New ideas & revisions to the previous ideas

Since posting An Archetype Collage I have done far more testing and coaching, leading me to condense and then expand the number of deck choices for Worlds. In the process of trying to cut out the bad lists and concepts, I ended up building new decks and exploring different variants of those decks. It’s been a while since the last article. That extra time allowed me to keep writing and refining. As a result of that, this is a long piece at over 8000 words. In this article you can read about the following:

Table of Contents

  • Abstracted new information related to An Archetype Collage
  • Dark Box (Orthodox deck list, Jirachi approach to the list, list explanation, strategy, experimental list, viability)
  • Baby Blacephalon (Early-stage deck list, what Baby Blowns has to change for rotation, an experimental list)
  • Blacephalon GX Naganadel (Updated list, an explanation of why the deck is tier two)
  • Giratina Malamar Spell Tags (My new list, explaining the changes, how to beat rough match ups)
  • Persian Box (Match up descriptions [longest section of the article], full match up spread percentages, two alternative lists)
  • Beheeyem Shedinja (updated list, explanation of list additions)
  • General new information and observations on the format

For those who want the quick and easy version of reading through some of the updated info, there is a condensed version of our findings bellow. With the huge word-count of this piece, I cannot blame anybody for wanting to just get some of the important details and skim through the lists.

Abstracted new information related to An Archetype Collage

  • Confirmed the theory that Blacephalon GX is not as good as Giratina Tags. Match ups for each deck are similar, but Giratina is favored against Blacephalon GX. Big Blowns does a bit better against Dark Box, which could be a reason to still consider the deck.
  • Shedinja is the best Beheeyem variant thus far. Slaking, Basic Walls, and Goomy are no longer being tested in the deck.
  • The Giratina Spell Tags list has changed dramatically to deal with mirrors and help with the Dark Box match up.
  • Close to every idea tested in Persian failed, leaving the current list at 59 of the last article’s 60 cards. The focus is more on strategy now, but new list ideas still have potential.
  • The PikaRom list remains very powerful with all new ideas failing to improve the deck. Our best list is still the one in An Archetype Collage.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get into my new favorite deck. My expectation going into testing with Dark Box was that the deck would not be good enough to be played for Worlds. We predicted problems related to setting up multiple Stage 1 Pokemon, especially because of Ultra Ball and Nest Ball rotating. Another issue is the fact that the deck has no real way to search out Custom Catchers, while other decks have routes such as Jirachi, Volkner, Green’s Exploration, and Cat Walk (or play Ninetales instead of Catcher). The first list is a stripped back consistency version, which is something like what I expect most people are using. The second list is a version I am surprised to say I have not seen anybody else testing. Lastly, I have an experimental version that is currently untested which does not play Lillie at all, changing the deck dramatically. I prefer the second list with its Jirachi package, but feel free to take a look at each of the lists and decide for yourself.

Dark Box (Orthodox Approach)

Pokémon – 17 Trainers – 33 Energy – 10
 2 Weavile GX  4 Lillie  4 Super Scoop Up  10 Dark
 3 Sneasel  4 Cynthia  4 Custom Catcher
 3 Poipole (107/214)  2 Erika’s Hospitality  2 Pokegear 3.0
 3 Naganadel  4 Pokemon Communication
 1 Ditto Prism Star  3 Viridian Forest  3 Cherish Ball
 2 Umbreon & Darkrai GX  3 Mysterious Treasure
 1 Darkrai Prism Star
 1 Mega Sableye & Tyranitar GX
 1 Dedenne GX

You can add in several different techs to this deck such as Hoopa GX, Mewtwo Mew GX (with attackers like Dragonite GX), Greninja Zoroark GX, and Black Market, but at the end of the day your deck needs to get off the ground and start running before you can fit all that fun stuff. Throughout my testing so far, there is no room for anything in this deck that is not a consistency card. This deck needs between two and four Stage 1 Pokemon in play, several Energy on the field, and to find the Scoop Ups at the right time; personally I am not lucky enough to do that with those techs in the list. I went with a list that only plays the most important attackers out of necessity.

You can only get so far with playing a run of the mill consistency engine with no extra speed or added draw. The options I consider in this format to add that extra power are Persian GX, Acro Bikes, Jirachi, a high Dedenne count, Zebstrika, and Pidgeotto. It seems Jirachi was the best fit for this deck, with Acro Bikes coming in second. In particular, being able to find the Custom Catchers and Super Scoop Ups at key times is what sold me on this approach. This is the build I currently have sleeved up:

Dark Box (Jirachi)

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