Japan National Championships Winning Deck Info!
Japan’s Nationals recently took place, and some information is circling the internet about it, including the winning deck, which I thought you guys might be interested in hearing about.
First of all, it’s important to know that their format is different to ours in more way than one. As well as being a couple of sets ahead (and having the Dragon cards in their format), they also play in a BW-on format, meaning they play without Junk Arm. It’s interesting to see that a lot of Dark decks ran heavy counts of Sableye, so I would guess that they use that as a substitute to Junk Arm, and use it’s attack ‘Junk Hunt’ to get any needed trainers back towards the end of the game.
From what I can understand, their Nationals is invite only, with a Swiss and then Top 16 cut. Yamato lost his final game needed to win an invite to the Nationals and was unable to play in it, but used Hydreigon/Darkrai. He explained that he lost due to some simple misplays, and that the deck itself took a degree of thinking and skill to use, which is great news for the future of the game.
You can see a picture of the winning deck here:
From what I can make out, the list was:
3 Darkrai EX
1 Shaymin EX
4 Professor Juniper
4 Pokemon Catcher
3 Rare Candy
2 Level Ball
3 Max Potion
3 Ultra Ball
2 Random Reciever
3 Dark Patch
8 Darkness Energy
4 Blend Energy
Some of these cards haven’t been released yet, so like me, you might not understand what they do and why they were included in the deck. I’ll post the translations here:
Hydreigon – Dragon – HP150
Stage 2 – Evolves from Zweilous
Ability: Dark Trance
As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may move a Darkness Energy attached to 1 of your Pokemon to another of your Pokemon.
[P][D][D][C] Dragon Blast: 140 damage. Discard 2 Darkness Energy attached to this Pokemon.
Weakness: Dragon (x2)
Blend Energy GRPD – Special Energy
This card provides 1 [C] Energy. As long as this card is attached to a Pokemon, it provides either [G], [R], [P], or [D] Energy, but only 1 Energy at a time.
Sigilyph – Psychic – HP90
Prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to Sigilyph by your opponent’s Pokemon-EX.
[P][C][C] Psychic: 50+ damage. Does 10 more damage for each Energy card attached to the Defending Pokemon.
Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Thoughts on the deck:
Firstly, it’s interesting to see that Dark decks will at least be very competitive in the future, considering Dark Explorers has just been released for us. It’s also cool to see a Stage 2 Pokemon at the centre of this deck, so perhaps a BW-on rotation is needed to bring the format back into balance, with Basic, Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokemon.
Hydregion is the main hitter in the deck, and it’s pretty easy to see why. It has 150HP, can deal 140 damage at a time and doesn’t give up two prizes when knocked out either. It’s ability has a lot of synergy with Dark Patch, which usually has two limitations – that the energy must be attached to a Dark Pokemon, that’s on the bench. Not only can any energy be moved onto an active Hydregion, which is important since it discards two for it’s attack, but they can also be moved onto Sigilyph or Shaymin EX if needbe.
My guess is that Shaymin EX was included to help against any opposing Terrakion which obviously give this deck a tough time. Sigilyph provides a nice option against any opposing Mewtwo EX, which are hit for a x2 weakness, and can’t attack it in return. Blend Energy is particularly useful here, as it can provide what ever energy is needed for each Pokemon, but isn’t limited to Basic Pokemon like Prism Energy is.
The final Pokemon I thought I’d talk about is Sableye, which we’ve just had released in our format here, and it’s obviously a big part of his deck considering three copies were included. Does this mean that we’re underestimating here? I don’t think so, I just think that instead it’s a direct replacement for Junk Arm, which is now rotated out in Japan. Although all trainers will be useful in different situations, this deck clearly has a huge reliance on Dark Patch, and needs a lot more than three to function throughout a whole game. Sableye’s ‘Junk Hunt’ can put two trainer cards back from the discard pile into the hand with one attack, and would prove pretty useful towards the end of the game. It also makes a decent starter Pokemon, if you use a lot of trainers in the first few turns to set up, or need to discard any important cards with Ultra Ball for example.
The Top 16 Decks
For anyone who is interested, here’s the rest of the decks that made the Top 16, thanks to the Pokegym:
1st – 4th (in order)
1st – Hydreigon + Darkrai EX
2nd – Garchomp + Altaria
3rd – Eelektrik + Zekrom + Mewtwo EX + Raikou EX
4th – Mewtwo EX + Terrakion EX + Bouffalant
5th-8th (not in order)
Empoleon + Terrakion + Mew EX
Gothitelle + Accelgor + Mew EX + Darkrai EX + Musharna
Ho-Oh EX + Tornadus EX
Eelektrik + Zekrom + Mewtwo EX
9th-16th (not in order)
Hydreigon + Darkrai EX
Eelektrik + Zekrom + Mewtwo EX + Raikou EX
Eelektrik + Zekrom + Mewtwo EX + Raikou EX + Tornadus EX
Darkrai EX + Mewtwo EX + Tornadus EX + Tornadus
Mewtwo EX + Terrakion
Garchomp + Altaria
Darkrai EX + Mewtwo EX + Bouffalant
Mewtwo EX + Terrakion EX + Terrakion + Sigilyph + Stunfisk
That’s all the information I have for the moment. What do you guys think of this information, does it suprise you to see these decks dominating the format in Japan? I don’t know about everyone else, but seeing the decks doing well there really excites me for a potential BW-on format, if we get one next year.
Let me know all your thoughts in the comment box below!