BY ELIJAH DOURESSEAU
You've seen the card. You might've pulled one or two in your Chilling Reign packs and thought, "Cool attack, but how can it be viable in the meta?"
Allow me to reintroduce to you, the healingest Pokemon bombshell this side of standard...BLISSEY V.
|Blissey V (Full Art)|
Quick aside: Blissey V is my kind of star for a deck. I'm the Trainer that loves to build on the spicy (unconventional) side of the meta. I learn the competitive staples of the tier 1 decks and, assuming it's the staples that can make a lot of decks work, I apply them to tier 2 and 3 decks that are arguably more of a joy to play. You get a little more match-up variety, and it is a delight to rise through the Swiss ranks with a mostly rogue deck.
Now Blissey V has been on plenty a content creator's radar for most of its existence. Early builds were usually tanking (healing) lists that had discarding elements and healing elements to sustain a heavy force the opposing player had to two-shot – or three-shot in some cases.
In the Astral Radiance standard, the deck still holds to Blissey's healing nature, but with a couple of critical additions:
Dusknoir, Cheren's Care, Miltank, Radiant Greninja and Bibarel
The general strategy of any Blissey V deck is to utilize an effective discarding engine that allows you to throw multiple energy cards in the discard pile every turn, and accelerate them onto Blissey with its Blissful Blast attack. The issue then becomes, how do you keep the same accumulated energy pressure to ohko/two-hit KO a V (basic, V-Star or V-Max), while healing and preventing your Blisseys from getting knocked out each turn?
Then Dusknoir from Brilliant Stars came along, and so did the Cheren’s Care supporter card, and you not only have a solid healing machine update for the deck, but you also have a way to keep the energy you’ve built up to get more consistent knockouts.
In terms of your deck make-up, a lot of the cards – trainer or Pokemon – will serve the purpose of discarding cards from your hand in order to search for others, as a minimum effect. The Quick Balls, Ultra Balls and discard/draw supporters are meant for you to preferably be discarding energies, so Blissey’s attack will increase by two to three extra energy cards each turn. The exponential energy building proves to be a bit overwhelming because each turn, you effectively end up adding upwards of 90 damage to your attack base. By turn two, you could be doing 160 damage, before modifiers from energy effects or tools. Having more than nine energies attached to Blissey is also a really fun visual for the match. Let whatever resulting mental edge do its intimidation thing after that.
Did Blissey just take a heavy attack the previous turn? All good. This is where the one-two combo of Dusknoir and Cheren’s Care come in!
Dusky’s ability allows you to move any amount of a Pokemon’s attached special energy to another Pokemon – as often as you like. Ideally, you Special Transfer the damaged Blissey’s energy to another Blissey (or another Pokemon; hopefully, the alternative Pokemon is equipped with an Air Balloon tool). Then you Cheren’s Care the damaged Blissey, putting it and all other attached cards into your hand. The new Blissey is fresh and promoted to presumably take the knockout on the opposing Pokemon. Even if the new Blissey doesn’t, you can keep chaining Dusknoir’s Special Transfer ability and Cheren’s Care to take tag-team knockouts on the big Pokemon of your opponents’ decks. So this strategy is categorically a tanking one, but more accurately, you’re resetting the Blisseys and rebenching them to continue your onslaught.
Miltank, from Astral, is a wonderful sidekick. Its Miracle Body ability makes it immune to the damage from V Pokemon’s attacks, so you can soften up the opposing Pokemon, take the tip-over KO, or stall while you power up the next Blissey to enter the fray. It’s also a single-prize Pokemon, which forces your opponents to play a longer, seven-prize game, amidst knocking out the Blisseys.
Radiant Greninja is another tech for the discarding engine, and makes getting energy in the discard pile even more consistent.
Bibarel is your other draw support tech that helps you maximize your energy attachments from hand, and assists greatly in helping you set up your Dusknoir as quickly as possible, especially since this list forgoes Dusclops and uses the Rare Candy item card to evolve from Duskull.
Your Path To The Peak stadium is another way for you to slow your opponent’s progress in evolving and attacking your pink ladies.
3 Blissey V (CHR)
1 Miltank (ASR)
2 Bidoof (BRS)
2 Bibarel (BRS)
2 Duskull (VIV)
2 Dusknoir (BRS)
1 Radian Greninja (ASR)
1 Manaphy (BRS)
1 Dunsparce (FUS)
4 Cheren’s Care
3 Professor’s Research
2 Boss’s Orders
4 Quick Ball
3 Ultra Ball
1 Evolution Incense
3 Rare Candy
2 Cape of Toughness
1 Choice Belt
1 Air Balloon
1 Escape Rope
1 Rescue Carrier
1 Rotom Phone
3 Path to the Peak
4 Powerful Energy
4 Lucky Energy
2 Double Turbo
2 Capture Energy
1 Treasure Energy
Alternative lists use a fourth Blissey V, to help get it out early during the match, and may play an extra Miltank. You might also want to include one Pal Pad item card, in case it ends up being a fierce Cheren’s battle.
As far as energy cards, you can always play with the ratios. The Lucky and Powerful energy end up being used the most, but the icing with this deck is that it is happy to use most special energy in the standard format that doesn’t serve a specific type, or a battle style.
The deck is uber fun. I’ve topped with it at a bunch of local tournaments. The list might falter a bit more at regionals or other premier events, but piloting it correctly, you’ll at least make quite a few tier 1 decks sweat a little.
These days, the deck is also very budget friendly, if you aren’t trying to bling it out with secret arts or full arts. Try it out and may the shenanigans be ever in your favor.