This is the companion discussion topic for this article.
“Feeling Peachy” – Volcanion for Athens Regionals, a More Frog-Friendly Backup, and the Importance of Staying Positive at Large Events
What is your ideal bench without Sky Field? I like the Catcher concept in general, but I found with only 2 Scorched earth, I’d have a baby Volcanion active, a bench of 1 Hoopa, 2 Volcanion EX, 1 Shaymin, and maybe a spot left, or if you started Shaymin, both Shaymin out. The bench is so tight, you can rarely hit the 3 Steam Up combo. I toyed with dropping the 4th catcher for a Sky Field, not sure if its right, but at least gives an option to drop Shaymin/Hoopa off if you’re lucky. Also with Silent Lab seeing more play, does the deck need more counter stadiums?
Very true, I was testing it last night and I felt my bench was too tight with 1-2 Shaymin and a Hoopa on board. It felt very risky. Don’t think I had the chance to run into many Silent Labs, but it’s a valid point.
I like to open up the game with Baby Volcanion, making my bench 3 Volcanion ex, 1 Hoopa ex, and 1 Shaymin ex. Sometimes Hoopa is prized/they reduce you to 3 on Parallel City turn 1, in which case I usually will go with 1 Baby Volcanion, 2 Volcanion ex, and usually a Shaymin to help me find a parallel counter. As far as in terms of starting Shaymin goes, you should pass on Hoopa unless you are going for a donk (basically, Volcanion EX needs to go on the bench instead of Hoopa here).
I don’t like dropping a Pokemon Catcher, as playing a full set is what makes the deck so good. Many games you will only see 3 even while playing 4 in your deck due to prizing, being in the bottom part of your deck, etc. Out of the 3 catchers you will usually get to flip in a game, you only really need 1 big heads flip. Lysandre at one copy is good, but not good without 4 catcher in our deck imo.
I have considered a 3rd Stadium for a while. You could drop Giovanni and play either Faded Town (if you still want the Gardy tech) or a third Scorched Earth (if you’re willing to play it close vs Gardy, a 3rd Earth could make your win percentage skyrocket against other decks). I think 2 Stadiums is fine currently, as you can always save your stadiums until after they play Silent Lab. Volcanion is so fast that you just need to buy a few turns against Silent Lab in order to escape with the win.
Curious why there is no Ranger in the list, I get that the amount of switching cards doesn’t make it that prevalent for Volcanion itself, but feel it would help against Greninja and a lone Jolteon out. Would you consider cutting Giovanni for this or has Giovanni been more beneficial?
Between 4 Catcher, 1 Lysandre and 4 VS Seeker, you actually have a lot of ways to move around Jolteon EX (provided they have a bench). I found through my testing that Ranger was a situational card. It rarely worked out that you would ever play Ranger to clear Volcanic Heat’s effect so that you can use it again. I designed my deck with no Ranger in mind, and I still feel like my transitions between Volcanion are smooth (4 Float, 2 Switch).
Giovanni is one of my favorite cards in the deck. It’s better than playing a single copy of Fighting Fury Belt because you can re use it with VS Seeker, and it can draw a few cards to put you in a better spot too. If you wanted to play a Ranger I would probably drop either a Float or a Catcher as they do similar things, but you might not get the same raw consistency this way.
edit- Ranger is good against Greninja for sure. I would keep the list aggressive as is for now, but if you notice a trend in Greninja then perhaps it is a good idea to add it. In my experience, you will usually win a game in a best of 3 vs Greninja due to better start, so you just have to figure out how to win a second game.
I’ve been testing this list, but found it very difficult (at least from the traditional Volcanion playing approach). I felt like I was missing easy OHKO’s on Yveltal EX’s because hitting 170 requires 2 steam ups without FFB fixing the math. Even baby Yveltal’s with a belt on can be harder to KO.
The beauty of playing baby Volcanion is that it can make up the damage needed should you miss. I would suggest trying 3 retrevial with 1 fisherman if you are having trouble getting two steam ups on an Yveltal EX without fighting fury belt. Also, consider the importance of knocking something out in one turn. Something like an Yveltal EX might require you to sacrifice scorched earth for the turn (don’t go for the 2 cards if you have a supporter, just take a guaranteed Steam Up).
As far as baby Yveltal goes, there will be times where you have to hit into it. I usually think these situations are harder to handle when it is early in the game, as your 1 lysandre is going to be harder to get off when you cannot vs seeker for it. When you are against an oblivion wing with no catcher effect, I recommend avoiding taking a knockout on it if possible. The best thing you can do is to power heater to advance your board state. Try to get a feel for your opponent’s hand- if you sense the opportunity, you can use power heater to put 3 fire on Volcanion EX so that the next turn you only need to see two fire throughout the whole turn for Steam Ups. This is easiest to do when baby Yveltal has a belt on it, as your opponent would need a switching card and a Lysandre to punish your play.
Make your life easier on yourself by powering things up a turn in advance. Sometimes this is not possible, but with Volcanion you have to be able to recognize when you have an opening.
Try to figure out your opponent’s hand. If you can throw in an N on top of using power heater on an oblivion wing yveltal, chances are you might have a catcher effect to pull up whatever they are powering up on the bench (usually Yveltal, sometimes Darkrai now).
Hope this helped! Feel free to ask any and all questions you have.
Just some feedback/seeking advice (though I know the curtain is closing fast on this format).
I began testing the Volcanion list and I loved it aside from the two Switch - I really missed having Olympia and escape rope and so I reasoned to cut the switch for them. Particularly I missed them in the Yveltal matchup - Fright Night really nulled the strength of Float Stone. Despite being able to catcher around it, it meant the Yveltal would live another turn. I just never had switch when I wanted it. I mightve changed my tune had I played more games with the list as is though so, perhaps I could go back, but I just find those two cards awfully handy to have access to.
I played in a League Challenge this past weekend with those two changes and finished 2-1-1.
Vs Greninja WLW
Vs Darkrai w/3 Silent Lab LL
Vs Yveltal Garb LWT
Vs Greninja WLW
Greninja MU = bench them and win. Catcher is godlike. If you don’t just straight up bench them, you can catcher their frogs turn on turn whilst powering your bench for late where you’ll start losing the prize trade but inevitably win on prizes.
The Darkrai deck had 3 lab and 1 Parallel. I got wasted. I answered each lab through careful resource management, but when the third hit the board I didn’t really have an answer.
Yveltal Garb is doable, I think I just drew poorly in the game I lost.
I have a Cup this weekend and I’ve made further changes - 1 trainer’s mail and 1 catcher out for a Skyfield and a Salamence EX. The Salamence EX really helps as a crutch against darkrai/labs - its power is present early as they load up on EXs but don’t have energy yet. The Skyfield helps me facilitate the extra spot I need for Salamence, but isn’t as important as simply just having a 3rd stadium.
I really dislike cutting into mail/catcher for reasons you’ve touched on though. Maybe the matchup is doable without salamence, but I’m sure the third stadium is needed. If I run Salamence, I really need to keep Giovanni - it pairs sooo well with Salamence.
Any thoughts on the best way to include a third stadium/Salamence? Or should I just test just only a third stadium in that matchup to see how I go?