All Dolled Up

LAIC/MewMew Rewind, an Aside on Lost March, ADP for Daytona Beach, and Treasures and Traps (LAIC Edition)
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“choice band funnyman” checking in!

Hello all, my name is Emery H. Taylor and I cannot fully express my excitement to be writing my first article on SixPrizes! I’m a player based out of Bloomington, Minnesota, and this is my seventh year playing competitively, my third as a Master. Some of you may know me for playing Pikachu & Zekrom-GX at approximately 15 straight events over the end of last season and the beginning of our current one, with the most relevant finish being 2nd place at NAIC last June.

I’m deeply grateful to Adam for providing this opportunity—I grew up reading Christopher, Kenny, and Alex and remember much of their work fondly. To be included with the players who currently represent SixPrizes is a great honor, and I’m excited to be producing content for this amazing website. But, enough about me—today, I’ll be covering my deck choice for LAIC 🇧🇷, a rogue I’ve been working on, and what would be my top pick for Daytona Beach 🇺🇸.

LAIC, MewMew Rewind

The List

Like many of our other writers, I chose to play Mewtwo & Mew-GX at the Latin America International Championships because it simply felt like the best deck for the event. When I tested Arceus & Dialgia & Palkia-GX (colloquially referred to as “ADP” for short) against fellow author Jon Eng’s Mewtwo & Mew-GX the night before the event, the deck felt underwhelming, and I decided to switch last-minute to the list below:

Pokémon (18)

4 Dedenne-GX

4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX

1 Charizard-GX HIF

1 Magcargo-GX

1 Naganadel-GX UNM

1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX

1 Jirachi-GX

1 Latios-GX UNM

1 Greninja-GX SM197

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Mewtwo UNB

Trainer (31)

4 Welder

1 Faba

 

4 Cherish Ball

4 Mysterious Treasure

3 Acro Bike

3 Pokégear 3.0

3 Switch

2 Great Catcher

2 Reset Stamp

1 Energy Recycle System

 

3 Giant Hearth

1 Viridian Forest

Energy (11)

8 R

2 P

1 W

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 18

* 4 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20
* 1 Charizard-GX HIF 9
* 1 Magcargo-GX LOT 44
* 1 Naganadel-GX UNM 160
* 1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX UNM 72
* 1 Jirachi-GX UNM 79
* 1 Latios-GX UNM 78
* 1 Greninja-GX PR-SM 197
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Mewtwo UNB 75

##Trainer Cards - 31

* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 3 Acro Bike PRC 122
* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Energy Recycle System CES 128
* 1 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 3 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 3 Switch BLW 104

##Energy - 11

* 2 P Energy Energy 5
* 8 R Energy Energy 2
* 1 W Energy SMEnergy 3

Total Cards - 60

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Differences from Jon’s list include:

I finished a mediocre 3-3-1 drop on the day after an encouraging 3-1 start, partially due to literally not drawing into a Welder the entire game against a Pidgeotto Control deck and partially due to my own inexperience with the deck. Xander, Rahul, and Jon have all covered the deck in detail, and have played the deck much more than me, so I’d defer to their judgement on what to play going into Daytona Regionals. Personally, I’m a fan of Rahul’s most recent list, and that’s where I would turn going into Daytona, if you’re set on Mewtwo & Mew-GX.

The deck’s inherent strength lies in its ability to deal with every single kind of deck in Standard—you have Cross Division-GX for 1-Prize decks, Tag Purge to counter TAG TEAM GX decks, and Flare Blitz-GX for everything else. That is, of course, assuming you find Welder and R Energy in a sea of Chaotic Swell, which is easier said than done. All in all, I’d probably opt to run Alex Schemanske’s FireBox list or Robin Shulz’s LAIC-winning AbilityZard deck instead, simply for their consistency in hitting Welder more often.

