The Hawk’s Nest: Putting it to the Test

professor oak optimisticpokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
Excited for the new season!

Hello, I am extremely excited to be back with you all! This summer has been extremely exciting and important to me, but it has left me with little time to compete at Pokémon events. I got to a couple small Battle Roads, but I missed Nationals and I did not travel out to Worlds. But alas, it is a new year and I am here to talk about the new format.

Now, I will warn you that this is going to lean towards a deck list dump than most other articles. I, along with everyone else, am still in the early to middle stages of testing NXD-on. So, I will let you see the lists that I’m working with, and give some insights or explanations of any odd choices. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the coming months with more refined lists and matchup advice. Let’s get crackin’!

Because the article may be a little scattered, make sure to utilize the table of contents to jump around and find your desired deck.

Table of Contents

Toolbox

Quite a while ago, evidenced by the July 18 upload date on this YouTube video, a deck known as Toolbox hit the global scene. (The video calls it Itembox because that is what Sigilyph’s Ability was known as in Japan.) I have been thoroughly surprised that a deck this fun and competitive has stayed out of the SixPrizes limelight. Well, I am here to change that.

Here is a skeleton list for our basis of discussion, and my current testing list will be at the bottom of this section.

Pokémon – 10

4 Trubbish PLS 65
4 Sigilyph PLB
1 Surskit PLB
1 Masquerain PLB

Trainers – 39

4 N
3 Professor Juniper
1 Bianca/Colress

3 Bicycle
2 Random Receiver

 

16 Tools

 

4 Level Ball
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Tool Scrapper
1 ACE SPEC

Energy – 6

6 Psychic

5 Free Spots

4 Trubbish PLS 65

trubbish-plasma-storm-pls-65Pokémon Paradijs
Your heavy hitter.

It is only fitting that a member of the Garbodor line is the focus of another absurdly fun deck. In the past year Garbodor has been the center of attention with the Mewtwo/Lando/Garbodor deck, the Sableye/Garbodor deck, and the Darkrai/Sableye/Garbodor deck. Now Trubbish gets to shine with its glorious Tool Drop attack.

Trubbish is a lightweight with a measly 70 HP, but for a Psychic and a Colorless, Tool Drop does 20 damage for each Tool card attached to Pokémon in play, yours and your opponent’s.

Since the multiplier is base 20, the critical Tool counts for OHKOs are as follows:

5 – Deoxys EX, Mewtwo EX
7 – Kyurem, Blastoise
9 – All other EXs

At first glance, that appears to be a lot of Tools, because nearly every Pokémon in play would need a Tool attached to start OHKOing EXs. However, we have Sigilyph.

4 Sigilyph PLB

Almost all of the Sigilyphs printed have had an interesting function, and this one is no different. Its Ability, Toolbox, allows four Tools to be attached to Sigilyph. That greatly solves our Tool count problems. With a mere two Sigilyph in play, we can have nine Tools on only three Pokémon. While we only need two in play at a time, four is an optimal count because you want to avoid Prize problems and KO problems.

There are a few two main things we have to be aware of when stacking Tools on Sigi:

  1. It has a relatively low 90 HP. That means a simple Catcher + KO may rid the board of four Tools.
  2. If Garbodor comes into play and Garbotoxin is activated, Sigi must discard three of its Tools.
  3. If your opponent uses Chatot PLB’s Misinformation, any of your Pokémon with Silver Mirror attached does not have to discard its Tools. This means a Sigi with four Tools attached, one being Silver Mirror, will not have to discard any of its Tools.

1 Surskit PLB, 1 Masquerain PLB

This is only here for its Ability, Tool Reversal. Tool Reversal allows you to take a Tool attached to a Pokémon and put it back into your hand. Of course, you can then play that Tool right back down. This allows you to move your Tools around as often as you would like to make sure they are in the correct places.

