I Double Theme Decks: Improving Through Double-Decking

Discussion in 'Cards: Strategy and Rulings Discussion' started by MegaVelocibot, May 3, 2011.

  1. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Well, I feel a bit silly. Had this sitting all typed up on my computer, but forgot to post it. Iron Tide and Stone Heart coming up soon!

    Heavy Winds (Double-Storm Rider)
    Pokémon: 24
    2 Dragonite
    4 Dragonair
    4 Dratini
    4 Exeggutor
    4 Exeggcute
    2 Skarmory

    Trainers: 24
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Revive
    2 Steven
    4 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Trainers' Mail
    2 Ultra Ball
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    10 Grass Energy
    4 Lightning Energy
    2 Double Dragon Energy

    Strategy: This version of the deck is meant to focus on Dragonite. Exeggutor is a decent secondary attacker, made much better if you happen to go against an opponent with a deck featuring mostly Colorless-type Pokemon.

    Zapdos was excluded for the heavy emphasis on Lightning Energy needed for it to attack, which goes against Dragonite's needs for primarily Grass Energy. If you would prefer something more focused on Zapdos, consider the following:

    Thunderbomb (Double-Storm Rider)
    Pokémon: 22
    4 Zapdos
    4 Electrode
    4 Voltorb
    3 Manectric
    3 Electrike
    2 Skarmory

    Trainers: 24
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Revive
    2 Steven
    4 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Trainers' Mail
    2 Ultra Ball
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    16 Lightning Energy
    ______________________________

    Hailfire Peaks (Double-Aurora Blast)
    Pokémon: 21
    4 Articuno
    2 Victini
    2 Salamence
    4 Shelgon
    4 Bagon
    2 Swellow
    3 Taillow

    Trainers: 22
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Revive
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    2 Steven
    2 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    2 Ultra Ball
    2 Wally
    2 Winona

    Energy: 19
    2 Double Dragon Energy
    8 Water Energy
    9 Fire Energy

    Strategy:
    The big basic of Articuno doesn't work all that well within the confines of this revised deck; Salamence prefers Fire Energy, as does Victini, while Articuno searches out Water. If you can get past that, and use your Professor's Letters to find the needed Fire Energy cards, the deck works smoothly enough. Don't go too far out of your way to try to get an extra Prize with Swellow, but if the opportunity presents itself near the end of the game, it's not that bad a plan.
     
  2. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    With the Battle Arena Deck lists being posted, here's a Double-Deck for the Mewtwo deck and the Darkrai deck side. One will later be added for the single-product Double-Deck and double-product Double deck.

    (Double-Mewtwo Deck)
    Pokémon: 15
    4 Mewtwo-EX
    2 Jynx
    2 Crobat
    2 Golbat
    3 Zubat
    2 Bouffalant (Revenge)

    Trainers: 31
    4 Professor Sycamore
    4 Shauna
    2 N
    2 AZ
    2 Vs. Seeker
    2 Devolution Spray
    3 Escape Rope
    2 Level Ball
    4 Pokémon Communication
    2 Professor's Letter
    4 Hard Charm

    Energy: 14
    10 Psychic Energy
    4 Double Colorless Energy

    (Double-Darkrai Deck)
    Pokémon: 15
    4 Darkrai-EX
    2 Zoroark
    2 Zoroark
    4 Zorua
    3 Sableye

    Trainers: 32
    4 Professor Sycamore
    2 N
    2 Lysandre
    2 Xerosic
    2 Skyla
    2 Tierno
    2 Random Receiver
    4 Ultra Ball
    4 Dark Patch
    2 Energy Switch
    2 Evosoda
    4 Muscle Band

    Energy: 13
    13 Darkness Energy
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  3. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    When Robots Attack (Double-Iron Tide)
    Pokémon: 20
    4 Metagross
    4 Metang
    4 Beldum
    2 Registeel
    2 Regice
    2 Gyarados
    2 Magikarp

    Trainers: 24
    2 Ace Trainer
    2 Escape Rope
    4 Healing Scarf
    2 Level Ball
    2 Lucky Helmet
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    10 Metal Energy
    6 Water Energy

    Strategy: Adjust the state of the board as often as needed with multiple Magnetic Warps. Regice and Registeel are solid enough to remain behind; Regice is somewhat more difficult to set up here than it is to do in decks with M Manectric-EX. Drawing isn't as fast as a deck like this would prefer, but Wally and Tierno help speed things up.

