Happy New Year everyone! I hope you guys have had a great past couple of weeks, and feel refreshed going into 2013. ProPokemon has been pretty inactive for the last week or ten days, but it’s back to normal again, and I have a new deck article looking at Blastoise/Keldeo.
Blastoise/Keldeo? Didn’t I already write a deck article on it, a couple of months back? I did, but that article is still one of the most popular on the website, and I feel it’s in desperate need of an update. A lot of the information on there is still valid, but I wrote that when Boundaries Crossed had just been released, and no one had really settled on a definite way to play the deck (at the time, Kyurem was pretty much a staple in it!). I’ve been testing with it a lot recently, and feel that I now have a much more competitive and up to date list, which is a much better starting point than my previous one, as well as some new thoughts about the deck.
First of all, let’s have a look at my updated deck list:
3 Keldeo EX
1 Mewtwo EX
+1 Mewtwo EX/1 Cresselia EX/1 Sigilyph
4 Professor Juniper
1 Computer Search
1 Tropical Beach
4 Rare Candy
4 Ultra Ball
4 Super Scoop Up
3 Energy Retrieval
4 Pokemon Catcher
+1 Water/1 Psychic if you are playing Cresselia EX or Sigilyph
I feel one of the biggest choices you have to make when building this deck, is whether to run Super Scoop Up, Max Potion, or no healing cards at all. There’s no question that Super Scoop Up is the most useful option of the three, but it also takes up four spaces, which could be easily allocated to other cards (I would like to add a Tool Scrapper, Level Ball, Wartortle, Cilan, and second Tropical Beach to this list). Max Potion only requires two or three slots in the deck, and acts as a compromise between both options, but it can put you in difficult positions in regards of discarding energy. I don’t think there’s one particular correct way to build this deck, and I would recommend trying out some different variants of the deck to see which one you like best.
The second big talking point is the exclusion of Wartortle. The simple reasoning behind this is that I ran it originally, but didn’t find it was useful in enough games to warrant it’s inclusion. Thanks to Skyla and Computer Search, it’s easier then ever to hit the Rare Candy/Blastoise combination, and even if you don’t, Wartortle is a fragile Pokemon with just 80HP that the opponent can easily knock out anyway. As I mentioned before, it is a card I’d like to add to the deck for the security it offers, but I feel that with four Squirtle and four Rare Candy you should be fine without it.
Anyone who has tested this deck for several games will know that one of it’s biggest issues is coming up against an opposing Mewtwo EX. If you get into a prize trade off with your Keldeo EXs, you’ll nearly always end up behind on prizes. Mewtwo EX can just as easily hit for the same amount of damage as you, set up without the need for a Stage 2 Pokemon like Blastoise, and also benefits from Double Colourless energy.
You can always run your own Mewtwo EX (I run one copy here), but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll typically come out on top of the prize trade. Instead, I’ve given the option of running a Cresselia EX or Sigilyph to this list with a single Psychic energy (yes, I’m serious!).
Both are probably the two best Mewtwo EX counters which can work in the deck, and are useful in other situations as wellthe (Sigilyph is great against EX heavy decks, or walling behind if you have a slow start). Cresselia EX knocks out a Mewtwo EX with one attack, and provided they don’t have two Pokemon Catchers in hand (to send Cresselia EX to the bench and remove it’s attack’s effect, before bringing it active again for a knock out), there’s not a lot they can do.
The main issue with Cresselia EX is coming up against an Eviolite’d Mewtwo EX as it will come up 30 damage short of a knock out, so you might want to consider playing a Tool Scrapper or two alongside it. Sigilyph will usually put about 140 or 160 damage on the opposing Mewtwo, and so won’t typically knock it out, but can’t be attacked in return. It’s a lot of hassle for the opponent to knock out for just one prize card, and is useful in most other matchups as well.
The great thing about this deck is that it completely supports playing just one Psychic energy. Thanks to two Skyla and Computer Search, you have three extra outs to draw into the Psychic energy. Since you won’t typically need the Psychic energy until towards the end of the game, you can just make a point to attach it to one of your Pokemon or discard it when you draw into it at any point during the game. Once it’s sent to your discard pile, you can just continually loop it with Energy Retrieval, and fish it back whenever it’s needed. My list doesn’t run Cilan, which is a really underrated card in the deck at the moment, but if you decide to, then you have even more of a reason to run a Psychic energy.
Tropical Beach solves a lot of problems in the deck. It allows you to still draw cards while you’re setting up in your first few turns, can be searched out by Skyla or Computer Search, knocks the opponent’s stadium out of play, gives you boosted consistency throughout the game, and also helps to recover better from late game Ns. For the sake of one spot, what’s not to like?
The main issue with Tropical Beach comes from it’s rarity and price, as it can only be obtained from competing at the World Championships, where players receive a copy in each language. In Europe, we can play with cards from any local languages such as German, French, and Italian, but it’s a lot more difficult in the United States where only the English copy is legal for tournament play. If you don’t have one, you could replace it with another Skyla, but it can often be the difference between winning and losing a game.