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Budget decks and Budget Techs: HS-__

Discussion in 'TCG' started by FearZeCrawdaunt, May 4, 2012.

  1. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Alright, here's an interesting thread idea. I'll try and keep the following posts updated with links to the specific posts regarding the ideas people have for either cheap decks that they've had decent success with, or decent tech cards that replace other, more expensive cards.

    The idea is to compile a resource players (new and old) can go to for ideas on how to play the TCG competitively for less. As the title suggests, this thread will only cover decks and options in the HS-__ rotation. Once there is a new rotation, a new thread should be created (since the decklists and cards might become outdated). In general, even if a new set comes out, I don't think that should affect the playability of most budget options, considering they were budget to begin with.

    Another great way to post decks/techs is to include their total cost (without energies) in your post. I recommend looking things up on http://www.trollandtoad.com to figure it out (and make things standardized). That way when people browse through the list of decks in the OP, they can look at options of deck archetypes and get a general idea of how much it would cost (starting from scratch). If you have budget tech options, include a minimum and maximum cost. An example might be "Pokemon Reversal" instead of "Pokemon Catcher" since running 4 reversals is almost $40 less than running 4 catchers. Sure it's flippy, but that's $40 man.

    Without further ado, post away! And feel free to post rogue decks, as long as you've tested them with decent success.

    I'll add, that obviously bargain-hunting is a big part of playing on a budget. And if you're strapped for cash, then you'll almost always find better deals locally than online (unless maybe it's eBay). If nothing more you save on shipping!
  2. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Budget Decks

    Approximate Cost - Deck Name

    $60 - $245 - ZekEels - Zekrom/Eelektrik
    Beat your opponent down with consistent hard damage.
    $60 - $100 - Durant NVI
    The strategy is to mill your opponent (discard all cards in their deck) using Durant's Devour attack.
    $35 - $83 - Drop It Like It's Hot - Chandelure NXD/Ninetales CL
    This deck aims to set up quickly and spread damage fast using Chandelure's Flame Burst attack.
    $62 - $76 - Cinccino NXD/Hypno HS
    Flips galore! If you fancy flipping, this deck is for you. Be it yourself flipping out over a bad flip, or your opponent flipping the table over some good flips.
  3. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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  4. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Durant

    I'll start this thread off with a standard budget deck. Durant has seen a great deal of success, especially for a deck that costs so little. I mean, Durant won more Regional Championships this spring than any deck (other than ZekEels). That sounds impressive, but really it was anomalous that ZekEels won so much. That doesn't discredit Durant. If anything, it goes to show that even when there's a clear Best Deck In the Format (BDIF), Durant can take home a championship. Through thick and thin, Durant's lack of true auto-losses is a great reason to consider the deck. But then you find out that it's also one of the cheapest decks to play, and it's no wonder so many people try it out.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a sample decklist:​

    Pokemon: 5
    ($3.00)

    4 Durant NVI
    1 Rotom UD

    Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums: 43
    ($47.50/ $39.50/ $3.00 = $90.00)

    4 N
    4 Professor Juniper
    4 Pokemon Collector - $6.50 apiece
    3 Twins
    3 Professor Oak's New Theory

    4 Junk Arm - $4 apiece
    4 Revive
    3 Crushing Hammer
    3 Level Ball
    3 Pokegear 3.0 - $2.50 apiece
    2 Lost Remover or Enhanced Hammer
    2 Pokemon Catcher - $9 apiece
    2 Eviolite
    1 Switch

    1 Battle City - $3

    Energy: 12
    ($6.00)

    6 Metal Energy
    4 Special Metal Energy
    2 Prism Energy

    TOTAL COST: $99.00
    Cost of staples: $67.50​

    108 bucks for a deck isn't bad when you're counting everything from scratch. The bulk of the cost comes from 4 different cards that all serve as staples in other decks. So if you already own these (because you have already built a deck before) then the cost goes down considerably.

    For instance, the Collectors, Catchers, Junk Arms and Pokegears cost a total of $76.50. That's 70% of the total cost of the deck, and having copies of these cards serves as a good investment to be able to build more decks in the future. Watch out for the rotation though, since Pokemon Collector, Pokegear and Junk Arm are going to be rotated out (no longer legal). That should just make Durant cheaper though, which is great! Losing Junk Arm might hurt, but there are other options out there that aren't being explored or aren't introduced yet.