    ______________________________

    VVV (Double-Stone Heart)
    Pokémon: 21
    2 Virizion
    2 Vileplume
    3 Gloom
    4 Oddish
    2 Vespiquen
    2 Combee
    3 Ariados
    3 Spinarak

    Trainers: 23
    2 Ace Trainer
    2 Healing Scarf
    2 Level Ball
    2 Lucky Helmet
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    4 Professor's Letter
    1 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    16 Grass Energy

    Strategy: Try to get your Trainers played before you lock both sides down with Vileplume. Vespiquen's Ancient Trait is fun; if you can get both Lucky Helmets onto it, you draw 4 cards each time it is hit. If Bee Drain keeps it around, you may need to consider retreating to avoid decking out (running out of cards to draw in your deck). Virizion helps to come back from behind in tandem with Ace Trainer, while Ariados adds an extra bit of damage. Consider adding a thicker line of Vespiquen, if you can swap out the rare for the uncommon; the attacks of the uncommon better fit the "come back from behind" trend seen in this deck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  4. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Magnetic Levitation (Double-Burning Spark)
    Pokémon: 26
    4 Raichu
    4 Pikachu
    2 Magnezone
    4 Magneton
    4 Magnemite
    4 Stunfisk
    2 Dodrio
    2 Doduo

    Trainers: 20
    2 Fisherman
    2 Giovanni's Scheme
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Super Rod
    2 Skyla
    2 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 14
    14 Lightning Energy

    _______


    Un-bear-able Dreams and Nightmares (Double-Night Striker)
    Pokémon: 20
    2 Gengar
    4 Haunter
    4 Gastly
    2 Cresselia
    4 Ursaring
    4 Teddiursa

    Trainers: 24
    2 Fisherman
    2 Giovanni's Scheme
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Reserved Ticket
    2 Skyla
    2 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    16 Psychic Energy

    As a side-note, Zoroark is a great inclusion in the next, but you have to be willing to accept either no Darkness Energy for Zoroark to attack, or a chance of having Darkness Energy when most Pokémon in the deck do not need it. The simplest change is to swap out a 2-2 line of Ursaring to include a 2-2 Zoroark line. Also a good inclusion would be some Dimension Valley, to reduce the attack costs of Psychic Pokémon, as well as activating Cresselia's Ability.

    So, apparently I forgot that I had these double-decks finished, but never got around the strategic write-ups on them. Sorry for anyone who was waiting on these double decks. Will work on said write-ups in the near future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  5. vytieubao

    vytieubao New Member

    Arthropodology (Double-Night Striker)
     
  6. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Hopscotch (Double-Wave Slasher)
    Pokémon: 22
    4 Greninja
    4 Frogadier
    4 Froakie
    2 Golduck
    2 Psyduck
    2 Slowking
    4 Slowpoke

    Trainers: 22
    2 Fighting Fury Belt
    2 Great Ball
    2 Misty's Determination
    4 Potion
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    16 Water Energy

    _______

    Conductivity (Double-Electric Eye)
    Pokémon: 22
    4 Luxray
    4 Luxio
    4 Shinx
    2 Zebstrika
    3 Blitzle
    2 Meowstic
    3 Espurr

    Trainers: 22
    2 Fighting Fury Belt
    2 Great Ball
    2 Max Elixir
    2 Misty's Determination
    2 Potion
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    12 Lightning Energy
    4 Psychic Energy
     
  7. Tokunaga Minoru

    Tokunaga Minoru New Member

    Hello guys!

    My college friends invited me to play TCG with them, so I need some suggestions about what deck I should build. I saw in several places that the best options for beginners are Resilient Life, Destruction Rush, Dark Hammer, Enchanted Echo or the news Wave Slasher and Electric Eye. So, what do you guys think?
     
  8. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Recently, I have been asked the same question offline, so I'll tell you what I told them (though in more detail):
    Yearly, Pokémon does something called a "rotation", swapping out most of the oldest cards out of tournament play, to make room for some new ones released over the course of that next year. An exception is made for cards reprinted during any of the new sets that have been reprinted; i.e. even if the art is different, if the card text is the same. An example of this would be Yveltal from XY. If XY were to be rotated come September, you could still use the Yveltal from the Destruction Rush theme deck, because that Yveltal was reprinted in the Generations set of booster packs. (It's part of a subset, the Radiant Collection 2, found within.)

