Monkeys and Weasels – Disruption at its Finest

Wait, wait, wait. Monkeys and Weasels? This is a Pokémon article! You can’t be talking aboutreal-life animals!

thefarside.com

Sir, please lay down. Now, tell me, what did you see in Canada’s Nationals that you found to be unexpected?

Well, all of the Yanmegas and Kingdras seem surprising to me. And the lack of MagneBoar and DonChamp, definitely. Ummm… Also the Vileplume deck thingy with the outrageous amount of Pokémon. And what’s with that Ambipom/Weavile deck?

Good, good. I was hoping you’d pick up on that last part. How would you sum up this whole list of the Top 16?

Ummm… Diverse, yet similar?

I can see where you’re coming from. There’s a lot of Magnezone and Yanmega, but the field still has a lot of variety because they are not all the same decks. Much better than last year’s. *cough* LuxChomp *cough* *cough*

So what’s going on with that Ambipom/Weavile deck? It just seems so out of place, like it shouldn’t even… Wait, monkey and weasel. That’s what this article’s going to be about isn’t it?

Correct! We have a winner!

Why are we talking about this deck anyway? You continuously complain about your horrible luck and need of consistency, yet you’re trying to make a disruption deck? How is that even possible for you?

Have you seen the list that he used? Here it is:

Pokémon – 26

4 Aipom TM
4 Ambipom TM
4 Sneasel UD
4 Weavile UD
2 Slowpoke UD
2 Slowking HS/CL
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
1 Bouffalant BLW #91
1 Phanpy HS
1 Donphan [Prime] HS
1 Natu UL
1 Xatu UL

Trainers – 22

3 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Professor Juniper
4 Seeker
2 Dual Ball
4 Pokémon Communication
2 Switch

Energy – 12

4 Double Colorless
4 Rainbow
4 Special D

What an amazing combination of efficiency and speed! It’s ultra-consistent, so this is definitely a disruption deck that I would be able to play. Very concise, very simple. Quite enjoyable to see something so simple.

But there’s no Cleffa.

pokebeach.com

Yes, one thing that I do not like, but I believe was the proper play considering what he was going up against at the tournament, specifically Yanmega and Kingdra. As one of Alaric’s friends said, “Live by the Cleffa, die by the Cleffa.” It could be added, but it is definitely not the best option for this deck.

The whole focus is to disrupt your opponent’s start and snipe around everything, allowing you to win by not allowing your opponent to set up. The more time you have to set up, the less time your opponent has to win.

Okay, but how is that managed? It seems fairly difficult.

First, you have Weavile’s Claw Snag, with the ability to discard one card from your opponent’s hand. You can specifically choose which card will destroy their setup for the next turn. You also have Ambipom’s Astonish to shuffle two cards from their hand into their deck.

With a Judge, and having both of these to play, you could essentially bring your opponent’s hand down to one card, or even none. And with Slowking controlling the topdecks, it gets pretty hard for your opponent to recover.

That seems to be a lot of factors.

True, but we must also remember that Aipom has the attack Initiate, which allows you to draw until you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent. If you get a good start, it can get better. If you have a bad start, you can play out your hand and try to make it better.

Sneasel has a free-Retreat Cost, so it acts like a baby in that aspect, but it can also attack very well with Beat Up, just like it did in the old days before it got banned. The deck also runs Juniper, which, as my friend magneto1992 says, if the deck doesn’t outrun Magnezone or Ninetales, it has to run Juniper.

It’s starting to look a lot more consistent.

pokebeach.com

It sure is. The more and more I look at it, the more and more I love it. I’ve seen the way Weavile disrupts, and with that in mind, I cannot imagine playing against it in combination with Ambipom.

Agreed. So, what’s up with his tech lines? I can understand Donphan and Buffolant, but why Xatu?

Well, as you’ve probably guessed, Donphan was put in place for the Zekrom matchup and Buffolant was included for the possiblility of RDL and the great revenge attacker that he is. Donphan’s ability to tank was also something that did not need to be considered lightly because if you’re struggling, tanking is a great way to give you time to get back into the game.

Xatu, however, was a strange tech that has seen a little bit of talk around the TCG forums. It was really placed there just so he could hold off the Donphan and Machamp threats. One thing that he actually did not expect was the damage dealt to Machamp with Psywave; 160 against a fully loaded Machamp with weakness.

