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Expanded Ninja Boy Brillant Stars


Ninja master
Got back into PTCGO recently and I wanted to share with everyone this updated version of my toolbox creation. This deck never gets old. You just need to include and tweak a few cards to follow the meta which is just one major pro for playing the deck. So after tweaking the deck for a week or so, I came up with a pretty decent iteration.

At first, coming back into the game with the release of « Brilliant Stars » I needed to get a feel of the new decks and study their weakness. To begin with, I watched Stephane Ivanoff « Best expanded decks » video discussing about the meta as of febuary 2022 on ChannelFireball. While some new puzzle pieces were recently added with the latest release, this is the best I could work out with for now.It felt obvious that being able to hit for dark weakness was the way to go given the fact that 4 of the top 10 decks had that weakness (Trashapult, Shadow Rider Meloetta and Fusion Strike). The use of special energy is also very commonly used in most decks. Given these facts I was ready to tweak the deck And try to make it competitive for the meta.

Older iterations of my toolbox usually had the con of lacking energy acceleration. Another con was that relying on Ninja Boy as a supporter meant fewer turns to use draw supporters. Those flaws could hardly be addressed without cutting some important cards and ended up just making the deck less trustworthy than just accepting those flaws. Arceus VStar seemed like a very good way to improve the decks performance so I started by grinding online a bit and add a 1-1 line to the deck. It felt surprisingly good. Not only can Arceus VStar can accelerate energy and find critical cards, it also happens to use colorless energy which is a blessing for the deck. Using Colorless energy meant that the deck could still include Prism energy instead of subpar Rainbow or Aurora energies. Another thing to mention is that it felt very awkward before to include Silent Lab in the deck given the fact that there are so many basic Pokemons with abilities included in the list. The fact that Arceus VStar can get you two cards of your liking and is not affected by Silent Lab gives you ways to use Silent Lab without being crippled as much.

When tweaking the deck, I usually do 20 games rounds of testing until I reached the point where I feel like the deck is in a good spot. Hile this is still a work in progress and there is place for improvement, here is the list I use at this point. I pulled a 16wins over 20 games with it beating Mew Vmax, ADP Dragonite, Ultra Necrozma, Dragapult, Mew3 Weavile and Volcarona in the process.

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 17

* 1 Arceus V BRS 166
* 1 Tauros-GX SUM 156
* 1 Arceus VSTAR BRS 184
* 2 Crobat V DAA 182
* 1 Galarian Moltres V CRE 177
* 1 Yveltal CEL 19
* 1 Clefairy EVO 63
* 1 Comfey GRI 93
* 1 Ninetales V RCL 177
* 1 Jolteon-EX GEN 28
* 1 Tapu Koko {*} TEU 51
* 1 Xurkitree-GX UPR 142
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 137
* 1 Wobbuffet V SSH 191
* 1 Lumineon V BRS 40
* 1 Phione CEC 57

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 1 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 1 N FCO 105
* 1 Big Parasol DAA 199
* 1 Scramble Switch PLS 129
* 1 Pokémon Ranger STS 113
* 3 Ninja Boy STS 103
* 1 Marnie SSH 200
* 1 PokéNav CES 181
* 1 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 1 Float Stone BKT 137
* 2 Silent Lab PRC 140
* 1 Piers DAA 187
* 3 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 1 Field Blower GRI 163
* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 196
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 216
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 215
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 229

##Energy - 13

* 3 Lightning Energy SMEnergy 4
* 4 Double Colorless Energy GRI 166
* 2 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7
* 4 Prism Energy NXD 93

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

Here are key cards for matchups against the best expanded decks:

Good cards against most decks: Arceus VStar, Phione (Phione is used to clear bench space and recycle support pokemons by using Ninja Boy on those).

1. Shadow Rider: Galarian Moltress V, Tauros Gx, Yvelta (KO’s Calyrex V with FFB)
2. ADP Dragonite: Ninetales V, Clefairy, Pokemon Ranger, Jolteon Ex, Tauros Gx, Silent Lab
3. Tsareena: Jolteon Ex, Tauros Gx, Ninetales V, Silent Lab
4. Stall: Jolteon Ex, Silent Lab, Phione (using it to clear the bench)
5. Mew3 Weavile: Jolteon Ex, Tauros Gx, Silent Lab
6. Trashapult: Jolteon Ex, Tauros Gx, Galarian Moltress, Yveltal, Wobbuffet V
7. Meloetta: Jolteon Ex, Xurkitree Gx, Galarian Moltress, Yveltal, Silent Lab
8. Ultra Necrozma: Wobbuffet V, Big Parasol (pile up energy on Wobbuffet and deck them out)
9. Fusion Strike: Jolteon Ex, Xurkitree Gx, Galarian Moltress, Yveltal, Silent Lab
10. Volcarona: Jolteon Ex, Lumineon V

