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City Championships Metagame

So uh.. THAT was a long hiatus.

I guess this article's going to have to be pretty good to make up for the 6 month delay..

.. so get ready to be disappointed!

It's midway into December, we have no idea where Nationals will be held, nor is there any info on the invite structure for Worlds, and we have a wide-open format. Seeing as I can do nothing about the first two, here's a (hopefully) informative list to ensure that you do well at your next City Championship!

The CC Logo
What a snappy logo
You should know the drill by now, and if you don't, go ahead and check this article. In brief, this article will help you better understand the current metagame, and familiarize you with the decks that are being played all around the world!*

* "The World" does not include Japan

56K -- as usual -- beware!

SP Variants

We're going to start off with SP decks, as they happen to be destroying the format.

And guess which Trainer-locking steel-dragon is top of the list?

Dialga G Dialga/Garchomp

Once again starting us off is Dialga G, this time with his new buddy Garchomp C Lv.X. The strategy, briefly, is to get a Deafen lock going to deprive your opponent of their Trainers and Stadiums (and to Stage 2 decks, denying them their Rare Candies and Broken Time-Spaces is akin denying them sweet, sweet oxygen), eventually getting a Dialga tank with 4 Special Metals, Expert Belt, and a Garchomp C to Heal(ing Breath) any damage that will accumulate on a 4 Special Metal Dialga tank (hint: not that much!). However, it should be said that this deck has far too many options than a simple "tank and heal Dialga while deafening" strategy would suggest.

A popular variant is the (horribly) named "Lady GaGa," where Luxray GL joins in on the fun. Aside from helping the Gyarados matchup, the sheer number of strategical options that Luxray GL Lv.X offers is worthy to a deck that can go so many ways about crippling the opponent.

Garchomp C Lv.XEverything is clearly not "sugar and spice and everything nice," however! Blaziken FB and Infernape 4 force the deck to ignore Dialga for other cards in the deck that won't get burninated for x2 Weakness, a fast Machamp is always problematic, and Relicanth's Grand Swell offers problems when used by Gengar/Machamp/GeChamp. The deck also happens to be ludicrously tight in space, and thus require some expert deckbuilding to come up with a consistent build that still has answers against Dialga's enemies.

However, in a format this wide, all the outs that Dialga/Garchomp (and sometimes /Luxray) offers is worth a glance. The deck offers Trainer/Stadium/Body lockdown, disruption, tanking, healing, sniping, energy removal, and just plain low-cost-high-damage attacks and high HP. Seriously, what else do you want, Dialga to fill out your decklist FOR you?

And hey, Chris Fulop is playing it, that should be reason enough for you to sleeve those league Dialgas and play your very own Dialga/Garchomp deck! That guy's a genius.

Blaziken FB Lv.X BlazeRay

A little elaboration for those unfamiliar with the concept might be in order. BlazeRay is, as you can see from the shiny pictures to your left, the combination of Blaziken FB Lv.X (Infernape 4 Lv.X also a possibility) and Luxray GL Lv.X, and usually features Garchomp C Lv.X as well, but BlazeRayChomp is not nearly as catchy a name as BlazeRay is. And thus, like an ugly bassist, Garchomp is at the back of the stage while those studly Blaziken and Luxray (vocals and guitar, respectively) with their good looks are shoved into the spotlight. But I digress *ahem*

You might recall the mention of Blaziken FB in the list of cards that Dialga/Garchomp does not particularly enjoy facing. And if you don't, you might need some help, because it was ONE paragraph ago. What are you, a Goldeen? However, let us not get off track: Dialga just plain doesn't like Blaziken. It certainly has ways around it, and simply playing a Fire type will not defeat a Dialga/Garchomp list which would have an answer to Jet Shoot in the form of a Promo Toxicroak or Quagsire GL. Yes, you read that right, Quagsire GL. Despite these factors, however, it's nice to realize that a fresh, undamaged Dialga G Lv.X with 4 Special Metals will go down to a single Jet Shoot (which costs, oh, a Fire Energy and an Energy Gain).

