My name is Jamie DePamphilis and I am one of the newest additions to the Dead Draw Gaming Family. I play competitively in the Boston area and I've been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game for almost 9 years. Today, I want to explore one of my favorite decks, Greninja BREAK, and the potential that the deck could see in the upcoming Ultra Prism format.
Pokémon - 18
4 - Froakie BKP 38
4 - Frogadier BKP 39
4 - Greninja BKP 40
3 - Greninja BREAK 41
1 - Staryu BKP 25
1 - Starmie EVO 31
1 - Tapu Lele GX GRI 60
Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums - 28
4 - Cynthia
4 - N
2 - Skyla
1 - Professor Sycamore
4 - Ultra Ball
4 - Evosoda
3 - Choice Band
2 - Enhanced Hammer
1 - Super Rod
1 - Rescue Stretcher
3 - Brooklet Hill
Energy - 10
6 Water Energy
4 Splash Energy
Total = 56
This is a pretty straightforward skeleton of the deck compiled from accomplishments Greninja has had at prior tournaments, with the inclusion of the best card that the deck receives from Ultra Prism: Cynthia. Cynthia is a great supporter option for this deck because it allows you to conserve your resources more handily as opposed to discarding them using Professor Sycamore, and adds more draw supporters to help with overall consistency. Based on how the current meta seems to be formulating, Greninja has a pretty fitting place in the meta with its many positive match-ups across the board. In addition, Greninja also has a wide versatility gap in the upcoming meta as it has many options that can be incorporated into the list.
Alternative Card Options:
This card can be viewed as filling a flex spot depending on how the meta continues to shift over the next few weeks. It would be included mainly for getting rid of nuisances like Parallel City, and tools to deal with Garbotoxin Garbodor. It is a very versatile card and can be used in many situations, but Greninja can definitely get away with not playing them at the moment. However, a single copy could become necessary if the meta shifts to a point where Garbotoxin Garbodor becomes popular again.
Rare Candy is an interesting tech option for Ninja lists going forward. Although you generally rely on Water Duplicates to get set up, Rare Candy can allow you to have early aggression against your opponent and take quick knockouts or take control of the game by ability locking your opponent with Shadow Stitching. It also serves to better streamline the all-important evolutions, and with Skyla in the deck, you have an easy way to fish it out of the deck whenever you need it.
This Prism Star Supporter is another interesting inclusion from Ultra Prism that Greninja can easily take advantage of. Cyrus is a card that can take control of your opponents' board as you can shuffle some of their resources back into their deck. I didn't include Cyrus in the initial list because it can inadvertently help your opponent by allowing them to shuffle cards such as Tapu Lele GX, which would otherwise be targets for Giant Water Shurikens, back into the deck. On the other hand, a well-timed Cyrus can be very impactful against Stage 2 decks such as Empoleon, Gardevoir/Gallade, Garchomp/Lucario, and Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt.
Pal Pad is a great resource that will see play in most decks. In a deck like Greninja that doesn't have much drawing utility power, being able to recycle your supporters can be very impactful in the late stages of games.
2nd Staryu BKP:
This inclusion of another Staryu can be great as a consistency option. As the game progresses, players tend to go after supporting options such as Starmie in order to help shut down the consistency of Giant Water Shuriken in the later turns. Having a second Staryu can help you reset Starmie easier.
Timer Ball is another great consistency option as it can increase your odds of finding your evolution Pokémon in order to get set up. Although it has a 25% chance of failing to search, Timer Ball can be a good source of finding evolution Pokémon in the earlier turns, which is of the utmost importance in Greninja.
This card is a great option to help conserve your Pokémon along with Splash Energy. Max Potion can deny potential 2-hit knockouts from Pokémon such as Zoroark GX and Glaceon GX and can make it harder for you opponent to knockout your attackers that already only give up one prize card. Being able to make one Break go the same distance as two could make all the difference in a game.
Espeon EX is a great card that can deal with evolution decks pretty handily. This inclusion is very much useful against archetypes such as Golisopod GX. By using very few attacks and Giant Water Shurikens, Espeon can give you some chances of beating Golisopod decks (the match-up is still not favorable for Greninja.) Espeon EX can be used as a good "time" factor as it can shorten the length of some games by requiring less damage to KO your opponents big threats. Because of this, Espeon EX is viewed as a decent out to decks with Giratina Promo. A Choice Banded Greninja using Shadow Stitching hits for 70 damage, which is perfect math for setting up big knockouts on the Stage 1 and Stage 2 GX attackers dominating the standard format.
