As we are preparing for the release of the special ”151” set (Pokémon Card 151 or 151 Kanto Sub Set), I'll be posting Deck Techs for the Standard format with theories for the new cards, which will come mid-September for us in the west.
It's worth stressing that the cards have numbers and codes based on the eastern version, that is, sv2a, which can't be used in tournaments! They'll only be playable when they reach the west in their American translation, with the sv3a code.
In this article, I'll show you an Alakazam list with a hypothetical build, which can be adjusted in the future.
Alakazam ex: An Attacker which Deals Damage from the Bench
- Attack Mind Jack (C)(C): deals 90 damage + 30 for each Pokémon on the opponent's bench.
- Attack Dimensional Manipulation (P)(P): deals 120 damage, and this Pokémon can attack even when it's on the bench.
For the first time in Pokémon TCG history, we have a Pokémon which can attack while on the bench, which is something extraordinary. With that in mind, it is useful for decks with the "stall" tactic, which means, the tactic of locking down your opponent. As a great part of the meta is composed of ultra rare Pokémon such as V and ex, the strategy is to use Mimikyu sv2 97 as the active Pokémon, and as a barrier against those Pokémon, while Alakazam ex sv2a 65 will be the main attacker, defensively, to disrupt your opponent.
Dedenne ex: Counter Answer for Damage Counters
What interests us in this Pokémon is precisely its first attack, Tail Swap (P)(P), which moves all damage counters from one of your Pokémon on the bench to the opponent's active Pokémon.
The moment you will use it is when your opponent tries to pull Alakazam ex sv2a 65 with some card in the style of "Boss’s Orders" and isn't able to knock out this Pokémon. As it can take on 300 damage, you can return that 300 damage directly against your opponent! And we even have, still:
1) Old Cemetery CRE 147, which places 2 damage counters if your opponent Pokémon isn't Psychic and they try to place an energy from their hand onto their Pokémon.
2) With the combination above, you'll use the ability Painful Spoons from Radiant Alakazam SIT 59 to move these damage counters and knock out a few Pokémon!
But, as described, it is a very situational Pokémon, and it will really depend on how the game develops.
Cresselia: Dynamic Energizer
The first attack is what interests us, Crescent Glow (P): look for a basic Psychic energy (P) in your deck and attach it to one of your Pokémon in any way you want; but, if you're second to play, during the game's first round, instead of only one energy, you'll get three basic energies instead and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you want.
Those who have a good memory and are here since the Sun/Moon: Unbroken Bonds era, know that it is practically a ”copy” of Volcanion UNB 25, for the Fire type at the time; only Cresselia's role here is for the Psychic type, and it will serve well as a great energizer to speed up your Abra sv2a 63 on that turn.
The second attack, Photon Laser (P)(P), deals 30 + 90 damage in case you have 5 Psychic energies on board/in play; which is good to destroy “Single Prize” Pokémon, such as Comfey LOR 79 and Cramorant LOR 50 in the Lost Box deck.
- Bidoof CRZ 111 has Carefree Countenance, which prevents it from taking damage while on the bench from attacks, which is very useful to gain time and evolve it to Bibarel.
- Bibarel BRS 121 comes in with Industrious Incisors, which allows you, once per turn, to draw until you have five cards in hand.
With that, even if you have just a few cards in hand, in case you use Iono sv2 185, you'll always have consistency and "draw power" results in the game, and, with Bibarel's ability, you'll never run out of cards in hand.
- Mimikyu sv2 97 has Safeguard, and doesn't take damage from Pokémon V (that goes for all of them, be them VStar, VMax, VUnion or V) and Pokémon ex.
This is the Pokémon which needs to be the on the front line as active Pokémon as Alakazam ex is on your bench, locking down your opponent.
- Spiritomb sv2 89 comes in with its ability, Fettered in Misfortune, and, if it's in play, all basic Pokémon V in the game have their abilities disabled.
It's worth remembering that Spiritomb doesn't need to be the active Pokémon; it can be on the bench and that is enough to activate its ability!
- Klefki sv1 96 comes in with its ability, Mischievous Lock: if this Pokémon is the active Pokémon, all basic Pokémon in play (yours and your opponent's), won't be able to use their abilities.
