Scooping Your Way to Victory with VVV (Vanilluxe/Victini/Vileplume)

Please don’t let this oxymoron of a title confuse you: if you scoop multiple rounds in a row, you will have nothing but pathetic loss after loss, and will by no means win a tournament, let alone get any Championship Points.

pokemon-paradijs.com
Once I start paralyzing, there’s no way to scoop yourself out of defeat.

Here’s a quick introduction before I serve you scoop after scoop of information on my favorite deck at the moment. I am currently in the Seniors division, and just started playing the Pokémon TCG competitively since the release of the Black & White Expansion. While I unfortunately don’t have any impressive accomplishments to share, I am doing my fair share of research to learn about the current metagame and improve my own skills.

While this deck wouldn’t be classified as Tier 1 at the moment, I want to share my thoughts on a deck that not only makes me scream for two scoops of ice cream, but one I feel is a good contender for Nationals: VVV (Vanilluxe NVI/Victini NVI 14/Vileplume UD). For this article, I will be writing about the regular version of the deck, without cards such as Mew Prime and Unfezant BLW.

Let’s first take a look at the star of the deck, Vanilluxe NVI, who makes this deck so delectably sweet.

Vanilluxe is a Stage 2 Water Pokémon with a not very impressive 130 HP, x2 Weakness to Metal, which isn’t too bad, and a mediocre two Retreat Cost. Being a Stage 2, this card would appear to have a very small chance of doing well against some of the fastest decks in the format such as Zekrom/Eels, CMT, and Darkrai variants.

pokemon-paradijs.comHowever, this card does have one attack that gives it a chance to stay nice and cool against the rest of the format, Double Freeze. For a Water and a C Energy, you flip two coins, and you do 40 damage times the number of heads, with the nice added effect that if you flip at least one heads, the Defending Pokémon is paralyzed. While this attack doesn’t seem extremely powerful at first glance, another important part to this deck, Victini NVI 14, helps to make sure the Defending Pokémon will be frozen in its tracks.

Often nicknamed Fliptini, this card is famous for its Ability Victory Star, which allows you to redo any flip used for an attack once per turn. Being able to redo coin flips for Double Freeze gives you more than a 93% chance of hitting one heads, which does 40 damage and Paralyzes the Defending Pokémon.

So far, after looking at two major parts to the deck, there is still one major flaw that would make this ice cream melt: Paralysis. Your opponent can’t attack or retreat, but they can still use Switch to get out of Paralysis. This is where Vileplume UD comes in. Vileplume’s Poké-Body Allergy Flower prevents you and your opponent from playing Item cards. This not only slows down many powerful decks that depend on Items, but you also prevent your opponent from getting out of Paralysis.

Now that you have the general strategy behind the deck, here is a decklist I whipped up (I just keep dishing puns out).

Pokémon – 23

4 Vanillite NXD

3 Vanillish NVI

3 Vanilluxe NVI

1 Vanilluxe NXD

3 Oddish UD

1 Gloom UD

3 Vileplume UD

1 Bellossom UD

2 Victini NVI 14

2 Smeargle UD/CL

Trainers – 26

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

4 N

3 Twins

1 Flower Shop Lady

1 Seeker

 

4 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Communication

 

1 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 11

7 W

4 Rescue

Here is a brief scoop on each of the cards in my decklist. Man I am on ice tonight! (I can’t say fire because that would break the great string of ice cream jokes.)

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Remember Me? I’m that card with a cool ability that you never thought was worth using.

Vanillite NXD has the biggest scoops (highest HP) of all of the different mini ice creams available, and it’s attacks are rely less on flips, making it more consistent with its attacks (not that you would attack with Vanillite, but this would be the best for attacking, if you have to resort to this, and if you are, you’re melting way too quickly).

Vanillish NVI is the best choice simply because it can Paralyze with Ice Beam, which has perfect synergy with the rest of the deck. Vanilluxe NXD, which is probably freezing somewhere in your binder, sad and has never been played, is actually a very nice inclusion in this deck.

Its Ability, Slippery Soles, allows you to switch your Active Pokémon with one of your Benched Pokémon, and your opponent does the same. This can be helpful in the mirror match when Vanilluxe is paralyzed, it can be retreated to your bench, switched out with another Vanilluxe, and the slow but deadly freezing of Vanilluxe continues.

