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OliverTwisting

New Standard Rotation Munchlax Mill

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OliverTwisting

Hi all,

 

With the new rotation around the corner, I've been testing a couple versions of Munchlax Mill. I've settled on the following deck list:

 

Spoiler

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

 

##Pokémon - 18

 

* 4 Minccino SSH 145

* 2 Munchlax UNM 173

* 4 Cinccino SSH 147

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99

* 2 Zacian V SSH 138

* 1 Mew UNB 76

* 1 Unown LOT 91

 

##Trainer Cards - 37

 

* 2 Lusamine CIN 96

* 1 Mars UPR 128

* 3 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189

* 3 Quick Ball SSH 179

* 1 Pokémon Communication TEU 152

* 4 Crushing Hammer SSH 159

* 4 Pal Pad SSH 172

* 1 Sky Pillar CES 144

* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171

* 4 Lt. Surge's Strategy HIF 60

* 2 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184

* 1 Wondrous Labyrinth {*} TEU 158

* 4 Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186

* 4 Lillie's Poké Doll CEC 197

* 1 Tag Call CEC 206

* 1 Faba LOT 173

 

##Energy - 5

 

* 2 Capture Energy RCL 171

* 1 Recycle Energy UNM 212

* 2 Draw Energy CEC 209

 

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

 

So how does this thing work (or at least, how do I make it work)?

 

The basic objective of the deck is to stall and draw until there are no cards left to draw, at which point some combination of Munchlax, Pal Pads, Poke Dolls, Lt. Surge's Strategy, and Bellelba & Brycen-Man (B&B) keep you both alive indefinitely and milling your opponent for 6 cards per turn. Shout out to @ellomello044208 who also introduced this idea in this topic.

 

So let's start with the biggest change from a typical Oranguru Mill: Munchlax. Munchlax offers three or four distinct advantages over Oranguru:

  • First, Munchlax does not require energy to recycle from the discard pile.
  • Second, Munchlax can recycle from the bench, allowing your turn to end with a Poke Doll in the active spot, thereby denying your opponent from taking prize cards.
  • Third, the zero retreat cost allows switching Munchlax into the active spot after your opponent KOs a Poke Doll on your opponent's turn, then on your turn retreating to switch with another Poke Doll. The zero retreat cost also enables opening the game with Munchlax in the active spot and switching with a Poke Doll or Jirachi (in contrast to Oranguru, which would require one or two additional cards to switch out of the active spot).
  • Fourth - sometimes beneficial, sometimes slightly less so - cards retrieved with Munchlax end up as the top card of your deck. This enables drawing that card on the next turn or immediately with Oranguru SSH (which I don't use in this deck, but it's a possibility). This enables easy cycling of Munchlax/Poke Doll to prevent your opponent from taking prize cards.
  • The very obvious disadvantage is the added coin flip necessary for Munchlax to work (and the turn ending even if the flip ends up tails). In my experience, this is not often problematic. Out of ~100 games I've played with different iterations of Munchlax Mill, only once do I recall the game being lost due to a missed coin flip. Most typically, once you've milled your own deck to 0 cards, you have a few Pal Pads (and maybe an Ordinary Rod) to keep yourself safe from decking out and to continue milling. Just 0-2 successful Munchlax flips are needed out of 4-5 attempts, so statistics are working in your favor here.

 

An ideal game sequence starts with Jirachi, or a capture energy/draw energy/quick ball/etc. to get Jirachi into the active spot as soon as possible. With Jirachi in the active spot, I then prioritize having a Zacian V on the bench. With Jirachi and Zacian V, the next objective is to get two Cincinnos on the bench and eventually draw through the entire deck, down to 0 cards. Once Jirachi is KO'd, leave Poke Dolls in the active spot as much as possible. Once 0 cards are left in the deck, play two B&B's each turn (with Lt.'s Strategy) and end each turn with one Pal Pad and a Munchlax retrieval (retrieving either a Poke Doll or a Pal Pad as needed).

 

Many cards in the deck are situational. I'll discuss here behind a spoiler tag in case you don't want to bother reading through it. ;)

 

Spoiler

Wondrous Labyrinth, Team Yell Grunt, Crushing Hammer, Faba: The deck only has 4 Poke Dolls, and often it takes longer to draw down to a sufficient hand/deck to safely mill your opponent without risking loss of Pal Pads (which are needed to not deck yourself). These cards can all delay your opponent by ~1-3 turns (or in some lucky cases, many more); these turns are crucial for reaching the milling phase. These aren't typically useful against Pikarom, but have proven reasonably effective for keeping Dragapult V at 1 energy for a few turns, and are great for delaying ADP's GX attack. Not good against niche 1 energy decks (Lost Zone, Chandelure, etc.), but in those games these can be used as Cincinno fodder. Faba is also sometimes necessary for getting rid of chaotic storm.

 

Sky Pillar, Lusamine: First, yes, I know these will rotate out in a month. But while Dragapult V is a very common threat, and these are essential in that matchup. A glaring weakness of the deck is a lack of search capability for Sky Pillar, and the not-too-small chance that it ends up in your prize pile (remember, you can't typically recover prize cards with this deck). However, once Sky Pillar does hit the table, it's easy to keep it in play with a combination of Lusamines and Cynthia&Caitlyns (to pull Lusamine back into your hand).

