Making Leafeon Work? – A Grass and Fire Deck

I often browse through my collection of currently legal cards, looking for Pokémon with interesting features. Once I find a card that peaks my interest, that card becomes my “core” Pokémon. The next step is to decide how a deck can best be built around that “core”. This can often be discerned in one of two ways.

pokebeach.comYou can look for other Pokémon that have some kind of natural synergy with your “core” Pokémon. An example of this kind of synergy would be Gengar SF and Vileplume UD. Gengar’s “Poltergeist” attack benefits from your opponent having as many T/S/S in their hand as possible. Vileplume’s Poké-Body complements that attack by preventing your opponent from playing any Trainer cards. Once you find these complimentary partners, everything else in the deck should be added in to maximize their combined effect.

Alternately, you might put your “core” Pokémon into a certain deck category – you decide that it will best be played as a “Tank”, “Donk”, “Disruption”, “Lock” or some other “type”. Again, once you decide on your deck “type”, everything you add to the deck should be geared toward achieving that goal. Nidoking Triumphant is a good example of this idea. Nidoking is clearly made for a “Tank” deck. Therefore, other cards in a Nidoking deck should be focused on making it the biggest, baddest “Tank” of all time.

I say everything should be geared toward achieving your goal, with only one caveat. Most people would agree that a deck needs to be as consistent as possible in achieving it’s goal. So, some cards are added simply to achieve better consistency. Uxie’s ability to provide extra draw power is a good example of this principle.

pokegym.netThe newest “core” Pokémon I have found is Leafeon UD. Leafeon UD is a Stage 1 Pokémon with a modest 90hp. The feature that peaked my interest was Leafeon’s first attack “Miasma Wind”. For one C Energy, “Miasma Wind” will do 50 damage times the number of Special Conditions affecting the Defending Pokémon.

A Pokémon can be affected by up to three Special Conditions simultaneously: Poison, Burn and any one of Confusion, Sleep or Paralysis. A best case scenario: 150 damage for 1 C Energy. More realistically – 100 damage for 1C is still pretty amazing. Even 50 damage for 1C is not too shabby.

The question then became – how do I get the Defending Pokémon to be affected by two Special Conditions, on my turn, while Leafeon is my Active Pokémon? Amazingly, I was able to find two different ways to do it with two different Pokémon!

Contestant number one, weighing in at 149.9 lbs – Magmortar SV. Using its Poké-Power “Evolutionary Flame”, when you evolve to Magmortar, you may choose to have your opponent’s Active Pokémon become Burned and Confused.

Candidate number two, weighing in at an insubstantial 32 lbs – Roserade UL. With Roserade’s “Energy Signal” Poké-Power, whenever you attach a G Energy, you may choose to have the opponent’s Active Pokémon become Confused. If you attach a P Energy, you may choose to have the opponent’s Active Pokémon become Poisoned. However – if you attach a Rainbow Energy – you get both effects simultaneously. Roserade does take 10 damage each time a Rainbow Energy is attached, but that is an acceptable side effect.

My Working List

Pokémon – 23
4-4 Leafeon UD
4-4 Magmortar SV
3-3 Roserade UL
1 Uxie LA
Trainers – 23
2 Bebe’s Search
2 Pokémon Communication
3 Prof. Elm’s Training Method
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Judge
2 Professor Oak’s Visit
3 Seeker
2 Interviewer’s Questions
1 Twins
1 Luxury Ball
1 Switch
1 Expert Belt
Energy – 14
3 G
3 R
4 Rainbow

pokebeach.comThe strategy here is to try and get Leafeon Active with one Energy attached, while each turn doing one of the following: evolving a Magmortar on your bench, or attaching a Rainbow Energy to a Roserade on your bench. You can then attack the Defending Pokémon for 100 damage.

Because you only need one Energy drop on Leafeon, you can easily set up a back-up Leafeon on your bench with one Energy. When that is done, or if you can’t get a second Leafeon going for some reason, you can use additional Energy drops to begin powering up either Magmortar or Roserade. Both of them are reasonably good secondary attackers.

