Deck Analysis: FloatZone

by Pikkdogs ~ July 28th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs here with a post Pokemon Catcher deck analysis.

The subject of this article will be a deck that features Magnezone Prime and Floatzel.  One of the most popular decks going into Battle Roads will be Prime Time (Magnezone Prime and Yanmega Prime), this deck is a little different.  I consider this deck to be the spirtual successor to Mangeboar.  I am unsure if this a tier 2 deck or a fun league deck, maybe you can help decide.

Since Pokemon Catcher will make it more difficult to run a deck with bench sitting Pokemon, I decided to try a deck that had energy acceleration and free retreat from the bench sitters.  Now, you can still run Magneboar but in the Post Catcher (PC) format, the deck that started out a little shakey is about to get even shakier.

The decks main goal is to use Magnezone Prime’s “Lost Burn” attack to get a One Hit Knock Out each turn.  To get more energies on the field, Floatzel is used.  His “Water Acceleration” Poke-Power lets you attach a water energy to each Floatzel you have in play per turn, that does not include the 1 energy you can attach for your turn.

Of course this deck is very similar to Magneboar, so lets look at the pro’s and con’s of using this deck over Magneboar.

Pro’s

  • Less setup is needed since you have 1 stage 2 and 1 stage 1, instead of 2 stage 2’s.
  • There should be nothing on your bench that your opponent can Pokemon Catcher up to stall.
  • The deck is more focused because it does not run techs like Shuckle and RDL.
  • There is more room in this deck to fit original ideas and techs.

Cons

  • Rayquaza Deoxys Legend was a great card, but it does not fit into Floatzone.
  • There is no energy acceleration onto Magnezone itself.
  • The deck is a little slower without Shuckle.
  • Your bench is full of stuff that can be OHKOed fairly easily.

Matchups

Before we look at a basic list, lets look at some matchups that this deck has.

Reshiram Decks- The Reshiram matchup will stay pretty much the same from it’s matchup against Magneboar.  Floatzone is a little faster and more consistent and it can use Floatzel to hit for weakness, while it will miss RDL and drawpower of Shuckle. The matchup should be fairly even and will be determined by the skill of each player, luck, and the exact list each player is playing.

Zekrom Decks- Pretty much what I said about Reshiram can be said about Zekrom, but instead Floatzel is now a liability in the weakness department instead of an asset.  The loss of RDL does hurt Floatzone in this matchup, but both decks should have about an even shot at winning.

Donphan/Yanmega– Donphan Yanmega is like a tool box deck, it has a counter for everything.  Well, in this matchup it will come out a little short.  When your opponent has Yanmega active, you will only need to Lost Zone 2 energies for an OHKO, 1 energy if the Yanmega has taken a damage counter because of “Earthquake.”  If you opponent sends Donphan up instead, than you will turn to Floatzel.  The Floatzel v.s. Donphan matchup is pretty much a wash.  Each of them can hit the other for 2 damage counters short of a knock out.  Donphan is a little faster because of his 1 energy attak, but because of “Water Acceleration”, it should not be hard to power up Floatzel.  This should be about an even matchup.  The key is being able to keep Magnezone away from Donphan, and being able to knock out a Yanmega with Magnezone.   It will be a close game, but Floatzone might have the slightest adavantage.

Primetime- Well, so far we have had 3 even matchups, and here is another.  Again. Magnezone is not afraid of Yanmega, but we do not have the “Earthquake” damage in this matchup.  The Magnezone’s should cancel each other out, but the Floatzels will be a good target for their Magnezone’s.  Your Magnezone will be a little more powerful, however, because you will have more energy on the field.  Primetime might have a slight advantage here, but basically again we have another even matchup.  The game will probably go to who gets the better draw on the Judge’s that are used by the Primetime player.

Ambipom/Weavile/Slowking–  Disruption decks will be a tough matchup for this deck.  These disruption decks get ripped apart by a fast attacker, but FloatZone doesn’t normally fit that bill.  If you can get an early Magnezone, perhaps you can control the matchup, but if not you could be in trouble.  I would give this matchup towards the disruption deck, it is not an autoloss, just not a favorable one.

Kingdra/Yanmega– I think Kingdra/Yanmega is the best deck nobody is talking about.  In this matchup however, I think it will come short.  Yes the Kingdra Primes will help Yanmega snipe out Floatzels and Buizel’s, but the lightning weakness that each have could be too much to overcome.  I will give this matchup to FloatZone, I don’t think its an autowin, but it isn’t very far away from one.

