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Evolutions has been out for about a month now and it hasn’t shifted the meta as expected but there are amazing support Pokemon in the set. And today we will be talking about a couple of them, the mischievous rodent Rattata and its evolution Raticate!
This is an amazing card! It has the ability Mischievous Fang, which allows you to discard all tool cards from your opponent’s Active Pokemon when you bench Rattata. This is the only tool removal card in the standard format right now that isn’t an attack. This is also the only reason I didn’t play Vespiquen in Dortmund! With everyone choosing Super Rod and Brock’s Grit over Karen in the standard format, I was ready to capitalize by playing Vespiquen/Zoroark/Zebstrika. But the rat killed that idea in one testing session. The main condition against M Gardevoir was Klefki’s Wonder Lock, because they can just dump all their liabilities in the discard pile to prevent us from taking easy prizes with Lysandre. With Wonder Lock we can two shot a M Gardevoir with the same Vespiquen. But here comes Rattata to ruin the Vespiquen party! With every good M Gardevoir list running Rattata and Dragonite EX, they can simply cycle the Rat to remove Wonder Lock and easily kill Vespiquens over and over. And I wasn’t crazy enough to take an auto loss to the most hyped deck in the format.
But back to the Rattata’s Mischievous Fang, being able to discard unwanted tools from your opponent’s Active Pokemon it can be splashed to plenty of decks to disrupt your opponent’s setup or for getting OHKOs. The main decks that can easily make space for it are M Gardevoir and M Rayquaza, especially with Dragonite EX both decks can cycle Rattata pretty easily. The main tools you will be discarding are Fighting Fury belt to bring the Pokemon in OHKO range, Spirit Links to force your opponent to end their turn when they mega evolve and Float Stones to prevent them from retreating. Note that it is an ability, so it will be shut down by Garbodor’s Garbotoxin.
I really love this card right now in the standard format, and it is splashable in most decks that can make use and has space for it. First let’s look at its attack Crunch, for one energy it does 10 damage, not that much but it allows you to discard an energy attached to your opponent’s Pokemon. If you can combine that with Enhanced Hammer, Crushing Hammer or Team Flare Grunt, you can possibly wipe out all the energy of your opponent’s active Pokemon, thus making them unable to attack the following turn. Now it’s main attack that we will be focusing on, Shadowy Bite! Also for one energy, it does 60 damage for each special energy in your opponent’s discard pile. So that means you need two special energy to KO most non EX Pokemon, three to KO most EX and four to KO any Mega Pokemon! Sure it only has 60 HP as a stage 1 but you will be trading one for one or even two for one against EX and that is amazing for one energy! With most meta decks playing special energy, they will have to play around Raticate by not discarding special energy. Honestly you can play this in anything! It’s an amazing tech card against special energy decks, the likes of Yveltal, M Rayquaza, Giratina, Rainbow Road, M Mewtwo, Raichu, Vespiquen, etc.
Dogs and Rodents!
We have been testing it in a few decks and in this article I will be sharing one of them, and that is Houndoom Mill with Raticate and Bunnelby!
4 Houndoom EX BKT
2 Bunnelby AOR
2 Rattata EVO
2 Raticate EVO
2 Shaymin EX ROS
3 Professor Sycamore
2 Team Flare Grunt
ITEMS / STADIUMS
1 Escape Rope
2 Fighting Fury Belt
4 Crushing Hammers
2 Enhanced Hammer
4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
4 Trainer’s Mail
1 Super Rod
4 Max Potion
2 Team Aqua’s Secret Base
7 Fire Energy
How to play
This is a very difficult deck to play especially against players who are good at resource management, one small mistake can pretty much cost you the game. Your win condition won’t be taking all your prizes but to deck your opponent out, you will do that with Houndoom’s Melting Horn or Bunnelby’s Burrow. But you don’t want to go aggro mill with this deck as you can see by the lack of Team Rocket’s Handy Work. You want to fatigue them by removing energy on the board with your hammers and Team Flare Grunt, some Lysandre plays to stall them out. You can dig aggressively with the deck, because you will never deck out with Bunnelby and Super Rod in the deck. Just simply use Bunnelby’s Rototiler to put Super Rod back in the deck. Playing this deck is pretty much a crash course on how not to lose! But sometimes against a special energy deck, you can clean house with just one Raticate!
If your opponent plays like it’s a normal matchup you will win any game, it doesn’t matter what deck they play. Even the auto losses become wins if they just play like it’s a normal matchup. This is not a normal matchup for any deck! So if you are facing Houndoom Mill, Sableye Garbodor or Wailord. Play conservative, choose an attacker and stick with it. Don’t bench anything else, pile it with energy and hope they don’t clear all your energy off the board. Of course there are exceptions like with Volcanion, you will want to have a baby Volcanion and an EX against Houndoom mill to recover energy back from the discard pile. Same thing for Zygarde/Carbink and Yveltal if they run Oblivion Wing Yveltal.
With the exception of Volcanion and Greninja, you will have a decent matchup. Even against water decks you still have a decent chance, if you can prevent them from attacking consistently the game is yours.
Volcanion and Greninja is your auto loss if they know how to play the matchup.So here is what you do as a Volcanion player, ideally start with a baby Volcanion and start attaching energy until you get an EX on the bench. Just cycle them with your switch cards and with Volcanion EX hitting for weakness it is too much for Houndoom to handle. For Greninja, you never want to start with Talonflame. It can get trapped with Team Aqua’s Secret base. Always start with Froakie, evolve to Frogadier and don’t Water Duplicates. Eventually you will evolve to your lone Greninja and that’s game. So you just have to manually evolve into a lone Greninja and I will scoop as a Houndoom player.
So there you have it guys, Houndoom Mill is just one of many decks that can incorporate the Raticate line. If you don’t mind taking an auto loss to Greninja and Volcanion and just want to troll people try it out, it’s funny that the other deck we are testing with the Raticate line also has an auto loss to Greninja and Volcanion. That is Scizor/Raticate! If you are trying to incorporate the Raticate line in other decks, let me know how they work out!