“Meet the New Contenders” – 5 Emerging BREAKpoint Decks in Standard!

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Hey, everyone! With Winter Regionals having just concluded, it is once again time to move forward to the next set of tournaments in the season – State Championships! For me, States is not just another competitive experience – the social factor plays just as important a role as well. Many of my friends simply do not have time out of their busy schedules to make every Cities or Regionals – I fit into the latter category sometimes myself – but States is a different case: it is arguably the one event in the season that we all come together and share a common interest that given weekend. And, if you are attending multiple States in the coming weeks, that’s an even better opportunity to bond with friends and meet new ones!
That said, I decided to write this article to give players a first look at some of the emerging decks in Standard that use cards and strategies from the new BREAKpoint expansion. This is probably the best set we have seen so far in the 2016 season – check out the set review HERE for a more detailed look. For the purposes of this article, I have condensed multiple decks into a list of five that I believe really showcase the new set. These are ones that have proven to consistently work in competitive play in my playtesting, but they certainly are not the end-all of BREAKpoint decks! A few of these decks, like Trevenant and Greninja BREAK, are completely new and feature several new cards. Others, like Night March, have merely been refined in order to adapt to the new Meta. A world of adventure awaits – let’s go!


 

Hocus Pocus

I put a spell on you…and now you can’t play items.

When the new set arrived in Japan just a few months ago, players had already begun speculating about how much competitive play Trevenant would see with the addition of the new BREAK card. As Seismitoad-EX has demonstrated for nearly two years, Item lock is incredibly powerful and a great annoyance on your opponent.

But how could the card developers take it a step further and make this strategy even better? After all, simply attaching a Double Colorless Energy and using Quaking Punch as early as turn one seems as good as it gets.

Well, Trevenant BREAK takes it to an entirely different level. If you can overlook the fact that it is an Evolution card, imagine an trevenant-break-bptattacker that: permanently Item locks without even attacking; can do 30 damage to all of your opponent’s Pokémon for potentially just a single Energy; and only gives up a single Prize Card! Trevenant BREAK is a force to be reckoned with.

They say that with great power comes great responsibility – and that idiom can basically sum up the process of deckbuilding with this card. A friend of mine attempted to make Trevenant BREAK work just a few weeks ago but found himself dumbfounded when it came to having a central strategy. Indeed, there appear to be a number of ways to play the card.

Should you focus on disruption and use hammers and heal cards like Max Potion? Or perhaps the deck shines best when it eventually puts enough damage on board and takes multiple Prize Cards a turn? Below is a build that I have found success with so far.

Pokémon: 15Trainers: 37Energy: 8
4 Phanthump BPT
4 Trevenant XY
3 Trevenant BREAK BPT
2 Wobbuffet PHF
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
4 Professor Sycamore
2 Wally
1 Lysandre
1 AZ
1 Xerosic
1 Judge
1 Delinquent

4 Dimension Valley

4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
4 Trainers' Mail
2 Battle Compressor
2 Float Stone
3 Bursting Balloon
1 Max Potion
1 Startling Megaphone
1 Super Rod
6 Psychic
2 Mystery

The strategy of the deck is simple enough: Item lock your opponent as early as possible and spread damage. The 4-4-3 Trevenant BREAK line is perfect for consistency and gives you plenty of primary attackers to work with. Between Phanthump’s Ascension and multiple outs to Wally, you should have no problem with getting Trevenant out the first couple turns. For an Expanded take on this deck’s strategy, I recommend checking out The Tuff Puff’s channel for a recent deck profile of Aaron Tarbell’s winning Regionals list by clicking HERE.

3 Bursting Balloon

Often times a given set will contain cards that the developers believe have synergy with each other –this is one of those instances. By itself, Trevenant BREAK simply cannot put enough damage on a single opposing Pokémon. There are ways to ways to circumvent this – some players have opted to use Meowstic or Aegislash (check out our deck profile for Trevenant/Aegislash HERE!), but what about high damage output on just one of your opponent’s Pokémon? Bursting Balloon allows us to accomplish this.

