Espeon & Deoxys-GX
– Unified Minds
September 16, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Psychic Club costs PCC for 10 damage plus 30 more damage for each Benched Psychic Pokemon you have. Even though this attack is DCE compliant, Double Colorless Energy is no longer in the Standard format. However, Malamar can help accelerate Psychic energies via Psychic Recharge ability. Having a full bench of Psychic Pokemon makes Psychic Club do 160 damage, and without any boosts makes it a 2HKO against most things. Granted, you are forced to use exclusively Psychic Pokemon for maximum damage output. There are some Psychic Pokemon to work with in Standard. Malamar is already one example, but there’s also Mew & Mewtwo-GX as a backup attacker in case Espeon & Deoxys falls. Dawn Wing Necrozma-GX is also a Psychic Type, and it can use its Invasion ability to bring itself to the Active and manually retreat. You’ll have to give up an energy and have Escape Board/U-Turn Board attached.
Cross Division also costs PCC. The normal effect is identical to Espeon-GX’s Divide Attack, putting 10 damage counters to any of your opponent’s Pokemon in any way you like. But if you have three extra energy attached to it, then you can put 20 damage counters instead. You’re not getting more bang for your buck even by paying extra and eventually you would have to use Tag Switch to move those energies away. The attack on it’s own can be treated as 200 damage for one target, which is enough to KO most Basic EX/GX (non Tag Team) and some Stage 1 GXs. When there are damaged Pokémon, then the situation gets even better, you could possibly land multiple KOs with Cross Division.
Expanded has more cards to work with. Tapu Lele-GX fetches you a Supporter as well as fueling damage output of Psychic Club just by being a Psychic Type. Float Stone finally makes Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX retreat for free and alternate other Pokémon! The stadium to use – and is the only way – is Sky Field, letting you have up to 8 Benched Pokemon. With 8 Psychic Pokemon in the Bench, Psychic Club does 250 damage, with Choice Band bringing them to 280. This can handle almost 99.9% of Pokémon outside of HP buffs or damage reduction.
Espeon & Deoxys-GX (SM – Unified Minds 72/236) is our first subject this week. Though a recent online encounter has me wondering if I ought to go back to painstaking detail to explain why giving up three Prizes when KO’d is indeed a drawback, I am short of time so I’ll assume you understand the fundamentals of the Pokémon TCG… and math. So yes, this is another TAG TEAM Pokémon, giving it the potential to be quite powerful but not a guarantee, and even if it is good that power comes at a price. Some cards specifically support or counter TAG TEAM Pokémon, with notable examples of the former being Coach Trainer and Tag Switch. TAG TEAMS are also Pokémon-GX, which comes with additional ups and downs, such as being legal to search via Cherish Ball but also being walled by Keldeo-GX’s Ability or damaged by Shrine of Punishment.
Basic Pokémon require minimal deck space per copy, are fast to field, and naturally work better with certain effects. They also have both Stage-specific support and counters, plus they can be your opening Active (sometimes a double-edged sword). [P] Typing is good; you’ll have to deal with a bit of Resistance, but you enjoy stuff like Mysterious Treasure and exploiting Weakness on some popular, potent cards. 260 HP is not an easy OHKO, though it is quite feasible if one exploits Espeon & Deoxys-GX’s own [P] Weakness… and as I said, there are already some popular, potent cards that are [P] Weak so don’t be surprised when that happens. No Resistance is the worst but also the norm, so moving on we come to the Retreat Cost of [CC]; neither expensive nor affordable, especially in the long-term.
Espeon & Deoxys-GX has two attacks. The regular attack is “Psychic Club” which does 10 damage plus another 30 for each of your Benched [P] Pokémon. Pretty low damage if this is splashed into an off-Type deck or you have a bad setup, but you can hit decent-to-good numbers if your Bench is all or mostly full of fellow [P] Types. The real standout, though, is the GX-attack: “Cross Division-GX” also costs [PCC] but places 10 damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon in any way you like. Honestly a bit underwhelming for a GX-attack, like all TAG TEAM Pokémon so far, it has an additional – or in this case, altered – effect. If you have at least three extra Energy attached to Espeon & Deoxys-GX, beyond the amount required to use the base form of the attack, you place 20 damage counters instead of 10. While still short of OHKOing Pokémon-GX with medium to large HP scores, now you’ve got enough to take out multiple smaller, supporting or injured Pokémon, even if they are hiding on the Bench or behind many (though not all) protective effects.
There are two proven places for Espeon & Deoxys-GX. Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94) is a [P] Type well-known for its “Psychic Recharge” Ability that lets you attach one basic Psychic Energy per turn per copy from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon. It isn’t as competitive as it once was, but it is still more than good enough to consider taking to a tournament. So you’ve got a deck likely to run all or mostly [P] Type Pokémon and a way to speedily energize Espeon & Deoxys-GX’s attacks. The other approach is to run Espeon & Deoxys-GX as a backup for Mewtwo & Mew-GX. It would only be run as a single, but that is enough as your field will likely be multiple Mewtwo & Mew-GX with a Jirachi-GX on the Bench. This provides Mew & Mewtwo-GX a solid attack for three Energy and access to a GX-attack that can spread damage counters and/or get by certain protective effects. In either of these decks, though, you’ll want different attackers (or copy-fodder) if you need raw power attacks.
In the Expanded Format, I don’t have any current results or personal data, so I’ll be relying purely on Theorymon. There are two different Stadium cards worth mentioning. You have Sky Field, which lets you have up to eight Pokémon on your Bench. Suddenly Psychic Club can swing for up to 250 damage, even before factoring in a Tool like Choice Band. Alternatively, there is Dimension Valley, which reduces the Energy costs of [P] Types by [C]… which can make a real difference when combined with something like Max Elixir. There are also additional Pokémon capable of copying their attacks; Mewtwo & Mew-GX are joined by Mew (XY – Fates Collide 29/124) and Mew-GX. As such, I think Espeon & Deoxys-GX look good here as well. Finally, if you pull this for Limited Format play, do run it but not on its own. You’ll at least need some Psychic Energy in your deck, if not several other [P] Pokémon. Cross Division-GX can be worth it on its own, as a vicious finisher provided you can stall for time (and maybe do a little damage) with other Pokémon first.
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