Written by Chris Taporco

UPDATED 12/15/2016

Introduction

Hey Guys! Chris Taporco here, back again with another free article for you beautiful people. This time I’m going over Speed Lugia. This is a deck that hits hard and hits fast, but has very little room for recovery. Through the use of Luga-EX’s ability, Overflow, this deck aims to end the game in three turns and steal time away from your opponent by taking an extra prize per KO. All of this is achieved by sacrificing adaptability for pure consistency. When you choose this deck, you’re choosing to go “All In” and hoping to not get “Rivered”.

Table of Contents

I.    Why Take the Risk?
II.   Working with What You’re Dealt – The Skeleton List
III. The Outs – Possible Tech
IV.  Raising the Stakes – The Final Build
V.   Heads Up – Matchups
VI.  Conclusion

I. Why Take the Risk?

In a word, simplicity. Anyone who has played Pokémon knows how many options there are to consider when playing any given deck. We make decisions based on a mental flow chart that branches into several strategies depending on a given match up. This deck, however, aims to do one thing every time: obliterate. It loads up Lugia-EX as fast as possible and lets you pick the perfect time to pounce. You’ll want to overwhelm your opponent and put them into a position where there is no room for a comeback.

So why is simplicity a good thing? You essentially minimalize the possibility of making mistakes. When playing in a tournament, there are plenty of chances to do so. With such a linear strategy in Speed Lugia, you’re not given as many chances to make those mistakes. You’re going to live and die by the sword that is this deck, however, it is not completely mindless. There will be situations where you need to make crucial decisions and that’s what we’re going to go over today.

II. Working with What You’re Dealt

As I’ve said before, this deck flies. Let’s take a look at a Skeleton List to see exactly how we get this deck’s engine to purr:

Skeleton List (55 Cards)

Pokemon

  • 3 Lugia-EX PLS
  • 4 Deoxys-EX PLF
  • 3 Shaymin-EX ROS
  • 1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers

  • 2 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 1 Colress
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Trainers Mail
  • 4 Colress Machine
  • 2 PlusPower
  • 2 Special Charge
  • 2 Switch
  • 2 Muscle Band
  • 1 Pokémon Catcher
  • 1 Computer Search
  • 1 Starling Megaphone
  • 1 Target Whistle
  • 3 Sky Field

Energy

  • 4 Double Colorless Energy
  • 4 Plasma Energy

You’ll notice this deck runs only four different Pokémon. There are no alternate attackers and we won’t need one.  Remember, this deck aims to do one thing and that’s to build its main attackers as fast as possible. Your goal is to explode with a single Ultra Ball to get a Hoopa-EX to load your bench with all the Pokémon you need: Deoxys-EX, Lugia-EX and Shaymin-EX. The ability to get multiple Deoxys-EX on the bench with a single Ultra Ball helps set up your KO numbers for beefier Pokémon-EX. In addition to grabbing multiple Deoxys-EX, you can also grab multiple Shaymin-EX to extend your turn further by drawing cards without using a supporter. Unfortunately, grabbing all of these Pokémon require a lot of bench space so in order to execute this strategy effectively, we play three copies of Sky Field. By utilizing Sky Field, we have now afforded ourselves the bench space to play down multiple Shaymin-EX and Deoxys-EX.

With this strategy, you effectively thin your deck to increase the odds of hitting the combo.  By this point you may be wondering what the pieces of the combo are exactly. Let’s start with going over the key cards involved in loading up Lugia-EX in a single turn:

Lugia-EX + Double Colorless Energy + Plasma Energy + Colress Machine

The most obvious part of the combo is Lugia-EX. You want to aim to have only one in play at a time unless you feel the KO of one is imminent. In most games, you will probably only need 1 to secure your victory: however, in games that go past three turns, you’ll need to be able to evaluate game state and start building another Lugia-EX on the bench when you feel it is necessary. The only reason we run three copies of this card, even though we will only need two, is because we need to account for prizing. If two are ever knocked out, chances are extremely high that you already lost the game and you should scoop ASAP.