    Resilient Life had been my go-to Double-Deck suggestion of choice for 2015, for a few reasons. Xerneas is a great Pokémon to start with for its Geomancy attack, and Aromatisse was great for rearranging the Fairy Energy it put into play. The Double-Deck was very flexible for beginners, had an uncommon Weakness (Metal), and attacking Pokémon with pretty good HP (outside of having an Pokémon-EX, the HP is pretty high by comparison). As 2016 started, my concerns for Xerneas' chance of staying in the format have led me to consider the newest theme decks, the ones least likely to be rotated for one or two years.

    So, what double-decks as of late do I like? I will list the pros and cons of the ones that find favor with me, and leave the ultimate decision to you.

    So long as things do not go downhill too quickly, Stone Heart has some nice come-from-behind mechanics going on for it. Ace Trainer and Virizion penalize your opponents for drawing more Prize cards than you have. If it had the uncommon Vespiquen instead of the rare one, this aspect of the deck would have been further enhanced; as it does not, that makes things a bit tricker. This Double-Deck loudly screams "I want Forest of Giant Plants", and it would be up to you to get them, be it by trade or singles purchase. The draw power of this deck is surprisingly decent, given the multiple Lucky Helmet and Tierno.

    Burning Spark gives the opportunity to play an EX-targeting Raichu line, offer free Retreat Costs with Dodrio, the chance to break the "one Energy per turn" rule with Magnezone, and a chance to reuse Pokémon and Energy with Super Rod and Fisherman. To its disservice, the dekc lacks strong draw cards, having only two each of Giovanni's Cheme and Tierno.

    Last, and most recent, of my suggestions would be Wave Slasher. Slowpoke is an effective starting Pokémon, so long as you can get two Energy onto it to start searching Pokémon out of your deck. (Fighting Fury Belt can help it stick around a bit longer, thanks to the added HP.) Frogadier is also great for swarming the rest out of your deck, but relies on you having not filled out your Bench too much for maximum efficiency. Slowking can slow down and frustrate your opponent's set up, by moving Energy to Pokémon that would not benefit from it. If I could make any suggestions for inexpensive additions, they would be for Dive Ball and Rough Seas.

    To summarize my opinion, Wave Slasher seems to be the most proactive Double-Deck, and seems to be the most beginner-friendly in terms of its Energy costs for attacks. Burning Spark's Double-Deck is very reliant on the Magnezone, but if you get it set up, things tend to get much more flexible with in-game options. Stone Heart's Double-Deck can lock your opponent (and yourself) out of Items, slowing them down, but usually not in time to be very effective without Forest of Giant Plants.
     
  9. Tokunaga Minoru

    Tokunaga Minoru New Member

    Man, first of all, I want to thank you for spending your time developing this brilliant answer to an unpretentious question. I met this topic around 2014, on my first attempt to start playing TCG (which ended up in nothing), and I'm sure it has helped and will help many people. Congratulations and thank you (again), really.

    Well, I installed TCGO and bought some Themes to test before buying them for real (I was really surprised at the initial ease of getting tokens). So far, I got two copies of Dark Hammer and a single copy of Wave Slasher.

    I didn't care much about the rotation at first, 'cause the original intention was to play only with friends, but playing online aroused some interest in me, so I'd better try something that lasts longer in the format, right?

    I liked to play with the Dark Hammer using Pangoro/Scrafty, although it wasn't as consistent as a pure Fighting with Machamp and something about the deck seems “strange” to me, I don't know why.

    Even though I haven't experienced the Double Wave Slasher yet, I loved use Greninja/Slowking, even with the Grass-types messing up most of the time. Before reading your answer, I was almost certain to give him a chance in real life.

    About Burning Spark, the idea of relying on Magnezone did not sound very good, while Stone Heart caught my attention 'cause it seems to be reactive rather than proactive.

    I know that the final decision is mine, but honestly, I couldn't make up my mind yet, because everything looks cool at first sight. I'm between Stone Heart and Wave Slasher, which one do you think plays better with some minor changes?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  10. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Glad to have been of assistance throughout the years. I know that I pass on information about the thread to players at my League about the thread, especially parents of the younger kids who might get discouraged about losing matches after bringing their theme deck against some of the tougher competition that can show up. Some people care, some don't, regarding the rotation. I figured the point was important enough to bring up, because some people don't think about it, then are surprised when people at their League start talking about it.

    I forgot to mention this in the thread, but yes, the TCGO is a fantastic resource for testing how the double-decks work. With enough play against other players (especially in the Versus/Theme Deck mode that puts most players on rather equal ground), tokens can let you double-deck in the other modes without spending the money on a second deck of physical cards.

