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A Dual-Format Look at M Rayquaza-EX and Vespiquen!

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Hey PokeBeach! I’m Ryan, and I’m really excited to be writing for PokeBeach. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and also got to see the action at the World Championships this year. It was a blast(oise)! For those of you who don’t know about me, my 2014-2015 season went extremely well. I was able to nab 915 Championship Points over the entire season, just squeaking into the Top 22 of Europe. In this article I will be talking about my Worlds experience, as well as looking at two different decks in both the Standard and Expanded formats, [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] and Vespiquen.

Boston 2015
Concentration.

Worlds Recap

When I got to Boston I was set on playing Night March, a deck I had been playing since [card name=”Lysandre’s Trump Card” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”118″ c=”name”][/card] was banned. I noticed the deck had a mediocre showing at U.S. Nationals, only picking up three spots in the Top 64. However, I felt this could make the deck more of a sleeper pick for Worlds, as Pokemon-EX heavy decks became the focus of the format, which Night March can out-speed and gain a favorable Prize trade against.

I arrived to the Sheraton on Wednesday and mainly helped out some of my Day One friends in honing their deck choices and counts for Day One by testing important matchups, while also sneaking in some testing to make sure my Night March list was up to scratch. Once Day One came around, quite a few of my friends from the U.K. who had qualified from Day One had opted to play Night March as well. Unfortunately, no U.K. players could make it through to Day Two, with the closest being my friend Nicholas Anthony Pierce, who was just one point short of qualifying for day two, leaving just Alex Dao and myself from the U.K. Here is the list I played and how I ended up doing on the day:

[decklist]

[pokemon amt=”18″]

4x [card name=”Joltik” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”26″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Pumpkaboo” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”44″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Lampent” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”42″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Mew-EX” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”RC24″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Mr. Mime” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”47″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/pokemon]

[trainers amt=”35″]

3x [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”XY” no=”122″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Trainers’ Mail” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Acro Bike” set=”Primal Clash” no=”122″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Switch” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”91″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”Dimension Valley” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”93″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/trainers]

[energy amt=”7″]

4x [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Lightning Energy” set=”XY” no=”135″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/energy]

[/decklist]

1 Xerosic

I included a single copy of [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] in my list, as I felt like it gave me a better matchup against [card name=”Focus Sash” set=”Furious Fists” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] decks like [card name=”Landorus-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”144″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Crobat” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”33″ c=”name”][/card]. It also gave me an edge against [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] decks because it could discard a [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] from opposing Seismitoad. The card definitely pulled through for me, taking down a [card name=”Hippowdon” set=”Primal Clash” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] deck and pulling its weight against [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card] builds.

1 Float Stone

[card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] gave the deck an extra Tool, which could be used to defend against [card name=”Head Ringer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card]. It also gave me a Pokemon that could retreat for free to promote after something has been KO’d.

3 Lightning Energy

[cardimg name=”Joltik” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”26″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”custom”]Even 10 damage can make a difference.[/cardimg]

Lightning Energy was a change I made while I was in Boston. I was considering it before, but as Night March ended up having a good showing Day One, I opted to go for the full three to use [card name=”Joltik” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”26″ c=”name”][/card]’s Gnaw attack with a [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] to OHKO an opposing Joltik. It also let the deck use [card name=”Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”23″ c=”name”][/card]’s Assault Laser for one Energy via [card name=”Dimension Valley” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Mew-EX” set=”Legendary Treasures” no=”RC24″ c=”name”][/card], which could give me an out if I needed a quick 120 damage.

Matches

Here’s how my run went:

Round 1: [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”23″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Garbodor” set=”Dragons Exalted” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] LWL

Round 2: [card name=”Landorus-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Leafeon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”11″ c=”name”][/card] LL

Round 3: [card name=”Donphan” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”72″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Leafeon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”11″ c=”name”][/card] WL

Round 4: [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card] WW

Round 5: [card name=”Hippowdon” set=”Primal Clash” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] WW

Round 6: [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Tornadus” set=”Furious Fists” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] WLW

Round 7: [card name=”Joltik” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”26″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Pumpkaboo” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”44″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Lampent” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”42″ c=”name”][/card] WLW

I ended with a record of 4-2-1, missing out on the Top 32 by three spots. Alex and I were both 3-2-1 heading into the last round, but Alex lost the final match, missing a spot in the top 32. Boston was a blast and I can’t wait for San Francisco next year!

Jumping straight into the two new formats of XY-On and BW-On, I’m going to do some in-depth analysis on two decks I think are front-runners in both Standard and Expanded, [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] and Vespiquen. Both have the potential to make a splash in both formats. Let’s start with the Sky High Pokemon itself, gaining the insane power from Mega Evolution, M Rayquaza-EX!

Standard M Rayquaza-EX

With the rotation to XY-On, every deck seemingly took a hit, losing Supporters, main attackers, and crucial Item cards. [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] also felt this loss, losing some important cards that solidified the deck such as [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”49″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”name”][/card]. For Standard, I’ve chosen to go for the Metal / Rayquaza hybrid, which I believe has the most potential in Standard. The combination of the hard-hitting M Rayquaza-EX, the Metal support of [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card], walling of [card name=”Aegislash-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card], and draw-power of [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] creates a versatile core that any opposing deck will find hard to cope with. All these powerful cards in the same deck make Metal Rayquaza a definite tier one threat in XY-On.

Metal Rayquaza loses the [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”49″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] combo that gave it the mobility to move the Active Pokemon to the Bench so it could be Metal Linked to. It also lost [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”name”][/card], meaning it is unable to draw into the monstrous 10+ hand-size Colress allowed. However, Metal Rayquaza gains a couple new tricks from Ancient Origins and has adapted its Supporter line. Here is the list I have been testing.

[decklist]

[pokemon amt=”18″]

2x [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”75″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”60″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Bronzor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”60″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Aegislash-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”65″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Heatran” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”63″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Altaria” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”74″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Swablu” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”73″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)

[/pokemon]

[trainers amt=”32″]

3x [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”101″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Pokémon Fan Club” set=”Flashfire” no=”94″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Professor Birch’s Observations” set=”Primal Clash” no=”134″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Trainers’ Mail” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Rayquaza Spirit Link” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”87″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Switch” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”91″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Sacred Ash” set=”Flashfire” no=”96″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/trainers]

[energy amt=”10″]

6x [card name=”Metal Energy” set=”XY” no=”139″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/energy]

[/decklist]

Card Explanations

3 Rayquaza EX, 2 M-Rayquaza EX

[card name=”Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”75″ c=”name”][/card] and its Mega Evolution give the deck the incredible power to OHKO nearly every Pokemon in the format. [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”custom”]M Rayquaza-EX’s[/card] Δ Evolution Trait means it can Mega Evolve on turn one, which lets you end your turn one with evolving your Rayquaza-EX into the Mega. This also lets you lower your [card name=”Rayquaza Spirit Link” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”87″ c=”name”][/card] count to two, to use later on in the game.

