Running Rogue at Scotland Regionals – Plasma Basics Top 2 Report

This past Saturday I attended Cumbernauld Regionals in Scotland with a massive convoy of friends and teammates traveling in two cars and a train, around 15 players in all. I had been preparing to play a rogue deck for a few weeks, as there’s no deck in the meta that I genuinely enjoy playing, so I’d put it through its paces and settled on this eventual decklist, analysis to follow the report.

(No, this is NOT a joke.)

PokΓ©mon – 10

4 Snorlax PLS
3 Giratina PLS
3 Lugia EX

Trainers – 37

4 Professor Juniper

4 N
4 Skyla
2 Colress

 

4 Heavy Ball

4 PokΓ©mon Catcher

4 Colress Machine
4 Hypnotoxic Laser

3 Switch
1 Escape Rope

1 Scramble Switch

 

2 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 13

5 P

4 Plasma
4 Double Colorless

While I knew my deck was legitimately competitive, I also knew that a number of very skilled players would be traveling up to Cumbernauld – especially given that London Regionals, held on the same day, was fully booked.

Due to time constraints, the tournament would have one less Swiss round than usually indicated with this number of players, and the Top 4 cut would be best of one match. Players were understandably disappointed with these changes, but the tournament was soon underway and everyone had games to think about.

Round 1 vs. Scott w/ Landorus/Bouffalant

lugia ex plasma stormpokechampion.tumblr.comGiven that teammates and friends of mine comprised nearly half the field, I should not have been surprised to end up facing off against Scott. However due to playtesting the previous evening I am aware of what deck Scott is running, which has me concerned.

Add to that the fact that he’s an incredibly good player with a knowledge of my deck that managed to remove the surprise factor, AND I’ve never managed to beat him in a tournament before… well, I’m not too pleased. We roll, and I get first turn.

I flip my active – Lugia EX. He flips his – Bouffalant.

I look at my hand.

I have the donk.

I immediately am filled with both elation that I’ve won, and a horrible guilty feeling. I apologize to Scott, attach DCE, Colress Machine, and Skyla for the same. Plasma Gale for the KO.

1-0

Scott was, as always, incredible gentlemanly about it. We played it out while we waited for next pairings, and he beat me, though narrowly.

Round 2 vs. Michael w/ Darkrai/Lasers/Victini

Here I am, paired once more against a player I have never beaten in a tournament. Great. Michael is another talented player, but when we flip I know the advantage is mine. He starts Sableye and benched Victini, I start Lugia and draw 4 Prizes by Plasma Storm-ing both of them by turn three. Michael is now down to a lone Darkrai which is fully charged.

I Skyla for Scramble Switch, and get the Snorlax Teampact for 180, winning the match.

2-0

Round 3 vs. Dominic w/ Keldeo/Blastoise/Black Kyurem

giratina-plasma-storm-pls-62pokemon-paradijs.com

Dominic is a friend and teammate from my League. I know his deck well enough that I am totally aware this match is down to who can set up faster. Added to that is the fact that Dom has improved massively when it comes to competitive play and deck-building recently, and I’m in no way confident that I can manage this match.

I don’t remember all the details, but Dominic managed to Knock Out a Giratina or two before I started steamrolling with Snorlax, whereupon I had the momentum to take the game. If his Crystal Wall hadn’t been prized, I suspect it would have been far more difficult to pull off!

3-0

Round 4 vs. Darren w/ Klinklang/Cobalion

Here I am, 3-0 in the last round of Swiss, and I get paired down to my worst matchup. Righteous Edge wreaks havoc against all my Special Energies, and Lugia is dead weight. I manage to take advantage of my opponent’s Tropical Beach for a few turns before replacing it with Virbank, but at some point I foolishly misplay by attaching a DCE to Lugia, and I just never quite recover from that.

It’s close, but in the end Darren secures victory.

