Even though we haven’t had any major tournaments using Plasma Freeze yet, Thundurus/Deoxys has already gained the reputation as THE deck to beat. There is a lot of discussion at the moment about the best way to play the deck – there are honestly so many viable options that can’t all fit into a 60 card deck list, and I think there will be a fair amount of skill in developing the perfect list. Since we only have Battle Roads before Nationals, you can be sure that all the best players will be keeping their deck lists and ideas closely guarded until then.
So why is Thundurus/Deoxys a good deck? Well, it gives the user a ton of options, as well as the pretty solid Plasma engine to abuse. Colress Machine is an amazing option to quickly accelerate energy onto your Pokemon, laying down several Deoxys EX can give the rest of your Plasma Pokemon 20 or 30 more damage per attack throughout the entire game, and when partnered with Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym, you can rack up a lot of damage very quickly.
It’s almost a more modern and just simply better version of Big Basics, allowing you to run a variety of Plasma Basics that can cover each others weaknesses, while having a ‘most valuable card’ for each matchup.
That’s why Thundurus/Deoxys is good, now let me explain why it is great, and also the problems that come with that. One of the best things about Pokemon is that every deck or card can be countered by another in the format, which in turn usually prevents a specific deck from becoming too dominant.
So, how can you counter Thundurus/Deoxys? Well, the deck is extremely reliant on Special energy, since it uses the Colress Machine + Plasma energy combination to quickly get energy into play, plus with all the different energy attack requirements to satisfy, it also runs Prism energy and Blend energy. Enhanced Hammer sounds perfect right? Whoops, Thundurus EX for just one energy can attach ANY energy from the discard pile, back onto one of their Pokemon.
OK, well what about trying to hit one of it’s Pokemon for weakness? Well, Deoxys EX is weak to Psychic, and so your best bet would be to try and enter a good old fashioned ‘Mewtwo war’, with your own Mewtwo EXs. Trouble is, that will usually come down to who runs out of resources first, and that could just as easily be you. Mewtwo EXs aren’t particularly useful in many other matchups at the moment, and so they’re almost wasted spots.
Maybe you could try using Landorus EX or Terrakion to knock out a Thundurus EX for an easy two prizes? Well, one of the best Plasma Pokemon to be printed (Kyurem), happens to be capable of knocking out a Landorus EX in one attack. Since Kyurem isn’t an EX Pokemon, you’ll only get one prize in return for knocking it out, and that isn’t a prize exchange you really want to get into.
The main issue with Terrakion right now is that Retaliate only deals 90 damage if one of your Pokemon was knocked out by damage from an opponent’s attack during their last turn. Once the opponent is aware you play Terrakion, it’s just too easy to ensure that your Pokemon are knocked out from poison damage between turns, meaning that Retaliate only hits for it’s base damage of 30.
I personally find it exciting that a new type of deck has come in and shaken up the format, and I also think that the deck takes a high level of skill to play correctly. My main issue with Thundurus/Deoxys is the gap between now and their release as Promos in the Autumn tins, which in turn will decrease their value considerably. Most players are looking at a loss of around $150-200 if they chose to buy them now, which is a huge amount of money to pay for a few Battle Roads and Nationals, where spending that money is still no guarantee of even doing well.
I think it’s better for them to be released in tins than not at all, but when a good list needs between six to seven Thundurus or Deoxys EXs, and a lot of other solid deck choices right now rely on another expensive card in Tropical Beach, it doesn’t feel like a situation we usually like to associate with Pokemon.
But enough of my thoughts on Thundurus/Deoxys, let’s take a look at a list!
3 Thundurus EX
4 Deoxys EX
2 Kyurem PLF
1 Lugia EX
4 Professor Juniper
3 Ultra Ball
2 Team Plasma Ball
4 Pokemon Catcher
2 Virbank City Gym
4 Hypnotoxic Laser
4 Colress Machine
1 Scramble Switch
2 Float Stone
4 Plasma energy
4 Prism energy
4 Blend energy WFLM
1 Double Colourless energy
I’ve decided to play four Deoxys here, because it’s ability is so good. That additional ten damage throughout the course of an entire game will make a big difference, and it’s not a bad back up attacking option either.
