Introduction 

What’s up everyone! Thanks for logging into Some1sPC, my name is Russell LaParre and this time I’m going to be writing to you MORE tilted than I’ve ever felt before in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. After finishing 17th place at San Jose Regional, piloting a unique build of Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX, I’m feeling a bit of the “missing top cut” blues and writing this deck profile should ease some of the pain. After discussing my preparation and list for the tournament, I’m going to dive into the deck for both the Expanded and Standard Format as I want to test a list similar to that of the Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX deck that topped Fort Wayne Regionals. Let’s get into it.

Table of Contents

I.The Night Before
II. Deck Breakdown
III. Extra Options
IV. Matchup Rundown
V. Standard Format
VI. Conclusion

The Night Before

Most of my PTCG friends know, I’m an indecisive person when it comes to picking a deck to play for Regionals. My nights before big tournaments usually consists of me playing 2 or 3 decks with 4 to 5 different tech added in against players I believe are experts with a particular deck. San Jose was no exception to this madness. Having just finished my article on Darkrai EX/Giratina EX, I really wanted to grind out some matches against Kian Amini piloting Yveltal using Sableye/Enhanced Hammer and potentially Mr. Mime. We played 2 sets which I believe Kian won 4-1, half the time I was in a dominating position and needed to draw a Lysandre out of an N to 2 to win the game for 3 turns and ended up losing.  While the Enhanced Hammer put in work, I wanted to feel comfortable going against this deck and not play to an “I hope I can take a lead and not get N’d to lose” in San Jose. California is known for having extremely strong Yveltal players, Israel Sosa, Kian Amini, Mark Garcia, and basically their entire circle of friends are players that can pilot it proficiently. With this in mind, I didn’t want to take a 50/50 against it knowing that I will have to play them should I make day 2. I opted to jump from the Darkrai EX/Giratina EX train, knowing that it was still a strong call and could down all the other decks in the format with ease.

So what now? I could play Yveltal and work on my mirror match skills while also playing a deck that is 100% expected by a majority of the field. This didn’t look too appealing for me so I just started browsing Facebook and thought to myself, “Whatever let me message Grant Manley, Chip Richey, and Grafton Roll.” Grant and Chip were pitching a Carbink list to me after ARG Richmond and I remembered Grafton performing well with Carbink BREAK at Philadelphia Regionals only to barely miss Day 2 cut. None of them responded… I was left with the decklist Grant had posted on Sixprizes.com, which might not even be up to date, and my own knowledge about fighting decks in the Expanded format to start constructing my deck. I head on over to Kenny Britton’s room with Jeremy Jallen and slowly gather some of the cards for the deck while they play tested some common Expanded format lists. We talked for about an hour around which cards we liked, disliked, and wanted to put into the deck then went back to our rooms to crash.

Tournament Time!

I sleeved up in my Black Ultimate Guard sleeves and headed over to the convention center where I was showing off the list to some friends Sam Chen, Peter Kica, and Jonathan Paranada. Peter was already settled on playing Night March, Jonathan was on his own version of Carbink BREAK, and Sam was intrigued by how toxic this deck looked to play against. He ran around collecting all the cards he needed for the deck, even made me run up to my hotel room and get him 4 Carbink, and managed to finish making the deck 2 minutes for the tournament started. Here’s what the final list looked like:

Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX Expanded

Pokemon (11)

  • 4 Carbink FCO
  • 3 Carbink BREAK
  • 2 Zygarde EX
  • 1 Landorus EX
  • 1 Shaymin EX

Trainers (41)

  • 4 N
  • 3 Professor Juniper
  • 3 Korrina
  • 2 Pokémon Center Lady
  • 2 AZ
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Delinquent
  • 1 Xerosic
  • 4 Max Potion
  • 4 Puzzle of Time
  • 4 Focus Sash
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 1 Escape Rope
  • 1 Computer Search
  • 1 Enhanced Hammer
  • 1 Battle Compressor
  • 1 Ultra Ball
  • 2 Magnetic Storm

Energy (8)

  • 4 Strong Energy
  • 4 Fighting Energy

I want to save the complete tournament report for a video at Youtube.com/Some1sPC, this should be less fluff for our Elite PC subscribers and let all our viewers/readers check out how I did. For now, I’m just going to break down the deck here and dive into how you play its matchups.

Deck Breakdown:

4 Carbink FCO 50

Carbink is an insane Basic Pokémon with HP matching that of Jirachi EX and an old school Safeguard ability. Obviously, the main inclusion of playing 4 of this card is to get the most from its Safeguard ability and using it to evolve into Carbink BREAK. We also play 4 because you’ll want to open it in almost every matchup and force your opponent to knockout at least 4 of them in order to win the game. Hilariously enough, you’ll find yourself using Carbink’s Power Gem more times with this deck than Carbink BREAK’s Diamond Gift. While 2 Energy for 40 damage is a horrible tradeoff, you’ll want to constantly applying pressure with Carbink paired with Strong Energy to take advantage of Safeguard. To finish up, Carbink having 1 retreat makes it incredibly easy to swap between damaged Carbink BREAK and loading each other up with Diamond Gift after clearing its damage Max Potion.

3 Carbink BREAK

Carbink BREAK is in my opinion, one of the best BREAK cards ever printed. Essentially being a Stage 1 BREAK with an attack that replenishes Energy to your Fighting Pokémon for a single energy is insane. Since BREAK Pokémon keep the ability of the evolution underneath it, every Carbink BREAK you make will have Safeguard and will become a problem for your opponent to handle. It’s important to note here that while most Pokémon that attach Energy through attacks can only attach to the bench, Carbink BREAK can attach to itself (active) which can create problems for your opponent should they not be able to handle Safeguard. It’s not uncommon for you to have 3 Strong Energy on a Carbink BREAK using Power Gem for significant 2HKOS. You don’t need the 4th copy as usually 2 Carbink BREAK will win you the game by themselves, you can fetch them at any moment with Korrina, and you can play Puzzle of Time to grab them back should you prize some.