Double Colorless Energy (DCE) is in here to help you hit the necessary energy for Lugia-EX to attack. It helps ease the burden on the hefty energy cost of Plasma Gale. Its presence is relatively self-explanatory so I won’t bore you with too much insight into this card outside of this one fact: DCE should be your manual energy attachment for the turn. By making DCE your manual attachment for the turn (and not Plasma Energy) you have opened yourself up to the possibility of loading two more energy via Colress Machine and Plasma Energy. Since Colress Machine is the card that makes this combo possible, we need to max out on the amount of copies we need. Since your manual attachment for the turn is a DCE, you’ll only need two Colress Machine to finish loading Lugia-EX in a single turn. Once loaded, you’ll be able to knock out your opponent’s Shaymin-EX with ease. Sadly, Shaymin-EX may not be a target on your opponent’s board so we’ll need more variables to complete this equation.

Deoxys-EX + Muscle Band + PlusPower

All three of these cards serve the purpose of increasing the max damage output of Lugia-EX. If you want to hit for 180, these cards are a necessity. Muscle Band is the main piece needed to hit numbers to allow for the least amount of resources used. Without Muscle Band you’ll need to hit six cards for the numbers to work out. For example, imagine your opponent has Darkrai-EX active and you manage to load up your Lugia-EX with energy. If you attach Muscle Band to Lugia-EX, you’ll need any combination of four of the six cards left in the equation (four Deoxys-EX and two PlusPower), so that’s five cards total. If you miss the Muscle Band attachment, you’ll need all four Deoxys and both PlusPower in your deck, making a grand total of six cards. Not needing the sixth card is huge because this combo is already a big one to pull off. So cool we hit 180 and we’ve now accounted for most Pokémon EX right? Wrong. We need to now account for the popularity of Fighting Fury Belt.

Startling Megaphone

The inclusion of Startling Megaphone is extremely important in a meta that is filled with Fighting Fury Belt. Without it, it becomes extremely difficult to KO an opponent’s Pokémon EX. Sure we could Lysandre around a belted Pokémon, however, this means we’re not getting rid of the threat and leaving ourselves vulnerable to a revenge KO of our Lugia-EX. By losing the active Lugia-EX we have to power up another one with less resources available. In addition to making KOs easier, Startling Megaphone acts as a quick counter to Garbodor. Since Garbodor is able to shut down all of our abilities, we want to have an easy way to get around it before it becomes a problem.

Switch/Pokémon Catcher/Special Charge/Target Whistle

Finally, we have the remainder of the key cards in this Skeleton List. Switch is here over float stone to prevent cards like BKT Yveltal and fringe attacks (Froakie’s Bubble and Accelgor’s Deck and Cover) from slowing down our pace of play. It’s also obviously here to let us switch out our active Pokémon with a loaded Lugia-EX from our bench. Pokémon Catcher is here in place of a third Lysandre because there are times where we need to play a draw supporter to finish the combo. Catcher gives us the ability to flip a coin for the knockout needed of a benched Pokémon. There’s definitely an argument for two Catcher in this deck, but I prefer the consistency of Lysandre over Pokémon Catcher. One is definitely more than enough for me. Next we have Special Charge that allows us to recycle Special Energy back into this deck. This deck becomes priceless because we will need to discard Special Energy at the pace this deck needs to move. Additionally, if we know that we have no Plasma Energy left in our deck because we have the remaining ones in our hand, we can simply use Ultra Ball to discard the Plasma Energy then use Special Charge to put them back into the deck so that we can Colress Machine right on to Lugia-EX. Lastly, we have the last key to this deck: Target Whistle. Target Whistle lets you put cards like Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX back on your opponent’s bench. This means that you can take two easy knockouts for the game! Did your opponent discard one of those Pokémon to play around your Lugia-EX? Did you just knock out one of them the previous turn? Just Target Whistle the fragile Pokémon EX back on the Bench and Lysandre or Catcher it to the active and there we have it, GG.

