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Zach Lesage

AbilityZard Bible

Zach explains AbilityZard in depth. Included are three lists, explanations for each card in the deck, 20 tech ideas fully discussed, and strategies for matchups that are relevant in the current metagame.

03/03/2020 by Zach Lesage

Yoooo, what’s up everyone?!?! The goal of this article is to explain as much as humanly possible about AbilityZard in our current standard format! I have been a believer in this deck since it was created at Worlds, I have played it in many events, and I have become an expert on it in the process. I will be going over my list, tech options, ideal playing strategies, and important matchups. There is a lot of ground to cover so let’s jump into it now! 

The Deck

I’m going to start with my OCIC finalist list, go over the basic strategy of the deck, and share why I included the cards that I did in the list. Below that, I am going to include tech options and two of my updated lists that I am working with for Toronto Regionals. Let’s peep out the list. 

Pokemon 17

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Dedenne-GX UNB

2 Ninetales TEU

2 Vulpix SWH

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX UNM

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB

1 Victini Prism Star DRM

1 Heatran-GX UMI

1 Turtonator DRM

1 Victini V SWH

Trainers 25

2 Giant Hearth

1 Heat Factory Prism Star

4 Welder

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Escape Board

2 Lucky Egg

2 Fiery Flint

1 Pal Pad

Energy 18

18 Fire Energy

General Strategy 

The goal for this deck is to use Welder on various Pokémon to attack your opponent in the most efficient way. There are different Pokémon that thrive off of varying Energy counts and they each bring a sense of uniqueness to the deck. Mainly, this deck succeeds because of Ninetales because gusting effects are extremely limited with our current card pool. With some of the new cards added from Sword and Shield, such as Quick Ball, this deck has become as consistent as possible. Lastly, it doesn’t necessarily have any auto losses, it has a strong suite of great matchups, and it is capable of winning quickly. When you put together energy acceleration, gusting, and a variety of strong attacks, you end up with a compelling strategy.

Card Explanation

In this section I will go over all of the cards in the deck to explain their uses!

Jirachi

In an effort to make this deck more consistent, Jirachi is seen as a necessity. Make sure to slap on an Escape Board to get out of Stellar Wish making you Asleep (Watch our for Absol) or use Switch to get out of the Active Spot. Welder can only draw so many cards so this card allows you to go the distance!

Dedenne-GX

Similar to Jirachi, Dedenne makes this deck playable! You are really only using this card for Dedechange, but that is fine. Between drawing cards and allowing yourself to dump unneeded cards, this card is a huge consistency crutch! Use this card to pitch away extra Fire Energy to do more damage with Victini Prism! 

Ninetales / Vulpix

As stated in the general strategy, Ninetales provides this deck with the rare option of consistent gusting! Knock Out any Pokémon you want! Ninetales is also a Stage One Pokemon and that has some neat bonuses too! It gets around Abilities such as Absol, which only works on Basic Pokémon, and Ninetales can get through Obstagoon’s Obstruct attack! Nine Temptations also allows you to discard Fire Energy so you can use Victini V to grab them back or use Victini Prism for more damage! I have received a lot of messages on Facebook about me using the SWH Vulpix and I want to clear that up! With Jirachi being popular in our format and that brings out opposing Absol techs, Switch is almost a four count in every deck. That means that the TEU Vulpix is less effective overall and the SWH Vulpix has 10 more HP! It doesn’t really matter that much, but it might help out against the few Psychic Blacephalon techs that are floating around out there! 

Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

If you expect a lot of PikaRom matchups or if there are decks in the format that Bench a lot of GX Pokémon, this is your go to attacker! I have personally been in the fence in whether to include this card in future iterations of the deck or not, but it can be effective in the right circumstances! I know some players are picking up on Henry Brand’s Mewtwo deck from OCIC that works with Solgaleo-GX Sol Burst and Special Energy so perhaps LoPuff can prove it’s worth! 

