TCG Online Spotlight – Totoro

totoroWith the latest set of the TCG expansions going on sale this week, the Fincastle Gym is going to look at one last deck from our online collection before the new cards enter the format.  Like the deck featured in our last article, today’s feature has evolved through several different versions since its creation.  Some of the changes were made to accommodate glitches in the TCG online that would not let some attack effects go through.  There are still a few “abilities” in the TCG online that do not exactly perform as intended (you’ll see what we’re talking about in a minute).  With that being said, let’s look at deck #4 in our spotlight, “Totoro”.

Without taking the time to research the dates of which came 1st, the “Snorlax” or the “Totoro”, one can’t help but wonder which burlesque, fluffy, cat-like beast influenced which.  The similarity, in appearance at least (perhaps not in terms of motivation), is undeniable.  Both characters accomplish what their creators catbussurely intended, which is to entertain you simply with their comical appearance.  However, those familiar with the TCG’s most recent version of Snorlax are most likely not happy to see him when he hits the table during a game.  After your opponent plays against “Totoro”, any affection they might have had for that fat cat will likely be gone.  So, hop on the cat-bus and take a look at the list.

Totoro – Online Record 17-4:

  • 4 – Snorlax (PLS)
  • 3 – Nincada (DRX)
  • 3 – Ninjask (DRX)
  • 2 – Mr. Mime (BCR)
  • 4 – Bianca
  • 4 – N
  • 2 – Professor Juniper
  • 2 – Skyla
  • 2 – Random Receiver
  • 4 – Level Ball
  • 4 – Hypnotoxic Laser
  • 4 – Float Stone
  • 2 – Silver Bangle
  • 2 – Max Potion
  • 2 – Escape Rope
  • 2 – Team Plasma Ball
  • 2 – Tool Scrapper
  • 1 – Super Rod
  • 3 – Virbank City Gym
  • 8 – Grass Energy

Hit and Run decks have always been some of Gym Leader Joel’s favorites to play dating back to when we originally started playing the TCG.  One of the most eye-opening and fun losses that he recalls from a City Championship in our 1st shuppetyear of playing was a loss to the almighty Shuppet.  Shuppet did a whopping 30 damage, then returned to your hand, along with everything attached to it.  At the time, this was an “Expert Belt” tool (similar to “Silver Bangle” and “Muscle Band”) and hopefully as the game went on 4 “Plus Power” items (which also, at the time, attached to the active), driving its 1 energy attack to 90 damage every turn.  There were a variety of “walls” at that time as well, including older versions of Mr. Mime and Shedinja, and a SP-stopping Rapidash.  Since then, we have always looked for new ways to build decks like that and we’ve built similar decks with other attackers and walls, all functioning in the same fashion as the Ninjask/Snorlax combo in this deck.

As we stated before, original version of this deck were quite different.  Snorlax was only 1 of several “wall” pokemon that were in initial lists.  The 1st list had a mix of Snorlax, Sigilyph and Suicune, which proved to be both inconsistent and unnecessary (in terms of having both Suicune and Sigilyph).  We then dropped Suicune and added in Latias EX, making a 2-2-2 line of the 3 wall pokemon.  This also proved to be a little inconsistent in terms of getting out the “mon” that you wanted at the right time.  This is also where we encountered the online ninjaglitch.  As most of you know, Latias EX sports the ability “Bright Down”, which prevents both damage and attack effects from any of your opponent’s pokemon with an ability, both EX and non-EX.  Unfortunately, the game glitch does not differentiate between your opponent’s pokemon and your own, meaning that it does not allow Latias EX to move to the active spot after you use your “Night Slash” attack.  This glitch may have been a blessing in disguise, as we scrapped Latias, thus stumbling onto a much better combo.  We streamlined the list, going with full lines of what worked best and adding the “Laser-Bank” line.

When Ninjask, the “soot sprite” of this deck, was released in Dragons Exalted, it was surely designed for a hit and run deck with its alter-evolution, Shedinja, whose ability denied your opponent a prize card when it was knocked out (a built-in “Life Dew” of sorts).  With “Pokemon Catcher” and no bench sootprotection, these fragile little bugs could not stand up to very many decks.  Without the catcher “nerf” and Mr. Mime, Ninjask would still be pretty useless.  However, those additions to the game combined with some handy tool and item cards, this little locust-bee-thing is actually quite potent.  The low-cost damage from “Night Slash” becomes ideal when you add a “Silver Bangle”, as 90 damage 2-hits all the EX’s in play (not counting the new “Megas”, of course).  Switching into Snorlax traps most opponents, leaving whoever you just attacked in the active spot for the next turn.  Retreat Snorlax with the “Float Stone” and allow Ninjask to return and finish the job.

snorlaxWhile “Switch” is still played in most decks, most players don’t play enough to get away from Snorlax multiple times.  “Max Potion” allows you to wash away turns of damage off of Snorlax and with the “Super Rod” in the deck, you can turn your 4 Snorlax into 6 or 7 fairly easily.  Against decks that don’t play Virizion EX, the “lasers” in this deck make his trap even more devastating, especially when you can hold onto a few of them until it looks like your opponent has exhausted their switch/escape rope supply.

“Totoro” doesn’t explode and run over other decks by any means.  However, the constant stream of damage and trapping makes it a very difficult deck to defeat.  We almost hate to share this one nasty trick in this deck, as it will not typically leave your opponent in the best of moods, which is to win by the deck out.  If you trap something with Snorlax that your opponent can’t attack with and can’t retreat, all you have to do is verify that you have more cards left in your deck than they do.  From there, you can simply draw and pass for the remainder of the game until they run out of cards.  5 of the wins online have come that way, which admittedly is a pretty funny way to win a game (especially when it begins with them still having 20 or more cards remaining).  However,  I would not expect your opponent to stick around and share friendly conversation after a loss in this fashion.

This brings the Gym’s 2nd online spotlight to a close.  When we get a few more sets under our belts, we’ll be back with another series (sometime near the National Championships).  From “The Stranger” and “Salty Dawg”, to “Angry Birds” and today’s “Totoro”, we hope that this variety of decks that are not the “BDIF” lists that the internet bombards you with, give you some ideas to play around with.  While the Fincastle Gym Leaders enjoy the competitive side of the TCG, we still have a lot of fun playing with and developing fun “rogue” decks.  Take these ideas and concepts and see what you totoro2can do with them.  Maybe you will see some ways to make these decks better that we missed completely.  Think about some of the concepts used in these decks and then take a look at your binder.  Be creative and see what you can come up with.  We promise that if you do, and take a little break from your perfect Blastoise/Black Kyurem/Keldeo or Virizion/Genesect decks, your enjoyment of the Pokemon TCG will grow by leaps and bounds.  You never know, in doing so, you may stumble onto a deck that takes a tournament or event by storm.  Even if you don’t, enjoy a little time playing for fun.  Until next time, see you at the Gym!

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