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Cardz Shop

Deck Challenge #1 Results and Housekeeping

10.06.05  Welcome back to Cardz shop. After a month long hiatus, I’ve finally come back to finish up my challenge and take care of some other housekeeping issues. That aside, lets get onto the results of…


For those of you who don’t recall, here’s what the requirements were for this deck challenge:

Format: Hidd-on (HL-on)

Other restrictors:

You deck must contain two types of pokémon and colorless pokémon if you choose to use them.
Your deck must contain 28 energy, 14 of each different type. Basic energy only.
Your deck must contain two evolution lines, one for each type of pokémon used.
Of the evolution lines, one must contain 4 basics and 2 Stage 1s.
The other evolution line must contain 4 Basics, 2 Stage 1s and 1 Stage 2.
Your deck must contain 8 more basic pokémon, at least one of each type.
You deck must contain 11 trainers.
Your deck may contain a maximum of 2 rares.

Other parts of the challenge: If you could take out any five cards from the deck and add in five other cards from the Hidd-on format, what would they be and what cards in your current deck would you take out? Please list after your deck.

I thought this would be pretty easy for everyone and, since a new set would come out while I was gone, I expected to see the incorporation of this new set into some of the decks that would be submitted. But none of the decks sent to me had any traces of Unseen Legends in them. A little bit saddening, but the contest had to go on.

(Quick side note: This is not to belittle the quality of the decks submitted to me, but I didn’t get that many decks at all. At the most I got four decks and had to DQ one of them for having too many rares. You guys really need to step it up next time and show me how original y’all can be.)

Needless to say, this was a hard pick as all the decks were made quite well and all the pokémon choices were excellent for their chosen deck types. However, that doesn’t mean they were perfect. You’ll what I mean when I get to the winner’s deck.

The only real difference between the runner-up and the winner’s deck were their Trainer choices. One player decided to use a much stronger draw engine. The other chose to focus more on getting their evolutions out.

The decision finally came down to this (as both decks were more or less even in strategy): Do pokémon you only use for their colorless requirements count as colorless pokémon? My decision on this was: yes. And that made all the difference in the world for our runner-up, as it got his deck included…

RUNNER-UP: nport rssi

“CardzMaster Deck Challenge #1:
This decks main theme is to inflict status conditions
on the defending Pokemon. Vileplume’s line, Solrock,
and Bulbasaur do this. Grumpig and Vileplume are also
attackers and Plusle and Jirachi help get cards I need
to win the game. Because of the high energy required
I didn’t think that drawing power is less important
then evolving my pokemon.

Pokemon: 21

1 Vileplume EX
2 Gloom (HL)
4 Oddish (HL)

2 Grumpigs (DX Psypunch)
4 Spoinks (EM Knock Away)

1 Jirachi (DX)

3 Plusle (DX)

2 Solrock (DX)

2 Bulbasaur (F/L)

Trainers: 11

4 Wally’s Training
3 Celios Network

2 Swoop Teleporter

2 Vs. Seeker

Energy: 28

14 Grass Energy

14 Psychic Energy

If I could take switch five cards with five cards from
the above deck I would take out 2 Bulbasaurs, an
Oddish, a Spoink, and a Psychic energy and put in 2
Vileplume EXs, a Gloom, and 3 Stevens Advices.”

Wow, this is a nice deck. Let’s take an in-depth look.

+Strong Status theme (Vileplume, Bulba)
+Good ideas for supporting pokémon (Jirachi, Plusle, Solrock, Bulba)
+Very nice choice of trainers and great addition of Steven’s in your post modifications. (Spot searching is vital to the survival of decks like this)
+Swoop! + Jirachi combo very nice.
+Nice modifications. Fleshes out the lines well.

But the drawbacks…

-The Grumpig you chose wasn’t the greatest of choices. DX would have fit better in here.
-Lots of not-on-color pokémon. Makes me think you just used some common cop-outs. (The Solrock and Bulba are still original, but Plusle is being played a lot and so is Jirachi)
-VS Seeker decent, but not great in this deck.

