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The Mindless Nonsense Begins-My Ideas


theotherguytm
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Hello all,

The purpose of this topic is quite simple: to try and put the ideas I generate in my head down on paper where they can be discussed, and perhaps taken advantage of by someone with a much bigger budget than me (virtually none).

If anyone thinks that what I am saying is complete nonsense (50% chance), please leave constructive feedback, so that my future posts can be more informed. Any and all feedback is welcome.

I begin with the new Aerodactyl. My first reaction upon hearing "Jet Draft, 120" at the prereleases was disbelief. I had to check the card twice. But it is true. There is a non-EX which does 120 damage for a Double Colourless Energy. And just to add insult to injury, it discards a Special Energy from the victim. After it had creamed my secret-rare Alakazam EX that I was so proud of in two hits, I realised that there might be something big in this card. When I say ' there might be something big' I of course mean 'this card is clearly broken'. (The Pokemon Company must be checking if it worth printing Fossils any more by making an overpowered card and seeing how much use it gets. Only possible explanation.)

The only obstacle between Jet Draft and world domination is the fact that it is on a Restored. If it was on a Basic, or even a non-restored Stage 1, it would be too powerful not to use. But using Restored Pokemon causes an interesting variety of logistical issues. (Understatement.) First of which is "************ do I even get it into play??" Fortunately, there are cards to help you do this. From the fossils themselves to the new Omastar's Restoring Beam, there almost as many solutions as problems. ( ok, overstatement.) To show you what I mean, I created a deck list using Excel. (Excel causes so many problems, it makes using more than one Jet Draft look easy.)

Aero Force (Standard)

Aerodactyl  4 

Omanyte  3

Omastar  3 

OmastarBRK  2 

Shaymin EX  3 

Lugia EX  2

Shuckle 3

 

Double Colourless Energy 4 

 

Old Amber 4 

 Fossil Excavation Kit 4

Helix Fossil 3 

Ultra Ball 2 

Puzzle Of Time 4 

Dive Ball 1 

VS Seeker 4

Target Whistle 1

 

Assault Vest 2

 

Sky Field 2

 

Professor Birch's Observations 3

Skyla 2

Lass's Special 2

Xerosic 1

Team Flare Grunt 1

 

Pokémon 20 Energy 4 Trainers 36 Total 60

Edit: Major formatting issues resolved after an argument with the computer.

The strategy of this deck is simple. Use Lugia and Shuckle to wall while Omastar and Aerodactyl get ready to rock. Well, it's a little more complex than that. I'll try and go through what the main cards do.

Omastar's Restoring Beam Ability works in a similar way to the fossils, except the Restored can come from anywhere in your deck. For veteran players (pre-BW) imagine a Great Ball than only works on Restoreds, therefore putting them directly on your bench. Omastar has 120HP, which means even if Lysandre is used, it take take a battering. It does no attacking, which is why there is no Water energy in the deck. However, Omastar Break can make the difference in a hard match. Dangerous Tentacles Ability works like Lysandre, but only for EX's (read: Shaymin) and Jet Draft can gun down any EX you pull in at most two hits (three for Wailord) for two prizes. Target Whistle can then pull the EX out for another two prizes. If done right, this makes a Shaymin EX Milling Machine{tm} (patent cancelled).

Lugia EX is just a wall that can be easily powered up with Double Colourless Energy, and Shaymin is more or less compulsory unless you want Octillery, which takes up more room. So what about Shuckle? With its Hide a Berry attack, it can draw an extra 2 cards before adding a card to the bottom of your deck. With this, you can set up Old Amber or Helix Fossil next turn.

Aerodactyl overall has the makings of a game changer. Can it be used? Is Archie's Omastar better than Fossils?? Is all this hype for nothing like M Tyranitar??? Only time will tell.

Thank you for your patience, and now it's your turn! Tell me your thoughts, or give ideas to improve the deck, or perhaps even suggest something for me to look into. Thank you and farewell until next time.

Edited by theotherguytm
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Since no-one has replied yet, I'll carry on regardless. (Better out there than stuck in my head.) I'll begin by explaining the role of the trainers in the above Aerodactyl deck. I appreciate that many of you will understand this already, but I also appreciate that some won't, so I'll continue anyway. If the next few paragraphs are obvious reading for you, please feel free to skip.

 

Puzzle of Time and VS Seeker are so good, that including 4 of each is pretty much compulsory in almost any deck. Puzzle of Time allows you to mess with your next few draws, or, if you play two, to retrieve any two cards from the discard pile. It's power comes simply from versatility. It is also the reason that this deck is (mostly) able to get away with running no basic energy: if your opponent uses Xerosic or Enhanced Hammer, just retrieve the energy with Puzzle of Time. VS Seeker has been around for long enough now that denying its power is like denying the power of Night March. By using 4 VS Seekers, I can include a single copy of a non-essential Supporter, and use VS Seeker to retrieve it, using it up to 5 times across the game! This adds even more flexibility to the deck and is the whole reason why these cards are so well-sought after, despite being Uncommon. For those who do not yet have them, Puzzle of Time can be found in Breakpoint, and VS Seeker in Phantom Forces, or as a Secret Rare in Roaring Skies.

 

Some may notice the absence of a few other staple cards. Ultra Ball sits at just two despite the versatility of the card. This is down to lack of need for regular Pokemon. While I can use it to seek out any one Pokemon, I need to have Omanyte and Aerodactyl in the deck, preferably in large numbers. This brings me on to the complete absence of Professor Sycamore. Simply put, if I have several Restoreds in my hand, discarding them is crazy. Instead, I chose to use Professor Birch's Observations (or the more consistent Shauna that is also available in Fates Collide to add my hand back into my deck, ready for its contents to be drawn in by the fossils. Also, as I pointed last time, Omastar Break is very similar to Lysandre, which means that card is not needed. Mostly. Against Garbodor and other non-EX bench-warmers, there is a slight hole. Finally, there is no Hex Maniac, as I could not find room for it.

 

Fossil Excavation Kit is an essential card in this deck, as allows you to re-use 2 fossils as often as possible, which results in even more chances to get Aerodactyl into play. Dive Ball may seem like a weird card, but it can find any of the Evolutions without penalty to start using Restoring Beam and Dangerous Tentacles quickly. Assault Vest is weird card to round off the items, instead of boosting Jet Draft's damage, it reduces damage done to Aerodactyl by 40 if the attacker has any Special Energy. The fact of the matter is that although Jet Draft is powerful, it pales in comparison to moves like Bee Revenge and Night March, so it is incapable of OHKO(one-hit-Knock-Out)-ing front-line EXs, which have about 170-180 HP. Since most, if not all, decks run and use Special Energy, Assault Vest is very effective, and allows Aerodactyl to survive a hit, before going for a Knock Out with a second Jet Draft, a plan that fits well with Jet Draft's side effect. This means your opponent will have to re-attach Energy to a Pokemon that is about to hit the dust, wasting precious Energy.

 

Sky Field was not what I would have immediately chosen as a Stadium, but in Standard it is the best choice. Bringing out Aerodactyl as often as possible is key, and having 8 spots on your bench allows this plan to work easier. Lass's Special combos nicely with this, as Sky Field encourages your opponent to put more cards into play, and this card gives you an extra card for each Pokemon on your opponent's Bench. Unless they are particularly shy, Lass's Special could turn your opponent's Bench into a weapon.

 

The other Supporters also have their uses. Skyla can find a Fossil Excavation Kit, Sky Field, or even a Target Whistle to kill off Shaymin again. However, searching for Supporters is not advised, as your opponent could just dump your hand, and your new Supporter, with an N, Judge, or even a Delinquent. This is why Steven is so unpopular. Xerosic is in the deck to support Jet Draft in disposing of Special Energy, or to dispose of troublesome Tools. In particular, Garbotoxin can be temporarily de-activated by Xerosic for a quick splurge of Restoring Beams, Dangerous Tentacles, and Set Ups. Finally, Team Flare Grunt disposes of one energy card attached to the opposing Active. This links up with Jet Draft nicely, the Grunts destroying the Basic Energy, and Jet Draft getting rid of the Special Energy. Some may even wish to take this further with a few Crushing Hammers, which have a 50% chance of discarding a Basic Energy from any of your opponent's Pokemon, but I feel that the deck is better served by focussing on Jet Draft's damage.

