Ok, so I have watched the other threads for this deck and I have seen it ridiculed and called a "donkfest" and it can never win or beat the major decks. I am here to tell you that those statements are FALSE. This deck can win a game, not just based on "luck", but on the skill too. You have to place your energy correctly, know how many of each energy you have left in your deck, and know which cards you need to Night Maintenance back in. You have to be able to know exactly what energy are prized by the first or second time you search through your deck, as it can affect what is put back into your deck later in the game. Also, the fact is that this deck can outspeed over 65% of the current format right now and can stack up to the GG's and Magmortar's of the Pokemon world. So without further ado I give you Skittles.. Date: April 23, 2008 Author: Team M,Black Mamba, Mrdraz07 Deck: Skittles Format: Holon Phantoms- On The "Basic" Skittles List Pokemon: 20 4 Pachirisu GE 3 Togepi GE 2 Togetic GE 3 Togekiss GE 2 Baltoy GE 2 Claydol GE 3 Ho-oh SW 1 Duskull DP 1 Dusknoir DP Trainers: 21 3 Rare Candy 2 Master Ball 3 Bebe's Search 1 Scott 3 Crystal Beach 2 Team Galactic's Wager 2 Night Maintenance 2 Roseanne's Research 3 PlusPower Energy: 19 (You can do any combination that you wish) 3 Fire 2 Water 3 Psychic 2 Lightning 3 Fighting 2 Basic Dark 2 Basic Metal 2 Grass The "Advanced" Skittles list-Urban Skittles Pokemon-19 3x Togepi 1x Togetic 3x Togekiss 3x Ho-Oh 3x Sentret 2x Furret 1x Baltoy 1x Claydol 2 tech slots... 1-1 Crawdaunt EX/1-1 Lanturn PK/1-0-1 Dusknoir/etc. Trainers-21 3x Celio's Network 3x Rare Candy 2x Roseanne's Research 2x Crystal Beach 2x Windstorm OR 1x Windstorm 1x Cessation Crystal (There were times I really would've liked the tech cess) 2x Castaway 2x Strength Charm 2x Warp Point 1x Copycat 1x Prof. Rowan 1x Night Maintenance Energy-20 3x Fighting 3x Psychic 3x (tech energy type- water in my case) 2x other 5 basic energy types 1x Boost/Scramble (depends on tech) Strategy: There are several ways this deck can play out. Your first and foremost strategy is to find an opening hand combo that yields a Togekiss and Ho-Oh with 4 or more energy by turn 2 or 3, or possibly even turn 1 going second. There are no decks in the format that can easily handle this amount of damage this early in the game, so if you manage to get this start you usually win the game. Past turn 4 or 5, if you don’t have or no longer have a Ho-Oh with several energy, you will usually try to get another Ho-Oh or Togekiss attacking relatively soon, making sure you are recycling energy and KO’d Togekiss lines with Night Maintenance to give you inevitability. An important thing to know about this deck is that it takes a great amount of skill to win if you aren’t lucky enough to get a donk start or if your opponent can survive the donk, but it is no way impossible to win if the game gets past the opening plays. <img src="http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=31858" alt="010-Ho-Oh" /><img src="http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=33289" alt="011 Togekiss" /> Card choices/explanations: THE POKEMON: Ho-Oh (SW) This is the primary attacker during early game. For 4 energy, Rainbow Wing does 20 damage times the number of basic energy types attached to Ho-Oh. The big reason this deck ticks is that Ho-Oh is basic, making it the best choice for an energy sponge from Togekiss’ power because it can be fetched from Roseanne’s Research or Pachirisu’s Call for Friends attack. Ho-Oh also has a Poke-Power called Phoenix Turn, which lets you flip a coin if Ho-Oh gets KO’d. If you flip heads, Ho-Oh is not KO’d and you get to remove all damage counters and keep all energy attached to Ho-Oh. This power is an amazing help in a pinch, but is by no means something you should rely on. You only need 3 Ho-Oh because while it is the main attacker, you usually should only go through 2 of them in a long game, and while Ho-Oh starts aren’t bad, there are better starts to be had. Togekiss (GE) This is what makes the deck tick. Togekiss has a Poke-Power called Serene Grace, which says when you evolve one of your Pokemon to Togekiss from your hand, you may look at the top 10 cards of your deck, take any basic energy you find there, and attach them to your Pokemon in any way you like. The main hope here is that you can Rare Candy into a Togekiss within the first 3 turns of the game and attach 4+ energy to Ho-Oh to coast on Rainbow Wing for the game. If that doesn’t happen, however, have hope! The game is not over yet! If you only get 2 energy—or multiple energy of the same type—from Serene Grace, the mostcommon play is to attach them to your Togekiss then attach an energy for turn to use