Howdy, SixPrizes readers! We’re pretty much at the end of the UPR–HIF Standard format season and competitive players are already thinking about new strategies with the upcoming set, Cosmic Eclipse. While American players are busy testing for the Expanded/BLW–HIF format, South Americans and players from many other countries have the Latin America International Championships (LAIC) in mind. This is the subject on everyone’s mouth here in Brazil, and everybody is looking forward to playing in this huge tournament.
The release of Cosmic Eclipse will turn LAIC into a much more interesting and unpredictable event, as no one knows how the metagame will be quite yet. And it’s tough to know what decks will be the best ones or even what new decks will appear at the event, especially because Cosmic Eclipse is the largest set in Pokémon TCG history, with over 270 cards. This is actually something that bothers me a little, as I think sets should be much smaller, with no more than half of the number of cards that have been released per set lately. It’s becoming more and more difficult to buy a booster box in the hopes of getting cards you actually need.
But anyway, let’s get to what really matters. One of the most hyped Pokémon cards from Cosmic Eclipse is Reshiram & Zekrom-GX (ReshiRom). That’s probably because it hits for 270 damage with two Energy types that are very popular in the current metagame, Fire and Lightning. Despite the hype, it’s hard to know if ReshiRom is indeed a good choice without crafting a list and testing it—as usual in Pokémon TCG, it’s hard to know if a card is actually good or bad just theoretically.
With this in mind, I decided to come up with a ReshiRom list and see if the hype is real or not, so let’s get right to it.
What’s the Right Way of Playing ReshiRom?
Reshiram & Zekrom-GX is a combination of ReshiZard (Ability), and maybe even Blacephalon-GX, with PikaRom. So I thought of combining the best resources of each deck into the list you’ll see below. We can use Tapu Koko p and Volkner from PikaRom, Welder and Giant Hearth from AbilityZard, and Mysterious Treasure and Naganadel LOT from Blacephalon-GX. With so many good cards, there’s no way the deck would be bad, right? Well, it’s far from being bad, but it’s definitely not the BDIF.
But let me explain how I came up with the list and what my thoughts were in doing so.
- Firstly, I tried not relying on Naganadel, since Welder, N’s Resolve, Latias p, and Tapu Koko p could help me put the Energies I needed onto the field. For that, I used AbilityZard’s base and made a few changes. But in the end, I realized that if your goal is to be really aggressive and hit for 270 on your first turn, you must use Naganadel.
- After some testing, I tried to come up with a list based on Blacephalon-GX, with a 4-4 line of Naganadel, less focused on Welder. The deck got interesting, but Welder on turn 1 or 2 proved to be fundamental if I wanted to have a chance against Mew Box, a very fast and strong deck.
- And finally, I came up with a Welder-based ReshiRom, but with a 3-3 line of Naganadel. Here’s what it looks like:
pokellector.comThis is your main attacker, and you’ll need it right in the beginning of the game to use Welder or attach for the turn. Ideally, you want to play just 1 ReshiRom in the beginning of the game and bench others as the game progresses, as Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX can easily hit for 300 damage when 4 Pokémon-GX are on your side of the field.
It’s in the deck for offering free retreat and being searchable with Cherish Ball. Its GX attack is also interesting and can be used on the first turns to bring more Energies onto the field. Also, Plasma Fists is reasonable for Knocking Out Dedenne-GX or hitting Mewtwo & Mew-GX when it uses Latios-GX UNM’s Tag Purge.
It would be best to have 2 Naganadel in play to hit for 270 without Welder or Tapu Koko p, but having only 1 in play is often enough. Welder, Tapu Koko p, and attachment for turn are enough to not rely so much on the Ultra Beast. Sometimes, it is possible to win games and hit for high numbers without even having Naganadel on the Bench at all.
It is the non-GX attacker of the deck. It will be used mainly to deal with Keldeo-GX. Now that most decks will be using Great Catcher and less Custom Catcher, Turtonator will be safer on the Bench, meaning you can charge it up with Welder and promote it only when necessary. It is also useful against Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX, as Fairy Charm N can’t block it.
The deck does not rely on Welder every turn (thanks to Naganadel), but I decided to use a Mewtwo UNB to be able to return N’s Resolve when needed. Of course, it is always nice to get a Supporter card back from the discard pile when you need it—especially since you can search for Mewtwo with Mysterious Treasure.
Unlike PikaRom decks, ReshiRom doesn’t rely much on Tapu Koko p, so we don’t have to look for it in the first few turns. In fact, Tapu Koko p will be most effective halfway through the game when we have discarded plenty of Energies.
In order to hit 270 on T2, Welder is still necessary, even with Naganadel’s strong synergy with ReshiRom. To stand a chance against Mewtwo & Mew-GX—which hits for 300 on T2 and has access to Great Catcher—we will have to be as aggressive as them.
Volkner can help set up Naganadel and find Tapu Koko p, Great Catchers, and Reset Stamp. Thanks to Naganadel, you won’t necessarily use Welder every single turn, meaning you can use Volkner to find whatever you need.
ebay.comOK—N’s Resolve is not a good Supporter and you will want to avoid using it. The reason it’s in the list is exclusively for ReshiRom’s GX attack, whose plus bonus allows you to deal 170 damage to a 2nd of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. It’s not a GX attack you will want to use every match, but in some matches it can be game-changing, such as against Malamar or even Pidgeotto Control.
