Chillin’ Out, Maxin’, Relaxin’ All Cool

Quad Snorlax Deck Analysis

Hello again, it’s been a while. I missed you.

Anyway, I haven’t written for a while because I’ve been busy with PTCGRadio. If anyone reading this doesn’t listen yet then I would direct you to go check me out on SoundCloud or the archives on WordPress. You could also subscribe on iTunes.

snorlax movie sleepingpokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
Chillin’ out.

Anyway, today I’m going to talking about Snorlax. First though, a quick plea: Please go and check out my YouTube channel. I’ve been expanding the podcast into the visual realm and while at the moment it’s only PTCGO videos it will soon be expanded into live videos and what should be a very interesting and completely unique project! I’ll do an article about that when it gets off the ground. So please, go check out some videos and subscribe.

So, where was I? Oh yes: I have always loved Snorlax. In the original games he and Porygon were my favourites, and although Mamoswine has since proven to be the greatest Pokémon, neither him nor Porygon have any playable cards right now. Luckily, the Snorlax from Plasma Storm is pretty darn good.

Now I won’t pretend that I created this deck, we all know that would be a lie, but what I will be doing is showing you my list and then looking at what will happen post-rotation, which should be some new content for you to make up for my absence.

So, first Snorlax:

130 HP

This is good as few Pokémon will OHKO him.

The Attack

He can potentially hit for 180 damage, if you have 5 Energy on him and 6 Plasma Pokémon on the field, but that’s hard to pull off and not what we’re worried about… yet.

The Ability

“Block” stops your opponent retreating. This is far better than it initially sounds. With more and more Pokémon relying on Float stone, Keldeo, etc., you see more and more decks without switching cards. This gives Snorlax time to work his magic. Even decks that do play switching cards will run out eventually.

The deck itself is very simple. You hope to trap an unfavourable Pokémon active (i.e. one which your opponent does not want active) while you stop them doing anything fun and win by poisoning their Pokémon to death. Sounds fun! Here’s my list:

The List

Pokémon – 4

4 Snorlax PLS

Trainers – 56

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

4 Random Receiver

2 Bicycle

 

4 Shadow Triad

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Max Potion

4 Switch

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

4 Enhanced Hammer

3 Crushing Hammer

3 Plasma Ball

2 Revive

1 Recycle

1 Super Rod

1 Dowsing Machine

 

3 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 0

 

Now everything in this list is designed purely to stop my opponent doing much while he dies of poison. So, some quick explanations.

Max Potion

max-potion-emerging-powers-epo-94pokemon-paradijs.com
Maxin’.

I’m hoping that my opponent won’t be able to OHKO my Snorlax. If they don’t, I can heal with Max Potion and, as I don’t play energy, there’s no downside.

Crushing Hammer / Enhanced Hammer

The point of these is to rip Energy from my opponent’s Pokémon so that they can’t be OHKOing my Snorlax. Cards like Kyurem PLF and Terrakion NVI can be pretty scary, but when they don’t have Energy they start to look a lot less intimidating!

Hypnotoxic Laser / Virbank City Gym

Quite frankly, this is pretty much your entire win condition. Without Energy Snorlax is unable to attack so you have to rely on killing Pokémon through Poison. When you can’t do this, you lose. (Though sometimes you can try and deck people out, which can be fun!)

Shadow Triad / Recycle / Dowsing Machine

Hypnotoxic Lasers are how you win with this deck, so 4 are not enough. Recycle is not great because it requires a coin flip, but Shadow Triad allows you to put one from your discard into your hand essentially guaranteeing 8 Lasers per game. Dowsing Machine is the only ACE SPEC that works in this deck and it pretty much always needs to be used for a Laser. Rock Guard is fun, but it’s not a Laser! Plus, Tool Scrapper really ruins your day.

Random Receiver / Bicycle

As stated above, you need lasers to win here so you need to balance between running techs (Max Potion and the like) and being able to run through your deck to get the lasers. Bicycle helps you run through your deck and draw more cards, increasing the chance of finding that laser and while Random Receiver does the same thing, it also oftentimes will help you find a Skyla or Shadow Triad, which will gauarantee you the laser.

Revive / Super Road

Snorlax will sometimes die (and this is sad), so Revive gets him back nicely. The reason for Super Rod is that you can pop up to 3 back in your deck and use Plasma Ball to get him back. You could use Shadow Triad to get Snorlax back, but he’s not a laser!

If you have any other questions about my list, or the deck itself, please put them in the comments below and I’ll try to explain myself as best as I can. Here’s a nice little video of me using the deck (although in this game I play Rock Guard over Dowsing Machine, I’m not sure it was the best play):

Weaknesses

Now, as fun as this deck seems, there are plenty of problems that stop it being the best deck ever (though it could well be the most fun).

