Friday, February 1, 2013

Plasma Storm/Spiral Force/Thunder Knuckle: A Double Feature and APossible Play for States

Hey everyone!

Today I will be reviewing two of the next sets that will be coming out this year, one of which, Plasma Storm, was released at a Pre-release event last weekend. The second set, /Spiral Force/Thunder Knuckle, will be coming out probably sometime in later in the year hopefully before Nationals.

The first deck we will be looking at today is DirT. Or Deoxys EX/Thunderus EX.

DirT (Deoxys EX/Thunderus EX


 As you may have guessed, this deck revolves around two cards, Deoxys EX and Thunderus EX.
Deoxys EX is in the deck for two reasons, 1. To be a Mewtwo EX counter. 2. For its amazing Ability,
Power Connect. Power Connect reads: 

The attacks of your Team Plasma Pokémon (excluding Deoxys-EX) do 10 more damage to the Defending Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance).

  The reason that you might want this in a deck with Team Plasma attackers is obvious, but how could this possibly counter Mewtwo EX? With its only attack, Spiral Force. It reads:

 If there is a Plasma Energy attached to this Pokémon, this attack does 30 more damage for each Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.

Combine this with Mewtwo EX's x2 weakness to Psychic and you have yourself a free two prizes.
This card is great, but its not what you should be attacking with most of the time.
In the beginning of a game, It is best to use the deck's second EX card; Thunderus EX.
It can be used mainly for its first turn damage on anything, and its
Thunderus EX's first attack is Thunder Knuckle, it reads:

Attach an Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Team Plasma's Pokémon.

  The good thing about Thunder Knuckle is that it can be used in conjunction with any Team Plasma Pokemon for some energy acceleration. It can also be helpful for retrieving a discarded Plasma Energy or DCE as well. Some great Team Plasma attackers are: Lugia EX, Snorlax PLS, and Kyurem PLS. All of which are all normally included in this deck anyway.Speaking of the deck, here's my list:

Pokemon (11)
4 Deoxys EX
3 Thunderus EX
2 Lugia EX
2 Snorlax PLS
ThePokémon this card
 is attached to has no Retreat Cost.

Trainers (35)
4 Professor Juniper
4 Ghetsis 
3 Skyla
2 Colress
4 Hypnotoxic Laser
4 Colress Machine
4 Pokemon Catcher
2 Team Plasma Poke' Ball
2 Ultra Ball
3 Float Stone
2 Virbank City Gym
1 Tool Scrapper
Energy (14)
4 Plasma Energy
4 Lightning Energy
3 Prism Energy
3 Double Colorless Energy

Weakness and Strategy 

In this section I'll be talking about the basic strategy of the deck and some of its major or minor weaknesses.

Plasma Energy

 Plasma Energy is the one card that holds this deck together. It's the reason Lugia EX can attack, and it also helps provide with some much-needed energy acceleration from Colress Machine.

As you may have noticed, this list is heavily reliant upon Special Energy to function. With cards like Plasma Energy, DCE, and Prism Energy, this deck is filled to the brim with Special Energy which all increase your chances of being pounded by a deck with multiple counts of either Enhanced Hammer, and/or Crushing Hammer.
I predict lots of decks in the post-BW9 format to be running 2-3 copies of  Enhanced Hammer at the very least, when people realize that a few Enhanced Hammer techs could greatly swing games in your favor. I tried the best I could to include the lowest amount of Special Energy cards as possible, but with attacks like Lugia EX's Plasma Gale or Deoxys' Spiral Force that require a Plasma Energy to even use the attack, it gets tough.


 Lugia EX comes in the set Plasma Storm which will be released to the public in a couple weeks. The set will have a huge impact on the format as we know it.
Obviously, the catcher on this card is its Ability, Overflow. with the option to draw an extra prize for every KO you get with Lugia EX, This could come in handy for winning surprisingly early in the match by simply knocking out two of your opponents EX Pokemon with Plasma Gale. On the flip-side, Plasma Gale doesn't require six energy to use, in fact, Lugia only needs  one DCE, a Plamsa Energy, and one other energy to attack with it.

