Going Rogue

by Misnos ~ June 28th, 2011.

[youtube width=”556″ height=”450″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVFPTDtIK-4[/youtube]

Hey everyone, this week we are going rogue; no political reference there.  By rogue we mean less mainstream, not bad by any means. We have always had a fascination with off-beat decks so this week we chose to look at two very different concepts. Jumpluff/Yanmega and Blastoise/Floatzel., are two decks you may have heard about, and we feel deserve a look.

We will start with Blastoise/Floatzel. Blastoise has always been a fan favorite Pokémon, and the Blastoise from UL seems to live up to the name. Sniping is something this format seems to lack and can be a very powerful tool with so many techs bench sitting these days. Blastoise’s attack Hydro Launcher combines well with his Wash Out ability allowing him to continuously snipe for 100 when combined with the Water Acceleration of Floatzel.

Blastoise - UL

Blastoise has several favorable matchups against some of the more popular decks this format. Blastoise is a direct counter to Reshiram, a very popular archetype that will see large amounts of play for at least the next season or two. Reshiram also requires energy acceleration in the form or Emboar or Typhlosion, while weakness is not taken into effect on the bench, Blastoise can two shot either of these. Blastoise also has 130 HP and will not be OHKOd by Reshiram without the use of a Plus Power. Another bench sitter you will often see in a Reshiram deck is Ninatales or Shuckle, either of these can be taken out with just 1 Hydro Launcher. Donphan is probably the second most popular archetype that will be played this format. While Donphan is usually safe with 120 HP and Exoskeleton, this fails against Blastoise. Whatever Donphan is paired with also suffers from Blastoise, Machamp is normally slow to setup and its evolutionary forms will sure draw the attention of a Blastoise Player.

Zekrom and Magnezone are the real threats for Blastoise, but all is not lost. Obviously these matches are going to be VERY difficult due to weakness, but these are some opportunities to even things out.  Zekrom is going to be the biggest issue; its out speeds Blastoise, and hits for weakness, but if Zekrom does not Bolt Strike turn one or two (both which will require the Pachirisu/Shaymin combo) and you are able to set up, you can insure that both set up Pokémon are not able to be reused.  This does not guarantee a win or even a close game, but is really your only option. Magnezone will most likely set up slower than Blastoise and this is where the opportunity to win takes place. You can stop the evolution line of either Emboar or Magnezone crippling the deck if you are able to get the jump on the set up, which is pretty likely. Magnezone runs judge, which can be a huge detriment after your initial two energies are sent to your hand from Hydro Launcher and then back into your deck from Judge. Blasotise has a unique style making is very fun to play, and has good matchups across the board due to the denial of bench sitting tech Pokémon, but beware of MagneBoar and Zekrom.

The next deck we chose to test was Jumpluff/Yanmega. While Both of these cards are not new to the scene, combining them seems to be a great way to use them. Jumpluff has seen better days, it has low HP and is a stage 2 Pokémon, so why would it ever be used? Jumpluff and Yanmega both require low energy to attack for good damage, both also have free retreat making up for many of their faults. The biggest asset to Jumpluff comes from a few tools used to increase damage output and speed up evolutions. With the combination of Pichu HGSS and Sunflora HGSS you can have Jumpluff hitting for 120 turn two or three depending on Rare Candy, but you should defiantly have Yanmega turn two. So while Jumpluff may take a turn extra to set up, Yanmega will have the speed advantage against most decks, and should be able to 2HKO the majority of things. This combination of speed and power, if properly set up is deadly. With such little energy required to attack the deck can focus on set up speed and recovery.

Matchups for Jumpluff may seem grim due to low HP and a weakness to fire, but with the swarm mentality this is not a huge issue. While Jumpluff may be weak to fire, it only has 90 HP so it would be OHKOd by the fire type attackers regardless. Jumpluff does however have a resistance to fighting which can come in handy versus Donphan. Optimally you can Leaf Guard stall and then Mass Attack for the kill, or Sonic Boom with Yanmega, then retreat for the Mass Attack KO. As long as Sunflora is kept up you should be able to have Jumpluffs or Yanmegas ready to go turn after turn. Rescue energy also ensures that you can keep the swarm alive. Jumpluff may not be the same deck since the loss of Claydol, but with the gain of Sunflora and a very useful partner it can still compete.

While these decks may not be mainstream, they have fairly good matchups with the rest of the hypothesized meta-game, and should prove to be good plays. Keep in mind these decks are probably not going to be tier one decks, due to set up issues that may arise from a lack of draw engines; but they can be considered tier 2 and very useful at league or smaller tournaments. There are hundreds of cards in every format, why not have some fun and even get some wins with a few more of them?

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