The Court of Owls would like to see you.
We will be entering a new format next week thanks to Rotation. Several cards will be rotated out that were considered staples for most decks. We will see VS Seeker leave the format but Grass will be taking a hit. That is because Grass decks will be losing Forest of Giant Plants. Many people may say that this is a horrible development for Grass decks. Though that shouldn’t keep you from playing Grass Pokemon. Especially one that likes to hide in the shadows and strike when nobody expects it.
The Court of Owls is a secret group made up of the highest class within a certain city. They may look innocent but thirst for power. Meanwhile, the organization has a flock called the Talons who act as the muscle for the Court. Together they plan to overcome the new regime and control the city.
The description above is perfect for today’s deck that we will be looking at. This deck is ready to play in the post-rotation format. If you are not careful then the court will take you out. So get ready to face this hidden evil as we look at Court of Owls aka Decidueye EX/Alolan Ninetales GX.
Decidueye GX x4
Alolan Vulpix x3
Alolan Ninetales GX x2
Tapu Lele GX x2
Professor Sycamore x4
Ultra Ball x4
Rare Candy x4
Field Blower x2
Choice Band x3
Float Stone x2
Double Colorless Energy x4
Can Decidueye GX be good without Forest of Giant Plants? I am here to say that it can!
Prior to rotation, people played Decidueye GX with Forest of Giant Plants. This would put a 240 HP Pokemon on the field during their first turn. That was insane! Though now that Forest has been banned and/or rotated, people think that the big owl is gone. If you are one of those people who believe this then change that way of thinking! Decidueye GX can still be around in a non-Forest of Giant Plants format!
So how will you get Decidueye GX out without Forest of Giant Plants to speed up the process. First you need to stop thinking about getting Decidueye GX out on your first turn. It will never happen with the cards that we currently have in format. Forest of Giant Plants was nice but not needed. Instead you want to focus on using Rare Candy to get that speedy Decidueye GX on the field. It isn’t as fast as a Turn One Decidueye GX but that isn’t needed with the speed of a post rotation format.
You will not be playing just Decidueye GX. You will be using Alolan Vulpix and Alolan Ninetales GX. These fancy cards will be giving you exactly what you need while doing some damage to your opponent.
We should all know what Alolan Vulpix does at this point. You will want to have it in your active spot during your first attacking turn. That way you can use Beacon to search your deck for any Pokemon you need for your next turn. This could be a Decidueye GX to do a Rare Candy evolution play. It could be for two Dartrix to evolve some Rowlet. You can even grab more Vulpix and Rowlet to strengthen your bench. If you want to be really aggressive then you can grab an Alolan Ninetales GX to put pressure on your opponent.
Alolan Ninetales GX can really put the pressure on your opponent’s Pokemon. Once you are done grabbing Pokemon and have set up a few Decidueye GX on your bench then you can really have fun. You have a 210 HP Pokemon who can put 50 damage anywhere you want while putting down 20 damage at your disposal. You can set up knockouts for later with Decidueye GX or just put it all on your opponent’s active Pokemon and slowly knock it out. The world is your oyster as you have at least 70 damage to put on the board. That damage builds up as you slowly picking things off. As the match goes on you will be adding 20 more damage as you put more Decidueye GX on your board. That 70 damage? It is now 90! What is that? It is now 110 damage! That is all before you take out Decidueye GX to do the heavy damage.
The attack plan for this deck is to always go with Alolan Ninetales GX. You just need to attach a Double Colorless Energy to use Ice Blade to do 50 damage. While you are using Ice Blade, start powering up a Decidueye GX on the bench. If you get too much damage on Alolan Ninetales GX then use Ice Path GX to move the damage to your opponent’s active Pokemon. If anything, plan it to where it takes a knockout after doing a well timed Feather Arrow from Decidueye GX. Once Alolan Ninetales GX goes down then you should have a few Decidueye GX ready to go in for the attack. Now your opponent needs to deal with a 240 HP monster that will make it rain arrows!
