For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past month or so (see image on the right), Plasma Freeze, the 9th set in the Black and White Series, will release on May 8th. Plasma Freeze has A LOT of amazing cards for players to use in their decks, and many new archetypes will be entering the format, the most hyped of which being Plasma Basics.
What Exactly IS Plasma Basics?
Plasma Basics is a deck born straight out of Plasma Freeze that focuses on OHKO’ing your opponent’s Pokémon with your own high HP Basic Pokémon as early as Turn 1. That may not sound that impressive when other decks like Big Basics (Landorus EX/Tornadus EX DEX, Bouffalant DRX) already do this. So let me show you what a Plasma Basics deck list looks like, followed by explanation behind the card choices.
The Deck List
Pokémon – 10
3 Thundurus EX
Trainers – 38
Energy – 12
3 Thundurus EX
Thundurus EX is THE ideal starter for this deck mainly because of his first attack, Raiden Knuckle, does a decent 30 damage and allows you to attach ANY Energy from your discard to one of your Benched Team Plasma Pokémon. Being able to recover and attach Special Energy from the discard is an amazing thing, considering as there hasn’t been any real viable way to do so since Steelix Prime.
His second attack, Thunderous Noise, deals 90 damage for two Lightning Energy and 2 Colorless Energy, and while costly, it can disrupt your opponent’s side of the field by discarding their Energy.
3 Deoxys EX
Deoxys EX is a Psychic type EX Pokémon with an average 170 HP, an Ability, and a single attack. His Ability “Power Connect” increases the damage of your Team Plasma Pokémon’s attacks (excluding Deoxys EX) by 10, which stacks with other Deoxys EXs for potentially 40 extra damage (if you run and bench 4 Deoxys EX). This would mean Thundurus EX’s Raiden Knuckle would do 70 damage for 1 Lightning Energy. That is a dramatic increase!
His attack isn’t that bad either – for 1 Psychic and 1 Colorless Energy, Helix Force deals 30 damage, BUT if there is a Plasma Energy attached to Deoxys EX, the attack does 30 + 30 for each Energy on the Defending Pokémon. This is crucial against matchups like Keldeo/Blastoise, as you can hit a powered Keldeo EX for 120 damage, and it actually OHKO’s Mewtwo EX easier than Mewtwo EX itself!
This Water type non-EX attacker serves as the main attacker to OHKO your opponent’s Pokémon. Frost Spear is essentially Landorus EX’s Hammerhead, at the cost of 1 Water and a Colorless Energy, dealing 30 damage to the active and 30 to 1 of your opponent’s benched Pokémon. With 3 Deoxys EX Benched, this increases to 60 to the Defending Pokémon before Weakness. This attack can be powered up as early as Turn 1 with Colress Machine.
For 2 Water and a Colorless Energy, Blizzard Burn deals a heavy 120 damage at the drawback of not being able to attack next turn. With 3 Deoxys EX powering your damage output, and a Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combo, you can hit the “magic number” of 180, OHKO’ing everything except Colorless EXs with Aspertia City Gym in play and Black Kyurem EX with the Crystal Wall ACE SPEC (and certain EXs with Giant Cape attached).
1 Lugia EX
While not seeing much play during States and Regionals, Lugia EX gets much better with the release of Plasma Freeze. His Ability Overflow allows you to take an extra Prize card when you knock out one of your opponent’s Pokémon with its attack, Plasma Gale.
For a costly 4 Colorless Energy, Plasma Gale deals 120 damage, but requires you to discard a Plasma Energy to use the attack. Because Thundurus EX can retrieve ANY Energy from the discard, it becomes much easier to constantly use Plasma Gale, or you can choose to wait until late game to take those last 3 Prizes.
While Deoxys EX’s Ability helps Lugia EX’s attack do 30-40 more damage, the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym damage does not allow you to take that extra Prize from Lugia EX’s Ability. It is wiser to weaken the Defending Pokémon, and then attack with Lugia EX on your next turn to ensure you are able to take the extra Prize card.
2 Float Stone, 1 Keldeo EX, 2 Switch, 1 Scramble Switch
With the ever present Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combo and Pokémon Catcher, you will often find yourself needing to retreat and rework your strategy. Keldeo EX and Float Stone work beautifully together as you can Rush In with Keldeo EX, eliminating Status Conditions like Poison and Sleep (and Kyurem’s Blizzard Burn effect), and retreat back to your preferred Pokémon for free with Float Stone.
Keldeo EX also happens to be a half decent attacker, when you already run Prism and Blend WLFM Energy. I wouldn’t rely on attacking with him unless you absolutely HAVE to.
I find Switch to be equally useful as there may be times when Keldeo EX has been caught up and is Poisoned and Asleep, or if it is Prized. Some people may prefer Escape Rope, but I feel like I’d be helping my opponent switch out of a bad situation more than helping myself.