The choice on playing one of the Basic Dragon [card name=”Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card] is to give the line a different Weakness, so it can’t be OHKO’d by a [card name=”M Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”24″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Raichu” set=”XY” no=”43″ c=”name”][/card] if you are unable to find [card name=”Altaria” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”74″ c=”name”][/card]. It also gives this different typing when needing to hold a [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] back due to the new Stadium, Faded Town. This card can chip away at your Mega while it sits on your Bench, meaning you may need to hold back on the Evolution until you can replace the Stadium or need to attack.

4 Shaymin EX

[card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] provides an extra boost in draw, and also fuels [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”custom”]M Rayquaza-EX’s[/card] Emerald Break. It speeds up the deck and makes it more consistent, since the deck needs a high amount of combo pieces to get up and running.

2-2 Bronzong, 1 Heatran, 2 Aegislash EX

[cardimg name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”custom”]Linking the deck together.[/cardimg]

The Metal aspect of this deck gives it the versatility that makes it so strong. A 2-2 line of [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card] accelerates Metal Energy to any Pokemon on the Bench, letting you power up Pokemon in as little as one turn.

[card name=”Aegislash-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card]’s Mighty Shield Ability is extremely useful in a format filled with [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Double Dragon Energy” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card]. It lets you wall behind an Aegislash-EX against Vespiquen and Giratina-EX, both of which will have to go to lengths to get a KO on Aegislash-EX. Slash Blast lets you hit for 100 with three Metal attached, or 60 with a Metal and a Double Colorless Energy, meaning it can start attacking by turn two. This can be useful for picking off Combees, Eevees, and other weak Basic Pokemon early on.

[card name=”Heatran” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”63″ c=”name”][/card] is the seventh Prize your opponent  will need to take, and does a quick 80 on turn two with a Metal and a Double Colorless attached, as long as there is a Stadium in play. Steam Blast hits for a strong 130 and discards a Metal Energy, which can be re-attached by Bronzong to the Bench. It can take down most non-EX threats or pick off a [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card].

1-1 Altaria

[card name=”Altaria” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”74″ c=”name”][/card] is an important tech to include when your main attacker is weak to a popular type in the Pokemon TCG. [card name=”Raichu” set=”XY” no=”43″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”23″ c=”name”][/card], and the new Jolteon are all Lightning types that see play in Standard, causing all sorts of problems for the Lightning-weak Mega.

Altaria also has the Δ Evolution Trait like [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card], which means it can be played down onto [card name=”Swablu” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] as soon as you find it, regardless of how long the Swablu has been on the Bench.

1 Hoopa-EX

Before Ancient Origins you would have to find multiple EX’s using draw power and search cards, making the deck need a high amount of pieces at the right time to work. Now, for a single [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card], Hoopa-EX can be placed onto the Bench and search for three EX’s with no drawback! With a [card name=”Rayquaza Spirit Link” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”87″ c=”name”][/card] in hand, this turns an [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] into a [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card]. I often find myself getting a [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] off Hoopa for the added draw. Hoopa-EX is a huge consistency boost needed for a combo-based deck like Metal Rayquaza, and really pushes it to one of the strongest decks in the format.

[cardimg name=”Pokémon Fan Club” set=”Flashfire” no=”94″ align=”left” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

3 Professor Sycamore, 2 Pokemon Fan Club, 1 Professor Birch’s Observations, 3 Battle Compressor

The Supporters in XY-On are limited, so using [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] with [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] is a fantastic combo. Battle Compressor also allows you to easily get Metal Energy into the discard. [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”XY” no=”122″ c=”name”][/card] is the best and most consistent draw in the format, so I opted to play three, replacing the fourth copy with a [card name=”Professor Birch’s Observations” set=”Primal Clash” no=”134″ c=”name”][/card]. [card name=”Pokémon Fan Club” set=”Flashfire” no=”106″ c=”name”][/card] alongside Hoopa-EX is an amazing Supporter which nets you non-EX Basics like [card name=”Swablu” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”73″ c=”name”][/card] or [card name=”Bronzor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card], while also grabbing Hoopa-EX so you can get your EX’s ready to go. Pokemon Fan Club also fills up your Bench to fuel Emerald Break, giving you a massive five Benched Pokemon by using Hoopa-EX to search for the extra three.

Professor Birch’s Observations is a no-clause shuffle draw with the chance of netting you seven cards. Birch is a strong play when your hand has cards you might not want to discard like [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] or excess [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”name”][/card].

3 Switch, 1 AZ

With the loss of the [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”49″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] combo, Metal Rayquaza needs some way to mobilize its attackers. Three [card name=”Switch” set=”Kalos Starter Set” no=”38″ c=”name”][/card] lets you choose who to Metal Link to on the Bench, then Switch into the attacker afterwards.

[card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] is a great card that can switch out the Active under Item lock and can be brought back by [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card]. It can also be used to remove damage from a Pokemon, which is really good when your main attacker has 220 HP.

1 Sacred Ash

[card name=”Sacred Ash” set=”Flashfire” no=”96″ c=”name”][/card] lets you reduce the count of Pokemo such as allowing you to only play two [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] and a 2-2 line of [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card]. [card name=”Sacred Ash” set=”Flashfire” no=”96″ c=”name”][/card] lets you reuse these Pokemon, adding a potential five extra Bench spots back into the deck, while also letting you choose which Pokemon you need in that matchup.

4 Sky Field

[card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] lets [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] hit for more than 150 damage. When your Sky Field is inevitably replaced if you have more than five Benched Pokemon, you can discard the easy targets, the two-Prize [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”custom”]Shaymin-EX[/card] sitting on the Bench.

6 Metal Energy, 4 Double Colorless Energy

[card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”name”][/card] fuels every Pokemon’s attack in this deck, nearly every attack has a Double Colorless cost involved. Six Metal Energy is the most consistent Energy count, in case any are Prized and allows for you to draw into them consistently even after you Compressor some out.

Other Options

Ace Trainer / Xerosic

Ace Trainer is a hand manipulation card that only works when you have more Prizes left than your opponent. This limits its use, but is extremely strong, as it is the only Supporter in Standard at the moment that can manipulate your opponent’s hand. [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] helps counter any [card name=”Focus Sash” set=”Furious Fists” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] you face, which can really hinder a big OHKO by [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card], leaving the Defending Pokemon with 10 HP. Playing [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] can also provide timely removals of Special Energy or Tools that you don’t want your opponent to have.

