Hello, Some1spc readers! It’s Israel, back with another article. Dallas is coming up this weekend and I thought I might add another deck option to your plate if you’re still lost. For those worrying about a last-second ban on something like Double Colorless Energy or Zoroark GX have no fear, this deck is not affected by it. So let’s go over what I am going to talk about today:
I.Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team
Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team
For those who don’t know, there will be a Tag Team card legal in the format for Dallas. It is one massive Pokemon and I thought since it will be legal that I could talk about what decks benefit the most from this card. When I first saw this card, I thought it was little more than a gimmick, and that it wasn’t as good as people made it seem. After playing with it for the last week, however, it might still be a gimmick, but one that turns into a train that doesn’t plan to stop once it gets going, leaving your opponents crushed in its wake. Before I go into the decklist, I want to talk about the card itself, for the people that don’t know what it is.
Magikarp & Wailord GX HP 300
WWWWW Super Splash 180
To start out, this beef stick has 300 HP, which is extremely difficult to knockout without applying Weakness; only a handful of things can reach this number. But this is where the gimmick starts. For the cost of five Water Energy you will deal a clean 180 damage, which is a good number since Rayquaza GX and Tapu Lele GX fall within that range, and with a Choice Band you will get the nice 210 that knocks out most of the other GX attackers in the format. The problem is getting to those five energy. The deck that can best pump out five energy is Blastoise, and that’s about half the energy count of the deck–which isn’t terribly difficult to pull off with Battle Compressor and Superior Energy Retrieval–but if the Wailord takes a hit without attacking it becomes an extreme liability and a stretch to just pull off one attack. If it doesn’t take a hit by turn one or two then you should be set up enough to get off a Super Splash. Needing five energies on a main attacker make it a gimmick to me, especially since it’s a Tag Team Pokemon that gives up three prizes when it’s knocked out, but like I said once it gets going it will take prizes.
W+ Towering Splash GX 10
If this Pokémon has at least seven extra Water Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), this attack does 100 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.) (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Alright, so this the second part of the gimmick. If you have eight energy on this big boy you’ll get to snipe your opponent’s entire bench for 100 damage. This can be extremely game-changing if you get there, and your opponent is relying on pokemon that have 100 HP or less. Turn two Towering Splash on a Zoroark player that just used Brigette almost spells certain defeat for them. HOWEVER, you need eight energy to use it and that’s about 75-80% (depending on energy count) of your energies to pull this off. There are counters to this attack that still exist in the Expanded format, like Mr. Mime and Machoke, and if you’re facing a mirror match that teched a Lugia GX you’ll also get punished with their GX attack. So you’ll probably only use this attack if you know you’ll win, or that nothing that could backfire against you as a result.
|2||Tapu Lele GX|
|2||Magikarp & Wailord GX|
|4||Superior Energy Retrieval|
|2||Archie’s Ace in Hole|
2 Magikarp & Wailord GX
This is the main attacker of the deck so just stack a ton of energies on this thing and go crazy. I like a two-count, and any number besides two doesn’t seem correct since you’ll never use more than two in a game, and even prizing one is not the end of the world. You have things like Volcanion and Giratina to hit numbers for Towering Splash, being able to hit 110+ against your opponent’s bench if it comes to it, so don’t go out of your way for the GX attack unless you know you won’t be punished by that play.
1 Volcanion Prism
A secondary attacker of the deck for those clean-up options or setting up knockouts for Wailord. Volcanion’s spread can be particularly useful against Buzzwole, making it so you don’t need a Choice Band to take a knockout, as well as setting up Towering Splash GX plays against things like Diancie Prism and Shaymin EX that have those low-HP numbers. What’s also nice about Volcanion is the ability to force your opponent to switch their Active Pokemon to set up Guzma or snipe plays. It’s for reasons like these that Volcanion is necessary in this deck. A potential downside is the same as Wailord, where if they play Mr. Mime or Machoke it could become a dead attacking option, though having a 160 HP beef stick giving up one prize is a nice change of pace for mid-game.
Another secondary attacker that serves as a janitor of the deck; whatever Volcanion or Wailord don’t take care of, Articuno is there to sweep them up. Articuno has been a flex-spot for me in the games I’ve been testing, but at the end of the day Articuno will be the best option in most scenarios. Also, if Bees become popular you need Articuno to pick up those free prizes. A nice thing about this old friend is that it can buy time if you whiff Blastoise turn one or whiff the energy to attack with Wailord you can stall with Chilling Sigh. It could even break Toad’s Item lock if they don’t wake up, so keep this guy close.
