The Hawk’s Nest: The Flower Garden

Hey SixPrizes Nation! Well it has been a little while since my last deck analysis article. Hopefully, you have enjoyed my more journalistic articles since immediately prior to worlds.

Anyway, I am here to talk to you all about possibly my favorite deck at the moment: The Flower Garden. I am calling Ross Cawthon’s basic strategy The Flower Garden now. His deck has for the better part of two weeks been public knowledge. So, I do not think that there is anything wrong with me bringing the idea to you readers. However, Ross deserves all the credit in the world for being the architect of the deck.

Here is how the article is going to be broken down. First, I will give you the core strategy of Ross’ brilliant creation. Second, I will explain why I call this The Flower Garden. Third, I will expound upon all the tools at the deck’s disposal. Fourth, I will talk about the deck’s weakness. Finally, I will give you the list that I have been playing around with since Worlds. Let’s get going.

The Core Strategy

Vileplume UDpokebeach.comI hope that most of you know by now that Ross’s deck ran Vileplume and Reuncilus. Vileplume is a stage two grass Pokémon with a relatively low 120 hp, a CC Retreat Cost, and a weak basic (40 hp Oddish). So, why is this card any good?

Well, it is the best option for Trainer-Item lock right now. Many people have started to believe in the purple candlestick, but I ultimately feel that its attack is too meager and the fact that it has to be active is too big of a drawback. Vileplume’s partner is Reuncilus. It is also a stage two Pokémon.

However, Reuncilus has an even lower 90 hp, a CC Retreat Cost, and a lackluster basic. This Pokémon is excessively fragile to ever be brought active. However, with Vileplume in play you can safely bring Reuncilus into play to utilize his Ability. His Ability allows you to move damage counters around your side of the board in any manner that you want. These two cards make the backbone of the core strategy.

The second most important part of the deck to understand is the engine. The term engine refers to the cards (Pokémon, Items, and Supporters) that allow the deck to set up. A full set up for this deck is having a Vileplume, Reuncilus, and the desired active Pokémon.

Now, the priority order of set up for this deck is Vileplume first, Reuncilus second, desired active third. I hope that many of you realize that setting up two Stage 2 Pokémon is likely a slow process. I also hope that you realize that you will almost always go down early in prizes (I will talk about this later in the strategy and weakness).

pokebeach.comActually, it is desirable to go down in prizes early with this deck because the main engine component for this deck is Twins. Twins allows you to search your deck for any two cards you desire in your opponent has more prizes that you. So, the way you accomplish going down in prizes is through utilizing baby Pokémon early in the game.

So, the second set of important cards for the engine is Pichu and Cleffa. Pichu is a baby with 30 hp that allows you to search your deck for as many basic Pokémon as you like and put them on your bench.

This allows you to sacrifice a baby to go down in prizes and it allows you to fill your bench with the basics that you need to set up your Stage Two Pokémon. Cleffa is another baby that allows you to get a new six card hand. This is useful in the early game to achieve your set up.

The last card that is vital to the engine is Sage’s Training. The reason why Sage’s is used over other supporters is that you get to hand pick the cards to use. This deck is actually the best toolbox in the game right now.

So you will have a lot of cards that you do not need for certain match-ups that you can discard and keep the cards that are useful. Sage’s Training will likely be challenged by Cheren. With Cheren, you will get to take the top three cards from your deck instead of hand picking two of the top five.

Moving beyond the engine, there is more to the deck that needs to be discussed. In the current format the key damage number is 120. This is the highest damage output by the more popular cards in the format (except for Magnezone). So, with Vileplume in play you opponent cannot use PlusPower to secure that extra ten to twenty damage to secure one hit knock outs against Pokémon with 130 or more hp.

pokebeach.comTherefore, if they cannot secure a 1HKO on your active you can move that damage off of your active onto the bench and allow the active to live to fight another turn. So the key point of this paragraph is that you need Pokémon with 130 hp or more to be the main attackers in the deck.

Finally, the last part to the deck is healing. There are two main healing options. Blissey Prime and Seeker. Blissey Prime allows you to heal all the damage off of a Pokémon in exchange for discarding all energy to that Pokémon.

If you have a high hp basic (Reshiram/Zekrom) on your bench that can just absorb damage swaps, you can heal it with Blissey Prime and then put it back down. You can also accomplish healing through Seeker. You can just move damage to the benched punching bag and then Seeker it up.

So, in summary the key to this deck is establishing Item lock, establishing damage manipulation, using a come from behind engine, and then having active Pokémon that are not easily one hit Knocked Out.

