Today we are going to look at our last deck in our Bargain Bin series. One reason it fell to our final spot was due to some price checking. We were afraid that because it features a “promo” card, that it might slip out-of-bounds in terms of pricing. The other reason we waited was because it was a concept deck up until about 2 weeks ago. By that, we mean that it only existed to us in theory, and there were no online version to peek at. Our 1st attempt at the deck was not worthy to post, as it was very inconsistent. Gym Leaders Logan and Joel took turns tweaking the list, trying to get this potentially deadly combo to work (without Shaymin EX, which is a stumbling block that every player is going to have to face in about 5 months). What we have here is the best that we could do and frankly, it’s pretty interesting. Two nights ago in the PTCGO, I watched Logan fall behind to a Darkrai/Giratina list only to flip the game on his opponent, taking his last 4 prizes in one attack, as the opposing player was locked, watching this one wreck the powerful meta deck.
The card in question on the pricing is one that features a pokemon whose image takes us back to our childhood. Anyone born in the 70’s, or should we say any child of the early 80’s, is sure to remember the days of being relegated to 2-3 network channels, depending on where you lived and how good your antenna was (if you have no idea what we’re saying, then go Tweet something). Those who know, surely remember the lack of children’s programming (ie: cartoons) except for Saturday morning and during the holidays. The pokemon we are referencing, Mandibuzz, is a bizarre looking character that always makes this player think of those disturbing, stop-motion Rudolph holiday specials. Now, by today’s standards, we admit these shows were pretty silly. However, we suggest that you put yourself into the footy-pajamas of a 5-8 year old who knew little other than Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry. The villains in Rudolph, heck even the good guys in Rudolph, were beyond creepy. From bad guys like, Winterbolt, the Heat Miser and Bumble (the Abominable Snowman) to good guys like Yukon Cornelius, the weird elf that wanted to be dentist and the Ethel Merman voiced Lilly Loraine, the Rudolph series accounted for more nightmares than pleasant holiday tidings. The absolute worst of these characters was the vulture, Eon the Terrible.
I don’t care who you are, Eon was a messed up character to put into a kid’s show. Eon was a giant vulture that lived on a iceberg called the Island of No Name (creative). Eon was destined to live for an Eon (fancy that) and when that time was up, perish into ice and snow. This ominous looking bird plotted to kidnap Happy, the baby new year and keep him from Father Time, so that the new year would never come and Eon would not die. While the middle details of the story are thankfully hazy at this point, we remember that Rudolph eventually saved Happy and that Eon did not turn to ice because of the uncontrollable laughing fit that he entered when he saw how big Happy’s ears were. Yeah… I’m not making this up. Apparently peyote was easily accessible in the 70’s, because the creators of these hideous shows were obviously tripping on something hardcore. We doubt that its pokemon cousin, Mandibuzz, is responsible for quite as much terror. However, if you are smart and able to use it to trap your opponent with its amazing 1 energy attack, your opponent will not walk away with fond memories of this scavenger bird.
Eon the Terrible:
- 4 – Yveltal (XY 78)
- 2 – Yveltal BREAK (STS 66)
- 3 – Vullaby (FCO 57)
- 3 – Mandibuzz (FCO 58)
- 2 – Mandibuzz BREAK (PR-XY182)
- 2 – Remoraid (BKT 31)
- 2 – Octillery (BKT 33)
- 1 – Professor Kukui
- 2 – N
- 1 – Lysandre
- 3 – Lillie
- 2 – Professor Sycamore
- 3 – Ultra Ball
- 1 – Nest Ball
- 2 – Level Ball
- 3 – Trainers’ Mail
- 3 – VS Seeker
- 1 – EXP Share
- 2 – Float Stone
- 3 – Max Elixir
- 1 – Super Rod
- 3 – Reverse Valley
- 11 – Darkness Energy
The biggest drawback to Mandibuzz BREAK, or any other Stage 1 BREAK cards, is that they are, in effect, a Stage 2 pokemon that you cannot use “Rare Candy” to evolve. The obvious solution to the Stage 1 BREAK cards is the supporter card, “Wally”. However, an early devotion to “Wally” was what seemed to make this deck so clunky. It is not as essential to get a quick Mandibuzz BREAK in play as it is in popular decks like Trevenant BREAK or Yanmega BREAK, as they are often featured attackers. While Mandibuzz is great in its own right, we have won games in the PTCGO where we only used its “Wings of Disaster” attack once.