A Third M Rayquaza-EX

Sometimes you might find that you discarded your [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] too early, or you just want to find the card faster to Mega Evolve on turn one. A third M Rayquaza-EX beefs up the count to help with the hindrances of only playing two.

[cardimg name=”M Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”24″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

Bulkier Bronzong Line

A bulkier line of these two and the inclusion of more Metal attackers, such as a higher [card name=”Heatran” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”63″ c=”name”][/card] count, could be beneficial if you feel like you want a more Metal-based focus, which can be strong for some metagames.

Things to Watch Out For

Metal Rayquaza has some different counters opponents might play to try and gain an advantage in the matchup. A timely Hex Maniac could cause some trouble if you don’t have any Energy on the board. [card name=”M Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”24″ c=”name”][/card] decks can shut off [card name=”Altaria” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”74″ c=”name”][/card] with a Hex Maniac, so making sure you gain the lead and building up multiple [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] is a good plan to win the Prize trade. [card name=”Silent Lab” set=”Primal Clash” no=”140″ c=”name”][/card] can shut off [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] and Hoopa-EX’s Abilities, which can really hinder your setup, so make sure to find a [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] so you can use those essential cards.

Expanded M Rayquaza-EX

The Expanded format is a whole different kettle of fish, having over 15 sets to choose from for your card choices, and including cards that have been around since 2011! However, this doesn’t mean a deck in Standard can’t be successful in Expanded. For this format, I believe that there is a need for counters to different decks such as [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Accelgor” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”11″ c=”name”][/card] or the Worlds winning [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”49″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Blastoise” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”16″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Archie’s Ace in the Hole” set=”Primal Clash” no=”124″ c=”name”][/card], so for Expanded, the deck has lost the Metal support it needs in XY-On and opted to gain some other tools to deal with these different decks.

Here is the Expanded list and explanations for the different cards for a faster “turbo” build of [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card]. This build is able to hit a turn one Emerald Break for high amounts of damage consistently using an increased [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] count and [card name=”Mega Turbo” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card]. Then, after that, I will talk about the other deck I feel is very strong in both Standard and Expanded, Vespiquen, showing you my deck list for both formats, explaining my card choices, and giving other options to include in both lists.

[premium]

[decklist]

[pokemon amt=”17″]

3x [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”75″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”60″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Exeggcute” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”4″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Virizion-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”9″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Altaria” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”74″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Swablu” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”73″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)

[/pokemon]

[trainers amt=”35″]

3x [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”101″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)

1x [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Mega Turbo” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”86″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Trainers’ Mail” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Rayquaza Spirit Link” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”87″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/trainers]

[energy amt=”8″]

4x [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Grass Energy” set=”XY” no=”132″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/energy]

[/decklist]

Card Explanations

2 Exeggcute

[cardimg name=”Virizion-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”96″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”custom”]The less flips, the better.[/cardimg]

The Standard format [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] wishes it could have [card name=”Exeggcute” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”4″ c=”name”][/card] back. This card really helps you with hand manipulation via [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card], letting you chose what you want to discard, and help draw the maximum with Set Up. [card name=”Exeggcute” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”4″ c=”name”][/card] can be Compressed into the discard and use Propagation to put it straight back to your hand, in which you can then Bench this Pokemon and use it to fuel Emerald Break. This turns a single [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] into two Bench spots AND if you lose your [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Exeggcute” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”4″ c=”name”][/card] can be discarded from the Bench, and when you find another [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] they can be Propagated into the hand and put on the Bench again! This card really fits within Rayquaza builds and has been used to success before in the BCR-ROS format.

4 Grass Energy, 1 Virizion EX

[card name=”Virizion-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”9″ c=”name”][/card] and Grass Energy let you remove Special Conditions from your Pokemon. This might not seem that important at first, but with the expansion back to Dark Explorer, [card name=”Accelgor” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”11″ c=”deck”][/card] is now usable alongside the Item-locking [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card] or even the newly released Vileplume. Without Virizion-EX, Rayquaza builds would be unable to handle the Paralysis, so including this combo gives you a strong chance of winning this matchup. Verdant Wind also shuts off [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card], which usually lets decks like [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] build up damage or just get that extra damage for a KO.

1 Bunnelby

[card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] is an interesting choice that I’m back and forth on. Sometimes, since this deck is a speed build, important card pieces are discarded early, such as having to [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] a [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card], or use [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”XY” no=”122″ c=”name”][/card] to get more cards, discarding it in the process. Bunnelby gives you the option of placing these pieces back into the deck, giving you a safety net if you end up discarding too many important cards.

Burrow is also a useful attack Bunnelby has, giving you an easier way to achieve an alternate win condition or just discard some of your opponent’s resources. Since there are no amazing non-EX attackers for the ‘turbo’ Rayquaza build, a utility Pokemon is worth the spot as your seventh Prize.

3 Mega Turbo

[cardimg name=”Mega Turbo” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”86″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

[card name=”Mega Turbo” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] is the other form of acceleration [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] can use. Since [card name=”Bronzong” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”61″ c=”name”][/card]’s Metal Links can’t be used on turn one, the turbo build wants a card that can be used whenever. [card name=”Mega Turbo” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] doesn’t care what turn it is, just as long as there is an Energy in the discard. If you’ve ever played a Rayquaza build before, you know this deck can really get off some crazy turn ones with this card, letting you get a basic Energy and a [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”name”][/card] to use Emerald Break straight away.

1 Hex Maniac

Why include a card that should hurt your own setup, you say? Well, as you may of noticed, this list has no non-EX attackers to deal with [card name=”Suicune” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”20″ c=”custom”]Safeguard[/card]. Hex Maniac shuts off any of these Abilities for a turn, and also shuts off a plethora of other Abilities that help your opponent. Now your [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] can attack a Giratina-EX, shutting off the Renegade Pulse Ability.

Since this ‘turbo’ Rayquaza build can get amazing setups just based off of Item draw and [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card], sometimes you might be able to drop a Hex Maniac on your turn one to really damage your opponent’s setup as well, for example, against an [card name=”Archie’s Ace in the Hole” set=”Primal Clash” no=”124″ c=”custom”]Archie’s[/card] [card name=”Blastoise” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”16″ c=”name”][/card] deck, turning off all their Abilities for a turn. This can make them miss crucial [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] draws or use [card name=”Jirachi-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card] to search for [card name=”Archie’s Ace in the Hole” set=”Primal Clash” no=”124″ c=”name”][/card]. Even if they can pull off the Archie’s, they still can’t use Deluge, giving you a huge Prize advantage, as you will most likely KO one of their Pokemon next turn, leaving them to deal with a 220 HP EX Active.

