The Bees and the Birds

Beedrill/Pidgeotto for San Diego and Daytona Beach Analysis
Sometimes you run hot, and sometimes not…

Hello again readers, I’m back with you after the Daytona Beach Regional Championships 🇺🇸 has concluded. I lost my win-and-in to Day 2 to Michael Catron on stream, so I gained another mediocre Top 128 finish. I made a few mistakes going into this event, mainly that I didn’t respect ADP as a deck and I thought that Malamar wouldn’t see as much play as it did. I went in with the mentality that if I beat Mewtwo and Doll Stall, I would do well. That led me to play Blacephalon/Naganadel, which is something I now regret immensely.

I knew I took bad Malamar and Blacephalon UNB matchups, and that was fine until I played against 3 of them. I actually went 1-1-1 against these decks, so I count that as a win. I lost to ADP after bricking very hard in a Game 3, and I lost to Mewtwo after prizing 3 Welder in a Game 3. In essence, Blacephalon-GX is a run-hot deck, and I failed to do that for a few games. I highly doubt I will ever pick the deck up again.

Daytona Beach Analysis

I think we can all agree that GardEon was the surprise deck this weekend. I expected high counts of Doll Stall and Mewtwo, which definitely happened. Xander breathed new life into ADP, something that many of us wrote off as a less than stellar deck. ADP was a great meta call, and the players with the best list were rewarded for it. However, GardEon managed to sneak through all of the Blacephalon UNB and Pidgey to secure another Regional win.

I do not think that GardEon is a very good deck. It was alright for this event because of all the ADP and Malamar, but I am unconvinced that it is good enough to keep putting up solid results going forward. The players who built the list claim that it beats Ability Zard, which would be new development. I remain rather unconvinced of that, but with the way this format is looking, it might be true. Welder decks are still somewhat inconsistent without the help of TAG TEAM Supporters, which ultimately slow the decks down too much.

For once, I am well and truly lost in this format. I believe that you are going to have to take at least one bad matchup no matter what.

Going forward:

  • I think people will once again try to pick up Ability Zard and it will ultimately fail.
  • Doll Stall is still an incredibly powerful deck, and I fully expect to see it continue doing well.
  • Pidgey is in a decent spot right now, so watch out for that (I’m definitely not qualified to write about Pidgey, sorry).
  • ADP is still going to be very strong. I think that when built to beat GardEon, ADP pretty much runs over the format.

My Plays for San Diego

There’s not a lot of time between events, so I haven’t been able to do all that much testing. However, I believe that Pidgey, ADP, and Blacephalon UNB are all decent choices for this event. The first two make sense, but Blacephalon UNB flopped this weekend, so why would I suggest it? Well, it just so happens that it is one of the few decks that counters ADP, Ability Zard, GardEon, and Pidgey. The deck is somewhat inconsistent, and that can potentially cause issues, but I think if you draw somewhat well with the deck, you will do well. I think Manuel’s list from LAIC—with a way to get a 6th attacker—is probably the best way to go for Blacephalon.

Beedrill

pokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com

In Daytona Beach, I watched a rather interesting deck play against one of my friends. This deck was the lone Beedrill in the room. I have no idea what his list looked like, and I find it hard to believe it was optimal. Yet, he was 3-1-1 at one point. This deck intrigued me, so I took a stab at building it.

Pokémon (22)

4 Weedle TEU

1 Kakuna TEU

3 Beedrill TEU

2 Pidgey TEU 122

2 Pidgeotto TEU

2 Nincada LOT

2 Shedinja LOT

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Latios-GX UNM

1 Oranguru UPR

1 Spiritomb UNB

1 Jynx UNM

1 Mew SM215

Trainer (31)

4 Professor Elm’s Lecture

3 Cynthia

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Rosa

1 Brock’s Grit

1 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Pokémon Communication

4 Rare Candy

3 Lillie’s Poké Doll

3 Net Ball

3 Pokégear 3.0

1 Great Catcher

Energy (7)

4 Rainbow

3 G

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 22

* 4 Weedle TEU 2
* 1 Kakuna TEU 4
* 3 Beedrill TEU 5
* 2 Pidgey TEU 122
* 2 Pidgeotto TEU 123
* 2 Nincada LOT 29
* 2 Shedinja LOT 95
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Latios-GX UNM 78
* 1 Oranguru UPR 114
* 1 Spiritomb UNB 112
* 1 Jynx UNM 76
* 1 Mew PR-SM 215