III. The Outs

Now that we’ve gone over the Skeleton List, we need to take a look at the possible cards that can fill in the gaps. Let’s start with the combination that embodies the “All In” strategy: Greedy Dice and Battle Compressor:

Greedy Dice + Battle Compressor

Greedy Dice reads “You can play this card only if you took it as a face-down Prize card, before you put it into your hand. Flip a coin. If heads, take 1 more Prize card.” That means if you take this card as a prize and hit heads via Plasma Gale, you get an extra prize card on top of Overflow. That means you can potentially take four prize cards with a single KO! This card also allows you to make up for awkward prize exchanges that involve non EX Pokémon. For example, imagine I knock out a non EX Pokémon via Plasma Gale. I get two prizes for the knockout, leaving me with four remaining. The prize count for this deck is now awkward since knocking out a Pokémon EX at this point only gets us three of our remaining four prizes, however, in comes Greedy Dice. If you should have been so lucky to prize a Greedy Dice, get it as one of your prize cards as a knock out, and hit heads, you have just won the game. I know it’s a lot to ask for, but I feel that it’s worth mentioning since this deck has high risk written all over in the first place. If you choose to take this route then it should be paired with one or two Battle Compressor. The logic here is the same as decks that run Talonflame: we want to discard the useless Greedy Dice that we didn’t prize to make sure we don’t draw them in critical situations. You will also be afforded the additional benefit of discarding Supporters to create a toolbox effect via VS Seeker.

Captivating
Poképuff

Many experienced players will know to avoid playing down their Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX when they notice that you’re playing Lugia-EX. This can be a hassle for us because it gets in the way of us taking easy KOs. In order to get around this effective strategy, we could run Captivating Poképuff to force our opponent to bench their fragile Pokémon EX. After doing so we can simply Lysandre or Catcher our way to an easy KO. Doing this also makes Target Whistle a live card and opens the possibility of scoring two easy KOs for the game.

Red Card

You may have noticed that this deck doesn’t include N and there is good reason for that. Since we anticipate going ahead as soon as turn two, N does not further our strategy after our first KO because it only nets us three cards. In a sense,  it becomes a relatively dead card after turn one should we choose to run it; however, by choosing not to run it, we forfeit the ability to regulate our opponent’s hand. Luckily we have cards like Red Card to help us do so. Being able to put your opponent to four cards then taking a KO means that we have made it less likely for them to have a big combo to follow up your three prize turn.

Puzzle of Time

This card can essentially be this decks insurance policy. It lets us reuse cards like Colress Machine, Target Whistle, PlusPower, Startling Megaphone and Switch should we need to discard or use them early. Having Puzzle of Time present in this deck affords us the ability to be more reckless with our resources and overextend knowing that we still have the possibility of netting the used resource back into our hand.

Tool Scrapper

This card can be considered in place of Startling Megaphone for one reason alone: Head Ringer. I don’t expect Head Ringer to be played too much, but if you’re scared of this card appearing in your meta, then by all means play it. Just know that by choosing it over Startling Megaphone means you forfeit the opportunity to clear multiple tools on your opponent’s board (mainly Fighting Fury Belt and Float Stone).

Pokémon Ranger

With the presence of Seismitoad-EX, Giratina-EX, Jolteon-EX and Greninja in the format, we want to be able to get around the locks each card puts us in. Pokémon Ranger is the perfect one card answer to these kinds of cards. It can wash away the effect that has locked us down and allow us to continue to have an explosive turn. I would definitely try to fit this card in the deck.

