Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vanilluxe/Vileplume/Victini - let the flipping begin

Two scoops of ice cream anyone?
 Hey all The Deck Out followers!

Today, it's time for the last trainer locking metagame deck I haven't yet analyzed – Vanilluxe/Vileplume/Victini. I'm not a fan of flipping decks but I like the way this deck minimizes the flipping factor. It feels almost like you don't have to worry about the flips at all. However, when this deck fails to deliver the one heads out of 4 flips, you always feel frustrated and swear that you never again play a flip deck like this.

Vanilluxe is a fun deck with decent match-ups all over the field but it also has a lot of bad match-ups. I'll try to explain the reasons why Vanilluxe hasn’t done well even though it received some hype during the release. I have been playing this deck and I also included the top4 Cities finishing list of Vanilluxe to this article so be sure to check at least  that out if you want to build your own decent Vanilluxe deck. Anyways, let's see what makes Vanilluxe to do well and what gives Vanilluxe a hard time.

First, the skeleton list:


4x Vanillite
3x Vanillish
3x Vanilluxe
3x Oddish
1x Gloom
2x Vileplume
1x Cleffa
1x Pichu
2x Victini(Reflip)


4x Collector
4x Sage’s Training
4x Twins
2x N
4x Communication
4x Rare Candy


8x Water Energy
4x Rescue Energy


Just like in every Vileplume-based deck, setting-up the Vileplume is the priority number one. This can be through Cleffa and Collector or with Pichu + Twins combo. Either way you do it, you should already be familiar with the set-uppign style if you've read my The Truth and Chandelure articles. After you've set-upped Vileplume you can think about set-upping your two scoops of ice cream.

The easiest way to set-up Vanilluxe is with Twins. That way you can search for Vanillite and Vanilluxe. Sometimes you're forced to use Twins to search for energy since you really need them to win games.

Once, you've managed to set-up, it's time to start flipping. There is one thing that should be remembered. You can let your opponent get 2 prizes ahead but if you let him get 3 prizes ahead, you may be in problems. The core strategy with Vanilluxe is to use Double Freeze alongside with Victini to keep your opponent's attacker paralyzed all the time. Thanks to Victini, your chances for 1 heads increase to very high. You almost never miss one heads with Double Freeze. Since you are using Double Freeze, your opponent can't attack you and 1 Vanilluxe is able to take care of for example 2 Zekroms before it is OHKOed. Vanilluxe has the magical 130 HP so neither Reshiram or Zekrom is able to OHKO it since you have trainer lock on them thanks to Vileplume.

There are some games, where your normal game plan doesn't work and some cards that cause you problems and that's why Vanilluxe hasn't done that well in the tournaments even though some of the players hyped it. Let's take a deeper look into the cards the deck runs and the problems it has to deal with in this format.

Card Explanations


Vanilluxe is the main and pretty much the only attacker in this deck. It has the magical 130 HP so Zekrom and Reshiram can’t OHKO it. The 130 HP combined with trainer lock is very important when it comes to this deck’s strategy. Vanilluxe’s Double Freeze paralyzes your opponent with only one heads. Thanks to Victini you can paralyze your opponent almost every time. There may be 1 situation during the game where you flip 2 times double tails but you must always be prepared for that.

Since Vanilluxe paralyzes your opponent every time you attack with it, you are able to kill 2 Pokémons with 1 Vanilluxe unless they are able to OHKO you with their first attacker. The only Pokémon which are able to do it, are Magnezone Prime and Metal Pokémons since Vanilluxe is weak to Metal.

Since not that many Vanilluxes aren’t going get KOed during the game 4-3-3 Vanilluxe line is enough for the whole game. You have 4 Rescue Energy so you should always have a Rescue Energy on your attacking Vanilluxe. That way you are able to live through the game even if you have 2 Vanilluxes prized.


Vileplume is in this deck for 2 reasons. First, its trainer lock ability makes OHKOing Vanilluxe almost impossible. Second, its trainer lock ability is what makes Double Freeze so good. Thanks to trainer lock, your opponent can’t use Switch for recovering from paralyze or Catcher to drag something else than Vanilluxe as an active Pokémon. Vanilluxe combined to Vileplume gives you the total control of the game. As I will later introduce, Vileplume line will be quite thick in this deck.

