Hey there, long time no talk! My name is Kirk Dubé and I’m happy to bring you my second article. I have been out of the tournament scene for quite some time, focusing on commentary for the 2018-2019 season; however, this season I have not only kept myself open to commentary opportunities (hit me up), but have been working in the shadows on fun and interesting deck ideas. My first foray into this was with the release of Beheeyem and how to best build the deck. Alongside Jeffrey “SurranWrap” Surran and Mike “Get off your Ath, Let’s do some Math” Fouchet, we eventually drummed up the list that Mikey went 5-2-2 with in Atlantic City (tying his win and in for Day 2). We dubbed the deck ‘Space Force,’ since it featured the likes of Beheeyem, six different Ultra Beasts, and Ultra Space. All of that being said, Cosmic Eclipse brought us some fun new cards, and the itch to brew arose once again.
After some initial excitement and middling results working on decks like Excadrill and Empoleon, I was finally able to pinpoint a deck I wanted to work on. It began with Jeremy Jallen sliding into my DMs and sending me a Florges based stall deck that revolved around using its “Wondrous Gift” Ability to put Lillie’s Poké Doll on top of your deck, drawing it with Jirachi and then retreating into the Poké Doll, denying your opponent a knockout on a Pokémon, thus not giving up any prizes. The idea had completely captivated me.
This is how our conversation went:
Jeremy: *sends list*
Me: Buddy. In.
I’ll test and report back.
Wait. How tf (do) we beat Pidgey?
Jeremy: You don’t
Me: Oof. Tough deck to take a massive L to
I immediately went to the drawing board and began working on the deck. Since taking a loss to Pidgeotto Control was not an option in my mind, the task was set: Find a way to beat Pidgeotto Control, or scrap the idea.
My first iteration of the deck featured notable stars like Oricorio with the “Captivating Salsa” attack and Energy Recycle System (playing two Fire Energy) to help against Pidgeotto Control. The idea with Salsa is to pull up their other Oranguru/Bench-sitter and force them to have more resources necessary to:
- Keep you from Salsa-ing every turn
- Regain resources while still applying mill based pressure
While this did work in practice, it wasn’t a sure thing and left something to be desired. It is worth noting that “Captivating Salsa” did have a few other fringe applications and remained in the list until its current iteration.
A few things I knew I wanted in the deck that no one seemed to be playing were Crushing Hammers, Pal Pad, Brock’s Grit, and Rosa. I will eventually cover the reasons why those cards were desired and remained in the deck… but first, the list!
Poké Doll Stall
As you can see, this list does not follow the mold of what has been making the rounds on YouTube channels, article sites, or podcasts. I have been making my list development public from the start of me working on it, and you can track the evolution on my twitter account, @doobsnax.
I will begin with a breakdown of all the Pokémon:
Munchlax UNM 173
Munchlax is effectively your “Florges Lite”. I say that in the sense that you cannot immediately use the resource that you buy back with its “Snack Search” Ability because it ends your turn (note that Munchlax can not only buy back key Items such as Lillie’s Poké Doll, but also key Supporters and Pokémon). I have played Professor Elm’s Lecture on turn one for X, Y, Munchlax and used “Snack Search” to get back Elm’s to continue my set up for turn 2. The fact that this has free retreat is just a plus and makes it an easy promote when you go with the Pidgey draw engine over the split of Jirachi and Pidgey engine.
2-2 Pidgeotto TEU 123
Pidgeotto has been the core draw engine for control decks since Worlds at this point. Its Ability “Air Mail” allows you to immediately get the Item into hand that you may have put on top of your deck with Florges’ “Wondrous Gift”. The reason I have been playing a 2-2 Pidgeotto line is because it allows you to freely roll your second “Wondrous Gift” for an Item that impacts the board without breaking the lock. At some point you will roll multiple heads allowing you to get back a Poké Doll and a Crushing Hammer, a Poké Doll and a Pal Pad, Poké Doll and Rare Candy, etc. This potential adds more intrinsic value over time compared to the more conventional lists. In a more traditional list you will see (for example Ondra Škubal’s LAIC Top 8 deck), your primary way to get back the Item you put on top is with Jirachi’s “Stellar Wish”; however, that is the only one you will get back from your discard to your hand. Lastly, Pidgeotto offers us some isolation from Chip-Chip Ice Axe.
