Hello once again Some1sPC readers! I'm delighted to be able to write another article for you guys and to be an official player for Some1sPC. With the upcoming release of Burning Shadows, I'm extremely excited about the impact the new cards will have on our format, including the Pokémon World Championships in Anaheim, California. After the North America International Championships and securing my Day 2 invitation, I delved right away into card evaluation, deck theory, and play testing. This is the most important time of the year for players and every second is critical in our preparation for the most prestigious event of the season. I strongly believe we will see a shift in the format and see an immediate impact from new GX Pokémon and trainer cards. For this article, I will be going over the new Volcanion build extensively. Burning Shadows added more support for the deck which makes it a strong contender for Worlds and the upcoming 2017-2018 season. And away we go!
I.Main Additions to Volcanion from Burning Shadows
Main Additions to Volcanion from Burning Shadows
Switch your opponent’s Active Pokémon with 1 of their Benched Pokémon. Then, switch your Active Pokémon with 1 of your Benched Pokémon.
Guzma is the best card from the new set and it will be heavily played until it's rotated. It shares the same effect as Lysandre, which was already a concrete staple in almost every deck, and an additional effect of switching your active with one of your bench Pokémon. This really gives players a lot of luxury with deck building, as we gain extra space from cutting down on the necessary amount of retreat cards. You no longer have to play Olympia and can trim on the amount of Switch, Escape Rope, and Float Stone you run. The next major role player is it ruins the effectiveness of special conditions. Attacks like Lapras GX's Ice Beam GX, are going to be naturally countered due to everyone playing Guzma. Moving on, Guzma gives a lot more flexibility on using various attackers and prevents the ability of players to stall heavy retreat Pokémon. This is fantastic for Volcanion, as we use various attackers that have hefty retreat costs. Lastly, Ho-Oh GX and Volcanion EX have attacks that prevent you from using them next turn, which Guzma can reset. This is great for maintaining the pressure and finishing off games.
Ho-Oh GX – Fire – HP190
Weakness – Lightning (x2)
[Fire][Colorless][Colorless] Sacred Fire: This attack does 50 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon. (Don't apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)
[Fire][Fire][Fire][Colorless] Phoenix Burn: 180 damage. This Pokémon can't use Phoenix Burn during your next turn.
[Fire][Colorless][Colorless] Eternal Light GX: Put 3 in a combination of [Fire] Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX from your discard pile onto your Bench.
I think Ho-Oh GX is one of the most overlooked cards in the set. First off it's a tank, 190 HP base with the bump from Fighting Fury Belt puts it at 230 HP. The survivability gained from the large amount of HP allows us to avoid knockouts and maintain our board presence throughout the game. Lightning weakness gives the deck more coverage and an answer to the major threat of Water Pokémon. We now have an answer to pesky Vaporeon techs, along with typical Water decks like Greninja. Anything with Water typing was always a very poor matchup before Burning Shadows, but Ho-Oh GX now helps with that issue. Its first attack is similar to Alolan Ninetales GX's Ice Blade, but for an extra energy attachment. Ninetales GX saw major success at the North America International Championship and the snipe damage is extremely useful in all kinds of situations. The main attack you're going to use with Ho-Oh GX is Phoenix Burn, the cost is large but it packs a punch as it does 180 damage base before you add the bonus damage from Volcanion EX's Steam Up and Fighting Fury Belt. The draw back to this powerful attack is the same as Volcanion EX's Volcanic Heat, but we have Guzma or Float Stone to offset this problem. Eternal Light GX is the final attack, it's a very strange way of recovering Pokémon as it comes from your discard pile and is a GX attack that you likely won't use unless some unique situations occur.
Search your deck for 4 [Fire] Energy and attach them to 1 of your Pokémon. Then, shuffle your deck. Your turn ends.
The most hyped card for this deck is Kiawe, it's a supporter that searches your deck for four fire energies and attaches them to one of your Pokémon, at the cost of ending your turn. This supporter is insane but does come with two major drawbacks, the first one is being that your turn has to end. If you go first, this isn't a problem as you can't attack the first turn of the game anyway. You can use Tapu Lele GX's Wonder Tag to search out Kiawe and use its effect without a drawback. If you go second, you're definitely pushed back a turn, but the format has slowed down because of Garbodor which makes it acceptable to not attack on turn one. The other flaw to Kiawe is having to dedicate all four of the energies to a single Pokémon, which is another reason for my inclusions of Ho-Oh GX and Turtonator GX. Both of these attackers benefit from the additional energy and it doesn't put you in the awkward situation of having four on a Volcanion EX. In this format, I think you can sacrifice ending your turn, but the earlier you get to use Kiawe, the better. The format is slower than before and you do have time to develop a strong board state.
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