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Gabriel Semedo

Waterbox 2.0 and an In-Depth Talk about Evolution Lines

Gabriel talks about Waterbox 2.0 with Lapras GX and some friends...

03/06/2017 by Gabriel Semedo

Gabriel talks about Waterbox 2.0 with Lapras GX and some friends. Also, join a conversation about evolution lines and how to choose the best number of Evolution Pokémon in a deck.

Hello 60 cards readers! In this article I'll talk about two things: the 2.0 version of the Waterbox deck, and a more comprehensive commentary, which is about evolution lines. The Waterbox deck was successful last season having Seismitoad EX as the protagonist, and now we have a totally different substitute Pokémon with the arrival of Sun and Moon, which is a Lapras GX. I'll tell you more about this later. The second thing I want to address is something I wish I had mentioned more often on 60cards, but the metagame was always starring basic Pokémon and I personally never thought the timing was as good as it is now. With the arrival of Sun and Moon and the evolution lines getting great emphasis on the game, I see that players have doubts about the quality of evolution lines. When to use 4-4? When to use 1-1? 4-2-4 with 3 Rare Candies? Is it a consistent line? Do I really need to spend so many slots for this evolution line? Anyway, I will try to clarify everything about the most appropriate number of an evolution line in the Pokémon TCG.

Waterbox 2.0

The deck inherits the same mechanics of its older version but the way it plays changes completely. In Waterbox 1.0, with Seismitoad-EX being the main attacker, the idea was to use Quaking Punch until you were set up and then use Grenade Hammer over and over until the end of the game, alongside with some techs for certain matches or moments of the game. Some versions of Waterbox were formed by 4 Seismitoad-EX and one Articuno ROS at most, since Seismitoad-EX and its two attacks covered pretty much the entire the metagame. Now in Waterbox 2.0 the main attacker is the Lapras GX and its 160 damage attack. For those who played with Aurorus-EX, you know how strong 160 damage is (170 with Fighting Fury Belt). In the current format 160 ~ 170 will often not be enough damage to knock out an EX and even less a GX, so we need another attack. For this we can use Glaceon, Taurus, Palkia and Articuno, to complete the high damage of 160 ~ 170 from Lapras GX. Of course we can also use another Lapras GX or Pokémon Ranger to attack once again. The difference from Waterbox 1.0 to 2.0 is in the knockout speed: before the game was slowed and controlled thanks to Quaking Punch, now the game is more aggressive, sometimes being able to attack for 160 damage T1 with the Lapras GX.

Deck Explanation

Here I'll just go over some of the more interesting parts of the deck. Enjoy!

3 Lapras GX

This is good in the early game to draw cards, and great from turn 2 onwards. Its attack of 160 and its GX attack that hits for 100 and paralyzes without having to play a coin can be incredible at the end of the game, when N gets very strong and your opponent has already spent resources, such as retreat resources. It does not have the same impact as Seismitoad-EX had in the old Waterbox, but it is a strong Pokémon that may be able to revive the Waterbox concept.

2 Palkia-EX

Its T1 attack will greatly facilitate Lapras GX's attack on turn 2. In addition, his second attack is very useful, especially against Gyarados. 

1 Articuno ROS

This gives you another option to attack for the remaining damage needed after Lapras GX’s attack in order to knock out an EX with Belt, an M-Pokemon EX or GX. Articuno gets a huge bonus thanks to its Ancient Trait that will get one extra prize when it gets a knockout, though its attack’s downside is the reliance on coin flips.

2 Manaphy EX

Without it the deck does not work, especially in the first turns of the game. 

1 Professor Kukui

I took out one N from the list to put Professor Kukui. Although it's not a good draw supporter, it still does a bit of that while it increases 20 damage, which will be quite useful in this deck.

1 Olympia

This card is good for reusing Lapras GX's attack, and also for healing 30 that turns to 60 thanks to Rough Seas, which means it's practically a Pokémon Center Lady. It also gives you a retreat option when the Manaphy-EX is not on the field, or Garbodor is on the board.

3 Trainers’ Mail

I like Trainers' Mail in decks alongside Max Elixir; it greatly improves the chance of success.