Luxray GL Lv.XAside from its intrinsic advantage against Dialga/Garchomp, BlazeRay is a deck that embodies chaos! The overwhelming disruption that this deck causes is what makes it such an excellent deck. Blaziken FB's Luring Flame and Luxray GL Lv.X's Bright Look mess around with your Bench, virtually every single card in the deck does quite a lot of damage for just an Energy Gain + a single colored Energy, and the list has the flexibility to run 3-4 Power Sprays. Suppose you're Mr. Setup von Stagetwo, an awkwardly named gentleman running a random Stage 2 deck. You need to get your big, strong Stage 2 Pokémon into play, so that you can start doing your massive damage! You start the game off with a basic, attach a Call Energy, and Call for a Baltoy and the basic of the main Stage 2 line. But what's this? Your opponent, who started with a Blaziken FB, drops a Luxray GL and a Garchomp C, attaches a Fire, and Luring Flames your Baltoy. But you don't let this put you on tilt, and simply attach an Energy to retreat your Baltoy, and evolve into Claydol. You say "Cosmic Po-"


Slightly on tilt, you Roseanne for an Energy and an Unown G, Guard your Claydol so that it doesn't get Luring Flamed, and pass.

Kanye West follows this up by a Bright Look on Claydol and a Flash Impact + Flash Bite x2 combo, Power Sprays your Uxie next turn, and mows through the rest of your Basics. Kanye West goes on to top cut, and you go 1-4.

And that's why BlazeRay is one of the best decks in the format.

Gallade 4 Lv.X Luxray GL/Gallade 4/Manectric

We all know that spread is dead. Nidoqueen RI made double sure of that. And now we have Garchomp C Lv.X. So where on earth did this deck come from?

The above two decks helped the matter. Nidoqueen RI tends to be a 1-0-1 tech in Stage 2 decks that can afford to throw it in. With the decrease in Stage 2 decks being played, the amount of Nidoqueen around has gone down proportionally. And unlike the slow, clunky Tyranitar, both Gallade 4 and Manectric spread for quite few Energy. In fact, just one (+Energy Gain for Gallade).

Manectric has a fantastic Poké-Body, stopping cards like Garchomp C Lv.X and Gengar Lv.X from wreaking havoc to your bench. And its first attack is one of the best spread attacks ever printed. All this, plus that amazing SP Engine.

I'll be honest: I believe that spread is dead! However, this deck continues to be a popular variant, and it's not up to me to pass judgment. Well, OK, I suppose passing judgment is the entire premise behind this very article, so uh.. let's just move on.

Luxray GL Luxchomp/Luxray variants

I'm going to be grouping all the Luxray decks (such as the Luxbox/"Crowned Tiger"/Takuto deck from Worlds and the newer Luxray GL/Garchomp C variant) together, because overwhelmingly the central strategy tends to be 'disruption+speed' based on Luxray's Bright Look Poké-Power.

Usually we have a "skuncroak" (Skuntank G/Toxicroak G/Sunnyshore or Galactic HQ or some other stadium) engine in addition to a 2-2/3-1 Luxray line, to counter Luxray's horrible, horrible Fighting weakness.

Other additions include Manectric from Platinum, which got 2nd at Nats this year. Not bad!

Overall, there's not much to say about these variants. It's just Luxray ruining your setup with some of his friends. With Bright Look/Dragon Rush/Power Wave, any setup deck hiding behind a sacrificial active while building a main hitter in their bench will have it dragged up or sniped. Now imagine it's every single deck doing this, plus factor in your Energies being removed with a single Trainer card, improve every deck's drawpower by 400% and voila -- you now know what the Base-TR format was like!

Palkia G Lv.X Palkia

Palkia variants are dead. Moving on.

.. alright, I suppose I can't get off that easily. So let's go over WHY Palkia is dead:

  1. Luxray GL Lv.X
  2. Nidoqueen RI
  3. Luxray GL Lv.X
  4. Gengar SF
  5. Luxray GL Lv.X
  6. Gengar Lv.X
  7. Luxray GL Lv.X
To be perfectly honest, the only thing Palkia has going for it right now is the Azelf MT lock.

I'm being a bit harsh here: after all, Palkia/Luxray has won like, TWO City championships.

Glistomb has won six.

And that's why Palkia is terrible.

