PokeBeachHey there again, SixPrizes nation! This is Scizorliscious, and, for my third article, I have decided to (finally) write about a deck I went 5-1 with at the Fairfax Battle Road. I’ll start out by just doing an overview of the deck, then I’lldo a mini-BR report (it wasn’t extremely fascinating, so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, which, considering the number of notes I wrote – zero – won’t be hard).
So what is this deck? Well, you probably already know if you’ve read the title of this article and are vaguely familiar with the cards in this format, but for those who haven’t, this is…
I’d like to start out by saying I did not think of this deck idea. I read about it in one of a hahn’s articles a while back while trying to find a use for my Magnezone, and to be honest, my list is pretty similar to his as well.
This deck is one I was actually reprimanded for using at league – I must have been told about seven times to take out the Vileplume, to use Pachirisu instead of Floatzel, or just to scrap the deck entirely for BRs. I really liked this deck, though, so I decided to keep using the original list I had created.
The idea of this deck is to use Magnezone Prime, Floatzel UL, and Vileplume UD to get solid damage in while also providing some disruption for the opponent and having a great source of internal drawpower.
The main attacker is Magnezone, which for two energy can do 50 damage for each energy attached to any of your Pokémon that you choose to put in the Lost Zone. In this way, it can do a huge amount of damage and OHKO anything in the format. OHKOs put a lot of pressure on the opponent to keep attackers coming out, and most decks can’t keep up.
Magnezone also has a really handy Poké-Power that, once during your turn, allows you to draw cards until you have six cards in your hand. This drawpower is fantastic as long as you keep your hand size low – and what better way than Judge, which also creates some disruption?
PokeBeachFloatzel is used in this deck for energy acceleration. Once during your turn, in addition to your energy attachment for the turn, you can attach an extra Water energy to Floatzel, which helps add a lot of damage to Magnezone’s Lost Burn. In addition, Floatzel provides a Pokémon with 0 retreat to promote once one of your Pokémon is knocked out. As an added bonus, Floatzel provides a soft counter to Donphan, doing 60 damage for 3 energy. While it’s by no means perfect, it’s preferable to Lost Zoning 4 energy to OHKO Donphan with Magnezone.
The last part of the equation here is Vileplume. This bench-sitter blocks all Trainer-Item cards, rendering much of most decks useless. Vileplume can clog up your opponent’s hand, and even works well with Judge, where an opponent could easily draw into two, three, or even four unplayable cards.
In this format, many decks rely too heavily on Trainers to be able to function without them. And since most decks can’t hit above 120 damage without Trainers, Vileplume keeps the OHKOs to your side exclusively.
This deck definitely has some strong points – heavy disruption, large damage amounts, and the ability to OHKO while not being OHKO’d back to name a few. However, this deck does have a few points that, well, make it less than ideal:
- Any decks that take a lot of energy (3 or so) to continually OHKO will strain energy resources.
- With the amount of energy this deck requires to function, there’s not much room for consistency or techs.
- Donphan Prime is annoying.
- Setting up Stage 2s is especially tough without Rare Candy.
- Magnezone’s Poké-Power can sometimes be rendered useless with large hands: unplayable cards can clog up your hand and make it tough to keep getting resources out.
- This deck is slow to get set up. Two Stage 2s and (ideally) two Stage 1s takes a while to get out. This deck will fall behind before it goes ahead.
- Playing Magnezone without Switch feels like playing Yanmega without Judge.
Pokémon – 22
1 Gloom UD
Trainers – 19
4 Professor Elm’s Training Method
3 Pokémon Collector
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Interviewer’s Questions
Energy – 19
Now, there are some things you may notice about the list, and I’d like to elaborate on some of the choices I made when making this list.
