Hello everyone! Recently I attended two Full Grip 1K events, one for Standard and one for GLC. With Fusion Strike‘s recent release, everyone was curious how the set would affect the metagame. The Standard 1K actually made Fusion Strike legal for the event, even though it was only the day after the set’s release, which meant that the tournament featured a healthy mix of new cards, including Mew VMAX, Genesect V, Gengar VMAX, and Inteleon VMAX. However, the winning Suicune V deck featured a low-key card that most people wouldn’t have even put in their top five from the set: Pyukumuku.
Pyukumuku’s hilarious Ability is called Pitch a Pyukumuku. As much as I wish that involved flinging the card across the room Hisoka-style, it only goes to the bottom of the deck and allows you to draw a card. It can only activate directly from the hand, and only once per turn. However, the benefits are twofold. First, it assists with deck thinning: even though it’s only one card, it can be used multiple times over the course of a game. Over an entire tournament, Pyukumuku will allow you to see many more cards than you otherwise would, and it has some degree of synergy with Suicune V‘s Fleet Footed Ability. Maybe, just maybe, that extra card will be the combo piece you need to pull off something incredible. Next, Pyukumuku offers some utility to those late-game Quick Ball and Level Ball that are otherwise useless. Since Pyukumuku is usually in the deck, there’s a live target for cards that would otherwise be useless, and that target can potentially fetch something more helpful.
Funnily enough, I actually ID’d into Top 8 in both tournaments in round 6 against the same player, Trevor Redding. He’s the one who ended up winning with Suicune V / Pyukumuku. Let’s take a look at his list.
Suicune V / PyukumukuInteleon and Ludicolo, Suicune has the potential to OHKO even Pokemon VMAX if the opponent isn’t careful. And even if you aren’t swinging for enough damage for an immediate OHKO, sometimes you can set up a future KO for Quick Shooting.
I generally don’t think the term “mid-range deck” is very applicable to Pokemon, but if there ever was a midrange deck, this is definitely it. Suicune is a fairly solid and vanilla deck. As we’ve seen from the Full Grip 1k tournament, consistency wins games — you don’t always need to be flashy or reinvent the wheel. Suicune by itself is low-maintenance, and only the combo turns end up being high-maintenance. The idea is that Suicune more or less runs itself, and Drizzile can facilitate the combo turns when you need to pull off a big play. The deck needs no further explanation, so let’s take a look at its matchups.
Single Strike – Slightly Favorable
Single Strike Urshifu VMAX is a decent matchup for Suicune, but it’s still losable. Your priority should be to get an early Cape of Toughness on your attacking Suicune so that it’s much more difficult for the opponent to OHKO it. Aside from the Zacian V matchup, this is where Cape shines the most. It’s impossible for Umbreon V and Umbreon VMAX to OHKO a Caped Suicune, and it’s extremely difficult for Single Strike Urshifu V and Gengar V to do so. Of course, they may have Tool Jammer or Tool Scrapper, but for most Single Strike builds, accessing those techs is extremely difficult to do, if they even run them in the first place.
There are two attributes of the Single Strike deck that makes things easier for Suicune. First, the forced damage placed by Houndoom helps a lot with the math, so it’s easier for Suicune to take KO’s. Furthermore, Single Strike operates with a large Bench size, which directly contributes to Suicune’s damage output. They can try to play around this by keeping a small Bench, but in doing so they are heavily restricting their own actions. Either way is fine; for the Suicune player, it’s a win-win situation.
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX – Slightly Unfavorable
Against Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, G-Max Rapid Flow is not fun for Suicune to deal with. Because Suicune needs a full Bench to do meaningful damage, there’s always going to be a plethora of low-HP targets for Rapid Flow to farm Prizes with. Furthermore, Suicune goes down to two Rapid Flow hits, and even a Cape doesn’t help much because it only takes one more Inteleon ping to go down. In this matchup, you just need to hope that Urshifu has a slower start or misses a Rapid Flow at some point.