A 1-1 line is obviously the bare minimum we can play. However, to avoid prizing issues and consistency problems a 2-2 line might be advisable. Also, while the deck may function without Masquerain, you want Masquerain to come into play eventually because early in the game you may need to just get the Tools into play in suboptimal positions. Masquerain allows you to remedy those suboptimal Tool placements.

3 Professor Juniper, 4 N

sigilyph plasma blast plb 41
Lets you load up on Tools.

These two are simply the best Supporters in the game, and it only makes sense they will be played in this deck. Playing three Juniper might be the best play because getting forced into discarding a bunch of Tools early with Juniper is extremely painful. However, Juniper is extremely powerful, so going back up to four is a definite option.

3 Bicycle

With 20+ Items that may be played down at nearly any moment in the game, Bicycle might have finally found a proper home. It is relatively easy to get below four cards in hand and then use Bicycle to draw into more cards.

2 Random Receiver

Receiver is one of the cards I’m less sure about in the skeleton. It is a nice burnable card that thins your deck, but both Colress and Bianca are solid Supporters in this deck. So, it might be beneficial to just play those cards over Receiver. However, Colress and Bianca are generally less optimal in the early game so Random Receiver helps you get to early Junipers and Ns.

1 Colress/Bianca

Filling out the Supporter line with these two cards is highly adequate. Bianca is powerful for the same reasons why Bicycle is powerful. You have many Items that can be played down, and Bianca will often draw four or five cards. Colress is fine because you often want at least four Pokémon in play on your side of the field plus one or two on your opponent’s side of the field.

4 Level Ball

All of the Pokémon in this deck have 90 HP or less. Thus, Level Ball is the go-to Pokémon search card. This one is pretty simple.

3 Pokémon Catcher

Pokémon Catcher is simply very good; however, this is one of those decks where automatically including four copies should be reconsidered. First, the deck aims to deal 180 damage in a single attack. That means you can simply take the KO on your opponent’s Active Pokémon. Second, the list is rather tight from all of the Tools that need included. However, the ability to take specific Prizes to push down your opponent’s board presence or increase yours is too powerful to completely skip on Catchers.

I would be uncomfortable with one Catcher and not completely at ease with two. Three “just seems” right to me.

1 Tool Scrapper

masquerain plasma blast plb 2
Rearrange your Tools as needed.

I think people will underestimate this card again this year, because they always do. However, a single copy in this deck is good because Garbodor will severely damage this deck’s ability to keep Tools of the field.

1 Super Rod

The deck needs some type of recovery and this is the best dual purpose (Pokémon and Energy) recovery we have in the game.

6 Psychic Energy

Trubbish requires Psychic to attack, and that means Psychic will be the main Energy the deck utilizes. The question is whether or not to add Double Colorless Energy to the deck for Sigilyph’s attack. Currently, I do not feel that is necessary. But, having another attacking option is a nice thought.

1 ACE SPEC

There will be some debate over which ACE SPEC to play in this deck. Obviously, Life Dew screams to be included. It is a Tool that has a very powerful effect. However, in this deck I am not sold on how powerful its Prize denial effect is. You already play no EXs and are hoping to feast on the two-for-one Prize trade against most decks. Is moving one of those trades to a two-for-zero trade really worth it? I am not so convinced.

I actually like Dowsing Machine a bit better. Dowsing Machine lets us get back a crucial Tool if needed, play only three Catcher, and play one less Supporter. The reactive and forgiving nature of Dowsing Machine makes it my current go to choice for Toolbox.

Five Extra Slots

I would honestly just use these slots to fill in the list for consistency.

The Tools

Here is the portion of the deck that is going to make or break your Toolbox deck. Let’s run down the leading candidates for the Tool slots.

Silver Mirror

silver mirror plasma blastedanstett
What a Tool!

Kyurem PLF, Absol PLF, Deoxys EX, Genesect EX, Thundurus EX, Chatot PLB, Lugia EX, Snorlax PLS, Flareon PLF, Chandelure PLF, Tornadus EX, and Cobalion EX are all relevant Plasma attackers. Silver Mirror protects your Pokémon from all of those cards. This is particularly true when considering Chatot.

