This deck made it to the final of worlds… So it must be good, right?
My personal preference are the types of decks that are both reliable and consistent, ruling luck out as a factor as much as possible. However, some cards that are based on luck are simply too powerful NOT to use. The new Steam Siege Talonflame is exactly such a card. Being a stage 2 Pokémon, his ability allows you to instantly use him as a starter Pokémon. This is a 130 hp Pokémon that can attack and retreat with one Energy and allows you to draw any two cards that you need. Combine this with the power of Greninja, and you have an amazing deck. (But you still need that little luck with getting Talonflame in your starting hand).
We spoke of being in control in our last Review concerning the Jolteon EX / Raikou / Magnezone Deck and not being in control, but being really fast with the Flareon EX / Camerupt Deck. This deck is another cup of tea and does give the player some form of control. Yet, even though Greninja BREAK will give you control over the game once set up, it is primarily the luck that is necessary to make this deck really shine, which might make it a little too dodgy for some players out there.
The deck revolves around the following four cards:
Talonflame – 96/114
When XY11 Steam Siege had just released, this card was predicted to be a “decent” addition to the meta at most. It turned out to be a much stronger card than expected. A lot of decks can benefit from this card as it can give you a great advantage as a starting Pokemon, thanks to its ability. But, you do have to get it in your starting hand, so you do have to depend a lot on luck to get this particular advantage. Another benefit from having Talonflame as your starting Pokémon is its attack, which allows you to draw any two cards that you want, which gives you a lot of opportunity to do anything you want really.
Talonflame will cost you about 3 packs to get online and about $ 5 in real life.
Frogadier – 39/122
Frogadier allows you to set up your Greninja BREAKS that you will need to do the real damage. Its attack will allow you to skip having to evolve your Froakies, and move all the Frogadiers from your deck onto your bench. This speeds up the process of setting up alot, and without this attack this deck would be a lot less viable as it is now. Just hope that you won’t get three Frogadiers in your starting hand :-).
As Frogadier is an uncommon card, getting it won’t cost you anything.
Greninja – 40/122
For a very low energy cost, your Greninja is allowed to do 60/80 damage or 40 damage and block your opponent’s ability as well. This isn’t massive damage, but very decent for the cost that is involved. Furthermore, being able to block your opponent’s abilities will buy you even more time to get the powerful BREAKS out.
Greninja will cost you 1 pack to get online and about $ 1,50 in real life.
Greninja BREAK – 41/122
Decent damage for a low energy cost and some control is nice, but this is where the real damage and control comes in. Having two Greninja BREAKS up allows you to do massive damage, even to your opponent’s benched Pokémon. The ability “Giant Water Shuriken” allows you to place 6 damage counters to the Pokémon of your choice. Moreover, as Greninja BREAK has no retreat cost, you can retreat and actually use the ability again in the same turn with another Greninja BREAK. This is a total of 120 damage, and you haven’t even attacked yet! Depending on how much damage you still have to do, you can either choose for a lower 40 damage, but an ability block, or 60 damage with an additional 20 damage if you remove your energy card to your bench.
Greninja BREAK will cost you 7 packs to get online and about $ 18 in real life.
To summarize, use Talonflame from the start (if you’re lucky) to get the cards that you need from your deck to set up properly. Use Frogadier to fill up your bench with as many Frogadiers as you possibly can, and get the Greninja BREAKS up as soon as possible to do the serious damage, to the Pokémon of your liking.
Getting this deck together can be pretty expensive, but it doesn’t use Shaymin EX or Octillery for draw support thanks to the Talonflames, so this makes it a bit cheaper than most strong decks out there.
Full Deck List
As mentioned before, the main focus of this particular deck is setting up your Greninja BREAKS as quickly as possible with the help of a Talonflame, to start getting control and do some serious damage: Control, Survivability, and No use of EX cards or Draw Support
It does take some time to set up, but once set up you really get a lot of control of the game thanks to the low energy costs of your attacks and the non-existent retreat cost. You can take out any Pokémon on the bench that your opponent is still building up, or low HP Pokémon on the bench that have annoying abilities you want to get rid of. Thanks to the fact that you choose to which Pokémon you want to do 60 damage to you can really disrupt your opponent’s plans. Bursting balloons are included in the deck because they can give you some cover while building up your Greninja BREAKS.