Absol G Lv.X Absol G

Absol G has a lot for going for it, yet has found little acceptance among the elite players. It has a VERY disruptive Poké-Power (sending a Magikarp or Weedle/Beedrill to the Lost Zone is about as cruel as you can get), can abuse Special Darkness, and has a cheap attack that is comparable to Luxray GL Lv.X.

The Power -- which is Sprayable, true -- is a good point to base the deck around, with cards like Chatot G to help ensure the removal of the most vital cards, instead of blind mills.

With the usage of Darkness Energy, there's always the possibility of running Sableye and hoping to get a few lucky Overconfidence donks along the way. Hey, ending the game before your opponent gets a turn is pretty evil, but you're running Dark Pokémon anyway, so being mean is just a way to accentuate how much spirit (of the game) you have!

Overall, the deck itself comes up short, especially in comparison to how broken the other SP variants are. However, it's a fast, disruptive deck, and Darkness Send could be brutal in a format where there isn't much Energy being ran, and there are lots of one-off techs in decks.

Fast Setup Decks

Affectionately referred to as "donk decks" by many, this section is going to list all those decks that people love and enjoy losing to before they get a chance to do anything.

Now, not all the decks listed here will be donk decks, even though they may be referred to as such in a disparaging manner.

The main idea in "Fast Setup" is to be more efficient in terms of the energy/damage ratio, and thus unlike other setup decks, losing one of your main hitters won't be as problematic, because you just need to attach 0/1/2 Energies and voila - you're back in the game, instead of passing while a Garchomp snipes off anything you build and your drawpower gets Power Sprayed, dragged up, and killed knocked out. And then you cry and quit Pokémon.

Gengar Gengar

I'm going to talk about two distinct Gengar decks here: Gengar/Queen and Gengar/Machamp (GeChamp). The so-called "Metal Gengar" (Gengar/Metagross SV) is terrible and should not be played if you want to win tournaments.

What I said about Gengar back in March stands: its Poké-Power is the cancer that is killing Pokémon. Well, that and not announcing where Nats is (come on PUI!). In any case, an Expert Belted Uxie can help matters, allowing you to do 40 and avoid the flip. However, the Power is still there, and still annoys people aplenty. Gengar can now not only get even on prizes on a single coin flip, it can even come out of the exchange ahead: heads on Fainting Spell against an Expert-Belted Pokémon gets the Gengar player 2 prizes, to the player who actually knocks Gengar out's 1. Pokémon: where you get punished for trying to play the game.

The new Gastly/Haunter/Gengars in Arceus didn't offer much to Gengar (with the Curse Gengar getting a glance and promptly being put back in the binder). However, a whole new card arrived to the delight of Gengar players around the world: Gengar Lv.X! With 140 HP, it makes it a lot harder for players to get Gengar to the 20 HP "Psychic Restore" range, and Level Down offers Gengar plenty of new options on how to be even more of an annoyance than it already was with Fainting Spell and Shadow Room.

RelicanthWith Level Down, Gengar now stands a chance against Dialga, stops Flygon Lock, and offers Luxray another chance to Bright Look someth-- er, nevermind that.

Arceus also gave Gengar another ghost/poltergeist/spirit-buddy to play with: Spiritomb! Spiritomb stops Trainers from being played. Gengar -- always a fan of people holding Trainers in hand -- now gets to Poltergeist you for billions, after using the Curse Gengar's 60-and-hide-to-bench to bring Spiritomb back up. Problem with this strategy lies in the inherent lockability of Spiritomb, where either an Unown G or a Warp Energy will be needed to not sit there passing while your opponent keeps using Chatter until Time is called.

As for GeChamp, it still remains the anti-SP deck that it used to be: beating SP and losing to pretty much everything else. However, Relicanth from Supreme Victors offers this deck more outs and strategies. An Unown G on your Claydol, Memory Berry/Energy Gain/Unown G/Expert Belt on your active, and a Stadium played by you means dead Claydol. Fun! If your metagame is particularly swarmed by SP, you might want to give it a go, otherwise stay clear.

