The field of Pokémon TCG decks here at the World Championships have ranged from well-known decks that have been strong all season to brand new decks that players are just now trying out competitively. Take a look at some sample decks representing the amazing diversity and creativity of the players. Be sure to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game tournament coverage and analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.
Malaysia’s Hairul Hamzah used a version of the Vileplume Fighting deck that we had started to see more frequently at later National Championships. Unlike most of the other players in the competition, Hairul opted not to add any of the new cards from XY—Steam Siege, but he did have a card we don’t always see in this type of deck in the Magnetic Storm Stadium card.
Like many other players, Luis Nolasco of Mexico used a deck that took advantage of the speedy starts Forest of Giant Plants enabled. The classic combination of Vileplume and Vespiquen seeks to stop foes from doing the same by locking the use of Item cards with Vileplume once the setup is complete. Luis’s version of the deck varies from the norm by including Jolteon-EX and some Lightning Energy. While these cards don’t help the consistency of Luis’ normal strategy, the combination of Item lock and Jolteon-EX’s Flash Ray can be very difficult for many decks to stop.
Brandon Jones represented the United States using a deck that combined Vesipquen and Yanmega BREAK that can get rolling extremely quickly using four Shaymin-EX. The Forest of Giant Plants Stadium card allows Brandon to quickly evolve both of his lines of attackers, and Brandon can use Revitalizer to get either of his main lines of Pokemon cards out of the discard pile, too.
The combination of Night March and Vespiquen has been popular since Vespiquen’s release in XY—Ancient Origins, and Kenny Britton from the United States was one of many players that tried it out again in San Francisco. With one copy of Special Charge from XY—Steam Siege and a full set of four Puzzle of Time Trainer cards, it was very difficult for opponents to run Kenny out of Double Colorless Energy. He also had Captivating Poké Puff and Target Whistle Team Flare Gear to disrupt his opponents’ strategies by benching unwanted Pokémon.
Joshua Doctolero from the Philippines was one of the many players that opted to bring back the previously popular Zoroark BREAK and Yveltal deck. Joshua chose a consistent build using Shaymin-EX as his only Pokémon-EX, forcing opponents to knock out more Pokémon to win the match than against more Pokémon-EX-heavy decks. He also included two copies of Captivating Poké Puff from XY—Steam Siege to his deck, which he can combine with Lysandre to take easy prizes from Pokémon his opponent didn’t want to bench.
Masters Division player Julien Dallé of France went all in with Sceptile-EX and Mega Sceptile-EX, including no other Pokémon on his team. Julien could keep his multiple Mega Sceptile-EX powered up and healthy with the Jagged Saber attack, while nullifying the effect of his opponent’s Pokémon’s Abilities thanks to the Θ Stop Ancient trait. The limited Pokémon count gave him plenty of room to include all the Trainer cards he could desire; Julien ended up with 21 different Trainer cards in his deck.
Masataka Hirano in the Masters Division was one of several Japanese players to bring a deck focused on the new Volcanion and Volcanion-EX. The two variations work surprisingly well with each other: Volcanion-EX’s Steam Up Ability requires the player to discard Energy, while the non-EX Volcanion can retrieve Energy from the discard pile. Masataka chose to include two different Pyroar from which to play Pyroar BREAK, adding flexibility to this fun-to-play deck.
Carter Copeland from the United States started his deck with one of the most successful Pokémon cards of all-time, Seismitoad-EX. The way he finished his deck was much more exciting, as he used the Crawdaunt from XY—Primal Clash, the Crushing Hammer Item card, and the Team Flare Grunt and Xerosic Supporter cards to discard his opponent’s Energy cards. Carter also included other disruptive cards such as Hex Maniac, Red Card, Silent Lab, Startling Megaphone, and Jolteon-EX in his deck to make it even harder for his opponents to execute their strategies.
Gonzalo Fernandez managed to go 5-2-1 on Friday with one of the more creative decks we’ve seen used successfully in a major competition. He made up his deck using Pokémon that are super difficult to knock out—Wailord-EX’s massive HP, Aegislash-EX’s Mighty Guard Ability, and Carbink’s Safeguard Ability can all help Gonzalo stall out games. The Argentinian combined these natural strengths with Trainer cards that make his Pokémon even harder to knock out, including Max Potion, AZ, Enhanced Hammer, Rough Seas, Fighting Fury Belt, and Team Flare Grunt, and Cassius.
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