Bursting-Ballooon
Popping your opponent’s chances of winning.

Think of it as a temporary Rock Guard: in the same way the Ace Spec was balanced by the one card per deck rule, Bursting Balloon can only remain in play for a single turn. In other words, it presents two choices to your opponent, both of which net negative effects. If you are remotely familiar with the Choose Your Own Adventure books, then you can see where I am coming from.

Will your opponent take choose to simply pass their turn and not attack, or will they take action and suffer 60 damage? Either way, it is certainly win/win for you! Finally, the great thing is that Burst Balloon can only be knocked off by Xerosic due to the Item lock – Startling Megaphone will not work.

2 Wobbuffet
Wobbuffet
Ability Lock can be just as powerful as Item Lock.

The dilemma my friend faced when he attempted to build this deck was that he could not find a suitable secondary attacker. Trevenant BREAK alone will not win games – it loses hard to Dark-based decks on its own and is an Evolution card that requires proper setup. Wobbuffet is great for number of reasons. Firstly, its Bide Barricade shuts off Abilities – this provides another out to disruption as you slowly build up a Trevenant BREAK army on the bench. Secondly, its typing has obvious synergy with a number of core cards in the deck, namely Dimension Valley and Mystery Energy.

Lastly, its attack compliments both Trevenant BREAK’s Silent Fear and Bursting Balloon quite nicely. Let’s say your opponent’s Active Pokémon has 90 damage on it. You retreat into the Wobbuffet, attach a single Psychic or Mystery Energy, and proceed to do a whopping 100 damage with Psychic Assault for the KO. While you may be giving your opponent a chance to play Item cards again, they will now be Ability locked instead, so things like Shaymin-EX’s Set Up will not work. Unless your opponent is prepared to deal with both of these forms of disruption, they will likely struggle against both Psychic attackers.

1 Max Potion, 1 AZ

I originally wanted to play several Max Potion in this deck and make Trevenant BREAK an AZItem-locking tank. However, this kind of all-or-nothing approach simply does not fare in a Standard format where Yveltal-EX is still a dominant force in the Meta. A mere Evil Ball or Y Cyclone can take a clean KO against Trevenant BREAK.  However, a single Max Potion is a great tech for other match-ups where your opponent cannot hit for 160 damage every turn. The ability to heal all damage and attack again for a single Energy is too good to pass up.

As for AZ, this card is versatile in the sense that it can both act as a heal card and a way to switch out. For example, if I am low on Energy and Shaymin has been brought to the Active spot, I have several more outs to finding the AZ than the remaining Float Stones – and that is assuming I still have a Float Stone left in the deck. Simply put, the versatility of AZ is why I believe it should be a one-off in most decks in Standard.

6 Psychic, 2 Mystery Energy, 1 Super Rod

I have found 8 Energy to be sufficient in this deck given that our attackers hit for a singleMystery-Energy Energy. Originally, I found myself running out of energy in the late game when I played 8 alongside Sacred Ash. The inclusion of Super Rod over Sacred Ash is simply for more options – sometimes I will want to retrieve more Pokémon than Energy and vice versa.

And because we have other attackers besides Trevenant BREAK, I think Super Rod makes more sense. The winning Regionals list played 5 Psychic and 3 Mystery. I am a bit reluctant on relying on so much Special Energy in Standard, but it was definitely a great Meta call in Expanded where there is less Energy disruption.


 

March of the Frog Army

Frogadier
General of the frog army.

Perhaps the card that found the most hype with the release of BREAKpoint was none other than Greninja BREAK. In a word: if you like bat-based strategies, then you will equally like playing Greninja BREAK. Its Giant Water Shuriken allows you to place a whopping 6 damage counters on one of your opponent’s Pokémon once per turn if it is your Active Pokémon.

