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Budget Deck; Article #2


Sorry for the lack of updates.  It seems that whenever I start a new series on here, I get slammed with midterms, assignments, and more homework than I could possibly imagine.  And it happens EVERY TIME I go to write an article.  EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME!!!! 

Anyway, here’s the deck that was voted in as the one to be tweaked.  I took the results from a couple weeks ago and the winner was:




1 Lugia

4 Chikorita
2 Bayleef
1 Meganium
4 Snubbull
1 Granbull
4 Natu
1 Xatu
3 Oddish
3 Spinarak
1 Stantler


2 Professor Elm's Training Method
2 Protective Orb

2 Fluffy Berry
2 Energy Search
2 Potion
1 Mary's Request


18 Grass
6 Psychic


OK, so I got to play with and tweak Silvery Sea for about two weeks and here’s the update.


Games #1 and 2: Dragonair Master w/ RockLock  

Wow, I knew my deck would play slow, but I never realized how slow.  As I sat there and looked at my opponent, I realized how depended and necessary for most decks it is to run a 2/1/2 Pidgeot line.  I thought that the two Prof. Elm’s would be enough to give me at least one decent attacker by turn three, but I was quite wrong.   

By about turn 5 I had a Natu out active and 2 benched Chicorita to my opponent’s benched Pidgeot, D. t-Tar (Spinning Tail) and D. Amphy.  Of course, his active had to be a Jirachi which, because I was trying to set up for a one-turn KO with the Meganium I’d been holding for three turns, was able to help him search for 2 free cards per turn.  After about six straight tail flips on his Jirachi, he finally draw one of his four Heal Energies to get rid of the Sleep and send up a T-Tar, fully loaded.  Two turns later, I was dead. 

He offered a rematch.  I accepted.  See the above description for the same game.  Add one attack from a Bayleaf and that’s about what happened. 

So, what did I learn?  My deck is reeaaaaallllllyyy slow.  Not just a little a lot. After the next four games, look for massive trainer overhaul and pokémon slimming.  Especially on the rather useless lines: non-evolving Oddish and the Granbull possibly.----------------------------


After the match, we talked about how to get a hold of some cards and what I should put into the deck.  He even said he voted for the deck that had ended up winning.  After that talk, I was off to my next match.


Which actually wasn’t for another three days.  I played this match online and then waited until my local League came around before playing the deck again.  So, with that, I was off to… 

Game 3: RockLock 

Umm…yeah.  I think rock lock is great and all, but is it THAT popular?  Jeez…  

Anyway, this match went a little better for me.  I got a Natu and Spinarak to my opponent’s Cleffa (?!?), Larvitar and Pidgey.  I go first, attach E to Spinarak (my active) and flip for effect.  Heads.  Rock on.  Paralysis and poison, so he can’t Eeeeeek.  After he gets unparalyzed, I can’t KO him.  By this time, he’s already powered up a Larvitar and has a Pidgeotto benched.  Crap.  But, in the meantime, I’ve got my Stantler powered up and start Knocking Away what trainers he has in his hand.  But, on the next turn he gets out Pidgeot and searches for whatever he needs.  And I’m stuck back in a hole.  I do end up drawing two prizes from all my knocking away, but a Dark T-Tar comes out with a benched Dark Amphy, Sandstorm d. T-tar and Pidgeot staring me down.  Pain and suffering ensue for my side. 

Game 4: Random deck 

Don’t remember much about this game except a few things. 

1) I finally get out both Granbull and Xatu.  Amazingly, I get more use out of the Granbull.  I’m pretty sure this is a fluke and need a bit more play-testing to figure this out. 

2) Starting with an active Spinarak is better than starting with an active Natu.  While bench damage is nice, it doesn’t really help until later in the game.  And initial paralysis and poisoning almost guarantees 30 damage by the end of your next turn if lucky enough (which happens a lot).

3) Lugia makes an entrance and makes no impact on the game.  Its high cost to power up prevents from being useful. 

4) Oddish still sucks and I get an overabundance of him. 

Notice how I say nothing about winning in this topic.  Yep, that means I lost.  AGAIN. 

Game 5: RockLock 

Different Rock Lock that runs equal parts Sandstorm and Spinning Tail  as opposed to favoring Spinning Tail.  This is the game where I finally see the deck shine.  I get and early Mary’s Advice, followed by a Prof. Elm’s Training Method to get out a turn 5 Meganium.  After that, I wait for my Spinarak to die (Stun Poison is GREAT in this deck!) and send up the Mega.  60 kills off poisoned T-Tar and I get healed, so no damage on me.  And, hey, my Spinning Tailed bench is recovering now too.  Boom, a Dark Pupitar goes down.  After that, I’m just picking off basic after basic until I do 90 to a Jirachi for the win.  IT was great to see this deck finally WORK like it should.  At least I know it CAN work.