1 Nest Ball

Since we are not using Hoopa-EX because the Lapras GX cannot be searched for, I decided to put in another search card to maintain the consistency and the ability to thin the deck for the later success of Max Elixir.

1 Super Rod

It allows me to play more aggressively and lose some resources between one Professor Sycamore and another. In unexpected moments like Team Skull Grunt and Delinquent, you will be forced to discard resources, so Super Rod will be essential in these cases.

3 Energy Switch

Standard in the Waterbox list. Energy Switch offers versatility among attackers, retreat and energy preservation on the board. 

 

4 Rough Seas

When you talk about Waterbox, you immediately talk about Rough Seas. The stadiums allow you to heal more than 200 damage in a match. The constant healing allied to the Pokémon with 210 ~ 230 HP makes your Pokémon very difficult to be knocked out.

12 Water Energy

It is the lowest energy count for the deck to work well. Most Pokémon need 3 energies to attack and some only need two energies, so with this count we won’t have energy drought problems.

Strategy Discussion

Basically the Palkia-EX is our wanted starter for the first turn. It has a great attack and can be used on the T1 with good consistency. Palkia will hit for little damage though it will bring energy to the board. If we can’t get Palkia out on turn 1, we have the Lapras GX to draw 3 cards with a basic energy or put our opponent to sleep with Articuno ROS. In short, this deck is always going to have something good to do at the beginning of the game; that's a big positive point. From the second turn onwards, our goal is to hit the Lapras GX, at this point Palkia-EX will help a lot in our goal. It will not always be necessary to power up Lapras GX turn 2, but it would be great if we can. The ideal for this the deck is to power up two Lapras GX and switch them around to hit 160 every turn, while Rough Seas will offer you constant healing. At the end of the game Articuno ROS will be our chance to turn a match or simply close the game. The GX attack of the Lapras GX is also very interesting at the end of the game, where the opponent's retreating resources have almost all been used and there is only one or 2 Vs Seeker in the deck. Against decks that rely only on Float Stone, such as M-Mewtwo EX, Lapras' GX attack will pretty much guarantee a knockout as it will not be able to retreat. The great strength of the Waterbox has always been its consistency, speed and a strong deck, with strong, versatile attacks that can be used from the first to the last round of the game. In addition it is a deck that plays a lot with the cards on the board -- Manaphy EX for retreating for free, Rough Seas for healing and we will have about 8 energies on the field to guarantee a couple of attackers ready, regardless if we get N’d to 1 or we have a bad hand. There are very strong decks in the metagame that depend a lot on the cards in hand, for example a Gyarados deck, which will always depend on Team Magma Secret Base, Evolutions, Double Colorless and Magikarp with damage to maintain their strategy.

Other options for the deck

Here are some other cards that might fit in the deck, or are worth play testing. 

1 Glaceon-EX

With the evolution Pokémon coming in from Sun and Moon, Glaceon-EX is going to be even more impactful, especially on two big Pokémon GX's like Lurantis GX and Decidueye GX. Despite Glaceon-EX’s weakness being metal, it still blocks evolution damage. Glaceon-EX’s Second Bite will be very useful too, especially since the deck knocks out most things in two hits.

1 Pokémon Ranger

It allows me to use Lapras' attack consecutively. It is very good in Garbodor / Muk where they shut down Manaphy EX’s ability. Besides, it will save  you against Jolteon-EX.

1 Ninja Boy

This card is very versatile and ends up surprising or saving me in many games. I should remind you that we do not play Hoopa-EX and the ideal setup can be complicated at times. Ninja Boy will bring the Pokémon we want into play. It is not an essential card and can be replaced, but for now I did not feel the need to put anything else in the deck.

1 Parallel City

This card has many qualities and works at almost every moment. I like to use it get rid of my Shaymin-EX from the field, limit my opponent's bench space, reduce damage from Volcanion, Vespiquen, Lurantis, Waterbox, Greninja prevent my opponent from using his Stadium, thus preventing me from having Reduced damage and my opponent is left with a useless card in hand. Anyway, this card is very good. The bad part is that if the opponent uses Parallel City against you, this stadium will probably hurt you a lot. Limiting the bench is bad, since we use Oranguru and Manaphy EX as Bench Sitter, leaving only 1 slot for an attacker on the bench. If they decide to reduce our damage with Parallel City it will get much harder for us to get knockouts.