Shadow Triad

This is essentially your fifth or sixth Colress Machine. Given that this deck relies heavily on Colress Machine to load up Lugia-EX, finding a way to fit this card in your deck can aid you in reaching your goal; however, this means you’ll be using up your supporter for the turn and not afford yourself the opportunity to hit the remaining pieces of the combo. I’d much rather run another draw or tech Supporter in its place to provide myself with more options.

Thunderus-EX

In the past, Thunderus-EX was used for accelerating and recycling all Special Energy used in this deck. This strategy involved the use of Prism Energy which allowed players to build Lugia-EX on the bench while waiting for the perfect time to strike. Although this strategy can still work in theory, it’s slower compared to the options we have today. With the combo I’ve explained earlier, this card becomes less of a necessity. If you feel the need to include a secondary attacker then by all means play this card. Just keep in mind that you’ll also have to fit in Prism Energy which means less room for consistency cards.

Jirachi-EX

It’s everyone’s favorite Pokémon EX from the Expanded format. He’s a nice addition to this deck since our Supporter count is low. Being able to grab any Supporter from your deck is obviously a powerful play and has many benefits in this deck; however, bench space is still a problem. There will be many times where you will have loaded your bench completely with Shaymin-EX and Deoxys-EX. If you’re like me and save your Jirachi-EX for crucial moments, then he can more or less backfire on you if you over benched in order to hit the combo.

IV. Raising the Stakes

Now that we’ve gone over the possible cards that could fill in the Skeleton, I want to share with you the build I feel is the best for this deck:

Speed Lugia

Pokemon

  • 3 Lugia-EX PLS
  • 4 Deoxys-EX PLF
  • 3 Shaymin-EX ROS
  • 1 Hoopa-EX AOR

Trainers

  • 2 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 1 Colress
  • 1 Pokémon Ranger
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Trainers Mail
  • 4 Colress Machine
  • 4 Puzzle of Time
  • 2 PlusPower
  • 2 Special Charge
  • 2 Switch
  • 2 Muscle Band
  • 1 Pokémon Catcher
  • 1 Computer Search
  • 1 Starling Megaphone
  • 1 Target Whistle
  • 3 Sky Field

Energy

  • 4 Double Colorless Energy
  • 4 Plasma Energy

You’ll notice I chose to fill in the empty slots with Puzzle of Time and Pokémon Ranger. I’m 100% convinced that Puzzle of Time is the key to making this deck successful. Like I said earlier, it provides us with an insurance policy and affords us the possibility to reuse resources. This fact alone makes it a staple because there will be times when our active Lugia-EX will be knocked out and we’ll need the resources to load another one up in a single turn for a second time. Additionally, having the presence of Puzzle of Time lets you play more to the “All In” style of this deck. What I mean by this is that, on turn one, you can fully commit to loading Lugia-EX even though you’re not going to attack that turn. You can essentially thin your deck to the point where there’s at least one Shaymin-EX left in your deck combined with multiple VS Seekers, Puzzle of Time, Lysandre, and Pokémon Catcher. Doing this opens up your next turn for an easy KO by utilizing less resources in a single turn. Another benefit of this strategy is N mitigation. When you know for sure that N is going to happen after your first KO, you’ll want to have your deck as thinned as possible to prevent drawing into a dead three cards. It’s important to note that even though every resource is important, you should pay particular attention to Puzzle of Time, VS seeker, and Special Charge. These cards are essential to allowing you load up a second Lugia-EX should you end up needing one.

The second card we need to address is Pokémon Ranger. Since we took a route that gave us an insurance policy, we might as well stay the course with the final card selection. Being able to break a lock caused by Quaking Punch, Chaos Wheel, Flash Ray, or Shadow Stitch can be the difference between winning and losing a match. Pokémon Ranger is the one card insurance policy against attacks of this nature.

