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Cardz Shop

Cardz Shop 2-Venucentre, Wild Growth, and Why Rap is a Low Music Form

03.14.05  Well, welcome to week two of Cardz Shop. This week, I’ll be tackling an Unlimited deck sent in by Kyle. This deck has a lot of older cards in it and, frankly, I’m not the best Unlimited deck builder out there. My specialty is the current Modified format. However, I am here to help out in any way possible; so, while I prefer Modified decks, I will do some, but not all, Unlimited decks sent to me. So, let’s get on to today’s specimen.

From Kyle:

"Okay, here's something I fixed up. I'm not sure how it is; it's been a while since I've done this deck thing and I'm a bit rusty, but here goes.

Pokémon: 21
[4] Bulbasaur (Base Set)
[3] Ivysaur (Base Set)
[2] Venusaur (Base Set)
[4] Chikorita (50 HP)
[2] Bayleef (80 HP)
[1] Meganium (Wild Growth)
[3] Grimer (Team Rocket)
[2] Dark Muk
Trainers: 25
[4] Bill
[3] Computer Search
[2] Pokémon Trader
[4] Energy Removal
[1] Professor Oak
[1] Item Finder
[1] Pokémon Center
[4] Pokémon Breeder
[2] Plus Power
[3] Gust of Wind
Energy: 14
[14] Grass Energy

Strategy: Basic Energy Trans Deck with Wild Growth for speed and cheaper retreat. Dark Muk keeps the opponent from retreating while my Pokés can zip in and out of the bench. If this deck has any problems, PLEASE tell me what they are, so I can fix them immediately


Alrighty, this is a combination of two ideas, both of which work off of each other. You have your classic traces of Venucentre which has been around since the release of Base. Another idea that never really caught on was the Grass Energy Swarm that involved Jungle Pinsir (ugh) and other grass basics that could use their most powerful attacks for less energy. I’ve seen both of them run together once in a grass pokémon only tournament and, well, it more or less swept the house (with the exception of me. I was the only one smart enough to realize that whenever a Ditto hits the field, it would become a grass pokémon and be able to attack. That and a Dark Muk swept everything backing ’02). Now that we know that these two work with a great synergy, let’s revamp the deck to work off of both of them better AND use a better supporting pokémon (i.e. Dark Muk is a great card, and I’m running the RR one in modified, but there is a better card for this deck).

Pokémon: To start off, let’s drop the Dark Muk line. As much as I love Dark Muk (I’ve run him as my main deck since the release of Gym Heroes), there is a better support pokémon for this deck. That pokémon is Aquapolis Exeggutor (Holo). Super Eggsplotion can kick out some major damage, but the attack you want to use is Called Shot. If you run this deck correctly, you should be doing 60 damage with that attack by turn 2 and 80 by turn three.

Now that our focus is more on the Exeggutor/Meganium combo, let’s balance the other evolution lines out. Since we need Meganium out more quickly, let’s boost that line up to three Wild Growth Meganium (adding two), and slim down the Venusaur line as it isn’t the central part of the deck but is very integral. Also, since you’ve obviously been out of the game for a while, there are better choices for some of your lower stage pokémon. I’ll list which ones you should be using down in the final list.

-D.Muk line
-1 Bulbasaur
-1 Ivysaur

+3 Exeggcute (AQ; Growth Spurt)
+2 Exeggutor (AQ; Holo)
+2 Meganium (Wild Growth)
+1 Venusaur ex (FRLG; great attacks AND Energy Trans)

Trainers: Well, there are a lot of cards you have a real need for in here. There are so many new, better trainers have come out that you could make great use of. First off, 3 Item Finder are a must in ANY Unlimited deck in my opinion. You never know what abstract TecH trainer you’ll need to use twice. You’re running a LOT of pokémon, so another Pokémon Trader is in order. Now, to help you with your drawing line. 1 Prof. Elm is in order, along with another Professor Oak. With all the new drawing cards that have come in, there are better cards than Bill. So let’s drop all of them. Also, you need to keep all your energy on your pokémon. So, the combo you previously had with energy Removal is kinda out the window. So, let’s drop all of them and add just one SER, just in case you absolutely HAVE to have removal.

Now, for some of the other cards you’ll be using other than your draw engine. Add another Pokémon Center (2 is all you should need in a Venucentre deck) and, instead of running Pokémon Breeder, run three Rare Candy. They act the same as Breeders but allow you to evolve pokémon on the first turn they hit the bench. PlusPower is a great card, but I don’t think you need it anymore. Replace them with some CopyCat, a great draw trainers from Rocket Returns and

-all Bill
-all Energy Removal
-all Pokémon Breeder
-all PlusPower

+2 Item Finder
+1 Pokémon Trader
+1 Prof. Elm
+1 Prof. Oak
+1 SER
+3 Rare Candy (SandStorm)
+1 Pokémon Center
+3 CopyCat (EX or RR)
+2 Switch (integral in any deck, Modified or Unlimited)

Energy: Adjusted to accommodate the new trainers. You had the numbers just about right to begin with.