So you’re wondering why this guy is here and no, you’re not attacking with it. The sole purpose of this card is to set up sneaky KOs with Towering Splash GX. With its Ability, you can place one damage counter on two of your opponent’s benched Pokemon, which sets up numbers for Towering Splash or even Volcanion’s attack, since they need that one damage to knockout Shaymins without committing any extra resources. It can be the first thing to be dropped if you feel it’s not worth it, but it’s easy Battle Compressor fodder and can be used at any time. It’s also something that you can use to break Focus Sashes.
2 Exeggcute PLF
Just used for the Ability, allowing you to continuously return it to your hand so you can more efficiently use and manipulate things like Ultra Ball, Computer Search, and Superior Energy Retrieval, making it so they have no cost through discarding one or both of the eggs.
I’ll save the trouble and space by saying these guys are the main support of the deck; Tapu Lele to add higher probability in getting Archie’s out turn one, and Shaymin to add more reach into the deck, especially since you’re trying to get five energy on your main attacker. Tapu Lele and Shaymin can be attackers as well in some cute scenarios, where you can knockout things with under 30 HP and return a liability off the bench, or use Lele to punish something with a lot of energy.
2 Blastoise / 1 Kingdra GX
Blastoise is literally the most important thing in the deck, so if you don’t get it out you’ll most likely lose. Two has always been the magic number and not worth messing with. If you’re running hot and get back to back Archie’s, you can go for another strong attacker like Kingdra GX and start swinging with it. Kingdra GX is there for the Garb matchup where you don’t need much to take knockouts, and with its bulky 230 HP it’s a stretch to be taken out with Trashvalanche. Kingdra is just a good attacker in general, but not essential to this deck’s strategy.
This wasn’t in most Blastoise lists that I’ve seen recently but I like it because it can get two energy on board with no cost, and it’s burnable so it doesn’t ruin any probability of getting a first turn Archie’s. I feel two is the perfect number though you’ll probably just use one, but getting that five energy attack off is the important thing in this variant.
Personally, I can go either way but I like Fisherman better at the moment. My reasoning for this is that I need to use Towering Splash to take out Trubbishes against Garb decks before they can slow me down, so having Fisherman can give me a better chance of blowing up and getting around Garb as opposed to Faba. I also probably would accept that as a bad matchup anyway, so that’s why I chose to opt out of Faba. Also, outside of Garb matchups, I want Fisherman to get me back energy if I run out of Superior Energy Retrieval or don’t have one in hand. If you expect a lot of Garbodor then I would go Faba, but if you think it could be a mixed meta then I would go Fisherman.
This is one of my favorite Stadiums of all time and yes, it hurts you but there’s reasoning for why I have it in here. Since you need five energy to attack with your main attacker you have to slow the game down. With Lab, you’re shutting off things like Ditto Prism, Rayquaza GX, Tapu Lele GX and so on, which could make a huge difference in that one turn. Also, the main reason for this card is to get around Wobbuffet and Mr. Mime, the latter of which would make your spread attacks useless. Wobb also can slow you down since it would shut off Blastoise, but if you subvert it with Lab you can use Blastoise and break the lock. It shuts off about 75% of your options, but in some scenarios this card can be game-changing.
I’m still messing with this number, but in my testing so far two Choice Band have been really good. I would have to test more to be convinced to bump up to a third Choice Band but as of right now, two has been perfectly fine for me. We have other options to weaken things to where we don’t need Choice Band, but for the Zoroark matchups you can’t afford to miss, so I highly recommend testing the count and adjusting to what you feel is correct. Having that one option to bail yourself out of the Active in Float Stone can be so huge for the deck, especially since a good portion of the attackers in this deck have two or more Retreat Cost.
Due to limited space from keeping things I want in the deck I’ve arrived at ten energy. Eleven would be amazing, but ten has been just right for me. Anything lower would be extremely pushing it, but if you can find room I’d play eleven.
