Gengar had a lot of hype up until the release of the Stormfront Pokémon TCG set. Taken at face value Gengar looks like the most amazing Pokémon card ever. Gengar can KO a Pokémon with the flip of a coin after getting KO’d himself using the Pokémon Power “Fainting Spell”. Shadow Room can do a very efficient 60 damage for 1 energy. Poltergeist can do a whole lot of damage if the opponent has a lot of trainers in hand.
But as time went on people began to figure out ways to play around Gengar’s attacks and Pokémon Power. Fainting Spell only works if Gengar is knocked out by damage from an opponent’s attack. Most people use Unown g to prevent Special Conditions on Gengar, but Unown g does not prevent Poison from Skuntank. Some more popular ways to KO Gengar without risking the Fainting Spell flip are playing a Crobat g to the bench to use its Flash Bite Pokémon Power for that final 10 damage, and Uxie LA’s Psychic Restore since Uxie goes to the bottom of the deck before having a chance to get knocked out. Or… just avoid messing with Gengar at all! Use a sniping attack to KO Pokémon on the opponent’s bench, or use Luxray l LV.X’s Bright Look to bring up a non-Gengar for the KO.
There’s a simple way to shutdown Gengar’s Shadow Room attack. Unown g. That card prevents all effects of attacks, excluding damage, meaning Shadow Room does nothing. Your Pokémon with Powers should receive first priority for Unown g, since Shadow Room would do an extra 30 to them.
Now for Poltergeist. If you have a Claydol in play, just put 2 Trainers at the bottom of your deck, and try to get rid of any other trainers you may have. This way Poltergeist’s damage can get reduced to 0.
Combine all of these things together and Gengar may have a tough time doing any damage at all! However, there are a couple options to help it out:
- Nidoqueen – With Nidoqueen in play, an opponent will have a hard time doing the final 20 damage from Psychic Restore to KO a Gengar without risking the Fainting Spell flip. You can keep retreating back and forth between different Gengars, rotating them, to let them all heal the damage off.
- Shuppet PL + 4 Pluspowers – Each turn attach 4 Pluspowers to Shuppet, Fade Out for 70 damage, and put Gengar back in the Active Position. That gives Gengar the Fainting Spell advantage while still doing decent damage.
I’m still not a fan of Gengar. It may have won the Seniors Division at USA Nationals 2009, but it only got as high as top 8 in Masters. Let us know what you think of Gengar by commenting below!