~ Doll's House ~

Chaos Shock
February 14, 2001


Heya all!

This Deck comes to us from a really cool guy I met at the West Coast STS.  John was a part of Team Canada, a group of some of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet!  We had a fun excursion to Taco Bell with some of them after the STS competition, piling 7 of us into a car not made to hold 7 ;), and I would love to run into them again someday.  My match with John was probably the nicest match I had that day, and the one I remember best as John was quite the gentleman and a skilled player.  I am more than happy to include his excellent deck and write up here for him. Honestly, this guy is a great player, and I doubt I could make his deck much better than it is, but I liked his analysis so much, I wanted you to see it and learn from it.  It's an excellent example of deck focus as you will see as you read about his explanation of card choices... Read on and learn, my friends!

  ~ Doll

Personal Note to Chris: I remember playing against you in the West Coast STS
in Long Beach in about the sixth round.  I admired you for your honesty and
your gaming courtesy.  As this is my first deck submission to a Pojo Deck
Mechanic, I wanted someone who I knew to take a crack at it.  I know this does
not fall under your non-archetype guideline, but, I did notice one or two
others in your section.  I hope this deck could be considered for a few
minutes of your time.  Thanks once again.  John.

P.S.  If you need a visual cue as to who this is, check out the official home
of the Canadian Pokémon Team:  http://pokemonsteamcanada.cjb.net  Look for the
guy wearing the yellow Gym Leader shirt in the original four picture.  JKS

Name: John Salalila, aka Professor Maple, Canadian Pokémon Team Captain,
flying the Canadian flag proudly at all Super Trainer Showdown events

mIRC Nickname: N/A
WotC Chat Character Name: Pokemon_John

E-mail Address: salalila@yahoo.com

Skill Level: Expert (STS West Coast, East Coast, and Qualifier veteran)

Speed Metagame: Medium to Ultra Turbo

Strategy Deck: All-around Disruption and Beatdown

Deck Name: Chaos Shock

Objective: STS Qualifier/Tournament deck tuning

Deck Listing:

Pokémon (10):
3 Cleffa (Neo: Genesis) - Card draw and recovery, Baby Pokémon Power
2 Ditto (Fossil) - Transform Pokémon Power
2 Electabuzz (Base Set) - Haymaker component
3 Rocket's Zapdos (Gym Challenge) - Haymaker/Anti-Haymaker component

Trainers (34):
3 Chaos Gym (Gym Challenge)
4 Computer Search (Base Set)
3 Gold Berry (Neo: Genesis)
3 Gust of Wind (Base Set)
3 Item Finder (Base Set)
4 Lass (Base Set)
3 Nightly Garbage Run (Team Rocket)
3 Professor Oak (Base Set)
2 Scoop Up (Base Set)
2 Secret Mission (Gym Heroes)
2 Sprout Tower (Neo: Genesis)
2 Super Energy Removal (Base Set)

Energy (16):
12 Electric Energy (Base Set)
2 Recycle Energy (Neo: Genesis)
2 Double Colourless Energy (Base Set)

How does your deck do?:

Metagame within the current Windsor, Ontario DCI tournament environment:

Haymaker:  Rocket's Zapdos.  Not much trouble at all.

TurboTuff:  Sprout Tower limits Wigglytuff's heavy hitting.

Anti-Trainer:  Chaos Gym, Lass, and Cleffa provide a way to disable/recover
from this deck.

Copycat:  Ditto gives Rocket's Zapdos an energy sprint race.  Any Metronome
Pokémon (Clefairy/Clefable/Togepi/Togetic) gives Rocket's Zapdos the fits.
Cleffa and Ditto restricts Metronome damage.

Status Decks:  Slightly vunerable to confusion/paralysis/sleep decks since
there are only two status removing cards (2 Scoop Up).  Poison is not much of
an issue because of the low retreat costs and energy retrieval ability.

Similar Decks:  Very fast card draw (4 Computer Search and 3 Professor Oak)
usually out-speeds any other variant.

Anti-evolution Decks:  Non-issue except that most of those decks include
Erika's Dratini.  Ouch.  Resort to Gust of Wind, Item Finder, Gust of Wind,
Item Finder, etc.

