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From time to time, I and others will be doing columns discussing particular cards. Think of these as "card of the whenever," but with a lot more depth and substance. Today, we'll be going over my personal favorite new card out of the entire Sun and Moon expansion: Decidueye GX.
 

Let's hop straight into analysis:


Hunting the most dangerous game: your wallet!

 

Card Overview

 

-- Its HP effectively walls everything in the Standard and Expanded formats except for M Rayquaza EX, select Fire attackers, and extremely well-timed Evil Balls from Yveltal EX.

-- Taken by itself, Razor Leaf is actually a mediocre attack on something that yields two Prizes for a Knock Out. However, when combined with numerous Feather Arrows over.

-Hollow Hunt GX is a strong attack in either format, but its impact is especially felt in the Standard format, where resource replenishment isn't nearly as efficient.

--Ah yes, how could I ignore the entire reason you're running this card: FEATHER ARROW!!!

 

So good, you'll get it in ink.

 

Line Considerations

How many Decidueye GX do you want in play in order  to reap stacked benefits from Feather Arrow? Theoretically, anything more than one. This means that I would advise against tech or small splash lines of Decidueye  -- either go big (at least 3 Rowlet, 2 Dartrix, 2 Decidueye GX) or run none at all. That's in large part because it takes so much before you start seeing the dividends pay off from Decidueye. To start a single Feather Arrow chain "on time" (by turn one or two), you will ALWAYS need 1 Rowlett, 1 Dartrix, 1 Decidueye GX, and 1 Forest of Giant Plants. Add in any search cards you may have used to find the aforementioned pieces, and you're easily looking at having invested 10% of your entire deck in a single effect. A good, gamebreaking effect, but a single effect nonetheless.

However, from a perspective of resource management, it's just more efficient to have a deck utilizing more than a single Decidueye per game. For example, getting out that first Decidueye may have taken 10% of your deck, but because of cards like Battle Compressor and Revitalizer, you can seriously cut down your overall "cost," saving a lot more to close out the game with a fully dedicated, 3-3-3 or 4-4-4 Decidueye deck.

Also, consider your Decidueye line from a metagame perspective. In Standard, Olympia and Pokemon Center Lady are both very popular; and in Expanded, both AZ and Scoop Up Cyclone see a ton of play. In the face of menaces like these, what on Earth is your gimpy single Decidueye going to do?

(Remember, the Ability is called Feather Arrow -- not "Feather Mosquito Bite." If you're gonna play Decidueye, go all the way in!)

 

Standard Options

Vileplume -- Running Decidueye GX with Item lock at first blush is the most stable, long-term approach to the deck. Although you are playing two thick Stage Two lines in the same deck, it's efficient to run the two together because you can Turbo-evolve both with a Forest of Giant Plants in play, and you can fetch missing pieces of either line with Revitalizer. Vileplume is also a natural partner to Decidueye because the Feather Arrow Ability is complimentary and indeed devastating as part of a lock strategy. To best illustrate this concept, let's take a look at a deck with an above-average count of switching options:

--Two Switch
--Two Float Stone
--One Escape Rope
--One Olympia
--Four VS Seeker to get back Olympia

I don't have to tell you how many of those options are starved the moment a Vileplume hits the board. This means that with as little as a single Decidueye and a well-timed Lysandre, you could win the game outright if your opponent has a vulnerable benched Pokemon. How's that for a Lock deck?!

 

Vespiquen --  Another option is to run the deck with Vespiquen, which has many of the same deck consctruction advantages to being paired with Decidueye GX that Vileplume does. While Vespiquen may lack the lock potential that Vileplume does, and while it won't be stealing nearly as many games, Vespiquen offers us our one and only way of getting a full attacker into play.

Big Basic Attackers  -- A third idea which I've found interest in is pairing Decidueye GX with big neutral attackers like Tauros GX. This is in theory very similar to the Vespiquen approach, only a bit more space-efficient, slightly less offensive, and much more defensive. It's also by far the most cost-efficient way to run a dedicated Decidueye GX list, and may have the best shot at beating imposing Mega decks such as Rayquaza and Gardevoir. (Remember that Rayquaza can one-shot your Owls!).

What are some good Big Basic attackers aside from Tauros?

--Lugia EX: With Feather Arrows, your potentially gimpy Aero Balls are now at or above keeping up with Yveltal EX's Evil Balls. Also, Deep Hurricane aided with enough Feather Arrows can one-shot almost any Mega evolution.

--Trevenant EX: Offers a soft lock option similar to the above strategy discussed with Vileplume, only with Retreat block via Dark Forest. Very good in setting up clever plays where you keep an Active locked while slowly whittling away or evne Knocking Out Benched Pokemon.

--Celebi XY93: Theta Stop protects Celebi from opposing Feather Arrows; Sparkle Motion is great at getting odd-numbered Pokemon in range for Decidueye such as Shaymin EX, and a Heads on Leap Through Time can function as a wall in a pinch when you can't afford to give up a prize in close games.

 

Expanded Options

All of the above for standard -- Remember that all of the above are respectable ways to run Decidueye in Expanded as well as Standard. I think with Battle Compressor, Decidueye/Vespiquen can become a lot more deadly so long as you have a way to cope with Archeops (or otherwise KO it really quickly).

Other than Mewtwo EX, not that many tech options emerge. However, some interesting variations with big Basics at the heart of the deck emerge:

Seismitoad EX  -- The theory here is essentially the same as with the Vileplume variants, only a lot more space-efficient.  For three spaces over 6-9, cutting Vileplume dashes your hopes for a turn one obliteration in exchange for a smoother, more streamlined game. It's also much more hopeful to cope with Archeops when you have a well-timed Seismitoad that could theoretically Lysandre it up and then subsequently attack a few times.

As one last note for this variant, I am struggling to decide whether I want to include Hypnotoxic lasers or not. I'm strongly leaning against it for consistency's sake, but if you are on the boards and have a separate take, leave me a line!

Virizion/Genesect -- This is an untested gimmick, but I like the theory behind it because the deck is fully functional without Decidueye. Muscle Band/Emerald Slash is by itself enough to defeat an Archeops, and by that point you can lay waste to your opponent with a brutal combination of Megalo Cannon and well-placed Feather Arrows. You also see a lot of that all-important Grass synergy through Revitalizer. My one major concern is that this is likely to be highly inconsistent. You also might be much better off by pairing Virizion EX/Genesect EX with Lurantis GX, which seems to be a much more natural partner for those two.

 

Virgen/Lurantis -- La Ménage à Lurantrois for another day???

 

Conclusion

I hope this in-depth review of Decidueye GX got your creative juices flowing. It's an incredible card, and while I don't blame you for being scared of Volcanion and Garbodor, it would be a fantastic choice for the upcoming Anaheim, CA Regional Championship. It would also be a great choice for the Collinsville, IL Regional Championship, despite being in a totally separate format.

 

It's been five years since the last time I've preordered a card -- Darkrai EX from Dark Explorers to be precise, which went on to win Worlds three times. I don't think Decidueye will be pulling off something crazy like that, but there is very rarely such a "wow" card as this.

Good luck, everyone!

Posted by: on 2017-02-06 12:50:27 • Tags: Decidueye GX Lurantis GX Pokemon Card of the Day Quick Search Pokemon Quick Search Decidueye Pokemon Sun and Moon Pokemon Trading Card Game Pokemon TCG Grass Pokemon