Jirachi TEU 99
Jirachi’s “Stellar Wish” is crucial in this deck because it allows you to dig and get set up. It is also a Pokémon that is of a different type from all your other critical Pokémon, adding significant value to Professor Oak’s Set up. Carrying an Escape Board, Jirachi is an easy promote when they start ripping the stuffing out of our Poké Dolls, which allows us to dig/put a “Gifted” Item into our hand. As mentioned before, Jirachi brings some protection from Chip-Chip Ice Axe. Not much more needs to be said here.
4-4 Florges FLI 86
The main Pokémon in this deck. I have mentioned repeatedly the uses of its Ability; its core function of getting back Dolls and getting back Hammers and Pal Pads. This card is critical for this deck to operate and having a 4-4 line is paramount to ensure you get two of them set up. It is worth noting that this deck has a much higher ceiling when it comes to having multiple Florges set up and hitting multiple heads in a turn.
Spiritomb UNB 112
This card is expressly in the deck to give you game versus Cryogonal smacking you with “Frozen Lock” when your opponent is playing the Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (ADP) deck. It also does a good job dealing with Victini Prism out of Non-Ability ReshiZard decks. This was an amazing addition by Ondra Škubal and credit goes to them for this tech.
Goomy FLI 91
Ole Gooster. Goomy and the “Sticky Membrane” it is surrounded in is fun to stall behind when it comes to matchups like ADP, where you want to try and slow them down from their turn two “Altered Creation GX” attack. Its main function is part of our tiered plan when we face down Pidgeotto Control. We are all about stressing their ability to “Resource Management” while they are also attempting to disrupt us. This matchup alone shows the strength of Goomy’s “Sticky Membrane” Ability and for that reason alone, I have avoided cutting it.
Latios-GX UNM 223
Finally, we have access to a GX attack. Latios-GX brings some balance to some of our worst matchups. A powerful GX attack that fits perfectly into our overall strategy with free retreat stapled on is more than Doll Stall could ever ask for. I will cover this more in the matchup spread below, but “Clear Vision GX” nullifying “Cross Division GX,” “Altered Creation GX,” “Burning Magma GX,“ “Gigafall GX” and in some cases “Tag Bolt GX” is how our deck closes the door on the come back ability that the previously mentioned GX attacks provide.
Mew UNB 76
“Bench Barrier” Mew providing protection from attacks that would hit the Bench is a great way to ensure longevity. Whereas you can prevent “Tag Bolt GX” from reaching the bench with Latios-GX, Mew provides shelter from things like Naganadel-GX’s “Venom Shot” attack and Garchomp & Giratina-GX’s “Linear Attack.” This card has been covered extensively in other articles and serves a similar role here.
Phione CEC 57
The little blue Pokémon rounds out our suite of critters for us, today. “Whirlpool Suction” not only provides value by being the back half of an Escape Rope, it is one of our ways to prevent from milling ourselves out. The idea here is when you have zero cards left in deck, you can continually put this back in your deck with its Ability and draw it every turn, all the while applying pressure to your opponent’s deck using Bellelba & Brycen-Man. Since you have no cards left you don’t discard any and thus, when you “Whirlpool Suction,” it becomes your last card so that you never deck out. Keep in mind, this is not recommended in any matchup where the opponent may have access to Bellelba & Brycen-Man themselves.
PHEW! All right, we made it through the Pokémon, now onto the Trainers!
Lillie’s Poké Doll
This is the namesake card of the deck and the linchpin to our game plan against most of the top tier strategies you will come across. Much like Robo Substitute, this is a mock Pokémon to feed to your opponents over and over again to keep them from taking prize cards. Since most decks play either four Custom Catcher or some number of Great Catcher, it is hard for them to efficiently attack our Bench sitters and break up the Doll lock in any meaningful way. Don’t forget that against other control decks that are aiming to mill you out that you can use Super Scoop Up to clear a Bench space and then with a Doll in the Active and free space on your Bench, you can put any Dolls you have in hand back into your deck to thicken it up a bit. (You can also open up space with Bellelba & Brycen-Man to allow you to put the Dolls back in the deck.)
Incredibly straightforward here. We need to maximize our chances of getting a turn one Professor Elm’s Lecture, Professor Oak’s Setup, or at the very least a Steven’s Resolve. Not to mention it is an Item that we can buy back for value with our second heads flip to dig for a Bellelba & Brycen-Man, Lusamine, etc.
