>I have a very successful deck I call Arc-welder that is very similar to your Cinder deck. I built it in part by following your guideline >of starting with a Pokemon and building from there. Because of this, I'd like to share some comments and observations, and >likewise, would like to hear back from you
>4 Magmar (F)
>2 Computer Search
>2 Pokemon Trader
>2 Energy Removal
>Here Comes Team Rocket
> 2 Defender
> 2 Potions
> 1 Scoop Up
>19 Fire Energy
>As you describe it, Cinder is a Ninetales deck, while I think of mine as an Arcanine deck. I assume you do everything you can to >quickly get out and build up Ninetales in the same manner I do with Arcanine. After building up Arcanine, I use Flamethrower and >Take Down as needed to get a Prize advantage. With Take Down alone, I figure I can get at least a 2 to 1 advantage, most of the >time it'll be 3 to 1. By using Defender during Take Down attacks, Arcanine can go as far as 6 to 1, but this has never happened as >circumstances have never required me or let me do more than 3 Take Downs.
>Building the rest of the deck fell out from my choose of Arcanine as the primary hitter. Because so many powerful Fire Pokes >require discarding energy, including Arecanine's Flamethrower attack, I don't believe Fire should be mixed with any other energy >type; you risk stopping your momentum because you have the wrong energy in your hand. Therefore I've got a single color in my >deck.
>Magmar's Smokescreen attack usally gives me time to find and buildup Arcanine; so there are 4 of him in the deck (I put in more if >it were allowed).
>Rapidash is an old favorite from my early days of playing Pokemon; the best reasons for her being in the deck are covered below.
>Because keeping energy is so critical to maintaining the advantage, I've included 4 Switches to keep from paying the retreat cost, >especially with Arcanine's 3 energy retreat cost. There's nothing worse than an emptyArcanine on your bench after an SER and a >retreat. By Switching, you protect him and power him up faster.
>I know you don't like Potions, but there are 2 in this deck along with 2 Defenders to counter the cost of Arcanine's Take Down >attack. I like having the Defenders to save Arcanine's HP for the counter attack he's likely to face. I've also had occasions to use it >to postpone my opponent's upcoming 20 hp damaging attack. In such a case, it works better than an Energy Removal.
>Assuming I have either Arcanine or Growlithe in my hand,Comp Search allows me to find other, but my favorite move is to use it >to find an Oak. To evolve (either to Arcanine or Rapidash), I find Pokemon Trader works very well.
>As a general rule, no Deck Mech likes single cards and neither do I. But if the deck doesn't need them to work, they can become a >nice surprise, both for you and your opponent. That's why there are still one PlusPower and ScoopUp left after all the deck tuning >has reduced these from their previously greater numbers.
>The Here Comes Team Rocket is explained below.
>Things we share in common:
>The recognition that 80 hp attacks with PlusPower are the best you can do with a Stage 1 pokemon and can take down every Basic >and Stage 1 Pokemon I can think of except Chansey and, uh, Arcanine!
>Magmar (F) and its ability to stall with Smokescreen.
>Recognition that we need to "feed the fire" of our principal attackers by using Bills and Oaks. You also include Energy Retrieval, >while I decided to use HCTR (see below for a more detailed explanation).
>Things I think are better about Arc-Welder:
>Ponyta has stronger attacks (either 20 or 30, equal to Rapidash's Stomp and Agility with out the coin flip) than Vulpix (10 plus >50% confuse) (apologies to your buddy) and can do damage in one turn with a DCE. The only advantage Vulpix has is 10 more hp..
>Rapidash is almost as good as Scyther. For the disadvantage of being Stage 1 and not being resistant to anything, it has the >advantage of doing 20+ damage with to energies and an Agility attack (50% resistance to everything, including stasis effects). In >common with Scyther, it shares the zero retreat cost, a vulnerability to a common poke type (water vs. fight), and 70 hp.
>Arcanine can do damage with2F1C and can do Take Down in 3 turns with a DCE, which is my goal everytime I power him up. >The most common thing you'll see me do is lay a DCE and 2 F energies, do a take down to knock out the opponents most powerful >Poke and follow that up with multiple Flamethrowers.
>All my Pokemons are either Common (Ponyta) or Uncommon (the remaining Pokes) and are easy for anyone to find. (While Base >Set 2 doesn't contain Ponyta or Rapidash, Jungle packs are still available.)
>If I can get ahead of my opponent, HCTR helps me pick out only the Fire energies in the Prize pile and then "feed the flame" and >continue to press my advantage. (BTW, there's only one HCTR because I have only one; besides, what would you do with a second >one?) I feel this works on another level as well as I've also found some of my Oaks and Comp Searches in the Prize pile.
