What happened to the Wailord EX deck?


Hey there,

Im still newish to the game and play expanded. I saw videos on Wailord where the opponent stalled and won and was interested in it but I heard it fell out of the meta. Why was this? Someone said it was because lysandres trump card was banned but Im really not familiar with that era of play. Is there some way for Wailord to be viable in the Expanded format today? I have a feeling not since theres no competitive version other than the stall one and that relies heavily on items which Trevanant severely limits.


Wailord was never an extremely competitive deck, to be entirely honest. It took second place at US nationals 2015, due to surprise factor. No one had really discussed the deck of Wailord mill, or if they had, had never taken it seriously. Because no one had tested against it or taken it seriously, no one knew how to play against it, and therefore would burn resources trying to kill it, not realizing their mistake until it was too late. Now that the secret is out, you can play around it by just never playing cards, or conserving your resources much better while forcing the Wailord player to use theirs to just stay alive.

In addition to this, Vespiquen was released shortly after, and for a good part of last season, was a strong deck to play in expanded, being able to easily OHKO Wailord being a benefit. While Vespiquen decks are not super popular now, they are still played.


I actually played Wailord in standard at the Dutch Open (155 masters) this weekend and got 2nd. I think it’s still legit, but it functions a bit differently from the AZ/Cassius/Hard Charm version in expanded. I’d compare it to how control decks play in Magic the Gathering or Fatigue Warrior in Hearthstone.


Thanks guys, that helps me out alot. @NastyPythOn do you think the deck has a place in expanded at all?


Lysandre’s trump card being banned is the reason wailordEX became a deck, not the reason it has become unpopular. With trump card in the game such a strategy wouldn’t work :scream:.
Also, the guy who took it to second place at nationals had a game on stream, I believe, where his opponent played no cards and tried to deck him; He won by using cassius to shuffle a wailordEX with a tool back into his deck prompting resignation.
As for why it isn’t/was never heavily played: reason 1: very, very, very deep under the radar; reason 2: Once it was acknowledged, it was the “hyped deck”, so players were more aware of it, hence leaning many away from playing it, aswell as some players leaning towards vespiquen, slightly irrationally, just in case; reason 3: Even if someone did decide to play it, WAILORD IS A VERY, VERY BORING DECK TO PLAY. Once the fun “trololololol” factor wares off of course :wink: (which it will at a large event). reason 4; since not many people play it, it doesn’t top as much and it dies down and players start to wonder that maybe it wasn’t that good and isn’t as good as it was anymore.
N.B. Afaik trevenant isn’t “that bad” of a matchup, although don’t take my word for it I havn’t played expanded for a while.
Edit: not sure how this ended up being tagged as a reply to NastyPythOn.


Ah those are some factors I hadnt considered, quite like the card itself Wailord and the slow play decks built around it induces but not sure what the best version of the deck is in expanded and whether or not it is viable.


There’s only really one version in expanded? Ofc their is the choice to run a couple of energies and mb a landorusEX for a certain matchup (if you know what i mean :wink:) (This is a legitimate thing some people did)
Also, the evo mew could be interesting against vespiquen but I don’t see it working without 3-4x to try and out all of your opponent’s hex maniacs.
N.B. the standard variant can speed up the game with Team rocket’s trap, but I don’t believe its neccessary in expanded with the extra heal and pickup cards.


Wailord actually has a great matchup vs Trevenant BREAK; you just use Rough Seas to undo everything they did on their turn, and the only way that they will be able to get a KO is by using Wobbuffet or Mewtwo EX, which will give you items and let you remove a lot of their energy.

Also, most of your healing/offense cards are supporters, like Team Flare Grunt or AZ or Lysandre or Cassius…

You get the point?


In expanded Sableye/Garb/Life Dew is a stronger choice if you want play something slow and grindy. By teching Latias Ex or Giratina promo it can beat Trev.

The meta in expanded is generally much broader which makes it difficult to build a deck as fundamentally reactive as Wailord. Because games take so long, you’ll get the time to find your specific techs/counters and to set up the appropriate situation to use them in. However, you usually also don’t run any ways to discard cards, so having a useless tech for another matchup in your decks is quite hurtful since you’ll be drawing into it throughout the game after every hand refresh. In standard the meta is more narrow and strategies between top tier decks are more similar, making it easier to pick effective counters. Finding a balance in playing the right counters in your list without playing too many is key in my experience.

