Battle of Wittz: Disruption, the Metagame, and my Testing Results for HGSS-On

Battle of Wittz!! I choose you!!1

To start off the article, I want to take a brief moment to explain my likely new format for future articles. Actually, not too much explanation is needed, because I’m pretty much directly ripping off of Fulop’s Korner as well as Kenny’s Wisdom : P.

Basically, I came in to this article wanting to do an examination of disruption in HGSS-On, but after realizing how severely limited you are in your options, I decided to use this space to give you small updates on my testing as well. All that was needed to complete the format was a cheesy name!

I was torn between “Battle of Wittz” and “At Wittz End”, but seeing as how we’re playing a competitive card game, the battle motif fit the best. Annnnd seeing how I’ve already lost all of your interest, I’m going to jump right into relevant discussion!

Disruption in HGSS-On

For anyone that has been following past articles or my episodes, you’ll notice a pretty particular trend. I REALLY liked Sablock. I don’t know what it was, but the deck and I got along really well. It’s the only deck that has brought me any relevant success, and it’s pretty much the sole reason that I’ll have an invite to the World Championships this year.

I didn’t think I’d ever be saying this, but I really miss Sableye. Playing Sablock was the first time I felt I could come out with a victory vs. any deck and any opponent, and it’s going to take a lot of soul searching in HGSS-On to rekindle that feeling.

One thing is for sure, the versatility of Sableye absolutely CANNOT be matched in HGSS-On. Not only did Sableye offer the opportunity to disrupt, but also the chance to set up, or even attack/donk. It’s multiple uses made it such a great card to center a deck around, even before the Black and White rule changes. Because there is no longer a way to use the same pokemon to attack, set up, and disrupt at the same time, the viability of disruption in HGSS-On is already pretty severely limited.

While we lose Cyrus’s Initiative, Sableye, Power Spray, and Mesprit with the rotation, there is still one card that served many well over the past year that can function pretty well. While you can’t really build an entire deck around it, it definitely has potential in a HGSS-On format. That card is Judge.

Judge know Fulop already touched on this point in a past article, but I thought I’d reiterate for anyone who didn’t get the reference) Judge is the new Lass. For those of you who didn’t play back in the early 2000s, Lass + Eeeeeeek was one of the most disruptive combos in the game.

Lass forced both players to reveal to each other their hands and return all trainer cards found in both hands into their respective players’ decks. Then after Lass-ing on turn 1 and leaving both players with little to no resources, Eeeeeeek allowed you to shuffle your hand into your deck and draw 7 cards, effectively restocking your own supplies while leaving your opponent out to dry.

We might not have Lass anymore, and our Cleffa might only draw 6 instead of 7, but Judge + Cleffa early game is still a very effective combo in this format. Instead of clearing your opponent’s hand of all of their trainers, you’re simply cutting their hand size down to 4, while seeing what is basically 10 new cards by the end of your turn (4 from Judge, and then after seeing/playing those cards you see another 6 from Eeeeeeek).

With the way most HGSS builds work now, that turn 1 Judge can be extremely limiting. Most decks seem to be running 8 or less draw supporters in their builds, with a toss up between Sages, Juniper, and PONT/Copycat. This number tends to be less in decks with self-sufficient draw, such as Ninetales or Magnezone.

Because we no longer play in a format with Uxie, your opponent also has no real quick way to build their hand size back up again without using up your full turn. The only real ways to recover from the turn 1 judge are by hitting one of your few draw cards, or hitting cards necessary to fish out your own Cleffa and Eeeeeeek yourself.

pokegym.netToo many times in testing have I seen one player hit with the turn 1 or 2 Judge proceed to draw, attach, and pass. It’s even an inside joke between me and my brother to just start calling Judge “Lass”, and I feel like Judge + Cleffa is a viable way to take over a game early on.

Simply running Cleffa + Judge in a deck really isn’t that hard. At an absolute maximum it takes up 8 slots, and more realistically it usually takes up 6. Throw in the fact that Cleffa is already pretty much a staple in 85%+ of decks already and it’s a pretty inexpensive way to set up.

