Pokemon World Championship
3DS Features

Pokemon TCG: Getting Ready for the World Championship

The 2016 Edition Pokemon World Championship is around the corner and the guest list is massive.

Players from over 35 countries are reuniting in San Francisco from August 19 to the 21 for this tournament. Qualified players will compete for the number one spot at Pokemon TCG, Pokkén Tournament and more. With over $500,000 in prize to win, San Francisco is definitely the place to be in the next couple of weeks.

Before I start talking about deck choices, here is a quick overview of the stream schedule (for those who can’t make it in person):

General Coverage

  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Pokemon Video Game Championships

  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.


Pokemon TCG Championships

  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.


Pokkén Tournament Championships

  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Last Chance Qualifiers coverage)
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


What Deck Is Everyone Playing?

Heading to the event, every trainer much at least know what they might be facing. Regardless of the competition, it is crucial to know how to play against every possible deck (TCG), team (video game) and character (Pokkén Tournament). When it comes down to the trading card game, here are the decks with approximately how many payers might play them (source: Andrew Mahone – Pokebeach.com):

  • Night March (19.8%)
  • Trevenant BREAK (12.7%)
  • Darkrai-EX / Giratina-EX (10.2%)
  • Night March / Vespiqueen (6.7%)
  • Yveltal / Zoroark (6.3%)
  • Metal (5.6%)
  • Water Box (4.9%)
  • Greninja BREAK (4.3%)
  • Vespiqueen / Vileplume (3.9%)
  • M Rayquaza-EX (2.8%)
  • M Manectric-EX (2.4%)
  • M Sceptile-EX (1.7%)
  • Zygarge-EX / Vileplume (1.4%)
  • Medicham / Carbink BREAK (1%)
  • Seismitoad-EX / Giratina-EX (0.35%)
  • Other (12%)


Based off of the stats provided in Mahone’s article, the top deck of choice is the Night March deck. I have faced a couple variation of it in past tournaments, and I understand why it is played so much. The deck is fast and requires very little energy to attack. However, it cannot run as well without Battle Compressor. That being said, the deck is built in order to get a hold of those as soon as possible.

Deck that tend to rely strongly on Trainer’s Mail and Battle Compressor have a massive disadvantage: they are weak to item lock. For players headed to the World Championship, I would recommend playing a deck that is both relatively fast to set up and can provide a minimum of item lock. Having support cards that destroys special energy is also a good direction to go.

I have composed a couple of useful decks that can measure up against Night March, like the Item Lock Mew and the Slowking / Seismitoad-EX combo. I haven’t tested them in competitions yet, but against some other decks, they have proven to be quite strong and fun to play.


Another important deck to take note of is the second favorite, the Trevenant BREAK. This one locks the opponent from using any items. Early on, if the setup is complete, it hinders many decks, especially Night March. A good thing to consider would be to either take it down as soon as possible, or have support cards like Hex Maniac. Building a deck with too many items will only result in dead draw until you deal with Trevenant, so keep that in mind when building yours.


Be Open Minded!

In competitions, only the best can win! It doesn’t mean that you are under such pressure that it isn’t a good idea to think outside of the box and try next things. You might have a solid deck, but if others think ahead and build to counter it, only trouble will await. That being said, some cards are rarely played because of the fact that they have little utility. In a tournament, they can be a surprise and catch your opponent off guard.

With Steam Siege out, it is a good opportunity to build new and unexpected decks. Also great for support cards. For example, the new Talonflame can be played right off the bat if you draw it in your starting hand. Regardless of the deck you play, it can provide massive early pressure, enough to give you time to set up, or even win from the get go! My recommendation would be to add a single one. If you pull it, you are lucky, but if you don’t, there isn’t enough in the deck to hinder your match.


Stay Calm and Have Fun

Pokemon TCG has a strong competitive scene and at the World Championship, you are bound to meet some shady players. Keep your focus, analyze every move and stay calm. Being a good sport is without a doubt the best advice I can give you.

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Slimzz is a DJ & Gamer by night, IMGMR's Senior Editor and PR by day. He loves to break the meta in his own way, and discover new and engaging games.

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