V. Heads Up

I guess it’s finally time to go over the individual match ups for this meta. Let’s start with my favorite deck, Rainbow Road:

Rainbow Road

60/40

The expanded variant of this deck relies on Pokémon EX as the decks energy acceleration engine. This key part of their deck is your ticket to victory. Your opponent will need to bench multiple Pokémon EX in order to make numbers to KO your Lugia-EX. You’ll simply need to Lysandre two of them and take the KO on each them. You’ll find that the Lugia-EX you use to get the first KO will more than likely be KOd right back so you’ll have to ensure that you can load a new Lugia-EX right back up on the following turn. If you can’t, you’ll have to set up as much as possible and rely on the fact that your opponent needs to take three KOs to your two. Also, you’ll want to take advantage of the 160 HP that Ho-Oh EX and exploit it for easy KOs alongside Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX.

Yveltal/Maxies

50/50

You can have the slight advantage against this deck in a sense that you can outpace their Dark Patch before it becomes a problem. By turn one or two you’ll have a loaded Lugia-EX and be ready to start taking knockouts, but you may need to rely heavily on Lysandre, Catcher, and Startling Megaphone to ensure that you can knock out Pokémon EX that your opponent might bench. If your opponent plays around your Lugia-EX by utilizing only non EX Pokémon early to throw your prize numbers off, you’ll fall victim to a mid game N to one, giving them a big opportunity to steal the game from you. Hope that opponent is put into a position where they need to play/discard a Pokémon EX so that you can Lysandre/Target Whistle for an easy win.

Greninja BREAK

50/50

Since this deck runs no Pokémon EX it’s going to be much slower to steal the game from your opponent, but still a lot faster than other decks in the format. If your opponent struggles to get multiple attackers on board fast enough, they don’t have the luxury of the one prize game they’re normally playing. Lugia-EX is effectively stealing the necessary time Greninja BREAK needs to build several attackers, however, if your opponent manages to pop off and establish several Greninja in this short time frame, you’re in for a tough time since Shadow Stitch will shut off Overflow and take away your ability to take extra prizes. Luckily, we have Pokémon Ranger to mitigate this. Overall, this matchup is dependent on how hot your opponent runs in regards to setting up multiple Greninja.

Seismitoad/Crobat

35/65

Given that this deck can put you in an item lock, you have the disadvantage on paper; however, you can overwhelm this deck in one turn by committing completely to building up a Lugia-EX. You’ll want to dig as much as possible to get Pokémon Ranger into your hand for the follow up turn. Also, you’ll want to conserve your Switches to get rid of any Sleep Status that you can fall victim to via Hypnotoxic Laser. If you’re lucky, and your opponent is put in a position to utilize Shaymin-EX or Jirachi-EX, then you can easily steal this game with Lysandre or Catcher after dealing with one Toad.

Mega Rayquaza and Mega Manectric

30/70

It doesn’t matter which Mega Deck you go up against, you’re at a disadvantage. This deck is built to do 180 damage consistently with a very rare output of 240 that involves all Deoxys-EX on the bench, two PlusPowers and all four Puzzle of Times. Also, both of these decks will KO your Lugia-EX whenever it takes a KO so you’ll need to be able to load another Lugia-EX before they overwhelm you. The best strategy for you to win is to Lysandre up their Hoopa-EX, Shaymin-EX or Jirachi-EX then Target Whistle and Lysandre again for game.

Trevenent BREAK

30/70

You’ll need to hope you go first against this deck so you can just explode. You need to hope your opponent doesn’t draw into multiple Enhanced Hammers or a Team Flare Grunt in order to start taking knockouts by turn two. Be conservative and save your Lysandres to try and get yourself out of their item lock. Other than these two things, this matchup is an uphill battle and you should use any turn of items you have to explode as much as possible.

Sabeleye/Garbodor

15/85

This is an uphill battle. All you can do is minimize the amount of Pokémon you put in play and try to work off of a single Lugia-EX. Try to hold your cards in your hand until you can guarantee you can take a KO. Startling Megaphone will be key in this matchup in order to remove Life Dew. You can also hope your opponent either plays down a Jirachi-EX or draws dead. Their Puzzle of Time plays are much stronger than your Puzzle of Time plays and in combination with the constant energy denial, we’ll run out of resources before being able to take the necessary prizes.