Togekiss’ attack Air Scroll. For 3 colorless energy, you are guaranteed 40 damage, then you flip a coin. If heads you add 30 damage, if tails you remove 3 damage counters from Togekiss. This attack does win games with either heads or tails flips. Pachirisu (GE) This is the preferred starter in the regular Skittles (Pachirisu/Claydol) version. First turn CFF nets you a great bench of Baltoy, Togepi and Ho-Oh, which gets your main attacker and half of your energy acceleration and draw/search set up on turn 1. A less important function of Pachirisu is to use Smash Short to get rid of Cessation Crystal, which is a nightmare against the deck because it shuts down all the powers that make the deck good (Serene Grace, Phoenix Turn, and Cosmic Power), but thankfully Cessation Crystal is not played in large quantities. Claydol (GE) This is your main source of draw in the Pachirisu/Claydol version of the deck. Having a lot of draw helps you “find the rainbow,” so to speak. There are so many situations where Claydol will help you find exactly what you need. In a pinch, it also becomes an attacker because there are coincidentally Fighting energy in the deck, but the situations in which it would attack are very rare. The advantage in this version of the deck is that you can potentially find cards the turn you need them and get rid of dead cards in your hand, but the disadvantage is that it’s a power that can be shut down and starve you of cards. Furret (SW) This makes a completely different strategy to the deck that has several pros and cons, and this version ended up winning the Southwest Regional. Sentret start gives you a Pokedex to dig 2 cards deep, which is quite good. Furret on turn 2 however practically guarantees that you will be able to find the 2-card Togepi, Rare Candy, Togekiss, and/or Ho-oh combination you need to “taste the rainbow.” Furret is also a better attacker in emergencies because it allows you to conserve your energy instead of having to retreat to bench it. The disadvantage in this build is that you find cards with an attack instead of a power, which leaves you vulnerable to a well-timed Wager, but they can only have so many of those. The advantage, however, is that it’s a free attack that will find you cards under a Psychic Lock, allowing the deck to set up where the Claydol version wouldn’t be able to. Trainers. There are several ways to run the trainers of this deck, but there are staples that every deck unarguably must have. Rare Candy: This is the backbone of the deck. It’s very obvious why it’s here. Night Maintenance: Another staple in this deck.. Recycling energy for more Serene Grace is key in long games, as well as getting Togekiss pieces back in so you can search them out again. Two of them are best because it’s a dead draw early game. Crystal Beach: This is your saving grace against Battle Frontier. If a Battle Frontier makes its way onto the table early game, you have to scramble to find this (or Windstorm in some lists) to get rid of it ASAP. Slowing down GG and Mag decks helps somewhat, but a game without it is still winnable. Roseanne’s Research: Another obvious choice. While Pachirisu gets your bench set up, if you don’t start with it, Roseanne’s helps you get set up anyway, and also gets basics without using an attack. This also gets energy in a pinch if you need to add damage to Rainbow Wing, set up Air Scroll, or retreat. Usually you won’t want to run more than 3…2 seems to be the best number. Celio’s Network/Bebe’s Search: These are arguably the best supporters in the format, and work great in this deck for obvious reasons. Claydol versions should run more Bebe’s because it reduces your hand size to draw more with Cosmic Power. The number of these is not concrete; 4 is an acceptable number, 3 works, and 5 is great as well. After these are in you can add draw and disruption to tailor the deck to your liking. Here are some good choices: TV Reporter/Professor Oak’s Visit: These are great for when you don’t have your draw/search engine set up yet. They allow you to throw away excess cards you don’t need (Crystal Beach, Pachirisu, and energy mainly) and dig 3 cards deep. Professor Rowan: This is a great option for draw as well. If you have a Togekiss or Candy in hand, you can keep it and try to find the other piece by digging 4 cards deep. Like other shuffle draw choices, this lets you get excess energy from your hand back into your deck where Togekiss can get them. Copycat: Another great shuffle, draw choice. If you do run this, usually only 1 is best. Pluspower: If you aren’t running any tech Pokemon, this is a great option because most people don’t expect it. It allows you to hit the higher odd HP benchmarks with Ho-Oh without “wasting” energy. Normally you need 7 energy to OHKO anything with 130 HP, but with Pluspower you only need 6. Windstorm: If you’re paranoid about Battle Frontier, these act as Crystal Beach number 4 and/or 5. It also gets rid of Cessation Crystal if necessary, but that normally won’t be a problem. Cessation Crystal: This is a good singleton choice after you’re set up, and is much more feasible in the Furret version because it’s less reliable on Poke-Powers. An important thing to remember is that you should not attach this to Ho-Oh because unlike Psychic Lock it will shut off Phoenix Turn, which you always want to be able to use. Important play notes: -Do anything you can to win before going to the late game. It will get a lot harder to win if it gets past the first few turns. -If you sense that the game will take a while, be really conscious of your energy attachments both from Serene Grace and from your hand. You should always play the game as if Phoenix Turn will flip tails, so only go for Ho-OHKO’s if you know they can’t respond with a KO back. -Don’t forget that Togekiss can attack! He wins games! Air Scroll has the possibility to 2 hitting anything in the format or completely throw off damage math with healing. -Night Maintenance, as said above, should really only be used to recycle either energy or pieces of your Togekiss line. Ho-Ohs are usually just early game attackers. The only reason you would ever need to get one back is if the 2 others are prized and you are playing against a deck with colorless resistance. GG Variants-55-45 Since Psychic lock won't OHKO Ho-oh, you should have enough time to get the KO’s through on their Gardevoirs’. Whenever they can't respond with a psychic lock, it gives you the opportunity to kiss and set up another Ho-Oh while your current one is beating down on the opponent. Crystal Beach really helps in this matchup. Gallade needs to flip 3 prizes to kill 1 bird, so that isn't efficient for them either. The biggest thing you have to watch out for is Bring Down, but if you're overly worried you can tech an Unown G or Holon WP in. Just remember, if they're not locking you, hit them where it hurts! Dusknoir shouldn't really be a huge problem, especially if you play Crawdaunt or Dusknoir yourself to give them a taste of your own medicine. Feraligatr and Swampert are a little more scary, but Crystal Beach helps there as well. Magmortar Variants-50-50 Burns from Torchic and Magmortar Lv. X are the scariest part of this matchup. A fast setup combo'd with good Crystal Beach usage is key here. Typhlosion variants are definitely the easier matchup, but it's still not a walk in the park. Crawdaunt EX is a great surprise card here, splashing back a candied Blaze/Typhlosion and Boosting/Kissing to KO and active Mag. Even if they burn you, flipping even 1 heads with Phoenix turn is a detriment to their setup. Utilizing Castaway to get a necessary energy and a strength charm for the KO is important here, too. It's a hard- fought matchup, but definitely winnable. Banette Variants- 50-50 The worst about this certain matchup is two words, damage counters, now you may ask why? The reason damage counters hurt this deck is because of fact that Ho-oh cannot use his power to stay alive. Also, cessation crystal can hurt this deck in many ways. Unless you get a good setup pachirisu can take care of it, and you can be fully charged without having to rely on powers. Arithmetic- 55-45 You can OHKO any card that they bring at you. However, the deck relies on moving damage counters and a smart player will know how to get rid of your Ho-Oh's before they know what hit him. If you can get a Ho-Oh by turn 2-3 you should be good though, since it does take Arithmetic a few turns to gets its set up out there and running. Dusknoir will prove immensely helpful in this matchup so you can keep their bench at 3 or less pokemon. Mirror- 50-50 Most of this match-up is based on coin flips and whoever sets up faster. If you are going against a mirror match-up you will have to plan out every turn carefully. During this match-up it is in your best interest to build up all of your pokemon so they can all attack, and possibly sack a Pachirisu. Unless you get setup faster than you would want to go and hit quickly if it seems that your opponent is having trouble setting up. Since Ho-ohs and Togekisses have odd numbered HP it is good to utilize your castaways to get a strength charm so you can one shot them easily. This match-up can be easier to win if you have been using this deck for a while, and most likely it comes down to who knows how to play the deck. This is a difficult match-up, and once again you have to think each turn and try and play out everything in your head before you do it.