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Jumping at the Chance — Retro 2010 Jumpluff, Revamped

Welcome to another retro deck profile. I am going to be going over Jumpluff from 2010, a powerful deck in that era. The reason I am even delving into Jumpluff is because I recently played some 2010 with my roommate Andrew Ramey and we started discussing how to optimize these decks. 2010 is one of the most beloved formats of all time because of how many decks are viable – the pacing of the format just hits the right tempo. Jumpluff is also a very good deck from that era, but I think that it could have been better. I am going to be applying my expertise into a past build to optimize it into a new build that pushes the deck to a new level.

The first thing to ask when trying to update decks from the past is, “was this deck the best it could be?” I think with Jumpluff the answer is going to be a resounding no. The first issue with Jumpluff is that no one has agreed upon build for the deck. This is because by the time the World Championship rolled around the deck had fallen out of favor by the top players at the time. I am going to put forward the point that a mid-level player from today would have been a top player at that time. This is because there is more knowledge about the game now then there was back then.

The second issue is the Jumpluff that got printed as a World Championship deck was from the Junior Division. You have to keep in mind that the amount of skill a player who is in Juniors will be wildly different from a player who is in the masters division. Decks that are meant to be played by younger player are generally tailored to be easier to play to limit the amount of player error that can be made. The biggest evidence of this is the fact that the Junior World Champion did not play Azelf in her deck. Since the skill on Azelf is extremely high and can be a trap for players who have problems remembering specific card orders, I can understand why it was not in this decklist. However, that doesn’t mean the deck was bad either. The deck is extremely powerful because rush decks were not very common type of deck at the time and had not been optimized.

What kind of adjustments can be made using today’s knowledge into this past format? The first major mistake made was the lack of VS Seeker. As a player from that era, it is mind blowing to me on how we miss evaluated that card. Fortunately, I know better now about VS Seeker and how decks function much better than I did back then. Introducing four VS Seeker into the deck completely changes the dynamic on how it is played and how other decks should be built. SP decks should have  been playing four VS Seeker as that allows for potentially eight Cyrus’s Conspiracy. These kind of adjustments to decks in that era would have completely changed the dynamic of the format for the better.

List Comparison

2010 World Championship Deck

Deck List

##Pokémon - 25
4 Unown R LA 77
3 Hoppip HS 67
1 Hoppip SW 90
3 Skiploom SW 65
4 Jumpluff HS 6
3 Baltoy GE 60
3 Claydol GE 15
2 Uxie LA 43
1 Unown Q MD 49
1 Crobat G PL 47
##Trainers - 29
4 Pokemon Collector HS 97
3 Roseanne's Research SW 125
2 Judge UL 78
1 Bebe's Search RR 89
4 Pokemon Communication HS 98
3 Rare Candy UL 82
3 PlusPower UL 80
2 Warp Point MD 88
2 Night Maintenance SW 120
1 Luxury Ball SF 86
1 Expert Belt AR 87
3 Broken Time-Space PL 104
##Energy - 6
6 Grass Energy

The general strategy of Jumpluff is to swarm the field, draw a lot of cards and attack with Mass Attack. The way this deck swarms the field is by using Broken Time-Space to evolve Pokemon on the same turn they enter the field. This means you can play Baltoy and then evolve into Claydol and use Cosmic Power to draw more cards. This deck is extremely powerful because the focus of the deck is to just do one thing. This deck style is more aligned with how decks operate in today’s format which is very different from the way decks were played in 2010.

This list makes a lot of sense as well. Remember that this deck was made for a Junior, so the deck is designed to be simpler. There are many things that this deck gets right. A high number of Pokemon makes it so Pokemon Communication always works. It also runs five pseudo Pokemon with the four Unown R and one Unown Q. Another plus for this deck is running Judge. Judge cripples Gyarados and SP decks. These are great cards to run in this deck and things we can learn from.

My List

Deck List

##Pokémon - 27
4 Unown R LA 77
3 Hoppip HS 67
1 Hoppip SW 90
3 Skiploom SW 65
4 Jumpluff HS 6
3 Baltoy GE 60
3 Claydol GE 15
2 Uxie LA 43
1 Unown Q MD 49
1 Regice LA 36
1 Azelf LA 19
##Trainers - 28
4 Pokemon Collector HS 97
2 Professor Oak's New Theory HS 101
2 Judge UL 78
1 Roseanne's Research SW 125
4 VS Seeker SV 140
4 Pokemon Communication HS 98
2 Warp Point MD 88
2 Rare Candy UL 82
2 Night Maintenance SW 120
2 Expert Belt AR 87
1 Luxury Ball SF 86
3 Broken Time Space PL 104
##Energy - 5
5 Grass Energy

This deck similar to the above list with some very noticeable changes. The first change is obviously the inclusion of VS Seeker. This card was a huge blind spot in that era and is corrected in this list. With the inclusion of VS Seeker, Professor Oak’s New Theory becomes much better because it can be reused over and over again. Shuffle draw cards were a foreign concept to this metagame for the most part and in a rush deck like this it only makes sense. The addition of Regice is also a great add simply for the fact that it can discard the excess copies of unneeded cards. I’ll go more in depth into each new card and shed some light on some of the things that these cards can do.

