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Running two stage-2 pokemon


fr33land

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Hey, All.

 

Trying to construct decks which use stage 2 pokemon, both for support and main attacker, the problem I am having is that so much of my trainer cards end up devoted to evolving these pokemon that not enough is left for anything else, let's say I have at least 8 draw supporters, then you put 4 rare candies, 4 ultra ball, now two 3-1-3 evolution lines, that's already half the deck. Now I need switch x 2 minimum so weaker evolutions aren't caught out, 2-3 Skyla so I can get the ultra ball or rare candy, where does that leave me. . .34 cards so far, 12 energies, that's 46. Now I need some basic pokemon as meat blockers so I don't always start stuck with the generally lame basics my evolution lines need, let's say 4? ten cards left, not really enough to have lysandre, or tools, retrieval and so on, depending on the pokemon I want trainer cards to complement their attacks.

Am I confused, sometimes evosoda seems quicker than rare candy, you seem to have to be lucky to sort out a rare candy turn two, you might have to search for one or two pokemon and an item to rare candy the stage 2 you want, you can't rare candy the basic you just searched for, so turn three, same as two evosoda.

Any thoughts?

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1) Could you please organize this in an ordered list as opposed to a block of letters?

 

2) I'd look for different ways to attack without the need for Stage 2's. It will be soooo much smoother. Trust me.

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Hi fr33land, you're right that building decks with two stage 2 pokemon is difficult. The fact that your strategy cannot start working right away will mean that stage 2 decks are always at a disadvantage compared to big basic ones favored by the current formats, but some stage 2 decks have found competitive success and you can definitely win ranked matches with them in PTCGO.

 

My tips:

 

Play Expanded format. In my opinion Level Ball and Super Rod are usually crucial for evolution decks' success. This comes at the cost of facing Eelektrik decks and Yveltal with dark patch, but I think it's necessary if you want to enjoy playing stage 2's.

 

Use 2-3 Vs. Seeker to help slim down your supporter line if possible. This might allow you to run fewer copies of cards like Lysandre or Colress, which it is important to run at least one each of.

 

You're correct about rare candy vs. evosoda; without a high Skyla count and Tropical Beaches, using Skyla to evolve using rare candy can be difficult if you don't draw into the right cards. One option in Expanded is to try the item Pokemon Communication, which can trade any Pokemon in your hand for any other Pokemon in your deck without the limits of level ball or the discard cost of ultra ball.

 

Use Jirachi-Ex. This card is very useful for speeding up clunky setups, including dead draws due to a slim supporter line. Lysandre KO's and starting with it are worth it for the consistency it brings.

 

In my opinion, there isn't much you can do to change the standard hourglass evolution lines with rare candies; you don't have the deck space to run 3-3-3 lines of both evolutions and the deck would be even less able to keep up. You won't always draw into the rare candies, but they save time and space. Item lock is going to be a difficult matchup for stage 2 decks anyway so you should run 4 rare candies in any deck trying to evolve two of them. Evosoda might be worth trying a copy of, but level ball will probably be more useful. Stage 2 decks using Empoleon or Delphox have succeeded because of the added consistency their respective draw abilities bring. Decks running a 2-2-2 line of a supporting stage 2 without rare candies can get away with it because they are usually only trying to evolve one line of it.

 

Use Dowsing Machine as your ace spec. This is good for re-using rare candy.

 

Run 3 or fewer Professor Junipers. Jirachi-Ex lets you get away with a smaller supporter line if you run enough shuffle draw cards; you can't afford to discard too many rare candies with Juniper. Lysandre's Trump Card gets around this problem but you won't get the rare candies back right away.

 

The best attacking stage 2 decks have low attack costs like Empoleon or Kingdra or a way to accelerate energy like Blastoise or Emboar. Not only is this faster to set up, it might be necessary since you won't have room for a lot of energy in this kind of deck.

 

Sigilyph is a good early game wall but finding room for it is difficult and you won't always draw into it early. One advantage evolution decks have over Ex decks is the prize trade; but if attacking Exes are part of your strategy, try to use an Ex to wall while you set up your evolutions. If they can't KO your Ex and you retreat into a stage 2 attacker, you will deny them prizes. Pre-evolution donks happen.

 

Through testing, try to cut corners wherever you can. Sometimes you can get away with lower card counts than usual.

 

Lastly, I will agree with Iron_bat and point out that a list or at least a deck will help people help you! :) If it's an established archetype like Emboar Delphox, Empoleon Dusknoir, or Kingdra Greninja, there is already a lot of information about it on the internet and how you build your list will depend on what matchups you want to strengthen for PTCGO. If it's a more obscure stage 2 combination, someone can help you figure out if it's viable and how to get started!