The Flower Garden?

Ok, so here in St. Louis, Missouri we have one of the best free Zoos in the country. There is a park that is bigger than Central Park in New York (Forrest Park). We also have the Missouri Botanical Garden. In the Botanical Garden there are many, many different types of plants. This is typical of most gardens, including home gardens.

So, even though Vileplume is the only plant in this deck (most likely), there are MANY other types of Pokémon. Therefore, I am calling it a Flower Garden.

What are the Tools Available to the Deck?

This deck, is one of the remaining true Pokémon toolbox decks in the format (the other one might be Megazord, aka stage ones). There are a lot of different Pokémon that can be utilized. However, in general it is best to have the Pokémon be basics or Stage Ones.

The deck locks itself out of Pokémon Communication, so, getting out more Stage Twos can be difficult. Also, you want to cover all the type match-ups or at least most of them. We will examine many of these options now.

Pokémon

Donphan Prime HS: The big elephant is one of the leading candidates for the deck. It has 120 hp and a Poké-Body that reduces damage by 20. So, it virtually has a whopping 140 hp. This is extremely high for a stage one. Donphan can also attack for a single energy.

For one Fighting Energy you can do 60 damage, but you do ten damage to all of your bench. However, with Reuncilus this is not a bad thing to have happen. You can manipulate the damage to your advantage with the next two Pokémon. Donphan easily two hit knock outs Magnezone due to weakness. Donphan can cover the type weakness against Lightning for the deck.

So, in favor of Donphan is that it is a stage one, it attacks for a single energy, it has a whopping 140 hp. On the down side Donphan has a CCC Retreat Cost. So, it can get stuck in the Active spot a little too often.

(Donphan is obviously the best idea for the Lightning matchup, but it can be expensive. So you could try Marowak, the new Fighting Bull thing from EP, or the Regular Donphan)

Zekrom BW: Zekrom is a 130 hp basic Pokémon. That is astounding. You are above the 120 damage mark. Also, Zekrom can use its first attack, Outrage, to great effect in the deck. For CC you get to do 20 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on Zekrom.

pokebeach.comSo, you could load Zekrom up with 120 damage through Reuncilus and then attack for 140 damage. You can also use Rainbow Energy to power up Bolt Strike and attack for 120. This also puts 40 damage on your side of the board which can be a huge deal. It is often important to have damage on your side of the board to power up outrage.

This is more than enough to take out most of the popular Pokémon in the meta right now. Zekrom also covers your water and Yanmega type match-ups. So, in Zekrom’s favor is the extremely high hp, an attack that has great synergy with Reuncilus, and a relatively low Retreat Cost of CC. There really is not a down side to Zekrom.

Reshiram BW: Reshiram is another 130 hp basic Pokémon. It also has the same outrage attack as Zekrom. You can again us Rainbow Energy to power up Blue Flare, but you have to discard two Fire Energy. If you must use this attack you can, but without energy recovery it is not the wisest idea.

Dodrio UD: This Pokémon is a stage one with a mere 80 hp. However, when it is on your bench your active Pokémon’s Retreat Cost is reduced by CC. So, it essentially gives you free retreat during the game and it cannot be touched by Catcher. The only real threats are Muk and Liepard.

Beartic EP: This card is receiving a lot of hype. However, I feel that this deck is one of the few places it will truly shine. It is a stage one with 130 hp. It’s first attack for three energy makes it to where the defending Pokémon cannot attack during your opponent’s next turn. This allows you to lock your opponent’s turn or force him/her to retreat.

The attack only does 50 damage, but Beartic’s second attack does 80 for WWCC. Beartic is a water Pokémon that covers your type match-ups against Fire Pokémon (which are very popular right now) and Donphan. Beartic has a great weakness to metal types. It is unfortunately has a CCC Retreat Cost, so you will have to ditch one energy even with Dodrio.

Samurott BW: Samurott is one of two stage two Pokémon that will make this list. Samurott has 140 hp but has an Ability that reduces damage by 20. This gives it a virtual 160 hp. It also can do 70 damage for CCC, but for every water energy attached it does and additional ten damage.

The only reason why Samurott still warrants consideration with Beartic out, is that Samurott has a CC Retreat Cost. So, Dodrio allows it to retreat for free. Samurott can cover your Fire match-ups and your Donphan match-up.

Magnezone Prime TM: Magnezone Prime is a big 140 hp stage two. It’s Poké-Power allows you to draw until you have six cards in your hand. This could be useful early in the game, but late your hand is usually clogged so the power tends to be useless.

