Exploring Stage 2 Decks with Pidgeot ex — Tyranitar ex and Meowscarada ex

Hello everyone! I’m back once again, and like in my last article, I’ll be looking at some of the more exploratory aspects of Obsidian Flames. The first Regional Championship of the year is coming up this weekend in Pittsburgh, though there’s a bit of a break after that until we get to the next major tournaments. That gap means that there should be plenty of time to test some different decks prior to Peoria; while I would expect Pittsburgh’s meta to be somewhat similar to the meta that we’re seeing in League Cups and online, the meta later should be more diverse. As for Pittsburgh, the decks that I would expect to see the most are Lost Zone Box (especially with Giratina VSTAR), Gardevoir ex, Chien-Pao ex / Baxcalibur, and Charizard ex, along with a solid mix of all of the other decks in the format.

Giratina VSTAR has thus far seemed to be the most popular deck, which makes sense, as it’s a deck with strong baseline stats that can perform well against pretty much anything. Decks like that tend to be at their strongest at the beginning of new formats, but I would expect things to settle down and become more diverse as time goes on. Be prepared for it, especially in Pittsburgh, but the deck does strike me as not quite a gatekeeper level deck. That is, it’s less Zacian V / Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX, and more of just a solid, safe choice. Of course, you could also forgo all of those boring meta decks, and play one of the off-meta choices that I wrote about in my last article — or one of the decks from this one!

In my last article, while the focus was on Charizard ex, one of the other things I talked about was the usefulness of the new Pidgeot ex. Until recently, we haven’t had many viable Stage 2 decks, and while that’s starting to change with decks like Gardevoir ex and Baxcalibur, it’s been slow going. Pidgeot ex has the potential to change that. In general, Pidgeot ex is the most useful in decks that play another Stage 2 line, since those decks will already be playing Rare Candy, so you won’t need to devote as much space to including the Pidgeot ex line. In addition, Pidgeot ex can find those Rare Candy, which makes it much easier to set up multiple Stage 2 Pokemon. This helps to solve one of the major problems that Stage 2 decks typically have, particularly decks that are designed around attacking with a Stage 2 Pokemon.

Since the Sun & Moon era, these decks have been the most difficult to build; having success with one typically requires some sort of bonus on the Stage-1 to make the setup more viable, like Gardevoir has with both of the useful Kirlia. Otherwise, the Stage 2 might be an incredible, efficient attacker, but the difficulty of setting them up one after another means that they tend to fade out in the late-game. In addition, finding the Rare Candy to set them up in the first place can be difficult, making them either slow or inconsistent. During the Sword & Shield era, Stage 2 Pokemon were also lacking in HP, which further exacerbated the problem, since you could count on them being Knocked Out every turn due to their squishiness. The newest Pokemon ex have solved that HP issue — with 310+ HP, they’re as tanky as any Pokemon that’s ever been printed — but the Rare Candy issue still remains up until now. With Pidgeot ex, that issue has also abated, to the point that suddenly some of these previously lackluster Stage 2s now seem viable. Charizard ex has started to show how these Stage 2 decks can run, but it isn’t the only option we have. After trying the various Stage 2 Pokemon ex, there are two in particular that I think have potential to be competitive: Tyranitar ex and Meowscarada ex.

So, in this article, I’m going to be expanding on the Pidgeot ex core from the Charizard ex / Pidgeot ex deck that I wrote about in my last article, and show how it can work in these two decks as well.

It’s Electric! Tyranitar ex

To start, let’s take a look at another new card from Obsidian Flames: Tyranitar ex. Tyranitar ex is a beast of a Pokemon, as tanky as they come at 340 HP, and has solid damage output for little Energy cost. With a Choice Belt, Lightning Rampage can OHKO a Pokemon VSTAR, including Arceus VSTAR and Giratina VSTAR. You can also start attacking with Lightning Rampage as early as turn 2, which allows this deck to truly take advantage of the positive Prize trade from Tyranitar’s combination of damage and bulk. To activate the extra damage from Lightning Rampage, you can use Gengar to easily put a damaged Pokemon onto your Bench; in 151, we’ll also have Dodrio as an option. Here’s the list I’m currently using:

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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