The Hit and Run

Hit and run attacks are one my favorites in the Pokémon TCG. They do damage then either have you switch that Pokémon with one of your Benched Pokémon, or have you remove that Pokémon from play in some way, effectively keeping that Pokémon out of danger. After all it’s a lot harder to hit a Benched Pokémon than an Active one. When replacing the Pokémon that just did the hit and run, you’ll want to replace it with a Pokémon that has a Pokémon Body or Pokémon Power that gives you a big advantage by having it Active. Here’s an example:

You have a Gliscor LV.X active with 2 Fighting Energy and use Night Slash. It does 60 damage and you switch Gliscor with 1 of your Benched Pokémon, so you choose… Sharpedo RR. It has a Pokémon Body that could discard an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon if it is Active and damaged. Best of all, Sharpedo has no retreat cost. So every turn you can do 60 damage with Night Slash, switch with Sharpedo, retreat back for Gliscor next turn, Night Slash, repeat, etc. This puts your opponent in a dilemma. Every turn he must decide if he wants to risk losing an energy by attacking Sharpedo. And once Sharpedo gets Knocked Out, you won’t lose any resources since you never attached energy to him.

The best hit and runners may be the ones that remove themselves from play because of 1 card…. Pluspower. The most common of these is Uxie LA, since everyone already uses it for its awesome Pokémon Power. Uxie’s attack Psychic Restore does 20 damage plus you have the option of moving Uxie and all cards attached to him on the bottom of your deck. You can attach up to 4 Pluspowers to Uxie to do a maximum of 60 damage, then move Uxie to the bottom of your deck. Since you move the attached cards also, the Pluspowers join him, so you don’t have to discard them at the end of the turn like usual. Getting those Pluspowers and Uxie back into your hand could be a problem unless you base your deck around drawing your entire deck as fast as you can. If you have no deck left and then use Uxie’s attack with 4 Pluspowers for 60 damage, the bottom of your deck becomes the top of your deck, so each turn you can draw the Uxie you just attacked with, play it down to use its Pokémon Power to draw the Pluspowers, attack for 60, rinse and repeat.

But there is one Pokémon I like better than Uxie for this purpose. That Pokémon is Shuppet PL. It does 10 more damage than Uxie, and instead of moving Shuppet and all its attached cards to the deck, you pick them up and put them into your hand. This makes it a lot easier to just play Shuppet and 4 Pluspowers back down each turn for a consistent 70 damage. This trick is very effective versus / because returning Shuppet to your hand lets it avoid Fainting Spell. One bad thing about these hit and runners is you also remove the energy attached to them, so you won’t be able to build energy on your other Pokémon (unless you’re using an energy accelerator like Leafeon LV.X).

Here’s a list of the top hit and runners:

  • Uxie LA
  • Shuppet PL
  • Starmie LA
  • Magnezone SF
  • Gliscor LA LV. 42 and Gliscor LV.X – Both of these guys qualify as hit and runners. Each turn you can level up Gliscor to poison and paralyze the Defending Pokémon and use Gliscor’s attack Burning Poison to bring it back to your hand. Then next turn you level up a different Gliscor to poison and paralyze again, evolve a benched Gligar to Gliscor, and continue the paralyze/poison lock for as long as you can. Or you could keep using Gliscor LV.X’s attack Night Slash to keep a consistent 60 damage going. Though Gliscor isn’t as popular as it used to be because of cards like Poké Turn and Warp Point shrugging off the Special Conditions.

Here’s a list of the best Pokémon to leave active after a hit and run:

  • Mr. Mime MT – Definitely one of my favorites. You’ll need an Unown Q attached to this guy in order to give it free retreat so it can run back to the bench every turn. While Mr. Mime is active, the Defending Pokémon needs at least 3 energy attached to damage it. All of those energy efficient Pokémon that only need 1 energy to attack suddenly aren’t so efficient anymore. and can bite me!
  • Gengar SFBoth of Gengar’s attacks can be manipulated by the opponent, so it helps to have some surefire way to hit the Defending Pokémon then send up Gengar to take the hit. Most of the time they’ll have to take the Fainting Spell risk if they want to Knock Out Gengar.
  • Jumpluff SW – Jumpluff’s attack, Cottonweed Punch, is despicable. 2 Grass energy for an average of 30 damage? No thanks. Send up one of the hit and runners and then replace it with Jumpluff each turn. There’s a 50% chance he won’t take any damage.
  • Bronzong MD – All of your opponent’s Pokémon with Pokémon Powers will take 10 damage between turns due its Pokémon Body Cursed Alloy. You need a Moonlight Stadium in play to let Bronzong run away.
  • Glaceon LV.X – No powers for the opponent while you are free to do so.

There are some others, but I think the ones above take the cake, especially Mr. Mime.

Of course hit and run decks aren’t fool proof. They tend to be weak against Pokémon that can hit the bench (ex: Honchkrow G) or switch up your Active Pokémon (ex: Luxray GL LV.X). Also the most damage you can do with a hit and runner is 70 damage via Shuppet’s Fade Out or Starmie’s Star Boomerang (as far as I know). 70 isn’t that much these days, so you could find yourself only 2HKOing your opponent’s Pokémon while they’re 1HKOing yours. And if you’re up against something like Ampharos PL or Dialga G LV.X to shut down your Pokémon Powers or Pokémon Bodies, you could get into trouble.

