Hello again readers, I’m back with you for my first time since events have been canceled. While this is somewhat depressing and upsetting for me, it is also an opportunity to justify taking a decently long (for me) break from really caring about events and playing the game. Today, I’m going to be talking about the decks I would have taken to Toronto , Charlotte , and potentially Salt Lake City . I know that UPR–SSH and BLW–SSH will never be played in a sanctioned setting again, but there are a bunch of independent PTCGO tournament opportunities if you know where to find them. With that, I’m going to jump right into it.
Salazzle Mill / Toronto
I’ve probably never played more games with a single deck than I have with my Salazzle list. Even before OCIC , I had the deck built and was testing it. Unfortunately, I decided against playing it in favor of a “safe” deck in PikaRom. Local players have seen me play this at a few League Challenges now, and can attest to how broken it seems. I was going to bring it to Toronto, where I’m pretty sure I would have seen success.
2 Zacian V
1 Ditto p
3 Pal Pad
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 20
* 3 Salandit DRM 13
* 3 Salazzle UNB 31
* 2 Minccino SSH 145
* 2 Cinccino SSH 147
* 1 Magcargo-GX LOT 44
* 2 Oranguru UPR 114
* 2 Zacian V SSH 195
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Mew PR-SM 215
* 1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX PR-SM 191
* 1 Wobbuffet LOT 93
##Trainer Cards - 33
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 2 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 3 Pal Pad UPR 132
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 1 Energy Recycler AOR 72
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Lt. Surge’s Strategy UNB 178
* 1 Faba LOT 208
* 1 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 4 Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186
* 3 Crushing Hammer SUM 115
* 4 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 4 Great Ball SSH 164
##Energy - 7
* 7 R Energy SMEnergy 11
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=80038 ******
There are a lot of weird counts in this list, but this was ultimately the best way to build the deck. You may ask why this is at all better than regular Cinccino Mill, and that’s a fair question. To put it simply, this list absolutely runs over every other Mill or Control deck because it plays 7 Energy and a Girafarig. On top of that, against other matchups, it draws through the deck so much faster. 3 cards may not seem like much more than 2, but if you have 2 Salazzle in play, you basically have 3 Cinccino, and if you add a Cinccino or 3rd Salazzle into the mix, you’re drawing 9–10 cards every turn, not counting those from Supporters or Intrepid Sword. Now, I’ll go over my card choices and what led me to pick them.
I’ve already mentioned it, but discard and draw 3 is incredibly good. Because you are only discarding R Energies with Roast Reveal, your deck ends up having a lot more extra cards in it that you can (A) play to thin or (B) discard with Bellelba’s second effect. Discarding your Bench down to 3 Pokémon is something that you can do multiple times a game with this build of the deck.
I originally had a 4-4 Salazzle line and no Cinccino, but the deck was struggling to keep up with consecutive Marnie. With even 1 Cinccino in play, you’re guaranteed to see 7 cards in order to find a R Energy to Roast Reveal. Basically, Cinccino is here as a failsafe.
I have literally never seen or felt the need for a 3rd copy in my deck. The slot was ultimately used as a 6th Basic that can evolve into draw support, so I see no reason to not make that cut.
This card should be in every Mill list, and if it’s not, you’re playing it wrong in my opinion. In the mirror match, if you can Lost Zone all of their Energy you win the game. If you can Lost Zone specific attackers or Energy against Mewtwo/Welder, you win the game. I cannot imagine not playing Girafarig.
I’ve seen a lot of lists cutting this, and I’m on the fence right now. It’s incredibly good against Blacephalon UNB decks that still play Victini, but those are becoming more and more rare. However, there have been times where I want to bench it to turn off Tapu Koko p or Ditto p on my opponent’s side, so I’ve kept it in the list so far.
Tag Call was the card that got the axe when I needed to find space for Salazzle cards. Sure, it’s helpful in thinning and drawing cards, but when you draw extra cards with your “Trades,” it’s less important. I have debated cutting Cynthia & Caitlin altogether in favor of other draw Supporters, but I have never found anything better than it, mostly because of the Supporter recovery option.