Gengar (sans Machamp) has a hard time against Garchomp C Lv.X. Healing Breath can heal off the damage that Gengar players can stack. Gengar also still has the inherent weakness of allowing the opponent to decide the damage cap on Gengar, with a good player being able to keep their hand down. Thus, Relicanth has become vital for Gengar players to beat SP decks: not running Claydol, it becomes harder for SP decks to keep their hand free of Trainers. They either have to play down the Energy Gains and risk getting Grand Swelled, or keeping them in their hand and getting Poltergeisted. If they ARE running Claydol (Dialga/Garchomp), the SP player is forced to Guard Claydol and attach just a single Energy Gain at any time. Even then, two Crobats and a Relicanth means dead Claydol. Relicanth is a must in every Gengar deck.

Machamp Machamp

Has anyone even seen a Machamp donk lately? No? Good!

As far as I can tell, the 4 Victory Medal/Poké Drawer+/Unown R/etc variants are long dead, which restores my admittedly little faith in humanity. Seriously, that deck's terrible!

The new Machamp variants tend to be smarter, with things like Regirock+Stark Mountain to accelerate Energy, a 1-0-1 Exploud line to get rid of Machamp's horribad weakness, a Metagross LA line to offer a 50% Gust-of-Wind, and a 1-0-1 Flygon line to offer free retreat (as opposed to the FlyChamp variants with heavier Flygon lines), and other interesting cards. Relicanth SV also combines nicely, using the same Fighting-type Energies and taking advantage of Machamp forcing players to Guard their Basics.

A heavy Machamp line is simply horrible for SP: Take Out is too powerful, and putting in a 'skuncroak' line is usually difficult. Most SP decks have taken to running 1 Unown G, and using a Guarded Uxie Lv.X and Lucario GL against Machamp. Machamp players can counter/take advantage of this with Machamp DP, doing Revenge with an Expert Belt to do 90 for F after the Uxie knocks out something. Or just go all out and hope to get 1/4 heads on Hurricane Punch with a Machamp Lv.X, assuming there isn't a Dialga G Lv.X shutting it down.

So there you have it: there are new-age Machamp decks, which aren't based on the all-out donk strategy. But if all else fails (or rather, goes right), the deck will still have the option to use Take Out on a lone basic going second, and well..

Gyarados Gyarados

Right off the bat, I suggest that everyone watch JWittz' excellent video on Gyarados:


The concept is simple enough: start off with Sableye, get Magikarps into the discard pile, and start Tail Revenging for 90 (110 with Expert Belt) ad infinitum. With cards like Pokémon Rescue to get Magikarp right back from the discard pile after a Gyarados is knocked out, and evolve it right back with Rare Candy and/or Broken Time-Space.

Now, you might be going "Hold it right there MOTL! You said Palkia was dead because of Luxray! You're INCONSISTENT!" Well, first off, stop talking to your monitor, that's why your mom thinks you're going crazy. Secondly, I'll be kind enough to give Luxray GL Lv.X a Lucario GL, the Crobat G drop, the Energy Gain, the Lightning Energy, and a Gyarados without Expert belt, so that Gyarados can get one-shotted.

Here's what follows: Bring up a free-retreating Crobat G, Pokémon Rescue Magikarp, drop a Broken Time-Space, evolve to Gyarados, attach an Expert Belt to Gyarados, and Tail Revenge for 110, taking Luxray out. In comparison, the Palkia player observes the field for a second after getting one shotted by Luxray (no need for Crobat or Lucario here), and scoops. Yeah, yeah, he can also use a Promocroak to one shot the Luxray back, but let's just pretend it's prized so I can make this awesome point. Azelf's prized too, before you start. But I digress *cough*

Gyarados' main problem, other than prizing Magikarps, is Gengar. The Expert Belted Gyarados runs into the "2 prizes on Fainting Spell" scenario against Gengar, and having to keep cards like Pokémon Rescue at hand leads to Poltergeist for huge damage.