 

Unown: Yeah... this one has won me games in the mirror match. It's usually pretty clear when your opponent is playing a mill deck, so in those cases, I keep a Jirachi in the active spot, one Zacian on the bench, and everything else stays in the hand except draw supporters like Cynthia&Caitlyn and Mars. Dropping a Munchlax or Cincinno on the bench makes it harder to meet this win condition, but can confuse your opponent into thinking you have the same strategy (this also works by discarding a B&B with Cynthia&Caitlyn). In the vast majority of games, Unown is discard fodder, and there are other options for the mirror (e.g., Girafarig), but what can I say, I like this one.

 

There's NO Oricorio GX here - that's a conscious decision. Great Catcher is a one-of in most competitive decks, so Oricorio is a serious 2-prize liability. With Zacian V already on the bench as another liability, games are easily lost with a Great Catcher and 1-2 Boss's Orders.

 

It's rare that I've used Recycle Energy; this may be better replaced with another capture energy for more consistency in the first couple turns.

 

Finally, regarding matchups: the deck has typically been very strong against Pikarom, very strong against various 1-prize decks (Blacephalon, Falinks, Chandelure, etc.), moderately strong against combo Zacian, even against ADP, and weak vs. Dragapult.


I'm very open to suggestions and discussion. I'm especially interested in what to put in with the upcoming removal of Sky Pillar, Lusamine, and Mars from Standard.

 

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Raticate555

I love Mill/Control/Stall decks so I will certainly keep an eye on this thread as rotation creeps nearer. The concept seems good but I think the testing will decide where this stands. There are a few things I would like to say, firstly, Dragapult probably won't be as big a problem after rotation with the release of Eternatus which is a plus. Secondly, Unown HAND rotates too, but from what you said in your write up that probably won't effect the deck too much. Thirdly, rotation. Rotation is usually when Control/Mill/Stall decks are the strongest because people lose good cards and have to change the way they build their decks, leaving weaknesses in certain points. Last year it was gusting so we got a bunch of Poipole lock decks turn up. When a post rotation meta game comes to light, study it then break it if you can.

 

Love the deck, keep at it fellow miller!

 

Raticate555

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ellomello044208

Quite the interesting deck you've got there @OliverTwisting. Oranguru SSH shouldn't be needed in the deck except to protect from Marnie, you end your turn after you set the top card of your deck up so Primate Wisdom won't get you the card you Snack Searched for on your turn. Your deck seems a bit like a Doll Stall deck without Florges but you seem to place more emphasis on milling. To help with coin-flipping, you can run 1-2 copies of Will which you can play in combination with Lt. Surge's Strategy and Bellelba and Brycen-man. You'll only be able to mill 3 cards, but you're guaranteed to not accidentally deck, so you won't necessarily need Pal Pad in hand. It can also be combined with Crushing Hammer for Dragapult VMAX. You could try the deck with a Magneton variant to find your Supporter cards quickly and activate Lt. Surge's Strategy in the mirror match. For before rotation while Dragapult VMAX is quite prominent, if you end up increasing your Tag Call count, 1 Guzma and Hala will be a good way to reliably get Sky Pillar into play against Dragapult VMAX. 

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OliverTwisting

@Raticate555 I'm testing away; I hope to post results once I have enough games to get a better grasp of the deck's strengths and weaknesses (better than just anecdote/opinion).

 

I'm actually not certain about Eternatus being a top-tier pick. I'm relatively new to the game, but to me the card strikes me as being really restrictive (dark pokemon only), and the 240 damage ceiling is great, but not usually enough to take out an opposing VMAX or Tag Team (or a Zacian V with goggles/charm). It's almost impossible to OHKO, but it's not hard to KO in two turns, so, for example, a Zacian V with goggles plus a second attacker (another Zacian, an ADP, or even a one-prizer like Hoopa UNM) can remove Eternatus from play and potential reset the bench back to 5. So... what am I missing about Eternatus? I do feel like I'm missing something... I guess the attack cost is low, so it can start swinging on Turn 2?

 

Anyway, my concern about Eternatus keeps my concern up that Dragapult won't quite fade into the background as I hope it does.

 

Very good point about Unown HAND - I forgot it's rotating out as well. Any suggestions for a strong pick in the mirror?

 

And glad you like the deck! If you want to try it out and bring back your own perspective, I'd certainly be happy to listen!

 

@ellomello044208 Yeah, I never felt the need for Oranguru SSH in the deck, and bench space is typically tricky (Zacian V, 2 Cincinno, and a Poke Doll leave just one flex spot, which is usually Jirachi or Mew). Good point about Snack Search ending the turn, I should have thought about that statement a little harder. 😛

 

I like the idea of Will, but I'm not sure what to remove to run it. Seems to me that it'd usually be a dead draw until the latter part of the game, so I worry about it reducing consistency by making it harder to get to the milling phase (I get that it does improve consistency during the milling phase).

