What’s up, readers? In this article, I’m going to be going over my deck and performance from the Hartford Regional Championship that took place last weekend. Going into the event, I expected PikaRom and Zoroark variants to be the most popular decks, so I wanted to have near auto-wins against both of those matchups, but I also wanted to have positive matchups against Vespiquen, Shock-lock and Rayquaza, as all these decks had been receiving hype leading up to the event. Archie’s and Trevenant were the two decks I was willing to take a loss to as I felt both decks would see very minimal play because of the sub-optimal matchups they had against the other popular decks.
Taking a loss to Archie’s was a choice that many people disagreed with because they thought the deck would have a resurgence after its poor performance in Daytona, but I felt most people that wanted to play an explosive deck would play Zekrom because it has consistently performed well and has a good matchup against the control variants. Archie’s also has the stigma of being a “high roll deck” because of its zero card hand condition and need to explode on turn one, which would also lower the amount of people that play the deck. As for losing to Trev, that was pretty risky but it paid off for the most part. Trev is a deck that usually has a couple players doing well, and losing to it can get punished pretty hard as it always sees a decent amount of play.
As for my deck, I chose to play Regirock. This was a deck Russell Laparre told me about heading into Dallas Regionals last year, but unfortunately, neither of us ended up playing it. As the Expanded format progressed and cards like Faba and Last Chance Potion were released, Regirock was a deck I tested in every format but never found it to be quite good enough to take to an event. Two weeks before Hartford, my friends Zach Cooper and Isaiah Bradner had been testing a Regirock list in preparation for Daytona Regionals, which got me thinking about the deck again. Normally, a Regirock list is built more like Primal Groudon, utilizing Wobbuffet to slow down the opponent and Robo Substitute to negate prizes as you set up your attacker. After a few games, I found Wobbuffet to be pretty useless as the format did not rely on Abilities to set up and they didn’t help you set up either. This led me to play Jirachi as a replacement, because it would better help my deck after a late game N and make the deck more consistent in general. Regirock is also normally built with a heavy Korrina engine, but I substituted that for a heavy count of Cynthia, since late game, if you get N’d to a low number of cards Korrina usually isn’t enough to get everything you need. With Cynthia however, in combination with “Stellar Wish,” the deck was very consistent and resilient to late game Ns.
Here’s the list I played:
As I said earlier, Jirachi was my way of replacing Wobbuffet because it made my deck more consistent while still being a good Pokémon to leave active while you set up a Regirock.
Regirock is the main attacker in the deck. While its attacks aren’t very strong and are overall pretty bad, Regirock’s Ancient Trait makes it an amazing attacker in combination with Strong Energy. Fighting typing is the reason this deck works and was a good meta call for this format; the ability to combine Focus Sash with Last Chance Potion while also being immune to Guzma and any Trainer-based Energy denial makes Regirock extremely powerful in a format that relies on favorable prize trades and disruption.
Hoopa was strictly for the Rayquaza and PikaRom matchups. Against Rayquaza, Hoopa forces your opponent to use their Prism Stars as attackers, and once you knock out both the Tapu Koko Prism Star and Shaymin Prism Star, Rayquaza has no way to deal with your Hoopa and you win the game. Hoopa is also good late game against PikaRom, as they usually only have two or three outs to taking out your Hoopa, which are usually exhausted by the late game so you can lock them out. Hoopa is also good when your opponent plays a Jolteon EX, as it forces them to use “Swift,” at which point you can take the knockout with Regirock the turn after.
Bunnelby is simply to get back resources but is also a nice card to have incase your opponent plays a bit too aggressive and goes down to a two card deck.
As I said before, Cynthia is the main consistency of the deck. Cynthia was the best option, as it gives a solid amount of cards while also keeping all your resources in deck unlike a Professor Sycamore. Something you may want to consider is cutting a Cynthia for a Tate & Liza or even a Caitlin.
Just another consistency card, but it also allows for late game comebacks. Overall, might be a card you could consider cutting because I didn’t use it very much over the course of the event.
Korrina is a great card in the early game because it gets you a Regirock and any Item you may need, but it’s also great to have access to throughout the game because it can get Last Chance Potion or Focus Sash depending on what you need.
