Single Card Strategies - GLOOM

Hello fellow trainers!  I would like to take the time to enlighten you on a little used, underacheiving card in the Pokemon Trading Card game, He goes by the name of Gloom and woe to those who do not take him seriously...

Name: Gloom (Jungle Set)
Type: Stage 1 -- from Oddish Card
#: card 37 of 64
Rarity: Uncommon
Color: Grass
HP: 60 HP
Weakness: Fire
Resistance: None
Retreat: 1
Pokemon #: 44
Species: Weed
Level: 22


[G] Poisonpowder: The Defending Pokemon is now Poisoned.  [GG] Foul Odor (20): Both the Defending Pokemon and Gloom are now Confused (after doing damage).


At first glance, it doesn’t look all that great.  60HP’s for a stage 1 evolution isn’t that good.  Many evolved Pokemon can take it out in one shot and that is always a threat.  Fire Pokemon eat this card for lunch and that too is a very serious weakness. However it does have a low retreat cost of one, which is very reasonable and it’s SPLENDID attacks MORE than make up for the weakness.

Poisonpowder is a GUARANTEED poison shot.  Granted it doesn’t deal any additional damage, but for 1 grass energy you can put a Pokemon and his trainer “on the clock” so to speak.  Poison is a very useful tool in eliminating potential threats. It is a slow way to finish a Pokemon off and leaves time for your opponent to use a quick Scoop Up, Mr. Fuji or even merely retreat to the bench to remove the effect, but it forces your opponent to deal with it, forcing him to waste resources to remove the poison and that in itself is an advantage for you.  However for Gloom it’s the ‘finisher’ for his primary attack, Foul Odor.

Foul Odor is an incredibly strong attack for a moderate Pokemon.  A mere two grass energy enables you to 1.) Deal 20 points of damage which isn’t fantastic like Electabuzz, but it’s good and 2.) GUARANTEED CONFUSION.  This ability is incredibly strong when used correctly in a deck.  No other Pokemon can make the claim of GUARANTEED confusion for so little energy cost.  It’s drawback is that it also confuses Gloom.  This drawback however is easily remedied and a deck could be built around that drawback and have ways to deal with it.


My first experiences with Gloom came shortly after Jungle came out and Scott Gerhardt was in early development of the Haymaker variant, Potpourri.

I was at the Trainer Showdown in Houston, Texas early last year and I met up with Scott and Gordon Kane. Gordon was working on a deck with Venomoth which gave my ‘classic’ Haymaker a pretty heavy beating.  I was facinated on how he would use Venomoth’s attack to confuse my Pokemon and sit back and watch me self-destruct under the effects of confusion.  I immediately saw the potential of confusion and how it could be used as a powerful weapon.  Afterwards Gordon, Scott, and I talked about Venomoth and it’s confusion effect and Scott said that his new Potpourri deck didn’t really have trouble with it. My ‘classic’ Haymaker however could not withstand it. We also concluded that Venomoth, while a great Pokemon in it’s defense, still was a ‘50/50’ Pokemon and therefore not reliable for tournament play.

Fast forward two weeks. Scott has been on a rampage with his Potpourri deck.  It’s all over the internet, people are playing it and winning all over the place.  Gordon and myself are playing it.  It truly is the strongest deck during that time (pre-fossil).  Immediately I set my sights on building the ‘FOIL’ deck.  (No, not the shining foil cards) A deck designed SPECIFICALLY to eliminate Haymakers (and their variants).  I was still amazed at Gordon’s Venomoth deck was able to put Hitmonchan and Electabuzz in a rough situation.  I also knew that I HATE coin flips.  They never work out and always fail when you need them the most.  Enter Gloom.  Gloom guaranteed confusion AND as a bonus would guarantee poison as well.  Looking at it’s basic evolution, Oddish, I saw that it had 50 hp’s, not bad.  Two, 1 energy attacks, one with a 50/50 status effect (see Electabuzz), the other a ‘Summon Target Oddish’s Brother’.  I quickly built a deck around Gloom and I had my perfect foil.  I took it to my local tournaments and knocked around all the Haymaker players.  They couldn’t understand how my deck worked and couldn’t isolate the threats within the deck.