Chatot’s first attack forces you to discard all of your Tool cards, but Silver Mirror negates that attack. So, if you have Silver Mirrors on your Sigilyphs, all of the Tool cards on Sigilyph are safe from Chatot. Of course, you opponent may use Tool Scrapper to remove the Silver Mirrors, and then use Chatot, but that is a lot to ask for in one turn.

Silver Bangle

Mewtwo EX, Keldeo EX, Black Kyurem EX PLS, Tornadus EX, Thundurus EX, Deoxys EX, Darkrai EX… I think you get the picture – there are a lot of relevant EXs in the game. Silver Bangle makes it so that you only have to have seven or eight Tools in play to OHKO an EX with Trubbish. You may also think of Silver Bangle as five PlusPowers because you get 20 from it being a Tool in play and 30 when you attack an EX.

Exp. Share

The deck has no other Energy accelerators and Trubbish, unfortunately, needs two Energy to attack. Therefore, we need a method of trying to preserve some of those Energy drops. Exp. Share does that while still adding damage to Trubbish’s attack.

Eviolite

All of the main Pokémon in the deck are Basics, so Eviolite is usually strictly better than Giant Cape when it comes to helping your Pokémon survive. The only instance where Giant Cape is better is against Cobalion EX.

Float Stone

This deck has lots of moving parts, and none of them has natural free retreat. Thus, Float Stone solves any potential Catcher stall tactics.

Rescue Scarf

This is simply another method of recovery. However, this Tool Seems underwhelming when compared to the other Tools.

Now, after all of that stuff, here is what my current testing list looks like.

Pokémon – 12

4 Trubbish PLS 65

4 Sigilyph PLB
2 Surskit PLB
2 Masquerain PLB

Trainers – 41

4 N
3 Professor Juniper
2 Bianca

4 Bicycle
2 Random Receiver

 

4 Exp. Share
3 Silver Mirror
3 Silver Bangle
3 Float Stone
3 Eviolite

 

4 Level Ball
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Tool Scrapper
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 7

7 Psychic

Overall, I am content with the list at this point in the testing cycle. You can see that I opted for four Exp. Share because of the importance of keeping Energy on board. Then I went with three of the next four most useful Tools.

Blastoise

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Blastoise is happy it lost nothing!

Blastoise might be the best deck in the format. It did not lose anything significant from the BLW-NVI sets.

It is still a “X board state” type deck, meaning if you achieve objectives A, B, and C by a certain turn you almost always win the game. Here, the objectives are generally a turn two Blastoise and turn two or three Black Kyurem EX attack. Yes, Mewtwo EX is still a thing and the deck can be teched out, but in general, a more consistent Blastoise deck will win more games.

This deck has been talked to death, but here is just another list to consider:

Pokémon – 14

4 Squirtle BCR
3 Blastoise BCR
3 Keldeo-EX
2 Black Kyurem-EX PLS
1 Kyurem PLF
1 Exeggcute PLF

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Skyla
1 Colress

 

4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy
4 Superior Energy Retrieval
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Computer Search
1 Energy Search

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

11 Water
3 Lighting

There are not many controversial portions to this stock list. I like the single Egg to help with late game Superior Energy Retrievals and for Ultra Balls. In addition, some may vehemently argue that three Tropical Beach are a necessity, but I have found the third copy’s return to be greatly diminished because the main method of getting Tropical Beach into play is through a turn one Skyla.

My only tip for playing the deck in the coming format is that getting a secondary Blastoise into play is more important than ever because two good Grass attackers can easily take down Blastoise in a single turn.

It is also interesting to note that the Blastoise deck with the best record at the end of the World’s Swiss rounds did not play Black Kyurem EX. Instead that deck went aggro Keldeo EX with Mewtwo EX and 13 Water Energy.

