|06/01/2007, 06:31 PM||#1|
Lucario/Machamp = MARIO.dec .. join us...
BRAND NEW UPDATES: 7/20/07 (added HP-DP2 Decklist)
I'm posting this for the Gym to discuss, and I'll be adjusting the decklist from time to time.
The name of the deck is MARIO, as in MA-champ and Luca-RIO. It is also called Scarface.dec. and has been known as Lucarichamp.
I thought of this combination as soon as I saw DP spoilers. I don't want to say I "invented" the deck because others have posted before me. I came up with the name Mario independently, but others have also.
STRATEGY: Obviously, number one is to re-introduce Fighting Type back to top-tier, and that's what this deck does. Riolu, Lucario, and Machop all have the potential to take out Castform, Eevee, Absol EX, Lickitung, and other key Pokemon in 1-2 turns. Early, Riolu and Lucario rack up prizes and snipe the bench. Later in the game, Machamp uses Revenge to catch up quickly. Better Weakness and HP help keep it alive. Machamp PK is useful vs EX decks, especially Banette. Cessation Crystal and Cursed Stone against many dominant decks.
The Deck for DX-on (Updated 7/11/07)
3 Machop DP
2 Machoke DP
2 Machamp DP
1 Machamp PK
4 Holon Trans
2 Holon Mentor
1 Holon Lass
1 Holon Adventurer
1 Holon Scientist
3 Rare Candy
4 Cursed Stone
4 Plus Power
2 Cessation Crystal
1 Energy Root
Update Note 7/11/07 - this trainer list now shows 1 Holon Scientist, 2 Castaway, and 1 Energy Root, which are essential/ terrific.
The Deck for HP-DP2 (as of 7/20/07)
3 Machop DP
2 Machoke DP
2 Machamp DP
1 Machamp PK
1 Lucario Lv.X
2 Great Ball
1 Holon Mentor
3 Rare Candy
2 Prof. Rowan
1 Team Galactic's Bet (this is still untested)
2 Battle Frontier
3 Cessation Crystal
1 Crystal Shard (or, 2 ideally, if you can make space)
4 Plus Power
1 Warp Point, or Switch
1 Night Maintenance
Riolu may not look like much, but it is devastating to the current format and metagame. Riolu can deliver 30 damage on Turn 1. The catch is that you must roll heads for this big damage. However, the intense upside is that Riolu, being Fighting type, can take out your opponent's Holon's Castform, Eevee, Lickitung, Electrike, Dunsparce, Magnemite, Skitty, Pikachu, and many other Fighting-weak Pokemon. The ability to do this on the first turn of the game (shared by no other Fighting Pokemon) can give you the immediate win! Even if you face a Pokemon which is not weak to Fighting, a quick 30 from Riolu sets your opponent back, sometimes for good. The second interesting thing is that Riolu is one of the "new breed" of Pokemon (DP-on) which have Weakness that is not doubled! Instead, Riolu will take +10 damage from a Psychic Pokemon which delivers any damage to it by attack. This gives Riolu better endurance than Pokemon introduced before DP. Finally, Riolu has a solid 60hp, and only 1 Retreat cost. Now, what if you roll tails?
Certainly, you should look forward to something more than a Turn 1 Castform KO. And you can. Lucario is deviously understated. First, for 1 of any Energy, it hits for 30 damage. You do not roll for this damage. And the damage is applied with No Resistance. This is important versus decks which feature Fighting-Resistant Pokemon (Metanite, Banette, Gengar, Salamence, and Flygon), or decks which include such techs as Latios*. Second, for 2 Fighting, it hits up front for 40, but it also snipes 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokemon for 20. I view this as a souped-up Marowak d. Doing 20 to opponent's Bench may not sound like much, but when you're starting that damage on your second turn, it adds up quickly. In case you're worried that Lucario is "easy pickin's," it's really not. Notice its 90 hp, which is very nice for a Stage 1 and saves you from most 1HKO's. Lucario also has that improved Weakness, taking +20 damage from Psychic Pokemon. Finally, but importantly, Lucario has 1 Retreat cost, which puts it slightly ahead of competing Fighting Stage 1's such as Rhydon, Medicham, and Hippowdon.