Despite Thundurus EX’s first attack getting back special energy back from the discard, I still think that Enhanced Hammer will be a popular strategy to try and beat this deck. Having three means you have a better chance of starting with it, and you can just sit there and continually fetch any discarded energy back from the discard.
The attack also serves as a great means of energy acceleration, if you can discard energy early on with Professor Juniper or Ultra Ball. 30 damage might not seem like much, but with two or three Deoxys on the bench and a Hypnotoxic Laser, it soon stacks up.
Kyurem solves so many problems in this deck. It provides a counter to Landorus EX, it gives you a non EX attacking option against Klinklang, and it’s even useful in all other matchups as well.
Thanks to the added benefit from benched Deoxys EXs, it’s first attack is actually a superior version of Landorus EX’s ‘Hammerhead’, and it’s particuarly useful against Rayeels where you can quickly knock out Tynamos.
It’s second attack is pretty awesome, and thanks to both energy acceleration options in the deck, it shouldn’t actually be hard to power up either. Along with two Deoxys EX on the bench, or a Hypnotoxic Laser with Virbank City Gym in play, you can knock out a Klinklang or Blastoise in one hit.
At a push, you can even knock out a 170-180HP EX Pokemon as well! It’s drawback is that you can’t attack in the following turn, but you can always just retreat or switch it out for another Pokemon.
Lugia EX is incredibly situational, but it can completely swing a game in your favour, and for that reason alone is worth one spot in the deck. It’ll typically be useful towards the end of the game when most of your opponent’s Pokemon are damaged, and in range of being knocked out in one attack. Whilst I only play one Double Colourless energy, Scramble Switch should help to power it up in one turn, as long as you don’t use it earlier in the game.
Choosing the right Supporters is pretty tricky. Some people prefer to play more copies of Colress since you aim to quickly fill the bench with several Deoxys EX, while Shadow Triad is also a great option towards the end of the game. I’m always cautious of ensuring that a deck has enough raw draw power, that it can use at any point in the game. Colress, Shadow Triad, and to an extent Skyla, don’t fall into this category and as such I don’t want to add too many copies of them.
I think in most situations, Float Stone is vastly superior to Switch. We don’t have any competing tools in this deck list to worry about, and Float Stone is almost like a permanent Switch for the Pokemon it’s attached to. Even if the opponent was to discard every Float Stone with a Tool Scrapper immediately after your turn, you are still able to retreat that Pokemon at least once, and thus it has the same value as a Switch.
It’s just important to be aware of Pokemon like Snorlax in particular preventing one of your Pokemon from retreating, or the problem that arises from your Pokemon staying asleep going into your turn from a Hypnotoxic Laser. For this reason, I included one Switch, which can always be searched out with Skyla if needbe.
Playing more Ultra Ball than Plasma Ball might seem a little silly, but remember that especially at the start of the game, discarding energy from your hand is actually a good thing. It will fuel Thundurus EX’s first attack, and just help your deck to set up faster.
Other Ways to Play the Deck
Of course, this isn’t the only way to play the deck. I decided to post a simple deck list that people could try out and change if they wanted to, but there are a lot of cards I didn’t include, that you should definitely consider. Snorlax is a great Scramble Switch candidate, and also gives you another option by locking one of the opponent’s Pokemon in the active position. Max Potion, Eviolite, and Frozen City can all be included to give a more ‘defensive’ feel to the deck.
Any non Plasma decks will be punished every time they attach an energy, especially Blastoise variants which can stack up around 60-80 damage a turn on a Black Kyurem EX, in order to keep using Black Ballista. Max Potion is a great option for a damaged Thundurus EX, meaning you can then just reattach an energy to continue dealing damage, while fetching any discarded energy back from the discard pile.