Deck Analysis: SAW (Slowking, Ambipom, and Weavile)

by Pikkdogs ~ August 1st, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKoers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a deck analysis.  This deck is a disruption deck that became popular after its great showing at Canadian Nationals. Like all of my lists from the last week or so on, this deck will be in the post Pokemon Catcher format.  Even though the card is not out right now, it is very important to start testing Pokemon Catcher right now so you will be ready for it in the fall.

This deck is all about hand disruption.  The goal is to have Ambipom attacking and disrupting, while Weavile is on the bench knocking out helpful cards from your opponent’s hand, and Slowking is on the bench making sure your opponent does not draw anything good.

Ambipom is a stage 1 that has two attacks.  His first attack, “Astonish” lets you do 20 damage and then choose 2 random cards from your opponent’s hand and have them shuffled back in the deck.  The second attack, Tail Spank (is that code?) does 60 damage and you must discard 2 cards.  60 might not sound like a not of damage, but it can be enough if you are able to attack weaker Pokemon with Pokemon Catcher, or if you attack a basic or stage 1 before it can fully evolve.  Weavile is used because of his “Claw Snag” Poke-Power.  Whenever you evolve a Weavile you can look at your opponent’s hand and discard 1 card from that hand.  Weavile can snipe for 30 damage, but this attack is not used that much.  Slowking is used for his “Second Sight” Poke-Power.  This power lets you look at the top of either decks and re-arrange the top 3 cards.

The goal of this deck is to make sure your opponent cannot draw anything useful.  The first thing you should do is get a Pokemon Collector and get 1 of each basic Pokemon, that means a Slowpoke, an Aipom, and a Sneasel.  I would first try to get an Ambipom active with a DCE.  Then I would use Judge to cut your opponent’s hand to 4.  Then I would hopefully be able to use “Claw Snag” to get rid of any supporter or other helpful card.  After that, I would use “Astonish” to shuffle in two cards of your opponent’s back to their deck.  At this point your opponent will draw a card and have 2-3 cards in his/her hand.  Usually your opponent will not be able to do too much.  Next turn you should be setting yourself up for another “Claw Snag” soon, and should be setting up another Ambipom. Now, the most important thing would be to do a “Second Sight” so that your opponent’s hand will not improve.  Then, hopefully you should be able to use “Tail Spank” for a knockout.  Then you should be able to take it from there.

Matchups

Right now SAW does not have the best match-ups, so I won’t list all the matchups up like I normally do.  This time I will list what this deck is good against, and what this deck has problems with.

What the Deck is good against

This deck is really good against decks that take a little while to get going.  This is where decks like Magneboar come in.  Decks that rely on 2 Stage 2 Pokemon are really easy for this deck to play against.  The disruption that this deck has makes it very tough to get more than 1 Stage 2, and Ambipom should be able to easily knock out important basics and stage 1’s with Pokemon Catcher.  It should only take you about 3 turns to get a hand lock going on them with Slowking Prime, it should just be a matter of time before you knock out 6 Pokemon.  This deck is also good against deck that need high energy like Blastoise.  You should be able to keep energy and other important cards away from the Blastoise player.

What the deck struggles against.

The deck struggles against decks that can attack early.  Donphan is a really tough matchup for this deck.  If the Donphan player gets a T2 Donphan with a fighting energy, the game is about over.  The fast attacking Donphan is really hard to play against because he doesn’t need a lot of maintenance once he is setup.   The other thing this deck struggles against is Zekrom and Reshiram, with the latter being the bigger problem.  Ambipom can only do 60 damage at a time, and these Pokemon require 130 damage for an OHKO.  If you do not OHKO these Pokemon, they can use the “Out Rage” attack to OHKO Ambipom.  Zekrom is not as much of a threat as Reshiram, since it is a little easier to keep energy away from Zekrom.

The List.