When you are trying to set up this deck, it is wise to get out two Oddish UD, because with a fragile 40 HP, they can easily be Catcher KO’d, and if you only had one Oddish, you would have no chance of getting a turn two Vileplume. Now, there are many times when you do get out the two Oddish, and your opponent won’t KO either of them.

pokemon-paradijs.comThis leaves you with two options. You can either use Seeker to take the extra one off the bench, or evolve it into Bellossom UD without the use of Rare Candy because you should already have Vileplume out. Bellossom can use its Poké-Power, Hustle Step, and can heal ten damage from all of your Pokémon.

Bellossom can soften the damage taken to Vanilluxe, as well as damage done to your Benched Pokémon, most likely any leftover Oddish and Victini. Hustle Step can turn damage from a Darkrai EX’s Night Spear from a 2HKO to a 3HKO for a Victini.

Smeargle is an ideal starter for this deck, and will let you use multiple Supporters per turn thanks to its cool (still going with the jokes) Poké-Power Portrait. Although this isn’t typical of VVV decks, I added in a Skyarrow Bridge to help retreat Smeargle to the bench when you are ready to attack with Vanilluxe.

Rare Candy helps to get turn two Vileplume as quickly as possible (and sometimes Vanilluxe, if you can’t get Vileplume until later). Communication is used to search out any Pokémon, and Collector to get all of the necessary scoops to setup. PONT and N gives you shuffle support, and because this deck often falls behind in prizes, N creates good disruption.

pokemon-paradijs.comSince this deck uses Stage 2s, it’s slow, and will probably fall behind in prizes early on, as I just mentioned. This lets you use Twins to search for those Vileplume, Vanilluxe, Rare Candy, and any other cards you need to setup. Because this is a Trainer Lock deck, you can’t use Trainers once Vileplume is out, so FSL is one of your best forms of recovery.

This isn’t a deck that needs 13 or 14 energy, as it isn’t energy acceleration, but it definitely needs Rescue Energy to help pick up the scoops you dropped. Once your opponent finally KOs Vanilluxe, you want to be able to get it back as quickly as possible, and Rescue Energy helps recover melted scoops of your Vanilluxe line.

Here are some other possible techs that I have not included in my decklist:

Virizion NVI: Virizion has a decent 110 HP, which means that it won’t get KO’d very quickly at the beginning of the game. Its HP and its attack, Double Draw, can help you setup.

Pichu HS: With its attack Playground, you can quickly load up your deck with Basics, or even when your bench is full, use it to search your deck and see what is prized. Pichu will take up more bench space, and will be a good sniping target for Darkrai EX, however.

Tropical Beach: This will allow you to fill your hand up to seven cards whenever you need to. This can also act as a counter stadium to decks that use Skyarrow Bridge (Zekrom/Eels, CMT, etc.) or even Fighting Decks that run Ruins of Alph.

I won’t go into too many specifics, but here is a general idea of the matchups of Vanilluxe/Victini/Vileplume.

Matchups

This deck will struggle against decks that have Pokémon capable of 1HKOing Vanilluxe. Some examples are Darkrai EX/Zoroark DEX, Zekrom/Eels, and decks that can sweep with Mewtwo EX.

pokemon-paradijs.com
Ice cream cones aren’t safe when I’m around. Maybe I am actually good for something. I will see you, double scoops, at Nats, if you dare…

VVV has favorable matchups against decks that aren’t able to 1HKO, such as Darkrai EX variants, Quad Entei-EX, Quad Terrakion. Wait, Vanilluxe has the power to make Darkrai EX chill out (you thought I couldn’t make any more horrible jokes)? Darkrai EX can only do about 90-110 damage (depending on how many Dark Claws and Special D Energies attached) to Vanilluxe each turn, which means it won’t get 1HKOd, and it can continue to give Darkrai a brain freeze (still going).

This is why I prefer using the version of VVV without Mew Prime, because when you use Mew Prime, you will only do an average 20 damage with Double Freeze against a non-Eviolited Darkrai, and no damage to one that does have an Eviolite.

