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Thread: I Double Theme Decks: Improving Through Double-Decking

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    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    I Double Theme Decks: Improving Through Double-Decking

    Quick Links: find the theme deck you want to double!

    XY-on Theme Decks:
    Kalos Starter Set: Chespin • Froakie • Fenniken
    Resilient Life • Destruction Rush
    Brilliant Thunder • Mystic Typhoon
    XY Trainer Kit
    Dark Hammer • Enchanted Echo
    Burning Winds • Bolt Twister
    XY Trainer Kit: Bisharp & Wigglytuff
    Ocean's Core • Earth's Pulse
    XY Trainer Kit: Latias & Latios
    Aurora Blast • Storm Rider
    Stone Heart • Iron Tide
    Burning Spark • Night Striker
    Wave Slasher • Electric Eye
    Sky GuardianBattle Ruler

    NEX-on Format:
    Explosive Edge • Voltage Vortex
    Raiders • Shadows
    DragonSnarl DragonSpeed
    IceShockColdFire
    PlasmaShadow • PlasmaClaw
    Frost RayPsy Crusher
    Solar StrikeMind Wipe
    Red Genesect Collection

    BLW-on Format:
    Green Tornado • Red Frenzy • Blue Assault
    Black & White Trainer Kit
    Power Play • Toxic Tricks
    Fast DazeFurious Knights

    Others:
    Voltage Vortex + Furious Knights

    Be it at a League or otherwise, I find myself asked how exactly one can improve their deck. Oftentimes, for new players, their deck consists either of either a bunch of cards thrown together from booster packs, or a freshly-purchased theme deck, which drew their curiosity into the Trading Card Game. Long-time players at my League tend to play some rather strong decks, compared to these starter decks, including, but not limited, to archetypes seen in Tournament-play. So, the new players ask, how can I take what I have, and make it better? The answer, in the case of theme decks, can easily be one of simple multiplication: the theme deck times two.

    Double-decking starts as simply as it sounds: buy a second copy of the theme deck you have. Then what? From here, we simply take the best cards from the theme deck copy, remove some cards from the original, and tweak it as we see fit. The beauty of a theme deck is that they consistently have the exact same card list. I can advise players, knowing that what they purchase will always provide them with the same materials.

    Let's take the Red Frenzy deck as an example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Frenzy
    1× Emboar
    1× Emboar
    3× Pignite
    4× Tepig
    2× Simisear
    3× Pansear
    1× Darmanitan
    4× Darumaka
    2× Timburr
    1× Stoutland
    2× Herdier
    3× Lillipup
    1× Cinccino
    2× Minccino

    2× Energy Search
    2× Switch
    2× Energy Retrieval
    2× Pokémon Communication
    2× Professor Juniper
    2× Revive

    12× Fire Energy
    6× Fighting Energy
    What is “wrong” with this deck? At first glance, I see the following issues:
    Other than Emboar, for its Flare Blitz attack (discard all Fire Energy attached to this Pokemon), Timburr is the only Pokemon that benefits from using Energy that isn't Fire Energy; namely, its attack costs two Fighting Energy. It is also the only Pokemon to explicitly use Fighting Energy.
    There is only one Darmantitan, and only one Cinccinco. While understandable, as rare cards, either increasing the number of these evolutions, or decreasing the number of the basics, would help this deck run more smoothly.
    Speaking of running smoothly, the Trainer engine this deck uses is a bit lackluster. Conveniently, each Trainer comes in pairs. Do you see what I see? Let's multiply this deck by two. (I'll be combining the holo and non-holo Emboar.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Double-Red Frenzy
    4× Emboar
    6× Pignite
    8× Tepig
    4× Simisear
    6× Pansear
    2× Darmanitan
    8× Darumaka
    4× Timburr
    2× Stoutland
    4× Herdier
    6× Lillipup
    2× Cinccino
    4× Minccino

    4× Energy Search
    4× Switch
    4× Energy Retrieval
    4× Pokémon Communication
    4× Professor Juniper
    4× Revive

    24× Fire Energy
    12× Fighting Energy
    You know what I see now? I see a maximum number of each Trainer available to us. I see a 4-4-4 line of our main Stage 2 line, a possible 4-4-2 secondary line, and some 4-2, 2-2 or 4-4 Stage 1 lines. When I say A-B-C, where A, B, and C are numbers (if you know what variables are), I mean to have A copies of the Basic Pokemon, B copies of the Stage 1, and C copies of the Stage 2. In this instance, there would be 4 copies of the theme deck's Tepig, 4 copies of Pignite, and 4 copies of Emboar. If there are only two numbers, this refers (most likely) to a Pokemon that doesn't have an evolution past Stage 1, such as Pansear evolving to Simisear. 2-2 would refer to two Minccino and two Cinccino.