New Additions

VS Seeker is the biggest addition to this list and the 2010 format. This card being overlooked is one of the biggest blunders of players in that era.  It also slightly lowers Gardevoir‘s power level because you can grab specific supporter to limit Telepass. It also gives the added benefit of using Judge over and over versus SP and Gyarados. These decks are very hand reliant and Jumpluff taking prizes while using Judge can make them miss a turn for you to run away with the game.

Regice is another card that is getting added into this deck that was not featured in the 2010 World Championship. This card is useful because it is a soft counter to Spiritomb. By making Spiritomb leave the active spot, you can freely play the game without getting trainer locked. This is only a soft counter because the opponent can bench a Spiritomb and have one active. This is still fine because Regice can discard the unplayable cards to make Claydol‘s Cosmic Power even better. The three Retreat Cost is a concern, but with two copies of Warp Point, I do not think it is an issue.

Professor Oak’s New Theory is one of the big cards to come from the World Champion list. While his list as very unconventional in terms of SP builds, it doesn’t mean it was bad. There are all kinds of things we can learn from that and now we know this type of card is great. Being able to refresh your hand and draw six new cards to pop off with is a game changer. Especially with four VS Seeker, this card becomes even better against cards like Gardevoir. One of the main win conditions for Gardevoir is to Psychic Lock and prevent Claydol from cycling through the deck. Professor Oak’s New Theory lets you constantly refresh your hand despite being under Psychic Lock. A great card to add and a card that was overlooked in this format.

RegiceProfessor Oak's New TheoryVS Seeker

Possible Inclusions

PokeDex HANDY909is functions similarly to Acro Bike. This card allows you to dig extra deep into the deck, but Unown R already fills that function in the deck. If the deck for some reason needs to go even faster or more consistent then this card is a great add. It does have the downside of not being able to be played when Spiritomb is in the active spot.

PlusPower could be added back in if this deck has problems hitting specific numbers. 130 is a number that could be difficult to deal with, but that is only on a few Pokemon. This means that normally Jumpluff can one shot anything but can be played around. I am not convinced PlusPower is needed to make up for the opponent’s counter play to Jumpluff’s Mass Attack.

Pokedex HANDY910isPlusPower

Matchups

Gardevoir

Traditionally this matchup has been very favored for Gardevoir. This is only true with the older list. When a list changes this drastically the matchup can shift just as drastically. I am not going to say that the matchup is now Jumpluff favored as that would be very premature. I will say that this is the best list to combat Gardevoir and that the matchup is probably much closer. Gardevoir is still a monster of a card and can adjust combat this build. I would say this matchup goes from Gardevoir favored to more in the direction of only slightly favored for Gardevoir or even.

GalladeGardevoir

Gyarados

Like SP, this deck also suffered from their hand getting messed with. Being able to constantly use Judge after Impersonate can cripple Gyarados because it prevents them from building up a large hand. It is important for Jumpluff to attack as soon as possible to gain a prize advantage versus Gyarados. This is more important than usual due to the fact that Gyarados has 130 HP and with an Expert Belt it goes up to 150. This means that generally Jumpluff will need to two shot Gyarados, so it naturally needs the early game tempo to close out the game. The six possible Judge are a great way to make so Gyarados has problems getting set up or streaming multiple attackers. Again, like the above decks Gyarados could be updated to combat this type of gameplay.

SP

These are the decks that get pummeled by this update to Jumpluff. Jumpluff versus SP decks has always been close, but now with Judge chaining it has swung decisively in Jumpluff’s favor. Granted that SP decks could update with VS Seeker and that could change how this matchup flows. VS Seeker not being played was one of the biggest mistakes of the players of that era and it swings the matchups wildly. Given current builds, this Jumpluff deck with future knowledge outclasses the old variants of SP decks and I think decidedly goes in Jumpluff’s favor.

Garchomp C Lv.XLuxray GL Lv.XCyrus's Conspiracy

Final Thoughts

I hope this update to an old favorite is something everyone can enjoy. I believe it to be a vast improvement to how the deck used to be played. The inclusion of VS Seeker would warp the format in a direction that wasn’t explored so the tier list would change based on that. One of the best things is that it brings new life to this format which is very cool considering this format is from the distant past. However, I do understand that not everyone will want to explore this new direction in the format. There is a certain charm to playing decks the way they were in the past. I am sure if players from today analyze every format in the past then there will be decks and cards players from that era missed.

This has been one of my favorite topics to talk about. Going over the possibilities to make the decks the best that they can be is a very fun thought experiment. It can also improve current player skills by trying out strategies that are not in the current meta and how to manage resources when the cards being played are different from what is played today. I personally am going to think about how to optimize SP variants and try them out against other 2010 decks. I think the results will be interesting to track. It is fun to try to optimize decks from the past but remember that retro decks are all about having fun so play the decks however you want.

Editor’s Note: If there’s ever a retro deck that you want to see Pram or another of our creators view – @ us on Twitter and we’ll consider it!

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