Flygon / Machamp aka "FlyChamp" I am not the original creator of the deck, and definitely not the best player with it, but I have had a lot of success with it this season. I've been wanting to write an article for some time now, and feel that posting this article right before Cities will help new players learn about one of the most successful decks currently in the format. Let's not keep you waiting. Onto the article! Article by: Ann-Marie T. Title: FlyChamp Date: October 31, 2009 Latest set released: Platinum: Arceus Current Format: DP-on The Decklist: Pokémon: 26 4 Trapinch SW 1 Vibrava SW 1 Vibrava RR 3 Flygon RR 1 Flygon LV.X 2 Machop SF 1 Machoke SF 2 Machamp SF 1 Machamp LV.X 2 Baltoy 2 Claydol 1 Nidoran F [RR] 1 Nidoqueen RR 1 Chatot MD 1 Unown G 1 Uxie 1 Azelf Trainers: 22 4 Bebe's Search 4 Roseanne's Research 4 Poké Drawer + 4 Rare Candy 2 Memory Berry 1 Premier Ball 1 Palmer's Contribution 1 Night Maintenance 1 Luxury Ball Energy: 12 5 Fighting Energy 4 Call Energy 2 Psychic Energy 1 Upper Energy Pokémon: First up, we have Trapinch from Secret Wonders. He has two very useful attacks for early and late game disruption. His first attack, Inviting Trap, allows you to bring up one of your opponent's Benched Pokémon to the Active position - like maybe a Claydol - for only 1 [C] Energy! Sand Tomb, his second attack, does only 10 damage for 1 [F] Energy... but you don't use Sand Tomb for just the damage. Sand Tomb prevents the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent's next turn. Do you see the synergy with Inviting Trap and Sand Tomb now? I play 4 Trapinch over 3 so I can always sacrifice one at the beginning of the game, if need be. Playing 4 Trapinch also helps when I am making a Night Maintenance choice. Next up we have Trapinch's evolution, Vibrava. Two Vibrava are needed in order to get consistently to your Flygon, without relying solely on Rare Candy. I play one of each of the currently modified Vibrava. Why? There are several reasons. Vibrava from Secret Wonders receives free retreat from Flygon's Rainbow Float, whereas Vibrava RR does not. The Vibrava from Secret Wonders also has a nice spread attack for only 1 [F] Energy to soften your opponent's Pokémon up for Flygon's Power Swing. I play one of the Vibrava from Rising Rivals solely for its first, and best attack: Energy Typhoon. Late game after you've Knocked Out a lot of your opponent's Pokémon and maybe they've retreated a few times is the best time to use Energy Typhoon. For only 1 [C] Energy, Energy Typhoon does 20 damage for each energy in your opponent's discard pile. That usually guarantees one Knock Out every game with Energy Typhoon (unless you are playing against a deck that uses very few energy, like Gyarados). I only play two Vibrava because I feel only 3 Stage 1's should be played in a stage 2 deck if said deck uses Broken Time-Space. And finally we're at Flygon. Flygon is the main Pokémon in the deck. He has a nice 120 HP, free Retreat, an amazing Poké-Body and two very fearsome attacks. Flygon has Resistance to Lightning-type Pokémon which is very helpful with all of the Luxray decks running around. First off, Flygon has a very intriguing Poké-Body called Rainbow Float. Rainbow Float gives your Pokémon free Retreat, as long as Flygon has a Basic Energy card attached to him that is the same type as said Pokémon. This means that every card in your deck (excluding Vibrava RR) can have free Retreat. Rainbow Float allows for Flygon to play many different techs, such as Nidoqueen, Dusknoir, Palkia LV.X and so on. Flygon has two attacks: Sand Wall and Power Swing. His first attack, Sand Wall, does 40 damage for 2 [C] Energy. That may not sound too impressive, but if you keep reading you'll see Flygon has a chance to get immunity for a turn! When you use Sand Wall, if your opponent has a Stadium card in play you get to discard it and in turn you get full immunity during your opponent's next turn. That means no effects of attacks or damage can touch Flygon that turn! His second attack, Power Swing, starts out with a base 60 damage for 3 [C] Energy. Power Swing