Hello everybody. I'm Rodrigo, sharing news about Pokémon TCG and deck suggestions in this entertainment world. And now with just a few weeks to go until the Worlds, which will take place on August 18th until the 21st, let's discuss some decks that can bring back some cards that were forgotten from past expansions (like the Amazing Rare). Who knows, maybe they can return to the competition or even have a highlight?
Reshiram Amazing Rare: The famous “Glass Cannon”
Released in the special Pokémon expansion, Shining Fates, Reshiram played a key role in the “Amazing Rare” mechanic, just like Yveltal and Kyogre in that set.
This card, being the one with high attack powers but at the absurd cost of multiple different energies, creates a setback where it's difficult to assemble it, but is graced by the ultimate purpose. It didn't really have a place after the most recent releases.
But recently, the player Alex Silva (Pokémon TCG champion in 2017), put together a list showing that with the combination of Reshiram with Radiant Hawlucha ASR 81, which has the ability to increase 30 more damage against Pokémon-VMax, and Reshiram Amazing Rare already having a base damage of 270, can increase with this benefit from Hawlucha, making it an interesting card.
The deck's main attacker is Reshiram SHF 17, thanks to its Amazing Blaze attack, which for a fire energy, electrical energy and dark energy, deals an impressive 270 damage as base damage, but with a setback of dealing 60 damage to itself.
Having only 120 HP, it ends up being fragile for all cards of the current format, which can hit with damage above 120 with extreme ease, and still with the problem of its recoil damage knocking it out after two attacks.
So, the deck's strategy is to use Reshiram at specific times of the match against Pokémon-V, VMax, VStar and VUnion in the format, which will be able to get more prize cards faster, and as this deck is a "single-prize" list, the odds of you recovering and fighting back in case of a board disadvantage is higher.
To maximize these damages, we have two resources/methods:
1) Choice Belt BRS 135 to guarantee damage increase of 30 points of damage for V-type Pokémon (regardless if it is VMax, VStar, VUnion, it doesn't matter), turning Reshiram's 270 to 300 damage;
2) And Radiant Hawlucha ASR 81 that with its passive ability, Big Match, grants 30 more damage to your Pokémon against Pokémon-VMax. If you only consider Reshiram with Radiant Hawlucha against the main VMax of the format like Mew VMAX FST 114, which has 310 HP, it doesn't close the damage (as it only deals 300). But then comes the Choice Belt BRS 135 combo that grants 30 more damage, leaving your Reshiram Amazing Rare with an incredible potential of dealing 330 damage!.
3) The third booster is Moltres PGO 12, which comes in to close some damage against a Pokémon that can have more health (as in the case of an Eternatus VMAX DAA 117 that has 340 HP) and with its passive ability, Flare Symbol, all your basic Fire Pokémon in play (except that Moltres or any other named "Moltres"), gain plus 10 damage on its attacks, making Reshiram deal up to 340 damage!
To speed up the deck's draw power, we have Bibarel BRS 121 that with its Industrious Incisors ability you can draw cards until you have 5 in your hand. Obviously, having two Bibarel in the game will ease your draws and speed up your game, so if it's possible, it's crucial that you set up this board,
For energy acceleration from discards, referring to electric energy, we have Flaaffy EVS 55 with its passive Dynamotor, which, once per turn, can recycle an electric energy from the discard and power up one of your benched Pokémon (the ideal is to attach it to Reshiram to prepare it in the next turn), since with the fire energy, we have the stadium Magma Basin BRS 144, leaving only the player to look for the dark energy (which is the hardest part of the deck) so you can assemble the three energies required to deal the damage.
And to preserve your bank against Pokémon that do spread sniper attacks like Inteleon V FST 78, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88, Jolteon VMAX EVS 51, Blastoise VMAX PR-SW SWSH103, this fundamental protection card enters this deck: Manaphy BRS 41, which with its active ability Wave Velt, prevents that direct damage — which is an advantage — but it doesn't guarantee protection from damage counters, which is another means to deal indirect damage.
Practically, the trio of most beloved and must-have Supporter-type cards that should be in most decks of the current format are present here too, which are: 1) Professor's Research, 2) Marnie and 3) Boss's Orders.
- Professor's Research (Professor Oak) CEL 23 is practically the supreme draw of the format, discarding your hand and drawing 7 new cards. Thus, streamlining your resources for, for example, in this deck, in case you need to discard your hand a fire energy and an electric energy so that you can finally benefit from the effects of the Magma Basin stadium, it is possible to use that same fire energy from the discard for Reshiram AR and also take advantage of Flaaffy's passive (Dynamotor) to recharge this electric energy in the discard for Reshiram AR again.
Anyway, just be cautious, think and especially know the deck to make this combo right. Not to mention that this helps to speed up Bibarel's passive (Industrious Incisors), to draw more cards in the turn.
- Marnie SSH 169 is a powerful hand control which shuffles their hand cards to the bottom of their deck and then draws only 4 cards, while you normally shuffle your hand to the deck and draw 5 cards; having this advantage of taking the opponent's resources with a full hand with 8 or 9 cards and whenever possible.