Reshiram & Charizard-GX

ReshiZard has a large amount of HP, can swing for 300 damage, and it goes through all effects! I typically use this card to OHKO Mewtwo, ADP, or any other large HP Tag Team GX Pokémon. Outrage can force your opponent into some awkward scenarios too!

Victini Prism Star

Victini V is so busted because it allows you get back your Fire Energy (this avoids deck out, you can use Ninetales more) and it can hit for a bunch of damage! I personally use this card to have a strong matchup against Control / Mill (use Ninetales to bring up Wobbuffet so that you can attack) and loop your Energy back in your deck! I have also used this card as a single Prize Card attacker against decks such as Baby Blowns and Malamar! You can also attack for near infinite damage because this deck plays 18 Fire! It’s kinda busted! 

Heatran-GX

This is probably my fave attacker and that’s because it is super efficient. It’s ability means that you can spread Energy around (which is also great for a Turtonator) and it can do 130 for three Energy! It’s GX attack allows you to do semi-infinite damage which is great at Knocking Out Tag Team Pokémon (or any Pokémon if you truly want). 

Turtonator

Turt works great after using a huge Double Blaze GX on ReshiZard or Hot Burn GX on Heatran! It also works great with Volc / Victini V to spread Energy around so you can always hit for large numbers! Turt is great at Knocking Out Pokémon with large amounts of HP and functioning as a decent single Prize Card attacker (when attacking other single Prize Card attackers)

Victini V

I really like this card a lot! Not only is it not a GX Pokémon (it can’t get gusted up with Great Catcher), it has two solid attacks that are extremely different from each other! Spreading Flames allows for an explosive T1 that allows you to attach three Energy with Welder and three with Spreading Flames! This means you can effectively spread Energy for Heatran / Turt or get a ReshiZard ready to Double Blaze GX! Energy Burst can make quick work of a Zacian or give you the opportunity to bop a Mewtwo with plenty of Energy attached to it! 

Giant Hearth / Fiery Flint

You need Fire Energy in your hand and you needs outs to discard Fire Energy / Cards in your hand! These cards provide you with many options, but I use them to thin my deck out quickly while grabbing the Energy I need! I also use them to power up Victini Prism, power up Spreading Flames, and discard clutter in my hand.

Heat Factory Prism Star

Sometimes you need to draw cards because drawing three with Welder doesn’t cut it all of the time. Similar to Hearth / Flint, this is a great way to discard Fire Energy from your hand in a pinch! Remember, this card can’t get bumped by cards like Faba, only other Stadiums! 

Welder / Pal Pad

Welder is the Energy accelerating option in this deck and Pal Pad gets it back! A turn without Welder is usually a turn that has been wasted! 

Quick Ball / Pokémon Communication

Quick Ball essentially replaced Cherish Ball in this deck to be able to search out any Basic in the deck! Pokémon Communication is the only way to search out Ninetales and is a great way to put away Pokémon that you don’t want to discard with Dedenne! 

Switch / Escape Board

While both of these cards work great with Jirachi (especially Escape Board), they are both great at getting unwanted Pokémon out of the Active Spot! 

Lucky Egg

This is likely the card that gets the most reactions out of my list, but it is an entirely simple concept. Welder decks are extremely vulnerable to hand disruption (such as Reset Stamp, Marnie, and TrevNoir) so Lucky Egg allows you to force your opponent into giving you a seven card hand. If they decide against using Stamp because you have Egg attaches, that’s half the battle already! It also pseudo forces your opponent into choosing non-optimal Knock Outs to avoid you getting a draw card bonus! This is definitely a cuttable card, but it certainly helped boost my consistency for OCIC!

Fire Energy

Between Welder, Ninetales, and Victini Prism, 18 is a solid count for this deck. It gives you a nice balance between always having access to Energy and hitting enough relevant damage with Victini Prism

Tech Options

These are some of the tech cards that I have been considering adding to the deck and they are actively being tested! Obviously decks can only be 60 cards, but these are some interesting options!