Cleffa and Pichu

Well, Cleffa is self-explanatory. It’s the best set-up Basic in the whole format and slow set-upping decks like any trainer lock deck, need it to set-up properly. However, Pichu is far more interesting and important card in this deck. With Pichu you are able to search your whole bench full of basics. One may think that you should search for 2 Vanillite, 2 Oddish and 1 Victini. However, that’s very wrong. Your only goal with Pichu is to guarantee the set-up of the Vileplume and to make it easier to set-up Vanilluxe. As long as you don’t have Vileplume in play, you have no reason to search for Victini since you don’t want lose any of your Victinis. The moment you lay down your Victini is the moment, you start attacking with Vanilluxe and are ready with your set-up. Pichu is a great set-upper but you must be careful with it to search for the right cards.  

Victini (Fliptini)

Just like mentioned in the last section, Victini’s only mission is just sit on the bench and “do nothing”. Even though Victini just sits on the bench, it’s the reason this deck even exists. Victini’s ability lets you to flip Double Freeze all over again if you are not happy with the result. However, this effect doesn’t stack so you have only 1 more chance if you happen to flip double tails in your first flip. Thanks to Victini’s ability, Vanilluxe pretty much auto-paralyzes your opponent and that’s – like mentioned earlier – is the whoe strategy of this deck.

Victini only has 60 HP so it’s very weak. If you open with it, you want to retreat it immediately, when you use Pichu you don’t want to search for it if you don’t have Vileplume in play. Victini’s job is to sit on the bench and just let you re-flip the Double Freezes you aren’t satisfied with. However, you must be sure to keep Victini alive. If you happen to lose your Victinis you have lost the game unless you have miraculous coin-flipping skills.  

Trainer Engine

The trainer decks' trainer engine is the same as always in this format. I'll go through the key cards and their purposes once again.

First, Pokémon Collector for the set-up. You either search for Cleffa and 2 Oddishes on the Bench, or just simply search for Pichu and use Playground to search your bench full. There really is not point playing Victini on your bench before you are ready to attack with Vanilluxe.

Then there are the drawing supporters: Sage's, Twins and N. In the early game you use Sage's and Twins depending on the situation. If you're behind the prizes, use Twins, if you're still even, use Sage's. N can be used in early, mid and late game but it mainly works the best once you start attacking because at that moment you can get your opponent down to 3-4 cards. You can also change the Ns to PONT if you feel like you don't need N since this is a lock deck. Sometimes it really doesn't matter if you use N or PONT because in any way your opponent is under lock and does nothing with their hand.

Then, there are Pokémon Communication and Rare Candy. You can use Pokémon Communication in the early game to search for Pichu or to search for Vileplume to set-up your trainer lock. Remember, once you have set-upped Vileplume, you don't do a thing with Communications after that. Rare Candy is also used usually only on evolving Vileplume but if you have a good hand and are able to evolve Vanilluxe and Vileplume with Candy at the same turn, then you can use Candy for evolving Vanilluxe as well. However, usually you just use 1 Candy per game and that's why the deck doesn't really need 4 Rare Candies.


The energy lines in this deck are pretty straightforward. Since you're attacking with stage2 Pokémons in a trainer lock deck, you need Rescue Energy because you can't use Rare Candy to evolve them. 4 is the perfect number because it's the maximum number you can play them and you really need them for this deck.

Water Energy amount can vary between 6 and 8 but usually you want to run 8 because sometimes you want to retreat with Vanilluxe to another Vanilluxe. You also need energy in the early game for retreating and loading your Vanilluxes. You don't want to use Twins to search for energy even though you must in some situations. However, you want to avoid and that's why 8 is a great number for Water energy in this deck.

Adding the missing pieces to the deck

So, I have gone through the card choices of the skeleton list and now it's time to get some flesh on the bones. I'll now explain the cards that have to be added to the list to make Vanilluxe as good as possible. This list may seem a bit familiar if you've been reading my blog regularly and that's because it's almost the same list as the top4 reaching Vanilluxe in one of our tournaments, which I revealed in one of my earlier blog posts. Anyways, to the full list.


