Plasma Freeze Prereleases have started and most players have begun testing the new format. This time last year Dark Explorers was about to be released and would give us Darkrai EX, which dominated Battle Roads and was considered (or was included in) the BDIF for the rest of the format. From Plasma Freeze we are getting Deoxys-EX, which increases the damage output of every Plasma Pokémon by ten per Deoxys in play.
I consider Deoxys to be the Darkrai of this set. It can sit on the bench all game and provide support to many decks with its Ability Power Connect, or it can set up to the plate and serve as an attacker. The major difference I see is that Deoxys deck are unlikely to have the same level success as Darkrai did last year.
Deoxys-EX has been featured in Thundurus/Deoxys/Kyurem, a deck that has been very strong in Japan. Right now everyone and their dog is testing TDK, but what about using Deoxys outside of the one particular deck? In addition to TDK, I’ve come up with a two other Plasma decks that use Deoxys-EX.
This goal of this deck is to get a Lugia EX ready to attack on the first turn. I’m sure you’ve heard of this deck when Plasma Storm was released but in the last format it had no real chance to succeed. This is because Lugia EX couldn’t donk if the opponent started with an EX and you were limited to 4 Plasma Energy meaning you could only attack 4 times (unless you ran Recycle.)
Both of these issues have been fixed by Thundurus EX and Deoxys-EX. Thundurus EX allows you to retrieve your Special Energy and Deoxys boosts Lugia’s damage output to the point where a PlusPower or two can allow for a 1HKO on EXs.
Calling this a donk deck is actually a little misleading. While this deck can donk any Pokémon in the format and your chances aren’t that bad at doing it, the realistic goal is to have a T2 Lugia and take all 6 Prizes between the 2nd and 3rd turns.
Here is the list for Lugia Donk:
Pokémon – 10
4 Lugia EX
2 Thundurus EX
Trainers – 38
Energy – 12
4 Lugia EX
You want to start with Lugia EX, but that’s not the only reason for using 4. Donk decks do not want to mulligan and give the opponent more cards and potentially more Basics to bench and save them from a donk.
Unlike in typical Plasma decks which like to have 3 Deoxys in play and leave some space for Thundurus and Kyurem, this deck wants all 4 in play every time. With all 4 you can increase Plasma Gale’s damage output to 160, only 10-20 away from a 1HKO on an EX.
2 Thundurus EX
This deck will fall apart if it doesn’t get off to a good start. Thundurus EX provides acceleration on the first turn to help get the T2 Plasma Gale and it provides a backup plan for getting a Lugia going mid to late game. It also provides an easier donk against Tynamo, Squirtle, and Klink.
This card is what makes 1HKOing EXs a possibility. To 1HKO an EX you need 5-6 in combination of Deoxys and PlusPower, as well as a DCE + 2 Colress Machine to get Lugia attacking on the first turn. Bicycle gives you more draw than the one Supporter per turn.
You want as to draw as many of these as you can as quickly as you can.
The reason I run this over Hypnotoxic Laser is so that the opponent will be Knocked Out by Lugia and not Poison damage, allowing Overflow to activate. This deck isn’t about donking so much as it is about actually taking all 6 Prizes in two turns.
Float Stone can be attached preemptively to draw more cards off of Bicycle and allows you to have a Switch out before you actually have a Lugia EX in play. The 1 Switch is used so that you aren’t completely screwed against Sleep flips.
This deck wants everything to be burnable, but the deck still wants to ability to use Pokémon Catcher. This has a lot of utility like bringing up a Keldeo hiding behind a Black Kyurem EX (making for an easier KO) or stopping an opponent from using non-EX attackers to slow you down.
4 Plasma, 4 DCE, 4 Prism
The Energy should speak for itself, we’re trying to optimize the T1-2 Lugia EX while having the ability to use Thundurus EX as back up.
Absol PLF is a card that will be a staple in Darkrai decks from now on. Absol is used for its first attack, Mind Jack. For a DC cost, Mind Jack deals 20 damage plus an additional 20 for each of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon. This means if the opponent fills their bench Absol will deal 120 damage for 2 Energy, which can be further boosted by Dark Claw and Hypnotoxic Laser.
Absol’s second attack probably won’t see much use. Seeing your opponent’s hand isn’t very useful if your turn ends as soon as you get a look.
While Absol is a shoe-in for Darkrai decks it can also be the main attacker of its own deck, receiving support from Deoxys. The idea for this deck arose when I was watching a friend play Darkrai/Absol and noticed that Absol was putting in most of the work. I wondered if Absol could work without Darkrai and that’s how I came up with the deck. Here is the list:
Pokémon – 8
Trainers – 40
Energy – 12
Since Absol is your main attacker you want to boost its base damage as much as possible. Adding 30 damage to all of your attacks makes it possible for Absol to 1HKO opposing Pokémon-EX.
Mind Jack will be a weak attack if your opponent keeps a small bench, so you want as many ways as possible to boost your attack damage on your own.
This deck has 2 forms of Energy acceleration. Colress Machine makes T1 Absol a common occurrence and powers a Deoxys in a single turn. Dark Patch keeps Energy in play after it has been discarded and is another way to get an attack out of nowhere.
Despite using so few Pokémon this list is very tight on space. This is because the deck is using two forms of Item based Energy acceleration. While Absol’s attack is reliant on the opponent’s bench, most decks will still need to accomodate your strategy for the most part. RayEels needs their Eels and TDK needs its Deoxys. Blastoise and Klinklang need to bench multiples of their basics to evolve otherwise you can pick off the single ones and prevent them from getting a stage 2 at all.
The one deck that will give this deck a lot of trouble is Big Basics. A Landorus player could easily afford to keep their bench restricted to one or two Pokémon and beat down Absol with Hammerhead. I’ve found that by trying to counter Landorus-EX I risk converting into TDK which isn’t what I want this deck to be. Thankfully, Landorus probably won’t be as good next format when TDK is roaming around and Blastoise is still doing its thing (and gotten better at it as well).
Deoxys-EX seems like a card that goes through “Eelektrik Syndrome.” Whenever I pair Deoxys with something I find myself saying: “Well, I can use Thundurus EX to provide acceleration, oh now I should add Kyurem to help round out the deck. Now my original attacker just wastes space, I better phase it out.” And then my deck becomes TDK.
Thanks to Team Plasma Badge there is a lot of potential for Deoxys-EX that people aren’t exploring. One idea I was going to test was Empoleon DEX/Deoxys-EX/Plasma Badge, until I realized that I was just asking Thundurus and Darkrai/Absol to eat me alive. Still, it’s far too soon to give up on using Deoxys outside of TDK.
Hopefully I’ve inspired you to think about all the possibilities Deoxys brings to the table (and hopefully no one tries to assassinate me after their Darkrai gets donked by Lugia at Battle Roads).