However, Lost Burn can virtually 1HKO anything in the format. It allows you to send as many energy cards as you like to the Lost Zone and do 50 damage times the number of energy cards you send. So, it can be used to take out the bigger than 140 hp Pokémon.

Pichu HS: Pichu is a baby Pokémon that for zero energy allows you to search your deck for as many basic Pokémon as you like and put them on your bench. This allows you to fill you bench quickly and then sacrifice Pichu to start the Twins engine.

Cleffa HS/CL: Cleff is also a baby Pokémon. Cleffa allows you to shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six new cards. Then you can sacrifice Cleffa to start the Twins engine.

Suicune & Entei Legend UL: This is a 160 hp Legend Pokémon. So, if it gets KOd you give up 2 Prizes. However, with 160 hp there are few Pokémon that can 1HKO it. However, SEL is a two type Pokémon. This means that if can cover both the fire/Donphan, grass (save Yanmega), and metal match-ups.

It can do 80 damage for three energy to the active or can snipe for 100 damage to the bench for three energy. This Pokémon is great (as in virtually unbeatable) against a straight Reshiram deck or Donphan deck. However, for me it is a bit too risky.

There are times when you have to work with what you can draw from the deck and it this is the only Pokémon you have anything that is Water or Lightning and can hit for 80 will give them 2 Prizes.

Blissey Prime HS: The is a 130 hp stage one Pokémon. It can attack for 60 damage with CCC energy. The best part is Blissey’s Poké-Power. When Blissey comes into play, you can choose one of your Pokémon and remove all damage from that Pokémon. You simply have to discard the energy from that Pokémon. This is great for that bench sitting punching bag.

Steelix or Steelix Prime UL: The regular Steelix has 120 hp and a fire weakness. For MCC you get to attack for 40 damage and damage received the next turn is reduced by 20. Then for MMCC you get to flip two coins and do 80 times the number of heads. The first attack is the useful one since it virtually gives Steelix 140 hp which is above the 120 magic number.

Steelix Prime has 140 hp and two attacks. The first attack for CC allows you to search your discard for ANY energy and attach it to Steelix. The second attack for a hefty MMCCC does 100 damage and discards a stadium. This Steelix is already above the 140 mark and provided a way to get the energy back that you have already used.

However, Steelix has a Retreat Cost of CCCC so, you will be discarding two energy even with Dodrio to retreat. However, if you are a patient person and you have burned a lot of your energies you could let Steelix tank and then recover 3-5 energies before retreating and playing Seeker to pick those energy back up. The trade off is possible.

Obviously if fire types stay very popular, Steelix will not be needed in this deck very often due to his fire weakness. However, if Beartic becomes popular (or anything other than fire) becomes popular (I’m looking at you Zekrom) you could use Steelix to great effect.

Gyarados HS/CL: This Pokémon is a stage one with 130 hp. It can be extremely fun to play with. It’s first attack does a measly 50 damage for WCC, but it’s second attack for WWCC does 80 damage and you discard an energy attached to the defending Pokémon.

The energy discard is one of the reasons why Typhlosion has at least temporarily won out over Emboar. Forcing you opponent to discard energy is a great thing to be able to do. This card can really mess with many decks and has the type advantage over fire and Donphan.

BW: Zoroark is a stage one Pokémon with 100 hp. This is going to be one of three attacking options with less than 130 hp. Zoroark’s second attach can copy an opponent’s attack for just a CC. There are so many good attacks out there to copy that Zoroark definitely deserves some testing in this deck. It could use Yanmega’s snipe to take cheap prizes, Reshiram/Zekrom’s big attacks to get the return 1HKO, etc.

Ferrathorn EP: This Ferrathorn is a 90 hp metal Pokémon. That is both very low hp and a bad weakness. However, it could be useful as a Beartic counter or really if functions as a warp point for this deck. Its second attack does 60 damage for MCC. Then both you and your opponent switch out the active Pokémon for something from the bench.

What you could do, is bring Ferrathorn active, attack, and then switch it for something with more hp that will survive your opponent’s attack.

Muk UD: The final sub-130 hp attacker is Muk. Muk is a 100 hp stage one Pokémon. Muk’s first attack for P can drag up any Pokémon on your opponent’s field and poison them. This is like The Pokémon Catcher for the deck. Muk has already seen some play with Vilepume.

It can drag up the big Bench-sitters like Magnezone or Emboar and let them take poison damage. With out being able to use Switch, you opponent would either have to let the Pokémon get KOd or pay a hefty Retreat Cost.

