Rogue Rodents 7: Quagsire/Alolan Ninetales

Rogue Rodents is back for its first post-rotation deck – just in time for the final few tournaments before Lost Thunder becomes legal.

The new Quagsire from Dragon’s Majesty is a boon to Water decks – Quagsire’s Ability to transfer Water Energy to your Active Pokémon, combined with Aqua Patch, makes this the only way to get plenty of Energy charged onto your Pokémon currently (besides using Fire-type boosts like Reshiram GX or Kiawe). 

While there have been many iterations that have cropped up recently (the most popular being Quagsire/Lapras GX), Lee Keng Fai brought a non-Pokémon GX variant – Quagsire/Alolan Ninetales (which also uses Quagsire to attack) and got 6th place in Toysbar’s October League Challenge. 

This deck idea stemmed from Syahmi Razak, who (also helped in Rogue Rodents 5) initially suggested playing four Quagsire/Wishiwashi GX with the Shrine of Punishment. After testing the deck online, Keng Fai found that the deck lacks punch against Zoroark GX variants which typically run Acerola (like Zoroark/Lycanroc). He decided to add “baby” Alolan Ninetales into the deck, ending up with this final build:

Rogue Rodents 7.png

Objective: Keep Energy on the board and continuously attack

The deck’s objective is straightforward – get Water Energy on the field, and keep the Water Energy on the field using Wishful Baton. Use Quagsire’s Ability to transfer the Water Energy to a new Attacking Pokémon everytime one gets Knocked out, either Volcanion Prism Star, Quagsire, or Alolan Ninetales, so you will never run out of steam. 

Between the three, Volcanion Prism Star is your best starting choice. Attack with Sauna Blast as soon as possible to spread damage to your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. 

Don’t be afraid to pile plenty of Water Energy on Quagsire to deliver the Knockout. While there are usually 3 or 4 Energy cards set on Quagsire, Keng Fai recalls a game where he had 8 Energy cards on Quagsire to Knockout an opponent’s Golisopod GX. 

How to Play

Keng Fai describes the perfect Turn 1 to have 1 Wooper, 1 Alolan Vulpix (Guardians Rising), 1 Oranguru (Sun & Moon) and 1 Volcanion Prism on the field. Try to get the Alolan Vulpix out into the Active and use that to search the Pokémon you need. 

If you manage to get Volcanion Prism on the first turn, set your first Water Energy onto it. 

Like most Shrine of Punishment decks, get the Stadium out quickly to slowly whittle away your opponent’s Pokémon GX HP. 

The addition of Sudowoodo (Sun & Moon) limits your opponent’s Zoroark GX’s attack Bench, simultaneously limiting his maximum damage output to 100 Damage and protecting your Quagsire (as long as your opponent doesn’t play Professor Kukui). Keng Fai adds that with plenty of decks not running more than 1 Field Blower, Wishful Baton has more staying power and is an extremely useful tool to keep Energy Cards on the field.

Tapu Koko is included for its free Retreat when you play Guzma and doubles as another way to get damage onto your opponent’s Pokémon via Flying Flip. 

Cyrus Prism Star works primarily to counter Malamar decks. Play Cyrus when your opponent has Energy on the board, and 2 to 3 Malamar on the Bench. Now your opponent has to decide between shuffling the Malamar or the Energy cards back into the deck.

Matches

Against Buzzwole, Keng Fai says skipping the Sledgehammer turn on “baby” Buzzwole (Forbidden Light) is extremely crucial to stay in the Prize Race. He usually goes for the Knockout on 1 “baby” Buzzwole using Volcanion Prism Star, then sets his sights on taking out a Pokémon GX – especially as Buzzwole variants play more Pokémon GX compared to before.

Against Malamar, the game plan is simple. Target the Malamar when possible.

Against Zoroark variants, his opinion is to use Volcanion Prism Star early to spread Damage onto your opponent’s Bench, then switch to Alolan Ninetales to clean up. Use your Guzma to target any non-Pokémon GX your opponent decides to Bench.

Weakness

One major weakness is the deck’s reliance upon Wishful Baton. As the main method to keep Water Energy cards on the field, a couple of Field Blowers is enough to derail the deck’s strategy. Also, without a card like Magcargo (with Smooth Over) and only Oranguru (Sun & Moon) for support, it’s possible for the deck to “brick” when you least expect. 

Future Changes

The meta will make a huge shift once Lost Thunder arrives. However, Keng Fai believes Quagsire still has plenty to offer for Water decks even when the new set becomes legal for tournaments. 

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