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Need help building a beginner deck for my son

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Hey everyone,

 I am a father of 1 looking to build my son his first pokemon deck. I am somewhat familiar with the game. I played a bit in the base set days and in 2014 but since then I have been completely out of the pokemon scene. My son on the other hand ( 8 years old) asks me the other day to teach him Pokemon.




I asked him what he would want and he said Fire/Lightning. Charizard being the main hitter.

Looking into the cards I found Charizard XY (base set upgrade) and thought it would neat to build a deck around the card everyone loved when I was young.


Where this is leading I'm trying to build something in the Unlimited format that would contain Charizard while using Lightning Pokemon  The goal is to have simple play for a newbie and no EX/GXs (not yet)This is what I have setup so far


Pokemon: 24
4x Charmander
3x Charmelon
3x Charizard XY

3x Vulpix
3x Nintales (EVO)

2x Volcanion

3x PIkachu (2x Crimson and 1x Legendary Tres)
3x Raichu (Generations)


Supporters: 9
2x Blacksmith
2x Prof. Juniper
3x Lysandre

2x Pokemomn Center Lady


Trainers: 13

2x switch

3x Pokemon Communication

2x Level ball

3x Energy Retrieval

3x Rare Candy


Energy 14:

9x Fire Energy
3x Lightning Energy
2x Double Colorless Energy


Any advice would be most appreciated. =)

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You're on a hard spot. The game being so competitive, is hard for young players, even with the best cards as most of the best decks are "easy to play, but hard to master".


Think that Unlimited is a jungle. Everything is allowed! So all tricky cards and dirt combos will be in play, probably. It would be better to limit a bit the rules playing Expanded, where there is without any doubt a competitive scene but not so top as in Standard, and not so exclusive as in Legacy. With a casual deck, you should maintain your average rating about 50% and face a wide range of good to casual decks, still funny, but just my opinion..


As for the deck... although probably the most loved pokémon ever, Charizard cards have never been so good. Good thing of fire is hits hard, but on the other side use to need a lot of energy to do it.


The combo with Lighting doesn't seem the best. That's what happens with feelings over reason (aka competition). Yes I also tried with Char... the 1st deck I tried was Charizard EX, when XY was last set released and I was starting to play. I had some wins but never worked really at a high level. Never got the support cards and partner pokémon to do it. A pity. And I can say, if anytime Charizard have a competitive deck, will be probably the most played deck ever :D


Anyway, casual or competitive play, to improve a bit you ned around 16 pokémon as much, up to 34 trainers, and go with 16 energies as much, because is fire. A standard competitive deck runs 8-14, not more.


Remove the Ninetales line. At least that EVO Ninetales doesn't seem to help so much. Also 4-2-4 Charizard with 3 or 4 Candies would be great. You win 6 spots.


You need 4 Vs Seeker and 1 ACE SPEC (there are some that are not expensive, get a look to all). Those are great cards for Expanded. 5 spots filled!


Another must is 4 Ultra ball. Level ball, Heavy ball and Nest ball are other helpful ways to search for some pokémon.


Another Blacksmith could be great. Battle compressor it's a combo that could be interesting (discard energies, then  blacksmith to a pokémon).


I would remove 1 Energy retrieval to add a Super rod. Another good card to recover some resources is Rescue stretcher.


Add 2 N. Will help late game and disrupting opponent at the same time. Early game draws 5-6 cards.


If you can manage to get the 4 Vs seeker, cut Lysandre to 2 (or 1 and 1 Guzma)


1 copy of Lillie is interesting. Also a couple Brigette.


Things like Field blower, Choice band and Float stone are a must in a lot of decks. Evosoda,or Professor letter could be a good help.


Raichu is not bad but Thunderbolt it's a bad attack (needs a lot of energy and discards also a lot) so I wouldn't play any of the Lighting energy. Get some help to hit hard with the Choice band or Muscle band and a stadium like Sky field. Another interesting stadium could be Scorched earth (again, the energies> blacksmith combo and no need of B compressors, although those are good with Vs seeker also, not only with energies).


