2010 Decks

  • Legal Sets
    • Diamond and Pearl Base
    • DP Mysterious Treasures
    • DP Secret Wonders
    • DP Great Encounters
    • DP Majestic Dawn
    • DP Legends Awakened
    • DP Stormfront
    • Platinum Base
    • PL Rising Rivals
    • PL Supreme Victors
    • PL Arceus
    • HeartGold & SoulSilver Base
    • HGSS Unleashed
  • First Turn Rules
    • On their firs tturn, the player who goes first may not play any trainers, supporters, or stadiums
    • The player who wins the coin flip MUST GO FIRST
    • The coin flip takes place AFTER the setup phase

2010 was a weird year for the TCG. In an unprecedented decision, TPCI announced that there would be NO ROTATION between the 2009 and 2010 seasons, so all of the Diamond and Pearl expansions were still legal. (Side note – I definitely got shafted on this announcement. I traded away both of my Claydol GE assuming they would get rotated. RIP me.) This made the early season a lot more predictable, as there was already an established metagame, and some decklists were already pretty optimized.

As more platinum sets got released, many SP Variants were pushed farther ahead than their evolution counterparts. Because SP saw so much success at worlds and nationals, everybody kind of assumed by default that some variant of SP Pokemon would be the deck to beat, so many of these lists were tested again and again. Once Double Colorless Energy was released in HGSS Base, one SP Variant saw its tournament success take off more than any other deck at the time – LuxChomp.

LuxChomp at the local level saw results that were borderline as dominant as Plox was in 2008 – however, while it had exceptionally strong showings, it did not have the same level of outright domination at high level events like Nats or Worlds. Since 2010 has ended, several tournaments for this year have been held, and many players like Jay Hornung and Trin Schaeffer continued to optimize and push the metagame. While LuxChomp was widely considered an S-tier deck at the time, in today’s tournaments, many players would argue that Plox, DialgaChomp, and even CurseGar are close to, if not on the same level.

Abomasnow/Ampharos

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 16 World Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
4 Abomasnow
4 Snover
3 Ampharos
2 Flaaffy
3 Mareep
4 Spiritomb
2 Uxie
1 Unown G
1 Unown Q
1 Chatot
4 Pokemon Collector
3 Cynthia’s Feelings
3 Bebe’s Search
2 Underground Expedition
1 Copycat
1 Judge
3 Rare Candy
2 Pokemon Communication
1 Luxury Ball
1 Warp Point
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Call Energy
4 Water Energy
2 Lightning Energy

Decklist Credit: PTCG Archive

Abomasnow/Ampharos was a cool anti-meta deck brought to 2016 worlds by Morten Gundesen. Abomasnow had been an anti-meta card for a while as it really messed with Gengar decks, and the poke-body really hurt against SP variants. Ampharos PL turned it into a shutdown machine, allowing you to cripple the opponent’s consistency engines by taking away their access to Claydol. Ampharos doesn’t get in for damage too often, but it is very useful against DialgaChomp as it threatens to 2hko (barring special metal + expert belt) and carries resistance, making it harder for them to spam Deafen the whole match, as well as against Gyarados.

Boltevoir (Plox)

Deck Accomplishments:
2nd Place World Championships
Top 16 World Championships
2x Top 32 World Championships
2nd Place Canadian National Championships
2x Top 4 Canadian National Championships
Top 16 US National Championships
3x Top 32 US Nationals Championships
1st Place Quebec Provincial Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Gardevoir Lv. X
3 Gardevoir
1 Gallade
2 Kirlia
4 Ralts
1 Machamp
1 Machop
1 Azelf Lv.X
1 Azelf
1 Dusknoir
1 Dusclops
1 Duskull
1 Claydol
1 Baltoy
1 Uxie
1 Unown G
3 Spiritomb
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Roseanne’s Research
2 Looker’s Investigation
1 Judge
1 Lucian’s Assignment
3 Rare Candy
2 Moonlight Stadium
1 Luxury Ball
1 Warp Point
1 Night Maintenance
4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Call Energy
5 Psychic Energy
1 Fighting Energy

Decklist Credit: Michael Pramawat, 2nd Place Worlds

The Reprinting of Double Colorless Energy completely rejuvenated Plox as an archetype in 2010. While it wasn’t quite as dominant as it was in the 2008 season, it was still seen by many players as one of the best decks in the format, alongside LuxChomp. Similar to Plox in 2008, Gardevoir’s ability to shut down Poke-Powers was the go-to strategy in a lot of matchups, but the consistency provided by Gardevoir, Claydol, and now, Azelf LA, allowed you to choose from a very diverse group of tech options.

This version, which Michael Pramawat used to place 2nd at the World Championships, uses Machamp Stormfront, which has the ability to outright KO any unevolved pokemon, which was huge in a format dominated by Pokemon SP. Dusknoir makes yet another appearance here, with the ability to control the opponent’s bench space through Dark Palm. Azelf Lv. X took away weakness, which was crucial against Toxicroak G (the non-promo) and CurseGar.

ChenLock

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 32 US National Championships
2nd Place Tennessee Regional Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
4 Sableye
2 Garchomp C
2 Garchomp C Lv. X
2 Blaziken FB
2 Blaziken FB Lv.X
1 Nincada
1 Shedinja
1 Chatot G
1 Ambipom G
1 Uxie
1 Crobat G
1 Toxicroak G DP41
1 Unown Q
1 Aaron’s Collection
1 Bebe’s Search
3 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
2 Cyrus’s Initiative
4 Energy Gain
1 Judge
1 Looker’s Investigation
4 Poké Turn
1 Pokemon Collector
2 Pokemon Communication
3 Power Spray
3 Roseanne’s Research
2 SP Radar
2 VS Seeker
1 Darkness Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Fire Energy
1 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: Jason Chen, Top 32 US Nationals

Named after Jason Chen, the person who invented it, ChenLock was a spin-off of the SableLock archetype (which is also pictured later in this document). It included Blaziken FB Lv. X both to disrupt opposing setup, as well as having an easy out against Dialga G Lv. X, which normally was a huge problem due to its ability to lock items.