1 Tauros GX

Tauros GX is a good starter on this deck, since it hits for 60 with two energies and has his other two attacks that will make your opponent think a little bit before attacking. The problem is that throughout the game the Tauros GX starts to get weak, meanwhile we have Lapras GX hitting for 160, Palkia EX hitting for 120 + 30 on the bench. Tauros GX will only hit for 60. It is still good damage and will help a lot to sum up to Lapras GX’s damage output, but it ends up being less important in the middle and in the end of the game. Furthermore it does not benefit from Rough Seas, so it becomes an easy target for Decidueye GX to put damage counters.

About Those Evolution Lines

I want to delve into this specific subject and I think the time is right for that. Sun and Moon has just come out and with this the evolutions Stage 1 and Stage 2 have gained strength again. Future collections will also focus on evolutions, so I would like to give my thoughts about the correct amount of evolution lines for a particular deck, so we will have no problem creating decks for at least the next 2 years of game play. Since 2012 and the arrival of Mewtwo-EX, the game has abandoned evolutions to focus on basic Pokémon. The situation got worse with the arrival of Darkrai-EX and after that we always had big decks of the metagame focused on basic Pokémon. Of course, from 2012 until today we have also had evolution decks that played competitively, we have Greninja Break always doing well in our current format, but in general the protagonists have always been Basic Pokémon. Sun and Moon promises to change this scenario and we have to prepare for it. Personally, I had already forgotten what it is like to play in a format with several good evolutions.

Stage 1 lines

I will explain when and why you should use certain number of evolution lines, from 1-1 to 4-4.

1-1

This number should be used when you want to use a tech for a certain match or something that will help your deck, but without harming the deck if that line cannot fit into the list. Super Rod is key in order to make this line more consistent.

Example: Zebstrika in any deck with a slightly bad matchup for Yveltal and M-Rayquaza; Octillery in Greninja deck.

2-1

When you want to use a tech with a slightly higher consistency, even if it is not needed, however, it is such a good tech that you would always like to have in games. Super Rod remains essential to bring consistency to this line.

Example: Gumshoos GX, since its Ability is very good and will always help you at any time in the game. Its GX attack can also be very good depending on the situation; 2-1 Garbodor in M-Mewtwo EX -- Igor Costa showed us that it is quite good. In many games it is possible to beat Volcanion-EX and Greninja even without having Garbodor on the board, instead focusing on M-Mewtwo EX's great attack power.

2-2

This is the most popular line in the game as it is the perfect number if you want to make at least one line of it consistently and in virtually every game you play. From the 2-2 line onwards, I do not see the need for Super Rod if your goal is to build just one of those lines on board.

Example: Zoroark, if your focus is to use it for retreating purposes; Garbodor on any deck that relies on it to beat meta decks, such as Yveltal-EX.

3-2

This is a reinforced line for the same purposes as the 2-2 line, however, I point to that line if the metagame is too focused and decks can easily knock out small basics. When Manectric EX / Crobat was in the metagame, I used to use 3-2 Zoroark on my deck, as I was able to bench 2 Zorua easier and the chance of losing a Zorua soon on turn 2 was high, because of Crobat's Ability and Manectric EX’s attack. Now with Sun and Moon we have the Decidueye GX, which is quite dangerous on this issue and can cause the same problem. I would also play this line for a GX attacker in which the deck does not have much focus on it, like Umbreon GX as a tech for a Yveltal EX or Darkrai EX decks. This way it is even possible to use Flareon, Jolteon and Vaporeon to add a different type to the Umbreon GX.

Example: Same examples of a 2-2 line, but an atypical example would be a 3-2 Raticate line in a Houndoom Mill deck, where benching the Ratata is interesting because of its Ability.

3-3

This line is indicated for Stage 1 attackers, but not necessarily your main attackers. With this line it is quite possible that you can bring two Pokémon Stage 1 to the field, so you can even put in an extra evolution line like a BREAK Pokémon, such as Zoroark Break or Golduck Break.