The deck is oriented at the moment towards beating what I felt was more commonly played. While not being flawless, it gives very good odds of pulling wins against strong contesters. I did not face any Stall deck during my testing and I cannot tell if the deck could beat it. Older iterations had other means of dealing with it through the use of things like Buzzwole&Pheromosa pilling up energy and using the Gx attack to grab 3 prizes. Mew3 is a deck I feel that is still pretty hard to beat when they get a good start and I would definitely change the list a bit if I was to expect playing more against it. I did not play against Tsareena V at all but between silent lab and Jolteon Ex, odds should be pretty good. I believe that we should see more Arceus VStar after the latest release so I will most likely consider adding Galarian Zapdos back into the list or maybe a 1-1 Altaria line.
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After testing further with Brillant Stars, I needed to take some time to talk about two of the most impactful pokemons that were added to the current meta: Arceus VStar and Duraludon Vmax. At first glance it seems that Duraludon Vmax is a major problem for Ninja Box. Not only is it immune to attacks from pokemon with special energy, it also has a piercing attack to deal with the likes of Xurkitree Gx.

As it happens, I played a tournament online a few days ago. I got to top 8 and was pretty confident I could win the tournament. Unfortunately, I got paired with the one deck I wanted to avoid; Arceus VStar with Duraludon Vmax. I was actually hoping he could brick so I could one shot Arceus VStar with Galarian Zapdos (yes, I decided to tech it in the deck for the tournament) before he could get Duraludon Vmax out. It did not happen.

While Duraludon Vmax is a hard nut to crack, I actually managed to beat the deck afterwards while grinding the ladder. Beforehand, I was just thinking that if Duraludon Vmax was going to take a big part of the meta, I would just have to resign myself into playing something a lot different. But I figured that I could actually tech a few cards and hope for the best.

As it happens, while just about everything in the deck cannot damage Duraludon, there is actually one card that can; Clefairy. Even if Clefairy has a special energy attached, it can still damage Duraludon since he has a piercing attack. Having only Clefairy to deal with Duraludon is not enough in most cases so you actually need to add at least a few more cards.

The first card I want to bring up actually serves as a counter to both Arceus Vstar and Duraludon Vmax; Sudowoodo BRP. Copying Arceus Vstars attack not only one shots it by hitting 400dmg on weakness but will also charge a second pokemon for the next turn. And it will damage Duraludon Vmax for 220dmg. It seems to me like this card has a very good potential. Mimikyu GRI could also work but I would not go for it just because It does not OHKO Arceus Vstar and the fairy version is less reliable than Clefairy against ADP decks.

The second card I want to talk about is Stealthy Hood. Stealthy hood can remove Duraludon Vmax ability and render him vulnerable even if you do have special energy attached. Having to withstand 220dmg is not a small task but Mew3 with Hood could actually OHKO Duraludon Vmax by copying Tauros Gx attack or go for a 2HKO and rely on its Gx to heal on the second turn.

With that being said, I will be trying to shuffle a few cards and take into account these new variables in order to pull hat tricks and maintain a good winning %.
I faced you in a tournament yesterday and loved the deck, and I was thinking in cutting marnie for raihan to easier attack back to back and swapping the second crobat for hisuian heavy ball since there's so many 1-ofs that may get prized
I faced you in a tournament yesterday and loved the deck, and I was thinking in cutting marnie for raihan to easier attack back to back and swapping the second crobat for hisuian heavy ball since there's so many 1-ofs that may get prized
I definitely considered Raihan but I did not experiment with it as of yet. I would need to give it a try. I can definitely see it working but with the proper basic energy type and pokémon to use it with. Right now, Galarian Moltres V makes Darkness energy the best basic energy to focus on given the fact it can accelerate it and hit for the best weakness in the current meta. So swapping the basic Lightning energies around with other types and match it with a good mid to late game candidate could work. Ideally being charged in a single turn and that pumps out enough damage to be meaningful. Fire energy comes to mind since Radiant Charizard is a card that can be more easily benched (one prize), is used in a late game scenario as Raihan given Raihan's requirements and dishes out much damage.

Hisuian Heavy ball is very much a thing and I am glad you mention it. I did try it in the deck. It works if you can actually draw into it very early on. The Ninja Box engine is not a draw heavy engine. This is due to the nature of it. You want to have pokémon's into your deck to swap things around using Ninja Boy and being dependant on Ninja Boy means less use of draw supporters. Statistically speaking, the chance of having the pokémon you need prized is 10%. But against many decks, you have more than one attacking option. And those other option can help you get prize cards and actually uncover the one card you need.

Were you playing turbo dark?