Since we play zero copies of Floette, we need the candy to get into our Florges. Three copies of Rare Candy has felt just right, as once you have a Florges in play you can “Gift” for it. Steven’s Resolve is able to get a Florges and Candy for the following turn and Rosa being able to enable an evolution on that turn are all great ways to get the Candy out of your deck, and therefore the spot the fourth Rare Candy would occupy can be allocated elsewhere.
Jirachi and Escape Board go together like peanut butter and jelly. Its use has been battle tested over and over again… worth noting that everything in the deck has either free retreat or a retreat of one, so Escape Board helps all of our Pokémon kick flip out of trouble in a pinch.
Of course, this is to help us get to our tech Pokémon or perhaps a Florges so that we can evolve. I initially had zero copies of Communication in the deck and felt pretty good about it. However, being able to recycle a way to search our deck for specific Pokémon without committing our Supporter for the turn has opened up a lot of play. An example would be using Pokémon Communication after Brock’s Grit to get down a critter that was milled away or previously KO’d; I’ve done this sequence a few times to get Mew UNB back down after it was Custom Catchered and knocked out to open up the following turn Bench attack pressuring our Florges.
What is a control deck without Crushing Hammer? Many lists running around have foregone the historically powerful control card; not us. Crushing Hammer opens up opportunities like knocking off an Energy on an opposing ADP to put them behind on their “Altered Creation” turn, which can give you the time you need to set up “Clear Vision GX.” It is also the highest value second heads option once you have your Doll already for the next turn. Lastly, Crushing Hammer is another card in our tiered approach to defeating the Pidgeotto control boogieman, because it allows us to pressure their Water Energy.
Super Scoop Up
Its main inclusion spun from wanting a way to pick up our Latios-GX so that we do not have a two prize Pokémon on our Bench. However, it also allows us to pick up unnecessary tech Pokémon that we may have opened with and offers a generally needed mobility option.
Outside of its obvious usefulness in all matchups, it really shines against control decks. All other typical Doll Stall lists do not have this as an Item-based way to add cards to their deck. Pal Pad allows us to add Supporters back in our deck, slowing down the impact of the opponent’s Bellelba & Brycen-Man. It is also crucial for the mirror, as well as the Pidgeotto control matchup to have a way to get back Brock’s Grit and Lusamine that isn’t Supporter based. This allows us to maximize Florges in this matchup, rather than depending on Munchlax’s “Snack Search” to get us the Supporters we need.
An Item-based effect to get unwanted Pokémon out of the Active. It opens up the possibility to promote Jirachi without necessarily having access to an Escape Board. There is an argument that could be made to cut this card, but as of now has had enough positive impact to merit one spot in the list.
In my opinion, this is the best Stadium for this deck. Having a way to supplement the Bench protection that Mew UNB provides, as well as providing an out to damage counter-based attacks that hit the Bench is important (Blacephalon CEC, anyone?). Since we can get back the Sky Pillar with Lusamine and “Snack Search” we should not have an issue winning the Stadium war long term.
Professor Oak’s Setup & Professor Elm’s Lecture
In a deck like this it is critical that we get our “key players” down on the Bench ASAP. Although these two cards look similar on the surface, they offer different function within this deck. The turn one objective is to get down two forms of top deck access (either Jirachi and Pidgey or two Pidgey) at least one Flabébé, and in some situations your tech Pokémon for the matchup. Of course, depending on the composition of your opening hand one Supporter can be better than the other. This being said, I have elected to go with six copies of this turn one and two Supporter to maximize our ability to get off the ground. This deck’s largest nemesis in the field is not getting down the Pokémon it needs in the beginning stages of a game. Another great point about Oak’s is that it is useful throughout the life cycle of the game. Being able to Bench a Jirachi, Flabébé, and Latios-GX is great in the matchups where you want to “Clear Vision” early. Elm’s being able to get a Pidgey and Pidgeotto is great to get your secondary access to your top deck going. Lastly, as good as Steven’s Resolve seems turn one, it is rarely ever better than either Elm or Oak, so having access to six of these types of effects is just right.
Bellelba & Brycen-Man
This is our main win condition. The ability to discard the top three cards of both decks is amazing when it feeds into both angles of your plan: recovering Items out of your discard and milling the opponent. Don’t forget to use the second portion of the card to get extra Pokémon out of your hand and into your discard. Not only can you potentially throw a wrench into your opponent’s setup but you are also fueling Brock’s Grit, which is the easiest way to protect yourself from self-deck Keep in mind your Bench goes down to three as well, so you have to have a resource you actually want to discard.
