So… I have a lot of explaining to do. Originally, I was supposed to have this article up in place of my Lurantis GX article, but I felt that discussing how freakin’ good Lurantis GX was had a much larger priority over this deck (and I still feel that way). After that, I felt great. I already had a pretty solid idea of where I was going to go with this article and I knew that, with Anaheim coming up, I would be able to get this bad boy out just in time for people to build this deck if they desired (or something close to it) and test it a bit before the Regionals. I love helping people out and this is my way of doing so…
…except my computer doesn’t give two Pikas about my feelings nor yours.
So, long story less long, my computer decided that it was going to contract a virus (the naughty thing~). Because of that, I had to delay this article and go through the wonderful process of restoring my glorious piece of shiitake mushroom to its factory settings. If that wasn’t bad enough, my sleep began to do what it sporadically loves to do: Not come in decent increments. So, getting an average of 4 hours (at best) a night, my motivation was about as active as my computer was before the reset.
Now, a couple days later than I wanted, here I am with the article. It’s a bit late and I’m sure someone will be angry about this (you’re welcome), but at least I’m publishing it now.
All right, all that aside, allow me to introduce Darkrai EX from Dark Explorers!
…That was the last time I make that joke. I promise.
Here’s the list before I shoot myself in the foot even more:
Pokemon – 14
4 Eevee SM1
4 Umbreon GX
2 Shaymin EX
2 Trubbish BKP
1 Garbodor BKP
1 Yveltal EX
Supporter/Item/Stadium – 36
3 Professor Sycamore
2 Team Flare Grunts
4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Puzzle of Time
3 Trainers’ Mail
3 Float Stone
3 Crushing Hammer
2 Enhanced Hammer
1 Super Rod
2 Parallel City
Energy – 10
4 Double Colorless Energy
6 Darkness Energy
So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the reason I call Umbreon GX “Darkrai EX” is because of two particular things:
1. Night Spear and Shadow Bullet are the same attack.
2. Both have a way to Retreat for free.
Now, both Pokemon have differences that separate them, but for the most part, they do the same thing: Attack both the Active and the Bench Pokemon and set up for KOs as the game proceeds. Darkrai EX was infamous for doing this during the BW formats and so I feel it’s only natural that Umbreon GX can do something very similar (with a fairly similar amount of success). Also, and very luckily for Umbreon, we received a “reprint” of a very strong Eevee. Whenever you would attach a Darkness Energy to Eevee, evolve it in to Umbreon GX (except if you just played the Eevee or if it’s your first turn of the game). What that basically means is that we actually have a way to SAVE Ultra Balls for some of our other Pokemon, which is really good.
To talk about Umbreon GX a bit more, his first attack is actually pretty nice. It reminds me a lot of Donphan PLS without the really awesome bonuses from things like Strong Energy and Muscle Band. Still, one of the most important part about the attack itself is that it switches Umbreon out, meaning that if it doesn’t have a Float Stone available, it still has a way of saving its own skin. The fact that it also does 30 damage is a nice cherry on top. Actually, thinking on it, that 30 damage can go a long way considering Umbreon also does a lot of residual damage. Shadow Bullet hits a Benched Pokemon for 30 damage and the Active Pokemon for 90 damage, meaning that after a bit of time, things start to fall over left and right. Any extra damage you can produce is going to be beneficial since, like Decidueye GX, the primary attack of Umbreon is in the 2HKO category. This leads me to what Umbreon GX’s main purpose is: He is the Playmaker of this deck. He may not be the one grabbing the KOs, but he sure is the one setting them up. It is already hard to heal Pokemon in this game considering our best options are things like Pokemon Center Lady and, to an extent, Fairy Drop (unless you’re a Water deck. You guys are cheaters.), so to be able to add a bunch of damage all over the board is always going to be beneficial.
Now, while that is all fine and dandy, Umbreon GX, much like Darkrai EX did, needs some more tools to work with. While doing damage all over is great, it just isn’t enough anymore. So, we’re going to play to the strengths of Umbreon GX and use an old strategy that worked very, very well with Darkrai EX (not because of Darkrai necessarily, but…). If you have noticed, I’ve added in a very interesting engine that utilizes both Crushing and Enhanced Hammer alongside Puzzle of Time. This is because the use of Hammers slows down the Opponent, meaning Umbreon GX can actually take a full 2 Turns to knock things out. This strategy also means that Umbreon can stay in the Active spot much longer, since your Opponent will have a much harder time consistently attacking.
I decided to not include Bunnelby PRC with Delta Barrage for a couple of reasons. One, the space in this deck is super tight already, especially if you consider how many things you have to set up. Two, Bunnelby seems a bit… underwhelming as a card in a deck like this. Even though having the ability to recycle Puzzle of Time and whatnot is really good, I feel that you should be able to utilize a sufficient amount of Hammers without the Bunny being in the deck. Also, I forgot to mention that Umbreon’s GX attack discards 2 Energy attached to the Opponent’s Pokemon. Any of them. That’s pretty good if you think about it, especially when you combine it with a strategy that also discards Energy attached to your Opponent’s Pokemon. I really wish I could fit two Raticate EVO lines in here because being able to abuse all that Special Energy being discarded and having a way to remove Tools via Ratata would be superb, but I feel like that’s simply asking for too much.
If you desire, you can drop a Shaymin EX for something else, like a second Garbodor or another Yveltal EX. While Shaymin is really good in here, he isn’t all that necessary in retrospect. That said, I would strongly advice running at least 1 or, at a very, VERY minimum, teching in an Oranguru SM1. The extra draw is very nice to have as you can easily blow your whole hand and draw in to more resources. Another thing you can consider is adding another Stadium of your choice. I hate that the deck only runs 2, but I really like the rest of the deck. I feel that the numbers are solid for what the deck is trying to do (deny plenty of Energy to allow Umbreon GX to gain a large advantage) and I do feel that messing with the numbers would mess up the consistency of the deck quite a bit. That said, I will leave that up to you guys to figure out.
Now, for those of you that are uninterested in Hammer strategies, I will post a skeleton of a non-Hammer version of Umbreon GX. Granted, this will NOT include Trainers, but in all honesty, Trainers really should be left up to personal interpretation. Still, here you go:
4 Eevee SM1
4 Umbreon GX
2 Yveltal EX
2 Shaymin EX
2 Trubbish BKP
2 Garbodor BKP
1 Yveltal GEN
While it looks very similar to the above list, it plays much, much differently. Think of the old Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX lists from the BW era. Essentially, Umbreon GX spreads a bunch of damage on to Pokemon for Yveltal EX to come in and clean house. Yveltal GEN allows for Energy Acceleration while Garbodor BKP locks down abilities. Shaymin EX is for the early game and draws you cards, as Shaymin always does. The idea is extremely straightforward, but like Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX, is extremely effective and efficient. The Trainers should be very straightforward as well, utilizing things like Professor Sycamore, Lysandre, Ultra Ball, VS Seeker, and other various Staples. For the Energy, 4 Double Colorless Energy is a must and a good number of Darkness Energy is something to consider as well. I personally like anywhere from 7-9.
With that, I think everything has been covered. Unfortunately, this was not the most convenient article to post, but I hope the information within is helpful. For those attending Anaheim this Weekend, I wish you all well. Sadly, I will not be attending due to travel and money issues, but I will be there in spirit! Well… not really, but you get my point.
The next article will be much more structured than this one once I figure out what I’m writing about (Hint: It’ll either be about the winning deck for Anaheim or something that catches my interest from the Tournament). I hope you’re all ready!
This is Asmer signing off once more. Thank you all and always remember to keep the High Tide on the Flipside!