Volcanion UNB

This is a card that players said that I ‘missed’ in my original list, but I beg to differ! I last minute added LoPuff to my deck because plenty of of top American players were playing PikaRom at OCIC! I didn’t feel comfortable cutting any other card, I already had Victini V in the deck for a similar effect, and Volc ended up on the chopping block! That being said, I really enjoy this card in the list as an additional out to energy acceleration and I like how it can OHKO a Zacian for only two Energy! It also has the benefit of being a single Prize Card attacker which can help greatly against other single Prize Card decks!

Blacephalon UNB / Fire Crystal

I have always been fascinated by single Prize Card decks and adding Baby Blowns into this deck is intriguing! I played a similar list at many Cups, with Baby Blowns in it, and it helped me win against Tag Team decks. With Mewtwo, PikaRom, and ADP being very popular, I could easily see Baby Blowns getting added into most lists! It’s also incredibly easy to cut five Fire Energy for a Baby Blowns and four Fire Crystal.

Cinderace V Promo

This is one of those cards that I can see being playable in fringe situations, but otherwise I’m completely unsure. It attacks for the same amount at Heatran’s Steaming Stomp, but for an additional 10 damage (which isn’t entirely relevant). Field Runner can give it free Retreat and it has a solid 210 HP that can withstand some blows. It has the same benefit as Victini V in which it is a V Pokémon! It can’t get gusted up by Great Catcher which is a neat bonus! Overall, I think this card won’t make the final cut in any future iterations of my AbilityZard list, but it is in the back of my mind for now. I’m pretty sure it can Evolve into Cinderace VMax in our next set, so this might be the default best Cinderace V. With Obstagoon running around, a hefty VMax in this deck doesn’t sound horrible! 

Cramorant V SWH

Cramorant is a card that doesn’t receive the love that it deserves! I’m this deck, it brings a different Weakness, a new type, and a few attacking options! You can snipe a Dedenne (or any Pokémon with 160 HP or less) or use Beak Catch as a consistency crutch! This card was in my original list that I was testing prior to OCIC, but I eventually cut it because Ninetales is essentially a better version of Spit Shot. 

Torkoal V SWH

With access to 18 Fire Energy in my OCIC list, Combustion Pillar has decent odds of swinging for 180 damage (possibly 100% chance if you include Guru SWH). The real reason why I would include this card is because of Steam Crush. Sending back two Energy to your opponents hand is a nifty effect because you can stop them in their tracks! The biggest reason why I am hesitant is the attack cost of four, which means you can’t power it up with a Welder in a single turn, and that Knocking Out any Pokémon is usually better. 

Marshadow UNB

In a metagame where Chaotic Swell is a splash-able option in many decks, I don’t hate Marshadow. In most cases I would rather run an additional Fiery Flint, but sometimes you need consistent access to Energy with Hearth. If you ever added in Lysandre Labs, I would add this card in too to get rid of Labs when you wanted! 

Tapu Fini UNM

This card is only valuable against Big Blowns and Baby Blowns. Both are relatively difficult matchups and Fini should only be a consideration if you are playing in a metagame with a large amount of those decks! 

Absol TEU

With Jirachi being a popular card in many decks, Absol can absolutely (pun intended) force your opponent into a tough position. The only reason why this card is not a staple right now is because Switch is being played at an all time high! In testing, my friends would always have a Switch to get out of the Active Spot which means Absol is a wasted Bench slot. 

Hoopa UNM

Similar to Fini, this card is usually only used against Malamar decks or decks that play many Pokémon with Abilities. 

Oranguru SWH

I have always wanted Guru in this deck, but I often run out of Bench space throughout the game! I can picture myself putting a Welder on top of my deck before I use Dedenne or maybe saving my Victini Prism instead of Benching it. There are obvious uses for this card, but it mainly struggles to find room in the main list out of sheer Bench constraints.

Cinccino / Ditto Prism

Cinccino is a card that can get around Control decks if they pop back in our format! Pidgeotto was dominant in our last format and I wouldn’t be surprised if players have a few spooky concepts in their back pockets going forward. Beyond that, you gain access to drawing a couple of cards each turn with Make Do which makes this deck have better odds against Stamp. Ditto Prism is cute because you gain a pseudo Vulpix in the process.