2 Zygarde EX

Zygarde EX is a solid attacker in the Expanded Format and is unusually tanky for a Pokémon EX with 190 HP. His first attack Land’s Pulse is a nice way to open up the game should you have a Magnetic Storm and Strong Energy attached to him allowing you to apply pressure on turn 2 with Cell Storm. Cell Storm is the main reason you’ll be playing Zygarde EX. The self-heal and damage output of Cell Storm with 2 Strong Energy is powerful against a majority of the format. You’ll find yourself having a little bit of damage on Zygarde EX from previous attacks which ideally you can heal off with a Pokémon Center Lady and Cell Storm. This not only messes up the numbers for your opponent to take a KO but puts them in threat of a 2HKO the following turn from Zygarde EX. Finally, Zygarde EX’s 3rd attack Land’s Wrath does a clean 100 damage for 3 Energy which is usually used as a way to follow up a 2HKO off a Diamond Gift or Power Gem from your Carbink BREAK. Most of the time 2 or 3 Strong Energy will be on your board so you should be able to make up the numbers to 2HKO from the Power Gem or Land’s Wrath. There’s no Power Memory included here as you’ll want to have a Focus Sash on Zygarde EX most of the time it’s out.

1 Landorus EX

I was skeptical on including Landorus EX in my list but wow this card was absolutely insane when paired with Carbink BREAK. Landorus EX’s Hammerhead is nice way to apply pressure to Non EX decks like Trevenant BREAK, Greninja, or Sableye Garbodor on the bench as well as hitting the active for 50 damage as you’ll usually open with a Strong Energy. The main use of this card will be for Land’s Judgement. This deck can build up quite a bit of damage with Strong Energy but more often than not will have to opt for 2 or 3 hits for knockouts. Land’s Judgement is this deck’s option to OHKO threatening Pokémon if you have 2 Strong Energy attached. A typical play you’ll make will this deck is to make Carbink BREAK, use Battle Compressor to dump 2 Strong Energy, then attach 2 of them to Landorus EX with Diamond Gift. The following turn you can use Landorus EX to OHKO your opponent’s Pokémon, more than likely they won’t be able to OHKO Landorus EX during their turn, then you can use AZ on Landorus EX and load it back up with Carbink BREAK. This is probably the most devastating play the deck can make and often times my opponents were just laughing at how silly this combo is.

1 Shaymin EX

While it may seem odd to play Shaymin EX in a deck where you want to deny your opponent prize, Shaymin EX adds that nice piece of consistency you’ll need in a deck full of tech Supporters. Searchable with Korrina for Computer Search or Ultra Ball, I often played Shaymin EX twice per match and would constantly recycle it with AZ to mitigate damage from Pitch Black Spear or draw extra cards to prepare my future turns. I believe it’s 100% necessary for the deck to perform on a consistent basis in a major tournament.


4 N

Similar to other decks that want to force an opponent to take a full 6 knockouts against them, the deck should be playing 4 copies of N. This provides both control and consistency as a majority of the items in this deals you’ll only want to play after your opponent has already applied some damage to your attackers. Playing the heavy count of N and Korrina allows you to keep a relatively large hand size throughout the tournament and prevents you from discard valuable resources like Max Potion, Focus Sash, and Puzzle of Time.

3 Professor Juniper

Obviously played for consistency, playing 4 copies would mean you’re more likely to open it. Getting it early usually results in you discarding valuable resources before you can even play them.

3 Korrina

Korrina is insane in this deck. Typically I’d use it on turn 1 to search up a Carbink, Carbink BREAK, or Zygarde EX and follow it up with either a Computer Search for Strong Energy or Ultra Ball for Shaymin EX. If I already have the secondary Supporter card that I want, I’ll search up a Battle Compressor and discard 2 Strong Energy and the tech supporter I’m missing to win the early game. The critical part to remember is you can use it to search for a Puzzle of Time so I’d often use Korrina for a Carbink piece and Puzzle then the following turn use another Korrina for a second Puzzle of Time and use it to refuel.

2 AZ

AZ is bonkers in this deck. Its main purpose is to clear off any damage that might be on your Pokémon as well as removing Shaymin EX from your bench if you were forced to bench it early. As I mentioned earlier as a nasty combo with Landorus EX, you can use AZ to cleanse off some of your beefy Pokémon EX then reload them with Diamond Gift to constantly force your opponent to waste resources attempting to 2HKO.  It works as a nice switch card as well, should your opponent Lysandre up a benched Pokémon but when you read this coming from your opponent, you should not attach a Focus Sash to said benched Pokémon as you don’t want to lose it from the fact that you’ll be removing it with AZ.

2 Pokémon Center Lady

Pokémon Center Lady allows you to heal off damage on your Pokémon which potentially resets your Focus Sash. When combined with Zygarde Ex’s Cell Storm you can keep the energy on Zygarde, heal off major damage done to him, and reset your Focus Sash against any decks that need to ramp up to OHKO him. You won’t be able to utilize the status effect clear too much in the Expanded Format but it’ll clear Froakie’s Bubble, Sabelye’s Confuse Ray, Accelgor’s Deck and Cover, and any effects from Hypnotoxic Laser.

1 Hex Maniac

Hex Maniac is included in the list as a counter to Trevenant BREAK and Vileplume Toolbox. You’ll need to remember that it will shut off your Carbink BREAK’s Safeguard which can often be forgotten considering Carbink BREAK hides the Carbink underneath it and some players use the red text to visualize the ability being negated on board.

1 Lysandre

This was one of my biggest fears of playing the deck, playing only 1 copy of Lysandre. I expected to need more in the deck to force the 2HKOs I wanted to string together but playing the single copy was actually more than enough for the majority of the tournament. There were a few times where it was prized when I wanted to make a critical play against the opponent but I wouldn’t play 2 copies as the 2nd space could be used elsewhere.

