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Budget Deck; Article #4
Ohio States Report and the End of the Budget Deck Article


First, a link to Jay’s most recent column (sniff, sniff)

And here’s the deck at the end of last week.



4 Chikorita
3 Bayleef
2 Meganium
4 Snubbull
2 Granbull
2 Spinarak
3 Stantler


4 Professor Elm's Training Method
2 Protective Orb
2 Fluffy Berry
3 Copycat
2 Mary's Request
3 Master Ball
2 Switch


21 Grass

Match 1: DarkLordSigma w/ Camperupt and Typhlosion (both EX)

I dind’t see the Typhlo EX but I asked about it after the game. We both had decent set ups. He started searching w/ Jirachi while I got a turn 3 Granbull and turn 5 Bayleaf. ON turn 4, however, he hit me with an Admin after KOing his Jirachi and failing a Kill on my Granbull. This set me back a little, but I was able to get out Bayleaf on turn 5 and drew a Protective Orb as my prize and would have played it if I got the chance. Instead, I got hit with a POW! Hand Extension before I could play it. Bayleaf hit the Fire before it could defend itself and Granbull failed BOTH it’s Double Lariat flips which could have caused a KO and a turn in the game power back to me. Instead, I lost to a fully powered Camperupt EX on his 6th turn. A little disappointing to start the week off on, but I know I just got hit with two cards that just wrecked my strategy.

Match 2: EnjoiPandPoo w/ Machamp HL Swarm

I got a decent set-up with a turn 3 Granbull. A great set-up (considering I also had Protective Orb attached to help with weakness issues), but I started with an active Chicorita, holding a Mega in hand and hoping to get out a Bayleaf quickly enough to wreak my opponent. I was not lucky enough and my Chicorita got Brick Smashed inot the discard pile. A failed Crushing Blow the next turn ended that turn after I dropped another Chicorita on the bench along with a Stantler. A few turns and some fancy retreating later, the Granbull was dead with no prizes taken to show for itself (though it did get in some important damage). I sent out Stantler (with another Protective Orb attached) to confuse the active Machamp. Sadly, confusion wasn’t enough to stop its attacks. It got Switched out and replaced by a UF Corosola that fetched a Machop a couple turns later. After the Machop was benched, the Corosola retreated and a pumped Machamp came out and made quick work of my Stantler. After it’s KO, I sent out mega and KOed the Machamp in 2 turns. While I celebrated a small victory, my opponent got up another Champ and got another heads on Cross Chop, KOing my Mega before it could heal itself well enough. A Spinarak came in and got a flip, Poison KOing a heavily damaged Machamp, but that was the end of my efforts. The his side of the board consisted of at least three Machamp for most of the game and, with a Pidgeot searching for Switches and the like, I couldn’t compete. I put up a great effort, but it was too little in the end, even though I got off both my Granbull and one Meganium.

And then it started.

The great drought.

It really wasn’t a drought as what happened was I simply got too busy. For those of you who weren’t aware, I’m a sophomore at a pretty well know Christ-centered (not Christian) college in Ohio. The two matches above were played before my Christmas break. I had every intention of finishing this article series up during break and move on with a new deck idea and stop running this precon-centric idea. But fate provided another path. This semester, I am taking 20 credit hours (overloead is 21, so I missed having to visit the Department chair AND the Dean of Bible and Fine Arts by one credit in order to take overload), am involved in two theatre productions (I’m finishing up on the second this coming week), and am in 3 music ensembles. Needless to say, I get a little busy from time to time.

Anyway, it was about mid February when I started checking for major tourneys in my area (the League I had been going to had closed down recently). And, much to my surprise, Ohio States were only 2 hours away from the college unlike the three+ it had been. I checked the weekend for the tournament.

Completely open on my calendar.

That doesn’t happen every day. I’m normally booked to the walls for about wo months in advance, but this fit in an open spot between costume fittings and the debut of the show on campus.

So I started to playtest as much as possible. I won’t post all the matches here, because I don‘t have enough time to write them all up. All I can say is thanks to DragonairMaster8, DarkLordSigma, sdrawkcab190, and JasonTehPwnda for being available to playtest a lot during that time and the times before. You really helped develop the deck. A lot.