Flareon-GX / Ditto Prism / Eevee

With Obstagoon running around after winning the Puerto Rico Special Event and placing third at OCIC, having hard counters is becoming more tempting. Sure you can use Ninetales to gust around Obstruct, but I’m sure Goon players will start adding Stealthy Hood into their deck. Flareon works great with a large amount of Fire Energy and it can add an additional layer of diversity in terms of attackers. It can be an energy accelerator or a powerful attacker. It also has the advantage of using Power Burner GX for a single Fire, which means you can power it up without the use of Welder. I’m not sure which Eevee I would choose, but I think the best option is either Eevee-GX, “Lead” from CEC, or the Running Charge Promo. I’m hesitant on Eevee-GX because of Shrine of Punishment / Mimikyu combos running around, but otherwise it will likely survive the turn of waiting to Evolve. Lead is the most obvious choice because you can search out a Welder, but I always enjoy attacks like Running Charge because you can score an attack out of nowhere! 

Volcarona-GX / Ditto Prism / Larvesta

Similar to Flareon, Volcarona allows you to have a hard out to Goons! Flaming Shot works great with a bunch of Fire Energy and I’m sure it could help score some OHKOs that otherwise would be difficult (Big Charm on ADP, Hot Burn on Mewtwo for one less Energy). Backfire can Knock Out a Goon for perfect numbers and you can grab back your Fire Energy to use Flaming Shot, Welder elsewhere, or Nine Temptations to gust something up. I don’t see many circumstances where Massive Heat Wave GX works, but it might help against an ADP Zacian deck that missed the T1 attachment to set them another turn behind. Shoutout to Kenny Packala for reminding me about this card!

Faba / Lysandre Labs

I’m slightly worried that players are going to start teching in Stealthy Hood if this deck continues to remain popular in most metagames. Both of these cards get around it, but I personally like Faba because we can gain a second use out of it with Pal Pad! Labs would be great, but it is easily bump-able by many common cards in the format. Faba can also negate a turn from an ADP player by taking away their Aurora Energy attachment.

Professor’s Research (Professor Magnolia) / Cynthia & Caitlin

I’m always about consistency and both of these cards offer it in slightly different ways. Magnolia is similarly disruptive like Dedenne and C & C is similar to Pal Pad. Both cards draw cards, but come at the cost of not playing Welder for the turn. I’m hesitant on both, but I have tested each card in various AbilityZard lists

Cherish Ball

With this card getting kicked out of the deck for Quick Ball, I’m not too sure if I want to see it entirely gone. It can grab Dedenne, ReshiZard, Heatran, and LoPuff for free! It might not be a four count, but I do like a single copy right now! 

Stealthy Hood

If AbilityZard is a big part of a particular metagame, Ninetales bringing up other Ninetales is a big factor in the mirror match. Attaching Stealthy Hood to Ninetales stops it from ever getting gusted up which can help a bunch in that matchup. There are other neat uses, such as stopping Goons from spreading damage or getting around Mimikyu if they stopped your Heatran! 

Lana’s Fishing Rod / Ordinary Rod

With tech cards allowing you to swing matchups in your favor, the opportunity to grab those cards back also seems great. Ordinary Rod should likely be better, but Lana’s Fishing Rod can get back an Escape Board (or Stealthy Hood if you play it). I would only run these cards if your single copy of [insert tech here] could swing an entire matchup if you got it back. I have used Lana’s Rod with Fini in the past to have a much more favorable Baby Blowns matchup. 

Cyrus Prism Star

With this deck playing Jirachi, this card instantly becomes an option. With large KO potential and Ninetales gusting, you can force your opponent to a rough two Pokémon in play. Similar to other Supporter options, this does mean you can’t use Welder for the turn which can be painful at times. 