1 Delinquent

I added this into the original list that Grant Manley made because I felt like Battle Compressor and Delinquent is too nasty of a combo to ignore. I was hoping to use it to bring opponent’s hands to 0 or force them to discard valuable VS Seeker or Energy that they needed to take a full 6 prizes. I would Delinquent away their Parallel City or Silent Lab, forcing them to discard critical Energy and 90% of the time it would put them at 0 or 1 card left in hand. Since the deck forces an opponent to have Hex Maniac multiple times to win, discarding any extra VS Seeker off Delinquent all but closed out the game. Combo’d with Puzzle of Time and VS Seeker, I would even opt to Delinquent an opponent 3 or 4 times in 1 game and just run them out of cards while I poke them down with Power Gem.

1 Xerosic

I opted to remove the Tool Scrapper from the original list and play the Xerosic as a way to consistently remove Double Colorless Energy from the board. Playing 4 copies of VS Seeker and 4 Puzzle of Time let me recycle this against decks that severely relied on Tools or Special Energy and played a key role in winning the grindy matchups.

4 Max Potion

Max Potion is one of the key reasons why the deck is so successful. Combined with Diamond Gift, Max Potion allows you to cleanse a Pokémon of damage, load it back up with Diamond Gift, and reset its Focus Sash to prevent any OHKO on it. 4 copies is necessary and wanted here so you can repeat this process over and over again making your Carbink BREAK quite a nuisance to your opponent.

4 Puzzle of Time

If you’re playing Puzzle of Time in any deck, you’re probably going to be playing 4 copies. With how slow paced and patient this deck plays, using all 4 Puzzle of Time in 1 game isn’t uncommon. Obviously we’re looking to use Puzzle of Time to grab back resources from our discard pile but when combined with Korrina, having 1 VS Seeker and 1 Puzzle of Time in hand allows you to get 2 Puzzle of Time in hand with ease.

4 Focus Sash

There’s nothing too intricate to talk about here. You’ll want Focus Sash to prevent an opponent from taking an OHKO against your Pokémon and playing 4 allows you to keep recycling the strategy off Max Potion and AZ. You’ll want to attach Focus Sash to Pokémon you don’t intend to AZ back in your hand and that you think will be the main target for your opponent to hit. One of the best late game plays for the deck is to use Puzzle of Time to grab back a copy of Max Potion/Focus Sash then loading the healed Pokémon back up with Diamond Gift.

4 VS Seeker

4 is for consistency and you’ll want to recycle your tech Supporters over and over.

1 Escape Rope

Escape Rope is your switch Trainer of choice as it’s a nice way to switch out your active and force up an opponent’s Pokémon that they may not want active or have to dedicate energy to.

1 Computer Search

Even though the deck is all about playing a heavy count of Trainers, Supporters, and recycling tech you’ll want to use Computer Search instead of Dowsing Machine to search out the missing piece of combo in your opening hand. Korrina excels in utility when paired with Computer Search and has often saved me in situations where I was drawing no Energy for a few turns. Using Computer Search to grab up a Strong Energy or Battle Compressor to discard Energy for Diamond Gift was critical towards success.

1 Enhanced Hammer

This was the final inclusion I made to Grant’s original list. I felt like Enhanced Hammer from Korrina would win me many games and allow me to dictate the pace of the game. When playing against decks that play 0 Special Energy, Enhanced Hammer became an easy card to discard off Battle Compressor while remaining extremely useful against decks such as Yveltal Maxie’s.

1 Battle Compressor

Grant originally had 2 in his list and after playing with the deck throughout 14 rounds, I can see where it would help with consistent turn 2 Diamond Gifts for 2 Strong Energy. While this is great to have, I don’t believe it is critical for the deck to win and I would rather have the extra spot for an Energy removal card.  Alongside discarding Strong Energy, Battle Compressor can dump the tech supporters you’ll need throughout the game or make for cute plays with Puzzle of Time to fish back 2 cards you might need that are in your deck.

1 Ultra Ball

Since every Pokémon in the deck is searchable by Korrina, playing a single copy of Ultra Ball allows us to grab Shaymin Ex when necessary. It adds a bit of consistency to search for 2 Pokémon in 1 turn but the best use of it is to find Shaymin EX.

2 Magnetic Storm

At first read you may think “Why do we need this when we have Fighting Stadium?” In short, Yveltal BKT and Trevenant BREAK. They’re more threatening to this deck than anything that Fighting Stadium could help against.

4 Fighting Energy

You only need to play 4 Fighting Energy as you’ll be able to recycle them through Diamond Gift and don’t want it to clog your opening hands.

4 Strong Energy

Strong Energy is critical towards applying pressure on the opponent and is the only way this deck will be able to put numbers together for consistent OHKO’s, playing 4 is the best route.

Other tech options:

Carbink FCO 49

This Carbink can be included in the deck if you expect to play against a lot of Sableye/Garbodor or Trevenant BREAK decks but that’s the only reason I’d play it in the Expanded format. While it may block Team Flare Grunt, Enhanced Hammer, and Crushing Hammer, Energy Keeper pales in comparison to what Safeguard does for the deck. Carbink’s attack Stone Edge hits for Medicore damage for 3 Energy as your Pokémon EX can do what it does but better with the same Energy.

Zygarde FCO 52

Acting as a pseudo Lysandre, Zygarde FCO 152’s Lookout can force an opponent into awkward positions to retreat. The main reason you’ll want to include this card in the deck is for its second attack Aura Break. Aura Break combined with a Strong Energy or Magnetic Storm can 2HKO all the problematic Pokémon this deck may encounter from Dark and Fairy decks. Aura Break puts a lock on all Dark and Fairy Pokémon that prevents it from attacking during your opponent’s next turn which is quite useful considering they don’t want to bench Darkrai EX against your deck as it’s an easy 2 prizes for this deck to take. If you’re expecting a heavy Dark and Rainbow Road metagame then include a copy of this in your deck. I choose not to play it for San Jose as I thought the Yveltal matchup was easy enough and I couldn’t find any copies of this card.

