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Why Trevenant XY fails in the new format.....and more things goth


NeilK
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Ok, ok, ok. So Ive been getting it endlessly about Trevenant XY these days from just about every person who plays it about all the good things this card has and how good it is to play with. Well, for all you ghost-tree cheerleaders out there, Ive played against Trevenant several times, and quite frankly this is the argument that can be made both for and against Trevenant in the Goth archetype and why this archetype remains under Gothitelle's control. First, let's take a look at Trevenant itself. It's a stage one, which was the main hype surrounding this card upon XY's release. This is one of the few truly good things about trevenant, because it can be retrieved via an Evosoda. Another way this card may be retrieved from the deck is via the card Heavy Ball. Trevenant's retreat cost is a whopping 3 colorless Energy, so Heavy Ball does retrieve this card. Also, Trevenant does not suffer from the same problem as other Psychic cards in that it is not weak to its own type. To a lot of players, this seems like an upshot due to the large amount of playable Psychic cards in the current format. Now, Trevenant is most often used in combinations involving DEX Accelgor, which knows the Deck and Cover attack, paralyzing, poisoning, dealing 50 damage, and shuffling Accelgor back into the deck all for the price of a Double Colorless energy, which plays naturally into the ability of Trevenant, by instantly promoting a Trevenant on your field into the Active spot. The ability of Trevenant, called Forest's Curse, does exactly what Gothitelle LT's ability Magic Room does- it prevents your opponent from playing any item cards from their hand as long as Trevenant sits active. This can be a real pain for opponents trying to put float stones or muscle bands down on the field of play and is really the main strategy of decks in the so-called "Gothic" archetype. Now that we've analyzed the strengths of Trevenant and why it has the potential to succeed in the format, let us analyze exactly why Trevenant fails in the current format, and how it can be exploited. First off, let's examine the HP of Trevenant. It has 110 HP, which is actually kind of on the beefy side, right? Wrong. In today's EX based format, 110 HP is a surefire way to get yourself OHKO'd if the 110 HP Pokémon has to stay active. For Trevenant, who rarely attacks, this is a huge fault. To explain this fault, let us examine the 2nd glaring flaw of Trevenant: the weakness. Now, some of you may be skeptical, seeing as I was praising the fact that it was not weak to psychic types earlier in this article. Im here to tell you, that Trevenant has the one weakness in the format that can be considered more glaring than Psychic. Trevenant is weak to Dark types. Yveltal? Yveltal EX anyone? How about some Darkrai or some Sableye? Maybe some Zoroark? Yeah, those all hit double on Trevenant. Even attackers in other meta decks that are not dark types, such as Empoleon or Keldeo, can OHKO this card, Empoleon with one energy and a full bench, and Keldeo with 3 deluged energy (which might as well be for free). It's this lack of standup ability that really denies Trevenant a place in the current format. However there is one more highly underrated reason that Trevenant does poorly, and it comes in the form of one of the new cards in the XY set- the supporter Cassius. This card is a handy tech for playing against Trevenant, even if its a deck you haven't game-planned for. Just toss a Cassius or 2 in your deck, and you can break the item lock instantly. Have that other attacker warmed up on your bench but couldn't get it active? Cassius instantly remedies that situation, as well as doubling as an out for one of your heavily injured Pokémon for you to get it off the field. This leaves Trevenant wide open as you promote an attacker and can really shift the tide of a close match when played at the right moment. So, that being said, where does this leave Goth as an archetype? What flaws and advantages does it have in the NXD-XY format? Well, to be honest, not many. This saddens me, as I was an avid goth player, and this was the first truly competitive deck that I constructed. Gothitelle has a bit more of a bonus with 130 HP instead of 110 and it does a bit better in the retreat cost area, requiring only 2 colorless to retreat. However with only 4 Double Colorless in your deck total in most cases, Gothic is a very rigid build and requires a lot to make it work. It can be difficult trying to fit Keldeo, Dusknoir and 2 Goths on the field along with a Mew and an Accelgor at the same time. It also goes without saying that this deck has a severe weakness to Virizion EX and decks that use Garbodor, and unfortunately atm both are very popular. This all leads to some very poor matchups and a longshot for Gothic to be a winning deck in today's format. Thank you all for reading, this is my first card critique/article, if you guys have any opinions of your own, feel free to leave them here. Thanks again everyone, have a good one =)

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Paragraphs EXIST! Man, that post looks intimidating!

