The Hawk’s Nest: Putting it to the Test

professor oak optimistic

Excited for the new season!

Hello, I am extremely excited to be back with you all! This summer has been extremely exciting and important to me, but it has left me with little time to compete at Pokémon events. I got to a couple small Battle Roads, but I missed Nationals and I did not travel out to Worlds. But alas, it is a new year and I am here to talk about the new format.

Now, I will warn you that this is going to lean towards a deck list dump than most other articles. I, along with everyone else, am still in the early to middle stages of testing NXD-on. So, I will let you see the lists that I’m working with, and give some insights or explanations of any odd choices. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the coming months with more refined lists and matchup advice. Let’s get crackin’!

Because the article may be a little scattered, make sure to utilize the table of contents to jump around and find your desired deck.

Table of Contents

Toolbox

Quite a while ago, evidenced by the July 18 upload date on this YouTube video, a deck known as Toolbox hit the global scene. (The video calls it Itembox because that is what Sigilyph’s Ability was known as in Japan.) I have been thoroughly surprised that a deck this fun and competitive has stayed out of the SixPrizes limelight. Well, I am here to change that.

Here is a skeleton list for our basis of discussion, and my current testing list will be at the bottom of this section.

Pokémon – 10

4 Trubbish PLS 65
4 Sigilyph PLB
1 Surskit PLB
1 Masquerain PLB

Trainers – 39

4 N
3 Professor Juniper
1 Bianca/Colress

3 Bicycle
2 Random Receiver

 

16 Tools

 

4 Level Ball
3 Pokemon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Tool Scrapper
1 ACE SPEC

Energy – 6

6 Psychic

5 Free Spots

4 Trubbish PLS 65

trubbish-plasma-storm-pls-65

Your heavy hitter.

It is only fitting that a member of the Garbodor line is the focus of another absurdly fun deck. In the past year Garbodor has been the center of attention with the Mewtwo/Lando/Garbodor deck, the Sableye/Garbodor deck, and the Darkrai/Sableye/Garbodor deck. Now Trubbish gets to shine with its glorious Tool Drop attack.

Trubbish is a lightweight with a measly 70 HP, but for a Psychic and a Colorless, Tool Drop does 20 damage for each Tool card attached to Pokémon in play, yours and your opponent’s.

Since the multiplier is base 20, the critical Tool counts for OHKOs are as follows:

5 – Deoxys EX, Mewtwo EX
7 – Kyurem, Blastoise
9 – All other EXs

At first glance, that appears to be a lot of Tools, because nearly every Pokémon in play would need a Tool attached to start OHKOing EXs. However, we have Sigilyph.

4 Sigilyph PLB

Almost all of the Sigilyphs printed have had an interesting function, and this one is no different. Its Ability, Toolbox, allows four Tools to be attached to Sigilyph. That greatly solves our Tool count problems. With a mere two Sigilyph in play, we can have nine Tools on only three Pokémon. While we only need two in play at a time, four is an optimal count because you want to avoid Prize problems and KO problems.

There are a few two main things we have to be aware of when stacking Tools on Sigi:

  1. It has a relatively low 90 HP. That means a simple Catcher + KO may rid the board of four Tools.
  2. If Garbodor comes into play and Garbotoxin is activated, Sigi must discard three of its Tools.
  3. If your opponent uses Chatot PLB‘s Misinformation, any of your Pokemon with Silver Mirror attached does not have to discard its Tools. This means a Sigi with four Tools attached, one being Silver Mirror, will not have to discard any of its Tools.

1 Surskit PLB, 1 Masquerain PLB

This is only here for its Ability, Tool Reversal. Tool Reversal allows you to take a Tool attached to a Pokémon and put it back into your hand. Of course, you can then play that Tool right back down. This allows you to move your Tools around as often as you would like to make sure they are in the correct places.

