In looking back on the Fincastle Gym’s experimentation and development of today’s deck, we mused that this silly premise, which we did not feel was even on the radar of competitive decks, had a real shot to get there with the release of the Fates Collide set that just went on sale. This deck, lovingly dubbed “Cousin Eddie”, is one that we thought would gain superpowers with the release of the Fates Collide Mew (29/124), that 50 HP kitty that will lock the format into a 2-way street, “Night March” or item lock, if Play!Pokemon does not rotate Phantom Forces at the end of this season. However, whether we viewed an early translation of the Japanese version of Mew that was inaccurate, or just misread the scans of the of the English card, we can’t say for sure. What we thought would be unlocking the potential of this Stage 2 featured in “Eddie” was shot down when we realized that Mew’s ability, “Memories of Dawn”, can only copy the attack of basic pokemon.
TCG versions of Mew and the Gym Leaders go way back, back to before there was ever a Gym. Gym Leader won his 1st State Championship with Mew Prime/Rhyperior Lv X, a deck that contained 38 energy cards, hitting for 200-250 damage per turn starting on the 2nd or 3rd turn. Logan’s deck prompted everyone in the Junior Division across 3 states to buy copies of Dialga G Lv X to shut off Mew’s “Pokebody”. Gym Leader Marthe used Mew Prime in both her 1st Psychic-type gym leader deck and in a Mewtwo EX deck that she played at the World’s “grinder” in Hawaii in 2012. One of Gym Leader Joel’s favorite Expanded Format decks online is his Mew EX/Registeel EX/M Gallade EX deck, a deck that spreads damage with insane speed. The Gym definitely likes to think out of the box when Mew comes along. Although this variant does not work like we wanted, Mew still found its way into “Cousin Eddie” (yeah, we know, that just doesn’t sound right).
When you play “Cousin Eddie”, you might ask yourself, “You smell something?” When you hit 320 damage with your attack, or sometimes 400 damage, and see Mew laying there in the debris, the answer to that question is, of course, “Fried pussycat, heh, heh, heh…”. The trick to this tenement on wheels is getting it set up. If you do, you can blow up any and everything that crosses your path. When you are done, especially if the game goes very long, your last attack may result in flipping the last 4 or 5 cards in your deck over (which should be all energy at this point). At this point, looking at your massive discard pile, you’ll be thinking, “If that thing had 9 lives, it just spent ’em all.”
The original list worked with just Dedenne and the Typhlosion line. Even though Mew was not able to step in a fill the role of an extra attacker, we found that he aided greatly in the initial set up of the deck. So, here is the updated list, with Mew included.
- 4 – Cyndaquil (BKT 18)
- 2 – Quilava (BKT 19)
- 4 – Typhlosion (BKT 20)
- 2 – Dedenne (FFI 34)
- 2 – Mew (FAC 29)
- 2 – Buddy-Buddy Rescue
- 2 – Energy Recycler
- 4 – Level Ball
- 1 – Ultra Ball
- 2 – Rare Candy
- 4 – Skyla
- 3 – Trainers’ Mail
- 1 – Wally
- 2 – Super Rod
- 25 – Fire
The short version of “how to play” this deck is this… evolve as many Typhlosion as possible, then blow stuff up. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. The main focus is to use Typhlosion‘s 1-energy attack, “Massive Eruption”, which, in discarding the top 5 cards of your own deck, does 80 damage times the number of energy cards you flip over. To make this deck work, you have to achieve 3 goals. The 1st one is what we previously stated… evolve as many Typhlosion as possible. The 2nd one is to get the recovery cards in your hand. The 3rd one is to get energy out of your hand and eventually back into the deck. Like many decks, sometimes everything just lays out perfectly. Unfortunately, there will be some games where you open with a hand full of energy and not much else, and you are stuck eating the Meow Mix infused lime jello, while Snots yaks on a bone at your feet (I think we’ve said something along these lines before, but if we have to explain “Christmas Vacation” to you, then you are dead to us).
Now, as we said, that 1st goal of getting multiple Typhlosion’s in play is not complicated, but it’s not always easy. That is where Mew comes in handy. Dedenne’s attack, “Entrainment” is essential, as you want to fill your bench with Cyndaquil and a Mew or 2 as quickly as possible. One of the bonuses of Mew is that if you open with it in your Active position, you can copy “Entrainment” from a Dedenne, which is easily searchable with “Level Ball”. Mew’s other strength is its actual attack, “Encounter” that lets you get a pokemon from your deck and put it in your hand. As there are not an abundance of pokemon searchers in this list, you need to use “Encounter” as many times as you can, picking out the pieces of the Typhlosion line that you need before you start milling your own deck. In setting up, you will likely lose 2, maybe even 3 prize cards to lost Mew and Dedenne, but the cost will be worth it, as once you start attacking, your field should be several 150 HP Typhlosion, ready to help you make a nice comeback over anything.
