Hey everyone! This is my third article for SixPrizes. I enjoy taking a break from playing SP sometimes and like trying out some rogue decks. This is what I have been toying around with lately.
This deck was inspired by an article that I’ve seen previously on SixPrizes. It was entitled the “The Empty Hand” by Slowdog that reminded me of how much disruption Exeggutor from Legends Awakened had caused when I played it before.
pokemon-paradijs.comHowever, its “Psychic Strategy” was not very good in an environment that was drowning in Claydol-based draw power. I think now might be the time to for Exeggutor to make it in a rogue deck.
The disruptive eggplant needs to be paired with a more reliable attacker. I first paired Exeggutor with Raticate from Arceus because it could attack cheaply, added more disruption (“Recruit” can be used against SP decks if they have a Cyrus in hand), and expose Garchomp C and Flygon to weakness.
However, I felt that Raticate was too frail to want to always be putting an Expert Belt on it for its second attack, “Extend Fang.” It is also hard to strike a quick Knock Out when there’s so much Colorless resistance about (Sableye, Spiritomb, and the whole Gengar line), and Raticate cannot snipe around it, unlike Garchomp C.
I went back to the drawing board to come up with a different main attacker. When I think of a decent attacker, Donphan Prime always seems to come to mind. It can start attacking on Turn 1, as well as tank against most decks (this is much harder to do against water decks). It also has a good matchup against LuxChomp.
The strategy of this deck is to start with Exeggutor and diminish your hand down to zero cards and then use “Psychic Strategy” to change hand sizes with your opponent. Optimally, you’ll be leaving them with only the card they draw to start their turn.
While doing this, it is nice to start setting up Donphan as well as dropping Mesprit to use “Psychic Bind.” Since “Psychic Bind” locks your opponent’s Poké-Powers next turn, you prevent them from using outs like Uxie’s “Set Up,” Smeargle’s “Portrait,” or even Staraptor FB’s “Fast Call” to grab a Supporter.
The goal of this move is to leave them with no resources and hope the card they draw is of no use to them. Unfortunately, this move is a little luck-based, like Sable-Lock or Chiofalock when it uses Cyrus’s Initiative or Judge. The biggest bane to this move is shuffle and draw Supporters, like Professor Oak’s New Theory, Looker’s Investigation, Judge, etc. Cyrus’s Conspiracy can hurt too. On the plus side, as long as Exeggutor is still alive, there’s no rule against using “Psychic Strategy” again to leave them with nothing.
Once you feel like your opponent is thoroughly disgusted with their hand, you can then move your strategy toward attacking with Big D (Donphan). This is the point where I prefer to use my Super Scoop Ups and Seekers to pick up my other non-elephant Pokémon so the opponent is left with only attacking Donphan, and possibly a Mesprit because I like to chain “Psychic Bind” as much as I can.
All is not lost if you cannot start with an Egg-Lock on your opponent. There is nothing wrong about starting with Donphan to “Earthquake” your opponent’s Pokémon to smithereens. You have a heavy 4-4 Donphan line so you should consistently be able to set one up just from random drawing.
Here is my current list and breakdown of cards:
|Pokémon – 20||Trainers – 31
3 Looker’s Investigation
1 Palmer’s Contribution
2 Night Teleporter
1 Technical Machine TS-2
|Energy – 9
Donphan is the meat and potatoes of this deck. This is essentially a Donphan deck with a disruptive option. It is your main attacker in this deck. Donphan’s Poké-Body, “Exoskeleton,” allows it to take quite a beating before a knockout.
This card is a nice touch because it adds another dimension to the deck and gives you the option to hit the bench with “Grand Swell.” Unfortunately, Donphan is stuck with only attacking your opponent’s Active Pokémon (and your Bench). Relicanth can be helpful with “Amnesia” too. What if Spiritomb AR couldn’t use “Darkness Grace” and Sableye SF couldn’t use “Impersonate”? Another reason it’s in here is because it gives to something besides Phanpy to use against that wretched Umbreon Prime.
There are pretty hefty lines of all the main Pokémon except Unown Q and Mesprit. While you could argue that adding another copy of either of those would make a better play, I have a few reasons why this pixie should be added.
- In the early game, you might start with a Pokémon Collector. As you search for your 3 basics you may notice 1 or 2 copies of your eggplant or big elephant are prized. Grabbing an Azelf is another way to search for an evolution card when you don’t have the right cards in your hand or can’t use another Supporter.
- It’s nice to see your prizes before you pick them up. It can help you find precious energies or other cards in a time of need after you knockout an opposing Pokémon (or if Regigigas uses “Sacrifice”).
- Sometimes crucial things are prized. Getting a prized Unown Q saves an energy drop and getting a Mesprit starts a crucial Power-lock.
- Perhaps the sexiest of reasons is because you can put a card you would not have been able to play into your prizes in exchange for a card you can play right away. While this is often used to set up Uxie’s “Set Up” (haha, get it?), it can, more importantly, set up a better “Psychic Strategy!”