Accelgor/Wobbuffet

15/85

You have a very slim chance at victory here. Wobbuffet takes away your ability to take multiple prizes off a KO. You’ll have to Lysandre around Wobbuffet effectively slowing down your turn by taking away your draw supporter for the turn.  Accelgor’s Deck and Cover will leave your active Lugia-EX paralyzed and we do not have enough switch cards to get around it constantly. Your best chance is to hope your opponent plays Jirachi-EX or Shaymin-EX down and wait for the opportunity to Lysandre or Catch then explode as much as you can.

Raikou/Eels

10/90

The chances to win are even slimmer here. Not only does Raikou hit Lugia-EX for weakness, but this deck tends to run a low count of Pokémon EX that your opponent won’t bench until you take a KO on a non EX Pokémon. They will be able to KO two Lugia-EX is short fashion and leave you with barely any resources left to load up a third. Your only hope here is to take out their Eels early and hope your Lugia-EX can survive a turn after taking a KO.

VI. Conclusion

Despite not having the best matchups against the meta on paper, this deck’s intangibles still make it a good play for a tournament. Being able to take extra prizes per KO and stealing time away from your opponents can lead to swift, unsuspecting victories. By taking advantage of the heavily played Shaymin-EX and Jirachi-EX you can turn a heavily unfavored match up into a victory. Just keep in mind that the longer a game goes on, the lower your chances of winning become so always remember to keep your foot on the throttle. There’s a lot of risk when going into a tournament with this deck, but then again, “I’m all in baby!”

Special Thanks to Johnny Rabus for providing insight into how this deck should function!

-Chris Taporco


UPDATE 12/15/2016

Some time has passed since I wrote this article and with San Jose Regionals fast approaching, I want to address a few changes that would make this deck more competitive. My analysis on matchups was initially off and I would like to readdress them. Additionally, I made several suboptimal card choices that I realized were bad as I sat at Philly Regionals contemplating what could have been if I had ran certain cards. So let’s just dive into it, here’s my updated list:

Speed Lugia

Pokemon: 13

  • 3 Lugia-EX PLS
  • 4 Deoxys-EX PLF
  • 3 Shaymin-EX ROS
  • 1 Hoopa-EX AOR
  • 2 Seismitoad-EX PHF

Trainers: 39

  • 2 Professor Sycamore
  • 1 Lysandre
  • 2 Colress
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 4 VS Seeker
  • 4 Trainers Mail
  • 4 Colress Machine
  • 4 Puzzle of Time
  • 2 Special Charge
  • 2 Switch
  • 2 Muscle Band
  • 2 Pokémon Catcher
  • 1 Float Stone
  • 1 Computer Search
  • 1 Starling Megaphone
  • 3 Sky Field

Energy: 8

  • 4 Double Colorless Energy
  • 4 Plasma Energy

 

The Defining Addition

Quaking Punch! Seismitoad was the element this deck was missing. If you start it, they have no clue what you’re playing and will be more open to benching Shaymin-EX for easy KOs. Also, Item Lock helps slow down your opponent enough to buy you enough time to get out of a poor start it. Additionally, the additional damage from Quaking Punch does wonders for making numbers against Pokémon EX and anything with a Fighting Fury Belt attached to it. You’ll find that I’ll reference this card a lot going forward because it is just that game changing.

Where I Went Wrong

Plus Power
This card was just way to clunky. I wish I realized that sooner, but I was too blinded in trying to score OHKOs with such a high amount of cards. Seismitoad-EX helps set up my OHKOs while aiding in my setup and not being a hindrance in most situations.

Target Whistle
I’m actually not to upset about running this card, but I do wish I ran more consistency or switch cards in its place. Although this card is good in theory for playing against a reserved opponent, there are definitely better cards to utilize to cover various matchups and increase your consistency.

