Palkia Lock – Deck Analysis

Palkia Lock was the deck that came close, but just didn’t quite cut it during the season. The deck has alot of variations and this article hopes to enlighten everyone on how this particular deck works. The deck’s highest achievement this year at the 2009 Pokémon TCG World Championships was by Diego Cassiraga from Argentina, who went all the way into Top 8 and lost to Jay Hornung with / Machamp. There were other appearances of the deck in the Top Cut, 16th place Ross Cawthon and 27th place Pablo Meza ran the deck as well, except Ross used LV.X in it as well.

(Straight) Palkia Lock

Pokémon: 23
3 Palkia G PL
1 Palkia G LV.X PL
4 Mesprit LA
3 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Azelf MT
2 Crobat G PL
2 Unown G GE
1 Toxicroak G Promo
1 Bronzong G PL
1 Raichu GL RR
1 Misdreavus SF
1 SF
Supporters: 10
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4 Roseanne’s Research
1 Bebe’s Search
1 Aaron’s Collection

Trainers: 15
4 TGI Energy Gain
4 TGI Poké Turn
3 TGI Power Spray
2 TGI SP Radar
1 Luxury Ball
1 Night Maintenance

Energy: 12
5 Water
4 Call
2 Psychic
1 Lightning

Palkia G Platinum PL 12 Pokemon CardThis is the most standard version of Palkia Lock. Included in this deck are vital cards for the metagame expected at Worlds:

  • 4 Mesprit LA and 3 TGI Power Spray to ensure a lock on the opponent’s PokéPowers.
  • 1 Raichu GL for mirror matches.
  • 1 Toxicroak G Promo and 1 Azelf LA to counter the USA Nationals winner deck: Luxray GL / Infernape 4
  • 1 Uxie LV.X and 2 Unown “G” as a form of protection against Machamp decks.
  • 1-1 Mismagius SF line that acts as a Mewtwo LV.X counter.

The rest of the cards are standard to achieve consistency within the deck and do not require further explanation.

The deck’s main strategy is to dish out early damage with Palkia G and to control the opponent’s set up with the ability to block Poké-Powers and snipe potential threats on the bench, with Palkia G LV.X’s “Hydro Shot”.

With the release of Platinum: Supreme Victors, not much has changed to threaten this deck aside from Electivire FB LV.X, but strategies based around it are probably focused on using Poké-Power’s to put energy into play, and canceling such Poké-Power’s during the early game is what this deck excels at.

Palkia G LV.X Platinum PL 125 Pokemon CardThis deck has no real counters, as it has the strongest early game set up and control out of every deck right now, and thus unless you get a below average hand, or your opponent gets a very good hand, this deck probably has 50/50 matchups or better against every other deck, solely by how it is able to negate what every other deck relies on to set up early: Claydol GE’s “Cosmic Power” and Uxie LA’s “Set Up” Poké-Powers.

Having said that, Flygon / Machamp is this deck’s toughest matchup by far, and from first hand experience, running Uxie LV.X and 2 Unown “G”’s is simply not enough guarantee that you will be able to counter it. In my opinion this deck requires the use of Lucario GL in combination with Uxie LV.X to be able to cope with the Machamp using decks. The list above would require one to do the following changes to accommodate for this necessity to counter Machamp much more easily:

Lucario GL Rising Rivals RR 8 Pokemon Card-1 Luxury Ball for + 1 Bebe’s Search or +1 Premier Ball

-1 Crobat G or Water Energy for +1 Lucario GL

With these changes, searching out for Uxie LV.X when needed becomes alot easier, and Lucario GL is necessary to be able to 1HKO said Machamps. I personally recommend dropping the Water Energy for the Lucario GL, as dropping a Crobat G and having your only 1 Prized could ruin your strategy to 1HKO Machamp.

So what is your opinion on the deck? Do you agree with the changes proposed to deal with the new threat that are the Flygon / Machamp decks? What other threats to the deck have YOU come across?

Reader Interactions

57 replies

  1. Joshua Hall

    I don’t think straight Palkia is good enough to compete against the myraid of decks out right now, the top two hardest matchups being Blazeray and Flygon/Machamp. The lock only works because of Azelf MT, where without it, the deck falls apart. If the opponent, especially one using Luxray which will be almost everyone using SP, can get enough energy drops on the board, the Palkia is an easy one-shot, the Azelf as well.

    If Palkia is to run competitively to have a chance to win some tournys, it needs another companion attacker, whether that be Luxray GL Lv. X, Blaze Lv. X, or some other guy that can get some easy KO’s. Just Palkia with a Toxicroak and average attackers in Raichu and Uxie Lv. X doesn’t cut it.

  2. Drew Stillwell

    It seems palkia is a kind of hit or miss deck… either you get the constant lock and your opponent can’t set up (leaving you to sweep up what’s left), or they manage to get set up, albeit slower, and overpower you. The strategy is cool, but with luxray everywhere and flygon giving it troubles, I don’t see it becoming anything overwhelming. It’s just something to keep in mind, like scizor/cherrim.