 

On a more relevant topic, I agree that Trevenant and Gothitelle are both currently subpar and cannot compete with most top-tier decks. Dragonite, on the other hand, is still a deck that remains underrated, imo. While getting it set up is just about as difficult as getting Gothitelle set up, once there is a Garbodor in play and a Dragonite that can spam Deafen, the item lock is permanent, unlike in the case of the Gothic decks (where many things, like Swellow, Red Signal, Ninetales can all mess up your item-locking scheme).

 

The big difference is that the lock is a soft one, that is, there is no paralysis and your Dragonites can (and probably will) get attacked and knocked out, albeit slowly, by Pokemon like Yveltal EX, Mewtwo EX, all Dragon type attackers etc. So, you need a constant stream of Dragonites to work with. On the plus side, you get sure wins against certain (top tier) decks like Plasma, or most decks that rely almost exclusively on abilities. But because of the big fast attackers in the current format, the initial set up is where it is most likely to get beaten, which is why we don't see it played much.

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So, in short, they are overrated. I totally agree! Glad I traded them away when they were hot! Thx for the write-up!

 

And, Neilk, China called... They want their wall back. :cool:

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lol sorry guys. i tried to hit the enter button but for some reason the computers at work wont let me hit enter when im typing on here XD hence the wall of writing.

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I'm not sure the trevanant Hp is that much of a big deal, if a keldeo can do 110 it can almost as easily do 130, plus if trevanant hits early eough it can prevent the rare candy blastoise from happening, and also that deck's weakness to accelgor almost helps improve its odds. playing this item lock deck you should expect to lose some of your item lockers.

the weaknes to yveltal makes sense, yveltal definitely KO it in 1 hit, though again with forest curse in play and slowing dark patch action as well as locking other items it might give trevanant player some time to build damage on opponent

the retreat cost should not matter that much, in my time playing with even gothitelle I have never used dce to retreat it. it was never a good enough situation justify doing that, and often you are expected to lose 1-2 gothitelle at least anyways

a bit surprised that you would say that garbodor hurts this deck, because that problem is uite easily remedied with a tool scrapper, as the item locking prevents further tools from reactivating garbotoxin

virizion ex I will admit is probably the bigger obstacle for the deck and now hat we have a fairy that does the same it can be a bit of a challenge, but if the trevanant player goes with a dusknoir line all hope is not lost really, its just a more unfavorable matchup, but still possible.

Cassius is a good problem I agree, it does get you out of the status lock and heal some damage off the field, but that buys you one turn only and it still doesn't remove the item lock so that stuff you can do that turn is still very limited.

I don't believe dragonite is much better, its very nice if you can get lucky and set your lock n turn 2, but even then you're not really that secure these days, mewtwo and yvental can be set up just as quickly if not quicker the second a dratini is seen on the field, so I think dragonite will at best remain as something that win because of the surprise factor mostly and not so much becasue its really that good.

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Trevenant is a card that doesn't work for this kind of review, it's a card that you can't look at on it's own, it's a card you have to look at in a deck and do a review of the deck rather than the singular card.

 

There's no point in really mentioning the Accelgor variant since it pretty much dies when VirizionEX came out as well as the Pokemon catcher errata (so you can't be sure to drag up that KeldeoEX) and we also now have Slurpuff (may as well mention this).

 

Trevenant with PalkiaEX is a very pig deck in Japan and it does work well if you can play it well but it's a very delicate deck to play, you can't afford to misplay.

 

getting out an early Trevenant to item lock and then setting up a PalkiaEX with Muscle Band and 2 DeoxysEX (I prefer Altaria since you save a bench space but DeoxysEX is the standard) you hit 90 which 2 shots any EX that's played. Trevenants retreat cost doesn't really matter since Float Stone exists and putting this on a KeldeoEX means you have free retreat all game and can bring out the PalkiaEX, strafe for 90 and then switch back to the Trevenant. This then comes down to a game of, can you keep a constant flow of Trevenant going and can they keep a constant stream of attackers going while not being able to play any Items. Remember even if they 1 shot your Trevenant while you are 2 shotting their EX it's an even prize trade since you're taking 2 prizes per EX.

 

Since the key point here is to keep a constant stream of Trevenant going until your opponent no longer has to resources to hit you it's the fact that Trevenant is a stage 1 that is most important and why it's much better than Gothitelle at the moment. If the opponent ever doesn't manage to 1 shot your Trevenant then it gives you a lot of advantage, you're essentially an attach ahread in the prize exchange.

