Zapdos decks.

#1darthyugPosted 12/8/2008 5:46:45 PM
I just recently picked this game up again. I loved this game years ago and I thought playing it again would be a blast...and it is still one of the best games ever made...and I hate Pokemon...lol!

Anyway, I used to use the old Zapdos FTK (first turn kill) deck, but it still has "luck" problems:

8 Lightning Energy

4 Zapdos Lv68 (GB)

4 Bill
4 Energy Search
4 Professor Oak
4 Itemfinder
4 Computer Search
4 Mr. Fuji
4 Scoop Up
4 Pokeball
4 Recycle
4 Maintenance
4 Pokedex
4 Revive


This is the deck I am using now...and so far it hasn't lost. The goal is to get a single Zapdos on the table and keep it there. The Ditto's are for Mr. Mime or can be morphed into Zapdos... Scoop Up/Revive are last resorts and I am thinking about cutting them:

20 Lightning NRG

2 Zapdos (Legendary Lv 68 GB)
3 Ditto (Lv19 GB)

2 Professor Oak
4 Bill
2 Energy Removal
2 Scoop Up
4 Computer Search
3 Defender
2 Item Finder
2 Gust of Wind
4 Potion
2 Super Potion
3 Full Heal
2 Revive
3 Maintenance

I want to get my challenge machine streak to 100. Any suggestions on either deck are welcome.
#2dswizardPosted 12/20/2008 7:11:17 AM
I wouldn't use Maintenance, especially with that low energy. I like 4 Lass 4 ER and 4 SER on my Zapdos lists. Discard their energies as soon as possible, prevent them from discarding yours or drawing/building anything up. Once the lone Zapdos has three energy, on turns 4 on you can still drop extra lightning on it, to keep up SER. I don't use Ditto. It is a good idea, and generally good, but in the challenge machine, you can't risk low HP basics, especially with fighting weakness. I played a Rain Dance deck up to 59 wins, then lost from a bad hand to Charmander's scratch followed by ember. Electabuzz has higher HP, a better 10 attack and not a bad starter/attacker in its own right.

The peal of thunder based Zapdos strategies are no good for the challenge machine, because sooner or later bad luck will hit and peal will just hit your own Zapdos too much.

I also like 4 gust of wind, because along with the energy removal/SER/lass, you have so much disruption. Locking something active while you destroy the bend helps a lot, especially against annoying things like Lickitung.

Most important, play high energy, so you have enough left in your hand to play Lass and sustain SER. It might seem like Lass is a bad idea because you are losing all your hand, but the rate at which your hand fills up is very high. Each turn you can get one card from prizes, and one from start turn draw, so in two turns you are back to 4 again plus the energies you had remaining. Things like energy search are helpful to thin your deck, so it is more likely to hit the draw trainers.

Lass is essential against real-life players to prevent er/ser stopping Zapdos in its tracks and just generally stopping the setup so Zapdos can build up and start spreading the 70. But everything else I said is only for the challenge machine.

Speed Lock Zapdos

4 Zapdos
1 Electabuzz

4 Professor Oak
4 Bill
2 Mr. Fuji
4 Lass
4 Energy Search
4 Energy Removal
4 Super Energy Removal
2 Switch
4 Scoop Up
4 Computer Search
4 Item Finder
4 Gust of Wind

11 Lightning Energy

I have had good success with a Mewtwo/Electabuzz deck in the challenge machine. They both function well, and both function well as starters. Electabuzz is for mime and normals that resist psychic. Mewtwo does a good enough job against everything else, and often starts very well from turn one. Turn one you energy absorb into two energies, so on the second turn you have four energies in play, which is by far enoughto ensure good damage on turns four and five, but more importantly an abundance of energy to use super energy removal with.

Mewtwo/Electabuzz Deck

4 Mewtwo
4 Electabuzz

4 Professor Oak
4 Bill
2 Energy Retrieval
4 Energy Search
4 Energy Removal
3 Super Energy Removal
2 Switch
3 Scoop Up
4 Computer Search
4 Pluspower
4 Item Finder
2 Gust of Wind

7 Psychic Energy
5 Lightning Energy

I apreciate any comments on the lists, if anyone has tried anything similar and have any changes, please suggest them. :)
#3darthyug(Topic Creator)Posted 12/20/2008 4:13:03 PM
I tried the Zapdos/Electabuzz version earlier too, but it had too many consistency problems. I have been tweaking the Zapdos/Ditto version a little bit and this is what I am currently running:

20 Lightning NRG

4 Zapdos
4 Ditto

4 Bill
4 Computer Search
2 Item Finder
2 Professor Oak
2 Gust of Wind
2 Energy Removal
4 Potion
2 Super Potion
3 Full Heal
3 Maintenance
2 Defender
1 Scoop Up
1 Revive

I like the idea of the disruption, but Lass really does hurt, I don't see playing it. Same thing with SER...why bother, they never usually have a pokemon that I need to take two NRGs off of with it anyway. Disruption is nice, but the support version is much more consistent. I am currently at 25 wins with this above deck and counting...1/4 of the way to my goal. My highest record is with the Rain Dance deck too at 85 wins...and I lost to Steve that time.