Similar to SableLock, this deck can utilize Judge to lower your opponent’s hand size, while Cyrus’s Initiative and Chatot G will control the cards they draw for the rest of the match. Power Spray plays a crucial role too, in shutting down draw options like Uxie. From there, use Garchomp and Blaziken to pick off easy prize cards while your opponent is unable to respond. This list also includes Shedinja from Supreme Victors – which can’t be touched by any pokemon with Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies. It’s a solid choice to sit in the active and spread damage around against matchups where the only attackers are pokemon that can’t damage it, such as Gengar.

CurseGar

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 4 World Championships
Top 32 World Championships
1st Place Canadian Nationals Championships
Top 32 US National Championships
1st Place Hawaii State Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
4 Spiritomb
3 Gastly
2 Haunter
2 Gengar
1 Gengar
1 Gengar Lv. X
1 Nidoran
1 Nidorina
1 Nidoqueen
2 Baltoy
2 Claydol
1 Duskull
1 Dusknoir
1 Azelf
1 Uxie
2 Bebe’s Search
2 Expert Belt
2 Felicity’s Drawing
3 Judge
1 Luxury Ball
2 Moonlight Stadium
1 Night Maintenance
2 Pokemon Collector
2 Pokemon Communication
3 Rare Candy
3 Roseanne’s Research
2 Warp Point
4 Call Energy
5 Psychic Energy
2 Warp Energy

Decklist Credit: Frank Diaz, Top 4 Worlds

CurseGar was persistent as the season wore on, seeing more results later in the year. The strength in this deck lies in the fact that you can Hit and Run with Gengar AR, hiding behind Spiritomb for constant item lock. If this strategy is undesirable, you can still function as a “Regular” Gengar/Nidoqueen deck by using the two copies of Gengar Stormfront to snipe down pokemon with Powers, while Spiritomb should keep their hand full of items for a while.

Call Energy and Spiritomb should be used to set up early. Conserve your Warp Energy, as they were meant to allow you to play around the dreaded “Chatter Lock” where opponents could trap you by using Chatot MD’s Chatter attack, and stall until you decked out. (Chatter normally deals 20 damage, but because Spiritomb carries resistance, it actually creates an infinite loop where Spiritomb gets stuck in the active).

DialgaChomp

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 16 World Championships
Top 4 US National Championships
Top 8 US National Championships
1st Place Wisconsin Regional Championships
1st Place Wisconsin State Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
2 Garchomp C Lv X
2 Garchomp C
1 Dialga G Lv.X
2 Dialga G
1 Claydol
1 Baltoy
1 Uxie Lv.X
1 Uxie
1 Bronzong G
1 Drifblim FB
1 Ambipom G
1 Crobat G
1 Chatot
1 Unown G
1 Azelf
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4 Poké Turn
3 Energy Gain
3 Power Spray
2 SP Radar
2 Pokemon Collector
2 Roseanne’s Research
2 Bebe’s Search
2 Pokemon Communication
1 Night Maintenance
1 Expert Belt
4 Metal Energy (Special)
4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Call Energy
2 Psychic Energy
1 Warp Energy
1 Metal Energy (Basic)

Decklist Credit: Top Cut Retro Decks

Dialga/Garchomp saw success in the hands of many players, but the most notable was probably Kyle Suchevich. Through patient and methodical gameplay, he was able to pilot the deck to several finishes at the State, Regional, and National levels in both 2010 and 2011.The deck uses Dialga G’s Deafen attack to lock the opponent out of Trainer (Item) cards, as well as Power Spray to lock out their Poke-Powers, severely hindering various deck’s abilities to set up. From there, you have a couple of options.

Warp Energy + Garchomp C Lv. X + Bronzong G can allow you to swap Dialga out, heal, and repeat this process several times, so you just keep hitting them with Deafen. Other times, Garchomp C Lv. X can pick off specific pokemon, like Claydol (to further hinder set up strategies). The various tech attackers like Drifblim FB and Ambipom G can also be used to put your opponent on the back foot immediately, the former helping against Plox (as well as providing a late-game option against Uxie/Azelf) and the latter helping against anything based on Garchomp C. 

Due to the prize rules in this era (lowest prizes wins when time is called) it was easy to stall the game out with Deafen, and then take a few crucial KOs with Garchomp. Chatot was also an interesting choice, as you could potentially trap Spiritomb active permanently, if your opponent didn’t have any Warp Energy.

