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Standard Deck Tech: Kecleon + Kabutops

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Check out an update to Kecleon from Sword & Shield: Chilling Reign. The new special Scarlet & Violet set, 151, brought Kabutops, which amplifies Pokémon attacks by increasing their weakness buff by four, and is able to deal 360 damage and this way defeat all Pokémon in this metagame!

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traducido por Joey Sticks

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revisado por Tabata Marques

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Hello to all. I am Rodrigo, bringing news about Pokémon TCG in general. With the special set, "151" (Pokémon Card 151 or 151 Kanto Sub Set), new card combos have come up, be them Trainer cards or new Pokémon cards with a few mechanics that might make a lot of difference in the metagame.

In this article, we have the new Kabutops sv3pt5 141 with its ability to multiply by four the weakness buff dealt through your Pokémon's attacks. We went back and got Kecleon CRE 122, which gets its type from the energy that is attached to it, so it can deal 360 damage, which means, it can knock out, with a single blow, any Pokémon in the format!


Kecleon and Kabutops: A Synergy that Amplifies Weaknesses


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Kecleon: The Deck's Main Attacker

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Ability - Chromashit: this Pokémon uses the basic energy attached to it as its type (if there are two basic energies attached to it, you'll choose only one type).

Attack - Spinning Attack (C)(C)(C): deals 90 damage.

Here, the strategy is simple: attach the right energy equivalent to your opponent's weakness, and activate its ability. Let's analyse, in the metagame, the energies you're most likely to require:

  • The two Metal Energy EVS 237 are useful against Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30, as it is a tough deck to deal with due to how fast it sets up. Considering both Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30 and Baxcalibur PR-SV 19 are weak to the Steel type (as they are Ice Pokémon - which in the TCG is considered Water type), this energy is perfect to stop these decks.

  • The two Grass Energy FST 283 are useful to stop Charizard ex sv3 125. The metagame is a bit stale and will be stale for a long time, until stronger and faster Grass Pokémon come along, such as Frosslass ex Terastal, which will come in Scarlet & Violet: Paradox Riftlink outside website. Kecleon CRE 122, as a card that gives out only one Prize Card, has the upper hand against this type of deck.

  • With two Darkness Energy EVS 236, the idea is to defeat the format's Psychic Pokémon, which are gaining some space, such as Alakazam ex PR-SV 50 and Mew ex sv3pt5 151, just like the already existing Gardevoir ex sv1 86 and Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX ASR TG30.

    It wouldn't make sense to add to this list Drapion V LOR 118 to defeat the Mew VMAX LOR TG30 decks, as it would be the target of 2 Prize Cards. It would be stopped by the Fighting types (Single, Rapid and Fusion), end up a dead card, and lose the advantage of the deck itself being a "single prize" deck.

  • We use the two Water Energy CRE 231 to deal with the Fire Pokémon in the format, considering Entei V BRS 22 was developed, just like Charizard ex sv3 125, to be a counter to these types. We can also face Radiant Charizard CRZ 20, which is quite popular and common to find in the meta as well.

  • Lightning Energy EVS 235 is only useful in matches against Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR CRZ GG67, Starmie V ASR TG13 and Blastoise ex sv3pt5 9, in a nearby future.

    Recursive Pokémon

    Key Recursive Pokémon in the Deck

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    Its ability, Ancient Way, makes this deck a miracle considering it works with the idea of defeating the format's ultra rare cards, because it multiplies Kecleon CRE 122's damage by four, as described earlier in this article.

    But, to do that, you need to place Antique Dome Fossil sv3pt5 152 in play, and even though it is a Trainer card, it can benefit from using Rare Candy PGO 69, to skip the "Fossil > Kabuto > Kabutops" process and go straight into this Pokémon's final form.


    Pokémon to Filter your Top Deck Draws

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    With Mysterious Tail, you'll look at the top 6 cards in your deck, and get any Item Trainer card you find over there. It is a way to search for cards more efficiently to also look for Antique Dome Fossil sv3pt5 152, considering this type of card can't be searched by a Trainer such as Level Ball BST 129 or Ultra Ball BRS 150, even though Antique Dome Fossil sv3pt5 152 states it is "considered a Pokémon".

    That is why Mew CEL 11 is essential in this deck. But, in general, it is excellent anyway to look for items.

    Draw Pokémon

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    - Bidoof CRZ 111 has Carefree Countenance, which prevents damage to the bench from attacks, and is very useful to gain time and evolve it to Bibarel, avoiding sniper damage from a possible Radiant Greninja ASR 46 in a match.

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

    With the metagame full of Iono sv2 185, that won't be an issue, considering in this list your focus is Raihan EVS 152 to energize your Kecleon CRE 122. So, it will always guarantee you'll have "draw power" in the game - even if your opponent plays a Iono sv2 185, your game setup won't be disrupted.

