Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The rogues behind Deoxys EX



Hello everyone!



Today I want to do something different and concentrate on one certain card of the Plasma Freeze –
Deoxys EX deposed Mewtwo EX as the BCIF!
Deoxys EX. At the moment it’s the most expensive card in the format (after English Tropical Beach), but the question is, is the price high for a reason or just due to the pure hype generated by the Plasma deck? In short my answer for the question is: the price is too high at the moment, but Deoxys EX has unlimited potential, which kind of justifies its hype.

When it comes to the long answer… Well, in this article I will introduce some concepts, how Deoxys EX can and will be abused. I won’t be talking about the Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX here, because every site seems to be full of the analysis of the deck, but there are a lot of different and creative uses for Deoxys EX even without Thundurus EX.

So what secrets lie behind Deoxys EX’s potential? Let’s find out!




Why Deoxys EX?

What makes Deoxys EX so special that it’s the most expensive card in the game? First, let’s look at the basic stats. HP 170 – standard HP amount for an EX-Pokémon nowadays. Retreat cost of 2 – nothing too wonderous. And a weakness to Psychic – pretty neutral weakness. However, when we look at its Ability, we understand why it is so good – a constant PlusPower to any Plasma Pokémon. And the more you have Deoxys EX on your bench, the more PlusPowers you have in play as well. 30 damage turns to with only 2 Deoxys EX on the bench and with Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser, donking has never been easier! I don’t necessarily think that the bigger early game damage is good for the game, but nevertheless the decks that use Deoxys EX, have the advantage in the early-mid AND late game – period.

Deoxys EX’s attack is also very good and even though Deoxys EX doesn’t add to itself or other Deoxys EXs attack damage, it can still OHKO easily things like Keldeo EX and Mewtwo EX. Even a 3 energy Darkrai EX loses 100 HP with only one Deoxys EX’s attack. However, it’s good to remember that in order to do serious damage with Deoxys EX, you need Plasma energy and in most decks Plasma energy can be used more efficiently on other Plasma Pokémon and not necessarily on Deoxys EX. However, when you need to take down something with a lots of energy on it, Deoxys EX is your savior.

In the end, I would consider Deoxys EX as bench-sitter Pokémon. It isn’t as strong offensively as it could be, but it has its moments. However, when on the bench, nothing in the history of Pokémon TCG can match to its superior Ability that is indeed broken. Everyone not attending Worlds Championships or Nationals with Plasma Freeze is glad that Deoxys EX will be released in a tin later this autumn.  Players like me have to either join the Deoxys side or to adjust. In this entry, I’ll reveal various ways of joining the “Deoxys-side” of the metagame.



 





Team Plasma Badge + Deoxys EX


Deoxys EX combined with Team Plasma Badge is the most obvious combo with Deoxys EX and I’m sure that we will be seeing these kinds of decks in the Battle Roads, even though some of those variants can be VERY expensive. Team Plasma Badge makes any Pokémon that it is attached to a Plasma Pokémon, which means Deoxys EX adds to its damage.

We already know that adding 20 damage to e.g. Thundurus EX’s Raiden Knuckle, we get T1 50 damage, which is huge. This success can be repeated with for example Landorus EX only by adding Team Plasma Badge to the deck. Landorus EX’s type is a lot better than Thundurus EXs and getting 70 in T1 means 140 to Darkrai EX! Food for thought indeed. Here is my take on Landorus EX/Doexys EX, which may start the new era of speed decks.



Landorus EX / Deoxys EX


Landorus EX is the most obvious companion for Deoxys EX. Anyone can come up with this deck and I’m sure that there are already people who have playtested this deck as extensively as I have. Anyways, here’s my current list.


Pokémon:

4x Landorus EX
4x Deoxys EX
=8

Trainer:

4x Professor Juniper
4x N
3x Bianca
2x Skyla
1x Colress
1x Heavy Ball
3x Ultra Ball
2x Team Plasma Ball
4x Hypnotoxic Laser
2x Virbank City Gym
4x Team Plasma Badge
4x Pokémon Catcher
3x Switch
2x Energy Switch
1x Max Potion
1x Dowsing Machine
=41


Energy:


11x Fighting Energy
=11



Explanation

As you can see, the deck is probably the most linear deck you have seen in a long time. Even though this list is only capable of attacking with Landorus EX, you shouldn’t underestimate Deoxys EX’s attack power in this deck either. If you are able to fit in Psychic Energy, Prism Energy and Plasma Energy, Deoxys EX can be very effective against otherwise almost an auto loss match-up called Blastoise/Keldeo EX. I still think that it’s good to remember that Blastoise often struggles with set-up and this deck can easily steamroll over Blastoise as long as it goes first.