1 Float Stone, 1 Escape Rope

This lineup of switching cards are much different to the Standard counterpart. Since you draw through more of your deck in this version, take advantage of an Energy acceleration that works on the Active and also have access to [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] to get the specific cards you need, two switching cards feels like the correct amount. [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] is also in the list in case you need to use a Supporter to switch. [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] is a Tool that you can burn onto a Benched Pokemon or an Active you want switched. [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] also gives you the option of what Pokemon you want Active whenever you want in the turn after your previous Active Pokemon got KO’d, letting you wait and see what you hit in that turn and then send up the Pokemon you want to use.

[card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”name”][/card] is mainly a way to get around Regice’s Resistance Blizzard or a [card name=”Hippowdon” set=”Primal Clash” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card]’s Resistance Desert. Using [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”name”][/card], then a [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”name”][/card], the effect is removed and can be touched by EX’s once again. Finally, forcing your opponent to switch their Active could create a pseudo [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”name”][/card] effect, switching into a two Prize EX or into a bigger threat.

1 Colress, 1 N

When I said Rayquaza misses [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”name”][/card] in Standard, I meant it! Colress alongside [card name=”Sky Field” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] lets you draw insane counts of cards, so including one with four [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”custom”]VS Seeker’s[/card] gives you enough uses, since there are times when you could even deck yourself out drawing 10+ cards! Consistency is really increased with [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”name”][/card], letting you hit the cards you need when you have a big Bench. [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] is the legendary shuffle draw that’s hung around the format for four years. Even in a speed-based deck, being able to manipulate an opponent’s hand to remove a win condition is huge, alongside a turn one definite shuffle in and draw six.

1 Computer Search ACE SPEC

To finish with, the Expanded format lets us use Ace Specs still, and using an early-game consistency boosting Ace Spec such as [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card] really benefits the deck, giving nine outs to [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card], two outs to a one-of card like [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”name”][/card], and the different uses go on.

Options

Different Energy Typing

If Status Conditions aren’t big in the metagame, Rayquaza could take advantage of different Energy types, such as [card name=”Hawlucha” set=”Furious Fists” no=”63″ c=”name”][/card] and Fighting Energy, [card name=”Yveltal” set=”XY” no=”78″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Yveltal-EX” set=”XY” no=”79″ c=”name”][/card] and Dark Energy. Knowing what’s in your metagame is important and adding some of these different types and techs could give you a edge.

[cardimg name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”142″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

Keldeo-EX

Adding [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Black and White Black Star Promos” no=”BW61″ c=”name”][/card] and increasing the amount of [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”custom”]Float Stones[/card] you play could help with the mobility of the deck, answer the Special Condition problem, and add to the size of the Bench.

Metal Build of Rayquaza

The build that I’m using in Standard can also work in Expanded as well, giving you some more options, a different form of Energy acceleration, and a bigger resistance against Special Energy. To create a build in this format I would add some of the cards lost, such as the [card name=”Keldeo-EX” set=”Black and White Black Star Promos” no=”BW61″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] combo, [card name=”Colress” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”118″ c=”name”][/card], and [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card]. The deck doesn’t gain many new attackers from Expanded, however, if you’re expecting a high amount of mirror matches, [card name=”Kecleon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card] proved itself in Regionals and Nationals to be a worthy choice to swing the matchup, copying an opposing Emerald Break after your opponent has taken a KO.

Things to Watch Out For

Item lock, if unprepared for, can be huge, shutting off your crucial [card name=”Mega Turbo” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card] acceleration, the majority of search cards, and your [card name=”Rayquaza Spirit Link” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”87″ c=”name”]Rayquaza Spirit Links[/card]. Make sure to put emphasis on setting up your attackers turn one over anything else so that you’re able to keep up with your opponent. Hex Maniac is still potent like in Standard.

A new problem emerging in Expanded is the use of [card name=”Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick” set=”Primal Clash” no=”158″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Archeops” set=”Noble Victories” no=”67″ c=”name”][/card] to stop Pokemon evolving, even Mega Evolutions like [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card]. If you see a deck running this ‘trick’ make sure to try and set up multiple M Rayquaza-EX via its Δ Evolution Trait on your turn one before they get the [card name=”Archeops” set=”Noble Victories” no=”67″ c=”name”][/card] set up. If  your opponent succeeds in locking you out of your Evolutions, don’t worry! Hex Maniac gives you one turn without Ancient Power being Active, so you can set up a board position, use Hex Maniac, and evolve into your M Rayquaza-EX while you can.

To conclude Rayquaza in Expanded, the format is so wide and diverse that there are so many options and not all are counter-able, so there will always be situations in a tournament you might not be prepared for. However, the ‘turbo’ Expanded build has so much speed, HP, and potential power that you should be able to walk into any matchup knowing you have a good shot against what your opponent has brought!

Standard Vespiquen

Vespiquen is the reincarnation of [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card], but with a couple slight alterations. Vespiquen’s HP is lowered by 10, which can be a problem, but also a benefit when it is now a target for [card name=”Level Ball” set=”Next Destinies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card]. Its first Attack, Intelligence Gathering, can be quite important if you end up missing the KO by 10-30 damage. Bee Revenge is the main attack Vespiquen should be using, doing 20 damage plus 10 more damage for each Pokemon in the discard pile. With an attack like that, this deck wants to be over one third Pokemon, meaning there is a ton of options for Vespiquen to choose from. In Standard, the options are slightly limited compared to Expanded, but there is a lot of versatility and options for the decks other Pokemon. Finally, Vespiquen’s main typing is Grass, helping it out if it meets the Item-locking [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card], hitting it for Weakness.

For Standard, I’m going to give a skeleton list, then some different options for the other Pokemon I would choose. Just like [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card], I will go through all my card choices and why I chose them; I will then list the other Pokemon options that you could choose. I feel that Vespiquen builds have a very versatile Pokemon line, so there are different routes to success with what you choose.

[decklist]

[pokemon amt=”19″]

4x Vespiquen (AOR #10)

4x Combee (AOR #9)

4x Unown (AOR #30)

2x Flareon (AOR #13)

2x Eevee (AOR #63)

3x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/pokemon]

[trainers amt=”22″]

3x [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”XY” no=”122″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”104″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Professor Birch’s Observations” set=”Primal Clash” no=”134″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Flashfire” no=”99″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Sacred Ash” set=”Flashfire” no=”96″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/trainers]

[energy amt=”7″]

4x [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Fire Energy” set=”XY” no=”133″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/energy]

[/decklist]

 

Open Slots: 12

Card Explanations

4-4 Vespiquen / Combee

Since this is our main attacker, we want the full 4-4 line to make sure there isn’t a point where we miss a Combee to Bench or be unable to hit Vespiquen to evolve. There’s no reason not to. Each time a Vespiquen gets KO’d it adds 20 damage to Bee Revenge!

