TCG Online Spotlight – Angry Birds

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is back with its 3rd installment of our “online spotlight” after breaking for a few days with X/Y pre-releases.  We had great birdyturnouts at both Cornelius and Fincastle.  While not sure about Cornelius, I know that no one person at Fincastle was lucky enough to get matching EX’s and their mega-evolution, but we saw a nice mix of the “mega’s” and the other new EX’s, including some beautiful full-art cards.  We had a great time and hope you all did too.  Speaking of EX’s, the featured deck today is nothing but.  However, those featured today have never seen the love and hype that several EX’s in the new X/Y set have already, leaving them lost and lonely.  Come to think of it, being ignored as they have, they’re probably pretty angry.  Thus the name, Angry Birds.  Oh, yeah… and they’re birds (almost forgot that part).

Just in case you’re not following us at this point (and if you’re not, stop eating the glue stick and pay attention), Angry Birds is a deck based on almost all of our flying EX cards in play at the moment, most of which have seen little play, save one, Ho-oh EXHo-oh has worked its way in and out of decks with decent success since its release in Dragons Exalted.  It is the bird that makes this deck fly,hoohex which has been a bumpy flight since its development.  This is probably the hardest deck that we are featuring to play and it has been tweaked constantly as errors in its early build became obvious.  With an online record of 9-6 at the moment, keep in mind that those 9 wins are a labor of love and were hard earned.  It is easy to make misplays in a deck like this and my own misplays account for at least 3 of the losses.  What we want you to see in this build is the versatility that Ho-oh EX brings (allowing you to play almost anything you want with it) and how much fun it is to mess around with.  List time.

Angry Birds – Online Record 9-6:

  • 2 – Latias EX
  • 2 – Moltres EX
  • 2 – Zapdos EX
  • 2 – Articuno EX
  • 2 – Ho-oh EX
  • 4 – N
  • 4 – Professor Juniper
  • 3 – Bianca
  • 2 – Skyla
  • 4 – Ultra Ball
  • 4 – Energy Switch
  • 2 – Energy Search
  • 3 – Colress Machine
  • 2 – Pokemon Catcher
  • 2 – Tool Scrapper
  • 1 – Scramble Switch ACESPEC
  • 3 – Skyarrow Bridge
  • 1 – Frozen City
  • 4 – Plasma Energy
  • 3 – Fire Energy
  • 3- Lightning Energy
  • 3 – Water Energy
  • 2 – Psychic Energy

Since we’ve been playing, we’ve seen many decks that try to take advantage of weaknesses of your opponent’s pokemon.  Any of you that have played for very long know how much of a struggle it is to battle against someone that has a deck that your deck is weak to.  The problem is that it is virtually impossible to cover all weaknesses in one deck.  That is why Angry Birds has had mixed success.  If there was a grass-type and/or fighting-type bird available, then we’d be flying right, but there is not (and yes, we know Genesect flies around like a little space shuttle, but it is a bug, not a bird, so he can’t play…. besides, birds eat bugs).

In any deck with Ho-oh, there are 2 things you want to do.  The first thing is not to start with a lone Ho-oh EX, which is something you can’t control.  It doesn’t mean “game over”, but it really takes the wind out of you.  The second is, as quickly as possible, get a nice mix of energy and at least 1 Ho-oh EX in the discard pile.  The 4 “Professor Juniper” and “ultra ball” cards are the main way to accomplish this.  The “Skyarrow” stadium allows you to promote whichever bird gives you the best match-up and start attaching energy.  If you can get your energy and Ho-oh in the discard by turn 2, then a successful coin flip on its ability, “Rebirth”, can allow you to have at least 4 (more with Plasma Energy & Colress Machine) in play.  Then, with the 4 “energy switch” cards, you can fully power up the big attack of anyone in the deck.

The trick to this deck, or any Ho-oh deck for that matter, is to be aggressive early.  You may have to discard some good stuff to try to get this bird off the ground.  The advantage a deck like this can give you is that you can begin 0ne-hitting everything your opponent has from turn 2 on if you are aggressive and get some help on “Rebirth” flips.  If you have to attach all of your energy 1 card at a time, then most games will likely get away from you.

Latias EX was not originally included in this deck.  However, with the aforementioned versatility of Ho-oh, it was easy to add.  We added this bird-like EX to make match-ups against both Darkrai EX and Keldeo EX a little more favorable, as its “Bright Down” ability gives it immunity to damage from these 2.  Latias EX‘s attack for 70 damage is a little lack-luster, but it starts to look slightly more interesting with the upcoming “Muscle Band” tool in X/Y (which would boost it to 90).  The other added bonus is that Latias’s attack, “Barrier Break”, bypasses all effects and abilities, so it can’t be blocked by anything.

As far as other match-ups go, Angry Birds definitely has its ups and downs.  Zapdos EX gives you strong match-ups against Lugia EX and Empoleon.  It also has potential as a counter to the heavily-hyped Yveltal EX in X/YMoltres EX zappyand Ho-oh EX provide amazing counters to any Virizion/Genesect decks and provide coverage to steel-types, which don’t see much play right now.  Articuno EX does not cover much right now other than the rarely seen Landorus EX.  However, its second attack, “Frost Prison” with its automatic “paralyzed” condition can come in handy, especially late in a game when resources are low.  The “Frozen City” stadium can help against Blastoise/Emboar decks, but running only 1 copy is not enough to provide consistent support for the birds.

jamesLike we said, this deck can’t counter everything.  However, swapping a few birds for other more useful pokemon may be something to look at…. just not here.  This is definitely for the birds.  X/Y is giving us a new EX bird in Skarmory EX, which could be a decent counter to the new Fairy-types.  Since our birds are out of the binder and actually in one of our league decks, maybe ours are a little less angry than most.  Wanna play against it, come by league this Sunday (I’m not dressing like that, though….Gym Leader Marthe won’t let me).  Until then, see you at the Gym!





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