Flygon/Donphan/Nidoqueen

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 8 Virginia Regionals
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Flygon Lv. X
2 Flygon (RR)
1 Flygon (SW)
2 Vibrava
4 Trapinch
2 Claydol
2 Baltoy
2 Donphan Prime
2 Phanpy
1 Nidoqueen
1 Nidorina
1 Nidoran F
1 Spiritomb
1 Uxie
1 Azelf
1 Chatot
4 Bebe’s Search
2 Roseanne’s Research
2 Pokemon Collector
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
1 Judge
3 Rare Candy
2 Pokemon Communication
2 Expert Belt
1 Warp Point
1 Memory Berry
1 Luxury Ball
1 Night Maintenance
4 Fighting Energy
4 Call Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
1 Psychic Energy

Decklist: Attempted Recreation based on Tournament Reports

While Flygon had mostly fallen off in 2010 due to the prevalence of Garchomp C, a slightly altered version of the above list managed to snag a top 8 placing at Virginia regionals. The Virginia Regionals version also included a Machamp as a tech attacker, presumably to help with the SP decks. I tried to make my version a touch more consistent, only relying on Donphan as the tech attacker here. There’s a couple of modes you can do – Flygon by itself hits pretty hard, and you have a ton of evolution pokemon to work with on the bench, just like in 2009. Donphan is a nice secondary attacker here, as its poke-body reduces damage done to it by 20, and when combined with Nidoqueen RR, it becomes very difficult to kill. Similar to the Garchomp SV list below, because Flygon gives everything in the deck free retreat, it is possible to cycle between two beefy Donphan Prime, while constantly healing damage off with Nidoqueen.

The trainer line might be able to be optimized a little bit – the split on Roseanne’s vs Collector is a bit awkward. I wanted to be able to grab specific types of energy for Flygon’s Rainbow Float ability, but the extra basic from Pokemon Collector can also be pretty nice. It’s also posible that an extra Judge, or maybe even some Cynthia’s Feelings could go in place of one or two of the Oak’s New Theories. An extra Expert Belt might not be bad either, but Memory Berry felt too good not to play. In addition to being able to re-use Vibrava and Trapinch’s attacks, which are situationally incredible, Donphan Prime also benefits from Memory berry, as Phanpy has the Flail attack, allowing it to deal damage to the opponent equal to the number of damage counters on itself. Warp energy would also be nice to fit in here somehow, as currently there’s not a way to get around Chatot’s chatter lock.

Flygon/Torterra

Deck Accomplishments:
1st Place German National Championships
Top 32 World Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Flygon Lv.X
3 Flygon
2 Vibrava
3 Trapinch
1 Torterra Lv.X
1 Torterra
1 Torterra
1 Grotle
2 Turtwig
1 Nidoqueen
1 Nidorina
1 Nidoran
3 Claydol
3 Baltoy
1 Azelf
1 Uxie
1 Spiritomb
1 Bronzong e4
4 Roseanne’s Research
4 Bebe’s Search
3 Rare Candy
2 Expert Belt
2 Pokemon Communication
1 Night Maintenance
1 Warp Point
1 Luxury Ball
4 Call Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Grass Energy
2 Psychic Energy
1 Fighting Energy

Decklist Credit: PTCG Archive

Flygon RR saw most of its success in 2009, but this deck managed to top cut Worlds in 2010. The deck sets up surprisingly consistently given the low trainer count. The idea is to use Spiritomb early to set up your attacker of choice. Ideally you would want to get 1 Flygon out first for the free retreat ability, but this doesn’t always happen. Torterra Unleashed can pose a massive threat for endgame scenarios between the high HP and the obnoxious amount of healing it provides to itself alongside Niodqueen RR. Stormfront Torterra is cool but mostly acts as a tech option against fighting-weak decks, like Tyranitar and Luxray GL, since there’s so few grass pokemon in here that you don’t get to use its Poke-Power very often.

Garchomp SV

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 8 US National Championships
Top 32 US National Championships
Top 32 World Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
 3 Garchomp
 1 Garchomp
 2 Gabite
 4 Gible
 1 Dusknoir
 1 Duskull
 2 Claydol
 2 Baltoy
 2 Crobat G
 1 Azelf
 1 Uxie
 1 Unown G
 1 Chatot
4 Bebe’s Search
 2 Roseanne’s Research
 2 Pokémon Collector
 2 Judge
 1 Palmer’s Contribution
 4 Rare Candy
 2 Warp Point
 2 Pokémon Communication
 2 Pokémon Reversal
 2 Expert Belt
 1 Poké Turn
 1 Luxury Ball
 2 Broken Time-Space
 4 Double Colorless Energy
 4 Call Energy
 2 Cyclone Energy
 1 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: Jay Hornung

Garchomp SV wasn’t a large part of the metagame, but it was slept on. Garchomp’s Poke-Body is incredibly disruptive to archetypes that need multiple energy attachments, like Plox or Regigigas. Guard Claw provides consistent damage output, and this, combined with Expert Belt turns Garchomp into an incredibly beefy attacker. Speed Impact is also more threatening than it appears on first glance – even with 3 energy attached, you are still hitting for 60, not including Crobat or Expert Belt, which is enough to 2hko most attackers.

Mark Garcia took a sweet built to top 8 of the World Championships, using Dusknoir as a tech. It does nice work in any matchup, but it proves especially useful against Flygon variants. If they limit themselves to 3 bench pokemon, they fail to OHKO Garchomp, even with weakness accounted for. If they play down extra pokemon to get the KO, You can abuse Warp Point and Cyclone Energy to shuffle their powered-up attacker back into the deck (or to work around Sand Wall.)

The list above, however, comes from Jay Hornung, who has made several adjustments to be more prepared for the modern metagame. The list above features Nidoqueen, which makes it exceptionally hard to KO Garchomp. In addition to using Guard Claw/Expert Belt to reduce damage and buff HP, Garchomp’s free retreat means you can just cycle between multiple attackers, while Nidoqueen heals you in between turns. Jay also uses Relicanth and Ambipom G here, which are both valuable techs against SP decks. Relicanth has a prety easy time OHKOing Luxray (although situationally it can also snipe pixies/claydols too), while Ambipom G handles Garchomp C very nicely. A little bonus here – against most decks, Ambipom could be played around by equipping an extra energy to Garchomp C before using its Dragon Rush attack. Against this deck, this strategy doesn’t quite cut it, as Garchomp SV will bounce the last energy back into their hand, leaving you free to take an OHKO with Ambipom.

