Introduction

Hey, I am Drew Kennett from Arizona, one of the newest members of Some1sPC. I have qualified for the World Championships 6 times and have been playing the game for 12 years with numerous top cuts and tournament wins. Some of the most recent achievements have been my 2016 Arizona Regionals win with Greninja and my top 16 at the London International and San Jose Regionals, all with Greninja. I’m hoping to pass on some of the wisdom from my success by writing this article on Greninja. I’ll go over matchups, techs, etc… to help illustrate why I believe this deck is so good and how to play it at the highest level.

I.The Beginning
II.Standard Greninja
III.Tech choices
IV.Expanded Greninja
V.Tech choices
VI.Giratina and Georgia Regional
VII.Conclusion

The Beginning

Going into last year’s Nationals, I wanted to play Greninja, but due to having very little experience with it at that point, I opted against it, being it was such a large and important tournament. I also then decided against it for Worlds that year, which turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my Pokémon career. I’d like to say I’ve been playing Greninja since the beginning, but I never truly felt comfortable relying on it for a big tournament until Arizona Regionals came around.

Leading up to Arizona Regionals, my local testing group and I came up with what we thought to be the most optimal list for the deck. It ended up performing superbly for me that weekend, and to come full circle, I even ended beating Trevenant in the finals, the same deck that scared me from playing Greninja at Worlds. With Arizona Regionals under my belt, I could approach this season with a newfound sense of confidence, and it was time to set my sights on the next big task: the International Championships in London.

With the entire metagame shifting towards “play Yveltal/Garbodor, or beat Yveltal/Garbodor,” I was hesitant on playing Greninja in London. I gave up on the deck up until two nights before I left, when I started testing it with Max Potion and Enhanced Hammer. These two techs proved to be invaluable in the Yveltal/Garbodor matchup. I only testing four matches against it, but the techs helped to dominate all four games. I sleeved up it up and headed to London.

After getting there, I told a couple of other people about my list and three of them decided to pick it up. I ended up losing my win-and-in to Top 8 and ended up with top 16, Sammy Sosa finished in top 64, Grafton Roll made Top 8, and we do not want to talk about the fourth person (Sorry, Michael).

After finally landing back in Arizona, time to relax was scarce, as I was about to leave for San Jose Regionals in just four days and had to work three of them. This did not give me much time to test the Expanded Format, but it was easy enough to adapt. I sleeved Greninja up once again. Day 1 of the tournament was extremely easy. During Day 2, I, once again, lost my win-and-in and ended with another top 16 finish with Greninja. Now, with Georgia Regionals as the next big tournament right around the corner, this article will guide you through all of the matchups and how you can overcome them.

Standard Greninja

In Standard, there are many ways to build Greninja and be successful, as evidenced by the variety of lists that have been seen doing well. However, if your goal is to Top 8 and win the tournament, you need to prepare for specific matchups. The basic Greninja list running around right now is the one that did well at the London Internationals, piloted by Grafton and yours truly.

Greninja Standard

Pokemon (18)

  • 4 TalonFlame
  • 3 Froakie
  • 4 Frogadier
  • 4 Greninja
  • 3 Greninja BREAK

Trainers (33)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 3 N
  • 1 Fisherman
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Ace Trainer
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Dive Ball
  • 3 Bursting Balloon
  • 2 Ultra Ball
  • 2 Enhanced Hammer
  • 2 Max Potion
  • 2 Super Rod
  • 3 Faded Town

Energy (10)

  • 3 Splash Energy
  • 7 Water Energy

There are some unusual cards in this list that vary from earlier Greninja lists. These changes tailor Greninja’s matchups favorably to the decks more common in the metagame right now.