##Trainer Cards - 31

* 4 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 188
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Brock’s Grit EVO 74
* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Rosa CEC 204
* 3 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
* 3 Cynthia UPR 148
* 3 Net Ball LOT 187
* 3 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 4 Rare Candy UL 82
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192

##Energy - 7

* 3 G Energy GEN 75
* 4 Rainbow Energy BKT 152

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=78493 ******

I know for a fact that this list is different from the one that was played. The one that was in Daytona Beach played Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX and Custom Catchers. I am more in favor of a Rare Candy build because it is faster and does not bench a TAG TEAM that can be picked off at any time. Custom Catchers would fix the Doll Stall matchup, but I would rather sack that than have to find 2 cards every time I want to gust a Pokémon-GX.

Pokémon

2-2 Pidgeotto TEU

I dislike losing to Pidgey. Hopefully, a 2-2 line of Pidgeotto combined with Oranguru and Brock’s Grit is enough to win the matchup. This also functions as a Reset Stamp protection strategy.

2-2 Shedinja LOT

Beedrill KOs itself. This gives up Prize cards. Shedinja stops that. Thus, Shedinja is a good card. There’s a lot of fancy plays that you can make with Shedinja. For instance, attaching it to Oranguru and recycling 3 Dolls seems incredibly good. And, obviously, attaching it to Beedrill in most matchups is pretty important.

1 Latios-GX UNM

Cross Division-GX is a major weakness in this deck, and Latios is probably the best way to handle it. If Latios-GX is in play, you’re going to need to trade very well, and that means utilizing Shedinja to its maximum potential.

1 Oranguru UPR

There’s only 4 Rare Candy in this deck. Oranguru or Munchlax UNM are the only way to recover them. Therefore, Oranguru is the play because it doesn’t need a coin flip to do something. Oranguru also lets you auto-tie Doll Stall.

1 Spiritomb UNB, 1 Jynx UNM

Beedrill requires damage to be on it already, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a Rainbow Energy every time. This combo allows you to attack with a G Energy on Beedrill. Seems alright.

1 Mew UNB

One of this deck’s greatest vulnerabilities is the ability for an opponent to snipe around a Doll or a Shedinja-protected Pokémon. This means that we need to play Mew in the deck. Yay.

Trainer

1 Brock’s Grit

I really want to play 2 copies of Brock’s Grit, but space in this deck is incredibly tight. Brock’s is necessary for retrieving Shedinja and Beedrill pieces.

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

I debated between this and Lusamine, but I think Cynthia & Caitlin is the better choice in this deck. Your primary Supporter targets will be Brock’s Grit and Rosa. The + affect of drawing 3 cards is very good because of how many pieces you need to see to function.

1 Mallow & Lana

This may seem like a weird inclusion, but this is the only card that can be played as a switch and recycled in some way other than Resource Management. This is pretty much only for the Pidgeotto matchup.

2 Rosa

Rosa is the lifeblood of this deck in the mid-game where your deck isn’t thin enough to find pieces. Playing Rosa for Beedrill, Rare Candy, and a G Energy is pretty good. And since we have Dolls, the KO is pretty easy to trigger, and if they choose to not KO the Doll, then they likely did nothing during their turn.

1 Great Catcher

This is another card that I want to see more of in the list, but again, space is tight. You do need at least 1 gust affect, and thankfully, it is recyclable with Oranguru. Great Catcher is, pardon the pun, a great way to close out games against any decks that try to win a war of attrition with whatever single-Prize attackers they can come up with.

Energy

3 G Energy, 4 Rainbow Energy

These numbers feel low, and that’s probably true. But with both Net Ball and Rosa to search out G Energy, and Brock’s Grit to recycle them, it is probably fine. Hopefully, you can draw into Rainbow Energies easily enough. I might consider playing a Red’s Challenge at some point though.

Potential Inclusions

Red’s Challenge

I’ve already mentioned this, and I think it could be necessary. It’s strictly better than Guzma & Hala in this deck because we don’t play a Stadium or Pokémon Tool.

Power Plant

I’ve thought about it, and there’s really no Stadium that strictly helps our deck. The only reason to play one would be to bump Lysandre Labs. Power Plant is the best option at that point.

3–4 Custom Catcher

You want to beat Doll Stall? Here you go. I opted to accept the tie to make space for other cards.

