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Theme Deck Format & Ultra Prism analysis


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28 January 2018 - 08:16 AM

#1

Oldschool1990

    Senior Trainer

  • Oldschool1990

So,

 

the last few month, the theme deck metagame was basically only the latest 2 decks that came out with Crimson Invasion.

 

subjectively percieved winrate:

 

Destruction Fang: 70%

Clanging Thunder: 90%

all other decks: >20%

 

With Clanging Thunder beeing the most played deck, by far.

 

Destruction Fang has the best card draw so far, and having a wishful baton is basically a 1-price advantage over decks that don't have that card.

 

That said, it has got a huge weakness against fighting.

Gastrodon and Solrock from Clanging Thunder destroy 50% of the Destruction Fang mons, sadly.

 

Clanging Thunder simply wins any match by having an infinite number of heavy hitters that are able to swing for 120 or more damage.

 

Also, it's got kinda nonexistant weakness such as grass and fairy type, which are not played competitively, altho there is a sylveon deck including both, but the old pre-powercreep decks have no card draw and lots of unusable mons.

 

Now, with UltraPrism (Us/Um), we get 2 new decks that seem to be able to overpower Clanging Thunder and Destruction Fang by far.

(the decklists are already out on bulbapedia)

 

With Mach Strike, we get the Champion Combo with Garchomp, Lucario and Cynthia, means extreme tutoring, extreme card draw and extreme damage output (200 damage) that basically oneshots everything, with Pal Pad allowing up to 4x Cynthia play for the 200 damage Chomper.

 

With Imperial Command, we get alot of energy control and mons that have 0 energy attacks, which is amazing tbh, because it allows for faster surprise plays when a 0 energy mon on your bench suddenly has 4 energies while you attack with your active mon for 0 energy cost. That said, the damage output will not be enough to overpower Mach Strike.

Alolan Sandslash seems like the best card in this deck, dealing damage for free while at the same time forcing your opponent to take a risk of reflected damage, or skip attacking which gives you a free turn to chip in some more damage.

 

Both decks come with a good/accetable trainer pool featuring much card draw and escape/switch potential to break free from para/sleep, with Mach Strike having the better trainer pool due to the malasada and pal pad. 2x pokemon fan club in Imperial Command seems like a waste of potential. Especially when you already have 10000 pokeballs tutoring your mons. The fan clubs are just not necessary.

 

So much for the analysis.

What actually baffles me is the contiunation of power creep in Theme Decks.

 

Yes, it's nice not to have 30 minute matches due to bad card draw and low damage anymore. I love that they finally realized how important card draw is.

On the other hand, there is no real metagame anymore.

You can play either of the 2 newest decks and that's everything there is if you want to #1) have fun and #2) win.1 deck is always having an advantage, but both decks are overpowering all the other, older decks. (unless you get really unlucky and draw only energy, but that is not the standard anymore thanks to good card draw, and thus should not be weighted in a comparison of theme decks anymore)

 

Thanks for reading. ;)

 

 

 

 

 


Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

  • 3

28 January 2018 - 08:41 AM

#2

PlatinumDude

    Veteran Trainer

  • PlatinumDude

Imperial Command has the Nest Balls replaced with the Fan Clubs; they're meant to help get your basics out early. Fan Club is essentially a double Nest Ball in theme format. The only other Pokemon search it has are the two Timer Balls for evolutions and the single Ultra Ball for anything else if neither Fan Club nor Timer Ball are around.


Edited by PlatinumDude, 28 January 2018 - 08:42 AM.

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28 January 2018 - 04:09 PM

#3

Chasista

    Elite Trainer

  • Chasista

Back after 2 years (more or less) started again with Theme.

 

In the wish of getting for free and Acerola -wich I could see it was one of kind of Staple trainers of present- to include her in custom decks, I got Rock Steady.

 

And I have to say works really well. I don't know about percentages or if that was the most played Theme before last 2 from Crimson invasion set but, I'm pretty happy, works quite well. Any info that can be server to me about this? Thank you.

 

On the other side I have to say that more than (probably) 60% of matches are against Crimson invasion's feeling Clanging Thunder's the stronger of both and Rock Steady have its chances to beat them because of opponent's Figthing weakness, though it's always hard.

 

Also seeing that when you go with a decent winning streak, you are matched against Forest Shadow suffering total weakness, loosing +90% times, being by far the 3rd most deck I played against.