A card I’ve been flexing with Articuno because this card is extremely good for mirror. If they go aggressive with their Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team you can catch them off-guard with Lugia’s GX attack and remove five energy to the Lost Zone. Even its other attacks aren’t to shabby, like the clean 170 for four energy, but ideally it’s used for mirrors and taking out Pokemon with a bunch of energy on them. It also works extremely well against Rayquaza if they aren’t careful with energy placements.
Not in my top choices but something to consider if Bees or Night March somehow make an uproar this week. Oricorio is extremely good against those decks and can potentially catch them off-guard because they are burning through their deck. For one Colorless energy you place one damage counter on your opponent’s Pokemon equal to the amount of Pokemon in their Discard Pile, so if they have something like fifteen Pokemon in there you can spread fifteen damage counters in anyway you like, potentially taking multiple knockouts. If Muscle Band is included then this can also be useful for the Buzzwole matchup which can hit for Weakness with it’s second attack, though only if a Stadium is active.
With the possibility of moving the Tool count around, having a single Muscle Band can be good against matchups that don’t rely on GX aceroattackers like Bees, Greninja and so on, and it can make Articuno and Volcanion much stronger options as attackers. The downside to this card is that it caps Wailord at only 200 damage, which is short of the KO on Zoroark, though with things like Giratina and Volcanion’s spread anything can happen.
Once in the deck originally but I took it out due to its ineffectiveness as an attacker in the current meta. It is probably the strongest attacker against Zoro Control since you’re two shooting their attackers with just three energy, and it’s Ability effectively prevents you from being trapped. It’s also the most ideal partner with Float Stone since it breaks the heavy Retreat problem.
A card I’ve been trying to fit into the deck because I want to prevent the three prizes that Wailord Tag Team gives up. It also doesn’t make you give up the energy, since you can just put them right back into play with Blastoise allowing you to continue wreaking havoc. The only downside is that it’s adding one more Supporter so it can cause issues for setting up your Archie plays.
If I had to choose another Stadium besides Silent Lab it would be Rough Seas. It heals all Water and Lighting Pokemon by 30, so it gives the Blastoise deck some type of heal option. It’s also a strong choice if for some reason Trevenant becomes really popular for Dallas because it neutralizes Silent Fear. A possible downside is that it doesn’t block Mr. Mime or Wobb, forcing you to Guzma around them.
Another possible attacker that can be used in this deck. What’s nice about Seismitoad is that it can Item lock your opponent, preventing them from getting possible Garb locks against you. If there is a card I would choose to spice up the deck it would be this one, and it can useful in virtually any matchup, which is nice. In a nightmare situation where you can’t find Blastoise, you can use Toad for only two attachments and operate without Blastoise, buying time with Quaking Punch until you find it.
This is something I haven’t actually tested, but in theory, if you’re aiming for the Towering Splash GX play, you want to keep spreading with attackers like Volcanion and Tapu Koko until you’re ready to use your GX attack for game. Just like Toad you only need two manual attachments to get going, and it makes it where you don’t need to overreach to knockout with your main attacker. It’s also an option to break through Focus Sashes and whatnot. Not in my top five for recommendations, but it sounds good in theory.
Again, something I haven’t tried but could be good. It gives you an Ultra Ball target for energy, and can be easily added into the deck by dropping Giratina. It’s just another option that provides better odds of attacking with Wailord by turn one, which is a perfect scenario for this deck.
If you just want to make the Zoroark matchup much easier, adding one of these wouldn’t be an awful idea, but at the same time I don’t think it’s necessary.
Bump Up Order Pad & Trainers’ Mail
The last thing would be to just bump up the counts of these cards to give yourself the best odds of finding turn one Blastoise. It’s already at a high percentage, but making it even better doesn’t hurt since the purpose of the deck is to get Blastoise down as early as possible then start blowing things up. This doesn’t leave room for techs, but you can never go wrong with consistency.