Lost Marching into Daytona: An Aside on Lost March

Recently, I’ve been getting the itch to try out some rogue ideas, and with the release of Cottonee CEC and Whimsicott CEC, I thought it might be time to revisit an old archetype to see how it can compete in the Standard format today. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Pokémon (25)

4 Emolga TEU

4 Trumbeak LOT

2 Cottonee CEC

1 Natu LOT

4 Hoppip LOT 12

4 Skiploom LOT

4 Jumpluff LOT

1 Blitzle TEU

1 Zebstrika LOT

Trainer (28)

4 Professor Elm’s Lecture

4 Rosa

3 Cynthia

 

4 Lost Blender

3 Pokégear 3.0

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Lillie’s Poké Doll

1 Great Catcher

2 Counter Gain

 

2 Shrine of Punishment

Energy (7)

7 G

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 25

* 4 Emolga TEU 46
* 4 Trumbeak LOT 165
* 2 Cottonee CEC 147
* 1 Natu LOT 87
* 4 Hoppip LOT 12
* 4 Skiploom LOT 13
* 4 Jumpluff LOT 14
* 1 Blitzle TEU 44
* 1 Zebstrika LOT 82

##Trainer Cards - 28

* 4 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 188
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Rosa CEC 204
* 3 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 3 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 4 Lost Blender LOT 181
* 2 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Shrine of Punishment CES 143

##Energy - 7

* 7 G Energy SMEnergy 1

Total Cards - 60

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The list is pretty far off from what we saw last season, which incorporated a number of Ball search cards and Lillie to find all your Hoppip turn 1. Let’s look at some of the card counts and strategies a little more closely.

Important Counts

4 Rosa, 2 Counter Gain, 0 Net Ball

Rosa gave this deck a massive boost in the form of Energy search (that wasn’t Net Ball) and mid-game Pokémon search. Net Ball became a lot worse with Rosa and a Professor Elm’s Lecture engine, because it’s an extremely dead card in the mid-to-late game, when you’d rather just Rosa anyway. With Rosa, you can essentially grab Natu + Counter Gain + G Energy against Mewtwo & Mew-GX, and then hit them for Weakness—the same strategy works against ADP; simply substitute Cottonee for Natu. When playing against Mewtwo & Mew-GX, it’s important to find Rosa as soon as possible, and to not bench Natu too fast, so that your opponent neglects going for Jirachi-GX or Weakness Guard Energy. If they do, it’s not the end of the world—simply Rosa + Nuzzly Gathering to find Pokémon and Lost Blender them away, to try and 2-shot 1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX, then push to put 14 Pokémon in the Lost Zone to reach a 1HKO. Shrine of Punishment can also allow you to reach a knockout with only 13 Pokémon in the Lost Zone against Reshiram & Charizard-GX and Mewtwo & Mew-GX.

1 Great Catcher

One of Lost March’s main strengths is its Prize trade, and Great Catcher helps the deck accelerate knockouts against TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX and Dedenne-GX, especially in the AbilityZard matchup. It’s also useful as you can search it off of Rosa, and it means that you might only need to take 1 TAG TEAM GX knockout in different matchups.

4 Professor Elm’s Lecture, 3 Cynthia, 3 Pokégear 3.0

These two Supporters are the optimal two Supporters over the first two turns of the game—in most cases, if you can find back-to-back Professor Elm’s Lecture, you can search out a 3-3 Skiploom line and get a quick 6 Pokémon into the Lost Zone. However, be warned—it’s important to check how many of your Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff are prized upon your initial search to make sure you know when to extend for a 1HKO.

4 Emolga TEU

Emolga serves three purposes in this deck:

  1. First, it’s a pivot in the early game—it allows you free retreat into your attackers and Lillie’s Poké Doll.
  2. Second, it provides Pokémon search through its Ability, Nuzzly Gathering, which lets you search out another Emolga, and Pokémon Communication, to ease the early-game setup.
  3. Finally, it provides a way to grab Pokémon to use in conjunction with Lost Blender in the mid-to-late game to find those large knockouts.

2 Lillie’s Poké Doll

Lost March does require a bit of setup, and Lillie’s Poké Doll forces the opponent to put their attackers at risk to apply pressure, which allows the Lost March player to take control of the Prize trade as the game goes on. Lillie’s Poké Doll is also great in the late game, when you want to manually attach twice to a Cottonee or Sprint a few times to find a Great Catcher.

Card Considerations

There are a few changes I could see occurring in the general structure of the deck to try and make it a bit more straightforward. Here’s a few cards and counts that I’m considering:

1 U-Turn Board

Despite the fact that Lillie’s Poké Doll, Jumpluff, and Emolga can all serve as pivots, U-Turn Board is yet another out as a pivot card that doesn’t require an Energy attachment. It would also be good in the Pidgeotto Control matchup, where you would force them to Custom Catcher and Faba in the same turn to try and stick your Zebstrika Active. As of right now, it’s only searchable with Rosa, and I’m not sure that you’d actually need it after the first KO is taken, but it’s a card that’s been on my mind for a while. It’s also a solid out to Absol TEU, which is starting to sneak into more decks. I’d start by cutting an Energy, or maybe another tech, like Great Catcher, if you want to fit this.