Lysandre Prism Star

Similar to Cyrus Prism, Lysandre Prism is meant to swing a game in your favor on a crucial turn. Maybe this can get a bunch of Mewtwo options in the Lost Zone which can swing the matchup back in our favor? I’m not entirely sure, but it might be worth doing some testing! 

Updated List 1: Natural Progression

This list is the same list that I played at my most recent Cup in Whitby, ON. I looked around the room, realized that Lucky Egg wasn’t going to be the play, and that other cards could add the same element of consistency. Our metagame for that day had limited PikaRom and that meant that LoPuff could get cut. This list looks ideal on paper and I played it all the way until I hit Baby Blowns in the T8 (a terrible matchup). 

Pokemon 17

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Dedenne-GX UNB

2 Ninetales TEU

2 Vulpix SWH

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB

1 Victini Prism Star DRM

1 Heatran-GX UMI

1 Turtonator DRM

1 Volcanion UNB

1 Victini V SWH

Trainers 25

2 Giant Hearth

1 Heat Factory Prism Star

4 Welder

4 Pokémon Communication

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

2 Escape Board

2 Fiery Flint

1 Cherish Ball

1 Pal Pad

Energy 18

18 Fire Energy

This is effectively the same list as my OCIC list, but the changes make the deck feel more AbilityZard focused at its core! Volc adds a nice out to getting Energy in play and the Cherish Ball felt as nice as Lucky Egg did. I had a few close calls against Reset Stamp, but I was ultimately able to pull through. I might end up cutting the Cherish Ball and fourth Pokémon Communication / 18th Fire Energy for two Lucky Egg. I’m still undecided if Lucky Egg is necessary or not...

Updated List 2: Baby Blowns 

Similar to how Robin Schulz took the European Worlds list for AbilityZard and added Baby Blowns for Sheffield Regionals, this deck is nearly mimicking the same meta call. Mewtwo is a difficult Pokémon to OHKO and Baby Blowns makes that a little hit easier. I’m still experimenting with this version, but it definitely has promise of being a great choice for our current metagame (post OCIC / Puerto Rico).

Pokemon 18

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Dedenne-GX UNB

2 Ninetales TEU

2 Vulpix SWH

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB

1 Victini Prism Star DRM

1 Blacephalon UNB

1 Heatran-GX UMI

1 Turtonator DRM

1 Volcanion UNB

1 Victini V SWH

Trainers 29

2 Giant Hearth

1 Heat Factory Prism Star

4 Welder

4 Fire Crystal

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Escape Board

2 Lucky Egg

2 Fiery Flint

1 Pal Pad

Energy 13

13 Fire Energy

As you can see, this list takes inspiration from my OCIC list to add back in Lucky Egg due to the increased focus of single Prize Card attackers. I think it is also possible to cut a few more Pokémon, such as ReshiZard and Volc, to add in a few tech options like Fini and Hoopa. That would make it less AbilityZard and more Welder & Friends, but that might be a solid call heading into Malmö, Toronto, Perth, and Santiago. 

Matchups

While AbilityZard might look brainless to some, there is actually a lot of thought process that goes into each matchup this deck faces. I don’t think I got to the finals of OCIC by luck alone, I played extremely well in most of my matchups by making correct plays. You can easily play this deck blind and go Welder - attack, but that will only get you so far. I have included the most relevant matchups at this time of writing as we approach Malmö, Toronto, Perth, and Santiago. 

ADP Zacian 

This is one the best matchups because we can often outpace their start. I am torn between going first or second in this match because both make sense to me. If you go first, you essentially get a free turn because your opponent likely has zero acceleration for ADP and will likely attach an Energy and pass. If you go second, they might struggle to find an ADP and Energy without the use of a Supporter. You might not get the choice if your opponent wins the flip so I wouldn’t necessarily worry about it. If you had to choose one, it is better to go second most of the time because you gain access to Welder and your Volc’s playability increases. The goal in this matchup is to attack three times before your opponent wins. Their game plan is to GX attack on their second turn, attack with anything turn three, and win by turn four. Because Zacian has a Fire Weakness, we gain more attacking options in this matchup by gaining new options like Volcanion (110 x 2 = 220). As long as you don’t get hit by a crazy Reset Stamp or if your opponent has a zany list with techs, this one is favorable! 