I want another Air Balloon in the list, but space is tight, and I really like having a shuffle draw and a recyclable switching card.
Initially, I had forgotten that this card was still legal, and had more Fire Crystal in the deck. But wow, this card is broken. I initially included it just to recover 5 Fires for Roast Reveal, but it also has the purpose of making it incredibly easy to end your turn with over 8 cards in deck against anything that could play Magcargo-GX and a Bellelba & Brycen-Man. Keeping the deck thick at the end of your turn can be vital, and this is the best way to do it, especially because you’re able to draw the entire deck in your next turn anyway.
Faba, 3 Crushing Hammer, 0 Team Yell Grunt1
Faba has multiple functions, in that it can shut down ADP for a turn by removing their Special W Energy, or it can remove Recycle Energy from play in the Mill matchup. Hammers are obviously pretty standard now, but with Girafarig, they’re even better. I have wanted to find space for Team Yell Grunts in order to make ADP absolutely free, but I haven’t found space yet, and the matchup is already pretty good.
Putting 3 Energy for a single card into your hand is equivalent to saying “draw 9 cards.” There’s no reason not to play Fire Crystal here, and it’s pretty good.
I wish I could say I put thought into this number, but it basically came down to, “Okay, how much Energy can we possibly fit into the deck?” and here we are.
I kinda already talked about a few of these randomly so far, but I’ll put them all here just to have them all in one place.
Magneton CEC & Welder1-1
So you want to beat Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks that play Naganadel-GX FLI? Sure, here’s the incredibly complicated package that may or may not function depending on what gets prized off of Stinger-GX. The theory here is that you blow up your Magneton, search for Lt. Surge’s Strategy, Faba, and Welder. Then you Faba their Weakness Guard Energy, bench Mew3, play Welder, attach the 3 Energy (you magically have in your hand because you drew well) to the Mew3, somehow ensure Magcargo-GX is discarded, and, finally, you use Lava Flow to 1HKO the opposing Mew3. Easy right?
4 Team Yell Grunt
Want to turn ADP into AD-Free? Here’s the space-hogging tech for you! Seriously though, this makes ADP into an incredibly favored matchup because it’s unlikely they get to attack for a very long time.
Sometimes your opponent is relying on their last Catcher to win the game. That’s where these come in. On top of that, the Mill matchup gets even better with Persian because you can easily ruin their hand, and thus their deck. Persian gets even better if you play Team Yell Grunts.
I have no idea what the cut would be, but I really want the second copy because once you’ve played the first, you can never play it again.
The Matchup Spread
You remember that article I wrote way back before OCIC on Mill? Almost everything there about matchups still applies to this one. There are a few newer decks that need to be talked about though.
If they don’t play more than an 0-1 Ninetales TEU, this matchup is nearly impossible to lose because of Wobbuffet. If they don’t play Victini p, the matchup is also pretty much free. If they play a heavy Ninetales and Victini? Yikes. Basically, the most important thing for you to do is maintain a deck size of 9 or more at the end of your turn, unless you can say with absolute certainty there is not a Bellelba in their list. It is actually somewhat easy to do this with Energy Recycler. If there isn’t 5 Energy discarded, remember that Bellelba has a second effect, and can discard enough Energy to make 5 easy. Your turn probably looks like:
- Promote Doll after something has been KO’d,
- Draw your deck with Roast Reveal and Make Do,
- Surge + Double Bellelba,
- Combination of Energy Recycler, Pal Pad, and Ordinary Rod to get your deck to 5+ cards,
- Put Doll on bottom of deck if under 8 cards,
- If over 9 after first Doll, and you have enough cards to get to 9 next turn, pass with a Doll Active.
- If under 9, or unable to repeat next turn, use Resource Management.
If you follow this game plan, then you should have no issue with a typical Magcargo list.
Yeah, this matchup is virtually impossible unless you mill the Victini or both Ninetales or Vulpix. There’s legitimately not much to do here other than aggro mill and hope they burn through their deck too fast and are somehow unable to Victini.