The supporter lines are pretty traditional, but I want to emphasize that Colress is super good in any Deoxys EX variant, because you want to have your bench full and you will have your bench full from T2-3 onwards. Most decks usually have at least 3 Pokémon on their bench as well, so you will be probably drawing huge numbers of cards very early in the game. However, due to the speed of this deck, I settled down with 1 Colress, because it’s still VERY bad in the T1, which is the most important turn for this deck.

There are lot of balls (different Balls), because you want to get the Deoxys EXs on your bench as soon as possible. 6 balls may be overkill, but it may be that in some games you won’t be able to even get enough Basics with that high a ball count. 4 are too few, that’s for sure since your optimal bench consists of 4 Deoxys EX and 2 Landorus EX.

If there is something I would like to improve in this deck list, it’s the number of switching cards. In all honesty, 3 is too few and I’m struggling to find space for the 4th Switch and maybe even for one Escape Rope. Having 5 switching cards would be optimal in my opinion, if the opponent is clever enough to Catcher those Deoxys EXs as you don’t have any DCEs in your deck, which you could use for retreating. You really can’t cut energy or PoisonCombo from this deck, because otherwise you would risk your T1 energy attachment (and believe me, this decks needs to attach energy EVERY TURN) and your mid – and late game damage output.

This speed variant is probably one of the best variants, I see Deoxys EX bringing with it. Granted, it’s expensive as heck and I couldn’t ever afford it, but I know there are people with unlimited Pokémon TCG budget and as the deck is very fun to play (especially as an all FA/Reverse Holo deck), I’m sure these kinds of variants will be seen in Spring Battle Roads.





Empoleon / Deoxys EX


Empoleon is another very good companion for Deoxys EX. It hits with 1 energy, and what’s even better, is that every additional Deoxys EX on the bench is 20 more damage, not just 10! Empoleon’s max damage just got over 9000! Ok, it can still only hit “only” for 160, but you get the point.

Pokémon:

4x Piplup
1x Prinplup
4x Empoleon

4x Deoxys EX (Plasma Freeze)
2x Mew EX
1x Exeggcute

=16


Trainer:

4x Professor Juniper
4x N

2x Skyla
2x Cheren

2x Colress
4x Ultra Ball
1x Level Ball

4x Team Plasma Badge
4x Rare Candy
4x Pokemon Catcher
3x Switch

1x Super Rod
1x Dowsing Machine
=36


Energy:

8x Water Energy
=8



Discussion

This deck isn’t as straightforward as the Landorus EX variant, but it’s far more powerful and its superior in the late game (if it can make it there). Empoleon is one of the most underrated stage2 cards in the current format, but from time to time it is able to make a good showing in the biggest tournaments.

Probably the only things that need explanation in this list are Mew EX and Exeggcute. Well, Mew EX SHOULDN’T need explanation, but I’ll give it anyways. Even though almost anything can KO it, it can KO many super popular EX Pokémon in the current format at ease as well. The most popular cards in the upcoming format such as Mewtwo EX and Deoxys EX are easily OHKOed with Mew EX, even without Team Plasma Badge on it!

Exeggcute saves your precious resources several times during the game. Whenever you want to use Empoleon’s Ability, you are able to discard Exeggcute instead of your resources and get Exeggcute back to your hand immediately to discard it again in the next turn. Of course there are from time to time turns when you want to use multiple Empoleons’ Abilities, but Exeggcute saves your resources in these situations as well. With a heavy Ball engine and good draw engine that Empoleon gives you, you are sure to get Exeggcute to the discard pile or to your hand very quickly. The faster you get it, the less resource you have to spend with Ultra Balls and Empoleon’s Ability.

I love this concept as Empoleon decks are always surprisingly consistent, but due to the Empoleon’s Lighting weakness, I don’t expect this deck ever to challenge Plasma decks, which can abuse Thundurus EX.

 
Snorlax /Deoxys EX/ Energy Acceleration


Snorlax and Deoxys EX combo together just like Empoleon and Deoxys EX. Snorlax is able to do the more damage, the more Plasma Pokémon are in play. And just with 3 Deoxys EX on the bench and Snorlax as the active Pokémon, Snorlax is able to hit for 150 damage! All we need in addition to that are energy acceleration for Snorlax and Snorlax is ready to OHKO everything. The possible energy accelerators for this kind of deck are.

