[This was originally going to be an Underground article, but Mike decided to scrap it in lieu of another topic, so it is somewhat incomplete, but I thought we might as well give it out to everyone as an Underground Freebie.]
pokebeach.comUndaunted didn’t bring the Pokémon world much when it comes to competitive decks. Sifting through the cards, you might pull out a handful of possibly-playable cards – and Umbreon should certainly be one of them.
At first glance, it doesn’t look like much: 90 HP Stage 1 (standard, maybe a little less than normal nowadays), average bottom stats, and an extremely mediocre second attack (flipping coins ugh). Moonlight Fang, though, provides Umbreon with one of the most interesting attacks printed in awhile.
For 1 Darkness Energy, you’re doing 30 damage and then Umbreon can’t be hit by ANY of your opponent’s Pokémon that have Powers or Bodies. Not just their active, ANY of their guys. That means Warp Point is virtually the only way they can attack Umbreon if they have Powers/Bodies. Some decks will literally just fold to this attack (Donphan comes to mind). Of course, most decks have ways around this attack. First, only 30 damage a turn? That’s not a lot and a lot of decks could just attack with guys they wouldn’t normally with that don’t have Powers or Bodies. So, we’ll have to work on ways to counter their counters, won’t we?
We’ll begin our list now. We have Umbreon as our main attacker, so it is fitting to have 4 Eevee and 3 Umbreon in our list so far. But wait…which Eevee do we use? I think we can immediately rule out both the Undaunted Eevees, as well as the Majestic Dawn Eevee that has Sand Attack. That leaves us with 2 Eevees in the format: Majestic Dawn Eevee with Call for Family and Riving Rivals Eevee. Let’s take a look at the 2 cards:
pokebeach.comClearly both of these cards have their benefits. Signs of Evolution gives Eevee and other Eevees the opportunity to evolve ASAP, while Call for Family can potentially grab all your Eevees from the deck immediately. We also have to take into account their HPs, especially in a format with Sableye in it: 60 HP is significantly better than 50 HP. Their second attack holds little to no bearing in this decision, though Bounce is slightly better.
Taking all these points into account, I decided to go with 4 Eevee MD. I think with 60 HP and the immediate benefit of getting your Eevees, it’s superior to its RR counterpart. Some might decide to run 3/1 MD/RR or even 2/2, but I feel 4 MD is great for consistency purposes.
Alright so we have 7-of our 60 cards decided!
4 Eevee MD
3 Umbreon UD
Real quick: 3 Umbreon UD > 4 Umbreon UD is a good amount for your main attacker here for a few reasons:
1. We will include Espeon Prime, which can utilize Umbreon’s attack
2. Since this is an Eeveelutions deck, we will inevitably have more evolutions from Eevee than Eevees themselves, so it makes sense to conserve our spaces
3. Umbreon hopefully won’t be dying too often because of its protective attack.
A case could even be made for 2 Umbreon UD in the deck. If you need a space, it’s definitely worth a try.
pokebeach.comOkay, so the next question you should be asking yourself: what other Eeveelutions are going in this deck? There are so many in the format that I just don’t have the room to go over every single one, but we’ll cover why we’re not using a lot of them. First, we need to look at what the goal of our deck is going to be: to keep Umbreon attacking and (virtually) locking the opponent. What other Eeveelutions help Umbreon complete his task? Well, Espeon and Umbreon from MD certainly help:
While Umbreon gives your other Umbreons (and other Eeveelutions) free retreat as well as no weakness (big vs Machamp!), Espeon is giving your Umbreons (and again, other Eeveelutions) more HP to survive attacks, and last longer. Both deserve a 1-of spot in the list for their amazing support. Umbreon MD will make more sense with our next 1-of addition:
Espeon UD provides a way to heal your Umbreon UD, as well as acting as a pseudo-counter to Gengar’s Fainting Spell. After retreating between 2 Umbreon UD (or Espeon Prime/Umbreon), you can send this guy up and will probably get 2 Solar Suggestions off before it gets KOed. So, you’re healing 80 damage from your guys and putting 8 damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon for 1 Psychic! Very solid, underrated card. Get Gengar SF a couple damage away from a KO, then send this bad boy out and snag a KO without getting screwed by Fainting Spell.
Espeon Prime provides uniqueness: it allows for a Psychic type Pokémon to use Umbreon’s amazing attack. While he won’t get the benefits of Special Dark Energy, it’s still very useful, especially vs decks that are weak to Psychic, namely Machamp. Solar Ray is an all right attack, healing and damaging at the same time, but Espeon UD is generally more useful in that regard. He can also use the rest of the Eeveelutions attacks, namely the 3 Energy attacks of Espeon and Umbreon MD, if necessary. Sometimes it could be nice to hit for that extra damage.
