pokemon-paradijs.comSeveral months ago I started playing around with the idea of building a deck based on Umbreon UD. Umbreon has a great first attack, “Moonlight Fang”, which makes it invulnerable to any Pokémon with Poké-Powers or Poké-Bodies
The main problem I soon found was that Umbreon is too easy to play around by Power/Body based decks. In addition, it gets absolutely flattened by decks like Gyarados, Machamp and Tyranitar.
I decided that Umbreon needed a stronger partner to work with it … and so the search began. I toyed with the idea of Mismagius for a time, and tested it a little, but found that running two types of Energy was just not working out.
Right about this time, I decided to add in a 4-4 Weavile line. As Umbreon was already a disruptive Pokémon, I felt that going with a disruption focus would be a good bet for this deck. Weavile has the Poké-Power “Claw Snag” that lets you look at your opponent’s hand when you evolve, and discard any one card.
At this point in the building process, I had a 4-4 Umbreon and 4-4 Weavile line with a variety of tech Pokémon. I was aiming for around 22-24 Pokémon, 10-12 Energy and the remaining cards as T/S/S.
With the addition of Supporters like Judge, Looker’s Investigation and Team Rocket’s Trickery, I was able to really mess with my opponent’s hand. What was missing was an attacker that could hit hard using Dark Energy (special or basic). I tried out Houndoom UD, but found that it only worked well against Fighting Pokémon (doing 80 for 1D against Fighting Pokémon). Although its second attack does have a disruptive element (your opponent discards a card from their hand), the Fighting weakness really hurt, especially as Weavile and Umbreon are also weak to Fighting.
I went searching through the Dark Pokémon and came across Sharpedo TM (thanks Bebe’s Search). Sharpedo has two very interesting attacks. “Strip Bare” does 20 for 1D, and if you roll two heads your opponent discards their entire hand – now that is disruption. Even if you only hit double heads once a game, it can really hurt.
The second attack, “Rage”, does 50 for 1D, 2C with 10 extra damage for each damage counter already on Sharpedo. So depending on the situation, as Sharpedo has 90 HP, you could be hitting for as much as 130 in a single attack. Sharpedo’s Lightning weakness also gives it a better chance of standing up to Fighting decks. I know Luxray GL LV.X is a problem, but hopefully it can be swarmed by a combo of Sharpedo and Umbreon. Alternatively, there’s the potential to discard one or both or your opponent’s Luxray LV.Xs.
I started testing with a 2-2 line of Sharpedo, but found that I actually wanted Sharpedo out sooner and more often that Umbreon. I therefore switched to a 4-4 line of Sharpedo and dropped the original 4-4 Umbreon to a 2-2 line. Getting a Sharpedo active early game and having the opportunity to do “Strip Bare” two to three times gives a decent chance of hitting double heads at least once.
At the same time, evolving several Weaviles on the bench allows you to pick key cards from your opponent’s hand and discard them. Combine those effects with a few well placed Team Rocket’s Trickery (you draw two cards, your opponent discards one card of their choice) and your opponent can soon find themselves playing with little or no hand.
If your opponent does manage to recover (like top-decking an Uxie or Professor Oak’s New Theory), Judge or Looker’s Investigation can keep them off balance. However, they will still be playing short of resources, as the cards are discarded, not shuffled back into their deck.
I am still in the testing stages of this deck, but have had enough success with it to believe it is a viable combination. I doubt it could be tier one this season. In the next format however, with Uxie most probably rotated out, I believe it will become much stronger. Only time will tell. At this point I am pretty happy with the concept. There seems to be a good balance between flippy and non flippy disruption effects. As far as match-ups go, none would be overwhelmingly in favour of Dark Disruption. On the flip side, however, none are overwhelmingly against the deck.
A lot depends on how well you are able to disrupt your opponent’s hand. This will not only be down to luck, but also which cards you choose to discard with “Claw Snag”. It is almost always the best choice to discard a Supporter or Trainer, rather than a Pokémon (Uxie excepted). In this way you limit your opponent’s future draw/search power and make the rest of the game harder for them. Pokémon are much easier to recover from the discard pile than Trainers and Supporters, so discarding them is often only a short term gain.
Here is my current testing list. The four tech Pokémon slots could be filled my a number of different candidates. I do feel that it is important that all four be Basic Pokémon, in order to try and have a reasonable chance of starting a game with at least two Basics.
A Working List
|Pokémon – 24||Trainers – 23
4 Team Rocket’s Trickery
|Energy – 13|
For the tech Pokémon, there are a variety of candidates that might be used:
Uxie – searchable instant draw power
Smeargle CL – reasonable starter, draw power
Sableye SF – good starter, draw power
Spiritomb AR – good starter for evolving Sharpedo or Umbreon, locks Trainers when active, not effective for evolving Weavile, as Weavile must be played from your hand to use its Poké-power.
Unown Q – will give Sharpedo and Umbreon free retreat
Mime Jr. – can send top card of opponent’s deck to Lost Zone with its attack
As far as T/S/S go, I tried using Cyrus’s Initiative. However, unless you are also running Sableye SF, you can’t really afford to use your one Supporter play a turn on Cyrus. Sableye could be a good play in this deck, and if it was used, Cyrus would also be good. I prefer to focus on getting a T2 Sharpedo attacking with “Strip Bare” however, so I am not running Sableye.
pokebeach.comI think all of the T/S/S are fairly self-explanatory except for Team Rocket’s Trickery. As your opponent gets to choose the card they discard, it is important to gauge the deck you are playing against. For any deck where the opponent actually wants to discard cards (e.g. Gyarados), its use will be very situational (like once they have 3 Magikarps in the discard pile). It is more effective against SP decks which run much tighter lists than evolution decks.
Ideally the starting Pokémon is Sneasel UD, who has 60 HP and free retreat. Hopefully, you will also start with a Carvanha on the bench and be able to get a T2 Sharpedo with 1 Dark Energy. You would then free retreat the Sneasel and begin attacking with “Strip Bare”. Attacking with for the next couple of turns with “Strip Bare”, you would then build up a bench of Weaviles and Sharpedos.
Weavile is not really used for an attacker unless you need to snipe the bench. Obviously, the deck you are playing against will decide whether or not you even try to get out the Umbreons. Against Gyarados, Machamp SF and other non Poké-Power/Poké-Body Pokémon, there is really not point.
For me, one of the best aspects of Pokémon is trying to build different and interesting decks. I think this deck fits that description. Ironically, a deck that started out with Umbreon as a key player has now become one where Umbreon has a much more limited role. Such is the nature of deck building.
Comments, suggestions and constructive criticisms are always welcome.