The Piranha Approach to Mew Lock

My name is Alex Fields, I am 24 years old, and I live and play in Texas. I was a competitive player back in the old days of Unlimited from 2000 to 2001; the height of my accomplishments back then was earning a trip to the 2000 Tropical Mega Battle. I quit the game in 2001 and remained inactive until the fall of 2008, when the urge to compete in the “new” (for me, anyway) tournament structure provided by POP grew too strong to resist. I have been playing avidly since then and have the following accomplishments to my name thus far:

  • Top 16 OK State 2009
  • 3rd and 4th at OK and TX State 2010, respectively
  • Top 16 Southern Plains Regional 2010
  • Top 16 Nationals 2010
  • Invited to Worlds 2010
  • Top 16 at OK and TX State 2011
  • 1st Southern Plains Regional 2011
  • 32nd Worlds 2011

I have also won a few Battle Roads and a City championship. I enjoy writing about the game and hope for more opportunities to do so for 6P.

Tournament Report

I won a Battle Road in Sherman, TX on the 25th of September with a list close to the one below:

Pokémon – 26

4 Yanma TM

4 Yanmega Prime

4 Mew Prime

3 Oddish UD

1 Gloom UD

2 Vileplume UD

1 Sunkern HS

1 Sunflora HS

1 Aipom UL

1 Crobat Prime

1 Muk UD

1 Jumpluff HS

1 Cleffa HS

1 Jirachi UL

Trainers – 24

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Twins

4 Judge

3 Copycat

3 Rare Candy

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Sage’s Training

1 Seeker

Energy – 10

5 P

4 Rainbow

1 Rescue

The only differences between the winning list and this one, which is my most current, are that I didn’t run Sage’s Training or Rescue Energy and instead had a 4th Copycat, a lone Professor Oak’s New Theory, and a lone G Energy. I dropped Sage’s after being forced to discard too many critical cards the previous weekend and in testing, but now I have added it back in due to the irresistible allure of being able to access Vileplume more easily without Twins.

There were 28 Masters, which gave us 5 rounds and a top 4 cut. Here is my report:

Round 1: Modified theme deck?

My opponent had Pokémon like the bad Gothitelle, Scolipede, and Unfezant. There isn’t much to say about this game, other than I always seem to get paired up against theme decks round 1, and I dislike what that does to my resistance a great deal.


Round 2: Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi

I open with a lone Cleffa, going 2nd. My opponent opens with Jirachi and I feel optimistic that I won’t get donked. That feeling goes away after he Communications for a Tyrogue, benches it and then uses an Oak’s New Theory to grab the energy he needs to retreat Jirachi for the donk.


Round 3: Gothitelle

I remember using Sludge Drag to stall by bringing up Reshiram early on, and then eventually I got fully set up after his Reshiram Outraged me into a Twins. Once I stuck Reuniclus Active and KO’d it, the game was essentially over. The matchup went the way it should due to the combination of Muk, Jumpluff and Item lock.


Round 4: Megazone

pokegym.netI managed to get Vileplume out on my 2nd turn. He did not have any evolutions in play yet, so he was severely affected by the Item lock. I was in control the whole game, although I did have to sweat in a few spots due to Magnemite repeatedly paralyzing my Yanmega and potentially giving him an opening to come back.

I remember him KOing 2 Yanmegas with Magnemite, which is actually really funny if you think about it. Eventually the Item lock and lack of Yanmegas on his side became too much to stave off with Thunder Shock and I took the win.


Round 5: Mirror

I drove 3 hours to the tournament with this friend of mine and now I have to play him in a deciding round in an irritating mirror match. He unfortunately prized several Yanmega components while I only prized a single Yanma, so I was able to get a legitimate Yanmega swarm via Sunflora that beat his handful of Yanmegas and Mews.

He tried to lock me with Sludge Drag on that Sunflora at the end, but I had plenty of energy to retreat since I never attached any to Mew, and eventually I took my 6th prize.


I made the cut at 3rd seed.

Top 4: Megazone (different opponent than round 4)

Game 1: I opened with Aipom, which is terrible as it not only ruins any potential surprise that the card has and keeps me from a quick See Off, but it is susceptible to being Catchered and KO’d so that I can’t ever lock Magnezone. Anyway, I do have Collector and 2 Twins, so I get my board set up to support Vileplume.

