Miltank + Stage 2s

Discussion in 'Competitive Deck Discussion' started by TheMantyke, May 10, 2014.

  1. Professor_N

    Professor_N Well-Known Member

    While Butterfree is a cool speed option, I do think Empoleon is the best Miltank partner. Their attacks do about the same damage most of the time and then Dusknoir moves it all around, it's pretty cool.
  2. Yankeefan1985

    Yankeefan1985 Member


    With beaches though would you run the Butterfree ver?
  3. Professor_N

    Professor_N Well-Known Member

    You plan on attacking turn one-two so no, no Beaches.
    jeffrey3421 likes this.
  4. davidryuubryan

    davidryuubryan Dark type Gym Leader

    Oops. Thought since caterpie/metapod had fire weakness, butterfree would have the same.
  5. Otaku

    Otaku Well-Known Member

    The following is Theorymon; please let me know if practical experience or other data I am unaware of contradicts my following statement.

    Water Shuriken Greninja builds should also be able to avoid this problem, unless setting up even two Greninja and keeping them alive is too hard thanks to Lysandre or other factors I've missed. Miltank/Greninja decks should be focused on OHKOs. I haven't worked out a list yet, but I'd like to make room for Hypnotoxic Laser, Virbank City Gym, Silver Bangle, and Muscle Band, difficult as that might sound. Having all of these options plus access to Water Shuriken should make it easy to catch-up from a slow start unless your opponent eschews Pokémon-EX or can both keep them safely Benched and heal Water Shuriken damage counter placement.

    For any Stage 2 deck using Miltank, check and see if there is a useful "attacking" version of said Stage 2 (if it isn't already a fine attacker like Diving Draw Empoleon) to handle Pyroar or just surprise your opponent. It still isn't great, but the XY: Kalos Starter Set 14/39 gives us a 140 HP Greninja with otherwise identical stats and an attack for (W) that hits for 40 and gives a coin flip to discard an Energy from the opponent's Active Pokémon; sounds like the serviceable Pyroar if you can make room for it in a Powerful Friends/Water Shuriken deck as that becomes 80 damage (in a deck all about boosting damage) plus discards Energy from a Pokémon that already needs to discard to hit reasonably hard. Second attack is poor, though as it is a vanilla 80 for (WWC).
  6. Ein

    Ein The Mega Man Master

    Even though Greninja can't hit for weakness, you can shuriken twice and use its attack to KO pyroar. Greninja XYS just doesn't seem worth replacing a shuriken Greninja when you still can't OHKO Pyroar. You could run Muscle band and Greninja XYS could get the job done, but I'm not sure if it's worth the consistency drop when the deck already has an OHKO out. I haven't played Pyroar vs. Greninja too much so I don't know the exact difficulty involved in stopping Pyroar. Maybe use Frogadier XYS with a muscle band + shuriken for a Pyroar KO.
  7. Otaku

    Otaku Well-Known Member

    Hypothetically speaking (since I haven't built the deck) I was merely considering running five Greninja (4 Water Shuriken + 1 "Other") but... your point is sound. That is what we call a "fail" on my part; so far I've only made a similar suggestion to decks running 2-1-2 or 3-1-3 lines... where they can afford a fourth copy. >.>

    Regardless, if I am going to that much trouble, I should be getting a OHKO out of the deal without "boosting" tricks or counting on a coin toss to discard an important Energy.

    So yeah, thanks for helping me avoid wasting time. No clue when (if ever) I'll be able to test a deck out, but just so we have a list to reference for Miltank/Greninja, how about:

    Pokémon x 16
    2 Exeggcute (PLF)
    4 Froakie (KSS)
    1 Frogadier (KSS)
    4 Greninja (XY)
    4 Miltank (FLF)
    1 Mr. Mime (PLF)

    Trainers x 39
    2 Colress
    4 N
    4 Professor Juniper
    3 Skyla

    1 Escape Rope
    2 Level Ball
    2 Muscle Band
    1 Professor's Letter
    3 Rare Candy
    2 Silver Bangle
    1 Startling Megaphone
    1 Super Rod
    3 Superior Energy Retrieval
    4 Ultra Ball

    2 [Insert Stadium]

    1 [Insert Ace Spec]
    Energy x 8
    8 Water Energy

    Okay, this is not a good list. I know that, but I've basically been sitting on the guidelines, trying to understand "why" and "how" cards work, not building decks (let alone playing them).

    Still here is why I chose what I chose:

    Pokémon: 4-1-4 for the Greninja line because its important to the deck but Rare Candy is usually far greater than Frogadier. Miltank is the main attacker. Mr. Mime is there to protect your Bench; nothing you want on your Bench is especially small, so maybe I should just cut it. Exeggcute is because I don't think this deck can afford to discard most of what it runs; the Pokémon are all important as is the Energy (albeit the latter because you should be discarding it turn after turn for Water Shuriken), but as we'll see with the Trainers, I've got a lot that require discards. A bit worried that I have nothing I really want to open with going first, and of course I don't want to open with Exeggcute, but it is two of my 11 Basic Pokémon.