1 Lana’s Fishing Rod or 1 Brock’s Grit

These cards simply provide some recovery for your niche attackers, like Cottonee or Natu, and ensure that you can maximize your Floral Path to the Sky Abilities, assuming that you had to discard a Jumpluff early.

1 Phione CEC

Phione is a soft gust effect on your opponent’s non-Pokémon-GX, and can be very useful as another Pokémon to put into the Lost Zone. However, this deck sometimes lacks Bench space to use it, and when you can simply search Great Catcher with Rosa, the card can feel extraneous. With that being said, it can force TAG TEAM decks into feeding you 2-Prize attackers, and is searchable by Pokémon Communication, so it probably shouldn’t be completely written off.

Oricorio-GX

I don’t love the idea of playing a Pokémon-GX, but I think Oricorio-GX is the way to go if you want one. It allows you to draw 3 cards after every knockout on your Pokémon, which can smooth out your mid game to continue streaming attackers. I’d probably cut the Zebstrika line if you wanted to include this card.

Reset Stamp

Again, your whole strategy revolves around forcing your opponent to take 6 Prizes, so a Reset Stamp to 1 or 2 cards could be devastating. However, tech space is low in this deck, and I’m not sure that playing 1 Reset Stamp is even worthwhile.

Closing Thoughts on Lost March

Obviously, the deck can struggle a bit with Mewtwo & Mew-GX—a turn 2 Cross Division-GX for 20 damage counters will almost certainly end a game for Lost March. But, with that being said, Natu, 4 Lost Blender, and the general positive Prize trade can help the matchup out. If we continue to see Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX, FireBox decks, or even Malamar get more popular, Mewtwo & Mew-GX could decrease in popularity, which opens the door for Lost March. In addition, the deck can trade well with many popular decks with the addition of Cottonee, which allows Lost March to hit Weakness on ADP and Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX. Finally, there’s always the surprise factor, which means that you’re forcing your opponent to constantly guess your counts, which a factor not to be ignored with a deck like this.

“ADP It’s Easy, Just Like Counting Up to Three…”

I’m aware, however, that rogue decks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Like my fellow writer Xander, I’ve found that ADP is one of the strongest decks coming out of Cosmic Eclipse—like I said before, it’s what I planned on playing at LAIC before I switched the night before. I had been playing N’s Resolve, which simply didn’t feel right as a “consistency” card. The manual-attach approaches to the deck are, in my mind, the best way of playing ADP right now. When testing N’s Resolve, I tried as many as 20 Energy and as few as 14, and no amount felt consistent or “right” to me. So, with that being said, here’s where I’m at with my list:

Pokémon (14)

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Keldeo-GX

1 Lucario & Melmetal-GX

1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Cryogonal UNM

1 Phione SM220

1 Absol TEU

Trainer (33)

4 Cynthia

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Guzma & Hala

2 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Tag Call

3 Pokémon Communication

3 Reset Stamp

3 Switch

2 Great Catcher

2 Escape Board

1 Choice Helmet

1 Hustle Belt

1 Stealthy Hood

 

3 Chaotic Swell

Energy (13)

7 W

5 M

1 Unit LPM

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 14

* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 2 Keldeo-GX UNM 47
* 1 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
* 1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Cryogonal UNM 46
* 1 Phione PR-SM 220
* 1 Absol TEU 88

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 1 Hustle Belt CES 134
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 3 Switch CES 147
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Choice Helmet LOT 169
* 3 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
* 3 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 4 Tag Call CEC 206
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Stealthy Hood UNB 186

##Energy - 13

* 1 Unit Energy LPM UPR 138
* 7 W Energy Energy 3
* 5 Metal Energy Energy 8

Total Cards - 60

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Changes from Xander’s list include:

As you can tell, Xander and I have fairly different takes on the deck. Xander went with a more straightforward approach, favoring more Pokémon search and 1-Prize tech attackers, while I chose to go with a more TAG TEAM GX-heavy approach, playing 0 Cherish Ball whatsoever. Let’s discuss some crucial card counts.