does 60 damage plus ten more damage for each evolved Pokémon on your Bench. That means Power Swing will usually be swinging [/bad pun] for 90-100 damage each turn. Ah.. here we are. Flygon LV.X was a very hyped up card before Rising Rivals was released, and for good reasons. Flygon LV.X has a beefy 140 HP, free Retreat, one epic attack and another amazing Poké-Body. Flygon LV.X's Poké-Body, Wind Erosion, is just mean. Each time Flygon is active in-between turns, the top card from your opponent's deck is discarded. By the time it is your turn again, 3 cards from your opponent's deck are gone: first discard, drawn card, second discard! Wind Erosion can be brutal if they cannot get key cards into their hand quickly, such as Night Maintenance and Warp Point. Not only is his Poké-Body brutal, his attack is quite strong. Extreme Attack allows you to hit one of your opponent's Pokémon Level X for 150 damage, and it only takes 3 [C] Energy! Not too shabby, not too shabby. Only a select few Pokémon Level X cards can withstand that kind of damage, and if you've used Vibrava SW's Sand Wind attack earlier, I doubt any Level X will survive. That's it for the Flygon lineup. Now onto the deck's secondary attacker... Machamp! There are currently two Machop in the modified format, and Machop SF is the one I have chosen to play. Why? Early game if you start with it and cannot get a Flygon out with a Fighting Energy, you can easily retreat with Machop SF's 1 [C] Retreat. Machop from Diamond and Pearl on the other hand has a 2 [C] Retreat Cost. Machop has 60 HP and his attacks are okay, but hopefully you'll never be attacking with him. I play 2 because I believe having a 2-1-2 line of Machamp vs. SP decks is better than a 1-0-1. Next we have Machop's evolution: Machoke. The SF Machoke is superior to the Diamond and Pearl Machoke because his energy costs are less. There isn't really much to say about him, as you shouldn't ever be attacking with him anyways. Here we are: Machamp SF. Machamp has caused a lot of problems for SP decks, and it being with Flygon is no different. Machamp has a good 130 HP and three attacks. His first attack, Take Out, is why I play him with Flygon. Take Out normally does 40 damage for 1 [F] Energy, but if the Defending Pokémon is not an Evolved Pokémon it is automatically Knocked Out. Obviously Unown G can render Take Out useless, but SP decks can only play so many Unown G. Machamp's second attack is called Hurricane Punch. For 2 [C] Energy you flip 4 coins. For each heads, you do 30 damage. A pretty risky attack, but on average you should hit 2 heads each time. Hopefully you won't have to use this attack often, as Machamp should be brought out mainly against SP decks and just use Take Out. His third attack is called Rage. For 2 [F] Energy and 2 [C] Energy, Rage does 60 damage plus 10 more damage for each damage counter on Machamp. You shouldn't be using Rage in a match, as you'd probably rather be attaching to your Flygon. There isn't too much to say about Machamp LV.X. He has a solid 150 HP and a very dangerous Poké-Body called No Guard. No Guard allows Machamp's attacks to do 60 more damage to the Defending Pokémon, but your opponent's Pokémon do 60 more damage to Machamp LV.X, too. Machamp LV.X usually guarantees you at least one Knock Out a game. Take Out does 100 damage, and two heads on Hurricane Punch would do 120 damage. You do have to be careful when you Level Up to him, though, as he'll usually die the next turn. He has one attack called Strong Willed, and it's usually a last ditch effort to survive. Strong-Willed does 20 damage (80 because of No Guard!) and gives Machamp a chance to survive during your opponent's next turn. During your opponent's next turn, if Machamp would be Knocked Out by damage from an attack, you get to flip a coin. If heads, you'll survive with 10 damage, but if tails... you die. I prefer playing the Great Encounters Baltoy over the new Supreme Victors because of Psychic Balance. If you're under Power lock and cannot get to your Chatot, Psychic Balance is a nice way to draw a few cards. I play 2 Baltoy because