Hello everyone! This is Grant Manley here with somewhat of a themed article, though this is only by coincidence.
I’ve been trying out all kinds of decks, and the ones that happen to work the best all take advantage of the insane Fire-type support that we have in the current format. In my last article I wrote about some powerful decks that are expected to be top-tier in the post-rotation format. Today I have two rogue decks that have been working better than expected. They both use the Fire engine* with no Fire-type attackers, and they both leverage invincibility to create favorable Prize trades, or to outright steamroll the opponent.
*For the purposes of this article, let’s try and disassociate “Fire engine” from “fire truck”. I am just referring to the package of Fire-exclusive cards that contribute to making the archetype consistent and powerful.
I’m also going to talk about Reshiram and Charizard-GX, which was the major player that was absent from my last article. I actually like Reshiram & Charizard-GX a lot in the post-rotation format. The deck is just too dang good, and it also happens to fit with the Fire engine theme. While Reshiram & Charizard-GX isn’t an invincibility deck per say, it reduces and heals a lot of damage which is close enough. I won’t spend too much time on Reshiram & Charizard-GX because Caleb wrote an entire article about the deck, so check that out if there are any details you’re still curious about.
Without further ado, here is my Reshiram & Charizard-GX list. It’s pretty close to the one in Caleb’s article. I think this list might be optimal, and, if not, it’s certainly close.
This deck’s main strength is that Reshiram & Charizard-GX just doesn’t ever go down. Some decks can take out one with a GX attack, but are simply unable to KO another. Not only is the deck extremely tanky, but it’s absurdly powerful. Most defensive decks see limited success because they have low damage output or are high maintenance, but Reshiram & Charizard-GX is just the opposite. Not only can this deck take advantage of the ridiculous Fire engine, but it also uses Green's Exploration. With Green’s, Reshiram & Charizard-GX can reliably utilize cards that I consider to be too situational in any other deck such as Energy Spinner, Reset Stamp, Custom Catcher, and Mixed Herbs.
Speaking of Energy Spinner, another attribute of Reshiram & Charizard-GX is its ability to take advantage of going second. For most decks, going second is strictly a disadvantage, but Reshiram & Charizard-GX takes advantage of this situation thanks to Energy Spinner and Volcanion‘s Flare Starter. For the time being, I still choose to go first with this deck in case I start with Reshiram & Charizard-GX. However, I’m sure there are situations where choosing to go second is better.
Going into a more open meta than usual, Reshiram & Charizard-GX is fantastic because it only struggles with decks that can consistently hit for 270 (or 300 with Choice Helmet), and those are few and far between. This means that Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s matchups should be good across the board, including against prospective Tier 1 decks like Malamar and Pikachu and Zekrom-GX.
Like I just said, anything that can OHKO two Reshiram & Charizard-GX poses a huge problem. The main threat here seems to be Blacephalon-GX, but it’s still anyone’s guess how popular that archetype will be. Ultra Necrozma-GX could also be a potential issue, though it still needs a lot of Energy to OHKO a Reshiram & Charizard-GX. In testing, Reshiram & Charizard-GX handles the Giratina & Garchomp-GX version of Malamar just fine, but I haven’t tested against Ultra Necrozma. Finally, any random Water types, should they see play, can probably beat this deck as well. Water as an archetype loses Brooklet Hill, Aqua Patch, and Wishful Baton, among other things, to the rotation, so I’d be surprised to see any real competitive Water decks any time soon.
Reshiram & Charizard-GX is also a little weak to Reset Stamp. Thankfully, the card doesn’t completely destroy us, but it is an annoyance at best and forces us to play smart with our hand. Running four Acro Bike increases overall consistency and makes the deck better against Reset Stamp by thinning. Conserve Pokégear 3.0. Sometimes you can even stick Heat Factory Prism Star to give yourself more outs off of a Reset Stamp.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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