SPread, an attempt at going rogue

by Cheffords ~ January 1st, 2011.

Now that my City Championships are done I thought it would be good to share my experience and my deck. First, a little background to set the stage; I played a Shuppet deck all season last year. When the Rotation came I set aside Shuppet because it lost too much to stay viable (not to mention the increase in trainer locking decks.) Having done so left me without a deck of choice, or even a deck I was familiar with. Ed had been sharing the TOSSED deck list with me and since I was at least familiar with half of the deck I went with it for Battle Roads. I modified it to have a Blaziken FB Lv.X tech line and called it HOT TOSSED. After 3 tournaments and losing about 2/3 of my matches I decided TOSSED just wasn’t for me.

One thing I came to like during the Battle Roads was the concept of an SP toolbox style deck. I also had a distinct desire to avoid any and all of the current tier 1 decks; I felt like they had all been around for so long that they offered little new in regards to tactics and strategy. I was still looking for a deck of my own to play.

I had always liked Gallade 4 Lv.X but never could get it to work very well as the main attacker of a deck. It occurred to me that it might do better as a tech instead and so I looked for a partner that could benefit from its spreading power to be the basis of my new deck.

Here is what I eventually came to, this is the exact list I played at my third City Championship in Rochester Hills, MI. It is an evolved version of what I started with 3 weeks prior. I played this deck at all 3 City Championships this year.

Pokemon: 19 Cards
3x Raichu GL
1x Gallade 4 Lv.X
2x Gallade 4
1x Infernape 4 Lv.X
2x Infernape 4
1x Blaziken FB Lv.X
1x Blaziken FB
1x Uxie Lv.X
2x Uxie
1x Azelf
1x Froslass GL
1x Electrode G
1x Lucario GL
1x Bronzong G

Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums: 30 Cards
3x Pokemon Collector
3x SP Radar
1x Bebe’s Search
1x Luxury Ball
4x Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4x Poke Turn
4x Energy Gain
2x Power Spray                                                                                
2x Warp Point
2x Super Scoop Up
2x Aaron’s Collection
2x Champion’s Room

Energy: 11 Cards
2 Warp Energy
2 Psychic Energy
3 Lightning Energy
4 Fire Energy

The primary strategy of this deck is to level-up Gallade 4 and use Blade Storm Poke-Power to put 10 damage on each of your opponent’s pokemon to be followed by Raichu GL’s Repeat Lightning attack to possibly hit for 80 damage for the low cost of 1 lightning and 1 colorless or energy gain.

Cards
Raichu GL – main attacker; it can hit the bench with Thunder Throw and it can hit the defending Pokemon with Repeat Lightning which are both low cost attacks. It has free retreat, resistance to metal types, and a 2x weakness to fighting types. With its low HP (only 80) it is fragile and won’t stay in play very long.

Gallade 4 Lv.X – primary tech and optional attacker; its Poke-Power Blade Storm puts 1 damage counter on each of the opponent’s Pokemon setting up Raichu’s attack. With Aimed Cut it can potentially deal out significant damage to an already damage defending Pokemon. With a 2x weakness to psychic and relatively low HP (100) it doesn’t stay in play very long. The 1 retreat cost is unfortunate and has to be accounted for/avoided for most of the game. Generally you look to drop this card and then Poketurn it directly back to your hand until you are out of Poketurns.

Gallade 4 – primary tech and optional attacker; required for the level x but brings 2 more attacks with it. With Chop Up, you can damage the defending Pokemon for 20 and each benched Pokemon with damage for 10. This is a nice, low cost way to spread some damage around following a successful Blade Storm from the level x. The second attack, Feint, does a straight 50 damage ignoring resistance. This costs 1 psychic and 2 colorless which is too much for this deck to pay for. Gallade has a 2x weakness to psychic types, no resistance, and 1 retreat cost to go along with its 80 HP.