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I think trying to play double stage 2 decks in standard is not the easiest it has been atm... There have been plenty of eras where double stage 2 or stage wasn't that far from the standard metagame. Feraligatr Hydro Blastoise is an example, but back then rare candy could skip the wait time for evolving a pokemon which is why it was so good.

 

Usually if anyone ever runs a stage 2, it is either supporting the main EX attackers, or it's in expanded/unlimited formats where there are far more cards to support stage 2 cards. Tropical beach Black Ballista Kyurem is a good example of both of these things.

 

Personally, I think if you run 2 stage 2's, I think one of them either has to attack for very low energy to help your early game (even if you have miltanks and such, as it is pretty important to have some sort of attacker ready when you got big basics to deal with that set up really fast), OR, you have one of them give you massive draw power that you can set up first to help you ready the second one (though you might be able to circumvent both of these things if your stage 2's are strong enough and synergize well). Preferably you want both of these things, and that's why Empoleon was/is so good. It combines low cost strong attacks with powerful draw power that synergizes well with exeggecute to get you a net +2 cards every turn.

 

In my experience, try to run fewer copies of 1 stage 2 than the other and skip the stage 1 entirely, and be sure to use rare candies (maybe junk arms too if you are playing unlimited), as this is the fastest and most effecient way to usually set them up. Draw power is very important, and try not to fill your deck with useless cards that you don't necessarily need. Deck space becomes very important in evo decks, because not only do you need the 3-3 2-2 double stage 2 pokemon line (which is what I do) or some sort of set of stage 2 lines, you also need to run rare candies and/or other supportive cards that make the deck viable. Try to make sure your choices are viable, and even if you have to run a couple ex's just to make things run smoothly and give you a better start (even though it takes deck space), try to do so. You usually want some sort of basic pokemon that can act as support and/or stalling pokes that give you enough time to set up the rest of your cards.

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Hi fr33land, you're right that building decks with two stage 2 pokemon is difficult. The fact that your strategy cannot start working right away will mean that stage 2 decks are always at a disadvantage compared to big basic ones favored by the current formats, but some stage 2 decks have found competitive success and you can definitely win ranked matches with them in PTCGO.

 

 

 

My tips:

 

 

 

Play Expanded format. In my opinion Level Ball and Super Rod are usually crucial for evolution decks' success. This comes at the cost of facing Eelektrik decks and Yveltal with dark patch, but I think it's necessary if you want to enjoy playing stage 2's.

 

 

 

Use 2-3 Vs. Seeker to help slim down your supporter line if possible. This might allow you to run fewer copies of cards like Lysandre or Colress, which it is important to run at least one each of.

 

 

 

You're correct about rare candy vs. evosoda; without a high Skyla count and Tropical Beaches, using Skyla to evolve using rare candy can be difficult if you don't draw into the right cards. One option in Expanded is to try the item Pokemon Communication, which can trade any Pokemon in your hand for any other Pokemon in your deck without the limits of level ball or the discard cost of ultra ball.

 

 

 

Use Jirachi-Ex. This card is very useful for speeding up clunky setups, including dead draws due to a slim supporter line. Lysandre KO's and starting with it are worth it for the consistency it brings.

 

 

 

In my opinion, there isn't much you can do to change the standard hourglass evolution lines with rare candies; you don't have the deck space to run 3-3-3 lines of both evolutions and the deck would be even less able to keep up. You won't always draw into the rare candies, but they save time and space. Item lock is going to be a difficult matchup for stage 2 decks anyway so you should run 4 rare candies in any deck trying to evolve two of them. Evosoda might be worth trying a copy of, but level ball will probably be more useful. Stage 2 decks using Empoleon or Delphox have succeeded because of the added consistency their respective draw abilities bring. Decks running a 2-2-2 line of a supporting stage 2 without rare candies can get away with it because they are usually only trying to evolve one line of it.

 

 

 

Use Dowsing Machine as your ace spec. This is good for re-using rare candy.

 

 

 

Run 3 or fewer Professor Junipers. Jirachi-Ex lets you get away with a smaller supporter line if you run enough shuffle draw cards; you can't afford to discard too many rare candies with Juniper. Lysandre's Trump Card gets around this problem but you won't get the rare candies back right away.

 

 

 

The best attacking stage 2 decks have low attack costs like Empoleon or Kingdra or a way to accelerate energy like Blastoise or Emboar. Not only is this faster to set up, it might be necessary since you won't have room for a lot of energy in this kind of deck.

