The seventh generation of Pokemon games is here! Pokemon Sun and Moon was released for the Nintendo DS in November 2016. Pokemon card game has caught up and released three brand new themed decks focused on the Alola region’s new Pokemon. This article will highlight the Forest Shadow themed deck. Forest Shadow features Decidueye as its star Pokemon, and focuses on being a low energy cost but high efficiency deck.
Forest Shadow Card List
First of all, let’s start by listing the cards in the deck:
- Surskrit x 2
- Pinser x 2
- Spinda x 2
- Paras x 2
- Rowlet x 3
- Dartrix x 2
- Decidueye x 2 (One holographic)
- Fomantis x 2
- Morelull x 2
- Bounsweet x 2
- Pikipek x 2
- Nest Ball x 2
- Ultra Ball
- Timer Ball x 2
- Energy Retrieval
- Big Malasada
- Professor Kukui
- Hau x 2
- Grass x 20
Like all themed decks, Forest Shadow does have a lot of filler Pokemon. Particularly Surskrit and Bounsweet provide no benefit other than being ultra ball fodder. However, let’s get to the star of the deck, Decidueye!
If you look, you can immediately see one glaring positive trait to this line. Each Pokemon in the line has an attack they can use at one energy. Dartrix’s Sharp Blade Quill is particularly useful, because it can finish off any retreating Pokemon. But let’s get back to Decidueye. Leaf Blade can be hit or miss. The chance to do 60 damage with one energy is huge! In most cases, even doing 30 damage off of one energy is fantastic. However on a state 2 evolution, by that time you’ll be trying to hit for harder than 30 damage. But even still it does provide great cover damage against basics, for when you want to save your hard hitting Brave Bird.
In all honesty, I believe that Decidueye really nails the feeling of this deck. It is very reminiscent of the Wave Slasher deck, because of it’s low cost moves. Most of the cards in this deck have a one energy cost move, which really helps you keep up the tempo of a match.
Even though it contains its fair share of filler Pokemon, there are also plenty of excellent supporting Pokemon. Kanghaskhan gives this deck some much needed bulk and plenty of power. Her one energy move, Cross-Cut, deals 30 base damage. If the opponent’s active Pokemon is an Evolution Pokemon, it does 30 more damage. That’s a consistent 60 damage coming from a 130 HP bulk, all at the cost of one energy. Talk about efficiency! If you’re able to stack four energy on Kangaskhan, you are awarded with Hurricane Punch. This is a fairly risky move, but the potential damage ceiling makes it worthwhile.
Another powerful offensive presence in this deck is Parasect. For just two energy you have the potential to unleash 130 damage! Of course you will need to be quite lucky, so it may just be best to stack three energies on him to use Mushroom Drain. With Parasect’s 110 HP bulk and a 70 damage, 30 health recover move, he will be a decent stall while you set up. Additionally, since he is just a Stage 1 Evolution, there is a high chance you will get him on the battlefield.
Next we have Shiinotic. The two energy Flickering Spores is nothing to write home about. 30 damage and putting your opponent to sleep. The real value of Shiinotic comes from its amazing ability, Illuminate. Illuminate allows you to search your deck for any grass Pokemon and put it into your hand. That is essentially a free grass Pokemon Ultra Ball once every turn! If you have a Shiinotic on your bench hiding behind either a Kangaskhan or Parasect, you will be able to set up your bench to near completion.
All-Star Calibur Pokemon
In addition to the great supporting Pokemon in Forest Shadow, there are a handful of other Pokemon who are truly incredible. A particular mention needs to go out to Fomantis, Pinsir and Spinda.
Fomantis provides you with an opportunity to attach two energies per turn. This is not something to take lightly. Synthesis allows for you to quickly set up your bench and prepare for your next wave of offense. A lot of high strategy decks call for allotting two energy per turn, and this deck will get you in that mindset. Being able to attach multiple energy in one turn allows you to really apply the pressure to your opponent. Since you will have the energy advantage, it will be up to your opponent to counter.
Next on the list is Pinsir. At first, your eyes may be drawn to Guillotine. Of course it is easy to see why, two energy for 50 damage is respectable. However, take a look at Roof Fling. For that same two energy, you flip a coin. If you get heads, you send the opponents active Pokemon and all cards attached to it to your opponents hand. Say what?! Have they set up their ultimate Pokemon with four energies attached? Send it packing back to their hand. This kind of disruption can really turn a match around, and swing momentum in your favor. If your opponent does not have a developed bench, you can grab a couple of prize cards off of a timely Roof Fling.
Lastly is my favorite, Spinda. In all honesty, Spinda is mediocre at best. However there is something about Teeter Punch that just clicks. Forest Shadow is all about being lucky on the coin tosses, and Spinda can capitalize on the flip. One energy for 30 damage and constant confusion is huge. If you get lucky, you could potentially sweep with just Spinda. Of course, you would need to have the luck ‘o the Irish for that.
The Sun and Moon trainer cards are basically what you would expect from a themed deck. Potions, Energy Retrieval and Ultra Ball all make an appearance, which are pretty good staples to have in most decks. Forest Shadow, like the other Sun and Moon themed decks, gives you an introduction to two new Pokeballs in this generation. Timer Ball allows you to flip two coins, and for each head you get, you can search your deck for any Evolution Pokemon to put in your hand. With two heads, this functions almost like two Ultra Balls, and can really help get your foundation set.
The Nest Ball allows you to search your deck for a basic Pokemon and put it into your bench. Use this to compliment any stage 1 evolutions you have in your hand. Or you can use it to grab Pinsir or Spinda and wreck havoc on your opponent.
Another notable trainer card is the new professor, Professor Kukui. Like the other professors, he lets you draw cards, two to be exact. But unlike the other professors, when you use Kukui your Pokemon do an additional 20 damage that turn. This extra damage can be just enough to finish off a basic Pokemon and allow you to get an early lead on your opponent.
The two other Supporter cards, Hau and Lillie, function similarly to other cards we are familiar with. Hau is our new “Draw 3 Cards” Supporter, while Lillie is similar to the Bianca Supporter. When you play Lillie you can draw until you have six cards in your hand. However if it is your first turn, you can draw until you have eight. If you can play a slew of cards in your first turn then draw back up to eight, you will sport an impressive card advantage over your opponent!
In conclusion, the Forest Shadow deck relies heavily on low cost energy attacks, lucky coin flips, and being a tricky tactician. In the Sun and Moon games, Decidueye was considered to be the strategic starter, and this deck certainly reflects that. For a theme deck, Forest Shadow is fairly consistent, and that is due to having so many ways to pick out the Pokemon you like. Spinda is an excellent lead, and can keep the opponent confused from turn 1. Use Shiniiotic’s Illuminate ability to fill up your bench with just the right Pokemon for the next attacks. Pinsir is excellent at disrupting your opponent’s battle plan and rhythm, provided you get lucky flips. Kangaskhan and Pinsir provide a solid wall that you can set up behind. And once set up, Decidueye can destroy your opponent through strategic use of Brave Bird.
Forest Shadow is fun to use and is certainly worth the purchase if you have coins to spare. It is doubtful that you would use any of these cards outside of the Theme format, although I can see an argument being made for Pinsir. What are your thoughts on the Forest Shadow themed deck? Are you a fan of the random coin flips that this deck provides? How have you been faring using it? I would love to hear your thoughts on the deck. Let me know how you feel about it in the comments below.
The rest of the Sun and Moon cards launch on February 3, 2017. Until then, I’ll see you all on the battlefield, trainers!