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Caleb Gedemer

"Rainbow Petals" — A Close Look at Vileplume and Friends in Standard

Vileplume from Ancient Origins is still good in the Standard format. Find out why!

14. 09. 2016 by Caleb Gedemer

INTRODUCTION

Hello again 60cards.net readers, I am back with more content. I have started up my college days and it has been going quite well. Balancing class, a relationship, the game, work and life in general can be very consuming and stressful, but so far it is working very nicely. Many are quick to say that playing competitively should take the backburner when it comes to school and it likely should, but it is still feasible to play and challenge yourself as I am finding out.

There are so many topics to cover when dealing with the new Standard format in the Pokemon Trading Card Game. So many decks have already been discussed, but one that has not seen a whole lot of attention would be that of Vileplume. Samuel Hough piloted an off-beat ‘plume deck at this past World Championship just a few weeks ago. He was able to take it to the quarterfinals, where he had some bad luck and lost to what normally was a favorable matchup.

In this edition, Vileplume and Friends will be spelled out for the masses, there should be no confusion when it comes to what card choices to play in certain situations, matchups should be clear cut on paper and the deck’s outlook should look bright, as it has oodles of potential in this newer, mostly unsolidified format.

VILEPLUME AND FRIENDS

Introduction

There is not much left to introduce after my opening piece, but to clarify, let us explain how this deck works.

So Vileplume is a great “tool” to give a deck some great options. Maybe not options, but an option, in that of Item lock. To truly abuse this Item lock, ‘plume should be matched with a robust attacker or attackers, or even a variety of interesting options that can manipulate nearly every scenario we encounter as a pilot of the deck.

Today’s look at everyone’s favorite, or least favorite flower will be dealing with the latter of the two and that would be with a pool of options to make sure we are getting the best bang for our buck in any matchup our Vileplume and Friends deck comes across.

Basically, throw out an attacker that our matchup cannot handle, or struggles against, get Vileplume into play and keep chipping away at them until they cannot handle the pressure any longer. Often, this deck just creates unwinnable scenarios for an opponent and they will resort to conceding quickly to conserve time.

Vileplume makes it so that most decks cannot find outs to counter the many different attacking options of this deck. No Item switching cards can be played, so usually, the opponent’s Active Pokemon will be stuck doing the heavy lifting, or lack thereof, until it is knocked out.

Card Choices (The List)

3 Shaymin-EX: Everyone’s favorite hedgehog has been an integral part of nearly every deck for some time now. Some Vileplume decks in the past have chosen to include a maxed out set of four copies of this guy, but this deck does not need as many to get going. A big proximity of Bench space is usually allotted to different attackers and Vileplume itself, so rarely would there be ample opportunity to actually Bench four Shaymin-EX. Playing four would moreover be a means of not getting nailed with Prizing a copy or two, which would assuredly hinder setup. It is also pertinent to ensure that Ultra Balls can be turned into outs to continue trying to get Vileplume out in the first few turns.

3 Oddish, 3 Gloom, 3 Vileplume: This is generally the most optimal line for playing a Vileplume line in a deck that does not contain Battle Compressor (obviously this does not apply in the Standard format, but this relates to past experiences). Playing a thicker line will ensure that we find Oddish early and get it Evolved all the way up as soon as possible. Getting ‘plume into play by the third turn of the game is generally as long as we can hold out before getting hit with some major repercussions. It is almost always feasible to accomplish that third turn goal, as well.

1 Trevenant-EX: Greninja BREAK can be a bit of a problem deck for Vileplume. Glaceon-EX can stop damage from attacks, but Giant Water Shuriken still exists and packs a huge punch. Additionally, some of Glaceon-EX’s damage output is negated by Rough Seas healing. Trev-EX provides a fun option to blow Greninjas and their BREAKs out of the water very quickly. One Rainbow Energy is enough to take a knockout on a regular Greninja and two Rainbow Energy are enough to deal a timely knockout on the big BREAKs. One copy of this card is included just for that singular matchup, playing more would not likely be worth inclusion. If Primal Groudon-EX and Primal Kyogre-EX were to gain any form of traction, this card could potentially warrant a second copy.

