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Counter Play: Where's Weavile?

Weavile UPR 74 (RH)Welcome to Counter Play, the series designed show you techs to beat meta decks! In our most recent State of the Meta article, we broke down which decks were top tier in the current meta. Currently, many players have been trying to search for the single prize attacker that can tackle enough decks to deal solid damage. 

When scrolling through all the cards currently legal in the Standard Format one really caught our eye. This is a card that once held far more popularity as a tech into decks and quickly has been left to the wayside since. We're talking about Weavile from Ultra Prism, especially with its attack Evil Admonition

[D] Evil Admonition: 50×
This attack does 50 damage for each of your opponent’s Pokémon that has an Ability.

For only a single Energy this could theoretically stack up quite quickly. Still, can it stack up to hit the main HP Marks of the format at 130 HP, 180HP, 240 HP, and 270HP? Just how many Pokemon with abilities are in some of the main meta threats anyway? Time to do the math!

Let's Get Mathy

First let's get the easiest part out of the way, how many abilities need to be on the field for Weavile to take a one-hit knockout? This is rather simple so let's give it a quick rundown!

  • 130HP = 3 Ability Pokemon
  • 180HP = 4 Ability Pokemon
  • 240 HP = 5 Ability Pokemon
  • 270HP = 7 Ability Pokemon

So other than the last one being currently impossible in the Standard Format, it doesn't look too good for a one-hit knockout each time right? Well we have to consider a few other things here. The 130 mark is enough to take out almost any one prize Pokemon you're finding in the main meta decks. So going even on prizes? Not too bad! The 180 HP mark is mostly for Blacephelon-GX, which is a deck that does run a bunch of Pokemon with abilities. The biggest numbers however will almost only be seen with Tag Team-GX Pokemon, which give three prizes. So as long as you can manage a 2HKO you're still ahead on prizes. 

Ability Averages

Fairy Charm Ability UNB 171

Now to see how many Pokemon with abilities are in each main meta deck on average. We searched for what we thought were the most relevant decks to test and started searching tournament results. Here's what we were able to find!

  • Quagsire & Naganadel = 14 Ability Pokemon
  • Keldeo-GX Stall = 10 Ability Pokemon
  • Pidgeotto Control = 8 Ability Pokemon
  • Gardevoir & Syveon-GX = 0 Ability Pokemon
  • Blacephelon-GX = 5 Ability Pokemon
  • Mewtwo & Mew-GX = 8 Ability Pokemon
  • Malamar = 10 Ability Pokemon
  • Green's Reshiram & Charizard-GX = 0 Ability Pokemon
  • Ability Reshiram & Charizard-GX = 7 Ability Pokemon
  • Pikachu & Zekrom-GX = 6 Ability Pokemon
  • DarkBox = 8 Ability Pokemon
  • Naganadel Box = 11 Ability Pokemon

So what do these numbers mean? Ten out of the twelve main decks we tested have enough Pokemon with abilities to allow you maximum damage output. That's 83%! Those are some wonderful numbers to look at. Still, there are several problems. If you come up against Green's Reshiram & Charizard-GX or Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX you'll be dead in the water. Also while decks like Malamar, Quagsire & Naganadel, and several others simply can't function properly without certain tools, other decks can just do their best to avoid playing down their Pokemon with abilities. Sure they may set up slower, but with that reduced damage output you won't be able to stop them in time. This is where Weavile has to make some friends! 

Weavile's New Friends

Froslass UNM 38Buzzwole FLI 77Bisharp TEU 105

For those decks that either have no Pokemon with abilities or want to play around you, we found several other helpful options. Let's give them a look!

  • Froslass: Its attack Spiteful Sigh is enough to take down any Fire Pokemon it sees in a single blow thanks to weakness damage. Especially useful against Green's Reshiram & Charizard-GX decks.
  • Buzzwole: While only available when the opponent has 4 prizes remaining, Buzzwole can snag a one hit knockout against Pikachu & Zekrom-GX. It can't quite hit Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX but with cards like Custom Catcher this can be worked around.
  • Lucario-GX: So if it's evolved from Riolu for a single energy it can also hit enough for 120 damage, doubled with weakness, against Lightning Type threats. It's a little more clunky than Buzzwole as it needs to evolve and likely switch in. Plus it also can give the opponent two prizes. 
  • Bisharp: As long as you lack any damage on your Pokemon, Bisharp can manage to put 240 damage onto Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX, almost in kill range!
  • Lucario UNB 126: As long as you can get a Tool Card onto it and pay the two Energy cost, this Lucario can deal a one hit knockout against Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX!

So as you can see, Weavile can easily partner up to help deal with some of the decks it ends up having issues against. With all of our ideas in mind we just had to make up a basic deck so you could take a look at how they might all work together. Let's look at Anti Meta Weavile!

So you already know how the Pokemon work, so let's just talk about the spicier details of the deck. The first being Metal Core Barrier. Not only can this be a tool played on your Lucario (easily searched out by Green's Exploration might we add), but it prevents the opponent from getting a revenge kill unless they use Magical Miracle-GX. Since you have to attach two Energy, you want that shot to try and keep it out and alive if you can.

Lysandre Labs can help mess up decks like Shedinja Control or even stop Malamar from tacking on some extra damage you don't want to take with their Spell Tag. PokeNav can help get those Special Energy out of the deck or maybe a Pokemon you need while Energy Spinner can get you at least one attack off from Froslass or help get the double attachment ready for Lucario. All of these, of course, are quickly found by Green's Exploration

We hope you liked this general profile on Weavile as well as our example deck! We'd love to hear what you think. Do you have other anti meta ideas? Try out our sample deck and want to share some changes you made? Please tell us all about it in the comments section below or tell the deck builder herself over on Twitter @LiteralGrill. Until next time, stay lit trainers!

- Linnea 'LiteralGrill' Capps

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