 

 

 

Sigilyph is a good early game wall but finding room for it is difficult and you won't always draw into it early. One advantage evolution decks have over Ex decks is the prize trade; but if attacking Exes are part of your strategy, try to use an Ex to wall while you set up your evolutions. If they can't KO your Ex and you retreat into a stage 2 attacker, you will deny them prizes. Pre-evolution donks happen.

 

 

 

Through testing, try to cut corners wherever you can. Sometimes you can get away with lower card counts than usual.

 

 

 

Lastly, I will agree with Iron_bat and point out that a list or at least a deck will help people help you! :) If it's an established archetype like Emboar Delphox, Empoleon Dusknoir, or Kingdra Greninja, there is already a lot of information about it on the internet and how you build your list will depend on what matchups you want to strengthen for PTCGO. If it's a more obscure stage 2 combination, someone can help you figure out if it's viable and how to get started!

 

 

For point 1 .. if i don't play super rod . . and go with sacred ash . . it won't be successful for my stage 2 deck ?

 

And expanded is much more than just eelektrik and Yveltal EX's.

 

 

 

For point 2 . .Draw supporters r necessary . .so using vs-seeker only to trim on ur supporter line makes no sense .. thats assuming you rn't experimenting with 3-3 lysandre-colress formation ..

 

 

 

For point 3, Still doesn't solve the issue of not getting evosoda/rare candy - pokemon communication

 

 

 

For point 5 .. I've yet to come across a winning stage 2 deck with its main attacker line at 2-2-2. I've heard abt 2-1-2 tech lines .. or even 2-2-2 for that matter but as a tech or supporting role .. not main attackers

 

Delphox Decks haven't been as successful as they were hyped . .

 

 

 

For point 6 .. Dont use dowsing machine just to re-use cards .. You need to use cards b4 u can reuse them else your game is over . Not that I'm against dowsing . but just cautioning over the over-zealous approach which has been shown for dowsing.

 

 

 

Point 7 .. completely wrong

 

 

 

Point 9 completely beats logic .. You will have ur EX take damage rather than use sigilyph for blocking attacks altogether ? woah..

 

 

 

 

 

I don't like to post about the follies in deck-making .. but this was something of a different kind altogether .. and became imperative to point out the wrong advices being given in largesse.

 

Points that I haven't mentioned need not be countered in my opinion and taken up with me

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Awesome.

I appreciate all the replies I got on this topic. You all hit on various problems I have come up against.

Playing against many EX's is extremely difficult with stage 2's and it seems like a lucky draw in the first hand or two can make or break you, I'm looking for a way to make for a more consistent outcome, but this is hard to discuss with only a general or vague idea of what you want to accomplish with a deck I suppose.

I have the idea for King Blastric: M Manectric EX, Blastoise and Kingdra as an example

 

Manectric EX x 2

M Manectric EX x 1

Keldeo EX x 1

Horsea x 3

Seadra x 1

Kingdra x 3

Squirtle x 2

Wartortle x 1

Blastoise x 2

16 Pokemon: 8 Basic

 

N x 3

Professor Sycamore x 2

Tierno x 3

Skyla x 3

Lysandre x 1

VS Seeker x 2

Professor's Letter x 1

Energy Retrieval x 3

Rare Candy x 4

Rough Sea x 1

Dive Ball x 2

Ultra Ball x 2

Manectric Spirit Link x 1

Switch x 2

30 Trainer Cards

 

Water Energy x 9

Electric Energy x 5

 

The idea is to be able to Dragon Blast every turn, ideally charging Kingdra with two Electric Energy using alpha Growth and Water with Blastoise's Deluge. Keldeo EX is basically there to step in and rescue any Horsea or Squirtle caught out, or deal some damage once Blastoise can charge it, Manectric EX is super low attack cost that can take a beating a turn or two **********) and buy some time ***********, or later M Manectric can charge Kingdra and do 110 damage.

Maybe I am missing the point though, I don't need Blastoise so long as I have an energy retrieval each turn after a Dragon Blast.

Superior Energy Retrieval is something I have thought of, since when I am using retrieval everything is going according to plan: Kingdra is raising **** and I might not mind discarding, but discarding your hand or shuffling it doesn't help you come up with the combos you need to rare candy Blastoise or Kingdra which is why I figured Tierno was most handy as a draw supporter.

Dive Ball works really well for Blastoise, but Kingdra is Dragon type unfortunately.

I get Seismitoad EX hurting your chances of getting out a stage 2, especially if you decide not to pack the stage 1, but not every game is against Seismitoad, I guess I am equally likely to see Garbodor and waste my time getting Blastoise, anyways I think I am rambling.

