New decks, Creative sets & Worlds Coverage- B0ds
Greetings trainers! I hope by now we have had the pleasure of meeting at an event or at some stage on the internet, but if you do not know who I am then allow me to introduce myself before I get this article started. My name is Bodhi, but you may know me by the screen name B0ds around these parts and I have been playing Pokemon since I was fresh out of Diapers and playing competitively since late 2011. This article is something I have been thinking about for a long time and I am incredibly excited to bring you guys my thoughts about the Meta game for next season. Knowing that many of my tips/strategies for changing over formats and preparing for the next set of events are common practice I feel that I can bring something new to the table you may have yet to consider and I hope that you will gain something from my article.
Without too much else that needs to be said, let’s get right into the article!
Table of Contents:
- Stepping out of the Magic room into a new format!
- A brief introduction to our Worlds coverage!
STEPPING OUT OF THE MAGIC ROOM AND INTO A NEW FORMAT!
As our very own Ace Trainer Myles has already gone through all of the cards that we will be losing when we rotate Formats after the World Championships this weekend, I will not bore you with the repetition of those cards but instead I will be linking you to his article which I thoroughly recommend you check out HERE! I did however want to go over every possible deck you could ever imagine that will be sticking around and which tier 1 decks will be getting an update/upgrade when Plasma Blast hits our shores this weekend!
First of all, here is my list of the decks you can expect to see when Battle Roads hits in September and also highlight 4 new decks that you may or not have been expecting to see come Battle Roads.
Still alive and kicking:
- Darkrai ex/Absol PLF/Sableye
- Blastoise/Black Kyurem ex/Keldeo ex
- Big Basics/Garbodor
- Klinklang (Plasma Klang)/Cobalion ex/Terrakion ex
- Thundurus ex/Deoxys ex/Kyurem PLF/Absol PLF
- Rayquaza ex/Emboar
- Darkrai ex/Hydreigon/techs
New Kids on the block:
- ToolDrop Trubbish/Masquerain/Sigilyph
- Cradilly Stage 2 drop
What do they Gain?
I know you are now wondering, Bodhi, what could all of these decks possibly gain with the news of our new rotation and new set looming on the horizon?! Well sir or madam, I am here to tell you exactly what each of these decks has the potential to gain and lose as we draw closer and closer to Plasma Blast! (Please note, that some of these comments are strictly speculation and should not be taken as the be-all and end-all about the future format).
Darkrai ex has seen 2 rotations now and this Dark type giant may be searching for a new partner to team up with come Plasma Blast! Much like Eelektrik, if Fighting Pokémon with 1 energy attacks and Laser guns can’t stop this card from being highly competitive, only a straight Rotation could do the trick. As opposed to Eelektrik however, a card that we have lost in this coming rotation, Darkrai ex is staying around until 2014 with a couple of new options and minus an old classic. Although it may no longer be a strong tier 1 deck as it was at this time last year, Darkrai will always remain competitive thanks to little ol’ Absol and his good buddy Sableye. Thanks to these 2 cards, Darkrai’s incredibly strong ability & people having potentially held onto their Darkrai’s since May of 2012 you can expect this deck to always be around but never quite as it once was. Darkrai loses one of its favourite cards in the world with this rotation and that is Energy Switch. Energy Switch gave Darkrai the power to get off turn 1 Night Spears, turn 1 Mind Jacks for loads of damage with Absol and in general was the best counterpart for Energy Switch outside of Ho-oh ex. There are 1,000,000 lists for Darkrai that exist on the internet as of now, but my personal opinion on the deck is that if you wish to play Darkrai to a competitive level then I would consider pairing it with Hydreigon from Dragons Exalted which I will outline a little further down!