3-1

At this point I’m pleased to have done so well with a unique rogue I built, and I suspect that top cut is out of my reach, so when standings are posted I’m astonished to find myself in 3rd after Swiss. And paired against Darren again. Oh boy.

Top 4 vs. Darren w/ Klinklang/Cobalion

cobalion-ex-plasma-storm-pls-93pokemon-paradijs.com

Now, I don’t fancy my chances much. Darren has handily beaten me once, and while I wouldn’t call it a walkover or anything, I was clearly not on my best footing against his deck.

I start Lugia to his Klink, and manage over a couple turns to Plasma Gale two Klinks to draw 4 Prizes, then Teampact a Klinklang. He managed to N me to one and Catcher-stall by grabbing a benched Snorlax.

He got mostly set up, and was prepping a Cobalion NVI to KO my Snorlax, while I sat and passed for a number of turns until I got Juniper and snagged Switch, securing the win.

4-1

Top 2 vs. Charles w/ Landorus/Mewtwo/Garbodor

This game contained one of the best first turns I could have gotten, and Charles’ response was equally good. I won the roll and started Giratina to his Landorus-EX, attached and double Colress Machine’d, then HTL’d and Hexed for 100 + 10 Poison damage. I was incredibly pleased with this as a start!

Then Charles benched a Trubbish, double Switched, and used Max Potion! It was such a good, lucky play I had to appreciate it. The game continued apace with us trading KOs, but in the end a heavily damaged benched Snorlax took the Hammerhead snipe for Charles to draw his final prize.

4-2

It was a very enjoyable, close match, and I think we both had a good time playing against one another. Charles got a well-deserved win and drew closer to the invite, and I wish him luck in getting to the 400 points!


About the Deck

I encountered variants of this deck on TCGO immediately after the Plasma Storm set was released. Many builds were definitely sub-optimal, utilizing Plasma Durant, or Rotom, or even one of the legendary bird EXs. I usually had no problems with these decks, and after a while I stopped encountering them.

However I was intrigued – I saw potential, especially in Snorlax and Lugia EX with Colress Machine and HTL/Virbank. I started messing around with builds of the deck, and over the weeks it gradually evolved into this list. There’s room for variation, I’m sure, but I went with a consistent and straightforward build. Here are some card explanations.

Snorlax

snorlax-plasma-storm-pls-101pokemon-paradijs.comSnorlax is a beast. People think that because of his CCCCC energy requirement for Teampact, Snorlax isn’t a playable card – it’s a steep price, to be sure. However, paired with Block and a very reasonable HP of 130 for a non-EX Basic, this makes the sleepy guy a very viable card in this format.

Any deck that relies upon retreating (RayEels, Darkrai, anything running Emolga) will be easily stalled with Block while you set up a benched Snorlax to roll over their big hitters. Very few attackers one-hit Snorlax, so the Prize exchange is likely to be in your favor, especially if you’re KOing EXs.

And if a Snorlax gets damaged, you may even have recourse to Scramble Switch to power a fresh one from the bench. Also, he’s searchable by Heavy Ball. It’s pretty sweet, I gotta admit.

Giratina

Giratina isn’t ideal, although it has some of the same advantages that Snorlax has – 130 HP and searchable by Heavy Ball, for example. Giratina is useful for decent damage output, and Hexing Mewtwo after HTL for the 1HKO. Giratina’s second attack, Shadow Claw, is underwhelming for PPCC but allows some disruption to the opponent’s in-hand resources, and again 1HKOs Mewtwo, this time without HTL being necessary.

Dark Weakness is rough, but bearable, as Giratina is simply a bench-filler for Teampact in that matchup.

Lugia EX

As you can tell from my report, Lugia EX is a real asset. Overflow is an incredible Ability, further putting the Prize exchange in your favor. With my build you cannot search Lugia EX, though! Early builds included an Ultra Ball or two, but I was hesitant to play them when they showed up in my hand, as few cards in this deck end up being a dead-draw – these resources are almost perpetually useful, and to discard them can really hurt.

