The Bargain Bin #3 – Furious George

The Fincastle Gym is back with another look at an interesting budget-friendly deck.  Much like the Golduck deck featured here, today’s deck is an iteration of a deck that many players were “hyping” when Sun & Moon was still in the pre-release stage.  Much like Golduck, a quick internet search reveals several similar lists for today’s deck.  While we view those lists as handy guides, we never borrow a list without testing it.  And more often than not, when we test a list, we find other ways that we prefer to play it.  The Gym leaders like our decklists to be as smooth and streamlined as possible.  We think that you will find what we’ve done to this deck is an improvement over the lists we’ve seen floating around.  Our gym leaders believe that the structure of today’s deck will open up some options to other variations (which should make a little more sense later in this article).

The most difficult portion of putting together this article was deciding on the all-important name.  Today’s deck features the new Passimian card, which opens up so many directions that one can go with monkey references.  Early considerations included Bubbles the Chimp (which upon further research is a way too depressing story for us), something lowbrow centered around poop-flinging to tie into  Passimian’s 1st attack, “Fling”, King Kong, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and even Caesar from Planet of the Apes.  Alas we went with something a little more friendly, which as we think about it, is probably the most accurate reference for this deck.  Curious George, that adorable little monkey from our youth, always seemed to either find trouble or cause it.  If not for The Man in the Yellow Hat, George’s story might have been short-lived.  However, “The Man” always found a way to bail out the dubious simian and keep him going, story after story.  Passimian alone is not good for much other than a pre-release deck.  However, with the proper cast of supporting characters, it becomes quite the mean little monkey to square off against.  Let’s look at “Furious George” and then we’ll get into how we play it.  Once you see the deck, you can decide for yourself who fills the role of the Man in the Yellow Hat.

Furious George:

  • 4 – Passimian (SUM 73)
  • 3 – Mew (FCO 29)
  • 1 – Mewtwo (EVO 51)
  • 2 – Combee (AOR 9)
  • 2 – Vespiquen (AOR 10)
  • 2 – Remoraid (BKT 32)
  • 2 – Octillery (BKT 33)
  • 2 – Unown (AOR 30)
  • 1 – Teammates
  • 2 – Lysandre
  • 2 – N
  • 4 – Professor Sycamore
  • 1 – Pokemon Ranger
  • 4 – Ultra Ball
  • 4 – Nest Ball
  • 4 – Trainers’ Mail
  • 4 – VS Seeker
  • 3 – Bursting Balloon
  • 1 – Float Stone
  • 2 – Fighting Fury Belt
  • 2 – Revive
  • 1 – Super Rod
  • 2 – Special Charge
  • 1 – Escape Rope
  • 2 – Sky Field
  • 4 – Double Colorless Energy

Passimian, like any other card with an attack cost of a single “Double Colorless Energy” (DCE), immediately grabbed the attention of TCG players when Sun & Moon was released.  While the cheap attack cost alone does not make it playable, the rest of the stats on the card do.  Passimian’s 2nd attack, “Team Play” does 10 damage plus an additional 30 damage for each Passimian on your bench.  With no other assistance, that has Passimian attacking for 100 damage for a DCE, assuming that 3 are on the Bench and of course, 1 is in the Active spot.  Not too shabby from a 110 HP Basic pokemon.  The addition of a “Fighting Fury Belt” makes Passimian a 150 HP Basic that hits for 110 damage (getting better all the time).  Furious George looks to make the “not too shabby” attack into a “purty darn gewd” one.

Enter Mew (FCO 29).  Those who played/suffered through the “Night March” era should know this card well.  Mew sports 2 very nice traits that offset its low HP stat of 50.  Those traits are its free retreat cost and its ability, “Memories of Dawn” (allowing it to copy the attack of any Basic pokemon that you have in play, as long as it has the energy necessary to use that attack).  With that ability in tow, Mew takes the position as the lead attacker in this deck.  Mew allows you to exceed the damage output that Passimian could reach on its own.  With Mew in the Active position, you can keep all 4 Passimian on the bench, allowing Mew to hit for 130 damage (or 140 damage if you attach a “Fury Belt” to Mew).  130 damage for a single DCE is excellent for an EX’s attack.  The fact that you can get that output from a 50 HP Basic is what makes this deck viable.  However, the ability that makes Mew so useful is also the source of its biggest liability.

Since the last card rotation, Pokemon still has not given players any real counter to Garbodor and its ability blocking ability, “Garbotoxin”.  To further handcuff abilities in the TCG, Sun & Moon introduced Alolan Muk, with the ability “Power of Alchemy”, which eliminates abilities from Basic pokemon.  We won’t digress at this time about how this narrows the format, but the existence of these 2 pokemon make decks like Furious George more risky to play.  Knowing this, we added a few alternate attackers to compliment the Passimian/Mew combination.  The 2-2 line of Combee/Vespiquen is the same count of these pokemon that we used in Gym Leader Georgia’s 2016 World Championships deck.  It serves the same role here as it did in that deck.  If you see an immediate advantage for Vesipquen, like an opposing deck that is weak to Grass-types, you can toss the whole Passimian/Mew line into this discard to fuel Vespiquen’s attack, “Bee Revenge”.  You can get at least 12 pokemon in the discard pile to for “Bee Revenge”, allowing it to hit for 140 damage, which is solid for a DCE attack cost.  Vespiquen can also take over as a late game attacker if you are out of Mew or have lost any Passimian during the game.

