Etherdex Explained, Calibrating Klinklang, and Bettering Blastoise

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Stormy weather? Yes!

I hope everyone in the SixPrizes world has had a good string of Prereleases and has had good luck in their pulls from their Plasma Storm boxes.

I only attended one Prerelease and did a draft afterward. I didn’t pull anything too amazing, with Moltres-EX being the best card I pulled, but through some good trading I was able to walk away with a Black Kyurem EX and a Dowsing Machine, which I’m pretty pleased with.

I’ve been reading a lot of the recent Underground articles, and it looks like Virbank City Gym based decks have been pretty well covered, so I’m not going to go over those as the previous articles have done a good job of covering those decks.

I’ve been testing a variety of cards from the new set, including Ether, Colress Machine, Scramble Switch, and more, so these are the cards that I am going to be covering in this article.

Table of Contents

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The Etherdex Engine

One of the most exciting things to come from the new set is the Etherdex engine for Energy acceleration. This is a big deal for the game, as it gives universal Energy acceleration, which means all Pokémon types now have some form of Energy acceleration that they can use.

In this section, I’m going to go over the key cards in making the engine work, and then go over some decks I have been using with it.

Key Cards


ether-plasma-storm-121pokegym.netIt should go without saying that Ether is needed in any deck wishing to use this engine. Ether lets you look at the top card of your deck, and if it is a basic Energy card, you can attach it to one of your Pokémon.


Pokédex lets you look at the top 5 cards and arrange them in any order you would like. This is critical for making Ether work, as you want to ensure that the top card is going to be a basic Energy card. If you play a sufficient number of basic Energy cards, digging five deep will usually be enough to hit a basic Energy for your Ether.

One of the really cool things about Pokédex is that it also helps make your decks more consistent, as you can ensure that you top deck a Supporter card or a Pokémon Catcher as your top deck if they’re in the top 5 cards, which most of the time they will be.

Lunatone PLS/Musharna NXD

Lunatone has an Ability called Premonition that lets you look at the top 2 cards in your deck, and then rearrange them anyway that you like. This is a good fall back if you have an Ether in hand but no Pokédex, but it isn’t something that I would rely on in place of Pokédex, as digging 2 cards into your deck probably isn’t good enough to consistently hit an Energy off of.

Alternatively, Musharna NXD can be used with its Forewarn Ability, which lets you look at the top 2 cards of your deck, and put one into your hand. You can use Forewarn to take the non-Energy card as the draw, and then put the Energy card as your top deck to be gotten with Ether. The downside of Musharna is that it does take up an extra space in your deck as it is a Stage 1.

If you’re not playing a deck with Keldeo-EX or Darkrai EX, I would be wary of putting either of these into your deck, just because they become bait for Catcher stalling with their big Retreat Costs.


Recycle lets you flip a coin, and if heads, put a card from your discard pile on top of your deck. This is great for re-using Ether more than four times in a game, as well as putting Energy on top of your deck to be gotten with Ether.

I don’t consider Recycle to be a key component of the engine, as in a lot of decks other cards will be more critical than Recycle, but Recycle is definitely a nice luxury to have and does make the engine run better than it does without it.

Thoughts on the Engine

The more and more that I have tested the Etherdex engine, the less and less impressed I have become with it. Being able to accelerate to any type is very exciting, but in general I have found it to be the least reliable Energy acceleration that we have in the game right now. There are just too many times when you will have the Ether in hand, but no Pokédex to ensure that an Energy is on top of your deck.

I do still like the card though as additional Energy acceleration though, as gaining a turn of Energy attachment is still a big deal, especially for types that could not do this in the past.

I just feel that stuff like Blastoise, Eelektrik, Dark Patch, and Colress Machine all outclass it in terms of consistency, so I have a hard time trying to make a deck solely based around Ether for Energy acceleration, especially when it will take up 8 spaces in a deck to fully utilize the engine.