I was very excited about going to OH States. No one in Ohio really knows I’m from that state, so it would be really easy to slip in and get through deck chechs without people raising their eyebrows at a familiar deck that much. Honestly, I was glad to have the anonymity of no one knowing who I was so I wouldn’t get people asking me about current metagame Qs and the like. Yeah, I’m not a big time writer, but you’d be surprised how many people IM me now just for general deck help.

So, March 18 rolled around and I had a deck list together, but not all the cards I needed. Here was what I was planning on running.



4 Chikorita
3 Bayleef
3 Meganium
3 Spinarak
3 Ariados
3 Stantler


4 Professor Elm's Training Method
2 Protective Orb
2 Fluffy Berry
3 Sitrus Berry
3 Copycat
2 Mary's Request
3 Master Ball
2 Switch


19 Grass
1 Scramble

To answer some quick questions:

Why Ariados over Granbull?

In my playtests leading up to the tournament, I faced a LOT of decks that had fighting in them: some just for a little TecH, others completely centered around a (F) pokémon. Also, Machamp LM got REALLY popular the week before the tournament at other states as well as other fighting decks, so I was biting my nails for an answer. I had considered adding Ariados when I decided to max out on Spinarak early on, but decided to wait, since it was a rare and not open particularly easy to find. Not to mention, this deck really has no way of accessing your opponent’s bench. Ariados gave me a path to it.

While Ariados is “budget” per se, it’s not popular enough to be able to find and trade for/buy a set pretty cheaply. From what I say, I could have gotten the 3 for around $12 (the price of a theme deck).

Sitrus Berry?

I can’t believe I didn’t see this combo before, but here it is: With Meganium’s Self-Healing Body not keeping up with its Self-Damaging attack, I needed a way to keep up with attacking while healing more than usual. Someone (I forget who; remind me so I can thank you in my next article) suggested Sitrus Berry for quick healing. The result was great, essentially, I could deal 100 damage and only have 1 counter on me after my turn and be completely absolved of my damage by the time my next turn came around. It was a sweet combo and rather latched on to it.

1 Scramble Energy? Come on, Cardz, that card is in no way, shape, or form a Budget card?


*looks left*

*looks right*


…ok, so its not. I’ll admit it. However, in a coming article, I’ll explain why I used it. I’m really trying to invest in some cards that’ll see long-term play. My policy is: If you’ve got it, play it. I happened to pull a Scramble in a Booster prize I’d received and figure that, since my deck could use it, I should consider using it.

However, I don’t have a singles (as in single card) retailer near me, so I had to hope I could pick up the cards I needed at the tournament. Namely, the 3 Ariados. I had already prepared a backup list should I not be able to get a hold of all three I needed.

But, when I got to the tourney site, the on-site retailer had NO Ariados UF. Period. End of story.

Crap. Much crap.

So I had to think on my feet. I had to use the Granbull now, there’s no way around that. But what else should I use? And how much of it should I use?

In the end, I settled on 2/2 Granbull since I had talked to a lot of people and heard of a lot of LM Machamp running around, as well as some established Hariyama ex decks. Running 3/3 would be asking for a lot more auto-losses than needed for a Budget deck like mine.

So, that left 2 more open slots. What to insert? I had toyed with using Yanma from this set as an early card drawer, but that had only met varied success early on. But it’s second attack gave me limited access to the bench as well (very useful in a deck without a way to touch the bench). So I decided to run 1 Yanma and 1 Spinarak at the time. But 1 Spinarak wasn’t enough to make me feel comfortable and I still felt I needed more Stun Poison to balance the deck. So I dropped a Switch (leaving me with 3 Switchesque cards) and added a second Spinarak.

Also, I found a decent deal on Bill’s Maintenance, a Budget card already, so I scooped it up quickly and bumped out the Mary’s that had been giving me trouble for about two weeks since I had been getting more consistent turn 3 Megas.

