Positively Plasma – Why the Villains are Taking Over

deoxys drawing paintcorgle.tumblr.com
“Take me to your leader!”

With two articles in a very short time span I find myself in an interesting position. My first article is scheduled for today, August 29th, and my second article for a week later, September 5th. My original plan for this article was to breakdown and discuss what I consider to be the top decks in the format and then next week do an article heavily devoted to discussing Plasma.

With all of the testing I’ve done I’ve found Plasma to be the best deck in the format. With the Klaczynski Open this weekend I’ve decided to reverse the order of these two articles and today give a very detailed view of Plasma.

I plan on breaking the deck down, discussing the two different variations of the deck I’ve built, discuss some matchups, and lastly talk about some ways to counter Plasma as well. With the Klaczynski Open being the first major tournament of the new season I feel Plasma is by far the best and safest choice for the event.

If you haven’t heard about the Klaczynski Open yet, details for the event can be found here. This will be the largest non-sanctioned tournament the game has seen in quite some time. Basically the event plays best-of-three Swiss and 75 minute rounds with a cut to the Top 8. The winner will receive 6 booster boxes, which is over $500 in cards!

The main reason I’m advertising the event is because this is the first major tournament of the new format. With the exception of 75 minute rounds versus 50 minute rounds, it will also be played using the exact same rules as Regionals. I feel anybody who is able to attend will be able to get a strong grasp on this format and will be at a huge advantage heading into League Challenges and Fall Regionals.

The New Rules and What They Mean for You

Heading into the 2013-2014 season Organized Play is undergoing some major changes. Most of these changes I’ve been advocating for some time and I’m extremely happy to see them implemented.

Here is a quick rundown of the most important changes…

1. Entry fees to Premier Events and better prizes (for Masters only). We don’t know how much entry fees will be yet, though.

2. Best-of-three 50 minute +3 turns Swiss rounds (at States and above). This is a change from the best-of-one 30 minute +3 turns Swiss rounds we’ve had the past couple seasons.

3. Tie matches have been reintroduced (at States and above). We currently have very little information as to how ties will work, but for now it is important to playtest with a timer and ties in mind so that you can recognize which decks perform best in match play.

4. Cutting to Top 8 (at States and above). I honestly would have liked to see a Top 16 for Regionals and a Top 32 for Nationals, but with any new system there is going to be a learning curve. I could see changes made to this system mid-year if need be. While I’m not a fan of the smaller top cuts the best-of-three Swiss rounds allows me to live with this change.

5. Battle Roads have been replaced with League Challenges. These are small tournaments to be held at the end of League cycles at the discretion of the League Leader and the cooperation of a Tournament Organizer on staff. It is believed that only active League Members will be able to participate in these tournaments.

Most of these changes, while major, don’t require a great deal of discussion. However, I did want to take a moment and discuss how playing in a best-of-three 50 minute Swiss rounds will change the game.

It’s just not feasible to play 3 games of Pokémon in 50 minutes. Realistically what you’re looking at is 1 full game and possibly 1 full second game with time most likely being call near the end of the second or early into the third game.

Editor’s Note: The tournament rules have not yet been updated to reflect how ties will work, but Jay and I have been messaging back and forth and we think these are the scenarios where a tie is possible (during 50 minute best-of-three +3 turns Swiss rounds):

  1. Game 1 is tied in Prize cards after +3 turns.
  2. Player A wins Game 1. Player B is ahead Game 2 and has taken more than 50% of their Prize cards after +3 turns. Player A wins the match otherwise.
  3. Game 3 is tied in Prize cards after +3 turns.

Again, we are not certain, but we think this is how it will work based on tournament protocol from the past few years. Hopefully TPCi will clarify in the near future.

The bottom line is this low time limit basically constrains any competitive player to only playing fast decks. It is extremely hard for a slower setup deck to win 2 full games in 50 minutes, and near impossible with best-of-three.

I personally would not even consider a deck in this format unless I felt it was capable of putting early pressure on the opponent and getting quick knock outs.