What I have found myself doing with Ether is putting it into decks that already have some other form of Energy acceleration as a secondary form of Energy acceleration. Running it by itself has been pretty unfruitful, but playing it alongside other Energy acceleration methods has proven to be successful in my testing.

Here are the top three decks I have been testing that use Ether.

Speed Darkrai EX

Pokémon – 8

4 Sableye DEX
3 Darkrai-EX DEX

1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 39

4 Professor Juniper
3 N
2 Cheren
2 Bianca

2 Skyla
1 Colress


4 Dark Patch
4 Pokédex
4 Ether
4 Energy Switch
4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Ultra Ball
1 Dark Claw
1 Gold Potion

Energy – 13

13 D

dark patch dark explorers dex 93This list is a very standard one, and its sole purpose is to get a Darkrai EX as fast as possible. The card plays 8 Energy acceleration cards, so a turn 1 Night Spear is no longer uncommon, and a turn 2 Night Spear is pretty much guaranteed.

The Pokémon lines are pretty standard for a Darkrai deck. The only notable new inclusion is a Keldeo-EX to give you an out against Hypnotoxic Laser locks.

I don’t expect Sigilyph DRX to be too big of a deal come next format, just because of how easy it is to get around with Cobalion-EX’s attack, as well as Hypnotoxic Laser in Darkrai variants, but if Sigilyph does stick around that will obviously be a problem for the deck.

For the ACE SPEC, I am sticking with Gold Potion, as I feel it is still the strongest one for a Darkrai deck. Setting back a knockout by one turn is really strong with Darkrai, especially with how fast this deck will be setting up.

There isn’t too much depth to the strategy of this deck. Your goal is just to get setup very quickly, and then overwhelm your opponent by getting a faster setup than them and jumping ahead in the Prize race very early.

Overall, I think that the Virbank Darkrai lists are more well-rounded for dealing with the entire possible metagame, as they can better deal with opposing threats like Fighting decks and Sigilyph DRX, at the cost of setting up a few turns slower.

If you like playing aggressive decks whose aim is to overwhelm your opponent’s setup, then this might be a good deck for you.

Darkrai EX/Terrakion-EX

Pokémon – 10

3 Terrakion-EX
3 Darkrai-EX DEX
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Terrakion NVI
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Cheren
1 Bianca


4 Energy Switch
4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Dark Patch
3 Pokédex
3 Ether

2 Ultra Ball
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 16

8 D
8 F

This has been one of my favorite decks in testing the new format so far. The deck has a quick setup, similar to the Speed Darkrai variant (7 Energy acceleration Items), but also has a little more versatility in countering other decks based on type. I expect Darkrai decks to be pretty popular at State Championships, so being able to hit them for Weakness is going to be pretty strong.

terrakion-ex-dragons-exalted-drx-121-brightenedpokemon-paradijs.comTerrakion-EX is really the superstar of this deck. It’s a Fighting type, so it hits Darkrai EX for Weakness (nailing the 1HKO with Pump Up Smash), while also having 180 HP, which positions it much better for a format full of Darkrai/Virbank decks than having 170 HP would (check out Mike Diaz’s last Underground article for why 180 HP is better than 170 HP when playing against Virbank).

Its Pump Up Smash attack gives the deck a THIRD option for Energy acceleration. With Ether and Dark Patch (with Energy Switch), you are able to get Pump Up Smash going on turn 2 pretty much every game.

Once you have Pump Up Smash going, you’re able to power up attackers for the rest of the game over turns 2-4, making for a fast deck that doesn’t really every fizzle out as the game goes on as all of its attackers will be ready to go in quick order.

Terrakion-EX’s first attack, Rock Tumble is good against opposing Darkrai decks as well as Eelektrik variants. You’re able to hit Darkrai EX for 100 damage on turn one, and it is good to score a 1HKO on Tynamos and Eelektriks.

