Hello PokeBeach! I am very excited to be bringing you this article, but first allow me to introduce myself. My name is Elliott. I reside in Ontario, Canada, where I play The Pokemon TCG in the Masters Division. I have been collecting Pokemon cards for over a decade, and began playing the card game competitively around the release of Plasma Blast. My absolute favorite part of this game is deck building. I mean, who doesn’t like customizing their deck to specifically fit their play-style? Alright enough about me, let’s get to it.
As I don’t intend to play in any of the upcoming Regional Championships, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately testing for Nationals, in the XY – Fates Collide format. Here is what my testing has yielded so far. There comes a time when you get so sick of night march and turn one item lock decks, that you almost want to quit playing standard altogether until rotation (almost). When that time came for me I turned my attention to legacy.
The Legacy Format
For those of you who don’t know, legacy is a neat little format that recently came about on PTCGO, that allows cards from HGSS – Legendary Treasures. It’s a highly undeveloped format, with many solid deck options – a nice change of pace from the over centralized standard format.
If you haven’t already I highly recommend you give legacy a try. Even if you don’t have a PTCGO account, or don’t have any of the older cards that are included in legacy decks, it’s simple enough to make a few proxies with friends, and have some fun on your kitchen table.
After legacy was announced, everyone started building Darkrai-EX or Celebi / Virizion-EX / Genesect-EX decks. I had a different plan. I had a plan to play Tool Drop in a format without it’s number one counter.
Tool Drop is a deck that’s based around Trubbish from Plasma Storm. It became popular when Sigilyph was released in Plasma Blast, providing a way to place more than six tools on your side of the field. Then came the XY expansion, and Startling Megaphone along with it. This caused Tool Drop to disappear until Phantom Forces was released, which gave the Tool Drop archetype a major boost with cards like Dimension Valley, Mystery Energy, Head Ringer, and most importantly Lysandre's Trump Card . Finally Tool Drop was able to recover after a devastating Startling Megaphone. But alas, Lysandre’s Trump Card was banned after the release of Roaring Skies, and shortly thereafter rotation occurred, ending the days of Tool Drop in Standard. After It rotated out of Standard Tool Drop was never able to find footing in Expanded due to Startling Megaphone, and the absence of Lysandre’s Trump Card.
But now Tool Drop has the chance to shine again! With Startling Megaphone absent in Legacy, Tool Drop no longer needs to fear having all of it’s tools wiped off the board. It’s a really fun deck, that doesn’t include any expensive or hard to find cards. And it’s also extremely good because of it’s ability to excel in the prize trade. Let’s take a look at a list for Tool Drop in the legacy format.
As he is your main attacker it only makes sense to run four of him. Once you get going you should be using Tool Drop for OHKO’s every turn.
Sigilyph is what allows you to take OHKO’s on Pokemon-EX. By having two of these guys on your bench (the ideal number) you are able to have 12 Pokemon Tools in play at a time, meaning you can Tool Drop for up to 240 damage! This knocks out everything in the game except a Black Kyurem-EX with Crystal Wall attached. And if you really needed to (or just wanted to), you could play down a third Sigilyph and knock that out as well. It’s best to run four of these guys to make sure you don’t run out throughout the game, especially because some opponents will try to KO them when they have lots of Tools attached. And also because you want to get him into play early, so your hand doesn’t stockpile with tools.
Masquerain helps the deck out tremendously. Because of this, your going to want him on the field every game, which is why we play a 2-2 line. Using Masquerains Tool Reversal Ability you’re able to reuse Exp. Share by moving it from the active Trubbish to a benched one. This also opens up the active Trubbish for a new Tool such as Silver Mirror, Silver Bangle, Rescue Scarf, or Life Dew. With him you can move around Float Stone, effectively giving all of your Pokemon free retreat so long as you have Masquerain and one Float Stone on the field. He also allows you to reorganize the tools on your bench, such as spreading out Silver Mirror so that each of your Pokemon have one, or moving Rescue Scarf to Masquerain himself. One more cool thing you can do is use Tool Reversal to pick up a Tool you don’t really need, increasing your hand size enough to play Junk Arm, which you can then use to grab something like Bicycle.
In a deck that wants to set up, and get as many tools on the field as quickly as possible, being able to play two Supporters a turn is great. Smeargle let’s you do just that (sort of). On top of being a great general consistency boost once on the field, he also turns each of your Level Ball into an out to a Supporter.
4 Professor Juniper / 2 N / 1 Colress
Seven Supporters may seem a bit low, but the ideal game with this deck shouldn’t last more than four turns if your opponent plays EXs, or seven if they don’t. Also the deck plays a lot of item draw and Smeargle, so we don’t need that many Supporters.
Juniper is our main Supporter, and is very good because we can normally play our hand down quite a bit and therefore draw seven cards with minimal repercussions. N is for when we have something in our hand that we don’t want to (or can’t) play but also don’t want to discard. He also gives our deck a bit of disruption, and can be great for making comebacks (though we’ll usually be ahead in prizes). Colress isn’t as great on the first couple turns, but late game Colress can be used to draw eight or ten cards, which is usually enough to close out the game.
Bicycle is what allows the deck to be explosive. Most of the cards in our deck we can can play down as soon as we get them, meaning we will usually be able to lower our hand below four, so we can draw with Bicycle.
This is a pretty obvious inclusion. All of our Pokemon have 90 HP or less, meaning level ball can grab any Pokemon from our deck for free. This is great because we need Pokemon on the field to attach our Pokemon Tools to.