4 Unown

Unown is a “placeholder” card that happens to also be a Pokemon. The benefit in Vespiquen builds is that it’s your easy-to-discard Pokemon that is never really harmful to get rid of, but if you draw into it, you gain an extra card in the process, while fueling Bee Revenge by 10 extra damage. The full four compared to three or two is it’s just so easy to get into the discard by Farewell Letter or by [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card], there’s no reason to not run the full four.

2-2 Flareon / Eevee, 1 Blacksmith

[cardimg name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

Running the Eevee from Ancient Origins compared to the Energy Evolution [card name=”Eevee” set=”Furious Fists” no=”80″ c=”name”][/card] is not for attacks, even though a sneaky Lunge for 30 might finish a Pokemon off. The extra 10 HP is a huge gain, as any Pokemon doing a 30 damage attack can attach a [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] to OHKO the Eevee straight away, for example, [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card]’s Quaking Punch, or a Sky Return from [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card]. This can be huge in something like the mirror match, where the opponent can use Sky Return to keep the [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] in their hand, remove an EX from play, AND take a crucial KO.

Flareon from Ancient Origins pairs well with Vespiquen, giving it the Fire typing alongside Grass. This lets your Vespiquen hit Fire-weak Pokemon for Weakness, making it easier to hit for a KO. However, the most popular Fire-weak EX is the Metal-type [card name=”Aegislash-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card], which blocks attacks from Pokemon with Special Energy, the main form of Energy Vespquen uses. Gaining the Fire typing gets around this problem, though. [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] can now be used to give Vespiquen two Fire Energy from the discard, perfect to attack with Bee Revenge and OHKO [card name=”Aegislash-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card] with ease. This combo also puts less stress on your Energy, since it can be used a total of four-five times with [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card]. Finally, the card is relatively easy to find and use via [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] to discard two Fire Energy and the Blacksmith, then using VS Seeker to get it into your hand.

3 Shaymin EX

Just like in the Rayquaza builds, Vespiquen wants that extra bit of draw and speed to make sure its hitting the numbers by turn two. Running three [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] may seem like a high count, but this lets you have the extra consistency and also the ability to [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] one or two if you know you don’t need them. Sky Return is also nothing to scoff at with [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card], either getting the final damage for a KO, or helping out in the mirror by taking cheap KO’s on Combee or any 50 HP [card name=”Eevee” set=”Furious Fists” no=”80″ c=”name”][/card], if you opponent opts to play them. All the while saving your [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”name”][/card] for another attacker!

3 Professor Sycamore, 1 Professor Birch’s Observations, 2 Lysandre

Our draw support in the skeleton consists of three [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”101″ c=”name”][/card] and one [card name=”Professor Birch’s Observations” set=”Primal Clash” no=”134″ c=”name”][/card]. With four [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] and four [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], you can always Compress a Supporter and search for it straight away with VS Seeker, making this amount enough for the deck to run off. It’s the same basis as the Rayquaza builds I talked about earlier, where sometimes [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] and other pieces, such as Vespiquen, are in your hand, and its better to shuffle them in.

Playing two copies of [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”name”][/card] makes it easier to get KO’s on Bench-sitters like [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card], and also to get main threats Active to try and remove them.

[cardimg name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ align=”left” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

4 Battle Compressor, 4 VS Seeker, 4 Ultra Ball

In a deck that needs to be discarding Pokemon to maximize its attack, playing four of both [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] is needed to get around 13-15 Pokemon in the discard as early as turn two to start taking the big EX KO’s. Both gain you consistency, pairing Battle Compressor and [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] to create more outs to Supporters and [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] with [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”106″ c=”name”][/card] to give more draw to the deck. Four [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card] is almost mandatory in Standard builds. Since there is limited draw support right now, using the ones you have over and over is the best way.

2 Muscle Band

For one card, [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] adds 20 damage compared to if this slot was a single Pokemon. Playing two means you should be able to find one by turn two to maximize the damage Bee Revenge does.

1 Sacred Ash

With only four non EX’s to attack for big damage, the deck needs some way to recycle attackers. [card name=”Sacred Ash” set=”Flashfire” no=”96″ c=”name”][/card] does this perfectly, albeit removing 50 damage from Bee Revenge, but by the time Sacred Ash is needed, there’s a good chance you’re doing more than a OHKO anyway. Adding a 2-2 line of Vespiquen lets you max your attacker, making it possible to use six in a game. Sacred Ash can also recycle consistency Pokemon, such as Unown, or your type-changing Flareon that might of been discarded before you could evolve it from Eevee.

4 Double Colorless Energy, 3 Fire Energy

[card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] is your main Energy type, so having four in the deck is needed to make sure you can consistently use Bee Revenge if you need to. The three Fire Energy are to pair with [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card], so you’re protected versus Prizing, and also gives you the option of attaching a Fire Energy to retreat your Active if it’s not a Combee.

Options

Here I will talk about what the other 12 spots could be in the list, giving you multiple options. Some of these are meta-dependent, so knowing what your metagame will be is important to make the optimal build for your tournament.

Pokemon

Joltik, Pumpkaboo, and Lampent

[cardimg name=”Pumpkaboo” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”44″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

Something all the other Pokemon in the deck lack is that they do nothing in the discard pile once they’re discarded. Using a Night March core would let you Bench a [card name=”Joltik” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”26″ c=”name”][/card], attach a [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card], and with nine Night March Pokemon in the discard, Night March will OHKO a 180 HP EX. It gives the Pokemon in the discard pile, most likely [card name=”Pumpkaboo” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”44″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Lampent” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”42″ c=”name”][/card], a use by boosting Night March. It also creates more attackers, which may mean you could opt to drop the [card name=”Sacred Ash” set=”Flashfire” no=”96″ c=”custom”]Sacred Ashes[/card] and [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”custom”]Muscle Bands[/card] ,since you have such a big line of Pokemon in the deck, leaving room for other cards. If you opt to use this build, an option could be using [card name=”Dimension Valley” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] for Pumpkaboo so that it could also use Night March for two Energy.

Ariados

The Ariados from Ancient Origins is perfect to get around cards like [card name=”Focus Sash” set=”Furious Fists” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card], and also give a consistent 10 damage. Using Poisonous Nest with a Vespiquen Active means only the Defending Pokemon gets Poisoned. This helps against any Fighting decks you may face, and gets around a card that otherwise may swing the matchup towards the opponent. A perfect count would probably be a 1-1 line. This means it has less impact on other matchups and can be discarded straight away if its not needed.