Magmortar can snipe the bench for 30 damage using “Fire Arrow”. It can also do a kind of “TAG TEAM” attack using “Flame Ball”. Let’s say you have an Active Magmortar powered up with 1F, 1 DCE, and another on the bench. Because “Flame Ball” only hits for 60, you are unlikely to KO the Defending Pokémon. So you will attack, do 60 damage and Magmortar will be hit by your opponent’s attack on their turn. At 110 hp, it is probable that Magmortar will not get 1HKO’d. But you won’t want to leave him in the Active Spot for a second turn.

That is where the text of “Flame Ball” comes into play. When you do the attack, you can move an attached R Energy to one of your benched Pokémon. If, when you attack, you move the R Energy back to a benched Magmortar, you can discard the DCE of the Active (but damaged) Magmortar next turn and retreat, drop a DCE on the benched Magmortar and bring it up to use “Flame Ball”. Before attacking, you can Seeker the damaged Magmortar and get ready for another “Evolutionary Flame”. With some luck, you may be able to pull of a surprise KO that your opponent wasn’t expecting.

pokebeach.comRoserade is less useful, in my opinion, than Magmortar. It does have the advantage that you can use a single Roserade to add 2 Special Conditions, two turns in a row. Two Rainbow Energy drops will reduce its hp by 20, however, making it more vulnerable to being sniped. Roserade’s attack “Power Blow” may also be of some use if you have had time to power him up with some Energy. Given that Leafeon will only need the one Energy drop, this may be easily achievable. Two DCE drops will have Roserade hitting for 80 damage, as its attack does 20 damage times the number of Energy attached.

That pretty much explains the strategy of the deck. On the occasions that you are not able to get any Special Conditions onto the defending Pokémon using Magmortar or Roserade, you can still use Leafeon’s second attack “Soothing Scent”, which does 30 damage and the Defending Pokémon is now Asleep.

Finding the right balance of Trainers, Supporters and Stadiums is often a challenge and requires extensive testing. In addition, the play style of a player will affect the choice of cards that go into the list. Some players prefer Trainer lines that achieve the highest possible safe consistency (mostly Supporters). Others prefer speed consistency (many Trainers), taking the risk of getting Trainer locked. Still others may go for offensive or defensive bonuses with cards such as Expert Belt, PlusPower or Defender. Finally, there are cards which can be added in to disrupt your opponent’s play (e.g. Power Spray, Judge).

There are Stadium cards that fit into all of these categories. The most important thing when considering Stadiums is that they can potentially help your opponent as much, or more, as they help you.

The T/S/S list above tries to achieve a balance between draw power (Professor Oak’s New Theory and Visit) and specific search (Bebe’s Search, Pokémon Communication, and Professor Elm’s Training Method). I know Professor Elm is not often run, but I think it works well in a deck that runs three types of Stage One. Although it cannot search for Basics like Bebe’s, the advantage of Elm over Bebe’s is that you do not have to put a card back into your deck.

Oak’s Visit is also another seldom used card, but it nets two cards and does not require you to shuffle your hand in. I have often run Volkner’s Philosophy for a similar purpose. If you are running Interviewer’s Questions, though, you can end up with six cards in your hand quite easily, and that pretty much negates the value of Volkner’s. I have included Interviewer’s Questions because it is important to be able to draw into the Rainbow Energy and the DCE.

Seeker will allow the reuse of Magmortar and Uxie for their Powers. Judge provides a good combo of hand refresh and disruption, while Twins can help you recover from an early set-back. I have included one Expert Belt. That is mainly for times when you would need to be sure of 1HKOing a dangerous Pokémon that has more than 100 hp (Garchomp C LV.X and Luxray GL LV.X, in particular). Of course, any Pokémon not Knocked Out will still hopefully be affected by Special Conditions from either Magmortar or Roserade.

