Experts' corner

Daniel Altavilla

Stunting on My EX - Exodia Lock and Donphan Updates

Danny reviews a Glaceon Lock deck and Wobbuffet/Donphan in Expanded!

05/23/2018 by Daniel Altavilla

Hey there, 60Cards readers! I'm in my hotel in Salt Lake City and I thought it would be appropriate to go over my tournament this weekend. I finished at 26th place at the SLC Regional Championship with my Donphan (PS; 72) / Wobbuffet (PHF; 36) build. The deck was very fun to play and it really challenged me as a player to overcome some rough matchups, which was thrilling. There were moments where I felt underwhelmed by the list and moments where I felt perfectly fine with, though I feel some changes definitely deserve to be made with the release of Forbidden Light. I wanted to allow this article to be dedicated to Donphan (PS; 72) / Wobbuffet (PHF; 36) , because after this weekend and with what's to come, the deck just doesn't seem like a bad play.

 I initially received the list from Limitless after seeing that Toby Woolner made 9th place with it, bubbling out with the necessary match point total. This meant that there was potential in the deck that others didn’t recognize, and I immediately looked for holes in the deck’s strategy in order to refine the list for Utah. At first it wasn’t really working out for me -- I thought the Toby list could be played around by a Zoroark that wasn’t held back by Wobbuffet (PHF; 36)  enough to have a big hand. They could simply hit Sky Field, Double Colorless and Guzma every turn they needed until you lose your momentum. Maybe sometimes I can be a little extreme with how hot I think my opponents will actually run, but Expanded Zoroark is actually the one deck that really never whiffs anything. Here’s the initial list for Donphan (PS; 72) :

The strategy behind this list is to keep using Parallel in tandem with Wobbuffet (PHF; 36)  lock to keep your opponent from hitting the Float Stones and being able to OHKO a Donphan (PS; 72) . The main issue with this is that, in Expanded, the big trick to beat Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  is to force them to play two Supporters in one turn for a KO -- since this obviously cannot happen within the rules of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, your opponent cannot take the KO they want. That is why Road Block is so big right now in decks with one-prize attackers -- the trick is, you force your opponent to either take 1 prize or 2HKO the GX/EX on your bench. I can confidently say any deck that is able to accomplish both of these things should be favored against Zoroark, even more so if the one-prizer can threaten an OHKO or at least has a Focus Sash attached to it. 

From this list, we simplified it a bit more and dropped the Parallels for Brooklets. I also found Oranguru UPR to be a way better tech than Bunnelby for the deck, because Guru loops are always viable strategies if your opponent expends enough resources, plus Guru to shuffle in your Items is viable against Drampa/Garb’s strategy. Hoopa was a card I actually thought was genius in the deck after Toby explained it to me -- I was using it to beat Toad decks and to bring up versus Garbodor so they can’t poke it with Lele and Acerola in the same turn. Hoopa is a card I really missed this weekend! 

After working out the kinks with Toby, I was pretty sure that the Donphan (PS; 72)  build I currently had in my hands was the play for Salt Lake. But then it started testing very poorly versus Zoroark, and before tossing the deck to the side and just playing Drampa, I decided to make some big changes. First off, I wanted to run Brooklet and a Sudowoodo over Parallel and Hoopa. With that out of the way, I looked at the supporter counts, and decided 4 Juniper and 4 Korrina would be fine with the 2 N/2 Guzma split and that the list was fairly Red Card/Ghetsis proof, especially when you start Wobbuffet (PHF; 36)  and they can’t use Set Up to dig for the combo and Zoruas at the same time.

Eventually I got tired of always having to discard resources, so I dropped a Juniper for a Colress. Colress is a staple card in the meta right now, and deserves a slot in every Expanded deck that fills their bench with Pokémon. I considered actually putting Juniper at 2 and N up to 3 because I knew I would be using N a lot, but I never tried it because I was skeptical about the consistency with that supporter count. I ended up dropping a Double Colorless for an Energy Loto, which was good in some spots but bad whenever I wanted to use Wreck twice or more in the same game (which came up plenty of times). Wreck is a huge attack for the deck and I admittedly underestimated Wreck’s usefulness in this event. For the future, Wreck seems to remain a strong option to swing a game, so 2 DCE will more than likely be the count over 1 and a Loto.

Here’s the list that Zach Lesage and I streamlined together, which gives us the greatest chance to avoid dead draws off of Red Card/Ghetsis and is just generally consistent. 

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