Not Very Effective: The Pidgeot-Steelix Core for Great League Remix

For the past 23 sets I have run one team in the Great League Remix. I ran my record with this team to 69-46 and only have three negative sets (0-5, 1-4, 2-3). I’m currently sitting at Ace with an ELO of 2136. The team is similar to the one I wrote about here but with one key difference – double legacy Dewgong has replaced Electrode as my safe switch. Today I want to talk about why I think the Pidgeot-Steelix is effective, what breaks it, and how to play it.

For reference, here is the team:

Lead: Pidgeot (Gust – Feather Dance/Brave Bird)

Switch: Dewgong (Ice Shard – Icy Wind/Water Pulse)

Closer: Steelix (Dragon Tail – Crunch/Earthquake)

So why this core? It starts with Pidgeot. The bird has solid coverage and despite the nerf to Feather Dance, it can still hold its own once it starts debuffing the opponent’s attack. It also has a good set of resistances in this iteration of Remix, taking reduced damage from Ghost and Ground types. Steelix gets the nod from me (over something admittedly great like Whiscash) because it can resist Poison and Fairy types – two stripes that were very common in the back for much of my climb. Steelix also takes neutral damage from Grass which has come up.

Besides their solid coverage, this team works well because of Feather Dance. Given Steelix’s bulk, launching a Feather Dance makes it easy for Steelix to go ham in the end game, taking charge moves while dealing out decent damage with Dragon Tail. It is often correct to preserve a Feather Dance on Pidgeot just to save for the end game, allowing Steelix to charge in against reduced

I have found that one key to running this core is to have another stat modifying move set on the safe switch. Icy Wind on Dewgong helps to blunt the assault while also allowing you to potentially preserve shields for your end game. Conversely, all the debuff moves provide a cushion of forgiveness if you had to burn shields early, which does come up in certain leads.

The next two skills needed for this core are tied together – energy management and undertapping. Because you use relatively slow fast moves, you need to be sure to not queue a fast move if you’re ready to throw a charge move. As a result, you have to carefully manage your energy in order to know when to throw and when to stop tapping. While it’s important with Dragon Tail it matters far more with Gust, as undertapping or overtapping is often the difference between winning and losing.

So what are the real problems for this core? There are two Pokemon that give me more fits than others: Dewgong and Unova Stunfisk. Both of these have solid play against your core duo thanks to their move set. When matched with Pidgeot, Dewgong is more offensive than Lapras thanks to a faster Ice type charge move and the debuff. Water Pulse also makes short work of Steelix unless severely debuffed.

Unova Stunfisk is an interesting opponent. In the lead it is only dangerous if they are running Thunder Shock as a fast move. While this might be the suggested move on PVPoke, I have run into far more Mud Shot Stunfisk’s. This makes sense given the abundance of Poison types running around. That being said, it does give you an opening as a debuffed Discharge will not take out a Pidgeot. Regardless, if they lead on U-Fisk, wait for a move before switching.

While not a core breaker, Obstagoon can be troublesome on the lead. It is not because it can straight up beat Pidgeot heads up but rather because of the pressure it puts on the bird. You have to commit both shields on the lead, regardless of boosts. If they get a Night Slash boost on the first try, it might be worth it to let the bird down after one Feather Dance and hope that you can deal the final few points with something else. Obstagoon is a common lead these days and while you do have game there, it is wise to be wary.

I’ve had a lot of fun with this core duo and am excited to use it for the final week of Remix. That being said if it starts to get hard countered along the way, I may have to adapt and adjust in order to make more progress on my goal of hitting Veteran and staying there.

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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