Gengar C

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 32 World Championships
2nd Place Australia National Championships
Top 4 Belgium National Championships
2x Top 4 Switzerland National Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Gengar lv. X
3 Gengar
2 Haunter
3 Gastly
2 Garchomp C Lv. X
2 Garchomp C
1 Uxie Lv. X
1 Uxie
2 Claydol
2 Baltoy
1 Mewtwo Lv. X
1 Mewtwo
1 Crobat G
1 Azelf
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
3 Bebe’s Search
3 Roseanne’s Research
1 Palmer’s Contribution
4 Pokemon Communication
3 Rare Candy
3 Poke Turn
2 Energy Gain
1 SP Radar
1 Luxury Ball
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Psychic Energy
4 Call Energy

Decklist Credit: Top Cut Retro Decks

Gengar/Garchomp, also known as “Gengar C” was a nifty rogue option that started picking up towards the end of the 2010 season. Similar to Gengar/Starmie in 2009, the deck aimed to use Gengar to pressure opponent’s with Shadow Room, and then could use Garchomp C to pick off pokemon that had Unown G attached to them (although Garchomp C hits much harder than Starmie does). The 80 damage from Garchomp also gave you a consistent form of damage output, since Poltergeist relies on the opponent having trainers in their hand.

In 2010, DialgaChomp was a strong contender from top players, and Dialga G Lv. X had found its way into other SP Archetypes. In addition to this, many SP decks played ways to get around Mewtwo Lv. X (such as Mismagius, Honchkrow, or Banette). As a result, Mewtwo fell off pretty hard in 2010 and wasn’t played nearly as often as it was in 2009. However, Mewtwo still finds a home in this deck. While it still loses to Dialga G, Garchomp C can be used to pick off many of the other pokemon that would normally be relied on to answer Mewtwo, allowing you to keep the opponent shut out of the match.

Gyarados

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 8 World Championships
Top 32 World Championships
Top 32 US National Championships
1st Place Virginia Regional Championships
4 Additional Top 4 Placements at various Regional Championships
8 Additional Top 8 Placements at various Regional Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
3 Gyarados
4 Magikarp
4 Sableye
1 Uxie Lv.X
2 Uxie
2 Crobat G
1 Unown Q
1 Luxray GL Lv.X
2 Luxray GL
1 Combee
1 Azelf LA 19
1 Azelf MT 4
1 Mesprit
1 Ditto
4 Pokemon Collector
4 Felicity’s Drawing
3 Bebe’s Search
1 Cynthia’s Feelings
4 Poké Turn
4 Pokemon Rescue
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Broken Time-Space
2 Expert Belt
3 Warp Energy
2 Multi Energy

Decklist Credit: Sean Worcester, Austin Zettel

Gyarados saw much success in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and even managed to top cut Worlds in 2009 as a rogue deck. The lack of energy requirement for its primary attack allows for several unique tech options. The basic strategy is to use Sableye SF to Impersonate early, usually for a Pokemon Collector on turn 1 Followed by Felicity’s Drawing, discarding Magikarps on turn 2. Luxray GL Lv.X can be pushed up after a Gyarados is KO’d in order to bring specific threats active, and KO them. Uxie Lv.X provides draw support, and Azelf digs Magikarp out of your prizes. 

The tech options featured in the list above include Ditto LA, Multi Energy, and Azelf MT. Ditto was a tech that I favored myself because it was backbreaking by itself in the mirror match, but Austin Zettel came up with the idea of adding Multi Energy, which allows ditto to become situationally strong against both Gengar and Jumpluff builds. Azelf MT helps against SP matchups, especially LuxChomp.

Other lists have run special darkness energy, to allow Sableye the chance to donk things like Hoppip or Gastly. Others used Blissey Prime, to heal your Gyarados without relying on Super Scoop Up heads. Cyclone Energy was also pretty popular, providing the deck with an extra means of forcing the opponent to switch.

Healix (Steelix Prime/Blissey)

Deck Accomplishments:
1st Place Maryland State Championships
Top 32 World Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
3 Steelix
3 Onix
3 Pachirisu
2 Blissey
2 Chansey
1 Uxie
4 Engineer’s Adjustments
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Volkner’s Philosophy
3 Judge
4 Pokemon Communication
4 Moomoo Milk
4 Life Herb
3 PlusPower
2 Expert Belt
1 Luxury Ball
4 Call Energy
4 Double Colorelss Energy
4 Metal Energy (Special)
2 Metal Energy (Basic)

Decklist Credit: Erik Nance, Top 32 Worlds

The idea here was to set up a Steelix as quickly as possible by discarding energy and re-attaching them with Energy Stream, then tanking damage as much as possible with Life Herb, Moomoo Milk, and Blissey. Steelix is also protected from special conditions, so trying to build up damage wasn’t really an option. Engineeer’s Adjustments is your primary draw card early, while Volkner’s Philosophy can be used later, after emptying the item cards from your hand.

Note that Steelix Prime picks up any kind of energy, so don’t worry about pitching a basic metal vs a special one. Steelix could be a nightmare to KO, but it has a critical weakness to Fire-types, which make short work of it. The top 32 worlds list (pictured above) would’ve had a solid chance at the win if it hadn’t run into the lone copy of Infernape e4 Lv. X that was left in the bracket. There weren’t a lot of relevant Fire-types in this era, but the ones that were (Infernape, Entei-Raikou LEGEND, and even Blaziken FB Lv. X) punished you pretty hard.

