Today we are going to look at the 2nd deck that spawned from the mind of Eddie R. As Gym Leader Joel rolled around some ideas for this article, he tried to think of some different options. Whether it falls into the “fortunately” or “unfortunately” category is for you to decide, but Joel’s mind could not escape this line of thinking. The combination of Eddie’s last name and the set of new comedy material Eddie brought to league a few weeks ago led Joel to the movie villain, Ramses, from “Nacho Libre”. While he may not be remembering the details of Eddie’s story exactly, this is pretty close. The story gave Joel no eagle powers or nutrients, but it has had him laughing since he heard it.
At some point Eddie spent a few days with an uncle that entertained him by showing him old NWA era wrestling videos. For those of you that are unfamiliar, this is not the cheese that is on TNT these days. This was the classic, golden era of wrestling. We’re talking Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Wahoo McDaniel, the Rock N’ Roll Express, the Road Warriors, etc. When Eddie was showing Joel the Dusknoir deck that led to the last article, he spiced up the conversation with some Flair quotes. “To be the man, you gotta beat the man”, “Stylin’ and Profilin’”, and the occasional, “Woooo!” kept Joel on his toes. Now, it seems to us, that the natural progression from watching some 80’s wrestling would be to a viewing of “Nacho Libre”. Only then, will Eddie understand that when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants… in your room. It’s for fun.
Now at this point you are probably wondering what this has to do with pokemon, or perhaps you’re concerned about Joel’s salvation and stuff. Maybe you think it’s time for Joel to get a better duty. This is just a little peek into the mind of Eddie and how his presence at league takes us to places we were not anticipating at the beginning of our Sunday afternoon. Since this conversation took place, Joel has been plagued by the “Singing at the Party” song from the party at Ramses scene in Nacho Libre. We thought that the centerpiece, of this deck, Rhyperior (also a classic), made for a pretty good parallel to Ramses. Both are beefy, powerful wrestler types. And Rhyperior has a giant horn on his head… like a ram… or in this case, Ramses. We know it’s a stretch, but it’s pretty solid logic when having a wrestling/pokemon discussion with a 7-year-old. It’s not just solid… it’s good… REAL good. Bring your sweats, Chancho, and look at this surprisingly good deck.
- 4 – Rhyhorn (BUS 65)
- 3 – Rhydon (BUS 66)
- 4 – Rhyperior (BUS 67)
- 3 – Carbink (FCO 50)
- 3 – Carbink BREAK (FCO 51)
- 1 – Oranguru (SUM 113)
- 2 – Escape Rope
- 3 – Choice Band
- 2 – Heavy Ball
- 4 – Ultra Ball
- 1 – Lillie
- 4 – N
- 3 – Professor Sycamore
- 2 – Guzma
- 2 – Brigette
- 4 – Rare Candy
- 3 – Brooklet Hill
- 4 – Fighting Energy
- 4 – Strong Energy
- 4 – Double Colorless Energy
The Rhyperior portion of this deck is what Eddie was trying to squeeze into the Dusknoir deck. Rhyperior (BUS 67) is the kind of card that would have dominated the format as it was when we began playing the TCG in 2009. And that’s without the support that it currently has. It’s only attack, “Rock Wrecker” hits for 170 damage, disregarding “Weakness or Resistance”. The seemingly high cost of 4 energy (2 Fighting, 2 Colorless) is also handicapped by the effect of not being able to use “Rock Wrecker” on the next turn. This pointy luchador doesn’t stop there. Rhyperior also sports the ability, “Toppling Wind”, which allows you to discard the top 3 cards of your opponent’s deck when you evolve to Rhyperior from your hand. Despite all of this, most players instantly think that there is no place for Rhyperior in the world. They’d rather it go into the wilderness, probably to die.
Here’s the skinny on why this card is good, REAL good. Rhyperior’s already massive 170 damage output can be increased increments of 20 with each “Strong Energy” attached. Charging up Ramses with 2 “Strong” and a “Double Colorless” has it dealing 210 damage. Add a “Choice Band” and you are at 240 damage.
Ramses number one, he knows the secrets of desire
Ramses number one, he put the people all on fire
Yes, 4 energy does seem a bit heavy, but think of it this way… the ever popular Gardevoir GX has to have 8 energy to do equivalent damage. The “can’t attack on the next turn” portion of the attack is not as crippling as you might think. All you have to do to “reset” the attack is switch Rhyperior out of the Active spot and then return (or swap with another Rhyperior from the bench). With 2 “Escape Rope” and 2 “Guzma” in the list, you have enough ways to reset the attack 4 times, and that does not include powering up a 2nd or 3rd Rhyperior. If you have not won the game after attacking for 240 damage 4 times, then we don’t want to know what you are playing against. If you can’t get a “switching” card, you can always pay the 4 energy retreat cost. That’s not a joke and we’ll explain why that is not so bad in just a moment.