I chose this one because it has a “Call for Family” attack that can help set up and prevent donks, and it doesn’t have double weakness like the other one does.
This card is the source of disruption the decks feasts off of. It is in here to leave your opponent with no hand before they start their turn. However, one thing commonly overlooked with this card is its draw power!
Your opponent is also going to try to build their hand up. If they try to be cute and keep their hand small against you, they are either wasting resources or preventing themselves from having a workable hand. It won’t make much difference there are plenty of other forms of draw in the deck (Uxie, Looker’s Investigation, Night Teleporter, etc.).
While it is ideal that the deck begins with Exeggutor disruption, it is not a bad thing to use “Psychic Strategy” mid/late game. An example of when to use it is after your SP opponent uses up all/most of their Cyrus’s Conspiracy and is lacking energy on the field, especially after a “Dragon Rush.” SP decks do not like small hands late game.
I think for every deck not called AMU (Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie), Mesprit is only used for its coming-into-play Poké-Power, “Psychic Bind.” As mentioned earlier, this is good at stopping Poké-Powers that could give your opponent chances to build their hand back up.
It’s a particularly effective card when you can use this Poké-Power for a couple of turns in a row.
It helps bring Exeggutor back when you are done using it and can help pull back bad starting Pokémon (ones not named Exeggcute and Phanpy).
Like most decks, Uxie is used for its coming-into-play Poké-Power, “Set Up,” as well as the occasional attack against Gengar or Psychic-weak Pokémon. You must be careful not to use “Set Up” before you attack with “Psychic Strategy” unless you have a Looker’s Investigation or some other way to reduce your hand.
It is in here to get a fast Exeggutor or Donphan on a consistent basis.
Bebe’s Search is a pretty general Supporter that is used to grab any Pokémon. It is also particularly good at shrinking hand size.
The deck plays a good amount of Looker’s Investigation for a multitude of reasons.
- It is sometimes nice to make your opponent shuffle their monster hand without having to resort to ending your turn with Exeggutor.
- With Sablelock and others running around using Judge and other hand disruption, it’s nice to have access to shuffle and draw Supporters to shed a bad hand and mix up the draw that Chatot G or Slowking left you with.
- Looker’s Investigation allows you to draw up to five cards, which means you need to at least draw one, but can stop there (Note: If you plan to draw less than five cards with Looker’s Investigation, you need to tell your opponent before you begin drawing as part of a new ruling). This is nice right before a “Psychic Strategy.” Typically, you can get rid of that one card and, if you cannot, your opponent only gets a one card hand to start their turn.
- It is good at letting you see your opponent’s hand and making sure they have garbage!
Palmer’s Contribution is a nice way of throwing precious Energy cards, as well as Pokémon, back into the deck. Originally I had a Pokémon Rescue in the deck to quickly get another pixie (typically Mesprit) back into my hand. However, I like resupplying the deck with Energies and shuffling my deck, which may have been tainted by Chatot G or Slowking.
This Supporter is your best friend in the beginning of a match! I chose to put four copies in because of that.
This card is nice in that it gives you a guaranteed Super Scoop Up, even under a Trainer-lock. It can help with healing Donphans and the re-use of pixie Poké-Powers, particularly Mesprit (Power-locking is still a great strategy). One strategy I like to use this for is picking up every Pokémon not named Donphan so that your opponent has to go through elephants!
I like belting Donphan because it increases the chance of getting knockouts with “Earthquake” since “Heavy Impact” is a little harder to achieve. It also makes Donphan a higher HP tank. It is also fun to belt an Uxie before putting it under with “Psychic Restore.”
It’s a freebie search card that can grab any Pokémon in the deck (no LV.X Pokémon).
Your opinion of this flippy card changes with the coin flip. It’s nice at being able to drop your hand before a “Psychic Strategy,” as well as grabbing any card you desire!
Since another Luxury Ball would be a dead card, and it’s good at putting Exeggutor pieces back into the deck once they start becoming dead-draws.
While being flippy, this card gives you the same options as Seeker, except it allows you to pick up your active Pokémon as well.
Technical Machine TS-2
Devoluter is one of my favorite cards. It helps Donphan, particularly against Gyarados. However, you could use it against any pesky evolved Pokémon when you attach it to any of your Pokémon.
Sometimes you want to have access to the plethora of Supporters already in your discard pile. This card helps with that.
This card is essential for moving around the heavy elephants, as well as helping return an eggplant to the bench after its deed is done. It can also push a wall or sacrifice out of the way to get to attack more important Pokémon.
These are like gold in the deck. Generally speaking, you should probably only be able to set up one Donphan to use “Heavy Impact.” After that point, it would not be a terrible idea to hold on to your Energies. For example, if you have two Donphan in play and two F Energy in your hand after you have previously set up a “Heavy Impact,” you do not want to put both Energies on one Donphan hoping you get a third.
All it takes is a “Bright Look” or Pokémon Reversal to get the other Donphan Active while you only have access to less than half of your deck’s Energy cards.