Jumpluff

Deck Accomplishments:
1st Place Indiana State Championships
2nd Place Massachusetts Regional Championships
1st Place Georgia Regional Championships
1st Place Texas Regional Championships
Top 8 US National Championships Championships
1st Place World Championships (Juniors)
PokemonTrainersEnergy
4 Jumpluff
3 Skiploom
4 Hoppip
3 Claydol
3 Baltoy
1 Luxray GL Lv.X
1 Luxray
2  Uxie
1 Unown Q
1 Crobat G
1 Azelf
3 Roseanne’s Research
2 Pokemon Collector
2 Judge
2 Bebe’s Search
4 Poké Turn
3 Pokemon Comunication
3 Rare Candy
2 Expert Belt
3 Warp Point
1 Night Maintenance
1 Luxury Ball
4 Broken Time-Space
2 Multi Energy
4 Grass Energy

Decklist Credit: Several People

While the aggressive nature of Jumpluff led to incredible amounts of success in the younger divisions, the low energy cost allowed space for unique tech cards that kept it relevant in the upper divisions as well. The list pictured above started out as the World Championships list from the Junior division, and focuses on consistently swarming out Jumpluff as quickly as possible. If you can’t take a KO outright, it is almost always better to use Leaf Guard, which makes Jumpluff obnoxiously difficult to KO. Over time, I have gradually changed a few cards at a time, landing on the list above after discussions and testing with several people (big props to Jay Hornung, who advocated pretty heavily for a 3rd Warp Point in an online discussion, it makes a big difference in cleaning up the last few prize cards).

Luxray GL Lv. X is a pretty crucial inclusion to Jumpluff, as it helps you take prizes much more quickly and efficiently. Possibly more important, though, it allows you to force Spiritomb out of the active spot, opening the door for you to play all of your item cards. Tech Options not pictured here include Ditto LA, since it could make good use of Multi Energy for the mirror and for Gengar SF, as well as a thicker Luxray line.

Jumpluff/Shaymin

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 4 Wisconsin Regional Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
4 Jumpluff
3 Skiploom
4 Hoppip
3 Claydol
3 Baltoy
3 Crobat G
2 Uxie
1 Shaymin Lv. X
1 Shaymin
1 Azelf
1 Unown Q
1 Chatot
3 Bebe’s Search
2 Roseanne’s Research
2 Pokemon Collector
4 Pokemon Communication
3 Rare Candy
3 Super Scoop Up
4 Broken Time-Space
2 Expert Belt
2 Warp Point
1 Luxury Ball
1 Night Maintenance
6 Grass Energy

Decklist Credit: Attempted reconstruction based on the tournament report of Gino Lombardi

While most people focused on an all-out aggressive approach for Jumpluff, using Luxray GL Lv. X to bring up weakened targets, Gino’s tournament report from Wisconsin regionals had a very unique take instead – Shaymin. The Lv. X gives all of your grass pokemon (excluding itself) 40 extra HP, which turns Jumpluff from a fast, but frail attacker into a beefy and hard-hitting threat. Combine that with the damage reduction from Leaf Guard, and you have an extremely difficult Pokemon to take down.

Some of the choices in this list might not be accurate to what was run at the time as the tournament report didn’t come with a full decklist – the most questionable choice is probably my inclusion of Super Scoop Up. It wasn’t mentioned in the report anywhere, but it seemed like it could be nifty as a way to potentially pick up and heal a damaged Jumpluff, making it even harder to take out. If not needed, you can always use it to re-use your Crobat G or Uxie abilities instead. PokeTurn could be included instead, although the tournament report from Gino DID specifically indicate 3 Crobat G (which actually won him his top 8 match, since he could play around his opponent’s Power Spray), and no Poke-Turn included in his list, which makes sense given the omission of Luxray GL Lv. X.

Alternative options you might want to look into – Luxray GL Lv. X can be included rather easily over a 1-1 Claydol (with PokeTurns as a result over Super Scoop Up), although Jumpluff really enjoys the full 3-3 line to make its set up as fast and consistent as possible. Mesprit LA could be included if you keep in Super Scoop Up, to potentially shut down the opponent. Otherwise extra Unown Q, extra Warp Point, Judge, or Cynthia’s Feelings would all make reasonable choices should you want to drop other cards from the list.

Kingdra/Donphan

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 4 US National Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
3 Kingdra
1 Kingdra
2 Seadra
4 Horsea
3 Claydol
3 Baltoy
1 Dusknoir
1 Duskull
1 Donphan
1 Phanpy
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Roseanne’s Research
2 Judge
1 Palmer’s Contribution
4 Broken Time-Space
4 Pokemon Communication
4 Rare Candy
4 Warp Point
3 Expert Belt
1 Luxury Ball
4 Water Energy
2 Multi Energy
1 Fighting Energy

Decklist Credit: PTCG Archive

Kingdra Prime abused its cheap attack and its ability to put damage out quickly. The poke-power comes in handy as it allows you to set up KOs later in the game on the opponent’s bench while you are attacking the opponent’s active pokemon. Kingdra LA acts as an alternate attackers when the opponent has fire-types in play (since this cut’s Kingdra Prime’s damage output) and they both also benefit from having very low energy costs.

Donphan Prime can also act as a tech attacker against fire, but it was stronger against LuxChomp since it deletes the Luxrays that would otherwise threaten Kingdra, and it also fails to be 2hko’d when Expert Belt is attached. The rest of the list is fairly simple – there’s no over the top tech cards for specific matchups. Just apply early pressure in the best way possible, then Judge the opponent to prevent them from getting back into the match.

