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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

William Hung on Pokemon
Road to State Championships - Part III
February 23, 2006

Hello all!  It's time to share my third installment of this series, as we are approaching closer and closer to Pokemon TCG State Championships.  This time around, besides introducing yet another one of my deck creations, I will also discuss the top contenders, and hopefully my deck can fare well against them.
Note: My deck rankings are based on my own objective playtesting.  I do a "gauntlet" style of playtesting, where I test against all the other major contenders, but definitely use it only as a guide.
#1: Blastoise ex/Steelix ex/Lugia ex/Pidgeot:  That would be Jermy101's deck.  I am being very objective - I am not saying this because it is a deck built by the most recent Pokemon TCG World Champion.  I am saying this because I can't find a deck that can consistently beat this deck.  I will refer this deck as BSL, for rest of this article.  BSL has a lot of versatility, but the key card is definitely Pidgeot.  Thus, even decks such as Medicham ex/Espeon ex will have a good chance of winning if they can lock out Pidgeot's Quick Search (Poke-Power) early on.  Nevertheless, this is a card game, and if you can't lock out Pidgeot's Quick Search early on, it could be too late - because they would have Blastoise ex + Lugia ex or Steelix ex set up.
Also, Steelix ex will be important for finishing off other quality decks and record a W (Win).  So if your deck has means to One-Hit KO Steelix ex middle or late game, it could be costly for the BSL player as well.
In short, if your main attackers can be One-Hit KO'd (Lugia ex - Weak to Psychic, Steelix ex - Weak to Fighting/Fire), you're in for a tough match.
#2: Rock Lock:  There are many variations, but Dark Tyranitar with Spinning Tail will get extremely involved, and that's good for you.  You can deal with BSL, Medicham ex/Espeon ex, ZRE, Ludicolo/Magcargo, and just about anything.  Against powerhouse ex decks, hold on to your Scramble until you actually need it, and for non-ex decks, just keep abusing Spinning Tail, and eventually you can do ATM [Rock] to put some serious hurt into your opponent.
#3: Medicham ex/Espeon ex:  This is probably one of the best lock decks, and other powerhouse contenders like Metanite or Dark Dragonite will be scraming for help.  Running Magcargo is also a disaster, because if you KO anything and have a prize lead, POW! Hand Extension will leave your Magcargo stranded, and everything else is going to be vulnerable to Pure Power.
#4: Metanite: This deck is really self-sufficient, and if you can use your Poke-Powers from Metagross d, Dragonite d, and Magcargo, you can overrun your opponent in a hurry.  However, there are plenty of difficult circumstances - like what if they get out Steelix ex (BSL) and One-Hit KO your Magcargo?  I mean your options are quite limited, because Steelix ex has Resistance to Lightning.  No fun.  What if your opponent plays Medicham ex and you can't use any of your key Poke-Powers?  Ouch!
#5: ZRE:  This is still one of the best decks around.  You can argue against my point of view, because it cna get inconsistent starts, takes a beating from Desert Ruins, etc., but when it's all said and done, Electrode ex blows up, fully charges Rayquaza ex DX, POW! Hand Extension on precious Energies and important Pokemon, Rocket's Admin.  If you can beat that, good luck to you.  The only reason this is #5 instead of #1 is you could start with hands such as lone Zapdos ex (horrible!), and that's almost impossible to come back from against other high-quality decks.
With that, I also want to mention that Holon Phantom will come out in May, and so I can't be too quick about building a deck for US Nationals or World Championships.  However, I will share another deck with great potential: Machamp from Legend Maker.
Pokemon (20):
4x Jirachi DX
2x Slugma DX (Collect)
2x Magcargo DX (Smooth Over)
3x Machop (Legend Maker)
2x Machoke (Hidden Legends)
3x Machamp (Legend Maker)
2x Voltorb (Fire Red and Leaf Green)
2x Electrode ex
Trainers (25):
4x Desert Ruins
2x Steven's Advice
3x Rare Candy
3x Celio's Network
2x Holon Transceiver
2x Holon Mentor
2x Holon Scientist
3x POW! Hand Extension
1x Pokemon Retreiver
3x Rocket's Admin
Energies (15):
7x Fighting
4x React
4x Rainbow
This is a very "tight" deck, meaning every card counts.  I chose to use the "Holon" trainer engine, because it allows me to get out key Basics (Slugma, Voltorb, Machop), while using Jirachi DX both as an initial wall and set-up Pokemon.  I also like the flow of the deck - because you can use for your first Machamp built up from your Bench to retaliate once your Jirachi DX is KO'd.  Then later in the game, once your first Machamp LM is KO'd, you can "Blow Up" your Electrode ex, and have one or both of your other Machamp LM loaded and continue the onslaught.  Since you should be behind in prizes, POW! Hand Extension and Rocket's Admin will be quite handy.
I think this is another deck where you can control your own destiny.  Even though it isn't the most consistent deck (like starting with Slugma), I like the concept of the deck, and I hope you like it too.
Please reply with comments or suggestions via my e-mail wilhung53@aim.com.
My next and final installment of this series of articles will be sometime next week just before the actual State Championships, so stay tuned.
Take Care,
William Hung



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