Infernape 4 Lv.X – tech and optional attacker; with the Poke-Power Intimidating Roar, it can force the defending Pokemon to the bench (your opponent chooses the new defending Pokemon). This can be disruptive but can also help get easier knockouts by sending high HP defenders to the bench. The one attack it has is Fire Spin which deals out a solid 100 damage for 2 fire and 1 colorless but you have to discard 2 energy attached. In a pinch, late game, or to get a critical knockout this attack is great to have in your arsenal. With 110 HP, this guy can stick around for  a while keeping your options open. Free retreat is also nice since you will most often want to send it to the bench the turn you bring it out. A 2x weakness to water can be bad if your meta-game has a lot of Gyarados or Kingdra, otherwise it is no sweat.

Infernape 4 – tech and optional attacker; comes into play with 90 HP which is great for a basic Pokemon. With 2 attacks, it gives more options to the level x (just like Gallade 4). Split Bomb can hit 2 Pokemon for 20 damage each for 1 fire and 1 colorless. This is a great option to have when you need to get some damage in play to setup Raichu GL or a double knockout on the next turn. The second attack, High Jump Kick, does a straight 50 for 1 fire and 2 colorless. Just like Gallade 4’s second attack, it is too costly and does too little damage to be worth paying for. However, because the level x’s attack requires 3 energy to use, having the option to attack for 50 and NOT discard any energy is nice. Again, 2x weakness to water can be or cannot be a big deal depending on your meta-game. Infernape also has a 1 retreat cost which can be a hassle when you have no other option then to pay for it.

Blaziken FBBlaziken FB Lv.X – tech and optional attacker; like Infernape 4 Lv.X, this card has 110 HP which is the highest in the deck. It has a Poke-Body, Burning Spirit, which adds 40 damage to any attack against a burned Pokemon. This doesn’t come into play too often in this deck but there is a tactical situation with Frosslass GL where it can add up to a 90 damage attack for 1 psychic and 1 colorless energy! The real deal with this card is its attack, Jet Shoot, which does a straight 80 damage for 1 fire and 1 colorless energy. The down side is that it also adds 40 damage to any attacks that damage it during your opponent’s next turn. A 2x weakness to water and no resistance is the same as Infernape but there is a 1 retreat cost.

Blaziken FB – tech and optional attacker; required for the level x, it comes with 80 HP and 2 attacks. The main attraction here is Luring Flame which can pull any benched Pokemon into the active spot and burn them for 1 fire energy. This potentially sets up big damage next turn if the Blaziken Lv.X comes into play, but is best for the disruption it provides to your opponent. The second attack, Vapor Kick, does a straight 30 damage unless your opponent has a water type Pokemon in play then it does 60 damage for 1 fire and 1 colorless. This attack is not used too often, but if you are having to attack with Blaziken and do not want to Jet Shoot with its level x, you can and it doesn’t cost too much energy.

Uxie Lv.X – tech and optional attacker; its Trade Off Poke-Power acts like playing a Pokedex Handy every turn. This is nice for mid/late game draw to cycle through the deck looking for the cards you need. The single attack it has, Zen Blade, does 60 damage for 2 colorless energy. A nice option when you face a psychic weakness and want to maximize the damage. Being a level x, it can also use its basic forms attack, which in this case can get it out of play before getting knocked out which is nice since it only has 90 HP and a 2x weakness to psychic types. No resistance and 1 retreat aren’t too helpful.

Uxie – tech and optional attacker; its main purpose is to use its Poke-Power, Set Up, to draw cards. Then it can get leveled-up which lets you continue the draw options with Trade Off Poke-Power. With only 70 HP it can be a sitting duck on the bench depending on what you are playing against. A +20 psychic weakness, no resistance, and 1 retreat cost aren’t that helpful. At least its attack, Psychic Restore, can get it out of play and back into the deck.

Azelf – tech and optional attacker; with all of these 1-of Pokemon you need to get them from the prizes quite often, that’s where the Time Walk Poke-Power comes into play. Like its cousin, Uxie, Azelf has 70 HP, a +20 weakness to psychic types and a 1 retreat cost. It can attack with Lock Up dealing 20 damage for 1 psychic energy with the bonus of preventing the defending Pokemon from retreating during their turn. I prefer to use Azelf and then Super Scoop it out of play if possible.

