New Player Help – Doubling Theme Decks

Over the last few months, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym has had several new players start attending the league.  Learning the game for the first time is always a fun experience.  We often let players borrow our slightly modified starter decks, but everyone eventually wants to build their own deck and we are always thinking of ways to help this process.  The obvious answer is to buy your own starter deck.  However, after playing a few games at league, you will probably figure out that starter decks cannot keep up with the custom decks many of our players have.  The idea of “doubling” theme decks, is one that we have seen on many forums and is a great way to make a decent deck for no more than $30.  “Doubling” is buying 2 copies of the same theme deck (often based on 2 energy types with many other unnecessary cards thrown in) and combining the best parts of the two decks into one.  The leftovers may (or may not) give you the basis for a second deck.  For this article, we will look at one deck with some evolutions and one centered around some big basics.

The first deck is the “Emerging Powers – Power Play” deck.  We chose this deck because the end result will give you a deck that has type advantage over some of the main decks being played at the moment.  Let’s look at the list:

Power Play Theme Deck

2x Krookodile
3x Krokorok
4x Sandile
1x Gigalith
2x Boldore
3x Roggenrola
1x Beartic
2x Chuchoo
1x Swanna
2x Ducklett
2x Cinccino
2x Minccino
1x Basculin
2x Throh
2x Sawk
2x Energy Search
2x Potion
2x Full Heal
2x Great Ball
2x Bianca
2x Pokemon Communication
12x Fighting Energy
6x Water Energy

Not a bad set of guys, but a lot of stuff going on for one deck.  Now we are basically going to cut out the water and normal types and strengthen the other lines.

Power Play Theme Deck – Modified

4x Krookodile
4x Krokorok
4x Sandile
2x Gigalith
3x Boldore
3x Roggenrola
4x Sawk
4x Energy Search
4x Potion
4x Great Ball
4x Bianca
4x Pokemon Communication
16x Fighting Energy

Now you’ve got something to work with.  This deck may not win any tournaments, but from here, you be on the path to a competitive deck.  As your budget and card collection allows, a few additions like “Rare Candy”, “Crushing Hammer”, “Switch” with the addition of a Terrakion or Bouffalant (easier to get than Terrakion) and your deck could look like this:

Power Play Theme Deck – Modified A Little More

4x Krookodile
2x Krokorok
4x Sandile
2x Terrakion
4x Exp Share
4x N
3x Level Ball
2x Bianca
4x Pokemon Communication
3x Rare Candy
4x Crushing Hammer
2x Enhanced Hammer
4x Switch
4x Pokemon Catcher
14x Fighting Energy

The purpose of this deck (and most do better if they have a goal in mind) is to use the “Black Eyes” ability with the “Hammer” cards and keep you opponents energy off the field while you set up.  “Exp Share” is vital to keep your energy in play and Switch helps to keep you from being stalled by your opponent’s “Catcher”.

Lets shift gears a little and look and one of the newest theme decks from the “Boundaries Crossed” set.

Cold Fire Theme Deck

2x White Kyurem
1x Samurott
2x Dewott
3x Oshawott
2x Cryogonal
1x Keldeo
2x Delibird
2x Darumaka
2x Darmanitan
1x Camerupt
2x Numel
2x Snorlax
2x Skitty
2x Delcatty
2x Lillipup
2x Dunsparce
2x Energy Search
2x Potion
2x Energy Retrieval
2x Great Ball
2x Hugh
1x Skyla
1x Pokemon Communication
11x Water Energy
7x Fire Energy

This one is stuffed with poor attackers and basics that evolve but no evolutions.  It is a little harder to do something with, but we’re going to focus on the big basic, White Kyurem.  To complement it, we’ll round out the lines with the fire types because of where you can go from there.

Cold Fire Theme Deck Modified

4x White Kyurem
4x Darumaka
4x Darmanitan
2x Camerupt
3x Numel
2x Skitty
2x Delcatty
2x Dunsparce
2x Energy Search
3x Potion
2x Energy Retrieval
4x Great Ball
4x Hugh
2x Skyla
2x Pokemon Communication
6x Water Energy
10x Fire Energy

With this list, you have to good Stage 1 attackers in Camerupt and Darmanitan with the White Kyurems in waiting.  Not a bad deck.  From here, we can make it pretty good with some changes from your collections.  Try this out.

Cold Fire Theme Deck – Modified A Little More

4x White Kyurem
3x Camerupt
3x Numel
3x Victini
3x Dunsparce
2x Potion
2x Energy Retrieval
3x Heavy Ball
4x N
2x Skyla
3x Pokemon Communication
3x Cheren
4x Exp Share
4x Switch
1x Super Rod
4x Water Energy
8x Fire Energy
4x Double Colorless Energy

Now you have a strategy.  Camerupt burns automatically and paralyzes with the coin flip (increase the chances with Victini’s ability which allows you to flip again).  White Kyurem‘s attacks both look a little better with the ability to re-flip with Victini.  We added “Exp Share” in this list also because of the large energy requirements of the attackers.  Keeping the energy in play makes this deck playable.  Keep in mind that with the cards you took out, you also have the basis for a Samurott deck (with a little help from your collection).

All of the cards added to both lists are easy to trade for at league.  The exceptions being “Double Colorless Energy” and “Pokemon Catcher.”  DCE can still be obtained through trades.  “Pokemon Catcher” is an expensive card (around $14 on Ebay).  Just about every competitive deck runs 4 copies of “Catcher”.  If you really get into playing and want to do well in tournament play, then a set of 4 is a worthwhile investment.  We have limited numbers of them, so we simply switch them between decks when needed.  They are not necessary for those of you just getting started.

We hope you like the ideas.  More importantly, we hope you see the process that we used to make the lists.  You can do this with any theme deck.  With this in mind, go take a look at the decks in stores (full lists of each deck are printed on the back).  Use your imagination and put something together with your favorite guys.  In our area, Wal-Mart and Target are the best places to buy decks (better selection at Target).  Stay away from Toys R Us, as all of their Pokemon products are significantly higher priced (although if you keep your eyes out for sales, you might do ok there).  Also make sure that you buy a deck from one of the Black & White sets, as they are the only ones legal for play at the moment (all three locations sell discounted decks from out-of-date sets).

That’s all for now…. have fun building decks.  We are getting very close to our 200th challenge at the Gym.  Last Sunday, as we ran out of time, Hunter H had the Fighting Gym Leader deck on the ropes.  Come by on Sunday and see what happens!  See you at the Gym!

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