So you have to draw into Lugia by chance, and that can be a bit uncomfortable – but in execution it actually functions just fine.

HTL/Virbank

It powers up Giratina’s Hex. It allows you to compensate for an empty bench space when Teampacting an EX. It’s indispensable in this deck even more than in many others. A perfect fit.

Scramble Switch

The only ACE SPEC for this deck. Allows surprise Plasma Gales for the win, switching Snorlax with a freshly powered and undamaged one from the bench, and other such options. If you try this deck out, take note of your Scramble Switches – many games are won and lost on the use of this puppy late-game.


Possible Techs

Max Potion

max-potion-emerging-powers-epo-94pokemon-paradijs.comI so badly wish I had managed to find space for Max Potion in this deck. Especially given how often the deck requires you to have energy-less active PokΓ©mon to soak hits and stall for setup. Additionally it would be useful to heal a ‘Mon you just Scramble Switched energy from.

Super Rod

Being able to recover KO’d PokΓ©mon and discarded P Energy would be nice in the late game, especially when energy can be completely gone after a lengthy battle.

Eviolite

Landorus can set up KOs on benched Giratina and Snorlax, and Eviolite would be a nice defense against that.

Tool Scrapper

While the Garbodor matchup isn’t massively unfavourable, it does tend to make Lugia dead weight. In addition, being able to discard Eviolites that might stop Snorlax from 1HKOing EXs could be very useful.


Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed the article. If you decide to run this deck, please let me know about your experiences. I’d be happy to answer any questions in the comments!

Reader Interactions

43 replies

  1. Kai Coolston

    Doing so well in a field of great players with your own creation was fun for me to watch unfold. This deck is innovative and clever. Congratulations on your 2nd place victory.

  2. poet larsen

    I don’t think that Snorlax is as good as you think. Now the attack and the ability are incredible, I know that, but the hp is the biggest issue. Keldeo can KO it, Darkrai can, Landorus can with Land’s Judgement. These are all pretty popular cards in the format at the moment. Now I am not saying that snorlax is bad, it is still a great card, but I think you might be overestimating the power of it.

    For keldeo it needs 4 energies to KO snorlax, Darkrai needs dark claw and laserbank, and landorus just needs three energies.

    Other than that this article was great and I think I might try it out

    • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ poet

      I didn’t suggest that Snorlax was unstoppable. He’s not an EX, he’s weak to fighting – but at the same time he can OHKO every EX in the format and gives up only a single prize. Darkrai can OHKO him, presuming an HTL AND Dark Claw – which is possible, but no guarantee. I’ve bested numerous Darkrai decks with my build, and have thus far not lost a single match to Keldeo/Blastoise, so I think perhaps you’re underestimating the utility of the deck as a whole. It’s not just Snorlax! :)

      • dominic charlton  β†’ Pooka

        It was a great deck on the day, and it has a great track record, one of 2 decks i’m struggling against right now ( the other being laurents deck ¬¬ ) i’m guessing next set you’d swap heavy ball for team plasmas poke ball ,if we get it, as it makes your all your pokemon searchable.

        also i am quite tempted to try out a deck like this if keldeo becomes too nerfed next set.

        • Laurent Straten  β†’ dominic

          Keldeo won’t be nerfed next set.
          It’s here to stay, especially as Blastoise/Keldeo, if for nothing else, to combat in classic rock-paper-scissors style, the continued resurgence of Landorus, itself destined to gain popularity in combating Thundurus.

        • Joseph Lee  β†’ Laurent

          Don’t forget that unless Tool Scrapper becomes big, Float Stone should allow a Benched Keldeo EX to become huge in most decks… which Snorlax [Plasma] happens to ruin.

  3. Bella Brown

    Cool deck idea- i might try it out! Looks like a cheap deck to build :) Thanks for the good article!