So, after a 1-4 start, what do we know. 

1) This deck NEEDS a better drawbase or maybe SOMETHING THAT RESEMBLES A drawbase.  There are only 3 cards in here right now remotely helping this and Elm only helps half the time.  I need something in here that will let me tutor more cards into my hand. 

2) Of the decks rares, only Stantler and Meganium have helped me so far.  Lugia, while I still think it is worth keeping, just hasn’t shown himself to be of much use. 

3) Of the other evolutions, the jury is still out on whether or not they are of any use.  Sure, I actually got a heads flip on Granbull once (of the two times I attacked with it).  But I’m not sure he’s worth having in the deck with its almost pointless two retreat cost.  Xatu is good too, but I haven’t been able to sue him. 

4) The deck has WAY too much energy.  I almost never lose by my opponent taking all the prizes.  It usually ends with me holding a hand consisting of a useless trainer (Energy Search or Potion), a useless evolution, and five energy.  Bad.  Very Bad. 

5) Some of the basics in this deck are more than pointless.  What’s up with the non-evolving Oddish?  Or the overabundance of useless Natu and Snubbull?  Not seeing a connection here.  The only decent basic in here is Spinarak, and it’s saved my butt in more games than I can recall.

This recapped, here’s the list of changes I’ve made.  Remember, in the basic outline, I can only take out five to seven cards at a time.  Here are my changes so far:

-4 Oddish

OK, if I add another grass evolution to the deck, it will be Ariados.  Stun Poison is much better than Stun Spore IMO, even with the damage from the attack.

-2 Energy Search

Most. Useless. Trainer. Ever.  ‘Nuff said. 

-1 Grass Energy 

More energy should be going later, but I just need to get rid of some useless card first before I go hacking at the energy. 

+1 Spinarak 

Great opener and does a lot for a little. 

+3 CopyCat 

Great card for the deck as it helps you draw actual cards.  With Steven’s so hard to get right now, I’m going to avoid adding them until later. 

+1 Elm’s Training Method. 

One of the few trainers in this deck I’m willing to keep around.  I LOVE being able to search for my little used Evos (read Xatu, Granbull, Mega) at the perfect time. 

+1 Mary’s Research 

If I add any more Meganium, this deck isn’t going to be able to use Mary’s well, so I’m keeping it at a pretty low number in case I need to drop it.  As is, I need the extra Mary to run this better.


Next matches went like this:


Game 6: Dragonair Master w/ Camerupt ex 

I love how I can always rely on this guy for an online game.  The basic strategy of his was Camerupt ex swarm with Jirachi thrown in (think Medicham ex from last year).  Very solid deck.  But how did my modified precon do? 

Well, it started off pretty shaky.  I got down two by tow prizes pretty quickly, even after getting a turn 2 Granbull.  I was hoping to Crushing Blow his Camerupt EX down with a heads flip, but no dice.  My next attempt at an effect was with a Spinarak.  I knew I wouldn’t get paralysis, but a nice poisoning would have been nice.  No effect again.  I then activated my benched Stantler, which did do much in my immediate opinion.  All it did was confuse two of my opponent’s Camerupt EXs (he had three in play by the games end).  The first one confused retreated and activated another of its kin to burn my deer.  The second got confused and stayed active for some time. 

By the time Stantler got knocked out, I was down on prizes (6-3) and had only one pokémon on my bench, Xatu.  It had two energy attached to it, and so I thought I might have a chance to take out some of my opponent’s bench.  At that time, it consisted of two Camerupt (one without any damage and 1 damage counter on it) and a Jirachi.  Hoping to bring down a couple prizes by bench damage, I targeted the damages Camerupt. 

And then my luck turned.  Every time my opponent tried to attack with its active Camerupt, he flipped tails.  By the time he got around to KOing my Xatu, I had a bench with a Spinarak, Natu, and Bayleaf (with 2 G energy and a Protective Orb on it), and my opponent’s side of the board consisted of a benched Camerupt with 9 damage counters on it, an active Camerupt with 11 damage counters on it (gotta love that confusion), and two benched Jirachi with no damage on them.  I had finally KOed the active confused Camerupt and the final two were going to be KOed by my Bayleaf.  I easily KOed the firs Camerupt and brought the prize count to 2-1.  It came down to his last attack.  If either of us discarded energy from an Explosion, he would win.  If not, I was holding a Psychic energy in my hand and was ready to attach it to Bayleaf for the win.  What did out discards end up being? 

Him: Swoop! Teleporter (Good.) 

