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Analysis of the competitive Theme Deck Format, May 2018


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01 June 2018 - 08:00 PM

#1

Oldschool1990

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  • Oldschool1990

The following thread represents an analysis of the current Theme Deck competitive Metagame. My analysis might differ from the experience of various players who find themselves in different metagames due to the MMR/ELO. (nevertheless, I hope any kind of player may find some value in this asseblmy of randomly arranged letters)

 

Legend:

general advantage:

"X>Y" means "X beats Y"

"X=Y" means "X matches Y as equally strong"

"X<Y" means "X loses to Y"

"max" means "160+ damage", which is the amount of damage needed to kill every relevant mon in the meta

 

Alright, let's jump into this right away, took me long enough.

 

The previous state: Imperial Command and Mach Strike dominated the metagame, altho certain anti-meta decks such as XY Basic Green have proven to hold their ground.

 

The current state:  with the addition of Tropical Takedown and Twilight Rouge, two new very strong decks have increased our deckpool, altho not as frequently used as they should be (especially since Tropical Takedown seems difficult to navigate for certain players, more about that later), the new decks, especially Twilight Rouge, surpass the old ones in sheer power.

 

That said, the most used deck still remains Mach Strike, simply because most players didn't make themselves properly familiar with the new decks or want to play aggro with Gumshoos. Turning to a slower deck seems bad at first glance, however, if you look at the tradeoffs and matchups against other decks, Twilight Rouge is far stronger than Mach Strike.

 

Next, I will present you my ranking for the current meta, including a matchup analysis and a %winrate tested out an equal number of matchups against each other relevant deck.

 

Ranking/Tierlist:

Tier 1:

Twilight Rouge (short: "TR"): Midrange Bench Control

What sets this deck appart is that it can uphold it's momentum by force-dropping basics onto your opponents bench and regain energy with Malamar. Whilst other decks may run out of heavy hitters at some point, with TR you got enough power to end things 6-4 or 6-5 vs. MS or IC on equal terms. Going more specific:

>Mach Strike (%80%)

My first test with this deck was a quite symbolic one: my opponent had the Lucario-Garchomp Combo on turn 2 and called "gg", thinking I would have lost already.

That was not the case. I matched him heavy hitter for heavy hitter and came out winning 6-5. Dusknoirs bench dropping ability directly puts 3 counters on the dropped mon, which turns a potential 150HP Garchomp into a 120HP Garchomp, which then can be oneshoted by Lycanrock. That extra 30 damage basically lets you trade more efficient by letting you onehit their tier1 mons with your tier2 mons, and tier2 mons with tier3 mons.

>Imperial Command (80%)

IC usually pumps its own bench full of mons so that Empoleon can get the max damage.

TR doesn't need to pump its own bench, it only counts your opponents mons. Means you can force-drop your opponents bench full with Dusknoirs ability if necessary, whist keeping your own bench clear so that Empoleon doesn't get to max hit you. It can still use it's other attack tho, which hits for 90 and discards an energy from your mon, but overall you'll win the trades, as no other mon in IC can hit for more than 100 (with Kukui), meanwhile, if you get to force drop their Piplup with the 30 extra damage, you'll be able to oneshot Empoleon with Lycanrock, and since the IC player will always need 2 hits to kill your mons without their Empoleon, you tradeoff is better.

<Tropical Takedown(40%)

Ex-egg-utor (out of egg-utor, to decypher the spelling of that mon) can be a huge thread, beeing able to dish out 120-140 damage turn 2 and hitting Lycanrock and Solrock with weakness, meanwhile presenting 160 HP for a stage1 mon, which is difficult to crack at turn2 (TTs Alolan Marowak comes to mind, could hit for 80x2 weakness, would require a mirrormatch and some luck tho). Both Raticates are able to hit your Dusknoir-evoline with weakness and possibly even onehit Dusknoir with coinflip luck/Kukui.

Means TTs Tier1 wrecks TRs Tier2 and TTs Tier2 wrecks TRs Tier1.

Weakness gives a huge advantage here, even more so since TT can protect their Raticate from Lycanrock/Solrock onehits due to a sneaky weakness Policy. (arm the Fieldblowers!)

The key is not running into early Exeggutors, so you might have the chance to force-drop TTs Exeggcutes and drop the deadly counter on their bench with Dusclops first attack.

>Clanging Thunder (70%)

Here, TR has the better matchup.

