“Chaos Wheel in the Sky:” Zach’s Top Six Picks for Salt Lake City

Welcome, Cut or Tap readers, to the article that will make your life (or at least deck choice) easier if you are heading into Salt Lake City Regionals this weekend! I have been building decks with Sun and Moon cards for what seems like ages, and I feel like I have had a fair bit of success in my findings. I have found our current Standard format is fairly healthy… except for the fact that we now have to deal with a gigantic owl who is apparently really good right now.

My main goal of this article is to provide quality deck lists that I believe are all very strong plays in Salt Lake City, some minor how-to’s and advanced plays, and some insight into some “lowkey” decks that may end up being played. Here are the decks that I will go over in this article, in order:

  • Decidueye/Vileplume
  • Turbo Darkrai
  • Darkrai & Dragons
  • M Mewtwo/Garbodor/Wobbuffet
  • Yveltal/Garbodor/Tauros
  • Lapras Lock

I do want to note that even if a deck does not appear on my list or “radar”, it can still be a solid play for Salt Lake City. I am covering a sampling of decks in my testing that have come up on top or have the potential, in my opinion, to do well at the event. Every single player has their own play-style, and there may be more to this upcoming Regionals than I can predict. Hopefully you get some valid information that will help you out in the Standard format for Salt Lake City or a local League Cup, enjoy!

Also, it is key to note going into any tournament: do not overthink your deck choice, and don’t over-stress about match-ups. Often, deck choices are a personal preference and top level play-skill will allow you to soar to the top of any tournament. It is a good idea to play a deck that you are comfortable with going into a tournament, because you will often understand intricate plays, know your deck list inside and out, and know what to do in most matchups.


This is the current front-runner in our format, in my opinion, and I really wanted to share what I believe to be the current Best Deck In Format. Now, before I get ahead of myself in naming a certain deck the BDIF, I will admit that this deck does have obvious faults. This deck is susceptible to a dead draw; sometimes it is in “top-deck-mode” during mid-to-late game, and it is a deck that may have a target on its back going into any event. This deck alone has brought out Wobbuffet GEN from the back of our binders, and has somewhat re-surged some popularity in some older Garbodor-based decks such as Yvetal/Garbodor and M Mewtwo/Garbodor. Putting all of the decks slight weaknesses aside, we have a very functional powerhouse lock deck that can just steal games. Here is my personal list:

Pokémon – 23 Trainers – 30 Energy – 7
4 Decidueye GX 4 Professor Sycamore 4 Trainers’ Mail 4 Double Colorless
4 Dartrix SM 4 N 4 Ultra Ball 3 Grass
4 Rowlet SM 3 Lysandre 3 Level Ball
2 Vileplume AOR 2 Revitalizer
2 Gloom AOR 2 Float Stone
2 Oddish AOR
3 Shaymin EX ROS
2 Lugia EX 4 Forest of Giant Plants

This is a very vanilla Decidueye/Vileplume list, but its main focus is to focus on the consistency aspect of an otherwise “clunky” deck engine. Your main goal is to set up a Decidueye GX and Vileplume up ASAP, in order to lock your opponent with Vileplume and to start using Decidueye GX’s Feather Arrow Ability. The deck has a few attacking options in terms of Lugia EX, or even using Decidueye GX to swing with Razor Leaf, but I ultimately like setting my board up perfectly as the best option.

You may be asking yourself: how can Zach run his deck slightly better? Well, I also like using Shaymin EX’s Sky Return to clear off my board of weaker two-Prize Pokemon and I like to use Hollow Hunt GX to get back very important cards such as Lysander to pseudo-lock my opponent’s Active Pokemon in place.

If you ever get lost in a game and you don’t know where to place your Feather Arrow(s), try to focus on a Pokemon that is a threat (if available), but make sure every single damage placement is well thought-out. Utilizing this strategy of almost always singling specific Pokemon out is especially strong in mirror, where the match is almost always decided by who has more Decidueye-GX in play using Feather Arrow at any given time.

I know some players are advocates of Tauros-GX in this deck and I would like to state that I am personally not one of those people. I find that the card gives too much choice in a bad way because I don’t ever want to choose between using Hollow Hunt GX and Mad Bull GX. Now don’t get me wrong – Mad Bull GX, can definitely have its time and place in a match, but I thoroughly enjoy using Hollow Hunt GX to capitalize on my lock and setup potential. I do find that this card may do some work in a mirror match to try and bait out damage or pseudo-reduce your opponents damage, so that is another benefit to possibly change my mind on this card.

I have also been going back and forth on the idea of Trevenant-EX in the deck and I am so on the fence. The open spot in this list is the 4th N, and Trevenant-EX may just end up taking that spot, depending on my feel on the metagame, or if I decide it is worth it to play for the day. Having the option of a Trainer-lock and adding a Retreat-lock on top of that is always a tempting idea; I just don’t know on this one yet.

I wanted to start out with this list first because it is the deck that I plan on running until it gets “hated” out of the format or it doesn’t continue to get me results. This would be my ultimate pick going into Salt Lake City, due to all of the already aforementioned reasons and ultimately the ability to steal games in a larger tournament. This deck can also transition very well into the Expanded format, because it doesn’t lose anything and already has formal results in the form of John Kettler’s 2nd place finish at St. Louis Regionals. I guess it makes sense to go with the deck that has been out for about a month and has a slew of impressive results.

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