Rogue Decks: Quite a number of beginners use non-archetype decks.  One deck
that gave me a run was a Fighting Electric-resistant deck.

Other info you feel is important:

***** WARNING: In Depth Analysis To Follow *****

Deck History:

For the East Coast STS Qualifiers, I used a TurboTuff Haymaker variant.
Heading into the East Coast STS, I developed a deck that relied heavily upon
Rocket's Zapdos.  Soon after, a Windsor, Ontario store started offering DCI
sanctioned tournaments.

To help prepare our tournament participants, I helped to organized a few
non-sanctioned tournaments.  Also, I used the TurboTuff Haymaker and a
Raindance deck to demonstrate deck construction ideas.  The first few weeks,
my TurboTuff Haymaker held its own.  As everyone's decks started to evolve, I
found it more difficult to win more consistently.

To keep ahead of the metagame, the Rock & Shock (R&S) deck was born.  R&S was
a Rocket's Zapdos/Hitmonchan/Wigglytuff Haymaker-style deck.  It used Rocket's
Sneak Attack as its prime trainer disruption.  It worked well for a week or
two, save for one very difficult game where I had a first turn Chaos Gym
played against me.  This showed me a very critical vunerable spot in my deck:
Trainer Dependence.  Chaos Shock is taking what disrupted me the most from R&S
and including it as a deck theme in the new version.

So, here is my train of thought developing and evolving Chaos Shock:

Personal Preferences:

- Big Basic Pokémon (BBP):  Seventy or more HP to stay out of range of most
attacks, especially Wigglytuff's Do The Wave.

- One Energy Cost Attack:  I dislike not being able to attack on any turn of
the game.

- Single Energy Cost Requirements:  Attacks that only require one of a
specific type of energy makes them more flexible than attacks that require two
or more of specific types of energy.

- Four Trainer Food Groups For A Balanced Deck Diet:
     * Card Drawing/Finding Ability
     * Disruption
     * Healing/Defense
     * Card Recovery

Pokémon selection:

Rocket's Zapdos (Gym Challenge)
Top to bottom, a fairly complete card.

- 70 HP:  BBP, see above.
- Plasma:  Twenty damage for one energy is the best ratio in the game.  Energy
retrieval from the discard pile is a bonus.
- Electroburn:  Seventy damage, four energy, small self-damaging drawback?  We
will work with this later.
- Resistance:  Haymaker.  Enough said.
- Retreat Cost:  Not too much of an issue with its energy retrieval ability.

To back up Rocket's Zapdos in the Electric department is:

Electabuzz (Base Set)
- 70 HP:  See above.
- Thundershock:  Ten damage with a 50% for paralysis is pretty standard.  It
ties up the Defending Pokémon for one turn half of the time.
- Thunderpunch:  Thirty or forty damage with a single electric energy cost
attack is very effective.
- Weakness:  Haymaker.  Enough said.
- Retreat Cost:  A little high, but, Electabuzz does not see consistent active

To stack up against other large, heavy hitters:

Ditto (Fossil)
- One Statement:  Monkey see, monkey do.

To help with card draw and recovery:

Cleffa (Neo: Genesis)
- Baby Pokémon:  Built-in Transparency.  It only gets hit 50% of the time.
- Eeeeeeek:  Works beautifully after playing Lass.

Trainer Themes (My Four Food Groups For A Pokémon Deck):

Card Drawing/Finding Ability:  Computer Search, Professor Oak and Secret
Mission help with card draw.  A secondary result plants Electric Energy for
Rocket's Zapdos' Plasma attack.  Also, Secret Mission lets you know what your
opponent has and what you have the chance to Lass away.

Disruption:  Chaos Gym, Gust of Wind, Lass, and Super Energy Removal keeps
your opponent on their toes.

Healing/Defense:  Gold Berry, Scoop Up, and Sprout Tower assures that your
Pokémon hang around for the long haul.

Card Recovery:  Item Finder and Nightly Garbage Run come in to snag needed
cards from your discard pile and put them where you could use them.


- Rocket's Zapdos
- Electric Energy
- Professor Oak/Computer Search/Secret Mission
     * Feed Plasma while you draw cards like crazy.