Enhanced Hammer

This card is amazing. It makes so many unfavorable matchups favorable. It gives you a chance against M Mewtwo EX instead of just taking the loss. When paired with Faded Town, you do enough recurring damage that they are unable to Damage Change it away, which is the key to that matchup. When up against Mega Rayquaza, even though it is not the most popular deck, the same rules apply. You are able to discard all of their DCE’s while dealing damage with the Faded Town in order to overwhelm that deck. The real reason to play Enhanced Hammer is for the perceived best deck in format: Yveltal/Garbodor. The main way that Greninja loses to Yveltal/Garbodor, other than dead drawing, is a huge Yveltal EX that ends up one-hitting two or three of your Greninja BREAKs. When you have the two to three Enhanced Hammers and even maybe the Team Flare Grunt, that ends up not being an option for the Yveltal deck, and they end up having to do chip damage to two-shot all of your Greninja, while you disrupt their energy and three-shot them. I know the math doesn’t completely add up, as they are 2HKOing you and you are 3HKOing them, but that it why Enhanced Hammer is not the only card needed to make the Yveltal matchup favorable for Greninja.

Max Potion

This was the card that caught everyone by surprise in London. After the Yveltal player realizes that they are no longer able go the route of trying to OHKO you, they should decide that they need to start using Y cyclone to preserve their Energy while dealing enough damage in order to get the 2HKO. While they are doing that, you are sitting behind a hand filled with Max Potions and Enhanced Hammers in order to decrease their knockout potential. The Max Potion takes the two-shot they normally were getting and turns it into a three-shot that will always swing the prize trade in your favor. Now the math adds up, as a 3HKO against an EX is much better than a 3HKO against a non-EX. Max Potion’s utility in other matchups is almost nonexistent though and you have to accept that. There will always be chances to use it when your opponent can’t quite achieve the OHKO, but more often than not you will be getting OHKO’d by the vast majority of the format.

Talonflame

The reason that I picked Talonflame to discuss last is because this card is something that, in standard, has fallen out of the limelight. This card took Worlds by storm, giving Greninja the consistency to make it a top tier deck. Then, after Worlds, people decided that it would be a better deck with cards like Octillery BKT or Jirachi XY67 instead. I do not hate Jirachi, and I even messed around with it while I was testing, but the utility and consistency that Talonflame can give you is just too good to ignore.

Many more options open up when you start Talonflame, even though Aero Blitz usually is not your first attack. Typical early turn progression when you start Talonflame is to retreat it on turn two to a Frogadier in order to Water Duplicates, then on turn three, retreat the Frogadier to a Talonflame and start to Aero Blitz to set up your entire deck while your opponent tries to kill a 130HP bird. Even if the consistency is not enough for you, Talonflame opens up plays that you normally would never have. Garbodor decks are the main decks that do not want to see a Talonflame start. You immediately get to use your Aero Blitz to grab a Lysandre + whatever card you might need in that particular situation. The following turn you can play the Lysandre to either KO the Trubbish, or if it is a Garbodor already, you can Lysandre it up and deal the 40 damage to it with Aero Blitz, while searching your deck for a VS Seeker to repeat next turn and get the KO.

Matchups

All of these matchup percentages are assuming that optimal plays are always being made with very minimal misplays by the Greninja player.

Yveltal/Garbodor 55-45

I have spoken quite a bit about this matchup already, but the reason that this matchup is in favor of Greninja is because of the three cards talked about above. When paired together, Enhanced Hammer, Max Potion, and Talonflame make a force that is hard for Yveltal to overcome. You eventually run them out of resources while you still have all of your Greninja. The most common mistake Yveltal players make with this matchup is people believe that they have to go straight for the Garbodor and KO it as soon as possible, when the exact opposite is the truth. Garbodor is not a huge threat at all! You trade much better than they do with your Enhanced Hammers and Max Potions, and this alone already swings the matchup percentage in your favor.

Talonflame provides so much utility in this matchup also, given that it is so difficult for Yveltal EX to KO it in the early turns. The potential for late game searches with Talonflame should never be forgotten. Grabbing a Lysandre or even the last Max Potion you need to pull off the win can be game changing, and can really shatter the Yveltal player’s spirit, which is what we are shooting for.