Ninetales from Primal Clash

[card name=”Ninetales” set=”Primal Clash” no=”21″ c=”name”][/card] can lock any Stadiums you opt to use in play, meaning your opponent can’t use their own or remove yours. Ninetales mainly pairs well with the Faded Town Stadium to chip away at Mega Evolutions, but could also be paired with Forest of Giant Plants so your Grass Pokemon can always Evolve straight away.

Thicker Eeveelutions Line, Including Jolteon

A thicker line of Eevee and including one / two Jolteon to also change your type to Lightning to hit Pokemon such as [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] for Weakness can really aid those matchups. A thicker line of Eevee means it’s easier to find them, and to discard any Eeveelutions you don’t need early on. Increasing the Eevee count to four, including one Jolteon, and keeping Flareon to two would be the way I would go.

Bunnelby

Playing a one-of [card name=”Bunnelby” set=”Primal Clash” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] gives you some lenience with crucial cards by putting them back in the deck via Rototiller. This does mean your opponent is likely to take a Prize, so using Bunnelby effectively when you really need a specific card back, like if all your [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] are gone, is key. Using Burrow is also clutch in some situations, since there are limited ways in Standard to get resources back, and also try and win via deck-out.

Golurk from Ancient Origins

Golurk is an interesting one. Using a combination of Flareon and [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card], Golurk can be set up in one turn with two Fire Energy and a [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”name”][/card]. With Flareon in play, Golurk has three different types, now covering the Psychic and Fighting types, hurting Pokemon such as [card name=”Lucario-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] and the popular [card name=”M Manectric-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”24″ c=”name”][/card]. Doing 120 damage via Superpower is enough to take KO’s on any weak Pokemon. Even though it seems Golurk would take 20 damage from Superpower, it doesn’t, as Golurk resists the Fighting type, which, through its Ability, means the 20 to itself is null and void.

Golett does have a big three Retreat Cost, however, so playing something along the lines of a 2-2 line would make one or two switching cards a requirement to get it out of the Active if you open with it.

Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums

Trainers’ Mail / Acro Bike

Since Vespiquen wants to be getting the big KO’s by turn two, adding some speed cards such as [card name=”Trainers’ Mail” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Acro Bike” set=”Primal Clash” no=”122″ c=”name”][/card] really boost your draw. I would favor Trainers’ Mail in a deck like Vespiquen, as digging into the deck by four cards is better than digging by two and having a chance of hitting a non-Trainer card you want. I would choose around 3-4 of Trainers’ Mail as the main extra draw to make sure your delving deeper to maximize Bee Revenge.

Switch / Escape Rope / AZ

The skeleton has zero switching outs, as Vespiquen has free retreat, so the main worry would be on turn one if you fail to open Combee. In this case, you can attach an Energy to the Active, as everything in the deck has two or less retreat. However, sometimes you miss an Energy turn one or know your opponent will be able to remove any Energy you put down, so playing some switching cards could be beneficial. [card name=”Switch” set=”Kalos Starter Set” no=”38″ c=”name”][/card] seems to be the safest route while [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”name”][/card] could catch your opponent off guard and pick off something on the Bench. Finally, [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] can be reused with [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card], but does pick up the Pokemon, which would also be useful for any [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”custom”]Shaymin-EX[/card] you want to be removed off the Bench, but would force you to pick up any other Pokemon to retreat them.

Teammates

[cardimg name=”Teammates” set=”Primal Clash” no=”160″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

[card name=”Teammates” set=”Primal Clash” no=”141″ c=”name”][/card] works much like in a Night March deck. A Pokemon is KO’d and you search for a [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] to attack and another card you want in your hand at that time. With [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] in the deck, one would be sufficient to use it when needed via [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”name”][/card].

Xerosic

Including a single [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] in Standard helps out against any [card name=”Focus Sash” set=”Furious Fists” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] or Special Energy you need to remove, specifically [card name=”Double Dragon Energy” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”97″ c=”name”][/card], which fuels Giratina-EX’s Chaos Wheel. If you know that Giratina-EX decks are going to have a big presence in your metagame, playing [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] early on can stop Giratina-EX in its tracks, since Chaos Wheel usually requires two Special Energy to use. This lets you gain some extra time to attach your own [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] before they are locked out.

Hex Maniac

Hex Maniac in a speed deck is deadly for your opponent if you’re able to hit a good setup via draw-based cards and [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card]. Using Hex Maniac is also beneficial for getting past [card name=”Aegislash-EX” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”65″ c=”name”][/card] if you’re unable to use [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] that turn. Shutting your opponent off from Abilities for a turn can gain you enough momentum to shift the game in your favor, so playing a single copy if you find the space could be enough to swing some matches.

Faded Town

Faded Town as your Stadium punishes your opponent if they play a Mega Evolution deck, slowly chipping away at any Megas on the field. 20 damage between turns really builds up if it sticks, so if I was to play Faded Town, I would probably opt to pair it with the [card name=”Ninetales” set=”Primal Clash” no=”21″ c=”name”][/card] I talked about earlier. Two copies of the card feels enough to make it easier to OHKO these big 200+ Mega Evolutions, needing only 15 Pokemon in the discard, plus Faded Town’s 20 damage, plus [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] or any extra you were able to get via the Stadium to hit 210 damage.

Forest of Giant Plants

Forest of Giant Plants really accelerates Vespiquen, making it possible to do damage on the first turn, while also putting Combee out of danger, evolving into Vespiquen straight away and gaining 50 HP. Playing Forest of Giant Plants is also beneficial if you were unable to keep a stream of Vespiquen going, meaning you can drop the Stadium down, instantly evolve a Combee you put down from your hand that turn into another Vespiquen, putting yourself back in the game. Ariados, which I also talked about earlier, would find this card useful, evolving instantly due to its Grass typing. Finally, I would pair this with a couple of switching cards in case you don’t open Combee but want to get some quick damage turn one.

In my testing with this deck I really liked Forest of Giant Plants, as it was able to get damage or cheap KO’s against low HP decks, such as the mirror, and would suggest it over any other Stadiums right now, unless your metagame is really Mega heavy. Two Forests should be enough if you use the Stadium alongside [card name=”Trainers’ Mail” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card], but on its own I would suggest around three copies to get it earlier on.

In Conclusion

That finishes off Vespiquen in Standard. I decided not to include anything to watch out for when playing Vespiquen in Standard, as the different options you can choose change matchups drastically. When Vespiquen builds are made with the metagame in mind, they are a huge force to be reckoned with in Standard, and should be one of the front-runners of the format. To conclude the article, let’s have a look at Vespiquen in Expanded, where he gains a new but old friend!