Pokémon Ranger
“The biggest mistake is assuming that playing a single Karen will save you against Night March” Words that Dylan Bryan has so eloquently spoke have never been clearer when you apply them to Pokémon Ranger in this Deck. Thinking that a single Pokémon Ranger was going to save me against Seismitoad-EX was a huge mistake. Sure there will be turns where I could stream it on back to back turns, but getting to your single copy becomes the biggest problem. In hindsight, I would much rather have ran a second Colress so that I had a higher chance of setting up turn one against Seismitoad-EX or any other deck for that matter.

Pokémon Catcher > Lysandre
At first, I really enjoyed the consistency of Lysandre, but I quickly found out that that consistency was not worth it. I found myself in positions where I was digging for Pokémon Catcher after I played a Colress so that I could seal the game away. Having to risk flipping a coin far outweighs the consistency of Lysandre because you can still play Pokémon Catcher after playing a draw Supporter. The only benefit of the second Lysandre was that it helped me break the Trevenent Item Lock easily; however, I’ve since added Seismitoad to help me in that matchup and I hear Item Locking Trevenent is pretty good. In any case, I would love to run two of each but this deck makes me have to choose between the two, so the choice has to be Pokémon Catcher.

Only One Colress
I bricked a lot at Philly. Would a second Colress have saved me every time? Maybe not, but I’m now a believer that I need more draw power in this deck and Colress is the perfect addition. I’m already running Sky Field and benching a ton of Pokémon, so why not play the card that lets me conserve my resources and let me draw up to 16 cards to complete a one turn setup for Lugia-EX. Going to two Colress has since proven to be the best play to combo with Puzzle of Time and Pokémon Catcher to steal games away from my opponent.

Need More Switch Cards
I found myself digging for switch cards a lot; particularly after a Pokémon of mine was knocked out and I didn’t have anything setup yet to attack with so I had to promote something I couldn’t immediately retreat. I really wish I had run at least one Float Stone as my third switch card for these scenarios in Philly. The single copy that I have since added has helped out immensely and I can tag out any of my Pokémon more easily as the game progresses.

Other Considerations

Second Hoopa-EX
I’d much rather have a second Seismitoad-EX to help you set up against poor match ups and poor starts on your end. Additionally, with two more basic Pokémon in your deck, the chances of you starting Hoopa-EX are slimmed down a bit so I feel a lot better about just running one. You also have to remember that we now have a second Colress to help us dig through our deck and grab the necessary Pokémon we need.

Second Megaphone
O boy, o boy do we hate to play against Fighting Fury Belt when playing this deck. Startling Megaphone is a great answer to this card but can be a clunky card when played in multiples. Seismitoad-EX gets the numbers done for you here when you miss the Megaphone. Against most decks utilizing Fight Fury Belt, Seismitoad-EX will more than likely be able to get off at least two attacks before being KOd. This means your numbers will be set up for you and your opponent will be having a bad time under Item Lock.

Third Muscle Band
Hitting Pokémon EX numbers is impossible without Muscle Band so why are we only running two? Because there’s simply no room to run three. Ideally it would be nice to run three copies of this card, but we have to consider that we need room for consistency and Seismitoad-EX. We can now just rely on a Quaking Punch setting us up for easier KO’s without Muscle Band or we can just utilize Puzzle of Time to grab Muscle Band from the discard. Overall, two gets the job done, but I would not be against finding room for a third Muscle Band.

Revised Match Ups

Greninja – 90/10
During my initial testing this matchup seemed to be a tossup; however, after more time under the hood, this matchup is a blowout. You effectively steal three turns away from your opponent by taking two prizes per turn instead of one. They have a hard time knocking out your Lugia-EX and do not have enough time to build the multiple BREAKs they are used to building. This is an all-out slaughter and you win this matchup nine times out of ten.