Sure, Kommo-O can hit hard, but the drawback is taking 30 extra damage. The empty bank rush also falls short when you can simply bench-drop them, so it never gets to utilize the 2-energy 120 damage burst. Raichu gets eaten by Lycanrock/Solrock, Gastrodon hits their own bench, which is bad for tradeoffs and gets resisted by TRs ghosts. Unless CT gets turn3 Kommo-O up fast, it loses to TR when it comes to tradeoffs.

 

 

Mach Strike (short: "MS"): Aggro Combo

Well, we basically all know what this deck does; Garchomp-Lucario-Cynthia for the max damage hits, Gumshoos+Kukui for 120damage turn2, Hippopotas getting max damage when you have 3 or less cards in your deck (l legitly use this mon as a more or less unexpected backup plan), spiritomb to disable basics and to regain used supporters.

=Imperial Command(50%)

An even matchup. IC may either chose to go aggro with Floatzel and kill your Gabite, or it will hax you to death with all those para/sleep/agillity coinflips. Beeing on the recieving end of the RNG-Stick is never a great experience, I tell you. Ultimately, both decks trade equally well, Empoleon and Garchomp both hit for max, Floatzel loses to Gumshoos, IC has 2 Abomasnows that can sleephax, but die to Hippowdon. Therefore, IC got a really fast energy setup due to Abomasnow and Aqua patch. The double Sandslash card draw and the Garchomp-Lucario tutor effect kinda balance each other out, IC is a bit slower in getting what it needs, but therefore far more consistant in what it does, especially when MS gets their Lucario priced.

>Tropical Takedown(70%)

Due to Gibles and Gabites evolving move, matching the speed of Alolan Exeggutor is possbile for MS. Garchomp can onehit the tree with Cynthia, Lucario deals with Raticates, and Gumshoos+Kukui/Hippowdon both find easy targets, meanwhile Sandslash and Marowak lack the damage to onehit either of them. However, if exegguted rightly, TT can get some nice trades, using rescue stretcher for a 3rd tree to swing for up to 140 damage when they least expect it, as it only costs 1 energy, potentially taking down a scratched Garchomp.

>Clanging Thunder (70%)

The new dragons beat the old one. That said, Kommo-O and Garchomp both can onehit eachother when having Kukui/Cynthia, but Garchomp can evolve faster and Lucario helps getting that Cynthia, while Kommo-O requires good draws to hit for max.

Despite its weakness, Raichu can onehit both Lucario(2 energies) and Hippowdon(3-4 energies and also Gumshoos(2 energies) in a tradeoff. It can even onehit Garchomp(3 energies) with Kukui On the other hand, Hippowdon can also onehit Kommo-O with Kukui. The one falling from grace here is Gastrodon for hitting its own bench, making it easy for Garchomp to snipe scratched mons with quick dive that it wouldn't be able to snipe otherwise.

 

Imperial Command (short: "IC"): Ramp Bench Control

This deck mainly compensates lack of skill with coinflip luck. Well, what do you expect? Pokemon has been a gambling game ever since Blue/Red Edition and the ptcg Base set.

It might be considered as dirty or cheap (just like nightmarch is), but that's what you have to come to accept when playing competitively. The deck can also lose, ultimately each gamble is a calculated risk, whether or not it's a timer ball doubleflip, Floatzels Agility attack flip or parahax/sleephax, if the coin lands tails, that often means 1 price taken by the opponent. It is not nice to get coinflip haxed 10 times in a row, but that's what you sign up for when playing this game. The rest of the deck is Empoleon playing mind games with your opponents about how many mons they put on their bench and energy shenanigans with Abomasnow, increasing your ramping tempo, which also comes handy when dealing with the high retreat costs of this deck. Sometimes it can be wiser to use Abomasnow to help with retreating rather then ramping up your next attacker.

>Tropical Takedown(70%)

TT requires different mons to be benched, such as Alolan Sandslash to draw cards or maybe you want to use Oricorio for some more energy. Alolan Marowak counts your alolan mons, so TT might want to start benching them early. This is easy food for Empoleon, which will have no troubles cracking max damage to break Alolan Exeggutor.

Besides that, TT can only reach 140 damage with Kukui, which is not enough to onehit Empoleon. The general damage output of TT is high enough, but it doesn't spike up like in other decks, which makes trading mons efficiently quite difficult if you are up against a deck that outbursts you and outhaxes you with para/sleep coinflips.