My opponent Judges and KOs one of my Oddish with Linear Attack and I would be in a horrible spot, but fortunately I redrew a Twins and got Vileplume out immediately. The game still was not in my favor, and my opponent managed to take 4 Prizes to my 1 or 2 before long.

The turning point in the game came when I Sludge Dragged Magnezone and got enough turns due to my opponent’s energy deprivation to set up 2 Yanmegas for Jirachi KOs (and I also took out the Magnezone at that point too), leaving him with a dead board that I cleaned in the following turns.


Game 2: I Prized an Oddish and had both of my others sniped, so I scooped.


Game 3: This game, my opponent got Kingdra Prime into play, which was causing me problems. I believe I eventually put him into a similar position as in Game 1, although this time I did have Aipom to Tail Code. My lone Seeker came in handy and stopped a Spray Splash KO, and eventually I was able to lock a Pachirisu after the Magnezone died and win narrowly on time with a Skill Dive on Cleffa.


Top 2: Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi from round 2

Game 1: Anyone who saw this game would tell you I seemed crazy to have played it out for as long as I did, but it paid off. My opponent took 5 Prizes to my 1, and I doggedly kept trying to lock his sole Kingdra Prime because I knew if I could stick it active, I could win. He had 9 or so energy in his discard and in play, so I knew my odds of locking Kingdra were actually high, and my gamble paid off as he never could hit his remaining 1 or 2 energy.

That allowed me to set up several Jirachi KOs, pick off 2 Babies, and finally KO the Kingdra to take all 5-of my remaining prizes before he could retreat and Linear Attack a dangling Oddish.


Game 2: This game made up for my donk earlier. My opponent drew garbage and was Benched by Yanmega in 3 or 4 turns.


This report doesn’t do justice to the more difficult games I played, mainly those in the cut. It may seem as if I got lucky a lot, but in reality I just correctly gambled with good odds and was able to capitalize on the weaknesses of my opponents’ decks (low energy, mainly) in order to stage several monumental comebacks. The point is that Mew lock is one of the best comeback decks in the format, and has enough tricks to deal with almost anything.

Piranha Approach

pokebeach.comThe first thing to understand about this deck is that it is not like most of its peers in this format. Rather than attempt to win via a prize race of 1HKO trade-offs or cheap Pokémon Catcher KOs, this deck is designed to win a drawn-out game of endurance in which you eventually lock the opponent into a corner from which he or she cannot escape.

To use a weird aquatic analogy, the deck’s attackers are like piranhas—they kill with a lot of little blood-draining bites that add up over time, whereas most of the rest of the format is made up of decks that center around “sharks”—big attackers who can kill cleanly in one or two bites, such as Reshiram and Zekrom.

Playing a deck with the “piranha approach” may not be something you are used to. If this is the case, you simply need to put yourself into a different mind frame and remind yourself that this is a much different animal than Reshiphlosion, Stage 1s, Megazone, etc..

You aren’t going to be able to autopilot much here either; your decisions are going to be different from matchup to matchup, and you have a lot of options at your disposal, which is good but also potentially intimidating, since more options and more decisions means more opportunities to misplay.

Basic Strategy

pokegym.netYour ideal first turn will involve you using Pokémon Collector to set up a bench of 2 Oddish and a Yanma/Mew/Sunkern, and then attacking with Mew to send a Muk to the Lost Zone. You need to make sure you have 2 Oddish in play because of the threat of Catcher and Yanmega Prime’s Linear Attack. If you only bench one Oddish, you can expect your opponent to do everything within his or her power to KO it, and when he or she succeeds, you will be stranded and Vileplume-less.

If you repeatedly only bench one Oddish at a time, you will give your opponent a chance to KO all of your Oddish and permanently prevent Vileplume from coming into play, which will usually mean a loss for you. Always bench double Oddish!

Getting that Vileplume into play is your greatest priority in any matchup aside from the mirror, or something else with Vileplume. Twins is your primary tool for achieving this, as it allows you to grab both Vileplume and Rare Candy in one go, so you can transform a sitting Oddish into the big allergen-spreading flower instantly.

