Cacturne d is so awesome! Why, just combo it with ATM-rock and desert ruins and you've got a great...oh, wait...
Well, hey, at least its pokebody is wicked comboable with cursed stone! That's tons of damage to pokemon with poke-powers each turn! That'll be aweso...oh, wait....
4 Cacnea (cg)
4 Eevee (ds - call for family)
4 Cacturne d (cg)
4 Espeon -EX (UF)
1 Umbreon -EX (UF)
1 Cacturne -EX (EM)
2 Luvdisc (cg)
2 Holon's Magneton (ds)
1 Holon's Castform (hp)
4 Mary’s Request
4 Bill’s Maintenance
1 Holon’s Farmer
4 Holon’s Circle
2 Str. Charm
1 Crystal Shard
4 Multi Energy
6 Fighting energy
2 Cyclone Energy
Strategy: In the current format, with the lack of shuffle draw and the low amount of viable search cards, I think it vital to ensure that you have a good start. One thing Cacturne does is allow us that, since cacnea has call for family. Eevee does too. So too, essentially, does luvdisc (only in more powerful form). Thus, every basic in the deck, save one (castform), has call for family. This will optimize our ability to start strong. So too will the fact that our evolutions can all hit for low amounts of energy. The strategy is fairly simple - abuse cacturne's spamability/power and devolve threats with espeon. Candy is rampant in the current format with the loss of ATM-rock. Espeon can also act as a cleaner, particularly given the popularity of tools and our own gym setup. I really wanted both fighting and psychic in the deck, since that covers both mewtrick and rai/eggs weaknesses completely, allowing OHKO's on everything in the decks. I opted not to go too crazy on the eeveelutions, since the list is tight as it is, and I didn't want to take the focus away from the cacturne swarm.
There are some more finely wired combos going on here than just the obvious, though, so a card-by-card analysis might be helpful…
Cacnea and Eevee: 4 of each are obvious. Great starters, the basis of the deck.
Cacturne and Espeon -ex: See above, meat of the deck. Thought about going with fewer espeons, but sometimes you have to use one early, and if one is prized, then you're on short shrift for your devos at that point. New format = consistency is good.
Umbreon -ex: Tech, vs. the many mews and banettes out there. Also useful for switching out the active to then devolve with an espeon.
Cacturne -ex: Useful body in certain situations (decks reliant upon holon's pokemon), and also combos with cacturne d's ability to spread damage. Can OHKO meganium -ex with a damage counter on there (gee, whereever will we get one of those?), diversifies our types further.
Luvdisc: A stable alternative starter that fits the damage-spreading theme. I'm of the opinion that this card is broken, given its splashability. The second attack is critical for us, since we don't plan on having the dominant gym out with this deck (see below, holon's circle).
The holon's pokemon: Energy for our multiple types, way to recover cyclone energies. The castform, though an atrocious start, is grabbable with mentor.
Mentor: A nice way to build bench, grab the castform.
Castaway: I opted to avoid the holon's engine here, because getting mentors early isn't that key for this deck, and the holon engine is overused, never a good sign in Iron Chef play. I love this card, because it will grab you two immediately playable cards (tool, basic energy), and thus keep you going while keeping your hand size low, reducing the effectiveness of opponent Scientists. Plus, with no way for your opponent to shuffle your hand away (save vaporeon -ex), you're guaranteed to keep that supporter, which keeps your own draw going, a perfect combination. Use two cards, get 3 more the next turn with the Mary's you just got...mmmmm....consistency, utility, and continuity.
Mary's/Bills: Draw, pure and simple. Bills over TV reporter because I'm a conservationist player, and thus it fits my personal style better. I'd prefer not to throw a card away, prefer not to flip for my 3, and prefer not to give my opponent a card (this ain't politoed, after all).
PETM: Yeah....ex'es, cacturnes, holon's magneton....
Farmer: With a spammable attacker and no retrievers, this is the way to go.