Mewtwo & Mew (Welder)

This is the match that lost in the finals of OCIC and in reality, it has always been a difficult matchup. If both players have access to Welder and Victini V for acceleration, it comes down to tech cards. Most players will copy Nico’s Champion list which means Stealthy Hood can prevent us from bringing up stuff with Ninetales. Their game plan is to KO three GX / V Pokémon or Stinger GX you into a trap. They can also deck you out with Magcargo if you get to five cards or less in your deck. Your goal is to Knock Out two Mewtwo as quickly as possible. You can do this with ReshiZard / Heatran and finish them off with Victini V / Victini Prism / Turt. The reason why this match is so difficult is because you are essentially playing a mirror match that has way more attacking options than you do. It’s at the expense of not having access to Ninetales, but that doesn’t matter so much because of Hood. Baby Blacephalon helps a bunch to give another option to OHKO Mewtwo and I can see Lysandre Prism stripping many options away from this deck. I have found it better to go second in this matchup. 

Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

With this deck being absent from the T8 of OCIC, I think many players are going to dismiss it heading into their next event. I actually think PikaRom gets stronger as our metagame forms because it has plenty of options to get around decks such as Goons (double ChuChu is busted). Anyways, this has always been a slightly favorable matchup because you only need to Knock Out two Tag Team Pokémon. Lists have never played Stealthy Hood to get around Tales so you can often pick which Pokémon you are gonna Knock Out. Similar to Mewtwo, you want to use ReshiZard / Heatran / LoPuff for one OHKO and Baby Blowns / Turt / Victini V / Victini Prism for the other Knock Out. Be careful when you Bench Dedenne because they can still Tag Bolt GX you out of nowhere to win! This is definitely a matchup where going second is better. 

Mewtwo & Mew (Psychic)

While this deck was popular at OCIC, I don’t think it performed as well as many players thought it was going to overall. This matchup is much easier than Mewtwo (Welder) because they need to set up a few Mally on their Bench and their attackers seem limited in general. In many cases, you can slap an Escape Board before a Horror House GX or use Switch to get out of Pale Moon GX. Lucky Egg helps get around the “RNG” feeling of TrevNoir and Ninetales allows you to Knock Out two Tag Team GX. Similar to PikaRom, you want to use ReshiZard / Heatran for one OHKO and Baby Blowns / Turt / Victini V / Victini Prism for the other Knock Out. A Bonus tip is to keep your hand size large with Fiery Flint / Heat Factory while discarding Trainer cards so that your opponent hits for minimal damage with Poltergeist! I have found more success by going first in this matchup because they need to setup many Inkay to Evolve into Malamar. 

Blacephalon UNB

This matchup is rough because they are a predominantly single Prize Card attacking deck against a predominantly multiple Prize Card attacking deck. Beyond having hard techs, such as Fini, you want to focus on attacking their GX / V Pokémon to catch up on the Prize trade. Utilize Ninetales to gust up Cramorant, Zacian, and Dedenne while attacking with Pokémon that are worth the least amount of Prize Cards. Turtonator, Baby Blowns, and Victini Prism are all great options for completing that strategy. Avoid playing down your own GX / V Pokémon to keep the Prize trade in your favor. If they aren’t Benching Pokémon that are worth more than one Prize, you will have to attack them with your own single Prize Card Pokémon and hope they run out of options. It is advantageous to go second in this matchup to get off a quick Welder and to give yourself the opportunity to win on your first turn. If this matchup is popular in your metagame, Fini is really the best option you have. 

