Deck Analysis: Steelix Prime Ross Deck

by Pikkdogs ~ December 8th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs here with a deck analysis for you.  My extra-dimensionary sidekick Pedro will also be joining us. Pedro, what do you have for us today?

Well, not much news for today.  Cities are still going on, and a special Victini tin is coming out.  It will contain 5 packs and a Victini promo (the one with the “Victory Star Ability.” So that’s pretty cool. 

Anything else?

Well a couple days ago, December 5th, was International Ninja Day. 

But we missed it.

Of course we did, ninjas are very elusive.

Well, it makes sense.  Enough ninja talk, let’s get on to the article.

While I must admit that this deck pre-dates my play history with it by a couple months, I recently made it because I think that the format is getting more Steelix friendly.  Pokemon that are now being played like Chandelure and Vanilluxe are great matchups for Steelix Prime.  So now is the perfect time to start experimenting with Steelix.  First, let’s learn some basics about the deck and what makes it playable.

The Goal of Steelix Ross

Steelix Ross is kind of like regular Donphan Ross, it has the same objectives.  Ross Deck (The Truth) was a deck introduced at Worlds 2011 as a cool rogue deck.  It relied on having a big tank. using Reuniclus to keep damage counters off of it, and Vileplume to make sure Pokemon Catcher doesn’t screw things up.  Ross Deck is a very slow deck, it relies on Twins to setup after your opponent took his/her first prize.  But once it does setup, it will be able to absorb almost every hit and then return it with a hard hit of its own.

Steelix Ross Deck is a little different from the cookie cutter Ross.  It basically is the same, but instead has Steelix as the main attacker.  Steelix right now has a good matchup against Chandelure, Beartic, and Vanilluxe.  Steelix is good against these decks because of his “Perfect Metal” Poke-Body. This Poke-Body does not allow Steelix to be effected by a special condition.  This means that he can’t be paralyzed, poisoned, or confused.  This works well against Chandelure and Vanilluxe.

Steelix also has two good attacks.  “Energy Stream” does  30 damage for CC and lets you attach an energy to Steelix from the discard pile.  “Gaia Crush” does 100 damage for MMCCC, and lets you discard the stadium card in play if you wish.  “Gaia Crush” is fun to use to discard a $100 Tropical Beach card.

That’s quite an evil use of that attack.

It is indeed.  Even though Steelix’s only big attack costs 5 energies, it is still is okay because the first attack makes sure that you can get 5 energies on him fairly quickly.  It should take you only one extra turn then a stage 1 with a one energy attack.  On the first turn you attach a DCE to Onix.  On the second you evolve to Steelix, attach a metal and use, “Energy Stream.”  Then you should be able to just attach one more metal energy and you should be all set.  100 damage isn’t that great, but seeing that this deck works with Donphan’s 60 and 90 damage attack, it is more than enough.

How To Setup

On the first turn you are either going to want to use Pokemon Collector, or use Pichu’s “Playground” attack.  Pichu may hurt you more than he helps, so be careful when you use him.  You should be able to get a lot of basics by turn 2.  Next, you are going to want to evolve Reuniclus and Vileplume.  I would probably try Vileplume first, but if you can only get Reuniclus it shouldn’t hurt you too much.  You can evolve using the help of Twins and Rare Candy.  Next, you are going to want to play an Onix down and start attaching energies.  Then you can promote Steelix Prime, and use Reuniclus to keep the damage counters off of him.  Blissey Prime can then be setup to heal all damage counters.


Here is a rough list of what I came up with.  Note, this is not a great list just something you can start testing with.  It will just give you an idea of what’s going on.  Feel free to take it and play test with it yourself.


  • 1-Pichu
  • 3-Onyx
  • 3-Steelix Prime
  • 3-Oddish
  • 1-Gloom
  • 2-Vileplume
  • 3-Solosis
  • 2-Duosion
  • 2-Reuniclus
  • 1-Chansey
  • 1-Blissey Prime
  • 2-Kyurem- to soak up the damage counters, and possibly used to “Outrage”.


  • 4-Pokemon Collector
  • 3-Pokemon Communication
  • 2-Professor Elms Training Method
  • 4-Professor Oak’s New Theory
  • 2-Engineer’s Adjustments
  • 2-Professor Juniper
  • 4-Twins
  • 3-Rare Candy
  • 1-Seeker


  • 3- Basic Metal Blissey Prime - GS
  • 4-Special Metal
  • 4-Double Colorless

Tech Suggestion

  • +1 Gloom
  • +1Belossom- Being able to spread damage counters out and then heal them (6 a turn) is pretty cool.

Matchups and Playtest Results

Here is a rough matchups list.  I did not get to test all the matchups out, so I don’t know a lot about them, but what I can surmise I will put down.

  • Reshiram-Autoloss. You can never make it past the fire weakness that Steelix Prime has.
  • Zekrom– Slightly Unfavorable?  I haven’t tested this one, but I can try to assume the results.  I would think that faster Zekrom builds can end this game very quickly, but slower builds might be  a better matchup.
  • Vanilluxe– Autowin.  They can’t paralyze or attack for much.
  • Chandelure– They can’t attack for much or burn and confuse.
  • Donphan-Slightly Favorable.  If Donphan can control the early game it wins, if not you should be able to win a long game.
  • Gothitelle– Slightly Favorable.  Very similar decks, but you can use Special Metals and Steelix Prime’s resistance.

I did take this deck to Team Warp Point’s Poke-Barn last Monday.  So here is how it went.

Round 1- Audino/Weavile.

Weavile was able to keep the Twins out of my hand, and Audino was able to flip well.  An easy win for the other player.

Round 2- Chandelure. 

This should have been an easy matchup, but all I could draw was energy cards, so it only took him a couple turns to get rid of what I could get out on the field.

Round 3-Durant. 

Ross Deck is slow and Durant likes slow decks.  The mill was on early for another loss.

Round 4- KCE or CaKE (Kyurem, Coablion, and Electrode Prime). 

This game was my first good game.  I setup fairly easy and take the first couple prizes.  He then uses “Energy Mite” to get back in the game, and uses “Iron Breaker” to get rid of a Steelix.  The game was tied late, but I ended up running out of energy for another loss.

Round 5-Eelektrick and Lanturn Prime. 

Lanturn just doesn’t do enough damage to knock out Steelix, so this game was easy.  It was my first win, but this deck and Chandelure is more like what I would see in a regular tournament.

So the testing didn’t turn out too well, but TWP tends to run some weird stuff on Pokemon Night so you never know.  Steelix Ross depends soley on matchups, so it can still be a good deck even though I got steam rolled at the Poke Barn.


Is Steelix Ross playable?  It depends on the metagame.  Depending on who you play you could either clean up easily, or get ran over.  If you see Reshiram and some off the wall rogue stuff you lose, but Vanilluxe and Chandelure make you happy.  It all depends on your metagame.

 So, that’s all I got for today.  Please make any suggestions for the list in the comment box, and any comments on the deck as a whole would be welcomed there as well.  What do you have for us Pedro? 

 Well, Pokemon has been in the national and world news this week.  Former U.S. Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain quoted a line from Pokemon the Movie 2000 in one of his speeches.

Hmmm, that’s interesting.

What’s interesting?  That Pokemon has penetrated our culture enough to be used in Politics?

No. That a black guy actually watched a Pokemon Movie. 

Yeah, that does seem unusual.  Have a good night everybody. 

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