2 Jolteon-EX: Many strong Basic Pokemon attackers exist in the current scheme of the game and Jolteon-EX is here to counter them. Playing two of them ensures success against these threats. Jolteon-EX in combination with Item lock will likely limit access to annoying Pokemon Ranger drops to once per game. The main reason these “walling” attackers like Jolt-EX are stellar with Vileplume still is for this reason. Pokemon Ranger when the ‘plume is not out will pretty much overrun any deck of this nature.

1 Magearna-EX: Jirachi with Stardust is extremely tough to beat for this deck, so in order to combat that, Magearna-EX is included to circumvent not only the Discarding of the Energy effect from Jirachi, but the safeguarding result as well. Also, the ‘gear can also stop obnoxious attack effects like Froakie’s Bubble. Remember, a Rainbow Energy must be attached to a given Pokemon to count as a Metal Energy as well. One of these guys is enough to stop many degenerate effects to our Pokemon that would otherwise hurt us very badly.

2 Glaceon-EX: See Jolteon-EX’s description to see why that card is so good, but this one is almost the “inverse” of Jolteon-EX. Evolutions will be stopped in their tracks and with so many M Pokemon-EX ruling the current Standard format, this card makes for a very good hard counter that will run the tables when it comes to those pesky Evolutions. Not only are M Pokemon-EX getting lots of hype, but Raichu and Vespiquen decks are seeing play as well and without constant access to Pokemon Ranger, the both of those decks get canned by Glaceon-EX.

1 Regice: Regice is included in this build for M Pokemon-EX decks as well. Some players may choose not to Evolve their regular Pokemon-EX into their Mega counterparts, but to combat this, Regice is included as an all-around answer to this trickery. Yes, Jolteon-EX can punish the regular Pokemon-EX in its own right, but when an opponent may switch between Mega and then regular, it can be confusing as to which attacker is right for the current situation. Regice in a single copy provides a target for Ninja Boy to find and get to work on these very situations that I just talked about. More than one copy is not necessary, given that Glaceon-EX and Jolteon-EX can pull their own weight in most situations. Regice is more of a precautionary measure that will work out better than other presented options.

2 Level Ball: Hey, grab some Glooms and Oddishes! This card is extremely important in setting up a Vileplume in the beginning turns of the game. Along with Ultra Balls and the Pokemon themselves, there becomes many different ways we can fetch these little guys in the opening turns to get the big bad flower out into play. Two is just the right number. We can basically refer to the logic line of “play two to play one” to mean that if we play two, we will “guarantee” use of one per game. Usually, one is all we need to get Vileplume online and running.

4 Trainers’ Mail: To maximize early game consistency, Trainers’ Mail is nice to grab important Items, namely, but occasionally it can bail you out of a Supporter drought bind as well. Without doubt, every deck that plays Vileplume in it should be playing at least three, but probably four, copies of this card.

4 Ultra Ball: The Ultra Balls are going to find us all those critters. There is no reason to play less than four and nearly every other deck out there except for maybe Greninja BREAK decks is going to be doing the same. It is extremely important when playing a big line of a certain Pokemon that we need to set up. Shaymin-EX is also easily fetched with this card and it can in turn continue a line of draw for a turn that will hopefully turn into an eventual Vileplume on the early turns of play.

2 Lysandre: Switch ‘em around. This card is really nice in this deck to take out potential attacking threats before they actually develop. If our opponent is building an Evolution threat on their Bench but is other than that playing an all non-EX Pokemon deck, it would be a swell idea to pop that threat before it actually gets online so Jolteon-EX can do all the heavy lifting. Two copies are the starting point, but three is a definite option.

