The title may be a little sarcastic, but I honestly feel that Blaziken will be the deck to beat for Autumn Battle Roads. He hits hard, quick, is swarmable, can utilize the SP engine, has 3 powerful attacks, disruption, solid HP, retreat…yes I am high on him. :)
This deck has one goal in mind: fast, simple prizes. Unlike Luxape, which has limited synergy, this deck actually has a decent number of tricks to it. First off all, Blaziken’s first attack is a pseudo-“Bright Eyes”, but with the added effect of burning the opponent’s Pokémon. This might not seem huge, but it can result in a turn 2 donk of any of the opponent’s benched Pokémon, and at the very least, disrupt the opponent’s ideal start more often than not.
Also, Blaziken FB LV.X’s “Jet Shoot” hits a magic 80, which, combined with a “Bright Eyes” from Luxray GL LV.X, results in a dead Claydol. Besides that though, Luxray allows you to play around an opponent’s Unown G, allowing you to send up something without Unown G attached via Bright Eyes, and then send up their Nidoqueen or whatever and burn them with Blaziken FB’s “Luring Flame”, leading to one shot Knock Out from Blaziken FB LV.X the following turn.
This may sound like a lot of effort, but it saves you an from placing an Energy Gain or Energy Drop on Blaziken, which can be key against Gengar and other decks. One of the amazing things about this deck is how many cards can donk the opponent’s lone basic Pokémon first turn of the game. Unlike most other SP decks, this deck is very heavy in terms of the number of Crobat G’s and PlusPowers it plays. This means that Blaziken, Luxray, Uxie, and even Unown Q and Crobat have a realistic chance of Knocking Out nearly any Pokémon the opponent starts with. You have an even greater chance of getting a KO if your opponent starts with a water Pokémon, as Luxray hits for weakness and Blaziken hits for a ridiculous 60 damage for 1 energy with an Energy Gain attached.
There are a few differences between Blaziken and Infernape, but besides the lack of “Split Bomb”, I find Blaziken to be an overall more effective Pokémon for a few reasons:
He also has a Pokémon Body that acts as an additional 4 PlusPowers, which may not sound like a whole lot to depend on when relying on an attack to activate it, but since many people don’t see it coming, it can result in an easy 1HKO on Gengar by Uxie, Nidoqueen by Uxie or Blaziken, any water Pokémon by Luxray, etc… This extra damage saves you PlusPowers and Crobat G’s, which are key to 1HKOing the big threats with Blaziken. With 2 PlusPowers, a Crobat G, and a Poké Turn, you can one shot a Flygon or any other 120 HP Pokémon, which I am sure no other Pokémon SP deck can really achieve consistently (save Charizard and Rayquaza).
The basic strategy is to get Blaziken out early and start drawing quick and easy prizes before your opponent can get set-up. Blaze’s first attack stops Claydol in its tracks and unless they Unown G or Unown Q it before you attack it with Luring Flame (or if they have a Switch or Warp Point in hand), they will be stuck until it gets 1HKO’d next turn because of your Pokémon Body plus 30 damage.
As long as you KO their Claydol early, you should only have to face a total of 2 of their big hitters in most Stage 2 decks. If that theory holds true, then it should be an easy Prize trade-off between Blazikens and Stage 2s, and you can also use Luxray GL LV.X’s “Bright Eyes” for the easy prizes. If you are facing off against another SP deck or Stage 1 deck, then you should just swing for 1HKOs with Blaziken and Luxray, meaning they must keep up with you, and due to your amount of recovery verus the typical amount played in most Pokémon SP decks, you should come out on top.
From testing against a few current decks (Gengar/Nidoqueen, Kingdra, Machamp, and Luxray based decks), these are the results I have found, and frankly speaking, I am not sure if any of those decks I just listed really have a chance against Blaziken.
For instance, against Kingdra, you deal 60 damage for only 1 energy, which is enough to easily 1HKO a Horsea and Seadra. This isn’t even using the Level X. Of course, you want to rely on hitting with Luxray more, but Blaziken FB is a sweet card for the easy prizes and solid damage. Without Claydol, which this deck eliminates quite nicely, Kingdra easily folds to this. No other SP deck can consistently hit for 80 damage, much less for one energy. The additional PlusPowers and Crobat G’s mean that they get 1HKO’d more often than you do, even with the 40 damage draw back.
From testing with several different variants, and from other posts, I have come to the conclusion that Luxray/anything pretty much auto-wins against Gengar, who needs to be Knocked Out (in order to activate “Fainting Spell”) to have a chance against most SP lists. This should hopefully show at Worlds and will greatly change the entire landscape when it comes time for Battle Roads or whatever tournament series we will start with.
I will post more about this deck as I continue testing, but this is only one variant I envision for Blaziken FB. This deck has many of options and will probably be one of my Battle Roads decks, as it may very well be for other people.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think. :)