We've had a recent uptrend in psychic type appreciation in Expanded, and some of the cards that came in the Sword/Shield set boosted it even further.
We'll analyze Cresselia's deck with Trevenant/Dusknoir Tag Team (and with Gengar / Mimikyu Tag Team support). With this combination of enemy hand control and the discarding of cards, definitely you will give your opponents numerous headaches.
Trevenant / Dusknoir Tag Team-GX: Control Deck
Cresselia: Versatile Pokémon for Support and Attack
1) Attack - Crescent Glow (P): you look for a basic (P) energy for one of your Pokémon. If you are second to go in the match's first round, instead of a (P) energy, you look for three (P) energies and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you'd like.
2) Attack - Photon Laser (P)(P): you deal 30 damage plus 90 damage if there are at least 5 (P) energies in play.
It is literally a Volcanion UNB 25 from Sun/Moon: Unbroken Bonds's times for the fire Pokémon at the time, only now it is focused on the psychic archetype. And as Volcanion's same strategy, it is almost required to go second in the first match, if you want to speed up your attacker Pokémon's charging.
And, of course, if there is a need to have a "Single Prize" attacker, it can be useful.
Trevenant & Dusknoir Tag Team GX
1) Attack - Night Watch (P)(P)(P): this attack deals 150 damage, and you can look at your opponent's hand, choose two cards in there and return them to their deck.
2) GX Attack - Pale Moon (P)(C): at the end of the opponent's Active Pokémon turn, it will be Knocked Out. However, if you have an extra (P) energy besides the original tribute cost, besides this previous effect, you and also discard all the Active Pokémon's energies (you can't use more than one GX attack per match).
The first attack needs no introduction, as it controls the opponent's hand, being the main attacker in the deck. Apart from this very useful and frustrating effect, there's also its GX effect, which is an "Instant Kill" for the opponent's Active Pokémon in case they don't have any Switch CRZ 144 or Bird Keeper DAA 159 to retreat and scape this effect.
Gengar & Mimikyu Tag Team-GX
1) Attack - Poltergeist (P)(P): this attack deals 50 damage per each Trainer type card (be it Item, Tool, Stadium, Supporter) in the opponent's hand.
2) GX Attack - Horror House (P): you make your opponent unable to play any cards in the next round. However, if you have an extra (P) energy besides the original tribute cost, besides this effect, you also make both players draw cards until they have 7 cards (you can't use more than one GX attack per match).
Besides it being a low HP Pokémon, only 240, and it also bringing the risk of losing 3 Prize Cards as it is a Tag Team, it is useful as an alternative, in case Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX PR-SM SM217 isn't set up in time. As it consumes only two psychic energies, it is practical to set up.
The goal is to try and lock down the opponent, so they can't play anything with your GX attack, and afterward try to use the normal attack of 50 damage for each Trainer card in the opponent's hand. Supposing it has 6 Trainer cards, it will add up to 300 damage for just two energies!
And that only gets better if you can do the full GX attack.
Good Hand for Game Start
Here there aren't many secrets! Be the second to play in the game's first round.
Play Cresselia as the active Pokémon and use its attack Crescent Glow to charge Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX PR-SM SM217 at the end of that turn.
Having in mind we have Green's Exploration UNB 175, you can start anticipating plays for the next sessions, such as looking for Spirit Mask EVS 160 to be equipped to it so that for each strike received by the Pokémon, the opponent loses one card in hand, and even look for Judge FST 235 to sabotage the opponent's hand.
And on top of it, there is a Crushing Hammer SSH 159, just to sabotage one of the energies attached to the opponent.
- Judge FST 235 is a sabotaging tactic consisting of disrupting the opponent's hand in case they have a hand full of cards to allow you to have more possibility of plays and resources.
- Green's Exploration UNB 175 can only be played if your Pokémon in play don't have abilities. With that, you can look for any two Trainer cards you'd like and, this way, put them in your hand.
-Cyllene ASR 138 is useful as a recycling of Trainer cards from the discard pile, in case you hit the coins with "heads", and, with that, pull essential cards such as Boss's Orders RCL 154, Pal Pad SSH 172 and even Crushing Hammer SSH 159 to take the opponent's energies, and even going as far to rescue Dowsing Machine PLS 128.
- Sidney FST 241 is useful to reveal the opponent's hand and discard a combination of two cards that are Trainer cards of the Tool type, Trainer cards of the Stadium type and special energies from their hand.
It's a perfect marriage between Control, using Trevenant / Dusknoir's main attack, and this Trainer combo, to leave your opponent with no cards in hand.