I play 2 Claydol! I really don't know what to say about him. Pretty much every deck uses him, and Flygon is no different. Cosmic Power lets you put up to cards on the bottom of your deck and draw until you have six cards. Claydol is important to have a consistent deck. Nidoran F.. not too much to say. I chose to use the Nidoran F from Rising Rivals over Mysterious Treasures because she has 10 more HP. Nidoran F is really just needed for Nidoqueen. Ah.. here we go. Nidoqueen form Rising Rivals has made her way into many competitive Stage 2 decks. Why? Because of her Poké-Body, Maternal Comfort. Inbetween turns, Maternal Comfort heals one damage counter off of each of your Pokémon! That is a very useful Poké-Body to have when you have free Retreat. You can alternate between your Flygon, letting them each heal a turn or two. Nidoqueen has two attacks: Mega Punch and Ruthless Tail. Mega Punch does 40 damage for 1 [P] which is a good amount of damage for 1 Energy. Ruthless Tail does 50 damage, plus ten more damage for each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon - for 1 [P] Energy and 2 [C] Energy! With Upper Energy, you can use Ruthless Tail a lot quicker if you need yet another attacker. A 1-0-1 line is all I'd suggest running. Chatot MD has an amazing attack for a total of... 0 Energy! For no Energy, you can use Mimic. Mimic allows you to shuffle your hand into your deck and draw cards equal to the amount of cards in your opponent's hand. Chatot MD is generally used when you are under Power lock and need a new hand, or if you just have a cruddy hand. Unown G... gotta love this card, don't you (unless you're a Gengar player)? Unown G is used for his GUARD Poké-Power. GUARD allows you to attach Unown G to one of your Pokémon, and it protects that Pokémon from all effects of attacks (excluding damage) done by your opponent's Pokémon to it. You really only need one of these, and that is for the Gengar matchup. Just Unown G your Claydol and you're good to go. Uxie has a very nice Poké-Power called Set Up. Set Up allows you to draw cards until you have 7 cards in your hand. Uxie is very useful early game when you need cards quickly to set up your field. I suggest running 1 if your meta is not huge on Power lock. Otherwise, I'd take it out for a second Luxury Ball or even a Ditto LA. Azelf is a very useful Pokémon when you run a lot of 1-of cards. Azelf's Time-Walk Poké-Power allows you to look at all of your Prize Cards and choose a Pokémon you find there. You then get to put that Pokémon in your hand and replace the Prize Card with something else from your hand. Time Walk is very useful if you have your Flygon LV.X prized, or a Nidoran F / Nidoqueen prized. Trainers: Bebe's Search - Bebe's Search is a staple card used in just about every deck. It allows you to put on card back into your deck and search out any one Pokémon you need. Aside from just searching out any Pokémon you need, by placing a card on top of your deck, you can reduce the amount of damage a Gengar's Poltergeist will hit you for-- or you can increase the amount of cards a Uxie's Set Up or Claydol's Cosmic Power will get you. 4 Bebe's Search are very helpful to get our your Claydol and Flygon throughout the game! I suggest running 4. Roseanne's Research - This card should be pretty self explanatory as to why it's in here. And if not I'll go ahead and explain why. Roseanne's Research allows you to go into your deck and choose a combination of two Basic Pokémon, two Basic Energy cards or one of each. Roseanne's is a staple in pretty much every deck, just like Bebe's Search. I suggest running 4. Poké Drawer + - I really like Poké Drawer +. If you play two Poké Drawer + at the same time, you can search your deck for any two cards you want! Some people prefer playing Cynthia's Feelings over Poké Drawer +, and that's fine. Poké Drawer + may also lose some of its effectiveness with the new Spiritomb, too. Either you play 4 of this card or none. Rare Candy - I don't think I've seen a Stage 2 deck without at least 3 of these. Rare Candy speeds up evolution decks immensely. Rare Candy