- Boss's Orders RCL 154 is precisely to pull that Pokémon-V, VMax, VStar or VUnion that is on the bench to guarantee a knockout, so that your Reshiram Amazing Rare defeats it with massive damage.
- Raihan EVS 152 is essential for Reshiram's synergy, that is, knowing that they always take damage with the Amazing Flare attack. And as a fragile Pokémon in this format, it will always be KO'd easily and being aware of that, we entered with Raihan EVS 152, which has the effect of being activated when your Pokémon is KO'd, where it can power up a Basic Energy card in your discard pile to one of your Pokémon and still be able to search for any card in your deck.
With that, it already guarantees an immediate power-up for the next Reshiram, already counting on the Magma Basin and Flaaffy, this third power-up of Raihan can be some dark energy that is in the discard pile (for example) and already guarantee the 3 energies to proceed with more damage.
- Ultra Ball BRS 150 here to filter Pokémon in the deck, with the cost of having to discard two cards from your hand to make this search effect, and of course, the priority is to discard the energies to make the combo with the Magma Basin and Flaaffy's passive ability (Dynamotor).
- Quick Ball FST 237 works on the same purpose, but you only need to discard a card from your hand to get a basic Pokémon, which in this case, the good thing is always to prepare a Reshiram Amazing Rare, Bidoof to prepare some Bibarel, and a Mareep to evolve into a Flaaffy.
- Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146 is exactly to look for some basic Pokémon that are in the prize cards, which can compromise your game if it is not in the deck. In this case, the bigger concern is if Manaphy BRS 41 is in the prizes against a match with Pokémon with “spread sniper” attacks;
- The Level Ball BST 129 is for looking for Pokémon with up to 90 HP for your hand, so look for auxiliary booster Pokémon, such as Flaaffy EVS 55 to play their role of energizing your Reshiram Amazing Rare.
- Ordinary Rod SSH 171 is the management and recycling of discard pile resources, being able to choose one of the two options or both, which are:
1) Recover two Pokémon from the discard pile and put them in the deck.
2) Recover two basic energies from discard pile and put them in the deck.
- Energy Search BCR 128 is essential for the specific search for an energy to use Reshiram's Amazing Flare, and it is very likely in these cases that it is the dark energy, as it is the harder to get ready to be able to close the requirements of the three energies.
- Scoop Up Net RCL 165 will be to guarantee a “retreat” for a Pokémon that shouldn't be in play, or a strategic retreat to avoid guaranteeing a knockout.
- The only Stadium-type card in the deck, Magma Basin BRS 144 has a quick power-up function of attaching a Fire Energy to one of your benched Pokémon, but it gains 2 damage counters - use it to secure a Fire Energy for Reshiram Amazing Rare.
- Air Balloon SSH 156 will, at most times, reduce the retreat cost of your Pokémon to zero.
The ideal in this case is to put it on your Bibarel BRS 121, so you can have the flexibility to retreat them in case the opponent tries to pull them forward with Boss's Orders, and still use them as active Pokémon provisionally after a Reshiram AR is knocked out.
- And of course, the priceless Choice Belt BRS 135 to close damage against V-Type Pokémon in the format (whether they are V, VMax, VStar or VUnion, it doesn't matter), with 30 more damage, already mentioned above on how Reshiram Amazing Rare's damage boost works.
It's a deck with high destructive power that can leave many good format decks in trouble. With massive average damage of 270, 300, 330 and even 340, it's practically something that can rival well in the current scenario, and it could be that it will surprise if any good player runs it and gives this deck due prominence.
As said, the Reshiram SHF 17 is a Glass Cannon. As much as it has enormous destructive power, it's not exempt from being destroyed easily. And if by chance your opponent has a lot of Boss's Orders RCL 154 effects against you, destroying your key Pokémon to guarantee your game sustenance, whether they are Bibarel BRS 121, Flaaffy EVS 55 and Manaphy BRS 41 knocked out, this can greatly complicate your game development.
Pokémon with spread sniper damage like Inteleon V FST 78, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88, Jolteon VMAX EVS 51, Blastoise VMAX PR-SW SWSH103, the line of Sobble/Drizzle/Inteleon baby (mainly Inteleon CRE 43) are the problems of this deck if you don't have Manaphy BRS 41 to defend your game.
Indirect damage decks, which use damage counters, like Mewtwo-VUnion can destroy your deck, with no chance for you to progress your game, and will get worse if it is the Mewtwo-VUnion's control deck (learn more about it here).
And the Flying Pikachu VMAX CEL 7 deck that has immunity to attacks by basic Pokémon also break our strategy, making your game progression impossible, it's practically better to give up since there'll be nothing to do.
It's an interesting deck with high power with a strategy I particularly like: massive damage where the opponent can't even breathe and be afraid when not knowing how to respond with such constant threat.
But as it's very fragile, that's its weakness, which I wouldn't particularly use in a competition, just for fun with friends if I'm considering the Standard format.