    You could either have 4 Pansear and 2 Simisear, or the Pokemon line I prefer, 4 Darumaka and 2 Darmanitan. Part of it is experimentation you should do, to see which goes better with how you play the game: spreading damage with a Pokémon with less HP (more likely to be Knocked Out quicker) and making more of your opponent's Pokémon weaker (and possible Knocking Out a damaged Pokémon they retreated to “safety”) [with Simisear], or just hitting their Active Pokémon with damage and being able to survive more attacks with it [with Darmanitan]. Unfortunately, two theme decks provide us with, at most, a 4-2 line (four Basic, two Stage 1) of Simisear or Darmanitan.

    With these cards available, I can now make:

    Crimson Slipstream

    Pokemon: 22
    4× Emboar
    4× Pignite
    4× Tepig
    2× Simisear or Darmanitan
    4× Pansear or Darumaka
    2× Cinccino
    2× Minccino

    Trainers: 22
    4× Energy Search
    4× Switch
    4× Energy Retrieval
    4× Pokémon Communication
    4× Professor Juniper
    2× Revive

    Energy: 16
    12× Fire Energy
    4× Fighting Energy

    From here, I can decide what I want to do. Revive works well with Communication, if Juniper had to discard when your Bench was full. Energy Retrieval helps after your Pokemon are Knocked Out, or if you had to Juniper it away. Fighting is reduced to the point where it is used only for Emboar; if you could trade for Double Colorless Energy (DCE), you could replace the Fighting Energy with DCE. The Simisear line is good for spreading damage for little Energy, while Darmanitan is better at hitting strong and (mostly) reliable damage; you could run a 4-4 line of the former, if you wanted to, but I personally prefer Darmanitan. You could reduce the count of Energy Search, Switch, or Revive, in order to fit in more copies of Basic Pokemon, to make for a more powerful attack from Cinccino.

    So, now that I've brought this simple-to-get-into idea to the forefront, what sort of double-decks can you come up with? Take the best of two theme decks (usually, much easier and more consistent from two of the same theme deck) for the HGSS-on format, and show me how and why these work better than their original forms. By all means, Crimson Slipstream is simply an example of how to double-deck. If you can come up with a better list using the same 120 cards, by all means, please share and explain why you did what you did.

    (EDIT: Originally posted in Deck Help and Strategy, as it is the home to the subforum used for the "I Play Theme Decks" contest.)

    _______________________________________________

    What can we do with two Green Tornado theme decks? Well, we have two options I can immediately think of.

    Verdant Viper
    Pokemon: 20
    4x Serperior
    4x Servine
    4x Snivy
    2x Sawsbuck
    2x Deerling
    4x Audino

    Trainers: 24
    4x Energy Search
    4x Potion
    4x Poke Ball
    4x Pokemon Communication
    4x Professor Juniper
    2x Revive
    2x Energy Retrieval

    Energy: 16
    16x Grass

    Strategy: Audino is the best thing to wait behind, while getting more and more Grass Energy into play. For only 1 of any Energy, Nature Power will hit for 20 damage, plus 10 more for each Grass Energy that both players (you and your opponent) have in play. This also includes things your oppponent might have, such as Rainbow Energy, which is a Special Energy card that provides all kinds of Energy, including Grass, while in play. The Pokemon in this deck don't require all that much Energy to attack, making Serperior especially convenient to set up, but nothing will really hit for more than 60 damage, other than Sawsbuck. Try to keep your Pokemon healed up to avoid them being knocked out, while pecking away at your opponents' Pokemon. Serperior can also retreat for free, allowing you to switch from Serperior to Serperior when one is damaged, to let the next Serperior help heal it on the Bench.

    Dreams and Nightmares
    Pokemon: 20
    2x Scolipede
    4x Whirlipede
    4x Venipede
    2x Musharna
    4x Munna
    4x Audino

    Trainers: 24
    4x Energy Search
    4x Potion
    4x Poke Ball
    4x Pokemon Communication
    4x Professor Juniper
    2x Revive
    2x Energy Retrieval

    Energy: 16
    16x Psychic

    Whirlipede and Munsharna can stand up as surprisingly capable attackers while you set up your Scolipede. The main problem with this deck is that evolutions are sparce; you'll often have too many basics to evolve all the ones you want to. It would be wise to trade in one or two Munna or Revive for Flower Shop Lady, if you can find them.

    _______________________________________________

    One advantage Blue Assault gives its players is the ability to hit the Bench. However, this seems to come at the price of none of the Pokemon clearly working together to accomplish a goal. While Swanna wants to retreat into a defensive wall, perhaps one that can heal itself, its attack does little damage, with the “charge-up, then attack” strategy actually hampering you; you still need to send your new Pokemon active, which still lets your opponent decide after the Knock Out, if it actually occurs.

