Xerneas Break deck thought (and where is everyone?!)

Discussion in 'Deck Help and Strategy' started by Steve Lewis, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Steve Lewis

    Steve Lewis New Member

    Maybe I'm in the wrong place, but I don't see a lot of questions about decks here? Or the sub-forums don't have post since 2014? Am I missing something? And sure, decks are personal and competitive things, so maybe people just don't want to ask about them explicitly? Or is there somewhere else to be asking, sorry?

    Anyway, we've put together a Xerneas Break/Giratina deck for the 2016-2017 season. The idea is mainly to use Geomancy early to extract energy from the deck and power up the bench, along with Max Elixir to also power up the bench (on either Xerneas or Giratina). Dragon Energy on Giratina lets it benefit from Fairy Garden with a free retreat if necessary.

    4 Xerneas
    3 Xerneas Break
    2 Giratina
    2 Shaymin EX
    1 Mr Mime (ability protects the bench from damage)

    10 Fairy
    4 Dragon Double

    3 Max Elixir
    4 VS Seeker
    2 Exp. Share (intended for Xerneas, but can be used on others if it makes sense -- such as a Shaymin just to keep the energy play to benefit Xerneas Break later)
    2 Fighting Fury Belt (intended for Giratina, can help others in a pinch but becomes dead tool if Xerneas evolves to Break form)
    1 Super Rod (in case had to ultra ball or sycamore too much energy)
    4 Trainers' Mail
    4 Ultra Ball

    1 Tierno (intended for small late game draw, if N doesn't fit the situation)
    1 Giovanni's Scheme (second late game draw if needed, or a 1-turn Muscle Band if needed)
    1 Team Flare Grunt
    1 Ninja Boy (in case started with Shaymin or something not desired)
    1 Lysandre
    3 Prof Sycamore
    2 N

    4 Fairy Garden


    We were thinking to remove one card to fit a Hydreigon EX. The contenders are:
    - replace 1 Xerneas (do a 3/3 line instead of 4/3, less chance of having or starting with a Xerneas)
    - replace 1 fairy energy (9 count instead of 10, less effectiveness for Max Elixir draw)
    - replace Team Flare Grunt (maybe a reasonable choice, but this deck needs to stall 1 or 2 turns to get setup and this card can help that sometimes)
    - replace Mr Mime (with Shaymins in play, bench protection can be helpful) [ some people play Klefki instead for Wonder Lock ]
    - replace 1 Shaymin EX (1 instead of 2; this might be ok, but another reason for Hydreigon is also just to have another starter and avoid the mulligan)

    Hydreigon is kind of like a 3rd Giratina, in that it is somewhere to hang dragon energy on if we can't get a 'tina setup. And Hydreigon EX Shred can attack things like Regice that EX's normally can't. Plus it's ability lets itself or Giratina retreat for just 1 energy instead of 3 (so if the stadium war is lost, and Xerneas Break would do more damage, if 2x Dragon energies are on either dragon when active, they can retreat losing just 1 instead of both -- keeping some damage up for Xerneas Break).

    All that said, maybe Hydreigon EX still isn't a good fit for the deck and instead an extra Supporter or Super Rod instead? We felt 4 Max Elixir was too much, since by mid-game the basic energy should be drawn out anyway. And speaking of Super Rod, we were thinking of ditching Ninja Boy for the 2nd Super Rod? Another thought is to just go with a full 3rd Giratina instead of Hydreigon EX (just as insurance in case of just 2 being prized)?

    Suggestions on refinement welcomed!
    Steve
     
  2. FREAKAZOID175

    FREAKAZOID175 Member

    It seems like a fairly solid list with a good game plan, but I feel it needs a bit more draw power to run smoothly.

    I don't think Hydreigon is a good fit for this deck, largely because you probably won't lose the stadium war very often if you use Chaos Wheel to full effect. While Shred is nice, you have outs to Regice with Xerneas.