Keldeo ex/Black Kyurem ex/Blastoise:
It’s going to be a very long time before this top tier deck ever feigns in popularity. You can put that down to the incredible damage that Black Kyurem ex can deal from turn 2, often winning games if your start is good enough by the 4th/5th turn of the match. When it comes to the gains and losses of this deck, there is almost nothing that immediately jumps out at me although you may consider that Keldeo becomes weaker as Genesect and Virizion rise in popularity. I don’t consider this to be the case in most circumstances; however I do consider that your deck should change with the Meta as the rest of these decks do if you want to stay competitive. I see several options for this deck in the new format being definitely testable as we look towards Battle-Roads and beyond as not only does this deck potentially gain a Water-Type with an EX blocking Ability, but it also gains the quite powerful Caitlin that will certainly see play in Stage 2 decks because of her incredible synergy with Tropical beach and the insurance of not having to dump important cards when your ideal 1st/2nd turn goal is to set up your board. Although not necessarily increasing the strength of this deck on a playable scale, Secret rare Rare Candy and Exeggcute really do make this deck 1000x better when it comes to blinging out your deck for an event if you are into that kind of thing! I think that this deck keeps its incredible power as we move into the next format, although it does potentially loses the tech option of Pokémon Communication and Super Scoop Up that were used with varying amounts of success in the history of Blastoise. All in all the deck is as strong as ever and I would thoroughly recommend testing this deck after the World Championships in August as you may find your answer for the Grass Duo of Virizion and Genesect comes in the form a Giant Dragon.
Below I have an example of a Blastoise/Black Kyurem ex/Keldeo ex deck in the NXD-PLB rotation:
With varying levels of success over the last format, Garbodor based decks have always been in the back of every players mind with the same question: “What if someone is playing Garbodor?!” With the deck always being in the back of everyone’s mind it managed to sit itself anywhere between tiers 1+2 for the majority of the format perhaps never fully realising it’s true potential in a format dominated by abilities. Of course, with the new Format just around the corner will we still be asking ourselves if Garbodor will be seeing play at events? Of course we will, although it may seem entirely more dependent on your tool scrapper count as to whether or not you should be nervous. With Silver Bangle, Silver Mirror, Float Stone, Rescue Scarf, Life Dew, the new Sigilyph and Trubbish emerging as all very likely cards that will feature in decks next format you can be sure that Tool Scrapper is going to be a 2 of card in almost every deck that can be liberal with 1/2 spots in their deck to change. For Garbodor, this may mean that your Piles of Rubbish may or may not ever see a tool on them or that may mean that you can be quite greedy with the amount of tool cards/Supporters you run in order to consistently keep tools in play. When it comes to what changes about Garbodor, you can consider the additions to the format of Sawk from PLB, the new tools we receive in Plasma Blast and the addition Virizion ex to potentially help the deck out next season. Sawk from PLB is an obvious conclusion in almost every new deck and I cannot possibly say enough good things about the card in one article. For one colourless energy he knocks out Absol and does a very solid 100 damage to Thundurus ex. Even without the weakness Sawk can do 80 damage (including a Silver bangle) to any PLASMA EX in the game for 1 of any energy which is a very exploitable resource. Of course, the downside is if you are versing a non-EX- non Plasma deck such as Blastoise you cap yourself at 10 damage which is plain bad. This is where Garbodor & friends come into play however, as the Garbodor deck contains good answers to the rest of the format often meaning that most games between you and any deck in the format are 50-50 or 60-40 in either direction. With the inclusion of Sawk as a potential card for this deck, as well as the deck evolving with the rotation I think that it will stay where it has been the last few months and that is teetering on the edges or tier 1.5 and tier 2.