 

Some more experienced players may feel that this post was aimed at much more inexperienced players, and it was. Once again, any feedback, ideas, or discussion points are welcome, criticism without constructive feedback points is not. Farewell until next time.

 

Edit: After another fight with the computer, managed to include paragraphs and get it to stop censoring 'bringing'

Edited by theotherguytm
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Those who hate Aerodactyl will be relived to note that I am intending to finish off this theme by discussing alternate ways of building the deck, and the deck's match-up against common threats in Standard. Some of these have been mentioned elsewhere, but I just wanted to collect them together, and add my own thoughts.

I will start with an option I mentioned briefly at the end of the first post: Archie's Omastar. This intends to bring out Omastar on the first turn with Archie's Ace in the Hole. The benefits of this method are clear, as it can give you four Aerodactyl in the first four turns without having to use one fossil. To do this, you need to max out Ultra Ball (to empty your hand), add 4 Battle Compressors (to ready Omastar) and reduce the amount of Supporters, which can impede this strategy. In my opinion, this requires the deck to work too much around the Ace in the Hole rather than focussing on Jet Draft. It also has the major flaw of walking straight into Garbodor and Wobbuffet, both of which shut off Restoring Beam. Should this occur, your only choice is to use illegally Lysandre's Trump Card, and then use Cassius to shuffle all your Pokemon in play back into your deck ready for the next game. I'm not joking. If you intend to put up a fight, your only choice is to run fossils in a hybrid strategy, not committing entirely to Restoring Beam, but still ready to be used at the first opportunity, much like how Yveltal decks use Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick.

A contrasting option is to replace Shaymin EX with the much more wallet-friendly Octillery, a Pokemon that fits a more slow-and-steady theme nicely. It can also take advantage of Dive Ball like Omastar, and it does not make such a fashionable target for Lysandre. However, using Octillery shows your commitment to a much slower strategy, so your opponent can have more time to prepare. Remoraid also does not have Shaymin's Sky Return attack for if it is forced to start up front-a very likely eventuality in this deck. Also, like I said earlier, Octillery is much less likely to require you to spend more money on it than the rest of the deck put together. If you do choose this option, my advice is to run a 2-2 line, add some Basic Energy, extra Dive Balls, and you may even consider dropping Lugia EX for an entirely non-EX deck.

Some final options in Standard include Altaria and Sacred Ash. The former allows you to remove all the weaknesses of your Colourless Pokemon with its Clear Humming Ability at the expense of slowing your deck down slightly. It does have Evolution Ancient Trait to help with this, and it can turn matches against Manectric EX from auto-loss to game on. Try a 2-1 or 2-2 line to get it out without taking up too much room. Sacred Ash helps when several Aerodactyl have been Knocked Out by allowing you to shuffle 5 Pokemon from the discard pile into your deck, ready to be added back to your deck. It is especially effective if Omastar BREAK is caught by a Lysandre, shuffling all 3 cards back into the deck. My advice is to run 1, so as not to interfere in the early stages of a match, but you must not discard it under (almost) any circumstance. You can use 2 to give yourself a bit of insurance, but then they become an impediment early on.

The Expanded Format gives this deck more formidable opposition, but some very tempting options. Catlin is a Supporter that allows you to place any amount of cards from your hand at the bottom of your deck, and then draw one replacement for each card you do this to. This works perfectly with the fossils, sometimes preparing several fossils at once. In Expanded, switch it with Lass's Special. Sky Field can also be replaced by Twist Mountain. This Stadium allows you to flip a coin once a turn, and then play a single Restored Pokemon like a Basic on a heads. Not only does this fit the deck's theme perfectly, unlike Sky Field, it cannot be used by most opponents, meaning only you benefit from the effect, except in rare mirror-matches. What's more, you can include an Ace Spec Item. This gives you several pleasing options, from items Dowsing Machine and Computer Search to find a card from your discard pile or deck respectively while emptying your hand for an Ace in the Hole, to tools like Rock Guard to do silly damage to anyone who attacks its owner, setting up the unfortunate victim for a Jet Draft KO, or Life Dew to prevent your opponent taking a prize, meaning they have to fight through up to 7 Pokemon to win, and if Sacred Ash is timed right, all of them could know Jet Draft. Just remember you can only have one, not one of each.

I will conclude with a prediction of how this deck does against top decks. Please feel free to test my theories, and leave your feedback below.

Seismitoad EX + Garbodor = Very bad.
No fossils OR Restoring Beam? Yikes.

'toad + Giratina EX = Fairly bad.
No fossils is bad, as is Giratina + Muscle Band for OHKO, but a preference for Special Energy makes a tempting target.

'toad + Crobat = Surprisingly OK.
Again, no fossils, but a lack of OHKO power and a reliance on Double Colourless makes Jet Draft very nice to use.

Trenevant BREAK = Bad.
Little Special Energy, Item lockdown, and Wobbuffet available makes this a tough matchup, which, in the current format, is a big deal.

Primal Groudon = Good!
Wobbuffet may be bad, but FIghting Resistance and Strong Energy as a target evens the scales, before Dangerous Tentacles ignores Barrier Ancient Trait completely.

Mew troll deck with Eeveelutions and Regice = Almost certain win!
Aerodactyl is not Evolved, is not EX, and is not Basic, therefore Mew can't prevent damage. Add in Jet Draft's love of destroying Rainbow Energy, and you have a massacre on your hands.

Night March = Ouch...
Too fast, too powerful, and unable to punish reliance on Special Energy. Only saving grace is NM's love of Shaymin EX.

M Rayquaza EX = Game on.
Jet Draft disposes of Double Colourless, but Ray' does not rely just on specials, and does not even need Sky Field to OHKO Aerodactyl. Lugia EX and Deep Hurricane may be needed, but about even.

Vesp-Vile = Much like NM, and 'toad together, only worse...
This time, there's no Shaymin to hit, no Special Energy to target with 2HKO's, and Vileplume can't be targeted by Dangerous Tentacles.

If you disagree with what I have to say, have your own idea to mention, or just think I've missed a point, please reply below! I know no-one has yet, but do still feel free to do so. I will carry on regardless of whether you reply or not, so make your voice heard, and have your say!

Edited by theotherguytm
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Seems to me like Omastar and Shuckle just aren't worth it. I like that Aerodactyle can't be stopped by any Safeguarders, that's nice, and probably its best feature. The special energy discard is meh. I mean it's not bad, but I'd rather just be able to get a KO than worry about discarding the energy and leaving the pokemon.

 

If you take out Omastar and Shuckle that removes 14 cards from the deck. That gives you room for more draw supporters and more better pokemon. If nothing else just put in 2X2 Zoroark.

 

Another option would be to run it with Mega Manectric and scrap the DCEs. 

 

Also, for a Fossil deck relying on Items to get the pokmeon out, think about how you can pull out everything except the stuff you want to pull out. 

 

Pokemon Fan Club (Get 2 non Fossils out of the deck)

Hoopa (Get the other non-Fossils out of the deck)

Trainer's Mail (Pull through those items)

Professor's Letter (Pull out the energy)

Battle Compressor (Get anything out that isn't a restores pokemon)

etc.

 

I really think that Mega Man is a good partner. Then you can use Hoopa and Battle Compressor to get a lot of stuff out of the deck, increasing the chance to pull pokemon with the Amber.

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Thanks for your reply rgp151!
 



