Decks to Watch For at Worlds 2017

After a year full of incredible Pokémon competitions all over the world, the 2017 Championship Series season will culminate in Anaheim, CA, at the 2017 Pokémon World Championships. Players from all over the world will be battling in a three-day competition for more than $500,000 in prizes, including a $25,000 top prize in the Pokémon TCG events. It's an invitation-only event, which means the competitors at the World Championships earned their chance to be crowned World Champion by performing well at tournaments throughout the season.

After the thrilling results from the North American International Championships, players had a pretty good idea of what decks to expect in the metagame. But that might change with the addition of a brand-new expansion: Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows. With over 140 new cards being added to the Standard format, something is bound to change. To help you follow along with our live stream on Pokemon.com/Live, here are some of the strategies you might see at the upcoming Pokémon TCG World Championships.

  • Trashalanche
Pokémon
  • 3
    Garbodor
    51/145
    sm2 51
  • 1
    Garbodor
    57/122
    xy9 57
  • 4
    Trubbish
    56/122
    xy9 56
  • 4
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
  • 3
    Drampa-GX
    115/145
    sm2 115
Energy Cards
  • 5
    Psychic Energy
    nrg1 30
  • 4
    Double Colorless Energy
    sm1 136
  • 4
    Rainbow Energy
    sm1 137
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    N
    xy10 105
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 1
    Brigette
    xy8 134
  • 1
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Lysandre
    xy7 78
  • 1
    Teammates
    xy5 141
  • 4
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 4
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 4
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 2
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
  • 1
    Rescue Stretcher
    sm2 130
  • 1
    Super Rod
    xy8 149
More Info Copy Deck List

Fresh off Tord Reklev's big win at the North American International Championships, the Trashalanche deck with Garbodor will be on everyone's radar heading into the World Championships. This deck, which also runs Drampa-GX and Tapu Lele-GX, is all about consistency and efficiency. The other Garbodor with the Garbotoxin Ability gives an added element of disruption, rounding out a deck that's tough to beat—even without any major additions from the latest expansion.

  • Decidueye
Pokémon
  • 4
    Decidueye-GX
    12/149
    sm1 12
  • 4
    Dartrix
    10/149
    sm1 10
  • 4
    Rowlet
    9/149
    sm1 9
  • 2
    Vileplume
    3/98
    xy7 3
  • 2
    Gloom
    5/147
    sm3 5
  • 2
    Oddish
    4/147
    sm3 4
  • 2
    Shaymin-EX
    77/108
    xy6 77
  • 2
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
Energy Cards
  • 4
    Double Colorless Energy
    sm1 136
  • 4
    Grass Energy
    nrg1 26
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    N
    xy10 105
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 2
    Acerola
    sm3 112
  • 1
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Lysandre
    xy7 78
  • 4
    Forest of Giant Plants
    xy7 74
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 3
    Trainers' Mail
    xy6 92
  • 2
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 2
    Level Ball
    xy7 76
  • 2
    Revitalizer
    g1 70
  • 1
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
More Info Copy Deck List

Just when it looked like Decidueye-GX was falling out of the Standard format, it had two strong performances at Internationals from runner-up John Kettler and former World Champion Igor Costa. With the impending Standard format rotation and the latest update to the Expanded format banned list, some might see this as a last chance to use the Forest of Giant Plants Stadium card in competitive play. The version that runs Vileplume will welcome more useful versions of Oddish and Gloom, plus the debut of Acerola, but otherwise it hasn't been updated very much. Others may move away from Vileplume toward a focus on Alolan Ninetales-GX, which can help cover a Weakness to Fire-type Pokémon.

  • Volcanion
Pokémon
  • 3
    Volcanion-EX
    26/114
    xy11 26
  • 3
    Volcanion
    25/114
    xy11 25
  • 2
    Ho-Oh-GX
    21/147
    sm3 21
  • 2
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
  • 1
    Turtonator-GX
    18/145
    sm2 18
  • 1
    Starmie
    31/108
    xy12 31
  • 1
    Staryu
    25/122
    xy9 25
Energy Cards
  • 13
    Fire Energy
    nrg1 27
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 2
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 2
    Kiawe
    sm3 116
  • 2
    N
    xy10 105
  • 1
    Lysandre
    xy7 78
  • 2
    Brooklet Hill
    sm2 120
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 4
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 3
    Fighting Fury Belt
    xy9 99
  • 3
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 2
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
  • 2
    Max Elixir
    xy9 102
  • 2
    Nest Ball
    sm1 123
  • 1
    Rescue Stretcher
    sm2 130
More Info Copy Deck List

Volcanion-EX decks have adapted and upgraded with each new expansion in the 2017 season, and now is no time to stop. The strategy remains mostly the same: use the Steam Up Ability to create massive attacks with your Fire-type Pokémon. Now, Kiawe joins the team, giving an opportunity to attach four Fire Energy in a single turn! Since playing this card ends your turn, it's at its best on the first turn, before all the action starts. Ho-Oh-GX could also be a game changer, providing this deck with a hard hitter that doesn't have a Weakness to Water-type Pokémon. Don't be surprised if Volcanion bursts into the World Championships with a full head of steam.