Mandibuzz BREAK has the potential to take the lead role in a fun deck, maybe even in a Meowstic (damage moving) deck, as Mandibuzz has a great “spread” attack. “Wings of Disaster” does 20 damage to each of your opponent’s pokemon (Active & Benched) for 1 energy. That alone is excellent. However, the secondary effect of the attack is amazing at the moment. “Wings of Disaster” discards all “Tool” cards attached to any/all of your opponent’s pokemon. That means “Fury Belts”, “Float Stones”, “Spirit Links”, “EXP Shares”, even “Lucky Helmets”,… all gone in one fell swoop. Let that sink in a moment. An attack that provides a “Startling Megaphone” effect that cannot be blocked by “item lock” and that can be used again and again. The strength of “Wings of Disaster” explains why Pokemon put it on an obscure Stage 1 BREAK character. If this could be easily plugged into a deck, it would be in every deck at the moment. It is not easy to get into play, which hopefully is an illustration that Pokemon has learned (or is learning) from outrageous mistakes like Seismitoad EX.
In “Eon the Terrible”, Mandibuzz’s attack is there to set up the 2nd BREAK evolution in the deck, that being Yveltal BREAK. Yveltal (XY 78) is probably THE most played card still in circulation at the moment. Shaymin EX is probably the only card that rivals the number of decks that Yveltal has appeared in, and thanks to numerous reprints, Yveltal (which should live on past the next rotation) will only cost you about $1. Yveltal’s “Oblivion Wing” attack, should be nothing new to anyone who has played the TCG recently. “Oblivion Wing” does 30 damage and attaches a Darkness-type energy from the Discard pile to one of your Benched pokemon. Most players equip this iconic 130 HP character with a “Fighting Fury Belt”, making it hit for 40 damage and driving its HP to 170, which is hard to deal with from the opponent’s side, as it only provides one prize card when KO’d, despite having EX-size stats. Because a “belted” Yveltal is so good, its BREAK evolution has received little to no attention.
The little used Yveltal BREAK is a tough sell, as it only gains 20 HP (versus the 40 HP from a “belt”). When you play the BREAK on it, Yveltal is no longer a Basic pokemon, which means support cards like “Max Elixir” do not work on it any more. Yveltal BREAK‘s attack, “Baleful Night”, has the same energy cost as the Basic’s “Darkness Blade” (100 damage, 110 w/a belt), and only does 10 more damage. Side by side, there are few arguments that come out in favor of the BREAK. However… don’t forget about our creepy little buzzard friend. Once Mandibuzz BREAK drops 20 damage on everyone on the other side, Yveltal BREAK becomes much more interesting. The fine print of “Baleful Night” explains that not only does the BREAK hit the Active for 120 damage, it also does 30 damage to each Benched pokemon that already has damage on it. Think about the math on that one for a minute. One “Wings of Disaster” attack followed by one “Baleful Night” and you have, at least, 140 damage on the Active and 50 damage on each Benched pokemon.
The “Reverse Valley” stadium card makes these numbers work out even more in your favor. The stadium increases damage from a Darkness-type pokemon by 10 damage, to the Defending pokemon only (not Benched). 10 damage does not seem like much, but when trying to set up multiple KO’s, the extra damage can be huge. Either way, the core strategy of “Eon” is to heavily damage the Active while chipping away at the Benched pokemon. Then, when the math is correct, use “Lysandre” to catch a Benched pokemon, thus sending the Active to the Bench. Then use “Baleful Night” to get a double KO on the new Active and the one you just forced to the Bench. If you accomplish this with 2 EX pokemon, then you take 4 prize cards at once. If this does not end the game, then there is usually a Shaymin EX remaining for an easy KO.
