Deckbuilding For Starting and Advanced Players

Today I will be discussing the principles of a good deck for BOTH starting and advanced players.
    Every deck needs a good strategy for it to become successful whether it be fast, High Hp, cheap attacking pokemon or pokemon with extremely high Hp combined with Alakazam to keep your active alive. For those of you who have just picked up pokemon TCG I suggest that your first deck should be an archetype or a variation of an archetype. For advanced players, try and come up with your own strategy. If your stumped on a strategy just flip through your binder and look for unique cards that can support a strategy.
    After you’ve decided on a strategy you need pokemon to support the strategy. So if your strategy is to damage the bench and the active pokemon then finish everybody off with Jynx’s Meditate attack, put in some Fossil Raichu and other bench damaging pokemon along with maybe a few Mr. Mime along with 4 Jynx because of their meditate attack. You also might want to include some haymaker pokemon for some good start of the game power and strong pokemon to fight for you why you charge up your evolutions or heavy energy pokemon. Here’s a list of haymaker pokemon for you to use.
PSYCHIC-Jynx & Promo Mewtwo
ELECTRIC-Electabuzz(Base Set)
GRASS-Scyther(Does not need grass energy)
    The next thing you need is a lot of basics to prevent a mulligan. I’d say you need around 10-14 basics. Another thing you might want to consider is some stall pokemon used to stall why you build up your heavy hitters. Unlike haymaker pokemon that fight why you charge up, these guys let you just about get your whole bench pumped up while they sit there and die. Here’s a list of stalling pokemon.
1st class choice(s)
Chansey-Almost never give her energy. Her MAIN purpose is to stall why you pump up your pokemon NOT to kill herself.
Kangaskhan-My personal favorite because of his ability to draw cards. This is one of the few cards that works great with only one in a deck. Do NOT charge up Comet Punch.
2nd class choice(s)
Likitung-He can stall forever with a one energy paralyze attack and 90 Hp. Also great for those of you short on cash because he’s an uncommon.
Snorlax-His unique ability to avoid status effects, greatly helps his stalling ability.
3rd class choice(s)
Onix-Not that great except for his Hp. It’s really not worth the 2 energy for harden and he’s not colorless which is the main reason he’s a 3rd class stall.
    The next thing to have is a powerhouse. Almost all decks need a powerhouse. Why? Without powerhouses the late-game will just demolish you. The problem is, powerhouses take a long time to build up so that’s where you use a haymaker/stall pokemon.
    The next thing to learn is to pyramid your evolutions. Why? Because it gives you a greater chance of getting out the evolution and if a basic/stage 1 is “knocked out” you should still have enough basics/stage 1s to reach you final evolved form. In other words; if you go 3-3 on the Dewgong line and a Seel faints you now have a useless Dewgong. Oh yeah, you should almost never have more than 2 evolutions line and no more than 1 stage 2 line. As for pokemon quantity, never have more than 20 and never have less than 12. And almost always use MULTIPLES! (There are a few exceptions)
    Now with pokemon to support your strategy you need
    Now with your strategy and pokemon set, you need trainers. The trainers, like pokemon, need to support your strategy. Here’s an example of how to choose trainers.
    John is building a new energy denial deck with Golduck, Dewgong, Lapras, and Kangaskhan. John thinks to himself that he’ll put in 4 energy removal and 4 super energy removal to support his theme. He also decides to put in 3 energy retrieval to get back those energy lost with Super Energy Removal. After thinking he also decides to add in 3 Gust Of Wind so that benched pokemon can’t get pumped up.  Then he puts in 2 switches because of his pokemon have fairly high retreat costs. And last he puts in 3 Bill and 2 Oak for card drawing power and 2 Gambler so he won’t deck himself.
    Here’s a list of a FEW of the best trainers
PC Search
Energy Removal
Super Energy Removal
Energy Retrieval
Gust Of Wind
Item Finder
Pokemon Trader
Scoop Up
Mr. Fuji
    Most decks need between 20 and 27 energy. For heavy energy decks or discarding fire decks I suggest 28-30 energy. Haymakers usually run 18-24(Including DCE). How I figure out the energy is to start off with pokemon and trainers then find out the space I have left for energy. If the amount I have fits between the average of my deck type I put in that many energy then play-test about 5 or so games then determine a number from that and play-test that number. Here’s an example of how I find out energy...
    I already have 14 pokemon and 23 trainers and am playing a haymaker. 23+14=37. So now I subtract 37 from 60. 60-37=23. 23 energy fits between 18 and 24 energy so I’ll play-test with that to see how it works.   
    I’m pretty sure most of you know what the “metagame” is, but for those of you who don’t it means it’s what a pokemon player does to determine what the popular strategy/deck/type is around his/her area. After deciding what the “metagame” is in your area you might want to change your deck so it’s not so vulnerable against the “metagame”. Another thing you might want to do is make a deck to combat the “metagame”. For Ex., the “metagame” around your area is Charizard decks. To combat these you might want to make a water deck with Energy and Super Energy Removals to keep Charizard at bay while you destroy him with water pokemon.
    If you choose to make a deck to combat the”metagame” make sure your deck can combat against other decks beside the “metagame”.
    Here’s an example of a deck following these principles...
4xEnergy Removal
3xEnergy Retreival
20 Water Energy
    This deck has 12 basics which is between 10 and 14. It has between 20 and 27 energy. It has a powerhouse(Dewgong), Haymaker(Laprs), and a stall(Kangaskhan). It has a good strategy and supports the strategy with pokemon and trainers(Energy Denial). It also refers to the “metagame” of the Charizard decks. There is no DCE in this deck because kangaskhan only needs 1 energy and Dewgong is for Aurora Beam.   

JohnDaTycoon - johndatycoon@mindspring.com