Hey SixPrizes. I figured that since this is my first article on the site I should introduce myself. My name is Adam Bigott, but I also go by adamisclassy on most Pokémon forums. I’m twenty years old and I have been playing competitively for a little over a year now.
In my first full season I have seen a good amount of success including my first tournament victory during the Fall Battle Roads series. I mostly play in Arkansas and the surrounding area, but I also play a bit in my home state of Illinois. Be sure to look for me at the tables in those areas and say hi.
Most important of all, my favorite Pokémon is Caterpie. Now that you know a little bit about me, let’s get into the meat of this article.
Noble Victories brought a fresh breath of air to an otherwise stale metagame by completely overturning the top tier decks. Some of these new competitive decks, specifically CoKE/Electrode variants and Six Corners, created a new, broader archetype known as “Big Basics.”
Now, with that format in its 11th hour, Next Destinies stands to once again redefine the format by introducing a class of even bigger basic Pokémon: the EX cards. Not only that, but with the addition of even more cards that benefits only basic Pokémon, the “Big Basics” archetype is destined to, ironically, evolve.
Rather than setting up, the pitfall of these big basic decks has always been energy. CoKE and Six Corners answered this problem in very different ways.
While the use of Electrode Prime in CoKE could be a devastatingly effective means of energy attachment, Electrode often failed as well. By giving up both precious resources and a Prize card, the deck fell short of being tier 1.
Six Corners, rather than “blowing up” to attach large amounts of energy, revolved around Virizion’s double draw, the precise use of energy attachments, and energy manipulation provided by Shaymin UL’s Celebration Wind. However, giants like Magnezone Prime were able to Knock Out the big basics and left the energy depleted board in the late game, causing it to fall short of tier one as well.
This proposes the question: How can “Big Basics” keep energy on the field effectively? The answer, if you haven’t already guessed it, comes in the form of one of the most anticipated combinations to come out of Next Destinies: Celebi Prime and Skyarrow Bridge.
Celebi Prime’s Poké-Power Forest Breath allows you to attach an extra grass energy during your turn, so long as he is your active. By combining this with Skyarrow Bridge, the deck has an effective means of energy acceleration with very little setup.
Because of the amount of flexibility this deck has, it is most effectively played as an anti-meta deck. That being said, there isn’t really a definitive metagame at the local or national level at this point in time. I figure it would be best for me to give you a bare bones skeleton first.
Pokémon – 11-13
3-4 Celebi Prime TR
4-5 “Other” Attackers
Trainers – 27-30
9-10 “Draw” Supporters
2-4 “Search” Cards
3 Junk Arm
2 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 15
Open Slots – 2-7
I know this doesn’t look like a lot of space, but when you consider the fact that I’ve already accounted for the slots that “other attackers” take up, we actually have a lot of room to work with. So let’s go through our choices and options in a bit more detail.
Celebi: This green onion head is half of the engine that propels this deck. I’ve seen lists play as few as two. However, low counts of Celebi are vulnerable to unfortunate prizes and easy Pokémon Catcher KOs. This is especially concerning when you consider the fact that Forest Breath attachments are most critical the first three and last three or so turns of the game. I’d suggest at least playing three, but try testing with four. This gives you a better chance to attack turn 1.
Tornadus: The flying Genie works well in this deck for a lot of the same reasons he has been effective in the past. He works on any type of energy, he can abuse Double Colorless Energy, and most importantly Hurricane moves and conserves your energy. Equally important, Tornadus is only worth a single Prize card, which, given his damage output, makes him a very efficient attacker.
Mewtwo EX: Mewtwo is one of the hardest hitters in the game. For that reason a lot of people will ask: “Why are you only running two of it?” Because Mewtwo can run on any type of energy, is so easy to tech, and an opponents Mewtwo EX can easily return KO your own Mewtwo EX, it is not the safest card to place on your bench or open with. You will see lists maxing out Mewtwo, but the aforementioned reasons, as well as his huge price tag, make two-three a more reasonable count.
Virizion NVI: This Leaf Walloping monster would potentially replace Tornadus’ role in the deck. Both are worth a single Prize card, have 110 HP, a resistance (though Tornadus’ is more meta relevant), and cap off dealing 80 damage. Virizion can also boost consistency by using dual draw and is more likely to hit the 40 with a turn 1 Leaf Wallop than Tornadus is to hit the 80 with a turn 1 Hurricane. However Virizion does not move energy around like Tornadus. A combination of these two attackers could also be effective.
Terrakion NVI: The hulk counters two of the biggest metagame threats that Tornadus and Mewtwo can’tcover: Magnezone Prime and Zekrom-EX. Both of these can hit Tornadus for weakness and discard or Lost Zone energy to reduce the damage potential of Mewtwo’s X-Ball. For just a fighting and a C energy, Terrakion can 1-shot with Revenge Zekrom-EX with a plus power, not to mention Regigigas-EX.
Cobalion NVI: The third musketeer has seen some hype on the forums as being a good play in this deck. Iron Breaker can be an incredibly disruptive attack, especially against the Truth. Not only this, but Cobalion can hit Kyurem EX, a hyped attacker in Truth EX, for weakness and potentially 1-shot it with Energy Press. Cobalion alone can significantly improve this generally unfavorable matchup.
Regigigas-EX NDE: Regi has some of the best one-on-one matchups against its fellow EXs. He has a beastly amount of HP and after taking a big enough hit, Raging Hammer can potentially take out just about anything in the game. Not only this, but Giga Crush has the same potential to hit for 80 turn one as Tornadus. He sounds perfect, but don’t forget the 2 Prize card cost.