    Using the second Double-Deck list I made for Dark Hammer, Machamp tends to be a good powerhouse of the deck, adding support through its Ability. If one only runs Fighting (or Strong) Energy, having the right type on Machamp tends not to be a problem, rather, it becomes one of quantity. Three can sometimes be a tough number to build up to against other players, especially with Lysandre making targets of things you thought were safe. Landorus helps in this respect, so long as you can get Energy into the discard pile, made easier with Professor Sycamore. Mienshao helps to fill out the deck, in this case.

    Analyzing the Pokémon of Dark Hammer, Pangoro is okay if you can set up its second attack, which prefers access to Double Colorless Energy. Pancham's Bad Influence Evolution is useful to help that happen, but requires more Darkness-type Pokémon to be played in the deck. Scrafty is a fun flippy attacker, helped by Trick Coin (for better odds of good damage on Machine Gun Headbutt) or Sparkling Robe (to prevent Confusion). There was one player at my League that did something even more amusing: they used Heavy Boots (+20 HP, and can't be Confused, but only works on a Pokémon with a Retreat Cost of 3+) and Team Aqua's Secret Base to add an Energy to its Retreat Cost (in addition to that of all Pokémon in play that were not Team Aqua Pokémon). Double Crisis cards, however, do tend to be a bit difficult to get the right ones of, exclusing purchasing singles.

    If my collection of cards were stripped away, having only the money for two theme decks, with the only thing in stock being Stone Heart and Wave Slasher, I would lean towards the Wave Slasher theme deck. Its low-Energy attack costs help speed the deck along, and while Fighting Fury Belt may not be hugely effective in the list I provide, it certainly helps if you find a Water or Colorless-type Pokémon-EX (or high-HP Basic) to slip into the deck to use it with. Trying the deck out with Dive Ball and some of the other associated cards mentioned may help your experiences with it. With a bit of looking around and enough tinkering, you can see how lovely Greninja (and its associated BREAK Evolution) can be.

    That said... there is one more deck I would consider: the new Sky Guardian theme deck coming out. This would be my double-deck list for it:

    Firewall (Double-Sky Guardian)
    Pokémon: 22
    2 Delphox
    4 Braixen
    4 Fennekin
    2 Moltres
    4 Lugia
    2 Snorlax
    4 Kangaskhan

    Trainers: 22
    2 Energy Pouch
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    4 Professor's Letter
    4 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Ultra Ball
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    16 Fire Energy

    Strategy: The name of the game here is big Basic Pokémon. With Lugia, Kangaskhan, and Moltres sitting at 120 HP, and Snorlax boasting 140 HP, you may buy yourself some time to get Delphox's second attack set up. Advice for improvement would first, and foremost, be replacing four Fire Energy with Double Colorless. Every final Evolution can take advantage of the extra turn saved for one of its attacks. Another useful pair of cards would be Scorched Earth, reprinted in this set, and Blacksmith, capable of attaching the discarded Fire Energy to Delphox or Moltres.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  11. Tokunaga Minoru

    Tokunaga Minoru New Member

    I think that I found this topic looking for some Frost Ray improvements, and talk about rotation was important, I had completely forgotten about it.

    Well, I can afford some mentioned singles, except Greninja BREAK (a single copy of it is like 1.5x the price of the entire deck). The way you say, seems that Stone Heart is a better option than Wave Slasher if I have access to other cards, right? Or it was just an impression?

    About the Sky Guardian, may you have a list of linked-cards or something like that so I can look at the cards? I found nothing about it on Bulbapedia.
     
  12. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Better is a difficult adjective to use in this case, given the decks have two very different playstyles. The doubled Grass-focused Stone Heart is about locking the opponent's Items down, while the doubled Water-focused Wave Slasher rapidly sets up low-Energy Greninja while reducing the opponent's chances of attacking with Slowking. What is better depends on how you prefer to play; I am simply offering options and suggestions based on the cards provided in those decks. What works better for me is the doubled Wave Slasher, but again, that is how I prefer to play.

    List from Bulbapedia or Pokebeach.
     
