Hello DeadDrawGaming readers, it's Cody again, and I would like to welcome everyone to a special new series I am going to be doing on DeadDrawGaming.com where I will be showcasing a new list every week. I'm going to try to vary the decks as much as I can and touch on a ton of different strategies and hopefully bring to light some cool new ideas. The brief article with every list will touch on some of the key cards I chose to include as well as some noteworthy inclusions that you should consider if you decide to netdeck. Without further ado, here we go!
Are you like me, and want to avoid playing Mega.Dec all year? Do you like saying Circle Circuit and doing a lot of damage? Do you believe in the Bees? Then this is the starting point for you..
4 - Shaymin EX (ROS)
4 - Klefki (STS)
4 - Combee (AOR)
4 - Vespiquen (AOR)
3 - Pikachu (XY,GEN)
3 - Raichu (XY,GEN)
4 - Unown (AOR)
4 - Acro Bike
1 - Escape Rope
2 - Special Charge
4 - Trainers’ Mail
4 - Ultra Ball
4 - VS Seeker
2 - Lysandre
2 - N
1 - Pokemon Ranger
4 - Professor Sycamore
2 - Sky Field
4 - Double Colorless
Raichu/Vespiquen is a super straight forward deck, with Pokemon that everyone should be familiar with by now, but it gains a few things from STS that make it particularly noteworthy - Klefki and Special Charge.
Klefki is great. I just can't say that enough, and I'll be coming back to this point frequently in the future. Early game, the goal for this deck is to fire away with Raichu, take some KOs, be a nuisance, etc. Sky Field allows your max damage with Circle Circuit to jump from 100 to 160 by extending your bench, which means Raichu can one-shot nearly all non-EX Pokemon, as well as some of the smaller HP EX Pokemon. He's optimal for applying early pressure, and hits a convenient weakness: Lightning.
Raichu can actually make a move from early attacker to mid-game/finisher with the help of Klefki; Klefki can move itself from the bench to another Pokemon and attach itself as a tool, providing immunity from Mega Pokemon for one turn. This is particularly helpful for Raichu when he's two-shotting opposing Mega Pokemon.
Vespiquen is your normal condition late-game/finisher. Once you run out of Sky Field, your Unowns are spent, your Shaymins are dumped and your Klefki are discarded, you just blast away with Bee Revenge. I recommend still saving a Klefki for if stuff should go south. They're handy.
You should also notice that this deck plays no basic energy. The newly introduced card Special Charge provides an easy means of recycling those precious Double Colorless Energies! Now, instead of having only four Double Colorless, you can potentially have up to eight!
I would like to point out the inclusion of Sky Field, and touch on why I chose that over any other stadium, particularly Forest of Giant Plants and Parallel City. Sky Field allows both players to have eight benched Pokemon rather than five. This deck is able to abuse that by playing down a lot of Shaymin EX, Unown and Klefki, then using Raichu's Circle Circuit to do big damage. The reason I chose Sky Field over Parallel City in particular is because they can sometimes perform a similar function: throwing away Shaymin EX. You play Sky Field, then continue to play down a bunch of Pokemon, Including Klefki and Unown, and of course Shaymin EX. However, holding onto the Unown on the bench will often prove very valuable, especially for when your opponent replaces the stadium and allows you to drop Pokemon off of your bench, which are almost always Shaymin EX. Saving Unowns for times of need after a late game N or something is where the real skill-curve is with this deck. You'll often see less experienced players just throwing them away to draw a card, when they don't actually even need anything. Remember, ALL UNOWN MATTER.
As for cards I liked in this deck, but didn't have the space for, I would like to point to Wally. Forest of Giant Plants allows Combee to evolve into Vespiquen as soon as you want, but we decided to run with Sky Field instead, so Raichu can blast away for big damage. Being able to get a turn 1 Wally, going second, you are likely to nuke whatever your opponent might have active, barring any big EX Pokemon. Next, I would say Teammates. You're playing a lot of very low HP Pokemon, and should expect to get KOd fairly easily. Ultimately, I dropped Teammates in favor of more consistency cards; and because Klefki can actually save you from being KOd fairly often, preventing you from even playing Teammates. Lastly, I would say Level Ball. Every Pokemon in this deck is a target for Level Ball except for Shaymin EX, so why not include one? Simply a matter of space.
How's the list? I encourage anyone with access to the Shaymins to try it out. It's really fun, it's really fast, and it gives me an excuse to play Raichu. What's not to like?
Until next week, DDG readers,