Me: One of my 6 Psychic energy  (Bad.  Very bad.) 

So he ended winning by KOing my final decent pokémon.  I did end up getting Lugia out, but I never got to use him since he came out about the turn I evolved my half powered Chicorita into Bayleaf.  The only reason I remembered him being out was: 

1) He was one of my three rares. 

2) I had to retreat him using a well-timed Fluffy Berry to get in a KO attack from Bayleaf on the 110 damaged Camerupt. 

So, I think this solidifies Stantler’s place in the deck.  Without his Confusing attack, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near KOing any of his Camerupt.  Lugia still sits on the brink of elimination, and I still can’t decide if Xatu or Granbull is better than the other and, if I have to decide, which will I keep and which will get cut. 

Musings aside, my next match was… 

Game 7: DarkLordSigma w/ Kamikaze! (Typhlosion EX and Weezing DX) deck 

I got off to a good start, KOing his active Cyndaquill by turn 2 with the aide of Stun Poison and Spinarak.   

Then things turned ugly.  I failed the next three or four flips for Stun Poison while he Wished away with a Jirachi.  I was helpless as my benched consisted of a Natu and Snubbull.  Before he retreated Jirachi, I powered up a Xatu (Natu had evolved by then) and targeted one of his benched Weezings (both had Energy Roots attached to them).  He then retreated the Jirachi, sends up the damaged Weezing and Liabilities, KOing the Weezing AND KOing my Xatu, since he sent up the rare Typhlosion from UF which places a damage counter on pokémon between turns.  Ouch.  After losing another Spinarak to the fire plague, I sent up my Snubbull and got heads flips for para for two turns, giving me enough time to find a Granbull and hack away for a KO on it.  The next turn, a Weezing came in and cleaned house with my Granbull.  So, we were each tied at 3-3 by then. 

Another powered Typhlosion comes up then and almost gets rid of my Granbull.  Its power, for the second of three times its been in play, has saved it and allowed it to attack another turn.  This gives me a chance to power up a benched Bayleaf I had accumulated.  My flip with Granbull was tails, so no help there.  It dies the next turn from Typhlo’s Poke-BODY.  I send up a Spinarak and sacrifice it so that I can use my Bayleaf with Protective Orb next turn to KO the Typhlosion.  I also benched a Stantler this turn and attached an energy to it. 

Weezing comes next and Liabilities Bayleaf, not KOing itself thanks to E.Root, but giving my Bayleaf a pounding none-the-less.  I retreated Bayleaf for my fully-powered Stantler and started Kicking Away at his hand.  I took out a Mr. Briney that turn that could have turned the game around for him.  1-2 for me right now. 

His only pokémon (an undamaged damage Weezing) comes up and Smogscreens my Stantler.  I retreat for my ailing Bayleaf and do 50 to the Weezing.  He then throws me a curve I wasn’t looking for.  He benches a Koffing, attaches (R) to it, retreats, and KOs my Bayleaf. 

So I’m left with a half-powered and 30 damaged Stantler and a useless, energyless Lugia.  I go with the Stantler and do 20, Knocking away another Briney and seeing a Steven’s tipping me off NOT to play any of the four basics in my hand.  We got back and forth until retreats the Koffing for his 50 damaged Weezing and Smogscreens me again.  I retreat and attach Fluffy Berry to Lugia.  Unable to retreat again this turn, he just stays up there.  I draw energy at the beginning of my next turn and attack it to Stantler.  I win a second match of my seven played so far.  And, with my recent tweaks, I’ve had two close games. 

Things learned from here: 

1) Both Xatu and Granbull have a place in this deck.  But, after 7 matches, I’m still not sure which one stays and which one goes. 

2) Rocket’s Admin. is ANY precon decks friend, especially when you’re down on prizes and have a sucky hand of all basic pokémon and no energy.  Ugh. 

3) I don’t see Meganium often enough, but Bayleaf is very helpful to the deck.  I see Lugia too much and he does next to nothing, other than filling a basic pokémon’s slot. 

4) Stantler iz t3h roXx0rz.  ‘Nuff said.


Normally, I would play three more matches before posting a report, but I’ve gone for too long without giving you all an update.  So, here’s the next round of changes.  These will be minor, since I only played two match since my most recent fix. 

-2 Potion 

It’s saved the game for me twice, but one time it was only a temporary hold-off until I got completely slaughtered.  If I add any Berries to the deck, it will be either more Fluffy Berry (highly unlikely) or some Sitrus Berry.  Stay tuned for that one. 

-2 Grass Energy 

Still too many in here.  I’m keeping around the Psychic energy for now until I decide which of my two stage one evos gets the boot. 