The deck’s toughest matchup is going to be the Blastoise/Keldeo-EX matchup. This is just because Rock Tumble falls 10 short of Knocking Out a Squirtle, which can hurt in your attempt to get off to an early prize lead. The 50 damage isn’t always for waste, as either a Pump Up Smash or Night Spear will be good for Knocking Out the Blastoise if they have to involve that Squirtle.

What I have generally found with this matchup is that it comes down to how fast of a setup the Blastoise player gets in conjunction with how well you are able to N them out of their resources. If the Blastoise player gets a fast setup, they can very quickly end a game with Black Ballista against EX heavy decks like this.

Plasma Basics – Version 1

One of the decks that has been particularly popular in Japan has been a Plasma Basics deck based around Thundurus EX and Deoxys EX, in partnership with Lugia EX and Snorlax PLS from this set.

At the draft for Plasma Storm, I made a Moltres-EX deck with Colress Machine, and it became clear to me that Colress Machine was a very effective form of Energy acceleration.

Colress Machine lets you search your deck for a Plasma Energy and attack it to one of your Team Plasma Pokémon. This is simply the most reliable Item based Energy acceleration that we have in the game right now.

Using this new found knowledge, I brainstormed some possible ideas with Andy Hahn on which Plasma Pokémon from Plasma Storm could be used to make a deck running off of Colress Machine for this format. Lugia EX is of course a no brainer, but we needed a starter Pokémon to kick it all off, and we did end up finding a really good starter for this deck.

I think this is a deck concept that will be pretty popular here in May with the release of the second Plasma set, but for now, here is Plasma Basics – Version 1.

Pokémon – 8

4 Articuno-EX
2 Lugia-EX
2 Snorlax PLS

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Skyla
2 Colress


4 Pokémon Catcher
4 Colress Machine
3 Pokédex
3 Ether
3 Switch
3 Recycle

2 Ultra Ball
1 Scramble Switch


1 Plasma Frigate

Energy – 16

9 W
4 Plasma
3 Double Colorless


articuno-ex-plasma-storm-25Articuno-EX is the desired starter in this deck. Its first attack, Blizzard, costs WCC and does 60 damage plus 10 more to all of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. Its second attack, Frost Prison, does 80 damage for WWCC, and Paralyzes the Defending Pokémon if there is a Plasma Energy attached.

This is very much a donk deck, so the focus of the deck is to be attacking with Articuno-EX on turn one for at least 60 damage. This is very achievable with this deck through a variety of means. You can attach a Water and use 2 Colress Machine, you can attach a Water and use 2 Ether, you can attach a DCE and use an Ether, etc.

A turn one 60 is good for donking Squirtle and Tynamo. While it is more difficult to do, a donk can also be achieved on stuff like Sableye and Emolga by getting a turn one Frost Prison off, which I have achieved multiple times in testing.

Lugia EX

Lugia EX’s Plasma Gale attack does 120 damage for CCCC, with the condition that you must discard a Plasma Energy attached to Lugia EX. Its Overflow Ability states that you take an extra Prize card when you Knock Out a Pokémon with damage from one of Lugia’s attacks.

The idea of Prize gaining is very potent, especially in a format full of Pokémon-EX. If you knockout two EXs with Lugia EX, you take 6 Prizes just from those two knockouts and win the game. One of the beauties of this deck is that the 60/80 from Articuno-EX pairs perfectly with the 120 from Plasma Gale, which really allows you to setup knockouts for Lugia EX on EXs.

While you will mostly be trying to setup an Articuno-EX on turn one, it should be noted that you can also take some donks with Lugia EX as well. Double Colorless, plus 2-of a combination of Ether/Colress Machine is enough to power up Plasma Gale on turn one.

Snorlax PLS

snorlax-plasma-storm-101pokegym.netSnorlax is a very interesting card, and one that I think is one of the most underrated coming out of the new set. It has its Block Ability, which prevents your opponent’s Active Pokémon from retreating, which can mess with decks like Rayquaza/Eelektrik or Darkrai EX variants more so that rely heavily on retreating.

