Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND going rogue


Hi everyone!

Regionals are just around the corner and so is the release of the Noble Victories. Prereleases are going on in the U.S. (and hopefully somewhere in the Europe as well). However, today I’m not discussing about the upcoming tournaments or the new cards in the set. I already made my metagame predictions in my BR + Regionals –article and I must admit that I’m a bit fed up with the current format. Thankfully NV will be released in 2 weeks and the game will get much more interesting than at the moment. I’ll release my Impact Crater article of the Noble Victories next week so be sure to check it out.

Today I feel like going rogue and I’ll analyze one of the cards I’ve loved ever since it was released – Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND (later on referred as RDL). For those who don’t know what it does – shame on you - and check the picture on the right.

RDL is one of those cards I’ve been working on a very long time. I spent countless hours making RDL based Secret Deck for the World Championships but due the lack of testing and time I didn’t manage to get the decks decent enough. In this entry I’ll reveal some of my lists I was working on for the World Championships and look deeper into RDL. I hope you enjoy my article so just sit back and relax.




Why Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND?

The reason why RDL is one of my favorite cards is obvious – it can take 2 prizes at the same time. That’s something different when it comes to the rest of the cards and I’ve always liked cards that differ from the “mass”. RDL is no exception. Besides, RDL has already been proven to be a playable card since it was in the Worlds-winning Magneboar and it's also played in Reshiboar variants.

RDL’s types are ok but they don’t really matter (at the moment that is). As long as RDL hits for 150 damage, there really isn’t anything in the metagame that can withstand the damage output. Everything from Gothitelle to Zekrom will be easily OHKOed. The only sad thing about RDL is its weakness. Before Emerging Powers was released, Colorless and Psychic weaknesses weren’t that big of a deal. But sadly the two most played Pokémon from EP are Gothitelle and Tornadus – Psychic and Colorless Pokémon.

Gothitelle needs 2 Psychic energy for OHKOing and Tornadus requires only DCE and any energy. These two and especially Tornadus give a hard time for RDL. RDL has other weaknesses too. If you want to counter it, you easily can. Putting in Bouffalant(BW) or Zoroark(BW) also counters RDL immediately.

It seems like RDL has only weaknesses so what’s so great about it? The reason is quite obvious – it wins you games.


 Emboar – RDL’s best friend

At the moment every deck that runs RDL is running Emboar as well. RDL’s energy cost is 2 Fire, 1 Lighting and 1 Colorless so Emboar is the easiest way to load RDL. You attach 3 energy with Inferno Fandango and just give the Lighthing Energy as a turn energy. Probably the best thing about RDL with Emboar is that if – for some reason – RDL survives for your next turn, you can easily load it again with Inferno Fandango. If the same RDL hits during one game, 2 turns in a row, there is no way you can lose the game.

As I said RDL was played in the Worlds-winning Magneboar. It sounds logical in theory and it’s logical in practice. Magneboar uses both – Fire and Lighting Energy – so you have automatically both energy required to use RDL’s attack. Thanks to Magnezone’s Magnetic Draw, you easily get the both halves of RDL into your hand and you don’t have to use loads of Pokémon Communications to get them. Thanks to built-in draw engine Magneboar doesn’t’ suffer from energy shortage either.

When it comes to Reshiboar – playing RDL gets trickier. Reshiboar doesn’t have built-in draw engine in it and if you want to use RDL, you’ll probably have to use Ninetales as a draw engine in your Reshiboar. I’ve also seen lists that use Magnezone as the “draw” engine and aren’t considered as Magneboars because they use Magnezone only for Magnetic Draw and to counter Gothitelle. If you’re going to run a Ninetales version of Reshiboar you’ll probably want to run 2-2 line of RDL so you can concentrate fully on attacking with RDL. Ninetales is also a great deck thinner and you could consider running Ninetales like a ran Delcatty in the 2004 World Championships (4-4 Delcatty line ftw).   

So, Emboar is a great partner with RDL but as promised there is more. And I’m sure there are things that you haven’t even ever thought of. First, the “easy” way to play RDL rogue style.



RDL and the easy way out

I know this doesn’t at the first glance seem easy but once you check out the second deck I’m going to reveal you understand why this is considered easy. These all decks will include cards from Noble Victories because I want to give you the most up-to-date lists possible. But if you’re feeling a sudden urge to play these decks in a HGSS-EP format, just contact me and I’ll give you a legal deck list of these decks.

