to ride his deck to six wins on Day 1.
The electrifying duo of Mega Manectric-EX and Raikou had been popular for quite a while, and several players gave it another shot at the National Championships. James Hart was close to qualifying for Day 2 with his straightforward version of this deck.
It took a little while for Mega Rayquaza-EX to regain its fair share of the limelight, but it recently started showing its true power. José Marrero’s variation on this deck included Jolteon-EX to counter Basic Pokémon such as Night March’s Joltik and Pumpkaboo.
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