    Pokemon: 20
    4x Samurott
    4x Dewott
    4x Oshawott
    4x Simipour
    4x Panpour

    Trainers: 24
    4x Energy Search
    4x Potion
    4x Energy Retrieval
    4x Poke Ball
    4x Professor Juniper
    4x Revive

    Energy: 16
    16x Water

    This deck lacks enough Basic Pokemon to avoid mulligans (reshuffles when no Basic is in your starting hand), but none of the Basic Pokemon aid your ability to set up. You could thin out the lines to add more Basics, but all it would do is prevent you from getting knocked out slightly sooner than you would already from this deck's poor Trainer engine. In my opinion, Blue Assault is sadly the weakest theme deck, reflected doubly even if you buy two copies of it.

    THIS POST HAS RECEIVED GURU POINTS! ( click here to discover why ) - GuRu SQuaD
    Last edited by MegaVelocibot; 06/21/2016 at 05:37 PM.
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  3. #2
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Toxic Tricks and Power Play

    Although both of these theme decks are inferior, in my opinion, to Red Frenzy, there is still something to be done for double-decking either of these theme decks. I feel the Krookodile and Gigalith lines have much more potential than Scolipede and Gothitelle for the following reasons: Krookodile is one of two Pokemon in Emerging Powers with an Ability. (The other, Gothitelle, is not the version found within the theme deck.) It is also the first Pokemon with an Ability to be released in a theme deck. Throh is also a ridiculously amusing (and fun!) card for the beginner who likes to flip a lot of coins. However, the reliability of a doubled Toxic Tricks Trainer engine is much faster than that of Power Play. I'd gladly take two Energy Retrieval over Full Heals, and, unless you manage to exhaust your hand quickly, Cheren is much more beginner-friendly than Bianca.

    Rock-O-Dile
    Pokemon: 24
    4x Krookodile
    4x Krokorok
    4x Sandile
    2x Gigalith
    3x Boldore
    3x Roggenrola
    4x Sawk
    Trainers: 20
    4x Potion
    4x Energy Search
    4x Great Ball
    4x Pokemon Communication
    4x Bianca
    Energy: 16
    16x Fighting Energy

    Strategy: Sawk makes for a decent starter, even better if you flip well (20x five coin flips, can't attack next turn). While it stalls, develop your benched Pokemon into Krookodile or Gigalith. The Stage 1 forms can also fend for themselves with somewhat decent low (1-2) Energy attacks.

    Improvements to the deck come in the form of Switch (multiple usages of Black Eyes), Crushing Hammer (continuing the Energy-depriving theme), Pokemon Catcher (to pull Pokemon active as well as try to strip Energy off of them), and Flower Shop Girl (recovering Pokemon knocked out, or lost by Gigalith's first attack). The first and last should be easy enough to come by, though Pokemon Catcher and Crush Hammer might be more difficult to get. Pokemon Collector and Dual Ball, as often will be repeated, help by: 1. avoid losing the game from no Pokemon in play, and 2. get you more Pokemon that you could put back in with Pokemon Communication, but be wary, as Bianca will get you fewer cards if your hand is cluttered with Basic Pokemon you can't Bench. For this reason, Junk Arm could be useful, getting back Trainers you need while reducing your hand size, in order to use Bianca. The Black & White Krookodile and Krokorok are also quite useful for preventing your opponent from using certain attacks on their Active Pokemon, preventing them from attacking if they have no other attacks and can't evolve or retreat!

    ________________

    Creepy Crawlies
    Pokemon: 24
    4x Scolipede
    4x Whirlipede
    4x Venipede
    2x Gothitelle
    3x Gothorita
    3x Gothita
    4x Sigilyph
    Trainers: 20
    4x Pokemon Communication
    4x Great Ball
    4x Energy Search
    4x Cheren
    2x Potion
    2x Energy Retrieval
    Energy: 16
    16x Psychic

    Strategy: Take advantage of low Energy cost attacks and the speed of the deck to try to set up as quickly as possible. There's nothing particularly special about what this deck can do, unfortunately, except for one interesting idea explored in the improvements.

    Improvements to the deck: Almost every Pokemon in this deck, save for Gothorita, can take advantage of Double Colorless Energy, a Special Energy card (up to four copies in your deck) that provides two Colorless Energy. This saves you one turn of Energy attachment that you can now use to focus on another Pokemon. If you can get four, you can replace four of your Psychic Energy with them. If you can trade for four Swoobat from Emerging Powers (it has 90 HP), you could replace the entire Gothitelle line with a 4-4 line of Swoobat. Its first attack does 30 damage for 1 Psychic Energy, but more importantly, its second attack, for one Psychic and one Colorless, lets you flip 3 coins. For each heads, you hurt all of your opponent's Pokemon for 10 damage. This works well with Sigilyph, whose second attack does 40 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter already on your opponent's Defending Pokemon.
    Last edited by MegaVelocibot; 11/11/2011 at 11:02 PM.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  4. #3
    Very nice! You've turned mediocre decks into decks with strategy and power! =]
    Posted with Mobile style...

