How to Pick a Battle Roads Deck

by Pikkdogs ~ August 31st, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with kind of a strategy article. 

 It may seem like the fourth of July was just a week or two ago, but the summer is now coming to an end.  With the end of summer comes some of my favorite things: cooler weather, cool colored trees, American Football, and Battle Roads.  Although I feel like writing an entire article about fall and how its the best time of the year (except bikini waxing day), I think we should get to the Battle Roads.

Setting the Stage

If you were not able to make it to Nationals, you must feel really out of the loop.  The last time you played you were looking at Garchomp C’s and stuff like that, Battle Roads will be a whole nother animal.  Those of us who made it to nationals, and those that went to world’s, basically know the format.  Stage 1 Rush is good along with decks like Reshiphlosion, Reshiboar, ZPS, and Primetime (Yanmega Prime and Magnezone Prime).  But, thanks to the release of Emerging Powers, Battle Roads will be a little different.  So before you start getting your deck ready for BRs, make sure you know what is coming your way.

The Effect of Pokemon Catcher

The most dramatic change in the game will be the rise of Pokemon Catcher.  Of course, Pokemon Catcher is a card that lets you switch your opponent’s active.  Meaning Knock Outs are easier to get and disruption is easier to do.  There is no question that Pokemon Catcher will be a very popular card, and there will be probably 4 Catchers in just about every deck.  So how will this effect your deck choice.

Just like when we had SP decks in the format, you can either use Catcher or plot against it.  If you want to use Pokemon Catcher you will need a fast deck.  Donphan Prime is great because it requires 1 energy to do 60 damage.  That attack will knock out almost all basic Pokemon, so it will be great for disruption.  But on the other hand, Pokemon Catcher is also great for decks that are a little slower like Reshiram based decks.  So although fast decks and Pokemon Catcher are a great fit, you don’t need to run an extremely fast deck.  Just be aware that if you don’t plan for your basics being knocked out and your bench sitters getting dragged into the active, you are in for a long day.

I  do not think that Pokemon Catcher will dramatically change the format.  We will see a lot of the same decks, games just will be a little quicker and we could see more lopsided wins.  We could see less big lumbering Pokemon like Magnezone Prime, and more speedier cards like Yanmega Prime.  We could also see a lot of cards that can stand up against Poekmon Catcher, like Vileplume.

Was that a Segway into the next part of your article?

No, I wouldn’t do that, segway’s are for professionals, I am just a creepy fat guy writing a Pokemon article on a website nobody reads, the only segway I know about is the geeky vehicle.

A Segway isn’t geeky

Of course it is Pedro (of course Pedro is the name of my sidekick who randomly jumps in).  Could you prove it isn’t by showing me a picture of an attractive Woman on a Segway.

Well met Pedro, well met. 

Anyway, we are talking about Vileplume.  Vileplume is great because it sets up an item lock that is very hard to break.  While Gothitelle can put one heck of a nice itemlock on your opponent, it is easy to knock out.  Vileplume might be a better play because it does not have to be active. 

Vileplume will make games a lot simpler because you won’t have to worry about Pokemon Catcher messing things up.  And it will also mess other things up like Pokemon Communication and Super Scoop Up.

The bad thing about Vileplume is that your deck will have Schizophrenia because you need to run trainers like Rare Candy to setup.  If you want to run Vileplume you will need to make sure your list is tight and polished for it to work in this trainer heavy format.

New Emerging Powers Decks!

Emerging Powers does not just have Pokemon Catcher, it has some other decks that might see some play at BRs, and you better know what they are you they don’t end up taking you by surprise.

I do not know of any specific deck lists that I can share right now, but I would at least be prepared to deal with two cards: Gothitelle and Beartic.  Gothitelle is fairly easy to take care of, just have something that doesn’t take a lot of setup to attack, and you will be able to match it blow for blow.  This is another reason to use a deck that is simple and fast.  Donphan is a good candidate here to take care of Gothitelle. I would reccomend Yanmega, but the trainerlock makes it a LOT harder to even your hand size.  

The other big card you might see is Beartic.  Beartic actually won’t be able to hit that hard, or that quickly.  With 3 and 4 energy attacks only doing 50 and 80, it will take a while for damage to add up.  The problem here is that his first attack does not let you attack next turn.  That is not so much of a problem if you have Yanmega Prime, you can just retreat and use another attacker.  However, Beartic could give you fits if you have a high retreat like Donphan, Zekrom, or Reshiram.  If you think a lot of your metagame will be made up of Beartic decks and techs, then make sure to run Yanmega Prime and Max Potion.  If you get 2 Yanmega’s out Beartic will not be able to do anything, and Max Potion will guarantee that the damage will not stack up. 

How to Pick A Deck

Battle Roads are a very tricky tournament to plan for.  Bigger tournaments like Nationals, States, and Regionals are fairly easy to plan for.  For the the bigger tournaments it is all about consistency.  For BR’s there are many ways to skin a cat.  Of course you usually see a lot of the better players do well with consistent decks, but that is not always the best play.  Battle Roads rely on luck a lot of the time since there are usually only 4-5 rounds.

For example, my first tournament was a Spring Battle Road.  I was playing a risky build of Scizor/Cherrim that relied on a lot of luck.  Despite the odds, I was able to grab 2nd place in the tournament, beating a lot more expierenced players on the way.  Sometimes its not all about consitency, sometimes in a BR its better to have a risky deck and a lot of luck.  Though, its always great to have a consistent deck.

So how should you pick your deck?  Well that is hard because even I do not know what I am going to play yet, but I would suggest that you go with a few principles.

1.  Go with what you are familiar with.  There are always growing pains with a deck, so if you haven’t had your growing pains with your deck, don’t take it to a tournament.  Make sure you know your deck in and out before you go.

2.  Be comfortable with Pokemon Catcher.  If you are not comfortable with either blocking this card or using it, you should get familiar very soon.  The card is very powerful, do not be caught un-prepared (see what I did there, “caught” and Catcher, haha).

3.  Consistency is always good.  If you got a really great consistent deck, than by all means play it. 

4.  But you can do well at a BR with luck and a risky deck. A deck that relies on flips and stuff like that could do well, if you are lucky.

5.  Leave disruption alone.  For some reason disruption does well in tournaments like States and Regionals, but does not do well at Battle Roads.  So wait for a while to break out your Ambipoms, Weaviles, and Sharpedos.

Well I wish you all good luck on preparing for states.  Remember make sure to test Pokemon catcher with Pokemon like Reshram, Zekrom, Magnezone Prime, Yanmega Prime, Beartic, Donphan Prime, Zororark Bw, and whatever else you hear will be popular in your metagame.   And if you can’t get your deck to where you want it, it might be best to just go balls to the walls with a risky deck and hope you get lucky. 

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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