I didn’t find any Stadiums that I felt would would significantly help this deck without running the risk of giving an even greater benefit to my opponent. If I were to include a Stadium, Broken Time Space would be the card of choice. Having the ability to Seeker Magmortar back into my hand and then place it right back down would give extra flexibility in adding the two Special Conditions needed for Leafeon to hit for 100 damage. It is definitely on my list of things to test out.

How does it match up?

Unfortunately, none of the current Tier One decks are weak to Grass. Leafeon is resistant to Water, but a belted Gyarados with 3 Magikarps in the discard pile will still be able to 1HKO it. A times two weakness to Fire also makes Leafeon a target for Blaziken FB. A look at the numbers, however, reveals that “Vapor Kick” is still out of 1HKO range, making “Jet Shoot” a necessity for a 1HKO. As for Magmortar: Dialga G, Steelix, Scizor Prime and Jumpluff are the only big name Pokémon that are weak to Fire. Double weakness to water also makes Magmortar an easy target for Gyarados. All in all, this deck does not gain too many benefits with type, weakness, or resistance.

pokebeach.comLet’s review some more difficulties this deck would face. First off, Steelix Prime completely shuts down the main strategy of the deck, as it cannot be affected by Special Conditions. In this case, you would at at least be able to power up the Magmortars and hit for double damage. That would still take two attacks with “Flame Ball”, unless you were able to attach the Expert Belt. Fortunately, Steelix cannot 1HKO Magmortar.

A much bigger problem in the current metagame is any of the major SP decks. Power Spraying either Magmortar’s or Roserade’s Powers will reduce Leafeon to attacking for 30 damage and Sleep. In addition, Poké-Turn will easily get SPs out of any Special Conditions they might be afflicted with.

Your best bet here is to try and get early KOs (100 for 1 on T2, T3 and maybe T4 is definitely possible), before the opponent can fill their bench and use Spray. Of course, one Pokémon Collector puts an end to that. The next factor then becomes outlasting the Sprays. With 4 Magmortars, 4 Rainbow Energy and 3 Seekers, there is the potential to try and inflict Double Special Conditions up to 11 times.

Finally, in a similar way to Power-Spray, Mesprit really messes with the strategy of the deck. Your response would be the same as when playing against Power-Spray.

So, with that many factors working against the deck – is it a viable deck for tournaments? In the short term I would say no. There is just too much potential for Power lock right now. Looking ahead to the next format gives a much brighter picture. In all likelihood, next season will see Power-Spray, Poké-Turn and Mesprit all disappear from the format. In contrast, this deck will, most probably, only lose Uxie and Luxury Ball. Without knowing everything that will come out in the new Black and White sets, it’s hard to tell how well it would do next year. Despite this, I am pretty confident that it will become a more powerful deck that it currently is.

As for now, I’m going to continue testing. It’s a fun and challenging deck that suits my play style. While I doubt I would take it to States/Provincials or Regionals, I’d definitely consider running it for Spring Battle Roads.

Thoughts, comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Reader Interactions

30 replies

  1. Anonymous

    110 is the magic number to hit on sp. You have to add plus powers, black belt, or crobats. twins and black belt are especially useful as you will be behind on prizes until your opponent runs out of options for dealing with 100 + damage a turn. disruption is also key, so judge, looker’s investigation, and cyrus’s initiative even to make sure your opponent doesn’t have power spray or poke turns. Interviewer’s question is NOT playable if you have less than 16 energy in your deck (wasting a supporter to draw one energy is just stupid). Try a shaymin hgss and lvl x land form, both to move energy quickly and give lefeon a chance to live through a single attack. I like the idea of this deck a lot. I hope you can get it to surprise some people with an annoying win.

    • Dave Hueglin  → Anonymous

      PlusPowers, Black Belt, or Crobats are all good ideas. I put the Expert Belt in to hit the 110-120 range. Remember too that even though the 100 damage might not OHKO, they will still be either Burned or Poisoned. The Poison will KO in between turns and a tails on Burn will do the same. I’m not a mathematician, but my practical experience with Interviewer’s Questions in this deck has proved to me that it is more often useful than not.