  5. #4
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarPichu View Post
    Very nice! You've turned mediocre decks into decks with strategy and power! =]
    Thanks! That's what I'm hoping to do here. Next on my list are the better of each theme deck pair from UD-on, per set: Recon (Retort is a bit too all over the place and underpowered to be helped much), Verdant Frost (Royal Guard has the slightly lesser Trainer engine), both Daybreak and Nightfall (one has Togetic for set-up, the other has "rare" basic Energy). HS and UL theme decks are just too sparce in my area, but anyone can feel free to contribute their double-decks to the thread.
    Last edited by MegaVelocibot; 08/19/2011 at 07:11 PM.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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    Your making a cheat-sheet for the "I Play Theme Decks" tournament ... LOL!

    I'm gonna have to play big government and close-n-hide this thread! (ahahahahaa!)

    Good stuff MegaV.

    I hope some newer players see this.

    ^^ up ^^
    =====> Proud PokeDad & PokeHubby <========
    Judge: Regionals, States, Cities, Battle Roads, PreReleases; League Owner @ Warsaw, VA YMCA
    Why Bianca?WHY??

  7. #6
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Archetype View Post
    Your making a cheat-sheet for the "I Play Theme Decks" tournament ... LOL!

    I'm gonna have to play big government and close-n-hide this thread! (ahahahahaa!)

    Good stuff MegaV.

    I hope some newer players see this.

    ^^ up ^^
    Not so much a cheat sheet as much as doing my homework before it's due. :P After all, it's not MY fault there hasn't been a new iteration of the "I Play Theme Decks" tournament recently...

    I'm hoping so as well, regarding the new players. I might link this in the new player thread, once it's had enough stuff in it.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
    Check out I Double Theme Decks!

    I Play Theme Decks 2010 Finalist


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    Too bad theme decks don't come with booster packs anymore because it'd only improve the odds of pulling a great supporter/trainer or the other better stage 2 top.

    But yeah, good tips. Double theme decks is a great move.

    Whoa, double theme decks in the sky. Double theme decks, omg, double theme decks.

  9. #8
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Have a double-serving of the Recon deck!

    Super-Scout
    Pokemon: 21
    2x Meganium
    4x Bayleaf
    4x Chikorita
    2x Tangrowth
    3x Tangela
    2x Ninetales
    4x Vulpix
    Trainers: 21
    4x Interviewer's Questions
    4x Professor Elm's Training Method
    4x Sage's Training
    2x Copycat
    4x Pokemon Communication
    3x Energy Returner
    Energy: 18
    7x Grass
    11x Fire

    Strategy: If weakness to Fire can be exploited, prepare Ninetales for attacking. Otherwise, build up a Tangrowth. The Meganium line can stall and hold off attack, either through Sleep-induction or self-damage removal.

    While the Energy may not make very much sense, given how the Pokemon are represented in this deck, keep in mind the following: the Grass Pokemon in this deck only require one Grass Energy to perform some of their attacks. Fire Energy not only powers attacks but provides extra cards, in the form of one or two Ninetales using their Poke-Power per turn. These Energy can also be recirculated to the deck via Energy Returner. Still, feel free to season the balance to your tastes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime View Post
    Too bad theme decks don't come with booster packs anymore because it'd only improve the odds of pulling a great supporter/trainer or the other better stage 2 top.

    But yeah, good tips. Double theme decks is a great move.

    Whoa, double theme decks in the sky. Double theme decks, omg, double theme decks.
    I do miss the extra booster pack, I really do. Gave some additional incentive to buying them, as well as what you've stated. Also, thanks; while I'm not the most top-tier player, I do like to make my advice starter-friendly, given that this is the prime directive of the entire thread.
    Last edited by MegaVelocibot; 08/26/2011 at 10:50 AM.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  10. #9
    I would play for 4 Vulpix to get Ninetails out faster. I'm also surprised you don't play Copycat. I like Tangrowth in this deck, but it's no Cincinno.
    Remember 9/11.

    "I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains."

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  11. #10
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alazor View Post
    I would play for 4 Vulpix to get Ninetails out faster. I'm also surprised you don't play Copycat. I like Tangrowth in this deck, but it's no Cincinno.
    Modifications made, based on your suggestions! I had honestly forgotten about the single Copycat in each. That also helps out with the low Basic Pokemon count I was worried about.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
    Check out I Double Theme Decks!

    I Play Theme Decks 2010 Finalist


  12. #11
    Thanks for this topic! I had originally bought the Chaos Control Theme Deck the other day as my first venture into the world of competitive pokemon (having not seen this site and the wealth of knowledge it contains yet), and it was...not good whatsoever. Now, though, I am rocking your Crimson Slipstream deck you posted at the top, and I am loving it! Super easy to get Emboar out and killing, and it has a ton of great support for a noob like me who has just started playing. Thanks man!

