Dark Explorers : Empoleon and friends

Discussion in 'Deck Help & Development' started by Gelatin, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    With Dark Explorers on the horizon, it brings cards for all of my favorite starter Pokemon: Venusaur, Blaziken, and Empoleon. Unfortunately for me, only one of those three looks the least bit competitive. And that card would be Empoleon. In case you don't know what Empoleon does...

    After I saw Empoleon's ability, attack, and the low Energy cost for it, I immediately wanted to try and make as competitively viable a deck I could focused around the emperor penguin.

    Now the idea here is to try and load the bench up in order for Empoleon to be swinging for high damage consistently. That's where I got the idea for using Pichu. Pichu's playground is rather risky but I figured it might be worth it if I can get this going fast enough. Another problem for me is that Empoleon is still a Stage 2 which means going fast can be trouble. Another thing to worry about is Empoleon's Lightning weakness in a Lightning dominated metagame. This is where everyone's favorite Musketeer, Terrakion, comes in to nail Lightning types for the Fighting weakness. I also wanted to try and add a 1-1 Dodrio line just to soften up the retreat costs for both of my attackers.

    Without further ado, here's my preliminary deck list that I've been testing every so often against my Eel deck.

    <16 Pokemon>
    4-2-4 Empoleon
    2 Pichu
    2 Terrakion
    1-1 Dodrio

    <33 TSS>
    4 PONT
    3 Collector
    3 Sage's Training
    2 Twins
    4 Rare Candy
    4 Junk Arm
    3 Pokemon Catcher
    3 Pokemon Communication
    3 Switch
    2 PlusPower
    1 Super Rod
    1 Max Potion

    <11 Energy>
    7 Water Energy
    4 Fighting Energy

    I'd really appreciate any help or suggestions to make this as solid of a deck as possible.
  2. Suncool

    Suncool Member

    Empoleon is weak to eels. The only solution I can think of is Leavanny, but it is more susceptible to Catcher in this deck than other decks.
  3. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    Well, yeah. I recognize the glaring Lightning weakness and that's why I threw the two Terrakion in there. Putting an additional Stage 2 in here might be pushing it unless I maybe was trying to go with a Vileplume lock.

    Here's a list I found which took 3rd place in a tournament in Japan. I've tested it and I feel like the 3 Virizion are kind of a dead draw. Maybe we could try to shape this deck into something that we can use in our HS-on format.

    4 Piplup
    2 Prinplup
    4 Empoleon
    3 Virizion
    2 Terrakion

    4 Professor Juniper
    4 N
    4 Cheren

    4 Ultra Ball
    4 Rare Candy
    4 Pokemon Catcher
    3 Switch
    2 Pokemon Communication
    2 Super Rod
    1 Max Potion

    7 Water Energy
    6 Fighting

    Source: SipCup
  4. InfinityMinusOne

    InfinityMinusOne Has a tendency to exist

    I wouldn't say that Empoleon is the only competitive Pokemon mentioned above. I've read here on 6P of people trying to make Accelgor decks with Venusaur for it's ability, and even Blaziken can OHKO regular Zekrom and Reshiram (Though I must say their usefulness ends just about there).
  5. ussgordoncaptain

    ussgordoncaptain Skeptical of new cards

    Sunflora is much better in the accelgor deck. I tried a similar deck, Jumpluff yanmega sunflora, and it's problem was that it was unable to not die to blue flare. Also why are you trying to win with paralysis and poison when you can just OHKO the enemy pokemon?
  6. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    Infinity: I still like them. Venusaur's ability is really neat and Blaziken's attack is a stronger Blue Flare while burning up less resources. But like you said, that's about where they stop being useful.

    I just feel they're a bit too slow. And while Empoleon suffers from being a Stage 2 as well, the only thing he needs to look out for is himself. Venusaur is catcher bait and Blaziken would probably need help in the form of quick energy acceleration (meaning Typhlosion or Emboar, more Stage 2s), but Empoleon is his own draw engine and attacker that only requires a single energy to function. I think that's what drew me in.
  7. InfinityMinusOne

    InfinityMinusOne Has a tendency to exist

    Empoleon is definitely the poke of choice of the three, I was simply stating that the other two weren't completely useless in any and all decks.
  8. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    Which is all good and fine.