1. Fighting Weakness

This is awkward. At Nationals I played a Landorus / Terrakion / Cobalion deck and I faced a Snorlax deck. It was a quick match. Crushing Hammer can help here, but unless you flip well, you lose!

2. Anything that can get out of poison.

You win through poison. Any deck that can get around this should win very easily.

3. Anything that can OHKO Snorlax.

As I’ve said, if they can OHKO Snorlax, your poison damage will be far too slow to do anything. Boo.

Matchups

So, with that all said, let’s have a look at some matchups.

Darkrai

keldeo-ex-boundaries-crossed-bcr-49pokemon-paradijs.com
Relaxin’ all cool.

If they play no Keldeo this match is VERY fun. They rely on Darkrai to retreat so probably don’t play any switching cards so you catcher whatever you want and wait for it to die. They’ll probably even play a Virbank in case you can’t find yours!

If they play one Keldeo you just catcher that and repeat the usual process.

If they play 2 Keldeo you’ll probably lose (and with all the Gothitelle right now they just might do that!). If they get 3 Energy on a Keldeo it’ll be hitting for 50. That’s not much but your poison will only do 30 before a double “Rush In” gets rid of it. It’ll take 6 Lasers to kill a Keldeo and you may run out. You could survive with Max Potions and lock the second Keldeo, but it’s very difficult.

Plasma

They run things like Deoxys which have a CC retreat cost and can only hit you for 30! They may run switching cards but they’ll probably run out. Not to mention the fact that they play Virbank and your hammers should really ruin their day! If they get a couple Kyurems, or a Lugia out it could be trouble but this should be a positive match-up!

Blastoise

They should be playing at least 2 Keldeo, your hammers will do nothing and with 4 Energy they’ll be OHKOing you. You should lose this!

Gothitelle

They lock your Items (of which there are many!) and you don’t do any damage. You lose this. UNLESS they start Duskull (or Munna, though most lists have moved away from Munna) in which case you draw / pass until time is called and drop a Laser to win 1-0 after the 3 turns in one of the most boring games you will EVER play.

So, long story short, don’t play this for Worlds. It has bad matchups against 2 of the most popular decks. If, like me, however you’re not going to Worlds then the questions remains: Will this still be viable after Worlds?

We’re now in a position where not only do we know that the rotation will be NXD-on but we also know the entire set list for Plasma Blast (our August set) so we can see exactly what will happen to our beloved giant, sleepy bear for Battle Roads.

The Rotation

We lose Recycle although my list only plays one and I think we can work around this. We also lose Crushing Hammer though. This means that against Fighting decks that play basic Energy, we now have no way to remove their energy and slow them down. This will turns some matchups very bad indeed.

We also lose Revive which could be replaced kind of by Super Rod and Plasma Ball, but really it’s not the same and Revive will be a big loss. Other than that we keep all of the cards we had before so in theory, we might still be able to play the deck.

The New Format

virizion-ex-plasma-blast-plb-9
And all playin’ some Pokémon…

With the advent of Plasma Blast there is one new deck that should be very relevant: Genesect / Virizion. We may also see the revival of Hydreigon decks. The reason is that Virizion has an Ability which dictates that no Pokémon with Grass Energy attached can be affected by Special Conditions. Well, there goes our win condition.

To be fair, against Hydreigon we can kill their Blend Energy with Enhanced Hammer and carry on, but that still gives them 4 times that they can kill the poison and stop it building up, greatly increasing our chances of running out of lasers before we win.

Against Genesect / Virizion though there’s no other way to put it; we’re gonna have a bad time!

The good news is that Gothitelle (due to Virizion) should see less play (Editor’s Note: No play because it’s being rotated.) and although Blastoise will still be good, if Virizion / Genesect becomes very good then Blastoise may also see less play. The problem is that with our 2 terrible matchups going out, another one comes in.

I’m not sure that Snorlax, as I’ve been talking about so far, can survive. So I propose a new list:

Pokémon – 4

4 Snorlax PLS

Trainers – 48

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

2 Random Receiver

 

4 Shadow Triad

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Enhanced Hammer

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

4 Switch

3 Max Potion

3 Plasma Ball

3 Colress Machine

1 Super Rod

1 Scramble Switch

 

3 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 8

4 Double Colourless

4 Plasma

Changes:

  1. Crushing Hammer / Recycle / Revive are gone (they’re rotated).
  2. The Bicycles are gone and I’ve gone to 2 Random Receiver (there’s no more room).
  3. I’ve cut a Max Potion (again, to make room).
  4. Dowsing Machine has been replaced by Scramble Switch.
  5. I’ve added 4 DCE.
  6. I’ve added 4 Plasma Energy and 3 Colress Machine with which to accelerate them.

