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 Flygon / 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 Luxray LV.X in it as well.
(Straight) Palkia Lock
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 Mismagius SF
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4 Roseanne’s Research
1 Bebe’s Search
1 Aaron’s Collection
- 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.
This 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:
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 one 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?