allows you to skip over the Stage 1 card, meaning you can go Trapinch --> Rare Candy --> Flygon! I suggest running 4 of these. Memory Berry - Memory Berry is one of the best cards that a Flygon deck can possibly have, in my opinion. Memory Berry can be attached to one of your Pokémon, allowing that Pokémon to use any attacks from its previous evolution(s). Memory Berry is a key card to the Flygon "deck out" strategy. You attach Memory Berry to one of your Flygon (and Level Up, of course) and can use Inviting Trap / Sand Tomb to deck your opponent. Some people prefer playing other cards in their Flygon/Machamp deck, but I don't think I can bring myself to play a Flygon variant that doesn't use this card. I'd suggest running two Memory Berry. Premier Ball - This card is definitely needed, in my opinion. Premier Ball allows you to search your deck or your discard pile for any LV.X of your choice. This proves very helpful when you still need to play another Supporter during your turn and don't want to use a Bebe's Search on your LV.X. Or maybe, just maybe they were able to Knock Out one of your Level X's and you need to get it back as soon as possible. I recommend playing at least 1, but no more than 2. Palmer's Contribution - Palmer's Contribution is a beefed up Night Maintenance. Palmer's Contribution allows you to put a combination of up to 5 Pokémon / Basic Energy cards from your Discard Pile back into your deck. The downside to Palmer's Contribution, is unlike Night Maintenance, Palmer's Contribution is a supporter. I suggest running 1. Night Maintenance - Night Maintenance is a staple in every deck. Night Maintenance allows you to search your Discard Pile for a combination of up to 3 Pokémon / Basic Energy cards and return them to your deck. As stated above, unlike Palmer's Contribution, Night Maintenance is a Trainer card, meaning you can play it and then another Supporter card that same turn. I suggest running 1 Night Maintenance and 1 Palmer's Contribution. If you're not a fan of Palmer's Contribution, though, play 2 Night Maintenance. Luxury Ball - Luxury Ball.. used in every deck, just about. Luxury Ball allows you to search you deck for one Pokémon of your choice (excluding Pokémon LV.X) and put it into your hand. Luxury Ball is a Trainer card, too, so you can still play a Supporter that turn, too! Unfortunately, if a Luxury Ball is already in your Discard Pile, you cannot play another one. For that reason I suggest running 1 Luxury Ball only. Energy: Fighting Energy - I suggest playing 5 Fighting Energy because Machamp, Sand Tomb and Sand Wind all require at least one Fighting Energy. Attaching a Fighting Energy to Flygon is also the key to giving your Claydol and Machamp free Retreat. Call Energy - Definitely run 4 of these. If Call Energy is attached to your Active Pokémon, it allows you to search your deck for any two Basic Pokémon and play them onto your Bench. Call Energy can turn a bad start, such as an Azelf, into a decent start. Unfortunately, Call Energy ends your turn. Psychic Energy - I know most people prefer playing 1 Psychic Energy, but I play two so I can give Nidoqueen free Retreat by attaching one to a Flygon, and attaching the other to the Nidoqueen so she can attack. Playing two also helps if one is prized. Upper Energy - Upper Energy can be a very useful Energy card in decks that use 2 [C] Energy. When you are behind on prizes attached and Upper Energy is attached to a Pokémon (non-LV.X), it provides 2 [C] Energy! Most people play 2 or 3 Upper Energy in their Flygon decks, but I never seem to be behind on prizes often enough to warrant playing more than 1 Upper Energy. Other Techs/Options: Flygon is one of the most, if not the most, versatile cards in the format. Between his Poké-Body giving most of your Pokémon free Retreat, and hitting Pokémon LV.X for 150 damage, you can just just about anything with him. I've seen people playing Ariados MT, Palkia LV.X, Mewtwo LV.X, Dusknoir, Machamp, Gengar, Nidoqueen and even Gardevoir with him! Here are some other techs you can play with him, besides Machamp. Reminder: Be sure