Mew and Yanmega act as a TAG TEAM here, which Mew leads off with Muk’s Sludge Drag, one of the most disruptive attacks in the game. If you target your opponent’s main attacker—which will ideally have a 2+ Retreat Cost such as Reshiram or Donphan Prime—then your opponent will be at the mercy of a coin flip every time he or she tries to attack with that Pokémon.

Retreating the confused attacker will often be futile and counterproductive, as unless there is another attacker on the Bench to KO the Mew, a.) the escaped Pokémon will just be brought up again next turn, b.) energy are discarded, and c.) the chance to attack is forfeited.

If you bring up a Bench-sitter with a 2+ Retreat Cost such as Typhlosion Prime or Emboar, you force your opponent to either waste energies retreating it, use it as an [inferior] attacker, or pass. Since Bench-sitters tend to stay on the Bench for a reason—they support rather than attack—your opponent will be in a bad spot since none of their possible responses to Sludge Drag are ideal.

After you have stuck something Active with Sludge Drag, Mew defers to Yanmega, which will typically begin Linear Attacking important Benched targets while the confused and poisoned Active suffers under those status conditions. If the Sludge Drag lock is broken, Yanmega defers back to Mew, which will attempt to reapply the lock, and the cycle continues until the opponent’s field is destroyed.



pokemon-paradijs.comBoth Reshiram and Typhlosion have a 2-Retreat Cost, which is good for you as it means you have 2 solid targets to Sludge Drag. The primary Sludge Drag target is Typhlosion, for several reasons:

  1. It is mostly a Bench-sitter, and its only attack can’t 1HKO Yanmega like Reshiram’s Blue Flare can. That attack also forces Typhlosion to discard an energy, which hurts when it can’t Afterburner it back, because…
  2. … it can’t use Afterburner while confused and poisoned
  3. Afterburner makes the deck work, so taking Typhlosion out causes the deck to eventually crumble

If your opponent gets multiple Typhlosion in play, the ability to recover and attach multiple energy per turn—and thus more easily retreat— makes Sludge Drag less effective. It will also mean that Reshiram may be able to repeatedly use Blue Flare against you, which is bad since it 1HKOs everything in the deck and you 2HKO it. Your focus should thus be on preventing your opponent from getting those multiple Typhlosion out to begin with.

Allergy Flower is one easy way to do this. Most Reshiphlosion lists run 2 Quilava, which means that if you get Vileplume out before your opponent is able to get a Rare Candied Typhlosion into play, you block any future Rare Candy and will only have to deal with 2 Typhlosions max, barring Rescue energy or Flower Shop Lady (the latter of which is rarely run).

Your opponent will also have to draw into both Typhlosion and Quilava in the absence of Pokémon Communication, which can be difficult.

Another way is to snipe Cyndaquils with Yanmega. You can Linear Attack several, opting not to KO any of them, so that your opponent is effectively forced to get two Quilava out at once in order to get Typhlosion into play at all. If your opponent only gets one Quilava down, you can just KO it due to the 40 you put on the Cyndaquil previously, and then if he or she gets the 2nd Quilava into play later, you can KO it the same way.

pokegym.netIf your opponent does get multiple Typhlosions out on you, Jirachi can be used to reduce the amount of attacks needed to clear them from the field; with devolution at your disposal and 2 Typhlosion in play, you only need to Linear Attack 4 times (2 per Typhlosion) instead of the absurd (and extremely unrealistic) 8 that you would normally (4 per Typhlosion).

If your opponent benches multiple Reshiram, you can alternate between the two with Sludge Drag so that your opponent will always have to deal with a confused and poisoned Reshiram going into his or her turn. You can expect a good player to not Bench additional Reshirams in most instances, but if you do see a 2nd come into play, take advantage of it.

This is one of the matchups where Aipom can create a game-winning lock. If you can successfully rid your opponent’s field of Typhlosion, as well as Quilava/Cyndaquil (so that no Typhlosion can come into play), and your opponent uses Blue Flare with only 3 energy on Reshiram, he or she will be left with 1 energy following that attack. You can then get Aipom into play and Tail Code that single energy away, leaving Reshiram with 0 energy.