Plasma

Thundurus EX heavy Plasma decks have been discussed and bantered about for quite a while now, so here is my simple list for a Thundurus EX type plasma deck.

Pokémon – 13

4 Deoxys-EX

3 Kyurem PLF
2 Thundurus-EX PLF
2 Keldeo-EX
1 Lugia-EX
1 Mr. Mime PLF

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
3 Skyla
2 Colress
1 Shadow Triad

 

3 Ultra Ball
1 Team Plasma Ball
4 Pokémon Catcher
3 Float Stone
3 Silver Bangle/Silver Mirror
2 Max Potion
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 14

4 Prism
4 Plasma
4 Blend WLMF
2 Double Colorless

silver bangle plasma blast plb 88
Better than LaserBank at this point.

Hopefully by the end of the article, you will have noticed that I am a big fan of both Silver Mirror and Silver Bangle. The main reason why I like Silver Mirror is that I think Plasma Pokémon (both the Plasma deck and Genesect EX) will be the most widely played Pokémon archetypes in the format. So, similar to Life Dew at US Nats, the player who can get a Silver Mirror to stick will be at a direct advantage to the one who cannot get the Mirror to stick.

Also, I play the Silver Tools in conjunction with other useful Tools. This presents the opponent with a “lose-lose” type choice. Here, either they discard the Silver Tools and they allow my Float Stones to go through, or they discard the Float Stones and allow the Silver Tools to go through. It is a difficult decision for any opponent to make.

As you can see, I have opted out of playing the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combination. With Silver Bangle you can deal the extra 30 damage to an EX without Laser. Also, Virizion will greatly reduce the effectiveness of Laser. Removing these cards also made more room for Max Potion.

What I really want to talk about is the Kyurem/Absol focused Plasma deck:

Pokémon – 11

4 Deoxys-EX
3 Kyurem PLF
2 Absol PLF
1 Keldeo-EX
1 Thundurus-EX PLF

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
3 Skyla
3 Colress

 

4 Pokémon Catcher
4 Colress Machine
4 Silver Bangle
4 Float Stone

3 Team Plasma Ball
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Super Rod
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 12

4 Plasma
4 Prism
3 Water
1 Darkness

While the list might not be the most refined Kyurem focused list out there, I do like the concept so far. The idea of this deck is to utilize Kyurem PLF to deal more than enough damage to OHKO an EX. It naturally deals 120 damage, 30 for Silver Bangle, and 20-30 with Deoxys EX on the bench. Alternatively, Hypnotoxic laser may be utilized in place of the Deoxys EX or the Silver Bangle.

The idea behind this Plasma deck is to force two-for-one Prize trades. Yes, your opponent may go after the Deoxys on the bench, but then your Kyurem will likely decimate your opponent’s board.

Again, you can see there are no Hypnotoxic Lasers in this version of the deck. However, I am less sure of their exclusion than in the TDK version. Here, we really want to deal enough damage to OHKO EXs with Kyurem, and Hypnotoxic Laser is another method of modifying damage. It does this deck no good to trade 2HKOs on your side with OHKOs from your opponent.

Virizion/Genesect

I am going to be extremely forthcoming here: I do not think this deck is #ohmygoodnessthisisbestdeckinformat great. I think it is very good, I think it will win many games, but I do not think it is strictly any better than Blastoise or Plasma against the entire metagame, and it is more easily countered than those two decks.

I think the biggest effect Virizion/Genesect will have immediately on the format is a reduction in the reliance upon Hypnotoxic Laser, as seen in my two Plasma lists. The threat of having six dead cards (four Lasers and two Virbanks) against a potentially prevalent deck should be enough to push down the Laser counts. Also there are many decks that could tech in Virizion EX to also nullify Lasers.