to tech accordingly to your metagame. Palkia LV.X - Palkia LV.X's Restructure Poké-Power can be very deadly with Flygon. Since Flygon gives all of its Pokémon free Retreat, you can freely use Restructure to drag up your opponent's Claydol / Azelf / big Retreat cost Pokémon, and Sand Tomb them. Restructure is just one of the ways to get past your opponent's Active Pokémon if it has Unown G attached. Mewtwo LV.X - Mewtwo LV.X combined with Flygon LV.X can be very deadly for all basic decks (SP, Shuppet donk) decks. Mewtwo LV.X's Poké-Body, Psybarrier, prevents all effects of attacks, including damage done to him by your opponent's Unevolved Pokémon. With Flygon LV.X's Extreme Attack, you shouldn't need to worry about Dialga G X countering Mewtwo LV.X. Ariados MT - Ariados MT is a decent tech, if you want to increase your opponent's Pokémon's Retreat cost by 1 [C] with Ariados MT's Poké-Body, Sticky. Although it does increase all of your Pokémon's Retreat Cost too, Flygon negates the effect. Ariados can be a nasty tech if played right, but be careful: If he is in play, none of your Flygon have free Retreat anymore. Gengar SF - Before Nationals, I had been testing Gengar SF with Flygon. Gengar SF can be useful by Shadow Rooming your opponent's Pokémon, forcing them to get rid of their Trainers earlier than expected, and to make your opponent try to avoid Fainting Spell. Having two Gengar in play allows you plenty of time to charge up some Flygon, especially if you have Nidoqueen out, healing them. Dusknoir DP - Dusknoir is a definite scare to play against. If your metagame is not heavy on Gengar, I'd suggest running 1-0-1 Dusknoir over 1-0-1 Nidoqueen because Dark Palming at the right moment can win games. Gardevoir - check here. Rhyperior DP - Although most Rhyperior/Flygon variants are just fun decks, I've seen a few at real tournaments. Rhyperior DP's Poké-Power, Earth Power, and Flygon LV.X's Poké-Body, Wind Erosion, both focus on one thing: decking your opponent quickly. Rhyperior probably isn't the best choice, for Flygon, but who knows? Maybe someone can get it to work consistently. Weavile SW - Weavile and Flygon make up the "Dark Flygon" variants. With Weavile's attack, Shadow Charge, you can search your deck for up to two Darkness Energy (Special or Basic!) and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you like. Weavile's Poké-Power, Dark Engage can then turn your Flygon into a Darkness Pokémon so you can gain the effect of Special Darkness Energy, and even it Gengar for Weakness! Weavile SW is generally used to speed Flygon up, but might become a key card in helping Flygon beat Gengar soon. Ditto LA - Ditto LA can be very helpful in the mirror match, allowing you to hit opposing Flygon for Weakness, while not being OHKO'd in the process. Ditto is also helpful against Gengar, allowing you to Shadow Room them for a KO! Mr. Mime MT- Mr. Mime is an amazing tech against Gyarados. Mr. Mime's Poké-Body, Airy Wall, prevents all damage done to Mr. Mime by your opponent's Pokémon that have 2 or less Energy cards attached to them. As you all know, Gyarados... usually won't have any. lol. Definitely play one if Gyarados is huge in your meta. Relicanth SV - Relicanth should be used for his Grand Swell attack. For only 1 [F] Energy, you may choose one of your opponent's Pokémon and hit them for 30 damage times the amount of Pokémon Tool cards and Stadium cards they have in play. With the release of Expert Belt, expect to be hitting for a lot of damage! Your opponent most likely won't have a Stadium card in play, but will have an Unown G or two in play, due to Inviting Trap! Flygon SW - Flygon SW is yet another card that helps you in the mirror match. With it being Fighting-type and not having Weakness to Flygon, you have another attacker that can hit a Flygon RR and not be OHKO'd in the process. His Poké-Body, Irritating Buzz, helps in the Gengar matchup by negating Nidoqueen's healing, or if they don't play Nidoqueen, Irritating Buzz can KO a Gengar inbetween turns, avoiding the Fainting Spell flip. Exploud SV - Exploud is a decent tech if your metagame is big on Flygon. He'd be used for his Poké-Body called Erasing Sound. Erasing Sound removes all of your Pokémon's Weaknesses. 