Low HP Pokémon are no longer safe on the bench – this includes Night Marchers like Joltik and Pumpkaboo, as well as others like Zorua and Bronzor. What’s more is that you use the regular Greninja’s Water Shuriken to place an additional 3 damage counters somewhere, and this effect does not require it to be in the Active spot.

As you might postulate, this leaves open a wide array of damage possibilities – and we have not even discussed Greninja’s attacks yet. Shadow Stitching does 40 and shuts off Abilities – this proves useful against strategies that rely on such ones as Crobat’s Sneaky Bite and Bronzong’s Metal Links. Moonlight Slash is our primary attack though. Essentially it does 80 damage and returns a Water Energy to your hand, a great way to conserve Energy while still preparing KO’s.

Pokémon: 19Trainers: 33Energy: 8
4 Froakie BKP
4 Frogadier BKP
2 Greninja XY
2 Greninja BKP
3 Greninja BREAK BKP
2 Remoraid BKT
2 Octillery BKT
4 Professor Sycamore
3 Wally
1 Lysandre
1 Judge
1 Xerosic
1 Fisherman

2 Silent Lab

4 Dive Ball
4 VS Seeker
3 Trainers' Mail
2 Max Potion
2 Battle Compressor
2 Float Stone
1 Sacred Ash
1 Town Map
1 Energy Retrieval
8 Water
4-4-4-3 Greninja BREAK

Players were unsure what the exact counts should be for the Greninja BREAK line – manyGreninja-BKP
opted to only run a couple Froakie, if any. In my testing, four is an absolute must. Note the list above: we only play 6 basics. Because of this, it is absolutely imperative to max the Froakie count. If we prize a couple Frogadier, then Froakie is necessary to bench so that as we take prizes we can build our frog army back up.

As for Greninja, I have opted to do a 2-2 split between the one with Water Shuriken and the new one. The Ability is a great utility – especially against Night March – but the new one really shines as a primary attacker. It also has free Retreat – this lets us Giant Water Shuriken twice a turn!

2-2 Octillery

While Shaymin-EX continues to be most players’ go-to method of getting set up, I believe Octillery does a fine job doing this and makes the deck completely independent of EX-centric strategies. Being able to draw up to 5 cards a turn in addition to your Supporter enables a number of possibilities and pairs especially well with Fisherman. It is also a hard counter to both Ace Trainer and Judge. The two Energy Retreat Cost is a bit cumbersome, but 2 Float Stone lets you get around that with ease.

3 Wally

Frogadier’s Water Duplicates is the focus on this deck in the early game. By using it your first turn, you can quickly overwhelm your opponent with multiple Greninja. Wally allows us to do this, and between Trainers’ Mail and Battle Compressor, you should have no issue getting the turn one Water Duplicates.

2 Silent Lab
silent-lab
You don’t need to play Basics with Abilities. Move along.

Because we do not play any Basic Pokémon with Abilities, I think Silent Lab is the go-to choice for a Stadium. Originally, I did not even bother with a Stadium because the deck does not need one. However, a counter-stadium is absolutely needed with so many decks relying on them – Dimension Valley and Parallel City come to mind. Silent Lab can potentially win you a game early on if your opponent relies on Shaymin-EX’s Set Up and cannot find another Stadium in time.

Another option might be to use Rough Seas, simply because it is effectively counters both Trevenant BREAK’s Silent Fear and bat damage quite well. The only issue with this choice is that it lets your opponent use it as well – Seismioad-EX and M Manectric-EX decks can gain the upper hand using your Stadium.

2 Max Potion

Because this deck is effective in conserving Energy, Max Potion is a great addition here. Most attackers cannot one-shot Greninja BREAK and its massive 170 HP, so being able to heal constantly is great – it functions as a better alternative to Rough Seas.

1 Town Map, 1 Energy Retrieval

town-map

Town Map is an incredible utility card in this deck. As I mentioned, getting the turn one Frogadier is crucial to making the deck work. However, in the event that you cannot or find that some Frogadier are prized, Town Map enables us to stay in the game and eventually get our frog army ready to go on the bench.

