Plasme - All you need to know.

9.4.2014 wrote: Kenny Wisdom in category Trading Card Game

Hey 60cards.net! My name is Kenny Wisdom and before I get to introducing myself, I’d like to thank Martin Kaninsky for giving me the opportunity to write for 60cards.net. I should be writing a whole lot more over the next few months, so be sure to let Martin know he’s made a good decision!

Anyway, I’ve been playing the Pokémon TCG since 2009 (though like everyone else I had an infatuation during the early days back in 1998/99), and I’ve been playing competitively since the 2011 season. I spend a lot of my free time thinking about, talking about, or actually playing Pokémon, and I think I’m one of the few highly competitive players that has a real love for the actual game and it’s mechanics, and basically never gets sick of playing. All I want to do after a tournament, regardless of the result, is test a matchup that I don’t understand or brew a new deck, something that I don’t think many players can relate to. Although I love the game and always will, my favorite part of the tournament experience is getting to travel and hang out with my friends all over the world. I’ve been to some incredible places and met some even more incredible folks through this game, so that’s a topic for another article entirely.

Here is a short list of my accomplishments:

Multiple Battle Road/League Challenge wins

Multiple City Championship wins

2010 WA State Championship Top 8

2011 NW Regional Championship Top 8

2012 NorCal Regional Championship Top 32

2013 BC State Championship Top 4

2014 OR State Championship Top 4

Contributor to the 2014 Regional Championship winning Spookysect (Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Ho Oh EX) deck

Nowadays I spend most of my time doing coverage for tournaments as a part of On The Bubble. If you haven’t already, please check out our YouTube (Youtube.com/onthebubblepokemon) and Facebook pages (Facebook.com/OTBPokemon) and give us a like/subscription. We’ve streamed tons of Regionals and States this year and don’t have any plans to quit anytime soon, so be sure to keep up with what we’re doing, and if you’re already a fan, I’m endlessly thankful for the support!

With introductions out of the way, today I’ll be taking a detailed look inside Chase Moloney and Trevore Read’s Lugia deck that has the following accomplishments to it’s name…

1st British Columbia Provincial Championship 2014

2nd British Columbia Provincial Championship 2014

3rd Washington State Championship 2014

Top 8 Washington State Championship 2014

Considering that only the two of them were playing the deck and they managed to get three trophies between two events, it’s clear that they’re doing something right. Before we go any further, here’s the list…

Pokémon: 11

4 Deoxys EX

2 Thundurus EX

2 Lugia EX

1 Palkia EX

1 Absol

1 Snorlax

Trainers: 35

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Skyla

3 Colress

4 Muscle Band

4 Colress Machine

3 Switch

3 Team Plasma Ball

2 Tool Scrapper

2 Hypnotoxic Laser

1 Ultra Ball

1 Escape Rope

1 Scramble Switch ACE SPEC

Energy: 14

4 Double Coloress Energy

4 Plasma Energy

4 Prism Energy

2 Rainbow Energy

Huge thanks to Chase and Trevore for being A+ guys and letting me use the list for this article! This is the first time their list has been released publicly and I appreciate it thoroughly.

Because of the nature of 60cards.net I’m going to assume that the majority of my readers know enough about the game and this sort of deck that a card-by-card breakdown would be too wordy and boring. However, we are going to go through a few key points of the deck, as well as talk about what changes can be made to the deck going into the next format. Additionally, if there is anything I don’t cover here or you have any questions at all, please let me know in the comments and I’ll reply to everything in the most prompt manner I can. I’m a big proponent of asking questions, so please don’t feel embarrassed to ask anything (you can also message me privately on Facebook (Facebook.com/kennywisdom) if you’d rather).

Keys To The Deck

To me, the real key to this list is the pure consistency aspect. As you can see, there are tons of 4 and 3 ofs, and I feel that in this style of deck (very aggressive and linear) if you can maximize your ability to do the things that you want to do (in this case, mostly attack with Lugia twice for game) you’ll have much better results than if you try to get too fancy with the deck and pull yourself in too many directions. I think the biggest example of this is 4 copies of Deoxys EX. Though it may seem like an obvious inclusion to some, I know that I’ve seen plenty of lists with fewer than 4 copies of Deoxys EX, and it’s always baffled me. Here are a few examples where 4 Deoxys EX can be absolutely key…

- Lugia EX with a Muscle Band using Plasma Gale on a 180 HP defending Pokémon

- Lugia EX using Plasma Gale on a 170 defending Pokémon after playing a Hypnotoxic Laser

Additionally, having 4 Deoxys EX, just like any other card in any other list, maximizes your chances of drawing them and getting them into play, and there are plenty of times where simply having 3 on the bench (assuming you can’t find 1 or it’s prized) is very crucial as well. It’s safe to say that at this point in the format I wouldn’t register a decklist without 4 Deoxys EX.

