Beasts and Rings — Three Oddball Plays for NAIC

It looks like we are done with Regionals for the season (at least in the U.S.), so all eyes are turned toward the NAIC and Worlds. The format seems to be completely taken over by Buzzwole and Malamar at the moment, with a little bit of Zoroark-GX and Greninja in the mix as well. While Forbidden Light is still somewhat new on the competitive scene, the format looks like it’s well defined. I’m sure we’ll see some surprises at the NAIC though, and I’m here to share a couple of those potential surprise decks with you today.

Ultra Beasts

Naganadel-GX‘s Beast Raid may be the best attack ever printed with a single Colorless Energy cost. Dunsparce’s Strike and Run from EX Sandstorm also comes to mind. As soon as I saw Beast Raid, I thought about running a deck solely around that one attack. Stinger GX is interesting as well. From a competitive standpoint though, Beast Raid is Naganadel’s best attack.

Pokemon (16)

4x Naganadel-GX (FOL #56)4x Poipole (FOL #55)3x Kartana-GX (CRI #70)2x Buzzwole (FOL #77)1x Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX (ULP #63)1x Dusk Mane Necrozma (PRSM #SM107)1x Tapu Lele-GX (GUR #60)

Trainers (35)

4x Cynthia (ULP #119)4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)4x Guzma (BUS #115)3x N (DEX #96)4x Max Potion (GUR #128)4x Choice Band (GUR #121)3x Float Stone (BKT #137)3x Ultra Ball (SHL #68)2x Super Rod (BKT #149)4x Ultra Space (FOL #115)

Energy (9)

4x Fighting Energy (XY #137)3x Metal Energy (XY #139)1x Beast Energy Prism Star (FOL #117)1x Unit Energy LPM (ULP #138)

I came up with this deck and it’s actually really good. The basic strategy is just to spam Beast Raid and Max Potion until you win. Since the deck is based around Naganadel and Max Potion, we run four of each. Naganadel’s Psychic-typing helps against Buzzwole, and the Max Potions beat everything that can’t OHKO it such as Zoroark-GX decks. Unfortunately, Naganadel has one of the worst Weaknesses in the game. Being a Psychic type is great, but being weak to Psychic is a struggle. I’ve considered running Weakness Policy. Let’s look at the supporting cast.

Card Explanations

Three Kartana-GX

Naganadel needs a Bench full of Ultra Beasts in order to deal damage, and Kartana-GX is one of the best Beasts to support Naganadel. Slice Off is quite the disruptive Ability, especially when you can use it up to three times (or more with Super Rod). Think of Kartana as a searchable Enhanced Hammer. Additionally, Blade GX will be your most common GX attack to use.

Two Buzzwole

Sledgehammer is just a busted attack. We need to fill up spots with Ultra Beasts anyway, so no reason to not include the option to steal a Prize or two with Sledgehammer every once in awhile. Buzzwole is usually good for a Prize against Malamar, two Prizes against Zoroark GX, and it can also OHKO Diancie Prism Star which turns out to be relevant from time to time.

One Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX

Some of you may not know this, but there used to be a card called Keldeo-EX with an identical Ability. Oftentimes, Keldeo was run alongside Float Stone solely for its Ability. That’s what we’re doing here with Dawn Wings. While Naganadel doesn’t benefit from Invasion as much as decks like Ho-Oh-GX, Dawn Wings Necrozma is still an Ultra Beast with a useful Ability. Don’t play it down against Zoroark decks.

One Dusk Mane Necrozma

Dusk Mane Necrozma tanks Dark Flashes like a champ and can snipe 60 to any GX for only a Metal Energy. This is useful for Naganadel, who struggles to KO opposing GXs. Dusk Mane Necrozma sets up KOs for Naganadel later in the game. You probably will never use its second attack.

One Tapu Lele-GX

Tapu Lele-GX is only included as a consistency crutch in this deck. The downside to running a full Ultra Beast deck is that no Ultra Beasts provide draw Support. This means we are forced to use a high count of Supporters as our only draw sources.

One Unit Energy

I prefer to keep it to mostly Basic Energy because of Super Rod and potential opposing Enhanced Hammers. However, Unit Energy LPM provides the option to use Tapu Cure GX, while still being a Metal Energy. Tapu Cure is useful on occasion, though you won’t use it as often as Blade GX.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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