As I write this I am on a train to Vienna, taking a break from reading Dracula.
I’m currently mulling the idea for a new deck that has not been seen, and I’m going to explain to you all what is flowing through my head right now. Hopefully this will provide some insight for you all, and maybe you can help me by commenting with your own deck building strategies. This will show you both my slow build and my fast build, the two types of build strategies that I use when making a deck at any point in time. I’ll start with…
pokebeach.comAfter mulling through all of the cards in a new format, my mind starts putting together things that have a very good and obvious combination (Emboar and “Insert Pokémon Name Here” come to mind). After that, I start to think of little techs or starters to flush out my Pokémon lines, and then I finally observe other decklists with the same premise to see if I spot any good ideas and/or weaknesses in my decklist.
I think that we have all been through this before. As soon as I have an established deck that only needs a little bit of work to get put to >95% perfection, my mind gets a little bored and other ideas pop into my head. Like the simple combination of Elekid and Blastoise.
Why this popped into my head, I have no idea, but the idea immediately started to flourish, especially after seeing Elekid’s detrimental effects early on against my MagneBoar. The so-called ‘flip-war’ was terrible for a direct attacking deck to get past, and Elekid doesn’t suffer from this problem because it snipes the bench.
Blastoise also snipes the bench, so I thought this combo would work well. My problem? The basic damage calculation shows that you have these numbers: 120, 140, 160, etc. As we know, the three most hyped cards in BW have odd values of 130 and 150, making it inefficient and wasting an attack to bring that extra bit of damage to obtain the KO. I had to think a little bit harder.
Crobat G! Wait, that’s cycled. How about Kingdra Prime? I entertained this idea greatly, and it seems to be the most logical option. First, Kingdra had no energy clashing with Blastoise, and their effects were mutual, combining to create that odd amount of damage. Also, having a back-up attacker when not going into the Emboar matchup seemed really good. Now that the idea in my head was set, I had to start with discovering…
The First Problems
pokebeach.comAfter finding the initial combination I wanted to use, I brought in other ideas to see if this deck would work. The first problem I encountered was, and you if you haven’t seen it yet you need to build more decks in your spare time (Even if they turn out terrible. Practice is great for improving your skills!), the energy acceleration.
I had two options, and both of them seemed to be terrible ideas, all because of space. The first option, just because of personal preference, was Feraligatr Prime. Assuming I’m played a 4-2-4 line of Blastoise and a 3-1-3 line of Kindgra Prime, adding in a 2-1-2-of Feraligatr Prime above the 4 Baby Pokémon (some combination of Elekid and Cleffa) I was playing seemed really cluttered. I mean, three stage 2s? It’s a terrible idea.
I ditched Feraligatr and looked toward Floatzel. With free Retreat Cost and a great combination with Blastoise’s Poké-Power, it seemed like a perfect idea. The problem was that I couldn’t fit in a 3-3 line like I wanted, as that took up more spaces than did Feraligatr, so I had to settle with 2-2.
Luckily, this card would not be using up my valuable Rare Candies, so it seemed to put less stress only resources, even though I was going to be using up a lot.
Everything was still a little cluttered, but now I was starting to see some structure forming. It was time that I started thinking of…
I think I just realized why Pokémon put them all under one name. I only have to write Trainers now instead of Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums. Anyway, back to the deck building.
With all of these Pokémon, I decided that I would need the most amount of search that I could possibly get without having to use up any necessary draw for the turn. While many people enjoy Pokémon Collector, I prefer playing Dual Ball, but in this instance, I believed that I needed to play both.
I saw a 2-4 split, respectively, as doing the most good for me, especially since I was going to be needing all of the search and draw power that I could get in a turn in order to compete with the rest of the decks. I decided it was necessary to play some Juniper and PONT, and I again believed a 2-4 split, respectively, would work.
I know that I’m going to be running max Rare Candies, max Junk Arms, and at least one Elm’s, so my card count rounded out to 25 Trainers and a really high count of 25 Pokémon!
The Next Set of Problems
pokebeach.comLeaving room for only 10 energies in a HS-on format with no form of recovery was not a very good idea. I had in my mind two options: 1) Rebuild the deck more efficiently, and 2) Fix the lines. I decided to try both.
