Forbidden Light has brought a huge shift to the meta-game – taking the lead is much hyped Ultra Necrozma GX/Malamar (Forbidden Light), and its pure Psychic counterpart, Necrozma GX/Malamar.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is Buzzwole GX’s dominance. Forbidden Light brings it with a massive boost to the already powerful mosquito, like Diancie Prism Star, Beast Energy, and Beast Ring.
Then we have Greninja, which Joey Ho from Singapore used to surprise everyone, sneaking its way to become the Champion at the Melbourne Regional Championships.
With the Malaysia Regional Championship days away, and Singapore SPE a week after, here’s the updated list of decks you might be facing across the table:
Ultra Necrozma GX/Malamar
It’s the return of Eels!
Malamar’s (Forbidden Light) Psychic Recharge is reminiscent of the powerful Energy card “recharge engine” from the Black & White era’s Eelektrik’s (Noble Victories) Dynamotor Ability. Except this time, Malamar attaches Psychic Energy from the Discard Pile to your benched Pokémon.
To partner with Malamar, we have Ultra Necrozma GX. This unique card only one normal Attack and one GX Attack, but it’s gamebreakinig stuff. It’s normal Attack, Photon Geyser, deals 20, plus 80 more damage for every Psychic Energy discarded from this Pokémon – the perfect partner for Malamar.
Once you’re out of Energy, switch in Dawn Wing Necrozma GX (Ultra Prism) using it’s Invasion Ability, and recharge the Ultra Necrozma GX on the bench using your Malamar. A simple strategy that can easily take down most Pokémon GX in the current meta-game.
Dawn Wing Necrozma is no slouch either. Load it up with 3 Energy and you can use it’s GX attack, which provides immunity for the turn.
With Mew as another backup attacker, Mysterious Treasure as an extra Ultra Ball, and one Beast Energy Prism Star (as Ultra Necrozma is an Ultra Beast, after all), this is a powerful deck, which is only susceptible to an Ability Lock.
A surprise entry from Mexico SPE, some players prefer the consistency of pure Psychic Energy – utilising the original Necrozma GX (as it doesn’t require a Metal Energy) to start steamrolling opponents. One small downside is you only do 60 damage for every Psychic Energy discarded.
Aside from that, the decks plays the same way as the Ultra Necrozma GX deck above. Being an all Psychic deck, the deck can fit an additional Mimikyu (Guardian’s Rising), which can copy the last opponent’s Attack used. Some also include as many Mew (Fates Collide) as possible – a great one Prize attacker with free Retreat that easily takes up the role of Necrozma GX without needing Dawn Wings Necrozma GX.
US players Sam Chen and Rahul Reddy took 1st and 2nd respectively in Mexico SPE with Necrozma GX/Malamar, with an additional two Fighting-type techs. First is Marshadow GX, which is able to copy the Attacks of any Basic Pokémon in the Discard Pile. It’s Fighting type also helps against the rising number of Zoroark GX deck variants.
The other tech (replacing Mew) is one Sudowoodo (Guardians Rising), with the Roadblock Ability that limits the opponent’s Bench to four Pokémon.
Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX
Dominant since it’s release, Buzzwole GX is the outstanding big basic GX of our current metagame. It’s first Attack deals 30 damage for one Energy, which also hits 30 damage to one Benched Pokémon of your choosing – a slow and steady Attack that helps to make up the numbers. Once Buzzwole GX is loaded with three Energy cards, it can sweep your opponent’s Pokémon with Knuckle Impact or Absorption GX.
Not only can Buzzwole GX use Strong Energy to add damage, Forbidden Light also introduces:
- Diancie Prism Star (with an Ability that adds 20 damage to Fighting Pokémon Attacks)
- Beast Energy (only can be attached to an Ultra Beast, provides all types of Energy, and adds 30 damage to the attached Pokémon’s Attacks), and
- Beast Ring (can only be used when your opponent has 3 or 4 Prize cards remaining. Search your deck for 2 basic Energy cards and attach them to an Ultra Beast Pokémon)
The latter easily charging backup Buzzwole GX to keep the momentum going.
Lycanroc GX (Guardians Rising) is added to drag Pokémon lurking on the Bench into the Active spot with the Ability Bloodthirsty Eyes, and doubles as another threat with Dangerous Rogue GX. The deck also plays Brooklet Hill instead of Brigette to set up your field at the beginning of the game, which can also help search for Remoraid to setup the Octillery draw engine.
Another new Pokémon is the non-GX Buzzwole (Forbidden Light). For only one Fighting Energy, this “baby” Buzzwole can deal a minimum 120 Damage if your opponent has exactly four Prize cards remaining. With Diancie, Beast Energy and/or Choice Band, players should know better than to leave their opponents with four Prize cards.
Greninja BREAK makes a comeback, this time with it’s latest addition, Greninja GX. The key of a Greninja BREAK deck is using Frogadier (Breakpoint) to search for up to three other Frogadier and place them on your Bench. Add Splash Energy, and you have a well setup, one-Prize attacker deck.
With overwhelming numbers, you would have at least two Greninja BREAK ready to place six Damage Counters on any opponent Pokémon, as long as you discard one Water Energy. With Shadow Stitching to turn off all your opponent’s Abilities, and free Retreat, Greninja BREAK is a deck if played right, can take six Prizes even when your opponent has already picked up five.
Greninja GX helps to reach Knock Out numbers – it’s Ability, when it evolves, allows you to place 3 damage counters on any opponent Pokémon. It’s GX attack is also interesting, able to deal 130 damage to any opponent Pokémon on the field.
While we don’t have Joey’s Melbourne Regional Championships winning deck, we have devised our own take of the Greninja/Greninja GX deck above.
Another deck that has returned from obscurity, Xerneas BREAK takes advantage of the Ultra Necrozma GX boom, as the latter is weak to Fairy.
The deck uses Xerneas (Steam Siege) to search for two Fairy Energy and attach them to as many Xerneas as possible (two Fairy Energy each is optimum). Then you would evolve into Xerneas BREAK, and use Life Stream – for two Fairy Energy, this attack does 20 damage times the amount of Energy attached to all your Pokémon.
Not only us Xerneas BREAK is a one Prize attacker, you can use cards like Super Rod and Diantha to continuously setup multiple Xerneas BREAK to put the pressure on your opponent.
This deck crept up near the end of the previous meta, and looks set to firm a place in a post-Forbidden Light world. Setup as many Zoroark GX as possible at the beginning of the game to draw into the cards you need, then punish your opponent with a combination of Garbodor (Guardians Rising) and Garbodor (Breakpoint) to lock your opponent’s Abilities away – think Malamar, Octillery, Oranguru and your opponent’s Zoroark GX.
The key to playing this deck is knowing when to begin the lock, as you have to inevitably lock away your Zoroark GX draw engine as well.
Smart players can take advantage of sacrificing (or using Field Blower onto) their Garbodor (Breakpoint) at key moments, keeping their opponents Ability-locked, while freeing themselves for a one-turn burst of draw power, then locking Abilities once more before ending their turn.
There’s only a few days left until the Malaysia Regionals 2018 – have you already pre-registered? Click here to register now!
See you in Da Men Mall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the following week in Asia Game Festival, Singapore!