This new list has been fun to play around with but quite frankly, I’m not sure if it retains the spirit of the original deck. What I’ve done is added 4 DCE and Plasma Energy so that Snorlax can, in theory, attack for between 30 and 120 damage. We’re still not adding non-Snorlax Pokémon into the deck to pump up the damage as that would allow your opponent to use Catcher to get around Snorlax’s “Block.”

hypnotoxic laser plasma storm pls 123pokemon-paradijs.com
…outside of the school.

Ideally you’ll have at least 3 Snorlax out and that means you’re hitting for 90 damage, enough to 2HKO any EX! 2HKOing doesn’t really matter here as the whole point is that you’re blocking something active that can’t attack and that means you can afford to take the time to hit them twice. With Laser, you can do 180 in 2 turns with only 2 Snorlax on the field, which is nice.

Room has had to be made for this and, as pointed out above, partly this is made by getting rid of the rotated cards but it’s also means cutting a Max Potion, the Bicycles, and some Random Receivers. I’ve not replaced the Revives and there may be problems in keeping enough of them bears out there to run the deck properly. You could use Shadow Triad to get yourself a bear in an emergency, but (say it with me) he isn’t a Laser!

Scramble Switch works excellently here now because, provided the Snorlax doesn’t get OHKOed, you can then Scramble Switch into a new one and keep going, hopefully taking out whatever hit you and running them out of options. This does however mean cutting Dowsing Machine which, along with the lost Recycles, might hurt your Snorlax / Laser plan a little.

There are also a couple of new problems posed by this new deck as well. Firstly, you rely on Special Energy (and not much of it) so if your opponent runs Cobalion EX or a few Enhanced Hammers (especially with Sableye) then it’s bad news bears. Even if they don’t, you only run enough Energy to attack with 2 Snorlax, 3 if you use Scramble Switch effectively. This isn’t a huge problem where you can use Lasers, but if you’re only attacking and can’t use Lasers, this could be a problem.

Secondly, as I’ve already said, the deck isn’t quite as fast without the Bicycles and Random Receivers and the lack of Revives and Crushing Hammers can pose problems you wouldn’t have had before. Finally, there’s cards like Mewtwo EX and Deoxys EX that will now be able to OHKO you easily now that you’ve got 5 Energy on you (although against those Pokémon you would default to a traditional poison strategy to get around this).

Conclusion

will smith fresh princestarmap.com
Yo homes, smell ya later!

I still love Snorlax, both the Pokémon and the Plasma Storm card, and I believe that even if he takes some time off, he’ll be back before he’s rotated to ruin a few tournaments for people.

My new version of the deck is FAR from perfect (as was the original), but with the right matchups it can be viable and it’s still a fun play regardless. If nothing else, I hope this was at least entertaining to read and gave you food for thought. I will however see if I can record a decent game with this new list and pop it up on my YouTube channel for you all to have a gander at.

If you haven’t already, please check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel and make sure you tune in to PTCGRadio every Wednesday! I’ll be back in a couple weeks to hopefully tell you all of my exciting new project.

I’ll try not to leave it so long next time!

P.S. I’m on Twitter too. Yay!

Reader Interactions

5 replies

  1. Caleb

    If you are opting to attack with Snorlax, why not run Silver Bangle, to hit 180 with Laser/Bank and his attack for 120? It seems like it is not worth running unless you can hit OHKOs

    • Ross Gilbert  → Caleb

      A very good point sir! I have considered this and honestly, i wouldn’t. Here’s why:

      1. Space

      – With the inclusion of energy i’m down to 3 Max Potion, i’m not too happy with the recover / search and i only included 3 Colress Machine. You could argue 4 Switch is too much but other than that i’m not sure i could find the room

      1. Viability

      – That combo would require all 4 Snorlax out (and i already have concerns over search/ recovery) plus all the energy on the active, a Virbank in play, a Laser and then having a Silver Bangle that isn’t tool scrappered away. It seems a lot. Sure it’ll happen sometimes but i fear more often than not in the games that would be won anyway

      1. Need

      – The point of this new deck is that the energy covers you a little in the match-ups where laser alone won’t win. The focus isn’t on KOs with energy. One of the main advantages with Snorlax is his ability which (in theory) allows you the time to 2HKO as your opponent’s pokemon will be stuck there for at least a turn.

      I like the idea very much but it’s not something i’d personally go with (though i may test it ;)

      Hope that helps to explain my reasoning :)

    • Ross Gilbert  → Jake

      The editorial team at this website are immense and alas this was their doing. But top marks to them, the articles i submit are always fantastically presented in a way above and beyond that which i deserve!

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