First of all, I have a 3-3-3 Magnezone Prime line. This isn’t entirely odd, but I was toying around with the idea of playing either 4-3-4 or even 4-4-4. In the end, I decided to play 3-3-3 with 3 Rescue Energy, meaning it’s possible to get 6 Magnezone out in a single game. This should never be necessary, and to be honest, will usually never be possible unless the game goes a long while (at which point you’ve probably won anyways). I wouldn’t object toplaying more than 3-3-3 Magnezone, but I feel like any less wouldn’t be enough.
PokeBeachAnother thing that may strike as odd is the choice to only play 2 Oddish. Yes, I have had problems with Catcher and an Oddish being prized. An extra Oddish would by no means be a bad choice here. I just had trouble with finding space in this deck, especially since Oddish is a dead draw late-game.
I play Cleffa in this deck. There’s truly no substitute except for perhaps Tropical Beach (yeah, right). An early Collector can help you get set up really well, really quickly with Cleffa. Once you get the Cleffa out, the Magnezone comes out, everything else comes pretty quickly. Setting up without Trainers makes Cleffa that much more necessary here.
There are only 3 Rare Candy in this deck. You’ll probably only use one, maybe two per game, so while four does boost consistency, I find that it also clogs up hands later in the game, when Magnetic Draw becomes really useful.
There are four Professor Elm’s Training Method in this deck simply because it cannot use Pokémon Communication. Elm’s is a really nice card late-game, and while sometimes it’s nice to be able to get out another Magnemite, there’s really no way to replace Communication. Four are included here just because of he necessity of getting Magnezone and Vileplume out quickly. Three could work as well, though.
I’ve also decided to play cards that may seem like obvious 4-ofs in counts of three: Judge and Pokémon Collector. There was simply not enough space in this deck to include four, as much as I’d have liked to. One of the PONTs could be substitutes for a Judge, but the extra two cards early-game could determine the game, so I’ve opted to go with a 3/2 split.
PokeBeachThis deck is slow, so I play 2 Twins. This lessens the hurt of setting up two Oddish only to have one sniped when you can Twins for a Rare Candy and Vileplume. Playing two makes it less likely to be there, but I’ve found that even mid-game it can be very useful and give a huge boost for anything that might be needed.
Interviewer’s Questions is by far one of the best choices I have made as far as deckbuilding. The people who saw the IQs at league were incredulous, but late-game these can keep up a nice stream of energy so that you don’t fall short on KOs when there are only a couple prizes left.
The energy counts in this deck are pretty perfect, in my opinion. Nineteen is a great number with Interviewer’s Questions, and six Lightning for attacking as well as ten Water for Floatzel’s Water Acceleration is a good proportion (as well as three Rescue to get back Magnezone, Cleffa, whatever). However, depending on your meta, more or less energy might be necessary against certain decks.
This deck takes prizes early, but Trainer-lock and OHKOs really cripple Zekrom and Tornadus. Your opponent will usually run out of resources quickly, and since Tornadus and Zekrom after an attack both take 2 energy to OHKO, the same won’t be true for you. This is a fairly easy matchup, especially with an early Twins.
This is a really tough matchup. While your opponent won’t get OHKOs, you’ll have trouble keeping up Magnezone and energy to match the constant flow of Reshiram coming your way. The Trainer-Item lock can hurt your opponent, but not to the extent that they can’t keep up with you.
Yanmega and Zoroark? Not so bad. Donphan? Run for cover. Donphan easily 2HKOs Magnezone for one energy (OHKO for three energy), while Magnezone takes an astounding four Lost Zoned energy to OHKO a Donphan. Floatzel can help, but still isn’t the best option against Donphan, as once it’s KO’d you lose 3 energy. And unless one of them is Rescue, you’ll run out of Floatzel pretty quickly.
Overall, this matchup could be a lot easier. To play it, you have to hope to run them out of Donphan with Trainer-Item lock and get some cheap KOs with Magnezone.
This is actually a really interesting matchup, and depends a lot on how you start and how well your opponent plays the matchup. I’ll start out by saying Yanmega can be annoying, but not too much of a problem. You can OHKO it for two energy in the Lost Zone, which is far favorable to the 2HKOs your opponent will be able to get on you. They may try to go for the Floatzel, so just keep hammering away and be careful not to put too much energy on any one Floatzel.