Holon's Circle: One of the interior combos...this bizarre card actually works here, since we can still use our pokemon powers to affect our opponent. Should they opt not to attack, we simply whittle them away with cacturne's power. Should they attack, well, we get a free turn. This is our counterstadium to cursed stone, and also a stadium that we hope induces them to play a counterstadium. If they do, we enact both luvdisc and espeon. This gym simply favors us too much not to use it. When you're trying to pile damage on for devolution, 4 (or more, if they don't attack or courter) free turns over the course of a match is huge.
The tools: Shard allows us OHKO's on a number of popular pokemon (dragonites, flygons, etc.), and is fetchable with castaway. Str. charm also gives us OHKO's by upping espeon's damage to 100 (with an opponent gym in play), cacturne's to 60 (doubled to 120)...the charm allows us to reach quite a few of pokemon's "Magic Numbers".
Energy: Multis for versatility, fighting for cacturne and fetchability with castaway, and cyclones to allow us to better use espeon's power on benched pokemon. Multi's irritating side effect is not much of a problem here, as nothing requires more than one specific energy to run, and attaching a holon's pokemon takes care of that for us. We're looking to have 10 energy (at least) that cacturne can use t2, and multi does that better for us than delta rainbow, since espeon can use it too. Since it can be picked up with a holon's pokemon, it's side effect can be avoided.
Deck (9/10): This baby just wreaks of consistency, utility, and continuity. Super blend of draw, Pokemon, and trainers. The energy is also dead on. However, my only two issues with the list are no switching cards (make the power spammable), and potential superiority of Lanette over Mentor. However, that last one is highly subjective, and doesn’t count towards the score.
Creativity (5/5): While the first answer would seem to be Jolteon ex, this really finds a clever way to keep up the power of the deck without resorting to that choice. The “tech” cards of Umbreon ex and Cacturne ex add an extraordinary dimension to the possibilities here. Totally awesome creativity!
Card Use (3/5): I get the feeling that while Cacturne d is most definitely abused here, it isn’t really the center of the deck. The subtle clues (no power spamming, overemphasizing the Eeveelutions) point towards this, but that doesn’t take away from the success of your deck overall.
”Quick overview of the deck, you use Cacturne d and Unown P to spread the damage around and then use Espeon ex to devolve everything. Super Scoop Up the Espeon ex for extra fun.
The Deck - 21
4 Cacnea CG (With CFF)
4 Cacturne d
4 Unown (3-P and 1-M)
4 Eevee (With CFF)
4 Espeon ex
1 Jolteon ex (For damage spreading goodness)
Trainers - 25
4 Holon Tranceiver
2 Holon Mentor
1 Holon Adventurer
1 Holon Scientist
1 Holon Researcher
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Mary's Request
4 TV Reporter
4 Windstorm (For those pesky Cursed Stones and Cessation Crystals)
Energy - 14
Sorry for turning this in so late, I just noticed that you put the challenges up today.
Deck (8/10): While a lack of real switching troubles me, the one issue that hurt your perfect score hopes was no PETM!!! Even though you have Make a Wish unown, you can’t possibly let yourself rely on that, especially since the key is to drop those Espeons and Jolteon. While the change would be extremely easy to make (minus the researcher and a couple draw cards), you didn’t have the PETM here anyways. Now with my one and only big issue out of the way, it’s an otherwise “perfect” list: great draw counts, highly intriguing Pokemon engine, overall balance in every area, protected from counter stadiums/Cessation Crystal. EXTREMELY consistent in every area other than getting exactly what you need every game.
Creativity (3/5): Counter spreading/Poke bouncing with the eeveelutions is an obvious strategy, but you truly pushed it with the playing of Unown P. Super effective!
Card Use (4/5): I would have loved to see some real switching here to use multiple Cacturne d powers a turn, but you have a nice lineup of complimentary Pokemon. A slightly altered Eeveelution lineup (3 esp/2 jolt) seems to be better for usage, but SSU lets you continue the onslaught of counters per turn.
Despite the lack of PETM, and a round one loss, I gotta hand it to Flipsarecool for performing so well! This was very enjoyable to grade on both parts, and the deep strategies aren't to be underestimated!