    - Skwovet sv1 151 comes in with Nest Stash: on your turn, you can return your hand to the deck, shuffle it, and like so draw only one card.

    This is a good card to use with Bibarel BRS 121's ability effect, because if your hand isn't working out and doesn't have the cards you need, you can play Skwovet sv1 151 and then play Bibarel BRS 121 to renew your hand.

    Pokémon to Protect your Bench from your Opponent's Snipers

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    Starting Hand

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    In this example, start with Mew CEL 11 as the active Pokémon and place Kecleon CRE 122 on the bench, just like the other Mew CEL 11.

    Like so, with a Mew CEL 11 as the active Pokémon and one on the bench, you can use the first Mew's ability and then Escape Rope BST 125 to then promote the new Mew CEL 11 into the active position. With that, you'll be able to get at least two Level Ball BST 129 to filter your game plan.

    If you notice the opponent's deck has a "sniper" attacker, look for Manaphy BRS 41 straight away and look for the second Kecleon CRE 122.

    As the turns go on, you can choose to use Ultra Ball BRS 150 to get Bibarel BRS 121 early on and speed up your game's "draw power".

    Trainer Cards

    Supporter to Energize your Pokémon and Search your Deck

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    Raihan is the most important Trainer, because, considering your Pokémon don't have as much HP as others in the format, they are easy to knock out. So, that makes this card better as you need to energize your Kecleon CRE 122 - it asks for 3 energies and that is a bit slow. Your focus will be to use Rapid Strike Energy BST 140 on your turn, and then use the basic energy that is in your discard pile as part of Raihan EVS 152's effect.


    Besides that, you'll anticipate your turn by searching for any further resources in the deck with the card's second effect, speeding up some pending setup or just filtering your deck better.

    "Catcher" Supporter Against the Enemy Pokémon

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    Supporter to Sabotage your Opponent's Hand

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    Items to Search Pokémon

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    Item to Search Energies

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    As this deck has a varied number of basic energies, and one or two units of a single type, you need to filter the deck to energize Raihan EVS 152 as precisely as you can and this way answer your opponent's weakness, as we've explained when we covered Kecleon CRE 122.

    Item to Recycle Pokémon

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    This is an essential card to get your Kecleon CRE 122 back, so it's very important to use it well and take advantage of it. So, be careful if it's on your Prize Cards pile and try to get it as soon as possible if it is there. Like so, if it's in your hand and your opponent forces you to shuffle your hand, it will be safe in your deck.

    Item to Recycle Supporters

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    You'll mainly use it to return Raihan EVS 152, as it is the core of this deck, and is essential to move your basic energies from the discard pile and look for resources.

    Special Energies

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    - Rapid Strike Energy BST 140 is useful only to Rapid Strike Pokémon. As it provides two energies, it helps Kecleon CRE 122 meet its attack cost, focusing only on the basic energy attached to this Pokémon to get its type.

    - Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 is like a Double Colorless Energy, however, if attached to your Pokémon, it deals 20 damage less when it attacks. It's worth stressing that it is useful only as a colorless energy!

    Of course, this way you'll lose the 90 damage that could become 360 damage, but 70 times 4 becomes 280 damage, which already defeats all VStar Pokémon in the format.


    In its essence, we have here a deck focused on Single Prize Pokémon, which helps us in the Prize Cards race in this format full of ultra rare Pokémon that give out two Prize Cards or three Prize Cards (considering VMax and VUnion Pokémon), which is quite convenient.

    Archetypes in the Format


    It has all the answers to Standard Pokémon types and can still modify the basic energies it uses to adapt your deckbuilding according to the needs of the format until E cards are rotated out, which will affect Kecleon CRE 122.


    - Decks that use Temple of Sinnoh ASR 155, which cancels out your special energies.

    - Scizor deckslink outside website, which hit more per each Pokémon ability.

    - Control decks such as Glimmora ex sv3 123, which deals double damage not only because of the archetype's weakness but also because of its ability. Decks like Alakazam ex PR-SV 50, which has Klefki sv1 96 to lock down abilities, are also an issue, such as this examplelink outside website.


    - "Single prize" decks are bad matchups, because their advantage is that whoever knocks out their opponent first is ahead in the Prize Cards race. Considering Kecleon takes two to three turns to manually set up its energies, without sacrificing any Pokémon, it gets left behind when it tries to speed up these actions.

    Final Words

    It is a deck that reinforces that simple Pokémon, those "Single Prize" Pokémon, can be as efficient as Pokémon ex and V in the current format, and can deal outstanding damage. Besides that, its cost-to-benefit ratio is good, as it is accessible to any person. It is a great deck for those who want to start out with something simple.

    I also have an alternative suggestion that doesn't use Kabutops sv3pt5 141, but which uses the Tool Supereffective Glasses ASR 152. This only multiplies Pokémon's weaknesses by 3, but it's a worthy honorable mention: click herelink outside website to check out this deck.

    See you next time!