Yveltal Maxies – 60/40
This matchup was a tossup at first with my initial build. With the addition of Seismitoad-EX, this matchup swings in your favor. Why? Because despite them having Fighting Fury Belts, a few Quaking Punches sets up your numbers perfectly for Plasma Gale. Additionally, Quaking Punch will slow down their heavily Item based deck. They are now playing at a pace that makes it hard for them to keep up with you since you’ll still be able to play items and set up all the pieces you need to take two knock outs in a row. Quaking Punch is really just that good.

Rainbow Road – 50/50
This match up can be difficult if they hit a bunch of heads as they’ll be able to make Xerneas after Xerneas to stream knockouts; however, you can do the same and Lysandre or Pokemon Catcher up their Pokemon EX and steal the game. Additionally, we now have Seismitoad-EX to help slow down their Energy Switch engine and put them in a position to rely on Ninja Boy to score a loaded Xerneas. Overall, this match up can get pretty scary depending on the how well the coin flips favor your opponent.

Night March – 50/50
At the time I initially wrote this article I was convinced Night March would see less play and I didn’t address the matchup. This is definitely a tossup because of cute little Joltik; however, Quaking Punch can put you in a position to lock them completely out of the game. Seismitoad-EX can effectively take three or four prizes easily and you can clean up with Lugia-EX. But don’t get too cocky just because you have them Item Locked, we’re talking about one of the most consistent decks in the format and they can explode at a moment’s notice; hence why this match up can go either way.

Mega Rayquaza/ Mega Manectric/ Mega Whatever – 40/60
I still stand by initial assessment of this deck; however, the addition of Seismitoad-EX helps you out a bit here. You can slow down their turns and keep them from getting all the energy they need in a single turn by shutting down Mega Turbos. You also effectively shut down Links so that they may be forced to evolve and pass their turn entirely. Although the odds are still against you, Seismitoad-EX gives you the ability to set up enough to score two KOs in a row for the win.

Seismitoad-EX Crobat – 40/60
Oh hey look, another situation where Seismitoad-EX can come in handy. You can slow down their Bat and Laser Damage with Quaking Punch. You also effectively shut off Crushing and Enhanced Hammers, allowing you to build a Lugia-EX on your Bench. Although this matchup is still in their favor, you stand a slightly better chance with a Seismitoad-EX of your own.

Sabeleye Garbodor – 40/60
Seismitoad-EX can completely shut them down. If you can manage your Special Charges and Double Colorless Energy efficiently, you can effectively turn off their Puzzle of Time based engine and force them to grab suboptimal Supporters to use for their turns. You’re still at a disadvantage, but having Quaking Punch as an attack option greatly increases your odds in this matchup.

Trevenent – 40/60
Again, Quaking Punch helps you a lot in this matchup. Shutting down their items gives you the time to manually build up a Lugia-EX to start taking KOs. It also bides you time to get to your Lysandre in order to break the Item Lock on your end. Utilize your Sky Fields wisely and ensure that you’re knocking off Dimension Valley whenever you can. This is still an uphill battle since you are Item Locked, but there are definitely ways to win if your opponent doesn’t have the optimal start.

Accelgor Wobbuffet / Raikou Eels – 20/80
My initial assessment of these matchups pretty much holds true still. Just scroll up and read them again. If you don’t want to scroll uphere’s the TL;DR: Outpace them before they can evolve or Quaking Punch them out of there Level and Ultra Balls.

Update Conclusion

If I were going to San Jose, I would give this deck another whirl. It was amazingly fun and I felt that there was potential for me to go far. With the updates that I have made since Philly, I’m more than confident this deck can overwhelming outperform my showing in Philly and secure a spot in Day Two. I know that’s a bold statement and most people won’t give this deck a second glance; however, Seismitoad has given this deck the element it was missing and gives me faith that this deck has potential to do well in San Jose. But yeah, I’m crazy so there’s that!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here