Another year has gone by, and so much has happened. We received 4 new expansions, witnessed the dominance of LuxChomp from CC’s all the way to Worlds, saw the rise of new Meta-Game decks such as Jumpluff, Donphan, and most notably, VileGar. We said goodbye to Claydol, Roseanne’s Research and “Dark Palm” Dusknoir; while ‘welcoming’ new rules such as “30+3”, private notes, and no Prize limitation in Match Play.
Over the past 12 months, many new innovations in deck building were achieved, and many rogue decks were tested. Some worked, and some just… Didn’t. This article is about the ones that didn’t. Without further ado, I present to you…
PokeBeachWhen Judge was released, everyone quickly discovered that Pokémon had released the most disruptive Supporter card in our format. It was briefly legal while Team Galactic’s Wager was legal, and people began to switch to Judge because they would rather have their opponent draw a guaranteed 4 cards than give them the chance of drawing 6.
Judge was a fundamental card in the new up-and-coming Midwest/Florida disruptive deck that would ultimately become, “Sablelock”. Josh Wittenkeller took this deck under the Gateway Arch and won Regionals. Con Le was the underdog at Nationals; besting his opponent’s with his innovative Honchkrow SV tech to take the win.
It was this powerful disruptive quality that lead me to make a double-take at the Exeggutor in my binder. For zero energy, “Psychic Strategy” makes both players shuffle their hands into their decks, then draw the number of cards that were in each other’s hands. It became obvious that potentially giving your opponent zero cards, while you take 5 to 7, could be lethal.
The deck never strayed away from it’s fast, Trainer engine based roots, with the goal being a T2 “Psychic Strategy” for zero. What changed was the decks main attacker. In the beginning, I went with Gardevoir SW. With its powerful “Psychic Lock” attack, not only could you swing for 80 with an Expert Belt, but you could lock your opponent from using Powers, such as Uxie’s “Set Up” and Claydol’s “Cosmic Power”. This was the build I took to US Nationals, but ultimately chose to play Tyranitar. (You can read my Nats report here).
PokeBeachThe biggest problem with the deck was Claydol. It didn’t matter how many cards you gave them if they can just “Cosmic Power” every turn for a fresh 6. After Worlds, the deck exploded. It had nothing stopping it, spare the random Charizard Deck (“Roast Reveal” posed the same problem as “Cosmic Power”).
Gardevoir was replaced by Flygon Lv.X for it’s incredible sniping ability, cheap, powerful attack in “Power Swing”, it’s ability to give the entire deck free Retreat, and the amazing power of “Wind Erosion”. Combined with Slowking from HGSS, “Wind Erosion” could discard key cards and further destroy your opponent’s set up.
From the day after Nats all the way up until Fall Battle Roads, Jimmy Ballard and I relentlessly worked on the list. By now, the goal of the deck was simple. T2 “Psychic Strategy” for zero. Set up Slowking to manipulate your opponent’s top decks while taking prizes with Flygon. Use Flygon Lv.X to discard good cards, and give them bad ones. On a perfect set up, the deck’s Win Condition is met by T3.
|Pokémon – 25||Trainers – 28||Energy – 8|
4 Exeggcute – It is your optimal starter. He can Call for Unown Q and another Exeggcute if you have to go first. Remember, your goal is to “Psychic Strategy” starting on T2, so wanting to start with Exeggcute in the active position as much as possible is a no-brainer. 4 of them also gives you good “fuel” for Pokémon Communication.
3-2-2-2 Flygon Lv.X – This is the beefiest line that this list will allow room for. 3 Trapinch just in case 1 gets KO’d early. The 3rd Vibrava is optional, but I have won too many games due to a well-timed “Energy Typhoon.”
However, it had to be cut to 2 due to the space Junk Arm needed when it was released. 2-2 Flygon Lv.X split gives you the best ability to sustain the lock if one of your Flygon’s goes down. Remember, if you lose the lock for even 1 turn, it can swing the entire game.