Seems to me like Omastar and Shuckle just aren't worth it. I like that Aerodactyl can't be stopped by any Safeguarders, that's nice, and probably its best feature. The special energy discard is meh. I mean it's not bad, but I'd rather just be able to get a KO than worry about discarding the energy and leaving the pokemon.


Shuckle perhaps, but the prospect of milling Shaymins, avoiding Barrier trait, adding a way to use Aero under Item lock(otherwise Trenevant and Seismitoad are auto-loss), and making Fossil Restoring Kit more useful is mouthwatering for the deck, but it does slow down the deck. The Special discard is more of an insult to injury than a main theme, but the prospect of destroying all your opponent's Special Energy is nice, especially in a format where Basic energy is sometimes omitted completely due to Puzzle of Time. Also, Jet Draft can't be stopped by Jolteon, Glaceon or Safeguarders. Fun!
 



Another option would be to run it with Mega Manectric and scrap the DCEs.


Tempting... but right now Mega Man looks too slow compared to NM and co. and it gives up two prizes. It could work as a replacement for Lugia I guess.
 



Also, for a Fossil deck relying on Items to get the pokmeon out, think about how you can pull out everything except the stuff you want to pull out.



Pokemon Fan Club (Get 2 non Fossils out of the deck)

Hoopa (Get the other non-Fossils out of the deck)

Trainer's Mail (Pull through those items)

Professor's Letter (Pull out the energy)

Battle Compressor (Get anything out that isn't a restores pokemon)

etc.



I really think that Mega Man is a good partner. Then you can use Hoopa and Battle Compressor to get a lot of stuff out of the deck, increasing the chance to pull pokemon with the Amber.


Nice... Fan Club and Hoopa I'll disagree with on personal taste for one reason: they don't help Aero. Fan Club is no match for top draw cards, and Hoopa needs at least 8 EXs to make it useful, plus it's a Lysandre target. Prof's Letter I would stick with two at most, but 4 Trainer's Mail is a must. Battle Compressor only really works with Mega Man, but is very good at thinning out cards unneeded in certain matchups. Thank you for the feedback!



Moving on, I decided to change topic (as promised) to the rotation. Expanded will probably remain unchanged, so I'm focusing on Standard. Overall XY is gone, Flashfire also, Furious Fists probably will join them. But... Kalos Starter Set is going as well, so will Phantom Forces?



XY going means the loss of a few important decks. The loss of Chesnaught and Delphox will hurt those decks, but they should survive, albeit weakened. The same applies to the more mainsteam Greninja, but some decks have already tried to survive without it, achieving some success. The loss of Raichu is much harder-hitting, and many players will have to switch to Mega Ray or NM (assuming the latter survives). Even more major, Trenevant is going. Many players will breath a sigh of relief at this news, but many more players, whether Trenevant Break based or using others like Gengar EX, will groan. Vileplume is pretty much the only other option for Item lock. Yveltal EX is also going, and perhaps this will finally be the end of Darkness. Or Darkrai EX could just keep going where Yveltal EX left off. Or they could just spoil everything and release a promo of it. No sense of change there then. Aromatisse is leaving to boot, and this will cripple Fairy decks. Golduck BREAK could replace it, but it's too slow. On the Trainer side, Cassius going is bad news for Wailord EX and other decks that use this card. Muscle Band and Hard Charm going affects pretty much every deck in the format that uses Tools. Stock up on replacements now. Red Card is not too important due to return of N, but Super Potion going leaves no middle ground: It's Max or regular, which, from the format, means all or nothing. And that's about it from XY.



Next time, I'll focus further on Flashfire, Furious Fists and the potential loss of Phantom Forces. Until then, please, as normal, add your own thoughts, feedback, or even news about reprints from unoriginal developers.

Edited by theotherguytm
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Shuckle perhaps, but the prospect of milling Shaymins, avoiding Barrier trait, adding a way to use Aero under Item lock(otherwise Trenevant and Seismitoad are auto-loss)

 

 

All fossil decks are auto-losses to item lock anyway. There is NO WAY to get the fossils out without items (unless you use Fossil researcher, which only works for Tyranturm and that other water one.

 

 

 

Even ************* Omastar requires heavy use of items. There is basically no way to play Archies without items, so Omastar doesn't really get you anything.

 

 

 

I've been playing Kabutops and just using the item fossils with 1 Fossil Resorting kit has mostly worked fine, but as long as item lock in a thing, no fossil deck has any chance of being competitive.

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So, as promised, on to the rest of the rotation.

First, a few corrections. Raichu is staying though a Generations re-print. And a reprint of Tren' has been announced with one change: It's Grass type. Many will think Forest of Giant Plants makes this deck now broken. However, this means that it must BREAK evolve before Dimension Valley becomes useful, and hopefully nerf its attack power, as Grass energy may be needed for it to use its pre-BREAK attack, which may also link less well with Silent Fear than Tree Slam does.

On to Flashfire. Charizard EX is going and so are it's overkill, overslow Megas, which gives Mega Ray (Dragon) the undisputed highest base damage in the game. (In this format, not much of a big deal) Pyroar is also going, and between these and the loss of Blacksmith, Fire decks are in huge trouble on paper. But, Steam Siege and Volcanion EX could change that... or the set could include a bunch of old cards and bore us who want a new meta to death. Forretress is going, leaving the Bats in total control of damage placement. Druddigon with Revenge is fairly rare tech, but its loss will still hurt some decks. Miltank with Powerful Friends is a key back-up in Vesp-Vile and Greninja decks, so those decks will lose some options. On the Trainer side, Sacred Ash is a card which, as mentioned above, is used in a large amount of decks, so Super Rod may have to see a lot more use a result. Startling Megaphone going leaves Garbodor overpowered, with only Lysandre and Xerosic with the power to touch it, and the loss of Trick Shovel pretty much confirms mill decks are hopeless in Standard.

Then there's Furious Fists. Heracross and Lucario going leaves only the Generations Mega evolutions without a Spirit Link. The prospect of all of these Mega's being ready for use with more arriving all the time is mouthwatering. However, in reality few of these are and could be competitive due to the dominance of the established decks, in particular Item lock. But the big news here is Seismitoad EX. The big blue toad has ruled the format for 2 years now, and it's going! Then we're told there's a reprint on the way. WHAT?? The whole idea behind the rotation is to stop any one deck becoming too dominant for too long and keep fresh decks coming though. Now, all the new decks like M Mewtwo, and Greninja are just crushed by the status quo. I personally think this undermines the entire idea of the Standard Format. We'd better just hope that Quaking Punch is changed to need Basic Energy, or at least the attack is renamed to stop traumatised trainers getting heart attacks. Carrying on, Dedenne with Energy Short may leave us soon. RIP the best set-up attacker and cutest Yvetal killer in the format. Lucario EX going leaves Fighting decks with no choice but Zygarde EX as a fast hitter, and Landorus going leaves only Carbink BREAK. The loss of Mienshao hurts that creative part of the community that aims to play as non-traditionally as possible, the type of people who make Wailord EX competitive. If you're one of those types reading this, keep up the good work! The loss of Hawlucha just compounds the sudden struggle of Fighting, who previously had so many options. Noivern with Echolocation going is just an insult to all these new decks, especially Noivern BREAK. Oh, and the best Eevee of all time disappears shortly.)-: Fighting Stadium and Focus Sash going as well? Fighting has got problems. Fortunately, Korrina is getting a reprint. Super Scoop Up going hurts slower decks like 'toad, so we can at least hope for Item lock to be crippled temporarily. Sparkling Robe leaving makes Poison attractive. And to finish the insult seemingly aimed at me, Tool Retriever is going. No-one uses it, but I really like it in Mega decks. Herbal energy going makes little or no difference, and that is that. Unless...

