With the release of Steam Siege, Volcanion EX was immediately the most popular card of the entire set, due to its high playability and a little bit due to its awesomeness as well. Ever since, decks starring Volcanion EX have been performing very well both online as in real life tournaments. Last Regionals at Dortmund for example, a lot of players wisely put their faith in this deck, resulting in to be the most played deck in most regionals since its release and consequently having the top 32 decks consist of 5 decks based on… you guessed it.. Volcanion EX!
It’s been two months ago since the release of Steam Siege and since then a lot of things happened in the TCG that shifted the meta massively, including the release of the new set of Evolutions. So, this deck has been around for quite a while but we hadn’t really paid too much attention to it. Why? Considering it is one of the most popular decks back then and even now still, we sincerely don’t know. But, better late than never!
There are several reasons for this deck to be so popular as it is right now. First of all, the deck is known to be easy to build because Volcanion EX is so easy to get nowadays due to Promo releases for example. Moreover, it is one of the most consistent decks out there as well, making it very easy to use. Lastly, the deck doesn’t really have a straight up counter to it, in contrast to most decks. Which may be the most important factor as to why it is so popular still.
The deck revolves around the following three cards:
Though being the star of the entire deck, this Pokémon prefers staying on the bench rather than being on the frontline. His ability “Steam up” allows you to do more damage next attack for the cost of a single energy. The more energy you decide to sacrifice, the higher the damage output will be. His attack can one-shot targets quite easily thanks to the ability, but can only be used once in every two turns. Therefore, as the main attacker this deck revolves around another card to be on the frontline. Regular Volcanion will be doing most of the dirty work.
The regular Volcanion EX will cost you about 3 packs to get online and about $ 8 in real life.
Now this the card you will want to have on your frontline, preferably from the beginning. With a fury belt, he almost has the same amount of hp as a regular EX card. Moreover, the attack “Power heater” will charge up the rest of your bench real quick, providing you with a very quick energy build up. His final attack, with a little bit combination of “Steam up” will be doing enough damage to knock out your opponent’s active Pokémon in 1 single hit. Why favor this card over the regular Volcanion EX? He can keep using the attack every single turn. Moreover, if he gets taken down, you will have enough of energy across the board the sent in another attack, and he will only give away a single prize card.
Volcanion will cost you about 2 packs to get online and about $ 5 in real life.
Hoopa EX – RC28/RC32
Hoopa EX is important in a lot of EX heavy decks, and this deck is no exception. Getting as many Volcanion EX on your bench as possible is necessary do to the massive amount of damage. And Hoopa EX will do exactly that, and more. He will also provide you with that extra drawpower by being able to pull out a Shaymin EX as well.
As mentioned before, this deck is fairly easy to get both online and offline. As Volcanion EX has been released as a promo card by now and this can be obtained through buying a tin, for example. Furthermore, it only needs one or two Shaymin EX, which compared to most decks, who mostly use three or even four isn’t a bargain, but it does matter. Volcanion will cost about 3 – 5 dollars a card, so not too expensive there as well.
Full Deck List
It is easy to do high amounts of damage, especially because its consistency is so good, that you will rarely not be able to set up in the first or second turn. Which means you will get crazy amounts of damage, in a rather short time, what has become a main prodigy for fire decks in general. Therefore, its strengths are Damage control and Consistency. Furthermore, there are no hard counters to this deck, which means that you won’t be matched up with someone that has more the upper hand than a maximum difference of a 60/40 chance.
You can pretty much decide how much damage you want to be doing if you get all your Volcanion EX up. You can even one-shot any Mega evolved Pokémon with your regular Volcanion if you were to sacrifice four fire energy cards. But, as you normally wouldn’t need that much damage, especially in the beginning of the game, you can use the first attack of Volcanion just as well. This way, you can charge up your Volcanion EX on the bench, as they are your plan B if your regular Volcanion were to get knocked out.
The deck doesn’t need to evolve any Pokémon, which is the main cause as to why it is so consistent. You’ve got enough draw support and four ultra balls and other trainer cards that will allow you to set up fairly quickly and will ensure that you will (most likely) never draw a dead hand. Not having to use spirit links, Evosoda and rare candy are really positive factors that contribute to the consistency of the deck.
No hard counters
There isn’t any deck out there you can’t beat. Sure, there are some dangers you would rather want to avoid. For example, Garbodor is a big threat due to its ability to disable your abilities. But even without your abilities to do extra damage, you will be able to do enough damage to two-shot any Pokémon. So it will slow you down, but it will not shut you down completely as some decks will be.
Every deck has their strengths, but unfortunately (and especially fortunately or the game will get boring real quick) also their weaknesses. For this deck, these are the following; Water decks and Giratina EX.
Literally its weakness is water. Sounds logical doesn’t it? The deck just doesn’t have straight up counters as mentioned earlier, but water decks are obviously a threat as they will do double damage. So if were to play for example a Gyarados EX or Regice/Glaceon Deck, they become twice as dangerous as they normally would be. It does help you can oneshot both with a regular and an EX Pokémon so you will be able to bypass most of the block effects in the game.
A lot of decks play Garbodor and that is for a lot of legit reasons. One of them, is to be able to beat this deck. Because it doesn’t guarentee a win, it does somewhat weaken the power of the deck. Furthermore, there are some decks that have a slight advantage towards this deck as well. With decks based on M Mewtwo and M Gardevoir being the two most popular ones.
The difficulty of playing this deck is “Easy”.
As usual, we use DarkIntegralGaming his amazing videos to give guidance as to how-to-play a specific deck. Even though this deck is fine-tuned the way i personally like it best, it gives a good overview as to how the deck works and how to play it, on a pretty basic level however (sorry DarkIntegral! :-).
This deck is pretty straightforward and easy to play. Yet, very powerful and a strong contender in the current meta all the same. You will find it both accessible to learn how to play, as it is to get the cards needed to build the deck. Which are both factors that caused this deck to actually be the most popular deck played in the last couple of Regionals. And even though it is really popular and a lot of people try to counter it by having this same knowledge, it is still able to perform very well in the tournaments. Therefore, it would be a wise decision to consider playing this deck in a tournament because its pros outweigh its cons by a large margin.
But will it get you all the way to the final of Worlds? This deck might just be a little too popular for that to happen, but never say never!
+ Fast and Easy Setup
+ Damage control
– Water decks
– Ability lock
Next Deck Review: Beedrill EX / M Beedrill EX
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