Here are the main reasons I think Virizion/Genesect is merely good but not great:

  1. No Energy Switch: Energy Switch would have been a great card in this format. It would allow this deck to operate much quicker.
  2. Speed: Most of the time you will be looking at a turn two Emerald Slash from Virizion EX into a turn three Genesect EX, G Booster, or Megalo Cannon. Occasionally, you will be utilizing Genesect on turn two with two Grass attachments and a Colress Machine, and occasionally, you will get a turn one Emerald Slash, but these are rare instances.
  3. Recovery: G Booster requires Genesect to discard two Energy, and the deck has no outstanding way of getting back to back G Boosters off. You may be able to retreat into Virizion EX and recharge, but that is a turn without Genesect EX attacking.
  4. Tool Scrapper: G Booster is what makes Genesect very, very good. Without G Booster Genesect is good but not great. With the two Silver Tools, other Tools, and an entire deck based around Tools, G Booster most likely will not stay on the field long because many decks will be running Tool Scrapper.

All of that being said, here is where I am with the deck:

Pokémon – 8

3 Virizion-EX
3 Genesect EX
2 Bouffalant DRX

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Skyla
2 Shadow Triad
1 Bianca

 

4 Ultra Ball
4 Pokémon Catcher
4 Colress Machine
2 Silver Mirror
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Silver Bangle
1 Super Rod
1 G Booster

 

3 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 15

9 Grass
3 Plasma
3 Double Colorless

That is a very raw list, but there are a few things I want to talk about.

2 Shadow Triad

shadow-triad-plasma-freeze-plf-102Pokémon Paradijs
Gets back your G Booster.

G Booster is a Team Plasma card, and it will likely be Tool Scrappered away during your games. Shadow Triad allows you to get it back.

3 Silver Mirror

In my opinion, possibly the best Fire-counter deck utilizes Flareon, a Team Plasma Pokémon. Silver Mirror will shut Flareon down. Also, because most decks will be utilizing Tool Scrapper on G Booster, the other Tools will likely be able to stay in play for a quite a while. So, why would you not want to play a card that shuts down one of the best decks, Plasma, in the format?

2 Bouffalant DRX

Bouffalant might seem like a funny inclusion, but Virizion deals 50 damage and Bouffalant deals 120 damage to EXs. Together they do 170 damage, enough to OHKO Virizion EX, Genesect EX, Thundurus EX, Lugia EX, and Deoxys EX. It also lets you play the “seven prizes” game.

3 Double Colorless Energy

With Bouffalant in the deck, Double Colorless Energy is always a good inclusion. If you are stuck with Bouffalant as your opener, there is a decent enough chance you will get a turn two Gold Breaker. In addition, you can use DCE to fulfill the discard requirements of G Booster. That can allow you to keep two Grass Energy on Genesect and pull off back-to-back G Booster attacks.

If you want a more high risk, high reward speed version of the deck, you could play Plasma Badge over Silver Mirror. This gives your Virizion a chance at attacking turn one with Colress Machine, Plasma Badge, Grass Energy, and an active Virizion EX. If you want to go this route, I would recommend a list similar to the following:

Pokémon – 8

4 Virizion-EX
3 Genesect-EX
1 Deoxys-EX

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Shadow Triad
1 Skyla
4 Bicycle

 

4 Ultra Ball
4 Colress Machine
4 Plasma Badge
4 Pokémon Catcher
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Super Rod
1 G Booster

 

3 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 14

10 Grass
4 Plasma

As you can see, the Bouffalant package has been removed for the consistency of opening with Virizion. By increasing the Virizion count to four and removing the Bouffalant, you improve your odds of opening with Virizion by nearly 20%.

This list plays much more like a Darkrai deck than the Blastoise deck. It is more likely to abuse Megalo Cannon, but you have the nice potential of utilizing G Booster.

It might be worth considering a Lugia EX in this deck to finish off the Pokémon you are targeting with the residual 20 damage from Megalo Cannon.

The single Deoxys EX is very important in this version of the deck. Without Deoxys you will struggle to beat the Kyurem Plasma deck. With Deoxys EX you can set up double knock outs with Megalo Cannon. You deal 110 damage to an Active Kyurem and 20 to a Benched Kyurem. Then you Catcher the Kyurem with 20 damage and deal 110 to it and 20 to the Kyurem with 110 damage already on it.

