As with my last article, today we’re going to take a look at a fun deck that has popped up since the release of Roaring Skies: Shedinja ROS/Mew-EX! Shedinja is a very interesting card that has gotten a lot of hype since it was first spoiled, and I’m excited to talk about it today. I spent a bit of time over Memorial Day weekend looking at various lists and tinkering with the deck, so I’m confident what we talk about here today will guide you down the right path.
As always, fun decks are not supposed to be able to compete against top-tier metagame decks (though it does sometimes happen!). The point of these decks is to highlight cards that aren’t seen in tournament play, and shine light on some of the cool interactions between them. It’s my goal that these articles will both educate you about the decks we’re talking about, as well as prepare you to build and play them as optimally as possible.
The basic idea behind the deck is to set up a Mew-EX in the Active Spot with a Shedinja on the Bench. You’ll then use Mew to copy Shedinja’s Hopeless Scream, hopefully dealing 170 damage or more to 1HKO EXs. Generally, the way to accomplish this is to attach a Rainbow Energy to Mew-EX while a Frozen City is in play, placing three damage counters onto the Mew, and then equip a Muscle Band to Hopeless Scream for 170.
The most important thing to remember when playing this deck is that while the damage ceiling is nearly limitless, it comes at a very real cost. Mew-EX is a 120 HP Pokémon that grants your opponent 2 Prizes for KOing it. If our goal is to have at least three damage counters on the Mew, that’s going to drop our HP own to 90, which makes Mew an easy target for any deck that can deal damage at a reasonable pace.
Our answer for this issue comes in the form of cards like Crushing Hammer and Munna BCR. If we can consistently keep our opponent in an Energy drought, or put their Active to Sleep every turn, they won’t be able to do much of anything. This deck is interesting in that it is very aggressive, but cards like this allow it to play almost like a control deck (such as Exeggutor) because of how fragile our Pokémon are.
Traditionally, decks like this one (such as Night March) can win because they can expect to trade favorably with the opponent via attacking with a non-Pokémon-EX. Unfortunately, we don’t really have that option here. We’ll explore some of the ways to get around this in another section, but in most lists you can expect to never attack with a Shedinja. For this reason, the controlling cards we talked about earlier becoming even more important.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 37
Energy – 8
There is a lot you can do with this deck, so let me go over some of the cards I included, as well as some I didn’t.
As we talked about earlier, Munna is important to keep your opponent from consistently being able to KO Mews. While Munna doesn’t shine in our deck the way it does in the Seismitoad-EX decks, since we have no way of preventing our opponent from using Items like Switch or Escape Rope, it’s still a very good Ability at very little cost.
Virizion-EX is in the deck to protect our Pokémon from Special Conditions, most notably our own Sleep from Munna’s Long-Distance Hypnosis. All of the Energy in the deck will keep keep Verdant Wind active, so even if you miss your Munna flips, you’ll never have anything to worry about. It’s possible to attack with Virizion, but I would recommend against it, as decks like these are very fragile and it is best to focus all resources on trying to set up the Mew/Shedinja interaction.
Without Mr. Mime your poor Shedinja and Munna will get absolutely destroyed by Landorus-EX. Although Mr. Mime doesn’t have wide utility, Landorus/Crobat decks are popular enough that I wouldn’t think of playing this deck without a Mr. Mime.
0 Jirachi-EX, 0 Shaymin-EX
This is something I’ve gone back and forth on, but for now I think this is the correct number. You’re already very fragile, and including even more low HP Pokémon-EX is only going to make the situation worse. There is something to be said for not worrying about that and just trying to execute your game plan regardless of the risk, but I haven’t found that line of thought to be worth it.
The Supporters are pretty standard. You want a high count of N because you don’t have any sort of Archie’s/Maxie’s tricks and falling behind is a very real issue. I like 2 Lysandre because there are going to be times when you can’t quite KO that big 170 or 180 HP EX. Colress is nice because you are often filling your Bench. Lastly, Lysandre’s Trump Card is too good not to play in basically any deck, and specifically it lets us cycle through Mew and Energy, should we need to do so.
For the purposes of this deck, both of these cards do mostly the same thing: They add damage to our own Pokémon so that we can attack with them more effectively. As you can see by the counts in the list, I believe that Frozen City is the better play, but Secret Base still has its place. The ability to control where the damage goes and when is an important benefit of Frozen City, and is what really puts it over the edge.
Unlike the Togekiss/Malamar deck we talked about last week, I don’t think it’s possible to tone this deck down and make it more competitive. Right off the bat the deck is asking us for a 4-4 line, 4 Mew, and at least 4 Stadiums, which makes it very difficult to scale back on anything and still retain the pieces that make the deck work.
0-0 Floette FLF 64
Floette is a Stage 1 that gives your Shedinja +20 HP, making it a more reasonable attacker. I’ve chosen not to include it here because we are already running quite a few Pokémon, and both the list and Bench space are tight. Additionally, attacking with Shedinja shouldn’t be a focus of the deck. There will be times where you struggle to set up more than one Shedinja, in which case you can’t afford to risk it getting Knocked Out and not having an attack to copy with Mew-EX.