Another thing I like about Judge + Cleffa is that it’s pretty effective in every kind of deck. In the speed decks, it allows you to spend time getting knockouts while your opponent sets up their now limited hand. In setup decks (particularly Magneboar, which I have tested the most so far), it gives you the opportunity to have a guaranteed big set up before your opponent. If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a pretty big fan.

While I think an early game Judge can be brutal, I still wanted more. Thoughts went back to how often I could win a game by performing a turn 1 Initiative, hitting just 1-2 heads, and then wrecking havoc on my opponent as they proceeded to whiff on setting up for the entire game.

Early on with Sablock it allowed me to win games against better players than me, and as I grew stronger with the deck it became a strong strategic option. There’s only one card that can emulate Initiative reasonably, and that card is Weavile UD.

Weavile UD

pokegym.netThe weird thing about Weavile is that in pure power, he’s weaker than his basic. Sure, “Feint Attack” is nice for KO-ing benched Cleffas, but for the same amount of energy and a full bench, Sneasel averages 60 damage with “beat up”.

Throw Special Darks into the equation and you can deal an average of 80 damage with a random potential for more/less based on how well you flip coins. What was once one of the most powerful cards in the format sure doesn’t break the format anymore, but Sneasel still has a decent potential for attack, which isn’t something you should ignore.

But nostalgia factor aside, the thing that makes Sneasel a star basic in my eyes is the free retreat—a nice luxury that only few HGSS-On basics have.

So while free retreat is nice, and the situational attack is at least interesting, the main way I’ve found Weavile used is closer to that of a Supporter than that of a Pokémon. Weavile is mainly used for his power Claw Snag and nothing else.

The price of his awesome power, which lets you look AND discard from your opponent’s hand, is that he effectively hogs one of your bench slots after completing his mission. Because of this, me and my friends found the only real viable way to get Weavile to work would be in speed decks where bench space was not an utmost priority.

This would leave him as part of a pet project/Dr. Frankenstein experiment of mine which involved mixing and matching various Stage 1 Pokémon together to achieve the best result vs. the popular metagame. But before we get to the deck itself, I want to explain how Weavile has worked for me so far.

At the very least, I’ve found Weavile to be extremely underrated, and he’s borderline great. Against every deck, using Claw Snag to “snag” the only Supporter your opponent had in hand is just as brutal as Cyrus’s Initiative ever felt, and it can give you a large advantage right away. Weavile also really shines in a Cleffa-heavy format.

pokegym.netMany times, a deck needs an Eeeeeeek or two to get set up. However, shuffling and drawing 6 cards leaves you pretty exposed to losing that one card you were hoping to draw if your opponent has a Sneasel down. You have no chance to evolve, attach, or get rid of any cards you wouldn’t want snagged, leaving Weavile the perfect opportunity to turn your hand sour pretty quickly.

However, it’s against stage 2 decks where Weavile really shines. In testing, Magneboar had been giving me my best results, but it REALLY hated Weavile. Needing essentially 2+ Stage 2 Pokémon to get going, the deck needs time to set up, usually behind a Cleffa Eeeeeek wall.

However, finding myself exposed to a turn 2-3 Claw Snag in every game really hurt! The way Magneboar has been working for me recently, I feel I need to get a Magnezone out ASAP for draw, and every turn I can’t get zone out I Eeeeeek in hopes for means to getting zone out.

What’s really frustrating is that I get everything I need for zone off my Eeeeeek, but lose my Zone/Candy/Sages before I even get to play them. It was also pretty brutal mid-ame, especially when I got one of my RDL pieces discarded. With Emboar being the deck to beat, I felt pretty satisfied at how easy it was to cripple my opponent’s hand with a single Claw Snag.

Because Weavile works best in the early game, I felt like I’d have to dedicate a 4-4, 4-3, or 3-3 line of it to maximize its effectiveness. The reason that 4-3 was suggested is because 1) Sneasel is a really solid starter, and 2) running more sneasel than Weavile makes the possibility of using Seeker/Super Scoop up to pick up a Weavile line and drop it down on a new Sneasel more possible.

The only problem is, with 6-8 of your valuable slots taken up, how can you maximize his effectiveness?