LuxChomp/ERL

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 4 World Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Garchomp C Lv.X
3 Garchomp C
1 Luxray GL Lv.X
3 Luxray
1 Entei & Raikou LEGEND (Top)
1 Entei & Raikou LEGEND (bottom)
1 Bronzong G PL 41
1 Azelf
1 Ambipom G
1 Rosearde GL
1 Dragonite FB
1 Crobat G
1 Lucario GL
1 Toxicorak G (Promo) DP41
1 Uxie Lv.X
2 Uxie
1 Unown Q
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
3 Roseanne’s Research
1 Bebe’s Search
1 Aaron’s Collection
4 Poké Turn
4 G-101 Energy Gain
3 G-103 Power Spray
2 SP Radar
3 Pokemon Communication
4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Call Energy
3 Lightning Energy
1 Fire Energy
1 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: Miguel Garchia, Top 4 Worlds

Luxray/Garchomp was the most dominant archetype in this format. It had different tech options, the ability to pick off cheap prizes, and abused Luxray and Garchomp’s combined abilities to target down any specific threat on the opponent’s side of the field. This deck should be played very reactively, as you take down whatever your opponent has to threaten you, and snowball your advantage from there. Sometimes this means rushing down the opponent and preventing their setup, other times this means playing patiently and slowly taking out their resources.

Tech options for this deck vary wildly. The above list is a slightly modified version of the one that placed top 4 at the World Championships. Infernape e4 Lv.X was paired with Garchomp before Luxray was released, but it still saw play afterwards. Blaziken FB Lv.X was a popular choice as well. There is also much debate as to whether a 3-1 Garchomp C Lv. X line or a 2-2 line is more ideal. Generally 3-1 is seen as preferred in the mirror match but 2-2 can be useful in other matchups. It’s worth noting that both the top 4 worlds lists played a 2-2. 

LuxChomp/Dialga

Deck Accomplishments:
1st Place World Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Garchomp C Lv. X
3 Garchomp C
1 Luxray GL Lv. X
2 Luxray GL
1 Dialga G Lv. X
1 Dialga G
1 Lucario GL
1 Bronzong G
1 Crobat G
1 Dragonite FB
1 Uxie
2 Uxie Lv. X
1 Azelf
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Pokémon Collector
2 Roseanne’s Research
2 Bebe’s Search
1 Aaron’s Collection
4 Energy Gain
4 Poké Turn
3 Power Spray
3 SP Radar
1 Pokémon Communication
1 Luxury Ball
1 Night Maintenance
1 Premier Ball
4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Warp Energy
2 Lightning Energy
2 Metal Energy (Basic)

Decklist Credit: Yuta Komatsuda, 1st Place Worlds

This version of LuxChomp chose Dialga G Lv.X as a tech attacker (as well as an out against Mewtwo Lv.X) instead of Entei/Raikou LEGEND. It also uses Dragonite FB instead of Ambipom G, which gives it more flexibility against opposing SP decks. The item lock from Dialga G Lv.X helps slow down stage 2 decks by preventing them from using Rare Candy, but it also helps against opposing SP decks due to their heavy reliance on cards like Energy Gain and SP Radar.

Warp Energy gives you access to the DialgaChomp “combo”, where you attack with Deafen, then warp into Garchomp C, heal all the damage off, use Bronzong to swap warp energy over to Garchomp, and PokeTurn it all back into your hand, while maintaining the item lock. This was extremely useful in a format where games constantly went to time, and you could stall until it was time to start picking off some easy prize cards.

The list above differs slightly from the World Championships list – I swapped to a 3-1 Garchomp C line which is very useful in Garchomp mirrors as well as against Regigigas. I’ve also dropped a Luxray GL Lv. X for a Premier Ball, to be able to grab Lv. X pokemon more efficiently. It’s very rare you need both Luxrays out at the same time anyways.

LuxChomp/Banette

Deck Accomplishments:
2nd Place US National Championships
PokemonTrainers Energy
1 Luxray GL Lv. X
3 Luxray GL
1 Garchomp C Lv. X
3 Garchomp C
1 Uxie Lv. X
2 Uxie
1 Bronzong G
1 Toxicroak G PR DP41
1 Ambipom G
1 Banette
1 Shuppet
1 Lucario GL
1 Azelf
2 Crobat G
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4 Pokemon Collector
2 Bebe’s Search
1 Roseanne’s Research
1 Aaron’s Collection
4 Poke Turn
4 Power Spray
3 Energy Gain
2 SP Radar
2 Expert Belt
1 Pokemon Communication
1 Night Maintenance
5 Lightning Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
2 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: Erik Nance, 2nd Place US Nationals

This list is a slightly modified (literally just swapped the 2-2 garchomp to 3-1) of Erik Nance’s US Nationals list. It doesn’t play a wide variety of attacking types like the above lists, but it trades that for raw consistency and power. The inclusion of Banette is nice here as it lets you stick to just psychic and lightning energy, and it also gives you an out to Mewtwo Lv. X. In addition to this, though, Banette could hit for 60 pretty easily, so it was also strong against Machamp, Gardevoir, and opposing Toxicroak G. It was very rarely a dead card, even though it looks like it was for 1 specific matchup.

The inclusion of double Expert Belt was also pretty cool – landing one at the correct time could be pretty backbreaking against Gyarados, but the extra HP can be beneficial in a lot of different scenarios too. Slapping it onto an Ambipom G or a basic Luxray could make it difficult for opposing SP decks to take a response KO, pushing them further behind.

