City Championships have come and gone. Having reviewed the City Championships results I can tell UG members are enjoying nice spells of success in these very important tournament series towards Worlds. Unfortunately we are now entering a low in terms of tournaments, with States looming in the horizon until March.
Since we have a truly new set coming out in February where at best we know around 30 of the cards that will be in it, trying to find something truly game breaking right now doesn’t seem worth it since our card poll will be changing soon with cards no one has even seen before (if the set’s description of new Pokémon Prime holds true).
One card that is safe to assume will be released is Lost World. This card for those of you who don’t know, allows you to declare yourself the winner of the match once your opponent has 6 or more Pokémon in their Lost Zone.
This is an obvious combo with Gengar Prime and to a lesser extent Mew Prime, and it seems as though it will be the deck to beat in the upcoming States Championships unless the new Pokémon Prime have something to counteract this effect.
Since we really don’t know how the new set nor the Lost World Stadium card will affect the metagame until we know all the cards in the new set, I am going to take this opportunity to discuss another card and deck which still has yet to truly shine in my opinión, just as Feraligatr Prime.
Scizor Prime has been barely mentioned in the UG articles, but given the current popularity of special energy cards such as Double Colorless Energy and Rescue Energy, Scizor Prime seems more and more like a viable way to disrupt a metagame. LuxChomp runs DCE, Call and sometimes Warp out of 12 or 13 Energy cards. Gengar usually maxes out on Rescue along with 2 or 3 Warp’s and a low Psychic count.
Heck, some Gyarados I’ve seen run up to FOURTEEN energy cards in a deck that requires none to function, and this includes maxing out on Warp, Rescue, Special Darkness and a few Cyclone. A lot of lists are opting to run less or none of the card Pokémon Rescue since Rescue Energy provides enough recovery for the beast.
So what do we have? A single Pokémon that begin attacking Turn 2, with great HP, great weakness, and a Poké-Body “Red Armor” that can cause issues for every single of the top decks out right now. Not to mention both DialgaChomp and Machamp have trouble dealing with the constant damage output of Scizor, so even though they aren’t hindered by the Poké-Body, they have trouble dealing with the Pokémon alone.
Chris Fulop mentioned in his last article how Scizor can be a very good benchwarmer in Magnezone decks, but I myself prefer to base the deck around it. In a metagame where neither DialgaChomp nor Steelix really took off, and Charizard never saw play, Scizor seemed like the ideal choice to try and counter the metagame down here.
Unfortunately due to health issues I was not able to attend my last City Championship of the month, but I wanted to share the deck with the UG members since I’m sure it’ll be fitting for more than a few metagames based on the information Mike has presented in his ‘Mike on the Metagame’ series.
I’ve mentioned barely a few reasons why Scizor works, but here they are in detail.
Low basic energy counts in current top decks: To best illustrate my point I will present to you deck lists from my fellow UG writers, their articles and the current new forums:
LuxChomp – Sample Deck List:
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 28
Energy – 13
That is a total of FOUR basic energy. SP decks have the advantage of Cyrus’s Conspiracy in which they can search for them directly, but none of the other decks really have this luxury. Nevertheless 4 is a very low amount, along with a single Aaron’s Collection.
Despite Luxray resisting Scizor Prime, the constant damage output from Scizor can be tough to deal with for SP decks since they usually thrive on applying early pressure and denying set up, but are not used to having early pressure applied to them.
Garchomp C Lv.X also becomes pretty much a non-threat in this matchup, given the SP player is competent and doesn’t try to power it up with 2 basic energy which will get discarded, only reducing their possibilities further. Good bench management is of course ideal for this match to deny sniping from Garchomp C Lv.X.
VileGar – Sample Deck List (updated through Triumphant):
Pokémon – 27
Trainers – 20
Energy – 13
VileGar has a higher basic energy count, but it has no way of directly searching for it. I can tell you from a lot of first hand experience with this deck, that energy attachments become quite tricky for this deck.