4 N: Disrupt ‘n draw. N is the best early game draw Supporter for this deck. That is because we want to avoid Discarding as many resources as possible. Remember, Energy and Pokemon, many times, are really important in the long run and even conserving Supporters themselves is a good idea for a drawn out game. N is amazing to reset an opponent’s hand that may have been building up for something big. Perhaps a Hex Maniac plus oodles of Item cards was going to be on tap, our N card will take that option away and continue to allow us to set up. Remember also, this deck is slow in nature of attacking. Our attacks are not exactly devastating in regards to damage, effects, yes, but damage, no. Four copies are a must in every situation.

3 Ninja Boy: Ninja Boy is included to get the right Pokemon out at the right time. Opening up with a Shaymin-EX, of all things, can still be rectified with a Ninja Boy and switching that little guy for something that will go to town. Energies can even be placed prematurely to having an actual attacker on the board and then Ninja Boy can be played to turn that dud Pokemon into the attacker we want. When the opposing Pokemon switch around between Basic and Evolution Pokemon, Ninja Boy is really useful to switch between Glaceon-EX and Jolteon-EX, for instance. Three copies are included to “ensure” the use of two per game, using the same sound logic that we talked about earlier. Ninja Boy is such a craft card for this deck and its inclusion is invaluable. Three definitely makes sense and four could even be an option.

4 Olympia: Olympia is the “placeholder” of sorts to compensate for the loss of AZ. To be honest, I personally like Olympia in most cases more than AZ itself in this deck. Olympia can used to get things like Glaceon-EX or Regice out of the Active spot (and Vileplume too, of course) so that Jolteon-EX can get to play too. Healing thirty damage from the Active Pokemon too is pretty cool and can lead to some neat Prize denial as well.

4 Professor Sycamore: The best draw Supporter in the game is a must to ensure a smooth game and no dead draw lulls (but of course these can still happen, sadly). Later game, this card can be used in an very aggressive fashion to pitch dead hands of useless Pokemon pieces and Item cards. Its use after the early turns is that it is simply the best way to find tech Supporters (N, Ninja Boy and Olympia) as well as Energy cards.

4 Forest of Giant Plants: Vileplume is not going to find its way onto the board out of thin air, so we will play four of these Stadiums to make sure that ‘plume finds its way into the game quickly. Playing three would be less consistent and even with four, often time we will not draw it. Four is an absolute must. It can also be nice in Stadium wars with Parallel City and Sky Field, now that Stadiums are becoming increasingly prevalent in the modern game.

4 Double Colorless Energy: All of the attackers in this deck require two Colorless Energy in their attack cost, so it only makes sense to max out this count. This card will provide the best chance to start attacking quickly and there is not much more to be said.

4 Rainbow Energy: Rainbow Energy can suffice for all the Energy requirements in this deck, so why not play it? The ten damage drop for each time it is attached to a Pokemon is slightly annoying, but to reiterate on the point of this deck, by the time that our attackers are doing their job and attacking, the game is likely to be over in theory because the opponent probably will not have much of a response.

1 Lightning Energy: It is still a good idea to play more Energy cards and since there are two copies of Jolteon-EX, it makes sense to play Basic Energy corresponding to the Pokemon of which there are more of, Jolteon-EX is the second on that list and since we are going to play two different Basic Energy, Lightning Energy is the second choice.

1 Water Energy: Three Water type attackers with Water Energy cost makes for the inclusion of this card. Going upon the same logic as with Lightning Energy, it only makes sense.

Card Choices (The Options)

Carbink (Power Gem): This little guy stops Pokemon-EX from attacking with its Ability, so it is a viable choice to just chip away at the opposing field. Even with a tiny attack, some decks may be rendered useless after using an early Hex Maniac and at the very least, it could buy us some time.

