I hope you guys all had a good time at your Plasma Freeze Pre Releases! Now we know the full set list, we can begin to look at some of the different deck options for the upcoming Battle Roads. Even though they’re pretty casual events, they’re the only tournament setting using the same format as Nationals, and for that reason I’d recommend using them to get experience with some of the changes that Plasma Freeze has brought to the table.
There are so many different ways to play Plasma decks, and for that reason I don’t think we’ll see a more defined deck list for at least another few weeks. Today I want to talk about a deck most people are familiar with, but one that I think has become stronger with the release of Plasma Freeze (and it wasn’t too bad to begin with!) – Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem.
It gains two really useful Trainers from Plasma Freeze – Superior Energy Retrieval, and Float Stone.
Superior Energy Retrieval allows you to get four Basic energy back from your discard pile, and considering the importance of being able to use Black Ballista every turn, it’s essentially the only card you really need towards the end of the game.
Considering Skyla can search it out as well, it should make managing energy a lot easier, and allow you to more freely discard them with Ultra Ball or Professor Juniper for example.
In regards to Float Stone, even though Keldeo EX can easily use Rush In to move into the active position, since Black Kyurem EX was added to the deck, it really suffered from a lack of Switch.
If the opponent used a Pokemon Catcher on a Keldeo EX or Blastoise for example after you used a Black Ballista on your last turn, you would need to find the two energy needed to play Keldeo EX’s retreat cost, and then another three energy to attack with Black Kyurem EX!
Considering how popular N is, often putting your hand down to two or three cards, it’s just not that easy to pull off consistently. Now, you always have access to a ‘Switch’, and it puts much less of a strain on your resources towards the end of your game.
Here’s my Current Deck List:
2 Keldeo EX
3 Black Kyurem EX
4 Professor Juniper
2 Tropical Beach
1 Dowsing Machine
4 Rare Candy
3 Ultra Ball
1 Level Ball
2 Energy Retrieval
2 Superior Energy Retrieval
2 Float Stone
2 Max Potion
3 Pokemon Catcher
So as you can see, I haven’t made a lot of changes from the deck list I posted a few months back. Rather than going over the same points, I’m going to explain some of the differences between both deck lists:
The first immediate change is that I now play three Black Kyurem EX, and two Keldeo EX. Black Kyurem EX should always be your primary attacker, but a lot of people still opted to play three Keldeo EX for it’s Rush In ability. However, with two Float Stone, I feel you can just leave one on the bench in a more supporting role, just like in Darkrai or Rayeels. Of course, it’s not a bad attacking option, and is usually more easier to get going than Black Kyurem EX at the beginning of a game.
I liked three Stadiums originally, to limit the effectiveness of Virbank City Gym. Usually, it’s beneficial to wait for your opponent to play their Stadium down first, but with the importance of Tropical Beach in the first few turns, you usually end up being that person instead. My 61st card here would definitely be a third Tropical Beach or Pokemon Center, but unfortunately I just couldn’t fit everything in that I wanted. The great thing about Dowsing Machine is that it can allow you that crucial third Stadium if you’re in desperate need for one.
The split between Energy Retrieval and Superior Energy Retrieval is interesting. While getting back four energy is always superior to two, you’re unlikely to have four energy in the discard pile until quite far into the game. In addition, the discard of two isn’t great, and I don’t think you always need the extra two energy that it offers. For this reason, I decided to play two copies of each, which I think is the perfect balance. Black Ballista should usually net you two prizes a time, and since a single copy of Superior Energy Retrieval can fuel a Black Kyurem EX in that circumstance, it can be pretty clutch having just one or two copies left in the deck in the last few turns.
Float Stone is an amazing addition for this deck, and for that reason I decided to add two copies. Of course, it is susceptible to Tool Scrapper, but I would be surprised if people begin to include more than one copy in their list. For that reason, you only need to play one Float Stone onto the field at once, and that way you can always play down the second copy after the first is discarded.
The great thing about Float Stone is that provided you have another ready to attach in hand, the opponent gains no benefit from discarding it during their turn. If you think about Garbodor for instance, after playing a Tool Scrapper, the opponent can then use any abilities they wish for the rest of their turn.
I’m a big advocate of Max Potion in this deck, and it’s lack of popularity always surprises me. Against most decks (including Plasma), you typically drop behind in prizes early in the game, and then make a comeback once Black Kyurem EX is hitting for 200 every turn. The trick is to make sure you overtake the opponent in the prize race as early as possible throughout the game. Unless you’re playing against Rayeels (which is an autoloss anyway), or the mirror, your opponent is usually going to rack up around 100-140 damage on your EX Pokemon early on.
All you have to do is then play a Max Potion, and essentially render their last turn useless. You don’t have to worry about losing any energy attachments, since you can just keep them in hand and go crazy with Deluge in the turn you set a Blastoise up. That extra turn gives you time to sit back, use an additional Supporter and Tropical Beach, and to then get a Blastoise set up as well as prepare the required number of energy in hand.
I figured that with Float Stone reducing the need to retreat with Keldeo EX, and also Superior Energy Retrieval getting an additional two energy cards from the discard pile, the deck could get away with dropping a Water energy and going down to 13 overall.