From that point on, whenever your opponent attaches to the Reshiram, you just Tail Code again. Every turn following one where your opponent doesn’t attach energy, you are free to snipe the Bench with Yanmega or Crobat Prime.

That Reshiram will remain Active and unable to attack for the remainder of the game, giving you an opportunity to win by picking off the Bench and eventually the Active, or even deck the opponent out, as long as:

  1. You have enough energy to attach to Aipom for every future turn when the opponent attaches an energy to the Active.
  2. The Reshiram doesn’t have enough damage to KO Aipom with a DCE-ed Outrage (rendered irrelevant if the opponent doesn’t have DCE in the list or it was already discarded/played elsewhere, of course).
  3. There isn’t something on the Bench that can KO Aipom if a DCE is accessed and used to retreat.

That may seem like a lot of conditions to meet, but just be aware that it is possible to win with Aipom, and go for the lock if you see the opportunity.


pokegym.netZekrom is one of the deck’s few outright bad matchups.

The biggest problem here is the losing trade-off you inevitably fall into, as each Zekrom can take out 2 of your attackers before going down. Even after the self-damage from Bolt Strike, Yanmega can’t KO Zekrom in one hit, leaving that task entirely up to Mew using Jumpluff’s Mass Attack, which you probably only have a chance to use 3 times (since the initial Mew using See Off will likely be KO’d immediately); you also need to hit Rainbow/Grass repeatedly. If you can’t 1HKO a Zekrom that just Bolt Striked, it can take out Mew and Yanmega with Outrage.

Unfortunately, Zekrom isn’t the only attacker in the deck, and Mew is 1HKO’d by Tornadus, or possibly Thundurus, with no chance to 1HKO back as long as the opponent hasn’t put 4 Pokémon on the Bench.

Sludge Drag is largely ineffective here due to the maxed DCE the deck runs, as well as Shaymin’s ability to send energy to whatever you’re trying to lock, allowing it to either retreat or try to attack sooner than you wanted; Shaymin also completely negates what could otherwise be a decent opportunity for Aipom disruption.

Zekrom’s ability to start getting KOs on turn 1 hurts, especially with Catcher allowing your opponent to take out Oddish. You are pressured into hitting that immediate Twins to get Vileplume out even faster than in other matchups since you have no turns of “immunity” here. (Most other decks won’t be able to take a prize off Oddish on turn 1 unless you open with it, and even then the odds aren’t extremely likely.)

The best hope Mew lock has at winning is a bit impractical—turn 2 Vileplume + Judge after an opponent’s failure to get the turn 1 Bolt Strike or Hurricane. If you’re lucky, your opponent will draw dead from the Judge and be hindered by Item lock to the point where you could Sludge Drag lock something, or just go aggressive with Yanmega/Mass Attack due to a lack of opposition. This is not likely to happen, but there is always that chance.


pokegym.netWhen you’re running other decks, you don’t want to see your opponent drop down a Magnezone Prime. When you’re running this deck, you rejoice at its sight, and can possibly win the game solely due to its presence on your opponent’s field.

The reason you should be glad to see Magnezone is that it is one of the best Sludge Drag targets in the game. You turn off Magnetic Draw with the status conditions, it has to pay a 3-Retreat Cost to [temporarily] escape, and its only attack sends your opponent’s own energy into the Lost Zone, opening up an opportunity for you to Aipom lock.

The moment that Magnezone does have only one energy attached to it, you should go for Tail Code, as it will prevent Magnezone from doing anything at all. If your opponent promoted Magnezone of his or her own volition, that is even better for you than if you had brought it Active by force with Sludge Drag, since it won’t be KO’d by poison.

Why do you not want it to be KO’d by poison? Simple—so you can sustain the Tail Code lock for the duration of the game, sealing your win.

Smart players have learned not to fall into that Magnezone trap so easily; often you will find that your opponent doesn’t get Magnezone into play for a while, instead opting to stop at Magneton, all the while attaching enough energy to it to avoid Tail Code if it ever does come Active and evolve.

Fortunately for you, this “safe” approach to Magnezone from your opponent can hurt him or her too—Magneton can be 2HKO’d by Linear Attack, and without Magnezone in play to offer draw power, your opponent will have a harder time generating Yanmegas, and a Judge from either of you is more apt to be crippling.