You can retreat for free (both talonflame and Greninja BREAK), which means you can swap your Pokémon out to even out the damage to survive longer. Furthermore, most of the time your Greninja BREAK won’t have any energy on him since you have to put your energy back to your hand if you want maximum damage. This also means you won’t lose an energy if you were to use a “Max Potion”, which heals your Pokémon completely, without a catch.
No EX cards or draw support
Using cards like Shaymin EX or Hoopa EX for your draw support and benching your EX cards is a very effective (and expensive) way of powering your deck, yet playing these cards on your bench also gives you weakness. Shaymin EX has low hp and can be taken out easily for two prize cards, and is therefore, a threat for decks that use damage control attacks such as the Greninja BREAK one. And Hoopa EX for example, has a HUGE retreat cost, and will force the player to play at least two float stones in the deck as well. And because you don’t use any of these cards, you are not vulnerable to this type of strategy and you don’t need the extra cards to counter these weaknesses.
Every deck has their strengths, but also their weaknesses. For this deck, these are the following;
Slow build up
If you aren’t that lucky with your starting hand, setting up can be quite difficult and can lose you the game early. If you don’t get a Talonflame from the start, things are a lot slower than with one. Furthermore, without Wally on the first turn you will need another turn to be able to evolve a Froakie into a Frogadier, which gives your opponent a lot of time to set up as well. And if your opponent plays a deck style that does quick damage, you might already be too late. However, if you do survive a rough start, things are most likely headed your way later in the game, if you play it well of course :).
I personally do not like to depend on luck in this game, and in any game really. But as mentioned earlier, Talonflame is just too strong not to use in this deck. Therefore, luck has to be on your side with your starting hand. This is a weakness as not having the luck that is necessary, it can lose you games.
The difficulty of playing this deck is “Intermediate”.
Setting up your Greninja BREAKS isn’t that difficult to master and can be done as effectively as possible by anyone really. But if you really want to master this deck, you do need to practice quite a decent amount. Because, thanks to Talonflame, you have the power to get any two cards that you wish from your deck. And the more experience you have with this particular deck, the more knowledgeable you will be in making the right choice to which two cards you REALLY need. In this video, our friend DarkIntegralGaming has a similar deck, and plays a couple of matches with it. Watch the video if you want to get a decent idea of how this deck is played.
This deck made it to the final of Worlds, and the main reason for that is simply because it is very strong and versatile. It lost the final however, due to its biggest flaw, which is luck dependence. If you are not lucky enough to get a Talonflame in your starting hand, i wouldn’t say you lost the game beforehand, but it does make a whole lot of a difference. On the other hand, you need a bit of luck with your starting hand with any deck out there, this deck just needs it a little bit more :). That being said, this deck can beat pretty much anything out there. One strong counter against this deck however, is the popular M Mewtwo EX Deck. The biggest problem is that this deck doesn’t play any stadium, or stadium counters. This way you can’t prevent a M Mewtwo EX to use damage change from its previous evolution Mewtwo EX. And since Greninja BREAK doesn’t have enough damage to one-shot a M Mewtwo EX, and a damage change removes all damage from M Mewtwo EX, there isn’t really a way you can win. Other than that particular deck, there isn’t really a deck out there you can’t beat. Unfortunately, being as that M Mewtwo EX is a very popular deck in the current meta, this deck loses a lot of its viability, and will probably never make it as far as it did in the latest worlds.
+ No EX Cards and Draw Support
– Slow build-up
– Luck dependant
Next Deck Review: Zoroark / Yveltal EX
Previous Deck Review: Jolteon EX / Raikou / Magnezone
Looking to buy the cards to build this deck? You can find the cards here!
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