Ideally you want a Psychic Energy and a Rescue Energy attached to every Gengar possible, but given how Rescue Energy will limit Gengar’s damage output to 30, attaching it is definitely not recommended. Not allowing Rescue Energy to be attached at your opponents free will might make him make some costly mistakes, as well as hinder his ability to swarm with Gengar.
Not to mention the fact that if he keeps powering up Gengar for Poltergeist with 2 Psychic, he will run out of them even more quickly without a way to recover them.
Gyarados – Sample Deck List (updated through Triumphant):
Pokémon – 22
Trainers – 32
Energy – 6
Now not having any Basic energy in this deck is irrelevant, but what is important to note is the reduced amount of Pokémon Rescue down to 2, and no direct way to search for them. Combee becomes the only option for Gyarados to really recover, as Rescue Energy’s become 100% obsolete in the matchup.
Unfortunately Dialga G Lv.X is present, but I have found this deck to be really unreliable when setting it up in time to make a difference. I have to admit though that most lists down here for Gyarados are different from the standard ones in the USA or other places, which reiterates my point that this is mostly a metagame choice, rather than the next top tier 1 deck.
Now onto the deck list. As I have stated I love to run Scizor on it’s own like the old Turn 2 deck available way back then featuring Zapdos ex, Medicham ex, Muk ex, MewTric or Banette ex. Usually they had a back up attacker that was just as powerful on Turn 2, which is the case for my list and I will address the corresponding companions in the article and which are more adequate depending on your metagame.
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 28
Energy – 13
Notice how this skeleton list has an extremely strong TSS lineup, which allows for a very strong early, mid and late game. Since there is no real need for Broken Time-Space Stadium as long as you manage your bench correctly, this frees up 4 spaces evolutions decks don’t generally have the luxury to use.
4-4 Scizor Prime: The focus of the deck of course, and you want a constant stream of Scizor’s so maxing out is only obvious. There is the possibility to reduce to a 3-3 line in order to add other Trainers or increase the supporting Pokémon line to 3-3 rather than 2-2, but I would not recommend this based on my testing.
2 Uxie, 1 Smeargle: Self-explanatory draw supporting Pokémon, I believe?
1 Uxie Lv.X: This is the not so common addition, especially with the lack of Double Colorless Energy in the deck, but given how Shaymin UL allows for flexibility when it comes to energy drops, you could nab a surprise KO on Psychic weak or low HP Pokémon with this supporting attacker.
1 Azelf: Usually you will need to make the best out of your secondary attacker, or require to reuse Crobat’s Flash Bite many times, so making sure you can access these cards even if they are in your prizes is essential to the deck.
1 Shaymin: “Celebration Wind” is an underrated Poké-Power and it can catch opponents off guard, even if they know you are using it. Allowing you to save energy off a damaged Scizor, or transfer more to get just the right damage for a OHKO is usually game breaking in every single matchup so far.
1 Unown Q: Mandatory in every deck it seems, as it pairs with Uxie and Smeargle extremely well of course, and can even sometimes help out Scizor Prime to save energy.
pokemon-paradijs.comBebe’s Search, Pokémon Collector, Pokémon Communication and Luxury Ball provide much needed search in order to keep a healthy swarm of Scizor’s and allow you to set up your supporting Pokémon line, as well as your draw supporting Pokémon: Uxie, Uxie Lv.X and Smeargle.
Pokédex Handy910is, Copycat and Professor Oak’s New Theory give you extra draw and allow you to try and find the non-searchable cards such as PlusPower or TGI Poké Turn which are essential throughout the game to guarantee you OHKO your opponent’s Pokémon.
Seeker and TGI Poké Turn allow you to manipulate your field and reuse Pokémon such as Uxie, Crobat or Shaymin, while the 4 PlusPower give the deck an extra punch it needs since attaching only 1 energy per turn can be very limiting at times.
Finally, the energy is structured in a way to abuse the most out of the special effect of Special Metal Energy, while also having the flexibility of Rainbow Energy to power up your secondary Pokémon, while still making sure every energy you attach becomes +20 damage for Scizor Prime. The energy is what allows for the most freedom but I do not recommend deviating from at least 4 Special Metal and 4 Basic Metal.