Another problem -- admittedly way, way less common a scenario -- is the dreaded "2 Mr. Mimes on the field" scenario. The Regice trick is not going to work if there's a Mr. Mime on the bench as well (nor will Warp Point for obvious reasons), and thus, the Gyarados player is forced to attach 3 non-searchable Energy (Gyarados lists run 4 Call and 3-4 Cyclone/Warp, i.e. no energy that could be Roseanned for) just to get the Mr. Mime out of the way. This scenario is only going to happen against Shuppet decks, who actually WOULD run 2 Mr. Mimes. It's still something to consider, however, unless you're running the crazy Gyarados/Luxray variant to drag stuff up. Then again, against Shuppet, all you can drag up is free prizes that don't mean much to the Shuppet player, so there you go. I suggest that if you're playing against Shuppet with Gyarados, just strategically flip the table and blame your opponent.

Shuppet Shuppet

If you're not familiar with the deck, you might be thinking that this is a joke entry. 'tis not!

Shuppet, in essence, embodies the spirit of the Base-TR player Professor Oaking thrice on the first turn to get all the PlusPowers to get the Jab+4 PlusPower KO. A Shuppet player takes a 10 minute first turn (unless there's a Spiritomb start), and sees roughly 40 cards from his/her deck before doing a Fade out with an Expert Belt and 4 PlusPowers attached, doing 90 and not losing the PlusPowers in the process. It's a really fun deck to play. In fact, one might say that it's the FUNN-


Don't even act like you didn't see that coming.

Shuppet can keep hitting for 90 every turn, get lots of damage into play out of nowhere (Crobat G/PokéTurn/Poké Blower+), and bring up cards like Mr. Mime/Spiritomb/Shuckle to slow the opponent down. Sounds amazing! There has to be a catch, right?

The catch is a 1500 pound legendary steel dragon. Just read Dialga G's first attack and see for yourself.

Gengar's also a big problem, as Poltergeist regularly hits for 150+ (4 PlusPowers and an Expert Belt), and Shuppet's bench (Crobat Gs and Uxies) offers Gengar plenty of free KOs. Shuppet does manage to get around Fainting Spell, but Gengar picking a free prize (with a 'bat drop or two) every turn might be too much to deal with if Shuppet doesn't get the donk.

Meanwhile, hand disruption isn't as big a problem as people think. Unless the Shuppet player draws a particularly horrible 3/5/6 cards, they can usually draw enough cards to get all the pieces of Exodia Shuppet back in hand.

Beedrill Beedrill

Hey, there's that card that won Worlds! Now, keep in mind that Beedrill won Worlds not because it was the best deck in the format, but because it was the best deck to play that day. Metagaming pays, kids! Pays $7500 in scholarships and for a trip to Hawaii!

Nowadays, Beedrill's dead. Blaziken FB Lv.X one shots it, sure, but that's not as big a deal as you might think: Beedrill can definitely return the KO with 2 Beedrills in play and a PlusPower, or just 3/4 Beedrills (thanks to Jet Shoot's +40 damage taken next turn side effect). However, with Flygon not seen often (the reason Beedrill was so good at Worlds, as it has an excellent Flygon matchup), Deafen/Spiritomb locks aplenty, and just overall disruption (Luxray dragging up Claydol) stops it from being played.

Beedrill's not a bad deck at all, and few cards in the format can stand against a constant 120 for G if Beedrill sets up. Unfortunately, that "if" is binary at this point, as Beedrill has a hard enough time setting up by itself, let alone when there are Spiritombs and Deafen locks left and right. There's also the dreaded "two Mr. Mime" scenario mentioned above.

You can play Beedrill with your own Spiritombs and go for a slower (but more consistent) set up if you choose.

Nidoqueen Nidoqueen

Do you want to have a 140 HP beast that uses a Potion on all your Pokémon each turn while hitting for 60 for a single Energy? DO YOU?!?!

Well, if you do, you're in luck, as there's a deck that does just that. It's called NFS, and it involves a Nidoqueen swarm with Expert Belts aplenty! Unlike some particular other "donk" decks, Nidoqueen can go for one-shots on high-HP Pokémon with Ruthless Tail, usually smacking for 100 or so for just 3 Energy.

Like most other decks, the main problem you have is Cyrus' steel dragon. Dialga G Lv.X shuts down Nidoqueen's Healing, which takes away half the point of the deck (the other half involves Mega Punching little kids into oblivion). A Gengar/Queen build with Relicanth will also prove problematic, as Gengar's own Nidoqueen can return a Mega Punch for 70, and all those Expert Belts and Unown G will lead to some serious Relicanth sniping if you're not careful!

