“Escape from Twist Mountain:” Introduction to Toad/Aerodactyl and a Look at Inventing Rogues

Hey guys, Phinn again. As San Jose Regionals approach, the main question on my mind is: how can I build a deck that beats Trevenant and Yveltal, but also holds fair matchups against the rest of the field. This article is my answer to that question.

This piece was written over about a week, and you’ll notice that there are time skips throughout the article. I wanted to make this piece to show my deck-building process, including what goes through my head as I deck-build.

Part One: 11/17/16

This piece should serve as a way to find out how deck-builders think when creating rogue decks. I don’t have a history in the game of being a great rogue-deck builder because most of my placements are with top-tier meta decks. However, I actually build rogue decks pretty frequently, and I usually have some kind of spice in my meta lists.

Initial theorizing

In general, it seems like most decks in the meta rely on evolutions in one way or another. Trev is a BREAK deck, which basically means a Stage 2 deck. Eels, and Wobbuffet Accelgor just made Top 8 in Philadelphia. Greninja won Arizona, and Sableye/Garb is seeing play again. Groudon (and any other Mega deck, for that matter) are evolution decks too. For that reason, I think I want to play Archeops in this deck.

The problem with Maxie and Archeops is that Trevenant will shut down that sort of engine. So, what about the other way to evolve it? Honestly, I’m not sure how people get these Fossils out usually. I remember something about a stadium that can do it.

So after some research, it looks like we use Archen from Plasma Blast with Plume Fossil to get it into play, and then on the next turn get Archeops out. Sounds like Ultra Ball and Trainers’ Mail are going to be our best friends. Maybe a couple Battle Compressor too, just to help get Archen in there a little more consistently.

Great, so that works, I suppose. Now we have counters to a big part of the meta. However, that bird won’t help against the “big bird” (Yveltal). Soooo, what is good against Yveltal? Well Seismitoad and energy denial are inherently strong against Yveltal. In all of my experience as an Yveltal player, Toad has given me more difficulty than anything. Archeops is also great with Toad because it stops your opponent from being able to use Evosoda, or VS Seeker for the Hex Maniac, or Ultra Ball for Jirachi in order to use Stellar Guidance for Wally. Archen is also great Ultra Ball fodder, which is useful considering Toad decks usually struggle with finding good cards to discard, other than the one-of supporters.

In general, Toad just compliments Archeops pretty well. The problem is that Toad really isn’t very strong against Trev. The 30 per turn is pretty low, and without another partner, Toad won’t do enough on its own.

While I was researching, I realized that there is a different fossil that could be strong with Toad: Aerodactyl. Aerodactyl for Dark Explorers has an Ability that reads: “Ancient Scream: Your Pokémon’s attacks do 10 more damage to the Active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance).”

I like this as a Trevenant counter because as long as Twist Mountain is down, Aerodactyl can come into play without any Items at all. Maybe we play two or even three Twist Mountain. I like a high stadium count against Trevenant because winning the stadium war usually means winning the game. If we can fit five stadiums total between Rough Seas and Twist Mountain, I think Trev is going to struggle. On top of that, a Promo Shaymin can help to nullify most of damage that Silent Fear puts out.

As I type all of this, I’m realizing how space will be an issue. I like to put all of my ideas down first, and then make cuts based on further theory and thought.

There is also another Aerodactyl that attacks for a Double Colorless Energy. Since we’re already playing DCE, a second attacker could be nice, maybe just a one-of. The attack is really solid, discarding a Special Energy and doing 120 for just a DCE seems very worth it to me. The free retreat cost makes it even more worth it. I think it will receive at least one slot in the list.

It also just occurred to me that it can one-shot Yveltal BKT if the other Aerodactyl is in play…..Maybe I should just play a straight Aerodactyl deck (lol).

It’s worth noting too that “Ancient Scream” does not require your attacker to be Basic the way that Empoleon BKT or Fighting Fury Belt do.

As I review the matchups, I realize that Rough Seas is a card that works wonders against Yveltal decks. Maybe I can worry less about the energy denial and just make the list super-defensive. Do a WaterBox-type thing but without Elixirs and Manaphy. With Yveltal and Trevenant being my main concerns, I think I need at least three Rough Seas. Let’s say two Twist Mountain, three Seas to start with.

To take full advantage of Promo Shaymin with Seas, a way to retreat consistently is also important. I think one Keldeo and two Float Stone should do the trick.

Now I’m ready to build the first list, with this as my initial sixty. Certainly not perfect, but it’s a place to start.

Pokémon – 14 Trainers – 39 Energy – 7
4 Seismitoad EX 4 Professor Juniper 4 VS Seeker 4 Double Colorless
1 Keldeo EX 3 N 4 Ultra Ball 3 Water
1 Shaymin EX ROS 1 Xerosic 3 Trainers’ Mail
1 Shaymin EX promo 1 Ghetsis 2 Fighting Fury Belt
1 Aerodactyl FCL 1 AZ 2 Float Stone
1 Aerodactyl DEX 1 Lysandre 2 Old Amber Aerodactyl
2 Archeops NVI 2 Plume Fossil
2 Archen PLB 2 Battle Compressor
1 Super Rod
1 Computer Search
3 Rough Seas
2 Twist Mountain
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