Empoleon LV.X with Giratina LV.X – Testing Results

I tested this deck versus Jeremy’s last Friday and went 2-2 in 4 lackluster games. Before I delve into any analysis, here is the list:

Pokémon-23
4 Piplup PL
3 Prinplup DP
3 Empoleon PL
1 Empoleon LV.X DP
2 Giratina PL #9
2 Giratina LV.X PL
2 Baltoy GE
2 Claydol GE
2 Unown G GE
1 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA

Trainers-23
4 Roseanne’s Research
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Level Max
1 Luxury Ball
3 Cynthia’s Feelings
3 Rare Candy
3 Broken Time-Space
1 Night Maintenance

Energy-14
7 Water
4 Call
3 Upper

Empoleon LV.X Diamond Pearl DP 120 Pokemon Card
I had come up with this idea during my one of my brainstorming sessions when I was first getting back into things last month. The basic strategy is to limit your opponent’s hand and give them no options. This is objectived is achieved by utilizing two different Pokémon: Empoleon and Giratina.

The ideal setup is to get both Empoleon LV.X and Giratina LV.X in play. I recommend aiming to get Giratina LV.X out first because I prefer to send Empoleon LV.X active only once you have established your field, and are able to promote it with no damage so it will last a few turns.

During our games, tried to attack with Empoleon PL a majority of the time using its “Knock Off” attack, which lets you discard a card from your opponents hand at random. It only does 40 damage, which I know is weak, but when combined with Giratina LV.X’s “Invisible Tentacles” Pokémon Body, it is far more effective. The trump card on top of all of that is Empoleon LV.X, which essentially gives your opponent two less cards in their hand to work with thanks to its “Supreme Command” Pokémon Power.

If you are able to get all of those Pokémon out, your opponent will be discarding 2 cards a turn and will have 2 less cards to use, bascially yielding a net loss of 4 cards from their hand every turn. That in theory seemed too good not to at least try out.

As I mentioned before, our games were fairly vanilla; one of us dominated while the other had a terrible hand. If I recall correctly, the first game we played I could not find a Claydol and was dismissed quickly.

Game 2 I had a turn 2 Empoleon PL with a full bench and a Claydol out. This game went on for a while, but I actually did manage to get Empoleon LV.X and Giratina LV.X in play and gained full control of the game.

Giratina LV.X Platinum PL 124 Pokemon Card
Game 3 I went first starting with a Baltoy and Call Energy. I had a Giratina PL #9 in hand and elected to drop it in order to use its “Let Loose” Pokémon Power to shuffle both of hands into our decks and draw 4 cards each. I drew into some decent cards while Jeremy drew absolutely nothing, resulting in another easy win for me. It may have been a risky move playing Giratina first turn, but since I had a Call Energy, I decided to use it because I knew I would at least get my bench set up even if I drew nothing in my 4 cards. If my memory serves right, Jeremy only had 1 Pokémon to start and with 6 cards in hand, I thought it would be beneficial to set him back to 4 cards before he could play anything down.

Game 4 I feel my deck started to show some of its flaws. Jeremy setup quite quickly and my 40 or 70 damage per turn was not enough to slow him down. I just was not able to do enough damage to actually Knock Out any of his Pokémon. It also did not help that 2 of my Empoleon PL were prized and my Empoleon LV.X was prized, but I feel that did not that truly mattered. I just was not going to be able to draw prizes with my minimal damage output each turn.

In conclusion, I think that this is more of a fun deck than anything else. Luxray GL LV.X, which from what I’ve been hearing is a decent card, will be much too quick for this deck to handle. Empoleon’s lightning weakness is also a detriment at the moment. The biggest problem is that you have to be able to withstand your opponent’s initial offensive in order to gain control, which is not easy to accomplish.

Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions by commenting below! :)

Reader Interactions

40 replies

  1. Dave Hueglin

    Hi Adam,

    You seem to be trying to cover both ways to evolve quickly (BTS and Rare Candy). One suggestion I have is to focus on doing it only one way. If you drop the 3 Rare Candies, you could add 1 more Prinplup and 2 Farfetch’d SF. That would increase your chances of getting a BTS in play and increase your chances of having the Pokemon you needed to evolve. Getting BTS in play quicker could also help you get Calydol in play sooner.

    I haven’t tested this so I don’t know whether it would improve the deck or not. Just an idea.

  2. Kyle Morris

    Empoleon seems cool, I’d go crazy disruption though. We’re talking OG old school Absol and Mars instead of empoleon. If you stick to empoleon Wager can be used if you snipe their claydol.

  3. Mike Qua

    Deck seems fun :) although might be a bit slow…who is your main attacker? I’d assume Empoleon… I’m not a huge fan of level max. Too flippy and I’m always flipping tails D:

  4. Dave Hueglin

    You might consider 2 Premier Ball and 2 Level Max instead of 4 Level Max. Even though its flippy, Level Max does give you a chance of leveling up while on the Bench, which can be helpful. Even though Bebe’s can get a Level X from your deck, Premier Ball can get it from either deck or discard pile. As you are only running two Level Xs, and one Night Maintenance, you might some more need help to get one out of the discard pile.

