We Will Bee Great Again — The Next Coming of Flareon / Vespiquen

Howdy, PokeBeach! I’ve been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game in the competitive sense for five years now. I have qualified for the World Championships in every one of my seasons, and this is my fourth go at it in the Masters division. So far in this current 2016 – 2017 season, I have been consistently ranked atop the North American leaderboards, in the top 16, and I hope I can keep it that way. My name is Caleb Gedemer, and I’m happy to be writing for y’all!

Forget America… We want the Bees!

Today I’ll be spilling the beans on something very near and dear to my heart. This deck has been flying under the radar ever since the release of Karen, and, to a certain extent, even before that! While you may have your guesses now after the mention of Karen, let me reassure you I won’t be killing your eyes and soul with Night March lists, or any nonsense like that. Instead I’ll be going in depth on my favorite deck of all time, which also happens to be the coolest “degenerate Battle Compressor deck” out there. That deck is Flareon paired with Vespiquen, and while I may not be known as one of the Flareon / Vespiquen “gods”, by any means (Dylan Bryan or Jimmy O’Brien might come to mind), I have played the deck a few times myself. Each time I’ve deployed this dangerous weapon at a tournament, I’ve strutted home with some valuable Championship Points to my name, including a Top 8 finish at last season’s Regional Championship in Illinois.

Alright, enough with the banter, let’s get into the good stuff. I would like to think I’m qualified enough to say it, but Flareon / Vespiquen, I choose you!

What’s Going on Here?

So for all of you that may not be that familiar with this deck, let me open my book and read a little from it, just for you! Night March and the Pokemon I’ll be talking about today are very similar in stature. They each rely on a certain count of Pokemon in a player’s discard pile. Night March Pokemon have less HP than Flareon and Vespiquen, and therefore each deck has its own unique merits in terms of gameplay. I prefer the fiery Eevee evolution and Queen Bee, personally, because they can last longer and after a while, they can even attack for more damage. Night March decks can only play 12 Night March Pokemon, whereas most Flareon decks run 28 Pokemon, in general.

“But we’re talking about Battle Compressor, man. I mean how silly is that?”

This deck can function in one of two ways, a slower approach to begin the game, or a faster one, depending on the deck your opponent is using. I’ll get more into this later. So for now, to wrap this boy up, this deck relies on getting as many Pokemon in your discard pile as possible, through the use of Battle Compressor and other discarding functions. These actions all fuel the strength of your attacks, and as the game progresses, Knock Outs will be easier to come by and soon you’ll be rolling in Prize cards.

Battle Compressor

Battle Compressor, we’re talking about Battle Compressor? Yes, yes we are. Many players get confused from the get-go when they use a Battle Compressor in this deck. Whenever someone asks me about this, I quickly think back to an infamous sob story from one of my friends… “I discarded all of my attackers with Battle Compressor.” Well, first of all, let that be a lesson for you of what not to do, ever.

To make the most sense out of this, let me show off my Top 8 list from Illinois Regionals last year so that you have a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Pokemon (28)

4x Flareon (PLF #12)1x Jolteon (AOR #26)4x Eevee (FFI #80)4x Vespiquen (AOR #10)4x Combee (AOR #9)4x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)4x Unown (AOR #30)1x Exeggcute (PLF #4)1x Jirachi (PRXY #XY67)1x Jirachi-EX (PLB #60)

Trainers (25)

3x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)1x N (FAC #105)1x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Hex Maniac (AOR #75)1x Teammates (PRC #141)1x Blacksmith (FLF #88)1x AZ (PHF #91)1x Ghetsis (PLF #101)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Ultra Ball (SM #135)4x Battle Compressor (PHF #92)1x Silver Bangle (PLB #88)1x Life Dew (PLF #107)1x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (7)

4x Double Colorless (SM #136)3x Fire Energy (EVO #92)

For instance with this deck list, my first Battle Compressor would depend first of all on what’s in my opening hand. Say I have a VS Seeker, and no other out to a Supporter card, then, my Compressor is absolutely going to discard a Supporter card of some kind, so that I can keep the wheels moving on my automobile to victory. Secondly, I will then take the time to search over my deck and pull out cards that aren’t useful in the matchup. Exeggcute is always going to be priority number one, since I don’t plan on using Seed Bomb anytime soon. Next, I would probably mull over the Jirachi, or Jolteon. Jirachi was usually only useful against Giratina-EX decks, where I would use Stardust to buy time. Jolteon, on the other hand, was almost strictly for M Rayquaza-EX decks. Making a good choice here is usually common sense, for the most part.

Now let me get into the tricky part, a step that a lot of players stumble on. While you don’t want to discard all of your attackers, it is fair to pitch some of them. Drawing the line on what is reasonable, however, can be very difficult for the average competitive player. In my first search of the game I always try to deduce what my Prize cards are, by looking for what is missing in my deck. Here’s where the tact comes in —  when you play this deck, it is not a necessity to keep every single piece of Flareon and Vespiquen in the deck. Start off by checking how many Flareon, and Eevee are available to you, and don’t forget to pay attention to what you have on your field, and hand! Let’s say you have two Eevee in the Prizes, and four Flareon in your deck. In a situation like this, it’s usually a-ok to go ahead and dispose of two Flareon. Why? Well with your limited use of them, considering the two Eevee in the Prizes, it not only won’t pay to have dead cards in the deck, but it will fuel the damage of your attacks in the meantime. This same sentiment applies to that of Vespiquen, check how many are available to you, and make your best deduction of how many you will need to last the course of a game.

Please, please don’t do this.

Here’s where the next biggest piece of advice comes in. You only need so many attackers against certain decks. Let’s say you’re facing a Pokemon-EX heavy deck, like Yveltal with Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick. Stop and think for a minute, if your opponent uses the following attackers: Darkrai-EX, Gallade, Sableye, Yveltal, and an Yveltal-EX to attack, that means in theory you will only “need” five attackers throughout the course of the game. With that in mind, it can be acceptable to discard unnecessary pieces, like if you found all four Flareon, Eevee, Vespiquen, and Combee in your deck.

Lastly, let me touch on discarding support Pokemon, which could be things like Jirachi-EX, Shaymin-EX, Unown, or even the new Oranguru card. These cards are very important, and I prefer to avoid discarding them unless it is absolutely essential to a big Knock Out. Unown discard themselves with their Farewell Letter Ability, so it is somewhat silly to ever Battle Compressor them away, unless, of course, you find yourself faced with the predicament that I just touched on. Jirachi-EX and Shaymin-EX are similar, but are slightly more expendable. As I play this deck, I always try to never bench these setup Pokemon-EX. But, if I have to, then I have to. Regardless, if you are playing four Shaymin-EX, then it is definitely fair to throw away a single copy or two to begin the game, if needed. I always try to leave one in the deck for the late game, for defense against N. With a Shaymin-EX in the deck, each Ultra Ball you draw can be used to replenish your hand up to a size that is workable to keep the gears turning!

To wrap this section up, Battle Compressor, at least in my Illinois list of old, could be used to discard Fire Energy to fuel Blacksmith. They also toss tech Supporters, so that they can be grabbed later in the game with VS Seeker. Once your deck is very thin in the closing stages of a match, then it is very wise to use Compressor to chuck things that aren’t useful anymore, like perhaps Ultra Ball, or even something like a Silver Bangle, if you are already KOing everything in one hit. Overall, I can totally see where Battle Compressor are tricky. With the help I’ve mentioned, I’m sure you, too, can find yourself winning games handily with some crafty use of Compressor.


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