Plucky Ploys

Postulating the Particularly Perplexing Pyroar Problem for Plasma (with the Podcast Person)

Good morning or, depending on when you’re reading this, good afternoon, good evening or good night. I didn’t intend to write another article so soon, but I am currently… somewhere… doing… something… and I have some time to kill and a laptop that isn’t connected to the internet. So, let’s do this.

For those who haven’t realised yet (and I have REALLY been trying to tell you) I have a podcast and a Twitter and have recently started expanding my YouTube channel and the point of telling you all of this (other than shameless plugs) is that I get quite a few questions sent to me regarding all things Pokémon. I generally send responses out to everyone, but one question has come up so often that I feel a nice, written article, with video examples, is the only way to really explain it all. The question I keep getting asked is:

“What does Plasma do about Pyroar?”

Pyroar, in case you haven’t heard, is a Pokémon that cannot be damaged by Basic Pokémon. This is a question that keeps going and going and people have been suggesting all kinds of silly/fanciful/misguided techs and one-ofs that can shut this bad boy down. The reason for this is that everyone thinks that a game of Plasma versus Pyroar goes like this:

This is the worst-case scenario. A Plasma player, completely unprepared, with no techs and (far more crucially) no appreciation of how to play the matchup getting completely walked as soon as Pyroar comes out and their Hypnotoxic Lasers are all used up.

But there is, ladies and gentlemen, a better way. What I will be looking at is two things. Firstly, techs to beat Pyroar, and secondly, ways to approach the matchup regardless of techs.

Teching for Pyroar

Eeveelutions

This seems to make sense. Eevee can evolve into a number of Plasma Pokémon. This will allow them to take advantage of lovely advantages of the deck such as Deoxys-EX (adding damage), Thundurus-EX (attaching Energy using “Raiden Knuckle”), and Colress Machine (attaching Energy from the deck).

Let’s have a look at the options:

Flareon PLF

flareon plasma freeze plf 12 official
Its output adds up quickly.

For two Colourless Energy Flareon does 20 damage plus 10 more for each Pokémon in your discard. However, that 20 damage, when you add Muscle Band, Deoxys, and Laser, will add up to the magic 110 very quickly (20 base damage + 4 Deoxys + Muscle Band + Laserbank = 110). That is assuming there are zero Pokémon in the discard pile.

Leafeon PLF

For a single Colourless Energy Leafeon does 20 damage times the number of Energy attached to all of your opponent’s Pokémon. Assuming they have a Pyroar with 3 Energy (the amount it needs to attack) and no Energy on any other Pokémon, that’s 60 damage. Add a Muscle Band and a Laserbank (or a Muscle Bank and 3 Deoxys, or 2 Deoxys and Laserbank) and you have the 110 damage needed for an OHKO.

You could point to Leafeon’s Fire Weakness as a downside here, but Pyroar does 90 damage (if it discards an Energy), which rises to 110 with Muscle Band. He’s OHKOing any Stage 1 you’d want to tech anyway, making the Weakness pretty much irrelevant.

Glaceon PLF

WOAH! HE’S A WATER TYPE! AND HE CAN OHKO PYROAR BECAUSE OF WEAKNESS. He also takes more Energy than Flareon and Leafeon, KOs Pyroar in the same number of turns (1), and gets KO’d back in the same number of turns (1). Glaceon is worse than Flareon and Leafeon.

The biggest problem with Eeveelutions are that they are Stage 1s. This means a minimum of 2 spots in your deck, probably 4, and then you have the problem of getting them out, hoping that your opponent doesn’t Lysandre/Catcher your Eevee and KO it before it evolves. And let’s not even start on the loss of consistency for your deck now that it has lost 4 spots. I’m not looking at any other Stage 1s for these reasons.

Toxicroak-EX

WOAH! HE DOES 50 DAMAGE FROM POISON FOR A DCE AND POISON DAMAGE GOES THROUGH PYROAR’S ABILITY!!! Yes, and that won’t even 2HKO a Pyroar. So, you do 50, they get an attacker and KO Toxicroak, you do 50, they KO, you finally get a KO and they win the game! (Or not.) Even if they can’t OHKO your Toxicroak right back, they’ll retreat/switch and you’re still 3HKOing. It won’t work.