Confuse Ray is also a very nice attack because status conditions force a switch, which is very important when maintaining the control that you already have over your opponent.

And what’s with the Tyrogue? No Cleffas, but still a Tyrogue?

Let’s think about it. With four other Pokémon with a free retreat, the chance of obtaining a donk is actually fairly high, not even counting Sneasel’s Fury Swipes, which, with a special Dark and two heads, donks a baby Pokémon or Hoppip. With those opportunities to donk, why not go for it?

True. Okay, but what about the Trainers that he runs? I mean, Dual Balls and four Seekers? No Super Scoop Up? And Professor Juniper? Really?

pokebeach.comHold on, hold on! I’ve already explained Juniper above, because a deck can’t compete unless it has an engine. Professor Juniper is the engine of any deck without Magnezone or Ninetales. The Dual Balls are, at least in my mind, the perfect choice for play because he uses a 3/2 split of Pokémon Collector and Dual Ball, making sure thatin some instances he can still search for a basic and use his suppporter for the turn. I personally prefer the 2/3 split, but to each his own.

The Seekers are an obvious choice, because they provide a great tool for disruption. You can Seeker up a Weavile to play it back down on an unused Sneasel, and then use Ambipom to shuffle back two cards from your opponent’s hand, possibly including the Pokémon that they had just picked up.

After your opponent has already had a bad bit of disruption, why not make sure that they’re kept under your lock. As for the lack of Super Scoop Up, they’re flippy. The possibility of not picking up one of your Pokémon as compared to having a sure pick up and forcing your opponent to pick up one of their Pokémon on the bench. I’m definitely going with Seeker, even if it is my supporter for the turn.

How do you win with no heavy hitters?

It’s a little harder, but by keeping your opponent’s heavy hitters off of the field, you tend to be able to Knock Out all of your opponent’s Pokémon as basics. That should keep you fighting the whole way through. However, if your opponent does set up before you, it becomes almost impossible for you to win. Might as well take the risk if you know that by completely crippling your opponent’s setup, you essentially win.

However, with more time, I’m sure that more people will come up with better techs for this deck, but I still assume that what he has come up with is one of the best choices.

Well, what do you believe should be added as techs?

pokebeach.com

Honestly, I don’t have many ideas for this, but I do know what not to play. First of all, no Zoroark. The weakness that he has makes it too difficult to fulfill a counter role, and Bouffalant definitely does the same. And as much as I love Cinccino, I also believe that it is not the right play because of the Weakness, again.

However, there are other ideas. I like the idea of putting in Yanmega as a backup plan, because it does counter the Fighting weakness and goes with the overall strategy of sniping babies (That sounds terrible, doesn’t it?).

I also like the idea of putting in Jirachi UL, because it punishes the Rare Candy lines. However, Jirachi requires multiple energies, so I doubt it will work as well as I think it could.

I think I’m finally starting to get this deck. Anything else?

No, I think that everything else can be explained through testing the deck yourself.

Wait, you haven’t tested the deck yourself?

No. What do you think I am? A super player? I just heard about this deck a couple days ago.

Why do I keep coming to you for Pokémon deck help then?

Because I don’t charge you? I give you ideas that can form into your own deck strategy? Not everything is playtesting.

But most of it is.

True, but I… I, uh… Bye!

Reader Interactions

40 replies

  1. Anonymous

    “With a Judge, and having both of these to play, you could essentially bring your opponent’s hand down to one card, or even none.”

    The list has no Judge, just saying.

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      Judge is just an option to use in the deck. I’m sorry if I led you to think it was in the list or main strategy.

  2. apb58

    A better formed and thought out article than the one we saw about Ambipom/Weavile last week, and an interesting format for an article; I like it!

    But, as was said: No judge? Also, maybe you meant to imply this when you say “keep your opponent locked”, but you mentioned nothing about the slowking line. I think that’s a very important part in disruption decks nowadays. 

    • Anonymous  → apb58

      I’m sorry that I failed to do so. I believe it to be obvious, but skipping out on explaining it is not a good thing to do, especially when we have new players coming to this site.

