Forest Shadow – Pokemon TCGO Impressions

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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.

The Pokemon TCGO Forest Shadow themed deck features Decidueye.

Strategy and luck are the name of the game with the Forest Shadow themed deck.

Forest Shadow Card List

First of all, let’s start by listing the cards in the deck:

Pokemon (28)

  • Kangashkan
  • Surskrit x 2
  • Pinser x 2
  • Spinda x 2
  • Paras x 2
  • Parasect
  • Rowlet x 3
  • Dartrix x 2
  • Decidueye x 2 (One holographic)
  • Fomantis x 2
  • Morelull x 2
  • Shiinotic
  • Bounsweet x 2
  • Pikipek x 2
  • Trumbeak

Trainers (12)

  • Potion
  • Nest Ball x 2
  • Ultra Ball
  • Timer Ball x 2
  • Energy Retrieval
  • Big Malasada
  • Professor Kukui
  • Lillie
  • Hau x 2

Energy (20)

  • 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!

These Pokemon make up the Decidueye line of evolution

The Decidueye line of evolution focuses on low-cost but impactful attacks.

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.

Supporting Pokemon

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.

These Pokemon help round out your offense.

These Pokemon are here to help you keep the pressure on your opponent.

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.

Learning to use these Pokemon will really help you out.

The Pokemon deserve special mention for unique abilities.

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.

Trainer Cards

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.

Nest and Timer balls can help you get set up.

These new Forest Shadow Pokeballs go a long way to help you set up your attack.

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!

Use Professor Kukui to finish off an unsuspecting opponent.

Professor Kukui lets you draw cards and get a damage boost!

Conclusions

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!

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2 thoughts on “Forest Shadow – Pokemon TCGO Impressions

  1. Naud van Dalen

    I’ve beaten many Pokemon with Spinda alone. If they KO themselves by flipping tails when they attack, you can confuse their next Pokemon in addition to doing 30 damage for free.

    Decidueye is risky, since with the 20 damage recoil, another Decidueye or a Bewear can knock you out. By the way, Bewear is better than Decidueye. His attack Superpower can do the same 120 damage as Brave Bird with 20 recoil damage, but you have a choice. If you only need to do 80 or less damage, you don’t need to hurt yourself. That attack is the same as Flying Flare of Moltres from Fates Collide, only it needs 3 instead of 4 energy. Bewear has 10 less HP and Moltres has 20 less HP than Decidueye, but they are stage 1 and basic Pokemon respectively. Decidueye can’t knock Bewear out in 1 turn and bewear can finish him off, but then they are both KO. If Bewear attacks first, he can do 80 damage. (60 HP left) Decidueye does 120 damage and 20 recoil (40 HP left) and Bewear can finish him off with either attack with 10 HP left.

    Pinsir can save you match if you fling a strong Pokemon up before he can attack you, but if you flip tails, Pinsir is often KO if the opponent is worth flinging anyway.

    Shiinotic is a lifesaver. If I get a Shiinotic on the bench, I can get every strong grass Pokemon on the bench really quickly. He’s probably the reason I won over 75% of matches with this deck.

    Professor Kukui often helped me KO a Pokemon I normally couldn’t KO in that turn. Sometimes I ruined him by using him too early on a Pokemon that wasn’t worth KO’ing in one turn and when I really needed it (like Decidueye vs Bewear or other Decidueye), it was used already.

    I hate the filler Pokemon though. At the end of a match, my entire hand is full of filler Pokemon or useful Pokemon I don’t have space for on my bench or enough on my bench already.

    All in all, this is a great theme deck. It’s unusable in Standard mode (without filler and better trainers), until you get multiple Decidueye GX’s or some other EX’s or GX’s though.

    Reply
    1. Damian Post author

      I 100% agree with you there. After playing more matches with Forest Shadow I am finding that while I do love Decidueye, the real MVP is Spinda, hands down. There have been matches online where if I am lucky enough to get Spinda first hand, my opponents have just quit instead of facing off the one-energy terror. I find myself using the card draws to guarantee a Spinda more than anything else lately. I’ve started using my Shiinotic to pull out all of my grass Pokemon, to better increase the odds that I draw Spinda or a method to get Spinda during my next turn. I think people forget about an extra benefit about drawing extra cards, which is that you increase your chance of drawing a card you need next turn. By using Shiinotic to draw out the terrible grass filler Pokemon (*cough *cough Surskit * cough), you give yourself a chance to draw more valuable cards on your next turn. This is a concept that took me a while to catch on too, and I think it’s something that newer players should pick up on immediately.

      I never thought of the comparison between Bewear and Decidueye, but now that you brought it up it makes perfect sense. They both offer the same max damage at the same energy cost, but having that choice makes all the difference. And to be honest Bewear’s Bear Hug attack offers you the chance to trap your enemy, which has plenty of uses in theme play. Once I build up a respectable set of Sun and Moon cards I definitely want to play test some more deck options.

      Admittedly, the Pinsir gamble does not pay off often. There have only been a handful of games when Pinsir has helped me turn around the tempo of a match, but when it does it feels amazing. I’ve been able to recover and set up a decent sweeper off of the extra 3 or 4 turns it buys. But if the fling fails, you can pretty much kiss that match goodbye. I’m still waiting for the game where I get the coveted double fling O_O.

      Nothing irks me more then when I see people using Professor Kukui to just deal 20 damage, without thinking about reducing the amount of turns it would take to KO a Pokemon. It’s happened so many times, that in a match my opponent will use Kukui, and still take the same two turns to KO my Pokemon. I understand that drawing cards is great, but the true value from Kukui comes from that ability to KO a Pokemon a turn earlier than you could have. Your Bewear example is perfect. Kukui can make a two turn Bewear Superpower, become a one turn Superpower KO-machine.

      These theme decks are in no way ready for Standard mode, much like other theme decks out there. But I do think they are a great introduction to the Sun and Moon cards, and each deck plays vastly different to me. I recently did a video where I opened up about 20 Sun and Moon packs. I got a few GX’s (no Decidueye though =(), and am looking forward to modifying one of these decks to test in Standard. Forest Shadow is definitely my favorite of the three Sun and Moon theme decks, so I’ll probably work on modifying this one first =).

      Thanks for reading mate! Hope you enjoyed it!

      Reply

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