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Greninja BREAK was a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype mainly played in the 2016-2017 season, but remained as a contender in the 2017-2018 season.
The deck's strategy revolved around the Greninja BREAK's Ability to put damage counters on opponent's Pokémon, along with a fast setup and nice disruption attacks. Even if it was not most winning deck in those seasons, people played it because of the ease with which it counters one of the most hyped deck in those years, Night March, and several EX-based decks and GX-based decks . Greninja BREAK's best result was the 2d place at the 2016 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships, but it went wery well in other events: 1st place at the 2016 Phoenix, AZ, Regional , 6th at the 2016 London International, 1st at the 2018 Melbourne Regional. Runner-up of the Masters Division Cody Walinski's version was printed as a promotional World Championships deck, Ninja Blitz.
Greaninja BREAK differed from archetypes such as Mega Rayquaza EX and Night March in that it did not focus on fast first turn set up to maximize the damage output. Rather, the deck placed, with a mix of Greninja BREAK's abilities and Greninja's attacks, damage counters on the opponent's Pokémon while locking down opponent's Pokémon's abilities. Taking prize by knocking out the opponent's low-HP support Pokémon, it could recover its slow set up (Greninja BREAK is an additional stage of evolution that goes onto an already Stage 2 Pokémon) and its low damage. In the 2016-17 season and in the next one, Greninja BREAK gained notoriety for its Ability to easily knock out the opponent's Benched Shaymin-EX, a popular Pokémon used for draw support.
Greninja BREAK mainly setted up through its Stage 1 evolution, Frogadier. Frogadier's only attack allowed the player to search for up to 3 Frogadier and to put them directly onto the Bench. This, along with Dive Ball, ensured that the Greninja BREAK player usually had a full Bench of Greninja at their third turn. Dive Ball allowed the player to search for a Pokémon and to put it into the hand. Also, Greninja's and Frogadier's low attacks' cost, only a energy, made it less dependent from bad hand drawing. Free retreat cost let the player Greninja BREAK's Ability combos.
Lots of variants used Talonflame: its Ability and its attack speeded up the set up, allowing the players for putting it as Active Pokèmon, despite it was a Stage 2 card, on their first turn and searching 2 cards from the deck and putting them in their hand.
In addition to Frogadier, there were several other cards that were major components of Greninja BREAK's set up. Octillery allowed for easy draw, and was obtainable through Dive Ball, which was the deck's main source of Pokémon search. Brooklet Hill allowed for Benching Basic Pokémon. Splash Energy denied discarding Knocked Out Pokémon for a fast recovery. A good set up was considered achieved when the Greninja BREAK player had at least two Greninja BREAK on the field with Splash Energy attached to and an Octillery or a Starmie that allowed for drawing and energies recycling. Additionally, a player would have a Frogadier on the Bench ready to evolve when the opponent Knocked Out the Active Greninja with the Splash Energy attached to and some Energy cards on the hand.
- Greninja BREAK - Greninja BREAK's Giant Water Shuriken Ability put 6 damage counters on 1 of the opponent's Benched Pokémon at the cost of discarding a Energy. This was commonly used to place damage counters on opponent's weak support Pokémon or an unevolved Basic for an easy prize.
- Greninja - Greninja's attack Shadow Stitching locked down opponent's Pokémon's abilities. Moonlight Sash hit for 80 damages and synergised with Giant Water Shuriken. Its free retreat cost allowed for combos reatreating a Greninja BREAK that already used its Ability and sending Active another.
- Talonflame - Placed as the Active Pokémon on ther fisrt turn thanks to its Ability Gale Wings, its attack Aero Blitz allowed the player to do 40 damage and to draw 2 any cards from the deck. Also, free retreat.
- Frogadier - Frogadier's attack Water Duplicates allowed to Bench up to 3 Frogadier, without the need of Froakie, speeding up all the deck engine.
- Octillery - Octillery's Abyssal Hand Ability was the deck's draw engine.
- Starmie - Space Beacon retrieved 2 discarded Energy cards, so that the player could always pay Giant Water Shuriken 's cost.
- Dive Ball - Dive Ball was used to search a Water-type Pokémon, from Octillery to Greninja BREAK.
- Brooklet Hill - Brooklet Hill was used to search Basic Pokémon and put on the Bench. Its use could save Dive Ball cards for Evolution Pokémon.
- Splash Energy - Splash Energy was crucial to the deck because it allowed to fastly retreive Knocked Out Pokémon. If a Greninja BREAK, with Splash Energy attached to, was Knocked Out by an opponent's attack, then Stage 1, Stage 2 and Break cards could return in the player's hand and used to evolve other Pokémon in the Bench.
Cody Walinski's decklist at the 2016 World Championship
Decklist with additions from Sun & Moon expansion sets
The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.
Possible tech cards
The following cards are often used in Greaninja BREAK in place of certain cards included in the above lists.
- Espeon-EX - Espeon EX was often used to devolve opponent's Pokémon. In conjuction with Giant Water Shuriken 6 damage counters , Greaninja BREAK Knocked Out low-HP Basic Pokémon instead of strong Evolved GX Pokémon.
- Jirachi - Strong counter to Special Energy based deck (e.g. Night March or Mega Rayquaza EX ), with its Stardust attack, Jirachi gave to Greninja the time to set up, while protecting from opponent's next attacks.
- Greninja - Greninja with Water Shuriken Ability was largely used before the BREAKpoint one came out. Its Ability, without the need of being the Active Pokémon, put 3 damage counters on 1 opponent's Pokémon.
- Sacred Ash - Being a deck heavily based on Pokémon and their evolution, Sacred Ash gave the possibility to retrieve 5 Pokémon from the discard pile and shuffle back in the deck.
- Max Potion - Greninja's attack cost only one Energy, Greaninja BREAK had 170 HP: Max Potion allowed the player to make more resistant to Knock Out this deck, simply using it for fully heal a Pokémon and attaching a new Energy to it.