Zygarde FCO 53

This particular Zygarde would be used for its Rumble attack to potentially take free prizes against opponents banking on only having Keldeo EX or Float Stone as a way to retreat. While its second attack Geostrike hits for quite a bit of damage, hurting your own bench will break any of their Focus Sash and hinder your deck more than it’ll help. It can OHKO Yveltal XY, Gallade BKT, and Yveltal BKT with a Strong Energy and Magnetic Storm in play but so can Zygarde EX.

Regirock FCO

Regirock’s Regi Power would be the main reason you’ll want to include this in the deck. It helps you hit awkward numbers against Fighting Fury Belt and can string 3 or 4 hit knockouts into 2 or 3 hit knockouts against critical matchups but I believe its space on the bench is more harmful than helpful. Its attack Bedrock Press doesn’t compare to Land’s Judgement or Cell Storm so having it down and using Focus Sash on it isn’t the best scenario you want to have on the board.

**UPDATED 2/21/2016** This is new testing list for Collinsville Regionals considering Giratina Promo.

Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX Expanded

Pokemon (11)

  • 4 Carbink FCO
  • 3 Carbink BREAK
  • 1 Zygarde EX
  • 2 Landorus EX/1 Lucario EX
  • 1 Shaymin EX

Trainers (41)

  • 4 N
  • 3 Professor Juniper
  • 3 Korrina
  • 2 Pokémon Center Lady
  • 2 AZ
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 1 Team Flare Grunt
  • 1 Xerosic
  • 4 Max Potion
  • 4 Puzzle of Time
  • 3 Focus Sash
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 1 Float Stone
  • 1 Computer Search
  • 1 Enhanced Hammer
  • 1 Battle Compressor
  • 1 Ultra Ball
  • 1 Eco Arm
  • 2 Magnetic Storm

Energy (8)

  • 4 Strong Energy
  • 4 Fighting Energy

*Changes*

2 Zygarde EX >  1 Zygarde with 2 Landorus EX or 1 Landorus EX/1 Lucario EX

After testing more of the Expanded format including SUM, I believe Landorus EX may prove more useful against the expected field of incoming Solgaleo/Bronzong, Sabeleye/Garb, Seismitoad/Decidueye, and Vespiquen/Flareon. Lucario EX would be better against Seismitoad/Decidueye as they can’t punch you for weakness. Landorus helps 2HKO Decidueye GX with bench poking and Land’s Judgement but overall he’s here just to bench poke twice against Vespiquen/Flareon while having a Focus Sash on.

Eco Arm

I believe players are still ignoring the strength of Focus Sash. We can capitalize on this by playing only 3 Focus Sash and 1 Eco Arm alongside a Float Stone to further pressure our concept of prize denial and inevitably forcing a deckout. The Float Stone allows us to have multiple forms of retreat for Pokemon that we pickup with AZ after their Focus Sash is broken.

Delinquent > Team Flare Grunt

As I discussed earlier on deckouts and controlling our opponent’s resources, I think having both Xerosic and Team Flare Grunt will swing games against opponents who overextend their energy and ultimately force a deckout. As of this moment, I believe most players assume Greninja and Trevenant BREAK are dead due to the release of Giratina XY184 so losing Hex Maniac wouldn’t be completely horrendous towards success.

**UPDATED 8/25/2017** This is new testing list for Ft.Wayne Regionals

Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX Expanded Ft Wayne Regionals 2017

Pokemon (12)

  • 4 Carbink FCO
  • 3 Carbink BREAK
  • 2 Zygarde EX
  • 1 Landorus EX
  • 1 Tapu Lele GX
  • 1 Giratina Promo

Trainers (40)

  • 4 N
  • 3 Professor Juniper
  • 3 Korrina
  • 2 Pokémon Center Lady
  • 2 AZ
  • 1 Acerola
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Lysandre/Guzma
  • 1 Karen
  • 4 Puzzle of Time
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 3 Focus Sash
  • 3 Max Potion
  • 1 Float Stone
  • 1 Computer Search
  • 1 Enhanced Hammer
  • 1 Battle Compressor
  • 1 Ultra Ball
  • 1 Eco Arm
  • 2 Magnetic Storm

Energy (8)

  • 4 Strong Energy
  • 4 Fighting Energy

 

Here’s my latest testing list for Ft. Wayne Regionals. I expect a ton of Trevenant BREAK/Necrozoma, M Rayquaza EX, Night March, and Turbo Dark decks to be played. I added Tapu Lele GX to replace Shaymin EX as it is a decent attacker with 2 Fighting Energy and tankier than Shaymin EX which is often easy for the opponent to KO while having the ability to immediately grab me a Supporter. Let me go through some possible card swaps you’ll want based upon the meta you’re expecting.

To increase the matchup advantage of these decks do the following:

Trevenant

-Eco Arm
-Enhanced Hammer
+Hex Maniac
+Brigette

Hex Maniac can buy you a turn of Max Potion, Puzzle of Time, and VS Seeker to replenish your Pokemon Center Lady or Hex Maniac. Brigette allows you to search out another Zygarde EX from the deck or your Giratina Promo without worrying about their item lock.

M Rayquaza EX

-AZ
+Parallel City
+Xerosic

Night March

-AZ
+Delinquent

Regulating their stadium count lets you play them into attacking with Joltik/potentially decking out via Lysandre on Pumpkaboo or force them to attack with Marshadow GX which you can trade for 2 prizes with your Focus Sash.

Turbo Darkrai

-Enhanced Hammer
+Silent Lab/Landorus EX

All you want to do vs Turbo Darkrai is regulate their potential Mew FCO or Yveltal XY. Silent Lab can control their usage of Mew FCO and Darkrai GX’s Resurrection or Darkrai EX’s Dark Cloak putting them in a scenario to attack with a Darkrai EX Dark Pulse. This matchup should be super easy so you won’t need this.