Minccino (Cleaning Up): The only Pokemon Tool card removing card in the game right now, aside from Mr. Mime with Trick. Minccino is the better of the two cards because it can remove a Tool from play completely instead of switching it to another Pokemon. Also, with one Retreat cost, it is more mobile and can be moved around easier after an attack if it was not knocked out. The reason this is good is because it can take a Tool off of Garbodor and if Vileplume is in play, Garbodor is not coming back. As we can infer, the pile of rubbish is pretty darn good against our deck if our opponent can get it online.

Umbreon-EX: Umbreon-EX is an interesting option in combination with Ninja Boy. In a format about to overrun with M Pokemon-EX, it makes sense to give Umbreon-EX a second consideration after most, if not all of us, wrote it off as an abysmal card. Ninja Boy can get this baby to fly out of nowhere and collect four Prizes. With most of the attacks in this deck slowly chipping away at Pokemon already, Umbreon-EX would definitely see work against M Pokemon-EX. The only “problem” with this is that if we are already getting the opponent in an unwinnable state with “walling” attackers, what the heck is the point? That sentiment resonates pretty clearly, so this card might be better in a Darkness type deck with Max Elixirs instead.

Yveltal-EX: Yveltal-EX is just a strong attacker that does a lot of damage. It has been seeing play since its release back in the year 2014. Its original printing has finally rotated out, but thanks to yet another reprint, the evil bird will see another day. Sam Hough did include a copy in his World Championships deck list, but that at the time would have mainly been for Trevenant BREAK decks. Now, with Trevenant with Forest’s Curse being rotated out, Trevenant BREAK should not be seeing any play because other Trevenant cards are not the greatest. Anyways, it could see play in this deck in conjunction with Ninja Boy. We can simply change an attacker into the Yveltal-EX and hammer time on the opponent’s field of Pokemon. With Vileplume in play, it becomes difficult to compete with a loaded attacker of this caliber. While it could prove to be a glass cannon, Yveltal-EX could be used to take out a strong attacker of the opponent’s and then simply sweep up the rest of the field.

Parallel City: Parallel City can Discard our Shaymin-EXs and other useless Pokemon and also open up Bench spaces for new critters that want in on the action of the game. This card can also be useful against a deck like M Rayquaza-EX or Raichu decks. Of course, in most cases, we will have a positive matchup against these builds already, so this is more than likely an unnecessary luxury.

Pokemon Center Lady: Without AZ anymore, this deck can only heal damage off with Olympia. Sometimes it could be neat to stay attacking another turn longer with Glaceon-EX or Jolteon-EX and it can offset the attack from something that can damage us.

Acro Bike: In an attempt to make this deck hit the turn one Vileplume more often, Acro Bike could assist in those efforts. It is worth a short trying to make this deck a bit more “turbo” in nature to see if it increase winning percentages.

Matchups

 

Darkrai-EX (Giratina-EX)

This is a good matchup depending on if we can get a Jolteon-EX with Energy attached to it before Giratina-EX activates its Chaos Wheel attack. Jolteon-EX will effectively mow down the entire field of our opponent, provided they do not play a hard counter like Hydreigon-EX. Hydreigon-EX has for the most part become obsolete, too, due to the release of Pokemon Ranger. Ranger just is not as effective against a Vileplume build since it is harder to find and VS Seeker cannot be reused to find it again and again.

Lysandre drops can force Prizes from the opponent, so we should be wary of how many unattended Pokemon-EX are left on the field at a time. The game should digress very quickly once the pressure of Jolteon-EX hits its peak and the opponent’s threats are slowly whittled away into knockout range.

One thing to consider is that Vileplume can be taken down with a Lysandre knockout and in the event of that it is important to have another Gloom or Oddish down in play to have ready to Evolve into another Vileplume. Once again, this is a preventative measure to ensure that Pokemon Ranger cannot be spammed to stop Jolteon-EX’s game winning attack effect.

Outcome: Favorable

Greninja BREAK

This is one of the more sketchy matchups. Greninja BREAK has access to powerful attacks even under Item lock and Giant Water Shuriken can score knockouts on Glaceon-EX. However, in conjunction with Item lock, Glaceon-EX is a bit stronger than usual. Fisherman cannot be abused to its full potential with VS Seeker, so Water Energy will be a hot commodity and may not be given the chance to be used on a Glaceon-EX.