What is an even bigger deal about this card is its Team Impact attack, which costs CCCCC, and does 30 damage times the number of Plasma Pokémon that you have in play. That means if you get six Plasma Pokémon in play toward the end of the game, Snorlax can swing for 180, enough to 1HKO anything in the game.

Snorlax is bulky enough at 130 HP that it can withstand a hit from most cards in the format, so if you can get a late game Snorlax rolling in combination with N, you can quickly end a game.

Scramble Switch

This deck relies on some pretty fat attack costs, so having a way to instantly power up a Plasma Gale or a Team Impact is pretty important for making the deck work. Scramble Switch lets you switch one of your benched Pokémon into the Active Spot, and then move as many Energy cards from the Active Pokémon as you would like to the new Active Pokémon.

This lets you power up these attacks out of nowhere and take your opponent a bit off guard, as well as just let you use the most optimal attack for the current game state when you want it.

As Scramble Switch is an ACE SPEC, only one copy can be played, so I have added some cards to allow me to make use of it multiple times in a game, as the card is too good in this deck to only want to use once. I have 3 copies of Recycle in the list, and their primary purpose is to put Scramble Switch back into your deck so you can use it multiple times throughout a game and conserve your Energy.

Plasma Frigate

plasma-frigate-plasma-storm-124pokegym.netPlasma Frigate is a Stadium Card that makes any Pokémon that has a Plasma Energy attached have no Weakness. The primary reason I put this card into the deck is that I wanted to have at least one counter Stadium in the deck to disrupt my opponent’s use of Tropical Beach and Virbank City Gym.

The card is actually pretty solid in this deck for protecting your Energy. All three of your attackers have pretty relevant Weaknesses, so getting rid of those can be big in deciding whether or not you win or lose a game.

Articuno-EX is weak to Metal (Cobalion-EX), Snorlax to Fighting (Terrakion-EX, Landorus-EX, and Terrakion NVI), and Lugia EX to Lightning (Raikou-EX and Zekrom BLW).

As this deck tends to load up the bench to get the full power out of Team Impact, you can’t do too much in preventing your opponent from possibly taking a 1HKO through the use of Pokémon Catcher, but what Plasma Frigate can provide is protecting your stockpiles of Energy from being 1HKO’d, keeping the Energy on board to be Scramble Switched to new Pokémon as the game develops.

Overall, I would say this is my favorite deck to come out of the new set, and my second favorite deck for the States format overall. (I will cover my favorite deck for the new format a little later on in this article).

The deck just has too many positives going for it, for the deck to be ignored. It has speed and donk potential with Articuno-EX and Lugia EX. It has auto-Paralysis with Articuno-EX, and it can prevent your opponent from retreating their Pokémon with Snorlax. The deck has the ability to Prize gain with Lugia EX’s Overflow Ability, and the deck also has 1HKO potential with Snorlax’s Team Impact attack.

The biggest concern I would have for this deck going forward is how popular Enhanced Hammer could be in the new format. The deck obviously runs on a lot of Special Energy (7 total), with one of those (Plasma Energy) being crucial to some of the tricks the deck can pull off.

I don’t expect Hammers to see a lot of play at State Championships though, just because of how little of an impact I expect other Special Energy decks to have on the format.

I expect Blastoise/Keldeo-EX, Rayquaza/Eelektrik, and Darkrai/Virbank to be the top three contenders in the new format, and Blastoise/Keldeo-EX is the only one out of those that might play Special Energy (Prisms for Black Kyurem EX and techs), and even that has the option to just play basic Energy, so I don’t expect too much Hammer hate in the new format.

Plasma Klinklang

klinklang-plasma-storm-90pokegym.netOne of the more hyped new decks to come out of the new set is the Plasma Klinklang deck, which uses Klinklang from Plasma Storm to give Metal Pokémon immunity from EX attacks with its Plasma Steel Ability.

