Monday, July 22, 2013

A Look At Virizion EX/Genesect EX - VirGen, H&B

Going to be one of the best cards
in the new format
Hey there Hat Lovers!

Admittedly... VirGen is a much more concise fun name... but Horse and Buggy is so much more clever! H&B as a short-form doesn't sound as good though, so for clarity of writing I'll begrudgingly call it VirGen, haha.

VirGen is the big hyped deck of Plasma Blast. This is the same sort of hype that Blastoise had going into BW-BCR or Plasma had going into BW-PLF. Looking back at Esa's Eye on Japan article, VirGen was able to take at least one Top 8 placing each week, including 2 wins. Not to mention that Virizion EX/Mewtwo/Bouffalant won in the 4th week (in a more mature metagame no less). So clearly this deck has got to have something going for it.

A reminder, before we dive in, that the Top Cut results from Battle Carnival tournaments are not necessarily the same decks that people played to make the Top Cut. Thus, though a deck like Weavile/Exeggcute is in a Top 8, that means little to its viability as a Swiss deck (or in their case, single-elim).

Now admittedly I haven't actually tested VirGen yet. I'll be heading to Worlds and grinding with TCG (unless VGC gives me a serious calling). But approaching the new format, this is what I'd look at before testing the deck:

Inherent Strengths

VirGen's greatest strength is the ability to counter Hypnotoxic Laser and other Special Conditions. 

The Ability

Each of your Pokemon that has any G Energy attached to it can't be affected by any Special Conditions. (Remove any Special Conditions affecting those Pokemon).

This thing looks downright evil
Simply put, the overwhelming advantage that Hypnotoxic Laser offers to decks looking to increase their damage output is now nerfed. Putting that extra 30 damage on a Pokemon can no longer be done if you're using a Pokemon-EX. I phrase it this way because Hypnotoxic Laser will nonetheless be seeing a replacement in terms of damage output. Silver Bangle.

Silver Bangle is a new Tool card that can only be attached to non-EX Pokemon. This Tool states that your Pokemon's attacks do 30 more damage to the Active Pokemon-EX. So for non-EX attackers, this achieves the same purpose as a Hypnotoxic Laser, but it is re-usable. That sounds really good...

So, with that said, Virizion EX will nerf Hypnotoxic Laser, but it won't completely remove the added damage that attacks can do to its Pokemon. A Kyurem PLF can still OHKO a Genesect EX with only 2 Deoxys EX in play. And if Virizion EX is reduced to just Virizions, it seems very underwhelming (putting it nicely).

So, the Ability is good. And don't get me wrong, this is a very good Ability, but it's not going to be the ultimate advantage that a VirGen deck has over the rest of the format. Most decks currently playing Hypnotoxic Laser will phase out their Lasers for Silver Bangles as a form of damage output. The only deck that will still run LaserBank as a mainstay is Garbodor.

The Attack

Emerald Slash is the next big selling point of this deck. Emerald Slash provides the deck its best form of Energy acceleration. At the beginning of Turn 3, VirGen should have 4 Energy on the board. That is more than enough to threaten a G Booster from Genesect EX, which means VirGen will be OHKO'ing Pokemon starting on Turn 3. However it is less likely to get things started on Turn 2. You can just attach to Genesect EX and use Colress Machine though, which is an easy way to get things going a bit faster. But your setup is much more fragile if this is the route you take.

At 50 Damage, Emerald Slash is pretty underwhelming against any deck other than Blastoise. That won't even KO the benchmark 60 HP basics. If you're using Emerald Slash, 95% of the time it's solely because you want/need the Energy accel.

Outside of that, Virizion EX doesn't boast anything particularly special. Weak to Fire, Resists Water. One retreat cost is nice. 170 HP is standard for an EX. So... what about Genesect EX?

The Main Attack

Genesect EX's main attack is Megalo Cannon. Megalo Cannon is not your primary attack to use though, even though it's the only attack printed on the card. Genesect EX has an ACE SPEC called "G Booster." Just read the card on the side here ->

This attack can OHKO anything with that base 200 damage. But that's not exactly what all the hype is about. I mean, that's nice and all, but G Booster does discard 2 Energy cards after you use it. And being an ACE SPEC, you can only have one in your deck. Building a deck around a 1-of attack seems like a terrible idea.

However, notice the Plasma crest. I'm sure this isn't anything new to you, but G Booster is a Team Plasma card. This means it can be retrieved by Shadow Triad and re-used. That gives this deck far more legitimacy.

But let's not forget Megalo Cannon. Genesect EX's main attack hits for 100 and snipes 20 to a benched Pokemon. This makes it a great attack to use against a deck like Blastoise, where you can Emerald Slash a Blastoise and then OHKO a Keldeo and another Blastoise, while also finishing off the first Blastoise. Or you know... just OHKO stuff with G Booster. Either are good options.

The Additional Ability

The last strength this deck boasts is Genesect EX's Ability "Red Signal." Red Signal is a Pokemon Catcher effect that is activated when you attach a Plasma Energy card from your hand to Genesect EX.