My first thought was to utilize Sneasel with Slowking, effectively emulating the old “Cyrus’s Initiative + Chatot G” Play. The combo is pretty simple, and I’ve seen variations of it pop up all around the various Pokémon TCG forums. The idea is that you use Sneasel to give your opponent a bad hand, and then use Slowking HGSS’s “Second Sight” to force your opponent’s topdecks to be bad for the rest of the game.

It even seemed pretty neat that you can use “Second Sight” on yourself during the turns where your opponent’s topdecks are guaranteed—giving yourself good draws while your opponent gets bad ones. However, in the end, too much weighted this easy-to-see combo from really succeeding:

  1. Slowpoke’s 2 Retreat Cost sucks to start with
  2. Slowking takes up ANOTHER bench slot along with your Weaviles
  3. The combo distracts from getting an actual attacker going. You need to get out Slowking, Weavile, AND your attacker+energy to start effectively winning.
  4. The combo is just slow. Sableye+Chatot G was possible with two basic pokemon. Weavile+Slowking is slow with multiple stage 1’s.
  5. In the end, the combo isn’t needed for the same reason I finally cut Chatot G from my Sablock for States and Regionals: it’s a “win more” condition card. Usually, dropping your opponent’s hand into a crappy one is enough to tilt the match in your favor, and rearranging your opponent’s topdecks just helps you win games you probably would have already won.

So with what seemed to be the last real “hand disruption” card left in HGSS-On to explore (Weepinbell and Team Rocket’s Trickery DO NOT count), all that was left was finding a place for the Weavile disruption package.

We decided to line the deck up against a group of capable stage 1 Pokémon, hoping to find the best solution through trial and error. So far I’ve tested multiple amounts and combinations of the following: Donphan, Yanmega, Cinccino, and Zoroark.

Each of these attackers had their own pros and cons, and eventually we found ourself preferring two specific kinds of Weavile-infused lists. Approach 1 was one that was pretty much originally conspired by my friend Carver, and the other is one that me and my brother have been developing. Because I know you guys love decklists, here’s a look at each deck, along with an analysis:

Carver-Style Disruption:

Pokémon – 23

3 Sneasel UD
3 Weavile UD
3 Zorua BLW
3 Zoroark BLW
2 Eevee UD 48
2 Umbreon CL
2 Minccino BLW
2 Cinccino BLW
2 Cleffa CL
1 Tyrogue CL

Trainers – 26

3 Professor Juniper
3 Sage’s Training
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Judge
3 Pokémon Reversal
4 Dual Ball
4 Pokémon Communication
2 PlusPower
3 Junk Arm

Energy – 11

4 Double Colorless
3 D
4 Special D

I call this list “Carver Style” because it combines his core idea with a few modifications by me. The list can be extremely good vs. what I believe are the two most expected decks at Nationals (Emboar and Donphan variants), but it’s definitely far from perfect. Let’s take a look at some of the decisions:

The deck essentially aims to be a hard counter for several top-tier decks. Weavile performs his usual disruption duties by crippling (especially vs. Stage 2), Cinccino provides a form of consistent damage, and Zoroark is a hard counter to most big hitters out there (with Bad Emboar, Reshiram, Zekrom, Magnezone, and RDL to name a few).

pokemon-paradijs.comUmbreon adds a unique twist that can shut out many decks, as well as surprise unprepared players. The heavier Reversal count allows you to snag cheap prizes while your opponent is already struggling with Weavile, giving you a prize gap before they can actively recover. Because the deck runs D Energy, you can even attack with Weavile/Sneasel in times of desperation, as well.

Since he hasn’t really seen any discussion yet, let’s take a look at Umbreon in HGSS-On. Your main goal is to hit with “Moonlight Fang” for a single Dark, locking your opponent out of damaging your Umbreon with their bodied and powered Pokémon.

This is Carver’s idea, and while I’m not 100% sold on it yet, it’s really frustrating the first time you ever need to face it, and near-deadly late game. Here’s a list of a few Pokémon moonlight fang traps out: Magnezone Prime, RDL, Donphan, Machamp, and Feraligatr/Lanturn.