The idea of safeguarding a deck from EXs is intriguing, but it should be remembered that Quad Sigilyph decks had little impact on the Regionals format, and this deck is going to be even easier to tech against than those decks were, which I think ultimately sets this deck up for failure.

The very nature of the deck is to only play Metal Pokémon, as otherwise you begin forfeiting the protection against Pokémon-EX, which would make the deck vulnerable to most decks in the format.

The problem with taking this route is how easily this deck begins to be teched against, as there are some amazing Fire counters in the format.

Most notable are Victini NVI 15 and Moltres NXD, both of which can 1HKO Cobalion-EX. Rayquaza/Eelektrik decks already play R Energy, making it extremely easy for them to fit Victini into their lists without hurting consistency, and Blastoise lists will likely be playing Prism Energy to make way for Black Kyurem EX, so they can also easily tech in these Fire friends.

Why is this a big deal? Klinklang has no Energy acceleration, so just one of these Pokémon can completely tear through the deck. Victini is able to 1HKO Cobalion-EX, knocking all of the Klinklang player’s Energy off the field. It will then take three turns for the Klinklang player to knockout the Victini, which means Victini can just sit there running through your entire field taking prizes turn after turn.

Are people really considering playing a deck that is so easily taken down by a 70 HP Pokémon that is easily teched into two of the top contenders for the new format? Seems crazy to me.

Alternatively, I have seen people want to mix and match between the existing Klinklang variant playing Keldeo-EX and Darkrai EX, with the new Plasma Klinklang. This variant seems like an inconsistent mess to me. Stage 2s can be difficult to setup in the format as is, so playing a split 4-1-2/2 line of your Stage 2s seems like it will cause some problems.

Additionally, playing non-Metal types opens the deck up for 1HKOs from Black Kyurem EX and Rayquaza EX, which can be just as troublesome as your Metal Pokémon being 1HKO’d from Victini.

If you hope to do well at States, I would highly recommend staying away from these Klinklang variants. They’re just too vulnerable to being teched against, and a single tech can completely demolish the deck.

I do not think however that Plasma Klinklang’s Ability goes to waste completely. Invincibility from EX attacks is still very strong, and there is an obvious partner for Klinklang that doesn’t come with all of the baggage that Cobalion-EX and friends comes with, and that’s everyone’s favorite Bug Pokémon… DURANT!

Steel Enforced Durant

Most players who know me know that Durant was one of my least favorite decks to play against during City Championships and States last year, and it appears that I will have to deal with this card again at States this year, as Durant with Plasma Klinklang has proven to be a potent combination in my testing.

Pokémon – 9

4 Durant NVI
2 Klink DEX
1 Klang DEX
2 Klinklang PLS

Trainers – 41

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Cheren
2 Skyla


4 Level Ball
2 Heavy Ball
2 Rare Candy
3 Switch
3 Escape Rope

2 Pokémon Catcher

3 Crushing Hammer

2 Enhanced Hammer

4 Revive

1 Super Rod

1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 10

10 M

I think Durant is the safeguard deck that has the most potential to do well in the new format. As seen with Sigilyph DRX during City Championships, the inability of EXs to attack the Defending Pokémon can put your opponent into a very tough position. They end up in a scramble for resources just trying to setup one of the few Pokémon in their deck that can actually do damage to the safegurading Pokémon.

The reason I like Durant, while I don’t like Sigilyph DRX and Cobalion-EX with the Safeguard is because Durant exploits this race for resources that decks end up in when trying to breakthrough a Safeguard.

It was hard enough for a lot of decks last format to scurry together a Pokémon that could Knock Out a Sigilyph DRX. With Durant, now they have to work on setting up a Pokémon that can deal with Knocking it Out, all while having 3-4 cards from their deck hitting their discard pile, which is no easy feat.

Notes on the List

escape-rope-plasma-storm-120pokegym.netI think getting your Klinklang stuck in the Active Spot too often is very detrimental to the deck’s success, and that’s why I play a high count of cards to switch Klinklang back to the bench. In total, I play 3 Switch and 3 Escape Rope.