Nevermind the grass weakness some IC mons have, it will seldom come to play, as the only real grass attack in TT comes from Exeggutor, which will usually be faced against Empoleon or Abomasnow.

<Clanging Thunder(30%)

CT will make sure to have an somewhat empty bench, so that Kommo-O can use it's first attack and hit for 120 with only 2 energies. With Devoured Field in play, Kommo-O+Kukui can onehit Empoleon with max damage, meanwhile beeing able to tank Empoleons attack beforehand if your bench is empty or only has 1 mon. Raichu will basically just grill Empoleon, and basically any other mon in IC that has sufficient energy on it, which comes down very effectively in narrow tradeoffs. More often than not CT will be able to win the trades with IC. Having swap+escape rope+malasada really helps the deck against ICs hax coinfips, while beeing able to retribute some of that in the same manner with the fast Gastrodon approach. Nevertheless, Raichu remains the game breaker here, beeing able to potentially have 4 Raichus going (if you rescue stretch 2 Raichus and 1 Pikachu back in your deck) means having a clear advantage by beeing able to force trades, catching an Empoleon, which IC has to use at some point before giving away to many price cards for free, and then bringing out Kommo-O as the bulky heavy-hitter to seal the deal. IC basically has to play more aggressive and staightforward against CT, because the attack costs are more efficient thanks to Abomasnow. (it takes a while to put 3 energies on a Raichu)

 

Tropical Takedown (short: "TT"): Aggro Combo

This deck may seem weird or random at first, but actually, once you've got the hang of it, it is working pretty well. When Alolan Exeggutor was first spoiled to be the lead of this deck, people wondered how in the world this is going to work out. Well, Sophocles and Ultra Balls fill your discard pile with energies, so do defeated mons. The deck covers a wide variety of weaknesses, which makes it somewhat flexible. The standard idea would be to get the Exeggutor on the field right away and play aggro, 160HP are difficult to beat in the earlygame and if you got 2 different energies in your pile, let's say because you used an Ultra Ball turn1, Exeggutor already swings for 60 damage for 1 energy, which is to much to handle for many decks early on. However, it is also possible to play the slow game and ramp up for some midgame action instead. Depending on what your opponent has on the field, TT allows for quite some adaption.

=Clanging Thunder(50%)

Quite an interessting matchup, as TT usually relies on it's benched mons, meanwhile Kommo-O will use that advantage for its first move. Exeggutor has the advantage over Raichu for only needing 1 energy to hit hard (Raichu is supposed to punish heavy hitters that usually require 3 or more energy) and Gastrodon, which it hits with weakness. Meanwhile, Raticate can get hit with weakness and be onehitted by Solrock with Kukui and Devoured Field, unless it's got a Weakness Policy. (again, pretty strong card against decks that lack equipment removal) Kommo-O is able to onehit Exeggutor with Kukui and Devoured Field, however the backdraw of recieving 30 extra damage next turn will make revenge killing pretty easy. It might be better to take on Exeggutor in 2 steps, opening with a Raichu, then switching to Kommo-O, scratching both mons and sacrificing energy for keeping your evolved heavy hitters alive. For TT the same might apply, putting on early pressure is the key, but if it doesn't work out, Sandslash can be quite annoying, scratching mons for 50-70 while beeing able to switch to sacrifical basics with its attack. This hit&run tactic might cost TT some price cards, but make the important tradeoffs easier in return. It's basically enough to win 6vs5 by playing it save, as in this matchup, the one who loses their tier1 mon first will lose the neccessary damage output to efficiently trade off tier2 mons. Raticate might bait you into going aggro with fast Gastrodon, however that might also mean getting revenge killed by Exeggutor. Don't hesitate to retreat when those Exeggcutes hit the bench, as CT will lose more power in tradeoffs against TT.