Unown TM: This is the Unown from TM. The only reason why you would want to play this card is if your local Meta is status condition heavy. This will allow you to clear you Pokémon of those conditions and then can be reused with Seeker.

I should mention that Kyurem will also be a candidate for this deck whenever it comes out. It is another 130 hp basic that has the Outrage attack. It is simply a water type instead of fire or lightning.

The key to picking out your toolbox is knowing your local meta. At Worlds tyRam was a huge threat so Ross ran SEL. If Beartic is big in your area you play a Steelix or Ferrathorn. If Yanmega is king, you play Zekrom. If Zekrom or Magnezone is big you play Donphan. I hope that you get the idea.

Well those are what I feel are the best options to use as the Pokémon tools of the deck, let’s move onto the energy.

Energy

Double Colorless Energy: This card is a four copy must in the deck. I believe that nine of the previously mentioned attacking options can utilize DCE with at least CC included in their attack costs. Therefore, this is a must.

Rainbow Energy: This card is also a four copy must in the deck. You are playing a big time toolbox deck where nearly each Pokémon requires a single copy of a specific energy. This card provides that energy. Also, this card allow you to introduce ten damage to your side of the field.

Often times your opponent will catch onto the idea that you are using Outrage and will simply not attack unless they can secure the
1HKO. So, you need ways to put damage on your field to power outrage. This is one of those options.

There have been games where I have played all four down and then Seekered them back up after moving them around, and I did this process three times to get 120 damage on my field to be able to Outrage for 140 damage.

Basic Energy: Finally, whatever become your main Pokémon in this deck, you should include one or two basic energy of their type. So if you are playing a heavy Donphan version use Fighting Energy, if you are playing a Zekrom/Reshiram split then use one Lightning and one Fire Energy, and so on.

So Why Isn’t Everyone Playing This?

Well there are actually a few reasons why not a ton of people have picked up this deck.

First, it is a recent revelation to the mass public. Worlds in only two weeks behind us and the deck is still being digested by the public.

Second, the deck is very complicated. It is a rough deck for some people to pick up and play because you can make many, many mistakes to give away a game.

Third, it is a slow deck. I honestly feel that this is sort of like a turtle SP deck. It can cover any type advantage, it can search for specific cards out of the deck with relative ease, with Dodrio you have free retreat on most things, and you can abuse healing pickups with Seeker.

The difference is that this is SLOW. You will take more than the usual 20 minutes to play a game. This could be a problem in top cut situations where you are stuck with the third game going to time or being sudden death like what happened in the World Finals.

Fourth, this deck plays from behind. The major weakness of this deck is that it will always go down on prizes. Then you need to be able to start taking prizes almost every turn once you are ready to attack or else your opponent could slow play you to time. Also, this deck falls apart if you cannot get a Vileplume built. Now, you usually get the Vileplume, but every so often you might whiff and then you are in trouble.

Fifth, some people just hate locking decks. Not everyone can play the slow calculating style that is required in this deck. It happens.

Sixth, the deck can run out of steam against energy denial decks like Typhlosion and Gyarados.

Seventh, the deck can rely on getting damage on your side of the field. Often, once you opponent figures this out, he/she will simply sit on the prize lead and not attack unless they can secure the 1HKO. This can be very frustrating. To get around it you need to drop damage with Donphan, Rainbow Energy, and Zekrom’s Bolt Strike.

List Time

OK, so let’s look at a sample list. Now understand that this list is not perfect and that most lists should include Donphan. However, I did not have Donphan Primes when I was playing with this list. So, I built on that can operate without it.

Pokémon – 27

3 Oddish UD

2 Gloom UD

2 Vileplume UD

3 Solosis BLW

2 Duosion BLW

2 Reuncilus BLW

1 Oshawott BLW

1 Dewott BLW

1 Samurott BLW

2 Zekrom BLW
2 Reshiram BLW
1 Doduo UD

1 Dodrio UD
1 Pichu HS
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Chansey HS

1 Blissey Prime HS

Trainers – 234 Twins
4 Sage’s Training
3 Rare Candy
1 Professor Oak’s New Theory
1 Copycat
2 Pokémon Communication
2 Professor Elm’s Training Method
2 Seeker
4 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 104 Double Colorless
4 Rainbow
1 Fire
1 Lightning

In the Pokémon lines you can see that obviously there is homage being paid to both Yanmega Prime and Pokémon Catcher. I have utilized (and Ross did) building the core lines of the deck (Vileplume and Reuncilus) in a 3-2-2 fashion. This allows you to lose up to two basics of each and still keep going. I opted for a 1-1-1 Samurott as the water tech.

pokemon-paradijs.comOnce you go behind on prizes you can simply use Twins to get one piece of the line and another Twins. Three turns later and you have a fresh Samurott and one Twins left to spare. I also really like the ability to free retreat, so I have been playing with Dodrio.

