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Tom's Bunker

Deck #1 – “Wiggle While you Work”

Greetings fellow Pokemon trainers!  I was really busy last week preparing for the STS Qualifier in Munich, and so I didn’t get to finish all 100 of your e-mails until tonight (Tuesday, 16 October, 2001).   I really enjoyed reading them – you sure have some interesting ideas.   I sent back some advice to about 20 of you guys, and I hope that those fixes improve your deck’s performance.  I chose 2 decks from the bunch to concentrate on this week.  The first one is a wigglytuff deck, and I picked it because it is similar to the one I used in the STSQ – Munich last Sunday.  (The European STS Qualifiers are NOT MODIFIED).  Thanks a lot to MTKLT for sending this one in.  Now, on to the decks!

     MTKLT calls his deck “Shocking Wiggly”  Let’s take a look at it next to the one I used last Sunday 

MTKLT’s                                                       Tom’s

‘Shocking Wiggly                                 Wiggle While you Work’

4 Jigglypuff                                                 3 Jigglypuff
4 Wigglytuff                                                3 Wigglytuff
4 Rocket’s Zapdos                                     3 Rocket’s Zapdos
4 Electabuzz                                                3 Scyther (Jungle)
                        4 Sneasel
                        3 Cleffa


4 Professor Oak                                  4 Professor Oak
3 Professor Elm                                   4 Gust of Wind
3 Computer Search                              4 Computer Search
4 Bill                                                    4 Energy Removal
4 Plus Power                                        4 Super Energy Removal
4 Nightly Garbage Run
4 Gust of Wind                                     


10 Lightning Energy                                  9 Lightning Energy
4 Recycle Energy                                     4 Dark Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy                         4 Double Colorless Energy
                   4 Rainbow Energy 

     You do the sanity check on these decks…

1.      Do they pass the 20-20-20 rule?

2.      Do they have enough search?

3.      How’s the weakness/resistance match-up?

4.      Does the deck seem tight, or is it full of a bunch of “tech”?

Let’s look at Shocking Wiggly first.  His Pokemon are all solid attackers.  With 12 basic Pokemon, he should average 1 or 2 basic pokemon in the opening draw.  With 14 search cards, he should also get one or two in his opening draw.  This is important, because speed decks need to draw lots of cards to work right.  With 18 energy , he should get 2 in his opening draw.  Those odds are pretty good – you need all three of those to make this deck work.  The rest of his hand should be one or two of the NGRs, plus powers, or gusts of wind.  All these cards are useful and make the deck run smoothly.  He has chosen to modify the 20-20-20 rule slightly, to favor more search cards at the expense of basic Pokemon and a few energy.  These choices were made after MTKLT playtested this deck dozens of times – and he changed it because of his playing style. 

     My deck is a little different.  I have chosen to play energy removal to counter the huge number of dark/metal Pokemon that I expected to see in this tournament.  I did that at the expense of search cards, though I still used 11 (count the Cleffas too).  I had 16 basic Pokemon, to almost guarantee me a bench from the opening hand.  That is important, because many players will try for the first turn knock out with lots of plus powers and Erika’s Jigglypuff or something like that.   A benched Pokemon at the start of a game is more important than plus powers – especially if your opponent gets to go first.  I also used four different types of attacking Pokemon (grass, colorless, lightning, and dark) to maximize weaknesses and resistances.  This is often more useful than just one color, though you really have to put some thought into your energy mix.  I also like to use low/no retreat Pokemon.  There are others that I often use, like Wooper and Gligar, but you have to try to predict which Pokemon your opponent will use, and then take advantage of those weaknesses.   I also used a few more energy cards – mostly for Super Energy Removal, and to increase the odds that I would have two in my opening hand.

     You might notice that neither deck has a gym in it, and though both decks play Rocket’s Zapdos, neither one has Gold Berry.  I would normally recommend both a few gyms and a few Gold Berries in this type of deck, but I took them out for the Energy Removals, with the understanding that I would not be able to counter Sprout Towers and other painful gyms, and that I would lose a few more prizes by not being able to save my Pokemon with the Gold Berries.  In the end, Energy Removal was the right decision, since lots of players scrimped on their energy.  With a lot of luck, I went 10-0 and won the tournament J  Without boring you too much, I will briefly run down how my deck did…

Round 1 vs Erika’s Dratini, Unown N, Rocket’s Zapdos, Elekid, Sprout Tower, etc.

     His deck was made to counter Wiggly and Sneasel.  He kept up the Dratini and playful punched a lot with the Elekid.  I had a tough time keeping energy on my Pokemon, since he played 8 removals.  Because his deck was so full of anti-wig/sneasel cards, he scrimped on the energy, and that’s where I got him.   He searched lots in the beginning, which put a good deal of his energy in the trash.  Be careful if you are playing a deck that has less than 20 energy, that you don’t search it all away. 

Round 2 vs Typhlosion

     Well, you probably all know this type.  Again, he scrimped on the energy, since he counted on the Typhlosion retrieving the energy from the trash.  Remember, if you count on a coin flip, you can sometimes come up short.   The other thing about stage 2 Pokemon, is that they take up more space in your deck than a basic or a stage 1, and leave you less room in your deck for other things, in this guy’s case, like fire energy.

Round 3 – He had no bench and no search.  This happens to us all at times, and you just have to try to build your deck so that the odds are in your favor.  Remember that luck (coin flips,  a good draw, being trapped twice on the first turn…) plays a big part in this game.

Round 4 was another Erika’s Dratini/Unown D/Rocket Zapdos deck.  As a matter of fact, 7 of 10 decks I played against were Rocket’s Zapdos based decks.  I didn’t face any water or metal decks, only 2 fire decks, 7 lightning and 4 of those with fighting/psychic splashed in, and only 1 grass deck.   I was very surprised to find one guy, my opponent in round 7, made it to the final 16 with a Hoppip/Erika’s Jigglypuff deck.  That goes to show you that first turn knockouts win games, especially if you don’t have a bench.  Don’t scrimp on basic Pokemon.  As far as trainers went, all my opponents had at least 8 search, gust of wind, and 8 of 10 had some energy removal.  

     Well, after 6 rounds of play, the top 16 went into the finals, and after 4 more games, I was the winner.  I had 2 really bad draws out of 10 games – I mulliganed three times in game 5!  Though I was losing really badly twice, I never gave up.  Remember to use your Energy Removals and Gust of Winds to help stall if you have no offense (gust up Pokemon with high retreats, no energy on them, that you are resistant to, etc).  Other defensive options include retreating, relying on the baby power, and using non-damaging attacks like lullaby.  When you are building a deck, try to include some Pokemon which have these types of attacks.  You would be amazed at the amount of players who will play poorly when things aren’t going their way.   This will give you the advantage.  When your situation is terrible, you can’t let it get you down – rather it should make you try even harder.  Of course, even if we try our hardest, sometimes we will not be able to pull off a win.  The measure of a true champion is how gracefully he accepts defeat. 

     Anyway, enough about this tournament and this deck.  If Wiggly is your thing, take a look at these two decks.  Write me back with your comments about this review, so I can improve the next one.  Next up is Arcanine… is here to provide guidance to all Pokemon trainers out there.  Whether it's the Gameboy Game, N64 or the Trading Card Game, provides all the wisdom you desire. 

If you have cool game tips, a killer deck, or breaking news ... send them to us.  We'll post it on the site ... and give you all the credit.  


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