BREAKpoint Deck Profile: Critical Hit Raticate
Raticate is a nimble little critter capable of dealing massive damage. Unlike most Pokémon who deal a set amount of damage, or control you through special conditions, Raticate Break is capable of leaving you hanging with 10 HP (or one damage counter). To make the mechanic even more interesting, Raticate’s ability prevents it from being affected by any special conditions (poison, confusion, etc.), making it a powerful card teamed with Ariados and its ability of poison from the bench.
Pokémon – 20
2x Spinarak (Ancient Origins)
2x Ariados (Ancient Origins)
4x Rattata (BREAKpoint)
4x Raticate (BREAKpoint)
4x Raticate BREAK (BREAKpoint)
2x Remoraid (BREAKthrough)
2x Octillery (BREAKthrough)
Energy – 12
4x Double Colorless Energy
4x Water Energy
4x Grass Energy
Trainer – 28
1x Parallel City
2x Professor Sycamore
2x Super Rod
2x Ultra Ball
2x VS Seeker
4x Assault Vest
4x Bursting Balloon
4x Level Ball
The decks main goal is to set up Ariados on the bench and have a Raticate Break ready to attack. The main idea is to use Ariados’ ability to poison the enemy, than attack with Super Fang to drop the enemy’s HP down to 10. At the end of the turn, the opponent will take 10 HP damage causes by the poison, awarding you with a knock out. In theory, this combo can kill any Pokémon in a single turn, regardless of how much HP they have.
The strength of this deck lies in it speed. Thanks to the incredible draw power of Octillery, you are guaranteed to have a minimum of five cards in your hand every turn. Since this deck plays quickly, running two Octillery is a lot more consistent than having Shaymin EX. Having both on the field helps you draw more cards; you want to evolve as much Pokémon in a turn as you can, as well as increase your chances of picking up Double Colorless energies. A single one is enough to ready-up Raticate Break’s Super Fang.
Of course, like any decks out there, this one has a few weaknesses.
First and foremost, the Pokémon used have low HP: Rattata with 30 HP, Raticate with 70 HP, Raticate Break with 110 HP, Remoraid with 60 HP, Octillery with 90 HP, Spinarak with 50 HP, and Ariados with 70 HP. That being said, there are hundreds of Pokémon capable of dishing out enough damage to knock out this deck’s creatures. This is when Assault Vest and Bursting Balloon come in handy. While Assault Vest provides you with a 40 HP protection against any Pokémon equipped with Special Energy cards, cards used in almost every deck, Bursting Balloon is used differently. Imagine a scenario where you are not able to use Ariados’ ability to poison for some reason (not on the field or against a grass-type… you can equip Bursting Balloon on Raticate Break, attack with Super Fang and drop his HP to 10. The next turn, your opponent has to either attack you and knock out his own creature in the process, not attack, or switch Pokémon and attack with that one instead. If option one or two are played, you leave with a prize, if your opponent switches, that is when you are in a little bit of trouble.
In addition to the items that provide you with support given the low HP of your Pokémon, Raticate and Raticate Break, your main actor, has a retreat cost of zero.
The second weakness of the deck is not being able to draw the energy you need. Since the deck doesn’t run any Professors’ Letter, you must rely on your draw power to pick up what you need, including the Pokémon to evolve. In addition to Octillery, another engine was implemented to provide even more draw power: the Professor Sycamore and Super Rod engine, or as I like to call it, the “Fishing Senpai”!
Thanks to the effect of Super Rod, a card that allows you to search for any combination of three Energy and Pokémon from your discard pile and shuffle them in the deck, you can burn any creature and energy from your hands using Professor Sycamore and draw, or search, them back throughout the game. Thanks to Brigette and Winona, for example, discarding Pokémon, putting them back in the deck and searching for them is a breeze. This is also another opportunity for Octillery to shine.
This Raticate deck is strong against any deck out there. However, it does have trouble against grass-type focused decks, as well as Night March. As for Item Locks, it deals fairly well against those.
Energy Swap Variance
The Critical Hit Raticate runs with both Water and Grass Energy. However, depending on the opponent you are facing, you can always adjust your energy to match theirs. For example, if you are playing against a Fire deck, best you switch the Grass Energy out for Fire ones. This way, you can benefit from the effects of Scorched Earth – you won’t be using Ariados on offence anyway. You can also consider the Lightning Energy, for Rough Seas.
Finally, building your bench is as important as having Raticate Break on the offensive line. Since all the Pokémon have low health, if you find yourself fighting a deck capable of dealing considerable damage to your bench, you should consider one or two Mr. Mime in your side deck – it is capable of preventing your entire bench from taking any damage, thus breaking your opponent’s strategy!