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06.22.06    Hey all. Cardz here with my last article before U.S. Nationals and information on articles to come. Today, we’re going to look at a deck that’s by someone trying to get back into the game again. Enough chit-chat, let’s get down to the deck.

Hey there, Cardz-sama. I've been reading some of your deck reviews on pojo's, and seeing that you've got a lot of talent for this, I was wonder if you'd give me a hand with my new deck.

You see, I used to play the game years ago. I'm talking the Base/Jungle sets here, back when things first started out, and I was a little bit younger. Well, now my friends are playing in Modified tournaments, and I'd like to join! But my old cards aren't legal anymore. How sad...no more Damage Swap from Alakazam, I suppose. This leaves me with the intimidating task of sorting through all the new cards, and putting together a good deck that I would hope to give even the champs a run for their money. So, here's what I have so far, and I'll do my best to follow your submission format.

"I Hate Benches!"
Pokemon: 23
4 Seedot (Legend Maker #61)
3 Nuzleaf (Hidden Legends #45)
1 Shiftry (Hidden Legends #14)
2 Natu (Sandstorm #69)
2 Xatu (Unseen Forces #49)
3 Murkrow (POP Series 1 #8)
3 Rocket's Sneasel (Team Rocket Returns #103)
2 Ralts (Ex Emerald #61)
2 Kirlia (EX Ruby and Sapphire #34)
1 Gardevoir Delta (EX Delta #6)

Trainers: 19
3 Celio's Network
2 Lanette's Net Search
2 Steven's Advice
3 TV Reporter
2 Lady Outing
2 Energy Charge
2 Switch
2 Rare Candy
1 VS Seeker

Energy: 18
10 Psychic
5 Darkness
3 Rainbow Energy

From the cards that I've seen, I'm especially drawn to bench-killers (hence, the title); Nuzleaf especially, with his 40-damage attack, which translates into 50-damage with a genuine Darkness energy card attached. The Seedot I've chosen should make sure I have the energy necessary for it, provided it doesn't get knocked out first since it likely won't be attacking without a Rainbow energy card. Xatu and Murkrow do a little bit of the same. Gardevoir Delta does something similar, but it might only be useful after its taken some damage.

I should note, something akin to the old 'Gust of Wind' trainer card would help, but I can't seem to recall what a more modern version of it might be; just something to rearrange the opponent's Pokemon from defending to benched and let my bench-killers prey on suitable targets.

Other than that, I'm afraid most of my Trainer cards will be fairly standard. My old deck used Energy Removals, but the newer versions aren't quite as fun. Rocket's Sneasel was thrown in because of a recommendation, and the fact that it would work well with the rest of my Dark Pokemon.

This will be a Modified deck (that's what most tournaments are, isn't it?), and I have high access to cards via the blessed internet.
I'm not sure what the top decks are around here, since I'm just getting back into the game.
Feel free to pick things apart...I'm not that attached to anything here. Thanks!

Simon Winters

Hmm…other than bench damage, this deck has no real theme. And, overall, the deck has little focus. Let’s whittle down some of these cards are get this deck working a little better.

Pokemon: Youch. There’s a lot there and not a lot of focus. The first thing that came to mind for me was actually two things: 1) Go the route of creating a Gardy d deck or 2) Throwing in a set of 3 Giant Stump and focus on bench detruction. You’ve already got a strong Darkness theme going, so I decided I’d spend my time there and pop in the Giant Stump. But we won’t talk about that until the trainers section.

So, with the small bench theme established, Gardy d and all its cohorts [legal and illegal (I’m looking at you Kirlia RS)] are out. And, with the psychic Delta Species fiend, Xatu is getting the boot to. We definitely need to focus on one color and having Xatu in with the other cards I’ll be putting in is a bad idea.

Now for some additions. The first thing in is a 3/2/3(2-1) line of Dark Tyranitar in the deck, using 2 Spinning Tail and 1 Sand Damage. These cards will continue the bench damage theme while also supporting the Dark subtheme. I’m also tossing in 2 Shiftry DX since you’ll almost always have a Stadium in play, thus triggering the +20 on his second attack. Not to mention, this gives you a semi-GOW effect. There is no direct targeting GOW effect on cards except for one I’ll be mentioning below.

To conclude this section, I’m dropping 1 Rocket’s Sneasel EX and 2 Murkrow. Honestly, the Murkrow is only OK and not a big addition to the deck. And, with the drop of Darkness creatures, the Sneasel can go down a notch to make room for the better cards.