Also keep in mind that Magnetic Draw, when it is available, is less effective with Vileplume clogging the opponent’s hand with unplayable Items.

pokegym.netIf your opponent tries to play a Magnezone-free game against you, the matchup will become a Yanmega war, with occasional supporting roles for Magnemite if the opponent is desperate. Thunder Shock can actually let your opponent 2HKO your Yanmega while trapping it under paralysis, if he or she is lucky (the 2HKO coming from the combination of Thunder Shock’s 40 due to weakness and Yanmega’s finishing blow with Sonicboom).

If you were able to get Vileplume out quickly and shut off Pokémon Communication, your opponent will probably struggle to continue evolving Yanmas, especially if Magnezone isn’t on the field to aid with Magnetic Draw. If this is the case, you should be able to outlast the few Yanmega that do see play. Sunflora is an all-star in this matchup, as it allows you to continue developing Yanmegas with ease while your opponent is stuck hoping to draw into them.

The best chance your opponent has to win against you is with a turn 2 Yanmega + Judge, followed by a Linear Attack on one of your Oddish. You will be forced to get Vileplume out on your next turn—that, or your 3rd Oddish, which will definitely need to become Vileplume on your next turn— to avoid being locked out of playing Vileplume all game.

Without Item lock, you can expect to lose; Catcher plus the deck’s natural fluidity will give your opponent a huge edge, and Magnezone can even safely enter play due to Switch not being blocked.

Emboar variants (Magnezone, Reshiram)

Any Emboar matchup is a good one for you—Emboar’s hideous Retreat Cost and poor attack make it another ideal Sludge Drag target, and Reshiboar and Magneboar both rely heavily on Items to function.

vs. Reshiboar: Cutting off Energy Retrieval hurts your opponent by essentially reducing his or her energy access over the course of a game, especially if he or she is running an Energy Retrieval-heavy list with Junk Arm and only a handful of Fisherman. Your opponent is going to be having energy issues already due to your constant Sludge Drags on Emboar, and the loss of one of his or her recovery cards can be crippling.

Unlike Reshiphlosion, Reshiboar only needs one of its supporting Stage 2 Pokémon in play to function, and because of this, most lists run only 2 of the Ability Emboar. This means that if you can take them both out—assuming both even hit the field—then you have probably won the game; Reshiram can’t be powered up quickly enough in manual fashion to handle a swarm of Yanmegas and Sludge Dragging Mews.

Knowing that, you should forego the usual Sludge Drag/Linear Attack strategy and instead hit the Emboar with Sonicboom after you bring it Active. You don’t have any outstanding targets to hit on the Bench anyway, as Ninetales takes 3 turns to KO and a clean Reshiram is almost never worth Linear Attacking.

If your opponent plays Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND down and is threatening an Ozone Buster on an approaching turn, you can pause to See Off Jumpluff so that you can respond to it instantly with a return KO (remember that RDL is weak to Psychic), or Sludge Drag it Active to hopefully foil it via confusion and turn it into a free 2 Prizes. If you ignore a Benched RDL, you will probably pay for it, so don’t make that mistake.

vs. Magneboar: This deck needs two different Stage 2s in play together to function optimally, and that feat is nearly impossible to achieve without Items. To make things worse for your opponent, both of those Stage 2s are susceptible to Sludge Drag, as you already know.

pokebeach.comYour opponent will usually try to get Magnezone into play first, so that is the first Pokémon you should Sludge Drag. If your opponent only has one Magnezone out, you can likely cripple him or her by Judging prior to your Sludge Drag. Without Magnetic Draw, the deck goes into topdeck mode and your opponent will have a hard time accessing additional evolutions, or anything else useful.

While Magnezone struggles under confusion and poison, you can use the same strategy you use against Typhlosion and put 40 on every Magnemite you see so that no additional Magnezones will have a chance to hit the field (as Magneton will be KO’d as soon as it comes out).

I haven’t seen a lot of this deck at Battle Roads, so it is hard to say how many Magneton and Pignite are common in current lists. In the past, 1-of each was standard, which is great for you as it means that a quick Vileplume leaves your opponent with only 1 Emboar and 1 Magnezone to access for an entire game, barring Flower Shop Lady/Rescue energy.