When we get more towards the middle and late game, Bursting Balloon is the other card that makes this matchup favorable. This card needs to be timed correctly, understanding that the Yveltal player does not need to attack if they do not feel like the time is right. Attaching a Bursting Balloon to a Talonflame on turn one when Yveltal EX is not doing much is a waste of a Balloon.

Other than the obvious, there are some cute tricks you can do with Bursting Balloon in order to make the game even more difficult for your opponent. Things like attaching Bursting Balloon to your bench while sitting behind a Talonflame might not seem like it is ever a smart decision, but Yveltal players always want to draw first blood on your Greninja, because that is how they win in the long run. For example, a benched Greninja that already has 90 damage on it is a clear target for your opponent’s Lysandre, and attaching a Bursting Balloon to it forces them to make a decision on whether or not KOing that Greninja is worth the 60 damage they will inflict from the Bursting Balloon. The correct answer for them is usually that they will have to KO the Greninja, but neither position is at all favorable for them. If they elect to knock out the Pokémon that is in the active, then you still have the Greninja on the bench, and get to use your Max Potion to take away the chance for them to take that prize.

One more mind game that can occur in this matchup is deciding when to leave your Splash Energy in play, and when to return them to your hand with the extra 20 damage from Moonlight Slash. Most Yveltal players tend to play one or two Enhanced Hammers, and that could cause some problems when you are trying to beat them simply by overwhelming them with multiple Greninja. The answer is pretty simple, and can be found in the math. If the Yveltal EX does not have a Fighting Fury Belt, it is easier to judge, but for the sake of making it hard on ourselves, let’s say they have the Fighting Fury Belt. It’s impossible to KO them in just two attacks, so the steps we take are two Moonlight Slashes for 80, to bring you to an excellent number of 160 damage. This can potentially set you up for the ideal scenario where you attach one of your Bursting Balloons, forcing them to do one of two things: they must either knock themselves out, or retreat and take the damage on another Yveltal EX. Once again, it is a no-win situation for them.

Seeing Yveltal should not make you feel like you have a free win that round, but it should also not scare you away. This matchup is favorable for Greninja if you learn the matchup well and make smart plays.

Volcanion 60-40

This matchup tends to be a lot closer than it would first appear on paper. I know from firsthand experience after losing to it for my win-and-in at London Internationals. All of your techs for Yveltal and other matchups do absolutely nothing against Volcanion. Volcanion has the sheer speed to dominate you and potentially take up to three prizes before you even get a Greninja out. If both players set up perfectly, then this matchup turns into a battle of who can hit the clutch cards late game. They will be more consistent than you the majority of the time though and that is when you have to start getting crafty with your resources.

The ideal situation is to start Talonflame obviously, but the use of Talonflame typically does not come until much later. Baby Volcanion tends the biggest threat early game, and hitting it for 40 damage with Aero Blitz is not having much of an impact. In order to make your life easier, you have to knock out the baby Volcanion before it can get enough Energy on board to overwhelm you with three fully charged Volcanion EX. If that happens, the game is theirs.

This matchup does not typically have a middle game, and we go straight from early game and setup to the late game when your options become limited. You have to be set up by the time the Greninja and Volcanion trades begin to happen. The nice thing about this matchup is that you have the option to set up OHKOs on Volcanion EX with a Giant Water Shuriken to Moonlight Slash combo. The problem is that they can also OHKO you right back, which is why you want to get to this late game battle as soon as possible before they can get a third Volcanion EX powered up.

You have a really valuable tool in this matchup though and it comes in the form of Shadow Stitching. If they can’t use Steam Up, they do not stand a chance at beating you. When is the best time to use Shadow Stitching though? Pokémon Ranger is the only card that makes this a hard question to answer. I hate to say it, but the correct answer is: when it feels right. Sometimes, you just have to Ace Trainer or N them down to very few cards, use Shadow Stitching, and hope that they do not have the Pokémon Ranger and/or Energy needed to knock you out, and if they do, then it is just an unfortunate loss and you move on to your next game.

