Hello, everyone! Expanded season is over for now and we are back to worrying about Standard not only for Denver, but also for the Berlin Intercontinental Championship. I am very excited because it seems like we have a pretty set format for Standard that I will be taking part in for both Denver and Berlin. If you are not going to either of these events, then you still have a few more weeks of League Cups that are going to be very important to finish the season strong and get your World’s invite. Today, I am going to talk about two different decks, one of which is one of my picks for Berlin. The other deck is more along the fun side and is more for League Cups--it has potential in a specific meta, but I don’t see it winning any of the big tournaments coming up.

The first deck that I am going to be talking about is the deck that has popped up over the last couple of weeks and dominated the Internet forums: Shining Genesect/Venusaur. I thought it was very interesting that this deck popped up when it did because I had also been debating how strong it could be in the Lightning format we’re in right now. I built it but did not get around to testing it because of how much Expanded was coming up, but now that Expanded is over and the deck is starting to gain popularity it’s the perfect time for me to pull out the Genesects and start testing this deck.

This deck is a Stage 2 deck, which is one of the less appealing things in the format we are currently in, but it is one that does not require too much set up to get rolling. The point of the deck is to set up a Venusaur with “Jungle Totem,” making all your Grass Energy count as two Grass instead of one so you can attack with Shining Genesect or Shaymin Prism Star for a large amount of damage. You also use Naganadel’s “Charging Up” Ability to get Energy back from the discard pile while using Genesect’s Ability to move the Energy from Naganadel to itself to continue attacking every turn. The deck utilizes Wishful Baton very effectively thanks to the lack of Field Blower in the format, and through it, we are able to keep all the Energy on the field making it very easy for us to get into the high 200-damage range and even more with Shaymin Prism Star. The other appeal to this deck is that we are playing a deck that can one-shot Zapdos very easily with a 130 HP one-prize Pokémon. Forcing Zapdos to find two Electropower just to take one knockout is the main appeal to playing this deck. Genesect/Venusaur has always been an interesting deck concept and one that had potential, but because of the popularity of Gardevoir GX and Tapu Lele GX it made it very hard to use their attacks effectively. Getting return knocked out was too easy for an opponent in past formats. Now, however, we are seeing less Tapu Lele GX being played, with barely any deck playing it because of how bad it is against any sort of Lightning deck or Malamar. Thanks to this, we can start trying a deck strategy like this. The deck is straightforward; because we are trying to set up a Stage 1 and a Stage 2 early in the game we need to focus on just building the deck as consistently as possible, which is the direction we are taking with this list.

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