The Rise of Itemlock at U.S. Nationals?

by Pikkdogs ~ June 27th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  You may call me Pikkdogs, or Miss

the design for the 2012 onehitko Nationals shirt

Jackson if you’re nasty.  Today I am here with an article for you.  This article will be about two decks that could be very impactful at U.S. Nationals.  I’m not exactly sure how this article will go, but we’ll just have to see. 

Before we start the article, I got a couple things to go through.  First, this will be my last article before Nationals.  I will be attending Nationals, so if you are going, make sure you stop the fat guy with the onehitko shirt and say hi to him.  Ed just informed me that I will be selling Onehitko shirts for 5 bucks (which is the cost of the shirt, again Pikkdogs doesn’t make any money), and I will be handing out business cards.  Which is ridiculous because if we are a “business”. then Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs are made out of “Pork”, Pamela Anderson’s boobs are “natural,” and Ryan Seacrest has a “girl friend”.  But anyway I guess I have some cards to hand out, for some reason. 

 If you are not going, I will try to keep you guys informed about what is going on.  To keep updated you can follow me on Twitter and check the site each night for my daily report.  Last year I did have some problems with getting Twitter to work inside the convention center.  But, I do have a better phone now and I will try to tweet more, so follow me on Twitter, my username is “pikkdogs”.   Me and my buddy James might try to get some video going, but there is a lot going so don’t hold your breath if it doesn’t get posted right away.

The second issue is that we have to let my sidekick Pedro come in here and do a news article.  Why don’t you do some Indianapolis or Indiana themed news for us today since we will all soon be in Indiana. 

Okay.  The Indianapolis Star Tribune is reporting that a new theatre has just opened up in the city of Carmel, Indiana.  The venue, called the “Palladium”, recently hosted a concert with Barry Manilow and Clay Aiken.  I know you Pikkdogs, and you are a big Clay Aiken fan. 

No, not really.  But as the guys on Family Guy have shown us,  every guy loves him some Barry Manilow.  I don’t usually like those types of songs, but you gotta love Barry Manilow.  Im sure every fine heterosexual male would dance to the “Copacabana.” 

Sure, that’s not gay at all.  You might as well just stick with the Clay Aiken and go antiquing. 

You scoff at Barry Manilow?  You are saying that something wouldn’t tingle if he sang the song “Mandy” to you. 

Of course not. 

Well, I’ll give it a try.  “The night goes into morning, just another day.  Happy people pass my way, Looking in their eyes, I never realized, how happy you made me oh Pedro.  Well you came and you gave without taking. But, I sent you away, Oh Pedro.  And you………ah shook my hand, and stopped me from shaking, and I need you today, Oh Pedro. ”

Okay, a little tingle.

I thought so, now we can move on.

Item Lock at Nats?  The European Evidence

 Item Lock/Trainer Lock was something that for the most part has been missing from our format this year.  The trainerlock heyday of 2 years ago has been over for a long while, and now we have been living in a trainerlock free world.  Earlier this year we did see some trainer locks, we did see some Mew decks with Vileplume in Battle Roads and into Cities, but we thought that those had died out.  Vileplume was in a few rogue decks like Lilligant and Mismagius, but there was nothing big there. 

As the trainerlockers were kept at bay, the format continued to be more and more trainer based.  Decks with only 4 Pokemon is now more of the norm then the…………..well…..un-norm.  Trainers now take up about 40 spots in a lot of decks, so there is a big need for itemlock in the format.

Some people decided to take advantage of these facts by bringing back the deck Mew Lock, or a variant known as VVV or Triple V.

When I used to dance, I was also known as Triple V.

I would guess what those V’s stood for, but I would probably get edited.  Anyway, Mewlock is a deck that uses Mew Prime to use the attacks of both Vanilluxe EP and Unfezant BW.  The idea is to get Mew Prime active and throw those Pokemon in the Lost Zone.  You first attack with Vanilluxe to get the defending Pokemon paralyzed, then when you are ready for a knockout you can finish the job with Unfezant to get the KO and be unhittable next turn.  On the bench you will have Victini and Vileplume to help you attack consistently and to stop your opponent from healing paralysis.  VVV is very similar but does not use Mew, they just evolve normally.

Kyle “Pooka” Sucevich from The Top Cut website popularized the deck by playing it at a Battle Road, and soon the deck was all over.  But, he is not the only one.  The results from the Nationals Championships in Europe indicate that Trainerlock is far from dead.  Here is a list of trainerlock decks that did well at National Championships:

  • Vileplume/Mismagius UL/Terrakion/Darkrai ex/Mewtwo ex/Shaymin ex- Took 4th in Finland. 
  • Lilligant Lock took 3rd in New Zealand. Mew/Accelgor/Yanmega/Vileplume took 6th in Germany.
  • Accelgor Lock took 2nd and Vileplume/Mismagius (UL)/ Terrakion/ Darkrai took 16th in The Netherlands

Just because a deck is popular in Europe does not mean it will be popular in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the deck either.  There is enough evidence from the National Tournaments abroad that something big is going on with trainer lock.  It might not be everywhere, but it could be big enough that you will eventually run into it at Nationals.  So we have to be prepared for it. 