Espeon EX is there for some cute combos. If you are playing against an evolution based deck then you will want to spread damage to all your opponent’s Evolved Pokemon. Once you have done that then you can take out Espeon EX to use Miraculous Shine to devolve them. The idea is that you want them to have more damage then their previous Stage has HP. That way once they have devolved then they will be knocked out.
The Trainers in this deck is to help support and set up. You have Brigette to get as many Rowlet and Alolan Vulpix out in play. Your typical Brigette pick up will be two Rowlet and one Alolan Vulpix. The Alolan Vulpix will be there in case you don’t start with it or you expect your active Alolan Vulpix to go down before evolving.
Skyla will be there to help you grab needed Items. The obvious one will be Rare Candy so you can get Decidueye GX out fast. You can also grab Field Blower to blow off Tools. This will be needed if you are facing off Garbotoin Garbodor.
You have ways to recover your cards such as Rescue Stretcher and Revitalizer. That way you can recover Pokemon quickly. Special Charge is there to get back your DCE. Maybe they are discarded because of effects from Pokemon or items. Either way you want DCE to help speed up the set up.
You may notice that the line up is pretty heavy. There are two Skyla. You will see two Brigette. There is a 4-2-4 Decidueye GX and 3-2 Alolan Ninetales GX line. That is pretty heavy. So you may be asking why. The reason is because we are in a format that doesn’t play VS Seeker.
In the VS Seeker format, we were okay with playing one-of Supporters because we knew they were disposable. If they were in the discard then we can retrieve them with VS Seeker. Now we can not do that. So we need new things to discard with Ultra Ball. Sometimes you need to make some tough choices so a Decidueye GX has to be discarded with Ultra Ball. Maybe it is better to discard a Skyla with Ultra to grab a Tapu Lele if it means I can get Rare Candy with Professor Sycamore.
Also you can’t afford to have your Brigette prized. Those are important cards in your deck. You want to grab this Supporter. The same for Skyla. Over all, these heavy lines keeps your deck consistent.
The Match Ups
So lets talk about the Court’s match ups.
Let just say this now. The best way to combat this deck is limit your Item usage. That can be done because all you need is Ultra Ball and Rare Candy. That will keep your opponent from going crazy with Trashlance Garbodor. You play so many Supporter draw and non-Item search that the set up isn’t hard.
The real thread is Drampa GX and Garbotoxin Garbodor.
Drampa GX can move fast. You are going have to sacrifice your active Alolan Vulpix. While it is your active then use it to grab as many Pokemon as you need to set up. It can be knock out after your first Beacon or maybe live to Beacon again. You do not know but just remember that you will need another Alolan Vulpix for your next turn. Maybe that one will be knocked out too. Maybe it will survive to evolve and use Ice Blade. Just remember that Drampa GX can also use Righteous Edge to knock off your DCE.
The good thing is that your opponent will not want to put too much damage on Alolan Ninetales GX. They will be too afraid because they know that you can use Ice Path GX to move the damage to their active Drampa GX. By then you will have a Decidueye GX who can be used to close the gap for a knockout with an Ice Path GX.
Next is the Garbotoxin Garbodor who can lock down abilities. You really want to spread that damage around with Feather Arrow. It can add so much fire to your attacks. Especially in the late game. An attack that does 90 damage for a Grass and DCE is good but if you can do more then it is great! Feather Arrow makes that 90 damage Razor Leaf into 110 and more! Garbotoxin just holds you back.
You will need to do your best to knock out Trubbish when you can or use Field Blower to to knock off tools from your opponent’s Garbotoxin Garbodor. Either way it will not be fun once your abilities are locked.
One last thing. If you are putting damage on your opponent’s benched Pokemon in the Drampa GX-Garbo match up then make sure it is for a kill. Damage on the opponent’s bench just activates Berserk on Drampa GX. Don’t help your opponent in this task.
The new kid in town is Golisopod GX who is also a fellow Grass type. This bug can move fast too as it can evolve and attack for 120 damage. That is enough damage to two-hit KO any of your evolved Pokemon.
