TCG Online Spotlight – Salty Dawg

codecardToday we are going to look at the 2nd deck in our second series of online deck articles.  As we’ve stated before, these decks are fun decks from Gym Leader Joel’s extensive online collection where he throws together and tests (and then often scraps) every deck combination that drifts through or at least, near his head.  After some time play-testing these creations, a few of these decks start to stand out as they compile winning records.  Those that do the best are the ones that we bring to you.  Our first series brought you “Catnip”, “The Energy Burglar”, “The Electric Seahorse” and the “Turbo Dragon” decks, all of which we still play with quite a bit of success online.  In this series, we hope you enjoyed our 1st installment, “The Stranger”.  Let’s look at deck #2  in this series, “Salty Dawg”.

“Salty Dawg” or “The Atrocious Hounds of Doom”, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing (OK, I promise, no more Lebowski references… they’re just so hard to resist).  We went with the shorter title so that I don’t have to try to type “atrocious” any more than necessary.  After you see the list and the description, you’ll see that the “Atrocious Pokemon” is the star of the deck, as long as his lesser half doesn’t cost you the game on turn 1.

Salty Dawg – Online Record:  13-3

  • 4 – Suicune (PLB 20)
  • 3 – Absol (PLF 67)
  • 3 – Magikarp (LTR 30)
  • 3 – Gyarados (LTR 31)
  • 2 – Mr. Mime (PLF 47)
  • 4 – N
  • 3 – Bianca
  • 3 – Professor Juniper
  • 2 – Skyla
  • 2 – Colress
  • 2 – Silver Bangle
  • 2 – Dark Claw
  • 4 – Ultra Ball
  • 3 – Switch
  • 2 – Tool Scrapper
  • 2 – Energy Switch
  • 1 – Energy Retrieval
  • 1 – Random Receiver
  • 1 – Super Rod
  • 1 – ACESPEC Dowsing Machine
  • 5 – Water Energy
  • 4 – Darkness Energy
  • 3 – Double Colorless Energy

The goal of this deck is to damage as much as you can early on with either of your canine companions.  Against decks centered on EX’s, Suicune is the obvious choice, as his “Safeguard” ability halts the majority of EX’s in the game dead in their tracks.  Even those that can circumvent this ability (like Genesect w/”booster”), can be slowed down by Suicune, as an opposing Genesect will have to discard energy every time to earn a KO.   Doing that 4 times will definitely tax the resources of any Genesect deck.  Absol provides another cheap attacker that can, with a “Dark Claw” attached, KO any 140 HP or less non-EX Pokemon provided your opponent has a full bench (which in decks like Empoleon or Garchomp, they most likely will).  These low HP dogs will definitely fall by the wayside against competitive decks as the game progresses, which is exactly what you want.

Enter Mr. Atrocious himself…. Gyarados.  We don’t know if Gyarados earned the title of “the Atrocious Pokemon” because of its violent temper and ugly mug, karpor because it evolves from the most miserably pathetic basic pokemon ever….. Magikarp (wah, wah, waaahhhh….).  If your deck doesn’t hate you and give you a lone Magikarp start (ahemmmm……Brycen…..), you are best served to keep these bottom feeders out of sight completely  for the first few turns.  Once you have Mr. Mime in play, then you can bench them and immediately strike fear deep into the heart of your opponent.

dos1If you have managed to moderately keep up in the prize exchange during your game, then Gyarados should definitely be ready to eat.  Don’t follow me?  OK, here is an example.  Say you’re keeping pace in a back and forth game and reach the point where both you and your opponent have taken 4 prizes each (8 total).  At this point, for a low cost of 2 energy, Gyarados hits for 140 damage…. or 170 against an EX with a “Silver Bangle” attached.  If either of you takes another prize, then this grows to 190.  1 prize-a-piece… how about 210 damage.  Atrocious enough for you?  What truly becomes key in playing this deck is playing your tool cards at the right time and saving “Energy Switch” until you need it.  Switching energy off of 1 of your damaged dogs to Gyarados can really catch someone off guard and swing the game quickly to your favor.

The list above is the list that I played at Friday’s league challenge, where I took 1st place, despite the 2nd round Karp-donk (ahem….Brycen…..).  Keep in mind this was a small league challenge, but it still had a good mix of competitive decks.  Online, “Dawg” has also done well, falling once to a donk there as well.  It does not seem to have any really bad match-ups (I thought “Tool Drop” would be one, but have beaten all 3 that I’ve faced online).  One of the strengths of this deck that I see is that it can be modified easily to fit your area meta-game by simply changing a few card counts or tool cards.  Much like “The Stranger”, this is a very inexpensive deck to make which hopefully makes it a little less atrocious.

dosHaving failed completely at not having to type “atrocious” any more (dang it, there it is again…. how atrocious…. dang it…. sigh….) that should wrap our look at “Salty Dawg”.  Give it a whirl if you’re interested, or else, you can play every game from here on out, wondering when and where, out of the blue, someone is going to bench a Magikarp…. mwah ha ha ha ha, cough, hack, use “splash”, oh… never mind.

See you at the Gym!

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