 

Plus because Trevenant is locking the opponents Items they can't tool scrapper off your muscle band or Float Stone meaning one you get set up you should only need to concentrate on the Trevenant. Since we're looking at this deck as a whole it's worth a mention that this deck has more tricks it can employ, sometimes the opponent is too set up for Trevenant to be worth bringing back out after a Strafe from PalkiaEX, in this case it can be handy to bring out a Sigilyph or LatiasEX to prevent the opponent from using the attacker they have set up, then next turn you can knock out with Palkia and go right back to the Trevenant.

 

It's all about deck building and reading the game state when it comes to playing Trevenant.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, wall of text Neilk. I'd just like to point out that eight decks involving Trevenant placed in the top 8 during state competitions, 2 of which took 1st place. One Gothitelle deck made top cut. Trevenant is very good in the right metagame if you ask me.

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Well, quite frankly, theres a lot of ifs in those statements. Just a couple of things...I dont use DCE to retreat anything either, what i was talking about with Trevenant is the fact that im seeing a lot of Trev variants that do NOT run Keldeo, and with megaphone coming out, being able to keep a Trevenant retreatable is gonna require some heavy switch counts AND the fact that most Trevenant variants arent attacking with Trevenant anyways. What this means is a- youre putting energies on everything else, and b- with the demand for deckspace among the competitive builds today compounded by the aforementioned megaphone/switch issue, youre gonna need to have energies on a trev in case you have to retreat it. meaning youre sacrificing Trainers/Techs that would otherwise be very valuable in preparing for certain matchups. Trev will get Lysandre'd a lot, and quite frankly tool scrapper is the LEAST of your worries with megaphone coming out. Also, yveltal can potentially Turn one your Phantumps before they even get set up, not to mention Keldeo is gonna be useless to everything but Aromatisse or Darkrai decks without Float Stones able to stay on the field. And when youre talking about 130 HP as opposed to 110 HP, thats huge in any metagame. If Trevenant had 110 HP, it could probably survive an Yveltal hit turn 2, then max potion and get back to business. BUT, that is assuming you even get Trev down like i said. Evosoda is only playable turn 2, and with Pyroar Flashfire coming out, Palkia has a better partner anyways. Quite frankly, no matter what variant of Trevenant you run, be it Accelgor, Palkia, Blastoise EX, or something else, the basic strat is to cycle your attacker with Trevenant. This is why there was a straight Trevenant player who did well in states, because that system is too easy to disrupt, Trevenant is better used as an attacker simultaneously with the lock ability. Even that is shaky at best, as the attack is very expensive.

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I still think if you run a trev/accelgor deck, Trevenant is the superior card over gothitelle. Leaving space to add other cards because you don't need as many rare candies or a gothita is a huge improvement. Plus playing this deck I've had greater success than I ever did with gothitelle, mainly because you can set the lock up almost turn 2 every game.

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yea it gives the lock more of a battle, but isn't the end all to a trev/accel deck. The audino card also can break the lock and doesn't take away a supporter turn use, plus unless you can lock every turn, you would want to have at least 1 extra trev waiting on bench.

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Lysandre and then Megaphone/Tool Scrapper.

 

as if the trevanant player will put down all his float stones , unless you can do the lysandre>tool scrapper combo 4 times without fail I don't think its a good solution

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Swellow XY also brings out actives, and dont sit there and act like Ninetales DRX doesnt exist. Plus, with Trevenant being such an easy OHKO, it can be difficult to maintain a lock to begin with, which makes playing trevenant at all much more of an issue. I agree that it can be good in the right meta, if no one is playing Ninetales, anything with Swellow or any Lysandres at all, then yeah, I could see Trev MAYBE standing up on its own. Problem is, people try to overprepare for Trev (yes, there is such a thing as overpreparing) by teching this card that card and no one just straight out attacks it. 110 is easy to KO if youre running even a half decent deck, so why bother? I can get there with a Golduck and 2 Water Energies, not to mention the fact that NONE of you who have made a post in this thread have been intelligent enough to reconcile for the fact that Muscle Band is a very easy Turn 1 get, it will already be down on most opposing players' fields by the time you get the item lock rolling. Trev falls flat, i hate to say. Im playing a Trev deck right now in tcgo and i rarely win because the energy count is too low and Trev cant stand up long enough to make it work. I mean, lets face it, if all of you are going to bring up every possible reason that Trev can succeed I can bring up 2 more reasons for each of those that it falls flat on its face. and out of all those top 8 finishes in states, how many trev decks actually WON? ill tell you how many- 2. So, its about as relevant as Klinklang/Aromatisse if you want to get technical about it. One of those regions was Ontario, and in that Ontario region, a traditional Accelgor/Gothitelle also took 5th place, meaning that a-Item Lock was just a smart play that day, b- someone ran into some easy matchups and got lucky, c- people werent prepared for trevenant because XY base set was just released, and the meta hasnt had time to adjust, or d- its legit. Of all the possible answers here, im not inclined to believe that Trevenant in any variant form, as well as Gothitelle, is more than a gimmick play that wont see good results again. Time may prove me wrong, and if it does, feel free to mock me, but until then i stand by my case. Trev has too many holes to be truly successful in a format like this. Out of the 42 state/terr/prov championships that were posted results, here were the winners by number:

