Hello, Bit Cultures.
As the release of the tenth XY expansion Fates Collides draws closer, BREAKpoint has become fully implemented in the strategies of tournament winning decks. Whether it be Puzzle of Time in Night March, or Bursting Balloon to cause even more disruption with Trevenant BREAK, the most recent set has definitely changed the way we build our lists.
One of our favourite Starter Pokémon – Greninja – received its own BREAK Evolution, with an absolutely brilliant ability called Giant Water Shuriken that places 6 damage counters on one of the opponent’s Pokémon by discarding a single Water Energy. This card has worked itself into its own deck archetype, which many people have seen great success within States and Regionals around the globe.
- 2x Greninja BREAK (BKP #41)
- 3x Greninja (BKP #40)
- 1x Greninja (XY #41)
- 4x Frogadier (BKP #39)
- 4x Froakie (BKP #38)
- 1x Octillery (BKT #33)
- 1x Remoraid (BKT #32)
- 2x Jirachi (XYPR #67)
- 4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)
- 3x Wally (RSK #94)
- 1x Skyla (BKT #148)
- 1x AZ (PHF #91)
- 1x Ace Trainer (AOR #69)
- 2x Fisherman (BKT #136)
- 4x Dive Ball (PRC #125)
- 2x Level Ball (AOR #76)
- 4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)
- 4x Trainers’ Mail (RSK #92)
- 1x Professor’s Letter (XY #123)
- 2x Startling Megaphone (FLF #97)
- 2x Sacred Ash (FLF #96)
- 3x Rough Seas (PRC #137)
- 8x Water Energy (XY #134)
Three Greninja (BKP) and One Greninja (XY)
Leading the pack is the deck’s main attacker. While the BREAK is the poster ‘mon of the list, it’s the base Greninja that is important when calculating damage at the end of the turn. For a single Colourless Energy, BREAKpoint’s Greninja can use the attack Shadow Stitching, which does 40 damage and shuts down your opponent’s abilities until the end of their next turn. This means no Stand In from Zoroark, no Metal Links from Bronzong and no Sneaky/Surprise Bite from Golbat/Crobat.
For a single Water Energy, you can use the attack Moonlight Slash, which does 60 damage plus 20 if you return a Water Energy attached to Greninja to your hand. This technique gives you flexibility during your next turn, as you can discard that energy to use Giant Water Shuriken, or reattach it to whichever Pokémon you please. It also helps against the Yveltal-EX and M Mewtwo-EX (Y) match ups, as it leaves Greninja with zero energy attached, reducing the damage dealt by Evil Ball and Psychic Infinity respectively.
We also play a single copy of XY Greninja, which is usually left on the bench to make use of its Water Shuriken ability, a less powerful version of the BREAK’s ability, placing 3 damage counters instead of 6. When used in combination with Moonlight Slash and Giant Water Shuriken, you can knockout Pokémon-EX with 170HP or less in a single turn. Joltik and Feebas also only have 30HP, which can be easily picked off when these cards come face-to-face, allowing you to take lots of knockouts per turn against Night March.
This promo card was released along with a reprint of Hawlucha (FFI #36) in the BREAKthrough single pack blisters, and it might well be one of the best promo cards ever released. For a single Colourless Energy, Jirachi can use the attack Stardust, which does 10 damage while discarding a Special Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokémon. To top it all off, discarding a Special Energy in this way prevents your opponent from affecting Jirachi by any attack during their next turn.
Getting back on topic with Greninja, one of the hardest match-ups it has in today’s metagame is Vespiquen/Vileplume, a deck which hits Greninja for weakness whilst locking you out of the use of your items. It also usually only runs four Double Colourless Energy. Throwing a couple of Jirachi into the mix can disrupt your opponent substantially, as they can either scramble to find another Double Colourless Energy and possibly Lysandre around the protected Jirachi, which allows you to rinse and repeat with Stardust the following turn, or they can wait a turn to protect their Special Energy, giving you an opening to attack with Greninja BREAK and bombard them with Giant Water Shuriken and Moonlight Slash.
One annoying thing about Greninja BREAK that makes a lot of people turn away from the deck is the time it takes to set up. Essentially being a Stage 3 deck, it will naturally take three full turns until you reach the BREAK Evolution. The use of Wally not only allows you earlier access to your Greninja; it also benefits you a whole lot more than it would anywhere else.
