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Night March (TCG)

Night March
JoltikPhantomForces26.jpg
PumpkabooPhantomForces44.jpg
Joltik and Pumpkaboo
Types used LightningPsychic
Major cards Joltik, Pumpkaboo, Lampent, and Battle Compressor
Era 2014–2019

Night March was a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype popularly played in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 season, remaining as a contender in the Expanded format even despite cards specifically created to counter this deck and the introduction of Pokémon with more Hit Points. The deck's strategy revolved around the Phantom Forces Pokémon that have the Night March Attack, which deals damage for each Pokémon in the discard pile with this same attack (the player could hit the opponent's Pokémon for up to 220 damage without other effects, given at least one of the Pokémon stays in play). The banning of Lysandre's Trump Card (which should directly disrupt this deck) and further additions such as Mew and Puzzle of Time kept the deck's streak through the new expansions. This archetype was heavily seen in tournaments and favoured to many players due to its physical cost in contrast to more expensive Pokémon-EX decks and by many of its cards being avaliable on the same expansion. While it did not make Top 4 at the 2015 and 2016 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships due to Abilities that could damage Benched Pokémon, it still ranked many first places and Top 16 appearances up to the 2018-2019 format.

Contents

Strategy

Night March focused in discarding as many possible Night March Pokémon (Joltik, Pumpkaboo and Lampent) in the first turns to maximize the damage output while still having one attacker in play and use these attacks with Double Colorless Energy. Because all attackers were single-prized Pokémon dealing high damage for one energy card, their low Hit Points were not a strict concern as the player should get prize cards faster than the opponent. By having Lightning and Psychic attackers, it was also favoured against Pokémon with these Weaknesses. Because Lampent was an Evolution Pokémon and its pre-evolution cards had no synergy in the deck, it was never used as an attacker and its only purpose was to be discarded for the damage output.

To get a fast setup, many copies of Battle Compressor, Ultra Ball and Professor Juniper were essencial in these decklists. Dimension Valley was also crucial so Pumpkaboo's attack would cost   , not needing extra energy to attack. Empoleon and Mew-EX were secondary attackers only during the 2014-2015 format to counter certain Pokémon and benefit from the Diving Draw Ability. Many notorious sinergizing cards were released in the 2015-2016 format, such as Puzzle of Time, Teammates, Hex Maniac, Fighting Fury Belt and as well Memories of Dawn Mew as a backup attacker. After this deck rotated out of the Standart format, Night March lost Hex Maniac and Puzzle of Time that have been then banned in the Expanded format and got Marshadow-GX as a better backup attacker.

Due to its focus in sending Pokémon to the discard pile, this archetype was sometimes part of Vespiqueen decklists for having a similar strategy.

Key cards

  • Joltik - One of the two Basic Pokémon with the Night March attack, Joltik can hit up to 220 damage with the right setup.
  • Pumpkaboo - While Pumpkaboo needs Dimension Valley to attack on the first turns, it has a different typing and survives some attacks that Joltik otherwise couldn't.
  • Lampent - Needed in the discard pile to increase the output damage.
  • Mew - Memories of Dawn allowed Mew to copy Night March and was more expendable than the main attackers. Also had free retreat and did not give two prize cards like Mew-EX.
  • Marshadow-GX - Marshadow-GX offers Fighting coverage, has more HP and unlike Mew can copy attacks from discarded Pokémon, allowing to swing for 240 damage.
  • Battle Compressor - Four copies of this card can discard all Night March Pokémon. Also optimal for discarding Supporter cards to use VS Seeker.
  • Double Colorless Energy - The main energy used in Night March decks, since it provides the    needed to attack.
  • Dimension Valley - Allows Pumpkaboo to use only one Double Colorless energy to attack.
  • Puzzle of Time - Puzzle of time was useful at retrieving Pokémon, energies and other resources that could sometimes be purposely discarded with Battle Compressor. Note this card has long been banned from competitive play.
  • Hex Maniac - Stalled Ability-based decks and bypassed Pokémon immune to attacks by Abilities. Note this card has long been banned from competitive play.
  • Fighting Fury Belt - Fighting Fury Belt allowed the Pokémon to survive some attacks and damaging Abilities, specially from Greninja BREAK decks, and added 10 damage to attacks.

Typical decklist

Brad Curcio's decklist at the 2016 World Championships

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Joltik Lightning Common
Pumpkaboo Psychic Common
Lampent Psychic Uncommon
Mew Psychic Rare Holo
Shaymin-EX Colorless Rare Holo ex
Battle Compressor I Uncommon
Escape Rope I Uncommon
Field Blower I Uncommon
Puzzle of Time I Uncommon
Special Charge I Uncommon
Startling Megaphone I Uncommon
Target Whistle I Uncommon
Trainers' Mail I Uncommon
Ultra Ball I Uncommon
VS Seeker I Uncommon
Fighting Fury Belt I Uncommon
Dimension Valley St Uncommon
AZ Su Uncommon
Hex Maniac Su Uncommon
Lysandre Su Uncommon
N Su Uncommon
Pokémon Ranger Su Uncommon
Professor Sycamore Su Uncommon
Teammates Su Uncommon
Double Colorless Energy Colorless E Uncommon

Igor Costa's decklist at the 2019 Toronto Regional

Note this list is from the 2018-2019 (Expanded) format, and Marshadow has been later banned from competitive play.

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Joltik Lightning Common
Pumpkaboo Psychic Common
Lampent Psychic Uncommon
Marshadow-GX Fighting Ultra-Rare Rare
Shaymin-EX Colorless Common
Tapu Lele-GX Psychic Ultra-Rare Rare
Oranguru Colorless Rare Holo
Marshadow Psychic Rare Holo
Battle Compressor I Uncommon
Dowsing Machine I Rare Ace
Electropower I Uncommon
Escape Rope I Uncommon
Field Blower I Uncommon
Order Pad I Uncommon
Rescue Stretcher I Uncommon
Special Charge I Uncommon
Trainers' Mail I Uncommon
Ultra Ball I Uncommon
VS Seeker I Uncommon
Choice Band I Uncommon
Float Stone I Uncommon
Dimension Valley St Uncommon
Parallel City St Uncommon
Silent Lab St Uncommon
N Su Uncommon
Guzma Su Uncommon
Professor Sycamore Su Uncommon
Double Colorless Energy Colorless E Uncommon

Possible tech cards

The following cards are often used in Night March in place of certain cards included in the above lists.

  • Mr. Mime - Prevented damage to benched Pokémon. Did not prevent damage counters from effects.
  • Oranguru - Used to draw cards. Because Marshadow has been banned from the Expanded format, it was the only single-prize speed support.
  • Silent Lab - Stalled Ability-heavy decks and allows attacks to bypass Pokémon immune to damage by Abilities.
  • Electropower - Boosted Joltik's damage by 30 for each played card that turn, allowing it to one-shot bigger threats, though too many copies of the card hurt deck consistency.



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