Tapu Fini GX:
This GX powerhouse is also a potentially great addition in Greninja. It can allow you to eliminate a big threat on your opponent's board that could be applying early pressure to you. Tapu Fini GX is another card that can be helpful against Golisopod decks, and can provide more time to set up your evolution Pokémon, and the ability to freely search it out with Brooklet Hill makes it a consistent option to check your opponent’s early on.
This is a great match-up for Greninja, as you’re able to take complete control of their setup by shutting off their Cynthia engine with continuous Shadow Stitching. In addition, Greninja can deny some of their energy attachments with Enhanced Hammers and Garchomp needs to stay consistent with their energy attachments in order to keep streaming attackers.
Gardevoir GX/Gallade (65-35)
This is another one of Greninja's positive match-ups, as it is hard for their GX Pokémon to take one prize knockouts efficiently. In addition, it is hard for Gardevoir to set up consistently and keep their energy acceleration going under ability lock, and this is another match-up where Enhanced Hammer, Tapu Fini, and Espeon EX can... miraculously shine.
Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone (70-30)
Magnezone variants face the same issues as other energy and ability reliant decks versus Greninja, as they can easily lose control of their setup due to constant Shadow Stitching. Especially with Magnezone variants, they don't have efficient attackers to knock out one prize attackers AND keep energy in play at the same time.
Zoroark GX Variants: (60-40)
Zoroark GX decks tend to play less supporter cards as they rely heavily on their abilities for their draw engine. In addition, those types of decks rely on special energy cards to attack efficiently, therefore this is another match-up where Enhanced Hammer is a lovely tech option. Zoroark GX also has to hit your Greninja two times to knock them out and it can be hard for them to do so with the combination of having their abilities shut down and a potential denial of their energy attachments. Since these decks can apply a lot of pressure in the earlier turns, it can be hard for Greninja to get an established set up.
Buzzwole GX: (55-45)
This is one of Greninja's closer match-ups that has had a great amount of popularity lately. Greninja can fall to Buzzwole very easily in the opening turns due to the strong pressure of Jet Punch, and they can get a good amount of energy in play due to Max Elixir. However, if you can make it safely through those opening turns, it becomes very hard for Buzzwole to consistently take one prize attackers while Greninja can easily take two prize knockouts.
Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt: (50-50)
This match-up can go in two completely different directions. At times, it can take a little while for Greninja to have an established board state and your opponent can have time to set up multiple Tapu Bulu GXs. On the other end, it can also take a long time for your opponent to establish a Vikavolt and start to stream their Tapu Bulu GXs. In this matchup, the opening turns are crucial.
Another interesting new deck idea that has arisen from Ultra Prism, Empoleon can have the advantage in the earlier stages of the game as Greninja needs to fill up the bench while using Water Duplicates. However, it can be harder for Empoleon to take knock outs later in the game, as Greninja can get to a point where they can efficiently win the game with only 2-3 Pokémon on the bench. This would be one of the match-ups where Espeon EX could be a superstar for Greninja as well.
Golisopod GX: (35-65)
Golisopod GX decks are probably Greninja's worst match-up for many reasons. They are able to attack very efficiently, and have type coverage against Greninja. In addition, they are able to reset the HP of their Pokémon with resources such as Acerola and some inclusions of Max Potions. Espeon EX can be helpful in this match-up, but only if timed properly.
The Dragon in the Room:
With the rising popularity of Greninja, many people are including Giratina XY148 into their decks as a hard counter. This can shift how a lot of the match-ups would normally go for Greninja into unfavorable territory. Because of this, many people have been turned off by the idea of Greninja and eliminated it from their testing circles. Personally, I feel that even with the inclusion of Giratina XY148, Greninja can still defeat many of the decks that would incorporate Giratina with the right techs. If we’ve learned anything over the past few seasons, it’s that Greninja is a resilient archetype that inexplicably finds ways to do well.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on the upcoming shift of decks for tournaments in the future! Best of luck to everyone playing in Collinsville this weekend, and GO TEAM DDG!
- Jamie DePamphilis