2-2 Slowking – “Second Sight” is what makes the lock work. You need to set it up ASAP to ensure your opponent doesn’t draw any searching cards. This line could be reduced to 1-1, but you would need to add Azelf into the list, and you wont have the option to “Second Sight” twice per turn which can be nice.
1 Regice – This card serves 2 functions in this deck. The 1st is to gust away Spiritomb early game in order to go off with your Trainer based engine. The 2nd, is to simply discard cards in order to help you get down to zero T2. The lone Water Energy is included in the list only to give Regice free Retreat.
1 Ambipom G – During testing, we quickly realized that if the opponent was able to get a T2 one Energy attacker, (Donphan, Kingdra, etc..) the lock didn’t matter. They could just roll through you doing 60 per turn. Because of this, Ambipom G was added. On T3, follow the strategy like normal, giving your opponent zero cards. Pray they don’t top an energy or an Uxie.
PokeBeachDuring your next turn, continue to set up your field with Flygon and Slowking, then promote Ambipom and “Tail Code” the only energy in play onto a non-threatening benched Pokémon. You’ve just solved the problem. “Second Sight” them to make sure they don’t draw the energy, and you’re good to go.
3 Collector – 3 of only 5 Supporters in the deck, this is mainly used to counter Spiritomb. You can Collect for Regice amongst other Basics, “Regi Move” and then start setting up. It’s also great to get stuff to use later on with Pokémon Communication.
2 Looker’s Investigation – This card is genius in this deck. Not only can you look to see if you are going to need to “Psychic Strategy” again, but you can shuffle your own hand in and draw 1 or 2 cards for an amazing “Psychic Strategy”. I like to draw 2, then discard them both with Regice.
2 Junk Arm – Crazy good for taking another Luxury Ball, Pokémon Communication, or best of all, the 2nd pair of Poké Drawer +. Works in synergy with “Psychic Strategy” because it allows you to discard more cards.
2 Cyclone Energy – Mainly included for the VileGar matchup to push Spiritomb out of the way.
PokeBeachAfter Worlds, something funny happened. VILEGAR BECAME INSANELY POPULAR. VileGar basically says “You can’t play half your deck.” This is a huge problem. It is this main problem that shelved the entire project.
Another big problem facing the deck was the dreaded “One Top-Deck.” You see, after a “Psychic Strategy” for zero, the opponent had 1 “Blind” top-deck. After that, you can safely control them with Slowking. Obviously, it would be disastrous to the deck’s strategy if you give them zero cards and their uncontrollable top-deck was an Uxie, Luxury Ball, or Pokémon Collector.
So, in your average meta-game deck, that is 6 outs they hold to be released from the lock before it even starts. Even worse, there are more cards that can rid them of the lock on the turn after that! Cyrus’s Conspiracy, Bebe’s Search, and Pokémon Communication just to name a few. That’s an average of 13 outs that most decks hold to be released from the lock almost immediately.
If and when Lost World is released, the focus will shift from Trainer Lock based Gengar SF decks to Speed based Gengar Prime decks. If and when this happens, one of Eggs’ main obstacles is solved. The other is still uncontrollable.
PokeBeachIn a message dated October 22nd, 2010, I text Jimmy the possibility of combining Mew Prime with Rhyperior Lv.X, throwing in way too many energy, and swinging for obscene amounts of damage. From that point on, we started brain storming and didn’t stop.
I’m not here to claim that I “invented” MewPerior, but I do believe that because of me, Jimmy, Team “Dragon Rush Your Mom for 80,” and the rest of the Chicago crew, that the MewPerior list was forged and became what it is today.
On October 23rd, 2010, I ordered 4 Rhyperior Lv.X. The day after Triumphant was released, I bought 4 Mew Prime. This was the next “Riptide”; the next “Queendom”; the next “Gardy/Gallade”! Or so we thought.