While this isn’t exactly an extensive list, Magneboar and Donchamp are still huge decks, and any means of countering them are worth exploring.

Late game, when you and your opponent have exchanged a few prizes, Moonlight Fang is really annoying. It leaves your heavy hitters immobilized active, forcing you to hit a switch and attack with something else, burn through a heavy Retreat Cost, or wait it out.

I’ll admit that the first time I found myself against a late game Umbreon I effectively scooped—I didn’t know what to do! Yes, there are some ways around him, such as using your Basics/Stage 1s to rack up a little damage over time, but it seems like everything that CAN 1-shot an Umbreon can be effectively countered with Cinccino or Zoroark.

Is it an A+ metagame-crushing card? Not really, but it’s effective. This leads me to an observation that I’ve made about player behavior about “rogue” concepts in general. (Random observation for Nationals #1) A strong rogue concept is great for the first time at an event in an unexpected atmosphere.

pokegym.netChances are that late game in a Nationals setting, you’d probably bumble your way to a loss against a late game Umbreon, too. While we only have a pool of around 450 cards this format, it’s going to be really hard to “surprise” anyone with anything.

However, Umbreon will definitely go relatively untested compared to the huge hype that many other cards are getting, and it’s a starting point for capturing that “surprise attack” mentality. Is it good enough to deserve a 2-2 line? I’m not really sure yet and remain skeptical, but Carver says he really enjoys the success he’s had against players, especially early on.

Another meta-counter card is Tyrogue, one that’s been touched on by a few writers so far. As time goes on and on, Cleffa is becoming closer and closer to the number 1 staple card in all decks, and that only increases the potential of Tyrogue. The idea is this—your opponent starts Cleffa, you start whoever.

If you win the coin flip and go first, you can fish out Tyrogue and grab the cheap KO for a free prize, and the donk if your opponent has no other basic Pokémon. Even if they do have another basic, Tyrogue snags you the easiest Prize card of your life, and denies your opponent their chance to Cleffa as well.

I’m not 100% sold, but I’m definitely a big fan right now, much more so than I am for Umbreon. He’s so easy to access, and the more talk I hear about Cleffa the more I want 1 Tyrogue in every deck.

The only thing I regret is that he can’t hit for weakness. If he could 1HKO all Zoruas, Magnemites, Minccinos, andCleffas I think he’d be too good not to include in everything. In the meantime, taking that one quick prize is pretty nice.

Now for some analysis of my adoption of Carver’s list vs. my own. Carver ran the following cards that I don’t in mine: Super Scoop Up (SSU), Seeker, Energy Exchanger, 4-3 Weavile line, no Tyrogue, and no Cinccino. Here’s why I made a few changes:

pokegym.netI found myself never needing SSU or Seeker to replay Weavile, because it seemed like all it took was 1 or 2 Weavile drops to deal the real damage. Any more focus on multiple Claw Snags and I felt like I was no longer dedicating enough space to setting up an actual attacker.

Energy Exchanger is understandable because it grabs you the crucial DCE or Special Dark (which is one way to get an easy revenge KO against Reshiram with Zoroark, btw!), but I found myself not having the space to dedicate for what seemed to be fairly trivial.

The reason I’ve fit Cinccino in is because I feel the deck’s inherent weakness is the same one Fulop brought up when talking about his Donphan/Zoroark list: the deck has no game vs. most tier 2 decks. In my mind, the 3 most played decks come Nationals are going to be Zekrom, Donphan/Machamp variants, and Emboar Variants in that order.

The deck seems to have answers for those, but it has no dependable damage to deal with the “average” decks, such as Samurott, Crobat Prime, or some Serperior deck.

This leads me to Random Observation for Nationals #2—you need a deck that can handle the top decks, and at least DEAL with tier 2. Nationals is a huge event for many, and enormous in the United States at around 900 for Masters.

Let’s face it, you’re not going to face all-star decks round after round with that many players. Many people aren’t taking the game as serious as you, many are playing the game on a budget, others just playing for fun, and others that just aren’t as skilled and can only work with “a worse deck”.

