Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

“I'm no Virgin to VirGen”

Hey guys, Jose Marrero here and I'm back with my second article for, If you want to check my out my first article where I talked about my top 5 contenders for Spring Regionals, feel free to check it out here. In this next article I’ll be talking about the 3 most popular and most successful Virizion/Genesect variants.

09/11/2014 by Jose Marrero

 I’ll get more in-depth on each effective way on how to run the deck, as well as discussing their match ups with some of the top decks in the format.

I have played this deck a number of times, and I have had quite a good amount of success with it. This deck alone netting me over 400 points! I managed to win 4 City Championships, as well as placing 2nd at FL Regionals, and most recently placing 9th this past weekend at Georgia Regionals. I would say it’s one of my favorite decks this season. As you can see I have a lot of experience with the deck, and know quite a few things about it. Hopefully with this article, I can pass down some knowledge to you (as well as some lists!).

 #1 Virizion/Genesect/Roserade

First off, I’m going to start with the Roserade version that I used most recently at Georgia Regionals this past weekend, placing 9th.

My good friend, Ryan Sabelhaus actually gave me the list (so he deserves the credit). Although I changed a few cards from Ryan’s list, mainly adding the 1-1 Drifblim line. Ryan also recently took 2nd place at his hometown State Championships with a very similar build. Another person I want to give some credit on doing well with this deck is Josh Marking, although he played a 1-1 Electrode line instead of the Drifblim line. He was able to get a big finish piloting the deck all the way to top 4 this past weekend at Georgia Regionals where he eventually was stopped by Kyle Sabelhaus's Rayboar deck.

This is the list I used this past weekend at Georgia Regionals taking me to a 9th place finish.

2-2 Roserade: 

This guy helps with your consistency. His ability "Le Parfum" lets you grab any card from your deck and put it into your hand. Now we know how good Computer Search is only this time you dont have to discard anything to grab what you want. Any card that let's you grab any card from your deck and add it to your hand is extremely good. Another consistency card I had in the list before was a 1-1 Electrode line. But I decided to drop him at the last minute to make room for the 1-1 Drifblim line in which I'm going to be talking about next. I figured the Roserades alone were good enough for that extra consistency. Which I'm glad I made that change since the Drifblim helped me win a few of my matchs.

1-1 Drifblim: 

Having him in the deck helps against decks that use tons of special energy. Such as Plasma and Aromatisse decks. Drifblim's "Shadow Steal" attack does 50 damage times the number of special energy in your opponents discard. You can see how he can do some lethal damage when used at the right time and combined with Enhanced Hammers.

2 Enhanced Hammer: 

I went with two of these bad boys mainly because they are just good in general against most current decks, aside from Blastoise and Rayboar of course. Also since I added the 1-1 Drifblim line you can combo these together and make nice plays to hit the right numbers you need.

2-2 Ultra Ball/Level Ball:

 I did a 2-2 ball split only because the whole Roserade line can be searched out along with Drifloon with a Level Ball. So I wanted to be able to grab them without having to discard any resources that I may need later on in the game.

Matchups: VG/Opp

Blastoise: 65-35

Against one of the most successful decks this season I would have to give the edge to Virizion/Genesect. Mostly because you can Red Signal up the decks energy acceleration, aka Squirtles and Blastoises. Doing so slows them down dramatically.

The way to play this match is to put a Muscle Band onto your Virizion Ex, Red Signal up a Blastoise, and then you can KO it while being able to power up something on your bench. Or you can just KO the Blastoise with Genesect Ex, since both Squirtle and Blastoise are weak to grass, although I would much prefer attacking with the Virizion, because it saves your Genesects from taking a hit, or worse, being KOed. Slowing them down while maintaining board presence like this gives you an edge in the match up. You can use the Roserades to your advantage and search out the plasma energies you need to drag up the Squirtles or Blastoises. Without their blastoise, the match-up is a lot easier.

Darkrai/Yveltal: 60-40

Aagainst this match up I also give the edge to Virizion/Genesect, mainly because this version does not run Garbodor. The fact that they can’t Hypnotoxic Laser you while you have a grass energy attached to your pokemon is just too good. One of Darkrai/Yveltal’s main source of damage is the damage from lasers, so negating that plays a huge part in the match up. It takes a lot more for them to get a one-shot on you! Also the fact that you can use your Roserades and Red Signal and not have to worry about them getting negated by Garbodor.