3. Machamp PK
I begin with this Machamp for no particular reason. It's not "better" than DP Machamp, and both have their great usefulness. Machamp PK is included for two reasons: (1) Brick Smash, which delivers 40 damage, and gets through everything, including Agility, Metal Energy, Damage Reduction (such as Steel Wing), and (of course) Resistance. Brick Smash is one of those greatly-underrated attacks which disrupts decks that rely on damage control (e.g., Magnezone, or Scizor). By itself, Brick Smash's 40 damage would just be OK, but we also have...(2) Overzealous, Machamp's Poke-Body. This is the only non-tech Poke-Body or Poke-Power in the deck. It is vital against EX decks. If your opponent has an EX in play, Machamp's Poke-Body kicks in to deliver another 30 damage! Against top decks like Banette, and MSNBC, your opponent is either forced to keep his EX's out of play, or to take the consequences. Machamp PK's second attack will likely never see action, since it requires 4 energy. Machamp is Stage 2, so it takes a few turns to get it into play. It has "regular weakness," 120hp, and a retreat cost of 2. All in all, it is a solid Pokemon.
4. Machamp DP
Machamp DP has a very cool first attack, Revenge which does 20 damage for 1 Fighting Energy. BUT... if one of your Pokemon was KO'd last turn, Revenge does 70 damage instead! This is one of the best bargains in Pokemon! Machamp DP's second attack is also quietly powerful: for 3 Fighting Energy, it does a guaranteed 60, but you also flip a coin for a possible extra 30 damage AND confusion. This Machamp has 130 hp, "better Weakness," but an extreme retreat cost of 3 Energy.
This Machop can do 20 damage for 1 Fighting Energy. For this express reason, that both Machop and Riolu can do extreme damage to many Castform- and Eevee- based decks, I feel that Lucario and Machamp have synergy, although you might not think so right away. This Machop has "better Weakness" but takes 2 to retreat! I considered Machop LM for its 1 retreat cost, and ability to snipe, but I feel that 20 initial damage is better than 10.
Machoke DP is not as fast or as light as Machoke LM or PK, but I like it for its "better Weakness" and the attacks are very good.
Addressing the number of Riolu: Originally, I had 3 Riolu and 4 Machop. From extensive testing (about 200 games, including tournaments), I can tell you plainly that Riolu is your preferred starter. Riolu is quicker and lighter than Machop, and Lucario is your preferred starting Evolution.
Addressing the number of Basic Pokemon: My list shows only 7 Basic Pokemon so that you can see the full Trainer Engine I have in mind. If you want to add techs (including another Machop), you'll have to whittle down that Trainer Engine.
In actuality, you'll probably want to include at least 1 more Basic Pokemon, whether or not it evolves. I don't recommend more than 9 Basics in any case. You then lose your early beatdown.
Let's start with the Holon Engine. The Holon list I have posted is the best yet, streamlined and efficient. I played this at Nationals, and was never disappointed. Discarding for the Holon Supporter is sometimes a difficult choice, but works out OK most of the time.
Stadium = 4x Cursed Stone. How great is this card? Improves almost every matchup. 4 is a must, and 1 Scott.
Then, Castaway Engine. At Nationals, I played 2x Castaway, 2x Cessation Crystal, and 1x Energy Root, and it's just about perfect IMO. Crystal Shard (1x) would be a good tech, but you'll have to make room for it if you want it. Alternatively, you might consider a Fluffy Berry (1x) tech.
4x Plus Power is incredible. My advice is to never play this deck without 4 Plus Power. Strength Charm is good also, but if you have Cessation Crystal already down, it can't be played.
Celio's is the obvious choice for general Pokemon search. 4 is very nice, but you can get by with 3 also. I use 3 Rare Candy, and find it to be enough.
Finally, 1x Briney. Originally, I had 2 Briney, but the need for 2 is not that great IMO. I like Briney better than Switch in this deck, as it gets back energy that you may need. And you can search for Briney with Scott.
TRAINER ADJUSTMENTS YOU CAN MAKE: If you need room for tech, or something else, the following adjustments are, in my opinion, possible:
(a) Cursed Stone can be cut to 3. I don't recommend it, but at least it won't mess with the speed of the deck.
(b) Celio's can be cut to 3 without too much problem. Every once in a while, it comes up thin.