The Trainer counts are also fairly simple to understand. I have four Pokémon Collector for high search abilities. I have a 2/2 Pokémon Communication/ Professor Elm’s Training Method split to be able to search out the evolutions quickly. The only Items in the list are the two Communications and the three Rare Candy to allow for quick evolution into Vileplume.

The four Twins and four Sage’s Training were talked about earlier as the main search engine in the deck. I also should mention why we have Professor Oak’s New Theory and Copycat in the deck. Well, the main reason is to keep your self from decking out. At the end of the game you will have a huge hand because you will be holding a lot of stuff.

So, you keep yourself from decking out, you can use these to cards to return stuff to your deck. You could also use Judge, but these two cards could possibly be useful in the early game too. Judge would not be good early.

Finally, the energy is pretty simple. I have four Double Colorless Energy for the CC requirements of so many attacks. It also allows you to retreat anything early before you have Dodrio up. I have the four Rainbow Energy to both introduce damage to the field and to meet the specific energy requirements. I have a single copy of Fire and a single copy of Lightning Energy to make it easier to use Reshiram or Zekrom’s second attack.

Conclusion

Well after a very long winded article, I hope that you learned something. This deck is a ton of fun to play and it works. There are weakness to the deck, but every deck in this format will have bad weaknesses. There is no one deck that can have a 50/50 match-up against everything (cough*luxchomp/d-chomp/sablelock*cough).

I hope that you enjoyed my article. I hope that every time someone asks you where you got het deck idea, you tell them Ross Cawthon. Finally, I hope that this saves someone from randomly picking up Ross’ deck and getting creamed because you did not know how to play it. Until next time.

Reader Interactions

36 replies

  1. Anonymous

    “When Blissey comes into play, you can choose one of your Pokémon and remove all damage from that Pokémon. You simply have to discard the energy from that Pokémon.”  Uhhh, that’s not right; read the card.  If you use Blissey’s power, you remove all damage from ALL your Pokémon, not just one.  So before evolving, you move the damage to Pokémon without energy attached, then evolve Blissey to clear all your damage.  Later, you can Seeker to do it again.

  2. Tommy Qualls

    Wow. So much variety and so many ways the deck can go…  I’ve been wanting to do something with Vileplume and it looks like as long as I have Reuniclus, my options are many. Thanks for the article. I learned a lot.

  3. lucas mazzega

    Without the Donphans this deck doesn’t get the same consistency of the ross’s deck, cause donphan makes the damage on the bench necessary to reuniculus manipulate it.

    • Anonymous  → lucas

      yes you are partially correct. if you are really focusing on using Outrage the Earthquake damage helps. However, there are other ways to get damage on the field. All it really takes is one bolt strike without being KOd to get damage on the field and the Rainbow Energies.

  4. Adrian Bubie

    Um, the last reliable toolbox? what about Mewbox….?

    • Anonymous  → Adrian

      I like Mewbox, but I honestly do not think that it will ever see a ton of success. That deck is just too fragile with a 60 hp main attacker. It can work when played well, but I would not play it at an important competitive event. It really has not extremely favorable match up and does not do anything too exceptional (like Item-Lock, tank, etc.)

      • Adrian Bubie  → Anonymous

        Most of the builds I know of MewBox include vileplume lines, so I think they do item lock. But I thin MB is kind of the opposite to this deck in that instead of tanking, it relies on often status-ing and disruption of your opponent’s set-up. 

        • Anonymous  → Adrian

          Fair point. I guess just around my area the Mew Boxes are not going to Item Lock :)

          However, I still feel that Mew Box is too fragile, can struggle to hit for enough damage, and status are good but not outstanding right now.

        • Anonymous  → Lee

          Sorry, I went out to dinner while I was typing up an answer for you. It is now posted in reply to your comments.

  5. Lee

    I just have three burning questions about this deck that perhaps you can help me with. One is: how is your consistency? I have so much trouble just setting up one Vileplume with a 3-2-3 line – I can only imagine running two or three lines of stage twos. Another aspect is that you run so many lines of one: can you really rely on Blissey when it or the Chansey may very well be prized? Same thing with Dodrio and the one basic Fire and Lightning energy.