Whatever the scenario may be, chances are you’re going to muddle through some mediocre players for up to 5+ rounds before dealing with some well-known and skilled players at the top tables near the end of swiss. If all your deck can do is provide a hard counter to a very popular deck, it’s probably better suited to a format like the World Championships as opposed to an enormous group like Nationals.

Despite some of the changes I’ve made to Carver’s list, he still has beaten my Magneboar (around 1-4 cards away from Fulop’s list at any given time) around 60% of the time. Even if it needs help tuning against other decent decks, that fact alone leaves the deck worth exploring.

Now for the other list, a version I’ll call “Wittz Style”:

Pokémon – 21

3 Phanpy CL
3 Donphan Prime
3 Yanma TM
3 Yanmega Prime
3 Sneasel UD
3 Weavile UD
2 Cleffa CL
1 Tyrogue CL

Trainers – 28

3 Professor Juniper
3 Sage’s Training
3 Judge
2 Copycat
4 Pokémon Reversal
3 PlusPower
3 Dual Ball
4 Pokémon Communication
2 Junk Arm
1 Switch

Energy – 11

11 F

Donphan Yanmega, or “Donmega” (I thought I was so clever) is a deck that I had pinned as my very favorite for the HGSS-On format during my pre-testing of the format during the boring streak of SP decks in the MD-On format.

The deck had no real synergy other than “hit for decent damage by turn 2 every time”, and that synergy seemed to be enough to break through most HGSS-On decks my friends through at me. The only problem was that we did all of this testing BEFORE Black and White was even released (we were testing before the announcement that we might have a rotation—we were that bored).

pokegym.netThis meant that some of the would-be best decks due to Black and White, including Emboar Variants, Zekrom, and Samurott, were untested. Emboar in particular seemed pretty unfavorable, and that alone turned me away from the deck.

My brother, determined to make a “good, not-Emboar deck” (in his words) stuck with the original concept and tried to give it maximum potential against a heavy hitting stage 2 threat. Most of those techs included the Judges, the PlusPowers, and the heavy reversal count.

We found that while Pokémon Catcher isn’t in the format yet, Reversal is still really strong against Stage 2. Having the ability to KO that one Magnemite/Tepig/Oshawott before it can become its respective Stage 2 really sets your opponent back, especially due to the nerfing of Rare Candy.

The only problem was if either A) you went bad with flips or B) they walled long enough with something like Cleffa, eventually they would work their way into their “big hitter” and mow through you. Weavile is the potential solution, because of how strong a single discard seems to be against Stage 2 decks right now.

The two attackers, Donphan and Yanmega, are still pretty decent. Donphan is strong against Zekrom, Zone, and it seems to be able to hold up decently against Reshiram. Yanmega can 2-shot most Pokémon in the game, 1-shot benched Cleffas, and take a hit or two vs. an opposing Fighting-type Pokémon.

As I’ve said, they aren’t the most inherent combo, but so far they’ve seemed to get the job done pretty well. Combined with the added disruption of Weavile drops and an early judge, and it’s holding its own well.

pokemon-paradijs.comLike the last build, this one still runs a potential risk against some decks. If Emboar builds can set up RDL, you’re in big trouble and usually lose, providing they can consistently recover energy and attack for 2/3 turns. Weavile and reversal helps you cut off the Emboar/RDL possibility pretty well, but the threat is still there.

Once again, Samurott comes up as a deck that sounds awful to deal with. Weavile can only hold your opponent’s set up off for so long, and it seems like you’d need a pretty positive percentage on your Reversal flips to escape with the victory on that one.

In conclusion, I find that Weavile disruption, along with Judge disruption to be two viable ways of crippling your opponent without attacking them directly. The project still needs tweaking, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we found some completely different list that Weavile works better with in the future.

In the meantime, try out the two lists we’ve been working with and see how they work for you. If anything, I think you’ll find that they’re really frustrating to deal with if you’re a Stage 2 setup deck.