I’ve always emphasized testing with time limits and with these new rules I want to stress it all over again. The best players will be able to play at a good consistent pace, recognize opportunities to tie or steal games, and lastly be able to play well within the time limits. Testing with these conditions will ease the stress of time management in competitive events.

Plasma is the Best Deck in the Format

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Bad guys rule!

Not only does the deck have all of the best support in the game right now, it is probably the fastest deck in the format as well. The deck basically has all of the right answers for the format and new rules changes.

After testing a lot of Plasma mirror I really like how there is some level of skill (though nowhere near as much as the SP mirror) and what I enjoy the most is that there can be a huge amount of variation between lists.

You might know that your opponent is playing Plasma, but you really won’t know what all of their card counts are or all of their techs. This adds another layer of skill in best-of-three as recognizing your opponent’s techs and being prepared for them from one game to the next is going to be huge. So far Plasma has been my favorite mirror match to play since, well, probably the SP era.

The last time I did an article heavily devoted to Plasma I got a lot of feedback (both positive and negative), but it also generated some of the best discussion on any article I’ve ever written. I spent a lot of time testing Plasma this weekend and found it to be my favorite deck of the new season. My friend and I tested 2 very different versions of the deck; one straight Plasma with Bangle and the 2nd being a heavy Lugia EX focus Plasma deck. I plan on breaking down both decks and describing the pros and cons of each.

When designing my Plasma lists for this new format I got a lot of inspiration from Plasma lists that did well at Worlds. I’d like to give a lot of credit to Simon Narode, Johnny Rabus, and Jeremy Jallen. Many of my card choices and tech ideas came from a combination of their lists and my own assumptions about the meta. Which leads me into my next section…

My Predictions About the New Meta

In the following section I’m going to be making a lot of blanket statements about the meta and what I feel is going to happen. With each new set release (and especially with a rotation) there are going to be dramatic shifts in the meta. Accurately predicting a new meta and what will do well in it has led me to a lot of success… but I’ve also crashed and burned with some bad predictions as well.

In the next few weeks these card choices might prove to be excellent meta reads or bad mistakes depending on how things shape up. To give a better idea behind some of card choices and thought processes I’d like to discuss some of my predictions and why I feel the meta will shift this way.

1. Hypnotoxic Laser will see a dramatic drop in play.

hypnotoxic laser plasma storm pls 123pokemon-paradijs.com
Bangle is better.

I expect to see a huge drop in the card’s playability for two reasons. The first being the hype behind Virizion EX, and with its ability to be somewhat splashable in several different decks, devoting six spots (4 Laser, 2 Virbank) in your deck to a possibly dead card won’t be viable.

The second is most decks will simply turn to Silver Bangle. In decks with a heavy non-EX focus the card is just all around better. You can drop it at any point in the game, it doesn’t go away at the end of the turn, and it isn’t a 2-card combo.

2. Silver Mirror and Silver Bangle will be heavily played cards.

Especially with the new best-of-three tournament structure, a format Plasma excels in, I expect Plasma to be the best deck in the format. In turn, a card that essentially reads “The best deck in the format isn’t allowed to attack this Pokémon” is probably going to see a solid amount of play.

As for Silver Bangle, it’s like Hypnotoxic Laser on steroids for decks that aren’t focused around Pokémon-EX. Laser was widespread because of its ability to make big plays by setting up 1HKOs and I just don’t see how a better version of the combo wouldn’t see dramatic play as well.

Which once again leads me into my next point…

3. Tool Scrapper will once again be a staple in all decks.

We have 3 major Pokémon Tools in the game right now: Float Stone, Silver Bangle, and Silver Mirror. I expect nearly all decks in the format to play at least one of these 3 cards and most will probably play at least two.

I started off my testing really underestimating the impact of Tool Scrapper. I only ran 1 copy in my Plasma list to deal with the “random” Silver Mirror. However, I quickly realized just how mainstream the card was going to be. I instantly upped my count to 2 Tool Scrappers and would not consider playing less in Plasma.

The main reason I advocate 2 Tool Scrapper is due to Silver Mirror. However, I also find the card is extremely useful in discarding Float Stones, especially from Keldeo-EX, and denying my opponent free retreat. I won several games just because I was able to Catcher a Keldeo-EX, Tool Scrapper their Float Stone, and then N them into a small hand where they missed the Switch/Float Stone.