  • Gardevoir
Pokémon
  • 4
    Gardevoir-GX
    93/147
    sm3 93
  • 1
    Gallade
    84/162
    xy8 84
  • 2
    Kirlia
    92/147
    sm3 92
  • 4
    Ralts
    91/147
    sm3 91
  • 2
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
  • 2
    Octillery
    33/162
    xy8 33
  • 2
    Remoraid
    32/162
    xy8 32
Energy Cards
  • 8
    Fairy Energy
    nrg1 34
  • 4
    Double Colorless Energy
    sm1 136
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 2
    N
    xy10 105
  • 1
    Brigette
    xy8 134
  • 1
    Brock's Grit
    xy12 74
  • 1
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Lysandre
    xy7 78
  • 1
    Mallow
    sm2 127
  • 4
    Rare Candy
    sm1 129
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 3
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 2
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 2
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
  • 2
    Max Potion
    sm2 128
  • 1
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 1
    Level Ball
    xy7 76
  • 1
    Super Rod
    xy8 149
More Info Copy Deck List

One of the new cards that's receiving a lot of attention is Gardevoir-GX, and it's easy to see why. The Secret Spring Ability allows the player to attach an extra Fairy Energy each turn, which plays nicely into its Infinite Force attack. It also comes with the nifty Twilight-GX attack, which can shuffle a bunch of Item cards from your discard pile into your deck—particularly useful against Trashalanche. And since Kirlia can also evolve into Gallade, this deck gains access to a powerful Fighting-type attacker as well. It's still unproven, but many players have Gardevoir-GX on their radar as a top contender heading into this event.

  • Zoroark
Pokémon
  • 3
    Zoroark BREAK
    92/162
    xy8 92
  • 4
    Zoroark
    91/162
    xy8 91
  • 4
    Zorua
    89/162
    xy8 89
  • 1
    Umbreon-GX
    80/149
    sm1 80
  • 1
    Flareon
    13/98
    xy7 13
  • 1
    Vaporeon
    22/98
    xy7 22
  • 2
    Eevee
    101/149
    sm1 101
  • 2
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
  • 1
    Shaymin-EX
    77/108
    xy6 77
  • 1
    Drampa-GX
    115/145
    sm2 115
  • 1
    Oranguru
    113/149
    sm1 113
Energy Cards
  • 5
    Darkness Energy
    nrg1 32
  • 4
    Double Colorless Energy
    sm1 136
  • 1
    Rainbow Energy
    sm1 137
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 3
    N
    xy10 105
  • 1
    Brigette
    xy8 134
  • 1
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Hex Maniac
    xy7 75
  • 1
    Lysandre
    xy7 78
  • 1
    Professor Kukui
    sm1 128
  • 1
    Teammates
    xy5 141
  • 1
    Reverse Valley
    xy9 110
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 4
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 3
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 2
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 1
    Rescue Stretcher
    sm2 130
  • 1
    Special Charge
    xy11 105
More Info Copy Deck List

Zoroark BREAK was surrounded by a lot of hype during the North American International Championships, and Andrew Mahone was able to take it to the Top 8. Like some other decks on this list, Zoroark did not gain much from the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion—but it did get a new potential enemy in Gardevoir-GX, which sports a Resistance to the Darkness-type Pokémon. But its solid matchups against the other top decks keep it as a potential top choice for the World Championships.

  • Golisopod
Pokémon
  • 4
    Golisopod-GX
    17/147
    sm3 17
  • 4
    Wimpod
    16/147
    sm3 16
  • 1
    Flareon
    13/98
    xy7 13
  • 1
    Vaporeon
    22/98
    xy7 22
  • 1
    Jolteon
    26/98
    xy7 26
  • 2
    Eevee
    63/98
    xy7 63
  • 2
    Zoroark
    91/162
    xy8 91
  • 2
    Zorua
    89/162
    xy8 89
  • 2
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
Energy Cards
  • 8
    Grass Energy
    nrg1 26
  • 3
    Double Colorless Energy
    sm1 136
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 3
    N
    xy10 105
  • 2
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Acerola
    sm3 112
  • 1
    Brigette
    xy8 134
  • 1
    Hex Maniac
    xy7 75
  • 2
    Forest of Giant Plants
    xy7 74
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 4
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 3
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 2
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 1
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
  • 1
    Max Potion
    sm2 128
  • 1
    Rescue Stretcher
    sm2 130
More Info Copy Deck List

