The Bargain Bin #4 – Spaceballs (x2)

Today the Gym Leaders are going to look at 2 decks that Gym Leader Joel cooked up while making a new Steel-type gym leader deck.  The past deck was a Mega Scizor EX deck that simply was not that good and was not very interesting to play.  Mega Scizor has carried a little weight this season when paired with Garbodor.  However, its damage output is not enough, especially as we expect to face trainers playing our weakness (Fire-types in this case).  Today’s 2 decks feature 2 pokemon that sport some big ol’ helmet-shaped heads.  Both decks are pretty ridiculous, but we could not keep these hidden away, as when we’ve played them on the PTCGO, we’ve beaten every version of popular decks that we’ve played with the exception of Volcanion.  These are Steel-types after all, so they do die pretty violent deaths to Volcanion.

Spaceball deck #1, or “Colonel Sandurz” if you will, is a deck that we have seen several Youtube channels attempt, but as far as we have observed, they’ve failed to become one with the Schwartz.  Metagross (AOR 50), the President Skroob looking center-piece of this deck, is definitely its own best friend.  Metagross sports one of those always-interesting DCE attacks, “Machine Gun Stomp”, that is very simple.  “Machine Gun Stomp” does 20 damage plus an additional 10 damage for each card in your hand.  A simple attack that leads one to pursue a simple strategy… get as many cards in your hand as quickly as you can and hold them until you absolutely have to play them.  Keeping with the simple theme, you’ll see that the only other pokemon in the deck is Skarmory (ROS 69), used only for its “Call for Family” attack that helps you get out Basic pokemon (Beldum) quickly.  The last time Gym Leader Joel played this online, his last game-winning KO over a “Fury Belted” Yveltal EX was a “Stomp” for 320 damage.  That’s going to leave a mark.  Here’s the list.

Colonel Sandurz:

  • 3 – Skarmory (ROS 69)
  • 4 – Beldum (AOR 47)
  • 2 – Metang (AOR 48)
  • 4 – Metagross (AOR 50)
  • 3 – Hau
  • 3 – Tierno
  • 1 – Lysandre
  • 3 – Lillie
  • 2 – Professor Sycamore
  • 1 – Brock’s Grit
  • 4 – Random Receiver
  • 2 – Ultra Ball
  • 2 – Nest Ball
  • 1 – Level Ball
  • 3 – Trainers’ Mail
  • 3 – VS Seeker
  • 4 – Lucky Helmet
  • 2 – Float Stone
  • 4 – Rare Candy
  • 1 – Special Charge
  • 4 – Double Colorless Energy
  • 4 – Metal Energy

So what did we figure out for this pokemon that was surely written off long ago?  We did not find Dark Helmet, but it was pretty close.  We found the tool card, “Lucky Helmet”.  “Helmet”, released in Ancient Origins, was received with about as much fervor as Metagross.  It is doubtful that many of you have even looked at the card since AOR pre-releases.  However, Metagross sports the “Ancient Trait” dubbed “Theta Double”, the same trait as Entei (AOR 15), Gyarados (AOR 21), Vespiquen (AOR 11) and Mega Tyranitar EX  (featured here several months ago), which allows you to attach 2 tool cards.  “Lucky Helmet” makes you draw 2 cards any time your pokemon is damaged by an attack.  With 2 “Helmet” attached to Metagross, you are essentially drawing 5 cards to start each turn.  We combined this insane combo with as many draw cards as we could fit into this list.  You will likely notice that the list does not include many Professor Sycamore or N.  “Sycamore” often forces you to throw away too many resources.  The last thing that you want to do is shuffle your hand back into your deck with a card like “N”.  Remember, the goal of this deck is to keep as many cards in your hand as possible, so disregard the order to “fire across her nose, not up it”.  Keep firing, @&#holes!

Speaking of “N”, this supporter, when played by your opponent, is definitely a stumbling block for this deck.  “N”, which forces both players to shuffle their hands into their deck and then draw a card for each of their own remaining Prize cards, is not as crippling to Metagross as you might think.  Metagross is a bit of a slow starting deck and it is very likely that you will have given up a prize card or 2 before you are attacking for much damage.  This often means that you will shuffle into 5 or 6 cards and then, if attacked, draw 5 cards (4 for the tools, 1 for your turn), starting you out with 10 or more cards (100 +damage for a DCE).  This followed by using a card like “Tierno” pushes your damage total towards the 130-150 damage mark.  If your opponent misses playing another “N” on the next turn and you counter with another similar turn, you will likely be hitting for 200+ damage.

The biggest problem with the double “Lucky Helmet” combo is that the card does not allow you the option not to draw when attacked.  We have found that once you get this deck going, you burn through your deck at Ludicrous Speed.  We have played some rather tight games that came down to drawing your last cards from your deck on the turn you win the game.  However, these are often the turns where you have over 20 cards in hand (32 is the most we’ve been able to hold on to) and you are going to 1-hit anything on your opponent’s side.

