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Arceus Charizard - Ensuring Late Game Potential

Hello fans of Tabletop Village!

Today I have a very special decklist I've been working on for the past week or so. It is none other than Arceus Charizard! No, not THAT Charizard. Not the Charizard ex that was the poster child of Obsidian Flames that did not quite reach expectations. No, THIS is the old Charizard, that pesky old Radiant Charizard.

How We Got Here

The idea was born in the back room of Tabletop Village, where people work all day sorting cards of bulk to keep the cases stocked and the TCGPlayer store fresh. After about 12 hours of sorting, I started to think about ways to counter the entire meta. I thought about how Beedrill covers certain matchups, Charizard covers certain matchups, and Luxray CRZ covers the remaining matchups (kinda). 

I threw together a list at the last second before the local Wednesday tournament and went 0-3. Time to scrap the list right? Well not exactly. The one thing I was missing was mid game pressure. I had the early game with Luxray and Beedrill, and the late game with Charizard, but not the mid game. 

During the summer, I got a message in a discord server about this Arceus/Pidgeot/Beedrill list that I might like. Turns out, I loved the deck. I just wasn't attacking with Beedrill all that often and scrapped the idea. Then I realized that the deck was just Arceus with no real back up attacker, and my opponents could play around my 180-200 damage a turn quite easily. So I abandoned that idea as well, seeing how decks like Charizard ex could beat me with ease. 

So what was the big change you might ask? Supereffective Glasses. See, Beedrill covers matchups like Lugia, Mew, Arceus, Zoroark, and even Lost Box to a certain extent. I didn't realize that it also covered the Charizard ex matchup too! With one Supereffective Glasses, Beedrill can triple the damage of its second attack Jet Spear, which does 110 damage, in order to hit Charizard ex's whopping 330 HP in one attack. 

That was really the key. In my first game testing against Charizard ex, I won with ease, two shotting the first Charizard ex, then using a swarm of Beedrill and Radiant Charizard to take the next four prizes. 

The Deck

Below is the list I am currently running:

You will notice that there are only 59 cards pictured. That is because I plan on putting a Mew ex from 151 in the deck, but the card has not uploaded yet. Although the idea is still untested. CURRENTLY, the 60th spot goes to a Pumpkaboo. Let me talk about some card choices

Lost Vacuum

I have been over Beedrill a little bit, as well as Charizard to a certain extent, so I will start with Lost Vacuum. You would assume that the card is included as a Path to the Peak counter, and you would be correct. However, it also has the added benefit of reducing your hand size in order to play Single Strike Style Mustard more often, requiring better combinations of cards in order to hit the turn two Mustard. I would like to play a second Vacuum, but I dropped it in favor of a Pumpkaboo, since Path was proving to be more difficult than getting a Mustard off early game.

Town Store

The stadium of choice has been one that I've gone back and forth on a lot. A lot of the options really don't make a whole ton of sense. Lost City goes against your strategy of late game Charizard, Path to the Peak goes against most of the entire deck, and Artazon only searches out Pidgey. Town Store on the other hand gives you extra outs to Choice Belt and Glasses. It feels really nice to play a Town Store, hit the Mustard, then Pigeot for the Grass Energy and Store for the Glasses. 

Energy Switch

Energy Switch has been the card that has bounced in and out of the deck so often. Long ago, I tweeted out about how Energy Switch might actually be the most insane card in the current meta, and I still believe that. There is a lot of utility in the card, especially paired with Radiant Charizard. After accelerating energy with Arceus, the Energy switch allows you to get to Excited Heart a turn early by using Raihan and Double turbo. Poppy was another card I considered for a long time, but the Energy Switch has been fine instead. 

What Energy Switch also allows for is an extra out to Beedrill. Sometimes you want your attach for turn before you Mustard to get down to no cards in hand. Energy Switch offers you the ability to attack with Beedrill after you've attached already. There are a lot of sneaky uses for the card in this deck. If a Lumineon V ever finds its way back into the list, I would play one Water energy, further ensuring that Energy Switch is a must include. 

Avery

This card is one that I hate that I play, but can still justify it. Iono sometimes is not the best draw supporter in the world, which is why I also play a Professor's Research in here. However, there are also a lot of times where I do not want to pitch my entire hand of cards and would rather have straight draw. So the choice comes down to Avery or Colress's Experiment. I like the secondary effect of Avery in the meta right now, but you would not be wrong if you switched it to a Colress. You need extra draw in the deck, so the one extra consistency part has never hurt. 

Possible Inclusions

There have been many cards that have found their way in and out of the deck. I have mentioned a few already, but here are the rest in no specific order.

-Cinderace CRE
-Magma Basin
-Lumineon V
-V Guard Energy
-Manaphy BRS
-Shaymin V
-PokeGear 3.0
-Trekking Shoes

I would love to highlight all of them, but instead I will just go over some of the more questionable decisions. If you have questions about any of it, feel free to message me on Twitter @SpokanePokemon, or find me on Facebook, or something along those lines. 

 Cinderace

While Charizard is a great late game attacker, sometimes I feel like I would like to have one more big swing card in the late game. Cinderace would require the need for a Magma Basin or a second Energy Switch, but it can be done. The best part is that your opponent is rarely going to target down the Cinderace early, since the Arceus will be hitting them right in the face. I prized both Beedrill one game, and ever since then I've been wanting a third target of some sort in the deck. Lost City is always an issue for Charizard based decks, so having the Cinderace as another late game attacker feels nice. Shaymin V also offers the same late game potential. It is definitely easier to set up and attack with, but I prefer the single prize aspect of things over the Shaymin. 

Manaphy

This card would be in here only if you expected a lot of Kyogre in your local scene. I think with Mew ex coming out in 151, Lost Box starts to see a bit of decline. Pair that with the fact that many people will be playing Manaphy alongside their own Radiant Greninja, and bench snipes start looking a lot less appealing. 

V Guard Energy

I was playing this card as an out for the Giratina VStar matchup. In theory it works great. In practice, it does not. Opponents would merely play around it. Combine that with the fact that they're annoying you with Path to the Peak, as well as their VStar attack, V Guard had to go. I even once tried playing a Radiant Gardevoir to help with this match up, but because of Path, it did not work. The game plan now is to attack with Charizard early, and finish up with a Mew ex if possible. 

Conclusion

And there you have it! Alex Koch's spice of the week! Let me know what else you would like to see from these little spotlight articles. 

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