If you can manage to do that, maybe the deck can work in expanded, though I think it’d be hard to optimalize the list in a format with so many diverse strong decks. Just my 2 cents.

Edit: yup Wailord has an easy time vs Trevenant since they can hardly threaten KOs.


A few things:

Trevenant Break beats wailord if they play it correctly and don’t play any super dedicated counters, since all Trev has to do is counter stadiums and play delinquent until Wailord ran out of stadiums, and since most wailord decks don’t play puzzle of time anymore, they can’t get more than 5 rough seas (with dowsing machine) even with items. After that, all Trev has to do is slap down a Silent Lab and Wailord can’t really recover.

The streamed game never happened as far as I can remember, Wailord wasn’t featured on stream until the finals of the event, where the deck lost to Seismitoad/Garbodor. Also, Cassius wasn’t the deck’s out to beating a deck that simply passed forever, since the deck also played one trick shovel and a Shauna to refresh their entire hand.

I tested Wailord pretty heavily before Arizona Regionals, and so I feel a bit qualified to explain why I didn’t play it, and why I think the deck hasn’t had much success since Nationals 2015. Some of these points have already been addressed in earlier comments, but I’ll repeat them here to make it easier.

  1. The deck couldn’t beat Night March. This is less of an issue now due to Karen’s release, but before Karen, Night March could usually play as aggressively as possible and Wailord would have too much trouble consistently finding energy removal cards and healing cards in the same turn.
  2. The deck couldn’t beat Yveltal. If the Yveltal player set up a Gallade and an Yveltal EX then played an N, the Wailord player would struggle to find its removal and healing, and Yveltal would sweep Wailords while Gallade swept Suicunes. Even without Gallade, Yveltal could play a Sableye and simply outlast Wailord’s removal by using Junk Hunt repeatedly.
  3. The deck couldn’t beat Vespiquen. Vespiquen hit the deck for weakness and played too many energy. There isn’t a lot to say here.
  4. I didn’t know this until later, but Wailord really struggled against Trevenant, for reasons I described above.
  5. Wailord’s engine is inherently inconsistent. When your deck plays 50+ trainers and only ~7 of them let you draw or cycle cards, you’re going to have a lot of games where you brick. Also, since you have no way to take prizes, if too many of your best cards are prized, you instantly lose.
  6. Wailord has lost its surprise factor. Now that players have experience against the deck, they are much more likely to know how to play the matchups correctly, which makes your bad matchups even less favorable.
  7. Finally, Wailord is far less effective in Top Cut situations. Since you can win game 2 of top cut if you take four or more prizes, players can play recklessly in game 2 to force a sudden death game 3, where Wailord has practically no way to win the game. This is how the deck lost the finals of 2015 nationals, where Jason K. waited until he had N, Double Colorless, Virbank, Laser, Tool Scrapper, and Muscle Band, then played them all at once to put Enrique A. on a 2-turn clock. If you play Wailord at a tournament, you shouldn’t expect to play any rounds after top 8.

I also could be completely incorrect about this, and could be proven wrong, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend playing Wailord at an event where you want to do well.


This is great info guys thanks alot, I think Ill hold off on trying to brew wailord in expanded as a newbie then


Is there any chance you would be willing to share the list you used? I’ve read a little about it. I struggle plating wailord at Orlando regionals against opponents who knew how to play against the deck. Went 3-3 and dropped.


This is my list that I played at the Dutch Open (7-0-1 after swiss, 9-1-1 after finals).

4 Wailord Ex
1 Lugia Ex
1 Shaymin Ex
1 Carbink
1 Wobbuffet
1 Minccino
1 Hoothoot

4 N
4 Team Flare Grunt
3 Pokémon Fan Club
3 Lysandre
1 Delinquent
1 Shauna
1 Ace Trainer
1 Team Rocket’s Handiwork
1 Olympia
4 VS Seeker
4 Puzzle of Time
4 Max Potion
4 Rough Seas
4 Float Stone
2 Enhanced Hammer
2 Crushing Hammer
2 Trainer’s Mail
1 Fighting Fury Belt
1 Captivating Poke Puff

3 Double Colorless Energy

To explain some of the techs, I’d first have to explain that the base strategy is to set up 3-4 Wailords with Float Stones (no good tool removal to remove these in standard) and Rough Seas, and rotating between Wailords so you can heal up to 90-120 damage every turn using Rough Seas in play. Meanwhile you try to disrupt with energy removal, Lysandre, Ace Trainer, Delinquent, N when they have 1 prize left, etc. Whenever you take a hit that puts Wailord in 2-Hit-KO range and you fear they might have the Lysandre/VS Seeker to go for that Wailord after you retreat it, you’d use Max Potion. This the most general overall strategy and gives you a lot of time to draw into your techs most of the time.