Heh... the Plasma crest makes it look
like Genesect has buck-teeth

This Ability is not to be overlooked. This gives a Virizion/Genesect EX deck access to a potential 8 Pokemon Catchers throughout the game (essentially). Remember the days of Junk Arm'ing for an extra Catcher? This deck has that same sort of power-play, but without discarding resources.

When no other deck has effective as effective a use for Genesect EX, that sounds bloody good.

Concluding thoughts

So all of that sounds pretty great. The backbone of this deck seems solid. It will likely run some non-EX attackers as well, like Virizion NVI, Tropius PLB or Bouffalant DRX. The winning Virizion EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant deck intrigues me. If I had to suspect its advantages, Bouffalant trading with Genesect EX sounds really good (especially when Emerald Slash is a 4HKO on Bouff). A Bouffalant with a Silver Mirror also forces Genesect EX to use G Booster to KO it. I'm not sure that's even necessary as you'd already be trading a 2HKO for a 2HKO between a non-EX and an EX, but I'm sure the deck would run one as an answer to Plasma. Not to mention that both Bouffalant and Genesect have 3-Energy cost attacks, so Bouffalant is just straight up a great mirror tech.

Inherent Faults

So now we get to what might hold the deck back from realizing its potential. First things first, let's start off with the major glaring weakness... Fire.

Natural Weakness

That's a nice Viri... Genese...
"Deck of cards" you've got there. 
Both Virizion EX and Genesect EX are weak to Fire. And in the format, Blastoise will still have Moltres NXD as a tech answer, and for any deck not using Moltres, Victini EX will just decimate this deck. Victini EX with a Victory Piece can OHKO both of the main components of the deck, taking 6 prizes in 3 turns starting on Turn 1. Not to mention that you can still attach to Victini even if you have Victory piece, just to ensure a Scrapper doesn't hold you back. And that's only for decks that just slap a Victini in (I've got one I'm looking forward to). Darkrai/Hydreigon will more than happily tech Victini EX.

So honestly, this deck can never become the undisputed BDIF, because it's just way too easily countered by a simple card combination that most decks having trouble can fit in if necessary.

Emerald Slash

Next, that attack. Emerald Slash sounds great on paper, but in reality it means you won't be attacking until Turn 3 with Genesect EX. This means VirGen isn't much faster than Blastoise/Black Kyurem EX.  However, it is more consistent, so you can give it that point. Blastoise can usually hit a Black Ballista by Turn 3 if its left to its own devices though. And VirGen will not be pouring on pressure like Plasma does.

Not only that, but with Genesect EX discarding its Energies, you either need an attachment + Colress Machine the next turn to fire another G Booster, or you'll have to default back to Emerald Slash. And Emerald Slash is fairly underwhelming (though depending on how you can place it, it can add up and provide KO options).  But more than that, this forces a constant investment into Genesect EX to maintain pressure. Think about Lugia needing a Plasma per turn to keep up its assault. Genesect EX has that same issue, but you need an attachment as well as a Colress Machine per turn. Otherwise what this deck sums up to is "KO, retreat and hit for 50, KO, retreat and hit for 50." This format is too quick for that.

But probably the biggest problem I see with this sequence is the fact that you're dropping all your eggs into one basket. Again, think about Lugia. That constant investment makes the card really difficult to pull off. Especially when it can be KO'd, and that just leaves you behind on potential attachments.

Genesect EX does not resist water, so giving a Kyurem every 2nd turn to set up is going to result in a dead Genesect EX very quickly. Followed by another, and another, and then the game is over.


Best consistency Ability in the format!
And this is a particularly big "but" here, but VirGen is very consistent. We're talking FluffyChomp levels of consistency, but with more power behind it. You are guaranteed to be attacking on Turn 3, and this gives you plenty of time to find G Booster via Skyla/Supporters. Especially when all you need on turns 1 and 2 are an Energy attachment. Especially when you can easily tech Energy Search into the deck. 

There's even an added consistency bonus of deck-thinning by removing your Energy from the deck. Acceleration like this can let the deck get away without playing a Supporter on the first or even second turn. And it means that your dead turns are at least spent giving you a better chance to draw out of them.

This factor alone leaves me thinking that the deck will nonetheless be a part of Tier 1 in the next metagame. It still has those advantages against Blastoise, and it's not like it's without the ability to stream G Boosters turn after turn. And if you are consistent and powerful, you can buy yourself a turn to use Emerald Slash to re-establish a strong board position once or twice a game. Kind of like a clutch Junk Hunt.

That's all fine and well. What does this deck look like though?

Well that's the interesting part. I'm sure most people will start out building VirGen differently at the beginning of Battle Roads. I expect it will mature and we'll have a pretty respectable archetype by the end of Battle Roads, and before Fall Regionals. I don't expect it to be the king of the metagame, but definitely a Tier 1 threat to watch out for.

Personally, I recognize the strength of a Bouffalant tech for the mirror, and also as a non-EX attacker that combines very well with Virizion's 50 damage attack to 2HKO 170 HP EX's. I would really like an answer to Kyurem PLF in the deck, and that may just be Mewtwo EX. Although Virizion already hits for 50 and Genesect can finish things with a Megalo Cannon rather than having to G Booster. So for now I'll leave out any specific Kyurem considerations.