I built a SAW deck when I was first testing Post Catcher decks.  I ended up modifying it to a different deck with Sharpedo, so I do not have my original list.  The list was nothing special anyway, so I do not have a problem trying to guess at  my original list.  The deck does work with this list, but of course the list is not perfect.  I only post lists on decks like this so you can start testing with it and try to make it better and bend it to your play style.  This deck needs some work, but it is a good list to start with.   SAW is a decent deck that can be good in the Post Catcher Format.  So if disruption is your thing you should copy this list and then change it to make it your own.

Pokemon-18

  • 4-4 Ambipom
  • 1-1 Slowking Cl- I would like to run a 2-2 line, but Slowpoke is such a horrific starter that I don’t want to.
  • 3-3 Weavile-Important to have a bunch of these since you can evolve to Weavile, Seeker, and evolve again.
  • 1-Boufallant-Can be dropped if you don’t have lots of RDL in your area.
  • 1-Manphy

Trainers: 30

  • 4-Pokemon Collector
  • 3-Professor Elms
  • 4-Judge
  • 3-Professor Juniper
  • 4-Pokemon Communication
  • 4-Pokemon Catcher
  • 3-Junk Arm
  • 1-Flower Shop Girl
  • 1-Switch
  • 1-Dual Ball
  • 2-Seeker

Energy-12

  • Double Colorless Energy-4
  • Special Darkness Energy-4
  • Darkness Energy-4

As you can see, the deck is not polished.  It is just a place to start for your testing.  Since I no longer have my list I did estimate some things, but this should get you going on your testing just fine.  I think because of this decks bad matchups this deck may be just for fun.  But, it is a really good deck that can surprise a lot of people.  The only reason this isn’t tier 1 is because of the bad matchups that it is.  Once the format changes a little, this deck could be really good.  Regardless, it is a really cool fun deck that you should try if you haven’t already. What do you think of the deck?  Please leave you thoughts in the comment box.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Category: Deck Discussion | Tags: , , ,
  • this deck also has major issues against yanmega/magnezone i found out. they don’t mind the disruption once they get a magnezone out and yanmega can setup and attack quick even tho its stage 1 which just all in all gives this deck fits. 

  • Anonymous

    I really like this article. This tends to be an all or nothing type deck. Either you hit the lock or you don’t

    • Anonymous

      exactly, you will either lock your opponent and really screw with their day, or they will just run through you.  

      Not that great of a deck right now, but it does work so maybe in a weird local metagame or later in the season.  

  • Ed

    I hate Second Sight and Claw Snag!  Get away from me, Weavile/Slowking!

  • After Catcher is released, Slowking is pure garbage. Decks with any sniping ability will pull up Slowpoke/Slowking and run through you. Starting with it is also basically game over for you, since your opponent is instantly stalling you until you sacrifice a DCE. 

    You may consider a heavier Seeker/Super Scoop Up line. Making them pick up something evolved, then immediately drop another Claw Snag to discard the basic is pretty devastating.

    Phanpy is not a tech. Again, it will get pulled up for your opponent to stall, or they will OHKO it. It’s difficult to tech this deck out. You may consider Reshiram or Zekrom since they can utilize DCE and just Outrage. If you want to go for even more disruption, I would recommend Umbreon.

    This deck generally needs a starter, either Cleffa or Manaphy. It also is in some serious need of PONT. I built a similar deck to play around with when testing HGSS-on decks pre-rotation, and with 4 PONT, it gets set up quite quickly and you always have great options in your hand. Honestly though, I gave up on this deck ages ago. Yanmega, and especially Donphan, make this deck utterly unplayable.

    • Anonymous

      In my testing witch Catcher, there are only a few bench sitters that will be unplayable with Catcher,

      The Slowking I think will be one that will be able to stick around because you will only use it once you start hadn disruption.  And once Slowking is evolved, hopefully the game should be over because you can discard from their hand and make sure they don’t draw anything good. 

      The Phanpy thing was supposed to be a Manaphy, I must have been tired or something.  Sorry bout that. 

  • ricky

    okay what the heck is phanpy there for?

    • Anonymous

      Lol don’t you know about the secret Phanpy tech.  You just put 1 in every deck and it gives you the best matchup against every deck.  Its like an auto win. 

      Or, I made  a mistake and meant to put “Manaphy” instead.

      In which case I thank you for catching the error.