If your opponent goes for the Vileplume to devolve it with Jirachi, that can be tough to play around, but you can try manually evolving Vileplume early-game once you see Magnezone/Yanmega or just by setting up another Vileplume as well on the bench. Magnezone can be problematic, but just keep up the OHKOs and it shouldn’t be a huge problem.
A quick Vileplume will usually hinder your opponent from getting more than one or two Magnezone out in a game, meaning you’ll be good otherwise. In decks that play Kingdra, just be wary not to have Magnemite sniped, and try to use Rescue Energy well. This matchup is in ZoneZelPlume’s favor if it gets Vileplume set up, but otherwise, it can be a long and tough match.
As long as you don’t go to the wrong table for your game, you won’t lose this one. Just get OHKOs and lock their Trainers, rendering both Reuniclus’ and Gothitelle’s abilities useless. What your opponent is left with is a 130-HP main attacker that has an awful attack. Yeah.
Watch out for this one. You’ll get OHKO’d often, and unless you get an early Judge to throw your opponent off-balance, this could turn nasty. It’s Magnezone-on-Magnezone, so whoever gets his own cards out consistently wins here. This could go either way.
Normally Magnezone hates Mew, but this matchup isn’t so bad. As a general rule, keep only one Magnezone out at a time so Sludge Drag isn’t so bad, and often it will be easier to not even bother to set up Vileplume (assuming your opponent runs it as well), as that will just be Dragged up as well (just be aware of Catcher+Sludge Drag on a Magnezone in that way). Just keep up with KOs, and it’ll be easy enough to get through on Lost Zoning two energy per KO.
60/40 if opponent runs Vileplume, 50/50 otherwise.
Now that I’ve gone over some of the different facets of the deck, I’d like to transition into a Battle Roads report. So without further adieu…
If any details here are a bit fuzzy, well, that’s since I’m writing this weeks after the actual event and I took absolutely no notes.
Before this Battle Roads, I had tested very, very little and hadn’t changed my list for ZoneZelPlume at all since I thought it up (which is luckily odd, considering I’m still happy with the same list). Pair that with the fact that this was my first tournament as a Master, and I knew that I was going pretty much nowhere this tournament.
The tournament was being held at Hobby Works, which I must say is a fantastic place. They hold league every Saturday and the events held there have been very fun in the past. Hobby Works is only a half an hour or so from my house, so it’s a very convenient location.
Before Round 1, I decided to playtest some games against an interesting Reshiram-Zekrom-Klinklang deck. I got an awful start the first game and lost a sole Oddish on Outrages after two turns. The second game lasted a lot longer, and I was able to pull off a win just by knocking out his Pokémon over and over. It wasn’t a great deck by any means, but mine really isn’t great against 130-HP Basics being thrown at it repeatedly.
After these games, I borrowed a Floatzel from glaceon of PokéBeach and, after learning there were 50 Masters with a Top Cut of 4, was finally ready to start the tournament…
What are the odds? I’m playing the sole deck I played before the tournament, so at least I know sort of how it works. I got a fairly good setup, but nothing too special. I run out of energy pretty quickly due to having to KO Reshiram and Zekrom, but luckily never have to KO a Klinklang with enough Special Metal energy to bump it up to 4 energy to KO it.
I’m down to 3 prizes left when I discover that, lo and behold, they are all Water energy. I have 8 or 9 more energy left on the field or in my deck, meaning I can get 2 more KOs with 3 energy Zone’d after I get my Water energy out of the Prizes. But that’s before my opponent drops the PDL and some energy… and there’s no getting out of that hole.
Now it’s pretty much sure I won’t make the Cut, but I wasn’t planning on it anyways, so it’s not such a big deal. I’ll just be glad if I can go 3-3 at this point.
This wasn’t a competitive deck, just something legal. I just ran through everything with Magnezone and regretted not being able to play an interesting game this round.
