Green's PikaRom, in This Economy?
Hello Flipside Readers! Andrew here with another article and this time I will be covering an old archetype that might have potential in the current standard format. Right now, Standard is dominated by the most aggressive decks like ADP Zacian and Eternatus VMAX, which has become a little bit monotonous to say the least. That said, my goal has been to find a deck that can capitalize on that early aggression and blitz them down in the late game. I think I've gotten closer to that goal with the deck I am going to share with you today so let’s just dive into the article.
Pikachu & Zekrom GX decks have been surprisingly on the rise despite the crucial lighting support that was removed during rotation (Electro Power and Thunder Mountain). However, PikaRom is still a great card with a very efficient way of setting up the board, so the deck has found its own place in the meta. The idea behind using a Green's Exploration engine with this deck is to accomplish two things. First is to consistently get off a turn 1 Electrify from Boltund V to set up a PikaRom to use Full Blitz on the following turn. The second thing is to take advantage of reset stamps and energy disruption to slow down your opponent. With a consistent game plan and a way to slow down your opponent, I have found Green’s PikaRom to be a unique and fun deck to play in this format.
Despite what lighting decks have lost through rotation, this card has remained strong. Being able to accelerate three lighting energies to any Pokemon you want is very strong, especially when you want to pressure your opponent. The hardest part about working with this card is getting the initial energy needed to use full blitz without falling too far behind in the game. Thankfully lightning still retained some really solid energy acceleration options through Tapu Koko Prism and Boltund V which make getting off a turn 2 full blitz achievable. Tag Bolt GX is still a threat to most decks and even just the initial 200 damage can be enough to threaten huge knockouts.
Raichu & Alolan Raichu TTGX is commonly partnered with PikaRom for their synergy. This card has some great attacks to follow up with after using full blitz. Tandem Shock being able to paralyze your opponents Pokemon can create a window of opportunity in the late game after using reset stamp. It also means that you can set up knock outs on bigger Pokemon that can be cleaned up using the GX attack, or with other attackers. Lighting Ride GX is also great since it can deal up to 250 damage with enough energy and it allows you to preserve that energy by pivoting to the bench. This can be great to follow up with Boltund V on the next turn since it's harder for your opponent to chase down your energy. This card can also avoid being one shot by Zacian V (due to metal resistance) so it’s not a terrible card to take a Brave Blade attack. All in all, this is a great secondary attacker and gives the deck more options when approaching different matchups.
Boltund V is the best starter in the deck and the card we want to utilize the most for setting up and potentially dealing big damage later on. Its first attack, electrify, allows you to accelerate two lightning energies from your deck to your bench in any way you like. Ideally, we want to use this on our first turn to set up PikaRom’s Full Blitz attack on the following turn. However, depending on the match up, we can use this attack to set up any other attacker in the deck for the next turn. The other attack on this card is great for dealing with larger Pokemon in the late game, assuming there is enough energy in play. Bolt Storm is a very efficient attack and can provide a lot of pressure to your opponent. Overall this card is the backbone to the entire deck and is one of the main reasons for playing the deck in this style.
I wanted to briefly address why we are playing Tapu Koko Prism in the deck, which is because of its Dance of the Ancients ability. While we have roughly a 20% chance of starting with this card, we can clear it from the field by using its ability. Dance of the Ancients is necessary to keep energy in play during the mid-late game and the deck would lose a lot of steam without it. This card is also an important answer to dealing with decks like Decidueye Obstagoon since it is our only non-GX/V attacker. All in all, it's a risk running this card but one what is worth taking.
I have written about Green’s Exploration decks in the past and the best thing I have enjoyed about playing these types of decks is the control it gives you when finding ways to navigate match ups. While it does come at a high cost of not being able to play cards like Dedenne and Crobat, I find it to be less cumbersome to not have to discard half my deck in order to find the cards and allows you to manage your resources better. For this deck in particular, I find that being able to abuse Reset Stamp with Wondrous Labororith to be extremely oppressive in the late game. Being able to search out both of those cards with one supporter is very efficient. This card is also great in the early game since it allows us to search for the cards we need to use Electrify on turn 1 with Boltund V.
I find that with Green’s Exploration decks while you can search out cards you need with Green’s Exploration, you still need to generate cards in your hand to have options. Bird Keeper is great because it allows us to pivot into PikaRom on turn 2 to use full blitz as well as grow our hand some. After testing this deck a bit, I have found that switching outs is very important because you are utilizing several different attackers throughout the game. Being able to draw three cards at the same time can also help by giving us more answers on the later turns.
This is one of my favorite cards in the deck because of how broken the combos feel when you drop this down. This deck will almost always be playing from behind so being able to take advantage of playing multiple supporters is a powerful tool. This card combos so well with Green’s Exploration since you can search out a supporter from your deck and play it. This card allows you to do all sorts of interesting moves. Being able to utilize Green’s for Reset Stamp, Wondrous Labyrinth, and Yell Grunt in the same turn can be extremely paralyzing for deck’s like Eternatus who are dependent on single attachments to attack. You can also pair this card with Bird Keeper, Reset Stamp, and Raichu & Alolan Raichu to set up a two shot on your opponent’s VMAX Pokemon which can almost put them into a checkmate scenario depending on what resources they have left. Overall, this card is insanely powerful with the right pieces and is something that this deck can take advantage of.
I originally ran this build with Crushing Hammers to try to combat decks like APDZ and Eterntaus VMAX. While effective at times, it is hard to gain a significant advantage from them without playing multiple in the same turn, plus it’s hard to justify using Green’s to grab multiple copies of Crushing Hammer. However, I have found that Yell Grunt is great for setting back decks just enough to give you time to set up your board. I find energy disruption to be the most impactful against Eternatus VMAX, specifically in the late game, so if you can combo this with a reset stamp then you buy yourself a few turns to take your last few knockouts. This card is also great to combo with Lt. Surge and there are few feelings greater than dropping two Yell Grunts and a Wondrous Labyrinth against your opponent. This deck definitely needs some energy disruption to not fall behind, and this card gets the job done.
This has to be one of the most oppressive cards in the format and a great card for this deck to abuse. While most decks are very aggressive, these decks are not equipped to attach more than two energies in a turn in order to attack. Being able to drop your opponent’s hand to only a few cards while simultaneously cutting off their outs to attack can give you an incredibly strong advantage in the late game.
That’s about it for this deck. I plan to keep testing out different Green’s Exploration archetypes to try to find the one that fits the best. I have been having a lot of fun messing around with Green’s PikaRom online and it has potential to be able to compete with some of the best decks in the format. If you are getting tired of the repetitiveness of most standard decks then I would recommend giving this deck a try. I also plan on refining this list as time goes on and maybe even playing it for the next Player’s Cup, time will tell though. That’s about it for this article. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you would like to read more content from me please check my other articles here or follow me on twitter @TheSkyPillar where I commonly share my tournament runs and the decks I'm playing. Champion’s Path just arrived as well so make sure to check out FlipsideGaming.com for all your sealed product and singles needs. Until next time, stay safe out there!
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