They say there’s strength in numbers, and Frogadier’s Water Duplicates attack allows you to search your deck for up to 3 more Frogadier and place them directly onto your bench. Going second would usually be incredibly detrimental, as by the time you’ve manually evolved into the Stage 1, your opponent has already had enough time to power up an Yveltal-EX, or evolve all the way into a Trevenant BREAK using their own Wally, both ready to attack your squishy Froakie with Evil Ball or Tree Slam respectively. Using Wally to immediately evolve into Frogadier will actually set you up faster than if you were going first with the maximum count of four Frogadier with the first attack of the game.
Another thing Wally will help you overcome is Item Lock, which is used in the strategy of Seismitoad-EX, Trevenant BREAK and Vileplume decks, as their attacks/abilities render your search items useless.
A nifty tech, AZ can lift a Lysandred Octillery right out of the active, maintaining the momentum your deck had already gathered up until that point. Being a Supporter, it can easily be discarded early to be retrieved later on with VS Seeker. You can also pick up a damaged Greninja BREAK – most likely discarding zero energy due to Moonlight Slash’s effect – and BREAK evolve a fresh Greninja that was sitting ready on the bench. This could also possibly allow you to perform a total of three Giant Water Shurikens in a single turn, equating to a total of 180 damage. Surely I don’t need to explain what that can award you with.
Greninja BREAK is a deck that comes from behind to win, so Ace Trainer is the perfect shuffle draw and disruptive Supporter to help achieve this outcome. The card hasn’t seen too much play since it was released in Ancient Origins, as losing the prize race isn’t considered the best way to claim victory.
Here’s a neat trick you can hide under your sleeve for when your opponent least expects it: use Ace Trainer, and then follow through with a Shadow Stitching attack, which shuts off all of your opponent’s abilities until the end of their turn, such as Shaymin-EX’s Set Up or Octillery’s Abyssal Hand. When used at the right moment, your opponent will be unable to draw out of their hand, giving you the opportunity the get lots of devastating hits in with your own abilities.
This card from Flashfire can deal with lots of pesky tools attached to your opponent’s Pokémon. The two that immediately spring to mind are Float Stone and the newly released Fighting Fury Belt. Decks such as Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade utilize Float Stone to give their Pokémon free retreat, gifting the deck extra mobility, as well as an easy way to get something out of the active, whilst Night March lists have opted to play Fighting Fury Belt in order to give their attackers more survivability.
Another deck which uses Pokémon Tools – this time to directly disrupt Greninja BREAK by shutting off its abilities – is Garbodor. The damage output and sniping capabilities of your deck will be negated significantly when the ability Garbotoxin comes into effect. A single use of Startling Megaphone will discard every Pokémon Tool attached to your opponent’s Pokémon, and the advantage they received from each one will be lost.
Two Sacred Ash
Whilst testing, I would sometimes have to use a Professor Sycamore to discard my hand, which included some key parts of the Greninja line and my one Sacred Ash, preventing me from getting them back later in the game when my starting attack force had been knocked out. Having a second one gives you insurance, so if the situation ever calls for you to get rid of all of these important pieces, you won’t have to worry about running out of Pokémon.
Greninja BREAK has 170HP, a very tanky amount for a Pokémon to have, equivalent to that of most Pokémon-EX. When your opponent is having trouble knocking out your one prize attacker which is healing 30 damage a turn, you’ll be able to charge ahead in the prize race. Better yet, Greninja from BREAKpoint has free retreat, so if it were to be two-hit KO’d, you can easily retreat it to the bench and heal off the damage gradually whilst attacking with a fresh Greninja/Greninja BREAK.
As a side note, Trevenant BREAK has become a popular play due to its good match-up against Night March, which uses Forest’s Curse and Silent Fear to Item Lock their opponent and spread 30 damage to all of your Pokémon. Being able to cancel out the 30 damage taken by healing with Rough Seas every turn will make it harder for Trevenant BREAK to take knock outs, and replacing their Dimension Valley will force them to commit more energy to their attackers or dig deep for another stadium.
While it may not the fastest deck in the Standard Format, Greninja BREAK has the insane capabilities of stealing games from right under your opponent’s nose through the ways of ability sniping, cheap powerful attacks and a quick way to fill up through the use of Frogadier’s Water Duplicates.
UK Nationals is less than a month away now, and you can be sure that I’ll be considering this deck to take me far. Thank you for reading this deck review. I’ll see you next time with more Pokémon content!