    My next question is: do you often test this in a time-limit game? I feel if you rely too heavily on getting fully set up by using Twins, you will finally be unstoppable mid-late game, but suddenly you are running low on time and are 2-3 prizes behind (or even 1-2). Is this a problem?

    My last question is: do you ever have trouble with hand refreshing? I run 4 PonT, 3 Juniper, and Manaphy in my deck and even still I sometimes find myself unable to refresh my hand and am just blankly drawing. I understand Twins/Sages help with this problem, but that is still only two cards per turn you can pick out instead of several Pokemon to lay down/evolve which you seem to need to do rather often and as quick as possible.

    I am not trying to shut down this deck at all. I like it a lot and know it did very well; I just am trying to understand it.

    PS I guess a good way of wording it all is that (although I have not tested this deck yet) I feel I would often be holding lots of mismatched Pokemon in my hand, trying to get out what needs out as soon as possible, but with such thin lines of so many Pokemon, would be having a lot of trouble (considering I have had that trouble with much thicker lines and more draw power). Thanks for any insight!

    • Anonymous  → Lee

      Don’t worry I did not take any of that to be shooting down the deck. Any and all serious questions are welcome here.

      1) Consistency: The deck is actually pretty consistent. It has 10 cards devoted to search and draw, when you combine that with 4 Collectors and a 2/2 Communication and Elm split you can get to most of your resources when you need them. really the key to setting up the Vileplume line is waiting until you can play two Oddish down and you know with certainty that you can get to either 2 Gloom the next turn (with Vileplume the turn after) or that you can get Vileplume the turn after you put down the Oddish. Then you can work in peace on setting up the other evolution lines. Meanwhile the key to stalling early is getting out a Reshiram/Zekrom early. It is easily searched out and can absorb damage after you lose the first Pichu or Cleffa (that was used to help set up). I mean you just have to remember that you essentially get to hand select 16 cards from your deck with Twins and Sage’s Training if you play it correctly (plus another 4 for Comm/PETM and 3-6 with Collector). That is a huge deal. It is easily worth going down a prize to be able to do that.

      2) Running 1-1 lines: This is the great thing about this deck, the 1-1 or 1-1-1 lines are really optional. Blissey, Dodrio, Samurott, whatever other 1-1 line you put in are luxury cards. The deck operates perfectly fine it just a high hp active Pokemon and Vileplume/Reuncilus on the bench. You can just play the 1-1 lines as them present themselves to you. You do not really need to go searching for them until after the rest is set up.

      3) Time: This is a great question. For starters, I have come back from being down five prizes with this deck, but that is the big time exception. Normally, if you play it correctly, you will only fall behind 1 or 2 prizes (sometimes 3). However as long as you have teched your deck out to counter the meta, once you set up you can rain down OHKOs almost turn after turn against most stuff. So it is not altogether unlikely to take 6 prizes in 6-8 turns after you get set up and they normally only take 1-2 more. So, you just have to get the game back to even by time. However, most games do take 25-30 minutes to play all the way out. So while you can get most games in under time in the Swiss rounds, you will not get three full games played in the Top Cut. So, you really need to understand the game state and whether or not you have an actual chance of coming back. Learning how and when to scoop is a critical component to playing this deck in a tournament.

      4) Hand Refresh: Well yes you can have problems turning over your hand. However, this is not a big deal with this deck. As long as you have a high HP punching bag in the active you can stall for a good 4-6 turns without giving up a prize. So, this means that you will get the chance to draw 4-6 cards to land what you need or a supporter that can get it for you. Like I said earlier, the only things that you need to get out real fast are Vileplume, Reuncilus, and a high hp active. Everything else can come whenever and you do not have to worry about being OHKOd every turn and falling behind any more than you intentionally did. This is also where knowing what to get with Twins and Sage’s is very important. For example when it’s the mid-game and I am building Samurott I play Twins to get Oshawatt and another Twins. Then I get Dewott and another Twins. Then I get Samurott and an either another Twins or another supporter that I could use. If you hand is really bad you get PONT. Heck you could even take out PONT and put in Juniper to ditch the stuff you don’t need. I honestly have not had a big problem with have stale hands. You can either stall or get something quick enough that you can get out of it.

  6. Zac Coustier

    First off, I really liked the article because it explains why the deck did so well at Worlds for people who don’t really know what its goal was. Also, I really want to try this deck out because I am a HUGE fan of MewBox, and this seems like a similar deck(that it’s a toolbox). I also like your list because it’s different than Ross’s because it has no Donphan or Suicuine Entei Legend. That shows that there are many ways to play the deck. I’m going to go build that deck right now with proxies. :)

    • Anonymous  → Zac

      Yeah the list is different for two reasons. 1) it is cheaper. if you have read my other stuff you will pick up on a trend. i go for the cheapest effective option. 2) donphan and SEL are not required for this deck to work well.