Another new card that's getting some attention is Golisopod-GX. As long as you can move it from the Bench to the Active spot every turn (such as with Guzma or Zoroark's Stand In Ability), its First Impression attack will do 120 damage for a single Grass Energy—just enough to Knock Out Garbodor. With the help of Eevee's Evolutions, it can gain the Fire, Water, or Lightning type as well, allowing it to hit many popular Pokémon for Weakness. When the time is right, attach a Choice Band and unleash the Crossing Cut-GX attack against an opposing Pokémon-GX or Pokémon­-EX to do 180 damage, again just enough to take out Drampa-GX and other top threats. We also could see Golisopod-GX alongside Decidueye-GX to form a powerful Grass-type group.

  • Darkrai
Pokémon
  • 4
    Darkrai-EX
    74/122
    xy9 74
  • 4
    Darkrai-GX
    88/147
    sm3 88
  • 2
    Yveltal
    65/114
    xy11 65
  • 2
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
  • 2
    Shaymin-EX
    77/108
    xy6 77
Energy Cards
  • 13
    Darkness Energy
    nrg1 32
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 2
    N
    xy10 105
  • 1
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Hex Maniac
    xy7 75
  • 1
    Lysandre
    xy7 78
  • 2
    Sky Field
    xy6 89
  • 4
    Max Elixir
    xy9 102
  • 4
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 4
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 3
    Trainers' Mail
    xy6 92
  • 2
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 2
    Float Stone
    xy8 137
  • 1
    Escape Rope
    sm3 114
  • 1
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
  • 1
    Fighting Fury Belt
    xy9 99
More Info Copy Deck List

Darkrai-EX has been a contender in the Standard format for most of the season, but it dropped off a bit with the release of Sun & Moon—Guardians Rising. Now it gains the help of Darkrai-GX, which can pump up Darkrai-EX's Dark Pulse attack by bringing extra Darkness Energy into play with the Restoration Ability. But will this new addition be enough to return Darkrai-EX to its former prominence? The answer might rest on the popularity of Gardevoir-GX, which matches up incredibly well against the Darkness-type Pokémon. That could make Darkrai a risky pick for the World Championships, but sometimes it pays off to take a big risk at the big event.

  • Greninja
Pokémon
  • 3
    Greninja BREAK
    41/122
    xy9 41
  • 4
    Greninja
    40/122
    xy9 40
  • 4
    Frogadier
    39/122
    xy9 39
  • 3
    Froakie
    38/122
    xy9 38
  • 4
    Talonflame
    96/114
    xy11 96
Energy Cards
  • 7
    Water Energy
    nrg1 28
  • 2
    Splash Energy
    xy9 113
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    N
    xy10 105
  • 4
    Professor Sycamore
    xy9 107
  • 2
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 1
    Ace Trainer
    xy7 69
  • 1
    Fisherman
    xy8 136
  • 1
    Professor Kukui
    sm1 128
  • 4
    Dive Ball
    xy5 125
  • 4
    VS Seeker
    xy4 109
  • 2
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 2
    Field Blower
    sm2 125
  • 2
    Max Potion
    sm2 128
  • 2
    Rare Candy
    sm1 129
  • 2
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 1
    Rescue Stretcher
    sm2 130
  • 1
    Super Rod
    xy8 149
More Info Copy Deck List

After a Top 8 finish at the North American International Championships by Alex Krekeler, it's clear that Greninja BREAK is still a viable tournament choice. The Greninja deck is all about high risk, high reward. It's slow to set up, it's prone to poor starting hands with low-HP Pokémon, it has a lot of moving pieces that all need to be in place—and it has a lot of variance whether or not Talonflame is your starting Pokémon. But when everything goes well, there's no questioning how powerful Greninja BREAK's Giant Water Shuriken can be. All of this was on display at the 2016 Pokémon TCG World Championships, where we witnessed Cody Walinski easily dispatch legendary player Ross Cawthon in the semifinals, only to have his deck come up short against Shintaro Ito in the finals. Perhaps we'll see more from Greninja this year.

Of course, with the Worlds field representing the best Pokémon TCG players from all corners of the globe, there could easily be a dark horse deck or two that disrupts the entire competition—after all, no one was expecting Mega Audino last year! It'll be exciting to watch the competition unfold to see which players and decks rise to the top.

If you can't attend in person, be sure to catch the live stream for all three days of coverage, August 18–20, at Pokemon.com/Live. And as always, be sure to check back at Pokemon.com/Strategy for the latest Pokémon TCG news and updates!

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