You’re not attacking, so who cares if your turn ends? Steven’s Resolve is a great turn two or three Supporter to solidify your game plan. There are literally endless combinations of three cards to get for different scenarios, and I will gladly discuss them with you if you reach out. Trying to cover all of them or even some of them here would be an overwhelming and monotonous task. Steven’s Resolve really helps bridge all the gaps this deck has, and I can’t imagine playing less than three copies. Most lists now play four, but I would rather have higher probability access to my true turn one set up Supporters, so I made a cut here. Between Jirachi’s “Stellar Wish”, Pidgeotto’s “Air Mail”, two Lusamine, one Pal Pad, “Snack Search”, and four Pokégear 3.0, it is very easy to get your hands on a Steven’s when you need it.
Lusamine has so much versatility in this deck. Getting back Sky Pillar, setting up your Lusamine-Lusamine-Bellelba & Brycen-Man mill plan, allowing you to use multiple Brock’s Grit against control decks, and on and on. The biggest change from my list to common lists out there is that I cut the third copy of Lusamine in favor of the first Pal Pad. This allows us a way to access Supporters without actually using our Supporter for the turn. Not to mention, in a deck where you can rummage Items out of your discard, having a Supporter recovery method that plays into that is very powerful.
You can sort of piece together what I am going to say about this card based on my other card descriptions. This is our strongest anti-mill card. It gives us a longer game than current Doll Stall variants and is another tool to battle Pidgeotto control. Getting six cards into the deck over and over makes being milled out by your opponent a pipe dream. It is also a quick hit way to add fluff cards back into your deck, when you are executing your mill strategy and don’t want to accidentally mill out first, or if your self-mill protection in Phione is prized.
FABAAAA! This is the last piece in our anti-Pidgeotto control strategy. Being able to attack their Recycle Energy was the game changer in this list for us. It has splash value of course, against things like Chaotic Swell to get our Sky Pillar to stick, or knocking off Escape/U-Turn Boards to make promotions more dubious, etc.
This is my favorite Supporter in the deck. Rosa is activated even if they knock out a Lillie’s Poké Doll, which allows amazing value. Rosa is also the primary reason we play Basic Energy. Unlocking combos that allow you to get all of your tech pieces and play them that same turn is just so incredibly powerful. Against an ADP that has started using Cryogonal, we can grab Spiritomb and Darkness Energy. What’s that? We want to use Latios-GX against Mew & Mewtwo Tag Team? Grab Latios, Psychic Energy, SSU. Need to set up another Florges? Basic Energy to set up another pivot Pokémon, Florges, Rare Candy. Grabbing a tech Pokémon like Mew UNB and a Supporter for the following turn is also tremendous value. I can’t say enough about what this card does for the deck. I’ve often grabbed Rosa with my first Steven’s Resolve to insulate my board against whatever my opponent does on their following turn; it is the easiest way to get another Florges up and running.
As mentioned, the Darkness Energy is to be able to attack with Spiritomb, and the Psychic Energy is to provide access to “Clear Vision GX”. Having Basics can also be bought back with Brock’s Grit, which helps if we need to attack but had to use our Energy to hard retreat into a Doll. Rosa being able to grab the corresponding Energy with the attacking Pokémon we want to use is a large added benefit when we have such corner case scenarios where we want to attack.
Lt. Surge’s Strategy
In my testing I have rarely ever really cared about playing multiple Supporters. Of course, it is nice, however it’s not actually required to execute our game plan. I will admit that since we are the only version of the deck that plays Pal Pad we can probably leverage a Surge the best out of any other variant. That being said, it hasn’t pushed the deck over the top, and thus hasn’t earned its keep in the current iteration of the deck.
I honestly never really found this to do what I actually wanted it to be doing. The thought is you insulate your Florges and/or Munchlax from Ninetales’ “Nine Temptations” Ability, which pulls your Pokémon off the Bench into the Active position allowing your opponent to take critical knockouts on your “lock” pocket monsters. However, with Ability ReshiZard now playing 18 Fire Energy, they will be able to punch through your strategy to some degree. You also are forced to prioritize getting a Hood down over setting up your board, which is a lose-lose proposition. Lastly, the biggest knock against playing Hood is that you need a minimum of three copies for it to be relevant, and that is just too much space for too little gain. Outside of Ninetales, the other Pokémon Stealthy Hood protects you from are rather sporadic and do not have such a violent impact on your board that it can’t be worked around–the ones that do aren’t seeing a lot of play. Therefore, I have omitted them from my list to make room for more impactful cards.