Important Counts

2 Guzma & Hala, 1 Hustle Belt, 1 Stealthy Hood, 1 Choice Helmet

This “tech Tool” package aims to give us the best matchup spread against a variety of different matchups. Hustle Belt is very good with Keldeo-GX, as Mewtwo & Mew-GX variants which play Greninja-GX aim to 2-shot you, and Hustle Belt allows your Keldeo-GX to 2-shot, rather than 3-shot, their Mewtwo & Mew-GX. Stealthy Hood is simply a counter to the FireBox decks to stop Ninetales TEU, but can also be used with Mewtwo & Mew-GX to attack through things like Mimikyu CEC 97.

3 Reset Stamp

I’m a massive fan of Reset Stamp in TAG TEAM GX decks, especially those that force your opponent onto 1 Prize, like ADP. It’s a great card against virtually all of your matchups, and forces your opponent to consistently draw out of 3- and 1-card hands as the game goes on. With no way to search the card, I prefer to up the overall count, so that you can consistently find Reset Stamp when you need it.

4 Tag Call, 3 Pokémon Communication, 0 Cherish Ball

This count may seem odd, as Keldeo-GX is a fantastic attacker in many matchups, especially for forcing your opponent to play the 8-Prize game. Tag Call is a 4-of because it’s one of the strongest consistency cards in Standard right now. Tag Call guarantees a turn 1 ADP + attachment + the Tool of your choice for the matchup. It’s also great in the mid game, for chaining Mallow & Lana, and for finding tech attackers like Lucario & Melmetal-GX. What’s not to like?

4 Cynthia, 0 Lillie

Fabien and Pedro chose to play Lillie in their Top 16 LAIC lists, but I’m a firm believer in Cynthia. Lillie is good in the early game, but ADP isn’t a deck that thoroughly relies on card advantage. More often than not, you’re going to want to Tag Call for Guzma & Hala and an ADP, find an Energy, and refresh your hand a full 6 cards the following turn. ADP is not a deck which relies on hard-to-hit combos like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX once did, and even that deck functioned better with Cynthia, by the time CEC was released.

1 Absol TEU, 1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

I more or less decided to group these two together, because they’re both tech Pokémon Xander chose not to play.

  • I like Absol TEU simply because of the prevalence of Jirachi TEU; it can force your opponent to burn switches, making Stellar Wish less available in the late game, or it can force them to miss early attacks, which is critical for a slower deck like ADP.
  • Mewtwo & Mew-GX is simply a tech for the Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks out there, as it can steal a quick 3 or 4 Prizes, assuming you can set up an ADP. In that matchup, spam Keldeo-GX early, power up an ADP, and sometimes you can simply forgo Altered Creation-GX—sometimes a Resolute Blade-GX is more worthwhile as the game goes on. Mewtwo & Mew-GX almost makes me consider a Weakness Guard Energy in the deck, but that would be borderline useless in the early game, so it’s probably not worth it.

Treasures and Traps: LAIC Edition

“Treasures and Traps” is a way for me to go over decks after a new set or tournament and go into which decks I like, or feel are worth exploring more, and to detail why I don’t like certain decks. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, so let’s just hop into it!

Treasure: Pidgeotto/Blacephalon

Reference List: Manuel Jorach, 9th LAIC

The more I play this deck, the more I like it. Lillie’s Poké Doll added a massive amount to this heavy-hitting 1-Prizer deck, because it buys you free turns to Air Mail, Professor Elm’s Lecture, and establish your board on the whole. It had a lot going for it already, too—a strong Pidgeotto Control matchup, relatively Reset Stamp-proof, positive matchups on most TAG TEAM GX decks, favorable Prize trade, abuse of Welder—the list goes on. The deck feels more durable now then it did before and that’s a big drawing point for me; I’d go as far as to say that Pidgeotto/Blacephalon is the best 1-Prize attacking deck in the format.

Trap: Tag Call MewMew

Reference List: Bryan de Vries, 2nd LAIC

Now, don’t get me wrong: from personal experience, I know that 2nd place lists are typically nothing to scoff at, and that’s not my intention with this label. I actually like Weakness Guard Energy as an idea, in addition to Tag Call. My main objection with this deck is simply that it doesn’t focus hard enough on abusing Welder, like many of the top decks do. Right now, the Standard format feels like you need to be so slow that you essentially win the game if you set up, or so fast that you never let anything else set up. This deck feels like an unhappy medium between the two, and not necessarily favored in the matchups that it’s teched to beat.