    Trainers: Ideally I'll be filling (or nearly filling) my Bench and in short order, so two Colress seemed solid. Four N and four Professor Juniper aren't quite staples, but three of each pretty much is this format. If I know my opponent doesn't run healing, I can even try to game the system a bit to abuse N, but that seems very unlikely. Skyla gets the nod because I suspect a lot of turns are going to be about getting a specific Item... plus I don't think Shauna or more Colress will do the job.

    For Items, 1 Escape Rope because I don't have room for more and I don't feel comfortable with less. Level Ball can get everything but Greninja so two of it, Ultra Ball is the main search though since getting Greninja is important and Evosoda isn't compatible with Rare Candy. Much as I want to rely on Silver Bangle, because I really want this deck taking 2 Prizes per turn against Pokémon-EX, there are enough decks that skip or go light on Pokémon-EX to make that unreliable. 1 Professor's Letter because I can't fit in a second; it is very important to get that Energy to hand in a timely manner. Rare Candy was already explained; Frogadier isn't the worst Stage 1 to Evolve from, but in this deck its main contribution is being small enough for Level Ball. 1 Startling Megaphone
    for space reasons again; I'd rather have more so the Garbotoxin match-up wasn't so scary. 1 Super Rod and 3 Super Energy Retrieval because that will hopefully get the job done; I'd rarely Energy with Super Rod but I worry Sacred Ash will take too long to "fill up" so that is still more likely than getting four or five Pokémon from a Sacred Ash.

    I am open to suggestions for a Stadium. Battle City almost seems best because Tropical Beach (even for those that have it) seems like potential overkill; you really can't afford to miss to many attacks... at least I think you can't. I might have that backwards, at least while Water Shuriken works and your opponent can't heal. If I can work Hypnotoxic Laser into the deck, then this would of course be filled in by Virbank City Gym. As I rarely attach Energy to a Pokémon I expect to survive my opponent's turn, Frozen City is quite tempting even if that means it would be dead weight against Plasma decks. Lastly Skyarrow Bridge would allow Mr. Mime or a Froakie to pop up and then retreat for free after each Miltank is KOed.

    The Ace Spec is also open; I'd assume Computer Search as setting up is important, but a spare copy of any other Trainer makes Dowsing Machine another good play. Life Dew may also be good, but I figure it'd get discarded by Trainer too often to reliably kick in.

    Energy: Eight just seemed like a solid amount. Much less, and it will be too hard to draw into it though perhaps one could safely become a Professor's Letter. Even at this count, I worry about more than one being Prized. With a full set-up, the deck will need five Energy per turn in hand, but with said set-up I shouldn't need to do that more than four times (probably just three).
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  8. Chaostamer

    Chaostamer Active Member

    Don't forget, you can only run at most four Pokémon named "Greninja" in a deck. ;)
  9. Otaku

    Otaku Well-Known Member

    Indeed! I am embarrassed to have made such a mistake. Thanks for catching that for me. XD
  10. Yankeefan1985

    Yankeefan1985 Member

    Worded it wrong meant with Empoleon ver you would prob have to run beaches
  11. Ein

    Ein The Mega Man Master

    If your main attacker is Miltank, it's almost always better to beach to try to get set up then it is to just attack for 10/30/40 with an unboosted Powerful Friends. There are situations (and hands) where the damage is worth it, especially if you got a tool attached, but generally beaching is the way to go.
  12. Otaku

    Otaku Well-Known Member

    The caveat is should a build be considered "successful" if you're whiffing on a Stage 2 often enough to make Tropical Beach the obvious choice?

    I do not know this personally, I merely suspect that it might not be the case. Unlike a decks built around things like Inferno Fandango or Deluge, we aren't trying to set-up some huge attacker that requires 3+ Energy. All decks can make use of Tropical Beach on the very first turn of the game, so I am uncertain if that should be viewed as significant enough reason. Builds not running Butterfree won't be able to attack well first turn if they go second, but if by your second turn (Turn 3 or 4 overall) you're regularly lacking a Stage 2 in play, then the list needs to be revised or abandoned... and yes, that almost certainly applies to my list above (given mostly as an aid to discussion as I barely know what I am doing when it comes to full on deck building).
  13. blargh257

    blargh257 Is now Dedede.

    Three of the T8 spots at French Nats are this.
    Discuss...
  14. Gelato

    Gelato The Swarm

    Cheap damage, good prize trade, supporting stage 2's, and Dusknoir is a pretty solid combination
  15. blargh257

    blargh257 Is now Dedede.

    Agreed.
    The issue I see, which always tends to be the same, is the early game. I suppose that once you get an S2, which can be done by lots of Skyla, Ultra Ball, Candy, and Beach, you can use Super Rod to have perpetual cheap offense, but you have to get past the first two turns.
  16. Gelato

    Gelato The Swarm

    I see what you mean there. Both of the stage 2's that have been used so far have their merits to make up for the set up though.
    Empoleon: once you get one up, the others start flowing too
    Greninja: constant damage through use of energy retrieval, allowing powerful friends to pseudo-OHKO
  17. Otaku

    Otaku Well-Known Member

    Even many of the proposed Stage 2 Pokémon have significant "pros".