Phantom Forces lies at the core of the format. It forms NM and M Mag, Dimension Valley and Mystery Energy make Psychic OP, Bats and Wobbuffet are great support cards, Gengar EX links with Tren before turning foes' moves against them, Malamar EX is a key support card in some decks, Metal lives in PF due to Bronzorg, Aegislash EX, Steel Shelter and Heatran, and Slurpuff with Tasting was good back in the day. AZ and Battle Compressor are used by so many decks it's unreal, Enhanced Hammer and Head Ringer make disruption decks run smoothly, Robo Substitute makes hit-and-run viable, Roller Skates adds to draw, Target Whistle makes Shaymin dangerous to use, and Trick Coin is just... unique. Without Xerosic, Garbodor would be overpowered, which is why it is the only re-print I'm glad about. Also being reprinted: Manectric-EX and M Manectric-EX, Night March, Bronzorg Enhanced Hammer will all return. If PF is rotated, then the entire format will be shaken to its core, and only Mega Ray will escape reasonably unscathed. And no matter what happens, we will have to wait for the reprints, so perhaps we'll have a brief respite.

As usual, please, please leave your feedback and ideas, or anything else for that matter. Most relevant right now is reprint news, but anything is welcome. I am so angry about the reprints that I will focus next time on big-game hunting: crushing Item lock decks.

 

Edit: new spelling: Bronzorg

Edited by theotherguytm
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Having worked myself up enough, I will now go on to Item lock. It's nothing new, as Dialga G (Platinum) proves. But what is new is the sheer quantity of decks using it. But they all seem to revolve around 3 main Pokemon: Seismitoad EX, Trenevant, or Vileplume. Each of them has several different variants, but the theme is the same: shut down your opponent and frustrate them to death while slowly killing off their Pokemon with mid-level meh attacks. If anyone else has any hints about playing Item lock decks, please add them.

 

The first I will look at is Trenevant. This deck comes in two distinct varieties: hit-and-run with status lock, or head-on Trenevant BREAK. The former is based around utilising Gengar EX (Standard) or Accelgor (Expanded). These two have a simple idea: do medium damage while inflicting Poison (and Paralyse with the latter) before returning to the Bench (Gengar) or the deck (Accelgor) and rotating Tren up front to prevent those statuses being removed. Then, Float Stone starts the whole process over again. The best way to counter this, and this is true for many Item lock decks, is with Supporters. Pokemon Centre Lady heals lots of damage and all statuses, allowing you to attack back.

 

But this method is surprisingly rare due to the power of Tren BREAK. Simply put, why bother with that when you can cut out the middleman and use Tren directly? This deck will use Wally to impose the lock on you as early as possible. After that, Silent Fear and Tree Slam dish out damage across your opponent's position. The key, once again, is Supporters. Tren's weaknesses are a lack of Active damage and a comparatively fragile lock. One way of getting your Items back is to use Hex Maniac to shut off Forest's Curse. This shuts off your own Abilities as well, and only works for one turn, so wait until you have at least 5 Items to play before using this, and then play as many as physically possible. A second method is to use Lysandre. Forest's Curse only works while Tren is active, and if you pull the right Pokemon out, you could even get two or three turns with Items. As you can see, the way to beat an Item lock deck is to get your Items back in a turn where you can play as many as possible, so wait for a tide of Items to be in your hand before unleashing your anti-lock. Another hint is to take the first turn. No matter what, this ensures that you will have one turn with your Items before Tren gets out.

 

Vileplume is very similar at first glance to Tren, but there are a few key differences. Firstly, Vile is a Stage 2, so Wally can't be used to overkill you. Secondly, it's Grass type, so Forest of Giant Plants can. Thirdly, it imposes Item lock on both players. Most importantly of all, it can lock from the Bench. Vileplume is therefore paired with an attacker (usually Vespiquen) that can do major damage, and get out on turn 1, so as not to be impeded by Item lock. Once this deck is set up, there's not a lot you can do, as Vesp can take out some EXs in one hit.

 

Once again, take the first turn. Play as many Items as possible, and prepare yourself to come under heavy fire. If you play M Ray, and use Ninetales to keep your Stadium in play, consider using Wally to get it out first turn. If you do this before FoGP enters play, it's auto-win. M Ray does not even need Sky Field to crush this deck. For others, Hex Maniac and Lysandre are the go-to's once again. Hex Maniac gives you your Items back, but it does the same for your opponent. Expect them to use this turn to stock up on Bee Revenge power with Battle Compressor and Ultra Ball. Due to Vesp, getting your items back is therefore not auto-win. This is where Lysandre comes in. Dragging Vileplume up front, and chipping away at it before removing FoGP can sometimes give you Items for the rest of the game. This deck's other weakness is the amount of cards it has to burn to get set up. So if Vileplume can be dragged up front towards the end of the game, just leave it there until your opponent runs out of cards. Done. Your opponent is going to need at least 2 Double Colourless Energies to retreat (or 1 2COL and one Basic), and if those are already in play, there's nothing he can do. Simple, and effective. Do remember to use VS Seeker on any turns where Item lock has been removed, to re-use Hex Maniac and Lysandre. And remember, the key is to take the first turn and spam Items at every opportunity.

 

I'm out of time today, so I'll leave 'toad for next time. Until then, post your own thoughts, ideas, or anything else you feel like.

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Now, I go on to Seismitoad EX. This deck is one of the most common (if not the most common) across Standard and Expanded. Toad has several advantages over the decks I mentioned before. Firstly, it's Basic, so it can get out with speed and consistency. Secondly, it has a massive 180HP. Thirdly, the lock comes from an attack rather than an Ability, so this changes much of its dynamics. Finally, it runs off a single Double Colourless Energy. Toad does tend to be more popular in Expanded due to the extra damage provided by Hypnotoxic Laser, as it's attack is very weak: Quaking Punch dishes out a mere 30 damage. But with Muscle Band equipped, and Lasers with Virbank City Gym, the damage can add up horrifyingly fast.

 

The good news is that 'toad has been sitting on events for so long, players have worked out many ways to beat it. Lysandre and Hex Maniac don't help, so other ways to beat it must be tried. If anyone else has any advice from experience please add it below. The first way you can give a toad player problems is to give him a taste of his own medicine, and set up Item lock. Seismitoad EX ironically needs Items to boost the damage of Quaking Punch to any level that does more than tickle most EXs. So if you can get Tren or Vile in play before he can do anything, advantage you. The only problem is toad also uses a large amount of disruptive Supporters, so he can try and counteract your lock long enough to set up a Muscle Band or two while dropping in a Laser for good measure.

 

I said last time that you need to try and take the first turn. Well, with toad there is no need to do this. Due its reliance on attacks, you will always get one turn with Items before he can lock you, so again play as many as possible, because you might not get the chance to later. Try and play as aggressively as possible, you can worry about your deck size later when you are drawing much slower, especially if you are playing a deck like NM. Three Battle Compressors should allow Joltik and co to wreck havoc.

 

Disruptive Supporters could make the difference in a hard-fought game. Due to toad's love of Double Colourless, a well-timed Xerostic or Team Flare Grunt could stop him attacking and therefore give you your items back. If Item lock is removed, try adding on a Head Ringer for good measure to keep your opponent very busy. Lysandre works fairly well, but relies on your opponent not pulling a Float Stone, and does not give Items back immediately like it does against Tren. But remember that a ringed, unpowered toad makes for a good AZ target, so even that does not guarantee success.

 

Unlike Tren, our least favourite toad also likes to bring a bunch of minions to the fun. There are many options, but I will try and advise against each one. First is Crobat and Golbat. These two will add extra damage to Quaking Punch and speed up KOs. They make a great Lysandre target, but don't give you your items back, as they have free retreat and even if you get the KO, toad will simply return to the front. The answer to this plan is healing en masse. Rough Seas is perfect for this job, and many toads struggle against it despite being healed by it themselves, because it compounds Quaking Punch's low damage. Wobbuffet can't stop the Bats, so that leaves Garbodor. Once Garbotoxin is active the Bats will impede toad until he gets rid of it.

