Hey guys, I’m Matt. As you may or may not have read in my bio, I’m a long time Pokémon fan though I have never actually played an “official” Pokémon match before. There’s not much interest in Pokémon in my area, and certainly no venues or leagues. All the same, I still enjoy the game very much and I like to keep on top of the modified format.
This is my first article for SixPrizes, so please forgive me if it’s too long, I’ve over-explained myself, or overlooked a grave error regarding a card. Hopefully you’ll be able to take something away from it in the end, even if it’s the dignity of this author :)
With the new rotation, I feel as if the Pokémon TCG has taken a drastic shift in direction. Gone are cards that were once staples in decks, and in are new cards that will greatly affect the game. There are 3 main categories I feel have been affected the most. They are:
Speed– Gone are the days of building up a Stage 2, heavy hitter, with 3-4 basic energy cards. This saddens me, because I always thought the heart of the game was Evolving and “Building-up” and then destroying. It’s all about speed now.
Energy– I don’t particularly like SP decks but I must admit their ability to use and abuse cards, especially energy, make them too powerful sometimes. Being able to Pokéturn a Pokémon with an Energy Gain and a basic energy card attached, makes their versatility unparalled. Even non-SP cards are able to deal big time damage with less energy nowadays.
Draw Power– Lightning’s not supposed to strike twice, so it’s hard to imagine another card like Claydol. Not having Claydol cripples just about every type of deck, in some way, shape, or form. Even decks that didn’t run Claydol may have counted on “Bright Looking” or using Pokémon Reversal on it. It’s safe to say the game won’t ever be the same with the loss of this card.
pokebeach.comWith all this in mind, I started looking at some of the upcoming cards in the Clash at the Summit expansion. I came across a card that looked like it could find a role in the current climate of greater speed, less energy, and less draw power. That card is Yanmega Prime. While it’s still in Japanese I’ll give a quick rundown of the card:
With a mild 110HP, this Stage 1 looks to be just as mediocre as the next card. It’s first attack, Linear Attack, does 40 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokémon (don’t apply weakness and resistance when damaging the bench), for one Grass and one C Energy. It’s second attack, Sonic Boom, does 70 damage to the defending Pokémon, and the attacks damage isn’t affected by weakness and resistance (one G Energy, and two C Energy needed to attack).
However, as with many cards, its Poké-Body is where it gains its merit. It’s Poké-Body “Insight” states that if you and your opponent have the same number of cards in your hands, this Pokémon’s attacks have no Energy cost. This really got my attention. I thought that this Poké-Body, along with it’s free Retreat Cost, could have potential. There are a lot of popular cards out there that could help it achieve its goal. Alongside another Pokémon that had a fast and energy-efficient setup, this could really increase the chances of a good start to a game.
The following is a preliminary decklist that I’ve come up with. I’ll present the list and then discuss some cards and strategy.
|Pokémon: 23||T/S/S: 30||Energy: 7|
Yanmega Prime: One of your main attackers. The strategy is to equal your opponent’s hand size in order to attack. This is achieved through a variety of supporters and other Pokémon in the deck. It’s second attack will be the one mainly used against the active. With an Expert Belt and Crobat G’s, you can hit for 100+, no energy attached.
Donphan Prime: Fairly self explanatory. This guy can beast and also provide security to Yanmega Prime. If you are dealing damage with Yanmega, why not try and stockpile a few F Energy on this guy? Also, starting the game with him can be just as good as opening the attack with Yanmega.
Giratina “Let Loose”: Used only for its Poké-Power, “Let Loose” when Yanmega Prime is your active. This is an alternate option to using a Judge or Copycat, but with a twist. You each draw up to 4 cards. So, if it doesn’t get sprayed (which may very well happen) you shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw the 4 card maximum, then wait and see what your opponent does. If he/she draws 4, then you can attack with Yanmega as planned. If he/she draws less than 4, you can use up some cards to try and equal the hand size (though not recommended). The better option in this scenario could be to retreat Yanmega, and attack with a Donphan. Having your Donphan active and your opponent with a VERY depleted hand size is a good place to be in this day and age.
Chatot: When all else fails, the ability to Mimic will put you in the realm of equal or near- equal hand size as your opponent. You’ll have to wait a turn though, in which time hand sizes will change.
Flygon: One of the main drawbacks about using Giratina is its HUGE Retreat Cost. In a deck like this, where it has no attacking ability, it’s a major concern if it gets dragged out into the Active Spot by your opponent. Sometimes a SSU will be hard to come by, and even then, you’ll need to flip heads. Another option is to get a P Energy on Flygon. This will let Giratina retreat for free. This trick works for Donphan as well. Get a F Energy on Flygon and Donphan’s can retreat for free.
Flygon itself can be a useful attacker, especially against Garchomp C LV.X. The main problem here is getting a Stage 2 tech out in this type of deck. When you’re recycling cards and restricting their use, it can be hard to get the right conditions to set up Flygon.
Judge: This card is essential. It’s a Supporter, so you won’t have to worry about Trainer Lock. It limits the hand size of your opponent, and coincides with your strategy, equaling the hand size of both players. A proper timing of a Judge can really influence the outcome of a game. The disruption factor is a welcome bonus.
Copycat: It will equal hand size, but you draw the same amount of cards as your opponent has in their hand. While this will enable you to attack with Yanmega, it still allows them to keep their cards.
So just to review the strategy, we hope to start with Yanma or Phanpy and evolve into Yanmega or Donphan respectively. Depending on how fast this is achieved will determine how well you hold up in the upcoming turns. We then keep an eye on our opponent’s hand size, as well as our own, and try to maintain the same amount of cards in our hands- in order to attack with Yanmega.
Disrupting our opponent with Judge and “Let Loose” is what we aim for. If our opponent gets smart and tries to limit their hand in order to avoid Yanmega, we set Donphan on them. We super scoop up and retreat where necessary.
Cons & Counters:
Dialga G LV.X- The first thing that will be said about this is “Dialga eats this deck alive.” Well…you’re right. If your opponent gets Dialga G LV.X out, and sends it to the bench, the Yanmega’s are dead, the cute little tech with Flygon/Giratina/Donphan is dead, and Donphan becomes less beastly. If your opponent runs a 2-2 line, there’s definitely cause for concern.
The fact remains: Donphan still hits for 60 with one energy. It’s not much consolation, but it’s all you can do- and hope you flip heads on your SSU’s. The only real cure? Prevention. Judging your opponent at the right time may just send that LV.X back to the deck, buying you one more turn, at least.
Kingdra Prime: I love this card. It can really haunt Donphan, and its Poké-Power is great in my opinion. If you can get off one attack with Donphan before it dies, you may just be able to take it out with a Yanmega next turn. Not easy though. A fire tech would certainly work, but I just don’t know of a viable one for this deck.
Trainer Lock: I guess Trainer Locks hurt many decks. There’s a lot of hype over Vileplume. Coupled with Spiritomb, it certainly slows down this deck, but I wouldn’t say it stops it. Being able to still Judge and Copycat may just save you.
In conclusion, this deck is just a different idea that may or may never work. I’m honestly not a fan of donk decks, but I suppose this deck may achieve just that on occasion. I have no idea if it would even hold a candle in a competitive atmosphere. I haven’t playtested extensively at all, as there are only a few friends in my area who play. And we usually play for fun.
That being said, I think it meets certain criteria and has an outside chance of stealing a few games. All this aside, please, PLEASE leave any and all comments and suggestions! I want to know what I could do to make this deck more viable, or just what you guys think of it all! Hopefully you’ve gotten some ideas from it anyhow. Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Until next time.