Pokémon:

2x Pichu(HGSS)
4x Vulpix(60HP)
2x Ninetales(Roast Reveal)
2x Ninetales(Unleashed)
4x Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND
1x Shiny Entei
2x Shaymin
1x Rotom(Undaunted)
=18

Trainer:

3x Pokémon Collector
1x Pokegear 3.0.
4x Pokémon Communication
3x Sage’s Training
3x Professor Juniper
1x Twins
4x Junk Arm
1x Pokémon Catcher
2x Super Rod(NV)
1x Flower Shop Lady
1x Indigo Plateau
1x Super Scoop Up
1x Legend Box
=26

Energy:

3x Lighting Energy
13x Fire Energy
=16



There is something really weird going on here. I’m pretty sure most of you have to check at least what Ninetales from Unleashed and Shiny Entei do. I had to when I was first building the deck. One day I was just scrolling through my binder and I saw Ninetales. I was like “I didn’t even know this card existed”. Thankfully I checked the card because it’s the heart and soul of this deck.

Strategy and more:

Use Pichu to gather 4 Vulpixes on your bench. After that, set-up the Roast reveal Ninetaleses and start burning your deck in a very fast fashion with Roast Reveal and Sage’s/Juniper. In the best case scenario you are able to hit Ninetales’(Unleashed) Heat Acceleration to get 3 fire energy from the discard pile by turn 2. Here is the point where Shiny Entei comes to play. You load the energy to Entei because it has free retreat thanks to its Poke-Body. It may seem insignificant but it’s not. This deck needs every energy in play that’s possible and free retreating high HP fire Pokémon is a god’s gift for this deck.

After Heat Accelereation the plan is simple: just play down RDL which you have drawn from your deck (because you’ve drawn something like 30+ cards at this point) and use Shaymin to move the energy from Heat Acceleration to it and you’re ready to attack. Once you’ve hit with your RDL, there are 2 ways to win the game

1) If the RDL dies, you can start using Super Rod/Flower Shop Lady to get it back and get it instantaneously loaded with Legend box because your deck will have under 10 cards in there. Repeat this 2 times and you have the game (you might consider running more Legend Boxes if this happen to be the scenario in every game)

2) If the RDL doesn’t die, you must have Switch in your hand or already enough energy on the field to use your 2nd Shaymin. If you are able to use the same RDL 2 times in a row, you can finish the game with Legend Box combo I explained earlier.


I was VERY close in getting this deck working for Worlds’ and looking back it might have been a wise move to test more with this deck because the metagame was full of ReshiPlosions (which is by far the best match-up for this deck). Well, wisdom after the events is always easy but I’m thankful I might have a second run with this deck this season as well.

Ok, that’s for the easy part.



RDL and the hard way to victory

In my opinion Mynx was the most difficult deck ever to play. After I built this deck I had a new candidate for the most difficult deck ever. Mynx seemed like a child’ play compared to this deck. Anyone who has ever tried this deck has agreed with me. This deck’s difficulty level is insane and that’s one of the reasons I didn’t play with it in the World Championships. I didn’t have enough time testing this deck and the headache it caused was too much for me. So here you have it – probably the most difficult deck to play EVER. Yes, it's a challenge.


Pokémon:

4x Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND
3x Smeargle
2x Shaymin
3x Rotom(Undaunted)
=12

Trainer:

2x Pokémon Communication
3x Sage’s Training
4x Professor Juniper
3x Pokémon Collector
1x Pokegear 3.0.
2x Twins
4x Junk Arm
1x Indigo Plateau
2x Super Rod(NV)
1x Switch
1x Alph Litgraph(Look at the prizes)
4x Good Rod(Unleashed)
2x Recycle
4x Legend Box
=34

Energy:

4x Lighting Energy
10x Fire Energy
=14


I’m pretty sure that you can figure out what the deck is trying to accomplish just by looking at the list. The strategy is simple. Use Rotoms powers, Alph Litograph, Good Rod and Recycle to arrange RDL halves on the bottom of your deck at the same time as you use your Legend Box. Sounds easy right? Well probably it doesn’t and in practice it really isn’t.

The most difficult part of the whole deck’s idea is timing – how to time everything correctly. For the right timing you need to think many turns ahead of yourself and you can’t misplay anywhere. This deck doesn’t forgive mistakes. If you can win with this deck you have done everything correctly. In my short period time of testing I wasn’t even near to manage the deck properly. It felt funny, I was frustrated at the game because it was all about Reversal flips and when I built this deck I was frustrated because I knew that every time I lost, it was my own fault. I couldn’t blame the luck and it was something new to me in Pokémon TCG. At the same time I felt the ultimate frustration and illumination – Pokémon TCG still has lot to offer.