Example: Zoroark as an attacker (in this case it is already possible to consider 1 or 2 Zoroark Break)

Golduck with Golduck Break (I see the perfect 3-3-2 number for a deck with Golduck Break)

4-3

This is already a dedicated line for a main deck attacker, but with other techs to support. In this case the use of Super Rod is important, to have the consistency of making 3 attackers of that same line, although it is not essential for having another tech attacker on the deck

Examples: Vespiquen / Zoroark; Zoroark / Yveltal; Raichu / Zoroark; Lurantis GX / Lugia-EX / Trevenant-EX; Umbreon GX / Zoroark

4-4

Line focused to the main attacker of the deck.

Examples: Raichu / Crobat; Lurantis GX / Garbodor; Vespiquen decks

Stage 2 Lines

The Stage 2 line is already more complicated and little seen in the current metagame. Greninja Break does not have a normal evolution process, since Water Duplicates helps a lot with it. Even before the rotation we had Trevenant Break, which also had unique advantages to evolve, the Phantump has an attack that evolves soon on turn 1. By itself Trevenant had one of the strongest Abilities of the game, which is item denying, which would slow down the game completely and would make it possible to have your evolutions going without your opponent doing much in the game. The most notable Stage 2 are  Solgaleo GX and Lunala GX, but I believe that in the future we will see more options.

1-0-1 + 4 Rare Candy

This is a evolution line used when your deck already has 4 Rare Candy in the list, alongside another Pokémon stage 2. We do not have a real example in the current metagame, but I will suggest some examples that may work well. The concept is similar to the 1-1 line for Stage 1 Pokémon. Although 1-0-1 is inconsistent, when evolved the deck gains a great reinforcement. However, if you cannot get out the 1-0-1 evolution line, the deck will continue run smoothly.

Examples: 1-0-1 Gallade on a 4-1-4 Garchomp deck with 4 Rare Candy. In addition to an alternate attacker, the deck will benefit from Gallade's Ability to draw cards; 1-0-1 Swampert on a Primarina GX deck, to aid in consistency or attach two water energies on a single turn to strengthen the Primarina GX’s attack.

1-1-1

I do not recommend this type of evolution line. It is very inconsistent and takes 3 slots from the deck. It's better to depend on Rare Candy to evolve, since most of the time Stage 1 will not be useful.

2-0-1 (same goes for 3-0-1 and 4-0-1) + 4 Rare Candy

Similar case to the 1-0-1 line. I would only recommend this if the deck has a few basic Pokémon or the basic Pokémon of this line is very useful, e.g. it has a good attack like Call for Family or a good ability like Ratata.

2-0-2, 2-1-2 + 4 Rare Candy

Here the concept is the same of the line 1-0-1, but we dedicate more 2 or 3 slots since in this case we will use a more important tech in the strategy of the deck, that needs to be brought onto the board with a greater frequency. The biggest example of the recent Pokémon is the deck of Empoleon DEX / Dusknoir BCR, which played well in the 2012/2013 season. The deck was basically 4-2-4 Empoleon and 2-1-2 Dusknoir BCR. In that case  Dusknoir BCR was a strong Pokémon and that decided the match in many cases and it was always advantageous to bring it to the game. As the Ability of the Dusknoir BCR was not so necessary at the beginning of the game, it was possible to bring the Dusknoir BCR in the later stages of the game.

Examples: Empoleon DEX / Dusknoir BCR; Empoleon DEX / Magnezone PLS; Greninja XY / Kingdra DRX

3-0-2, 3-1-2, 3-2-2, 3-3-2 + 3 to 0 Rare Candy

This is a line that can already be used in isolation. Most notable at present are the new Solgaleo GX and Lunala GX, which are usually used with 3-1-2 with 2 or 3 Rare Candy. It is the ideal number for an evolution where you have to only build an evolution in the game and it provides the necessary support to make the deck run well. The most commented archetypes are Solgaleo GX with Dragons and Lunala GX with Mewtwo EX Damage Change. In both strategies you just need an evolution on the field for the deck to play, but if it is not done, the deck loses a lot. The 3 basic Pokémon are important to get benched as fast  as possible and prevent the opponent from knocking out your only copy on the field. The one-of Stage 1 is very important because it gives you the chance to evolve even with Vileplume on the field. Otherwise, in a round where you do not find the Rare Candy + Stage 2 combo, you can at least guarantee one more step of evolution getting out the Stage 1. In addition, Stage 1 serves as a "Backup" if your Lunala GX that was previously evolved through Rare Candy is knocked out. This makes it easier to make a second Lunala GX if you need to. The two copies of Stage 2 is to decrease the chance of one copy being prized or accidentally thrown in the discard.