4 Junk Arm
Junk arm is extremely versatile in this deck, and playing any less than four would be silly. It has great synergy with Bicycle, allowing you to lower your hand size and draw more cards. It can retrieve Super Rod in games where we had to discard it early. It can retrieve Pokémon Catcher if you flip tails, or need to gust up an EX to close out a game. It can get back any tool that got discarded by our opponents’ Tool Scrapper. And it allows for repeated use of Life Dew.
This is mainly included to pull up Trubbish or Garbodor, so we can knock it out before our opponent can activate it’s Garbotoxin Ability (more on that later). It can be used in the same manner to pull up Oddish before it evolves into Vileplume, or any other perceived threat. Or you can gust an EX into the active position so you can take your last two prizes.
Trubbish is not an EX, so our opponent will have to KO six of them to win the game (more if we use Life Dew). With Super Rod we can shuffle them back into the deck so we don’t have to end the game attacking with Sigilyph. We can also use it to shuffle in any of our other Pokemon if they get knocked out, or to recover our energies.
This is the most important tool in the deck. Because we can’t use Dimension Valley in Legacy, we need to find another way to stream Trubbishs’ two energy attack. With Exp. Share, we can conserve energy and pay for Tool Drop at the same time! And the best part is, with Masquerain we can move Exp. Share to a new Trubbish, and open the way for a different tool to be placed on the active Trubbish! Something like…
Thundurus-EX, Kyurem, Deoxys-EX, Lugia-EX, Genesect-EX, Weavile. These are the names of just some of the Pokemon that are going to be hard-pressed to respond to a Trubbish with Silver Mirror attached. Now there are ways around Silver Mirror, first and foremost being Tool Scrapper, However it can be hard for your opponent to respond when your knocking out their Pokemon every turn.
Each of your Pokemon has a retreat cost of one or two, so we use Float Stone to give them free retreat, while boosting the damage of Tool Drop.
With Silver Bangle attached Trubbish can hit EXs for 170 damage with just seven tools on the field.
Rescue Scarf can be used in place of Super Rod for giving us access to six Trubbish throughout a game. When I’m not using it for Trubbish, I like to keep it attached to Masquerain, as getting him back into play from the discard can be a hassle.
1 Life Dew
Our Ace Spec of choice, Life Dew makes it so that if your opponent knocks out Trubbish they don’t take a single prize! And with Junk Arm we can use it over and over! Between this and Silver Mirror your opponent will become hopelessly behind in prizes.
Eight energy is a good number. And running only basic energy means that we aren’t susceptible to Lost Remover.
That’s all the cards I include in my list, but there are plenty of other viable options out there. One of the great things about Tool Drop is that there is lots of room to play around with what you include. Let’s take a look at just a few other options.
A free Bicycle every turn? Yes please! Electrode can be a great consistency boost, and it’s relatively easy to fit in a 1-1 line. The main reason I don’t run Electrode in my list is because I run Smeargle instead, but don’t let that discourage you. Unlike Smeargle, Electrodes ability isn’t reliant on your opponents hand, so you’ll always be able to use it. On the other hand Smeargle is a basic and only requires one space in your deck, and he isn’t shut off by Garbodor. Try them both out and see which one you like better.
Another consistency option, Random Receiver can also be targeted with Junk Arm, increasing our outs to a supporter.
Computer Search can be played to increase our consistency even further, and has good synergy with Bicycle and Masquerain (in the same way as Junk Arm). Obviously this would mean taking out Life Dew, which I feel is just too good to cut. However if you feel like Life Dew isn’t necessary, or just don’t have it, Computer Search can be a good alternative.
Dual ball can be used in place of Level Ball. On average it will have the same effect, but if you get lucky it can bag you a second Pokemon as well. The trade off of course is that 25% of the time you won’t get anything. If your feeling lucky however, Dual Ball may be worth a try.
How To Beat It
Alright. Now you have a pretty good understanding of the deck, how it works, and why it’s good. But for this to be a complete analysis of the deck, we also need to look at it’s weak points. And to do that we’re gonna take a look at some of it’s counters. Including…
There you are. You just claimed your first two prizes. You have your board set up, complete with 12 tools. And all of a sudden…Bam! Garbotoxin activates. It discards six of your tools and takes away your ability to move the ones your left with around. To make matters worse you can’t even start to replace the tools until you deal with the Garbodor. This is why we include Pokemon Catcher in our deck.
Vileplume poses a similar problem to Garbodor, only instead of removing your tools, it doesn’t let you play them in the first place! Or any of your other items! Bicycle, Level ball, Junk Arm, Pokemon Catcher, Super Rod, you can’t play any of them. So unlike Garbodor, who you can catcher up and KO after he’s on the field, if your opponent gets a Vileplume out, your in big trouble.
Not quite as big a deal as the previous two counters, Tool Scrapper can still be annoying if played at the right time. And it can be teched into just about any deck, and reused with Junk Arm. One of the best things your opponent can do with Tool Scrapper is to play it when they’re about to KO a Trubbish, and use it to discard Exp. Share off of the benched Trubbish, and if there is a Silver Mirror or Life Dew on the active, that too. This will cause you to miss a turn attacking, and allow your opponent to get ahead in the prize trade. It’s no Startling Megaphone, but it can definitely mess with your plans.
As you can see, all of Tool Drops main counters take away it’s ability to play lots of tools (or take away it’s tools). You take away it’s tools you take away it’s damage, you take away it’s damage you take away it’s win condition.
What are you still doing here? Go play Tool Drop in legacy! Seriously though, it’s a great deck that’s fun to play and easy (cheap) to build. If you haven’t already I highly recommend you try it out for yourself. If you have a different list, or you think I missed something let me know below. If you have any questions post a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Also let me know if you have any recommendations for a future article of this nature, I’d love to do another one sometime. Thanks for reading!
Until next time