This is another way of locking down Lost Box decks, which depend on Comfey LOR 79 to set up, disrupting the opponent's game plan.
- Radiant Alakazam SIT 59 comes in with its ability, Painful Spoons: this Pokémon, on your turn, can move two damage counters among your opponent's Pokémon.
It's worth noting that, as this list has the stadium Old Cemetery CRE 147 (if your opponent Pokémon isn't a Psychic Pokémon and they try to attach energies to it from hand, it already gets two counters) this will always help us in some way to close out some of the “Single Prize” Pokémon damages.
Going even further:
Suppose you already have Klefki sv1 96 as the active Pokémon and Alakazam ex sv2a 65 is set up on your bench. You might as well go around decks which have Manaphy BRS 41, your Alakazam ex will become a "sniper".
The effect is simple: discard your hand and draw 7 cards.
It is useful to pull a particular Pokémon from the opponent's bench to deal the damage to victory, and this way speed up the drawing of Prize Cards.
And here in this deck, it is good for some “stall” strategies, pulling an opponent's Pokémon with high retreat cost, to lock them down and leave them with no actions playable, while Alakazam ex hits from the bench rather safely.
- Iono sv2 185 is extremely powerful, as it is the fusion of its predecessor's effects, N FCO 105 and Marnie SSH 169: you and your opponent shuffle your hands and put them at the bottom of the deck. After that, you'll draw cards from the top of your decks equal to the number of Prize Cards you have in play, in case, in each player's game.
Example: if your opponent has 2 Prize Cards and you have 4 Prize Cards, and you use this card's effect, you'll shuffle your hands into the bottom of the deck, and then your opponent will draw only 2 cards, and you will draw 4.
- Battle VIP Pass FST 225 is useful only on your first turn in the game: look for two basic Pokémon in your deck and then place them directly on the bench.
- Fog Crystal CRE 140 is useful to look for a basic Psychic energy or a basic Psychic Pokémon; reveal it, and place it in your hand.
- Ultra Ball sv1 196 is useful to look for any Pokémon, evolution or basic, common or ultra rare, as long as you fulfill the requirement of discarding two cards from your hand to play it.
- Super Rod sv2 188, as a reprint of the Black/White era, comes in as another option to recycle, as it recycles 3 cards, them being basic energies and Pokémon, back into your deck. There's a copy of it in this deck, to make up for the energy and Pokémon search, in case something uncommon happens.
- Capturing Aroma SIT 153 is useful as a Pokémon search: you toss a coin - if it's heads, look for an evolution Pokémon, show it to the opponent and place it in your hand; but if it's tails, get a basic Pokémon, show it and place it in your hand.
- Rare Candy PGO 69 is a vital card to speed up the game, as it is with it that you'll skip certain steps to evolve your Pokémon, and, in this list, notice that there isn't a straight line of Abra > Kadabra > Alakazam; precisely to save up a few cards in the deck to evolve them as fast as possible.
- Pal Pad sv1 182 is an item to recycle two Support cards from the discard pile back into the deck.
Its effect is valid for both players: if the player's Pokémon isn't a Psychic type and they are attached with an energy from hand (the cost of this energy), it gets two damage counters.
- Darkness type decks, such as Darkrai VSTAR ASR 99.
- Charizard ex sv3 125 decks.
- Our deck has a relatively slow set up, and Pokémon with explosive set-ups, such as VStar, can easily ruin our plans, even more if these decks have evolution Pokémon with abilities, such as Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR CRZ GG67.
- Chien-Pao ex sv2 61 decks, not only because of the speedy basic Water energy charging that Baxcalibur offers to the archetype, but also because it has an explosive answer based on damage, reinforcing what I said above.
It is a double-strategy deck:
1) Stall, to lock down your opponent with Spiritomb so that their basic Pokémon V can't use abilities. Lost Box decks will suffer against Klefki. Mimikyu will be your safe port against the format's ultra rare Pokémon (V and ex) and will allow your Alakazam ex to attack from the bench.
2) It is a defensive deck, as described, Alakazam ex on the bench, giving you this safety.
See you next time!