    • I may not care for Butterfree, but it is relatively easy to swarm, which means it comes down to trading single Energy, single Prize Pokémon against anything more costly to come out ahead. ;) The relative reliability could be a bigger factor than I thought.
    • Delphox seems like a solid partner as long as the build allows enough space for the appropriate "tricks". Miltank is much scarier when you can reliable recycle, re-draw/search it, and re-set it up alongside Hypnobank and Muscle Band/Silver Bangle/Silver Mirror plus any other support you can squeeze in.
    • If I were actually play-testing right now, I'd like to see if Magnezone w/Dual Brain could finally work. Team Flare Grunt and Lisandre backing our beloved bovine and in multiples again might offset the lack of OHKO potential.
    • Some of the pure attacking lines are also tempting, either on its own or with Garbodor (Garbotoxin) added in; hard hitting Basics plus hard hitting Stage 2 and no (well, fewer) Abilities to worry about!
  18. Ein

    Ein The Mega Man Master

    @Otaku I suppose it really depends on Miltanks partner on if you should be focusing on beach or not. In the 2 decks I run that have the heaviest Miltank use (Empoleon and Greninja) I run high skyla counts and beach in both. I go for the T1 beach more often then not. In Empoleon yeah, it only really has its use T1 sometimes T2. In Greninja, beach can be useful late game to fill your hand for Shurikens.

    I saw someone placed with Magnezone/Miltank Deck (Milkzone?) and I am curious to know more about it. I would imagine you would want a thin Dusknoir line in there as well, but that kind of negates Magnezones advantage of running 2-3 Lysandre... or does it?

    On another note I figured Miltank could possibly have a place in Garchomp decks. Garchomp is a fairly quick Stage-2 and Mil wouldn't be a terrible starter with 100hp (although she's got a two retreat cost). Miltank would have more of a crutch-secondary role, cleaning up between mach cuts while making it more difficult for a Druddigon to revenge a Garchomp.
  19. Otaku

    Otaku Well-Known Member

    That is a good way to put it... after all even if it turns out every Stage 2 deck backed by Miltank should run Tropical Beach, it still recognizes that it is based on what actually works. That sounds a bit "weird", but with how fast a metagame can mutate or even invert, it is good to understand "the why": some hypothetical future worthwhile Miltank/Stage 2 deck might have a better Stadium choice.

    Anyway, of what we currently have, I'd think any that offer worthwhile, sustained draw probably wouldn't be overly dependent upon Tropical Beach, though as Stage 2 decks all could easily justify a single copy to try for first turn (and second turn if not running Butterfree). Delphox based ones (if they prove competitive - I haven't seen one but I haven't really been looking), Empoleon, etc. probably can just get by with the one or none, as your Stage 2 should handle draw power nicely. I should be careful, though, as I am running on "Theorymon" and not much actual current data.

    Could you explain the Dusknoir line? I mean, some people seem to swear by it, but for a lot of builds it feels unnecessary to me... so what am I missing? I mean really missing: I believe I understand the basic premise of avoiding an opponent trying to stall via retreat, but it really seems more like I am running an extra Stage 2 to deal with certain decks as opposed to a generally needed strategy.

    Yeah, that thought occurred to me as well, but there is also the chance that Garchomp decks might just run using Druddigon instead. I chose not to list it due to that and the fact I was probably overly focused on working in a Garbodor line as well... which robs Garchomp of its wonderful Ability based search via Gabite. Now I am wondering... why not both Druddigon and Miltank? Even with Lysandre, it isn't the same as pre-erratum Pokémon Catcher: benching a Druddigon and attaching one Energy isn't a foolhardy maneuver, and that assumes one can't find room for Energy Switch or Double Colorless Energy.

    One last general question: additional draw power. A lot of these decks could use it, so would either a thin Delphox line (1-0-1 or 2-0-2) or a 2-2 Electrode line make sense? Anyone tried it? Not for decks that already have built in draw power, of course. ;)
  20. Ein

    Ein The Mega Man Master

    Dusknoir really makes Miltank that much more potent. It gives Miltank "OHKO's" and throughout the game could save a Miltank or two by being able to target an opponents threat. VirGen for example typically starts with Virizion, so if you get 80-110 damage on that their Genesect will be at risk. Seeing Virizion can't easily one-shot Miltank (and in some builds simply can not) Dusknoir can really put pressure to slow down your opponent. It's the ability to stream Miltanks with a powerful low cost attack that in my opinion make Dusknoir an ideal partner. Two Powerful Friends and you're more than likely to be able to KO anything you want.

    I saw someone post a Miltank/Dusknoir/Delphox deck. Seems plausible and the draw support could really ensure you are going to have multiple Miltanks out at all times.
    Otaku likes this.