Everyone involved in Pokémon TCG online communities and competitive aspect of the game, has heard of Steven Silvestro’s 1st place at the Pokémon TCG 2009 World Championships with a Beedrill / Luxray GL deck. Not as popular though, is Takuto Itagaki’s performance, as he also is a Pokémon TCG World Champion from the Senior Division. He and his father were kind enough to allow me to write up an article about his winning deck, which I personally find very intriguing as it was just the kind of deck I wanted to play at worlds, but due to lack of time, online resources, and cards, I was never able to build it to test it out. His decklist is the following:
2 Honchkrow G PL
1 Skuntank G PL
1 Toxicroak G PL
1 Toxicroak G Promo
2 Crobat G PL
2 Luxray GL RR
2 Luxray GL LV.X RR
2 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X LA
1 Unown G GE
1 Lucario GL RR
1 Pachirisu GE
1 Azelf LA
1 Ditto LA
1 Mewtwo MD
1 Mewtwo LV.X LA
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4 Roseanne’s Research
1 Bebe’s Search
1 Aaron’s Collection
I had the honour to watch most of his Final match, as it was shown in the big screens while it was going on live. I consider this deck to be the perfect anti-metagame deck one could possibly want for the Worlds metagame.
This deck targets the basic skeleton in which decks are based on. Both Luxray GL LV.X and Honchkrow G are able to get easy prizes against low HP Basic Pokémon. With these kind of speedy attackers, along with “Flash Bite” from Crobat G, Takuto was able to get ahead in prizes very quickly, along with disrupting his opponent’s energy drops on the Pokémon that got KO’d. This strategy worked particularly well against any Stage 2 decks he came up against, that require a few turns of evolving and powering up their main attackers. Baltoy and anything that had an energy card attached were probably his main targets to slow his opponents down.
To back up this quick attack strategy, he has several responses to the popular cards that were present at Worlds, allowing him to respond accordingly in case his opponents were able to set up a threatening Pokémon.
Opposing Luxray GL LV.X’s that would threaten Honchkrow G were dealt with by using Toxicroak G Promo. Machamp SF with a combination of Skuntank G + Toxicroak G PL + a Stadium card, or Uxie LV.X + Lucario GL and his main attackers backed up by an Unown G. Flygon RR was dealt by the inclusion of Ditto LA.
The most troublesome matchups this deck could possibly have, is against other high HP Pokémon SP, such a Luxray GL / Infernape 4 and Palkia Lock decks. Against both of these, Takuto opted to include a 1-1 Mewtwo LV.X line to help him deal with their high HP, as they weren’t easy low HP targets for Honchkrow G or Luxray GL LV.X.
I think the only truly significant card that can stand out as missing from the decklist is Bronzong G. That card could make the deck a lot more effective at dealing with Flygon RR, rather than having to wait 3 full turns to power up Ditto LA. Although since every single attack he used during the game requires a single energy after factoring in TGI Energy Gain, it could justify Bronzong G’s exclusion from the deck.
One final thing to note in the list is the use of 3 TGI Power Spray as opposed to 4. I reckon the reason for this is that since he can so easily KO Batloys or even Claydols with his main attackers, using 4 isn’t as necessary as in other SP decks. 3 is the minimum I would play though, as sometimes you might only be able to 2HKO Claydol but want to prevent further set up of your opponent, and you will also want to stop Uxie’s “Set Up” and other Poké-Powers throughout the game.
I’d like to once again congratulate Takuto on such an amazing performance, and I really look forward to using this deck for a few games against our fellow readers in the online League here at SixPrizes.com.
So what do you all think about this deck? Is it effective at tearing down the main skeleton of decks early game? What changes would you make to it to help it deal with potential new Supreme Victors threats? Will this deck be popular during BR’s?