  13. #12
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Two new double-decks for one theme deck. Today, we tackle Nightfall.

    While Umbreon had proved itself quite useful in the past, as easily acquired as well as played, the Black/White era has reduced its playability considerably. Pokemon Catcher is a 100% effective (no coin flip) Pokemon Reversal, or effectively a Pokemon Circulator that your opponent chooses the new active instead of you. If Umbreon is sent to the Bench, the effect of its attack wears off, allowing your opponent to attack a new target. They can even drag it back active again, should they so choose, and the effect of Moonlight Fang will no longer protect Umbreon. Even so, Nightfall can be made into a doubly-good deck.

    Eternal Darkness
    (Double Nightfall, Darkness version)
    Pokemon: 20
    4x Umbreon
    4x Eevee
    2x Honchkrow
    2x Murkrow
    4x Skuntank
    4x Stunky

    Trainers: 22
    4x Switch
    4x Pokemon Communication
    2x Burned Tower
    4x Energy Exchanger
    4x Interviewer's Questions
    4x Sage's Training

    Energy: 18
    14x Darkness Energy
    4x Metal Energy

    Your Energy set-up is not ideal in this set; it would be great if you could trade for four Special Darkness Energy. As a Special Energy card, it is limited to four per deck, but if any of your Darkness-type Pokemon attack and do damage, their attacks do 10 more damage for each Special Darkness Energy attached. Honchkrow can offer disruption as well as the ability to hit Pokemon your opponent might have retreated (or had pushed by Whirlwind) to the Bench, to try and knock it out with Blindside. Umbreon allows for protection, limited as mentioned above, from Pokemon with Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies. Skuntank gives you some additional chances to stall or damage.

    Solid Steel (Double Nightfall, Metal version)
    Pokemon: 22
    2x Metagross
    4x Metang
    4x Beldum
    2x Lairon
    2x Aron
    4x Mawile
    2x Skarmory

    Trainers: 18
    4x Switch
    4x Pokemon Communication
    2x Burned Tower
    4x Interviewer's Questions
    4x Sage's Training

    Energy: 20
    20x Metal Energy

    Skarmory provides Energy acceleration (attaching more than just the one Energy in your hand to a Pokemon) for this deck, while Mawile is the best thing in this theme deck for drawing into cards from your deck. Metagross' second attack tends to be much too flippy; you are usually better off just using Strength to knock out opposing Pokemon, as well as saving the fourth Energy card for another Pokemon. Metang, on the other hand, will usually require the three Energy for Double Smash, as 30 damage simply will not suffice per turn. If you prefer, you can remove Mawile, and add in two more of both Lairon and Aron.

    Further improvement would come from reducing the Energy count to 18, in the form of 10x Metal Energy, 4x Special Metal Energy, and 4x Double Colorless Energy. The Aron/Lairon could be removed if you could acquire two more Skarmory, leaving four slots in the deck free for the four Energy Exchanger. If you wanted to keep Lairon in, Special Metal Energy would prevent some, or all, of the damage its attack does to itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by ekg116 View Post
    Thanks for this topic! I had originally bought the Chaos Control Theme Deck the other day as my first venture into the world of competitive pokemon (having not seen this site and the wealth of knowledge it contains yet), and it was...not good whatsoever. Now, though, I am rocking your Crimson Slipstream deck you posted at the top, and I am loving it! Super easy to get Emboar out and killing, and it has a ton of great support for a noob like me who has just started playing. Thanks man!
    Yeah, little in Chaos Control works extremely well together. I tried my best a while back to improve it in a I Play Theme Decks competition, and I remember it not going particularly well. Still, I'm glad to hear that Emboar and company are serving you well!
    Last edited by MegaVelocibot; 08/26/2011 at 03:13 PM.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
    Check out I Double Theme Decks!

    I Play Theme Decks 2010 Finalist


  14. #13
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    While I am not a fan of the BW Trainer Kit's collection of cards, I might as well try my best to salvage a double-deck out of it. Before I continue, I'll give a reference as to what is in each half-deck.

    Zoroark Half-Deck
    2x EP Purrloin
    2x EP Zorua
    2x EP Zoroark
    2x EP Minccino
    2x BW Patrat (77)
    1x BW Watchog
    2x BW Pidove
    1x BW Tranquill
    12x Basic Darkness Energy
    1x Energy Retrieval
    1x Energy Search
    1x PlusPower
    1x Pokemon Communication

    Excadrill Half-Deck
    2x EP Drilbur (54)
    2x EP Excadrill (56)
    2x BW Timburr
    1x BW Gurdurr
    2x BW Audino
    2x BW Lillipup (80)
    1x BW Herdier
    12x Basic Fighting Energy

    So, what can we make out of two of these?