Pokemon - 8

3 Virizion EX
3 Genesect EX
2 Bouffalant DRX
Finally seeing some use

Trainers - 38

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Skyla
3 Shadow Triad
1 Colress

4 Pokemon Catcher
4 Float Stone
4 Ultra Ball
4 Colress Machine
1 Tool Scrapper
1 Energy Search
1 Super Rod
1 G Booster
0 Max Potion
0 Plasma Badge

2 Skyarrow Bridge
0 Plasma Frigate

Energy - 14

10 Grass
4 Plasma

Important Notes on this list

As I mentioned, I haven't tested in NXD-PLB yet at all. But this would be my starting list for testing.

Important notes:

2 Bouffalant - My answer for the mirror, and for Victini EX. Emerald Slash for 50+120 is also hard to see fault in. I'm pretty sure everyone will come to treat Bouffalant as staple by the end of NXD-PLB. 

4 Skyla - When you want to hit G Booster by Turn 3 at the latest, you need a strong Skyla count. I wouldn't play this deck without 4 Skyla unless I reduced my focus on Genesect EX.

4 Colress Machine - Originally I didn't think I'd have room for 4 Colress Machine in this deck. But it's surprisingly spacious. This will leave me with the ability to stream G Booster without the need for Emerald Slash.

3 Shadow Triad - Shadow Triad is essential in this deck. You need it to retrieve G Booster, otherwise the deck loses its threatening potential. However, Shadow Triad is also important to retrieve Colress Machines for a clutch G Booster, and also Plasma Energy to re-activate Red Signal. You could also retrieve a Genesect EX out of the discard this way. The question is whether to run 3 or 2. I dislike my lack of draw supporters right now, and am treating this deck like my build of Garbodor, but dropping to 2 Triad so I can fit an additional Colress might be the way to go.

Can a wrench be a staple?
1 Tool Scrapper - This is a staple inclusion in the next format. I may even want to go up to 2. Silver Bangle is going to be mighty good, and being able to Scrapper it will be very important. Not to mention removing any Silver Mirrors that might be preventing a Megalo Cannon KO. I would find room for the 2nd Scrapper... likely from a Float Stone.

1 Super Rod - I don't really feel like Super Rod is vital to this deck's success in the slightest. But I do want a way to return Energy to the deck (at least to start my testing), and also a card that will let me return any Bouffalants if I'm facing something like Sigilyph, Suicune or Victini EX. This is an easy cut to make if I want to run Plasma Badge or another Scrapper though.

2 Skyarrow Bridge - Both Virizion and Genesect have 1 retreat cost. Free retreat for the core of the deck is great. I've still got 4 Float Stone if I want to retreat a Bouffalant though. But this number can probably be dropped to tech...

0 Plasma Frigate - I was questioning the need for a Stadium at all in this deck. You're not afraid of Virbank damage, so that's a non-issue. However I'm inclined to think that leaving an opponent's Beach in play will give them a strong turn whenever you may have to pause and Emerald Slash. Not only that, but the deck would really appreciate a way to shut off a Blastoise Beach, as well as prevent itself from being steamrolled by a Victini EX or Moltres NXD. Bouffalant can only do so much. Thus, Plasma Frigate! As I said, this deck is pretty spacious so I'm not really sacrificing much by including Plasma Frigate. When running Frigate, I'd probably tech a Switch or two to prevent Catcher shenanigans. Keeping the Float Stone count high is a nice safety net as well.


Whew! Thanks for reading! Other than playing around with minor counts of Supporters and a few tech Items, I see this as being the build of the deck I would play late into the format. I don't think I'm underestimating the NXD-on format, but I suspect it will be relatively simple. I only see 3 major Tier 1 decks and a couple Tier 2 decks. I am cautious about Garbodor, as (provided it finds strong partners) it seems like it could do a lot to the Tier 1 of next format. Silver Mirror is a built-in counter to Plasma, while Bangle increases damage output and you could even run LaserBank on top of Bangle. Sawk will be an available attacker, and the deck now has Tropius PLB as a Blastoise/Keldeo counter. But with most decks running Tool Scrapper, I don't think it can do much more than surprise a sleeping metagame.


Crawdaunt out


  1. I've done a bit of playtesting with this deck, so I figure I'd share my ideas too.

    I love Bouffalant in this list a lot and I'm really glad to see that he's getting some support from a more established player.

    I've found that two copies of Shadow Triad is good enough. I've found that the deck can typically get by with only two uses of G-Booster, so if I even get it back once, I'm getting my money's worth. When I tried three, they mostly just cluttered up my hand, and I was fine cutting one for another Supporter.

    I don't love Colress in this deck. One of the strengths of this deck, in my opinion, is its ability to survive on very small Benches. If I can get one Virizion and one Genesect in play, with a backup Genesect on the side, I'm in pretty good shape, and I really like having the power to weaken opposing Colress and Absol. The only downside is that my own Colress is much more unreliable. I can understand maybe a one-of copy, but I prefer other Supporters (I'm honestly liking a pair of Cheren in this deck).

    I'm iffy on just three copies of Virizion, so you'll have to let me know how that works for you.

    I think the second Tool Scrapper is essential to make the Plasma matchup a bit more even, as well as to dodge a near autoloss to Suicune/Silver Mirror variants.