Remember, not every game goes to script, so you may find yourself in a variety of scenarios. We can’t cover them all here, especially since we likely haven’t experienced them all. Some decks have multiple ways to retreat and may keep switching attackers. Sometimes you may find a Bench full of damaged EX’s that you sweep off the board all at once. Several online matches have resulted in situations where we were down to a final damaged BREAK (both Mandibuzz & Yveltal in different games) that hit for one last spread attack that netted all 6 prizes at once.
The hidden advantage of not getting the Mandibuzz BREAK in play immediately is that, by the time you do, your opponent is usually set up. This often means that they have attached “Float Stones” and “Fury Belts” to every that they think will need them. When Mandibuzz attacks and discards all their tool cards, they are likely out of them, as a lot of decks play no more than 2 or 3 each of these cards. This sets up the scenario where you can use “Lysandre” to trap a pokemon w/a heavy retreat cost (like Hoopa EX) or an attacker with no energy. This often gives you 2 or 3 turns, at least, of spreading damage with Manidbuzz and/or Yveltal. Don’t forget about regular Mandibuzz‘s attack “Bone Drop”, as all BREAK evolutions can use the attacks of their previous evolution. “Bone Drop”, for 1 energy, does 60 damage one of your opponent’s pokemon with an ability. This attack often is a handy way to take out benched EX for an easy or late game KO.
We have found that the mix of search ball cards in the list is efficient at getting everything out. As in all of the decks in this series, Octillery is again one of the 1st things to set up, as its ability, “Abyssal Hand” helps you cycle through the deck as the game develops. We like to reserve a “Float Stone” for Octillery, so that it can become a “free retreater” to send up after a KO while you evaluate what to do next. Often we play the other “Stone” on a Yveltal that we do not evolve, so that it can be used to recover energy with “Oblivion Wing” and then retreat for later uses. We like to get the “EXP Share” on a benched Yveltal BREAK to preserve an energy card after a KO. We mentioned it earlier, but as a reminder, we try to use the “Elixir” cards as early as possible, often holding an Yveltal BREAK in our hand (or even shuffling it back in) until we’ve had a turn or 2 to play the “Elixir” cards. Once you evolve your guys, the card becomes useless. The only other card worth noting is the new “Professor Kukui”, which in addition to allowing you to draw 2 cards, increases your attack by 20 damage. Getting “Kukui” into your discard early so that you can recover it when needed with “VS Seeker” is important, as the extra 20 damage at the right time could swing or win the game for you.
We also feel its worth mentioning that early versions of this list did include the Steam Siege Yveltal (“Pitch Black Spear”). We found that it had its uses in some games, but especially in more recent matches, it was more of a hindrance. We prefer the consistency of always having access to “Oblivion Wing” to accelerate energy. We also noticed that we’ve played more games against decks with few or no EX’s lately, as many decks we’ve faced have been centered around GX pokemon. A mix of the 2 Yveltal can surely work in this list, but as we’ve stated before, we are fans of consistency over gimmickry.
Eon the Terrible would not have joined the decks in this series if its price was truly “turrible”. Yveltal BREAK can be purchased for around $2 each. Since it is only available as a promo card, Mandibuzz BREAK may be the most expensive character card that we’ve featured. You may find it cheaper, but it seems to be, on average, about $3 a piece. The reduced counts of “VS Seeker” and “Trainers’ Mail” even the price out to keep this deck in the $75-$80 range.
Eon concludes our look at Bargain decks for now. These are just a sample of the hundreds of ideas that we always have rolling around. We hope you have enjoyed the look at these decks. While the Steel decks featured in Spaceballs are a bit out there, the others all have a place as inexpensive yet competitive alternatives for new players or players looking to play something outside of the narrow collection of decks that most sites dwell on, over and over. If you have a decent collection in the PTCGO, build any/all of these in your online game and try them out. You might find one that you play well or can alter to your play-style.
We will host a league challenge this Sunday (4/9) at the Gym during our regular league hours. Feel free to compete in it or just come by for regular league play. We are working on a couple of new decks that we plan to share in the next week or 2. Join us this Sunday and don’t forget to check back here soon. Until then, see you at the Gym!