The idea was simple enough. T1 “See Off” for Rhyperior Lv.X. Starting from T2, take 1 prize per turn flipping over energy with “Hard Crush”. 6 turns later, shake your opponent’s hand.
The deck was insanely intriguing to anyone that saw it in action. It was fun, original, and most of all, it defied every law in the current format. The deck ran almost 30 energy, and no Uxie. Simply unheard of.
Naturally, word spread like wildfire. Suddenly everyone was trading for Rhyperior Lv.X! Funny how binder-trash can turn to gold over night. Delcatty was added almost instantly, along with Smeargle, Rescue Energy, and Judge. Keeping your opponent off-balance through Judge disruption was part of the strategy from day 1. This initial list was very simple and looked something like this:
|Pokémon – 16||Trainers – 18||Energy – 26|
At this point, our only real Dialga G Lv.X counter was Pokémon Reversal, which would hopeful drag it up before it could Level-Up. Option number 2 was to simply Judge them away from the X the entire game. This wasn’t the most sure-fire counter, but it worked for the time being.
The elephant in the room was DGX. It was obvious that once it hit the field, the game was over. So we went back to the drawing board. One variant nixed the Reversals and opted for a 2-2-2-2 Gengar Lv.X line to be able to consistently “Level Down” DGX.
Another version included 2-2 Drifblim UD and Double Colorless Energy to be able to Pokémon Reversal up DGX and “Take Away”. Next, we experimented with just adding a very small line of the actual Rhyperior cards! Something like 2-2-2-2, only to be set up in the DGX match.
The problem with all of this “stuff” was just that. It was too much stuff. We simply didn’t have room for these big Pokémon lines, let alone the Rare Candy and Broken Time Space that they demanded. It was looking more and more like the best idea was to make the deck as consistent as possible, and take the auto-loss to DGX.
Not so easy to do, when almost 50% of meta-game decks run DGX. Be that as it may, the brain storming continued. Mesprit, Dialga PL, and Seeker were added. Combee found it’s way out along with Call Energy and Palmer’s, and we added a legitimate back-up attacker in the form of Infernape 4 Lv.X.
Infernape acted as an Umbreon, Mewtwo, and Gyarados counter all in one. It could also OHKO DGX during the off-chance of it ever being active. Alternatively, Blaziken FB Lv.X was added to some builds for it’s cheaper big attack, and it’s disruptive “Luring Flame” ability which, in a perfect world, would drag up Dialga, and follow up with a “Jet Shoot” OHKO.
Due to the nature of this deck being so new and constantly changing, I must include a disclaimer that this is what I believe to be the best, most current, and overall, most politically correct version of MewPerior.
|Pokémon – 24||Trainers – 14||Energy – 22|
2 Rhyperior Lv.X – It is very important to run 2, just in case 1 is Prized. No “See Off”? No game.
2-2 Delcatty – “Power Circulation” makes “Hard Crush” more economical. It is somewhat of a hot issue as to whether or not Delcatty is necessary, but I will personally swear by it. It can randomly OHKO a Garchomp C Lv.X, which is nice, and “Power Heal” is a really good trolling attack if the opportunity ever comes up to use it. It can also be an effective Mewtwo Lv.X counter.
3 Smeargle – Included for its Poké-Power, “Portrait.” Not only does this puppy increase your Basics count, but it lets you use Supporters that you don’t have room to run. Basically, Mew loves to die, and every time he does, you can “Portrait” for a potentially game changing Supporter. He also acts as a great starter.
1 Mesprit – “Psychic Bind” can really turn the tide in a number of match ups. Namely, Gyarados, which relies on Regice to discard Magikarps. If you have a Mesprit, “I suggest you drop it” on T2. Then, “Luring Flame” Regice. He can’t “Regi Move” while he’s burned. On your next turn, you can “Jet Shoot” for the KO.
This will severely slow them down and make the Gyarados match much more manageable. Of course, “Psychic Bind” has too many other uses to count, but that is just one of them.