    I was surprised to see the Colress Machine engine in here, but it sounds like a great idea. I'll definitely get to playtesting it. I think I'd go with three Colress Machines, though, just because there are some other cards I'd like to try to fit in. With four Skyla, it shouldn't be too much of an issue to make that cut.

    Have you played around with Eviolite in this deck? I'd love to squeeze a couple in. I'm also debating the merits of Town Map. I think it's basically a silly card, but having that G-Booster prized can really hurt.

    Thanks for the article. It's really nice to see some NXD-PLB analysis!


    1. Well admittedly, I haven't played around with it at all! I do mention this is just my initial thoughts, and how I'd approach testing the deck initially.

      Yeah, I suspected 2 would be more optimal. But I only bumped it to 3 as a way to hit a Colress Machine if need be. I'll test the 3 first with the Colress Machine build, and then drop it if I confirm my suspicions.

      I've got Colress as the next best supporter. Benches will still be full, and PONT is great. I'd add that this list is running 4 Float Stone and 2 SAB, so getting one of the 3 Virizions out by T2 shouldn't be difficult. The only reason to run 4 of a card is to try and start with it for T1. I might do that if I ran Badge, but I suspect I'd still be running 3.

      2nd Tool Scrapper, yeah. Again a "confirm my suspicions" thing. But I should probably have written it as "I'll start with 2 and see how things go." I expect I would find in only a few games that Scrapper is good as a 2-of.

      Eviolite is interesting, but I'm not sure I'd find room for it. After all I want Genesect to be free to receive a G Booster, and I've got Float Stones for my Bouffalants and for when SAB is down. I'd have to run Switch instead of Floats, which is less efficient. But that's a testing thing. It's definitely something I was thinking about, but it doesn't mesh with my current build at all.

      No to Town Map. :P The deck is strong enough on its own to wait for your G Booster to be released from prizes.

      Cheers :)

    2. Suicune/Terrakion is by no means a near auto-loss to VirGen and adding a second tool scrapper is going to help you do what against it? Prevent them from walling you with Terrakion? Honestly, if you're that scared of it, just run Virizion NVI and make it a near auto-win. Also Town Map is a must.

    3. @ The anon mentioning Suicune/Terrakion. You're the same anon giving all the advice in the NXD-on article and this one below.

      Dear god man, stop it with the Terrakion thing. The deck isn't going to be fricking Suicune/Terrakion. Are you daft? That's such a straw-man argument. That's like saying "Virizion is gonna be bad because Virizion/Mewtwo is going to lose to Deoxys EX."

      No one, anywhere, is suggesting f*cking Terrakion to be Suicune's main partner. Get off your Darkrai/Hydreigon high horse already, the deck is not gonna be Tier 1.

    4. Are you mad bro?

      Cause your reply sounds a bit off:
      "Are you daft (WTF)?"
      "Thats such a straw-man argument."

      And then,
      "No one, anywhere, is suggesting f*cking Terrakion to be Suicune's main partner."

      Ok, well then tell me will?

      Mabye, but you need to calm down first before you type becuase its showing in more ways than one.

      Also, just to clarify, qoute me where I said Darkrai/Hydreigon was going to be teir 1.

    5. Your tiring idiocy isn't leaving me mad, it's leaving me disappointed. What I'll say is this.

      If you have such strong opinions about how decks and the format will interact, stop hiding behind the anon face and make your own blog Kyle. If you provide quality arguments and reasoning, I'd even add you to our friends list! But arguing with someone about how Blastoise is somehow going to drop out of Tier 1 because a deck that can only attack by Turn 3 is going to beat it so handily (especially when you can tech Blastoise to beat said deck) is ludicrous. I mean, Landorus EX couldn't even kill Eelektrik, and it had turn 1 pressure! Why do you think Virizion/Genesect is going to remove Blastoise from the format, which will let Darkrai/Hydreigon be a major concern for decks looking to counter the meta.

      An anti-meta deck generally targets the most played, Tier 1 decks. I will probably accept a loss to Darkrai/Hydreigon if I'm running Suicune/Friends. And if even you agree it won't be Tier 1, I don't see your point.

      You said originally "I hate how people are overhyping cards like Suicune" and then proceeded to rant about how Virizion/Genesect was going to shit golden catchers. And you justify it by saying "I've tested lots" which is the same as saying "I'm my self-proclaimed authority," which just doesn't work as an anon. Nor is it good justification anyways. What's important is to describe how the deck interacts, which comes out in testing, to deal with the problems discussed. Which you either do poorly, or fail to do at all. And then in this article, you go on to say that most of your testing, and your opinions, are stemming from testing a Virizion/Genesect build that can't even exist in the North American metagame because it loses Energy Switch. Feel free to continue responding to my articles, I leave comments on and anonymous for a reason. But unless you present a conceivably valid argument, I won't be responding again. It's a waste of time.