  3. Anonymous

    I really want to build this deck for the fun of it. I can’t imagine it being super expensive, but I’m probably wrong.

  4. Cam Graybill

    Awesome article, I love the way it was set up, and I love the deck!

  5. tim h

    Just saying Judge is not a good choice in this deck. If they have 3 cards, you do NOT want to give them any more. They will very rarely have more than 4 cards except for very early on. An early judge could kill you.

    • Anonymous  → tim

      I wrote this article right after Canadian Nats, and, after testing, I totally agree with you. My opponent tends to have 2-3 cards in their hand after I get set up.

  6. Riccardo Maganza

    Don’t like the format of this article.
    Plain text IMHO is better than a fake conversation. Just sayin’

    Bout the deck, I don’t understand Slowking. If you use it on the turn you’re doing all the disruption stuff (including Ambipom) it has no sense at all… Ambipom makes your opponent shuffle their deck so it frustrates your whole strategy…

    • Anonymous  → Riccardo

      You don’t always need to use Ambipom’s first attack. And Sneasel’s Beat Up is still good. Weavile snipes Baby Pokemon, while Donphan and Xatu can also deal some good damage. Slowking is there to keep the lock, and if your opponent somehow breaks it, Ambipom can then put the lock back on.

    • Sam Stevens  → Riccardo

      You use Slowking to lock their draws into useless cards while dropping all their important cards and ways of shuffling their deck from their hand with Ambipom/Weaville… If you use judge before Slowking and discarding then they only have 1 card in hand and no chance of top decking a good card (unless all top 3 are big draw cards =( ), of course with judging before dropping ‘Claw Snag’ you are hoping you get lucky with drawing a Weaville or way of getting it. The decks only real problem is that after you have the lock in place it has nothing major to get you all your prizes… With something that hits big and doesn’t take many resources to fit into the deck slots this deck can absolutely dominate if it gets going quick (which it can do turn 2) Maximizing speed and power with this level of disrupt can be a serious challenge to deal with

    • Sam Stevens  → Riccardo

      You use Slowking to lock their draws into useless cards while dropping all their important cards and ways of shuffling their deck from their hand with Ambipom/Weaville… If you use judge before Slowking and discarding then they only have 1 card in hand and no chance of top decking a good card (unless all top 3 are big draw cards =( ), of course with judging before dropping ‘Claw Snag’ you are hoping you get lucky with drawing a Weaville or way of getting it. The decks only real problem is that after you have the lock in place it has nothing major to get you all your prizes… With something that hits big and doesn’t take many resources to fit into the deck slots this deck can absolutely dominate if it gets going quick (which it can do turn 2) Maximizing speed and power with this level of disrupt can be a serious challenge to deal with

      • Sam Stevens  → Sam

        My bad just remembered Ambipom shuffles them back in and does not discard them… Oh well use it the turn after or to help your draws

  7. Sebastian Hunter

    This deck looks wicked. I’m really considering making it, but possibly with more of a focus on attacking. I’ll probably end up making my Cinno/Zoroark deck more focused on disruption.

        • Anonymous  → Sebastian

          My friend runs it. It works well because of consistency, but going for pure disruption is high-risk, high-return. Ultra consistency is key.

  8. Anonymous

    i run houndoom(CoL) in this deck, it works really well.

  9. Adam Capriola

    I love how you wrote this article, very creative Logan!

  10. Karol Nowak

    Very well written article on Ambipom/Weavile! Your analysis on the deck was very good, and I loved how you used a conversation-like format to describe the deck.

  11. Travis Yeary

    I’ve made this deck recently, and it works very well. The lock is surprisingly easy to get off, but like people mention, the power is lacking. It’s easy for your opponent to wait the lock out. The solution I’ve come up with is Zoroark. He has direct synergy with the decks energy, and can fight against just about everything.

    • Anonymous  → Travis

      The only reason that I don’t want to do that is the whole “everything is weak to fighting” thing. As much as I enjoy Zoroark, it’s probably not the best tech here. However, if it works, keep it.

  12. Quarter-Turn

    ‘m intrigued by the lack of ANY recovery cards, but through testing, realized they were unnecessary; all the energies are special energies, and the Pokémon run heavy lines. I was also interested in the choice of Aipom. I’m thinking of a scary Reshiram/Zekrom only needing two energies to outrage this deck for several prizes. Moving those energy away early with other Aipom could be essential. What do you guys think?
    I agree that better techs for this deck will be discovered, and I’m curious to see what people develop.

