Pokemon TCG

Deck Guide

Standard Deck Tech: Arbok ex - Build with the 151 Sub Set

, Comment regular icon0 comments

Check out Arbok ex, released in the "151" special sub set. The strategy consists in yanking cards out of your opponent's hand, making them lose more and more options and resources from their hand.

Writer image

translated by Joey Sticks

Writer image

revised by Tabata Marques

Edit Article

Hello to all. I am Rodrigo, bringing news on Pokémon TCG in general. With the release of the "151" special sub set (Pokémon Card 151 or 151 Kanto Sub Set), I'll be releasing a few Deck Techs for the Standard format.

In this article, I'll show an Arbok ex list whose goal is to yank cards out of the opponent's hand and leave them in an uncomfortable situation without options. It is a "rogue" deck, and not a metagame deck, but it's worth exploring it if you're a player who is looking for a little bit of cheap fun.


Arbok ex: Destroyer of Cards in Hand


Loading icon

Arbok ex: The Star of the Deck

Loading icon

Bind Down (D)(D): deal 70 damage and the opponent won't be able to Retreat on the next turn.

Menacing Fangs (D)(D)(D): deal 150 damage and the opponent discards two cards from their hand.

With a generous 270 HP, Arbok ex sv3pt5 24 is extremely resilient, and can hang on for two turns, average, to attack with its second attack, which is our goal in the game. It can also take down your opponent's cards, and lower the number of plays available for them.

It is possible to use a Boss's Orders BRS 132 to lock down a heavier enemy Pokémon that can't retreat as easily or that can attack right away, and attack with its first attack. With it, you'll have, besides the 70 base damage, the retreat lock, forcing your opponent to waste a Switch or Escape Rope. After that, you'll be able to complete the sequence with its second attack destroying the opponent's hand - which is the deck's main goal.

Other than this line of play, we can use the card Arven sv1 166, and look for the card Spirit Mask EVS 160. When this card is equipped to Arbok ex sv3pt5 24, every time it is hit by the opponent they will lose one card from their hand, losing up to three cards in their hand this way!

Darkrai V & Darkrai VStar: Secondary Attacker and Item Retriever

Loading icon

What interests us here is precisely its VStar form, which has two bonuses:

- Its attack Dark Pulse (C) (C) deals 30 + 30 damage for each Darkness type energy present on all your Pokémon in play.

- Its VStar ability, Star Abyss, allows you to look for two Trainer cards, Item type, in the discard pile and place them in your hand.

Ideally, you'll recycle Dark Patch ASR 139, which is one of the main engines you'll use to speed up your energy setup for Darkness type Pokémon on your bench. That makes it easier to not only setup Arbok ex sv3pt5 24, but also Darkrai VSTAR ASR 99 itself to deal more damage, even more against the Psychic type, which is growing in popularity in the format after the release of Alakazam ex PR-SV 50.

Galarian Moltres V: Third Attacker and Discard Energizer

Loading icon

We have here a support card to recover one Darkness type energy from the discard pile and match it with Energy Switch sv1 173 to move this energy to Arbok ex sv3pt5 24.

Its attack is useful to boost Arbok ex sv3pt5 24 a bit more to knock out a few tough opponent Pokémon, and, of course, deal double damage (380) to some Psychic Pokémon.

Galarian Moltres: Ultimate Attacker and Mover of Energies in Hand

Loading icon

Another way to charge these energies from your deck is also using it with two Energy Switch sv1 173 to move these energies to Arbok ex sv3pt5 24.

Its attack is perfect to finish matches. If you're behind on Prize Cards, considering your opponent has gotten 5 Prize Cards, you can guarantee 250 + 20 base damage, totaling 270 damage, which is a nice sum. But, of course, this only applies if you need a last ace up your sleeve.


Recursive Pokémon

Hand Discard and Energization

Loading icon

Squawkabilly ex sv2 169 has Squawk and Seize, which is very useful.

Its second attack, Motivate (C), is great because it charges up two energies from your discard pile to your benched Pokémon in any way you want, charging up Ekans sv3pt5 23, so it can become Arbok ex sv3pt5 24 in the future.


Loading icon

- Bidoof CRZ 111 has Carefree Countenance, which prevents it from taking damage on the bench through attacks, which is very useful to gain time and evolve it to Bibarel.

- Bibarel PR-SW SWSH188 has 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, and even if you use Judge FST 235, you'll always be ahead on card draw.

- Radiant Greninja ASR 46 comes in with its ability Concealed Cards, which allows you, once per turn, to discard one energy from your hand and draw two cards.

This discard mechanic matches the Dark Patch ASR 139 Item, which is useful as a synergy with your benched Darkness type Pokémon, making their energy setup dynamic.

Ideal Starting Hand

Image content of the Website

This situation is quite clear: place Ekans sv3pt5 23 up front as the active Pokémon and use Ultra Ball sv1 196 to discard two Darkness type energies. Hopefully, you'll get a Squawkabilly ex sv2 169 from your deck (and not on the discard pile), to use its ability to discard your hand and draw 6 new cards.

If that fails, you also have the option of looking for Radiant Greninja ASR 46 and hopefully use its ability to discard one energy from your hand and draw 2 cards.

Trainer Cards

Supporter to Look for Items and Tools in your Deck

Loading icon

"Catcher" Supporter to use Against your Opponent's Pokémon

Loading icon

Supporters to Sabotage your Opponent's Hand

Loading icon

Supporter to Recycle your Discard Tools

Loading icon

Items to Look for Pokémon

Loading icon

Energy Setup Item

Loading icon

This item is essential. Bring it in your deck and use it wisely to guarantee you'll attach as many energy cards as possible to your Darkness Pokémon.

Item to Transfer Energies

Loading icon

Recycling Items

Loading icon

Tool to Discard your Opponent's Hand

Loading icon


Loading icon

PokéStop applies to both players: each player, on their turn, discards the top 3 cards in their deck. If any of them are Item cards, they will go to your hand. The other cards that aren't Items, be them Pokémon, energies and even Trainers (Supporters and Tools), will be discarded.


As your deck has 18 items (against 9 Supporters), it is very likely that this will be useful to you at some point to get some of these Trainers.


This deck is cheap and is great for those who want to explore the game using ultra-rare cards such as Arbok ex. Even though the current metagame is very behind in terms of control decks, and players are just waiting for the release of more cards that support this game style, the Tool Spirit Mask EVS 160 is a good addition to the deck and is essential for it to work.

Format Archetypes


- Psychic type decks, such as Mew VMAX LOR TG30 and Alakazam ex PR-SV 50.

- Decks that are slow to setup their evolution lines, that means, that are more gradual and depend heavily on their stage 2 Pokémon.


- United Wingslink outside website decks, with Murkrow sv2 131, as it is a "Single Prize" deck. Even if they face losses as their Pokémon are knocked out, they get stronger as each of them is discarded to the discard pile, increasing their attacker's base damage.

- Decks that are quick to setup, and very explosive, such as Water decks with Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR CRZ GG67 or Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30.

- Grass and Fighting type decks might be a problem because of the weaknesses to their type.

- Lugia VSTAR SIT 139 decks using the Single Strike Urshifu VMAX BRS TG29 line might be a problem, and even with Wyrdeer V ASR 134 they can be tough to face.

Final Words

It is a deck that is worth checking out and experiment if you're looking for something casual and fun to play with your friends, and if you're tired of meta decks.

It is interesting to control your opponent's hand. Eliminating enemy decks that have Bibarel as a card draw engine (and there are several current decks that use it) beforehand is a good call, so you can discard the cards in their hand bit by bit.

See you next time!