You might say that Blastoise is back — sort of. The brand new Frosmoth from Sword & Shield is better in almost every way since it’s a Stage-1 and can easily be played down, but there’s a small downside; only being able to attach Water Energy from hand to your Pokemon on the Bench. That said, you have two options to work around that: Jirachi with Escape Board, and Switch or Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX and Air Balloon (also from Sword & Shield). Right now, I hold Jirachi in higher regard because it improves your starting turns and using a Switch into a Jirachi with Escape Board is a nice consistency boost; “free” cards off Stellar Wish is never a bad thing. When you go for the latter of the two packages, you’ll likely be running a more turbo list with Acro Bike and maybe even Judge Whistle. With that in mind, Jirachi is more of a middle ground between all this, a more balanced approach.
Frosmoth’s Place in the Meta
One thing’s for sure; Frosmoth is the real deal and will be a competitively viable deck. I would consider it in the top tier of Standard archetypes right out the gate and I see it being fairly popular for a variety of reasons. Namely, it is reminiscent of Blastoise decks that have been doing well at tournaments since the card was brought into the “modern” era back with the release of Boundaries Crossed. Previously, those decks needed to run Tropical Beach to set up consistently — a true barrier to playing the deck at the top level. However, with Archie's Ace in the Hole dropping, the deck was given new life in a super turbo way. Now, Frosmoth should have a similar appeal, just like in both of those eras and even in Expanded today. Playing lots of Energy is fun and should intrigue the masses to the deck. Second of all, the Water Pokemon pool just got a lot better with the release of Keldeo V and Lapras VMAX. These two can swing for unlimited damage, depending on the number of Water Energy you have in your deck. Not forgetting, Black Kyurem does 200 damage as a single-Prize Pokemon, the best Pokemon of that designation available in Standard. With nearly unlimited damage, a quick setup in being a Stage-1, and a great supply of tech attacker options if you want them, this deck is sure to please.
In building this deck I wanted to start with a consistent base, one that would still be able to do stuff when playing first. That’s something to consider with any deck in the “new” Standard format, the rule change of no first turn Supporter is significant. Clearly Jirachi is going to be more powerful, provided you can find it, and playing a maxed count of Quick Ball seems like a staple in pretty much everything. Not only to find Pokemon that you’d normally hope to draw with your Supporter, but to grant access to Dedenne-GX to keep things moving when you don’t have an ideal starting hand. The Jirachi option while playing first is another reason why I like this version a bit more than the Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX build. Don’t get me wrong though, both have merit. Anyways, enough about the rule changes; I think this deck should still opt to play first — you want to get a second turn Frosmoth and the quickest way to do that is by playing first. However, my list includes a novel “playing-second” option that you’ll want to see. Here it is:
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