In this match you almost always want to start off by Emerald Slashing with a Muscle Band onto your Genesect Ex. Whether it be on an Ex or something as small as a Baby Yveltal or Sableye. If you can also do this while having a Roselia on the bench then thats great. This gives you the turn 3 G Booster option if you really need it, and setting up damage to be able to kill Ex’s with Megalo Cannon (or taking cheap prizes off of their non-Ex’s). I would power up multiple Genesect’s before going the G Booster route (usually) since you want to have as many energy on your field, so you don’t run dry on energy and attackers. This match is pretty straight forward, set up KOs and use G Booster when necessary.

Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor: 55-45

Although I would still give the edge to Virizion/Genesect, this match-up is indeed more difficult. If they are unable to set up a Garbodor, it gets even easier than the regular version, but that’s rarely the case. If they do get Garbodor out you will have some problems. This means they now are able to use their Hypnotoxic Lasers on you, and you’re no longer able to use your Red Signal, or Roserade constantly. Making it easier for them to KO things.

To play this match-up correctly, you have to hold onto your Tool Scrapper and wait for the Garbodor and a tool to hit the filed. Afterwards, use the Tool Scrapper in conjunction with Red Signal to bring up the Garbodor and KO it with your Genesect Ex. If you’re able to drag up Trubbishs before they turn into Garbodor, then that is another play you should do. From there it should be a lot easier to deal with their attackers, and now you are able to use your abilities.

Rayboar: 30-70

Do I have to? Haha ok... Well next up we have the Rayboar match up which is in deed your worst and toughest match out of every deck. It’s just that bad. You most likely will not win this match unless your opponent is just dead drawing all game.

I was unfortunate to play against Rayboar round 7 of Georgia Regionals. I hit the only Rayboar at the top tables! With my record being 5-1-0 i knew the dream was dead of making my 3rd top 8 at Regionals this season (#humblebrag), but I was glad it was against my good buddy Kyle Sabelhaus, who then made it all the way to the finals! If somehow you see that you have some hope in the match up then your best bet to trying to win this very unfavorable match-up is KOing the Tepigs before Emboar hits the field. Once Emboar hits the field, the games pretty much over.

Plasma/Lugia: 55-45

Now we have the Plasma/Lugia variant. The deck can be really terrifying if they get a turn 2 Lugia attacking for 170 damage. This match is almost 50/50, and really depends on how fast they can get Lugia Ex up and running. Another reason being the fact that they can one shot anything with just 3 Deoxys Ex and a Muscle Band.

With that being said I still give the slight edge to Virizion/Genesect mainly because you have the G Booster plus Red Signal play. So the way to play this match is by Emerald Slashing onto things with 170 hp with Muscle Band attached to your Virizion Ex, in order to set up KOs while powering up your Genesects.

To make sure you don’t run dry on energy and attackers, you may want to power up at least 2 Genesect before going too aggressive with them. Once done you will then be able to have enough attackers to take all your prizes and hopefully take over the game. The 70 damage you did to the first Ex will be 2 easy prizes late game and should generally be your last 2 prizes.

First though, you have to focus on KOing the Lugia Ex’s, which are easily your biggest threats. You want to G-Booster at least 1 Lugia Ex, and then another Ex that has no damage on it. Doing so you will now be at 2 prizes, giving you the option to just finish the game off on the Ex that you hit turn 2 or 3 with Virizion Ex! To help you succeed you have the Roserades. They give you that extra consistency where if your missing that one piece to KOing something, whether it be the plasma energy you need to drag something up, or the G Booster itself, or literally anything you can possibly want!

Also, let’s not forget about the Enhanced Hammers! They play a huge part in the Plasma match. Being able to slow them down while setting up multiple Genesects is huge. Alongside these, I also went with a 1-1 Drifblim line in my Regionals list. Although he was meant for the Plasma match ups, he actually helped me take a win against Taylor Pagani’s crazy Flareon/Leafeon/Dugtrio/Raichu/Garbodor deck. I was unable to KO his active Flareon with 2 Genesects down and the 3rd not being able to attack. I had one last sign of hope. I level ball for the Drifloon and bench it. Needing to also stall a turn, I promote Roserade as a sacrifice bringing him down to 1 prize. My opponent had only 1 special energy in his discard so I knew I needed to hammer his active DCE. When my turn came I needed to hit the Drifblim and an Enhanced Hammer to KO his only Flareon and pretty much steal the game. I hit both off a colress to 7 and make a huge come back. It was a crazy, intense series.