      • Anonymous  → Dave

        hehehe… my wife is a mathematician and she plays interviewer’s question in her meganium deck (along with 17 energy).

  2. Peter Bae

    why no skuntank g….. if you use a Crobat G or two, you can easily have a Crobat G active to use Skuntank G to poison your opponent’s pokemon (namely Gengar SF if its still seeing play in your area), than use Roserade to drop another form of condition, retreat Croabt G or poke turn it, than hit for 100+10 for poison to avoid Fainting spell

    • andherson v silva  → Peter

      Just with the rainbow+roserade combo you can hit 110, so i don’t think skuntank is needed. In my deck i use 2 energy exchanger too, to most ever keep rainbow in hand. I don’t like to use Magmortar too, my pokemon list are like that:
      3-3 Roserade UL
      4-3 Leafeon UD
      1 Umbreon UD
      1 Espeon Prime
      2 Uxie LA
      1 Azelf LA
      2 Unown Q

      * Sorry for my english :(

    • Dave Hueglin  → Peter

      This is a very good idea that’s well worth testing. Drop the 4-4 Magmortar for 4 Crobat G, 3 Skuntank G and 1 Unown Q. Drop the 5 Fire Energy for maybe 3 Miasma Valley and 2 Psychic Energy. The only problem I see are is being able to draw into Stadiums, or having them discarded by your opponent.

    • Dave Hueglin  → Jordan

      I really hummed and hawed about BTS. On the one hand it lets you reuse the Magmortar instantly after a Seeker, on the other hand, it may just end up helping out your opponent even more. One thing about having a 4-4 line of Magmortars is that you can often have a Magmar and a Magmortar on the Bench. You Seeker the Magmortar and then play it back down on the already benched Magmar.

  3. Anonymous

    A player at my league runs a variant of this deck. He ran it with Miasma Valley. As it is, this deck would DIE to dawn stadium+any bulky water or grass type. Since you have no bodies of your own, why not try a 1-1 DGX tech? That way you can ignore “perfect metal” entirely.

  4. Carlos Vergara

    I’m trying to build this deck and I gotta say I like it so far, since it’s versatile and fast. I was thinking that maybe Umbreon UD would be a good tech against Steelix (and a much safer bet than Magmortar). A belted Umbreon would do wonders, and Steelix can’t do anything.

    Adding Espeon and Umbreon MD can make the Leafeons more lasting.

    Is it a must that I get 4-4 Magmortar? I’m actually running 2-2, and maybe it’s not that neccesary.

    I have a Unown Q included in the deck, maybe I should take it out?

    And one last thing: What if SV gets rotated next season? This deck would also lose all potential, which is not good at all.

    That’s it. Thank you for the article, really interesting!

    • Dave Hueglin  → Carlos

      Thanks Carlos. Here are my thoughts. I prefer 4 Leafeons to maximize my chances of getting one early. Umbreon is a great tech in many decks and it might work well just throwing one in here and using the Rainbow Energy to power its attack. I’m going to try that. I use Magmortar for my main way to add the Special Conditions so I like the 4-4 line here as well. Unown Q is great for free retreat but lousy if you get him as your lone starter – that’s really personal preference and play style. As for rotation – almost anything is possible, although the most probable scenario is 4 sets get rotated out – meaning RR on.

  5. noxster

    Ran this deck with Hypno, Roserade (dropping rainbow energy) and houndoom prime. Its fun but lacks the HP to keep it afloat!

  6. Dakota Streck

    Your list seems pretty solid, but I would still take out the Pro Elm’s for two more Bebe’s and perhaps a Communication. Despite your reasoning, that seems like the better play.

    On another note, great article, it’s always refreshing to hear about these types of decks.