In a 3-2-2 line it is not necessary to have 3 Rare Candy -- two should be enough. In this case the evolution line does not need to be built as fast. In the 2014 Worlds I played with a Landorus-EX / Dusknoir BCR deck and on that deck I used 3-2-2 Dusknoir BCR line with two Rare Candy, as the Dusknoir BCR would only be decisive for me in the middle and end of the game, when I had already accumulated enough damage with Landorus-EX. Finally, a 3-3-2 line is good if you expect too much item lock in the format and do not have urgency to get out your Stage 2. The line 3-3-2 also fits the Pokémon Break like Zoroark Break, Yanmega Break.

Examples: Lunala GX, Solgaleo GX, Primarina GX, Zoroark Break, Golduck Break

3-0-3, 3-1-3, 3-2-3 + 4 to 2 Rare Candy

This is a Pokémon line that I believe we will see more often from now on. Now with the evolved GX Pokémon that is able to attack like for example a Primarina GX, the deck was focused on bringing two Primarina GX into the play. I say this because Primarina GX when knocked out gives up 2 prizes and in a setup deck with Stage 2 Pokémon you will often end up losing this set up process. When you lose prizes, it will be because 1 or 2 Primarina GX that have been knocked out and some basic low HP Pokémon. Also, you might play some other support Pokémon such as Palkia-EX, Lapras GX and Manaphy-EX that will give up prizes as well

This line is interesting for you if you are playing a Stage 2 Bench Sitter, which you need for a single game, however you need it fast and might need it more than once a game, you achieve, for example Blastoise BCR and Magnezone BKT. These decks you want a turn 2 evolution as soon as possible because it gives life to the deck.

Examples:

Atacantes: Primarina GX / Palkia EX, Solgaleo GX / Lurantis GX

Bench Sitter: Magnezone BKT, Blastoise BCR

4-0-3, 4-1-3, 4-2-3, 4-1-4, 4-2-4 + 4 Rare Candy

All these settings have one thing in common -- bringing the Stage 2 Pokémon as fast as possible. The versions with only three Stage 2 probably use other Pokémon to support the evolution or it is a Stage 2 with very high HP, maybe a GX evolution. The versions with four Stage 2 are non-GX / EX Pokémon decks that need to be brought into play constantly, such as Garchomp BKP. If the deck is 100% dedicated in a Stage 2 evolution, I highly recommend the 4-2-4 + 4 Rare Candy line, as it is a line that allows you to make up to 6 Pokémon Stage 2 in a game if you need to. This type of deck in the current format has not been very successful, since Stage 2 Pokémon usually have a very low HP and need many resources in deck to be brought into the play. Last season Gallade / Octillery was the most successful deck in this type of lineage, but after that I cannot remember any other similar deck.

Doing the Homework: A New Deck

After this talk about evolution lines and its counts I would like to leave a decklist that I created to play in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online, to serve as study and inspiration to write about the subject. The deck reminds me of the old-fashioned TCG Pokémon, with plenty of evolution lines, intelligent mechanics, use of Abilities and of course, complex setup. The deck does not yet have competitive power, but it's still very interesting to use to study or inspire future ideas. Since I have not put many hours of effort on this list, it might be that it gets better and maybe itcan be competitive. I myself intend to go back to using this deck, doing my homework and striving to improve this deck.

The basic idea of ​​the deck is to setup with the help of the Lapras GX to draw a card and take the first damage of the game with its HP of 190. Now Tauros GX is a popular Pokémon and knocks out basic Pokémon easily. Then it is very important to get out Octillery and then Swampert and finally the Primarina GX. The Octillery and the Swampert will bring incredible consistency to the deck while the Primarina GX will be responsible for being our attacker. The deck features a very synergistic and fun mechanics reminiscent of the old Pokémon TCG, where Poké-Powers (now Abilities) when combined generated a very strong deck. To better analyze the idea of ​​the deck, I will explain the roles of each card. The Primarina GX is hardly going to knock out a GX or EX Pokémon in one hit, so we will focus on 2-hit knock out our opponent’s Pokémon. The deck suffers a lot from Garbodor, especially if it’s online on T2, but it is possible to knock out Garbodor and get the Abilities working again, but in general the deck loses a lot of power without being able to use Abilities, so I do not consider the idea still with competitive power, only for fun and study purposes.