Shaymin EX NDE: This guy is a late game force. Revenge Burst can hit for a walloping 180 for just 2 energy. That’s almost unheard of. Granted your opponent needs to have taken 5 Prizes it to do that much damage. I really like this card as a 1-of. You already use G Energy so he takes up almost no space at all. However, starting games with him can be dangerous. It could be worth testing Seeker or Super Scoop Up in your build if you decide to run him.
Shaymin UL: Shaymin has a one of the best coming-into-play powers in the game. Being able to rearrange your energy can allow you to do things like move a large amount of energy onto a Mewtwo EX if and when it is safe to do so. It’s also great to conserve special energies, especially Prism Energy. I definitely recommend this guy if you are playing Cobalion and want to get off the Iron Breaker.
Absol Prime: This one is pretty simple and straightforward. If you are expecting to play against a lot of Chandelure NVI, this guy is a solid answer. The two damage counters your opponent has to put down on any Pokémon they bench is also pretty handy. Probably not the best tech but at least worth mentioning. Just be sure you can Lost Zone a Pokémon every turn.
Victini 15 NVI: This card could have some serious potential if you are worried about Durant. Playing him would mean that you would have to run fire energy in order to be safe from lost remover. But, if you fill your bench and can keep sky arrow bridge in play, you should be able to take 6 Prizes fairly quickly.
Smeargle CL: I feel like I would get at least a few comments if I didn’t mention Smeargle. Portrait is a strong Poké-Power, but it can also force you to Juniper away a perfectly good hand. I’m not the biggest fan of this one, but he is worth trying out if you haven’t already.
I used the Umbrella term draw supporters just to account for space in the skeleton. Here are my opinions on various Supporters.
Professor Juniper: This is probably my favorite Supporter in this deck. A lot of the cards in your deck can be played down instantly so you’ll often find yourself with a low hand size. Because of this, you won’t be forced to discard huge portions of your late game resources in order to play it. Being the most aggressive Supporter in the game, it also helps with getting off the turn 1 attack.
Professor Oak’s New Theory: PONT is probably the safest Supporter in the game. It’s consistent and reliable with virtually no downside. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call it a bad card. It’s certainly worth at least a few spots, but don’t let shuffle-draw be too much of a crutch. Sometimes thinning your deck is a good thing.
N: Probably the best example of a “dynamic Supporter.” This card nets the same number of Professor Oak’s New Theory in the early game but it can be deadly in the late game, limiting your opponent to just a single card. N also pairs really well with Shaymin EX and can help you turn entire games around.
Cheren: I consider this and Oak to be good examples of “static Supporters.” They stay the same. They rarely backfire, but they are not as likely to turn games around as dynamic Supporters are. It’s a decent card in here, but I’d probably skip it.
Sage’s Training: Some people will think this is a good idea because of how much play this card is seeing. I love Sage’s, but not in this deck.
There are two schools of thought on the issue.
Pokémon Collector: Hopefully you know what this card does. This is the safer play between the two. You do, however, give up your supporter for the turn. It is important to note that you don’t need the turn 1 collector in this deck and it is actually more useful as a midgame card to search out techs. Another benefit is that you only need a few Collector.
Dual Ball: The riskier of the two options. It helps hit the turn 1 attack more often, but it can also fall flat on its face. It also needs to be ran in higher counts than collector, but you can junk arm for it. It really all comes down to one question: Do you want to flip coins?
Rounding out the Deck
Here are just a few more cards to consider for those last few spots in the deck.
A 4th Catcher: Helps to slow down your opponents setup in the early game and let you take the easy prize in the late game.
A 3rd Pokégear: Makes for a more consistent deck overall.
A 3rd Eviolite: Makes your big basics even beefier.
A 3rd Skyarrow Bridge: Helps with the turn 1 attack. Skyarrow can also be Knocked Out by other stadiums. This way you have a better chance of getting Bridge back into play.
A 2nd Super Rod: I find myself not hitting this card in the late game when I need it. It also lets you play your Junipers more liberally knowing you have two of this in your deck and that energy and Pokémon can be recovered more easily.
Lost Remover: This format is going to see a ton of special energy played. This card is just dirty.
An 8th G Energy: The more grass energy you play the more energy you have to accelerate onto the field using Celebi.
Rocky Helmet: This card has proven to at least be interesting. 2 damage counters can help setup the KO on an EX.
Pokémon – 12
1 Shaymin EX
Trainers – 32
4 Junk Arm
2 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 16
This list is my current work in progress. Rather than trying to combat a specific metagame threat, this list uses a split of Virizion and Tornadus for a very strong and consistent early game, Mewtwo and Terrakion for the late game, and Shaymin EX for the late game.
Pokémon – 11
1 Shaymin EX
Trainers – 33
4 Junk Arm
2 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 16
The Match Ups
There are several reasons I’m not going into the match ups for this deck. The first is simply that the shape of the metagame is still not completely clear at this juncture. If you look on the forums you will see good players with opposite opinions on a given card or deck. While this is not new, it has been more prevalent since brainstorming for the new format began.
The second for me not giving match ups is that this deck is meant to be versatile. There are so many options for techs that almost any match up could become favorable or unfavorable depending on what you decide to put in here. The deck is really what you want it to be rather than So rather than guessing, I will hold off on giving any match ups for now, but you are free to speculate.
I’ve already explained the reasoning for pretty much every card in my deck. The only other thing that I’d like to point out is that if you are only running Prism Energy for one Pokémon, switch to that type of energy to avoid Lost Remover.
Hopefully you’ve got a feel for what this deck is like. Be sure to go out and test it or at least test against it because it will see play come States.