Basically just a fifth Cynthia since you never really get more than six cards but the extra draw is nice and I wouldn’t cut it.
Faba is easily the best card in the deck. Faba is completely broken and gives this deck an extra win condition against any Zoroark variant or decks like Night March and Vespiquen. Faba is also extremely good against Hitmonchan because you can get rid of all their Float Stones and eventually deck them out.
1 Pokémon Center Lady
Pokémon Center Lady is for any damage you can’t heal with Last Chance Potion. It allows you to heal things like Shaymin’s “Sky Return” or “Ram” from a Zorua so your opponent can’t then knock out Regirock without going through Focus Sash.
Pretty self-explanatory; the deck needs a way to target the Bench and Lysandre does that. Lysandre is better than Guzma in this deck because you will often find yourself in a spot where none of your Bench Pokémon are viable retreaters but you still need something to target your opponent’s Bench.
1 Pokémon Ranger
I decided to play this card because I was having a bit of trouble against PikaRom with Jolteon EX, and it also made your ZoroToad matchup even better than it already was.
4 VS Seeker
VS Seeker is a great card that adds tons of consistency to any deck, allowing you to recycle tech Supporters like Faba or Lysandre. VS Seeker allows you to have a virtual auto-win against Night March, Vespiquen, and ZoroToad because you can use Faba four times making it where they won’t be able to attack.
4 Focus Sash
Focus Sash is one of the key components of the deck. You attach a Focus Sash to a Regirock, and when it gets hit you use Last Chance Potion to heal all the damage, then simply attach another Focus Sash. Sash is also great because it can buy you a turn or two if you have a dead hand or just need to use Faba one more time to win the game.
4 Last Chance Potion
As I said above, Last Chance Potion is to be used in combination with Focus Sash, allowing you to fully heal a Regirock and make it nearly impossible to knock out.
3 Max Elixir
This might seem like a weird inclusion since the deck only plays six Basic Energy, but Max Elixir shouldn’t be thought of as a turbo card in this deck. While it does have the added benefit of making the deck a bit faster and allowing you to apply early pressure, Max Elixir’s main use is simply to make sure you get an attachment every turn. Max Elixir is basically functioning as a pseudo Energy Loto, but I chose to play Max Elixir because it can speed the deck up by a couple turns.
3 Nest Ball
Nest Ball isn’t normally seen in a high count for Regirock decks because they usually play heavy Korrina, which sets up your basics very easily, but with an engine based around Jirachi and Cynthia you need Nest Ball to ensure you get the basics you need when you need them.
2 Escape Board
These are just so that Jirachi can retreat after using “Stellar Wish.” Escape Board is also very good in the Shock-lock matchup, as you attach it to Regirock and then you can set up a board state where you eventually take six prizes with Regirock after retreating and using “Rototiller” with Bunnelby a few times.
Potion wasn’t too strong over the course of the event but I wouldn’t cut it. The reason for playing Potion is that a lot of Zoroark decks, or decks that run Double Colorless Energy in general will try to use Shaymin EX to deal 30 damage to a Regirock making Focus Sash useless. Potion can heal off that 30 damage and reactivate the Focus Sash. Potion is less effective against ZoroToad specifically because they can attach a Fighting Fury Belt to Shaymin and “Sky Return” for 40.
1 Adventure Bag
Adventure Bag was extremely good throughout the event but it could probably be cut. While it is nice to grab Escape Board and Focus Sash at the same time, or just have an extra out to Focus Sash I don’t feel as though it’s super necessary.
1 Assault Vest
Assault Vest nearly auto-wins your Hitmonchan and ZoroToad matchups. Against ZoroToad, it forces them to use Zoroark or Tapu Lele as the attacker of choice, and if they aren’t using “Quaking Punch” you can just Faba all their Double Colorless Energy and eventually you’ll win. Against Hitmonchan they really can’t do very much damage while Assault Vest is attached.
This is just a good card in general, helping you use Jirachi more often and allowing you to get Regirock out of the Active without discarding your Energy.