  7. beyblade1410

    Im not the biggest fan of the deck, I understand it but just don’t see how it has good set up and the lack of trainers and almost 30 pokemon in the deck must give you a pretty bad hand at times. I think the deck does to much which makes for misplays. If any of you like I will sell 2 vileplumes to someone, give me a price in the reply section and I’ll put it up on ebay for you to immediately buy.

  8. Joshua Pikka

    Gothitelle is not “the purple candle stick.”  You are thinking of Litwick.  Gothitelle is a grown up version of a gothic Lolita.  Gotta love when we can bring up child molestation. 

      • Joshua Pikka  → Anonymous

        no prob, just thought I would help a bro out when I saw  a problem.  God knows how many similar problems I make in my articles. 

      • Joshua Pikka  → beyblade1410

        hey its Pokemon’s fault not mine.  Pokemon made a Pokemon based on the the Lolita story.  And the lolita story is about Child Molsetation.  It wasn’t my idea to make a Gothita. 

        Don’t kill the messenger. 

        • Anonymous  → Joshua

          It’s amazing what Japanese social norms and American social norms disagree upon.  Another good example of that is Lenora’s outfit, Jynx, the ideas of blackface, the guns in the japanese anime, etc.  While it’s a bit controvercial, Pikkdogs has a point, Japan chose to use that as the basis for a pokemon.

          Besides, like it or not, the words “child molestation” are both a fact of life, and something that can be seen on television.  If you don’;t let your child watch the news, then why is your kid reading 6P unattended?
          (Hypothetical child, not to PokemonJon or anyone in particular)

        • Joshua Pikka  → Anonymous

          It’s a miracle, me and you never seem to agree, but I think we found a topic that we do. 

          It feels nice. 

          Yeah I kinda liked the old Jynx, but I could see why some people would not want to look at something like that.  Cultural norms are very different.   

        • Anonymous  → Joshua

          its a touchy subject none the less here. japan jokes about it all the time. to be honest the lolita story isnt commonly known here. but a lot of pokemon have come from random things. the fact the we have a “god” pokemon could offend soooo many people. and the fact the golem means dumb in hebrew but is used constantly in mythology as a rock creature. in america this isnt stuff we usually put in kids stuff, especially 10 years ago.

          oh and hypno steals children. hide your gothitas.

  9. Ross Gilbert

    Nice Article man. Loved the analysis and the different tech options.

    I have one point to make though and that’s the lack of detail put into weaknesses. In your summary at the beginning of the article you mentioned how you would talk about weaknesses. You did mention a couple (time limits, energy denial decks) but these were brushed over.

    I would like to see some detailed analysis on the weaknesses of this deck and ways in which it can be beaten. Another article perhaps? ;) Loved the article, i was just really looking forward to the analysis of the weaknesses, given the care afforded to the rest of the article and was disappointed without it.

    Personally, i wanna play a TON of these at BR. Bad players not knowing what to do, people losing on time (in UK all BR are 2/3 in Swiss), people not covering the weaknesses of the deck. Oh yeah, and the donks! Pichu, Cleffa, Oddish, Solosis…… :D

    • Anonymous  → Ross

      Sorry about that. I will figure out the best way to expound on those. I might just do a forum post and link to that here in the comments.

  10. Skyler Knopp

    Hey man, great article. Very in depth and insightful, especially the reasons why it isn’t being played. Personally, I feel MewPlume is MAJOR weakness that wasn’t mentioned. Sludge drag brings up all the supporting pokemon and takes them out slowly and painfully..

    • Anonymous  → Skyler

      Thanks for the compliment.

      However, I do not think that MewPlume is as big of a deal as you say for several reasons:

      1) If you play Dodrio you can make the deck so that everything has free retreat. The only way around this for MewPlume is to bring up Dorio. However, then you can just DCE and retreat. Then Muk is too easily OHKOd to stay around too long and Mew is even more OHKO-able.

      2) MewPlume has a weaker match up against the rest of the field. Sometimes the rest of the meta can be a deck’s greatest ally. For example, Samurott manhandles tyRam, but it falls pretty hard to a lot of other stuff. So, tyRam players could rest with relative ease that they were not going to see Samurott. The deck that really owns this is LostGar or LostMewGar, but that deck does not fair well against most everything else. So, you will likely not see it played very much.