Frosslass GL – tech and optional attacker; adding to your disruption options, the attack Sleep Inducer can force any benched Pokemon into active and put it to sleep for 1 colorless. Adding a psychic energy to the colorless you can pay for Wake-Up Slap which will do 30 + 20 if the defending Pokemon has a special condition (this pairs well with Blaziken FB’s Luring Flame attack and Burning Spirit Poke-Body) but is not often used. With only 70 HP and a 1 retreat cost, bringing Frosslass into play is always a calculated gamble.

Electrode G – tech and optional attacker; being able to hit each of your opponent’s Pokemon with 20 damage for 1 lightning energy is pretty strong. However it also knocks out Electrode G, so it has to be done as a last ditch effort to win the game by taking multiple prizes if you have enough damage spread out on the board. That’s the theory anyway, in practice I never once used Electrode G in a tournament match so I can’t say that it works as described.

Lucario GL – tech; its Poke-Body, Boundary Aura, turns all weaknesses into 2x. This is great when facing Gyarados or Machamp because you can now potentially get a one hit knockout on them. Since you have mostly SP or level x cards on your side, you are already at a 2x weakness so Lucario GL doesn’t hurt you much. Main drawback is it takes a bench slot which can be critical when you are maximizing all of your options.

Bronzong G – tech; its Poke-Power, Galactic Switch, can really come through for you when you need to move energy from one of your Pokemon to another. This deck doesn’t have anything to accelerate energy attachments, so it is very useful to be able to move energy around when you need it.

Notes on trainers, supporters, stadiums, and energy
With so many SP Pokemon, 4 Energy Gain is needed to be able to pay for the attacks you want to use the turn you want to use them on.

I only ran 2 Power Spray and I never had it when I wanted it so I would run 3 minimum from now on.

Because many of the SP Pokemon have a 1 retreat cost, I opted to run Champion’s Room as my stadium of choice. This really helped out because it essentially gives the SP all free retreat cost so no mater who you have active, you can get them out of the way without wasting an energy.

Warp Energy helps in the retreating of a Pokemon when you don’t want to pay for it outright. A tactic I learned with Warp Energy was on the final drop of Gallade 4 Lv.X I could attach Warp Energy to it, sending it to the bench making room for Raichu GL (or whoever else). Then use Galactic Switch to move the Warp Energy to the new active Pokemon. This is especially helpful when you want to level up Uxie but not attack with it. By using Warp Energy to clear the active, you haven’t actually retreated yet for the turn, so you can then level up Uxie and pay for its retreat.

Aaron’s Collection is handy to grab energy or an SP Pokemon from the discard. This deck is tight on energy so this is hugely helpful late game.

In the end, I lost more game than I won (much like Battle Roads) but I had a lot of fun with my deck and had many very good games against tier 1 decks and top players.

Category: City Championships, Deck Discussion | Tags: , , , ,
  • Anonymous

    aww no obamasnow = :-(

  • Anonymous

    Abomasnow makes a nice spread attacker for sure but it didn’t really fit the SP nature of this deck. Actually I have been playing around with spread a lot recently and really like Abomasnow, especially since you can use DCE to pay for its spreading attack. I was thinking a Glaceon Lv.X + Abomasnow based deck could be pretty good. You would need a sniper though and finding one that works with the rest of the deck might be tough.

  • Ed

    I like this type of deck. SP Rogue is on the interesting side of rogue, because you can toss in a bunch of stuff and still have a good shot of pulling what you need when you need it. We saw that with the variations of the TOSSED (Shuppet SP) deck.

    One thing I really feel like you need in a deck like this is Honchkrow G (and at least 1 dark energy). I think it pairs well with Raichu, Gallade, and Infernape. With just 1 Cyrus, you can probably power up a Honchkrow for a key bench KO at any time. His free attack is also quite useful when you need to go into Power Spray mode.