 

Blastoise- 12

Plasma- 8

Yveltal- 7

Virizion/Gene-6

 

Big Basics-2

Trevenant-2

Emboar-2

 

Aromatisse-1

Raichu/Ninetales-1

ToolDrop-1

 

Those were the results. As you can see, Trev is only slightly more relevant than tooldrop at this particular time, and thats only because like i said, people havent had time to prepare for it yet. Same goes with Fairybox. Lot of top ***, the only winner was the Klinklang variety in Texas. However i view aroma decks with much more potential, just for the fact that theres much more freedom of build and therefore a bit higher of a ceiling for aroma than trev. I honestly think the standout deck from XY is going to involve Raichu in some form, I certainly was not surprised to see it popping up everywhere. Not very relevant atm, but again, a much higher ceiling and less holes than Trevenant imo.

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if your yveltal/blastoise/plasma/whatever deck can make room for the ninetales/swellow then be my guest, i personally don't think a deck incorporating ninetales/swellow would work very well in other matchups

 

110 sounds easy when you have so many pokemon dealing so much damage but reaching that number without being able to attach ur muscle band, without being able to accelerate with your dark patches, without being able to evolve your squirtle, all this while your active pokemon are being hit and paralyzed and poison, and then it becomes a harder thing to do

 

sure play your golduck, maybe you can stand against the trevenant, but how will you fare otherwise, a good deck doesn't just beat 1 particular deck, it needs to stand a chance against a variety of opponents

 

sure you can get the muscle band in first turn if you play 3-4 of those, but then against the trev player will almost certainly play scrappers to counter the garbodor matchup

 

just because you can't make trevenant work doesn't mean its a bad deck

 

 

 

having said all that I need to say........

its not that I think trevanant is super awesome and will dominate the game, but I don't however think its as bad as you make it sound, it definitely has its strengths and can hold up quite well against the top archetypes, I have my own opinions on why it doesn't make the top list but none of them are the examples you mentioned.

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or anything with a dark type that can do at least 60 damage in one turn. And lets face it, its not like dark type pokemon are rare these days.

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Yea the weakness to dark type does hurt it, but if you run a consistent paralyze/poison each turn it won't matter if it's weakness is dark, but the inability to shut off virizion's ability is a huge glaring weakness to the deck.

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why? espeon has like the same ability except for all energy

 

espeon is not equally as good because it is only good against attacks that cause status effects, in other matchups where hypnotoxic lasers are used it becomes a dead card

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Well, not only that, but if Trevenant is really gonna be a part of the meta these days, like i said, people will be prepared for it. Expect a lot of Garbodor and a lot of Scoop Cyclone/Cassius to get people through a Trev matchup. Decks like Blastoise and Rayboar thrive off of cards like those because they can soak up damage from the Accelgors, Cassius or Scoop, and re-drop, and the energy accel nullifies any of the hindrances that would cause, so youre able to attack a Trev right away again. This is especially damaging because of the low energy count that Goth/Trev decks run. You will go a turn or two without attacking some games, and when that happens, youre relying on that Paralysis/Poison to carry you and get you close to or right up to the KO point without you having to attack. A well-played Cassius can keep the opposing player afloat and force a Trev player to be Super Rodding Pokemon they dont want to Super Rod just so they can keep streaming Trevenants at you. Its just too much work for it to be genuinely effective in my eyes. I may be mistaken, but as someone who has played both Gothitelle and Trevenant decks, these are the differences i see.

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