1 Lapras GX

We want to use Lapras GX’s Collect and rely on its 190 HP to withstand some damage. At some point in the game it can get Max Elixir’d and its other attacks can also become an option, including its GX attack.

3-1-3 Primarina GX + 4 Rare Candy

It is a consistent number to build two Primarina GX, even more consistent with the help of Octillery and Swampert. Primarina GX basically has a Darkrai-EX’s Dark Pulse but worse (only +10 and not +20) and it is not compatible with Max Elixir when evolved, which already makes things much more difficult. Its second attack is very useful.

2-2 Octillery

Just for consistency. For a deck of multiple evolutions, it is difficult to play only with 1-1 or 2-1 Octillery, because it is a nearly necessary feature. Swampert also helps with consistency, in which case it may be feasible to lower the count of Octillery or Swampert.

2-0-2 Swampert

Swampert makes the deck much more fun and consistent. It has a lot of synergy with the deck. Its Ability allied to Octillery’s ability is basically a "Computer Search" every turn, though it’s even better, since you can draw up to 5 with the Octillery and also you can choose the card from the top of the deck via Swampert. Swampert’s Ability goes well when you use your Max Elixir to get 100% accuracy since you only have a basic energy on the deck. Thanks to this Ability it is possible to play well with only a  single copy of important cards like Lysandre, Pokémon Center Lady or Brock's Grit, since you won’t have problems to get that card. Swampert still has a perfect Ancient Trait for Primarina GX, since it allows you to attach two energies on it on the same turn, increasing the damage of the Primarine GX by +40, which is basically a DDE for Darktina or DCE / DDE for Xerneas Break. Its attack is very useful and strong too, with only 3 energies Swampert already hits for 130, which makes him a great non-EX / GX attacker for the deck.

3 Professor Sycamore / 4 N

The count for Professor Sycamore may seem few in the early game, though it may also seem exceeding in the late game. If you can get Swampert and Octillery ready to go, N will only be useful to mess with our opponent’s hand. If you don’t care about Garbodor, I’d drop 1 or 2 Sycamore for Skyla. With Skyla you will be able to bring both Swampert and Octillery faster into play.

1 Lysandre

It won’t help you early game to setup, so we only run one. When you really need Lysandre, you will be able to find it through Swampert and VS Seekers.

1 Brock’s Grit

When you are fully setup you will have plenty of time to use a card like Brock’s Grit to shuffle back some stuff into play.

1 Pokémon Center Lady

Since we have a Pokémon with 250 HP and Rough Seas, I think it is important to potentiate these two resources using the Pokémon Center Lady. This way Primarina GX is able to withstand 3 hits or 4 hits without major problems.

4 Vs Seeker

You'll want to save the VS Seeker to reuse Brock, Pokémon Center Lady and Lysandre, especially after you’re all setup.

3 Ultra Ball / 4 Dive Ball

You can be very consistent with this count. Ultra Ball is good to lower your hand size and draw more card with Octillery’s ability. Timer Ball and Level Ball are other options, but I would not change anything here.

3 Max Elixir

It seems odd to play with Max Elixir in a deck full of evolutions, but it still works. Basic Pokémon with 60 HP can benefit from Max Elixir early in the game and after your Swampert is ready, Max Elixir has 100% accuracy, with will  increase the damage from Primarine GX and will attach energy to the little basic Pokémon.

3 Float Stone

This number works well and I would not want to use Manaphy-EX in the deck, since it would give the chance for my opponent to get two easy prizes. My tip here is to keep at least one Float Stone in the deck, so if the opponent uses Lysandre, you can use the Swampert / Octillery combo to get your Float Stone and retreat your active Pokémon.

4 Rare Candy

Staple cards.

3 Rough Seas

I’ve always found this card too overpowered, like really overpowered. Thanks to the Swampert / Octillery combo, it will not be difficult to find the Stadiums and win a Stadium Wars.

