Whenever a new deck pops up, everyone is dying to know more about it. What cards are in it? What’s the strategy? Does anyone have the list? For example, Dylan Bryan’s Flareon deck had everyone buzzing when he played it at the World Championships. If one of those unusual decks happens to pop up over the course of the season, we’ll take a look at it in the Deck Spotlight.
It just so happens that one of those decks have surfaced! Let’s discuss one of the surprises in the first few weeks of Regionals, Virizion/Mewtwo.
|Pokémon – 8||Trainers – 38||Energy – 14|
|4 Mewtwo EX||4 Professor Juniper||10 Grass Energy|
|3 Virizion EX||4 N||4 Double Colorless Energy|
|1 Bouffalant||4 Skyla|
|1 Computer Search|
|4 Pokémon Catcher|
|4 Hypnotoxic Laser|
|3 Ultra Ball|
|2 Virbank City Gym|
|1 Super Rod|
|1 Max Potion|
|1 Float Stone|
|1 Energy Search|
|1 Town Map|
Simple and powerful. From what we know, credit for this deck goes to a few top players from Utah, Karl Kitchin and Brandon Jones. After the Swiss rounds at Arizona Regionals, this deck was on top as the first and second seeds. Unfortunately, neither player advanced past the Top 8, but the deck made its mark on the tournament. When the word got out about this new concept, everyone was intrigued. How did this deck do so well? What’s special about it?
To be perfectly honest, there is nothing special about this deck. As far as competitive decks go, this is as straightforward as you can get. Then why is it any good? Well, as the great Alex Brosseau once said, boring can be better. Since its release in 2012, Mewtwo EX was one of the most dominant cards in the history of the Pokémon TCG. As more sets came out, it got used less and less, particularly when Deoxys EX came out. The popularity of Black Kyurem EX put a dent in its playability as well. But for some reason, people seem to have forgotten something. X-Ball is really, really good.
No matter how many cards there are to counter it, Mewtwo EX is still one of the strongest Pokémon we’ve ever seen. All it needs is a suitable partner to succeed. In the past, we’ve seen Darkrai, Eelektrik, etc. pair up with the genetic freak. Now Virizion EX is playing that role.
In general, people thought the best partner for Virizion EX was Genesect EX. Both use Grass Energy, and Genesect needs something to help power it up. But why not Mewtwo instead? Arguably Mewtwo will do more damage than Genesect (outside of G Booster usage), and it has the ability to attack quickly with X-Ball for just a DCE. Plus, your deck won’t be weak to Fire completely. In fact, Mewtwo normally covers itself because most Psychic Pokémon are weak to Psychic themselves. When you think about it, it actually might make more sense than Genesect! Of course, Virizion’s Verdant Wind gives you immunity to Hypnotoxic Laser as well, making it more difficult for your opponent to KO Mewtwo.
Okay, so what’s the strategy of the deck? To put it simply, build up a giant Mewtwo that can KO everything. Use Virizion EX’s Emerald Slash to load a ton of Energy onto a Mewtwo, and X-Ball your way to victory. Of course, you may have to spread out your Energy intelligently depending on the matchup, but that’s the gist of it. If you feel like being aggressive with Mewtwo is a better option, go that route; just a DCE allows Mewtwo to start using X-Ball. Bouffalant is there as a one prize attacker for a change of pace, too. With Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym, your already powerful attacks will be doing tons of damage very quickly.
The biggest strength of Virizion/Mewtwo is its consistency. Just look at the list! With 12 Supporters, 4 Bicycle, and Computer Search, you’ll rarely find an unplayable hand. Although it seems strange, Town Map can help as well by allowing you to pick important cards out of the prizes. You are going to execute your strategy nearly every game, and that is a very powerful thing in Pokémon. Plus, the deck is very good in tournament play because it’s so fast and simple. In 50 minutes + 3 turns system for Swiss rounds, you have very little room for error. Not only will this deck complete games quickly, but it almost always will set up.
Is the deck perfect? Of course not. Plenty of decks and strategies give it trouble. For example, a Blastoise deck that can use Black Ballista repeatedly will give this deck fits. Since Black Kyurem EX can KO a Mewtwo in one hit and then leaves itself with very little Energy, X-Ball isn’t particularly useful. But that’s the risk you take with a deck like this. Although you have great consistency, you have hardly any options. The burden is on the opponent to beat the same strategy you’re going to execute every game. But historically, this is the most successful kind of deck in Pokémon. In general, consistency is king.
Will we continue to see Virizion/Mewtwo in the final week of Regional Championships? It has proven itself to be a strong deck, but was it nothing more than a one hit wonder? We’ll find out this weekend. Also, will it be able to survive as more sets come out and the rules change? Let me know your thoughts on this deck down in the comments. Thanks for reading!