4x Vanillite
4x Vanillish
3x Vanilluxe
3x Oddish
2x Gloom
2x Vileplume
1x Bellosom
2x Cleffa
2x Pichu
2x Victini(Reflip)


4x Collector
4x Sage’s Training
4x Twins
4x N
4x Communication
3x Rare Candy


8x Water Energy
4x Rescue Energy

So let’s see what I added to the skeleton list.

4th Vanillish

As I said earlier, this deck can recover from 2 prized Vanilluxe. However, if you have 2 Vanillishes prized and you only run 4-3-3 line, you have lost the game. That’s because you aren’t able to set-up up the second Vanilluxe right away after your last Vanilluxe was KOed, even if you have Rescue Energy attached to it. You must always have at least a Vanillish on your bench ready to be able to attack after your attacking Vanilluxe is KOed.

Thick Vileplume line + Bellosom

Ok. So this deck really wants Vileplume badly in the game. That is achieved with a thick 3-2-2 line of Vileplume so you can search for Glooms with Communications or you might be just able to topdeck what you need to get in to the play. This list still runs only 3 Rare Candys so playing Glooms is essential.

Then there is Bellosom. As you know, Bellosom also evolves from Gloom. Bellosom is one of the biggest reasons this list has 2 Glooms and not a 4thCandy. Bellosom is pretty essential for this deck’s game plan to work. But why is it so essential? The thing, which makes Bellosom so good is its power, which is able to heal 1 damage counter from each of your Pokémon once a turn. It’s especially good against spreading decks like Kyurem or Tyranitar but its most important task is – funnily enough – to counter Tynamo. Yes, Tynamo. Or anything that can hit 10 and inflict paralyze. A good strategy against Vanilluxe is to use their own strength against them – paralyze. If you succeed in paralyzing Vanilluxe with Tynamo, when it has KOed your Pokémon just last turn, you are able to OHKO it with Zekrom the turn after. 10 damage is a small number but it makes all the difference in Zekrom/Eelektrik vs. Vanilluxe match-up. Thanks to Bellosom, your opponent is unable to use this strategy against you. They can paralyze you but they still aren’t able to kill you with Zekrom because you always heal the additional 10 damage they did with Tynamo. Bellosom is only one card in this deck and people often forget about it, but it’s the card that decided if you are able to well in the tournament or not.

Trainer engine

There is only a bit of variety that can be done. I like running 3 Candys in Vileplume decks because they don’t really need 4 since you can’t use them once you have set-upped Vileplume. I added few more Ns so the drawing engine of this deck is big enough to be consistent.

One thing to consider is to add Tropical Beach in the deck to help in the bad situations in the early game but I haven’t yet found it that useful in this deck. You still can’t use it in the late or in the mid game unlike in Chandelure deck.


There was a bit of public hype about Vanilluxe when it first came out. However, I didn’t even list it to my Impact Corner – article. The reason for this was because I thought it had too many problems to begin with. And it seems that I was correct with my predictions, Vanilluxe hasn’t really delivered decent results and here is why not.


This is the biggest problem of Vanilluxe. There are too many played cards in the format at the moment that are able to deal around the Magic 130HP of Vanilluxe. I already mentioned things like Magnezone Prime and Cobalion, which wreck Vanilluxe apart. And that’s pretty much enough to keep Vanilluxe from winning any tournaments. Magnezone/Eelektrik is the most Cities winning deck and Cobalion/Kyurem/Electrode is also a very much played deck. As long as these guys are around, there is nothing Vanilluxe can do about them – its game plan fails against OHKOers.

Unown CURE

This card was the reason why I thought, Vanilluxe couldn’t ever become a tier1 deck. If Vanilluxe would happen to become a tier1 deck, people would just tech in Unown CUREs and win Vanilluxe - simple as that. As long as the format has a hard counter like that against any deck, the deck can’t do extremely well.


This is a nightmare to any Vanilluxe player. They can OHKO you with correct damage manipulation (130 with Outrage) and they might even have a Steelix Prime in their deck, which not only can’t be paralyzed but also OHKOs Vanilluxe. This is one of the autolosses of Vanilluxe.