PokeBeachI’m playing a really nice guy this game. We chit-chat a bit before the game starts, turns out he has a son in Juniors. He’s 1-1 as well, so I don’t really know how good his deck is. I start with a lone Oddish, and he starts Zekrom. ZPST is hurt by Trainer-lock, so I assume this won’t be too tough of a matchup. He ends up getting 2 energy on his Zekrom for 20 on the Oddish (he has a PlusPower in-hand as well, but no way to reach 40).
I Collector, but discover that my second Oddish is prized, so I grab the Magnemite, Cleffa, and Buizel. I retreat to Cleffa and Eeeeeek, and get a decent hand. I stay asleep, but he Catchers my Oddish and KOs it. I get out a Magnezone with Rare Candy the next turn, though, so I get a Vileplume (after grabbing the prized Oddish) and some Floatzel set up as well.
He’s not really able to keep up with my OHKOs, so I end up just clawing my way through his Zekrom and Thundurus EP (thank goodness for Weakness). It ends up with him at 2 or 3 prizes left, so it was fairly close but not too worrying.
We start and I mulligan a couple of times, but finally get a Magnemite-Oddish start. I don’t get out a whole lot to start out. He gets out a Yanmega pretty quickly as well as a Magnezone and Kingdra by T3 or 4. I get out Vileplume by T3, and a Magnezone the next turn. I manage to KO his Yanmega and Twins for a Buizel and a Lightning Energy (I was really low on this at the start, believe it or not).
I get out a Floatzel the next turn and chop through his Yanmega and the one Magnezone he gets out. I don’t manage to get out a backup Magnezone until thegame’s almost over anyways since he keeps sniping my Magnemite. He never quite KOs any of my Floatzel/Vileplume, which helped a lot. This was a close game, but it went in my favor after I got well set up.
I’m downpaired to a 2-2 player for this matchup, so this is when I know I’m not making cut. I start lone Magnemite, and as we flip, I see Gothita and Solosis and begin to relax. I get out a Magnezone T2 or 3 and a Vileplume soon after. I really can’t KO anything because I haven’t gotten a Lightning energy yet (and I probably wouldn’t anyways, seeing as I don’t want to set up Twins).
I keep attaching Water energy to my Magnezone until I eventually get the Lightning energy and KO my opponent’s active Gothitelle with 2 energy on it. My opponent has one Basic on his bench now. He Playgrounds for 4 Pokémon, which probably helps me more than anything. I get out my 2 other Magnezone soon after as well as 2 Floatzel, and he never gets out another Gothitelle or Reuniclus.
At one point, I have Lightning and Rescue Energy on all my Magnezone, as well as 2 Water on each of my Floatzel. It was the best possible bench my deck could ever have, which was actually surprising for me to achieve. I go 6-0 on prizes; no trouble here.
PokeBeachI’m playing against the lone 5-0 deck at this point. I playtested a game against him between rounds earlier in the day, but stopped because pairings were up. That game really could have gone either way. Luckily for me, in this game I go first and he has an awful hand. I’m able to get Vileplume T3, but can’t draw into Magnezone. I eventually get it T5 or so, when he’s still getting set up.
He’s KOd his own Electrode and one of my Pokémon with Lanturn. I get the Magnezone with 2 cards in my hand and everything else follows. The Trainer-lock hurts his deck a lot, and I’m able to keep up the OHKOs for the duration of the game – I get lucky on him not pulling many energy with Energymite, which helps. I win, but it was a close game.
I ended up missing Top Cut on Resistance, but did manage to place sixth, which was tremendous for it being my first Masters tournament, especially since I was playing a really fun rogue deck.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for today on ZoneZelPlume. If you read all 3,272 words on this one deck, well, have a cookie – that’s a lot to read on one random rogue (it would be for me, at least!). Be sure to try out ZoneZelPlume at some point this season, it’s a great deck if you’re looking for a fun contender. Good luck and happy rogueing!
Until next time…