“BREAKing Trevenant:” a Look at Trevenant’s New Strategy, and Its Counter

Hey guys, Phinn again. It seems like every Top 8 list in Expanded is coming with surprises. The meta has become diverse, and somewhat overwhelming. In this piece, I will cover the deck that recently took first at Philadelphia Regionals: Trevenant.

With this new list, I have come to the conclusion that Trevenant is the best deck in the Expanded format. In this article I cover the matchups it has, and why Jonathan Crespo’s list works so well. My first half of this piece will explain exactly why Trevenant is the powerhouse that it is.

For the second half of this article, I’ll cover how Yveltal can beat Trevenant. Yveltal is a deck that was thought to hard-counter Trevenant, but recently has not been doing such a good job. I explore a list that will consistently beat Trevenant, and still hold decent matchups against the rest of the meta. Yveltal certainly still beats Trevenant, but only if you have a good list.


Trevenant just won the biggest Regionals in Pokemon history. While this is a bit of a grandiose statement considering each Regional is bigger than the last, it is impressive. This is even more striking, considering that the most popular deck at Philadelphia Regionals was Yveltal. This new list took an approach that helps to combat the bad matchup, by taking advantage of Yveltal’s item reliance.

The main differences with this new Trevenant deck are the inclusions of two Rescue Scarf and four Red Card. The four Red Card insult the item-based engine that Yveltal currently has. Rescue Scarf is simply a good card in Trevenant that hadn’t been taken advantage of, until now. It also helps to negate the problem of Trevenants being knocked out quickly when facing Dark decks (or any speed deck, really).

This is the list that won Philly Regionals:

Pokémon Р15 Trainers Р37 Energy Р8
4 Phantump BKP64 4 Professor Sycamore 4 VS Seeker 8 Psychic
4 Trevenant XY 2 Wally 4 Ultra Ball
3 Trevenant BREAK 1 Lysandre 4 Crushing Hammer
2 Shaymin EX ROS 1 N 4 Red Card
2 Jirachi EX 1 Team Flare Grunt 2 Level Ball
1 Xerosic 2 Rescue Scarf
1 Enhanced Hammer
1 Super Rod
1 Computer Search
3 Dimension Valley
1 Silent Lab

This new list has many interesting changes, as compared to lists we were used to seeing. The first change is that there are absolutely no switching cards. Most lists would at the very least play an AZ to pick up Shaymin or Jirachi, while this list does not. Float Stone has also been a popular inclusion for keeping energy intact and for switching.

The other interesting part of this list is that there is no secondary attacker. Usually Trevenant lists will play either Mewtwo EX or Wobbuffet to hit for heavy damage. This list opts to focus solely on Trevenant.

Dropping out secondary attackers and switching cards makes it possible to fit counts that were thought to not be achievable. For example, normally it would be very odd to see a list with both four Red Card and four Crushing Hammer. However, this list is able to fit both because of the newfound space. In my testing, not having Float Stone has been a pain. However, being able to beat the deck’s only bad matchup is certainly worth the pain.

I also find it interesting how the list plays a second Jirachi EX. This is a great idea for a couple reasons, the first being that starting with Jirachi EX will never mean you have to miss turn 1 Wally, because you have another way to search it out. There was also a 1/10 chance of prizing Jirachi when you only play one copy of it. Now, this is only an issue in roughly one out of 25 games.

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