Variety is the Spice of Life. Donphan/Yanmega vs. Reshiboar

by Misnos ~ June 17th, 2011.
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Variation is the spice of life, and apparently Pokémon too. Once you have found something that works you always should ask yourself, “What can make this better?” and from there,  seek perfection. This does not mean you are going to find what you are looking for, but I truly believe that if you are not constantly trying to get better or reaching for something higher, you will never get to where you want. While this may seem over the top, these same ambitious ideas can easily translate to Pokémon. From our last video/article, we have pondered this concept and thought long and hard for other alternatives that can possibly improve on the two decks we last tested. In this article we will outline one possible alternative for each of our decks we wrote about last time. Following the process of editing and re-editing a deck list may help others see an alternative way of deck creation.

We will begin with Kyle as we did in the last article for a bit of consistency. This week in play testing I have opted for a Donphan Prime/Yanmega Prime variant that I received from a member at our league. Instead of the Machamp Prime, which was a slow set-up heavy hitter, Yanmega prime is used as a quick attacker. Along with Yanmega Prime comes the ability to add a bit of disruption in the form of Judge and Slowking (Second Sight).

Donphan Prime is no longer a star in this deck, instead he becomes a partner. Donphan and Yanmega work well together despite there being a lack of obvious symmetry between them. Other than the fact that Yanmega’s weakness is covered by Donphan, they don’t work in conjunction with each other.   However, their speed is a mutual advantage they share. The point of this deck is merely to set up faster than you opponent, attack for small amounts of energy, and then deny your opponent’s set up with Judge and Slowking. Slowking’s second sight allows you to look at your opponent’s top three cards from their deck and rearrange them as you see fit. Early game, or even late game, this can be detrimental. Starving your opponent of a key energy or supporter can win games. Other than Zekrom with Pachirisu and Shaymin, this should be the fastest deck in the format. Taking quick prizes early in the game is key to its success, but don’t be fooled, Donphan can Heavy Impact, if needed, to knock out some of the bigger Pokémon in the format, while not being OHKOd by much. Yanmega has the ability to Linear Attack benched babies or other weakened Pokémon. This deck seems to have a bit of everything, which leads to Noctowl. Noctowl, like used in Donphan/Machamp is very useful, but in a pinch, combined with Slowking you can Second Sight yourself and then draw just the card you were looking for with Night Sight. This is just one more complexity that adds options and outs in a rough spot for this deck.

Next we will take a look at Kurt’s alterations. The variation in Reshiram/Typhlosion seems to be evident, Emboar will replace Typhlosion and a single Emboar #19 will be added. This variation came quite naturally and as a favor to many who have requested it. In the last article I described all the attributes of both Typlosion and Emboar and feel it was a quite accurate portrayal of their abilities, so I won’t go into them again.  The deck works quite similarly to the Reshiram/Typhlosion deck except you cannot recover the energy discarded through the use of Afterburner, instead you must rely on Trainers and Supporters to get the job done. This really is not a huge issue as the deck stills runs smoothly with the addition of a few extra Energy Retrieval and Fisherman. Ninetales is still used to pick up the pace, and is equally effective in both decks, but again retrieving the energy expelled can become an issue late in the game. Reshiram is still the main attacker for speed purposes and recovery. The addition of Emboar #19 is very useful. In the Reshiram/Typhlosion deck, damage was limited to 120 and then what ever Plus Powers were available, with Emboar #19, if using a DCE and 2 fire energies, you can consistently attack for 150 damage. The 4 retreat cost is huge, but this would only be used if needed to kill a Machamp Prime or a Rayquaza Deoxys LEGEND. You always have Switch if you need it.

While the play style of Reshiram stays quite similar in either case, Donphan gets shaken up a bit here. All decks have the ability to incorporate alternative techs and other useful tools to promote consistency or another function that needs to be fulfilled. We hope that showing these alterations and the variation that is possible with only a few adjustments will help the community gain some insight on building a smoothly running deck that suits your needs.

Accompanied with this article we have included a play through of both decks, it is always best to see something working than to just theorize possible outcomes. We hope the video is an accurate representation of what the decks are capable of. If you enjoy these articles and our videos please let us know in the comments and please subscribe to our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Thanks,

Kurt and Kyle

Category: Battle Video | Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • Bob

    @Kurt Which version of Reshiram did you like better in play testing? the issue of typhlosion vs. Emboar is pretty heated (haha). In your last video, Typhlosion seemed to work a little better, mainly because (if Emboar is pulled up early), reshiram/Emboar can’t really get it out of the active with Typhlosion has a much smaller retreat cost. What’s your thoughts?

  • Kurt Rosales

    I really cant say this early in testing. But Emboars retreat is massive, and as you said if its brought up early and you cant bring it back its a huge problem. We will see in the next few weeks for sure.

  • Skyler Knopp

    Thanks for a great article and video! Please continue to post these excellent and insightful pieces!

  • Quarter-Turn

    Awesome! Any chance you would share your Yanmega/Donphan decklist?

    • Kurt Rosales

      While normally we would not have an issue, that list is the list of a friend of ours from league, and it would not be right for us to give his complete list out. Every card is used in the match though so there are no surprises there, it’s just a matter or numbers.

      • Quarter-Turn

        That’s understandable. Thanks, anyway. I’ll play around with it myself and see what works for me.

  • Ed

    Thanks again guys.  This is good stuff!