This is a card that was recently cut due to it not being incredibly relevant. The reason being is we cover the Pidgeotto control matchup and the mirror matchup incredibly well as it stands. This is under the assumption that we are facing versions of the deck that aren’t playing Girafarig themselves. If you are concerned about an opposing giraffe, get Goomy in the active and try and attack their energy with Faba and Crushing Hammers. It is worth noting to not dump any resource you aren’t ready to lose access to completely until you know you’re safe from
Highly unfavored. Their ability to gust up your key Pokémon is difficult to work around. They lay siege to Florges and Munchlax and fade your Doll, which is just too much to overcome. Honestly, when I started working on this deck and getting it to the point it is now, I initially did not believe this deck was one we would have to worry about. Robin Schulz threw a big wrench into that plan by winning LAIC, but taking one hard loss in a field of decks that bring you a litany of favorable matchups is all part of the game.
Favored. Your ideal set up here is two Pidgeotto, one Munchlax, two Florges, and Goomy in the Active. From here you begin by using Faba on their Recycle Energy until they are down to just their Basic Water Energy. That’s when you begin spinning through Crushing Hammers until you have exhausted all of their Basics. This whole time you are working in max value Brock’s Grit and Pal Pad to keep your deck at a higher card count. Once you have stopped their ability to use “Resource Management” you can pivot to your own mill plan, again adding in a Brock’s Grit when necessary until the game ends.
Mew & Mewtwo-GX
Favored. Fortunately, it takes them a few turns to work up to “Cross Divide GX”, so your Rosa turn will be easy to get to. Just wait until they take their first or second KO, Rosa for Latios-GX, Psychic, and then either SSU (if they won’t be able to KO Latios-GX) or another Item that advances the plan (Crushing Hammer, Poké Doll, etc.). Latios-GX getting knocked out is OK, since they won’t have easy access to their other four prizes. Ensure that you get Mew UNB on the Bench to take away the “Venom Shot” out to attack around Doll.
Favored to worst game of your life. If they are playing traditional Doll Stall, then this matchup is an absolute breeze. You have Pal Pad and Brock’s Grit to make you the “longer” mill deck. Dolls don’t matter in this matchup, so having two to three Florges, two Pidgeotto, and Jirachi is where you want to be here. Using multiple Pal Pads per turn on top of access to Grit should be the one-two-punch you need to take the easy W. If they are playing this version of the deck? Once its established that both of you have access to Grit and Pal Pad, it is a slog. Hope that they prized both pieces and then execute your mill strategy.
Blowns with “Stinger” Naganadel-GX
Unfavorable. This deck has access to “Stinger GX” into Blacephalon CEC to absolutely decimate your board. Try and get Latios-GX online ASAP. Exhausting their Stadiums to get Sky Pillar to stick is another angle to take in this matchup. If your opponent isn’t playing the Naganadel-GX version then this matchup gets a lot easier, just don’t let them get to three prizes. If they put their Psychic Energy down early, do everything you can to Crushing Hammer it off; that will put them on Beast Energy to turn on Blacephalon CEC’s “Fireworks Bomb” attack. This is another example of value that having Crushing Hammer in the deck brings.
Baby Blowns & Birds
Favorable. Just sit behind Dolls and Mill. Very straightforward.
Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
Favorable. The only real way PikaRom has to drag itself back into the game is by using “Tag Bolt GX” for two prizes. Mew UNB, Sky Pillar, and to a lesser extent Latios-GX’s “Clear Vision” attack are all ways to stuff their comeback potential. Past that, Dolls up front, Florges in the back.
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX
Even to Favorable. This is probably the most “if this then that” matchup this deck has. If you can “Clear Vision” before they “Altered Creation”, then do it. Once that happens, they will have an insanely difficult time taking all six prizes. If they do manage to get off “Altered Creation GX”, try and wall behind a Poké Doll and get a Spiritomb set up to combat Cryogonal. The other tool they have is Phione to pull up a quality knockout with “Whirlpool Suction”. The good news is “Altered Creation” does not take a knockout itself, so you have time to set up the following: Spiritomb (if necessary), Florges, Doll in Active, Doll on Bench (if opponent has an open Bench spot for Phione), Jirachi or Pidgey, Munchlax. This will shield you from their potential disruption options and you should be able to continue your standard plan from there. If they aren’t playing Cryogonal and/or Phione, this matchup becomes favorable.
