Delta engine (article)

Discussion in 'Cards: Strategy and Rulings Discussion' started by Dennis Hawk, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    Hi all,

    I've started experiments with an anti-metagame engine to put on one's deck. I've recently tested it with Blissey and Gyarados, with quite promising results at long games versus top decks (GG and Magmortar). The idea of this engine is to shut down your opponent's draw. Good thing is that once you build up the engine in your bench, it will propably stay there for the rest of the game, making the endgame to go pretty much in your favor.

    Pokémon engine (10-11 spaces):
    2 Pidgey (delta species/SW, whichever you prefer)
    1 Pidgeotto (delta species/SW, whichever you prefer)
    2 Pidgeot delta

    The base of this engine. Pidgeot d HP shuts down your opponent's powers, as long as he has energy attached. In the current metagame, he can shut down whole bench from GG. He also shares pretty good evolution of Pidgeot SW, a fast attacker and damage spreader, which helps against Gallade due to his resistance. You might consider delta Pidgey and Pidgeotto, as Cloyster gives them safety when you're evolving them up.

    1-2 Feebas (I actually prefer Delta species here due to the sniping/bring down problem)
    2 Milotic delta

    The draw engine. Feebas starts suck badly, that's why there's option to drop feebases to 1. Delta Feebas is propably the most suckiest pokémon in the format ATM (at least GE Feebas can search for evolutions), but it's safe from Bring Downs when you get Cloyster d in play. It helps you to priorize your needs - you can build Milotic later on if you feel that you need a fast powerblock via Pidgeot delta first.

    1 Shellder (Here I prefer SW, as you won't get Cloyster out to shield this one)
    1 Cloyster delta

    To complete our pokémon side, we have Cloyster delta. Pidgeot d and Milotic are both so obvious Magmortar Lv. X bait that it's not even funny, and Feebas/Pidgey should get Bring Downed before you can say "OH SHI-". This is your bulletproof armor against every attack that even tries to touch your delta engine.

    When completely built, this takes 3 spaces of your bench. It handles your power blockage, shows your opponent's hand and prevents sniping to anything that's not your main attacker. And yes, it also stops Dusknoir so go ahead and have a full bench. And GG players won't tech Latilock or Ampharos d for this, as it's 2 off from their valuable teching space and there's more drastic things to tech for (Maggy and Banette for example).

    Trainer side (5-8 spaces):

    3-4 Team Galactic's Wager

    I think this is a given. When Claydol is shut off, you want to disrupt your opponent's hand as much as possible. Also, they won't keep their supporters in their hand if you don't force them to refresh it. Play it as long as you win. You will always know your opponent's hand thanks to Milotic d, and whenever you know there's no supporters for you to use and you want to refresh - Wager! If you win, good for you. If you lose, they might have more supporters in their hand, and you're the one that can use them first.

    Your opponent won't propably use much straight draw when you get the engine locked. The problem with straight draw to your opponent is that they don't know what they're getting - is it 3 Celio's network? That's free Celio for you for next three turns or more, if they don't use them off. Is it Team Galactic's Wager? They just lost their drawn cards and turnly supporter. Using straight draw is even more of a luck based thing when playing against this, so they will focus on using their Roseanne's and Celios - if they ever draw into one.

    2-X Rare Candy

    You need your Pidgeot d fast, preferably faster than your opponent gets his Claydols and Gardevoirs doing their stuff. That's why Candys are a must. Even if you play a strong Stage 1 as your main attacker, consider putting at least 2 candies, preferably more. It doesn't hurt to evolve Magikarp into Gyarados with Candy, either...

    If you use Stage 2 line as your main attacker, 4 is the only option. You might also want to play a thicker line of Pokémon search if it's stage 2 line, and choose your starters to help in getting them out.

    Energy lineup (4-6 spaces)

    3-4 Holon Energy of Choice

    To put it bluntly, Pidgeot needs them to function. I hope the rest of your deck needs them also. Holon WP is the most common G/G Counter with Water and decent retreat remover with Psychic, and with Holon FF, you don't have to worry about weaknesses (or resistances) too much. Holon GL is more for special occasions, and by occasions, I mean conditions. Lightning effect is utterly useless in current metagame, but if you're really worried about Magmortar's burn (or Gyarados' self confusion), you might want to slip in Grass. This of course depends largely on what your attacker is.

    0-2 Secondary Holon Energy of Choice

    You can't really search out Holon Energies unless you want to start with Furret (which actually isn't bad idea, but takes quite much space). So you have to depend on straight draw to get them. And when you depend on straight draw, more is always better. With Blissey, you might want to play both WP and FF to push down GG's power. Or just play it as a normal energy to put on your Pidgeot d, if you don't need other fancy effects than the power stoppage.

    X Scramble

    Yes. I admit it's slow. It needs to set up 3 different evolutions, so when you're finally set up, you're most definitely down in prizes. That's where Scramble comes in. It's an instant power-up and it lets you come back from behind - at least when you can lockdown your opponent as powerfully as with this engine. Of course if you're playing Crystal Beach variation, this won't help too much.