  13. Nicholas Sinard

    Where is the judge you were talking about when you said “With a Judge, and having both of these to play, you could essentially bring your opponent’s hand down to one card, or even none. And with Slowking controlling the topdecks, it gets pretty hard for your opponent to recover.”?

  14. Nicholas Sinard

    Where is the judge you were talking about when you said “With a Judge, and having both of these to play, you could essentially bring your opponent’s hand down to one card, or even none. And with Slowking controlling the topdecks, it gets pretty hard for your opponent to recover.”?

  15. Michael Gottschalk

    A full fledged disruption deck in this format is really a compelling thought, as I have already started building rouge decks with disruption engines. This deck seems really good for advanced players who can make make the right decisions and come up with the proper KO’s w/o any heavy hitters. Though as admitted if the deck stalls or you can’t control the opponents set up from the start, even great players will still be struggling to win. I have a deck that is based around speed Cinccino that has alot of good disruption and even does the sneasel/weavile thanng. I have some decent tech ideas for it 2…. ok with all that said, I loved this article! the conversation was awesome lol and if anyone has tried out this deck or decks with strong disruption elements let me know how its working out for you. 

    Great article Logan.

  16. Lee

    Great article as always, Logan. The one big thing I gather from all this is just how effective disruption is (and was, and always will be) which is why I rub my hands together and cackle with maniacal laughter as I think about Beartic and all the opportunities he posses. Which reminds me I need to get that info to you for your next article.

  17. Nick

    Great article. Just played a deck like this last night in a local spot. Great WITHOUT judge because I had no cards the whole game or drawing into nothing with disruption of slowking and claw snag. Judge would be alright in the beginning, but after there would be no use

  18. bob bob

     Well concerning the Slowking dilemma, you would usually Weavile claw snag to see their hand, than secondly discarding a key card. Than utilizing Slowking’s ability to check their next 3 Top-Decks and if rearranged in a proper order so valuable set-up cards are placed on the bottom and cards that lightly affect their progress to be put Top-deck.

    Personally Ambipom holds to this deck as more of a tech as anything, where after using both weavile and slowking it can be used in situations where all 3 of their Top decks are relatively decent, ( draw support, needed evolutions, or energy ) . By choosing 2 cards that you already know from discarding a card from weavile, and Re-shuffling them back in potentially stops any progress whatsoever from what they had, and gives a chance for their next Top-deck to be a slightly less desirable draw, rather the Juniper’s or Oak’s Theory they had coming up from last draw.

     Essentially dropping the ambipom to a 2-2 line and making it mandatory for a 3-3 line of Yanmega make it fairly easy to maintain the decks true status of disruption with Weavile and Slowking, while having the added option of more disruption and possibly starting a chain of stale draws with Ambipom and a bit of luck, but hey at the moment in this Meta game what doesn’t take a bit of luck to win? The Yanmega also add late game damage as well as early game snipe, that has great synergy with Weavile’s snipe.

    This deck is ultimately a disruption tool box appropriately crippling their cards and being able to make decisions like whether or not to knock out their squishy Cleffa, or attempt a lock chain with ambipom.

     *My advice is, practice with the deck try it out and see if you can get the hang of it. If not, maybe it’s not the deck for you. This deck leans more towards  seasoned players who can make decisions based on experience and being able to fore see what is to come.

     This is a great deck and I look forward to seeing new cards coming into the set that will elevate the deck out of 2nd/3rd tier into 1st tier material! :)

  19. Joe Callen

    I’m not exactly how this “disruption” deck is supposed to work with both Slowking AND Ambipom. Slowking controls topdecks, so the opponent will draw something crappy every time. Yet you use Ambipom to essentially shuffle their deck, messing up the lock…….

  20. Anonymous

    zoroark is suprisingly good in this deck. makes up the reshiam match-up and helps soomuch against decks that get lucky enough to set-up. im surprised that he ran no judge though? yanmega seems nice but its hard ot make your hands the same to acctually attack. creative wrighting witht the article. very humourus.

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