Aromatisse/Plasma: 70-30

This match is very favorable for Virizion/Genesect and thats why I give the huge edge to it. With their main energy acceleration being Thundurus Ex, they are only able to attach 1 energy per turn. Knowing this you can use it to your advantage.

Your main focus against this deck is KOing 2 Spritzee or Aromatisse, then finishing your last 4 prizes on 2 EXs. All you really have to do is Red Signal and KO the Spritzees with Virizion Ex, while powering up Genesects. If they get Aromatisse out, then you can simply Red Signal them and KO them with a Genesect EX. When they are unable to move their energy around, then that’s where you KO EX’s and anything that has energy on them. While keeping in mind to also keep your prize count even. This match-up is relatively straight-forward.

Aromatisse/Big Basics: 60-40

This version is a little more difficult mainly because they have Xerneas (non Ex) as their energy acceleration. The fact that they can have 4 energy on field by turn 2 is pretty scary. They are now able to 1 hit KO something with that many energy on the field. This is where the Enhanced Hammers play a big role. You need to slow them down with them so that you can keep powering up your own attackers. You still keep to the same plan as the other version, just this time you have to watch more carefully on how many energy your opponent has and predict what attacker you think they may use next, and act on it.

 #2 Virizion/Genesect/Drifblim

Next, we have Virizion/Genesect, but with Drifblims over the Roserades. This variant has had quite a good amount of success during the 3 weekends of States and the first weekend of Spring Regionals. Taking 2 State Championship wins, while also taking 3 top 4 spots this past weekend at Regionals. As you can see, this variant has done quite well, and is definitely one to look out for these next 2 weekends of Regionals.

Here is a standard list, along side some of my personal preferences.

2-2 Drifblim:

 This variant plays a 2-2 Drifblim line, since he's one of your main attackers. He helps you win your Plasma match and basically any match that plays a lot of special energy. Also the fact that he is a non Ex. Makes him even better for prize trades. So he certainly deserves a spot in the deck.

1 Mr. Mime: 

This guy helps against things that can do snipe damage. Such as Landorus Ex, Darkrai Ex and Kyurem. To make sure your little guys like Drifloon aren't KOed on the bench. Then Mr. Mime is the way to go and deserves a spot as well.

1 Jirachi Ex: 

Now we have Jirachi Ex. This guy helps with consistency and when you need an out and are running dry on supporters in hand. We all have been in that frustrating situation where you dont have a supporter but you have an Ultra or Level Ball in your hand and are wishing you played Jirachi Ex. Well nows your chance. Jirachi Ex can help keep you in the game. So this is why he deserved a spot just like Mr. Mime.

Match ups: VG/Opp

Blastoise: 60-40

Again, this match up is still in Virizion/Genesect’s favor, even with the Drifblims added, for the same reason as before. Blastoise being weak to grass and the fact that you can easily KO the decks only energy acceleration. Although the Drifblims are basically useless, aside from using them as bait to try and stall for a turn, you can still go the same route and power up Genesects while trying to Red Signal up the Blastoises or Squirtles.

Darkrai/Yveltal: 55-45

With Drifblims over Roserades in this variant, Darkrai/Yveltal is a bit tougher. Since Drifblims are weak to dark, that makes them really fragile against this deck.

With that being said, Drifblims are not actually as useless as they may seem compared to Blastoise. Most Darkrai/Yveltal variants run Double Colorless Energy, making the match up a little less stressful, knowing you have that back up attacker if needed. Along side the hammers, the Drifblims can make nice plays. While also only giving up 1 prize in the process! You play the match just like before. Set up for late game KOs and use G Booster when necessary.

Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor: 55-45

Just like before, you use your Tool Scrapper/Red Signal combo onto the Garbodor with the tool at the right time. Only this time you have a backup attacker (Drifblim) that can be used to your advantage, while comboing them with hammers.  

Rayboar: 25-75

 Again, this is your hardest match up, hence the huge difference in win percentage. I gave this match a lower rating than the Roserade variant only because of the fact that the Roserades help with consistency, while the Drifblim’s don’t aid at all in the match-up. Just like before the only thing you can really hope to do against this match is to KO the tepigs before the Emboars come out, otherwise the game is basically over. Not much else to say about this match, we all know how it goes down most of the time.

