By: Brian Hsieh
Battle Roads is currently in effect and many decks have been showcased. Some decks have performed well but there are certain matchups that are to be considered when you face an opponent. Decks that have shown their muscle earlier on have been lacking against some strategies featured with the newer cards in the Emerging Powers set.
ZPS (Zekrom, Pachirisu, Shaymin) has a strong presence in tournaments. Battle Roads featured an abundant number of users running this deck, teching in Tornadus for a ZTPS suited name. This deck is focused on gathering energy with Tornadus and Pachirisu and sending it to Zekrom’s way through the use of Shaymin or Tornadus’s attack effect. This deck is simple to build and use. It is also very fast and effective against most decks. However, if it runs into a Trainer lock deck like Vileplume or Gothitelle, it’s almost an automatic scoop each time due to its dependence on Trainer cards.. Its main threat after lock is Donphan Dragons, which is another good reason for Tornadus’s inclusion (fighting resistance).
Other decks that continue to appear are Yanmega Magnezone. This deck trumps many decks that focus on locking due to its constant sniping ability to disrupt evolution with Yanmega. Yanmega’s free retreat is also a big issue for Beartic decks. Magnezone can also KO a Gothitelle wall, which would hurt anyone’s Gothitelle setup. What this deck fails to counter is everything else. ZTPS has full use of Zekrom to deliver damage. Since all Pokemon in ZTPS are basic, they have higher HP than others that need an evolution, which takes away the whole powerful sniping ability of Yanmega. Zekrom is also featured in Donphan Dragons, which is bad considering how Yanmega and Magnezone are weak against electric and fighting types respectively.
Although I haven’t had any personal contact with MewBox, I’ve heard it works well against Gothitelle. MewBox features many different Pokemon that Mew Prime can just throw into the Lost Zone to use its power. Most notable Pokemon used are Jumpluff and Muk. Mew can attack with one Rainbow Energy for a maximum of one hundred twenty with Jumpluff or drag opponent’s Pokemon with Muk onto the active battlefield. Teching a Vileplume helps Mewbox from opponents using Switch or any Trainers that would hurt Mew’s potential. I believe this deck doesn’t run into much trouble besides the common fact that Mew only has sixty HP and can be KO’ed rather easily. If everything is setup fast then I believe it will be a tough deck to beat with the right techs. The people using these decks have lost a couple games just due to slower builds.
Donphan Dragons has a strong presence that shouldn’t be ignored. It works well and fast to knock out many Pokemon to get fast prizes. The problem with Donphan Dragons is the Twins engine. Against opponents knowing they will go down a prize card due to slower builds, a Twins gets them the two cards needed to stop Donphan and the usually teched Yanmega Prime. With my own Gothitelle deck, I managed to beat the Donphan deck just because it slowed down while my deck sped up. There aren’t many other decks that can step up to this deck, except maybe a mirror, in which a Basculin is teched in to stop an opponent’s Donphan.
Reshiram Typhlosion has continued to stay strong in this format. With Typhlosion’s ability adding damage counters to Reshiram to use his two attacks perfectly, it is a tough deck to go against. Pokemon Catcher does ruin most of this deck’s setup. Pushing a Ninetales, which is the main drawing engine, out to KO would lead you to manually place energies onto Reshiram which will affect the damage output of Outrage. Its total weakness to water leads future decks involving Feraligatr to defeat it comfortably. As of now it’s still a force that is slowly dying.
Gothitelle was introduced in this tournament due to its debut being a couple weeks away from actual Battle Roads. Gothitelle is shown to have a very random pace, as you can get a Gothitelle out at turn two or much later. If Gothitelle is out fast, a Reuniclus is needed at a close third turn in order to gain control of the whole game. This deck has potential against any deck, but runs into huge trouble against Magnezone Yanmega. Many Pokemon can’t KO a Gothitelle wall with Reuniclus on the bench so it’s clear sailing if you understand what to do. I believe once Gothitelle decks are more popular, there will be decks built to confront it, maybe teching in a Xatu to beat it. That would be devastating in MewBox decks.
Other decks have been shown such as a Weavile disruption and a Cincinno deck, with mixed results. Battle Roads polishes a deck and player’s skills so hopefully once Noble Victories arises, new decks will form and old ones will change.