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Gabe Shumway

Can a New Dog Beat Old Tricks?

Everything you need to know about PikaRom / Boltund-V Toolbox in the UPR-RCL format.

05/15/2020 by Gabe Shumway

Hello everyone, I’m Gabe Shumway and I’m glad to be providing you guys with this new article today on PikaRom / Boltund-V Toolbox, which I feel is one of the strongest decks in this brand new UPR-RCL format. 

For those of you who don’t know who I am, Hi… My name is Gabe Shumway and I’m a long-time player from Massachusetts. I’ve been in and around pokemon since I was about 6 years old, first playing for many years in juniors and seniors. Now I’m a first-year master who’s had quite a bit of success this season, both in irl events earlier in the season as well as the new online tournament format we find ourselves in. I finished the season at 482 CP after a breakout performance at Atlantic City Regionals, just missing top 8 at 10th place. I’m eager to provide everyone with some quality content for any upcoming tournament you may have, whether a local online tournament with your friends all the way up to the 3rd Limitless Qualifier coming up this weekend. During the current state of the game, any way that I can help you to improve as a player or have a more fun and entertaining experience playing pokemon is the best thing that I can do. 

In this article, you’ll find an in-depth review of PikaRom/Boltund-V Toolbox, a new twist on a previous archetype that people haven’t been talking about very much in this format. I’ve seen some success with this deck in a few recent online events, hosted by Zach Lesage. I’m here to tell you everything about the deck going into online events this format, from its tech choices to its matchups, and everything in between. Hope you enjoy! 

 

Boltund V: New Card on the Block

When the setlist drops, everyone always looks and finds that one card that they’re dying to try out. For me, it was Boltund-V. Its first attack provides some of the best energy acceleration in the game for an incredibly low cost. I had played PikaRom throughout quarter 1 of the year and part of quarter 3 before the season cancellation. Once you got off a full blitz, you were all set on energy for the rest of the game. The biggest problem was the amount of time it took to get a full blitz off in the first place. Boltund-V solves these problems by giving the deck a safety net if you miss an early full blitz. 90-95% of the time, your turn 1 consists of either a full blitz with PikaRom or an electrify with Boltund-V. 

And if you think the absurdity of Boltund-V ends there, just read its second attack, bolt storm, which does a base of 10 damage plus 30 more for each lightning energy attached to all of your pokemon. That means after a turn 1 full blitz, which happens very often, you can consistently hit 220 damage on your second turn, and that’s not including damage modifiers like electropower. Overall, Boltund-V has become the best attacker for PikaRom in the mid and late game, while still providing that desperately needed early-game consistency. 

The Decklist


 

*we realize Stadium Nav is not a Pokemon and we are working on the coding atm. As most of our management are competitive players, we will be reviewing this after the Limitless Q3 event.

Card Choices

2 PikaRom/2 Boltund-V Split

I explained this briefly earlier, but the main reason behind it is the all-around strength and versatility of both cards. Most decks focus solely on PikaRom or solely on Boltund, but this deck plays a combination of the two. PikaRom is the deck’s go-to attacker on turn 1, providing the fact that you’re able to go second, which you typically are. Boltund-V provides your fall-back attacker if you whiff on a turn 1 full blitz. On top of this, Boltund-V is one of the strongest attackers in the format, being able to hit very high numbers in short amounts of time. This deck relies on going second in nearly every matchup since the recent turn 1 supporter change has slowed down every deck’s early game potential. If you’re able to go second in any given matchup and execute a turn one full blitz, which happens 60-65% of the time in my testing, then it’s nearly impossible for any deck to catch up to this insane aggression. 

1 Eldegoss V

This is my favorite card in the deck without a doubt. It provides a consistency for the deck in the early-mid game, providing an out to a supporter once you have already played one. But the card truly excels in the later portion of the game. As with most decks in the new UPR-RCL format, you can often find yourself digging for that last Boss’s Orders at the end of the game. Instead of a third Boss’s Orders, I’ve opted to play 2 along with an Eldegoss-V. In the late game, you almost always have a Boss’s Orders in the discard. This means that playing an Eldegoss-V allows quick ball to become an out to getting Boss’s Orders in the late game, which essentially creates 4 extra outs to playing a Boss’s Orders. 