The HGSS-On Metagame

Because most of my decks in this article are focused around competing against a full Nationals metagame, I thought I’d add in a little bit of input as for what I believe we’ll be seeing (in numbers+playability) for Nationals. Borrowing from the content from my show Prof-It!, here’s the top 10 list I put together:

10. Crobat Prime
9. Jumpluff
8. T-Tar
7. Feraligatr variants
6. Samurott variants
5. Gengar Prime
4. Stage 1 Mixes (combining Donphan, Cinccino, Yanmega, Zoroark)
3. Zekrom
2. Donphan/Machamp variants
1. Emboar variants

This list was based on a combination of my own results, and the amount of hype decks are getting online. What does this mean for the upcoming format, and your testing habits? Here’s my diagnosis:

1. Test against the big 3-often

pokegym.netIt might not seem like it’s so close, but US Nationals is just a month away. That’s not too much time for really mastering the format, and if you want to stay fresh as you can, I advise you start really getting used to playing vs. the top decks.

You can talk theory all you want, but the only way to be sharp and prepared for a large tournament setting is by logging in good games against good lists. As Adam says in his introductory message before most of you signed up for Underground—we’re here to provide you the tools for success.

Combined with all of the UG articles so far, over half of my “top 10” has been covered so far. I highly encourage you build these decks and get a head start, even if you have to proxy.

2. Start Testing the Mirror.

This is something I really need to work on, and if my habits reflect the average player, it’s something we all could work on a little bit more. Let’s face it, the mirror is boring. It’s more fun to play out a diverse match and seeing how two different styles react to each other.

Playing the same deck just isn’t as fun, and it tends to be tricky. It’s also usually one where a group of players don’t have enough cards to make the same deck twice (my advice—proxy even if you hate the time it takes, or play online : P).

However, if you really want to succeed, ESPECIALLY with Emboar, testing against your same deck is key. I imagine the top tables at Nationals are going to be nonstop Emboar on Emboar action, and determining how to remain on the winning end of that exchange is going to be key.

3. US Players—keep on the lookout for Canada’s Results.

Canada’s Nationals is a week before ours this time, and the results are beneficial for both understanding what kinds of decks are likely to do well, as well as knowing what kinds of decks are likely to show up in heavy amounts.

While not every player has the drive or resources to change their deck choice to whatever wins in Canada, many players will definitely play whatever wins over there. Because the results will be on such a short notice, Underground may or may not have reported it already, so keep your eyes peeled on the “What Won Nationals” thread in a couple weeks on Pokégym!

4. Start narrowing down your choice deck.

Nationals in the US is going to be in almost exactly 4 weeks, and for Canada it will be three. Within 2ish weeks you should probably have your main deck selected and you should be testing for consistency, the mirror, and techs.

Even if the winner for Canada’s Nationals is some super secret and compelling rogue, I’d advise you to stick with the deck you’ve been testing for weeks on end when you head out to Nationals in the United States.

5. Speaking of Rogue, don’t try and come up with the “next big secret deck”.

Somebody with deeper experience back to 2004 can correct me on this one if I’m wrong, but there’s no such thing as a rogue deck winning US Nationals in my recent memory. Because the playing field is so diverse, you need to have a decent shot at winning any matchup that you can come across.

Unfortunately, with a card pool of only 450 cards and the skill of players rapidly increasing, it’s extremely unlikely that the formula for a secret and National-winning list is out there. If your aim is to win, sticking with one of the proven solid concepts from one of the Underground articles is a great place to work with. Find a concept that you’re comfortable with, and then tech it to your liking.

I know general advice can be boring and borderline “preachy”, but let’s face it—competitive Pokémon is like school. Sure, there will be a very small number of brilliant students that can ace tests without studying, but doing your homework and spending time practicing is going to be the proven method to success for the other 95%+.

My Testing Results so Far

So far, my testing has been limited solely to Zekrom and Emboar-based builds (aside from the disruption concepts that I’ve been testing, which I’ve outlined above). I intend to spend one week trying to test a few more proven concepts (something with Machamp Prime and something with Samurott are on the top of my list), but if I can’t get any ideas to really connect, I’m probably playing Emboar. Here’s my thoughts on Zekrom and Emboar so far:

Remember… I can attack!