There is need to explain any further about this deck. If you want challenge from Pokémon TCG this is the deck you have to try. If you haven’t tried to master this deck, you can’t say that Pokémon doesn’t require skill to play. If you haven’t played this deck you probably don’t even know how difficult Pokémon TCG can really be. I didn’t’ and I had played competitively for 7 years…




RDL takes the golden mean

Yeah, there is more. This one is one of my newer revelations and it is a hybrid of the 2 previous decks. I’ll let the list explain itself.

3x Smeargle
1x Pichu(HGSS)
4x Vulpix(60HP)
4x Ninetales(Roast Reveal)
4x Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND
2x Rotom(Undaunted)
=18

Trainer:

3x Pokémon Communication
2x Sage’s Training
2x Professor Juniper
1x Twins
1x Pokegear 3.0.
2x Dual Ball
4x Junk Arm
2x Energy Retrieval
3x Super Rod(NV)
1x Flower Shop Lady
1x Indigo Plateau
1x Switch
3x Legend Box
=26

Energy:

3x Lighting Energy
13x Fire Energy
=16


This is a REAL hybrid. It combines the 2 strategy of the previous decks to create a whole new strategy. Once again, you set-up with Pichu. This time you search for the Vulpix and a Smeargle. After that you start Portraiting your opponent (there is nothing that would really disturb you because you want to just burn through your deck) Roast Revealing and using Sage’s/Juniper. Conserve the cards like Legend Boxes, Junk Arms and anything that can you get cards back from the discard pile.

You are probably able to burn through your deck in 3-4 turns. After that start taking cards back from your discard pile in a prudent fashion so you can get RDL loaded with RDL 3 times a row. If you succeed in it fast enough, you win the game – pretty simple. In theory at least. In fact, this may even be the easiest deck to play but the results with it may vary very much depending on your opponent’s deck.



Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND’s future

The future looks very bright to RDL. Once EXs are released, RDL may cause some serious damage because it can get 3 prizes with a single attack. If Mewtwo EX is going to be very popular in our metagame as well, RDL may be considered playable once again. Mewtwo EX is weak to RDL so RDL OHKOs it every time. This is something that should be noted because people often forget it.

Also, the upcoming Eelektrik may work with RDL. Eelektrik brings me back memories from the MetaNite season because its ability is the same as Dragonite d’s. Eelektrik combined with funny cards like Slugma(undaunted), you can get RDL hitting for 150 easily once again.

I’m pretty sure that RDL won’t be disappearing anywhere until it’s rotated out. It’s an unique card with unique ability to change the game with just one hit. Surprise momentum has been decreased in Pokémon TCG a little because of the Rare Candy rule and RDL is one of the few cards that is still able to take your opponent by surprise.



Conclusion

RDL is one of my favorite cards and I hope that it will soon become yours as well. The options with RDL are limitless so just keep your eyes and mind open to new ideas and they’ll sure come to you.

Let me know what you think about this kind of article. Rogues are very close to my heart and I enjoy writing these so let me know if you enjoyed reading this. Noble Victories gives the possibility to be creative so I hope I won’t be seeing an army of Zekrom and Reshiram decks in the City Championships!

Thanks for reading and if you haven’t liked The Deck Out on Facebook or followed it on Twitter be sure to do it right away!

Next week is the time for Impact Crater analysis of Noble Victories. I wonder what lies there?










 



20 comments:

  1. Big Daddy Smug CatNovember 4, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Really enjoyed the analysis. Do you see any hope for it being in emboar still? Or are speed buils that much better?

    ReplyDelete
  2. For your third list, since your goal is to burn through your deck, do you think energy search would help? I guess you'd draw into less energy though so you wouldn't get to roast reveal as much maybe.
    I'm going to have a go at building something similar to the second list. It looks super fun haha

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  3. Big Daddy Smug Cat: I think RDL is still a great tech in any Emboar deck. Straight RDL/Emboar doesn't work but fro example in ResiBoar RDL is a great tech.

    oTYo: I haven't thought about Energy Search, it's a good idea but the only thing I'm considered is that you run out or energy. Even thoug the energy count seems high, there are games where you aren't able to Roast Reveal all the time because you don't have enough energy. SO you could add Energy search if you don't replace energy with them. And yeah, I encourage you to try at least the 2nd list, it's very fun to play :D

    Thanks for commentws guys!

