Dark Blastoise Ė Why It Works

 

††††††††††† From now on, Iím going to try to get an article into you guys every Friday. Itís hard to do with school, wrestling, and other responsibilities, but Iíll do my best. Next Friday, however, donít expect an article. Iím attending a major tournament in Chicago hosted by Pokedok. Some of the greatest players in the Midwest will be there, including Ness, Alex Brosseau, Chris Fulop (Professor Championship Winner), and others. Itíll be very exciting, and you can expect an article from me on Monday about it. For information, go here:

http://boards.wizards.com/tcg-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=002887

 

††††††††††† Now if you guys have read my previous articles, you know Iím in love with Dark Blastoise. Well, at least I like to PLAY him in my decks. I used him at the Pokemon World Championships this summer, finishing in 12th place. Not bad, considering it was a ďrogueĒ deck, one that really wasnít much of an archetype. I did see a few other Dark Blastoise there though, so itís not exactly original.

 

††††††††††† The history of this card in organized play actually starts way back when Modified was first used. That was the OLD Modified, Rocket On. Jonathan Brooks placed 1st place in the 10- with a Dark Blastoise/Steelix deck. Other than him, nobody really used Dark Blastoise in Modified, and it never really had many appearances in major tourneys, including qualifiers.

 

††††††††††† When modified rotated, quite a few people experimented with this card, but simply passed it on as a card with no real opportunity for domination in the format. One day, Satoshi (Derek Heid, long time Deck Mechanic for Pojo) and I were playtesting via Apprentice. He was using Dark Blastoise/Steelix, and I was using Espeon. We ended up winning and losing equally, but I realized the deck had much potential. I started playing Dark Blastoise/Steelix, and occasionally played a Metal on Dark Blastoise. It prevents the damage to self from Rocket Tackle, AND acts as a shield from damaging attacks, something the low-HP Dark Blastoise needed. We eventually realized Steelix wasnít necessary, and that it slowed the deck down. It was simply a liability.

 

††††††††††† Derek and I worked hard on the deck (which I planned to use at Worlds), and finally came up with a rough sketch of what it would look like. We tweaked and tweaked, and came up with this. I think I surprised him when I actually DID use it at Worlds, and did well with it. This is exactly what I used at Worlds:

 

Arithmestoise V.1.0 Modified (12th at Worlds)

 

Pokemon x19

Squirtle x4

Dark Wartortle x4

Dark Blastoise x4

Cleffa x3

Tyrogue x2

Elekid x1

Qwilfish x1

 

Trainers x25

Professor Elm x4

Bill x4

Double Gust x4

Gold Berry x3

Focus Band x2

Pokemon Trader x2

The Bossí Way x2

Healing Field x2

Rocketís Hideout x1

Time Capsule x1

 

Energy x16

Water x10

Darkness x3

Metal x3

 

††††††††††† The deck faired pretty well, losing mainly to Slowking decks. After Worlds, Dark Blastoise still remained ďrogueĒ. Very few people played it, although more and more began testing it.

 

††††††††††† Now, Slowking has been banned. With the lack of trainer denial (except in a few cases, like Noc-Lock) Dark Blastoise has little to stop it. You can simply build it up, and have very little worry, except for the occasional Double Gust which will slow you down a bit. Or, you can take the offensive, and start Rocket Tackling Turn 3, while slowly building it up.

 

††††††††††† Iíve continued playtesting with it, and this is the new version I have come up with, basically updating with the Slowking ban and with Expeditionís release.

 

Arithmestoise V1.5 Modified

 

Pokemon x19

Cleffa x3

Tyrogue x2

Pichu x2

Squirtle (EX) x4

Dark Wartortle x4

Dark Blastoise x4

 

Trainers x25

Professor Elm x4

Copycat x4

Double Gust x4

Gold Berry x3

Focus Band x2

Pokemon Trader x2

The Bossí Way x2

Healing Field x2

Switch x1

Time Capsule x1

 

Energy x16

Water x10

Darkness x4

Metal x2

 

††††††††††† Truthfully, there havenít been THAT many changes except to modify to the new environment. I put in an extra Pichu because Entei/Cargo may become a threat, and because many decks are arising based around Pokemon Powers. Copycat is in there because itís simply a great card. I changed Squirtleís to a 50 HP one for obvious reasons. More HP. You can live a turn extra against Elekid.

 

††††††††††† Now what I havenít discussed is how this deck works.

 

††††††††††† Unlike popular thought, Dark Blastoise isnít based around hydrocannon, itís first attack. The deck is actually supposed to be both offensive and defensive at the same time. The ideal is to have a water, darkness, and metal attached to Dark Blastoise turn 3, and to be Rocket Tackling, doing 40 with a possible agility effect. This third turn combo is unrivaled by any card in the format at this point. Doing 40 third turn is an aggressive attack, not to mention youíre being saved 10 damage from your opponent, AND you have a 50% chance of not taking damage next turn.

 

††††††††††† Once you have a Dark Blastoise up there ďstallingĒ and ďattackingĒ at the same time, you can start loading another one which is there solely for the purpose of one hit killing the major Pokemon in their deck. Try putting up to 4 water, and a couple darkness on it. Doing 90 damage is magical in this format, and it kills the major decks. Kingdra, Entei/Cargo (although you can just Rocket Tackle for this), Dark Tyranitar, Crobat, and others.

 

††††††††††† With the insane amount of draw power we now have in the format, this deck is capable of getting what it needs when it needs it. You donít need to rely on luck.

 

††††††††††† Iíve been playtesting lately against some of the major decks, and Iíve concluded that Dark Blastoise isnít invincible, but itís a very strong deck to play. It is capable of beating any deck out there at least once in three games, period. Even Espeon, itís most formidable opponent.

 

††††††††††† Until next week, with my article regarding the tourney, have fun playtesting! It looks like February is going to be an exciting month for Pokemon, with Super Battlezone information, and hopefully info regarding the 2003 Challenge Series.

 

~ RaNd0m

rand0m_for_life@hotmail.com

 

 

 

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