Deck Emergency!



Caleb sent in a deck that he’s been having problems with. And it does need a lot of help.


Caleb says, “I put Unown N on the bench to protect against colorless Pokémon. I usually end up using Cyndaquil the most in a game because of its 1 energy/20 damage attack. Tyrogue comes in if Cyndaquil faints. All this to bide time to get either Charmeleon or Arcanine (or both!) fully powered up, and sent out. Electabuzz is in because of its 70HP, but not much else. I use Brock's Training Method to get one of the Charmeleon/Arcanine evolution lines early in the battle. Berry helps some to...The problem is, i usually lose with deck, because i don't have any pokemon left on the field, not because they get all their prizes.

Note, Even though i have lot's of rares and holos, i keep them all in my card binder, and i don't want to put them in my deck unless it is absolutely necessary.


Pokémon                                                                     Trainers

1x Cyndaquil (neo gen)                                                  1x Berry

1x Unown N (neo discovery)                                            1x Bill

1x Tyrogue (neo discovery)                                            1x Pluspower

1x Koga's Pidgey (gym challenge)                                   1x Pokedex

1x Electabuzz (neo gen)                                                  1x Secret Mission

1x Growlithe (base)                                                        1x Energy Flow

1x Arcanine (base)                                                         1x Low Pressure System

1x Blaine's Charmander (gym heroes)                             1x Energy Search

1x Pikachu (jungle)                                                        1x Moo Moo Milk

1x Lt. Surge's Magnemite (gym heroes)                           1x Blaine's Last Resort

2x Charmander (base)                                                   2x Gust Of Wind

2x Charmeleon (base)                                                    2x Energy Removal

2x Ponyta (base)                                                            2x Potion

2x Rapidash (jungle)                                                      1x Super Potion

                                                                                    2x Switch


13x Fire Energy

6x Lightning Energy

1x Potion Energy

1x Full Heal Energy


This deck is a perfect opportunity to talk about some deck-building basics that everyone needs to think about when building their decks. Caleb is worried about the condition of his cards and therefore doesn’t want to use his good ones in his deck. Everyone should know about deck protectors. These are clear plastic, flexible sleeves that fit over your cards and allow you to play with them without damaging them. There are a few good brand out there, but I use Ultra PRO. You can find them at any hobby shop. They usually come in boxes of 100 and can have colored backs which will also allow you to mix Japanese cards into your deck without worrying about their different backs.

The other thing you want to realize is that a deck needs consistency. That means that you can depend on drawing the cards that you need and not have to worry about them being buried in your deck. Not getting a needed card for 3 or 4 turns will spell doom. That, more than anything, is what will cause the above deck to lose. So, how to get consistency? Have multiple copies of the same card and have search and draw cards that help you find them. This deck has way too many ones and twos of cards. It need to have 3’s and 4’s of its most important cards. Some cards can be kept at one or two, but these should be cards that you won’t need all the time or not until late game. Now, if you have 3 or 4 copies of each card, that means that you can’t have all these different Pokémon and Trainers in your deck. You’ll need to choose some to drop while you increase the count of those you keep.

You have a Fire theme here, so let’s keep that. Electabuzz is also a good card, so we can backup the Fire with him, which will help counter Water decks. You’ll need more drawing power. Pokémon is unusual in TCG games in how much draw power is available, so take advantage of it.

Here, Caleb, try this. It’s not a very strong deck, but it’s a step up from where you were:

Pokémon (23)                                                             Trainers (16)

3x Cleffa (neo genesis)                                                   3x Berry

1x Unown N (neo discovery)                                            3x Gust Of Wind

2x Tyrogue (neo discovery)                                            4x Prof Elm

3x Electabuzz (base set)                                                 4x Computer Search

3x Growlithe (base)                                                        2x Switch

3x Arcanine (base)                                                        

3x Charmander (base)                                                  

3x Charmeleon (base)                                                   

2x Charizard (base, base 2, or Legendary Coll.)              


Energy (21)                                                                

9x Fire Energy                                                              

4x Double Colorless Energy                                           

4x Recycle Energy                                                         

4x Lightning Energy