The main problem with your deck was your supporting line. Yeah, Grumpig is a nice card, but Grumpig DX is so much better and is still and Uncommon. His use over EM Grumpig would have worked as anti-EX TecH and would have been greatly appreciated in this deck. Also, your choices of trainers in a deck like this was exceptional. Drawing the exact card you need at the right time is very difficult in decks like this. Nport rssi did the right thing in choosing to go the route of evo-searching trainers over simply a souped-up draw engine. The major downfall of this deck was the horrible choices of a back-up attacker, something needed badly in a deck with such low power to begin with.

Our runner-up and winner both focused on status as a large crux to their deck design. And, as we’ll see when comparing our runner-up to the winner, the one major difference in the decks was their choice of what type of trainers to play…

WINNER: Bullados

“I've always wanted to make a Poison themed deck, and this looked like as good a time as any to try something unique!

Pokemon (21):
4 Weedle RG
4 Zubat HL
2 Golbat HL
1 Crobat HL
4 Tentacool HL
2 Tentacruel HL
1 Tropius HL
3 Squirtle RG 83

Energy (28):
14 Water
14 Grass

Trainers (11):
3 Steven's Advise
3 Copycat
2 Admin
1 Rock
1 Shard
1 Retriever

Releash the sting of Poison types in this new Hydrobloom deck! Using the status effect of Poison coupled with free retreat and switching attacks, you can slowly whittle down your opponent until all of his Pokemon are screaming for the end to take them! Weedle is the most appropriate opener, as its attack can help fill up the bench for later. HL Crobat is a very effective attacker, whichever attack you choose to use. Tentacruel keeps the theme of free retreat with big poison.

In order to make this deck that much more deadly, you would have to go out and collect more Pokemon Trading Cards! Remove 5 Water energies, and replace those with 2 Golbat, 1 HL Crobat, 1 Crobat ex, and a Tentacruel, just to make the evolution lines a little bit more even. Also, Crobat ex gives the deck the big attacker for the big guns that you might have to take out later in the game.


Wow. Personally, this deck impresses me as I’ve been running Poison/Status decks sine the release of the original team Rocket set (side note: DARK MUK ROX!). So, to see poison such a strong theme in a deck really impressed me. But there is more than just the poison theme that makes this deck good…


+strong theme (poisoning for extra damage)
+strong choice of pokémon (Crobat and Tentacruel)
+good supporting pokémon (Weedle for benching, Tropius for healing)
+actually finding a feasible use for Tentacruel (sorry, this is one of my fad. Pokémon that has been ignored for far too long…)
+strong draw line of trainers
+great pseudo theme of disruption (Crobat, Rocket’s Admin., ATM Rock)
+Great TecH choices (Shard, Retriever for high Evos, ATMR)
+great fleshing out of main lines in five card additions

However, there are some serious and not so serious drawbacks to this deck…


-Squirtle the only pokémon to really make a use of W energy
-no source of spot drawing (something that lets you search your deck for a specific card, i.e. Celio’s, Wally’s, Scott, etc.).
-single Retriever not making much of an impact on the deck IMO.

The one thing that hurt this deck was the lack of spot drawing. Decks like this (from personal experience) have a very difficult time of running consistent evolution lines and need the extra spot drawing to help the decks run most smoothly. The changes I would have made in the deck would have been the dropping of the 5 (W) energy, but I would have put it only one more Golbat, one more Crobat, and three Wally’s Training, just to help with spot searching. Your draw line is already strong enough and, even though CrobEX would be a great addition to the deck, it’s not nearly as needed as the other cards.

Well, congrats to nport rssi and Bullados for their accomplishments. I’ll be contacting both of you about your prizes here in the near future. Again, congrats on your achievement.


Alright, whenever there’s a format change, you’re always left with great decks that you’d love to work on, but never got the chance. This is where you guys can see some old ideas that I never got to publish here in the shop and, hopefully you’ll be able to learn from some of them. I’m only listing four, but many decks like these are being deleted because of the format change to Hidd-on.