I briefly considered playing Virbank and Hypnotoxic Laser over Crushing Hammer, but in the end I concluded that you can’t afford to play Virbank City Gym, and without it Hypnotoxic Laser isn’t very useful. I wish there was an efficient way to fit the standard 4 Hypnotoxic Laser and 2 Virbank City Gym into the list, but I don’t think that’s possible.
In this section I’ll briefly go over the four matchups that I’ve personally played against the most. I haven’t done too much organized testing with the deck, but I have played quite a few games with it versus metagame decks, so I think I have a pretty good idea of how these matchups go. Let me know in the comments if there are any other matchups you’d like to see discussed!
Please note that, as this deck is mostly for fun, these matchups are not going to all be favorable for the deck. If they were, the deck would just be a part of the metagame and you’d be reading about it in an Underground article! That being said, I will do my best to be as detailed as possible, as the deck does have chances to win versus almost everything, and I even think there are a few matchups versus tier one decks that are good for us!
Vs. Seismitoad-EX – Unfavorable
Our deck relies on Muscle Band, Ultra Ball, Repeat Ball, and Crushing Hammer. Unfortunately, those are the exact cards that Quaking Punch disallows us from playing. It is incredibly difficult to get set up under a Quaking Punch lock, especially if the Seismitoad-EX player can Quaking Punch on Turn 1.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost. For one, if the Seismitoad-EX player stumbles for a turn or two, and we’re able to set up a Mew-EX with a Muscle Band and damage on it, we generally don’t need too much more than that. The biggest difficulty you’ll face here is keeping your Stadium in play, to make sure that you can keep streaming attacks. Secondly, if we have two Energy on a Mew-EX, we do have the ability to Quaking Punch, which can be an effective tool to slow our opponent down.
Of all the Seismitoad variants, I think Shedinja is the strongest versus the Quad Toad decks, as they’re running the highest density of Item cards, and are therefore the most hurt by Quaking Punches. Seismitoad/Bats is probably our most difficult Seismitoad variant to play against, since we’re running so many low HP Pokémon.
Vs. Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX – Even
I’ve actually found this matchup to be good for us, dependent on openings. If we go first and can land multiple Nincada, a Mew-EX, then we shouldn’t have too much of an issue, especially if the Virizion-EX deck stumbles in the slightest (missing Energy, mostly). However, if the Virizion player goes first with a Muscle Band on his Virizion, and a Genesect on the Bench, things can get hairy quickly.
The biggest advantage for us in this matchup is that our Stadium card is going to go untested. Traditional Virizion/Genesect builds don’t play Stadiums, and although Frozen City won’t trigger on Genesect, just being able to be certain we’ll never have to replace our Stadium is a huge weight off our shoulders.
When playing against Virizion/Genesect, Crushing Hammer will be your best friend. Although they can accelerate Energy via Emerald Slash, that’s basically their only way to do so. A few well-timed Crushing Hammers, especially in the early game, can be devastating.
This is as close to a nightmare matchup as you can get. Manectric is a quick, efficient attacker that can snipe our Bench. Mega Manectric has an insane amount of HP. Rough Seas both allows the deck to heal damage each turn and block our own Stadiums from sticking. They have built-in Energy acceleration to get around our Hammers. It’s almost like the deck was designed to beat us!
Not all hope is lost, though. Manectric, while very powerful and one of the most underrated decks in Standard, can have problems with consistency. If we can set up and hit our Hammers early, it’s possible to outspeed the deck entirely. Additionally, if they fail to find their Rough Seas, Frozen City will be a pain for them to deal with.
Vs. Exeggutor PLF – Favorable
This is the matchup I’ve tested the least, but I’ve found it to be a positive one. Like most of the matchups, it’s highly dependent on opening hands and how the first few turns of the game play out. However, once we have a basic setup of Mew-EX and a few Shedinja on the Bench, we don’t necessarily need a bunch of Supporters to execute our game plan.
Additionally, because Exeggcute and Exeggutor have such low HP, it can be relatively easy for us to take knockouts on them and prevent the Blockade lock from being able to happen consistently. We only need two damage counters on a Mew-EX to KO an Exeggutor at full health, so as long as we can keep our Energy on board, we can easily stream knockouts.
Keeping the Energy on board is going to be our biggest hurdle. Exeggutor also plays Crushing Hammer, and if we are ever put in the position where we don’t have Energy and can’t play Supporters early, we are going to be in some trouble. In testing, I’ve generally dedicated my early resources to sculpting my hand to be Energy and Stadiums, but obviously that’s not always possible.
That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you all have enjoyed the discussion, and please let me know in the comments if you’ve been trying any alternate lists or if you have any other suggestions. I’m very interested to hear how people have been tinkering with this deck.
I’ll be in Madison, Wisconsin early Friday morning for their Regional Championship. Feel free to say hi if you see me!