Expanded Vespiquen

Gaining all the Expanded sets brings back Vespiquen’s predecessor, [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card]. This lets the deck have eight total “revenge” attackers that receive boosts from Pokemon in the discard. The deck also gains some tools Flareon used throughout last season and even in 2013, and it gains the Grass typing of Vespiquen to help with a greater presence of [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card]. Vespiquen / Flareon has even had some recent success at an Arena Cup in Europe a couple of weeks ago, coming in at 3rd. The list I have is quite close to that of the one that did well in the Arena Cup, but with a couple of changes. This is the deck list with some explanations on the new Expanded cards, and why I chose them.

[decklist]

[pokemon amt=”27″]

4x Vespiquen (AOR #10)

4x Combee (AOR #9)

4x [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x Jolteon (AOR #26)

2x [card name=”Eevee” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Eevee” set=”Furious Fists” no=”80″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x Unown (AOR #30)

2x [card name=”Audino” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”126″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Jirachi-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”60″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/pokemon]

[trainers amt=”26″]

4x [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”101″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)

 

4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Silver Bangle” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”88″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Level Ball” set=”Next Destinies” no=”89″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/trainers]

[energy amt=”7″]

4x [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”111″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Fire Energy” set=”XY” no=”133″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/energy]

[/decklist]

 

Card Explanations

2 / 2 Eevee, 4 Flareon, 1 Jolteon

In Expanded, the Eevee counts are radically different to than Standard. Two [card name=”Eevee” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”90″ c=”from”][/card] are now usable in this format. This gives us a better 60 HP Eevee than the Ancient Origins one, allowing you to search for your Eeveelutions with Signs of Evolutions.

In Expanded, [card name=”Archeops” set=”Noble Victories” no=”67″ c=”name”][/card] via [card name=”Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick” set=”Primal Clash” no=”133″ c=”name”][/card] is a huge problem for this deck, stopping all of its Evolutions. [card name=”Eevee” set=”Furious Fists” no=”80″ c=”from”][/card], even though you give up that all-important 10 HP, lets you evolve through the deck compared to the hand, getting around Ancient Power. This lets you evolve into [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card] straight away, even on turn one. If you’re able to find a [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] and a Fire Energy in the discard, Flareon can use Vengeance right after evolving, and if you get a crazy turn one, a Vengeance to start your game is possible.

Speaking of [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card], it’s back with a Vengeance in Expanded, and gives us another discard-based attacker. Flareon from Ancient Origins isn’t needed anymore, since Flareon from Plasma Freeze is already Fire type. Playing a full set of four gives the deck eight of these revenge attackers, meaning it’s easier to discard a Vespiquen / [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card] or two early game, dependent on what you’re playing against. Using Heat Tackle can sometimes be a game-changer if you don’t have enough Pokemon in the discard pile early game, getting a OHKO on Fire-weak Pokemon.

Playing a single Jolteon from Ancient Origins is to deal with any Lightning-weak Pokemon in the huge format, such as [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card], and also gives a free retreat option if you open any of the Eevees.

2 Audino

As [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Accelgor” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”11″ c=”name”][/card] is a problem in Expanded, along with [card name=”Hypnotoxic Laser” set=”Plasma Storm” no=”123″ c=”name”][/card], [card name=”Audino” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”126″ c=”name”][/card] is perfect to remove a Special Conidtion and 10 damage, as well as putting one more Pokemon in the discard pile to fuel our revenge attacks. Using Audino’s Hip Bump can give you a clutch 30 damage that might steal a game on a flip, which I’ve seen happen at multiple tournaments before. Watch out for any [card name=”Silent Lab” set=”Primal Clash” no=”140″ c=”name”][/card], though, as this shuts off Busybody, making it a Pokemon to bin.

[cardimg name=”Jirachi-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”60″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”none”][/cardimg]

1 Jirachi EX

[card name=”Jirachi-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card] is something interesting in the Arena Cup list, which gives the deck four Pokemon outs to draw. Stellar Guidance also finds you any utility Supporters, such as Hex Maniac or [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card], via a [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card]. If your opponent opts to get this Pokemon into the Active due to its low 90 HP, that’s usually a Vespiquen or [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card] surviving into the next turn. Finally, it’s another Pokemon to chuck into the discard pile to maximize revenge attacks.

1 Hex Maniac, 1 Xerosic, 1 N

My Expanded utility Supporters consist of Hex Maniac to give more options against [card name=”Archeops” set=”Noble Victories” no=”67″ c=”name”][/card], letting you evolve to your hearts content for a turn after you play down Hex Maniac, and also turn off your opponent’s Abilities for their next turn. Vespiquen in Expanded has the same potential as Rayquaza to explode on turn one, also giving you the option to use Hex Maniac on the first turn to slow down your opponent’s start. Playing a single Xerosic gives the deck an edge in the [card name=”Seismitoad-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”20″ c=”name”][/card] / Giratina-EX matchup, which came to light after winning the Arena Cup in Würzburg, locking your [card name=”Double Colorless Energy” set=”XY” no=”130″ c=”name”][/card] and Tools from being played. Playing a single [card name=”Xerosic” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”110″ c=”name”][/card] means you can remove a Special Energy attached to Seismitoad or Giratina on turn one, which gives you an extra turn to use a revenge attack, hopefully giving you extra time to overcome your opponent.

A single [card name=”N” set=”Noble Victories” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] in [card name=”Battle Compressor” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”92″ c=”name”][/card] decks, just like Rayquaza, gives you the option to manipulate your opponent’s hand size, and gives you an extra chance of winning, lowering your opponent’s hand size down to one if they have a single Prize card left. Finally, N acts as a shuffle draw early game to save crucial cards you don’t want to discard.

2 Silver Bangle

Playing [card name=”Silver Bangle” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] over [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”name”][/card] gives a crucial extra 10 damage vs. Pokemon EX, especially against any Mega EX’s, whereas most non-EX Pokemon have low enough HP that a normal revenge attack will take the KO. It does, however, stop big Sky Return plays from [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”name”][/card] in the mirror, which is something to think about if your metagame is full of Vespiquen.

1 Level Ball

A single [card name=”Level Ball” set=”Next Destinies” no=”89″ c=”name”][/card] in Expanded compared to playing zero in Standard is due to using [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card] and Eevees, meaning you want to have multiples of both Eevee and Combee on the first turn. Level Ball also gives a combined five outs to Supporters by search cards (four [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”name”][/card] and one Level Ball), since [card name=”Jirachi-EX” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”60″ c=”name”][/card] has 90 HP.