Keeping tabs your opponent’s resources is also a very helpful way to decide when you need to use Shadow Stitching. If you see your opponent is running very low on Energy, then it may be hard for them to have the Energy required in the scenario if they use their Supporter on a Pokémon Ranger. If the Ranger is in their deck and not in their discard pile, it is better for you because VS Seeker is no longer an option for them to beat you. Those are the best ways to judge the situation when deciding if Moonlight Slash or Shadow Stitching is the correct play. The weakness is huge in this matchup, and without it, Greninja does not stand a chance to beat Volcanion, but because of that weakness, I believe the matchup is favorable, ever so slightly, to Greninja.

M Gardevoir 75-25

This matchup couldn’t be easier. No offense to any M Gardevoir players out there, but let’s be honest, you do not play that deck to beat Greninja. Faded Town constantly does damage to M Gardevoir EX unless they have a counter Stadium. Greninja will always be playing from behind, and if this matchup ended after the early game it would be 100-0 in favor of M Gardevoir, but as soon as Greninja sets up two BREAKs or three Greninja, the game is all downhill from there.

M Gardevoir does not have enough resources to beat Greninja. Discarding six Pokémon to kill a BREAK might happen once, and they get the first prize, but then Greninja gets to use Shadow Stitching for basically the entire rest of the game, and M Gardevoir is absolutely nothing without the deck’s Abilities. They’ll never get enough Pokémon out to kill two Greninja BREAKs just because of the nature of the deck. You then can disrupt them with Ace Trainer and N, because they dominated you so badly in the early game, and can use Shadow Stitching to ensure they never draw out of it.

Your conclusion initially might be that Shadow Stitching only does 40 damage and M Gardevoir EX does 110 base damage, so they will still beat you. You would normally be right, except that after you set up a BREAK, you get to Giant Water Shuriken every turn, along with being able to Max Potion any damage away and potentially dealing even more damage with Faded Town and Bursting Balloon. This matchup is somewhat winnable by the M Gardevoir player if the Greninja player ends up not being able to set up or stumbles a few times during the late game, but when you sit across from a M Gardevoir deck, you should honestly be pretty happy.

Rainbow Road 85-15

If you actually sit across from this deck and have to play against it, you’d better hope you don’t draw/pass for five turns, because this matchup is almost free. The tools you have for this matchup are legitimately not fair. Xerneas BKT has exactly 120 HP, the absolute easiest number in the world for Greninja to hit. Giant Water Shuriken does 60 damage, Bursting Balloon does 60 damage, and Moonlight Slash does 60 damage, so there are many possible combinations to get there. If they are playing Fighting Fury Belt, it is a little annoying, but nowhere near anything to be concerned about. You also get to Enhanced Hammer any of their DCE’s away. As a bonus, if you knock out a Xerneas with Giant Water Shuriken, their EXP Shares do not activate, making this matchup so bad for Rainbow Road that it should not be played.

M Mewtwo 40-60

Unfortunately, there had to be one deck that Greninja does not have a favorable matchup against. M Mewtwo is the deck that can keep Greninja from dominating any tournament it goes to. The power of being able to Damage Change all of your damage away while hiding behind Garbodor makes this matchup very difficult for the Greninja player.

You do have some tools though that give you a chance to beat them. You play more copies of Faded Town than they typically have of Shrine of Memories, so that could require them to not Mega evolve in order to Damage Change. This is an excellent play on their part, but it causes some problems for them. If they are all-in on the plan to Damage Change the entire game against you, this is when you go start to target down the Garbodor with as many Lysandre as necessary. If Garbodor is not in play, the matchup percentage shifts so far into Greninja’s favor that it is laughable.

If they do decide to play the Mega, it makes it more painful to two-shot a Garbodor while they one-shot all of your Greninja. If you find yourself here, you have to take the same approach as you do against Yveltal and try to burn through their DCE’s and Shrine of Memories in order to win the late game trades. Bursting Balloon is only good if there is no Shrine of Memories in play, because if they Damage Change, the Balloon does not activate.