    Personally I would most definitely swap the Tierno for either a Sycamore or an N, preferably a Sycamore. I'd rather have too much draw power late game than not enough early game. The late game is only an issue if you get set up enough to make it that far. :wink:

    I'd be tempted to drop Mr. Mime for either a Sycamore or an N, Sycamore if you swapped the Tierno for an N and vice versa. I can't think of a whole lot that hits the bench for damage and is actually played in Standard. Mime wouldn't stop Giant Water Shuriken. Galvantula should be pretty easy for you to deal with before it really starts to ruin your day. Fright Night Yveltal seems like a more common and a bigger threat to you, but with Xerneas resisting dark and Yveltal only having 130HP it should be pretty easy for you to deal with them. If you know your opponent plays a lot of Fright Night Yveltal you can minimize the EX's you bench to make the bench damage less of an issue anyway. Chances are you will at least be two hitting them (four energy in play), the only thing they would two hit on the bench would be Shaymin, and they'd have to hit you 4 times to take down a Xerneas. Seems fairly favorable to me. :smile:

    It sounds like you run Super Rod mostly to recover energy. If you find yourself rarely using it to recover Pokemon, perhaps swapping it for an Energy Recycler would help?
     
  3. Steve Lewis

    Steve Lewis New Member

    Thanks, those are really great suggestions!

    We tried this deck with having 4 DCE in place of 4 Fairy energy (so total 8 special energy with the Dragons also), but we don't think that worked too well. The intent was to try to get the DCE's attached for extra damage from Xerneas Break, but the cost was less utility of the Max Elixir and Super Rod. Maybe if we had replaced 1 Elixir with a Special Charge? In any case, the 4 DCE's seemed too clunky, so we gave it up (sticking with 4 Dragon and 10 Fairy).

    We do think 4 Xerneas is the way to go, better consistency, so we are sticking with that.

    Good points about the bench protection. So I think you're right: Mr Mime is cute but not essential for this deck.

    The benefits on HydreigonEX is the 10 extra health (180, or 220 with a Fury belt), and that it only needs 3 energy (1 Dragon, 1 Fairy). Really I was trying to think of a non-EX dragon to pair up, but couldn't come up with any. I'm leaning towards agreeing Hydreigon is just not a good match for this deck, or at least not a good substitute for GiratinaEX.

    After some play testing, we changed strategy a little and got away from EXP Share. We now have the following:

    4 Xerneas
    3 Xerneas Break
    2 Giratina EX
    1 Shaymin EX
    1 Jirachi
    NOTE: Removed MrMime, replaced 1 ShayminEX with Jirachi (XY67 promo) -- might agree to stick with 2nd ShayminEX instead (Jirachi seems to be kind of useful against Ray or Mewtwo, but he's a bad place to hang energy; but... he's 1 prize card)
    NOTE: We also tried 1 GiratinaEX and 1 HydriegonEX -- kind of works, where the emphasis is that the Dragons are just places to hang energy for +40 damage (e.g. if you can Max Elixir charge a Xerneas, 1 Fairy attach to Hydreigon to retreat him; most things can't 1HKO starter HydreigonEX with a Fury Belt). Still think 2 GiratinaEX is a bit better overall, but might be nice to find a Dragon pairing without Fairy weakness.


    10 Fairy
    4 Dragon Double
    NOTE: No change. We tried 6 Fairy, 4 DCE, 4 Dragon and didn't feel it worked out well (Xerneas still needs 2 Fairy attached to attack).
    NOTE: MIGHT be possible to sacrifice 1 Fairy energy (going with 9 total instead) in order to get 1 extra card (perhaps a 3rd Dragon Pokemon, another ShayminEX, maybe even a Carbink). Especially if going with 2x Super Rod.

    3 Max Elixir
    4 VS Seeker
    2 Enhanced Hammer
    2 Fighting Fury Belt
    2 Super Rod
    4 Trainers' Mail
    4 Ultra Ball
    NOTE: We removed EXP Share, since we figure you still effectively get the goal of EXP Share (retaining energy for damage) by NOT dying -- and Enhanced Hammer helps do that. Also, having EXP Share seemed to clunk up the draw or lead to bad decision (like attaching it just because you don't want to waste it during a turn). We went with 2 Super Rod as insurance in case having to Sycamore or Ultra Ball GiratinaEX (like if 1 is Prized). Perhaps could be 1 Super Rod and 1 Special Charge? Energy Recycler might work, but the bench needs Pokemon to hang energy on (for both Max Elixir and Geomancy).