 

So I don't know yet about the other Theme decks, and I have to thank the info about the incoming ones but feeling that, still you can win a bit with a decent Theme, until game choose your streak is enough and directly kill it, supposing this happens with no matter what Theme you are playing. And actually I feel it was kind of the same 2 years ago if I remember well.


WE WANT LEGACY TOURNAMENTS BACK !!! If you also want it, show your support http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/55966-feedback-making-it-easier-to-get-the-cards-you-want/

XY Theme decks review: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/27938-the-best-xy-theme-deck-info-poll

Foro en español, también existe: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/forum/2-español/

IGN Chasista

  • 1

30 January 2018 - 12:07 AM

#4

Numerrik

    Rookie Trainer

  • Numerrik

I'm using the basic green deck now that the meta has shifted, and I have to say, my win rate is over 60%, so I guess just look around for a deck that will counter the current meta, the point of the theme decks is they sort of have a rock paper scissors format, I hope the next set gives us a fairy theme deck, it'll help with all the dragon fever.


  • 0

03 February 2018 - 10:28 AM

#5

Harion

    Junior Trainer

  • Harion

they should just update the old theme decks so it can go toe to toe with the newer theme decks. streamline those old decks so they become more playable. there's no fun playing theme format if there's only one or two decks that are always in use. they've got to give other decks a push so the metagame becomes more varied, making paper x rock x scissor games more common.


  • 0

03 February 2018 - 11:08 PM

#6

Oldschool1990

    Senior Trainer

  • Oldschool1990

Hm, as predicted, the new decks take the top spot. I'll make a more detailed analysis in 1-2 weeks, when the new metagame settles.

 

Both decks actually have some very dangerous turn2 2-energy 120 damage potential, Imperial Command with Floatzel +  Kukui, Mach Stike with Gumshoos + Kukui.

 

Empoleon is basically like old basic green's Shiftry, using benched mons for insane damage shots. On the other hand, Garchomp's 200 also oneshot everything in the format.

 

For me personally, Mach Strike works out better; Imperial Command is pretty harsh when you get a bad hand. Mach Strike got a better overall retreat & attack cost ratio; stuff like Abomasnow and Alolan Sandslash feel kinda clunky. That said, Imperial Command can regain momentum pretty fast due to energy control.


Edited by Oldschool1990, 03 February 2018 - 11:13 PM.

Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

  • 0

04 February 2018 - 08:06 AM

#7

DrumminBeard

    Novice Trainer

  • DrumminBeard

Hm, as predicted, the new decks take the top spot. I'll make a more detailed analysis in 1-2 weeks, when the new metagame settles.

Yeah, I'd like too see your numbers on these, re: win rates; cuz I've got both of the new decks, but I'm still using Clanging Thunder in Versus Mode. I've come upon lots of people using the new decks (I'd even say *most* people), and I am demolishing them the vast majority of the time. In fact, most of the times I've lost, I'd have most likely lost against any other deck in the same situation.

As I see it, both decks require a lot of setup to work properly.

Yes, Mach Strike can potentially get a turn 2 Garchomp on the board (notably only *after* attacking with your turn 2 Gabite) with 2 energy; but where is that Pokemon without a Cynthia in-hand? For that matter, what good is the Lucario tutor with the cards in that deck? Getting Cynthia is about all it's good for, I've found. Sure, you can start building another Garchomp; but with only 2 Cynthia in the deck, every single attack and strategy in this deck is overpriced for what it is. I like Ascension, but I feel none of the cards in this deck are as useful as they look on paper, and that they're better served in other formats than Theme. It's one of the better Theme decks, for sure; but not as good as CT.

Imperial Command is not as good as Mach Strike, even. Empoleon can consistently get 100 damage with your full bench, and opponent's bench is gravy. Totally great. I also like the option of outright trashing an energy with the other attack, if you want. Alolan Sandslash is good for card draw, but I don't think the Sandshrew's free attack is as good as you suggest. I like the energy conservation with the Aqua Patches, and the one big snowman guy's ability; but with the exception of Empoleon himself, we again have over-priced and/or under-powered attackers, whether through energy cost or having to discard energy to use.

Playing Clanging Thunder, I can potentially one-shot everything in any Theme deck over and over again. Clanging Thunder with Kukui and Devastating Field will kill an Empoleon or another Kommo-o. That, or even War Cry and the other two would take out Garchomp. Yes, a Grachomp-Cynthia combo for 200 will rock my world if I don't have an answer; but the combination of answers in my deck, and the ability to play around the ONE bad guy I really have to worry about in either deck makes this an acceptable risk. I"ve only seen 2 or 3 Kommo-o's go out like that in the past 20+ games against those decks (no Empoleon is taking me out with a Kommo-o-optimized bench, obviously).