 

Giratina EX sets up a strong one-two punch. Chaos Wheel is slow, but it shuts down Special Energy, Tools, and Stadiums and does 100. The good news is you get your Items back, but toad will have probably slowed you down by this point enough that victory is a formality due to Chaos Wheel's huge damage. The answer is to strike hard, fast. Tina is slow enough that Lysandre can drag it up front before it can be powered, and if a Float Stone can't be found, you get your Items back and two free prizes. If this can't be done, play all your Special Energy as quickly as you can as soon as you see it. Remember that Renegade Pulse stops Megas doing any damage, so get your back-up ready if you use Megas, or look for a cheeky Hex Maniac. Once Chaos Wheel is going, it is very hard to stop, especially with the slow start provided by Quaking Punch, which is why this is the norm in Standard more than Expanded. This deck does rely even more on Special Energy than other toad decks, so get your Enhanced Hammers ready.

 

Garbodor provides a nightmare scenario. No items+No Abilities=no chance. On paper at least. Because this deck has the lowest damage output of any of these decks, and has the niftiest Lysandre target. If Garbodor is up front, especially if it lacks a Float Stone, it is the answer for both of these problems. This deck is most certainly the 'purest' toad deck. Expect it to pack Hammers, Team Flare members, and even Head Ringers aplenty, and expect your opponent not to worry about damage in quantity, which is why this deck is actually the easiest to beat with a perfect turn 1 start. Night March 180 anyone?

 

A few final hints. First, try and prevent Special Conditions. A well-used Sparkling Robe can nullify Lasers completely. Second, try and get rid of tools, and Energy. Finally, if none of the above has worked, either I'm an idiot, or you need a new approach. Try Marowak from Fates Collide with the Bodyguard Ability. Unless Garbodor get out very quickly, any effects on your or your hand (read: Item lock) are removed and ineffective. If you use Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick already, this will be an easy slot-in for you. Otherwise, rely on the old fashioned method with Cubone: it may be slow, but it will be worth it... and if you do fall behind in a game, Marowak BREAK could change that with Bone Revenge, especially if you already use Fighting Energy. That's all for now.

 

Next time, I'll look at both Mega Charizard EXs from Flashfire. Are they good surprise weapons, or are they good door-proppers?

Edited by theotherguytm
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, after a quick break, I'm back. Having confirmed for myself that Pokemon cards are not good door-stoppers, I will now introduce my new idea. It looks like toad, it plays like 'toad... and where on earth did Mega Charizard come from??

Crimson Punch(S)

Seismitoad EX 3 

Charizard EX(Wing Attack) 2 

M Charizard EX(Crimson Dive) 2

Hoopa EX 1 

Shaymin EX 2  

Entei (Double Trait) 1

 

Double Colourless 4 

Basic Fire 6 

 

Ultra Ball 4

Puzzle Of Time 4

VS Seeker 4 

Battle Compressor 2

Trainer's Mail 2

 

Tool Retriever 2

Float Stone 2

Protection Cube 3

Muscle Band 3

 

Shrine of Memories 3

 

Professor Sycamore 3

Blacksmith 2

N 2

Lysandre 1

Hex Maniac

1 Team Flare Grunt 1

 

Pokémon 11 Energy 10 Trainers 39 Total 60

This deck is so experimental, I don't even have one of the Pokemon cards to test it. (I do have the wrong Charizard EX FA, trade locked...) The idea is to use 'toad to slow down the game while M Charizard gets set up on the Bench. If it ever uses Crimson Dive... say no more.

This deck has one sneaky trick up its sleeve: the first attack. You may expect 'toad to start every time, but in fact if you use Battle Compressor to discard some energy and a Blacksmith, which can be retrieved with VS Seeker to attach the energy to an Active Charizard or Entei and follow that up with a Double Colourless Energy, and a Muscle Band or two. Then, on the first turn you can do 170 damage, and perhaps a 1-turn win! This deck is just as capable of out-pacing its opponents as slowly crushing them.

Most of the cards are straightforward enough, with the exception of Tool Retriever. I like it in other Mega decks so you can re-use Spirit Links and put useful Tools on your Megas. In this deck, you can use it to add a massive amount of flexibility. For instance, if you go for the lightning strike with a Muscle Band on Charizard and then need to Mega Evolve, you can simply swap the Muscle Band for a Protection Cube and re-use the Muscle Band elsewhere. Entei with Double is therefore a natural in this deck. Even if you don't need him, store your tools on him rather than discarding them with Sycamore, and then return them to your hand. You can even use Tool Retriever to replace a dying 'toad's Muscle Band with a Float Stone to retreat to safety. The possibilities are limitless. Shrine of Memories is another strange choice, but since I am playing Standard (read: no lasers) it works well with M Charizard, allowing him to Mega Evolve and start attacking without a Protection Cube.

Against other decks, it would be interesting to see how this deck matches up. Item lock is horrible, but I am armed and ready with Hex Maniac, Lysandre, Team Flare Grunt, and my own Item lock. (See above if you haven't read my anti-item lock advice.) Greninja BREAK would be hard, especially with Weakness, so I could be forced to play just with 'toad for the duration of the game. Mega Ray will be interesting, to say the least. Head on, it would be tough to trade KOs, so I may have to try for the blitz start. And then Night March... Good: even Wing Attack is a 1HKO, and I have Item lock. Bad: It's Night March. Out of the Item lock decks, Tren is horrifying, Vileplume is bad, but not unplayable due to weakness, and against the 'pure' 'toad either the blitz start or the first Quaking Punch helps. It's also good that I can switch quickly between Evolved, Big Basic EX and Big Basic non-EX to evade the Eeveelutions.

So, what are your thoughts? Can this deck be a contender? Is Wild Blaze better? Find out, in your replies, and my next post.

Edited by theotherguytm
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So, I've come up with an even more stupid idea for the next deck. The concept is simple. Since Double Dragon Energy works for any Dragon Pokemon, I've thrown together a bunch of wildly different Dragons and hoped they can get along without eating each other.

 

Dragon Dance(S)

Charizard EX (Stoke) 3

M Charizard EX (Wild Blaze) 3

Hydreigon EX 1

Reshiram (Turboblaze) 2

Latias EX (Fast Raid) 2

Hoopa EX 1

Shaymin EX 2

Giratina EX 1

 

Double Dragon Energy 4

Basic Fire 6

Dark 2

 

Ultra Ball 4

Puzzle Of Time 4

VS Seeker 4

Sacred Ash 2

Energy Returner 2

Trainer's Mail 2

Professor's Letter 1

 

Fighting Fury Belt 2

 

Sky Field 3

 

Professor Sycamore 4

N 2

Lysandre 1

Hex Maniac 1

Blacksmith 1

 

Pokémon 15 Energy 12 Trainers 33 Total 60    

 

Well, this is one of those decks where you have to question the inventor's sanity. And you'd be quite right to. But each Dragon fills a slightly different role.

 

Mega Charizard EX is the core of the deck, and with reason: similarly to Crimson Dive (see above) or Dragon Ascent, Wild Blaze 1HKOs anything. And it is in fact better than either of those two in some ways, because Wild Blaze can be used continuously without needing a Protection Cube or constant Mega Turboing to keep attacking. The only downside is that it destroys your deck as well as its victims, but even so, this is of no direct consequence to Mega Charizard (other than the fact that it removes all your back-ups from the game) so it can just keep attacking. And against all opponents except Night March or Greninja BREAK, 3 Wild Blaze attacks win you the game. No fuss. And should Wild Blaze deck you out, you have Energy Returner and Sacred Ash to give yourself an extra attack. The Charizard EX choice is strange on paper, but a lucky Stoke can single-handedly set up Wild Blaze.

 

Hydreigon EX provides almost free retreat to your Dragons as long as a Stadium (yours or your opponents) in play. And as a back-up attacker, one Double Dragon and one Basic Energy later and Shred does 80 damage to any opponents, including Safeguarders and Eeveelutions, and is unaffected by irritating Tools like Assault Vest.