    I also think that Pokemon Contest Hall could deserve a look in your Stadium slots. You have so many free retreaters and Poke Turns. I don’t get why you need the Warp Point, Warp Energy, AND Champions Room. I think a single Unown Q would be good for retreating Uxie, and the Poke Turn can pull out any active SP.

    Just looking (not testing), I don’t see how you get by without Crobat G. You have the Psy Energy, and you want to put damage on their bench. It seems like an obvious fit. Care to comment on the lack of Crobat?

    I like the spread idea, but my twist would be to maybe add in some more targeted damage (Honch, Crobat, maybe Garchomp) to get cheap KOs at times.

    Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Hi Ed, thanks for the questions/suggestions.

      I agree fully with your points about Honchkrow G, in fact I had the opportunity to play against a HOPE style SP deck during one of the tournaments I went to. This deck uses Honchkrow G for both his free attack (to fetch Team Galactic trainers mainly) and then his sniping attack for random, unexpected knockouts. He would definitely fit into my deck, as you point out.

      I thought about Pokemon Contest Hall as a way around trainer lock and needing to attach Energy Gain to my attackers, but in the end I decided the trainer lock threat wasn’t nearly as prevalent as I had originally feared and I’d rather have a sure fire -1 retreat cost than a flip for basic and a tool.

      Originally my deck ran Zangoose PL instead of Infernape 4 Lv.X as my secondary attacker, I also had 4 DCE in there too. The intent behind ‘Goose was to follow Gallade’s power with ‘Goose’s own Chop Up attack, doing 50 to the active and 10 to each damaged Pokemon on the bench. In the end I pulled ‘Goose in favor of Infernape because I felt the SP synergy was better than the attack/spread synergy.

      I mention Zangoose because you asked about Warp Energy and Warp Points. Warp Energy was useful for Zangoose as was Warp Point, but I didn’t tweak those when I pulled Zangoose because I have so many Lv.X cards in here that I wanted to maximize my chances of leveling up multiple Pokemon (especially techs like Uxie and Infernape) in the same turn. Using Warp Point and Warp Energy you can get 2 or 3 Pokemon leveled up in the same turn.

      You mention Unown Q as an option for reducing retreat cost and my original list had 1 copy of it in there. After starting with the lone Unown Q four-out-of-six matches, two tournaments in a row I decided it wasn’t worth keeping in the deck. I’d just rather pay for a retreat than lose the game on a bad start like Unown Q. At this point, I doubt I’ll be adding it to any of my decks unless there are like 20 playable basic Pokemon too.

      Finally, your question about the obvious absence of Crobat G. It boils down to competing for resources (i.e Poketurn) with Gallade 4. I decided that I would rather level up and Poketurn Gallade 4 as many times as I can, and I don’t want to have to make tough decisions as to which Pokemon to use my Poketurns on. Another consideration is bench space; when you have your techs in play, your attacker in play you tend to have a full bench already. Very rarely was there room for a Crobat G drop. I would agree that Crobat G is an obvious choice for decks like this one, but I think it comes down to personal preference and playing style.

      • Ed

        I love the reply. It’s very informative. Thanks.

        When I mentioned Contest Hall, I forgot to mention the Expert Belt. In certain situations (especially with Bronzong out), you can really whoop up with the Contest Hall + ExBelt. It may not be right for your deck, but it’s something people ought to consider. The stadium with SP business can also go nicely with Staraptor FB Lv. X. It’s a nice alternative (or compliment) to Uxie X that you might try, especially if you run several one-of supporters that you’d like to grab at the right time. It can also really help against Judge/Initiative/etc.

        Anyway, thanks again! There’s lots of info here even for people that don’t want to build this particular deck.

  • Anonymous

    Can you tell us about your Cities.

    • Anonymous

      Sure, I took notes and should be able to provide some game commentary.

      Tecumseh, MI 11/28/2010 (this is when my list included Zangoose and Unown Q)
      Round 1 vs. Joseph H. with Sablock
      I open with Unown Q and win the flip (i.e. I go second). He misplays his opening turn and allows me to survive, I get an early Zangoose setup to KO his Garchomp C and a Sableye. My Uxie Lv.X knocks out a Blaziken FB and then my Raichu gets a Crobat G. He scoops.