1 Life Dew

This is a really interesting choice of Ace Spec compared to playing the consistent [card name=”Computer Search” set=”Boundaries Crossed” no=”137″ c=”name”][/card]. [card name=”Life Dew” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] gives you one extra use of a revenge attacker, which is huge, considering the deck runs four of them in Expanded. This really makes or breaks some matchups if they have no way to remove the Tool, since you could technically take out an EX and your opponent gets zero Prizes in return. Alongside [card name=”Blacksmith” set=”Flashfire” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] to use several Revenge attackers in one game, Life Dew really shines above the other Ace Spec options in Expanded.

Options

Espeon DEX

[card name=”Espeon” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”48″ c=”name”][/card]’s Solar Revelation Ability gives you another option against effects from attacks such as [card name=”Accelgor” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”11″ c=”custom”]Accelgor’s[/card] Deck and Cover. Since it evolves from Eevee, a single copy is a consistent option to get an extra turn against any Status-lock decks, and also can’t be shut off by [card name=”Silent Lab” set=”Primal Clash” no=”140″ c=”name”][/card]. Finally, it can be searched with [card name=”Eevee” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”90″ c=”name”][/card]’s Signs of Evolution and discarded next turn.

Wobbuffet / Float Stone

[cardimg name=”Wobbuffet” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”36″ align=”right” height=”250″ c=”custom”]Just in case.[/cardimg]

Adding [card name=”Wobbuffet” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”36″ c=”name”][/card] into a Vespiquen deck might seem counterproductive, shutting off Set Up and Stellar Guidance, but it also shuts off [card name=”Archeops” set=”Noble Victories” no=”67″ c=”custom”]Archeops'[/card] Ancient Power while its Active, meaning alongside one / two [card name=”Float Stone” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”99″ c=”name”][/card] you could send it Active, evolve your Benched Vespiquen and [card name=”Flareon” set=”Plasma Freeze” no=”12″ c=”name”][/card], then send up the one you want Active straight afterwards, giving you no negative effects from Bide Barricade. The only issue caused by Wobbuffet is if you start with it, which may actually end up being worse for your opponent, as Unown’s Ability is still online for you to draw cards with, and could confuse your opponent into thinking you’re playing a [card name=”Primal Groudon-EX” set=”Primal Clash” no=”86″ c=”name”][/card]-based deck. I would opt to play around two copies of both cards to make it easier to move around while also having enough Wobbuffet to find it ASAP against Archeops.

Stadiums

Using Stadiums from Standard is a good choice, such as Faded Town (however [card name=”Silver Bangle” set=”Plasma Blast” no=”88″ c=”name”][/card] really does put in some work vs. any Mega Evolutions) or Forest of Giant Plants for the benefits I explained in the Standard section. [card name=”Training Center” set=”Furious Fists” no=”102″ c=”name”][/card] is another Expanded option that buffs your Evolution’s HP by 30, which can make it harder to hit OHKO’s on the two revenge attackers.

Things to Watch Out For

Like in the Expanded Rayquaza section, there are so many things in Expanded that could happen that being prepared for every single one is extremely hard. I covered the decks that could cause problems if not prepared for, [card name=”Trevenant” set=”XY” no=”55″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Accelgor” set=”Dark Explorers” no=”11″ c=”name”][/card] and [card name=”Archeops” set=”Noble Victories” no=”67″ c=”name”][/card]. Having an idea of the metagame is helpful for what to add as techs, so different versions can be successful in the ever-growing format.

To Finish With

To conclude, both [card name=”M Rayquaza-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”76″ c=”name”][/card] and Vespiquen are strong options which should definitely be included in your testing for both Standard and Expanded. As a little extra, I have been recently testing a [card name=”Lucario-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”107″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Hawlucha” set=”Furious Fists” no=”63″ c=”name”][/card] / [card name=”Crobat” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”33″ c=”name”][/card] build that uses the extra “Bite” damage alongside fast and strong single Energy attacks to hit for high early damage, and [card name=”Focus Sash” set=”Furious Fists” no=”91″ c=”name”][/card] to withstand big OHKO’s. The deck is consistent and fast enough to keep up with other big threats in the format, and has access to [card name=”Korrina” set=”Furious Fists” no=”95″ c=”name”][/card] and tech cards like [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”94″ c=”name”][/card] to make the deck responsive to your opponent’s deck.

[decklist]

[pokemon amt=”18″]

3x [card name=”Crobat” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”33″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Golbat” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”32″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Zubat” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”31″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Hawlucha” set=”Furious Fists” no=”63″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Lucario-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”54″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Shaymin-EX” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”77″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Miltank” set=”Flashfire” no=”83″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/pokemon]

[trainers amt=”33″]

4x [card name=”Professor Sycamore” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”101″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Korrina” set=”Furious Fists” no=”95″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Lysandre” set=”Flashfire” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Professor Birch’s Observations” set=”Primal Clash” no=”134″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”AZ” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”91″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

4x [card name=”VS Seeker” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”109″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Ultra Ball” set=”Roaring Skies” no=”93″ c=”deck2″][/card]

3x [card name=”Muscle Band” set=”XY” no=”121″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Focus Sash” set=”Furious Fists” no=”91″ c=”deck2″][/card]

2x [card name=”Level Ball” set=”Next Destinies” no=”89″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Enhanced Hammer” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”94″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”deck2″][/card]

1x [card name=”Professor’s Letter” set=”XY” no=”123″ c=”deck2″][/card]

 

3x [card name=”Fighting Stadium” set=”Furious Fists” no=”90″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/trainers]

[energy amt=”9″]

5x [card name=”Fighting Energy” set=”XY” no=”137″ c=”deck2″][/card]

4x [card name=”Strong Energy” set=”Furious Fists” no=”104″ c=”deck2″][/card]

[/energy]

[/decklist]

 

Highlighting a couple of interesting techs, [card name=”Miltank” set=”Flashfire” no=”83″ c=”name”][/card] helps deal with non-EX threats that [card name=”Lucario-EX” set=”Furious Fists” no=”54″ c=”name”][/card] has trouble with, such as Regice. [card name=”Escape Rope” set=”Primal Clash” no=”127″ c=”name”][/card] can be searched out on the first turn in case you open with a Pokemon that cannot attack or retreat ([card name=”Zubat” set=”Phantom Forces” no=”31″ c=”name”][/card] may have gained 10 extra HP, but lost its Free Flight Ability).

Thanks for reading! I put a lot of effort into this super long article, so I hope you found it enjoyable and insightful. Maybe it even helped you decide on a deck for the upcoming Regionals. Make sure to ask about any deck I included, a certain card you want to know more about, or anything you’re thinking of yourself. See you guys for my next article!

-Ryan Moorhouse

[/premium]

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