    In total, this engine takes 19-25 cards off your deck. It sounds a bit much, but trainers and energies are multi-usable and you can use Pidgeot evolution chain as attacker also by putting in SW Pidgeot. In the other hand, this is the most water-proof blockage of powers in current environment as it has to be teched against. Other power blockage counter cards are already a big part in our decks - for Cessation we have Pachi, for Alakazam we have Wager. There's Gardevoir SW to stop Gardevoir EX and for Gardevoir... well, thats why GG/PLOX rules the metagame.

    Strategies for decks running this engine

    For the first thing to remember, you need a starter. Using 4 or 3-1 Pachirisu/Stantler engine both makes your setup faster and drops the possibilities for you starting with - *sigh* - Feebas. At least in theory it does, in actual game you will always start with Feebas and hand full of Rare candies and energy, even if you only ran 1 Feebas in your entire deck. Anyway, starters make this work. Pachi isn't usually donked until T3, and when it is, go Scramble yourself.

    Next, it largely depends on your opponent's deck of how will you set up. If I see bench full of Baltoys and Raltses, I usually go for fast Pidgeot d to minimize their changes to take an advantage of them. If I see Piplups/Magmars, I'll go for Cloyster first. If I have a bad start, Milotic can turn it to better. This is of course obvious information for most of us, but it's a good reminder of the need of adaptability and many strategies in this game.

    As this takes a large chunk of your deck, try to maximize the power of your main attacker - this engine takes care of other stuff. Gyarados is tried and proven by Jimmy Ballard in his Answer deck. Blissey seems like a powerful attacker to play, if you can overcome his weakness to Gallade (Pidgeots with Holon WP can help in this one, hint hint). Magmortar is good in every deck (although the Lv. X can't burn with Pidgeot in play). Or if you have a hugely powerful Stage 2 pokémon, try it out! Gallade doesn't always need his Gardevoir...

    Finally, if you're able to test this engine futher, please do so and contribute to this thread. We're in the middle of a meta where every new deck idea is welcome, and I will continue testing this, but everything needs to be seen in different perspectives to get the real picture. Any help is appreciated with this!


    TODDakaESTEBAN New Member

    cloyster won't work because they need to be delta and gyrados and blissey arn't i see that it protects your pigeot and and milotic but idk if that's worth the space i haven't tryed it and i'm sure you have

    gardy has bf though if i play it i wouldn't be too concerned about this deck since i can play bf and at least use my powers for 1 turn per stadium which is plenty since gardy can win without much telepass depending on if they get decent luck and your milotic get's psychic locked, plus with glaceon lvl x out there i bet lati lock will be played much more so that kills gyrados and pidgeot
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  3. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    I've played against Magmortar with Pidgeot d deck, and trust me, the first Flame Buster goes to Pidgeot d.

    I agree the fact that Gyarados and Blissey aren't delta, and can't be protected while sitting on the bench (and I wouldn't use Magikarp d in Gyarados MT deck even if they paid me), but your other stuff is safe. And there's much more options with delta basics/stage 1s to choose at - like Ralts d for Gallade.

    And I don't know any cooler way to prevent Bring Down than playing Feebas d to your bench.

    SPARTA New Member

    Milotic δ relies on your opponents supporters to work. That means every time I get one that could be remotely useful to you, I'm gonna use it so you can't. Mag simply kills Pidgeot and won't even touch Gyra and Mag already beats Blissey. It could work, but according to my Pokegym Posting Contract, I am required to be the voice of doupt and spot any flaws that may be there. It could still work, But you might wanna use Fearow δ instead.
  5. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    Yeps, you can use some variations if you don't think you need Milotic / think you need something else more. If you're running Gallade with Delta basics, you might want to search for Ralts δ/Kirlia δ with Fearow δ instead of using your opponent's supporters (when available). With 4 Wagers, though, you have a chance to use something from your opponent's hand before your opponent can even touch it, so there's still change to use supporters even if your opponent doesn't want you to (after all, you have to draw at least 1 card from Wager :p).

    If trying to counter Maggy with Gyarados version, I'd play Cloyster in first (or Pidgeot, depending on their bench, but with Cloyster following as close second), then jam Gyarados to active position and build up the delta pokémon while they are being protected by Cloyster. If Mag doesn't have any other option than to hack Gyaradoses, it should limit Magmortar player's options enough to make the game winnable. Good thing that Magikarps have 30 HP and won't get killed from one Fireball bazooka... And Flame Bustering Magikarps seems like a bit overkill to me.

    Battle Frontier is one of the few things to get your powers in use (and you can counter even that by putting in Delta Golduck instead of Milotic and using Holon Legacy - well, if they don't windstorm the stadium first and then play their battle frontier, what are the odds), so if using Milotic, keep a close watch of your opponent's hand and act accordingly.