Machamp

Deck Results:
Top 32 US National Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Machamp Lv.X
3 Machamp
2 Machoke
4 Machop
3 Unown R
1 Uxie Lv.X
3 Uxie
1 Regirock
1 Unown Q
1 Entei & Raikou LEGEND (Top)
1 Entei & Raikou LEGEND (Bottom)
3 Roseanne’s Research
3 Judge
3 Bebe’s Search
3 Stark Mountain
2 Broken Time-Sapce
4 Rare Candy
3 Dual Ball
3 Time-Space Distortion
2 Pokemon Communication
1 Luxury Ball
3 Double Colorless Energy
3 Rainbow Energy
6 Fighting Energy

Decklist Credit: Top Cut Retro Decks

Machamp’s goal was to be aggressive early and take as many Kos as possible. Take Out automatically KOs any unevolved pokemon, so it had very strong matchups against most SP decks, and had the potential to steal games on the first turn of the match with Take Out if the opponent couldn’t find extra basic pokemon. It also shut down basic pokemon that are commonly played as starters, like Chatot, Pachirisu, or Spiritomb. The Entei & Raikou LEGEND was mostly used to clean up the board at the end of the game, and was a great way to force sudden death, where Machamp almost always has the advantage.

Machamp found itself paired with several other attackers as well, seeing results with variations that included Kingdra LA, Mesprit LA, Machamp Prime, and being used as a tech attacker in Plox after Double Colorless was reprinted.

Legos (Palkia Lock)

1st Place Deleware State Championships
1st Place Missouri State Championships
1st Place Texas State Championships
2nd Place Virginia Regional Championships
Top 32 US National Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Palkia G Lv.X
3 Palkia G
1 Uxie Lv. X
3 Uxie
4 Mesprit
1 Azelf LA 19
1 Azelf MT 4
1 Raichu GL
1 Toxicroak G (Promo) DP41
1 Luxario GL
2 Crobat G
1 Bronzong G
1 Mismagius
1 Misdreavus
1 Unown G
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
3 Pokemon Collector
2 Roseanne’s Research
1 Aaron’s Collection
1 Bebe’s Search
4 Poké Turn
4 Energy Gain
3 Power Spray
2 SP Radar
1 Luxury Ball
1 Night Maintenance
4 Water Energy
3 Call Energy
2 Psychic Energy
2 Lightning Energy

Decklist Credit: PTCG Archive, based off of 2009 build

Palkia Lock earned the nickname “Legos” due to its strategy – you build up your bench with the Pixie techs, and then use Palkia G Lv.X to move 2 of your pokemon to the lost zone, opening up your bench again so you can play down different abilities. The idea is to cycle Mesprit LA as often as possible, and on the turns you can’t, you hold Power Spray, while Palkia G spreads damage around the board, and then snipes specific threats. Azelf MT is used for SP Mirror Matches, but you need all 3 pixies on your bench for it to be useful, so be wary. You also don’t ALWAYS need to Mesprit early in the game, sometimes it’s better to hold Mesprit for later turns so as to shut off multiple powers at once rather than just one.

As with most SP decks, Toxicroak functions as your anti-Luxray tech, which is crucial in this format given that LuxChomp is the most popular archetype. Azelf MT is a nifty inclusion as well, to make it harder for opposing SP decks to attack. Raichu GL was a really solid card Diego Cassiraga included in his top 8 worlds list from 2009, and I decided to keep it in for this year. It’s rarely a dead card, as when Palkia spreads around the whole field, you’ll basically always hit for 80 – but it becomes extra important against Gyarados and Kingdra. Mismagius is an anti-Mewtwo tech. Dialga G Lv. X was an inclusion by some other builds, while others opted for Luxray.

Plox/AMU

Deck Accomplishments:
3x Top 16 Worlds (Seniors)
PokemonTrainersEnergy
1 Gardevoir Lv. X
2 Gardevoir SW 7
1 Gardevoir PL 8
1 Gallade
2 Kirlia
4 Ralts
1 Azelf Lv. X
1 Azelf MT 4
1 Azelf LA 19
1 Mesprit Lv. X
3 Mesprit
1 Uxie Lv. X
2 Uxie
1 Spiritomb
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Roseanne’s Research
1 Looker’s Investigation
1 Judge
1 Palmer’s Contribution
4 Rare Candy
2 Premier ball
1 Luxury Ball
2 Expert Belt
3 Moonlight Stadium
4 Double Colorless Energy
7 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: Josh Fernando

While Plox/AMU didn’t get a lot of results at the time, Josh Fernando has worked very hard to optimize the list for the metagame, and the result appears above you. With the AMU pixies included, you have options for almost every matchup – even Healix. Mesprit Lv. X can be used to hurdle over high HP pokemon, or as a trump card to remove your opponent’s energy from play. Gardevoir PL also lets you power it up pretty quickly after shutting down your opponent. The inclusion of LA Mesprit is also really neat for Gallade – you can attack with it a little more easily without having to worry about breaking Psychic Lock.

Uxie Lv. X is still your main source of draw, and Azelf serves a dual purpose now – the Lv. X still negates your weakness (very important against CurseGar and the mirror), but the Mysterious Treasures version also slows down opposing SP decks, making them pay an extra energy to attack. Moonlight Stadium should be used to navigate your board in such a way that you can level up the pixies with a little more ease. The list is extremely cool; props to Josh for finding a way to make it work!