      Round 2 vs. Brian D. with Rhyperior Lv.X/Delcatty
      I get a pretty good start with Raichu and Zangoose and DCE in-hand. I decide to attach to Zangoose and use Invite and Strike on his Rhydon forcing it active. I KO the Rhydon next turn and then head into a 6 turn draught of any sort of searching cards. Thankfully he has issues getting setup too. Eventually I start getting the cards I need and am able to get Blade Storm off 6 different times but in the end it was too little too late once he got the Rhyperior Lv.X in play (it has like 180 HP when belted and a resistance to lightning, also he is OHKO on all my pokes).

      Round 3 vs. Robert B. Ursaring PRIME/Ninetails/Typhlosion
      I had played a version of this deck the previous week at league so I knew what I was up against and what to do. I start with Balziken FB with a fire energy and he opens with Teddirusa. I am able to Jet Shoot 4 turns in a row for 4 prizes. My final turn I get of a Blade Storm to KO the active Ninetails that had 80 damage on it and follow with a Jet Shoot to KO whatever he sent up.

      Round 4 vs. Claire D. with Kingdra PRIME/Garchomp C Lv.X
      She starts with Unown R and I have Raichu. I am able to get Gallade out and she benches a Horsea and Garchomp C. I Blade Storm and the Thunder Throw leaving her Unown R active. Eventually I KO the Unown R and KO a Garchomp C with Zangoose. Raichu is able to OHKO her Kingdra PRIME with help from its lightning weakness. I Expert Belt a Zangoose and OHKO a Garchomp Lv.X. Raichu gets a Horsea and she scoops.

      Round 5 vs. Bohdan D. with Gyarados
      He opens with Sableye and Impersonates for Collector and gets 2x Magikarp and 1 Regice. I have Zangoose active and an empty bench. I attach a DCE to Zangoose and pass since his bench is empty and I have nothing to get any more pokemon out of the deck. He benches Regice, then uses Warp Energy on Sableye then a Warp Point to switch them again. Now he Regi Moves to discard 2x Magikarp, Bebe’s Search for Uxie, uses Set Up which gets Azelf. He benches Azelf and uses Time Walk to get a Gyrados. He puts Broken Time Space in play, benches a Magikarp, evolves to Gyrados, retreats Sableye, attaches Expert Belt to Gyarados and knocksout my Zangoose for the game.

      Round 6 vs. Aaron K with Garchomp C
      I open with Unown Q and pass. He has Chatot G active but is able to get Garchomp C and a DCE for the KO and game.

      Okemos, MI 12/4/2010 (this is the first time I have Lucario C to counter Gyarados)
      Round 1 vs. Patrick J. with Tyranitar PRIME/Manectric
      He starts with Sableye and Impersonates to get going. Once he gets Tyranitar in play I had to focus on disruption (attacks that switch the active with a benched). He gets Manectric pretty quickly to stop my Chop Up attacks from hitting the bench (he has it to protect his bench from his own attacks too.) My Uxie Lv.X and 2x Gallade are in the prizes. Once he powers up the Tyranitar it one-shots everything I have in play. He gets his 6th prize on turn 3 of the +3 turns after 30 minutes.

      Round 2 vs. Bohdan with Gyarados
      I start with Gallade and am able to get an early prize by knocking out a Sableye. Somehow I get a second prize before I see a Gyarados but I know the storm is about to come. I put Lucario in play and get a Gyarados with Raichu as planned! We go to time but he recovers too fast for me to keep up and he wins by 2 prizes.

      Round 3 vs. Josh P. (Pikkdogs) with Magnezone
      I play tested the night before with Josh via Skype so I have a good sense of his deck. Luckily Josh has a terrible start and I get setup pretty fast. An Expert Belted Zangoose gets 3 knockouts on benched Magnamites using Invite and Strike for 40 damage. Once he loses the third one he scoops.

