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Standard Deck Tech: Gholdengo ex - Tons of Damage!

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Check out this Gholdengo ex deck, a brand-new deck from Paradox Rift, which brings explosive, broad damage using only one energy for its cost. It can also deal damage discarding energies from your hand, easily reaching 350 damage and beyond!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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After the release of the Scarlet & Violet: Paradox Riftlink outside website set, an explosive and quite practical deck to set up was created for those who like dealing devastating damage to the board and a set-up that is simple to build, something that is provided in this list by a Pokémon that is exclusive to the Paldea region; Gholdengo ex sv4 252.

For one simple Steel energy, this Pokémon can reach more than 300 damage, if you like, knocking out any Pokémon in the format!


Gholdengo ex: The Hoarder Pokémon


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Gholdengo ex: Main Attacker and its Goal

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Its attack is quite direct: get all your basic energies in your hand and discard them. For each energy discarded this way, you'll deal 50 damage.

Basically, if you have 7 energies in your hand, you'll have an incredible total of 350 damage (50 x 7). You'll practically be defeating all Pokémon in the current format, considering they have around 310 to 330 HP, apart from some which have 340 HP, such as Skeledirge ex PR-SV 34 and Venusaur ex sv3pt5 3.

Besides that, as it is a stage 1 Pokémon, it is quite easy to set up, and the set-up itself is quite agile. It is similar to Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30 when it comes to attacking - and Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30 depends on Baxcalibur PR-SV 19 to play well.

In Gholdengo ex sv4 252's case, you just need to:

- Preserve your Gimmighoul sv4 198 from the metagame's "sniper" attacks, until you develop your plan.

- Use all your cards that have a "discard your hand" effect discarding two basic energies, such as Ultra Ball sv1 196 and Trekking Shoes ASR 156, so you can guarantee the use of Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 189 and have in hand 4 basic energies guaranteed.

- Or use Earthen Vessel sv4 163. With three chances, you'll be able to look for 6 energies, if all these three cards appear in your hand on the same turn, and you'll guarantee 300 damage.

As this Pokémon is still a Steel Pokémon, they can hit Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30 and apply weakness when you use 3 energies, knocking it out by dealing double damage, and this way reaching 300 damage (150 x 2).

Besides this, its ability is very fascinating, as it is a way of having constant "draw power" and, even in play, if it is on the bench, you'll draw one card. If Gholdengo ex sv4 252 is the active Pokémon, you'll draw one extra card. Considering this deck uses 3 copies of this Pokémon, you'll have, in the best-case scenario, 4 cards drawn on the same turn (because this ability stacks), two of them on the bench and two cards with the active Pokémon!

Hisuian Basculegion: Second Attacker and Energy Recycler

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What interests us is its first attack. For no energy cost (which is great), it deals 20 damage times the number of energy cards in the discard pile, and, by doing this, these energies will return to your deck, which makes it excellent to recycle resources.

Besides being a "single prize" Pokémon, it is a way to supplement the damage you need to knock out a Pokémon (in case something goes "wrong" with Gholdengo ex sv4 252's attack).

It is also useful to defeat the enemy Pokémon that have low HP, usually up to 240 points, because of its damage potential with the 12 energies in this deck (20 x 12). We have in the format: Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154 in Lost Box decks; Raikou V BRS 48 and Entei V BRS 22 as secondary attackers in some decks; Lumineon V PR-SW SWSH250, Squawkabilly ex sv2 169, Bombirdier ex sv4 156 as a recursive Pokémon, or some strong Pokémon V attacker we tend to see, such as Arceus V PR-SW SWSH306, Giratina V LOR 130, Slaking V PGO 58, Lugia V SIT 138, Raichu V BRS 45, Miraidon ex PR-SV 28 and Zacian V CEL 16.


Besides this, its base form, Hisuian Basculin ASR 43, is an excellent recursive Pokémon, because you can use its first attack to filter your deck and look for two basic Pokémon for your bench, and all of that for no energy cost. Not to mention it can also "evolve" your Pokémon, somewhat, if it is equipped with the card Technical Machine: Evolution sv4 178.

Recursive Pokémon

Draw Pokémon

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

- Bibarel BRS 121 has Industrious Incisors, which allows you, once per turn, to draw until you have five cards in hand.

As this deck filters itself long term, when you have all your Gholdengo ex sv4 252 copies set up, and the Hisuian Basculegion LOR 45 copies ready to return all discarded energies, you'll create a loop with Bibarel BRS 121's ability when you draw cards. This will help you have basic energies for Gholdengo ex sv4 252 in later turns.

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

Besides guaranteeing your strategy some "draw power", discarding energies helps you filter your deck to use Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 189 in the future, this way guaranteeing you'll retrieve these energies to attack with Gholdengo ex sv4 252 when you need to.

