Favourite Five from Sun & Moon
Miner751 takes a look at some cards which he's taken a liking too.
04/04/2017 by Miner751
I thought I’d do something slightly different this time around and talk about my favourite 5 cards from Sun and Moon, and why (and go on some tangents about older cards/decks…). They aren’t necessarily the top cards, but then you probably have already read up about the top cards or seen them played numerous times. In any case, here’s the five:
Decidueye GX is an interesting one… the reason why I love it is also the reason why I don’t love it. I love just being able to chuck damage around willy-nilly, but at the same time Feathered Arrow can destroy Evolution based decks, which are decks that I like. If you have 3 Decidueye GXes out, you can snipe off a 60HP Basic, which is typically what a Stage 1 or Stage 2 will evolve from. This basically means that your opponent cannot drop one of these Basics because you’ll just snipe it off before it gets a chance to evolve (unless they’re a Grass Pokémon and Forest of Giant Plants is in play), thus ‘preventing’ any further Evolved Pokémon (and, presumably, their attackers) from coming into play. This isn’t really a hard lock, though, since the opponent can place two such Basics down at once and you wouldn’t be able to knock out both. Having said that, it is possible to find an attacker who can do snipe damage (e.g. Meowth FCO). Either way, Greninja Break does this evolution denial much better than Decidueye GX.
Now why do I like this Ability? I’ve always liked Pokémon that do spread damage, and I’ve had numerous decks based around based this and hoping to just completely wipe the opponent’s field (e.g. Electrode SF/Ninjask SV, or Suicune CoL). I never actually been able to pull it off though, and there’s not too much chance right now due to all the high HP’ed Basic Pokémon. Anyway, the other thing Feathered Arrow does is that it gives you so many options. You can take KOs, prepare for KOs, or just mess with your opponent and place damage counters on one of their Pokémon and make it seem like you are targeting it, but actually aren’t (I don’t advise this unless it actually doesn’t matter where the damage counters go).
It’s a shame that the format isn’t too Stage 2 friendly. As in, it’s not like what it was back around the Platinum era. Back then, you could play Rare Candy on your first turn, as well as on the turn that the Pokémon came into play. In addition, we had Broken Time Space, which is a FoGP but doesn’t have a type restriction. Overall, this meant that you could splash in a Stage 2 tech, usually as a 1-0-1 line, if you were already running a Stage 2. I guess if you’re running FoGP (e.g. Mega Sceptile or Lurantis GX decks), you could splash in a Decidueye GX line, but Vileplume AOR would probably be more likely to be picked, if anything.
I wish Miltank FLF got reprinted in Generations; Decidueye GX is exactly what I wanted in a partner for Miltank. Sure I can’t Archie it like Empoleon BKT, but Decidueye GX’s damage counter placement is much better than the +20 damage from Empoleon. Much, much better. You’d often ‘waste’ damage with Empoleon say, for example, two hits of 120 damage on an 180HP EX. Whereas, with Decidueye GX, you can choose to put the ‘extra’ damage elsewhere. Anyway, I suppose Tauros GX and Lugia EX do a good enough impersonation of Miltank (actually, they’re probably better, but I like Miltank :P).
It’d also be fun and put something like the Safeguard Carbink Active and just negate damage while sniping off Pokémon with Feather Arrow. :P
I actually really liked the design of Lapras GX. It’s not completely bonkers like the first wave of EX Pokémon we got (namely Mewtwo EX), but at the same time it’s not unplayable like the first few Mega Pokémon. Basically, it feels like a balanced card. 190HP is above average for a Basic GX/EX, which means that it can utilise Fighting Fury Belt and Rough Seas a bit better than other Basic EXes/GXes. Collect is a solid attack. Even though it is a Cheren/Tierno/Hau that you might not be able to use because your opponent N’s you, drawing three cards is very relevant, especially if you are playing Lapras GX in a grindy deck. Blizzard Burn with the aid of FFB can take out a number of EX, and pretty much anything else that doesn’t give up two Prize Cards. The side effect is a nuisance, but you have to remember that this is 160 damage for just 3 Energy cards, and on a Basic Pokémon. Either way, the effect can be negated by retreating (hello Manaphy EX) or by everyone’s favourite, Pokémon Ranger. The GX attack is a bit of an odd one, but never underestimate guaranteed Paralysis.
Lapras GX seems to make a good fit in Waterbox decks, which is where I was originally thinking of playing it. However, after seeing the Quad Lapras deck make waves, I really want to try that out. It’s somewhat like a Wailord deck, except that you’re placing pressure on the opponent with damage, rather than slowing milling them. That, and you might actually be able to finish the second game with a Lapras deck. ;)
I originally thought this card was a Rare, then I saw them everywhere at the prerelease and found out that it was an Uncommon! Passimian is more or less the next generation of Night March, just with less power but more HP. It even pairs well with Mew FCO. :P
There’s really nothing bad about this card. 110HP is good for a Basic (especially one that isn’t a legendary Pokémon). Fling is good for picking off Magikarps and previously damaged Pokémon. It’ll probably not be used, but I’d still try and fit in a couple of Fighting Energies in case that you every do need it. Team Play is the real selling point. Passimian hits for 100 damage max with it, which can knock out most Pokémon in two hits, and most of those that it can’t can be covered by FFB. Whilst Psychic is a somewhat common type (M Gardevoir and M Mewtwo), the Weakness to it isn’t really relevant since most Psychic types can typically hit for at least 110 damage anyway. A Retreat Cost of 1 is nice, but you’ll typically have a DCE attached to it, so it could have been 2 and not really made much of a difference.