Lists/Skeletons of these Decks

These Decks can be somewhat mysterious, so let’s take a look at sample lists and/or skeltons along with info of each deck to see what these decks are all about.  I know these deck lists won’t be perfect, so please don’t use them for testing, I am just putting them here for you to see that basics of a deck. 

VVV/Mew Lock

I kind of already explained this deck, so I won’t talk too much about it.  I will just say that it is by far the most popular of the itemlock decks, and it is one of the most consistent.  So if you look out for any one of these decks, this is the deck to look out for.  VVV/Mew Lock decks are actually two different decks, but the idea is the same, one just uses Mew to attack while the other evolves Vanilluxe manually.  VVV is also known in Michigan as Vanilla Boy.  By the way, in certain strip clubs in Atlanta I am also known as Vanilla Boy. 

VVV Skeleton

Pokemon-21

  • 4-2-4-Vanilluxe
  • 3-1-3 Vileplume
  • 2-Victini (flip)
  • 2-Smeargle/Cleffa

Trainers-25

  • 12-Draw/Hand Refresh Supporters/Twins/FSL
  • 5-Basic search cards
  • 4-Rare Candy
  • 4-Pokemon Communication

Energy-11

  • 8-Water
  • 3-Rescue

Free Spots-3

Mew Lock Skeleton

Pokemon-17

  • 4-Mew Prime
  • 3-1-3-Vileplume
  • 2-Victini (flip)
  • 2-Unfezant BW
  • 2-Vanilluxe

Trainers-27

  • Draw/Hand Refresh Supporters-12
  • Basic Pokemon Search-5
  • Communication-3
  • Super Rod-1
  • Catcher-3
  • Junk Arm-3

Energy-12

  • Prism Energy-4
  • Psychic/Water/Rescue Energy-8

Free Spot-4

Accelgor DEX

One of the new decks from Dark Explorers that nobody is talking about is a rogue itemlock deck.  Accelgor DEX has the “Deck and Cover” attack that does 50 damage and causes paralysis and poison.  It also sends Accelgor back to your deck.  The strategy is to use Sunflora to get grass Pokemon easily, and get a stream of Accelgors going.  Vileplume is here for locking down trainers to make sure that the special conditions stay on the field.  Accelgor is the main attacker who hopefully gets attacking early and keeps coming back.  Here is a skelton list. 

Accelgor

Pokemon-21

  • Accelgor-4-4
  • Vileplume-3-1-3
  • Sunflora-3-3

Trainers-25

  • Draw/ Hand Refresh supporters-12
  • Search-4
  • Rare Candy-3
  • Junk Arm-3
  • Pokemon Catcher-3

Energy-10

  • DCE-4
  • Rescue-4
  • Something Else-2

Free Spot-4

How to Counter/Should you Counter? 

 The item lock decks that we will see at Nationals are pretty good, and they will prey upon a lot of those Quad decks out there that have minimal versatility.  But, there are some small steps that you can take to foil the plan of the item lockers.  Here are some strategies to do so. 

Remove/Prevent Special Conditions

If you can stop special conditions, you can stop most of these item lock decks.  Here are the two best cards that can do just that. 

Unown Cure/Seeker

Probably the easiest way to get rid of special conditons under an item lock is to use Unown Cure.  When you play it to the bench its Poke-Power automoatically heals special conditions from your active.  You can use Seeker if you want to try to use this effect twice in one game, although once might be enough.  Seeker is also good for donking situations, so Seeker is not just a card that has one purpose that you might see, it is  a versatile card that might help you win every game.  

Espeon DEX

Espeon is a Pokemon that can prevent your active from being effected with a special condition.  Its “Solar Revelation” Ability takes away all effects of an attack except damage done to your active if it has an energy on it. 

Espeon is a card that has its good and bad things.  A good thing is that if you are wanting to play it, you probably won’t need to worry about Pokemon Catcher since you are most likely under an item lock anyway.  Another good thing is that once it is setup it works all game and is hard to combat.  One bad thing is that it takes up two spots in your deck and you need to evolve it.  This is not easy in Quad decks that have little search power.  Another bad thing is that it has almost no use outside of itemlock games. 

Snipe/Bring Vileplume Active

If you don’t want to stop the special conditons, you can always target Vileplume and try to knock him out.  This strategy is more risky, but it usually takes less of a commitment. 

Bellsprout

Just like Ash found out in an episode of an old Pokemon cartoon, just because  a Bellsprout looks tiny, that doesn’t mean that it can’t get the job done.  It has a one colorless energy attack that brings any Pokemon from your opponent’s bench active.  Once Vileplume is active, you can then retreat out and hopefully get the OHKO on it to stop all the item lock foolishness. 

