Pokemon TCG 2019 World Champion Henry Brand just added another major victory to his record, and this time he did it in style. Kanto style, to be exact. Brand took first place at the Pokemon Regional tournament in Perth, Australia with an “Ultimate Mew3” deck that had never been seen before — and the biggest surprise to longtime Pokemon fans was that it used all three Gen I starters: Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise.
Even though those three superstar Pokemon are beloved in the fandom, anyone who plays the Pokemon TCG knows they don’t exactly have the best performance record. Instead, the strongest Pokemon in the card game tend to be the likes of Rayquaza, Gardevoir, and Garbodor. That said, each respective Kanto starter has had its time to shine over the years — a Blastoise deck won the 2015 Pokemon TCG World Championship, many decks have earned big wins with Reshiram & Charizard GX since it was released in May 2019, and Venusaur, well, it gets points for trying.
[poilib element=”poll” parameters=”id=6b9768b2-4227-43c5-b586-39407e7e705b”]
One key aspect that made Brand’s deck so unexpected is how it uses so many Pokemon of different types. Most meta decks are generally built focusing on one, maybe two Pokemon types. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s more common to see, for example, a pure Psychic or Lightning deck than a deck that tries to mix many types together. Having too many types hurts consistency, so it’s harder to make those decks work. That’s a big reason why it’s unheard of for the Fire, Grass and Water Kanto starters to all appear together.
The special ingredient that allows Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise to coexist in the same deck is none other than Mewtwo & Mew GX. This obscenely powerful card has the “Perfection” ability that lets it use the attacks of other Pokemon GX on the bench or in the discard pile. Think of it as a Swiss-army Pokemon where a player can choose from a wide variety of attacks and use whichever is best depending on the situation.
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=key-cards-in-ultimate-mew3&captions=true”]
For example, if Mewtwo & Mew GX takes a big hit, it can return the damage (and then some) with Reshiram & Charizard GX’s Outrage attack. If Mewtwo & Mew GX needs to reach a high number to take a knockout on a Pokemon with high HP, it can use Blastoise GX’s Rocket Splash to get there. As for Venusaur & Snivy GX, rather than its attack, it’s in the deck for its “Shining Vine” ability that lets it gust up vulnerable benched Pokemon.
Brand was able to answer the multi-type problem with the newly released Aurora Energy that provides all types of energy. When four copies are added to the deck along with four Rainbow Energy, which has the same effect for a different cost, the deck has eight energies that let Mewtwo & Mew GX use virtually any attack.
Did You Know?
Venusaur and Blastoise are totally going to lose in that poll but they don’t care because they have each other.
In addition to the Kanto trio, the deck uses a handful of odd Pokemon like Alolan Raticate GX, Vileplume GX, and Flygon GX that most other players had long written off as “binder trash,” but Brand saw they had very specific uses that he could exploit to take opponents off guard and come out victorious.
Those are just the highlights of the deck, but if you want a detailed explanation of everything it can do (and it’s quite a lot), then check out Brand and testing partner Jordan Palmer giving a full run-through of how it works on The SAbleyes YouTube channel.
Brand won the 2019 Pokemon TCG World Championship with a Mewtwo & Mew GX deck, as well. His winning list went on to inform how competitive players built the deck for the rest of the season, and now it looks like Brand has done it again by innovating to create a new kind of deck for the metagame.
What do you think of this unique deck that features the Kanto starting trio? Let us know in the comments.
For more Pokemon throwback fun, check out all the |6f89bf1986158ea189b11255b3d7f97c| that just came to Netflix:
Read more: ign.com