However, the deck's absolute worst matchup is Shuppet. Yes, I'm serious. Try it out for yourself and see how Shuppet makes Nidoqueen cry.

Kingdra Kingdra

Kingdra (and BigChuck01), after the low-blow that was Nidoqueen from Rising Rivals, finally received some good news from Arceus in the form of Expert Belt. Kingdra now gets to do 80/20 for a single Water Energy! I believe Kingdra's damage efficiency (140 damage dealt for 1 Energy with Expert Belt + 4 PlusPowers) is only behind Team Rocket's Meowth, which can do 120 for a single Colorless before Expert Belt and PlusPowers (180 total) and Manectric doing Power Wave for one Lightning against 6 Pokémon with Poké-Powers (90 to active [with Expert Belt + PlusPowers] and 150 total to the Bench, 240 total). I'm probably forgetting about some cards, so if you can think of more damage dealt for a single Energy, feel free to e-mail me.

Kingdra is fast and deals a lot of damage, but the Luxray weakness hurts, and getting an Uxie Power Sprayed and/or Claydol Dragon Rushed will leave Kingdra crippled. Kingdra needs to recycle through cards, and I feel that it needs at least 3 Cynthia's Feelings to stand a chance against all the disruption it will face. Unless you happen to have won Worlds 2893 times, I suggest that you stay away from this deck.

Butterfree Butterfree

Let's just get this out of the way first: Upon seeing a Blaziken FB, the only way you can win the game will be to grab your opponent's deck and call a judge over and hope they get a game loss for marked sleeves. This deck can not defeat a Blaziken line heavier than 1-1.

The appeal of this deck is, of course, the Parallel Drain. With Expert Belt and some Cherrims on the Bench, you will be doing anywhere from 50 to 90 for G, and healing the amount of damage that you inflict! On average, you're looking at G for 70 and healing 70. Nice!

It has 120 HP, free retreat, and a Basic and Stage 1 that has amazing acceleration (Poké-Power on both Caterpie and Metapod that let you search your deck for the next stage and evolve it, on a flip). It's definitely an interesting card. Just make sure that you can get all the Blaziken players disqualified from the tournament, and you will be Parallel Draining all day long.

Lock Decks

Fun link first: http://www.pojo.com/DeckGarage/Decks/March01/doll7a.htm. That's how we used to lock people back in the day! By "we," I mean Bill. And by "lock people," I mean "lose to their turbo decks."

I'm going to include denial decks under this grouping as well, because, well, it's my article. If you want your own groupings, write your own article! >=O

Gliscor Lv.X Glistomb

Paralyze has always been an underrated Special Condition. It almost always required an attack with a flip to inflict until recently. This was, obviously, to stop people from constantly using whatever attack it was that didn't require a flip to Paralyze the opponent, essentially not letting them do anything unless they could evolve/level up/play a Trainer to get their Active out of the way/heal the Special Condition off somehow. Now imagine that you take away all those outs, and still constantly paralyze your opponent's active.

And that's where Glistomb comes into play. The idea is simple enough: lock in an active that can't evolve/level up by Paralyzing it by constantly leveling up Gliscor, setting up another Gliscor ready for next turn, and getting the active back into your hand using its Burning Poison, and then bringing up a Spiritomb to stop Trainers like Switch/Warp Point. The Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed, Poisoned, and Burned. You can choose to not inflict Burn and use an Unown K to keep healing away the Poison damage as well, thus leaving the Defending Pokémon up there as much as you like, with your opponent unable to do anything with their active locked.

Sounds scary, right? Sitting there for 40 minutes, unable to do anything? Well, don't be scared, because when I said "take away all the outs," I lied! You can still use Warp Energy, disrupt your opponent's hand, or in SP's case, just Power Spray the Shoot Poison so that you're not Paralyzed. Ironically, the Spiritomb that the Glistomb player uses to lock you can be turned on themselves, with a Chatot using a Chatterlock on a Spiritomb with an Unown Q (can't attach Unown G!) until time's called, then knock out the Spiritomb. You might feel a twinge of guilt afterwards, but that is basically what they were planning to do to you! And besides, you should feel that guilt for playing Pokémon in the first place. I know I do.