- Rocket's Zapdos' Electroburn attack
- Gold Berry
- Recycle Energy
- Cleffa
     * Use Plasma attack and Rocket's Zapdos' retreat cost to use Electroburn
with exactly three Electric Energy so that Gold Berry kicks in.

- Lass
- Cleffa's Eeeeeeek attack
- Chaos Gym
     * Lass to remove all trainers from your opponent's hand and Eeeeeeek to
replenish your own hand.  For an opponent to play a trainer that is guaranteed
to work, they will have to topdeck it before you put down a Chaos Gym during
your next turn.

- Secret Mission
- Lass
     * Use Secret Mission to find out if your opponent's hand is Lass-able.
Card draw is a bonus here.

- Recycle Energy
- Super Energy Removal
     * These two cards together make Super Energy Removal lethal.

- Chaos Gym
- Sprout Tower
     * Control what Gyms are in play.

Play Philosophy:

- If you get a good card draw, go for the first turn Lass/Cleffa followed up
by a second turn Chaos Gym.

- Draw cards until the cows come home.  You can always recover cards with this

- Maximize the use of Rocket's Zapdos as much as possible.  Feed its Plasma
attack by discarding Electric Energy as early as possible.

- Manage energy on Rocket's Zapdos by retreating and using Plasma.  Try to
keep only three energy on it before using Electroburn.

- Manage damage on Rocket's Zapdos by only having three energy on it.  That
means you could use Electroburn more than once or wait until Gold Berry kicks


- Self-inflicted over card drawing.  Use Item Finder and Nightly Garbage Run
to minimize that impact.

- Clefable Metronoming or Ditto Transforming to use Rocket's Zapdos'
Electroburn attack.

- Card draw stall once every ten to twelve games.  Usually having only one
basic Pokémon magnifies this situation.

- Rogue fighting decks with electric resistance.

- Erika's Dratini.

Tinkering/Tweaking Options:

- Rocket's Sneak Attack versus Lass
- PlusPower
- Goop Gas Attack for Mr. Mime, Erika's Dratini, etc.

- Full Heal Energy

Quantity Debates:
- Card Draw Trainers (Computer Search/Professor Oak/Item Finder)
- Recycle versus Double Colourless Energy
- Total Energy Quantity

Thanks again for your time.


Hey, John!

I can see your deck is well thought out and I am really impressed with it.  I'll go over some of your Tweaking options here, though I'd say they run such a fine line, that your choices would mainly depend on playtesting and area metagames.  This commentary will be mainly for the rest of my readers to give them an idea on what choices might work best for them if they ever decide to try out your deck...


Sneak vs. Lass is an age old debate... I think it depends a lot on how you play your own deck.  When you Lass, are you constantly cringing as you dump important trainers back into your deck?  Or something that would be a metagame question, how heavily are trainers played in your area... If you are usually only snatching 1 or 2 useful trainers from your opponent's hand, RSA may be a better metagame choice for your area.

Plus Power... Buzz and Rocket Zapdos each can deal lethal damage to Haymaker Pokemon without the aid of PP's... so unless you constantly find yourself in a 10 damage "wish I had a PPower" predicament, the usefulness of this trainer is questionable in this tight deck.

Goop Gas... again, area metagame HIGHLY determines the need for this situational card.

Card Draw Trainers:  I think you have a nice balance here for most environments... Cleffa allows you to run 3 Oaks comfortably, and Item Finder is just too good to reduce... if you were desperate for a slot, going from 4 to 3 Comp Searches is a possibility if you can't find a better alternative.

Recycle Energy:  Again, depends on your play style AND the area metagame... if you dump your energy to Scoop and SER often, or if the area metagame includes a significant amount of Energy Removal,  Recycle E may be a better alternative. 

Total Energy Quantity:  Personally, that is exactly where I like my counts... 12 color and 4 other.  Some people seem to be able to run tighter, ie: less than 12 color, but that seems to backfire on me.  I like your counts just where they are... on the edge, but not to the point of starving your deck.


Great job, John, and I really appreciate your in-depth analysis, as I'm sure my readers do too!  Hope to see you again someday soon!

 ~ Doll

A Bit of Clefairy Doll Wisdom:

~ Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery. ~