The techs I played:

Shaymin Ex: Looping Sky Return every turn helps deal with any deck that only sets up 1 attacker like Yveltal, Mega Gardevoir, Mega Mewtwo, Rainbow Road. The extra draw engine it gives the deck makes it easier to draw into double Puzzles, Grunts, VS Seeker. Putting down Shaymin + DCE before playing N ensures you have a DCE for another attacker on the next turn. 30 damage every turn starts to add up when are also trading resources with your disruptive cards.

Lugia Ex: Follow up on the chip damage Shaymin does. Since 30 a turn starts to add up during a drawn out game, Lugia can finish off threats like Mega Gardevoir, Yveltals, Xerneas, Mega Mewtwo. Last swiss round I ended up taking 6 prizes with Shaymin/Lugia, so that’s also possible sometimes…

Wobbuffet: makes Vileplume decks an easy matchup and is great to get out on the first turn vs Mega Gardevoir since they will have to use Sycamores or Lysandre to draw cards.

Carbink: forces out Garbodor against Yveltal and Mega Mewtwo, giving you an easy Minccino + Lysandre target.

Now on to the 2nd dynamic duo (besides Shaymin & Lugia), Minccino & Hoothoot:

Minccino: deals with Float Stone, making Lysandre stronger to exhaust their retreating options, countering Garbodor, stopping Vulcanion Ex from easily retreating. Minccino + DCE + Lysandre, into Hoothoot on the next turn can stall out entire games. This is actually exactly what happened in the first game of the finals.

Hoothoot: mainly used to win the Volcanion matchup, whenever the game goes late and they get most of their energies in play with Power Heater, you can Lysandre + Hoothoot a Volcanion without energy to stall them out and lock them out of VS Seeker for Fisherman/Olympia, Float Stone, Escape Rope, Switch, Energy Retrieval. In combination with Captivating Poke Puff, you can use Hoothoot in any matchup to lock up something like Hoopa Ex, Dragonite Ex, 2nd Yveltal Ex with Lysandre + Hoothoot. particularly good after you clear some Float Stones off the field with Minccino.

Most important thing is to manage how many prizes you can give up while keeping control of the game.

Some notable cards that didn’t make the cut:

Parallel City: handy against Rainbow Road and Mega Rayquaze, but I decided I wanted the 4 Rough Seas since the card is so key, and having 4 Rough Seas means you can recycle them with Delinquent while getting 2 activations off in 1 turn.

Escape Rope: cute to trick people with Minccino if they bring up something with a Float Stone, but playing Olympia over it because the re-usability in difficult spots is nice, and better vs Vileplume.

3th Enhanced Hammer: I was planning to play 3 Enhanced Hammers for the Yveltal matchup, but cut the 3th copy for Captivating Poké Puff, which seemed more usefull against Mega Gardevoir, Volcanion and Greninja.

Bunnelby: In practice this card turned out to be a ‘win more’ card, only being used when the game was already sealed anyway, and otherwise being a liability. Bunnely needs to go active to attack, while Team Rocket Handywork can be played while staying safe behind Wailords. We have Shaymin to break stalemates either way.

2nd Carbink: Forcing out Garbodor is great, and Carbink is the best wall against Mega Gardevoir and Garbodor based decks to waste time/resources on their first few turns.

GGs to Robin Schulz, who I played against in the finals. We were tied 1-1 when time ran out, and he had taken 3 prizes while I had taken 2, resulting in him winning.


Wow. Incrediblle run through and lisy


Much appreciated. I noticed the list only adds up to 56 cards though. Are the open 4 slots just for whatever techs you want? Or just a 4 of that you forgot?

4 puzzle or time, maybe?


Appreciate the list and explanations, very handy