 

Tier 1.5:

XY Basic Green: ramp stalling

This deck sees very low usage actually, but is a very strong counter against most meta-decks. It has the best trainer pool with up to 2x Lysandre/Sycamore (with VS.Seeker) and the sheer amount of heal. Just look at the decklist, it's pretty awesome. Shiftry does the same thing that Empoleon does and provides insane card draw, Chesnaught just tanks everything away with up to 3x Pokemon Center Lady (healing for 60) and 2 Potions (healing for 30), healing itsself for 20 with its attack and throwing back 30 damage to attackers. That means if a Garchomp (150HP) was to hit it, it would throw back 30 damage, then hit for 90, and then (even if it gets knocked out) throw back 30 again, means Garchomp will kill itself. Unless you reach max damage, Chesnaught can always heal away all that chip damage, forcing extremely unfavourable trades. Linoone can hit the bench for 30, Dodrio trap is obvious, Simisages Torment attack can be a game deciding lockdown. Tropius is so-meh and should only be used to buy some turns if necessary. The amount of status heal makes it easy to fight against ICs coinflip haxes and with Ace Trainer you can shuffle away your opponents hand, which is pretty useful against many decks. With the Lysandre you can hit any mon your opponent is ramping up, destroying their game plan, or you can buy time trapping mons with high retreat cost. The kind of power this deck holds still lives up against all the new powercreep decks.

 

 

Clanging Thunder (short: "CT"): Midrange

With most of its heavy hitters requiring 3 energies to attack, it is one of the slower decks that is outraced by aggro mons like Gumshoos or Floatzel. That turn2 is very dangerous, but if this deck manages to properly set up some heavy hitters, it can trade efficiently against most decks. Of course, this deck can also go aggro with Gastrodon and Kommo-O, however, the heavy swings are only coming in on turn3.

Kommo-O can give IC a hard time, as IC wants to fill it's bench in most cases, which lets Kommo-O use it's first attack. War cry only costs 2 energy and hits for 120-140 without any backdraw, means you can easly set up a fast Kommo-O with an Exp.Share equiped and shred through your opponents mons, effectively reducing the damage for Empoleon with any mon that IC loses. CT should mainly be considered a counter-deck against Imperial Command. Against MS, I highly advise not to use Gastrodons Earthquake (which scratches your own benched mons) if you have basic mons on your bench that could then fall victim to Garchomps Quick dive.

 

Tier 2: (insignificant for competitive play, there is a lower ranking, but it's not of interesst for us)

rest

 

Special Mentions:

Ring of Lightning:  Bench-hitter

this deck likes to drop damage counters on stuff.

Galvantula hits the bench for 60 electric AND grass type weakness, means you can oneshot a benched Piplup from IC, Shellos from CT and various other mons that have those weaknesses, which is great to stop Empoleon or Gastrodon from going up early. Sadly, the deck only got one scary Spider. The big hitter Hoopa is not really doing a good job, unless you manage do get the 130 burst as a surprise attack with Ninja Boy. Therefore, 2 Ampharos provide a 80+para/120 burst attack which comes in very handy against IC, especially if you want to get that Empoleon down the coinflip doesn't even matter. Drifblims Burst Curse can stop many things from going up by dropping 8 counters on your opponents mons however you like, which is enough to kill a benched Gabite from MS and stop that Garchomp from going up. Let us also not forget about Ambipoms chance to hit for 80 turn 2, Joliks free retreat and Hawluchas repel effect, which round up the deck and give you some useful shenanigans to play around with.

<Twilight Rouge

Dusknoir from TR can dead-drop a Joltik from your hands with it's ability, taking 1 free price before even attacking. Given that you have 3 Joltiks in that deck, it's not a favourable matchup at all. Fighting weakness hit's the electric and colorless types. It's also outmatched by the trainer pool and Malamars energy setup speed.

 

Destruction Fang: Ramp Midrange

To keep it short and simple: this deck gets absolutely wrecked by fighting types.

Those are very abundant in the current meta and the darkness type only hits ghosts like TRs Dusknoir. Strongest card in this deck is the Wishful Baton, which gives it a 3 energy advantage, means you can ramp up a heavy hitter like Hydreigon just by losing your active mon. That competes with the ramp of ICs 2 Abomasnows+ Aqua patch, sadly that won't help, as this deck never reaches max damage to onehit tier1 mons and has no way of attacking the bench.


Edited by Oldschool1990, 03 June 2018 - 07:15 PM.

Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

Contra principia negantem non est disputandum.

  • 0

03 June 2018 - 07:01 PM

#2

Oldschool1990

    Veteran Trainer

  • Oldschool1990

What the future holds:

with Celestial Storm on the horizon, we will get a Sceptile Theme Deck and a Swampert Theme Deck. Sadly not the fairy-type Deck we all hoped for, from what is known already there seem to be no fairy types in Celestial Storm at all. Both new decks will be centered around energy ramp. These decks should be able to deal some serious damage, altho we already got water and grass types in the meta and lack a decent deck featuring fairy types. With more and more theme decks around, the meta will somewhat get healthier with each new set. Well, it's still 2 month till then, so you've got another 8 weeks of bench control/aggro meta to deal with.


