Bulu is back!
This time, the grass tank Tapu Bulu is back with another friend, baby Vikavolt! Our last deck with Bulu featured Lurantis-GX as a way to recycle energy from the discard pile. This deck with Vikavolt instead accelerates energy right from the deck.
Tapu Bulu / Vikavolt Strategy
Since Bulu is prone to discarding all of his energy (3 at a time), it’s very convenient to use Vikavolt’s ability, Strong Charge, to attach 2 energy right from the deck, and either attach manually from your hand, or use another Vikavolt to get all your energy back. Running out of steam (energy cards)? Throw down an Energy Recycler to add up to 5 energy cards from the discard back into the deck.
Our main attack–Bulu–has a nice 180 HP as a Basic Pokemon-GX and like the other Tapus, has no weakness! Nature’s Judgment for 2 Grass and a Colorless (which we’ll use a Lightning) does 120 base damage, and if you discard all energy, does another 60, or 180 total. With a choice band, that’s 210 damage–enough to OHKO an Alolan Ninetales-GX, Golisopod-GX, and many others.
If you’ve taken a fair amount of damage, use Bulu’s Tapu Wilderness GX for a decent 150 damage, plus heal all damage on Bulu.
On your first turn you might also find yourself using the lowly Horn Attack for 30 damage. Not much, but if you’re up against a Froakie, it’s enough.
In my own version of Bulu/Vikavolt, I like to run a split of Choice Band and Fighting Fury Belt. Unfortunately, there’s a fair amount of Pokemon that can hit Bulu’s 180 HP, especially if the opponent has a Choice Band. That’s not fun–and Bulu won’t even have a chance to heal. For that reason, I like to have some FFBs. It only buffs your attacks by 10 damage instead of Choice Band’s 30, but for some decks like Greninja BREAK (which is seeing a resurgence in popularity), Choice Bands are useless.
With a 7 / 5 split of Grass / Lightning Energy, you’ll quickly find yourself running low, especially after discarding a couple times from Bulu. Energy Recycler becomes very necessary, so think twice before wasting one! It might even be worth considering adding another Energy Recycler, or even a Brock’s Grit or Super Rod.
This deck doesn’t use Oranguru or Octillery, because you won’t really fear a late-game N-to-1 if you have a Vikvavolt up. You’ll at least be able to get your energy. Keep in mind Vikavolt’s high retreat cost of 3.
I’ve lost a couple games where my opponent Lysandre-stalled my Vikavolt after previously Field Blower-ing both Float Stones. For that reason it might be worth it to always have an extra energy on each Vikavolt. That way if you’re ever Lysandre/Guzma stalled without a float stone, you can use Vikavolt’s ability to get 2 more energy on himself to pay the retreat cost. If you do have a spare float stone in the deck, Skyla can be very helpful here, too.
At first you may think that since Tapu Bulu has no Weakness, you shouldn’t fear Volcanion. Unfortunately, Volcanion is still a tough opponent. In my own testing, it’s sort of split. Volcanion-EX needs 2 Steam Ups with Volcanic Heat (or 1 Steam Up with a Choice Band). Ho-Oh-GX OHKOs anything with 180HP or less. If you see a turn 1-Kiawe to Ho-Oh…save yourself some time and Concede.
Gardevoir is an awesome deck, and any Pokemon that keeps 3 energy on it with only 180 HP is asking to be OHKO’d. A Gardevoir-GX needs only 3 energy attached with a fully-loaded Bulu for the OHKO (or 2 energies and a Choice Band). Bulu can’t easily OHKO 230 HP, either. Nature’s Judgment maxes out at 210 discarding all energy plus a Choice Band. You’d have to have all that and use Kukui–very unlikely (and I don’t even run a Kukui in my deck). The one plus side is that you can discard all of your energies with each attack against Gardy, so they’ll need to have 6 energies attached…which should only take a turn or two…
Bulu / Vikavolt can be very fast to set up. If you can manage to Rare Candy up to a Vikavolt on Turn 2, you can be ready to deal up to 210 damage straight away. For slower decks, this can really put you at an advantage.
Obviously any water deck with a Grass Weakness (Lapras, Greninja) goes down fairly easily. Greninja can prove tricky at times, but you’ll fortunately never need to discard any energy. FFBs over Choice Bands against Greninja, for sure.
Don’t have enough Tapu Bulu or Vikavolt?
If you’d like to build this deck for yourself and don’t have enough Bulus or Vikavolts, considering getting some of the Tapu Bulu and Tapu Koko tins. Each come with 2 of their respective Tapus, a full 60-card deck (only in the online game via the code), including the nice holo energies you’ll see in my deck list below. The Tapu Koko tin includes 2 of the Vikavolt used in this deck.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon – 14
* 3 Grubbin SUM 13
* 3 Tapu Bulu-GX PR-SM SM32
* 1 Charjabug SUM 51
* 3 Vikavolt SUM 52
* 1 Tapu Koko PR-SM SM31
* 3 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
##Trainer Cards – 34
* 1 Heavy Ball BKT 140
* 4 Rare Candy SUM 129
* 2 Lysandre AOR 78
* 2 Brigette BKT 134
* 2 Energy Recycler GRI 123
* 2 Skyla BKT 148
* 2 Field Blower GRI 125
* 2 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 3 N FAC 105
* 3 Choice Band GRI 121
* 2 Float Stone BKT 137
* 2 Professor Sycamore PHF 101
* 3 VS Seeker PHF 109
##Energy – 12
* 5 Lightning Energy 4
* 7 Grass Energy 1
Total Cards – 60
****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******