Any other hit and run Pokémon you think are good? Have any comments, questions, suggestions? Be sure to comment below!

Reader Interactions

36 replies

  1. Adam Capriola

    Dude that Shuppet idea is pretty nifty, you just gotta watch out for Poltergeist against a Gengar the next turn.

    Last year I really liked Bronzong MD with Moonlight Stadium. It was very effective against Gardevoir decks because if one of your Pokemon was KO’d, you could send it out, get the damage inbetween turns, then retreat it.

    Nice article. :)

  2. Adam Capriola

    Dude that Shuppet idea is pretty nifty, you just gotta watch out for Poltergeist against a Gengar the next turn.

    Last year I really liked Bronzong MD with Moonlight Stadium. It was very effective against Gardevoir decks because if one of your Pokemon was KO’d, you could send it out, get the damage inbetween turns, then retreat it.

    Nice article. :)

  3. Pablo Meza

    I believe Shuckle deserves a mention as well. Since Call Energy, Multi Energy and Upper Energy are quite popular

  4. jermy101

    Ugh yeah, I forgot how Poltergeist could take advantage of the Pluspowers in your hand. In that case I would maybe only hold 2-3 Pluspowers to limit its damage.

    That’s a good point about sending Bronzong after one of your Pokemon gets KO’d. Some other Pokemon that might be good to send out after a knock out are Lumineon MT, Lumineon SF, Unown M, and Unown T.

    Ooh Shedinja LA is a very nice one, thanks brian. Seems like it’d be especially effective vs SP decks if they don’t prepare for it. I tried not to cover any Pokemon from SV since the set isn’t officially out yet, but I suppose I could start including them in my future posts from now on.

    Haha forgot Shuckle too. I missed these because I just looked for Pokemon in Apprentice’s deck editor with the phrase “is your Active Pokemon”, so stuff like Shuckle and Shedinja wouldn’t show up. I could see Shuckle and Mr. Mime being used together. Once they manage to get 3 energy on a Pokemon to damage Mime, hopefully one of them will be special so they can’t hit Shuckle.

    Thanks for the comments!

  5. Brian Jessing

    You missed both shedinjas and the new mime. X_x lol

  6. Mike Qua

    Jeremy, I really like this idea. Although, like Adam said, I’d be worried vs Gengar variants, for Poltergeist and a few Looker’s Investigation could really mess stuff up :/

  7. Dave Hueglin

    Aipom Level 16 MD is another candidate. He’s colourless so can fir into any deck. His first attack for 1C = Draw a card. His second attack for 2C is like Shuppet except it only does 20 damage. Shuppet is definitely better if you are running Psychic energy but Aipom is a good alternative if you are not. Just like Shuppet, you could attach four Plus Powers and do a respectable 60 damage for 2C. Lastly, he has 60 hp vs Shuppet’s 50.

    I love the Sharpedo idea. Excellent article all around Jeremy. Mr. Mime is great against low energy decks – it certainly gives Mightyena a shock when he’s been using Cold Feet!

  8. Dave Hueglin

    Aipom Level 16 MD is another candidate. He’s colourless so can fir into any deck. His first attack for 1C = Draw a card. His second attack for 2C is like Shuppet except it only does 20 damage. Shuppet is definitely better if you are running Psychic energy but Aipom is a good alternative if you are not. Just like Shuppet, you could attach four Plus Powers and do a respectable 60 damage for 2C. Lastly, he has 60 hp vs Shuppet’s 50.

    I love the Sharpedo idea. Excellent article all around Jeremy. Mr. Mime is great against low energy decks – it certainly gives Mightyena a shock when he’s been using Cold Feet!

  9. Dave Hueglin

    Shedinja SV might be good to send up after a hit and run. His Poke-Body prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, from any Pokemon with a Power or Body. His 1C energy attack can then snipe the Bench for 30 on any Pokemon that already has damage.

  10. Dave Hueglin

    Shedinja SV might be good to send up after a hit and run. His Poke-Body prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, from any Pokemon with a Power or Body. His 1C energy attack can then snipe the Bench for 30 on any Pokemon that already has damage.

  11. kwisdumb

    I don’t have much experience with this strategy, but I like being able to do 50 to a Machamp with a Uxie and then hide, Roseanne’s, Set Up, etc. :D

  12. kwisdumb

    I don’t have much experience with this strategy, but I like being able to do 50 to a Machamp with a Uxie and then hide, Roseanne’s, Set Up, etc. :D

  13. Joshua Hall

    I feel if you were seriously going to play a hit and run type deck in any tournament, you would need to play almost all the available defensive options, as there are simply too many decks out there to worry about. Maybe choose the top 5, like Mime, Shuckle, Shedinja, Sharpedo, and Bronzong, and run 2 of each or something. In all, it just seems like a really weak strategy, and I can’t see one ever being a competitive deck.