Any comments?

And thanks very much for all the earlier discussion.

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Take away the 3Tiernos for 2 prof juniper and a N.

The deck list is pretty solid but honestly Kindra isnot a very good card.

You will probably win most of your games with Manectric Ex

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I suppose that is a pretty valid criticism: Kingdra has only 130 hp and isn't likely to survive more than a 2 turns. 150 damage isn't enough to OHKO EXs whose attacks are generally around 120. Other stage 2's are capable of taking out Kingdra in a single turn.

I guess it is similar to trying Emboar/Charizard, an attacker and a stage 2 energy accelerator, which I found didn't work really either unless I got that lucky draw or draws in the early game, also getting to Blastoise was so much easier with Dive Balls. What worked pretty good too was dive balls and evosodas and 2-2-2 evolution lines, I forgot also the town map which is really handy if I can actually get going taking prizes, but usually the basics and stage 1's or something along the way was killed or discarded and my chances of evolving a second main attacker were very low. If the games went that long I was usually unable to get energy.

Sadly, yes, ultimately I found I was searching for the EXs instead of the stage 2s because playing decks who drew into an EX in their first hand meant in both cases my basics from my evolution lines were exposed and my opponents wouild take a prize and hurt my chances of evolving.

I've tried having for support a stage 1 and a stage 2 with 3-3 and 2-1-2 or 3-2-2 evolution lines respectively. It doesn't seem to work too well either, rare candies don't seem to work since I can't pack the deck with them to evolve one stage 2 support pokemon, I tried this with Bronzong and Eelektross with the intention of having two Bronzongs and Eelektross but inevitably they would be caught out or picked off early before I was able to get an EX ready to attack before my opponents. I tried using Great Balls so I wouldn't have to discard to get the pokemon I needed but again consistency suffered.

I guess it's crazy to use a stage 2 as your main attacker in the end, none have the HP and many new ******* above 120

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Nobody has mentioned Maxie's or Archie's. Seems like they would be super difficult to use, for example: Blastoise is in my discard pile (Maybe by battle compressor) I have to draw Ace in the Hole and get rid of my entire hand, which better be basics and items. Has there been a thread about how to use those cards succesfully?

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Actually, what I've been seeing is people using battle compressor, discarding Maxie/Archie and their choice of Fighting/Water poke and wait for a lone VS seeker to pop up. It works really well.

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Actually, what I've been seeing is people using battle compressor, discarding Maxie/Archie and their choice of Fighting/Water poke and wait for a lone VS seeker to pop up. It works really well.

That waiting may cost the game

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That waiting may cost the game

 

 

 

 

Of course they should play other supporters. it's not like that that's the only out for draw they have in their deck, I hope.

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That's kind of the problem, you can't have too many supporters I figure since you must discard them to play ace in the hole, or you cannot play them and then play ace in the hole, I figure you might end up playing the odd card intending to deliberately fail a search in your deck to empty your hand.

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I can see my plans being ruined by N, which along with Hugh might be rotated this year? Then red card and a few attacks are the only things which can force me to draw (albeit short hands which might help, actually) has anyone sorted a trainer card package designed for the last card mechanic that they care to share? Having too many hidden balls or what have you might make it difficult also, having two in hand wouldn't work; lots of ultra balls, maintenance, shauna as draw support to shorten your hand at first, battle compressors x 2 , VS seeker x 3, Skyla or Korrina to grab the compressor or ultra ball to set yourself up. Any ideas? In effect, you have to be less than 8 cards dedicated to the strategy or you might as well have 3-1 basic and stage 1 and 4 rare candies, no?

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Of course they should play other supporters. it's not like that that's the only out for draw they have in their deck, I hope.

 

 

So either your deck relies on stage 2 pokes, or they r there for showpiece .. in either case .. waiting till u've 1 maxie/archie left .. or 1 vs seeker isn't logical . . and using draw supporter till that case is achieved

 

 

 

It'd be best to use archie/maxie. . but the deck build has to be very careful.

 

They can bring any pokemon of the type ofc . .even megas i think to bench . .on their own . .but can be used only if they r the lone ranger in hand..

 

 

 

SO on 1 hand u've got to discard cards / shuffle back in deck - using Ultra balls, unnecessary use of items to trim down hand, maintenance, etc ..

 

on the other, u've got to carefully balance the qty of these cards to be put in deck so it doesn't hamper with your deck efficiency.

 

 

 

just clarifying .. cuz many guys tend to make mistakes on that count.

 

BTW. . its workable . .cuz i've heard of turn 2 archie's/maxie's . .and the players r able to have a good match

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