Our first housekeeping deck is from UPDAPUNX, who sent me an interesting Speedrill Modified deck. It was a possible contender for Grass week, but got beat out by the three decks featured:

pokemon 15
4 weedle
3 kakuna
4 beedrill
3 wurmple (call for friends)
1 ditto

trainers 27
4 stevens
4 celios net.
3 mr. brineys
4 rare candy
4 poke retriver
4 master balls
1 mr scott
3 battle frontier

energys 18
1 scramble
4double rainbow
13 grass

heres what my cousin wrote down.
i'm having trouble getting the beedrills out quick.

well basicly what i'm doing here is using wurmple to take out all my weedles. Then just try to evolve them all out so i could do 140 damage, just for three energys i hope you can help 'cause i need it pleeaase.

Well, I still think this deck COULD be viable in the new modified. Wurmple is one of the few non-legal cards in this deck. Beedrill is a powerhouse of a card, even though it has recently been overshadowed by another big grass based card (coughNidoqueencough). Wurmple could come out for some Plusle, but that’s the only big issue I see. There are other problems, but I’m just bringing this deck out so that everyone can see what some people were running for a time. I still think this deck could be viable, but it needs to be run with a lot of searching (Magcargo or Pidgeot) and a lot of draw power. Might consider some Boost along with one more Scramble in this deck as well.

Here’s another interesting deck sent to me by Joe, an old player who had considered getting back into the game recently. His deck shows a hybrid combination of two decks that were played heavily in the pre-Hidd-on format…

Pokemon (18)
2x Pidgey
1x Pidgeotto
2x Pidgeot
3 x Oddish
1x Gloom
2x Vileplume EX
2x Gardevoir EX
1x Mewtwo EX

Trainers (22)
3x Copy Cat
3x Steven's
2x Crystal Shard
2x Wally
4x Rare Candy
2x Switch
2x LPS
2x BF
2x Rocket's Admin

Energy (20)
2x Multi
9x Grass
9x Psychic

My goal is to shut down the trainer cards with Vileplume Ex. Gardevoir can do major late game damage with all the energy in play, and Mewtwo can charge itself late with energy from the discard pile. Pidgeot gets me the cards I need. LPS will counter any early BF for Pidgeot to run or BF can be locked in once I'm set up to counter an opposing Pidgeot.

Well, this deck is definitely thought out, but stretches itself too thin on resources. With Gardy and MewtEX rotated out, you could definitely focus on a trainer lock with VileplEX. If you would like, you could still keep the psychic influence through either DX Grumpig or Deoxys EX. Its another great deck idea.

Here’s an Unlimited deck that I received quite a while back. The reason for it being in Housekeeping and not a feature will be explained at the end of the article.

Hello ! I'm Bio from France. I'm preparing a deck for unlimited matches, I use it now on Apprentice :


POKéMON : 15

4 X Rattata TR
3 X Raticate GLRF
2 X Dark raticate TRR
2 X Aerodactyl FOSSIL
4 X Jirachi HL


4 X Fossil mysterious
4 X Double(Super) energy removal
4 X Energy removal
4 X Timmy au dressage (I believe this is Wally’s Training, not sure)
4 X PokéNav RS
4 X Oracle SK
4 X Bill
4 X recherche informatique (Computer Search)
3 X Pokémon tower PROMO
2 X rare candy SS

4 X Darkness
3 X Recycle
1 X Double colorless

STRATEGY : place Raticate and Aerodactyle in the first or second turn with Jirachi or/and search cards. Use double energy removal to discard all oppenen'ts energy cards, with raticate's pickup attack to return the energy and double energy removal in my hand. Do that combo to discard all oppenent's energys, and then, dark raticate is suffisant to kill basics pokémon...

Well, this is definitely an original deck. I really enjoy the ER/SER combo with RG Raticate. It’s very original. I worry about the low HP on those pokémon, but I think that since this deck hits hard and fast, this shouldn’t be a problem. Some trainer choices are, to say the least, interesting. You have the basic idea. There are just faster cards out there for you to use. Also, you should plan on using just a tad more energy. And use the Fossils from SK (Buried Fossil in particular). Rare Candy I don’t see as being a major factor in this deck, and the same goes for PokéNav. Re-evaluate your trainer choices and you should do fine.