Chandelure has only in the past few weeks risen to the popularity. I could’ve seen good results with Vanilluxe before that but not anymore. The thing, which makes Chandelure such a horrible match-up, is the sniping ability of Chandelure. All Chandelure needs to do is to target down the Victinis which only have 60HP and they have the game. Vanilluxe will fail miserably after that and even if they keep flipping one heads per double Freeze, it’s not enough damage. Chandelure has too many ways to get the prizes before Vanilluxe because of Chandelures ability and no matter how god the Vanilluxe player is, they lose.


I decided to go back to my old habits and list the match-ups like before. Vanilluxe has been tested enough in this format to see how well it really does against the top decks in the metagame. Top decks took straight from the “What Won Cities Topic” on the Pokegym.


6 corners

Slightly Favorable



Slighly Unfavorable




I think the list says it all. Vanilluxe has far too many match-ups in the unfavorable section, which pretty much means an auto-loss match-up. It doesn’t mean that Vanilluxe is a bad deck, it just doesn’t fit the metagame at the moment. I pretty much touched all the bad match-ups but how about 6 corners since it’s so good match-up?

I could’ve been more careful and put 6 corners into the slightly favorable section since it’s all about teches but if we don’t assume that 6 corners doesn’t have a Unown CURE teched in, it’s a very good match-up for Vanilluxe. They might be able to OHKO you once with Cobalion but that’s about it. Trainer lock fully destroys 6 corners game plan while they can do nothing to your game plan. I have played the match-up several times and have seen it in the tournaments and it always goes to Vanilluxe. The other good match-ups are good match-ups just because they can’t do anything to disrupt Vanilluxe – when Vanilluxe is on the roll, it can win but many decks don’t let it be on the roll.


All in all, Vanilluxe isn’t a bad or horrible deck. It’s a good deck with a decent strategy and combo against any normal deck. However, the reason why Vanilluxe hasn’t done that well is that it has too many weaknesses. The more fragile the deck’s strategy is, the weaker it is in a versatile format like ours. Decks like Vanilluxe might have very good results in a simple metagame but now it has no hope of doing well.

I hope this article shed some light on why Vanilluxe hasn’t done well in the tournaments even though it was hyped. I also hope that you learnt a thing or two of how to build a fully functional Vanilluxe deck if you haven’t tried it out yet. Remember, you can do well with this deck if you have a right kind of metagame so don’t underestimate it.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment on anything!


  1. Why no MewScoops list and comparison?

  2. hahahaha favorite part was
    Vanillux gets pwned by Tynamo!!!

    This deck isnt bad by anymeans, it has its place in the meta as being once of the most frustrating decks to play against once it gets going

  3. Do you think that simply 4 Mew with 0-0-3 Vanilluxe will do better? After all it sets up faster. Also since you'll play rainbow energy you can just tech in Spinarak to autowin Chandelure and Ross variants.

  4. Anonymous: To be honest, I don't have enough experience with MewScoop to discuss about it. I haven't tested it myself and have only seen it in the lower tables in the tournaments. After all, it pretty much has the same problems as the normal Vanilluxe deck. I would have analyzed it as well if I had enough experience with it, sorry about that.

    Anonymous2: Indeed.

    Coffee Drinker: Well, you must be realistic. With 4 Rainbow Energy in your deck, you rarely get any of them and a Spinarak in your opening hand. Also, wise Chandelure player shouldn't even bother set-upping with Baby against Vanillxue as long as there is a risk of Spinarak. It's an turbo-autowin match-up for Chandelure as long as you don't get locked, which wise player never gets. However, in an enviroment where Spinarak isn't a usual tech, it could work because people aren't expecting it.

    Thanks for comments guys and keep em' coming!

  5. In today's CC in Hyvinkää... It was pretty easy for me to beat durant, V-create victini is awesome tech against that and steelix. I also run Burned tower and Bellossom tech, it worked fine. i got into top-8 after all.

  6. Zhaituki: Yeah, Victini is a great tech against Durant as long as you can get it attacking easily. Seems hard to get into attacking mode for me but I guess it worked for you. Good job!

  7. I just started to play this deck with the list you made and i think it needs another attacker like Kyurem EX or something like that


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