The challenge against this deck is that it has the option to constantly heal itself thanks to Acerola and Super Scoop Up. What you want to do against this deck is to target the bench. You will want to get an early Alolan Ninetales GX and Decidueye GX to start picking off the Wimpod. That way you can force them to recover Wimpod and attack with the same Golisopod GX.
Eventually you will will spread enough damage to make it impossible for them to remove the damage all at once. Your opponent will be putting into active a damaged Golisopod GX who may not survive the turn. They will either run out of Acerola or unable to grab one. There will be so much damage on the board that you can easily finish the game to use Espeon EX to devolve their Pokemon and take several knockouts.
The energy does not flavor you in this match up. You play so much energy to attack that your opponent’s Gardevoir GX will be doing on average 150 damage to your Pokemon. Also, 230 HP is a big number to hit. You may have a 240 HP owl on your side but your opponent is going to hit that owl for 150 damage.
If you are going to be using this deck against Gardevoir GX then you will need to work fast. Get that Alolan Ninetales GX out so you can spread damage on everything that can evolve. Maybe you will need two Alolan Ninetales GX to do this job. While you are doing all of this, get your Decidueye GX out so they can provide backup with Feather Arrow. You can try to use Ice Path to get more damage on the active Gardevoir GX. That will make it easier for your master plan.
What is that master plan? Using Espeon EX to evolve your opponent’s Pokemon. You will need to do 60 damage to everything that evolved with Rare Candy. That will knockout Ralts if it became Gardevoir with a Rare Candy and Remoraid. You will need to do at least 80 damage on anything that evolved from Kirlia. The idea is that you want to cripple your opponent with a mass devolution after spreading damage for so long.
The plan may sound difficult but you need to expect that coming from a deck that just won Worlds in two divisions.
You are going to get burn!
If you want to win this match then use Guzma to target Volcanion EX. The idea is that you will use Alolan Ninetales with a Choice Band to hit them for weakness while they are in the active. That will put 160 damage on Volcanion EX. You will follow that up with Decidueye GX’s Feather Arrow. If you do that then it will be a knockout. Do that a few more times and getting six prizes will be easy.
You can always get the deck to move that fast. The problem is that you want to get your Guzma out to draw out Volcanion EX when you are ready. If you are not careful or have what you need then your Owls are going to burn. There is no way Decidueye GX will want to take an attack from a Volcanion EX. Just do not be surprised if your opponent will be using his Guzma to target your benched Decidueye GX. After all, that is his win condition.
Decidueye GX is not a dead. Players will need to stop crying about Forest of Giant Plants and move on. September 1st is the start of a new format and players need to get creative with our decks. Forest of Giant Plants is gone but we still have Rare Candy to get a Decidueye GX out on the field.
There are some thing that you will want to consider in this deck. One of those things is the promo Tapu Koko. I would like to play it in this deck but I think it messes with consistency. You do get that free retreat Pokemon which is perfect to combo with Guzma. There is also the ability to spread 20 damage to your opponent’s Pokemon. The problem is that Tapu Koko is too much for the deck. I would rather focus on setting up with Alolan Vulpix and getting damage on specific Pokemon with Alolan Ninetales GX. When you throw in Tapu Koko then you are not doing what is needed to make the deck successful. I would rather put a DCE on Alolan Ninetales GX and focus energy commitment on Decidueye GX then think about if I want to use Tapu Koko. You can try this deck with Tapu Koko but I think the card is a novelty.
Acerola is another card that I am tempted to try with this deck. It will give an extra life to Alolan Ninetales GX after you Ice Path. One Acerola could mean that you opponent will not take two prizes. That could be all you need to win the game. Acerola can also act as a pseudo-Switch if your opponent decides to trap Decidueye GX in the active and doesn’t knock it out.
Decidueye GX has some wings in a post Forest of Giant Plants world. It will not be a fast force to deal with but this owl can bring the pain. Go ahead and try out this deck! You may find that this owl is still giving a hoot!