Hello ChannelFireball readers! I am back to talk about the potential best ways to play with Grass in the current format. At the moment, Grass does not have the most amazing support cards for its typing, but there’re still some to work with. Rillaboom with its Voltage Beat lets you power up your field with two extra Grass Energy from your deck every turn – it’s one of the best Energy accelerators in the format. I want to focus on this card and try to take full advantage of its Ability.
##Pokémon - 19 3 Grookey SSH 11 3 Thwackey SSH 12 3 Rillaboom SSH 14 2 Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX UNM 1 2 Dubwool V RCL 153 1 Venusaur & Snivy-GX CEC 1 1 Rillaboom V RCL 17 1 Rillaboom VMAX RCL 18 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57 1 Crobat V DAA 104 ##Trainer Cards - 28 4 Professor's Research SSH 178 4 Marnie SSH 169 2 Boss's Orders RCL 154 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198 4 Switch SSH 183 4 Quick Ball SSH 179 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206 2 Air Balloon SSH 156 2 Turffield Stadium RCL 170 ##Energy - 13 13 Grass Energy Energy 1
This deck has a very straightforward goal, set up Rillaboom on the first turn. The most reliable way to do this is by using Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor‘s (RowEgg) first attack Super Growth. Since you are aiming to use this attack immediately, it will be beneficial if you let your opponent go first when you are playing this deck. With Super Growth costing zero Energy, you can even manually retreat your opening Pokemon with your hand attachment and still use the attack on your first turn.
After Rillaboom is established, you can now freely power up your attackers as you seem fit for the matchup. You have multiple strong Pokémon and attacks you can take advantage of in this deck. In a lot of cases, your Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor is going to survive, so just charging it up with Voltage Beat and start swinging for 150 is a good way to put pressure right away. This also lets you threaten a full effect Tropical Hour GX attack, should your opponent still not be able to deal with it.
With Fire very prevalent in the current metagame, I tried to solve this issue by adding two Dubwool V into the deck. It does not have Fire Weakness and that combined with a strong attack makes it a strong option in Fire-type matchups.
Apart from not being Fire weak, Dubwool has some other perks too. It can dish out 210 damage for only three Energy after your first TAG TEAM gets Knocked Out, and it is hard to Knock Out thanks to Soft Wool.
I decided to include a one-one line of Rillaboom VMAX in the deck as well. Simply put, this is the Grass Pokemon in the format that gives you the most damage output for the least number of Energy. This is necessary for being able to Knock Out TAG TEAM Pokemon and V Pokemon in one hit. It also has a massive 330 HP, and you can fuel its attack every turn with Voltage Beat.
Another strong option I decided to include is Venusaur & Snivy-GX. If it is in the Active, you can attach a Grass Energy to it from your hand to get the same effect as Boss’s Order. This is efficient for closing out games, being able to drag up Dedenne-GX or other low HP targets. Solar Plant GX can also come in handy as a surprise against things like Mad Party to take multiple Knock Outs, and potentially heal yourself fully as well. With Air Balloon and the heavy switch count, you can also often just use this Pokemon whenever you want to target down a big threat while attacking with something else.
The deck does not really need much to function or to have a good opener. All you need is a Grookey and a Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor in the Active. That’s why I decided to just have a thin spread of the powerful support Pokemon in Dedenne-GX, Crobat V, and Eldegoss V.
For stadiums I decided to pick Turffield, as it has great synergy with Pokemon Communication. It also lets you search out a backup Rillaboom line. This can be important, as one of the ways to cripple your deck is simply to get rid of your engine by knocking out the first Rillaboom you set up. Also having easy access to Rillaboom VMAX is of course also great.
I originally had a three-two-two line of Rillaboom, but that leaves you very vulnerable to prizing when your opponent goes for the Knock Out on your first Rillaboom. The thick line ensures that you can set up two of them should the first go down.
There is still a ton of potential tech options and cards I am still considering, so I want to go over these systematically with you as well.