  13. Tokunaga Minoru

    Tokunaga Minoru New Member

    So I'll take the Double Stone Heart, because I think a defensive style suits me. Any other suggestions than Uncommon Vespiquen and Forest of Giant Plants? Man, I can't believe that I haven't found the link yesterday...
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  14. Moreira

    Moreira New Member

    Taking the cue about improvements, what do you guys think about -2 Fighting Fury Belt, -2 Great Ball, -2 Misty's Determination, -4 Potion and +4 Dive Ball, +2 Rough Seas, +4 Professor Sycamore on Wave Slasher deck? Is Sycamore overkill when we have Shauna and Tierno? Maybe it's a newbie mistake, but I don't think that Great Ball and Misty's Determination are good searchers, 'cause the first can only search for Basic Pokémon (I'm not running any big guy) and the second can only dig 8 cards in the deck (ok, it's pretty good). And what do you think about Golduck chain? The only purpose is remove a Special Energy?
     
  15. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Great Ball is any Pokémon, not just Basic. That said, yes, both are weak cards. Without a Sacred Ash to recover Pokémon, Sycamore may end up being overkill, but the best advice is to try it and see. Make changes according to your playstyle, see what works and what doesn't.
     
  16. Moreira

    Moreira New Member

    My fault, I read only the first textbox on Bulba and didn't realize that the card have erratas. Well, I'm downloading TCGO right now to test it too. I'll come back to comment if something relevant appears.
     
  17. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Strangely, though I remember making it, it seems I never posted the other double-deck/s.

    Two-Thirds of a Yardstick (Double-Battle Ruler)
    Pokémon: 16
    4 Zygarde
    2 Lucario
    4 Riolu
    2 Carbink
    4 Hawlucha
    4 Shuckle

    Trainers: 24
    2 Energy Pouch
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    2 Potion
    4 Professor's Letter
    4 Shauna
    4 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 20
    20 Fighting Energy

    I would almost prefer the other Carbink, the common with Safeguard, though that would not be too hard of a card to find and include. Most of the deck is simple, no-frills damage.

    Snakes In a Can (Double-Battle Ruler)
    Pokémon: 22
    2 Serperior
    4 Servine
    4 Snivy
    4 Wormadam
    4 Burmy
    4 Shuckle

    Trainers: 22
    2 Energy Pouch
    2 Pokémon Fan Club
    4 Professor's Letter
    4 Shauna
    4 Switch
    4 Tierno
    2 Wally

    Energy: 16
    16 Grass Energy

    Surprisingly, the other Servine provide a use in this deck, even if they can't evolve to Serperior, by activating their Ability. The deck begs for Forest of Giant Plants and other draw-acceleration, as well as Serperior's most potent partner, Ariados, for the dreaded Paralysis and Poison that was formerly handled by Accelgor in the Black and White format.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  18. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    A few decklists coming in, with strategies to be fleshed out later.

    Pokémon: 22
    4 Volcanion
    3 Klinklang
    4 Klang
    4 Klink
    3 Persian
    4 Meowth

    Trainers: 22
    4 Energy Retrieval
    2 Evosoda
    2 Ninja Boy
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Ultra Ball

    Energy: 16
    6 Fire Energy
    10 Metal Energy

    _______________________

    Pokémon: 18
    4 Volcanion
    2 Pyroar
    4 Litleo
    4 Rapidash
    4 Ponyta

    Trainers: 24
    4 Energy Retrieval
    2 Evosoda
    4 Ninja Boy
    2 Pokémon Center Lady
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Ultra Ball

    Energy: 18
    18 Fire Energy

    _______________________

    Pokémon: 22
    2 Galvantula
    4 Joltik
    4 Ampharos
    4 Flaaffy
    4 Mareep
    4 Hawlucha

    Trainers: 22
    4 Energy Retrieval
    2 Evosoda
    4 Ninja Boy
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Ultra Ball

    Energy: 16
    16 Lightning Energy

    _______________________

    Pokémon: 22
    4 Hoopa
    4 Drifblim
    4 Drifloon
    3 Ambipom
    3 Aipom
    4 Hawlucha

    Trainers: 22
    4 Energy Retrieval
    2 Evosoda
    4 Ninja Boy
    4 Professor's Letter
    2 Shauna
    4 Tierno
    2 Ultra Ball

    Energy: 16
    16 Psychic Energy
     
  19. dungdn93

    dungdn93 New Member

    Not so much a cheat sheet much like homework, I hope so as well, related to the new players
     
  20. Zzango

    Zzango New Member

    Hello! I've been reading this thread for quite a while and I think I am going to start playing the game. Of the two current decks (Gears of Fire and Ring of Lightning) which one do you believe has a better opportunity fighting standard decks? I am not completely sure if Ampharos ability to hit EX pokemon is better to try and fight other players considering I only plan to play a double theme deck.

    Thanks in advance!
     

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