      And if you're blind to the strength of Safeguard, my point is not that Suicune is the important inclusion in the format. The deck I've got already could work just as well with Sigilyph, in fact perhaps better thanks to a lower retreat cost (though I like Suicune's higher base damage). Stay tuned if you want to find out.

      p.s. Seriously, you're writing articles in the comments anyways, just start your own blog dude. Like... you've written... 1357 words not including the couple posts above this one. That's an article. That's part of why I say I'm wasting my time. No way in hell am I going to write an extra article after every one of my articles justifying the article in the first place. That's insidious. And you shouldn't be wasting your time writing anonymous articles in the comments, when you could be promoting yourself and your opinions properly, and in a forum where you can receive proper feedback to determine the legitimacy of your claims.

      Honestly, I'd read it.

    6. I'm not Kyle...(He signs his name if you would care to go a few comments up).

      So whatever problems you have with him, you better sort that stuff out elsewhere.

      As for why I'm writing these articles, I just really have nothing esle better to do and making a blog seems like a big waste of time when I can just post my opinions here. :)

      While its true that I could just be full of it when I claimed to have tested this stuff for months on end, where else could my strong beliefs have come from, if I was not at least 70% sure about what I was saying.

      Also, trying to curse in a statement often leads the offended to believe that their offender is highly frustrated and has opted to such a vulgar resort in a desperate attempt to get an understanding between the two conversators that he or she is right in the matter.

      So basically, I could take annoyed, but disappionted sounds more naive.

      That being said, Landorus EX didn't slay Rayquazas. There is also a huge difference between Blastoise and Eels. i.e. Blastoise players usually only setup 1-2 Blastoises while Eel players tend to go for 2-3 Eels.

      Its one thing if Landorus can give early game pressure, its another when all thats standing between a Genesect and a bench full of grass weak pokemon is their aticive pokemon.

      None the less, Blastsoie faces a much harder task of being able to respond by KO'ing Genesects turn after turn when they KO's things turn after turn, than Eels faced dealing with 30-30, possibly KO'ing a Tynamo, when it could wall with Keldeo EX or Rayquaza EX while getting out more Tynamos and using Mr.Mime to force a catcher.


    7. Ah, apologies Kyle. Mixed that up there.

      Dear Kami_Sama_no_Otaku, I'm not even going to describe how idiotic the notion of genesect being a better OHKO machine than Black Kyurem EX is.

      Cheers Anon,
      Crawdaunt out

    8. I know you won't respond to this, but just for reference, wrong person again.

      Also, Genesect w/ G-Booster IS a better OHKO machine than BKEX.


    9. Aw... but you're so high and mighty. It sounded perfect.

    10. You were close, if thats any constalation.

      So I'll give you a hint:

      What pokemon is a small, blue thug

      And likes to have everyone's agruement invalidated?

      (The pokemon is in the name and the arguement is in the picture)


    11. I don't at all understand how Genesect is possibly a better OHKO machine than Black Kyurem-EX [PLS]. Black Kyurem doesn't need an ACE SPEC to score KOs and it has access to much more flexible Energy acceleration. To stream G-Booster, you need to either load up Genesect with additional Energy ahead of time, a consistent attachment plus Colress Machine each turn, or Virizion. The first option is risky (if Genesect is taken out, you lose a ton of Energy), the second is unreliable, and the third is slow. Plus, this all assumes your Item is neither prized nor Scrappered. If that happens, you need even more pieces to make it all work out.

      Conversely, Black Kyurem-EX needs a Blastoise in play, sufficient Energy, and a Superior Energy Retrieval and it's good to go. None of these are terribly difficult for Blastoise since it's designed to get multiple Blastoise into play anyway, and runs multiple Superiors and Skyla to search them out. It's even safer to stack a Black Kyurem in preparation since Blastoise has much easier access to Energy from the discard.

      Basically, provided a Blastoise is kept in play for two turns, you'll probably see two consecutive Black Ballistas, EVEN IF a Black Kyurem-EX goes down, whereas Genesect can struggle to hit that second G-Booster attack even if Genesect stays in play, and if it's knocked out, that's a huge setback

      That said, I'm not an expert with Virizion/Genesect ("VirGen" is an awful name and I refuse to use it!), so maybe I'm missing something. Maybe you can post your list and justify how it can consistently stream its attacks.


    12. It takes less energy to OHKO with Gensect and G-Booster, G-Booster goes through everything inlcuding Latias, Sigilyph, and Suicune, and you discard less energy overall.

      How is this not better than Black Balista?

      This was my original list, though its rendered useless due to NOT REPRINTING ENERGY SWITCH:


      x3 Genesect EX
      x3 Virizion EX
      x2 Bouffalant DRX
      x2 Tropius PLB


      x4 Juniper
      x4 N
      x4 Skyla
      X2 Shadow Triad
      x1 Bianca

      x4 Catcher
      x2 Ultra Ball
      x1 Plasma Ball
      x2 Max Potion
      x2 Eviolite
      x1 G-Booster
      x1 Switch
      x1 Town Map
      X1 Super Rod
      x1 Energy Search

      x3 Skyarrow Bridge


      x12 Grass

      All in all, the deck functioned properly against just about everything from Garbodor to Hydriegon with its only weaknesses being things that OHKO it before it got setup (like Tornadus EX PLF and Victini EX).

      My ideal starter was Tropuis which could get me a good hand going into turn two and then follow up as a backup for things like Victini EX and Tornadus with its second attack Energy Breath which does 20+ 20 for every energy attached to the defending pokemon. He is also weak to lightning and resistent to fighting with only one retreat cost.

