Hello again, DeadDrawReaders! We're back today with another addition to the DeckLab series and today we have something extra spicy: Volcanion EX! I've really enjoyed playing this over the past couple weeks, and I think it can definitely be a contender in the standard meta in the upcoming Regional Tournaments. Let's check out the list I've been using, and discuss some other neat options that I think could definitely fit into this list.
The Pokemon lineup in the list is very simple and straight forward. I chose to max out the baby Volcanion, since it is my preferred starter. I also chose to max out the Volcanion EX count, which I still debate because that's just a significant amount of bench space. That said, having access to a full count of Volcanion EXs is also really nice. The other Pokemon in the deck are strictly for getting the deck rolling; the Hoopa EX is great for fishing out a couple Volcanion EX early and the Mew is something I have become pretty fond of during testing. Mew can serve as a means to OHKO Mega Mewtwo and Hoopa if there is no Garbotoxin active since you can copy Volcanic Heat and hit for weakness on either.
Since Volcanion decks are all about digging energy back out of the discard pile with Power Heater and then move it all around the board, the list is destined to play a ton of energy- and a ton of ways to move energy around. Fisherman, Professor's Letter and Energy Retrieval all facilitate that idea. I've been up and down with the counts on each of these cards, but I am a big fan of the numbers I am at now.
Another thing I would like to point out is the stadium I have chosen to play. All the fire energy in the list initially made me lean towards Scorched Earth as another means of moving energy into the discard pile, and a little extra consistency. However, as I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of consideration as far as bench space is concerned, which pointed me to Sky Field. Sky Field allows you to utilize an early Ultra Ball for Hoopa EX, then use Scoundrel Ring to fill your bench with Volcanion EX!
Aside from Scorched Earth, there were many cards I tried to include during my testing. Parallel City is another stadium that I chose to not include although its really good! It can be used for both for disruption and as a means to bump the Sky Field, which will allow you to throw away your Hoopa EX and any Shaymin EX you may have had to bench during your setup. Entei with Combat Blaze for an extra non-EX attacker and Flareon EX for an attacker that was able to be loaded up to do big damage- I tried both of these Pokemon, but ultimately cut them both in favor of making the deck more streamlined. As for trainer cards, you might notice there aren't any Max Elixirs. Originally, the list did include a full set of Max Elixir, but I actually cut them all in favor of the Professor's Letters, Energy Retrieval and Skyla. Most of the Volcanion decks I have played against online do, in fact, play Max Elixir and make good use of it, given all the fire energy in the deck. My thought was that you don't need to attach more than one energy per turn, since you end up attaching an extra two every turn by using Power Heater anyways, and you usually attack with baby Volcanion early on until you have multiple Volcanion EX ready to sweep through later in the game.
The biggest problem with this deck is a problem for many other decks as well: Garbodor. Garbodor shuts off your Volcanion EX from being able to use their ability, which really makes you struggle to reach the numbers that you need to in order to get KOs. I chose to play two Lysandre in the list in an effort to hopefully deal with this problem swiftly, but it's still very much a problem worth mentioning.
Bottom line: Volcanion is a crazy fun deck to play! There are a ton of crazy plays that can be made, and moving around all that energy is really exciting to see. The combination of non-EX and EX attackers also makes for some tricky seventh-prize scenarios for your opponent.
Any comments on the list? What has worked well for you so far in your testing? Feel free to give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter.
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