 

Then there is Reshiram. It is there to provide Energy acceleration, (read: superfast Wild Blaze) and to KO Safeguarders when Hydreigon is mysteriously unavailable. It does not matter if it gets KOed, as the extra Prize your opponent gains is pointless unless he KOs the other Reshiram.

 

Latias EX is mysteriously fast, as the Fast Raid attack proves. With this deck you are looking at using the first turn, as the only other 1 or 2 Energy attack is Stoke. But with Fast Raid, you get the first attack even if you go first. 1HKO Joltik gives this deck a fighting chance against NM. You'll need Double Dragon to attack, and 2 to use Light Pulse, an attack that frustrates Special Conditions and deals out solid damage (read: Bye Shaymin! Why are so many cards perfect at destroying that one Pokemon?).

 

Giratina EX is so good that it would be criminal not to include it in any Dragon deck like this one. Thus, here it is! Renegade Pulse allows this deck to crush Mega Ray and Mega Man. And Chaos Wheel, as discussed in my anti-'toad post, can win games single-handedly if used correctly.

 

Thus this deck will probably win the 'Slow Deck of the Year Award' and the 'For God's Sake, What Were You Thinking?! Award' (shaped like a tape of the Star Wars Holiday Special). It's fun to play, probably even more so in Expanded, where Prism Energy and Blend Energy(G,P,D,F) make this deck more consistent and useable. So, what are your thoughts on Mega Charizard EX? Could these decks actually function in the slightest? You decide!

Edited by theotherguytm
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This is my tenth post. Ten posts of ridiculous ideas, and ranting about reprints and Item lock. With only two replies. This suggests that either I know everything (I don't), or people just aren't interested in replying. Well, I am now launching a Appeal For Replies (In Big Capital Letters). Please reply to any of my posts, add your own thoughts, or anything. This is a discussion forum, not a one-sided continuous stream of nonsense. (Well, it is a stream of nonsense, but it not one-sided.) Any and all replies and thoughts are welcome.

Firstly, I will look into the ideas of taking my Dragon deck into Expanded. While there are the usual changes like adding a Ace Spec, or swapping out Sycamore for Juniper because it makes you look like a more experienced player. Then there is Blend and Prism Energy, as discussed before. But on the Pokemon side there are three newcomers. One is the automatic addition of Jirachi EX, but the other two are less obvious.

The first is the addition of Gabite from Dragons Exalted. Very strange on paper, but its Dragon Call ability allows you to search for any Dragon in your deck, like Giratina EX, Hydreigon EX or even Rayquaza from Legendary Treasures. The latter has a Shred attack that does 10 more damage that Hydreigon's and does so without giving up 2 Prizes. Fun and fast. So, could Dragons be a contender? Reply below!

I went through that very quickly because I want to get on to the next part. Cradily from Plasma Blast. Yes, a Stage One Fossil, which, as rgp151 pointed out, means auto-loss to Item lock. But, when you have a look at what the card does...

1 Grass Energy: Lifesplosion

 

For each Energy attached to this Pokemon, search your deck for a Stage 2 Pokemon and put it onto your Bench. Shuffle your deck afterwards.

Yikes. Should this card ever attack (I seem to be saying 'should' and 'if' a lot recently) then it will do irreversible strategic damage. There are many pleasing options at this point (especially in Expanded), so what you put on your Bench is entirely opinion-based. These are my personal top picks.

Plasma Storm: Magnezone

Dual Brains Ability allows you to play 2 Supporters each turn, which fits nicely into a disruption-based deck (think Ace Trainer followed by Delinquent-destruction of your opponent's plans and drawing power for you-or 2 Team Rocket's Handiwork-8 cards discarded from the deck-or even Steven being useful to set up your second Supporter without fear of N). The possibilities are limitless. Just add Wailord EX or other mill cards.

Primal Clash: Sceptile with Nuture and Heal and Roaring Skies: Dragonite with Plus

This little overkill combo is normally unreasonably and pointlessly slow. But putting them directly on your Bench all at the same time makes it worth it. Sceptile charges up Dragonite's Heavy Impact and then it's just a matter of taking 2-3 KOs thanks to Plus. Even better, it uses the same Energy types as Lifesplosion. One Double Dragon followed by a Nurture and Heal and 3 Energy has already been supplied. And Heavy Impact does 150 damage for 3 Grass, 1 Lightning, and 1 Colourless. This will KO most non EXs and take just 3 KOs to win. Or, attach a Silver Bangle to fight EXs and you have 180 Damage-a hit-1HKO. And only 2 KOs are necessary to win against EXs. You could even throw in Magnezone from BREAKthrough for even more speed. It may take a little time to get going, but when it does is unstoppable. In worst case scenario, you could even use the Wrapped in Wind attack for a little more speed, or add in Treecko and Grovyle for guaranteed Sceptile use. (You already should have Forest of Giant Plants-see below).

Fates Collide: Delphox and BW: Emboar with Inferno Fandango

You get the idea by now. With Lifesplosion, setting up this combo is the easy part. The hard part is getting it to fire (no pun intended). The reason for this difficulty is that you need Grass Energy to use Lifesplosion, but Emboar works with Fire energy. Thus, you have a tricky balancing act. Too much Grass and Inferno Fandango does not work. Too little and you may not get the chance to use Lifesplosion. It is perhaps the most terrifying prospect, but getting it to work is far easier said than done.

But how to get Cradily out? The answer is: Battle Compressor. Discard 2 or 3 Lileep from the deck, and their Ancient Power Ability puts them one by one on the bottom of the deck to be drawn in by Root Fossil. Then, Forest of Giant Plants allows you to evolve immediately, and use Lifesplosion as fast as possible. A perfect hand can thus give you a T1 Lifesplosion. However, such perfect hands are far and few between. Skyla and Trainer's Mail may make the difference.

So, any other suggestions for Stage 2s? Is this idea any good at all? Are Dragons a good idea? Will anyone reply at all?? (Please do.)

Edited by theotherguytm
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Wow, I made it through the wall of text. I'm too new to Pokemon TCG to criticize anything you wrote, but simply to ask you how you see the new rotation effecting your opinions of the standard decks you discussed. With the cut leaving Primal Clash and newer to the realm of the standard deck, I suspect the rotation will have a larger impact than anticipated.

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Wow, I made it through the wall of text. I'm too new to Pokemon TCG to criticize anything you wrote, but simply to ask you how you see the new rotation effecting your opinions of the standard decks you discussed. With the cut leaving Primal Clash and newer to the realm of the standard deck, I suspect the rotation will have a larger impact than anticipated.

Yes I was just about write about that! By the way...

 

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!

 

Phantom Forces really is the heart of the format, so now... (especially with no reprints(assumption alert)) Mega Ray, Greninja, and Darkness (now Yveltal EX is viable again: no NM ( IMO: )-: no more beginner top-tier decks)). The only option for Item lock is now Vesp-Vile... or in fact Vile will have to find a new buddy without Battle Compressor. Jolteon EX has been seen prowling around Expanded with Vile though.

 

Without Item lock and NM, these are the decks that could rise to glory...

Mega Mewtwo (CAUTION: EPICNESS LEVELS TOO HIGH!)-just watch out for those annoying Darkness decks.

Mega Alakazam-Without Tren and NM exploiting his weakness it could be his turn to shine... just without Dim Valley, Mystery Energy, AZ and Crobat.

Aerodactyl-As discussed before, the one thing holding Fossils back is Item lock. No more toad=more Jet Draft power. Fighting resistance could help with...

Carbink + Zygarde (I propose the name Zybink)-The fact that Zybink can still exist with amount of Fighting support being stripped away in Furious Fists just shows you how powerful the deck, and the type in general, is.