Now that we have discussed every card of the skeleton deck list, what are our options as far as supporting Pokémon go? As I mentioned before, I like to replicate the theme of the old Turn 2 decks with having 2 extremely powerful attackers, and thus these are the ones I tested with decent success:
#1 – Donphan Prime:
Damaging your own bench isn’t ideal, but its Poké-Body goes with the Special Metal Energy damage reduction theme, and since it OHKO’s Luxray GL Lv.X, following up with Scizor Prime becomes quite good. The SP player will run out of options to attack Scizor, and as like I mentioned before, no competent opponent would try to attack Scizor with Garchomp C Lv.X as it will likely never score a KO and simply waste 2 basic energy cards.
Donphan also is the least affected by the minor drawback of Rainbow Energy’s 1 damage counter placement because of it’s Poké-Body, but it becomes useless in the Gyarados matchup due to its weakness.
#2 – Luxray GL Lv.X:
Quite an obvious choice really. “Bright Look” is of course an incredible Poké-Power in any deck, and given how Scizor usually prompts your opponent to hide behind weak Pokémon and try to power up something threatening with only Basic energy cards so it can damage Scizor, being able to ruin their plan by making such Pokémon active and KOing it is an extremely good option to have.
Note that if running Luxray GL Lv.X, I would change the TSS lineup in order to accommodate Cyrus’s Conspiracy, Lucario GL and TGI Energy Gain to make sure Luxray GL Lv.X can become an attacking threat and not just useful for it’s Poké-Power, especially in the Gyarados matchup of course.
#3 – Yanmega Prime:
With so many easy to use Trainer cards and Copycat, having the same amount of cards than your opponent is easy enough. Yanmega Prime provides a way to damage the bench through “Linear Attack” to KO fleeing Pokémon or set up KO’s for Scizor, and doesn’t take away from any energy you need to attach to Scizor.
Heck, you can even accommodate the energy count and not run Rainbow Energy in order to maximize Scizor’s potential, whil se still dealing uncontested damage with Sonicboom.
Yanmega is a very good supporting Pokémon overall, and would probably be the best going into an unexpecting metagame.
#4 – Umbreon UD #10:
“Moonlight Fang” is a great attack to buy you time to power up multiple Scizors, and can even seal games toward the end where everything has been evolved and the opponent didn’t plan for it.
Umbreon shines especially in a metagame filled with VileGar, as it becomes a standalone pillar that can take the deck head on, and combined with Scizor Prime’s “Red Armor,” the VileGar player will get a headache from trying to figure out the best way to attach their energies.
#5 – Garchomp C Lv.X:
Even though Garchomp is an amazing attacker, it is a very energy intensive Pokémon much like Scizor, so they clash in that aspect. Also you need to accommodate Double Colorless Energies to truly take advantage of this Pokémon, while Scizor has zero use for them, so even though they are both great stand alone Pokémon, they are both energy hogs and thus they do not combine that well.
Still though it provides some depth for the deck that only Luxray GL Lv.X could compare to, and 80 damage anywhere is not something your opponent can afford to take lightly or dismiss as a threat.
And those are it. I also tried a weird version using Gyarados, but I tried to do too much at once and the deck wasn’t really better against anything than Gyarados already was. I also tried pairing Regigigas Lv.X with Scizor Prime, but I’ve never been a fan of giving away free prizes to your opponent, and I believe you’d be better off using Scizor Prime as a supporting Pokémon for Regigigas Lv.X rather than the other way around.
Now the following deck list is what I would change to accommodate a full SP engine in order to abuse TGI Energy Gain with Luxray Lv.X to it’s highest potential, as well as being able to search out TGI PokéTurn for constant “Flash Bite” reuse:
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 28
Energy – 13
Now onto the more specific matchups. I will address all the decks listed as Tier 1 in the UG Tier 1 Deck Discussion section.
pokemon-paradijs.com1. Without Luxray GL Lv.X: This matchup is fairly even, and is usually defined by how fast your opponent is able to set up, or rather how far ahead you are before he starts streaming Gyaradoses. Combee and Pokémon Rescue are their best only options to recover Gyarados, but they also usually have a lot of resources at their disposal to OHKO your Scizor’s.