I also like this card because it lets you get one-off cards from your Prize Cards, like Fisherman or Lysandre. The 1 Energy Retrieval can be clutch when you need that extra Energy or two but cannot find the Fisherman or draw into the Water Energy; it works well with Trainers’ Mail, too.

One final note: though the list is tight, I would love to include 1-2 Muscle Band. The extra 20 damage would allow you to take KO’s on most Pokémon-EX using Shadow Switch (with 2 Giant Water Shurikens) and put your opponent in a sticky spot without their Abilities. You could possibly take out 1 Max Potion for a Muscle Band since both regular Greninja and the BREAK are bulky enough to withstand a couple attacks anyway.


 

Sharknado

garchomp
The shark strikes again.

I was ecstatic to see a new Garchomp in BREAKpoint when the set was first announced – and a playable one at that! What I really like about this deck is that it has no dependency whatsoever on Pokémon-EX. The Korrina engine enables you to get out Garchomp quickly. Octillery pairs nicely with Korrina because after you get your Fighting Pokémon and Item card, you can use Abyssal Hand to draw more cards.

In other words, you don’t necessarily have to discard your hand and Professor Sycamore every turn unless you absolutely need to. In addition, Garchomp is a very efficient Stage 2. It has Free Retreat, Energy acceleration for a single Energy, and its second attack Bite Off can easily one-shot most Pokémon-EX. As for the count, I find a 4-1-4 line to be with 4 Rare Candy to be consistent for the turn two Garchomp. However, you could certainly do 4-2-4 and 3 Rare Candy if you fear Item lock decks or discarding Rare Candy early on.

Pokémon: 17Trainers: 35Energy: 8
4 Gible BKP
1 Gabite BKP
4 Garchomp BPT
2 Hawlucha FFI
2 Remoraid BKT
2 Octillery BKT
1 Jirachi PR-XY
1 Miltank FLF
4 Korrina
3 Professor Sycamore
1 Lysandre
1 Hex Maniac
1 Judge

3 Fighting Stadium

4 VS Seeker
4 Rare Candy
2 Ultra Ball
2 Level Ball
2 Muscle Band
2 Float Stone
1 Focus Sash
1 Battle Compressor
1 Max Potion
1 Professors' Letter
1 Startling Megaphone
1 Sacred Ash
4 Fighting
4 Strong
2 Hawlucha, 1 Miltank, 1 Jirachi
Jirachi-stardust
Specifically for Special Energy decks.

As powerful as Garchomp is, it needs secondary attackers in case you are having trouble getting set up. Hawlucha is great because it has free Retreat and is capable of doing 120 damage for a single Energy with the right combination of cards. Miltank can similarly hit for 100 and is good if you have a lone Garchomp in play.

Lastly, Jirachi is here mainly as a hard counter to Seismitoad-EX and Night March. You can simply get a Level Ball off Korrina your first turn, attach to Jirachi, and Stardust until your opponent misses a beat.

1 Focus Sash, 1 Max Potion, 1 Battle Compressor

Originally I wanted to include thicker counts of these cards, but I found them to be clunky early game. Because we play Korrina, we can play one-off cards and search for them in a pinch. Focus Sash is great with Hawlucha because it can now withstand two hits and will likely KO a Pokémon-EX by then. Max Potion has synergy with Garchomp because of its Energy acceleration.

You can heal Garchomp, put Energy in the Discard Pile, and then reattach it to something on the Bench. Finally, Battle Compressor is great as a one-off because I can put certain Supporters and Energy (including Strong) into the Discard Pile early on. Lastly, I included Battle Compressor so I can easily put certain Supporters and Energy (including Strong) into the Discard Pile.