1 Marshadow

This was a card that I was very unsure about playing at first, but it’s proven to be very strong in the deck. Since the deck is only playing one supporter, that of course being thunder mountain, an early chaotic swell can often be frustrating. Marshadow helps out with this issue, as it can bump the chaotic swell before playing down thunder mountain. There are a lot of situations where you play down thunder mountain on your first turn as well, allowing your opponent to play down a stadium shortly after and have it stay in play for the rest of the game. Instead of playing another stadium, I opted to play a marshadow in the list for a similar reason as Eldegoss-V, which is that it’s searchable off of quick ball, creating 4 more cards that allow you to potentially bump an opponent’s stadium. 

1 Stadium Nav

This was an inclusion that was very controversial among my testing group. There was a lot of disagreement that stadium nav took away from the consistency of the deck, but I feel that stadium nav is simply too good not to play. It creates an out to get your only thunder mountain into play off of a volkner, which gives you 4 more outs, (each with a 75% chance) of getting the absurdly good stadium card into play. 

1 Tool Scrapper

A reprint from Dragons Exalted way back in 2012, tool scrapper is once again in the format, but no one seems to be talking about the card. I’ve seen very few people playing it, but the card has been insane in my testing. I felt that one of the biggest problems with the formats earlier in the year is that tools would always stick, unless your opponent happened to play a Faba. There was no way to get rid of lucky egg against baby blacephalon players, big charm against tag team decks, or metal frying pan on zacians. But now, tool scrapper has provided a solution to these problems, and greatly improves all of these matchups. 

8 Lightning / 4 Speed L

This choice of energies is a pretty controversial inclusion, but I feel that it is definitely the optimal count. Many people have been playing 2 or 3 Speed L energy, or sometimes none at all. There are times when full blitz can only target 1 or 2 energies, which can be frustrating, but this doesn’t happen very frequently. Overall, being able to draw 2 cards just for attaching an energy gives this deck too much consistency and aggression to ignore and I just can’t see myself playing any less than 4 Speed L energy in the deck. 

Other Possible Tech Options

Jirachi

For most of this season, jirachi has been a staple in PikaRom that no one has really considered dropping from the list. Most PikaRom lists in this format are playing 3-4 copies of it still. While it gives the deck some added consistency, it takes away from the deck’s early game speed and ability to get a turn 1 full blitz. This is what makes me uncertain about playing jirachi at all. I’m trying to maximize the deck’s speed and early game aggression and committing 4 jirachi to the list isn’t as easy as it sounds, since it also means that you have to include 1-2 escape board, and I’d rather have more copies of a card like energy switch or volkner, or even a few more tech pokemon then commit 4-6 slots in the deck to jirachi. 

Absol

This card was commonly played in lists up until this format. With scoop up net coming into the format now, it makes the strength of absol much weaker. Absol is primarily used to disrupt decks trying to retreat a jirachi, but many of those decks are now playing 7-8 ways to switch out their jirachi between switch and scoop up net, as opposed to 3-4 ways before. If counts on these cards begin to die down in usage, I think that absol could easily make a return to this list, but for the time being, absol didn’t quite make the cut. 

Galar Mine

The reasoning on this is very similar to absol for the most part, but it is slightly different. When I started testing PikaRom/Boltund, I actually played 2 copies of this card in the list, since it was a solid stadium which disrupted your opponent, especially when paired with a reset stamp in the late-game. However, scoop up net is just too good right now in combination with switch, so there are better ways to get rid of your opponent’s stadium. 

Chaotic Swell

I feel that chaotic swell is still a very strong tech inclusion and I’m still strongly considering playing it. It’s been the 61st card for me in testing, meaning if I was to drop one card from the list, this is the first card I’d add. I feel that ADPZ can be an uphill matchup if you miss the turn 1 full blitz and playing chaotic swell can really improve this matchup. ADPZ needs shrine of punishment to take a knockout when any of your tag teams have a big charm attached. However, with tool scrapper in the format, ADPZ players have another way to get around big charm, so I’ve opted not to play chaotic swell at the moment, but it’s still a strong consideration in the deck. 