I imagine that with the increase in Item lock, smart players are going to be running 2-of each, so keep that possibility in mind and don’t automatically assume the 1/1 Pignite/Magneton counts.

Ditto the RDL advice from the Reshiboar analysis.

Between the extreme disruption that Sludge Drag and Item lock present to Magneboar, you should have no trouble winning.

Stage 1s

As you should already know, Stage 1s is a generic title for any Stage 1-focused deck. There are a lot of different combinations of Stage 1s you may encounter in any given Stage 1 deck, although the way each variant plays out is largely the same: utilize the unparalleled disruption of Catcher and the inherent aggression of the Pokémon to cut the legs out from under the opponent. Here is a list of the most common stage 1s and a brief analysis of how each card interacts with your deck:

Donphan Prime: Yanmega resists it, which is nice, and Earthquake’s recoil bench damage can put Pokémon like Yanma in Linear Attack KO range. Earthquake will 3HKO Yanmega while Sonicboom will 3HKO Donphan, so of course you want to try and strike first. The best way to beat Donphan is to swarm Yanmega so that KOs are delayed longer than 3 turns.

You don’t want to deal with a clean Donphan with 3 energy, as it 2HKOs you. You can adopt a kamikaze approach by Lost Zoning Crobat Prime and sacrificing a Mew to ensure an automatic KO on Donphan by the time your next turn ends; you can also See Off Muk and put your opponent into the Sludge Drag hole. This won’t work if the only Donphan in play is Active, though.

Yanmega Prime: You know how this goes—whoever attacks first in the Yanmega war is at a huge advantage, and whoever gets the most Yanmega into play tends to win. Linear Attack is a menace to you in the early game when you’re stuck with the sitting ducks Sunkern and Oddish. Mew is useless against it unless Jumpluff is in the Lost Zone, and even then you need your opponent to have 4 Pokémon Benched in order to get a 1HKO.

Cinccino BW: Without PlusPower, this card isn’t as big of a threat as it would be otherwise, since a max-damage Do the Wave can’t 1HKO a clean Yanmega. You might be able to use Tail Code and/or Sludge Drag to disrupt it, depending on how many resources your opponent has already used up and how big his or her hand is. Mass Attack can 1HKO it, although of course you can expect a return KO from Donphan/Yanmega/another Cinccino.

Zoroark BW: It can’t do anything to Mew, but that doesn’t matter much since the rest of the Stage 1 deck would be 1HKOing it. Like Cinccino, there may arise occasions where you can effectively Sludge Drag or Tail Code it. Zoroark is good against Yanmega due to its ability to do 70 or 40 snipe without having to match hand sizes.

Lanturn Prime: This isn’t as common as the rest of the Pokémon listed here, and it also isn’t as strong. It needs 2 energy cards minimum to attack (one of which has to be a DCE), and it is thus susceptible to Tail Code. It also has a 2-Retreat Cost, opening it up to Sludge Drag. It does 1HKO Yanmega and Mew once powered up, but the aforementioned ways to disrupt it render the 1HKO ability mostly a non-issue.

Weavile UD: This Pokémon can hurt you a lot. You rely on Twins to give you a chance against Stage 1s’ aggressiveness, yet Weavile can deprive you of that recovery mechanism via Claw Snag, allowing its attacking partners to freely take Prizes without fear of you making a comeback or instantly searching out Vileplume. Claw Snag can also take away held Vileplumes, important hand-matching cards, etc..

Mew lock has a naturally vulnerable early game that Stage 1s can potentially exploit if you don’t draw into Twins or just otherwise have a bad opening. After Zekrom, this is the worst deck to have a subpar opening against because Stage 1s is so unforgiving and difficult to deal with when you are 2-3 Prizes behind. You have few targets to lock with Mew, and Yanmega is 2HKO’d by every stage 1 you could see except for Weavile (which doesn’t attack much anyway) and an Earthquaking Donphan.