So now that you generally understand the matchups, what are the best ways to counter this deck? If your deck uses Mewtwo EX, then you want to charge it up as quickly as possible to begin 1HKOing Vanilluxe. If your deck doesn’t use Mewtwo EX, then consider teching a 1-1 line of Espeon DEX.

Espeon’s Ability, Solar Revelation, prevents all effects of attacks done to your Pokémon that have Energy attached. This will prevent Vanilluxe from ever being able to Paralyze, and the ice cream cone will be melted for good.

Thanks for reading. Please leave any comments or suggestions you have for my first article. I will try to reply as soon as possible, so I can improve my writing skills and puns for future articles.

Reader Interactions

24 replies

  1. Ross Gilbert

    Pretty good dude. Short, but pretty darn good.

    Question is: Who has the balls to take 2 deck slots and give them to Espeon?

      • jordan baker  → Ethan

        I agree. Eevee isn’t a bad starter at all, and two spots for auto wins against VVV and Acelgore is worth it. In other matchups you get a decent starter or some junk arm fodder that wont bite you late game.

        • Jeremy Rubin  → jordan

          The only thing with Espeon is there is always the chance that your Evee or Espeon is prized, and then it could become worthless, but hopefully this won’t happen.

        • Gage  → Jeremy

          If you are staring down VVV and find an Espeon piece prized you just go aggressive early and hope to draw it. Plus outplaying your opponent is still a thing. :P

        • Gage  → jordan

          It can be bad if it is your only starter though. Mewtwo + DCE + Pluspower says game.

        • Ethan Mommaerts  → jordan

          Eevee makes the deck more consistent actually. Call for family isn’t bad at all and can get you extra pokemon. If you don’t start with it and are going against VVV/Accelgor, if you can get Espeon out, it’s staying out unless they play Chandy (in Accelgor).

          I’ve tested with 1-1 espeon against VVV/Accelgor(with Chandy), and it helps a ton. Whenever you see Litwick, you just kill it off fast.

    • Oliver Barnett  → Ross

      Well you sort of answered your own question within your podcast man :p btw keep it up it’s very awesome!

      • killerpotatoe  → Jeremy

        I am fine with short articles as long as they are info-dense, get to the point, and come in mass on a single sight:D

    • Gage  → Ross

      I do, depending on what I end up playing lol. If I run Darkrai there will be a purple cat chilling in my deck. If I play anything else, I don’t think it is worth it.

  2. Raimundo Estela

    I play VVV as my main deck using only NVI Vanilluxes, without the Smeargles (plays have taught me they do more harm than good), 2-1-2 Empoleon and Kyurem EX.

    Bellosom is useless here, since what you do mostly is have a Vanilluxe active, stall the opponent’s pokemon while you load another one, until you KO it, then your Vanilluxe gets OHKOd by a Pokemon also charged during all those turns. And it’s time to put another Vanilluxe on top again. Repeat until you win.

    Also, i’d reccoment to play at least two Catchers. I know the idea is to have Vileplume as soon as possible, but it’s not always like this, and you’d rather stall a defendind EX rather than a bench sitter.

    Kyurem EX works marvels against ZekEels and other Special Energy dependant deck, specially Double Colorless. And since you’re stalling it isn’t hard to charge. If your opponent isn’t depending on SE, don’t play Kyurem EX unless you’re desperate.

    Also, and this is on my opinion, take out 2 Collectors and the Flower Shop Lady and the Seeker and ass 2 Junipers and 2 Cherens. Seekers are useless here, since everything will be Sniped/OHKOd and since you’re stalling you’re giving your opponent extra turns too. In my deck at least 4 collectors are abusive, since you have a lot of draw engines.

    Still, good list :D. It’s always nice to see the deck hasn’t been forgotten and it’s also a nice alternative :D

    • Jeremy Rubin  → Raimundo

      Thanks for your feedback. I wanted people to realize this deck had potential for doing well at Nationals after Pooka won Glandale Battle Roads with a VVV.