I am not sure if the “slow and steady” first list is the better route, or if the “all in” speedier list is better. Time will tell.


Now, I do not think Virizion/Genesect will be the BDIF, but it will be solid and if people just play it because of the hype train, then Fire typing becomes relevant. In my opinion, the two best options for a Fire type deck are Flareon and Chandelure. So, here are the lists I’m testing of those decks.

Chandelure

Pokémon – 14

4 Litwick PLF
1 Lampent NXD
3 Chandelure PLF
1 Chandelure NXD 20
2 Bouffalant DRX
2 Reshiram NXD
1 Mr. Mime PLF

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Skyla
1 Colress

 

4 Ultra Ball
1 Team Plasma Ball
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
2 Float Stone
2 Silver Bangle
2 Super Rod
1 Computer Search

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 12

11 Fire Energy
1 Double Colorless

chandelure-plasma-freeze-plf-16
Fire Weakness is somewhat relevant now.

This deck is consistent, but ultimately lacks a sufficient punch in most games, except against Virizion/Genesect. The Fire weakness of Virizion/Genesect is simply too much of an advantage for Chandelure. Additionally, you can pull off some neat plays with Cursed Shadow and either Blue Flare with Silver Bangle or Gold Breaker with Silver Bangle.

Against non-Grass decks, you can deal 150 damage against an EX with Blue Flare or Gold Breaker enhanced with Silver Bangle, and then finish the EX off with the three damage counters from Cursed Shadow. While that gimmick is nice, it is simply not enough for the deck to be ultra competitive in a non-Grass metagame.

I actually played this deck to a positive record at two Spring Battle Roads earlier this year. At that point in time, Promo Litwick was available for use and I also played the Plasma Tornadus EX. So, earlier this year Tropical Beach was not needed on turn one. However, since that particular Litwick is rotated, the deck needs Tropical Beach to set up properly.

The main lesson I learned from those two tournaments is that the deck prefers a third Super Rod, but I am unsure of how to fit one in. At both events I lost a game because I ran out of Fire Energy in the deck after already using two Super Rods. Perhaps I could remove a Supporter for it since the deck runs Tropical Beach.

Flareon

Dylan Bryan piloted a version of Flareon into the Top 16 at Worlds this last weekend. His version played Terrakion NVI, Landorus EX, Garbodor DRX, Audino BCR, Flareon PLF, Leafeon PLF, and Espeon PLF. There might have been other cards in the deck, but obviously, it worked well enough for him.

I have recently been playing this deck with Cofagrigus to deal the extra damage needed to get knock outs, through both placing damage with Six Feet Under and by adding Pokémon to the discard pile. Here is that Cofagrigus list for kicks and giggles:

Cofagrigus Version

Pokémon – 27

4 Eevee PLF 89
4 Flareon PLF
2 Leafeon PLF
4 Yamask PLF 54
4 Cofagrigus PLF 56
4 Audino BCR
4 Ditto BCR
1 Exeggcute PLF

Trainers – 26

4 Professor Juniper
4 N

1 Colress
4 Random Receiver

 

4 Ultra Ball
3 Pokémon Catcher
2 Silver Bangle
2 Super Rod
1 Tool Scrapper

1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 7

4 Double Colorless
3 Fire

The deck is surprisingly consistent, but it needs its best draw to consistently win. The goal here is to take an EX Prize on turn two or turn three. In my opinion, the best case scenario is the following:

Your opponent takes one Prize themselves before your second turn.

On your turn two you:

  1. Blow up two Cofagrigus (putting 60 damage onto an EX).
  2. Get the damaged EX active.
  3. Play N (forcing your opponent to three cards on turn two).
  4. Then Vengeance for 120 (either with 10 Pokémon in the discard or seven Pokés in the discard and a Silver Bangle).