A 1-1 line is obviously the bare minimum we can play. However, to avoid prizing issues and consistency problems a 2-2 line might be advisable. Also, while the deck may function without Masquerain, you want Masquerain to come into play eventually because early in the game you may need to just get the Tools into play in suboptimal positions. Masquerain allows you to remedy those suboptimal Tool placements.

3 Professor Juniper, 4 N

sigilyph plasma blast plb 41

Lets you load up on Tools.

These two are simply the best Supporters in the game, and it only makes sense they will be played in this deck. Playing three Juniper might be the best play because getting forced into discarding a bunch of Tools early with Juniper is extremely painful. However, Juniper is extremely powerful, so going back up to four is a definite option.

3 Bicycle

With 20+ Items that may be played down at nearly any moment in the game, Bicycle might have finally found a proper home. It is relatively easy to get below four cards in hand and then use Bicycle to draw into more cards.

2 Random Receiver

Receiver is one of the cards I’m less sure about in the skeleton. It is a nice burnable card that thins your deck, but both Colress and Bianca are solid Supporters in this deck. So, it might be beneficial to just play those cards over Receiver. However, Colress and Bianca are generally less optimal in the early game so Random Receiver helps you get to early Junipers and Ns.

1 Colress/Bianca

Filling out the Supporter line with these two cards is highly adequate. Bianca is powerful for the same reasons why Bicycle is powerful. You have many Items that can be played down, and Bianca will often draw four or five cards. Colress is fine because you often want at least four Pokémon in play on your side of the field plus one or two on your opponent’s side of the field.

4 Level Ball

All of the Pokémon in this deck have 90 HP or less. Thus, Level Ball is the go-to Pokémon search card. This one is pretty simple.

3 Pokemon Catcher

Pokémon Catcher is simply very good; however, this is one of those decks where automatically including four copies should be reconsidered. First, the deck aims to deal 180 damage in a single attack. That means you can simply take the KO on your opponent’s Active Pokémon. Second, the list is rather tight from all of the Tools that need included. However, the ability to take specific Prizes to push down your opponent’s board presence or increase yours is too powerful to completely skip on Catchers.

I would be uncomfortable with one Catcher and not completely at ease with two. Three “just seems” right to me.

1 Tool Scrapper

masquerain plasma blast plb 2

Rearrange your Tools as needed.

I think people will underestimate this card again this year, because they always do. However, a single copy in this deck is good because Garbodor will severely damage this deck’s ability to keep Tools of the field.

1 Super Rod

The deck needs some type of recovery and this is the best dual purpose (Pokémon and Energy) recovery we have in the game.

6 Psychic Energy

Trubbish requires Psychic to attack, and that means Psychic will be the main Energy the deck utilizes. The question is whether or not to add Double Colorless Energy to the deck for Sigilyph’s attack. Currently, I do not feel that is necessary. But, having another attacking option is a nice thought.

1 ACE SPEC

There will be some debate over which ACE SPEC to play in this deck. Obviously, Life Dew screams to be included. It is a Tool that has a very powerful effect. However, in this deck I am not sold on how powerful its Prize denial effect is. You already play no EXs and are hoping to feast on the two-for-one Prize trade against most decks. Is moving one of those trades to a two-for-zero trade really worth it? I am not so convinced.

I actually like Dowsing Machine a bit better. Dowsing Machine lets us get back a crucial Tool if needed, play only three Catcher, and play one less Supporter. The reactive and forgiving nature of Dowsing Machine makes it my current go to choice for Toolbox.

Five Extra Slots

I would honestly just use these slots to fill in the list for consistency.

The Tools

Here is the portion of the deck that is going to make or break your Toolbox deck. Let’s run down the leading candidates for the Tool slots.

Silver Mirror

silver mirror plasma blast

What a Tool!

Kyurem PLF, Absol PLF, Deoxys EX, Genesect EX, Thundurus EX, Chatot PLB, Lugia EX, Snorlax PLS, Flareon PLF, Chandelure PLF, Tornadus EX, and Cobalion EX are all relevant Plasma attackers. Silver Mirror protects your Pokémon from all of those cards. This is particularly true when considering Chatot.