    If you were looking into building Durant for the post-rotation (not including Collectors, Gears or Junk Arms), then your build would probably only cost about $60. That's not too shabby at all. The collectors can easily be replaced by the "ball engine" which would use Level Balls and Dual Balls in this case (though Dual Balls will also be rotated out soon), but it will take up a little more space in the deck.

    Minimum cost: ~$60, Maximum cost: $99.
  5. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
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    This is my type of thread.
  6. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Drop It Like It's Hot: Chandelure NXD/Ninetales HS

    Not to toot my own horn, but this deck is a fairly solid option for a beginner's deck, and is reasonably competitive. The cards in the deck are also largely from BW-on, and though the Chandelures may become less competitive without Ninetales, the trainers and supporters (the bulk of cost) should still be pretty handy. This deck also runs practically no money cards which makes it extremely cheap as an option for your first deck.

    [​IMG]
    Here's a sample decklist:​

    Pokemon: 19
    ($35.50)

    4 Vulpix UL
    3 Ninetales HS
    4 Litwick BLW Promo - $5 apiece, regular Litwicks @ $0.25 apiece also work
    2 Lampent NXD
    4 Chandelure NXD
    1 Victini NVI 15
    1 Pichu HS

    Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums: 28
    ($36.00/ $7.00/ $0.50 = $43.50)

    4 Cheren
    4 N
    3 Professor Oak’s New Theory

    4 Rare Candy - $2 apiece
    3 Level Ball
    2 Pokemon Communication
    2 Pokemon Catcher - $9 apiece
    2 Energy Retrieval
    1 Exp. Share
    1 Super Rod
    1 Junk Arm - $4

    1 Burned Tower

    Energy: 13
    ($4.00)

    12 Fire
    1 Rescue

    TOTAL COST: $83.00
    Cost of staples: $31.00​

    This deck was my own little creation mid-states this year. I wasn't the only one to come up with it of course, but I did introduce it to the internet first. The biggest pull is that so few cards are individually expensive, which is both a blessing and a curse. The only staple that costs any money in the deck is Pokemon Catcher. Beyond that, the budget options for this deck don't impact it's competitiveness too much. If you chose to not use Promo Litwicks and instead just regular Litwicks, you cut out $20 right there. By using a couple Pokemon Reversals instead of Catchers, you cut out an additional $18. Additionally, this deck only uses 1 Junk Arm. It might be nice to have 2 sometimes, but you could cut it out completely and add another Catcher/Reversal with little change to the deck's competitiveness. That's an extra $4. All in all, that means with budget options, this deck could cost you as little as $35.00!

    I'd like to see anyone come up with even a semi-competitive list of any tier 1-2 deck that only costs $35. As far as getting bang for your buck, Chandelure/Ninetales is an extremely cheap and effective deck.

    Minimum cost: ~$35, Maximum cost: $83.00
  7. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    And for a sample post that's much much simpler.

    Budget tech options:

    [​IMG]
    Pokemon Catcher - $9
    Switch your opponent's Active Pokémon with 1 of his or her Benched Pokémon.​

    Alternate options:
    Pokemon Reversal - $0.25
    - Flip a coin. If heads, choose 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon and switch it with your opponent's Active Pokémon.
    Pokemon Circulator - $0.25
    - Your opponent switches his or her Active Pokémon with 1 of his or her Benched Pokémon.

    Considering decks usually run 2-4 Pokemon Catchers, you can save yourself $18.50 - $35 by using Reversals or Circulators. Sure, they aren't as good, but hey man... that's $35 I might be saving.
  8. Mekkah

    Mekkah
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    Might want to change that whole autoloss thing on Durant because of Heatmor.
  9. Huy

    Huy INSTANT BALLS
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    Unless there is a mono Heatmor deck, I don't think a Heatmor tech is gonna make it an autoloss.
  10. Dozz

    Dozz Has anyone in this family ever seen a chicken?
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    This is a thread I'll be keeping an eye on. Big fan of cheap decks.
  11. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Are you going to use a Heatmor in any of your decks Mekkah? I know I'm not (except maybe Durant! :P).
  12. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Cincinno/Hypno

    Alright, here's a fun cheap decklist. This deck is very flippy, but it's really a pretty good deck. Certainly tournament viable, though once Dark EXplorers comes out, Darkrai snipe and Raikou EX snipe might kill the deck's strategy. Mainly because Raikou can kill Hypnos and 2HKO Vileplumes. Still, that doesn't mean this deck is about to lose just because it lost a Hypno, it's all about the flips.