NON-HOLON TRAINER ENGINE: Maybe you don't like the way the Holon Engine works for this deck. Here is an alternative:
1 Great Ball
1 Master Ball
1 Holon Mentor
note: the original list was 2 Great Ball/ 1 Master Ball
3 Rare Candy
2 Prof Rowan.... this is a great card
4 Cursed Stone
3 Cessation Crystal
2 Briney's Compassion
4 Plus Power
1 Fluffy Berry
Again, some of these numbers are adjustable if you want to play tech.
My opinion is that you need a LOT of Fighting Energy. Therefore, I play 12. You need some DRE, but not too much and I think 2 is adequate. I no longer recommend 11 Fighting/ 3 DRE, as it hurts consistency, in my experience.
I don't play Scramble for 2 reasons: (1) you will not usually be behind, (2) if you are behind, you probably won't be able to find Scramble Energy in a timely manner.
You can trade out 1 Fighting for 1 Multi if you run a tech which needs a different type. If you run an EX tech, then you may also need to trade out 1 Fighting (or 1 DRE, if you were running 3) for 1 Holon's Electrode (or Castform, if you're daring).
This is actually very winnable. One of the keys is to kill off the Vibrava as quickly as possible. For this, a Plus Power at the right time comes in very handy. Another key is to keep Flygon d off-balance, and unable to power up anything... Cessation Crystal and Cursed Stone do the trick. If they play Flygon EX, Machamp PK starts hitting for 30 more. I won both my tournament games vs Flygon. I give this 60-40 or better.
In reality, this should be an autowin, but you still have to watch out for Scramble Energy on Raichu. Probably 80-20.
This is also nearly autowin, especially against the version in vogue, i.e., with Delcatty, which is weak to Fighting, and susceptible to CC/Cursed Stone. Infernape can be a beast, but early beatdown with Machop/Riolu, and sniping with Lucario can do the trick. I've won almost every tournament game vs Infernape (record is 8-2). I give this 70-30 or better.
Riolu vs Castform is a good matchup. Just make sure you hit the heads. CC/Cursed Stone does wonders to stop energy acceleration, and searching. Brick Smash helps against Lati@s* and Dragonite d. Without tech, Mario has no answer to Metagross, except to keep pounding away. Tough match, but I'll give it 50-50.
Another Riolu vs Castform matchup. Steelix will be hard-pressed to last very long. Nidoqueen and Metagross fail against CC/Cursed Stone. Watch out for Metagross DX, a nemesis of Mario. I think this is 50-50 or better.
Lickitung, Stantler start for Destiny might be all she wrote. Rayquaza d EX has little firepower vs Mario. This should not be that close. In my testing, Mario hardly ever loses. I'll say 60-40.
Vs. Bandoom and Speedban
Brick Smash, Revenge, Overzealous, Plus Power, Cessation Crystal, and Cursed Stone all help but Banette, however, is too FAST. Therefore, unless you use a Dark Pokemon tech, this could be autoloss. Also see post # 475 (Dark Pokemon analysis). About 20-80.
Eevee and Absol both weak to Fighting. Poke-Powers galore to feed off. Don't forget Overzealous. Having played against Chris Fulop's Absolutions in Top 16 Nationals 2007, I'd say that the match is 50-50, but mostly due to Absolutions' Mew EX. Otherwise, 60-40 or better.
Haven't played against it, but Eevee is weak, Flareon EX has some susceptibility to CC/Cursed Stone. Overzealous comes into play. Given that scenario, I'll say 50-50 or better.
Weak to Fighting. Versions with Sableye can be shut down with CC/Cursed Stone. Versions with Misdreavus/Hypno will be a little trickier, but not impossible (Cessation Crystal eases the Sleep condition). At least 60-40.
I know it may appear that these matchups are unrealistic, but I've tested against most of them. Mario is, IMO, that good.
1. What is the synergy of the deck?
The actual "point" of the deck is to gain early beatdown. The focal point of this beatdown is the rampant Holon's Castform, and also the prevalent Eevee. Riolu and Machop are, IMO, the best Pokemon for the job. Naturally, these Pokemon evolve and then do not seem to have synergy, but still they do, being both Fighting (simple but true), but also complementing each other, doing a job that the other cannot do. For example, Lucario snipes, but Machamp PK takes apart EX decks.