The Escape Rope works very well against Big Basic decks with Landorus-EX, as they might have their Bouffalant DRX or Terrakion NVI powered up to attack, with only a Landorus-EX on the bench, so Escape Rope can often force them to promote a Pokémon that is useless in the matchup to the Active Spot.

With Dowsing Machine factored in, I have 7 outs of getting Klinklang out of the Active Spot, which can easily be 21-28 cards of Devour!

I still feel that Pokémon Catcher is needed in this deck. My main concern was against Eelektrik decks, that have made the move to playing Emolga DRX. It has free retreat (as do Tynamo and Rayquaza EX with Skyarrow Bridge in play), so Escape Rope is less effective in that matchup, so actually using a Pokémon Catcher on the Eelektrik is much more needed.

I think the biggest obstacle for this deck heading into States are going to be the Darkrai/Virbank combination. They have free retreat with Dark Cloak, so Catcher stalling isn’t a very viable strategy in the matchup, and they can get an endless loop of Pokémon Catcher and Hypnotoxic Laser, allowing them to continually bring your Klinklang to the Active Spot as well as do damage through Steel Protection.

The best bet against these decks are just to try to use a Switch/Escape Rope as often as you can early game, and Devour as much of your opponent’s deck as possible, while using your Crushing Hammer to try to deny your opponent a turn of using Junk Hunt every now and then. I would recommend ignoring any Energy they place on a Darkrai EX when using your Hammers, and instead focus on trying to prevent Junk Hunt.

Against all other decks, if you get your Klinklang setup, you will be in a strong position to win the game. Eelektrik decks have always seemed to run 50/50 in my eyes against Durnat decks, and Blastoise decks will have difficulty setting up when their resources are hitting the discard pile, and with Plasma Klinklang in play, catcher stalling them can be pretty effective as well.

Against Landorus-EX Big Basic decks, you pretty much auto-win as long as you get your Klinklang into play.


I think after Winter Regional Championships, most players would agree that Blastoise/Keldeo-EX was the BDIF. It had a lot of success at the various tournaments in the country, and most other decks that saw success were built to counter it in some way (Darkrai/Mewtwo, Rayquaza/Eelektrik, and Garbodor), and even with those decks being in place at a lot of the tournaments, Blastoise still prevailed for the win in a couple of these tournaments.

black-kyurem-ex-plasma-storm-95With the release of Plasma Storm, Blastoise has only gotten stronger. The biggest addition is Black Kyurem EX, which is able to do 200 damage with its Black Ballista attack for WWLC, at the cost of discarding three Energy. This gives Blastoise decks access to basically their own version of Rayquaza EX, only a bit stronger, as Black Kyurem EX isn’t hampered by Eviolite.

I know a lot of players who messed around with Emboar/Rayquaza EX right before Regional Championships and a few brave souls who decided to play the deck at the tournaments they attended. That deck had the potential to do well as it was able to power up attacks for the 1HKO on EXs turn after turn.

The new Blastoise deck does the same thing, just in combination of all the things that were great about Blastoise decks before Plasma Storm was released.

At the Japanese Battle Carnivals, Blastoise was probably the single most successful deck in the tournament, and I would expect it to find the same success here. I haven’t bought much from the new set yet, and don’t really plan to outside of another Black Kyurem EX as I am pretty confident that Blastoise will be the best deck to play come State Championships.

Pokémon – 14

4 Squirtle BCR
4 Blastoise BCR

3 Keldeo-EX

2 Black Kyurem-EX PLS

1 Victini NVI 15

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Juniper

4 Skyla

3 N

1 Bianca

1 Colress


4 Ultra Ball

4 Rare Candy

4 Energy Retrieval

3 Pokémon Catcher

1 Super Rod

1 Dowsing Machine


2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

10 W

3 Prism

1 L

I want to quickly cover some notable features about my list for the deck, and why I chose some of the card counts that I chose.