1 Escape Rope
This was an extremely last minute inclusion that I put in to replace the fourth Max Elixir and I wouldn’t cut it ever. Escape Rope is great, as it allows you to put Jirachi Active and target your opponent’s Bench. It’s also another counter to Jolteon EX, as you can use Escape Rope and Lysandre to remove the effects of Jolteon’s attack and take a knockout.
1 Super Rod
This is just the recovery card of choice. Super strong in combination with Max Elixir in the late game.
1 Scramble Switch
Scramble Switch was my ACE SPEC of choice, but I’m honestly not sold on it being better than Dowsing Machine. While Scramble Switch did win me a couple of games, Dowsing would have been just as good. Scramble Switch can be used to put Jirachi Active and can be used to push up a fresh Regirock with a Sash, and it was also good to set up Hoopa as a surprise a few times.
3 Tropical Beach
Tropical Beach is the go-to Stadium for a slow deck like this. The consistency it adds is unparalleled to any other card. Beach makes it very easy to chain VS Seekers and allows you to set up very smoothly. If you can’t get Tropical Beach don’t play the deck.
4 Strong Energy
Strong Energy allows Regirock to one-shot PikaRom or Zoroark without relying on a coin flip and there’s no real reason not to play it.
5 Fighting Energy
Five Energy felt fine all event so I wouldn’t change the count.
1 Dark Energy
The Dark Energy has no repercussions, as Regirock’s attack takes one Colorless Energy, but it also allows you to attack with Hoopa. If Hoopa were cut I would play a metal to potentially use “Slap” with Jirachi.
As I mentioned before, Caitlin could be a great option as a consistency card because your hand can often get large while you “Stellar Wish,” so you can use Caitlin to put back some dead cards in order to dig for VS Seeker and Focus Sash. Tate & Liza is also a great option, as it is also a switching card that allows you to put Jirachi into the Active or move a damaged Regirock without having to retreat. A second Faba is also a great choice. Faba is a win condition in many matchups because some decks only play Special Energy. Enhanced Hammer would have been nice a few times over the event because it acts as a pseudo-Faba mid game and can discard a Flash Energy so Regirock can get an easy one-shot on PikaRom. Shrine of Punishment would also give the deck a nice win condition, as it applies pressure while you set up or while you wall with Hoopa. Field Blower is the last card I want to mention, because it would allow you to discard Float Stones off your opponent’s Pokémon, which would allow you to deck them out much easier.
This matchup is extremely favorable. They don’t really have an answer to Regirock taking out their entire deck in one hit, and Faba allows you to remove any Flash Energy they may attach. Jolteon EX is a non-issue, as this deck runs multiple ways to deal with “Flash Ray.” Xurkitree GX can be annoying, but overall it isn’t an issue
In this matchup you want to Assault Vest a Regirock and use Faba four times. It’s pretty simple, but they don’t really have an answer to that game plan.
This matchup can get a bit sticky, since they have multiple basic Energy and they can use “Sky Return” in combination with N to break Sash and force some weird scenarios.
Assault Vest basically locks them out of the game. Shaymin and Counter Energy or “Sledgehammer” can be scary, but sacrificing a few early prizes to negate Counter Energy and using a Regirock with a Focus Sash going into their “Sledgehammer” turn will easily win this matchup.
This matchup is literally impossible to lose unless you prize all your switching cards, which is immensely unlikely. You use Bunnelby in combination with a Regirock with an Escape Board and your switching cards so that you can never deck out while slowly taking prizes on your opponent’s Stoutland.
Night March/Vespiquen 90/10
Use Faba four times and win the game. Your prize trade is also extremely favorable so it’s pretty hard to lose.
Lead Hoopa to force attacks from your opponent’s Prism Star Pokémon. Once Tapu Koko and Shaymin are both gone, you go back into Hoopa since Rayquaza has no way to knock it out.
Volcanion Prism Star is way too powerful for this deck to deal with and this matchup is nearly unwinnable.
This matchup is so terrible. Sometimes you can cheese a game by attacking with Hoopa and getting lucky off N, but usually you just lose.