- Emboar (BW)
- Blastoise (BC)
- Eelektrik (NVI)

Naturally Blastoise is the best one, because Squirtle is so good, but if you want to troll around, you can play Emboar. Eelektrik is probably the weakest one of these energy accelerators, because it can’t energy accelerate unlimited numbers of energy and it needs more Team Plasma Badge, whereas Emobar and Blastoise only need one Team Plasma Badge. I won’t be providing a list of these decks here, because at the moment I haven’t yet come up with a satisfactory list that is able to set up consistently. I’m sure that I will give the deck a spin before worlds, because I don’t want to play any metagame deck at Worlds this year and this concept sounds like a perfect rogue for Worlds – at least in theory.


However, if you have time in your hands, I encourage you to play around with this concept, because OHKOing EX-Pokémon with a non-EX Pokémon = Win.



Conclusion


Even though I hyped Deoxys EX through the roof in this entry, that by no means implies that it’s the only correct route to take. Darkrai EX is still highly competitive. So is Big Basics with right corrections and Eelektrik (ok, I don’t think it never was competitive enough, but I have been proven to be wrong about this countless times).

What I like Deoxys EX is its versatility. As I showed in this entry, Deoxys EX can be used in a creative way, but of course it can be used in a dull way as well with Plasma Basics that are already very good without Deoxys EX and get broken with it. Which way you want to use Deoxys EX or will you use it at all? That’s a decision that will make or break your tournaments in the past few months.

As always, feel free to comment on anything and everything! The release of the The Deck Out-playmat is drawing near.


Thanks for reading!


















14 comments:

  1. Landorus/Deoxys would never work, especially since you don't play Colress Machine. Keldeo and Kyurem start one shotting your Landorus's. And Empoleon would also not be a good choice because of Thunderus (and others) donking Piplups constantly. If anything, the biggest combo I see is Kyurem/Deoxys. Lots of synergy, metal weakness isn't terrible, and you can play prisms in case Deoxys needs to attack.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice to read this, I have 3 things to say:

    - Landorus/Deoxys what will be you gameplay when Plasma Klinklang hits the field??

    You said: "With a heavy Ball engine and good draw engine that Empoleon gives you, you are sure to get Exeggcute to the discard pile or to your hand very quickly".

    -You don't even play Heavy Ball, I think you made a mistake there it should be Ultra Ball.

    -You could also use Colress Machine as Energy Acceleration, also DCE would work here

    Thanks for the great article, I enjoyed reading it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think he literally meant the card "Heavy Ball". The word 'heavy' just refers to the amount of balls that he plays.

      Delete
  3. Alex(charm)anderMay 7, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Bauke, I think Esa meant "ball engine" to be generalized. In this case "heavy" litterally means large. Esa is just saying he has a lot of balls.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Regigigas/team plasma badge/Deoxys/ Reuniclus(optional) it works

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heres some food for thought Esa, why not run the new chandelure with snorlax for the energy accell ? Both are plasma which works for snorlax and promo litwick has CFF! Lemme knpw whatcha think!

    ~Fido

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would need to have to have multiple chandelure and then would put damge counters on snorlax. It has only has 130 hp, so it would be very easy to be KO and take a prize.

      Delete
  6. I'm somewhat happy the the price of Deoxys is now $35. I still have no chance of getting it, but it is at least a bit less expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous: Kyurem/Deoxys EX really isn't a "rogue" combo, because it's just another variant of Thundurus EX/Kyurem/Deoxys EX and that's why I didn't mention it in this entry.

    Bauke: Landorus EX/Deoxys EX doesn't have a game plan against Klinklang! After all Klinklang is probably going to be as big as Landorus EX/Deoxys EX itself. Rogues usually just can't prepare against all the decks of the format - just the most popular decks. And yeah I was referring into the big amount of Balls, not to the Heavy Ball.

    Anonymous6: I don't like Chandelure, because

    A) It's a stage2 energy accelerator, which makes it automatically worse than Blastoise

    B) The Water weakness of it doesn't make it any better thanks to Kyurem and Keldeo EX.

    JStensrud: Yeah, the price always goes down after the pre-orders, but I know players who needed to preorder the cards with a very high price, just because they needed it for Nationals. I'm glad to see that they got a lot cheaper, even though 4 copies of Deoxys EX still costs a lot.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  8. How about plf dragonite with plasma badge? Maybe a 2-2 line of garbodor as well for complete lock and 100 damage consistently

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Garbodor blocks Power Connect, so that kind of defeats the purpose.

      Delete
    2. oops, forgot about that.. I need some help with dragonite/deoxys. Is Garbodor and a total lock better, or 100 damage consistently? help is much appreciated.

      Delete
  9. This is just me. In the Lando/Deoxys deck. I would swap one Catcher for another switch. 4 Catchers is good but its a spread/snipe deck. That could be bad. Idk.

    ReplyDelete

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