      Round 4 vs. Ben H. with Metagross
      This basically is a theme deck being played by a Pokedad who doesn’t really have a competitive handle on the game. I go 6 prizes in 6 turns.

      Round 5 vs. Collin B. with HOPE (SP toolbox)
      He has a very complicated deck with loads of techs. I see that the Honchkrows and the Crobats have lightning weakness and hope this will help me but I make several misplays (i.e. benching Frosslass when I see he has a benched Blaziken FB, grabbing a Pokemon Collector instead of another Cyrus’ Initiative) combined with very well played Power Sprays on his side to lose this game.

      Round 6 vs. Megan P. with Gengar (PRIME, Lv.X, Fainting Spell)
      She starts with Gastly and Pitch Dark to lock my trainers. She gets Gengar PRIME out on her second turn and sends my Uxie to the Lost Zone. On her fourth turn she has the other Gengar out and drops a Crobat G and Shadow Rooms a benched Uxie. I see my Gallade Lv.X is prized and I realize I had the Power Spray in-hand to prevent the Flash Bite on the previous turn this combined with her hitting heads when I KO her Gengar prompts me to scoop and end the day.

      Rochester Hills, MI 12/11/2010 (I played the above deck list at this tournament)
      Round 1 vs. Christian M. with Magnezone/Heatran
      He starts with Spritomb active and Heatran benched, I have 2 Infernape in play. I get time to set up and eventually get a KO on the Spiritomb using Split Bomb. I level up my Infernape and Uxie, and send out a Zangoose. these 3 Pokemon win this game for me.

      Round 2 vs. Mike K with Donphan PRIME/Manectric
      This is a great game where we are basically exchanging prizes turn for turn. His Manectric gums up my spread which in the end reducing the damage output I have causing me not to be able to keep up the race for prizes. He figures out what I am doing with Intimidating Roar and gets a second Donphan into play to take the hit instead of sending up a damaged pokemon. He takes prize 6 on turn 3 of the +3 turns after 30 minutes play. I made 2 misplays this game: I used Time Walk and didn’t grab anything and then realized I needed the Uxie Lv.X so I Super Scoop Azelf to use Time Walk again. Also when we at the height of our knockout exchange, I got too excited and grabbed my prize without looking at my notes, it wasn’t what I needed to grab.

      Round 3 vs. Dan R. with Uxie Donk
      He goes first and passes. I have Frosslas active and top-deck a Pokemon Collector which I use to get 2 Infernape and Lucario C all of which I bench. On his next turn he essentially burns through his entire deck looking for the 1 energy he runs but cannot find it. He is also looking for Alpha Lithograph to look at his prizes but cannot find that (they are both prized). He knocks out Lucario using Flash Bites but whiffs on the prize and so scoops.

      Round 4 vs. AJ with LuxChomp
      His deck plays lock clockwork and while mine does play well, LuxChomp is just too strong. He pulls off a Dragon Rush at least 4 maybe 5 turns. He takes 6 prizes and I take zero.

      Round 5 vs. Brian D. with Rhyperior Lv.X (rematch from Tecumseh)
      Since this is a rematch I know what to expect. Infernape Lv.X really helps in this one keeping the disruption going but in the end, he gets prize 6 on turn 3 of the +3 turns after 30 minutes of play.

      Round 6 vs. Aaron K with LuxChomp (rematch from Tecumseh)
      While I don’t have Unown Q in my decck anymore, I still am at a disadvantage to Aaron’s deck. He plays a tigh game and Dragon Rushes and Power Sprays very tactically to win this game.

      Even though my w/l record is the same with the final list as it was with the previous iterations, I feel that the addition of Infernape Lv.X really makes it much more competitive.

      i know the details are lacking but hopefully this gives you some info that is useful.

      • Anonymous

        Wow thanks for sharing your Cities with us, you did pretty well, good job.

      • Ed

        Man, that could have been another whole article. :)

        • Anonymous

          True enough but I wasn’t going to post the tournament reports unless someone asked for them because I didn’t think anyone would get much from them during City Championship time. I also wanted to do match ups for the deck article but ran out of time the morning I wrote it.

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