-2 Grass Energy

Well, that wraps everything up with this deck. It was a nice deck to begin with, just abit outdated. Hopefully these newer cards will help you do better. I’ve also included a new strategy with the deck because I changed it just slightly.


4 Chicorita (Expedition; Sleep Powder)
2 Bayleaf (Expedition)
3 Meganium (Wild Growth)

3 Bulbasaur (Team Magma Team Aqua)
2 Ivysaur (FRLG)
2 Venusaur (Energy Trans)
1 Venusaur ex (FRLG)

3 Exeggcute (Aquapolis; Growth Spurt)
2 Exeggutor (Aquapolis; Holo)


3 Computer Search
3 Pokémon Trader
3 CopyCat
2 Professor Oak
1 Professor Elm
3 Item Finder

2 Pokémon Center
3 Rare Candy (SS)
2 Switch
3 Gust of Wind


12 Gras Energy

The decks main strategy now is to get Exeggcute or Bulbasaur out and get the extra energy attached to it with a Chicorita benched. On turn two, evolve Chicorita into Meganium via Rare Candy and evolve your active (be it Bulbasaur to Ivysaur or either of the Venusaur or Exeggcute into Exeggutor). This should give you a great turn two attack, be it 90 with Venusaur ex or 60 with Exeggutor to a helpless benched pokémon. Baby pokémon were rampant in Unlimited last time I checked, so a KO turn 2 is very likely.

Well, there ya go. Hopefully this updated deck will serve you better in your games to come.

RaNd0m Thoughts…: I was really surprised I didn’t get any comments about my closing comments last week. I was almost positive that others had had worse experiences with computers than I had. Anyhow, nothing has worked yet on the computer. It just crashes before it finished the virus check. I’m currently trying this for the tenth time this weekend and praying to God it works. If it doesn’t work, I’m computer-less for the rest of the semester and, well, that means I won’t be able to fix decks until mid May. So, this may be my farewell fix. But, if this last attempt doesn’t work, I’ll just delete all the files on my computer and reinstall Windows. It’s the last thing on my list and will take forever to set all my programs up again.

(Author’s Note: I just finished the scan and think I got all the applications that were screwing with my computer. Y’all will know if it worked or not about a week from now when I give more news about why I won’t be doing a deck in two weeks. More on that possibly next week.)

But I have another topic to discuss today. That topic is something I have been pondering since my freshman year of high school. And I imagine I’m going to get at least a couple of letters about this. This topic is on the controversial musical art form: rap.

Now, as it stands, I cannot currently deny that rap is music. As far as my opinions go, anything with pitch can be considered music. Whether it is high (or elevated) music or low music that is to be decided later. However, as I was listen to some rap music as I was home on Spring Break, I noticed there was absolutely no harmonic progression.

This may get a little hairy for those who haven’t had basic theory, but what I’m saying in a sense is that rap music has absolutely chord change in it on the whole. Some songs, such as “Lean Back” by Fat Joe, do not have a single chord in the whole piece. This begs me to ask: What has music become when we accept this as “popular” and “The Norm”? Other songs, such as the extremely popular “Yeah” by Usher featuring Lil’ Jon and Ludacris and that one Nelly and Tim McGraw song, have very little if any chord progression. Many other rap songs and some R & B (“I Like the Way You Move” by Outkast anyone?) feature this same idea.

Yet many artists who are writing their own music, chord progression and all, struggle even to make a splash in the industry. Some lucky artists such as Alicia Keys, John Mayer, and Vanessa Carlton have done more than make just a small splash. But many struggle to make a profit of their debut and make even less on their sophomore release, killing an honest music maker’s career before it has begun.

So, what are we to do? Nothing, really. The music industry has far to long accepted such sub-par work for to long, starting with 80’s pop and progressing to what we have today. Music is slowly moving away from something that sounds interesting to something that just sounds. Now, I do respect the speed at which a rapper can speak but I cannot respect them as serious musicians based on their lack of musical ability. So, based on the lack of harmonic progressions in rap music, I disregard it as a high musical art form and, in all actuality, consider it the lowest of all musical art forms.

Want to object to what I just said? Agree with me? Drop me a line at Cardz2004@hotmail.com. Who knows? Maybe if you support whatever argument you submit well enough, you may see it in my next deck fix and RaNd0m thought…




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