  14. Pablo Meza

    I believe Shuckle deserves a mention as well. Since Call Energy, Multi Energy and Upper Energy are quite popular

  15. jermy101

    Ugh yeah, I forgot how Poltergeist could take advantage of the Pluspowers in your hand. In that case I would maybe only hold 2-3 Pluspowers to limit its damage.

    That’s a good point about sending Bronzong after one of your Pokemon gets KO’d. Some other Pokemon that might be good to send out after a knock out are Lumineon MT, Lumineon SF, Unown M, and Unown T.

    Ooh Shedinja LA is a very nice one, thanks brian. Seems like it’d be especially effective vs SP decks if they don’t prepare for it. I tried not to cover any Pokemon from SV since the set isn’t officially out yet, but I suppose I could start including them in my future posts from now on.

    Haha forgot Shuckle too. I missed these because I just looked for Pokemon in Apprentice’s deck editor with the phrase “is your Active Pokemon”, so stuff like Shuckle and Shedinja wouldn’t show up. I could see Shuckle and Mr. Mime being used together. Once they manage to get 3 energy on a Pokemon to damage Mime, hopefully one of them will be special so they can’t hit Shuckle.

    Thanks for the comments!

  16. Mike Qua

    Jeremy, I really like this idea. Although, like Adam said, I’d be worried vs Gengar variants, for Poltergeist and a few Looker’s Investigation could really mess stuff up :/

  17. Joshua Hall

    I feel if you were seriously going to play a hit and run type deck in any tournament, you would need to play almost all the available defensive options, as there are simply too many decks out there to worry about. Maybe choose the top 5, like Mime, Shuckle, Shedinja, Sharpedo, and Bronzong, and run 2 of each or something. In all, it just seems like a really weak strategy, and I can’t see one ever being a competitive deck.

  18. Kyle Morris

    The shuppet deck is one of the coolest decks I’ve ever seen and it’s a blast to play! It runs 4 uxies though making it a little expensive.

  19. I completely forgot about the new lunasol as well. Not only does he add a few legit attackers (20+energy nab for 1, 20 and discard stadium for 1, 30 and 30 spread for anybody with a free retreat for 2, and 30/60 for 2), a way to keep drawing cards, but also allows you to pretty much wreck alot of sp decks and a few other decks just because they rely so heavily on level Xs. I played the shuppet version of this deck (straight, with uxie and mime) and it was really annoying, and actually took me down to one prize, but pretty much had very little chance with weakness/resistance (I was playing absol). He played it with crobat and turns and ssu, so I guess you could try to run it more straight. The new mime is also cool in this, as he can surive alot of attacks, but very risky, espically with crobat in alot of decks.

  20. Kyle Morris

    The shuppet deck is one of the coolest decks I’ve ever seen and it’s a blast to play! It runs 4 uxies though making it a little expensive.

  21. Brian Jessing

    I completely forgot about the new lunasol as well. Not only does he add a few legit attackers (20+energy nab for 1, 20 and discard stadium for 1, 30 and 30 spread for anybody with a free retreat for 2, and 30/60 for 2), a way to keep drawing cards, but also allows you to pretty much wreck alot of sp decks and a few other decks just because they rely so heavily on level Xs. I played the shuppet version of this deck (straight, with uxie and mime) and it was really annoying, and actually took me down to one prize, but pretty much had very little chance with weakness/resistance (I was playing absol). He played it with crobat and turns and ssu, so I guess you could try to run it more straight. The new mime is also cool in this, as he can surive alot of attacks, but very risky, espically with crobat in alot of decks.

  22. Kyle Morris

    I’m too lazy to write an article, but one day adam.. One day I will, maybe even a video.

  23. BENDINGSPOONS1

    my favorite hit run strategy was wailord ex and fossils you couldn’t ever kill that sucker.

  24. BENDINGSPOONS1

    my favorite hit run strategy was wailord ex and fossils you couldn’t ever kill that sucker.

  25. Kyle Morris

    I’m too lazy to write an article, but one day adam.. One day I will, maybe even a video.

  26. William Gilbert

    Nice article.
    I also love the hit and run strategy and it gave me some new material to work with, so thanks :)
    Two of my favorites pokemon for that strategy haven’t been mentioned though: Gengar DP and Ledian LA. Gengar is very nice, even though slow because you need 3 energys. But having the ability to spread and then go behind a wall is just awesome. Ledian I like because he’s easy to get out and his attack does decent damage.
    One last thing I thought I’d mention, is that Skuntank G is brilliant in theses decks since you loose the special condition with your attack. It really helps to make up for the usually low damage output of hit and run decks.

  27. William Gilbert

    Nice article.
    I also love the hit and run strategy and it gave me some new material to work with, so thanks :)
    Two of my favorites pokemon for that strategy haven’t been mentioned though: Gengar DP and Ledian LA. Gengar is very nice, even though slow because you need 3 energys. But having the ability to spread and then go behind a wall is just awesome. Ledian I like because he’s easy to get out and his attack does decent damage.
    One last thing I thought I’d mention, is that Skuntank G is brilliant in theses decks since you loose the special condition with your attack. It really helps to make up for the usually low damage output of hit and run decks.

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