  5. Kyle Morris

    Empoleon seems cool, I’d go crazy disruption though. We’re talking OG old school Absol and Mars instead of empoleon. If you stick to empoleon Wager can be used if you snipe their claydol.

  6. Mike Qua

    Deck seems fun :) although might be a bit slow…who is your main attacker? I’d assume Empoleon… I’m not a huge fan of level max. Too flippy and I’m always flipping tails D:

  7. Adam Capriola

    Thanks for all the comments dudes.

    Dave, I like having both BTS and Rare Candy just for added consistency. I honestly don’t know how Farfetch’d would play out. If I didn’t start with it, I would fall behind 2 turns on energy drops (1 energy to retreat my active then 1 to attack with Farfetch’d), which a slow deck like this can’t afford.

    Another reason to use Rare Candy is that you may be helping your opponent by playing BTS down. First couple turns of the game you may want to not play BTS if you aren’t forced to.

    Kwisdumb and Dave, I originally had Premier Ball and Warp Point in the deck, but had to cut them for space. I would not play Premier Ball without Switch or Warp Point because otherwise it’s nearly impossible to get Giratina LV.X out. 3 retreat does not fly. With only 2 Level Max it’s going to be harder to draw into them and you’ll have less chances to get it out.

    Qua, yeah Empoleon PL is the main attacker doing 40 and discard or the 70 to anyone attack from time to time.

    Kyle, Wager actually sounds like it would work extremely well in this if you can hit it and you take out their Claydol. Cynthia’s would have to be nixed in favor of them, which would hurt consistency, but make the deck more potent.

    I think a single Crobat G would also be nice if you could find the room to get an easy KO on a Claydol (70 + 10).

  8. 1) Absol and girantina on paper is insane, but from testing it with several differnt guys (straightish, leafeon), I can say it does not work and usually leaves you crippled.
    2) Girantina lvl X can’t stack, so 2-2 is only helpful in a few random situations, and you’re better off with the 3-1 line.
    3) I would LOVE ssu up in here, since you can abuse two great powers from it several times a game, as well as the usual guys (azelf, uxie, claydol).

  9. Adam Capriola

    What up Brian? I only put 2/2 Giratina LV.X for consistency’s sake. There were times during testing where I would have a Giratina LV.X in hand with no way to get it back in my deck, but also had Level Max and had a shot at getting it out turn 1 or 2. That’s why I liked 2/2.

    I admit this deck isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s kinda a cool strategy.

  10. Dave Hueglin

    Adam,

    I like that you’re not afraid to try out different ideas – even if they may not seem like World’s competition material. There are just so many cards and combos out there that don’t get any attention – or get a bad rap.

    Testing and modifying is really the only way to see if an idea has any future as a good deck. Keep the new ideas going.

    I’m still not sure that having so many BTS and Rare Candies is the way to go. Another idea might be to bump up to 4 Rare Candies, drop a Prinplup and 2 BTS and use the 2 extra spots for SSUs or Switch/Warp Points. That way you still have one BTS for mid to late game evolving.

  11. Brian Jessing

    1) Absol and girantina on paper is insane, but from testing it with several differnt guys (straightish, leafeon), I can say it does not work and usually leaves you crippled.
    2) Girantina lvl X can’t stack, so 2-2 is only helpful in a few random situations, and you’re better off with the 3-1 line.
    3) I would LOVE ssu up in here, since you can abuse two great powers from it several times a game, as well as the usual guys (azelf, uxie, claydol).

  12. Adam Capriola

    What up Brian? I only put 2/2 Giratina LV.X for consistency’s sake. There were times during testing where I would have a Giratina LV.X in hand with no way to get it back in my deck, but also had Level Max and had a shot at getting it out turn 1 or 2. That’s why I liked 2/2.

    I admit this deck isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s kinda a cool strategy.

  13. kwisdumb

    Yeah, I have to agree that it’s great to see people taking chances with decks and opening up to new ideas and such, rather than just copy what everyone else is playing. Kudos for that.

  14. Adam Capriola

    I’ll try almost any deck out to at least see how it does. You never know what might turn out to be good. Besides when you are practicing, you shouldn’t be worried whether you win or lose, you should be trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. :)

  15. kwisdumb

    Word. It’s just good to see a community of good players who actually want to talk about interesting, fun, maybe-not-so-competitive decks, rather than just focus purely on the meta.

    Another great thing about this site. :D

  16. Adam Capriola

    I’ll try almost any deck out to at least see how it does. You never know what might turn out to be good. Besides when you are practicing, you shouldn’t be worried whether you win or lose, you should be trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. :)

  17. Kyle Morris

    Yeah but there has to be a point where you say to yourself “Am I just wasting my time with this?” I think Giratina’s viable so I don’t feel this is one of those scenarios…. Also how do I change my avatar?