      Normally, I start Tropuis, use Return for 10 damage and fill up my hand to 6 cards. Then I would ENERGY SWITCH to Virizion EX, get a Genesect out, and Emerald Slash giving a good offensive position going into turn 3. Without ENERGY SWITCH, getting a turn two Emerald Slash while still using Return gets a lot more complicated. Not to mention all you have to do to mess up my strategy is catcher the Gensect with the most energy on it ( or the only one in play) and damage it just enough so that if I were to attack with it again, then you could kill it that very turn.

      Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, but until ENERGY SWITCH gets reprinted, VirGen will just be that much vunrable.

      And Plasma Bagde + Colress Machine won't fix that.


    13. Even though Black Ballista requires more Energy and can't hit through everything, it's easier to get off followup attacks. That's the primary reason I think Black Kyurem-EX works better. Admittedly, Energy Switch closes that gap considerably, so I'm still hoping we get it reprinted in Plasma Blast.

      Thanks for sharing your list, though. I'll look more into it and your other points once I have a bit more time.


    14. E-SWITCH didn't get reprinted in PLB, which is why ENERGY SWITCH is in caps. (Just another 3 months that I have to wait for VirGen to hit tier 1, respectively).

      Here's my source:

      Just scroll down to the first comment.


    15. @Piplup

      Though I like Tropius, that sounds unnecessarily complicated. Like... you can drop the E Switch bit by now... and instead of decreasing your odds of your ideal starter, you could just start with Virizion more consistently by including additional switch outs. I have Floats because of potential Bouff starts. If your goal is to Emerald Slash on T2, I don't see why attaching an Energy somewhere else and forcing you to find a 4-of is advantageous. Like... you can Return your hand up to 6, but this deck has such simple and telegraphed first and second turns that as long as you can guarantee an attach per turn, you're fine.

      Frankly, I don't see why you wouldn't take advantage of the potential to Red Signal in your deck. And as I've mentioned, Colress Machine is great to threaten G Boosters.

      Think about it this way, T2 you Slash two Grass onto Genesect. But, you may have also Colress Machine'd a Plasma onto Genesect.

      T3, you attach to Genesect and by now you should have hit that Colress Machine. Genesect has 4 Energies. G Booster for OHKO.

      T4, attach and G Booster for OHKO.

      T5, As long as you hit a Colress Machine somewhere in the last two turns, attach and G Booster for game.

      That said, I don't think you really need to use G Booster three times in a game, nor will you get the opportunity against any competent Tier 1 deck. But why you wouldn't include the potential to steamroll your opponent if they have a poor start is beyond me.

    16. Here's the thing.

      What deck is going to give me that type of opportunity to get a setup like the one the you mentioned?

      Because in all my testing, decks like TDK, Darkrai/Hydriegon,and Garbodor have 2 turns to get their attackers set and attacking, which often leaves me with a dilemma.

      Heal the active and restart attaching energy which sets me back, or just start attaching to a Genesect or Bouffalant. Either way, I get screwed because all my opponent has to do is catcher up the Pokémon w/ the most energy on it, reasoning that it will be the next biggest threat, and soften it up just enough so that if I were ever to use him again, the responding attack would result in a KO.

      This would mean that I would only be able to get a single attack off w/ one of my powered up attackers.

      As for using Virizion EX to help power up all my attackers, it will only be a matter of time before it goes down (usually 3-4 turns max depending on what kind of aggressive position my opponent is in.

      E-Switch can disrupt that process by giving me the option to use whatever attacker I chose so long as I have that amount of energy in play.

      In other words, that "complicated" Tropius play I was talking about gets a lot easier when I can use that same energy and move it to my Virizion EX and Emerald Slash without my opponent expecting it to.

      E-Switch gives VirGen versatility, something the deck needs so badly, because without that trait, VirGen is just an open book to anyone who knows how it works and how to disrupt it.


    17. -.-"

      I realize the purpose of E-Switch. That doesn't change the fact that you only get one attachment per turn, and in your example, your goal is to T2 Emerald Slash.

      E-Switch isn't really supposed to be a 1st turn card in the deck. It's for the mid-game to accelerate a board-altering attack that would otherwise have been impossible due to their targeting of specific Pokemon with Energy.

      But this is stupid, because E Switch is rotated and talking about a combination that isn't legal is...

      I'm going to commit to what I said... I have better things to do with my time.

    18. And for the record. My problem with your arguments is this:

      Is anything that I've said incorrect? You've done nothing but say "in my testing, in my testing" without citing specific reasons as to why this mystical T3 Black Ballista doesn't exist. Or why the T3 Kyurem with Bangle and 2 Deoxys doesn't exist.

      You haven't given a single reason as to why Genesect/Virizion is for some reason faster or superior to the strengths of the current format as it stands. All you've continued to say is "in my testing in my testing."

      "Testing" isn't an answer.

    19. Alright Tom,
      Riddle me this:

      How else do I state my claims?
      What, I just decided to put together this proxy deck and then play against some of my friends?

      Is that how you want me to say it?

      Could it be you just need a new reason for me to come up with, maybe something along the lines of, "I just playtested this deck for 7 games against Jason K."