Trevenant-EX is the best answer to this matchup. In similar fashion to how Yveltal-EX was an inclusion to this deck when Trevenant BREAK was popular, Trev-EX can just pop Greninjas back to back to back. With a Double Colorless Energy and a single Rainbow Energy, the tree packs a solid punch. With another Rainbow Energy, Greninja BREAKs can be taken care of too.

The inclusion of Olympia is actually pretty neat in this matchup. Glaceon-EX can be healed, as can Trevenant-EX by switching into a Jolteon-EX and then just retreated. If our opponent plays Rough Seas, the potential for even more healing exists.
Outcome: Slightly Favorable

M Gardevoir-EX (Brilliant Arrow)

This deck should not be all too popular in the new format, but it still can be powerful in conjunction with Xerneas’ Geomancy and Max Elixirs. Anyways, M Gardevoir-EX being a M Pokemon-EX makes it weak to both Glaceon-EX and Regice. Our opponent may be relatively unfazed as far as setting up goes, since Geomancy is a cost efficient one Fairy Energy attack and can power up Garde-EXs.

Glaceon-EX or even Regice can two hit knockout regular Xerneas and as mentioned earlier, the Megas and regular Gardevoir-EXs are just going to get swept.If they were to play Xerneas BREAK, Glaceon-EX will get an even bigger buff and should be able to mow over the field.

Outcome: Very Favorable

M Gardevoir-EX (Despair Ray)

There is a lot of carryover from the last M Gardevoir-EX deck for this one as well. Not only is it still an Evolved Pokemon-EX, but its damage output is rather limited in general. This deck is very good just for starters, but it may gain a tad of traction as a counter to M Mewtwo-EX decks because it can easily knock them out.

Not more more has to be said other than Glaceon-EX and Regice are going to do the job and do it very well, once again.

To elaborate on the shortcoming of this deck before we conclude on it, it is important to note that repeatedly hitting for key numbers is extremely hard. With a base damage of 110, each Pokemon Discarded with the effect of Despair Ray only adds 10 damage. One must have six Pokemon in play and Discard them all to even score a knockout on a Glaceon-EX, for starters. That just is not happening repeatedly with Vileplume out.
Outcome: Very Favorable

M Mewtwo-EX (Psychic Infinity; Garbodor)

Another M Pokemon-EX matchup and another place for Glaceon-EX and Regice to shine. Glaceon-EX is actually less favorable, however. Most M Mewtwo-EX decks are going to be running Shrine of Memories which makes way for Damage Change on the regular Mewtwo-EX to put in work. Glaceon-EX does not stop effects of attacks, so this swap of damage will take place and probably take a huge toll on our precious Glace-EX.

Regice is the best option to counter this given deck since it does in fact stop damage from attacks as well as effects. The Damage Change attack will still heal the opponent’s Pokemon, but it will not afflict any repercussions upon our safeguarding Pokemon. Garbodor can be a pain if they can manage to get it into play before we achieve a Vileplume. Getting the flower online on the first turn is a priority.

Trading Stadium cards with the opponent will be important because Shrine of Memories is that crucial. Running our opponent out of those pesky Stadiums will prove invaluable in the long run, so make sure to hold onto Forest of Giant Plants and be careful with them when picking cards to Discard within a turn.
Outcome: Favorable

M Mewtwo-EX (Vanishing Strike)

This card and deck as a whole has not gained much traction yet, so there is not too much to worry about currently. Now, if it were to get popular, this monster rips our deck apart from the seams. Not only does the Vanishing Strike attack knock everything that we play out in one hit, but it passes right through any effects on our Pokemon, so our walling attackers will not even matter.