    Anyway, any suggestions on my first list then? I'm thinking I should try to fit Ultra Ball in there now that I know for sure that it's in DEX.
  9. InfinityMinusOne

    InfinityMinusOne Has a tendency to exist

    I don't know about dodrio in this deck - I see it's purpose, but if you want to consistently get it out, you want to run roughly a 2-3 line instead of 1-1, for the sake of the possibility of one getting prized. Sage's TRaining has recently ben deemed a terrible supporter which rivals Bill in uselessness in most decks, so I'd swap those out for 2-3 Juniper. Ultra Ball seems like an interesting play, but that in addition to Junk Arm simply discards too many cards (and by all means don't remove Junk Arm), so perhaps as a one-of in exchange for one Rare Candy. And if you have Pichu, you don't really need Collector. Either take the Collector out and add in a couple Dual Ball, or take out the Pichu in exchange for a couple Virizion. And I know we're kind of tiht on space at this point, but you still need more Draw Power, so take out another Rare Candy and a Water Energy for 2 N. And I know we don't have room for this in this deck right now, but I've heard of people adding in an Aerodactyl-Twist Mountain combo just to add firepower to Empoleon's attack.
    Gelatin likes this.
  10. Suncool

    Suncool Member

    I think Dodrio should only be used in the presence of Vileplume. You already have 3 Switch so you don't need it. Also, since Empoleon would be getting knocked out a lot, you should put some Rescue energies in.

    If you have room, add as many Pluspowers and Defenders as you can as they may come in handy.
    Gelatin likes this.
  11. InfinityMinusOne

    InfinityMinusOne Has a tendency to exist

    ^Didn't think about Rescue energy. As you won't be attaching too many energy due to Empoleon's low-energy requirement, you'd might as well use an energy drop to save it.
  12. beboppokedad

    beboppokedad Well-Known Member

    empoleon is jumpluff with more HP and a draw ability
  13. Your point? Also, Empoleon has an Electric weakness, which is a big letdown.
  14. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll probably go the Pichu route and dump the Collectors. Sage's Training has screwed me over before so yeah I might opt for Cheren or more likely just go with Juniper. I'll use a single Ultra Ball if I can but once Junk Arm cycles out I'll probably upgrade to four. I'll probably drop the Dodrio in exchange for Virizion NV. Rescue energy sounds like a good idea, too.

    And in my list before this I was toying with the idea of Aerodactyl. Maybe I'll try that out when Pichu leaves.

    I'll try to implement these changes into a deck list later. Again, thanks.
  15. beboppokedad

    beboppokedad Well-Known Member


    just a lame observation, no point really... the electric weakness is probably the most key, which you asserted
  16. thevilegarkid

    thevilegarkid Member

    a person at my league plays empoleon/porygon-z/terrakion. it's okay.
  17. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    Why Porygon-Z? Even if you're using Rainbow Energy, that seems so wonky.

    Anyway, tried to implement some of the suggestions. Ended up going back to that Aerodactyl idea. If I do end up dropping that direction it frees up another 6 spots. I honestly have no idea what I'm doing at this point. I'm just hoping to be able to get me some Empoleons from the prerelease to start testing at League.

    4-2-4 Empoleon
    2 Pichu
    2 Terrakion
    3 Aerodactyl

    4 PONT
    3 Juniper
    2 N
    4 Junk Arm
    3 Rare Candy
    3 Pokemon Catcher
    3 Pokemon Communication
    3 Switch
    2 Dual Ball
    1 PlusPower
    1 Ultra Ball
    1 Super Rod
    3 Twist Mountain

    6 Water Energy
    4 Fighting Energy
    cabd likes this.
  18. InfinityMinusOne

    InfinityMinusOne Has a tendency to exist

    I'd imagine that Empoleon could do very well at the actual PR tournaments (I like to be competitive and scout out good PR cards beforehand). A Piplup, a Rare Candy, and an Empoleon, and you have a 140 HP penguin that can deal up to 120 damage for 1 energy and has one of the best things you want at a PR tournament: Draw power.
  19. Gelatin

    Gelatin So soft and jiggly.

    After a bit of testing on PlayTCG against my Eel deck, I don't think I have the means to burn through my deck and grab what I need as quickly as I would like to. I feel like I would want to somehow fit Exp Share in there to help out with low energy counts. And possibly work in Random Receiver to help me get those crucial Supporter cards to recycle/dump my hand and hopefully draw what I need. Here is the current list that I am working with:

    4-2-4 Empoleon
    2 Pichu
    2 Terrakion
    3 Aerodactyl

    4 PONT
    3 Juniper
    2 N
    4 Junk Arm
    4 Rare Candy
    3 Pokemon Catcher
    3 Pokemon Communication
    3 Switch
    2 Dual Ball
    1 Ultra Ball
    1 Super Rod
    3 Twist Mountain

    6 Water Energy
    4 Fighting Energy
  20. darkwings

    darkwings Never give the monkey a gun

    i like the idea.