We also added 1 copy of Mewtwo (EVO 51) in the event that abilities do get locked.  If that does happen, we try to discard the Mew and attack with whatever combination of Mewtwo, Vespiquen and Passimian that we can muster.  It usually does not matter who you use 1st.  What is important is that you keep a constant stream of attacks coming from the trio.  The main instance where you want to hold the Mewtwo is if you are facing a Mega Mewtwo EX deck.  Inexperienced Mega Mewtwo players often get over-zealous when it comes to attaching energy to M Mewtwo.  If an opponent loads a Mega with a lot of energy (5 or more to be exact), you can play down your Mewtwo (EVO 51), attach a DCE and 1-hit the Mega with your “Psychic” attack.  In both real games and games in the PTCGO (and with different decks), we have swept Mega Mewtwo EX decks with a lone Mewtwo (EVO 51) sporting a “Fury Belt” .  Because of the popularity of Mega Mewtwo decks, we add this Mewtwo into any deck that has room for it.

The speed of Furious George (and all of the decks in this series) is one of the biggest factors that makes this deck competitive.  The heavy Item card count, which includes 4 copies of the new card “Nest Ball” makes it fairly easy to get out multiple pokemon over the 1st few turns.  As in the other decks in this series, the draw support comes from Octillery.  As we discussed in those other articles, we try to set the Octillery as quickly as possible.  If you have it in play on your 2nd turn, this deck, the “Abyssal Hand” ability lets you burn through your deck.  It also becomes vital during games where your opponent targets your 4 Double Colorless Energy (DCE) with “Hammer” cards.  Some decks play enough energy “discarders” to remove the 4 DCE.  However, the 2 copies of “Special Charge” (return 2 special energy cards from your discard pile to your deck) in concert with the constant draw power provided by Octillery, should keep your energy supply in good shape for the length of any game.  We also added to copies of the pokemon, Unown, to provide a little extra draw support and a little extra damage for “Bee Revenge”.  We are sure you could “monkey” around with card counts in this list (pun intended) and increase the number of Unown if you like it as a draw support card.

If you have never played a deck like this, you are likely looking at the 4 energy cards on the list and thinking that 4 is nowhere near enough energy for a deck.  We suggest that you play the list a few times and see for yourself.  You will likely be surprised how well it works with only 4 DCE.  When you play Furious George, be sure to count how many DCE are present in your deck on the 1st time you get to search your deck (most likely with a Nest Ball or Ultra Ball).  That way you will know right away if any DCE are trapped in your prize cards.  It can get a little hairy if you “prize” any DCE, which is why we added the item card “Town Map”.  “Map” allows you to view your prize cards so that you can take any DCE trapped there during your 1st few KO’s.  In the event that you face someone playing Giratina EX (whose attack effect prevents you from playing a special energy from your hand), we included a copy of “Pokemon Ranger”, which eliminates that effect.  Giratina EX does not seem to be played very heavily at the moment, but decks that feature it will likely overwhelm decks like Furious George.

The non-EX/GX prize trade and its speed are characteristics that all of our Bargain Bin decks feature.  One thing that Furious George offers that Plucky Duck and Lance Armstrong is wider type-coverage.  “Plucky” holds a strong advantage over any Fire-type deck and “Lance” is great against Lightning-weak pokemon like Yveltal and Mega Rayquaza.  “George” covers 3 types of weaknesses, as you can attack with the Psychic-types Mew and Mewtwo, Fighting-type Passimian or the Grass-type Vespiquen.  While these 3 types do not cover everything in the format at the moment, paying attention to the weakness (or the resistance) of your opponent’s deck should help direct which way you play this deck.  If you wanted to modify the type-coverage for this decklist, you could swap the Vespiquen line for either a 2-2 line of Raichu (“Circle Circuit”) or Zebstrika (BKP 49).  Either of these 2 would help in match-ups against Yveltal or Mega Rayquaza decks.  The damage output of any of these 3 is ultimately pretty similar.  We leave those choices up to player preference, as all 3 have advantages and drawbacks.

Now on to the business side of Furious George.  If you have been following the other Bargain articles, this should sound pretty familiar, which is why we picked these decks.  All said and done, buying all of the cards for this deck should only set you back about $75.  The item cards “VS Seeker” ($30 for 4) and “Trainers’ Mail” ($12 for 4) remain the most expensive cards on the list, accounting for over 1/2 the cost of the entire deck.  As Passimian was a pre-release promo and in some of the seed decks, it is likely that many of you have 4 copies of it lying around somewhere.  6 months ago Mew may have been the most expensive card on the list, but thankfully Garbodor has killed its market value and made it easy to obtain.

The skill level required to play Furious George well may be a little higher than the 1st 2 decks in this series.  The Fincastle Gym leaders don’t think that should scare you off from the deck.  Getting some practice playing a deck like this is a good way to expand your skill and understanding of the TCG.  Decks like “George” (including current and past decks like “Night March” or Vespiquen) force you to make the right decisions at the right time and in the right order, which we feel is a great exercise in strategy training.

The Gym Leaders are still perusing all of the cards in the new Sun & Moon set and decks in our online collection.  We were longer getting this one published than we wanted to be, but it is a busy time of the year for us.  We hope to post at least 1 more in this series later this week.  Check back soon.  Until then, see you at the Gym!

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