Note; This is a community article. Pokéspot does not necessarily share any opinion nor do we back up any statement made within this article.
Before I begin talking about Typhlosion, you should probably get to know me a little bit. I was never good at introducing myself, so HI! My name is Nick, and you have absolutely no reason to listen to me whatsoever. I have never won a single event—not even a League Challenge. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve won a couple of PTCGO tournaments. Oh! And I won a recent Guardians Rising mutant draft tournament at my local game store (Watchog/Trubbish Mill is unstoppable btw).
Here’s my point: we as a community have a ton of competitive content—we have competitive content coming out the wahzoo. For a small fee each month you can pick the minds of the game’s greatest. That is a good thing. But anything that I try to add will be white noise. What’s the point in that?
Thus, I propose a new idea. I want to chronicle my experience in the Pokemon TCG. It sounds really boring, I know. But no one is doing something like this. It’s new, it’s fresh, and it’s calorie-free! No one writes about the experiences of the little guys like myself (and maybe you).
Now that we’ve established that you have a reason to continue reading, you should probably get to know my history in the card game. I starting playing when Plasma Storm first dropped, then I quit for awhile. It turns out that when you have limited expendable income it’s hard to continue playing a TCG. I got a job about the time Ancient Origins came out and I fell in love with the game all over again. Right around the time BREAKthrough came out I tried to BREAK into the circuit but it was too late into the year to try for a world’s invite without some serious capital and my expendable income wasn’t that expendable. I was going to try again this season, but the CP bar was raised and I don’t have the kind of skill or travel budget to reach 500 CP. I decided to practice and get better so I can make it to worlds another season.
That’s my PTCG origin story. Some other interesting facts about me include that I like cats, I live in Western Washington (West Coast best coast!), and I’m an English major. That means you shouldn’t have to worry about bad writing—and I can even try to be funny sometimes. Also, I’m so confident in my skills that if you find a major error—that isn’t stylistic—and you’re the first to point it out to me, I’ll give you a free code card.
Now, onto the League Cup report part of the article. Last Sunday I played in a ten-man League Cup in Mount Vernon. I thought about playing a rogue concept I had been toying with, but it is completely untested. I didn’t even get the cards for it until a day before, and by then I had decided on playing Typhlosion.
Typhlosion was a bad decision, but really fun to play. When I used Massive Eruption I would reveal the cards off the top of my deck really slowly just to see how big the veins on their foreheads could get before I completed the attack. Actually, I didn’t do that. In reality, my opponents were cool people who were kind enough to call my deck “interesting” instead of “trash” (which is probably what they should have called it). Anyway, here’s the list:
Pokémon - 16
Trainers - 27
Energy - 17
|4 Talonflame STS 96||1 Skyla BKP 122||17 Fire Energy|
|4 Cyndaquil BKT 18||2 Scorched Earth FAC 110|
|3 Quilava BKT 19||4 Professor Sycamore PHF 101|
|4 Typhlosion BKT 20||2 N FAC 105|
|1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 137||1 Ace Trainer AOR 69|
|1 Lysandre AOR 78|
|1 Brigette BKT 134|
|3 Energy Recycler AOR 72|
|1 Super Rod BKT 149|
|4 Rare Candy SUM 129|
|1 Mallow GRI 127|
|3 VS Seeker ROS 110|
|3 Ultra Ball FAC 113|
Total Cards – 60
By now this is pretty standard for Stage 2 decks. Talonflame is cool. He gets you stuff. You draw him when you really need VS Seeker for game. That sort of thing
4-3-4 Typhlosion line
Pretty standard stuff still. The only odd thing is three Quilava. The idea is that if you have either a Typhlosion or Rare Candy in hand with a draw supporter, you can Talonflame for the other piece and Quilava, because you should have more than one Cyndaquil on the bench. Three Quilava also helps get us around T1 Item lock and cheeky things like Espeon EX, who can mess with our Candied Typhlosions.
1 Tapu Lele
Don’t play one Tapu Lele. Play two. The only reason I played one is because it was all I could get my hands on before the event. The reason for its inclusion? It’s good. The only game I won was because of Tapu Lele.
Draw Support: 4 Sycamore, 2 N, 1 Ace Trainer
Four Sycamore is standard. I probably should have played three N and no Ace Trainer because Ace Trainer was only relevant in one game and N probably would have been better, even in that situation.