Plasma/Lugia: 65-35

As you can see there’s a pretty solid difference with the Drifblims over Roserades. The big reasoning behind that now we have a 2-2 Drifblim line making it a huge difference to the match-up. All you really have to do is set up 1 Genesect EX, while the rest of your attackers being Drifblims! The Drifblims plus hammers help the match-up so much.

As long as your opponent has 3-4 special energy in their discard, this match should almost always be in your favor by a huge margin. With them having 3 special energy in discard you can still attach a Muscle Band to Drifblim and 1 hit KO Ex’s with 170 hp or less with Shadow Steal. Now lets not forget you also have the hammers in case your opponent has less energy than you want in their discard, but have special energy on board. Grab a hammer and make sure you have that extra damage you need for that 1 hit KO, turning your hammer into basically a quintuple plus power! The main point of the match is to set up KO’s and clean up with Drifblim’s.

Aromatisse/Plasma: 75-25

The next match up we have is the Aromatisse Plasma variant. The advantage goes to Virizion/Genesect hands down. Even more so since the Drifblims are added. As stated before, this Aromatisse variant’s main source of energy acceleration is Thundurus Ex.

Now lets think about this for a second. Literally every energy in their deck is special! Well then this is going to be a walk in the park. Since this decks main focus is discarding special energy and getting them back with Thundurus Ex, you can then use Drifblims to full capacity and go Super Saiyan mode. This match is almost to easy. Set up Drifblims and one or two Genesects, and the games basically over. Keeping in mind to hammer away at key times.

 Aromatisse/Big Basics: 70-30

I give this Aromatisse variant a little bit of a higher chance than the other, only because you also have basic energy as well as special energy. They are able to use Xerneas’s Geomancy attack to search out basic fairy energy from the deck to attach to 1 or 2 of their benched pokemon. Now we know the other version only grabs 1 energy from discard, so you can see why this version is a little more tougher than the Plasma one. Even still, you can go the same route with powering and setting up your Genesects and Drifblims. Just this time you have to think more carefully, since they have basic energy in the equation.

 #3 Virizion/Genesect/Raichu

Lastly, we have Virizion/Genesect, but with Raichu over Roserade or Drifblim. This variant also has had quite a good amount of success during the 3 weekends of States, and the first weekend of Regionals. Taking a first place at a State Championships and a Regional Championship! We may see more of this deck for weeks 2 and 3 of Spring Regionals.

Here is a standard list along side a few of my personal preferences.

2-2 Raichu:

 I went with a 2-2 Raichu line since they are great non Ex attackers that can 1 hit KO big Exs like Yveltal Ex and Lugia Ex. Which are two of the decks biggest problems. So now you have an answer to both while also giving up 1 prize in the process. Raichu also has free retreat so this makes it to where you don't really need to run too many switching cards. Making you have more room for other things.

2 Shadow Triad:

 This card deserves two spots, mainly because your ace spec being G Booster can be grabbed again and used with this card. You can also get back lasers if you need them. Another thing is that you can get back Plasma energies that are in your discard. Which can be really clutch at times when you need to Red Signal up something.

4 Hypnotoxic Laser:

 I went with 4 because you want to make sure you have them when you need them. They help against Garbodor decks, mainly the Darkrai/Yveltal variants and other decks that run Virbank City Gym. The extra 30 damage against most currenct decks can set up a lot of good numbers. This card can also be retrieved by Shadow Triad if you need to use them again.

Match ups: VG/Opp

Blastoise: 65-35

Once again I will give the edge to Virizion/Genesect. This time you have Raichu as your back up attacker instead of Drifblim. While Raichu isn’t too effective in this match up, it doesn’t mean they are useless. With a full bench on your field you can still max out at 100 damage, but with things like Hypnotoxic Laser and Muscle Band added into the equation, you can max out at 150 damage from a full bench plus Muscle Band plus Hypnotoxic Laser plus Virbank City Gym. Even though that sounds like a lot, it honestly isn’t too difficult to set up.

Depending on your sleep roll and your opponents sleep roll, the extra 30 damage from Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym can make a huge impact against their EXs. Especially against Black Kyurem Ex and Keldeo Ex. Usually, they will just bump your Virbank City Gym with their Tropical Beach, but even if they do, you already put a big chunk of damage onto one of their EXs with a non Ex. Also, since the Raichu’s have free retreat, you can use them to stall for a turn if needed, allowing you to survive a turn if your opponent is at 2 prizes. Usually though, you just go the traditional route as the other 2 Virizion/Genesect variants. That being you just set up the Red Signal KOs on their Squirtle and Blastoises.