Alternatively, you aim for the turn two Heat Tackle with Flareon, setting up a turn three KO on an EX.

Counter Version

Assuming the big three decks are Virizion/Genesect, Plasma, and Stoise, here is what a metagame counter version may look like.

Pokémon – 24

4 Eevee PLF 89
4 Flareon PLF
2 Leafeon PLF
3 Drifloon PLB
3 Drifblim PLB
2 Trubbish PLS 65
2 Garbodor DRX

3 Audino BCR
1 Mr. Mime PLF

Trainers – 29

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Random Receiver
1 Colress

 

4 Ultra Ball
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Silver Bangle

2 Float Stone
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Super Rod
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 7

4 Double Colorless
3 Fire

flareon plasma freeze plf 12Pokémon Paradijs
Let’s give a warm welcome to Flareon.

The idea behind Dylan’s deck was to play a toolbox of metagame counters, and that idea survives in this deck. We have the tech Garbodor line for the Blastoise matchup. Drifloon is for the Plasma matchup. Flareon is for the Virizion/Genesect matchup.

Garbodor obviously shuts down Blastoise’s Deluge and denies your opponent the ability to rain Energy down upon Black Kyurem EX turn after turn. This often forces them into utilizing Keldeo EX as a featured attacker. Once your opponent uses Keldeo EX to attack, you counter with Leafeon.

Leafeon with Silver Bangle only requires three Energy on your opponent’s field to take the OHKO on Keldeo. Leafeon’s Energy Crush would deal 60 damage for the three Energy and 30 damage from Silver Bangle, for a total of 90 base damage. However, Keldeo is weak to Grass types, so that 90 damage multiplies into 180 damage.

If you watched Jason K. win Worlds you got to see firsthand how powerful denying Special Energy (Prisim, Blend, Plasma) from the Plasma deck can be. Drifblim deals 70 damage for [C][C][C] and discards a Special Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. However, if there are three Plasma Pokémon in play on your opponent’s side of the field, Drifting Balloon makes Derail a free attack. Furthermore, with Silver Bangle you deal 100 damage, enough to 2HKO any Plasma Pokémon. However, it is important to remember that Drifblim may not attack for free if Garbotoxin is active.

Flareon’s type advantage over both Virizion and Genesect makes it so that you only need four Pokémon in the Discard pile and Silver Bangle to deal 180 damage with Vengeance to the respective Grass attackers. Alternatively, you may use Heat Tackle to OHKO Virizion or Genesect.

I am greatly enjoying this deck, and I do believe there is potential here. However, the list needs refinement to make it more robust against the other fringe decks. You can always try to fall back upon dealing lots of damage with Vengeance to win those games, but having another back up plan may be better. Perhaps even adding Dylan’s Landorus EX and changing the Fire Energy out for Fighting Energy would still be prudent.


The aforementioned decks are the ones I have done the most testing with, the following decks are the ones I am moving into testing.

Vileplume

In the coming format, the most relevant Weaknesses are Metal (Kyurem), Fighting (Thundurus EX), Fire (Virizion EX, Genesect EX), Dragon (Black Kyurem EX), Grass (Keldeo EX, Blastoise), Psychic (Deoxys EX), and Lightning (Lugia EX). Fortunately, there are Basic, non-EX Pokémon in each of those relevant Weakness types, and they all attack for either a single Energy of their type or two Colorless Energy.

Pokémon – 16

4 Oddish BCR
4 Vileplume BCR

2 Klink DEX
2 Reshiram NXD
1 Zekrom NXD
1 Rayquaza DRV
1 Trubbish DRX
1 Riolu PLS 76

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Skyla

 

4 Ultra Ball
2 Level Ball
4 Rare Candy
4 Silver Bangle
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Dowsing Machine

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 11

4 Double Colorless
4 Prism
3 Lightning

The basic idea, as Erik Nance indicated, is to utilize Silver Bangle and attacks that deal 20 damage to deal 200 damage through Weakness and Vileplume.