Here’s how it looked:

Gloom Day

4 Oddish


1 Vileplume

4 Scyther

3 Electabuzz

2 Lickitung


7 Electric

12 Grass



4 Bill

3 Oak

3 Switch

3 Super Energy Removal

2 Gust of Wind

2 Scoop Up

1 Energy Retrieval

1 Item Finder

1 Computer Search

“How does that kill a Haymaker deck?”

(This was taken from one of my old reports, Here is the link:

http://www.pojo.com/KillerDecks/decks1199/1103e.htm It has been edited) =)

The original idea behind this deck was to crush Haymakers. The trick is Gloom’s Foul Odor and it’s GUARANTEED confusion. However it has a drawback in that it will confuse Gloom as well. That is not really a problem. Gloom’s retreat cost of 1 gives a 50/50 chance of successful retreat. 3 Switches also help to send it back to the bench to cure it. Last but not least is Vileplume. I RARELY use Vileplume at all in this deck. He is merely there to cure Gloom and of course, he is a heavy hitter for 3 grass, with a somewhat nice Pokemon Power (when it works). Anyhow once Gloom retreats, Scyther moves up, then Scyther retreats (for free), Gloom comes back, no longer confused and ready to strike. Hit the opponent’s active with Gloom’s GUARANTEED poison and now it’s in a REAL rough spot.

Ok so how do I kill a Haymaker deck? Well I wait for Hitmonchan or Electabuzz to come out to active. Both have a nasty retreat cost. I use Gloom’s Foul Odor to confuse them. This makes sure that they will sit there and either a.) waste energy TRYING to retreat or b.) attack and TRY to not to deal 20 to themselves. Follow this up with poison and usually it’s game over for that active. This used to work great after Jungle came out because people were removing Scoop Ups from their Haymakers to add other trainer cards. People just don’t realize how IMPORTANT Scoop Up is until they hit a status altering deck. Lickitung was added for psychic protection (dumb Mr. Mime) and his confusion ability as well. Scyther is used for extra punch but mainly for keeping Hitmonchans frustrated and the retreat trick mentioned above. Electabuzz is the ‘cleanup’ hitter which can follow up Gloom’s attack with some heavy damage.

A couple of weeks later someone came up with a rough version of ‘Turbo WigglyTuff’ and that kept me from playing the deck exclusively.  It’s tough to stop turn two ‘Tuffs’ without Hitmonchan to Jab/Haymaker it out of the universe. I went back to playing Potpourri to win and then Fossil came out.  Fossil Magmar basically killed my Gloom Day deck.  People took out their Hitmonchans since Scyther was in everyones deck and replaced him with Magmar, which just beats on my grass Pokemon. I still bring the deck out from time to time. It’s a strong deck and most of all it’s FUN TO PLAY.


Gloom has alot of potential in an environment dominated with basic Pokemon.  His abilities are incredibly strong and can lock a game down and slow it to your pace.  However to make him work effectively you have to dedicate plenty of resources to make his drawback not so bad.  Switches seem to be the best remedy, Full Heal could also be substituted in but are not as good an utility card as Switch.  Perhaps Team Rocket’s new energy card, Full Heal Energy could be worked in.

Thanks for reading.  Good luck trainers!

Keith Williams (thallid12@home.com)

Master Pokemon Trainer

Occasional Exclusive Contributing Writer to The Pojo

Supporter of the Brian Brokaw Official ‘Bill’ Movement =)

Major Supporter of “Work Your Way up the Low Bracket to Avoid Having to Play Scott Gerhardt” Strategy =)

Self-Proclaimed Force Behind Psychic Stall Deck (Wait, that looks like Scott’s Escalator deck....SHHHHHHHHH!) =)

2nd Runner-up on “Who Wants to Marry a Pokemon Master?” (Scott won that too!) =)