Grabbing a quick Vileplume and just starting to spam our attacks is the only real way to keep this matchup competitive. If we can stop them from using Mewtwo Spirit Links and force them to burn extra turns to power up their big attacker, perhaps we can take it down for a knockout and win the game from there on out.

There is not too much else to say, this one is going to ride on some luck. The outlook for this matchup is very bleak.

Outcome: Very Unfavorable

M Rayquaza-EX (Dragon Ascent)

There are a few ways to look at this matchup and from each angle, the opponent’s deck seems to have an answer. M Rayquaza-EX will punish our Jolteon-EX when we use it to avoid an attack from Giratina-EX or Reshiram and then when Regice is used, Reshiram will swoop in.

Giratina-EX is already a cloud of doom for our deck, so we are on the clock to get our Energy in play or risk immediately losing. Most of the Pokemon in our opponent’s deck require lots and lots of Energy and Vileplume’s Item lock will slow them down significantly.

Using Ninja Boy effectively, as well as N once our opponent has mustered out some Prizes may turn this game in our favor. If we cross our fingers and put our opponent in some awkward positions, we might be able to get this win.

Outcome: Slightly Unfavorable

M Rayquaza-EX (Emerald Break)

Another of the main reasons Regice is a great inclusion to this deck. While it may not be a great attacker for any reason, the regular Rayquaza-EX can throw some trouble our way if we were to just stick to attacking with Glaceon-EX. They will be able to damage us and we will be out traded as far as attacking goes towards knockouts.

Regice address both of these problems. The only other problem standing in the way of it being the perfect response is Zoroark with Mind Jack. While we can occasionally limit our Bench to only the necessities, it can sometimes get tricky and the pesky fox will get swinging for enough to pop knockouts on a Regice.

Overall, if we can just go at it with Glaceon-EX, but use two of them, the match can still turn out alright if we can address and knockout a single copy of the regular Rayquaza-EXs. Additionally, M Rayquaza-EX (Emerald Break) variants are quite weak to Item lock and can be punished right away with that in mind if Vileplume decides to show itself on the first or second turn of play.

Outcome: Favorable

M Sceptile-EX

This is an extremely easy match because M Sceptile-EX decks in pretty much every case to not have an answer to Regice. Stopping the opponent’s Pokemon-EX from doing their thing will make this match go downhill very fast for them.

Glaceon-EX may be okay as well in its own right, but it will not be as comprehensively good as Regice. Glace-EX can still be hit by the regular Sceptile-EX and that is not good news.

Ariados could pressure even our Regice a tiny little bit, but Olympia is there to save the day. She can bail us out to the Bench to not only relieve the negative effects of Poison, but heal off any of the damage that was starting to accumulate.

Outcome: Favorable

M Scizor-EX (Garbodor)

Another deck that includes Garbodor means another deck that can pretty much take us down with the proper opportunity. If our opponent is able to drop a Trubbish with a Tool card in the opening turns, that will be big trouble for us.

Not only will Garbodor shut down Vileplume potentially, but it will disable Magearna-EX’s Ability which will let M Scizor-EX wreak havoc on all of our Special Energy cards. If they get Garbodor out, we are not winning this matchup. Even if we get to use our walling attackers for a few turns, specifically Regice, we will run out of Energy at some point and be unable to attack any more.

Ultimately, if Garbodor’s Garbotoxin goes online at any point in the course of the game, we will not be winning, unless by some freak chance we were able to muster out enough Prizes to win by then.

Outcome: Very Unfavorable

Primal Groudon-EX

This is a deck with some pretty strong potential that has not received the type of hyping that it probably should. This big bad Primal can swing for massive amounts of damage even in the face of adversity in this format and take knockouts on the biggest M Pokemon-EX or Primal Pokemon-EX.

Playing against this deck could be pretty tricky if they do indeed play a Pokemon Ranger. Wobbuffet can be promoted to the Active position while Vileplume is in play to gain access to VS Seeker and recycle Pokemon Ranger back again. Now this may be difficult to pull off, it really depends if Primal Groudon-EX decks are playing any copies of Olympia, which they should be.