Edited by Oldschool1990, 03 June 2018 - 07:15 PM.

Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

Contra principia negantem non est disputandum.

  • 1

26 June 2018 - 09:58 AM

#3

Mod_Rowan

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  • Mod_Rowan

Thanks for sharing, Oldschool1990!

 

The analysis is great. Thanks for being awesome!


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26 June 2018 - 06:36 PM

#4

Player_Jay

    Veteran Trainer

  • Player_Jay
I have reached 1st place in Theme tournaments with Destruction Fang.
I have placed in top 4 in tournaments with Destruction Fang.
I think you undervalue it’s chances.
I feel it is better than XY Basic Green & Clanging Thunder.
It lacks 1 hit OTK potential like you say, but I feel it makes up for it in speed.

-Wishful Baton
-EXP Share
-Bewear
-Oranguru
-Salazzle
-Mawile

The deck has very nice ways of speedy development.
It has several Pokémon that can draw cards.
It has nice searching cards + setting up cards.
It has recoverability with Wishful Baton & EXP Share.
It is said that if Gengar is hiding, it cools the area by nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 0

27 June 2018 - 07:31 PM

#5

Oldschool1990

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  • Oldschool1990

Hi Jay, thanks for the reply (thumps up from me) ;)
I agree with Destruction Fang having an energy advantage thanks to the wishful baton, however, other decks are able to compete with that ramp, IC with both Abomasnows and Aqua Patch, TR with Malamar and basic green with the double colorless energies

Sadly, most of the viable decks run fighting types, which gives Destruction Fang a particulary bad matchup due to weakness; you will have very bad trades when their tier2 or tier3 mons destroy your tier1 mon for less energy cost. All the setup advantage gets nullified when you fight against weakness.

The lack of max damage is a heavy downside that wishful baton can not compensate for, as you will be throwing away 2 of your mons to kill 1 mon of your opponent. It strongly depends on your opponent only having 1 ramped mon in play.

Yes, you can occasionally win a tournament with this deck if you are lucky and your opponents only get bad hands. Actually, Destrcution Fang does have one of the best card draws, however, Bewear is a very situational mon that is only good against bulky basics, and you can use it as a punching bag to tank some damage in order to buy more turns. Else, it's pretty much a deadweight on your bench. With most of the meta playing Mach Strike, all of those situational mons that Destruction Fang has rarely get to do their thing.

On equal matchups, one will most likely not be able to score 10 gold trophies in 100 tournaments when it comes down to only using this deck. (feel free to prove me wrong, I would pretty much enjoy seeing someone beeing successful with a tier2-deck)

What does it take to make Destruction Fang better?
The simple answer is: more ghost types in the meta.

Those are usually psychic type mons that have dark type weakness and fighting type resistance, beeing able to take more damage from the over-present fighting types meanwhile hitting some of them and also some psychic types with weakness.
 


Edited by Oldschool1990, 27 June 2018 - 07:55 PM.

Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

Contra principia negantem non est disputandum.

  • 0

27 June 2018 - 11:57 PM

#6

Player_Jay

    Veteran Trainer

  • Player_Jay
Your analysis on the Destruction Fang Deck is wrong!
The only part of your assessment that is right is that Destruction Fang has best card Draws!

It’s not just about Transferring Energy!
It’s the fluid nature of the deck that makes it strong!
It’s ability to Power Up > Attack > Take Loss > Transfer energy to next Pokémon > Attack
Wishful Batton is 1 card allowing them to do this.

You mentioned Imperial Commanders being about to do this.
However, you are not looking close enough.
You can’t make Abomasnow with out Snover!
You also mentioned Aqua Patch!
You are talking about 3 cards in total trying to do what 1 Wishful Baton can do?

If it took 3 people to do your job, People would say your a monster!
A total Asset to the company.
Yes, 3 people can compete with you, but at what cost?

The same thing goes for Twilight Rogue.
You need Inky to make Malamar!
2 cards vs 1 card

————————————————————————————————-

What Fighting Weakness?
If your opponent has no fighting Pokémon worth using, The weakness doesn’t exist.

