The XY—Steam Siege expansion introduced a lot of new and intriguing cards to the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and one that stands out from the rest is Volcanion-EX. This dual-type Pokémon is both Fire and Water type, giving it an advantage against Pokémon that have a Weakness to either type. Let's take a look at a deck for the 2017 Standard format that puts this new powerhouse Pokémon-EX into action.
Volcanion-EX has some of the attributes we've come to expect from a Pokémon-EX: high HP and a big attack. Its 180 HP makes it quite difficult to take down, and that number gets even bigger if you attach a Fighting Fury Belt for an extra 40 HP. The Volcanic Heat attack provides a nice 130 damage for three Energy, meaning it can take down most regular Pokémon in one attack, but it has the nasty drawback of not being able to attack on the following turn. With that in mind, it's important to include Pokémon Ranger or Switch in this deck to clear that effect.
The real selling point of Volcanion-EX is its Steam Up Ability. Once per turn, you can discard a Fire Energy card from your hand to boost the damage of your Basic Fire-type Pokémon's attacks by 30. And if you have multiple Volcanion-EX in play, all of them can use the Ability in the same turn. In an instant, the damage from those attacks can be increased by 30, 60, 90, or even 120 if you have 4 Volcanion-EX! This completely transforms the power of all of your Basic Fire-type Pokémon. For example, Volcanion-EX's Volcanic Heat attack can get boosted from 130 damage to 250 damage. With that kind of power, it can take down even the biggest Pokémon-EX in one attack.
Players who used Fire-type strategies lost the important Blacksmith Supporter card in the Standard format rotation, but that won't slow them down entirely. In a deck focusing on Basic Pokémon, Max Elixir is an incredible way to get some extra basic Energy onto your Pokémon. Otherwise, the regular Volcanion will be your go-to Pokémon in the early stages of the game. The Power Heater attack does 20 damage and can power up two of your Benched Pokémon, giving this deck the steam it needs to get going. It pairs extremely well with Volcanion-EX's Steam Up Ability: Power Heater's damage is increased, and those discarded Fire Energy cards can be attached to your Benched Pokémon.
There are plenty of great Basic Fire-type Pokémon out there, and one that fits well in this deck is Flareon-EX from the Generations expansion. Don't be fooled by its cuteness—it can pack a punch! Its Flash Fire Ability allows it to move a Fire Energy from another Pokémon to itself, meaning it can take full advantage of any spare Energy put into play with Volcanion's Power Heater attack. Then the Blaze Ball attack can deal absurd amounts of damage depending on how much Fire Energy is attached to Flareon-EX, and that damage can be boosted further by Volcanion-EX's Steam Up Ability. Experiment and see what works best for you.
No strategy is unbeatable, and this one is no exception. Most of the Pokémon in this deck have a Weakness to Water-type Pokémon, so Pokémon such as Greninja are difficult to deal with. A potential solution is to include a few copies of Weakness Policy in your deck to compensate. Without Startling Megaphone and Xerosic in the Standard format, there isn't an easy way to discard Pokémon Tool cards, so your Pokémon is likely to remain Weakness-free once you attach that Weakness Policy.
It's usually a good idea to pack some Stadium cards into your deck—even if only to disrupt your opponent's Stadium strategy! For example, an opponent's Silent Lab could cause problems by shutting down your Basic Pokémon's Abilities. On your side, Sky Field can give you some extra Bench space to work with, or Parallel City can shrink it down to 3 spots, potentially allowing you to discard Benched Pokémon that are easy targets for the opponent, such as Shaymin-EX. Always be on the lookout for holes in your strategy so you can react and make your deck even stronger!
With the introduction of XY—Steam Siege and a brand-new Standard format, now is the time for innovation and creativity. Be on the lookout for new strategies as we enter a new season of Pokémon TCG fun. Check back at Pokemon.com/Strategy for the latest strategy ideas, tournament results, and more! Good luck, Trainers!
- 1 free play
- 1 returning set of BOXBOY! badges
We’re up to our fourth edition in the Ace Attorney character profile series already? That means today we’ll have covered eight different characters that appear in the upcoming Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice by the end of this article! Today we’re talking about the newest member of the Wright Anything Agency, Athena Cykes, and a TV producer, Roger Retinz. Maybe they’re not the perfect pairing, but hey – that’s showbiz!
Athena Cykes is the Wright Anything Agency’s newest attorney, and also the most eager to prove herself. A well of never-ending energy and curiosity, Athena is constantly on the move, challenging Apollo to races, diving head-first into investigations, or just running for the sake of running. Always excited to learn, she’s even been known to join Apollo in his “Chords of Steel” voice exercises – though one has to wonder just how much the neighbors enjoy it.
UPDATE - Well that was fast! The game is due out in North America tomorrow!
The rating has come in, but when will the game release? This one's been a long time coming. It'll certainly be nice to see it release. We'll update you with anymore info that comes our way!