2. If Mario is so good, why hasn't it won anything?
Top 16 x 2 at 2007 Nationals. 3x 1st Place Battle Roads 2007. This deck is super-consistent.
3. What techs are good for Mario?
I think there are three good reasons to use tech in Mario.
(1) First, with 7 Basic Pokemon, you tend to get mulligans. However, this is not as bad as you might think. In every game I've played with Mario, where I had mulligans, it didn't affect the game outcome. I believe this is due to the beatdown nature of the deck.
(2) Second, there are matchups which could use help (Banette, for sure).
(3) You need some type of quick disruption.
In order to make room for tech, you will have to sacrifice somewhere. Under almost no circumstances, however, do I think you should have less than 2 Cessation Crystal, or less than 3 Cursed Stone. Here are some ideas:
(a) Another Machop. Give this first consideration if you find yourself inconsistent with the Machamp line.
Fighting Types: Included for consistency with Energy use.
Excellent: Nosepass HP: I played this at my 1st place BR. T1 10+ Confusion (possible) works and gives you that quick disruption. T2 20+ snipe 2 for 10 is neat. Water weakness is not so prevalent/ spreads the weakness of the deck. 1 retreat is very helpful. Confusion can temporarily stop your arch-enemy (Banette). 87% effective.
Pretty Good: Lunatone LM/Solrock LM. Lunatone can Paralyze and Solrock can do Energy removal, and together they can stop Delcatty's (quick disruption). However, you lose the beatdown when they play. 65% effective.
Pretty Good: Gligar UF. Upgraded. To be fair, I saw Machamp/ Gligar/ Nidoqueen used effectively at Nationals. 10+ Poison is effective beatdown, shuts Banette EX Poke-Power, and forces opponent's strategy. However, 50hp is a quick Ray d EX prize. 60% effective.
Possibly: Donphan HP. Use Phanpy HP for the quick disruption (Sleep). 75% effective, but Stage 1.
Possibly: Medicham DP: Force Palm is effective against nemeses, Banette and Salamence (damage counters = no Resistance), even on opponent's Bench, but ineffective against patsies. 80 for 3 (or 70 for 2) is classic goodness, although there is 20 self-damage, but this goes towards Force Palm. 90 hp, but 2 retreat. Meditite and Medicham DP share "better weakness." Meditite's additional virtues include 60hp, and possible Agility (quick disruption), but Meditate you will likely never use for this onesie. Watch out for Mew copying Force Palm! 70% effective, but Stage 1.
Possibly: Whiscash DX. Hmmm. Barboach DX provides the quick disruption. 70% effective, but Stage 1.
Possibly: Dugtrio CG. This was used at Nationals. Obviously, you cannot use Cessation Crystal on any of your Pokemon if you want Dugtrio's protection. Diglett does *not* provide quick disruption. 60% effective, but Stage 1.
Not Recommended: Claydol DX, Quagsire UF, Cacturne d, Armaldo EX, Kabutops LM. Poke-Powers goes against your Cursed Stone ethic, and/or quick disruption is not apparent.
Dark Types: Included for your arch-enemy, Banette. Also works against Gengar, Dusclops, Misdreavus/Mismagius, etc.
Excellent: Sableye CG: I played this at 2007 Nationals. Disable+ 10 uses any energy, and can stop Shuppet from evolving, either Banette from attacking. Excavate helps Mario thin the deck some, and can set up a good next turn, or draw. No weakness! Resistance to Colorless helps vs Salamence (another nemesis). 60hp/1 retreat is good. The Poke-Power is at odds with our own Cursed Stone, and experience shows you basically kill it off yourself, so watch out! 75% effective.
Not Recommended: Sharpedo EX, Tyranitar EX, Umbreon EX, Mightyena EX, Absol EX, Stunky/Skuntank DP, Crawdaunt DX. Either Weak to Fighting, or cannot provide quick disruption, or takes away from quick beatdown. Absol EX *sounds* good but has multiple problems in this deck.
Safeguard Pokemon: Included for Banette, Flygon, Salamence, Mew and other EX's which give you some trouble.