You know on discovery channel they say Great White Shark’s have weakness.
Great White Shark eyes are very sensitive & vulnerable.
If you get attacked by Shark, They say go for the Shark’s eyes.

My question is if the Shark Eats you before you are able to reach it’s eyes.
Does the Shark really have weakness?
I think not!
If you can’t take advantage of it, Than It doesn’t really exist.

All the decks you listed.
There really is only 1 strong/good Fighting Pokémon!
Twilight Rogue - Lycanroc
Lycanroc is a main Attacker in that deck.
1 deck out of 6 decks

-Tropic Take Down - Cubone & Solrock
-Imperial Command - No Fighting Pokémon
-Mech Strike - Lucario, Solrock, & Hippo’s
-Clanging Thunder - Solrock & Gastrodon
-XY Basic Green - No Fighting Pokémon

Those are the only Fighting Pokémon I saw.
Hydreigon has 160 HP
Are you going to try and chip it down with a Cubone or Solrock 40 Damage at time?
You will lose 2-4 prize cards.
Many would welcome that exchange.
A Boss Pokémon is supposed to get a few prize cards before it falls.
No Boss Pokémon is supposed to last forever.
You just try to get good value out of them before they fall.

The weakness disadvantage is only a real concern when your opponent can generate a strong enough attack to 1 shot your Pokémon such as in the case of Lycanroc.

Mech Strike Pokémon Lucario is to valueable!
Lucario has weakness advantage and can deliver a strong enough hit to be menacing.
However, Strong Mech Strike players tend to preserve Lucario vs Battling with him.
Lucario is key card in the Garchomp deck strategy.
A huge risk to put him in combat.
The majority will not do it.

Mech Strike Pokémon Hippowdon isn’t worth the text it is printed on.
Strong Mech Strike players tend to not use this Pokémon unless they are forced too.
The main Attackers for Mech Strike deck are Garchomp + Gumshoos + Spiritomb.
-Low Energy Cost
-Low Retreat Cost
It allows the deck to play with a fluid motion.
Hippowdon is Big, Bulky Energy Cost stops the decks Symphony.
Hippowdon is Clummsy which can cause you to get stuck because of it high retreat cost.

The last Fighting Pokémon that comes into the forefront is Clanging Thunder - Gastrodon.
I don’t have a lot of personal experience using Clanging Thunder.
I have done battles against it.
My assessment based on what little I have seen is that Gastrodon isn’t considered a Main Attacker.
The main attacking Pokémon seem to be Kommo-o, Alolah Raichu, & Type Null
It seems to me that Gastrodon falls into the same category as Hippowdon.

On paper, Gastrodon main attack is very awe inspiring.
It can deal 120 damage which combined with Weakness Edge would be very nice.
However, The recoil / backlash from the move is very undesirable.
I have never seen anyone charge this Pokémon up.

Yeah!
I think the weakness the deck has is a mute point.
I think your undervaluing it’s over all chances.

Edited by Player_Jay, 28 June 2018 - 12:00 AM.

It is said that if Gengar is hiding, it cools the area by nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • -4

30 June 2018 - 07:24 PM

#7

Oldschool1990

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  • Oldschool1990
Player_Jay, on 28 Jun 2018 - 01:57 AM, said:
Your analysis on the Destruction Fang Deck is wrong!
The only part of your assessment that is right is that Destruction Fang has best card Draws!

I need to clarify once again that my analysis is for the competitive scene, and that if you have lower ELO/MMR you might experience different things.

It’s not just about Transferring Energy!
It’s the fluid nature of the deck that makes it strong!
It’s ability to Power Up > Attack > Take Loss > Transfer energy to next Pokémon > Attack
Wishful Batton is 1 card allowing them to do this.
You mentioned Imperial Commanders being about to do this.
However, you are not looking close enough.
You can’t make Abomasnow with out Snover!
You also mentioned Aqua Patch!
You are talking about 3 cards in total trying to do what 1 Wishful Baton can do?