    • Grant Manley  → Raimundo

      woahwoahwoah, how do you have room for Empoleon and Kyurem EX, and still have a good VVV deck? If you think that they help, you need to test a little more. Also, you had one epic typo! You said: “… and the Seeker and ass 2…” We know you meant add, but still, some typo. His list is good, and it seems some of your deck advice isn’t very good. You need some form of recovery (FSL) and you need at least 4 in any combo of Pichu/Collector in a Vileplume stage 2 set up deck like this.

      • Raimundo Estela  → Grant

        Hahaha, that was one silly typo.

        I am by no means saying his list is bad. It’s an alternative and a really viable one. I was just giving another alternative to the VVV variations list.

        TBH i’ve done a lot of playtest with the deck, after all i still play with it rather than play with my other deck which is a ZekEels with Raikou EX (mostly because it’s really boring). Testing proved that having Pichu was only Donk/Sniper bait. And 4 Collectors were way too much when your bench is really used to be full of either Vanillites, Vanilluxes, Victinis and in my case, Empoleon.

        Empoleon is hard to pull, i won’t deny, sometimes you must decide between using a Candy on another Vanilluxe or Empoleon and you always go for the Vanilluxe, but when it works, it does wonders. It also works as an last hope, since both players benches are always full from the stalling. That was how i won a really important match at least.

        Kyurem EX would only help on this Empoleon variation, but that’s mostly because of the draw engines. And recoveries aren’t really useful here (at least on my experience), since Vileplume isn’t at risk of being Catchered and having an extra Vanilluxe on the bench is a MUST on the deck.

        It’s just another variation of the deck, like i said, by no means I’m claiming mine or yours is better. Just like the Dodrio Variation, it’s another alternative to use.

    • Roarkiller Master  → Raimundo

      I’d rather have kingdra prime than empoleon in VVV. Together with slippery slopes, you are pretty much guaranteed to never break the lock.

  3. Gage

    Great article, I like the list and the puns. My advice would be to consider cutting the Skyarrow for a second Gloom to make getting Blossom easier. I would cut Skyarrow because it can help your opponent more than you and having only 1 copy makes it unlikely that your will start with it.

  4. Eric Smith

    Good well-written article, but I just don’t understand Smeargle in this. I know that the babies aren’t “cool” to use these days ever since Smeargle became the flavor of the week once Sky Arrow came out, but nothing sucks more than hitting a Juniper off Portrait in such a fragile, set-up heavy deck like this. I know there will be times when Portrait will work out, but with this type of deck you’re basically playing Russion Roulette since hitting the wrong supporter can cripple the deck’s elaborate set up.

    I like the babies in this deck much more just because you run a decent amount of basics and don’t run a high chance of getting donked since you’ll probably start with 2 on average, and also you can afford to go down a prize since the deck relies on twins.

    • Jeremy Rubin  → Eric

      I just like Smeargle because when it works, it provides a very fast set up (if you don’t discard all of your resources). Babies like Cleffa and Pichu can help too, but the problem is that if they’re sitting on the bench later in the game, Darkrai EX takes a cheap prize or two later in the game.

  5. Julia Follan

    Sure, lets play a fragile 30hp Pokemon that will let the OPPONENT as well as yourself search their decks for Darkrai, or maybe that Mewtwo that’ll OHKO it next turn (with DCE or accelleration). Also, Tropical Beach: End your turn without attacking, when you need Paralysis every turn that you possibly can :)
    Not the most aweome idea I’ve ever heard by a long way. Other than that, great article, you managed to heap on scoops and scoops of puns about this ice cool deck :) :)

    • Gage  → Julia

      Tropical Beach is for when you are still setting up since there is no logical reason to attack until you have Vanillish (at least) set up with 2 energy. Also, if your opponent plows through your Vanilluxes and you don’t have one fully charged and you can’t attack. That one Tropical Beach for 4 or 5 may be what keeps you in the game. Also it kills an opponent’s Skyarrow which can help lock their pokemon in the active spot even if you hit Quad Tails.

  6. Aaron Minjoot

    Enjoyed the puns, and like the deck, too bad it has to go come rotation. I like how you incorporated the NXD version into the deck, always wanted to use that ice cream…

    PS: Adam, seems like the TerraZeelz article got taken down from the site as well? Along with the Cheaters one. Was it a glitch or something?

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