    1 Shauna (instead of Tierno, but we're still on the fence about this and agree it could be Sycamore or N instead; or Birch?)
    1 Giovanni's Scheme
    1 Lysandre
    3 Professor Sycamore
    2 N
    1 Skyla (emergency pull of Garden, Fury Belt, or Ultra Ball? but might consider a 2nd Lysandre instead)
    1 Teammates
    NOTE: We ditched Team Flare Grunt (because Hammers above and for more draw cards) and Ninja Boy (because 1 less ShayminEX). We figure a Xerneas or Jirachi needs to get sacrificed, so Teammates can be a big help (to pull a Fury Belt, or Garden, or pretty much anything pulled would be useful).

    4 Fairy Garden
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  4. FREAKAZOID175

    FREAKAZOID175 Member

    Jirachi is a nice tech, lots of special energy played these days. It has seen a decrease in play since Pokemon Ranger was printed, but I have noticed a decrease in Ranger being played too. It's one of those cyclical cards, it's popularity and the things it counters will come and go. :rolleyes: If it works for you, keep it, but I would prefer the second Shaymin for two reasons. Shaymin can help you draw and (in a pinch) you can bounce back energy to power up another Xerneas or whatever if you are otherwise running low.

    Balancing the energy count will be the hardest thing in this deck, but yeah, the DCE do seem like they would be rather clunky since they wouldn't benefit your main attacker. Experiment as much as you'd like, eventually you'll find a count that feels the most "right" to you.

    I like Shauna a lot more than Tierno. I prefer Birch over Shauna (statistically it draws you .5 cards more), but I honestly haven't played either since N made it back into Standard. I don't want to come across as a dink, but Sycamore and N are simply the best draw support we currently have so I just can not suggest them enough. If other things work for you though, by all means disregard me. :wink:
     
  5. Steve Lewis

    Steve Lewis New Member

    I'm agreeing more about N now. We have swapped 1 Fairy Energy with ShayminEX (so 9 Fairy + 4xDragon ). She's consistently taking down my Raquaza deck (hammers and Jirachi hurt there).

    The deck struggles a little with Mewtwo + Garbador (since it knocks out Giratina's ability), just depends on luck of the draw (hammer down mewtwo, lysandre up Garbador ASAP to knock it out).

    We'll keep experimenting and see how we can fit at least 1 more N. Probably swap Skyla for 3rd N (since Teammates can kind of act as a Skyla, after a sacrifice). We did swap Shauna to Birch. All refinements, overall I think the deck does play well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  6. Steve Lewis

    Steve Lewis New Member

    Just as a follow up, here is a recent configuration we're using, which has done well.

    4 Xerneas
    3 Xerneas Break
    2 Giratina EX
    2 Shaymin EX

    3 N
    3 Professor Sycamore
    1 Shauna
    1 Teammates
    1 Lysandre
    1 Delinquent
    1 Skyla

    3 Max Elixir
    2 Fighting Fury Belt
    1 Enhanced Hammer
    2 Super Rod
    4 Ultra Ball
    4 Trainers' Mail
    4 VS Seeker

    1 Parallel City
    3 Fairy Garden

    10 Fairy Energy
    4 Dragon Energy




    My daughter won 4 out of 5 against Masters at a League Challenge. Her 1 Loss was against another Giratina EX deck (and I think the loss may have come down to a unfavorable die roll that would have swung it the otherway), but 2 of her wins were against other Giratina EX decks, so those could go eitherway.

    We've tried a Town Map instead of Enhanced Hammer, and tried going down to 8 Fairy to use some other techs, or trying 1 ShayminEX instead. Those changes didn't seem favorable.

    But the ShayminEX's as liabilities is mostly a problem against Greninja and Pitch Black Spear, of course. The Parallel City tries to help here, as a way to knock off the ShayminEX. Using Sky Return isn't too practical, since afterwards it usually leaves a charged Xerneas vulernable and wastes a turn where you really need to get Geomancy off instead.