 Darkrai/Yveltal: 65-35

With the Raichu variant as well as having Hynotoxic Laser, you have an even greater advantage over Darkrai/Yveltal. Mainly the fact that Yveltal Ex is weak to Lightning, and Raichu is a Lighting pokemon that can 1 hit KO Yveltal Ex. Hypnotoxic Laser plays a huge part against Darkrai/Yveltal decks as well. They can hurt and slow them down quite a bit, giving you a huge advantage since your immune to theirs while they aren’t.

There are 4 ways Raichu can 1 hit KO an Yveltal Ex. The first being having a full bench, which will do a whopping 200 damage because of weakness! Then your second option is having 4 benched pokemon, and a Hypnotoxic laser, which will do exactly 170 damage. The third way is having a Muscle Band attached to Raichu, while also having 4 benched pokemon. Lastly your final option is having a Muscle Band and a Hypnotoxic Laser, along with just 3 benched pokemon.

So you can go from there and decide which way you want to go. With Raichu only needing 2 Colorless Energy to attack, it is quite easy to power him up. You can Emerald Slash onto him, or simply attach an energy and energy switch another onto him. Don’t forget you can always use Genesect as your attacker since G Booster can do some work as well. Raichu is mainly your back up attacker, but can also be used as your main attacker if you can keep them going.

 Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor: 60-40

This match up is basically the same as the non Garbodor variant, only difference again is now that they can shut off your abilities. Unlike the other variants though, you now have Hynotoxic Laser. Even still, you have to focus on their Trubbishs and Garbodors.

To do this you do the same as the other 2 Virizion/Genesect variants. Just hold onto your Tool Scrapper and Red Signal when you have to. Now that you have Raichu as your backup attacker, it makes this match a little less stressful. Free retreat on Raichu makes him really nice for when you need to promote something, or if you need to stall for a turn and don’t have a switch card. Worse case they KO Raichu, but they only take 1 prize, which is nice and can make all the difference.

Rayboar: 35-65

This match up is still extremely difficult, even with the Raichu as one of your attackers. They only have 90 hp, so something as simple as a Shred from a baby Rayquaza can KO them. You may give them a little more fight then the other 2 Virizion/Genesect variants, but its still going to be one hell of a blood bath. So still there isn’t much else to say, but just hope they draw poorly and don’t get out any Emboar.

Plasma/Lugia: 60-40

This is another match-up where Raichus are quite useful.  Lugia Ex is weak to Lightning just like Yveltal Ex. So since this Plasma decks main source of strategy is to go aggro Lugia and get 6 prizes in 2-3 attacks, the Raichu’s can be really good against them. If they come up with Lugia then you threaten that revenge KO right back.  Your opponent may have to rethink their strategy. If they try to stall and power up multiple Lugia’s and you are set up with Raichus ready to start the war just simply Red Signal them up and KO them. If you can get the first KO on a Lugia, then that’s going to be huge, and you should then be able to take the game from there. 

Aromatisse/Plasma: 70-30

With the Raichu variant it’s almost just as easy to beat this Aromatisse variant as with the Drifblim’s. Since one of Aromatisse’s big attackers is Yveltal Ex , if they bench them, you basically have 2 free prizes. Aside from Raichus KOing Yveltal’s, you can still Red Signal the Spritzees and Aromatisse’s. Just don’t forget to keep your prize count even! Although if they get 2 Spritzee out at once, then I would probably just go for an EX knockout. Otherwise this match is pretty simple and straight forward just like with the other 2 Virizion/Genesect variants.

 Aromatisse/Big Basics: 65-35

Lastly, we have the Big Basic variant against Virizion/Genesect with Raichus. Now since this Aromatisse variants main acceleration nets you 1 more energy then the Plasma variant, while also being basic energy, it is slightly more difficult, but still in your favor. Yet again you go straight for the Spritzee’s and Aromatisse’s. Its fairly similar to the other 2 Virizion/Genesect variants. Try to focus on the Spritzees and Aromatisses, while setting up those KO’s, but also keeping an eye out on how many energy your opponent has, and what pokemon you may think they will attack with next and act on it.

Well that will conclude this article. I hope this gives you some more understanding about the deck, and I hope these variants give you success during the last 2 weekends of Regionals, should you decide to play one of them. Keep an eye out for more articles to come!Hope you enjoyed! :)

Jose Marrero

[+3] okko


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