In many situations players are forced to drop Silver Bangle before they discard it with Juniper or have to shuffle it back into their deck with N or Colress. In some cases Tool Scrapper allows me to deal with the Silver Bangle before they even get a chance to use it against me.

In the past season Tool Scrapper was normally a 1-1 tradeoff, but this year I expect 2-1 tradeoffs to be very common. We simply have too many good Tools to not play them and in many situations it’s simply not feasible to play them down one at a time to “bait” a Tool Scrapper, especially knowing that your opponent probably plays 2 copies.

4. Colress will see a huge increase in play and in counts.

Ever notice Colress is holding his machine?

People have always called Colress a situational card when in reality Colress is more of a meta dependent card. Colress really shines in a format where players fill their bench fast because either their deck requires them to (Plasma) or because they play their own copies of Colress (which I expect most decks in the format to do so).

With all of the testing I’ve done with this new format (especially Plasma mirror) I found Colress normally netting 5 cards after turn 2 and 7-10 cards after turn 3 or 4. I understand there is some early game risk associated with the card, but the ability to net 7-10 cards for 90% of the game simply makes it too good not to play in high counts.

In testing I’ve also learned that there is some strategy in playing around Colress as well. In certain situations (especially early game) I would sometimes hold Basics out of fear of my opponent getting off to a much quicker start due to a large Colress. The downside is if my opponent plays N I’m shuffling those Pokémon I would have liked on my bench back into my deck.

There is some strategy in trying to make that call “Does my opponent have an N or Colress?” There is also a level of risk/reward analysis you have to do in these situations as well. Is denying my opponent 1 or 2 more cards off a Colress worth the risk of having my Pokémon shuffled back in (and making my own Colress weaker)? It’s a pretty bad feeling to see your in hand Pokémon shuffled away only to draw a Colress as your only Supporter off of the N.

The whole thing is very situational and the correct play will vary, but it is something that you want to think about when you are playing.

5. Metas will differ greatly based on your area.

Accurately predicting your own meta and countering it will be huge. Decks are also very techable right now players counts on cards like Tool Scrapper, Silver Mirror, Enhanced Hammer, Max Potion, etc. will probably vary from tournament to tournament depending on the meta they are expecting. I expect most players to have 3-5 “floating” spots in their decks from tournament to tournament.

6. Virizion-EX/Genesect EX is overhyped.

After testing very speed-based decks like Plasma I just don’t see how an inconsistent turn 3 deck is better. I also don’t see how it’s any better than other big Turn 2/Turn 3 decks like Blastoise. I think if Emerald Slash took 1 less Energy, or if Virizion-EX was Plasma, or if Genesect EX had the G Booster attack printed on it instead of taking up your ACE SPEC spot the deck might be viable. These things may all seem very minor, but it’s honestly just very little things that hold it back.

If we get more Grass Pokémon support in the future I could see Virizion-EX being played, but right now Genesect EX just doesn’t bring enough to the table.

7. Jirachi-EX is good.

If only Jirachi wasn’t an EX then it would be a near staple in every deck. I still find it a nice play in slower “set up and win” decks like Blastoise.

Choosing Your ACE SPEC

Plasma has 3 viable ACE SPECs and all 3 have their pros and cons. I really don’t think that there will be a right or wrong choice and I expect to see differences even among the top players.

Computer Search

Who wants to see a full art CPU Search with this artwork?

This is still my favorite ACE SPEC for just about every deck. The card is simply never dead. I always find myself crying a little bit on the inside as I have to discard a Dowsing Machine or Scramble Switch for a Professor Juniper without ever really getting to use the card.

Also the card has the flexibility to search out an Energy or a Pokémon if needed, which actually comes into play more than you might think. Computer Search is just the overall best and most well-rounded ACE SPEC the deck can play – regardless of the version of Plasma you’re playing.

Dowsing Machine

For me personally, Dowsing Machine is very matchup dependant. Matchups where I find myself wanting another copy of tech cards like Tool Scrapper, Max Potion, or Enhanced Hammer are the only times I ever would want Dowsing Machine over Computer Search.

