Hello to all. I am Rodrigo, bringing news about Pokémon TCG, now with the news of the first western regional, in San Diego, California (USA).
We'll discuss a deck that, thanks to the card Mirage Gate which came alongside Lost Origin, the Amazing Rare cards were optimized, these being Pokémon which had quite exotic and senseless attack energy costs, and were hard to build, but they have now been solved.
A card that was forgotten and revived was Rayquaza Amazing Rare, used by the player Ryan Harris, who, curiously, had only participated in two tournaments before this one in his whole life, his first appearance in official tourneys being in 2017, with an unknown deck and of which we know little about, and his second one being in 2020 with an Ultra Necrozma deck for Expanded.
Then, finally, in this first semester of 2023, we have his great accomplishment coming in 4th place with this Rayquaze Amazing Rare deck, which we'll discuss here as it has a very interesting mechanic.
Rayquaza Amazing Rare -Lost Box-
Rayquaza Amazing Rare: Main Attacker
1) Attack - Amazing Burst (G)(L)(F): it deals 80 damage for each energy attached to it that is discarded to do this attack.
Coming from the Vivid Voltage set, this Pokémon is very blunt and causes a lot of chaos. If you consider it discarding 8 basic energies, it deals 320 damage, which is already a reasonable number when you consider it destroys any VStar Pokémon and also defeats a good portion of VMax Pokémon. And, of course, if it uses 9 energies to do the discard effect, the damage goes up to 360, which defeats any VMax Pokémon in the current format.
Of course, to do such a deed of getting so many energies in one single strike, it is necessary to set up Mirage Gate LOR 163's combo. To use this item, it needs 7 cards or more in the Last Zone, and to speed up these discards, there is the synergy between Comfey LOR 79 and Colress's Experiment LOR 155 to accelerate the process. I'll explain further ahead.
Raikou Amazing Rare: Sniper Attacker
1) Attack - Amazing Shot (G)(L)(M): deals 120 damage to the active Pokémon and also deals 120 damage to one of the benched Pokémon (doesn't apply weakness or resistance to the bench).
As an excellent counter to Lugia VSTAR SIT 139 due to its electric type weakness, it is a very welcomed card, besides being a constant Pokémon that can attack without discarding energies from itself such as Rayquaza VIV 138.
Besides Lugia, we have many water-type Pokémon in the format still, such as Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR PR-SW SWSH254 and the Sobble, Drizzile and Inteleon lines, present as recursive Pokémon, which also have electric type weaknesses.
Cramorant: Fast, Single Prize Attacker
1) Ability - Lost Provisions: if you have at least 4 cards in the Lost Zone or more, this Pokémon's attacks won't require you to spend energy costs.
2) Attack - Spit Innocently (W)(W)(C): this attack deals 110 damage and isn't affected by weaknesses.
You'll use Comfey LOR 79 and Colress's Experiment LOR 155's combo to discard cards to the Lost Zone and speed up Cramorant's ability activation, so it can attack, besides the advantage of it being a Pokémon with the cost of one Prize Card less.
Sableye: "Spread" Attacker
What interests us here is its second attack, Lost Mine, which can place damage counters to close out a few "spread" Knockouts caused by Raikou VIV 50.
In a simple example of this deck's combo, or even just to destroy the supportive Pokémon of the Sobble, Drizzile and Inteleon line which are quite common, it's because Sableye can go through the meta's most common Bench Protector, Manaphy BRS 41.
Raikou V: Temporary Attacker
Raikou V comes in as a fast attack alternative to speed up damage output through the multiple Pokémon that fill the bench as the game goes on. You deal 100 damage with plus 100 damage from the enemy bench and 20 more base damage from Raikou V BRS 48, adding up 220 damage for just two energies.
- Comfey LOR 79 comes in with its Flower Selecting ability, in which if Comfey is in the active position, you can look at the top 2 cards in the deck and choose one to place it in your hand and the other card will go to the Lost Zone.
With this "drawing power", you just set up the combo with the Scoop Up Net RCL 165 loop to reuse the ability of speeding up your cards going to the Lost Zone, or also with the use of Switch Cart ASR 154 to swap between them, so it can also be another way of reusing this ability.
- Radiant Greninja ASR 46 has Concealed Cards, which makes you discard one energy card from your hand to draw the top 2 cards of your deck.
- Manaphy BRS 41 has Wave Veil, which makes it protect your benched Pokémon from opponent's "sniper" attacks.
- Oranguru SSH 148 has Primate Wisdom which makes you switch one card in your hand with the top card in your deck, speeding up your resources, to "advance" your turn with a card that you think is relevant for a play in this turn with this sort of filter.
