Gee willikers, Batman! I love my Yanmega/Magnezone deck! It’s so versatile, it’s almost like your utility belt and Stage One Rush. Can I take it to Battle Roads?
Well, Robin, I am glad to see you are enthusiastic about going to your first tournament after the World Championship. However, don’t you think that you’re going into something where you’re not looking before you leap?
What do you mean, Batman?
Robin, you know full well that whenever a villain escapes, I mean, a new set is released, there are many expected and unexpected strategies that you have to look out for. Like when I take on The Joker, I always know that he won’t stop until I either punch him in the face or foil his plans. And that’s exactly what it seems will be happening at the first Battle Roads.
What do you mean?
With these Emerging Powers, it seems that players have acquired two cards that are certain to be played by many. One is Pokémon Catcher while the other is the menacing Beartic.
Gosh, Batman. I’ve heard of those cards, but I’ve never thought of how to counter them.
You’ve still got a lot to learn, kid. Always remember to be prepared for a threat, no matter how unlikely.
Alright, I’m done with my terrible attempt at making Batman play Pokémon TCG. He seems to be more of a MTG player to me, anyway. But you know who would probably be a Pokémon player? Deadpool.
Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the superhero references (and Monty Python references) and go to what you’re all waiting for: How to make that expensive deck that you have pay off in the long run. Right now with Catcher and Beartic and… everything else that was already running around, it’s going to take a little bit of work, but let’s see if we can pull something off.
First off, we have Yanmega/Magnezone, mainly because it has been foretold to be the BDIF, even though many will agree, disagree, play a deck to completely counter it, not really care, eat their lunch, etcetera. So, let us see what is currently being run, and by that I mean my current, unaltered, I didn’t go to Worlds, I have had way too much homework so I only got in two games against a lock-deck, The Royal Bug-Zapper.
|Pokémon – 234 Yanma TM3 Yanmega Prime TM
2 Kingdra Prime UL
2 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
|Trainers – 274 Pokémon Collector4 Judge
3 Pokémon Reversal
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Junk Arm
|Energy – 105 Lightning3 Rainbow
PokeBeachI know, I know, “Why are you running 2 Cleffas and 1 Tyrogue?!? The maximum amount of baby Pokémon you should be running is one!!! And what happened to Jirachi?!? Also, you need Twins!!!111one” This was right after Nationals and I still made it to my monthly championship’s Top 2, alright? What happened during the Top 2 match was a different story entirely, but I’ll leave it at that.
So, what fixing does this list need? Honestly, assurance against the lock and replacing is about all this deck really needs. It still has the ability to hit fast and hit hard, but it’s definitely going to have a hard time when it gets locked down, so let’s see what we can do here.
Obviously, we’re going to cut most of the babies. As much as I dislike having Cleffa as snipe-bait and an almost assured late-game prize for your opponent, it increases my consistency, so I will be leaving one in.
The debate to finally switch the Rainbow Energies to Water has finally been won, as I always refuse an attachment due to the single damage counter. I’m going to drop at least one Pokémon Communication for a Elm’s, and possibly drop a Candy and a Junk Arm for two Twins. Last, but not least, replace Reversal with Catcher. For those keeping track, here’s what the changes look like:
+3 Water Energy
Now, this leaves you with 2 spaces to work with, though I suppose you could make more. And with Catcher in the format, I would like to increase my switch count to 2 and debate really hard on the last card, probably putting in another Seadra, for no other reason than I like Kingdra on the field. This should mean that your final list should look something like this:
|Pokémon – 224 Yanma TM3 Yanmega Prime
3 Magnezone Prime TM
2 Kingdra Prime UL
1 Cleffa HS/CL
|Trainers – 284 Pokémon Collector4 Judge
3 Pokémon Communication
3 Junk Arm
|Energy – 105 Lightning3 Water
This deck may be a little tighter, but it definitely gives you a better option against trainer-lock. This should take care of whatever lock you get into, unless you’re unlucky enough to get caught in Aipom-lock. If only we had a Supporter that searched out energy again. *sigh* I miss Rosanne’s Research.
Anywho, let us now hit another very popular deck that I have a little bit of experience with (read against), ReshiPhlosion, or as I like to call it, Flaming Porcupine with a Dragon! (Just kidding. I prefer ReshiPhlosion.) Here is a generic list (as put together in a hahn’s article Revisiting an Old Friend):
|Pokémon – 184 Reshiram BLW3 Cyndaquil HS||Trainers – 294 Pokémon Collector4 Pokémon Communication
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Professor Juniper
4 Junk Arm
3 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Reversal
1 Energy Retrieval
|Energy – 1313 Fire|
As much as I enjoy this generic list, it just won’t do that well in a format with Catcher and Trainer lock. The reason? Ninetales. It’s too easy to take advantage of. It’s almost necessary to get energy into the discard, but it’s too difficult to keep on the field and it basically gives your opponent a free prize.