Matchup Overview

Dragapult VMAX: 65/35 

This matchup is one of the biggest reasons why PikaRom/Boltund is so strong in this format. You can apply so much aggression in this matchup to the point where Dragapult players just can’t keep up. A turn one full blitz makes things nearly impossible for them, and if you’re able to cycle between two-prize pokemon then you trade very favorably in the matchup. If worst comes to worst, a late game stamp can also be very effective on Dragapult’s gameplan and can often allow you to make a late game comeback. 

ADPZ: 45/55 

This is a very strange matchup and the outcomes can be very diverse. A turn one full blitz can often be enough to win, but if you go second and miss it, then the matchup is usually out of reach. Going first in this matchup makes it much closer throughout the game, but overall, this matchup is very draw-based which is unfortunate but just something that you’ll have to accept when playing PikaRom/Boltund. Overall, the matchup is slightly unfavored, but it’s definitely winnable and never a bad thing if you get paired against an ADPZ. 

Jirachi/PikaRom: 60/40 

This may look like an unusual matchup split considering it’s a mirror, but this PikaRom/Boltund list just puts on so much speed and aggression. When it comes to the mirror match, whoever uses full blitz first wins 9 times out of 10. The fact that you can consistently hit a turn 1 full blitz with this list makes you favored in the matchup. Jirachi/PikaRom tends to get a turn 1 full blitz off less than half of the time as well, which greatly helps out the matchup, whether you’re going first or second. 

Baby Blowns: 35/65 

This is definitely the deck’s hardest matchup. While I don’t think that baby blowns will see much play at the 3rd Limitless Qualifier, there is always a devoted group of baby blowns players who play it for most of these online events. The matchup has improved a bit in this new format since PikaRom is now slightly more aggressive early game which really helps. Tool scrapper also makes reset stamp much more powerful in the late game, giving PikaRom a greater chance to make a comeback than in previous formats. 

These are the big 4 decks that I expect to play against at the 3rd Limitless Qualifier. There are many other decks that will be played, but the format is so undefined right now, so these are the main matchups that you should know how to play against when playing this deck. 

Current Position in the Meta 

PikaRom is commonly viewed by the community as the 3rd or 4th best deck going into this new UPR-RCL format, which is much higher than last format. It won’t be the most played deck, meaning that there most likely won’t be many techs out there for the deck. I doubt that mew will go up in play that much, and I don’t expect to see many fighting pokemon circling around. PikaRom is on most people’s radar, but I feel that others will prioritize having good matchups against ADPZ and Dragapult VMAX rather than PikaRom. I think that PikaRom has a really solid matchup spread overall, and when you can consistently hit 150 damage on your first turn, you’ve got a chance against anything and everything. 

PikaRom is currently high tier 2, or in the region that a lot of people would call tier 1.5. It’s a very safe pick for Limitless Qualifier #3, and I think that the list in this article is a very solid pick to make at least day 2, and possibly have a solid run once making it there. I expect to hit at least 3 or 4 Dragapult in day one, which is nearly half of the wins needed to make day 2. And once again, PikaRom is never down and out because of its early game speed (noticing a theme here?) and its late game denial. Overall, PikaRom is everything that I feel is needed in a deck in this new format, especially when going into a blind meta this weekend. 

Conclusion

So I hope that this article helped to give you all a much better look at the meta for this weekend, and why I feel that PikaRom/Boltund-V is the best pick for Limitless Qualifier #3. I feel that the deck is being overlooked quite a bit, but it’s an incredible call based on what I feel the expected meta will be. I highly recommend to anyone on the fence about what to play to consider PikaRom/Boltund-V for the qualifier this weekend. It’s easy to pick up and learn quickly, and its matchups and speed are unmatched with the current state of the format. 

Hope you all enjoyed my first article here on 60Cards, thanks to Zach Lesage and the 60Cards team for giving me this platform to share my work on. Hopefully, I’m able to bring you all some more articles in the future. If you have any questions, feel free to write them down in the comments or reach out to me personally on social media. Please stay safe during this scary time, and have a great day everyone! 

Gabe

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