First, I decided to drop a line of Blastoise, giving room for three more energies, making the play a little bit more reasonable, and dropping 1-0-1-of Kingdra to give me 5 total free spaces. I decided to drop a PONT and a Dual Ball to give me 7 total spaces.
This gave me a lot more wiggle room. I feared the deck would lose a lot of power, but the cuts were necessary if I was going to gain any consistency in the deck. I decided to put in 5 more energies, a Flower Shop Lady, and an Energy Retrival.
I am currently cursing the amount of recovery options in this metagame.
My final list looked like this:
|Pokémon -20||Trainers – 25
2 Pokémon Collector
|Energy – 15|
Really choppy and not smooth at all. And I was bound and determined to make it work! But I was stuck on a train traveling across Europe with no access to people to play with. This concluded my slow build of a deck with a concept.
Which brings me to following through with my second option.
The Rebuild (AKA The Fast Build)
So, this wasn’t a complete rebuild, but a gigantic modification of the Pokémon lines from the last list, so it was close to a rebuild. I had seen some talk in either an article or a forum somewhere about making a build with Feraligatr and Feraligatr Prime.
It seemed to be the perfect combination with itself because I didn’t have to squeeze in extra lines for energy acceleration and the main attacker, plus the weaknesses weren’t all the same.
I took a lot of the main concepts of the last build and quickly put together this:
|Pokémon – 21||Trainers – 27
2 Pokémon Collector
|Energy – 12
I think that the energy count is too low, but I then again think that this will have greater consistency because of the combined support and attacker lines. This deck runs off of a concept a little different than the original idea does, but it still follows a main principle, start taking out the bench. This deck takes Pokémon on the bench dangerously closer to their demise each turn, while entirely threatening the thought of placing a baby Pokémon on the bench.
The downside to this deck as compared to the other deck is that this one doesn’t hit as hard or fast as the other. However, it does at least force more thinking on your opponent’s side of the board if they have not seen this deck concept yet, forcing them to move pretty fast to avoid getting multiple KOs from one attack.
pokebeach.comYou have no idea how much I would like to fill this part out, but, again, I’m stuck on a train in the middle of Europe. This is, of course, the most important part of creating a deck that works in the current metagame, but I’m truly sorry that I am unable to put anything here. Maybe you all can compensate for this void with your own testing ;).
Normally during this phase, I play a metadeck and within the first three games make changes ranging from only one card to overhauling the engine. After the first three, I try not to change anything until I can pinpoint the trouble that I’m having, and then I improve upon it.
The Explanation of the Slow and Fast Builds
As avid readers of 6P and Pokémon TCG fans, you have probably encountered both of these types of builds. However, here is how I define them:
- A deep exploration of a new deck concept created within about a week of thought, going through potential combinations and once found, carefully calculating the Trainers and Energy that need to be added in order to support the concept
- A deep exploration of a known deck concept, but attempting to find a significantly different and more efficient solution to the concept
- A quick construction of a deck (approximately 10 minutes in length) from a known deck concept by putting together:
- A similar build to the metagame build, but made almost instantaneously for a quick testing round (either as the player or opponent deck)
- A dissimilar build following, as closely as possible, the concept of the known deck, usual made to see if the other thought actually works
For some reason, I find that most of my fast builds tend to work much better than my slow builds. I believe this to be that I have already mastered the concept ahead of time, and thus I am able to better create a deck that suits the concept, but I digress.
I hope you enjoyed peering into the mind of a
madman Pokémon player stuck on a train for 8 hours and hyped up on Red Bull. I really enjoyed building this, and now I can’t wait to play with it.
However, I do need to admit that, even though I had these ideas before this article was written, I believe that Kettler has put a better use to Kingdra Prime, and I facepalmed when I saw his incredibly obvious and efficient combo. That being said, check it out! It’s worth looking at that rogue deck.
Also, a final note: If you down-vote this article, please, please, please leave a comment telling me what you did not like about my article, whether it be my writing style, my analysis, or whatever it is you disproved of (but please not lack of testing results, as I cannot perform testing as of right now).
If you liked the article, please tell me what you liked about it so that I can continue doing so in my writing. Suggestions and constructive criticism are always appreciated so that I can better serve this Pokémon community with my writing.