So, thats what I think about the matchups.  From these matchups we learn one thing, Floatzone will not be the BDIF.  It has a lot of tough matchups, and a player will need a lot of luck to be able to take a tournament.  But, the deck does not have terrible matchups.  There does not seem to be a deck right now that easily beats every other deck, so every deck has an uphill better.  Floatzone may not be quite as good as Primetime or DonMega, but with the right list it may not be too far away.  Or, this deck may be doomed to be just another league deck.

Did someone say list?   Okay, lets checkout a list.  A couple sentences ago I said this deck has the potential to be good with the right list, this list I will give you is not the right list.  It is just something to get you started on testing.  I have tested it out, and this deck seems to be headed in the right direction, but it could turn out to be nothing more than a league deck.  I’m not sold on this deck being a great one, but lets look at a list to see if we can see a way to make it better.  The list was updated on July 31st.

Pokemon-19

  • 3-1-3 Magnezone Prime Triumphant
  • 3-3 Floatzel Unleashed
  • 1-Cleffa
  • 2-1-2 Kingdra Prime

Trainers-25

  • 3-Professor Juniper
  • 4-Pokemon Collector
  • 3-Professor Oaks New Theory
  • 1- Energy Retrieval
  • 4-Pokemon Communication
  • 3-Pokemon Catcher
  • 3-Junk Arm
  • 4-Rare Candy

Energy-15

  • Water-10
  • Lightning-5

So there is a list for you.  I’m not sure how good this deck is, I know its not Tier 1 or anything like that.

Kingdra Prime is a new addition to this deck, and I have actually not tested it.  Its “Spray Splash” Poke-Power lets you place one damage counter each turn.  This will help you get an OHKO on Donphan Prime with Floatzel Ul.  It can also help get knock outs with Magnezone Prime, without sacrificing an extra energy card.  Kingdra could be a great addition to this deck.  Since it also has a one energy attack, Kingdra can attack fairly well.

www.onehitko.com user Curtis was nice enough to share his list with us.  So I will put his list here.  It is a better list than mine and can be a better list to start testing with.  But, I caution that if your a young player, testing a polished list can be hurtful.  It might be better to start out with a more basic list like mine.  But if you are experienced player, there is no question you should use Curtis’s list. Here is his list and explanation:

Pokemon – 18
3-1-3 Magnezone Prime
3-3 Floatzel
1-0-1 Kingdra Prime
2 Cleffa
1 Tyrogue

T/S/S – 27
3 Pokemon Collector
3 Sage’s Training
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
1 Flower Shop Lady
3 Pokemon Communication
4 Rare Candy
2 Pokemon Reversal (Pokemon Catcher upon release)
2 Switch
3 PlusPower
2 Energy Retrieval
2 Junk Arm

Energy – 15
5 Lightning Energy
15 Water Energy

So I’ll give some rationale behind the list.
The Kingdra remains a 1-0-1 tech because it is just that: a tech. It’s not necessary every game. The first time I search my deck, I look for both Kingdra and Horsea. If either of them are in my prizes, the one remaining in my deck is basically dead to me. I’ll have no aversion to Junk Arming or Sage’s Training-ing it away. Worst comes to worst, I’ll get it back late game with Flower Shop Lady.
The reason for it in the first place is obviously, first and foremost, for Spray Splash. One damage on Donphan = only three energy necessary for Lost Burn. One damage on Yanmega = only one necessary for Lost Burn. He’s a decent secondary attacker, and while Fire types do hinder him, he allows Floatzel to OHKO Reshiram if necessary.

Tyrogue is here for the donk potential. Not everyone’s running Cleffa anymore, but the potential is always there. Also, if you go first, the odds are in your favor to KO their 60 or less HP basic in two turns.

More than 3 Pokemon Collector in a deck generally seems a little overkill to me. This deck consistently can get a Magnemite and Buizel out turn one, and after it does, it usually runs like butter from there.

I opted for a heavier PlusPower line for a few different reasons. 1.) You don’t always get that Kingdra, 2.) Floatzel gets to OHKO Donphan, 3.) Magnezone gets to Lost Burn one energy to OHKO 60HP basics, usually early game, 4.) You can Junk Arm it if necessary.

Switch: to retreat Magnezone. ‘Nuff said.

One Flower Shop Lady. If you need another, you probably already lost due to your own mistake.