There are also aggro versions that still go for a semi-lock, but use Expert Belted Night Slash for 80 to hide Gliscor behind Spiritomb instead of returning it back to your hand. This breaks the Shoot Poison lock, however. If you feel that breaking the Para-lock is worth knocking out the active, by all means go for it. The Trainer lock will still be in place (there should be another Spiritomb at Bench for Regice/Cyclone Energy).

Flygon Lv.X Flychamp

I'm going to include all Flygon variants here, even if they're not the Flytrap lock version.

Right off the bat, Dark Flygon = dead. Stop playing Flygon with Weavile youguise!

Flytrap is, simply, attaching a Memory Berry to a Flygon Lv.X, and using Trapinch's Sand Tomb to lock in an active while you discard cards off the top of your opponent's deck.

Unlike Glistomb, however, this lock doesn't involve a Spiritomb, so your opponent is free to Switch/Warp Point/PokéTurn the active out of the way. Warp Energy also still works.

There are two variants of the Flytrap: Flygon/Palkia and Flychamp (Flygon/Machamp). Flygon/Palkia counts on Palkia Lv.X to bring up a lockable active, even if they have an active with Unown G (stopping Inviting Trap). Palkia, of course, will have free retreat thanks to Flygon's Poké-Body, as will the Claydol on your bench, two Pokémon that would normally be the cards that your opponent would choose when you declare Restructure with Palkia Lv.X. The deck also utilizes Mewtwo Lv.X to beat SP decks that don't run a counter.

Flychamp takes the more aggressive route, taking on SP decks with a 2-1-2-1 Machamp line, but still keeping the Memory Berries to lock in other decks. Machamp offers Flygon more options, and that's a good thing! This deck got 2nd and 3rd at Worlds, in case you need a deck's credentials before playing it or something. Seriously, what's wrong with you?

Overall, Flygon variants are still good decks, although speed decks like Beedrill/Gyarados/SHUPPET! hurt it a bit, as it's going to be slower setting up. If your area's swarming with SP, you could definitely give Flychamp a go.

Gardevoir Gardelade

Now, there'll be some who'll tell you to wait until HGSS (and thus, Double Colorless Energy) is released before playing this again. However, those people are jerks and probably listen to bad music. Gardelade is still an option, with the new cards like Spiritomb and Expert Belt helping it, rather than hindering. Power Lock remains as broken as it has been in recent years, with the format relying on Poké-Powers for draw, rather than Supporters.

Upper Energy, while a lot worse than Double Colorless Energy, remains an option for Gardevoir. You can start with a Spiritomb, and use Darkness Grace to set up and go behind a prize simultaneously, to activate your Uppers. And then it's Psychic Lock land! It's a land where Powers are not only frowned upon, but actively censored. Kinda like North Korea.

Is it worth playing? It's not a bad deck, but you have better options. And by "better options," I mean "SP decks."

Bad Decks

And now, here's a section that should make me lots of friends!

Salamence: Terrible. Anyone who still wants to play this deck, just realize that the "four prizes with Shoot Through" scenario will never happen.

Arceus: Worse than Salamence! This deck doesn't work, period. Sure, you get your 6 Arceuses into play with Beginning Door and Call Energy and Roseanne's Research. And then you realize that none of them do anything, and your opponent starts knocking them out one by one. And then you cry and quit Pokémon.

Any grass deck: Yes, you can heal 20 by attaching a Grass Energy! And then a Blaziken Jet Shoots your entire deck. Oops! Try not using plants next time.

Rampardos/Kabutops/Any fossil deck: Look, these decks weren't working when they had the superior Strange Cave and Fossil Egg engines and there wasn't a card called Dialga G. What makes you think they can work now?

Tyranitar: Does anyone even play this anymore? Because they really shouldn't if they are.

Super Sableye/Turbo Uxie: Shuppet's better.

BlazeBlaze: Just play Blazeray.

Abomasnow: No, just no.

So, that's all I got for today! Good luck at your CCs, and feel free to send me hatemail for drinking the hatorade on your favorite deck!


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