With that in mind, let’s look at a deck list for Garbodor in the NXD-PLB format:
Another deck much like Garbodor, Klinklang is always going to be a part of the format that fluctuates between tier 1.5 and tier 2 and I feel that this trend will continue into the next format. The loss of Shift Gear Klinklang is very hard on this deck, as well as the potential loss of power because of the power-transfer the Meta is set to undertake. With Virizion + Genesect emerging in the scene, players will be continually trying to tech in the option of Fire Pokémon into their lists in an effort to give themselves the advantage vs. one of the most hyped decks this format. Cards such as Moltres EX, Moltres NXD, Victini EX, Emboar B&W, and Reshiram B&W all have the ability to come into the format one way or another and because of this the Metal-type deck may or may not always have the edge. In my list however, I have included several choices that I consider to be good tech cards against the upcoming format and although the deck may not be way up high in tier 1 I think it still shows a lot of potential going into next season. The additions of Jirachi EX, Terrakion NVI and Sawk PLB to this deck really give you an overall better Meta-Game matchup with Sawk being your counter to heavy Thundurus/Kyurem/Absol decks and Terrakion NVI able to take advantage of the fighting Blend to 1 shot Darkrai ex with Retaliate or Land Crush. Jirachi EX is the other inclusion I have made to this deck and at this point in time before getting a full hands-on with the deck to iron out the ideas behind it, I would certainly consider Jirachi EX to be my 60th/61st card in this deck. The ability to get it out with a level ball and to get yourself a free supporter is certainly a bonus, but the complete lack of HP this card possesses puts me off of it immediately. My advice for this deck is to test your supporter counts very heavily before going into Battle Roads, as this will give you the best possible idea of whether or not you would consider Jirachi EX a worthwhile card. The deck itself in my opinion will keep its place in the Meta game for a long time to come yet, whether that place is the bottom of tier 1.5 or finding itself at the lower ends of tier 2 remains to be seen but my guess would be tier 1.5 if you can accurately assess your Meta-Game in the weeks/days prior to an event.
Without further a-do, here is an example list for what you may like to start testing coming into Battle Roads this September:
As I am writing this article before the World Championships on August 10-12 the thoughts of TDK are still flowing through my head and with quite the large play-time our testing team has racked up with this deck it is hard to find any glaring negatives I can include in the article. In saying that however, as we move into the NXD to PLB rotation I am sure that a lot of readers may be wondering about what happens to one of the most popular decks in the world right now and I am here to give you some help with that! TDK is perhaps touted as one of the simplest, yet most consistent decks in the format right now with a wealth of attackers and tech options that keep the deck in contention for Best deck in format. The set of Plasma blast does nothing but help the plasma engine as a whole, but the question you have to ask yourself is that “Is Thundurus EX really worth the space in my deck?” This is where my opinion takes over this portion of the article and I am going to say no. Thundurus EX in this format (BW-ON) provides you with an incredible damage sponge, a great attack for setting up (not necessarily for damage) and gives your deck an overwhelming feel of consistency depending on how many you run. With the addition of the new cards in Plasma Blast and with the format set to bring about some great changes to the Meta-Game, Thundurus EX and it’s 1 Lightening energy for 30 damage attack is not my choice for this deck. With the fast approaching introduction of Silver Bangle & Silver Mirror, Thundurus loses the T1 edge it has built up in this format and with your deck looking to max out it’s Plasma balls; the ability to discard your special energy seems less appealing for a fast deck than ever before. The deck just has the unique ability to attach, Colress machine, silver bangle and hit for 1,000,000 damage from the first turn until games end.
The way that I see this deck coming into Battle Roads this season you have 2 main options when it comes to TDK:
>Keep the overall feel of your deck the same (2 Thundurus, 3 Kyurem, 4 Deoxys), adding in cards such as Chatot PLB, Sawk PLB and Lugia ex to provide you with a Meta-Game counter deck that is easy to set up and gives you a wide range of tech options such as an extra Max Potion, tool scrapper, Keldeo EX, Mr Mime + DCE.
>Change your deck much like the Japanese players did at the end of their Plasma Freeze format to a more Silver bangle orientated version of the deck that revolves around Kyurem and Absol to do most of your damage. This deck puts out an incredible amount of turn 1/2 pressure with sometimes an ability to deal 100 plus damage if the situation is right. I honestly am a big fan of either way of running this deck, but as this article is already going to be incredibly long I think that I shall stick to 1 deck list for this particular archetype.
Here is my list for Kyurem/Absol/Deoxys:
The Comeback Kings!
