Online Deck #3 – Nepeta (aka Catnip)

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is winding down this week as we make some final preparations to head out to the Pokemon National Championships in Indianapolis.  We are testing decks for everyone, as Gym Leaders Joel, Logan and Georgia will all play in the main draw.  Gym Leader Marthe is putting the finishing touches on her deck for the Professor Cup.  Before we get out of town, we want to wrap up our look at some of our online decks.  We have 2 more to share with you which we picked because of their records.  Both decks were thrown together by Gym Leader Joel as something different to play.  Much to our surprise, they do well and have beaten several of the “format” decks with regularity.  Even the losses have been by very narrow margins.  Today we’ll look at “Nepeta”.

catnipOkay, briefly so everyone is on the same page, Nepeta is a genus, or group of “catmint” plants that include the different plants that we call catnip.  The original catnip plant is purple and green, which, as you will see, matches the theme of this deck (and if anyone ever says that this site is not educational, then refer them to this article).  Now, let’s look at the deck before anyone has any flashbacks to being in class.  We know its summertime, so we’ll try to keep thinking to a minimum.  We could have named it the Purple Pandas after the gang that sports green and purple as their colors, but that just doesn’t seem to fit for so many reasons.  I’m sure, on some level, they’re really scary.

Nepeta – Online Record 15-4

  • 2 – Emolga (Call for Family)
  • 3 – Mewtwo EX
  • 4 – Eevee (your preference)
  • 4 – Leafeon (Plasma Freeze)
  • 4 – N
  • 4 – Bianca
  • 3 – Hugh
  • 2 – Random Receiver
  • 3 – Level Ball
  • 2 – Ultra Ball
  • 2 – Plasma Ball
  • 4 – Pokemon Catcher
  • 4 – Hypnotoxic Laser
  • 3 – Switch
  • 1 – Tool Scrapper
  • 2 – Virbank City Gym
  • 5 – Grass Energy
  • 4 – Blend Energy (Grass/Psychic)
  • 4 – Double Colorless Energy

Even when I look at this list, I wonder how it wins.  I mean, 3 “Hugh”, really?  The Supporter card “Hugh” seems to be a horrible card in any deck.  Yet, after someone plays a “Colress” and has 8 or 9 cards in their hand (especially after taking a prize), it seems to pay off.  I keep thinking I need to change that and many parts of this deck.  Then I play it and run over an opponent with it and think, “Good night, Hugh. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” (where else can you learn botany and get Princess Bride quotes all in the same read….I mean come on, props to the writer!)  This deck, with some review could probably become much better, we just haven’t changed anything because it has not been necessary.  It was down on the list of things to try at Battle Roads which is another reason we haven’t looked at it much.

leafeonThe 2 attackers in the deck are Mewtwo EX (seems like the grandpa EX at this point) and Leafeon.  Both punish your opponent for the energy they play, but in different ways.  Mewtwo is the best answer to an attacker with several energy on it.  Leafeon is there to hit for 20x the amount of energy your opponent has on everyone on their field.  Once a game gets underway, there are rarely situations where your opponent does not have 4-5 energies scattered around their field.  The best thing about Leafeon‘s attack, “Energy Crush”, is that its cost is a single colorless (any) energy.  When you combine this with a “Laser” and Virbank Gym stadium, that becomes quite a powerful punch from this verdant little kitty (it is a cat, right… cause if it’s not, it ruins the theme of this post).

There is not a terrible amount of instruction to go along with this one.  We like to use Emolga to help set our field while our opponent starts laying down energy (the more, the better).  Much like our Krookodile deck, you sit back and respond to whatever your opponent does.  Mewtwo sometimes is the best answer, other times its Leafeon.  It may sound overly simple, but we usually calculate what each one would do if active and just go with the strongest option. Leafeon can swing away and buy you time to load energy onto your Mewtwo if they don’t play a Mewtwo counter.  If you want to see a mouth-drop where the chin may actually hit the table, play this against Blastoise/Keldeo.  We’re not sure if Pokemon printed Leafeon with the intentions of slaughtering Keldeo EX, but that’s what they basically accomplished (Keldeo is weak x2 to Grass).

Can this list be better?  Does a frog bump its butt when it hops?  “Hugh” could and should be replaced for something more consistent.  A mix of Bianca, Colress, Skyla and Professor Juniper is recommended.  If Juniper is added, then we suggest adding “Super Rod”.  We did not put Juniper in this list so that we did not have to worry about tossing something important early.  After a 2nd look, the Grass energy could probably be swapped for Psychic.  For that matter, the same can be said for the Blend Energy.  If you have resort to either character’s 2nd attack, Mewtwo EX‘s “Psydrive” is probably the better option.  We also want to point out that there is not an ACESPEC in this list.  Any of the big 3 (Computer Search, Dowsing Machine or Scramble Switch) would work in here.  That’s definitely a player-choice decision.

We feel that “Nepeta” has potential as a strong meta-game counter deck (which is mostly what we build).  This is off our list for Nats mostly because of the lack of real play-testing we’ve had with it.  Anyone looking for a budget deck should definitely give this one a whirl.  If you sit down across from a version of this at Nats, you may be thinking of these words before the end of the game (I can’t letvizzini you go without 1 more modified quote from Princess Bride).  “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders—the most famous of which is, ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia’—but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against Leafeon when death is on the line’! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

See you this Sunday at the Gym!

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