1 Uxie – We just couldn’t keep him out! Great for if you whiff the Psychic Energy for “See Off” or if you need to draw something like a Supporter. Just don’t be mad if you “Set Up” for only energy…
1 Dialga – “Reverse Time” lets you put up to 3 in any combination of basic Energy and Pokémon on top of your deck when you drop him onto your bench. This obviously combos well with “Hard Crush”, but beyond that, you can use it to draw crucial evolutions that you may have accidentally discarded during previous “Hard Crush”es.
1 Unown Q – Give Smeargle free Retreat. He’ll love it.
1 Gengar – This shifts your VileGar match up from 40-60 to nearly 70-30. Without it, Mews are forced to deal with “Fainting Spell,” and when you’re playing the Prize-trade, that doesn’t work. Instead, you can “See Off” Gengar and take easy Prizes with “Shadow Room”, bypassing “Fainting Spell” in the process.
If you manage your hand well, they’ll never be able to “Poltergeist” Mew for the KO, either.
3 Seeker – This card sort of ties all of the 1-of techs together. It allows you to re-use “Psychic Bind”, “Reverse Time”, “Flash Bite” and “Set Up”. It can also fully heal Delcatty after using “Power Circulation” too many times. It can also be used to re-use Special Energy cards like Warp and Cyclone energy.
2 Snowpoint Temple – Like I said, Mew loves to die. This card makes it just a little bit harder for him to do that.
3 Rescue Energy – Did I mention that Mew loves to die?
3 Cyclone Energy – To gust away the likes of Gyarados, Mewtwo Lv.X, and Umbreon.
3 Warp Energy – Mostly used to be able to “Portrait” on turns that Mew didn’t die. It’s also your out in case your opponent gets crafty and tries to “Bright Look” or “Luring Flame” your Dialga.
There are 3 huge issues currently standing in the way of the success of this deck. The first and most obvious is the ever present Dialga G Lv.X. While DialgaChomp is currently a less popular play than LuxChomp, Dialga G Lv.X manages to find it’s way into other decks as a 1-1 tech.
You can try to Judge them away from it, or “Luring Flame” followed by “Jet Shoot”, but any good player will be able to play around that and take the victory. The DGX match is the most painful thing in the world and is almost 0-100 in their favor. Not good.
The next issue is the fragility of Mew. With 60 HP and a weakness to Psychic, it doesn’t take much to OHKO. Uxie + Expert Belt, Drifloon + Expert Belt, Shuppet, Haunter (Hoodwink). All of these fairly common cards have no problem going Prize-for-Prize with Mew.
Snowpoint Temple helps to an extent, but does nothing against Uxie/Drifloon + Belt. Going Prize-for-Prize isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you have to get the first one.
Finally, the deck is prone to bad starts. With only 6 search Supporters, you could be left at the mercy of your top decks for several turns. If you don’t start with Smeargle, it is very likely that you drew and a handful of Energy and wont be able to get anything sustainable going until you top the Collector.
Unfortunately, Dialga G Lv.X isn’t getting any less popular. It’s popularity will likely surge as a meta-game counter to Lost World decks if and when it is released. the truth is, no deck can be successful when it’s auto-loss is Top Tier.
Auto-Paralysis is nothing to scoff at. I’ve always seen potential in Cacturne’s “Poison Experiment”, which for GD does 20 damage and either Poisons or Paralyzes depending on which you discard. Naturally, I combined it with Vileplume to lock trainers and kill them slowly, while Paralyzing every turn.
To be fair, the deck wouldn’t be possible without a few cards that recently came out, namely Fisherman and Burned Tower. For the deck to work, you would need a way to reliably attach and new Dark energy every single turn, and these 2 cards made it possible.
Add in Crobat and Skuntank G, and it was now possible to Paralyze them every turn, and time it so they die from Poison at the end of their turn, allowing you to continue the lock. In my mind, it was a better GlisTomb that didn’t fail to Judge.
|Pokémon – 26|
3 Cacnea PL
|Trainers – 22||Energy – 12|
3-3 Cacturne – Your main attacker. “Poison Experiment” is what the deck is all about. Auto Paralysis at the cost of a Dark Energy discard can shut down a handful of decks on it’s own. It’s a good idea to stack it with energy, just in case you ever need to discard both to Poison and Paralyze, you wont miss a turn of the lock.