The thing with IC is that the ramp can come out of nothing. True, you need Snovers, but you will have snovers in IC anyways unless you get a really bad starting hand. IC almost always has a full bench, and unless you play TR, you can never know whether or not the IC player has the Abomasnows in hand or not, forcing you to play more careful (and propably making you waste opportunities with that mind game) because those 3 energies can always just pop up and wreck your mon. It's a thing in competitive to just put a basic mon on your bench as a Bluff to make your opponent think that you have the evolution card in hand. Wishful baton on the other hand is pretty obvious and is removable by decks that run fieldblower. (~30%)

If it took 3 people to do your job, People would say your a monster!
A total Asset to the company.
Yes, 3 people can compete with you, but at what cost?
The same thing goes for Twilight Rogue.
You need Inky to make Malamar!
2 cards vs 1 card

Malamar therefore is able to ramp every turn, wishful baton is a one time thing.
Your whole premise of "you need basic mons first" is pretty weak, as you will easily have that basic mons in play.
Yes, Wishful baton is very fast at conserving 3 energies at once and is a key piece to the deck as you get 1 free attack. Then again, without max damage and facing either weakness or max hitters you will effectively only save 1 energy as you will lose your next mon asap.

————————————————————————————————-
What Fighting Weakness?
If your opponent has no fighting Pokémon worth using, The weakness doesn’t exist.
You know on discovery channel they say Great White Shark’s have weakness.
Great White Shark eyes are very sensitive & vulnerable.
If you get attacked by Shark, They say go for the Shark’s eyes.
My question is if the Shark Eats you before you are able to reach it’s eyes.
Does the Shark really have weakness?
I think not!
If you can’t take advantage of it, Than It doesn’t really exist.
All the decks you listed.
There really is only 1 strong/good Fighting Pokémon!

17,5%Twilight Rogue - Lycanroc
Lycanroc is a main Attacker in that deck. It is not. The tier1 of this deck is Dusknoir, which should be pretty obvious if you look at the HP and damage output. Also, don't forget about Rockruffs coinflip attack and the Solrock, they can score early kills.
1 deck out of 6 decks

12,5%-Tropic Take Down - Cubone & Solrock <- not great options, but it might fill your discard pile with 1-2 energies for Exeggutor to boost it's damage, so the chip damage is always worth giving 1 price card away, because Exeggutor can take that price card back for 1 energy and there is no mon in Destruction Fang that gets max damage to onehit Exeggutor.

12,5%-Imperial Command - No Fighting Pokémon

50%-Mech Strike - Lucario, Solrock, & Hippo’s <- Those matter because it's the most played deck in the meta.

5%-Clanging Thunder - Solrock & Gastrodon <- Never forget about the stadium card that (besides 2 Kukuis) boost solar heat, don't forget Gastro can easily set up with an exp share and also got a confusion attack that might force you to test your luck.

~1%-XY Basic Green - No Fighting Pokémon
Those are the only Fighting Pokémon I saw.

Here's another thing: all those decks have different usage. You'll run into Mach Strike the most, and also into the other decks except Basic Green, which is very rare with around 1% usage (still extremely good), just leaving IC without fighting types, which makes up around 12,5% of the meta at most.

To really know how many fighting types you encounter, you need to count the total amount of matches played and then count the possible amount of fighting types. With Mach strike making up around 50% of the meta, and other decks running fighting types making up around 35%, you'll have an 85% chance to run into a deck that runs fighting types.

Hydreigon has 160 HP
Are you going to try and chip it down with a Cubone or Solrock 40 Damage at time?

Hydreigon is not your only mon that has fighting weakness.
Litterally every other mon that has this weakness dies to a 60 damage attack that can be easily done by basics+Kukui.

To list it up for you:

2x Hydreigon 160HP - need 2x40 hits that solrock+stadium card or solrock+kukui easily get. Solrock+Kukui is a very common play. Else, 80 fighting damage can also easily come from Hippo or Lucario

2x Zweilous 90HP - easy oneshot for every evolved mon that Mach Strike has and required for Hydreigon

3x Deino 70HP - can even be oneshot by Cubone or Solrock+Kukui (again, this combo is seen very often)

2x Houndoom 110HP - still easily oneshot by "basically-everything"™+Kukui

3x Houndour 60HP - dont even need to talk about that, it even gets beaten down by Riolu.

2x Bewear 130HP - one of the few exceptions that sometimes survives with 10HP left.

1x Oranguru 120HP - again, dies to a whole lot of things, as many mons can reach 120 damage with Kukui, especially Gumshoos and Garchomp

then there are 10 other mons without noteworthy offensive capabilities that, the exception beeing Salazzle, die rather quickly and don't even need the fighting weakness to be finished off.

You will lose 2-4 prize cards.
Many would welcome that exchange. No. You will trade 2vs1.