 

Night March

Pokémon: 15Trainers: 41Energy: 4
4 Joltik PHF
4 Pumpkaboo PHF
4 Lampent PHF
3 Shaymin-EX ROS
2 Professor Sycamore
2 Lysandre
2 Hex Maniac
1 Teammates
1 Giovanni's Scheme

3 Dimension Valley

4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
4 Trainers' Mail
4 Battle Compressor
4 Puzzle of Time
3 Acro Bike
2 Fighting Fury Belt
2 Float Stone
1 Buddy-Buddy Rescue
1 Startling Megaphone
1 Town Map
4 Double Colorless

This deck is all about pure speed. The maxed out lines of Battle Compressor and Trainers’ puzzle-of-timeMail provide consistency and enable you to burn through the deck with ease to get quick KO’s. The biggest addition we see here Puzzle of Time. It is almost like the card developers had this in mind for decks like this – the ability to recycle Special Energy is crucial here. But to say the card is only good for that reason would be undermining it – it lets you get back ANY two cards.

Discarded all your Dimension Valley but need another for the KO? Ran out of Night Marchers? Need that extra 10 damage from Fighting Fury Belt? Puzzle of Time has you covered in all of these scenarios and then some. It also has another effect that has synergy with Acro Bike – being able to arrange the top 3 cards of your deck. While you will not find yourself playing the card for this effect, just having the option to do so makes this card even better.

There is no need to talk about specific card choices here because Night March is probably the most vanilla deck in Standard – most lists will only be a card or two off at most. I opted for 2 Hex Maniac given that Trevenant and Greninja BREAK will certainly see competitive play; prizing your lone copy would otherwise lead to an immediate concession. Fighting Fury Belt is in some ways what Night Marchers have been needing – the extra 40 HP can be enough to withstand an Oblivion Wing or bat damage.

Lastly, I think Buddy-Buddy Rescue has become standard in this deck. While many players opted to play Super Rod when Milotic was used in place of Puzzle of Time, I think the deck now has plenty of outs of recycling Pokémon if necessary. Buddy-Buddy Rescue is also especially useful in the early game to retrieve Shaymin-EX from the Discard Pile when used alongside Battle Compressor.


 

Houndoom Mill

I wrote an article on my Cities Marathon experience last month (click HERE to read it). In it, I discussed the potential of Houndoom mill decks and how BREAKpoint could finally make the deck see competitive play. In testing thus far, I think the new additions certainly bring new life to the strategy of the deck – and that is to continually disrupt your opponent and prevent KO’s while milling them out of resources to win by deck-out.

Pokémon: 10Trainers: 42Energy: 8
4 Houndoom-EX BKT
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
2 Trubbish BKP
2 Garbodor BKP
4 Professor Sycamore
2 Team Flare Grunt
1 Xerosic
1 Pokémon Center Lady
1 Delinquent
1 Lysandre
1 Judge
1 AZ

2 Parallel city

4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Crushing Hammer
3 Fighting Fury Belt
2 Battle Compressor
2 Float Stone
2 Max Potion
1 Startling Megaphone
1 Enhanced Hammer
1 Super Rod
8 Fire
3 Fighting Fury Belt
fighting-fury-belt
That 40 HP makes a huge difference. Huuuuge. -Bernie Sanders

This is my favorite addition to the deck. Having 210 HP on a Basic Pokémon is huge, as most Pokémon will never be able to one-shot it besides Water types. Combined with cards like Super Scoop Up and Pokémon Center Lady, some new options open up in terms of keeping Houndoom from being KO’d.

For example, typically M Manectric-EX can Turbo Bolt twice for the KO. However, By using Fighting Fury Belt and Pokémon Center Lady, it will now take at least 3 turns to take the KO – possibly even longer.

2 Max Potion

This is another useful addition from the new set. Even if your opponent is about to take the KO, Max Potion can quickly rid your Houndoom-EX of damage and wipe the slate clean. It can also be used on your benched Shaymin-EX or Garbodor should they be in danger of being KO’d.

2-2 Garbodor
garbodor
The trash king is back, folks.

