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RYOD: Altaria'd State of Mind

"MostlyNotGaming"?  Huh.  I bet you that's a name you didn't think you'd see again.  But here I am.  Like the Johto trio, I have arisen.  And I come bearing gifts of salt for our opponents.  

Now that we have closed the door on 2020, it is time to usher in the joyful glory of 2021 with angst, sorrow, and a little bit of anger with a deck that I promise your opponent will absolutely not see coming.  There will be anguish.  There will be sorrow.  If we're lucky, they might even flip a table.  

And with that, I present spite in 60 cards.

THE DECK

THE STRATEGY

First, notice that there is no energy in the deck.  You are not attacking.  You will never attack.  You are here just to stall.  I've been searching for a while to try to make a viable (or even semi-viable) deck in standard.  The best deck we had previously was Cinccino Mill.  However, losing Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186 kind of torpedoed the entire deck.  Without any good mill cards, I've had to switch my focus to more of a wall deck.  When you're making a wall deck, there are basically three things you need to worry about in order to be successful, and it is these three things which we will use to form the outline of this deck-tech: 

1. Attacking.

2. Retreating.

3. Switching.

Unlike a mill deck, where you are actively reducing your opponent's deck and making it very difficult for them to draw into cards they can use against you, a stall/wall deck has to contend with the fact that your opponent will generally "see" every card in their deck.  Because there is no way to really mill them, like with Durant NVI 83, they are going to draw one card every turn.  Which means eventually they will draw into a card that can either gust up your pokemon and take KO's, or switch a pokemon into the active that can get around your lock.  The key to any stall deck is to reduce each of these strategies to 0.  

PREVENT ATTACKING

Our first step is to put something in the active that they cannot KO.  For us, we are going to use a combination of immunity and energy denial. 

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Here we have the main drive of the deck.  Altaria CPA 49  is immune to damage from GX and V pokemon.  While this means that Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33 and Zacian V SSH 138 can't hit it, which is great; it also means that the two most popular tech pokemon, Dedenne-GX UNB 57 and Crobat V DAA 104 can't hit it, either.  This is important to remember as, usually, these are the pokemon we want to strand in the active.  An electric deck can't attack with Crobat V, and ADP can't attack with Dedenne.  You may notice we only play a 2-2 line, and not a full playset.  I've not found many situations where I've said "oh if only I had a third Altaria, I could have won."  The current meta is so full of cards that can't damage Altaria that you will rarely need a third or fourth one.  

PokeDoll is here so that, even if they take a KO, it nets them no resources, and gives us more time.

The goal of the deck is to get a pokemon into the active that they can't hurt you with. Nine times out of ten, this will be a GX or a V pokemon with Altaria in the active.  Then, once you have them in the active, you can start working on making it difficult for them to get around Altaria.  That's where Switch/Gust denial comes in.

LIMIT GUSTING

Gusting is a little bit more tricky, since there is no currently-standard-legal version of the best anti-gusting card ever, Ribombee LOT 146.  So what we have to do is run our opponent out of gusting options.  This is the tricky part of the strategy.  Since we cannot actively mill our opponent's deck, we know they are most likely going to draw every gusting option they have.  So we have to somehow negate the effectiveness of that.  We do that by keeping in mind that the most amount of gusting cards they are likely to have is four Boss's Orders RCL 154.  It's rare for a deck to run more than four gusting cards.  So we know they are going to take 4 KO's. Therefore, we just outlast those 4 KO's.  

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First, we are a single prize deck.  Do not be tempted to throw in a two prize pokemon.  The whole point of our deck is you know your opponent is going to take four KO's.  So we make sure those KO's are either one prize or zero prize.  Absent a GX attack from Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156 (more on that later), your opponent will only be able to KO us for one prize, four times.  Absent your opponent being able to mess with the Prize trade, you should be able to outlast their gusting.  Eventually leaving them unable to gust a pokemon they can KO.  

Once they have been robbed of the ability to gust, you have to just ruin their ability to switch. 

CONTROL SWITCHING

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Once your opponent cannot attack with the active, and they cannot gust up a pokemon that they can take a KO on, the last thing to worry about is their ability to just switch a pokemon into the active that they can attack with.  Decks will run one or two switching cards, typically.  The meta we are in is not about powering up a pokemon on the bench and switching into it.  It's about powering up an attacker and gusting your opponent's vulnerable pokemon.  This is why you see decks run three Boss's Orders RCL 154 and one switch.  We run four Boss's Orders in order to negate your opponent's switching, and two different retreat-increasing cards to make it almost impossible to manually retreat by attaching energy.  One mine and one Absol means every pokemon needs at least three energy attached in order to retreat.  And those energy have to be discarded.  

Wall/Stall decks are a gamble, and you are having to bet on the fact that your opponent either won't have enough switch cards, or will dump them early game to a Quick Ball SSH 179 or a Professor's Research SSH 178.  So you just keep gusting and hammering until your opponent has nothing to switch into. 

THE MONEY TECH

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This.  This right here.  This is our money card.  I have built so many decks around this card's ability to mill item cards.  This is our secret weapon.  Milling item cards means you mill Switch SSH 183, you mill Pal Pad SSH 172.  You mill many of the "out" cards your opponent may have in their deck.  And you also expedite their way to decking-out.  Playing this with Scoop-Up Net means you can, over and over again, mill item cards out of your opponent's deck.  This is the key to the deck.  

 

THE REST

Most of the other cards in the deck are standard affair, and don't need a lot of explanation.  I will go through the ones that may look a bit "odd," and explain my choices.  

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With the prevalence of special energy, especially Speed Lightning Energy RCL 173, Giratina gives us a way to just discard that energy.  

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Stealth Hood is my answer to Phione PR-SM SM220, Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117, and the other ability-damage pokemon out there who would typically get around your immunity.  Many games I've won with just one Altaria with a stealthy hood on.  

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Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189 is in here to help recycle supporter cards.  Munchlax UNM 173 is a fun little tech, ever since we lost Oranguru UPR 114, and gives us essentially a 50/50 chance to reuse a card again.  You will want to use this every turn.  

CONCLUSION

Overall, I really like how this deck plays.  Against most of the meta, you are basically unbeatable.  It does have trouble with ADP, since ADP can negate the whole "you have to get 6 KO's" plan.  But that's just the meta now.  You will also have trouble with decks that only run single prize attackers, as you have no way to really deal with them.  But there are not a lot of those around at the moment, thanks in no-small-part to the gatekeeping effect ADP is having on the meta.  But for most of your games, your opponent will not be able to overcome the crushing weight of your spite.  But remember to be gracious and win humbly.  Your opponent didn't ask for this. 

 


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