The one downside to Lugia is the fact that 120 damage is definitely not going to be scoring any one-hit knock outs.
However, there is a cure to this illness besides Deoxys EX they are: Thunderus EX, Hypnotoxic Laser, Virbank City Gym Deoxys.

Virbank and Hypnotoxic Beam

One card that can help Lugia EX achieve easy OHKOs is Virbank City Gym.
With the power to up poisons damage on Pokemon by 20, this could really come in handy used in conjunction with the new must-have card, Hipnotoxic Laser; the ultimate PlusPower, Poison style.
If your planning on using DirT when it comes out, I would recommend using it in this order:
1. Use Thunderus EX's Thunder Knuckle to deal 30 damage and attach an Energy on Lugia EX.

2. Use Colress Machine and Double Colorless Energy to load Lugia so it's ready to attack second turn if you can.

3. Still on your second turn, retreat Thunderus EX either using its single Energy, or using Float Stone and promote Lugia EX fully loaded and ready to attack.

4. Before you attack on the second turn, if Virbank City Gym isn't already in play, play it. Then, use Hypnotoxic Laser to blast them with an extra 30 damage at the end of your turn and possibly put them to sleep.

5. If you've completed all of these steps perfectly as explained, your opponents active Pokemon should be at exactly 60 damage. Now, simply attack once with Plasma Gale and draw your hard-earned three prizes.Your opponents Pokemon should now be at 180 damage, enough to KO any EX Pokemon in the format without a tool.

Other Attackers

Snorlax PLS basically explains itself. Use Deoxys EX as a Team Plasma Pokemon on your bench, and attack with Teampact over, over, and over for OHKOs until Snorlax is knocked out.

And that concludes DirT. Now onto the next deck that I will most definitely be playing at States and possibly Regionals, Landorus Mewtwo.

Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX

Personally, I believe that Landorus/Mewtwo is the best all-'round matchup against everything and quite possibly the best play for States.
To start off I'll show you a list:

Pokemon (10)
3 Tornadus EX
3 Mewtwo EX
2 Landorus EX
1 Terrakion NVI
1 Bouffalant DRX

Trainers (38)
4 Professor Juniper
3 Skyla
3 N
2 Colress
4 Pokemon Catcher
4 Switch
3 Enhanced Hammer
3 Hypnotoxic Laser
3 Energy Switch
2 Virbank City Gym

2 Ultra Ball
1 Max Potion
1 ACE SPEC Computer Search

Energy (13)
4 Double Colorless Energy
9 Fighting 
As most of you probably already know, Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX was one of the top two decks going in and out of cities. It's only bad match-up was against Keldeo EX/Blastoise, only because of Landorus EX's weakness to water. But with proper techs and some practice playing Keldeo/Blastoise, that match-up can be swung in your favor.

 For me, the one thing that can turn a 30/70 into a 60/50, is Tornadus EX. After all of the eels decks started to fizzle out, few of us realized how valuable Tornadus EX would actually be. If your not facing either an eel deck or something with Darkrai EX, Landorus EX isn't actually that effective, and if you start with him against Keldeo/Blastoise, your dead. Especially since if it's not a mirror match, Darkrai, or Eels that your matched up with, its Keldeo EX. Now that was the case for Cities, but with the Plasma Storm finally forming in the meta-game, things should take a turn for the better on Landorus' side. With the help of Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser, KOing the helpless 60 HP Squirtle just became a whole lot easier for Mewtwo, Landorus, and Tornadus allike. And if you can eliminate Keldeo EX's energy acceleration, you have yourself a very easy victory full of Xball and Power Blast.

I hope you enjoyed the review of these two decks. I did not go over and analyze every card in both sets, but I do however have a few other decks in mind that are less hyped and most likely not known about yet in the US at the moment. Please comment if you have ANY questions.

Thanks for reading -Tyler

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