Treasure: Blacephalon-GX

Reference List: Lucas Gusso, 4th LAIC

Traditionally, I haven’t been of Blacephalon-GX; I’ve denounced it for being too linear, having a poor Malamar matchup (and, generally, 1-Prize matchups), and for being too easily countered by cards like Fairy Charm UB and Tapu Fini UNM. But, with the addition of Blacephalon CEC, my mind has been “blown” and I’m feeling ready to hop in the clown car. The deck has a very strong answer to just about every deck in the format, is very consistent, and has a multitude of powerful attackers, which now trade favorably with 1-Prize and TAG TEAM GX decks. Being able to abuse many of the best search cards in the format is nothing to scoff at, either, between Beast Ring, Mysterious Treasure, and Ultra Space. You can even search out your Prism Star cards with Guzma & Hala, if you want.

Trap: Green’s ADP (and Green’s Variants)

Reference List: Victor Vieira, 7th LAIC

Speaking of traditional takes on decks, another appearance in Top 8 of LAIC by a Green’s Exploration deck has yet to convince me on the archetype as a whole. I can boil it down to this: tech Pokémon cards make good decks great. You can only play tech Trainer cards—not Pokémon—in Green’s Exploration decks. This makes Green’s Exploration decks only good, not great. I’m not saying that these decks can’t get you Points or win a League Cup, sure; but I will say that playing Green’s decks at a Regional, or higher, is almost a sure guarantee that you will not win the event.

Treasure: Doll Stall

Reference List: Ondrej Skubal, 5th LAIC

I initially disrespected “Doll Stall,” or Florges FLI with Munchlax UNM and Lillie’s Poké Doll, but the deck is a lot better than I initially gave it credit for. Essentially, the deck almost always wins against every single deck that does not have a concrete out to 6 Prizes, and concedes to those that do. While this may sound like a polarizing statement, most players don’t actually respect the deck enough to prepare for it, and that’s why I think it will continue to do well for a while. For those of you wondering, a few outs include:

  1. Malamar Knocking Out its own Giratina LOT three times and then using Blacephalon CEC and Cross Division-GX or Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX’s Chaotic Order-GX;
  2. Blacephalon-GX using Stinger-GX into Blacephalon CEC;
  3. attempting to spam Cryogonal in ADP or Rainbow Energy decks;
  4. and, assuming no Stealthy Hood, Ninetales TEU.

But, beyond that, Doll Stall destroys much of the format, and these plays require your opponent to know about them in advance, which is not necessarily a given.

Conclusion

So, after covering LAIC, the ins-and-outs of Lost March, a powerful ADP list, and my Treasures and Traps leading into Daytona, my first SixPrizes article comes to an end. If I was going to Daytona, I’d probably pack Lost March, with ADP as my back-up option. My next tournament will be San Diego 🇺🇸, so feel free to say hi or give me any feedback there! You can find me on Twitter @Roarchomp, where I expunge my thoughts on the game, life, and the format at any given time, if that sounds interesting.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading! I really do love expressing my thoughts on decks, formats, and specific counts, and it’s been an absolute blast to get back into my writing groove. Have a great week, and happy holidays, everyone. Until next time!


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Reader Interactions

8 replies

  1. ryan1363015

    Thanks for a great article, Emery! I especially loved the bit with Lost March, since that is something I am toying with right now as well. If you want to bounce some ideas, I would love to discuss them with you. Great first article!

  2. thelosh19

    How does Hustle Belt help exactly? The greninja GX does 130 damage into a 170hp Keldeo GX. 40HP remaining, not 30HP or less. Unless Mew3 lists are starting to play Giratina LOT to get 10 more damage on the keldeo GX i’m not sure how that works. Unless I missed something. Other than that question I enjoyed reading your article.

    • Emery Taylor  → thelosh19

      Sure, I could have explained this a bit better. I’m assuming in this case your opponent is more focused on attacking with Greninja rather than Turtonator or ReshiZard. They hit you for 130, you attack and Mallow/Lana, and then Hustle Belt when they Greninja again for the 2HKO.

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