 

New Theory in the Works

With the latest set, Carbink got help in the form of Acerola and Tapu Lele GX but fails to have a proper answer against big GX attackers that will be able to absorb a hit from Landorus EX’s Land’s Judgement while also KO’ing Carbink BREAK in a single shot. I’m working on a new deck that will utilize the stall factor of this build while also finding ways to win against these potentially new format breaking GX attackers. I’m going to test this theory throughout this weekend but the general concept I have is using Korrina to search out Marshadow GX and Battle Compressor. Then, using Battle Compressor, discard either Jolteon EX, Glaceon EX, or Seismitoad EX and 2 Prism Energy. Benching the Marshadow GX, attaching a Focus Sash on it and loading it up with the 1 Prism/1 Strong Energy or 2 Prism Energy with Carbink BREAK thus getting Marshadow GX online to start stalling out the opponent via Flash Ray or Crystal Ray. The Strong Energy will allow Marshadow GX to 2HKO pesky 180 HP attackers while also having a Focus Sash attached so we get the protection. Prism Energy allows us to get the Rainbow Energy effect without taking any kind of damage and turning off Focus Sash. This concept is still in the works and I don’t have a working list yet but I just wanted to throw this out there for any of our subscribers as I think it has the potential to take Ft.Wayne by storm.  As long as you include a few counters to Trevenant BREAK such as Zygarde GX or Pokemon Center Lady, you should have a well rounded deck to trade against the Meta. If you’re thinking “Well what if they just fight you with Tapu Lele instead of their Evolution attacker or vice versa?” then we can adjust to our fallback gameplan of using Focus Sash, Max Potion, and AZ to absorb hits and force multiple Lysandre’s to KO it or just wear down the Tapu Lele with Carbink BREAK and Marshadow GX until they kno longer have attackers to deal with the lock.

Matchups:

Yveltal/Maxie’s 70/30

This matchup is a bit tricky depending on how strong your opponent’s opening hand is. You’ll want to look for Magnetic Storm, at least 2 Carbink, Carbink BREAK, and Zygarde EX during the first couple turns of the game. Your opponent should be looking to use Gallade BKT and Yveltal BKT to combat your Carbink as Safeguard makes their Pokémon EX useless. 99% of the Yveltal lists in Expanded don’t play Hex Maniac so they shouldn’t be in range of getting OHKO’d by any Pokémon EX at any point throughout the game. Use Carbink BREAK, Strong Energy, and Magnetic Storm to combat their Yveltal BKT or Gallade BKT in the early game while you load up a Zygarde EX on the bench. If they haven’t gotten a Gallade in play yet, save your Focus Sash for your Zygarde EX or Landorus EX as it’ll be more important to protect them from the OHKO off Evil Ball rather than keeping them on your Carbink BREAK. Carbink is more than likely going to get poked down for a 2HKO off Pitch Black Spear so Focus Sash on them is only warranted when they have a Gallade BKT or 3 Energy Yveltal XY in play. Yveltal XY makes this matchup tricky as you’ll need to have 2 Strong Energy on your Zygarde EX to OHKO them as well as Magnetic Storm in play, so if you see them bench Yveltal XY and its loaded with 3 energy, you’ll want to keep your Magnetic Storm in hand for an OHKO turn off Land’s Wrath. There’s no point in wasting your Magnetic Storm to work on 2HKOS against Yveltal BKT when Yveltal XY is a bigger threat than BKT or Gallade. When you bring your Zygarde EX to the active for a KO, you’ll ideally want an AZ, Escape Rope, or Max Potion to cleanse the damage and retreat it to a Carbink BREAK. Remember you keep track of your opponent’s hand size and resources so you can gauge whether or not they can make a 2nd Gallade and have the follow up Double Colorless Energy to attack in the same turn. If you expect this to happen, you’ll want to save a turn to Focus Sash and Pokémon Center Lady a damaged Carbink BREAK to ensure it won’t be KO’d next turn barring they don’t play something like Xerosic or Startling Megaphone. Repeating this process and slowly poking down their 3 to 4 attackers (2 Yveltal BKT, 1 Yveltal XY, and Gallade BKT) will grind them out of resources and give you the win. If they opt to go with Archeops NVI off Maxie’s then you’ll want to prepare a turn where you can Hex Maniac, evolve to 2 or 3 Carbink BREAK and Focus Sash them so they won’t be OHKO’d be a Pokémon EX. You’ll want to start saving your Max Potion and Pokémon Center Lady for Carbink BREAK rather than Zygarde EX and Landorus EX as finding turns to Hex Maniac and have fresh Focus Sash is tough during the mid to late game. Sacrificing the 2 prizes off your Pokémon EX attackers isn’t that big of a deal as long as they did their job and took out Non EX attackers. Sableye can come in handy for them at times to grab back VS Seeker and Dark Patch to prep future Gallade turns but I’ve often switched to playing Lysandre on their Pokémon EX and force them to burn VS Seeker on an AZ or benching a Darkrai EX to swap out their Pokémon EX from the active.

Turbo Yveltal 70/30

Similar to the Yveltal Maxie’s matchup, you’ll want to use Zygarde EX to OHKO their Yveltal XY and Yveltal BKT. They’re going to be faster than the Maxie’s build but the big benefit here is there’s no Archeops NVI or Gallade BKT. This means if you can handle their Fighting Fury Belted Yveltal XY you should be able to stall them out of the win. Just like the Maxie’s version, you want to heal off any damaged Pokémon EX, control the gamestate with Carbink BREAK and only play down Magnetic Storm when it works you towards a 2HKO against Yveltal BKT or Yveltal XY. Using Lysandre to damage the Yveltal XY for a 2HKO is an ideal scenario to put yourself in as you can afford to sacrifice a prize or 2 off your Carbink BREAK as long as Yveltal XY goes down. I won’t waste much more time with the matchup here as it’s repetitive to the information above just without the Maxie’s targets.