Two Energy Retrieval is necessary. Running a one-of recovery trainer is risky. Also, you can Junk Arm it. As far as this deck is concerned, nothing really slaps your opponent in the face as much as using Magnetic Draw, Sage’s Training for more cards and discarding energy, then Retrieval for those energy and throwing down 3-4 of them on the board in one turn.

Heads up: as sad as it is, this deck loses miserably to Umbreon unless you can take fast prizes early and get lucky heads on Reversal when you need them. Attempt to attack with Magneton and get that Kingdra out ASAP. The Zekrom matchup is also tough, but this deck really can hold its own against most anything else.

I don’t mean to one-up Pikkdogs or anything, but I do hope this list gives a little better insight into how to play this deck and do it well.

The PC era has a lot of surprises for us, and the playability of this deck is one of those.  So what do you guys think?  Is this deck a successor to Magneboar?  Or is it more of a league thing?  Whie I know this deck isn’t terrible, I’m not sure of the fate of it myself.  I know it does what it is supposed to do, and I guess thats a good thing.  It is a little cheaper than Prime Time, and uses a popular Pokemon, Floatzel; so that may be enough to get some players to try it.  Please leave your thoughts about this deck in the comment box.

Category: Deck Discussion | Tags: ,
  • I built this as a fun deck during nats to play in side events, and I won a couple of the 8-man pods with it. It’s been one of my main decks ever since, and it’s pretty consistent. I wouldn’t mind posting the list if anyone is interested.

    • Ed

      Yeah, I’d like that.  Maybe we can get Pikkdogs to weigh in on it.  Maybe he’d add it to the article or maybe you’d want to write up a new article to go with it.

  • Joel Howe

    I threw a FloatZone deck together myself, I love the deck but my only concern is when Pokemon Catcher comes out, other Magnezones will fry your Floatzels

    • Ed

      I agree that’s a problem.  This argument can be applied to many situations, though.  I’m very interested to see how it all shakes down after the dust settles.

    • Anonymous

      well won’t that kind of balance out since you will be able to take care of their floatzels or Yanmegas?  But as you guys mentioned it is complete chaos trying to predict what happens in the PC era.  Who knows what will happen. 

  • Anonymous

    I really, really like this deck and have been messing around for it for a couple months now. I would suggest finding room for a 3-1-2 Vileplume UD line in here. This deck is so self-sufficient that it can really utilize trainer lock in the mid and late game.

    Good article Pikkdogs

    • …no. Magnezone is a card that enjoys using Switch, Rare Candy and Junk Arm. Vileplume isn’t a splashable card.

      • Anonymous

        Yes…haha.

        The deck is full of free retreaters, Floatzel. The Rare Candy are only really important to hit the first Magnezone and the first Vileplume. Why would you continue to run switch in high counts. Everything is either your main attacker, or has free retreat. The basics all only cost C to get out of the way.

        Yeah, the deck changes a little bit. You have to run tstraight Magnezone lines (3-3-3 or 4-4-4). You also need some Elm’s. I promise it works with a solid list.

        I’ve been a a supporter since May. I got good results with it even though at the time everyone was hatingon it. Magnezone/Floatzel/Vileplume was the only other deck that consistencly keep up with tyRam in my testing since May. It works and is not extremely difficult to pull off.

        • All right airhawk, I guess since YOU’RE a supporter, it must be the right thing for the deck. Yeah, I like a thick Vileplume in a Magnezone deck. I cant remember…isn’t that a card that makes certain matchups incredibly difficult? Not being able to Communication, Junk Arm, Rare Candy, Switch, Reversal/Circulator/Gust of Wind or Energy Retrieval? Yeah! That’s right! Vileplume’s BROKE in Magnezone Floatzel.

          • Anonymous

            Easy man… no need to get all worked up.

            I was simply trying to explain how the deck can work, how it’s a bit different from the version above, and how I had success with it in testing against a very good deck.

            Perhaps I should not have echoed your tone (as in the flippiantly dismissing a concept wityhout giving it a chance tone). If that offened you then sorry.

  • Pikkdogs, why the 1 of Dual Ball? I mean you already run Collector, it’s flippy, and it may waste a Junk Arm just to get basics that Collector does anyways…Dual Ball seems really bad in any Magnezone deck, especially when you run 4 Collector anyways.

    As for the 4 Juniper, I think that’s a little overkill. You already burn through a deck really quickly with Collectors, Communications, and well…Magnetic Draw. Running 4 cards that can potentially discard a lot of cards as well as draw 7 new ones seems like you’re trying to play a deck where you deck yourself out. Seriously. 4 Juniper is 28 cards from your deck. I would strongly suggest you drop the Juniper entirely, or leave it to like…1 Juniper. 

