Hello Bit Cultures. My name is Brandon, and this will be the first of many articles all about the Pokémon TCG that I will be contributing to this website. I have been playing the game for just under a year now, but in my time I have traveled all around the UK, encountering many of the top players from my country, most of which are frequent Worlds qualifiers. During this season, I will not be trying to earn myself a Worlds invite, however, you can definitely count on me aiming for the top during the next one, which starts in July.
Anyway, that’s enough about me for one day. Today, I am here to bring you a decklist for one of the top decks in the Standard Format – Manectric-EX/Crobat – with some new BREAKpoint cards sprinkled in.
- 3x Manectric-EX (PHF #23)
- 3x Crobat (PHF #33)
- 4x Golbat (PHF #32)
- 4x Zubat (PHF #31)
- 2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)
- 4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)
- 1x Judge (BKT #143)
- 2x Lysandre (FLF #90)
- 1x AZ (PHF #91)
- 1x Delinquent (BKP #98)
- 1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)
- 1x Xerosic (PHF #110)
- 4x Ultra Ball (FLF #99)
- 3x Level Ball (AOR #76)
- 4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)
- 3x Trainers’ Mail (RSK #92)
- 2x Max Elixir (BKP #102)
- 1x Super Rod (BKT #149)
- 4x Muscle Band (XY #121)
- 2x Head Ringer (PHF #97)
- 2x Parallel City (BKT #145)
- 7x Lightning Energy (XY #135)
- 1x Fighting Energy (XY #137)
This deck can do some serious damage to your opponent for just a total of two energies, whilst spreading sneaky and surprise bites for 20 and 30 damage to keep the pressure on. Here are some explanations on the cards that I included:
4-4-3 Crobat Line
Bats make up 11 out of 16 Pokémon in this deck, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Heavy counts of Golbat and Crobat allows us to use their Sneaky Bite and Surprise Bite abilities every single turn. This way, we can reach the magical numbers of 170 and 180 damage consistently to knockout EXs, or we can snipe the bench for lower HP Pokémon such as Zorua, Bronzor, opposing Zubats, and most importantly, Night Marchers.
This card is amazing as our stadium tech. Early game, we will be using Shaymin-EX to set up, and from then on – unless we use our Supporter for the turn to AZ them back to our hand – they will stay there, available to your opponent as a Lysandre target for an easy two prizes. However, we can use Parallel City to reduce our own bench size, allowing us to discard our Shaymin-EX out of harms way. That’s not all the stadium can be used for though, as your opponent’s Grass, Fire and Water Pokémon’s attacks are reduced by 20. This is great vs Seismitoad-EX, who’s Quaking Punch attack will be reduced to a mere 10 damage. It also works against one of the deck’s bad matchups – Entei/Charizard-EX – which is usually able to do 170 damage every turn, however, the damage reduction will make it much harder for them to take knockouts on Manectric-EX, allowing you to jump ahead in the prize race.
One of the new cards from BREAKpoint, Delinquent can be used to stop your opponent dead in their tracks. After you’ve used your Parallel City to discard your Shaymin-EX, you can use this Supporter to discard your stadium and force your opponent to discard 3 cards from their hand, sometimes leaving them with 0 cards. This also opens up those two extra bench spaces once occupied by Shaymin-EX, now to be filled with more Bats and Manectric-EX. This single tech Supporter can open so many doors for you, with the possibility of leaving all of your opponent’s shut.
Sometimes, your opponent will take a knockout on one of your Manectric-EX, and you won’t have another attacker set up on the bench as manually attaching one energy a turn can be pretty slow. Max Elixir comes in the fix this problem. As all the energy in our deck is basic, we have the ability to set up two Manectric-EX at the same time, allowing us to keep up the pressure on our opponents by hitting big numbers with Assault Laser every single turn.
Four Muscle Band
Decks usually run 2-3 Muscle Band, but we’ve got a full 4 stuffed into this list. The need to be doing 140 damage a turn with Manectric-EX is critical, as this means a single Surprise Bite from Crobat would get you a knockout on a 170HP EX, while Sneaky Bites from two Golbats earn you two prizes vs a 180HP EX. Having a maximum count also gives us the option of putting them onto our Crobats and attacking with Skill Dive for 50, which can be awkward for your opponent as knocking out a Crobat awards them with only one prize, forcing them into a 7-prize game.
One Basic Fighting Energy
“Woah woah woah Brandon! Have you lost your mind? We need Lightning Energy to power up Manectric-EX, so why have we got a random Fighting Energy in this list?”
The answer is actually pretty simple. Overrun costs a single Colourless Energy, and Assault Laser costs one Lightning Energy and one Colourless Energy. There will never be a time where we draw into the wrong energy, as the single Fighting Energy will always be able to cover the Colourless cost. But here’s where the real genius comes into play. Decks such as Entei/Charizard-EX and Primal Groudon-EX usually run the stadium Scorched Earth, and we can use its effect by discarding our tech Fighting Energy to draw an extra two cards. Pretty nifty? I don’t see a reason why not to run this tech energy; the benefits by far outweigh the constrictions.
Although I am very happy with this list, there are a few cards you could consider substituting in place of others within the deck.
Super Scoop Up
A heads on our coin flips allow us to put our bats back into our hand to reuse their abilities again, or heal off the damage on our Manectric-EX if they were not one-hit KO’d. However, as there is a coin flip involved, Super Scoop Up can be an unreliable card to depend on, and I don’t think the reward is good enough for it to take up spaces in this list.
Fighting Fury Belt
I have discussed this with my friend quite a lot. While he thinks that playing Fighting Fury Belt helps Manectric-EX stay alive longer, I noted that they award -10 damage compared to Muscle Band, as well as its effect being nullified when attached to Crobat and Golbat. Arguments can be made for and against the inclusion of either card in this deck, so feel free to switch around the Muscle Bands for Fighting Fury Belts.
Flash Energy mainly helps Manectric-EX against three threats – Lucario-EX, Gallade and Garchomp – by taking away its weakness to Fighting. However, there are a few reasons why I have opted not to play any of these Special Energy. Firstly, Flash Energy cannot be attached via Max Elixir to our Pokémon, making it more likely when using it for it to fail.
Secondly, Fighting decks usually run Korrina, where they can search out an Item card such as an Enhanced Hammer to discard our Special Energy, allowing them to attack Manectric-EX for twice the damage. However, without Flash Energy, these decks can be beaten by playing smartly and by setting up faster than they can (except for Garchomp, as even with Flash Energy, Bite Off can easily reach 180 damage against Pokémon-EXs).
Lucario-EX, as its name implies, is a Pokémon-EX, which enables us to attach Head Ringer to them, a tool which makes their attacks cost an extra Colourless Energy to use. This also increases Assault Laser’s attack damage by 60, so with the right bat drops, you can knock them out before they can even get an attack off. Gallade is a little more tricky to deal with as he’s a non-EX, however, he and Lucario-EX both share a weakness to Psychic, so Crobat can deal double damage to them. A Sneaky Bite, Surprise Bite and a Skill Dive with Muscle Band knocks out Gallade, while two Muscle Banded Skill Dives knocks out Lucario-EX. To top it all off, Crobat has a -20 Resistance to Fighting, which makes it very difficult for Lucario-EX and Gallade to one-hit KO them.
Manectric-EX/Crobat is a deck that I have tested with great success, and it is a top choice for me to play at the Pokémon UK Nationals on 14th-15th May, which will be held at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool. I hope this article has helped you with another great deck choice for you to be the very best like no one ever was. Till next time readers!