The only new high tier deck to come out of Plasma Blast is Virizion/Genesect, a deck that many people are unsure of what the best way to run the deck is at this point, but most people would agree that it is in the mix somewhere at the top of the format. This has left a lot of people looking for some easy ways to swing this matchup in their favor in terms of techs.
How do the fire techs in the format stack up in reality against Virizion/Genesect? Read more to find out. So far I’ve encountered an array of fire techs being played in decks and here are my thoughts on each of them.
Victini EX – This seems to be everyone’s favorite tech in terms of combating Virizion/Genesect. If you attach a Victory Piece to Victini EX, you automatically win against Virizion/Genesect seems to be the outlook most players have on this card. From there you can just Intensifying Burn your way to victory, right?
Well that’s never been the way it’s worked out in testing for me. In general, if I see a Victini EX, it’s able to take one knockout before I neuter it useless for the rest of the game. The reason I am able to render it useless is because it’s dependent on an Ace Spec to attack and also has low HP.
As Genesect is a Plasma Pokemon, most of these decks will be running two Tool Scrapper to combat Silver Mirror, so a simple Tool Scrapper drop and Victini EX isn’t attacking for the rest of the game.
Because of its low HP, Victini EX is also easy to knockout. If the VirGen deck plays Bouffalant DRX, they can use Gold Breaker to OHKO. A simple laser drop or Deoxys on the bench turns Megalo Cannon into 110 damage attack, enough to knockout the Victini EX. Additionally, disregarding all of those, if you Megalo Cannon once, you can always snipe the Victini later to finish it off.
Sure, you could play Fire Energy and multiple Victini EX to make Intensifying Burn more effective, but why would you build a deck around a 110 HP Fire Pokemon in this format. That’s just asking to lose multiple games against Blastoise and Kyurem PLF decks throughout a tournament.
Heatran EX – This is an option that really is specific for Plasma decks. Heatran EX for three Energy, OHKO’s everything in Virizion/Genesect if there is three Deoxys EX in play. It surely does an effective job, but I don’t think it’s a good play for Plasma decks for a couple reasons:
1. It means you’ll be playing a Special Energy reliant Plasma version, which as I stated the other day, I don’t think is very good for this format with all the Enhanced Hammer and Drifblim floating around.
2. Because of Kyurem PLF’s 130 HP, it can be troublesome for VirGen to deal with, so Plasma already has a strong VirGen matchup without having to tech a Fire Pokemon in.
Ninetales DRX – This one isn’t too good. Takes awhile to get setup, and Hypnotoxic Laser is useless if the Grass Pokemon have any Grass Energy attached. If your opponent sees a Vulpix on your bench you can bet they will start spreading their Grass Energy around to prevent the OHKO. Not worth the space in the deck.
Ho-Oh EX – This is probably the best general tech in a vacuum against VirGen, as with its high HP it will almost always take two KO’s before it goes down, and if it does go down, it can come right back with Rebirth to terrorize VirGen decks some more.
The problem is that there aren’t really any good decks that play a bunch of different types of Basic Energy, so it’s hard to find a place for Ho-Oh EX to actually fit in a deck to be a counter to VirGen.
With the lack of Energy Switch, building a deck fully based around Ho-Oh EX is a no-go, as Ho-Oh EX isn’t a good enough attacker in a format where Kyurem and Blastoise are big decks. Ho-Oh/Garbodor is a thing, but again, I don’t see how that can be successful with all Plasma and Blastoise decks running 2-3 Tool Scrapper and plenty of water attackers.
Why play Moltres when Black Kyurem EX does the same thing? Well Moltres only discards one Energy, so it can easily be recharged to attack even if the Blastoise goes down.
I don’t think, however, that will be enough for people to make room for Moltres in their deck, as it makes Blastoise less consistent against every other deck, and it’s harder to find tech room in Blastoise with at least two Tool Scrapper being needed now.
If Moltres didn’t find its way into Blastoise much when Klinklang was big, I don’t expect it to now, given that Black Kyurem EX can attack into VirGen for OHKO’s, which it couldn’t against Klinklang.
Reshiram NXD – This isn’t a good general tech imo. The idea of attaching a DCE and using outrage isn’t too effective in this format. None of the big 4 decks right now, outside of Plasma versions focused on Lugia run DCE, so it’s hard to fit in with out adjusting a deck’s consistency, but the outrage strategy is too reactive and gives your opponent too much control in dealing with your tech.
They can Catcher and Red Signal around the Reshiram, remove its DCE with Enhanced Hammer, or when the time comes to deal with it use G-Booster for the OHKO.
In Emboar variants, it is very good as it can be recharged easily for Blue Flare every turn, but again, Emboar is a bad play because of the prevalence of Water in the meta game.
Flareon PLF – This is probably the best Fire Pokemon against VirGen overall. Its Vengeance attack will OHKO all of your Pokemon if they have 7 Pokemon in their discard, or just 4 if they use Silver Bangle.
It’s not really a splashable tech though, as it is a Stage 1 so it takes up a lot of space, and it also requires DCE which most decks aren’t running, so that’s a lot of spots in a deck to tech to one matchup, especially if you start adding Bangles, which will surely hurt a deck’s consistency.
Heat Tackle, for RCC also does 90 damage for a OHKO.
I wouldn’t expect to see Flareon pop up as a tech in decks because of the vast amount of space it takes up. There might be a few decks built around Flareon at Regionals as it seems to be a semi-popular pet deck among players, but I wouldn’t expect it to do very well or be played in big numbers because of how much it struggles against Darkrai decks, as well as Landorus decks which are gaining in popularity because of the prevalence of Darkrai.
Additionally, versions of VirGen playing the heavy Drifblim line can punish Flareon by discarding their DCE’s with Enhanced Hammer and then hammering through the deck with Shadow Steal.
If you plan on playing Virizion/Genesect at a Regional Championship I wouldn’t let any of the heat make you sweat, as the most splashable Fire tech, Victini EX, doesn’t do a good at truly countering the deck, and most of the other techs will severely hurt their decks consistency.
Some players may choose to run Fire decks at Regionals, which will surely beat Virizion/Genesect, but in a water heavy meta, those can’t be expected in great numbers and the players who play those will probably do poorly so if you can avoid them in the early rounds you will probably never have to play one of those.
Featured Image Credits: Couldn’t quite fine the original source, but I found it here.