    As for the 4-4 Floatzel, that seems WAY overkill. I mean yeah, you want Floatzel on the field, but running 4 means you’re gonna use 2, maybe 3 Floatzel. No one is gonna have 4 Floatzel on their bench, that seems really dumb. I’d honestly just drop it to 3-3. I’d definitely think about beefing up the Magnezone line. Without RDL and Badboar and Yanmega, Magnezone is the ONLY thing that’s gonna take down anything but Donphan, so running 4 seems like a good idea.

    Have you thought about running another attacker? Getting back to Curtis'(s?) post, I’d say this. Curtis runs Kingdra prime. I don’t know/cant remember if its a simple 1-0-1 or 2-1-2 line, but that Kingdra helps A BUNCH. It turns Mew into a single-energy KO. It makes Magnezone able to kill a Donphan with 3 energy instead of 4. It turns an attack with Floatzel into a 2-KO on Donphan. It can “snipe” babies. And, if nothing else, it provides a great counter to Donphan, two-shotting it as well. Against fire it’s usefulness dwindles, but honestly, when Magnezone one-shots everything in existence with 3 energy max(aside from Dphan, which gets put into 3-energy OHKO range with Kingdra) except a Donphan with relative ease, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Just my honest thoughts. Oh wait-one other thing. You need to fit in 1 Tyrogue in here. Though less prevalent than it was at Nationals, the ability to donk with Tyrogue is still very common, and something that every deck should be prepared to do, just in case. If not, simple discard it with Junk Arm, no biggy. But it’s needed. Also Manaphy, because it’s a much more reliable starter(as in, wont die from a Tyrogue in one-hit) than Cleffa. And you NEED a starter in a deck like this. Be it Smurgle, Cleffa or Manaphy.

    • Anonymous

      good comments, thanks Mike. 

      These changes would help polish the list a lot.  As I said this is just a basic list to start testing with. 

      In testing the dual ball didn’t really help in this deck, so I guess it would be one of the first things to go. 

      Im torn about how many Floatzels to run.  Originally I had 4-4, and it did seem like overkill.  Then I scaled to 3-3 and thought that I missed the 4-4.  Having 4 really helps against Donphan and Reshiram since you are probably going to be attacking with it later in the game.  I guess having 3-3 is probably the best play, but it depends on your playstyle and your local metagame.

      4 Juniper is just my playstyle.  I love the card, maybe too much.

      If you do scale back the Floatzel to a 2-2 or 3-3, you will have plenty of room for a 2-1-2 Kingdra Prime, or whatever other attacker you want here.  It definitively is something to test.

      Thanks again for your comments, if people wanna get this deck tournament ready, your comments will be great places to start for polishing the list up.  

      • With 3-3, you still have plenty of fuel to attack with using Magnezone, and using Kingdra you can successfully kill Donphans as well. Kingdra just makes things a lot easier to knock out.

        I understand you like Juniper. I agree, it’s a great card. But it seems to be to much when you have Magnezone and cards like Sages Training. Trust me, you’ll be decking out a lot, which just isn’t a good idea. 

      • Ed

        You’re getting a lot of good comments on this one.  If you update your deck with the suggestions, would you mind editing the original post and including an updates list?

        • Anonymous

           Can do, but still won’t be that good.Can’t polish the list without testing it myself.

          • I’m telling you, Curtis has this deck actually built and tested. It’s a solid deck, and all of these “changes” were already built into his deck. I’m telling you, it’s a lot more solid than your current deck list. Trust me. 

          • Ed

            That’s good, too.  Let’s post that list.  I’d rather have a tested one to go from.

          • Anonymous

            Im sure it is, I don’t think my list is that good right now, I even said it a million times in the article. I didn’t have the time or really the will to test it enough to make it that good. 

            Curtis is encouraged to post his list if he so desires. 

  • Airhawk if you run into a muklock deck or anything that is anti-set up deck and you play vileplume in your build you will be screwed over. I drag up ur magnezone with a vileplume in play and you’re prbly going to lose. GG. Plus i saw your deck build on thetopcut the other day, srsly take advice from descent players before you start inserting your own bad tips.

    • Ed

      Wait a second?  I’m not arguing builds here or even the inclusion/exclusion of Vileplume.  However, wouldn’t he be just as screwed anyway?  The Muklock player is going to have Plume of his own, right?  If anything, I’d assume an opposing Vileplume player is going to be at some sort of advantage (compared to a non-Plume deck, not necessarily an advantage over Muklock), because their deck would be built to not rely on trainers as much as others.  Anyway, I dunno about the deck, but my comment has nothing to do with any particular deck.

