So, you wanna try moving to standard. or maybe you have, and got beaten up by highly tuned decks full of powerful (and expensive) GX/EX cards. In short, this isn’t a simple task if you don’t want to lose as much. But with a little guidance, a tad of trading and making good use of theme deck cards, this can definitely be done.
first, some deck theory. decks in general can be split into 2 types: aggro (from aggressive) and control. one wins the game by being as aggressive as possible basically. the other wins by disrupting the game plan of the opponent until they collapse (or even deck out). let’s have a look at two cards and see:
Buzzwole GX, [url="https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm4/57/"]https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm4/57/[/url]
in case you missed it:
Let's have a quick self test. what about this one?
leafeon GX, [url="https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm5/13/["]https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm5/13/[/url]
alolan ninetales GX, [url="https://www.pokemon.com/uk/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm2/22/"]https://www.pokemon.com/uk/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm2/22/[/url]
ok. we learned something, I guess. let’s try building an aggro deck. aggro decks are generally built around top-notch attackers. what do we have at our disposal? our trusty garchomp of course, courtesy of mach strike.
well, no. I mean, sure. 100 damage is impressive by theme standards, but is actually pretty paltry by ‘standard’ standards. 200 is more impressive, but it’s not reliable. and with 150 HP, it can relatively easily get knocked out. and we need to get through 2 development stages to get there. standard plays attackers like buzzwole and defensive decks that can deal with buzzwole (or at least get knocked out trying). we should try harder.
but... this is basically theme's top attacker that we can rely on. ouch.
So... maybe we should try building a control deck. how does one build a control deck, anyway?
in pokemon tcg, control means denial of a resource needed to execute their own plan: like cards in hand, cards in deck, energy or active pokemon placement.
a card like this:
Team Flare Grunt, [url="https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/xy/xy1/129/"]https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/xy/xy1/129/[/url]
well, that looks straightforwards. no energy, no way to attack and we can slowly beat them up. the limitation of a single energy per turn can also really help us here. but first, we need to discuss a concept called “gameplan”. what is a “gameplan”?
in short, it’s how a mostly-ideal game will be played on your part, considering both sides got a fair hand and nobody’s having any really divine draws (“I plan on pulling this card, which I have a single one in my deck, every time”). it’s important for control and important for tweaking aggro too. everybody needs a gameplan: how does your board look like? your hand? your ability to respond to changes?
in the case of energy denial, our basic gameplan is simple:
- Use precognitive aura to fetch an energy destruction card
- shoot down one of their energies.
- once they’ve exhausted their energy, finish them off
Simple, right? but we’re missing key components here. Which pokemon will be our active one, when all of this is happening? what’s stopping them from beating us while we try to shoot down their energy, by the time we can start precognitive aura’ing? how do we help this setup?
the solutions lie within another theme deck, Luminous frost.
Alolan Vulpix: [url="https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm/sm2/21/"]https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm/sm2/21/[/url]
Alolan Ninetales: [url="https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm3/28/"]https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-tcg/pokemon-cards/sm-series/sm3/28/[/url]
The Luminous barrier can accurately be described as one of the best friends of people having to fight decks filled with gobs and gobs of GX and EX not-so-pocket-anymore monsters. Now, it’s a weird place to find it in a theme deck, as theme decks have none of that to oppose. as if someone’s hinting that these should be used for standard instead. As an added bonus, Alolan Vulpix will help us get our combo up.
There we have it, “GarTales”. We do need to trade for energy destruction cards as well as other useful supporter staples, but we don’t need a single GX/EX pokemon for this to work. I’ve played a handful of games with it, it fares nicely as a budget deck. I’ve since built better budget decks which I’ll cover in future posts.
This deck has a major flaw though - it’s not so fun to play with and play against. You have to repeatedly aura and later lusamine until their resources are totally exhausted and only then strike. this can lead to very long games. as for the other player, energy destruction is really frustrating.
other than that, this deck is obviously extremely weak to decks running cards that can easily restore energy from the discard pile, as well as garbodor. you get what you pay for, eventually.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 22
* 1 Oranguru UPR 114
* 3 Gible UPR 96
* 2 Gabite UPR 98
* 3 Garchomp UPR 99
* 1 Gible FLI 60
* 3 Riolu UPR 66
* 1 Gabite FLI 61
* 3 Lucario UPR 67
* 3 Alolan Vulpix GRI 21
* 2 Alolan Ninetales BUS 28
##Trainer Cards - 29
* 2 Lusamine CIN 96
* 3 Professor's Letter XY 123
* 2 Team Skull Grunt SUM 133
* 4 Team Flare Grunt XY 129
* 3 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 4 Evosoda XY 116
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 2 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Scorched Earth FCO 110
* 1 N FCO 105
* 2 Plumeria BUS 120
##Energy - 9
* 1 Water Energy XYEnergy 9
* 1 Splash Energy BKP 113
* 7 Fighting Energy BLWEnergy 3
Total Cards - 60
****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
Edited by Matan1, 30 June 2018 - 10:32 PM.