One of the complaints I had with the original Houndoom mill decks I talked about last month was that they could not deal with Abilities effectively. Hex Maniac was a solid option, albeit a temporary solution. Garbodor bridges this gap by providing permanent Ability lock.

They key is to have two Trubbish out – that way your opponent is unlikely to go for the Lysandre KO as it provides psychological intimidation of another Garbodor coming out next turn, not to mention it gives Houndoom-EX another turn to survive and mill for 2. So many decks rely on Abilities – from Shaymin’s Set Up to Zoroark’s Stand In – so I think it is only fitting to make room for the trash ‘mon.

2 Parallel City
parallel-city
Countering Seismitoad since 2015.

My original list from last month ran upwards of 5 Stadiums! Needless to say, this deck doesn’t need quite that many. Those lists opted to play Slurpuff and Tierno for draw support, but I think Professor Sycamore is simply faster and lets us apply pressure earlier on. That said, it was a tough choice between Parallel City and Scorched Earth, but in the end Parallel City makes much more sense.

Firstly, it allows me to rid my bench of Shaymin-EX, removing a potential liability from my board. Second, the alternate effect of Parallel City – which reduces the damage from Fire, Water, and Grass by 20 before Weakness – is huge against decks like Seismitoad-EX. Quaking Punch for 60 sounds scary against my deck, but a Quaking Punch for 20 after Weakness is nothing. I can discard a large number of my opponent’s resources before Houndoom-EX is KO’d, at which point I simply bring up a second and continue doing so.


Conclusion

The addition of BREAKpoint brings a number of great new cards and strategies into the Standard format. As always, I encourage you to use these lists as a foundation and tweak them to your own playstyle – be creative! That said, there are a number of other decks that have emerged from the new set that I am sure to make deck profile videos and articles for in the near future. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE and like us on Facebook HERE to stay up to date on news from Top Deck Nation!

On another note, I would love to hear your feedback on the new layout of the site. I think the new design is much cleaner and speedier than what we had before. There is still a ton of work to be done, so if you see some blank pages or glitchy posts, those should be fixed soon! We are in need of someone to assist in making a card database, as well as writers in general. If you would like to help, contact us HERE! Lastly, because Top Deck Nation is 100% free in terms of content, we have begun placing ads on both the site and in YouTube videos. Please consider donating so that we can continue adding features and make our content even more professional.

I truly appreciate the support from the Pokémon community – your encouragement and feedback is what drives me to continue writing quality articles and maintaining Top Deck Nation. Until next time!

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Residing in Lexington, Kentucky, Zach Carmichael is a 24 year old who has been a Pokemon enthusiast since the early days of the original Base Set. A competitive player since 2012, he has won multiple City Championships and made Top Cut at various Battle Roads, Cities, and State Championships. Outside of Pokemon, Zach is a graduate student at the University of Kentucky where he studies music theory. This is probably why he enjoys deck analysis and theorymon'ing as much as actually playing the card game.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Zack, great article! I just got back into the game and wanted some lists to mess around with! Also would it be possible to add set numbers/set names to the cards? It gets confusing when I just see “2 Greninja 2 Greninja” haha

  2. Thank you for the article and being able to read through the whole thing (dad with two kids and working on masters) without having to pay for an annoying service. Great Article!!

  3. Instead of March of the frog army call it swift like a ninja chop and take out 2 greninja’s from the new set and add 2 of the water shuriken ability

    • The build in this article is meant to be a skeleton list to add your own ideas to! Garchomp hasn’t really had the spotlight as of yet, but it certainly has a lot going for it – namely the Korrina/Strong Energy/Fighting Stadium engine – and the great thing is that we will likely be getting a reprint set, so the deck should be playable for a couple years at least.

  4. so i have been playing garchomp recently and i have felt that dropping sushi master for a 2-2 garbador line is the better option. my works matchup has been greninja break and this line puts them in a coffin. but i am having trouble with a build that will be the most effective. if anyone has ideas pls comment

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