This matchup is so free that it’s not even funny. They have no way to deal consistent damage or 1HKO an Oranguru without using Obstagoon’s Ability on it. Just don’t hand them 6 Prize cards before you win, and this matchup should be impossible to lose.
Morpeko VMAX 2.0 / Charlotte
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 21
* 3 Morpeko V SSH 79
* 2 Morpeko VMAX SSH 80
* 2 Duskull CEC 83
* 2 Dusclops BUS 52
* 2 Dusknoir BCR 63
* 1 Remoraid BKT 31
* 1 Octillery BKT 33
* 2 Exeggcute PLF 4
* 1 Celebi PR-XY 93
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Sudowoodo BKP 67
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 1 Yveltal-GX FLI 79
##Trainer Cards - 30
* 2 N FCO 105
* 1 Professor Juniper PLB 84
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Acerola BUS 112
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Ultra Ball SLG 68
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 2 Float Stone BKT 137
* 2 Battle Compressor PHF 92
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191
* 1 Silent Lab PRC 140
##Energy - 9
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=80038 ******
This list is pretty similar to the one I posted last time, so I won’t go too deep into everything. There are a few really cool cards that I have added though, so I’m going to talk about those a bit.
Cool New Cards
Yup. Another card that probably nobody has seen since its release. Some of you might have seen me asking for help getting one of these on my Twitter, and now you know why. This card has a lot of cool mechanics packed into one incredibly expensive TCGO card. First, it cannot be affected by any of your opponent’s Abilities, which in this case are going to be Garbotoxin and Power of Alchemy. Next, it has an Ability that says if you flip heads when your opponent KOs it, it gets shuffled back into your deck, and your opponent is denied a Prize card. All of this is cool, but why in the world am playing it in Morpeko? Well, the attack is actually incredibly good into some matchups. Doing 10 spread, which cannot be stopped by Bench Barrier, is really strong in a deck that can manipulate damage.
I first included it to deal with Grant Manley’s Florges Doll Stall, because they should theoretically have no answer to it. Two turns of spread damage and you can remove Mr. Mime from play, and then go from there with Morpeko VMAX. I then realized that there were actually multiple applications for the card because of how much 30–60 random damage can end up mattering on the last turn of the game. Celebi can single-handedly spell the end for decks like Mew/Cramorant V. I chose to play Celebi because it has unblockable spread damage and can deny Prize cards at the same time. Because I’m playing Aurora Energy for Celebi, a whole new door opened for amazing tech Pokémon.
We saw Yveltal-GX see some play in Mew/Cramorant V, and that made me think about it for Morpeko VMAX. My deck’s goal is to move damage around to checkmate my opponent, but I didn’t have a good way to attack for a single Energy in the endgame if my Morpeko was gone. Yveltal-GX fixes this problem quite well, and also provides a better GX attack than Tingly Return-GX. It also has amazing synergy with Celebi in the early game, which is honestly pretty amazing.
I have no idea why this wasn’t in the initial list, and now that I’ve played with it, there’s no going back. SnorMAX is still a real deck, and having two ways to 1HKO them is so good. There’s plenty of applications for the card, and you can also use it when you aren’t behind because of Tapu Koko p and Aurora Energy.
I wanted another healing card to deal with ADP/Zacian. If they decide to go the route of KOing a Basic and VMAX, this can buy the turn you need to win the game.
Unfortunately, neither of these decks will ever see the light of Premier Events again. I had finally found decks that were fun and viable in both formats only for the formats to be taken away. While we’re on our break from competitive Pokémon, I have been dabbling in organized PTCGO tournaments and I can honestly say I’m having fun playing the game, even if it’s only online.
For me, not much has actually changed aside from not traveling for Pokémon anymore. I am mostly proud of how the community has been reacting to the issues and I have hopes that we’ll be able to finish out the season and play in Worlds. Stay safe and try to think about more than just yourself when you’re determining what actions to take in the following months.
Until the next one.
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