R1 Zoro Control LL
This round was against my friend, Joe Ruettiger so going in, we both knew what the other was playing. This matchup should be very favorable for me but during our first game I prized Faba and got Red Carded into a dead hand. Game two he hit Articuno GX and Water Energy off an N and I prized my Super Rod. Eventually, he attacked with Lele and I whiffed a Focus Sash so I lost.
R2 Ultra Necrozma/Malamar WW
This matchup was super easy: basically just set up and attack. Hoopa was very good because you can use Last Chance Potion on it after Giratina attacks. Nothing special really happened during the round.
R3 PikaRom WLW
Game one I had a very poor start, but with Focus Sash and Last Chance Potion I was able to recover and stabilize. My opponent took five prizes before I could take any, but eventually he ran out of ways to deal with Hoopa so I set it up a Regirock behind my Hoopa, then after a couple turns took six prizes and moved to Game two. In Game two I started Hoopa and drew passed. My opponent had a good start and used Silent Lab to take the donk. Game three, I set up well and knocked out two PikaRom for an easy game.
R4 Sableye/Garb ID
The lunch break followed this round and I was hungry. This round was also against my friend, Luca and neither of us knew how the matchup would go so we tied and went to get lunch.
R5 Buzz/Garb WW
Another round, another friend, this time against Will Mantho. The matchup was extremely easy. Game one, I attached Assault Vest to my Regirock and quickly rolled him as he N’d into a dead hand mid game and couldn’t do very much. Game two, he whiffed Energy for a couple turns and played a few Float Stones, at which point I noticed that he was running low on them and I knew I could go for the deck out win condition, and sure enough, after a couple Faba and Guzma on my end he conceded.
R6 Trevenant LWW
Game one, the matchup went as planned and I got rolled. Game two, I got Hoopa out to attack early and slowly took over the game as I hit Pokémon Center Lady to heal and have a turn where I used Guzma on a Tapu Lele and played three Last Chance Potion. Game three was pretty close but I whiffed my healing options and he slowly took over. I noticed he was low on cards and Energy so I tried to go for the deck out option by using Lysandre on his Wobb and started to Faba his Energy on the Bench. He eventually used Super Rod to shuffle in three Energy so I went into my Bunnelby and discarded the Energy off the top, which was enough to win the game through deck out.
R7 Hitmonchan WLW
Game one, the game plan goes as planned: sacrifice a couple prizes then take control of the game with a Regirock and my tech Supporters. Game two, I opened Bunnelby and got donked. Game three was pretty long. I got a slower start but so did my opponent, so I managed to get Regirock going and eventually just rolled him over and won on turn three of time.
R8 Shock-lock WW
Game one my opponent saw that he couldn’t win and conceded. Game two, I prized Bunnelby but took three prizes and he conceded again.
R9 PikaRom WLW
Game one, I attached four Energy, used Lysandre twice and won the game. Game two, I opened Bunnelby and got donked again. Game three, he discarded all his Hoopa-outs on turn one and I just won with a Hoopa and a Regirock.
R10 PikaRom WW
This matchup was super favorable since my opponent didn’t play Jolteon and I just rolled him with one Regirock both games.
R11 Trevenant LL
This is where the event went downhill. Matchup is terrible, Sam is a good player and he just rolled me.
R12 Archie’s LL
Played my friend Connor Finton this round. He played Archie’s and got out Volcanion Prism Star and I couldn’t win. Game two, he prized Volcanion but I didn’t draw too hot and still got rolled.
R13 Trevenant LL
Third Trevenant of the event and I got crushed again. My chances of Top 8 were gone.
R14 Night March LWW
Games one and two, I prized my Faba but Game two I just out-traded him and won the game. Game three, I have Faba and used it twice. My opponent had to play super aggressively to find Double Colorless Energy and eventually went down to a two-card deck, where I then used Bunnelby to deck him out and clinch my spot in Top 16.
Overall, I feel I played the best deck at the event and was just unlucky in my matchups during Day 2. I beat every deck I expected to beat and lost to those that I expected to lose to. The deck was very consistent and had two great win conditions in taking prizes and decking out opponents that played too aggressively. Going forward in the Expanded format, I think the deck is still just as strong and will be in a good spot whenever the next Expanded format event is. Thanks for reading!