Chatot’s first attack forces you to discard all of your Tool cards, but Silver Mirror negates that attack. So, if you have Silver Mirrors on your Sigilyphs, all of the Tool cards on Sigilyph are safe from Chatot. Of course, you opponent may use Tool Scrapper to remove the Silver Mirrors, and then use Chatot, but that is a lot to ask for in one turn.

Silver Bangle

Mewtwo EX, Keldeo EX, Black Kyurem EX PLS, Tornadus EX, Thundurus EX, Deoxys EX, Darkrai EX… I think you get the picture – there are a lot of relevant EXs in the game. Silver Bangle makes it so that you only have to have seven or eight Tools in play to OHKO an EX with Trubbish. You may also think of Silver Bangle as five PlusPowers because you get 20 from it being a Tool in play and 30 when you attack an EX.

Exp. Share

The deck has no other Energy accelerators and Trubbish, unfortunately, needs two Energy to attack. Therefore, we need a method of trying to preserve some of those Energy drops. Exp. Share does that while still adding damage to Trubbish’s attack.

Eviolite

All of the main Pokémon in the deck are Basics, so Eviolite is usually strictly better than Giant Cape when it comes to helping your Pokémon survive. The only instance where Giant Cape is better is against Cobalion EX.

Float Stone

This deck has lots of moving parts, and none of them has natural free retreat. Thus, Float Stone solves any potential Catcher stall tactics.

Rescue Scarf

This is simply another method of recovery. However, this Tool Seems underwhelming when compared to the other Tools.

Now, after all of that stuff, here is what my current testing list looks like.

Pokémon – 12

4 Trubbish PLS 65

4 Sigilyph PLB
2 Surskit PLB
2 Masquerain PLB

Trainers – 41

4 N
3 Professor Juniper
2 Bianca

4 Bicycle
2 Random Receiver

 

4 Exp. Share
3 Silver Mirror
3 Silver Bangle
3 Float Stone
3 Eviolite

 

4 Level Ball
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Tool Scrapper
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 7

7 Psychic

Overall, I am content with the list at this point in the testing cycle. You can see that I opted for four Exp. Share because of the importance of keeping Energy on board. Then I went with three of the next four most useful Tools.

Blastoise

blastoise postcard

Blastoise is happy it lost nothing!

Blastoise might be the best deck in the format. It did not lose anything significant from the BLW-NVI sets.

It is still a “X board state” type deck, meaning if you achieve objectives A, B, and C by a certain turn you almost always win the game. Here, the objectives are generally a turn two Blastoise and turn two or three Black Kyurem EX attack. Yes, Mewtwo EX is still a thing and the deck can be teched out, but in general, a more consistent Blastoise deck will win more games.

This deck has been talked to death, but here is just another list to consider:

Pokémon – 14

4 Squirtle BCR
3 Blastoise BCR
3 Keldeo EX
2 Black Kyurem EX PLS
1 Kyurem PLF
1 Exeggcute PLF

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
4 Skyla
1 Colress

 

4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy
4 Superior Energy Retrieval
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Computer Search
1 Energy Search

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

11 Water
3 Lighting

There are not many controversial portions to this stock list. I like the single Egg to help with late game Superior Energy Retrievals and for Ultra Balls. In addition, some may vehemently argue that three Tropical Beach are a necessity, but I have found the third copy’s return to be greatly diminished because the main method of getting Tropical Beach into play is through a turn one Skyla.

My only tip for playing the deck in the coming format is that getting a secondary Blastoise into play is more important than ever because two good Grass attackers can easily take down Blastoise in a single turn.

It is also interesting to note that the Blastoise deck with the best record at the end of the World’s Swiss rounds did not play Black Kyurem EX. Instead that deck went aggro Keldeo EX with Mewtwo EX and 13 Water Energy.


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