– Sword & Shield

Date Reviewed:
April 22, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 1
Expanded: 1
Limited: 2

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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Seaking (Sword & Shield 047/202) is a very unassuming card, one I dismissed at first glance.  One Youtube video from a channel I regularly watch mentioned it, though they gave no other info about the tournament where it won; it could have been the Japanese equivalent to the Juniors Age Division, without enough participants to even have a Top 8, or it could have been well-attended event full of seasoned Masters Division Players, or anything in between.

What apparently makes Seaking is its first attack, “Ripping Horn”, so I’m going to cover it first.  For [W], it has you flip three coins; each “heads” lets you select and discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active, while each “tails” does nothing.  Out of eight possible outcomes, one results in discarding no Energy, three discard up to one Energy, three discard up to two Energy, and one discards up to three Energy.  Wait, why am I saying “up to”?  You can’t discard what isn’t there, and cards that provide multiple units of Energy (like Double Colorless Energy) can be selected to fudge things in your favor.

Seaking’s [W] Typing is mostly relevant because some other [W] Type cards – like Articuno-GX – are also excellent for Energy denial strategies.  110 HP is low, but it might survive a hit if your opponent is struggling to attack due to keeping them low on Energy.  Even when Seaking goes down, it is a single Prize Pokémon.  [L] Weakness is an issue, but not too bad as hard-hitting attackers would already score the OHKO even without it.  Lack of Resistance is typical and only gets mentioned so you don’t think I forgot about it.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is functionally average, but actually feels a bit high on something with only 110 HP.  “Pierce” for [CC] is also present; it does 50 damage, so it isn’t totally worthless, but we’re here for the first attack.

I normally don’t do this, but here’s the deck list, formatted for the PTCGO:

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon – 13

* 1 Ditto {*} LOT 154
* 2 Oranguru UPR 114
* 1 Persian TEU 126
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Mew UNB 76
* 1 Articuno-GX CES 31
* 3 Goldeen SSH 45
* 3 Seaking SSH 47

##Trainer Cards – 42

* 4 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 3 Crushing Hammer LTR 111
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 1 Lana’s Fishing Rod CEC 195
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Lucky Egg SSH 167
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 3 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 3 Looker UPR 126
* 1 Misty & Lorelei CEC 199
* 2 Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
* 2 Ordinary Rod SSH 171

##Energy – 5

* 5 Water Energy Energy 3

Total Cards – 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online ******

Apart from Seaking, you’ll see many common control or disruption cards and tactics.

Since I built this deck in the PTCGO to get the list, I also realized I’m missing quite a few cards it needs, so I wasn’t able to test it for myself.  Against decks with multiple Energy attachments per turn, or those that can just attack well for a single Energy attachment, you’ll probably just have to hide behind Lillie’s Poké Doll while occasionally sacrificing Oranguru to recycle your Crushing Hammer and Bellelba & Brycen-Man.  You could build this deck in Expanded, maybe even improve it but… looking at it again, I remember why it only just made the To Review List.  Even when you’re facing decks where it should work… it might not due to the coin flips.

Do enjoy Seaking in the Limited Format.  Assuming you enjoy flipping to discard Energy and waiting for your opponent to deck out.  As sarcastic as that sounds, some folks do enjoy enjoy the strategy, though you might want to hold off unless you’re already running a [W] Type deck or you pull enough support to make it worth focusing on this strategy.  Oh, and Mulligan Decks need not apply; Seaking isn’t going to last long, let alone a Goldeen.


  • Standard: 1/5
  • Expanded: 1/5
  • Limited: 2/5

For the guy who scheduled the review, it has ended up on a fairy negative tone.  I’m really starting to suspect that this deck’s one win was an outlier.  It isn’t that the general decks strategy is bad, but that you could basically remove Seaking from its own deck and be left with a better deck.  Still, if you have the cards handy, why not give the deck a try for yourself, see if you can prove me wrong?

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