-all Gardevoir d line
-Xatu line
-1 Rocket’s Sneasel EX
-2 Murkrow POP1
-1 Seedot

+3/2/3 Dark Tyranitar
(2 Spinning Tail, 1 Sand Damage; Dark Pupitar with Explosive Evolution)
+2 Shiftry DX

Trainers: Stump established, let’s look at the rest of this Trainer line. Lady Outing gets the boot automatically since it will only net you one card (remember: BASIC energy, not just Energy). Energy Charge also takes the boot for being too flippy and, if your deck is working right, you shouldn’t need to get energy back. VS Seeker also gets the boot as well.

As for addition, 2 more Rare Candy go in because of the amped lines of Pokémon along with a 3-set of ATM: Rock. I know this is a pretty establish combo (Dark T-Tar/ATM:R), but it works. And it also works well with this deck. With Giant Stump, Steven’s Advice needs to be replaced with another card. And, since we are running a single Shiftry HL, I think CopyCat is an excellent choice.

-Lady Outing
-Energy Charge
-Steven’s Advice

+3 Giant Stump
+2 Rare Candy
+3 ATM: Rock
+3 CopyCat

Energy: Darkness is a Special energy card, so we have to drop one of the them. If we didn’t have to, I’d say take it much higher, but this has been the rule since day one of the Pokemon TCG. The basic energy used is going to reflect the new direction of the deck, splitting evenly between Grass and Fighting. I was debating whether or not to go with a concentration in one area or not, but with the even split, you should be able to get what you need through the draw cards. And don’t worry about attaching a (G) to a Larvitar or (F) to Shiftry. Things should work out.

-1 Darkness (only 4 allowed due to Specialty of Energy)
-all (P) energy

+5 Fighting
+5 Grass

Here’s the revised decklist. Enjoy!

4 Seedot (Legend Maker #61)
3 Nuzleaf (Hidden Legends #45)
1 Shiftry (Hidden Legends #14)
2 Shiftry (DX)

1 Murkrow (POP Series 1 #8)
2 Rocket's Sneasel (Team Rocket Returns #103)

3 Larvitar (RR; Dig Drain)
2 Dark Pupitar (Explosive Evolution)
3 Dark Tyranitar (2 Spinning Tail, 1 Sand Damage)

3 Celio's Network
2 Lanette's Net Search
3 CopyCat
3 TV Reporter
2 Switch
4 Rare Candy
3 Ancient Technical Machine: Rock
3 Giant Stump

Energy: 18
5 Grass
5 Fighting
4 Darkness
3 Rainbow Energy

(Not so) RaNd0m Thought…: OK, so this is my announcement I give about every year at this time. Normally I give it after Worlds with the format change, bit it needs to come earlier this year. So, here it is:

1) I’m going to be stopping deck fixes after Nationals this year UNLESS I qualify for Worlds. If I qualify for Worlds at US Nationals next week (which is more than a long shot, just ask those who have been), then I’ll be doing a few Worlds prep articles along with a possible deck fix. But if I don’t qualify, then I’ll be dropping out of deck fixing until probably after City Champs.

The reason behind this is as follows: format changes create a maelstrom of ideas and changes that no one deck mech can help fix. We have our ideas of where the format is head, yes. Heck, I think I’ve even got a pretty good guess as to what is going to be used in deck a few months from now (that’s an upcoming article; be on the lookout for that soon after Worlds with the format change). But I can’t accurately help with the fine tuning required for fixes since no metagame is established yet in ANY area. Sure, there are pretty good predictions. But no one can perfectly predict what’s to come.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’ll be completely gone. I’ve been working off and on on an article for some time and am going to dedicate a full month to writing this article after Nats (if no Worlds trip comes). It should be on a topic a few of you know about, so its nothing earth shattering. But its going to be pretty in-depth, so it should be a great read for anyone.

2) Unassociated from the above topic is the announcement that I’M GOING TO HAVE FREE WIRELESS INTERNET AT MY HOTEL AT NATIONALS!!!! In the immortal slang of the internet: w00tZorZ! My plan is this: I’m going to do a live diary of all I experience at Origins, giving a daily recap of everyone I meet, what major things I do, and what I end up investing in gaming-wise. Hopefully it’ll be a good log of what someone planning on coming to Origins next year couple expect. Granted, everything listed will be only ONE person’s experience, but you’ll at least get a decent idea.

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and see you at Nationals!

Cardz out.


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