Palkia EX

Palkia EX is actually one of the few things in the list that I go back and forth on, and I’ll go through my thought process a little bit here…

On one hand, it’s incredible against Blastoise decks that don’t run Pokémon Catcher, or get incredibly unlucky/never draw them/use them early/etc. I commentated a match during the Oregon State Championship where a Blastoise player had both of his Pokémon Catchers prized vs a Palkia EX and was simply demolished. There’s not really much of a way to play around the card, especially as your Keldeo EXs are very bad vs one of our 4 Deoxys EX. In the right situation, it can absolutely swing the match up.

On the other hand, how many times can you reliably expect a Blastoise player to run that poorly on Pokémon Catchers, or just never draw them? 


At the end of the day I do like this card, but wouldn’t call it 100% necessary unless you live in a Blastoise-infested area, like the pacific northwest.

3 Team Plasma Ball/1 Ultra Ball

This is another non-traditional inclusion that I absolutely love. Though discarding energy with Ultra Ball is relevant, the pure abuse of consistency that comes with 3 Team Plasma Ball is undeniable. The only time when I wouldn’t run this line-up (I’ve even considered going 4 Team Plasma Ball and 1 Ultra Ball, though I can’t find the room) would be if I was relying on Thundurus very heavily (particularly on turn one) or if I ran an extensive suite of non-Plasma Pokémon.

No Catcher Effects

This is probably the biggest point of contention in the list, and for good reason. Gust of Wind/Pokémon Catcher effects are some of the most powerful in the game, and running a deck like this without them seems ludicrous, especially given the fact that Plasma decks have such an easy out to the effect in Genesect EX.

The problem is mostly space. You can’t really afford to fit in Hypnotoxic Lasers (more on that in just one second), a heavy Ball suite, 4 Deoxys EX, and everything else this deck has in 60 cards AND play Pokémon Catcher. I’m simply unconvinced that it can be done.

Genesect EX, of course, is quite easier to fit, but that presents another problem in itself: conserving your use of Plasma Energy. It’s very hard to keep a steady stream of Lugia EX KOs if you’re attaching Plasma to your Genesect EXs as well. However, I think a happy medium can be met, and if you’re someone that absolutely needs to play a Catcher effect, I’d consider something like this…

Pokémon: 12

4 Deoxys EX

2 Lugia EX

2 Thundurus EX

1 Palkia EX

1 Genesect EX

1 Absol

1 Snorlax

Trainers: 34

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Skyla
3 Colress

4 Muscle Band

3 Colress Machine

3 Switch

3 Team Plasma Ball

2 Pokémon Catcher

1 Hypnotoxic Laser

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Ultra Ball

1 Escape Rope

1 Scramble Switch

Energy: 14

4 Double Colorless Energy

4 Plasma Energy

4 Prism Energy

2 Rainbow Energy

As you can see, this list is pretty similar but cuts down on some of the less-needed cards for some Catcher effects. Mind you that I haven’t tested this list all that much, but it’s a good starting place if you’re looking for Catcher/Genesect EX.

I’m also sure that there are other options here, so please let me know in the comments if you end up testing this deck out or have a differing idea of how it should look with Catchers. Very interested in what you have to say!

Hypnotoxic Laser

This is the card that most surprised me when I first saw it. Due to the way that Lugia EX’s Overflow Ability works, if a Pokémon is KO’d by the Poison damage from a Hypnotoxic Laser, you won’t get to draw an extra prize, making Laser sort of counter-intuitive. While I definitely think this is true and if you try this deck I’d recommend that you pay close attention to your damage outputs/don’t play Lasers before you absolutely need to, I think there is some merit for running the card.

Remember that situation we talked about earlier, where you have 4 Deoxys EX and a Muscle Band on board? Sometimes that isn’t going to happen. Although I think this deck is great and very consistent, there are going to be some times where you don’t exactly have everything that you need and want a little extra push to KO a threatening attacker, even if that means taking the correct amount of prizes.

Additionally, Hypnotoxic Laser is an inherently powerful card and can be used in situations where you need to keep the defending Pokémon asleep, and can also help out in the turn or two before you have a Lugia EX set up, and need to do that little bit of extra damage beforehand, taking full advantage of the Overflow ability.

Non-EX attackers

Though not as strange as some of the other bullet points here, I think that it’s important to not understate the importance of Absol and Snorlax here. 

Absol, especially in a post-Muscle Band world, is an incredibly powerful and efficient attacker, and the fact that your opponent will only receive one prize card for knocking it out is just the icing on the cake. In watching Chase and Trevore play the list I saw Absol come into play quite a bit, especially in softening up your opponent’s Pokémon before taking a big Lugia EX knockout.

Snorlax is a card that has been talked about endlessly, but everything that folks say about this card is true. Block is an absolutely absurd ability and the fact that you can reliably attack with Snorlax with only a turn or two of preparation (mostly thanks to Thundurus EX, mind you) is a testament to how powerful Plasma decks can be.

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Over the next few weeks I’ll be going over what I think of this deck in a post-Flashfire world. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see me talk about in the upcoming weeks! I love writing and I love Pokémon, so I’m willing to write about essentially whatever you all would like to see. Talk to you soon!

XO
KW
@kwisdumb

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