Mega Sceptile EX-One of the first ever decks I designed was a Sceptile deck, as I was looking around for a Grass type to beat toad. Even more fun than Mega Man, especially with Shrine of Memories and Ariados on the Bench.

Delphox BREAK-could be tricky without XY Delphox and with Greninja's new-found power.

 

So, any other ideas to rule the new format? Will the new exiters rule Legacy? Please reply below!

 

Edit: Should I start a new article with a link to this one at the top? could be much easier to read for a while...

Edited by theotherguytm
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A new thread, with new ideas for the 2017 standard, might be a good idea. I'm a noob so what do I know. The deck I'm currently working with already set to the 2017 standard, and I'm testing a few ideas in actual play. I'm winning about 2 / 3 the time (wins are about half and half with prizes taken and concession). I'm still tweaking for consistency. My deck is looking like its rogue enough to work, especially once others are playing with 2017 standard decks also. lol
(As my first deck build, and as one that seems to be working, I'm going to keep the list private for the moment.)

 

Edit because the forum *****'d my fraction.

Edited by Polyeidus
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Aero Force (Standard)

Aerodactyl  4 

Omanyte  3

Omastar  3 

OmastarBRK  2 

Shaymin EX  3 

Lugia EX  2

Shuckle 3

 

Double Colourless Energy 4 

 

Old Amber 4 

Fossil Excavation Kit 4

Helix Fossil 3 

Ultra Ball 2 

Puzzle Of Time 4 

Dive Ball 1 

VS Seeker 4

Target Whistle 1

 

Assault Vest 2

 

Sky Field 2

 

Professor Birch's Observations 3

Skyla 2

Lass's Special 2

Xerosic 1

Team Flare Grunt 1

 

Pokémon 20 Energy 4 Trainers 36 Total 60

Edit: Major formatting issues resolved after an argument with the computer.

Remember this? Well, with the rotation, now is never a better time to update my ideas. Because I want the slightest chance of being able to use this deck, I decided to drop the EXs, and instead try something REALLY stupid.

Aero Force (2016/17 Standard)

Aerodactyl  4 

Omanyte  3

Omastar  2 

OmastarBRK  2 

Talonflame 4

Talonflame BREAK 1

Blitzle 2

Zebstrika 1

 

Double Colourless Energy 4 

Fire Energy 3

 

Old Amber 4 

Fossil Excavation Kit 3

Helix Fossil 3 

Ultra Ball 2 

Puzzle Of Time 4 

Dive Ball 2 

VS Seeker 4

Super Rod 1

 

Sky Field 2

 

Professor Birch's Observations 3

Skyla 2

Giovanni's Scheme 1

Lass's Special 2

Team Flare Grunt 1

 

Pokémon 19 Energy 7 Trainers 34 Total 60

 

So the idea is strange. A deck with 2 Basics. But thanks to the new Talonflame with its Gale Wings Ability, I actually have 6. Then, Aero Blitz gets me any 2 cards from my deck, which removes the need for Shaymin or Octillery. It has free retreat, so once Aerodactyl is on the bench, I can use Jet Draft immediately. It has 130 HP to hold out for a while against most opponents. And when I BREAK evolve it, I can hit Grass types for Weakness (Grass being the best Greninja counter next season) and in a emergency, it has 170 HP (even longer-lasting) and can hit for 150 with a quick Flare Blitz. So the idea is to put Talonflame up front, and to hit with Aero Blitz to get my force of the ground by pulling the Break and any other key card I need, before emptying the deck of its fellows and seeing they get discarded by a Ultra Ball.

 

Zebstrika from BREAKpoint is a very odd choice. At first I was going to keep Shuckle, as Wrap can decimate Greninja early on, but I think that Zeb could be a surprise star oft the new format. With a resurgent Mega Ray that loses no steam at all, Zeb is the ideal response to a Emerald Break attack, as its attack does 110 damage to Pokemon with Fighting Resistance, and unless Altaria is on the bench, that 110 is doubled to 220 and a KO! Even with Altaria in play, Shaymin still gets 1HKO'ed by Zeb, and its Zap Zone Ability ignores all effects on the opponent, so it might even still hit for weakness. (I'm not sure about this, would somebody clarify?) So Zeb is an awesome counter to Mega Ray, in a deck that between Lass's Special, Jet Draft and Team Flare Grunt combo and Dangerous Tentacles, has an amazing matchup with Mega Ray. It could cause problems for the legendary flying snake...

 

Against Greninja, the match is tough. You will need to use Aero Blitz to try and KO a Frogadier or Froakie early. The key is to kill his first Greninja before it Break Evolves. To do this, Giovanni's Scheme will be the key to glory. it gives Jet Draft enough power to land the 1HKO, and thus could change the match. It also pushes Aero Blitz to 60 damage for a T1 Froakie KO. Should Giant Water Shuriken get into play, use Giovanni's Scheme to push Flare Blitz to 170 damage for an emergency shock KO. If they run any EXs at all, don't miss your Dangerous Tentacles shot. And make sure to stay calm and keep attacking. Worst case scenario, prizes will be falling left, right, and centre. Accept this, and keep going. Don't stop attacking, and keep the damage coming. You should aim to have taken 3 or 4 prizes already by this stage, which leaves him with a comeback to make.

 

That's about all for now, and please, please reply. I want to know what you think of this deck, this idea, and how you would play it differently. Any other replies to this topic based on prevous posts are welcome.

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200 Views.

4 Replies.

I know you're reading this. Reply Today!

 

Anyway, today I will discuss US Nationals and the decks used in it. The ratios across all three divisions:

Dark-Tina = 3 (Junior Champion)

Genzong = 3

Mega Man = 2

Water Tools = 3

Houndoom-Bunnelby = 1

TinaToad = 2 (Senior Champion)

NM = 5 (Masters Champion)

Vesp-Vile = 2

Mega Ray = 1

Tren = 2

 

That was not what many were expecting. Two low entries in the Masters Top 8 for Tren, not 1 Greninja deck in sight, TinaToad with the Senior win and Masters 2nd, and 3 Genzong decks in the Junior Division Top 8. NM, on the surface, had much success. But not one NM deck made it to the Junior Division Top 8, and only 1 of those decks (Masters 5-8th) was a "pure" NM deck: all the others ran Vesp. The Water Toolbox looks like a major contender no matter what the players do with it. Even with 3 Energy Switches it picked up a Top 8 in the Seniors, leaving with 1 Top 8 in each division, including a Masters 3rd. Even Mega Man and Mega Ray made a comeback, the former getting a 2nd in the Seniors, despite being ruled out due to a bad NM matchup. Vesp-Vile also scraped a couple of Top 8 finishes in Masters and Seniors.

 

But the real story is DarkTina. Using Double Dragon Energy to charge up Dark Pulse is a formidable tactic, and when pared with Garbodor it won the Juniors, and picked up a 3rd in the same division before a 4th in the Masters Division without Garbodor. This strategy has a response to every tactic, be it Greninja (Garbo) Megas (Tina) or Tren (Darkrai). It looks to be a deck to watch going into Worlds.

 

Many anticipated a NM walkover. But as I said before, NM's apparent dominance has been busted by a variety of opponents, leaving one question: is NM the deck to beat, or are other decks like Water Tools and Genzong starting to take over? I suspect that NM has a few trump cards to play at Worlds. But the apparent dominance of NM has been dulled down a bit, despite being the most successful deck in Seniors and Masters.

 

And is Genzong a serious contender? Beforehand, I thought the deck was all hype. But 3 Juniors Top 8 finishes must make it a serious contender for Worlds. Despite this though, it failed to make an impact in any other division. So, have the older players got some trick or other that the youngsters are unaware of, or was it just underused in those other divisions? Much like how Landy Bats won the Juniors at Worlds last year and failed to make an impact in the rest of the competition.