Guzzlord & Naganadel-GX
Favorable. This is a matchup where we can execute our typical game plan. As the list exists now (using Jimmy Pendarvis’s list from LAIC) the only way you take a loss is not properly setting up before they Stamp you to four and then dead drawing. If you can get a Florges or two and a Pokémon that can access the top of the deck you should be good to go. Be wary that some of these lists play Garchomp & Giratina-GX, which can strike your Bench with “Linear Attack”; Mew UNB and Sky Pillar make quick work of that out.
Even. In this matchup just be cognizant of Espurr, Espeon & Deoxys-GX, and Blacephalon CEC. Sky Pillar and Super Scoop Up help control the damage counters on your Bench. Fortunately, in this matchup you can see Espeon & Deoxys-GX coming from a mile away, so hitting a timely “Clear Vision” shouldn’t be too difficult. Eventually, their Bench fills up and they can no longer “Distortion Door”, so a bit of planning and foresight should make this contest easily manageable.
This deck is easily my top pick for Daytona, and I believe is in a great spot for Cups and Challenges. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas… I absolutely love this deck and think I’ve gotten the archetype to the next level.
Remember kids, it’s not about keeping your opponent from taking any prizes; it’s about keeping your opponent from taking six prizes.
Kirk “Doobsnax” Dubé
So! We have seen Daytona come and go, and I am happy to say that Doll Stall would have been a terrific choice for the tournament with 2 copies of making top 8 in the hands of Grant Manley and Isaiah Williams. Ultimately, Drew Cate took the whole thing down with Gardeon, a deck that was flying under the radar. All that being said, I know you are not hear to rehash information that you are most likely already privy to. You are here to see how we innovate to keep this deck relevant moving forward into San Diego. First, I will start with a cup I attended this weekend and the how the lessons learned there (and from Daytona) shape where we go from here.
I sleeved up the 60 above and went to work. Round 1 I faced off against an interesting Mewtwo & Mew/Fairy box deck. Fortunately, with no specific hate cards for the matchup, it was an easy to execute our game plan and accomplish the deck out. Round 2 I faced off against Justin Young playing Baby Blacephalon Birds. I unfortunately prized my Spiritomb which left me without an out to Victini Prism. Once Justin showed his knowledge of looping attackers by manually retreating so that he would never deck out, and myself showing Lusamine, Lusamine, Brock’s Grit, Pal Pad, we decided to save the mental anguish of playing it out to the tie and simply agreed to it. Round 3 I faced off against Ability Reshiram & Charizard (AbZard) and scooped once they got down their Ninetales. As mentioned above, the matchup is terrible and one I was willing to take in an effort to shore up our strategy against other decks. Round 4 found me in a similar situation facing down another AbZard and my tournament was thusly ended. Congratulations to my good friend Jeffrey Surran for getting a top 8 and being the coolest from top to bottom.
I quickly want to shout out Nathan Elsensohn who saw this article and put some testing and faith into the work I had done and took my list as a base for his. Nathan started off his tournament 5-0, however, things went a bit sideways for Nathan after taking an ID in round 6 with Grant Manley. This was followed by an awkward tie against Malamar, a loss to the heavily teched ADP list piloted Xander Pero, and finally a round 9 loss to heavily teched out Malamar featuring Resource Management Oranguru.
Final changes Nathan made for reference:
-1 Super Scoop Up, -1 Phione, -1 Professor Oak’s Setup, -1 Brock’s Grit, -1 Faba
+4 Stealthy Hood, +1 Mew UNB
I want to jump into some “Hits and Misses” from my above list and then provide you where I would be going forward.
Stealthy Hood. All the top 8 lists, as well as Nathan, desperately wanted Stealthy Hood. I admit that I may have been incorrect in my initial assessment. I am still not very excited as you have to tempo out setting up your board with putting down hood immediately, but there is clearly some value to be gained there. I think I did not properly identify how quickly AbZard can actually attack your board, so your setup (although pressured) isn’t as violently in jeopardy as originally believed.