    Puppies' Claws
    Pokemon: 22
    4x Excadrill
    4x Drilbur
    4x Zoroark
    4x Zorua
    2x Herdier
    4x Lillipup

    Trainers: 20
    4x Energy Search
    4x PlusPower
    4x Pokemon Communication
    4x Potion
    2x Energy Retrieval
    2x Energy Switch

    Energy: 18
    13x Fighting Energy
    5x Darkness Energy

    Your ability to draw cards is severely hampered in this deck. The only benefit you have is Energy Search; use it to thin cards out of your deck. By drawing Energy out, you increase your chances of getting better cards (with fewer Energy, there will be, by percentage, more cards left in your deck that aren't Energy). A complete lack of Supporters to help you draw additional cards leaves you at the mercy of trying to get Herdier out, in order to prepare its Collect attack. You can try to prepare Excadrill for its Drill Run if you need to slow your opponent down, but Zoroark will be more likely to win you battles, simply because it demands less specific Energy for its attacks.

    As Zorua and Zoroark are the only Pokemon to require Darkness Energy (and mercifully few at that), the count of that type of Energy is understandably reduced in this deck. Special Darkness Energy should immediately take the place of four of those basic Energy versions, and you can decided to swap a Fighting for another basic Darkness, should you feel you need more than one to Energy Search for. While on the subject of Energy modifications, Double Colorless Energy, a Special Energy card that provides two typeless Energy to power your attacks, is a welcome addition for the Herdier and Zoroark lines.

    Energy Switch can get Energy off of an injured Pokemon, if it isn't Knocked Out in one hit. Energy Retrieval can return Energy to your hand if they are (or if the Energy are lost by retreating).
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  15. #14
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    HS Trainer Kit

    Although the rules included are outdated, as of Black and White, regarding how Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums are played, picking up two of the HS Trainer Kit can prove to be a solid investment. It lets up to four people learn the TCG at the same time, and if no one else is interested in joining you in the Trading Card Game, at least you have four of Pokemon Collector and Pokemon Communication! These cards are considered staples, or “must-haves” for a majority of the decks you are likely to build over the next year.

    Rats, Cats, and Fish
    Pokemon: 18
    4x Raichu
    4x Pikachu
    3x Gyarados
    3x Magikarp
    4x Meowth

    Trainers: 22
    4x Pokemon Collector
    2x Copycat
    4x Bill
    2x Professor Elm's Training Method
    4x Pokemon Communication
    2x Energy Search
    2x Energy Switch
    2x Switch

    Energy: 20
    14x Lightning
    6x Water

    While the Pokemon included aren't the strongest lines, if you compare this to the BW Trainer Kit double-deck, you will likely see that this deck is able to set up more quickly and consistantly (more likely to set up well). Raichu can set up quick Knock Outs with its second attack, hitting for 100 damage for only two Lightning Energy, though this comes at the cost of discarding all Energy attached to it. You run the risk of running out of enough Energy if this attack is overused. You could consider using only Raichu's first attack and setting up Gyarados as a late-game attacker, if you feel the need to do so. Meowth will aid your ability to draw additional cards, effectively giving you at least two per turn, instead of just one.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  16. #15
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imhotep View Post
    I dunno, two theme decks is kinda a lot of money that could be spent on singles. You'd be better off just getting playsets of the decent stuff 'manually'.
    True, but consider this: many players don't feel comfortable buying singles offline, or are unable to. Theme decks are much more available and accessible to new players. This guide is for them, taking the next steps into improving their game, as well as showing them how their theme deck can be improved in more basic ways.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  17. #16
    Surely doubling the Serperior deck would work well, set up 4, the just rotate them.
    TEAM EXETER!

  18. #17
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanite View Post
    Surely doubling the Serperior deck would work well, set up 4, the just rotate them.
    Mentioned in the first post, but I'll clarify that point. Thanks for noting it, though!
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  19. #18
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    One disappointing point about the Retort theme deck is its lack of Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies, in terms of aiding what you can do with your Pokemon while they are in play. Another is the inability to improve Lucario's Dimension Sphere by sending your own Pokemon to the Lost Zone. With this in mind, let's take a look at the Fighting and Lightning variants we can double-deck.

    Shocking Comeback
    Pokemon: 22
    2x Ampharos
    4x Flaaffy
    4x Mareep
    4x Jolteon
    4x Eevee
    4x Pidgey

    Trainers: 20
    4x Interviewer's Questions
    2x Professor Elm's Training Method
    4x Professor Oak's New Theory
    4x Sage's Training
    2x Research Record
    4x Pokemon Communication

    Energy: 18
    12x Lightning
    6x Fighting

    If there is one thing Shocking Comeback has in its favor, it would be speed. The heavy Supporter count found by purchasing two of these decks works in your favor. With Professor Oak's New Theory and Sage's Training, hand size (and thus options) shouldn't be much of an issue. Research Record and Sage's Training can work well together; if there are cards you want to keep in your deck from the Research Record, but don't want to draw immediately (or, if cards are clumped together, which always seems to happen at the worst times), you can always put the unwanted cards on the bottom of your deck, rather than risk discarding them with Sage's Training.