>Things I think are better about Cinder:
>There are 5 (!) Pokemon that have 80 hp attacks vs. Arc-welder's 2..
>Ninetales has 80 hp, Arcanine has 100 hp, Magmar has 70 and Kang has 90; that's a lot of damage you can absorb.
>Ninetales' big attack cost (1 Fire energy card) is less expensive than Arcanine's big attack cost (30 hp to himself).
>Arcanine's Flamethrower attack, for the same cost as Fire Blast, does less damage.
>11 basic Pokemons reduces your chances of a Mulligan.
>Given a choose, who do you build up first, Ninetales or Arcanine?
>Don't you find Ninetales takes a long time to build up?
>Doesn't Ninetails' Lure attack just set you up to take damage during your opponent's next turn? Is ituseful? I mean Fire Blast for 80 >with Plus Power is enough to take care of any basic Poke (and most evolved ones) except Chansey.
>If you're including Kangaskhan for stall or card drawing purposes, why do you have only one?
>If your counting on Oaks and Comp Search to find your evolutions, don't you find the cost to high? Would Trader be better?
>Do you find you've not as vulnerable to water decks (that is Raindance) as most people would think? That beating one depends on >who evolves first.
>Do you think I would benefit from adding Item Finder?
Thank you for a detailed and thoughtful explaination of your deck! And also for sucking up =) I'll answer your questions right off the bat, to avoid any confusion...
Niney vs. Arcy: It depends. Arcanine is faster to build up. If I have both a Vulpix and Growlithe, and don't have anything like a Search or DCE, I'll probably lay energy on Vulpix because my chance of drawing a Ninetales is better. Also, Ninetales has better retreat.
Yes, Ninetales does take a long time to build up.
I only use Lure in special situations. Usually I'll lure out a big Pokemon with 2 or 3 retreat and no energy. It's mainly a stalling tactic when I use it at all. It does occasionally come in handy against Damage Swap players who think they don't need Switches =)
Kangaskhan was originally a stalling/card drawing Poke, but now it's almost solely psychic metagame. A lot of people in my area play stuff like Damage Swap and Escalator. If I really wanted them to stall, I'd replace them with Chanseys (yes, you heard that right) and have more than 1. No, my stallers are Magmars.
Trader... eep. Actually, most of the time I Oak for my evolutions. The Searches are to find the Oaks =) The fact that they can also find anything else I need is just icing on the cake... I actually Search for Pokemon only rarely. Most of the time I go for a trainer. And no, the cost is not too high.
I am very vulnerable to water decks, thank you. I actually do all right against non-raindance water. Why? They're usually slow.
Item Finder: Yes yes yes, a thousand times yes.
Now we can get on with the fix...
1) I really do think some additional Pokemon are called for. If this were a deck filled with killer Trainers to go off quickly, 14 Poke might be good, but I've seen your trainers, and they're... well... not. I happen to think Scyther would work real well here, he gives you some semblance of water protection and retreats for free. That's assuming you don't think some more beef on your evolution lines is neccessary.
Then there's TR vs. Base Ponyta. I have to say that I think in the current environment, which is full of "Jab you twice, Psyburn you, Thunderpunch you" 50 HP can be some good. Sure you have to discard for the attack... but who cares? Plus, it's cute!
2) Pokemon Trader? There's a better card, and it's called Computer Search. Here Comes Team Rocket? Waste of a slot in most decks. FOUR SWITCH????!!! GOOD LORD!!! WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU THINKING??! Even if you really, really want to retreat Arcanine (and it usually isn't worth expending card slots for this purpose) there is no WAY you need four Switch for two Arcy. Single PlusPower makes me want to cry. Defenders and Potions are artifacts of an incorrect belief that 80 for 30 isn't already a really good deal for the guy with the Arcanine. Scoop Up? Just one? No more? NO.
Now that we've torn your Trainers to shreds, let's put in some good ones. (Nifty idea, huh?) You have the two big card-drawers and the big searcher. You want Item Finder, more PlusPower, Energy Removal, Gust of Wind. Energy Retrieval might also be nice. Hmm, this is beginning to look sort of like Cinder's trainer layout, eh? Take a hint =)
3) 19 Fire is prolly just a bit more than needed. We'll hash out the exact numbers in a second here...
3 Computer Search
2 Item Finder
4 Energy Removal
18 Fire Energy
I chose to specify 3 Search and 3 GOW because lots and lots of these cards are just GOOD.
Anyway, hope you understand a bit better now why I make certain choices in my decks. Good luck!