Although discussed above, it brings quite a bit of value to the deck and gives you the opportunity to make fancy plays against things like Malamar, Doll Stall, Pidgeotto Control, and Mew3. I would definitely play this card moving forward; no question. It feels a bit bad having made a correct initial read and then backing off of it for my final list. Live and learn as they say.
The “Shady Tail” ability shutting down abilities and attacks of prism star Pokemon is especially powerful. Wobbufett not only gives you a backup to prizing Spiritomb against Victini Prism, it has splash value in a lot of other scenarios. From turning off Ditto Prism, Tapu Koko Prism, and Volcanion Prism, it is certainly valuable and was a great addition by the DDG team.
This was a superfluous card that has value, however, is not necessary. If you are careful you can avoid decking yourself out; especially if you are playing a copy of Brock’s Grit.
Super Scoop Up
Fancy in practice however not particularly necessary. Bellelba & Brycen-man can clear up bench spots, and in most matchups when you have tech Pokemon down to serve a single turn role (Spiritomb, Latios-GX) you don’t actually care if they are knocked out. For that reason, it can be cut for other cards.
Brock’s Grit and Pal Pad. With so much Doll Stall at the top tables, having these in the face of the mirror would help swing the match up. Also, Pal Pad offers decent protection to your important supporter resources. Being able to Pal Pad to save your Bellelba-Brycen Man and Lusamine then “Wondrous Gift” to put it on top of your deck allows you some insulation from opposing Girafarig. There are also quite a few matchups where you want to buy back things like Spiritomb and Girafarig. Also, it is a bit of insurance to be able to be a bit more aggressive in your milling approach will Bellelba & Brycen-man.
Quite a few decks this weekend included Rainbow Energy for tech attackers, and was a clean way to permanently eliminate the energy from the Doll Stall list that made top 8. There were also a few Pidgeotto Control decks running around so hitting recycle energies are also great.
6 Setup Supporters
Both my list and the Grant/Isaiah Williams top 8 lists played 6 setup supporters. While they played 4 Oak’s and 2 Elm’s we play the even 3-3 split. This makes sense because we still want Pidgeotto so the extra Elm’s helps with that.
Aside from having another way to access the top of the deck, Pidgeotto was well positioned for other matchups. Having a way to escape board and pivot in the face of Absol is terrific. Another add brought to my attention by Nathan is your setup versus AbZard. You can hood Pidgeotto, and promote a hooded Munchlax against them to still have access to the item you buy back with Florges.
So where do we go from here? With the adjustments that ADP has made and Gardeon winning the event, Doll Stall has a difficult climb. For San Diego I would recommend the list below, with many reps in, getting used to how to battle the different tech that people will employ to beat you. Things to keep in mind are protecting your resources from Girafarig, Lost Zoning key pieces with your own Girafarig, and have a mental approach against Omastar and its “Fossil Bind” ability out of Gardeon. Something I am looking at to combat Omastar specifically is changing the Psychic energy to a Rainbow Energy and playing Celebi UNM for it’s “Time Spiral” attack. Since Gardeon is only playing one Rare Candy to make Omastar work, once they evolve into Omastar you can ship it back into their deck and not have to worry about the fossil again. Originally I was eyeing down Minikyu-GX (much like Nathan Brower; shoutout to him), but when Nathan posted his list on Hey Fonte William Lou was credited for the Celebi UNM idea; and that’s where I grabbed it from. It’s obviously infinitely better since it can be searched out by Oak’s Setup and only gives up one prize. In ADP, there are many things that are relatively annoying that we have to be conscious of (Druddigon with “Drag Out”, multiple copies of Cryogonal, Girafarig) but our Brock’s Grit/Spiritomb/Darkness Energy combo should give us some play to get back the attacker and contest their follow up disruption play. Cards I am partial to for the control matchups like Crushing Hammer and Faba, I would keep in since they have little downside, and huge upside. A final note would be that I would play a split of Mew UNB and Girafarig LOT, rather than 2 mew and 1 Girafarig. This is a personal preference and something I believe we can afford since we play 2 copies of Sky Pillar rather than one like Grant and Isaiah. My list tips a cap to the Daytona winner, Gardeon and thus Mimikyu-GX takes a spot over Goomy, and Rainbow Energy comes in over Psychic.
Again, I am open to discuss all deck choices or ideas moving forward with whomever… just message me! Thank you for reading and good luck out there!