- Colress's Experiment LOR 155 is useful to look at the top 5 cards in your deck. You place 3 of them in your hand and the other 2 will be discarded to the Lost Zone.
Besides Comfey LOR 79 with the ability of sending cards to the Lost Zone, Colress's Experiment is precisely another great booster to send cards to the Lost Zone, being able to dynamize Cramorant LOR 50 for it to attack as soon as possible, and also guarantee the use of Mirage Gate LOR 163 with 7 cards in the Lost Zone and boost energies for Rayquaza Amazing Rare and Raikou Amazing Rare.
- Raihan EVS 152 can only be played if one of your Pokémon was Knocked Out in the previous round. With that, you attach one basic energy from the discard pile to one of your Pokémon and also look in your deck for any card you want and place it in your hand.
It is useful to speed up the Pokémon's charging, both due to the Amazing Rare being Pokémon with exotic costs, and even to speed up Raikou V BRS 48, which asks for two energies (one electric and one colorless) to attack, for instance.
- Scoop Up Net RCL 165 is useful to return one of the Pokémon in play to your hand, as long as it isn't GX or V.
- Mirage Gate LOR 163 can only be used if you have 7 or more cards in the Lost Zone. You can look in your deck for 2 different basic energies and attach them to one of your Pokémon in any way you'd like.
This is the card which is essential to charge Rayquaza Amazing Rare and Raikou Amazing Rare.
- Ultra Ball BRS 150 is useful to look for any Pokémon in the deck, as long as you discard two cards from your hand.
- Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146 is useful to look for any basic Pokémon that is in the Prize Cards pile. If you find one, get that Pokémon and swap it with this card.
- Quick Ball FST 237 is useful to look for any basic Pokémon in the deck with the cost of discarding one card from your hand.
- Battle VIP Pass FST 225 is useful to look for two basic Pokémon in the deck and put them in play, but this card can only be played in the first round, so the sooner you set this up, the better.
- Switch Cart ASR 154 serves as mobility for Pokémon. It can only be used with basic Pokémon, as a sort of Switch, and it can heal the retreated Pokémon 30 health points; as this deck only has basic Pokémon, it is an extremely useful card.
- Air Balloon SSH 156 is a Tool card that helps in mobility and retreat flexibility, in which the Pokémon which has this card attached, has its retreat cost discounted by 2 colorless energies less.
Training Court RCL 169 is useful to get a basic energy card from the discard pile and place it in your hand.
With that, you use the synergy of recovering this energy, using Radiant Greninja ASR 46's ability discarding it to draw 2 cards.
Besides that, it is also useful to recover these basic cards, to help increase Rayquaza Amazing Rare's damage output and Raikou Amazing Rare's charging, supposing you're using Mirage Gate LOR 163's combo to charge two different basic energies and this energy from this turn which came thanks to the Stadium to help you.
It is a very aggressive deck with 3 separate game styles:
- Traditional and brute damage, which this Pokémon brings, as we have Rayquaza VIV 138 discarding basic energies, easily reaching 180 damage as minimum damage and going beyond 360 damage (by using 8 basic energies).
- And finally, we have "spread" damage, which is offered by Sableye LOR 70, as a finisher.
To sum up, it is a deck that offers 3 strategy options, in which your choices are ample due to the demand the game can ask for and due to how you deal with your opponent, in a well-thought situation and with your knowledge regarding the nature of this deck and using the methods which are convenient.
- Precisely the deck from San Diego's regional champion, Gibson Archer-Tang, in which we have Vikavolt V DAA 60 which locks items, as the deck needs to use Scoop Up Net RCL 165 to loop Comfeys; and also with the ability lock Aerodactyl VSTAR LOR 93 provides with its VStar attack, which also affects Comfey.
- Though it is, at first, a Single Prize deck, the problem with Amazing Rare Pokémon is their charging, so they can create their constant attack system, as you need to use Mirage Gate LOR 163 with 7 cards minimum in the Lost Zone, this process is slow.
So, decks that attack fast such as Mew VMAX FST 114 can be a headache to deal with, as it has an attack that can copy Mew V FST 113, Psychic Leap, in which it deals damage and goes back to the deck, and in case it was severely wounded by Rayquaza VIV 138, all your effort is gone.
It's a Single Prize deck which is very didactic to pilot and has an "ABCD" route to follow in the script, in which if you place as many cards as you can in the Lost Zone, at least 10 cards, you can already create a very favorable situation in the game with the three strategies I listed in the advantages, and even before the rotation in April, you can use this deck with the Vivid Voltage cards with no worries and take full advantage of the Amazing Rare Pokémon going up in value.
Now it's up to you: what did you think of the deck? What are your considerations and opinions about it? You're welcome to comment down below!
See you next time!