A deck that has always has its place in the hearts of many people; Emboar paired with attackers in this format has been the favourite of many casual players and even being piloted to the Top Cut of the recent Canadian National championships. This deck saw a huge drop in play in the competitive scene as Blastoise/Keldeo began to rise in popularity and take over the glaring Water weakness that Emboar and its fire attackers have. Now however, with the rotation looming and Eelektrik being rotated, Emboar looks to find itself once again in format paired with Rayquaza EX’s Dragon burst attack to 1HKO every EX attacker in the format. The deck is also boosted by last sets inclusion of Superior Energy retrieval to consistently stream energy back to your hand for Dragon Burst. I think this deck is actually quite good coming into Battle Roads, the ability to 1 shot everything in the game is the exact reason Eels was so popular last season and Black Kyurem EX is so popular right now. Knocking out a Pokémon for 3 energy is something that should never be underestimated and it is certainly one of the decks I will be testing as the season goes on. The high HP on Emboar is a strong factor too, often times the reason players would shy away from Eelektrik decks is because of Tynamo’s 40hp and Eelektrik’s 90hp. This is not a problem for Emboar however, as it possesses 150hp itself and Tepig a slightly more respectable 70hp (MacDonald’s promo). The deck itself hasn’t gained too much when it comes to Plasma Blast, the inclusion of Mr Mime & Superior energy retrieval last format really begin to set up what could be the return of the Boar! Without too much to say about the deck, I am rather happy that we are seeing old archetypes return to the format in one way or another. Whether it will remain in the realms of tier 3 is a definite mystery, it possesses a great amount of space for tech options and over the top lists in an attempt to either win outright or make sure it’s matchups against the meta-game are more balanced than last format.
Here is my list for Rayquaza/Emboar:
With the loss of Energy Switch after the World Championships to Darkrai (even for a short amount of time), Darkrai/Hydreigon is an old archetype that is sure to hit back at the Meta Game as the Grass blend and Absol make the deck a much better contender to win games. The deck made quite a large resurgence in Japan, taking top spots in Japanese Battle Carnivals/the equivalent of Japanese Nationals in the newest Japanese format. With the addition of Virizion ex to decks that look to take an advantage of setting up and not being hurt by Lasers, this deck is sure to make a comeback to the Meta Game with some success. When Darkrai/Hydreigon was played heavily when the deck first emerged, its main matchup Rival was Blastoise/Keldeo and those matches were often extremely close. With the inclusion of Black Kyurem ex to the Meta Game and the incredibly strong Silver Bangle and Silver Mirror, Giratina EX may see more play as its first attack for Grass/Psychic/Colourless does 90 damage and ignores all effects on the defending Pokémon giving it enough to 1 shot Black Kyurem ex no matter what. The deck of course needs to be tested against the Meta Game quite heavily, with so many Matchups being decided by One Hit KO’s more so than the ability to abuse Max Potion and energy moving. I consider this deck to still be a worthy contender in the Format, but with Black Kyurem EX/Genesect/Kyurem PLF and Anti-EX cards in the Format currently it will be very dependent on your local Meta-Game to prove it’s worth in a tournament. If you are looking to play a deck that once set up can thoroughly abuse Max Potion and completely power over your opponent’s inability to attack turn after turn then I would certainly consider Darkrai/Hydreigon to be the deck for you. The deck has much more to gain than it could have ever lost with the rotation and players who have been playing Darkrai for close to 2 seasons now can rejoice that they can keep their Darkrai EX’s for some time to come!
Here is my list for Darkrai/Hydreigon in the Next Destinies – Plasma Blast format:
New Kids on the Block!
