A look at the powerful Konbinis
Review of one of the strongest decks at the current time.
12/26/2014 by Guy Champollion
Hello, fellow readers!
As I am new here, let me introduce myself: the name is Guy Champollion, I am in charge of Pokécardex, the main website about TCG in France and other countries speaking French. As a webmaster, I also wrote a lot of resources for beginners. Also as a competitive player and regular judge, I traveled a lot in European countries and in the US too, and I would like to share my experience to you.
In this article, I will present you a strong deck that will help you win a lot. Most people read articles in order to netdeck, right? Thanksfully, that's exactly what I am going to offer you: presenting you a deck, currently strong, but that will soon become unplayable. Netdeckers gonna netdeck.
What is a konbini? It's a small supermarket in Japan. Always open, all day everyday. And with this deck, like with a konbini, you are going to get a lot of small stuff for a cheap cost.
Table of contents:
1. The Strategy and the List
2. The Pokémon
3. The Trainers
4. The Energies
5. Other options to consider
6. The Matchups
7. The weaknesses, or why this deck will soon be countered to death
The Strategy and the List
The goal of this deck is to lose as quickly as possible. If you lose a game on TCGO (not by conceiding), you get the reward: either tokens, or 1 chance out of 5 to get a (virtual) booster pack. The quickest way to lose is by having no Pokémon into play. In order to achieve that, you put down only one Pokémon during the setup, and you finish the game with one of the following moves:
- Plan A: Use AZ, Cassius or Scoop Up Cyclone to remove from the field the only Pokémon you have in play. You need Random Receiver to get one of those supporters quickly, or you may get Skyla or Korrina and then you may pickup the Scoop Up Cyclone. If you have neither AZ or Cassius in your hand, and Scoop up Cyclone is prized, you sure can use Skyla or Korrina to follow the Plan B.
- Plan B: Attach the energy needed for your Pokémon and attack: your attacker leaves the field, you have no Pokémon in play. You need a lot of Energy Search and Professor's Letter to increase the chance of getting the right energy. This is Plan B because you cannot use it on your first turn.
- Plan C: Combee is the only Pokémon you have in play, you play down Frozen City and attach a Rainbow Energy. Combee is KO.
- Plan D: you let your opponent OHKOing you.
Those two Pokémon are the only basic Pokémon that can leave the field through an effect. You may play only one of them, this would help you, as you would only need one kind of basic energy for your deck, however having only 4 Pokémon in your deck makes mulligans happening more often. You don't want to lose time on mulligans, as you want to lose as quickly as possible. So you play both Pokémon.
1. Frozen City. Combined with Combee's Low HP, you could OHKO Combee just by attaching a Rainbow Energy to it. This way to lose is too good not to consider.
2. Energy Search and Professor's Letter: is there any other item in format that lets you grab the energy you want? Other than Computer Search of course. No, and you absolutely need an energy on your first turn. Of course, we might as well replace them with basic energies, but you are at risk drawing only water energies while having Combee in play and vice-versa, plus you use both Skyla and Korrina so you need these two cards to have as many outs for an energy as possible.
3. A.Z. and Cassius: Cassius is like Combee in a supporter, and A.Z. is close to Phione as a supporter too. You don't have any other supporter with that kind of effect. To tell the truth, you don't have many trainer at all, except…
4. Scoop Up Cyclone: too bad it's an ACE SPEC, otherwise we would have put 4 of them and a Computer Search to search for them. At least we can get it using…
5. Skyla: With Skyla, you can either choose Frozen City if you have the Rainbow Energy in hand, the Scoop Up Cyclone if it isn't prized, or an Energy Search to get the energy you need for your attack. Skyla can net you almost everything in your deck, except for Pokémon - the only thing you cannot be looking for.
6. Korrina: I know, Korrina is way weaker if you don't have any Fighting Pokémon into your deck. It even becomes a worse Skyla. You still need it as more outs for Energy Search and Scoop Up Cyclone.
7. Random Receiver: lets you grab the first Supporter that comes out, whatever it is. As any supporter you get leads you to successfully execute the deck's strategy, you need this card to ensure you get a supporter, in case you only get grass energies while playing Phione.
The energies are pretty self-explanatory. The Rainbow Energies are needed for Frozen City, plus they can be used by both Pokémon. You still have an odd number of energies: I prefer to have one more energy for Phione, as it is harder to OHKO Phione than Combee, so if Combee misses its energy it's less of a problem, while with Phione it's another story.
Others options to consider
- Ditto: to reduce your likeliness to mulligan even further! You however absolutely need plan A to work or to topdeck another Pokémon than Ditto in order to main your goal: losing quickly.
- Super Scoop Up: this card is flippy, and flipping tails costs you time, so I didn't include it to the list.
- Muscle Band: some players started to play Muscle Band so that Phione could OHKO a Phanpy and start a Sudden Death game. Frankly, this is a loss of time if you want to get as many rewards as possible, but it sure is really fun to start a Sudden Death game right after your first turn! Or even a Sudden Death in the first place.
- Cofagrigus PLF or Mienshao FFI: it takes longer to make them come into play. Consider this, if you are known for playing Kombini.dek, players are more likely to make you lose as much time as possible as a punishment. Using one of these evolved Pokémon instead, you will need Ultra Balls too, and other significant changes will happen to your deck, so players might not catch your strategy, thus they will play at a normal pace: quickly. In the long run, you are successful.