      3) Unown Cure care really take care of MewPlume. You can easily eliminate those status conditions.

      4) MewPlume just helps this deck’s strategy too much. This deck can need damage on its side of the field. Well, Muk is gladly supplying those precious 10 damage counters.

      So, while MewPlume could give it problems I honestly do not think that it is a MAJOR weakness for this deck like you indicate. It is not the same as bringing up an Emboar or Magnezone.

  11. Anonymous

    I’m not sure that Ross’ deck is still viable, now that Beartic is here.  Because of Beartic, Dodrio on the bench is essential. But with 4 bench spaces needed for support (Vileplume, Reuncilus, Dodrio, Chansey), this only leaves 1 bench space to set up your next attacker.  If your opponent has something which can OHKO your active (Magnezone, RDL, dragon + Kingdra), you don’t have much space to prepare a defense.  Perhaps Chansey/Blissey might be removed to free up the needed bench space, and only rely on Seekers to remove damage, but that would weaken the deck’s concept.

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      You raise a great point. I will say that the deck can operate just fine without Blissey. However, it is really personal preference as to whether or not you should take it out, I will simply point out the reasons to leave it in:

      1) If is the best healing agent in the format. There are certainly times when you need to heal more than 130-150 damage off the board (this is the most you could heal with Samurott or SEL with seeker). It is certainly nice to be able to take up to at least 380 damage off the board at once (110 on Vileplume, 80 on Reuncilus, 70 or Dodrio, and 120 on Zekrom/Reshiram). That is absolutely ridiculous. That is eight energy’s worth of Lost Burns damage or over three Blue Flare/ Bolt Strikes worth of damage.

      2) You can always pick up a Pokemon with Seeker. Play Chansey down. Next turn play Blissey and Seeker it back up. Then lay back down an attacker.

      3) Often times the only way that you lose an attacker after getting set up is through Magnezone’s Lost Burn. So, getting another one prepped is not that important.

      4) With Dodrio you can always push active a support (say Vileplume) in between turns after a KO, then lay down an attacker (if you are using Zekrom or Reshiram), and retreat Vileplume back. Then you case drop a DCE and be ready to go. Or you can keep said attacker alive for three turns (this is a relatively easy feat) while you power it up.

      So, yeah there are some arguments to taking it out. However, I think that it deserves at least a 1-1 line in the deck still.

      Also, I honestly do not feel that Beartic is going to be that big of a deal. It will see play early due to the hype and then die down from simply not being that great of a deck.

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      You raise a great point. I will say that the deck can operate just fine without Blissey. However, it is really personal preference as to whether or not you should take it out, I will simply point out the reasons to leave it in:

      1) If is the best healing agent in the format. There are certainly times when you need to heal more than 130-150 damage off the board (this is the most you could heal with Samurott or SEL with seeker). It is certainly nice to be able to take up to at least 380 damage off the board at once (110 on Vileplume, 80 on Reuncilus, 70 or Dodrio, and 120 on Zekrom/Reshiram). That is absolutely ridiculous. That is eight energy’s worth of Lost Burns damage or over three Blue Flare/ Bolt Strikes worth of damage.

      2) You can always pick up a Pokemon with Seeker. Play Chansey down. Next turn play Blissey and Seeker it back up. Then lay back down an attacker.

      3) Often times the only way that you lose an attacker after getting set up is through Magnezone’s Lost Burn. So, getting another one prepped is not that important.

      4) With Dodrio you can always push active a support (say Vileplume) in between turns after a KO, then lay down an attacker (if you are using Zekrom or Reshiram), and retreat Vileplume back. Then you case drop a DCE and be ready to go. Or you can keep said attacker alive for three turns (this is a relatively easy feat) while you power it up.

      So, yeah there are some arguments to taking it out. However, I think that it deserves at least a 1-1 line in the deck still.

      Also, I honestly do not feel that Beartic is going to be that big of a deal. It will see play early due to the hype and then die down from simply not being that great of a deck.

  12. Anonymous

    I’m not sure that Ross’ deck is still viable, now that Beartic is here.  Because of Beartic, Dodrio on the bench is essential. But with 4 bench spaces needed for support (Vileplume, Reuncilus, Dodrio, Chansey), this only leaves 1 bench space to set up your next attacker.  If your opponent has something which can OHKO your active (Magnezone, RDL, dragon + Kingdra), you don’t have much space to prepare a defense.  Perhaps Chansey/Blissey might be removed to free up the needed bench space, and only rely on Seekers to remove damage, but that would weaken the deck’s concept.

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.