Scramble Switch is also the obvious ACE SPEC of choice, as you can power up Pokémon like Kyurem PLF and Lugia EX unexpectedly. I could go on and on about the kind of shenanigans you can pull with a Float Stone Keldeo EX, and Scramble Switch in the same turn for a surprise Lugia EX. Needless to say, this combo can turn the tables in your favor before your opponent can say “Aw geez!”
At first, I completely hated this card, but then I realized its synergy with Thundurus EX. You can discard a Plasma Energy and draw 4 cards, knowing you can get it back with Thundurus EX’s Raiden Knuckle. Sometimes, though, it’s just nice to have alternate draw options other than discarding or shuffling back your entire hand.
I believe a single copy is more than enough; you want to save your Supporter slots for the more important draw/search cards.
Ultra Ball is an amazing Pokémon search Item, as it allows you to search for ANY Pokémon, provided you discard 2 cards from your hand. As Darkrai EX and Eelektrik variants have proved in the past, discarding cards can actually be a good thing! (See Thundurus EX.)
However, there may be times where you can not, or would rather not discard cards from your hand. That is where Team Plasma Ball comes in handy. Team Plasma Ball does exactly what you might guess it does: you may search your deck for a Team Plasma Pokémon, and put it into your hand. Seeing as how all of your Pokémon (besides Keldeo EX) are Plasma Pokémon, there is no downside to running this card.
I would like to make clear that the matchup ratios I give are only determined by personal testing, and may be inaccurate to future tournament results. As the set has not released yet, it should be implied that this information is to be taken with a grain of salt.
80-20 vs. Big Basics and Garbodor Variants
This is an incredibly easy matchup if you target their Landorus EXs early and whale away with Kyurem PLF. Bouffalant DRX will probably be your biggest problem if it gets set up, but OHKO’ing it should not be a problem.
Thundurus EX can take care of opposing Tornadus EXs and Deoxys EX will annihilate Mewtwo EX should the Big Basics player choose to run them. Landorus EX can create early game pressure, but most of the time you’ll be able to outspeed and outclass them.
As far as Garbodor variants, you might want to consider a Tool Scrapper tech, but if you use Pokémon Catcher, KO’ing the Garbodor works just as well as Tool Scrapping it. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
60-40 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem
Blastoise/Keldeo was already an amazing deck, and it only gets better with Superior Energy Retrieval, making it easier for Black Kyurem EX to consistently OHKO all of your attackers. The key to this matchup is to utilize Deoxys EX as an attacker against your opponent’s overloaded Keldeo EXs. Because of the slower nature of Blastoise being a Stage 2, you are at a slight advantage to KO Squirtles before they become Blastoises.
70-30 vs. Enhanced Hammertime
Now I know I’m probably going to get some hate for this one, but what makes Hammertime work so well is being able to use Sableye to use Hammers over and over again. While this may work in some cases, your damage output is far greater than Sableye can handle, KO’ing them before they can Junk Hunt as much as they’d like to.
Darkrai EX as an attacker unfortunately has fallen over the course of time, and personally, it hurts to say that as I’ve been playing Darkrai EX ever since it came out. I fail to believe his damage output/Energy cost ratio is enough to deal with the metagame currently.
75-25 vs. PlasmaKlang
I’ve probably tested this matchup the most, and honestly, it STILL surprises me how easy this matchup is. During most games that I’ve tested this, Klinklang PLS could not get in to play, and even when it did, Kyurem PLF picked up the slack.
While I still firmly believe that PlasmaKlang is a great deck, this matchup is difficult for the Klinklang player.
85-15 vs. Rayeels
“The Glass Cannon” of the format has been getting weaker and weaker as new sets have come out, and Plasma Freeze is no exception. Donking has never become more easy to pull off, and Eelektrik being the biggest Pokémon Catcher target of all time sets the deck up for failure. However, the deck remains to survive barely, and has the best OHKO potential of any deck. Focus your attacks on Tynamos and Eelektriks, and you will almost never lose.
- No auto-loss matchups!
- The “Holy Trinity” of speed, consistency, and power.
- Puts Landorus EX in its place (I personally dislike him).
- Very expensive (go donate plasma at your local biomat center)!
- Becomes an instant “Best Deck in Format” making it harder for non-Plasma Basic players to do well (the tins don’t come out until September).
- A lot of mirror matches in tournaments.
Plasma Basics is an amazing deck that many people will be playing at Battle Roads all the way up to Worlds. It has the power, speed, and consistency to keep up with the current metagame, as well as push past it. It may cost you an arm and a leg to play, but if you are willing to spend the money, I highly recommend playing this deck!