  • a deck running vileplume as well wouldnt have anything to stop me from seeing off a mew and bringing up their stuff, but a magnezone without vileplume forces me to get my vileplume out before dragging their stuff up. This would then make my set up as the mew deck much slower and give them a chance to take early prizes or even stop my plume with trainers like reversal, switch, or circulator.

    • Ed

      Basically, then, you’re saying that any deck that plays Vileplume against Muklock is just helping the Muklock.  If so, then this is more of an argument of why people shouldn’t play down Vileplume.  The same sort of argument could apply to many cards.  It’s like BTS in the previous format.  If you need it, play it.  If not, don’t just toss it out, because it might help the opponent.

  • OK but BTS was 4 spots. vileplume is atleast 5 often 6, its also a pokemon, and it’s a card that usually reduces the average amount of trainer built into a list so it hinders them more than the common effect card would.

    • Ed

      But that’s part of my original point.  A list that runs Vileplume will be much more prepared for opposing Vileplume (at least on the trainer lock front), because they won’t rely on trainers.  I think it’s a give and take.

  • Here’s the list I’ve been running:

    Pokemon – 18
    3-1-3 Magnezone Prime
    3-3 Floatzel
    1-0-1 Kingdra Prime
    2 Cleffa
    1 Tyrogue

    T/S/S – 27
    3 Pokemon Collector
    3 Sage’s Training
    2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
    1 Flower Shop Lady
    3 Pokemon Communication
    4 Rare Candy
    2 Pokemon Reversal (Pokemon Catcher upon release)
    2 Switch
    3 PlusPower
    2 Energy Retrieval
    2 Junk Arm

    Energy – 15
    5 Lightning Energy
    15 Water Energy

    So I’ll give some rationale behind the list.
    The Kingdra remains a 1-0-1 tech because it is just that: a tech. It’s not necessary every game. The first time I search my deck, I look for both Kingdra and Horsea. If either of them are in my prizes, the one remaining in my deck is basically dead to me. I’ll have no aversion to Junk Arming or Sage’s Training-ing it away. Worst comes to worst, I’ll get it back late game with Flower Shop Lady.
    The reason for it in the first place is obviously, first and foremost, for Spray Splash. One damage on Donphan = only three energy necessary for Lost Burn. One damage on Yanmega = only one necessary for Lost Burn. He’s a decent secondary attacker, and while Fire types do hinder him, he allows Floatzel to OHKO Reshiram if necessary.

    Tyrogue is here for the donk potential. Not everyone’s running Cleffa anymore, but the potential is always there. Also, if you go first, the odds are in your favor to KO their 60 or less HP basic in two turns.

    More than 3 Pokemon Collector in a deck generally seems a little overkill to me. This deck consistently can get a Magnemite and Buizel out turn one, and after it does, it usually runs like butter from there.

    I opted for a heavier PlusPower line for a few different reasons. 1.) You don’t always get that Kingdra, 2.) Floatzel gets to OHKO Donphan, 3.) Magnezone gets to Lost Burn one energy to OHKO 60HP basics, usually early game, 4.) You can Junk Arm it if necessary.

    Switch: to retreat Magnezone. ‘Nuff said.

    One Flower Shop Lady. If you need another, you probably already lost due to your own mistake.

    Two Energy Retrieval is necessary. Running a one-of recovery trainer is risky. Also, you can Junk Arm it. As far as this deck is concerned, nothing really slaps your opponent in the face as much as using Magnetic Draw, Sage’s Training for more cards and discarding energy, then Retrieval for those energy and throwing down 3-4 of them on the board in one turn.

    Heads up: as sad as it is, this deck loses miserably to Umbreon unless you can take fast prizes early and get lucky heads on Reversal when you need them. Attempt to attack with Magneton and get that Kingdra out ASAP. The Zekrom matchup is also tough, but this deck really can hold its own against most anything else.

    I don’t mean to one-up Pikkdogs or anything, but I do hope this list gives a little better insight into how to play this deck and do it well.

    • Ed

      Excellent.  Thanks!  I vote that this gets included into the main article, but it’s Pikkdogs’ article and his call.

      • Anonymous

        Do ya just want me to copy and paste it into the article?

        This list looks nice, but won’t people find it in the comments though?

        Thanks for posting the list Curtis!