    [​IMG]
    Here's the decklist:​

    Pokemon: 24
    ($29.00)

    4 Minccino NXD
    4 Cinccino NXD (0.5)
    3 Drowzee HS
    3 Hypno HS (0.25)
    3 Oddish UD
    1 Gloom UD
    2 Vileplume UD - $4 apiece
    3 Virizion NVI - $3 apiece, could also use Cleffa, Pichu or Smeargle
    1 Shaymin EX - $6.50

    Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums: 23
    ($6.75/ $33.50 = $40.00)

    4 Pokemon Collector - $6.50 apiece (Raichu Trainer Kit)
    4 Twins
    4 N
    3 Cheren
    1 Professor Oak’s New Theory
    1 Flower Shop Lady

    3 Pokemon Communication
    3 Rare Candy - $2 apiece

    Energy: 13
    ($7.00)

    4 Grass
    3 Psychic
    4 Double Colorless
    2 Rescue

    Total Cost: $76.00
    cost of staples: $33.50​

    So I mentioned this deck is flippy. How flippy exactly? Well, a good setup has a Cinccino up in the active, and a couple Hypnos on the bench. The idea is to put your opponent to sleep, use Cinccino to attack for 100 per turn, and avoid getting KO'd. This happens using Hypno's Sleep Pendulum poke-power to put your opponent to sleep, and Cinccino's Smooth Coat to try to not die.

    But if you think about it, the odds aren't terrible. With 2 Hypnos up, the odds that you put your opponent's Pokemon to sleep are 75%. After that, the odds that they don't wake up are 50%, and after that, the odds they can successfully attack Cinccino are 50%. That means the odds of them getting a successful attack off on Cinccino are:

    0.25*.5 + 0.75*.5*.5 = 0.125 + 0.1875 = 0.3125 or 31%. So you're safe 69% of the time. Since Cinccino is just a Stage 1 attacker with colourless costs, it's pretty easy to get a second one charged and ready to go. As far as a prize exchange, this deck looks to go down early, and then catch up, so as long as the ~70/30 split in attacks goes as planned, you should be able to win from a 2 prize deficit most of the time. Since this deck uses Twins to set up, that's about all you want to give your opponent, but since it's also pretty easy to set yourself up, you can usually start attacking shortly afterward.

    I might recommend a Cleffa or Pichu over one or two of the Virizions. Not only can these babies stall under trainer lock, and aid your setup. But they also cost less! Virizion is good for not getting donked though.

    Shaymin EX is a great card for the deck, but is certainly not a necessity. Since it's also the most expensive card, you could cut it for any extra attacker. Since Cinccino also uses colourless energy, you could tech different attackers and play around with the energy lines to support them.

    Minimum Cost: ~$62.00, Maximum Cost: $76.00
  13. Huy

    Huy INSTANT BALLS
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    I played Smeargle over Virizion at Regionals and it helped a buttload. Gettin dat Plume out T2 was so easy.
  14. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Also helps avoid the quick donks! But it's not really a budget option for the deck, just an alternate option (smeargle's expensive now!). I'll edit that in though :P
  15. Huy

    Huy INSTANT BALLS
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    I forgot they're not a dollar anymore =(
  16. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    I got 12 off T&T reverse for a buck each. Metagame calls!
  17. cartercr

    cartercr

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    Would be worth noting that any deck is going to have to be able to defeat Mewtwo EX. I know that DarMaxitan isn't too expensive, and it can beat Mewtwo, but it almost needs Fliptini just to make sure that you actually get the heads you need.
  18. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Well... any deck is going to have to be able to beat the metagame (or at least a good chunk) to be considered metagame viable... DarMAXitan is an interesting deck, and with something like Gardevoir NXD it can become interesting... but I've never seen a good list and I think I know why.

    Here's what DarMAXitan is looking to do to succeed.
    1. Set up a Stage 1 as your primary attacker
    2. Pile it with energy in some fashion
    3. Get your Fliptini out
    4. Flip like the dickens and hope it works.