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  4. Is Mynx the deck with Wobbuffet LM and Pows? That was one hell of a complicated deck! I didn't even bother learning it. :P

    Is your 2nd list really that difficult to play? It looks deceptively simple.

    Love the article Esa! Keep up the great work. :)

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  5. I played something like the 2nd list in Tampere BRs last week - came out 1-5.

    But I can mainly blame myself. In only 2 games against Reshiphlosion the deck didn't do what it should've. 3 games could've been won.

    Game 1 I stalled a bit too long in order to not activate Twins from my opponent. Turns out, he gets Vileplume and I have to manually charge RayDeo. Smeargle hits into Juniper and discards my Flower Shop Girl which was my only recovery against trainerlocks.

    Game 2 I rush through the deck a bit too fast and while I get a successful legend box, it only gets two energies. Trainerlock takes care of the rest.

    And in the game 4, I forget to keep up the prize swaps correctly with Rotoms, resulting me putting the wrong prize in the topdeck with my legend box. A nooby mistake, one might say, but when your turns are taking 5 minutes to toggle through everything you have to do in order for your deck to perform on acceptable level, these things happen.

    Needless to say, I was far from happy about the results. But I can blame no luck for this. This deck is a challenge, which is seldomly decided by flips (although good Good rodding helps), bad opening hands (had those too, but Smeargles help surprisingly lot with dead hands) or bad draw. I think Esa's list is missing Research Records (definitely a 4-of), and of course you would maybe want to fit in one of those World championship stadium cards (you spend a lot of your early game not attacking) or one of those that reduce the retreat of basics. But still, even with them, you have the hardest deck I have ever played in front of you.

    Try it. I'll be testing and tweaking that one for the time being, as 2 successful Legend Boxes against 2 Mewtwo EXs will end the game in that instant.

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  6. Adam: Yeah Mynx is exactly that deck. I know it doesn't seem too difficult to play but I can promise that it is. The main difficulty - as I stated in my article - is the timing of the things. If you time anything wrong, you've pretty much outplayed yourself. If you have any spare time(which I guess you don't :P) you should try it out and be surprised how awfulyl difficult it really is.

    DennisHawk: I don't understand how you got all the stuff in to the deck. 4 Research Records, omg... I had to take away few cards from my original list to get the card amount down to 60! I had problems with bad starts as well and sometimes Smeargle wasn't enough to deal with a bad start. I also considered Tropical Beach but the deck is sooo full of everything already that I has no idea how to fit everything there. If I had more time to test, I would probably tweak this as much as possible but because I don't I have no idea how to get enough space for everything.

    Thanks for comments guys! Keep em' coming.

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  7. I lost against DH´s RDL in Tampere BR.:D

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  8. Hmm I've run through some test hands and done some thinking about the second list. So far I've found it challenging!

    I'm not sure how to solo test it with smeargle active haha, I might just get another deck out and see what supporters it opens with.

    One thing that I think might be a problem is if they kill things that I attach energy to. Then I won't be able to use shaymin to attack twice in a row unless I can get another successful legend box.

    I was thinking of possibly putting in a slugma. If I put research record in there, and also have recycle and rotom, I should be able to grab a fire and play down slugma + shaymn and attack again. The problem with slugma though could be the retreat. Ahhh! I'll try it and see how it goes. I'll report back my findings if I get anywhere useful.

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  9. oTYo: Slugma ia a very good addition to the deck. I tried it first but couldn't find enough space and consistency to justify it in the deck. Research Records helps with Slugma a lot but the deck still faces the space issue.

    Great to know that you tried it out!

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  10. Are you convinced that Entei is worth it? It isn't that bulky and the free retreat doesn't seem that useful (especially since retreating a nintales isn't a big deal) Also I'd run a switch or two and a seeker

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  11. Entei is good but the other option is to run 1-2 Switches and one very high HP Pokémon like Reshiram or Zekrom. The only problem is that you need the Switch all the time if you run any Pokéon that hasn't a free retreat. Entei is the most HP Basic Pokémon which has a free retreat so it was the best choice. If you decide to run Switches the deck's consistency will suffer once again and opening with Reshirams is just horrible. But yes, it's a personal preference but I think it's worth it.

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  12. Do you need a tank pokemon with free retreat though?

    I can see the need for a free retreat pokemon, since RDL will die and you want to be able to legend box another one onto the bench and retreat into it for free.

    I can see the need for a decent hp pokemon, since you don't want the fire energies you play down to die to snipes, and don't exactly want to give away free prizes.

    However, Entei is only as tank as ninetales anyway. Which situations would Entei be valuable?