I think playing a 4-4 Blastoise line is the optimal line for the new format. Darkrai decks will now have ways to 1HKO a Blastoise out of nowhere, so you will want to be able to setup at least two Blastoise in most games to prevent situations where you’re attacking with Black Kyurem EX and your Energy is hitting the discard every turn, and then Blastoise gets Knocked Out, and you have no way to power up an attacker on the next turn.

prism-energy-next-destinies-nxd-93pokemon-paradijs.comThis is also why I am keeping a lot of W Energy, and also chose to play more Prism than L Energy in powering up Black Kyurem’s Lightning attack cost, as there are going to be a lot of situations where you are still going to want to attack with Keldeo-EX, so having the extra 20 damage from a Prism as opposed to a Lightning can mean a big deal of difference.

If you’re doing a lot of attacking with Black Kyurem EX, it’s generally a good idea to start powering up a Keldeo-EX behind it as well, just so you have a go to attacker if your opponent tries to Catcher stall you.

I must say though, Black Kyurem EX is the real deal in this deck. It fixes the big problem that the deck had with Mewtwo EX, as it is able to 1HKO Mewtwo EX while leaving only one Energy on itself, making X Ball fairly weak against it. 200 damage is a big deal as well, and being able to get off back to back Black Ballistas can very quickly end a game.

I have a tech Victini in my list for now. I expect players to try out Klinklang/Cobalion-EX the first weekend of States at the very least, so I would much rather have an easy out against that deck than have a frustrating matchup.

The Trainer lines are pretty standard compared to last format. The new addition in the Supporter section is Colress, which lets you draw cards equal to the number of Pokémon on each players bench. This card is somewhat situational, as it can net you very little cards of draw or a whopping 10, all depending on the game state.

Where the card truly shines is in the Rayquaza/Eelektrik matchup. As Eelektrik decks fill their bench, you’re able to get a solid 10 card draw in that matchup, which will generally give you all the resources you need to keep up with the speed of that matchup.

The other major change I made was in the ACE SPSEC section, choosing Dowsing Machine over the standard Computer Search. When looking back at playing Blastoise, I very rarely used Computer Search in the early game (which seems standard for a 1-of card, it’s only going to show up in your early hand so often). With that in mind, I knew that Dowsing Machine would be the far superior choice for this deck.

What I really love about Dowsing Machine is how much it helps my Rare Candy management. Now I can worry much less about discaridng a Rare Candy early on in the game as I know I can just get it back with Dowsing Machine.

Additionally, Energy Retrieval, especially with Black Kyurem EX around now, is super powerful for this deck, so having the ability to play a 5th copy of it in any given game is really strong.

Lastly, my Tropical Beach count right now is at two, and I would even consider going up to three to be a very solid play. Stadiums are going to be plentiful in the new format, with Rayquaza/Eelektrik decks playing Skyarrow Bridge, Big Basic and Darkrai decks playing Virbank City Gym, and Plasma decks playing Plasma Frigate, so taking control of the Stadium War and making sure the Stadium you need in play will play a bigger role in this format than it has in the past.

Overall, I think this is really the deck to beat coming into State Championships. Rayquaza/Eelektrik can still be troublesome, but that can also be teched against with Black Kyurem BCR and Kyurem DRV as I have discussed in the past.

Garbodor could be a problem for this deck, but at the same time it will struggle against the Darkrai/Virbank decks, so I don’t expect it to have a very strong presence at States. Sure, Darkrai decks gained a little more power against it, but the matchup is still going to be in Blastoise’s favor.

As I said earlier, I expect this to be my deck choice for State Championships. If anyone is looking for a deck for States, this is what I would recommend. It was the BDIF coming out of last format, and I think it will remain the BDIF into and coming out of this one as well.

Other Thoughts on the New Cards

That covers all the decks that I feel that I have something new to contribute to. Before I finish up, I just want to go over some other thoughts I have on cards and their places in the format that came from Plasma Storm.

