Many players avoid any cards that rely on flips like the plague. Yet some cards buck this trend out of sheer usefulness. The best example of this is SSU, aka Super Scoop Up. The key to using SSU is to run four of them in the hope that at least two will end up heads. Risky yes (Fabien Garnier got 3 tails on 3 SSUs to lose in a key game against Stephen Silvestro at the 2009 Worlds), but also full of potential.
It’s one thing to use a few Trainers that require flips; it’s quite another to build an entire deck around a flippy Pokémon. That’s what this article is all about – so some of you die hard consistency fans may want to stop reading now. For those intrigued by the idea however, here’s the combo and how it might work.
Octillery PL is the big hitter. His no Energy “Water Vein” attack has the player reveal the top five cards of his or her deck and flip once for each Energy found. Each heads is 50 damage. The cards are then returned to the deck and it’s reshuffled. Let’s look at the odds. If you can find an average of three Energy in the top five, then you’re likely to do at least 50 damage every turn, with an occasional 100 or 150. But unless you are going to run over 20 Energy in your deck (unlikely), then you need a way to stack the top of the deck with Energy.
That’s where Dialga Lv.72 PL comes into the picture. His coming into play Poké-Power “Reverse Time” lets you search your discard pile for a combination of up to 3 Pokémon or basic Energy and put them on the top of your deck. There’s your guaranteed three Energy, with a chance of an extra one or two in the fourth or fifth cards revealed.
That may sound alright for the mid to late game when you have Energy in the discard pile, but how about the early game? Ideally, you want a fast, hard hitting Pokémon that discards Energy but still does damage. Monferno PL makes a really good companion to fill this need. His “Fire Tail Slap” attack does 40 damage for 1 Fire Energy. You need to flip a coin and discard the Energy on a tails. That becomes a win-win situation. If you discard, it adds to your Energy in the discard pile. Then you just need to add one more Energy on Monferno for another 40 damage next turn. If you keep the Energy by flipping heads, just attack again next turn for another 40 damage. When it’s time to retreat due to Monferno running low on HP, discard an Energy, drop a Dialga on the Bench (to move the Energy to the top of your deck), bring up Octillery and hit em with “Water Vein”.
Another key to this deck will be Felicity’s Drawing. This Supporter allows you to discard up to 2 cards from your hand in order to draw 3 or 4 cards. As your main attacks use 0 or 1 Energy, you can afford to discard Energy without worrying about not having enough for attacks.
As the game develops, you will discarding Energy from Monferno’s Attacks, from retreats, and from Felicity’s, then pumping them back into your deck with Dialga. In the mid to late game, after you have drawn off a lot of the Supporters, Trainers, Stadiums and Pokémon from your deck, it will consist mainly of Energy. This will significantly increase the chances of revealing Energy in the top five cards – thus giving Octillery a much better chance of hitting for 100 to 150.
Any spare Energy you have in your hand can be used to power up a Dialga on the Bench. His one attack, “Time Traveling Space”, does 50 damage for 3 Energy and lets you draw cards until you have seven in your hand. While it’s not a lot of damage for 3 energy, the ability to refresh your hand with your attack is useful if your Claydol gets KOed.
Now that we’ve sized up the potential damage output of the deck. Let’s have a look at it’s ability to take some punishment. All three of the main players in this deck have relatively low hp: Monferno 80, Octillery 90 and Dialga 100. On top of that, Octillery’s Lightning Weakness makes him a 1HKO target for Luxray’s “Trash Bolt”.
There are a few ways to try and mitigate this frailty. Adding in 2 Infernape PL will bump up Monferno’s hp to 110 and add another Energy discarding attack: “Rushing Flames”. Its another flippy attack, but has the potential for 80 damage for each attached Energy card you discard from your Pokémon. Running a Nidoqueen RR tech could help by removing one damage between turns. Retreating, Switching (for Octillery), SSU, Potion and Life Herb are other additions to avoid KOs. Of course, none of these are a solution to the 1HKO Luxray problem – but then, Luxray is a thorn in the side of many decks. Possible solutions to this dilema could be the Pokémon Tool Bubble Coat, or running Exploud SV to remove weakness.
Here’s a possible list to use as a starting point for testing.
4 Remoraid PL
4 Octillery PL
4 Chimchar DP
4 Monferno PL
2 Infernape PL
4 Dialga PL
1 Baltoy GE
1 Claydol GE
4 Felicity’s Drawing
4 Bebe’s Search
2 Roseanne’s Research
4 Super Scoop Up
2 Warp Point
1 Luxury Ball
1 Broken Time-Space
This build doesn’t really incorporate any techs. It tries to keep the focus on hitting hard with “Water Vein” by using a high Energy count and 4 Felicity’s. Broken Time-Space is to be able to set up an Octillery or Monferno in one turn. Switch/Warp Point/SSU are to save Pokémon that are close to being KOed. I think it’s better with more Bebe’s than Rosanne’s because there is less need for Energy or getting Basics and more need to get a specific Pokémon. Besides, Bebe’s makes you return a card to your deck, which is another good way of getting energy back into your deck.
One thing to remember. This decks tries to minimize the disadvantages of flips by increasing the odds of getting Energy – thus giving you more chances to flip. As the game progresses, the odds should get better and better as the Pokémon/T/S/S are drawn out of the deck and Energy is returned. If you are turning over 4-5 Energy near the end of the game, the odds of doing 100-150 damage a turn are not too bad. You might even get lucky and do 200 or 250!
What do you think? Is the potential reward worth the risk? Can this be built into a World class deck like Gyarados, or is it better left for the League and Battle Roads?