Virizion EX/Genesect EX:
Possibly the most hyped deck since this time last year, Virizion/Genesect comes into the Meta Game at the perfect time to compliment the already incredibly power Plasma engine and looks to take advantage of either 1 Hit KO’s all over the field or is set to become an Anti-Meta toolbox deck that focuses on Snipe damage and cleaning up for easy to manage prize trades. The deck itself has quite a simple idea: Put 2 energy on Virizion, use it’s attack to attach your energy to Genesect EX, next turn attach a plasma energy to Genesect to give yourself an additional catcher and knock out anything you please with G-Booster attached. Of course, at first glance this idea sounds incredibly powerful and with the ability to attack for 200 damage it is going to be played in waves for Battle Roads. I am here however to give you some alternative choices when considering Virizion/Genesect (Horse and Buggy, or Virgen if you will) and how you can go about creating a winning deck out of a simple idea. The first thing you should be aware of is that Virizion EX is NOT a Plasma Pokémon and without the attachment of a Plasma Badge you are not able to Colress Machine to it on turn 1. The Ether/Pokedex combo has been around for a few sets now, never really seeing any major play and I don’t think that the idea is necessarily good enough to work in this deck either as the space it requires is really putting a dent into the consistency you need for this combination to work for multiple Genesect’s. Plasma Badge seems to be the most sure fire way to make your combination work at the threat of even turn 3 200 damage is incredibly strong should the deck fall short in one of your games. You late game is also very important, which is why that running just Virizion EX and just Genesect EX although easy to do and gives you the option to win early on is not a safe option unless you can maximize your early game consistency to avoid your deck being taken out in the late game. Tool scrapper is big pain in the butt to your deck, however with your Ace Spec being a Team Plasma card you have the option of running Shadow Triad to consistently bring back your G-Scope/G-Booster to take advantage of the 200 damage or the Snipe effects. For Virizion/Genesect to be protected against the Meta-Game, I would suggest adding Mr Mime from PLF to your deck as well as the newcomer Tropius PLB as a very efficient prize trading attacker. If you have any doubt that this deck will be tier 1, I recommend play testing against the deck as soon as you can to gain an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses coming into Battle Roads. If you are looking for an all-out offensive deck that is both consistent and powerful then I hopefully have you covered with a Skeleton list to test and mess around with going into Battle Roads. Perhaps however, you may be looking for a different way to build the deck that looks to take advantage of Snipe damage and cleaning up prizes for solid trades then I have you covered too.
Below are my 2 lists for Virizion/Genesect EX. The first focusing on G-Booster and the 2nd on a less conventional Victini/Victory Piece build that has been floating around recently:
One of the newer decks to make a large splash this year is the deck that revolves around taking all of your prizes with a 70hp Trubbish! In a format wild with 180HP basics, 100+ damage in the first 1-2 turns of the game does this deck really have what it takes to become a top competitor? Let’s take a look at the idea of the deck to gain an understanding! The basic idea that the deck revolves around is attaching tools to your Sigilyph (PLB), attaching a silver mirror or rescue scarf to your Tool drop Trubbish and attacking your opponents Pokémon for hopefully tonnes of damage. This strategy is made even stronger by the inclusion of Masquerain (PLB) to your list that allows you to pick up and move tools around your field as to react to the situation at hand. With all this being said however, I think that in a format filled with Float stones/Silver Mirror/Silver Bangle your list is certainly going to have an incredible amount of room for tech cards as you only require 9 tools on the field to oh-ko anything in the format (except Wailord, that guy is strong). I feel as though the inclusion of Tool Scrapper in every deck as a 2 of in the coming format is something that you cannot take lightly as with the ability to discard 4/6 tools in a game your damage can be managed for several turns as you try to set up your board position. The deck is incredibly powerful and having already tested it’s match ups against a lot of the popular next this coming format I can tell you that you the hype this deck has received as a cheap and strong deck is warranted. The options the deck opens up for it self are incredibly wide too, as you have quite a bit of wiggle room when it comes to deciding how you wish to tech against the format. You can run extra float stones if you feel that your meta-game is not going to be heavy Hypnotoxic laser, you can run switches if you feel that you may be coming up against quite a lot of laser and you don’t have Virizion ex to protect you. You may even consider running Garbodor (DRX) to be an interesting inclusion to shut off your opponent’s powers and force their tool scrapper to be wasted on your Garbodor instead of the Trubbish they have to kill. All of this and more makes me incredibly excited that we are seeing such an interesting deck idea come to light and especially come into the meta game as a strong contender for Battle Roads wins all across the country. If you have the resources to make this deck after your pre-releases, I thoroughly suggest that you do and that you test against this deck as no doubt you will be seeing lots of it into the future.