      Oh, how about I got together at my local league with these guys and we did small tournaments for about a month with only NXD-PLB decks.

      It doesn't matter how you cut the cheese, its still cheddar.

      Games will always be considered games no matter if they're just playtesting between a few friends or top 2 of the World Championships.

      That said, if you want "real" results about these cards and decks we're discussing about, you'll just have to wait another month or so when BR's come up.

      Until then if you want to go by "testing" isn't an answer" I guess we're all talking with heads up our heads up our butts, you included, because none of there cards have seen legal play yet.

      So you can keep mocking my "testing", but I will still state my opinions and support them until I'm proven wrong.

      I expect no less from anyone else.

      As for the POTENTIAL of Virizion/Genesect, yes it can be superior to any of these tier decks, but then vice versa as well.

      After all this entire format has been and will continue to be about speed.

      And as people will soon find out, VirGen isn't a fast deck. It takes precious turns to get on its feet, but when it does its the strongest thing out there.

      Hitting for 200 with that damage not being effected by affects on the defending pokemon is as good as its gonna get. So the raw power of VirGen is obvious; everyone knows that.

      But its just so weak and vulnerable in those first turns to where decks such as TDK, such as Darkrai, such as Big Basics can easily tae advantage of this.

      Stage 2's are no different if you can start one shoting pokemon EX before VirGen does. (a.k.a Victini EX/all other 90+ hitting, fire types).

      So if you're trying to beat up a turtle (for only God knows why), do you start banging on its shell or do you go straight for the holes in its body where the legs and head are?

      The same goes for VirGen.

      Are you going to attack the Virizion EX with 2 energies on it, or are you going to damage the Genesect with 3?(If you picked the Virizion, then you must run a catcher-less deck.)

      Since the deck takes a while to get started you have to keep your opponent on their toes.

      You have to make them regret that catcher, that Raiden Knuckle, that Black Balista.

      VERSATILITY is what makes this deck great, and its VERSATILITY that will lead to VirGen winning numerous tournaments in the future.

      Energy Switch is that versatility, and without that there is none. I hope its clear to everyone that energy switch, like catcher, will be reprinted sometime in the near future. So this concept is still a possibility.

      Being able to move energy from one attacker to another and making that action count is what VirGen has to replace speed.

      All in all, having the option to preform a useful attack, every turn from the beginning is what I'm referring to.

      Hydreigon is the next best thing, if not better, for this, but without Genesect+G-Booster it has no way of OHKO'ing most pokemon in general, continuously.

      Say what you have to say after this Mark, but if we can't at least come to common grounds on this reasoning, then I guess we won't have much to talk about for a couple of months.

      Over and out

    20. Testing is obviously how opinions are created.

      But saying the words "in my testing" are not an explanation of how a deck that is inherently less efficient at charging up attackers, can compete with one that is far more efficient, if the goal is trade OHKO's for 200 damage.

      I wouldn't have such a big problem with what you're saying if you weren't trying to say that a 1-of combined with an attacker whose only partner for Energy accel comes in the form of an attack, meaning you can't both threaten a OHKO and do it easily in the same turn. Which is a problem you're acknowledging in the absence of Energy Switch.

      SO I don't really get what you're arguing anymore. Your points have deteriorated throughout because you keep saying "THIS THING SO GOOD" and then saying "BUT ONLY BECAUSE I WAS USING ILLEGAL CARDS."

      Make your own blog already, haha.

    21. Finally got an article done as you sugested:

      Check it out if you like!

  2. Genesct ex can only use it's ability if you attach it from your hand

    1. Do I say anywhere what it can work via colress machine?

  3. Finally, something we can legitamely discuss.

    First off, thank you for calling the deck by its more popular name, VirGen.

    Next, these are the possible variants of Virgen that I have been able to test so far:

    VirGen w/ Plasma Badge/Colress Machine

    VirGen w/EtherDex (before announced rotation)

    VirGen w/Victini EX and basic fire energies

    Straight VirGen w/ Virizion NVI

    VirGen w/ Colorless attackers (Bouffalant DRX and Mewtwo EX)

    My findings have led me to prefer the Victini EX and the Straight VirGen varaints above the rest, however most of my testing was done with a card that may not be playable next format; Energy Switch.

    E-switch, next to G-Booster, provides the most important task of winning games with VirGen. This would be to have the ability to use every energy that you have in play on any of your attackers at any given time.

    This concept works woders with being able to move energy off a damaged attacker, to a new one, and then heal it via Max Potion. This means possibly being able to have a damaged Genesect with G-Booster attached, entirely healed then reenergized and attacking within the same turn. It also helps with other problems the deck faces, which at the top of that list is its early game setup. If VirGen cannot get a turn two Emerald Slash, then it is in deep trouble. Fast decks like TDK and even on certain occassions, Darkrai can tear VirGen up by building big damage on Genesects or even worse, the energized Virizion EX to take snipe KOs with Darkrai EX and Kyurem. If you are to lose those energies, that means having to stall for even more turns to get another Virizion EX set up, which could almost never happen in that kind of a situation. With energy switch you preserve your energy and use it to its fullest potential from changing attackers, to consistent G-Boosters for as long as you have 3 energy in play.

