Kabuto's Corner

Deckbuilding Article #1

Hi, this is Kabuto! I've been here for awhile, and have finally written my first article. I'll be doing a section in the garage called "Kabuto's Corner", which will deal with bashes and articles, with some help from Souper. The articles will talk about some aspects of deckbuilding. More specifically, this article will discuss simplicity in a deck, as well as some of the basic stuff. A complicated strategy can hurt your deck.
I'll use the Raindance and ever-tasty Haymaker as an example. A Haymaker generally has basic Pokémon with low-cost attacks that deal high, solid damage, and low retreat. The few Pokémon and Energy leave space enough for a lot of trainers to speed up the deck and mess up your opponent. As everyone knows and complains about, a Haymaker is a very simple deck.

A Raindance is also a very strong archetype, because of the lethal speed at which it operates. In a few turns, you're dishing out 40 to 60 damage a turn. However, this is a more complicated deck. It relies on getting Blastiose, Squirtle, and Breeder or Wartortle in your hand by the second or third turn, as well as the Energy you need to attack. What's the problem? Well, in a deck of sixty cards, it can be a gamble to rely on getting three certain cards at a certain time. Thus, you must consider simplicity when building a deck.

A deck doesn't have to be as simple as a Haymaker to be good, but a simple deck is less unpredictable and tends to flow more easily than a deck with a complicated strategy. Here's some things to think about when you build a deck...

Try to have about four or five families. The more families you have, the more tangled the evolutions get. Extra families take space away from the primary families and you might not be able to balance them.

Don't use singles! In a deck of 60 cards, you need multiples to function. Otherwise your deck will fall apart in battle.

Pyramid your evolutions! Here's my reasoning: the order of evolution goes Basic, Stage One, Stage Two. Therefore, you usually want to get the cards in that order so you're not waiting for a squirtle with a Breeder and a Blastoise in your hand. As the game progresses, you draw more cards and have a better chance of getting the ones you haven't drawn yet. You have more Basics in the deck so you get them earlier, and as your deck gets smaller, your chances of drawing the evolutions get better. When you have one of each Stage, it's pretty tough to evolve.

Be careful of retreat and attack costs. An Electric Bench Destruction with Zapdos, Raichu, Gengar, and Hypno may seem like a good idea, but look at the Energy costs. They're all mono costs, and the Electric costs are very heavy. This deck is complicated because of it's slowness and difficulty in powering up. Also, you need to remember that the lower your costs, the faster you deal damage. And when you have a low cost, Removals don't effect you as badly since you can quickly recover.

Don't underestimate Trainers, they hold the deck together. They add a surprise factor as well, and normally either help you or hurt your opponent. They speed up your deck and slow his down. Make sure not to have singles or too much diversity. When you have one of each Trainer, and a lot of Trainers, you won't get them when you need them. Usually, don't use Potions and Supers, Revive, Defender, etc. Try not to use "if tails, this does nothing" Trainers either, you're just asking for trouble. As an example of what I'm talking about, I'll show you Souper's new Arcanine deck. Let's see, how do you open this thing? You mess up one deck, and he shuts the cards away... Ah, here we go:


3 Growlithe 2 Promo Arcanine 3 Ponyta 2 Rapidash 4 Magmar (F) 2 Kangaskhan


3 Bill 2 Prof. Oak 2 Pkmn. Trader 1 Com. Search 3 Energy Removal 2 Super Energy Removal 2 Gust of Wind 2 Energy Retrieval


23 Fire 4 Double Colorless
It's got a pretty painful Water weakness, but it demonstrates what I'm talking about. There are four balanced families, two of them evolutions. The Trainers have a lot of card drawing and searching, and some disruption from Gust and Removals. It's a fairly simple deck, which is partially why it seems to work pretty well.

When you have a more complicated strategy, the deck can still work well. You just need to make sure you have the means to get the cards you need, such as Prof. Oak or Com. Search. If you try to go by these guidelines, your deck should work much better. However, don't abandon a possibly good deck because of a difficult strategy. This makes the game more interesting and challenging, and, when built well, can be just as strong.

Well, there's my first article. I hope it was good. I'll do some bashes soon, as well as some more articles. Right now I can go back to the problem of that tricky little Rubik's Cube...

You can email responses to Souper@Pojo.com. Those who send hatemail will not be funded, tolerated, respected, invited to parties and celebrations inclusive of but not restricted to Curse Day and otherwise, and will in plain fact, and with clear conscience, be humiliated, intimidated, persecuted, incarcerated, fined, tried, tortured (if time permits) and will be totemized.*
Kabuto, signing off.

*A very bad thing. (Anyone recognize this?)*