In testing, when I used N’s Resolve in the beginning of the game, the average of Energies I was able to attach to my Pokémon was only 1 or 2. In order for N’s Resolve to have a better effect than Welder, we need it to attach 3 or more Energies.
This card is used for consistency purposes, as it can help you find Welders, Volkners, or even N’s Resolve. Our main goal with it is to not to miss Welder two turns in a row, because this way ReshiRom won’t be dealing 270 on turn 2.
Cherish Ball will be used to search for Dedenne-GXs, as Mysterious Treasure will be used to search for ReshiRom. Clearly, 4 copies would be ideal to increase probability of having access to the Electric Mouse whenever necessary, but I think 3 copies does the job well.
I removed the 4th Cherish Ball for 1 copy of Communication, as it allows me to search for Tapu Koko p and can be obtained with Volkner. It can also be useful for finding Dedenne-GX if we have other Pokémon cards in hand, filling the same role as Cherish Ball.
Mysterious Treasure is here to help us find Naganadel, but it can also be used to search for Mewtwo, Turtonator, and ReshiRom, possibly discarding an Energy card in the process.
As is the case with every other deck that uses Giant Heart, Viridian Forest, and Welder, you can run out of Energies pretty fast and might need to get a few back from the discard pile, especially in the late game. But with Naganadel in the list, you might be wondering why using it at all?
The truth is that I like Energy Recycler to increase N’s Resolve’s odds of actually being a useful card, rather than a bad and undesired one. The idea is to use Energy Recycler when the deck has been thinned out. This way, returning 5 Energies and increasing our chances of attaching more of them with N’s Resolve.
ebay.comThis is one of the best cards from the new set and it has the potential to change the metagame. As soon as we’re ready to hit for 270 with ReshiRom, we can use it to bring any of our opponent’s Pokémon-GX to the Active spot and Knock it Out. Against Malamar, Great Catcher will be useless and will only hurt your consistency, but in matchups like Mew Box, we will have to be as aggressive as possible and pull the Pokémon our opponent is setting up on the Bench once or twice to win the match.
Knocking Pokémon-GX Out is easier and quicker now, but that holds true for your opponent as well. Therefore, nothing better than punishing them for their knockouts with Reset Stamp.
If they are too aggressive and Knock Out a TAG TEAM as fast as turn 2, Reset Stamp will give you a chance of slowing them down by reducing their hand size to only 3, with their deck not as thinned as possible and their set up possibly not so good.
If your opponent Knocks Out a Pokémon-GX TAG TEAM and you don’t use Stamp, you will be in a bad spot, as they will have taken 3 Prizes and most likely have a huge hand size. This can allow them to have another strong turn, while you will have to find a way to set up another attacker that can Knock Out a Pokémon-GX.
This list is still focused on Welder, and Giant Hearth is very useful. I also like the idea of alternating between between Viridian Forest and Giant Hearth, so that I don’t get stuck with Stadium cards in my hand and can search for more Energies, thinning the deck.
Lysandre Labs is useful to beat GardEon in case the opponent uses Fairy Charm N. It also helps against Malamar to stop Escape Boards and Spell Tags, and it may even remove the effect of Choice Helmet.
Based on Mew Box decks that use only 8 Energy cards, I decided to increase the Energy count to 9 to raise the odds of throwing some in the discard to be pulled with Naganadel later on. Also, 9 is good number to use with Welder.
Altaria can function the same way as Volcarona-GX, but with the advantage of (1) not being a GX and (2) being searchable with Mysterious Treasure. It works just the same way with Turtonator DRM. The disadvantage is it only adds to damage done to Active Pokémon.
I used Zebstrika in my AbilityZard deck for some League Cups with the goal of having an answer to Pidgeotto Control decks, and even Green’s Exploration decks (ReshiZard and GardEon). ReshiRom fares a bit better than against those thanks to Naganadel, but I still think Zebstrika can help a lot against Pidgeotto Control.
I tested this Tool a lot with this list, but realized it’s too situational. The opponent can use Great Catcher and avoid the target. Besides, losing 100 HP is worse than it sounds, as it eases the opponent’s knockout.
I believe the biggest villain for the deck not being perfect is Reshiram & Zekrom-GX itself. Fabled Flarebolts requires Energies to be discarded from Benched Pokémon, which can cause several complications. In addition, your damage is limited to 270, so if a TAG TEAM has 280 HP (or 250 HP with Choice Helmet), ReshiRom will not Knock it Out.
As for its GX attack, Cross Break-GX, it not only costs RRLL, but it also requires you to use the awful N’s Resolve to trigger the effect of hitting an additional Benched Pokémon with 170 damage.
All that said, ReshiRom has ways of playing nicely against many other decks and will be very decent to use at LAIC.
That’s all for today! In my next two articles (scheduled for Nov 5 and 11), I plan on bringing a big summary in preparation for LAIC with updated archetypes and possible new decks that can surprise at the Championship.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article. Until next time!
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