Accelgor/Wobbuffet 60/40

This matchup comes down to whether or not you prize your Landorus EX and how soon you can get to your Pokémon Center Lady. Since the entire deck except for Shaymin EX and Landorus EX is weak to grass, they’re all but free prizes for your opponent. Sure you can AZ or Max Potion their hits on Zygarde EX but he’s still taking too much damage to quickly to be effective at all in this matchup. Your first Korrina should search up a Landorus EX and an item that’ll compliment him getting energy in the future. If you already opened a Pokémon Center Lady, it’d be worth it to make a Carbink BREAK, discard some Strong Energy, and Diamond Gift to him while sacrificing the Carbink to a deck a cover. Since Accelgor OHKO the Carbink with weakness you are free to attack with Landorus and Land’s Judgement the following turn without discarding your energy for a solid OHKO on Wobbuffet. If they don’t have a Mr.Mime on the bench you can start using Hammerhead to poke down their Munna, Munsharna , or Shelmet while hitting Wobbuffet for a solid 2HKO since you’re boosted by Strong Energy. Once they get a Deck and Cover against Landorus EX, just get a simply string of Pokémon Center Lady down and use him to sweep the game. With 4 VS Seeker, 4 Puzzle of Time, and 2 Pokémon Center Lady, Landorus should be able to run over your opponent barring you don’t dead draw after getting hit with an  N to 2. Considering they have to deal with a string of OHKOS, they may not have the cards to keep the lock in place against him even if you do dead draw off N.

Trevenant BREAK 50/50

Like all Trevenant BREAK matchups, you can open a bunch of item cards and get locked out of the game from a turn 1 Wally. If this doesn’t happen and you’re able to somewhat play the game, you’re going to want to use Zygarde EX’s Cell Storm to stall out the opponent. I try to put myself in this scenario, I have a Zygarde EX active with a bunch of Energy on him using Cell Storm for 60-100 damage, depending if I have Magnetic Storm and Strong Energy attached, and I’ll keep him as my only Pokémon on board until my opponent can KO it in 2 turns. At this point I’ll bench a Carbink and conserve a Carbink BREAK, AZ, and Energy in hand then hit them with a Cell Storm. The next turn I’ll use AZ on the heavily damaged Zygarde EX, evolve into Carbink BREAK, and use the Energy to refuel it and continue with a gameplan of Cell Storm, Cell Storm, and Pokémon Center Lady/AZ into Diamond Gift. You want to save Hex Maniac or Lysandre turns here to use all your Max Potion, Puzzle of Time, and VS Seeker to grab back the Hex Maniac/Lysandre, Pokémon Center Lady, AZ, Energy, or Magnetic Storm so you can run them out of resources. Ideally, you’re going to deck them out before they can take 6 prizes but sometimes you can force them to bench multiple Pokémon EX and finish them off before they get close to even taking prizes against you. Just don’t dead draw and avoid getting hitting hit by 4 Crushing Hammer (haaaa) then you should be set for victory.

Sableye/Garbodor 80/20

This matchup is quite easy depending on the build of the opponent and how awkward your opponent’s discards are from Trick Shovel. Since Carbink BREAK can attach to itself using Diamond Gift, you’re going to want to keep it as the only Pokémon on your side of the field. Keep using Diamond Gift to itself until you’re out of Energy to put on it in the discard pile then start attacking with Diamond Gift. Try to keep your discard pile clear of any Pokémon as your opponent will be looking to use Target Whistle and Lysandre on it then attempt to deck you out. This will be a game of patience and restraint, you don’t want to play any meaningless cards and you’ll want to keep your hand size as big as possible so you can use N during the late game to load your deck full of cards. Sableye can’t keep up with the consistent OHKOs from Power Gems to remove all your energy, get another Sableye Garb in play, and prevent you from using Diamond Gift the following turn to win. Delinquent can be a key card in this matchup to close out a game since your opponent may Junk Hunt themselves to 3 or 4 cards in hand and you can use Delinquent to disrupt their Puzzle of Time play and nullify their previous turn’s plays. Save your AZ for any Pokémon you were forced to open outside of Carbink and this matchup should be easy.

Seismitoad EX/Crobat 70/30

Carbink is once again king of the matchup here. Even with Hypnotoxic Laser, Bat damage, and Item lock Seismitoad EX/Crobat shouldn’t have enough damage to take a full 6 prizes against you. Pokémon Center Lady/AZ nullifies most of the damage they’ll ever do to your Carbink and are the key winners in this matchup. If they begin using Crobat and Golbat to attack you, you’ll get item cards back online and get to use Max Potion and VS Seeker to clear their damage while setting up future turns of AZ/Pokémon Center Lady. If you happen to open Zygarde EX you can afford to attach 2 Energy to it and start using Power Cell then cleanse off damage with Pokémon Center Lady but eventually you’ll want to move it out of the active with AZ into a Carbink BREAK to Diamond Gift. Magnetic Storm should be saved at all points of the game to replace their Virbank City Gym as it can stack up annoying damage quickly. If at any point they break the item lock and you have a solid hand to work with, switch to using Enhanced Hammer/Xerosic on their Double Colorless Energy then using Puzzle of Time or VS Seeker to fish Xerosic back and threaten to run them out of Energy.

Raikou/Elektrik 80/20

Every attacker in your deck hits them for weakness and can do so quickly. They’ll usually have to work 2HKO or 3HKO’s against you while you can OHKO them back with Power Gem, Cell Storm, or Hammerhead for cheap. You can heal off all their first hit damage with Max Potion, AZ, or Pokémon Center Lady then slowly grind them out of attackers. It would take you to have 2 extremely poor hands to lose this matchup.