Here’s the final decklist. Netdeck it if you like. ; - )



4 Chikorita
3 Bayleef
3 Meganium
2 Spinarak
1 Yanma (UF)
2 Snubble
2 Granbull
3 Stantler


4 Professor Elm's Training Method
2 Protective Orb
2 Fluffy Berry
3 Sitrus Berry
3 Copycat
2 Bill’s Maintenance
3 Master Ball
1 Switch


19 Grass
1 Scramble

Going into this tourney, I wasn’t expecting to do great. Ohio is pretty well known as one of the top 15+ States in the US. So, for me, a decent record would be nice. But I decided to set my goals high.

At OH States, I would get an even record AND be in the top 16 for 15+.

Yeah, this doesn’t sound like a lofty goal, but I’m here to prove that Budget decks are competitive. I didn’t think this deck,at least at this stage, could take down the well established LBS that ahd wrecked havoc pre-OH States nor its earlier counterpart Scixor EX. So I though an even record would be difficult to achieve.

What happened once the tourney started, however, was quite interesting…
The tourney did start on a pretty big hitch. The TOs had entered a new player’s Birthday incorrectly into the tourney software. They went in to fix the problem, and the computer crashed. They got the computer running again, tried to fix the problem again, and it crashed again. I’m sure how many times it crashed before they got it to work or if they gave up, but pairings and age group info went up almost an hour later than announced. None of this was helped with people turning in deck lists last minute either.

So, the tourney started and I met a very unlikely opponent:

Round 1: Liz R. with Dark Slowking

Liz actually played in the last tournament I played in back in 2002. At that time, the game was being transferred from WotC to NOA. Long story short, everyone at the tourney got a LOT of packs regardless of finish. I was playing Light Draggy/Espeon AQ to her Scizor deck. Perfect match-up and a win for me in that round, which I believe was my last in 2002.

Fast-forward to 2006 and I’m playing her again in the first round of my first major tourney back. She was running a tight deck too, but she was behind the 8-ball from the start. She had only a Slowpoke to start to my Stantler and benched Chico. She won the roll, attached to Poke and confused my Stantler and her Slowpoke. I had a God start of 3 grass energy, Fluffy Berry, Mega, Prof. Elm’s Training, Masterball. I had a turn 3 Mega out in no time while she was unable to bench anything else other than another Slowpoke through a Masterball of her own. She had evolved to Slowking by her turn 3 and KOed my Stantler. But this was the only bump in the road for me. I cruised through with a Mega with Sitrus on it now and KOed her D. Slowking on my turn 3 and her other Dark Slowking on turn 4. The game was over before the time hit 20 minutes.

With time to spare, we played another casual game so we could get used to our decks. The game went a little longer, but I was still about to pull off a turn 5 mega with Sitrus and cruised through for anther win with the deck.

Result: Win (1-0; 3 pts.)

As great as this success was, it scared me. My deck doesn’t win that easily nor should it. Maybe these last minute fixes really did help out the deck a lot. I couldn’t wait to see the pairings for next round.

Round 2: Andrew M with Machamp LM

Wow, this was the matchup I was NOT looking forward to, and it played out a little better than I thought it would.

He and I both stalled for a while. He stalled because he was setting up. I stalled becase I could do anything. He started with Jirachi and Wished into a great set-up. All I could do was use my active Stantler to pick away his trainers and see his set-up. Stantler has always been a strong supporter for this deck and he really helped me here, getting rid of a Celio’s and a Candy before dying to a turn 5, 2 React Machamp LM.

From there, it was smoother sailing for him. He did get confused from a second Stantler, but I drew into no trainers or energy other than the 5 I played and no draw trainers whatsoever. It was a sad loss, but I deserved it. My deck just didn’t function. Period.

Result: Loss (1-1; 3 pts)

I wasn’t too discouraged by the loss, since I deserved it, and Andrew’s deck just played well in general. I was very impressed by it.

Round 3: Michael C. with Mew EX-centric deck (Flygon EX and Shiftry LM)

This was an interesting deck, as I hadn’t seen a Mex EX deck played before. But his deck didn’t function very well. I do have to say one thing though: Mew ex + Holon’s Electrode=Pure Evil.

He started with his only basic being a Holon’s Voltorb (Vas der heck?) to my active Stantler and benched Mega. Stantler had 2 E on him in no time and I had a half full bench by turn three, including another Stantler (1 E) and a Bayleaf (Mega in hand). He KOed Holon’s Voltorb and took down a rare Candy and a Steven’s (I think) in the process.