Other Possible Cards
This card seems like it could be extremely viable in this deck. With playing a lot pixies and Exeggutor, it wouldn’t be farfetched to picture conceding the first prize or two to an SP or Gengar build. I do not have enough testing with this card to whole-heartedly recommend it, and I’m not sure what I would take out for it.
Regice can help discard cards before a “Psychic Strategy.” He can also help against a lone Active Spiritomb so you can use trainers. It is also useful against disposing of trainers against Gengar SF. However, there is already a good amount of high retreat Pokémon in the deck. Also, Regice is a liability to start with at the beginning of the game as well as against an opponent using “Bright Look” or “Luring Flame.”
See Regice, except worse in my opinion. You need a F Energy in the discard before you can use him and you also do not get the switching effect against basics. I would not replace a Broken Time-Space for a Stark Mountain either. Donphan needs one Energy to attack and I would prefer to set up my Pokémon rather than try to set up an unneeded energy acceleration cycle.
If you would prefer to have a Psychic attacker that runs on C energy requirements, Uxie LV.X typically fits the bill. Its Poké-Power, “Trade Off”, can be quite useful, but I feel the deck already has enough draw and you wouldn’t want use it before “Psychic Strategy” anyway. Also, I don’t like trying to keep non-Donphan on the bench because they become a liability with “Earthquake.”
Initially I messed around with Cyrus’s Initiative so that I could pull resources out of my opponent’s hand after I use “Psychic Strategy” and/or “Psychic Bind.” For example, if the only card they drew was an Uxie, but they were Power-locked last turn (so they would not lay it down), I could pull it out and leave them with nothing again. Cyrus’s Initiative is also just a great card for looking at you opponent’s hand and making sure they still have trouble getting anything going.
However, the card never seemed to come to me at the right moment, like before a “Psychic Strategy.” I would prefer the two slots I gave to this card be used for ones that boost consistency. Oh, and did I mention what double tails feels like?
I do neither want to say Favorable/Unfavorable/Even, nor do I want to give out fake percentages that do not come from at least 20 matches played against a certain deck. Not to mention that each list is usually different. Instead, I will tell you how I would play against a certain deck.
It depends on what you start with, but you want to try to pick up all of the non-Donphan Pokémon so that the LuxChomp player must go through Donphan to get prizes. LuxChomp is particularly good at picking off your pixies and Exeggutors, so the least amount of cheap prizes you give them, the better.
Ignoring what I just said, “Psychic Bind” is extremely useful early and a “Psychic Strategy” late game can seal the deal. However, Looker’s Investigation is probably the smarter move against SP over using an Exeggutor late game.
This one is tough no matter how you slice it. The TS-2 is there to help but is usually a one-trick pony. I think you are best off hoping they start with a lone Sableye and go for the “Earthquake” donk. It may also be beneficial to continually shuffle their hand so they cannot do anything after they “Impersonate” a Pokémon Collector and need to hope for a lucky draw.
This is another not fun matchup that you have to hope to disrupt early enough with “Psychic Strategy” to prevent their set up. On the bright side, Kingdra seems to see less and less play. If your local meta is swarmed by the seahorse, a copy of Kecleon RR might make a good Bench-sitter.
This is another tough one that needs to be won by giving them a resource drought early. Shutting off Donphan’s “Exoskeleton” hurts it quite a bit when you consider it is one of the reasons it does well against SP. The locking of Stadiums will not be that bad because this is not a Stage 2 deck, but locking Trainers can hurt a little. You need to keep a continual stream of damage while you shuffle their healing resources back into the deck.
As I mentioned in DialgaChomp, Trainer-locking hurts this deck. However, you can at least use Broken Time-Space to set up a Donphan quickly and hopefully take cheap prizes from things like Spiritomb, Gastly, or Oddish. You need to be weary of giving yourself too many Trainers with “Psychic Strategy.” Looker’s Investigation should be able to help you dump trainers out of your hand.
This is by no means an auto-win, but it does help that you get to expose the weakness of its main attacker as well as stop “Sacrifice” for a turn or two with “Psychic Bind.” You just need to focus on swarming Donphan. Abomasnow SF has become quite a popular tech for this deck because of Donphan. Look out for that.
Sablelock or Chiofalock
While they do not play the same, I’d say go with the same strategy as LuxChomp. You need three cards, Phanpy, Donphan, and a F Energy, to do continual damage. That may be hard for SP players to keep up with. Crobat G can only wall for so long.
Who else is playing this?
In closing, I think this is a fun deck, but just because it can take down some SP builds does not mean you can ignore the rest of the meta. Even though this got published, you’ll still probably raise some eyebrows and catch some players by surprise. Lets face it, if you go to an event and your opponent flips over an Exeggcute, you will probably assume they are a novice player. If you are looking for something rogue and somewhat anti-SP to fool around with, it is a fun deck for that.
Good luck at the remaining City Championships and beyond!