  3. Joshua Hall

    I don’t think straight Palkia is good enough to compete against the myraid of decks out right now, the top two hardest matchups being Blazeray and Flygon/Machamp. The lock only works because of Azelf MT, where without it, the deck falls apart. If the opponent, especially one using Luxray which will be almost everyone using SP, can get enough energy drops on the board, the Palkia is an easy one-shot, the Azelf as well.

    If Palkia is to run competitively to have a chance to win some tournys, it needs another companion attacker, whether that be Luxray GL Lv. X, Blaze Lv. X, or some other guy that can get some easy KO’s. Just Palkia with a Toxicroak and average attackers in Raichu and Uxie Lv. X doesn’t cut it.

  4. Adam Capriola

    When I was first getting back into things, I tried using DLP I guess it’s called and I have no idea how to use it. It seemed like one of the worst decks for me to try and figure out in 5 mins haha.

    Pablo, do you use the same strategy against all matchups? Try to Psychic Bind and Power Spray as early and often as possible to swing the momentum in your favor and grind it out? What attack are you using most of the game, Pearl Breath? I just wanna know cause I have very limited experience with this deck.

    Nice article!

  5. J-Wittz

    I feel like this deck works to the same degree as regigigas once did: you need the power lock and techs in place in order to outspeed your opponent and get an easy win, otherwise you get toasted. I never really liked the mismagius tech and usually stuck it out with dialgia gX instead. Palkia GX seems to be just a little too slow to match with other, faster sp variants and a little too weak to match with the most popular stage 2 decks like flygon machamp. With straight palkia, you’re pretty much just inviting the opposing luxray X to clear you. I’d much rather take out the raichu and fit in room for luxray X in this build as well, which just basically makes what people call “DLP” or “LDP”. Even with the call energy, this deck also has a very poor good to bad start ratio, with basics like unknown G, mesprit, uxie, either azelf, bronzong G, and the little mismagius all being somebody you don’t want to see as the only basic in your hand. I used to think that this was the best deck around until really playing with it made it feel too cluttered for me.

  6. J-Wittz

    I feel like this deck works to the same degree as regigigas once did: you need the power lock and techs in place in order to outspeed your opponent and get an easy win, otherwise you get toasted. I never really liked the mismagius tech and usually stuck it out with dialgia gX instead. Palkia GX seems to be just a little too slow to match with other, faster sp variants and a little too weak to match with the most popular stage 2 decks like flygon machamp. With straight palkia, you’re pretty much just inviting the opposing luxray X to clear you. I’d much rather take out the raichu and fit in room for luxray X in this build as well, which just basically makes what people call “DLP” or “LDP”. Even with the call energy, this deck also has a very poor good to bad start ratio, with basics like unknown G, mesprit, uxie, either azelf, bronzong G, and the little mismagius all being somebody you don’t want to see as the only basic in your hand. I used to think that this was the best deck around until really playing with it made it feel too cluttered for me.

  7. Drew Stillwell

    It seems palkia is a kind of hit or miss deck… either you get the constant lock and your opponent can’t set up (leaving you to sweep up what’s left), or they manage to get set up, albeit slower, and overpower you. The strategy is cool, but with luxray everywhere and flygon giving it troubles, I don’t see it becoming anything overwhelming. It’s just something to keep in mind, like scizor/cherrim.

  8. Adam Keibler

    I’m surprised at the use of Mismagius. Why Mismagius when Ninetails does the job just as well and handles Flygon too?

    • J-Wittz  → Adam

      Well, I imagine it to be really hard to fit ninetails into any kind of palkia list. Unless you want to put fire in there or run it with blaziken as a partner, neither of which I’d recommend

  9. Adam Capriola

    When I was first getting back into things, I tried using DLP I guess it’s called and I have no idea how to use it. It seemed like one of the worst decks for me to try and figure out in 5 mins haha.

    Pablo, do you use the same strategy against all matchups? Try to Psychic Bind and Power Spray as early and often as possible to swing the momentum in your favor and grind it out? What attack are you using most of the game, Pearl Breath? I just wanna know cause I have very limited experience with this deck.

    Nice article!

  10. Andre Fossto Östlund

    I am new to the TCG, but if i am gonna be onest. i dont see the usefull part of this deck? :S I mean, Palkia G lv.x have a good poke power, but u cant use it all the time.
    The only good thing i see with this card is the attack(maybe) it snipes for 3 enerys(E-gain) and does 80. pretty goos. but please tell me whats good with this deck XD dont get it really.

    There might be any good with this deck, but to me it seems to slow.

  11. Adam Keibler

    I’m surprised at the use of Mismagius. Why Mismagius when Ninetails does the job just as well and handles Flygon too?

