"March of the Penguins"- A New Way to Play Night March with the Release of Primal Clash

This weekend in Florida saw the advent of an interesting idea using established archetypes such as Flareon and Night March with Archie's Ace in the Hole. Night March and Flareon both used Battle Compressor to get Pokemon in the discard pile, and used a low count of Professor Juniper along with VS Seeker to draw cards. These decks have great synergy with Archie's Ace in the Hole, which was released in Primal Clash. Archie puts a water Pokemon from your discard pile onto your bench. This can be a Basic, Stage 1, Stage 2, or even a Mega EX! The major downside of this card is that it has to be the only card in your hand for you to play it. I had originally written off the card, but creative players in Florida have figured out the best way to play it.

The deck that won Regionals was a Flareon deck that ran two Empoleon DEX and one Archie. It used cards like Acro Bike to draw cards, along with Battle Compressor, VS Seeker, and Professor Juniper. When building a Night March deck for the new format, one will want to use similar principles. Here is my list updated for the BCR-PCL format:

3 Mew EX
4 Pumpkaboo
4 Lampent
4 Joltik
2 Empoleon
2 Jirachi EX
1 Mr. Mime

4 Juniper
1 N
1 Lysandre
1 Archie’s Ace in the Hole
1 Computer Search
4 VS Seeker
3 Ultra Ball
4 Battle Compressor
1 Escape Rope
2 Muscle Band
2 Hard Charm
4 Dimension Valley
4 Acro Bike

4 Water

What are the differences between this list and the list I had previously posted?

No Random Receiver

Random Receiver is gone. Now we just rely on two Jirachi to consistently draw our Professor Junipers when we need them. And remember, we still have the Battle Compressor/VS Seeker combo!

Mr. Mime with Bench Barrier

With Landorus/Crobat so popular, we need to defend ourself against Landorus. Crobat can still hit through Mr. Mime because Surprise Bite is not an attack but an ability. But this way we are protected from Megalo Cannon, Overrun, Night Spear, Hammerhead, and even Skill Dive.

Four Pokemon Tools

With Head Ringer and Jamming Net running rampant, it is important to get Pokemon Tools onto your Mew EX as soon as possible. Otherwise you could be in a position where you not only can't attach a tool, but also where you have to use extra resources to work around the Flare Tools.

Four Dimension Valley

With cards like Silent Lab in the format that shut off Mew EX and Jirachi EX, the stadium war is more important than ever. Three Dimension Valley was cutting it close before, but now we always need four so that we draw into it and so that we can bump out other stadiums.

March of the Penguins

Our last major change in the list is adding in the big emperor himself. Use Battle Compressor and Acro Bike to get Empoleon and the Night Marchers into the discard pile and thin out your deck. Then if the opportunity presents itself, let Archie get Empoleon in play for you. This does three things:

1) Extra Draw Power. With an Empoleon in play, you can use Double Draw to get two extra cards per turn. You can discard Night Marchers and draw cards to get more in the discard pile!

2) Extra HP. Mew EX was the Pokemon with the highest HP in the deck. Now we have a beefy 140 HP Empoleon who is harder to knock out, especially with a Hard Charm attached.

3) Extra Attacker. If everyone's bench is full, Empoleon can hit for 120 damage. This knocks out everything in the format with two hits, and it gives you an attacker that doesn't require Night Marchers in the discard pile. After being hit with a Trump Card, you can attack with Empoleon or use Mew to copy Empoleon's attack to hit for some big damage.

While Empoleon is very cool and helpful to have in play, you can still win without him. It isn't worth it to take huge risks to get him out. But it is still a great card!

Cards I want to fit in

A fourth Ultra Ball would be grand, because with two Jirachi it is nearly always an out to a Supporter. In addition, Ultra Ball lets you trim your hand down so you can use Archie.

An Exeggcute would also be nice. Along with Ultra Ball and Computer Search, it can help you hit magic numbers to use Archie as well. The reason I didn't automatically throw it in there is because you can't get the Big Penguin out every game, and that makes it not as useful. In addition, you want to be using your Battle Compressors on Pokemon with the Night March. This means that early game when you discard Exeggcute with Compressor, you are doing less damage in the long run. The final reason Exeggcute isn't an automatic addition is because adding him in raises the odds of starting with an Exeggcute or Jirachi EX, and Exeggcute is fragile. I've had my Joltik donked with a Virbank + Laser combination, and this raises the chances of something like that happening.

I want to fit more Item-based draw into the deck. I would love to be running 4 Acro Bike and 4 Roller Skates, but there simply isn't room. Bicycle is now noticeably absent from the deck as well. Both Skates and Bike don't mesh as well with Archie, but they could get you more cards when you had already played your Supporter. Acro Bike is the best choice, however, for Item-Based Draw, because it nets you the same amount of cards every time. It isn't dependent on hand size or a coin flip.

I also miss Pokemon Catcher. By not running that, the deck's Donphan matchup gets considerably worse, but ideally Donphan is a dead deck anyway. I also want to get a Teammates in here somewhere, but other cards take precedent at the moment. It simply doesn't net you enough cards.

With the new cards released in Primal Clash, the format became more diverse, and Night March is more viable than ever. Go ahead and give it a try!

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below! You can read my original article about Night March in the BCR-PHF format here.


  1. I know i'm a bit late to the party here but this is a really nice and helpful review! thank you


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