Not Very Effective: Remixing the Remix Cup

Season 9 is underway and with it I am renewing my goal of finishing in the Veteran Rank, above a 2500 ELO. While I started this season battling in the Great League it only took one day for me to switch to the Great League Remix.

The first team I ran through the wringer was a fairly standard line of Obstagoon – Double Poison (Nidoqueen on the switch and Shadow Golbat as the closer). As expected this team got me some wins on raw strength and a number of double Charm back lines. But starting day three I noticed a trend – there were a ton of Ice types.

For a cup that is largely defined by two Ground types – Diggersby and Nidoqueen – this makes sense. Ice attacks are effective against both of these options while maintaining utility against any Grasses that might show up and taking down Flying types as well. Considering that both Drifblim and Mandibuzz are viable, running a Dewgong or a Frosslass seems like a solid choice.

So what did I do? I thought about the backlines I had been seeing, most of which had Ice, Poison, and Fairy types. I figured that Steel types would make a good back line and looked at my options. I had a decently ranked Steelix that did not need a ton of dust to level up so I bought into that, hopeful that Crunch would do work against Ghost types. I then looked for a lead I could pair with Steelix and saw that Pidgeot provides great coverage for most of Steelix’s bad matchups (both lose to Registeel, but I haven’t seen any of those just yet). When looking at other back line options I thought about Excadril but hated how it lined up. I looked at Toxicroak and realized that I could craft a decent Flying – Double Ground line. I originally picked Toxicroak since it wasn’t weak to Counter users and figured Sludge Bomb might steal some wins.

After a few battles I came to two conclusions: I loved the Pidgeot-Steelix core and I did not like Toxicroak. And so I went back to the drawing board and reached back to the Kanto Cup. While it doesn’t look great on PVPoke, putting Electrode on the swap was exactly what the doctor ordered.

LeadPidgeot (Gust – Brave Bird/Feather Dance): Unless you hard lose you want to stay in with the bird (who definitely is the word). While Feather Dance has been nerfed it still does great work and can often let you farm up energy and chew up shields. I will often farm up past Dance and throw, hoping to nab a shield and then build up to Brave Bird, throw it, and duck out to Electrode. You swap out against every Ice type and anything where you think Electrode can do better work. The tough call is Unova Stunfisk – you have to wait a move to see if they’re running Mud Shot. If they are, it might be correct to stay in and go Dancing (considering our backline), but I haven’t tested that out yet.

Switch – Electrode (Volt Switch – Discharge/Foul Play): While you might suffer against Diggersby or Nidoqueen switches, the hope is that you can pressure enough with Foul Play to soften them up. When I switch in Electrode I do my best to time my moves to get off two charge moves while only using up one of my shields. Usually you can get both shields thanks to the damage output and then farm with either your lead or your closer. Electrode does great work against opposing Pidgeots, Drifblims, and every Ghost or Psychic you see.

Closer – Steelix (Dragon Tail – Crunch/Earthquake): What’s the play here? Just chew up damage. Steelix has solid resistances against non-Fighters and can apply decent pressure with Dragon Tail. I have found success in farming up to two Crunch and either throwing back to back or just going for Earthquake (against say, a Wigglytuff). Given the overall bulk of the team you can often save a shield or two for Steelix and if you can go into the endgame with a shield advantage it can often be game over.

I’m enjoying this team so far and will likely run it first thing tomorrow as well. That being said there’s something obvious about it that gives me pause: it has 3 and 4 turn fast moves. That downside is real as it can leave you caught throwing a charge move against a switch in or allow for opponent’s to sneak in moves. That being said the upside exists if you can play tightly. I see this team as a test of my skill and dedication – I can’t pilot this one if I’m not focused on the battle at hand.

What are you seeing in Great League Remix? What do you think of the Pidgeot-Steelix core? Sounds off and let me know!

Published by Alex Ullman

Alex Ullman has been playing Magic since 1994 (he thinks). Since 2005, he's spent most of his time playing and exploring Pauper. One of his proudest accomplishments was being on the winnings side of the 2009 Community Cup. He makes his home in Brooklyn, New York, where he was born and raised.

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