If you are up against the Fairy/healing version of the deck that popped up at Dallas Regionals, you should feel much better about the matchup. Mewtwo’s greatest utility is the Damage Change attack, and even with Fairy Drops in the deck, it is much easier for Greninja to take on that version of the deck. The tools that Mewtwo has with Shrine of Memories and Garbodor makes this an unfavorable matchup, but not so much that you should think of it as an auto loss.

Verdict

It is obvious that Greninja is the best deck in format and the play when looking at the matchup percentages, but I figure you were already wanting to play Greninja, considering you’ve read this far. Greninja has these percentages against the top tier decks and when people start trying adorable things to beat the meta, they usually take the loss to Greninja due to the uniqueness of the deck strategy and because they are expecting less of it than the other top tier decks.

Expanded Greninja

The Expanded Format list looks a little bit different because you are trying to beat a completely different monster: Archeops NVI instead of Garbodor. When looking at Expanded, the list needs to looks something like this if you expect to stand a chance against any Archeops.

Greninja Expanded

Pokemon (18)

  • 4 TalonFlame
  • 3 Froakie
  • 4 Frogadier
  • 4 Greninja
  • 3 Greninja BREAK

Trainers (32)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 3 N
  • 1 Fisherman
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Ace Trainer
  • 1 Wally
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Dive Ball
  • 3 Evosoda
  • 2 Bursting Balloon
  • 1 Dowsing Machine
  • 1 Startling Megaphone
  • 1 Ultra Ball
  • 1 Muscle Band
  • 1 Sacred Ash
  • 3 Rough Seas

Energy (10)

  • 2 Splash Energy
  • 8 Water Energy

Evosoda

This is a very obvious addition to the deck in Expanded, because without it you will never be able to evolve under the turn one Archeops lock that, let’s face it, your opponent will likely get. If they don’t, you just dominate them anyway. Honestly, the one Ultra Ball in the deck could be a 4th Evosoda depending on preference, but having a high count of Evosoda is necessary if you want to stand a chance against Yveltal/Archeops.

Wally

This card is in here for the same exact reason Evosoda is: you get to evolve under an Archeops lock. The good thing about this one though is that you get to reuse it with your VS Seekers, unlike with Evosoda. Wally also has another use though. If you go second, and have a Froakie in play, you can use the Wally on turn one and use Water Duplicates sooner than usual. When this happens, you usually win the game, except for under very rare circumstances when your opponent sets up even better than you.

Dowsing Machine

This is a more unusual tech in the deck because most decks run Computer Search as the ACE SPEC in order to help with consistency. I feel like having Talonflame is enough of a consistency card in order to warrant running Dowsing Machine. The main reason I picked dowsing machine is because it acts as a 4th Evosoda when you are under the Archeops lock and when you aren’t under it you have an extra Startling Megaphone, Bursting Balloon, VS Seeker, or even an extra Stadium if needed.
Matchups
There are too many decks in Expanded to talk about all of the matchups, so we will go over a few of the top tier and most popular decks.

Trevenant 65-35

Trevenant is the best deck in the Expanded Format, in my opinion, and Greninja has a pretty favorable matchup against it. The ideal situation is to obviously start with Talonflame and an Energy. If you start with those two cards, then it makes the inevitable item lock not have as big of an effect on you. You’ll get to search for your Rough Seas and your Supporters with Aero Blitz. After getting set up, there is not anything that Trevenant can actually do to beat you. If you whiff the Talonflame start, it will be a little bit more difficult and you can dead draw very easily because of your high Item count, but if you have a Supporter every turn and have some perfectly timed Rough Seas heals, you will be able to win this matchup easily.