Hustle Belt

Spiritomb is more than just a Bench-sitter in some games. It is capable of dishing out some serious damage, and a Hustle Belt would help to make that damage go even higher.

The Matchup Spread

GardEon: 70/30

I figured that I would start with the deck that just won the most recent event. This matchup is incredibly favored because all you need to do is attack twice and the game is over. Even if they play Island Challenge Amulet, you still take 3 Prize cards because they are not being Knocked Out by damage from an attack. In this matchup, getting Pidgeotto set up is vital as a measure of protection against Reset Stamp. I think the optimal field here is 2–3 Beedrill pieces, 1–2 Birds, and a Doll alongside whatever else may have been benched. Even if they gust a lone Weedle, you have plenty of time to recover from that and find the pieces again. Rosa is incredibly strong in this matchup as well.

ADP: 60/40

This matchup may or may not be better than I think it is, but I haven’t sat down and tested it at all. In theory the matchup is incredibly favored. They are also a pretty slow deck, and you can capitalize on this. You need to take 2–3 KOs, and Dolls are incredibly good for buying time after the first KO and they actually start playing the game. Something of note is that Beedrill’s second attack can actually 1HKO a Keldeo-GX without forcing the Beedrill to KO itself. I think that the biggest risk in this matchup is Cryogonal. This is the main reason I play Kakuna. Spiritomb can also handle Cryogonal rather well. Be careful of getting Item locked though.

Mewtwo & Mew: 50/50

If you survive the first few turns of the game, then you’re golden. However, it is all too likely that Cross Division-GX gets triggered before you can attack with Latios-GX. In this matchup, it is important to either get Mew down quickly, or to have multiple Weedle in play after you attack. Shedinja is less of a priority in this matchup because they already trade so terribly with you.

Ability Zard: 40/60

This matchup basically comes down to how well you are able to maintain your board state. Your opponent is likely to target down your Weedle as quickly as possible with Ninetales. You need to try and keep two on the field at all times. This seems difficult, but depending on the situation, it is certainly doable. You’ll likely have to spend a turn on Resource Management, but that is a necessary evil. Shedinja is vital in this matchup, as is Great Catcher. Either way, this matchup likely isn’t great.

Malamar: 30/70

This matchup is a major yikes. They have infinite Energy, infinite attackers, and no easy way to beat them. Blacephalon CEC is kind of an issue. They have a way to completely circumvent the Doll wall, only give up a single Prize card on each attacker, and have multiple broken GX attacks depending on their list. The only thing we have going for us is that Spell Tag doesn’t get triggered by Beedrill.

Blacephalon/Naganadel: 70/30

This matchup is pretty easy. We have multiple ways to avoid giving up Prize cards. They attack with Pokémon-GX or Stage 1s. Mew is important to stop Venom Shot. Be very careful of Blacephalon CEC by making sure you never go to exactly 3 Prize cards. If you cannot avoid it, make sure that there is a Beedrill already in play so that you are able to get off of the 3-Prize turn.

Pidgeotto: ???

I literally do not know. I haven’t had time to test this matchup yet, and I have zero clue how it should actually go. In theory, you cannot be hand-locked, but they can likely lock something in the Active position. If you are able to consistently use and recycle Mallow & Lana, the matchup is probably fine, but past that I have no idea.

Doll Stall: Auto-Tie

Unless they are playing a way to deal with Oranguru and Brock’s Grit, I don’t think this matchup ever resolves. In theory, they can use Spiritomb to KO Oranguru, but Shedinja is attached and you can always recycle it.

Final Thoughts

I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what to do with this format right now. I think a counter deck like Beedrill has great potential to do well. I also think Control decks will be on the rise again. I’m hoping and praying that people will continue to build lists with the intent to counter Pidgey.

I really want to continue working on Beedrill, but I’ll likely be playing something like ADP or Ability Zard this weekend. The lists that I would play are out there already. If people look like they’re going to ignore Pidgey, I might decide to play that. I just don’t know.

I’ll be back later with another article the month with what I hope is a positive result in San Diego 🇺🇸 and my first thoughts on the new Expanded format. As always, good luck in whatever events you’re playing, and maybe you’ll see me around?

As always, feel free to message me with any questions that you might have about anything related to Pokémon. I also offer coaching! Either email me (alex.schemanske@gmail.com) or PM me if interested.

Until the next one.


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