But as you can see, the list simply gets too tight to deal with a wide open metagame. In this list, we have Reshiram for the Grass deck, Klink for Kyurem, and an assortment of other Basics that attack for [C][C] to deal with other threats. Where this deck may really shine is in a local metagame during Battle Roads.

At local events you can normally get a feel for which decks will be present, then you can remove the tech attackers that would be useless and replace them with useful cards, such as Float Stone.

Darkrai

Yes, this deck did just win Worlds and yes, I think it will take quite the hit. Energy Switch really meant a lot to Darkrai, more than almost any other deck, and losing Energy Switch is painful. However, the deck is cheap and consistent. I expect it to continue to see play.

Pokémon – 9

4 Darkrai-EX
2 Sableye DEX
2 Keldeo-EX
1 Mr. Mime PLF

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper
4 N

2 Colress
4 Bicycle
2 Random Receiver

 

4 Ultra Ball
4 Dark Patch
4 Pokémon Catcher
3 Float Stone
2 Dark Claw
2 Enhanced Hammer
1 Max Potion
1 Tool Scrapper
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 13

13 Darkness

float stone plasma freeze plf 99Pokémon Paradijs
Keldeo + Float is your patch for the loss of Energy Switch.

Yes, again you can see that there are no Hypnotoxic Lasers in the deck. I am very concerned with making Darkrai as consistent as possible right now. The Lasers may make their way back into the deck, but for now I am playing around with the other stuff.

In the past, Energy Switch was often utilized as a form of retreating. Often Darkness Energy were placed onto random Pokémon for the sole purpose of retreating, and then Energy Switch was used to get that “misplaced” Energy back onto its final destination. With Float Stone, you can simply attach it to the Pokémon that needs to be retreated and the Darkness Energy can go where it needs to go for attacks.

There must be a greater importance on getting an early Keldeo EX with Float Stone going. Getting Keldeo/Float Stone going early allows you to get the Darkness Pokémon to the Bench where you can utilize Dark Patch correctly.

Garchomp/Haxorus

I know, the blasphemy; two Stage 2 lines? Well, yes. Take a look at a list:

Pokémon – 20

4 Gible DRX 87
4 Gabite DRX 89
4 Garchomp DRX 90
3 Axew DRV 12
2 Fraxure DRV 14
3 Haxorus PLB

Trainers – 30

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
3 Colress
2 Skyla

 

4 Level Ball
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Rare Candy
3 Exp. Share
3 Silver Bangle
1 Super Rod

Energy – 10

4 Blend WLFM
3 Fighting
3 Metal

The reason why you may be able to get away with two Stage 2 lines is the Dragon Call Ability on Gabite which will allow you to pull either line from the deck.

The general idea of this deck is to use Haxorus’ Strike of the Champion to OHKO any Plasma Pokémon. This is your main method of attack against Plasma decks and Genesect. Against Blastoise, you want to use Garchomp’s Mach Cut and Silver Bangle to OHKO Black Kyurem EX.

Obviously, even with Dragon Call you will have some consistency issues, but the deck at least warrants further testing.

The other decks I would like to test are:

I’m sure I’m missing something, but that should be a solid base to begin with.

Conclusion

fried overwhelmed shockedpokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you!

I apologize for the nature of this article, but I really wanted to give you a window into my personal testing stages. These are the decks I am looking at right now and these are where my lists are. I am not 100% satisfied with any of the lists, but I believe they will be instructive and informative for you to look at.

Because of the “scatter-brainedness” of this article, I hope you utilized the table on contents at the top to get to the decks that sound most interesting to you. Also, because this article was more of a “deck list dump” I did not dive into my reasoning for each and every card in these lists. I could have done that, but the article would approach 20,000 words. However, if you have any questions or conflicting opinions make sure to bring them up in the forums. I will be sure to get back to you in a short time.

P.S. Congratulations to Jason Klaczynski, the first three-time World Champion. I was actually more excited than I should have been watching the stream.


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