The deck is solid, but it probably is tier 1.5 until Catcher is released. In the meantime, you’re going to have to play a heavy Reversal count to take advantage of your early speed, and running a 3-3 Yanmega Prime seems pretty mandatory with the rise in popularity of Donphan/Machamp builds.

Yanmega seems so important in this matchup that I’ve started working with 13 L Energy and 2 Rescue Energy. The Rescues rarely get in the way of you getting that fast start, and seem to work well being thrown on Yanmegas to keep the longest loop of them you can. I’m not really crazy about Rescue Energy with how energy-intensive decks are, but it seemed to work here.

One neat trick I’ve learned is how easily the deck can donk a single Pokémon.

Many people don’t see this, but Pachirisu can end many games on turn one by himself for two L Energies—all you have to do is drop him with the power, retreat to him, and attack for the game. Pachirisu in this regards is some kind of Tyrogue Plus—with PlusPower, he can 1-shot almost every single basic out there, aside from Zekrom/Reshiram.

I see so many players miss on this opportunity, eager to get out the turn 1 Zekrom, so don’t pass the chance if you see it in the future!

Late game with this deck is frustrating. You only have so much bench space to charge up multiple Zekroms, and I’ve found throwing up a Yanmega while spending time to regroup to be the right option in plenty of scenarios.

The deck wants Seeker to re-use those powers, but it also needs to keep playing draw Supporters to keep up with draw power like Magnezone. In the end, Super Scoop Up with Junk Arm has been average for me, but I still hate a full bench mid to late game.


pokegym.netThis deck needs to stop being bipolar on me and work 100% of the time like it used to. When I first revealed the deck to my friends I couldn’t stop beating on them, but over time I have the occasional game where everything just falls apart.

It usually involves me Eeeeeeeking, Judging, or Magnetic Drawing into a bunch of energy/garbage before I have the Emboar out, then losing my Cleffa, and then twiddling my thumbs as everything falls apart. Another issue I have is Reversal, which seems to account for a good 70% of my losses so far with Zone vs. decks outside of the mirror. Weavile probably accounts for the rest.

I’m actually not a fan at all of “Bad” Boar (Emboar #19), and really prefer the second copy of RDL if I have the option. The problem with Bad Boar is that he requires both himself and the other Emboar (#20) out in play. You’re also going to need a Magnezone Prime if you expect to come close to drawing into any of the pieces to get those online.

In the end, I find myself almost never getting bad boar out, and when I do, I wish it was RDL. Maybe there’s something I’m missing, but I’ve only used him once or twice in the 10-20 games I played with him in my list.

As much as I love Judge + Cleffa, I think it’s time to drop the Judges for something a little more heavy duty. I haven’t really found myself having energy recovery problems, and I’m not to fond of Flower Shop Lady, so I think I’m going to replace my 2 copies of Judge for 2 PONT (Professor Oak’s New Theory).

I feel like even with the 4 Cleffa and 4 Sages, it’s just not enough to get everything I’d like online all the time. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m pretty sold on Sages as “the” Supporter for this deck—I just feel it needs a little bit more draw to ensure better draw before I get that first Zone out.

pokemon-paradijs.comI really want to spend some time trying out the Ninetales-based Emboar one more time before I’ve made up my mind that Magnezone is the superior version. I really like that Zone can 1HKO ANYTHING out there, while still providing some mean, consistent draw.

However, sometimes Ninetales draw sounds pretty nice, and dealing with one less Stage 2 line seems like it’d give the deck a little breathing room. I’ll give both an honest shot and let you know my final results at the end of the month.

Well, that’s about everything I’ve got for you guys so far! I really think Weavile-based disruption has a part in our metagame, and so far it’s the ONLY thing to really surprise me as far as something doing much better than I predicted.

For those of you guys bored with some of the current options, give it a go while you can! I’ll be testing it a bit over these next few weeks, and I’ll let you guys know if I find a “best way” to run it in time.

I’m really paranoid of going to Nats, losing my first game, and then having to drop to keep my invite, so I’m testing as often as I can these days. Hopefully that scenario won’t ever come up and I’ll just X-0 swiss because of it : P.

In the meantime, good luck testing, and I’ll see you guys next article! Peace!


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