He had MewEX up by then and used Bouncy move to KO my Stantler. Wow, didn’t see that coming. I had a powered Mega ready on the bench, so I swooped in for the KO and faced down a Shiftry. I got Beat Reaceted with a React, so I got confused. No problem, especially when confusion only does essentially 1 damage to me. I had Sitrus in hand, so I attached it, attached a second E to my Mega-in-waiting and attempted bouncy move. No dice, but that’s ok. Sitrus helped and I was at 0. I retreated the turn after to avoid a KO and confused a 50-damaged Shiftry with Screechy Voice. On his turn, he tried to KO my Stantler with Beat Down (It already had damage). Tails. I KOed it the next turn and took out a draw trainer from his hand. I cruised through w/ Mega 2 for the win after that.

Result: Win (2-1; 6 pts.)

So, after 3 rounds, I was at 2-1.


My deck was not only winning, but putting a fight almost all the time. The rankings weren’t posted because we were playing 6 round, Top 8 cut and it was Lunch Break. I came back and scanned for my name, to see my states.

After 3 rounds:

9th, 3rd highest resistance for 2-1s.

I was estatic.

I couldn’t believe my deck had done so well. And, not only that, I was ONE PLACE FROM TOP CUT. Two wins straight would probably put me in. I couldn’t wait for my next game.

Round 4: Paul H. w/ Scizor ex/Armaldo ex/Mew ex

Or, a whole heck of a lot of EXs. It was my second Mew EX deck of the day and, I can say this strongly:

Holon’s Electrode is so close to broken it’s not even funny.

I don’t care if I see it in play again. It can burn for all I care. It single handed makes Mew EX broken.

But I digress. The match went on well enough, him with claw fossil to my Chicorita and benched Snubble. He set up with an Awaken from Anorith turn 2 and benched 2 more Anorith. I got a trun 4 Meganium and ate through an Anorith a a Scyther, avoiding an early Scizor EX.

But, two turns later, I faced the steel winged phantom himself. Scizor EX came in and KOed my Mega. I had another on read by that time and, after doing some math, I though I could KO the EX that turn even though it had no damage on it. It hadn’t steel Winged, so that helped w/ the math a lot. SO I brought up Mega and dealt the KO blow that should eventually give me the game.

Except I forgot to factor in weakness when doing the math, so I was off by 30. I only dealt 100 damage and couldn’t anything. He KOed me the enxt turn and I brough up Granbull for the ko. Prizes: 3-3.

After I brought up Granbull w/ 2 energy, I attached another E to him on my turn and Crushing Blowed away a Metal energy (no damage because of Steel Wing). On his turn, he attached DRE and Cross-Cut for 60. I attached another E on my turn and Crushing Blowed for 100. Very nice. But that was Granbull’s last stand and mine as well. Stantler came in and tried to save me, but to no avail.

Had I held off and sent up my benched Stantler when I sent up my Mega, I would have won. But a very beginner mistake cost me the match. It just shows you that the most seasoned of veterans CAN make a huge mistake and it can (and will) cost them the game.

Result: Loss (2-2; 6 pts)

NO commentary here, I was too eaten up by this last game. The only encouragement boost here was that all my opponent’s had won their matches, raising my resistance.

Round 5: Bradly S. with Dark Marowak/Dark Tyranitar (Spinning Tail)…

…but I never saw the T-Tar because I set up too quickly. I had a turn 4 Mega and, with the aid of Fluffy Berry, I came in and attacked his Linoone with a Sitrus Berry powered Meganium. He got up a Dark Marowak after that and confused my Mega. I simply Switched it out, retreated w/ Fluffy, and came back at him with a fully powered mega and the third of my Sitrus Berries. From there, it was 4 straight basic pokémon KOs.

This was definitely the smoothest of my matches other than the Round 1 Dark Slowking matched. I’d like to have seen the T-Tar hit the field, because this deck has done well against it in the past, but I’ll take a win and a surprise speed win from my deck any time. The guy was really cool to and actually from a town about 15 minutes from my school.