Darkrai EX/Giratina EX 70/30

Their main attacker Darkrai EX is weak to all your attackers and most lists don’t play any form of Tool Removal so Focus Sash is insane against them.  Some Darkrai EX/Giratina EX lists play a single copy of Mew FCO so this will be the only thing your Carbink BREAK should be able to get hit by outside of Hex Maniac being played. You’ll want to target him down ASAP for an OHKO with your Zygarde or Landorus then grind out a win from then on. If they play Yveltal XY, follow the same gameplan from the Yveltal matchup and just load up a Zygarde or Landorus with Diamond Gift, OHKO the Yveltal XY then AZ and run away.  The Energy removal with Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic should keep their damage output at bay so Zygarde EX can avoid being OHKO’d if you don’t have a Focus Sash down and he’ll be able to OHKO Darkrai EX with Land’s Wrath and a Strong Energy attached.

Greninja 10/90

This matchup is basically an auto loss. You need to get lucky with a donk against their lone Froakie and hope they don’t open Talonflame. Even at this point, to get the donk you’ll need to hit a Magnetic Storm, Strong Energy, or go 1st and get 2 Energy down on Zygarde EX and hope they don’t hit you with a Bubble. The deck has no way to OHKO a Greninja BREAK outside of Landorus EX Land’s Judgement discard all energy and at least 1 Strong Energy. If they play make multiple Greninja BREAK against you it’s basically game over and you only have 1 Lysandre in the deck to apply pressure to Greninja BREAK you’ve hit during the previous turns. If you get paired against this deck just enjoy the round with a laugh and mentally prepare for the next round.

Night March 60/40

This matchup is a bit trickier as they Night March doesn’t attack with any Pokémon EX but Focus Sash should be able to give you a significant lead in prize trades. If they don’t play Startling Megaphone in their list they’re in for a world of trouble as you can easily trade attacks with Magnetic Storm and Strong Energy against Pumpkaboo and Joltik. If they attach an extra Double Colorless Energy to the bench you can always punish them with a Korrina for Enhanced Hammer then slowly grind them out of a win with Puzzle for Max Potion/Focus Sash during the Mid to Late game. I only see you losing this matchup with a bad N during the late game and them playing Startling Megaphone multiple times throughout the game. Restrain from benching Shaymin EX at any point in the game and make sure Zygarde EX and Landorus EX only come down when they have a Focus Sash on them.

Converting to Standard

We’re going to be losing a few key cards that this deck will need in the Expanded Format to function, so we’ll need to change up how we want this deck to win. Korrina, AZ, and Focus Sash are the ones that hurt this deck the most. Korrina allowed this deck to play with a rather large hand, ignore playing extra copies of Ultra Ball, and acted as an improved Skyla searching up particular Items we need to swing games. Losing Focus Sash will completely revamp how we try to approach this deck and need to turn from a less Defensive oriented to an aggressive or control variant. AZ acted as both a Max Potion and switch card so we’ll need to add in more copies of switch effects in an attempt to replicate what it did for us.

We’ll need to add in more Pokemon search with cards like Ultra Ball/Level Ball and more switch cards like Olympia, Escape Rope, and Switch. I that without the boost from Battle Compressor and Korrina, Puzzle of Time is a waste of space and you’re better off adding consistency cards. Here’s some of the lists that I’m testing out and hoping to perfect by the time League Cups get started.

*UPDATE 1: I suggest testing the Turbo Zygarde version for Georgia Regionals. I dropped a Switch for an Escape Rope and went for Double Hex Maniac alongside 2 Silent Lab to combat Volcanion and Greninja efficiently. I’ll be testing this today at locals and will update later tonight. *

Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX Standard

Pokemon (13)

  • 4 Carbink FCO
  • 3 Carbink BREAK
  • 3 Zygarde EX
  • 1 Zygarde FCO 52
  • 2 Shaymin EX

Trainers (36)

  • 4 N
  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 2 Pokémon Center Lady
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Olympia
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 2 Fighting Fury Belt
  • 2 Enhanced Hammer
  • 2 Power Memory
  • 2 Max Potion
  • 1 Escape Rope
  • 1 Switch
  • 2 Parallel City
  • 1 Scorched Earth
  • 1 Silent Lab

Energy (11)

  • 4 Strong Energy
  • 7 Fighting Energy

 

This is my first test list so far for the Standard Format. I used the list that made top 8 at Fort Wayne Regionals as a template and looked to add in some of the features of the deck I played at San Jose. Let’s go over some of the highlights.

1 Zygarde FCO 52

The Standard format is currently riding a hype train of Yveltal Garbodor. Since Yveltal BKT and Yveltal EX is so widely played, Zygarde’s Aura BREAK can net you free prizes and turns to control the opponent when you’ve put them in an awkward spot to retreat. Since the main form of retreat for Yveltal is through Olympia and Escape Rope, you can force them to burn these resource to attack and potentially feed them a Zygarde EX to just Max Potion off the next turns.

2 Parallel City

This is one of the strongest Stadiums in the game. Since we lost Magnetic Storm in the Standard Format, playing Parallel City is a solid way to clear off damaged Pokemon EX on the bench, clear off any Shaymin EX sitting around, and controlling an opponent’s board to 3 cards, 1 of which will almost always be Shaymin EX.

1 Scorched Earth

The list that topped Fort Wayne Regionals played 3 copies of Faded Town which I believe isn’t necessary with the way the format is progressing. Playing Scorched Earth can clear off any opposing Parallel City, provide consistency through its discard effect, and load up Energy in the discard pile for Carbink BREAK to Diamond Gift.

1 Silent Lab

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of Pokemon BREAKs. If you have Carbink BREAK out with Silent Lab in play, it will still retain the effect of Safeguard or Energy Keeper. Silent Lab controls opposing Volcanion EX, Shaymin EX, and Yveltal BKT should their abilities give this deck an issues. It’s a nice counter stadium to have and I think only 1 or 2 copies are needed to see success with this type of deck.

1 Escape Rope/1 Switch/1 Olympia

With the loss of AZ we’ll need to add in more Switch cards to deal with Lysandre or trapped Zygarde EX. The 1 Escape Rope and 1 Switch count gives us different options to take against an opposing attacker. Olympia heals off the active trapped Carbink BREAK or Zygarde EX and allows us to constantly recycle it through VS Seeker.