So let’s regroup and see what we got:
7 Eeveelutions, yikes! Good thing many of these will not to be used in the same matchup, so it shouldn’t provide too much difficulty. Figure, on average, you’ll have 2 Eevees evolving into Umbreon per game, that gives you 2 Eevees to do what you want with them. It comes down to what you need, what you’re dealt, and what you’re playing against. We’ll try to touch on this again later in the article.
pokemon-paradijs.comWe come to the support section of the Pokémon, which, to be honest, is pretty straightforward. Every deck should be playing at least 1 Uxie and 1 Azelf, so that’s automatically in. In this deck’s case, a 2nd Uxie is certainly a great addition, so we’ll go with 2. Now, although we don’t need a starter for a deck like this, Sableye fits as a starter for this deck in a couple of ways:
1. The trivial answer, it helps set up exponentially.
2. We are going to be playing 4 Special Darks, so the potential of donking and attacking with Sableye is definitely a threat.
So, the addition of 4 Sableye will help this deck a lot.
And now we get to the Tech section of Pokémon. We will come back to this section later in the article, as it depends a lot on what the rest of our list looks like and what we are going to need to add to help combat the decks in the format.
Moving on, we’ll take a look at Energy. As I said earlier, we’re going to need to play 4 Special Dark Energies. This is to help Umbreon not max his damage out at a measly 30. With Dark Energies, Umbreon can hit for 40+ damage (with more Darks and Expert Belt), turning 3HKOs into 2HKOs.
pokemon-paradijs.comI’m a believer that any deck that can, should run 4 Call Energy. So, in they go. Now we look at what Basic Energy we should put in: Obviously we still need a little bit more Dark Energy, so 2 Basic Dark should be an appropriate amount. The only other potential Energy that would go in is Psychic, and 4-of them is a good amount for this deck. So, we’re left with:
4 Special Darkness Energy
4 Call Energy
4 Psychic Energy
2 Darkness Energy
14 Energy is a respectable amount in this format, especially in a deck where only 1 Energy is required the majority of the time to attack.
Moving on to the Trainers…We start with the staple/consistency Trainers: 4 Bebe’s Search and 4 Pokémon Collector. 4s of each of these should in just about every single deck out there right now, bar SP decks. It bolsters consistency, and a lot of Supporters is complimented by Sableye searching out Supporters with Impersonate. Similarly, an obvious staple is Luxury Ball. To further consistency, with many different Pokémon and a starter in Sableye that gets less and less useful as the game goes on, a number of Pokémon Communication should be included. Right now we’ll include 3, but that number could go up or down 1 depending on if we have room or need room later on.
As I mentioned somewhere up there, Umbreon’s measly 30 damage just isn’t going to cut it. So Expert Belt is a necessity. 2 should be a fair amount for a deck like this. The only other crucial Trainer to this deck would be Broken Time-Space. Why is this a crucial card? Simply being able to drop an Eevee and evolve right away, especially with so many of them having 1 Energy attacks, is amazing. Not as important as in a deck like Kingdra or Jumpluff, we’ll throw 3 in here, and like Pokémon Communication, may add or subtract one depending on room. This would probably be a cut before Communication, though.
pokemon-paradijs.comNow is where we get into the grey area of deck building. What other Trainers should we include? Obviously a number of very good cards come to mind immediately:
So, the question is, what do we put in to fill the rest of the spots? Let’s recap the list real quick:
4 Special Darkness Energy
4 Call Energy
4 Psychic Energy
2 Darkness Energy
Using our math skills, we can count 18+14+16=48. That means we have a whopping 12 spaces to deal with. This may seem like a lot, but it’s really not. We still have to fit Tech Pokémon and more Trainers in the list, because right now we have the bare minimum for a deck like this.
Before we move on to fill these 12 spots, we need to look at what our deck is going to be playing against in this format:
1. Gengar/Vileplume – The number one deck to come out of Undaunted, GV ( as I will call it from here on out to abbreviate) is based off the idea of trainer-locking and hitting for a lot with Poltergeist. Fortunately, we already beat them pretty good. Gengar SF can’t hit Umbreon after using Moonlight Fang, plus Umbreon resists _plus_ Gengar has weakness to Umbreon. Oh and don’t forget about Espeon UD to get around Fainting Spell. As long as you play it semi-decently, this should be one of your easiest matchups.
2. Luxray GL/Garchomp C – Luxchomp. The number one deck last year is still one of the top tier decks this format, and is certainly one of Umbreon’s hardest matchups. Though Umbreon can protect itself from the horrors of getting hit, Garchomp and Luxray focus on hitting around the main attacker anyway, forgoing Umbreon’s awesome effect. I think we’ll probably need some help for this matchup.
3. Dialga G/Garchomp C – Again, Dialgachomp, is a force still to be reckoned with this format. Dialga provides one of the ugliest counters to Umbreon: a guy that can do decent damage and doesn’t have a Power/Body?! Uh-oh. We’re going to need something for him.
4. Sableye – Both of us running Sableye kind of cancels out the lock part (hopefully) and their only attacker is Garchomp, who can’t attack Umbreon so approach the matchup similar to Luxchomp without the threat of Luxray! Could use a little something, but not as pressing as other matchups.
5. Donphan – Easy win hopefully, as 9 times out of 10 they don’t run anything to attack besides Donphan, so we should be good!