A Boss Pokémon is supposed to get a few prize cards before it falls.
No Boss Pokémon is supposed to last forever. I recommend you to play Basic Green to prove you otherwise.

You just try to get good value out of them before they fall.
The weakness disadvantage is only a real concern when your opponent can generate a strong enough attack to 1 shot your Pokémon such as in the case of Lycanroc.

Weakness is always a concern because you have to keep energy efficiency in mind.

If I can 2shot your Hydreigon with 2 Solrocks I'm trading 2 energies for 3 energies, and getting rid of your best mon, which makes the 2vs1 trade worthwile because now I can 1shot the rest of your mons with my tier1 and tier2 mons.

You miss the point that even if you lose 1 more prize card in a trade, if it gives you a game advantage of getting rid of tier1 mons with your tier2 or tier3 mons, it's a good trade because then your own tier1 mons can easily get that price card and effectively gives you a huge momentum swing. Let's say you trade your tier1 for 2 tier2 mons, get 2 prices for 1, therefore lose your tier1, then your opponent uses his tier1 to do the same trade, setting up his tier2 mon, when you take down his tier1 with your tier2, the next turn he will get the swing on your tier2 with his tier2 and go 4:3 first. It literally gives away the price race on the long run.

Mech Strike Pokémon Lucario is to valueable!
Lucario has weakness advantage and can deliver a strong enough hit to be menacing.
However, Strong Mech Strike players tend to preserve Lucario vs Battling with him. There is always a rescure stretcher to get it back.

Lucario is key card in the Garchomp deck strategy. It is one key card, but not necessary, you can easily win with that deck without ever drawing Lucario. The Gumshoos and Garchomp are the real aggro cards that set people on a clock for the price race.

A huge risk to put him in combat.
The majority will not do it. The majority of what ELO exactly?

Mech Strike Pokémon Hippowdon isn’t worth the text it is printed on. It's a card that hits for 100-140 +20 damage and got a reatreat block utility ontop of having a large bulk that 95% of all mons in the tier can not oneshot.
Strong Mech Strike players tend to not use this Pokémon unless they are forced too. They do use it and it's doing a really good job trading efficently when people have the time to set it up.

The main Attackers for Mech Strike deck are Garchomp + Gumshoos + Spiritomb.
-Low Energy Cost
-Low Retreat Cost
It allows the deck to play with a fluid motion.
Hippowdon is Big, Bulky Energy Cost stops the decks Symphony.
Hippowdon is Clummsy which can cause you to get stuck because of it high retreat cost.That's why competitive players never put a hippo on the bench alone due to escape rope binds.

The last Fighting Pokémon that comes into the forefront is Clanging Thunder - Gastrodon.
I don’t have a lot of personal experience using Clanging Thunder. That seems to be a recurring problem on multiple regards in this post.

I have done battles against it.
My assessment based on what little I have seen is that Gastrodon isn’t considered a Main Attacker.
The main attacking Pokémon seem to be Kommo-o, Alolah Raichu, & Type Null
It seems to me that Gastrodon falls into the same category as Hippowdon.
On paper, Gastrodon main attack is very awe inspiring.
It can deal 120 damage which combined with Weakness Edge would be very nice.
However, The recoil / backlash from the move is very undesirable.
I have never seen anyone charge this Pokémon up. Because as a new player, you lack the experience and playtime that regular players have. Play more and you'll get to see this quite alot.

Yeah!
I think the weakness the deck has is a mute point.
I think your undervaluing it’s over all chances.
I think red cars are faster than white cars because I once saw a Formula1 race.


As you said yourself, you have not played many games yet, so it's a bit weird to comment on a threat made for regular players. No offense - go out there, play some games, have fun if you want to have fun (I've had fun once - it was horrible), but this is different than just playing a deck you like.

This analysis is designed for people are on a hunt for booster packs by winning 1st place in theme deck tournaments on a daily basis within time limitations, facing a meta that makes your Destruction Fang deck not viable. That does not mean that it's overall bad, just not good in the competitive meta. In lower ELO metagames, the deck certainly has better matchups.

I still hope I could clarify some things for you, if not, feel free to disagree to your hearts contempt, but I cannot spend more time answering everything, sadly. What you take out of it really is your own choice.


Edited by Oldschool1990, 30 June 2018 - 07:34 PM.

Specialized on Theme Deck Tournaments.

Contra principia negantem non est disputandum.

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