One-of supporters: Lysandre, Brigette, Skyla, Mallow
These guys are awesome. Lysandre is Lysandre. We know what he does. Brigette is your usual Lele target to get as many Cyndaquils on the Bench as possible. Skyla is the mid game MVP. She’ll get you Typhlosion pieces or help threaten a Lysandre for the next turn. Mallow is awesome too. In combination with Scorched Earth the card text reads “Search your deck for any two cards and put them in your hand,” or Mallow can be an automatic 160+ damage with Typhlosion.
Staples: 3 Ultra Ball, 3 VS Seeker, 4 Rare Candy
In general, four Ultra Ball is a good idea, but in this list I like playing three. In testing I noticed no difference from four. Don’t play three VS Seeker, it’s dumb. Four Rare Candy is obvious.
Recovery: 3 Energy Recycler, 1 Super Rod
Energy Recycler puts energy back in our deck to kill things with. Super Rod can be a fourth Energy Recycler but I also like being about to make that fifth Typhlosion if that option is needed. The reason Super Rod was chosen over Rescue Stretcher was because Super Rod can also recycle energy. You can cut any one of these cards for a Brock’s Grit, which I didn’t think about before the tournament.
Stadium: 2 Scorched Earth
Scorched Earth combos with Mallow. Also we play 17 Fire Energy and essentially free cards are cool.
17 Fire Energy
Useful for killing things with Typhlosion, drawing into particular cards with Mallow and Scorched Earth, and watching players go bug-eyed when you tell them you play 17 energy.
Matchups and gameplay
The general game plan is to focus on evolving one Typhlosion and start hitting hard as soon as possible. The rest will come along as our opponent focuses on taking out the Typhlosion that’s wrecking holes in their attackers. Against non-EX/GX decks, you want to be using Flare Destroy, which will take out most non-EX/GX attackers. For EX/GX decks, you want to focus on using Massive Eruption to take out Pokemon that opponents are used to being two-shotted. This throws off their tempo and game plan, which makes it easier for you to win. Good match ups are EX/GX decks, and bad match ups are non-EX/GX decks. The only horrendous match up that I can think of is Greninja. If they get a turn 2 Water Duplicates just concede, wish your opponent good luck, and go to lunch.
Speaking of lunch, at the tournament I had a grilled chicken BLT salad while I filled out my decklist. We barely had enough people for the League Cup when I got there, but somehow we found enough players for a Top 4.
I unfurled my playmat and greeted my opponent at table three. We shuffled up and I started a single Cyndaquil. My opponent opened an Oricorio (GRI 56) and some other tech Pokemon. The only playable card in my hand that could find me another Cyndaquil was N so I said a small prayer and used it, hoping to hit an Ultra Ball. I whiffed and passed, my lone Cyndaquil shivering in fear. I didn’t attach energy because a Tapu Lele and DCE could take me down. Unfortunately, my opponent drew and said “I think I have the donk.” An Ultra Ball into Tapu Lele into Sycamore found him a Float Stone, Tauros GX, and DCE, which means I lost round one. It just happens sometimes when you play Stage 2 decks.
This round I actually got to play a full game of Pokemon. My opponent was playing Vikavolt/Vikavolt GX/Guardians. The prize trade was in my favor but my discards weren’t. He misplayed a little bit and at the end I Lysandred a Tapu Lele up. I used my own Tapu Lele and hit for 40, then 60, while I built a Typhlosion slowly. Once I finally got a Typhlosion I discarded the rest of my deck to win the game.
This round was rough because my opponent played Passimian/Mew. I killed all of his Mews while trying to build a Flare Destroy Typhlosion. I got few off but it wasn’t enough and I decked out before I could take my final prize. With this loss I had no chance of making Top 4.
I was feeling a little tilted this round because I was out of contention for the sweet Tapu Koko playmat that goes to the winner. My opponent played budget Volcanion. Like a good player, my opponent mainly used baby Volcanion against me. I was having a hard time setting up this game and he one-shot my Talonflame. At one point I Lysandred a powered up Volcanion EX and used Massive Eruption. I whiffed the KO and he retaliated with a Volcanic Heat. From there I lost the game.
I stuck around the venue for awhile afterwards to meditate on my losses and listen to the chatter. I realized I had lost in every way that you could in Pokemon: being Benched out, decking out, and losing to prizes.
Typhlosion can be a very fun and frustrating deck. One-shotting GXs that sometimes feel untouchable is so satisfying. The deck however just does not have enough room to be as consistent as it needs to be to be truly competitive, and it struggles when faced down by non-two prize attackers.. I would only play this deck again if I knew for sure that I wouldn’t be facing many non-EX/GX match ups.
Thanks for reading, please contact me or comment if you have any questions.