    That last part ruins everything else. A deck like Cinccino can work off flips because it functions by putting you and your opponent into a situation where neither of you can change it, but Cinccino is at the advantage (taking prizes at hopefully a 70-30 exchange). But DarMAXitan can't really protect itself like Cinccino, so it's just flipping for the sake of flipping. And what's more, it's not necessarily easy to come out on the winning side of the flip :\

    But if you were suggesting DarMAXitan as a tech instead* of Mewtwo EX, it would at least deserve a mention. :) I think Mew makes a much better option though. Takes up less space, and depending on whatever deck you run it in, can be set up to attack easily.
  19. cartercr

    cartercr

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    Uh, last time I checked you only needed 2 heads to beat mewtwo ex due to weakness. Two heads will deal 200 damage if you are weak to it.
  20. Mekkah

    Mekkah
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    I know I'm not, I know you're not, but I know some people will, especially bad people who never knew how to deal with Durant. It's as auto-lossy as it gets, so it makes sense to mention it.
  21. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    2 problems with the scenario though.

    The stage 1 part. The other player will see it coming from a mile away, and if they're genuinely worried, they can just catcher the Darumaka and your plan is foiled. This also lets them play around it. If they see you running Darumaka, and they're genuinely worried about it, they can just not play Mewtwo or retreat it.

    And the second part... the energy accel. If you can only get 2 energy on Darmaxitan, then that's only a 25% chance tech (44% with Victini). :\ And it's not always easy for decks to accel 3 energy.

    Like I said though, if you're just suggesting it as a tech instead of Mewtwo, it might be worth a mention. I kinda feel like Mew makes a better, but less-splashable tech.

    And @Mekkah

    If they're bad players, and you're a good player running Durant, you can probably play around them. And by the 3rd round of swiss, you shouldn't even have a chance to face Heatmors.
  22. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    H

    [​IMG]
    Mewtwo EX: ~$65

    Probably the best attacker the game has ever seen, it's no wonder Mewtwo EX is so expensive. At ~$60.00 per card, mewtwo very well may double a deck's cost by himself. And if you want to play competitively, you're going to need to kill this behemoth. 2HKO'ing it with basics like zekrom or reshiram works well, but here are some techs you could add to try for the 1HKO.

    Alternate Options:

    V-Blast Victini: this card is as flippy as they come, but in my opinion is probably your best tech option since it takes up the least space and is a basic, meaning you have the element of surprise from a 1-turn setup on your side. Partnered with fliptini, this guy has a 44% chance to 1HKO even an eviolited Mewtwo, as well as anything with 120 hp or less (barring resistance). That said, you're banking on a 44% chance, which is never a good idea.

    Mew Prime: Mew is probably THE best Mewtwo counter in the format, outside of Mewtwo EX itself. The only problem is that Mew isn't a tech, it's a deck. Mew isn't really a card you can splash into any deck, you have to build a deck around Mew to make it become the Mewtwo EX counter that it can be. One partner that can make Mew more of a tech, is the inclusion of Absol Prime as well. Absol can help set Mew up without having to make your deck entirely Mew oriented. That said, Mew is just more of a deck than a tech, but it's still probably the best Mewtwo counter in the format.

    DarMAXitan: DarMAXitan has the potential to be a much more competent counter, but falls flat in a few areas. First, his attack hits for CC, which is great, but he flips just like Victini. The good part is that you can attach more energy to increase his odds, and can Partner him with fliptini to make them even better.

    His shortcomings are disappointing though. First, he's a Stage 1 meaning he can't be set up in one turn. This gives your opponent a chance to react to the counter being set up in front of them, which almost ruins his playability. The second is that he takes up more space in the deck than a basic line, which clogs your deck. Finally comes the energy accel. I mentioned One of DarMAXitan's strengths as being the fact that he can increase his odds of the ko by attaching more energy. The problem is... How often do you think you'll be able to attach a third energy to improve his odds? Given that most decks can only reliably accel 1 energy per turn, his odds aren't amazing. For all the reasons listed above, victini is more splashable and about as effective. However, DarMAXitan certainly could fill an interesting niche. Imagine a DarMAXitan Gardevoir deck loaded with Exp Shares. Doesn't sound too shabby does it?