Regardless, Regice is the go-to in this matchup. Glaceon-EX can serve a purpose too, but the opponent can then just simply attack with the regular Groudon-EX to nail the Glace-EX for a knockout. If Regice were to fall to a Pokemon Ranger, this could go downhill quickly. Trevenant-EX could also be a very viable option when equipped with three Rainbow Energy. It would knockout Primal Groudon-EXs in one hit, due to Weakness

Outcome: Favorable

Primal Kyogre-EX

This one is sort of similar to the Primal Groudon-EX matchup, but unlike Groudon, Kyogre does not take one hit knockouts. This being said, Trevenant-EX can not only pressure the opponent’s field, but it can run it over. Also, Glaceon-EX will have more use since it cannot be knocked out in one hit.

Most Primal Kyogre-EX decks should be playing Rough Seas, so Pokemon-EX spread damage to the Bench will be offset on Glaceon-EX and Jolteon-EX, at least. This, again, reiterates that Glaceon-EX will be a viable attacker, even when Pokemon Ranger exists.
Playing against an opposing Regice from a Primal Kyogre-EX deck can be pretty awkward. We have our own Regice and Vileplume… wait… Vileplume? Yes it can attack with Rainbow Energy, but, unfortunately those are the only direct counters. Ideally, the Regice threat will not arise because of the difficulty finding it under Item lock and such.

Outcome: Slightly Favorable

Raichu

Raichu’s future as a deck is not looking much better than very bleak. It struggles to compete against Parallel City and most decks can overpower it even at that. When one’s damage output is maxed at 160 without any modifiers outside of Ariados, Golbat or Giovanni’s Scheme, making use of Circle Circuit becomes pretty hard. For our deck, Glaceon-EX is single handedly going to roll over the matchup and we should win with extreme ease.

Pokemon Ranger can definitely still come into play, but if we make sure to get two Glace-EXs going, it will be rolling tide from there. Jolteon-EX could also seem some work if our opponent resorts to using Sky Return against our Glaceon-EX. Ninja Boy will get us there for that.

Raichu also struggles to constantly fill its Bench over and over again, even with access to Super Rod. Now that we have Vileplume out stopping the Rod’s use, we should have any even easier path to victory.

Outcome: Very Favorable

Vespiquen

There is a lot of carryover from the Raichu matchup for this one. Vespiquen decks generally do not have any other options for attackers other than Raichu, Vespiquen itself, or Zoroark. This once again means that Glaceon-EX is going to go in and run the table.
This is basically something that we already went over, but Pokemon Ranger can still get dropped and with it, we will probably need to get two Glace-EXs going.

Vespiquen decks will struggle against Vileplume decks for a multitude of reasons, naturally, but against Item lock they will be very hard pressed to Discard Pokemon and even reach numbers where they could potentially get some knockouts.

Outcome: Very Favorable

Volcanion-EX

The volcano man, or woman, received far too much hype than it deserved before and after release. It really is not that great of a deck, especially in the Standard format without Blacksmith from FlashFire. Anyways, this matchup is a definite shoo-in of sorts. Jolteon-EX is the Pokemon for the job, of course.

Volcanion-EX decks are sure to be packing only a single copy of Pokemon Ranger, if even that. Considering that information, it is intuitive to think that we will probably be winning this game, in dominant fashion. Vileplume is going to lock down VS Seeker and prohibit double useage of the card.

Even in a bizarre scenario when Jolteon-EX was not able to be utilized correctly, Glaceon-EX and Regice can sweep the opponent’s array of Fire Pokemon just because of their Water Weakness.

Outcome: Very Favorable

Xerneas (Rainbow Force)

“Rainbow Road”, one of the most talked about, but controversial, decks of the new Standard format. A generally conceived “normal” deck list has yet to be created and versions of this deck are usually extremely far and few between. At any rate, it is a powerful deck, but our deck should still fare well against it.