    I'm probably missing something here, and I'm only theorymoning haha

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  13. oTYo: The free retreat is more than necessary in the real matches because you can't miss a energy here. Once you set-up, you must attack every turn in order to win the game and if you want to attack every turn you need eevery energy possible. That's why retreating 1-2 during a game will cost you the game. When I first tried the deck I was surprised how important addition Entei really was in the deck because of its free retreat. So yeah, it can't be theorymoned as can't most of these decks, you have to just try it out!

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  14. I built the first list last night and played a few games and made a few changes. This is seriously the most fun list I have played since before Catcher came out. Thank you very much.

    The main change I made was to change up the Supporter lines --- I found that with Juniper I kept having to Juniper away RDL pieces, and since I'm building without NV right now I didn't have the ease of Super Rod to get them back. I ended up going with some Engineer's Adjustments to get four cards drawn and one in the discard, and increasing the Twins lines slightly. I still have one Juniper and can't decide if I like it or not; I've never wanted to use it.

    Also, I see why Entei is probably better, since I've been in that one-too-few-energy place once, but I don't have Entei, so I tried Reshiram, and I like that so far, too. If I need to take a prize or two with something else, it gives me the option. I'm not sure if it's as solid as your list, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. Thanks again!

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  15. Why not Entei&Raikou Legend as a free retreating Pokémon ? He has 50 more HP, so it makes it more difficult to OHKO, he has free retreat from the beginning, and it can't be a bad start.

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  16. rax: Engineer is a great card if you can't use Super Rod - true. I forgot to mention that when I was writing this but the article was mainly for NV. Glad that you liked it!

    Zarmakuizz: In fact, I once ran EnteiRaikou LEGEND in the list but I noticed that you really can't run 3 LEGENDS because you want it on your bench like T2-3. With Entei&Raikou you won't get it fast enough on your bench when you're ready to use Heat Acceleration.

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  17. "Esa: Entei is the most HP Basic Pokémon which has a free retreat so it was the best choice."

    Have to agree on that but in order to get it to free Retreat cost, it needs at least 2 Fire Energy cards on it. The thing I may not agree with is your sentence's *the best* part. I think that you may have been overlooked some other possible 0 retreat Basic Pokémon, Emolga EP.

    Emolga 70 HP [L]
    [L] 10 Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.
    [CC] 10+ Flip 2 coins. This attack does 20 more damage for each heads.
    F Weakness, no Resistance, 0 Retreat

    Emolga does have 20 HP less than Entei but it could be better choice than Entei for this deck. It is bulky enough in order to survive from most of the cheap damage donks such as Tyrogues Mischievous Punch, Digimons T2 Outrage, a few PlusPower drops, etc. The bad thing is that Tornados can KO it without a PlusPower. RDL deck also runs a Lightning energies so Parahaxing with Emolga at the early or end game is viable strategy gaining an extra turn or two sometimes. Emolgas Paralyze move is also a sweet against Sleeping Babies. They become Paralyzed and they are forced to leave their Baby active unless the play switch or remove the Paralyze condition somehow. Even Emolga has then 75% chance of KOing that Baby next turn with its lower attack if you need to do so.

    I just wanted to point out about viability of this Pokémon. Also, Manaphy is another Pokémon that could have been mentioned since it's a decent 0 Retreat starter at some of the decks. I have never really liked about Manaphy but thought about mentioning it since no one else have done it yet.

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  18. Tonu: Yeah, I played Emolga in Eelektrik/Zekrom deck so I didn't overlook it, Entei is just so great because you get a free retreat to it ASAP with Heat Acceleration. The difference between 70 ja 90 HP is huge because it makes Entei away of Tornadus' OHKO range without PlusPower.

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  19. I tried the 2nd list and holy crap, that is one "Difficulty Level: Insane" deck! After a few rounds of Solitaire I changed to the 1st list (with a few tweaks) and I found it much easier and better :)

    Do you think that running 2-3 Switch would help in the 1st list? After RDL attacks, I usually can't find another way to power him up other than Ninetales UL's Heat Acceleration. Running a couple Switch to bring Ninetales Active and recharge RDL sounds like a good idea.

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    Replies
    1. You're correct. Everyone who has ever tested the 2nd list have said that it's THE most difficult to play ever with. It's difficult to play even without an opponent and when the opponent steps in the picture, things get mad difficult.

      Switch is a great card in the 1st because sometimes - as you said - you don't have enough energy on RDL. It also gives you mobility all the time and conserves your "in play" - energy, which is very important. This deck needs every energy it can save.

      Delete

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