    That being said, without energy switch, Darkrai/Hydreigon/Virizion EX would be the next best thing or better, becuase you preform the same task, just without G-Booster and Genesect and with different attackers (Victini EX most likely).

    The other alternative to Virizion EX is either Virizion EX w/Colorless attackers or as I mentioned above Dakrai/Hydreigon/Virizion EX. I can't see much hope in the Colorless attackers version, becuase it too faces that same vunrability in early game, though worse because their attackers don't one shot everthing with just 3 energy and an item. I have had a chance to test against a Darkrai/Hydreigon/Vrizion EX with a friend at our local league, and it seems just as strong, if not stronger, becuase it has the built in energy switch and VirGen's worst nightmare:

    Victini EX

    Almost every game we played (7 games in total) came down to how effective a role Victini EX played in its duration. In the end, Darkrai/Hydeigon/Virizion EX won an oustanding 4 to 3 and those three games that it lost were only because he either started with Victini and let it die early on, or it being prized.

    All in all, energy switch and Victini EX will be the strongest influences to VirGen becoming a tier deck, but this will be more likely overshadowed by the strength and versility of Darkrai/Hydreigon w/ the Virizion EX tech.

    1. Yeah, Victini EX is on my "to test" list as well. It's an obviously good way to win the mirror, but it is also a lot of dead weight against Kyurem PLF and runs the horrible risk of starting it against a deck like Darkrai/Hydreigon. I think Bouff does plenty to deal with opposing Victini EX's, the mirror (combo'ing for 170 with Virizion) and in general if I wanted to remove the Genesect focus and make room for LaserBank and Bangles.

      And Blastoise will have a lot to say about Darkrai/Hydreigon becoming a top tier deck. Not to mention Plasma being really fast. Even Horse and Buggy will have the ability to wipe their field of Energy, and the only OHKO response they have is a Hydreigon with Silver Bangle (which probably isn't going to become a go-to play).

      I'm sure Darkrai/Hydreigon will be good, but I can't see it being Tier 1 simply because it has a terrible Blastoise matchup.

    2. ...And Blastoise has even worse Genesect matchup.

      So bad as to say its probably worse than Blastoise vs. Hydriegon. Its one thing to have two stage 2's going at it, with one being able to OHKO and the other 2HKO, but then pair them up against a basic, more consistent deck that can preform that same OHKO attack as the first deck, just for less energy and then discard less as well. Thats a whole different story.

      Not to mention Genesect will be wildy popular the first few Battle Road weeks so for anyone willing to run Blasoise then, I applaud your bravery and pity your stupidity.

      As far as you dropping Genesect to run LaserBank and Bangles, tell me how that works out. Though really you would just be weakening the deck by taking out its strongest attacker, which as I said:

      "I can't see much hope in the Colorless attackers version, becuase it too faces that same vunrability in early game, though worse because their attackers don't one shot everthing with just 3 energy and an item."

      But hey whatever works for you, its just my opinion.

  4. Now Mark, a little feedback on your H&B list:

    I like the pokemon lines as far as the H&B w/Colorless attackers goes. Possibly room for another Genesect or Mewtwo EX?

    I like the 4-4-4 Juniper/Skyla/N line being as Skyla will be your biggest resource, though you don't need 3 Shadow Triad. 2 will always more than enough, but never too much. Aslo, you will find yourself never benching more than 4 pokemon at a time, and I rarely did this in all of my testing, so try Bianca over Colress.

    I agree with everything in your item lines except the Float Stones, Ultra Balss, and Plasma Badges. 4 Float Stones with 2 Skyarrow Bridges is too much, as you should never need more than 4 switching cards in you H&B deck so try to cut it down by a Stone or two. Also' try and find space for at least one switch, because you never know when it may come in handy (like against Garbodor). 4 Ultra Balls is just unecessary, especailly when most times you won't want to discard things from your hand. You should also take advantage of Genesect's Plasma status and run a Plasma Ball. A 2-3 pokemon search line seems about right. In my previous experience with Colress Machine in decks with non-Plasma attackers, I run one Plasma Badge for every 3 Colress Machines and 2 Bagdes for 4 Colress Machines. This way you can put those Colress Machines to use besides Genesect's G-Booster.

    Other than that, never switch to running Plasma Frigate over Skyarrow Bridge unless you see more Blastiose decks popping up, and stay away from Max Potion unless you intend to run 3+ energy switches with it as well.

    1. I'll keep it in mind. Especially considering I've already written about most of your suggestions as considerations in the article, and the techy stuff is a consequence of the attacking lineup. I'm sure I'll be cutting Stones, but discussing that kind of stuff at this point is ridiculous. I write my initial lists as straight-consistency so I can tech them later for an emerging metagame. And I'll continue to do that.

  5. I run a pair of Suicune and a pair of Silver Mirror in my list. Suicune can be accelerated by Virizion EX because it has a double colorless and it is near unhitable by the majority of the format with a mirror on it.

    1. No, it can't. The same thing happened with Lati-lock. Victini EX couldn't accelerate to Sigilyph becuase of its ability.

    2. Ah, didnt read that well enough I guess. Didn't know that it blocked from your attacks as well. That is most disheartening.