Latias-EX

This tech doesn’t get a sarcastic opening because this is the one (and only) tech I can take seriously as a Pyroar counter. Essentially, he can hit Pyroar, but Pyroar has an Ability, so Pyroar cannot hit him back. Latias’ attack has an awkward cost and only hits for 70 damage, but against a dedicated Pyroar deck he will be invincible and the damage will add up (and of course it can throw in an OHKO here and there with both Muscle Band and Laserbank).

Against something like Pyroar/Charizrad though, he’ll likely be KO’d before he gets enough Energy and then Pyroar reigns again. As a side note, play Scramble Switch if you want to play Latias.

Playing Around Pyroar

This is how you beat Pyroar. Make a consistent deck (see my previous article for tips about this) and know how to play it. Essentially you have two options and I have included a lovely little video to show you how to execute each one.

Option 1: War of Attrition

hypnotoxic laser plasma storm pls 123 official
Try to land a few Lasers.

This would be the preferred method of dealing with a deck like Pyroar/Raichu, or any other deck that revolves, essentially, around Pyroar. They will try and get 2-4 Pyroar out and give you nothing else to KO.

The way this strategy works is to run them out of Energy/resources and win by either KOing with Poison or, far more likely, letting them run of stuff and deck out. Is is VERY important to note that if you try this you MUST use less resources than them. As they have to dig for Stage 1s and use cards like Roller Skates and Fiery Torch, this is very possible.

What you do then is Poison them to slow them down (though really it’s the heads of Hypnotoxic Laser you’re looking for to stall them for a turn) and use a combination of Lysandre/Catcher/Escape Rope and Thundurus-EX’s “Thunderous Noise” attack to run them out of Energy.

By Poisoning them you force them to have a switch card or retreat (if they play Keldeo-EX/Float Stone, see option 2 below), which will probably involve wasting Energy. If they don’t, they die, which also wastes Energy. You then get 4 Energy on a Thundurus (and then start on a second) and use the second attack. It will do no damage, but as Pyroar blocks only damage, and not other effects, he will lose an Energy. If they don’t discard Energy for Scorching Fang, he will be 3HKOing you (hello accumulating Poison damage!), and if he does, you can follow up with a Thunderous Noise to really deplete their Energy.

As they get late game and run out of Energy you can even use Catcher/Lysandre to force them to find 3 Energy to start a fresh Pyroar attacking, rather than just 2 on a Pyroar that has already been attacking. If they can’t do that, they will die from Poison or deck out. Win!

Here’s an example of this ploy in action against my Pyroar/Raichu deck:

Option 2: Kill Other Things

Against decks like Pyroar/Charizard my advice would be to just plain avoid the Pyroar and kill the other things. This will only work where your deck is set up for this from the beginning. You should have Lysandre (which allows you to bring another Pokémon Active). Genesect’s Ability “Red Signal” acts the same way, but involves manually attaching a Plasma Energy, rather than using a Supporter. Pokémon Catcher is Lysandre, but only if you flip a coin and hit heads and is too luck reliant. Don’t play it!

The other option here is Escape Rope. This won’t always work as if they have 2 Pyroar out then they will just switch into the other. It’s still a good play though. If they only have one Pyroar out, then you get to kill something else, and if they have more than one Pyroar out, then you will often swap a Pyroar with Energy for a Pyroar without, forcing them to go ahead and use some more resources. This is good.

Like option 1, this tactic involves a lot of thought on your part and will need to be planned for, especially when building the deck and conserving resources throughout the game, but it is achievable.

Here’s a video of me trying this tactic against a Pyroar/Charizard deck:

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you beat Pyroar with Plasma. Maybe I could see the justification in playing one Latias, but honestly I’d prefer a Heatran-EX (as it helps massively with your Virizion/Genesect matchup, which is about 50-50 and will be more common than Pyroar, at least higher up the tables) or Landorus BW79 (as it helps massively versus Darkrai, which is the only annoying thing about Yveltal lists if you get Thundurus going).

I hope I’ve made sense and helped to answer the question I’ve been asked well over a dozen times lately. An article like this is a much better way to do this (I think, anyway) than just a quick sentence on a podcast or YouTube video. I’m also hoping the videos are appreciated, it allows me to show you certain tactics and outcomes much better than just explaining them.

As always:

Cheers all. Any questions, you know what to do!

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