Yveltal/Maxie’s 40-60

This is definitely the deck for Greninja to beat in expanded. It all comes down to whether they can get the turn one Archeops. If they do, the pressure is put on you to hit your Evosoda and Wally in order to evolve. After getting a couple Greninja in play, it can be very hard for them to win. Bringing up the Archeops with Lysandre and using Startling Megaphone to get rid of Float Stones is one of the ways that you can buy some time while you set up. Starting Talonflame is also a huge factor in this matchup. If you are able to Aero Blitz and get your tools to beat Archeops, you stand a much higher chance of winning. This match is not favorable for Greninja, but it is definitely winnable and you should not get discouraged when they have an Archeops in play, just keep a level head and know that you have the tools necessary to steal a win from Archeops.

Verdict

With these two decks being the only decks that you might play more than one of in the tournament because of the large variance, I believe that Greninja is also an excellent play for Expanded. Greninja has a solid matchup against just about every other deck because Garbodor is almost nonexistent. With Archeops being the only challenge for the deck, Greninja will be able to take you to a day two finish if piloted correctly.
Giratina and Georgia Regionals

The new Giratina XY184 promo became legal on January 6th, thus putting it in play for Georgia Regionals. Contrary to what I and most people initially thought, not only does it not impact Greninja as a deck that much, but it actually sets Greninja higher in the metagame in both formats. Clearly, I’m delusional and am too hyped on Greninja to see through an unbiased lens, right? Yeah, I know I sound a little crazy, but just hear me out.

In standard, I predict most people will not be playing this Giratina, as it does not offer much utility other than being a little bit of a nuisance for you as the Greninja player. If they do, and decks are taking out Garbodor in favor of Giratina, then you are in the same situation you already were, but instead you get the option to combat Giratina with your multiple Silent Lab that become the Stadium of choice. I believe most decks will stick with Garbodor instead of transitioning over to Giratina because Garbodor offers utility against other decks in the field like Volcanion and M Gardevoir.

I brought up switching to Silent Lab because in Standard, going forward, I believe it is correct to play Silent Lab instead of the previously favored Faded Town. Silent Lab increases so many matchups in your favor that it is a wonder that we weren’t playing it before. Grafton Roll played the one Silent Lab in London and most people have been playing one or two since then. I personally think that three, or even finding room for the fourth, is the correct way to go. When you are able to shut off Volcanion EX’s Ability with Silent Lab, it gives you the freedom to opt for more damage with Moonlight Slash. Slowing down decks in the format by playing a turn one Silent Lab is also a benefit to having a high count in your deck. Decks like M Gardevoir, Yveltal, and Volcanion all rely on their Shaymin EX and Hoopa EX in order to set up successfully. Slowing them down even one turn is what is needed to sway those matchups significantly in your favor.

In Expanded, Giratina might actually be played because it shuts off the boogeyman of the format, Trevenant BREAK. If, as the Greninja player, you do not have to worry about Trevenant, then the Rough Seas are no longer needed and instead you also get to add in the Silent Labs. Not only to disable Giratina, but also to slow down the setups of Archeops decks. Yveltal/Maxie’s is more reliant on Abilities than Standard Format Yveltal decks typically are, and if they are getting shut down by a Silent Lab, getting Archeops in play is extremely unlikely. Cards like Jirachi EX and Shaymin EX are no longer viable options for them to set up their Maxie’s combo, and without some form of disruption, decks like Yveltal do not stand a chance against you. There will also be players who just take out the Archeops in order to better prepare for the Maxie’s mirror match, because they believe enough people will play the new Giratina promo, thus scaring all the Greninja away. They will be sad to see that Greninja only got better because Trevenant became unplayable.

Going into Georgia Regionals, Greninja is an extremely solid play. People will probably be trying to play a Giratina promo in their Volcanion or M Gardevoir decks, but those are about the only two decks that can fit it in. I also assume that these players have not done the testing that I have against that card and are just assuming that they have a favorable matchup based on the hype surrounding the card. Those will be the players that you get to prey on in Georgia with the newest variation of Greninja.