2nd Luxury Ball - This helps up your consistency by drawing into it quicker. Cynthia's Feelings - Cynthia's Feelings can be played over Poké-Drawer + if you area is big on Power lock / SP decks, as Cynthia's Feelings will get you 8 new cards after they kill your Claydol. Bubble Coat - If you play Mewtwo LV.X, Bubble Coat helps ensure your win over SP decks that play Banette or Ninetales as a Mewtwo LV.X counter. They will only be able to hit you for 60 damage the first time, and then you will be able to OHKO them. Bubble Coat is also useful in the mirror match, erasing Flygon's Weakness for a turn. Matchups: Keep in mind that matchups are hardly ever accurate because everyone plays different and a lot of the time, it really depends on your opening hand. I'd suggest testing these yourself. I'm not going to argue with people over the matchups, so don't waste your time trying. Gengar/Nidoqueen (without Gengar LV.X): Favorable Honestly, if Gengar doesn't play the LV.X, then this is probably one of your easiest matchups. Once you get your Nidoqueen out and Unown G your Claydol, they cannot do much. You'll want to Level Up your Flygon RR and drag up their Claydol and Azelf to deck them. If they get out of the lock, it doesn't even matter. The only thing they can damage you with is Nidoqueen, which between your Nidoqueen, Flygon and other Flygon, you should be able to handle. Just keep your hand low on Trainers and play your turns fast and this matchup should be easy. Machamp shouldn't be needed in this matchup. Gengar/Nidoqueen (with Gengar LV.X): Unfavorable Gengar LV.X poses a huge problem to Flygon's decking out strategy. In this matchup, you're most likely going to have to just go all out and attack KO their Gengar, risking the flip. But hey, all good players take risks, right? This matchup is just like the one above, except you're not gonna be able to deck them. Gyarados: Favorable Gyarados needs to have Broken Time-Space in play, and Flygon's Sand Wall ruins that. Once they play Broken Time-Space, you can just Sand Wall and get immunity for a turn. If they play a Cyclone Energy or Warp Point, you can bring out a Mr. Mime if you play it. If not, just try to bring something out that can survive (like a Machamp). If they play down a Regice or Regirock, it's even easier to win. After they've used their Warp Points and Super Scoop Ups, you can Inviting Trap and Sand Tomb it. Note: If the Gyarados deck uses Rare Candy over Broken Time-Space... the matchup becomes unfavorable for Flygon. Beedrill: Unfavorable Even if you play Dusknoir DP in your Flygon build, Beedrill is still tough to beat. They outspeed you greatly and can OHKO you. You'll need to focus on Dark Palming their Beedrill RR and bringing up their Claydol to deck them. If you don't play Dusknoir DP, you're most likely going to lose if they play 3 Warp Point. Blaziken/Luxray: Favorable This matchup is favorable because of Machamp or Mewtwo LV.X if you play it. Machamp puts a lot of pressure on them to get their Unown G's attached quickly. Once you get out a Machamp, Flygon and Nidoqueen it becomes pretty hard for them to win. If you play Cynthia's Feelings over Poké-Drawer +, you shouldn't care about them killing your Claydol. If you play Mewtwo LV.X, focus on getting it up as quickly as possible. Watch out for Ninetales, though, as it can OHKO a Flygon or Mewtwo LV.X. Five-God-Dragon (FGD): Unfavorable This is a very tough matchup. Gardevoir can Power lock you and hit Machamp for Weakness. Gardevoir can also come out and attack your Flygon and most likely not get OHKO'd back. If they play Dusknoir DP and Gallade, you're pretty much screwed. An Exploud SV tech could make this matchup even, but even then a Gallade can still OHKO two of your Flygon. In conclusion... Flygon is a very versatile and awesome card. Thank you guys for reading this article. I hope it helped you learn more about Flygon and hopefully you know what you're gonna play for Cities... :wink:.