ABZard — Reshiram and Charizard with Abilities

Going into Worlds I thought that Reshiram and Charizard-GX with Abilities was better than the Green's Exploration build. Sadly, Tord Reklev lost in the semifinals, with our own Blaine Hill matching his finish; the jury is still out. Most recently, Robin Schulz played an updated version of the deck to a quarterfinals showing in England. The main identifying characteristic of these lists has been a non-GX attacker that can deal massive damage to one-shot even the likes of TAG TEAM Pokemon-GX. This is something that the Green’s Exploration list completely lacks and a clear advantage that you can bring to the table whenever facing a mirror match or other three-Prize Pokemon-reliant deck — you just get ahead on Prizes and win. Starting with Reklev’s list from Worlds, this deck has been a smashing favorite for Reshiram and Charizard-GX fans of the past; it’s been very popular at League Cup events for me lately. I believe that the updated of the deck is much better, but that’s up for debate. Let’s start with a short analysis of the Worlds list, the one that started it all over again with Kiawe!

Deck Analysis

Pokemon (16)

2x Reshiram and Charizard-GX (UNB #20)4x Jirachi (TEU #99)3x Dedenne-GX (UNB #57)2x Ninetales (TEU #16)2x Vulpix (TEU #15)1x Victini Prism Star (DRM #7)1x Turtonator (DRM #50)1x Heatran-GX (UNM #25)

Trainers (26)

4x Welder (UNB #189)4x Cherish Ball (UNM #191)3x Super Scoop Up (CES #146)3x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)3x Acro Bike (CES #123)2x Switch (CES #147)2x Escape Board (ULP #122)1x Pal Pad (ULP #132)3x Giant Hearth (UNM #197)1x Heat Factory Prism Star (LOT #178)

Energy (18)

18x Fire Energy (EVO #92)

This list was a good start to where this deck wanted to go. Some of the cards are questionable like Super Scoop Up and possibly even Acro Bike (with thinner counts of important cards, perhaps playing more of those cards themselves would have been better.) One thing that was particularly disappointing was the low Switch count; without a full four the power of Jirachi isn’t optimized and I really missed having four in the games I’ve played with this list. The Ninetales is obviously a force to be reckoned with in this format and I’m glad someone saw its potential in a big way and made it work. High Dedenne-GX counts in this format are really nice and this deck wants to go fast so the extra outs to Dedechange are also a welcomed addition. Most players wrote off Heatran-GX with the release of Unified Minds, but Reklev and friends saw its potential and ran it in here. In addition, Shintaro Ito ran it in Blacephalon-GX so its strength has been made known and I expect to be seeing a lot more of it from here on out.

So why is this deck good? This build takes as much as it can from the Reshiram and Charizard-GX lists of last year with Kiawe. Kiawe has rotated of course, and without it, these types of decks lost a lot of their speed. To compensate you need to aggressively find Welder and in some cases even have a way to get more Welder back so you can use more than four in a game (Mewtwo and/or Pal Pad). This deck also makes the best use of Ninetales of any deck in the format and has the flexibility to run a variety of tech attackers to have plenty of options for almost every scenario. This list makes the best use of non-GX Pokemon out there other than a pure non-GX deck like Spiritomb or something like Malamar that attacks almost exclusively with non-GX Pokemon like Giratina. So all in all this deck brings one-shot potential and a fast tempo together to forge a consistent and explosive deck like nothing else in the format.

Is it actually better than the Green’s Exploration version? I believe so, yes. It’s faster, more consistent, and hits for higher numbers. While the Green’s Exploration list is more methodical and perhaps might have a greater control on the game with techs and such, this list just goes as fast as possible, builds attackers, and hops to it. I like that this list has no problem finding attackers, which the Green’s Exploration list can have difficulty with. Simply put, I enjoy the one-shot potential so much, I think it’s needed in a format with decks like Mewtwo and Mew-GX that can one-shot anything you throw at them with Magcargo-GX. It’s better overall with its speed and swaps cute techs for raw strength, a good trade if you ask me! Now for the updated list and banter all about it.

Pokemon (18)

2x Reshiram and Charizard-GX (UNB #20)4x Jirachi (TEU #99)2x Ninetales (TEU #16)3x Vulpix (TEU #15)3x Dedenne-GX (UNB #57)1x Victini Prism Star (DRM #7)1x Turtonator (DRM #50)1x Heatran-GX (UNM #25)1x Blacephalon (UNB #32)

Trainers (29)

4x Welder (UNB #189)4x Switch (CES #147)4x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)4x Fire Crystal (UNB #173)4x Cherish Ball (UNM #191)2x Escape Board (ULP #122)1x Reset Stamp (UNM #206)1x Pal Pad (ULP #132)1x Fiery Flint (DRM #60)3x Giant Hearth (UNM #197)1x Heat Factory Prism Star (LOT #178)

Energy (13)

13x Fire Energy (EVO #92)

Their new list includes buffed out counts of important cards, the removal of Super Scoop Up, and more. I really like what they did with it! There’s just a couple things I would change and I’ll get into those things after explaining the key components of the base list. Let’s do it!

Explanations

Four Jirachi

This deck is all in on Welder so when you don’t have one you want to do all you can to find one. One might argue that Pokégear 3.0 would be better in this slot, but for this deck there is not backup plan if you can’t attack with something. In those situations it’s better to just sacrifice a Pokemon, in which case Jirachi fits the bill. For that reason, Jirachi accomplishes two things at once, both serving as Pokemon fodder but also helping usher you along to finding Welder itself. Playing four boosts your starting odds and also gives you the opportunity to Stellar Wish multiple times in a turn, boosting your chances of finding Welder even more. Having four Switch goes hand in hand with this and gives you more Stellar Wish chances.

Three Vulpix and Two Ninetales

The third Vulpix is very nice. With Pokémon Communication not being amazingly strong in this deck, you want to be able to find this very important Pokemon naturally as much as you can. Having a third copy helps you do just that and defends yourself against players that will seek to eliminate Vulpix as soon as they can. This is especially relevant in the Malamar matchup! Two Ninetales is just fine because you’re not going to be looking to get multiple out in a game. Nine Temptations is an Ability you’ll only be using once a turn (don’t mess it up) and having two copies is for if you Prize one or if your opponent targets it down once it’s evolved.

Three Dedenne-GX

Dedechange speeds this deck along in more ways than even Jirachi can and gives you extra opportunities to find Welder. When you want to Welder in consecutive turns you’ll need more than just a few ways to draw cards. You’ll often find yourself using all three Dedechange Abilities in a game to whip through your deck and even get Fire Energy in the discard pile to boost the damage output of Victini Prism Star.


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