+1 Stantler 

Yeah, it’s a rare.  But here’s a quick tip on budget deck building using a preconstructed as your base: buy two of the same deck.  You’ll get double the useful cards, so adding extra Elm’s Research and Mary’s aren’t that hard.  And, on top of that, you’ll get extra Rares, so you can boost the lines you run in your decks. 

+1/1 Bayleaf/Meganium 

OK, I’m tired of not getting Meganium.  I’ve seen it perform in a game already and I want to see it perform again, dangit!  Boosting this line will help solidify the fact that I’ll be seeing more of the rare stage 2 of the deck. 

+1 Elm’s Training Method’s 

Hey, it’s proven far too valuable not to be maxed out in this deck. 

So, here’s the current decklist:




1 Lugia

4 Chikorita
3 Bayleef
2 Meganium
4 Snubbull
1 Granbull
4 Natu
1 Xatu
4 Spinarak
2 Stantler


4 Professor Elm's Training Method
2 Protective Orb

2 Fluffy Berry
3 Copycat
2 Mary's Request


15 Grass
6 Psychic


This is finally starting to look like a playable deck.  Its still a few weeks out, but we’ll be getting there. 

But in order to get there, I need a lot of matches.  That said, I struggled for two and a half weeks not to fit in seven matches because of scheduling, but because I couldn’t find anyone to play for almost a week.  This is a place where you all come in. 

Go find the most recent patch for Apprentice and download it with the Apprentice program.  Once you’ve installed it, create a deck and play a few solitaire games with it to get used to how the program works.  After you’ve done that, here comes the cool part. 

Find me on AIM.  If you’ve got AIM, no big deal.  If you don’t, just go to AOL.com and download it.  It’s a great program to have anyway.  Once you’re on AIM, you can contact me at the sceenname TENNISCARDZ.  If I’m available to play, I’ll let you know and we can start up the match.  Just a warning though: I cannot receive and I have so many firewalls protecting my computer right that there is no way I can receive at all.  So you’ll have to be able to receive in order to play me.  If you’re not sure about being able to receive, go ahead and talk to me and we’ll figure it out together.  Remember: my Screenname on AIM is TENNISCARDZ.  

And with that, we can work together to make this a better deck.  And when I say we, I do mean WE.  This isn’t just my project; you guys get to work on this too.  As it is, I have a good idea of where this deck is going.  Here are things I’m most definitely NOT going to change: 

Meganium and Stantler as core parts of the deck.

Maxed out Elm’s Training Method (for now) 

For this week, here’s what I need to decide by about this time next week: 

1) What other trainers do I want in here?  Remember, this is a deck for someone on a budget.  They’re not going to have access to popular cards right now, like Steven’s Advice or TV Reporters.  Keep that in mind as you decide on trainers.  Here’s my basic guide:

            A) Is it a common or uncommon? (Most are now.)

            B) How long ahs it been in print? (The longer, the better.)

            C) What is it currently going for in trades? (High trade card, low trade card, etc)

2) Granbull or Xatu?  As you can tell, I’m more than a little torn between the two.  They both have their pros and cons.  The problem is that as I dive farther into this deck, I know I’m only going to have room for one line that’s going to get beefed up and the other is going to get dropped.  I just have to decide that now.  Here’s my thought process on the two cards now:


+Sweet Poke-BODY that essentially gives it 80+ HP depending on the attacks.
+For (**), I get 30 and the possibility of energy removal, which is more than useful in the environment right now.
+Great Basic stage that can paralyze the opponent on a heads flip.
NEUTRAL: Flippy Attacks.
-Next to useless second attack
-low HP, even with the power helping it.
-(**) retreat, making it hard to maneuver once in play. 


+30 to one benched pokémon for (P*).  Very sweet.
+80 HP, solid for a stage 1.
+(*) retreat, making it easy to maneuver once in play
NEUTRAL: Second attack can be useful, can not be.
-Preceding stage not the greatest to have.  Bench damage is nice, but it only helps early in the game versus a benched Feebas or other low HP pokémon.
-Adds an extra color to the deck.  Sure, all it actually needs is one (P) energy to attack, but with ER2 on the loose, I’ll need some semblance of psychic energy in the deck.  This could be a big drawback, but can be worked around.

So, there’s my end.  Also, fell free to offer any other advice you fell would be beneficial to the deck in the topic.  Other trainers, pokémon, energy ideas, etc.  I look forward to hearing form you all.  And thanks for your replies in the topic in advance.

Cardz out.

P.S. - I really need people on Apprentice who are willing to help play the preconstructed deck I'm working on. If you've got a spare second to play, AIM me at TENNISCARDZ. I'd be a big help in this whole process. Thanks.


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