Zoro Control Unfavorable
I haven’t played enough of this matchup to have a conclusive idea of how it should go, but the few times I played it I lost due to getting trapped and running out of energy. Without Keldeo, the matchup can go really badly, especially since Toad makes it where you can’t use about half of the deck’s resources and they eventually just trap you and mill you to death. The reasoning for Keldeo is because you can two-shot the Toad for three energy, and it prevents you from being trapped with its Ability. If they knockout Keldeo with anything not named “Quaking Punch,” you have everything in the world to work with. and could potentially just get Keldeo right back. That’s another reason for why the Fisherman is in the deck, to give you more outs to finding energy. I think the way you approach the matchup if you have Keldeo is use it as a secondary attacker, using Articuno as your main one to break locks. You then have Keldeo to prevent you from being trapped and Articuno to break Item lock, then you can use a different attacker to take out the Toad or Zoroark. Without Keldeo, I feel the matchup will go to the point where you take a lead but you get stuck and lose. Don’t aim for Wailord Tag Team in this matchup. Use Battle Compressor to get rid of all the useless stuff and keep Supporters live in deck.
Zoro Exodia Favored
In my testing, I feel the Zoroark player needs the Delinquent play to stick, otherwise they lose. If the Blastoise player gets the turn one Archie and gets some energy on board, I feel like it becomes a nightmare for the Zoroark player. Even if the Red Card + Delinquent play works, if you get Eggs into the Discard Pile your Ultra Balls or Superior Energy Retrievals become instantly live. The only way I feel the Exodia player takes over is if they get the turn one play off and get Alolan Muk out, hoping you don’t draw out of it while they target down your Blastoise. It becomes more even then, but even when I tested as the Zoroark player, if I whiffed the Delinquent play it’s virtually over since the Wailord does too much damage and the Blastoise player can burn through about half their deck in one turn. If you set up Blastoise, don’t be afraid to grind through the deck, burn as much as possible to where you have an option even if they Delinquent + Red Card combo you. Wailord can take two hits, so you have a chance to pile on eight energy, and if there’s ever a matchup to use your GX attack in, it’s this one since they’re so reliant on Shaymins to do the combo.
The biggest key to this matchup is if you can take out the Trubbish or Garb before they become a problem. If you can get the Wailord, or anything going without using too many Items this could become an easy matchup. In a perfect world, if you can get the Towering Splash GX off before the Trubbish evolve, I feel like you just win because they won’t be able to respond to it quick enough. Techs from the Zoroark player will play a role in this matchup. Don’t be surprised if they drop a Mime on you, because they know if you pop off before they’re ready you just win. Now, if they get Garb out and you didn’t get going, or if you somehow play fifteen Items (very easy with this build) and did not deal with Garb expect to lose. The matchup consistently plays out to where you’ll win if you can kill the Trubbish before they slow the game down. This is where Lab can make a difference, since it can shut down their Klefki and Mime (if they play it). Also, if you added techs like Toad or Faba, this is where they will shine for you. The way I would approach the matchup is just to get the five energy on Wailord and start swinging that way, trying not to use an abundance of Items to make it that much harder for you to fall down. Right around when you start passing the halfway mark in prizes is when you start aiming to thin out the deck and go for Towering Splash GX. If you know you can get the Towering Splash early I would highly recommend going for it, otherwise play passive and make them work. Make sure you use the one Field Blower to its full value. You better make it count when you use it, otherwise they’ll get the lock again, and if you didn’t set up a checkmate board state you should just pack it up. So, if you expect a lot of ZoroGarb I would test this deck with Faba.
I personally feel this matchup is extremely in your favor due to the high HP of Wailord Tag Team, since only way for them to KO you is if they use Absorption GX with six prizes and some damage modifiers. Otherwise, they would have to chip away some damage to make it easier on them. What I like to do in this matchup is go heavy first with Volcanion to chip away at everything, making it difficult for them to set up damage on your Wailord. Right around their Beast Ring range, after you’ve done your damage with Volcanion, drop down the Wailord and just press them from there. Once you take two prizes before they’ve dealt with your threat, it becomes extremely easy because they can’t one shot the Wailord. Towering Splash GX isn’t a bad idea in this matchup if you can get to it, since everything will be in range from Volcanion spreads, and you can play around Beast Ring this way. Also, don’t forget Giratina plays a role in this matchup since one drop from it makes it where Buzzwole GX can get one-shotted by Wailord’s normal attack without a Choice Band. Try to keep Blastoise on board because that’ll be a comeback target for them. It’s not the end of the world if you start Wailord, but try to get them out of battle and make the Buzzwole player work for the knockouts.