Now… it’s time to move on to the next deck (and sorry, I can’t resist my favorite scene…).  Now.  You’re looking at now, sir.  Everything that happens now, is happening now.  What happened to then?  We passed then.  When?  Just now. We’re at now, now.  Go back to then.  When?  Now.  Now?  Now.  I can’t.  Why?  We missed it.  When?  Just now.  When will then be now?  Soon.  How soon?

Now, I feel better.  While Spaceball #1 is all about offense, Spaceball #2 (aka “Mega Maid”) is more about being offensive.  By that, we don’t mean cracking Obama jokes loudly while you pass gas and pick your nose.  This is a lock deck.  “Mega Maid” is about the bleeps, the sweeps and the creeps, or more specifically, about jamming your opponent.  The Gym Leaders are not huge proponents of decks like this because when they work, they suck to play against.  We don’t play this game to see how many people we can aggravate.  We especially don’t try to make gym leader decks that keep an opponent from playing.  We’ve played it a few times online and several of the wins were understandably “rage quits”.

Mega Maid:

  • 4 – Registeel (AOR 51)
  • 3 – Cobalion (STS 74)
  • 2 – Pawniard (STS 63)
  • 2 – Bisharp (STS 64)
  • 2 – Remoraid (BKT 32)
  • 2 – Octillery (BKT 33)
  • 2 – Team Flare Grunt
  • 1 – Lysandre
  • 2 – N
  • 4 – Professor Sycamore
  • 4 – Crushing Hammer
  • 4 – Max Elixir
  • 3 – Ultra Ball
  • 4 – Trainers’ Mail
  • 4 – VS Seeker
  • 1 – Float Stone
  • 3 – Fighting Fury Belt
  • 1 – Super Rod
  • 1 – Switch
  • 7 – Metal Energy
  • 4 – Double Colorless Energy

Registeel is surely the least played of the Regi-trio from AOR.  The 120 HP Registeel‘s main attack, “Forbidden Iron Hammer” unfortunately has almost as many letters in its name as its damage output.  The addition of a “Fury Belt” makes its numbers a little better, but still pretty paltry.  Like the more popular Regice from AOR, Registeel shines against EX decks.  “Iron Hammer” allows you to discard the energy card of your choice, if the Defending Pokemon is an EX.  If you combine the effect of this attack with the cards “Crushing Hammer” and “Team Flare Grunt”, you have a combo that could suck the air out of Planet Druidia.  The 4 copies of “Crushing Hammer” can keep your opponent at bay while you get set up.  Once you start attacking, you can use “TF Grunt” over and over (2 copies and 4 “VS Seeker” to get it back multiple times) to lock your opponent out of attacking, while you slowly wear them down, 70-80 damage at a time.  So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

In games where your opponent plays no or few EX pokemon, you have 2 other attack options, both from Steam SiegeCobalion is very underwhelming, until you lose a few prize cards.  Its 2-energy attack, “Revenge Blast” climbs quickly into 2-hit range and potential 1-hit range as a game progresses (30 damage plus 30 more for each prize card your opponent has taken).  You can fill in the damage gaps with the 1 energy attack, “Retaliate”, from Bisharp (90 damage after one of your pokemon is KO’d).  Again, none of these numbers are anything to write home about.  Instead, they are used to wear down opposing pokemon while you control their energy.  Octillery serves the same role here as in the previous decks and as in those decks, it is important to get it out early if you can (which is a little harder in this list w/fewer search “ball” cards).  The low damage output can make games run long, so you may want to limit how much you use Octillery to refill your hand so that you don’t deck out.

The Metagross deck may be the cheapest deck to build from scratch of the entire series.  With only 3-counts of “VS Seeker” and “Trainers’ Mail”, it barely breaks the $60 mark.  The Registeel deck stays on par with previous decks from this series, running just over $70 to build, again owing to the counts of the same 2 item cards.  The 4-count of the almost never used item, “Random Receiver”, may become more commonplace after the next rotation, which will likely remove “VS Seeker”, “Trainers’ Mail” and Shaymin EX from the format.  We’ll discuss the changes inherent with the rotation when that time comes.

These are obviously 2 very different decks that may seem at first, no stronger than the combinations to  Druidia’s shield or Skroob’s luggage.  The Registeel list has lost some thunder with the emergence of GX pokemon, which it does not affect.  Nonetheless, if you dabble in the PTCGO, throw these together and see what you think.  What’s the worst that could happen… maybe you lose a game or 2 as you learn to play it.  We feel anything that makes you look at the TCG differently only helps you to expand your understanding of the game.  Go on, try it.  What’s wrong Colonel Sandurz… chicken?

No league again this Sunday, 4/2/17.  Check back early next week as we will look at 1 more “Bargain” deck that Gym Leader Logan put together.  Until then, see you at the Gym!

 

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