  18. alex d

    I’ve always thought this deck would be fun… but low damage output really kills it.

    Hence, my Rhyperior/Flygon mill deck fails. :(

    Your inclusion of Level Max is pretty interesting to me… never a card I would have really considered.

    How did Giratina X serve you? Didn’t really see much about it in the actual playtesting section.

    • Dave Hueglin  → alex

      I know many people are automatically put off by any card that requires a flip. The big factor here is that this card is the only way to get a Pokemon leveled up while it is on the Bench. I think if your deck is running more than one type of Level X, then it is really worth considering. Of course the problem is, if you are going to put it in, you almost need to make space for 3-4 of them to have any reasonable chance of it working.

  19. Adam Capriola

    I actually don’t know how good Giratina was, I guess Jeremy would have to answer that. :P I was able to get it out early most of the time, but I am not sure how much it affected him.

    Kyle, I’m on board with you that there comes a point where you should just forget about certain decks. I usually try something out a few games and can tell pretty quickly whether it’s a dandy or a dud. Even if it sucks I’ll still post the results, just because someone else might be able to improve the deck.

    We will start posting testing results from tier 1 decks, I have just wanted to try out some random junk lately.

    Oh and if you guys don’t like your avatars (I personally think they’re kinda cool), you can go to http://www.gravatar.com to change it. I think you have to register your e-mail and then upload an image.

  20. alex d

    I’ve always thought this deck would be fun… but low damage output really kills it.

    Hence, my Rhyperior/Flygon mill deck fails. :(

    Your inclusion of Level Max is pretty interesting to me… never a card I would have really considered.

    How did Giratina X serve you? Didn’t really see much about it in the actual playtesting section.

    • Dave Hueglin  → alex

      I know many people are automatically put off by any card that requires a flip. The big factor here is that this card is the only way to get a Pokemon leveled up while it is on the Bench. I think if your deck is running more than one type of Level X, then it is really worth considering. Of course the problem is, if you are going to put it in, you almost need to make space for 3-4 of them to have any reasonable chance of it working.

  21. Adam Capriola

    I actually don’t know how good Giratina was, I guess Jeremy would have to answer that. :P I was able to get it out early most of the time, but I am not sure how much it affected him.

    Kyle, I’m on board with you that there comes a point where you should just forget about certain decks. I usually try something out a few games and can tell pretty quickly whether it’s a dandy or a dud. Even if it sucks I’ll still post the results, just because someone else might be able to improve the deck.

    We will start posting testing results from tier 1 decks, I have just wanted to try out some random junk lately.

    Oh and if you guys don’t like your avatars (I personally think they’re kinda cool), you can go to http://www.gravatar.com to change it. I think you have to register your e-mail and then upload an image.

  22. Brandon

    But stadium cards can get knocked our so easy it’s safer with the candies!

  23. hobusu

    Well, this is my first comment on a SixPrizes.com article, so here goes!
    First off, I love this deck idea. I’ve always admired Empoleon Lv.X and Giratina Lv.X, but I never thought about using them together!
    I agree about having to survive the beginning to be able to win. It just seems like that’s how Empoleon works.
    I have a deck using Empoleon Lv.X (For fun; there aren’t any official Pokemon TCG events of any kind within 250 miles of my house) and if I can’t get set up quickly I can’t get set up at all 50-75% of the time. I can make a comeback sometimes, but not usually.
    @Brandon: Yes, Stadiums can be removed fairly easily, but I’d rather run a few BTS and a few candies than run 4 candies. If you run 3 of each, you have a higher chance of getting one of them when you need it, whereas if you run 4 candies you have a higher chance of not getting one when you need it.

  24. Well, this is my first comment on a SixPrizes.com article, so here goes!

    First off, I love this deck idea. I’ve always admired Empoleon Lv.X and Giratina Lv.X, but I never thought about using them together!
    I agree about having to survive the beginning to be able to win. It just seems like that’s how Empoleon works.
    I have a deck using Empoleon Lv.X (For fun; there aren’t any official Pokemon TCG events of any kind within 250 miles of my house) and if I can’t get set up quickly I can’t get set up at all 50-75% of the time. I can make a comeback sometimes, but not usually.

    @Brandon: Yes, Stadiums can be removed fairly easily, but I’d rather run a few BTS and a few candies than run 4 candies. If you run 3 of each, you have a higher chance of getting one of them when you need it, whereas if you run 4 candies you have a higher chance of not getting one when you need it.

  25. Joshua Pikka

    Empoleon was the first deck I made.

    It was very similar to this. BUt like you said its just too slow.

    Good idea, but its a no go.

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  27. tony smith

     You should change this deck and add giratina #10 and use dark wing flaps to take away their cards

  28. Gabriel Santiago

    I personally don’t like using many TD Decks but yours look good. Bad thin with TD Decks is that they are good in the Constructed Modified format but bad at the Constructed Unlimited format. I play at CU format and would like to test a deck like yours.

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