 

And Tren was expected to be a major contender. But it seemed to fail. Did the coin simply not go for them this time, or is it a sign that other decks are retaking the advantage? After all, Tren's performance is dependant on going first, so its performance is arguably the most most variable of all the top decks. An interesting shift in this deck's toolset is the omission of Mystery Energy. Beforehand, 3 or 4 were in every deck, now both of the Top 8 decks used none. Is this a temporary trend, a tactical mistake by the players, or is the birth of a new idea for Tren? Only time will tell.

 

Greninja was expected to be a major contender this season, and a dominant deck next season. But with 0 Top 8 finishes, this must be bought into question. Is the deck simply too slow to compete? Will it be the powerhouse that everyone expects? Perhaps. But Mega Ray, IMO, is looking a more and more dominant choice every minute.

 

And finally, a deck that most players would not touch with a barge pole: a mill deck. But the combination of Bunnelby and Houndoom EX still took a Top 8 finish. Are mill decks as hopeless as everyone assumes, or have the community missed a trick or two? Can a mill deck take Worlds by storm? Give your opinions and answers to these questions below, or write a rely to any other of my above posts. It is your choice.

 

P.S. The decks in question: http://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/nationals-2016/decks/masters/

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My next idea is an adaptation of an old classic: Archie's Blastoise. There is the usual tactic of discarding Toise and 1 Ace to be grabbed by VS Seeker. But, that leaves you with 3 Battle Compressor unused. So what if they were useful? This is my newest, freshest, dumbest idea, and I'm calling it the Second Ace.

The name is self-explanatory. Drop an extra Pokemon into play onto the bench with Archie to provide support to Keldeo and friends, or even join in the attack. But who should be put into play? These are my top picks.

Samurott BW/BW:LT
+ More base damage than Keldeo
+ Shell Armor Ability reduces damage taken
- Low HP

Empoleon BW:DE/BW:PB
+ Good draw
+ Not reliant on Deluge
- Low damage output
- Low HP

M Swampert EX XY:Promo
+ Optional deck milling
+ High HP
- Low damage
- 2 prizes lost

Greninja XY
+ Adds damage anywhere
+ Good NM counter
+ Not reliant on Deluge
- Low damage output
- Constant energy discards
- Very poor attack

M Blastoise EX XY
+ Massive damage spreading power
+ High HP
- Lack of 1HKO power
- 2 prizes lost

Aurorus FuFi
+ Defensive boost
- No worthwhile attack of its own

Swampert (Growth) PrCl
+ High damage output that increases quickly
+ Amazing draw support
+ Not entirely reliant on Deluge
- Low HP and overall resilience
- Same Weakness as other key cards

Primal Kyogre EX PrCl
+ Massive damage and spreading
+ Synergy with Keldeo EX
+ Not reliant on Deluge
+ Very high HP
- Constant re-powering needed
- Initial low 1HKO power
- 2 prizes lost

Empoleon BrTh
+ Damage boosting support-less energy needed
- No worthwhile attack of its own

M Glalie EX BrTh
+ Insane peak damage
+ Tough
- Weak before it starts to take hits
- 2 prizes lost

M Gyarados EX BrPo
+ Massive base power and peak
+ Little energy therefore needed
+ Huge HP
+ Deck self-milling is optional
- Deck self-milling needed for any real damage
- 2 prizes lost

M Blastoise EX Gen
+ Good HP
+ 1HKO power
- Energy discard is crippling
- 2 prizes lost
 

Pokemon recovery (Bringing back a previously defeated Pokemon)
+ Improves consistency
+ The existing cards can win games by themselves
- Reduces diversity
- More predictable

So, what is your pick? Please reply to this or any other of my posts.

Edited by theotherguytm
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I really like that samurott, both its art and its powers, but I feel like it's not quiiiiiite good enough to   really go anywhere.    I have played with it some, and it takes too much energy to do enough damage to be worth the trouble of getting it into play.  I like the other empoleon as well, but again, I don't think it's quite worth it.  M swampert, I don't like myself.  Aurorus is good, but not good enough.   Swampert AT is awesome.   Primal kyogre seems too expensive for late-game.   Empoleon is a bit underwhelming, really.  M glalie is great.  M gyarados is pretty good.  M blastoise is okay.   

 

All in all, I think swampert AT or M glalie are your best picks.  And both are reeeeally annoying to play against.

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SuperStone, on 18 Jul 2016 - 7:05 PM, said:

I really like that samurott, both its art and its powers, but I feel like it's not quiiiiiite good enough to really go anywhere. I have played with it some, and it takes too much energy to do enough damage to be worth the trouble of getting it into play. I like the other empoleon as well, but again, I don't think it's quite worth it. M swampert, I don't like myself. Aurorus is good, but not good enough. Swampert AT is awesome. Primal kyogre seems too expensive for late-game. Empoleon is a bit underwhelming, really. M glalie is great. M gyarados is pretty good. M blastoise is okay.

 

All in all, I think swampert AT or M glalie are your best picks. And both are reeeeally annoying to play against.

My personal preference is Swampert and M Gyarados. Remember that you already have Blastiose with Deluge on the Bench! And Samurott does 20 more base damage than Keldeo EX, so needs 1 less Energy to reach the magic 170 mark, so it actually needs less energy than normal. For the others, M Gyarados does 200 for 4, and Swampert does a minimum of 130 damage, so with a Muscle Band does 180 for 4 (without destroying your deck). So between them, the only reason to pick M Gyarados over Swampert is the HP. But it is a big difference. 130 VS the terrifying flying fish's 240.

 

But now, I have created a deck which could be classed as heresy. I felt that Night March needs a fitting send-off. After all, it is the deck that proves that strategy will always beat a bunch of rare cars thrown together, and that beginners can make an impact on the big stage. This deck was conceived when I saw Gourgeist's Gourgantic Ability:

 

"If this Pokemon has any (Grass) Energy attached to it, its maximum HP is 200."

 

I thought: "Shame it has such a bad attack. Wait a minute, what does it evolve from..."

And with that, I immediately gathered my imaginary copies of Shrine of Memories.

I built this deck for Expanded, so it can be used next season. And (rather fittingly for a tribute deck) I called it:

 

Memories Of Night March

 

Pokemon: 19

 

Gourgeist 2

Pumpkaboo 4

Galvantula (BW) 2

Joltik 4

Lampent 4

Shaymin EX 3

 

Energy: 7

 

Grass: 3

Double Colourless: 4

 

Trainers: 34

 

Battle Compressor: 4

Trainer's Mail: 4

Puzzle of Time: 4

Ultra Ball: 4

Vs Seeker: 4

Professor Sycamore: 4

Shrine of Memories: 4

Lysandre: 1

Teammates: 1

Hex Maniac: 1

Skyla: 1

Startling Megaphone: 1

Computer Search: 1

 

The idea is simple. Night Marchers have low HP, their evolutions have high HP. So when a 200 HP non-EX Gourgeist starts ******************* a turn, you have problems.

 

Potential Weaknesses: a well-timed Hex Maniac or Team Flare Grunt could shut off the Gourgantic Ability at a highly inconvenient moment, leading to a KO.

Slower due to evolutions, but not entirely dependant on them.

Slower due to no Dimension Valley, but the idea is to power Pumpkaboo with a Grass and a Double Colourless, rather than a single Double Colourless.

 

And that's all for now. Please reply, and please add your own suggestions.

Edited by theotherguytm
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Samurott only does +10 for each additional energy.

 

In reaction to this deck: Yesss!  A good way to use gourgantic!  Oh, wait.  It uses night march.  NOooooo.....

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Samurott only does +10 for each additional energy.

Note to self: Check card before writing from memory.

 

In reaction to this deck: Yesss!  A good way to use gourgantic!  Oh, wait.  It uses night march.  NOooooo.....

(-:

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Samurott only does +10 for each additional energy.

 

In reaction to this deck: Yesss!  A good way to use gourgantic!  Oh, wait.  It uses night march.  NOooooo.....

I will be happy to see the end of night march. lol

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