Possibly: Banette CG: You can Ascend with any energy. Banette CG has many nice features, including Confusion vs Basic Pokemon, 1 retreat, and Fighting resistance. You will need Multi or use DRE. 65% effective, but Stage 1.
Possibly: Ninetales PK. Ninetales can attack easily for 20-40, and can use DRE for 40. Fire type works well vs Metal Pokemon Scizor, Steelix, Magnezone, and many Grass Pokemon also. 1 retreat is good. Vulpix d (possible Confusion) is probably your best bet. Water Weakness. 65% effective, but Stage 1.
Not Recommended: Latios d EX, Shuckle UF, Celebi EX OP2, Altaria DX, Wobbuffett PK. Wobby, Latios, and Celebi will all be hurt by Banette CG. Vaporeon EX helps opponent's Mew EX get through+ Psychic Weakness also. At least Banette and Ninetales have some chance of scoring.
Psychic Pokemon: Maybe you want to tech for Psychic types (your weakness):
Possibly: Gengar DP. Life Drain for 1 of any Energy rocks. Resists Colorless, and has no true Weakness. Gastly LM can provide quick disruption (DP is AWFUL). Stage 2 techs. 60% effective, but Stage 2.
Possibly: Sceptile EX. Besides the possibility of providing Psychic Weakness, Sceptile's Poke-Body would help vs EX Pokemon (Banette, Salamence, Mew, etc) by making them use 1 extra energy, and stopping their Poke-Powers. Lots of cons, though: DOUBLE WEAKNESS is horrible, Energy use will be a problem, EX is a risk, Stage 2 is harder to attain. Treecko CG would provide your quick disruption (Sleep), but is 40hp. 50% effective, but Stage 2.
Not Recommended: Drapion DP (3 retreat, Skorupi has no quick disruption and requires a Multi to even begin), Mew EX LM (EX risk, opponent's CC and you without Windstorm or Warp Point, Banette).
Possibly: Gligar d DF. Lots of quick disruption, and anti-EX. 60hp, Water Weakness, 1 Retreat. Haven't tested yet, but seems very good. 80% effective?
Possibly: Chatot DP. Provides quick disruption, no true Weakness, a good Resistance, Colorless type vs Salamence, and a decent first attack. 70% effective.
Possibly: Mew*. Testing shows this to be versatile, and quick, though short-lived (70hp). No Poke-Power or Poke-Body to worry about. Copies a number of 1-energy attacks including Delta Draw (for 1), Meteor Punch, Upstream. 1 retreat is good. Psychic Weakness hurts. Likely needs a Magnetrode. 70% effective.
Possibly: Smeargle d. This would be a terrific tech vs Banette, Mew EX, et al, but it's weak to Fighting! This applies also to Spinda, Stantler, Zangoose, et al. 70% effective, but weak to Fighting.
Possibly: Clefable DP. In testing, Clefable never had the chance to Metronome. Either the energy need is too high, or your opponent sees it coming. 2 to retreat. Flippy 1st attack. DP Clefairy has quick disruption (Sleep). 75% effective, but Stage 1.
Possibly: Infernape. Tested extensively. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's terrible. FREE Retreat. Chimchar for no energy! 100hp is a bit low. Can use DRE but discards it also. Meteor Punch is a flip. 75% effective, but Stage 2.
Not Recommended: Empoleon DP (this is super-hard to attain, power, and utilize correctly in Mario), Munchlax.
KNOWN TOURNAMENT SIGHTINGS
*** 2007 NATIONALS ***
Top 16 Masters (8-3 record) King Gengar - me! ...
Top 16 Masters (8-3 record) Emmanuel (last name ?)
Top 16 Seniors (8-2 record) Ultra Upaa (Patrick T)
6-3 Mike Reynolds
+ numerous 6-3 records in Masters and Seniors (I think Juniors also)...
PM me your Nationals performance with Mario and I will post it here if 6-3 or better
4x Battle Roads (Oregon).. (Tennessee - me!).. (Las Vegas, Nevada).. (Minnesota)
2x Battle Roads (Colorado, and ?)
1x Battle Roads (North Carolina)
1x Battle Roads (North Carolina - me!)
Last edited by KingGengar; 07/20/2007 at 10:16 PM. Reason: better format for front page