It’s about the same strategy as with Buzzwole, but the biggest difference between the two fighting variants is that Lucario plays Focus Sash. You have to play around those Sashes, so chipping it with Volcanion or using Giratina to poke the Riolus would strip their sash off as well. If you have to hit into them, make sure you have a Choice Band, otherwise you’ll just play into their GX attack. The ideal strategy for Lucario’s side in this matchup is to deal with Blastoise so try to keep it on board. For the Stoise player, Towering Splash could cripple Lucario since Riolus are below 100 HP allowing you to take out their main threat that way. Use your Field Blower only if you’re about to take a knockout in the same turn, otherwise you can expect an Acerola. You have Lab, which makes it harder for the Lucario player to take out the Blastoise because they will need a Muscle Band or a Strong Energy to knockout with a Lucario. Don’t expect them to play Mime (though I, personally am) because they want the damage to rack up on Lucario to abuse the GX attack. So, if there’s a matchup you go all-in on Towering Splash GX, this is the Fighting variant that would get hurt the most.
This matchup is a little weird for me, and I’m starting to feel that whoever goes first would usually take an insurmountable lead. If the Ray player goes first and just pops off, it creates this pressure that you have to respond to, otherwise you’re not in a favorable trade off. Yes, they would need ten energy in play to take out a Wailord, but if they hit the Wailord first it becomes extremely bad for you, since you’ll take two prizes while they get three the next turn. If they “Let Loose” you with Marshadow and you don’t get Blastoise out you just fall apart due to their aggression. Conversely, if you go first and get a turn one Blastoise you put that same pressure on the Ray player. You only need five energy to one-shot pretty much everything in their deck (without Choice Band) with the exception of Zerora GX, for which you would need a Choice Band or a Giratina poke. If you play your Silent Lab at the right time and they can’t remove it, you’ll overrun them since everything in their deck relies on an Ability. Lastly, if you get the first knockout on aGX, you’ve pretty much won, since they won’t be able to one-shot your Wailord, (barring some incredible pop-off scenario) and you’ll be too far ahead by the time they deal with it. Both sides could sacrifice non-GX Pokemon to complicate the prize trade. so if you go first, leave Volcanion Active and try to thin your deck to where you can find Float or Guzma to get the first two prize knockout with Wailord GX. If they go first, or you didn’t get Blastoise on your turn one, hold off on benching and attack with something else; don’t let them have the first hit on your Wailord. If you start with it and they can’t bail out the Ray or any other GX attacker, go greedy and try to get first knockout. The matchup is leaning more in your favor, but it’s Ray, and things can always go wrong. Also note that Towering Splash isn’t necessarily bad in this matchup, but because of the pace you want to avoid it, unless it’s for win.
Whoever whiffs first in the mirror will lose the game. In this variant, it’s hard to one-shot things, since everything that’s important is above the 210 mark, and the only things that you can knockout are things like their Blastoise, Tapu Lele, and Shaymin (which is what you want to avoid). Towering Splash can play a huge role if one side is not careful where, for example if you hit their Wailord GX for 210, they’re suddenly in range for the GX attack, and if they have something like a Shaymin on the bench, it becomes even more of plus. Try to avoid the GX attack though, unless you know they don’t play Lugia GX or you’re going for the win. Another attacker that would work well in this matchup is the Kingdra GX, since it can one-shot the Wailord and it’s pretty hard to respond back to. If you get Kingdra GX first, take it slow and try to use it only when it’s extremely needed. If you can take out their Kingdra GX with yours that would be the perfect route. Lastly, when you put 210 on their Wailord, don’t forget about Articuno. Articuno with Choice Band and two heads would knockout the Wailord and give you four prizes with one attack. The math can work out differently if they play Rough Seas, so keep that in mind. Just put out pressure and try to use every tool you have to your advantage.The only thing you would have to fear is Lugia GX if they play one.
Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team GX might still be a gimmick in my eyes, but I do respect the Blastoise deck even more now with this involved. This is currently my second choice for Dallas, but probably won’t be my play because I’m settled on Lucario. For the people that are still looking for a deck, hopefully this gives you some motives to try it out before the big day. If you haven’t done so already, add me on Twitter for the latest updates at tournaments @Drdy_Sosapc. Also, if you need coaching for Dallas or any event at all, please don’t be afraid to hit me up. I’m taking in as much as possible to help pay for my wedding stuff. Thank you for reading, and I wish everyone safe travels to Dallas!