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Standard Deck Tech: Venomoth + Spidops ex - Retreat Cost Increase and Item Lock

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Check out how Spidops ex became valuable with Venomoth's (from the 151 set) attack, which makes the opponent Pokémon Confused and can lock Items, in a Control deck.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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With the release of the "151" special set (Pokémon Card 151 or 151 Kanto Sub Set), new cards that fit new combos were released - in this case, we have Venomoth sv3pt5 49, which is a very simple Pokémon, but with a devastating effect: besides making its foe Confused (and they can be hit with 30 damage constantly for each coin miss when they try to attack), it locks down any item card in your opponent's hand!

To make things even more difficult for your opponent, we have a card from Scarlet & Violet's first block, which was severely underestimated. Now, with Venomoth sv3pt5 49, it gained respect and meaning: Spidops ex sv1 19, which has the ability to increase the opponent's retreat cost by one extra colorless energy.


Venomoth + Spidops ex: Stall and Item Lock Combination


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Venomoth: The Deck's Main Attacker

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What interests us is its first attack, Perplexing Powder, which, for a single basic Grass energy, deals 30 damage, but it gives its opponent the "Confusion" special condition. On the next turn, they also won't be able to play from their hand any Trainer card that is an Item.

The Confusion status forces your opponent to toss a coin any time they try to attack. If it's heads, the Pokémon is dealt 30 damage. To get out of this situation, you usually need to retreat - be it by paying the energy cost with energies or by using Switch sv1 194, but as this Pokémon locks down these Trainer cards, they'll be forced to manually pay the retreat cost (and that will be further explored when we discuss Spidops ex).

One of the decks that will struggle against this is precisely Lost Box decks, as they always need Mirage Gate LOR 163 to setup their best play. Usually, this deck also uses PokéStop PGO 68, which is a stadium that helps you find these Item cards, and it will also be disabled. Besides that, the Water archetype, such as Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30, uses Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 189 thoroughly, and that will also be disabled.

Players won't be able to use not even the basic cards that are always included in these decks, such as Nest Ball sv1 181, Level Ball BST 129, Ultra Ball sv1 196, for instance - and even simpler things, like Switch sv1 194 and Escape Rope BST 125, which will be disabled by Spidops ex sv1 19.

Spidops ex: Venomoth's Greatest Helper

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Here, its ability, Trap Territory, comes in, as it increases your opponent's active Pokémon retreat cost by one colorless energy - and the best of all is that this effect can stack.

With two Spidops ex sv1 19 in play, you'll force your opponent to spend 2 energies more to retreat their Pokémon.

Remember what we said about Venomoth sv3pt5 49's attack? If it does attack, Item cards will be disabled and your opponent won't be able to use them.

Assuming you're playing a match against Charizard ex sv3 125, with two Spidops ex sv1 19, its retreat cost of 2 colorless energies will become 4 energies, and they won't be able to use Switch sv1 194 and Escape Rope BST 125 to escape. If you have attacked with Venomoth sv3pt5 49, you will have made it Confused - and as this opponent uses just the right number of energies to retreat, and only has a few resources to recycle energies (in this case, Energy Recycler BST 124), it will greatly impact them. These decks count with Super Rod sv2 188 also, which is an *Item, so your opponent won't be able to use it, and will be in a very delicate situation.

Mew ex: Attack Copycat and Situational Attacker

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Its attack, Genome Hacking (C)(C)(C), can break the opponent's strategy if they have any strong Pokémon as the active Pokémon, which might catch them off guard. The best part is that it only needs 3 colorless energies and doesn't need to meet exactly the same energy cost as the opponent.


The Restart ability is very useful to draw cards, up to three - but be careful, so it doesn't become the target of your opponent's Boss's Orders (Ghetsis) sv2 172.

Drapion V: The Fusion Strike, Single Strike and Rapid Strike Counter

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With its ability, Wild Style, Drapion V's attack will cost one (C) energy less for each

Single Strike, Rapid Strike and Fusion Strike enemy Pokémon in play. Like so, its attack, Dynamic Tail, which should cost 4 colorless energies (C)(C)(C)(C), will have no cost.

We added it to the deck because it deals double damage to Mew VMAX LOR TG30. As that is a Fusion Strike Pokémon, it activates Drapion V LOR 118's ability, hitting for free against this type of deck.

Recursive Pokémon

Moving Damage Counters

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As we are dealing damage to our opponent and disabling them, you can use the ability Painful Spoons, which will move two damage counters among your opponent's Pokémon, slowly chipping damage.

Even if Venomoth sv3pt5 49's progression is slow, the goal with this deck is to have control.

Protection to the Bench Against your Opponent's Sniper Pokémon

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Starting Hand

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This simulation is simple: is you're second to play, you have the advantage of having Battle VIP Pass FST 225, and with it, you'll look for two Venonat sv3pt5 48 to quickly set up your Venomoth sv3pt5 49. But, if you know your opponent's deck uses a sniper like Radiant Greninja ASR 46, you'll be forced to get a Venonat sv3pt5 48 and a Manaphy BRS 41 (to disable Greninja) and like so use Switch CRZ 144 to retreat Tarountula sv2 16.

Next, you'll attach energies to your Venonat sv3pt5 48, try to use Crushing Hammer sv1 168 to sabotage your opponent's energies, attached to one of your Pokémon, and, finally, using your Supporter that turn, you'll play Professor's Research (Professor Oak) CEL 23 to discard your hand and play 7 new cards.

Trainer Cards

Supporters to Draw Cards

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Between these two supporters, the riskier one is Colress's Experiment LOR 155, as you need to reflect wisely on which cards will go to your hand, three out of the five cards, and the remaining two cards will go to the Lost Zone, where they won't be able to be recycled or recovered.

Supporter with the "Catcher" Role

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Supporter to Sabotage your Opponent's Hand

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Supporter to Discard your Opponent's Special Energies

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This card is perfect to sabotage Mew VMAX LOR TG30 decks that have Fusion Strike Energy FST 244 and Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 ready; and also Lugia VSTAR SIT 211 decks, which also uses these cards with Archeops PR-SW SWSH272's combo.


Items to Look for Pokémon

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Item to Control your Opponent's Pokémon

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It is useful to look at your opponent's hand, find the Pokémon that is there and place it on the bottom of their deck, disrupting their set-up.

Item to Discard your Opponent's Energies

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Item to Recycle Pokémon and Energies

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Item to Recycle Supporters

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This stadium is meant to increase the cost of basic Pokémon in play (yours and the opponent's) by one energy more - and that will sabotage, in the metagame, the Lost Box decks, alongside the rest of the deck.

Special Energies

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Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 is like a Double Colorless Energy, however, if equipped to your Pokémon, it reduces their attacks by 20 damage. It's worth stressing that it is useful only as a colorless energy!

It is useful only for Spidops ex sv1 19, in case you need to attack with it, or with other Pokémon like Mew ex sv3pt5 151 itself.

Archetypes in the Format


- It is strong against Lost Box decks.

- It is strong against Charizard ex sv3 125 decks.


- It is weak against decks that use Temple of Sinnoh ASR 155, which will disable your special energies.

- It is weak against board control decks, such as Glimmora ex sv3 123.

Final Words

It is a deck that is cheap to play and has an interesting goal, besides being able to frustrate many players who depend on Item Trainers resources to make their game plan dynamic. However, against enemies that use brute force with several fast attacks, use evolutions and mainly a low retreat cost or zero retreat cost, your deck's chances lower by a lot.

But, in general, it is a great option for a "stall" control deck.

See you next time!