    SPARTA New Member

    Holon Legacy shuts off δ powers, so if you lock that in....
  7. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    ...when I only have bodies in play (Cloyster, Pidgeot, Golduck) it sounds pretty cool!

    Edit: Holon lake is another option, having a makeshift pokémon searcher doesn't sound too bad either.

    SPARTA New Member

    You shut off Milotic δ as well. And incidently, if you have no powers and niether do they, GG has the advantage due to the sheer power that Gallade wields. Not to mention the HP of δ is generally lower than that of DP pokemon, and they tend to have weaker attacks. This means that you robbed yourself of the only advantage you had (you can use powers and they can't), and just made it a game of who sets up first. You need to setup multiple Stage Ones and a Stage Two before they get out Gallade, which is rarely going to happen. And unless you get T2 Pidgeot every game, they will probably be able to use Claydol to draw for a little while, so they will be able to setup better. The second they see a Feebas δ they will know what you are up to, and will either get rid of useful supporters, or Claydol and put them on the bottom of the deck. It sounds good, but falls apart in reality.

    Incidently, a good Magmortar player would just pile 6 energy onto one Magmortar, and wipe Gyrados out. Blaziken GE helps out with this, even though Gyrados will kill him after two attacks.
  9. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    Let's disregard the golduck issue, it was merely for showing the extent you can go to lockdown your opponent.

    And yeps, this is certainly not unbeatable. If GG has Gardevoir EX d in it any deck with Delta engine has lost the game.

    The great thing about Gyarados is that they have more than Flail. If you're losing, Scramble up and OHKO with Gyarados' attack. They won't be able to power up too many Maggys without any powers.

    If my opponent gets rid of his useful supporters, that means Milotic has done his work pretty well. I still can use my own supporters, while my opponent is dependant on a single topdeck per turn whenever Pidgeot gets set up. If my opponent has no powers, no supporters and can't even attack, I should be in pretty good shape, no?

    And as Magmortar can OHKO Gyarados with 6 energy, Gyarados can OHKO Magmortar with 4 (and with any luck, discard opponent's hand). Magmortar is relatively fast compared to this, so Scramble will propably be in this deck's favor... and if Magmortar is not leading against Gyarados, the comeback does sound a bit hard.

    Don't worry though, I will certainly do some intensive testing of the magmortar match-up when I get the decklist for this straightened up.
  10. Darkwalker

    Darkwalker New Member

    If you want to lock a Holon Stadium in the best choice would be Holon Lake. As stated above, a few counters to Pidgeot d have already been mentioned. Those being Latilock (which is unlikely now, but maybe not in the future) and a simple Battle Frontier. Another that can be easily teched into Gardy decks is Gardevoir Ex d. Pideot does nothing to it at all and then it imprisons your Pideot so it won't bother the rest of the deck as well. Gardevoir Ex d is also pretty amusing to use on a Gyrados.
  11. Muscovy Level X

    Muscovy Level X New Member

    It's a good article, but there's somethings to concider.

    First off, this is more of a deck with an empty slot for a few red face paint cards. You won't get big results for any deck designed specificaly to take out everything else. Try building it around specific Pokemon lines.
    Also, if you're talking of a "holon engine", you should at least mention the Ampharos d/Fearow d/Holon lake setup. An engine is more of a speeding yourself up plan, not slowing down your opponent. This is more of a red face paint deck base.
    But don't get discouraged.
  12. vanderbilt_grad

    vanderbilt_grad New Member

    Actually Cloyster d does *not* stop Dusknoir. Cloyster d prevents all effects of attacks. Dusknoir hurts the bench by using a power. However it does prevent Bring Down and Mag's snipes.
  13. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    vanderbilt_grad: Yep, Pidgeot d is the one that stops Dusknoir, Cloyster just protects Pidgeot from being attacked. So both powers and all effects of attacks are stopped.

    DarkWalker: Actually, Holon Legacy can be teched in if that Gardevoir Ex d seems like a threat... But Lake should definitely be number one option, if no other stadium is drastically needed (ie. Crystal Beach, Lake Boundary).

    Muscory Lv. X: Well, there is some speeding up elements, like Milotic delta and using masses of Wagers to get to use your opponent's supporters, but you're right about this being more of a deck base than engine in a traditional sense. Maybe it's more of a break instead? Ampharos d with Fearow d and Holon Lake sounds pretty interesting, though maybe a bit overcomplitated: something like Nidoqueen d does the same thing except for Pokémon searching by attack. You would need Pidgeot d to take an advantage of Ampharos, and having 2 thick Stage 2 lines in which neither should attack sounds a bit overcomplicated. Holon Lake I will take into account, though.

    Actually, in current metagame, you can't really build a deck without thinking it's matchups to the two bigs - Magmortar and GG. Otherwise you would actually see Bastidion decks around. This engine/deck base handles the matchup by shutting off their powers, as powers are pretty much what makes good deck to a great one. You can play Magmortar or Gallade with this engine if you feel like it,

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