For our final deck in housekeeping, we look at another international deck. This deck I’m going to look at slightly more in depth since it still is a legal deck in her area. Yet this will be the last of my RS-on Modified fixes. Again, read the last part of this article…

4 X Jirachi
4 X Grimer RR
4 X Muk EX
1 X Dark Muk
1 X Wobbufet SS
=14 PKMN

4 X Multi NRJ
10 X Grass NRJ
=14 NRJ

4 X Swoop! Teleporter RR
1 X Super scoop up
3 X Mary's request UF
2 X Steven's advice
3 X Rocket's admin
2 X Wally's training
2 X Great ball
2 X ATM Rock
3 X Team aqua's hideout
1 X Scott
1 X Master ball
4 X NRJ removal
3 X Pokémon reversal
1 X Surprise time machine

I need some advices !! It's a T2 deck, I play Muk EX turn 2.

Dark muk can use ATM rock against feraligatr EX or other powerful deck without poképowers... Wobbufet is for psychic Pokémon that can OHKO Muk EX (wobbufet, grumpig etc...) and Pokémon EX. Thank you !!

Well, since I played Muk EX heavily, I think I can fix this pretty quickly. The TecH Dark Muk is a good idea as is Wobuffet. But I’d run 2 Wobuffet just in case one should get prized. You don’t want needed TecH prized in a game versus a psychic powerhouse (GardyEX and Metagross in your area, obviously).

Energy seems a little lacking. Mux EX needs 3 energy to run well and, frankly, I don’t see that happening a lot with just running 16 energy. Bump it up to at least 18, if not 19 energy. You’ll need at least that much. Also, don’t be afraid to TecH in some Metal, as sometimes you’ll need to use Jirachi and attack in the Mirror Match.

Trainers could also have some better choices. Max out Mary, as you’ll get 3 out of here every time. 3 Admin seems like 1 too many to me and 2 Steven’s seems like too few. With the release of PETM, Wally has become almost obsolete. I say PETM over Wally any day. Great Ball just sucks IMO, along with the lone Scott. You should have use for him in your deck. Master Ball is an OK choice, but look for something to replace it in the near future. 3 TAHQ is the perfect amount, along with 4 ER2 and 3 Reversal. I’m neutral on the Time Machine, as I’ve seen it work and I’ve seen it fail too many times.


Well, a lot has happened in my life since I left for the State Fair. And, again, I’m so sorry its take so long to get back to everyone about what’s happened in the contest. The housekeeping was put in here to make two points.

1) There has been a format change. Hence, a lot of the decks in my inbox are now obsolete. Those decks have now been deleted, freeing up a lot of room in my inbox for new decks.

2) Until PUI starts to recognize formats other than Modified more, I will not be doing any Unlimited fixes. The reason for this is twofold. One is that PUI does not recognize Unlimited hardly at all with tournaments (there is no Unlimited Nationals or Worlds, please don’t tell me that the winner of Modified Worlds would be the winner of Unlimited Worlds. They would be two completely different people. The second is that I am not relevant in that format anymore and do not feel I could adequately fix an Unlimited deck right now. Until I feel up to the challenge and until PUI recognizes formats other than just Modified, I won’t do Unlimited fixes.

Now, some may debate that Unlimited is a recognized format. I’m currently working on an article that may just shoot down this theory. Stay tuned. It’ll be my next release (hopefully sooner than this one).

Also, since the format has just changed, I’m taking a break from fixing decks right now. I personally feel I can only offer well-guided criticism and not really get into fully Meching a deck until there is some sort of major tournament. And these tournaments will be happening closer to and around the time of City Champs. So, go ahead and send me your decks. But don’t expect your deck to get up on the site soon. I’ll still try and respond to everything I get, but no guarantees.

Since I won’t be fixing decks, I’m going to switch over to journalism for at least a couple months. I have two projects in the works, with a third pending approval. I’m sure you all will enjoy each of them. The next article I’ll publish should be very informative to all of you to see the pros and cons of certain TCGs, including Pokémon. The second article you all will have a lot of sway in as far as content goes. You’ll understand in a few weeks.

Again, thanks to all who entered and forgive me for the delay of response. I look forward to your audience in the future.

Cardz out.


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