The other strong feature of Rhyperior is its ability. As stated, “Toppling Wind” allows you to discard the top 3 cards of your opponent’s deck. Run the numbers on that over the course of a normal game. You opponent deals 7 cards, then draws an 8th in addition to the 6 prizes placed face down (that’s 14 of 60 cards, or 46 remaining). An average opening turn will see someone player anywhere from 5-15 cards, so split that difference and just say 10. That leaves 36 cards in the deck. If you can evolve 4 times to Rhyperior over the remainder of the game, that’s 12 cards gone, taking them to 24 cards (not including any cards played after that). The chances of those 12 “discards” not hitting some majorly important resources are very low. Keep in mind, this is not at the hands of some punky mill deck. This is in addition to a 160 HP, single prize card pokemon that is hitting you for at least 170 damage per turn. That’s crazy. Everything we just said is our favorite thing to do, every day.
The chips that complete this nutritious salad are Carbink and Carbink BREAK (and no, these are not the Lord’s chips). Carbink and its ability, “Safeguard” (prevents damage from EX’s), does not provide the obstacle that it once did. However, the BREAK is amazing in this deck. Its attack, “Diamond Gift”, for 1 Fighting energy, lets you attach 2 energy cards to 1 of your benched Fighting-type pokemon. Since it does not specify, that means it can attach anything, including Strong Energy and Double Colorless Energy. This mechanic makes that “high” energy cost of Rhyperior look a little more affordable. As you set up Rhyperior and Carbink, you want to try to discard the 2 types of special energy in this list. If you can do this, then they will be safe in the discard pile, waiting to be attached to Rhyperior. Being able to re-attach the Strong Energy cards to Rhyperior means that you can count on it hitting for at least 210 damage each time. It becomes surprisingly easy to keep recharging Rhyperior with the single energy attack from Carbink BREAK. As mentioned earlier, the BREAK allows you to re-attach 3 of the 4 energies in Rhyperior‘s retreat cost, making the cost no problem to pay when necessary. We’ve used the BREAK in a variety of decks since its release, but never have we seen one where it pulls it weight like it does in Ramses.
Much like the “Jack the Gripper” deck, this deck was built with Eddie in mind. As you can see, this list is lacking big dollar hitters such as Tapu Lele GX, but it really does not seem to suffer without it. With search cards including, “Heavy Ball”, “Ultra Ball”, “Brigette” and the stadium card, “Brooklet Hill”, we find it very easy to get this deck going. The lone copy of Oranguru adds a little extra draw power that often bails Ramses out of a slow start. Only in writing this article did we notice that we did not include any recovery cards like “Rescue Stretcher” or “Super Rod”. That is probably a good indication that they are not needed. However, one could easily replace 1 of any card in the list for a lone “Stretcher”. Our suggestion is 1 copy of “Brigette” for a “Stretcher”, if you so wish. We’d pick “Stretcher” over “Super Rod” because in this deck, we like to have energy in the discard pile.
We have had a lot of fun playing both this list and the Dusknoir list in the PTCGO. They both seem to have the same effect on opponents. When these decks start to overwhelm an opponent, they concede rather quickly. I wish we’d kept track of how many games we’ve played to completion (because it has not been many) but we can’t say for sure. The decks are currently showing records of 16-3 (Gripper) and 18-1 (Ramses) in the PTCGO, which, whether you follow Gym Leader Joel’s and Eddie’s logic or not, still brings us full circle back to what started it all. To be the man, you gotta beat the man. Woooo!
We hope you enjoyed a look at these decks. Neither idea was perfect coming from the original concept from our resident 7-year-old entertainer. However, the concepts Eddie had in mind were much more focused than we’ve seen from players 3-5 years older than him. They just needed a little gym leader refining. Thanks again to Eddie for the ideas, as anything that is even semi-competitive is always a nice break from the standard “5 decks you must play” mentality that has engulfed the TCG. We’re not going to proclaim the competitive level of either deck. As always, the right deck in the hand of a skilled player is always competitive.
Check back in a day or 2 for details about our upcoming schedule of events. See you this Sunday at the Gym!