Xerneas is a Basic Pokemon, obviously. Jolteon-EX is going to be the Pokemon of interest in this one. Other than Xerneas, these decks usually use some Stage 1 attackers that do not hit for very much damage and can be addressed simply by attacking twice for a knockout with Jolt-EX, or even using Glaceon-EX for extra coverage.

Popular Stage 1s in this deck include things like Bisharp, Galvantula and Raichu. None of them have the potential to actually score a one hit knockout, so have no fear.

Outcome: Favorable

Xerneas BREAK

Anyone in the know should be aware that seemingly out of nowhere, this card skyrocketed in price. It does not have any real results so far as a deck, so this is puzzling. But unfortunately for us, this deck has a few answers to our toolbox of attackers.

Giratina-EX can address our entire deck if they get an attack off before we can attach Energy, but additionally it punish Glaceon-EXs. Xerneas BREAK can deal with Jolteon-EX and mow over our field quickly with its powerful attack.

Item lock causes their deck to struggle and our attackers still can function and put them in an awkward position. The baby Xerneas on its own is not the greatest from a damage standpoint. It can do 100 damage at the expense of an Energy Discard. This is not going to stack up to Jolteon-EX in general and even Glaceon-EX can knock it out in two hits.

Giratina-EX is the real problem in this matchup, without it, it would be easier to deal with two Pokemon of different stages.

Outcome: Slightly Unfavorable

Zygarde-EX

These variants have dived mostly into mediocrity, but they still exist, so they are worth covering. To start off, one must say “Basic Pokemon, Jolteon-EX will do great!” but in reality, this is not the greatest assumption. Carbink BREAK is a big player in these decks too and it really will just stop Jolteon-EX, let alone any of our attacks, right in their tracks.

Carbink stops attacks from all Pokemon-EX, so we really are stuck with Regice or Vileplume when it comes to attacking. Neither of these are great options, but Vileplume does hit for Weakness against most of the popular Fighting Pokemon. Obviously, this is pretty much a glass cannon and will almost never work successfully.

This is most likely the toughest matchup and probably pushes the unwinnable borderline. Getting lucky with a turn one Vileplume and crossing our fingers for our opponent to just draw and pass is likely to be the only out.

Outcome: Very Unfavorable

Conclusion

Let us take a look at the frequency of our matchup outcomes:
Very Favorable

5 Occurrences

Favorable

6 Occurrences

Slightly Favorable

2 Occurrences

Neutral

0 Occurrences

Slightly Unfavorable

2 Occurrences

Unfavorable

0 Occurrences

Very Unfavorable

3 Occurrences

To quickly talk on the topic of the mirror match, it is a very awkward game to play. Whatever attacker they throw at us we can likely just respond with own. Jolteon-EX or Regice is the main Pokemon of focus. It really becomes a battle of Lysandre knockouts if either of us placed down too many easy knockouts, or a deck out game where Ns are extremely important. It would be wise to not even play Vileplume down because neither of us will have any Item cards that will do us any good. Just grab a Jolteon-EX or Regice and start chugging away. It will assuredly be a super long and tedious game.

Anyways, these numbers are extremely good! Most of the matchups that fall into the unfavorable territory are not even all too popular. Now, this is not to say that everything will go as planned every time, but matchup indications are a great way to decide if a deck is well suited in a certain metagame or to make a good decision about a deck that we want to play.

I am a big fan of this deck right now and highly recommend to check it out, if not play it at an upcoming League Challenge or something of the like. It looks to be a strong play for any upcoming Standard format Regional Championships, or even Expanded as well. In that format, this deck regains Aegislash-EX as well as cool techs like Latias-EX to guard against other Ability-based threats.

This article was a lot of fun to write and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This deck is very cool and interesting to play with or against. Be on the watch for it this season, it can really cause some headaches. For those of you attending any tournaments in the near future, good luck, Trainers!

[+14] okko


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