Fresh Decks at Nationals
01 July, 2012 in Play! Pokémon
New strategies and trends in Pokémon TCG have made an impact in Indy.
The National Championships are often a place where the top players take the wraps off their latest and greatest strategies. We already discussed the Mew Prime / Accelgor deck, and several players have managed to go deep into the tournament with this concept. Now take a look at some of the other decks that have been catching opponents by surprise.
Vanilluxe / Victini
The combination of the cool Vanilluxe (Black & White—Noble Victories, 29/101) and hot Victini (Black & White—Noble Victories, 14/101) was something we took a look at when Victini first came out. This duo didn’t seem to get a lot of play earlier in the year, but it has seen a resurgence here at Nationals.
Vanilluxe’s Double Freeze attack has a good chance of Paralyzing the Defending Pokémon, and those chances only get better when Victini is in play to let you re-roll if you flip two tails. The damage is only decent, but since you’re Paralyzing virtually every turn, you’re not really in any hurry to Knock Out the Defending Pokémon.
Vileplume (HS—Undaunted, 24/90) is a critical element to this deck with its Allergy Flower Poké-Body, preventing any Item card from being played. Your opponent can’t use Switch, Pokémon Catcher, or Super Scoop Up cards to break your hold on his or her Pokémon.
There are some vulnerabilities with this deck—even with Victini, Double Freeze might not Paralyze—but the top players have managed to show that this duo of fire and ice has the potential to melt away the competition.
Klinklang / Pokémon-EX
Pokémon-EX have been a powerful force in a lot of decks, particularly Darkrai-EX and Mewtwo-EX. But there’s also a strategy that flows in a variety of Pokémon-EX to fit any situation. In addition to Darkrai-EX and Mewtwo-EX, the deck may include Kyogre-EX, Groudon-EX, Shaymin-EX, and more. With a wide range of Pokémon to attack with, you’re ready for virtually any Pokémon you face. This deck will typically also carry Cobalion (not a Pokémon-EX), mostly to counter Mewtwo-EX by first preventing Mewtwo-EX from attacking with Iron Breaker, then finishing it off with Energy Press, which uses the Energy on Mewtwo-EX against itself.
The big downside to this deck would obviously be the diverse Energy requirements that each of these Pokémon have. That is solved largely by using Rainbow Energy and Prism Energy. Then the issue becomes how to get the Energy onto the Pokémon you want to attack with, and that’s where Klinklang (Black & White, 76/114) comes in. Its Shift Gear Ability allows you to move Metal Energy around among any of your Pokémon during your turn. You can use Darkrai-EX to retreat a Pokémon free of cost with its Dark Cloak Ability (as long as the Active Pokémon has at least a Prism, Rainbow, or Dark Energy attached to it), then move Energy from your Benched Pokémon onto the new Active Pokémon with Shift Gear.
An alternative to Klinklang is Meganium Prime (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 109/123), whose Leaf Trans Poké-Power works the same way as the Shift Gear Ability, except it works with Grass Energy instead of Metal Energy. This is mostly a matter of preference—Meganium Prime has 10 more HP, a lower Retreat Cost (2 instead of 3), and has a Resistance to Water Pokémon. But Klinklang’s Gear Grind attack is arguably better and definitely cheaper to use.That’s just a couple of the great decks that we’ve seen at the National Championships. We’ll be keeping a close eye on these strategies as the World Championships approach!
Return to the National Championships page for more stories from the 2012 Pokémon National Championships.