A Passimian/Mew (or even Mew EX) deck actually has pretty good type coverage. Between the two of them, they hit things like Darkrai EX, Umbreon GX, Tauros GX, M Mewtwo EX, Espeon GX, M Gardevoir EX (Despair Ray) for Weakness… which is quite a number of targets (and not even all of them). Against other Pokémon, you can typically KO non-EX/GX and take out EX/GX Pokémon in 2 hits, which is fine since your attackers only give up a Prize Card. I do wish we had Magnetic Storm still in Standard as it is a little annoying that a FFB Passimian cannot KO a Shaymin EX, and Yveltals having Resistance to Fighting which is a pain too.
If I was to have played at the Oceanic IC, I would have played Passimian/Mew, with a tech Tauros GX to take a Prize Card or two if at least one Passimian is prized. Due to the deck’s great typings, it should be able to get some ‘free’ wins. Having said that, Passimian hasn’t seen much competitive play, so there’s probably some serious flaw to the deck, or it just doesn’t work as well in practise as in theory. I don’t know. I still like it though. :)
It’s hard to deny how much raw power Mad Bull GX, but then Tauros GX hits somewhat lightly otherwise. With just 8 damage counters, Mad Bull will knock out most Pokémon that you’d expect to come across. There’s also the sneaky play of playing Ninja Boy into Tauros GX and then using Mad Bull. Rage, like Mad Bull, can be a bit gimmicky with its damage output, but you would probably average 100 damage with it. This is a fine rate for just a DCE, but you would probably want something else to be happening such as Energy denial through Trainer cards, or some annoying Ability on a Benched Pokémon. Horn Attack is pretty vanilla, but keep in mind that Tornadus EX saw play at one point due to the fact that it could hit for 60 with a Double Colourless too. The 60 can set up KOs with Rage, but it is also enough to KO non-evolved Basic Pokémon like Combee or Oddish.
One thing I don’t get is how Tauros has 3 Retreat Cost. I mean, I has 110 base speed in the video game and I can’t imagine anyone would stand in its way if it was charging whilst fleeing. Oh well.
Anyway, I’ve always like Pokémon that attack for just Colourless Energies – Night March, Buoffolant DRX, Tornadus EP, Garchomp SV, etc. The other cool thing about it is that you can tech it into decks like Gyarados or Vespiquen who would otherwise struggle if too many key parts are Prized. That is, you can just slap a DCE onto Tauros GX, and hopefully take at least one Prize (ideally after playing a Town Map), which should be enough to get you going for the rest of the game.
Another idea with Tauros GX is try to replicate the Donphan Prime/Reshiram/Zekrom/Kyurem deck that floated around for a bit years ago. Donphan would hit hard, whilst dropping damage counters on the Benched Reshiram, Zekrom and Kyurem. After which, you would start using these Pokémon’s Rage-like attacks and (hopefully) hit for Weakness too. This deck wasn’t great, however, but it could be fun to take a modern version of the deck to league.
One of the cards I was most looking forward to from this set; and a card I somewhat wished they released a few years earlier (as much as I wanted it, I’m sure it would have been bad for the game to have released it). 2013-2014 I was playing around with some Lunatone PLS and Ether decks. In order to survive with a high Energy count, it meant having to use only Basic Pokémon. Whilst Ultra Ball could search for any Pokémon, the discarding of 2 cards puts strain on the resources in hand (especially since Shaymin EX didn’t exist), so I usually picked Pokémon with 3+ Retreat Cost so I could use Heavy Ball (e.g. Terrakion EX, Landorus EX, and Plasma Kyurem). Nest Ball would have made the Verizion EX/Gernesect EX version of the deck slightly better too since it would have been able to search out all Pokémon at no cost (and this deck was a blast to play too… there’s nothing like the opponents face after you fire off a turn 1 Megalo Cannon or back to back G-Boosters).
It would have also helped out with the Energy denial/mill decks I’ve played. Normally with decks, you would use your Supporter to draw cards, but when you play Team Flare Grunt, you can’t afford to play Ultra Ball too since you’ll burn out your hand too quickly.
Nonetheless, Nest Ball is very much my type of Pokémon search. The put onto your Bench clause is fair enough since it would allow stupid things to happen with Hoopa EX, Shaymin Ex and Dragonite EX. For the moment, searching out Passimians is my main idea, but I might get around trying a quad Lapras deck with it too.
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