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.

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: , , , ,