Even with a solid count of 13 Grass Energy, the deck often finds ways to run out of them, especially if you can set up two Rillaboom. Brock’s Grit would allow you a big resource boost in the late game of a more grindy game, ensuring that resources are at least never the reason why you would lose a game. With Eldegoss you also would not have to worry too much about discarding it in the earlier portions of the game.
Like Venusaur & Snivy GX, Cramorant could be used as a finisher to close the game. It is weaker to tech cards like Mew, but its only worth two Prizes and could do the 160 to a Dedenne-GX for one less energy investment, so it is worth a consideration.
This card has free Retreat and scales with your board very well. It is also only worth one prize. The biggest perk of this card is letting games snowball, meaning that if your opponent cannot put pressure back and answer your threats immediately, you can come in with Shaymin for big Knock Outs to put you even further ahead. A great card that should probably be included in a heavy Ggrass Energy build like above.
With your solid acceleration, you will not have much issues attaching extra Energy cards. You could use this to your advantage and play Wondrous Labyrinth. This will be especially effective towards the later stages of the game if you combine it with Reset Stamp. It can give decks like ADP and Eternatus huge issues and force them to find another card to win the game.
Playing a grass deck, this deck natural enemy will be all the Fire decks hitting you for weakness. Chaotic Swell will be blocking their Giant Hearth and can make their Welder engine very awkward. It will be difficult to play other Stadiums than Swell if you are choosing to include it, so some consistency loss in Turffield Stadium will have to be sacrificed if you are going this route.
A cool way to get around the fire weakness problem could be to include Mew3. It has the same base HP as Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor, and can copy its attack from the discard pile, meaning you don’t have to put down a three-prizer with Fire Weakness. This means that you must find two TAG TEAMs in addition to Grookey on your first turn, but if you can, you will be in a much stronger position against the Fire decks. If you want to take this even further, you could add some powerful attackers for you to copy with Mew3 as well, like Vileplume-GX or Incineroar-GX.
The Tag Call Engine:
If you where to go the Mew3 route, using Tag Call could be a great way to go. It lets you search out both at the same time and could even get you a TAG TEAM Supporter to discard the RowEgg, like Cynthia & Caitlyn or Guzma & Hala.
Guzma & Hala could also be a good alternative way to go, as it can pick up Weakness Guard Energy immediately, together with your preferred stadium and an Air Balloon to get it in the active. You could also include Capture Energy in this engine, so a single Tag Call could pick up everything needed to get Rillaboom onto the field on your first turn. You would use Tag Call to pick up RowEgg and Guzma & Hala, and then pick up Air Balloon, Capture Energy and a Stadium, and use the Energy to pick up Grookey. If you where to go this route, I think including Big Charm would also be good, to give RowEgg a better chance to survive against Eternatus VMAX after attacking to get your Rillaboom. Another advantage with Big Charm is letting your Rillaboom survive an Ultimate Ray from ADP.
As of now, the matchup spread for the deck is a little all over the place. It will wary a lot depending on how you choose to build the deck, but there are some big issues for grass as an archetype in the metagame. Being forced into more awkward builds than you want to because of Fire having multiple strong decks is not ideal. Also, Eternatus VMAX having the capability to one-shot you immediately after setting up Rillaboom can be too much of a hurdle to get through.
Apart from that, the deck is very consistent with enough tricks and power level to overcome all the other decks in the format. Having essentially unlimited gusting effects, all sorts of different attackers, disruption attacks, tanks and heavy hitters makes the deck very flexible and interactive to play.
As you can imagine, there is tons of ways to explore the archetype, and I am still working on going through all the options myself. The list provided in the beginning should only be looked at as a starting point and not the optimal 60 cards for playing the deck.
As of now, having multiple weak matchups among the most popular and most represented decks in the format is sort of a dealbreaker for the deck. Still, I think going over the options available to the archetype is important, especially with you still being very early on in the season since rotation. There will be multiple new sets released that can shape up the metagame and give this deck an opening to be good. I would also personally be on lookout for new Grass support and attackers in future sets, which might be all the deck needs to compete with its current unfavored matchups.
Hope you enjoyed some insight into my thought process when looking at a deck more on the sideline of the top decks in the meta. Thanks for reading, until next time!