We all love Pokémon league. Who would not love free format staples paired with a chance to playtest against your peers each week? But the third aspect of league is often overlooked by the community as a whole. That aspect is the power leagues have to draw in new players.
Without new players, a game goes stale. For that reason, it is important to encourage new players, even if they’re really young, to pick up the game at their own pace.
Unfortunately, here’s a common scenario: Little Alice comes to league with her brand new theme deck. Everyone else in the league has a meta-ready super-teched deck. Assuming Alice knows the rules, you bust out Luxchomp and proceed to defeat her in one or two turns every time. She goes to her mommy, tells her “This game sucks! I don’t wanna!” and the Pokémon community has lost a potential recruit forever.
So instead I bring a new type of deck to the table: teacher decks. These decks are designed to water down a metagame idea to an easily observable point, and encourage newer players to emulate the strategy or combo in their own explorations. These decks will also ideally be cheap to build and easy to play. This is something the current Pokémon community lacks. As such, we’re here to introduce our first teacher deck.
– Energy acceleration
– Cumulative damage output
– Energyless attacks
– Optional attack effects
– Situational evolution
– +# vs 2× weaknesses
– Stadium cards
– Healing damage
– Supporters versus Trainers
– Switching via Trainers versus retreating
– Recovering cards from your discard
– SP Pokémon versus regular Pokémon
– Pokémon Tools
– “Come from behind” Supporters
As you can see, this deck teaches a lot of very important concepts to our current metagame.
Here’s the basic deck build. Note that the deck is intentionally flawed. Once the new player is beating it consistently, the deck has done what it is supposed to do!
The Teacher Deck
Our first teacher deck is built around the Golduck and Floatzel lines.
|Pokémon – 16
3 Buizel UL
3 Floatzel UL
1 Psyduck TM
3 Psyduck PL
2 Golduck PL
2 Golduck TM
2 Floatzel GL RR
|T/S/S – 28
1 Luxury Ball
2 Bubble Coat
2 Flower Shop Lady
3 Lucian’s Assignment
3 Black Belt
1 Marley’s Request
2 Pokémon Collector
2 Interviewer’s Question
3 Dawn Stadium
|Energy – 16
And there you have it. I’m going to say it again: This deck is NOT for serious play. Period. End of thought. If you use this outside league, you’re gonna lose to Sea Blaster (curse you, Travis!), it’s that bad. However, this would be a great deck to teach various aspects of the metagame to a newer player. The other nice thing is that none of the cards in this build are that expensive. The two Collectors can be found in a Trainer Kit anyway. Anything that is a rare in this deck is so non-playable that it’ll be hard to not find them for cheap.
Although the basic idea of this deck is self-explanatory, I’ll go ahead and outline various teaching methods to be used along with it.
pokegym.netThe Pokémon you want to start with is a Psyduck. If you have no energy, you can lock your opponent from setting up by using Trainers or Supporters, such as Luxury Ball or Pokémon Collector, with “Headache”. If you do play an energy, you can risk the second attack. This isn’t recommended, as you would have to be confused if the coin lands tails-side up, and each attack after that would require two heads to do anything.
Also another reason to not play an energy is that you want to evolve into the Golduck PL as a very early attacker. 30 damage for free, but, if your opponent uses Rainbow or Water Energy, deal 30 damage instead anywhere on his or her field.
Note that in the unlikely event you start with the Psyduck TM, it won’t kill you to start with it as long as you don’t attack. If you have the Golduck PL in hand, no energy goes to Psyduck. If you have the Golduck TM and no way to get the one from Platinum or a different attacker, stack the energy and hope for the best.
Don’t attack unless you’re feeling lucky. “Tripping Headbutt” tells you to “filp a coin” (but they really want you to flip one), and, if it’s not heads, you deal 30 to your side of the field. Avoid this if you can.
Should Golduck and your opponent survive through the abuse of “Swift Swim”, set up your bench. Ideally you want at least one each of Golduck TM and Floatzel UL as attackers, and a Floatzel GL to recover any lost Lucian’s Assignments, Marley’s Requests, or other Supporters that are still used in the late game. Use Floatzel UL to attach two energy per turn, either one two Floatzel and one to Golduck TM, or, if you have a Lucian’s Assignment on hold and Golduck TM has no damage on it, it’s safe to attach two to Floatzel.
If Golduck PL should die or is dying and you need to use the handy retreat cost of zero, and you have three energy on a Floatzel UL (get two out as soon as you can) and fewer than five Water Energy on your side of the field, send up the Floatzel and hit for 60 in one go. It’s not the greatest attack, but you don’t want to send up a weak Golduck TM to die early. As an added bonus, you may have less prizes than your opponent now. If you have a Black Belt, now might be a good time to use it and hit for 100 damage instead.
pokegym.netBut in the best case, you’ll want to bring up the Golduck TM and not risk losing you Floatzel UL, even if they also have free retreat and can come back to the bench. You don’t want to risk your opponent also using Black Belt, Expert Belt, a surprise Lightning type, or any attack that prevents you from retreating. You want both Floatzel to sit on the bench and hold on to your energy.
“Powerful Splash” will hit for 30 base damage for two energy. But before you bring it back to the bench for the free-attacking Platinum variety, read the rest of the attack. If you’ve been stacking energy like I’ve told you to, then you’ve got a great hard-hitter.
For every water energy on your side of the field, the attack does 10 more damage. And since this deck has 16 water energy, get them all our and you’re hitting for 190 each turn. This is very unlikely, yes, but pair that possibility with the Black Belts and you’re taking out all but the most loved (or hated) tanks.
Well, there you have it folks. Cheap, messy, but it gets the job done. Tell us what you think. Would the 6P community like to see more articles about teacher decks? Is this a stupid idea and should it never happen again? Let us know.