This will be the Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s first article where we provide you with a look at some of our online decks. Creating deck ideas has always been Gym Leader Joel’s favorite part of the TCG. As we described in our last article, the TCG online has provided us with a unique tool to build and test out all sorts of deck ideas. One feature of the online game that we forgot to mention in the last article is that in the “deck manager” section, it keeps a running W-L record for each of your decks. We will look at several decks that have good overall records online (some more surprising than others). First up is the deck that I played in the only 2 Battle Roads that I was able to attend this Spring. It may be the best of the online decks that we will review. It took 3rd place at Harrisonburg, VA, but then had a rough day a few weeks later at Cornelius, NC, where the local the North Carolina Gothitelle/Accelgor fan club showed up. As you’ll see, it’s success is all about match-ups.
This deck, as several many of my builds have, focuses on the one-hit KO. Stretching all the way back to Golem/Bronzong, “Mew-perior” and Magnezone/Feraligatr, to the more recent Rayquaza/Emboar, there always seems to be a way to pull the OHKO off, even with the addition of 180 HP EX Pokemon. The presence of EX’s make wins easier to attain as you can build a deck to focus on taking out 3 of them for the game (as each EX cost 2 prize cards when knocked out). That is what my “Turbo Dragon” deck is all about. Lets look at the list, then we will elaborate.
Turbo Dragon (Online Record 19-5)
- 4 – Victini EX
- 3 – Reshiram EX
- 2 – Reshiram (BW)
- 4 – Hypnotoxic Laser
- 4 – Pokemon Catcher
- 4 – Switch
- 4 – Ultra Ball
- 3 – Eviolite
- 1 – Victory Piece (ACESPEC)
- 1 – Random Receiver
- 3 – Virbank City Gym (Stadium)
- 4- N
- 4 – Professor Juniper
- 3 – Skyla
- 2 – Bianca
- 10- Fire Energy
- 4 – Double Colorless Energy
Playing this deck is as straight forward as it can be. You either start Victini EX as your active or you play everything you can to get him there. Whether you have to attach an energy or use “Victory Piece” depends on how things play out. The “Piece” may allow you to go ahead and attach a DCE on your 1st turn to Reshiram EX. Either way, “Turbo Energize” 2 fire energy onto Reshiram EX on your first turn. You also want to get the stadium in play as soon as possible. Next turn attach the DCE (if you did not already), use catcher to grab up whatever appears to pose the biggest threat. Use (or dig for it if you don’t have it in hand) a “Laser” and use the attack “Brave Fire”. 150 plus the damage from a “Laser” and, viola…..you’ve just KO’d an EX on your 2nd turn.
If you chose wisely and set your opponent back a turn, then you repeat the process on your next turn and…. Bam!…. 2 EX’s gone (4 prizes). If you’re lucky you may be able to ride the 1st Reshiram EX all the way to the finish line, depending on whether your opponent is able to counter with anything, or just watch in horror as you burn through their field with what is surely considered one of the worst EX’s in the game. If not, hopefully you spent the 2nd and 3rd turns getting a 2nd Reshiram EX ready on the bench. Even better for you, hopefully they spent too much effort trying to catch and KO your Victini EX or benched Reshiram, keeping damage off the one you are attacking with.
This deck is not perfect by any means, but is built so that you can afford to throw away lots of resources in exchange for that big 2nd turn attack. One of the biggest keys to this deck is going 1st. Every time that I’ve gone 1st with the real version (except round 3 in Cornelius…see below), I’ve won. Depending on what you’re playing against (most dangerous is Darkrai), you have to be careful when you attach a DCE. If you think they play “Enhanced Hammer”, then you must wait until you are ready to attack. Losing that energy can be a huge setback for this deck. You also do not want to play down more than 1 Victini EX, as it is an easy target for just about everything and Lugia EX can hit it and take 3 prize cards. There are 4 in the build to maximize the chance that you start with it.
One of the other tricks up this deck’s sleeve is Victini EX and the ACESPEC “Victory Piece”. This item card lets you use any of Victini‘s attacks for free, which opens up the possibility of “donking” someone. At 2-0 in Cornelius (having not lost a prize card in the 1st 2 games), I opened against a lone Shelmet to my Victini. I did not have a “Skyla”, so I used Juniper to throw away 2 Juniper, 2 N and 2 other Items in an attempt to hit the “Piece”. Not only did I miss that card, I deviated from how you play the deck and devastated my set up. Knowing that I was playing the Gothitelle/Accelgor lock deck, I think it was worth the gamble, but it did not pay off and I lost (I defeated the same deck in the 1st round by setting up Reshiram EX and rolling the deck from the 2nd turn on). I’ve thought about switching to the ACESPEC “Scramble Switch”, which could keep you swinging with a fresh Reshiram EX, but the “Victory Piece” seems to be the best fit.
There are many other tweaks that you can attempt to this deck. For Cornelius, I teched in several “Super Scoop Up” items and a lone Mewtwo EX. The SSU allow you to get Victini EX off the field after he’s done his job or save a KO on a Reshiram (if you have another set). Mewtwo EX was to counter both Keldeo EX and Deoxys EX. However, that day, these techs proved rather useless as the flavor of the day in NC was Gothitelle/Accelgor. “Eviolite” is probably optional in this deck. I went with it because it lessens the self-damage from “Brave Fire” and can help you weather a “Night Spear” or 2. I play the regular Reshiram so that you have an out against Plasma Klinklang. If it is the only option available, you can use the same engine and set up a 2nd turn 150 damage with “Blue Flare” and laser. You don’t want to go crazy with “Blue Flare”, as you will run out of energy quickly, but it is still a nice attack.
As far as match-ups go, Turbo Dragon doesn’t have any that are absolutely horrible. Blastoise/Keldeo is a challenge, but much worse if they go 1st and set Blastoise on the 2nd turn. You can stay ahead by taking out Keldeo EX as it hits the bench or one-hitting Blastoise if they don’t have any other Squirtle ready to evolve on the next turn. Against the Plasma Blah-Blahs (sorry, but we were not fans of the SP format and are no fonder of this equally uncreative Plasma format that Pokemon is pushing with these sets), you have to go after wherever they start attaching energy, which is usually either Lugia EX or Kyurem. Either way, Plasma runs out of steam quickly, especially if you take out their energy. The same goes for Darkrai (or any big basics deck for that matter), if you take out their 1st Darkrai before they attack with it, you are ahead and can stay ahead for the match. Don’t worry about their Absol, just keep your bench limited and take it out only if you have to. Remember, anyone who puts 3 EX Pokemon in play has laid the outcome of the game in your hands.
If you come up against any non-EX decks like Weavile, stick with the plan and one-hit where they play energy. It may turn into a longer game, but you should be able to outlast your opponent. Is this deck ready to win Nats? No, I’d say its pretty unlikely. If you could go first every game (which you can’t), it could be a real contender. If you can pull of 8 or 9 wins in a row at Nats with it…. well, as Briscoe would say, “more power to you.” What this does provide is an economical deck that can beat any deck in the format. It is fun to play and gives fans of Fire-types and/or Reshiram something competitive to play. Test it, tweak it, make it fit your own style of play. Have fun with this one and check back to see what else we’ve come up with online. See you soon at the Gym!