Shadow Rider – Slightly Favorable
Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX is a favorable matchup because Suicune can usually get one or two attacks in before Shadow Rider ramps up its Energy enough to start taking OHKOs. Cape of Toughness is very relevant here as well; it’s extremely strong in the early game, even if it doesn’t do much later on.
This matchup is rather straightforward, with the two decks trading blows until somebody wins. Try to preserve Boss's Orders. Since you usually won’t OHKO their attackers, you may need Boss to finish off Pokemon that flee to the Bench. You’ll also need Boss to close out games if your opponent forces you to attack into any non-VMAX Pokemon. Only having two Boss here makes the matchup a little bit sketchy, and you may lose if you fail to access them for any reason.
Another important part of the strategy is to power up multiple Suicune in the early game when you have the chance. This allows you to use Boss later, which you can’t do if you’re forced to use Melony or Raihan just to power up Suicune to attack.
Fusion Strike – Even
With Fusion Strike being a new archetype, I haven’t played this matchup enough yet to say which way it tends to swing. Fusion Strike operates with a large Bench, which is good for Suicune. However, Fusion Strike Energy blocks Inteleon ping damage, which means that if they keep their Bench to four or less, Suicune is incapable of OHKOing a Mew VMAX that has any Fusion Energy on it. Mew can also start KOing Suicune on Turn 2 if they have a decent start, which can be problematic.
With four Pokemon on the opponent’s Bench and a Ludicolo boost, Suicune does 300 damage. Sometimes you’ll use Sobble‘s Pound either before or after for that extra 10 damage. Inteleon’s Aqua Bullet could also fulfill this role by sniping a Mew VMAX off the Bench, but only if it already has a lot of damage on it.
If they play a full Bench, it should be an easy win because you just need one Ludicolo turn to swing the Prize trade in your favor. But it can get dicey if they don’t, so a couple techs I’m considering to boost Suicune’s chances are Fan of Waves and Galarian Zigzagoon. Fan of Waves can remove Fusion Strike Energy to enable Inteleon’s Quick Shooting, but it doesn’t work against Pokemon with two Fusion Energy attached. Zigzagoon can potentially ping a Mew before it gets Fusion Energy attached, as Inteleon is much too slow for that. However, it’s not foolproof by any means, as there’s no guarantee you’ll pull it off before Fusion Energy comes down. That said, both of those techs also have plenty of uses in other matchups and situations.
This is another matchup where Cape is strong, because it forces Mew to find either Tool Scrapper or two Power Tablets. This is easy enough for them to do with Peony, but forcing extra resources out of them is still always helpful.
Jolteon – Very Unfavorable
This matchup is horrible, but I’ve won it before. You need to be very aggressive and hope they have a slow start. If Jolteon operates how it wants to, Suicune can never win, but sometimes, with consistency on your side and a lack of consistency on your opponent’s, you can eke out a victory. Cape is somewhat useful here. Jolteon’s HP is lower than the typical VMAX, so it isn’t too difficult to OHKO with the help of Ludicolo and Inteleon. However, with Jolteon’s snipe pressure, you’ll be lucky to even keep Lotad on the Bench for more than one turn.
Leafeon – Unfavorable
This matchup is difficult because Leafeon VMAX OHKOs Suicune, and Suicune cannot OHKO Leafeon as long as they don’t Bench an excessive amount of Pokemon. Leafeon is fast and low-maintenance. Leafeon always wins a straight-up Prize trade, and Suicune has no counter to Galar Mine. Just like with Jolteon, you have to be aggressive and lucky, and make use of early-game Cape of Toughness to possibly survive a hit.
Zamazenta Tank Deck
The next deck I want to share with you all today is an interesting Zamazenta tank deck that I’ve been working on lately. This is basically my pet deck, but I believe it is quite strong in the current meta. Here’s the list:
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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