Courtesy of feature Writer Juan Macedo
Before I discuss this deck, I would first like to credit Kaoskatana for constructing this list. I can’t say that I’ll give his build justice through this article, but I shall do my best to give it the shine it deserves, because over a week ago I was watching Rare Candy’s video on his Blaziken GX build and while scrolling the comment section I stumbled upon Kaoskatana’s comment with the following list:
##Pokémon - 16
* 1 Oranguru SUM 113
* 2 Oricorio GRI 14
* 1 Slugma CES 23
* 4 Torchic CES 26
* 2 Combusken DRM 5
* 1 Magcargo CES 24
* 4 Blaziken DRM 6
* 1 Tapu Koko PR-SM SM31
##Trainer Cards – 32
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 166
* 2 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 2 Volkner UPR 156
* 2 Lillie SUM 147
* 4 Rare Candy CES 142
* 4 Shrine of Punishment CES 143
* 1 Switch SUM 160
* 3 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 1 Judge FLI 108
* 1 Copycat CES 163
##Energy – 12
* 8 Fire Energy BLW 106
* 4 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
As a casual player on PTCGO, I do my best to complete the trainer challenges to earn rewards while climbing the ladder here and there, and given that I needed a good fire evolution build after Dragon Majesty came out, I scoured around for a list that made Blaziken GX awesome. But then I find this list that ran zero GX’s (no Lele in sight), just Quad Blaziken in Shrine of Punishment fashion. At that point I took the list over to the game, saved it, and waited for my next Evolution Challenge. After that I fell in love with the deck.
To share a bit of my experience with the build: I remember winning against Bulu, two Rayquaza decks, and even an Empoleon/Swampert deck as well, something that is usually an uphill battle and that admittedly left me kinda down about, because while I won against weakness, I understand the frustration of when you’re setting up and wind up losing either way. So to the Empoleon player, I felt for him. The other matchups were pretty alright. Now there were several other wins as well as loses here and there too, but that is the game in of itself: we don’t always win them all. Even so, because you aren’t running a GX yourself, you have a bit more time to come back from behind, something that Greninja players can relate to once upon a time.
Now the deck’s overall goal is simple: use Shrine to whittle down opposing GX’s, use Koko to spread damage across the board, set Blazikens up, and from there snowball your way to victory.
Given that this is a Stage 2 based deck, you won’t jump right out of the gate with a strong turn 1 presence. However, we do have ways to get the ball rolling depending on how you start off.
The deck runs the Passionate Dance Oricorio from Guardians Rising, which is similar to the Strike and Run Dunsparce from Celestial Storm, except that when you attack with it, this little guy gets you 3 basic Fire Pokemon from your deck to your bench. I can argue that the fire Oricorio is better in this build than Dunsparce due to 2 more reasons: a higher HP than the other guy, and a decent attack in the form of Kindle, which by discarding 1 energy off of Oricorio, you discard an energy off the opponent. In the event that you don’t find your way to a DCE for Koko, you could try to disrupt those decks that aren’t reliant on accelerating Energy (because against a Malamar deck, Kindle just pecks them). Other than that, we do run Nest Balls and Ultra Balls to ensure that you get at least a few more tries at bench startup early in the game.
Koko is self-explanatory alongside Shrine: you want to make sure you wear down your opponents to pave a path to victory for your Blaziken, and with the free retreat, Guzma plays are that much better, especially if you take into account Blaziken’s Firestarter ability to accelerate to your bench (for flexible plays).
Then there’s the 1-1 Magcargo line and the Oranguru inclusion that is also self-explanatory. Oranguru helps keep you going even at a small handsize, while Magcargo’s Smooth Over allows you to get whatever card you need to the top of the deck. With Oranguru, you could Ultra Ball your hand down, draw the card you placed on top, and have the puzzle pieces coming together to set up your attackers, get draw supporters or DCE’s, and even your switch cards like Tate and Liza for when the opponent tries to stall you out. Furthermore, Oranguru can actually start to fight with Psychic once the opponent’s ‘mons weaken from your Pokemon’s attacks.
To round things off: Blaziken. Fire Stream is an attack you should not underestimate. It might not be a massive 210 attack like his GX counterpart, but given that you are spreading 20 to the benchline, on top of the base 90 that he does to the opposing active ‘mons….you are 2 hit KO’ing most non-GXs out there. And against GX’s, as I’ve repeated earlier on: Koko, Shrine, and the spread damage from your fire birds help to even the playing field, simple as that. Spread damage, hit the active, spread, do a Guzma play or two, and you might wind up taking multiple prizes in some games among other things.
Now granted…this deck is not immune to terrible starts, as are the majority of decks out there. You could wind up having it rough if Oranguru is out, or if you wanted Oricorio up front, but didn’t get her out on your attacking turn. Nevertheless, this is a solid budget deck for players who are getting into the game that have already built up knowledge on how Stage 2’s work, for those that like the playstyle of Spread decks and acceleration decks, or if nothing else: Blaziken fans. I can honestly say that Blaziken fascinated me when he came out in the Pokemon anime against Ash nearing the end of the Johto journey, and now we have a good Blaziken card from the past that can be played once more in the modern format today.
So have a go at the list and once more: thank you kaoskatana for a wonderful list. I enjoy my Fire Challenges a lot more now with Blaziken. And to those that come to read on Pokedeck Central: thank you to you all as well. Have a great day!