    Professor Elm's Training Method and Pokemon Communication work to get Evolution cards (or Basic Pokemon) out quickly, while Pidgey can do the same, at the cost of losing one Energy and a Pokemon in play back into your deck. An early Messenger or deck search card can also tell you what cards are in your Prizes, by those cards not showing up in your deck.

    The only bad thing I've noticed in testing this double-deck are the Pokemon themselves. Ampharos can help set up your Pokemon with its Acceleration Bolt, but when one is (or both are) Prized, the deck fails to get Energy into play quickly enough, even with cards such as Interviewer's Questions pulling them out for you. Your maximum damage per turn is either 70 with Jolteon or 80 with Ampharos (with a 50% chance of doing 20 damage to yourself), so don't expect to Knock Out many of the newer Black & White Pokemon with one attack.

    Try to use Fighting Energy to pay for the Colorless portion of your attacks; even with two Retort theme decks, you are only provided with 12 Lightning Energy. Hitmonlee or Donphan could be considered in this double-deck, but have generally served as Pokemon to hide behind while setting up the Bench in deck testing. You might want to add Life Herb to give you more time to set up, but coin flips have a way of getting tails more often than you might prefer. If you're lucky with coin flips, consider the addition. I tend to assume every time I play a coin-flip card that the coin will come up tails, and I am pleasantly surprised when it doesn't.

    Brutal Banter

    Pokemon: 22
    4x Lucario
    4x Riolu
    2x Donphan
    2x Phanpy
    4x Hitmonlee
    2x Hitmontop
    4x Pidgey

    Trainers: 20
    4x Interviewer's Questions
    2x Professor Elm's Training Method
    4x Professor Oak's New Theory
    4x Sage's Training
    2x Research Record
    4x Pokemon Communication

    Energy: 18
    18x Fighting

    You're welcome to vary the Lucario and Donphan lines to both be 3-3, or reverse them at a 4-4 Donphan line and 2-2 Lucario line. If you feel the need, you can even use both at 4-4, and find four of the other Basic Pokemon to take out. (For this, I would probably remove the two Hitmontop, and one each of Pidgey and Hitmonlee.) The primary issues I have with Brutal Banter are the lack of high HP Pokemon and the inability to attach more than one Energy per turn; with its higher-cost attacks, Donphan and Lucario may not have enough time to set up should your Active Pokemon end up Knocked Out. Presumably, the Ampharos line of Retort was meant to help these Pokemon set up faster. With a sole-Fighting focus, this deck will have issues recovering from early-game setbacks, but you can try to score quick Prizes with Hitmontop and Hitmonlee.
    Last edited by MegaVelocibot; 09/14/2011 at 06:51 AM.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  20. #19
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    It seems that Daybreak has finally come. Not the way I wanted it to, but the deck will do, for the time being.

    Trick-or-Treat?

    Pokemon: 24
    4x Espeon
    4x Eevee
    2x Dodrio
    2x Doduo
    2x Muk
    3x Grimer
    3x Togetic
    4x Togepi

    Trainers: 20
    4x Interviewer's Questions
    4x Life Herb
    4x Poke Ball
    4x Sage's Training
    4x Team Rocket's Trickery

    Energy: 16
    16x Psychic Energy

    Togetic can prepare the rest of your deck by searching out cards you need for only one Energy. Try to prepare Muk and Dodrio around the same time; you can use Dodrio to switch to a new Muk when need be. Espeon can transfer any damage the Muk takes to your opponent's injured Pokemon when it makes the active position. Pester can work to your benefit, but don't be surprised if the Stage 1 Pokemon doesn't have enough time to set up.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  21. #20
    Nice post. I just saw this and it is one of the first things I tell newer players when they come up to me wanting to buy their first Theme deck or make their theme deck better. I always go over the Double Decking strategy for making the deck more playable.

    I will be passing along a link to this article on my handouts as your work has put into writing that which is contained in many emails to Poke Parents...lol

    Well done, sir!

    Patrick McKee
    Tomball Texas Pokemon League
    =!=!=!=!=!=!=!=!=!=
    z3R0w1ng

    All your basics are belong to us...

  22. #21
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroWing View Post
    Nice post. I just saw this and it is one of the first things I tell newer players when they come up to me wanting to buy their first Theme deck or make their theme deck better. I always go over the Double Decking strategy for making the deck more playable.

    I will be passing along a link to this article on my handouts as your work has put into writing that which is contained in many emails to Poke Parents...lol

    Well done, sir!

    Patrick McKee
    Tomball Texas Pokemon League
    Sure thing, and I'm glad I can be a reservoir of such information! If you've had any other ideas for double-deck variants, other than the ones I've listed, you're more than welcome to add them here.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
    Check out I Double Theme Decks!

