It’s been far too long since I last wrote here, or played in a Pokemon tournament for that matter. Work, girls, and family obligations have gotten in the way the past few months of me being too largely involved in the game past basic testing. I didn’t get to play in any States, but I feel fresh and ready to go, as I did get a fair amount of testing in with the new format. I will be able to play in a bunch of battle roads and of course national, and some good time away from the game has really helped in refreshing my love for the game.
I attended my first and only Plasma Freeze pre-release, and was able to walk away with three Deoxys EX and most of the new Item cards, so I am pretty well stocked for a lot of the decks I want to play in the new format, which I will be writing about over the next few weeks.
The first deck I want to talk about is a new take on Darkrai that I have been testing out, which seems to have solid matchups across the board in m early testing. Tthe idea behind the deck is to combine Darkrai EX, which has been powerful since its been released with the newly released Plasma engine. Here is my current list for the deck.
3 Darkrai EX
Trainers – 36
4 Professor Juniper
4 Ultra Ball
2 Plasma Frigate
Energy – 14
4 Plasma Energy
The basic idea behind the deck is to lead early with a Darkrai EX or two, to setup later knockouts for Absol and Lugia EX. You’re able to power up Darkrai EX’s a little quicker than normal thanks to having two options for Energy acceleration with both Colress Machine and Dark Patch.
It might seem silly to pair Deoxys EX with Darkrai EX at first, but the deck hits on so many magic numbers thanks to Deoxys EX that its ridiculous. Deoxys allows Darkai EX to hit magic numbers on Stage 2’s much easier, and most importantly, it allows for Darkrai to shine in combination with Lugia EX.
With just two Deoxys EX in play, Lugia EX is able to knock out any 170 HP EX after a snipe from Darkrai EX. Add a third Deoxys EX onto the field, and you can take the knockouts on those 180 HP EX’s as well. After just one Night Spear, you can have the setup for two knockouts on EX’s with Lugia EX for game.
The other card that gets a big boost from Deoxys EX is Absol, just to a lesser extent. That’s because Absol can achieve the same tricks that Deoxys provides it through Dark Claw and Hypnotoxic Laser, something Lugia either can’t benefit from because its not a Dark type or because it messes with its Overflow Ability.
A lot of decks in this format – anything with Deoxys, Blastooise, and RayEels – loves to load up their bench, so Absol is ale to do a steady 140-150 damage against these decks, as they generally will want to have the full bench to manage in a game. This allows Absol to do some great cleanup work after a Night Spear snipe. Even if your opponent doesn’t quite have a full bench, the new Absol is still great in that it gives Darkrai a non-EX attacker to mix things up. I think Absol is going to really allow a wide variety of Darkrai decks to survive and thrive in the upcoming format.
The last little touch I made with this deck was using two Plasma Frigate for my Stadium slot. Having a Stadium Card in your deck is of utmost importance, as there are so many great Stadium cards in the format and they are all so important to how their deck functions, whether it be Tropical Beach, Skyarrow Bridge, or Virbank City Gym. The reason I chose Plasma Frigate for my stadium is because I still expect Landorus EX and Terrakion NVI to see quite a bit of play, so being able to remove that weakness is huge against those decks.
The other Stadium Card that has to be considered is the newly released Frozen City card. If I continue playing with this deck, I might try slipping it in and seeing how it works out. The card does some pretty mean things to non-Plasma decks, as that 20 damage for each attachment adds up, and just 2 attachments will put most of their Pokemon in OHKO range for you, especially when paired with 30 snipe from Night Spear. Overall though, I think removing weakness against Fighting Pokemon is a bit stronger, especially since Blastoise/Keldeo EX, the main victim of Frozen City, doesn’t seem like it will be too popular of a play, and all sorts of Plasma stuff seems most likely to be the most played decks at Battle Roads.
In my early testing, the deck seems to do very well against the Plasma Basics deck. All it seems to take is some early Night Spears to knock out their initial Pokemon, followed by Lugia EX and Absol doing cleanup work, especially paired with a little bit of good old fashion N disruption. The Blastoise and RayEels matchups for Darkrai in general is greatly improved from last format thanks to Absol providing a great option for knocking out a Rayquaza EX or Keldeo EX after a single snipe without having to get three Energy onto another Darkrai EX in case it gets knocked out.
One last note, it seems almost everything I have been playing against seems to love to fill up their bench. This has made Colress much stronger than it was in the last format, which was very much centered around Big Basic decks that really didn’t need much of a bench. The card still sucks if you open it as your only Supporter, and your opponent doesn’t really fill up their bench, or gets off to an aggressive start, but in general I have been increasing my Colress count to three in most of my decks because the card will generally be very strong after the first turn of the game in the new format. The card really helps bring together this decks matchup against stuff like Plasma Basics or RayEels because you can Colress for 10, and then all of a sudden you have all the resources you want to get an attacker powered up out of nowhere. This is especially true for this deck now that it has Absol at its disposal, which just needs a Dark Patch or Colress Machine along with a manual attachment to get going.
That’s all I have to write about for my first foray on this site into the new Plasma induced format. I had a previous Six Prizes Article on the Plasma Basics deck, and I have another one coming up next week, so I will try to divide my coverage of decks between my Underground Article next week, along with additional content for here too. Check it out over the next few weeks, I will have some pretty frequent updates coming to the site, and then of course some tournament reports once Battle Roads start. I am super excited for this format, the new cards from Plasma Freeze will bring a lot more creativity in deckbuilding and teching into the format, and that is never a bad thing!