4 Spiritomb – Your optimal starter. The idea is to Trainer lock from T1, so running 4 is a no brainer.
2-2-2 Vileplume – The tried and true best line in any Trainer lock deck, as proven by the success of VileGar. Locking trainers in mandatory in this deck to forbid your opponent the use of Warp Point, Poké Turn, Super Scoop Up, or anything else that can cure Special Conditions.
1-1 Shaymin Lv.X – Even if you need to break the lock for 1 turn, Shaymin Lv.X’s “Thankfulness” Poké-Body will make it almost impossible to OHKO Cacturne, letting you continue the lock is peace. Not even Blaziken FB Lv.X can OHKO Cacturne while Shaymin Lv.X is out.
1-1 Weavile – Used for it’s Poké-Power “Claw Snag,” which you would want to use to discard any Warp Energy or Evolutions/Level-Ups you may find in your opponent’s hand. If you didn’t already realize, we DON’T want your opponent to be able to get out of Paralysis.
1 Skuntank G – “Posion Structure” makes it easy to kill Pokémon with even HP (80, 100), so that they die after your opponent’s turn. This should only be employed if you can’t afford break the lock by discarding both Energy off of Cacturne. While “Poison Structure” will slowly hurt Cacturne, it’s a small price to pay for ridding your opponent of the chance to attack.
1 Crobat G – “Flash Bite” will make it possible to ensure Pokémon with uneven HP (90, 110), will die after your opponent ends his or her turn.
3 Seeker – Allows you to re-use “Flash Bite,” “Set Up,” and “Claw Snag.” It can also fully heal any benched Pokémon, clear up bench space, or re-use Special Energy cards.
2 Looker’s Investigation – Not only does it combo well with “Claw Snag,” but you can disrupt your opponent if you see Warp Energy or Level-Up cards in their hand. Can also be a good hand refresher for yourself if your opponent’s hand is already bad.
4 Burned Tower – Once during your turn, this Stadium lets you flip a coin to put a basic Energy from your discard pile into your hand. This makes it viable to recycle your Dark energies consistently. It also acts as Skuntank’s Stadium.
The surprise factor may be enough to turn other match ups into favorable, but once your opponent catches on to what’s going on, they will save their Evolution and Level-Up cards until they can use them to cure Paralysis. This is a huge issue, because Cacturne hits for.. 20 damage.
Another issue is Warp Energy. Warp has gotten insanely popular in the last few months. It’s used in DialgaChomp, Gyarados, VileGar, MewPerior, and any other deck that runs a tech DGX or just has the room for 1 or 2. Cacturne doesn’t like Warp Energy.
Finally, the damage output is EXTREMELY LOW. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, as this is a stall deck at it’s core. However, with the above limitations, and all the ways that it is possible to remove Status Conditions even under Trainer lock, this is really what kills the deck.
It is very unlikely that Warp Energy will lose popularity any time soon. Same with DGX. I played this deck at 2 CC’s and fell victim to all of it’s inherent flaws. The future is not bright, to say the least.
Building decks is one of the best creative outlets I know. It is so much fun play-testing new ideas with friends, coming up with crazy combos, and staying up ’till all hours ‘perfecting’ a list, even if it never sees the light of tournament play. For every 100 bad ideas, there will be one “Queendom,” one “Gardy/Gallade,” or one “Sabelock.” Until then, keep testing, and have fun.
I would like to add that I recently put up a whole bunch of cards on eBay, including a play-set of Reverse Holo Call Energy, a play-set of Cyrus’s Conspiracy, a set a 4 Mew Prime, and much more. All auctions started at $0.01 and most have no reserve. Check out my store here.