Greninja Standard

Pokemon (18)

  • 4 TalonFlame
  • 3 Froakie
  • 4 Frogadier
  • 4 Greninja
  • 3 Greninja BREAK

Trainers (33)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 3 N
  • 1 Fisherman
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Ace Trainer
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Dive Ball
  • 3 Bursting Balloon
  • 2 Ultra Ball
  • 2 Enhanced Hammer
  • 2 Max Potion
  • 2 Super Rod
  • 3 Silent Lab

Energy (10)

  • 3 Splash Energy
  • 7 Water Energy

Obviously you can see that this is the exact same list from above, but instead of the Faded Towns, I opted for Silent Labs. The next list I am about to show you is a different approach and the one I am personally playing right now in Standard.

Greninja Standard

Pokemon (15)

  • 1 Beedrill EX
  • 3 Froakie
  • 4 Frogadier
  • 4 Greninja
  • 3 Greninja BREAK

Trainers (35)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 4 N
  • 1 Fisherman
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Ace Trainer
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Dive Ball
  • 3 Bursting Balloon
  • 3 Ultra Ball
  • 2 Enhanced Hammer
  • 2 Max Potion
  • 2 Super Rod
  • 4 Silent Lab

Energy (10)

  • 3 Splash Energy
  • 7 Water Energy

This is closer to the list that I will be playing at Georgia Regionals. After testing repeatedly with this deck, I believe that Talonflame might not be as ideal as it once was. Getting utility from the Beedrill EX, or if you choose to run it, Jirachi, is very important when you are trying to run your opponent out of resources. Beedrill EX can surprise a Garbodor player’s late game. After using Beedrill EX’s Double Scrapper attack combined with a Lysandre on their Garbodor, the deck out becomes a very real win condition.

Understanding when to use Beedrill EX is the hard part here. Obviously, playing an EX is not the ideal situation for the Greninja deck, and if that is your concern, then perhaps Minccino FCO 86 will suit you better. Using your Beedrill EX when they have the capability to OHKO it is never the right call. You’ll usually need about two attacks with him to win the game in this fashion, or else they’ll just attach another Float Stone, kill your Beedrill EX, and win the game even easier because of the two prizes Beedrill EX yields.

Here is the thing though. Armed with multiple Enhanced Hammers and the multiple Max Potions, it is difficult for the Garbodor player to get the return knock out on your Beedrill EX with anything less than a miracle. After testing Beedrill EX for about a week now, I have realized that it is definitely the way to go instead of Jirachi.

With Beedrill EX being as good as it is and wanting it in my deck, it makes it almost impossible to play Talonflame, which would normally be included. Decreasing the chances of starting Talonflame leaves me in the position where it might be better just to remove them. The 4 Talonflame turned into more consistency cards like the 4th N, another Ultra Ball, the obvious 4th Froakie, and a 4th Silent Lab. These are all cards that help consistency, because if Greninja can get to the late game, the chances of you winning are significantly higher. Greninja should be the deck of choice when going into Georgia Regionals, and it will most likely be mine.

Conclusion

Greninja is, hands down, in my opinion, the best deck in the format, and if the innate consistency issues did not exist, I feel as if every top player would be playing it. Because those issues exist, players tend to veer away from it as a choice for a big tournament. If you can keep a level head and understand that you will dead draw and you will get donked at least a few games throughout the day, then you stand a chance of succeeding with this deck. Even though I believe that my list that is sleeved the day of the tournament is the most optimal list, that does not necessarily mean it will work for you. Greninja tends to have a high skill floor, and is not a deck that you can pick up the day before or day of the tournament and win with if you have never tested it before.

Players who see success with it are the ones who understand the ins and outs of the strategies and matchups, and can innovate according to what they want to be doing. Adding in your own personal tech choices and deciding on playing the Talonflame version versus the non-Talonflame version can only come from testing. I’m hoping my lists in this article can be the best place for you to start. From me and all of us here at Some1sPC, thank you for reading, and I know that you will see improvements in your Greninja play if you take all this information to heart.

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