Of course there are some good things and bad things to Bellsprout.  On the good-side, Bellsprout is an investment of only one card that can use any type of energy and fit into any deck.  It can also make it very hard for a deck like Mewlock to retreat because it lacks DCE, and it forces a deck like Accelgor to waste one of their precious DCEs.  The bad things about Bellsprout are that he is a very bad starter and is very donkable.  Another bad thing is that your opponent can always try to retreat Vileplume, and if they retreat and get the KO, you have just lost your entire strategy. 

Raikou EX

Raikou EX is a sniper from the DEX set.  He can fit into most Eel based decks and snipe any Pokemon for 100 damage.  That means Vilpelume is 2HKOable from the bench. 

Of course there are also good things and bad things about Raikou.  The good things include that he works in almost all Eel based decks and that he can be powered up in one turn with 2 Eelektriks around.  The bad thing about him is that he needs to attack Vileplume twice to get a KO, and if he gets paralyzed after his first attack, Raikou could be useless the rest of the game.  Also, if you don’t play an Eel deck you might as well not waste your time on this guy. 

There are other Pokemon that do the same things as these 4 cards that I highlighted, but these are the ones most talked about. You can go look at other cards and see if anyone does them better, but this is a good overview.

Well, that’s all I have to say about things.  Do you have a story to end things. 

Quite an epic mustache

Sure, today we shall have a this day in history, since I know you are a big history buff.  On this day in 1914, the band Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Austria, which started the first World War. 

Pedro, I think you have your facts mixed up.  It wasn’t the band Franz Ferdinand that got assassinated, but the archduke of Austria. 

Same thing right? 

No, one is a Scottish band known for singing “Take Me Out”, and the other is an Austrian Duke. 

Oh, makes sense. 

One interesting thing is that the original assassination attempt on Franz Ferdinand failed.  Someone from The Black Hand had thrown a grenade at him, but Ferdinand saw it coming and deflected it safely behind the car he was riding in.  He was only assassinated because his driver took a wrong turn and he just happened to ride past Black Hand member Gavrilo Princip, who decided to shoot the Duke and his wife. 

That’s weird

About the assassination?

No, that you find that interesting. 

I love WWI history.  I don’t just show pictures of Kate Upton in a bikini, I have an intellectual side too. 

Oh an intellectual are you?

A little.

Then can we talk about things like………..say psychology. 

Sure. 

Do you like the Freud, or the Jung? 

I like the Freud. 

Why

Because with Freudian theory you can say the word “Penis” a lot. 

That’s what I thought.  Trying to be serious here and you make penis jokes. 

Hey Pedro, I can be serious.  I can talk about other things like poetry.  Did you here the one about the man from Nantucket? 

No more penis talk,  we gotta go, good night everybody. 

Category: National Championships | Tags:
  • coolestman22

    Vanilluxe EPO?

    And I think now that Darkrai is big, a Belossom should be teched into these decks instead of a third Vileplume. Who runs 3 Vileplume?

    And if you’re willing to make VVV a couple spots clunkier, there’s a way to get two knockouts at a time. You use the NXD Vanilluxe to Slippery Soles so you can hit a different Pokemon and paralyze that, and when you can KO both you Slippery Soles into Kyogre EX or Kyurem to get double knockout.

    • pikkdogs

      yep all true.  Didn’t really put that much thought into my skeleton list because I never intended it to be an actual decklist, just something for an example. 

      But those are good changes. 

      • coolestman22

        But it seriously says Vanilluxe EPO in your article. It’s supposed to be Vanilluxe NVI.

  • Ed

    You can try to make money on the shirts.  I know, trade them for all those HGSS cards that are all the rage with the kids these days.

    So, yeah, Pikkdogs should have shirts for $5, but he also accepts tips.  You ever see those guys at ball games that toss peanuts to the person buying ’em.  Try that with Pikkdogs and the shirts.  I’m sure your opponent will appreciate a shirt flying in their general direction in the middle of the game.

    Also, I would like to see video of Pikkdogs walking up and won the isles yelling “Get your ice cold Pedro shirts!”

    • pikkdogs

      I so should have one of those T-shirt guns that they use at ball games.  If someone donks me, I can give them a t-shirt at close range. 

    • I’m sure we can get a video of Pikkdogs doing that if he is willing to.

      • Ed

         I think we also need a picture of anyone that’s wearing a OneHitKO shirt.

        • pikkdogs

          I will do my best to be “picture boy” in your absence.  But, if I see something flashy I am liable to forget all about my duties and say “oooooo shiny thing.” 
          So no guarantees. 

          • Ed

            We all know what you get distracted by, and I think there won’t be much of it at Pokenats.

  • pikkdogs

    Just a site update and some nats news. 

    For those staying home, don’t bother with twitter.  Just stay on Onehitko.com and you will see all my tweets and all tweets with the pokenats hashtag on the top of the page.

    Big ups to ed for making it happen.