Pokémon to Protect your Bench against Enemy Sniper Pokémon

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Starting Hand

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In this simulation, this starting hand was blessed:

1) With two Battle VIP Pass FST 225, you'll easily be able to place 4 basic Pokémon on the board, which will be:

- One Bidoof CRZ GG29 to prepare for Bibarel CRZ GG25 in the next few turns.

- You'll be able to look for two Gimmighoul sv4 198 as a precaution, because one of them will be set as the active Pokémon.

- And the fourth Pokémon depends on how the game is developing: if there is a "sniper" Pokémon on your opponent's side, you'll choose Manaphy CRZ GG06; but if you just need to draw more cards, you'll choose Radiant Greninja ASR 46.

2) After you set up all your Pokémon, just play Iono sv2 185 with no hesitation, shuffling your hand back to the bottom of your deck, and drawing new cards. Your priority will be to draw Bibarel CRZ GG25 or other cards to filter your deck and look for other Pokémon, such as Ultra Ball sv1 196, or even speed up more draws from the top of your deck with Trekking Shoes ASR 156.

Trainer Cards

Supporter to Heal your Pokémon

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This card is great, because as Gholdengo ex sv4 252 are evolution Pokémon, they can benefit from her effect, even though the downside is that you need to discard energies to heal them.


Besides this, we chose this card because of matches against Tsareena ex sv4 46, which is one of this deck's possible counters.

Supporter to Recycle Pokémon and Energies

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Supporter with the "Catcher" Role against the Enemy Pokémon

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Supporter to Sabotage your Opponent's Hand

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Items to Search for Pokémon

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Item to Search for Energies in the Discard Pile

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This card is essential to this deck, because it is with it you'll guarantee at least 200 damage with one single copy. You'll be able to boost your damage with an energy you have in your hand or resort to using Earthen Vessel sv4 163 with the combo.

Item to Search Energies

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This card is also vital. It is like Capacious Bucket RCL 156, but improved, as we can look for any two basic energies in our deck and get them, for the cost of discarding one card from our hand, and, of course, you'll be able to use dead cards to do so, like Battle VIP Pass FST 225.

Item to Recycle Pokémon and Energies

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This is one of the most essential cards to retrieve your Pokémon, considering that, as this deck has, in essence, more stage 1 Pokémon, it is more efficient to retrieve these for this deck.

Item to Recycle Supporters

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Item with the "Catcher" Role to Use against your Opponent

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This card is quite strong to use against the opponent as a sort of "Boss's Orders" if you're losing the game, which is its requirement, without needing to waste Boss's Orders BRS 132 itself on that same turn.


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As this deck has 23 Item cards, the chance you'll hit and get one of these cards is huge, which is very efficient. Besides, if you miss a card from the top of your deck and hit a basic energy, this will even help you filter your deck to use Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 189 throughout the match and complement Gholdengo ex sv4 252's damage.


- This deck has stage 1 Pokémon with many mutual benefits and damage based on number of energies, like: Gholdengo ex sv4 252, which deals damage for each energy that is discarded from your hand; and Hisuian Basculegion LOR 45, which, for no energy cost, deals damage based on how many energies you have on the discard pile, and then they're returned to the deck - this way "looping" these energies.

- It is easy and practical to set up these Pokémon, which makes this deck a fast and aggressive answer in the format.

- It filters and plays Pokémon onto the board consistently when they're evolutions, even more so with the addition of the card Technical Machine: Evolution sv4 178 as a precaution, which means you won't need to spend a turn using Supporters that search for evolutions.


Format Archetypes


- Against Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30 decks (mostly).

- Against Charizard ex sv3 125 decks.

- Against Venusaur ex sv3pt5 3 decks (which has one of the highest HP values in the format).

- Practically against any deck in the format, because the damage Gholdengo ex sv4 252 can deal with just 7 energies being discarded reaches 350, practically knocking out all Pokémon in the format if they don't have any equipment attached that increases their health points.


- Scizor decks, which deal more damage for each ability you have in your Pokémon, such as this listlink outside website.

- Lost Box decks that use Giratina VSTAR CRZ GG69.

- Control decks, such as Alakazam ex PR-SV 50 if they use Mimikyu sv2 97 as a Pokémon lock and attacker.

- Roaring Moon ex sv4 229 decks, due to their "instant K.O." effect.

- Tsareena ex sv4 46 decks when they're a Control deck, which will be your biggest counters.

Final Words

For those who like practical, explosive, and concise decks, this is the perfect choice, because, besides being very easy to build, it brings great results without any issue. These cards are also cheap, which is great for those who want to save money.

See you next time!