  7. Steven Nilsen

    There are lots of natural choices here, however this one is way too poke-power dependent. I would try going all grass and integrating a Volbeat/Illumise line (they have no weakness BTW). Attack with Firefly light, 30+burn+confused for GCC, from Volbeat, followed by miasma wind and that should take out most of them and it breaks the reliance on poke-powers. Plus the Illumissle + black belt delivers 70 to the bench, for just G which is cheaper than Magmortar’s bench strike, Fire Arrow, at FC. Naive thinking, I’m sure, but that’s my first strategy idea for the forum.

    • Dave Hueglin  → Steven

      Interesting idea. There are definite advantages to cutting out one type of Energy. In addition, “Firefly Light” allows you to Burn and Confuse without using a Poke-Power, which is good. The disadvantage is the opponent can often Switch/Evolve/Poke-turn/Retreat/Warp Energy to get out of the conditions before Leafeon can attack. A couple of things I do like about Magmortar though are that it has 110 hp, and is not weak to fire. I think you meant Volbeat/Illumise have no resistance – they are still weak to Fire.

      • Steven Nilsen  → Dave

        I like those things about Magmortar too. Maybe I got it the other way around, I think Lefeon would work as good support for a Volbeat-Illumise centered deck, if the Volbeats start to crumble. Then drop in Skunktank G, for additional backup. It won’t win a tournament, but its not an expensive deck to make and might present some competition.

    • Dave Hueglin  → Steven

      Interesting idea. There are definite advantages to cutting out one type of Energy. In addition, “Firefly Light” allows you to Burn and Confuse without using a Poke-Power, which is good. The disadvantage is the opponent can often Switch/Evolve/Poke-turn/Retreat/Warp Energy to get out of the conditions before Leafeon can attack. A couple of things I do like about Magmortar though are that it has 110 hp, and is not weak to fire. I think you meant Volbeat/Illumise have no resistance – they are still weak to Fire.

    • Jona Jeffords  → Steven

      Sorry but if you read the Black Belt text, it clearly states it only increases damage to the opponent’s active Pokemon. So it does not increase damage done to a benched Pokemon (this is also true of Expert Belt and PlusPower)

  8. theo Seeds

    Leafeon X? No?

    it would help get set up quicker. you could energy forcing to leafeon and manually attach rainbow to roserade.

    • Dave Hueglin  → theo

      Good idea. I’m not sure how often you would need to use Energy Forcing. Definitely worth testing out though.

  9. Derek Coontz

    Very interesting. I’ve been trying to come up with a good Leafeon deck for ages.

  10. Michael McCutcheon

    i dont know how well umbreon would work against steelix seeing how they could just ko you with an onix due to ur x2 weakness… is the actual ruling on rainbow energy attachments to roserade that you get both effects? thats awesome!

    • Dave Hueglin  → Michael

      Yes, the ruling is that it counts as every type of Energy, so even though it only counts as 1 Energy, it is still a Psychic Energy Card and a Grass Energy Card at the same time.

  11. Thomas Djerf

    a leafeon X would help drop energy on roserade, and you could still have your attachment for the turn

  12. Curtis

    I’d say add some Defenders. Because its not classified as a tool, an Leafeon has low HP, Defender can compliment the Belt and help it to live in the event that your opponent can attack, needing to deal up to 130 damage to OHKO Lefeon.

  13. Walter Hendrickson

    I decided to run this deck as a test, and it turned out to do incredibly well against both Vilegar and Jumpluff! My only change was instead of 2 Professor Oak’s Visit, I put in 2 Emcee’s Chatter. It just helped a lot more with the draw I felt. It was a 50/50 for a 3 card draw, so I was into it.

    The Steelix deck I played actually was the polar opposite of my deck, but I beat it 3 out of 5 (perhaps it was luck of the draw). I just know that this deck turned out to be a great thing to do and was really cheap to run. I made it my primary deck focus and have already planned what to do when the Magmortar line goes away after the shift! If you have questions about that, let me know!

  14. apb58

    if you tech stuntank g and crobat, you might as well try seviper from COL

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