    Three changes we're considering are:

    - 1 Fairy Energy
    + 1 Special Charge
    (going from 10 to 9 Fairy Energy, for a chance to recover Dragon Energy in case we're against Enhanced Hammers or some unfavorable discards; 10 seems like the right amount of Fairy energy to us, 9 can work, but 8 certainly doesn't seem to work -- we haven't tried 11; but in any case, the +40 damage from Dragon energy for this build is fairly critical)

    - 1 Delinquent
    + 1 Giratina EX
    (going from 2 to 3 GiratinaEX to decrease odds of both being prized; or if 1 is prized and 1 has to be discards -- this is a hard call for me, since Delinquent can be so devestating and we do have 2 Super Rods as a kind of insurance against discarded Pokemon -- on the other hand, again the +40 damage from Dragon Energy is really key to making this build work, so its critical we have a Dragon on hand to hold it {especially like against Mewtwo, where we have to swing 210 {Mega or with a Fury Belt} to avoid just having it damage changed back})

    - 1 Skyla
    + 1 Max Elixir
    (another tough call considering also reducing the Fairy count by 1; in play testing, assuming all Elixirs aren't prized, it seems by the time 3 Elixirs are played, Geomancy is done and all the basic energy is played out of the deck {in ideal circumstances}; so this change is just the extra insurance in case 1 or more Max Elixirs is prized -- but on the other hand, a Skyla to pull a fury belt, stadium, ultra ball at a key moment can help a lot)


    Again, refinements that all just depend on the match ups. But I will say, removing Giovanni's Scheme to get a 3rd N I think has been a good call. But we're still on the fence about Shauna vs Birch -- game time is kind of another resource to be managed, so with Shauna you don't have to deliberate about it (whereas with Birch, you may have to spend a moment considering the odds of how devestating a tails vs heads might be for the turn).

    We'll see how it goes in some Cups coming up!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  7. FREAKAZOID175

    FREAKAZOID175 Member

    I really like how you've stuck with the deck and tweaked it as needed! :thumb:
    This looks like a pretty solid build and you make good arguments as to why, or why not to, swap any card for another.
    I think squeezing in a Team Flare Grunt somewhere would be pretty good. It can often function as a VS Seeker-able Enhanced Hammer, but it can also remove basic energy if you need.
     
  8. Steve Lewis

    Steve Lewis New Member

    Thanks! She (my daughter) has done well with the deck -- I'd like to play this deck myself, but she won't let me :) Two Cup wins so far (with no changes; keeping the counts the way we practiced). She did lose to a M Gardevoir EX (STS) deck, but they were both on their last prize card -- her opponent had to Sycamore the last of his deck to get the draw he needed (on last turn of a 3-turn over time - but a loss is a loss :) ) although I do wish number of prize cards remaining could somehow factor into standings). So far she hasn't matched against ScizorEX, but she's consistently taken down Yvetal.

    Don't overplay Max Elixir + Geomancy (like if you know only 1 fairy energy left in the deck, maybe skip those and hold it as a reserve) and try not to over-bench (i.e. if you have a couple Xerneas and a Giratina already charged up and undamaged, don't just bench another one without a good strategic reason). If you over do it, you can easily end up with a stranded active Pokémon that can't retreat mid-late game. I'm not sure if it's enough of a concern to tech in Switch or Olympia, but it has happened in testing.

    The 3 Garden + 1 City combo seems to be working well. Definitely would like to fit Team Flare Grunt back in! Not sure about sacrificing an energy to fit it. And I'm partial to the Trainer's Mail now -- in this deck, the mail fishes out Garden, maybe the Hammer, Fighting Fury Belt, Max Elixirs, and of course Ultra Balls. Not sure about sacrificing one of the Trainer's Mail, but it might work...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  9. FREAKAZOID175

    FREAKAZOID175 Member

    Congrats on the wins! Sounds like you guys have hammered out a pretty good list for her and changes you make will largely just be adapting to the meta more than anything. Keep up the good work! :thumb:
     

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