Result: WIN (3-2, 9 pts)

w00t! I’ve accomplished part of my goal already to at least go even on my matches and I’m seated 12th in the field right now with 3rd highest resistance for all 3-2s. I’m so glad my opponent’s had done so well. And, if I won this next match, I would have a very good shot at making top 8.

A Budget deck making Top 8. Haha. I’m funny.

Funny or not, I was closer than you might think.

Round 6: Barb B. with Hariyama ex/Medicham ex/Steelix ex

And, of course, I can’t get set up. I start with a Stantler, but only attached 1 E because of the type disadvantage and start to create a Bayleaf to become a Mega next turn. I ahd attached a Boost to Bayleaf a turn early and got reversaled up and KOed by Hariyama. Stupid Cardz for revealing your intentions a turn early, even if you know your opponent could Admin. you easily. I started to power another Mega up while I stalled with confusion from a Stantler and it worked for a while. I got my Bayleaf out (fully powered) but no Mega in sight and no way to get it. I stuck it out with Stantler for another turn and targeted her hand, discarding an inconsequential trainer. The next turn, she had her second on Medicham EX and attached a second energy to a second Makuhita. ON my turn, I got Masterball, got Mega, and Bouncied the Hariyama off the board. But it was exactly 1 turn too late. I couldn’t get another card on my bench and she came in with Medicham and Pure Powered Mega. The she didn’t attach E to the Makuhita, but did evolve. I didn’t have Sitrus, so I just prayed that they wouldn’t get another E for the Pivot that would KO me. She did, and I died the next turn. Had I gotten mega out one turn earlier, I would have gotten the win. But, I didn’t and had to settle for a well deserved win on her part.

Result: Loss (3-3; 9 pts.)

Well, I definitely wouldn’t make top cut now, but I hung around a little longer to see if I would make my other goal for the day.

The Final Standing: 16th place with 3rd highest resistance.

W00tZ0rz! I did! I took a Budget deck and, in one of the most competitive environments around, accomplished my goal of a top 16 win.

As for the top 8, here’s how they ended up:

1. Tom D.
2. John W.
3. Ajay S.
4. AJ S.
5. Steve Z.
6. Matt R.
7. Andrew M. (i.e. Round 2 Loss)
8. Barb B. (i.e. Round 6 Loss)

Notice what I’ve brought out. Two of my three losses were to people who made top cut. Not only that, but Barb was ranked lower than me going into the last round. Had I gotten my Mega out a turn earlier, I would have squeaked into the top cut and made it into the prizes. I doubt I would have done well, especially playing against the 1 seed in the top cut, but it would have been nice to have made top cut on a budget.

Here’s the thing I want to bring out: A Budget Deck almost made it into the Top 8 in Ohio! This is incredible! Budget decks really can compete and win. I’ve finally proven it to be true.

Adding Money to the Deck:

When Jay decks, he always has a section afterward about what the deck could have should you have the money to invest in it. Here’s my thoughts on what this deck could use should you have access to more money.

Scramble Energy: In my next article, I’ll be talking about investing in a game and how to do it from a Budget perspective a la Dr. Moldenhauer-Salazar. But as for now, let’s just say Scramble Energy is a HUGH help in this deck as it can get behind quickly and easily recover with this card on a Granbull or Meganium.

Steven’s Advice and Celio’s Network: Celio is a little more Budget that Steven, but both are great supporters I would have loved to use.

Rare Candy: While not too useful in a deck with no energy acceleration, I could still see myself needing it for the occasional turn 2 Mega. Also see comments on Scramble E.

Meganium EX: Obvious addition here that I almost added in the end but decided to stay away from it in the name of Budget. With MegaEX in here, regular Meganium would be able to attack turn 2 possibly and blow through opponent’s very easily. MegaEX is a nice attacker anyway, so it’s a huge plus to the deck.

Pidgeot RG: I asked if I should add this in my last article, and the answer was a resounding NO. And I agree that my deck, at the time, couldn’t support a 2/2/2 Pidgeot line. But, with Rare Candies, Pidgeot could be very usefull.

I have one more Budget article before I leave the subject completely, so look for it in the next month or so. I’ll be dealing with a topic Jay discussed but from the aspect of a Pokémon player. I think you’ll find it interesting.

--Cardz out.


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