So, yes--I'm curious to see your findings; specifically with regard to CT (obviously). After getting hyped along with everyone else for these new decks, I am choosing to continue with CT; and after consistently beating those decks for the past 2 days, I feel I've made the right choice.
  • 0

04 February 2018 - 03:55 PM

#8

canoirB

    Novice Trainer

  • canoirB

I also feel that the new decks aren't that strong. I've been using Destruction Fang and its working against a Garchomp deck 80-90% of the time, despite the type advantage.


  • 0

10 February 2018 - 10:13 AM

#9

Harion

    Junior Trainer

  • Harion

Clanging Thunder beats Imperial Command by default since CT player wants his bench to be less while IC player wants both benches full. CT players will bench less mons intentionally, giving Empoleon less attack power to work with. MS is just meh in competitive play. It is not consistent enough. If you do not draw Cynthia, you are essentially dead in the water if you are unable to get Garchomp and Lucario out early. You need both, as, without Garchomp, Lucario's tutoring does not work.

I was wondering why there's no fairy themed deck. Might help take down Clanging Thunder a notch.


  • 0

10 February 2018 - 12:54 PM

#10

Chasista

    Elite Trainer

  • Chasista

I've had more success than not with Mach Strike. You need to know what's in front, that's all.

 

Not telling you're wrong Harion but, 85% of battles are Mirror. I can suffer against Imperial command or Clanging Thunder, but that's all. Actually Clanging Thunder didn't won me any match. Still a 100 damage per turn, turn 2 with Garchomp, 120 adding Kukui, and aiming bench pokémon for 50, it's reliable without Lucario. Plan 2 is Gumshoos. Any battle can be lost for lack of consistency with any Theme though.

 

Sky guardian, Enchanted echo and Resilient life are the ones with Fairy. Silveon could work, but it's the only one. The other relies ONLY on Xerneas. Both hard to set up. Not consistent enough against none of the present Theme decks anyway. We will have to wait for a Fairy based Theme :)


WE WANT LEGACY TOURNAMENTS BACK !!! If you also want it, show your support http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/55966-feedback-making-it-easier-to-get-the-cards-you-want/

XY Theme decks review: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/27938-the-best-xy-theme-deck-info-poll

Foro en español, también existe: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/forum/2-español/

IGN Chasista

  • 1

10 February 2018 - 07:59 PM

#11

Mod_GuruLot

    Moderator

  • Mod_GuruLot

Hello everyone!

 

Thank you all for raising this and sharing your ideas!

 

Our developers appreciate opinions of the players because you help to make the game better. Although they can't guarantee implementations of your ideas, they review and discuss it on a regular basis.

 

Have a lovely weekend  :) 


Best, 
Mod_Gurulot
Pokémon TCG Online Moderator

For more help from the Support Team visit the support portal and submit your ticket!

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16 February 2018 - 04:16 PM

#12

Oldschool1990

    Senior Trainer

  • Oldschool1990

Well, I'd best make a new thread for statistic suggestions.

Thanks for the replies so far, nice to see that both staff and players do care about the theme deck format. :)

 

 

I was wondering why there's no fairy themed deck. Might help take down Clanging Thunder a notch.

 

There are 2 older fairy type decks, the Xerneas one and the Sylveon+Leafeon one with the self-evolving eevee, but but have a rather bad card pool because they were made before they gave theme decks some attention.

 

That said, even a modern fairy theme deck would struggle against Raichu and Gastro.

Maybe a new developer-made pvp-basic deck that replaces the old Gallade deck could do something to balance the format a bit, preferably a fairy type deck (not that weakness would make much difference anymore tho, with those power creep mons beeing able to oneshot revengekill everything in the tier)


Edited by Oldschool1990, 16 February 2018 - 04:17 PM.

Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

  • 0

15 March 2018 - 01:11 AM

#13

ddophied

    Rookie Trainer

  • ddophied

What makes the two new Ultra prism decks hard to beat is all the card drawing in them. Playing the two decks even if you get a bad draw there are enough supporters to draw what you need in no time. I just got through playing and nearly every game was against Mach Strike. It is getting to the point that it is not fun playing the same deck over and over. The older decks stand no chance because they are so slow and lack the extra draw power of the newer Sun and Moon decks. I admit the new decks are fun to play with but I also enjoy playing my older HGSS decks which at the best of times had a hard time winning.


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