With the above deck though there are 3 times which I should play Zapdos over Ditto. vs any Fighting Deck, vs. any deck with Electabuzz in it, and against Rod. The rest of the time I can lay a Ditto first turn and not worry about dying by turn 3. Against any Psychic deck the Ditto play is better anyway. I upped both pokemon to 4 because I was having consistency problems (one time I had 2 Zapdos as prizes and was stuck with just ditto...) I am still not sold on the Revive may add a third copy of energy removal or a second copy of Scoop, but the single copy of Scoop Up has been played a couple of times, saved my butt a couple times against Magmar (the damage version). The Maintenance is great for those hands when you have extra pokemon...The card advantage isn't great, but I would use it over Lass, most opponents in this game are dumb with their trainers anyway...
#4MAtt5TERPosted 12/22/2008 10:08:07 PM
Zapdos + Ditto means that you won't be relying on FTK style. Zapdos + Ditto also means that Mr. Mime stops you unless "luck" lets you knock out that Mr. Mime.

Furthermore, single copies are near useless. Not only is one copy hard to get into your hand and easy to lose, you might not even get a chance to use it if it happens to be one of your prizes. It's better to increase the chances of drawing another card than go for variety with single copies.

IMO, FTK is the best way to play a Zapdos deck because that FTK is the only thing that keeps Haymaker and Rain Dance from completely outclassing Zapdos. Dealing 70 damage in 3 turns is nice, but Rain Dance can deal 60 damage in 2 turns. Add PlusPower to Rain Dance, and Rain Dance deals 70 an entire turn before a non-FTK Zapdos Deck.
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#5darthyug(Topic Creator)Posted 12/23/2008 6:18:29 AM
Currently at 75 wins and counting. Using the decklist two posts above (yes the one with one scoop and one revive). Have not used Revive yet. ...also to above poster...duh, this isn't an FTK approach at all. Also I tested against just Stephanie and Murrary a ton with this decklist (the two decks with Mr. Mime)...and I have yet to lose against either of them. Ditto is pro-Psy...Pound wins. Remember, my only goal is to get to 100 consecutive wins on the challenge machine...I don't care about Haymaker or Rain Dance...I won't see either in game.
#6MAtt5TERPosted 12/23/2008 10:36:15 AM
If you only care about winning 100 consecutive wins, then why not just use Haymaker for its consistency?

Also, I don't understand why you are using Ditto. Not only does 4 copies of Ditto lower your chances of getting Zapdos in your starting hand, it takes 4 turns for Ditto to "use" Big Thunder. Zapdos takes only 3. Ditto does nothing for your deck. If you really want another Pokemon, then add only 2 copies of Electabuzz to take care of Mr. Mime. It is better to add only 2 instead of 4 to minimize the chances of having only Electabuzz in your starting hand.

Another issue is Energy ratio. You only need 3 Energy cards to attack. Having excess Energy cards slows down your deck's speed. My Rain Dance deck has 16 Energy cards and 10 Pokemon. I don't think you need 20 Energy cards for 8 Pokemon.

Lastly, you are using personal experience to support your argument. Personal experience means nothing. It doesn't matter how many times you are able to defeat decks with Mr. Mime. Chances are, within 100 battles, you will run into Mr. Mime and will be unable to handle that card.
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#7darthyug(Topic Creator)Posted 12/24/2008 12:41:08 PM
Please just go try the deck...then revise your above post...Ditto is just plain fun.

What Haymaker build is the most consistent?
#8MAtt5TERPosted 12/27/2008 3:09:06 PM
I have tried a Big Thunder version, minus Ditto, before. The Big Thunder version might seem more consistent, but only because you are giving yourself more time to set up and that the AI is so bad. Furthermore, Pokemon TCG has less draw cards than in Pokemon Card 2. The main selling point about Zapdos is its FTK ability. If you want to wait 3 turns to deal 70 damage, wouldn't it be better just to deal 60 damage (+10 via PlusPower) on the 2nd turn with a Rain Dance deck?
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#9MAtt5TERPosted 12/27/2008 3:52:41 PM
As for the best Haymaker build, my first impulse is to say "my Haymaker", which is here:

5 Lightning Energy
5 Fighting Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy

4 Electabuzz Lv35 (base)
4 Hitmonchan Lv33 (base)
4 Lugia Lv55 (GB)

4 Energy Search
4 Professor Oak
4 Item Finder
4 Gust of Wind
4 Computer Search
4 PlusPower
2 Switch
4 Bill
4 The Rocket's Trap

This deck is a variant of the "standard" Haymaker. I personally believe the variations make the deck better. Variations include low Energy ratio, Lugia instead of Scyther, Energy Search, Switch, and The Rocket's Trap. If you want a more overall consistent Haymaker, you'll want more Energy cards.
-4 Energy Search
-4 The Rocket's Trap
-4 Lugia
-2 Switch
-2 Item Finder
+4 Lightning Energy
+4 Fighting Energy
+4 Scyther
+4 Energy Removal
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#10darthyug(Topic Creator)Posted 1/6/2009 3:11:51 PM
So I did it. I currently have 110 consecutive wins and have beaten the challenge machine 70 times...lol. The deck is above (Zapdos Big Thunder). The only changes I may make are -4 NRG +4 NRG search -1 Revive +1 Scoop Up. Other than that this deck pwns the AI.