This really is a matter of personal preference and I know a lot of veteran players that swear by Dowsing Machine, but it’s just not for me.

Scramble Switch

Originally I ran Scramble Switch in my Plasma list because it could set up big plays. I also liked the option of being able to Scramble Switch into a Keldeo-EX and get around Silver Mirror. However, I found this play much harder to pull off in real games than it sounded in theory. In testing, for every time I was able to make a really cool play with Scramble Switch I had 2 or 3 other times where I desperately needed the card to be a Computer Search.

I still like the idea of the card, but in reality many of the scenarios with Scramble Switch are easier to set up on paper than they are in real games.

Life Dew

I never liked Life Dew in the deck as it always felt very gimmicky and inconsistent. If you ever missed a turn attacking because of having a less consistent ACE SPEC, then you just lost the 1 free turn (Prize card) you were given. Now with Tool Scrapper being playing in every deck the card isn’t even remotely playable.

Straight Plasma

I expect this to be the most played version of the deck. The concept is nothing new and just revolves around making positive tradeoffs using non-EXs to Knock Out Pokémon-EX.

Pokémon – 12

2 Thundurus-EX PLF

4 Deoxys-EX
3 Kyurem PLF
2 Absol PLF
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Colress
3 Skyla


4 Colress Machine

4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Silver Bangle
3 Float Stone

2 Team Plasma Ball
1 Ultra Ball
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Switch

1 Computer Search

Energy – 12

4 Prism
4 Plasma
3 Blend WLFM
1 Blend GRPD

1 Keldeo-EX

keldeo ex boundaries crossed bcr 142pokemon-paradijs.com
Less important with HTL on the decline.

As I discussed in my predictions of the new meta I expect to see a huge drop in play for Hypnotoxic Laser. This makes playing only 1 Keldeo-EX a much safer play as you’ll almost never need to do a double Rush In. With Special Conditions playing a much smaller role in the format prizing your one copy of Keldeo-EX also isn’t as bad. I feel last year many people played 2 copies of the card just to have 1 not prized.

Also the deck very rarely has the bench space to play more than 1 Keldeo-EX so the second copy and the double Rush In never come into play.

4 Colress

I stole this idea from Simon Narode, but after playing a couple of games with the 4th Colress I can confidently say I don’t believe 4 is overkill. I know on paper 4 Colress looks highly questionable, but I really suggest playing a few games with it. I’m willing to bet you’ll be just as surprised as I was on how smoothly 4 Colress play.

3 Skyla

It seems like a lot of Plasma players really don’t like to play Skyla and I really can’t figure out why. The deck runs so many “situational” Trainers that I really like the option of being able to search out that Silver Bangle, Switch, Tool Scrapper, etc. when I need it.

4 Colress Machine

The card is simply too good not to play 4 copies of. I know a lot of decks around Nationals were only playing 3 to avoid having a dead copy later in the game, but I’d rather have a dead copy later in the game if it means a higher chance of drawing into it earlier in the game when I need it.

3 Silver Bangle

With nearly all of my attackers being non-EXs Silver Bangle proves to be superior to Hypnotoxic Laser while also saving me 3 card slots at the same time.

Against Pokémon-EX a Kyurem with Silver Bangle and 3 Deoxys-EX gives you the magic number of 180. Against non-EXs Kyurem and 3 Deoxys gives you the number of 150, which should still KO any non-EXs in play.

3 Float Stone, 1 Switch

float stone plasma freeze plf 99pokemon-paradijs.com
Better than Switch except when Bangle is already attached.

If I’m correct and Hypnotoxic Laser is going to see a decrease in play then Float Stone is going to be better than Switch in nearly every situation.

The reason I still want to play 1 Switch (that’s easily searchable with Skyla) is because sometimes having a Silver Bangle attached to your active will prevent you from attaching a Float Stone (ideally you’re just able to Float Stone a Keldeo-EX) or you’re trying to reset Blizzard Burn for Kyurem. In this situation you can Switch to a Pokémon with Float Stone then free retreat it back to the Kyurem.

