Joker – using Blowns to find order within a chaotic format

“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh and you know the thing about chaos, it’s fair.” – Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, 2008)

If you have been playing Pokemon since the rotation before Worlds, you should be acutely aware of the fact that the format is very luck-based. Pokemon feels like gambling. I don’t like that. A win should be the result of a strong deck list and superior strategic ability, rather than drawing into Welder more often than your opponent. How can you compete in this format playing a reliable deck? Mewtwo is an extremely hit or miss deck and it won both Cologne and Atlantic City Regionals.

Ironically enough, Clowns in Pokemon are the agent of order rather than Chaos. Blacephalon decks play Welder, but also have strong draw with Cynthia and Ultra Conversion. You can get away with playing Cynthia on several turns instead of Welder because of Beast Ring and Burst GX, which is a quality unique to Blowns. Blowns was in my top three picks for Atlantic City and testing the deck more often is something I regret not doing. In preparation for Knoxville I am giving the deck the attention it deserves.

As the meta has progressed, it seems fewer and fewer players are concerned about beating Blacephalon. Tapu Fini is seeing less play lately and even in the decks that do play it, they can only search it through Communication (if the deck even plays Communication). The main reason I have been interested in Blowns is that it has a great match up against Mewtwo Box as we can see in the data bellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This data is helpful for understanding which decks are the best calls for any given meta. You might notice that Blowns has a somewhat lower ranking on this spreadsheet. When you consider the match up break-down next to what decks made Top 8 at Atlantic City Regionals, Blowns looks a lot better. Three out of the four decks which made Top 4 at Atlantic City were Mewtwo. The other deck in Top 4 was Pidgeotto Control. While the data may say the Pidgeotto match up is unfavorable on this spreadsheet, I actually believe it is quite favorable if played correctly. Even if it was not favorable, Pidgeotto is not played in very high numbers. The few players willing to use it certainly have been doing well with the deck, but I doubt I will face even one Pidgeotto in day one. I will explain the strategy later on in this article; one of the techs in my list makes the match up close to an auto-win.

In this piece I explain my list with details about what could be changed and may change with more testing. I also explain the match ups against Fire Box/Ability Zard, Mewtwo Box, PikaRom, Malamar, Pidgeotto Control, and Gardeon. As usual, I’ll start with a skeleton for those who are not Stage 2 subscribers.

Blowns Skeleton

Pokémon – 14 Trainers – 24 Energy – 16
 4  Blacephalon GX  4  Welder  4  Mysterious Treasure  1  Beast
 4  Poipole  3  Cynthia  4  Custom Catcher  1  More Fire, or Psychic
 3  Naganadel  4  Beast Ring  14  Fire
 2  Naganadel GX  1  Ultra Space  3  Cherish Ball
 1  Dedenne GX  1  Heat Factory

Most of the work is done for you with a Blacephalon list because there are only six slots to mess with, followed by the decision to play the Psychic or not. The main piece of advice I would give is to keep a focus on consistency with those extra slots. As for the techs, take a look at the spreadsheet in the picture above for guidance. For example, you probably need little in the way of techs for Mewtwo considering it is a 61.4/38.6 in your favor.

Here’s how I put meat on the skeleton.

Blowns

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