Donphan: 70-30 Quite Favorable. The matchup gets worse if you attach a Muscle Band to Phione and OHKO their only Pokémon in play being Phanpy, which will cost you time. Otherwise, you shouldn't get any troubles winning.
Yveltal-based decks: 90-10 Close to autowin. By playing Babyyeltal and Seismitoad EX, you are guaranteed to have your Combee being OHKOed. They also play Hypnotoxik Laser, Virbank City and Muscle Band, leading to a whopping 80 damages able to OHKO Phione too, although that combo will take longer to come into play, costing you time.
Any deck with Pyroar: 80-20 Extremely Favorable. The matchup gets worse if you attach a Muscle Band to Phione and OHKO their only Pokémon in play being Litleo, which will cost you time. The matchup gets even better if you start with Combee and they play Seismitoad, or a Blacksmith on their 70HP Litleo to deal 60 damages (you would need a Muscle Band against Phione).
Aromatisse: 55-45 Slightly Favorable. Sadly, this deck loves to use Pokémon doing damages through attacks with expensive costs or relying on Rainbow Energy, which might cost you time. Just hope Plans A and B work out well enough.
Virgen: 60-40 Favorable. Contrary to Yveltal decks, their Pokémon need more energies to attack, which costs time, however most of them are a guaranteed OHKO on yours. Dedenne needs a Muscle Band if you put an energy on your Pokémon, Virizion EX needs nothing against Combee, or just a Muscle Band against Phione, Genesect EX wrecks enerything without G Booster.
Night March: 60-40 Favorable. Like Virgen, this deck needs some setup to be able to attack you, although that setup is way easier to get turn 1. Notice, however, that their Mew might be able to copy the attack on your only Pokémon. If this is their only Pokémon in play and your only Pokémon is Combee, Combee is KOed, that might start a Sudden Death to cost you time. If Mew EX is their only Pokémon in play and they copy Phione's attack, that ends the game right now. You are also at risk if you attach a Muscle Band on Phione or attack with Combee while your opponent's only Pokémon in play is Joltik, as it might cost you a Sudden Death game.
The Power Of One: 60-40 Favorable. Like Aromatisse, this deck needs a lot of setup to be able to attack you, however their Thundurus EX can OHKO your Combee, and with either a Deoxys or a Muscle Band it can OHKO your Phione too. Other ways to be OHKOed: Artikuno EX (using two Colress Machine, a Rainbow or Water energy, and a damage boost if against Phione), Zapdos EX (thanks to Colress Machine and a Rainbow or Lightning energy) with one damage boost for Phione, Moltres EX (same as Zapdos with Fire energy instead, against Phione you would need +40 damage boost through a combination of Muscle Band and Deoxys EX sitting on the Bench), Deoxys EX (thanks to Colress Machine and a Rainbow Energy, also needs a Muscle Band and an energy on your Active Pokémon if this Pokémon is Phione), or even Lugia EX (using two Colress Machine and a Double Colorless Energy, or 3 Colress Machine with any energy). All of these setups could happen Turn 1, but loading them will cost you time.
Metal: 55-45 Slightly Favorable. This deck needs a lot of setup too, like Aromatisse. The matchup becomes even better if they use a lot of Mewtwo EX, Seismitoad EX and Double Colorless Energy, or if they use Cobalion EX. Each of these Pokémon can attack on turn 1 without needing Bronzong and they all OHKO Combee.
Mirror: 50-50, if you lost the coin flip you end up second, so you have more ways to reach your goal, but your opponent might be slower than you to get that combo out, especially if they only play 4 Combee 56 Grass energies. Beware the dreaded Sudden Death if you both start with Combee!
You can also meet hot chicks at Kombinis.
The weaknesses, or why that deck will soon be countered to death
As you saw, this deck is the Best Deck In Format. I said earlier that this deck will soon become unplayable. Indeed, this is the first time in history, you might be pissed off to win against this deck. So, how to counter it?
- Play it. If everyone plays this deck, you wouldn't be able to lose quickly anymore, you'll be instantly winning.
- Use PlayTCG. PlayTCG offers no gain to anybody trying that strategy. You are more likely to meet players wanting to playtest seriously for tournaments.
- Don't play on TCGO against random players.
- Take a lot of time during your turn to consider the various options you have in your hand. Consider them wisely. Consider them again. You have 25 minutes to spend, for Arceus's sake! Reconsider your moves again. Bro do you even stall? You might not have considered all the plays you could do with that basic energy. Remember that you can think wisely for a long time, you will just be prompted regularly to click on a button to keep playing.
- Go on the TCGO forum and tell about how winning against that deck sucks, or how you got stalled while playing it. The dev team might take a look at this issue if you make enough noise and come up with a solution.
This Kombini faced Ross Cawthon. The burn is strong on this one.
And that will conclude this article! I hope that I gave you a lot of insights on one of the currently most powerful decks of the format, and also the most fun one.
If you are a member of Cancer City, or Pokécardex, come and say hi! I am open to any feedback on my writings, as they will be really useful to improve myself for more articles. Also, please consider giving a Like to this article, they encourage me to produce even better content over the time, alongside the feedback you give me as well.
I hope you liked the article, and I will see you all soon at the ECC!
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