Regigigas/Abomasnow

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 16 World Championships
Top 32 US National Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
2 Regigigas Lv. X
2 Regigigas PR DP40
1 Uxie Lv. X
3 Uxie
3 Mesprit
1 Abomasnow
1 Snover
1 Azelf LA 19
1 Azelf MT 4
1 Relicanth
1 Regice
1 Giratina
1 Crobat G
1 Unown Q
3 Felicity’s Drawing
3 Roseanne’s Research
3 Pokemon Collector
2 Judge
1 Bebe’s Search
4 Super Scoop Up
2 Time-Space Distortion
2 Warp Point
2 Pokemon Communication
2 Expert Belt
1 Premier Ball
1 VS Seeker
4 Double Colorless Energy
3 Fighting Energy
3 Water Energy
3 Metal Energy
1 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: PTCG Archive

The printing of the Drag Off Regigigas promo gave new life to this archetype in 2010. In 2010 and early 2011, this deck made its name as the undisputed Garchomp Slayer. Drag Off + Expert Belt cleanly OHKOs Garchomp C before it levels up, which makes life extremely difficult for LuxChomp, SableLock, and DialgaChomp players. (Crobat G also lets you KO the Lv. X form.) This card singlehandedly pushed the metagame towards players using a 3-1 Garchomp Lv. X line rather than a 2-2. Abomasnow functions as a Mewtwo Lv. X counter mostly, but it can also hit like a truck against ERL, Blaziken FB, and just spread damage around to soften things up for Regigigas in general. The 1 of Psychic energy allows you to attack with Azelf situationally (Multi Energy could no longer be used since Double Colorless was critical)

Some variants of this deck drop some cards in order to make room for 4 PokeHealer+ cards, which is nice in matchups where you want to heal without using Sacrifice. The most cuttable cards for this are probably some combination of the Psychic energy, Giratina PL, Relicanth SV, the 1-1 Abomasnow, and 1 Pokemon Collector.

SableLock

Deck Accomplishments:
Top 16 World Championships
1st Place US National Championships
2x Top 16 US National Championships
1st Place Florida Regional Championships
2nd Place Florida Regional Championships
2nd Place Wisconsin Regional Championships
1st Place Tennessee Regional Championships
1st Place Florida State Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
4 Sableye
2 Garchomp
2 Garchomp Lv.X
1 Azelf
2 Crobat G
1 Toxicroak G DP41
2 Uxie
1 Uxie Lv.X
1 Unown Q
1 Honchkrow G
1 Murkrow
1 Honchkrow
1 Aaron’s Collection
1 Bebe’s Search
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
2 Cyrus’s Initiative
3 Energy Gain
1 Felicity’s Drawing
2 Judge
4 Poké Turn
2 Pokemon Collector
1 Pokemon Communication
4 Power Spray
1 Premier Ball
2 SP Radar
1 VS Seeker
4 Darkness Energy (Special)
2 Darkness Energy (Basic)
4 Double Colorless Energy
2 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: Top Cut Retro Decks

SableLock was one of the more complex archetypes in the format, and it required a lot of critical thinking to pilot effectively. The goal is to use Judge to lower your opponent’s hand size early, while Cyrus’s Conspiracy and Power Spray further disrupt your opponent’s ability to set up. From there, you have to really think about the best way to make it to 6 prize cards. Garchomp SV, Honchkrow, Honchkrow G, Toxicroak, Sableye, and even Azelf are all useful in different scenarios. Be sure to pick the best one that can target your opponent’s resources. 

This deck often gets overshadowed by LuxChomp, but it was easily one of the strongest decks in the format when piloted correctly. It had by far the most results of any SP deck after LuxChomp, despite the fact that many players were scared away from playing it due to how difficult it was to pilot correctly.

The creation of SableLock is interesting – two different groups of players came up with this deck at roughly the same time, and slowly refined their lists throughout the season. One group was from Florida, and tore up their local metagame at Regionals and States. The other player was Yoshi Tate from Wisconsin, and exhibited similar dominance in his local area. From what I understand, the Florida group ended up with a list that more closely resembles the one pictured above. Yoshi’s list was much more teched out, and included cards like Giratina PL, Chatot G to keep the opponent locked out of the game, and Honchkrow Lv. X to grab crucial resources back out of his discard pile.

Shuppet Donk

Deck Accomplishments:
1st Place Northeast (NY/NJ) Regional Championships
PokemonTrainersEnergy
 1 Shuppet
 1 Dunsparce
 4 Unown R
 3 Uxie
 3 Crobat G
 2 Mr. Mime
 2 Unown Q
 1 Regice
 1 Mamoswine GL
 1 Mankey
 4 Pokémon Collector
 2 Buck’s Training
 4 Poké Blower +
 4 Poké Drawer +
 4 Poké Turn
 4 PlusPower
 4 Pokédex HANDY910is
 4 Super Scoop Up
 2 Warp Point
 2 Time-Space Distortion
 2 Expert Belt
 1 Luxury Ball
 3 Rainbow Energy
 1 Psychic Energy

Decklist Credit: PTCG Archive

“Shuppet Donk” was initially conceived as a meme deck, and many of the lists built were incredibly sub-optimal, running 4 copies of Shuppet, and relying on expert belt and PlusPower to try and KO your opponent early before they had a chance to set up. Similar lists used Uxie and dug through the deck super quickly. Eventually, Azul Garcia-Griego made the realization that it was more than just a meme and had real potential.

The list above is much better, it includes Dunsparce as an alternate attacker, which hits Flygon, Garchomp C, and Garchomp SV for weakness, as well as Mankey SV which is an easy OHKO on Luxray without using any resources like PlusPower. Mamoswine GL is also a really sick inclusion, as it provides an extra 10 damage between turns as long as it’s your active pokemon, which can be crucial at times. Against most decks, you will bounce Shuppet and push up Mr. Mime, since its poke-body shuts down a large portion of decks in this format (like Jumpluff, Gyarados, or Machamp).

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