2 Team Plasma Ball, 1 Ultra Ball

The number of Pokémon search cards and the splits between them are open to a lot of debate. My splits vary between my two different Plasma lists. The reason I like a 2-1 split in this version is because a majority of the time I don’t find myself wanting to discard cards, however the 1 Ultra Ball does allow me some flexibility if I want to search it out with Skyla. Personal preference will play a huge role for these 3 spots and 2-1 is just the split I like.

2 Tool Scrapper

With Tools being played in basically every deck Tool Scrapper is just too good not to play. The deck really needs at least 2 (and play them sparingly) to have a chance against a deck running a heavy Silver Mirror count.

Lugia EX Focused Plasma

Pokémon – 12

4 Thundurus-EX PLF

3 Deoxys-EX
3 Lugia-EX
1 Kyurem PLF
1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper

4 N
4 Colress
3 Skyla


4 Colress Machine
4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Float Stone
3 Ultra Ball

1 Team Plasma Ball
2 Tool Scraper


1 Computer Search

Energy – 14

4 Prism
4 Plasma
4 Blend WLFM
2 Double Colorless

Advantages Over Standard Plasma

I feel the deck is very well-suited for a 50 minute round and best-of-three format. It’s very easy to quickly go up on Prizes or to come back when you’re down. This is something that I feel all Plasma decks do really well at, but I feel a heavy Lugia focus is slightly better at.

Disadvantages Over Standard Plasma

The deck has a very focused strategy of powering up Lugia EX and Knocking stuff Out. The list simply doesn’t have the wide array of attackers a standard Plasma list does. The deck also only runs one non-Pokémon-EX, which makes it very hard to play the “7 Prize Game.”

3 Deoxys-EX

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Can swing a game quickly.

The Lugia version of the deck is significantly less reliant on needing more than 1 or 2 Deoxys-EX in play at a time. Hitting a Pokémon with Thundurus EX with 1 Deoxys in play and then with Lugia EX on the flowing turn does 170 damage and if the Pokémon has 180 Hit Points then you just need one more Deoxys-EX in play on either turn.

1 Kyurem PLF

The one Kyurem looks slightly out of place in the deck, but unlike a normal Plasma deck heavy Kyurem is not the focus. Kyurem is a very situational attacker and I would say I use it in less than half of my games.

I play the 1 copy because it does allow me play the “7 Prize Game” (though it is much harder to set up). Also an early 30-30 can set up 2 Pokémon-EX for consecutive KOs from Lugia EX without having to hit each individually with Thundurus EX. It also gives me a random out to a Pokémon with Safeguard. The deck certainly doesn’t need the card, but I do feel the 1 copy is worth the spot.

4 Float Stone, 0 Switch

With no competition between Float Stone and Silver Bangle (and almost no reliance on Blizzard Burn), Float Stone proves to be a considerably better option than Switch in nearly every situation. If my prediction is off and Hypnotoxic Laser does see a solid amount of play then I can very easily make the change of 1 Float Stone for 1 Switch.



Most decks’ matchup against Blastoise plays out very similarly. I huge portion of the matchup really just comes down to how quickly they get a Blastoise out. If your opponent only benches one Squirtle then you really have to try and Knock it Out, but as soon as they have 3 Squirtles in play it’s almost better just to let them have the Blastoise and then simply focus on winning by trading your non-EX attackers for their EX attackers.

The exception to this would be is if you KO a Squirtle this turn and then on the following turn still have the answer to Knock Out the Blastoise. It really becomes a more interesting call if you think they have the resources to consistently stream Blastoise. If you’re going down this route though then really try and plan your Prizes out. KOing just 1 Squirtle and then forcing yourself to KO 3 EX just doesn’t make much sense. Especially when your opponent can play the dreaded N to one card.

As a Blastoise player I would try to get 3 or 4 Energy under a Keldeo-EX. It’s very hard for a Plasma player to constantly target down a Blastoise if they are getting KO’d right away by a Keldeo-EX. Plasma simply doesn’t have the resources (or time) to trade 2 or 3 Energy for every KO.