Computer Search vs. Dowsing Machine

dowsing-machine-plasma-storm-128pokegym.netThis is a discussion that I have seen a lot of on the internet, and in general I have found Dowsing Machine to be the far superior ACE SPEC in just about every deck. Last format, the default was to just play Computer Search if another ACE SPEC didn’t fit a specific niche for that deck. I think Dowsing Machine takes on that role in the new format.

I feel as though Dowsing Machine is going to give me a greater benefit than Computer Search would in a standard game. As you only play one Computer Search, the probability of opening it early isn’t all that great, and you’re most likely to run into the card in the mid and late games, rather than the early game.

As this is the case, being able to use an extra of any Trainer resource you have played in the game will generally be stronger than searching your deck for any card, as you will likely have already exhausted a copy of the resource you would be looking for with Computer Search.

What really makes Dowsing Machine stand out to me is that it can get back any Trainer card. Being able to get a second copy of Colress, an N when you need it, or another Professor Juniper to rip out the final resources from your deck that you need to win a game is strong.

Additionally, as Stadium Wars enter into the game more and more with the release of strong Stadium Cards, being able to bring a Stadium back from the discard could be very strong as well.

Naturally, being able to get a 5th Energy Retrieval, Pokémon Catcher, Dark Patch, etc. will also be very strong.

So does Computer Search have much of a place in this format? Yes, but I think it is a very narrow niche that it now fills. The only decks I would play Computer Search in at this point are decks that focus on using Skyla for Computer Search for a turn one Double Colorless Energy. Outside of that, I don’t see any other decks that would really benefit much from playing Computer Search over Dowsing Machine.

Gaining extra resources is just so much more powerful than a little extra search of your deck. I’ve replaced Computer Search with Dowsing Machine in almost all of my lists and haven’t missed it one bit.

Colress – What happened to the hype?

colress-plasma-storm-118pokegym.netWhen the translation for Colress was first revealed, everyone seemed to be in love with the card, but now that the set has been released, I have been seeing a lot of players not putting Colress in their lists, which I don’t really get.

As Mike Diaz pointed out, when someone uses Colress for 10 cards, you have to assume that they are going to hit all of the resources they need, as they are drawing at least 1/5 of their deck.

It’s not like Colress is a very difficult Supporter to figure out either. The benefits and negatives of the card are pretty clear. In the mid and late games, the card can be great as it gives you enough draw that you will probably hit all of the resources you needed. In the early game it can be bad, as there won’t be a lot of Pokémon on the benches yet, so the draw you get from it won’t be all that great.

With a card like this, you obviously play it in a lower count to avoid starting with it very often. I think most decks should play 1 Colress, and if you’re feeling a little more daring, 2 copies is also acceptable.

One thing I have found is that Colress is great in decks that play Dowsing Machine already. This allows you to only play one copy of the card, which will help you not start with it, while still being able to play the card multiple times in a game.


I hope this article was able to provide you a new look at some of the new cards and decks that we will be receiving from Plasma Storm. I really wanted to try to cover some stuff that the other writers hadn’t covered yet.

friend-ball-skyridge-sk-126I’ve been blessed with a good group of friends who have helped me test a lot of what the new format has to offer, so I feel very prepared for the upcoming tournaments.

The only cards that I haven’t had time to test yet that I want to get some games in with are Victini-EX, Gallade, and White Kyurem EX. I think all three of those cards show some strong potential, so I will want to test them to see what’s there before States start.

I am going to aim to attend two State Championships this Spring, Missouri for sure, and hopefully Kansas as well. I hope to see some of you guys there!

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been able to update my blog as of late. Relationships and a new job have pretty much taken over much of my life as of late, so I haven’t had much time to do everything I have wanted to do as of late. Once I get the time management down with all these new responsibilities and joys I will be updating my blog regularly again.

Lastly, remember to +1 this article if you liked it, or -1 this article if you disliked it to give Adam feedback on the Underground articles and what you guys want to see on here.

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