The 2nd goal of getting the recovery cards in your hand does not have to happen every time you play “Eddie”. However, if you aren’t able to hold on to 1 or 2 of these cards, you may deck yourself out, because we’ve seen this deck play itself down to the last several cards multiple times. By recovery cards, we are talking about the cards “Energy Recycler”, “Super Rod” and “Buddy-Buddy Rescue”. As you see above, the energy count of 25 Fire energy means that the 1st few times you attack with “Massive Eruption” from Typhlosion, you should hit at least 3 energy in the 5 that you discard. That’s 240 damage right there, KO’s on everything in the game except 250 HP Wailord EX. Bingo! That’s the gift that just keeps on giving, the whole year. Whether you search these cards out with “Skyla”, or hit them on a “Trainers’ Mail”, you will want to hold them until you mill/discard a few times and thin the deck down. Once we get about 10 energy in the discard, we like to start putting them back in, trying to make the remaining deck nothing but energy, so the last few times you attack, you hit those magical numbers of 320 and 400 damage. Along the way, you will likely toss a needed pokemon or 3 into the discard pile. We found “Buddy-Buddy Rescue” to be the best option for this problem, as it gets the one you pick in your hand. If you use “Super Rod” to put pokemon back in the deck, it is likely that they will get discarded again when you attack with “Massive Eruption”.
The other problem that we had to work out as we developed this list (problem #3) is the solution to this question: what do you do when you have 7 or 8 energy in your hand? It took a time or 2, but at some point Gym Leader Joel realized that Typhlosion has a 2nd attack, “Flare Destroy”. The requirement of 2 Fire energy and 1 Colorless for “Flare Destroy” is a little costly. However, once you have at least 2 Typhlosion in play, you can charge the “Flare” attack of the benched one with energy from your hand, while you attack with “Massive Eruption” from the active. “Flare Destroy” for 130 damage is not too shabby, plus it has the added effect of discarding an energy from Typhlosion (energy in hand problem solved) and an energy from the defending pokemon, if it survives the attack.
If the new Mew was like some of the older iterations and could copy anyone’s attack on your field, then Gym Leader Joel would have found the deck that he would play for most of next season, as Mew would add an element of speed not present in “Eddie”. Unfortunately, it looks like Mew was released to mostly make “Night March” hideous to play against (can we lift the Trump Card ban… cause it could make pokemon great again….., sorry, I had to say it…., go get counseling if you need it… just don’t try to win a political argument by yelling obscenities at the top of your lungs, because there are plenty of people out there who are not afraid to knock out a voting age kid looking for $18/hr at McDonald’s and free college). At any rate, this deck will join a huge list of decks that can’t keep up with “Night March”.
As this deck currently stands, it is semi-competitive at best. On the plus side, it is insanely cheap to build. It may be luck, or maybe the skill level of PTCGO opponents that have lifted both variants of “Eddie” to a combined record of 15-7. Several of the 7 loses were games where Joel could never get the deck started. If memory serves, the rest were to “Night March”, as they can usually take out 3-4 Typhlosion before you can get 6 “marchers”. However, you can get KO’s on Jolik with Dedenne/Mew using the “Energy Short” attack. Many of the wins were 3 turn comeback wins, as “Eddie” KO’d 3 EX pokemon in 3 consecutive turns. There were a few “rage quit” wins mixed in as well, as the opponent quit after the 1st 320 damage KO. Only the last 4 games contained the Mew version, and they were all wins over a decent mix of decks (1 Yveltal EX deck, 1 M-Manectric/Regice, 1 Giratina EX/??? & 1 Florges/M Gardevoir deck).
Playing a deck like “Cousin Eddie” at times, may leave you looking like some a-hole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into a sewer, because sometimes it just simply does not work. However, when it does, we think it is great fun. So much so, that we may break into a random recitation of the pledge of allegiance or the Star Spangled Banner as we hit 400 damage with 1 attack. All we ask is that if you see us do so, stand up like Cousin Eddie and salute (and yes we know, Grace passed away 30 years ago). Check back later this week, as Joel will work up another deck spotlight (don’t know which one yet, as he has 356 decks to sort through). Until then, see you at the Gym!