If Blastoise does get set up your only real option is try and lock a late game N (this becomes significantly harder if they play Jirachi-EX). In testing I’ve found that if Blastoise gets set up too quickly I usually need for them to draw dead at least 2 or 3 turns over the course of the game for me to have a shot at winning it.

Main Points

  • Look for opportunities to KO a lone Squirtle or Blastoise.
  • Focus on KOing 3 EXs to win the game.
  • Trade non-EXs for EXs.
  • Late game Ns can force them to have to use Tropical Beach.


Force them into 2HKOs and 3HKOs.

I know this is a joke deck or considered a joke deck by most people. The problem is if teched right the deck can be 50-50 or better against Plasma (even ones running multiple Tool Scrappers).

After testing several matches against the deck and finally adding the 2nd Tool Scrapper I was much more confident about the matchup. Though percentage-wise I still see the matchup to be right around 50-50… maybe 60-40. My point is if you sit down across the table from this deck it is a deck that you should take seriously.

As for the matchup itself the first few turns are really going to make or break the game. If you can get off to a fast start and get ahead of their Energy attachments then you have a good shot at winning. Things can start to go bad quickly if they get multiple unanswered Energy drops and start getting copies of Exp. Share into play. This will allow them start looping Trubbishes.

The games I’ve won against Toolbox have either been due to simply being faster than them and never letting them get set up or having key turns where I’m able to Tool Scrapper 2 Tools (ideally Silver Mirrors), N them to a small hand, and then take out a Sigilyph with 3 or 4 Tools on it. This leaves them with a small hand and a good portion of their Tools off the board. This normally reduces them from securing 1HKOs and forces them to settle for 2HKOs or possibly even 3HKOs.

Main Points

  • Try to get ahead of their Energy drops.
  • Try to use Tool Scrapper for Silver Mirrors.
  • Look for turns when you can KO a Sigilyph with 3 or 4 Tools on it.
  • Precede big plays with N.


Focus on the Genesect.

Your focus should really be on the Genesect EX with Energy. Virizion-EX hitting for 50 damage a turn is not going to win games. If every time they throw 2 G Energy on a Genesect EX you’re able to Catcher it and then set it up for a KO on the following turn then they are making extremely bad tradeoffs.

Being able to Tool Scrapper the G Booster every time they play it down is also very important because at some time they are going to miss the Shadow Triad to get it back. Hitting for 100 damage a turn just simply won’t win games.

This matchup is even more favorable for the Lugia EX version, especially if you’re able to get a Turn 1 Thundurus EX off. Just focus on going with the same strategy of winning the game by Knocking Out 2 Pokémon-EX. It’s going to be much easier for you to get 2 consecutive attacks with Lugia EX off then it is going to be for them to get 3+ G Boosters off.

The one thing I would worry about is that it is very hard to safely commit a Keldeo-EX to the field. A Catcher or a Red Signal on a Deoxys-EX late game followed up with an N could lock it active if you’re not able to draw away out off of the N. To be fair though, any deck can do this by Catchering a bench Keldeo-EX active and then using Tool Scrapper on the Float Stone. I guess it’s just scarier coming from Virizion/Genesect because Red Signal allows them more outs to this play.

Main Points

Plasma Mirror

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The mirror.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one, as the matchup can be a lot more strategic than it looks on paper. The deck simply has so many different techs I just want to stress try and look for and remember all of the options the deck has available to it. Especially the 2 Energy attacks that you don’t always see coming. A lot of the time in testing we’ll make a play in attempts to counter the opponent, but forget that this opens up another play for the opponent.

A good example of this is a recent game I was playing T1 or T2 my opponent attached a Prism Energy to Thundurus EX and then used 2 Colress Machines to attach 3 Energy to it, to threatening a Thundurus Noise attack on the following turn. This is a very strong play to counter my heavy Lugia EX-based Plasma list, but it opened the Thundurus to a countering Deoxys-EX. Thanks to the 3 Energy I was able to 2HKO the Thundurus while he was only able to hit me for 40 or 50 damage.

I really want to stress always ask yourself: “What could my opponent attack me with next turn? How bad of a situation am I going to be in if they have the cards for combo A or combo B?” This line of thinking will help you to make better decisions, but sometimes you just have to go all in and just hope they don’t have the outs. In these situations I try to make strong play that leave me as least vulnerable as possible if they backfire.