    • J-Wittz  → Adam

      Well, I imagine it to be really hard to fit ninetails into any kind of palkia list. Unless you want to put fire in there or run it with blaziken as a partner, neither of which I’d recommend

  12. Adam Capriola

    It is good because of Mesprit LA, it lets you stop your opponents Pokemon Powers. Without the ability to use Pokemon Powers, most decks will have trouble getting anything going and Palkia will be able to take over control of the game. If you play against it, you will see how difficult it can be.

    Thanks for asking that question Ghoztmazta, don’t be afraid to ask if you have any more questions. :) Asking questions is the best way to learn anything.

  13. Andre Fossto Östlund

    I am new to the TCG, but if i am gonna be onest. i dont see the usefull part of this deck? :S I mean, Palkia G lv.x have a good poke power, but u cant use it all the time.
    The only good thing i see with this card is the attack(maybe) it snipes for 3 enerys(E-gain) and does 80. pretty goos. but please tell me whats good with this deck XD dont get it really.

    There might be any good with this deck, but to me it seems to slow.

  14. Adam Capriola

    It is good because of Mesprit LA, it lets you stop your opponents Pokemon Powers. Without the ability to use Pokemon Powers, most decks will have trouble getting anything going and Palkia will be able to take over control of the game. If you play against it, you will see how difficult it can be.

    Thanks for asking that question Ghoztmazta, don’t be afraid to ask if you have any more questions. :) Asking questions is the best way to learn anything.

  15. Well it seems from the comments above, that the deck seems quite underrated. I have been testing it with friends and it is working now better than ever. I think in the last 2 testing sessions, this deck went a combined total of 12-1 against the likes of Silvestro’s Beedrill, Sebastian Crema’s Flygon Decking strategy and Pooka’s Lux/Ape list. I think I will be settling in for this as my initial Battle Roads deck, and will update you guys with the results.

  16. Pablo Meza

    Well it seems from the comments above, that the deck seems quite underrated. I have been testing it with friends and it is working now better than ever. I think in the last 2 testing sessions, this deck went a combined total of 12-1 against the likes of Silvestro’s Beedrill, Sebastian Crema’s Flygon Decking strategy and Pooka’s Lux/Ape list. I think I will be settling in for this as my initial Battle Roads deck, and will update you guys with the results.

  17. PokePockets

    Straight Palkia can’t really contend anymore. This looks like a list that a lot of my friends played at Nationals. It is MUCH more superior with Dialga G

  18. PokePockets

    Straight Palkia can’t really contend anymore. This looks like a list that a lot of my friends played at Nationals. It is MUCH more superior with Dialga G

  19. Koay Ze Nian

    Palkia Lock wins to most of the Set – up decks as if you can constantly lock your opponents…
    It also has a better matchup with machamp compared to other SP’s because it can keep splashing turn and leave a crobat G in front with unown G and Uxie LvX for the kill .Luxray could be a big thread to palkia lock but no need worries cause Toxicroak G is here ( Promo ). Once Luxray is dead SP mirrors will find hard to attack ( azelf MT ).But still..not all decks are good -.- they all have their weaknesses..

  20. andceo

    I just want to point out that ALESSIO PARCIANELLO (ITA) did T16 too with the deck losing only to Stephen Silvestro and finishing at the 11th place.
    Thanks

  21. andceo

    I just want to point out that ALESSIO PARCIANELLO (ITA) did T16 too with the deck losing only to Stephen Silvestro and finishing at the 11th place.
    Thanks

  22. Koay Ze Nian

    Palkia Lock wins to most of the Set – up decks as if you can constantly lock your opponents…
    It also has a better matchup with machamp compared to other SP’s because it can keep splashing turn and leave a crobat G in front with unown G and Uxie LvX for the kill .Luxray could be a big thread to palkia lock but no need worries cause Toxicroak G is here ( Promo ). Once Luxray is dead SP mirrors will find hard to attack ( azelf MT ).But still..not all decks are good -.- they all have their weaknesses..

  23. Kyle Morris

    I’m curious to how this deck will do against Magikarp.

  24. PokePockets

    Palkia fairs great against Magikarp! (hrhr)

    Against Gyrados…who knows, haha. It would be interesting to see. Gyrados does not need that many powers to work, and Trainer/Supporter only hurts it for 1-2 turns until you can start getting the deck running

  25. Adam Capriola

    I think it probably beats Gyarados if it has Lucario and Luxray, OHKO ability and power stopping can make it difficult to keep the swarm going.

  26. Kyle Morris

    I’m curious to how this deck will do against Magikarp.

  27. PokePockets

    Palkia fairs great against Magikarp! (hrhr)

    Against Gyrados…who knows, haha. It would be interesting to see. Gyrados does not need that many powers to work, and Trainer/Supporter only hurts it for 1-2 turns until you can start getting the deck running

  28. Adam Capriola

    I think it probably beats Gyarados if it has Lucario and Luxray, OHKO ability and power stopping can make it difficult to keep the swarm going.

  29. John Rea

    I really like this deck.
    But I need a palkia G lv x and a palkia G too :D

  30. John Rea

    I really like this deck.
    But I need a palkia G lv x and a palkia G too :D

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