So how do you beat Stage 1s? You essentially have to get a quick Vileplume, swarm Yanmegas, and hope that your Judges don’t give them anything to work with. Depending on the specific build you’re up against, you might have some tricks with Mew available to you, but most of the heavy lifting is going to be done with Yanmega.


pokemon-paradijs.comThis is one of the deck’s best matchups, and its presence in the metagame is the main reason for the inclusion of Jumpluff, whose Mew-channeled Mass Attack will always KO Gothitelle as long as your Bench is full. Mass Attack foils Gothitelle’s central strategy of avoiding KOs through Item lock and Damage Swap. Reuniclus can’t do anything about a 140+ damage attack.

In the battle of Item lock, Vileplume clearly wins, as Magic Room only stops you from getting out Vileplume quickly, whereas Allergy Flower kills a lot more cards in your opponent’s deck.

Players are starting to run soft counters to Mew, such as Tornadus. The idea is to limit the Bench so that Mass Arrack doesn’t 1HKO Tornadus, and then Damage Swap to keep it alive while doling out 1HKOs against Mews with Hurricane.

The flaw in this strategy is its reliance on Reuniclus, which gets Sludge Dragged and KO’d. Gothitelle is slow enough that you can afford to See Off twice, and you need to in order to prevent the Tornadus strategy from successfully thwarting your Mews.

The only real threat to you is another card people are beginning to tech in some areas to further deal with Mew, and that is Dodrio UD. With that in play, you can’t lock Reuniclus with Sludge Drag anymore, or anything else for that matter other than perhaps the Dodrio itself, although its one Retreat Cost makes this very unlikely.


This is another positive matchup filled with Sludge Drag targets.

You probably won’t be able to use Twins much here, but it doesn’t matter since you have no pressing need to get Vileplume out against another Vileplume deck, and there isn’t much else you would absolutely need to be using Twins for.

pokegym.netYour goal in the matchup is to eliminate Reuniclus so that your opponent can’t keep Zekrom/Donphan/Suicune & Entei LEGEND alive forever against you, and the way you do that is of course with Sludge Drag.

The deck does run maxed DCE, so you might lose a few Mew to Donphan or Zekrom while trying to lock Reuniclus. If you do have the chance to use Twins after a Reuniclus retreat plus Earthquake/Outrage KO on a Mew, you should grab Rescue Energy and play it on another Mew to prolong your swarm. Persistent Sludge Drags will win the game in the long run. If you can get 5 off, you will for sure be able to stick Reuniclus Active since all of the DCE will be gone by then.

If you get a prize lead on your opponent and then lock Reuniclus up front (assuming all DCEs are gone), you can simply Tail Code to prevent it from attacking or retreating all game and win on time. Otherwise, you just need to KO it with Mass Attack and remove it from the field. (Ross is even slower than Gothitelle, barring the odd turn 2 Donphan, so you should have time to use 2 See Offs.)

A 2nd Reuniclus will only be problematic if you have no Mews left to Sludge Drag it. It won’t be easy for your opponent to get a 2nd Reuniclus into play though due to Solosis dying to Linear Attack. For example, if your opponent decides to Collector for all 3 Solosis, you can KO one of them, expect the 2nd to become Reuniclus, and then KO the 3rd with another Linear Attack.

Your opponent could foil this by evolving both of the remaining Solosis at the same time, but that should be fairly rare, especially if you Judged before attacking with Yanmega.

Once you don’t have to worry about Reuniclus any longer, you can Sludge Drag Donphan or Zekrom knowing that either of them will eventually die. Zekrom is a great target if your opponent’s DCEs are depleted, as it becomes a Tail Code target. Zekrom is also the biggest attacking threat you have to worry about, as it can 1HKO everything with Outrage once it has 40 damage on it.

Closing Thoughts

Mew lock is a difficult deck to master, but it rewards diligence with even-to-positive matchups against most of the format, and gives you access to a wide arsenal of tricks and win conditions.

It has won several Battle Roads around the nation, as well as the prestigious and highly publicized Top Cut Invitational that was held after Worlds, so you should not be surprised to see it pop up in your area during these last weekends of Battle Roads and, more importantly, at Fall Regionals.

Unless your metagame is dominated by Stage 1s and Zekrom, it is an extremely solid choice and should remain so at least until Cities.

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

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