 

Magneton seems risky to me due to the KO, although that does set up Surge's. That's certainly an interesting one... it also reminds me of the sobble/drizzile/inteleon line... maybe there's a totally different mill deck in there. :)

 

I'll switch out Mars for a Guzma&Hala and see how that goes. Any suggestions for what to remove? Maybe Unown, although I don't want to reduce the basic pokemon count...?

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ellomello044208
Posted (edited)

For the mirror match, your other option is Aipom SM244. The card will survive rotation and can be obtained for pretty cheap (it was included in the Pikarom League Battle Deck). Yank Out will probably brick your opponent, random discards aren't ideal but it'll be quite efficient as a 1-prize Basic attacker for 1 Colorless energy. Your other option is Persian TEU who does a better job of controlling your opponent's hand, at the cost of being a Stage 1 Pokemon. Without Ditto {*}, I'm not sure how flexible it'll be to run Persian, but it's a stronger option than Aipom if you can commit another card. As for what to remove to get room for Guzma and Hala, maybe try taking out a Draw Energy? I'm not sure how central it is to your strategy and Guzma and Hala can pull Special Energy if you're in a pinch so it might be worth a try.

Edited by ellomello044208
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Raticate555
On 7/25/2020 at 9:15 AM, OliverTwisting said:

I'm actually not certain about Eternatus being a top-tier pick. I'm relatively new to the game, but to me the card strikes me as being really restrictive (dark pokemon only), and the 240 damage ceiling is great, but not usually enough to take out an opposing VMAX or Tag Team (or a Zacian V with goggles/charm). It's almost impossible to OHKO, but it's not hard to KO in two turns, so, for example, a Zacian V with goggles plus a second attacker (another Zacian, an ADP, or even a one-prizer like Hoopa UNM) can remove Eternatus from play and potential reset the bench back to 5. So... what am I missing about Eternatus? I do feel like I'm missing something... I guess the attack cost is low, so it can start swinging on Turn 2?

 

I agree with certain points here but others I don't. At the moment in Standard, anything kinda alright that is Darkness type is a semi competitive deck just because of Dragapult, Eternatus I believe is probably better than kinda alright. Zacian Goggles would be a problem and needs Tool Scrapper because Zigzagoon cannot bring it's HP down. Eternatus in general I think wouldn't be too bad because they have to 2HKO you. You say that it is a problem but I don't think it is so much. It does (on a good set up, Crobat V helps that), 240 turn 2 and your opponent, if 2HKOing it, needs 4 attacks to win. Is that not enough time to take all of your prize cards? In my eyes it is just a different Pikarom deck, aims to do big damage fast except that it has more HP and does bigger damage easier (no need for 3 E-Power to do 240, or lots of energy for Boltund or using a GX move). It also has alternate attackers like Pikarom (Hoopa and Zapdos are pretty similar). Okay, it doesn't have Boltund, but I think it has potential and although hype often doesn't translate into reality (looking at you Reshiram & Zekrom GX), I think Eternatus is probably good enough to go a good way into competitive play.

 

Love the Aipom idea ellomello! 👍

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Dirnt54
2 hours ago, Raticate555 said:

although hype often doesn't translate into reality (looking at you Reshiram & Zekrom GX)

 

Unrelated, but does anyone know why wasn't Reshiram and Zekrom played more? I wasnt around for what seems like its ideal format (UPR to CEC) so I'm not sure. 

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ellomello044208
Posted (edited)

Reshiram and Zekrom was good, but ADP Keldeo was too strong for it. Fabled Flarebolts was just shy of OHKOing ADP (in a format without Zigzagoon pings or Vitality Band) and Reshiram and Zekrom, like many other Tag Team decks of the UPR-CEC era, didn’t have a good answer to the Keldeo GX wall who could 2-shot Tag Team Pokémon while being immune to them.

Edited by ellomello044208
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Dirnt54
10 hours ago, ellomello044208 said:

Reshiram and Zekrom was good, but ADP Keldeo was too strong for it. Fabled Flarebolts was just shy of OHKOing ADP (in a format without Zigzagoon pings or Vitality Band) and Reshiram and Zekrom, like many other Tag Team decks of the UPR-CEC era, didn’t have a good answer to the Keldeo GX wall who could 2-shot Tag Team Pokémon while being immune to them.

 

Ah okay, that makes sense. Thanks!

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OliverTwisting

@ellomello044208 Wasn't aware of Aipom SM244 - thanks for the tip! I don't like having to devote two card slots (and higher risk of having one of them be a prize card) to counter an only semi-popular deck archetype.


Regarding Draw Energy: there are plenty of occasions where I need to retreat something other than Munchlax, and I like that it's essentially "free" due to the additional card drawn. With Guzma & Hala in the deck, there's certainly an argument to be made that a Draw Energy could be switched for a Balloon (or a U-turn Board might be even better). Having a 2nd Guzma & Hala instead... well, there's an argument for that, too. I think I'll play with some variations around this theme and see what works the best. Thanks for the suggestion!

 

@Raticate555 Well, that all makes perfect sense. :) Here's to hoping Dragapult loses popularity, Eternatus gains popularity, and Munchlax Mill does exceptionally well against Eternatus. 😛

 

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