10 Water Energy

We need them to get Primarina GX’s high damage output.

Other cards that could’ve made into the list

Here are some other cards that merit testing in the deck, or that I've considered and and tried out already.

Manaphy EX

No doubt this card improves the consistency of the deck in almost every way (if you do not have Garbodor on the board), but the Manaphy EX only has 120 HP and takes up more space on the bench. If the opponent drops a Parallel City and we have to keep only 3 Pokémon on the bench, we will have Swampert, Octillery and Manaphy EX as mandatory bench sitters, forcing us to discard our second attacker, which might be a Lapras GX or Primarina GX. Manaphy goes against the deck’s concept which is get our opponent’s life harder to grab prizes.

Palkia EX

When your first saw Palkia-EX you probably thought it would go well with Primarina GX. And yeah, you’re not incorrect about that, though the decklist with Palkia EX would probably be itself, Primarina GX and Manaphy EX and that’s pretty much a weaker version of Waterbox 2.0, since we can have Lapras GX in Waterbox. I don’t think it’s worth the trade. The deck would be much more linear and inconsistent.

Delinquent / Team Skull Grunt / Team Flare Grunt

The deck has no need to use Supporter every turn, which makes using Tech Supporters with no consistency effect quite easy to be used. In the case of Delinquent, I would just like to say that I really like Rough Seas and would in many cases avoid using Delinquent on my own Rough Seas.

Puzzle of Time

All you need is one of the pieces of Puzzle of Time in your hand so  you can use the two copies of Puzzle at the same time, thanks to Swampert / Octillery that can make this mission much easier. I really like the idea, though it's 4 slots to think about, but I really  believe I can get in the deck.

Assault Vest

Although I have not found space for this card, I really think it is very interesting with Pokémon GX. In fact, I believe that the biggest advantage of Pokémon GX in relation to a big Pokémon EX with Fighting Fury Belt or a Mega Pokémon EX that needs Spirit Link is precisely the possibility to put a Pokémon Tool that you want on it. In the format we do not have such good tools for evolution, summarizing only the Bursting Balloon, Assault Vest, Exp. Share, Lucky Helmet or Weakness Policy.

Primarina GX with a competitive touch

To close, I will leave a list of Primarina GX and Palkia EX, which is a version of Primarina GX that I see with a little more competitive power. I will not go into too much detail because the strategy of the deck is simple, basically it attacks with Palkia EX in the first rounds and then Primarina GX goes to active spot to deal high damage while the opponent has to turn around to knock out a 250HP Pokémon.

Final thoughts

I genuinely hope you have enjoyed reading, I will say I like big articles because when I start re-reading the text to write the conclusion, I realize that I wrote a lot and it can end up changing from the day I started writing to the day I'm finishing it. I usually write the article in 5 days, since I'm a bit slow to write and I do not like to overload my enthusiasm for hours. I feel that when I get tired, quality drops or I cannot get across exactly what I would like to offer to you readers. Other times, I have written a little at a time, whenever I am inspired, so the article gets better and I still have pleasure in writing. Going back to the conclusion, I believe that Waterbox is a tier 1 deck of the format, although Grass decks are present like Decidueye GX, Lurantis GX, and Vespiquen; and other strong decks like Rainbow Road and M-Rayquaza. The metagame has at least 20 decks in the format with the potential to win a tournament, so it is difficult to choose something that has no bad matchup; the truth is that you have to choose a good deck and play. Waterbox is a good deck, consistent, fast (I hardly ever draw matches) and has several features to tackle different situations. I played a recent tournament of 55 people with Waterbox to win a plane ticket to Buenos Aires and I lost in the top 8, after opening 4-0-0 and IDing in the last two rounds.

About evolution lines, I believe the game is changing at the moment, and I realize that many players are unaccustomed to evolving Pokémon. I hope I have helped you understand the evolution lines and I also hope to test the Primarina GX / Swampert / Octillery deck to better understand the evolution lines and also to have fun with a deck reminiscent of the beginning of Pokémon TCG. Finally, I believe that Primarina GX is a Pokémon with great potential and that it may show up in the future, not sure if it’s gonna be around now or after the rotation.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time! 

[+15] okko


 

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