If you were at the World Championships, or just followed the tournament through the live stream, you’ll know that Genesect was the stand out deck of the tournament.
As this was the first major tournament to take place after US Nationals, where Pyroar did so well, it’s fair to say that a lot of people were taken by surprise as well.
Of the last four players remaining in the tournament, three of those played Virizion/Genesect (the fourth ran Mega Kangaskhan/Aromatisse).
After Kangaskhan lost in the semi finals, it meant that the 2014 World Championships would be decided in a Virizion/Genesect mirror match, between Andrew Estrada and previous 2012 World Champion Igor Costa.
The finals were a really entertaining match to watch, and it had everyone in the venue really hyped. It featured two very talented players, lots of entertaining moments, and some great comebacks.
While Pokemon hasn’t released the match on their own Youtube channel yet, you can see it below:
What’s more, Pokemon have released the deck lists used by everyone in the Top 4, so we’ll be able to look at the differences between each of the three Virizion/Genesect lists.
You can view all three by following this link – http://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/worlds/2014/decks/masters/
As Andrew finished as our 2014 World Champion, I think it makes most sense to post his list below:
Quick note: All cards with an ‘R‘ next to them have since been rotated.
4 Virizion EX
4 Genesect EX
1 Jirachi EX
1 Mr Mime (Plasma Freeze 47)
4 Professor Sycamore
2 Shadow Triad
3 Skyarrow Bridge – R
4 Ultra Ball
3 Muscle Band
3 Energy Switch
2 Enhanced Hammer – R
2 Tool Scrapper – R
1 Professors Letter
1 Town Map
1 Super Rod – R
1 Colress Machine
1 G Booster
Notable cards that Igor and Paulo played in their lists:
Drifblim (Dragons Exalted 51 and BW64)
A higher count of Colress Machine
The future of Virizion/Genesect:
I think Virizion/Genesect is a very strong deck choice going into next season, and you can expect it to keep showing up at tournaments and doing well. While a lot of the cards posted above have since been rotated, the core of the deck remains the same.
First of all, I’ll quickly look over the cards that have been rotated.
While slightly inferior, Startling Megaphone is almost a straight swap for Tool Scrapper, and it usually doesn’t make a difference which one you run.
Enhanced Hammer is a pretty big loss, especially with Fighting decks now playing four Strong energy. There isn’t really a suitable replacement for it, so my recommendation is to just devote those spots to other cards.
Skyarrow Bridge can easily be swapped for Switch and Escape Rope, but it means that the deck no longer has a counter stadium to Virbank City Gym, which is a problem against any deck which uses Garbodor to shut down Virizion EX’s ability.
With the free spots from not playing cards like Enhanced Hammer or Drifblim (which is now pretty pointless), you could maybe even add some Hypnotoxic Lasers to the deck yourself.
Escape Rope could also be a smart play here over Switch. Seismitoad has a tough time against this deck, and I know a lot of people have been trying out Reshiram as a counter to Virizion EX.
If they have a Reshiram active, and you Emerald Slash, you’ll place 50 damage onto it. This means that if they have access to a Double Colourless energy and Muscle Band, they can Outrage in return for an impressive 180 damage, and take two prizes for their troubles.
You don’t really want to be stuck not being able to use Emerald Slash, so between Escape Rope and Genesect EX’s Red Signal, you’ll have two ways to play around it.
I think this deck might suffer the most from losing Super Rod though, just because Sacred Ash is a pretty useless replacement, considering you’ll usually want to recycle Grass energy rather than Pokemon.
While there are other options, I think the best bet might just be to add more Grass energy in it’s place, and to manage them more carefully.
Of course, aside from the rotation, we also need to consider how Furious Fists will impact Virizion/Genesect’s chances.
Starting with Seismitoad, I think that Virizion/Genesect is naturally built to beat it on several counts.
For starters, Seismitoad EX is weak to grass, so attacking with Genesect EX will score a straight knock out, while even Emerald Slash hits for at least 100 damage.
Continuing this, Virizion EX is also resistant to Water, so Seismitoad is stuck hitting for just 10 damage, although that can be boosted with cards like Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic Laser (if they have Garbodor in play).
Either way, that just doesn’t cut it when Virizion EX is knocking out Seismitoads at a much quicker pace, while attaching more energy onto other Pokemon on the bench.
Finally, I don’t think Virizion/Genesect cares too much about being Item locked.
One of it’s biggest strengths is that it can cope without resources such as Item or Supporter cards much better than any other deck. As long as you have some Pokemon in play, and energy in hand, you’re pretty much good to go.
Furious Fists isn’t all good news though. It’s well known that Virizion/Genesect struggles against Landorus EX, and we’re about to see a lot more of it.
What’s worse is while this deck’s damage output has stayed pretty much the same, Fighting have a whole bunch of new cards like Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium to hit for way more damage, plus Enhanced Hammer has now been rotated.
There are a few options out there to help even things up though.
Mr Mime is a great option to stop any bench damage from Landorus EX, which can definitely add up over the course of a game.
Beartic from Furious Fists not only helps against Pyroar, but with a Muscle Band attached, it’ll take out any Landorus EX in one hit as well.
Finally, playing Hypnotoxic Lasers alongside Virbank City Gym can help you to increase the deck’s damage output, and fight fire with fire.
While it’s pretty early to make predictions, I’m expecting to see this deck a lot next season.
It’s easy to play, gives the user the option to add a variety of techs, and it’s great Seismitoad matchup is always going to come in handy as well!