And, honestly, if you don’t drop more than one energy in the discard before it’s KO’d, it’s kind of hard to take advantage of the game and win. Not impossible, but definitely difficult. So how can we make this list better?
Okay, that’s definitely one option, but definitely not the only one. First, we switch the Reversals for Catchers, and switch the Junipers for Sage’s Training. Then we drop the Ninetales lines, and increase the Typhlosion line. I don’t like to do it, but bad things happen when Ninetales is in the active slot and that’s not good for your game, unless you want to base your deck off of Twins, then by all means, go for it. I don’t think it will work, but hey, your call.
I’ll also drop a PONT for a Switch, because we all know that with Catcher out, you’re going to want to move your Typhlosion out of the way without having to manually retreat him. Also, for some strange reason, I believe that you should also run some form of Tornadus or Zekrom. Otherwise, I think that the list should be something like this:
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 29
4 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 1313 Fire
It looks a little bit techy, but this is how I would prefer to run it. This will run into a little bit of trouble with the trainer lock, but overall I think if will do fine, especially since Typhlosion Prime can actually do something in the active, rather than just sit there if moved to the active position.
However, there are way too many unique builds of ReshiPhlosion for this one too be considered “the good one.” Play with whatever you feel the most comfortable with, but this is just a suggestion for what you can to adjust to the current format.
And now we shall take the discussion to Stage 1 Rush. This is a deck that I am somewhat familiar with, though I haven’t played around with it as much as I should. (I have three Yanmega, four Donphan, and two Zoroark for goodness sake!)
However, I love this deck’s versatility and ability to adjust to the metagame without having to overhaul lines and it maintains the same strategy after changing. I’m starting to convince myself to start playing this deck. Now, if only I had a list…
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 33
4 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 10
4 Double Colourless
PokeBeachNow, the problem with me writing anything about Stage 1 Rush is that Daniel Middleton already did it! His list (above) has much more depth than I could ever hope to put into a list like this. The only thing that I do not like about this is that there is no Twins. Is there a need for one? No, not really, but come on! Just kidding.
Don’t put Twins in unless you find yourself running behind during many of your games, which I do not see happening. The Supporter count offers protection from Trainer lock while still giving enough balance to the Trainers to let you keep up with other decks when you’re not under Trainer lock. Seriously, I know Daniel gets a lot of credit, but can we give him even more for this list?
About the only thing that I think could be changed about the deck is what I would deem a metagame call. I would increase the Zoroark line by a 1-1 and drop the Donphan line by 1-1. I just don’t see Magnezone coming up during Battle Roads and I see Reshiphlosion or Tyram coming up to be the MPDIF (most played deck in the format) and Zoroark is a major counter to it.
However, if more people end up running Stage 1 Rush, you may need to keep the lines the way they are and find a way to squeeze in Basculin #24 because of his ability to hit Donphan.
The other decks that I would like to talk about, such as Vileplume and Gothitelle, really don’t fit the format of this article, mainly because they already are prepared to take on the decks above and don’t need any major modifications. They were made for/in a Pokémon Catcher format and that’s what their main job is.
As for ZPS, it’s been talked about by more people that have much more experience with the deck than I do, and they have done really good with their analysis on the deck. As for Magneboar, the only thing I’d want to change is finding a way to squeeze in Pokémon Catcher to the Worlds’ list, but it seems solid enough for this format otherwise.
However, what I do want to talk about is the lack of rogues coming out. We had one big one take the scene at Worlds, and that’s all that’s really been put out there and receiving hype. What I want all of us to do, unless you’re going to Battle Roads to gain points for Worlds already, is to start coming up with new deck concepts, or pick up some that have already been thrown around and make them awesome.
magneto1992 once suggested to me running a Tyranitar Prime deck with Electrode Prime for energy acceleration and increasing your Twins engine. Throwing in a Serperior or Reuniclus would help this deck take large amounts of damage without worrying about losing your main attacker.
Another idea is to use what my brother is attempting to make, which is combining Roserade, Mew Prime, and Leafeon to inflict damage based on the status conditions on the opponent’s Pokémon. Mew provides the free retreat cost and dumping a Muk into the Lost Zone increases disruption even more. It’s a little slow, but I think it could grow into an amazing deck.
I’m currently toying with a Kingdra/Cinccino/Weavile/Zoroark deck that I don’t exactly have a decklist for, but it’s an idea that I think could become very good. I know that we haven’t had a very large card pool, and Emerging Powers didn’t help that fact, but there are enough decent cards out right now that I bet someone could (and someone already has) make the next deck to take on the current BDIF and win.
What I hope you go from this article is that your deck will probably need to add Twins, Switch, and keep your Supporter lines thick because a Trainer lock format could be blowing in soon. These small modifications should allow your deck to both play from behind and be able to take on the trainer lock more securely than before.
With that, I wish you luck at Battle Roads. I may or may not be going, depending on how ready I feel for my midterms which are coming up really soon, and quite early. Play well, win, but most importantly, have fun.