Night March has been with us for years now — over three full calendar years — and it has always been competitive, if not absolutely format-warping. For stretches of time, Night March has indeed been the clear best deck in a given format. Right now is one such time and this cannot be argued. You have to accept the truth once the truth becomes clear, and it is clear that Night March is peerless in Expanded at the moment.

Night March is the best deck for many reasons, all of which you need to comprehend before you attend an Expanded event. You can’t ignore Night March or wish it out of existence — it will be there. At this point I recommend that you either run Night March or run a deck that has a strong chance at beating it. Night March is a deck that novices love to use as well as the game’s elite, such as Michael Pramawat and Azul Garcia Griego, both of whom have won Regionals this season with Night March.

 

Below I am going to explain as concisely as possible why Night March is the undisputed best deck in Expanded:

 

1) The deck primarily attacks with one-Prize Pokemon and therefore has a fundamental advantage against any deck that relies on EXes or GXes.

2) The deck can begin issuing OHKOs as soon as turn one and potentially never miss a single beat given its insane engine, low attack cost, use of Basic Pokemon and plethora of recovery options. The deck is therefore good at trading with other one-Prize decks.

3) The deck is incredibly consistent, more so than anything else in Expanded.

4) The deck can hit four different weaknesses now that Zoroark GX and Marshadow GX have become staples, and all of these weaknesses are relevant.

5) The deck’s attacks all work off a single energy attachment.

6) The deck has room to run a lot of one-ofs like Field Blower, Choice Band and Hex Maniac that give it endless range, outs and options against the format.

7) Puzzle of Time, VS Seeker, Special Charge and Dowsing Machine make Night March a deck with absurd resource recovery options. Night March will outlast just about any deck in the format that is not built explicitly with Night March countering in mind.

8) Night March is a deck with a high skill ceiling, meaning there is plenty of room for a pro like Pramawat to outplay other Night March players as well as pilots of other decks. There are a lot of micro decisions to make every turn and there are major choices to make, too; the deck lives on the edge by its very nature, it milks its resources completely and it sometimes wins by the slimmest of margins, and a flawless player is required to navigate through everything all the way to the first place trophy.

9) There are a lot of Night March counters out there by now, but most of them simply fail to eliminate Night March from the field or even beat it consistently from match to match. Night March is resilient and it has the tools now to combat most of the hate cards out there, especially if the hate card is something like Karen or Oricorio that just gets tossed into a deck without other anti-Night March support. Night March is way too fundamentally strong and versatile to automatically fold to another deck just because you dropped a single counter card into it. The key to making cards like Oricorio and Karen actually hurt Night March as intended is to play them in decks that can hang with Night March already and/or have other components that address Night March; for example, don’t just run Karen, run Karen alongside Seismitoad EX.

 

You may be confused after reading through all of that as to why Night March has not taken down every single Expanded event of the past few seasons. Trying to explain a dozen Regionals results from different formats in a paragraph is a bit foolish but basically, there used to be popular and potent counters to Night March, namely Seismitoad EX variants, Decidueye GX/Vileplume and Trevenant (as well as Lysandre’s Trump Card back when Night March debuted), that could stand up to a lot of the rest of the format as well, and these decks kept Night March in check. Decidueye GX/Vileplume is not even an option anymore given the banning of Forest of Giant Plants.

Trevenant used to be a serious threat to Night March, acting like a snake keeping the rat population from exploding — an instance of one hated, feared deck regulating another hated, feared deck. Now, Zoroark GX has turned Trevenant into a ghost (no pun intended) in Expanded. Night March benefits from Zoroark GX’s release in two ways in relation to Trevenant. One way: Zoroark GX-based decks generally wreck Trevenant and their popularity is the main reason Trevenant has fallen out of favor. Night March benefits from the popularity of another archetype’s advantage over an enemy. Another way: Night March’s use of Zoroark GX gives the deck multiple answers to Trevenant, most importantly a huge, Psychic-resistant attacker that OHKOs Trevenant BREAK for a DCE.

How is Trevenant supposed to deal with Zoroark GX as a deck focus AND Zoroark GX in Night March? Also, Trevenant has other enemies that it did not have in past formats such as Guzma and Acerola that are both in the Zoroark GX and Night March decks and in a lot of other things. Basically it seems that right now, Trevenant has been pushed out of viability by too many troublesome cards all crowding the format at the same time.

In the absence of regulator decks like Trevenant, Night March is going to dominate. Nothing in Expanded is as good as Night March when it comes to taking six Prizes consistently against the field; the deck has too many things going for it as I tried to summarize earlier. However, I do believe that there are a few decks in Expanded that can still regulate Night March while also contending with the rest of the field and I want to discuss some of them here as well as a variety of explicitly anti-Night March cards available to us.

 

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