    Weezing HS: Weezing is a stage 1 like DarMAXitan, with the same CC cost, but a consistent 80 damage. Since you can save room on adding fliptinis, you can add a defender and extra pluspower to make weezing's damage go the extra mile. The problem of course is that Weezing requires a pluspower for the 1HKO, but at least it's not a flip. All the stage 1 downsides apply to Weezing just as they did for DarMAXitan, but at least you're not flipping.

    Teching a trainer card with another that has a similar effect is easy, but teching a Pokemon with a similar purpose becomes a bit more difficult. Mewtwo is a particularly hard card to tech for, since he really does make his own best counter. The format just doesn't have another Psychic basic capable of dealing heavy damage quite like Mewtwo. The best way to deal with an opposing Mewtwo on a budget is really to build a deck with a favourable matchup against the Gen 1 phenom. That said, in the current format, these 3 are probably your best options if you're looking for a straight "replacement that's not quite as good." And V-Blast Victini is probably the best bet, especially in a deck that already runs Fliptini. And hey, at least you're saving yourself about $60 per alternate Mewtwo.
  23. LPFan

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    I have a little brother who is planning on attending the TCG U.S. nationals. What is a great, budget friendly deck that he can build easily and use?
  24. FearZeCrawdaunt

    FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Well... this list isn't a bad place to start. I don't know how competitive Cinccino will remain with Raikou being run in ZekEels, but Hypno is still pretty safe against other decks (Darkrai snipe is rough, but weatherable). Chandelure/Ninetales also gets hit hardish by the combo of night spears being able to KO two Chandies simultaneously, but remains fairly solid against ZekEels. If nothing more, it's matchup may have improved slightly thanks to Zeels running Raikou EX and Tornadus EX, who are both incapable of 1HKO'ing Chandelure NXD. It's lost the ability to 1HKO Tynamos since everyone is running 40HP Tynamo now, but it still 3HKO's Eelektriks, which makes for a rough setup.

    And Durant, is still Durant. If you play it well, not even Heatmor will stop you (entirely).

    That said, what sort of supporters/catchers/money cards do you guys have spare that he can use? Cause he doesn't have to settle for budget if he can use Catchers or something :P
  25. CaptKirby

    CaptKirby

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    FearZeCrawdaunt you should have said "fun decks" not budget decks because you are recommending how to lose horribly instead of playing something cheap that also wins. Granted people who are cheap may not care if they win, but winning always makes people more likely to keep playing. Durant is the only good option you recommended, but it is not anywhere near the best cheap deck.

    THE TWO BEST BUDGET DECKS ARE TERRAKION AND ZEKROM, THIS HAS BEEN THE CASE FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED AT ALL!!!
    Of the two, Terrakion is more expensive as far as the pokemon go, but will still be relatively cheap and you can always annoy people and try to buy Terrakions at $2-3 (and will eventually succeed, trust me). If you are just looking to buy online, I would go with Zekrom instead. Zekrom + Terrakion is also an okay option to mix together.

    Rare Candy, Random Receiver, and Ultra Ball were all obviously going to be $1 or less for the next three months and were already on the streets (being pulled from Walmart) when you made your first post :/.

    All prices below are maximum troll and toad prices which are fairly terrible, if you look around in real life you can find cards cheaper 100% of the time.

    1 Smeargle $2
    4 Zekrom $4
    2 Thundurus $3
    2 Tornadus $3 OR 2 Zapdos $1
    4 Tynamo $1
    3 Eelektrik $0.75

    4 DCE $2.50
    9 Lightning $2

    4 Dual Ball $2
    3 Level Ball $1.50
    3 Juniper $1.50
    4 PONT $3
    3 N $1.50
    3 Random Receiver $3
    2 Plus Power $0.50
    2 Switch $0.50
    4 Junk Arm $14
    3 of Pokemon Circulator/Pokemon Reversal $0.75

    So something like $45 and better than anything else cheap you can play (except maybe Terrakion, which is anti-metagame).

    The thing most necessary to do bargain hunting on in this deck is zekrom rares (you could get them at a quarter in real life) and junk arm (which you could get at about $1 each if you looked). Everything else is already cheap enough to just buy if you decided you want a deck already.

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