Here is an example list for Trubbish/Masquerain/Sigilyph:
Another good old anti Meta deck enters our list of decks for today as we begin to talk about a deck that came out of nowhere in Japan and ended up sweeping through their National Championships in the senior division. Suicune/Terrakion is a very simple concept: Deprive your opponent’s team Plasma deck of being able to attack your Pokémon or do damage and slowly win as you gain weakness advantage. The idea is definitely incredibly strong; however knowing that you are going to be facing multiple Team Plasma decks in a row for an entire event is completely random or completely dependent on your Meta-Game. For the Japanese player who designed the deck, he knew that he would be playing an incredible amount of Plasma decks in a row and he swept straight through. Although definitely not cut out for tier 1 in the Western Mega-Game with so many different decks that you can expect to see on the day, the deck gives me the feeling that it could hang around in rogue form for a long while as the ability to shut off Plasma Pokémon may forever be good. If you are looking to try out this deck, I would definitely suggest trying different combinations of cards to see what works and what doesn’t work. My pick for this deck would be to change Suicune to Sigilyph DRX as it has a much better Meta-Coverage attack and performs very well with the Grass Blend energy that Virizion ex may help your deck in terms of laser damage. If all else fails and you are having no luck with the deck, the inclusion of anti-meta cards like Sawk and Mewtwo ex may also be considered. The deck may not be the correct play for Battle Roads in your area, but you should certainly test against the deck once the cards are released in your area so that you can gain an idea of how someone may try to rogue you out of the match.
Here is an example list for Suicune/Terrakion/Sawk:
Cradilly/Stage 2 Drop:
Another deck that is definitely either going to be considered an incredible rogue or an amazing tier 1 deck depending on the build is a deck that revolves around the idea of Cradilly and Multiple Stage 2 Pokemon. A deck that is absolutely sure to ignite the hearts and creativity of rogue deck builders everywhere is definitely Cradilly and until delving deeper into the idea we should first look at the cards you will be using to make your initial idea work. I don’t believe that the list I will offer for this idea is amazing or broken, as my creative juices are not quite up to par with a lot of the rogue builders in the game, I can certainly offer my advice and give you some potential threats to watch out for should you come up against the deck come Battle Roads. If you haven’t seen the cards yet, Lileep is not a basic Pokémon. It is in fact a fossil Pokémon that uses it’s very own trainer card to search it from the bottom of your deck. This is helped by its ability that allows it to be placed on the bottom of the deck should it be in your discard pile. On paper this combination seems surprisingly efficient, testing I’m sure would provide you with the answer to the question if it works every time but I would think that it definitely does. Pairing Lileep with a solid blocker is a necessity if you want to survive long enough to turn your strategy into a winning one, which is why I would suggest the inclusion of either Sigilyph DRX or Suicune PLB to give you some early game stall power and some late game damage potential. If you are feeling like you have no clue which Stage 2’s you could possibly include into the deck, I would contest that you only need a strategy that sees you use 2/3 of them as you may not have the time to get all of them out with Cradilly before it inevitably goes down and you are left with your stage 2 strategy. Whether or not you believe this deck is good should be completely up to your testing, I definitely consider its potential to be there if someone can find a winning combination. However, I do think that the gimmick of Cradilly definitely wears off after time and if your stage 2 idea is not working then you may want to consider testing the deck by itself.
Here are 2 (very rough) example deck lists for Cradilly/Stage 2’s:
ACE TRAINER’S WORLD 2013 COVERAGE!
I hope that by now a lot of you guys are prepared and ready for the World championships coming in a few days’ time! I know that we are and that’s why at Ace Trainer we will be providing round the clock coverage of the 2013 World Championships with everything you could possibly need to stay up to date with all the action. We’ll be featuring a live Twitter feed, a chat for you all to be a part of, an embedded stream of the 2013 World Championship coverage by Pokemon.com and many more things! Make sure to check it out HERE! for all of your Pokemon related needs and I hope to see all of you guys there!
Thank you very much for reading my article, I hope that you were able to gain a better understanding of our Upcoming format and I hope that even if you didn’t agree with everything I have said that you took something from this article as a whole. Make sure to follow Ace Trainer on all of our Social networking sites and I hope to hear from you soon!