“Ability” Reshiram & Charizard-GX

This mirror is an absolute fight to the death because you both have the same box of tools to work with. I have found success by going second, gaining an Energy advantage with Victini V / Volc / Welder, and getting two Vulpix setup. If you isolate their Tales / Vulpix, they can’t choose which Pokémon they want to bring up which gives you an advantage. You want to use Pokémon that are worth the least amount of Prize Cards to take Knock Outs and you want to focus on an efficient route to victory. The best case scenario is Knocking Out three GX Pokémon or ReshiZard, a GX / V Pokémon, and a single Prize Card Pokemon. ReshiZard is generally a poor choice in this matchup. Sometimes you can run your opponent out of Energy by Knocking Out their Victini Prism early. If they commit a large amount of Energy to any Pokémon, such as Heatran / ReshiZard, punish them with Victini V.

Cinccino Control

This is one of the best matchups for AbilityZard because they can’t deck you out. You want to go first in this matchup to delay them a turn of Evolving / setting up, grab Victini Prism and Vulpix ASAP! If you have the opportunity to put Ninetales in your hand, I totally recommend it too! Once you have all of these pieces, keep on bring up non - Lillie’s Poke Doll Pokemon ans attack them with Victini Prism! As long as they don’t run an attacker such as Aerodactyl-GX or Hoopa, you should be fine. If they put Wobb into play, you will need to bring it up with Tales in order to attack with Victini Prism. If they attach a Stealthy Hood on it, I’m sure you will be wishing you played Faba, but you will just have to attack other things. Depending on the state of the game, you can likely finish your opponent off before decking out becomes an issue. 

Obstagoon 

This is a matchup that is going to become much more relevant as the meta clears a path heading into Malmö, Perth, Toronto, and Santiago. Goons has a solid matchup against most decks, but like most matchups, AbilityZard always has puts. Between using double Ninetales to gust around Goons or attacking with Double Blaze GX, this matchup feels relatively close. As Goons lists become more advanced with different techs, such as Stealthy Hood, it might be the correct call to add in either a Flareon-GX or Volcarona-GX line! For the time being, the matchup is fine, especially players who net deck Tim Bartels’ list, but it can get spooky at times. This is a match where I am debating if it makes sense to go first or second. If you go first, they need an extra turn to Evolve / attach Energy, but if you go second, you can win on the first turn. 

Malamar (Psychic) 

I almost didn’t include this matchup because this deck was thought to be dead until a group of solid American players played it at OCIC. That being said, some players will netdeck their list and give it go for future events. This isn’t the greatest matchup for similar reasons as the Baby Blowns matchup - Mally is predominately a single Prize Card deck. Hoopa would be great to have against this matchup, but that is strictly a metagame call for you to make. My success in this matchup has come from chasing Malamar and apply early pressure with efficient attackers, such as Heatran. If they drop a Tag Team Pokémon, like LunaSol or EspOxys, you want to focus on Knocking it Out to get around Psychic Baby Blowns (on the three Prize turn). This match isn’t horrible, it is just slightly unfavourable. Similar to Goons, I can come up with arguments to go first or second, but I like the option to win on the first turn more often than not. 

Toronto Bound

As I am writing this, I am still recovering from a horrible case of exhaustion from travelling and I have made the executive decision to cancel my travel plans to Puerto Rico. I still had opportunities to attend Collinsville, but I ultimately decided I would rather have a weekend at home. That doesn’t mean I am taking it off though, I am playing in Cups to acquire my last few wins (I still need three wins to get my perfect eight for the season) and to give myself the opportunity to earn a stipend for NAIC! That being said, my next major event is going to be another local one, Toronto Regionals! Fortunately for me, I don’t need to cross a border, I don’t need to buy a plane ticket, and I don’t need to drive very far either! With the next couple of weeks being relatively stress free, my goal is to find the best deck for Toronto and give it my best shot to go all the way! After that, I don’t know where my season will take me... I have looked up flights for Peru, El Salvador, United Kingdom, and South Africa. I’m going to make choices that allow me to have fun, to explore the world, and stay in the race for at least a T16 stipend for NAIC. For my next article, I will go over Obstagoon and explain how the deck works! If you are looking for coaching or if you wanna follow me on Social Media, check out these links! 

Social Media

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Email: zlesagepokemon@gmail.com

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[+0] okko


 

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