There really isn’t an actual strategy that you go into the matchup with. You really just have to play the cards that you are dealt. If I have the hand to get a turn 1 Frost Spear then that game I’m going to go aggressive Kyurem. However, maybe the next game I open Thundurus EX and I’m going to open with that and then transition into my other attackers.

How the matchup is going to play out has a lot to with how my opponent plays his game. I find with Plasma a lot of in game decisions I make are in there to counter my opponent. The matchup very much plays out “well my opponent does this and then I’ll do this.” This is why I just have to stress in the mirror always be aware of what your opponent could possibly attack you with.

The last thing I really want to stress is that the deck has so many burnable cards and there is no reason you should be drawing into them later with N. Once they are no longer needed, cards like Colress Machine and Team Plasma Ball should just be played.

Main Points

  • Know when to transition into Thundurus EX.
  • Play the deck to counter your opponent.
  • Always focus on making positive tradeoffs.
  • Ask yourself: “What could my opponent attack me with on the next turn?”
  • Keep track of opponents’ resources.
  • Never leave 2 Energy on a Deoxys-EX.
  • Play burnable cards to avoid drawing into them with N later.

The Pros and Cons of Silver Mirror

silver mirror plasma blastebay.com
Not as impactful as expected.

With Plasma guaranteed to be one of the biggest decks of the new format I want to discuss one of the most popular ways to counter it: Silver Mirror.

This card can cause varying levels of difficulty for a Plasma player. I think all too often people read Silver Mirror and just assume if they throw it down the Plasma player will be scooping up their cards, when in reality with some smart playing and resource management a Plasma player can handle the deck – even if it runs very high counts of Silver Mirror.

Between 4 Pokémon Catcher and 2 Tool Scrapper a Plasma player should be able to take 6 Prizes, even against a deck playing heavy Silver Mirror counts.

In my opinion Silver Mirror should be played less to try and lock a Plasma player out of a game and more to protect key Pokémon. It’s also very important to “bait” your opponents’ Tool Scrappers as well. If possible your opponents should never be able to trade 1 Tool Scrapper for 2 Silver Mirrors.

By forcing your opponents to burn resources early like Catchers and Tool Scrappers this increases your odds of using N in the mid and late game and having a turn where your opponent whiffs on a way to a get around the Mirror. Ideally Silver Mirror will force a Plasma player to be unable to attack for 2 or 3 turns over the course of the game, which hopefully is enough time for you to win.

In testing Silver Mirror has had very little impact against a Lugia focused Plasma list because it only needs to Knock Out 3 Pokémon. The card is significantly better against straight Plasma which needs to Knock Out a full 6 Pokémon.


While I do feel Plasma is the best deck in the format I also feel like the format is very wide open. I also feel like there is a lot of room for creativity and expect to see major differences in decklists, even within the same archetypes.

After TPCi dropped the major changes on us for how Organized Play is going to be run next year I’m feeling very positive on the future of the game, but I’m hoping we get some more clarification on some these changes in the near future. TPCi needs to set very clear rules in regard to ties and I’m really hoping they don’t expect 1,000 plus players to slug it out for 8 top cut spots at Nationals next year. However, with so many positive changes I’m optimistic that these little potholes will get smoothed out.

psyduck machoke confettipokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
Good luck to everyone this weekend!

Sadly I will not be at the Klaczynski Open, but I am planning on attending League Challenges and being at the Fort Wayne Regional Championship. I wish everybody attending the Klaczynski Open this weekend the best of luck and I’m excited to see The Top Cut stream to watch how players are adapting to this new format and what ideas they have come up with. I think after this weekend we’ll have a very strong idea on the meta for Fall Regionals.

Lastly I really want to thank Mike Lesky for really helping me do a lot of the Plasma testing I discussed in this article and also for being a great soundboard for bouncing deck techs and ideas off of.

If you enjoyed the article please remember to like it and I’d love to get a good discussion going in the forums. Plasma is sure to be a major player in this format and there’s not a better place to discuss it.

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

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