        • Julia Follan  β†’ Pooka

          Like what? Landorus and Cobalion are the only meta EXs I can think of that aren’t in Tins. Rayquaza EX, Keldeo EX, Mewtwo EX, and Darkrai EX are all easily to be found for inexpensive prices. Isn’t Lugia going for quite a lot at the moment (Or did people at League just not want to trade with me :P ). Well, I suppose that Blastoises and Hydreigons, etc. mount up quite a bit as well, come to think of it.

  4. Colin Moll

    Well done! I am looking forward to updating the Snorlax/Lugia EX based deck when Plasma Freeze is released. It will be much better! :)

    • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ Colin

      Agreed! One of the reasons I decided to run this deck was because I knew it would only get more complex and playable with upcoming sets. :)

        • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ Laurent

          Yup! I’m not so sold on Thundurus/Deoxys as many seem to be, but I think Thundurus/Lugia/Snorlax could potentially be a good deck – especially since Thundurus gives you a single-energy attacker that allows you to attach from the discard.

          Only downside that I can see is the overwhelming Fighting-type weakness the deck would have.

  5. Eugene Paglicawan

    Nice! I always like to see rogue decks having a good fight against the usual meta decks!

  6. Benjamin Bolival

    If only this article was posted yesterday so some roguish players could have played it today at states…

  7. Lauren F. Roberts

    I was super gutted that I missed seeing you all play (damn you Argos!) and I only got a very brief overview of the tournament afterward, so its cool to have a chance to read about your matches properly!

  8. Bella Brown

    Wow! I’ve been testing this on PlayTCG…….. And absolutely LOVED it!
    I’m going to start trying to build this deck IRL now :D Thank you SSSOOOOO much for the great deck! BTW i managed to incorporate 2 Max Potion, but I feel that it is only worth using if i have energy switch too.

    • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ Bella

      Awesome, peppi! I would LOVE to have more people playing this deck!

      What did you drop for the Max Potions?

      • Bella Brown  β†’ Pooka

        -1 Escape Rope, -1 Pokemon Catcher! I feel it doesn’t really work though without energy switches… and the list is very tight already.. :( I’ve checked multiple times but if i drop anything the deck’s consistency drops too. When the next set comes out it sounds like Team Plasma Pokeball (or whatever it’s called) will be a great asset to this deck- 2/2 mix of heavy ball and TP Pokeball will work well…

    • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ Grant

      Maybe poorly built versions have been popping up in Seniors? I’ve certainly never seen it played, but feel free to educate me, buddy.

        • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ Jak

          Basically my thought. We’re not having a “rogue-er than thou” wang-measuring contest thrown down by Grant now, are we? ;)

  9. Bella Brown

    ive been playing this deck on PlayTCG and won all but one game!
    People are saying ‘Haha the power of Snorlax’ and then i kill their tier 1 deck. LOL

    • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ Bella

      Yeah, the Keldeo matchup is all in how fast you can set up. I tend to just manage to set up before they can get rolling, but when Tropical Beach is in the mix IRL it becomes a lot harder – although I can benefit greatly from beach, myself!

  10. firefighter095

    At my leauge today my buddy told me about your list on here and i was like O-o? I read your entire rep[=ort and its alot of fun to see. Congrats on the amazing run in states. I will build this and try it out. I may tech 2 max potions in to see how it works. I played keldeo in states and had 2 t-16 runs. The whole time i always wanted to play snorlax but coudlent find a way since it came out. Now i see how you did it and say HOORRRAYYY!! I will hopefully make this a semi competitive fun deck for my leauge.

    • Pooka Pookerson  β†’ firefighter095

      I’ve been meaning to tech Max Potions myself, but the list is so consistent it’s hard for me to find the space. Let us know how your testing goes! :)

  11. Pooka Pookerson

    Just placed Top 8 at Manchester Regionals with this deck. :)

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.