- Boss's Orders RCL 154 is useful to pull a benched enemy Pokémon to create a Knock Out opportunity, precisely to use Trevenant / Dusknoir's GX attack.
- Fog Crystal CRE 140 searches for a basic Pokémon of the psychic type or a basic psychic energy from the deck and places it in your hand.
Enhanced Hammer GRI 124 discards a special energy attached to one of the enemy Pokémon.
- Startling Megaphone FLF 97 discards all Tool cards attached to all your enemy's Pokémon.
- Spirit Mask EVS 160, when equipped to the Pokémon in question, (which is Trevenant / Dsuknoir), for each attack received, the opponent needs to discard one card from their hand.
- Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174 is useful to search in the top 7 cards in your deck a Trainer card of the Supporter kind and place it in your hand.
- Pal Pad SSH 172 is useful to retrieve up to two Trainer cards of the Supporter type from the discard pile to your deck.
- Dowsing Machine PLS 128 is the deck's ACE SPEC, which is extremely useful: it has the role of retrieving any Trainer from the discard pile, but, of course, it needs you to fulfill the requirement of discarding two cards from your hand to do so.
Path to the Peak CRE 148 is useful to lock down abilities of Pokémon who have Rule Boxes, which are Ultra Rare cards such as, for instance, EX, GX, Tag Team-GX, V, VMax, VStar, VUnion, Radiant cards, Prism Star.
For Ultra Rare common recursive Pokémon, we have examples such as, Oricorio-GX CEC 95, Dedenne-GX UNB 57, Jirachi-EX PLB 60, Lumineon V BRS 40, Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60, Eldegoss V RCL 19 and Crobat V DAA 104.
For the "Single Prize" Radiant Pokémon, we have Radiant Greninja ASR 46, Radiant Tsareena SIT 16 and Radiant Charizard CRZ 20.
For Prism Star "Single Prize" Pokémon, the most common is Tapu Koko ◇ TEU 51, because of its charging from the discard pile, which is very strong in Expanded.
- We can disrupt the Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX CRE 75 deck, which, with its ability of charging and card draw, can have difficulty.
- Decks such as Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156 with Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154 because this deck has many basic recursive Pokémon focused on abilities as well, and it could be annoying for the opponent.
- Mew VMAX FST 114 decks don't have a chance because they depend on Genesect V FST 185 to draw cards, and Genesect is basic, so the Stadium Path to the Peak CRE 148 locks down its ability.
- Lugia VSTAR SIT 139 decks will suffer when trying to use their VPower, the VStar ability.
- A possible Mirror Match, if your opponent begins with the set-up advantage.
- Aggressive decks that can hit fast with just a few energies and/or Radiant Heatran ASR 27, because of its attack effect, which, for each damage counter it has, it gets 70 damage, reaching massive damages.
- Decks that can create damages above 250, reaching easily 320 damage, which don't depend a lot on basic Pokémon with abilities. A Charizard VSTAR CRZ 19 using its VStar attack is potentially dangerous, or also Charizard VMAX PR-SW SWSH261 with the use of Choice Belt BRS 135 or Incineroar UNB 29 as an additional damage support.
- "Single Prize" strategies which hit hard and fast, such as Gyarados or Chandelure.
- “Hit Kill” or “Instant Kill” decks, such as Beedrill TEU 5 or Hisuian Zoroark LOR 76.
- Reshiram & Charizard-GX PR-SM SM247 and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX PR-SM SM248 decks, which don't have Ultra Rare Pokémon with abilities, can potentially be deck destroyers.
- Electric control decks of damage per energy, such as Dracozolt VMAX EVS 59, with item control such as Vikavolt V DAA 60.
- Togekiss VMAX VIV 141 decks can be a little annoying to deal with because they hit fast, heal with Max Potion GRI 128 and can recover with Double Colorless Energy SUM 136 to deal damage, even if it's low, and it can search for cards in the deck.
It is a practical deck, simple to follow with an established routine, and it can make the opponent quite angry, precisely as it is focused on control, and this deck's goals are:
- Opponent hand control.
- Card discarding through the use of the tool Spirit Mask EVS 160 and the use of the Trainer Sidney FST 241 through special energies, tools and stadiums.
- Removal of basic and special energies with Crushing Hammer SSH 159 and Enhanced Hammer GRI 124.
- Tool removal with Startling Megaphone FLF 97.
Practically a "perfect control".
And now it's up to you: what did you think of the deck? You're welcome to comment down below!
See you next time.
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