You can get some of that cards from Theme decks from the shop (500 coins). I suggest you get Mach strike and play Theme now and then to get the coins needed to get the next Theme deck, the one that includes some cards you're looking for. You already have some of the mentioned cards in collection when starting the game (the 2 N, 4 UB, 1 Vs seeker, and some more).


I know it's a lot to process and it's not easy to get the right cards always but, if you make some change, let us know how it's working to go on with more tips if needed.

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Charizard and Raichu really don't mix. Charizard is a suboptimal card that needs a TON of support to get going; no time to mess around with Raichu (which is actually a much better card btw).


If you're using Charizard (I assume it's the baby evolutions one), you should complement it with partners that solve its energy issue, such as Malamar (psychic recharge ability). If you're using Raichu, it's much easier to google search a decklist, since Raichu/Bats was a meta deck in the past.


Or as Chasista suggested you can stick with theme vs for a while until you've accumulated enough tokens and tickets, as acquiring some good cards (e.g Lele, Zoroark GX) as a F2P player can be quite (for lack of a better word).....tough.


EDIT: Forget about Carbink BREAK. That only attaches to fighting pokemon

Edited by BowserLuigi
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Thanks for all your help, BowserLuigi and Chasista!


You're awesome!

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I would like to give you a few tips & a deck list.


I will start with the tips first and show my Charziard deck list as Grand Finally.




#1 - Minor Change from Fire/Lightening to Fire/Normal.


I understand that your son isn’t thinking about deck synergy. He is as you said a beginner trying to get in the swing of Pokémon. You being his father wanted to see what he likes. He expressed his interest in Fire & Lightening Pokemon.


The problem is most Fire & Lightening Pokemon don’t have synergy with each other. The result is your Charizard deck will have conflict. It is a issue because if you duel another person. It can seriously hurt your son’s chances of winning.


My suggestion would be to either make 2 separate decks 1 for Fire & 1 for Lightening




Try to change the Lightening type to a Normal type.


The reason why is because Normal type Pokémon are universal. They are compatible with any type of energy. This allows you to only use 1 specific type of energy.


#2 - Minor Formatting Change from Unlimited to Expanded.


Think of the Format system like a straight line


————Theme——-> Standard———-> Expanded———-> Legacy————> Unlimited


The further right you go the more experience you need because the deck strategies increase.


The further left you go the more money you need because the demand on specific cards increase.


If your completely new, It is best to start with Theme duels.


If your mildly new, It is best to start with Expanded duels.


Lastly, I will share my Expanded Charizard Deck List:


Pokémon: 18


1x Oranguru

1x Shaymin-Ex - you can make this another Oranguru if you want to avoid using EX


3x Charmander

3x Charmeleon

1x Charizard (Evolution) - I like running 1 of this to deal with Anti-EX & GX Decks.

2x Charizard GX - you can use more (Evo) if you want. I use the GX because it is a beast which adds a lot of extra muscle to the deck


3x Fenneken

2x Braxin

2x Delphox - (Mystical Fire) is only one I use because it lets you draw more cards. It is very good.



Trainers: 28


2x Battle Compressors - It helps dump all your basic energy into discard.

1x Computer Search

2x Field Blower or Scorth Earth - They both help remove pesky stadiums opponents might have

3x Rare Candy - It never dead because of both Charizard & Delphox

1x Sacred Ash

1x Special Charge - you never want to draw basic energy only special energies.

2x Ultra Ball

2x VS Seeker


2x Blacksmith

2x Brigette

2x Colress

3x Cynthia

2x Lysandre

3x N


Energy: 14


4x Double Color Energy

4x Burning Energy

6x Fire Energy


That is the deck list I use.


I have had some success with it.


It is something to think about for sure.


Maybe it can give you idea’s.

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I wish to thank all of you. Not only were you helpful on ideas but you went into detail with it giving me more clarity on how to approach this tcg to my son. I will update later on how my son feels about the tcg. I have played several tcgs over the years and I enjoy them, its great to see this gene might carry on =)


Update: He loves it. We have been playing tons of games. Looking to add grass type pokemon to it, because we have a Blastoise deck and whenever he faces it theres a struggle (rightfully so) so I told him Id ask the community which Grass types would work for him. Thanks in advance =)

Edited by CharZ-BarZ

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