2 Max Potion

My past week of testing with Carbink BREAK in the Standard format has been quite annoying since I’m to hit the perfect counts I want for the list. Max Potion has jumped from 3 to 2 to 4 back to 3 and now I’ve settled it at 2 for this list. A few more hours of testing and grinding critical matches should bring the right number to light. For now I’m leaving this at 2 until I can gauge how many I need to combat the Meta.

Turbo Zygarde

Pokemon (12)

  • 3 Carbink FCO
  • 3 Carbink BREAK
  • 3 Zygarde EX
  • 1 Regirock EX
  • 2 Shaymin EX

Trainers (35)

  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 N
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 2 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Pokémon Center Lady
  • 1 Olympia
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Max Elixir
  • 2 Switch
  • 1 Escape Rope
  • 2 Power Memory
  • 1 Fighting Fury Belt
  • 1 Max Potion
  • 1 Super Rod
  • 1 Parallel City
  • 2 Silent Lab

Energy (13)

  • 4 Strong Energy
  • 9 Fighting Energy

Of all the different types of Carbink BREAK lists I have brewing, this is the most aggressive version. You just overrun your opponent with Power Memory and 2HKOs off Land’s Wrath then load up with Carbink BREAK whenever you deem necessary. I’ve been enjoying this list in testing when I hit the Max Elixir but sometimes it just falls off to the bench poke from Yveltal BKT. A few more Max Potion may need to be added.

1 Regirock FCO

The single copy of Regirock is included here to help you hit awkward numbers off Power Memory when combined with Strong Energy. A Fighting Fury Belted Yveltal EX would require 2 Strong to be attached on Zygarde EX to OHKO it with Power Memory but with a Regirock EX on your bench, you can hit that perfect number off a single Strong Energy. I tend to hide this card until the turn I need to use. You can potentially bait out an Enhanced Hammer from the Yveltal deck to regulate the OHKO then drop the Regirock EX and drop kick the Yveltal EX to the discard pile.

1 Delinquent

Since the list only plays 2 copies of Parallel City, you really want to have a Delinquent in the list to clear out any opposing Parallel City played on you in the early game. This control can be quite annoying to deal with when you need to get multiple Zygarde EX in play, Max Elixir to them, and trying to follow up with a Shaymin EX Setup.

2 Switch/1 Escape Rope

Only one Escape Rope is included in this list as I like to keep putting pressure down on the opposing revenge hitting Pokemon. What do I mean by revenge hitting Pokemon? It’s the Pokemon that comes up to attack us after we’ve already taken a knockout against them the previous turn. Let’s say I use Zygarde EX to KO their Volcanion EX and they bring up a Volcanion to damage my Zygarde EX back. I poke down that Volcanion with a Diamond Gift then the next turn I want to Switch into Zygarde EX to take the KO against them without Escape Rope putting it onto the bench.

*Update: Added the Giratina Promo to the list below and may need to add Hex Maniac to keep a lead against Volcanion and Greninja. This list had been working fairly well against Yveltal/Garb with the 2 Team Flare Grunt and it’s helped slow down Mega decks while you build up All Cells Power.* 

Carbink BREAK/Zygarde EX/Energy Removal

Pokemon (13)

  • 4 Carbink FCO
  • 3 Carbink BREAK
  • 3 Zygarde EX
  • 1 Giratina Promo
  • 2 Shaymin EX

Trainers (35)

  • 4 N
  • 3 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 2 Team Flare Grunt
  • 1 Pokemon Center Lady
  • 1 Olympia
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 3 Max Potion
  • 2 Enhanced Hammer
  • 2 Switch
  • 2 Power Memory
  • 1 Fighting Fury Belt
  • 2 Silent Lab
  • 2 Scorched Earth

Energy (12)

  • 4 Strong Energy
  • 8 Fighting Energy

This is the final list I’m trying out for Carbink BREAK, Energy Removal. Having consistent ways to both overrun your opponent with Power Memory and run them out of Energy for a deck seems like a nice way to approach this deck in Standard. Let’s look at the highlights.

2 Team Flare Grunt

As a solid option to stall out an opponent, Team Flare Grunt is our guaranteed way to remove Basic Energy. I was testing a few lists with Crushing Hammer but ultimately felt like the coin flips affected the game so badly when I flipped tails that I’d rather play other Tech Trainers instead of them. Team Flare Grunt is slowly finding its way into Yveltal Garbodor lists and I think it’s a solid option to put into League Cup decks as it’ll punish opponents who over commit Energy to their board.

3 Max Potion

This is fairly obvious but we want to emphasize this deck’s ability to tank hits and create scenarios where your opponent won’t be able to take a complete 6 prizes.

2 Enhanced Hammer

Tons of decks play Double Colorless Energy in Standard and Enhanced Hammer is one of the best techs for any deck to include. While an opposing Enhanced Hammer may hit our Strong Energy, a simple Diamond Gift loads it back up which most other decks just can’t do. 2 is needed here to make the devastating turn where you Team Flare Grunt and Enhanced Hammer an active Pokemon, essentially gaining yourself 2 free turns of Diamond Gift.

2 Scorched Earth

With 2 Team Flare Grunt, Pokemon Center Lady, and Lysandre, this deck will have a lot of scenarios where you need to play your tech Supporter to disrupt an opponent. When using the tech Supporter for the turn, you may enter scenarios where you’ll want to fish for cards that you’ll use the following turn or want to load up Diamond gift. Scorched Earth does this in spades and add that extra bit of consistency you’ll want to see in the mid game.

Conclusion

I don’t want to sit here and tell you exactly how to play the Standard Matchups for each list without a bit more time to test the tough scenarios I’m playing out in my head. I’m going to come back and update this matchup section after a day or 2 more of testing and will have them up by next week. I think Carbink BREAK has untapped potential in standard. With enough testing and the right Meta, this deck can take League Cups by storm. Thanks for logging into Some1sPC and all your support!

Russell LaParre