    I Play Theme Decks 2010 Finalist


  23. #22
    Oh...Very nice Idea. I like the Power Play idea, and because I already Collected a few good cards, I may be able to whip up the small amount of money I have into a decent deck! I also really Like krook, so I like the idea in general...

    Just an Idea - How would 2 of the BW Krooks work with the Deck made from 2?

  24. #23
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvanha View Post
    Oh...Very nice Idea. I like the Power Play idea, and because I already Collected a few good cards, I may be able to whip up the small amount of money I have into a decent deck! I also really Like krook, so I like the idea in general...

    Just an Idea - How would 2 of the BW Krooks work with the Deck made from 2?
    Short answer: The two Krookodile try to stop the opponent from attacking in different ways, but do not get in the way of each other; other than adding Double Colorless Energy to help, there are little to no other changes you have to make in order to use both in the deck.

    Long answer: BW Krookodile would work well with the denial theme, but it would much prefer the addition of Double Colorless Energy to turn its attack into needing one and three Energy cards, respectively. It would also appreciate something that could damage Benched Pokemon, in order to assure its second attack always does 100, regardless of what the opponent sends out.

    The problem Krookodile experiences is that its Stage 2 cards both try to stop the opponent's Active Pokemon from attacking, but in two different ways. Krookodile BW tries to prevent your opponent from attacking by denying them access to an attack (either the only one they have, or usually the one with the least Energy). This usually forces the opponent to build up their Pokemon with more and more Energy, either on their Active or Benched Pokemon, making them more resistant to the coin-flip Black Eyes means of removing Energy from the active. If need be, the opponent can sometimes retreat or evolve out of the Torment effect.

    While Energy denial can be more favorable, it also ends up much more flippy, and also fails to deeply effect Pokemon that use little to no Energy (Donphan Prime, Yanmega Prime, Kingdra Prime, Simisear, etc.). It also shares a problem with Torment's effect, in that retreating (consider 0 Retreat Cost) leaves them with a new Active ready to attack. Take a look at what some sites have to say about Crushing Hammer, then consider that Black Eyes is not only limited to the Active Pokemon but also part of getting a Stage 2 Pokemon into play.

    (If you do manage to add Double Colorless Energy, consider adding Cinccino BW as well, who can do quite a bit of damage off of it.)
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
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  25. #24
    Oh, Thanks for the answer. I'll still have plenty Cash(about $20) after my little 2-Deck Buying, so I'll be able to afford some stuff like the DCE.
    I'll work on a list For a Krook Disruption in my spare time, and I'll see how it goes.

  26. #25
    Avatar Creator MegaVelocibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvanha View Post
    Oh, Thanks for the answer. I'll still have plenty Cash(about $20) after my little 2-Deck Buying, so I'll be able to afford some stuff like the DCE.
    I'll work on a list For a Krook Disruption in my spare time, and I'll see how it goes.
    Sounds great! Power Play really doesn't mesh with my personal play style, and I would recommend two Red Frenzy over it, but if you're happy with what the Pokemon in it are, by all means, go for it. After all, that's what this thread is all about, making theme decks more playable.

    On that note, I had an interesting case today of combining cards from two different theme decks (as well as miscellaneous booster pack cards) into a deck today, for someone who had taken all their decks apart and planned to make a new one before League, but simply didn't have the time to do so. Within 10 to 15 minutes, I had them working with the following combination of Green Tornado, Recon, and a few spare cards. While this isn't eaxctly doubling theme decks, I thought it would be an interesting case study to note, seeing how the contents of two different theme decks can work well together.

    Pokemon: 22
    1x Serperior (ability) [from booster]
    2x Serperior
    3x Servine
    4x Snivy
    2x Sawsbuck BW [1 from booster]
    2x Deerling BW
    2x Deerling EP [from booster]
    2x Tangrowth
    4x Tangela

    Trainers: 22
    2x Professor Juniper
    2x Professor Elm's Training Method
    2x Sage's Training
    2x Interviewer's Questions
    1x Copycat
    4x Pokemon Communication
    4x Pluspower [from booster]
    2x Revive
    1x Energy Retrieval
    2x Energy Returner

    Energy: 16
    16x Grass Energy

    Strategy: Tangela is the preferred starter, as it can get Grass Energy from your deck into play even quicker. Preferred early game attacker is Serperior (theme deck), who can heal all the Pokemon in this deck by 20 with its second attack. Combine it with ability Serperior, and you can easily heal 40 from each of your Pokemon by the time your next turn arrives, promoting strategic retreating. Ability Serperior can also move a large amount of Energy to Tangrowth, to prepare for a powerful Grind (but be careful of things that can affect your Benched Pokemon). Sawsbuck also takes advantage of having a large number of Grass Energy in play, and only needs 1 Energy in order to do so.
    New to the game? Want to learn how to improve your deck-building with just two theme decks?
    Check out I Double Theme Decks!

    I Play Theme Decks 2010 Finalist


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