Ideally you want to swarm Scizor’s that don’t have Special Metal’s and save those for the last one, once they have used up resources. If Gyarados is really big in your area, I of course recommend using Luxray GL Lv.X as your supporting Pokémon, but also you could replace a few of the Copycats or Professor Oak’s New Theory for Judge and time them when KOing a Gyarados, so that they don’t have easy access to Combee or their Pokémon Rescues.
2. With Luxray GL Lv.X: The matchup now becomes more in your favour, as you can alternate between 2HKOing with Scizor’s, and pulling off OHKO’s with Luxray GL Lv.X as you normally would using an SP deck.
With access to a lot of PlusPowers and Crobat G, OHKOing Gyarados should not be a problem and given their limited recovery, you will probably win the prize exchange in the end, as they will run out of steam.
1. Without Donphan Prime: Of course it’s a difficult matchup against the current best deck in the format. You really have to keep track of their basic energy counts and where they attach them, as well as leave very little bait for Garchomp C to KO on the bench.
It will usually come down to a lot of 2HKO exchanges between Scizors and Luxray, but since you run a 4-4 line, it becomes essential that once you are left standing, there aren’t enough Pokémon on your bench that Garchomp C’s can clean up so as to draw all his prizes. This is something you msut always keep in mind.
2. With Donphan Prime: Now the matchup becomes favourable, as you have a way to OHKO Luxray where as they can at best only 2HKO Donphan. This does open up the possibility for Garchomp to come in and use DCE’s to attack Donphan Prime, but as long as the last Pokémon standing for you are Scizors, you should win out in the end as Luxchomp runs out of available energy to attack them.
1. Without Umbreon UD: This matchup is tricky, and “Fainting Spell” becomes key in defining the outcome, but with a few flips in your favor, you will definitely come out the victor. As seen in the sample deck list, they run no way to search for or recover Basic Energy, so as the game drags on longer, your Scizor’s become more and more powerful.
Don’t be afraid to take KO’s and trigger “Fainting Spell,” but do try to abuse Uxie’s “Psychic Restore” to avoid them if possible.
2. With Umbreon UD: Umbreon buys you enough time for you to really have a constant swarm of Scizor Primes, which becomes very difficult to deal with for the VileGar player. Add to this the fact that they will probably waste resources to even damage Umbreon and you will be in a very good position.
Basically you want to force a powered up Haunter or Gloom and let Umbreon take a hit, and immediately follow up with a Scizor KO on that Pokémon. Let Scizor take the next hit and then go back to Umbreon. This creates a very annoying cycle for the VileGar player to deal with as it scrambles to find it’s middle stages to even scratch Umbreon.
Regardless of the supporting Pokémon of your choice, this matchup is difficult once Dialga G Lv.X hits play and allows Garchomp C to take jabs at Scizor with DCE’s attached. None of the supporting Pokémon really help you out, but using Garchomp C Lv.X of your own has proven the most helpful.
If you manage to get enough energy on one Scizor to deal OHKO’s to SP Pokémon and do a nice cycle of Shaymin’s “Celebration Wind” and Seeker, you could potentially grab a couple of prizes while denying your opponent since they will not OHKO Scizor’s very often.
PardijsDenying DCE’s for them really limits their attacking option, and add to that a low basic energy count and it’s not looking good for Machamp. Usually it becomes an exchange of 2HKO’s but as the game drags longer, Machamp struggles to keep up and runs out of resources. Yanmega Prime strengthens this matchup further.
Blaziken FB Lv.X can spell doom to this deck, but as long as you can reply the OHKO on your Scizor with a follow up OHKO on Blaziken, they will struggle to build another Blaziken FB on the spot and thus you can get ahead and make sure you have a back up attacker in case they do bring out a second one.
I do not want to assign random %’s to each matchup, as those are always very subjective, but you can manage to win more than you lose as long as you have the right partner for the metagame you are about to face. We’ll have to see how much this deck is affected by the new set coming out in February and Lost World based decks.
… and that will conclude this unlocked Underground article.
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